Wednesday, August 15, 2018

1st Set of Unity ATC’s for August

Was inspired this month to start my ATC’s early, and it seemed each one spoke to me, calling to be made! I had been saving Unity’s Sunflower - Miss You, Friend kit for the August timeframe. I paired it with a sentiment from the love. just love. regardless kit from Unity. I started by stamping the flower in brown archival ink on each card. I then took my Gansai Tambi watercolor set and painted each card in a very quick almost impressionistic style. I added a little white Posca pen marks to each card. Once dried, I took a new Tim Holtz mini stencil and added small squares around the flower using a bright red oxide ink. Finally, I used a brown marker to add a frame. I then stamped the sentiment, cut it down, and added some distress inks using another stencil to match the flowers. I then used a hole puncher on the sentiment tag and the ATC and used a coordinating brad (an assortment) to combine the two. I really liked how it turned out...reminds me of a French country kitchen for some reason!

The second ATC went in an entirely different direction as I had just received new Unity goodies I had  ordered. I decided I wanted to try my new 11/16 SMAK kit and a new mint/blue embossing powder I picked up on sale (my favorite color). I first made a prototype using the embossing powder and inks I thought I could use and used that as the basis for the colors and designs. I started by finding and cutting up some cheap patterned paper I thought could make a good ATC foundation. I inked up the large feather and stamped it in the middle of each ATC card using Memento Rich Cocoa ink. I also found another distressed white patterned sheet that I picked up in a discount store that I stamped lightly all over with the music sheet background stamp using Vintage Photo ink. I added some Evergreen Bough and Antique Linen Oxide ink to the page to mute the white. I tore two ends of the ATC off and attached pieces of the now off-white paper. I inked up all the edges using Vintage Photo. I then took out a stencil and added Heidi swap metallic paste in white and Brea Reese gold paste. Finally, I stamped the the two smaller bird stamps in the Evergreen Bough and Rich Cocoa inks on the inked up off white paper. I fussy cut them all out and added crystal dots for eyes. I then cut up cardstock for the sentiment. I added Antique Linen, Evergreen Bough and Vintage Photo to each piece. I used an Avery Elle ink in mint color and then the embossing powder to add the sentiment. To finish the ATC, I added another dot to the sentiment, darkened the edges of the ATC and sentiment and glued everything together. The ATC turned out okay, but I really love how the birds, sentiment, feather and music background stamps complement each other so well. This really is a lovely kit! That’s all for now! Hope you enjoy these!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Sunflower Card

This month’s Unity SMAK kit (August 2018) has beautiful sunflowers in it that I had to play with! Been busy doing ATC’s so, after the long break, felt the need to dive into a lot of products. I started by stamping the 2 sunflowers onto Canson Bristol paper using a combo of yellow, orange and black archival inks. I then took one of the background stamps from the kit and started stamping around the flowers with clear embossing ink and then embossed Hot Cocoa Nuvo powder on the background. I then began adding paint to the sunflowers using a yellow and then a mixed orange Brea Reese Glitters inks. I then pulled in Pewter Perfect Pearls to darken some areas. Once dried I used both white and black Posca pens...I have a question about this later.

Turning to the background I first started adding distress and oxide blues and Fossilized Amber. I then sprayed some Distress stains in Fossilized Amber and Heather Smoke to darken some areas. Following this I decided to add more blue and pulled out a darker Tattered Angel Glimmer Mist and hit the lighter areas. I finished the background by adding Peacock Feathers Oxide in several areas. I then wanted to add a border, so I took a ruler stamp from Unity’s A Love Beyond Measure kit (also used a sentiment from this kit). I used Peacock Feathers again for the border and then added paint up to the border. I took a dark gold Bo Bunny paste and used a TCW stencil to add petals in 3 areas. Because I wanted a little white in the mix, I also used a TCW stencil to add 3 butterflies using Brea Reese White texture paste.

To assemble the card I found matching paper and distressed the edges for the background, a matching paper clip bow, a glitter star and some sequins. I inked up the sentiments from the 2 kits and distressed the edges and added those. Now, the questions I have is -> should I outline with black the background behind the sunflowers? Or, should I continue detailing the flowers with the black pen? Or, finally, leave as is? Very interested in your feedback! Well, thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

Monday, August 6, 2018

Dragonfly Card

A beautiful FB friend recently sent me some wonderful patterned paper having nailed my style perfectly! As I was looking through the papers, I started looking through my stamps, trying to decide what to couple with the paper. Suddenly, I became distracted with the intricate designs in the papers and wondered if I could case them. So, I followed my latest diversion and took out some watercolor paper. I then began adding distress color to the paper (drying the paper between color additions). I pulled out a large Unity Mandela stamp from the 7/17 KOTM and stamped that a few times using oxide ink. I then pulled out the Thoughts from the Past Stamp and stamped around 3 times again. Finally, I pulled Unity’s Happy kit and used the spatter to add a little blue.

At this point, I pulled out black Versafine ink and stamped the large dragonfly. I used oxide inks to color in the butterfly and finally added Brea Reese Glitter inks and Spectrum Noir Glitter pens to add sparkle to the butterfly. I went over the dark lines with a Micron pen. I then pulled out a white Brea Reese Texture paste and a TCW stencil to add a little texture and white paint. I stamped the sentiment, added paint spatters and fussy cut that and some of the blue paper, sent to me, to back it. I smudged all the edges, attached everything to the card base and added sequins. I did add a little pencil color around the butterfly.

Hope you enjoyed this card! Till next time, happy crafting!

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Friends of Unity August 2018 Blog Hop

Hello, again, Unity Stamp Co. friends! Back again, with another blog hop. But, first, I’d like to announce the winner of last month’s giveaway! Using a random number generator, Mary Reiner won my giveaway. Mary, to claim your prize, please message me with your mailing address and I’ll get it out right away! You have 2 weeks to claim this prize. This month there are 3 other friends offering a giveaway, Eileen Mathis, Jeanie Hays and Robyn Jordan! All you need to do to win is leave comments on each blog in the hop.

With this month’s theme, Coffee and Tea, I found stamp selection was so easy as Unity offers a large selection of coffee/tea based stamps. I decided to focus my efforts on a, new to me, stamp, Spring to Go, for the coffee theme, and, for the tea theme, one of my very favorite stamps, Sweet Tea Kitty. Had to do both themes because I’m a lover of both beverages!

For the first card, I stamped the cup in both gray and brown archival inks and the sentiment in brown. For color inspiration, I decided I wanted to incorporate the washi I included on the card. So, the color scheme is cool blue, yellow, cream, brown and a soft orange. Using my Prismacolor pencils, I tried mirroring the white flowers and used the blue for the leaves and cup top. I added the washi tape and used a Gina K die to cut the paper, and coordinating colored patterned papers. I added coordinating twine, a coffee cup paper clip and enamel dots. I also cut out raised shiny beans from a patterned paper I picked up in a junkie kit.

For the second card, I started by using an embossing folder I picked up in a discount store. I spritzed water on the paper before running it though my Big Shot. I then ran both pink and red inks over the raised areas and diluted the white background by adding a little Antique Linen color in the depressions (I did this by adding color to the folder and repressing the paper.) I then stamped the image on watercolor paper in red and brown archival inks. I stamped the sentiment in red. I used tube paints and distress inks to add color to the image. I then added paint to the background. After this I pulled out a Gina K. stencil I had also picked up on sale and added red and brown marks to the background and red marks to the sentiment. Once dried, I added a Heidi Swap metallic white paste over the top of the same design, adds a cool luster in spots. I added some Spectrum Noir Glitter ink to the kitty. I then took coordinating patterned paper and used a Tim Holtz die cut on it. I used a combo of Gina K and Memory Box dies in this card. I backed that and the sentiment with burlap patterned paper to tie in with the kitty! I finished off the card with gold and red ribbon, glittery gold enamel dots and a gold butterfly. What can I say...I love texture!

Hope these cards and the others shared on the following blogs help to stimulate your creative ideas (like I find when I hop). Remember, if you wish to participate in the giveaways, be sure to comment on every blog entry in this Hop. We, all, on the Friends of Unity design team, are always interested in your feedback! That’s why we use our own stash to offer giveaways.

We are NOT sponsored by Unity Stamp Co., but they approve our hop. We are huge fans of the company, their products, the owners and staff, and the Unity Show and Tell community, which is why this Hop was started. Just wanted to share our theme based designs and some of our favorite stamps.

Friend of Unity blog hop:
you are here —> Joyce Verdon
Next up —> Dawn Fields

Thanks for stopping by! Till next time, happy crafting!

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Maple Girl Card

For some reason, I think seeing some other cards, I turned to making an autumn card (my favorite season). I used Unity’s Maple girl kit, plus the 9/14 KOTM (embellishment on sentiment card) and the 8/17 KOTM (maple leaf). I started by creating leaves. I wanted to see what I could do with the leaves from the KOTM. I used yellow, light and dark green, orange, and red oxides. I rubbed the lightest first and then added colors as I went along. I took Tim Holtz stencil to add circles and uncover colors underneath. I then used a script stamp to add marks using Vintage Photo. I then stamped a set of each of the leaves. I used another stencil to add a little texture paste (gold on the oak leaves and copper on the Maple leaves). I then fussy cut them. I only used 1 maple leaf on this card.

I then stamped the girl in Coffee archival ink. I used pencils to color in the girl. I also stamped the sentiment from the kit and added leaves around the sentiment. I colored those and added colors around both the girl and the sentiment. I used the Farmhouse paper pad to add coordinating papers. I ended up coloring the edges of the girl and sentiment with persimmon colored distress ink.

To complete the card, I added twine, some beads and sequins. It was a little cooler today, but as it heats up again, I’ll definitely be turning back to summer! How about you? Thinking of autumn yet?

Monday, July 30, 2018

Life Should Be Cards

Received this Unity stamp set, Life Should Be kit, in my last purchase (sigh). I also used a sentiment stamp from 1/13 SMAK kit. Also picked up some discounted TCW stencils that I tried out. Used a combo of media, Brea Reese Glitter Inks, Distress inks, Tattered Angels Glimmer Mists and Perfect Pearls. Experimented in layering stencils and trying out different coloring schemes.

In the first card, I used a yellow and purple ink to color, but because it’s so dark, I tried adding water and ended up losing the brilliance of the color. I used the left over bits to add another butterfly stencil which I added color to and ended up using as a background paper. I had used a gold Heidi Swapp mist that to add the butterfly impressions which was a little too watery. I also stamped a flower and used pencils to add coordinating colors on a lavender paper.

In the second card, I first layed down the yellow design and then added the purple mist which ended up covering up the yellow design. I stamped the image on the paper and stamped it again on another sheet, colored it, fussy cut and attached over the original stamped image.

The third card, which I think I like the best, I sprayed the purple rays first and then added the yellow rays. I used Perfect Pearls on this one.

I still don’t feel I’ve developed a card that really does justice to this pretty stamp, but it’s time to move on! Also, just a note, I used Paper Studio Kraft card base set for these, that is an unusual size. Noticed that the die sizes were too large for this size. May stay away from these in the future. Thanks for stopping by.

Second set of July ATC’s

Clearly, I was in a watery mood this month as 3 of the 4 sets I put together had water in them! The first set was created using 4 Unity sets: Beach Girl, Border of Bells, Inspired Minds and Let It Go and FOCUS. I was inspired by a video I watched which treated napkins with baby oil to make them translucent and like a decal. I found a small shell designed napkin set discounted at Tuesday Morning that had pretty colors. I began by pulling the top layer of the 3 sheets off and coating each side lightly with baby oil. I let that dry for 24 hours before I stamped the sentiment on it. I ended up using a white pen to highlight the sentiment. I fussy cut the napkin paper. I took watercolor paper, mixed a sand color and watercolored the background first. After cutting up the page into ATC size, I then took my blue and brown inks out and started stamping waves at the bottom using the border stamp. I also stamped using a watered down white acrylic paint. I used a bluer color and the white paint to add splashes using the splotch stamp. I embellished it all with a white Posca pen. I attached the shell at the top and then stamped out the girl. I watercolored her, fussy cut her out and ended up making a pseudo dock to put her behind (using markers). I attached those and called it done.

With the second ATC, I finally moved away from the water theme. I picked up some cheap, pretty colored, flower petals I wanted to try on an ATC. I also picked up Heidi Swapp stencils half priced that I thought I’d try. I LOVE hummingbirds and have 2 feeders servicing about 8-10 hummingbirds on my patio right now. I enjoy them year round, luckily! So, I pulled out the Faith and Hope Unity kit and stamped a hummingbird that I would use as a mask. I used my stencil to lay down a red strip and, with moving the stencil, a yellow strip. I then stamped the hummingbird and sentiment in blue ink. I colored the butterfly using Brea Reese Glitter Inks. I then used another stencil I picked up to create branches. I used a glossy paste mixed with Tattered Angels Green Glitter Mist to lay down the branches. I definitely need to get better at stenciling as it is difficult to do this in a production line (stencil gets mucked up, I get mucked up, the craft sheet gets mucked up,... you get the idea!). I then turned to the petals that were yellow with a pink edge and I noticed that I needed to add a little more color to the ends. After that, I stapled 4 petals to each ATC and folded the top one over and adhered it to the back. These were then done, even if a little imperfect!

Tried a lot of new products this time! I’m really enjoying doing the ATC’s as it gives me a chance to play and develop some skills. Till next month... happy crafting!

Saturday, July 28, 2018

First set of July ATC’s

Pretty hot outside, so I decided to cool off with water based ATC’s. The first set shown was based on a retired Unity stamp set called Seashell Song. I had picked up a set of pre-stamped white tags at a Tuesday Morning store that I thought I could use. I began by using a Tim Holtz stencil and a yellow distress ink. I then tried using the Ranger Micro Glaze to set the yellow, rubbing it on through the stencil. I then wiped it off and added a red ink. This went okay, but I think because I had to do so many ATC’s the glaze got on the sponge and the glaze ended up in places I didn’t intend. I then went over the edges with Vintage Photo. At this point I pulled out Stazon black ink and stamped and embossed the image. I cut the tag down to the appropriate size and then turned the leftover end upside down and stamped and embossed the sentiment. I fussy cut the sentinment and backed it with a distressed gold paper. I then took some watercolors and added a little color to the image and here’s where the glaze proved a little troublesome and interfered with that effort. I then took an Art Anthology bird stencil and added 3 images to each card using a Bo Bunny dark gold paste. I replaced the white thread with black twine and called it done.

The second ATC was created using 3 Unity sets: You Can Do It (bubbles), Beach Girl (sentiment) and the 1/15 SMAK kit (plant). I also used Recollection mini beads, a stencil, patterned paper, a Brea Reese light gold paste and a Heidi Swapp white paste. started by adding blue and green inks to the bottom of each card, with the darkest colors at the bottom. I then stamped the bubbles using different inks again including darker blues and greens. I also added a plant stamp image. Next, I added white dots using a stencil at the top. Next, I mixed mini beads in with the gold paste and slathered (yes, like buttah!) the mixed concoction across the middle top. I then colored the remaining section with Antique Linen and fussy cut some palm leaves from a patterned paper set I picked up in a magazine and attached one at the top of each card. I stamped, cut, and inked the edges of the sentiment. I added the sentiment and some crystal dots and called them done.

Hello Little Birdie Card

I decided to create another black and white card today into the Unity challenge. I was inspired by a grayscale card already entered and my coffee cup this morning. I used 5 kits this morning: Hello Little Birdie, She (by Donna Downey), Include Yourself in Beauty (flowers), Enjoy the Ride (postal stamps), Her Own Hero (sentiment), Eternal (gate background).

I pulled out watercolor paper and began by stamping and masking the flowers in the top corner using Hickory Smoke Distress inks. I painted a little black into the flowers to darken edges and shadows. I then took the bird and stamped the bird part in Black Soot Oxide and then added Hickory Smoke into the branch. I also painted the bird a little to add in gray. Then I stamped the gate lightly all over. Next I took the postage stamp and stamped one of the stamps in a few places. I then stamped the sentiment, dark black again. Following this, I added the Donna Downey sentiment trying to overlap wth the postage stamp, but again using the hickory smoke. I added a little gray paint here and there.

I decided I liked the whole paper I created, so I needed to go up a level in card size. I made a black card, added white strips at the top and bottom, using both the gate and postage stamps. And centered the paper.

I LOVE this design and am dying to try it out with other stamps, but in color! I think this one turned out interesting and pretty. But I think I will move to archival inks next time, so I can add color more easily to the background! I also will try to coordinate image styles a little better (thin lines vs thicker lines, level of detail, etc) and focus more on image placement. Well, hope you enjoyed blog entry, till next time, happy crafting!

Thursday, July 26, 2018

French Kiss Life Card

Decided to enter into Unity’s Black and White Floral Challenge. I barely qualify as there is only the floral stamp on the right side that I included at the last minute. I must admit, I didn’t even notice the “floral” part, but as luck, would have it there is a rose on the card! Phew!

Anyway, again, wanting to use some new TCW stencils and a new Tim Holtz embossing folder, I picked up discounted, I decided to create a Paris themed card. A little over a year ago, I visited Paris so it seemed appropriately timed! I first took white paper, sprayed it with water and folder embossed it with a French script folder. I then took the black ink and ran it over the raised areas.

I pulled the girl from Unity’s 12/16 SMAK kit and stamped her on an Authentique patterned paper in black ink. I then took some white gesso and lightened the right side of her to make her stand out more. I also used a Posca white pen to add highlights to her face, jewelry and clothes. I took a black acrylic paint and the stencil and added Paris and some script to the right side. I then pulled Unity’s Straight Laced kit and added a black lace impression on the left side. I finally stamped the floral label from Unity’s French Kiss Life kit.

I created some small ephemera pieces from other vendor kits that I thought would match. I then took black paper and embossed the sentiment from the label kit and diecut it. I had picked up the scrolling crystals at a half priced sale and really didn’t know when I’d ever use them. Seeing them, I thought this might be the closest I’d get to creating a card they’d work with. I also added black lace, black/white string and backed the patterned sheets I created with black paper.

Well, that’s all for today! Till next time - happy crafting!

Focus on the Good Card

Veered off my plan to continue with my pencils, as I was distracted by the new TCW stencils I just got and a new very pretty Prima Santorini paper pad. The colors in this pad are very summery and not my usual. I looked through my stash of unused Unity kits and happened on the Let it Go and Focus stamp set. I decided on a collage style card matching with the paper’s style.

To begin, I pulled a Canson Bristol paper and grabbed a pink, a blue and a yellow Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist. I wanted to match the paper in the pad so I spritzed the pink, added blue in 2 of the corners and dried the sheet I had cut down. I then spritzed all over the yellow to warm the colors a little. I dried the papers and the stamped the flower in both bright pink and a thistle shade (in the shadow parts), both archival inks. I then used black archival ink on the sentiment and embossed that.

To add color to the flower, I used both Worn Lipstick and Picked Raspberry Oxide inks. I also used a touch of pink Brea Reese ink to add glitter. I then used the script stamp using Broken China. I also grabbed a background stamp from the 11/17 SMAK kit using Coffee archival ink. I used the same ink to stamp Let it Go all over. I then pulled out a couple pastes, a white Heidi Swapp and a blue Nuvo paste. I used them with my new stencils to add some interest and dried the images (makes them puff up a little).

I then turned to the card and used the original inspiration paper as the base, distressing the paper first. I then used the paper scraps (the opposite side of the paper) to add interest, tearing and distressing bits. I also used the Hugs kit to stamp Hug and Smile in coordinating colors. I colored a doily fragment to match and added that. To complete the card, I added fancy trim to the watercolor paper and added vintage brown to the edges. The card is pretty glimmery and glittery so I didn’t bother with any other embellishments. 

I like how this card turned out and hope you do too! Happy crafting till next time! 

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Life is Damn Good Card

Picked up this Unity Angie girl and sentiment in a swap. They’re both from Unity’s May 2016 KOTM. Was feeling very lucky today, having had a good life and reflecting back on some highlights! Don’t think I do this enough, how about you? Really felt the sentiment today!

Anyway, seems I’ve been very focused lately on watercolors and an eclectic style (a very kind lady called my crazy stuff this term, recently). So, I turned to my Prismacolor pencils and this, new to me, stamp set. I stamped the girl using a combo of red and brown inks on Bristol paper (which worked nicely for pencils). I pulled out an Authentique paper pad wanting to move into warmer bright colors (I tend to focus more on cooler and/or duller colors.) So I picked the brightest paper and used that as a guide to color the girl. Stamped the sentiment on paper from the pack, die cut it and added some shading.

To pull the card together, I ended up using a corner punch, a few dies to create hearts, and some crystal dots. Hope you enjoy the card, and, remember to take a moment to reflect on all the good things in your life!

Monday, July 23, 2018

Don’t Lose the Spark Card

I really felt the need to be artsy today! I had been playing with the background flower stamp from Unity’s January 2015 SMAK kit when I decided to try watercolor painting it to coordinate with a paper from a new Prima paper pad. I first stamped using a hunter green and then blue archival ink and proceeded to paint it using oranges, reds, and aquas. I cut the paper down and ended up toning it down using a light wash of Aged Mahogany distress oxide ink. I picked out a red background from the pad for the card base and die cut the flower patterned paper using a tag die. I decided to keep the top of the patterned paper and knew I could cover up the hole at the top of the pad with the background paper. I also used some of the paper scraps to make a strip at the top.

Once done, I then started thinking of what stamp I could use as a focal point with these these papers and my eye landed on the frame and sentiment from the November 2017 SMAK kit. I stamped that using the same blue and green archival inks and and added an orange on the flowers, and finally embossed it using clear embossing powder. I painted the frame and then stamped and embossed the sentiment from the same kit using plum archival ink, and fussy cut it out.

I then turned to my ephemera collection to see what I could use to balance the card out. I found a pale teal feather and teapot that I added color to to blend in with the other pieces. I also found the word treasure and a background for it that I added to the tag. Again, I added some darker color to this piece.

At this point, I still felt creative (or slightly whacked) and felt the need to turn the frame into a mirror and pulled out the girl from the March 2018 SMAK kit and the chandelier from the June 2017 SMAK kit. I practiced lightly stamping using Aged Mahogany, and finally, took courage into my hands and stamped the images onto the completed frame. I lightly took a brush full of water and smudged down the images. I dried the frame, decided I would keep it and took a brown Sharpie and added a little detail and a white Posca pen to add light touches.

I finally put the card together adding peach lace, a teal flower and cream fancy string. So, this happy mess is what happens, I guess, when I get in a mood to play. I had a lot of fun matching colors, designs and papers and playing at creating a mirror. Next time I will practice this in advance to improve my novice technique here. Interested as always in feedback! Take care and explore your inner creative urges... it’s always a surprise to see what happens!