Thursday, September 30, 2010

Let Them Eat Cake

I spent the past weekend making cake display boards to help promote the cake decorating classes I teach.  All of the icing is either royal icing or fondant and everything is (technically) edible except for the cake bases, which are made of styrofoam.  It took about 30 hours to make all three display boards, but I was happy with the results.  Thought you might like to see what I teach and also let you know these are the techniques you would learn if you decided to take a Wilton Cake Decorating class near you.

This is for the Gum Paste/ Fondant class:

Close ups of the calla lilies and fondant roses are in the first photo and below is a close up of daisies and the fondant bow.

Flowers and Cake Design examples are below:

Close ups of the violets, button flower, daffodils, and the classic Wilton rose.  You also learn other flowers, including the large lily and  gum paste pansies.


The Decorating Basics display board looks like this.  If you haven't taken any classes, this is the one you should begin with.  It's lots of fun and you will begin decorating cookies in the first lesson.

These are close ups of the piping gel transfer technique and the ribbon rose that ate taught in the Decorating Basics class.

These are just some of the many techniques you learn during the courses.  Hope these photos inspire you to try cake decorating too.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Up, Up, and Away....

..... in my beautiful balloon. 

This is a card I made based on the monthly Hogs & Sketches challenge at Hambo Stamps.  If you haven't visited them yet, you definitely should.  They have great rubber and digital images, plus lots of other goodies as well.  You still have till the end of the month to participate in this challenge (you don't have to use Hambo stamps this month either, but you'll probably want to get some because they are so fun and not your typical type of images.)

For this card, I decided to use their hot air balloon stamp and stamped the image on both plain cardstock (to color with my Copics - FV2, FYR1, FRV1, E35, and E37) and on the yellow circle.  I then fussy cut out my colored image and pop dotted it for a dimensional look.  I chose yellow for my circle because I decided it could either represent the sun or the moon.

The cloud background was made using a homemade cloud template and Distress inks and the patterned star paper is from Creative Memories that I had in my stash.  The first layer is mounted on black cardstock and   four orange brads were placed in the corners.  Before adhering this layer onto the second set of patterned/solid paper, I used my Scor-Pal to emboss the edges of both pieces so they wouldn't look so plain.  The final step is to mount these layers onto a larger square of black cardstock.

Monday, September 20, 2010


I used to choose the winner of my blog hop candy and the winner is

 Tiffany (who said:  Love the card, following you now too!September 17, 2010 9:17 AM )

and who also became a follower (thanks - I appreciate it).   So Tiffany, send me your information (my email is and I'll get your goodies mailed out to you ASAP.   Congratulations!!!!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010


My stamp challenge at Ch{all}enge Masters this month is to encourage you to get out of your red rubber comfort zone and use a digital stamp on your project.  There are lots of places that offer free digital stamps to see if you like them or not.  This image is a free digi stamp from KLM Designs.

I used several different techniques to make this card.  As usual, I colored my image with Copic markers (Y35, E37, G05, G09, G28) and  a brown Spica glitter pen.  I then used the "out of the box" technique and Spellbinders Petite Scalloped Ovals, Small #6 (assumes #1 is smallest in set) to cut out my image.  For the out of the box technique, you leave a portion of your image on the outside of the cut line.  You lightly mark where the die will be, cut around the portion that you don't want to be cut by your die, slip the die underneath that portion, then cut as normal.  For my image, the lower leaf is outside the scalloped cut line.

Next,  I decided to try out a newly discovered product, Colorless Art Masking Fluid, to mask my entire image.  (I purchased mine at a local Michael's.)   No more paper masks to cut.  It's best to use a fine tipped brush so you can get into the fine details better.  Let the product dry (it only took a few minutes and I live in a very humid area) and then you're ready to proceed. 

For my background, I stamped Tumbled Glass and Broken China Distress Inks directly onto my craft mat and then spritzed them lightly with water.  Using my foam blending tool, I grabbed the ink from my mat and then swirled it all around the flower image.  I left the Spellbinder's die in place so that I would have a crisp white frame around the entire piece.  I continued using the blending tool and inks until I was happy with the way the colors looked.  Once finished with the background, just gently rub the Colorless Art Masking Fluid off with your fingertip (or you can use an eraser - like the directions say to, but where's the fun in that).

For the card base, I chose brown cardstock and, using Spellbinders Petite Scalloped Ovals, Large #6, cut out the entire card.  Score and fold the cardstock before cutting it out.  Position the cutting portion of the die on the outside of your fold, so the dies doesn't cut through that part.  Adhere your focal panel to the front of the card.

This is what the inside should look like.  I used Antique Linen Distress Ink and a sponge dauber to go around the outer edge of the right panel.  I left the inside blank so I can come back and stamp my sentiment at a later date.  Now, if I need a last minute card, all I have to do is stamp my sentiment and I'm good to go.

So, my challenge to you is 1) try a digital stamp and 2) go check out all the fun challenges over at Challenge Masters.

Lastly, don't forget you still have time to play in our first ever F{all} into a Ch{all}enge Masters Blog Hop.   Check this past Fridays's post for more details.  You can win blog candy from each Diva.

Friday, September 17, 2010

F{all} into a Ch{all}enge Masters Blog Hop

Welcome to the Ch{all}enge Masters F{all} into a Ch{all}enge Blog Hop! The challenge Divas have gotten together to create some fantastic Fall themed projects for you to be inspired and enjoy. 

You should have arrived here from Marianne's blog (our Sketch Diva).   If not, then you need to start back at Tammy's blog (our Stash & Tag Diva).  All the details are on Tammy's blog.  We all have a secret word that you need to collect to spell an autumn phrase and to be entered to win one of the grand prizes at Ch{all}enge Masters.  You don't want to miss out on any great prizes along the way, as we all have something special that you can win!  Be sure to visit each person's blog for the secret word and to win goodies.

My F{all} project is this cute card and what a fun card to make.  First off, all the images except the sun are from a retired set called Loads of Love by Stampin' Up.  The sunburst is by 100 Proof Press.  I stamped the truck multiple times so I could pop dot the fenders. (In hindsight, you probably should die cut it before adding the foam dimensions - running it through the Big Kick flattened out the foam dots quite a bit.  Luckily, they were really tall to begin with.  : )  ).

I used the palette method technique to color the truck with my Copic markers - I wanted a faded, spotty  look.  The palette method just means you scribble (very technical) one color marker onto something plastic (like a CD case or piece of leftover packaging material) and then pick up bits of that color with a lighter marker.  This will not hurt the Copic markers at all (but I wouldn't suggest trying it with other brands).  If any residual color is left on the lighter marker tip, just scribble it onto a piece of scratch paper and it will come off.  The Copics I used were B21, B26 (for the truck), YR12, YR 15, YR16 (pumpkins), C2, C4, C7 (tires).  Both the Small (#4, if the smallest is #1) and Large Labels (#1, the smallest) from Spellbinders were used to die cut my image and my sentiment. (Again refer to note above about pop dotting after die cutting).  I also attached a bit of ribbon to the sentiment.

The first step in making the background paper is to stamp and heat emboss (with clear embossing power) the sunburst.  Next, take several Distress ink pads and stamp them onto your craft mat (wax paper works as well).  Spritz them several times with water and then lay your white cardstock on top.  This gives you a really cool effect.  The fun thing about this technique is that the Distress inks won't stick where you have embossed an image, so it shows up perfectly.  The final step was to adhere everything to a dark blue base.

 Each Diva will have some blog candy to give away.  Here's what you can win here at Anne-Made.  It's an 18 piece set or red rubber stamps and a dual ink pad.          

All you have to do is leave a little bit of love (aka comments) below and you will be entered into my drawing.  If you also decide to become a Follower of Anne-Made, your name will be entered twice. (yea!)  Leave some love at each Diva's blog to have a chance to win their blog candy too.  Be sure to check back here to see if you won my blog candy.  Good luck to everyone.

Now we are sending the ch{all}enge out to you!  We want to see your fall themed projects!  You can upload them to the Challenge Masters gallery.   Click on "Gallery", sign up, and post your creations!  You'll also want to sign up in the "Forum" and, while you are there,  have a look at all the great challenges we do every week!  (It's free to sign up.) You can enter as many times as you like, just as long as each project is a new project).  You have until midnight on Saturday September 25th to upload your project(s) on the Gallery and then the winner will be announced a few days later!  You can win a fantastic prize pack! 

Your next stop in the Ch{all}enge Masters F{all} into a Ch{all}enge Blog Hop is Suzann's blog to see what she's created for you and don't forget the word you are looking for from me is............

Thanks so much for playing along in our F{all} Blog Hop.  Now get those creative juices flowing and have lots of fun with this.  Can't wait to see what YOU come up with!!  Don't forget to leave a comment at each Diva's blog.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010 happens......

All of these images and sentiment came from a fun set by Starving Artistamps.  I followed the sketch challenge that's at Rubberstampchat this month. 

These are the Copic markers and Spica glitter pen I used to color in the cowboy and poo.  After I was happy with the results, Spellbinders Labels Small (#4 and #5, with #1 being the smallest) and Labels Large (#4) dies were used to cut my panels and my focal point.  I fussy cut the sentiment and the poo and used them as my embellishments, pop dotting them onto smaller circles.  The horizontal elements in the background were made with the Distress Stripes Cuttlebug folder and Distress Ink gently swiped over the raised portion.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

F{all} into a Ch{all}enge

The challenge Divas are getting together to create some fantastic Fall themed projects for you to be inspired and enjoy.  We will all have a secret word that you will need to collect to spell an autumn phrase and to be entered to win one of the grand prizes. All the details, as well as my project, will be posted this Friday (Sept 17).  Make sure to check back here Friday morning because you won't want to miss out on any great prizes.  All of us Divas all have something special that you can win!

We want to see your fall themed projects!  So get those creative juices flowing and start thinking about what you are going to submit.  You can enter as many projects as you want, but each one must be different.  You'll be able to upload them to the Challenge Masters gallery (signing up is free and while you are there we hope you'll have a look at all the great challenges we do every week!).  

Can't wait to see what you come up with!!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Great Pumpkin

For the Great Pumpkin, I used and/or created a new alcohol ink & water technique.  At least I think I did, since I couldn't find it mentioned anywhere else on the web except that you shouldn't do it (but I read that after I had already done it).  It's just like the nail polish technique, except that you use alcohol inks and water.  The key though is that you use glossy cardstock.  Begin by using a metal pan (disposable works great), add a bit of water, and then a few drops of alcohol ink(s) on the surface (I used orange).  Dip the glossy cardstock under the water and act like you are scooping up the drops of alcohol ink.  Let dry.  I must admit, it's pretty unimpressive at this point - but don't throw it away.  Once it's dry, there was a residue left on top of the cardstock (still unimpressive).  I gently rubbed off the reside with my fingertip (you could probably use a tissue as well) and the finished result was very nice (if I do say so myself).  It had a soft and subtle feel /look to it.  It's very pretty in person; the pictures don't really do it justice.

Once I had my background paper made, I stamped my images several times and fussy cut them all out.  The smaller pumpkins are from Stampin' Up and the main pumpkin is from Unity Stamps.  I cut in-between the layers of The Great Pumpkin and pop dotted each layer for a much fuller look.  I used Copic markers to color in the stems, leaves, and the smaller buttons and I found two perfectly sized buttons in my stash for the other two buttons.  I also curled dark green strips of paper to make my vines for the pumpkins.

The dark green background paper was stamped with a leaf background stamp by Cornish Heritage Farms.  (They made great background stamps, and although they recently closed their doors, you can still find CHF stamps around.)  I corner rounded two of the opposite edges and adhered to a lighter green base.

I stamped my sentiment on my ribbon using one of the small alphabet stamp sets by Studio G stamps by Hampton Art.  Before actually stamping the letters onto the ribbon, I dusted it with the Perfect Printing Pouch by Scraperfect so the ink wouldn't bleed.  If you haven't tried this yet, or haven't heard of it before, definitely go check it out.  Very cool product!  None of my ink smeared (and I tested it right away).

So hopefully, the Great Pumpkin will come visit you this Halloween too (or at least show up on your TV).

Friday, September 10, 2010

Just Because

As most of you who follow my blog know, my preference is to stamp an image, color it, and go from there.  Every now and then, I want to change things up a little.  That's what I did for this card.  I used four or five different manufacturers to make this card.  The owl and branch was fussy cut from a sheet of patterned paper by Pink Paisley; the sentiment was cut from a sheet of kraft paper by My Mind's Eye.  When I adhered the owl, I left the ends of the branches sticking up in the air, for a more dimensional look.  The black patterned paper (it has a very subtle amount of golden yellow running through it) is from Basic Grey and the base cardstock is Bazzill.  The brad that matches the colors of the owl beautifully was in my stash (and I don't know who manufactured it).

So, as you can see, it's pretty easy to mix and match your existing stash to come up with a unique card that doesn't look like it's a cookie-cutter version from a kit. And it doesn't take a lot of time, if you are in a bit of a hurry and need a quick card fast.

On a different note, be sure to look for the Design Divas' Ch{all}enge Masters F{all} themed blog hop that will begin Sept 17.  There will be lots of blog candy at every stop (including here) plus some pretty fantastic grand prizes too (can't tell you what it is yet or it would spoil the fun).

Monday, September 6, 2010

Blog Hop Coming Soon

Just wanted to give you a quick heads-up.  Ch{all}enge Masters is going to have a really fun blog hop in the {very} near future.  There will be lots of opportunities to win blog candy and a grand prize too.  Stay tuned for more info coming soon.  Enjoy the long weekend!