I really have not learned how to set up a Blog in a proper way so bear with me. My new blog posts so far all appear on this first page so keep scrolling for new info.
I have been making greeting cards for a couple of years and have literally made hundreds of them. I like to think they have improved as I have gone along. I have learned how to do quite a lot by attending instructional gatherings held by my Stampinup demonstrator but mainly have learned by watching Youtube and clicking on cards I have seen on Pinterest. I appreciate the fact that so many people are so generous in sharing the cards they have made and taking the time to show others how they made them. Now it is my turn to do the same for others. Unfortunately, I am not too good at making web sites. That is still very much in the learning stage so please have patience with this disjointed site.
There is something addictive about this hobby. For all that I have spent on supplies I could have bought hundreds of cards at the card store. But they would not have the personal touch and I would not have had the fun of coming up with ideas and carrying them out. Once you get addicted it is hard to pass up new stamps, inks, tools, dies etc. that are available at Michaels, Joann’s or any of the many places on the web that try to entice you with everything you could possibly think of to make both cards and scrapbooks.
Although I am “Featured Stamper” # 550 I am still rather tickled that I was chosen. Not too sure what the criteria is but obviously it must be very high class ; )
I submit quite a few of my cards to the Splitcoaststampers website, mainly to the “Clean and Simple” category. They challenge you with a new topic each week and you can upload as many cards as you would like that meet the challenge. I almost always add a card, either newly made for the challenge or gotten from my stash of already made cards. Even when you upload them to the specific forum all cards uploaded also go into the main gallery so lots of people see what you have done and you will often get positive comments sent to you on your art work. It is lots of fun. If you are not familiar with Splitcoaststampers be sure to go to their website and check it out. It is great way to get ideas. They have a number of galleries, tutorials, and forums.
It is so much fun to take an image you have that you love and make several cards with it but vary it enough that it looks different each time. With digi stamps this is especially easy since you can resize it to what ever size you want. I am using my new Printmaster v7 Platinum program to set up my basic cards and then have the fun of adding clip art and sentiments to them with Printmaster. After printing them out on my laser printer I then get to work with my Copic Markers. All the main images have been colored with Copic Markers. All the cards have been printed on my laser printer with Xpress It paper. Both the printing method and the paper are marker friendly. On several I made my own background paper with my clip art from Printmaster.
Here are two examples of the same image used in different ways.
In the first example I used the little baby image (“Hush” by Mos Digital Pencil) three times. The first time I added a little clip art of a stork carrying a baby. On the second I added some clip art of little hearts to the pajamas multiple times so it looked like a pattern on the pajamas. And on the last I made the pajamas more gender neutral color of green. On the last two examples I also made my own back ground paper using Printmaster clip art.
The next cards I used two different digi stamps from “From The Heart” (Birthday Cat and A Little Something). In the first one I combined the two images to make one birthday card and added the hat and balloons from Printmaster clip art. The other three are made from the individual images. I added a clip art hat on the third one and on the first and third I made up my own sentiment. The other two sentiments came with the digi stamp.
Something new I am just trying out doesn’t use any stamps at all….or ink or paper or scissors, just a program called Printmaster v7 Platinum and a computer. I am having a wonderful time trying out all this program can do. It comes with a great deal of clip art, backgrounds etc. and you can also go through literally hundreds of items you can purchase and add to the program at very reasonable prices. The above pictures show two of the “still lifes” I have made with the program. It is taking a little practice and trial and error to figure out how to do stuff but it is worth it. You can add various items to your pictures, including photos you already have on your computer, then resize, reconfigure, and realign them. You can easily put items in front or behind others then add shadows, different rotations and opacity. Your finished project can then be exported as a JPG to your computer and printed out. I am still learning and I am always excited to get a new project or gadget to learn all about.
As usual I can’t resist a cute card and combining various digi stamps. I have also started using my new Printmaster program which I recently downloaded in some new ways. I have used Printmaster for years but this is their newest version, Printmaster vs 7 Platinum, and it does a lot more than the old one did. For one thing I can now add backgrounds to my card before I print and color it which saves me a lot of time looking for designer paper for my backgrounds and I love how they look. I am still using my much loved Copic Markers to do all my coloring. I am now the proud owner of 90 of their colors. (They make 358 so I am being conservative, believe or not.)
I added the flowerrs on the head of this cute little puppy from Mos Digital stamps with my Printmaster program. The background is from PM too!
Added the back ground and the flowers to this little girl with Printmaster and The Hungry JPG
I have recently found another digi stamp site that I love called Vera Lane. Her stamps are whimsical and funky and just cry to be used with my own sentiments added. Here are a few of them. There are many more.
Vera Lane digi stamp with Printmaster back ground
Vera Lane digi stamp
Inside of rainy day card
Vera Lane digi stamp
Inside of fruitcake card. Those are chocolate fingerprints on the bottom
I have really become a fan of Digi Stamps. As I have explained elsewhere they are”stamps” that you download from the internet, save to your computer, then print out on your printer. You then color them with whatever medium you choose to use, watercolor, dye ink, copic markers, colored pencil etc. If you are using Copic markers I highly suggest using Bristol paper, as other papers will bleed through badly. I use Canson smooth Bristol paper. Watercolor paper will work also but not as well and will bleed quite a bit more. (With Copic Markers you need to print them on a laser printer or the ink from the printer will run.) I use Canson Watercolor paper when I am using my Zig watercolor markers.
There are several advantages to the Digi Stamps:
They are cheaper than purchased actual stamps, usually from free to three to four dollars each.
You can purchase just one stamp. You are not tied to a set as is often the case, especially when buying clear stamps.
You can use an editing program to make them any size that you want them to be.
If you use PNG stamps vs JPG stamps you can place them in front or in back of one another without using a mask.
You don’t have to drive to a store to purchase them or wait for them to come in the mail. They are instantly delivered to your computer for download, though you often have to unzip them but that is easy to do and just takes a minute or two of your time.
They are yours forever and they don’t wear out. They also print right every time with no smudges or missed spots.
(As I have mentioned elsewhere, my favorites so far are: Bugaboo Stamps, A Day For Daisies and Tiddly Inks. I used stamps from these 3 companies to make all my Christmas and Valentine cards this year.)
I have become a huge fan of “digi stamps.” These are digital stamps that you purchase online. They are sent to you in your email, after purchase, where you then download them and add them to your computer files. I keep mine in separate files for each company I buy them from within a file for my card making images I use all the time. Some of my favorites, so far, are Bugaboostamps, A Day for Daisies and Tiddlyinks. For some reason their images just speak to me. They are gentle and sweet and sometimes humorous. They usually come in sets of both a jpg and png image. The jpg image has a white rectangle around it while the png image is clear around it. As a result the png images can be put over or under each other without anything getting in the way. Below I will show you an example of before and after and two png images that have been overlapped and painted for a card. A friend recently had a family have to put their elderly dog down. She asked if I could come up with an appropriate sympathy card. Much to my surprise Bugaboostamps had the perfect digi stamp. As you will see I was even able to add the dog’s name to the tomb stone.
PNG image before coloring with Zig watercolor paints
PNG image before coloring with Zig watercolor paints
Combined PNG images colored and made into a card
Another Digi Stamp from A Day for Daisies. Colored with Zig Watercolor brushes, with wings made to sparkle with Wink of Stella (Too bad you can’t see it in the picture. It is gorgeous!) It is double matted with lime green then a darker shade of green. The picture is raised with a sheet of fun foam to make it stand out and a corner punch to make the edges more interesting.
These are just a couple of my cards. To see more go to my gallery by clicking on “gallery” at the top of this page.
A large percentage of my cards have been made after spending hours seeing all those made by others on the web site “Pinterest.” I then tried to see how I could “make them my own”. This is standard practice and is called “CAS” or Copy and Share. You might think this is cheating but it is not considered as such, especially if you mention, when posting a card on the web, whose idea it was to start with. Giving credit where credit is due will get you a long way in life!
This card looks hard but is actually pretty simple as the part that is pleated is just a strip of paper that has a graduated cut and then folded vertically to form the pleats. I didn’t have paper that was double sided so I glued two kinds, back to back, to make my own. After cutting and pleating it I attached it to the yellow and white polka dotted base at the half way mark, added the ribbon with the bow, stamped the greeting and the extra colored polka dots to balance it out. The whole thing was then glued to a heavier card stock that had been folded to make the basic card. By doing this I was also able to hide where I had glued the ribbon to the back of the front piece at each end. Here is another that is made in the same way but with bigger pleats.
I was day dreaming in bed one morning and trying to think of a way to make my envelopes prettier and more interesting. I think I have come up with something that looks great. After looking all over the web to see if I could find others doing the same thing I posted some pictures on a web site to see if anybody was making anything like it. (Simply Card Making With Laurel Beard) I got quite a few favorable responses and many asked me to share how I had made them.
It is not hard but it does require a bit of precision. First off I should tell you that I use a We R Memory Keepers envelope punch board so I know up front how big my paper needs to be for the size card I will be using it for. I then decide what paper goes with the card I have made and use those colors. For a 4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″ (A2) card I need a paper that is 8 1/8″ by 8 1/8″. I take the paper I will be using and cut it into strips that I will then overlap and adhere together to make a sheet that big, allowing for room for the overlap. For a two color envelope that means I need about a 1/2″ overlap for each so cut my paper accordingly. Each sheet will be about 5″ wide by 81/8″ long. I then adhere them together by overlapping one over the other using a strong glue (not repositionable) such as the Scotch Extra Strength Adhesive Roller, Instant Hold. Put the adhesive, VERY CAREFULLY, right next to the edge of one sheet and carefully lay the other sheet on top so they overlap just the width of the adhesive. You don’t want the adhesive to overlap the sides or you will have a heck of a mess. You then cut the sheet so it is 8 1/8″ by 8 1/8″ square. You may have to cut a little off of each side of the paper, you don’t want to cut it all off of one side, unless you want one color to show more than another. Then use the envelope punch board just as you always do. You do the same thing if you use more than two colors, just making strips that glued together will measure 8 1/8″ for this sized card. Adjust accordingly for other sizes.