Sunday, July 10, 2011

FS231 Off to Camp

DD leaves for a week of camp today. I needed to quickly make a card to drop off so it could be delivered to her thru the camp mail. I found the perfect inspiration in THIS piece from today's Featured Stamper. I loved the simplicity of the woods in the background. It was hard for me to make a scene an keep it simple but I restrained myself! The two things I changed from the inspiration piece were the addition of the little girl and also the ribbon color (I just had to have some blue up there for the sky!).

The tree images were stamped and I used a sponge to color them in. I used a blender pen to color the tree trunks. A torn piece of paper was used as a mask to sponge in a little ground.

Stamps: The Greeting Farm Audrey, Lovely as a Tree, sentiment by Innovative Stamp Creations
Paper: Whisper White, Old Olive, Basic Grey Offbeat DP
Ink: Momento Tuxedo Black, Old Olive, Pear Pizzaz, Creamy Caramel, Close to Cocoa (sentiment)
Accessories: Copics, Blender Pen, ribbon from Pink Hedgehog

Michelle B.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I *LOVE* Versatile Stamps

I just *LOVE* versatile stamps like this one. This example shows how I used her for DD's Easter card. I could have had her painting just about anything....snowflakes, a Christmas tree, a birthday cake, a car, a dog, a soccer ball, whatever the receipient of your card is into. You can really stretch your stamping budget by considering the versatility of a stamp like this. You know you'll use it many times!

I've also been experimenting a lot with DP lately. What? You haven't seen me posting any of them? Uh, that's because I haven't liked very many of them!

I'll be back soon with another versatile stamp example.

Stamps: Stamping Bella Artistabella, Stampin Up Easter Blossoms
Paper: GP 110, Gasic Grey Urban Prairie, Craft, Marina Mist
Ink: Momento Tuxedo Black, Kiwi Kiss, Marina Mist
Accessories: Nesties, Cuttlebug Textile embossing folder

Michelle B.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Bookmark swap and beyond

I made this for a bookmark swap I participated in (wow did I get some cool ones back!). I finally got my hands on that elusive Branch Out stamp set. I had tried to order it before it retired but I was too late. Finally, I found a decent deal on ebay!

Sometimes when I need some inspiration, I turn to the internet and look at some art. This bookmark was inspired by THIS piece of art.

I started by stamping and clear embossing the swirls at the top and bottom in River Rock. I used a torn piece of paper as a mask and sponged in the Really Rust and a bit of Espresso around the edges. Next I stamped the tree in Espresso. I sponged in the Pear green area of the tree and stamped a few leaves in Pear and Rust. I sponged River Rock in the mid sky area (and didn't really worry too much about it touching the other areas). The Marina Mist upper blue sky was sponged in next (and I was careful not to mix it with the River Rock as didn't want it to turn green). Finally, I stamped the text in with Espresso.

I made a few more than required for my swap (in case I messed one up) so I was able to use an extra to make a quick card.

Stamps: Stampin’ Up Branch Out, Papertrey Ink Text Style, Autumn Leaves Swirls V:I
Paper: Whisper White, Early Espresso
Ink: River Rock, Versamark, Really Rust, Early Espresso, Perfect Pear, Marina Mist
Accessories: Embroidery Thread, Ribbon from Pink Hedgehog, Tab punch, large brad, Crop-o-dile

Michelle B.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Football Jersey

Here's a football jersey made as a birthday card but I thought it might also be good for father's day. You can easily change the colors to your guy's favorite team colors. The template for the shirt can be found here. I made a "V Neck" using a square punch instead of a round neckline and didn't put any curves in the waist. I used my Cricut to cut the number (it was for an 8th birthday). I used my square punch to cut the trim around the neckline and just hand cut the stripes on the sleeves.

Michelle B.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Has it really been so long?

Where have I been? Well I have been busy fulfilling a long time run a 5K (that's 3.1 miles). Yes, as you can see from the pic, I DID IT! Yippee! I started training in January and ran the race in May. Along the way, I lost 12 pounds too! If you are interested in trying this, check out the Couch Potato to 5K Plan I followed to get me started (there is an iPhone app also). I'll be back tomorrow with a card for you.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

First Communion & "Ray" Tutorial

I made this for my son who will be making his first communion in a couple of weeks. I thought this would also be an nice Easter card! I started by clear embossing the large cross image. I then sponged just a little bit of blue around the edges of the cross (from the center outward). Be sure to always wipe the ink off your embossing frequently during this process! Warning: terrible pictures ahead but I think you'll get the idea! To make the "rays" you'll need a trusty sticky note! I like to imagine my piece is a clock and the sticky note is the hand that is anchored in the center. I start with the hand at 12 o'clock (straight up) and sponge a little blue ink from the sticky note onto the piece. I then move the sticky note a few "minutes" ahead, pivoting from that center point, and sponge again. Work your way all around. If you do not "think like a clock" you'll end up getting confused which way the rays are supposed to go and end up sponging some of the rays in one direction and the rest in a different direction (trust me). It may also be helpful to do the 12, 3, 6, and 9 positions on the clock and then go back and work your way all the way around the clock.
Stamps: Treehouse Stamps Count Your Blessings Paper: Bashful Blue, GP 110 Ink: Bashful Blue, Versamark Accessories: Clear detail embossing powder, sticky note

Michelle B.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

B-I-G Flower

A bit of an optical illusion going on here....this flower seems to be jumping off the page but the flower and the white background are all one layer! (the green card base is the only other layer) I colored the flower with Prismacolor pencils. I did not use any kind of Gamsol or blending medium of any kind. I colored the area with the lightest color and then moved to the next darker color and blended the edges with the lightest color. I then moved to the next darkest color and blended with the lightest again. Coloring the entire area in the lightest color first, put a waxy layer down over the area that allowed me to move the darker colors around a bit when blending. Here's the colored flower and the pencils I used. Now it needed something else.....hmmmm....I created a mask out of another sheet of cardstock and sponged some River Rock all around the edges of the flower working from the center outward and going especially dark on the areas that indent closer to the center. (I had to move the cardstock around a bit to get really close to the flower because the thickness caused a gap.) That looked good but I needed something else. I love text in the background and I love when its not completely uniform. So, I took advantage of that thick mask and stamped the text in the background without pushing down too hard. That thick mask and light pressure kept the text away from the flower a bit. Loved this now! It was sent to my Mother-In-Law for her birthday (and in keeping with my goal this year, I had it done several days early!).

Stamps: Stampin Up From the Garden, Papertrey Text Style
Paper: Perfect Pear, Whisper White
Ink: Momento Tuxedo Black, River Rock Accessories: Prismacolor Pencils, SU Certainly Celery Ribbon, Crop-a-dile Corner Rounder

Michelle B.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Outer Space Tutorial

I tried to describe how I made the outer space scene the other day and as I was writing it down, I was thinking "I really need a visual for this". So, here we go:

First I used Versamark ink and a dot stamp from Itty Bitty Backgrounds to place little dots all over the piece. Oh, the cardstock is Stampin' Up Whisper White which I love for sponging because it has a slightly slick surface that lets me move the ink around a bit. I covered the Versamark with clear detail embossing powder and heated to emboss. These will be the stars.

Next I sponged some Pacific Point kind of randomly. I made a line across the top and a "V" shape across the bottom. Always wipe with a paper towel after each inking to keep those white spots white!

Both above and below the Pacific sponged lines, I sponged Not Quite Navy.

Both above and below the Not Quite Navy, I sponged Night of Navy.

Finally, I added black all around the edges and heavier into the corners. Ta Da! You are all set to put this piece into use in an outter space card like this one:

Michelle B.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


As part of my "not being with it" in the past, I waited until January to make a calendar! Why am I showing this to you March? Because the 2012 templates are out and we can get a head start on next year!

I found the calendar template on SCS (click HERE for 2011 and HERE for 2012). I printed them off my computer onto some GP 110 cardstock. I cut them to the size I wanted (just made up a size that centered the calendar in the bottom and left stamping room at the top).

The idea for the physical structure of the calendar came from THIS blog posting. I loved that paper insert and it works amazingly well (and made it easy for me to fold this an take it to work).
Here's the rest of the calendar pages include a side shot of the structure. In case you are wondering....September and October are my absolute favorite!

PS: January uses Clear Dollar Stamps Snowman Wishes and my Snow Drift Tutorial is here.

February: Stampin' Up Happy Hearts

March: High Hopes St. Pattys Day Hat

April: Pink Cat Studio Limitless Limbs

May: My Favorite Things Bundles of Bouquets

Check out my Ground Sponging Tutorial I used here.

June: My Favorite Things Can Ya Dig It?

July: Verve Up, Up and Away

August: Hanna Stamps Pool Party

September: Papertrey Ink Through the Trees

October: Gina K. Spooky Silhouettes

November: Stampin Up Voila to Go and you can see my Table Tutorial HERE (except that I had to sponge in the base color first instead of using a piece of cardstock).

December: Papertrey Ink Take a Bough

And here's a side shot of the structure.

Michelle B.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Outer Space

Here's a birthday card for a space lovin' Nephew. OK, I admit, I fell a little short of my goal as I mailed it on his actual birthday (so it arrived late). Anyway, this is about progress not perfection right?!?

My inspiration for this piece was this photo. Whenever I need some inspiration, I simply google the topic (in this case, outer space) and check out some of the images that come up.

To make this background, I first clear embossed the little dots. Next sponged Pacific Point randomly (turned out to be a > shape at the bottom and kind of a line across the top). Then I sponged Not Quite Navy next to the Pacific Point areas. Moving outward a little bit, I sponged Night of Navy next to the Not Quite Navy. And finally, I added some black at the very edges. I'm thinking I should have taken pics and written a tutorial as I'm not sure the description is enough here. OK, its on my list of things to do.

The images are colored with Copics, cut out, and glued into place. I used a little embroidery thread to make the cable connecting the astronaut to the ship. The planet is a embossed circle with some grey sponging.

PS: Not sure why the sentiment looks so blurry here and the rest is fine....looks ok IRL. Sorry.

Stamps: Lizzie Anne Designs Out of this World, Itty Bitty Backgrounds, Hanna Stamps Things Hanna Would Say
Paper: Whisper White, Basic Black, Papertrey White (card base)
Ink: Momento Tuxedo Black, Pacific Point, Not Quite Navy, Night of Navy, Basic Grey, Versamark
Accessories: Embroidery Thread, Cuttlebug Tiny Bubbles embossing folder, Crop-a-dile Corner Chomper, Clear detail embossing powder

Michelle B.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Asian Bird

Still working that birthday card list here.....I actually made two of these as I thought there were two people on my birthday list who would enjoy this scene. The idea is a direct CASE of a card I did at a Michelle Zindorf class. You can see her version way down by her signature on THIS post. Definately take a Michelle Zindorf class if you get the chance!

The large bird, branches, and flowers are stamped and embossed. Then the sky is brayered in. A torn post it note serves as a mask to sponge in a few mountains. Finally, the shadow bird, branch, and flowers are stamped in.

Stamps: Innovative Stamp Creations Tranquil
Paper: Whisper White, Basic Black, Pacific Point
Ink: Versamark, Pacific Point, Bashful Blue, Really Rust, Tangerine Tango, Cameo Coral, Rose Red, Creamy Caramel,
Accessories: Clear detail embossing powder, Photo corners punch

Michelle B.

PS: Yes, I finished the inside as well (keeping with my goals this year)!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

FS209 Lizard Skin

For today's Featured Stamper Challenge, I choose THIS card to CASE. I kept the blue/green color scheme but darkened them, I kept the basic elements of the sketch but simplified and turned it, and I kept the embossed green card base but made mine into "lizard skin".

The "lizard skin" was made using the Faux Leather technique (except I didn't add any colored ink as I forgot!). I also added a little "lizard skin" to the colored image. First I colored with Copics as I normally would:

Then I took an old wash cloth that had some texture to it and I poured a little Copic clear blender refill on it. I pressed the washcloth into the green colored areas of the dragon and held there for 2-3 seconds. When I lifted the washcloth it leaves a little bit of texture as it lifts some of the color. The challenge here is not to get this into the presents!

A simple sponged sky and sponged ground finished the scene.

Stamps: High Hopes Gavin the Givin’ Dragon, High Hopes Got Cake?
Paper: GP110, Wild Wasabi, Brilliant Blue
Ink: Momento Tuxedo Black, Bashful Blue, Pear Pizzazz, Versamark
Accessories: Cuttlebug Tiny Mosaic Embossing Folder, clear detail embossing powder, EK Success Dotted Wave Punch, Copics, Nesties Labels 8

Michelle B.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Toughee for Me

First, sorry I've been away but I was literally in bed sick for over 5 days. So glad to be back!

I have a family member who loves ladybugs so that's how I got my start on this card (I'm working that birthday list of mine!). I really like how so many of you can mix and match dp and make it look so good. I wanted to give this another try. Its SO HARD! I worked for hours on this trying to get the look I wanted. I'm pretty happy with this but I need to get a lot faster at this!!!

Stamps: All That Scraps CC Designs Sweet November Sprites Darby & Bumbles
Paper: GP110, Certainly Celery, Bashful Blue, Real Red, SU DP, Recollections DP
Ink: Momento Tuxedo Black, Bashful Blue, Creamy Caramel
Accessories: Clear Button, Nesties, Red embroidery floss, EK Success Rock Fern punch, EK Success Embossed Curve punch, Martha Stewart Scallop Dot punch, Martha Stewart Grass punch, Cuttlebug Swiss Dots embossing folder, Crop A Dile Corner Chomper punch, sewing machine, Copics

Michelle B.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

FS206 Ruffle Girl

You know what I hate? I hate when I don't have a birthday card ready for someone's birthday and I'm rushing around at the last minute. Like I didn't know the birthday was coming or something! I really fell apart this Christmas and was totally disorganized. SO, I'm trying to make a birthday card for someone with any challenge that I play. I've listed all the birthday's out by date and some general ideas of what the different people like to keep me on track. I am also REQUIRING myself to finish the inside of the card before I can consider myself "done" as I often neglect that last step.

When I saw THIS card from today's SCS Featured Stamper, it reminded me of ruffles on a little girls dress. I changed the color scheme to more bold shades of pinks and I changed the sketch to use "ruffles" across the entire card. This is for my niece's birthday in March.

Stamps: Pink Cat Studio Dress Up Lily, Pink Cat Studio Lily & Billy Accessories
Paper: Whisper White, GP110, Melon Mambo, SU DP, Basic Grey DP
Ink: Momento Tuxedo Black, Creamy Caramel, Pretty in Pink
Accessories: Stickles, Angel Wingz Shimmerz, Nesties Labels 4, slit punch

Michelle B.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

SC314 Drink at the Beach

Posting twice in one week! Yippee!! The SCS sketch challenge used to be the one thing I never gave up and I even lost track of that lately. It felt great to play!

My DH loves margarita's so I thought this would make a fab card for his upcoming birthday.

I used the brayered sky technique to create the sand, sky, and ocean. I colored the margarita and cut it out and glued it into place. A few (messy but fun) dazzling diamonds for the "salt" on the glass.

Stamps: Amuse Margarita, CC Designs AmyR Underwater Sentiments, Sanded, Itty Bitty Backgrounds
Paper: Whisper White, Basic Black, Green Galore, Tempting Turquoise
Ink: Momento Tuxedo Black, Baja Breeze, Taken with Teal, River Rock, Creamy Caramel, Whisper White
Accessories: White gel pen, Fiskars wave punch, Versamark pen, Heat and stick powder, Dazzling Diamonds

Michelle B.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year & FS204

First off.....Happy New Year!!!! I found myself home alone (that doesn't happen very often) so I decided to play the Featured Stamper Challenge this morning. I choose this card to CASE. I changed from the original by 1) changing the color scheme and 2) simplifying the sketch a bit.

I used the brayered sky technique to create the color on the main panel with a brayer. Whenever I use silhouette stamps like this, I always add a few white highlights to make them pop. The punched butterfly only has one wing glued down - the other is "flapping in the wind".

Stamps: SU Essence of Love
Paper: Whisper White, Basic Black, Pacific Point
Ink: Momento Tuxedo Black, Baja Breeze, Pacific Point
Accessories: Stamp-a-majig, white gel pen, EK Success Punch Morocco Lace, Martha Stewart 3-in-1 Butterfly Punch

Best wishes to you for 2011!
Michelle B