Saturday, January 25, 2014

Sleepy Kitten

     Today I want to tell you about the second artist I found this week who's not new, just new to me.  I fell in love and did a second shopping spree so now I get to share this card with you.  The company is Aurora Wings and the image is called "Sweet Dreams."  OK, so you probably knew I'd use a kitten first.  :-D

I took the sketch from Digi Sketch, turned sideways.

     I colored the image with my ProMarkers (in my favorite purples, of course), die cut it, and colored the scallops to look like a frame.  The embossing folder is one from SU, I think.  The sentiment is mine, computer printed and hand cut, with inked edges.  I added glitter to the flower centers and the butterfly on the kitten's head.  The bow and the pearls came from my stash.

Creative Crafts -- New (digi and kitten)
Fan-tastic Tuesday -- Feminine
Flourishes Timeless Tuesday -- In with the new (new digi, new kitten)
Outlawz Greetings -- New Arrivals (new digi and new kitten)
Papertake Weekly -- Add a bow and use a die cut
Passion for Pro-Markers -- Ribbon, lace, or twine (ribbon bow)
Through the Purple Haze -- Favorite colors (purple)
Top Tip Tuesday -- Use a sketch

     You really need to go check out all the different digis at Aurora Wings.  She does adorable animals but she also has a large variety of other images, many of which I bought.  Sigh...who could resist?  Happy Stamping.  NanaConnie

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

New Arrivals

     I was so taken with this image from Delicious Doodles of a dragon mother tending her eggs and you just know that their hatching is imminent.  You can see by the look on her face that she's listening to the sound of scratching inside, right?

The design sketch came from A Creative Romance.

     The frame is cut with one of my new dies, and I colored it with chalks to get the light and dark variations.  The image is colored with Copics.  The dp is stamped with embossing ink and I used Shimmer EP from Sparkle n Sprinkle to make it sparkle.  That background was so fabulous that I decided it shouldn't have any other embellishment.  Here is another of those CAS designs that just doesn't look CAS.  Part of that is that the "open space" is dp rather than white.  I really love the way this turned out!  :-D

Brown Sugar -- Anything goes
Card Mania -- Anything goes
Corrosive Challenges -- Career (Motherhood, the best career!)
Craft Your Passion -- Face the music (Puff, the Magic Dragon)
Crazy Challenge -- Fairytale
Created with Love -- Winged things
Eureka Stamps -- 3 Fav embellies (glitter, EP, die cuts)
Fussy and Fancy -- Monochromatic
My Craft Creations -- Anything goes
Sparkle 'n Sprinkle -- Glitter, EP or Flocking
Squigglefly -- CAS
Stampin' with the Dragon -- Anything goes
Wags 'n Whiskers -- Anything goes

     That's it for today and I'm glad to report that I really am getting better every passing hour.  The worst is over and today I'd don't even feel like I ever had the flu.  Must have been all those prayers and good thoughts you were all giving me.  Thanks.  :-D  Happy Stamping.  NanaConnie

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Melting Snowman

     A happy Saturday to you and yours.  Another new challenge starts today at Open-Minded Crafting Fun and our theme is "Warmth -- Food or Clothing."  We have five different and fabulous sponsors and I've listed each of them with their badges at the end of this post.  They are:  Digi Darla's, Digital Delights, Digistamps 4 Joy, QKR Stampede, and Sentimental Susan.  Most of them supplied images for the DT members to use and you can find lots of inspiration from the team if you just go visit the Open-Minded blog.

     I'm using a wonderful image from QKR Stampede called "Melting Snowman" (digi #13712.)  It's just such a perfect image for the "Warmth" theme.  Even though he's only wearing a scarf and top hat, he's obviously waaaay too warm!  I'm sure he'd prefer more snow and ice.  Come to think of it, most of us out here in drought-worn California would love to see more snow and ice.  When it melts, it would help fill our rather empty lakes and rivers.  We've had record breaking, warm, January temperatures so we fit right in with this theme. :-D

My sketch is from I {heart} Sketches (reversed)
and I took my colors from the Alcohol Markers challenge at Outlawz.


     The image is colored with ProMarkers, then die cut and matted with another die cut.  The ribbon is sparkly and is part of a whole bunch of ribbon I bought in the after-Christmas sales.  The paper is from Colorbok and the snowflakes were also part of the after-Christmas shopping spree.  Although it's hard to see in the photo, I added sparkle to the snow, the water drips, and the edges of the sentiment.

Crazy Challenge -- Cards for men
Cuttin' and Stampin' -- A/G about Winter
Eureka Stamps -- Bundle up
Everybody Art -- Snow
Going Grey with Scrap-Creations -- Snowman
Kaboodle Doodles -- Winter Wonderland
Stamp and Create -- Winter Wonderland
Without Words -- Spots or stripes

     Here are the badges for all our sponsors this challenge.  Just think, five sponsors means five chances to win!  So, dig out those warm images -- those with clothes or food that just shout warmth and comfort -- and come play along with us.  Happy Stamping.  NanaConnie

Monday, January 13, 2014

Hand Made Bows

     As part of my DT commitment with Scribble & Scrap, I get to do a tutorial once every 10 weeks or so.  So two things inspired today's post.  Volunteering to be the first of the DT members to do a tutorial for Scribble & Scrap was one, and the other was more personal.  For many moons now I've been promising to do a tutorial about the bows I make by the dozens and toss into my stash for future use.  It was impossible to do the steps and photograph them at the same time without a much more sophisticated system than I have.  But, now that I live in the same city as my daughter and her family, I recruited some help.  Thanks, daughter dear.  :-D  You're the best!

     I should note that for those of you who either don't have a needle and thread or don't want to ever sew anything, you can buy these types of bows at most of your local fabric shops in packages of 4 or 5.  They tend to be expensive if you use as many as I do on your cards and projects.  Being somewhat budget conscious and loving to sew, I learned to make these by taking apart one of those I bought and figuring out how to make them myself.  It took some practice, so don't give up after the first one.  I can now make about 15 of these in an hour.  Making them myself also means that I have a much wider variety than just blue, white, and pink, which is mostly I see in the fabric stores.

What you will need:
Thread - matching the color of the ribbon  (For demo purposes, I used black ribbon and white thread)
Small pearl or other decorative bead
Scissors for trimming ribbon tails

     For the photographs, I used 5/8ths inch wide ribbon but I usually use 3/8ths inch for the bows and that results in a tighter "middle" of the bow.  You can actually use any size or style of ribbon you choose but 'softer' ribbon works better than stiff ribbon.


Step 1. --  Cut a length of ribbon about 4 inches long (for 3/8ths inch ribbon -- longer for wider ribbon.  You'll be trimming it at the end.)  Fold it as though you were doing a "remember" ribbon, with a loop sticking up above the crossed tails.  The loop should be twice the length which you want for your finished bow loops (both measured together.)  Photo 1a isn't actually anything you're going to do but is there to show you that getting your needle in the exact center of the loop is vital!   What you will do is fold the very top of the loop down to the back of the center spot where the tails cross.

Step 2. -- Bring your needle and thread up from the back in the exact center of the crossed tails.  This will be done holding it in your hands but we had to lay it our on the table for photographic purposes.


Step 3. -- Wrap the thread around and around the mid-point (top to bottom), pulling it as tightly as possible.  The tighter the wrap, the smaller the middle and the closer together the tails will be when finished.  I've done two different angles just to give you a view of how it would look when completely wrapped.

Step 4. -- Bring the needle and thread from the back side up through the right side loop, close to the wrapped middle.  Add the pearl bead and pull the thread through.

Step 5. -- Push the needle and thread down through the left side loop, again close to the middle, pulling it tightly and centering the pearl.

Step 6. -- Sew a "tie-off" of the thread at the back of the bow, keeping the pearl as tightly against the bow as possible. Clip the thread.

Step 7. -- Trim off the excess tails to make them the appropriate size for your bow.  Some people like longer tails so trim them to your preference.  I happen to prefer shorter tails on the small bows I make which are approximately 3/4 of an inch across and only a smidgen taller than that.  Here's a photo of a finished bow I did using the 3/8ths ribbon.

     You'll notice that the tails are much closer together when I don't have them deliberately spread out to photograph the various steps.  However, I will advise you that either stiffer ribbon or wider ribbon will result in a wider spread between the tails and a larger mid-point because there is more ribbon in the wrapped center.  It's just not possible to wrap that much ribbon as tightly so you won't get a really tight mid-point.

     That doesn't mean the wider bow isn't exactly what you want on your project.  I have done many bows in different sizes and styles.  But when I sit for an entire weekend afternoon and sew these little bows together for my stash, I tend to do the smaller, tighter bows mainly because I have a ton of pearl beads in the smaller size and I intend to get rid of them by making as many bows as possible over the next decade!  :-D  It'll take that long to use them up.  Experiment with the basic idea and come up with something that totally pleases you.  It doesn't have to be what I make.

     Have a great day, my crafty friends.  NanaConnie

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Snowman Fun at Tuesday Throwdown

     I'm doing something I very rarely do but this week I'm combining my DT card for Tuesday Throwdown  (Snowman Fun - use a snowman) with my card for a GDT spot that I'll be doing this whole month at the Outlawz Tuesday Color Challenge (pink, red, & black this week plus use a button.)  Our sponsor at Tuesday Throwdown is Robyn's Fetish and they supplied the digital images for the whole team to use.  I adore this new snowman with his warm winter hat and scarf.  If he doesn't watch out, he'll be so warm he'll melt.  :-D

     It isn't easy coloring a snowman with red and pink but I managed it since he had the scarf, hat, and gloves.  I even managed to turn the scarf from just stripes into a plaid.  More on that with a brief tutorial at a later date.  The "snowflakes" are done with one of my newest embossing folders and I 'painted' them with Fairy Dust glitter for a bit of sparkle.  I also added a bit of glitter to the snowflake button.  The image is die cut with a die from Spellbinders.  

613 Avenue Create -- Colors, sights, sounds of winter
A Creative Romance -- Something new
Come and Get It -- Something new
Creative Knockouts -- All that glitters
Digitally Sweet -- Anything goes
Hanna & Friends -- Snowflakes
Polka Doodles -- Anything goes

     So, grab those pink and red markers plus a button, find a cute snowman stamp, and come play along at both Outlawz and Tuesday Throwdown.  Wonderful prizes could be yours if you're a winner.  :-D  Happy Stamping.  NanaConnie