Monday, August 31, 2015

Terrence Frederick, tree frog

I've been taking online classes with Amy at Vanilla Arts.  Would I have colored a tree frog before this assignment? Probably not. Tree frogs aren't something I typically think about.

What made this assignment an interesting challenge? If you been coloring in any form from crayon to paint or maybe even just playing with your makeup, you can probably get a blended transition of pink to red or yellow to orange. Those colors are neighbors on the color wheel. The challenge is getting purple to go to yellow orange without a murky middle ground or a straight line of demarcation. The frog isn't wearing socks and gloves so a line of purple meets orange isn't going to work.

Another challenge is how to show shading and muscle tone on his white tummy? I don't know if frogs have "six-packs" but that frog is in better shape than I am, and I doubt he is a weight watcher member. On the other hand, I don't want to know how many weight watcher points are in flies.

The frog was colored with Copic markers and Prismacolor pencils on X-Pressit paper. The background is a combination of water based inks from stamps, water, and spray bottles of alcohol ink on watercolor paper.

Kermit said it wasn't easy being green, possibly because he didn't have such colorful limbs.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Birthday Party in a Box

With thanks and credit to Dawn Griffith at Dawn's Stamping Thoughts , I made two Birthday Party in a Box surprises for friends today. Each box holds a balloon, a string to tie on the balloon, a candle, a book of matches, and a battery operated votive candle made up as a birthday cake. The box could also hold birthday trinkets or gift cards. Click on the link above to find a video link of this construction by Dawn. If you are comfortable with basic instructions and measurements, I have them below.

The box begins with a sheet of cardstock cut at 6.5" x 9". With the 6.5" edge at the top of your score board, score at 1.5" and 5".  Rotate the cardstock so that the 9" edge is at the top and score at 1.5", 3.75", 5.25" and 7.5"

After folding on your scored lines, cut in to the 1.5" line on each long side. The middle and end tabs don't have to be cut shorter (as shown) but that may help you remember which parts will received the glue, tape or sticky dots. I have mitered the cuts on these tabs but not on the larger tabs which will form the sides of the box bottom and top. Mitering, in this case, just means trimming the cut edge on an angle so that the inner tab is less likely to show on the finished box.

Before finishing the box top, I cut a half circle (1/2") for the box top opening. Again, not necessary but I like that look.

I used tape runners on the shortened tabs and adhered them to the inner sides of the top and bottom side flaps.

Next I cut a piece of designer paper at 2" x 3.25" and the solid mat paper at 2.125" (2 and 1/8") x 3.375" (3 and 3/8").

Glued (taped) together and in place on the box lid, you have the box shown below before embellishment. 

I made both cupcake embellishments before I started the boxes and didn't photograph stamping, punching and cutting them out. I used Stampin' Up Sprinkles of Life #139971 stamp set and Tree Builder Punch #138295 shown below.

Shout out the Paper Whores....thanks ladies, now I'm a Stampin' Up junkie too. 

Ignoring the matchbook in the above photo for a minute, I used dimensionals (pop dots is another name) when layering the cupcake assembly. I used a 2 3/8" scallop circle punch and a 2" round punch behind the cupcake. The heart on top of the icing is also a Stampin' Up punch, Itty Bitty Accents #133787 with some tiny rhinestones added.  I added the heart after the cupcakes were on the boxes. The cupcakes were elevated from the circle background and that was elevated from the box by thicker dimensionals, seen here in this odd  angle photo. 

The strip of paper behind the cupcake assembly is roughly 3" long by 1" wide with the ends dovetailed. I eyeballed that. 

Now onto the matchbook and candle decorating.  Last November, I posted here about making a battery operated tealight into a birthday cake. This one was even easier, thanks to Washi tape. The first candle cake got plain yellow Washi tape along with a striped paper layered over a solid and small ring around the flame that matched the base of the cake. 

In the second cake, I forgot about layering the cake top but used a cupcake themed tape around the candle.  The candle is on in this photo. Hold your breath unless it is your birthday!

The top layers used 1 1/4" and 1 3/8" circle punches for the layered top,  only the larger one in the cake below. Each has a 7/8" scallop circle around the flame with a 1/2" circle punched in the center. Each circle has that 7/8" punch done first, then the larger circle punch used on the cardstock with the hole eyeballed as to being centered.  

The switch for the candle is not centered on the bottom, I made a pencil mark where I thought the hole should be go on a 1 3/4" scallop circle. I was off a bit, so I moved the punch over a bit and punched again. 

Want to know what the hardest part of this project was? Finding matchbooks! I could order them online, but I decided on Thursday to do this for Saturday morning. I looked at grocery stores, drug stores, hardware stores, dollar and craft stores. Then my husband, a smoker, asked if I had gone to a smoke shop. 
I went in to the smoke shop which is closer to home than all those other stores, asked for six of them (in case the mood strikes to make more) and the gentleman wouldn't take any money for them. He just smiled and waved me away. 

The width of matchbooks will vary, so just cut your strip of paper to fit and adhere it, leaving the strike area exposed. If I hadn't found the matchbooks, I was going to tie three wooden kitchen matches together in a bundle. That would have worked, but the paper on the matchbook seems to tie everything together nicely. 

If you're thinking this is too much work, you probably don't enjoying playing with paper the way I do. If you don't have punches, you could do most of this with purchased embellishments and just a bit of paper to tie the matches, box and candle together. But honestly...if you don't have punches and decorated paper, let me tell you about Stampin' Up.......

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Frickin' frackin' bleepity-bleep!

Don't ever ask "What fresh hell is this?" unless you want another helping on a new plate. 

If you aren't already doing so, make a habit of checking your charge and debit accounts online. We are ok again, but I wish the bird of paradise would peck out the eyes and bite off the fingers of hackers, spammers and all the other cheats who mess with innocent folks going on about their daily lives.

The Tim Holtz Bird Crazy, Crazy Talk, Crazy Things, and Crazy Thoughts stamp sets will help distract me, but I have to admit, for a peace loving soul, I'm imagining some vile things that could be done the louses of this world. 

Monday, August 10, 2015

What's up with all the green?

I don't really like green. I mean, green has its places, but my house doesn't have much green in it except for small amounts of seasonal decor, and my wardrobe has even less. Emeralds, peridot and marcasite don't count. When it comes to gem stones, all colors are wonderful!

The odd thing is that I'm suddenly drawn to green. My last skein of sock yarn, still waiting in line to be used, is green. The last sweater that I bought was green. And now I've made three cards, all with green in them. 

The first one was written about yesterday, seen here. I picked out the green pencils as if they were old friends. 

This note card began with a Stampin' Up "thanks" from Seasonally Scattered. I used silver ink and white embossing powder. The dotted border is from a random scrap and the card is lime green, much brighter and stronger than this photo shows.

My third card really doesn't have much green in it but the green is very bright. I love this card and will make it again with many other color combinations.

Once again, sorry about this looking hazy, but my other choice from photos taken today is this one which really washed out the lime green. 

To make this, I made a card out of black cardstock, then cut a single, smaller sheet of black. Using my Sizzix and the magnetic platform, I randomly placed dies from Stampin' Up's Little Numbers. In this case, I kept the 6 and 5 together because that is the age of the recipient. After punching out the numbers, I saved them for another project. The "holes" from the 4, 6, 8 and 0 were glued back into place to make the numbers look as they should.

Behind the 65, I attached a small piece of bright lime green paper, being careful that it didn't show in any of the other openings. This piece of black with the numbers is attached to the card with pop dots for dimension. 

The inside shows the true shade of green where it is used to mat the white paper where I will add a personal greeting to the stamped image. That image is from Stampin' Up's Bombs Away Birthday stamp set. 

I don't expect green to be a new trend with me, but it is fun to get out of even comfortable ruts once in a while. 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Sew, what do you think?

I am going out with my sewing buddy tomorrow and I have a little surprise for her. We are both of a mindset to de-clutter our homes but we both still enjoy making things. We're more selective in what we acquire now. What I have for her isn't much, just a "thinking of you" item as is this card that I made to go with the item.

I wish my photographic efforts today had better results. Everything looks a bit hazy. It is an overcast day and apparently where I took the photos left a lot to be desired. My other struggle was color accuracy which will show in tomorrow's post.

On to the details:

The stamps used are all from the same set, Hero Arts CL 452

The yellow and white card stocks are from supplies I've had on hand, probably from Michaels. The dotted background paper is from Basic Paper Pad by Pebbles. 

Prismacolor pencils were used to color in the model. 
Skin tones are Light Peach 927, Peach 939 and Nectar 10925.
Hair is Sable 940 and Burnt Ochre 943.
Shoes are Bronze 1028 and Dark Umber 947.
Her clothing is Apple Green 912, Olive Green 911 and Spring Green 913.
I used Black 935 to color in the areas between her body and arms. Sometimes small areas like that call for more fussy cutting than I feel like doing. 

I used a black Wink of Stella pen to make her buttons and hair bow shiny, but neither show up well. Here is a close up of skin coloring. This isn't a work of art that will be saved forever, it is a quick (relatively speaking) card to make someone smile. Just a hint of shading makes the face and hair coloring more realistic, don't you think? 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Time flies, like a buzzard

August 5th already? Where is the summer going? Time sure does fly.

My brother-in-law's birthday is a few days from now. Most of us who make cards struggle with cards for men. When in doubt, my first choice is something humorous. Come to think of it, that is my first choice even when doubt isn't involved.

I used Art Impressions Buzzard Set (#4194 in their Zoo Crew line), various Copic markers and paper that I had on hand. The patterned paper is from We R Memory Keepers 6 x 6 pad named Jet Set.

Does the following apply to you?


If it does, you may have a Pinterest problem. I looked at my boards the other day and realized I'd never find some of the things I had pinned, not when there are 800+ pins on one board alone.

I've been going through them, deleting repeats (I thought Pinterest was supposed to catch them?) and making new boards, telling myself things will be easier to find if the boards are more specific.

Did you know that today is National Underwear Day? If you see people out celebrating, be sure to snap a picture. Or snap a strap or two.