FMS264 Love at Christmastime

Happy Thanksgiving a day early!  I’m sure you are all busy in one way or another, like me, with your preparations, and in the back of our minds is the knowing that Thursday, Thanksgiving in the US, is just the beginning of the real hustle-bustle!  Take a deep breath.

Karren Johnson, our lovely and talented designer, is hosting the sketch challenge this week at Freshly Made Sketches.  I have to admit, when I looked at it, I sighed and said “Another circle”.  Somehow when searching for the right dies, I stumbled across the scribbly heart and the rest of the card just flowed from there.  It was super simple to make.  I really like the unlikely pairing of the Sunshine Wishes and the Pretty Pines Thinlits.  No stamping on this one, only because I really wanted the sentiment shown and I didn’t have a stamp for that, so I ran the cardstock through my printer.  While I was at it, I flipped the paper and printed it again so I could make two cards.

fms264-christmas-card-2I adhered Stick It Sheets to some Real Red, Basic Black and Gold Foil card stock before I cut the pieces with the dies.  That made the assembly of this card a breeze.  The mistletoe and bow are attached with glue dots.

And, because I forgot about the second layer of card stock suggested by the sketch, I “fixed it” at the last second by adding scoring around the borders.

fms264-mistletoeThe red berries are SU’s medium sized pearls that were colored with a red Sharpie pen.  I tripled the loops on the gold twine bow so it wouldn’t get lost in the heart and mistletoe.  And that’s that.  Seriously simple.

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I hope you were inspired by my card and are excited to come play along with us at Freshly Made Sketches this week!

I’m wishing you a little stamping time on this busy weekend.

Blessings,

 

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FMS263 Merry Mice and The Mini Minc

Let me start with a kind thank you to Cécile Ribon, our incredibly talented and very artistic designer at Freshly Made Sketches, has created an interesting sketch for us this week.  I say interesting because it has my nemesis, multiple circles.  Sigh.  All things considered, I think it turned out okay.  Despite my phobia with circles, I got so involved in those that I missed a couple important points of the sketch, the division of the panel with a top and bottom and the sentient in the lower left corner.  So, I’m not a very good example; don’t forget to take a good look at the actual sketch below.

fms263-merry-mice-and-circlI saw this really cool video by Becca Feeken on adding foil borders to die cuts and I really wanted to try it.  It shows how to use a Mini Minc and Circle Dies to create these foil bordered circle cutouts.  NOTE:  I used Nestabilities Dies for this project; the dies have the cutting edge in the middle of the dies and therefore, leaves a border on both the main panel and the cutout.  I’m having some issues with my toner pritnter and that makes issues with the foil sticking solidly.  I still have lots of learning and practicing to do with my Minc.

Anyway, for easy placement of the stamped images, I drew a circle with pencil around each hole onto the cardstock that would be behind it, stamped the images in Smoky Slate (exception: sentiment in Garden Green) and colored them with Prismacolor Watercolor Pencils.  No water.  Sidenote:  It’s soooooooo relaxing to stamp it up and take it out on the lanai to color while enjoying this glorious weather.

fms263-glitter-and-glossy-aThere are lots of tiny little places to add glitter and Glossy Accents… noses and eyes, string of lights, stars and ornament.

Here’s the sketch that you really should follow more closely than I did!

fms263-cecile-ribonI hope that you look at this sketch and say “Oh, cool!” and run to your craft room with an overabundance of ideas!  But, first, don’t forget to jump over to Freshly Made Sketches to see awesome designs that follow the sketch!  I hope I see you in the gallery this week!  Remember, stamping is therapeutic, so make sure you get lots of stamping time throughout the holidays!

Happy Stamping!

 

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FMS262 Basket of Wishes

Hi!  I have a fun sketch challenge and my design to show you today.  The sketch for this week’s Freshly Made Sketches challenge was created by the super sweet and Über-talented Jen Brum of Ladybug Designs.  I loved working with Jen’s sketch and I had many more ideas for using it as I was creating today’s card.

fms262-su-basket-of-wishesI’ve been using so many photo-unfriendly products on my cards lately, and editing is making me crazy!  Ooh-la-la. The background of dots was first masked, then inked, then mask removed before stamping onto the card base to leave white space for the ribbon and sentiment.  Then I quickly and lightly added Wink of Stella to the yellow dots.

The basket of sunflowers from Basket of Wishes stamp set is wonderful for simple coloring.  When coloring small images like this, I control how much ink I’m adding by using a blender pen and picking up color from my ink pad.  TIP:  When you intend to color an entire image, try using a light-to-medium gray for stamping the image.  It turns into a wonderful addition to your shading.  I forgot to use the gray for the basket, but remembered for the flowers.  For my image, I traced over some of the main lines with appropriate colors (fine tip of Stampin’ Write Marker).

fms262-basket-of-wishes-cirI built up some texture/dimension to the basket with Crystal Effects.  When I want a “painted” or “varnished (shiny)” wood look, I use a super-cheap synthetic brush that has coarse bristles.  Just lightly brush the areas that you want to look a little grainy.  I used a super-fine tip bottle to apply Crystal Effects to the narrow vertical pieces and the strips on the handle, as well as the centers of the sunflowers.  Looking at it now, I will be going back and adding a few more dots of Crystal Effects to the little berries.  You know, most of us are our own worst critics, and it’s prettier rare that I {love} one of my own cards, but this is one of my favorites.  Maybe it’s the dots, because one of my other all-time faves had them, too!  See it here.

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I think I’m going to head straight back into my craft room and use this sketch to design more cards.  I encourage you to visit Freshly Made Sketches; be sure to check out the fabulous cards that the ‘Clean Team’ has designed to inspire you, and I welcome you play along with us.  I’d love to read what you think about working with Jen’s awesome sketch.

Happy Stamping!

 

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FMS261 Star of Wonder

Hey, it’s time for another freshly made sketch and I can guarantee you that this one is freshly made because I’m hosting this week’s challenge at Freshly Made Sketches.  I thought this would be easy to use for a slew of Christmas cards… I hope you like working with it!

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Wow.  November.  Can you believe it?  I’ve barely squeaked a fall card or two out and now I feel like I’m already behind on Christmas cards.  Okay, maybe it’s more than a feeling.

Please forgive the dark photo; when I lightened it, the sparkle would disappear, so I opted for the darker version.  Today’s card features Star of Light Stamp Set and Starlight Framelits (available as a bundle, too).  It also features lots of heat embossing, which seems to be my passion lately.  The die cut star and the strip of Pool Party were embossed first with Iridescent Ice followed with a coat of clear embossing,  The flourish was stamped with pool party and then heat embossed with both Iridescent Ice and Clear.  And, finally, the sentiment was double-embossed with silver.

fms261-cindy-hallI hope you’ll visit Freshly Made Sketches to see the amazing cards that my fellow enablers, the ‘Clean Team’, have designed to inspire you; we hope you’ll play along with us this week!

Happy Stamping!

 

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FMS259 Merry Mice and Washi Tape

Yay!  It’s time for another fabulous, clean and inspiring sketch challenge from our fabulous, clean and inspiring Linda Callahan at Freshly Made Sketches!  I needed to create a quick card and I love how washi tape can come to the rescue when needed.  🙂

fms259-merry-mice-with-wash

Did I mention fun?  Because you can add that to the lists to describe both the sketch and my DT friend, Linda.  This was a fun card to make.  The image was colored up quickly and easily with watercolor pencils (no water added). A little Christmas pizzazz was added with gold and red glitters and further enhanced with stamped stars that were heat embossed with red glitter.

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A few scattered dots of black, gold and red markers connect the path of scattered stars.  These little Christmas mice are just so adorable!

fms259-lindaI hope you enjoy working with Linda’s sketch as much as I did, and as the Clean Team apparently did, too, because their inspirational cards are gorgeous again this week!  Visit FMS for more inspiration and to play along with us!

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FMS258 Stamped Heat Embossing

Okay, this turned out a little different than I anticipated…  I used the fabulous sketch that our fabulously talented Rita Wright designed for us this week at Freshly Made Sketches, and I combined it with Vintage Leaves and Hardwood stamps and a lot of heat embossing.  I’m letting the layers do the talking on this card since it’s for a guy who definitely would not appreciate any feminine frills.

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That “metal” looking piece needs a bit of explanation.  It started out with the goal of having a piece of paper that looked like stamped metal.  I’ve done this before and it’s really beautiful, but I’ve never tried a piece this large.  All went well… 5 layers of heat embossed gold powder and then stamp it while it’s still hot.  TIP:  I suggest inking your stamp with VersaMark to prevent any embossing from sticking to your stamp.

Here’s what surprised me:  when I stamped the leaf image with VersaMark onto the hot embossing, it looked as if I stamped it with a bit of Early Espresso, but I didn’t.  Apparently, this darkness has something to do with the gold heat embossed powder.  Anyway, I was interesting and I liked it.  I “smudged” the remainder of the gold with a dry paper towel, and then reheated the areas around the leaf to set it the marks I had just added.  Then I got crazy and reheated the whole thing.  The weirdest thing happened.  It was like ONLY the clear came to the top when I added heat and the image was sealed in.  Way too cool.  Is this even a technique or just a big pleasant boo-boo.

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I separated the layers of my “ribbon” piece and exposed the center;  I love the way that it looks like a piece of suede.  The birthday sentiment was double-heat embossed to raise the letters more.

fms258-ritaRita’s sketch was fun to work with, as always!  I hope you’ll take the challenge and play along with us this week at Freshly Made Sketches.  Don’t forget to pop by first to see what the “Clean Team’ has designed to inspire you this week!

 

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FMS256 with Super-Cute Merry Mice

Jen Timko, our incredibly gifted designer, is hosting this week at Freshly Made Sketches and she’s created a wonderful sketch to work with.  I especially like how it can accommodate larger sentiments.  However, I chose to use Merry Mice for my card.  I swayed from Jen’s sketch slightly… I didn’t take a last look and I made my banner go to the top of the card.  Oops.  I hope it’s close enough!

fms256-merry-mice-christmas

I love this fun stamp set!  I love to color and this set is perfect for some in-front-of-the-TV coloring.  I used watercolor pencils for this image; I think they’re the easiest way to color and shadow a small image.

fms256-merry-miceFor a little Christmas shine, I added Crystal Effects to the eyes and nose and Dazzling Diamonds Glitter to the snowflakes and dots.  Another fun to make and mail-friendly card!

fms256-jen-tI hope you’ll drop by Freshly Made Sketches to see what Jen and the ‘Clean Team’ have created to inspire you this week.  I can tell you it’s an awesome display!

Happy stamping!

Cindy

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