Sunday, August 31, 2008

TECC31 Jolie in the Garden

For this week's Taylor's Cupcake Challenge (TECC31) I decided to put Jolie in the garden. I received this fabulous image from Anemone (Thanks Kelly!) over in the PIF Images thread.

During this project, I learned that I love my new Papertrey Ink Out on a Limb Revised set and that I love the color Ruby Red for fall.

My usual steps were used to complete this card.....cut, put it back together, then ink. I've been on the hunt for the PERFECT fence stamp and haven't yet obtained one so I drew this one in and here's how.

1a. Drew horizontal lines with a pencil to mark the top and bottom edge of my fence.

1b. Drew vertical lines with a pencil every 3/4" for the fence posts.

2. Used a scrap cut out with my Word Window punch (pictured in red) and traced with a pencil to form the top curve of my fence posts.

3. Used a fine black marker to go over the top horizontal line, the curved tops, and the vertical lines. I did this freehand - I did not use a ruler for this so that it would be someone what rough. I DID NOT trace the bottom horizontal line because I didn't want the black line to show through my grass later.

4. I then went back and erased all the pencil lines.

5. I scribbled some vertical lines to mimic the grain in the wood and even added a couple of spirals here and there for knots in the wood. I trace only the left edge with my W1 Copic and used my green Copics to "flick" some blades of grass along the bottom.

Stamps: High Hopes Jolie's Little Friend, Papertrey Ink Out on a Limb Revised, See D's A Word or Two
Paper: Ruby Red, Whisper White, GP 110
Ink: Soft Sky, Chocolate Chip, Ruby Red, Wild Wasabi, Virsafine Black
Accessories: Word Window Punch, Copics, BIC Markers, Prismacolor Pencils & Baby Oil, Fine Black Marker, Ribbon from Mike's, Cricut, White Gel Pen, Glitter Pen, Horizontal Slot Punch

Michelle B.

FS82 Riley in the Sand

Todays Featured Stamper over on SplitCoastStampers is NikiE. NikiE had several cards I liked and I had a hard time choosing. Time is limited today so I went for the quickest one (although nothing I do is quick!). Here is the card chose for inspiration.

I changed the following items:

1. The basic sketch-kept the circle but went vertical instead of horizontal
2. Removed the DP
3. Changed the cardback from Teal to Blue Bayou
4. Carried the main image all across the card
5. Only used one row of ribbon (and that's a lot for me!)

Wondering how I did the palm tree over on the left? With a clean Hammock Riley stamp, I used scotch tape to mask off the part of the stamp where the hammock meets the tree. I then inked up the stamp, pulled off the tape, and then went to the paper. Finally, I used a thin black marker to connect the lower part of the tree to the upper (where it had been masked).

I'm ok with this's simpler than my usual scene and leaves me feeling it needs something off in the distance. Sometimes I just gotta make myself stop!

Stamps: Hanna Stamps Hammock Riley, Hanna Stamps, Things Hanna Would Say, Itty Bitty Backgrounds
Paper: Blue Bayou, Whisper White, GP 110
Ink: Soft Sky, Blue Bayou, River Rock, Close to Cocoa, Versafine
Accessories: SU Old Olive Ribbon, Cricut, Copics, Prismacolor Pencils & Baby Oil, BIC Markers, Fine black marker

Michelle B.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

SC191 Gina K's Sledding

How about some sledding for SC191? You know I hate white paper showing on my cards so I used masking to achieve the snow drifts (and cover up all that white!). Lots of cutting of teeny tiny lines on those trees - shew!

This card was inspired by this painting I did several years ago in a class I took from the great painter, Sandy Aubuchon.

Stamps: Gina K. Got Snow?, Gina K. Let It Snow
Paper: Bashful Blue, GP 110
Ink: Bashful Blue, Summer Sun, Pretty in Pink, Blue Bayou
Accessories: Copic Markers, Prismacolor Pencils & Baby Oil, Glitter Pen

And if you want a mini tutorial, keep reading! Don't miss my water down to the post below this one.

Michelle B.

Water Tutorial

Denise (Hi Denise & thanks for your kind comments!) wanted to know how I did the water on this card. So here's a little tutorial. Please note that I re-did this water look for this tutorial and its getting late so I didn't take as much care as I would on "the real thing" but I think you'll get the idea.

Make sure your horizon line is STRAIGHT or your water will appear to pour out one side of your scene! Also, you don't want your line to be right in the middle of the scene. Move up from the center and it will be more interesting.

Again, straight and not exactly in the center of the scene.

I hope that explains the water.

Michelle B.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Mojo50 Riley at the Lake

I adore sketch challenges!!!!! But I haven't yet figured out how to do a color challenge - I just can't use so few colors! For Mojo50 this week, I decided to get Riley to the lake for some waterskiing. I tried to achieve the look of being able to see both the surface of the water and under the water. How did I do?

As usual, I cut out the circular area first and then adhered everthing to my Cricut mat while I inked. I used the emboss resist technique to keep the fish, fish bubbles, and aquatic plants their original color while I sponged over them. I sponged and masked to create the different elements of the scene. After I was done inking, I made the straight cuts to finish the sketch. Riley is stamped, colored, cut out and adhered on top.

LESSONS LEARNED: 1) I've been having problems with ink leaking thru when doing emboss resist in the past. Just realized today that I wasn't using DETAIL embosssing power. It DOES make a difference. 2) Also noticed the other day that if you are going to sponge or brayer onto your cardstock, it is MUCH better to use a slick cardstock like SU's Whisper White. The slicker cardstock allows you to move the ink around and blend it in a bit. When using Georgia Pacific 110 cardstock the ink is stuck where you first put it. I still prefer Georgia Pacific 110 cardstock for images I'll be coloring in. Compare the smooth blending of ink on todays card (on SU WW) to this one (GP 110) which looks rough and blotchy to me.

Stamps: Hanna Stamps Waterski Riley, Papertrey Ink Pond Life, See D's Silhouettes, Itty Bitty Backgrounds, See D's A Word or Two
Paper: Pumpkin Pie, Whisper White, GP 110
Ink: Soft Sky, Blue Bayou, Not Quite Navy, River Rock, Creamy Caramel, Green Galore, Real Red, Only Orange
Accessories: White gel pen, glitter pen, Prismacolor pencils & gamsol, Cricut, Virsamark, Clear Embossing Powder & Heat Gun
Time: TOO LONG! I've gotta get faster!

Michelle B.

Monday, August 25, 2008

FS81 Night Time Snowman

This was created for Featured Stamper Challenge # first time doing a Featured Stamper Challenge!

I "cased" this card by Kokirose. I was inspired by a snow scene that wasn't all about white.

I changed:
1. The colors
2. The sketch
3. The main image
4. I didn't have white embossing powder so I substituted my white craft ink (effective but I'm sooooo messy with it!)

GUESS WHAT! I now have a real light box and studio lights (about $60 from "the bay"). I took this photo in my unfinished, dimly lit basement in the middle of the night. Yahoo! I think it looks pretty good. I still have a lot to learn about photography!

Stamps: Lovely as a Tree, Punch Pals, Itty Bitty Backgrounds
Paper: Soft Sky, Night of Navy, GP 110
Ink: White Craft, Night of Navy
Accessories: Cricut, Prismacolor Pencils & Baby Oil, Word Window Punch, Stickles, Photo Corner Punch


Friday, August 22, 2008

Jim Rocks

This is for my little brother's birthday because HE ROCKS! He's a way talented graphic artist/web designer by trade. He actually does play in a band too. And he is sooo funny! This scene was inspired by a children's cartoon I was watching last night (Fairly Odd Parents or Jimmy Neutron?). I LOVE to study how they do the backgrounds in cartoons. My kids always say "Wasn't that funny Mom?" and I have to reply that I have no idea because I totally wasn't watching the show....just the scenery! You'll be seeing more cartoon inspired scenes from me soon.

Thanks to Miss Boo for this cool Rock Star image from over at the PIF Images thread!

As usual, I cut the oval on my Cricut and then cut the spotlight piece in the center first. I stuck everything down on my Cricut mat and got to work.

For the crowd off in the distance, I colored some ovals with my Copics and then colored over them again with my Virsamark pen. Added clear embossing powder and a heat gun and I was ready to sponge Blue Bayou over the entire area and a little Night of Navy at the top and corners. I'm so messy with the embossing powder but those little stray white spots worked for this scene and I liked them.

The crowd in the front was an image from Lively Little Ones that I colored in solid black with a few White Prismacolor pencil highlights. Again, many of the images you already own can be used as the currently popular silhouettes!

The spotlight was done by sponging Soft Sky heavily at the top and softening as I moved down. I also added to the front of the oval. At the bottom of the spotlight and top of the oval, Blue Bayou was sponged. The darker color was used at the back of where the spotlight hits the stage.

Cutting the two vertical pieces out on each side was an afterthought so I did that last before assembly.

Stamps: A Muse Rock Star, Lively Little Ones
Paper: Real Red
Ink: Night of Navy, Blue Bayou, Soft Sky, Creamy Caramel, Close to Cocoa, Chocolate Chip
Accessories: Cricut, Copics, Prismacolor Pencils & Baby Oil, Virsamark Pen, Clear Embossing Powder

Michelle B.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Let's Go Shopping

Can't you see Mom saying "Come on Honey. Let's go in and buy Mommy a new dress"!

This is another entry for Gina K's In the Spotlight Design Team Auditions. It is also a CASE of some of my previous cards. Little store scenes are so fantastic - You can "sell" whatever your card recipient is interested in.

Thanks to LuvLee for the Kindred Spirits Rebecca images. This is on my "must buy" list. I love to do scenes and could put these girls anywhere!

The awning is made using the word window punch. After punching the black and white cardstock, I tape it to a strip of scrap paper, turn it upside down, and score a line using my Score-Pal near the bottom edge. I fold this edge down for dimension and add grey ink around the folded edge. I also add some shadows with my Copics.

The brick wall was made using Copic markers. Instructions are here. The sidewalk is also made using Copics.

Stamps: Gina K. Retro Boutique, Gina K. Kindred Spirits Rebecca
Paper: Bazzill, Soft Sky, SU DP
Ink: Real Red, Going Grey
Accessories: Word Window Punch, Copics, Prismacolor Pencils & Baby Oil, Score-Pal

Michelle B.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Frankie the Witch

I named her Frankie because I pieced her legs off a different body so I guess that makes her as much a Frankenstein as a witch! Ha!

The broom was cut from some scraps.

This was made for Celebrate MFT Day and also for sketch challenge SC190.

If you know me, you'll be shocked that I used designer paper (I rarely do other than a dress here or there!) and I completed this card in 30 minutes or less (also rare for me!).

Silhouettes are very popular right now. Many of the stamps you already own can be used as silhouettes if you just color them in. TIP: I like to add some white highlights to keep the image from looking so flat.

Stamps: My Favorite Things Can Ya Dig It?, My Favorite Things Gone to the Dogs
Paper: Bazzill, Elegant Eggplant, SU DP
Ink: Black, Almost Amethyst
Accessories: Copic markers, Prismacolor Pencils, D'Vine Swirls Embossing Folder

Michelle B.

Diggin' in the Pumpkin

I love this lady...she can do anything! Did you notice I used some ribbon (I hardly ever do!).

I made this for sketch challenge MFTSC44 (in mirror image).

I received this pumpkin image from Mountainmom (Thanks Imogene!) over at the PIF Images thread.

This is attempt # 3 at this idea and it still isn't exactly what I wanted but I've got about 4 hours invested so its time to call it quits and go with this. I used my usual technique of cutting everything first and then piecing it back together on my sticky Cricut mat while I sponged the sky and grassy area.

Stamps: My Favorite Things Can Ya Dig It?, Autumn Harvest
Paper: Elegant Eggplant, Summer Sun, DP (unknown source)
Ink: Really Rust, Pumpkin Pie, Summer Sun, Old Olive, Always Artichoke
Accessories: Ribbon (unknown source), Bic Markers, Copics, Prismacolor Pencils and Baby Oil, Scallop Punch, Circle Punch

Michelle B.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Orchid Window

This is my first entry for Gina K's In the Spotlight Design Team Auditions.

For the Orchid: I received these lovely Orchid images from LuvLee (thanks Lee!). I first colored this image in soft Copic marker colors. I then did my shadows and highlights with Prismacolor pencils and baby oil. Finally, I cut the image out.

For the window pane scene: This time I didn't cut the pieces of my scene first. I chose to ink first because the scene and cuts were simple and because the pieces were so small. So I started off figuring out just about what size I wanted the window panes to end up and cut a piece of cardstock to size. Then ****very important**** I roughly divided that cardstock into 3 in my mind. This is another painting tip.....never divide your scene in half. Instead think in thirds and your results will be much more pleasing to the eye (and it fit perfectly into the window panes). So my three parts of this scene were the sky, the trees, and the grassy area. Lastly, I cut the pieces into panes (notice that I discarded the 1/8" strips between panes instead of discarding them. Again, this adds to the realism).

For the Window Ledge: Next I cut a piece of Chocolate Chip cardstock to size. I attached the window pane pieces. I then took the piece to my Scorepal and scored a line just below the bottom window pane and folded that line towards the front a bit (see A). I then flipped the piece over and scored another line about half way between the bottom of the window panes and the bottom of the Chocolate Chip Cardstock. I folded this score line backwards a bit (see B). I sponged some Chocolate Chip ink over the area in the middle between A & B and attached the piece to my soft yellow card using pop dots under the window ledge for dimension.

Stamps: Gina K. Botanical Dreams, Lovely as a Tree
Paper: Bazzill, Chocolate Chip
Ink: Soft Sky, Blue Bayou, Old Olive, Always Artichoke, Chocolate Chip
Accessories: Copic markers, Primsacolor Pencils & baby oil, pop dots, Scorepal

Michelle B.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

SC189 Hanna Reads

I’ve had this scene idea floating around in my head for a while and along came the perfect sketch challenge for it: SC189

In fact, I have so many ideas floating around in my head that I have now started a sketch book. One: so I don’t forget the idea and Two: If I write it down, it will make more room in my brain for new ideas (right?).

Back to this card, I used my new favorite technique of base coating everything with a Copic marker and then shading with my Prismacolor pencils. As usual, I cut first and then inked up.

Stamps: Hanna Stamps Bookworm Hanna
Paper: Real Red, Night of Navy
Ink: Bashful Blue, River Rock, Summer Sun
Accessories: Glitter pen, Prisma color pencils and baby oil, Copics
Time: 60-90 minutes (lots of starts and stops as life got in the way!)

Michelle B.

Friday, August 15, 2008

J's Skateboarding Snoopy

While I was working on a card the other day, DS informed me I better getting working on his 'cause his birthday was coming up! So here ya go. I featured all his favorite things: 1. The colors green & yellow (even tho I was dying to add some red!) 2. Skateboarding 3. The woods. As I didn't do any brayering or sponging on this card, I created the whole scene and then cut it apart (I usually cut first!).

I received this image from Ajitzi over on the PIF images thread (Thanks Mimi!).

To make the half pipe: First I did some research for photos of skateboarding and half pipes on the internet. I often find I need some pictures to get me started on a project like this that I'm unfamiliar with.

I folded a piece of scratch paper in half and drew a template (see pic). I then made the first cut on my template (don't cut that thin layer off yet). Then I transferred that shape to my Creamy Caramel cardstock and cut it out. Next I went back and cut off the little sliver from my template. I placed the little sliver on top of the card stock used it as a mask while I sponged Close to Cocoa around the edge (I flipped my template over for the pic so it wouldn't looks so ugly). Finally I used that little sliver to draw a black line around the edge to really set this edge off. During assembly, I also drew the little railings in black.

Stamps: Skateboarding Snoopy (not sure who makes this), Lovely as a Tree
Paper: Soft Sky, Garden Green, Yo Yo Yellow, Creamy Caramel
Ink: Close to Cocoa, Old Olive
Accessories: Fine black marker, prismacolor pencils & baby oil

Michelle B.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

SC143 Sara's Bday

This card was made for my niece Sara's 9th birthday. Although difficult to see in the photo, there is glitter all over the mermaid's tail and also in the bubbles. I received this images over on the PIF images thread from Miss Boo (Thanks Boo!). The sketch is from challenge SC143.

I brayered and sponged the background in my usual way....I cut all 3 pieces, stuck them onto my Cricut mat and sponged and brayered away. This ensures that the color is even and straight across the piece.

Now the Sea Floor Background was too small to fit on the card the way I wanted so I cut out the two groupings of rocks and plants to separate them into the side panels. During assembly, I used a fine blacker marker to draw in the little hills of sand and the dots.

Stamps: High Hopes Sea Floor Background, High Hopes Sweet Anabela, PTI Pond Life (bubbles), Hanna Stamps Things Hanna Would Say
Paper: Bazzill Mediteranean, Pink Passion
Ink: River Rock, Brilliant Blue, Cool Carribean, Soft Sky
Accessories: Glitter pen, white gel pen, fine black marker, prismacolor pencils & baby oil, copic markers

Michelle B.

Monday, August 11, 2008

SC188 Mom's Bday & BIG NEWS!

My mom loves to knit and crochet so this was created for her 60th birthday this week. I used the sketch from SC188 as a basis for this design. I used my usual technique (example shown here) of cutting everything first and then putting it back together on my cricut mat like a puzzle before I start inking.

I received this image from StampinScrapNewbie (Thanks Kim!) over in the PIF images thread.

My review: Great concept, a little dark & know how I like my bright colors!

Stamps: Stamping Bella Knitabella, Hanna Stamps Bookworm, Hanna Stamps Things Hanna Would Say
Paper: Blue Bayou, Bazzill
Ink: River Rock, Certainly Celery, Old Olive, Blue Bayou
Accessories: Glitter pen, pop dots, prismacolor pencils & baby oil

OH, and in case you didn't hear.....I was chosen to be one of two September Ambassadors for My Favorite Things Stamps. Here's the announcement. Whoo Hoo!

Michelle B.

OCCC Baptism Card

This card was made for my niece's baptism and also fit the bill for this weeks OCC Challenge (no DP & 4 layers max). I didn't load this card to SCS because I didn't even use a stamp (EEK!). Obviously this was greatly inspired by the many dresses I've seen on SCS but not any one in particular.

Stamps: None
Ink: None
Paper: SU Whisper White
Accessories: Swiss Dots embossing folder, ribbon from Mike's


Thursday, August 7, 2008

St. Louis = Hot in the Summer

ETA: This card won a MFT September 2008 Ambassador spot. You can read the announcement here.

I live just outside St. Louis and it was about 100 degrees all last week! So, Hot in the Summer equals St. Louis for me. This was created for the MFT September Guest Designer challenge MFGD09.

The St. Louis Arch was created by using my Cricut to cut out a letter U. I turned it upside down and traced it to get my shape. I colored it as usual. I even remembered the windows at the top!

I tried a new technique on this card. I colored with Copics AND Prismacolor pencils on the dog, skirt, and hat. I found the instructions here.

And now for another painting trick. How did I know what angle to draw those lines on the sidewalk? Well first you find the center point of your center "horizon" line. Top to bottom, that is where the sky meets the ground (gotta ignore the buildings here). Left to right, its in the center. In this piece it is the where the center building meets the grass. Put the top of your ruler there and pretend it is stuck there on a brad so that the bottom can swing left to right but the top cannot move. Now move the bottom of the ruler left or right and draw your lines. Here's an illustration:

Stamps: MFT Going Places, MFT Can Ya Dig It?, MFT Gone to the Dogs
Paper: Night of Navy, Bazzill Red, SU DP
Ink: Soft Sky, Blue Bayou, Old Olive
Accessories: Cricut, Copics, Prismacolor Pencils & Baby Oil, White Gel Pen, fine Black marker
Time: Probably 2 hours (lots of starts and stops...busy day)


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Rocket Elf

This was completed for the last 2 OCCC challenges (Christmas Card & Sketch) as I was a little behind!

I'm scary with that embossing powder - what I mess I make!

As always, I cut first and then inked. I brayered and sponged to get the look I wanted.

ETA: Houses....had to have 5. I always try to work with odd numbers as it is more interesting to the eye (another painting tip carried over to stamping).

Stamps: A Muse Rocket Elf, Neighborhood Wheel, Lots of Thoughts, Background Basics
Paper: Bazzill Red, Silver from Mike's, Soft Sky
Ink: Soft Sky, Blue Bayou, Night of Navy
Accessories: Copics, glitter pen, white gel pen, stickles, embossing powder, heat gun, wavy ruler, glass mat & knife

Time: A little over 90 minutes

Michelle B.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Celebrate in the City

Spent the weekend at Table Rock Lake (Branson, Missouri) so I’m trying to get caught up on some great challenges that I missed over the weekend! This was created for challenge MFTSC42 (although I hope you don’t mind that I had to do the sketch in mirror image to use this stamp set).

I’m loving the “billboard” in the lower right corner! I’m also loving how the plane appears to be up on pop dots but its really flat. This effect is a result of the white gel pen highlights and a grey shadow underneath (my favorite trick lately).

I created the illusion of a large city by color and repeat stamping. I learned this little trick from painting landscapes…..Things that are closer in the front are more detailed and vibrantly colored. Things that are further away have less detail and are softer colored. That’s exactly the rules I used when I created this city. I only cared that the close buildings were stamped perfectly. I also highlighted each and every window of the close buildings with my white gel pen. For the buildings futher back, I stamped off on scratch paper before I stamped onto my card to produce a lighter and less perfect image. I used a lighter greay for each row of buildings as I moved “further away”. I’ve even colored with my lightest grey copic in areas where there is no stamping at all for some really faint, far away buildings.

Time: 30 minutes messing up figuring out how to layer those buildings and then 90 minutes on the actual card you see here.
Stamps: MFT Going Places
Ink: Soft Sky
Paper: Bazzill Red
Accessories: Copics, White Gel Pen, Cricut

Michelle B.

Friday, August 1, 2008

You asked for it.....

OMG! Thanks to everyone for your wonderful comments. I am so honored. In response to your request, I've added a subscription thingee over on the right (I hope it works! Let me know!). I'll let you in on a little hint too. I use Google reader to manage all the blogs that I watch. Just login to using your regular google account and it will allow you to add lots 'o blogs and will highlight the ones that have new postings. I just go to that one website and can see all the blogs I watch on one screen. No emails. Very handy.

And to answer another question, my cards are taking 1-2 hours each. A lot of that is wasted time! On the monochromatic blue card below, it took me only 15 minutes to stamp and sponge that main panel. Then another 20 minutes searching for my one and only white gel pen that was accidentally put away with my Prismacolor pencils (I have 2 white gel pens now!) and then I finally went into assembly mode and played with a couple of designs before I settled on that one. I really enjoy the PROCESS of creating the card and don't really worry about how long it takes.

Thanks so much for your support!