Sunday, May 31, 2015

Bokeh Effect Card - Anything Goes Eclectic Ellapu

Over at Eclectic Ellapu we're having an Anything Goes challenge. Which are my favorite kind of challenges because I just get to let my creativity run.. or get stuck... it really depends on the day, doesn't it?

I decided to play around with a bokeh technique. It's not a technique that I've done before EVER. So I decided to take of my scaredy pants and give it a try. I recently got the ARTplorations Oh My Stars! stencil and I wanted to try to create a galaxy type feel.

The first thing I did was to smoosh Spun Sugar, Pink Raspberry, and Stormy Sky Distress Inks onto a craft mat and spritz with water. Then I dipped my paper into the mixture.

Doing this creates a really cool watercolor-esque inky background. I like to dip my card stock, dry it, dip it again, and maybe repeat up to 3 times to get a real depth of inky layers. 

Next, I used my stencil and sponged white ink. 

If you haven't done a bokeh effect before (and I'm assuming everyone else in the crafty world has and I'm just behind the times) the trick is to do varying intensities of the white and layer. Some of the stars I just sponged very lightly, some I sponged at medium intensity, and some I laid it on thick. 

That's a shot in process. I also sprayed some White Picket Fence Distress Spray Stain onto the background to give it more of that galaxy feel. 

Lastly, I added a matching sentiment (which says Reach for the Stars but I embossed it in silver and it was being a photographic nightmare) and some hanging stars, along with a little sequin dazzlement. 

I'm pretty pleased with my first bokeh attempt! The Eclectic Ellapu challenge runs all month long, so come show us what you've got!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Mixed Media Art Journal Page - Crafty Gals Corner

Today is Wednesday! I'm sure you already knew that, but did you ALSO know that today is the start of the new challenge over at Crafty Gals Corner? Maybe you did, but did you ALSO ALSO know that our theme of the week is Critters? Doubt it.

For my critter this week, I chose to focus on the beloved butterfly:

This one happens to be from the oh-so-rare species of Herous Artsus, commonly known as Hero Arts. I just got this stamp set and I really like it because it's layerable, so I just stamped in 3 different tones of orange, did a little snipping, and VOILA! A butterfly appeared!

But even more important than the butterfly, this fairy wood sprite from Sweet Pea Stamps (called Fairy Princess of Autumn) called my name.

Sweet Pea Stamps
It took me a good long while to get her all colored up with my Spectrum Noir Markers and I had to use all sorts of shades of colors!

You can see that I made her wings a little bit shimmery and that was done by painting over them with a very thing layer of Perfect Pearls after I'd colored them. 

I thought this fairy was so wistful, and it had been a while since I'd worked on my art journal, so I found one of my poems that I thought matched her expression quite well. It's called Between Seasons. 

You don't have to read the poem, but the last time I posted an art journal page without including an easy-to-read close up, I got some guff. As I am a generally guff-avoidant person, I am posting it. 

To lay a base for my card, I scribbled on some gelatos and spritzed with water until the drips started rolling down my paper. 

I added some brown lacy washi and some colors of orange washi to create a focal corner in the right and then put all the elements together. 

I'm pretty chuffed with how it all turned out. I now have three of my poems in my art journal/book of artsy poetry. I can't wait until it's done! I think it's going to make a pretty cool coffee table discussion piece. 

I'm going to send this work on over to the following challenges:
One Sweet Challenge - Things with Wings

As for you fine folks, if you use a critter - whether it be a butterfly, a bear, a puppy, a cat or any of the other kabajillion species, link it up over at Crafty Gals Corner for your chance to win:

Prize: $20 Gift Certificate

Now that's a prize! Thanks for popping by! Follow my blog or leave me a comment and I'll do my utmost to return the favor!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Stencils and Gelatos - STAMPlorations Blog Hop Day 2

After yesterday's white-on-white card was done I sighed, oohed and aaahed a little bit, and then immediately needed to shake that CAS off by getting messy. 

So, I had to pull out my gelatos, naturally!

Today marks day 2 of the STAMPlorations stencil hop. All of our design team will be sharing super-fandiddlytastic ways to use those plastic slabs effectively. 

There are TONS of fabulous prizes! Over 10 of them... which gives you some pretty good odds of winning something new for your crafty stash. 

And now, back to my card. As I said, I busted out the gelatos for this little number. Gelatos are a sort of like a watercolor crayon... They are waxy and you can scribble them directly onto the paper. I wrote a full tutorial on some ways to use gelatos >>here<< if you want some more information. 

If you haven't used Gelatos yet I'm going to give you some advice:
1) You will be addicted. You will be in love. You will feel feelings you've never felt before and then spend your entire craft allowance (and then some) to purchase as many of these fabulous waxy sticks as you can. So be prepared.
2) In the words of Nike, Just Do It. Seriously. You won't regret it! Probably. 

I started out by using the ARTplorations Shower of Flutters Stencil. This is actually a mask, not a stencil, which just means that it will leave the negative image instead of the positive image on the card.

I used some washi tape to stick down the mask so it wasn't going anywhere and then I used Old Paper Distress Inks and began sponging. I added a heavier layer of ink in the upper left corner and then gradually reduced the amount as I was going to the right to give it an ombre feel. 

When I was good and finished, I removed the mask and started scribbling on some gelatos to the white butterfly spaces. 

Please pardon my messy mat! Such is the life of a mixed media card maker - those things never come clean! I applied gelatos, but left a tiny bit of white space around the edges. After it was scribbled on, I used a baby wipe to wet down my fingers and gave them a good smudge, which helps to blend the colors and give it a smooth look. 

Then I used the butterfly stamps from the Trendy Butterflies set to stamp over some of the butterflies with white pigment ink. The Trendy Butterflies set is actually made to pair perfectly with this stencil - how neat is that?!?!

For my final step, I outlined some of the butterflies and added trailing white dots in the edges with Claudine Hellmuth's Studio mini applicator in white acrylic. Then I stamped a sentiment from the STAMPlorations Fond Expressions set.

All in all, I'm drooling over this one and I feel more like my normal self! 

I'm going to link it up with the following challenges:
Cupcake Inspirations - Bugs and Butterflies
Friday Mashup - Create a card with butterflies or use inspiration image

As for you crafty peeps - head on over to STAMPlorations! Check out what the rest of the team made! You'll find links to all our projects here.

Thanks for popping by! Follow my blog and leave me a comment and I will do my utmost to come peek in on you, too!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Stencils and Embossing Paste - STAMPlorations Blog Hop

Whoa. You guys. You guys. YOU. GUYS! You are not going to believe just how incredibly clean this card I'm about to spring on you is. Not only is it clean, it is PURE white (unlike my heart). Somebody better take my temperature because this card is the antithesis of what I normally design. 

But before I jump right in, I should tell you that STAMPlorations is kicking of another stencil hop. Our hop will be filled with techniques and tricks you can do with stencils and, of course, there are TONS OF PRIZES up for grabs! 

Plus, at the end of the hop, we'll ask you to link up your stencil creations for even MORE chances to win. 

For my card, I busted out some texture and then added a little more texture. 

First, I used the ARTplorations stencil: Christmas Reindeer and a little bit of embossing paste. 

If you've never used embossing paste (also known as texture paste, or whipped spackle) it's a really great way to add texture and dimension to your projects with relatively little mess. It's got the consistency of shaving cream and comes in many different colors. You can also use things like gelatos or reinkers to color the white paste. 

Smooth it on your stencil and make sure to scrape the paste flat, then return any excess to the jar. 

As I warned you, I decided to go white on white on white for a crisp, clean look. 

If you squint your eyes hard enough, you'll be able to see that my deer head looks extra textured. That's because I added some glittery white flocking to it, to give it a little sparkle and some extra glamor. 

I'm going to send this card on over to the following competitions:
AAA - For the guys (CAS)
Cardz 4 Guyz - World Wildlife
Addicted to CAS - Animal

As for you, check out what the rest of the team made! You'll find links to all our projects here.
We're giving away more than 10 prizes during the hop!! That's a crazy good chance to win!

And in case you thought my mind was permanently CAS broken, stop by again for day 2 of the hop tomorrow, where I'll be getting all sorts of messy with gelatos and stencils. Thanks for popping by!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A Funny Mermaid Card - Crafty Gals Corner Color Challenge

Ahoy Mateys! I'm going to go all nautical today with my card and impress you with my mermaid skills. In real life, I'm slightly petrified of water that's deep enough to hold giant fish that can bite your leg off while you swim. This is a real thing. I'm convinced. Don't get me wrong, I will plop into the deep, murky water with the rest of them, but my stomach will convulse a little and, while I might appear to be smiling, I will only be thinking in my head "There goes my leg...".

But I digress!

This week at Crafty Gals Corner, we have a couple of sponsors and I got to work with a beautiful mermaid image from Nikki Burnette called Symphoni. I don't have a link for you because the fabulous Ms. Burnette is taking a short break from work because she's expecting! :)

Now, I could have done some pretty, beautiful things with Symphoni, but I decided to do a little snark:

This is the sentiment that I created to go along with my mermaid image. I love it! It makes me giggle every time I see it.

Crafty Gals Corner is having a color challenge this week: 

I don't normally work in pastels, so this was definitely a challenge for me! But I decided to incorporate the colors into the mermaid. 

I really TRIED to make it pastel... but this is as close as I got. haha. I added a little starfish in the corner and some bling (because who doesn't like sparkles).

So come on over and play at Crafty Gals Corner! Our prize is 3 digital images from Nikki Burnette.

Prize : 3 Digital Images

As for me, I'm going to link this up to:
Sentimental Sundays - Funny Sentiment
Corrosive Challenges - Every Little Thing She Does is Magic

Thanks for popping by!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Amazing Butterflies - STAMPlorations Sketch Challenge

Spring is in the air! Do you know how I know that? Because it hasn't stopped raining for three solid days. For me, that's nothing to complain about. There is absolutely nothing better that curling up in an easy chair with the steady sounds of drip, drip, dripping rivulets while I sip a warm mug of vanilla coffee. 

It's also given me an amazing excuse to hole up in my craft room and focus on using some new products that I haven't gotten to try out.

Today marks the first day of the new STAMPlorations sketch challenge and I pulled out some brand spankin' new Bo Bunny papers and started tearing. Because that's what you do with new things, right? :)

To go along with my torn papers, I used the STAMPlorations Mixed Media Grunge set to create an easy, distressed looking background. 

After stamping, I sponged the edges with Vintage Photo Distress Ink to create a vignette and added my torn papers. I stamped and fussy cut some some butterflies from the Trendy Butterflies set. 

After adding some twine, and a metal brad from Bo Bunny, I also stamped a sentiment from the Hashtag Authentic set. And voila! Finished! Easy peasy, rice and cheesy.

We've got some pretty cool prizes to give away at STAMPlorations so you should totally go check it out!

I'm going to link up to the following challenges:
Pile it On - Not Cute
Allsorts - No Squares Allowed
Creative Corner Challenges - Spring is in the Air
Time Out Challenges - Grunge with optional twist of embossing
Mixed Media Card Challenges - Things with Wings (Foil optional) plus a design team call 

Thanks for popping by!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

May Flowers - Crafty Gals Challenge

Spring has finally hit North Dakota in the form of torrential rainstorms. Woohoo! Unlike most people, I prefer a good drizzly, overcast day to a bright, sun-filled one. It makes me less guilty about wanting to hole up in my craft room, getting my fingers all inky. 

Over at Crafty Gals Corner, we're celebrating spring, too! May Flowers is our current challenge and I decided to go a little vintagey with my design. 

I used some digital paper from Graciellie Designs Floral Frame paper pack and a digital image from QKR Stamped called Girl Reading.

I just colored in bits of her dress by watercoloring with gelatos do give that old photo feel. I wasn't really sure what sentiment to put on the card and have playing around with hand-lettering lately so I wrote my own sentiment to match. 

So if you're thinking about getting all floral-y this week, let me give you a little nudge for why you should duck over to Crafty Gals Corner and link up. 

We've got >>3<< Sponsors this week!

Our sponsors this week are:

My Besties

Prize: 3 of the Digital Images the DT used

Prize: 3 Digital Images

Prize: Floral Frame Digital Paper Pack

So lots of prizes to be won!

I'm also going to link my card up to the following challenges:
Party Time Tuesdays - Anything Goes 
Creative Inspirations - Shabby Chic


On a more personal note: If you guys would join me in welcoming my little sister, Allie Kreft, to the bloggy world, I'd be forever grateful! She just started a blog called Crafting Crazy (because she is) and made her very first blog post today. I know it would mean the world to her to get a kind comment or two. :)  

Thanks for popping by!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

A Little Geometric Funk

I just got out of my craft room and I am feeling:

That, my friends, is not any normal happy! That is a
 multi-colored raised up happy surrounded by sparkles! 
And that's exactly what kind of mood I'm in.

I'm finally winding down from a month-long whirlwind of busy-ness. Wonderful busy-ness, but I have barely had time to play in any extra-curricular challenges.

So getting back into my craft room today, I couldn't wait to bust a few moves. While trolling for challenges, I came across this graphic, bright inspiration board from the Winnie & Walter Gossip Column challenge. 


Ummmm... psychedelic much? It reminds me of all prints back in the 90s with oversized sweaters when I thought I was so cool with my side ponytail and fashion-loving barbie dolls. 

I have the Winnie & Walter Scenery: Stripes set and used it to create a wickedly graphic and angled background using Picked Raspberry, Salty Ocean, and Mustard Seed along with some straight up black. 

I layered a wide stripe and then added accents from the four stripes stamp. That one sort of reminds me of the picks people used to put in their hair, too!

I created the top panel with the Winnie & Walter Essentials Cutaways: Katherine dies and used the In a Word: Happy die and stamped it with the stripes again in multiple colors. The birthday stamp is from STAMPlorations Blossom Overture.

This card is not my usual style, but I think it's totally rad and I had a ton of fun experimenting! So thanks for the challenge W&W!

I'm also going to link this up to:
Happy Little Stampers - Die Cuts/Punches
Seize the Birthday - ATG Birthday w/optional negative image topping

Thanks for popping on by! 

Friday, May 8, 2015

Featured Friday - Betty Keefe!!

It's the second Friday of the month and that means it's that magical time of the month when I get to share one of my favorite bloggers with you in a segment I like to call "Featured Friday".

So please join me in welcoming this month's guest:

Betty Keefe of Created By BJK!!!

Betty hails from Nebraska, but her daughter lives in Fargo and so I actually got the pleasure to meet her when she came for a visit earlier this year. Not only does Betty have the kind of kindness and humor that I hope to have when I grow up, she's a wizard with die cuts and clean lines. 

Hey... just because I can't do clean lines, doesn't mean I don't admire them!

Like me, Betty just started blogging last year but her cards have made a huge splash and are some of my favorites on the web. Just look at some of these stunners:


But why let me blather on about how amazing Betty is, when she has so many more interesting things she could say about herself. Here's 7 things you should know about Betty:

1. Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging in January 2014 so that I could enter challenges more easily and become a little more active in the card making/stamping world – before I had my blog I just had a Flickr photostream.

2. What inspires your designs?

A lot of my inspiration comes from roaming around on Pinterest and I follow many blogs through Bloglovin’. Sometimes it’s just a color combination, a technique or a layout that will catch my fancy and I’ll go from there.

3. If you could have a lifetime supply of one stamping product, what would it be?

This is so difficult but at the present, it would dies – there are so many wonderful techniques for using them. Dies give dimension, texture and a completeness to cards which for my style works very well.

4. How do you keep you card-making mojo going?

I don’t seem to have much trouble in that department – every morning I check out other blogs and Pinterest (I get up very early and am retired so have the time) – always manage to see something that trips my trigger. I also sell my cards in a gift shop and to many friends – rarely make the same card twice.

5. What are your favorite card challenges?

I am pretty bad about entering challenges – I follow quite a few but then never seem to get around to entering them. The challenge also has to have something I like to create – if I have to use an animal forget it!! Rarely enter sketch challenges as they are usually more layered and detailed than I like. In the fall, I start entering Merry Monday and few other Christmas challenges. I favor challenges that use clean and simple like The Card Concept and Addicted to CAS.

6. Do you do any other types of crafts?

In my past I have done macramé, counted cross-stitch, jewelry, woodcrafts – I sew, knit and crochet (not very well in any of those) – and used to scour garage and estate sales for neat stuff to upcycle into something useful. Have been stamping and making cards since about 1998 – but in 2008 had some foot surgery and had to sit around a lot – watched Jennifer Mcguire videos on using inks and it’s been cards just about exclusively since then.

7. What is your best piece of advice to new bloggers?

I consider myself a new blogger so this is another difficult question. I guess it would be "do what pleases you”.


Pinterest and Bloglovin' - that's where you can find both Betty and I when we're not huddled in our craft rooms!

For my Featured Friday posts, I always choose a card to CASE. After scrolling through Betty's Pinterest feed, I landed on this one. 

The Original

This card has it all!  Polka dots, a splash of color, and the dies Betty loves so much. It's bright, it's clean, and it's fun!

Betty and I both took another crack at her card and CASED it. 

Betty's CASE

Gorgeousness! Isn't it? Betty knows how to knock out elegant, stunning creations. 


I stuck with the bright, fun burst of flowers and added some sparkles to the center. I just changed a few minor things here and there, but the spirit of Betty's card is definitely smack dab in your face. 

I used the Simon Says Stamp "Thinking of You" stamp set. 

Speaking of Simon Says Stamp, I'm going to hook this card up with the SSS Wednesday Challenge - Sentimental and Shopping Our Stash - Big, Bold and Beautiful, and 613 Avenue Create - ATG/with feminine option. 

Thanks for popping by and would you pretty please pop by Betty's blog and give her some extra special bloggy love today? 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Mother's Day Card and A Sketch Challenge - Crafty Gals Corner

With Mother's Day fast approaching, I realized that if I wanted to once again be my mom's favorite child this year, I had better get working on a card!

I am a member of a family of four children and though my siblings may strongly disagree, my mom loves me best of all. Just kidding. That title goes to my brother. *Cough* I mean... my mom loves all of us equally. *Cough*

It wouldn't be Mother's Day without showing a crazy picture first, though.

So this card is for my crazy, zany cooky mother... who loves me and whom I am growing to be more and more like as I get older... Yes. I admit it.

 I started with the latest sketch challenge from Crafty Gals Corner

I made some gorgeous flowers from the Stamping Boutique - an image called Poppies. I colored them with Spectrum Noir Markers (DR2, DR4, DR5, DR7).

Then, due to my penchant for coloring outside the lines, I realized my green stems were filled in with red. GRRR!!! What was I to do but to bust out the Perfect Pearls and paint in some shimmer. Problem solved!

I added some sparkly bits to the dots and drawn shimmer stars along the edges as well. And then I paired it with some pearls and some striped paper.

So now my mom will know that she's the best mom, and I will once again be in her good graces.

So head on over to Crafty Gals Corner and play along with our sketch this week! We've got some cool prizes for those of you who do. 

Our sponsors this week are:

Prize: $12 Gift Certificate 

Prize: $10 Gift Certificate

Prize: 2 Digital Images / 3 Digital Images if you use a TSB image

That's right! >>>3 sponsors<<<!!!

Anywho, I'm off now to go gloat over the fact that I'm actually going to manage to send out a card on time. Thanks for popping by!