Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #107 - Penny's Masculine "Anything Goes" Challenge

It's time for another masculine challenge and this time it's hosted by Penny Hanuszak.  I love making masculine cards and projects.  There are a lot of men in my extended family and it's a good thing to have some cards on hand that are particularly designed for them.

I love an "anything goes" challenge, don't you?  It means that the sky (or my imagination) is the limit, in this case as long as it's masculine.  This time I decided I would finally get around to using my Nailed It bundle.  How awesome is it that we have a stamp set with some terrific images of tools, nails, bolts, etc PLUS a matching set of dies to cut them out?  The moment I saw the set, I knew I would have to buy it.  After all, with a brother-in-law who is a master carpenter and a bunch of would-be handymen in my family, this bundle is going to get a lot of use.

I decided to keep the colours neutral except  for a splash of red (unless you consider that silver is not a neutral?)  I even managed to get a strip of Silver Foil which I embossed using the new Hexagons Dynamic Textured Impressions embossing folder.  Otherwise my base is Smoky Slate with a layer of Basic Black and then a layer of Basic Grey.  The tool box is primarily Real Red except for the touches of Silver Foil and the screwdriver has a Crumb Cake handle.

You can see there is some sponging on the handle of  the screwdriver and also on the tool box.  The splatters on the Basic Grey were stamped with an image from the One Wild Ride set.

I hope you'll check out the wonderful creations by the other Watercooler Artists at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.  And then I invite you to link up your own masterpiece for us to enjoy.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

The Wacky Watercooler February "Spring Fever" Blog Hop

It's time for another blog hop and this time, since we're all getting rather tired of the white stuff, we're having a "Spring Fever" theme.  There is so much that goes on in Spring, isn't there?  Easter, Mother's Day, Birthdays and so much more.

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 Marie Green's post.  

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It's my grandson's tenth birthday today and so I took advantage of some of the new products which I ordered to put his card together.  What better set to use than the Everyday Hero as well as the Balloon Adventures?  If you're wondering about the "X" on his outfit, it stand for Xavian---however, we always call him X-Man.

You can't really see the full effect here, but the sentiment is gorgeous since I heat embossed it using the copper embossing powder.  

I continued the theme inside with another sentiment from the Balloon Adventures set.  

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For my second project, I decided to use the gorgeous Window Box Thinlits dies.  I didn't use coloured paper simply because I intended to fill the box with colourful Skittles, one of Xavian's favourite candies.  With a white box, the colours of the skittles show up beautifully through the die-cut holes.

I decided  to put a big, shiny star on top, with the scribbly heart and the die-cut "10".  I'm happy with the result.  I just hope Xavian takes the time to have a good look before he opens it to get at the candies.

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For my third and final project, I had an idea for a framed piece of art.  I began with a 6" x 6" piece of Watercolour Paper and sketched a background of sunset, waves and sand.  Then I began using various images from my stamp sets.  I used the lighthouse from the High Tide set as well as the seagulls and sentiment.  Then I added the sandpipers from the Wetlands set to balance the seagulls.  Finally I added the dancing girl from the Beautiful You set.  Then I set to the task of colouring in the lighthouse and the girl, to make them silhouettes against the bright sunset.  Of course, to give everything some depth, I also added shadows.

I think the images work beautifully together, 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 visiting another wonderfully creative stamper, Penny Hanuszak.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #106 - Make a Wish!

This week I get to be hostess at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge and even though it's a Clean & Simple challenge, I decided to step it up by making it all about sparkle.  It's fun to add that final touch of sparkle, isn't it?  And that's what my challenge is all about---having fun.

I kept my card clean and simple, leaving a lot of white space.  I began with a base of the Heavy Whisper White and added another layer of Whisper White onto which I heat embossed the swirl from the Star of Light set using clear embossing powder to which I added some Dazzling Diamonds.  You can see the sparkle in the photo but I assure you it is really sparkly and dazzling in person.

On a scrap of Whisper White I stamped the fairy image from the Fairy Celebration set and cut it out using a stitched oval die.  Then I stamped the wings a second time on another scrap and fussy cut them out.  Yes, I could have used the Bitty Butterfly punch, which fits those wings, but I wanted them cut right to the stamped line.  Fussy cutting was the only way to get that done.  After colouring the wings, I covered them with Versamark and then added a mixture of clear embossing powder mixed with the Dazzling Diamonds again.  You can see the sparkly effect in the photo.

After stamping my sentiment, I decided to cut two very narrow strips of Dazzling Diamonds Glimmer paper and attached those beside the right margin and the bottom margin.

I love all the sparkles on my card, don't you?

I hope you'll come on over to the Watercooler Wednesday Challenge and check out the wonderful cards created by the other Watercooler Artists.  And then please consider creating your own sparkly card and linking it for us to enjoy.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Reaching Out

Every once in a while a story surfaces on Facebook which touches the heart.  This week, for example, I saw a post shared on Facebook by the niece of a veteran in the United States.  What was so special about that, you ask.  Well, she shared the advertisement her uncle had placed in the local newspaper, asking for letters.  This is, actually, his last request.  James Wiitamaki, the veteran in question, is dying from cancer.

You won't find the post on Facebook any longer.  The administrators, for whatever reason, removed it.  You can, however, read about it here, in this article from the FOX news.

It doesn't matter in which country one happens to live.  Veterans who have fought for freedom in any country's military deserve to be recognized; deserve not to spend their last days ignored and lonely.  Yes, James Wiitamaki is only one of many who have come back.  No, this makes no difference to the situations of all those others.  But, symbolically, James Wiitamaki stand for them all.

I am sending him a card.  He doesn't know me.  I don't know him.  But he deserves to know that someone cares.

They all do.  All our veterans around this world of ours.

If you, too, would like to send James Wiitamaki a card, here is his address:

James Wiitamaki,
V.A. Medical Center, B51-2,
4801 Veterans Drive,
St. Cloud, MN  56303

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #105 - We might as well Dance!

For a change we're having a color inspiration challenge over at the Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.  Marsha Reed is hosting this different slant with the photo shown below:

For Marsha's suggestions as to the appropriate Stampin' Up! colours, you can check out the post over at the Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.  If you're using colours by other companies, just let the picture inspire your choices.

I had fun with the colours.  Instead of choosing flowers, which would have been the easy choice, I decided to go with the gorgeous Beautiful You stamp set and let that lead my choices.  I have to say, I'm glad I did.  I love the final results.

There is an exuberance to the image of the girl leaping into her dance (or is she about to do a cartwheel?)  which the background Confetti Embossing Folder emphasizes.  I love the way all the colours work together in the card.  It makes me smile.  I love it when a card does that for me.

Have a look at all the other wonderful cards created by the Watercooler Artists over at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge and then, please, link up your own creation for us to enjoy.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #104 - Love You Lots

I love sketch challenges.  Serendipitously we have a sketch challenge hosted by Kath Ricks at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge this week.  As you can see, the sketch is very versatile.  Actually I didn't change it much for my card, as you will see.

Basically, I loved the layout just as it was and didn't even think about flipping it directionally.  The only little "tweaks" I made were to change it from a square to a more standard rectangle and also to change the oval to a circle.  Little things.

I had wanted to use the little love-bugs from the Hostess Love You Lots set for quite some time and the timing was perfect.  With Valentine's Day around the corner, what could be more perfect than the two love-bugs, the new Lace Doily from the Occasions Catalogue, the Falling Petals embossing folder, and the wonderful Ruched Sweet Sugarplum Ribbon, all thrown together into a romantic little card?

I used the Heavy Whisper White as my base and then added a layer of Crumb Cake and then an embossed layer of Sweet Sugarplum.  I stamped and coloured the little love-bugs before fussy-cutting them to mount them on a circle of Serene Scenery DSP, die cut using the stitched circle framelits.  The lace doily behind the circle really adds a touch of romance, don't you think?  To make the ruched ribbon stand out against the Sweet Sugarplum background, I backed it with a piece of the new 5/8" Burlap Ribbon.

To finish the card off I added three little red Glimmer Paper hearts to the upper left side.  I hope you'll check out the cards created by the other Watercooler Artists at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

SIP Challenge #83 - Thanks

I like sketches which have a layer slightly "skewed".  They're fun to use and make an ordinary card just a little bit different.

I decided to use just three colours for my card:  Whisper White, Emerald Envy, Flirty Flamingo, and Mint Macaron.  The stamp set which I used is from the Occasions Catalogue, Special Reason.  My background is hand-coloured and is free from the Sale-a-bration Brochure.  The "Thanks" which I used as my sentiment is from Taylored Expressions and fits perfectly over that cut-out flower.

I hope you'll check out the Design Team cards over at the Stamp Ink Paper Challenge.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #103 - Birthday Wishes to the Leader of the Pack

This week's challenge is perfect, at least from my point of view.  Gail Allen is hosting a Masculine "Anything Goes" Challenge and today happens to be my nephew's birthday.  Talk about two birds and a stone, right?

Since this challenge is "anything goes", I began rummaging around my craft room, hunting for masculine products.  There are quite a number of them at the moment.  And then I remembered a stamp set which I had bought shortly before our trip in December and had not introduced to ink yet.  Given Alex's many interests, the set was perfect for his card.  Which one is that?  The One Wild Ride set, of course.  Not only does Alex love motorcycles, but he also makes life the wild ride it has been for the last 39 years.  He and danger have gone steady for years and he has the scars to prove it.

I chose to use primarily neutrals for the card with the addition of some silver.  Why silver?  Because our Alex simply "shines".  The new Hexagons Dynamic embossing folder left an amazingly deep pattern on the Silver Foil.  I embossed two strips, one debossed and one embossed because, quite honestly, I couldn't decide which way I liked the pattern more.  I also added two metal stars from the Urban Underground Embellishments pack.  My base is the Smoky Slate and then I've added layers of Basic Black and Basic Gray.  I've stamped the motorcycle image on Whisper White and then sponged some Basic Gray ink around it to age it a bit and make it appear scuffed.

Of course the inside had to be special too.

I know Alex will love the card.  I hope you do, too.

And now I invite you to check out the amazing cards created by the other Watercooler Artists for our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge this week.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

The Wacky Watercooler Second January Mini Blog Hop

Before I begin introducing my projects for this Blog Hop, I want to talk about a friend who should be participating in this blog hop with us today but, instead, is in the hospital fighting for her life.  You will all remember Christine Giuda.  She has participated in our Blog Hops more often than not over the years and her projects are always incredible.  Please pray for this sweet, talented and warm-hearted lady and her family.  Thank you.

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This is our second mini blog hop this month, introducing the 2017 Occasions Catalogue as well as 2017's Sale-a-bration.  Some wonderful products have been introduced and, of course, thanks to Sale-a-bration, until March 31st, for every $60 CDN you spend, you get a product FREE from the Sale-a-bration brochure.  Sweet, right?

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 Jean Fitch's post.  Jean makes her home in Oregon and is a member of our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge artists as well.

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For my first project I turned to one of the most outstanding of the new stamp sets, Beautiful You.  Not only are the images beautifully sketched and versatile, but the sentiments included in the set are also some of the best I've seen in quite a while.  I imagine I will be using this set quite happily for years to come.

My card is oversized simply because of what I wanted to include.  I absolutely love the remarkable papers that are part of the Serene Scenery Designer Series paper stack.  I've used some of them before but one, especially, stood out as being perfect for this card.  The beauty of this seaside scene is that it allowed me to use another stamp set which I love along with the Beautiful You set, and that is Wetlands.  Don't those sandpipers look as if they were naturally part of the scene?  

I decided to stamp the image from Beautiful You on a piece of Watercolour Paper and then cut it out using a stitched oval framelit.  I followed along with the natural curves of the colours in the designer paper using an Aqua Brush and several colours of ink.  Since all the sandpipers have shadows, I added a shadow for my lovely lady by first stamping the image on a piece of Window sheet and then quickly placing it on the paper behind my lady, thus providing the shadow.

Instead of leaving the umbrella and dress plain, I used the tiny flower stamp from the Weather Together set to add some blooms.  Then I used my Aqua Painter and the Bermuda Bay and Crushed Curry inks to colour them in.  For my sentiment I used the Thoughtful Banners and matching punch as well as a sentiment from the Beautiful You set.

A few tiny pearls and my card was done.

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For my second project I had fun with a mixture of products from the Annual Catalogue, 2017 Occasions Catalogue, and, of course, the Sale-a-bration brochure.  It didn't begin well.  I had decided to use the gorgeous Inside the Lines designer series paper that is offered free during Sale-a-bration.  The main reason for that was that it contains some stunning images which can be coloured with any variety of tools, but, especially with the new Stampin' Up! Watercolor Pencils.  A secondary reason was that the image I chose also included some beautiful dragonfly images and, so far, I haven't bought the new Dragonfly Dreams bundle---next order!

Well, I coloured my images, cut them out using the stitched circle framelits, and totally hated them.  You have to understand that I'm convalescing at the moment and I hit some highs and lows during the day.  Thank goodness I didn't throw away the images (my first impulse), because the next day I knew that I could use them.  And so I hauled out a whole bunch of other products and got to work.  In the end I used some of the Irresistibly Floral Specialty Designer series paper from the Annual Catalogue, the beautiful new Falling Petals embossing folder and Stylish Stems thinlits from the 2017 Occasions Catalogue, and a whole bunch of current cardstocks and inks.

I made it all about circles and added some die-cut leaves and suddenly the images which I had hand-coloured seemed perfect instead of being rejects.  (Remember, I have been having those highs and lows.)  And the whole card just came together almost effortlessly.  

Do you see the slight glitter to the wings of the bee and the dragonfly?  That's due to the subtle effect of the clear Wink of Stella brush.  Trust me, in person those wings simply "rock!"

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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 visiting another wonderfully creative stamper, Sheri Lee.  Sheri is another Canadian and is a frequent participant of our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

WWC102 - Love You

This week's Watercooler Wednesday Challenge is hosted by Libby Fens and is all about Red on White.  Such a fun Valentine type of challenge, but this one is Clean & Simple.

Of course there are quite a number of heart shapes available in our current Stampin' Up! products.  The problem is deciding which one to use.  I decided that the scribbly heart in the Sunshine Wishes Thinlets would be fun to use, especially along with one of those cute jars from the Jar of Love stamp set.  I cut the heart from a piece of Red Glimmer paper and stamped the jar using Black Memento ink.  I also cut the "love" from another piece of Red Glimmer paper as well as a number of tiny hearts.  (I may have overdone the die-cuts, but I was on a roll.)

I hope you'll check out the wonderful creations by the other Watercooler Artists at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.  And I hope you'll welcome our new Watercooler Artist, Heather Hopson, as well.  You'll have seen some of her work in our many challenges since Heather has been a very constant participant.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

WWC101 - A Good Friend Like You

Colour challenges are such fun, especially when you love the colours.  Thanks to Jean Fitch's great choices, I found it was very easy to decide just what sort of card to make.  Bonus:  I got to use some of my new products.
It didn't take me long to get my products together.  I used quite a bit of Shimmery White cardstock since it has such a rich and wonderful sheen.   On a base of Heavy White cardstock, I added a layer of Bermuda Bay and then an embossed layer of Shimmery White.  The Falling Petals embossing folder added such a lovely background, I almost didn't want to cover it up.  But I had more ideas, so I did cover up a small amount of it with the Ovals that I added.

For my Ovals, I chose a stitched oval in cutting out my Shimmery White and then a scalloped oval in cutting out the Bermuda Bay backing.  You can't see the smaller oval which I used to cut out the Sweet Sugarplum which backs the beautiful flower die-cut using the Stylish Stems framelits.  I also added a hand-cut oval to use in the centre of the flower, of course cut from So Saffron.

With all my colours used, I simply assembled everything and then stamped the lovely sentiment from the Special Reason stamp set in the upper right corner, using Bermuda Bay ink.

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

Monday, 9 January 2017

WWC100 - Let's Celebrate 100 Challenges!

Better late than never is so true this time around.  I'm adding this at the last possible minute, to take part in the last 10 minutes of the challenge.  Dedicated?  People who know me will have other words, none quite that complimentary.  But I had looked forward to this 100th Challenge for months.  Let me have my 10 minutes of satisfaction that I actually participated.

I kept it simple...had to.  My energy levels are rather low at the moment.  But fancy or simple, the 100th celebration is something for which we, at the Watercooler Wednesday Challenge are proud.

And onward to the next 100...

Thursday, 22 December 2016

WWC99 - Sparkle with Joy and Happiness!

We've come full circle with the challenge we're offering this week.  We began with Clean & Simple challenges and then tried to make them as simple as possible.  Not the best of our ideas.  And now we are back to the current style of Clean & Simple where we do like some empty space, we prefer less ornate, less-multi-layered styles, but welcome a modest amount as well as a modest amount of embellishment.  This week Marsha Reed is hosting this Clean & Simple challenge and has chosen "hearts" as her theme.

Since we are approaching Christmas, this will be a two week challenge, not closing until 5 p.m. Mountain Time on January 2nd.  Lots of time to be inspired and to create!

I challenged myself with masking rather than layering my heart and pine branches.  You know, that old "she thought she could do it, so she did".  Well, that was me and I love the results.  To dress it up somewhat, I used versamark on the green in my bottom right hand sentiment and then tried the Emerald Envy Glitter Stampin' Emboss Powder.  It sparkled beautifully.  It's a subtle addition but I love it.  And since we're allowing embellishments, what better than three of the red Brights Star Sequins?  With a tiny rhinestone in each centre, these stars sparkle.

Isn't it pretty?  And yet it's quite Clean & Simple.  I hope you'll check out the creations by the other Watercooler Artists at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.

And remember, you have until January 2nd (next year) to link up your own.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

WWC98 - Star of Wonder

I love colour challenges.  You can make anything you wish as long as it revolves around the provided colours.  Sometimes that is harder than others, but it almost always brings some surprising results.  For me, it's the shove that makes me create outside the comfortable little box I usually stay within.  Kath's colours really opened that box wide.

These are gorgeous colours.  Creating with them wasn't as hard as  all that but taking a decent photograph for my post almost proved to be my undoing.  Metallics present their own challenge when one is taking a picture.  Either they reflect too much light or they reflect colours around them (silver is almost like a mirror).  All in all, while I didn't find the colours difficult to use for my creation, finishing up with a picture in order to post was the hardest part of this challenge.

I decided to keep it relatively simple by creating my 3-D star by using Starlight Thinlits dies.  The one I used even provides the scoring lines when one cuts it out.  How terrific is that!  The Lucky Stars embossing folder made a simple but perfect background for the star and also for the die-cut gold foil pine branch and Early Espresso die-cut bird.  I love that he appears to be looking up at the star in wonder, don't you?  Of course the sentiments in the Star of Light stamp set were a perfect match for this card, especially heat embossed on vellum in Silver embossing powder.

To give the white a bit of a frame against the white base, I sponged the perimeter using Early Espresso ink.

Simple but effective.  In real life this is a stunner.  It just doesn't photograph as well as I would like.

I hope you'll check out the cards made by the other Watercooler Artists at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge this week.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

WWC97 - Joy To The World!

I love the sketch which Penny Hanuszak has chosen for this week's challenge!  It's fun and easy to imagine lots and lots of different cards based on the sketch.

The hard part was narrowing it down to one.  With the introduction of the new Stitched Shapes Framelits, however, I knew I would have to use one of those.  I've been wanting some stitched framelits for ages.  And wouldn't one of those little mice from the Merry Mice be perfect inside one of the ovals?  (As you can see, the card was making itself by this time.)  I looked at the little singing mouse and immediately knew that the musical notes images from the This Christmas Specialty Designer Series Paper would be the perfect match.

As you can see, I carried the colours from my little mouse into the layers of the card.  My base is the Heavy Whisper White with a layer of Pacific Point on top (embossed using the Softly Falling embossing folder).  The Garden Green patterned paper is also from the This Christmas Specialty Designer Series Paper selection.  And, of course, the matte for the musical notes is cut from Cherry Cobbler.

I wanted my sentiment to reflect the Christmas season and also give a nod to the song which my little mouse might be singing and so I used the very handy Labeler Alphabet stamp set to put together the "Joy to the World" at the top right.  Heat embossing it using White embossing powder really made it "pop" against the Pacific Point, didn't it?

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