Archive for May, 2008

Gnome Sweet Home

May 30, 2008

A friend of ours had invited a bunch of us to her new home for lunch.  She likes gnomes, so I made her a card with gnomes.  My husband wanted a copy of the card, so I made him one too.  This is the front of the card:

“Félicitations” means “Congratulations”, and is from Stampin’ Up!’s French version of Fundamental Phrases.  The gnome is from Stampin’ Up!’s Knobbly Gnomes. It’s probably not obvious from the photo, but there is a drop of Crystal Effects on the dew drop on the leaf.  Also, the flower is two layers.  The frame is from Purple Onion Designs, and the phrase “New Home” is from Flourishes LLC’s Flourished Words stamp set.  I stamped everything on Strathmore’s 140 lb cold pressed watercolour paper with Memories Black ink, and had a ball watercolouring it (with Winsor & Newman Cotman watercolours). 

Then for the inside.  I knew this lady also liked books, so the gnome reading a book was perfect.  But I wanted him to be reading the book inside his house, not on a mushroom.  I drew a rough draft:


Sad to say, I ran out of time, and this is all the lady got… a black and white pen drawing of the house interiour with a cut-out (but fully watercoloured!) gnome in the chair.  But I came back and finished my husband’s version:

Actually, I let it just sit around for a few days while I made other cards.  I finally decided that the only way I was going to finish it would be to bring it to work with me, where during the break and lunch times I would be forced to complete it to avoid being bored out of my mind.  So that is how I finished it. 


And what self-respecting gnome would have a dainty flower lamp?!  Well, it was a gift from his girlfriend. 

Provence Staircase

May 28, 2008

I saw this stamp of stairs and thought about it for months before finally buying it from Serendipity Stamps.  I just could not let go of this beautiful image!  I decided to use it for a card swap that I have with a co-worker. 

I stamped this image with Memories Black ink onto Strathmore’s 140 lb cold-pressed watercolour paper.  Then I scored the paper around the image and tore it along the score lines.  Next I examined the image for lines that didn’t quite show up, due to the bumpy texture of the paper.  I go over the thicker lines with a PITT artist pen and the thinner lines with a 005 Micron pen.  Then I started to watercolour it first with a layer of Winsor & Newton’s Yellow Ochre:


Then I added a layer of Winsor & Newton’s Burnt Sienna:


 Then some shadows with Winsor & Newton’s Burnt Umber… I followed the “shadow lines” on the image – the thicker and denser the lines, the darker the paint.  I tried to keep the top of the stairs with less colour contrast than the bottom, because the bottom is closer and I want more contrast there. 

Next I add bright spots of colour with Winsor & Newton’s Alizaron Crimson Hue:

Then it’s green’s turn.  Winsor & Newton’s Viridian Green mixed with Yellow Cadmium Hue or Burnt Sienna (or both):

Now for the pots… in Grumbacher’s Indigo Hue.  This is the only non-Winsor & Newton paint tube I have.  I found this tube at my parents’ house.  They don’t paint, and they don’t know how it got there so they said I could have it.  *grin*

There!  All painted!  Now for the layers underneath.  On Neenah’s Classic Linen Paper (Baronial Ivory), I sponged the bottom-most layer with Tim Holtz’s Scattered Straw and Brushed Corduroy inks, and then stamped Anna Griffin’s Swirl Motif with Stampin’ Up! Buckaroo Blue ink.  On the smaller layer, I used a stamp from Stampin’ Up!’s A to Z Accents set and stamped that in Buckaroo Blue all around the edges.  This is a slightly larger card than normal – 5″ x 7″.  I recently bought a box of envelopes for this size and am loving this size for larger stamped images! 

Here is the finished card:


I scored the watercolour paper heavily, and then tore along score lines instead of cutting the paper.  (This tearing of watercolour paper was inspired SCS’s Mrs Noofy, who sent me some wonderful paintings on beautifully torn watercolour paper!)  Then I cut out another piece of paper and punched the corners with an inset small corner punch (like this).  Then I positioned it on top of the watercolour paper and traced the edges with a 005 black Micron pen for an additional outline.  I wanted to do this ’cause I didn’t want the brads to be too close to the corners of the paper. 

I hope my co-worker likes it!

From the Desk of

May 26, 2008

Jan Marie of Flourishes LLC gave me these JustRite border stamps and I absolutely love them. I stamped it first, and then I used some of Technique Tuesday’s clear Main Street alphabet stamps to position “Sherri” right in the center.  The inkwell (“Encre” means “ink”) is from Magenta, and the music notes are from Purple Onion Designs. The “Just A Note” is also by JustRite DIY Monogram stamps.

I wanted to incorporate music into this notecard because this Sherri creature is a superb musician. 

Other stuff used:
Paper:  Neenah’s Paper, Classic Linen (Solar White and Black)
Ink: Memories Black, Tim Holtz Weathered Wood
Accessories: Ticket corner punch

2008 Graduation

May 26, 2008

Jan Marie of Flourishes LLC sent me these awesome JustRite DIY Monogram stampers!  Her generosity is heart-warming!  Some of the large numbers came on a pad, so I took the numbers off and used the pad as a stamp holder, because the circle stamp holder was too small.  It was easy to use the straight lines of the holders to match up to the straight lines on the acrylic block so that “DEVON 2008” would be straight. 


My nephew Devon just graduated from eighth grade.  His school colours are red and white, so I threw in some red. 


The frame is by Purple Onion Designs. The swirls behind it are by Technique Tuesday. The word “Congratulations” is from Flourishes LLC’s Flourished Words stamp set, which was also a gift from Jan Marie!

I used Neenah’s Classic Linen Paper for this card – Solar White and Red. After I stamped everything, I coloured in the swirls and the frame’s decorations with a fine-tipped calligraphy pen and red calligraphy ink. It would have been too difficult to do this quickly with the watercolours and brush that I normally use to colour. Then I finished the card by punching the corners with the ticket corner punch. 

Predictable Flowers

May 14, 2008

A co-worker requested three cards from me.  Fortunately, she said these cards were for women.  Hurray!  That means I can stamp flowers!  My co-worker also asked that they be medium-sized, so I took that as an excuse to go to the local paper warehouse and bought a box of 250 envelopes for $36.  These envelopes are for cards sized 5″ x 7″.  These cards are for my co-worker’s women’s club’s birthdays, so I figured that each recipient would eventually see the other two cards, so I decided to make them similar, but not the same.  I went with my favourite (but very predictable) layout and pulled out all my favourite flower stamps. 

This is the first one I made, and my favourite one of the bunch.

I used Stampin’ Up!’s Gentler Times for the bouquet and the background, and Flourishes LLC’s Flourished Words for the “Happy Birthday” sentiment on all three cards.  This one just flowed from me and I had so much fun making it.  This is my favourite kind of card to make – detailed vintage images with watercolouring, sponging to age the thing, and layers!  And ribbons and brads too.  For a complete list of stuff used to make this card, you can see this card’s gallery photo.


The second card:

This one uses the flower and the leaf branch (in the background) from Stampin’ Up!’s Touch of Nature and the French version of Friend By Definition.  The stitches are from Stampendous’ Stitched Frames.  I love the stitches here, and the clear stamp makes it easier for me to line up the stitches.  I like this card second best.  For a complete list of stuff used for this card, you can look here.


The last card:

The flower is from Stampin’ Up!’s Flower Garden.  I bought this set from my demo. Lucky me!  I actually prefer the rose from this set, but was trying to break away from my comfort zone of pinks and browns.  The swirl is from Stampin’ Up’s Baroque Motifs.  I had a heck of a time watercolouring this hydrangea!  I kept asking my husband how I could make it look better.  *grimace*  I should’ve went with the rose!  Ah well.  Next time.   For a complete list of stuff used to make this card, you can look here.

Jaguar (the car)

May 13, 2008

I went with my husband to his dental appointment.  The waiting room was freezing, so I wandered outside to thaw.  I sat down on a parking lot curb and drew the car that was parked right in front of my sitting spot.

I noticed that the word on the car said “Jaguar”, so inside, I asked the receptionist if she knew who the Jaguar belonged to.  She said it belonged to the dentist.  Then I showed her my drawing.  She oohed and ahhed and then jokingly said “What, you’d rather draw the Jaguar than my minivan that is parked next to it?” 

Um, yikes, I didn’t even notice any minivan anywhere!

Antique Bouquet

May 12, 2008

I got an ATG gun (714) and it is super cool!  Now I look for opportunities to put extra layers on my cards.  While I was still unsure and deciding on this gun, SuG of mailed me a roll of tape to try out!  I kept taping stuff and testing the strength of the tape, and I was pretty happy with it!  Anyway, I made SuG a thank-you card.  My husband wanted to keep it, so I made him his own version:


Except that on his, he requested a ladybug:

So I stamped a ladybug image (Stampin’ Up!’s “Bugs & Slugs”) on the card, and then stamped a second image on a tiny scrap of Strathmore’s 140 lb cold-pressed watercolour paper.  On the card, I watercoloured a shadow on the left side of the ladybug.  On the little scrap, I watercoloured the ladybug, put some double-sided tape on the underside, and then cut out just the round shape (not the legs or the antennae).   Then I carefully coloured the edges of this scrap with a black marker (I used a black PITT artist’s pen) otherwise, the sides of the ladybug would’ve looked white, and less real.  Then I stuck that on top of the first stamped image (which is there so I didn’t have to cut out the legs or antennae).  Of all the ladybug images I have, this is my husband’s favourite one. 

These ladybugs are a wonderful way of using up my ultra-expensive watercolour paper scraps.  I have enough scraps to make a whole army of ladybugs! 

The French words in the circle mean “I send you my love.”  They are from Stampin’ Up!’s French version of Circle of Friendship.  This circle is popped up on dimensionals. 

Other stuff used in this card:
Stampin’ Up!:  Gentler Times, En français, A to Z Accents, Canvas
Anna Griffin:  Swirl Motif
Paper: Neenah’s Paper Classic Linen (Baronial Ivory), olive green, craft
Inks: Memories Black, Tim Holtz (Scattered Straw, Brushed Corduroy [sponging])
Accessories: Winsor & Newton Cotman watercolours, sponge, dimensional, circle punches

Tulips galore

May 2, 2008

I made this card for a co-worker who loves the colour purple (though what is actually shown here is the copy I made for my husband).  I bought this paper (Lavender Lace by Stampin’ Up!) with this co-worker in mind, in fact.  I also bought the green paper (Green Galore by Stampin’ Up!) with my husband in mind, because that is one of his favourite shades of green.  These two paper packs are the first papers I have bought from Stampin’ Up! and I am happy with the result. 


Then a co-worker asked if I could make two Mother’s Day cards for her, so I said “of course!”  And since I am lazy, I made them similar to the one above:

and this is the second Mother’s Day card, this time in my favourite colour combination (pink and brown!!):


With all three cards, I stamped the tulips onto Strathmore’s 140 lb watercolour paper with Memories Black ink.  Then I watercoloured them with Winsor & Newton Cotman watercolours, and cut them out.  I used an oval guide to cut out the smaller ovals, and then taped them to more cardstock, and carefully cut out the larger ovals freehand, because my oval guide didn’t have an oval just a tad bit bigger than the smaller ovals.  I used Cuttlebug embossing folders (Happy Birthday and Divine Swirls) for the background, and sponged Stampin’ Up!’s Whisper White ink over the embossed cardstock.  I used a white Signo gel pen to add the polka dots (which are, as always, inspired by Markie’s Mom’s cards).  When I grow up, I wanna make cards like she does.  This white gel pen was also used for the sentiments on the Mother’s Day cards. 

The tulips are from a grab bag that I got from Angi B & Co., who are, unfortunately, in the process of going out of business.  Since then, I have learned of two companies who have picked up some of Angi B & Co.’s images: SmARTworks and Wood Cellar Graphics.