Friday, September 29, 2023

Special You Butterfly Flower Distress Ink Card #2

Here is the second card in my series of Distress Oxide Ink cards.  The main supplies needed for this type of card are the Ranger Distress Oxide Inks (sold at HM Ben Franklin Crafts). These inks come in a luscious array of colors which when rubbed on watercolor paper and sprayed with water result in a distressed watery look.  On this card I think I used too much ink so the colors were very dark which makes the stamped black ink (Archival) images a little difficult to see.  Also I think I was a little too heavy handed with the Mica Distress Spray (lots of colors with metallic sheen available).  The stamps used on this card were mostly from a set included in a magazine purchased at Barnes and Noble.  I forgot to show the word stamp set (sorry) produced by Woodware Art Collection.  A Misti stamping tool is very useful in this type of card because it helps to align the images and allows you to restamp accurately if needed.  HM Ben Franklin Crafts sells the Misti stamping tool in two sizes. Please return to this blog site to see two more cards in this series.


Monday, September 25, 2023

Gather Life's Treasures Distress Oxide Ink Card #1

Of the four Distress Oxide Ink cards I made recently, this is probably my favorite one because it reminds me of what I do on the east coast shoreline.  While clamming, I often get distracted by the seashells, rocks and seaweed all around that just MUST be gathered and saved. LOL!  I started this series of four cards to show what can be done with the Ranger Distress Oxide inks (available at HM Ben Franklin Crafts).  These inks were created to be used with water to result in a distressed watery look.  I first rubbed the inks on watercolor paper and then spritzed the inked paper with water.  Next I sprayed on some Distress Mica Stain and let the paper dry. Using black Archival permanent ink, I stamped on the images and words. Lastly, the stamped paper was trimmed to fit a standard 4-1/4" x 5-1/2"card base. This style of cardmaking is really easy and often results in an unexpectedly beautiful surprise. Why don't you give it a try?


Thursday, September 21, 2023

Back-to-School Bookmarks

I saw these Whimsy stamps and dies and knew that they would be wonderful on some bookmarks for my two grandsons who are starting at a new school.  The vinyl bookmark sleeves were purchased long ago online in bulk. I think they should still be some site? Stamping and coloring in the images with Copic pens were done before fussy cutting them out. Then the images and words were glued down to some Echo Park printed card stock from House Mart Ben Franklin Crafts. I think the overall look may be a bit busy but then that matches my energetic grandkids.      
The backs of the bookmarks were decorated with the die cut YAY! (foil on top of glitter paper) and the boys' names which were formed from card stock letter stickers.  For the tassels I found some rainbow ribbon in my stash...YAY! for hoarding! (The Echo Park paper actually had the boy toys print on one side and the star print on the back so that's why it was chosen.) I think making something special for a child, to commemorate the beginning of a new chapter in his life, will make an impression on him and hopefully add to his lifetime of memories. Craft something for someone you love!


Sunday, September 17, 2023

'Breakfast at Tiffany's' Upcycled Gift Bag

As mentioned in the previous post, here is another upcycled bag...yes, I did buy a lot of Swiss chocolate from that shop in Boston...hee hee hee!  Anyway, this bag was decorated with stamped images from a Hero Arts monthly kit.  Don't you think the woman's image is very Audrey Hepburnish?  These images did not have matching dies so some simple fussy cutting was required. The stamp set also included some accessories like the sunglasses and some script-written sayings.
Of course, I had to use a Tiffany blue color for the background.  The city scape buildings were die cut from grey and black card stock using Sizzix dies. Tiny polka dotted ribbons were added as well as some mini pearls. A strip of glitter tape was added to the bottom of the bag to cover some product words.  I am happy with this bag transformation because I not only saved a bag from the landfill, I now have a lovely bag for gift this is a double plus project! 


Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Upcycled 'Barbie' Gift Bag

Don't you just love it when a fancy store gives you a lovely bag to take your purchases home...and they don't charge you?  I can never resist recycling these bags especially if they have very little wording on this one from a Swiss Chocolate store.  With the recent popularity of Barbie (due to the movie of the same name), I decided to use the Hero Arts stamp and die sets from a monthly kit. These stamps have a very Barbie appeal and contain many clothing, accessories, and changeable body part images. There are dies in the kit for most of the images but some have to be fussy cut.  It does take some time to assemble the 'Barbies' which is why I decided not to do any coloring which I think adds to a more sophisticated look anyway...LOL!  I used Beacon 3 in1 glue (from HM BFC) because it is clear, dries quickly and can be removed if needed. The Eiffel Tower was cut from silver foil with the die in the kit.

The back of the bag was assembled in the same way as the front  and shows two more possible 'Barbies'.  To cover up the small amount of wording at the bottom of the bag I used a glitter tape that I purchased from Daiso (I think).  The polka dot ribbon was created from two colors that I had in my stash,  I glued them together before tying and gluing them onto the bag.  Oh yes, the pink paper rectangles have a slight frosted look and were also in the Hero Arts kit.  I think I may make some 'Barbie' greeting cards in the future because she never goes out of style...right?  In an upcoming post I will feature a 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' upcycled bag using another Hero Arts set. Hope you'll check it out!

Saturday, September 9, 2023

Floating Cat Birthday Card

My cat-loving daughter-in-law is having a birthday soon so I made this card for her.  I've had this Newton's Nook stamp set and matching dies for a long time in a drawer with birthday items so the cute floating cat was hidden away. I was excited to ink up the stamps and create a card for someone cute and sweet like the cat image.  The cat was colored with Copic pens and then Nuvo paints were added to the balloons and gift. Once the balloons were dry I used the die to cut out the image  I really like how the Nuvo medium dries to a sheen similar to the surface of an inflated balloon. I intended for the cat shaped balloon to be a light pink color but it turned out to be a hot pink color.  To balance out the colors, I added some tiny Sticko heart stickers.
I'm not sure where the cloud background paper was purchased from (probably HM BFC).  I just found a partial piece of a 12x12 in my stack of printed sheets.  If I see this paper again I will surely buy more because clouds make a great background for many types of cards.  Decorating greeting card envelopes with stickers/washi tape is a must for a finished and festive look.  Okay, that's it for today. Have a crafty week!


Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Cupcakes with Sprinkles Cards

It's hard not to think of frosting when looking at the TCW Stencil Butter available at HM Ben Franklin Crafts.  The fluffy, creamy stencil butter has the consistency of frosting too, so it wasn't hard to imagine it on the cupcake cards (purchased years ago in a set of twenty).  Using my finger as the spatula, I generously applied the 'frosting' before shaking on the 'sprinkles'. Ben Franklin Crafts sells many types of confetti (Sprinkletz) that look amazingly like edible sprinkles...but don't let the kids eat them!
As you can tell, I'm the kind of baker that overdoes it with the sprinkles....LOL!  Next time I'll try to apply more frosting and a modest amount of sprinkles...wink! wink!
Because the cupcake cards were plain (to me) even with all the sprinkles, I decided to add some words that would make the cards useable for all occasion notes.  After searching through my drawer of 'sweet image stickers', I settled on the the words used on these cards. Although, the my sticker packages are probably not sold any more, HM BFC has tons of really luscious stickers that you could use on your cupcake cards. Hope you have fun making 'almost edible' cupcakes using stencil butter on your cards.


Friday, September 1, 2023

Fifty Year Celebration Card

I know that this card looks like the top of a cake, but it is really the front of a card for a 50 year celebration.  In this case, the card was created for a fiftieth wedding anniversary...amazing!  It could also be used for a birthday or retirement card.  These days celebrating 50 years of anything is truly remarkable so it was fun to think of a special way to decorate this card.  I started by embossing a white card blank with a Sizzix embossing folder. This raised surface was then rubbed with platinum Viva Inka Gold paste.  Next, Beacon 3 in 1 glue was applied to the card front to form the number 50. Small pink artificial flowers were applied to the glue numerals. To add a bit more sparkle, Stickles (icicles) was added to each flower center. I didn't really want to use pink flowers because they seemed too feminine for an anniversary card, but it was all I could find in the right size. In hindsight, I should have sprayed them time.  To somehow coordinate the pink flowers used for the numbers with the rest of the card, I dug through my stash of embellishments.  I discovered some really old Martha Stewart border strips which when added to the card looked like a lei around the 'cake'....perfect! The blissful couple are islanders so the card does seem appropriate. Here's to another 50 happy years of love-filled togetherness! 


Monday, August 28, 2023

S'more Banana Muffins

 I haven't had time to do much baking recently and it's been so hot to really feel in the mood to bake.  However, three over ripe bananas just begged me to use them in my favorite banana bread recipe. I didn't feel like making a loaf so I decided on muffins.  A loaf recipe of banana bread will make about 12 large muffins.  I love to experiment so this time I decided to make S'more Banana Muffins. I simply eliminated the nuts and inserted pieces of graham crackers and dark chocolate into the finished muffins and plopped on half a marshmallow. The residual heat melted the chocolate and marshmallow a little. I suppose if I had a mini torch I could have toasted the marshmallows.  Because this was an experiment, I only made half of the dozen muffins this way...enough to see if they would be good the next day or could be frozen.  Into the other half of the batter I mixed in some fresh blueberries before scooping out portions into the paper lined muffin tin.  Sorry I didn't take photos of the blueberry version.  Both banana muffin varieties were super delicious and will be added to my favorite recipe variations.  (P.S. I made the mistake of using white whole wheat flour instead of  regular all purpose flour and perhaps that is why the muffins were super moist and scrumptious.)

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Under the Sea Thanks Card

These are two more Alcohol Ink and Stickles on Yupo paper background cards. They were created in the same way as those in the previous post. I'm not sure why, but these two cards were easier to photograph even though I think the jellyfish cards are prettier.

The stamps and dies I used were Hero Arts products. Please refer to the previous post to see the Hero Arts stamp set I used for the fish and small shells. I wish you could see the tiny stars and other sparkly shapes from the Stickles glitter gel that make the background really gorgeous.  After drying, if the background is still tacky, rub on a tiny amount of cornstarch.  There are lots of Stickles colors so I know that I will be experimenting with more background techniques.  Please return to this blog site often to see what I discover.


Sunday, August 20, 2023

Jellyfish Thanks Card

After purchasing Stickles Glitter Gels in various colors from HM Ben Franklin Crafts, I was challenged to figure out what to do with them.  I wondered if I could combine them with Alcohol Inks on Yupo paper.  I folded a sheet of Yupo paper, sprayed on alcohol and applied some drops of alcohol inks plus some dollops of glitter gel.  Next, I closed the Yupo paper and rubbed the outside. Opening the paper revealed lovely ink blot colors with amazing sparkling effects including tiny glitter pieces.  (Sorry that the photos don't do justice to the subtle delights of these cards.)

The die cut 'Thanks' and stamped colored die cut jellyfish were added to the cards with foam dot adhesives and Beacon glue. I added a bit of Glossy Accents to the jellyfish and sprinkled them with Stampendous crystal glitter because...well, you can never have too much sparkle...right?


Wednesday, August 16, 2023

BAM! You're Old

I have a dear, OLD friend who was born 6 months before me so I love teasing her that she is OLDER than me and at least for a few months I am the YOUNG one. This card for her started with a panel stenciled (Whimsy stencil) with purple, blue and yellow Stencil Butter stars.  After the stencil butter was dry, I adhered (with foam dots) some die cut (Whimsy dies) images (Whimsy) stamped and colored with Copic pens.  I love the subtle sheen of the stencil butter which is almost like foiled designs with a little raised effect. I will continue to experiment with these stencil butters to see what else I can create. I hope you'll visit this blog site again soon to see more of my 'experiments'!


Saturday, August 12, 2023

Stencil Butter Mini Slim Cat Cards

I wanted to try the stencil butters (available at HM BFC) for what they were intended...stenciling!  They worked perfectly, going on smoothly and drying to a luscious sheen.  With the Simple Stories scattered hearts stencil it was easy to make a rainbow panel of hearts. Once dried the panel was enough for two mini slimline cards. I used the Whimsy stitched die with rounded corners to cut the stenciled heart panels and then formed two mini slimline cards (corners were rounded with a corner cropper) to which the heart panels were attached.
Doodlebug Designs has some really cute die cut cat images and worded banners. They were a simple quick way for me to decorate these cards without detracting from the stenciled hearts. I think both of these cards will be good additions to my stash of cute cards for various occasions.  It's always good to be prepared with cheerful all occasion cards. In my next post I will feature a card that also uses the stencil butters...gotta get ALL the colors now!


Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Upcycled Cosmetic Heart Jar

Like a true hoarder, it is difficult for me to throw out empty glass cosmetic jars, like the ones from L'Occitane.  I think the fancy companies make their jars from heavy glass so that you can't tell how little product you are getting for so much money. LOL! Anyway, I think I've found a use for some of those empty jars.  Simply applying some stencil butter (available at HM Ben Franklin Crafts) in various colors can amazingly transform the plain glass into a magical pearlized surface.  The stencil butter is tacky before drying so little Sprinkletz hearts (HM BFC) can be pressed on.  The cover of the jar had the company name embossed on the metal surface so an extra coating of the stencil butter had to be applied.  I am happy that I now have a decorative jar that can be used to hold rings, earrings or other small pieces of jewelry.  The stencil butters (TCW) come in a wide variety of delicious colors so I am thinking the next jar I make will be done in blues and purples with star confetti.  The stencil butter is also very easy to use with stencils.  My next post will feature some cards made with this product. Please visit this site again to see my colorful stenciled cards. 


Friday, August 4, 2023

More Card Kits (#3 & #4)

I purchase a lot of boxed card sets from HM Ben Franklin Crafts.  There are a good quantity of assorted cards in each box.  Rarely do I use up all the cards, so I decided that it might be nice to make card kits for my crafty friends who I think would enjoy making cards while on a trip or in front of the TV.  I start each kit by making a sample card so the recipient can see my vision. I include supplies similar to those used on the sample card. I purposely add a few variations so that using the kit embellishments will result in different but similar cards.
Here is another card kit that uses circular pieces and heartfelt sentiments.  If you don't have premade card blanks, you can always cut and fold some solid or printed card stock.  I find that making card kits is mentally soothing because it helps to use up my excess supplies and paper scraps. YAY!

Packaged in Heiko self-sealing cello bags make the kits ready for gift giving...just tie a bow through the pre-made hole.  For the circular designed card kit, I used the Spellbinders circle die set and Woodware Craft the sayings in slightly messy typewriter font! If you are a craft supply collector/hoarder, you should try making kits for your friends (even the ones with their own massive stash of crafty stuff)....LOL!


Monday, July 31, 2023

Making Card Kits from Extra Supplies

I like making cards so sometimes I make a small gift set of them for my friends.  However, I thought my craftier friends might like the parts to make the cards so they could have the fun of being creative.  With this in mind, I made some kits packaged in Heiko cellophane bags (available at HM Ben Franklin Crafts).  Within each pack I enclosed one finished card sample and the parts to make four more cards.
Some of the parts are the same as the ones I used on my finished card but I included a subtle variation on the embellishments.  I think my friends will like playing with the supplies to make their own creations and of course they can add their own special touches. Because I am a craft supply collector/hoarder, I've discovered that I have more craft 'stuff' than I can ever use.  Making these card craft kits is a simple way to distribute my excess stash. LOL!


Thursday, July 27, 2023

Alice in Wonderland Tags

I was getting tired of making cards and wanted to try out two new sets of Alice in Wonderland clear stamps by Kodomo No Kao. The two sets had thirteen stamps each and were purchased in Japan but I think they are available online.  I love the old time fine line drawings and interesting dialog from the Lewis Carrol books so I couldn't wait to fashion some tags with them.  I started by die cutting some large tags using the Little B tag die set. Next I used Kansai Tambi Pearl Watercolors and the paints from a large set of Kuretake watercolors.  Together the vibrant colors and pearl sheen combined to make very interesting backgrounds for the tags.
Thee two are my favorites because of the colors and images that were enhanced by the items that were added on.  It's hard to see, but the tag with feathers has an image of Alice holding a flamingo (one of the famous images from the croquet scene). I thought this was a clever pairing.  The other tag was sort of a good save because there was a huge smudge under the fussy cut rabbit. Also the Alice image seated at the table was hard to see so another fussy cut image was applied over it. The fussy cut images were taken from a tag that was going to be thrown away because it had some major flaws.  See it pays to keep a scrap pile! 
Not shown in these photos, the backs of the tags were made from die cut printed scraps (from my never-ending pile) which were glued onto the tag fronts because after watercoloring the tags, the backs were unattractively stained.  Reinforcement labels were added to the fronts and backs of the tags around the holes to mimic postage tags.  I had the most fun finding fancy yarns to match the tags.  I think they really add to the Alice in Wonderland feel of the tags...the white rabbit would have approved. Do you? 
P.S. The little gold charms were found in my drawer of 'things to use someday'. I purchased them from a fabric store for only a $1 a scoop of assorted charms! Always keep your eyes open for unexpected treasures in unexpected places!

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Shaker Twin 5th Birthday Cards

It's a shame that these photos don't do justice to these cards. The acetate shaker windows and foil lettering made every angle a bad one for some other part of the card. Anyway, these cards were made for my twin grandsons who look alike but have different personalities.  I started with the same Doodlebug Designs birthday print card stock (old 6x6 paper pad). Since I didn't have a figure 5 die of the size I needed, I decided to draw my own on card stock. After cutting the 5 out, I used it as a template to draw the 5 on the printed card stock. I then cut out this window and glued some acetate behind it. Next I used some foam tape to frame the 5 and the edges of the card. I adhered the card front to the card base except for the upper corner of the 5 which was where I filled in the confetti.
I die cut the words from gold foil cardstock with a My Favorite Things die.  I was planning to handwrite the 'th' next to the 5 but then EUREKA I spotted the 'th' in the 'Birthday' and die cut it from the leftover gold foil card stock.  Finally, I added matching stickers that came from a Doodlebug Designs sticker sheet. If the images were thicker cardboard they would have shown up better on the card...too late, I stuck down the stickers already...LOL!  One final touch was adding a small crystal sticker for the dot on the 'i'. It barely shows in the photo, but it matches well with the sequin confetti in the big 5 window.  These cards came together quickly and are perfect for twin birthday boys so I am happy with the outcome. They are colorful and sparkly.... the twins and the cards!