Saturday, January 28, 2012

Rolled Roses

Here's a second post for today, with my card for this week's Card Patterns sketch #150. Our sponsor this week is My Favorite Things. Here’s the sketch:

Here’s my interpretation of it:

I used the small rolled roses dies to cut 8 medium sized flowers from pink kraft core and 8 small ones from red craft core. I sanded them lightly, rolled them up and applied some white paint on the edges. Then I placed a little pool of glossy accents in each center and sprinkled with glass glitter. Finally, Rock Candy Stickles was smeared on the flowers. I glued them to a square piece of cardstock. Three patterned papers were used for the background. I really like the biggest one, it looks like old fashioned wallpaper. The scalloped border was cut from a fourth piece of paper. The lace trim was dyed with Victorian Velvet distress ink to match the pink flowers.

A close-up:

Thank you for stopping by! Check out the Card Patterns blog to see the cards of the rest of the DT.

Supplies: My Favorite Things Mini Rolled Roses and Open Scallop Border Die-namics; BasicGrey and Studio Calico patterned papers; Tim Holtz Core’dinations kraft core cardstock; Rock Candy Stickles; Victorian Velvet Distress Ink; Snow Cap paint dabber; chunky glass glitter; pearls; lace trim.

CSI4 - Söstra Mi/ Sister mine

I can't believe it is already time for the fourth CSI: Color, Stories, Inspiration challenge. Here's the case file:

I loved this week’s combo and the inspiration piece is so much fun. From the evidence I used: wet medium, tulle, rhinestones. And from the testimony: write something unexpected about your picture, inspiration word 'wonder'.

For the topic and journaling of the layout I took inspiration from the story aspect of the challenge to journal about something unexpected about the photo. My theme also fits with the story-theme of January (Alice). The photo of me and my sisters was taken at a gorge where parts of one of our favourite movies when we were children were recorded. I loved the book too and can clearly remember when I walked to the library on my own to go and borrow it. The book (and the movie) is Ronja Rövardotter (Ronia the Robbers Daugther) by Astrid Lindgren. We sisters used a lot of phrases from the book, the title being one of them. The title is hard to translate, it is something in the line of ’sister mine’, a loving way of saying ‘my sister’. We still use it up to this day, even though the movie was released 28 years ago now, and the book is even older.

The background was inspired by the topic of my layout and by the inspiration piece to use wet mediums. First I stamped a script stamp using Broken China here and there. Then an alphabet background stamp was clear embossed three times, partly overlapping the script stamp (the clear embossed letters ‘trapped’ the script underneath. A butterfly was clear embossed in the lefthand corner. I had to mix three different colours Distress Ink reinkers to get the right shade of golden yellow for the mist (one dropper full of Wild Honey, four small drops of Rusty Hinge and two small drops of Vintage Photo). There is Perfect Pearls in the mist too, The clear embossed parts resist the mist creating a cool effect.

The story takes place in a forest and they live in an old fort, so I used some stamps to fit with that, as well as some book related stamps. Adirondack Stream is the perfect match to the teal colour of the combo. My dad wanted to throw away an old dictionary, but I saved it (such a treasure could not be tossed away!). I was happy to find a page with a map of the province where the photo was taken. I misted it a bit with Tumbled Glass reinker and marked the place with an arrow rub-on. I also added some other definitions from the dictionary. The photo was layered on another piece of dictionary paper, two sheets of old book pages (first distressed with mists), tulle and another piece of misted script paper.

 Some close-ups:

I wrote a lot of journaling about my memories from the book and the movie and particularly about what it meant for us, and all about all the phrases that we used from the story. It got very long, so I printed it on a piece of cardstock and placed it behind the layout. A circle punch was used to make a half circle at the top of the layout so that the journaling can easily be pulled out.

 I picked chapters that were meaningful for the theme of the page (‘mother earth’, ‘paper palace’).

Printed tissue paper was coloured with Distress Stain and I cut out some meaningful sections.

The piece of canvas was a left over coloured with Distress Stains.

The butterfly was stamped twice on ledger paper, misted lightly and layered with a piece of tulle in between. On the butterfly the words ‘outlook’ and ‘wondering’ are glued.

Thank you for looking! Check out the CSI site to see the layouts of the other DT members.

Supplies: Hero Arts Old Letter Writing S4878, Butterflies and Print CG328, Hero Arts and Studio Calico Alphabet Pattern ST501, I love books ST506; Beeswax castle stamp; Stampscapes Pine Row 150E and Gulls 302A; date stamp; Distress Ink: Broken China, Antique Linen; Distress Ink reinker: Wild Honey, Rusty Hinge, Vintage Photo, Tumbled Glass; Adirondack Stream pigment ink; Versafine Onyx Black; Distress Stain: Broken China, Tumbled Glass, Picket Fence; Perfect Pearls; BasicGrey and Prima patterned papers; BasicGrey and October Afternoon letter stickers; Tim Holtz tissue paper; Kaisercraft rhinestones; 7Gypsies rub-on; old dictionary and book pages; tulle.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Just for you

Time for another great Card Patterns sketch. Please check the blog to have a look at the fabulous cards from the rest of the team. I hope you can play along with us! Here’s the sketch:

 I always enjoy circle shaped cards, here's my take on the sketch:

I used a fun technique for the background. Gesso was smeared thickly with an old plastic card over a brick stencil. I used watercolour paper as a base since it is sturdy. After it dried I misted it with Wild Honey and Rusty Hinge reinker, mixed with water and Perfect Pearls. Then it was stamped roughly with a script stamp (almost looking like old fashioned graffiti on the stones). The two fringed flowers are made from tissue paper, one of the pieces was coloured with Tumbled Glass Distress Stain first. The butterfly was die cut three times from grungepaper, painted teal, stamped and white embossed with a swirl stamp, distressed a bit with white paint and finally covered in Rock Candy Stickles. The background cardstock was sanded a bit and then stamped with an envelope pattern.

Two close-ups:

Thank you for visiting!

Supplies: Hero Arts Old Letter Writing S4878, All Occasion Messages CL272, Magical background CG211, Envelop Pattern S5507; Distress Ink reinker: Wild Honey, Rusty Hinge; Distress Stain Tumbled Glass; Stream and Snow Cap paint dabber; Rock Candy Stickles; Tim Holtz Terminology tissue wrap; Tim Holtz Sizzix Mini Butterflies and Mini Flourish die; Spellbinders circle and scalloped circle dies; Core’dinations kraft core and Distress cardstock; grungepaper; lace; gauze; twine; wire.

CSI3 - 3 Little Sisters

Time for the third CSI:Color, Stories, Inspiration challenge and another gorgeous case file. Have a look at the CSI site to see the wonderful layouts from the rest of the DT. I hope you can play along with us. Here's this week's case file:

And here's my layout:

I decided to use a childhood photo of me and my sisters. I loved the sweet inspiration photo and continued the playful theme on the layout. All the evidence elements were used: tags, sheer ribbon, doily print, gold metallic elements, circular elements. And from the testimony: journal on tags.

I rewrote a traditional Swedish song (Tre små gummor) for the first part of the journaling, which was printed on tags that had first been stamped with a rose stamp using lavender ink. A big circle was cut from cream cardstock and I gold embossed a doily stamp all around to imitate the plate on the inspiration photo. It took two attempts to get the right spacing between the doilies. One of the flowers was stamped with the same stamp, but with lavender ink. The three chipboard crowns were coated with several layers of UTEE, finishing off with two layers of gold embossing powder. I continued the theme of three by using three tags, a playing card with the number 3, and three gold birds.

The photo is taken at Drottningholm castle, on our first trip to Stockholm. I used a postage stamp of the queen and a queen playing card. The journaling on the second journaling tag is about my memories from the trip. It was the first trip with our caravan and we stayed on a nice camping site. We had a so-called Stockholm card and were hurrying around to see as many attractions as possible (they are included in the price of the card).

Some close-ups:

 I had that dragonfly in my stash for a really long time and was happy to use it here.

The 'Wonder & Magic' is actually part of a sentiment stamp saying 'Wonder & Magic of Christmas'.

Thank you for visiting! Have a great weekend!

Supplies: Hero Arts Circle Doily CG168, Typewriter letters CL492, Two Birds CG152, Magic of Christmas CL462; gold embossing powder; Kaisercraft and 7Gypsies patterned papers; MM german scraps birds; Maya Road chipboard crowns; Tim Holtz Sizzix Small tags and tabs die; button; Prima flowers; MS border punch; American Crafts chipboard; UTEE; mica flakes; dragonfly; postage stamp.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Creative chaos: my design process

Debbi asked the CSI:Color, Stories, Inspiration team members to write an article about their design process. I thought I would post my article here too. It refers particularly to the CSI challenges and creating layouts, but quite a lot of the thoughts below apply to my stamping and cardmaking process too. I used my first CSI layout as an example, since I am not at home at the moment, I wasn't able to take step by step photos. Here's the article :

Creative chaos: my design process

When Debbi asked me to write something about my design process for the January CSI Lab, I was planning to keep it short, but I have a bad habit of writing too much, so I hope the text below won’t bore you!

My scrapbooking process differs a lot from layout to layout, making it hard to describe. It is also pretty unstructured and often takes unexpected turns. A layout rarely turns out the way it was initially planned, since new ideas keep appearing, almost as if a project gets its own life. The text below makes the process seem much more organised than it really is.

The case file
First, I look at the inspiration photo, colour combo, and the evidence and story prompts, to see what ideas I might get. I usually let it rest for a while and think about it while doing other things. I think of the mood of the photo, the feeling of the colour combo, different details, story ideas etc. All ideas are jotted down on a piece of paper: techniques, stories, details etc. Many of the ideas never make it onto the layout, but all of them help moving the creative process forward.

The story
Step two is to decide what story to tell. Sometimes I immediately know which photos to use, but most of the time, I look through a pile of photos and one, or a series of them, will catch my attention. This method helps me come up with unexpected stories. I don’t print photos at home; instead I have a whole bunched printed at a time and keep a pile on my desk within easy reach. When deciding which photos to use, I also think about whether they fit the colour combo and case file inspiration.

The colours
I often think of the colours in terms of ink, because I love my inks and know them very well. Even so, I always pick out the colours of the combo in cardstock sheets, as a frame of reference. Most of the time, the actual sheets aren’t used, but they help me visualize the colours and find other items that fit. The photos, story and mood I want to create help decide which colours should be the dominant ones and which to use as accent colours.

Stamps, papers and embellishments
I use stamps on basically every layout, so the next step is to take out a bunch of stamps. After that, I look for patterned papers and embellishments, putting it all in a pile. All of this is guided by the case file and the evidence elements in particular help me to pick out products faster. I try to use products that will help me tell my story.

I love to try different techniques, so I almost always do one or more techniques on a layout, often stamping related. The case file might give instant design and technique ideas, for example, after seeing the first inspiration photo, I knew I wanted to do a grungy tone-on-tone background with repeat stamping, using both paint and ink for variation and texture. One technique might form the main element on the layout – on my first two CSI layouts this happened to be the background. The rest of the layout is built around that one main element (and the photo/s of course).

The details
I like to include little details that you can discover and might not notice at first glance. I try to keep the details as meaningful as possible, so that they help tell the story. Alphabet stamps are great for adding little words and I also like to cut out words and sentences out of old books. There are a lot of leftover bits and pieces on my desk, and these often find their way onto a layout. Having them close at hand helps. I also like to use scraps and keep them relatively well organized, so they are easy to find.

The design
I move things around a lot before deciding where to place everything and never stick anything down until I am happy with the entire design. The design depends on each layout – the number of photos, the size of the photos, the background, the journaling, and all the other elements. I try to make sure that people (and animals) face into the layout and not out of it (see the photo placement on the completed layout below). If they face out of the layout, the eye is led off the layout instead of into it. I also often create visual triangles using stamps, embellishments and papers (on the layout below, its the three red elements).

The journaling
Journaling ideas are jotted down from the start. Sometimes I write the journaling first and get ideas for the layout through the process of writing. At other times, it is written in the middle or end of the design process. I often write lengthy pieces of journaling and use hidden journaling simply because there won’t be space for all that text. If it is several pages, the journaling is tucked behind the layout. One of my favourite methods is to print the journaling on tags or pieces of cardstock and tuck them behind a photo or in a pocket, within reach from the top, so that you don’t have to take the layout out of the page protector to access the journaling.

The end
I always make sure to write the date of the photos and the date of the journaling somewhere on the layout and sign every layout at the back, also including the date of completing the layout.

Thank you for reading this long text!


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Owl hoot if I want to

Here’s my card for Card Patterns sketch #148. I really liked the sketch with the four panels and the focal circle element. The sponsor for this week’s sketch is Clear Dollar Stamps and I used a cute owl image and sentiment. Head over to the blog to see the other DT cards.

Here’s the sketch:

And this is my card:

I seem to need a lot of kiddies birthday cards nowadays, so I thought this would fit nicely for that. The owl was printed on woodgrain paper and coloured with coloured pencils. For the four panels I used papers from BasicGrey Life of the Party series, which all have the same woodgrain background, and with birthday related prints. The panels were stitched to the cardstock and the owl panel was handstitched to the scalloped circle and mounted with foam tape. I also used a strip of real wood.

Thank you for looking!

Supplies: Clear Dollar Stamps CDSLW BirthdayFallCritters; BasicGrey Life of the Party pad; Spellbinders circle and scalloped circle dies; Derwent coloured pencils; wood; Imaginesce rhinestones; Spun Sugar Distress Stickles; ricrac; DMC floss.

CSI case file 2: The little one and the sea

Challenge two of CSI: Color, Stories, Inspiration starts today. I have really enjoyed seeing all the gorgeous layouts posted for challenge 1 (the deadline for challenge 1 is on Sunday). This week we have another fabulous colour combo and inspiration photo. Head over to the CSI site to check out the layouts of the rest of the DT. I hope you can play along with us!

Here's the case file:

And here's my layout:

And each of the two pages on its own (sorry about the somewhat blurry second photo):

From the evidence items I used: flower, sheer elements, flourish
And from the testimony: document an adventure

The inspiration photo made me think of water, so I decided to use these photos of the first time our little boy stood in the sea. I had a lot of photos from this occasion, so I did a double layout. Since I was going to use mists and Distress Stains, I used watercolour paper, which also gives a nice texture. The clouds and birds were clear embossed. Blue shades of Distress Stains were dragged across the paper, aiming for a streaky but soft appearance, some areas were left the white of the paper. The clear embossing resist the ink. On the base of the layout a flourish was clear embossed (I thought it looked a bit like waves), some gesso was smeared here and there and then I mixed a mist from Adirondack Pool and Distress Ink Broken China reinkers and Perfect Pearls, to get the right shade. Vellum was dry embossed, torn into strips and Antique Linen Stickles applied at the top, creating a wavy and sandy look. I also layered some gauze under the photos.

When I was thinking of this challenge, I was thinking of adventures and how they don't really need to be big major things, but small things can also be adventures, especially for a child. I wrote the journaling as a description of the adventure of being in the sea for the first time. The journaling is on stamped tickets underneath the photos and typed on a paper placed in the pocket. The text beneath the photos translates ‘hold your feet up’, ‘one foot in the sea’, ‘both feet in the sea’, ‘a little bit scary’, ‘but interesting’, ‘and fun’. He was very sceptical at first and tried to hold both feet up as long as possible, but then it was more fun. Because of the story theme of January (Alice) I adapted the Hemingway title The old man and the sea, to The little one and the sea as my title. The journaling pocket was inked with Distress Stain Mustard Seed to get the right shade of yellow. I only used small bits of the lavender and maroon colours.

Some close ups:

Two of the clouds were stamped with sentiment stamps. The ‘you are my happy’ stamp was stamped repeatedly on a border piece.

The sun is made from a piece of debossed and sanded Core’dinations paper layered on crepe paper.

Stars were cut from the maroon Core’dinations paper, sanded and then rub-ons were placed on top. 

Thank you so much for visiting! It is a bit quiet on the blog at the moment, because I am visiting family.

Supplies: Stampscapes: Ducks in formation 027A, Duck Trio in Flight 023A; Hero Arts Halloween Moon CG369, Bold Flourish S5146, Home Sweet Home ST513, alphabet stamps; Tim Holtz Stamper’s Anonymous ticket stamps; MME cloud stamp; Distress Stain: Stormy Sky, Tumbled Glass, Brocken China, Faded Jeans, Mustard Seed; Perfect Pearls; Distress Ink reinker: Broken China; Adirondack Pool reinker; Versafine Onyx Black; Stazon Jet Black; clear embossing powder; BasicGrey patterned paper; gesso; Tim Holtz Sizzix embossing folders; Spellbinders scalloped die; Cuttlebug star dies; Hambly screen print; 7Gypsies journaling pocket; Making Memories letter stickers; American Crafts rub-ons; crepe paper; vellum; gauze; fabric flower.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Card Patterns sketch #147

Thanks so much for all the comments yesterday. I am happy to post my first DT card for Card Patterns. The sponsors for this week is DRS Designs, and the DT got to play with some wonderful stamps.

Here’s the #147 sketch:

Check out the Card Patterns blog to check the cards of the other Design Team members. Here's my card:

I made a winter card using this cute snowman stamp. The card is meant to work for almost any occasion taking place during winter. I switched the vertical panel to the other side of the card because I wanted the snowman to face inwards. I always try to avoid that stamps face out of the card since that leads the eye off the card instead of into the card. The background was coloured with Distress Stains smeared on my craft sheet. Watercolour paper was lightly misted and then dipped into the stains, I didn’t smear it around because I wanted an uneven look. The great sentiment about snowmen warming our hearts and bringing us cheer was stamped repeatedly on the background with Stormy Sky. Three snowflakes were die cut from the background and mounted in the same place using foam dots. I added two smaller snowflakes on top.

For the vertical panel, I used the snowman as one of the four embellishments, and three hearts as the other. The snowman was stamped on watercolour paper and clear embossed. Then it was coloured with Distress Inks smeared on a craft sheet and misted with Perfect Pearls and water. The white areas were covered with only Perfect Pearls and water. I loved the sentiment ‘sending you happy thoughts’, but only used the last part and stamped it on acetate so that the snowman could hold it. The little bird was die cut from shrink plastic, shrunk, coloured with alcohol ink and coated with glossy accents. The three hearts are die cut from grungepaper, painted white, covered with layers of UTEE and finished off with two layers of red embossing powder. The background text stamp was stamped into the hot embossing powder. I also found a organza ribbon with blue hearts that fit the card well.

Some close ups:

Thank you for stopping by!!

Supplies: DRS Designs Simply Snowman, Snowmen Smiles Greeting, One Line Happy Thoughts Gretting; Distress Stains: Broken China, Stormy Sky, Picket Fence, Tumbled Glass; Distress Inks: Tumbled Glass, Black Soot, Spiced Marmalade, Brushed Corduroy; Perfect Pearls; Cuttlebug heart and snowflake dies; Tim Holtz Sizzix Bird and Cage, Mini Snowflakes dies; UTEE; red embossing powder; Kaisercraft rhinestones; organza ribbon.

CSI Case File 1: Sleep

I am so happy that the time has come for the very first CSI: Color, Stories, Inspiration challenge! I hope you can play along with us. Check out the site to look at the wonderful layouts created by the team.

This is the first awesome case file:

 And here's my layout:

I loved the vibrant colour combo and the fun inspiration photo. I particularly liked the tone on tone green background and tried to create something similar using paint and ink. The z’s were stamped with foam stamps and paint. I didn’t have the right shade of grey-green, so I had to mix it. The clocks, grid and splatter were stamped with Archival ink Olive. The cardstock wasn’t quite the right shade of green, so I inked the whole sheet with Adirondack Citrus. The edges were distressed and inked heavily with Distress Inks (Peeled Paint and Pine Needles). I stitched a transparency to the layout for an additional layer, and inspired by the red hair on the inspiration photo.

From the inspiration items I used: numbers, distressing and repeat stamp background.
From the testimony I used: journal about something mad, journal on tags, and the inspiration words 'chaos' and 'time'.

The layout is about my son enjoying to play ‘sleep’ at the moment. I wrote a too long piece of journaling and printed it on two tags tucked behind the photos. He wants a pillow and a blanket and then fakes to sleep on the floor, unfortunately it was impossible to get a photo with his eyes closed. While I was on the topic of sleep, I also journaled about his sleeping patterns and routines at the moment. The latest addition to the sleep routine is a little rhyme with movements that I made up one evening and now have to do many many times every evening and at nap time.

I really wanted to use the home stamp, but it was too big, so I stamped it on shrink plastic and shrunk it to the perfect size for the layout.

I was happy to have both a smaller and a bigger version of the alarm clock stamp and used the smaller on the background and the bigger as an embellishment. The ledger paper was also stamped with a clock background stamp (using Scattered Straw). I love the ‘you are my happy’ stamp and stamped it repeatedly on the piece of patterned paper.

Thank you for stopping by!!

Supplies: Tim Holtz Stamper’s Anonymous grunge patterns, Steampunk stamps; Wendy Vecchi Stamper’s Anonymous home stamps; Hero Arts Studio Calico Love Book ST506, My Happy ST508; Distress Ink: Peeled Paint, Pine Needles, Scattered Straw, Antique Linen; Archival Ink Olive; Versafine Onyx Black; Stazon Jet Black; 7Gypsies, Fancy Pants, BasicGrey and KI Memories patterned papers; 7Gypsies tissue and bookbinding tape; shrink plastic; Hambly screen print; MS border punch and twine; BasicGrey letter sticker; mini stapler.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Card Patterns DT and more news

Hi everyone!

Today I have some fun news! About two months ago, I was asked to be on the Card Patterns Design Team for the following six months. I love the Card Patterns sketches and I am so very happy and honoured to be on the team. It is going to be tons of fun and it has been really hard not telling anyone about it! Here's the Card Patterns post about the new team. The first sketch (#147) will be posted tomorrow.

And a second piece of good news. I was very happy to see that my Christmas card series was picked as one of the Hero Arts Fab 5 winners today! The other winning projects are totally gorgeous. I am looking forward to picking stamps from the 2012 catalog.

This has been a great stamping day!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone! I am hoping it will be a great year with lots and lots of stamping.

I am ambivalent towards fireworks, but yesterday, I started making a stamped scene with some fireworks. I messed up the scene and wasn’t happy with it. I almost tossed it, but today I thought I’d try to save it, this is the result:

The scene is done on glossy cardstock, half a sheet. The Fountain of Light was stamped twice at different angles with Archival Jet Black ink. Then the comet was stamped and the area around it was stamped with a star stamp. The right hand side of the card was stamped with clouds using grey ink, but once I started colouring everything, I felt that the clouds were stamped with a too light ink and it just didn’t look right. I covered up lots of the bad looking clouds with the pine trees, which were stamped at different length and using first to third generation stamping.

The fireworks were coloured with a range of different yellow, orange, red and purple dye inks, starting with the lightest shade and gradually going darker. I used a Colorbox Stylus tool and pen nibs to apply the ink and aimed for a streaky look that followed the movements of the fireworks. The comet was only coloured with yellow and orange, so that it wouldn’t look quite the same as the fireworks. I sponged on a lot of black ink, and might have been a bit too heavy handed with the black.

Lots of dots were added with a white gel pen, following the movements of the fireworks, as stars in the sky, trails of the comet and as a few highlights among the dark trees. Finally, white pigment ink was dry brushed on the scene to create mist and shining stars.

Thank you for stopping by!!

Supplies: Stampscapes: Fountain of Light 104G, Pine Tree 196F, Comet 236E, Cloud Cumulus 018E, Milky Way 058E; Adirondack: Lemonade, Purple Twilight, Shell Pink, Pitch Black, Peach Bellini; Memento: Tangelo, Lady Bug, Lulu Lavender, Rose Bud; Distress Ink: Spiced Marmalade; Jenni Bowlin: Weather Wane; Archival ink Jet Black; Colorbox Frost White; white gel pen; Kromekote glossy cardstock.