Monday, June 20, 2022

Glassy-Eyed: Month-Long Challenge with Power Poppy

 Hello Crafty Friends!

Today we begin a new month-long challenge at Power Poppy -- and it's all about incorporating glass and shine into your Power Poppy creation. There are so many designs that work well with this challenge -- and sweet Marcella Hawley is discounting most of them in the Power Poppy shop, so it's a perfect time to work on your glassy coloring technique!

My card for this challenge uses the digi stamp called Seaside Sweetness--I love that summer, beachy vibe!

I've colored the beachy image under a glass cloche very simply, and am using the very lightest of my B and BG Copic markers to create the appearance of glass covering the seaside vignette with its enamel teapot, coral, starfish, shell, and sand.  One of my great delights in using digital stamps is that I can scale the design to suit my card--and this is a pretty big (A7:  5X7 inch) card, so I scaled the design to 115%.  


After fussy cutting the cloche, I used a black Sharpie to color its edges--simple addition, but one that really makes the image pop.  To keep the glass effect going, the background behind the cloche is ink-blended in the same color family as the glass (I used Tim Holtz' Tumbled Glass distress ink) and the image is popped up on foam strips.  I also made a picnic table with a tablecloth created using Hero Arts Bandana Bold Print background stamp and a couple of shades of red ink to give that cloth some movement.  The table top is a woodgrain stencil from my stash ... and the sentiment--also Power Poppy--keeps my glassy theme on point.  

I hope you'll try your hand some of Power Poppy's glassy designs--such an easy way to give some extra interest and dimension to your images.  

Can't wait to see what you make!

Essie 

Monday, May 16, 2022

Blossoms, Dearie--Power Poppy's Blossom Challenge!

 Hello Crafty Friends,

Happy Spring -- my garden is blooming, and I'm beyond delighted to join the wonderfully talented Bloom Brigade at Power Poppy as we welcome the season with blossoms, blooms, and florals galore!  

We have a new monthly challenge this month--a Blossom Challenge!  All you need to do is link your Power Poppy floral creation to the Power Poppy blog for a chance to win.  

My slimline card today uses the digital stamp Auricula Theatre and its open font sentiment.  

Digital stamps are super versatile!  One of their great benefits is that you can size them to meet your preferred card size--and this one is a big, bold 4X9 inches. 


To me, these simple primroses in simple pots and some easy Copic coloring herald the start of garden season. If you look closely at the pots, you may notice the perfectly symmetrical polka dots--I printed the dig image on orange polka dot paper from my stash, paper-pieced in the pots, and game them a little warm gray shading.  Added some yellow gems from my stash and...boom.  Done and ready to mail.  

I hope you'll join our challenge!

Happy creating!

Essie


Saturday, June 12, 2021

Monochrome Madness, Part 2

 Hello Crafty Friends, 

 For my last monochrome card, I have the blues!

I trotted out a tried and true background technique that made for an afternoon of fun in the sun with #1 son helping out as my iPhone videographer.  (Thanks, son...we'll miss you when you're away at school in the fall.)




The background technique (called marbling) is SO easy--and you can make boatloads of backgrounds in moments.  Here's a small sampling of the 20 or so backgrounds I made in about 30 minutes:

You can read all about how I made this card on Hero Arts' blog.  I've also made a super quick video about how to make these marbled backgrounds that you can watch on You Tube.  

I hope you'll give marbling a try and let me know how it goes!  And if you stick with a monochrome palette, why not join us on A Blog Named Hero--(those prizes can really help you increase your treasure trove of Hero Arts supplies!)

Thanks for dropping by,

Essie






Friday, June 11, 2021

Monochrome Madness, Part 1

 Hi Crafty Friends,

I'm in a monochromatic state of mind and wanted to share a few of my most recent monochromatic creations with you--all in summery shades of blue-green--from light pool to deep teal, but each in a very different style:  





I made all of these for our June monochrome challenge over at A Blog Named Hero--and my center (shaker) card is also for this week's Beyond the Blue Challenges.   And all the stamps and dies above are from Hero Arts!  I am getting pretty attached to this idea of a simple singular color palette--it gives my brain a chance to focus on other aspects of a card--texture, material, layout.  

In fact, I like this idea so much that I have one more one color card--and my second YouTube video to help illustrate a background technique I use in the card.  Perhaps you'll drop by again tomorrow for this Part 2 blog post of my monochromatic obsession.

I hope you like these cards--and that you'll visit these two challenge blogs for some more inspiration from my very talented co-designers and also to join the challenges.

Thanks for stopping by,

Essie  


Saturday, May 1, 2021

Crafting on the Edge: A Die Cut Booklover's Delight

 Hello friends, my card today helps kick off the May challenge for A Blog Named Hero, "shaped cards."  And before I forget, if you play along at our blog's website by posting your own shaped card, you'll be eligible for a very handsome prize from our blog sponsor, Hero Arts


This is a nearly effortless shaped card, using watercolors and showcasing one of my favorite pastimes, reading.  Hero Arts recently launched an entire stamp and die line all about books and reading--and it could be that I went a little crazy in ensuring I added nearly all of them to my stash!  

Here's how I made this one layer card with the bookish border:

1.  Partially die cut the stacked books fancy die from a piece of water color paper (I like Fabriano Artistico, but any good watercolor paper will work), creating an A2 sized card (the 4.25' width includes the shaped right edge of the card)

2.   Leaving the die in place on the watercolor paper, I changed my die cutting sandwich to a set up for die embossing a die and ran the paper through again, this time embossing the book stack image into the paper.  

3.  Water colored the panel--because the book stack is embossed into the paper, it's really easy to get the color to stay exactly where I wanted it.  And that straight line between the yellow wall and the gray-brown table stayed straight and separate by using a piece of painter's tape to keep the darker color nice and straight.

4.  Used a gold pen to go over every embossed line in the book stack --this not only adds some extra interest and shine, it also gives the card a finish look.

5.  Stamped the sentiment, which is one of my favorites from the Literary Quotes stamp set--and well, that's that!

I hope you'll show off your shaped card by linking it to A Blog Named Hero--and please use the hashtag #ablognamedhero so that we can all ooh and ahh over your creation! 

Thanks for stopping by!

Essie


Sunday, March 7, 2021

Take Time to Smell the Flowers on a Blog Named Hero

Our floral challenge is in full swing, and honestly, the toughest problem I had was deciding which floral image to use.  

I finally decided to break out my new bees and flowers and honey pot fancy dies to make this slimline card that upcycles a page from an old road atlas (remember those!) and reshapes a large die cut honey pot into a smaller, rather elegant vase.  

Details are over on A Blog Named Hero (and so is your chance to win one of two $50 vouchers for Hero Arts).




 Can’t wait to see what you make! 

 Thanks for stopping by,

Essie





Monday, March 1, 2021

Big Floral Fantasy Flower for A Blog Named Hero's March Challenge

 Hello crafty friends!  

It's month two for me on A Blog Named Hero's design team, and what a talented group of people I'm finding in my co-designers! (It's pretty intimidating, really...but also seems to push me to try new things.)

This month's challenge (and the chance to win a $50 gift certificate from Hero Arts!) may be my one of my favorite themes for cardmaking:  Florals.

the first cards I made were all about florals--and flowers are still my very favorite things to color.  I love all the color you can use with flowers and those color can be soft or strong, true to life or simply fantastical.

What I did:  For today's card I tried a technique that was new to me--I heat embossed the outline of this biiiiig flower (I mean really big--like five inches (13cm) across on an alcohol ink panel.  I wondered if I could successfully heat emboss the paper--I had used Yupo, which is basically a plastic paper--without melting it or making the embossing powder bubble. Turns out it worked out just fine. I'll be doing this again, for sure!

I fussy cut the flower and leaves; popped them up on a gel press background using foam squares (look closely and you'll see I the mail jumble peekaboo stamp doing duty as a background)with some spattered gold and green and black inks and paints to give that background some interest; and added one of my favorite sentiment dies that I embossed about 4 times, to get a really rounded standout effect. I matted my panel with black card stock, popped it onto my card base--et voila (as my French design team friend might say), a finished card!  

By the way:  This is a 5X7 inch (A7) card.  I've been making those a lot lately. I think that this large format is a real wow from the time the envelope arrives in your recipient's mailbox.  Also, I really love big bold images--and this larger format really helps show off those images.  Honestly, it would have broken my heart to cut up that big peony.

Have you tried a 5X7 card?  What about heat embossing?  Gel press?  Alcohol ink?  It seems this card--which features each of these--is sort of a demo of all of these techniques (I love to color, too, but a little experimentation is good fun, too!)

Can't wait to see your floral cards--I hope you'll play along with us!


Thanks so much for stopping by, 

Essie