Thursday, January 23, 2020

An Unlikely Combination For a Valentine

What do a tree, watercolors, ribbon, snowflakes and Valentine's Day have to do with each other?

They all came up on the BINGO card challenge at the Handcrafted Greetings Forum, that's what!  The challenge is to make a card with at least four out of the five items that make up a bingo.
This was a tough challenge and forced me to do a lot of thinking and planning! How was I supposed to use all that stuff on ONE card? Especially the snowflakes and hearts, then I thought to myself, "Valentine's day IS in the Winter, so it's really not too much of a stretch, but what about that tree?"

Then I remembered an old four seasons stamp set from PaperWishes and the rest was pretty easy.



I used Tin Pail in to stamp the onto a 3" x 3.5" panel cut from watercolor paper. I painted the trunk and branches with a brown watercolor pencil. After that, I re-stamped the tree using clear pigment, added some clear pigment across the bottom of the panel and embossed it with holographic embossing powder. For a little added dimension, I stamped the tree with clear pigment again and embossed it with clear embossing powder.  Once that was done, I used a light blue watercolor wash for the background, then I stamped a few more snowflakes with clear pigment and embossed them with holographic embossing powder. I mounted it on a 3 1/4" x 3 3/4" Candy Applie rectangle and popped it up on a 3 7/8" x 5 3/8" Whip Cream panel.  I added a gold ribbon from my stash to the bottom of the panel and popped that up on a 4" x 5" card base.  I stamped the Happy Valentine's Day sentiment from the FSJ Annual Celebration stamp set onto a white tag with Candy Apple ink and mounted that on a scrap of Candy Apple cardstock and cut around it leaving a narrow border.
I think it turned out well.

Here are some of the items I used.  These are affiliate links.  At no additional cost to you, I may receive a small commission if you purchase something through one of these links.  That helps to defray my crafting and technology costs.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Bicycle Get Well Greeting

Here's a card to make for a bicycle loving friend who is feeling under the weather.

All of the items I used are from my stash and while some, like the bicycle, are no longer available, I've included links to the products I used as well as alternatives at the end of this post.

Materials List:
  • Paper Wishes Bicycle cutting die
  • Flowers from my stash
  • Unbranded Tree Embossing folder
  • Green and brown Pan Pastels from the Mother Nature set.
  • Blue, Whip Cream, Brush Silver, Black Licorice, Candy Apple and brown cardstock.
  • Double stick foam squares
  • Stampabilities Everyday Expressions stamp set

I cut the bicycle from red, black and brush silver cardstock and layered them starting with the silver on the bottom.  I cut away the pieces of the red and black layers and glued them to the silver layer.

The tree was made with an unbranded embossing folder. I embossed it onto pale blue cardstock and colored it with Mother Nature PanPastels.  The dirt path is just a strip of brown cardstock.  I added some flowers to the basket, then popped the bicycle up on foam squares. I could have made punched flowers but I've had those flowers for 15 years or more.  They needed to be used!

The sentiment is from Stampabilities Everyday Expressions that I picked up at Hobby Lobby last week.  I think I will be using it a lot.  It has over 60 words on it.  I stamped it onto Whip Cream cardstock with Black Licorice ink and cut around it with my detail scissors.

Here are links to the items I used (when available) as well as alternatives. If you use these links to purchase items, I may be compensated.





Tuesday, September 3, 2019

My Other Passion...

... is photography!  Ever since I commandeered my father's old box camera when I was nine years old, I have been fascinated with photography. I remember spending hours in a dark closet practicing changing the film with an old roll so I wouldn't ruin the film I bought with my hard earned berry picking money. (Yes, I worked in the berry fields when I was nine.  It was legal back then!).

OK, enough with the reminiscing.  What I really want to talk about today is photo editing. Yes, that's right.  Photo editing.  If you want to use your photos on cards or put them in an album, there will be times when you need to edit them first.

For instance, last weekend, I went to a wildlife refuge and one of the things I shot was a really cute squirrel. No, not THAT kind of shooting! The squirrel is fine, sheesh!  Anyway, I had just walked into the forest out of bright sunshine and I forgot to adjust my camera settings (I shoot mostly in manual mode).  I THOUGHT I was getting some great shots, but they all turned out more or less like this.


Oh no! I can't even see the squirrel, it's just a dark blob.
Rather than give up and delete the photo, I decided to pull the raw file into Luminar 3 and see if I could salvage a passable image. 
Guess what setting I adjusted first?  If you guessed exposure, you guessed wrong.  For a picture like this, adjusting the exposure so you can see the squirrel will blow out any bright spots including the sky. 
Instead, I started with highlights and shadows. I brought the shadows all the way up to 100, It was still a little dark, so I bumped the exposure by 0.78.  I also took the highlights down a tiny bit (-6) and adjusted the white and black points (-19 and -4 accordingly).   I made a few more minor changes, including cropping and this is what I ended up with:

Aha!  There's my furry little friend!  Pretty amazing, huh?

OK, I hear you, you'r saying, "But my camera doesn't shoot in raw..."  Well, don't despair.  You can make similar edits to a JPG, but it will take a little more work because you'll need to do your edits in layers and "paint" your changes onto the areas you want to lighten or darken.  It also will not have quite the depth of color as it would if you started with a raw file. But, still, not bad considering what I started with.


So...
1. Always remember to check your settings before shooting!
2. If at all possible, shoot in raw format so you have more options for editing your photos.
3. Even if you don't shoot in raw, you can still make substantial edits with Luminar 3

If you'd like to get a copy of Luminar 3 for yourself, please use my link:
https://skylum.grsm.io/judyh1545
If do, and purchase something, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Butterflies! Using up Old Embellishments and Papers

I've been digging in my embellishment pile again.  I don't remember how long ago I created this butterfly circle. It's cut from the Kaleidoscope paper collection by Hot Off The Press which has since been retired.  I backed it with some pink holographic foil and layered that on top of a paper doily from my stash (both purchased from a dollar store years ago.)  The background is also from my huge stash of paper.

The center is a round teabag tile from my site embellished with Pink Taffeta Stickles*.  I've been playing with brush pens and that's what i used for the sentiment.  I definitely need more practice!


Here's a close-up of the butterfly cut and tuck design.  I created it myself.  You can download the svg file from my website here: https://www.handcraftedgreetings.com/card.php?card_id=00268&page=1


I used Spellbinders' A2 Scalloped Borders One Card Creator Edged Die Set* for the border on the mat inside the card.  The butterflies are from a PaperArtist set by Hot Off The Press that has been retired.

How about you? Do you have anything in your embellishment pile that's begging to be used?

*If you follow a starred (*) link and purchase products, at no additional cost to you, I will receive a small commission.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

What Makes You Different...

I'm really loving Spellbinders Cut in Fold in Tuck dies! The Star Dreams Etched Die* featured here is on sale right now too! After cutting the designs out, I like to ink the backs to accentuate the folds.


For this card, I started out with a 5" x 6.5" ivory card blank. I cut the large triangle from Bubble Gum cardstock* and inked the back with Sweet Berry Ink*.  I mounted it on Raspberry Berry cardstock.  The small center motif was cut from Sweet Berry cardstock* and inked with Rasbpberry Berry ink*.



I used the Artomology Fair Feathers Eched Dies* to cut the feathers from Hucleberry Fusion* and Lemon Drop cardstock*. The sentiments are from the Artful Affirmations stamp set by Hot Off The Press.  I stamped them with Huckleberry Fusion ink* and fussy-cut around them.  The card background is from an older Colorbok collection called Neutral Basics. I popped the sentiment and the center motif up on Journey Foam Squares.

That's all there is to it! What do you think?

*If you use my links to purchase any of these products, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Who Doesn't Love a Unicorn?

I decided to try something different while I had my quilling kit out.  I've stuck to flowers in the past, but this time I decided to try a picture and what better subject than a unicorn? I found some clip art online and used it as the base. I started out by pinning a strip around the outline of the head, then filled it in. Figuring out just HOW to fill it in was quite the learning process.


If I were to do it over, I'd change the forelock to have larger, looser curls like the mane, but overall, I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out.