Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Hello Bluebird | June 2019 Release

Hello Friends!

Welcome to my front porch where we talk about card design and the things that make our hearts sing!  Can you believe we are celebrating the 4th of July this week?  Summer is here with color, parades, and exhilarating shouts of joy!   Flower boxes overflow with fillers and spillers in every color of the rainbow.   And in the heat of the day there is nothing finer than spending time in our craft rooms with a class of sweet tea and a box of colored pencils, markers, watercolor, and paper.

Hello Bluebird Stamps just wrapped up their June 2019 Release and I thought it would be fun to recap the sample cards I created.   Storybook illustrations won my heart years ago when I lived overseas and began a beautiful collection of classic books for our children.   Today I am so fortunate to design for Hello Bluebird Stamps whose illustrations are so reminiscent of those childhood stories.

This June the release featured six stamps sets with companion dies, Oliver Alpha die, a new scene builder, and another Gallery Frame with tags, and a large word die.  Wow! that's a release chock-a-block filled with crafty goodness!   So, let's take a look at the sample cards I've created starting with my newest card for the month of July.
Strawberry Jam and Companion dies plus our new Gallery Frame #4

Strawberry Jam and Companion Dies
This layered CAS card features the little mouse from Strawberry Jam and the Strawberry vines in a picnic setting of red gingham and gold leafed trim.  All elements were watercolored with liquid and distress inks with a no-line look to them.   Jam and tea, and time spent with YOU!

More Jungle Littles and Companion Dies
Tropical time with our newest More Jungle Littles.  These little babies will help you create so many different occasion cards.  From whimsical fun birthday cards to sweet new baby cards.  These little characters have you covered!

Field Mice and Companion Dies
If you love creating scenes, the Hello Bluebird Stamps collections can also help you create charming CAS (Clean and Simple) designs.   I used a little mouse from the Field Mice stamp set along with the dandelion and balloon to create a simple scene of joy!   Just change up your sentiment and create multiple cards in a jiffy!    I sponged a rainbow background with distress oxide inks and a confetti of colorful splatters.   I adhered the little mouse with adhesive dimensional tape, placed a balloon in his hands, and directed the butterfly looking down to show connection with the mouse.  The dandelion projects movement as the seeds scatter in the wind. 

Storybook Friends, Companion Dies, and Gallery Frame #4
One of my personal favorites from the release is the Storybook Friends stamp set with available companion dies, and the new Gallery Frame #4 Stand Alone die.   The story begins as Peter's mother leads us down the road of friendship.   Oh I have plans for this sweet set!

Seaside Girls and Ocean Scene Stand Alone Die 
Tidal pools with a whole host of little creatures that nip at toes, and let us hear the sound of the ocean waves weave a story of summer's bounty.   Laughing gulls swoop high and low and chase the water's edge.   The stamps in Seaside Girls will remind you of all the summer vacations you took as a child.

Strawberry Jam and Companion dies plus our new Gallery Frame #4 
Bread and jam, toast and tea, and time spent with friends!  One of the sweetest stamps sets ever with all the adorable little stamps that make scene building so much fun.  There are so many ways and different mediums to feature these wonderful stamp sets.    We loved seeing all our friends and reading your comments on the Hello Bluebird Blog this past release.  I hope you'll continue to visit there and of course, right here on my front porch!

Have a wonderful 4th of July and I'll see you soon!
Monday, June 24, 2019

Hello Bluebird June Release Preview Day 2 - Seaside Girls

Welcome Bluebird friends!   It's Preview Day 2 of the June 2019 Release featuring, Seaside Girls

Spikes of coastal grass poking out of sea glass and gravel, give way under the crunching tires of the car - then spring to life again.   Unrestrained shouts of summer laughter fill the air.  Car doors fly open as children scatter like sandpipers along the waters edge, and gulls cry out a welcome.   The summer place sits as it always has, weathered and slightly salted, ready for a fresh coat of exhilarated joy!   Rustic window boxes filled to the brim with a kaleidoscope of wild and unruly color.  Aged lace curtains ripple gently in the breeze in need of a stitch or two.   And the sweet smell of summer's bounty fills the air as the door swings wide.  A summer place, safe and warm, rain or storm.    A place a family shares.    All their hopes.    All their dreams.    All their love.

Laughing gulls, sun-kissed cheeks, ocean breezes, and sand between your toes.  What treasures do you think this little darling will find as she wades through warm aqua rippled tidal pools?   A periwinkle, starfish, clam, or maybe a mischievous little crab!

What ideas might you have for this adorable set from the newest Hello Bluebird stamp collection?   Instead of a card, I created a project that I could frame and give as a gift. 

I began by placing a piece of Neenah 110 lb Solar White card stock in my stamp positioner and stamping all my images with a hybrid black ink that is Copic friendly.   I colored them with Copic markers and some Polychromous pencil for additional depth.  I die-cut them with the available companion die and set them aside for later.

My layout includes the use of a new stand alone die called, Ocean Scene.  This die creates a frame, an inside scene of waves and clouds that can be kept together in a static display or taken apart and used individually.   Because I decided to frame this piece I wanted the outside frame a little larger.  Something I could fit the Ocean Scene into.   I chose several wave pieces, plus the clouds.   I colored two of the wave pieces in a sand motif by using an easy technique called, Pointillism.   I positioned both the sand colored pieces on my background panel to create a tidal pool area colored in a light blue-green.  The third wave is colored in a deeper blue-green to give perspective to the tidal pool.  I used white gouache to show the light that bounces in and around tiny bubbles in the water, mixes together to look white, and appears to be breaking waves washing on the sand along tidal pool edge. 

Next, I masked the bottom area, then sponged some clouds in the background with Ranger Distress Ink (adding a little yellow that would be behind the little bathing beauty's head).   With the background complete, I stamped my sentiment from the Seaside Girls stamp set using a nice black dye ink.   Tip:  When using dye ink, please remember to either heat set or allow your piece to air dry completely before moving on.   Once dry I added the die-cut clouds to the upper part of the panel.

   The scene is now ready to set inside the frame and add the die-cut colored images.  I added some shells and greenery for embellishment and balanced the design by adding the gull in the bottom right corner.

I hoped I've inspired you to step outside the box today with my summer project.   A gift from heart and hand to another.  A gift that says, I made this for YOU!

Don't forget to visit the Hello Bluebird Blog for a chance to win a $50 dollar gift certificate.   Just leave a comment on Preview Day 1,  2, and 3    The winner will be announced on Preview Day 4, June 26th, before the release goes live at 7pm MST

I'll be back tomorrow with Preview Day 3 of the newest Hello Bluebird release.  Until then, thank you for your visit and have a wonderful day!
Sunday, June 23, 2019

Hello Bluebird June Release Preview Day 1 Strawberry Jam

Hello Bluebird friends, and welcome to my front porch and day one of the June 2019 release previews.   For the next four days I'll be featuring some of the cutest storybook stamp sets ever!

The Hello Bluebird Summer Release features six stamp sets, companion dies, and stand alone dies.

Todays card sample features the new, Strawberry Jam stamp set.  The set has a companion die set which is a wonderful asset when creating little scenes like this one.   Tip:  The smaller stamps also make lovely embossed or watercolored backgrounds, or compliment a singular larger stamp for a striking CAS card.  Once colored and die cut move your elements around and try a layout that fits your style!

How do you begin when creating a card?   I began by stamping and coloring all the stamps on Neenah 110 lb Solar White card stock and coloring the pieces with Copic markers and some Polychromous colored pencils for additional depth.   With the companion die set, I cut out all the colored pieces and set them aside.   Then I began working on the layout by using the new Gallery Frame #4 which provides a nice pinked edge frame as-well-as a small plain inside frame that you can use for later if you wish.  It also includes some sweet tags - what a bonus!

The big surprise for this set is the additional stand alone die, Strawberry Jam Part B, which cuts a shaped outline of the strawberry vines.   After die-cutting I sponged around the edges with Ranger Distress ink in Scattered Straw and set it aside to dry. 

On a second piece of card stock I started working on the background picnic scene.   I used Ranger Distress ink to sponge some clouds in a pale pink, and green to ground the characters.   Then I began arranging the colored characters and additional pieces I had die-cut earlier.   Happy with the placement, I adhered the pieces with both Tonic glue and dimensional tape.    I then adhered the panel that was die-cut with the Strawberry Jam Part B die with some soft fun foam over my picnic scene.

Time to adhere the pinked edge frame which includes my stamped sentiment from the Strawberry Jam set.   Additional lift is achieved with dimensional tape on the back of the frame and carefully placed on top of the Strawberry Jam cut-out panel.   I now have my background scene with characters, the Strawberry Jam cut-out on top of that, and the frame as my border.   To finish this card I placed both left and right strawberry vines on the frame using the Strawberry Jam Part B cut out as my guide.  I used Tonic glue where the leaves touched the frame, and dimensional dots under the berries where needed.   Some Sour Apple Tonic Nuvo drops are all I need to bring this project to a close.

I'd like to invite you to hop over to the Hello Bluebird Blog for a chance to win a $50 dollar gift certificate.   Just leave a comment on their blog on Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3   Winners will be announced prior to the release on Wednesday, June 26th

Thank you so much for visiting today.   I'll see you tomorrow with another sample card from this adorable release!

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Hello Bluebird | Memorial Banner

Hello friends!  I have a card to share with you today that I created for Memorial Day this past Monday.  We are a military family.  Service to country runs deep on both sides.  From WWII through the war in the Middle East our family members have served proudly.   While crafting this card I thought about the fields of crosses in Verdun, France that seemed to go on forever, and the graves of Arlington, Virginia where friends and colleagues lay.   I don't think there is a family in our country that doesn't have a story of service in their family.  So today I honor them.  Those who put the comforts of home and love of family aside to protect the freedoms we hold so dear.

A Memorial Banner of Red, White, and Blue

This new card uses a number of different Hello Bluebird sets.  I began by scoring the foundation panel of Neenah Solar White card stock (80lb) on the diagonal.  This is nice way to provide interest to a CAS design.   For the base of the floral spray I used the very popular, Vertical Banner die from the Banner Buddies release.  Flowers and leaves were both stamped and die cut using the following sets:  Flower Garden and Wildflower Bouquet and the Wildflower Bouquet companion die,   The large leaves were die cut using Gallery Frame #2 and the stars were die cut from Gallery Frame #1   I trimmed the foundation panel with a gold leaf pen, and both panel and the floral banner were adhered to the card base with fun foam.

I hope you've been inspired by my card and words today.   It is a small offering from heart and hand.    The stamp and die sets I've shared today can be found on the Hello Bluebird web site and are waiting for you!

On Monday I posted these words from Thomas Pain:

"These are the times that try men's souls."    Written during the darkest hours of our nations struggle for liberty.    A struggle that brought Gen. George Washington humbly to his knees in prayer.   Surely a country had never paid such a high cost for freedom as this...   Our founding fathers knew the cost.   The struggle against tyranny and oppression will always cause suffering and pain - this we know. 
But the desire for freedom is greater.


Saturday, May 18, 2019

Penny Black | Full Bloom

Hello Penny Black friends!

I have been a busy gal lately but never to busy to sit for a while on the front porch and talk with friends!   I have several cards to share with you today from the newest Penny Black release, Full Bloom.   So, let's get a glass of sweet tea and take a look!

I am besotted with the mini transparent sets.  I teasingly refer to them as only 100 calories so you can indulge to your hearts content - no additional weight gain with these adorable sets.   Some of the mini transparent sets have companion cut out dies available so don't miss out on those - such a big help!

When my children were young I read children's poetry to them (as well as classic stories).  One of their favorites to this day is: The Jumblies by Edward Lear.   I loved the mini set, Friendship #30-566 because it reminded me of the Edward Lear poem.  

This is a mini set that has a companion die to match - yay!   I sponged some clouds with Ranger Distress Inks and used my Copics to create some sea green waves by just swiping across a panel of 80 lb Neenah Solar White card stock the same dimensions as my focal panel.   Then I took my trusty scissors and snipped 5 sets of waves.  The wonderful thing about these mini sets -- sentiments are included!  I call that, "value added!"  The sentiment is stamped on the first wave and adhered with a little adhesive being careful to leave room to slip in the main focal image.   All images were colored with Copic marker.   The companion die set, Friendship Cut Out #51-540  includes the sunshine die.

How cute are these guys?!  A boat full of friends indeed!

My second card is just as sweet.  Another mini transparent set called, Beautiful Day  #30-576  This little fairy can be used to create so many card themes, Birthday, Mother's Day, Hello friend.   She comes with a sentiment too!  Enjoy your Special Day  How perfect is that sentiment?! 

For my card, I decided to use the sentiment from one of my favorite sets, Forever and Always #30-401   Do you like the look of the new, trendy slimline card style?   I think they're perfect for scene building and lengthier sentiments.  Today I masked off a section of watercolor card stock with blue painters tape and dropped in some blues and lavender watercolor for the background.   My little fairy is colored with Copic marker, hand trimmed, and popped up with dimensional adhesive tape.  The focal panel is 3 x 8 which gives a nice quarter inch space once it's placed on the 3.5 x 8.5 card base.

Hey, what’s the buzz?! It’s this darling mini transparent set from the @pennyblackstamps Full Bloom Release called, A Secret - item 30-568 I’ve paired this sweet missy with Hearts Galore, item 51-492; Elegant Stitching, item 51-440 and a nice little sentiment from Nature’s Wishes, item 30-109.   This sweet missy is darling and a dream to color!

My next cards are more classic and feminine in style.  I can't go to long before the need to watercolor calls my name.  And, Tombow Dual Brush Markers and Ranger Distress Inks are a prefect match with Penny Black stamp sets.   Another beautiful mini set, Bunches for You #30-570, brings back the romance of love letters filled with pressed flowers and lavender *sigh* 

I stamped the image with Ranger Distress Ink (Antique Linen) and watercolored with my Tombow Dual Brush Markers.  Before hand trimming and edging with a gold leaf pen, I stamped with my favorite background stamp, Script #40-470 over the envelope to add some vintage interest.   The image is ready to adhere to a dark navy blue panel of card stock, which was die-cut with the lovely Elegant Stitching nested frames #51-440  The focal panel was then raised on a lavender card base.  The sentiment, So Very Much #30-269, is embossed in white.  Sliver thread and small iridescent lavender jewels finish the card.

My next and last card for this post uses a beautiful Slapstick set, Youthful #40-684, Script #40-470, Eloquence #30-162, and Whisper #80-008

Whimsical, Elegant and Classic - Penny Black Stamps has it all in the Full Bloom release.   I hope you've seen something that speaks to your creative heart!

Thank you so much for visiting and I'll you soon
Saturday, April 27, 2019

Hello Bluebird | Fly a Kite with Susie

“It’s delightful when your imaginations come true, isn’t it?”
― L.M. Montgomery, Ann of Green Gables

Hello Bluebird friends!    I’m on the Hello Bluebird Blog to share a card I’ve created with one of the newest Hello Bluebird April 2019 release sets, Fly a Kite.  It is delightful when one can imagine the childlike characters of the forest flying a kite together isn’t it?   Recently, I’ve been talking to my blog friends about mediums and styles.  Today I am sharing my love of building scenes and adding patterned paper to create a happy, and whimsical scene.   Let's take a walk together to the Hello Bluebird Blog and talk patterned papers and the different design style it can bring to your card.

The magical world of make believe and the characters that live in it.  The Hello Bluebird April 2019 Release provides the beauty of the imageable!
Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Queen & Company | Shaped Shaker Card Kits

Hello friends!  Welcome to my front porch today as we talk about creating shaker cards.

I will be the first to say that I have always believed myself to be shaker card challenged (she laughs).  No longer my friends.  Why?  The wonderful shaker card kits from Queen & Company!

Queen & Co Specialty kits are all inclusive kits which often include dies, shaker foam accents, toppings, bling, twine, stamps and stickers.   It's very easy to create 10 cards with just one kit. 

I was amazed at how easy it was to create a sweet window shaker card using the kit I was sent.  And as the statement above states, everything I needed to create the card was included.   How sweet is this little window scene?!  A perfect window setting for a craft room (she smiles).

The Window Shaker Kit includes the following:
(4) Steel Dies (9) Self-Adhesive Foam Shaker Shapes (9) Matching Acetate Covers (1) 3x4 Clear Stamp Set

Patterned Papers and embellishments galore!  I used the Bling Flowers in PinkJelly Gems Topping Set, and the 6x6 Dots Paper Pad

Card kits are a wonderful tool for the busy crafter.  And with so many kits available you're sure to find one that suits your crafty needs.

I'll see you back on the front porch in a couple of days with another Queen & Company Window Shaker card

Thank you stopping by for a visit

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