It has been several months of family drama for me but all family members seem to be slowly on the mend (thank God). But that is why I a so late to post for December.
My niece got herself a planner in December which inspired me to do the same. I then created some customized stickers to meet my planner needs. I used my Silhouette Cameo to print and cut the stickers. It took several tries to get the check list boxes to fit my small planner but now I am set for the year.
This month I decided to change up the thank you notes that I send out with my Etsy orders (bydeezyne.etsy.com). I love making hand made cards and always send a thank you note but usually they are computer generated. This month I decided to make them with my stamp sets to satisfy my card making obsession.
thank you leaves
thank you pine cones
etsy thank you cards
Much more fun! The cards below are a new set from Avery Elle called Berry Good. I stamped the first card with black ink but then decided to emboss the rest with black embossing powder. I colored the peaches with Stampin’ Up colored pencils and their watercolor blender. I added some rhinestones just because.
Here are some more 3 x 3 thank you notes. These were quick and easy. I put strips of washi tape on card stock and die cut the stars. I embossed and scored the card base and added the sunshine washi tape and attached the stars with dimensionals. Love the results!
Here are my 2016 Christmas cards. I used a variety of products and techniques this year.
Starting in the upper left corner I used the double layering technique with a stamp set called Peaceful Pinecones. It was super easy and one of my favorites. Below that I played with my Misti to position pine trees from the Joyful Christmas stamp set in a variety of colors. Both stamp sets are from PaperTrey Ink (https://www.papertreyink.com/stamps/peaceful-pinecones-stamp-set/).
In the top right is a patchwork Christmas tree I made using a variety of patterned glitter papers that I punched out using the top of the Stampin Up Christmas tree punch. I adhered them to white card stock and then embossed the front. Of all my cards this was the easiest and most effective. The red star and the Joy were die cut from red foil paper (all from Stampin’ Up).
On the bottom are two cards I printed with my computer onto with cardstock. Once in red and again in green. I cut the card stock in half horizontally and repositioned on my card front. I then embossed the card front with snowflakes and added sequins.
The cards above were all done with a combination of my Silhouette Cameo and Stampin’ Up Die Cuts (for the ornaments, Joy and the bow). With embossing on the white card stock and sentiments from Stampin’ Up Word Play (tidings of comfort & Joy) and Wondrous Wreath (Happy Wonderful Christmas).
Above are three cards I made using the Stampin’ Up bird punch and some die cuts from my Silhouette cameo for the trees and the window. I’m still in love with this punch.
For these last three cards I used some techniques from Jennifer McQuire. I’m sorry to say that my results were nowhere near as beautiful as hers but I wanted to try her techniques for heat embossing. For the Merry cards I embossed Stampin’ Up Seasonally Scattered with white embossing powder on red card stock and with red embossing powder on white card stock. I cut the card stock horizontally and the repositioned on the front of my cards. For the Noel Wreathe I tried layered gold embossing powder and was very disappointed in my results. But hey. At least I tried.
So here is the whole gallery of cards for this year. It was fun to try new techniques and some I will definitely be using again for cards throughout the new year.
This month I have been trying to learn brush lettering and thought I would share what I have learned so far.
Tools of the Trade: There are tons of brush options out there from actual water color brushes, to Crayola markers, to Tombow brush pens and the like. I think the Crayola markers are a great way to start. They are cheap and easy to use. After struggling for a month with a Prismacolor brush pen I finally bought a cheap set of Crayola markers and the brush lettering started to click (below). I then “graduated” to a set of Tombow dual brush pens that worked relatively well (above).
I just received an order of Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pens that everyone on Instagram seems to swear by and I’m looking forward to experimenting with them (the big drawback with them is that they aren’t available locally so I had to order them online). It looks like the Fudenosuke Brush Pen may be between the Crayola markers and the dual brush pens in terms of hardness and difficulty of use. I tried a watercolor brush with watercolors briefly but that seemed to add an unnecessary degree of difficulty. I think you really need to master the techniques first before trying that and I’m not there yet.
Scale: I had a tough time with scale and I think scale is definitely linked to size and type of pen. Initially I think I was trying to write too small. With the Tombow brush pens and the Crayola markers 3/4 inch seems to be the right size between base line and x line (bottom and top of most lower case letters). The new Fudenosuke Brush Pen have a smaller tip which allows a smaller scale (1/4 – 1/2″).
Slant: I don’t typically slant my writing at all in my day to day life, but for some reason slanting the letters seemed to work better for me. It was also helpful to slant my paper about 45 degrees (or maybe more) to the front of my desk to write. Initially I was doing my writing on a pad on my lap which is not a great way to learn.
Embellish your lettering: These embellishments can add enough zing to your lettering to compensate for a less than perfect script.
Shadows: I use either a gray Tombow brush marker or a Faber Design Art Marker (and even the gray Crayola) to shade below and to the right of all the letters. The Tombow is more subtle but it can also “bleed” if it gets too close to the lettering.
Multi tone letters: Lots of ways to do this but my favorite is relettering the bottom part of each letter in a second color. You do this by putting a piece of cardstock over the part you do not want to color and relettering.
Highlights: I put some highlights on my letters with a white gel pen (Mitsubishi Pencil company Signo White Pigment Ink) that I had laying around.
I’m a long way from perfect but it is fun to practice and try new techniques and pens.
I printed the inside sentiment on my computer and the fish stamp on the envelope.
I also made a few Halloween cards on my Silhouette Cameo with die cuts from Silhouette Studio.
Here are a couple more Halloween Cards. The first was made with Stampin’ Up Jar of Love, patterned paper and Washi tape. I also used the double pierced rectangular die from Avery Elle. I used the Silhouette Cameo to print and cut the candy corn for the shaker portion. The second card was made entirely on the Silhouette Cameo – well, okay I used a circle die for the moon – but everything else was Silhouette.
Celebrating the 4th with a few cards using my Silhouette Cameo to cut the stripes (used both negative and positive space), Darice fireworks embossing folder, Stampin’ Up nested star die cut and Lifestyle Crafts polka dot embossing folder.
I purchased and made Stampin’ Up Enjoy the Little Things Project Kit as a gift. I was thrilled with the way each of the panels turned out and kept two for myself. In fact I was so inspired I have started making my own to hang as clipboard wall art. It is a nice alternative to card making or scrapbooking and adds a little inspiration to my office. And I can swap them out or make more as my mood changes.
And here is the storage solution I came up with: Using Stampin Up Clear Mount Stamp Cases (http://www.stampinup.com/ECWeb/ProductDetails.aspx?productID=119105) to store my mint stamps. Since my craft area is basically a closet, storage is at a premium so using these cases for all of my stamps has been a real space saver while allowing me to see what stamps are stored in each case.
I also made myself a cheat sheet for the mint stamp sizes to help with reordering the stamp refills.
An easy St. Patrick’s Day card. I may not be into green beer, but I love having any excuse to make cards. The shamrock is made from 6 hearts (punched from Stampin’ Up designer paper), folded in half and glued down center to center. The stem was cut with my bird punch from the same paper. The green background was embossed with a herringbone pattern. I added three black eyelets for no other reason than I wanted to play with my Crop-A-Dile.
The sentiment (Stampin’ Up Teeny Tiny Wishes) was stamped on the black and white striped cutout that I made using print and cut on my Silhouette Cameo. The shape was made by punching the label punch inside of another label punch in a piece of scrap card stock. I then scanning the shape into my computer. I colored in the stripes in the Silhouette software. I actually made a sheet of these using different patterns and colors so that I would have a quick and easy base for the sentiments in the Teeny Tiny Wishes set.
On the inside of the card I added an Irish blessing which I printed on Whisper White card stock and glued inside: “May your troubles be less and your blessings be more, and nothing but happiness come through your door.”