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Gesso is a girl’s best friend

Just a short note, as I have been down with a cold and need to catch up with posting. I have really been loving using gesso to “push back” busy papers. This has worked out great for my wish to reuse some of the holiday cards we received this year. The gesso pulls together the different card styles. I think I could do more to pull it together, but this is a great start. The photo for the upper left circle window can be pulled up to see the whole picture.

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The gesso came in a sampler set from Faber-Castelle. I think I’ll need to get a whole tub of it when I run out!

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A you’re Adorable

A you’re Adorable/
B you’re so Beautiful/
C you’re a Cutie full of Charm!

The “A is for” challenge at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge blog, initially made me think of the word “alethiometer”, but that’s a project that I’m planning for the Tim Holtz January tag, and I don’t like to mix challenges. I’m just mentioning this as a tease, in case my husband is reading. He’ll be quite interested in an alethiometer project.

So my second “A is for” thought was of a John Lithgow kid’s rendition of “A you’re Adorable”, and who is my little charming cutie these days? My little boy, of course! I just had holiday pictures printed out, so it’s high time to make a 6×6 scrapbook spread for my son’s baby book.

My other little idea was that I wanted to use some of this season’s received holiday cards in the background. I tried to tie it all together and push the bold cards into the background with some gesso and a little Perfect Pearls for shimmer.

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Ingredients: Reused holiday cards, gesso, Perfect Pearls, Distress marker, Sizzix Christmas tree die, Distress Stickles, Martha Stewart letter stamps, Micron pen

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Learning: This was my first experiment with gesso, and I really like the translucent coverage. I’m not the most experienced with scrapbooking, but I think this went better than some of the previous ones I have done. I think doing a two page spread was a good idea, giving me 12×6 to work with, so I will definitely try that again. 6×6 is pretty tiny, but it’s for a baby book and I want little hands to be able to hold it in a few years. Also, I need to work on my photo setup for large scrapbook pages and spreads!

Loving: I’m happy with how the photos look fussy cut. I really enjoyed giving some of the holiday cards a second life. I think the gesso really pulled everything together, and made a great surface for writing on. And of course, being sentimental, I really love seeing my baby’s great pictures! He is the most adorable in my eyes!

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Winter is coming to a sketch near you

I’m always inspired by a sketch challenge, and so I appreciated the unique sketch from My Favorite Things this week.

20131209-232247.jpgThis is for an international geeky gamer card swap.  The dire wolf on the card is a heraldic symbol from A Game of Thrones, which is one of the intended recipient’s favorite books!

Ingredients:  David Tutera A7 card, Martha Steward border punch, Inkadinkado snowflake and sentiment stamps, Sizzix sizzlets snowflakes, Glossy Accents

Learning:  I’m planning to embellish a number of the cards I will send this week with little geeky 1-inch symbols, tailored to the recipient’s interests.  I was hoping to cover these symbols with convenient 1-inch epoxy dots that I had in my stash.  Unfortunately, the epoxy dots had aged and hardened, so I tried using glossy accents instead.  It was kind of hard to get the kind of smooth coverage I wanted, but I think with practice, I’ll be able to get this technique to work out.

I’m also frustrated that I don’t really have a ton of Christmas sentiments, so I didn’t have one that was Christmas-specific that would fit into the banner.  But I can’t expect to have a perfect stamp-stash overnight!  I just dived into this holiday card-making experiment a month ago, after all!

Loving:  I just love a sketch challenge, and I had a lot of fun deciding what would work for the sketch elements from my stash.  I’m also pleased with the overall look of the geeky “badge” idea, and I’m optimistic about getting the other 8 or so to work out.

But I’ve got to get busy, these cards need to go out this week!!!

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Counting down to the holiday

We’ve turned the corner into December and suddenly the Enterprise is on “red alert”! Christmas cards, advent calendar presents and, just a little father down the road, the presents for the actual holiday – everything is coming due in just a few weeks! Where did the time go?

I’m trying to remind myself that there are still 24 (now almost 23) days left to enjoy crafting and holiday activities and the giddy bustle of trying to get it all done in time. So the next card, for the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge: “Christmas Countdown”, I have tried to focus on the “25”. But in each of these efforts, you can see the numbers of the month, counting inexorably away.

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Ingredients: Recollections Lost & Found Christmas paper, Seasonal Kraft Resist paper, Recollections trims, Studio G red glitter glue, Distress Marker, Seasonal Chit Chat stickers

Room for Improvement: The countdown numbers could have used more panache. I hand wrote them because I don’t have a stamp for that kind of thing yet. I’m also not convinced I have yet found the best use for the Kraft Resist Seasonal paper, it’s awfully dark. Also, I discovered that glitter glue isn’t a good adhesive for yarn/string embellishments, it just gets absorbed too much and doesn’t provide adhesion.

Loved it: I did like the overall color of the Kraft paper with the colors of the background paper. I also liked how the glitter glue looked over red lettering, it really popped and looked professional!