California sunset - NOT

Cat challenged me to do a Zindorf tut called "California Sunset", and I've been putting it off for a while, but tonight, after seeing what Cat made for the challenge, I couldn't put it off any longer.

My first attempt was so bad I threw it away before I finished it. The paper I was using wasn't smooth enough, and I kept getting lines from the brayer. I used slicker paper for my second try:

No, I'm not particularly pleased with this. In fact, it's pretty awful. The only redeeming part is on the inside. It's a Tim Holtz stamp that says,
creativity is
allowing yourself
to make mistakes
art is knowing
which ones to keep

I'm thinking this is not really a keeper.

This one started out okay. I used a manila folder and distress inks to make this one, but I didn't see how much I got wrong until after I put it all together. The water spot (drip from when I cleaned my stamp afterward) the ink spots, and when I tried to straighten out my card in the scan, I realized how far off my horizon is.

Now that you've seen mine, you have to see Cat's. Keep in mind that this is a HUGE card - this is all that would fit in my scanner, 8 1/2 by 11, the base of the card being a raspberry file folder.

I'm not 100% sure, but I think Cat drew that wild octopus - it looks like her style. Isn't this a hoot!?!

Juliet Arrighi


I am way behind on my projects. First of all, I won several blog giveaways, and I feel that when you win a crafting supply from a crafting blog and you have a blog where you post the crafts that you make, there is an obligation there to make something with what you won.

So, keep me honest - I'm going to tell you what I need to do, and then, with the implied pressure of your expectations, I will get on those cards.

First off, I won a terrific stamp set from Sherrod Studio. Rock and Roll is my favorite one that they sell - if I hadn't won it, I do think I would have bought it. It's on sale right now!

Second, I won a book from Craftside, 1,000 Handmade Greetings: Creative Cards and Clever Correspondence There are 1000 photos of some of the most artsy cards I've ever seen, way different from your normal blog hop card. I find it very inspiring, and at some point I will be able to put it down long enough to make a card like the ones that are in it.

Third, I owe the PaperTempress bigtime. First of all, I won a big packet of Valentines paper in a challenge last month over at Gingersnap Creations blog. Second, PaperTemptress is offering a Silver Lustre Package for every donation of $10 or more that is donated to any charity for Haiti by anyone for the next two weeks (see the site for details). If you know me, you know that the Vintage Silver Lustre is my favorite paper for coloring in the world. This package has ALL the textures that she sells, and you know you are supporting the relief anyway, so why not take advantage? Two packages of luxury paper, I ought to be able to make some amazing cards out of that!

Finally, and this isn't a blog candy, it's just a really nice gesture on Jackie's part, but Jackie Kalchert posted this card online, and I really liked it. In fact, I told her that I wanted to CASE (Copy and Steal Everything) it. She was so sweet, she mailed it to me! So, I really need to CASE this card already, and now I have no excuse, because I just got a bunch more paper from PaperTemptress!

Those are all the projects I NEED to do, so I went down to my crafting desk to stamp something, and this is what I made.

I didn't really need to make another long card, but the paper was sitting out, and so was the owl, already colored and waiting to be used. The card doesn't have anything to do with anything, it's just something that seemed to want to be made.

I will get to that other stuff, eventually.

Juliet Arrighi

Hearts and Flowers

Chris and I were stamping yesterday, and discussing this little milk carton:

She was having some issues with the template, so I tweaked it for her using my awesome digital skills. You can pick up the template on her site - she is sharing it as part of The Angel Company Valentine blog hop. Yes, I know there is a die for this, but this is pretty easy to cut out - unless you are making dozens of them, it wouldn't think a die would be worth the expense. The papers, tag, flower, and button are all from the More Mimi collection (don't you love it when everything coordinates?), and the felt flower we cut out by hand. Hearts and flowers are the Allsorts challenge this week.

Juliet Arrighi

Black Lace

I'm sliding back into the digital gutter. Exhibit A:

The assignment is to make inchies with lace for a mingle (sort of like a swap). There are a lot of ways to go with this idea. I could attach real lace to an inchie, or make paper lace with punches, or even crochet little tiny doilies (yeah, right!) but instead I had to go digital. This isn't even really lace, it is fractal art.

The words were cut out of a book that I got from the dollar store.

So, I had this all this fractal lace that I printed out, used a total of 4 square inchies, and didn't have a plan for the rest of it, when I recalled the Clean and Simple challenge at Gingersnap Creations. Their thesis is that if you take a printed image, cut it into a triptych and tie a ribbon around it, it qualifies as a handcrafted card. Really?

What do you think? Does this count as a "real" card?

Juliet Arrighi

The kitty is back!

I love this kitty so much!

When I saw this week's sketch at CPS, I knew I wanted to use these huge heart-shaped rhinestones. Of course, I needed valentine paper to go with the hearts, and the words were already there - how convenient. All it needed was the purrfect cuteness of this kitten.

Juliet Arrighi

Zetti Resolutions

There is an ATC swap of zetti resolutions which is due at the end of the month. At first it did not sound like something I would want to do. I'm not very good at zetti, and I don't really want to broadcast my resolutions to strangers. However, since one of my more authentic resolutions is to get better at zetti (take that, Gingersnap Creations!), I thought I would give this exercise a try, with generic resolutions. After all, if I'm giving them away, what difference does it make if the resolutions are real?

Drink more water - actually, that is something I am trying to do.

Environmentally responsible - I already try to be envirnmentally responsible, I didn't need to resolve to do it. This ATC just sort of made itself. I put in the figure, then started adding animals. I feel like I may need more animals before it is done, though.

Be more spiritual - the figure is wearing a crown because if we are the children of the King of the Universe, then we are all princes and princesses.

Watch what I eat - I have recently started taking vitamins, and I am trying to eat healthier. I'm not worrying about my weight, though. As long as I am fit enough to do what I want, I'm fit enough.

Get out more - I hate leaving my house. It's really hard for me to do. I don't know why. I'm not exactly agoraphobic, but I think I see how people become that way.

I feel like none of these cards is worked enough to be zetti, but it is hard for me to do even as much as I did. I will see if I can bring myself to add more to these cards in a couple of days. The problem with zetti is that it doesn't like empty space, and I love empty space. You would think it would be impossible for me to do, and maybe it is.


My friend Cat, the artist, was trying to draw giraffe androids (don't ask, just play along nicely). She sent the drawings to me, and I had to use one to make a card:

The background papers and embellishments are from the Beach kit by my friend Valerie. The tarnished metal frame qualifies it for the Gingersnap Challenge (I know, I don't normally do metals). The giroids can be downloaded from Cat's blog.

Juliet Arrighi

Puppy Love

has a new digistamp for Valentine's Day, if you are a dog. I'm not a dog (well, don't ask my husband, he might tell you what kind of dog I am), but I did need a rustic image to go with my Brown-Bagging background:

This is part of a set of ATCs for the TJ ATC swap. Instead of plain brown bags, I used the Trader Joe's wine bags that have pink and white floral wine bottles and glasses printed on them. I love those bags. I think half the reason I buy wine there is to get the bags (the other half is the price - Trader Joe's is cheap!). The Mod Podge that I used to glue the bits of bag down darkened the pink nearly to red, but that is okay by me - I didn't really like that shade of pink anyway. The challenge is Love (Liebe) at Fun with ATCs - this definitely fits!

Juliet Arrighi

Frog love

YOu may remember that a few days ago, I made a card, then ripped off the focal image and stuck it on a different card. I couldn't just leave an almost finished card alone:

I just happened to have this frog sitting around. He was holding yellow flowers, which I didn't think went well with the pink floral paper, so I tried coloring over them - BAD idea. I ended up cutting them off, which is to say, I found myself cutting the frog away from the flowers and everything else. He seems to be holding his own without them, wouldn't you say? This layout is from the Pink Elephant challenge this week.

Juliet Arrighi

Bubble backgrounds ATCs

You may recall I made some backgrounds a few days ago with the Bubble Background technique. I loved how the bubbles turned out so much that I could hardly imagine covering them up with layers and embellishments. I also didn't trust myself to stamp directly on them without ruining them, even if I had a good stamp. I thought it would be fun to use an image of someone or something blowing bubbles.

This is clipart, somewhat modified by me - the original image had bubbles floating over the cat, but since I already had plenty of bubbles in the background, I trimmed those away. That only left the problem of getting the image out of the computer and onto glossy cardstock with ink bubbles on them. Good thing I know how to do packing tape transfers!

Juliet Arrighi

Where to drink cocoa?

As part of the Designed2Delight Artistic Team, I was given this digi to use. I started out coloring the cup blue, to make a blue and white cup, then decided that it would be too much white unless I colored the background, and I didn't want to do that with Mark-its, so I added green for a somewhat Fiestaware-looking cup. I then started looking for some blue and green paper and stuff to pull it together, and ended up with this:

I showed it to my daughter, who announced that she didn't like it; it was too busy, and the elements didn't go with the image. ??? She told me to look at the cup - where would I see that cup? I thought for a minute. Starbucks? Panera? A ski lodge? It was that last idea that inspired this second try (same image, moved to a different card)

It is better, I think, but when I showed it to my daughter, she told me I should start all over and color the cup a different color. Maybe, but not tonight!

Juliet Arrighi

Thank you black bird

Here's another Michelle Zindorf tutorial, but I did it like a Tim Holtz tutorial, which is to say I used Tim's stamps and inks to make Michelle's card.

It's funny that blogger resizes the photo in such a way that these two cards look like they are the same size. You can tell by the scale of the flowers and the printed paper that the one on top is the ATC.

These were pretty easy. The hardest part was finding printed paper to coordinate. I think my black ink pad needs reinking, too, but don't tell Deb Lovett.

Juliet Arrighi

Purple Inchies

Please tell me you know what I drew on these inchies.

On the one hand, when I make an inchie I like, I am very happy very quickly, and when I don't like an inchie I've made, it is easy to toss it and start over. You don't want to see the ones that didn't make it into this post. It's like a box of chocolates...

Juliet Arrighi

A few more inchies

I had so much fun making inchies last month (or was it the month before?) that I joined an inchie group. You know I love techniques, so when I saw they had a monthly technique inchie mingle (don't ask me what the difference is between a swap and mingle, I have no idea), I jumped right in. This month's technique - Bubble Backgrounds:

It's done just as it sounds - put ink in bubble solution, blow bubbles, and put the bubbles on your cardstock. After I made these inchies, I made some ATC backgrounds, too. Bubble Backgrounds also happens to be a Technique Junkies technique, so I have a place to swap them.

Juliet Arrighi

Cup of Joe and flower

Cup of joe and flower is the name of a tutorial by Michelle Zindorf. My friend, Cat, is taking one of her brayer workshops next month, and asked me if I'd like to come along. Since we are talking about Florida, and I'm in Virginia, this was going to be an insanely impractical proposition (not even considering the fact that the class itself is about $150). I had just done the Tim Holtz 12 tags tuts, and suggested that if I really wanted to learn Zindorf technique, I could do just as well to apply myself as diligently to her tuts as I did Tims' rather than traveling all that way. Somehow that became a challenge for us to do Zindorf tuts in the New Year. This is the first one, chosen by Cat.

This is an ATC. It was either this tiny flower and cup (TAC stamps), or a really huge cup and flower, and I have much more use for the ATC than a huge card. Frankly, I didn't like this tut very much - I think it is not one of her better ones. First of all, if you look at the original tut, she uses a detail flower stamp, and a bold cup stamp - I don't like combining styles that way. Second, she drew coffee in the cup. People will put flowers in a coffee cup, but not in their coffee!

Anyway, this was my first time using the clear embossing powder as a mask for an image, and I think I learned a lot by doing the process, not just reading about it. Now it is my turn to pick a tut. I'm going to pick a brayer tut. That is the point, after all. I'm supposed to learn all the things Michelle would teach us in a brayer workshop.

It happens that this is also the challenge at the Ildi Co blog right now, to use scraps and metal on a card. No full sheets of cardstock were harmed in the making of this card (Not that I need to be stingy, I'm just saying).

Juliet Arrighi

Old and new

I like the Sketch and Stash challenges because you don't only have to make a card, you have to use something in your stash that hasn't been used in a long time, if ever. This card has some of that, and some new stuff, too.

The background paper I just bought today, in a DCWV mat stack. There isn't really any need to buy large pads of paper when I can get the same patterns in a mat stack, and the scale of the patterns are better for cards, too. The image was one I altered yesterday - she was wearing a brown hat with a green bow and a beige dress when I started tweaking her. The sentiment is one very long stamp that I cut into three pieces. I think it is a great stamp, but it won't fit on a portrait-oriented card. For that reason, it probably has seen ink in over two years. The flower is old, too. My mother gave it to me, along with a bunch of other flowers, all stripped from silk foliage. She doesn't see the point of buying primas, not when silk flowers are so cheap. I'm inclined to agree.

Juliet Arrighi

Love never fails

This is a 6x6 inch card, which is an unusual size for me, but the text on the card would be really too small if I made it smaller, so I just ran with it. In a perfect world, this would be a rubber stamp, and I could have made a white card with the image embossed in gold, but this is a digistamp, given away free this week by Delightful Inspiration, but for sale after that at her shop, Designed2Delight. Are you confused yet? I had to read the rules 4 times before I could figure out what I was supposed to do.

Anyway, since I couldn't make a white and gold card with the digistamp (this is why rubber stamps will never go out of style), I thought it might look nice if I burnished some distress inks into it. Then, I got a little happy with the gel pens, and then I tried to find some coordinating papers. The end result is as you see above, inspired by this week's sketch at CPS. Not bad for a digi, I think.

Juliet Arrighi

Sweet kitten

I love this kitten! As soon as I saw this digital image, I knew I wanted to play with it. I painted it with stargazers, and used glaze gellies for the eyes and bow.

The card is inspired by the Techno Stamper sketch this week. I thought it was a fairly clean and simple card, with just a little stamping and bandanna technique, but my daughter said it was too too sweet. Her male friend disagreed, and asked me for it so that he could give it to his girlfriend who likes cats. My daughter never did like pink, so I shouldn't expect that any of these cards that I've made lately are to her taste.

Juliet Arrighi

Maybe Aly will like this kitten, too!

Love birds

My friend Cat sent me a couple of cards featuring the same drawing that she did herself, which is to say that she made her own digistamp. I liked it so much, I scanned, it, cleaned it up, and decided to use it myself.

The original drawing said "Merry Christmas". It was easy enough to erase the old sentiment and add a new one. The card follows the format of Aly's Sunday Sketch. It also meets the Belli blog challenge to use glitter - I painted the image with Stargazers, and popped a glittered foam heart in the corner.

I keep telling Cat she should design her own line of digistamps. If you agree, go to her blog and leave her some love.


Cat wanted me to tell you that her drawing isn't exactly original. She based it on Stampin Bella's branch with birdies I admire Cat's integrity in this matter, but practically every stamp company on the planet makes a branch with birds on it. It doesn't matter if her drawing was inspired by someone else's - she drew the one she (and I) used.

Juliet Arrighi

Love you!

I still had my pink crepe paper out from the rosettes I made last week, so when I saw the caardvarks sketch challenge, I knew I wanted to use it. the little girl is from Ten Two studios, and after looking for a tiny sentiment that would fit on this ATC, I decided my penmanship was good enough.

Juliet Arrighi

new year, new stuff, new challenge

The challenge at Stamp something was to use something new, or at least something you never used before, so I made this ATC:

This is K&Co paper that I haven't used before and chocolate brown Zing! embossing powder that I've never used before. I used the Blended Glitter technique on the balloon, but the sparkle doesn't show for some reason. the balloon is a TAC stamp, the word is probably SU.

Juliet Arrighi