Monday, December 11, 2017

How to Create Scenes for Christmas Packages

Inspiration from Papertrey Ink's Make It Monday #306
There are so many ways I could start this post, but the only true way is this way: Sadly, I missed the window for linking this post to Papertrey's Make It Monday, but I'm glad I finally had the chance to try these fan-brushed trees. My Christmas cards have been completed and mailed as of today, so I really didn't need to make any more. But Betsy Veldman's simple watercolor technique gave me another idea.

I struggle wrapping gifts. I always envision beautiful packaging with baubles and bows, but then I get in a hurry because it's usually the last thing I do before Christmas. When I viewed Betsy's technique at the Papertrey blog, I knew I wanted to give it a try. Her technique involves using a fan brush, but my fan brush was too large. So I used a 1/2" flat to create my trees. Below is my complete process along with a list of supplies. The main thing is this truly is a simple technique, and by layering the scene onto silver glitter paper, then red, makes the entire scene pop! There's no way I'll have time to create watercolor scenes for all of my packages, but I will create a few for my family. That way, if they don't want to keep the scene, I can graciously ask they give it to me to recycle for next year! 

Finished scene layered on cardstock.
The Process

I'll supply links to the special products I used for this package scene below to make it easy for you to locate. I follow Fabulous Fancy Pants on Instagram and have fallen in love with these deckled-edge cotton rag papers. I purchased some of their 'seconds' to get used to this style of paper. Below are the steps, as promised, but as we all know...paper is important!
  1. I created a wash of Cerulean and Cobalt blue for the sky and then took a paper towel to create faint clouds near the trees. I dried the background thoroughly.
  2. Next, I dabbled some Burnt Umber for the tree trunks then quickly made marks in a downward slant for the tree branches. I used an old tube of Chromium Oxide Green for the branches and dabbled some of that mixed with Payne's Grey to add depth. 
  3. I allowed the trees to dry before adding marks of Copic Opaque White for snow on the branches.
  4. As a card-maker, I like to add embossing to my cards, so I found a stamp for flower centers to create large snowflakes falling in the background. I tried to splatter, but as usual, was in a hurry to do other things. I embossed silver, white, and glitz to create several layers of snowflakes.
  5. I stamped a sentiment at the bottom as I would on a regular greeting card. It was embossed in silver but did not stand out like I had hoped against the trees. Next time, the sentiment will land itself in the snow!
  6. To assemble the scene to the background papers, I used a strong tape adhesive called Scor Tape. I cut my background panels slightly larger than the watercolor panel and used a corner chomper to round the edges. 
  7. I wrapped the package, added silver ribbon and then used regular packaging tape to adhere the panel. That way, when the panel is removed, only a small part of the final paper will tear off. The rest of the image will stay intact and can be framed, used again, or maybe tossed one day. But I do think this will see several packages before that happens!
I use my Mini Misti stamp positioner to stamp onto
watercolor paper so the images are clean and crisp.
While this first attempt needs lots of improvement, my mind is churning with other scenes and Christmas images to paint and add to my packages! Thanks for stopping by, and as promised, below are the supplies!!

Supplies & Links [Note: the links are for your ease in finding products. I do not receive compensation.]

Papertrey Ink: Pure Poppy cardstock, Christmas Blessings sentiment stamps.
Fabulous Fancy Pants: Blemished papers. If you follow them on Instagram, they occasionally run a sale on blemished papers through their Etsy shop.
Other Supplies: Recollections Glitter paper [Michaels]; Versamark Watermark Ink; Score Tape; Hearth & Home Wrapping paper from Target--this is Magnolia's line of products; Wonderland ribbon trimmings.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Little Tangles #86--Coloring

Little Tangles--Falling Circles
Today is the last day of November, and I am on a mission. My New Year's resolution was to have at least 200 posts on my blog for the year. Currently, I have fallen short of that goal, so now I'm working toward a 50% goal! Seriously, like everyone who stops by, life is certainly busy. So, quality over quantity is likely the best route.
Today I'm playing along with Little Tangles #86 Coloring challenge. I used their Falling Circles to create a snowfall effect. then I created a wash of blue watercolor to create a chilly snowy sky.  This sweet card will find its way to a friend of mine whose birthday is in December. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Everyday Watercolor Day 8

Wreath practice
Happy Cyber Monday everyone! I just ordered some fantastic gifts for my hubby. While I have most of my Christmas shopping ahead of me, it's good to know that the bulk of my gifts for my sweetie will be delivered, right to my door!

I'm slowly, but surely progressing through Everyday Watercolor by Jenna Rainey. Due to Thanksgiving, Christmas card making, and card challenges, I haven't had much time to paint. Above is a wreath I painted trying to work in different colors and leaf shapes.

Below are the steps to Day 8. Each day is adding more and more complexity to the subject. I'm certainly glad she slows this process down, but I also know this is stretching me as a beginning artist. The challenge was to paint in layers, from darkest to lightest. I struggled a bit with painting the branches. I wasn't certain how I was supposed to paint I just scrumbled my brush back and forth and called it good! Thanks for stopping by!

Step One--practice making pine trees

Step Two: select colors for three layers. I experimented with the lightest shade

The final piece!

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Papertrey November Blog Hop

PTI November Blog Hop: Christmas Card
Wow, it's hard to believe 2017 is almost over! I hope you and your family had a great Thanksgiving. Nichole has inspired us with this beautiful tablescape. In the photo, I noticed beautiful fall colors, shimmery golds, creamy whites, and a hexagonal pattern on the rug.


Blog hop inspiration
Papertrey November Blog Hop
For my card, I attempted to capture most of the neutrals as well as the oranges and greens. And, since I'm behind on creating my Christmas cards, I wanted to create a non-traditional card using the inspiration photo. On Black Friday, I watched Yana Smakula's monthly video and was inspired to use the sentiment panel from Gathered Garden. Since I had that stamp set out, I decided to create a wreath for my card after sponging a honeycomb background using Tim Holtz's Honeycomb stencil.

Sentiment close-up
I mounted the panel onto Saffron Spice cardstock and then onto an A2, top folding card base in white. I finished the card with Metallic Vintage Hemp Cord by Hemptique. I think I finally have my Christmas Card design for 2017.  My full card recipe follows. Thanks for stopping by! 

Card Recipe [All PTI, unless noted]:

Stamps & Dies: Gathered Garden & Berry Wreath
Paper: White and Saffron Spice cardstock
Inks: Melon Berry, Prairie Grass, Saffron Spice, Fine Linen
Embellishments: Hemp Cord by Hemptique and Zing, glittered gold embossing powder

CTD 470: Masculine Thinking of You

Color Throwdown #470
Hello everyone! This is one of the best Saturdays of the year....the Saturday after Thanksgiving! That usually means I am feeling human again and ready to get out and Shop Small Businesses! I live in Wacotown, and new stores and restaurants have been popping up all over the place!

But first I want to share a card I’ve made for this week’s Color Throwdown challenge. The colors are yellow, orange, red, and brown. They are wonderful Holiday colors, but to me, they also say masculine card! I am preparing to send some cards to Card Care Connection, an organization who sends cards to cancer patients. In looking through the stash, I have plenty of flowery cards, but nothing for a man. So I dug through my supplies and came up with the card above!

I have been spending a lot lately on stamps, dies, paper, you name it. So that means I've also been scolding myself for buying and not making. I am challenging myself to mix new and old when I create cards, and that truly happened with this card. I heat embossed a plaid design onto watercolor paper. That stamp set is so old, I only know that I bought it at Michaels and it was a Martha Stewart stamp. At least I think that's where I bought it! I also used some Papertrey Ink paper I know I purchased over four years ago, if not longer. That makes me feel really good because I think this card turned out pretty swell, and I hope it brings comfort to the recipient. My supplies are listed below. Have a blessed weekend shopping, relaxing, or spending time with family!!

Card Recipe:

Paper: Papertrey-Argyle Socks, Dark Chocolate, and Classic Kraft; Watercolor paper
Embossing Powder: Recollections-Snow
Stamps & Dies: Plaid stamps, unknown manufacturer; Papertrey Text Style-Thinking of You, My Favorite Things Die-namics-Zig, Zag Rectangle dies; Papertrey Wine Bottle Tag #2 Die [Banner]
Watercolors: Windsor & Newton--Cad. Yellow; Cad Red; Alizarin Crimson & Cad. Orange

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Top Reasons Crafters Hoard Supplies

Make It Monday #304--Photo Ornaments: My sons and their sweethearts!
Happy Thanksgiving Eve everyone! I took time this morning to play along with this week's Make It Monday at Papertrey Ink. When I say Lexi's tutorial, I initially thought I wouldn't be able to play. I have many photos of my kiddos, but they are all digital with the exception of some I printed out years ago. But then I scanned my craft room, and in my somewhat organized tub of stamps and dies, I saw them...the photo greeting cards from 2016, all with gorgeous, recent photos of my kiddos and great nieces and nephews!  Eureka--this is ONE reason crafters hoard supplies...and photos!!  Now that I had something to work with, it was time to learn from Lexi and get busy! I like how her process was easy, and she used simple dies to adorn her photos.

Lexi Daly's Ornaments for MIM #304
There is another reason for this post, though. Lately, I've been surveying my craft room thinking that maybe it is time to part ways with some of the things I no longer use. 

Reverse side of my ornaments
Maybe give them a new life, if you know what I mean. But throughout this project, I found myself reaching for those very items I was contemplating giving away, such as eyelets, baker's twine, stickers, washi tape, scrap paper, etc. Boy, this challenge came just in time to snap me out of my madness!  Below are my reasons for hoarding supplies and the recipe for my photo ornaments. I hope you and your loved ones have a blessed Thanksgiving!!

Great Niece and Nephews: Jaxon, Laney & Aiden
Top Reasons Crafters Hoard Supplies

10.  You never know
  9.  It always becomes a thing again
  8.  Paper never, ever goes out of style
  7.  The kids love to play with the scraps
  6.  There are plenty of supplies to make photo ornaments with the family on Thanksgiving Day
  5.  You spent a ton of money on all those lovelies 
  4.  One of these days you are going to become Picasso, and you're going to need a ton of stuff!
  3.  Grandma said, "Waste not, want not!"
  2.  Your husband will take over your craft room if it's organized and free of clutter
  1.  You still love everything you have!! 

My Great niece, Hadley

Ornament Recipe [All Papertrey, unless noted]:

Paper: Scraps and Bitty Big
Stamps & Dies:  Stamping Simply, Splits: Tis the Season, Shaped Sayings, Christmas, Tag Sale Die #11, Simply Noted A2 Scallop Dies
Baker's Twine, Washi tape, and stickers

Monday, November 20, 2017

Using Dies as Stencils

Freshly Made Sketches #313
What's the best way to avoid cleaning your crafty space? Make cards every day! Today's layout is brought to you by Freshly Made Sketches #313. Karren Johnson created the sketch below, and I think it lends itself to so many applications.

When I saw the sketch, I remembered a Make It Monday challenge well over a year ago at Papertrey Ink that I thought would be perfect. I love Melissa Phillips' designs, and this technique is one I plan to do again and again [even though it took me over a year to give it a try!] Below is Melissa's card with a link to her tutorial at the Capture the Moment.

Melissa 2
Make It Monday #264 w/Melissa Phillips
Well, it looks like I practically CASE'd her card, doesn't it? I have to admit, when it comes to crafting, I'm still pretty much in the "please let me follow your model" stage! Below are the steps I took to create my card along with the supplies I used.

Using Dies as Stencils--

#1--Find an awesome stamp/die set with some detail to it. I used PTI's Fancy Flourishes.

Fancy Flourishes Die Cuts

#2--Place die cuts into position and select two colors to sponge over the top. I chose PTI's Spring Moss and Classic Kraft.

Sponge around the die cuts until you're happy
#--Stamp in the negative space. This creates a lovely layered look without layering! Add a sentiment in the middle, attach to a card base, and presto--you have a beautiful card!

Completed card with sentiment
Thanks for stopping by!

Card Recipe [all Papertrey Ink, unless noted]:

Paper: White, Simply Chartreuse [card base], Bitty Big-Simply Chartreuse
Inks: Spring Moss, Classic Kraft
Stamps  & Dies: Fancy Flourishes, Berry Wreath
Pens: Tombow Dual Brushtip #755 and #158