Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #153 - Gail's Masculine "Anything Goes" Challenge

Gail is hosting our challenge this week and it's all about the men in our lives, young or old or in-between.  That's right, it's a Masculine "Anything Goes" challenge and it's right on time for a birthday that's coming up in my family.

Stampin' Up! is beginning to offer quite a few stamp sets which are great for a more masculine looking card.  One of the latest offerings in the new Occasions Catalogue is the very different Waterfront set.  What makes it different?  Well, the finished stamped images look as if one has taken a brush and done a bit of watercolouring.  There seems to be no end to the scenes one can create using this set.  All it takes is a bit of imagination and practise.

I'm making this for my nephew and the scene is similar to a look down Christina Lake at sunrise.  I know he always enjoyed going to the lake when he lived in British Columbia and will enjoy the card now.  I've used a number of different mediums to complete the scene.  First I mixed some Brusho crystals with water and set my scene.  I painted in the sky and water using the Prussian Blue and then painted in the Yellow where I knew the sun and the reflection would be.  I also added some Gamboge to the reflection.  After that I began stamping with my inks:  Smoky Slate, Old Olive, Mossy Meadow (retired), Crushed Curry and Peekaboo Peach.

Once I had added the mountains, the trees, the reflection and the sun, I knew that the scene needed a bit more.  So I added the birds (the three smallest from the High Tide set).  Then I took my Stampin' Blends and used the Crumb Cake to add some brown to the mountains and also between the trees to give the impression of cliffs.

The sentiment is also from the High Tide set and is stamped using Soft Suede.  I didn't ink up the "shine" because I wanted to add a die-cut instead.  I took the "sunshine" from the Sunshine Wishes thinlits, cut the word out of a piece of copper foil, and then simply cut away the "sun".  I think it's perfect for the card, don't you?

I hope you'll check out the wonderful creations by the rest of the Watercooler Artists over at the Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.

I've added my card to the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge which is all about adding a sentiment. 

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #152 - Kath's "All About Occasions" Challenge

It's time for that new "All About Occasions" Challenge we introduced before Christmas and this time it's hosted by Kath Ricks.  I love this challenge because there are so many occasions which we celebrate throughout the year.

I decided on a birthday card because that is, without a doubt, the occasion that comes up most frequently.  I had ordered the new Bird Banter stamp set before Christmas and last week, finally had a chance to play with it.  Those birds make me smile.  And the types of birds lend themselves to some awesome colouring.  For my card I turned to the new Stampin' Blends.  Didn't the parrot turn out wonderfully bright?  I love the shading that's possible with the Blends as well as the lovely brilliant colours.

The stamp set comes with the branch and additional leaf and flower stamps.  I decided to add quite a bit of foliage and some flowers to add to the birthday fun.  And the sentiments that come with the set--so much fun!

I hope you'll check out the wonderful creations by the other Watercooler Artists over at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge blog.

I'm also entering this card in the Inkspirational Challenge #151 which is "all about stamping".

And I'm entering it into the Addicted to Stamps and More Challenge #274 which is "clean and simple"

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #151 - Charlotte's Feminine "Anything Goes" Challenge

Welcome to the brand new year and to another Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.  I'm so happy we're starting the year with Charlotte's Feminine "Anything Goes" challenge.  I began playing with my Brushos over the holidays and am anxious to show off the results.

But before I get around to showing off my card and telling you how I created it, I want to give a heartfelt welcome to our new Watercooler Artist, Helen Finlay.  You can read a short bio about Helen and see her photo over at the Watercooler Wednesday Challenge post.

* * * * * * * * * * 

I had never heard about Brushos.  Well, that's not quite true.  I had read the name in passing when viewing the posts of quite a number of our participants but didn't look into it any further.  That is, until Stampin' Up! announced that five colours would be released in the new Occasions Catalogue.  Did I want them or not?  Well, I had seen some remarkable results featured by some awesome crafters, time to check them out more fully.

Brusho watercolour crystals are produced in Sheffield, England and are simply remarkable.  The tiny crystals "explode" with colour when sprayed with water or immersed in water.  Using them isn't just a matter of having a colour, dipping in your brush, and painting your image.  It can be that simple but it can be so much more.  For my card I first stamped my rose image from the Rose Wonder set, using Versamark and then heat embossed it with silver embossing powder.  Then, once that was set and hard, I sprayed the rose and leaves with water and tapped out a few crystals, green for the leaves and red for the rose.  I used a damp paint brush to spread the colour, leaving areas darker in places and lighter in others.  Once that had dried completely, I fussy-cut the rose and leaves and attached them to a piece of Heavy Whisper White which I had previously prepared by tapping out just a very few green crystals and then spraying them.  I like the resulting splatter effect.

The border of the Heavy Whisper White is also heat embossed using silver embossing powder as is the sentiment.  Once finished, the piece was mounted on a base of Heavy Whisper White.

I found the Brusho colours to be incredibly brilliant and am anxious to try them out with some other projects.  I hope you'll decide to try them out as well.

Please check out the wonderful creations by the other Watercooler Artists over at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge this week.

I'm also playing along with the CAS Watercolour Card Challenge for January since it's all about birthdays.

Monday, 1 January 2018

Inkspirational #151 - Stamping only

It's been a while since I did nothing but stamp.  My cards are usually a combination of stamping, die-cuts, colouring and whatever else appeals at the moment.  Of course I had to have a go at a challenge that demanded nothing but stamping.

I turned to a number of sets which I haven't used for a while.  For my background I used the Work of Art set and placed my grass as well as a couple of clouds.  I'm not at home and so finding ink that would work was a challenge in itself since I just grabbed my Memento stamp pad and Stampin' Blends to play with while house-sitting.  I did find a few mini Distress inks and they worked out perfectly well.  My clouds, therefore, are Milled Lavender and the grass is Shabby Shutters.

I turned to the Sheltering Tree set for the rest of my images.  The tree is stamped using Walnut Stain while the leaves are Shabby Shutters.  For the swing, I turned to my black Memento ink.  I also used the Memento ink for my sentiment which is from the new stamp set coming out in the Occasions Catalogue, Bird Banter.

It's surprising what one can do even when away from home and all the products that are usually at hand.

As I said, I'm playing along with the Inkspirational #151 challenge with this card.

Sunday, 31 December 2017

HLS January Watercolour Challenge

Wow, we're already into a brand new year!  I hope that 2018 is a wonderful year for everyone.

This month it's Anything Goes for the HLS Watercolour Challenge but you may like to play along with our optional twist of sequins.

I'm so excited to be part of the Happy Little Stampers Watercolour Challenge Design Team.  As you all know, I love watercolouring and so I'm looking forward to pushing the limits for this challenge.  

For my image I went slightly oversized and wound up with a 4 1/2" x 6 1/4" card.  But bigger is better, right?  My base is white followed by a layer of Pacific Point.  My image is stamped on a piece of Mixed Media paper and heat embossed using white embossing powder.  After that I went a bit wild with my new Brusho watercolour crystals.  What fun they are!  Truly, you always wind up with something a bit different since each colour is made up of many different coloured crystals.  For this gorgeous Penny Black image I used Scarlet and Ultramarine.  Instead of wetting my image first, I tapped a few crystals onto the image and then sprayed it with water.  Lightly.  I didn't want the red spreading everywhere, after all.  Around the image, I used the blue and added a few red crystals to the mix.  

When it came time for my sentiment, I doubled up.  I used one at the top left and heat embossed it using white embossing powder.  For the second sentiment, I heat embossed it using copper embossing powder.  Finally I added a few sequins and my card was done.

As always, there is lots of inspiration over on the Happy Little Stampers Blog, and don't forget that you could win the prize this time!

And guess what!  Our winner for this challenge will receive a $20 coupon to spend at the shop.  Check out all the details HERE


Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #150 - Heidi's Masculine "Anything Goes" Challenge

This is a two week challenge since we're getting closer and closer to Christmas.  I have so much left to do!  Thank goodness for some extra time to begin doing it.  In the meantime, I'm hosting this challenge and it's all about the men in our lives--no matter what the age.

This challenge couldn't have come at a better time.  I have my nephew's birthday coming up in January, after all.  I decided to use the Eclipse Technique for  the card as well as the new and exciting stamp set free with a qualified purchase for Sale-a-bration.  Yes, that's coming up in January, too.  Of course the Epic Celebrations set can be used for both guys and gals, but for my over-abundance of guys in the family, it is perfect.

I used the image of the sneakers as well as the headphones.  Perfect for the techie in my life and it also fit beautifully on the large numbers from the Number of Years bundle.  I kept to just a few tones for my colours, using Whisper White, Smoky Slate, Bermuda Bay and a background from the wonderful Wood Textures Designer Series paper stack.

I hope you'll find time to play along and create a card for our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.

I'm also playing along with the Party Time theme over at the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge.

Monday, 18 December 2017

Addicted to CAS #126 - Sparkle

When I saw the theme for this challenge, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.  After all, the brand new Myths & Magic Specialty Designer Series Paper has more sparkle built into the heavier-than-normal sheets than any I've seen before.  It's gorgeous!

I chose to fussy-cut the dragon from one of the sheets.  He has major sparkle and a real attitude.  Perfect for his job protecting the huge jewel which I stamped using the images from the You're Priceless set.  I didn't have to hand cut that image since, luckily, it uses the die from the Oh So Eclectic bundle.  For some major sparkle I pulled out my retired Crystal Effects, painted that onto the jewel, and then covered it with the incredible Dazzling Diamonds glitter.  You almost have to wear sunglasses when the light hits that glitter.

I'm playing along with the Addicted to CAS challenge #126 with this card.

I'm also playing along with the HLS December Anything Goes With Dies challenge.

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Less is More Challenge #359 - You Are Amazing

I've been looking at the Hostess stamp set, Feathery Friends, for quite a while now.  I liked it enough to add it to an order some months back but until now inspiration escaped me.  With this challenge, however, I got the glimmer of an idea and decided to run with it.  Keeping it clean and simple opened the door for me.  Funny how that works.

The main reason I bought this set is because I thought it would be fun to play with my Stampin' Blends colouring all the little bits and pieces of the images.  I decided to make a 4" x 4" card with a Whisper White base and added a die-cut cross-stitched circle in Whisper White for the stamped and coloured images.  Fitting it all into the circle worked out perfectly.  Using the Stampin' Blends was a pleasure.  I'm happy with the results.

I'm playing along with the Less is More challenge for this card.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #149 - Marsha's "All About Occasions" Challenge

Marsha is hosting a brand new challenge this week called "All About Occasions".  When you think about all the occasions which one celebrates during the year, you can imagine how many different card themes are possible.

Since Christmas is just around the corner and I still need some more Christmas cards, that's the occasion for which I created my card.  My husband and I were in Calgary at the end of last week and I found a small but absolutely packed-full-of-goodies crafting shop and spent some time (and money) discovering and buying new treasures.  One of those is the Cling Fox Friend stamp by Stampendous.  I love snowmen and I love foxes.  How could I have passed it up?

My base of Soft Sky followed by a piece of vellum which I embossed with the retired Northern Flurry embossing folder.  I topped that with a frame of Real Red to hold the vellum down without showing the glue and also for the effect of the red frame.  My images are all colouring using the Stampin' Blends (love them!).  The "Let it Snow" is an off-brand die-cut and the snowflake is cut using the Seasonal Layers Thinlets.  A scattering of rhinestones, and the card was done.

I hope you'll check out the wonderful creations by our Watercooler Artists at the Watercooler Wednesday Challenge this week.

I've also linked up my card to the {PIN}spirational Challenge #205 which  is all about Winter and snowmen, etc.

I've linked it up to the Cardz 4 Guyz Challenge which is all about snowmen.

And, finally, I've linked it up to the HLS December Christmas Challenge which is anything goes.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Happy Little Stampers Watercolour Challenge - Let it Snow!

It's an Anything Goes challenge over at the HLS Watercolour Challenge and as a twist, it can be all about Christmas.

I had been thinking about using one of the new dies I bought some weeks back.  This one has beautiful script saying "Let it Snow".  Now I'm not wishing more white stuff on the ground, but that die really is asking to be used.

I love watercolouring, as most of you know, and so I decided to take a piece of Mixed Media paper and used some of my Distress Oxide Broken China on it.  As usual I smooshed some ink on a plastic mat and added a spray of water.  Rather than dip my paper into it, however, I took a wide brush and painted it on in streaks.  When I was satisfied with the look, I took my heat gun and dried it.  I took the piece, cut it with an oval die, and then cut another oval from a piece of Bermuda Bay cardstock.

I took a scrap of Bermuda Bay cardstock and a scrap of white cardstock and cut the sentiment out of each colour.  Then I added some Tombo glue to the back of the script and put it aside to get tacky.  While that was happening, I made a stencil of a tree by cutting it out of a scrap and keeping the negative piece.  I took a dauber and "smooshed" some Distress Oxide Peeled Paint into that to get the tree onto my painted oval.  After using my heat gun to completely dry that, I used my Aqua Painter and some Mossy Meadow ink to get some texture and dimension to the tree.  After that I used my Softly Falling embossing folder to add the illusion of snow.  Then I mixed a bit of Modelling Paste with water and "painted" on some white texture to make it appear as if there was a bit of snow on the branches.

You can see what I did with the die-cut script sentiment.  I attached part of the Bermuda Bay piece to the painted oval, part of the white piece to the Bermuda Bay oval, and then the rest of the Bermuda Bay piece to the base of Whisper White.  It makes me think that snow has fallen on the script.

As well as adding this card to the HLS Watercolour Challenge,  I'm going to add my card to the following challenges:

SIP Challenge 128 - Let it Snow

CAS Watercolour Challenge Dec. 2017 - Anything Goes

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #148 - Heidi's Feminine "Anything Goes" Challenge

Woo Hoo!  I get to host this week's Feminine "Anything Goes" Challenge!  I think it's such fun to come up with something distinctly feminine and this time I decided to make it Seasonal as well.

I love using the Beautiful You stamp set.  It's become one of my "go to" sets, especially when I'm thinking "feminine".  It's no surprise, then, that this card features one of the lovely ladies from this set.  As much as I've used the Beautiful You set, however, I've as good as ignored the Hang Your Stocking set which carried over from last year's Holiday Catalogue into the current Annual Catalogue.  I'm making up for lost time with this card.

I decided to make this a gate-fold card because it made it easy to feature my Beautiful You lady in a pretty oval.  Since she's the featured image, she gets to overlap both sides, keeping the "gates" shut.  As a background I heat embossed the stockings using White embossing powder on Basic Black cardstock.  I love the sharp contrast!

Because I used black, white and red for my featured image and for the ovals, I continued with the colour theme by having a base of Heavy Whisper White and then layers of red and black.  You'll notice my lovely lady has a stylized "Santa" hat.  Well, that's thanks to some fancy fussy cutting and then colouring with my Stampin' Blends.  I cut the stocking she's holding free-hand from some retired Christmas paper that fit my theme perfectly.

Of course I carried the same colour theme inside since the "gate" opens and shows it off nicely.  Onto my Whisper White base I attached a layer of Real Red and then a layer of Whisper White, after it had been stamped.  The sentiment, in Basic Black ink, is from a retired set called Christmas Messages.  The stocking, off-stamped once, in Real Red ink, is from the Hang Your Stocking set.

I had a lot of fun creating this card and hope you enjoy it, too.  I invite you to check out the other awesome cards created by our Watercooler Artists at the Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.

Remember, we're having a Design Team call.

I'm also entering this card into the Addicted to Stamps & More challenge, #271---Anything Goes.

And I'm entering it into the Moo-Mania & More Challenge since it's all about heat-embossing.

Another challenge I'm entering is the Merry Christmas Challenge #46.

Ch# 46  Anything Goes + Christmas

Optional: Fun Fold Cards

Last but not least, I'm entering it into the Inspire, Create Challenge #006 which is all about fancy folds.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #147 - Charlotte's "Anything Goes" Challenge

I was so stoked that this week would be an "Anything Goes" challenge!  I had been thinking about making a special shadow frame for Christmas and this challenge was perfect for something like that.

It all began with the super-adorable Ready for Christmas bundle.  When I saw it in the Holiday Catalogue, it was love at first sight.  And I wanted to show it off in a big way.  What better than a shadow frame, I thought.  And so began my obsession.  Whatever I happened to be working on, a small part of my subconscious was constantly at work with the planning for "my big project".

In the end I wound up combining that bundle with the Hearts Come Home stamp set as well as some unrelated Designer Series Paper and some retired products.  Amazingly it all came together beautifully, although the number of interruptions to my crafting time were staggering and I wondered whether the project would be finished in time or not.

I wanted texture for my shadow frame and so I reached for a piece of 12" x 12" retired Smoky Slate Core'dinations cardstock.  Without cutting, the shadow frame possible from a piece of 12" x 12" cardstock is 8" x 8".  I was fine with that and got to work.  For the inside background, after choosing and discarding a half dozen possibilities, I finally settled on a piece of the Naturally Eclectic Designer Series Paper.  I liked it against the Smoky Slate and it reminded me of snow.

For the presents, I turned to the Birthday Memories Designer Series Paper and to the retired Home for Christmas Designer Series Paper.  I stamped the adorable little Dachshund on a retired piece of Baked Brown Sugar and then stamped it again on a piece of Whisper White.  I cut out the doggie-sweater from the piece of Whisper White and coloured it with my Stampin' Blends before gluing it onto the little Dachshund.

You can see I cut the ornaments out from Glimmer paper and also Silver Foil using the dies from the Card Front Builder Thinlets.  This is what my finished project looked like on Monday night.

On Tuesday morning I knew it needed something more.  And so I cut out several more evergreen boughs and coloured some of the Clear Faceted Gems using my Cherry Cobbler Stampin' Blender.  I also stamped Santa and his reindeer from the Hearts Come Home set using Smoky Slate and somehow managed to fussy cut the images out without beginning to drool.

This is the finished project and I love it.  I hope you do, too.

There are some wonderful projects created by our Watercooler Artists over at the Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.  I hope you'll check them out, too.

I've also entered my creation into the HLS Challenge - Anything Goes with Dies

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge 146 - Kath's "All About Christmas" Challenge

Christmas is nearly here.  Just another month (and a couple of days) and it will be here.  I really do have to get my Christmas cards written.  Thank goodness, with the help of challenges like this, I've managed to make enough to send out.  Yay!  This week Kath is hosting our "All About Christmas" challenge.  And wouldn't you know it--I had a little "whoopsy" with this card.

It all began when I decided to use the gorgeous Father Christmas stamp set.  I had a scene in my mind and hoped I could recreate it in a card.  Father Christmas is such a wonderful image.  He's nothing like the modern Santa Claus.  This image is more European--older--wiser--probably less jolly.  I wanted him out in the snow, among trees.  Now I have quite a number of tree images available among my shelves of Stampin' Up! stamps but what I had in mind was more along the line of those trees for which we only have framelits--the ones from the Carols of Christmas bundle.

Well, rather than mope around wishing, I decided I would use those trees and proceeded to cut them out from a rectangle of Whisper White.  That piece became my mask (stencil).  After I had stamped Father Christmas, I used the stencil to place the trees and used my Aqua Painter and some Old Olive ink to get the shapes in place.  After that it was easy enough to layer my greens to create the trees.  I used my Aqua Painter and a variety of my inks to colour in Father Christmas and also to give a wash to the sky as well as shadows on the snow.  The only areas not Watercoloured were the pocket watch and the trumpet.  Those two were coloured with the retired Silver Stampin' Dazzle and the retired Gold Wink of Stella respectively.

Yes, Father Christmas is wearing a Fresh Fig coloured fur-lined robe.  The European Father Christmas is not your jolly red and white Santa Claus.

For the inside I decided to add a piece of Fresh Fig to the base Heavy Whisper White and then added two rectangles of Whisper White to that.  One has the images while the other bears the greeting.

I hope you'll check out the wonderful creations by the other Watercooler Artists at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.

I'm also entering my card into the CAS Watercolour Challenge which is all about Holidays.

And finally I'm adding my card to the Addicted to Stamps and More Clean & Simple Challenge.

* * * * * * * * * * 

I said earlier in this post that I had a little "whoopsy" with this card.  Well there is a bit of a story which goes with that.  Some years back when we were still living in British Columbia and my parents were alive, my daughter and I created a special Christmas present for them.  The face and hands are porcelain while the rest is wire structure and clothing which I designed and sewed.  It took us a while but my parents loved it.  When they passed on, the piece came to me.  And in time it will go on to my daughter.  It means a lot to both of us.

So one of the first things I had done when designing this card was to stamp and fussy-cut a reindeer from the Nature Sings stamp set.  After that I had water-coloured the image and set it aside.  Well, if you look at the card front, you'll be struck by the absence of that very reindeer.  Did I lose it?  No, I did not.  It is safely lying precisely where I put it.  The thing is that when I finished the card up to the point where you see it posted above, I loved the way it looked and totally forgot all about the reindeer.  It wasn't until I told my daughter about the post I had scheduled and about the card which I designed because of the piece we had created, that I remembered that poor missing reindeer.  And so here is the alternate version of the card.  The reindeer is only barely holding on--I didn't properly adhere him.  I can't decide which way I want the card to look now.  What do you think?

I'm entering the reindeer version into the Cardz 4 Guyz Challenge which is all about Reindeer.

And finally I'm adding this card to the Retro Rubber Anything Goes Challenge.  The Father Christmas stamp set was released in the 2016 Holiday Catalogue, over a year ago.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

A Cup of Merry!

I love coffee!  What could be better, then, when one loves coffee so much, than to have the two coffee sets by Stampin' Up! along with the matching framelits?  Of course Stampin' Up! also brought out the wonderful matching Coffee Break designer paper and I can't say enough about the terrific images on that paper.  They speak to a coffee lover's heart.

It's logical, under these circumstances, that I would jump right in when there is a coffee-related challenge, right?  Well, that's what I've done with the new {PIN}spirational challenge.

The background coffee rings are straight out of that package of designer papers.  The images, too, are cut from another sheet of the designer papers.  The little gold doilies behind the cups provide a bit of added bling as do the Glimmer paper hearts.

As I said, this was inspired by the {PIN}spirational Challenge.


The layout, however, is thanks to the sketch over the the Sunday Stamps Challenge.