Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Fluttering By

Hi blog friends!  A quickie card here which is always nice if you need an all occasion type card.  This one is workable in any colour combinations to so you can use up left over papers like I have done here.  I used one of the edgeabilibity dies to create a border between my two decorative papers.  I used a small piece of the striped paper behind the butterfly.  I used the outside edge of the die to cut a faux nestie shape for this so you would see the stripes through the lacy look of the butterfly.  On a whim, I decided to use a pair of decorative pins for the butterfly antennae.  It's a large butterfly die so size wise it kind of works okay (it was a bit of fun!).  I stamped the sentiment directly on the background papers and added some swirls of rhinestones for fill in accents.  All for now, Sue x

Monday, 30 January 2012

Beauty In The World

Good morning everyone!  Ribbon overload here.  I have had this ribbon in my stash for ages and I have been trying to use it for a while now.  Not sure that it works here, but at least I got it out of my system! LOL  Sometimes you just have to give in to it before you can move on, huh?  I used the elegant posts in the corners for accents but I cut the top of them so they would create a nice corner.  The background was created using black card embossed with the Intrinsic embossing folder.  An aperture was cut from decorative paper using the Fleur de Lis rectangle die templates.  The sentiment was stamped and cut out with Labels four and mounted in the centre.  I made a flower using the same decorative paper and a spiral flower from felt.  I added a black organza rose (from Creative Expressions)  to create a trio of flowers of different colours and textures.  I love different mixtures like this, it just seems to make everything more interesting!  I added some leafs that I punched and ran them through a paper crimper for texture.  No surprise to see paper piercing though, huh?  I do have to admit that when I do a card and don't pierce around the edge, it doesn't seem finished to me.  It is kind of like a signature to me, like dotting the "i's" and crossing the "t's" so to speak!  Oh, and just in case any of you were going through any TWS (teal withdrawal symptoms), this one is for you (Lynne M) he he!  All for now, Sue x

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Ethel And Friends!

Good morning blog friends!  Be prepared for a good giggle at today's post.  I have loaded four cards for you to see today, mostly because they are all very similar and a bit of fun.  The sentiments are the best!  I shouldn't laugh at them as they are hitting really close to home these days!  My 55th is looming only a few months away now and I will officially get my senior citizens discount here in Florida, (maybe even in the UK, I'll have to check on that!) but if you can't laugh at yourself.... then everyone else will do it for you, huh! LOL  These characters are part of our Murray and Ethel line of rubber stamps.  This first card is Ethel herself!  Don't you just love that mug (and those hairy legs, really Ethel!)  I feel her pain where that sentiment is concerned, though!  The ladies in the last three cards haven't been officially named yet.  Maybe you could help me out there and give me some ideas.  What do they look like? 

 I made all of these cards last year when I was here and since my supplies were a bit limited, I paper pieced all their outfits with the matching background papers rather than trying to colour them with the six coloured pencils and handful of distress inks I had at the time.  They are really good fun if your recipient has a good sense of humour.  I didn't get any cards made with Murray, but he is a gem too.  I won't go into any detail on the cards as they are all fairly similar in style.  If you have any questions about them, feel free to email me.  I hope you have a good chuckle at them and they start your day off right!  All for now, Sue x

Saturday, 28 January 2012

I Had This Idea

Hi guys,  I should have titled yesterday's post "the love/hate card" as I thoroughly enjoyed reading all the different reactions to it!  It really polarised the comments you left, but that is what makes crafting fun for me.   I don't even like every card I make so I certainly don't expect you to either.  As long as you kind (remember thin skin here), please be honest and let me know what you think as I love to read every ones opinions!  Today's post was truly an exercise in patience!  Whenever I say "I have this idea", I should listen to myself and think about this card!  I had this idea and I just had to do it, but about half way through, I thought "what am I doing!"  I was too far committed at that point not to finish.  It is probably difficult to see this in the picture but with some explanation, I think you will follow.  I stamped the leaves on white card so that all of them were just barely touching each other in some way.  I embossed them with clear powder (black archival ink was used) and I inked them using mustard seed, fired brick and rusty hinge distress inks.  Then, and this is where the fun started (not!), using an exacto craft knife, I cut away all the background white area.  The leaves have this kind of wood block look to them so I thought cutting around them and leaving it a bit jagged would add to this look and give a very rustic look to the left over piece.  After about an hour of cutting because there were way more tiny spaces than I realised, I finished.  What a task!  I mounted that piece using double foam pieces so it really looks like it is floating above the background piece of white card.  I cut a double black frame for it and pierced the top piece.  I matted all of it on a final piece of black card and stamped a sentiment in white on a die from the Samantha Walker Twisted metal tag set.  I cut another tag in white and cut it in half to use as a reverse shadow for the black tag.  After I got the whole card assembled and taped together, I thought it might have looked nice to stamp the leaves again in the background in a pale colour just to add interest (but I wasn't taking that puppy apart after all that!) LOL  So, it is what it is!  Another different looking card for me! 

I have been very bad lately in keeping up with the comment game, but I am getting it caught up now!
Jan17th post: randomly selected number 5 which is Inkypinkycraft!!!
Jan18th post: randomly selected number 33 which is Desiree!!!
Jan19th post: randomly selected number 50 which is Nattyboots (Elaine H)!!!
Jan 20th post: randomly selected number 125 which is Tracy Heaton!!! 
Jan. 21st post: randomly selected number 10 which is Heather!!!
Jan. 22nd post: randomly selected number 58 which is Sue Parish!!!
Jan. 23rd post: randomly selected number 21 which is Jacqui's little piece of England!!!
Jan. 24th post: randomly selected number 42 which is Nzillingworth (Nadine)!!!
Jan. 25th post: randomly selected number 73 which is Elaine W!!!
Jan. 26th post: randomly selected number 56 which is Crafty Jo!!!
Jan.27th post: randomly selected number 23 which is jean.phillips1!!!
I need all the winners to email me at americansue1@gmail.com to verify their addresses
and claim their prizes please.
All for now, Sue x

Friday, 27 January 2012

Naughty or Nice?

Hi there guys!  Are you naughty or nice?  I told you I was going to be pushing the edge of my comfort zone with the posts for the next few weeks, didn't I?  You probably would not have thought that I made this card as it certainly isn't my usual style is it?  Every once in a while, I like to have a play with something that just doesn't look like me at all. Keeps you on your toes, doesn't it?!   The stamps I have used here are from a brand new stamp set that we are releasing at Stitches in February called Vintage Lingerie.  I love them!  I stamped the corset in a maroon archival ink as well as the sentiment.  You can just barely see the Ooh La La stamped across the corset, which was done in Tattered rose distress ink.  I tore around the corset and inked the edges with Antique Linen distress ink.  There is a background piece that I have done using the faux leather technique that I show on my DVD.  I used a piece of hessian (burlap for my American friends) but I pulled out about half of the pieces going in both directions (isn't that called the warp and weft )   ( thank you Anne RD) to make it look more open.  I used a couple of strips of the Tim Holtz tissue tape down the edge of the card and inked them a bit with Tea Dye Distress ink.  The sentiment was distressed around the edges and has been stuck into the card using a Tim Holtz memo pin holder.  Finally to complete the card, I made two flowers from my trusty Florida Thrift store purchased Dictionary and then matted the entire piece on black card that I really distressed with my scissors.  It was a fun play day I had with this one!  Hope you like it.  All for now, Sue x

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Lace It Up

 Hi to all this morning!  This card should have been added to the post from January 1st which listed my favourite cards from 2011, however, I hadn't posted it in 2011 so technically I didn't feel it should be included then.  It is one of my favs though as I love the way it came out.  Anytime I can lace ribbon on a card, I take it as I think it is just so stunning to see.  This is one of my favourite papers (Graphic 45) to use too and even though the vintage ribbon doesn't match it exactly, I like the way it adds some extra colour to the card without making it feel too busy.  I cut both sides of the paper with the edgeability die insert and scalloped cutting edge.  The insert has nice wide open holes to lace your ribbon through.  I found it easier to do if I attached my card with foam mounting pieces to my black back layer and then lace the ribbon through the holes.  I started on one side and tucked the ends around the back of the card and secured them and then laced one colour  through every other hole til I reached the other side.  The other colour went through the remaining open holes and I tied the loose ends into a bow at the end.  I added a black organza rose and two decorative stick pins to it.  I stamped my sentiment on some teal card and lightly inked it with forest moss distress ink.  I cut a frame from labels eleven for it and mounted the sentiment in the corner with mounting foam.  I added a black rhinestone swirl around it for drama and interest.  A few black glints in the top corner and some paper piercing around the edges completed the card.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did making it!  All for now, Sue x

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Rusty Ironworks

Hi guys, I hope everyone is doing well.  I am enjoying my time here with my Mom and thank you for all your lovely warm wishes.  I have really been enjoying all the comments you have been leaving on the blog too!  Before I forget, on yesterday's ribbon tutorial, I noticed that I had incorrectly  listed the size of the redline tape as 1/4".  I edited it later in the day to read 1/2" size, but in case you read the blog in the morning, I thought I should let you know I corrected my error! 

  Today's card is a tad bit grungey and a tad bit frilly too.  Almost masculine, but not quite.  I'm not sure about it, but it did the job of showing the dies and the grand impressibilities, swirls, inks and glues that were on the show at the time I made it.  I am always limited to a list of products that I can use for any given set of samples that I am making.  Sometimes that is a blessing because it helps make decisions, but sometimes I feel like I am crafting with one hand tied behind my back.  The latter was the case with this one!  One of my goals this year with the blog was to try to post all different types of samples even if they weren't necessarily my favourites.  In fact, in the next week or two I have probably the widest variety of cards planned that I have ever put on my blog! 
 Enough waffling, on to a rundown of this card for you!  The background (below) was done using the Butterfly Garden Impressibility and rust coordinations card.  I embossed it in the Grand Calibur then sanded it to highlight the impressibility design.  The focal element is simply two of the Ironworks Motifs cut and offset to give a medallion effect.  I stamped my sentiment on cream card and cut it out with one of the ironworks accent pieces.  The border is three of the Ironwork pieces cut and interlocked and matted on to rust and black card.  I added a black rhinestone swirl and some black PVA glue dots to frame the entire piece.  Easy peasy card, would look really nice in my much beloved teal I think too!

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

My Ribbon Flower Tutorial

Good morning crafty friends!  Finally, I found some extra time to put together my promised ribbon flower tutorial!  There were a few issues with it such as getting the first picture to load the right direction.  I finally gave up on that one so you will have to turn your head to the right to view it! LOL  Also, apologies for having to look at my much loved and well used craft mat.  I did have every intention on getting a new one for the tutorial. I have never done one of these on my blog, but I will try to walk you through each picture and explain what I am doing.  If you have any questions, feel free to email me for further clarification.                                                                                                                1.  Begin with a length of ribbon that is about 18" long and no wider than 1/2". You may use wider ribbons for this, but cut them down the centre and attach the tape to the cut edge.   I am using basque red vintage ribbon for the tutorial.  Lay it out on your craft sheet and attach 1/2" wide redline tape to the lower edge.  The tape needs to be just catching the bottom edge of your ribbon firmly (probably 1/16" of the ribbon)

 2. Peel off the red liner exposing the sticky tape.  Fold the first bit of the ribbon down so that the cut edge is attached to the sticky tape.  This will help prevent any fraying from coming out of the centre of your finished rose.
 3. Begin by rolling the tape tightly by pushing it with your finger.  You will only do this until the folded piece becomes enclosed in the centre and the top of the ribbon becomes even.  If you want a very tight rose, you can roll a bit more here before going on to the next step.
4.  Once you have the centre of the rose, peel up the entire piece of ribbon and tape off your craft mat.  You will start to give your flower more fullness now.  This is accomplished by rolling the ribbon but gathering the tape slightly as you go.  This will cause the ribbon to become wider at the top slightly. 

 5.  Continue to roll and pleat the tape portion.  This is a very slight pinching as you roll, but you will see the ribbon take shape.  Try to keep the top of the ribbon at the same height as you go.  You will probably have to bring the tape up slightly around the base as you go.
6. Continue pinching the tape in at the bottom as you roll.  I am right handed so I use my thumb nail on my right hand to tuck a bit of the tape inward and then hold it from behind with my left hand as I pull my thumbnail away from the sticky tape.

7.  Here is a view from the top of your flower as it progresses.  You will be able to see the small pleats as you look down into the flower.  I like a bit of unevenness to the pleats as it gives the flower a shabby chic sort of look.

8.  As you reach the end of your ribbon, fold the end down onto the tape as you did in the beginning.  This will give your flower a nice finish without an unfinished edge showing or fraying.  Wrap this piece to the bottom of the flower and firmly press the end into the tape at the bottom.

9.  Sometimes, there is an excess of tape on the underside of your flower.  This can be easily cut away with a sharp pair of scissors.  This will also give your flower a flat spot to sit nicely on your card or project.  I always attach my flowers using large glue dots.  The bottom of the flower will already be somewhat sticky from the redline tape, but you will find it isn't enough to attach the flower firmly since you have been handling the tape as you roll your flower.  Cosmic Shimmer dries clear glue also works well to attach these flowers to your projects.

10.  A close up of your finished flower!  You can make them more or less full depending on how much pleating and gathering you do with the tape.  Also, if you get the the end of your tape and decide you want a larger flower, just cut another piece and continue adding it on in the same manner until you get the desired size for your flower.  You can use virtually any type or size of ribbon to make these too.  They look lovely in organza, cotton hemp, American seam binding , lace or metallic crocheted ribbon.  You will be able to see all kinds of ribbons used on my cards made into this type of flower using the same method as in my tutorial.   I hope you have enjoyed it!  All for now, Sue x

Monday, 23 January 2012

Tied Together Again

Hi guys!  I had forgotten that I had this card as it was made for some shows last August that I did.  It was going to be one of the demos then we had to pull the embossing folder from the show at the last minute as the shipment did not show up in time!  This is still one of my favourite embossing folders to use.  It is called Tied Together.  It is quite lovely to use with the Cosmic Shimmer PVA glues as I have done here.  A little drop of it at each of the junctions really sets off the background, don't you think?  This is a really quick card to put together if you make some of these backgrounds up ahead of time so the glue is good and dry.  I stamped my sentiment and cut it out with one of the fancy tag die templates.  I cut a second one out of a slightly darker card, then cut it in half and used it as a shadow for my sentiment tag.  I added a big bow out of the frilly edged ribbon, matted and layered and added some black PVA glue dots to the last mat layer.  Just to add a final bit of interest to the background, I added some black rhinestone swirls.  I included a close up for you since they are difficult to see. 

I see that we have hit our goal for the big blog candy drawing.  Yeah!!   It will have to be put on hold until I return to England, but anyone that joins  as a follower until then will be included in the drawing so not to worry!  I have changed it to read 2300 followers on the blog, but if we hit that goal too before I return, we will just draw for both of the candy prizes then!  All for now, Sue

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Believe, Imagine, Achieve

Hi blog friends!  A very simple card that probably doesn't need much explanation, but I will give you a quick rundown.  I used the heart squares and cut two to use as a background and mounted them top and bottom and slightly overlapping.  I liked the double diamond shape it gives you this way.  I layered up Labels fourteen on top, first with a larger one that I slightly inked the edges of and then a smaller one that I had stamped my sentiment on and inked also.  I used some Graphic 45 paper for the background behind my nesties and used an edgeability insert as a thin border between the different papers I used.  I used some red frilly edged ribbon across the card and a bow underneath my spiral flower.  I cut the flower out of the same paper as the background for balance.  The leaves were cut from the other background paper.  I added some black rhinestone swirls to the left and I used three of the small hearts that were the cut out pieces from my dies and put them in the upper right corner of my card to complete it.  Change the sentiment and I think this card would work for many occasions, don't you?  All for now, Sue x

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Just Because

Good morning to all!  This is another one of those really quick cards that I made to showcase the dies from the last show and wasn't anything particularly special, but I rather liked it when I finished.  I love this paper and I have to confess that I have purchased another pack of it as it just ticks all my boxes!  I don't usually go for metallics, but it is subtle enough in these prints that I can still have my ginormous bows and still feel like it is just barely on this side of OTT (in other words, it works for me!)  I will tease you just a tiny bit and let you know that I have some new ribbons that will be on my next set of shows in February that look lovely with these papers, can't wait for you to see them!  I did use one of them on a sample I posted last year and several of you spotted it and emailed me about it then.  Won't be long now!  Back to the card for today, I did a background of three strips of this lovely paper and matted them with a soft gold and then a piece of black card.  I cut a Fleur de lis rectangle out of black card for the focal element.  I stamped my sentiment and then cut it out with the holly motifs.  I cut a second holly motif and I nipped off the holly pieces from both of them and offset  mounted them with foam over my rectangle.  I tied a big double bow and added a black organza rose to the centre.  Paper piercing on the edge to complete the card, as usual.   Super simple but a nice quick card if you need one.  Hope you like it!  All for now, Sue x

Friday, 20 January 2012

A Friend For All Seasons

Good morning all!  Another card from past POTW shows in either November or December, a while ago anyways.  How quickly it passes, huh?  I was playing with some different colour combinations when I thought how lovely the purple and brown were together.  I don't recall using those two together for quite some time so I thought, why not?! 
I used the Lattice Rectangle die templates as a background for the Samantha Walker Twisted metal tag dies.  I found that if you play around with those, they interlock into each other and form a very pretty frame for your sentiments.  We had some beautiful colours of the vintage ribbons on those shows so I took that opportunity to make several of my rolled roses for the corner.  I will put up a tutorial on those very soon, I promise.  The foliage die set is what I used to frame the corners of my sentiment and give my flowers some pretty coloured leaves. I inked them while still in the die to bring depth to them.   I added a crisscross of vintage ribbon behind everything and then my usual paper piercing around the card for an elegant finish.  There are a couple of close up pics of the flowers and the sentiment below for your inspection.  Hope you like it!  All for now, Sue x

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Dreams Take Flight

Good morning everyone!  Today's post is of a card that I did last summer, but it is a nice bright cheery card and if the weather in the UK is anything like it was today in Florida, this will be a welcome surprise!  It rained all day yesterday so the good news is that I got a bunch of cards made!  There is nothing like sequestering myself in the crafty area I have set up at my Mom's house and being creative! The bad news is that it is still several weeks before I can post any of them and I really want to show them to you!  I hope this one will do for today though!  I started with a large circle cut out of copy paper to use as a stencil for my sun.  I inked through it with a combination of mustard seed and rusty hinge around the edges.  I heat set it with my heat tool so I could do a bit of stamping around it.  Then I used my anti-static bag over the entire piece to make sure it wasn't going to pick up my embossing powder.  I stamped the sentiment with a black archival ink pad  just off the corner of the sun and clear embossed it.  Then I stamped two sets of swirls above and below my sun, one to the lower left and one set to the upper right side and clear embossed those also.  I cut three sizes of the nested butterfly dies out of some decorative paper (Stella Rose, I believe) and mounted them on my sun.  Using a fine tipped black pen, I drew a line forming a corner opposite my swirls.  Three black glints were added to each area too.  I pierced around the edge of the next mat and layered it all with black to complete the card. I hope it helps you feel cheery and bright today.  All for now, Sue x

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Black And White Wedding

Hi there my crafty friends!  I had forgotten that I have a slew of cards that I made some time ago using Sam Poole's wedding stamp sets.  I had planned on doing a show with them but it never worked out that I could find the time.  This is one of my favourites of the bunch though.  I really like black and white  for a wedding themed card, it just seems so elegant, doesn't it?  I used a few pieces of white lace from my craft stash to create a border for my woven ribbon accent.  I won't go into the instructions for that here but it is on my DVD and there is also a step by step tutorial on the Creative Expressions website, just click on the link below and scroll down the page.http://creativeexpressionsdesigns.wordpress.com/sue-wilsons-ribbon-workshop/  You can see a close up of it below. 
I just added a few of the white organza roses that Creative Expressions carries to the top and bottom of the ribbon accent ( I don't make these type of flowers as they are quite fiddly and so much easier to use when you purchase the premade ones and very inexpensive too).  For the main of the card, I used the CE Lattice embossing folder.  I cut three consecutive sized ovals out of silver, black and white.  On the white one, I had stamped the wedding cake in black archival ink and clear embossed it.  I had a few left over Fancy Pants swirls in my craft stash so I painted them black with the Eco Green paint and added them to the top and bottom of the ovals.  I added a few pearls and some small ribbon roses too.  I stamped my sentiment and cut thee small sizes of the ovals for these and added them to the bottom corner with a few pearls to complete my card.  I hope you enjoy the change to a wedding card for today!  All for now, Sue x

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

A True Friend

Hi guys!  I just love working with Kraft card and out it came again for this card.  I like mixing different textures and putting things together that don't always look like they should go together.  The most fun about cardmaking for me is there really aren't any rules.  If you like it, if it works for you, if it makes you do the happy dance, then go for it! Here I have mixed felt flowers with ribbon flowers and paper flowers.  I mixed different patterns in cardstock  and used both ribbon and jute twine.  All the things I love to play with in fact.  I liked the result (I even did the happy dance) and didn't break any rules either (cuz there aren't any to break, remember!)  For the focal element, I used the Picot edge circles, labels fourteen and the beaded oval die templates. I inked the top two dies using tea dye distress ink while still in the die.   The paper and the felt flowers were created using the Spiral flower die template, while the ribbon flower was rolled using the cotton hemp ribbon.  I used a small border that was cut with an edgeability insert.  The entire piece was framed with black Pva glue dots.  I was really happy with it when I finished it and I hope you'll like it too. You will have to let me know! 

Now for the week's winners! 
For the post dated January 10th, comment number 18 which corresponds to
Vicki Sharkey!!!
For the post dated January 11th, comment number 32 which corresponds to
For the post dated January 14th, comment number 120 which corresponds to
For the post dated January 15th, comment number 26 which corresponds to
Jane P.!!!
For the post dated January 16th, comment number 65 which corresponds to
Helen O!!!
Please don't forget to email me at americansue1@gmail.com to verify your address to collect your prize!
 All for now, Sue x

Monday, 16 January 2012

Beautiful Wishes

Hello everyone!  Like the sentiment says, I wish you all beautiful wishes for a beautiful day!  Such a nice sentiment to send a friend anytime!  This card uses the Grand Labels Twenty three die templates as a base for the card.  I have used the largest three sizes here.  I pierced the middle one for interest.  I used the Intrinsic embossing folder on the smallest Grand die.  I love the swirly background it gives you.  I inked it with Tattered Rose Distress ink and then used the pad to hit the embossed area for some deeper colour.  I cut a cream coloured frame using Labels eleven.  I stamped my sentiment in black and inked it with Tattered Rose, leaving the centre a softer, lighter shade to bring your focus to the sentiment.  I made a flower using the Rose Creation dies.  I cut all the pieces for the flower out of cream card and inked them while still in the die with Tattered Rose distress ink.  I shaped the flower die cuts and stacked and glued them.  I added a pearl to cover the centre hole.  I backed it with a bow of pearls and some tulle cut ragged at the ends.   The close up pic below shows the flower in better detail.  I hope you like it.  All for now, Sue x

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Mint And Grey Valentine

Hi guys, What do you think of a mint green and grey Valentines Day card?  I know it isn't very traditional but I think that Valentines Day should be more about fun and less about tradition, don't you think?  This is another card that I made for Christine Emberson's POTD shows coming up on the 18th (Don't forget to tune in!).  I had this background paper from Kaisercraft that had this beautiful soft mint tone to it and I just wanted to use it.  Of course you probably have to take my word on the colour since the pic doesn't pick it up incredibly well.  I used the largest size of the Heart square die templates with the next size down inside to cut an aperture frame.  I then cut several more of the medium heart square, two in silver and one more in the grey.  I mounted the two silver heart squares diagonally, top and bottom of the large heart frame using the two grey dies as a shadow, just peeking out from underneath the silver squares.  I stamped my sentiment and embossed it in silver to match.  Using bundled sage and tumbled glass distress inks, I inked the background to the sentiment so it picked up the colour in the background paper.  This is where my photo really fails (and I did try several times) to catch the subtle shade matching.  In real life, it is very pretty.  I added some clear rhinestone swirls for interest  and I pulled out a corner punch I hadn't used in ages for the corners.  There is some paper piercing and a tiny, itty, bitty bow (I contained myself, yes I did!)  What can I say, it's different!  All for now, Sue x

Saturday, 14 January 2012

For You

 Good morning crafty friends!  If you have been having any difficulties leaving comments recently, I think I have figured it out!  I have had to change the way the comments come up so it will look a bit different, but I think I have solved the problem, fingers crossed.  I hadn't added the "reply" button that has been showing up after the last few posts and I think it was causing some of the problems, so it had to be removed.  If you are still experiencing any issues, please email me and let me know.
What I really like about today's post is that it is a a card for any occasion, any person, and can be done in any colour combo you like.  This is a card that you can put together quickly if you need something on the spur of the moment too.  We like those kinds of cards with our busy schedules, don't we?  Working from the focal point,  I cut the largest size of the Heart Squares in black card.  Next,  I used the Spellbinders Heart Circle die templates  and I cut the largest heart circle with the next size down inside of it to cut an aperture out of it.  I  mounted the large circle upwards with mounting foam, while securing the smaller heart circle directly in the centre where it was cut from, but without any mounting foam behind it.  You can see the dimension levels to the card in the close up photo below.  The background for the card was created using half of the Lotus border die (If you have read the blog earlier, please note that I have corrected the name of the border.  I am forever getting those two mixed up.  It is not the In Spades border!) on each side of the square.  This border is unique in that it cuts half completely through and the other side of it cuts out sections of the die but leaves the entire piece attached to the card.  It allows you to do things that other dies cannot do and because of that it is very versatile.  I just wanted a little bit of an edge to frame my focal point so using half the die cut was perfect, just enough to draw the eye in I felt. If you don't own that die, try just embossing the background with an embossing folder as that will add nice interest also.   The card was completed with my favourite paper piercing edge and a few mats and layers of cream and black.  The really nice thing about this sort of card design is that it uses all the sizes of the heart circle dies so you really are getting value for your money.  No sense in not using them if you have them, right? 
I have decided to post the comment game winners weekly while I am away.  I will site the post date and then the random number and corresponding comment that has won and list them all together.  I hope you don't mind, it is just easier for me to keep track of that way.
All for now, Sue x

Friday, 13 January 2012

At Play With Vellum

Hi there crafty friends!  Today's card was a bit of an experiment and the judgement is still out on this one for me.  In my minds eye, I thought it would be a really pretty combination of the pastel pink and burgundy with the vellum overlay on the sentiment and the butterfly.  It wasn't one of my favourite cards but I didn't think it deserved orphan status either.  It has grown on me a bit though.  I used the Washed Away embossing folder to create both pale pink background pieces.  Both were matted with ivory card then burgundy.  I added a bow from the burgundy frilly edged ribbon with a decorative pin for an accent.  I stamped my sentiment on ivory card and cut it out with the lacy oval dies.  I cut one more in burgundy and one in vellum also.  The burgundy die was mounted slightly offset to look like a shadow and the vellum was mounted over the sentiment to give it a softer look.  I hid the adhesive with tiny pearls around the edge.  I cut the large butterfly out of burgundy card and also vellum and mounted them together with some pale pink pearls for the body.  Maybe it just needs some piercing!  What do you think?  All for now, Sue x

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Anemone Dies

 Good morning all!  I can spell "anemone" but don't ask me to say it.  I don't know what it is about that word, but it never wants to come out right!  At least the dies are lovely, I can say that.  Another really quick and easy card.  Just lay all your anemone dies on your base plate, cover them with white card and cut them.  Now you have the background for this card with the negative leftover piece.  I stamped my sentiment in the most open leftover area and clear embossed it.  Next, I matted a piece of decorative paper behind my cut out flowers.  With the actual flowers that I cut out, I removed the inner part of the petal leaving the thinner flower shaped piece.  I glued them in place over the flowers, but offset them between the cut out petals.  I added some black decorative buttons from my craft stash to the centres of each flower.  I decided to mat it with a piece of eggplant coloured card (aubergine, sorry).  I had just finished two all black and white cards so I just wanted a pop of colour (any colour would work here too).  I finished the card with a bit more matting and layering, but not a ribbon or bow in sight.  Aren't you proud of me? LOL  Don't worry, I'm sure I will make up for it later on by subjecting you to some sort of ribbon/bow frenzy when you least expect it (expect it!)  All for now, Sue x

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Hearts And Swirls

A very good morning to everyone!  I am hoping that Blogger plays nice today and allows my post to show up as scheduled.  As this post is scheduled to go up, I will be on my way to the airport, heading back to the States to spend some time with my Mom first, then on to California for CHA and some time with my daughter after that!  I'll be back home in about four weeks time, but I promise not to let you down on the blog.  On occasion, there may be a slight blip like I had earlier this month (the post went up but minus the picture!)  Not sure how that happened, but I will make sure that I have posts scheduled for every day.  Today's post is a card I did using some of the dies that Christine Emberson will have on her POTD shows coming up later this month on the 18th and 19th.  Be sure to check her blog http://hope-chances.blogspot.com/ for the exact times.  The focal element was created using the Heart Squares and Labels 13 to cut an aperture.  I cut a Fleur de lis rectangle in brown card as a backdrop and added a few of the heart pieces that were cut out of the edge of the heart squares for tint. I added a bit of Cosmic Shimmer Aurora sparkle glitter to it for some bling.   The swirl added a bit of dramatic flair to the card (plus it allowed me to show off the background paper that I really liked).  I pierced around the edges (again) and then tied a big bow using some pink organza ribbon (again, from my craft stash) and added a fun antique looking button and some pins to complete the card.   I was rather pleased with how it turned out even if it was a bit (okay, who am I kidding, a lot!) OTT.   I was in the mood for a ribbon/bow frenzy.  Remember, you were warned!    A winner in the comment game from yesterday's post is number 72 which corresponds to the comment left by Lockedinmycraftroom!!!!  Don't forget to email me to claim your prize!  All for now, Sue x 

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Negative Ironworks

Good morning blog friends!  For my money, I think that the Ironwork dies by Spellbinders have one of the prettiest negative pieces left from cutting the die.  I just marvel at the look of this die every time I cut it out.  So it goes without saying that I have used it on more than one occasion in this way.  However, if you need a quick card that is guaranteed to wow the recipient, I think this is the die to use.  I am hoping that the card looks cream to you (but if it doesn't, just imagine it in cream, okay?)  Once I cut the Ironwork Motif out of the centre of my cream card, I left it in place and lightly inked around it with Antique Linen distress ink to highlight the negative piece.  I cut two of the ironwork corners and actually used them in the corners, adding a black rhinestone to cover the hole in the centre. I stamped my sentiment in black on one of the smaller Ironwork accent pieces and added some foam mounting to the back to raise it in the centre of the card.  Next,  I wrapped a length of the black crocheted ribbon around the back and secured the ends, then tied a nice big bow with another piece of it and added it to the front.  Just a little cheater tip, if you do this as two separate pieces then add them together with a glue dot, it is so much easier than getting your bow to stay the way you want it when you have wrapped it around the card then tied the bow with the ends.  I hope that makes sense?  I added a cream button with some Bakers Twine (you can't have naked bows or naked buttons, now can you? LOL)  I mounted a piece of black glitter card behind my cut out ironwork area, which of course you will have to imagine also since my photography skills are, well, let's just say, nonexistent to be polite.  The entire piece was matted on to another piece of cream card that I pierced the edge with my Tim Holtz design piercing ruler.  What a great tool!  The card was finally matted on to black card and a couple of decorative pearl pins were added to complete the card.  Sooooo easy and it looks great in any colour background you like. 
And now for the winner of yesterday's comment game, I have randomly picked number 32 and that was the comment left by Toni!!!!  Don't forget you must email me to claim your prize at americansue1@gmail.com   All for now, Sue x

Monday, 9 January 2012

Thanks Bernadette!

 Hi guys! First of all I would like to say a public thank you to Bernadette as she came forward to remind me that it was she that sent me the card with the feathers on it some time ago (you may recall me going on about it in a post last month).  I bought this paper while visiting my folks some time ago and every time I looked at it, it reminded me of Paris and the Moulin Rouge.  Finally, I picked it up to make a card and I think you would have to agree with me that it is very Ooh La La!  Come on, you really want to say that with a french accent, don't you? LOL  I really like this card, but I think it is because my daughter took me to Paris for the weekend on my birthday last year and it reminds me of the wonderful time we had together.  We left our hotel at 7am and didn't get back til midnight just walking the city the first day we were there (my feet still hurt thinking about it!)  I digress, back to the card.  The edges are done with the edgeability dies using two inserts together then a cutting edge die.  I mounted white card behind them to show through the insert cut outs and mounted both pieces on foam to raise them up along the edges.  The focal piece was done using two of the Holly motif dies, but I have nipped off the holly pieces to make it more generic, then mounted them together but offset to create a scalloped design.  I stamped my sentiment on one of the smaller of the large label dies and mounted it in the centre.  Using some decorative paper, I cut a spiral blossom flower and added it to the bottom corner of my focal element.  The only thing left for my Parisian flavoured card were some black rhinestones swirls, some piercing on the edge and a couple of black feathers (thanks again Bernadette for the idea) and to quote the French (again this week), voila!
Yet another winner in the comment game from yesterday's post!  Random number of 38 was drawn this time and that corresponds to the comment left by Carole Z!!!  Give me an email to claim your prize at americansue1@gmail.com

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Carte Postale

Hi crafty friends!  I am trying to mix it up a bit this month for you.  This card was done using Sam Poole's Carte Postale stamp set.  I just love this set as they let you get really messy and have a bit of fun with them.  If you like them, Sam has them in her online shop too.  The background was stamped on Kraft card with a black archival pad using the various stamps in the set.  Then I crumpled the card and brought out the lines by taking the Tea Dye Distress ink pad (direct to paper method) lightly over the top of the card.   I used my scissors to distress the edge of the card even more then added some ink to those edges.  The smaller background piece was achieved by using the  heated pearl technique.  If you have never tried this, it is quite fun and a bit messy.  There is a section on it on my DVD, but to give you a quick rundown, you need to apply a layer of dries clear glue to black (I use glossy) card.  Next step is to cover the glue with a layer of mica pearl powder all over it.  Use an old brush to tamp the mica in to the glue a bit, then heat it until it bubbles.  It is best to do that from underneath so as not to blow away your mica.  It always comes out different each time but it is a great background for a multitude of things (especially guy cards!).  I stamped the postcard on ivory card and cut it out, distressed the edges with my scissors and inked it lightly with Antique Linen to age it even more.  I used a Tim Holtz memo pin to hold one of his tickets and added a few of his sprockets and gears for another bit of interest.  I mounted the entire piece askew on to dark brown card, distressed the edges a bit more, added a few more worker stamps to the edges (those little stamps on the sets that aren't really large enough for a focal element, but are great for this sort of thing)  and voila, finis!  I love doing this kind of card as well as "my usual" and if you like it, I will show you some more scattered through this month's posts. 
Another winner today!  From yesterday's post (Jan. 7th), I have randomly selected number 10 which was the comment left by Crafty Mop!!!   Congratulations!!   Email me to claim your prize americansue1@gmail.com    All for now, Sue x

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Bird Flourishes

Hi crafty friends, I hope everyone is doing well this morning.  This is probably not what you expected to see, I bet.  I'm trying to mix it up a bit this month for you.  I still have a bit of a backlog of cards from last year and this was a card that I made last summer for the POTW shows then.  It uses the bird flourish die set.  I found these to be quite fun to play with as they were very different from the usual type of dies that I use.  This card was quite fun as I used the butterfly circle die and cut it out of copy paper.  I then used that as a template to stencil through to make the background.  I used Dusty Concord distress ink the ink the butterflies that are cut out of the circle.  Once I was happy with them, I used the negative piece of copy paper and lined it up so the butterflies were centred and inked the circle with Broken China distress ink.  I then cut my bird flourish using black glitter card and I did not emboss it (that is important here ) I then cut another bird flourish, but this time I put the black glitter card over the die facing the opposite direction.  This gave me two bird flourishes both cut out of black glitter card, but facing each other.  By not embossing it, you get the same look to both of them.  I added a few swirls that were stamped in clear perfect medium and embossed with Cosmic Shimmer aurora sparkle embossing powder.  This just added a bit of bling to the top and bottom to help draw the eye in a bit.  I stamped the sentiment in black archival ink and paper pierced around the edge to finish the card.  Pretty fun, huh? 
You are keeping me on my toes with the comment game as we have yet another winner.  I have randomly selected number 89 which corresponds to Craftylicious!!!!  Don't forget to email me at americansue1@gmail.com  to claim your prize.   All for now, Sue x

Friday, 6 January 2012

Life's Moments

Hi blog friends, we have two more winners in the comment game again.  For the post made on Jan. 4th, I have randomly selected number 37 and that was the comment left by Maggie!!  For yesterday's post, Jan.5th, I have randomly selected number 56 and that corresponds to Linda Adams!!!  Okay guys, you know the drill, email me to claim your prize!
  For today's post, how about this for a really quick, simple card when you don't have too much time to fuss about.  I have let the decorative papers do all the work really.  I added a piece of my favourite lace from my craft stash and a flower cut from the spiral blossoms two die  to frilly it up a bit since the paper was so dark.  I also found this ribbon in my stash and thought it matched quite well.  Notice, there isn't actually a bow, just a know below the flower.  You say, what no bow! Well that is because I didn't think it needed it and that was all the ribbon I had!  Sometimes we just have to make do, don't we? LOL  I love the sentiment though and just thought the postage stamp dies worked well with these papers.  I didn't pierce the edge but I did double mat it to give it a bit of character.  Finally, I added three black glints to the corner for interest.  These, by the way, are recycled glass pieces from Eco-Green Products and they are really nice for use in those areas that just need a little something, you know what I mean!  I hope this one appeals to some of you out there in blog land!  All for now, Sue x