Monday, December 29, 2008

The King of the Dead

This is my first layered stamp. You can't really see it here, but there are three layers. Here's what I learned about doing a layered stamp:
1. It takes a lot of PZ!
2. Most of the work is spent preparing the layers and carving. When I actually made the cards, it was a snap.
3. As long as the stamps have some common straight edges (the right edge and top in this case), it's pretty easy to line the stamps up. Mine was especially easy since it really didn't matter much if I was off a little. I only "missed" once out of 46 cards.
4. It's hard to find the colors of ink you envision, especially if you're looking for shades of the same color.
Thanks, 3 Blind Mice, for inspiring me to try this technique. I'm so glad I did.
This card is for Autumn Whisper's The Hobbit swap.

From Tyra, With Love

After I had Titus in August, I received the sweetest card in the mail from Tyra of Murray Herd. This image was on the front of the card, and I tried to reproduce it for turtlelove's Welcome to Pooh Corner swap.
The brown is embossed, and the card is colored with chalks. Some cards have a tiny bee on the bottom right corner, but I cut that off after I made several cards.
Thank you, Tyra for the being the super sweet person you are.

Four Calling Birds

This is one of my favorite cards. Made for theseekers' 12 Days of Christmas swap, this card features Cotman watercolors (thanks, Tee) and a light blue chalk background (thanks, Capperpillar). Each birdie has gem for an eye. I had some alphabet stickers made from gems. I just cut the gems off and stuck them on the card.

Victorian Orchid

This card was made for MitchellMackinac's Uniquely Antiqued swap. I distressed the background paper myself. Here's how:

First, I tore some pages out of an old Alice in Wonderland book and crumpled them up. After I uncrumpled the papers, I applied the distress ink and misted the papers with water. The papers dried over night, and I ironed them flat in the morning. It was great fun, and I love the result.

I chose Alice in Wonderland because it was published during the Victorian era. During this time, the orchid was a popular flower in England. The "lace" on the side of the card is actually part of a doily. I didn't have enough rubber to carve a stem on this orchid, and I'm glad I didn't. I like the stem this way. The flower is colored lightly with chalks, and it is adhered with a foam dot.

Thanks, Michelle, for giving me that rubber. You were a life saver. I had a great time making this card in your craftroom.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Burton's Boogie Man

My 11yo son, Link, joined the Tim Burton swap. My original intention was to include this card with Link's Oogie Boogie as a bonus. I couldn't get the card done in time, though, and I ended up trading mine individually. This is a really simple card, but it's something I've been wanting to do for a while. The card is sort of like a suncatcher. If you hold the card up to the light, it looks really neat. I embossed my stamp in black and cut out the eyes, mouth, and moon. I then glued the card to an orange piece of vellum.

A Flippin' Sweet LTC

This is my second challenge card. Each of the pictures below represent a 2.5" x 3.5" part of the card. That's right . . . I got all of this in one card.
Lots of people have asked me how I constructed this card. Here's how: Score one piece of double-sided card stock vertically so that 1/4 of the card is on the left and 1/4 of the card is on the right. Then cut the card down the middle horizontally. Score a second piece of double-sided card stock horizontally so that 1/4 of the card is on the top and 1/4 of the card is on the bottom. Then cut the card down the middle vertically. Finally, put the two cards on top of each other, and use photo sticks on the four corners. That's it!

My Favorite LTC

This is my favorite LTC because it has more meaning than the others. It served as a birth announcement for my newest boxer, Titus, and the first to get these were those who wished me well during my pregnancy. It features Titus' first signature stamp, embossed and colored with markers. The quote is store-bought and embossed. The background paper is a glittery paper that I bought at Michael's for 50% off. The back of the card features a black and white photo of Ty.


My family LOVES the movie Elf. When the Elves LTC swap was listed, I had to join since my Buddy stamp was home from the Favorite Christmas Movie PLB Ring. (I carved this stamp over a year ago.)
I had to stamp Buddy at least 4 times for each of these LTCs . . . that's how I got Buddy's clothes to look like that. That's a lot of cutting out, folks! Buddy's skin was colored with chalks, and his hair was colored with a Marvy. It took me a while figure out how to finish this card off. I tried lots of different things, but I liked this the best. There are rub on transfers on two sides, and I used acryllic paint for the polka dots.

Captain Wentworth's Letter

I'm a HUGE fan of Jane Austen, and one of my favorite Austen moments occurs in Persuasion. I really thought that Anne had lost her chance with Captain Wentworth . . .
I stamped my stamp on vellum with brown Brillance ink, and then I colored the image gently with chalks. I also used that "edging with an inkpad" technique. Does anyone know what that's called?

My favorite thing about this card is that it's really an envelope. (I stole that idea from Nitrocat.) An abridged version of Captain Wentworth's letter is in the envelope.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

My Great Challenge

3 Blind Mice challenged some of us to create our most ambitious card yet. I had LOTS of fun ideas, but I went with this one after a couple of failed attempts. (I haven't given up on those other ideas, but I was racing with the clock since I was very pregnant at the time!)
Dolly Dingle is a paper doll created by Grace Gebbie in 1913. I decided to do a paper doll because I wanted to create an interactive card. Dolly came with three different outfits which were stored in "drawers" on the back of the card.
Dolly and her clothes are stamped in black and colored with chalks. Using the chalks like this was also a challenge for me, but I really like this look. I think the chalks make it look vintage.
I ended up carving a whopping six stamps for this card! Talk about a challenge.
P.S. If you're on my auto-send list, you'll get a card similar to Dolly soon.

Too Pregnant to Care LTCs

I made this card for the SAT Words swap, and I used my favorite word, defenestrate. I'm always threatening to defenestrate things. :o) I used a new technique on this card. With a notecard and my trusty hobby knife, I made a "stencil" out of this stamp and used the stencil to emboss just the window pieces in clear. I *think* the window pieces look like glass. That's what I was shooting for. This card may be hard to understand unless you were in the St. Simons Tree Spirits swap. I asked four people to help me carve the five St. Simons Tree Spirits, and I am going to plant the stamps in St. Simons, GA this fall. Of course, we all made some LTCs with our stamps first. I feel like I "forced" this card, though. I never got the inspiration I was waiting on, and I wanted to get the card done early, just in case the baby came early. The result is that I'm not happy with this card, but I can't tell you why. I tried to make my tree spirit card look like a tree and the ocean, but you really have to use your imagination to see both, I think.

Oh . . . I couldn't find any gray ink, so I used yet another new technique on this card. I used a watermark stamp pad and gray chalks to get the color I wanted. That was really fun to do.

I actually carved this stamp over a year ago, and it was my best by far at that time. I carved this for Shoafster's 2007 Jesse Tree PLB ring, and it finally came home in June of 2008, so I made this simple little card. The stamp is actually much bigger than this, but I got all of the important elements on the card. Goliath's shield got cut off, and about 2/3 of the army on the hill is missing.

Monday, June 23, 2008

As Different as Night and Day

Here are The Conferderates, but you probably won't appreciate these cards unless you have been to Stone Mountain, Georgia. I didn't think that I had enough skill to carve this stamp, but I was pleasantly surprised by about the outcome. (I wish I could carve that smirk off of Lee's face, though. I definitely messed up there.) The grass in the picture depicts my favorite Stone Mountain spot . . . Memorial Lawn. I have made many happy memories on that lawn, and I look forward to making many more.

The General's Lavender Pooh Cones

I was suppose to meet Mark and Sue Pepe in May, but it didn't work out. Instead, I carved a pine cone stamp for their collection and sent some LTCs to the mini-meet. This one was super easy to make, so I made a bundle.

This card was for Autumn Whisper's Amy Brown swap. It's called The Lavender Butterfly. This ring was really wonderful, and I walked away with numerous gems for my collection.

This card (General Grevious) marks a turning point in my LTCing, I think. I actually used something on it other than paper and ink! I used watercolor pencils and watercolor crayons. It was quite a change for me, and I couldn't have done it without the help of 3 Blind Mice. If you have The General, then you got this one before I had the right kind of paper. The only difference is the blue at the bottom and the grey shadows.

Silly Ol' Bear uses the same stamp I used for Helium in Claudia and Alex's Periodic Table swap. I made 5 of these to trade with a few that weren't in the swap. I adore Classic Pooh, so I really like this card.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Four Photos More

I ended up making 3 versions of this card after many LTCers offered me some advice. This version is called Just Peachy, and I think I like it best. The others had Georgia on a brad, and under the state were the words, "Hey, Y'all!" in a comment bubble.

My trip to Boston in February, 2008 inspired this card. It's called Cheers!, and it features Norm. I only made 5 of these . . . one was for SHH's Grand Experiment.

I have been meaning to carve a stamp of a manatee for some time now, and 3 Blind Mice's Zoo swap gave me a good reason to get going on it. I have seen several of these guys in the wild, and they are truly majestic. I wish I could have captured that magic a little better. I made 45 of these, though, so I had to cut a few corners. It was a pain to cut out all of those black frames.

This is one of my favorite cards . . . Hydra from Esmerelda's Greek swap. I kind of messed up on one of Hydra's heads (the one closest to the top of the card), but I covered it up as well as I could. This one was easy to make. I colored it in with markers after a failed attempt at a layered stamp.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Am I Behind or What?!?

Okay, I haven't posted any photos in a while, so I'm going to try to do a few at a time until I get caught up.

First, we have The Georgia Bird. I wish I could say that I carved this fabulous stamp, but I didn't. Kirbert did. The Georgia Bird is a brown thrasher.

Dixie Land is next. I made this card for BNLBaliGrl's Home State ring. This card symbolizes the Civil War history that is so prevalent in the south.

Finally, I picked this image to represent the blowing wind. That's my favorite time of year. I soon realized, however, that this guy wasn't blowing a nice autumn breeze, so I decided to make winter the theme. Winter is actually my least favorite season. :o)

Friday, April 11, 2008

How to Trade LTCs Individually

*(Optional) Once your LTC is done, put each card into a clear plastic sleeve. The sleeve will protect your card while it waits to be traded, and it helps you present your card in a more “professional” manner.
*List your card on Atlasquest. Within 24 hours, you will probably get a few requests for your card. Graciously accept, and exchange addresses with the requester.
*If you want more people to request your card, you can announce on Atlasquest’s LTC Board that your card is available.
*Finally, you can request trades. Do a search for active LTCs on Atlasquest. When you find one that interests you, contact the owner and request a trade.
*After a trade has been agreed upon and addresses have been exchanged, simply address an envelope to the LTCer in question and send her your card. (I usually put my LTCs inside of blank greeting cards. That way, the receiver can reuse the card if she wishes.)

In a few days, your mailbox should be overflowing with little envelopes that will make your heart jump when you see them.

DISCLAIMER: Trading LTCs is extremely addictive. Participate at your own risk.

How to Prepare for an LTC Swap

The Bubble Mailer is very important. I keep about 5 of these guys on hand at all times.

*After you purchase a Bubble Mailer (5” x 7”), address it to yourself and from yourself.
*This step is very important to the longevity of your mailer: Wrap the entire thing in clear packing tape, including the outside and underside of the flap.
*Now, write the swap host's address on a small piece of paper. Using clear packing tape, tape the address over your own. When you do this, try to fold a corner of the tape under so that the host can remove his address easily to reveal yours underneath.
*Put your cards in a baggie, and write your address on the baggie. Pack the cards up in your mailer. (If you don’t know how many cards to include, just ask your host.)
*Before you seal the mailer up, remember to include return postage. (I usually include $2 or 5 stamps. It really depends on the size of the swap and the size of your mailer. Just ask your swap host what he wants you to do.)
*Use clear packing tape to seal the mailer up. Again, try to fold a corner of the tape under so that it can be easily removed.

Now you’re ready to hop in the car and book it down to the USPS. Pay your postage and mail your cards. (I usually try to mail my cards at least a few days before the launch date on the tracker. The earlier the better, I think.) The easy part is over. The hard part is waiting patiently for your set of beautiful handmade cards to arrive. Good luck with that!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Great Expectations

This is my favorite card, I think, and it was fairly easy to make. To those of you who were looking for a Charles Dickens card: I'm truly sorry. I just couldn't help myself.

Mad Libs

I think my kids knew what nouns and verbs were before they knew all of their colors, thanks to Mab Libs. When I had to rescue my traditional box, Games Travelers Play: Mad Libs, I couldn't help but to make LTCs with the stamp. Although this card is fairly simple, it took quite a bit of time to make. I had a rough time cutting around the Mad Lib Guy, and I filled out all of the Mad Libs by hand. There are 8 different versions of this LTC, and I like the Love Letter one best. Who got that one?

Vote For Pedro

My family loves Napoleon Dynamite, so when Napoleon came home from the Geeks/Dorks/Nerds PLB Ring, I made an LTC for him. I tried to make the card resemble the cover of the Napoleon Dynamite soundtrack, despite the fact that few people actually own the soundtrack. Did anyone notice?

Although I'm fairly pleased with the result, I stepped outside of my comfort zone on this one. After reading The Little Foxes' blog, I broke out the watercolor pencils. I also carved a Vote For Pedro stamp. (It's now a HH.)

Although I have mixed feelings about this LTC, I'm glad I made it. I had trouble finding homes for all of my Napoleons, but they were all eventually placed. Thanks to everyone who requested this trade!