2018 was a pretty good year in the craft room

Looking back on the cards throughout the year I can see changes in many areas. I see the introduction of new techniques with existing mediums and the discovery of new products. I can see the use of each new Hero Arts monthly kit and the addition of other stamps and dies from various companies. It has been a creatively fun year.

Happy accident

While making card sets for Christmas gifts, I wanted to make a few by pulling an ink soaked string between two panels and create stylized flowers. I didn’t like the way a few turned out so I put them aside for scrap paper.

Later, I googled Aurora Borealis to make a background for some super cute polar bears. The messed up flower panels contained the colors and swirls so I just added a night sky on top. I’m really liking this effect.

Now I’m trying to do a few on purpose. it’s gonna take some practice.

Bears are from Stampendous, Happy Lady is from Stampin Up, and little girls is from Hero Arts.

Christmas will be here next week… or so it seems.

I love this time of year, being a grandmother, it’s my little ones that make it all so special. First the Halloween costumes, then the pilgrim plays at school, followed by the big finale…

Last year I waited too late to start my Christmas cards. I didn’t make nearly enough gift sets and I’m not a fan of mass producing the same card. I’ll make maybe 4 that are similar, but that’s where I stop. So by the time Christmas arrived, I was kinda burned out on the card crafting process. That’s not a good place for me to be as I need to be in my craft room else the limits of my Zoloft are tested.

This year, just call me Brilliant, I started in July making at least one Christmas card a week. Here are a few of my favorites.

Christmas in July

I try to get in on the Housemouse challenge every month because Stampendous always offers some great prizes for the random drawing winners. Of course, I haven’t won anything yet but I am forever hopeful.

As yet, I don’t have any Christmas themed mice so I gave Amanda (at least I think it’s Amanda because she seems to be the artistic genius in the group) a Santa hat and added some white fur trim to her tutu.

The greeting is from the set with the polar bears and the die cut Merry Christmas is from my stash.

Dance your heart out Amanda! Let’s try to win some goodies.

Stamp layering nightmare

I watched a video tutorial by Jennifer McGuire yesterday morning where she showed how to make beautiful see through cards. She used a lot of stamp layering sets, then die cut the flower and leaf images. She placed the images so that they overlapped but left some empty spaces, then covered everything with PressNseal to keep it all in place. She glued the overlapping pieces together then trimmed the pieced panel to size for a card front. A little involved, but doable. So off I go to my craft room to create my masterpiece.

My aunt loves purple hydrangeas, as do I, so I decided to use the Altenew layering set called Garden Hydrangea. There are 4 images to layer for the flower and 3 for the leaf, the result is highly detailed and beautiful. Or it should be.

I knew I’d need to used my stamping platforms as I wanted several of each image and I’d never try to do any layering without a platform. My first 6 attempts to get all the little lines and details placed perfectly failed miserably. So I stopped, got on YouTube and found a video from Altenew that showed how to layer the set correctly. I need to add here that the lady in the video was just using an acrylic block! She did the darkest outline image first then used the solid lightest image, that was the only change I needed to make. Easy peezie. Off I go again. The first 2 images are no problem, I’ve got them placed in my Misti perfectly. The third image? Major fail! At this point I started stamping on copy paper to save my cardstock and after about 10 tries I had it “close enough”. On to the fourth and thankfully last image for the flower.

After several tries with the last image looking like a rabid raccoon on crack with an astigmatism and dirty bifocals stamped it, I stopped to phone a friend, share my frustration and calm down.

Finally, after spending most of the day on just the setup I was able to make one card. The technique Jennifer showed in her video went smoothly. I like the style of the card just don’t look too closely at the stamping.

Watercolor with Monica the Mouse by Tammy

The Housemouse stamps from Stampendous remain a favorite for practicing any type of coloring. The images are so detailed that the design illustrator has already done most of the shading, or at least given guidelines as to where to add darker tones.

For my cards today, I stamped Monica and Friend / Bird Feeder with versafine onyx black then embossed the image with clear embossing powder. The embossing forms a bit of a barrier to keep color from bleeding out where I don’t want it. I used Zig clean color Real Brush markers and a very small waterbrush to blend out the color.