I didn't think I had any religious stamps for Christmas cards, but I did find this one:
I bought the set because of the awesome reindeer which I have stamped many times, but this stamp is good for my more religious friends, the ones that think "Jesus is the reason for the season".  Personally, I think it's all about commerce, but I don't mess with other people's beliefs.  This is for the Cheerful Stamp Pad challenge.

Juliet Arrighi

Polar Bear

I wasn't going to use this polar bear image until i saw how cute he looked on other people's cards.  Then I had to try it out for myself.  I had already figured out that I could mask the snowflakes with a clear glaze gelly pen, making it easier to color, but there is no easy way to color with Twinking H2Os - there is a reason why I stopped using them for so long.
The xmas adage tickets are just too easy to use; I may never stamp a sentiment again!  Again, I pieced together the background from scraps, layered on the image, and glued the tickets in place, using a punched snowflake as a conjunction.

The image is from Designed2Delight, and you can see other cards using the image from the Delightful Inspirations blog.  You get a freebie image if you play in the challenge.  I like the networking - Faith has a freebie (the polar bear image), I have a freebie (the adage tickets), everybody gets something and we all have fun!

Hmmm, Gingersnap Creations is having a polar animal challenge - gotta play!

Juliet Arrighi

merry and bright (tickets)

I was preparing Christmas cards for mailing last night, and I was starting to get depressed - so many of my cards were dark and sober - where were all the bright happy ones?  Then I remembered - I mailed the bright happy ones in my stash to Operation Write Home, and all I had left were ones that I've made since October.  Still, I've made some bright ones this year, haven't I?

There was nothing to do but print out some holiday digis on some Cryogen White iridescent paper from the PaperTemptress.  I love using the iridescent paper for digis, because the sparkle in the paper shines through most types of coloring.  I like digis for coloring, because the toner prints don't smear.

This card uses one of the free digis from Sliekje - this image is so cute!

You can see that I also used my Xmas adage tickets freebie, lightly highlighted with yellow glitter pen.  I used a yellow bic Mark-it to turn my star brad yellow, too.  You can't tell from the scan, but there is sparkle and shine all over this card - I used glitter and glaze pens all over, and the scanner doesn't show any of it.

I think that is one reason why copics are so popular - they scan and photograph beautifully!

Anyway, I took this card to my computer to scan it and what do you know - that's where all my most recently made cards were hiding!  Sheesh! 

A lot of challenge blogs are shutting down for the holiday, but a few are still open:
Creative Belli - Christmas embellishments
Fairy Fun - star
Fab n Funky - for children
Fresh Brewed - Merry Christmas

Juliet Arrighi

Freebie! Xmas adage tickets

I was thinking earlier today that I liked the look of adage tickets, but that they were 1) overpriced for what they are, and 2) not exactly to my taste. I wanted ones that had Christmassy messsages so I could add a quick sentiment to my last-minute holiday cards and crafting, without a fussy background, so I could match them to my cards, and cheap - always cheap. It occurred to me that I could make my own, so I did.

These are the tickets I made, and I will tell you how I did it, so you can do it too.  First, I printed them out from the image I will be giving you in a bit.  I placed them in a tight grid, 40 tickets to a sheet of cardstock.  To get perforations between the individual tickets, I ran the sheet through my sewing machine UNTHREADED - that made the little holes.  then I took a regular sized circle hole punch and punched at the intersections of the tickets to get that ticket corner look (it's fast - you do 4 corners at once!).  Then I cut it into the strips you see here.

I printed these on white, with the thought that I could burnish them with distress inks for color, or even stamp or color them (picture candy stripes!)  I could also print them on any color or type of cardstock I wished.  Tickets are one of the few things that look really good on construction paper. 

However, for this card, I thought the plain white background looked very nice:

You may recognize the reindeer from papiersalat by janna.   Everything else is scraps.  I cut the layer circles freehand; it seems to go with the reindeer.
so, would you like the tickets to print yourself?  Here they are!  Just click to enlarge and save to your computer.
If you take them, and especially if you use them, please leave a comment!  I would love to see what you do with them. 

2 Sisters - T'was the night...
Allsorts - last minute projects
Digis with attitude - anything with a digi

Have fun!

Juliet Arrighi

Long Card from Tidbits

Tidbits are the same thing as scraps, only it sounds nicer.

I had printed a bunch of these reindeer from papiersalat on glossy paper before I knew it was bad to color on glossy with copics - I didn't want to waste the printing, so I tried coloring them with my good old bics.  The bics give a stronger color,a nd I was able to blend them a little with my copic blender.

That's tidbit number one.

To make this long card (8.5 by 3.75 inches), I scrounged through cut bits of paper on my crafting table.  See the white punched border?  That isn't a separate piece of white paper, that is the selvage from the main background piece of scrapbooking paper.  Almost all double-sided paper that you buy by the sheet comes with a white selvage that has the barcode and and name of the paper on it.  Ususally it ends in the waste basket, but I decided to use it.  That, and the scraps layered under it, are tidbit number two.

I used a 2 inch circle punch to cut out the reindeer (Donner, I think - you'd have to ask Santa).  I didn't want to have to whip out the circle cutting tools necessary to cut the next size larger circle, so I thought I would punch three circles and offset them to make a layer.  Then I realized I didn't need three whole circles, just three crescents, and that used a lot less paper (tidbit number 3).  I think it's a more interesting look, too.

Finally, the white ruffle is a scrap of winkled gift tissue.  I couldn't decide whether to keep it to wrap another present, or toss it, and it sat in my hand just long enough to get stuck on a card.  That's my last thrifty tidbit. 

Now, for the challenges:
AIFactory - holiday
Digi Doodle - animal (yeay!  I can't believe I won last time!)
Pixie Dust - snow
Sassy Studio - non-traditional colors
Inktegrity - non-traditional colors
Paper Pretties - punches
My time to craft - reindeer
Cheerful Stamp Pad - "Twas the night before ..."

Juliet Arrighi

inchies for the holidays

One of the things that is so great about inchies is that you can make them out of what would be scraps otherwise.  When I was printing large poinsettias for the large card I made a few days ago, I had extra white space, so I filled it with tiny poinsettias to use as inchies.  Similarly, I was painting some cardstock for a different project, and I had enough left over for these snowflake inchies.
By themselves they are very simple, but they are lovely embellishments for a card.  Anywhere you might put a button or flower on a card, you could probably put an inchie.  It remains to be seen whether I will keep and use these, or swap them.  Either way I will have fun little bits to play with!

Juliet Arrighi

While watching Martha Stewart...

More Drawing Lab - Martha Stewart and Eric Ripert. Can you tell which is which?

Juliet Arrighi

More Drawing Lab

One of the assignments I'm working on right now with Drawing Lab is the one where I have to draw EVERYBODY. The lesson recommends using index cards and a pen - we are supposed to be drawing by feel, without looking to much at our subjects, and our subjects are not supposed to be posing - we are supposed to draw them as they move.

There is a coffeeshop method, where you sit in a public place and watch people eat and draw them, but I'm too lazy for that. I just turned on my tv and drew the people there. You have to be careful not to pick a show where everyone is deliberately beautiful, because then your pictures don't look like people in particular, but comic book images. I watched and drew Twilight Zone people.

One of them is Martin Landau, not that you could tell, and another I think in Mariette Hartley, but none of them look quite like those people.

Drawing old, wrinkly, bald people is fun!

Juliet Arrighi

CASEing a masterpiece

My friend and TAC demo, Chris had a workshop the other day in which we made "masterpiece" cards, which is to say, cards of such detail and quality that only the best card designers could execute them. For example, consider this card:

This was not a quick card to make.  Even with many of the pieces already cut out, it took some of the ladies over an hour to complete.  It probably doesn't how, but there is both heat and dry embossing, and the poinsettia, which is colored with Copic markers (how many demos let you use their Copic Sketch markers?) is actually three-tiered paper tole. with stickles in the center.  For most of use, this was the first time using a Martha Stewart Punch-around-the-Page set. 

I was tickled with how well the card came out, but I wondered - could I duplicate my results at home?  I didn't have the beautiful TAC poinsettia stamp, but when I saw Faith's free digi, I thought I would give it a try.

I first went wrong when I used glossy paper for my poinsettia.  The glossy helps with blending, but the finish just didn't look that great.  I didn't have the the same punches or stamps, either, and Stamping Up paper just isn't as nice as the paper TAC sells.  This card is still better than what I can design myself, though.  I might have to try this again.  If you didn't know how nice the original was, you might think this is really good!

Linkage (challenges):
Designed2Delight - digital image (freebie!)
Gingerloft - bows
Karber Christmas - Christmas + digi
Craft Your Days Away - texture
Alphabet - foliage
Tuesday Throwdown - embellishments

Juliet Arrighi


I played with my new Copic Sketch markers today.  It was interesting to see how they performed on different papers.  This image was done on laser glossy copy paper, which seemed to give me much lighter coloring that I was getting on matte cardstock.  Of course, once you have an image, you have to make a card!

Why is the sky green?  Because I don't have any blue copic markers!  the red and green do look Christmassy, I must say.  The cute image is a freebie from papiersalat.  The sentiment looks pale in the scan, but in real life, it is handwritten with a glitter pen and stands out just fine.

I suppose I need challenges:
CCEE - snowman
DigiDoodle - snow
DutchDare - Christmas/winter
Paper Romance - winter
Rainbow Lady - animals
Gingersnap Creations - snowpeople
Digital Tuesday - animals

Juliet Arrighi

Hanukkah treats

I like it when Hanukkah doesn't overlap Christmas, I can keep the two celebrations separate.  I am Jewish, and my husband is Catholic, so we have extra holidays in our house.

My sister and I spent some time this past weekend coloring, and made these little gift baskets.

The pink one is from a design on Splitcoast.  I made it first, but when my 22yo son Gordon saw it, he didn't like it at all;  he wanted a more open design that holds more treats.  He then came up with the folds for the blue basket.  The pink one was colored with the Penciled Twinks technique (it has a really nice shimmer); the blue one, colored by my sister, used Tombow markers and a blender pen.

Notice, if you will, the staple details on the corners.  I did those with my new Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher.  I love it.  The staples are so cute!

Anyway, I did another project for Hanukkah - this candle box.

It looks so much better than the ugly boxes that the candles come in!  This is nice enough to leave sitting out.
I picked up the directions for this box from Ellen Hutson, the papers are Kahmalaht from TAC, and all the Hanukkah images are free from Digital Two for Tuesday.  There is glitter pen on the flames and highlighting the metal, for extra sparkle.

Of course there are challenges:
Cupcake Craft - light it up
Karber Weekly - digi and sparkle
I Did It Creations - surprise (were you expecting Hanukkah projects?)
Paper Sundaes - fancy corners
2 Sisters - not traditional Christmas (ha ha!)
Bee Crafty - something hidden
Marks Finest - bows
Sweet Stampin - buttons and bows
Fairy Fun - buttons and bows
Mami Doodles - gift item
Wags and Whiskers - wrap it up
Moving Along with the Times - multiple folds
StampInsanity - try something new
Cheerful Stamp Pad - deck the halls

Thanks for looking!

Juliet Arrighi

Transgender Day of Rembrance

I had an interesting conversation with my 14yo son this morning. He asked me to cook him some breakfast, and as I was chatting with him, I noticed from across the room that he was wearing a small button on his shirt. This is an unusual thing for Ben.

Me: What's that button on your shirt?
Ben: Nothing, it's just a button.
Me: There is something on your button. What is it?
Ben: Why do you have to give me a hard time about everything?
Me: I just want to know why you are wearing a button.
Ben: I just am, okay?
Me: So what does it say?
Ben: It's LGBT.
Me: Okay. (pause)Because today is the day of remembrance?
Ben: What?
Me: The day of remembrance for the LGBT that have died.(well, just transgender, but at this point, I'm not really sure Ben even knows what LGBT means.)
Ben: I'm just wearing the button.
Me: Where did you get it?
Ben: I found it on the floor in my room.

This is the first thing that made any sense in this conversation, because I remember Sophie trying to start a Gay Awareness club in her high school (long story), and Ben took her room when she went off to college.  When I brought Ben is food, I got a better look at the button.  It had the HRC logo with "HRC.ORG" under it.  That's pretty subtle, I think - not every kid his age would know what that is.  Maybe Ben does know what LGBT means.

So, I made this card for the Transgender Day of Rememberance.
The butterflies and dragonflies represent spirits that are finally free from mortal suffering.  They are my favorite images for sympathy cards.

I was trying to duplicate a technique I saw Valita demonstrate on her site - it's harder than it looks, but I love the lacy effect.  The pink is a liner - it's hard to write words in a card that has holes in the front unless you put in a liner.  In real life it's a much softer pink.  All the shapes are punched - I used 4 different punches.

I had to enter the card in a few challenges, of course:
Crafty Emma - lace
Ellephantastic - butterfly
Alice in Wonderland - butterfly
Stamp Scrap Doodle - no flowers
Fairy tale - white

Remember, no hate!

Juliet Arrighi

Winter wishes

This card reminded me of one of the things I hate about coloring - matching papers to the image afterwards.  I only used two colors, but somehow the colors turned weird, and I had to use weirdly colored paper to make it work.  Also, I strongly feel that Christmas cards have to sparkle, so after I put it all together, my glitter pens got put to work.  I handwrote the sentiment with a glitter pen, too - I'm losing interest in stamped and printed sentiments.  My handwriting is legible, isn't it?  I had to stick an iridescent ribbon on there, too.

The image is from Ildi Co.  I won it back when they were doing challenges - they have a cute Christmas freebie on the site that I think is worth grabbing.  I don't know if they sell stamps any more - I can't find the store. 

Several challenges inspired the final look of the card:

Fairymoon Crafts - sketch
Crafty Calendar - winter + snowflakes
Crafty Pad - Christmas Sparkle
Paper Sundaes - punches, ribbon, blue
Mark's Finest - snowflake
Sweet Stampin - snowflakes

Juliet Arrighi

Stand-up Thanks

If you've been stamping for a while, you've probably seen this sort of stand-up card.  I think it is a very cool type of card, but I can tell you from experience that most people would not know how to set it up if they received it.  It mails completely flat, with most of the card hidden inside the box, and I've seen people fumble with it and never get it upright.  I would be hesitant to mail it to a non-stamper.

Anyway, the story behind this card is that I made it at a TAC hostess club meeting, and Chris, our demo, had both Bic Mark-its (my preferred alcohol marker) and Copic Ciaos set out to color the images.  This is the first time I had both in front of me, and I have to say, the Ciaos did handle better, and to make a long story shorter, I ended up buying a set.  By a set, I mean a Caboodle set - TAC sells Copics in Caboodle packs, which is 12 markers - 4 colors with three shades of each color for blending.  The Caboodle sets also have coordinating cardstock you can buy so that you can be 100% certain that your colored images will go with the card you are making, which eliminates most of my concerns with coloring in general and Copics in particular.  I would hate to spend a lot of money on markers and not have the right blending colors, and I hate coloring an image and finding out afterward that it doesn't match any of my papers.  TAC even has beautiful designer papers to match the Caboodle colors - it's really a great concept.

My last big concern with Copics is the cost, but since this was my month as hostess in our hostess club, I got my Copics at 40% off, so I should be good to go!   

There are a lot of challenges right now for thank you cards in autumn colors:

Craft Your Passion - doubles (the acorns)
Stamp Scrap Doodle - fall
Our Creative Corner - gratitude (I'm grateful for my friend Chris who showed me how to do this!)
Crafty Emma - autumn
Digi Doodle - autumn
Shirley's 2 Girls - thanks
Cheerful Stamp Pad - thanks
Tip Top Tuesday -  color with copics

Juliet Arrighi

Bear market rose

No, I'm not telling you that stock prices are going up, I'm telling you that my IRA is doing lousy.  I could tell it was doing lousy before I even opened the annual report, because of the cheap, flimsy paper.  When things are going well, your companies send reports on gorgeous, high quality paper, and when there are negative numbers on page two, the report is tiny, and printed on thin cheap paper.  This paper looked like dress pattern paper.

I will say that when I saw the Fun with ATC's challenge, money, I thought it was an impossible theme.  Then I saw Vicki's take on it, using chinese coins just like the ones I have, then I felt really stupid.  It was still bothering me when I saw the flimsy paper, so the sudden inspiration to use it for this ATC was inevitable.  It may be a stretch of the theme, but at my age, my retirement account balance matters!

This is one of those crumpled paper roses, made with about a dozen layers of punched scalloped circles.  There is a brad in the middle, but you can't see it.  Once I made the rose, I wasn't sure what to do with it, so I kept adding aspects from different challenges until I liked how the ATC looked. Some touches are subtle, like the little bit of fine glitter on the rose, or the clear embossing on the word, but I don't think this card would be half as nice without the inspiration each challenge provided.  Here is a list:

Fun with ATCs - money
AI Factory - garden
ABC - glitter
Cook it up with Katie - black/texture/swirls
Oldie but Goodie - old stamp, distressing
Doodle Palace - sketch
Eat Sleep Stamp - sketch (yeah, it was the the same sketch!  I took it to be a sign)

Juliet Arrighi


Last week I went to a Christmas card workshop.  I liked the stamp set we were provided, and the paper set is one of my favorites, too, but the cards just did not move me.  I think it is because I like a lot of shimmer and shine on my Christmas cards, or at least bright colors, and these cards weren't really either of those things.  My challenge to myself today was to take the stamp set and the leftovers and make a card closer to my tastes.
There is shimmer all over this card, from the Laser Lustre paper and pearlescent embossing powder to the pink organdy ribbon and the mother of pearl button.  There would have been even more if I had Versamark Dazzle, but I just used regular Versamark for the swirls and corners on the background paper. The little tag is from the paper pack (Reese) which, like the stamps, are sold by The Angel Company.

In addition to my own personal challenge, this card fits a few others:
GingerSnap Creations - Versamark
Crafty Cardmakers - Stitching
Crazy Challenge - Pearls and swirls
Critter - Christmas
Little Paper Shop - Buttons and bows
Stamp with fun - Things that fly

Juliet Arrighi

My own sketch challenge

I am now hosting a sketch challenge on the inchies_onexone group, a sketch for a regular sized card, embellished with an inchie.  The twist is that the inchie has to be made by someone else, ideally one that was received in a swap.  The first one is a simple one, only using one inchie.
The sentiment is from a TAC set, and the leaves are from an old retired SU set I haven't used in ages - I remembered I had them when I was contemplating the Autumn Leaves challenge at the Cheerful Stamp Pad - it's fairly new challenge site with awesome sponsors, so there is a really good chance of snagging a terrific prize!  The prize for this challenge is luster paper from the Paper Temptress, which is my very favorite paper of all time!  In fact, I used it for the background - it is laser silver lustre paper, but I burnished it with mustard, marmalade, and mahogany inks, then used those same colors to stamp the leaves - it fairly glows IRL, I wish the scan picked it up!

The inchie is a little watercolor landscape by Debbie House - I have several of that set of watercolors, and it was hard to pick just one for the card! I don't know if I will be able to part with it.  I may have to replace it with one of the animal inchies I've been making before I mail it away to anyone.

Juliet Arrighi

Inchies to long cards

Cathe Holden had some incredible vintage animals available on her blog that I thought would be perfect for inchies, so I converted them to black and white images and printed out a full sheet of them.  A full sheet is an awful lot of inchies (over 50!), so I had plenty to spare, so I decided that I could use some of them on an ATC.  after I put them on an ATC, I decided that I didn't really like the ATC by itself as much as I would like it as a focal point on a card, so eventually I ended up with this:

I like to make long cards, 8 1/2 by 3 3/4 inchies, because I like to mail ATCs in them.  It's important to me when I make these long cards that they aren't too thick by themselves, because they are containing a lot of thickness in the ATCs.  Anyway, whoever gets this card either will have a nice long card, an ATC, or six inchies.  This card has two TJ techniques on it - Pencil Highlights (on the inchies - click to see full size), and Faux Stitching on the background paper.  While I was at it, I put together a second one.
Inchies make such fun embellishments!

Challenges covered:
Paper Sundaes - masculine
Stacey - pumpkin, mustard, paprika, vanilla (those aren't SU names, but...)
The Stamp Man - masculine
Sassy Studio - Autumn
Fab n Funky - clean and simple
Creative Card Crew - punches (I punch my inchies with a square punch)

Now, to mail out some ATCs...

Juliet Arrighi

Think Pink

You've probably seen this DCWV paper before - it's one of my favorites, with its bright colors and its built in glitter.  I stock up whenever Michaels or Joann has an open stock paper sale, and even though I have a ton of it, I can't bear to throw any of it away.  When I found myself with a few half inch trimmings, my first thought was to toss it, but I couldn't.  Instead, I layered it over a wide organdy ribbon, and applied it to this card.  This is the epitome of Clean and Simple although it has three different textures and plenty of sparkle, and is perfect for everything except winning challenges.    

Nonetheless, I am submitting it to the Cheerful Stamp Pad for their Think Pink challenge.  Who knows?  Maybe CAS will get some respect.

Juliet Arrighi

Halloween inchies

I can't believe I forgot to post this!

I had to make a dozen halloween inchies for a swap, and I had a hard time getting started.  However, once I sat down and started working, they just started flowing.  A couple of them use shaped sequins (they look terrible in scans), some use punches, and some shapes I hand-cut.  I used various scraps of technique backgrounds and fragments of stamped images, and even a little masking. Finally, I did a bit of doodling, and the stuff I drew myself happens to be the stuff I like best.

Yes, there are more than a dozen here, and some are duplicates, but some I wanted to keep to remember what I had and could do.  The sequins are really too small to use on larger projects, but they are so perfect for inchies!

I hit a lot of challenges with these inchies:
Crafty Pad - (faux) stitching
Cowgirls - Bling (sequins are bling, right?)
Creative Inspirations Paint - pumpkin patch
Aly's Sunday challenge - distressing
Paper Players - anything goes
Alice in Wonderland - Halloween
Secret Crafter - Things that fly
Totally Gorjuss - Halloween
Crafty Catz - Halloween
Daring cardmakers - Halloween
Mami Doodles - anything but a card
Totally Papercrafts - Bling
AiFactory - Halloween
Delightful Sketches - circles (the little moons)

Juliet Arrighi

Big order

I'm not dead, I've just been busy finishing up an order.  I have a friend that takes a big trip every year with her female friends, and for the past few years, I've been making cards for her to give out as little favors for the other women.  This year they are taking a rafting trip, and I immediately thought a slider card would be fun.

It's was tricky getting all the elements that she wanted in there; the bluebonnets, the longhorn cattle, the oil rig, but most importantly, the river.  For some of it, I could find clipart, but I had to draw the main background.

I had to make 18 of these.  You never really get how much work a slider card can be until you make them in quantity.

Juliet Arrighi