Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sneak Peek at new digi's and pre-coloured images!

Hello and welcome to my blog!
I have created a card with one of my pre-coloured images for Whimsy and this is your first sneak peek at it.    You can get this image I call, "Touched by Love" starting tomorrow, Dec 1st at Whimsy Stamps.   I'll be involved in their digi release blog hop tomorrow, so be sure to check back for that.  Denise will be giving out lots of blog candy to a lucky few, as usual.  :-D
This image will also be sold as a regular digi with no colour, so you will have the choice of either or.
The idea for this card came from Nina of Nina's Kreative Roteloft.  Her card inspired me so much I wanted to CASE it!  Isn't hers a beauty? 

The upcoming holidays esp put a lot of pressure on us to get cards made. And
sometimes, it is impossible to make a card for everyone on your list, just for
sheer volume.
The pre-coloured images offer a workable solution to that problem!
I brought the image into iPhoto and used a matte effect to give it a faded oval frame.  Then I printed it onto 90 lb water colour paper and cut it out using a Spellbinders oval die.  
The sentiment is also a sneak peek at one of Ann's new digi's soon to be released tomorrow. 
I brought it into Photoshop Elements 8 to fill in the letters with colour.  There was a little angel image on there as well and I decided to edit it out for my tag.  That's the beauty of using digi's.  Its so easy to alter them to your needs.
I'm also really happy to be using the snowflake die I helped illustrate for Whimsy! I call it, "Winter's Jewel". I drew the arms of the snowflake and one of the Whimsy artists (who knows Corel better than me) was able to line them up perfectly on a grid.  I just love how delicate it turned out!  
Here is a close-up of the pre-coloured digi as it appears printed on my water colour paper.  I did not give this one the faded oval (obviously!).  The one we're offering at Whimsy looks more like this one, in a rectangular format (minus the curved corners). 
For those who are curious, I painted my original on water colour paper using water based inks - a combination of Tombow pens and Distress inks were used.   
I find when I am printing these images, the colour is most vibrant when its printed on either glossy white card stock or photo paper.  When I printed it on water colour paper, the colours dulled a bit.   So I decided to intensify the colours in my photo program before I printed them again. 
 I found it a lot easier to decorate the inside of the card as well as the front with a pre-coloured image because there was no work at all to it. 
And you're getting another sneak peek at some of Ann's new digi's with this frame and sentiment!  I brought the frame, which is sold as a black and white image, into Photoshop and added colour using the paint bucket.  It was done in a snap and easy peasy too! 
I also coloured up some of the words on the sentiment layer, then put the two of them together.  Ann always does her frames and sentiments with a transparent background, so layering them is a cinch.  
And I just love being able to change the colours on them with the touch of a button.   For those who do not want to layer the frames and sentiments, she also sells them already put together, so there's literally no work to do.  Just bring it into Word, resize, and print!
Here is a close-up of the sentiment and frame:
Come back tomorrow for the blog hop and a chance at blog candy!  You'll see a ton of new image by all the Whimsy artists!  Mel of Meljen's Designs has also got some of her images coloured up to sell as well.  But all the digital images are also offered as black and white line drawings, as usual.  Its just that now you will have a choice!
Thanks so much for popping in to say hi.  Take care!

Friday, November 26, 2010

One More For the Stash

Hello there!  Just wanted to share a card I made to add to my Christmas stash.  I used a stamp I illustrated for Whimsy Stamps called, Santa's Midnight Snack.   The gorgeous dark green background paper was designed by Ann Vento of Raindrop Echo Designs and can be found HERE in the "Very Merry" pack.  Ann and I partnered together to design the papers and had a lot of fun.  We plan on doing more in the near future.
I'm entering this card in the following challenges: 
Paper Cutz Challenge: Anything Goes
SCS Free For All: Just Desserts 
No Time To Stamp: Black Friday (use black)
Crafty Creations Challenges: Christmas is Coming
Freshly Brewed: Winter/Christmas
For Fun Challenges: Anything Goes
Fab 'n' Funky Challenges: Go With The Flow (make anything you want)
ABC Christmas Challenge: X is for Xmas, optional flowers
Creative Belli Blog: R - Red, Ribbon, anything R
Stampin 'B's: Holiday Card
Delightful Challenges: Flower Power
Papertake Weekly: Cut It Out (die cut or punches)
Cute Card Thursday: Blast from the past (use one of their older challenges.  I chose Metal Mania, challenge 100 for my metal brad, metal chain and charm and the metallic gold dots on red paper)
I coloured Santa with the following Copics:
Santa hat, red striped pjs: R35, 37, 89
White stripes: E50
Candy canes: R35 and Copic White.  Plus I added red stickles on the red parts.
Bunny Slippers: R43, 37, B41, 60 and blender pen to remove colour to make the "fuzzy" look
Cookies: E31, 33, 13, 17
Santa's skin: E00 11, R20. 21
Santa's beard and hair and white hat trim: 
E50, W1, 3, 4
Plate: B21
Apron: C0, 2 plus blender
Background: G40, W00, 1, 3, 4, 5
I used clear Stickles on the pom and while it was still wet, I sprinkled Prisma Glitter on as well for extra glam. 
I spritzed the whole thing with Smooch spray and tried to pick that up with the angle shot, but the sparkle does not show.  :-(  In real life, it really glitters all over!  
I made the poinsettia flower with a die - can't remember the brand now... lots of dies and a punch used... any questions, just shoot me an e-mail (my addy is on the watermark).
Thanks so much for stopping by!  Happy Thanksgiving to my friends in the U.S.! 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Daughter Ashely's Music

Hi Peeps!
Hope all is well with you these days.  
I would like to show off my daughter Ashley's amazing accomplishment!
She has made an album of her original songs and it is now for sale!  Click on THIS LINK to take you to her web page where you can listen to snippets of her songs, and purchase her album if you likey!
She is a songwriter, a musician, a singer and an actor.  On her debut album, she not only wrote the songs, played the songs and sang the songs, but also arranged them, did back up vocals and basically all the instrumentation that you will hear.  She is sooooo talented, even if I do say so myself  (proud momma here!). 
Her Dad (hubby Mike) was the recording engineer.  I sang back up on one of the songs, "One By One".  It was a bit of a family effort.  :-)
Go have a listen, and enjoy Ashley's music!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Today Only Sale and Stamp-a-day Giveaways!

TODAY ONLY!! 25% off ALL the rubber or digital images I have done for Whimsy Stamps!  Find my rubber collection HERE and my digital collection HERE.  ALSO, as part of the ongoing 2 year anniversary sale-abrations at Whimsy Stamps, Denise is giving away one rubber stamp and one digi stamp from now til Friday!   Here's what she has to say on the Whimsy Blog:

You can enter each day, but please only enter one time for each drawing. We will offer up a chance at a rubber stamp here on the blog and a chance to win a digi stamp over on our Facebook page each day from now through end of day on Friday this week! 

And you can visit the Whimsy shop to find special savings on select stamps and collections each day this week!

So here's what you gotta do to enter:  Sign up on the Whimsy Blog to win this rubber stamp, "Starry Night"

And leave a comment on the Whimsy Facebook page to win Little Christmas Angel. 

*NEW Little Christmas Angel
All the Whimsy artists will have their own special day of sales this week, so every day from now til Friday you can save $ at Whimsy!

Just lettin' y'all know about it!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Name the stamp contest!

Hi Peeps!  Whimsy is holding a contest to name one of my soon-to-be-released rubber stamp images.  The winner will get the stamp!  It is just a small part of the goings-on all month long at Whimsy.  They are having a 2 yr anniversary celebration with loads of sales and giveaways!  See the button on my right side bar for details and click on it to go to the store.
This stamp will be released in December.  If you can think of a cute name for it, e-mail Denise at   whimsystamps@gmail.com .   Denise is the one giving the stamp away, so you must contact her.  Please do not enter the contest here in the comment section or it won't count!!
You may enter as many name choices as you'd like.
You have until next Wednesday the 24th to send in your entry.
Here is a copy of the image:

Have fun peeps!!

Winner for my blog hop post!!

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2010-11-18 14:52:15 UTC

Congratulations! number 5 is

Please contact me with your snail mail info so Denise can send out your prize!!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Invitation

Imagine!  It has finally happened!! You have received the coveted envelope with the gold embossed letters and your name printed on the front; you will be going to the most exclusive, most elaborate, most desired of places in the whole world.    Finally, you have been granted access.

 You will get to taste the rich delicacies that have been prepared in the royal kitchen.  You will get to rub shoulders with all the other invited guests.  But most importantly, you will finally get the privilege of being with Her.  Butterflies start fluttering inside you and your pulse rushes with excitement at the very thought.   It seems you have been waiting for all eternity for this moment to arrive! And now it finally has! At last you have received the invitation…

One has to wonder, what took her so long to invite you?   Did she not notice the many ways you expressed your love to her?   Did she not receive the expensive gifts you kept sending to her?  Did she not hear the gentlemanly way you spoke of her – and so highly too?  Any listener would have read the love between the lines.  It is downright impossible to hide how lovesick you are.  Perhaps this was the very thing that scared her. 

Maybe she thought you were a crazy man, out of your mind.  But you gave her so many gifts of love!  You let her be herself always.  You never demanded a thing from her.  All you wanted was to be close to her.  And yet you promised her everything.  Promised to share your entire fortunes with her.  And that is saying a lot, since you are the richest man in the world!

You think to yourself, perhaps she listened to some close advisors who misrepresented you, and gave you a bad name.  It is quite possible they distorted all your loving actions and warned her that you had mixed motives.  Or perhaps they told her bold-faced lies, accusing you of being critical and hard to please.  Maybe they convinced her that you had an ugly, angry side and that you could be really mean and vengeful when crossed.   What is a guy to do with advisors like that whispering lies about you in her ears!

But all those love gifts and words of praise you kept lavishing on her finally broke her resolve.  Melted her heart.  Must have, because here you are holding that invitation in your hand.  Now you are standing on the doorstep of her palace!  And now, you are knocking at the door… your heart is pounding… this is the moment you have been waiting for!

 You can hear her footsteps from behind the door… the click, click of the locks as they are released… the sound of the handle as it turns… the creak of the door as it opens.  There she is, standing before you in all her glorious beauty.  Until now, you have never been this close to her.  You gasp.  Her beauty shocks you. You swallow hard.

 If your heart was pounding before, now it is about to jump out of your chest… you can feel it drumming in your ears and you feel your face flush.  And then you hear the sweetest words dripping like honey from the lips of the one you love… “Lord Jesus, please… come in…  Forgive me for making you wait so long.  I see your love for me now…. I didn’t before, but now I do… you are welcome to stay… forever.”

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Whimsy Hop! New Rubber! New DP! Metal Dies!

I'm starting off the latest Whimsy Blog Hop today, yay!  Welcome precious peeps! There are a ton of prizes to be won along the way, and lots of time to enter, so I hope you'll hop along with us!  The hop starts today (Wed Nov 10) and goes til noon Wed Nov 17th.
There are lots of new rubber stamps by the Whimsy Artists, so I hope you'll check out the fun we've been having drawing and designing them!
I'm giving away (well, Denise of Whimsy Stamps is!!) my Peace on Earth rubber stamp set!  I have used the angel from the set on my card.  See the entire set here.  If you are entering for the draw, leave a link to your blog by using Inlinkz at the bottom of this post.  If you don't have a blog, just make sure you tell me so in a comment and I'll make sure you are entered.  I'll be using Random.org to pick the winner on the 17th!
Well, I have some news for you! I have been secretly working away along with Denise and Ann of Whimsy on some special projects!  We have come up with some original 6 x 6 designer paper, AND some metal dies!!!  Ann developed a metal die for all her ticket sentiments and I designed (with some help from the Whimsy Studios) a snowflake die I call, "Winter's Jewel 1" !   I'm so excited to see my illustrations being used in these new ways!
My Winter Jewel 1 is on pre-order and will start shipping around Nov 22.  But the ticket die and papers are available now!  I can't wait for you to see!  And tell me what you think!
Ann did the bulk of the work for the paper packs.  Most of the images she used are my rubber stamp illustrations for Whimsy, which I hand painted.  But she used her graphic art design skills to arrange them in various patterns for the papers!  I think she did a fantastic job myself!
There are two packs that will be for sale.  Each pack will have two each of twelve designs for a total of 24 sheets per pack.  Here is a sample of one of the 6 x 6 papers from the Holiday Folly collection: 
And this is the snowflake I designed!  I actually had a lot of graphic help -- I needed it!  The Whimsy Studios artists helped me tweak it to get it perfect.  Without their input and know-how, it would not be symmetrical at all.  I'm afraid I've never had a course on computer graphic design, and when you are drawing a snowflake, you really need the help of a computer if you want it to look right. 
It wasn't ready for me to use on my card today, but I can't wait to get mine and start using it!  I'm rather pleased with how it turned out!  This die will cut and emboss just like the big name brand dies out there.  Cool, huh? heh - heh, yeah, cool (snowflakes -- cool -- get it??) Actual die measures two inches.
Now on to the details of my card!

I stamped my Angel from my Peace on Earth set in Versafine Onyx Black ink onto 140 lb. cold press watercolour paper by Canson. I used Distress Inks to water colour.  The background was done using a very loose brush stroke and two brushes; a round size 6 and size 10. 
I used Twinklets Diamond Dust glitter on the snowflakes and on the wings.  I used gold Smooch Spritz all over the card, but it is impossible to see the delicate gold sheen it gave it.  So nice IRL though!
The two white panels were embossed with the Spellbinders Impressability snowflake die.  I then used Vintage Photo Distress ink to distress just about everything!! lol
Snowflakes are from some Martha Steware punches and also some Spellbinders snowflake dies. 
The circle tag is from the new Winter Letter Seals by Raindrop Echo Designs (Ann Vento for Whimsy Stamps).  It cuts perfectly using the circle dies by Spellbinder! She's a smartie, designing a lot of her sentiments with those popular dies in mind! You can find all her Whimsy graphic work in rubber here and digital here
Below is another example of her beautiful work.  She does custom rubber stamps for crafters!! There are a ton of beautiful designs and fonts to choose from!  This is what she did for me that I can put on the back of all my cards.  And see how beautifully it fits my Spellbinders frame too! 
Not to mention, the custom stamps are made in grey rubber to save on costs.  They stamp well and yet are very affordable!!  AND she also does custom digital work too -- signatures and watermarks.  You can find the many templates she has available here.  And here's a hint: November 15 thru 21, Whimsy has a 20% off sale on all their rubber and digital Custom stamps! And this week, November 8 thru 14, all their digital stamps are 50% off!! They are having their 2nd birthday bash sale-abration all month long.  Check the blinkie on my right side bar near the top for details.

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:
The Crazy Challenge: Things with Wings
Stampin' Sisters in Christ Challenge: Display weather (snow, ice, rain, sun)
One Stop Craft Challenge Blog: Embossing
Drunken Stampers: Punch Me!
Paper Sundaes: Let it Snow!
Craft Your Passion Challenges: Use double anything (two embossed panels on mine)

 Seven of us are offering blog candy prizes, so you won't want to miss out on your chance to win!  And one of the blogs has the GRAND PRIZE of ALL the stamps being released today!  If you get lost in the hop, here is the hop order.  Don't forget to sign up below that with Inlinkz!!

Hop begins here Crissy Armstrong (that's me, that's me!!)
Phew, so that was a lot to tell you!  Now if you want to continue on with the hop, go to
  Simonne's blog to see what she has cooked up for you! 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Hubby's B-day card

I wanted to make a birthday card for hubby Mike with my new digital image, "Ride 'em Cowboy" from Whimsy Stamps.  I remembered that Anna Wight had some really sweet western cards in her gallery on Splitcoast Stampers, and so I went through her gallery and found this beauty of a card here.  It isn't exactly a CASE but I did keep her card up on my screen so I could copy the sketch and a bit of her embellishing style.   I love Anna's art and attribute a lot of what I learned about colouring to her.  I really appreciate her talent!

I coloured the image with Copics.  Now, I did something I would not normally do: I wanted to get the look of a buckskin horse, and I was not pleased with any of my choices in my Copic bucket.  So I started with E31 all over the horse body, and added E93 overtop.  The colour was a beautiful buckskin with those two shades.  HOWEVER!! This created a real problem for myself, that I was not anticipating.  What happened was, when I began to shade using E33 and 35, I was unable to get a good blend.  I tried going over everything with E31 to blend out the darker colours, but it actually just began to look like a dull grey!  I decided to quit trying to blend with Copics and instead use coloured pencil.  This was an attempt to rescue the colouring I had done, and it worked, thankfully. 
I won't bother giving you the Copic colours for this one, because I went over most of it, even the saddle, with coloured pencil, which altered the colours entirely.  Sigh... lesson learned! 
As in the Autumn Harvest Ride card I did with the workhorse two posts ago, I looked at various photos of horses so that I could get a realistic rendering of the shadows of the muscles. 
I am entering this card into the following challenges:
Craft Your Passion: Anything Goes
Lexi's Creations: Anything Goes
Cards for Men: Anything Goes
Freshly Brewed: Anything Goes
Copic Creations: Brown and/or Make a Scene
Digi's With Attitude!: Anything Western
Little Red Wagon: Use the colour Red
A Spoon Full of Sugar: Relish to Embellish
Anything Goes Challenge Blog: The Letter B (my card is for a Boy and I used Black and Blue!)
Papertake Weekly Challenge: Penny For The Guy (guy cards)
Paper Sundaes: For the Boys
Splitcoast Stampers Free 4 All: Tail Waggin' Greetings (use an image with a tail)

Anyway, Mikey loved his card and I loved making it for him!  Here is the inside.  I thought of photoshopping out what I had written and then thought nah.  I don't mind sharing what I wrote to my Luvy with you.  I'm not embarrassed over how much I love him!  He is truly a gift from the Lord to me. I love him so much!   We just celebrated 25 years of marriage last month.   It doesn't feel like its been that long.  I'm so blessed!  
The beautiful birthday greeting is actually two stamps, from Oval Snippets.  They are in a beautiful set from Whimsy Stamps and are designed by Raindropecho Designs.  I think they are gorgeous! 

Well I've chatted on long enough! Don't forget that all month long there are fantastic sales and specials and giveaways going on at Whimsy. It's their second anniversary sale-abration! Check out the button at the top of my side bar for details. 
A new rubber release is coming up in just a few days!!  So stay tuned, I will be in the hop on Wed Nov 10th to help launch that release!

God bless you and thank you for your kind visit today!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Whimsy Blog Hop plus New Challenge for November!

Hello Blogging Buddies!  Whimsy Stamps is having their digital release party today, with a blog hop for you to participate in and have chances to win free digi's! 
If you have landed here from Sandra's blog, you are right on track. If you have landed here randomly and want to start at the beginning, go to the Whimsy Inspirations Blog.  They also have a complete list of the order of the hop if you need it. 
I have illustrated four new Christmas themed digi's for you this month.   I hope you like them!
The one on my card is Little Christmas Angel.  She is available to purchase through Whimsy right now. There are many more new images being released today from all the Whimsy illustrators, so you might want to go check them out. 
And, the whole month of November is Whimsy's 2nd Anniversary celebration!  There are fantastic specials and
  giveaways all month long!  The first special starts now and runs all week with 25% off all rubber stamps (excluding custom rubber designs).  The following week there will be 50% discount off all digital images, wow!  That's just a couple of the many fun things going on! Check out all the details by clicking on the little blinkie I have on the sidebar. 
Be sure to hop around to all the blogs on this hop and leave a comment on each one, because there will be two winners chosen randomly from the comments on all the blogs!   They will get a free digi of their choice from Whimsy.  And, there will be a grand prize winner, and get this; the grand prize winner will get to choose five digi's of their choice from Whimsy AND, they will be our guest designer for the whole month of November!  How cool is that!
The hop starts today and runs through til Sunday Nov 7 at 12 noon EST.  So you have lots of time to hop from blog to blog and enter to win the blog candy!

Now since it is the first of the month, it is also time for a new challenge at Sundays With Crissy.  And the theme I have chosen for this month is a colour recipe: Red, Green and Gold.
If you are also interested in making a card or project with that colour combo, click here and follow the guidelines for the challenge.  If you use one of my digital images from Whimsy, Squigglefly or Wags 'n Whiskers, you also have a chance to win some blog candy.  Check it out on my challenge blog here

I coloured Little Christmas Angel with the following Copics:
White Gown:
B91, C0, Blender
E50, 33, 35, 37, 59
E000, 11, 13, 21
R00, 35, 39, beak: YR15
G40, 28, YG05
E40, 41, Blender

I am also entering this project into the following challenges:

Sundays With Crissy (no duh!):  Red, Green and Gold
WT294 on SCS: Frames
The Secret Crafter: Anything That Flies
Kenny K's Krafty Girlz:  Anything Goes
Die Cut Dreams Christmas Club:  Use a Christmas Digi
I Did It Creations:  Use a Charm
One Stop Craft Challenge:  Anything Goes
A Spoon Full of Sugar:  Lets Get Punchy (punches or die cuts)

Next stop on the hop, go see what Debbie cooked up for you!

Thanks for stopping by today!  God bless you!