Sunday, September 26, 2010

Just the right Background

Posted by Picasa

Just the Right Background

Posted by Picasa

Just the Right Background Paper

Posted by Picasa

Even thought I possess about two tons of craft paper, sometimes I can’t find just the right background paper for a card making project. If this ever happens to you, take out your digital camera and look around your own house for interesting things or colors and take a picture. It could be a colorful pillow or a shelf full of books. A patterned shirt or dress or a box full of Christmas ornaments make great backgrounds. Go outside and snap away close-ups of flowers and leaves or even, as I did once in Oxford England, the cobblestone street.
Scan your photo and print it out on cardstock. Now you have something just right for your newest creation!
Print a copy of my painting and cut it up to make the card project above.

Michael’s downloaded painting
MSRS Cloisonné Pot
Cardstock (butter yellow, black, metallic copper)
Versamark inkpad or similar
Pigment inkpad (green)
Embossing powder (black)
Heat tool
Paper cutter
Glue or double-sided tape
Foam mounting tape
Flower shaped paper punch
Black Pearl Pen from MSRS


From the yellow cardstock, cut a 5 ½” x 4 ¼” folded card.
From the black cardstock, cut a 2 ¾” x 3 ¾” framing mat and a 3 ½” x 3 ½” piece for stamping on.
From the downloaded painting, cut a 2 ½” x 3 ½” piece and mount it on the black frame. From the Copper cardstock, cut a 5 ½” x 1” accent strip.
Glue or tape the accent strip along the bottom of the card approximately ½” from the bottom. Add the framed painted piece to the left side of the card.
Stamp and emboss the Cloisonné Pot onto the black cardstock. Finger paint a little green pigment ink onto the pot here and there for color variation and to pick up the green tones in the painted background. Cut off the top of the pot and use it as a small dish as seen in the finished card.
Using a paper cutter or scissors, cut six or seven thin strips from the reserved Copper cardstock. They should be approximately 5 ½” long. Crumple all the strips in your hand together. This gives the strips a nice random look of twisted willow. Tape the twisted willow branches to the reverse side of the cut pot and mount the pot on the accent strip using foam mounting tape. Add a double flower punched from the yellow cardstock as shown. I made the center of the flower with a black Pearl Pen. A small black bead will substitute well if you don’t have the Pearl Pen. Enjoy!

Monday, September 20, 2010

In a Jam

My daughter Amanda, right, and her friend Kacia
decided to tackle jam making last weekend. They made
Peach/Rosemary Jam. I was not so sure about
the combination but guess what? It's delicious! Gonna try it as a glaze on a pork loin.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Box of Flowers Template

Posted by Picasa

Box of Flowers

Posted by Picasa

Box of White Flowers
You may recognize the shape of the box on the card. It’s a repurposed and resized fast food french fry box. I’ve always liked the shape of this box so I disassembled it and made a box template from it. Who knew it could look so elegant! Enjoy.
Box template
White cardstock (3 sheets)
White glue
Pop dots or dimensional foam tape
Flower punches
White Pearl Pen
MSRS mini dragonfly
Versamark inkpad (or similar)
Glacier White embossing powder
Translucent vellum paper
Heat tool


Cut a sheet of 8 ½” x 11” cardstock in half to yield two 5 ½” x 4 ¼” folded cards, set aside.
Print out the box template onto another sheet of white cardstock. In order to fit the card size the template should be approximately 4 ½” tall by 3” wide before cutting and folding.
Cut out the template on all the solid lines. Score on all the dotted lines. Crease all the scored lines and fold to form the box. Glue the two side flaps on the concave side of the box inside the two flaps on the convex side. Press and hold until secure. Set box aside to dry.

To make the bouquet stems, cut a piece of white cardstock to measure 1 ½” x 6”. Fold it in half to make a 3” x 1 ½” folded piece as shown. Using scissors, cut through the folded cardstock to form “stems”. Be sure to cut through both sides of the folded piece from the open side down to about ½” from the folded end as shown. Trim down every other stem on one side of the folded piece. Trim the second side in the same way. This time make the stems shorter than the ones behind.
Punch approximately one flower for every stem from the reserved white cardstock. To give the flowers dimension, place one flower in the palm of your hand and press the center with the cap of the pearl pen. Repeat with all the flowers. Glue the flowers to the stems to form a bouquet.
Put pop dots or foam tape on the inside back of the box as shown. Slide the bouquet into the box and press to adhere to the tape. Add one or more framing pieces to the front of the card. Attach the box of flowers to the frame with glue or double-sided tape. Add flower centers with the white Pearl Pen. Stamp and emboss the mini dragonfly onto vellum. Cut out and glue it to the box.

Box of Flowers steps



Posted by Picasa

Box of Flowers steps

Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 3, 2010

September 2010 Card Challenge

For all of you in the EnjoyMichaelStrongStamps Yahoo group your card making challenge
for September is to make a card featuring the look of
traditional enamel cloisonne. The sample above is a 19th
century Russian vessel. Here are the rules of this challenge.
Choose any MSRS you like. Stamp it and emboss it with
metallic gold embossing powder. Use any method of coloring you
like such as markers,colored pencil, watercolor, nail polish
or anything you think will produce the vibrant color typical of
enameled cloisonne. Use the finished piece to decorate a card.
The deadline for this challenge is September 30.
Three winners will be chosen and awarded special prizes.
For those of you reading this who are not yet a member
of our little group, please consider joining in the fun. Good Luck!
Posted by Picasa

Tie Dye Challenge Winners!

Here are the winners of the tie dye card challenge. They are from left to right, Diana Enns, Heidi Wegman and Jacquie Woolz.

Diana Enns - South Dakota USA
As always, Diana made an interesting card with lots to look at yet well composed. She also did something interesting with her tie dyed background, she shredded it. The edges have been pulled or combed giving it a softness I didn't think to try. Well done Diana!

Heidi Wegman - Ottawa Canada
Here is our Heidi again with another winner. This time Heidi won for her resourcefulness as well as her ability to create a charming Halloween card. In her haste to dry her tie dyed background she used a heat tool which burned parts of the cloth. Instead of throwing it out and starting over she incorporated it into her design as a spooky twilight sky. Well done Heidi!

Jacquie Woolz - California USA

The best interpretation of the theme as well as one of the prettiest cards entered is Jacquie's simple yet dynamic feather arrangement. The traditional composition is enhanced and loosened up by the wonderfully chaotic pattern of the background cloth. Well done Jacquie!
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

September 2010 Blog Candy!

Once upon a time there were some funny looking kids dreamed up by Michael Strong and turned into wood mounted rubber stamps.
These little people have been living for many years in
the "discontinued" orphanage but now it's time for them to be adopted.
If you would like Sissy, Buddy and Precious to come live at your house,
just make a comment on this blog entry. After 100 comments are collected,
"The Agency" will award the kids to one lucky parent. Good Luck!
Posted by Picasa

Onion skin card

Here's a blast from the past! I made a card similar to this one on The Carol Duvall Show almost 10 years ago. All you need to do is save the outer skins of onions for a while. You can make really interesting textured backgrounds for your cards. Here's how to do it:

Dry Onion Skins (brown or purple)
Chipboard (I used a piece measuring 5 1/2" x 4 1/4")
Spray glue or white glue
Small house painting brush
Decoupage medium (Mod Poge or similar)
Paper cutter

Spray glue the piece of chipboard or the inside of a cut up cereal box.
If you don't have spray glue, brush on a thin layer of white glue.
Start pressing pieces of dry onion skins into the glue until
the whole piece of chipboard is covered.
Don't worry if some of the onion skins look loose.
Turn the piece upside down and press firmly to help adhere the skins to the glue.
Brush on the decoupage medium making sure you cover any onion pieces sticking up.
Keep brushing on the medium until all the skins and flat.
Brush off any excess medium, a thin even layer dried more uniformly.
If you wish you may add a second coating after the first coat is dry.
This will give your piece more depth and richness.
After the piece has dried completely, trim away any onion skins overlapping
the edges of the chipboard.
Your piece is now ready to be trimmed to whatever size you need for a card background.
Remember to save all the leftovers for other cards.
Posted by Picasa

Onion skin card materials

Posted by Picasa

Onion skin steps


Posted by Picasa

Onion skin steps



Posted by Picasa