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Silent Night . . .

All images, printed paper, square notecard, Twinkle Mini Dot Sticker by A Muse Art Stamps; Colorbox Fluid Chalk Ink in Prussian Blue; Sharpie Poster-Paint Pen, fine point (if you can’t find this at your LSS, try www.MisterArt.com)

A Muse’s Cabana Blue Band Note cards are a staple item for me–depending on which way you turn them, you can have blue sky, with "snow" below, or turn them the other way, and you have blue water (white sky), and turn them yet another, and you’ve got a blue band on the left side of the card.  I love the Lime Peel ones, same design, as well, because that lime band can easily represent grass/ground, etc.  LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!!!

For this design, I actually cut the band card in half, and trimmed it to 4" square.  All the images were stamped with blue chalk ink.  Notice how the trees are positioned in the fore-ground while the church appears to be "set back", closer to the horizon.  this is a great way to work with images when their individual scale may not match.  I frequently do this to create a perception of depth.  If I had stamped the church side by side, inline with the trees, the effect would not have been the same at all, and the design would seem "off-balance" in terms of scale.  Does that make sense?

This design was for one of the holiday classes I taught up at Precious Memories, in Langley BC and I was astonished, albeit very happily I must say, at how well-received it was!  Yea!  A mini crystal sticker adorns the star and adds just the right sparkle.  The snow was created by dotting the Sharpie Poster Paint Pen randomly, as well as "blanketing" snow onto the tree branches and the roof of the church.

The finished panel is then layered onto a french blue note card.

It’s such a serene scene, I think . . . very peaceful and calming . . . and, the beauty of this?  You can easily bust a bunch of ‘em out for the holidays, even if you wait until the last minute!   SCORE!!!!! (That’s my kinda holiday card! chuckle!)

A word to the wise on the Sharpie Poster Paint Pen:  shake it vigorously, prior to use with the cap on.  Depress the tip against scratch paper and watch as it becomes inked.  Then, dot the tip to the paper where you want it.  DO NOT DEPRESS the tip while working on your project.  Otherwise, you’ll pump more ink down into it and end up with a snow blob.  Ask me how I know . . . And, when you use it again later on, shake it vigorously, WITH THE CAP ON, (ask me how I know . . .  snort!)  then check the flow on scratch paper.  You only need to depress the tip to pump more ink to it if it’s dry.

It’s a nice little pen, with proper use . . . (wink!)

A Happy Hello

All images by Stampin’ Up!; Apricot and White Card Stock; Celery, Artichoke, Pale Blue, Olive, Apricot & Pumpkin Dye Inks by Stampin’ Up!; White Cartridge Ink by Stampin’ Up! (you could also substitute White Craft Ink, and heat set to dry); Celery Organdy by Stampin’ Up!; Sakura Quickie Glue Pen; Prisma Glitter, Ultrafine; Gold Safety Pin from sewing Department at WalMart.

Inspired by a drop-dead gorgeous design by Jennifer Balcer, I just had to try it for myself.  The white ink on vellum just gives such a beautiful lacey effect, don’t you agree? 

It’s too bad SU! retired that Great Shapes set–I loved that large solid rectangular image for creating a nice back-drop to stamp focal images over.  But, there are plenty of companies out there that have similar images, so shop around.  I like having a variety of sizes available for all my different projects.

If you found yourself in a jam, you could take rubber gasket from the hardware store, trim it to the desired size, cushion it, and then mount the entire thing to an appropriately sized wooden mount.  Some also prefer EZ Mount cushion, which has the vinyl cling backing, and then use them with a clear acrylic block.  You can find EZ Mount at a variety of places, including Block-Head Rubber Stamps.

I stamped the pale blue ink off and stamped a 2nd generation image onto the white card stock panel so it would be quite pale and soft.  After inking the stem with celery ink, I applied olive ink to the edges of the image to give the leaves dimension.  And, I did the same to the daisy by first applying apricot ink, and then pumpkin ink.  This technique is often referred to as "Rock & Roll".  It’s kinda funny how some of us long time stampers have been doing this for eons, but never actually gave it a name.  Now, all the techniques have these fancy names, or so it seems to me . . . (chuckle!)

I used a speckle image and artichoke ink to create the "splatter".  I’m rather sad about my speckle image.  It will have to be replaced.  I’ve actually worn the image down to nubs.  I am absolutely serious.  I really wouldn’t have imagined I could ever, in my lifetime, wear out a stamp, but that one has been used in probably 80% of my creations since I got it almost 10 years ago . . . Pixie said it best:  Speckle, RIP.  You have served me well.

Those little bitty safety pins from the sewing department sure are a lot of fun to secure things with.   The colors are kinda limiting, tho; if you’re lucky, you can find ‘em in gold tone, silver, and black.  Queen & Co. makes them in darling colors, and so does Making Memories–the ivory ones are oh-so sweet and I like to use them in bridal and baby designs.

The finishing touch, was to outline the daisy with the Sakura Quickie Glue Pen and apply Prisma Glitter–if you don’t have one of these glue pens, you really need one.  I always buy 2-3 at a time so I will NEVER EVER run out!!!  Hey, I live on an island, people.  Some things are very hard to come by and when ya’ find a winner, ya’ best stock up! (snort!)  This is the rockin’est glue pen I have ever used!  If you can’t find ‘em at your LSS, then head over to StarLitStudio on Ebay.  It’s a fine rolling ball point pen that dispenses glue, which comes out blue, but dries clear.  It’s perfect for adhering delicate punched out images when other adhesives are just too thick, wide or chunky to really do the job.  Trust me.  Buy 2.

Sweet and soft

All images, patterned note card & papers, The Cottage Series, by A Muse Art Stamps; Colorbox Fluid Chalk Inks in Warm Red, Creamy Brown and Chestnut Roan; Decorative Scissors, Cloud by Provo Craft; Coluzzle Companion Template; Marvy Uchida Mega Scallop Oval Punch; Ribbons by May Arts; Mulberry Flowers by Prima; Mini Brad; Detail White Embossing Powder by Stampin’ Up!

This design was inspired by Becky Rusher .  Becky is one of my favorite "shabby chic" artists.  Because the bulk of my design work these days tends towards clean and simple, folks mistakenly assume that I don’t appreciate art styles outside of that.  I actually do!  I just shy away from doing anything "shabby chic" myself, because I never seem able to pull off the look. (chuckle!)  But, in this case, I was shooting for "clean" shabby, and looked to Becky’s work to guide me.  Her sense of style is soft and understated, and makes me think of a cozy cottage somewhere.  I was so happy with how this turned out–rare when I attempt anything shabby–that I had to share it here. (bouncin’!)

I DTP’d (Direct To Paper, a term used for applying ink directly to the paper from the pad) just the edges of the smooth oval just to give it definition.  I resisted the temptation to DTP any other areas of the card, to keep it clean and light.  I have always loved red paired with chocolate, and this is a nicely subtle variation of that color combination.

This very simple pocket card was created by simply rotating a pre-printed card with the gutter crease (gutter crease = main fold of a card) to the bottom, scoring a line where I wanted to fold down the front, and then trimming the front edge with deco scissors to create a pretty feminine edge.  To trim with deco scissors in a straight line, I drew a pencil line and used that to guide the blade; when the flap was folded down, of course, you don’t see the pencil line.  Staples secure the front of the card to the back, to make the "pocket", and are concealed under the folded scallop edge.  The raw edges of the ric rac are also concealed underneath there as well.

The mini brad was "pearlized" by holding it by the prongs with tweezers, heating it with a heat gun, and then dipping it into detail (fine grind) white embossing powder.  I prefer detail EP for this little trick, because it tends to produce smoother results, but you could certainly use regular grind to do the same thing.  Contrary to what’s been said, you don’t actually need to ink the brad up with Versamark or embossing ink to do this; when the brad is hot, it fuses the EP almost instantly to the metal.  If any of the EP appears to be granular, just heat that area again, lightly, until it does melt completely.

Hold onto it until it cools to avoid smearing it!  Some artists like to plunge them into a glass of ice water, when doing a bunch of these at one sitting, so they can quickly move on to the next one.

The scalloped "hi" is attached to a white insert, where you can write a message to the recipient.

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