Hello Friends! I know it's been forever since you heard from me. I have been busy cleaning the store (in addition to ordering, stocking, and making samples!). Remember, I have been papercrafting here for over 18 years so I have...
Hello Friends! I know it's been forever since you heard from me. I have been busy cleaning the store (in addition to ordering, stocking, and making samples!). Remember, I have been papercrafting here for over 18 years so I have accumulated a LOT of stuff! So far we have cleaned out all the punches (remember those?) and virtually all of the wood-mounted stamps. My dear friend Stephanie, who teaches art to elementary school students, has taken everything I cleaned out and she is putting it all to good use. We are almost done cleaning out ... then we have an equal amount of stuff at my house to work on! Ugh! Will it ever end???
Today's blog is all about cards that depict or are inspired by the desert Southwest. How fun it is to make cards that reflect the beautiful landscapes and stunning sunsets of the desert Southwest. Or cards that include images of the native Americans who settled this area. I hope you will be inspired by these cards and want to make some for yourself to share with friends near and far.
Elizabeth Craft Die Western Edges
OK, right off the bat I may frustrate you because I believe this particular die is discontinued. I had several in stock when I started making these cards and by the time I finished they were sold. So sorry because it is a great set! Maybe you can find it on line -- or maybe you have it!
My first card is an easel card which I believe perfectly showcases the horses and mountains. I cut the mountains from white cardstock then colored them with Vintage Photo and Walnut Stain Distress Oxide inks. Then I cut the horses from black cardstock and mounted them on top of the mountains. Next I created a sunset using Oxide inks Squeezed Lemonade, Wild Honey and a little Spiced Marmalade. I adhered the mountains and horses to this sunset background and die cut the whole thing with a Memory Box Stitched Circle die. I cut two circle mats using Memory Box Circle Basics dies. The paper I used is in stock at The Stamp Act -- isn't it great!
Here's a view of the easel card from the side. The sentiment stamp ("Don't Fence Me In") is an old one from Stamp a Mania. I love how the barbed wire die echoes the barbed wire on the paper.
My second card using this die set is a similar layout with the exception that I colored the mountains with Oxide inks Wilted Violet and Seedless Preserves. The sentiment is from a new Hero Arts stamp set with matching dies called Cowboy Adventure.
For the inside of the card I used a second new Hero arts set, Cowboy Life, which includes these fashionable boots as well as these sentiments.
Hero Arts Cowboy Life (stamp and die combo set)Hero Arts Cowboy Adventure (stamp and die combo set)
Hero Arts New Die: On The Prairie
Another new Hero Arts die is called "On The Prairie" and include the cow skull, flowers and leaves. Did you know cow skulls are very trendy in home decor? I had a hard time deciding on a sentiment for these cards. I thought it would be a little weird to say "thinking of you" or Happy Birthday" with a cow skull!! So I decided not to include sentiments except on one. I also was very happy to see how much the Southwestern Border die from La-La Crafts added to the cards.For this first card I mounted the skull (distressed with a little Copic marker C1) and the border on white decorative paper embossed with a woodgrain pattern.For the second card I embossed the background with Taylored Expressions Ikat embossing folder then mounted the skull, flowers and border -- I used just the inside layer of the border. My third card is a real favorite. The paper is from a relatively new company, Stamperia, from Italy. The sentiment on this card is from Taylored Expressions stamp set Free Spirit. The copper border is the edge of the cardstock cut when the border is cut.While the third card includes no flowers, this last card makes up for it with a bevy of pretty, colorful blooms.
Hero Arts New Die: Desert Cactus and Prickly Cactus
More new Hero Arts dies are featured on this next card: the Desert Cactus and the Prickly Cactus, along with the stamp/die sets Cowboy Life and Cowboy Adventure. I stamped the background with a stamp from Stamp A Mania then layered vellum over the background and adhered the cacti, skull and sentiment over it.Prickly Cactus die Desert Cactus die
Hero Arts New Die: Desert Sunset
Perhaps my favorite new Hero Arts die is the Desert Sunset. On my first card I cut the sunset from white cardstock (the die cuts the circle opening and all the landscape features). Next I sponged a background using Oxide inks and watercolored the cacti and rocks using these inks also. I added some silver stars and a sentiment (from Cowboy Adventure set) and the card was finished.
Desert Sunset Die My next card features the sunset we desert dwellers are most familiar with. Desert foliage and rock formations against a beautiful sky of yellows, oranges and pinks. A lone cowboy on his trusty steed (sounds like an old cowboy movie script!) looks at the sunset. The cowboy and the sentiment are from Cowboy Adventure and Cowboy Life stamp sets (Hero Arts). One tip: when you sponge your background, leave just a little white at the bottom because that makes the entire scene even more realistic. My next card was inspired by one that Jane Smith (friend and customer from Las Cruces, NM) made. I recreated the scene above but this time included the Desert Cactus off to the side. I also spritzed the Oxide inks with water to add a little texture to the scene.
Jane also inspired this card. She made one using three iconic cowboy images (boot, guitar and hat) mounted in the three square openings. I was working on another card -- trying to create a desert landscape and it wasn't coming together as I pictured it in my mind -- so I cut a white card front with the Taylored Expressions Peel-A-Boo Squares die and made little scenes in each opening. The top and bottom images are from the Cowboy Adventure stamp set; for the middle scene I die cut the Desert Sunset from black cardstock and used part of it against an evening sky. Once again I included the large Desert Cactus which I think really adds a nice contrast to the scenes. You saw these cowgirl boots used in one of the cards above and here they are mounted on a red bandana background stamped with the new 6" x 6" Bandana Background stamp from Hero Arts.
Waffle Flower Die: Tribal Pattern
The Tribal Pattern die from Waffle Flower is very Southwest and here I featured the die, cut from white cardstock, with strips of colored paper behind the openings. The "THX" is cut with the Waffle Flower die Paper Cut Alphabet.
I used a similar layout for this card but included some feathers from the Waffle Flower stamp set (with matching dies) Tribal Bear. Different colors on this card and a greeting made with the "friend" from the Tribal Bear set and the "Hola" from the Spanish Sayings set from Impression Obsession.
For my final card the Tribal Pattern was cut from turquoise cardstock and mounted on the diagonal. Laurel Burch Spirit Horses are right at home on this Indian-inspired card.I hope you have enjoyed seeing these Southwest cards. If you are interested in any of these products, please call me at 915-833-9500 to reserve yours. Remember, we are open Wednesday through Saturday, 10am to 5pm and would love to see you!
Hello papercrafting friends. My how time flies. We are working so hard cleaning out the backroom at the store that I just have not had time to blog. The store in going to be closed for a week so please note the dates at the end of this blog post.
While I was cleaning I came across this little mini album that I made for my Mom many years ago. It touches my heart with warm memories of my precious Mom. If you still have your Mom please cherish the time with her. Enjoy the book.
The album measures 3.75" x 3.75". For the cover I used two transparencies and a colorful heart and square brad mounted on the diagonal. The book is bound with ribbon threaded through eyelets on the spine and pages inside.
The first page shows Mom as a baby.
I think the next page got out of order because here's Mom as a young lady (left) and as a toddler (right). Mom grew up in Wilbraham, MA and was one of three children to my grandmother Cora, an artist, and my grandfather Bert, an insurance salesman. They lived in a huge two-story house with a big backyard with a vegetable garden. Behind the house were woods where we used to play as children when we visited.
More photos of Mom as a pre-schooler (left) and with her brother Robert (right).
This page shows Mom graduating from nursing school (right) and dressed in her Army uniform (left). True story: My Mom was in a MASH unit just miles behind the front as the Army proceeded through France after D-Day. My Dad? He was living at home in San Antonio and working at the local Army-Air Force base! It's 1946, the war is over and the two sweethearts married in my grandparents back yard. Grandmother had to save ration coupons to get enough sugar to make a wedding cake. They honeymooned at Niagra Falls and settled in San Antonio only after my Dad promised Mom she could return home every other year. I remember those trips on the train as a very young child. Best wishes for a lovely Mother's Day!
Speaking of time flying, I am headed to San Antonio for my 50th high school reunion! I can't believe it! The store will be closed from Friday, May 18 through Tuesday, May 29. We will reopen Wednesday, May 30.
Our sales continue. If you need a "B" plate for your Cuttlebug you will find one for free with a $10 purchase (more miscellaneous stuff I found!). There's tons of other good stuff, just stop in and see.
Hello papercrafting friends! It's beautiful here in the desert Southwest with spring in full bloom. I love sitting outside on my patio in the evenings and smelling the sweet honeysuckle and jasmine wafting in on the cool breeze. My trees have all bloomed and are growing leaves like crazy. So it's a perfect time to turn to Memory Box and Poppystamps, two sister companies that are known for their gorgeous flower dies and creative stamp sets. I have worked very hard to create dozens of brand new samples and a whole new display area. In addition I have a large order of brand new dies arriving any day. Here's a look at our display (be sure to click on the photo to see more detail).
Today I am going to share with you a cool technique that I taught years ago. You can use this technique with any die so look through your dies for flowers, corners or frames and give it a try. I will be using the Memory Box die Honeyblossom Sprig and will share several cards using this die at the end of the blog. Let me show you the finished card:Again, please click on the card to see the shiny detail on the die cut itself. First, I die cut the Honeyblossom Sprig from Neena 100 lb Solar White cardstock and colored it with Copic Markers. When I first taught this technique I used Ranger's Distress Stains which come in a wide variety of beautiful colors. Once the die cut was colored, I placed the die on my craft sheet and pressed my Versamark ink pad all over the die cut. Then I immediately covered the die cut with clear embossing powder. I shook off the excess powder and heated it with my heat tool. At this point you can quickly dip it into the embossing powder again while it's still hot (the powder will stick to the hot embossing) and heat it again. Or you can let it cool, cover it with Versamark ink again and cover it with clear embossing powder again. In any case do it three times to get a nice shiny surface.
Warning: Work on a craft sheet or other non-stick surface because if you work on paper, the die cut will stick to the paper!
And that's it! A fun technique that gives a beautiful clear, shiny finish to any die cut. I completed the card with the Memory Box Tessatina Border down the right side of the card and a sweet sentiment from Stampendous.
Let me show you other cards I made with this die and technique.
Memory Box Journey stamp, paper and Honeyblossom Sprig and Crisp Bows dies. We have both dies in stock. Memory Box Honeyblossom Sprig die.
Here are some other cards using this technique; it was fall and Christmas when I made these cards!
I hope you will give this technique a try and please stop in soon and see all the Memory Box and Poppystamps dies and stamps. I will be featuring cards using different products from these wonderful companies in my next few blogs but you can see them all right now when you stop by the store.
Remember, our huge sale is continuing. We have lots of interesting products on sale for prices of 50 cents to $4. Don't miss the bargains. Plus we have new dies and stamps from Penny Black, Impression Obsession and Lawn Fawn. I hope to see you soon.
Hello fellow papercrafters. It's Spring and while we here in the desert Southwest enjoy beautiful, mild, sunny weather, we don't get very many spring rains. But today I invite you to dream of nice soft rains as I share with you several cards made with Taylored Expressions' new large umbrella die called When it Rains along with their Falling Rain background die and Rain or Shine stamp set. Here are photos of the dies I used.
For my first card, I cut many umbrellas using only the solid background umbrella. Next I sponged each one with a different color of Distress Oxide ink and then misted the umbrellas with water to create water spots. To create the focal umbrella I first cut a white background then the three stitched sections. I sponged these pieces also. Here's a tip: I glued the middle (gold) section down first but before I added the pink and green sections I colored the outline of the section with a similar color Copic marker. Why? Because the white cardstock was peeking through the stitching. You could also sponge the white background with the same Oxide inks.
Adhere the umbrellas to the background arranging them in a pleasing way. Add a few handles or pieces of handle to the background.
Once the umbrella is finished, die cut the handle out of black cardstock and cut it into the two pieces as shown. Attach one piece to the umbrella and reserve the handle part to add after you stamp and gold emboss the sentiment on a die cut stitched rectangle. Add the umbrella with foam mounting tape.
When It Rains – Taylored Expressions dies When It Rains Umbrella and Stitched Rectangles; TE stamp set Rain or Shine; design inspired by Gayatri Murali
Next up is the Falling Rain background which is so cool. First sponge a background with Distress Oxide ink (I used Salty Ocean) then die cut it with the Falling Rain die. I forgot to spritz the background with water but I suggest you should to add more depth to the background. Heat set the bottom of the background to make sure it is dry before pouncing it with an anti static too (we sell the EK Success too). Next stamp and heat emboss in white the sentiment.
Die cut the Rolling Clouds (it's a set of three dies and I used two of them on this card). Lightly sponge the edges with Salty Ocean ink. Adhere these to the top of the background. Add the umbrella with a silver handle and you're done!Rain or Shine Blue – Taylored Expressions dies When It Rains Umbrella, Build-A-Scene Rolling Clouds and Falling Rain; TE stamp set Rain or Shine; design inspired by Melody Rupple
My next sample is a happy card and it's a lot easier than it looks initially. First I used the Taylored Expressions Cloud Border to create a cloudy sky. Then I die cut the Falling Hearts background from two colors of pink, two colors of red and the white "cloudy sky" cardstock. Make little piles of the pink and red hearts because you're going to inlay them into the white sky. Cover the back of the sky background with scor tape (double sided tape), turn it over and start inserting the pink and red hearts as desired.
Construct the umbrella from 2 colors of red cardstock and "fill" it with red and pink hearts cut with the TE Little Bits Hearts die. Die cut the Rolling Clouds being sure to leave enough room to stamp the sentiment in black Versafine ink. Mount everything and add it to a red card base.
Showered With Love – Taylored Expressions dies When It Rains Umbrella, Build-A-Scene Rolling Clouds, Falling Hearts and Little Bits Hearts; TE stamp set Rain or Shine; design inspired by Melody Rupple
I love the pretty papers on this card. I think it's pretty self explanatory so I won't go into details. Rain or Shine Floral – Taylored Expressions die When It Rains Umbrella; TE stamp set Rain or Shine; design inspired by Kim Singdahlsen
For my next card I switched to a smaller umbrella (TE's Little Bits Umbrella) which I die cut from three different decorative papers. For the background I embossed the Falling Rain die on blue cardstock. To do this simply use a rubber mat and the correct "sandwich" recipe for embossing for your die cut tool. OH! Be sure to stamp your sentiment first then emboss! Once I taped and glue everything together, I "colored" the raindrops above the umbrellas with Nuvo clear drops and let it dry. Dance in the Rain – Taylored Expressions dies Falling Rain and Little Bits Umbrella; TE stamp set Rain or Shine
I published this Rainbow card a few weeks ago but since it used some of the same stamps and dies I thought I would include it again. The umbrella is mounted on a background created with the Rainbow die with two stitched clouds tucked under and below it. The sentiment is stamped on white cardstock die cut with the Rolling Clouds.Rainbow– Taylored Expressions dies Rainbow, When It Rains Umbrella, Stitched Cloud Duo and Build-A-Scene Rolling Clouds; TE stamp set Rain or Shine; TE embossing folder Raindrops; design inspired by Jean Manis
Spring Sale ... Spring Sale ... Spring Sale
I am still deep cleaning the store and our sale counter is stuffed with bargains from 50 cents to $4. There's paper, cards, stamps, dies and tons of fun embellishments. Lots of goodies that kids will love. All Christmas, Fall and Halloween stamps and dies are marked down 35%. I also have kits for making multiple cards with the stamps and dies included for just a few dollars. If you make cards for friends, your church or school, check these out. All the paper is precut and some is even stamped already so you need only finish them!
Please stop in soon because these bargains are too good to pass up!
Hello friends. Today I will share with you several ways to use the Poppystamps die Garden Bouquet, an outline die with lots of open areas perfect for showing a background treatment or inlaying with a contrasting paper. By the way, lest you be confused, Poppystamps had a previous die named Garden Bouquet (item #1188). This newer version is item #2016.
My first cards all feature the inlay technique and Lawn Fawn's new paper "Gotta Have Gingham." The papers in this collection are all very light so be sure to click on the cards to see them close up.
For each of these cards, I cut the Garden Bouquet die three times from white cardstock then glued them together. This gave the focal image lots of depth when I inserted the butterfly wings or flower petals. I added crystals to the open flowers and cut one little flower and glued it in the lower right corner. The focal image is framed with Poppystamps Double Stitched Scalloped Rectangles Frames. 3 Gingham Cards – Poppystamps dies Garden Bouquet and Double Stitched Scalloped Rectangle Frames; Lawn Fawn paper pad Gotta Have Gingham; design inspired by Jennifer Svare
The next two cards feature brighter, more dramatic backgrounds. I die cut the panel with Memory Box's Wrapped Stitched Rectangle Layers then masked off a rectangular area and sponged on Distress Oxide inks for a very pretty and bright background. I added the die cut Garden Bouquet next then embellished it with black Nuvo drops. To finish the card, I stamped "sending" and cut it out with the matching die. Finally to complete the sentiment, I stamped "happy thoughts" on the rectangle layer. One panel I mounted on a white card and the other panel I mounted on a deep pink card. Sending Happy Thoughts 1 and 2 – Poppystamps die Garden Bouquet; Poppystamps clear stamp set with coordinating dies Sending Scribbles; Memory Box die Wrapped Stitched Rectangles; design inspired by Pam Sparks
My final two cards are similar, one mounted on stitched ovals and the second mounted on the Lattice Oval Frame. The flowers are accented with Nuvo drops (Apple Green).
Hi 2 – Poppystamps die Garden Bouquet; Memory Box die Stitched Ovals; Taylored Expressions die Hey, Hi, Hello Hi 1 – Poppystamps die Garden Bouquet; Taylored Expressions dies Lattice Frame and Hey, Hi, Hello
Our Huge Spring Sale
Lots of customers are grabbing the hot bargains!! We have marked down dies and stamps with original prices in the double digits to $1 to $5. All Christmas, Halloween and Fall dies and stamps are now 35% off and we have hundreds of punches on sale for $1 to $3. We also have boxes of bargains for $.50 cents to a few dollars.
Besides all the bargains we have lots of new merchandise in stock so it is worth your time to stop in and check out all the wonderful new and sale merchandise. I hope to see you very soon!