Wednesday, September 25, 2013

OWH Perfect Blog Skip - Let 'Er Rip!

Hello, and welcome, blog skippers! If you came here from Lezlye's site, you have arrived safely! I'm so glad that you came to see what I will demonstrate from Perfect Paper Crafting today!

The product that I was so lucky to get to try is called the Perfect Layers tool. These ruler-looking straight-edge tools are just wonderful for making borders and layers for our card making. We all love lots of layers, right?

First off, I was very impressed by the craftsmanship of these tools. I do love high quality tools that are not flimsy because I know that they will be available in my papercrafting arsenal for a very long time! The three Perfect Layers tools shown here make it possible to create twelve different sizes of layers, can you imagine that? Tool #1 will make borders that measure 1/8, 5/8, 1/4 and 3/8". Tool #2 creates borders of 1/16, 1/2, 3/16 and 5/16", and so on. What a fantastic thing, not to have to worry about measurements. Just line up the width that you choose along each edge of your desired mat, and cut away. It's goof proof!

Here is what the tools look like close up. I love how the numbers that you see at the end of the tools show which measurement you will get using that edge. Just place the edge with the desired measurement right side up, and you are good to go. The tools are also made to work for both right and left-handed cutters. Bonus!

I decided to use this week's sketch # 191 to make my example card, because it already has lots of opportunities to make pretty layers.

I proceeded by preparing the pieces that I wanted to layer on some kraft colored card stock. I distressed the pieces of patterned paper first, and then used my ATG to glue them onto the kraft paper, leaving plenty of space to create edges. Perfect edges!


After much consideration, I decided to forego the cutting, which would have meant using the edge tool and a craft knife on a self-healing mat. I wanted to try the tools for something a little more than the obvious, so I used my left hand to hold down the tool, grabbed the kraft paper with my right, and gave it a good rip!

I love this. I love the look of paper tearing but I've never been able to get such a precise edge. In fact, I really doubt if I would have been able to accomplish this look without the Perfect Layers tool because my free-hand tearing would have been a disaster. I really enjoyed creating this look for a shabby-chic kind of card. I can definitely see using these tools over and over to create both straight cut, and torn edges in the exact measurements that I need.

I created three, torn edged mats to complete this romantic card. I hope that one of our heroes chooses it to send to their sweetie!

If you enjoyed seeing these tools today, I know that you will love the other great things available at Perfect Paper Crafting. I was pleasantly surprised to see that there are even more tools, called Perfect Tears, for even more of this look. I can't wait to give them a try, too. If you shop over there today, don't forget to use code OWH5% for an additional 5% off your purchase and leave me a comment today to enter to win the $50 gift certificate to PCC. What a wonderful OWH Birthday Gift that would be. :)

Now hop along over to Paper Craft Planet to see what Susanna has for you today. Or, if you would like to start at the beginning of the hop, you can do that at Stars & Stamps. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

OWH/Hero Arts Blog Skip!

Did you skip in from Mariannes? Welcome!

Hello again, everyone! Wow, the Birthday Bash just keeps on going with another Blog Skip this week.This time, we are celebrating with Hero Arts! If you'd like to start at the beginning, you can sure do that here at the Stars & Stamps blog.

Today I'll share something that I made with one of my favorite stamp sets from Hero Arts. You can get yours here, if you like! 

I wanted to try something different with this cute set, and I think that it was successful.

I kept my base clean and simple and stamped using black, and white embossing powders. Then, I stamped the balloons again using StazOn ink. I stamped onto some scraps of foil paper that I had in my scrap stash.

There are a few things that are helpful when stamping on foil... don't try heat embossing, it will melt the foil. Ask me how I know. :) Don't use too much ink when stamping on the foil... it makes the stamp and ink too squishy and the image comes out smeared very easily - since the foil surface is pretty slick. I made sure to run around the edges of my pieces with a black marker after fussy cutting, since the foil paper has a white core. Marking the edges made them look much nicer.

Getting photos of foil on cards is pretty tricky. I either got too much glare, or the foil didn't show well. I guess that these are one of those cards that look better in person. The foil is really vibrant, I especially like how it looks on the black paper. It feels like a nice way to bling up a card without glitter!

I sure do thank you for stopping by today. Be sure to continue the skip by stopping over at Julie's next. She's always got something beautiful to share! 

Just in case you need some more of this stamp set, here are some old balloon cards from this set that I made last year. Hopefully, they are floating around somewhere in the hands of one of our heroes' loved ones now. I just love these balloons!

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Past Blast

Oh my goodness... leave it to Facebook for reuniting me with a bunch of old friends from the past! I'm having so much fun looking back in time to when I used to do a lot of pixel art. There were a bunch of us who used to be in forums and we would make these little characters, one pixel at a time in photoshop. I did some searching through my old archives and found a few from back in the day but I'm afraid that I've lost a lot over time.

It seems I did these mostly between 2003 - 2005 and my old website, Momma's Dollz is long since gone. I remember working nights and playing around with these in the wee hours on the nights that I was off work, because I couldn't sleep! So much fun. I'll try to post a few. I don't think that I ever got real great at it. It's sad because Facebook doesn't allow you to post .gif files, which I did a lot of.

These last two were called "signatures" and someone made them for me, but I can't remember who or when, exactly. It will be fun to see who I can reunite with. It sure is fun to catch up with old friends, and see what everyone else is up to these days. I'm loving it. :) What did YOU do before paper crafts, scrapbooking and cardmaking?

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Stampers Best - Logo Stamp Set

(Welcome, Skippers! Did you come from Pam's Place?)
 The Birthday Bash continues for Operation Write Home this week with some goodies from Stampers Best! Wow, they have a whole truck load of stamps for OWH and donate $1.00 per each set sold to us... isn't that awesome!? I bet that you will see lots of their focal point stamps along your hop today, but I'm here today to show you another side of things! (Does this surprise you? No, it should not.) :)

My favorite set from Stamper's Best is this one:
The Logos Rubber Stamp Set for $8.99

When first the name changed from "Cards for Heroes" to "Operation Write Home", we all got the free little red rubber stamps for the backs of our cards! You can read up on the history here, if you want. It's a fun story. You can also still, thanks to Stampers Best, get one of those freebie stamps here! If you haven't done this yet, and you participate with us, please, make this important step! Stamping the backs of your cards to label them clearly as coming from Operation Write Home is such an important finishing touch. If your cards arrive to your shipper already stamped, it is such a huge help!

Now then, about that freebie. My very first freebie stamp remains to be the one and only stamp in my collection that I have almost lovingly used to death. I use it so often that I have given it a little place of honor. I'll share that with you later. My freebie stamp was used so much that I decided to supplement it with the Logos set from SB. I have always been so glad that I did! It's fun to have a little variety and options for my card backs. These are all cards that I have shown here on my blog in the recent months. You've already seen their pretty faces. Now it is time for me to show you a little behind the scenes? Are you ready, cards?

Aboooooout... face!!
(There are lots of them, so I made them small. You can click them to zoom in if you like.)

The logo stamps in this set are slightly larger than the freebie stamp. I like this, and I love that the little "Thank you for your service" message is included. It's such a nice touch.

Sometimes, especially with my patriotic cards, I like to get a little bit fancy and color my stamps with markers, to make the logo in red and blue. 

Here you can see two cards made on a kraft base. Stamping the backs of these can be done with a dark colored ink, or, you can use the label method. I bought a sheet of label paper - the kind that you might put through a printer - and stamped several logos onto it and cut them out. I keep these on hand for labeling the backs of dark colored cards, so that our OWH logo is still very easy to see!

This is another card made on a dark base. This card is more formal and elegant on the front, rather than cutesey and fun. I used gold embossing powder to stamp the logo on the back of this one. Now isn't that fancy?

The stamp set includes two little stamps that say simply, "OWH" instead of the whole title, "Operation Write Home." When using these ones, it is best to also include the circle part that says, "Thank you for your service -" That way, there is no confusion over what the "OWH" stands for. I do love that this part includes the URL, so that the sender, or recipient of this card can easily look us up and see what we are all about!

Now then, as for my old freebie, I gave it a place of honor. I picked up a self-inking stamp at the office supply store and mounted it carefully inside. It comes in real handy when I have multiple cards to stamp after a card party. If you love this idea, you might like to know that you can order your favorite logo stamps this way too, over at StampXpress. They are more expensive to order them individually this way. For my needs, Stampers Best was the way to go, because I love the variety of looks that I can get for the backs of my cards with this one, great set. 

Hey, thanks for stopping by today to see my favorite set - and thanks to Stampers Best for their awesome support of Operation Write Home!

Your next skip stop is Beth's Place, so hop on over to BunnyScrap and see what she's got for you today!
(Or, you can start at the beginning of this blog skip, over at Stars & Stamps.)
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Sunday, September 8, 2013

VCMP ... Winner!

I can't thank you guys enough for all of the VCMP participation! I am overwhelmed by how much participation that there was... To date, there are 122 cards in the InLinkz and I've seen even more cards done with the sketch lately. I'm so happy to see so many of these and I'm so proud of you all for your participation with Operation Write Home!

Without further ado.. I used to pick a winner from the inLinkz and the lucky winner out of 122 is number 61, Miss Cheryl L.

I went and borrowed A copy of Chery's cute sketch card from her blog, Paper Morsels. I've got some newer links that I still need to go check out, but I remember Cheryl L's for her cute snowman.

Thanks again, all of you. . . Ill be in touch with Cheryl to get her the blog candy snowflake and don't worry, there's lots more yet to come!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Unity Stamp Co. / OWH Blog Skip

Hello everyone.. I'm so excited to be skipping along in today's Unity Stamp Company event with Operation Write Home! If you would like to start at the beginning and see all of today's beautiful creations, you can do that over at the Stars & Stamps blog.

If you came here from Lee Mae's blog, you are hopping along in the correct direction! Hooray!

I'll keep it short and share this Any Hero card that I made with my Unity Stamps!

My inspiration comes from a project that I did many years ago. When A.J's dad came home from Operation Desert Storm and finished his service with the Marines, he showed me a collection of dog tags that he was keeping in a cardboard box. It included his own tags, his uncle's tags from Vietnam, his fathers' tags from the Navy and even a set from his grandfather's service in WWII. What a treasure... I had fun trying to create a shadowbox with them.

Here is my "shadowbox" inspired card:

Here's how:
  • I cut three papers - two wood grain pattern papers at 4.25 x 5.5" and one red at 4 x 5.25"
  • I used one of the wood grain papers as a base and mounted the red layer on top of this.
  • I used an oval die to cut the "window" out of the other wood grain paper.
  • Using the frame, I centered  it onto the red cardstock and traced a light line so that I would know exactly where to stamp the tags.
  • I stamped the tags onto the red paper using VersaMark and some silver embossing powder.
  • I stamped the tags with VersaMark again onto some grey paper and embossed with clear embossing powder. I fussy-cut these and added them over the copy on the red paper.
  • I embossed the top "frame" paper using an embossing folder by SU and gave it a little extra dimension by distressing lightly with some chocolate colored ink.
  • Finally, I mounted the frame to the top, using "The Precious" dimensional tape to give it the shadow box feel. I added the ribbon last, because it just seemed to need something more.

I think that the wood grain paper gave this card a nice masculine feel, and I hope that one of our heroes enjoys this card! I'll leave you with a little close-up so that you can see the dimension better.

Much gratitude goes to Unity Stamp Co. and to OWH for allowing me to participate in the skip this week, it's always so much fun! Thanks for stopping by!

Now hop along over to Ronni's Spot and see what she has for you next!
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Sunday, September 1, 2013

VCMP - Day Two

Well, I almost made it to the end... I've got to quit carding for a while and get some serious work done. :) I've got a card making party of my own with a church group this week for both boys and girls. I can't wait! It's going to be so much fun!

Here are most of today's challenges. I'll get that last one done, if it's the last thing I do! LOL!

Once again, you can join in the VCMP by starting here. Don't miss the best party ever!

The sketch challenge card. I struggled with this one, for some reason. I think I will try again. It turned out to be kind of CAS but I don't really know what to add to it to make it better.

The Cards 4 Kids challenge... I used the center vertical... Stamps and coloring, punny sentiments, and things with four legs! Cute old CTMH stamp.. I need to pull this set out more often.

Fall theme, but not Thanksgiving? OK! CTMH sentiment on DCWV paper. This paper has the shimmer and sparkle that is sealed in. I need me some more of this. :) Oh, and I followed one of the latest Deconstructed Sketches.

How about the Un-BEE-lievable challenge? I loved this one! This is some old CTMH paper and a stamp set from Friskars. I stamped and used clear embossing powder, used a white gel pen for the bee's wings, and finally I added some golden yellow pearl paint to make the honey.

I'll get that last challenge done, hmm, maybe next weekend. :) Thanks for stopping by!
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