Sparkly Pines and Rocks

It’s Merry Monday!  I am so honored to be a guest designer this week on this very cool weekly challenge blog.  If you haven’t yet participated…definitely check it out!  The challenges are fresh and intriguing.  You’ll definitely stretch your Christmas card making abilities into a new stratosphere.  Like this week – Sequins!

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I wouldn’t normally reach for this little embellishment, but boy what a new addiction I have now after this one!  Thanks a lot girls – look what you’ve done. Smile

Pines on Rocks Winter Scene

Creative Tips –

  • I used the large Stampscapes Pines and Rocks stamp in Night of Navy by Stampin’ Up! here.  Simple, just stamped on some Crumb Cake card stock.
  • To bring the snowy feel in, I used a Uniball Signo White Gel pen for some highlights and snow in the sky.

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  • To create some mist and bigger flakes, I used a qtip and white pigment ink.
  • For the sparkle and a fun touch, I added not only the sequins in clear, but the little pieces from the sequin holes.  They add just the right sparkle to this project.
  • The card front and banner are popped up for some character along with some subtle sponging in crumb cake.

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  • A simple banner greeting from Sweet Essentials from Stampin’ Up! finish this card perfectly.

Now it’s your turn!  I can’t wait to see your cards entered.  Have a Merry Monday!

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Pines on Rocks Winter Sequin Card (3)

Not so tropical Birthday

Today is Michael’s birthday!  He usually wants to be out of the country on a beach somewhere (that way the number doesn’t change in his mind…lol), but he’s stuck here in the Black Forest, Germany with me…not a bad place to be!  So this was as close as I could get him today.  I re-created one of my favorite cards from before.  Thought I’d share it with you.  Enjoy!

We’re headed out for some good ‘ol German fun in the forest.  I hope you all have a great day too – and GO Germany in the World Cup today! Smile

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One Layer Wetlands Card

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Clean and Simple cards is a look that resonates with many people.  Today, learn how to make the simplest of cards with this how-to video and tutorial.  This project was made for the CAS this Sketch Challenge #82 using the Wetlands stamp set by Stampin’ Up!.

The sketch is quite simple, so I kept the card simple:

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A simple mask and easy sponging will yield a scene that blends seamlessly into your one layer card.  Enjoy this video:

 

I think you’ll agree that it’s an easy card to make.  You can do a ton of these and quickly have a unique little stack to send out anytime!

wetlands one layer cardcards made with wetlands stamp set

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Moonlit Meadow

This past week you’ve seen several projects made with the classic stamp set Lovely as a Tree by Stampin’ Up!.  And if you are on the Creative Tips List, you even got an exclusive project too!  I thought I’d continue for one more just to round out the week.  This project came about because I wanted to use the color Perfect Plum in a creative scene.  So, the obvious choice was a moonlit evening.  Enjoy the tips and I hope you enjoyed this week of Lovely as a Tree projects here at The Creative Grove!

Miss the 1+2=3 series featuring Lovely as a Tree this week?  See Part 1 here!

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Creative Tips –

  • Start off by embossing your scene in SU Early Espresso powder.
  • Use a mask for the ground made out of copy paper, and a moon post it punched with a 1” circle punch.

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  • Brayer or sponge your sky using various shades of blue.  I used Adirondack Lights Cloud Blue, Stampin’ Up! Soft Sky, Marvy Salvia Blue, SU Island Indigo and SU Not Quite Navy.
  • Keep your horizon light, not white, but definitely lighter in color.  It helps to give that moonlit glow.

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  • Brayer and/or Sponge your ground.  You’ll want to come from the sides to keep the area where the moon is reflecting light.  I used Adirondack Cloud Blue, SU Smoky Slate and SU Perfect plum.

I had some issues, and went a little too dark on the bottom left corner.  I tried to remove some which didn’t work and ended up pulling up some of my paper.  It’s just been a week of mishaps on all my projects!  So, I did something I don’t usually do, I added a few scraps to over it up.  To get the perfect angle, you’ll want to stack your pieces and cut them together.  The pearls finished the strips, and the banner greeting was the perfect final touch.  You know, it didn’t turn out that bad!

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I hope you’ve enjoyed unofficial Lovely as a Tree week!  Have fun stamping this weekend. Smile

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1+2=3 Stamp Series #001: part 3

So what did you think so far?  We’ve had some great feedback from this series!  I hope you’ve enjoyed the simplicity of it.  And if you were on the Creative Tips list, then you saw the bonus 4th project too!  Don’t fret – get on the list by tomorrow (6/21/14) and I’ll send it out to you.  For the bonus project I broke from the rules a bit set forth from the challenge, but figured since it was a bonus it was okay!  Smile

So, just to review, here are the rules for this challenge:

1 Stamp – For this series I thought I’d choose a stamp set that has been available for over 20 years and is still on the market…the ever popular Stampin’ Up! set Lovely as A Tree.  This works with any large tree stamp.  Since there aren’t any greeting stamps in this set, I used one from the retired set Perfect Words.

+ 2 Colors – Two colors were used in all three projects: Sahara Sand and Soft Suede by Stampin Up.  For the cardstock in later projects, I only used Soft Suede along with Whisper White. =

= 3 Projects – while a few are a bit similar, they are vastly different.  Enjoy!

If you remember from yesterday’s post, I messed up my first and second try at this project.  Rather than let that get me down, I turned them into two totally different looks!  And a series was born.  Okay, corny enough for you – Michael is rolling his eyes…lol!  Here is my messed up version of this project – it was intended as a one layer card, but instead I turned it into the beauty you see further below.  Here is my original card – miss-masked (note the lower right corner).

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And here is the final result:

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To make this card – I used the exact one layer card as a base, and added a popped up frame.  Here are a few tricks to make this seem flawless and intended.

  • The cut out frame is just slightly smaller than the original masked off window.  The original window was 3/4”, my cut out frame measures 1/16” larger – that’s the width of the frame (13/16ths) , producing a smaller visible area.  This will help to hide the white area that was masked off originally.

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  • Add some interest to the frame.  Here you see random spritzed dots in Soft Suede using a color spritzer and a marker.  To keep with the outdoor theme, sponge both the interior and exterior of your frame.
  • Add some criss-crossed thread to one side.

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  • Sponge the complete exterior of your one layer card first before adding the frame.  Use the same color of your frame.  This way, should your frame be slightly off, if the white shows, it blends flawlessly with your frame.  Can you see the entire top of my card?  It shows as my frame was slightly smaller.

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  • Finally, pop the entire frame up using foam tape or dimensionals.  Keep your tape and dimensionals closer to the inside of the frame giving it more of a shadowbox look.

To learn how I sponged, masked and created this card, check out the first and second cards in this series here:

Project One                               Project Two

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I hope you enjoyed this series!  Thanks for joining me and be sure to stop by tomorrow for another project with this stamp set… why, just because!!  It’s completely different and used a totally different color combination, but turned out fabulous!  Just thought I’d keep the theme going this week.

Have a creative day and see you around the grove!

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1+2=3 Stamp Series #001: Part 2

Yesterday we talked about masking and creating a scene.  But what happens when your masks or worse, sponging fails you?  Today’s and tomorrow’s projects, are the result of un-recoverable mistakes.  I’ll confess.  The project to the left below was supposed to be project 1 and the one on the right was the second.  Of course it was, I had to keep going because I wanted a one layer card as one of the projects and I kept messing up!  Can you relate?

Today is all about turning failure into a winning strategy!  I’m sure you can relate – we’ve all had this happen at some point, no?  If you missed yesterday’s project Click Here to read all about it.

Of course, it seems like when there is a mistake, it usually happens at the very end.  It’s Murphy’s Law – who is this Murphy person anyway?  If you know – tell me in the comments – I’ve always wanted to know…lol!

Here you see what was supposed to be two one layer cards.  I went the easy way out on one by using a few post it notes moving them around rather than putting my full mask back down which required more steps.  Well, the joke was on me as now I had to think outside the box to try and save my hard work!

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And the other – on my very last pass in the upper left corner, I grabbed my sponging tool too hard and my nails left three marks…argh!  I couldn’t believe it!  There was no saving it.  So my only option was to cut.  So this project ended up as #2.  Here are the series details:

1 – Stamp – For this series I thought I’d choose a stamp set that has been available for over 20 years and is still on the market…the ever popular Stampin’ Up! set Lovely as A Tree.  This works with any large tree stamp.  Since there aren’t any greeting stamps in this set, I used one from the retired set Perfect Words.

2 – Colors – Two colors were used in all three projects: Sahara Sand and Soft Suede by Stampin Up.  For the cardstock in later projects, I only used Soft Suede along with Whisper White.

3 – Projects – while a few are a bit similar, they are vastly different.  Enjoy!

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Series #001 – Project 2: In the Shadow of the Mountain

  • Once I cut the top off, I re-sponged it in both Sahara Sand and Soft Suede.
  • I created this one just like yesterday’s project.  I even used the same mountain mask – I just shifted it to give it a different look by creating a much larger mountain.

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  • In this project, you see more of the trees in the distance and only two up close.
  • The actual scene measures 2 5/8” x 3 1/2” with the White Matte measuring 3” x 4 1/4”.  This gives a small space at the bottom where you can criss-cross some linen thread.  By popping up your scene you add a little emphasis to your creation.

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    • Rather than leaving the white space so plain in the background, choose to add a background stamp.  Here you see Canvas (retired) by Stampin’ Up!.  But several companies have stamps just like this one.  It’s a great go to design!
    • By only using the background stamp on 2/3 of the card it doesn’t overpower the card.  Leaving some pure white space on the bottom helps to keep the focal point on the scene.  Use a small strip that your probably have in your scrap bin to cover up the end of the stamping leading into the white space.  Or use another mask when you stamp it that’s torn for an easy blend.

 

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Although the scene is similar to the first, the card is a completely different look.  I hope you liked my turn lemons into lemonade card – tomorrow’s is even better!  See you then.

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1+2=3 Stamp Series #001

Do you remember what it’s like to just start a hobby out?  You didn’t have a lot of stamps or colors did you?  I thought it might be fun to think like a first day stamper.  Back when I had a REALLY limited number of supplies – two stamp sets, a few ink pads, one package of matching colors and only my creativity to guide me.  Which let’s be honest – my creativity back then was bare minimal!

So I thought it would be fun to an ongoing series called 1+2=3 or, One stamp set + two ink pads = three looks. 

Now the official rules are going to be the following:

  • Primarily use the images from one stamp set.  Use a greeting from another set if not supplied in the set.
  • You can use a background stamp in your cards – but only one amongst the three projects. (I gave myself this leeway, since that’s what I started with!)
  • You may only use two colors of ink plus a neutral or versamark.
  • Your card stock colors must include either of your the two colors plus white, vanilla or black.
  • You can use basic accessories such as paper piercing, sponges, embossing, pearls, rhinestones, dimensionals and ribbon to accessorize your cards.

Sounds pretty easy, right?  We’ll see about that!  Here goes – I kept project one pretty simple – a one layer card.  Today I’m going to post the first project and reveal the next two over the next few days.  And of course if you’re subscribed to the Creative Tips list – you’ll be sent an extra project tomorrow (June 19th) – so be sure to sign up today!  Hope you enjoy them!

1 – Stamp – For this series I thought I’d choose a stamp set that has been available for over 20 years and is still on the market…the ever popular Stampin’ Up! set Lovely as A Tree.  This works with any large tree stamp.  Since there aren’t any greeting stamps in this set, I used one from the retired set Perfect Words.

2 – Colors – Two colors were used in all three projects: Sahara Sand and Soft Suede by Stampin Up.  For the cardstock in later projects, I only used Soft Suede along with Whisper White.

3 – Projects – while a few are a bit similar, they are vastly different.  Enjoy!

Series #001 – Project 1: One Sheet Mystical Forest:

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  • Fold a piece of 4 1/2” x 11” piece of Whisper White card stock in half.
  • Mask off 3/4” around the border.  To see a great step by step video tutorial on how to do this, join the Creative Tips List for free – your first video will show this exact technique.  To see it – sign up to the right!

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  • Sponge Sahara Sand around the perimeter and then a smaller soft suede.
  • Mask off mountains to the left and right, sponging in Sahara Sand.
  • Mask off a Moon.

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  • Stamp several images of the main Pine Tree image in multi-generational Sahara Sand.  Stamp three images of alternating heights in Soft Suede in the front.
  • Add your greeting and remove your mask!

It’s a rather simple project – has a few steps, and I won’t lie – if you don’t mask it off properly, you can really mess it up…check out how you can turn two glaring mistakes that I made and learn how to avoid them!  Check out the second project here!

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Watercolor Quaker Marriage Certificate

I’m in northern Vermont this week hanging out at the Smuggler’s Notch Resort.  We are in a two bedroom condo nestled at the top of the hill overlooking three mountains.  Today the wind is howling and the rain is coming down in sheets.  It’s a toasty 41 degrees outside, but I’m inside looking out at all that Vermont has to offer while sitting fireside working on Rachel’s Marriage Certificate. 

We’re in full wedding mode this week.  And this is what I’ve been practicing for.  If you’ve been following along, Rachel asked me earlier this year if I would be able to make a marriage certificate for her wedding.  I had to admit I had no idea what a Quaker Marriage Certificate was, but this journey has transformed me personally.

She originally wanted flowers, but if you know Rachel – that’s not her, and certainly not Tom.  Since they traveled around the world last year, I thought I’d create something that had meaning to both of them as a keepsake for their wedding.  Something that was personal – I interviewed Rachel, and poured over their travel blog before deciding to paint the world famous Torres del Paine in Patagonia, Chile.  This mountain range is a symbol of Chile, and their 5 day trek was a must do for them and certainly an experience they treasure.

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I was apprehensive at first, and after a few weeks of research, I decided I’d take on the challenge head on.  You see, these marriage certificates – well the hand painted ones, go for $500.  I thought that was pretty steep, and wanting to save Rachel money, I decided to learn how to watercolor.  That was not on my to do list.  In fact, I’ve been wanting to learn how to paint with oils and acrylics.  But the kids did give me a watercolor set and some brushes for Christmas, so why not?

Several online classes, and even a live one revealed one fact – I love to watercolor – who knew?  And to paint a landscape like this, I won’t say it was easy – hundreds of hours went into prepping for this week.  Michael kept asking me when I would paint it, and if I was over my head.  Well, I was not going to admit that I was, so I just kept saying don’t worry – I have a plan!  Well, I did – but I have to admit (don’t tell him), I was a bit worried.  After all, this is something they’ll have for a lifetime to commemorate the start of their married lives together.  More than 130 are set to sign it on Saturday, so I was really putting myself out there.  No easy task – especially for a perfectionist like me!

I’ve been very hush hush about it to the family, and I can only hope that Rachel and Tom love it.  It truly has been a labor of love on my part.  Now if only I had had enough time to learn and master calligraphy – then that would have been perfect!  Thankfully I have decent handwriting.  You’ll have to leave me a comment and tell me what you think!

I’ve taken to watercolor so much so that I’ve woven it into my j-o-b here at The Creative Grove.  After all, it IS the hottest trend in paper crafting today.  I’ve learned so much that I’m actually teaching a class on how to use everything I’ve learned and making cards with it!  For more info on that click here.  Class starts May 17th and is on sale during the pre-release period.

Torres del Paine – Watercolor Quaker Marriage Certificate

I have to admit, my original plan was to have two complimentary scenes at the bottom corners to round out this piece, but since we need more than 130 people to sign it, that was just not possible without reducing the artwork which was tough since it was such a wide image. 

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As it is, I painted it so that 3/4” can be hidden for framing if desired.  The spacing was a challenge with so many signatures.  Michael and I didn’t want the writing to be too small so that you couldn’t read it.  I played around with tracing and copying pretty scripts, but I just couldn’t write with confidence and ultimately ended up going with my own handwriting.  It was Michael who encouraged me to do that.  Since I have a way to accentuate it with flair, I think it actually came out okay.  I’ve never been so nervous to write something!  Overall, I’m pleased – it’s not perfect, but then again I’m my worst critic.  As long as Rachel and Tom love it, I’m happy.  Here are the details:

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To make sure I had it down, I first did a watercolor scene on a smaller scale.  I had purchased some masking fluid and decided to use that on the actual certificate instead of pure watercolor as I wanted the snow to look like snow and not dirt.  It took me 1 1/2 hours to sketch out the final scene to just get it right.  Then came the writing.  I first did it in pencil and went over it with a micro pen.  Then I needed to add the 132 lines.  We actually have 138 people attending – but I know some will sign as husband and wife or miss it all together, so I didn’t worry about that as I couldn’t fit any more!  DSC00353

Next, I began with the sky and water.  Go figure I messed it up from the start, but since I watercolor in layers (just the technique I’m most comfortable with), I knew I could work through that.  I actually had several moments where I questioned if I’d have to make a second one!  But I’ve learned from several watercolor projects that the end result always turns out much better than you expected once all the layers are on there.  Patience….

The mountains took the longest time as there are seven layers that were built up to the final scene. 

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In overall work time, the watercolor scene took me 13 hours start to finish.  The certificate itself 17 hours.  Now I know why they charge $500!  It’s a time consuming project!  Of course my practice scene took a day and then there was prep time too. 

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The end result was certainly worth every minute, and dollar!  Best of all, they’ll have it for a lifetime and I have a new skill. Smile

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Join me for a fun week of water coloring!  You will learn several techniques that will turn your paper crafting projects into WOW projects!  Class starts May 17th!  Click Here for more information and to save during the pre-registration!