Previous month:
October 2008
Next month:
December 2008

November 2008

Beary Merry

Kc Favorite Teddy Bear 5This will be a short post today as I have Christmas decoration boxes all over my livingroom and need to get busy. I created this fun little bear card combining challenge requirements for the SCS's  Inspiration challenge using holiday wrapping sheets for inspiration and the PCP's 12 Days of Christmas challenge requiring the use of a bird on the project. I can't pass up a chance to win the free stamps being offered over at PCP.

I wrote in my post yesterday that I have many retired SU sets that I will always keep in my collection.  Favorite Teddy Bear is another adorable image with a host of darling accessory images to work with. I stamped the bear, bird(on the bear's right's a little hard to see) and wagon images and then masked to add the fits and trees.  I watercolored all the images with a brush and reinker and sponged in the sky area.  I heat dried all the ink on the project and then brushed on white craft ink for the ground area and stamped falling snow with the white craft and embossed with white embossing powder. I wanted to create a little more piled up snow in areas of the scene so I usedLiquid Applique' in a few places, dabbed it with my finger to spread it out and heated.  I covered it with white embossing powder and reheated to form a white finish over the cream colored applique'. I left a few brown spots on the ground for a realistic look to the ground....but I do think it is funny as I haven't seen any realistic bears pulling wagons around in the snow.

Stamps:  SU Favorite Teddy Bear, Loads of Love, Itty Bitty Background, Perfect Ending

Paper:  Buckaroo Blue, Real Red, Arches Watercolor

Ink:  Black Craft, White Craft, Peeled Paint, Vintage Photo, Riding Hood Red, Night of Navy, Bashful Blue

Accessories:  Grosgrain, Liquid Applique', Brushes, Sponges, Circle Punches

Merry & Bright

Some of my all time favorite images are from retired Stampin' Up! sets and are ones that I will always keep in my collection. Some I love for the wonderful traditional images and others for representing children and animals so perfectly with sweet faces and for the accompanying accessory images. To name a few of my favorites: Long-Time Friend, Bow Wow, Meow Meow, Garden Pleasures, Little Boys, and Friendship Grows. There are many others that I could name as well.  The set I used for my project today is Feathered Hope. I adore the birds in this set paired with the pine branch and berries.  It is the perfect old fashioned Christmas image and reminds me of the cards my parents used to receive. The little bits of embossed snow on the sprigs and berries make it a wonderful and meaningful reminder of times past..

KC Feathered Hope 8

I stamped the pine sprig branch and then masked and stamped the birds. I added several additional sprigs of pine and berries with my artist pen to fill in and make the birds appear nestled and cozy. I also sketched the sprigs and berries around the sentiment. I watercolored the images with reinkers and sponged pale yellow around the scene to create highlight. I used a tiny brush to add white craft ink for touches of snow and embossed with white embossing powder.

Close If you look closely you will notice that the pine sprig is popped up in front of the birds in the photo. That is because I made what I call a "happy mistake" and smeared the red berry ink when I sponged the yellow. My MistakeI had worked too hard creating the beautiful pine bough to let this project go in the trash so I cut it out to pop up.  I stamped the birds again on another piece of watercolor paper, hand sketched more pine sprigs and berries around them, watercolored the image, sponged the yellow background and "then" painted the berries LAST.  Here are a couple of hints for you from lessons that I seem to have trouble learning myself or at least remembering.

1. Distress Inks dry much slower than most water based ink. Heat to dry well before sponging or embossing

2. Sponging a light colored ink over dark ink that is not dry "does not" create a lovely background highlight. 

3.    a) Heat dry the ink on all painted images before you apply craft ink and embossing powder to your project. This will eliminate having the embossing powder from sticking where you don't want it.

       b) An "Embossing Buddy" is your friend. Use it on your dried and painted images before you apply craft ink and embossing powder. It removes static from your paper and will eliminate having the embossing powder from sticking where you don't want it

I popped up the cut out pine bough with dimensionals and created a frame with a Nestabilities oval die.  I popped the complete framed image up with mounting tape on the blue layer. I tried to draw attention away from my mistake by adding the sentiment oval tag to the project and by using a big bow.  The background on the red layers were stamped with images from the Rubbernecker Pine Sprig set found in the Winter Holiday Collection.

Stamps:  Retired Stampin' Up! sets- Feathered Hope and All Year Cheer I, Rubbernecker Pine Sprig Set

Paper:  Real Red, Buckaroo Blue, Watercolor

Ink:  Black Craft, White Craft, Distress Peeled Paint, Vintage Photo, Adirondack Red Pepper, SU Barely Banana, Bashful Blue

Accessories:  Grosgrain, Oval Punch, Deckle Scissors, Brushes, Inkssentials Ink Blending Tool, White Embossing Powder, Faber-Castell Pit Artist Pens, Nestabilities, Watercolor Brushes

Give Thanks For The Simple Things

I hope each of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with family, friends and good food. Bob and I enjoyed our holiday and did manage to prepare a much lighter meal that we enjoyed very much. It is the first holiday meal in recent memory that I didn't go into an "overeating food coma".

While my Tom Turkey roasted in the oven I had time to play in the SCS's Thursday Ways To Use It challenge. The challenge was to create a project reflecting gratitude or thankfulness in some way. As I looked through my stamps for sentiments I came across the set Give Thanks by Stampin' Up!. I love the bucket of apples image in the set and my mind started kicking around the idea of using it in a winter scene instead of a fall harvest themed project. The red apples could be the focal point of a rustic, snowy scene representing a much simpler time when the cellar was packed full of the summer and fall harvest and Christmas was celebrated with apples, oranges and nuts filling the children's stockings, gifts were homemade and the most significant gift of the day was being with family and friends.

 KC Give Thanks 10  I stamped the bucket of apples on a blank piece of watercolor paper and then sketched the barn, fence and pine sprigs around the image with an artist pen. Too bad I didn't draw the barn a little smaller to be further in the background of the bucket. Oh well! I also used my pen to age the bucket with sketched dings that I could cover with a little rust when coloring. I've never seen a well used bucket that didn't show signs of hard knocks and rust. I painted the bucket with Sahara Sand and used darker shades of ink over the ding mark areas. I used a dry brush wiped directly on the More Mustard ink pad to get just enough ink to lightly brush over the dings. The trick with a lightly inked dry brush used in a stipple fashion is that you can lay one color of ink over another without water damaging the original color. I hope that makes sense! The apples were painted with touches of Distress Antique Linen to create the highlights, heated to dry and then painted over with Adirondack Cranberry and Red Pepper. Just a light wash of red was used on the little highlighted spots.I painted the leaves on the apples brown as I know they would have withered and dried up from being stored in the cellar for so long. I know....I know....I take my little stories too far. Yellow Orange I painted the pine sprigs on the barn door and fence first and then lightly painted around them when coloring the remaining images with brown. I used Adirondack Latte to paint the barn with a light wash of brown and then added depth to the board lines with a less watered down mixture of water and ink to create the appearance of different wood tones.  I sponged the sky with an Inkssentials ink blending tool using Stampin' Up! Bordering Blue. 

KC Give Thanks 10 close up 1 

There are really no solid lines drawn with the pen to form the images. I make lots of small sketch marks to form what looks like lines and to create shading and texture. Using darker colors of ink on the shaded or distressed looking parts of the image creates interest and depth. I created the ground area in front of the door with a blending tool and Distress Vintage Photo and allowed some of the darker brown to go up on the bottom part of the door to show a little added dirtiness to the area as well as wear on the wood.

It is important when combining watercolor and embossing that you make sure your ink is totally dry. If not your embossing powder will stick to areas that you do not want embossed and can ruin your project. I heat dried my ink as well as using my Embossing Buddy(for static release) and still had issues in a few spots. I used a tiny line brush to lightly paint White Craft ink to create icicles and snow built up on ledges of wood and the rim of the bucket. I used a larger round brush to paint the ink on the roof and fence line. I used a flat brush to paint the ink on the ground area to form the snow piled from clearing the path to the door.

KC Give Thanks 10 close up 2

I allowed the craft ink to go up on the side of the bucket to look like it had just been set down in the snow with a couple of apples falling off the top of the pile. I wanted there to be just small hints of snow on the pine sprigs themselves while showing it piled on the top of the fence posts and around the ground areas.

My sister, Cheryl and I recently had a discussion about how we seem to always focus on the negative or what we could do to improve or perfect a project instead of being appreciative of what we have created or accomplished even with its flaws and warts. I can choose to sit and be critical and look at this piece and tell myself that I cannot really draw and that I only make images by drawing fairly straight lines. Or, I can be thankful for the courage to put my thoughts and inspiration onto a piece of watercolor paper and enjoying  the process and allowing it to be "perfect" just because of the creative process itself. Give this thought as you work on your projects and try out new techniques or ones that may seem really hard to learn and know that it is the "process of creating" from your heart that brings joy and not necessarily the end product. Ok.....enough philosophy.  Have fun with your stamping this weekend....or shopping...or just recovering from cooking for Thanksgiving.

Stamps:  Stampin' Up! Give Thanks, Itty Bitty Background (pathway)

Paper:  Riding Hood Red, Arches 140 lb. Cold Pressed Watercolor

Ink:  Brilliance Black, Distress Peeled Paint, Vintage Photo, Antique Linen, Adirondack Latte, Red Pepper, Cranberry, SU Sahara Sand, More Mustard, White Craft, Bordering Blue

Accessories:  White Embossing Powder, Inkssentials Ink Blending Tool, Brushes, Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens, Clear Embossing Powder (sentiment), Corner Punch, Gingham, Satin, Glue Dots, Handmade Cloud Template

Happy Thanksgiving

Pilgrim Pilgrim Girl 

I am wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday

with your family and friends.


KC Christmas Tree 2 full

The SCS sketch challenge yesterday was a fun layout to work with. I took the opportunity to use Happy Holidays designer paper by Fancy Pants. Many of the colors in the pad are very untraditional for Christmas but I love how bright and fun they are.  I thought this Rubbernecker Tree with Snow image was perfectly mod to go with this paper.  I stamped it with Adirondack Brights Citrus on watercolor paper several times and embossed with clear embossing powder. I painted the trees with Adirondack Brights-Sail Boat Blue, Watermelon, Sunshine Yellow and Raspberry. These colors matched perfectly with the paper. Sadly, I wasn't sharp enough to cut my circle deign layer in an area that showed lots of the blue circles in the pattern so you may wonder why I picked a blue for one of the tree layers. I cut and paper pieced all tree layers a couple of times each to make the tree a real focal point of the card. I am a very traditional Christmas color girl but I really enjoyed stepping out of my "box" and making a bright, fresh project.

KC Christmas Tree 2  

When I do a layered paper piecing project I want the pieces to be more stable that they may be if I use regular foam dimensionals. I use the point of my paper piercer as a tool to pick up two or three glue dots at a time and then ball them together to create adhesive dimensionals and place them in key areas. This method holds each piece very securely in place. The top portion of each layer was attached with a single layer of adhesive so it would be tucked in under the piece above it and the glue dots were placed along the lower edge of each layer to pop up. This creates fun dimension and interest for the tree.

Don't eat too much!!!!!!!

Thanksgiving Dinner 

Thanksgiving Preparation and Unusual Christmas Colors

Good morning!  Is your turkey thawing in the fridge? Are you baking pies today? Have you made your cranberries? It's a lot of work preparing for a big holiday meal.  Alton Brown from the Food Network made me laugh when he said  "fifteen hours of preparation for a meal that is eaten in fifteen minutes". Sadly it is so true. But what would Thanksgiving be without preparing all of those special holiday dishes that you most likely would not cook any other time year with the exception of Christmas or Easter?

Bob and I are going to simplify our holiday meal this year as we are both on a program to improve our health by not only loosing some weight but also to get some of those nasty "lab rest " in a healthier range. Bob had some terribly unhealthy results recently that shocked me into action for a healthier lifestyle. I will modify recipes and create dishes that will still be festive for the holiday without loads of additional fat and sugar. I will miss my mother's creamed peas recipe served in little individual pastry cups and the mashed potatoes smothered in turkey gravy but not as much as I would miss my husband if he were no longer with me. I am cooking more fresh vegetables and less starchy dishes. Splenda Blend is a wonderful product and works well in dishes requiring sugar. Fresh cranberries are a must for my holiday meals and we can still have them with only half the sugar. Dessert will be wonderful pumpkin custard made with Splenda but and without pie crust as Thanksgiving would just not be the same without pumpkin. I am most thankful for my husband and family and look forward to celebrating many, many more holiday seasons with them. I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and hope your holiday is a blessing for you. 

Rubbernecker Blogger Challenge

Speaking of food!  Hop over and check out today's Rubbernecker Stamps Blogger Challenge. Broni is hosting today's challenge and is challenging you to do projects that deal with food. I'm hoping to upload my challenge card later on this evening.

Unusual Christmas Colors

KC Lovely as a Tree 27 I stayed home from work yesterday with muscle spasms in my back. I fell a couple of nights ago and all of my body weight hit the side of my computer desk.....back first.  Ouch! I woke up with spasms in my back yesterday that I am sure were caused by favoring my injury. Getting old is hell.  Anyway, Bob gave me strict orders to lay around and to not do any stamping or bending over my stamping table. Snort!!! Me and orders from Bob!!! Well I was good all day using heat compresses, resting, etc but the SCS Color Challenge finally got the best of me last night and I had to make just one little card and it didn't take long. The colors for the challenge were Going Gray, Really Rust and Vanilla. Yuk! As I lounged around all day those colors kept going through my head. I kept thinking of how I could challenge myself to make a holiday card with such non traditional colors. Last night Lovely as a Tree popped into my head and I invisioned a heavy falling snow scene all done in gray and vanilla. I knew in my mind that would be really pretty but how in the world was I going to incorporate that rust. I decided I could get by with just a touch of rust in the scene so I drew in a little snowman with my gray marker and used my rust marker to draw his scarf. UGH! It was not enough to make sense in the scene. Anyone seeing it would have thought.....huh?????. I decided to punch out several vanilla leaves (they look like snowflakes) with my Martha Stewart punch and to sponge rust ink on them. I then used a versa marker around the edges of the leaves so I could apply silver embossing power.  I wanted the leaves to match the silver trim of the ribbon. I used Anna's Wights Diamond Dust Glitter  (her favorite new embellishment) on the snowflakes as well to add one more element of interest and then attached them all around the bow. The silver trimmed ribbon is special to me as mother gave it to me when she sold her flower shop more than thirty years ago. It is a 100 yard bolt of ribbon but I use it sparingly and only when the occasion calls for extra "wow" appeal. I colored the white ribbon with a cream Copic marker to make it match the vanilla scene. Although this is very unusual I still think this is striking and it was fun therapy for me. 

Stamps:  Stampin" Up! Lovely as a Tree, Petal Pushers (seeds stamps used for snow)

Paper:  Going Gray, Vanilla

Ink:  Going Gray, Really Rust, Vanilla Craft

Accessories:  Satin Ribbon, Sponge, Diamond Dust Glitter,Gray and Rust Markers, Paint Brush, Copic Marker

Reminder:  Mark your calendars to go to the Rubbernecker Stamps Blog on December 5th and see my Friday Focus "Ribbon/Bow Tying" tutorial.  Better yet....subscribe to the blog so you don't miss any of our features and challenges.