Stripping the Kayak

I learned to kayak so I could get closer to nature — ducks, swans and turtles, in particular. So, I always have a camera with me when I go. While I haven’t had the courage to take my Cannon out on the water yet, I do bring my iPhone along for the ride.

For this page, I compiled some of the pictures I took, as well as some my husband took of me, into a panorama of sorts. It’s a great technique that is easy with Mosaic Moments.

Naturally, I made a video to show you how to do it …

This post is sponsored by Mosaic Moments.

Diamond Background Cards

Today I am finally getting to share some of the cards I made using the new dies from Elizabeth Craft Designs!

I have lots of cards to show you and many more on the way, but I thought I would start by showing you a couple takes on the Diamond Background Die.

I absolutely love this die. It fits perfectly on a typical A2 card and is so versatile, you can look at multiple cards and not realize it is the same die.

For this card, I started with a blue card base. Added a layer of dark brown and then my die cut, also out of blue. I added a rectangle with a sentiment on it (ECD Dream Sentiments Clear Stamps) and a few feathers (this die is also from ECD) accented in Distress Ink. Some Glitter Dots in various sizes topped it off. I love this card. It’s simple and quick and easy, but packs quite a punch.

For this one, I used a strip I cut from the Diamond Background. I created some layers with Stitched Fishtail Borders (ECD) and the word Hello (also from ECD). A few Prima flowers and this one is good to go!

And this one I made with the leftovers from the card above … I left a bit of a space and tucked in the word Thanks (also from ECD). I used watercolor paper in the back and added a couple of layers. Again, quick and easy, but beautiful, don’t you think?

You can, of course, order any of these dies from me or online at https://www.elizabethcraftdesigns.com/.

Happy shopping!

 

Signs of Spring

While it feels like August around here, spring was just a few weeks ago. Fortunately, my crazy life has finally calmed down enough for me to share all of the things I have been making and this page showing the signs of spring is one of my favorites.

The pictures were taken at different times over the corse of a few weeks and several of them were those rare opportunities you get to witness a special moment in time. The squirrel, for example, posed for me for several minutes so I could get a series of pictures.

The baby ducks hopped out of their nest and dipped their feet in the water for the first time … I haven’t seen them since, but I’m sure they’ve moved on to another lake.

The little bird behind the fence worked for several minutes to steal that feather from the chicken’s run. It took a few attempts to get it positioned just right in his beak before he could fly off with it for his nest.

And the robin, one of the first I saw this spring, let me get closer than I ever have to take his picture.

I used Mosaic Moments dies and grid paper to create the layout. I love the mixture of close-up photos with those farther away. And I love how the 1-inch square floral photos wrap around the ducks.

I made a video to show you how to make this page.

This page was sponsored by Mosaic Moments.

Card Hop: Happy Thoughts

Welcome to A Year of Card Techniques Blog Hop where each month we feature a different card technique.  We’ve assembled a team of card makers who range from new to advanced, so you’ll see a great variety of cards and ideas.

June‘s hop is devoted to basic card folds; featuring drapery/curtain fold, peek-a-boo fold or double-z gate-fold.  And we’re adding a twist of using double-sided paper.   We hope this gives you lots of ideas and will inspire you to try these card folds yourself…and pull out that double-sided paper as well!    If you would like to check out our past technique hops, you can do that here:

We have an amazing sponsor this month, Candy Spiegel.

Please take a moment to check out all the crafty goodness on her blog, Candy Scraps.

And the awesome prize this month is four stencils from Elizabeth Craft Designs:

We  really appreciate feedback, so please leave a comment on each of the blogs in the hop today.  While you are encouraged to comment at any time, only comments received by  Friday, June 23, 2017 at 8:00pm (EST) will be eligible to win.   The winner will be announced on Sunday,  June 25, 2017 on A Piece of (my) Heart’s blog, so be sure to check her blog on Sunday.

And speaking of winners, the lucky hopper from last month is SUSAN ELIOT; picked by Random Name Picker.  Congratulations, Susan!  Please get in touch with last month’s sponsor, Jodie Park, to claim your prize.

You should  have arrived here from Jodie’s BlogIf you’re visiting  here first, you might want to start at the beginning so you don’t miss a thing and increase your chances of winning by commenting on  each blog.

 

Flamingos always make me smile, so I thought this would be the perfect card to cheer someone.

I started by cutting black cardstock 4 1/4 x11 and scoring it at the 5 1/2 mark. Then I cut flamingo paper (by Doodlebug) 4 1/8 x 5 3/8.

I used a centering ruler (by Tim Holtz) to find the center on the side of the paper and marked it with a pencil.

Then I cut a slit at the mark about 1 1/2″ into the paper, as shown. Then, fold each corner back.

I added flamingo brads a friend gave me and then adhered it to the black card base.

Finally, I stamped “Happy Thoughts” to the front and it’s ready to send!

Now  you’re off to visit with Debbie. Hope you had fun and thanks for stopping by.  See you next month with another technique!

Here’s the full line-up in case you get lost:

Honeymoon Fund Jar

My sister is getting married this weekend. The bartenders’ gratuity is already figured into the cost of the reception, so she thought it would be fun to collect donations to her honeymoon trip (in Australia!) at the bar. So I made her this jar … I was, of course, finishing it at the last minute, so I just took quick pics with my phone, but it was a fun project filled with tecniques and I wanted to share them with you …

I started with a Gordon Food Services’ pickle jar … I threw out the lid, cleaned the jar and got ready to etch the glass.

I wanted the jar to last beyond the reception. Since my sister is always traveling, I thought it would be nice for her to be able to remove the wedding stuff and keep it as a change jar for whatever trip she is planning in the future. So, I decided to etch a monogrammed heart on the front.

I cut out both a heart and a monogrammed S from etchall® etchmask using my Cricut. etchmask is a sticky vinyl … personally, I find it works much better for etching than a traditional vinyl since it is thicker, sticks better and doesn’t stretch as easily as vinyl does.

My sister likes things simple, so after I applied both the heart and the monogram, I trimmed off the fancy swirlies on the letter with a craft knife.

After making sure all of the edges were tight, I added my leftover pieces of etchmask to the edges of the design to make sure I didn’t etch anything I didn’t mean to.

Then, I applied a thick, even layer of etchall® etching crème to the design and let it sit for 15 minutes. I scraped the crème off and put it back in the bottle (it’s reusable) and then washed the jar with soap and water, removed the stencil and washed it again.

The metal tags are from Art C. My husband used sandpaper to remove the sharp edges and then stamped the words Honeymoon Fund into one of them (they are a pretty thick steel and I wasn’t hammering hard enough). I then used a fine-pointed Sharpie to make the letters dark and prominent.

Since the wedding colors are University of Michigan blue and gold, I used the chipped sapphire Distress Crayon to color the heart and the word love. I used my finger to smooth out the color on the heart … I love the streaking effect it gave.

I used a sticker and label set from Tim Holtz to add their wedding date. I tied gold ribbon to the top of the jar and used jump rings to adhere each of the tags.

Since the banquet hall is pretty dark, I figured the tags can sort of layer over each other and the etching on the jar during the reception and then she can remove the tags and ribbon and just have the jar with her new last initial monogrammed for later.

The entire project, because I already had most of the supplies on hand, was® inexpensive. The only thing I purchased were the tags, which were on sale at JoAnn Fabric and Crafts for $2.39 each — and they come three to a pack, so I have quite a few left for additional projects. Oh, and I figured it was bad luck to give a tip jar without any money in it, so I threw in a few $1 bills to get them started.

Foxy Watercolors

Welcome to A Year of Card Techniques Blog Hop where each month we feature a different card technique. We’ve assembled a team of card makers who range from new to advanced, so you’ll see a great variety of cards and ideas.
For May, we are venturing into the world of watercolor. There are so many watercoloring techniques available to us today; far too many to list here. But actions speak louder than words; so our team has worked with their favorite mediums to bring you lots of examples and loads of inspiration.
If you would like to check out our past technique hops, you can do that here:
We have an amazing sponsor this month, Jodie Park of Close to My Heart:
Please take a moment to check out the great products Close to My Heart has to offer. To visit Jodie on Facebook page, just click here.
And the awesome prize this month is:
We really appreciate feedback, so please leave a comment on each of the blogs in the hop today. One winner will be chosen from all comments on the hop as of May 26, 2017. The winner will be announced in our June hop; so be sure to come back next month.
And speaking of winners, the lucky hopper from last month is Golden Goddess Designs; picked by Random Name Picker. Congratulations! Please get in touch with last month’s sponsor, Wilma Payne at wpayne@email.com, by May 26th to claim your prize.
You should have arrived here from Jodie’s blog. If you’re visiting here first, you might want to start at the beginning so you don’t miss a thing and increase your chances of winning by commenting on each blog.
Here’s my project:
I have to admit, watercoloring has not been my thing. I can never get it to look right. But this technique, I think looks pretty good and it’s super easy. It’s sort of my take on the Watercolor the Art Impressions Way by Bonnie Krebs (click here to learn all about it). I love her techniques and I bought quite a few of her stamps, but I wanted to apply some of the same techniques to other stamps, so I tried it with Distress Markers and these stamps from Krista Schneider.
First, I put the stamps on an acrylic block and colored directly on them with a Distress Marker.
I stamped them on watercolor paper and then used a damp brush to drag the color from the edges to the center of the image. The trick is to limit the amount of water. I dipped my brush into a cup of water and then wiped it on a paper towel before using it. If it is too dry, it won’t move the color — just wet it a little more until you can see the color move. If you use too much water, your image will become a lake of mud …
I went back in with the marker to color the nose and a bit of shading on the fox and did the same thing with the owl’s beak and the center of the flowers.
I then used the coordinating dies to cut out each image. Use either a magnetic plate or washi tape to hold the dies in place while cutting.
I took another piece of watercolor paper and cut out the Dotted Oval die by Elizabeth Craft Designs. I inked the border with Distress Ink.
For the background, I smeared Distress Oxide ink on the acrylic block, wet it and then swiped it over the cardstock. I then sprayed it again with water and used a paper towel to remove some of the color … I just wanted the impression of sky and grass …
I put the two pieces back together and adhered them to the new papers from Elizabeth Craft designs and then onto a white cardbase.
Then I put the pieces I had stamped, watercolored and cut out back into a scene.
I love the soft look of watercolor with these whimsical stamps — it’s OK to go out of the lines on this project!
Now you’re off to visit with Debbie. Hope you had fun and thanks for stopping by. See you next month with another technique!
Here’s the full line-up in case you get lost:

On the Horizon

Another Great Lakes Mega Meet has come and gone … and this one was the best yet!

For those of you who don’t live near, GLMM is a papercrafting convention where manufacturers and retailers set up mini stores. Ladies come from all over Michigan, Canada, Ohio and Wisconsin to the show — I even met one who flew from California just to attend — the show is that good! Attendees can shop, take classes, do make-and-takes, meet their favorite designers (including Tim Holtz and Wendy Vecchi), catch up with old friends and see thousands of amazing creations to get their creative juices flowing.

But this year was extra special for me, since I got to meet, and work for, Els Van de Burgt, owner of Elizabeth Craft Designs. I started using, and teaching with, Elizabeth Craft Designs’ products many years ago. For a few years, I was even on ECD’s design team, so there are lots of posts using their products. Naturally, when Els asked me to help out in their booth, I gladly accepted. I’ve done that for several companies before, including my own, so I thought I knew what to expect. Boy was I wrong.

Els and her husband, Joep, took the time to get to know me, offered me some advice and told me what I’d been doing wrong. By the time the weekend was over, I had regained my confidence, found opportunities to possibly teach at three new stores and was inspired to give Candy Scraps another go. (And she didn’t even comment on how dirty my car was because I don’t have time to clean it!)

I believe the scrapbooking trend is returning and I’m ready to ride the wagon for a bit! I came home with a huge bag of ECD products to get me started (and an apron!!). And I signed up for a crop at a friend’s house, so I can design without the distractions of kayaking, playing with baby turkeys, watching the chickens, planting flowers and cleaning my house.

I’m going to be expanding my ECD line by bringing in colored glitter … in 21 flavors to start … along with the tools to make it work. And, I’m gearing up to take my classes on the road. So, if you see Matt, remind him that he needs to build Candy Scraps on Wheels, please.

Take care and let me know if there is a crop or store near you that would welcome my classes!