Seeing Stars

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Hello, hello!

Seeing Stars is the next Midweek Throwdown challenge from Operation Write Home.   This week I’ve not been home more than just to sleep, so I’m very happy that I have a past card that fits the challenge.

2013, 10-30 - Midweek Throwdown - Seeing Stars Challenge

This card actually blends my two favorite crafts – card making and machine embroidery.   The stars and swirls were stitched out on cardstock – what fun!!   I then added some pearls and mounted the layer onto a card base.   Wallah!  A pretty card in a snap!

(I have since learned the large pearls are most likely too dimensional to successfully pass the military post office personnel’s critical eye and so will use flatter ones in the future.)

I hope you like this card as much as I do!


Color Challenge – Pink & Green


Happy Wednesday!

As I write this, the snowflakes are gently falling outside my window.   It is far too early for snow, even here in Minnesota, and it is melting as it touches the ground, but, as it falls this morning, it is creating such a lovely, serene and peaceful view that I don’t mind.  There is no wind and the flakes are falling ever so slowly and gently ….. it is truly mesmerizing.

But this is no time for dreaming the day away – it’s time for another Operation Write Home Midweek Challenge!   This time it is a Color Challenge – Pink and Green!   I must admit that this color combination is not something I naturally gravitate toward but every once in a while it sneaks in and I happen to have two cards that I believe fit this challenge.

This first card is one that I made as a sample for a card class I was hosting.  It replicates a design that those who are also quilters will recognize – the double diamond.   Once you get the hang of the folds, it is a very quick card to make.

2013, 10-23 - Midweek Throwdown - Color Challenge - Pink & Green - 1The top layer is double-sided patterned paper.  There are only two tools used – the Bright Quilting Notions double diamond ruler and a Fiskars rotary cutter.   This design can also be replicated using a regular ruler and a scissor if you have a good eye and steady hand – the key is, first, to be sure that the two cuts required for each diamond point (one that is long and one that is short) terminate at the same level so that the fold lays well and, second, that all of the pairs of cuts are spaced properly so that when the points are folded they tuck correctly.   The spacing between the cuts for the points determines how ‘thick’ the diamond will be.  Mount the double diamond layer onto a solid layer and then onto the card base and you’re done! This is ends up being a very flat card, which Operation Write Home prefers, but one that still has plenty of personality.

The second example uses a plaid paper as it’s inspiration – there is plenty of pink but there is not a lot of green in it (only one wide stripe), so I hope it still qualifies.

2013, 10-23 - Midweek Throwdown - Color Challenge - Pink & Green - 2

This card takes a bit more time, but still ends up quite flat because the image and sentiment layers are popped up to the same level using thin foam squares. I do enjoy a deckled edge for some crazy reason – you wouldn’t think so since I’m a very left-brained person and, as a rule, appreciate geometric shapes.  I happen to have a deckle blade for my Fiskars paper trimmer, but a deckled scissors or die would serve just as well.   The flowers and sentiment are from a Gina K Designs set called One in a Million. The blossoms are pink inside and lavender tipped.   They are then covered with glossy accents and have a golden gem center.  The same gems were used near the sentiment. The darker sides of the leaves are also covered with glossy accents.

So that’s it for today – I hope you enjoyed these cards.  I’m off to play with grandkids – HURRAY!!


Snow Much Fun

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Happy Wednesday!

It’s time for another Operation Write Home challenge.  This one is entitled Snow Much Fun.  Even though here in MN we do get a bit of snow every so often (LOL) – it’s too early and I hope that focusing on winter cards this week doesn’t speed things along!

2013, 10-16 - Midweek Throwdown - Snow Much Fun

This card uses a shimmery blue card base and digital paper printed so long ago that I have no idea what it’s called anymore.  The stamp is from PSX (item C-732). Unfortunately the company is no longer in business but you can still find the stamp on eBay.

Clean and Simple (CAS) cards are the best!!!


The Nature of Christmas Challenge


Hello, hello!

I hope this post finds you well and enjoying my favorite of all seasons – Fall – which is definitely well underway here in MN.   Even though I find it distressing that retailers are already displaying Christmas items when Halloween is still several weeks away, in the crafting world it is understandable that we would already be working on Christmas projects since it takes a lot of time to get all of those handmade goodies completed!

Christmas has also definitely been on the minds of our friends at Operation Write Home (OWH) for quite a while now.   In order to collect, sort, box and ship cards overseas in time for the troops to be able to receive them and get them sent back home to family and friends in time for Christmas, the deadline for Christmas card donations is October 31 (preferably by October 15) which is right around the corner!

Perhaps that is the reason that the Midweek Throwdown challenge this week is to include something from nature that reminds us of Christmas.  The first thing that came to my mind was a Christmas Tree … perhaps not very original but I definitely think it meets the challenge criteria.

This card uses a technique I haven’t thought about in a very long time – Iris Folding. The card can be completed using only a scissors, some paper and a little adhesive.   This tree uses four different Christmas papers that I picked up years ago when I succombed to the allure of a sale but, (as often happens to me when I buy on impulse) once I got back home the paper just didn’t work well for the cards I gravitate toward. The paper is very light weight – about the same as copy paper – so while it wasn’t very fun to work with when layering (it often wouldn’t lay flat and rippled, or tore when I tried to adjust it), it folds like a dream and doesn’t add much bulk to the card even though there are many overlapping layers.

This card does take a little time and patience and isn’t a design that is probably very well suited to mass production, but I truly believe it is something that anyone of nearly any age can do and it doesn’t require any special cardmaking tools.  I don’t know why the photo came out so poorly ….  my apologies.

2013, 10-09 - Midweek Throwdown - The Nature of Chrismas

Several Iris Folding patterns are available for free through Circle of which is where I found this pattern.  They also include a ‘how to’ section that gives step-by-step instructions for making a heart.  The steps can then be repeated for any Iris Folding pattern.  The pattern for this particular tree can be found here:  I cut the star from gold paper that is corrugated and added a bit of ribbon to the side because it needed just a little something …  I hope you like it.

Wishing you sunshine and warm fall breezes!


Multiply the Fun Challenge


Operation Write Home‘s (OWH) midweek challenges took a short vacation in September but they’re back in swing in October!   This week’s midweek throwdown is to make a card that is easy to make in multiples.   It is a VERY rare occurrence that I make a card for OWH that isn’t a multiple, so this is an easy challenge for me!

Lately I’ve been exploring the world of digital images.  I’m very comfortable with computers so tinkering with digital images is fun for me.  The birds on a wire image is repeated 3 times here.   The middle line is flipped horizontally and each line is tilted a bit, this way and that, to give it a bit more interest.   The greeting was added before it was printed.  I could fit four card fronts on a page, so it’s instantly multiples!   I printed two pages and had fronts for eight cards!  After it was mounted, I used some glossy accents on a few of the birds to give the card some dimension and shine.

2013, 10-02 - Midweek Throwdown - Multiply the Fun Challenge

This card has a white base and, although the photo doesn’t show it well, a colored layer that coordinates with one of the bird’s colors (each card had a different colored layer).  Then the digital layer printed on white paper.  The birds on a wire image is a Hero Arts digital file that was purchased from Two Peas in a Bucket, but it appears it is no longer for sale, which is too sad because it’s a fun image!  The sentiment is written using the Bradley Hand ITC font.

Hope you have a TERRIFIC day!