http://thecutestblogontheblock.com/facelift/SpringDelightBanner-1.png

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Don't Open, Dead Inside

Hey all!
Summer is dragging along at a slow, hot pace and all of a sudden you see that July is half over.
I don't know about you guys, but I am not a fan of the heat. Maybe it's cuz I don't live anywhere near a beach. Maybe it's cuz I'm a bit fluffier so I retain a lot of heat. Maybe it's because our winters are so brutal up here that it's a real culture shock to go super cold to super hot in only a few months.
It doesn't help that I prefer spring and fall and we get about a week of each of those seasons -and never all at once lol.
What have I been doing in all this heat? Keeping busy INSIDE my friends. Inside where the shade and AC and ice water and Coke live :D Making stuff at my desk and watching old episodes of Supernatural cuz that's just how I roll.
When I'm at a loss for inspiration and unsure really what to research on Pinterest I can always count on my loyal customers and friends to push me outside of my creative box.
One of this friends has a love and passion for all things Hallowe'en and spooky. I created a card for her last year that was a nice almost panoramic card that had a graveyard theme and colored in greyscale.
I really wish I kept a photo. I'll have to re-do that some time.
So this year she wanted another spooky type of card and I really wanted to try a zombie themed idea. I have the Beary Birthday Stamp set by My Favorite Things and I figured it would be really cool to try to zombie-fy them.
I had no idea how to do this.
 Obviously we can't color them soft beary colors, so I used green and yellow with a bit of a grey shading. I also used a Copic sketch pen and drew wounds, little stitches and 'bite' marks. I didn't want to take away the cuteness of the teddies and I am very unskilled at creating something grotesque, so I kept it simple and used deep reds on the wounds.
My Gorgeous Grunge stamp set from Stampin' Up! was perfect for creating a bloody, splattery background. Keeping with the apocalyptic color scheme I sponged crumb cake along the edges and colored the details (like the balloons and cake) with greys and browns.
The fun part was figuring out what to do with all my colored pieces. I knew I wanted to cut the bears into panels instead of die cutting the images out. I knew the entire pieces wouldn't fit properly on a card so I layered them on cardstock and thought it would be really neat to make the card a gatefold card. Once I came to that conclusion, the light came on that I HAD to pay homage to The Walking Dead. So I downloaded a free Walking Dead font and made the infamous "Don't Open, Dead Inside" sign. I used twine and 'hung' the sign with what I hoped look like a plank of wood. You know. A plank you would hastily hammer across to keep the zombies inside so you can escape? BWAHAHAHA.
Anyways, carrying on to the inside of the card, I wanted to keep the present peeking bear whole, so I knew he'd be peeking from the inside of the card. I colored the gift with greys and muted earth tones with my copics and created tears with the sketch pen. I found the birthday saying on Pinterest and thought it was the perfect fit for this not-so-cute-cute-birthday card.
The customer loved it :) It's something I never would have thought about doing if I wasn't pushed out of my comfort zone.
With Halloween coming in a few short months (I know I know) hopefully this inspired some of you for new types of Spooktacular cards of your own this year.
Thanks for stopping by.

~Brandie~

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Dragon Power

Hello again!
I hope summer is treating you all well. The older I get I realize that the days are long but the years are oh-so-short. We're already half way (almost) done July. And I have already got my plans going for the 2018 Christmas Tradeshow season. So I've been cooling down at my desk with stamps of snowflakes, skating, elves and more. Though it's hard to be inspired when it's so hot and all you can think about is cool drinks and BBQing. So I may sneak some bright fun colorful cards into my Christmas prep.
I got these cuties last Christmas as a gift from my hubby. I would say he knows me so well- but lets face it, I give him a list and he gets a few things from said list ;) These guys are Hot Stuff from a company called Clearly Besotted. I ADORE their images. They are clearly adorable and perfect for birthday or baby.


 I paired the dragons with the Brick Wall embossing folder from Stampin' Up! and then inked it in Smokey Slate to make it look like brick from a castle. The castle in the back is from Happily Ever After from the Greeting Farm. The banners are also from Stampin' Up!
To create dimension on the card, I used a label framelit and cut a window in the brick and then adhered it with dimensionals over the background image.

I used Ranger's ink dabbers to create the scene in the background. That's been a new technique of mine and I guarantee you'll be seeing more of this in the future. It's really simple :)

I love the story book feel of the card in doing the sponged background, then adhering the pieces on with stampin' dimensionals.

Then, as always, I brought the outside of the card in to tie the entire theme together, using an old Stampin' Up! birthday sentiment set to finish the card off.

Stay tuned for more story book cards in the future! Thanks for stopping by.

~Brandie~


Tuesday, June 26, 2018

School's Out!

Hey guys. Sorry for the radio silence. Working at not one but two tradeshows via my local Farmer's Market made me realize a few things. I realized I need to work in the dead times to have some misc. stock on hand. Birthday cards and babies and the like. That way I am not trying to hussle last minute. Especially when I get custom order requests and when there are special occasions around the same said market and I get inspired last minute. Then I'll be more prepared than not at all.

Not only was I prepping for a couple of spring markets and taking on more shifts at the library, all while taking on custom orders and getting ready for the end of school, but my biggest baby took a huge step this spring. My little girl graduated high school!!!
No I did not cry, and yes it is very surreal. I think it'll hit me more when she's not longer actually in class. But she's staying home with us for a while and is my eldest. I think it'll be harder and harder the more kids that pass through this milestone and they start actually leaving the next.
But for now- she's all graduated and things resume as normal :)

Still. A very, VERY hectic couple of months.
But despite all that I still was able to get some very cute end of the year teacher's gifts done up.
And voila!


I call these Teacher's Survival Kits. The acetate boxes come from Stampin' Up. You could use them for sets of cards as they are A2, but I wanted to think more out of the box (inside the box?) and see what else I could do with them.
They are perfect for small gifts. Mine are filled with a 3x3 sticky note pad, herbal tea and chocolates. Some of them have other things like binder clips that I decorated and paper clips. So a little of this and that.
The tags were quick and easy and a lot of fun to put together. I did them as shakers as, lets face it, I am a bit obsessed with shaker cards right now.
The images are courtesy of the Greeting Farm minis. Absolutely LOVE those sets and collected all the remix ones featured here. They make cute little teachers don't they? And then the phrases are courtesy of Great Teacher and Teacher's Apple stamp sets by Papertrey Ink.
Using the same materials and idea, I expanded them to do a twist on some teacher's appreciation cards. Thinking outside of the box I used My Favorite Things Blueprint die and left the largest panel empty so it appeared to be a classroom door.
The other card is more simple but I love it all the same. The pop of Real Red on the Teacher Die and coordinating stamp in the center of the sentiment are just perfect. Then the shaker insides are a mix of red and green sequins and some gold stars from a Recollection shaker pack from Michaels.
Now with summer on the go and the next show not until Christmas, I will have more time to create new things and play around with new ideas. So stay tuned!!
~Brandie~





Friday, April 6, 2018

Boycotting Winter

Ya. You read that right.
I am officially boycotting winter.
There is a Fowl Language Comic that depicts winter in 2 panels. The first one states that winter before Christmas is a magical time full of wonder. The 2nd panel states that after Christmas it's pretty much just a miserable cold and grey time.
And we are in our .... seventh? bout of it.
We had a hope in February of an early spring when thaw started and tempurtures crawled upwards.
Then we got a cold snap and a bunch of snow.
The same hope, a little more timid yet more yearning happened in March.
Then more snow and another cold snap.
It's now early April and we are in another cold snap with threats of even more snow.
I agree with Lucy from the Peanuts comics if you've seen them. This is BS. lol
So that aside, at least at my desk I can create the wonderful  bright colors of spring, with it's richness and blooms.
At least there is that.
I like to create in themes. So I will grab color schemes and a design element and do a few cards in various designs. Today that's what I have done, using the versatile Secret Garden stamp set from Stampin' Up! (Sadly, retired) and Forget Me Not by Papertrey Ink. I also had some Glimmer paper pack left over from last year's Sale A Bration that I used as accent pieces. The color pallet I chose to go with was Berry Burst from the new Stampin' Up! in Colors (absolutely gorgeous!) Old Olive, Blushing Bride and Sweet Sugarplum. They just work so well together! The first 3 cards also showcase Curly Cute sentiments from Stampin' Up! (unfortunately also retired) and the last one was for Mother's Day and features the Family Ties Stamp set from Papertrey Ink.
I've been inspired by bursts of flowers, like in a floral spray. My mom has one over a large portrait in her home and it's gorgeous. Then of course, now you can make your own or buy them at Michaels. Mom got hers before it was cool lol.
And the whole floral spray works so wonderfully. I see others inspired by the idea and using it all over Pinterest, so it was only a matter of time before I hoped on that bandwagon. And I must say that I love the results. You can either mask off where you are going to put your sentiment, or just cover it with a layered sentiment piece.

Another favorite thing of mine to do is create my own background paper. Put a piece of Whisper White in front of me and a versatile stamp set (usually flowers lol) and I can bust out a piece of custom patterened paper that works with my creation. I forget what the technique is called, but instead of inking your stamp in the traditional way, you smear it across the inkpad and stamp it that way. The result is a less clean, more artist, water color effect.

 I also really love the Gorgeous Grunge set from Stampin' Up! The splatters behind some 3D floral elements add even more dimension to the card to create the spray effect more vividly.
 Lastly this card is the outside of the Mother's Day card I created for a friend of mine. I really loved the color scheme of the previous cards so I recycled it a few weeks later to create the card. I used the Papertrey Ink sets: Family Ties and Forget Me Not for the background and sentiment, then created the lovely little blooms with my trusty Tim Holtz Tattered Florals Die.

Despite the snow and frost and cold and wind outside, I was able to bring lucious colors of spring across my desk once again.
Sad part is when Spring and Summer finally DO get here, I'll be digging out the snowflakes and wintery blue colors for the upcoming Christmas shows. Got to get started early doncha know!

Thanks for stopping by!
~Brandie~

Monday, April 2, 2018

Easter Blooms

Happy Easter Everyone!
What a beautiful and wonderful holiday :) Unfortunately for being in Northern Alberta, the weather isn't cooperating all that well. Winter hit back with a vengence and we've had another dump of snow (yes, snow) and temps dipping into -20 degrees celcius.

I am officially over it.

Thankfully the sun is peeking out and will melt all the snow with it. I am eager to see the spring blooms and colors and bright grass. I don't have much of a green thumb so I don't have a garden myself, I have tried my hand at it and it turns out I kill everything planted.
I think I'll create flowers that last out of paper. Less likely to over or under water them that way lol.
Despite the dismal snow covered ground outside, inside is full of bright spring colors and blooms. I wanted to do something special for my kiddos for Easter so I created flower pot favors with my famous homemade candies.
You can buy terra cotta planters from the dollar store for cheap. Mine were $2 CND for a pack of 2 that were about 3 inches in diameter. So not huge but perfect for creating what I wanted. They have smaller pots as well so you're not stuck with the size if you wanted to do something smaller and simpler. I painted them with acrylic paints and to do the sponging technique, I seriously used a bunched up piece of paper towel. Topped it off with ribbons and a paper flower(s).
The 'lids' are simpley paper. I got the Spellbinders layering circles sets and the largest of the scalloped circle was large enough to cover the top of the pot. My color scheme was Bermuda Bay and Soft Sky for the one and Powder Pink and Sweet Sugarplum for the other. The paint and ribbons I used correspond nicely. The flowers are from Tim Holtz Tattered Florals, where I used my stylus to form the paper and my copics to color blend them out. Finishing the center off with a simple pearl embellisment.
Back to the lids, the images are courtesy of Whimsy Stamps. "Bonnie" is the sweet bunny in the basket on the teal set. "Springtime" is the lovely bunny hanging from the tree branch. These are the artwork from Sylvia Zet with Wee Stamps (Whimsy Stamps). I adore her work and trust me when I say, you WILL be seeing more of her art featured on my page!

For those who were interested, the candies were molded into egg shaped thanks to a lovely silicone mold from Wilton and I wound up making: cream eggs, fudge, caramel and cookie dough truffle eggs for the kids.
For the record- they were a big hit :) As they get older it's really nice to do more than just the go-to candy basket. They appreciate the work that goes into the handmade and though they still get their Easter bunny and egg hunt- they were really stoked for something special from mom.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you all have a wonderful Easter holiday and were inspired by my little post.

~Brandie~



Friday, March 16, 2018

Super Hero Smack Down

Tho they be small, they be mighty.
Today's post features the Mini Heroes from the Greeting Farm. These adorable guys and gals are standard super hero characters, but with a bit of ingenuity you can model them after other trademarked heroes. I've tried Spiderman and Deadpool. With the different masks the set has you can do Star Saphire and kudos if you can figure out how to make a Batman lol. I have had no luck with that. But granted I hadn't tried very hard.
With this set I wanted a bit of girl power! So she's NOT, but the one girl is colored very Supergirl ish and then the other girl is very Black Cat. For all my fellow comic book fans, I am so sorry about mixing the teams *DC VS Marvel lol. But hey- I don't play either team- I love both.
So of course I got more work out of My Favorite Things Dienamics Blue Print 27. I will rave once again how awesome they are for making comic panel layouts.That paired once again with My Favorite Things You're Super city scape background is just so COMIC!
 Unlike my last post I did the inside of the card more subtle. So I just layered the cityscape, did the sentiment and added an extra hero because- heroes are awesome!

Well I hope you have a super day. thanks for stopping by!
~Brandie~

Friday, March 9, 2018

Comic Capers

Hello,

Today is all about super heroes! It has taken me a long time to finally get a bit of a super hero stamp collection, thanks to the movies that are coming out, the genre is becoming more popular in mainstream and the arts- so now we have more companies (thankfully) creating fun and imaginative sets. When paired with some of the Blueprints die sets from My Favorite Things, they make great comic bookesque themed cards.
These cards feature Caped Crusaders from the company Craftin' Desert Divas. A wonderful set that incorporated DC's popular characters with a childlike flair with animals. I used My Favorite Thing's Die-namic Stitched Collage frame. LOVE IT. It's perfect for comics!
I used 'Batman' and 'Wonder Woman' as the characters for this card from the Caped Crusaders set. Pairing that with My Favorite Things stamp and die set: You're Super. The skyline made a great panel for the comic. I also loved all the sentiments from the stamp set and how they coordinated and covered different celebrations. It worked really well for the exclaimation POW! panel.
I also used the sentiments from The Greeting Farm "Little Heroes" stamp set. The hollow letters allowed me to color them in.
With comics it's very traditional coloring, so my primary colors were ... well primary colors. Red, Yellow and Blue- and of course black. So I used Real Red, Daffodil Delight and Daper Denim from Stampin' Up!

The inside featured 'present stacks' from a couple different My Favorite Things stamp sets and the Die -namics Blueprints 29 from My Favorite Things.  The background is pieces from the Comic Heroes paper pack from Recollections. One of the fun things I found out, is stamping a polka dot background in Daffodil Delight before stamping and die cutting the exclamaition piece. Ties the whole comic theme in together. The inside of the card really does look like another cover for a different card so I don't think I would do that again, but it was fun to play with!

I hope you enjoyed!
~Brandie~