Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Almost Thanksgiving

Wow!  I didn't realize it's been so long since I posted.  I've been busy making cards, as usual.  Our church is having a cookie/craft sale in a couple of weeks, and I'm going to set up a table.  Unfortunately, I've given away so many of my cards that I only have about 80 or so to put out.  I may have to get busy and make a few more.  I want to make sure I have plenty to choose from

I did actually sell a couple of Hanukkah cards on my Etsy website. I don't know why I keep selling to people in California, but I'll take it!

So, here are a few of my latest cards.

This card is all computer generated.  I created the background by replicating a design.  The strip was created by cutting a design apart and then putting it back together horizontally.  The flames on the menorah are gold Stickles.

While there are technically no candles on this menorah, I thought it looked more complete with "flames".  I used the leaves from a set of flowers.

For this card, I distressed the top layer before stamping.  The candles have iridescent Stickles.  The menorah has red Stickles and a rhinestone.  The flourishes at the side are stamped in versamark and embossed with red glitter embossing powder.  The ribbon is scrunched up on adhesive. The red background is embossed with a Cuttlebug folder.

I have to give my BFF, Lisa, credit for this card.  We were playing with the distressing and the stamp.  She came up with this and I shamelessly copied her!  The flames are gold Stickles.  The red glitter is embossing powder.  The pearls were white, but I inked over them lightly to darken them as they looked too stark against the distressed background.

Can you tell we played with distressing techniques?  These were stamps I used at Lisa's also (she has forbidden me to borrow things anymore because they tend to have trouble navigating back to her house!)    The bottom holly strip was stamped to match the main design, while the side ones were stamped in green and given red Stickles berries.
Nothing terribly exciting here.  I found the paper in one of my paper packs and realized that the design on the upper piece was the same as my Gina K stamp.  So I had to use it.  The snowflake background is made from two labels punched with my new Decorative Label punch from Stampin' Up!

I made this card for a challenge at Stamp TV.  The challenge was to use turquoise, red, and white.  I made the glitter snowflakes as on a previous card by using my Stampin' Up! snowflake die cut strip and cutting them out of a sheet of label paper.  After removing the backing, I glittered the sticky side, then adhered them with foam squares.  The white background is embossed with the Stampin' Up! snowflake folder, then stamped in red with my Gina K snowflake stamp.

I was going for a more victorian feel here.  I don't like the way the oval fits with the scallop.  The scallop is from Spellbinders, but the oval is cut with my system from Creative Memories.  I'll have to invest in the Spellbinders ovals one of these days.  Anyway, the poinsettia is from another Stamp TV set.  I dusted it with dazzling diamonds after stamping.  The pine branches are from an old SU set called Christmas minis.I masked the flower and stamped around it with the pine boughs.  I added brown glitter to the pine cones. The sentiment is from a Stamp TV set that coordinates with Spellbinders Fancy Tags.  The background is embossed with a Holly Ribbon folder.

Another distressed card.  This is from my Heirloom Ornaments stamp set from Stamp TV.  I'm impatiently waiting for the matching Spellbinders die cuts to arrive.  In the meantime, I'm sticking with stamping. I entered this in a sketch challenge at Stamp TV.  The green paper is SU always artichoke.  The lighter paper is SU naturals Ivory.  The sentiment and red ornaments were then distressed with soft suede ink.

Monday, November 8, 2010

I'm a Wanderer

Busy weekend of travel.  My son was due for his every 3 month check up at Mayo today.  So, as we did 3 months ago, we went to my mom's first.  This time, though, it was just Rick and myself.  We left Saturday morning, got to my mom's that afternoon.  Stayed overnight, took my mom to church, then left that afternoon for Rochester.  When we got to Rochester, we went to eat at an Indian restaurant.  My first time having Indian food, so luckily they had a buffet so I could sample. Back to the hotel to bed.  Up early this morning for breakfast, pack, and off to Mayo where Rick got another clean bill of health.  Then the long drive back home, stopping in Normal to pick up our favorite sandwich from Avanti's.  I got 4 of them so there'd be enough for dinner tonight and maybe a lunch or two tomorrow.

Although I lost a weekend of card-making, I did manage to get 2 more in before I left.  I decided to take part in a color challenge from StampTV to create a Christmas card using non-traditional colors.  I'd say these count!


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Little Flaky

I'm not referring to my scalp, or my personality (although some might argue the latter!). I'm referring to Christmas cards. I absolutely love snowflakes. So I couldn't resist the embossing folder or die cut strip from SU! Yesterday and today I went crazy playing with them.

Before I let myself play today, I managed to sweep and scrub my hardwood floors and apply 3 coats of finish, do a load of laundry, walk the dog, plant 25 mums, 42 bulbs, fertilize the yard, take my daughter to lunch, go grocery shopping, fix dinner (falafel--yum!) and of course, vote! Now I'm exhausted. But I love the cards I finished.

Coming up with names for my cards on my Etsy site (http://www.salutationsbysusan.etsy.com) is always difficult. Worse is describing them. I'm afraid I was too tired to be creative with either. I think I used up all my creativity in the cards themselves.

This is probably the simplest of the cards I made. As such, it doesn't really need much explaining. The flourish and snowflake are embossed in silver. The ribbons are accented with aurora borealis flowers. Simple, but elegant, I think.

Another relatively simple card. This one uses the great new paper I mentioned yesterday. I embossed the paper with the new SU! snowflake embossing folder. I sanded it lightly to reveal the core. Then I used 2-way glue to highlight a few spots and sprinkled on dazzling diamonds (hard to see in the photo). A matching ribbon and stamped sentiment complete the look.

I decided that I needed to break out of the mold and use an unexpected color color for at least one of the cards. This one uses black to show some great contrast. The top half is stamped with SU! snowflakes in tone-on-tone. The bottom uses wax (crayon) resist. A black scallop punch backs the snowflake covered in dazzling diamonds. A black and white polka dot ribbon completes the look.

See. I said the names were lame. But I like the card. Gold and ivory are classic Christmas colors, so I went to town with them here. The ivory card stock is embossed with the SU! snowflake folder. For all the remaining cards, I used the same method of glittering the snowflakes. I buy the packages of labels that are just 8 1/2 x 11 sheets to use for all sorts of things. I cut them apart to use with the die cut strip. Depending on the card, I either peeled the backing off the label and glittered the whole thing before running it through, or I ran the label through, peeled off the back, and then glittered it. The latter wastes less glitter, but can get tedious. The sentiment here is stamped in a gold metallic ink to finish it off.

I wish the photo could do this one justice. The blue snowflakes are so beautiful! I just happened to have matching gems, so I was able to alternate the blue and silver flakes and their centers. The top half is navy blue stamped in navy. The bottom use the Cuttlebug Holly embossing folder. The silver paper behind the blue is a glitter card stock I picked up somewhere.

Guess what? The SU! snowflake die cut is designed to create layered snowflakes. Who knew? Of course, once I discovered this, I had to try it. So, here I used blue and white glittered snowflakes. The background is simply white card stock with navy images stamped. I didn't like the length/look of any of my die cut tags, so I made one by corner rounding the ends of a strip of white card stock. Again, I wish you could see the glitter more. You'll just have to take my word for how shimmery it is!

This card I didn't actually make in the last two days. I made this one last week to be part of my contribution to The Little Black Box. Be sure to check out this site. It is the coolest idea for both buyers and contributors alike! It's for all kinds of handmade items, not just cards.

O.k. So the card is done by sponging white pearl stickles onto a stamp then stamping onto the teal card stock. Another stamp was used to stamp in teal on the white, then torn and inked. The teal flakes are also highlighted with dazzling diamonds. The sentiment is embossed in white. Simple.

I got the idea for this just as I got into bed last night. Talk about frustrating! I wanted to get up and work on it right then, but since it was already 1 a.m., and I knew it would be a bit involved, I had to wait.

Once again I used the core'dination paper for the background. I embossed it with the SU! distressed texture plate, then sanded it lightly and distressed the edges. I was going for the look of an old door.

If you look closely, you will see that the wreath is actually made out of individual green glittered snowflakes! I love the look, but I have to confess that the card was a pain to make. Well, more just time consuming. I priced it accordingly!

I must say, though, that despite the labor intensity, I love how it turned out and was pleased with the idea.

No I really need to shower and go to bed. After all my physical labor earlier today, I have now added helping my son move furniture in his room and steam cleaning parts of his carpet. I'm a smelly sore mess! And I swear I'm not usually. Smelly or sore that is!

Monday, November 1, 2010

New Toys

I had the good fortune to be able to spend a week with my BFF at her lake house in southern IL recently. On the way there and back, we stopped at Daisy Lane Scrapbooking in Mattoon (pronounced with a short a, not a short u!) I found this great paper called core'dinations core color cardstock. It is great stuff! The inner core is a different color than the outside. Why, you might ask, does this matter? How can she get so excited about paper? (You ain't seen nothing yet!) This paper is fantastic for creating a variety of looks.

If you like the look of torn edges, you'll love this. You can tear this and get a whole new color on the tear, not just a different shade.

If you like embossing or sanding, this is the best. Again, you go do either technique and get a second color to show through.

I've just recently been to the website for the paper. There are videos for different techniques that I'm excited to check out. In the meantime, I'm playing around with it on my own. I've posted a couple of samples of Thanksgiving cards using it. The first one was done with a great stencil I bought on the first trip into Daisy Lane. I ran it through my Big Shot, then sanded it. The other two have leaves made with the paper. I ran them through my Big Shot with a leaf die cut, then a(n) SU! texture plate, then sanded them. Love the two tone look.

Oh the dp on the third card actually isn't dp at all. I ran across a bunch of fabrics at work one that I thought would look really neat as designer paper. So I scanned them and ran them off on cardstock! Now I have to find that huge tub of leftover fabric from all my years of sewing holiday clothes for the kids...

Confession time: I went in to buy one or two sheets of the stuff, and I walked out with 42! There are so many combination to choose from, and we were presssed for time. It was easier to just grab all of one kind, for example, all the black/colored one, than to take the time to look through them all. Now that I have the website, though, I'll take my time. I foresee a lengthy Christmas list this year!

I also just got my SU! snowflake die cut strip and embossing folder. I'll post more when I've had a chance to play with them.