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My name's Jen. This is the place where I share my love of art with the world. Please stay a while, and leave a comment if you wish :)

Saturday, 30 March 2013

My Dream House...

I am a huge Penny Black fan, and I love this stamp set. It's called "Victorian Houses" and the detail on them is amazing. The only problem I had was decided what colour went where! I stamped the house onto watercolour paper using Stazon in black. The house is coloured using Prismacolour pencil crayon and odourless solvent.
These stamps are quite large and won't fit on a standard A2 card, which measures 5 1/2" x 4 1/4", so I had to choose a larger mounting. It looked a little lonesome all by itself on a plain card front so I opted for a centre mount side-step card. I used my fav Distress Inks, Stormy Sky and Peeled paint, to create the lawn/sky background paper, then stamped a few whispy trees in brown Stazon. I found the cutest little mini flower punch ever at the Dollarstore of all places, and punched some mini purple flowers topped with Daffodil Dimensional Pearl. I found really good instructions for making a side-step card on splitcoaststampers.com in the tutorial section. Their instructions are always good, love the pictures and most include a video which really helps explain things. Happy Spring!

Friday, 29 March 2013

Thumbs Up!!

My daughter, who is graduating from Carleton University this spring, asked me to make a thank you card for one of her professors.  I immediately decided on black, red and white, which are the school colors, then thought hard about the design. While experimenting, I got ink on my fingers and ruined a piece of white card stock in the process. It reminded me of some cards I made eons ago that were based on fingerprints.  I used Spellbinder Nestabilities/Labels One and my trusty Bigshot to create a swing card. Darlene003, a card making youtuber (is that a word?) posted a great instructional tutorial video on making the swing card. Her card design features my fav punch, the Stampin' Up! Two Step Owl punch and is worth a peak! Congrats Emily, and thanks to your professor too!

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Happy Birthday Dear Kyle...

Just a quickie, a bulldog birthday card for my oldest daughter's boyfriend, Kyle. Emily and Kyle are planning to 'adopt' a bulldog puppy soon, so I thought a dog theme card would suit. The dog stamp is by Reflections and is one of the new stamp sets I purchased at Michael's recently. I couldn't find suitable background paper so I made my own by stamping fire hydrants from the same stamp set onto white card stock. The dog is colored using Prismacolor pencil crayon and odorless solvent blended with a cardboard blender. Happy Birthday Kyle!!

Hey Girl!

This little cutie is my youngest daughter Ellen, at age two.  She has grown from an adorable little girl into an amazing young woman. She is graduating from college next month and has just bought her first car. It is hard for me to believe that she is 20 years old. Time passes so quickly. I CASE'd this little girl card from www.laurafadora.wordpress.com, after seeing her design on Pinterest. Her blog is loaded with lots of card making ideas and techniques, definitely worth a visit. Her `girl`card reminded me so much of my Ellen, that I made my own version. I used a Spellbinder circle die to create the head and hair and added two punched scallop circles for the pompom ponytails. I added some pink chalk to the cheeks and nose. Ellen had the most kissable cheeks ever!!

Friday, 15 March 2013

A Country Floral Cascade

Did you all see the new spring issue of Card Maker magazine?? It has a gorgeous floral cascade card on the cover. It inspired me to make this cascading card. Usually I make my cascade cards with three tiers using an 8 1/2" x 11" piece of card stock, but I followed their instructions and used a 12" x 12" piece of card stock to make this a four tier card. The instructions were very good, and I would recommend trying it out. To decorate this card I got to use my new Blossom punch and Mixed Bunch stamp set and Cherry Cobbler ink pad by Stampin' Up! (I bought myself a little treat, shh!) I added some greenery using a Martha Stewart leaves punch and a swirl/flourish die. I added a few squirts of homemade gold glimmer mist. I did use quite a few Distress inks as well, Vintage Photo, Denim Jeans, Broken China and Peeled Paint. Topped it off with some wooden buttons and a bow in my fav new color, champagne. Happy Spring everyone, even though it snowed again today!!

I can't believe it actually folded flat! Hahahaha!!

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Good Advice...

Of all the punches in my considerable punch collection, I love my Two Step Owl punch by Stampin' Up! the best. I never get tired of it, and it can be used to make sooo much more than the owls it was meant to make. For this card, I did add wings to the owls, courtesy of my Two Step Bird punch, also by SU! If you don't have that punch, you can make wings from cutting a wing shape from a scallop circle, or cut them free hand.
The sky background on this card is made by applying homemade alcohol ink to glossy cardstock using a piece of cotton felt attached by Velcro to a wooden block. I make my alcohol ink from Sharpie markers or 'permanent' markers. I can make it for pennies and I can control the color. If you would like to try making your own alcohol ink, it's super easy, although a bit messy!
Here's how:
1. Select a Sharpie marker and take it apart
2. Remove the felt 'tube' inside, it will be juicy so you might want to wear gloves or handle tube with pliers or tweezers!
3. Pour about an ounce of 99% alcohol into a glass container (I purchased the alcohol at Wal-Mart for about $5.00. That's enough to make several batches of ink)
4. Soak the felt 'ink tube' in the alcohol so it will release the ink. You can cut the tube in half or thirds to help the ink come out faster.
5. When the 'ink tube' turns white, you can discard it. Ink is ready!
You can put the ink into a spray bottle and use it that way. Even add a little Perfect Pearls to it to make home made Glimmer Mist, for pennies I might add. Or use it like I have in this example, by putting it into a squirt bottle and applying it with a felt pad. The possibitities are endless!!

Squirt ink onto felt pad, then pounce onto card stock. This is my 'cheapie' Tim Holtz style applicater tool. Wood block with self adhesive Velcro attached.

To make inks, use either 'Sharpie' brand markers, or markers that say "permanent ink" on them. The red marker is a dollarstore version of Sharpie and they work just as well as the brand name markers!

Make sure to use glossy cardstock for this technique!!

Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. Good advice ;)

Monday, 4 March 2013

Basket Weaving Day

Any day that I get together with a group to weave baskets is a great day! Last week I had the opportunity to spend two days making Shaker Cat Head baskets with a group at The First Presbyterian Church in Pembroke, Ontario. Everyone enjoyed themselves and they have a new found appreciation for the art of basketry. F.Y.I, there has never been a machine invented that can weave a basket, each and every one is hand made! One of the ladies attending brought some samples of baskets that she and her father have collected on their travels. The black basket pictured below comes from Africa, and was made by the Zulu Tribe. The hat, woven from palm leaves came from New Zealand and the birch bark basket decorated with porcupine quills was made by a local First Nations artist. (Sorry, but I was unable to find the name of the artist).
I always find it amazing that even though the same pattern is used, we used a 7x7 stake cat head pattern, the baskets all look so different. I guess they are kind of like people, each one is special and unique!

This palm leaf hat was made in New Zealand.

A few baskets made during the two day course.

Birch Bark basket, decorated with porcupine quills, Gorgeous!!

Coiled basket made in Africa by the Zulu Tribe. Amazing!!