Friday, September 21, 2012


So glad you stopped in today! 

 I have a special guest surprise to share with you today.

I like maps and I’m enjoying seeing stamped images of maps becoming popular this season.  Maps are also popping up in other art forms.  Last month I saw Valerie Goodwin’s website  of quilt designs showcasing community highlights with local maps of real places.  I loved that concept perhaps because I live in a town with high tourism.  As my mind started spinning on how to blend the inspiration into a card design I asked my friend Anne Gaal to join me in making another map inspired card.  I am so pleased to share both of our cards with you today.  
 As I started to create my concept I focused on one of my favorite local features. Creamer's Field was a fully operational dairy from 1928-1966 and now it is a 1800 acres Migratory Waterfowl Refuge on the northern side of town.  It’s location is ideal for migrant and resident songbirds traveling to the arctic, subarctic, and temperate regions of northwestern North America.  During our beautiful summer days I often stop by the Refuge 3-4 times a week and walk the trails with my dog. The annual appearance of Canadian geese and sandhill cranes announce the changes in the seasons in Fairbanks.  
Let me share the card I created:
The map became the background of my card. Starting with a simpler map I hand-colored many details. I enjoy that the river runs through the center town and creates many parallel curving streets. The refuge is at the very top of the card and it is uncanny to me that the main road across the top is shaped very much like the actual hills to the far north of the refuge.  I used an embossing folder to create the wildflowers where the goose is standing. Inked it DTP and added some sparkling ink accents to the flowers.  I do enjoy using this large goose stamp and colored with my Tombow markers.  I attached the goose with pop dots and added an additional 3-D effect by dry embossing the edges so they would roll towards the card which is capture with the light on the goose's back in this photo. 
Now I am honored to share a sneak look at Anne's map inspired card:
WOW, Anne's details and colors are fabulous! Here is a close-up.
If you want to hear about her secret in creating the fabulous background details you will want to jump over to her blog
 I thank Anne for all the fun times in preparing this post!  I believe her sentiment is the perfect closure to this happy creating til our paths cross again!...Jan

Friday, September 14, 2012

Creating home decorations

Fiskateers recently sponsored a challenge and asked participants to create some home decorations. In this challenge a pillar candle was to be decorated using die cuts or their paper punches.  Here is what I created:
Next a piece of framed art was to be created.
and I also made a couple small framed magnets:
Thanks for stopping and taking a look!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Notes from the garden

Fall is my favorite season of the year and it has definitely arrived in northern Alaska.  My card celebrates the harvest season.   Many gardeners keep notes on the status and success of their garden so improvements can be made in future years. My friends are familiar with the process and I am sure will enjoy reading some notes from me as a reminder the season.

Making backgrounds for cards.  This year I decided I wanted to mist some leaves to make stamping backgrounds.  I pressed carrots tops as well as several other leaves overnight so they would lay flat against my papers. While I used my flower press placing the foliage between paper towels in a telephone book with some heavy books on top will also work fine. I cut the paper to card size, layed the foliage as desired (often face down helping all the leaflets to be flat against the paper so the spray will not seep underneath. I sprayed them with various colors of homemade mists with Ranger’s Perfect Pearls and Distress reinkers. 

Here are several backgrounds that I prepared. In the top row (L to R) the 2nd and 4th backgrounds are made with the carrot tops. I used a carrot top background for the background on the Notes from the Garden Background.   I also included flowers I dried on the card.  I use a microwave press for flowers so the water is remove faster and I feel this gives me better results. 

Next to the flowers I dried, I stamped a beautiful vintage ink bottle.  Oh I love such pretties!

Excerpts from my Garden Notes:
8/31/12  Today hundred’s of Canadian Geese flew overhead in V formations heading south for the winter season.

9/8/12 The weather reports are predicting temperatures tonight about 34 degrees and tomorrow night in the high 20’s.  All the tomatoes, carrots, zucchini and cucumbers are now harvested…with the exception of some small carrots.
The final harvest results include:
·        1 jellyroll pan full of cherry tomatoes
·        the largest carrots of any harvest!
·        large green tomatoes
·        6 zucchini
·        And some selected leaves to make background papers for my card making.

Challenges I am also going to play in with this card:
  • Simon Says Stamp is celebrating their 10thyear anniversary with STAMPtember. This event is filled with inspiration, guests and prizes. Details can be found on their blog. I am entering this card into their weekly challenge with this week theme “READ all about it” challenge. This challenge has some awesome prizes.  If you have some time checkout their STAMPtember blog hops-Fabulous inspiration!
  • 2 Peas, Stamping Forum challenges: Tide us over challenge
  •  Big Picture: May Flaum's challenge #5 -Believe in Happy Crafting
Thanks for stopping in!
Til next time Happy inking!...Jan

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Ribbon Weaving with Closed Curved Punch

Falling Leaves

I recently purchased a Fiskers Interchanage Closed Curved Punch.   I made the card to show a punch effect as well as one filled with ribbon.

The Fiskars new Interchangeable Punch Series has a frame base that is purchased and then several choices of punch design (puchased seperately) that can be dropped into the base. The punch flaps fold for storage creating a small stackable rectangular box for all each punch design.  A nifty way to be be a little earth friendly as well as storage friendly.

I now have spent several hours experimenting with my curved punch and determined repeatable ways to achieve results what I may want to use. Here is a sampling of the materials and my experiment results: 
1.   ½ inch seam binding no edging-this lightweight ribbon has no body and made it difficult to use. After many attempts I could not get ribbon in the bottom section to equally fluff .
2.   3/8 inch seam binding with edge worked much easier than #1
3.   3/8 inch satin ribbon also works well.
4.   ¼ inch weavers of designer paper leave a small opening showing the card base. I found 3/8 inch to be too wide to weave.
      5.     1/4 inch plus a smidgeon for paper weavers works best for me
Instructions for using the Fiskars Interchangeable Closed Curve Punch
to create punched ribbon embellishments for cards 4.25 x 5.5 inches
1.   Cut a cardstock weaving base 4.75 inches long x 3/4 inches wide.  I like 3/8 width ribbon best.  When using decorative paper to I found ¼ inches plus a smidgeon works best for me. 
2.      Insert ribbon base into closed curve punch from left to 1st grid line, past last punch. Punch.
3.   Move punched cardstock to the right matching to the end of template printed on the base of punch. Punch again. 
4.   You are now ready to weave ribbon. Begin at small semi-circle end.  Leave a small tail to turn over to back if you so wish. Weave the ribbon (or paper) down the hole under 2 bars, up and over 2, repeat under and over until the end. The ribbon/paper will be on the top side when finished and will stay firmly in place; cut as desired. 

Experimenting is always fun...thanks for letting me share it with you.
Happy crafting!