Thursday, February 17, 2011

Just Chicken Up

Ok not a title you would expect from a blog entitled "The Paper Garden" written in French. I'm sure your expecting something more "highbrow", but as you all might remember my mom broke her arm last month, and I wanted to make a card that would cheer her up and make her smile :)

Creative_Sketches has issued a challenge this week: Watercoloring.
This is so up my alley, I love watercoloring! I just received most of the last of my Tombows I needed, and put them to good use coloring this image in from MFT. I picked this stamp out on clearance, about 9 months ago, thinking it was funny, but never got around to using it (*shhh, don't tell my husband!*).

The stamp is from MFT "Punny Farm" coloring in with all Tombows. I used MME, Cosmo Cricket and and old piece of paper I enlarged then photocopied onto vellum, and adhered on the background of the card. I used the Doily and Open Scallop die from MFT. I used really dark colors paired with red cardstock to bring out those Americana colors and farm feel. Lastly I sponged the background in "Scattered Straw" & "Dried Marigold" Distress Inks then added a couple of old buttons.

I think it will bring a smile to my mom, since she lives on an old farm complete with a red barn, open fields and a neighbor who has a few chickens, I know she will love it. She usually gets only flower cards from me since we both love flowers like crazy, but I think laughter is a great medicine too ;) We love and miss you Mom! :)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Shabby Chic Paris

As you all might have guessed, I am pretty fond of Flourishes stamps :) Flourishes has a Timeless Tuesday challenge and a monthly Bring Back Beautiful challenge, that I like to try to submit to. This Timeless Tuesday's (TT) challenge is "Buttons" and this months Bring Back Beautiful (BBB) is "Romantic or Valentines". So I combined the two challenges on this card :)

I used the Lilac from Flourishes "Lilac" stamp set. I cut out around the image with my craft knife and loosely watercolored it by dabbing the color in with my Zig Aqua brush, so I would get darker and natural lighter spots. I used my Tombow #772 and "Worn Lipstick" Distress Ink for the Lilac color, then my Tombow #098 for the leaves. I kept the leaves light and "natural" looking without much shading. The paper is a MME "Lost & Found" set that I love so dearly. I used a pink satin ribbon with some lace and a small velvet ribbon over it for a tiny color and texture contrast. The pink pearls are from Zva, and the Pearl pins are from Maya Road. I bought the brass button three years ago at JoAnn's, and I can't remember who makes it.

I love, love the Shabby Chic look, and I love vintage, but don't know how to distress or make a Shabby card too well. This is my interpretation. I deliberately used pinks and some old lace with papers that had an Eiffel Tower on it and French writing, to help convey the Parisian theme :)
I hated cutting off the top of the Eiffel Tower, but it would be a terribly long card otherwise. The other hard part was cutting off the "Ja'dore" printed at the bottom under the tower, but again, it would be almost 7 inches long, if I didn't. I purposely kept the lace and velvet ribbon to the one side of the card, since Shabby Chic is a casual elegance :)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Little Things

Creative_Sketches new challenge is a "Red, Blue and White" color challenge. And since I needed to start my niece's birthday card, I thought this would be a fantastic challenge! I even knew just what paper I would use :)

I love Americana Colors!! Even though it's February, I can just imagine sitting on my patio with a bowl of ice cold watermelon!! Yum! :)

I decided to add a couple bold splashes of red but keep everything else light, so that the red would pop out at you :)

I used the sentiment from Flourishes "Enjoy the Ride" and the flowers from their "Clematis and Butterflies" set, I cut the flowers out with my craft knife and painted them in with my Tombows, then added some Diamond Glaze to stiffen the fragile pieces. I sponged in the sign with "Tumbled Glass" and "Broken China" Distress Inks. I used MME "Lost & Found" paper with the center cut out with a Spellbinder Lacy Square die. The butterfly is from Inkadinkado.

This is the first time I have had success sponging any of my cards. I like the look but I'm going to have to work on how to even shading better. I love the QK Sign that I came across when I was making my last card. I wanted the flowers to look like a Clematis vine that grew up a building and into the sign. Again, I had painted the flowers darker and when I added the Diamond Glaze, they lightened up again. This is the second time in a row I have had this problem. I'm going to try to go really dark with my Tom's and see what happens, next time :)

And before I forget : Happy Birthday, Lauren!! I love and miss you ! :)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Love Like A Butterfly

Ok, I don't know about you, but have you ever had something close to an "epic" battle with a card? I have just had one. Every card I make has a few quirks and mistakes, but I somehow manage to fix it all with a little bit of duck tape! LOL :) This one almost had me on my knees begging for mercy!

I used Flourishes "Butterflies and Blooms" set, cut out and colored in with Tombows. The paper is an old MME "Nature Life" paper. And the flourishes are from an old QK (Quickutz) die. I used the largest Spellbinders Classic Circle to cut out the window, and a Large scalloped Circle die to add the detail inside the window's circle.

The only major regret I have left is adding that heavy flourished stamp under the sentiment. I don't think it needed it. But it looks nice from the front.

What happened was, I had painted my Clematis all nice and a really cute purple, then cut it out for the Flourishes "Winter Thaw" Challenge. After that I put a thin layer of Diamond Glaze on it all to stiffen the more fragile pieces and give it a nice gloss, but when I came back the flowers were PINK!!!! I spent all that time cutting it out, and it's not the color I needed! I knew Diamond Glaze made my colors deeper but it's never gone light on me before! No words, people, no words, could describe my horror. This was the only paper that would even match it close enough. Not only that, I tacked my paper for the front of my card, on upside down (again, no words). I had to rethink my papers, layout and design; this is a completely different card then what I had in mind. But, that being said I Know this is a better card then I originally had in mind. So I learned my lesson once again, even when you think you've made a big mistake, some times they workout for the better. :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Carousel Valentine

I was still playing with Valentine cards and ideas, when I saw Creative_Sketches sketch for this week. I love the ideas and versatility that I got from it, and had a hard time deciding what direction I was going to go with it all! :)

I decided that my theme, besides being a Valentine card, was going to be a musical one.

I used the horse from "Enjoy the Ride" from Flourishes, cut out and popped up on popdots and colored in with Tombows. I used all MME papers, with "Lost & Found" music paper, to go with the musical theme. The patterned vellum is from Hambly Studios. I used Spellbinders Ovals and Scalloped Ovals to make the frame, then used Spellbinders "Classic Lace" die for the ribbon border. I used MFT Rose die to make the paper roses, topped of with some lovely pearls from Basic Grey.

I decided to Not use flowers for this Valentine's card, just to try something different. So I pulled out my carousel horse image, and thought of the musical theme. Painting animals are not my specialty, but I like how it turned out. I painted it like a pinky Valentine horse I would love to ride :)
I really like the sketch, the non use of flowers, and it all coming together for a different and unique Valentine's Day card.. Since I seem to be bucking the trend, here, do you think I can make a St. Patrick's Day card, next month, without the use of any clover stamps....?
Hmmmm... I think I threw down the gauntlet and challenged to myself..... ;)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

With Love

Last night I was playing around with some scrap pieces of paper trying to come up with a card, when I came up with this Valentine. It's a little "darker" of a card, then I usually make, but I really love how it turned out!

I used an old Inkadinkado heart stamp that I had bought 2 years ago but never inked up (eek!), and used it as my focal point. Then I stamped a Prima frame stamp on some MME "Lost & Found" paper, cut out with Spellbinders Labels Three. Memento "Rhubarb Stalk" and "Fired Brick" Distress Ink, made a really nice red to match my CS and stand out better. Then I used some Grosgrain ribbon, adding some Making Memories brads on top of it, placing it all over some old lace I found at a Garage Sale.

The inside is my favorite part! I used my favorite HOTP (Hot Off The Press) "Corners & Medallions" stamps to stamp some pretty corners, in Memento "Desert Sand" ink. Then I stamped a heart from Flourishes "Fanciful Flourishes" and a sentiment from the same set, in "Desert Sand".

For as different as it is, compared to my other cards, I really like it. I had to look at it for a while to come to that conclusion, because I like making "lighter" looking cards. But I think for Valentine's Day you can make anything and get away with it. I might play around with this idea and stamps and see what else I can do with the idea :)