Sunday, 14 February 2016

TCTC#6 - You'll Be Missed

I have the honour of being a Guest Designer for The Colour Tree Challenge this month.  I was over the moon when Bronwyn contacted me and, truth be told, am still very excited about it.  The challenge this week uses some beautiful purples.


I had to think about what I would do with these colours.  The Blackberry Bliss, especially, can be so very dark that it almost appears to be black in pictures.  Of course I didn't want that to happen with my stamping.  And so I chose to do a lot of off-stamping.  What is off-stamping, you ask?  Well, after inking up one's stamp the regular way, one stamps the image on a scrap piece of paper and then stamps the image onto the cardstock which is going to be part of the card.  Does that make sense?  What I love about this technique is that it results in a lot of variations of colour.  Especially since I didn't just stamp off once.  For the Rich Razzleberry and the Blackberry Bliss, I stamped off twice before stamping onto my good Whisper White.

After using the Botanical Blooms stamp set for my stamping, I ran the Whisper White piece through my Big Shot using the Elegant Dots embossing folder to add texture.  Then I cut several leaves from Blackberry Bliss cardstock using the Botanical Builder framelit dies, stamped veins on them with my Botanical Blooms set and added them to my Whisper White in random spots.  Finally, I cut flower centres from Blackberry Bliss, Rich Razzleberry, and Perfect Plum cardstock using the Botanical Builder framelit dies.  Since I used each for the centre of the flower stamped with that ink, you can really tell what a difference the off-stamping makes compared to the actual "full" colour.

For the card I used a base of Heavy Whisper White and then added a layer of Blackberry Bliss cardstock before attaching the stamped and embossed Whisper White layer.  I also added several butterflies from the Papillon Potpourri set, stamped on vellum and heat embossed in clear embossing powder.  A few pearls in the centre of my flowers, a sentiment, and the card is done.


I hope you'll check out the wonderful project created by Bronwyn and then link up your own project at The Colour Tree Challenge.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

WWC54 - The Bouncing Brayer Technique


This is an exciting challenge for me.  Marsha Reed is hosting her Bouncing Brayer Technique and, even though I've heard about this technique, I'm finally being forced to try it myself.


Are you ready for my first attempt at this?  I've decided that since Valentine's Day is coming up this weekend, it makes sense to make this card all about love.  So I turned to the long-accepted tradition of red and white for my card.

Rather than beginning with a piece of Whisper White cardstock and bouncing a brayer inked up with Real Red ink, however, I decided to do it in reverse.  I chose to use a piece of Real Red cardstock and then bounced that loaded brayer full of Whisper White Craft ink.  Yes, Marsha, you were right to warn us.  I did wind up with inky white fingers BUT I did not get fingerprints all over my project.  Score one for Heidi!

Since I had used Craft ink, I knew it would take some time to dry properly.  That gave me time to get the other elements of my card prepared.  For my base I decided to use Real Red cardstock and then added a layer of Whisper White.  I used my corner punch on all four corners of the Whisper White as well as on all four corners of the brayered piece.  I thought that softened the effect.  Then I added a heart cut from Whisper White using the beautiful Bloomin' Heart Framelit.  To that I added blossoms die cut from the Red Glimmer paper.  I added Pearl embellishments to the centres of the blossoms and then, to the open cut blossoms in the design, I added Red sequins from the Brights Sequin assortment.  I finished the card up with a sentiment at the top centre and another at the bottom centre.

















It's all about love, right?  At least that's what the card says and that's what Valentine's Day means to countless people.

I hope you'll join us at the Watercooler Wednesday Challenge to check out all the other wonderful cards created by our Watercooler Artists.  This week is special.  We're introducing four new people who will be part of our team for the next three months.  Come on over and say "hi".

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

PCCCS181 - Be My Valentine

In just a few days it will be Valentine's Day and, of course, that is an open invitation to create a few cards using the Valentine theme of love, love, love.  That's what I decided to do with this week's sketch for the Paper Craft Crew Challenge.


I decided to use the smaller of the two roses from the Rose Garden Thinlits dies to cut out a rose from a piece of Real Red cardstock.  Taking the red as part of my "theme", I used a base of the Heavy Whisper White followed by a layer of Real Red and then a layer of Whisper White.  On that Whisper White layer I stamped the flourish image from the Timeless Textures set, using the Silver Encore ink.  
Then I cut a smaller rectangle of Real Red on which I mounted a piece of Whisper White.  Onto that I attached the die-cut Real Red rose.  I love the effect but decided it looked a bit stark and so cut another rose from a piece of Silver Foil.  I took the negative pieces from the Silver Foil and added them to the Real Red rose and knew that's what it had needed.  Before mounting this on the base, I added two strips of Washi Tape to the lower portion of the base as well as a strip of the pretty printed Botanical Gardens vellum stack.

After attached the smaller rectangle, I added another small flower cut with the Rose Garden Thinlits dies from Real Red and then attached a thin banner with the sentiment across that.  A few added Real Red and Silver Foil hearts and the card was done.


I hope you've join us this week at the Paper Craft Crew Challenge.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

TCTC#5 - Hang In There

When I checked out the new Colour Tree Challenge colours I was surprised to see two yellows.  Two yellows and a dark blue.  I'm not counting the white because I would have used that anyway.  But still---two yellows.


Did I decide to leave it and forget about the challenge?  No!  That's what I like about challenges.  They force me to think outside my day-to-day comfort zone.  I know I've grown a lot in my creative abilities since I began joining challenges.  Certainly both my style and my willingness to use colours that aren't my favourites have expanded.  That's a very good thing.  Without growth, I would become bored and stop paper-crafting.

Thanks goodness that cute little chick is being offered in our Sale-a-bration freebies.  That set came to the rescue for this challenge.  I used a base of Whisper White, then a layer of Night of Navy and then another layer of Whisper White.  For that final layer of Whisper White, however, I added some stamping before adhering it to the layers.  I used my Aqua Painter and added some Night of Navy ink in the lower portion and then stamped a couple of the patterns from the Timeless Textures set above that using the Hello Honey.

On a scrap piece of Whisper White I stamped the chick and the balloon from the Honeycomb Happiness set using the archival Basic Black ink.  Then I cut those out carefully before colouring them.  For the chick I used my Aqua Painter and Crushed Curry ink.  I added a touch of Hello Honey with my Stampin' Write Marker for the feet and beak.  I also used the Crused Curry for the balloon but decided to sponge the colour on to give it more of a 3-D effect.  The little ribbon below the balloon is coloured with Night of Navy ink.

I attached the chick and the balloon with my Dimensionals and then stamped the sentiment in the lower right corner using Night of Navy ink.


I hope you'll check out the rest of the cards at The Colour Tree Challenge.

Friday, 5 February 2016

TCTC#4 - The Little Moments

It's been a busy week.  What can't be seen because it's behind the scenes is that our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge has been making changes.  We're going to be introducing some new artists next week.  That sounds easy, but the process has been lengthy and took a lot of preparation.  Time stolen away from my stamping opportunities.  But tonight I stole a bit of time right back and created a card for The Colour Tree Challenge.


The beauty of colour challenges is that one can always add a neutral without cheating.  And that's what I did by using quite a bit of Whisper White.  I love the way the colours pop against the white and become more vibrant than they are on their own.

I kept the card simple.  I've made a few rather involved cards lately and needed that simplicity.  And so I turned to two of my favourite stamp sets, Watercolour Wings and Gorgeous Grunge.  I began with a base of Whisper White and then added a layer of Tip Top Taupe.  My next layer was Whisper White but before I added it, I stamped it.  First I stamped the sentiment near the top right using Tip Top Taupe ink.  Then I stamped two different splotch patterns from the Gorgeous Grunge set using Pool Party ink.

On a separate piece of Whisper White I stamped the smaller butterfly first using Tip Top Taupe, then Calypso Coral, and finally Daffodil Delight.  After cutting the butterfly out with its matching framelit, I stamped it with the body using Tip Top Taupe.  Having decided where the butterfly would be attached, I stamped the antennae on the card using Tip Top Taupe.  With a bit of Tombo glue I attached the butterfly so that it appeared the antennae were attached.  And that's it!  


I hope you'll check out the other cards at The Colour Tree Challenge.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

WWC53 - The Special Teacup

When I was growing up, we had a special Sunday tradition.  By "we", I mean my mother, my sister and I.  Each Sunday after church, we would stay dressed in our "Sunday best" and have our little tea party.  My Dad was never part of that little tea party.  My Mum would have prepared his lunch and served it on a tray to enjoy while catching up on the TV news in the Living Room.  We ladies, on the other hand, enjoyed our tea at the Dining Room table.

(Why am I suddenly hearing the song "Tradition" from Fiddler on the Roof inside my head?)

My Mum had special teacups for our Sunday tea.  They were exquisite, dainty teacups which she had brought with her when they emigrated from Europe.  Mum's was the most exquisite.  It was almost transluscent, the porcelain was so thin.  She had received that cup from her own mother and it had the place of honour on our table.

As we ate our freshly baked cake and sipped at our tea, Mum would always reminisce about her childhood.  We would hear stories about the adventures she and her sisters enjoyed in the mountains where she grew up.  Those were magical times.  I can close my eyes and see us there, around the Dining Room table, listening and asking questions.  Enjoying our tradition.

Mum is gone now.  The tradition is gone except in my memories.  This new teacup bundle of stamps and framelits, the "Have a Cuppa" collection, brings those memories back and I miss those times keenly.  That is the backstory for my card today.

This week I am presenting a sketch for our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.


For some reason the sketch made me think of our little tea parties.  For my background, I kept everything neutral, leading up to the teacup and embellishments which I've showcased.  The teacup, so similar in shape and style to my Mum's, takes centre stage, of course.  It felt natural for my sentiment to be "you're in my thoughts" from the A Dozen Thoughts set.  For my embellishments I've added a spoon cut from Silver Foil using the spoon framelit from the bundle.  I also added two sugar cubes created by cutting two small squares, sponging the perimeter lightly with Smoky Slate ink and covering them with Dazzling Details.  NOTE: I pushed a smoothly rounded pen top against the bowl of the spoon with my Silicone Craft Sheet beneath it to create a concave look.

It's a simple card, despite all the various layers.  I kept my colours to Whisper White, Smoky Slate, Basic Grey, Basic Black, Blushing Bride, Pacific Point and a touch of Garden Green on the leaves.  My teacup is heat embossed in Clear embossing powder and then painted using my Aqua Painter and Pacific Point ink.  I added Dazzling Details to the centres of the flowers.


I hope you'll try your hand at the sketch and link up to our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge this week.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

PCCCS180 - What Love is...

We have a terrific sketch this week at the Paper Craft Crew Challenge.  I had fun with it and indulged myself by using a few things from my stash.  Sometimes when one has been using a lot of brand new products, it feels good to pull out "old friends" and have some fun with them.  Or so I find.

Sketch Challenge 180 for the Paper Craft Crew.

You'll recognize the Designer Series Paper as last year's beautiful Park Lane series.  I love that piece of Blackberry Bliss with the outlined flowers.  In fact I love the effect so much that I copied it by taking a piece of Whisper White and stamping it all over in the same manner with some Mint Macaron ink.  The stamp set I used is several years old but still a favourite.  Our new Rose Wonder bundle made me think of it.  The colours I've used for my card are Whisper White, Mint Macaron, Blackberry Bliss, Crushed Curry, Rose Red, and, finally, Tangelo Twist.  Yes, that's a lot of vivid colours, isn't it?  But I think they work marvellously together.


I hope you'll join us at the Paper Craft Crew Challenge this week to check out everyone's designs.  Better still, link up your own version of our sketch.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

TCTC#3 - Celebrate You

Well, I'm entering another of the Colour Tree challenges.  This time the colours made me think masculine and so I created my card along those lines.


I turned to what is becoming one of my favourite new die sets, the Botanical Builder framelits.  I haven't used them all yet, but several of the dies are so very versatile that I keep going back to them.  I used the curvy leaves to divide the card diagonally.  First I took a piece of Soft Suede cardstock and ran it through the Big Shot using my Softly Falling embossing folder.  Then I cut it diagonally with the leafy framelit.  To add some texture and depth, I sponged the perimeter, including the leaves, with Soft Suede ink.  

I planned to attach the Soft Suede piece to a full 4" x 5" piece of Very Vanilla.  Before doing so, however, I sponged around the perimeter using Soft Suede ink and then stamped over it with the flourish image and the splatter image from the Timeless Textures stamp set.  For the flourish I used Soft Suede ink offstamped twice to ensure a pale image.  For the splatter I used Mint Macaron ink offstamped once to ensure a pale image as well.  Then I attached the Soft Suede diagonally cut piece.

I wanted the open cut leaves to be in Mint Macaron and so took a scrap of the cardstock and cut it using the leafy framelit.  I took the cut leaves and glued them into the open leaves of the Soft Suede.  I took my sentiment from the Birthday Blossoms set and stamped it on the already stamped Very Vanilla using Soft Suede ink.  

Finally I tied some strands of Gold Metallic Baker's twine around the piece diagonally and then mounted the piece onto a 4 1/8" x 5 1/4" piece of Mint Macaron, offset to show the Mint Macaron only on the Soft Suede side as well as at the top and bottom.  I also offset these completed layers onto the base cardstock by not leaving any Soft Suede showing on the left side.  I like the finished effect of this "double offset".


As a finishing touch I added some loops of Gold Metallic thread topped with a small punched Gold Glimmer paper heart.

Just a reminder that we're having a Design Team call for the Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.   This week's challenge is "anything goes".  I look forward to seeing your creation and to any Design Team applications.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

WWC52 - Our Hearts Decide


For anyone interested, the Watercooler Wednesday Challenge is having a Design Team call.

Our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge this week is a fun one.  We're having an "anything goes" challenge and I simply love those, don't you?


I decided to use that beautiful new Bloomin' Heart die introduced in the Occasions Catalogue.  I had the idea of cutting it out in one colour and then putting the little negative pieces back in but in another colour.  So I cut the heart out in Blackberry Bliss and then in Very Vanilla.  About halfway through piecing the bits back into the die-cut heart, I almost gave up.  There are a LOT of pieces!

My base cardstock is Blackberry Bliss.  I followed that up with a layer of Mint Macaron and then a layer of Blushing Bride.  Before attaching them to the base, I cut the upper right and lower left corners using the Curvy Corner Trio punch.  I also used the Timeless Textures stamp set and Whisper White Craft ink to stamp several patterns over the Blushing Bride layer.

If you look closely at the Very Vanilla flower petals which I pieced back into the Blackberry Bliss heart, you may notice that I covered them with a layer of the clear Wink of Stella shimmer.  I sponged the die-cut Blushing Bride flowers lightly with Blackberry Bliss to add texture.

Finally I added part of a sentiment from the Picture Perfect stamp set, stamping it in Blackberry Bliss ink.


I hope you'll join us this week and link up your own creation.  Remember, it's "anything goes".  For more samples created by the Watercooler Artists, check out the Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.

I've also entered my card in the Stamp Ink Paper Challenge which gives options in a Tic-Tac-Toe.  I chose the far right vertical.

I've also added my card to the SUO Challenge since that is all about Valentines.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

PCCCS179 - Just for You

This week's challenge for the Paper Craft Crew is a Love Theme.  With all the great new products that Stampin' Up! introduced in the Occasions Catalogue and Sale-a-bration brochure, there are a lot of wonderful stamps from which to choose.

Love Theme Challenge 179 for the Paper Craft Crew.

I chose the couple from the Beautiful Ride stamp set along with the large sentiment from the Botanicals For You set.  I created a background from three inks:  Rose Red, Hello Honey and Tip Top Taupe.  Then I stamped the couple image on the background and coloured it with my Stampin' Markers.  After that I used my Hearts framelit to cut it out and surrounded the heart perimeter with small hearts cut with my Confetti Hearts punch.


For the sentiment, I used my Stampin' Markers and the same colours to colour sections of the stamp and then stamped it on Whisper White.  After that I fussy-cut the sentiment.  For my card base I used Tip Top Taupe and then a layer of Basic Black which I embossed with a retired script embossing folder.  Finally I attached the sentiment and heart to the card and added three Rose Red Candy Dots.


I hope you'll check out what the rest of the Design Team created for this challenge at our blog site, Paper Craft Crew Challenge.


Thursday, 21 January 2016

The Wacky Watercooler Second January Mini Blog Hop











Welcome to our second mini blog hop for this January.  As you'll remember from our first mini blog hop, that's what we've decided to do this month since the Occasions 2016 Catalogue just launched and we've begun Sale-a-bration.  It just didn't make sense to wait and hold our usual single blog hop on the third Thursday of this month.  What does this mean for you?  You'll get to see even more wonderful creations using the gorgeous new products from the new catalogue.  Especially since we've added more "hoppers" and most of us have even more products with which we've been able to play.

As you will remember, if you've wandered through our blog hops before, our blog hop is presented in a circular fashion.  What does that mean?  Wherever you begin in our blog hop, whether you go forwards or backwards through the participants, eventually you will wind up precisely where you began.  I hope you'll take time to visit all the participating blogs and, perhaps, leave a short message letting us know  what you've thought of our posts.

If you've been moving forwards through the blog hop, you'll have arrived here from the very talented and creative Christine Giuda.  Weren't her projects terrific?

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My first project is all about the stunning Bloomin' Heart thinlits.  What a wonderful tool this is!  I think the lacy heart is gorgeous on its own but it's a real bonus being able to use it in a number of alternate ways as well.  My first thoughts at seeing it in the catalogue were that it would be a "one trick pony" and who wants something that is so extremely limited?  But then some of the creative geniuses from around the world began posting their own ideas and I knew I would have to buy this die set.  "One trick pony, indeed!"  This set performs all sorts of "tricks".

I decided to cut the heart out of the carried-over Red Foil.  I'm so glad that product didn't retire, aren't you?  With Valentine's around the corner, this paper is perfect for so many projects.  I kept this card simple since the Bloomin' Heart  is so fancy.  Instead of using an embossing folder on the Very Vanilla, I decided to line it with a layer of the patterned vellum from the Sale-a-bration Botanical Gardens vellum stack.  The effect is very subtle but gives it a wonderful background.


I cut the flowers from the Dazzling Diamonds Glimmer paper.  In real life they dazzle, almost outshining the rhinestones in their centres.  To finish off, I took a sentiment from the Timeless Love set and stamped it in Real Red ink.

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For my second project I decided to finally try out a fold which I had found on Christina Griffith's page a few years ago.   It's a Double Twisted Easel card and took some planning to create.  After all, you have to think about what it will look like when closed and then also ensure that it makes sense when it is standing open.  But the challenge of making the card appealed to me and I'm happy with the result.


It's a tall card, measuring 8" x 4" when closed as you see it.  I took the sentiment from the Endless Birthdays set and stamped it on a Whisper White "paper clip" cut using one of the cute Project Life Paper Clips thinlits.

The top of the card is created as if you're making a 4" x 4" card as is the bottom of the card.


I love the added interest and texture created by the Lovely Lace embossing folder, don't you?  For my teapot, I used the new Cups & Kettles framelits.  First, however, I used Tombo glue to attach a design from the Sale-a-bration Botanicals Garden vellum stack to a piece of Blushing Bride cardstock.  Cutting it out after the pieces were together made it easier to handle.  I coloured a few of the blossoms from the vellum using my Blushing Bride and Rose Red Stampin' Markers as well as the Stampin' Chalk Marker.


For this square I used the new Botanical Builder framelits and some Blushing Bride, Crumb Cake, Rose Red, and Garden Green cardstock.  The pearls finish the flowers off beautifully.

I used more of the die-cut flowers for the inside of my card.  I also used the new Party Pop-Up thinlits instead of stamping my sentiment.  Over the base layer of Whisper White I added a layer of Crumb Cake and then a layer of floral Crumb Cake from the Neutrals Designer Series stack.  The centre is a layer of Rose Red cardstock and a layer of Crumb Cake cardstock, both cut out using the Ovals Collection framelits.


I love the way this card stands up, don't you?

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And that's it for my projects.  I hope you've enjoyed them as much as I enjoyed creating them.  From here you'll be returning to the beginning of the circle again, and another wonderfully creative stamper, Marsha Reed.

If you get a moment, I'd love it if you would leave a comment.



I got the inspiration for the colours in my Double Twisted Easel card from a challenge put on by Bronwyn Eastley, and am going to put this card into the challenge as a result.  I hope you'll check out The Colour Tree Challenge and the wonderful cards linked up there.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

WWC51 - The Sky is the Limit


This week's challenge is one we haven't had before.  It's a CAS (clean and simple) challenge presented by Bev and it's all about stars.


Clean and simple is a technique with which I really struggled when I first began to enter various challenges.  It's a lot harder than one might think.  Some CAS challenges are for single layers.  Those really are a challenge.  You have the one single layer of cardstock on which you do your stamping.  The more "white space" or "negative space" you leave, the better your card.  Bev's challenge is CAS but it is not restricted to a single layer.  As with the single layer, however, you want to leave white space and keep any embellishments to a minimum.

I knew what I would use on my card.  I had the idea of stars and that wonderful bi-plane from The Sky is the Limit stamp set along with the signature sentiment.  I didn't want to glue on some stars and add to my layers and then I remembered my Hearts & Stars Decorative Masks.  I  hadn't used the stars stencil in ages and it would be perfect for the card.

You can see the stencilled Daffodil Delight stars which I've scattered across the middle of the Whisper White cardstock.  I left room to add the bi-plane on the lower left of the stars and the sentiment on the upper right of the stars.


Since I used a base of Basic Black cardstock, I stamped the bi-plane and the sentiment using Basic Black Archival ink.  My one small embellishment is a star which I punched from Daffodil Delight cardstock and coloured with my Gold Wink of Stella brush.

I hope you'll take the time to check out the other Watercooler Artists' creations at the Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.  After that, I invite you to link up your own clean and simple creation.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

PCCCS178 - Miss You!

This week we have a great challenge for you from the Paper Craft Crew.  It's a sketch which has been interpreted in so many different ways by our Design Team.

Paper Craft Crew Challenge 177. #papercraftcrew #cardsketch

I knew exactly what I wanted to do with this sketch.  It's been a while since I've used the Wilderness Awaits stamp set.  That dog image would be perfect along with some paper from the Cherry on Top Designer Series paper stack.  I kept my colours to the more masculine but muted shades such as Tip Top Taupe, Lost Lagoon, and Mossy Meadow.  


As you can see, I added some embellishments to the right bottom of the card.  You can see the loops of Linen thread, the Burlap Ribbon and an Antique Brad.  All in all, I love the way everything works together in my card.  Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

WWC50 - Thanks


It's time for another Watercooler Wednesday Challenge and this time it's Jean Fitch who is presenting our challenge.  Her choice was a technique challenge featuring quilt style paper piecing.


I have to admit that I had some qualms going into this challenge.  I've never created a quilt and found the prospect almost overwhelming.  I kept starting and not liking my attempts.  Seriously, I have about ten or so butterflies cut out in various colours, several shapes also cut out in various Designer Papers and all were put aside as I rejected each idea.  This doesn't happen to me often, thank goodness.

Finally I decided that I would do a quilt style which I had seen and admired in a real quilt.  A friend had done a wonderful quilt all in applique.  And so that's the route I took.  I got my shapes by first using the Lovely Lace embossing folder on Watermelon Wonder cardstock, on Whisper White cardstock and finally on Crisp Cucumber cardstock.  I chose the embossed shapes I wanted for my "quilt" and fussy-cut them out.  It felt good to be actually working towards an idea.

I used a base of the thick Whisper White cardstock and then added a layer of Bermuda Bay.  Then I took a piece of the Cherry on Top Designer Series Paper stack and used the Honeycomb embossing folder on it before attaching it to the card.  Before attaching the applique pieces, I got a bit whimsical and made the floral portion of the applique into a shaker.  Yes, I know, Jean.  Quilts seldom have shakers but I got carried away.


Do you see the varying colours in the "thanks"?  I had fun with that.  I took a scrap of Whisper White cardstock and a scrap of Watermelon Wonder cardstock and taped them together using the Cucumber Crush Washi Tape from the Cherry on Top Washi Tape collection.  Then I very carefully placed the "thanks" thinlit on the taped pieces so that it showed three colours:  Whisper White covered with the Washi Tape, Watermelon Wonder covered with the Washi Tape and, finally, the Watermelon Wonder on its own.  I love the result!


You can see just how I cut it out in this picture.  

I hope you'll check out the cards created by the other Watercooler Artists at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.  And then create your own quilt paper piecing and link it up for this week's challenge.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

PCCCS177 - So Sorry

Time for another sketch challenge with the Paper Craft Crew.  This week's sketch seems simple but you'll see from all the Design Team creations that it can be left simple or made quite fancy.  It's that type of sketch.


With all the types of cards we make, there is one that we always hope won't be needed.  You know which type that is:  the sympathy card.  For some reason when I saw this sketch, that's the only style of card which came to mind.  I don't really enjoy making them.  I always begin that downward spiral of thinking.  You know, all about mortality and loss and begin to get into a bit of a blue funk.  It's probably a good thing that I don't wait for one of these cards to be needed.  Having a few on hand makes it easier when the time comes.

Now that I've depressed myself and everyone else, lets get to the card.  I kept all my colours rather monochromatic.  I used Very Vanilla, Sahara Sand, Basic Grey and Basic Black.  The Designer Series Paper which I used to stamp the "So Sorry" on is from the wonderful Timeless Elegance collection.  I even chose the black sequins from the Metallics Sequin Assortment and some of the Linen thread which is so close in colour to the Sahara Sand.


I like the way all the products work together in my card.  It's elegant and lovely but I hope I won't have to use it anytime soon.

Please come and visit the Paper Craft Crew Challenge to see all the Design Team projects.

Monday, 11 January 2016

Fun with a new challenge - The Colour Tree

I found a new challenge today and got all excited about participating.  It's the Colour Tree Challenge which is Co-ordinated by Bronwyn Eastley, a Stampin' Up! Demonstrator from Australia.  Actually that's what really made me grin.  I popped back to her challenge site to double check on my spelling and was delighted to see that "colour" is spelled right.  That makes  it so much easier for me since I always stumble over the American spelling even though it should be easier with one less letter.  But habit is difficult to break.


Before I ramble on too much, let's get back to the challenge.  The colours which Bronwyn has posted are lovely colours on their own but I don't use them together very frequently.  Good practise, then, to force the issue and come up with something that isn't fully in my comfort zone.  I wanted the card to use new products from the newly launched Occasions Catlogue but I only have a scant handful of products at the moment.  My big order is somewhere between me and Utah.

The stamp set I finally decided to use is from the Sale-a-bration brochure and is a compliment to the gorgeous Botanical Gardens collection from the Occasions Catalogue.  While I don't have the collection on hand yet, I was happy to play with what I had.  For my base I used Very Vanilla followed by a layer of Perfect Plum.  I topped that with another layer of Very Vanilla which I first stamped with So Saffron using the grid pattern from the You've Got This stamp set.  Then I took the huge sentiment stamp from the Botanicals for You set and stamped it over the grid using Early Espresso ink.

Well, I had used all the colours in the challenge but the card looked rather bare.  I took the three sizes of blossoms from the Botanicals for You set and stamped them on Whisper White using Perfect Plum ink.  Then I fussy-cut those small blossoms, wishing my order had come in since two of the sizes have matching framelit dies.  I used one of the smallest blossoms in place of the dot for the "J" in just and then glued the others in a random pattern in the lower portion of the card.   To finish up the card I cut a solid Perfect Plum butterfly and a lacy So Saffron butterfly, layered them and then attached them half-way up the right side.


For more cards in this challenge, check out The Colour Tree Challenge.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

The Wacky Watercooler's First January Mini Blog Hop


Welcome to our first January mini blog hop.  A mini blog hop?  Yes, that's what we've decided to do this month since the Occasions 2016 Catalogue just launched and we've begun Sale-a-bration.  It just didn't make sense to wait and hold our usual blog hop on the third Thursday of the month.  Of course you're getting a bonus this month.  We'll be holding a second mini blog hop on January 21st just to ensure that we cover the third Thursday as scheduled.  What does this mean for you?  You'll get to see even more wonderful creations using the gorgeous new products from the new catalogue.

As you will remember, if you've wandered through our blog hops before, our blog hop is presented in a circular fashion.  What does that mean?  Wherever you begin in our blog hop, whether you go forwards or backwards through the participants, eventually you will wind up precisely where you began.  I hope you'll take time to visit all the participating blogs and, perhaps, leave a short message letting us know  what you've thought of our posts.

If you've been moving forwards through the blog hop, you'll have arrived here from the very talented and creative Marsha Reed.  Weren't her projects terrific?

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For my first project I decided to combine a brand new embossing folder from the Occasions Catalogue, World Traveller.  I love that we have the world map to emboss, especially since the Sale-a-bration brochure offers a stamp set that absolutely stole my heart, Sky Is the Limit.  You see my nephew is mad about planes and his birthday is coming up this month.  Of course I created my card with him in mind.

I've used a new product, Wink of Stella, on the propeller and also on the clouds.  It's not very obvious in the pictures but it adds a real shimmer to the area where one brushes it.  This close-up also shows the subtle sponging I've done to make the lines of the embossing  pop.


I created a larger than usual card to use the entire embossing folder.  Of course it can also be used for the 4.25" x 5.5" sized cards but a bit of the edge detail will be lost.  As a result the bi-plane looks a bit smaller on my card than it would on a standard-sized card.


I love those little vellum clouds, don't you?

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For my second and final project I used two stamp sets from the new Occasions Catalogue.  As soon as I saw them, I knew I would buy them.  They're versatile and, better still, really appeal to me.  I hope you love them as well.  I created a real scene using them.

I hope you can tell from the photograph that the front window looks reflective because I've covered the Soft Sky with a layer of the clear Wink of Stella.  I've also used that on the chrome areas of the car.  If you've never used the Wink of Stella Glitter Brush, may I suggest you get some.  It makes any colour shimmery.


For my base I've used the heavy weight Whisper White and then topped that with a layer of Daffodil Delight followed by a layer of Basic Black.  For my stamped and painted layer I've used Whisper White.  The background mountains and the tree at the right side are stamped using images from In the Meadow.  The foreground "road" is stamped using one of the images from the Gorgeous Grunge set.  For my classic Volkswagen (or punch buggy as we Canadians are likely to call it), I turned to the new Beautiful Ride set.  I had such fun with that!


I love the way the photopolymer stamps can be seen through for perfect placement.  It would have been difficult to get that cute dog placed in the back window otherwise.

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And that's it for my projects.  I hope you've enjoyed them as much as I enjoyed creating them.  From here you'll be returning to the beginning of the circle again, and another wonderfully creative stamper, Marie Green.

If you get a moment, I'd love it if you would leave a comment.