Get well

I almost never send Get Well cards, so I almost never make them, so when I need one, I can't dig one out of my stash, I have to make it right then.  Here is one I whipped up yesterday for poor Lynn Stevens - her appendix burst, so she has been in the hospital all week, and has suffered through some dreadful surgery.  She is not someone I have ever met in real life, but she is a Technique Junkie like me, and had always had great comments about the cards I post to the group, and has been very encouraging to me about getting published - I couldn't just sit this one out.  


The Pencil highlights technique didn't come out quite right, probably because of the metallic textured cardstock I chose, but once I had my pencil in hand, it seemed a simple thing to handwrite the sentiment.  You may remember the Kitty digi, it is one of my favorites.

This card also happens to meet several challenges -
Whew - It's taking longer to blog about it than it took to mail it! Oh, by the way, if you also know Lynn and want to send her a card, I will be happy to pass on her address, just email me.

Juliet Arrighi

Again with the hair

Ben got tired of how awful his dreadlocks were looking (it takes a while before they fully lock), so he decided braids would be good enough.  I do like the braids better, but they have to be removed and redone every couple of weeks, and it takes  two to three hours to do.  I will say that teasing the hair before braiding it makes the braids hold better.  He is sleeping in a shower cap to reduce fraying, but it still gets fuzzy.

Why don't teenagers ever smile?

Juliet Arrighi

Blue and Green

Danise asked me to make a necklace for her niece.  She said that her niece liked blues and greens, which, in my limited little brain, meant that she would like either a blue one or a green one.  Don't ask me why it didn't occur to me to make one that had blue and green beads together.  Anyway, I was surprised when she mailed me the beads she wanted me to use, but here they are.  They look really good together, I think.  I especially like the catseye beads.

I think I'm starting to get tired of  this design.  It's time for me to start making something else.

Juliet Arrighi

4 Seasons inchies

It funny where you can find inspiration.  I needed to make a set of inchies representing the four seasons, but I just wasn't feeling it.  Then Shelly of the many challenges pointed me to to Cowgirl's, which had a weird sort of challenge - 3 designer papers and three different flowers.  Could I combine the two?

Well, I definitely got the three papers in there, and maybe a leaf will count as a very freely interpreted flower.  I have three trees, too, that should count for something.  These are all pretty sparkly, too - there is glitter pen on both of the inchies on the left, although the scan doesn't show the sparkle.

Juliet Arrighi

Where to find challenges

You may wonder where I find so many challenges to play.  Well, at first, I was searching for a design team to join, and I noticed that a lot of company sites had challenges, so I started playing them.  Then, I saw that my blogging buddies would play challenges, and I followed their links to play those same challenges.  However, Shelly plays in more challenges than anyone I ever saw, often applying one card to as many as a dozen different challenges! (keep in mind that multiple sites will often have the same challenge, because challenges are frequently season-related)  

I know how hard it is to keep up with a lot of different challenge blogs, so I asked her how she did it, and she sent me a link to Feline Playful.  The owner of that blog, Karen, was searching for a site that lists all the papercrafting challenge blogs, and in the absence of finding one, decided to create one.  Every day, she posts all the new challenges that are starting that day.

On top of all that she's offering this blog candy to bring new users (and possibly new challenge bloggers) to her site.  That's the frosting on the cake!

 Juliet Arrighi

Halloween card meets 5 challenges

I needed a little push for my creative juices, so I checked my challenge blogs.  Tuesday Throwdown wanted some paper pleating, Creative Belli wanted things that begin with "B",  Corrosive wanted masking, Stamps R Us wanted Halloween and Truly Scrumptious provided the sketch.

Pleating paper really uses a lot, so I am guilty of grabbing the cheapest stuff in my stash, some old DCWV.  I didn't even make it across the card, but there is enough for texture.  What starts with B?  Black cat, of course!  This one is an adhesive foamie I picked up at the dollar store last year.  I'm sure I haven't used those foamies since last Halloween.  I couldn't tell you how long it has been since I tied ribbon to a spiral clip, either.
So where is the masking?  On the inside!

The scale is off - I'm only showing the corner in this picture, but I used the release paper from the foamie and used it as a  mask, echoing the cat on the inside.

This was fun - I love challenges!

Juliet Arrighi

Flat Spiral Necklace

One of my RL friends invited me to join her at a free beading class in Fredericksburg.  I wasn't that interested in making the bracelet as shown on their website, an angular creation using various sizes of bicone Swarovski crystals, but I was curious enough to see if there was a tutorial for a flat spiral bracelet online somewhere.  I did find a diagram for one using round focal beads instead of bicones, and I immediately remembered that I had some large pink catseye beads that wanted to be used (Thank you, Danise!).

The flat spiral pattern is neither flat nor spiral, but it does look better laid out flat than twisted, which is probably why most people use it for a bracelet rather than a necklace.  I won't wear a bracelet that bulky, so I went as long as I could - I used up all my pink beads.  It sits right below my collarbone.  The clasp shown in the photo is just temporary for trying on purposes.  I didn't have a gold clasp on hand, but I will put one on as soon as I get one.

I do have some Swarovski crystals in my stash, I might have to try making the pattern again.  It's a lot easier than it looks; it is just a huge resource hog.

Juliet Arrighi

Digital embossing

One of the things I love about using digital stamps like this zentangle fairy from FCD is the ability to use digital effects.  It is easy enough to print a white image on a colored background, and equally easy to use a bevel effect to make the image look like it is embossed onto the paper.  Of course, you can feel the embossing, but this card has plenty of texture without it.  the light purple cardstock has a metallic weave texture, and the dark purple cardstock has little swiss dots.  It was fun punching the border, and the flower is from a silk hydrangea bush.  That is a metal nailhead as the flower's center - I needed to break up the symmetry.

Juliet Arrighi

Cheap pearls

You must know that when I make jewelry, I don't sit down with a plan or a pattern. I just sit with all my beads on the table in front of me, and I play with them until I decide which ones go together. Yesterday, when I was making the blue and silver necklace in the previous post, I was thinking about some charms that I was expecting in the mail, ones that look like starfish and seashells, and I had the thought that they would look very nice on a necklace with blue waves and pearls. I told myself it would be the next necklace I made, so today, I made it.

These blue glass beads don't look as nice with the pearls as I had hoped. In fact, they look rather cheap to me. I don't think I will be using it for those charms after all.

If any of you feel differently, and would like this necklace, please email me. I will be happy to send it somewhere where it would be appreciated.

Juliet Arrighi

Necklaces with clasps

I've made necklaces like these before, only they were the sort that you pull over your head. That is convenient if you want that length, and you don't have a fragile hairstyle, but otherwise, you need a necklace with a clasp. I tried two different kinds, and am pleased to report that the glass beads are heavier than the clasps, and will stay on the back of the neck where they belong.

It's fun making jewelry! Now, I just need to find homes for these pieces. I can only wear so much.

Juliet Arrighi

ATC to card

Sometimes you need a card, but what you have on hand is an ATC. It's pretty easy to make an ATC into a card.

Cutting two scraps of colored cardstock on my desk into a background was fast. Playing with my new border punch to make a mat layer took longer, mostly because of the playing, and not because of anything else. The more I play with punches, the more I love them. Finally, my mother provoked me into using my die cutting ability to make a sentiment. We were talking over the weekend, and somehow she missed the information that a cuttlebug can do more than squish embossing folders - she was surprised that they could cut dies, and even more surprised that I had any dies to cut. (I don't have a cuttlebug, I have a wizard, but you get the point) I don't have a lot of dies, mostly because I don't enjoy using them as much as I like punches, but I have a few.

Anyway, this card was really quick. ATCs rock.

Juliet Arrighi

Airplane punch

I had a marvelous coupon for Michael's, 15% off the entire purchase, and a 50% off one item, so I went and spent a lot of money on stuff I didn't need (so what else is new?). One of my more rediculous purchases was a punch that creates an airplane shape. Why would anyone need an airplane punch? Still, as a former air traffic controller, I have soft spot in my heart for anything aviation-related, so I bought it.

After I got it home, I noticed that the airplane is smaller than a square inch. You know what that means!

I made these for a primary colors swap. I think they have a retro sixties vibe.

All the art is paper scrap. I used two punches - the airplane, of course, and a square; and two fancy edged scissors. No stamping, no coloring, just cutting and gluing. I'm entering this in the Gingersnap punches challenge (not the inchies one - I have other things in mind for that one!).

Juliet Arrighi

FCD Blog Hop - No Place like Home

Hi there! If you just arrived from Boni's blog, you are in the right place; if you are a regular reader of my blog, we are doing something a little different today - I'm blog hopping with the Design Team of FireCracker Designs by Pamela, with the theme of "There's No Place like Home".

This is a “circular blog hop” where the only beginning is wherever you start!! You will know you are at the end of your blog hop when you’ve come back to the blog you’ve started from! (It’s not a huge circle…so it should be easy to remember where you started.)

Now, to the art - these would have been an easy challenge, except I had already chosen my art before I knew the theme. I had a manatee and a zentangle fairy digital stamp to use in my creations.

I was creating the Acrylic Emboss background for this easel card (have you ever seen a long easel card like this before?) when I realized who I wanted to give the card to - I know a Navy family that will be moving (again!) in the near future. In case you can't read the sentiment in the picture, it says, "Home is where the Navy sends you". I really had fun gluing down all those little seashells, too!

Anyway, the card really shows off one of the coolest things about using digital stamps - you can flip and resize them to whatever dimensions you like. I used the Penciled Twinks technique to color the manatees.

Now where does a doodled fairy live? Most doodles are in notebooks, so this project was a no-brainer, and surprisingly quick and easy, too.

I happen to like the black and white patterns on composition notebooks, so simply adding this little nameplate was perfect for me. It looks like it took hours to doodle the image, the border, and the text, but every bit of it was done digitally - I used the fairy as a fill pattern!

Now, to continue the circle, you will need to hop on over to Ursula
and keep going until you’ve come back to where you’ve started! There is a prize...

The winner will be chosen from a mystery blog hostess (we don’t even know who it will be until the hop is over) …so that’s why you’ll want to leave a comment on EVERY blog, so you don’t miss out!

**To find out if you’ve won… you will be contacted by Pamela via e-mail (so be sure to leave it with your comment.) and you can also find out on Pamela’s blog after the blog hop ends on Mon, at 8:00 PM (EST).**

Thanks so much for playing along with us and we hope you have a great time!

Juliet Arrighi

Sparkle Parrot

The sparkle Acetate technique is one of the few that actually works better with digistamps than regular rubber. I find it to be a pain to stamp with Stazon on acetate. Printing directly onto a transparency is much easier. For this technique you then have the second challenge of applying adhesive to the acetate to hold the glitter - it is a problem because glue won't dry unless it can breathe, and it's hard to get good coverage with dry adhesive unless you have a Xyron. I morphed the technique by using a packing tape transfer to pick up the image, and then using the adhesive on the packing tape to hold the glitter.

The great thing about this technique is that the glitter is underneath the tape, so it can't get knocked off, and the image is clearly visible. I drew the tree freehand with my nearly dried up copper leafing pen, glued on leaf confetti for leaves.

The image is from FCD of course. Cat Gondek draws the cutest things!

Do you think that it is odd that a parrot would be sitting in a deciduous tree? I always think of them as tropical birds, but apparently there are large numbers of wild (feral) parrots in the Netherlands, braving the freezing temperatures and arctic winds. I've read and seen videos of them on Hetty's blog.

Juliet Arrighi

Oak wreath

I thought this little oak wreath from D2D was too sweet to pass up, but so did all my stamping blogger friends. After a while, the challenge was not about what I could do with the image, but could I do that didn't look exactly like what everyone else was doing.

I used the Background Whimsy technique on the focal image. I also used a few elements that have been sitting in my stash for years untouched, like these typewriter key stickers, and my black Waxy Flax. There's no brown on my card, either.
I'm entering this in the Stamptacular Sunday Challenge, Tueday Throwdown, Paper Play, and the Digital Tuesday challenge.

Juliet Arrighi

Highlighter fairy

I was sitting at my kitchen table, pondering a sheet of digital images while my son packed his backpack for school, and I was suddenly inspired to color this little zentangle fairy with highlighters. I was surprised at how well it came out. I was even more surprised at how many matching elements I had to build this ATC. The letters are holographic stickers, and this is the first time that I thought they looked nice instead of tacky.

You can buy the zentangle fairy digistamp at FCD. This meets the Fun with ATCs Flugel challenge. It's also appropriate for the allsorts new beginnings challenge, as it is inspired by the beginning of the school year.

Juliet Arrighi

Apple inchies

I needed some apple inchies for this month's lottery at Inchies-onexone, So I used the same Apple Orchard digi I used Sunday, pulling out only a few select apples.

They are highlighted with glossy accents to give them that polished apple shine.

Juliet Arrighi

Magic mushroom

I think this mushroom image from FCD is cool! It needed a black background, though.

I wanted to throw some shooting stars into the mix, and the glitter patterned paper just adds to the hippie vibe. A big batch of brownies would be good about now...

Juliet Arrighi

ATC tutorial (not mine)

No one taught me how to make an ATC. I read the cedarseed primer, but beyond that, I improvised. It would have been easier if I had a few examples to look at and play with before I started making my own.

Sharon has created a kit for a deeply dimensional ATC using digital files - go check it out! You can enjoy it as is, or experiment with embellishment and make it truly your own. On mine (shown above), I added glossy effects to the soap bubbles and the words.

Juliet Arrighi

Apple Orchard

FCD has a freebie this weekend that is very timely, so I had to snag it to make this card.

I hate hate hate coloring, but I had to do it. For this I used gel pens, blended with markers. Did you know you could blend gel pens with markers?

Juliet Arrighi

Moon Cakes

My husband came home from China last week with presents, of course. One of them was a gorgeous presentation box of moon cakes - He didn't care about the cakes, but he knew I would love the box. Layers and layers of gorgeous full color traditional chinese art on gold metallic textured cardboard - I could craft a hundred stunning cards with the ephemera I could carve from this one box. However, when I told him I was going to cut it up, he nearly had a heart attack. I was informed that I was to scan it for the art, not cut it. ????

So, here is a little gift from my scanner. This is an inner cardboard layer:

Click to enlarge. Perhaps it will be of value to you.

He did permit me to craft with the inner cellophane wrapper surrounding each cake, so I made a quick ATC:

The image is from a TAC stamp set.

I can't believe he is allowed to eat the moon cakes, but I can't cut the box.

Juliet Arrighi

Namaste' Octope'

FireCracker Designs by Pamela has a digistamp that I think is absolutely adorable, of an octopus sitting in a lotus position. The image was originally drawn by Cat, one of my favorite swapping buddies. When I was given the chance to be a digital designer for FCD for September, the Namaste' Octope' was on the top of my list.

I felt that yoga and zen go hand in hand, so the first thing I did was zentangle around the octopus.

I knew I was going to watercolor it, so I scanned the zentangled image and printed it out with my laser printer - toner prints resist water. I colored the images with my Twinkling H2Os, which are very shiny!

I started off making postcards. My sister liked them so much that she snagged one for herself.

Then I realized that I needed more, in different sizes. I printed a handful of ATCs and a couple of focal images for cards, and had a great time painting.

Here are my ATCs:

And here are my cards. Can you believe I've mailed them already?

It is such a fun image! Are you wondering about the black paper? It really does have a blue streak in it. It's Color Explosion paper, but my pens dried up, so I just use it for black glossy now.

Juliet Arrighi