Thursday, April 30, 2009

By the skin of my teeth….

….I got that last Christmas card done for the Christmas Card challenge for the month of April with 2 hours to spare! Ha!

This is my second post today so be sure to scroll down.

I started this card with the piece of ribbon I had saved from a Christmas present (I really do throw things away once in a while!). I was totally winging it here with no sketch and thinking that I had an idea for a “real quick” card. I should have went ahead and done one of my scenes as that would have been faster! I fiddled with this FOREVAH!

Since I’m going back to work full time….I treated myself with those Nesties I’ve been wanting! I just received my circles today. Hey, these ARE really easy to use!

Stamps: Snowfall
Paper: Riding Hood Red, Old Olive
Ink: Riding Hood Red, Always Artichoke
Accessories: Cuttlebug Embossing Folder Textile Texture, ribbon from unknown source, red brad from Mike’s, and rhinestones from Limelight Papercrafts

Michelle B.

“Queen of the Scene”

MOJO84 Hurry

Gotta hurry and get two more Christmas cards completed today for the monthly Christmas Card Challenge. I used the sketch from Mojo84 to complete this one.

Trying to hurry, I used emboss resist to cover my image and then I sponged Soft Sky in the center and then worked in Baja Breeze out to the edges. I also added Blue Bayou around the edges and a little heavy in the upper corners. And then came the ribbon…..20 minutes later I think I finally decided on which ribbon to use. So much for my trying to hurry!

How to emboss resist

How I color

Stamps: Elzybells Santa’s Helper, Merry & Bright
Paper: Real Red, Baja Breeze, GP 110, Not Quite Navy
Ink: Soft Sky, Baja Breeze, Blue Bayou, Whisper White
Accessories: Copics, Prismacolor pencils and Goo Gone , Cuttlebug embossed snowflake, mica flake glitter

Michelle B. aka “Queen of the Scene”

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

SC226 Carrying the Presents

For today's sketch challenge SC226 - I think I ended up really taking some creative license here but that's what happens when you work a sketch from memory instead of looking at it while you work!

Only thing I did unusual here was that I colored my image all with Prismacolor pencils. I would have liked to have more contrast between my presents and wall but here I am at the end of the month with my Christmas Card Challenge not yet done!. All my usual details can be found here:
Get your own wood floor digi here
How to cut a sketch with DP
Help for cutting that main image
Stamps: Sarah Kay The Joy of Giving, Punches Three, Wood Floor Vertical hand drawn and digitized by me
Paper: Creamy Caramel, Riding Hood Red, Basic Grey Wassail DP
Ink: Riding Hood Red, River Rock, Creamy Caramel
Accessories: Prismacolor pencils and Goo Gone , glitter pen & Angel Wingz Shimmerz on gifts
Michelle B.
"Queen of the Scene"

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tips n Tricks # 10 - A Simple Photo Help

My tip for today is to use a simple scrap of Whisper White and Basic Black cardstocks. I think I'll need to explain this more.....

If you've followed me for very long, you know I am photo challenged! I have done tons of research and reading on the topic but I just don't "get it". Anyway, I did read one very helpful little tip (sorry I cannot remember where) that has helped me a bunch.

I noticed that I had great difficulty photographing cards of certain color. Baja Breeze and Creamy Caramel seemed to give me trouble. I was also unable to use the tools in the photo editing software to easily correct my photos. One of my goals this year was to get faster at making/publishing my cards - Good thing too since I'll be returning to full time work soon. This little tip has saved me tons of time. it is:

I place a little scrap of black paper and a little scrap of white paper in my light box. Simple, eh? OK, let me show you how this plays out.
I take my photo in my light box. My light box didn't come with a white background (???) so I have some pieces of white poster board in there. Remember also that almost all of my photos are taken somewhere in the middle of the night/early morning when its pitch black outside still. Oooooh, this is embarrassing but here is my original photo (NOTE: I did scale the pic down to 700 wide and add my watermark which I wouldn't have normally done).

I open my photo in my photo editing software. I use Gimp which is free and has plenty enough features for me. I crop my photo down to just the area around the card and my white and black scraps you see there on the right. I now have this (original photo size scaled & water mark added which I wouldn't have normally done):

In GIMP, I choose Color -->Automatic -->White Balance and here is where the magic comes in.....Look what I end up with:

By having something in my photo that is pure white and something in my photo that is pure black, the software knows what I want it to do. Otherwise, it may have mistaken my ribbon as black and then adjusted all the colors incorrectly. I have found that by using this tip, I no longer have problems with Creamy Caramel and Baja Breeze. Now, all that's left is to crop out just the card, add my watermark, and I'm ready to publish! Here is the final pic:

To summarize:

  • I take the photo with the black and white scraps in the light box
  • I open the picture in Gimp
  • I crop to just the card and the black and white scraps
  • I use the Automatic White Balance Feature
  • I crop to just the card
  • I resize to 700 wide
  • I add my watermark
  • Done!

I'm sure you could just place a black and white scrap anywhere you take your photos (outside, by a window, whatever you do). Hope this helps you too.


Michelle B.

"Queen of the Scene"

Sunday, April 26, 2009

FS116 Christmas Church

Wow, my mojo is a bit rusty as this is the first card I’ve made in a week! This is for today’s Featured Stamper challenge. I am behind on my Christmas Card Challenge so I HAD to make a Christmas Card today which really helped narrow down the choices. I eventually choose this card to CASE. I changed the sketch, the images (although I kept with the Christmas church & trees theme) and I changed the color scheme a bit. I had to keep the red ribbon as that’s what caught my eye in the first place!
I started by cutting and folding my Whisper White cardstock. I cut a mask out of a scrap using my Nesties. I used a post it note to hold the mask in place on the cardstock. I stamped the images. Then I stamped them again on Eclipse tape to make masks for them. After I cutout the Eclipse tape masks, I put them into position on the card. I used a torn piece of paper for my skyline and sponged away with Baja Breeze. I re-used my torn piece of paper to make some snow drifts like this with Soft Sky and also went around the bottom edge of the Nestie mask with Soft Sky. Finally, I colored the images and added glitter pen all over!
I don't know what happened over there on the right side! I tried a couple of different things and finally gave up and went with this. Wasn't exactly what I had in mind but I wanted to finish this card TODAY! Ha!
Stamps: Lizzie Anne Designs Holiday Lane, Snowfall, Itty Bitty Backgrounds
Paper: Whisper White
Ink: Baja Breeze, Soft Sky, Momento black
Accessories: Copics, Nesties, glitter pen, ribbon from Mike’s, Eclipse masking tape

Michelle B.
“Queen of the Scene”

Friday, April 24, 2009

Fun Friday Freebie # 1 - Digi Wood Floor Vertical

OK, today is the day we've all been waiting for! The digi wood floor is now available. Now I allocate my stamp budget to myself at the beginning of the month. By this time of the guessed it! I'm broke. You too? Don't worry, there is no charge for this image. There are a few rules though:

This image is copyrighted to Michelle Bartnett 2009. All rights reserved.

This image is for your personal use only. You may not redistribute them in any fashion including copying, lending, re-selling, duplicating, sharing, giving as a prize, or posting the raw images or files online. It's free for heaven's sake - just send them here to get it!!!!!!

These images may not be made into physical rubber or acrylic stamps.

Please give credit for the image. If you upload to SCS, add keyword JPA. I'd love to see what you do with it!

You may sell hand made products that include this image.


To use this from a Windows machine, just right click on the image and you'll be able to choose to save the file to your computer. I usually go into a program such as a graphics program or Word and insert this file a couple of times (usually 3 or 4 to a page) and print it off on brown cardstock. Then I have a supply ready to go on my stamp desk. I also like to shade using Prismacolor pencils. The file is currently sized for a 5 1/2" wide x 4 1/4" tall card. I just trim to fit as necessary. You can also resize the file before printing if you want.

Be sure to check Lisa and Tammy's blogs for more inspiration using this floor. They have totally ROCKED this floor all week. Thanks girls!!! And you wouldn't have this available to you without their help and encouragement so stop by their blogs and give them some {{hugs}} too!

PS: Wondering where I've been all week and why I don't have a sample? Sorry but this has been a most stressful week as the company I work for went thru a layoff. I "survived" however I will be required to return to full time work again soon so bare with me here as I adjust. Thanks!

Michelle B.
"Queen of the Scene"

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tips n Tricks # 9 - Unmounted Stamp Storage

(NOTE: I'm having trouble with blogger scheduling posts - apparently so are many others as I saw lots of communications about it out there. Somehow this posted back to February 21 instead of posting ahead to April 21. Then it posted immediately and I hurried and deleted. Sorry if you've seen this before, it wasn't supposed to go until today! Oops!)

I was dissatisfied with my unmounted rubber stamp storage. Here are the different things I considered before I went with this idea:

  • I was previously using CD cases. I didn't like that I had to use more than 1 CD case for some sets. I was worried small stamps would fall out of the gap at the bottom. The final straw was when I had accidentally closed the case on one of my stamps. This has left a permanent crease in poor Bellarina's arm. Now she stamps with a gap that I have to fill in with a fine black marker (luckily I can work around this).

  • I considered buying several different kinds of prepared storage solutions but it would be so expensive for the quantity I needed (and there are still lots o'stamps I still want to buy!)

  • I REALLY liked my acrylic stamp storage solution. And I thought a consistant way to store all my stamps would be great.

Soooo, I came up with this:

I used the cardboard from a local department store shirtbox. I cut it to 8" x 10 1/2". I chose these measurements so there was plenty of room for the stamps in a page protector and so that it would slide in & out of the page protector easily. I then ran this cardboard thru my 12" Xyron to laminate. (I don't know why I own that machine but I do. You can buy laminate sheets or have a copy center laminate for you also.) The EZ Mount stamps and bare rubber stamps with Aileene's Tack It Over and Over stick nicely to this sturdy sheet. I can easily store 2 large stamps sets per page. The binder pictured above stores all of my Treehouse Stamps that were previously in 9 CD cases and 3 still in original packaging.

I decided to use the side with plain cardboard to place my stamps. This way they all look the same regardless of where I reclaimed the cardboard from (eat more cereal kids....Mom needs more cardboard!). I suppose you could be really smart and stamp the images on the cardboard so you'd know where all the stamps went.

I like that I don't have to worry about a stamp falling off. If it would happen to fall, it will be caught by the sheet protector.

Somebody tell me if I'm not supposed to store EZ Mounted rubber stamps this way. I was unable to find anything to the contrary. Maybe someday, I'll be able to buy a "proper" storage solution but this will do me for now.

NOTE: I recommend you use acid free laminate and acid free sheet protectors!

Are you seeing that I have a serious addiction to sheet protectors - man those things are just good for everything and cheap too!

Michelle B.
“Queen of the Scene”

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Mojo82 Wedding Card

I made this last week but never got around to posting! Oops! We had a family wedding to attend last Friday. The wedding invitation was black and white and very elegant….not my usual style. I didn’t want to do one of my usual colorful scenes as it just didn’t seem right. I reverted to my other favorite which is words in the background. Look, I even used a bow!

Here's how I colored my main image and I cut it out. I lightly stamped the words and hearts all over the Whisper White....not exactly straight but not exactly random. I then sponged some Going Grey ink on the edges. I cut the center diamond shape out like I did here (although there wasn't enough words showing to really see that it all lines up!). I glued the main image to the cutout diamond and trimmed whatever hung over. I then cut all my mats, scalloped some edges, and assembled the card and finally added the ribbon.

Don't forget to be watching here on Friday (4/24) for my digi floor release. You can also check Tammy and Lisa's blogs to see the fabulous things they have done with this floor! These girls ROCK and they are sweeties too!

Stamps: The Greeting Farm Cake Topper, Short & Sweet
Paper: Whisper White, Basic Black, Basic Grey
Ink: Going Grey
Accessories: Copics, Prismacolor pencils and Goo Gone, Nesties, glitter pen, scallop edge punch, ribbon from Mike’s

Michelle B.
“Queen of the Scene”

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Inspired Silhouettes and some News

I combined Taylor’s Cupcake Challenge #64 with Today’s Inspiration challenge to create this card. I picked this item as my inspiration….I loved the colors! I have long loved chocolate with baja but this inspiration piece was more caramel and baja. I thought I’d give it a try.

I was also trying to adjust the size of my Nestie on my baja mat layer. I read this last night so I tried to give it a shot with this shape of Nestie. Although I tried cutting it several different ways, this shape proved not to work out quite as nice. Back to the drawing board on this one. Here's the "final" cut that allowed me to overlap where the cuts were and shrink that mat.

Now I used the emboss resist technique here for all the flowers and leaves. I started with a base of vanilla cardstock. I just clear embossed the first set of leaves), then I did the chocolate flower (virsamark, then chocolate ink, then to the paper), and finally the baja leaves (virsamark, then baja ink, then to the paper). I then sponged Creamy Caramel over almost the entire piece. Whenever I was close to that chocolate flower, I allowed my sponge to run out of ink as I worked toward that chocolate flower. This left the vanilla showing there and makes the flower seem to "glow". I also added some Chocolate Chip to the 4 corners. Having dark at the 4 corners and light behind the main chcolate flower makes your eyes go right to that main chocolate flower.

Stamps: See D’s Silhouettes
Paper: Very Vanilla, Baja Breeze
Ink: Baja Breeze, Chocolate Chip, Creamy Caramel
Accessories: Virsamark pad, clear detail embossing powder, Nesties, Ribbon from Pink Hedgehog, horizontal slot punch

My digi wood floor image will be released right here on this blog on Friday, April 24, so stay tuned!!!! I have two fabulous friends who have helped me thru this process so to thank them, I have given them the digi floor for their use already. If you want to "meet" them and maybe even catch another peek at that floor, you can find them here:



Thank you girls, you two are the best!

Michelle B.
“Queen of the Scene”

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

HHC26 If only…pirate

Aw man, I would have thought this totally rocked if only……I had put that pesky pirate right in the middle instead of off to the side. I tried to re-balance with the pile of gold but it still isn’t quite right. I’m sending this to my 5yo nephew so I don’t think he’ll mind at all! I used paper piercing in the corners, the map corners, and on the sentiment tabs to qualify for the High Hopes Challenge 26.

The floor, walls, and porthole are hand drawn. I punched some circles and traced around them to make the porthole. I colored a piece with my Copics to make the ocean/sky view thru the porthole. I'm crazy over this porthole so you'll be seeing this again I'm sure!

I used my digi wood floor to help me draw this floor (and yes, I'm still working on releasing that...major progress this week so stay tuned!). To color the walls and floor, I shaded to the left and below all the lines with my Prismacolor Dark Brown pencil and blended with Goo Gone. Then I also went thru and kinda scribbled in a wood grain with that same pencil WITHOUT blending. I love how it turned out.

The map was colored just a bit with Prismas. Then I tore it and crinkled it up a bunch. Finally I drug my Old Paper ink pad across it. The "gold" is cut from the treasure chest image. Here is how I colored the pirate.

Stamps: High Hopes On Guard Oberto, High Hopes Treasure Map, High Hopes Treasure Chest, High Hopes Landlubber
Paper: Creamy Caramel, GP 110, Tempting Turquoise
Ink: Tempting Turquoise, Old Paper Distress Ink
Accessories: Copics, Prismacolor pencils and Goo Gone, fine black marker, glitter pens, paper piercer

Michelle B.
“Queen of the Scene”

SC224 Rainy Day

This is my second post today so be sure to scroll down!

I’m off work today as the kiddos are on spring break. So I was lucky and was able to make two cards this morning!

I wanted to try Mothermark's cloud technique. I think it was really fun, fast, and easy so I'll definately be doing this again! She uses a clear mask and I thought that was a great idea - you could see what you were doing. I didn't have any acetate so I used a piece of plastic I had saved from the packaging of a child's toy (maybe it was the plastic over a Hot Wheel car). I never realized what a trash picker I was until I started writing all these things down for you guys! Ha!

I've heard people say that can't draw a cloud shape they like. So, traced mine and scanned it in for you. I used the bottom piece for this card using the Mothermark cloud technique. I use the top piece when I do clouds my usual way. I believe Windows users will be able to right click on the image below and do a File --> Save As and choose the location where you'd like to save the file. If you print on some cardstock (I use Georgia Pacific 110) you'll be able to get many uses out of this one printout!

A few technicalities: This is for your personal use. You may sell items created using this mask. You may not turn it into a stamp. You may not distribute - just send your friends here to pick it up!
Most of my usual details:

  • Here is how I colored the image.

  • I used the Cut then Ink Technique to get my layers to line up (but today I didn't cut her out! Using that cloud technique & my brand new rectangle Nesties enabled me to leave her on the original page)

  • The sidewalk is hand drawn like this.

  • The grass was done with Copics.

  • Additional raindrops were hand drawn in and highlighted with a glitter pen.
Stamps: Whiff of Joy Willow with Umbrella
Paper: Whisper White, GP 110, Elegant Eggplant
Ink: Bordering Blue
Accessories: Copics, Prismacolor pencils and Goo Gone, Nesties, fine black marker, glitter pen

Michelle B.
“Queen of the Scene”

SC224 Up on the Rooftop

Eek! It’s the 15th of the month and I haven’t made a single Christmas card yet this month (I'm in a challenge to make 5 a month)! So I’m using Sketch Challenge SC224 to get me started!

My "roof" was created by punching a few strips of dark green cardstock with the Scallop Edge Punch. I then drug the scalloped edges across my Whisper White ink pad for "snow". The "snow" on top of the roof was drawn in with my blender pen and Whisper White ink.

I've noticed that dipping my blender pen into Whisper White is TOXIC! I could never seem to clean all the white out of that tip. So I wrapped a piece of tape around that end of the blender pen and it is now "reserved" for Whisper White only.

Stamps: Hanna Stamps Santa Chimney Riley, Itty Bitty Backgrounds
Paper: Night of Navy, a dark green from Bazzill, Basic Grey Wassail
Ink: Whisper White
Accessories: Copics, Prismacolor pencils and Goo Gone, Scallop Edge Punch, Artichoke Ribbon from SU, Navy Ribbon from Pink Hedgehog

Michelle B.
“Queen of the Scene”

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tips n Tricks Tuesday # 8 - Acrylic Stamp Storage

Ahhhhhhhhh, I have reached that happy place in stamping where I need some storage solutions for my stamps. My acrylic stamps were a mess in a box. So I did some research and found this idea that I really liked. Now, you know I'm too cheap to buy more than one type of page protector sooooo.... I adapted this to work for me.

In this 3" binder I store clear acrylic stamps. (yep, the binder was reclaimed from a friend that was cleaning out her office and was going to throw a bunch of them didn't think I bought it did you?) I keep them on that acetate like sheet that they are shipped in. I use glue dots to attach that acetate sheet to a piece of Georgia Pacific cardstock (sometimes more than 1 set to a page). I label the page and place them into a page protector. The stamps are, of course, sorted by manufacturer.

To use, I simply pull the page out of the sheet protector, open the acetate and remove the stamp I need.

I really like this solution because it is cheap, I can see the stamp sets, it is flexible for all the different size stamp sets, and I don't need to worry about any small stamps falling out and getting lost (they'll just fall into the page protector).

Michelle B.
“Queen of the Scene”

PS: Yes, there is more than 1 binder of acrylic stamps! He he!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!!!! v4

Happy Easter!!!!

Here is my 4th and final Easter card. I think I should start a new challenge like "how many stamp sets can you use on one card"! Ha! I sent this one to my MIL....I thought it looked like her house on Easter.

How I color.

How to make the rug.

Stamps: Flourishes Chairs for You, Starving Artist Eggs, High Hopes Easter Basket, My Favorite Things Bundles of Bouquets, hand drawn floor digitized
Paper: Creamy Caramel, Pixie Pink, Basic Grey DP
Accessories: Copics, Prismacolor pencils and Goo Gone, glitter pen

Michelle B.
“Queen of the Scene”

Saturday, April 11, 2009

IC175 Easter Cards for my Kids

For today's inspiration challenge, I was inspired by the bunny standing up in this photo. These will be given to my kiddos for Easter. I wanted to do something different than my usual style and I used torn paper of different colors and eggs of different sizes to create the depth in my scene (instead of sponging like I always do). And I went a little crazy with the embossing folders but I had fun!

Pink card:
Stamps: Starving Artist Eggs, Starving Artist Freckles, C. C. Designs Sugarplums Scenery
Paper: Pixie Pink, Bashful Blue, GP 110, Kiwi Kiss, Old Olive, a dark green by Bazzill
Ink: Bashful Blue
Accessories: Copics, Prismacolor pencils and Goo Gone, Swiss Dots EF, Martha Stewart Fence Punch, Cricut George cartridge

Yellow card:

Stamps: Starving Artist Eggs, Starving Artist Georgie, C. C. Designs Sugarplums Scenery
Paper: Yo Yo Yellow, Bashful Blue, Close to Cocoa, Kiwi Kiss, Old Olive, a dark green by Bazzill
Ink: Old Olive, Chocolate Chip, Bashful Blue
Accessories: Copics, Prismacolor pencils and Goo Gone, D’Vine Swirls EF, Distressed strips EF, scallop circle punch

Michelle B.
“Queen of the Scene”

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Cutting a Sketch with an Inked Background aka "Cut Then Ink Technique"

OK, here is the long awaited tutorial. It's gonna be long so get comfy! I used the Harley on the Beach card from yesterday with the SCS Sketch Challenge # 223 throughout this tutorial just so you have an idea of where I'm going.

Many of you have commented on the beach scene itself and how I created that. I learned it from....Michelle Zindorf in this post. (can't wait to take a class from her in August! Woo Hoo!). This is a definate must read blog for me. I really feel that I totally got my start from that blog. Now, I tend to sponge where Michelle Zindorf tends to brayer but everything else in creating the beach theme is the same.

Now, I'm going to present this as a narrative of what's going on in my brain as I think thru this too so hopefully it isn't too goofy! Ha!

On Wednesday mornings, my alarm clock goes off around 4:15. I quickly look on my iPhone to see what today's SCS sketch challenge looks like and if I could work with it. (phone is next to bed with page for the sketches already open so I just have to refresh) Yep, looks like a good one so I stagger downstairs half awake to my stamp area.

I look thru my stack of already colored images to see what I have that might fit today's sketch and inspire me for the rest of the scene. I come up with 3 possibilities (excuse rotten pictures...its a dark basement at 4:30 am!). I like to put some element of the image in each of the boxes of the sketch - more interesting. So, the monster idea gets thrown out because I didn't want just his tail in a box. The little girl image could have the cat in another box....but she's kinda big for the sketch. So I decide to use Harley and put the sun in the box. Hmmm...shall I put him in the garden or at the beach. BEACH! Haven't done of those in a while.

I like to cut the main portions of the sketch FIRST! I am MUCH more likely to make a cutting mistake than an inking mistake. This is my personal preference-could be the opposite for you!

Now, I need to draw the elements of the sketch onto a piece of Whisper White cardstock cut to 4" by 5.25" (so I can use my cardbase as a border later). I use my paper cutter to help me with this by putting the paper guide down and inserting a pencil into the slot to draw a line (forgot where I saw this idea). The paper cutter also helps me center my pieces as I use the built in ruler as a guide. You can see that I place my cutout main image there too to guide me in the size of my squares (I hope to have some Nesties soon so I can make this a little easier).

NOTE on Circles and ovals: The only method I currently have to cut large circles and ovals is my Cricut. I haven't really figured out exactly how to place my cutout where I want on the card so I just cut my base too big (like 5 x 6), cut the circle or oval with my Cricut, and then see where I need to trim that base to get it to 4" x 5.25" with the cutout in the correct location. See why I don't like to do that shape! Gotta get those Nesties!

Now there are also two horizontal lines that go all the way across the sketch. Those are pretty simple cuts I prolly won't mess up so I'm gonna do those later. Often times, I will cut the small straight lines out later so I don't have a bunch of small pieces to work with. Here's an example of a card where I did just that. NOTE: I actually remove 1/8" of the scene. I do not just cut the part out and spread my pieces apart to get the 1/8" in gap. This keeps everything lined up. NOTE2: The red you see showing in those 1/8" gaps is the actual card base peaking thru.

So, here is what my piece looks like with the squares drawn on.

Now on to cutting. I cut out the center square first (I pick this one first as it will remain a full square on the card - no cutting into it). Be as accurate as you can in the corners so you don't have any little cut parts showing later (need Nesties).

Next I cut the outter square. See it isn't really a full square's missing its middle. Sometimes if the squares were offset like on this card, the second cut is more of a "C" shape than a square. In any event, your first cut will always be whatever shape is WHOLE on the finished card. Here's what you end up with:

I'm about 30 minutes into this project now.

I put my little "puzzle" back together on an old Cricut mat (this holds it in place. You could also put just a bit of adhesive on the backs to hold your elements in place on your stamp table) I use a good white art eraser to erase any pencil lines that are still visible. Don't use a cheap pencil eraser - it will leave little dirty marks!

Now I use an old & favorite piece of torn Georgia Pacific 110 cardstock as a mask. (The Cricut mat helps hold this in place and also has rulers that help me keep this straight. A sticky note mask and a piece of grid paper would work also!)
I sponge Cool Caribbean ink all over the "sky" area. When I remove the mask, I end up with this:
Next I sponge the River Rock ink into the "beach" area. I add a little more Cool Caribbean ink over the River Rock (didn't use a mask this time-just "winged it"). I think this looks like really shallow water rushing up onto the sand. Love this look!
Next I use some sticky notes (Post-Its) to mask off my horizon line. I sponge some Tempting Turquoise across this line. Remeber when sponging, go half onto the post it note and half onto your scene. As you run out of ink, work downward which fades it into the Cool Caribbean. Again, my Cricut mat helps me keep this horizon line straight.
Next I remove the sticky notes and sponge a bit of Tempting Turquoise in the upper corners. To finish off my beach, I stamp a few "grains of sand" using Itty Bitty Backgrounds in Creamy Caramel and sponge a bit of Creamy Caramel into the lower corners. I like to darken my four corners a bit - kinda acts like a frame and tells your eyes "Stop here" and points them to the middle. I'm 40 minutes into my project so far and here's what I've got. Now its time to to mat my squares. Sometimes I have a color already in mind but today I didn't. I placed my main image and my beach scene onto some Taken with Teal cardstock. It's ok, but not quite the "pop" I'm looking for.....kinda blah.
Inspired by the sun portion of the image, I try some Pumkin Pie cardstock. That's it!
So I cut some Pumpkin Pie cardstock scraps to mat my two little squares on. I cut a full sheet in half to use as my card base. As this 1/2 sheet is a little bigger than my beach scene, I'll get a nice frame around my scene. I put all the pieces in place to make sure everything is ok before I adhere it all down. I also think that I need something else on the outer most square. Maybe a palm branch in the upper left corner (as the sun is kinda drawing me to the right side). I'll figure that out at the end.
I start from the outside and work in. First I adhere the big outter most piece of the beach scene. Then the matted middle square and I have this.
Finally I adhere the matted center square.
OH NO! I just realized that I forgot a part of the sketch! Remeber there is supposed to be two horizontal lines that go all the way across. I meant to cut them out before I adhered everything down. The orange that I planned to have showing thru would have been from the card base. So, plan "B" for those is cutting some thin strips of Pumpkin Pie and glue them into place. Here you see the thin strips cutout.
And now they are glued in place. Shew, I'm saved! This really cost me some time tho...I'm 1 hour and 10 minutes in now.

People have asked me if I just cut out 1/8" frames to place on top of my all one piece scene. I've considered that but I hate working with those tiny pieces!

All that's left to do is glue ol'Harley on. I still think I'm missing something in the upper left corner so I decide to add some palms. I quickly stamp them in Momento ink and get to coloring. I'm running out of time before work and I gotta hurry. I know I'm gonna cut these branches out so WHY COLOR IN THE LINES? I just scribble real quick like this: (NOTE: This pic is BEFORE I blended my Prismacolor pencil)

I do this all the time and it drives my Kindergarten age son CRAZY (since he's trying to learn to stay IN the lines!).

I put the palm branches on and I'm done. I could have kept on going here adding a cool drink next to Harley and some seashells in the sand but I'm outta time! I take my final pics in my light box and head upstairs to write my post (this takes me another 30 minutes).

From the time I woke up until the time I get this posted on my blog and SCS is just under 2 hours. My goal this year is to find some ways to shorten that time some more (maybe Nesties, airbrush system, getting a little more organized about my supplies used list as I always have to look up the name of something!, etc.)

Did you make it all the way to the end of this? Took me all day to write! I hope that helps you!

Michelle B.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

SC223 Harley at the Beach

Enough indoor scenes! Let’s go to the beach today with Harley! This was created for today’s SCS sketch challenge #223.

I took a ton of pics while I was making this so I'll have the goods to write a tutorial but for now I gotta run - gonna be late for work!

Stamps: Whipper Snapper Harley, High Hopes Banana Tree, Itty Bitty Backgrounds (sand)
Paper: Pumpkin Pie, Whisper White, GP 110
Ink: Cool Caribbean, Tempting Turquoise, River Rock, Close to Cocoa
Accessories: Copics, Prismacolor pencils and Goo Gone, white gel pen

Michelle B.
“Queen of the Scene”

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

CC213 Easter v1 & Cutting a Sketch w/DP


Can you believe I did a color challenge today? I NEVER do them as I can never think of anything using only 3 colors. I watch what everyone else does and think...."Brilliant". Well for whatever reason today, I decided to peek at the colors and something came to me! Woo Hoo! (Maybe its because I work well under pressure and need to get these Easter cards done!).

AND....I'm going to show you how I cut a sketch when I'm working with a DP background (its different if I ink the background and I'll show you that soon). I know you guys are dying to get your hands on my wood floor digi - I am working on it (found out it doesn't print well on all printers).

OK, so first, cut your DP to size (in this case 4" wide by 5.25" tall). Then cut your floor piece to size and attach the floor over the top of the DP. In real life, the baseboard would stick out a bit from the wall so it makes sense to me (excuse the quality of the pics - I work in a dark basement!).

Flip this piece over and take it to your cutter. I use my cutter as a ruler and a straight edge. I pencil in my lines of where I want to cut. I prefer to do this on the backside so I don't have to worry about erasing as I sometimes have to tweak this a bit. If I had Nesties to do this cutting with my life would be a LOT easier but there have just been too many stamps to buy! Also notice that my Cocoa layer hangs out the bottom. This is because I shorted the DP a bit - its not quite 5.25" tall. Cheapskate!
When you have all your lines drawn, place your images in position and make sure it looks right (notice the lines with "X"s on them....this is me changing my mind. I always place an "X" on those bad lines so I don't confuse myself. I learned this from some construction guys on TV). I'm also noticing here that I'm going to need something up top.When you are happy with your sketch, go ahead and cut it out. You need to be precise in those corners so you don't cut out into your design. Again, Nesties would really make this much easier! You'll end up with this:

Cut a layer of cardstock as your mat for that center square and make your card base. Lay these pieces together to check your work and make sure you like what you've got.
Place the main elements of your scene into position to ensure you still like what you've got going on. Last chance for changes!

Finally, I'll finish up any work I need to do on my scene elements (finish cutting Riley, attach fringe to rug, etc.) and attach everything into position.

Hope that helps! Soon, I'll show you how I do scenes I ink and I'll cut more than one piece out in that one!

Additional notes: I cut out Riley's hooves with a craft knife in order to place the items under them. I also shortened the handle on the basket by cutting it off where it meets the base of the basket.

How I color

Making the rug

Stamps: Couch Riley, Loads of Love Accessories, Dress Up Lily, the floor is a hand drawn image I digitized to make it reusable
Paper: Close to Cocoa, Bashful Blue, SU DP
Ink: Close to Cocoa
Accessories: Copics, Prismacolor pencils and Goo Gone, Cricut George (for ovals), Stamp-a-majig, glitter pen


Michelle B.

"Queen of the Scene"