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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Amethyst Haute Couture

Here's a card I made yesterday. I had this in my mind for some reason and just had to make it before I forgot it. Again, this is all Stampin' Up! products. I used the following cardstock; glossy white, basic black and almost amethyst. The also used a piece of designer series paper in almost amethyst. The stamp set is an old hostest set called Haute Couture...LOVE this set!!! It's something I just had to have and bid on eBay for it and won! Woo hoo!

It's a standard size card; 5 1/2" x 4 1/4". I stamped the image using a Versamark pad onto the glossy white cardstock(it makes a watermark of the image), poured my silver embossing powder over and heated it using my heat gun. I colored in the dress using my almost amethyst marker. The trick here is to go over the image once, then come back to 'darken' the areas you want to have shadows on. I punched the corners of the image and small piece of black cardstock using my ticket corner punch, glued them together and then onto the almost amethyst cardstock. I popped this using Stampin' Dimensionals (foam dots).


I made the silver spiral using 16 gauge wire, tied a piece of black grosgrain ribbon on and voila! To make sure it stayed in place I used a dot of Crystal Effects to hold it down.


I always have to decorate my envelope to coordinate with the card. It makes the receiver excited to open this piece of mail first! Using my Aqua Painter and SU! chalks I colored in her hat, lips and cheeks.

That's it for today. Keep coming by to say hello & leave me some comments so that I know whether or not you've appreciated this post. Thanks!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Natural Necklace

So, about a month ago I saw a woman wearing a necklace that caught my eye. I asked her if she'd made it herself and her reply was 'no'. So, of course, being the kind of person I am I eyeballed it and mentally made note of how it looked. Later I went about trying to find the right components to make a similar style necklace and here is what I ended up with...

I used hemp for the necklace, silver spacer bead, Swarovski crystals, a silver bail, silver chain, jumprings and headpins. This "wood" bead is actually some kind of melamine or resin. I bought it for cheap at Michaels. What's amazing to me is to think of what this woman probably spent on a similar-looking necklace and I made it myself and for much less.


Tah tah for now!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Wire Jig Chandelier Earrings

Well, today I'm back to making jewelry. I recently bought a wire jig from Michaels to try out. I eventually want to get good enough at using it so I can buy some sterling silver wire. It would be a little too expensive to say "oops" every time I bent something the wrong way!
So, here it goes...


The wire I'm using is copper-filled and 18 gauge. The lower the number the thicker the wire is, the higher the number the thinner the wire is. The pegs for this jig can be placed wherever you want in the holes to create the design you're looking for.


Once you've got your design complete, pull the wire gently off the pegs and use wire cutters to snip the end off before you tuck it under or make your final loop.

Like my "anvil" below? ha ha! Here I'm hammering my wire form flat. It helps to strengthen it.

I chose my Swarovski crystals that I'd like to hang from the chandelier earrings. I'm using three 4mm bicones and one 6mm bicone for each earring. The findings I need are an earwire, three headpins and five jumprings. I'm making loops on each headpin. Here are varying stages on the dangles I'm making...


Below I am attaching the earwire to the chandelier with two jumprings...this way it will hang the proper way from my ear.

And here is the finished earring with dangles attached. Hope you like it. Off I go to make the second one...see you later!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Bonjour Magnolia Crayon-Resist Tutorial

The card that I posted yesterday..."Bonjour Magnolia"...was made using the crayon-resist technique. I attached a link to splitcoaststampers.com in case you wanted a more in-depth tutorial. However, I did my best to take a few pictures to show the process in creating this card. I want to note that I made an error in mentioning the green I used. It was Mellow Moss, not Certainly Celery...my bad!



Anyway, this first picture shows the majority of Stampin' Up! products that I used. If I left any out in the picture, I promise I will explain in detail what I used. First off I cut a 5 1/4" x 10 1/2" piece of Barely Banana card stock, folded it and sharpened the crease using a bone folder. The additional pieces cut were as follows: Mellow Moss 5" x 5", Regal Rose 4 3/4" x 4 3/4" and glossy white card stock at 4 1/2" x 4 1/2". There is an additional piece of glossy card stock to stamp the word "Bonjour" on...2" x 2" would be sufficient.
Using Stazon black ink stamp the word Bonjour (from the Carte Postale stamp set) onto the center of your small piece of glossy card stock and set aside. For a large stamp like "From The Garden" I prefer to flip the stamp over and ink it as shown below. This way I can be sure to get the stamp completely inked.
Then I place the 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" piece of white card stock, glossy side down onto the inked stamp and gently, but firmly rub over the back of the card stock to ensure that every part of the image is transferred onto it. Make sure not to let the card stock slide around on the stamp or you will end up with a very blurry image! To remove the card stock just pick up the stamp and flip it over. Again, this is to avoid a blurry image.
Your next step is to take an ordinary white crayon and highlight the areas of the stamp that you would like to have remain white. What happens is you will color over your image, then wipe the card stock with a tissue and it will remove any ink that is over the crayon highlights you colored. Now be sure to have a light hand in this! You want to avoid pressing the crayon too hard...it will look odd once you color it. Try to imagine a light-source over your object...in this case mine would be the sun. Look at the textures of the flower and leaves and see where they would have light bouncing off of them.
To color on glossy card stock you'll want to use either your classic ink pads or your Stampin' Write Markers. (Chalks will not work!) To use your ink pads, just press firmly on the outside of the pad between your fingers and then when you open it you will find a small pool of ink left on the inside of the cover. Here I used an Aqua Painter with my Mellow Moss ink pad. You can also use Blender Pens or a watercolor brush, whichever you feel most comfortable with.
I colored in the leaves without worrying about where I used the white crayon. And because I don't have a Barely Banana ink pad I used my Stampin' Write Marker to color in the petals of the flower. Just stay in the lines!
Next I used a tissue to gently wipe off the ink from the crayon-highlighted areas.

Then I used by Regal Rose marker to color in the area near the center of the flower.

I started to use my ticket corner punch on the corners here, but then I realized...

that I wanted a larger area taken away. So instead I used my Slit punch...ingenious, huh? (Yeah, I know, I'm not the first one to come up with that idea!)

Okay, so now back to the word Bonjour that you stamped at the beginning. I used my Color Spritzer tool and Regal Rose marker to speckle the card stock with color. However, you can use a sponge to do a similar effect.

Now center the word in the middle of the 1 3/8" Circle Punch. Remember to always punch your images by looking at the back side of the punch. This way you can see exactly what you'll be punching out and won't have any surprises! Then I just lined all around the edge of the circle using my Regal Rose marker to finish it.


Using a glue stick I adhered the first three layers of card stock. Don't glue it onto your Barely Banana card stock yet because you need to punch holes in the four corners. Add your gold brads next. What I like to do is to give one little smack to the back of the brads using my small hammer. This way they'll be really flat in the back and won't stick up once you glue this final layer onto your card.



To finish off this card I stuck a Stampin' Dimensional onto the back of the Bonjour circle to pop it up on the front for added depth. And I always decorate my envelopes as well, so I used my markers one last time to color directly onto a floral stamp in the Carte Postale stamp set and stamped it four times without recoloring the stamp. This way it gradiated up the front of the envelope and made it look so soft.

Well, that's it! I hope you enjoyed my card tutorial. Whew...what a project. Now I understand what goes into making these kinds of tutorials. My hats off to those of you who do such an amazing job on your blogs! I hope you enjoy mine, even in it's infant state and continue to come back to check out my latest projects. And, again, all comments are welcome. Bye for now!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Finally some Stampin' Up! pictures!



















After charging the battery on my camera I finally took pictures of a few of my latest cards. I do plan on explaining my colors and how I went about making them, but for now I want to get some of the photos on line to "entice" you!


Card making is very relaxing to me. Unless I'm scrambling to make one for a birthday party that my six year-old is going to. Speaking of which...guess what I'll be doing later this evening? When I first started making cards I truly had no idea what I was doing. Then I was introduced to Stampin' Up! by a neighbor of mine at a workshop and I was hooked! I learned how to cut and layer card stock and how to come up with the color combos that look good.





As I continue to grow and explore I learn about new techniques to try. Depending on their level of difficulty it may be the last time I try a particular technique. For inspiration, instead of looking to another website for ideas, I've been learning to really notice what attracts my attention. Whether it be colors that are appealing, arrangements of objects and their relation to each other or nature. It's so simple now to be hit with an "a-ha!" and run up to my craft room and try my hand at creating something. I've even dreamt of ideas! The point is, however you get your inspiration, just go with it. You never know what great project you can create!



This "Bonjour Magnolia" card is the perfect example. I saw the most beautiful flower growing wild in my yard. I think it was a morning glory or clematis because it was on a vine. The color is what struck me though. It was a creamy white flower with a blush color in the center. Immediately I thought of this stamp called "From The Garden" that I just had to watercolor! All products I used were Stampin' Up! I used glossy white card stock with regal rose, barely banana and certainly celery card stocks. I stamped the image using black Stazon ink and then colored it in using my aqua-painter and ink from my classic stamp pads in regal rose, barely banana and certainly celery.





Then I used the Bonjour stamp from the "Carte Postale" stamp set, punch it out using the 1 3/8" circle punch and then sponged regal rose around the edges and popped it up using a Stampin' Dimensional. I finished it off by using the ticket corner punch on the edges of the glossy white card stock and placed gold brads in each corner. I hope you like it!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I'm on a roll now!



Well, I'm moving along quite nicely now. I figured out how to change the time stamp on this blog. It had me on Pacific Time...I needed Eastern!


So, after my first post I was inspired to finally take pictures of some of my jewelry and upload them. I'll have to figure out how to take better pictures though. I'm not doing the jewelry justice. I love the way light bounces off the facets of the Swarovski crystals!



One bracelet I made was done using Swarovski crystals in Montana, Light Peach and the new Cantaloupe. Cantaloupe is a very interesting color. Depending on the light it comes off as three very different colors. This bracelet is shown above in the three photos...yes, it's the same bracelet! In natural light (larger picture) Cantaloupe shows as a light grey, in fluorescent light (top small picture) it looks like a peridot green and in incandescent light (bottom small picture) it looks like a rosy-peach color. So, needless to say I had to come up with colors that would compliment it no matter what light it would be worn in!


My next step will be to take pictures of my Stampin' Up! stuff. I have cards, stationary sets, clipboards and frames. Hopefully I'll sign up for another craft fair this fall. They're alot of fun to showcase your products and to meet new people. Or in some cases, the same people that you saw at the previous craft show you were in!


If you see any of my items that you like, I'd love to read your comments. I would appreciate all critiques, whether positive or negative. You can only learn from others and make changes to improve! Thanks for reading & please save me in your favorites.

Monday, July 14, 2008

I have a blog!

Well, I've been wondering about whether or not to start a blog. There are many pros and cons. The only "con" I'm worried about is actually keeping up with my blogging. I can't promise I'll be here every day...maybe not even every week...well, we'll see what I can do.



Anyway, this will be a short first blog since, as you can see by the time stamp, it's WAY past my bedtime! This blog "Designed by Donna" is really a way for me to have a creative outlet. Or should I say a display for my creative outletS. (Capital "S" because I am always doing something creative!) My husband doesn't get why I do the things I do, but then again I don't get how he can watch golf. It's like watching paint dry! But I digress...



I HAVE to be doing some kind of crafty/creative project every week. It doesn't have to be even remotely related to the project I was doing the week before. Just whatever my mind happens to trip over on a given day. For example, about one month ago I decided I would make completed scrapbooks to sell at a local shop for people who didn't have time to make one for themselves. They could just buy my masterpiece and pop their own pictures into my pages. I toiled and created for a week and now that 12x12 scrabook just sits on my bookshelf. I just have to get over to that shop one of these days!



After that scrapbook I was tired of looking at paper and gluesticks so I pulled out my jewelry making stuff and proceeded to make four Swarovski crystal bracelets and one necklace. Again, to eventually take pictures of them and post online to sell. I still haven't taken the pictures because I have to download and save the pics on my camera to a file, then delete them from my camera and take professional-looking photos of my jewelry...well, you know where this is going.



After that stall I took my stamps and ink back into hand and started creating all kinds of greeting cards. Having been a Stampin' Up! demonstrator I never made cards for myself. I made plenty of prototypes or cards to send on the fly. So I FINALLY got a chance to have some fun with my supplies. Now I'm actually enjoying SU! instead of stressing over it. Maybe now some family members will actually get to see what I do!