Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Sometimes a card is so hard to make

A friend of mine approached me yesterday.  She wanted me to make a card for her to give to her mother.  She'll be going to the Netherlands in another couple of weeks and really wanted a special card.  You see, this is her goodbye visit.  Her mother is losing her battle with cancer.

I felt both honoured and panicked by the request.  Honoured because my friend obviously loves my work enough.  Panicked because this is a card that means so much to her and will mean so much to her mother.  The criteria for the card were that her mother loves animals and flowers.  Then this morning she added that it would be wonderful if the card could have a Canadian theme.  And she also gave me the sentiment she wanted, in Dutch.

I really wasn't fazed by any of the criteria except for one.  The Canadian theme had me stymied.  I have no Beaver stamp and really didn't want to settle for a maple leaf.  Then I thought of my Walk in the Wild stamp set and I knew I would use the moose stamp.  I know, I know---moose are not only indigenous to Canada.  They are, however, frequently used as a type of Canadian "mascot" and that would have to be it for my "Canadian content".

 I wanted the card to be special and so I worked on a different style than normal.  I decided to make a square twisted easel card measuring 5 1/4" x 5 1/4".   I also decided that I would make a scene comprised of the Lovely as a Tree stamp, moose stamp, and bull-rushes from the Wetlands stamp set.  That, of course, meant making a mask of the moose so that I could stamp the trees without stamping on my moose.  The stamping took some time.

To complete the scene, I drew in some details freehand using my Project Life 01 journalling pen.  I used that because it is waterproof and fade-proof.  I extended the grasses beside the moose, creating a shoreline.  Then I turned my paper and sketched in a "reflection" of the grasses.

I did all the colouring using my Blendabilities.  I have to say that I probably couldn't have gotten the degree of shading or detail without those Blendabilities.  They really work well together, even from colour to colour.  I even coloured a "reflection" of the moose and then coloured over that with the blue and it really did look like a reflection in water once the alcohol in the inks fully evaporated and the true colours set.  The sky, however, was done using my Marina Mist ink refill and Aqua Painter.

For my base cardstock I used the Naturals White.  Then a layer of Marina Mist and then the painted Whisper White for which I made a frame using my Square framelits and Early Espresso cardstock.

I decided to add Lupines to the left and bottom border of the card and that was made possible by the stamp in the Forever Florals stamp set.  Stamping and colouring took some time but nothing compared to the fussy-cutting required to cut those flowers out.  But the end result was worth it when I used glue and Dimensionals to put them in place.

I cut 8 simple flowers using my Filter Paper and Flower Frenzy Bigz L die.  I coloured 4 using the lightest of the Night of Navy Blendabilities and 4 using the medium of the Night of Navy Blendabilities.  Then I pierced them all and put them onto an Antique Brad, alternating colours.   For the inside of the card and also to make the "stop" to hold the easel in place, I layered Early Espresso and then Marina Mist (cut with the scalloped square framelit).  Then I mounted the brad and flower to one corner of the layers and adhered them to the base cardstock, making sure that the flower "stop" was in the right position to hold up the easel or front of the card.

I love the finished card.  There is a rectangle of Whisper White on the inside for writing but I kept it small enough that when the easel is open, only the card shows.  

Because it's what I do, I decided to enter the card into a challenge.  It really is a lovely card and deserves some showing.  The Fab 'n' Funky Challenges is having a "Walk on the Wild Side" this week and what could be more perfect than that?  

And then I discovered that the City Crafter Challenge Blog is having an "animal magic" week so all cards must feature animals.  What perfect timing!

And last of all, I'm entering the Friday Mashup sketch challenge:

Monday, 28 July 2014

...and more challenges!

Have you ever looked at a group of colours and wondered what on earth you could do with them?  I was in that position when I decided I wanted to enter a colour challenge that included a number of colours that I don't frequently use.  But that's what makes it a challenge, right?

That is my finished card.  The spatter is gold embossing thanks to that wonderful Gorgeous Grunge stamp set.  I've used real Washi Tape, the Calypso Coral design from the Epic Day set, as well as a strip of Washi tape wannabe, thanks to the Tape It stamp set and Gold embossing powder over Elegant Eggplant.  The skinny ribbon is Melon Mambo 1/8" Taffeta Ribbon.  The sentiment is from the Hello Love stamp set and cut with the cute little Banner punch.

That gorgeous tag is two layers, one of Gold Foil and the other Whisper White.  Both were cut using the Chalk Talk framelits.  I stamped the Pink Pirouette using the Work of Art stamp set and the Elegant Eggplant using the Choose Happiness stamp set.

Would I have chosen to use those colours?  Probably not.  But I have to admit that they add a lot of life to the card and make it very cheery.  And that's why I enter challenges:  because they force me to go out of my comfort zone and try new things.

This is the sketch challenge I entered at Freshly Made Sketches:
This is the colour challenge that I entered at colourQ:

Because I haven't been with Stampin' Up! long enough, I had to change out Concord Grape for the current Elegant Eggplant and Pretty in Pink for the current Pink Pirouette.  The Melon Mambo, Calypso Coral, Whisper White and Gold are still current and were used.

This is the photo inspiration challenge that I entered at Addicted to Stamps and More!:

It's always great to read comments from people who come to see my post.  If you have a moment, please leave one.  Thanks so much.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

WCC05 -- A Colour Challenge

This time the challenge over at the Watercooler Challenges is a colour challenge:

I wasn't sure of the colours to begin with because I wouldn't have picked them for a card.  But then, that's what challenges are for:  to push you into territory that is unfamiliar and uncomfortable.  Still, it took me a while to decide just how I would use the colours together and what direction the card design would take.

I used Naturals White as my base cardstock.  I wanted something neutral that would compliment all three colours.  Next I cut a layer of Rich Razzleberry and used my little star punch to cut stars along two sides.  I attached that to the base with my Snail tape runner, pushing it as close to the top and right hand side as possible while still leaving a narrow border for the base to show.  Then I cut a piece of Whisper White and stamped it using my Hardwood background stamp and Crumb Cake ink.  I cut a matte for the piece out of Crumb Cake cardstock, leaving only a narrow border.  I attached that to the card with Dimensionals, pushing it as close to the bottom and left hand side as possible while still leaving a narrow border for the base to show.

Remember all those stars that I punched out of the Rich Razzleberry?  I took six of those and attached them, using Dimensionals, along the left and bottom of the Hardwood layer.  I coloured some rhinestones using my Daffodil Delight Blendabilities and then mounted those in the centres of the empty star shapes.  Then I mounted some uncoloured rhinestones in the centres of the Rich Razzleberry stars.

Finally I was approaching the finish line and had to decide on my sentiment.  I knew it would include Daffodil Delight because I didn't think the coloured rhinestone were enough to represent the colour.  So I cut a star from Daffodil Delight cardstock using my Stars framelits.  Then I used them to cut a smaller star our of Whisper White.  Prior to cutting the Whisper White, I had stamped it first with Rich Razzleberry (off-stamped once) using my Work of Art stamp set and then with Black Memento ink using my Yippee-Skippee stamp set.  I used Snail to attach the Whisper White onto the Daffodil Delight and then Dimensionals to attach the matted star onto the card.

I didn't like the empty top left corner or bottom right corner and so I attached Candy Dots in Crumb Cake.  That seemed to finish it off.

For more cards in this challenge, go to Watercooler Challenges.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Sketched Birthday --- PCCCS #102

Have you ever had a stamp set that you bought and then, months later, still hadn't used?  For me that stamp set was the Sketched Birthday.  When I made birthday cards I turned to just about every other set rather than this one.  Why?  I really couldn't say.

All that changed today when I saw the Paper Craft Crew Challenge sketch.  For some reason it really appealed to me and immediately made me think of using this stamp set.  Here's their sketch challenge:

I really didn't want the Designer Paper that I used to take over the card.  I also had in my mind that I wanted to use Strawberry Slush as one of the colours for my card.  After rejecting all my Designer Paper, I suddenly thought of my 2013-2015 In-Color Designer Series Paper Stack.  The polka dot design was my instant choice.  

I planned to have the cake slice be strawberry mousse with chocolate icing so, of course, I chose to use Chocolate Chip as one of my colours.  Things were falling together quite nicely and I was on a roll.  For my base cardstock, I chose the Strawberry Slush and then followed that with a layer of Chocolate Chip.  Then I added a strip of the polka dot Strawberry Slush to the left side and a narrower strip of Whisper White to the right side.  

The banner at the top was easy because I wanted to use the party hat for that.  By colouring it Strawberry Slush and Daffodil Delight, it became a bright an cheery piece of interest.  For a bit of sparkle, I added three Strawberry Slush sequin stars.

I decided that I wanted balloons on the card as well since they were part of the stamp set and serendipitously the sketch was perfect for a trio of balloons just to the right of the main image.  Since I had added Daffodil Delight to the party hat, I also added it to my balloons.  I absolutely love the sentiment from the Yippee-Skippee stamp set and added it to one of the conversation bubbles.

Like I said, I wanted the cake to be strawberry mousse with chocolate icing.  With a Daffodil Delight plate and a striped Daffodil Delight and Strawberry Slush candle, I think it looks simply delicious.  

I had a lot of fun making the card.  I really didn't want any embossing or even spatter or shading on the Whisper White because I felt it would detract from the details of the card.  Sometimes less is more.  Now that I had a chance to introduce this stamp set to ink, I'm sure I'll be using it again soon.

For more cards created for this challenge, check out the Paper Craft Crew Challenge.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Traveler & World Map --- A good combination

It is almost as if the Traveler stamp set was made for the World Map stamp.  The two really compliment each other so well.  For my latest challenge entry I used the two stamp sets together again.  The challenge was put on by Just Add Ink, a great challenge blog from down under---that's right, Australia.  I may not be travelling the world, but my challenges certainly are.

This was the sketch for the challenge:

I love the way the circle is cut apart like that.  The way it's laid out, one could either make a circle card or, as I chose to interpret the design, put a circle inside a square.

My base cardstock is Naturals Ivory because I want to give the design a bit of a vintage feel.  On top of that I adhered a piece of the print pattern from Typeset Specialty Designer Series Paper which I had sponged around the border using Early Espresso ink.  Along with that I also used Early Espresso cardstock, cut into a circle and then embossed with my Woodgrain embossing folder.  Then I cut Very Vanilla cardstock into a circle and cut it apart as shown in the sketch.  I laid out the pieces of Very Vanilla with a slight separation between the pieces and then stamped the whole using my World Map stamp and Pool Party ink.  

Then I stamped the vintage camera image and world globe image from the Traveler stamp set onto Very Vanilla using my black Memento ink.  The worst part was the fussy cutting for the images, but I wanted to attach them to the design using Dimensionals, so they had to be cut out.  Then I used my Blendabilities and a touch of the Silver Stampin Dazzle marker to colour the images.

Finally, after assembling the pieces and attaching them to the card, I stamped the "adventure bound" from the Project Life Remember This stamp set on Very Vanilla using Early Espresso ink and cut that into a skinny banner.  To finish the card off, I added one of the Essentials Wooden Elements arrows with a strip of Early Espresso Seam Binding tied around it.

For more cards using this design, visit the Just Add Ink Challenge Blog.

Monday, 21 July 2014

A little fun with challenges

I'm thrilled to say that this card was chosen as a Pals Paper Arts Pick.

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.


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.