Monday, 21 July 2014

A little fun with challenges

Sometimes you just have to have fun, right?  I found a sketch that made me think of birdhouses, of all things.  What do I have that looks like birdhouses?  Certainly not a stamp.  But wait!  You know what could pass as a birdhouse?  The fat arrow from the What's Up? punch.  As soon as I thought of that, I knew what I wanted to do.

I decided to keep myself to some set colours and so found a colour challenge.  It's more fun to force oneself to discover a way to make colours one wouldn't pick work for a project.  The colours that I would be using for this challenge would be Daffodil Delight, Strawberry Slush and Coastal Cabana.

I decided to have my base cardstock be Naturals White.  On top of that I layered some Coastal Cabana and then a layer of Whisper White.  I stamped the Whisper White with one of the Work of Art stamps to give the illusion of clouds.  The ink is Coastal Cabana off-stamped twice before finally stamping on the Whisper White so that they would be whispy and pale and not draw too much attention to themselves.  Before attaching the Coastal Cabana and Whisper White to the base, I wrapped several strands of Strawberry Slush Thick Baker's Twine around them.

Then I cut two Strawberry Slush arrows and two Daffodil Delight arrows.  I cut them apart where the base of the arrow begins.  Then I reassembled them so that I had mixed colours.  For the roofs I stamped Daffodil Delight ink on the pointy portion of the Daffodil Delight arrows using the Truly Grateful stamp set and Strawberry Slush on the pointy portions of the Strawberry Slush arrows.  On the base portion of the arrows, I drew black circles by hand.

Then I stamped the little bird from the Hello Love stamp set (Hostess) on a scrap of Whisper White using the Memento ink.  After fussy-cutting out the bird, I coloured it using my Coastal Cabana Blendabilities.

Using Dimensionals, I mounted three "birdhouses" below the Thick Baker's Twine, mixing tops and bottoms.  Two, I mounted the right way around and the third I mounted upside down.   Then I mounted the little blue bird on the upside down "birdhouse", also using Dimensionals.  Finally I added a sentiment saying "miss you already" from the Just Sayin' stamp set.

It's a funny, sweet and playful card that I had a lot of fun putting together.


This is where you can see the other cards in the Fab Friday Challenge.


This is where you can see the other cards in the Pals Paper Arts Challenge.

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Sunday, 20 July 2014

An Open Heart, Hardwood and Burlap---Oh Yeah!

Burlap makes such an impact on a card.  When you add a background of Hardwood, they make an amazing team.

I've created this card to enter three challenges.  Yes, three!  The first is a sketch challenge and, even though the sketch is simple, it allows so many possibilities:
The second is a colour challenge but instead of suggesting several colours, this challenge is simply for a Monochromatic theme:


The third challenge is for "anything goes" with the proviso that there be a 3-D element on the card and/or a background stamp:


I had already decided to use the bird from the new An Open Heart stamp set, burlap, and a base of Early Espresso.  To go along with the Monochromatic theme, I stayed within the Neutrals, adding some Very Vanilla and Baked Brown Sugar to the colours.  To take some of the starkness away from the Very Vanilla, I used the Hardwood background stamp and stamped the cardstock with Baked Brown Sugar ink after off-stamping once.  I also stamped the sentiment in Baked Brown Sugar but did not off-stamp.

For the 3-D aspect I used Dimensionals to adhere the Early Espresso layer to the Burlap Ribbon (which already had dimension to it anyway) and then also on the banners and on the bird (cutting the Dimensionals into skinny enough pieces for the beak and the feet was a challenge in itself).

I think this card could easily be for either a masculine birthday or occasion (with a change of sentiment) or even for a general-style card.  It's pretty unisex, overall.


Check here for more cards in the Freshly Made Sketches challenge.

Check here for more cards in the Friday Mashup! challenge.

Check here for more cards in the Paper Players challenge.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

The Wacky Watercooler First Anniversary Celebration













Celebrate our First Anniversary with us!


That's right!  It's our First Anniversary!  A year ago a few friends on the Wacky Watercooler discussion group got together and began having blog hops where we shared our ideas with each other and an unsuspecting world.  We've grown in numbers.  We've grown as artists.  We've grown in our friendships.  This has been a very good year.  Thank you for supporting us and for coming to see what we come up with each month.  We really do appreciate your interest.

For those of you who are familiar with our Blog Hop, you'll remember it's a circular one.  Whoever you begin with, whether you go backwards or forwards through the names, you will eventually come full circle back to where you began.  For those of you who haven't experienced one of our Blog Hops before, you're in for a treat.

If you've worked your way through the blog hop from the beginning, you'll have come to my blog after having enjoyed Jackie Susnik's exciting creations.

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Since it's our Anniversary, what could be more natural than to share an anniversary card?  After all, the traditional gift for the first anniversary is paper and that's one of my favourite products.  Without paper, what would happen to making cards?  I'm not really into papyrus or animal skins. I've used a rainbow of colours over the simple black stamping thanks to my array of Blendabilities alcohol markers.  They colour over the Memento ink beautifully without smudging the black.  My card is actually an anniversary card to the "Watercooler gang".  We've used a rainbow of colours over this last year and what more appropriate way to remember that?


The "celebration" is from the Project Life Remember This stamp set, the "1st Anniversary" is from the Memorable Moments stamp set.  I've cut the black star out using my Star Framelits and the arrow using my What's Up punch.

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For my second project I decorated one of those great Kraft Gift Boxes so that I could slip my husband's new watch into it---it was our anniversary over the weekend.  Rather than wrap the box it came in, I chose to make my own very personal box for Ken.  The first thing that I did was to force the lid of the box into my Scallop Tag Topper punch and cut it.  It left a nice shaped flap through which I could lace ribbon to tie it shut.  Since I planned to clad the box in Gold Foil, I cut a gold tag and just cut a narrow piece of that to go around the hole.


I think it looks great plus it reinforces the hole so that it won't just begin to rip apart.  Then I used Early Espresso for the first layer on all sides and the top.  You can just make out that I embossed the cardstock using my Woodgrain embossing folder.  My next layer is the Gold Foil which I embossed using the Decorative Dots embossing folder.  Finally I cut the letters using my new Little Letters Thinlits dies and the hearts using various Hearts framelits.  I also cut the top from eight Gold Foil triangles and folded them in half to make the decorative corners for the box.


I'm really pleased with the finished box.  It is decorative but still looks masculine.  The Early Espresso Seam Binding ribbon and on-trend Gold Ribbon which I attached to the front of the box with a small brad finish it off nicely, don't they?

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My final project is a card I had meant to give my sister for her birthday.  I wound up making a different one for her but that's beside the point.  This one just appealed to me and would have tickled my sister's sense of humour.  It was made using the Giggle Greetings stamp set.  I love, love, love that cat.  Of course the fact that I have two cats that take turns presenting me with hair-balls might be part of that love.  

My card is very simple.  Well, it appears simple.  There is a lot more to it than first meets the eye.  The Basic Black cardstock I've used as my base was run through the Big Shot with my Woodgrain embossing folder.  I wanted some texture to the front of the card but didn't want to do anything to the Whisper White on which I stamped my cat and sentiment.  To colour the cat I used my Blendabilities which allowed me to seamlessly give shading to the cat and give it some depth as a result.  I also stamped and coloured a second head which I attached over the first coloured head using dimensionals.  That way the head seems to be slightly forward of the body, giving it dimension.   Cutting that head out wasn't too difficult until I decided I wanted to keep the whiskers.  That really added a whole lot of difficulty to the cutting.  But the whiskers remain intact.

I also added a real "hairball" by taking some fibres from my burlap ribbon and scrunching them into a ball and attaching them with a glue dot.  I love the texture and realism it adds to the card.


Finally I added the sentiment but placed it in a bubble near the top of the front of the card, adding little thought bubbles to connect it.


I really love that little cat and may just have to keep the card myself.

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Well, that's it for my projects.  I hope you've enjoyed them.  Your next stop will be the very talented Deborah Smart's blog where she will share some amazing projects with you.

If you have a moment to leave a comment, it would be terrific.  Thanks so much.

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Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Best Kid Ever!

I don't often really like the stamp sets that are meant for kids but this set that was just brought out in the new catalogue really appeals to me.  I'm talking about the Boys Will Be Boys stamp set.  My daughter, who has two little boys, actually squealed with delight when she saw the set in the catalogue.  How great is that?

I had been at a loss regarding a challenge I really wanted to enter.  The sketch left me blank---I really couldn't think of what I wanted to do, or if I came up with something, I saw that someone else had posted an entry far too similar for me to continue.  To top it off, I had decided to use a colour challenge for this card that kept me to Night of Navy, Daffodil Delight and Whisper White.

And suddenly it all came together for me.  I knew I would use the Alphabet Press embossing folder and this stamp set.  I felt like a load had been lifted.  Funny?  Well I can get rather serious (read single-minded) about my crafting.

The sketch challenge is from CAS(E) this Sketch!


The colour challenge is from Pals Paper Arts.

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I coloured the stamped Legos and building blocks with my Blendabilities and then attached them to the card with Dimensionals.  The embossing in the background is perfect against the toys.  I hadn't used the embossing folder before so this was a perfect match and a perfect opportunity.


Isn't that just a fun card?  I think I'm going to have to try it with some different coloured Legos, too.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Thinking of You

Don't you just love those little birds from the For the Birds stamp set?  They're simply sketched but have so much personality.  I love the little one in the nest, thinking of you.

It was natural to choose this stamp for the card challenges that I entered.  For the ColourQ challenge there was a really pretty assortment of colours:


While the Fab Friday challenge had a sketch that I knew I wanted to use:


Combined, they would be the basis for a really fun card.  Altogether I used a number of stamp sets for my card.  The patterned Coastal Cabana strip is stamped using the Handcarved stamp.  The feathers were stamped with one of the stamps from the Happy Hooray set.  The little bird and sentiment, of course, are from the For the Birds set.

The inks that I used are the Poppy Parade (retired), More Mustard (retired), and Coastal Cabana.  My base cardstock is Naturals White and I've also used Whisper White as well as a strip of Coastal Cabana.  I also used the Woodgrain embossing folder.

I'm happy with the result.  It's fun to set a sketch goal, work within set colours, and discover what I can come up with.  


For more cards with these colours, check out ColourQ.

For more cards using this sketch design, check out Fab Friday.

I'm Here for You -- Love those new In-Colors

I really do love the new In-Colors, especially the Lost Lagoon, which is such a beautiful blue.  But all the colours compliment each other very well.  You can see that in this card, where I have used the Lost Lagoon, Tangelo Twist and Hello Honey.  These are the colours that were part of the Hand Stamped Sentiment challenge:

And I used them in completing the Freshly Made Sketches challenge:

This card gave me the opportunity to use some of the 2014-2016 In-Colors Background Designer Series Paper stack.  I chose to use the polka dot design in the Lost Lagoon as well as the Tangelo Twist.  I stamped the Swallowtail on Whisper White and fussy-cut only a section of it to fit the polka-dot Tangelo Twist paper and coloured it with my Tangelo Twist and Hello Honey markers.  Once I had adhered the Swallowtail onto the background paper, I covered its body with Crystal Effects and let that dry.  

Then I cut a piece of Hello Honey Cardstock using my Banner Framelits and used the Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder to emboss two lines of dots onto the right edge of the banner.  I stamped the banner with one of the Forever Florals stamps using Tangelo Twist ink and then stamped the banner with a sentiment from the Petite Pairs stamp set.  After mounting the banner on a piece of Whisper White, I hand-cut around it leaving only a thin border of white.  I covered the banner with Crystal Effects and let that dry.

Because I wanted a button to match the Hello Honey, I made one using the Simply Pressed Clay and the Buttons Mold.  I used the largest of the buttons and coloured it using my Hello Honey marker and then finished it off by tying a double bow using my White Baker's twine.


For the base cardstock I used Hello Honey with a layer of Whisper White followed by a layer of the polka-dot Lost Lagoon Designer paper.  The final touch was a rhinestone in the centre of the white baker's twine bow.

I've also entered this into the Stampin Royalty Anything Goes challenge.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Sunshine and Lavender -- Two challenges

I love the new Hello Honey In-Color for 2014-16.  It is so rich and warm a yellow that it reminds me of sunshine.  What better colour to use for a challenge that calls itself "sunshine and lavender"?  Along with the sumptuously rich Elegant Eggplant, the colours just "pop" on my card.

For the sketch design I used the Creative Challenge Club's template as well as stamps from the Hostess set, Hello Love.  Altogether, the colours and the design work extremely well together.  I also threw in a touch of Wisteria Wonder because it is a watered down version of the Elegant Eggplant.  All the colours look great against the Whisper White which I've used as my neutral.

The colours from City Crafter Challenge:


And the design from Creative Challenge Club:


My card:


You can find more cards here at the Creative Challenge Club.

You can also find more cards here at the City Crafter Challenge Blog.