Saturday, November 24, 2012

Catching Up After Thanksgiving

The Thanksgiving sign can be "plucked" out of the wings
 to find a message written on the back.

Hello friends -- Happy "belated" Thanksgiving!  You don't have to celebrate the American Thanksgiving holiday to be thankful for family & friends all year round.  And I'm definitely thankful to my friendly readers; I love to read your comments & emails -- thank you for stopping by.  I sent out my Thanksgiving cards on time this year, most of them being fairly simple cards.  But I found this fun paper by Echo Park called Fall Fever Owl, and somehow ended up sketching this fun card. 

I started with pearlized tan cardstock & adhered the Fall Fever Owl CS to the front (the opposite side of the CS is the woodgrain print shown in the sign on the front of the card). I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it at first, but I was thinking I'd like to have owl eyes peering over the top -- and it just sort of evolved from there.

The eyes were cut out of black, white, & blue CS in 1 1/4", 1 1/2", & 1 3/4" respectively.  I set brown cardstock between the card layer and lightly sketched a head with ears & an egg-shaped body (initially thinking it wouldn't be seen except over the top of the card).  Then I cut wonky brown hearts out of scrap CS for the feathers, and sketched wings, feet, & a beak.  I used a distressing tool to scrape up the edges to give them some fluff, and an blending tool with walnut stain distress ink to ink the individual pieces.  These are all basic shapes, so I didn't overstress it. 

I adhered the owl to the inside of the card with a banner strip of four owls to represent the four of us in our family.  I needed a speech bubble with four points so I drew it onto ivory CS, cut it out and inked the edges.  The sentiment, Elegant Beginnings by Stampin' Up, was heat embossed with Charcoal embossing powder. 

QUICK & EASY TIP:  The feet sticking out of the bottom made the card difficult to stand.  So I used my Tim Holtz small easel Sizzix die to cut the easel for the back of the card from heavy cardstock.  I LOVE this die for projects like this that need a helping hand to stand up, but also need to be mailed, because the easel lies flat for going into an envelope!  Awesome!  This die also cuts chipboard for a thicker stand, if needed.

NOTE:  In hindsight, I wish I had made the easel from black cardstock instead of white for a more finished look, but I did use a black sharpie for the part that was showing through the feet (which is probably why you can't see the easel from the front).

Isn't it so cute peeking out of the envelope?!
Next on the list?  Christmas Cards...mostly done, thankfully.  But wish me luck getting them posted.  Blogger is not cooperating at all. 

If you're out shopping for Christmas, be's a jungle out there.  =)

Btw - I have disengaged the comment verification again,  Thankfully, it seemed to help alleviate the spam least for now.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Countdown Begins

I don't think there's an "official" day to begin the Countdown to Christmas, but I figured today was as good a day as any.  The little trick or treaters have gone to bed, and tomorrow will be here before ya know it.  But as for the moment I'm writing this post -- October 31st, 2012 -- the calendar stands at 54 days before Christmas...which will be 53 days in just a couple hours.  Time just seems to move fast that way.  =)

The tag I created is for Tim Holtz' 12 Tags of 2012.  Love the tutorial he has on his blog for this tag for blending the paint onto the collaged tag.  It looks like I have a lot going on, but this tag was relatively simple to put together (check out Tim's website HERE for step by step instructions).  I started with a manila #8 tag, which you can also cut using TH Tag & Bookplate die.  I glued on the Melange Tissue Wrap collage paper -- LOVE this paper...and used Red Pepper & Pool paint dabbers as shown in Tim's tutorial, and edged the tag with the Pebble paint dabber for a slight shadowing effect.  I used a blending tool to add a bit more color using Peacock Feathers & Festive Berries distress ink, before spraying Sunflower Sparkle perfect pearls mist over the tag. 

The pre-cut grungeboard was painted with Snow Cap paint dabber before adding my custom colored glitter.  The glitter recipe I used was:  1 Tbsp. Distress Rock Candy dry glitter, 5 drops Butterscotch, 2 drops Caramel, and 1 drop Latte alcohol inks.  I wanted close to a golden "cheer" effect -- and I like the way it seems to brighten up the tag.  I used the Snow Cap paint dabber to add bits of white "snow" color to the glittered pieces, and added a piece of snowflake tissue tape from the top of the tag...adding a bit more Snow Cap paint before stamping "countdown" in black archival ink.  I used an old Dymo tape gun to print "Christmas 2012" on some blue stared plastic tape I found at a thrift store a while back. 

For the ticket, I used a favorite technique of mine...Watercolor Embossed Stamping.  First I inked the ticket stamp, from TH Odds & Ends stamp set, with Peacock Feathers and stamped it off onto scrap paper, then with the remaining ink left on the stamp I spritzed it well with water & stamped it again onto white, lightweight cardstock -- holding it in place for about 20 seconds so the water seeps into the fibers of the paper.  It gives it an undefined watercolor look, and as it dries the water raises the areas the watercolor has touched giving it a faux embossed feel to the cardstock.  After the cardstock was dry I overstamped with black archival ink, sprayed it with Sunflower Sparkle, cut it out, and distressed the edges.  A piece of cobweb tissue tape was added to the corner, the date was circled in red ink, and the ticket was attached it to the tag with tiny attacher staples.  Finally, the tag was finished with white seam binding ribbon & TH Tinsel Twine.

Now I guess I better get this posted before my countdown tag changes numbers...again (yep, I initially had the wrong number of days glued down -- but realized it before it could do any damage).  Ha!
Thanks for stopping by.  Lisa