Saturday, April 19, 2014

It's a Good Day to be Happy

Hey girls - I'm finally uploading some non Design Team projects. Believe it or not, I had some time to just play. OK, granted, I should be working on wedding invitations or baby shower invitations or DT homework, but instead I decide Birthday cards and Wedding cards were more important ;)

I'm starting off with this challenge inspiration from Mama Elephant



I was also determined to finally join this century of crafters and try embossing paste. My incredible teacher was no other than the expert Joy Ott herself ;) She's a natural at walking me through this and I had a lot of fun playing.

Here is my finished card...

It's a Good Day to be Happy

My starting point was this cute little Mama Elephant set. I needed a birthday card and these Cosmic Stars needed to be inked up!



The glass inspired me to play with clear embossing paste. But before we get to that, I wanted to create a soft but contrasting water-color background for the starts. Turns out that I was being to soft smushing down the Distress Ink color on the Tim Holtz Watercolor paper. The way to get a nice bold application is to really smush the blender with lots of color really into the paper. Yes, smush is a technical term ;) A little bit of water spritzing and some help with the heat gun, and the background was ready for some embossing paste.

For someone who bakes a lot, applying the embossing paste reminds me like frosting cakes (or cupcakes). First there is this palette knife (hello: icing spatula)
Photo Credit: Simon Says Stamps

vs.

Then there is this paste, which just looks and feels like creamy vanilla icing.


Photo Credit: Tami Spencer

vs.

Photo Credit: Betty Crocker

Just remember not to try to lick your palette knife. I'm sure your taste buds would be sorely disappointed. The good news is that the embossing paste goes down very smoothly. Joy gave me the hint to tape down the stencil to make sure it's flushed against the card stock and won't move while you are applying it.

It's a Good Day to be Happy

I also played around with Distress Markers for the first time. It only took me 4 tries to color this wee little Aries before I liked the outcome. For me it's easier to start out with a water brush and pick up color. But this time I wanted to use the markers first, then push the colors around with the water brush. Maybe a bit more practice and I can go both ways.

This little cutie also has some Wink of Stella applied to his horns, to give him a little bit of a celestial look. Unfortunately the camera didn't pick this up, so you'll just have to take my word for it - HA!

It's a Good Day to be Happy

Since I didn't want to cover up the cute little starts in the front, I decided to stamp the sentiment into the card. This one from the Mama Elephant Up & Away  is one that I find myself grabbing a lot. It's just so fun & versatile: birthday, pick-me-up, random hello.

So who is this amazing Joy? She's the gal on the right chilling with another of my all time favorite gals, Christy. If anyone can make you into an embossing paste fanatic, it's her ;) And this pic makes me smile...



After all, it's always a good day to be happy, right? Happy Saturday.



Friday, April 18, 2014

[Uniko Studio] Challenge No. 9 - Easter


Hi everyone - It's time for another challenge, and we're coming up on another big holiday Easter. It's only appropriate to dedicate this challenge to all things springing up and about. I especially love these colors, because they go back and celebrate all the fun colors that are starting to sprout.

Here is this month's color combo...

Photo Credit: Design Seed
Ok I was in dire need for a card to say hello to a dear friend I haven't talked to in a long time. She needs some much cheering on and remind how amazing she is. So here is my card (so not fitting to the theme - I hope you forgive me)

You Are Simply the Best

By the way, if you're used to seeing the supply list given here and are thinking "she's gone senile and forgotten to post the supplies," don't fret. I'm finally moving into this century when it comes to blogging, and I'm trying out a Product List using the Inlinkz Project Manager tool. So scroll down to the bottom to check it out. And while you're at it, let me know if you like the old format or new format better. I always eager to hear what you guys think.

I really like how Nature Treasures I can be used to make a fun, messy background. I also decide to use the doilies or flowers from Today, Tomorrow & Always Time to add more layers to the background paper I was making.

Then I cut out the butterflies in duos from some Basic Grey Serenade paper, so that I can stack them onto each other. This gives the butterflies a little bit of more pop off the card. I also wanted to give them some extra shine treatment, so I dabbed each dot from the pattern paper with some Liquid Pearls. This explains why some of the dots aren't quite perfect, but the effect is quite lovely.

You Are Simply the Best

Anyways, that's all I have for you. Incidentally, Florian's Teddy was hovering about when I was taking a picture, so I thought it'd be fun to take a picture with him. Here he is wishing everyone a wonderful Easter holiday and reminding you how special each of you are.

You Are Simply the Best

Please also check out the rest of the girl's cards and leave them a sweet comment or two. Remember you don't have to use all the colors - any or all as an inspiration.

Lastly, a few helpful things to remember:
  • Challenge ends May 14th, 2013, 9:00a BST; Check back for the winners after
  • Prize is £10 Gift Certificate to the random Winner & a Guest Design spot on our following challenge
  • Three people will win a spotlight
  • We would like you to use a Uniko Studio product; If you don't have any, check out the freebies here
I hope to see you play along, so that I can pop in on your lovely blogs! Also let us know what you think of this new format of a challenge. See you soon!



Friday, April 11, 2014

[Uniko Studio] April 2014 Release

Hi everyone. Just dropping in to post a quick Public Service Announcement. Uniko Studio is having a release today. Bev has done it again and is releasing two fabulous sets. Timing was a bit unfortunate for us international girls, so we haven't had a chance to play with them. But come back on April 26, because we will be doing another Design Team hop to showcase these wonderful stamps. Of course prizes will be part of it.

Let's take a quick look at what I can't wait to get my hands on...

The first set is a Background Builder set. I love a Background Builder concept, because they are so versatile. This one won't be an exception.

Background Builders: Vines

The second set is another addition to the Flower Power series. You have seen me grab the ones in the past a lot to make quick beautiful cards. And I am sure this one won't be an exception. I can't wait to do some fun things with this.


On another note, we are super excited to welcome a new teamie to the team. Nathalie from Just Card by N@Ali. She has joined us as a Guest Designer in the past, but you will be seeing more of her lovely creations on regular basis. I can't wait to learn from her :)

Do remember to check back on April 26. Mark your calendars! You won't wanna miss what the girls do with these stamps.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

[Uniko Studio] Challenge No. 8 - Hello Spring


Hi everyone - I'm a day late with my Uniko Studio challenge card. Puh, lighting issues. With the weather over cast and me getting home late, I am missing my window of opportunity for clear, crisp pictures. You saw how distorted my purple looked in the previous post, but this is just more reason to go invest in a photo tent. Is this something appropriate to add to a wedding registry? HA!

Here is this month's color combo...

Photo Credit: Design Seed

And our theme this week is Hello Spring. I have a lot of friends whose birthday are at the start of spring. There is always a shortage of birthday cards, isn't it? So I used this prompt to make a birthday card for a friend who I was meeting for dinner today. This is also my super basic attempt on mixed media.

Happy Birthday
Stamps: (Background Builders - Lattice, Flower Power #3) Uniko Studio; (Across the Card) Neat & Tangled
Paper: (Paper Basics Card Stock - Vintage Cream, Spring Moss, White) Papertrey Ink
Ink: (Versamark) Tsukineko
Embellishments: (Stamp 'n Stuff - White Opaque) Stampendous!; (Inka Gold - Turquoise, Champagne) Viva Decor; (Idea-ology Tissue Tape - Sketchbook) Ranger; (Gelatos) Faber Castell; (Candi - Gold Wedding) Craftworkcards; (Gesso) Golden


Ever since I bought a set of Gelatos I have been wanting to dapple more in the mixed media trade. So where does one begin with Mixed Media? A bunch of Youtube videos...that's where ;)

I started to realized that mixed media involves a bit of planning. Think of what parts you want to shine through and have as a focus, because those may require some preparation. In my case, I knew I wanted those flowers from Flower Power #3 to shine through. The way to highlight that area is to create a resist where the Gelatos have no chance for coverage. 

I heat embossed a bunch of flowers using both the positive and negative stamps from the set. I also brushed on Gesso onto the Lattice Background stamp. Make sure to clean the Gesso immediately off the stamp, since this is a medium that will set. On another note, make sure that this part is completely dry. If you're unsure, you can run your heat gun over the Gesso.

Happy Birthday

I then applied green, blue and white Gelatos liberally across the card stock, heavier in the bottom right corner, less on the top left. I then applied water ontop of the Gelatos, which allows me to pull and blend the colors according to how I wanted to mess with it. 

One thing I will remember is that you can always apply more medium, but you can't apply less. So I should have started off a little less heavy with the Gelato for a more gentler, water color background. Also, paper towel is your friend. Cleaning off the embossed surfaces with paper towel allows the white to be cleaner and crisper. Remember those areas do not take on the medium. I do like how the Gesso Lattices add texture but are not as defined as the heat embossed area. What do you think?

Happy Birthday

Here is another up-close look of the embossed part in better lighting. You can see the different layers of colors and textures quite nicely.

Happy Birthday

I finished the card up by adding a bit of Turquoise and Champagne Viva Gold. It gives it that bit of metallic shimmer. I also popped on some Candis in Wedding Gold, added some Ranger tissue paper (which I love since it is so transparent), and added a sentiment to pop off the card.

Happy Birthday

This mixed media thing can be pretty fun. I'm looking forward to playing more with my Gelatos. Hopefully you feel inspired to try this new fun medium too.

Please also check out the rest of the girl's cards and leave them a sweet comment or two. Remember you don't have to use all the colors - any or all as an inspiration.

Lastly, a few helpful things to remember:
  • Challenge ends Apr 14th, 2013, 11:59p BST; Check back for the winners after
  • Prize is £10 Gift Certificate to the random Winner & a Guest Design spot on our following challenge
  • Three people will win a spotlight
  • We would like you to use a Uniko Studio product; If you don't have any, check out the freebies here
I hope to see you play along, so that I can pop in on your lovely blogs! Also let us know what you think of this new format of a challenge. See you soon!
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