Category Archives: Depeche Mode inspired

Depeche Mode is my favorite band of all time and they inspire a lot of the art I surprise my friends with, so if it’s a post that mentions Depeche Mode, it can be found here!

Remodeled Craft Studio!

Remodeled Craft Studio!
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Hi guys! Things have been a bit crazy these last few months because of the remodel. I sold or gave away my old furniture; refreshed a few pieces I kept; and redesigned the room to look more aesthetically pleasing. It took a lot of careful planning of each wall to get things the way I wanted them, and I’m thankful my husband helped make it all happen.

He took these pictures today (thanks, Dale!), but in my usual “tinkerer” fashion, I have already made a few changes to the layout of tools on the peg board and hung up some more pictures and Depeche Mode ephemera.

If you’d like to compare these with “before” pictures, here’s a link to my blog post about my craft studio before the makeover.

I may create a detailed video tour of the craft room (including what’s inside the cupboards and drawers) once I feel more finished. I’ll also be doing special video showing how I used VersaChalk‘s awesome premium chalk markers and chalkboard contact paper to label all those drawers and boxes. Until then – please enjoy the photos!

Cards By Stephanie Craft Studio 1

Cards By Stephanie Craft Studio 2

Cards By Stephanie Craft Studio 3

Cards By Stephanie Craft Studio 4

Cards By Stephanie Craft Studio 5

Cards By Stephanie Craft Studio 6

Cards By Stephanie Craft Studio 7

Cards By Stephanie Craft Studio 8

Cards By Stephanie Craft Studio 9

Thanks for checking out my craft room! Do you have a crafty space where you create? Please leave a comment below!

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Depeche Mode LED Lamp

Depeche Mode LED Lamp
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Today, I’m featuring a very talented local (Portland, OR) artist’s work. I stumbled upon the Ardent Iron Works PDX Facebook page a few months ago and got in touch with Joel, the creative genius behind the name. I was drawn to his industrial lamps and when I saw a collection of LED-lit custom signs on his page, I knew I’d just found the perfect gift for my husband!

LED Lamps Custom Made in Portland - Ardent Iron Works PDX

There’s my lamp with all of it’s cousins!

We have a mutual love for the greatest band of all time, Depeche Mode, and I thought it would be awesome to have an LED lamp made for Dale with the infamous rose from DM’s “Violator” album. When I reached out to Joel and described what I was looking for, he did some research and came back to me with a design idea. I loved it! He immediately started the work for my special gift, made from the skeleton of an EXIT sign.

LED Lamps - Ardent Iron Works PDX

In early January, Joel let me know that my Depeche Mode gift had arrived, but it was the day Portland came to a halt, due to some surprise snow. Reluctantly, I had to wait for the streets to clear before I could pick it up, and when I did get over to the Ardent Iron Works studio, I was blown away by how perfect the finished product looked!! It was so exciting to see how an idea became a physical reality, much like my greeting cards.

I was so giddy and excited to present Dale with his gift, but since it was the only gift he was going to open on his birthday, he wanted to wait for the right time so he could savor the surprise. Speaking of “savor,” I think this bacon wrapping paper looks pretty savory! A friend sent me to the link to order bacon wrapping paper from the National Pork Board and I purchased some for Dale’s birthday.

Bacon Wrapping Paper

His reaction to his birthday gift was better than I could possibly have imagined!! He was sooooo full of joy and amazed! The best thing he said was, “This is the kind of gift I was supposed to find for YOU!!” He’s so loving and thoughtful and always goes out of his way to make me feel special. Once I powered up his light and started playing the Depeche Mode Violator album, he was able to see his new LED lamp in action. There are several different settings, but the best one is the setting that causes the D, M and rose to move with the music!! It also pulses if I clap, walk across the floor or speak. Over the past week that Dale’s owned it, he’s told me that he just loves to stare at the beautiful, mesmerizing lights.

DEPECHE MODE custom LED lamp - Ardent Iron Works PDX

He loved his gift - the DM lamp made by Ardent Iron Works PDX!

I’m so happy I met Joel through his equally cool wife, Tarah Pond. He allowed me to give my husband such an original, special gift. If you’d like to purchase one of these custom lamps, there were four Depeche Mode lamps made, which means there are three left. Please get in touch with Joe through his Ardent Iron Works PDX Facebook page. I know he’ll be happy to work with you! His customer service was excellent, and I am confident we’ll be customers again.

Here’s one of his awesome Seattle Seahawks LED lamps – check out the green turf in the front!!
Seattle Seahawks LED Lamp - Ardent Iron Works PDX

There are also these very cool Oregon Ducks and RIP CITY (Blazers) lamps! He’s always happy to make a custom lamp for his clients.
Oregon Ducks LED Lamp - Ardent Iron Works PDXRIP CITY LED Lamp - Ardent Iron Works PDX
By the way, I made Joel a black and red Violator rose “thank you” card, of course! 😉

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Dark Fleur-de-Lis Card

Dark Fleur-de-Lis Card
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Today’s card is a special fleur-de-lis card I made about three years ago, but forgot to blog it. This was made with my Cricut Expression machine by cutting two of the same swoopy square shape; scoring the top of the back/inside of the card; and attaching them with adhesive. I used a few sheets of cardstock from the “Lemon Flower Stack” by DCWV and used Crackle Accents to achieve the glossy, crackled effect on the fleur-de-lis.

Fleur-de-Lys card

 

As you can see, there are a few layers to the card, including the fleur-de-lis that pops off the page with double-sided foam adhesive. I wrapped it with some thin silver wire because I’d seen that look before on other cards, and wanted to try it.

fleur de lis card close-upHere is another shot of the card I made for Stacy. I think this one, below, really shows the embossed paper, sparkles, and the crackle effect.

fleur de lis cardThank you for taking the time to read my blog post! Enjoy your day!

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My First Two Airbrushed Cards

My First Two Airbrushed Cards
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I’m so happy to announce I’m now Certified by Copic! I hold the Standard and the Intermediate Copic Papercrafting Certifications, the only two offered by Copic. Last week I completed all my training and was certified to demonstrate, teach or just use the techniques for my papercrafts. Taking these classes were “bucket list” items I’ve dreamed of doing for seven years, so it feels really good to have done something special like this.
My Copic Papercrafting Certifications
    It was so much fun spending two full days coloring and shading with Copic markers. If you’re not familiar with the brand Copic or how to pronounce it, it sounds like “Ko – Pick” and not “Cop – ick.” Back in 2008, I invested in a set of Copic Ciao markers and I got the other set as a gift a year ago, but I didn’t use them as often as I intended. The reason for taking these two classes was to become better at using my investment of colorful markers. Sure, I used alcohol markers in high school AP art and college, but I had forgotten a lot of techniques I’d learned. It all came back to me when I was re-learning how to use alcohol markers in my Copic classes.
    In Junior High, my art teacher was a talented and well-known airbrush artist and I was fortunate enough to get to learn how to airbrush… but then I forgot most of it because I don’t think I airbrushed again after the 9th grade. Last week, I got to try the Copic airbrush with a compressor and I was hooked! No, I’m not going to turn into an airbrushing graffiti artist – I just enjoy airbrushing backgrounds and quickly changing the color of white embellishments and ribbon. It was pretty special marrying two art mediums I learned to use in public schools: an airbrush and alcohol markers!
    After class, they sold the Copic airbrush system at a ridiculously low, below-wholesale price and I was thankful to be one of the lucky 4 to buy one.
    So, here are the first two cards I’ve made with my new airbrush system. I used three colors on both cards.
Airbrushed Depeche Mode Violator Rose Card
    In this card, I cut the cardstock down to size; airbrushed the background; stamped up the iconic Depeche Mode rose from the 1990 “Violator” album; loosely doodled a frame around the edge with a black Copic Multiliner pen; then mounted it onto dark red cardstock.
    For this guy card below, I wanted to closely match the Seattle Mariners team colors, so after laying down a chevron stencil on the cardstock and airbrushing the 3 colors, I lined the bottom of the chevrons with a silver marker. Then, I stamped the Close to My Heart sentiment; attached the ribbon and buckle; mounted it on silver paper; adhered it to the blue card; then added the Close to My Heart sticker embellishment and gemstones.
What do you think? Do you like the airbrushed backgrounds?
Up Close Thank You
Details of Chevron Card
Thanks for reading my blog!
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Happy Birthday Stacy!

Happy Birthday Stacy!
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Today is the One and Only Stacy L‘s birthday! Stacy and I became instant friends a little over nine (!) years ago when we met through the Depeche Mode message boards. We’ve had many fun adventures together, including meeting Depeche Mode backstage. Yeah, I had to bring that up again because I’m still thrilled that happened!

With each birthday card for Stacy, I feel compelled to outdo myself. Who’s to say if I really achieve that? What I do know is that each card has a completely different feel to it and it’s always a surprise to Stacy. This year, I wanted to do something with the really cool illustration of Stacy that her good friend Shaz Justice of Lollipop Labs Studios drew. Stacy has used it as her cover photo on Facebook, and I think she’s also used it as her avatar. I had a friendly conversation with Shaz about it, and she was all for the idea of me collaborating with her to make Stacy a special card. I should have asked her for the file so that it wouldn’t be so pixelated, but I just snagged it from Stacy’s album of cover photos on Facebook.

Here’s what I came up with. What do you think?

2014 purple birthday card for Depeche Mode fan StacyI used a (way too dull) craft knife to cut Stacy out of the printed .jpg and popped her off the page with double-sided foam adhesive.

Stacy - Depeche Mode Fan - illustrated by Shaz JusticeI found the perfect washi tape spools for the card! Stampin’ Up! had some Halloween washi tape on clearance, and my order just arrived, so I used the skull washi tape and some purple patterned washi tape from We R Memory Keepers and laid them onto the card, along with some ribbon I bought years ago. I always planned to use it on a card for Stacy.

Special 2014 birthday card for Depeche Mode fan StacyAren’t the pennants cute? I folded washi tape in half over the threaded silver beads and snipped them into little triangle shapes. They were kind of floppy, so I pinned one down with a glue dot.

Close-up of Stacy's purple birthday cardI added a cluster of embellishments to the lower left corner. I used a mixture of retired Close to My Heart products and embellishments from my local craft stores.

Embellishments on Stacy's birthday cardHere’s another view of the card. Isn’t Stacy adorable? I love how Shaz illustrated her!

Washi tape + skulls + illustration of StacyI almost never decorate the inside of a card, but this time I did! I added another cut-out of Stacy and layered her over some washi tape.

Stacy - illustrated by Shaz JusticeThere was still plenty of room to write my sentiment inside.Inside of the card: Stacy - illustrated by Shaz JusticeI used my tiny Tim Holtz stapler to attach the wire-threaded silver beads.

2014 birthday card for Depeche Mode fan Stacy      Here’s one last picture I took of the card: Custom birthday card for a special fan of Depeche ModeStacy enjoyed the card and the concert ticket we bought for her. We got to see New Order LIVE last week for our very first time! She shares the same birthday as Ian Curtis, the late singer of Joy Division who died the same day as Mt. St. Helens erupted. Photo below, by Stacy.

Stacy's Depeche Mode birthday card and New Order concert ticketThanks for reading my blog!

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Depeche Mode Stationery

Depeche Mode Stationery
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I should have called this blog post “Random Acts of Depecheness.” 😉
Here’s where the story all began. I bought my Cricut Expression machine in 2008 and watched as Provo Crafts released newer, potentially better versions of the machine over the last six years. I was tempted by the Imagine machine, curious about the Gypsy tool and liked the colors of the newer machines. Mine is just cream-color and grey. I’ve always been a little disappointed that I couldn’t cut my own illustrations or clip art with my machine. Sure, there was software out there that would allow you to make custom cuts but I didn’t feel comfortable going down the road of potentially voiding my warranty, so I didn’t research it. Instead, I longed for a Pazzles machine (but it was more than twice the cost of my original Cricut Expression) and later was very intrigued by the Sillhouette machines but never did anything about it.
Fast forward to late January 2014 when I opened a surprise email from Cricut. They were releasing a new machine that would write, score, cut and would allow me to CUT MY OWN FILES!!! How cool is THAT?!? All of the Cricut cartridges I already own and all of the images I’ve purchased from Cricut Craft Room would work with the Cricut Explore. How exciting! I watched the official Cricut Explore announcement video and daydreamed about the possibilities and then tuned in at 9 PM February 11th to watch it debut on HSN. It was nearly sold out by the time the piece aired and the first hour was frantic and not very informative about the machine. In the second hour of the program, more information was divulged. I took the bait. I ordered it. I’d stashed away some “crafty cash” for a moment like this and excitedly ordered the new Cricut Explore!
It arrived late February and I’ve really enjoyed using it. The first custom project I made was a card with three triangles. Look closely and they resemble primitive D M letters. It’s an adaptation of Depeche Mode’s current logo, which seems to change with every album they release. As a very longtime fan of the band, I enjoy creating cards and art inspired by DM for friends across the world who love my favorite band. I’ve never met many of these friends in person, but through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, we’ve become a family of sorts. I lovingly call the group of friends who also love DM “Depechies” and this will be the fifth time I’ve done a special project like this “For the Masses.” It brings me joy to do kind things to others, and I started getting excited about making some DM stationary for some of my Depechies.
Delta Machine card
I had the current address for a few Depechies, but sent private Facebook messages to others to get their address for the first time or to request a current address. It was fun to see the different responses! Some replied IMMEDIATELY. Perhaps they know that when “Cards By Stephanie” asks for your address, something good is going to be sent. 😉 Other friends were very curious about what I was up to but I didn’t give it away. Some haven’t see my private message yet. One made sure it was really me asking for her address (probably because hackers and spammers are so prevalent). Three others generously offered to “pay it forward” and send me something – even though they had no clue what I was up to!! ❤ Finally, some just read my message and did not respond.
Some of the colorful Delta Machine Depeche Mode cards I made
What started out as a mental list of four girlfriends I’d send a few cards to quickly turned into making 94 cards for 29 friends!! After getting to number 29, I concluded there were still a lot of DM friends whose address I didn’t have and I began to feel bad for inadvertently leaving some friends out. I didn’t exclude anyone on purpose, but when I started estimate the cost of postage, I told myself I had better stop requesting addresses. A few more addresses trickled in after my Mailing for the Masses, so I’ll be making more cards this weekend and will send out some more packages on Monday.
62 of the 100 cards, sorted and ready for mailing
I realized I’d committed to doing more than I’d planned! I’d made 64 cards at first and thought I’d have enough for everyone to get at least 3 cards and envelopes plus have some leftovers for me. However, as I started counting the friends who’d given me their address, I realized I needed to make 32 more cards! I swiftly ordered hundreds of envelopes from Amazon, as my supply was nearing depletion with this project. I took a few days to assemble the cards, take pictures of them, stamp the outer envelopes and hand write all the accompanied notes. It took all weekend to finish up, but I was giggling with mirth for much of the time. It sure is fun to work on happy surprises for unsuspecting friends.
Depeche Mode Violator greeting cards
70 sheets of cardstock, at least 125 envelopes, lots of stamp impressions and 29 handwritten notes later, I was ready to take them to the post office! I took my giant tote bag to the nearest post office and smiled as I mentally kissed the envelopes goodbye. My art was headed on a secret mission! I hope my friends will be delighted when they receive their packages and that they’ll enjoy blessing others by sending them some Depeche Mode themed happy mail!
Homemade Depeche Mode Delta Machine and Violator Cards - CardsByStephanie.com
Update: I’ve heard back from 62% of the recipients and I hope the rest of the packages get delivered soon! My friends were surprised and happy when they received their surprise.
Happy Mail for Depeche Mode Fans
If you liked this post, why not surprise a friend with some happy mail? I encourage you to do something to make a long lost friend smile. You’ll feel good and they will, too.
Thanks for reading my blog!

 

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Mixed Media Canvas Wall Art

Mixed Media Canvas Wall Art
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Do you have friends who would walk through fire and do anything for you? Do you have friends who are there for your saddest, darkest moments as well as partake in moments of your unbridled joy? I’m so blessed to have friends like these – friends who love me even with all of my imperfections and flaws. Two such friends of mine are married to one another and they’ve been fiercely loyal to me, standing by my side in difficult times and exceedingly happy times.
So, when these friends moved back home to Washington State from Colorado, I wanted to make them a very special welcome home + housewarming + birthday gift. I’ve been admiring mixed media art for some time now, and this was my first attempt at smashing a bunch of ephemera, washi tape, flowers and other pretty embellishments onto a decoupaged 12″ x 12″ canvas.
Mixed Media Canvas Wall Art
I started by using Mod Podge and applied it to the canvas and also to the back of my 12″ square scrapbook paper. All the paper I used was from The Heirloom Stack from DCWV, with the exception of some cardboard I turned into an embellishment. Once my first layer was completely dry, I covered it with one coat of Mod Podge and let it dry. Then I built from there.
Happy Lynch Family
My friend Stacy and I met because of our mutual adoration for the music of Depeche Mode, so I knew I wanted to incorporate lyrics from our beloved group in her wall art. Between Depeche Mode and the lead vocalist’s first solo album, I came up with three songs to work with. I hand-wrote lyrics from Depeche Mode’s “Home” and “Here is the House,” as well as a line from Dave Gahan‘s “Hidden Houses” song. I trimmed around the text and laid the pieces onto the dried canvas and put a layer of Mod Podge over them to give them a good seal. After they dried, I went over the whole canvas with another layer of Mod Podge.

Here is the House

Feels Like Home

Hidden Houses
Using a craft knife, I carefully cut out the film strip from scrap paper and cut out the insides to make windows. I surfed my friend Stacy’s Facebook photos for some pictures she took of her family and Seattle and printed them small enough to fit in the film strip. I carefully taped them into place behind the film strip windows, being careful not to use too much tape or the outline might show through. Then, I decoupaged it into place and worked on adding more layers. I used some really old E6000 glue from 2001, Liquid Glass and glue dots. If I remember correctly, I may have used my hot glue gun, as well. I had to work with different products based on what I was trying to adhere.
Decoupaged Film Strip
I inked up some chipboard key shapes and sprinkled some embossing powder with metal shavings and after applying heat, the embossing powder and metal pieces melted together nicely to form a cool textured look. I repeated this method onto a “DM” shape which is from the current Depeche Mode logo. I made a template, traced it, cut it out and embellished it.
Since I have a hard time keeping my own surprises a secret, I shared these photos with my friends before giving it to them. We don’t live near each other, so I wasn’t able to give them their gift for a few weeks since I was afraid to ship it. Mixed media art isn’t for everyone, but I’m thankful my friend Stacy and her husband loved it!
Mixed Media Canvas
Gears, Buttons and Flowers
Thank you for reading my blog!
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Friends of the Universe

Friends of the Universe
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A few years ago, I made some cards that resembled the cover of the current Depeche Mode album “Songs of the Universe” for my friends. I had a few left over, so for Christmas 2011 I added gems to them and sent them as Christmas cards to some of my DM-fan friends. I have so many cards I’ve never blogged about so even though it’s nowhere near Christmas, you’re getting a Christmas-ish blog post!

blog-Friends of the Universe DM

Here is what the cards looked like before I added Christmas ornaments to them. Now I wish I had blinged out all of the original cards I made because I like ’em better with gems.

blog-Friends of the Universe Cards

Thanks for reading my super short blog post and have a great weekend!

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So in Love

So in Love
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One year ago today, my boyfriend (now my husband) completely took me by surprise and proposed to me on stage at Real Estate BarCamp in Nashville, TN! We were part of a panel of REALTORS® answering questions from our dear friend Brian Copeland about how we use technology in our real estate business and at the end of 90 minutes or so, Dale got the last question. He took a long time answering it and transitioned it into my marriage proposal! He even had the song “Somebody” by Depeche Mode play on the speakers overhead. Depeche Mode is our favorite band and that song is essentially about longing for one’s “Somebody” or soul-mate. My husband and I were truly meant to be together! Here is the video below, and then I’ll get on to the card I made for him today!

This is the card I made for him today. We love the song “So in Love” by OMD, but that song doesn’t have anything to do with the card. 🙂

blog-So In Love

These are the products I used to make this card, which was inspired by a gorgeous card I saw on Pinterest! What’s coincidental is the woman who created the card that inspired mine is from Tennessee, where we were engaged.

blog-So in Love Tools Used

These are the clear stamp sets I used: C1480 (retired) from the Roxy “Workshop on the Go” by Close to My Heart, Pink Paislee’s Butterfly Garden Collection – Expressions No. 14 and Glitz’s “Laced with Grace.”blog-Stamps Used in So in Love Card

I stamped the heart and added some shading with my colored pencil, then cut it out and inked the edges. I also stamped the rose frame and colored the roses with colored pencils. I would have done a better coloring job if I wasn’t trying to make this card while my husband was out. I was on a tight time crunch to get this done!

blog-So In Love Close-Up

I stamped kraft paper with the background stamp and then stamped over it with another ink color. I used my sponge dauber to distress the edges with brown ink, and added bitty brads to the corners after cutting and layering the pieces.

blog-Corner of So in Love

I made the lacy piece by punching one side of craft paper and then turned it over to punch the other side. I distressed both sides with ink and then adhered my ribbon to it.blog-Lacy Paper Here is another view of the card. I hope it’s not too feminine for him with the hearts and roses, but I think he’ll like the aged look of the card.

blog-So In Love Card

Thanks for reading my blog and be sure to hug your sweetie tightly tonight – once you find the right one, each moment is a precious blessing.

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