Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Altered Playing Cards Week 3

Another week has begun and another playing card challenge. I decided I was going to use the playing card challenges as a time to experiment and this week that is what I did. I was playing with backgrounds. Using distress ink and copper watercolor paint I got a neat background on the one card. Using Alcohol ink on foil created a stunning background for the other card. :-) Here are the my altered cards for the week.
























For this card I coated the card with  gesso and placed torn pieces of wrinkled kraft paper into the wet gesso. This was paper that came in the mail as packing paper. I then lightly gessoed over leaving some of the original brown color of the paper showing but making sure that all the pieces were down tight.

I used a cotton ball and Peeled Paint and Vintage Photo Distress Ink. I also used an off brand yellow and Lady Bug Memento ink. After using the ink it still seemed like not enough contrast for the leaf and sentiment so I used Simply Art copper water color paint which I lightly brushed on. Then went back over with the yellow and Painted Peel ink.

I read a quote about leaves being full of color and light as they grew old and decided to modified it. The quote was done in Studio the software for my electronic cutting machine. I love how I can fill with gradient colors.  After cutting the sentiment out it was edged with Timber Brown Stazon ink.

The leaf is a print and cut. Because it is printed on an inkjet printer I knew it was going to fade when it got wet which is exactly what I wanted. I sprayed my leaf with Butterscotch Alcohol ink mixed in water. Crumpled the wet leaf up and then carefully unfolded it. Stamped using a Recollection music background stamp with Timber Brown Stazon ink.  Any music stamp would work.

If you look closely you may be able to see water drops on the leaf. Those were created by stamping the leaf with embossing ink and lightly sprinkling clear embossing enamel over the leaf. Then heating it up.It is a neat way to get the appearance of water droplets. I have not tried this with clear embossing powder as I don't own any. The lighter the sprinkling the finer the droplets will be.

I like dimension on my projects. The leaf was popped up on the card using a foam square. I also decided to leave the ragged edges of the kraft paper over the card instead of trimming them.


I was totally blown away with the way the background turned out for this card. After playing with pieces of kraft paper on the previous card I decided to see if a full sheet of foil would stick to the gesso. I discovered that a thick coating of gesso is needed for this technique.. I crumpled the foil and then smoothed it out. I pressed the foil into the wet foil making sure with my fingers that it was securely embedded in the gesso.

I have colored embossed foil in the past with permanent markers and Stazon Ink. However, when I saw that Claudine used alcohol ink drops on one of her cards I decided to give it a dry.  I used Stream,Wild Plum and Butterscotch ink. I randomly dropped drops of the different colors and then used a cosmetic sponge to blot them.I was surprised at how fast the alcohol ink dried as I've had to wait for the markers or Stazon ink to dry for up to an hour.

I printed out my sentiment and edged it with Vintage Photo Distress ink. The pocket watch was a black and white image but I converted it to a sepia tone, I used a black Glaze pen to add dimension to the hands. It was also edged with the Distress ink and then popped up with a foam square. The steam punk image I also converted to a sepia image as well as circle cropped it as I did not want the whole image which was an advertisement. I also distressed it with the Vintage Photo Distress ink. I like inking edges as I feel it gives more dimension plus if a print and cut is not perfect. I learned this trick when I would cut things out by hand. Perhaps I could not get as close as I wanted when cutting.

Do you use alcohol inks? How have you used the inks?

Wishing you Happy Frugal Crafting till we meet again!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Altered Playing Cards Week 2

For those who have been reading this blog you probably know that I have joined the Altered Playing Card challenge. Click on the icon on the right for details. You still have time to join us and have fun.

Last week the assignment was to prep the cards either by sanding or using gesso. Shh! Don't tell anyone but I'm not done yet. I decided to experiment with stencils and gesso as well as other things like bubble wrap, scrunched up plastic bags, etc. You know me I like to experiment.

Yesterday I did two cards. The assignment is to put together two cards a week until the entire deck has been altered.
My friend Myrna will recognize the image here as sent me both images to turn into one for her. The primrose fairy is from The Graphic Fairy. I don't know where she got the other image from. After putting the two images together I turned it into a cutting file. She is pop dotted to the card to give her dimension.

The words were done in Studio. I love how easy it is to do text as print and cut.

For the background I used a stencil from Plaid and gesso. I first coated gesso on the card and then my stencil and then more gesso.  I love the way the gesso streaked when I removed the stencil. When dry I mixed Apple Barrel Blue Sky and Extreme Glitter Aqua together. I applied with a damp foam stamp. Then when the paint was dried I randomly painted more of the Extreme Glitter

I did not like the way this background turned out with the stencil so decided to experiment. I thought if I don't like it I can always gesso over..  I rubbed Stazon Teal Blue over the card. Then brushed on with a bristle brush to get the strokes Glazon. When the Glazon was dry I rubbed on Stazon Royal Purple and then brushed on another coat of Glazon. I used Original Glazon which is glossy.

The sentiment had a doodle around it and was a file I put together three years ago. I was organizing files and saw it and thought it would be perfect. Alas the doodle printed really light even though I had changed the line color to a dark blue. I took my Glaze pen to doodle over it but got blobs so just drew circles with the pen all around making a border.

The butterfly is a freebie from the library or at least at one time it was. I painted the solid with metallic paint. The cut out with Antique Gold paint. I used Creative Shimmer to glue the two together. Then added a black Glaze pen for the body and antennae. Folded the butterfly and attached with a foam square.

The scallop border was at one time a freebie at Silhouette.  I painted it with the purple metallic paint but didn't like it so painted over with turquoise and aqua Extreme Glitter.

That is it for today! I'm off to see what I can do with gesso on the rest of the cards. Wishing you Happy Frugal Crafting till we meet again.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

I Want To Always Remember Cover

Hi my dear readers! I hope your September is starting out good. Originally I was going to make a card but after watching a Scrapbook Soup rerun on the internet I decided to make a mini album using this as the cover. I have tons of photos both on my camera and on my cell phone of times spent with my granddaughters so although I'm not a scrapbooker I thought it would be fun to use some of the photos in a small album. For me a large album with layouts is too intimidating. Just making the decisions alone of what papers and how to do the layout makes my head spin.

This is one of the few pictures I have where I'm in the photo. Usually I'm on the other side of the camera. This was the first image I created with Kaleidoscope Kreator. I traced the image in Studio and then made a copy of the cutting line and resized to make my scallop circles.

I will be placing the photo used to make the Kaleidoscope on the other side with information of when the picture was taken. In fact the back of all the pages will have information of when, where,etc. Perhaps even in my own handwriting. I will also be punching a hole at the top so I can use a binder ring. That way I can add pages as the years go by.

I practiced stenciling with color mist on the circles but then ended up spraying over my stenciling. I found out the best way to stencil with color mist is to hold the spray bottle far away and lightly spray. After the circles were dry I used "Stickles" on the edge and when that was dry I cut slits.  Then using a tape runner put everything together to make my flower. I was going to put a small gem in the middle but could not find them so perhaps later I'll add one.

The background was made using Brilliance ink and a Plaid stencil. I found some Plaid stencils which are small and there is something like three patterns per sheet of stencils. Because the stencil was so small I had to move it in order to fill the background with pattern. I used a cotton ball in a circular motion which I had dabbed onto the ink pad. Of course I found my blending tool after I was all done. If anyone sees the cleaning /organizing fairy will you please send her my way.

I stamped on the sentiment using Ranger Archival black ink. The stamp is from Teresa Collin's Everyday Moment stamp set which has all kinds of neat stamps in the set. The stamp set is available through Amazon and may be available at other places. I won this set a couple of years ago.

Did I mention that the cleaning/organizing fairy really needs to come my way. I was looking for a set of playing cards so I could start the Altered Playing Card challenge. Alas I could not find them so while I was out running errands yesterday I bought a set at a Dollar store. Now I'm off to start gessoing the cards. For information about the challenge please click on the icon on the right hand side.

Wishing you Happy Frugal Crafting till we meet again!


Monday, September 1, 2014

Kaleidoscope Christmas Card

Hi readers well the long three day weekend is almost over. I spent a quiet weekend playing with software and created one card with another in the works.

With September here the holidays will soon be upon us. I won't be creating a lot of Christmas cards as I have some left over from last year but thought it would be fun to make one different from most cards. Here is my kaleidoscope Christmas card. I love how it turned out even though it took me the whole weekend. Some of it was waiting for paint to dry and waiting for the power to come back on.

The background that the flower and sentiment are on is embossed plastic. Alas the Sizzix ornament embossing folder has been retired but you could probably find a Christmas folder that would work. After I embossed the plastic I painted it with watered down Extreme Glitter paint and a sponge brush on the debossed side. That is also the side I decided to use. Once the paint was dry I coated the embossed side with Shimmer Creative Medium using a cosmetic sponge wedge and adhered it to my card base.



The sentiment is from the same vintage image I used for my kaleidoscope flower. It was easy to open the image in Studio and draw my rectangle and then crop. I inked the edges of the sentiment as well as the mat I adhered the sentiment to.



For the flower I started by opening Kaleidoscope Kreator. I used to use a plug in for Photoshop which allowed me to create Kaleidoscope images. Alas my version was too outdated to use with my new laptop and I didn't use Photoshop that much to justify the expensive. I will be honest Kaleidoscope Kreator is a little expensive but so much can be done with it. Also it is really easy to use. In my old age that is a plus.  I will be making some ornaments using it and it is something my grandchildren can have fun playing with.


I decided to use a vintage image from a Victorian postcard with Santa emptying his bag of toys and a flower along with the sentiment that I used on this card. If you were to look carefully at the flower you might be able to see the toys that were spilling out of Santa's sack.


The program comes with several different templates and I decided to use one of the lotus ones. After I got my lotus petal like I wanted it I saved the image and took it into Studio. If you don't have a cutting machine of course you could hand cut the printed images. I could have easily resized my petals in Kaleidoscope and  then printed it. But then I would have had to scan that into Studio. So instead I replicated the petals and sized them to the sizes I wanted in Studio. After the petals were printed and Cameron my Cameo cut them out I used "stickles" on the edges. After the "stickles" was dry I used glue only in the center of the petals to form my flower and using my fingers carefully shaped the petals so they would be curled upwards. Then I adhered my flower with adhesive foam squares to the front of the card.

Now on another note Claudine has started an altered playing card challenge. Click on the  button on the right for details. There will prizes and all you need to do to be entered in the running for the finale prize is to comment twice a month. Of course if you want you could play along. I think the altered cards would be fun to use on cards or even a scrapbook layout. O.K. I'm off to find a deck of playing cards to alter. Wishing you Happy Frugal Crafting till we meet again!





Thursday, August 28, 2014

Floral Birthday Card

Hi my faithful readers. I don't know where the month has gone but it is already the end of August and next week begins September to seduce us. I just looked at the calendar and realized that there are September birthdays so time to make cards.

I made this card for someone special who is feminine but not over the top girly girl. So I left off the ribbon and lace.
I first cut out my card base from pink cardstock. For those who know me I normally don't craft with pink. Then I cut my panel out of textured core cardstock. I used a Cuddlebug embossing folder but I don't know the name of it. I think it is part of a set. I normally don't make 5 x 7 cards so it has pretty much been gathering dust.  After embossing I sanded the raised embossing so that the white would show. The sentiment was stamped on cardstock which I had sprayed homemade color mist on and then applied Creative Medium Shimmer with a damp sponge while the cardstock was still damp. The ink I used for stamping was actually pink. I did not realize that the stamp was last used with a water base ink and not cleaned so of course when I stamped it became purple.(Opps! I better teach my granddaughter to clean stamps when she is done with them before she puts them away.) I used a spellbinder die for the scallop oval and also sprayed homemade color mist and used the Creative Medium Shimmer on that also. After cutting out the intricate floral die/stencil which was a freebie from the August UK Cardmaking and Paper Crafting magazine I adhered it with the Creative Medium and then using a cosmetic sponge which was damp rubbed over it. Because my cosmetic wedge had been used with red ink it turned the cut out piece pink.  I didn't think about that when I grabbed the used wedge instead of getting out a new one to use. Using gelatos and my small tip water brush I painted in the flower. Then pop dotted the panel onto the card. I really wish you could see the shimmer on this card. I will have to keep in mind using the Shimmer Creative Medium on a damp cosmetic sponge when I want to give a project some shimmer but not necessarily wait a long time for something to dry.

Wishing you Happy Frugal Crafting till we meet again!




Monday, August 25, 2014

Time To Knit Old Man Winter Is On The Way

Hi everyone I know I have been absent lately but what can I say the sunny weather, a hammock and good books have been beckoning me lately. Old Man winter will be here before I know it and I have to be storing up that sunshine and warmth before his arrival. Too bad I can't bottle all that sunshine up.

One of the books I just finished  reading is "The Friday Night Knitting Club" by Kate Jacobs. I wish I could say it inspired me to get out my knitting needles and the shawl I started a few years ago. Last time I looked at it I had no idea where I was in the pattern. Nor whether the pin side was the wrong or right side. No,I have a feeling my days of knitting with needles are over. Especially since I've discovered how easy it is to use a knitting loom.

O.K. I will confess that I originally bought the set of knitting looms thinking I could learn how to use them and then teach my granddaughters. They sat untouched for six months until I went and visited my sister. She got me going making my first hat. I made my hat longer only because I like my hats to cover my ears and neck.

 With one hat under my belt I decided to try to make a beaded hat for my "diva" granddaughter. It was great as I could take the loom with me camping and not worry about stitches getting accidentally dropped off of needles. I had forgotten to take the flower loom with me so had to wait until I got home to make the flower for on top. I decided to add some pony beads in the center of the flower. I wish now I had used the purple yarn for the flower middle but I'm sure my "Diva" will love her new hat.



My sister asked me how to do the beads on the hat brim. It is really simple. You thread the beads on your yarn before you start. How many rows you want beaded will determine how many beads to thread on. I decided to just use three rows on the brim of the hat. When you get to the row where you want beads instead of wrapping that row you place the yarn on the outside of the pegs with the beads in between the pegs and then knit as you normally would. If you should get too many beads on like I did you can just keep pushing them down the yarn until it is time to cut the yarn at which time you can slide them off the yarn.

 I used a 36 peg large gauge loom to make these hats. I think most of the Knifty Knitter loom sets are large gauge so I doubled the stitches knitting over two rows instead of one giving a tighter stitch. I am ordering by Knifty Knitter their purple loom which has 48 pegs closer together and is slightly larger for making adult hats. The men in my life have asked for hats with closer knitting so they will be warmer. Also dare I say it they have bigger heads because their brains are like the computers back in the 60's which took up a whole room. ;-).Of course if you have a better explanation of why their heads are larger I would love to hear it.

By the way a round knitting loom can be used for more than knitting hats. It can be used to knit cords,knitting flat panel scarfs,etc. So if you only have the money to buy one loom instead of a set buy a round knitting loom. Of course you just might luck out and find a set at a thrift store. :-)

I just picked up at the library the sequel "Knit Two" by Kate Jacobs so I'm off to go sit in the hammock and read until the sun sets. Wishing you Happy Frugal Crafting till we meet again!





Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Creative Blog Hop

There is a new blog hop going around and I was tagged by my good  friend Beth Norman of  Sunflowers and Dragonflies to join in. Beth is the queen of card making and creates whimsical cards which are sure to bring a smile to your face. Also her coloring of stamped images is so fabulous it is sure to bring on a bout of coloring envy if you are like me and your coloring looks like a toddler did it.

My sincere apology for being late posting this as I was suppose to post this Monday. Alas when Beth asked me I did not realize I would be in the midst of vacation somewhere with no internet, no cell phone service, and limited electricity. I just got home this afternoon and am trying to get this up as soon as possible.

When Beth asked me to join the hop I was excited as I have never participated in a blog hop and thought it would be fun. Also since this is a "Creative" hop it is not just about paper crafting.By the way everyone is creative whether they realize it or not. It might be in the way a meal is presented that you cooked, The colors you use where you live, even the way you put together an outfit to wear.

This blog hop is a little different as there is no list to click through. It is an ongoing blog hop and so far doing a search for Creative Blog Hop I've found an entry Here from June. It is a great way to introduce readers to other bloggers who are creative in different ways as well as introduces to how other people approach the creative process.

Now for the question and answer part of this post. What am I working on? Well like usual I have several irons in the fire but some things I'm not too sure how I want to go with them right now. The ideas are going to have to percolate a little longer. Right now they are really weak coffee.

 Lately I've been playing with my gelli plate. Since I like creating my own papers and backgrounds for me it was a good investment. For someone else it might not be. They are a little expensive but if you take care of one it will last a long time. Definitely longer than the three months the gelatin plate I had made with Vodka lasted. It eventually went moldy on me.

Lately I've been playing with using dye ink pads,stencils, and stamps. In fact I spent an interesting day after this picture was taken later playing with my granddaughters and index cards. Their mother loved that we played with dye ink instead of paint. The girls had fun applying the ink pad directly to the plate and stamps.

 The card on the far right is what I used to clean off the brayer, The one in the middle was done using two different stencils. The one on the left and above were done using a square stencil. I inked the stencil and then placed the ink side down on the gelli plate. I found it worked great to place an index card under the plate to use as a guide for positioning. 

This is the front of an altered board book I'm working on. I keep changing my mind of how I'm going to use this. Right now I'm thinking of using it with some of my flower photos.

Here I've been sanding the inside pages to use. Before the book police come after me this was really a worn book with lots of stains on the pages. I bought it at a thrift store for a quarter.  If you have really worn board books you might want to consider using them as a mini album of some sort. 

This is what I worked on while on vacation. Although I used to knit all the time with needles I've come to love the idea of using a loom. This is a beaded hat I'm making for my "Diva" granddaughter. I'm thinking of putting a yarn flower with beads on the top. When I'm done on this hat I'll be making another one for the other granddaughter. 

I hope I have not bored you yet. Now to answer more of the questions.  For those who wonder how my work differs from others. I am an experimenter and love to use several different mediums when creating cards which is what I usually do. As well as using my tools in different ways..
This is one of my most favorite cards where I coated the inside of an embossing folder with colored glue. When the glue was dried I carefully took it off the folder and coated the crumpled foil with glue and glued my embossed glue panel to it. Then added a print and cut where I had cut out an extra butterfly and pop dotted it.

Some people ask me why I create. The answer is simple I create because it is fun and because I love to challenge myself. Also I love sending cards, or making gifts to give.

Now to answer the last question. What inspires me? Often I'm inspired by what I see around me. It may be a piece of fabric or an image. Often it is seeing random things scattered in the work area. In fact there may be an image I want to use but not sure how I'm going to use it until I see things on my work space and everything seems to come together. Of course a lot of my inspiration comes just from playing and seeing how different elements look together.

Although a couple of people who I invited to join this blog hop are not available to join this hop I encourage you to check out their blogs. Also if you would like to join in on this blog hop please leave a comment with a way to contact you and I'll send you the information.

First check out my dear friend Myrna's blog. Myrna is the queen of making simple but elegant cards using her Cameo cutting machine. Her blog is What was old is new again

The other blog is by Roni who plays with ink and mixed media. She does a lot of comparing different papers and media using them. She also is always experimenting with different medium and gives her honest opinion of them. As well as shows often different ways to use products.  Her blog is Inkstains with Roni.

Thank you for stopping by and do come again. Now I'm off to unpack and do laundry. Wishing you Happy Frugal Crafting till we meet again!