Sunday, November 8, 2015

Christmas Tags 2015

I've been a busy little bee for the last couple of weeks! I had surgery scheduled for November 9 and needed to finish the tag swap I signed up for in StampNation before going in. At the last minute I found out that the surgery will have to be rescheduled, but that just puts me ahead of the game as far as Christmas preparations.

(For those wondering, I have carpel tunnel in both wrists and pinched ulnar nerves in both elbows. It's painful, and it's making crafting challenging because I'm having a hard time holding on to things.)

The tags are pretty self-explanatory, so I'll let the pretty pictures do the work in this post. These first five photos show each tag front and back:

The rest of these pictures show just the front of the tags:

Thanks for looking!

Joyce Spear a.k.a. StamperJoyce

Bird Crazy Thank You Cards

Like so many of my stamping buddies, I am smitten with the Stampers Anonymous Tim Holtz Collection stamp set called Bird Crazy... and the accessories, and the dies. (At least I haven't gotten the dies for the accessories...yet! or the coordinating sentiments.) But who can resist these birds' crazy expressions and hilarious body language?

Recently two of my dear friends, Carey and Kevin, gave me some amazing gifts, so I just HAD to do up some extra-special thank-you cards for them. I adore both of them for their warped sense of humor and felt the Birds would be perfect for them. I decided to make their cards "fraternal twins," i.e. make them at the same time using the same supplies, but changing up some of the details so they each would have a unique card.

Without further ado, here is Kevin's card:

and Carey's card:

I started by doing the card backgrounds on Ranger's distress watercolor paper using distress inks and a blending tool. (I learned that I still suck at using a blending tool, so I either need more practice or more sponges to use instead.) I added a few water droplets and patted them off to create a watery effect, but felt more interest was needed. So I pulled out my stencils and and started blending in some contrasting colors - blue on purple, for example. The more color I added, the happier I got. When I was satisfied, I moved on to the birds.

I used my MISTI tool to stamp all the birds and accessories in Stampin' Up!'s archival black on white cardstock, then colored them in various colors with my Spectrum Aqua markers. I used my trusty dies to cut out the birds, then took my Cutter Bee scissors to fussy cut the rest.

As I was assembling, I realized that I had left the crazy birds floating in mid-air, so I created some grass for them to stand in.

By this time, (a week later, haha), the ink on the background panels was dry enough that I could safely heat emboss the words 'thanks so much' and 'you're amazing' at the top of them. Since I wanted the words to really POP! off the backgrounds, I used my MISTI to perfectly place them, inked the stamps several times with VersaMark ink, then used detail white embossing powder before applying heat to achieve the effect I was looking for.

I glued the grass directly on the card panel and attached the birds with Stampin' Dimensionals, bending the outside edges down to create a more 3D effect. When all the glues were dry, I adhered the panels onto a heavy white card base. As a special touch, I used Crystal Effects on the sunglasses.

I sat back to admire my work, but felt the cards weren't quite done. I thought to myself, "Sequins!" -- and a three-day search for my giant bag of sequins began. On day two I decided to take drastic measures to finish the cards, and ended up die cutting a bunch of teeny tiny circles out of glimmer paper to add in place of the sequins. In retrospect, I'm not so sure about the placement of them, and I think I may have added too many in some places. But overall, I'm pleased with how the cards turned out. Both Carey and Kevin indicated that they like their cards, too, which says a lot because they are both very talented crafters themselves!


Thanks for taking a look at my crazy Bird Crazy cards!
Coming up next: Christmas tags! 

Happy Stamping,
Joyce Spear a.k.a. StamperJoyce