Sunday, January 10, 2016

Zebra Buddies birthday card

Welcome back, all my Zebra Buddies (and any others who are joining us, too, of course!!) I'm so glad you could join me for the re-launch of these 'lessons' for lack of a better word. Just a note here- you might want to get comfy- this post does run a bit long, chock full of info and tips!!

What's the category we ALL need--birthday! Whether your lil zebras are infants or teens to young adults, every single one of them has a birthday. SO, I thought to get started back into the swing of things, I'd do a birthday card for you today.

This packs a lot of punch because:
1. it's simple and easy, but looks nice in the end
2. uses scraps, if you want to
3. requires no fancy machines to cut the pieces
4. is suitable for both genders, ANY age
5. shall I continue...or have I convinced you yet? ;-)

So, first of all, it's based on a sketch graciously provided by Operation Write Home. (They WERE a non-profit who collected handmade cards and sent them to our troops. THEY ARE NOW CLOSED AND NO LONGER ACCEPTING ANY DONATIONS; PLS DO NOT SEND THEM ANYTHING!!! If you do, they WILL be returned AT YOUR EXPENSE. They are closed bc so many of our troops are home- YAY! They CLOSED on 08/01/2015.) However, their gracious and fearless leader, Sandy Allnock, was kind enough to leave all the enormously helpful resources posted up online for us to use!!

Here is a photo of the sketch  (Yes, it's true--I'm not all that fancy when it comes to being tech-savvy--sorry. You get what you pay for, right?? JK  lol)

If you are having any trouble seeing the measurements, they are background piece 4 x 5.25 (all in inches, of course); top box/present 1 x 2; middle box 1.5 x 2.5; and bottom box is 2 x 3, with the sentiment/greeting piece being 2.25 x 1.

Next, let's talk about using more than one piece of designed paper (DP) on a card. (This will be a quick, little intro lesson bc there are entire courses taught on this subject, but I will try to hit the highlights for you.)

A. It is best to be sure your colors all match and/or coordinate. Please don't try to match all different colorways from several papers, as it will most likely read as very busy and chaotic. I suggest using paper from the same collection or package/pad. You will see that I have done so.

B. The general rule is to think about small, medium, large prints. (Note--this has NOTHING to do with that I am using 3 boxes sm, med, lg on my card today--just to be clear.)  I'm speaking about the DP's themselves. By 'small' print, it can mean just that or it can mean when I squint at it, it almost can read as a solid color. That counts, too. Medium print can sometimes be a stripe, like it is today. Large print: it can be helpful if it is in a defined pattern, like my lg dots paper is, and not like my random dots, as my small DP is. (which happens today to be my sm box)

C. You can see, these all came from the same paper pad. They are meant to be used together. Why make it hard on yourself; the DP designers have done all the hard work for you. Also, I suggest getting 6 x 6 in. pads bc the scale of the patterns/designs are meant for cards. Now if you already own 12 x 12 DP's, no worries- I do, too!!  You can make almost anything work, but if you are going to buy, that is my suggestion.

D. If you find you are having trouble, put a solid color or even 2 into the mix. So, for my card here, I can do 1, 2, or even all 3 of the 'boxes' as a solid color. Easy peasy, right??

Now, here is what I selected. (Note- they are not adhered down yet bc I need/want to put twine or ribbon around the stack and I am short on time; I'd rather get the post up!!) Notice, too how I chose to make the red slightly smaller than the card; this gives it more interest that just a red background. There's nothing wrong with solid red, or any color; this just takes it up one more notch on the interest meter. It makes it looks a bit more polished and like more time/thought went into it. It is what the sketch called for, too.

This final pic shows the sentiment/greeting pieces, again unglued for the same reasons. I personally will stamp 'Happy Birthday' on there, but you could use a computer font or even print/write it on. You could also make it more narrow and a bit longer; I would like to see a banner tail cut into it, myself. (like a v-shape in one end)

Well, there you have it; your opening card to 2016! Please, please let me know you saw this and what you think!! Any appropriate comments, questions, suggestions/ideas are always welcome!! Happy crafting and thanks again for stopping by!! 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Stamp, Ink, Paper Challenge

(Hello Zebra Buddies: This is NOT one of your lessons, as you see, but pls feel free to take a peek anyway. It was a card I made for a challenge. It was a tic-tac-toe one where you choose any 3 items in a row; mine was monochromatic, button, butterfly. I hope you enjoy.)

Welcome!! I've been hovering over, and lurking around, these challenges since they began but I hadn't yet had the chance to play. Finally, I did - YAY!!

I read the tic-tac-toe board to my aide (while she was doing the dishes) and she pick the row as soon as I finished saying, "monochromatic, button, butterfly." Well, OK, more accurately, as soon as I finished explaining what 'monochromatic' is.

We brain-stormed together and came up with this. I'm really pretty pleased with how it turned out!! I hope you enjoy.

Although it is definitely CAS, I'm still pleased. I think the 'flying' butterfly and the glitter on it really help to 'make' the card. Thanks so much for stopping by. (Z. Buddies, we now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.)

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Lesson 2

Hello and welcome to Lesson 2! I hope you have gotten to read through the preview/sneak peek post and Lesson 1. If you are here and you did not, why not take a minute now and go back through them?

OK, so this time, I have an inspirational card. (Please note: this was not my original idea; I got it from a website post from an organization that has now closed. The original post was found here )  It is simple to make but always packs a punch and makes a good impression!! Without further ado, meet Elmo!!

Now, he is just a red front, white and black circles for eyes, orange circle nose, and half of a black big circle for his mouth!! Super simple. Again, you can trace objects around you if need be.

Next, you can do almost any of the other characters the same way!! Cookie is just googly (non-matching eyes, he looks all over with both eyes) and a big cookie in his mouth. See the preview post for more inspiration. Oscar the Grouch is easy, too!! Elmo is simple, with his pink oval nose and don't forget Big Bird's beak!

You can do general 'monsters' any old way at all, either for Halloween and/or just in general!! Just make sure they are cute, not scary, for the littles!!

One of the take-aways this time is to look at the characters themselves for inspiration, as well as to use other sites for ideas. Pinterest and Youtube are great, as are cardmakers' sites, blogs and groups for tons of ideas. 

Thank you so much for stopping by!! Keep your eyes open for Lesson 3. Let me see what YOU make from all this inspiration!! Have fun creating!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Zebra Buddies Lesson 1

Welcome, Zebra Buddies!! I hope you've seen the preview or warm-up post to this first official one; if not, pls be sure to go back and take a peek.

(Sorry, but it's a bit hard for me to type, so I use abbrev. I hope they all make sense.)

Before we begin this lesson, I'd like to mention past experience and supplies. I intend to write these lessons for the benefit of all, even though everyone has a different level of experience and owns different supplies. I quite possibly might have different tools (toys) than you do but don't let that dissuade you. I will try to make most of the ideas within reach for as many of us as possible, giving alternate ideas when I can. You saw examples of this in the first post (preview or warm-up one.)

On to supplies. As I've been saying, you really don't need lots of fancy, expensive machines to make great cards for kiddos. Sure, they can be nice to have, but not all of us have access to them, so I will do all I can to help you use what YOU have on hand or at least, access to.

Let's briefly mention some of the basic supplies that I am assuming you probably have on hand: scissors; ruler; paper (possibly colored paper, too); cardstock (CS to me) hopefully in white and colors; some adhesive; something to color with like markers, colored pencils, watercolors, etc; and stickers. There are probably a few more items on here but you get the idea, BASIC. Now, these are the items that would be very nice to have: at least some rubber stamps and inks, embellishments such as ribbon, brads (paper fasteners), buttons, designer or patterned papers (DP to me), and various other crafting supplies. You may have more or less, but I will try to make this work for everyone!

In the interest of being 'green,' (No, I did NOT turn into Kermit the frog) I have used scrap supplies in the photos. You (and I) will use cardstock (CS) for making cards but I use paper in the photos. Also, I will not waste my kiddo stickers just to show you a lesson, so I have used stamps to represent stickers. You'll see. Thanks for understanding.

OK, so here we go! First, most all of us seem to start out with stickers or small stamps and we do this:
We put them all over the page in a random pattern. I think most everyone has done this; I know I have. There is nothing really 'wrong' with this, but perhaps we can find something we like even better.

So, next I decided to stamp (or 'sticker') onto a piece of yellow CS, like this:

(Note: I know the ball in the middle is not exactly centered but I didn't re-do it, since this is just scrap anyway and not a real card.)  Then, I stamped, "Happy Birthday" down in the corner. There may be some of you who still like the first one more bc it seems to have more going on. OK, but stick with me for just a bit more.

So, this it pretty plain and not very dressed up. I decided to add a blue strip under the yellow one, and it came out like this:

Now, I can't say I am thrilled with this result. I would like to see something more in the background, perhaps. "White space" is not always white, but it refers to blank space that is good bc it gives the eye a chance or a place to rest. In this case, it is white but not always. I could leave this as is; I could add small, and I mean tiny, dots of color to the background; or I could use my stars embossing folder to add those to the background. I'm sure there are other options, as well.

I'm going to close this lesson for now. I do apologize to those of you who found this to be a little long; usually they will not be. I just wanted to try to bring everyone up to speed so we would all start on the same page, as much as possible! Thank you all for stopping by; I look forward to seeing you here again soon!!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Welcome, Zebra Buddies!

Welcome Zebra Buddies!!! So very glad to have you join me here!! I had to blow the dust off my blog and scrub some rust off but she's still here. So, as promised, this is a sneak peek into a card that was requested by Kathy N. I hope you all enjoy.

Kathy, the one on the left is the one you asked for, of course, and the doggy just came along as a bonus. (He photo bombed himself into the shot LOL) Oh, if anyone doesn't know, pls click on the photo itself to enlarge it and see all the details up close.  ;-)

So, since you went to all the trouble of finding your way here-I have a small surprise!! I will go ahead and try to describe how this goes together. (L Sesame Street one)

I chose the tan stripe as the background because it is neutral and almost looks like wallpaper. I would not get a good result with something busy or colorful, as the characters would not show up that way and it would be too distracting.

Next, you need to cut out or punch the heads/faces. I used a circle scallop punch but you could easily trace anything the right size: a drinking glass, a jar or can, etc. It doesn't have to be scalloped either, of course.

Then, I punched out the eyes. Again, no punches = no problem; simply trace and cut. Big Bird has blue and then pink behind the whites of his eyes, done with off set circles, or even part circles. The mouths on both Elmo and Cookie are just half circles and Big Bird's beak is a sm. square folded in half on the diagonal. Elmo's nose is just an orange circle.

Cookie's cookie is just a brown circle with a bite or two removed and brown marker (or colored pencil or even crayon would work here LOL) for the chocolate chips.

See, I told you it was easy peasy. I think the little doggy one is pretty easy to figure out but don't ever hesitate to ask. The ONLY silly question is the one you don't ask because if YOU want to know, then other people do, too.

Thank you so much for dropping by; ya'll come back and see me now, ya hear?! PS: PLS, pretty pls leave me a comment so I know I am not the only one here and that I'm not doing all this just to see myself type. Oh, and don't forget to sign up by email in the box on the top right side of the blog. You will ONLY get an email when new content is posted and you can stop any time, of course. PLS?! TYVM; see you real soon. 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Recent swap on Scrap to Treasure

Hi everybody,

   It's been a long time since I have posted but I'm back today because I just finished a card made from a kit I got as part of a swap. This one came from Mary Newhouse. Her pieces are so beautiful and she was so generous with her supplies that I will be able to make more than one card per kit, I'm pretty sure. Now, I may add in some parts of my own to supplement, but do stay tuned to see what else is in store!! I. can't. wait. See you soon.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

ODBD challenge Jan 2015

Hi! Long time, no see. This is my entry for ODBD challenge (Jan. 2015) on the OWH Stars and Stamps blog. It's a card made to thank our heroes and has a handwritten message inside. It will be mailed in with my next box.

Did you get a chance to enter a card yet? I hope you will play along, especially because it helps get boxes shipped to our heroes, thanks to those wonderfully generous folks over at ODBD. Enjoy your day!