Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Classic Convertibles 70th Birthday Card

When I was talking with my mom yesterday,
she mentioned that it was the 70th birthday of one of my uncles
last week. I made this special card for the Chevy lover :)

The image (Classic Convertibles from Stampin' Up!, retired)
was stamped with waterproof black ink on watercolor paper.

Mask off the edges of the paper
with removable sticky note paper
before coloring to create a sort of faux photo look.
TIP: hold it up to a light source to help get the
edges straight.

Water colored and sponged with classic inks,
chrome details done with a Signo pen.

Mounted to a diamond plate (by Darice) embossed background
 with old photo mounts.

The highway sign was created by doing quite a bit of altering of an image
 that was purchased with a digital scrapbook program.

Thanks for looking =)

Saturday, January 24, 2015

OWH sketch Challenge 247 - Just "Chicken" In

This fun card was made for the new sketch challenge
I'm pleased with the way it turned out,
I've never made a paper punch chicken before
(search online for lots of different ideas ).
I think I'll make a few more !
When I first saw this sketch, I thought I wouldn't do anything with it,
it was "busier" than what I normally do. Plus, I tend to make
more masculine type cards (love my old classic car stamp images!)
and I didn't think it would well work with them.
Then, bam, an idea hit me out of nowhere -
a paper punch chicken
Just Checking In on the recipient !

I thought googlie eyes would be a fun touch,
but the eyes I have weren't quite the right size.
I just used two small paper punched circles highlighted with
a white gel pen.
The chickens "comb" was created by the tops of 1 1/2 hearts.
The beak is the bottom half of a heart,
the "wattle" is the top half of another small heart.
The wings are a scallop circle cut in half.

I glued only the ends of the wings to the body
and left the wing tips "floating" above for more dimension.

Here are the paper punches I used to make her.
I lightly sponged smokey slate ink around the edges
of the punched pieces. A white Signo gel pen
 was used for a couple of highlights.

The sentiment is computer generated (Scrap Casual font) then die cut with
the Word Bubbles die set from Stampin' Up!
TIP: The word bubble die was not facing the correct way
(I didn't think of this ahead of time, in fact I've not ever used this die!)
so I held it up to a sunny window on the backside to line it up
and cut it out "backwards" . The cutting edge is on the back side
 of the card stock with the printed image facing down on the cutting plate,
so when it is cut out and flipped over, it is facing the correct way for
use with my chicken.
Thanks for looking =)
Be sure to stop by the sketch challenge link up
to see more inspiring ideas -
and make a card or two for our heroes !

Thursday, January 22, 2015

OWH MidMonth Throwdown - Thank You Cards

This is a fun swing card I made for the January
Operation Write home:
Thank You cards.
If you'd like to take part in the challenge
and are new to creating cards for Operation Write Home,
please read the Guidelines first.

There isn't much room to write in this type of card,
so I will include extra paper.

Here is how I made it:

Cut your card base from card stock with the swing card die.
Cut another one from decorative paper and
 trim a bit from each side (or cut a smaller square to start,
then use your swing card die with the smaller paper centered in it)
if you'd like to have a colored edge of your card base to show.
The swing card die was from Stampin' Up!

Cut along the score lines from the edge in to the
die cut circle, stopping at the die cut portion.
You want to keep the circle whole so you can
cut another circle from it (if you want to have
decorative paper on the swing circle portion, that is).

Using a circle die a smidge smaller than the paper,
die cut a circle from it. This is a Nestabilities circle die.

Die cut and trimmed decorative paper pieces
that will be glued to the swing card base.

Finished card !

The first one I made looked kind of
"blah" to me. I decided to try to make
die cut pieces of cloud paper to jazz it up -
and it worked pretty well !

Die cut flowers are old dies,  
leaves were made with an old two step flower punch,
card stocks, stamp set and inks are all from Stampin' Up!
I sponged the edges of the flower dies with ink and
lightly bent the petals for a little dimension.

Thanks for looking =)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Custom Painted Mailbox

 I've "custom"painted our rural mailbox a few times over the years.

The first one was done with foam stamps in the shape of ivy leaves. I had previously used the stamps with glazing paints on the half bath wall and thought they’d be a nice touch to our plain white mailbox. The name and address were hand lettered with a small paintbrush.

The second one was a sort of patriotic daisies theme. It was totally inspired by a painted watering can project in one of my craft magazines. I used outdoor acrylic paints and sealed it with clear spray paint. It stayed out on the pole, slowly fading, for 13 years.

The mailbox got to the point where it could no longer be repaired (and was really faded) so we bought a new one – and I custom painted it, too.

The local hardware store no longer carries large white rural mailboxes, only black. It was fine since I had to repaint it red anyway.

The new one is totally inspired by the red barn ! Other than messing up the shingles (they are too large), I think it turned out well.

It was spray painted with exterior spray paint then I used outdoor acrylic craft paints for the numbers and shingles. Various sizes of craft paintbrushes were used to apply the paints.

I used my Cricut Create machine to cut stencils from clear sticky contact paper. It was a great idea, but the teeny tiny grooves on the mailbox allowed the paint to ooze underneath the stencil, creating dozens and dozens of blotches I had to touch up. This time I made HUGE numbers on the side of the mailbox, making it super easy to spot (photo edited for privacy ).

The shingles were made by painting a black background first then stamping gray paint with a rough textured sponge cut to fit. I went back in with a thin paint brush to add lines around parts of most of the shingles as well as outline the numbers. After letting it dry for 24 hours, I sprayed it with clear spray paint.

Thanks for looking ;)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Motorcycle Greeting Card

Motorcycle image from Hero Arts, Diamond Plate embossing folder from Darice, gears dies from Joy Arts.

I added some color to the black stamped image with paints and a silver gel pen.

The card design is based on a sketch at Operation Write Home (#246).

Thanks for looking =)

Friday, January 16, 2015

Sketch Challenge 246 at OWH

Created for sketch challenge #246 at
What a fun,  simple sketch.
I'm going to make a couple of kids cards with it, too !

Image is from a Hero Arts stamp set (bought through Joann.com) and
water colored with Stampin' Up! ink pads/aquapainter.

Silver Signo gel pen used on the "chrome".

Crystal Effects detail on the headlights and windshield.

Gear dies are from Joy Crafts (bought through Joann.com).

Darice brand Diamond Plate embossing folder (bought through Joann.com).

Thanks for looking =)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Golden Anniversary Card

A special card I made for one of my aunt and uncles :)
It did require lots of extra postage,
especially since I mailed it in a bubble wrap envelope
with extra padding around it so it wouldn't get
squished (hopefully!) while going through the mail system.

I printed out a special customized piece for the inside of the card
as well as a photo I took of the two of them during our extended
family Christmas party (I wish the photo was better though........).

Thanks for looking =)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Paper Punch Elf Faces

Paper punch elf faces I made this year for a clue finding game
I made my kids to play Christmas morning.

Longwinded story, skip if you'd
rather go to the additional photos:
The tradition of hiding various clues started years ago when
 Santa brought my kids an air hockey and foosball table
that had to be assembled in the basement.
Our old farmhouse has a steep, narrow staircase to get to the basement
and once down there, many steel support poles to navigate around.
There was no way possible the table games could be assembled upstairs
and left "under the tree" then moved to the basement.
They had to be assembled in the spot they were going to be played
in the basement. Should the kids ever move out and want to take the games with them,
they will need to be disassembled to be removed, no joke.

 I decided to make a game of hiding clues for them to find the table games.
Back then, when they were much younger, they really enjoyed it (or so I thought).
Over the years I've done various versions of it
while some years I did nothing of the sort when they complained
about not wanting to do it. As they got older, all they wanted was to sleep in,
find a gift of cash then go back to bed or get on social media. Kids !

So last year, when they were 18 and 22, they were given the
They complained that there was no game and just
boring cash. Boy, I can't win for losing !!!!!!

Soooo this year, I spent way too much time making these elf faces
and hand writing clues (nursery rhymes of all things!).
My original plan was to write a little story, each elf holding
a page to it . I was even going to go so far as to have the part of the story
relevant to the shape of the origami folded money I wanted to leave at each stop.
With a forecast for mild weather this year, I intended on having them hunt
for a few clues outside (but in my heart knew that they would not be happy to do that,
plus it wasn't wise to leave money laying around the property).
 In the end I decided not to spend much more time on it
because this may be one of those "Oh, how lame is this, we don't
want to have to hunt for a gift!" years. So quick nursery rhyme clues it was.

Why nursery rhymes when they are as old as they are ?
They were the only things I could think of to send them to different parts of the house
to find the next clue - and types of clues I've not used in the past.
I wanted to think of lines/titles from songs since they both really like music,
but just could not come up with anything that would work.

So, without further rambling, here are my elves, the clues
(I did leave one word blank that they had to figure out) -
and the origami folded money I left at each stop.

"Twinkle, twinkle, little ___________________."

First clue left in the Christmas tree.

It took them a minute to find the star since it isn't something
they really notice.

"Rub a dub, dub, three men in a ____."

The origami folded bills are two shirts,
one of which has a tie !

This one was easy since there is only one bathtub in the house.
However, I could have been sneaky and hidden it in a storage "tub"
or even a wash basin "tub" in the garage.

"Jack be nimble, Jack be quick, Jack jump over the ______________."

The origami folded bills were a boot and a box (to resemble a videogame).

This took a moment too, because at first they couldn't think of a candlestick. My son remembered one in the china cabinet (I had forgotten about that one!). In the end my daughter found this one since her dad was standing in the kitchen with the videocamera and saying warmer/colder so she suspected it must have been in there, then she saw the glowing light. I did have the lightweight curtains pulled closed so the elf wasn't easily seen right away.

"Mary, Mary quite contrary, how does your ___________ grow ?"

That clue threw them for a loop, they had to google it !

The origami folded bills were hearts.

It came to my son when my daughter said "roses? flowers?" as
she was trying to google it on her cell phone.
He raced outside and easily found it in one of the flower beds,
my garden.

"Hickory, dickory, dock, the mouse ran up the _____________"

"Oh man, there aren't any clocks in our house!" they said.
Not sure what they were thinking......... I guess that most of the clocks are digital, on appliances.

I did think about being sneaky and hiding it on the clock out in the garage,
but it is too far up off of the floor, out of our reach without a ladder.

The origami folded money was a butterfly and a star.

Although most of the clocks in the house are digital on devices,
there is a real clock with hands on it in the den.
They had to find the star clue there so I didn't want to send them
back to the same room (I make them go to different parts for each clue).

I gave the below clock to my daughter many years ago,
but she no longer wanted it so I kept it.
I say "Whatever" a lot, so it is perfect to use in the craft dungeon.
She had forgotten all about it.
It hasn't been on display for some time since I kept
knocking it over (can't be attached to the cement walls)
while it was propped up on top of my work desk.
 I drug it back out just for this clue.

They were kind of at a loss as to where there was a clock
(not even having looked at all of them throughout the house yet,
they were only thinking of the main living level).
I had to remind them that it could be anywhere in the house,
my son bolted to my craft dungeon and went straight to my work desk.

The origami folded bills left here were pants.

I ended so soon thinking they weren't going to be into it
as in years past, grumbling about it the entire time.

They were disappointed that it ended -
and that there wasn't a huge end game prize.
Yep, I just can't "win" :)

Here are photos of the folded bills.
Most worked really well while others I struggled with,
they didn't quite turn out as expected (box and butterfly).
Directions can be found all over the internet.
I used this page as a starting point

 I didn't get a photograph of the hearts ! 
I made them the same as these I made in another

Most items were from Stampin' Up!

Ornament punch for face
Two Step bird punch (wing for ears)
Full heart punch, humps cut off, for hat
Label punch for hat brim
various circles, snowflakes, flowers for pom poms on hats
scalloped circle for collar of shirt
tiny circle punch for nose

googlie eyes

ink pad and sponge for the cheeks/noses/ears

scissors and scraps of card stock to cut the different hair styles

assorted embossing folders

Scraps of lightweight cream paper to make the "scrolls".
 I was going to cut small hands to hold them,
decided not to since the kids don't really notice
for all the little details I put into things.
I will reuse the elf faces on Christmas cards next year -
and probably make the little hands holding stamped greetings !

You can find instructions for various types of paper punch
elves all over the internet.

Thanks for looking =)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Die Cut Poinsettia Christmas Portrait Card

Photo Christmas card/display piece I made this past Christmas.

The die cut poinsettia was made from a discontinued die
available through cricut.com
I've never seen them before and I think if I had known how thin they are,
I probably would not have bought them. I am not sure how long they will last....
I was quite surprised that they cut through this card stock.
Granted, this is some thinner than the Stampin' Up! card stock I normally use.

Also as a note, it may just be the operator of the quilling tool,
but I could NOT get my flower to look like the completed flower
that came in the kit. I had to do some creative "unquilling" and gluing
to make it work properly. My flower petals kept stacking
up on directly top of each other, looking goofy. Maybe with more practice ?

Doesn't show up too well in this lighting/photo,
but I inked the edges of all the pieces before assembly.

This shows the back of my flower that I had to unroll and
glue together oddly to make the flower look right.
Rolled tightly like the sample flower in the kit,
the petals to my flower were stacked on top of each other
making what looked like just a three petal flower.

Ribbon, metal pieces, Riding Hood Red card stock,
Vary Vanilla card stock, Early Espresso textured card stock,
Texturz plates, scalloped circle die and numbers stamp set
all came from Stampin' Up! (most all are now retired).

This is the die set I bought on clearance through cricut.com
They are chipboard thin dies, I had no idea !

Thanks for looking =)

Monday, January 12, 2015

OWH ODBD Challenge January


I created this card for the current Our Daily Bread Designs Challenge at
It is also a sort of
"Thank You"
nod to Our Daily Bread Designs for sponsoring this challenge !

When there are 25 entries to the challenge, ODBD
will sponsor one box of cards from
Operation Write Home to be mailed to our heroes.
If there are 50 entries, two boxes will be sponsored.
As if that isn't enough, this wonderful company also
gives away a $15 gift certificate to a randomly chosen winner.
I was lucky enough to be one of two winners for the November challenge
to make a card with hearts on it (see my card here).

I wasn't sure what stamp set to choose...........
There is a really fun monster truck set I had my eye on
and sentiments are always useful, but this is the one
I ended up choosing in the end as I always loved 
sledding on my old Flexible Flyer as a kid !

I attempted to make it have more of a  "patriotic", 
or any time during the winter feel,
 rather than a Christmas feel since the holiday is now past.

The image was stamped in black ink then water colored in
using ink from my ink pads and an aquapainter.
I layered it on Brilliant Blue card stock.

I used white acrylic craft paint for the snow details.
Leaving the card stock white wasn't white, snowy enough for my liking.
I do have some snow texture medium, but it was too chunky for this image.

The snowflake embossing folder used on the smaller front panel
 was from Stampin' Up! as are the sentiment
and Word Window (trimmed) paper punch. 

The red and white "Baker's twine" wrapped around the snowflake embossed panel
came from the Dollar Spot at Target last year.

Thanks for looking =)

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Circle Punch Christmas Tree Swing Card

The swing card base is a die from Stampin' Up!

The bases to these cards were made last year
as a fun way to give my kids money.
See this post here for the fun idea I came up with.
They didn't keep them, so
this year I added a new stamped circle to the back of the swing part
and the fun circle punch tree to the front.
Below are some photos that show how I made the tree.

The crinkling, separating of the layers is not necessary.
I did it to give the card stock more texture
and to make it thinner, easier to fold.

Fold the circle in half to give yourself a center mark.
Fold the sides in at the center mark.
The top point/fold starts at the mark then you
bring the rounded side in the meet along the center line.

I added a dab of glue at the tops of each section
so the lower "branches" would still be loose,
easy to fiddle with to make them "fluffy".

I didn't take a "how to" photo of painting the branches,
but it is easy. I used white acrylic craft paint and
a small paint brush to dab white onto the tips. Once dry,
I fluffed out the "branches" a bit.

You could take the tree a step farther by decorating it with
teeny, tiny punched pieces of colored paper or
dabs of glitter glue and paint.

Thanks for looking =)