Inchies, pink and green

It's that time of the month when the deadline for the inchies approaches.  I have two inchie mingles this month - St. Patricks Day and Pink Ribbons.

Before I show you my inchies, I want to remind everyone that I make inchies that I would like to receive.  Since I like to use my inchies as card candy, I tend to make simpler designs than some people, but when I make them, I can can very readily see them as part of a larger project.  I also make the design elements readily visible to the naked eye - I have received inchies that needed a magnifying glass to make out what was on them.

Before I made these, I tried some other things.  I tried weaving pink ribbon.  I tried using pink ribbon on plastic canvas as a needlepoint medium.  I tried the traditional loop on various colored backgrounds, and finally, this is what I liked well enough to swap.  There is an iridescent seed bead in the middle of each of those blue flower sequins holding the paper flower and pink ribbon to the black background.  I think these would look great on a card, next to a sentiment stamped in black.

Diane sent me some interesting paper finishes a while back.  This finish gives a very stone-like feel and texture, which made me think of the Blarney Stone.  I freehand cut little shamrock leaves out of some silk flower leaves I had in my stash.  They are a little irregular, but these inchies have a very interesting feel to them.  

Fairy Knoll - green
Mami Doodles - monochromatic green/irish
Pattie's Creations - make an embellishment
Res-Q Challenge - square
Stamp Something - flowers
Stampin for the weekend - monochrome
The Cheerful Stamp Pad - anything but a card

Juliet Arrighi

A Little Birdy revisited

About a year ago I made a card using a Michelle Zindorf tutorial.  I liked the result for the most part, but it seemed a little crowded, probably because I was making a standard quarterfold size card, and the tutorial is for a a larger 5 x 6.5 card.  Today I needed a big card, big enough for 38 people to sign it - a get well card for a 70yo woman with terminal cancer.  You can't just say "Get Well" to someone who isn't going to.  I didn't some searching and decided that this quote said what I wanted to say:
"Some days there won't be a song in your heart.  Sing anyway." ~ Emory Austin
 Of course, with these words on the inside, I was certain that I needed a bird on the outside.  I revisited the tut and put together something close, although not as close as the first attempt:
It's a lot softer and less busy, which under the circumstances is a good thing, I think.  The purple makes more sense when you can see the true colors, too.

Crafty Sentiments - spring
Digi Doodle - Spots/dots
Hanna and Friends - purple and one other color
Shelly's Images - ribbon
Stampin B's - flower
Gingersnap Creations - jewel colors plus gold
Freshly Brewed - ribbons and bows

Juliet Arrighi

Delicate Florals

My friend Chris is a TAC demo, and the other day, instead of the usual hostess club project, she set out a stamp set (Delicate Florals - It's on sale this month!) and some TAC papers and markers and let us do whatever we wanted.  She should know better than to do that with me - I always send her down into her stash to get me something else that isn't already on the table.

Hmmm, looks completely different scanned!  This was watercolored with Tombows.  All stamps and papers are TAC.  I used the torn frames technique from Technique Junkies.

TAC Savvy Projects - You make February Fabulous
Color Dare - plum, artichoke, neutral
Creative Cottage - florals
Forgotten Scraps - flowers
Inspirational Card Sketches - sketch
Oldie but Goodie - Spring is in the air

Juliet Arrighi

RAK bear

Diane in Idaho has been exceedingly generous to me time and again.  On one occasion, she sent me a stack of kraft card bases; another, this unique bear image, and most recently, a huge box of embossing powders.  I used all three to make this card:
The coredinations cardstock might not be the right color of green, but the texture it gives is awesome!  It frays nicely, too.

Anything goes - distressing
Craft your Passion - male card
Karen's doodles - masculine
TSG Clear Stamps - uncolored line art
Gingerloft - furry friends
Paper Sundaes - masculine colors
Stampin Sisters in X - green
Frosted Designs Fab Friday - no patterned paper
Prairie Fairy - fine print

Thanks, Diane!

Juliet Arrighi

Rabbit bookmark

When I saw Vicki Romaine's bookmark, I thought that the rabbit on it was just too cute, and hunted it down for my own use.  However, the terms of use are that whoever takes it needs to make a bookmark with it (it's a Bella Creations ning challenge).  Since Vicki is also hosting a red and white challenge on her blog, I just went ahead and combined the two.
While making this bookmark, I also played with some things that friends of mine gave me.  Some of the background stamping (hard to see) uses clear stamps that Shelly gave me, and chameleon embossing powder that Diane gave me, and a punch that Chris gave me, and some ribbons that Karen gave me.  Every time I use this bookmark I will be reminded of what great friends I have!

Other challenges (because two is not enough!):
Delicious Doodles - glitz, glam, shimmer, bling
Wags and whiskers - punch
C.R.A.F.T. - not a card
Crafty Purple Frog - magic
Delightful Challenges - animal

Thank you, my terrific friends!

Juliet Arrighi


There aren't a lot of people who would appreciate a card like this, even if I left the name off.  However, I have special friends.  I had fun putting it together - that's the important part.
Those are green staples at the corners, and the writing and embellishment is green stardust pen.  Coloring is digital, and the image is from Dude Time Doodles.

Claudia and Co - for a boy 
Dude Time Doodles - colors (scan is off, sorry)
Ooh la la Creations - for someone special
C I Paint - Keep it sweet and simple
Sketchy Colors - colors
Stampin with the Dragon - anything goes

Juliet Arrighi

gift box for Valentines

I talked about a CTMH workshop I attended yesterday, and today I wanted to show you the gift box we made:
The cover is a clear slider, made from an 8.5 inch square of acetate.  The box was made from a couple of pieces black cardstock.  There are 4 mini cards with envelopes in here, along with the three pieces of candy.  It's lovely, but I have no idea who to give it to!  the "kiss me" cards are a little too provocative for children's valentines - I thought about giving the whole set to my high school aged son.  He could have used the mini cards for girls, and eaten the candy himself, but I didn't think he would appreciate the "kiss me" cards, either.

That's the problem with this project - it's precious, but useless.  That could just be me - would you give something like this to someone?  If you were making it from scratch with a different theme, what theme would you use?
A spoon full of sugar - anything but a card
Oldie but a Goodie - add a heart
Crafty Cardmakers - plastic (I would have entered their hearts one too, but that wouldn't be right!)
Cupcake Craft - hearts
Kaboodle Doodles - hearts and flowers
Creative cowgirls - hearts

Lots of heart challenges!

Juliet Arrighi

Blog candy windfall

Do you know what Blog Candy is?  It's a prize for people who visit a blog.  A lot of crafter blogs offer periodic blog candy.  I've won my share.  If you you are a crafter, it's a fun way to get new things in your stash.  Here is an example of some great blog candy:
I haven't priced it out, but I would guess there is at least a couple hundred dollars worth of goodies in this picture, and Karen is giving it away to someone who follows her blog, Feline Creative,  and mentions it on their ownblog.  Yeah, you have to blog to get the candy - sorry, Mom.

Karen isn't the only one who is so generous.  In fact, there is a page on Feline Playful with links to lots of blog candy!   Feline Playful is the site that crafty bloggers visit to find challenges, blog hops, Design Team opportunities, all kinds of ways to network online with other papercrafters.

So, check it out, and here's hoping you win!

Juliet Arrighi

So Lucky

This is the valentine I gave my husband this morning:

Curiously, it wasn't one I made custom for him, it was one that I made at a CTMH workshop.  It was a very awesome workshop!  We made this card on an acetate card base, then we made a horizontal card on regular cardstock - same sketch, only rotated 90 degrees.  Finally, we made a gift box with a clear cover, holding 4 3x3 mini cards with handmade envelopes and 3 covered Hershey nuggets.  The cost for this workshop - only five dollars!  That was for 3 sheets of cardstock, 2 sheets of DP, a clear card base, a sheet of transparency, all the buttons and ribbons (there was a two feet piece of pink twill ribbon holding the gift box shut!), and full color handout with photos of all the projects, instructions, and cutting diagrams - everything was stacked on a placemat when we sat down, and we just read the directions and crafted our little hearts out for 3 solid hours.

Anyway, I gave my husband this one because I was pretty sure he hadn't seen it (I have quite a few freshly scanned valentines hanging around my computer desk), it's very luxurious, and I really like the sentiment!

It's a pretty talented group, too - not every group of cardmakers can sit down with uncut cardstock and directions and complete something this complicated.   

I wonder if the challenge blogs will like it as much as my husband?
Catered Crop -ingredients
One Stitch at a Time - make it pretty 
PaperWorks - hearts
2 Sisters - hearts
Allsorts - all about the sentiment
Challenge up your Life - monochromatic
Our Creative Corner - cut it out
Skipping Stones - sketch

Juliet Arrighi

Level Up valentine

This is a really simple valentine.  The fact that the hearts are painted with stargazers and glued on (level up technique) gives it that crafty goodness that you don't find in a store-bought card.  You don't have to do a lot to give a card that home-made feel.
I also bypassed the whole red and pink thing - it gets old after a while.  The image is from CS Designs.

Card-makin' Mamas - Valentine
Crafty Catz - valentine/love
Fairy Knoll - hearts
Raise the Bar - valentine with no pink or red
Totally Papercrafts - clean and simple
Paper Romance - clean and simple valentine
For Fun Challenges - hearts
Cards and Things - purple, blue, and green
Digital Tuesday - heart + digi
Juliet Arrighi

More zetti ATCs

Three more zetti ATCs.  I really have to be in the mood to make things like this, or they look terrible.  What am I saying!?!  Zetti always looks terrible!  That's why it is so freeing - no pressure to make something lovely.

Color Dare - blue, peach, green
Simon says Stamp - not a card
Craft your passion - anything goes
Truly Scrumptious - Sketch (middle ATC)
Fun with ATCs - hearts (right ATC)
Juliet Arrighi

Knight in shining armor

Here's a manly valentine using the faux metal technique:
"My knight in shining armor"  is faux engraved into the gold plate under the image (sorry the scan doesn't show it well).  The DP and the stamp are from The Angel Company.  I love the stamp set, but I hate coloring, so I don't use it as often as I might.  I excaped coloring this one by burnishing it with distress inks.

Dude Time Doodles - sketch
Cards for Men - manly valentine
Let's Ink It Up - real rubber stamps/romance
Sentimental Sundays - valentine with a sentiment
Ellephantastic - love/distressing

Juliet Arrighi

Creative Journey (lost along the way)

An internet buddy in the UK, Ali, invited me to play in her swap - 4 by 6 inch art journal pages.  We were to prepare the heavy cardboard pages with a background, and then we were given 10 prompts to embellish the page.

1 add some red, blue or gold to your backgrounds..any way you like

2 add either buttons, ribbon or lace

3 add some background stamping either text,a pattern or a flourish

4 Add a vintage image either , people, a child or a flower.

5 add some texture to your art, or an inchie or 3d embossing

6 add a postage stamp or a mini postcard, or tags

7 add metallic paper, a metal button or a metal charm

8 add a quote, a word or a number

9 add glitter, beads or gems

10 add a die cut or punched shape,fibers, or do some pen work i.e. doodles or journalling..

This is what I finally ended up with:

These are two of the seven pages I prepared - one to keep and 6 to swap.  They are all basically the same - each of the players will only get one.

I have to admit that I am hugely dissatisfied with these pages - I don't think they are at all attractive.  Maybe I didn't understand how to apply the prompts.  I trust you, my faithful readers - look at them and tell me how to fix this mess.  Keep in mind that everything is heavily glued with tacky glue to survive international posting.  I doubt that anything is going to come off easily.

Juliet Arrighi

Chinese clothing tutorial

Happy Chinese New Year!  for you today I have a tutorial on how to create a traditional Han Dynasty woman's outfit on a paper project. This tutorial was requested after seeing my Year of the Rabbit ATC.

The project assumes that you have a stamp for a head, but you want to present a full body.  There are a gazillion stamps featuring the heads of women in a classic oriental style; the one I am using is by CS Designs.  I like that it is in a traditional pose, but the line work is clean and modern.
Here are all the things I used.  The stamp is Framed Geisha 2 - it's a collage stamp, but I only wanted the head.   To get the head to print at about 1 inch high, I needed to print the collage image at 2 inches square.  Isn't it great how you can resize digis?  Note:  If your head is a different size, you will have to adjust the measurements given here accordingly.(duh!)  You can always use my Asian head freebie, if you want to make hair yourself.
  Here I have prepared the head for use.  I used Sharpie to blacken the things that weren't already black, and Wite-Out to remove things that I didn't want (if you are wondering why I didn't do that all digitally, all I can say is that it isn't always possible, and sometimes, even if you do change an image digitally, there is no guarantee that you won't have stray marks anyway.  This is a tutorial, I've taught you how to fix things manually)
Here are the pieces that I used for the outfit cut out.  The top needs a 4 by 8 inch piece of paper total.  Cut it into two 4 inch squares; cut one square diagonally into 2 triangles, and the other laterally into 2 rectangles.  I used a 3 by 4 inch piece of paper for the underskirt (here it is already crimped, so it looks thinner), and a 2 inch punched circle for the overskirt.

Notice that I have that cheap lousy double-sided tape that you can buy at the Dollar Tree.  It has terrible adhesion, but for my purpose, to temporarily hold things in place to check for size and position, it is fine.  I will use tacky glue to hold everything together at the end.
Let's start with the top. Using the triangles, fold over the diagonal edge twice, about a quarter inch, and crease well.  Open it up and color it a nice coordinating color on the part that will show.  Do this to both pieces, then fold them up again.  The colored edge represents the binding at the neckline.
Now I wrapped the first triangle onto the body.  Fold down the top corner about a third of the way, keeping the colored edge aligned with itself.  That forms the shoulder(image on left).  Then take the left side and tuck it under.  If you flip it over, it will look like the image on the right.
The other side is done the same way.  Trim off the little bits sticking out with scissors.
The sleeves are done in much the same way as the front; roll the small edge of the two rectangles  up twice a quarter of an inch, open them, color the part that will show, then roll them up again.  Fold in the sides, and squish the shoulder cap down into a rounded shape.  The pictures above show how it looks front and back.
Here is how the sleeves will be placed.  I love the traditional pose where the body is facing one direction but the face is facing the other!  Here I noticed that one sleeve is longer than the other - to fix it, I just crunched the shoulder down a little more until the two sides matched.  If you want a bent elbow, just bend the sleeve, keeping the crease to the inside.  I didn't have to make hands, as it was traditional to have the sleeves so long that the hands would be covered.  The Chinese love gigantic sleeves!
The underskirt is traditionally pleated.  I folded up the hem and ran it through my crimper to get that effect, then folded the sides under a bit for shaping - this is how it looks from the back.
The overskirt is made from two quarters of a circle.  I used a metallic accent pen to edge this part.  I folded a curved shape to the hips here - the photos show the front and back views of these pieces.  The edging is a little smudged, because I was too impatient to let it dry before handling it.
Here is the arrangement of the skirt pieces on the body.  I moved the sleeves you you could get a good view.  Now is when you can adjust the width and length of the skirt and sleeves as needed.  I would recommend gluing these parts together before attaching the sleeves.  A thin sash around the waist completes the body.  I used thin ribbon. 

Here is the complete outfit.  I decided against visible shoes because of the whole bound feet issue; I think it looks fine without them.  The background panel is 3.75 by 8.25 inches, perfectly sized to layer on a long card.  I ended up cutting the bun from the hair, layering it underneath, and wedging the punched flowers between the layers. 

If you end up using this tutorial, let me know!  I would love to see your work.
Juliet Arrighi

My daughter, the canvas

Do you ever google your kids?  I did, just for fun, and found this photo.

It was part of a blog post by a college student who won first place in a teen art competition.  My daughter is wearing the artwork, apparently.  You can read the blog post here.