November Project of the Month – Christmas Gift Tags

This month I am trying to get a head start on Christmas Gift tags before all the holiday craziness sets in. It is nice to have the time to enjoy the process. Especially since the “process” of making the cross stitched tags is a long one.  I’m happy with the way the buffalo check tags came out.  Definitely a labor of love.

 

I am also playing with easier cross stitched tags.

And stamped and colored versions too. Christmas Tags

And finally I made some with a flannel die cut and silhouette gold foil letters.

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Happy Holidays!

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October Project of the Month – Silhouette PixScan Revisited

I use my Silhouette Cameo a lot.  I love the print and cut feature and I use it to make tons of stickers.  Return address labels, envelope closure stickers, stickers for my Etsy envelopes (ByDeeZyne.etsy.com), and more.  I also use the print and cut feature to create die cuts for greeting cards (CardzByDeeZyne.etsy.com).

What I have not been doing is using the PixScan feature to stamp an image, then cut it out using my Silhouette Cameo.  I found the process tedious and time consuming.  I hate fussy cutting but it was a faster process.  I began searching the internet for the Brother Print and Scan machine and was vaguely considering the investment.  But I don’t have the space for more machines, nor do I want to learn new software or spend that kind of money.  Especially when I already have the Silhouette which is supposed to do this anyway.

Somewhere along the line I discovered the PixScan app for iPhone/iPad.  This app allows you to take a picture of your image using the PixScan app and wirelessly communicate with your Silhouette to print it out.  These are the results:

 

 

While the cut wasn’t absolutely perfect I found it satisfactory.  The app is quite limited and I found you must have a contiguous shape to get the outline correct (which meant hand drawing some lines here and there).  I used an offset on all these cuts.  I probably should have reduced the offset on the houses in the last picture but I was pleased at how easy the app was to use.

Still, I wanted to have more flexibility (like being able to edit data points, etc.) so I played with the PicScan feature in the Silhouette software again.  And I realized why I never use it.  It is just too much of a pain to get the image into the software on the PC.  Using the scanner takes two scans because the mat doesn’t fit in the scanner.  Using my camera or my phone requires calibrating the camera or phone first.  But even once it is calibrated I either have to get the image off my camera chip or off the phone.  I tried iCloud, email, phone cord to USB.  All of it was just too many steps compared to the one step photo and cut of the PixScan app.

So for now I will use the app and hope that Silhouette upgrades it.  And I do like the app even with its limitations.

 

September Project of the Month – Wellness

With all of the craziness going on in the world today it is important to step back and find some peace. We are lucky enough to live near a resort and spa. And the spa recently offered free use of their pools and facilities. My husband and I were fortunate to spend a few DayCations or at least a few hours here and there over the last few weeks. The craziness is still there but it was nice to find a little oasis of calm. Thank you PGA National Resort and Spa.

August Project of the Month – Copic Markers

I’m finally getting to my August blog.  This month I have been collecting Copic Markers.  I am new to the craze which I had been stubbornly resisting for years.  I have a lovely set of Tombow markers which my husband bought me for Christmas one year.  I love them for calligraphy but I have been frustrated trying to color with them.  Primarily because I am not a watercolor fan.  I’ve decided I’m just too OCD for watercolors and I just don’t have that kind of talent.

I got turned onto Copic markers which are alcohol based.  I am just learning how to color and blend with them and I have a long way to go but I absolutely love the way they go on the paper (cardstock).

So I started by coloring a few Christmas cards, some of which I showed last month, and this one using a stamp from Penny Black.IMG_0590

Then I made a few random cards.  But I already have way more cards than I can use, so I started coloring potential card fronts which I have in a small three ring binder (from Staples).  Each sheet protector holds a piece of 8 1/2 x 5 1/2 card stock.  Each piece of card stock is potentially two card fronts 4 1/4 x 5 1/2.

 

Of course once I started gathering Copics I needed storage for same.  I started out with a tin, then grew to a homemade shelf within a box system and finally broke down and bought a nice shelving system from Blick (https://www.dickblick.com/products/spectrum-noir-marker-storage-trays/).  The shelf holds 72 markers which should be more than enough.  However I am now trying to fill a second set of shelves.  No one needs this many Copic markers for random coloring, however fueled by Michael’s coupons and due to my lack of color mixing expertise the obsession was born.IMG_0657

I also put together a chart of the colors I have so that I can see the actual colors when working and also to keep track of what I have.  I downloaded the Copic app on my phone which also comes in handy for shopping.IMG_0658

See all those blank squares?  Aren’t they just desperate for more markers?

 

July Project of the Month – Christmas Cards!

It’s Christmas in July!  What better way to beat the Florida summer heat than by making some Christmas Cards.  So far this year most of my cards involve Copic coloring because I am trying to learn and I thought it was a good way to practice.  I really just did these in solid colors so there was no shading involved except for the shadows (N2 and N0). And in the case of the vases I only colored the flowers and the shelf and then did the shadows so it wasn’t particularly challenging but was fun and relaxing.

I stamped and colored these cards with stamps from Stampin’ Up (Sunny Seasons Greetings and Varied Vases):

These are a couple of easy cards without the Copic coloring that I did before my Copic obsession set in.

The first one (deck the halls) I did by using the pennants (upside down) and the presents from Concord & 9th Birthday Stacks. The set made it super easy to color the trees and the presents with the included solids.  I added the sentiment and the stars from other stamp sets and used a Copic marker for the trunks.  Easy and fun card.

Still more to come but I have a pretty good start so hopefully December won’t be too manic this year (who am I kidding, right?).

Project of the Month: Altenew Academy One Layer Wonders Days 4-6

DAY FOUR:  of Altenew Academy One Layer Wonders with Kelly Latevola

A big lesson today with lots of new stuff to try. Loved the masking to combine the images (even though I need more practice placing my images). Loved using the gray Copic markers to shade the interior of the flowers. I think it would have been better if my images weren’t so heavily lined in black but that is what I had to work with. In hind sight I may have been happier using a gray ink to stamp. Loved playing with the exterior shadowing some more. Loved the masking along the outer edges and then blending my blue distress ink. In fact that is probably my favorite part.

What I wasn’t crazy about was my choice of markers. I’ve just started buying them but I think I will be happier with lighter choices in the future (<5). This felt heavy handed to me. But hey. It’s all a learning experience, right?  Overall I loved these techniques. I think with lighter colors this would be much better. Oh and I messed up by stamping on water color paper again. So lots of room for improvement on my part but a great lesson.

 

DAY FIVE:

So glad to be doing more coloring.  I need the practice!!!  Masking the leaves wasn’t as tedious as I anticipated and it makes a big difference.  I admit that I “cheated” on the sentiment.  We were supposed to create a faux raised tag but I couldn’t bring myself to color a black rectangle in the center of all that coloring work (even though I think that is such a clever technique!).  I also left my background white although I loved the effect we got yesterday with the blending (as compared with day 3).  All in all it was a fun experience.  I can’t be-leaf we only have one more class left.  This is like summer camp for adults!

 

DAY SIX:

Last day of class and we are pulling it all together.  I decided to combine several of the techniques we learned this week.  First I made the faux banner that we learned on the first day.  I decided to heat emboss my background in white and then blend on a blue distress ink because I knew I didn’t want to do the water color this time.  Unfortunately I forgot to print and mask my flowers first so rather than start from scratch (which I should have done!) I tried to fake it by masking the flowers before heat embossing and then trying to stamp where the masks had been.  Unfortunately the stamp I was using was a rubber stamp and not clear so I wasn’t able to line it up correctly, but hey, that’s what the learning process is all about, right?

To color the flowers I wanted to continue experimenting with my Copic markers.  I only have a handful so I wanted to try the gray marker for shading the flower the way Kelly taught us.  This helped make up for the fact that I don’t own a mid town pink marker.  I used the gray marker for the drop shadows as well.

Finally I added my sentiment (which I adore) and then I added the heart (to cover up where I messed up the ink – shhh) and embellished the center of the flowers with matching dots.

This has been a fun class.  I’m so glad I participated.  There were so many new techniques and mediums that I would not have tried on my own.  I look forward to experimenting with them more.  Thanks Kelly.  For your time, your expertise, your encouragement.

 

June Project of the Month: Altenew Academy Days 1-3

Today I am starting Altenew Academy’s One Layer Wonders class. Our first assignment was to create a dimensional looking banner on the front of the card using masking. I chose to use a stamp set I already had to create my card.

 

This was a fun technique and a simple way to make a single layer card. Thank you Kelly Latevola! Can’t wait for tomorrow’s lesson!

 

DAY TWO:

 

This was decidedly more difficult than day one.  Partly because of my aversion to background stamps. (I just can’t get the coverage I would like) And partly because I chose a difficult shape to mask (flamingo) instead of a nice plump heart or square or circle. But I am still happy with my card and I loved the way Kelly taught us to do the faux white on black label (ARE FABULOUS).

 

DAY THREE:

 

Waaaaaaay out of my comfort zone today using distress inks and water coloring. So glad I gave it a try.  It is no where near the level of Kelly Latevola’s example but if you haven’t seen hers then mine is passable. I also decided to add to my limited distress ink stash and start a COPIC marker collection. I’m hoping the alcohol based markers are easier for me to use than my water based TOMBOWs.  I loved kindergarten. Why is coloring as an adult so hard?

 

 

May Project of the Month – Playing with Cross Stitch

I posted some cross stitched cards in November and I’m back at it.  I find it relaxing and I enjoy the challenge of trying to figure out new patterns.

First the easy stuff:  I did the cards below during my vacation last month but never got around to posting them.  The first two are influenced by the Caribbean.

 

The second two were a result of trying new dies:  a tag and a heart.

 

The remaining cross stitch is still waiting to be made into cards.  In each of these I was trying to recreate a different pattern.  The navy and white emulates an antique coverlet I once owned.

The red and black is the plaid pattern that I mentioned I wanted to try in my November post.

And the last sample was my attempt to emulate a plaid pattern again, but this time using three colors.

These last three use the square cross stitch die from Paper Smooches.

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February Project of the Month – A New Etsy Shop!

This month I’m excited to share the opening of my new Etsy shop with my Handmade Greeting Cards:  CardzByDeeZyne.etsy.com  CardsByDeeZyne

I already have an Etsy shop for my Handmade Sea Glass Jewelry:  ByDeeZyne.etsy.com ByDeeZyne and I still get a kick out of getting orders from all over the country and the world but I have become obsessed with card making of late and thought I would open a second Etsy shop with my cards.

I am just starting out and even though I’ve been involved with Etsy for some time now, I am finding there are still some challenges with starting a new shop.  It will take some time to get it off the ground and perfect my “product” and find my niche.  I just hope that people are still sending snail mail.  I send out cards to friends and family all the time and I know I love receiving mail myself but I today it is all about email and social media.  I love tech but it isn’t the same as a had written note or letter.

I hope you will visit both my shops.  I welcome custom orders and would be happy to work with you to design cards or jewelry just for you.

I’m adding more cards all the time: