Wednesday, 27 April 2016

WWC65 - Happy Birthday

This week's challenge is an "Anything Goes" challenge which is such fun!  I love that I can create anything I want and then post it for the challenge.  In this case, it's a perfect fit for me because I needed a super-special birthday card for my one-and-only daughter and didn't want to have to create anything based on any parameters except my own, whichever way inspiration led me.

This card is for my daughter's birthday.  Each year I try to come up with something new which my daughter has never seen before, to surprise and delight her.  It gets harder every year.  For this year's card I made what I call a modified gate fold card.  Considering that I created the bottom to frame the top, it took a lot of measuring, re-measuriong, and, in some cases, re-cutting.  But, in the end, it was worth it.

The back of my card allows some writing but is decorated with some subtle stamping.  You can see the open gates at the side.

The front of my card, with the bottom gate closed, is pretty but wait until it opens for the full "wow" factor.

Yes, there's a fair bit of Marina Mist in the card.  My daughter loves blue and this one is a particularly beautiful blue.  I combined it with Soft Suede which compliments it very well.  The lattice work?  Well, I cut two pieces of Whisper White with the retiring Striped Scallop Thinlits and then placed one upside down on the other to create the design.  I had already cut the curve of the gate and so I traced it, placed the tracing on Whisper White and cut a thin white shape to go around the lattice work.  Once the flowers were attached, as well as the leaves, it looked just right.  I added the "happy birthday" on a Whisper White tag cut using the Tags and Labels framelits and then cut a second with the next size up to create the Soft Suede base.

You can see how much prettier the card is once it's open.  I love the flowers and the colours that are exposed.  The sponging behind the bird also echoes those colours.  The bird was the most difficult part of this entire project.  Cutting it out, including each tiny toe and toenail, was definitely an effort of love.  Or so I kept telling myself.

Stamps used:  An Open Heart (retired), Picture Perfect, Endless Birthdays, Awesomely Artistic, Birthday Blossoms, Timeless Textures
Paper:  Soft Suede, Marina Mist, Whisper White, Crushed Curry, Watermelon Wonder, Pear Pizzazz
Inks:  Soft Suede, Marina Mist, Crushed Curry, Watermelon Wonder, So Saffon, Blushing Bride,                  Wisteria Wonder, Sahara Sand, Crumb Cake
Tools: Woodgrain embossing folder, Decorative Dots embossing folder (retired), Paper Snips, Striped Scallop Thinlit (retired), Tags & Labels framelits, Ovals collection framelits (retired), Botanical Builder framelits, Owl Builder Punch

I hope you'll visit the Watercooler Wednesday Challenge to check out the cards created by the other Watercooler Artists.  I'd love to see your card linked up sometime this week.

I also decided to enter my card into the Addicted to Stamps and More Challenge for their "Anything Goes".

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

PCCCS192 - Thank You

I love knowing that some of my favourite stamp sets managed to escape the retirement cut!  I'm so happy about it that I decided to use some of them for my card today.  They worked out perfectly for the great sketch from which we're working this week at the Paper Craft Crew Challenge.

I decided to use a couple of my favourite retiring 2014-16 In-Colors for this card.  I will miss the Blackberry Bliss, Lost Lagoon and Mossy Meadow most.  They were such beautifully rich and saturated colours.  

Stamps:  Awesomely Artistic, Birthday Blossoms, Teeny Tiny Wishes
Inks:  Blackberry Bliss, Basic Grey, Basic Black, Mossy Meadow, Lost Lagoon, Mint Macaron
Paper:  Whisper White (heavy), Shimmery White, Whisper White, Mint Macaron, Mossy Meadow
Other:  Gently Falling EF, Tags & Labels Framelits, Banners Framelits, Crystal Effects, Dazzling Details, Sponges

I hope you'll check out the cards created for this sketch by the other members of the Design Team and try your own version at the Paper Craft Crew Challenge.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

The Wacky Watercooler April Blog Hop --- Celebrating the Retiring 2014-16 In-Colours

It's time for another Wacky Watercooler Blog Hop.  Soon the 2014-16 In-Colors will be retiring and so we're featuring them this April.  It seems like just yesterday that they were introduced.  I still haven't tired of the lovely, concentrated colours, especially that wonderful Blackberry Bliss.

On top of that, since we had so much fun last year CASEing each other for one of the blog hops, we decided to do it again this month.  The person whose name I drew was Gail Allen which delighted me because I love her creativity.  Maybe I should explain that CASE means "copy and share everything".  So when we find a card or project that we would like to copy, we do so but we put our own "spin" on it so that it's not just a carbon copy.

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 creative Bev  Weren't her projects terrific?

* * * * * * * * * * 

What drew me to Gail's card was its layout and also the beautiful flower which she showcased.  Well, that flower has since retired, but the gorgeous flower from the You've Got This stamp set is perfect to take its place.

Gail's card (June 1st, 2014)

Just like Gail, I used a base of Mossy Meadow and added a layer of Hello Honey after cutting the cardstock using my Scallop Top Tag punch and cutting away the excess.  To the inside of the card, I also added a layer of Whisper White while on the front of the card, I used a piece of the Wildflower Fields Designer Series Paper which was only available during Sale-a-bration.  Before attaching the designer paper, I stamped leaves from the Choose Happiness stamp set using Mossy Meadow ink.

On a separate piece of Shimmery White cardstock, I stamped the flower from the You've Got This stamp set using Basic Black Archival ink and then fussy-cut it out.  With my Aquapainter and Blackberry Bliss ink, I watercoloured the flower and then added some Hello Honey to the centre.  For a bit of a highlight, I also added a bit of the gold Wink of Stella as well as a bit of white from my Signo Pen.  As a final touch I stamped my sentiment at the top right corner of the inside and tied a bow to hold the card shut using the retired Mossy Meadow Stitched Satin Ribbon.

So you can see my Case of Gail's card is the same, but different.  I'm going to miss these wonderful In-Colors!

* * * * * * * * * * 

For my second project I only used one of the retiring In-Colors, the Mossy Meadow, while creating my annual card for Earth Day.

I really wish Stampin' Up! would create a stamp set for Earth Day.  As it was I had to find an "earth" and "day" of similar sized fonts to use for my banner.  The other stamped sentiment is from the Project Life set, Remember This.

Stamps:  Sheltering Tree, Love You More (retired), Project Life Remember This
Inks: Mossy Meadow, Pear Pizzazz, Marina Mist, Watermelon Wonder, Tip Top Taupe
Cardstock: Whisper White (heavy), Whisper White, Marina Mist, Pear Pizzazz

* * * * * * * * * * 

For my final project, I've used all five of the retiring In-Colors.  My uncle passed away this week and so I needed a card for my aunt.  They've both always loved the outdoors and hiking before he became ill and so it seemed natural to include some of that in the card.   I used a base of Basic Black and then added a layer of Whisper White.  Then, taking a piece of Shimmery White specialty cardstock, I began building my image.  Using the Basic Black Archival ink, I stamped the beautiful reeds from the Wetlands stamp set multiple times to create a feeling of being at the edge of a lake.  Then I used my Stampin' Markers to add Hello Honey to the tops of the reeds and Mossy Meadow to the stems.  

Using a circle mask, I sponged in the Tangelo Twist  well above the reeds, to give the impression of a setting sun.  After removing the mask, I sponged Hello Honey over the "sun" and beside it as well as in streaks beneath it.  I also added some Tangelo Twist to the streaks beneath it.  After that I used my Aquapainter and Lost Lagoon ink to add the water above the reeds and below the sun.  

Finally I used my sponges to add a lot of deep colour which became lighter as I sponged in from the perimeter.  To the lower area  of the card, I sponged in Mossy Meadow and to the upper area of the card, I sponged in the Lost Lagoon.  A few squiggly lines with my Signo Uni Ball White Pen and "ripples" appeared on the water.

I added a butterfly using the smallest image from the Watercolor Wings set adding Blackberry Bliss and Hello Honey inks plus a bit of Wink of Stella.    The final touch is the sentiment which is from the Thoughts and Prayers set.

* * * * * * * * * * 

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, Deborah Smart.

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

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

WWC64 - Hello Spring

It's time for another Watercooler Wednesday Challenge and this time I'm the hostess who came up with the challenge.  Are you ready?  It's a CAS (clean and simple) challenge and is all about Spring.

You know all about clean and simple challenges, right?  You have to keep your creation simple and not overload the white space.  Hence the term, clean and simple.  It's not always easy because most of my cards are really detailed, but I love the challenge to force myself to think much more simply and create something that says a lot and looks great with just a little bit of detail on the card.

I chose to have a base in the lovely Shimmery White specialty cardstock.  I really love that paper.  It makes a wonderful base and I don't have to add more paper to the inside in order to stamp my sentiment or have a spot to write.  After all, it's already white and ready to go.  I added a layer of the same cardstock on which I stamped my image but used the Curvy Corner Trio Punch on the corners before adding it.  This paper is such a delight to use for watercolouring.  Not only does it take the colour beautifully, but it doesn't pill and, bonus, it has a subtle shimmer to it.  For my image I used the Circle of Spring stamp set.  Colouring it took very little time and the sentiments with that set were perfect for my card:  simple, small and said just the right thing.  

I love the simplicity and elegance of this card, don't you?  I hope you'll check out the wonderful creations by the other Watercooler Artists at the Watercooler Wednesday Challenge this week.  We'd love to see your clean and simple card linked up for us to enjoy.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

PCCCS191 - With Sympathy

We just found out that an uncle has passed away and so I had the sad task of making a card for our aunt.  Luckily I had to make a card for the Design Team of the Paper Craft Crew Challenge and this week's sketch worked out perfectly.

Paper Craft Crew Card Sketch 191 #papercraftcrew #pcccs191

I decided to make my card monochromatic, using primarily the retiring Lost Lagoon along with white.  I added just a touch of Basic Black here and there, behind the banner, for stamping my image, for stamping the sentiment, to add a bit of elegance to the card.  I began with a base of the heavy weight Whisper White, a layer of Basic Black, and then a layer of the Lost Lagoon which I had first embossed using the Elegant Dots embossing folder.  For my image I used the bird from the retiring An Open Heart stamp set and then added the sentiment from the Rose Wonder stamp set.  The additional dots and background stamping is with images from the Timeless Textures stamp set.  I like the single blossom from the Botanical Builders set and the spider web doily which I've turned to its white side, don't you?

I hope you'll check out the other Design Team cards at the Paper Craft Crew Challenge.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

WWC63 - A Beautiful Birthday

I love colour challenges!  They force me to use colours that I would most likely not think to combine and, because of that, help me to think outside my comfortable little "box".  Kath's colours for this week's challenge are a delight, especially this time of the year.  They immediately made me think of Spring.

For this colour challenge I kept rigidly to the colours.  As with any colour challenge, adding one or two neutrals is allowed so that one can make the colours work more comfortably together or to provide a neutral base on which to showcase the colours.  For my card I chose to use Whisper White as my base.  I also used Whisper White embossing powder with which to heat emboss my sentiment.  I also used Watermelon Wonder cardstock as a separating layer between the two layers of Whisper White and for the Decorative Label on which the sentiment was heat embossed, I used the Watermelon Wonder and added a backing of So Saffron.

The rest of the card was stamped using only the colour challenge inks.  I used a variety of stamp sets which shouldn't come as a surprise for anyone that follows my blog.  The first thing I stamped was the hummingbird from the Picture Perfect set.  I used all four colours for that.  Then I stamped the same image onto a scrap piece of typing paper and cut it out so that I could mask the stamped hummingbird and use other stamps around it without stamping into  my image.

The leaves and the sentiment are from the Birthday Blossoms set.  The flower is from the Everything Eleanor set.  The rest of the background stamping is a combination of Pear Pizzazz flourishes and So Saffron spotches from the Timeless Textures set.  And if you look closely there are also some tiny Blushing Bride blossoms at the top and the bottom.  Each of the background images was off-stamped to reduce the colour and ensure they would not take any attention away from the main images.

I hope you'll have a look at the wonderful cards created by the other Watercooler Artists at the Watercooler Wednesday Challenge this week.  And then, create your own and link up to participate in our challenge.

I've also added my card to the Seize the Birthday \Challenge.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

PCCC190 - Thank You

It's not very often that the challenges for which I am on the design team both have colour challenges, but that's exactly the way it happened this week.  As it happens, the colours were different for each.  Two separate cards were, therefore, necessary.

I decided to create a single layer stamped card for this challenge and so used a mask to keep the colours to one area of the Whisper White and then sponged my colours.  I sponged the Tempting Turquoise at the top, next I sponged the Watermelon Wonder, and then I sponged the Crushed Curry.  At the very bottom I sponged the Cucumber Crush.  I loved the way the colours give the illusion of a setting sun and so I decided that a silhouette of a tree would be a perfect addition.  Since neutrals are allowed, I stamped the tree from the Sheltering Tree set as well as a few of the leaves from the same set.  The sentiment from the Circle of Spring set finished the card off nicely.

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

I've also added this card to the Addicted to Stamps and More Challenge which has a CAS challenge this week.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

WWC62 - Life is a Beautiful Ride!

Watercooler Wednesday

I'm so excited about this week's challenge!  Why?  Because I really enjoy Tic-Tac-Toe Challenges.  They allow so much freedom of choice but there are still guidelines.

For me, the hardest part of doing the Tic-Tac-Toe challenge is making the choice.  Just like in the game, one has to choose three across OR three vertically OR three diagonally.  After a lot of deciding and changing my mind, I finally cried "halt!" and stopped the madness.  My final choice was the first diagonal row or, in other words, Flower, Watercolor, and Fun Fold.  It was easy after that.  Can you tell I'm lousy at decision-making?

For my fun fold I decided to use a design which I had found back in 2012, made by Vrena Heukske.

I discovered today, however, that the page for the card doesn't work any longer.  But I kept the measurements and template which I had adapted to fold into a 5 1/4" x 5 1/4" square card.  (The original was a much larger European card.

What I love about this fold is that it  has a pleat on each end, one in the outside frame and one in the inside frame.  The result is that the card stands up beautifully.  For writing, there is the whole of the centre back which is enough for a good length of note if that's what you want.

This is the closed card.

This is the watercoloured panel inside.

And this is the open, standing card. 

I've used Soft Suede as my base cardstock and then added a frame of the Botanical Gardens Designer Series paper.  My main colours are Soft Suede, Old Olive, Marina Mist, Watermelon Wonder and Hello Honey.  The centre panel is watercoloured using my Aquapainter on Whisper White cardstock.

I've used several stamp sets for this card:  Beautiful Ride, Pedal Pusher, In the \Meadow and Botanical Blooms.  

I hope you'll check out the cards created by the other Watercooler Artists at the Watercooler Wednesday Challenge this week.  Better still, find the direction you want to go in the Tic-Tac-Toe choices and link up your own card.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

PCCCS189 - Thanks!

Sometimes when I'm creating for a sketch challenge such as the Paper Craft Crew Challenge, I decide on a set of colours with which I will create my card.  It's like adding a challenge to a challenge---only I'm picking the colours rather than going off to another challenge for their colour inspiration.

Paper Craft Crew Sketch Challenge 189 #papercraftcrew #sketch #challengeblog

For this card I've used the heavy Whisper White as my base and then added a layer of Soft Suede for a narrow border before adding the Soft Suede print from the Neutrals Designer Stack.  I love the script on that Designer paper.  For the image on the pennant, I've used the Rose Garden thinlits to cut out the rose outline in Silver Foil.  Before attaching it to the pennant, I used my aquapainter and Blackberry Bliss ink to add colour where I plan to have the rose outline.

For my sentiment, I used the "thanks" from the Greetings thinlits and used it to cut out the word from Blackberry Bliss cardstock and also from Silver Foil.  I mounted the Blackberry Bliss slightly offset to the Silver Foil and it really helps it to pop.

For my butterfly I used the beautiful Bold Butterfly framelits and sponged the die-cut using Blackberry Bliss ink.  A bit of Blackberry Bliss twine finishes it off before it's attached using Dimensionals.

I hope you'll check out the other Design Team cards at the Paper Craft Crew Challenge this week.

Monday, 4 April 2016

SUO145 - Eat Cake!

The SUO Challenge this week is all about cute critters.  Well, I can get onboard with that.  I love critters---especially the cute ones.

This gave me a chance to use some of my more neglected stamp sets as well as a couple which are retired but still close to my heart.  Which ones are those?  Well, I used the current Giggle Greetings set for my kitty and that cheesy cake.  My adorable little mouse came from the retired Life in the Forest set and the much yummier cake, the birthday hat and the greeting all came from the retired Sketched Birthdays set.  Together, they combine to make a very cute card, don't they?

I used the colours from the background Cherry On Top Designer stack paper when I coloured the images except for the Smoky Slate in my mouse and the combination Pumpkin Pie/Crumb Cake in my kitty.  So the inks I used are Watermelon Wonder, Crushed Curry, Pool Party and Bermuda Bay.  My base cardstock is Smoky Slate followed by a layer of Basic Black.  I think the colours really pop and make this a "happy" card.

I hope you'll check out the other SUO Challenge cards and add your own critter as well.

I've also added this card to the Retro Rubber Challenge 35 "Anything Goes".

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

WWC61 - Anything Goes!

Watercooler Wednesday

It's time for another challenge and another "good-bye".  Our Watercooler Wednesday challenge is losing one of its original artists, Bev.  I know I'll miss her imaginative creations.

I love "anything goes" challenges.  It's one of those challenges which lets my creativity run wild and free.  There are no parameters to hold me down and force me to work within those guidelines.  Of course, if I'm not feeling super creative, I can always find another challenge such as a colour or sketch, and make a card using those choices as my "jump start".  Or if I'm busy with a workshop or creating make-n-takes, I can use one of them for this challenge.  It's fun to have so many options.

For some reason my creative "spark" went out a few weeks ago.  I've been fighting some sort of invulnerable "bug" that is, so far, leaving my doctors hunting for options.  Me?  I'm just getting tired of being unwell and, like I mentioned, have lost that "spark".  And so I put off making my card until the 11th hour, thinking that inevitably I would come up with something.  Well, I did.  But creating this card took so much longer than usual since I was going at it "sparkless".

Quite a bit of paper wound up damaged and wasted as a result.  May it rest in pieces.

The finished card has a base of heavy Whisper White and then a layer of Tempting Turquoise and another layer of Whisper White.  Using the Balloon Builders stamp set, I stamped a medium sized balloon on Watermelon Wonder cardstock with the same colour ink.  Then I stamped a large balloon on Tempting Turquoise cardstock with the same colour ink.  When the ink was dry, I cut each out using the Balloon Bouquet punch.  After covering each balloon with Crystal Effects, I put them aside to dry.

I took a scrap piece of Whisper White and used sponge daubers to make a wild pattern of colours with Daffodil Delight, Tempting Turquoise and Watermelon Wonder inks.  Once that had dried, I cut out a "hello" and two stars.  I used a stars framelit to cut a smaller star from the centre of the largest star, leaving only a multi-coloured outline.

After using my punches to cut the corners of the Tempting Turquoise and Whisper White layers, I attached them to each other and used Tombo glue to attach the "Hello".  Then I used my stars mask and Stampin' Marker to add Daffodil Delight stars to the open areas of the  Whisper White layer.  After that, I covered the stars with Wink of Stella for a nice shimmer.

The balloons were added using Dimensionals.  The addition to the sentiment (from the Endless Birthdays set) was attached using Fast Fuse.  The stars were attached using Tombo glue and then several Rhinestones finished up the card.

It's a bright and happy card.  For the moment, it is just going into my stash until the appropriate birthday rolls around.  I hope you'll check out the other creations by our Watercooler Artists at the Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.  And after that, feel free to link up your own card or creation for this week's challenge.

I also decided to link up my card for the Sunday Stamps Weekly Challenge which is all about rainbows.  My happy rainbow-coloured stars and "hello" fit right into that challenge, don't they?

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

PCCCS188 - Just for You

For this week's Paper Craft Crew Challenge, I decided to use the sketch to create a Mother's Day Card.

PCCCS 161-204-008

It's never too early to make a Mother's Day card since my goal is to inspire people to use some of the same products which I have used in my card and it takes a while for an order to come in.  This card is monochromatic except for the Gold Glimmer Paper as well as the Blushing Bride Glimmer Paper.  All the other papers and inks are Very Vanilla, Smoky Slate, or Basic Black.

I added texture to the card by using the Decorative Dots embossing folder on the Smoky Slate cardstock.  The Gold Glimmer paper of the butterfly wing and the Blushing Bride Glimmer paper of the steam heart from the Cups & Kettle framelits dies add texture as well as does the piece of crochet trim.  I think that the Timeless Elegance Designer Series paper pulls the colours together beautifully.

I hope you'll check out the other cards created by the Design Team at the Paper Craft Crew Challenge.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Happy Easter and Good-bye!

One of my favourite challenges has always been the Friday Mashup.  No, I don't always have time to play along, but those times that I have, I have always wound up with a creation that makes me proud and happy.  Oh, I love a lot of my other projects as well, but I believe that the Friday Mashup has pushed me more than any other challenge and, by pushing me, has helped my creativity to grow.  Why?  Because theirs is a three-part challenge.  There is always an option one and an option two, not to mention option three which is a combination of one and two.  I've always chosen option three.  Why not go for the biggest challenge?

So why am I going on about how much I've always loved the Friday Mashup?  Because this is their very last challenge.  Of course I'm creating a project for it!  Of course I'm mourning inside as I create that project.  This is a challenge that I will truly miss.

* * * * * * * * * * 

This last challenge is all about Easter.  

option 1 - Create a Project with an "Easter theme or Chicks & Bunnies" 
option 2 - or Create a Project using the above "Sketch
option 3 - or Mash it Up and create an Easter project using the Sketch above. 

For my project, I'm "mashing it up" and am using the sketch to create an Easter card.  I've begun with a base of the heavy-weight Whisper White.  Then I've added a layer of Delightful Dijon and on top of that, a layer of the lovely Sale-a-bration designer paper, Perfectly Artistic.  My diagonal stripes are also courtesy of Sale-a-bration:  the Metallics Glitter Tape in white.

For my focal image, I cut out two squares using the Memory Box Stitched Squares metal dies, one from Crushed Curry cardstock and the other from the wonderful specialty Shimmery White cardstock.  On the Shimmery White square, I stamped two of the images from one of my favourite Easter stamp sets, Heaven Blessed using Basic Black archival ink.  After that dried, I coloured the images using my Stampin' Markers.  Before I mounted my squares onto the base card with Dimensionals, I stamped the sentiment using the same Basic Black ink and the Teeny Tiny Wishes stamp.

It's a bright and happy card---a perfect send-off for one of my favourite challenges.  I hope you'll check out the wonderful cards created by the Design Team for the Friday Mashup.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

WWC60 - Marsha's CAS Birthday Challenge

It's time for another Watercooler Wednesday Challenge and this week Marsha is challenging us to create a CAS (clean and simple) birthday card.  I love clean and simple challenges.  It's fun to see how creative one can be, keeping it very simple.  

I decided to begin with a Whisper White base and from there added a layer of Marina Mist with the upper left and lower right corner cut using the Project Life Corner punch.  My next layer is the specialty Watercolor Paper.  I chose that because it's really one of the best papers on which to watercolor as well as do some heavy-duting sponging.

I cut the top left corner and bottom right corner of the Watercolor Paper using the Curvy Corner Trio punch.  Then I stamped the lovely curved bough of blossoms from the Timeless Love stamp set towards the lower right of the paper using the Archival Black ink.  To the left of that I stamped my sentiment from the Endless Birthdays stamp set using Versamark and clear embossing powder.  Once that was heat embossed, I knew my blossoms were dry and proceeded to watercolor them using Melon Mambo, Marina Mist, Wild Wasabi and Daffodil Delight inks and my Aqua Painter.

While that dried, I cut a scrap piece of cardstock using my 2 3/4" Circle Framelit and used the negative circle space as my mask to sponge over the heat-embossed sentiment using Marina Mist ink and bring colour towards the bough of blossoms.  After sponging, I used my Aqua Painter to blend the colour and to pull it closer to the watercoloured blossoms.  After that I added two rhinestones and my card was done.

I hope you'll check out the cards created for this challenge by the other Watercooler Artists at the Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.   I look forward to seeing your clean and simple birthday card linked up to our challenge this week.

I've also linked up my card to the "Less is More" Challenge from which I continue to be inspired.

And, finally, I've linked my card to the SUO Challenge since my bough of flowers is the closest thing to Spring in my life at the moment (go away, snow!)

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

PCCCS187 - The Best Thing

It feels like forever since I've joined the rest of the Design Team for a challenge.  But my vacation is over, my sunburn is peeling, and I'm back at work creating cards.  The sketch for this week's Paper Craft Crew Challenge was lots of fun.

PCCCS164-203 Sketch-006

I decided to use the pretty Sale-a-Bration Wildflower Fields Designer Series Paper and picked the additional colours of ink and cardstock from the colours in the design.  My base is Whisper White and then I added a layer of Calypso Coral which I first embossed using the Softly Falling Embossing Folder.  Then I added a small square of Crushed Curry which I embossed using the Pretty Print Embossing Folder.  The diagonally cut Designer Series Paper pulled the colours together nicely.  And then I added an Old Olive oval embossed using the Spring Flowers Embossing Folder topped with a stamped and sponged smaller oval in Whisper White.  I used the Timeless Textures stamp set and Crushed Curry ink to stamp and sponge the oval and then used another of the stamps in the set and Lost Lagoon ink off stamped once.  For the sentiment I turned to the lovely World of Dreams stamp set using Blackberry Bliss ink.

I hope you'll check out the rest of the Design Team cards at the Paper Craft Crew Challenge and, perhaps, link your own version of the sketch as well.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

The Wacky Watercooler March Madness Blog Hop

It's time for another Wacky Watercooler Blog Hop and this one is all about the madness one finds in March.  They don't have that old saying "March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb" for nothing.  Think about it for a moment.  How many animals can manage to do a complete metamorphosis into another animal in a month?  How many months can be mild enough for a person to go looking for flowers pushing through the soil and yet also be fierce enough to make even a heavy winter coat seem to thin to keep warm?  It's madness and we're bringing madness to our blog hop by means of fancy folds instead of "normal" cards.  Are you ready for some madness?

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 creative Deborah Smart.  Weren't her projects terrific?

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For my first project I'm revisiting a fold that I haven't used for a while, the "Z" fold.  This is a fun fold which dresses up even the most simple card.  The one I've created, for example, is really just a single layer, for the most part.  Yes, I've added another butterfly on top of the stamped butterfly and I've also added two die-cut circles on the inside of the card, but that's the only layering for this card.  That doesn't mean that all "Z" folds are that simple.  You can add layers and ribbons and lace and endless embellishments.  For mine, however, it was really all about the butterflies and so I had to keep it simple.

If you look closely, you can see that I've cut the butterflies which were stamped with Marina Mist ink onto the single layer of Heavy Whisper White.  I used the matching die from the Butterfly thinlits dies.  I didn't cut the whole butterfly out.  I stopped halfway so that the butterfly could stick straight out while the card could be folded at the halfway point along the butterlies.

I stamped three of the pretty lacy butterflies from the Butterfly Basics stamp set with Versamark on Vellum cardstock and then heat embossed them using White embossing powder.  Attached to the centres of the three blue butterflies, the vellum butterflies are wonderfully dainty.  

For the inside of the card I used the Botanical Builder framelits dies to cut a flower from a piece of Marina Mist and the centre of the flower in Whisper White and also in Old Olive.  For the centre I added a large Rhinestone as well.  I also cut a fern from the Old Olive.  The die-cuts frame the circles nicely and add a nice touch to the butterflies, don't you think?

To finish the card off I sponged Marina Mist and Old Olive ink over much of the remaining white area and then added a bit of subtle stamping using the Timeless Textures stamp set and off-stamped ink.

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For my final card I've turned to another special fold which I haven't used in several years.  This one is the Twisted Fold.  I love this particular fold because it looks very complicated and yet is basically quite easy to make.  You can use both the front of the card and the inside to tuck a little surprise into the folded area, which is like a little slanted pocket.  Since this one is a birthday card for a nine-year-old girl who loves flowers, bling and surprises, I've only used the inside as a "pocket" for a gift card and the front it all dressed up with flowers and a shiny gold butterfly.  

My colours for this card were based on the Designer Paper which I had decided to use.  The Wildflower Fields Designer Paper (from the current Sale-a-bration brochure) has a pretty design of floating Dandelion seeds on Calypso Coral.  Another design which I used from this Designer Paper is basically white with sprigs of Old Olive and touches of Calypso Coral and Hello Honey.

My base cardstock is the Heavy Whisper White which I turned into the Twisted Fold card.  For the top triangle I used a layer of Basic Grey and topped it with the floating Dandelions.  For the bottom triangle I used a layer of Calypso Coral and topped it with the sprigs.  I did that for both the front and the inside of the card.  Then I used the Number of Years stamp set and stamped the floral sprigs using Old Olive and Calypso Coral inks.  For the Happy Birthday I used Hello Honey ink.  The butterfly is cut from Gold Foil.

For the inside of the card I stamped the sentiment from the Number of Years set on the plain white side and then cut a "9" from Basic Grey cardstock using the Large Numbers framelits.  Once I had attached the "9" to the upper triangle, I used Gold Dazzling Details to add little dots all over the Basic Grey.

I know that it won't just be the gift card inside which will make the little girl squeal with delight.

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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, Gail Allen.

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