June 22, 2015

Faux Stitched Shapes

Have you seen them everywhere? Faux stitched rectangles, squares, circles, hearts, stars, and clouds. I love the look of them. The slight texture adds so much to a card or project.
I first saw them on a YouTube video, and instantly knew that I wanted them. The downside was that they were metal dies intended to go through your die cut machine. I scoured the internet for them. The problem was most of them were about $25, and it was only one shape in a few sizes. I was a little bummed until I remembered that I could do them myself any shape, any size with my Make The Cut software!
They are super simple to do. Open MTC and open the basic shapes menu
 Select your shape.
 Add a shadow layer. This will give an OUTER cut line. If we did not do this, we'd have our stitches, but it wouldn't be a cut from the cardstock.
 Select your desired width. How far do you want your cut line from your stitching line??
Add the stitches! Select the INNER shape and right click. Select the Change Color/Texture/Line Menu, and then, choose Select Line.

Select the Create New Line Style. This option will allow you to choose how long your stitches are and how far apart they are cut.

Ta-da! You now have 2 circles. One with the dashed line to represent your stitches. One with a solid line to cut your shape free from the cardstock.

Here is an example of a one that I cut recently. I also did the same thing for the card in my last post.  I wish the camera could pick up the cut lines in more detail.

Next time I cut these, I'll make the spacing a little further apart. The process is really easy. I hope that you'll give it a try!

P.S. This little cutie will be in a project soon!

June 19, 2015

Tiddly Inks Super Power Challenge

This was a fun challenge. What kid doesn't like pretending they can fly& have super strength?? My kids love to play "Super Cleaners". They choose an animal, and then, tackle the task that I've given them to do using their super animal cleaning powers! They invented the game themselves, and so, naturally, it works!!

This is a recent addition to our digi stamp collection. *** I use digi stamps as incentives and gifts for my kids. They love getting them because they are free to create whatever they want with them. I love giving them because it is an inexpensive investment & bonus, I get to use them, too!*** I had them to a challenge to see who could match the most pairs of socks. They were son gung ho to do it, I decided to get each of them one. My son chose Super Pup as his reward.

This card was for a little boy's birthday. Each of us made him a card. I like that my kids think card making is fun!

One thing I learned while making this card is the importance of the proper paper. When I had die cut this page, I had intended to just blend the colored pencils together "naturally". However, due to time constraint, I had to use odorless mineral spirits to help with the blending. Well, for blending with out the oms, you need a paper that has a lot of tooth to it. When using the oms, you should use a smoother cardstock. So, this isn't as "blendy" as I would have liked, but it turned out cute anyway.

June 2, 2015

Practice Makes Perfect

Remember a few posts ago, I mentioned that I was really hoping to get the collection of Spectrum Noir Markers??? It was just a day or so after that post that I found something that really excited me: Kit and Clowder Perfecting Pencils Coloring Class. I was amazed at the depth of color and realness of the images. I had thought that the only way to get that kind of coloring was with alcohol markers. When I learned that I could do the same types of techniques with my Prismacolor pencils, I was ecstatic!
The main thing that I learned was that the technique that I had been so heavily relying upon to help me with my coloring was, actually, part of the issue. Though using odorless mineral spirits to color with can lead to beautiful images, the vivid colors are diluted.  Since the OMS dissolves the wax, everything is blended to the same consistency, and there is less control over the ability to add texture to an image.
This class has taught me so much. I've really been practicing with coloring the skin. I KNOW that I need to tackle the hair. I get so frustrated when I see the lack luster hair!! :) Here is a photo of an image that I just recently colored using the new techniques that I found in this class. It isn't complete. I need to add some background colors. When I pick out the paper for the card, I'll match the background colors to the paper.

I will say that the Perfecting Pencils Coloring Class is not free. It's $50 AUD which is about $38 USD. However, comparing that to what it was going to cost me to purchase a whole set of markers, I thought it a good investment.
I have all 150 Prismacolor pencils, and I love them. I'm glad that I found a way to use the medium that I love and still get fantastic results (after I practice a bit more..LOL)
A friend of mine chuckles when I tell her how much I love to color. I guess, it does sound funny that a grown woman finds complete relaxation when given a cute image and some pretty colors. But, I thoroughly enjoy it. I'm doing something useful, making something to make others smile or lift their burden.

By the way, Alyce from Kit and Clowder recently started a monthly technique class called Create and Learn. I have signed up for these, as well. It's so much fun to get the new class in my inbox. Hopefully, I'll be able to practice some of those techniques in the very near future!

Go color something! :)

April 21, 2015

Stamp Alternatives

No project to share with you today. I just wanted to pass along some info that might help you stretch your crafting dollars!

The more I browse Pinterest and challenge blogs, the more I see things that I would love to have. However, I've always tried to not run right out and buy everything that I like. I have a lot of crafting supplies, and I don't need everything I see. Stamps always have been my crafting weakness. For the most part, they are relatively inexpensive and have multiple uses.

Because of our recent move, I've been doing some research on the state of Alabama. I found that the state flower is a camellia. It is a beautiful flower, and as soon as I saw it, I looked for a stamp. I came across some that weren't the style I was looking for, and I also came across some that were more than I wanted to pay at the time. My next idea was to look for a digi stamp. I found a beautiful one! But as I was going to pay for it, a question hit me....what is a digital stamp? It's a coloring image. Well, why not look for a printable coloring page.

I did and was surprised with the results. I found a site that has some great images full of detail. You'd never know that they weren't actually digi stamps. So, I thought I'd pass the info along. The site is supercoloringpages.com

Here is the direct link to the camellia that I downloaded. It's on my project list to do. You'll be seeing it soon.

April 3, 2015

Digital Organization??

On one of my Facebook groups the ladies there were talking about their apps for organizing their Copic markers. Farther down the thread, someone said that they'd like to have an app for all of her other supplies. Well, that started me on the hunt!!

After a while of research, I found Memento Database. I really like how easy it is to use. I was able to set up libraries for several different categories of craft items...stamps, digital stamps, embossing folders, brass stencils, & ink...It allows me to attach photos to make thumbnails of my supplies. By adding a field to type in descriptive words, I can search for specifics...wedding, flower, etc. So I can find exactly what I need in a timely manner! Best of all, it's free with NO ADS!

This will really help to make sure that I don't buy what I don't need. Right now, I'm having to go through my stamps every time to make sure that I'm not buying double types of images. Though I love gerbera daisies, I don't need 7 different ones from 6 different companies.

Just wanted to share this with you quickly. I still have a lot to do to get it finished. I have the fields created and some of the info done. Here is as far as I've gotten on my stamps, but hopefully, it will show you how I've set things up.

March 19, 2015

My Crafting Space

With the move to AL, we were able to find a house that fit a lot of our needs. One of those was having a designated crafting space. For the past 10 years, I have things stuffed here and there because I didn't have a proper storage solution. Well, thanks to IKEA, I was able to get all matching furniture and set up a space that I truly love. I'd spend way more time up there, but someone has to do the laundry & dishes! :) The desk, drawers, & cabinet are all from the ALEX series. I can't believe that I got everything in them. In fact, I have a few empty places...just in case! LOL

Last year for Mother's Day, my fabulous husband bought me a new sewing machine (Brother 420PRW) and a Sew Steady Quilter's Wish Table....Love it...I have a story to share with you soon about my quilting adventures.

Here are some pics. Please excuse them. They are from my phone, which normally does a good job. Not sure why these turned out so grainy and off color. The true color of the room is in the middle pic. I didn't repaint this after we moved in. But because of the painted, sloped ceiling, I don't get as much light as I should being that the room is only 9x13. So, a white ceiling is on the to do list. One of the drawer parts was missing  as you can see in the second photo. They've sent me the wrong piece twice. Hoping,third time's the charm. :)

March 16, 2015

Why, Oh Why Did I Do That???

I bought 2 new stamp sets from Technique Tuesday. I love poppies, and I didn't have a stamp. The set is called Budding Poppies The greeting for this card is from the other set, which I will surely show you later!! The great thing about this stamp set is that it has a cut file that I can use with my KNK Groov-e.

I really enjoyed making this. I used the Cuttlebug Swiss Dots folder to emboss it, leaving a 1 in space to stamp the sentiment. The ruffly ribbon adds another dimension. Clean and simple and quick.

My only conundrum is....I used markers, alcohol markers. Up until yesterday, I was completely convinced that I'd never want to deter from my Prismacolor Pencils with the odorless mineral spirits technique. I have had a pack of Bic Mark-Its for a while. I bought them before we moved, so they've been packed a way for a while. I watched several YouTube videos about using Bic markers as an alternative to Copics. I've not purchased any because of the price.  After some research, I came across Spectrum Noir Markers: refillable, 168 colors, and about 1/5 the price of Copics. I don't want to sound as if I'm anti-Copic. I'm not!!! They have over 300 different colors, they are also refillable, but for MY budget, I just can't do it.  I'll keep you updated on my collecting of Spectrum Noirs. I have to save a bit before I can get them. Trying to decide if I should just wait and get all of them at one time, or get them little by little...Decisions, decisions!

What is your favorite coloring medium? How many times have you changed mediums? This will be my third time. I had some water based markers that I loved the colors, but hated how it pilled my cardstock. Then, the Prismacolor pencils. Next, will be the alcohol markers.

March 14, 2015

A Little Green

Here is my card for this weeks Farm Fresh Friday and Pile It On Challenge...both of which were green. I also used Cas(e) This Sketch #113.

I've had so much fun getting back into stamping. My craft room is a mess. In fact, I had a hard time trying to find a clean spot on the desk to take the pic!

March 12, 2015

Did You Know...

that you can still find lots of the TAC rubber stamps? Pam Upper, a former demonstrator with The Angel Company, purchased the stock after TAC closed and started Red Rubber Designs. She's done a wonderful job of keeping these images available for crafters. Not only do the images now come in red instead of blue rubber, but you have the option to buy them as a cling mount...already mounted, and already cut...ready for use! 
Last week, I placed an order as I was eager to get some of the stamps that I had been wanting for such a long time. She packed and shipped them quickly. Can't wait to use these. Stay tuned. I'll be posting the results! 

Be sure to check out her shop, Red Rubber Designs.

Oh! Before I forget. Some of the older TAC stamps have gone digital. Check out Pam's digi store,  Pickled Potpourri Designs, too. 

March 9, 2015

Where Has Time Gone??

I can't believe that it's been so long since I've been able to do a blog post. Life has had some twists and turns, and though I wanted to keep up with the blog, I just wasn't able to. I can't write a novel, but let me give you some highlights. 

In July of 2012, I found out that we were expecting again. If you recall, during my pregnancies, I get motion sickness, can't watch TV, or use the computer, as these cause eyestrain and nausea. My poor husband gets to live with the most boring woman on the planet for 9 months! :) That was the initial reason for the abrupt break from blogging. In Nov. of 2012, my husband resigned the church he was pastoring, and in April of 2013, we relocated! The craziness of a huge move, house hunting, and homeschooling was compounded by the unexpected passing of  my father-in-law in June. Getting mother-in-law moved nearby and settled was another challenge. Then, another school year starts, and holidays, etc...you know...life.

I'm not going to promise so many blog posts a week or month. I'm just going to get back to doing what I love...making cards & sharing with you. I have some fun, new products to share with you and some more DIYs.

Some of the images are missing from a few of my posts. Not sure what has happened, but I'll try to figure it out!

July 7, 2012

Retro-Fresh Challenge

This is Dressy Ebony. She's also a digi from The Greeting Farm! This month's Retro Fresh Challenge was do something with sunshine and summertime!  Using MTC, I did a print and cut that allowed me to print Ebony on one side and cut the hole for the sun on the other. I printed the sentiment on yellow cardstock and mounted it behind.

Most of my cards go to friends or are mailed to family. When I was making this, my seven year old, loved it! I knew it had to go to her. I am trying to be more aware of making sure the ones who live with me get those special notes, as well. Trying to not miss a birthday or to send a thinking of you card is in the forefront of my mind, but my kiddos won't be small long! Now that my daughter is reading and writing, she loves to find my scribbled notes all over the house. It makes my day that I made her day!

July 6, 2012

Lettering Delights

I'm thrilled to announce that I'm now an affiliate for Lettering Delights. I've been purchasing their fonts for several years, but exciting changes have happened over the past few months. LD has partnered with MTC to bring quality graphics & cutting files right inside the MTC program.

I can't wait to share with you some of the things I make using these great files.

July 5, 2012

Farm Fresh Friday Challenge

This is the first card I've had a chance to make in over a week!! I was going through withdrawal! LOL My husband took a group of teenagers to Ohio for a youth conference last week, and while he was gone, I  redid his office. He loves it. I could NOT have done it myself. I had 3 very kind handymen come pitch in. I'll post their thank you cards soon.

The Greeting Farm challenge this week was to use 4 layers and ribbon and /or button. I  colored  Country Anya  with Prismacolor pencils and odorless mineral spirits.

***Please excuse the droopy button. I had to fix it with another glue dot!!***

June 23, 2012

DIY Textured Cardstock

I had to run to get some cardstock the other day. I picked up a large package & afterwards realized it wasn't textured. I guess, the price should have been a clue, as textured cardstock is usually a few dollars more.

On my way home, I had a light bulb moment! I remembered a purchase that I had made long ago, a Dreamweaver Stencils "Faux Cross Stitch". I remember opening it and realizing it was just a piece of screen. Luckily, it was cheap. If I embossed the screen onto regular cardstock, would it look like textured cardstock?

I dug out my stencils, found the screen, and added my other hardware store treasure, plumbers gasket, to the mix to get a very good impression. This is how my "sandwich" went in my Cuttlebug: A plate, B plate, plumbers gasket, cardstock, screen, B plate.

If you've not heard about the plumbers gasket, you are going to be very excited to hear about all it will do for you. It can be purchased from Lowe's for about $1.50. (I'm sure most hardware stores will carry it if you don't happen to have a hardware store near you!) This red rubber adds additional tension to your machine allowing tiny details "pop". I've even run some lacy ribbon through, and the pressure from the gasket transferred the lace pattern to the cardstock.

Here is the finished product:

I hope you can see the details. I left a small border on the left side, so you can compare the results. Is it "EXACTLY" like textured cardstock? No, but it is close, & for the savings (granted, it's only a few dollars difference, but that's a new digi stamp...LOL) I'm good with that.

June 20, 2012

Easel Card

I like different fold cards, though, I usually make mine plain and simple. This stamp set (Majestic Mountain, TAC) was what I wanted to use to make my father in law's Father's Day card. This is the perfect kind of stamp for an easel card, as the stamp is a work of art. I really enjoyed making this, and he loved it!! 

As you can see, I'm really liking the Kraft cardstock!! =)

I found the tutorial to make this card on Splitcoast Stampers. They have both a written & video tutorial. 


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