33 posts categorized "Video"

11/10/2017

Fri 10

Inked Background Holiday Cards Video
by Dave Brethauer

One of the things that I love most about using craft dies in cardmaking is how the shape can be transformed with clever use of color. 

Sometimes I use a little bit of color and sometimes I saturate the background. Both effects are fun and artistic and help take the card to another level.

This year I have been obsessed with all of the Tim Holtz oxide inks - I came late to the game on these, so I have been catching up on all the fun. The way that they can layer and blend - and change their look when splattered with water - is so mesmerizing.

Candle1

And the way that you can use them to make a background that highlights the shape of a die has me hooked. Here's a good example of how an inked background can really make a craft die shape come alive.

I sponged some background paper with Distress Oxide in Peeled Paint, Fossilized Amber and Cracked Pistachio and slipped it behind the 99828 Snowflake Swell die - and that simple snowflake design is instantly transformed into something magical.

Now there is nothing wrong with a solid color behind those snowflakes, but just look how interesting it becomes when the green shades swirl into different hues along the card.

And the effort to do this is small! But it looks as if you did a lot of work!

Candle6

In today's video I created two different holiday cards that made the most of some inked backgrounds. First up is the Holiday Candle card - 

I combined the idea of using a little bit of color for a portion of the card above (the halo around the candle) with using lots of color (on the holly leaves) to create this handmade card. Check out the video to see the step by step...

(Watch this video in HD by clicking here

I knew that I wanted to have the center images "float" in the white background. SO I decided to use just a tiny bit of ink on the white - and use most of the ink on the leaves.

Candle7

To make these beautiful leaves I created an inked background using Oxide inks in Peeled Paint and Cracked Pistachio - overlapping these inks in various intensity to build many different shades of green. Then I spritzed it with water to add a little bit of splatter. Using the 99790 Holly Collage I cut the leaves out and saved them to add into the card.

The way that the green contrasts with the bright white is really striking in person - and the embossed lines of the leaves make it even more interesting.

Candle10

And here, I used just a little bit of color (Distress Oxide in Broken China) around the edges of the panel. This created a "halo" around the center - which was the perfect setting for the 99803 Candle Centerpiece. After cutting the Candle Centerpiece out of shiny gold cardstock - I inlaid red and green cardstocks (use some texture here to make it interesting!) to complete the composition.

One of my recent favorites are the Poppystamps Pointed Frames - available in Ovals, Squares and Rectangles. I tend to use a lot of borders with stitching on them, but for a fresh take on things I love these pinpoint frames. I used the 1938 Pointed Rectangle Frames here and they helped me create those perfect white borders.

  Candle3

The second project in the video was probably the one that I had the most fun with this season (I made a lot of these for store samples!).

This design is the 1888 Peaceful Dove Collage from Poppystamps and I love how it looks like it is moving on the card.

I got to roll up my sleeves and explore some layering with the background on this one - spreading one color over another and slowly building up the intensity. One thing I noticed again and again was that the background looked better after I die cut it.

I mean, I would be putting all of these ink colors onto the paper - and some of the time I must admit it looked like a real mess! - but after I cut it out, it always looked like I planned things out!

Like how the blue happened to be just touching the bird. 

Or the spot under the wings that I didn't blend out very well - it now looked like a blur from the wing. As if I had done it on purpose! I embrace this all as happy accidents.

Once you cut it out there is a lot of paper removed from the card, so the background is broken up into different areas of color, swirling around the bird. So I think your eye is drawn more to the contours of the cut paper - and the background somehow becomes more interesting because the color stops and then starts again across the open spaces in the die cut.

  Candle2

Here I used some Oxide ink in Broken China and Peeled Paint - with a dab of Squeezed Lemonade in regular Distress ink for a bright glow of "light".

This is similar to the look I used in my Snowy Sky Cards video - a little spot of light shining down - but I am using a different color scheme. The effect is still amazing - and creates some depth on the paper. Try to position the Broken China blue area above the dove's head if you can - and then get the portions of Peeled Paint to flank the bird on either side.

Candle5

At the bottom of the composition I used the 1852 Holly Twig as something that the dove was about to perch on. I cut it out of various colors of cardstock and then glued the pieces together in order to get green leaves and red berries - and I added a little bit of red glitter glue to sparkle the berries right up.

I wanted the background at the bottom of the card to be darker - so after sponging the bottom with Peeled Paint and Fossilized Amber, I went over it with some Distress Oxide ink in Vintage Photo. Once you get it dark enough, then spritz with some water!

Candle9

Here's another example of how an inked background can transform a card - shown here with the 99797 Reindeer Window. The craft die creates a very simple opening around the reindeer, which can be filled in with a solid color, but look how exciting it becomes with lots of ink and splatter! For even more texture I stamped and embossed some leaves (from the CL5187 Christmas Botanicals stamp set) onto the background with clear ink and clear embossing powder. This allows the color of the ink to show through the embossed lines, but the color becomes a shade darker.

Candle8

I used Distress Oxide ink in Fired Brick, Peeled Paint, Worn Lipstick and Vintage Photo - and you can see up close how they blend so nicely.

I sprayed it with a little bleach and water solution (1 cup water to 1 tablespoon bleach) for some bright white splatter. The antlers are cut out of white glitter cardstock - and for good measure I used a Wink of Stella pen to fill in the leaves with some shimmer. Do you see how the area inside the leaves picks up little glints of light? So amazing.

So as you can see, there's tons of opportunities to make the most of inked backgrounds on your handmade cards. From small areas (the holly leaves) to large areas (the space around the dove collage) - you can transform a plain background into something spectacular with some ink in no time.

OK - time to get out your inkpads and start sponging!

11/01/2017

Wed 01

Winter Wonder Cards Video
by Dave Brethauer

Greetings everyone!

I was working on some sample cards in the studio over the last couple of weeks and came up with a couple of ideas that I'd like to share.

I was trying to make some projects with a very soft look to them - pastel and blurry, like what you might imagine a scene to look like on a crisp winter morning with a little fog in the air.

Close deer

Both of these projects use deer - my favorite animal! - but I have scaled them differently.

  Edited--3

My first project is a sample I featured in our Holiday 2017 video - I had a lot of requests to do a step by step video on how it is made, and so I did!

(Watch this video in HD by clicking here)

To create the soft look that I was going for, I used my Distress Oxide inks in Cracked Pistachio,  Broken China and Faded Jeans. I was careful with the amount of ink that I sponged onto the paper - adding just enough to create some soft bands of color.

Stripes

The key is to overlap the ink - I apply the color in a circular motion, over and over, a little at a time. It actually helps if your inkpad is a little dried out! That way, you don't get as much color on your sponge.

Edited--2

For the sentiment I used 99794 Sentimental Merry Christmas cut out of glittery white cardstock. I was trying to keep most of the card white, but I noticed that when I cut out the Merry Christmas in plain white cardstock it was a little, well, plain.

So I decided to use something glittery (it always works!) and now the sentiment floats on top of the scene and really stands out!

Edited--4

To create the composition, I used the 99823 Gentle Valley Oval and 99811 Gentle Horizon Oval - layered together to create a dimensional look. These two dies were designed to go with each other - of course you could use them individually, but when I created them, I made it so that one set of hills is slightly lower than the other. That way you can create some depth when layering.

There is a natural shadow that happens when you stack these together, so there is a little shading between the foreground and the background.

In the video you can see how easy it is to create the background and then fit it like a puzzle piece into place - the aqua and blue sky just slips right into place around the trees - it is so easy!

Edited-

To embellish the base of the card I used pieces of the Poppystamps 1872 Snowflake Screen to make the corners a little more interesting. Just cut the Snowflake Screen out of white cardstock and snip off a few areas to use on the card.

The base card is a Memory Box Powder notecard - it is so very pale blue, nearly white. In fact, you will probably think it is white unless you put some actual white cardstock on it! The effect is very subtle when you use a Powder notecard - but it really enhances the soft aesthetic of this handmade card.

Finally, I decided to use the Poppystamps 1886 Tiny Fawns at the bottom of the oval. They are just the right size and look like they are greeting each other on the hill!

I cut the Tiny Fawns out of white cardstock and colored them in with a Copic Marker (Brick Beige Cream copic marker) and then embellished them with a few tiny white dots on their back by using a White Opaque Pen.

Red

I had some extra materials lying on my desk so I decided to try the card in a different color scheme. I was trying to create a more "rosy" color scheme, so I sponged the background with Distress Oxide ink in Fired Brick and Worn Lipstick.

Edited--8

Since the colors were a lot warmer, I changed out the glittery white cardstock for some metallic gold - and I love how the Merry Christmas shines in the sky!

Edited--9

A quick spritz of water added some texture to the sky - and I decided to try just a solo deer. The Memory Box Cranberry notecard makes a basic background for the project - and you are done! The layer dies make this look like more work than it really is - and you could mass produce these in a flash! 

Edited--10

For my second project, I wanted to really focus on minimal color and create a faded spatter effect behind the trees. I knew that I wanted to use the 99829 Alpine Trees and the 99167 Valley Deer Trio, so all I had to to do was figure out how to make the dark ink fade perfectly to white in the background.

Edited--11

Iced Spruce turned out to be the perfect Oxide Ink for this effect - the gray is a little bit blue and green, and when I spritzed it with a little bleach solution (2 cups water to 1 tablespoon bleach), I could achieve the effect I was going for. You can see in the video that you want to start the sponging low on the card, behind the trees, and then fade the color out toward the top.

When I applied it to the paper, I tried to create sort of a pointed "blob" area that would mimic the outline of the trees. My goal was for that color to fade around the trees, so that the color appears to be only positioned behind the treeline. The edges of the ink were good, but not perfect. 

But a spritz of the bleach solution, centered towards the top of the sponged area, faded the edges of the ink beautifully!

Edited--12

I tried the inked area in a couple of different positions on the card- and it turned out that it still looked great even if you didn't keep the ink directly behind the trees. 

It really is a mesmerizing effect - it reminds me of looking at the forest when the snow is falling really hard. All you can see is some shadow - and the rest of the sky is filled with white. 

Edited--13

I realized that a little color would help the composition, so I cut the Valley Deer trio out of an off white cardstock and sponged them ever so gently with Distress Oxide ink in Vintage Photo.

I sponged them so that most of the color was at the top of their bodies - which naturally kept their stomach and legs a little lighter. Simply add a few white dots from a white opaque pen and they are ready to be used on the project! 

I hope you'll try creating your own soft and subtle projects - the soft pastel color is the star here! I hope you are inspired to make your own winter pastel project!

10/21/2017

Sat 21

Fabulous Snowy Sky Video by Dave Brethauer

Well, hello all you Memory Box fans!

I am so happy to share a video with you today that will teach you a background technique you will use over and over. The results are wonderful each time - and very creative.

Move--7

I think this is one of my favorites because of this particular combination of color - the blues and purples, and then the small golden accent. This is truly beautiful in real life - you must try this so that you can see it in person!

(Watch this video in HD by clicking here)

I used Distress Oxide inks for the background - Wilted Violet, Faded Jeans and Broken China - all sponged together and overlapped. And then there is a small dab of yellow ink - Fossilized Amber - to create a little burst of light in the upper right corner.

I have been sponging backgrounds for a long time and by now, I can whip up a background in no time. To give it this bright spattered look I gave it a little spritz of water mixed with a bit of bleach. My portions change from time to time - the stronger the bleach solution, the brighter the white spots get and there is a more noticeable "halo" around the spots. Generally, I stick to a recipe of 2 cups water to one tablespoon of bleach, but you should try what suits you.

Move--6

You can see the difference between the two cards here - the card on the left has the tiny drops and the card on the right has larger drops. This is just a matter of how you use your spray bottle.

I spritz it with a spray bottle - if I squeeze quickly, then the spray comes out in tiny drops. If I squeeze slowly, then the spray comes out in larger drops. As a bonus - you will be disinfecting your craft area!

  Move--8

I used the 99834 Single Deer Oval to create the first layer - and then the 99816 Batavia Snowflake Oval for the second layer. Both of these are cut out of white cardstock, which provides a bright contrast to the colorful background. Both ovals are exactly the same size, so they line up perfectly. And if you want to add some snowflakes to the card, the 99825 Batavia Snowflakes match the snowflakes in the oval!

Move--2

In the video you will see that you have some leftover pieces - like the reindeer above. This is what is left over after you cut out the background - don't throw it out, this makes another beautiful card!

Move--3

Adding a white background, and gluing on a few sequins - you'll have another card in less than a minute!

I have designed a lot of layered dies over the years, including the tree and branch collage dies in the Faerie Cards video I made awhile ago. It is a concept that I really have had fun with as I developed Birch Press Design Dies over the last few years - layering cut paper to create intricate artwork, like I did in my Peony Blooms video. I really enjoy assembling these layers to create some dimension on cards.

Move--4

I ended up really liking the color scheme that I used for the background, so I made about a dozen background pieces, changing where I was putting the color until I came up with a composition that reminded me of the Northern Lights.

Move--5

This turned out to work perfectly with a die that I hadn't played with too much - the 99822 Sheer Treescape. This die features some cut lines to create some texture in the paper - these extra lines do not cut out a shape but rather just add some extra detail to the image.

The treescape creates a perfect border - and the "Northern Lights" jump up through the treeline. The only change here is that I added Distress Oxide Ink in Black Soot to the border to darken the edges. A spritz of my bleach and water solution added the look of stars (or snow, depending on your perspective).

Sleigh

That beautiful sky was begging for something to be flying in it - so I placed the 99606 Small Reindeer Team in the sky for fun!

I hope you will try out this background technique - the bright spatters really make the background come alive and the colors seem to intensify. These quick cards are the perfect project to try this out on. 

I really hope you have fun if you try these cards! We'd like to give you a chance to make them by entering to win 3 dies! The Sheer Treescape die, the Batavia Snowflake Oval die and the Single Deer Oval die! Just leave a comment on the video or on the blog for a chance to win. Leave comments by October 26, 2017 at midnight Pacific Coast Time!

 

10/10/2017

Tue 10

Holiday Cards That Move Video
by Dave Brethauer

Hello everyone!

Today I wanted to share a couple of interactive card ideas that hopefully will get you inspired to create some memorable holiday cards.

Like many of you, I have made A LOT of holiday cards over the years! I love handmade cards with moving elements, but I often find myself short on time to mass produce them - so they have to be simple. These projects are perfect - simple to make, but they are really fun to receive and look like you worked really hard on them!

Move-

My first project is a "pocket card" that can be used as a holder for a holiday photo. I have created lots of photo cards over the years - embellished with stamps, or ribbon or dies. But for this one, I had designed a die with this very purpose in mind!

(Watch this video in HD by clicking here)

When I created the Snowman Panel I was thinking that there would be some sort of layer behind the panel that could just slide away to reveal a new background. At the time, I wasn't sure exactly what the background would be but after playing with the die a bit in the studio, I got an idea.

Move-

So I began with the Pinpoint Rectangle set - by cutting two large rectangles I could create a "pocket" by gluing them together. But before I glued them, I cut the Snowman Panel in the front.  When you put the insert into the pocket, all you see is white.

  Move--2

But when you pull the slider piece out (I stamped the top of it with the Merry Christmas Sentiments set), then you see the background! I chose a bold red, so that the snowman would really stand out.

Move-6

I decided to dress him up just a little bit too - so I used a few shapes from the Snowman Heart Collage die to create his hat, eyes and carrot nose. I think this adds a little character on the all white background!

  Untitled-1

Here's a look at what the Snowman Heart Collage looks like all done up - I used some soft velvet paper to fill in the heart area, and various cardstock colors for his face, hat and scarf. I used the stamp set called Each Day is a Blessing for the sentiment - this set is very versatile and can be used on all sorts of cards.

Move-9

I only used a few of the elements - just the eyes, nose and hat - so that I could keep things simple!

Move--3

You can use the back of the sliding panel for a photo, a recipe or simply your holiday greeting. The person receiving the card will have so much fun moving the panel up and down.

Move-7

And here is what the slider piece looks like when it is flipped over - a cute photo card! The person who receives the card can display the photo separately from the slider pocket - it's like receiving two for one!

Move-2

Now there is another die that I designed with the same goal in mind - the Snowy Spectrum die. I created the same idea here - this time using the Stitched Rectangle Layers to create my pocket.

Move-4

I thought it might be fun to create a Distress Oxide background for this card - so I blended Wilted Violet, Broken China and Faded Denim to make a snowy wintertime background for the snowflakes. I spritzed with just a bit of water for some simple texture and that was all there was to it!

Untitled-2

I love this color scheme - a nice alternative to traditional red and green! I could embellish this a bit further - the snowflakes in the Snowy Spectrum die match the Batavia Snowflakes die - so I could cut some out and layer them on here in some sparkly white cardstock, but I decided to keep it simple.

For my second project, I was still really into slider cards, so I wanted to create a card that had that interactive element, but was still relatively simple to mass produce.

Move--8

So I used one of the Jumping Elves from the Christmas Elves Die set and  Christmas Elves Clear Stamp set and figured out a way to make him "leap" over the word Christmas. I realized that the Large Sentimental Merry Christmas was big enough for what I had in mind.
Move--8

I got out my Copic markers for some simple coloring - the elf is small so you can color him in pretty quickly! 

I had to choose the right slider die and found that the Slider Grooves set worked perfectly. It has a small curved arch that creates the perfect path for making the elf look like he is leaping! In the video, I show the basics for making a slider card - and how easy it is to get him to spin.

Move--8

To dress it up a bit, I used a Poppystamps Holly Berry Sprig die in the corner - just something simple to put a little more color onto the front of the card. I inlaid the cut out paper - green cardstock for the leaves and some sparkly red cardstock for the berries. This created just the right touch.

There are endless variations on these ideas - reindeers jumping over chimneys, polar bears hopping from igloo to igloo, the list goes on and on. What will you make?

 

09/27/2017

Wed 27

Zig Zag Slider Video by Dave Brethauer

Hello and welcome!

I am always trying to use my dies in new and different ways - and I wanted to share a new idea for working with slider dies. Sometimes these ideas do not come easy - I am always super impressed when I see designers use dies in a way that I never would have imagined - so I was excited to try this when I started thinking about connecting the paths of sliders.

This idea uses the Memory Box Slider Grooves die set to create a unique slider pathway in a zig zag shape. Take a look at the video to see how it works...

(Watch this video in HD by clicking here)

I am fascinated by interactive cards, so slider cards have been really inspiring to me lately. I received my Mechanical Engineering degree about 25 years ago and even after all this time I still gravitate a bit towards cards that have some sort of movement involved. And what better way to spend an afternoon than to play with some slider cards! (Instead of pursuing an engineering career I took up stamping, then started Memory Box, then Poppystamps and then Birch Press - and I have had a lot more fun in this creative field!) 

Ghost-(4-of-7)

I decided to apply the zig zag slider idea to a Halloween card so I used the Whimsy Ghost and the Playful Boo dies to create the scene.

When you put the ghost in the upper right corner and start to tilt the card back and forth, the ghost twirls and slides down the pathway to the bottom!

Ghost-(5-of-7)

When I designed the Whimsy Ghost die I was playing with the notion that some areas could be cut out (like the bow tie) and some areas could just be cut (like his smile). I think creating designs for craft dies has endless possibilities and every time I sit down at my desk to design I literally smile while I am drawing.

When I am creating a die design I think about how fun it will be to try out the new die, and to see what others will do with it. When I was drawing the ghost I was thinking how fun it will be to put a little dot of white ink (from a White Gel Pen) onto his eyes! That little twinkle gives him a little bit of charm - don't you think? I was thinking that he would look kind of good with a small witch's hat - and then thought the witch's hat would look good on a stamp set I was drawing at the time (the set was the Feline Spooky set in poppystamps, and the hat would be perfect on one of the cats!).

Ghost-(2-of-7)

I wanted the background for the slider card to be a little special- so before I cut the slider pathways into the black cardstock, I splattered it with metallic watercolor paint. This set of metallic watercolor paint is my favorite - a few sprinkles of this onto a card transforms the whole thing!

What is it about silver and gold on black cardstock that looks so magical and rich? I think I splattered paper for about 10 minutes before I remembered that I had other things to do!

Ghost-(3-of-7)

I love these paints - they are so bright and dense, and when you start building the color onto the black cardstock it becomes hard to stop.

I was trying to create sort of a sparkling and spooky effect - like the ghost is flying across a starry sky. But then I saw some Distress Oxide inks on my desk and...

Purpleghost

...I had to try it with a Distress Oxide background! I used Wilted Violet and Broken China with a spritz of water to create this look - a magical background with more of a twilight color scheme.

Then, I thought - well this would work as a beautiful color scheme for a winter card - and I bet a snowflake would work as the slider!

Ghost-(7-of-7)

I went through my designs and grabbed the Batavia Snowflakes and matching Batavia Stitched Snowflakes to create a winter themed slider element. The Batavia Stitched Snowflakes are slightly larger than the Batavia Snowflakes - so that when you layer them together, the result is dimensional and detailed.

I put the snowflake slider card together in a flash - and I show it in the video too as a bonus card. The snowflake spins down the zig zag pathway, just as you might expect a snowflake to drift back and forth as it settles to the earth. The Let It Snow die is a peaceful and subtle addition to the lower corner.

Ghost-(6-of-7)

I spritzed the background with a bleach and water solution - about 2 teaspoons of bleach to a cup of water. This is a little stronger than I usually use for a bleach and water solution - but I noticed something when I was playing with this solution the other day.

You will notice that where the drops hit the paper, they spread just a little into the surrounding ink and lighten it - this creates a bright spot in the middle of the splatter, which is then surrounded by a little halo of color. Can you see it on the close up above? It really shows up in the Wilted Violet area - there is a nearly white spot in the middle, surrounded by a soft blue halo of color.

I think this is really effective for snow scenes - the way this softens the colors and gives the idea of snow blurring slightly as it falls.

I hope you enjoyed today's video! Get out your slider dies and create this card! What will you come up with? 

I want to encourage your creativity so I am having a giveaway! Please leave your idea for a fun zig zag slider card in the comments section by September 30, 2017 Midnight Pacific Time. I will choose one comment at random - and that person will win a metallic watercolor set from Finetec! I can't wait to read what people come up with!

Paint

09/02/2017

Sat 02

2017 Holiday Collection - Memory Box and Poppystamps
by Dave Brethauer

Hello fellow crafters!

I am happy to share a video with you featuring our favorite 2017 Holiday dies from both Memory Box and Poppystamps! There is a range of ideas here - from simple to intricate - and they are sure to get you inspired for the holidays. Please check out the video - and enjoy the close up pictures that I have included on the post.

And please leave a comment on the blog saying which one is your favorite! We will randomly select a comment to win a prize - the winner will receive all of the dies used on their favorite card! Please leave a comment by September 6, 2017 at midnight Pacifiic Time.

(Watch this video in HD by clicking here)

All of the photos are in the video, but I am sharing some close-up shots here on the blog of each of the projects so that you can get a good look at them!

Video samples edited--14

 A little paper inlay creates a striking snowman silhouette with the Poppystamps 1848 Snowman Love Craft Die.

Circle--2

We can't get enough of the 1881 Concentric Rings die - using a mix of colors and textures of cardstock, you can create a visually stunning base for the 1860 Celeste Snowflake. Try all sorts of colors! Each ring can be fit into the next like a puzzle.

Video samples edited--14

My favorite craft die on this project is the 1886 Tiny Fawns - they are so little and yet the details are still clear. A little white gel pen produces some nice little spots on their backs for a realistic touch!

Video samples edited--14

We've had lots of fun with the Poppystamps 1857 Taglet and Bow die -  I combined it with the 1851 Snowman Taglet to create a unique piece for the front of the card here. The base taglet is cut out in white, the bow is cut out in silver glitter cardstock (don't forget to use your metal adaptor plate!) and then the Snowman Taglet is cut out of soft, pink velvet paper. Layered together these combine for a simple and chic look.


Video samples edited--14

One of our favorite combos for building a scene is the Poppystamps 1863 Snowscape and 1867 Open Hillside. The horizon lines in each die are staggered, so that when you layer them together you get a 3 dimensional look. And the 30094 Wrapped Stitched Rectangles create a cool border of white on white cardstock.


Video samples edited--14

This one was so fun to put together! There are a lot of pieces, but its worth the effort to create such a fun scene. The circle frame is the Poppystamps 1940 Pointed Circle Frames and I love how the little pinpoints provide a little extra detail to the cardstock's texture. The lighter aqua background is a circle cut out slightly smaller than the frame using the 30087 Circle Basics - you could freehand cut out the circle, just making sure its a little bit smaller than the frame. But using the circle dies for making this piece is a lot easier.

The other two components of the scene are the Poppystamps 1905 Tiny Polar Bears and the 99805 Snowbanks Drift (for the hill with the trees on it). I cut the Snowbanks Drift out of some white glitter cardstock for extra sparkle and it looks just like a frosty winter wonderland. And those polar bears? Each time you run the die, you get 5 bears to choose from for your scene!


Video samples edited--14

I think this Holiday Candle card is especially fun! I used the 99803 Candle Centerpiece (cut out of metallic gold cardstock) for the center of the card and paper pieced red and green cardstock into the open areas. But beneath that I used the 99790 Holly Collage and paper pieced in the holly cutouts that I had colored with Distressed Oxide ink (Peeled Paint, Fossilized Amber and a touch of Faded Jeans). Adding those green leaves into open spaces on the white creates an artistic contrast.

The Pointed Rectangle Frame from poppystamps makes a subtle white on white border.


Video samples edited--14

The 99801 Snowman Heart Collage creates the silhouette of a snowman inside a heart - and I filled it with some soft velvet paper in pink. The hat, scarf, heart, nose, buttons and eyes are included with the die and can be used to cut out and decorate the snowman.

I tried to create an angle on the card by slightly shifting the eyes and carrot nose to the right. This adds a little dimension!


Video samples edited--14

I have designed a lot of word dies this year using the "perky" script, so I created the 99858 Merry Christmas Perky Script to add to the collection. This Merry Christmas is a good basic size that works with lots of designs.

I added "merry" to a small strip of green cardstock and then tucked it under the 99849 Poinsettia Oval (which was cut out of shiny gold cardstock).  The Poinsettia Oval works with the 99846 Poinsettia Oval Background so that I can fill the open spaces with some deep red cardstock.


Video samples edited--14

The highlight on the 99852 Stitched Circle Cabin is the glittering roof! I wanted to take this single die and transform it into something more 3-dimensional. So I cut it out several times - out of the white cardsock for the base, but also out of pink for the sides of the cabin and out of white glitter cardstock for the snowy roof. Once I had all of my pieces I layered them together for an easy - but more interesting - composition on the card.


Video samples edited--14

I don't think you can have enough poinsettia dies, so I have designed a lot of them over the years! This is the 30093 Poinsettia Blooms and it will be one of your favorites. I cut the 3 sets of leaves out of cream colored cardstock and gently sponged the middle with Distress Oxide in in Worn Lipstick. After layering these together and carefully bending the leaves, I added some drizzles of clear glitter glue.

I created a base of greenery using the Poppystamps 1862 Wispy Pine Needles and 1868 Small Wispy Pine Needles. These are super versatile - you can stack them like I did here for a pop of color or create a terrific border. The needles are very finely detailed.


Video samples edited--14

The 99847 May Your Days die will fill your whole card, so we decided to use white glitter cardstock to make this saying really shine. The design is really bold and doesn't need much else - but you could hang some little ornaments on the lettering or add some perched birds!


Video samples edited--14

This one was all about the background! The 99797 Reindeer Window cuts out a large opening to reveal the Reindeer silhouette, so we filled it with lots of color. I used Distress Oxide in Worn Lipstick, Peeled Paint and Vintage Photo to create a blended background of ink. After blending, I spritzed with a bleach and water solution (3 cups of water and 1 tablsepoon of bleach) to create some dramatic white splatters.

Finally, I embossed some designs from the CL5187 Christmas Botanicals Clear Stamp Set and colored them in with a Wink of Stella pen. The result is so eye catching!Video samples edited--14

Finally, my favorite card uses the 1888 Peaceful Dove Collage - flying onto the 1852 Holly Twig. The background is Distress Oxide ink - using Broken China, Peeled Paint, Fossilized Amber and Vintage Photo. I tried to get the "glow" of the ink to make a little halo around the dove's head and I really like how it turned out - it's amazing what color can do!

I hope you like the card ideas - have fun trying out your own versions! There are many more designs in the 2017 Memory Box Holiday collection and the 2017 Poppystamps Holiday collection - take a look and get inspired!

 

06/05/2017

Mon 05

Masking with Glossy Accents Video
by Dave Brethauer

Hello everyone!

Today's video incorporates glitter and coloring - two of my favorite things to do when making handmade cards! For those of you who can't get enough sparkle, you'll really appreciate the shimmer on these cards. I combine glitter glue over a glitter embossed image for plenty of underwater brilliance.

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And how easy is it to create an underwater scene with Distress Oxide inks! Just adding droplets of water onto a background that has been sponged with these wonderful inks creates the look of little bubbles - perfect for the brightly colored fish to swim around in. 

(Watch this video in HD by clicking here)

The Fish Tales Clear Stamp set is the the star of the show for the cards made in the video - it has a bunch of outlined fish to work with (great for coloring!) and some good, basic sentiments to use on a variety of cards. I positioned the clear stamp images with my MISTI so that I can make multiple cards in no time.

The background was created using several Distress Oxide inks - I sponged and overlapped Faded Jeans, Broken China, Cracked Pistachio and Fossilized Amber. I wanted the card to be full of color, so I made sure that I applied ink everywhere, carefully overlapping colors a little so that the ink transitioned from one shade to another.

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I also tried a different combination - trying to catch some sunset colors that might be filtering into the ocean. This combination uses Distress Oxide inks in Wilted Violet, Worn Lipstick and Fossilized Amber - and what a different look! I added a little bit more blue to the fish to cool down the color scheme a little, and I love the results! The Distress Oxide inks blend so beautifully that it is hard to go wrong with color combos.

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Here is an up close shot of the glittery fish - the backgrounds are smooth and seamless and you can see the little flecks of glitter on the fish.

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Getting a good dose of glitter onto the fish is a two step process - first, the image is stamped with Black Pigment ink and embossed with Judikins Iridescent Sparkle Embossing Powder

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The amazing thing about this embossing powder is that the glitter in it is heat reactive - the longer that you hold your embossing tool on an area of glitter, the color of the glitter changes!

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You can see that there are a rainbow of colors on the embossed lines. When the embossing powder first melts, the glitter changes to a blue shade. If you hold the heat on that spot for another second, it changes to green. 

And then yellow.

Then orange!

Then red!!

(OK, you have to stop here, because if you hold it in the same spot after it has turned red then the color goes away - and you might be burning your paper!)

This embossing powder is so much fun - note the tub of powder that I use in the video, I have a lot! I bought a one pound jar of it when I first started stamping (I loved it so much!) and still have plenty, 21 years later.

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After you have colored in the fish, it is time to apply glitter glue to images. I used Diamond Stickles for this part - which allows colors to show through while adding just the right amount of sparkle.

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Once the glitter glue is dry you can add a layer of Glossy Accents to each fish. This not only adds some shine, but it acts as a mask when you rub over the paper with the Distress Inks! The Glossy Accents amplify the glitter effect - it really is amazing in real life and you can't help but touch the fish!

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I finished the card by stamping "sending Birthday Fishes" onto a circle I cut out using the Open Studio Stitched Circle set. The circle works great with all of the background bubbles!

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Since I am using the Fish Tales stamp set in the video, I thought I'd add a simple card idea using the matching Fish Tales Shadow stamp set too. This is where a MISTI can really come in handy. At first I made the card really simple...

Fish7

...but I loved that Distress Oxide background so much that I replicated it on this card too. The composition is similar - but this card is fast and easy.

Rather than worrying about masking, I created the background with inks and a spritz or two of water. Then I stamped the Fish Tales Shadows and finally the Fish Tales images on top - and you're done! Well, almost - I decided it needed a little something since we weren't using any glitter, so I added some detail with a white gel pen to make things pop a little bit.

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These sets are so much fun -  especially if you like to play with color! There are endless color combos - and the whimsical images and cheeky sentiments create some terrific handmade cards.

Enjoy the video and start creating your own beautiful underwater fish scenes!

 

04/18/2017

Tue 18

Watercolor Dip Technique Video
by Dave Brethauer

Hello everyone and welcome!

If you have ever struggled with creating a smooth watercolor blend then you should check out today's video. I am sharing a tried and true technique for making sure that you have enough water on your watercolor paper to create beautiful blending.

Butterfly5

There are many factors that go into creating a beautiful watercolor look - in addition to the amount of water that you use, you also need to pay attention to how quickly you are painting to avoid hard lines of color. You also want to keep in mind the importance of layering colors.

In the video I show you how to make things easy on yourself with this method - and when you are done you will have four different cards that showcase your watercolor skills!

(Watch this video in HD by clicking here)

The Happy Birthday Upright Script is an especially good shape for this technique - you can use each letter to designate a color on the rainbow. The letters are small so you don't have to worry about rushing to get all of your areas covered with paint - you can take your time and focus on dabbing color where it needs to go. I cut out all of the shapes today from watercolor paper (this is important) because this technique saturates the paper - it doesn't matter if you use hot press or cold press watercolor paper, but plain old cardstock won't work. I used Peerless Watercolors for the video, I love how convenient they are to use! 

Butterfly1

The color scheme that you choose is up to you - I suggest keeping things in rainbow order in the beginning. Colors next to each other on the rainbow are obviously easier to blend - but as you get more comfortable, try blending colors that are further apart.

Butterfly2

The Stitched Butterfly Trio from Poppystamps is so popular - and it really shines with this technique. The stitching detail has this great feature where the paint collects a little in the cut lines - and notice the texture of the watercolor paper (this is cold press). All of those little dimples give the die cut a rich appearance - note that the process of die cutting the paper may flatten this out a bit, but the watercolor paper still looks thick and terrific once things have dried.

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I used the Stitched Oval Layers to create a base to put everything on and kept the background simple. The colors on the Happy Birthday greeting were so vivid that I decided a plain background was probably best.

Antilles1

I moved onto a more complicated design for the second project using the Large Antilles Floral Right Corner die. I created lots of corner dies this year for layering and creating nature scenes - the right corners match with left corners for example, and you can layer these corners with other corners and borders. To check out an example, take a look at Sherry's post using the Antilles Border along with the Lavender Bunch. For this project I wanted the watercolor to be the star of the show so I just used one die cut.

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I let the edges of the flowers be my guide when applying the color - I made the color more intense at the tips of the petals and then softer as I approached the center. And really, the water did most of the work, as you can see in the video.

Antilles3

On the red blossom card I used Distress Ink in Ground Espresso to stamp the Happy Birthday sentiment (this sentiment is from the Memory Box Clear Stamp set CL5153 Party Time) and added Distress Oxide Ink in Fossilized Amber and Peeled Paint around the edges of the card.

I couldn't resist trying the same composition in a different color scheme - so I created the same card with blue petals and then edged the card with Distress Oxide Ink Iced Spruce. I loved how that subtle gray color went with the blue - so I stamped the Happy Birthday in the Iced Spruce as well.

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I might even like this color scheme better!

Antilles2

The blue on the petals and the yellow in the centers marry so beautifully to create subtle areas of green. The wonderful thing about watercolor is that you get unexpected results - areas of light and dark, subtle new color variations and the process happens before your eyes as you add paint here and there.

Happy-tag-3

Another important factor with watercolor is layering. When you want to achieve intense color, it is critical to think of your painting in terms of layers. I chose a small die (this is the Paintbrush Happy die) so that we could do multiple layers of color quickly.

Happy-tag-4

You can see here how vivid the color can get with multiple layers of watercolor - and this layering can also help the blending process. After two or three layers you lose the distinction between different areas of color so it is hard to see where one color stops and the next one starts. The "birthday" stamp image is from the Party Time stamp set again (stamped in Distress Oxide Fired Brick) - I just left some space above it on the Poppystamps Stitched Tunnel Tag.

Happy-tag-2
And look what a difference a new color scheme makes!

It is the same composition but now on a teal card and shifted in the color palette to more blues and greens. I stamped "birthday" with Distress Oxide Ink in Broken China
Happy-tag-1

One major advantage of using the dip technique is that you save on the amount of paint that you use. You are only painting the die cut - rather than painting the watercolor paper and then running it through your machine. That way you can spot paint any little areas that you want to accentuate - for example, I wanted the "y" in happy to still have a little bit of yellow left at the tips so I was careful when I brought the green onto the "y" not to completely cover the yellow.

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Once you've master the dip technique and how quickly you need to move around the die cut piece, then you should try a large area! I used the Hovering Butterfly Frame because it has a lot of area to paint and also because the shapes are interconnected (perfect for blending!).

Frame2

I guarantee that no two will look alike when you work on this card! Just keep a palette of your watercolors out and as you apply paint you will be inspired to try all sorts of color combinations! Again on this card, I wanted the watercolor blending to be the focus, so I just added the Poppystamps Scribble Thank You in the center for a basic greeting.

Frame1

The die has some embossing areas that create some pattern in the butterfly wings - it adds another level of interest on the card when those raised areas catch the light. You will need to use an embossing pad to create the raised areas (die cut first, leave the paper in the die cut, then run it back through your machine with an embossing pad). 

I hope you enjoy the video - watercolor is really one of the best ways I have found to relax. I become so absorbed in the process that I forget everything else!

So now's the time! Go grab your brushes and paints and start blending!

 


 

03/27/2017

Mon 27

Narwhals with Glitter and Distress Oxide Ink Video
by Dave Brethauer

Hello everyone and welcome!

I am excited to share a video today that features two projects with some of my favorite techniques. The first card shows how you can create a completely different look with your craft dies by doing an easy masking technique with your glitter. The second card uses some of the new Distress Oxide inks from Tim Holtz to create amazing spattered backgrounds - and they turn out perfect for ocean themed cards!

  Two-theme

See those soft wave patterns - embedded in the glitter? It is so easy to achieve this look - and it definitely opens up your craft dies to new possibilities! 

(Watch this video in HD by clicking here)

Once you get the hang of how to create those patterns in the glitter area then you can really let your creativity take off. I did a simple wave pattern, but you could get really focused and create some intricate designs. And adding different color combinations of glitter is so fun! I chose a tone on tone look, but anything goes if you are going to use glitter.

Glitter

This glitter technique is definitely an attention getter - I used the Underwater Collage die with double stick adhesive sheets to create the background and notice the bubbles on the side are glittered too. No matter what you put on top of the glittered area, people are going to say wow!

Narwhal-waves

I based both of the projects on this cute little guy - the Neighborly Narwhal. Some simple paper piecing is required to put him together and here I have cut him out in varying shades of cardstock to show off his light and dark areas.

Glitter-narwhal

I wanted to give the idea that he was sort of floating on the waves and I think it worked. Cutting him out of matte cardstock and then placing him over the glitter background gives him a halo of sparkle and shine.

Glitter-2

I varied the glitter a little bit here - adding a green color to make the two shades stand out a bit more. It is a lot more noticeable and I had some fun experimenting to see which combinations I liked best.

Crab

The Cheerful Crab die is a bright addition to the card - I added some Glossy Accents to make his shell look a little bit wet. And the sentiment is from a Poppy Stamps Clear Stamp set called Flower Patch - I just stamped the Thank You in black ink near the bottom, tucked into one of the rounded edges of the die shape.

Collage

The Underwater Collage works with two other dies - the Coral Collage and the Seaweed Collage - to create some really interesting 3D papercraft projects. You can see above that when they are layered together you can create a dimensional scene - fish can be poking their heads out from behind the edges and you can tuck in little bits of coral and seaweed. 

For the cards in the video though, I just kept it simple and used one layer at a time. The nice thing is that they can still be used individually!

Narwhal-update--18

I had a blast putting this simple slider card together - when it is "closed" you see the Neighborly Narwhal swimming in the window I created with the Seaweed Collage. And when the card is "open" the Narwhal slides out of the way, revealing the sentiment underneath.

Narwhal-close

The Narwhal is proportioned just right to float in the middle of the opening - I used the same cardstock color scheme again to create him because I wanted it to go nicely with the "bubbly" background.

Bubbles

Creating the background was a breeze - I used Distress Oxide inks in three colors (Broken China, Wilted Violet and Faded Jeans) to make a beautiful marine inspired background. After blending the three colors, I spritzed lightly with water and watched the drops create glowing spots on the ink. It looks just like bubbles coming up from the sea.

Crabslider

I kept the design pretty simple - I loved the background so much that I didn't want to put a lot on it! But you could mix things up and stamp the sentiment on the open area, and add more fish and ocean things into the hole. We have an entire section of nautical themed dies that are ready for a scene just like this!

Crabpull

I had some extra Cheerful Crabs from the first project, so I glued one onto the tip of the slider. That way the card recipient gets their attention drawn to the side and will know to pull!

Narwhal-update--25

A little bit of color from the Seaweed Stalks may be a nice addition - we have lots of ocean inspired designs for you to choose from. Careful though, you may get carried away!

Enjoy the show! 

 

03/04/2017

Sat 04

Glitter Inlay Technique Video
by Dave Brethauer

Welcome everybody! I don't know about you, but sometimes I can't get enough glitter. I've gone through several gallons of Diamond Glitter glue over the years, so it is no surprise that I tend to keep a good supply of glitter in my craft bins. I was inspired when I saw my pack of Martha Stewart glitter (I think I purchased these years ago, they last a long time!) and decided it was time to make a video.
  Bluebutterfly

 

In the video I start with a super easy inlay technique using Scor Tape double sided adhesive sheets. You get consistently excellent results with this tape so it is on my list of basic must haves - in addition to being useful in a number of special techniques, it really is terrific for glitter application.

Glitter peony

The adhesive sheets are applied behind an open die cut, like the Blooming Peony Stem (recently released and one of our best sellers). Once the glitter is rubbed into the open areas of the die cut, the magic begins! The glitter lays down flat - catching glints of light and reflection each time the card is moved. The effect is mesmerizing! I added a sentiment from the Open Studio Watching the World Bloom clear stamp set (it has several sentiments that would work well on this card) and I decided to do a small pack of cards for a friend. I created the same card over and over, but I changed out the base card so that there were Key Lime, Sunflower, Mango, Violet and Pool notecards in the set. It was a really cheery looking gift!

Glitter peony 2

Here is an up close look at what it looks like after you have completed the inlay glitter process. Every speck of glitter catches the light - and because you are applying the glitter by hand, the result is a smooth and flat layer of glitter.

Glitter peony 3

The look you end up with depends on the kind of glitter that you use - the peony above was done with clear glitter, so the color of the paper underneath comes through, but with a frosted look.

Of course you can't stop with just one shade of glitter though - with so many colors available, it is just natural to add some more!

Deer grove

I combined an ink blended background with a layer of clear and colored glitter inside the Deer Grove Oval - check out the video for some general tips on creating an ombre effect. If you are new to working with glitter, then start with a two color project before progressing - it's easy to get a little messy! I offer some suggestions for how to conserve your glitter and how to work with two colors at a time. I used Distress Ink for the background, in Squeezed Lemonade and Tumbled Glass, and created a bright springtime background for the glitter to layer over. In the video, you will see there was just enough room to add in the Scribble Hello from Poppystamps - in basic black cardstock at the corner for a crisp, clean look.

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Since a lot of the dies I design are intended to work together, I also added a short tutorial on combining the Deer Grove Oval and the Grand Stag Oval - when these are layered together the deer face each other. You could use these in combination for so many different kinds of greetings - my goal is to always create dies that work with each other to inspire lots of different creative opportunities! And I really love the color combination - Distress Ink in Wilted Violet and Evergreen Bough is such a striking combination.

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Once you've gotten the hang of blending glitter, then adding lots of shades to one project is a breeze! I used the Open Studio Butterfly Ensemble and Morning Garden Butterflies to create the shimmering butterflies here. I think if I had the time I would devote a day to creating butterflies - the play of the white against the brilliant color, the possibilities of blending from one area of the wing towards the center - it is easy, fun and inspiring and you can't really go wrong!

Butterfly ensemble

Careful - like all of this papercrafting stuff, it is addictive! Fortunately, the glitter seems to last forever (those bottles never seem to get empty - even after all these years!) so you can play and play.

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The cloud background was super easy - just a few quick cuts using the Poppystamps Stitched Cloudline and some simple sponging makes for a quick background and the perfect spot to add a sentiment. I stamped greetings from the Poppystamp Ornamental Butterflies clear stamp set in plain black ink. The butterflies provided all the color necessary!

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I finished up making the projects and editing the video and took a look around the office - glitter on the keyboard, glitter on my shirt, glitter on the dog...well, don't say I didn't warn you! 

So what inspired the video? This week was the release of our new collections at Memory Box, Poppystamps and Birch Press - yes, all three companies released some amazing new stuff to play with! I had my Deer Grove Oval in hand when I thought, "This would work great with a glittery background..." and next thing you know I had a glitter video. Hope you enjoy it!

 

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