Faux Stitching

I had all these little scraps of the vintage paper by K&Co lying around, and it occurred to me that they would be perfect for the Quilted Frames Technique (Technique Junkies). After all, there is a different pattern on both sides, and the print varies from one part of the paper to the other - it doesn't take much to look like a lot of different papers. The layout is this week's challenge from Techno Stamper.

After I completed doing the faux stitching around the frame, I thought it might need some around the edge, too. I decided to use the drywall stitching technique, which speeds up the process considerably. It's not terrible neat though, but then, neither is my freehand faux stitching.

The sentiment is SU, and the image can be lifted from The Sum of all Crafts.

Juliet Arrighi

Bone idea

I love this K&Co paper - not only does it have a cool orange and black spiderweb on one side, the other side is printed with black and white bones. I thought it would be a fun and easy thing to use both sides of the paper on one project. When I saw the scallops on the Card Patterns sketch, it was a no-brainer to use the bone ends as the scallops, but the bone density was a little low (old lady joke), so I cut out some bones from a leftover piece and glued them in.

This Red Hat Jill-o-Lantern is really the only Halloween stamp I have. I colored her with watercolor pencils and glitter pens - you can't have a red hat without a little sparkle. I used a little bandanna technique on the sentiment, too. The stamps are all from The Angel Company.

Halloween story

I made this card using the Get Sketchy challenge this week. I think it tells a little story:

This is made all with punched pieces, hand embellished with glitter and metallic pens. I love drawing on my cards, it makes them just a little more personal. I did a little distress inking on some of the pieces to tone them down. Punchinella is very hard to adhere (unless you have a xyron machine, I suppose, but I don't), it is held down by the many things on top of it holding it in place.

I would love to hear what you interpret the story to be. If you don't feel like leaving it in the coments section, my sig tag is a link to my email.

SketchFest Final

Today I went to the pet store to buy crickets for the snake, and the Dollar Tree is right next door, so I stuck my nose in and bought these diecut foamies. I couldn't resist using them with SketchFest Saturday (today's the last day!).

Anyway, in addition to the foamies, I made the boards by dragging a couple of shades of distress ink on some brown cardstock, and the moon was made from a silver scrap sponged with white paint. No stamping on this card (yet, I may add a sentiment when I figure out who is getting it), just messy fun with paint and ink.


How could I leave a beautiful bit of background paper like this on my desk and think I wasn't going to use it? I thought I was tired of this paper, but I'm not. It just wanted some buttons and a sweet young thing circa 1910:

Of course, this is for SketchFest Friday. The buttons and embroidery floss were scavenged from my sewing chest. This is my first time using marker shading on a card, but it seems to really make the images pop. Don't ask me why I felt the need to shade the buttons, too - you would think they were sufficiently dimensional without my help.

Double Challenge

Today I decided to do two challenges on one ATC - Sketchfest Thursday and Cook Up a Card September. I was getting a little tired of the vintage papers and images, so I went in a completely different direction.

This is the first time I've inked this three-step flower from CTMH. I think it's the only one I have that is big enough for the sketch challenge. I think if I were doing this one over, I would use a slightly different palette and some fun Hawaiian print papers I have in my stash. I don't know why I'm always so quick to glue things down; I always want to change them up after it's too late.

As always, feedback of any kind is welcome.

Sketchfest continues!

Here's another cracked glass Artist Trading Card, following the SketchFest Wednesday sketch:

I think the UTEE yellows the image a little. I wonder if I should print them with a bluish tint when I know I'm going to use this technique?

More Cuttlebug Glow

This ATC was made following the sketch this week at 2S4U:

It is so easy making cards with this paper - they are all pretty, and they all go with each other!

Bride Romance

When I saw the sketch for Caardvark's SketchFest Tuesday, I could not figure out what to do with that layout. I paged through my stamps, looking for a skinny one for my focal point, when my eye fell on this TAC bride stamp that I got in a grab bag. I knew I wanted to use it, but had no idea what I was going to do with the rest of the card. I colored her in with glitter glue and markers, and while she dried, I dug out some old wedding scrapbooking paper I had stashed away and my silver Krylon pen.

If I had realized how much silver I would use, I would have just whipped out some silver cardstock instead of draining my poor Krylon pen like that. The sentiment and the pearl border are from the wedding stack I used - liquid pearls might help this card, but not enough that I would send it to a bride that I liked.


Every once in a while, I have to do a challenge that isn't a sketch challenge, and I like SUInk's Whachadoin' Wednesdays challenge for that. Sometimes I can't get my brain to switch gears in time for the challenge that week, but I promised myself I would do it this week, so here it is:

The challenge was to create a scene, which is a real challenge for me, because I don't have scene stamps. However, I did recall buying this TAC stamp set after seeing this Zindorf tutorial. I tried to follow the tut, but I couldn't deal with the lack of color, so I whipped out my SU metallic pencils (yes, I do have little bit of SU). As you can see, I can't stay inside the lines. This is why I don't color, and it is probably why I was attracted to the tut in the first place.

In other news, do you like my new sigtag? Did you notice that it is a link to my email? Just click it and tell me how wonderful I am.

Whoooo's a winner?

I am! Apply for enough blog candy and you are bound to win some!

Check out this adorable owl pin, but don't bother trying for it, I already won it. (gloat gloat) Anyway, it's a blog that is definitely worth following, because her art is so bright and happy, and I find her ATCs very inspiring - I think I'm going to CASE those trees.

I'm off to do a happy dance...

Less stamping, more horses

This ATC uses Cracked Glass technique, and the sketch is from TechnoStamper:

Papers are K&Co, and I picked up the image and the punch from Valerie. Oh, and if you see me post an ATC like this one, where I have made a point of naming the technique used, you can be pretty sure that it is going into the Technique Junkies ATC swap. The TJ ATC swap is always looking for new players, let me know if you want to join in.

Look Ma, No Stamps!

I sometimes feel that stamped images don't get as much respect on ATCs as vintage photos, so I thought I'd give that idea a test run. After all, you don't even have to stamp to use a lot of the Technique Junkies techniques. This is a Cuttlebug Glow ATC, and the sketch is from Caardvarks SketchFest Monday, albeit flipped upside down:

The vintage image is one I picked up at Valerie's site, she has free downloads almost every day. The epoxy sticker came out of the dollar bin at Michaels.


I've seen a few cute punch animals lately, so when I was trying to figure out what to do with this green background (Cuttlebug Glow from Technique Junkies), I thought it would be fun to make little punch ladybugs. The sketch is from CPS:

It's a little different from what I normally do, but it's a happy little ATC.

Juliet Arrighi

Reindeer Save

The other day, when I was stamping at Chris's house, one of the other ladies was looking through the inspiration book, and she commented that she only wanted a couple of the stamps out of a six stamp set, wouldn't it be nice if someone would split the set with her? I looked at the set, and I remarked that I liked the reindeer, and as it wasn't one of the stamps she wanted, I offered to split the set with her. We were all set to spend $25 bucks on this stamp set, when Chris looked over our shoulders and said, "Oh, I have that set, you can just borrow mine."

I don't know how she sells any stamps like that.

Anyway, the next time I saw her, I brought cardstock to stamp a bunch of reindeer images. I was rushing through, and some of my images were poorly inked, but I stamped enough for everything I thought I would like to do with them, and some to spare, so it was no big deal.

I'm telling you this because this reindeer below is one of the poorly inked ones - the whole corner was missing. However, trimmed to an oval, you can't tell.

Now, I have to admit, I'm sloppy in other ways, too. I can't color within the lines to save my life, and stargazers are not that easy to paint with anyway, and I got glue everywhere, but really you can't see the glue, because I finished the whole thing with Dorland's Wax medium for a vintage finish and texture.

Yes, it's an ATC (available for trade, BTW), and the layout is from Caardvarks Sketchfest Sunday. paper is CTMH, and the stamp, of course, is TAC.

Juliet Arrighi

Red Hat Halloween

The moment I saw this TAC stamp, I wanted it, but it was part of a large, relatively expensive Halloween set that I didn't want, and I wasn't going to pay that much for this one stamp. As luck would have it, I got it a few months later in a grab bag. As far as was concerned, this one stamp justified the purchase of the grab bag.

It's colored with marker watercoloring, then I perked it up a bit with my Stargazers, although the scan doesn't show the shimmer. This is a sketch this week at Card Patterns, but when I saw the sketch, I knew wanted to make the kind of card that twists and opens in the middle. I don't remember what this style of card is called, but this is how it looks opened up:

The base paper and the little tags are all from the Seasons paper stack from K&Co, the felt flower is from Target, the black brad from CTMH, and the flourishes were all punched with my new EK Success Paper Shapers.

I have no brand loyalty, do I?
Juliet Arrighi

Card Jewelry

I've seen people put stickpins in their cards, and I always thought that was a bad idea - wouldn't that be dangerous? What if you mailed a card with a stickpin - wouldn't there be a risk of poking through the envelope? What if the postman got stuck?

I realize that it isn't about the stickpin, it's about putting jewelry on a card. It seems to me that if I can make jewelry for my body, I can make jewelry for my cards, and I can even make stickpins with blunt tips if I want. That's what I did for this little ATC:

I used the Sketch and Stash challenge, using my new K&Co papers, and also this is the first time I've used this TAC stamp. I colored it in with my Stargazers, and I made a little "stickpin" out of copper wire and some beads.

Juliet Arrighi

Wine wine wine

I had just enough paper from the card I made before left over, so I thought I would dig out another virgin stamp set and give it a test run. I bought this CTMH set purely for the 3 step grapes:

I had the Midnight Madness sketch in my head when I did it, really I did.

Once I made it, I wondered what possible reason I might have to send someone this card. I might send it to my mother, and put "Wine, wine, wine" on the inside, but then she couldn't show it to her ladies. There is no point in sending my mother a card that she can't show off to the ladies.

Gesso to the rescue!

Michael's was having their "Lowest Price of the Season" sale, so I stopped there yesterday so I could buy more things that I didn't need. I bought some beads, which I did "need", but I also bought some paper pads. K& Co has amazing heavy paper that is printed on both sides, and at 40% off, it came to about 16 cents a sheet - it was just too good to pass up.

I had to use it right away, and this ribbon I bought yesterday (I bought 8 spools of ribbon at 50 cents a spool) seemed to go with. The sketch is from Techno Stamper:

It all came together pretty easily, until I accidentally smeared some ink on the flower. I thought I would add a distress inked edge, and it just kept getting darker and too saturated for the papers underneath. I thought a layer of gesso would soften it a bit, and it smudged the ink around artfully, and then I remembered the Pearlized Gesso technique, but I thought I would morph it a little with glitter instead of Pearl Ex. It doesn't show in the scan, but it's a very glamorous card.

The stamp is from one of my favorite sets, Cherish from Close to My Heart. Too bad it is retired.

TAC Birthfday workshop

I went to a 5 for $5 birthday card workshop. Even though I have a gazillion stamps and twice my weight in paper, I still go to these workshops because I can't make the cards that I'm offered in the workshops at home. I don't have these particular stamps, I don't have these particular papers, and I don't have the Nestabilities and the punches that Chris has. I am happy to help her justify her purchases, especially if it reins in my own. I love how the Nestabilities work when I go over there, but I have Coluzzle and Creating Memories and punches galore, I can't justify the expense. If I know I have to cut a certain size for a project, I will go to Chris's house to do it.

Here are the cards we made:

I changed this a little from the workshop card - I didn't like the stamp offered, and I decided that I wanted the "happy" to be sideways. Looking at it now, it seems stupid, I don't know why it was important at the time.

You can't tell it from the scan, but the white background is on the inside of the card, it has a half front and the scallop hangs over the edge. Cards like these are especially good if you write in them with colored pens.

This was my least favorite card of the day, although I think those border stamps on the brown part are very nice.

A basic, manly card, nothing special. The image was colored with pencils and gamsol.

I didn't like this at first, but the more I look at it, the more it grows on me.

This should probably cover my birthday card needs for the rest of the year.

Done and Fun!

I finished up my twenty cards that I made with my Close to My Heart Wishes book workshop. I didn't really expect much of these cards, because it was just a test run of the workshop, but I have to say it was a LOT of fun, and pretty quick, too. The cards are not the most glamorous cards I've ever made, but they have a lot of layers in unusual layouts and a variety of techniques, and they came together very quickly. In previous years, I found that making 40 Christmas cards all alike could be quite a chore, but I assumed it would be to ambitious to make them all different. With this workshop, I get to make them all different (or, at least there will only be two of each card), and they will still be as fast as a mass-produced card.

I won't bore you with all twenty, but here are the last few I finished up tonight:

As you can see, this one uses my Cuttlebug Snowflakes embossing folder and my SU oval punches.

All stamping and distressing and watercoloring on this card was done with Tim Holtz distress inks.

A buckle card! Seriously, a 20 card workshop with buckle cards - who would have thunk it? The image and sentiment are sequins from a confetti packet, and the faux stiching was done with a white Sakura gelly roll pen. No stamping, just piecing and gluing and a little bit of drawing.

I'm thinking I want to do this all over again, only making birthday cards. If I like the cards this much with my old neglected paper, I wonder how they will look with my best scrapbooking papers, or even with technique papers?

Working the Workshop

Close to my Heart has some great books to help beginning card makers make great cards, with layout sketches and samples for all kinds of cards. Their latest book, Wishes, not only has interesting designs for individual cards, but has several workshops in which you can cut up cardstock for several cards at once. I thought that doing one of these workshops would be a fun way to make my Christmas cards this year, so I looked through the book and was intrigued by a particular workshop that makes 20 cards, 2 each of ten different designs, and only uses 6 sheets of 12x12 cardstock/paper (and card bases, this particular workshop just makes the fronts).

I bought some gorgeous CTMH cardstock and paper to make these cards, but I wanted to do a test run first. After all, there are little things that occur to you in the middle of these workshops that would be good to know way back in the cutting portion. For example, if you have six different cardstocks/patterned papers, which one needs to be the white one for your stamped images? Are some of the focal points dark colors? what if you want ovals or circles on some of your cards - is there room in the cutting diagram for little changes? How would a metallic cardstock work? Which stamps will work best with which cards? What embellishments will I need?

I figured out pretty early on that to do this, every single pattern and color had to work well with every other pattern and color, no matter what combination of elements I used. This is one of those situations where buying your cardstock and papers together in a set is a really great idea. However, this is my test run, so I was looking for my cheapest stuff to play with. I did, however, use a very nice metallic just to see how it would work with everything else.

How does the workshop work? The book gives you cutting diagrams for each of the 6 sheets - four sheets of cardstock, two of patterned scrapbook paper. Each diagram is different. Trust me, if you are easily confused, distracted, or have no understanding of geometry, this is not going to be for you. However, I stayed focused, and was smart enough to set up twenty envelopes marked with the card diagram number, and put the pieces in the appropriate envelope as I cut them. It took about 45 minutes to set up the envelopes, cut the sheets, and put the little pieces in the envelopes.

Once everything was cut and sorted, it was pretty easy to grab an envelope, look at the diagram that corresponded to the pieces in the envelope, and start putting it together. I chose somewhat christmas-like colors because I was hoping to give my holiday stamps a fitting, but some of them I just made into other occasion cards. Here are a few:

This one is a pretty straightforward design. I have wanted to use this stamp set for a while. I love the little birds in it. I used a metallic copper cardstock, so I heat embossed the stamping with copper EP, and colored in the images with gel pens.

This image is from the same stamp set, I love these TAC holiday birds. I thought I would see how the image looks without being colored in - the copper embossing is a really strong statement, I think.

This one is stamped with old SU stamps. The ink used for the deer is Tim Holtz Distress ink; it is very good for heat embossing.

My embellishments aren't brilliant, those could use more work. It's fun seeing each card come together.