Thursday, December 30, 2010

We have Secret Santas . . . Why Not Have a Secret Cupid?

I love leaving little notes and stocking stuffers for loved ones on the days before Christmas, so I thought why not do something similar for Valentines Day?   Who doesn't like chocolate and what could be better than the anticipation of a special treat?   Well, when today's Dream Scheme challenge, Love in the New Year, was announced I knew exactly what I was going to do.   There are so many beautiful Valentine's Day stencils that I haven't even scratched the surface.  The possibilities are endless.
I decided that tags would be a good way to go.  I could write a note on the back and then tuck them into the breakfast or dinner napkin, put on a pillow with a yummy chocolate, or add to a briefcase or lunch box. 

For the background papers I used Ranger distress inks and an acrylic block and applicator tool.  In both cases, I applied the ink directly to a splat mat and then spritzed it with water.  For the paper on the left, I used an acrylic block as a stamp and after dipping it into the ink, applied it directly to the paper, giving it a mottled look.  For the paper on the right, I used the alcohol ink applicator tool with a cotton pad, and applied the ink in a circular motion, leaving some areas darker than others.  

After allowing some drying time, I attached the Heart Swirls stencil (LL567) and applied metallic gold ink (Splendor by Tsukineko).

The Tole heart stencil (LL3010) reminded me of the beautiful scroll work you see on Victorian lockets so, with a bit of cutting, I made one!   First I taped the stencil to the background paper and applied metallic gold ink (Splendor by Tsukineko).  Then I carefully traced the outline of a heart and cut it out with a craft knife.    A photo was attached to the back before adhering it to the darker pink mat.

I still want to try the double glitter technique, and maybe another heart with flocking.  Then I thought I could ink the back of the stencil and run it through the BigKick for a different look.  And maybe next I could try . . . .  oh, you get the picture. 

Don't forget to visit the Dreamweaver Stencils blog, DREAM it UP, as well as the blogs of the other fabulous designers.  Then, mark your calendar and be sure to stop by next Thursday for another round of Dream Schemes.

Wishing you all the best in the New Year, and be sure to add some crafting time to your New Year's resolutions!


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thursday Dream Schemes Designer's Choice

I know it's a busy time for all of us, but thank you for stopping by and spending some time with us to see what we've created for you. 

Before you know it, the first birthdays of the year will be rolling around and, while I always have a stash of cards for the women in our family, the men are a little harder.  This one, using Dreamweaver Stencils LJ845 (Bamboo) and LL537 (Tiki God) is just right!

First, I positioned the Bamboo stencil on white card stock (cut slightly longer than the stencil) and applied Splendor ink.  On a smaller piece of card stock, I positioned the Tiki God stencil and applied black matte embossing paste.  When that was dry, I repositioned the clean stencil over the black paste and applied a layer of crackle paste, removed and cleaned the stencil and left the image to dry.    While the Tiki God was drying, I went back to the Bamboo image and applied a layer of Mudd Puddles sand paste to mimic a beach scene.  When the Tiki God had dried and crackled (a wonderful effect, almost like magic), I repositioned the clean stencil and used pastels to color him.   I then cut out the Tiki God and attached him using adhesive on the bottom and dimensional adhesive on the top to make him stand away from the bamboo.   By attaching the image to the left of the green card stock, there's enough room to stamp a greeting of your choice, be it birthday greetings, party invitation, get well, or just thinking of you. 

Be sure to visit the other designer's blogs listed on the right and don't forget to post your creation using Mr. Linky on the Dream It Up blog

Thanks for spending time with us, and we look forward to sharing more with you in the new year.

Happy Holidays,

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Time Out for Thursday Dream Schemes

Good Morning Blog Friends,

I know it's only nine days until Christmas and there's more to do than there are hours in the day, but take a break and see what the Dream Team has created for you.  Today's challenge is color – blue/purple – using the glossy blue embossing paste.  The glossy blue paste is rich and regal, like a sapphire.  And there are so many ways to use it.  

Time is short these days, so I've combined this week's challenge with my nephew's birthday card.  I chose the balloon stencil (LL487) and, after taping the stencil to white card stock, applied the glossy blue embossing paste.  I then carefully removed the stencil and cleaned it.  After the paste dried, I  applied ink to the balloons.  When that dried, I used a soft cloth to remove the ink from the embossed image to restore the glossy finish.   I then cut around the balloons and attached them to the front of the card with pop dots to make the balloons stand out from the rest of the card.  I hope he likes it!

There's more to see, so be sure to click on the links in the right-hand sidebar to see the other projects the Dream Team has made. And be sure to come back next week to see what we've been working on.

Happy Holidays,

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thursday Dream Schemes

Welcome to another round of Dream Team blog posts.  There is no theme for this week, so I've chosen one of the cards  that I made for this year's holiday craft fairs. 

The snowflake stencil (LJ819) can be used so many ways, but it is very elegant on its own.  I dry embossed the paper using the BIGkick.  Then, with the stencil still in place, I added a layer of translucent paste and then sprinkled it with clear glitter, to accent the snowflakes.  The sentiment is inked with Splendor silver and blue inks, to continue the icy feeling.

Thanks for stopping by.  And don't forget to visit the rest of the Dream Team blogs listed on the right.  You'll be sure to find more great projects and ideas from the team.  See you next week, and . . . 

Happy Holidays,

Thursday, December 2, 2010

It's Thursday . . .

and that means it's time for another Dreamweaver Dream Schemes post.  If you stopped by last week, you'll remember that our challenge was to do something with a Christmas theme using non-traditional colors – no red or green, no maroon or forest green.  That was a great challenge as it forced me to work outside my comfort zone.  But it also made me look at my paper stash in a different way.  Surprisingly, I found several . . . well, actually, more than several . . . papers that would work.

This week we were given a sketch challenge and I decided to carry on with the non-traditional Christmas colors.  It was a lot of fun and I hope you'll give it a try.  Thinking outside the box is a great way to get the creative juices flowing.   Here's the sketch:

And here's my take on it:

For the packages I used Dreamweaver Stencil LL466, which I dry embossed using a Sizzix Big Kick and Core'dinations paper.  After dry embossing, I sanded the images with fine grit sand paper and then cut them out.   The sentiment is Dreamweaver Stencil LS91, which I inked using VersaMagic Dew Drop in purple hydrangea. 

While I'm not ready to give up the traditional Christmas colors, this was a good way to get me thinking outside the box.  So now it's your turn.  Take a look at your papers collection with an eye toward the non-traditional.  You just might be surprised at what you find.   For more inspiration, check the blogs of my fellow design team members listed on the sidebar on the right, and get ready to be wowed by the projects they've created.

Thanks for stopping by.  Happy crafting,

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

to all of you who are taking a break from kitchen duties and joining us for the Thanksgiving Day kickoff of the Dreamweaver Thursday's Dream Schemes.  Beginning today and every Thursday thereafter, check the Dream Team members' blogs (see the sidebar on the right) to see what we've made for you.

Today's challenge was to create a card using non-traditional Christmas colors.  As soon as I heard that, I knew exactly what I would do.  One of my favorite memories was my Grandmother's aluminum Christmas tree – you know, the ones that look like a gazillion strips of tin foil glued to a metal branch.  All the ornaments were one color and a flood lamp was placed on the floor on each side of the tree for uplighting.  My Grandmother and the tree are no longer with us, but the memory lives on in this card.

The Christmas tree (LG651) was embossed with white matte embossing paste.  When dry, I applied Splendor inks in silver, gold and turquoise.  That's all there is to it.  If you need to make a lot of cards, this might be the one to choose.

Thanks for stopping by.  But don't forget to check out what the other designers have made for you.  Just click on the names on the right.

See you next week!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Come join the parade . . .

 . . . the Dreamweaver  Thursday's Dream Scheme  parade, that is.  While the turkey is in the oven and the family is watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade or, as Lynell, our fearless leader says, "watching the Dallas Cowboys try to win another football game,"  come back tomorrow as the Dream Team members (click on their links in the sidebar) showcase their non-traditional Christmas color creations.  It's a sure way to get your creative juices flowing and give you enough energy to get through the rest of the day, the Black Friday shopping frenzy and still have enough left over for some crafting time on the weekend.

Though I count my blessing year 'round, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I'd like to extend a special thanks to my family and friends (those I see or talk to every day and those who have become my internet friends and blog readers), for your many kindnesses throughout the year.  You, along with my best friend (who also happens to be my husband), are truly the wind beneath my wings.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and I'll see you tomorrow.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Black Cats, of course

Well, you can't have a blog named Black Cats Studios without having black cats and, of course, Dreamweaver Stencils has just the thing – three cats (LM266)! It's just perfect. The stencil is embossed with matte black embossing paste on card stock cut with the Tim Holtz Baroque die. When dry, I gave the kitties a little bling by adding pearl and ribbon collars. Before matting, I punched holes on either side with a horizontal slot punch (Stampin' Up) and added more ribbon (can you tell I like ribbon?). With all the mats attached, I turned the ribbon ends to the back of the pink mat and adhered it to the white card base.

Now it's your turn . . .
Wendy, another of the very creative members of the Dream Team, has a fun, two week challenge going on at her blog, Paper Therapy. Check it out for the details and then get to work making a cool card, scrapbook page or altered item using Dreamweaver Stencils. . . whatever strikes your fancy. Just be sure you don't miss the November 4 deadline!

Monday, October 4, 2010


. . . Lucky Number 22

Thanks for the tip to use embossing paste on the back of a dry embossed stencil to preserve for mailing! Pretty projects! I like the sanded Core'dinations paper too. If I win I'd love to have the plum royale metallic f/x, the glossy red embossing paste and the LM250 Merry Christmas plate. Thanks!

Congratulations, Cindi. You have until midnight Tuesday, October 5, to claim your prize, so make just one more hop to the Dream it Up blog for instructions.

And a big THANK YOU to all who joined us on the first Dreamweaver Stencils Blog Hop. I enjoyed sharing my projects with you and hope that you'll continue to check in on each of our blogs as we work with Lynell's beautiful designs to bring you more ideas and inspiration for your own projects.

Note: just in case there's any confusion, adding embossing paste to the back of a dry-embossed stencil is necessary only if you're using craft metal. The metal bends easily and the embossing could be damaged going through the postal mailing machines. Dry-embossed paper is not a problem, and holds up very well.

Happy crafting,

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Welcome to Day 2 of the Dreamweaver Blog Hop

I hope you've been enjoying yourself as you've moved from blog to blog. Here's what I've created for you.

weaver stencils are extremely versatile and pairing them with Core'dinations paper is just one of the many ways to achieve a different look. For this card I dry embossed the stocking stencil (LL 499) twice using my Sizzix Big Kick, once with Core'dinations red paper and once again with green. Both papers were sanded to allow the white paper core to show through. The stocking top was cut out of the green paper and adhered to the red with pop dots. Brads were added to the fringe and a stocking "hanger" was cut from a strip of green paper and adhered to the edge.

I've had a piece of copper craft metal in my stash for some time just waiting for the perfect stencil, and what a "joy" it was to use it for this Christmas card. I embossed the metal using my Big Kick, and trimmed the edges. Then using Copic markers, I colored the raised design to give it added dimension. Before adhering the metal to the card, I applied white matte embossing paste to the back. This preserves the image as it goes through the mail. You can find the stencil (LL328) here.

Edit: Applying embossing paste to the back of the dry embossed image is necessary only if you're using craft metal. The paste provides support for the raised image and keeps it from becoming damaged. Dry embossed paper holds up beautifully when sent through the mail and pasting the back is not necessary. Hope this clarifies my earlier post.

Many times, but especially around the holidays, I've needed a quick gift wrap or tag and wished I had something made and ready to go. Now there's no excuse because, again, Dreamweaver Stencils have come to the rescue! I love the candy cane (LL555) and am getting a lot of use out of it as a bottle hanger, gift bag and tag. In each case, I used glossy red embossing paste. For the bottle hanger, I applied translucent glitter while the paste was still wet. For the tag, I pasted only the bow. Now I just need to make more!

I hope you've enjoyed your visit. As reminder, please be sure to leave a comment below with your favorite stencil, paste and Mettalic F/X color to be included in the drawing. If you haven't already done so, visit the Dreamweaver blog, Dream it Up! and leave a comment there for another chance to win. Then, hop on over to Louise's blog, Artfully Articulate, to see her work and leave your comment there.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Today's the Day . . .

. . . for the first-ever Dreamweaver Stencils blog hop, and are you in for a treat. The very talented ladies on the Dream Team have been working their magic and have beautiful cards, tags and altered items for you to look at. And, in addition to the eye candy you'll be seeing, you will have a chance to win BLOG CANDY! Here are the details:

You will have a chance to win your favorite stencil, embossing paste and Metallic F/X color. Each time you post along the hop, you need to leave a comment on the site where the newest creation is offered, then go to the Dreamweaver site, choose the stencil you like best, identify it to us, tell us why it's your favorite, and how you think you would use it. Just be sure to comment on each blog along the way to increase your chances of winning. But only one comment per blog, please. Duplicate entries will be deleted.

Each time you comment on a different blog, you need to choose a different stencil, paste, and Metallic F/X color, just in case you win more than once. At the end of the three days, each member of the Dream Team will choose a random entry via and post it on their site by midnight on Monday, October 4.

Blog hoppers are encouraged to comment once on each designer's blog throughout the hop. Each time you do so will give you an extra chance to win. For an additional entry, you are invited to sign up to be a follower of the Dream it Up blog.

Different designers will be posting on different days, so check back on Sunday to be sure you've left a comment on each blog. That's all there is to it, so sit back with your favorite beverage and enjoy the hop. Start here at the Dream it Up blog and follow the links to each designer's blog.

Thanks for stopping by. Please be sure to leave a comment as I enjoy hear from you.

Happy crafting,

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Christmas in September

This started out as Christmas in August, but you know how time flies when you're having fun. And the Dreamweaver Christmas challenge was no exception

Dry embossing, ink, flat pearls and ribbon were all it took to make a very elegant card. Dreamweaver Stencil LJ900

This is probably one of my first stencil purchases and I absolutely love it. I used matte white embossing paste and, when dry, colored with metallic paint pens and Copic markers. Dreamweaver Stencil LG 676.

A card that is easy to mass produce, this one will definitely be available at my holiday craft fair booth. Dreamweaver stencil LG731 with metallic gold paste. I'm also going to try using the pearlescent paste and coloring the holly and berries with metallic f/x.

My favorite just might be the sleigh (LJ904). I used matte black embossing paste with metallic red leafing. The holly berries are not post-office friendly, so I'm working on some other alternatives.

Thanks for stopping by.