Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Watercooler Wednesday #116 - Kath's Masculine "Anything Goes" Challenge

This week Kath Ricks is hosting a Masculine "Anything Goes" Challenge.  This comes at a perfect time since I needed a card for a special boy.  And since this challenge is "anything goes", the sky is the limit so I can go wherever my creativity takes me.

What boy doesn't like getting outdoors and camping?  The retiring Always an Adventure bundle is perfect for something like that.  With a bit of stamping and a lot of cutting with the matching Outdoor Adventure dies, I had enough images and pieces to put together a card.  I began with a base of Chocolate Chip cardstock and then added a layer of the retiring Delightful Dijon.  I decided to add another layer, partly Marina Mist for the sky and partly Mint Macaron for the meadow.

My mountains are cut from Early Espresso for the distant range and Tip Top Taupe for the closer range.  The snow on top is, of course, Whisper White.  The trees are all cut from Garden Green.  The distant trees have a wash of Garden Green over them and the closer two trees in which the bear is doing a really bad job of hiding are Garden Green stamped with the same ink.  The tent is Delightful Dijon stamped in the same ink and the bear is Tip Top Taupe stamped with Chocolate Chip ink.

As you can see, I've added a bit of a wash of Garden Green over parts of the Mint Macaron to give it more texture.  I hope you've enjoyed my interpretation of Kath's challenge.  And now I hope you'll check out the wonderful creations by the rest of the Watercooler Artists at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge blog.

I've also added my card to the Simon Says Anything Goes Challenge.

And I've also joined the birthday boy fun at the Little Red Wagon Challenge.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Earth Day 2017

This is a day late because our Blog Hop post was still current yesterday, but my card was created on Earth Day and was posted on Facebook as well.  It's my little reminder to myself (and to others) that the Earth is fragile and lovely and important.  We can't just take it for granted and we have to think of future generations as well.  Let's keep a healthy Earth for ourselves and for those who follow.

My card is a mixture of old and new.  The background embossing folder retired but will stay in my stash for some time yet.  By using my brayer to ink it with Marina Mist, I managed to really make the water and continents "pop".  The green layer between that and my base of Whisper White is cut from Garden Green---a singularly appropriate name for a colour on Earth Day, don't you agree?

I decided to use the Tree Builder punch because its size was best for this card.  The trunk is Soft Suede white the foliage is, again, Garden Green.  For my sentiment I turned to the retired Trust God set and only stamped three lines.  For "The Earth" I turned to my Project Life Journaling pen and copied the style of script by hand.  I think it works nicely.

The dragonfly and bee are from  the Touches of Texture set while the butterfly is from the retiring Papillon Potpourri set.

I'm happy with my 2017 Earth Day card.  I'm also happy that so many people take note of this important day and get together to improve our Earth.  We need to remember how important it is---after all, it's the only Earth we have.  Let's keep it healthy.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

The Wacky Watercooler April 2017 Blog Hop - Retirement Means Goodbye

This is a difficult time of the year for me.  Since I buy products which I love, having them retire is upsetting and brings my spirits down.  This blog hop is our "last hurrah" for those products which we are losing and which we have loved most.  Choosing what I was going to use took more time than creating my projects.  But finally I narrowed down the list of what I planned  to use.  I wonder if my choices of the retired products which I'll miss most is in line with your own.

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 forward in this blog hop, you'll have arrived here from Penny Hanuszak's blog, which is a very hard act to follow.

* * * * * * * * * * 

For my first project I turned to the Wetlands, Gorgeous Grunge and Picture Perfect stamp sets.  After almost going through shock, realizing that they were being retired, I calmed down by reminding myself that I can, after all, keep them.   I can see many more personal projects being made using them in the future.

I grew up at the coast and the image of the Sandpipers in the Wetlands set is one of my favourites.  Coupled with the Starfish image from the Picture Perfect set, the resulting card could easily be used for a man or for any occasion.  I decided to make this card a real "Ode to retirement" by sticking to the retiring 2015-17 In-Colors.  My base is, therefore, Mint Macaron and then I've topped it with a layer of the Tip Top Taupe onto which I've stamped the splatter image from the Gorgeous Grunge set using Tip Top Taupe and Whisper White inks.  

As you can see, I've also used the retiring In-Colors for the background scene with the Sandpipers and for my Starfish.  The inks used were Tip Top Taupe for the sand and then Watermelon Wonder and Delightful Dijon for the sunset colours.  There is a little strip of Mint Macaron as well to show the water.  For the Starfish I first stamped it using Tip Top Taupe followed by the Watermelon Wonder ink.  To give it more dimension, I also sponged along the legs using the Tip Top Taupe.

I'll miss these colours and the stamp sets.  They were so versatile.  But then, as I mentioned, I can always keep them in my personal stash.

* * * * * * * * * * 

For my second project I simply had to use the two stamp sets which coordinate with the Baby's First framelits:  Something for Baby and Made With Love.   Since I don't know anyone who is expecting a baby at the moment, I chose to create a little boy's card.  I have a lot of boys in my extended family so it felt just right.

I also decided to make this a special fold.  Those "Z" folds have been such fun and the design also lets me show off a lot of the images from both sets.  I began with a Heavy Whisper White base and then added Soft Sky and a layer of the beautiful Falling In Love Designer Series Paper.  I took the colours from the Designer Series Paper when I stamped and coloured the various images.

Partway through I found myself wondering why there were no framelits to cut out the little critters in the Made With Love set.  But I persevered with fussy-cutting them all.  

At first I thought I would add balloons but then I decided that the swirly flower image from the Sunshine Wishes thinlets would be even better.  I'm not sure if you can see the shimmer of the Wink of Stella but it sure dazzles nicely in real life.

I just love the way this turned out.  There is lots of room on the back to write a message, of course.

* * * * * * * * * * 

For my final project, I turned to one of my favourite set of framelits, the Curvy Keepsake Box.  I've had such fun creating "critters", elves and boxes using this set of framelits.  It's surprising how much candy that little box can hold.

I thought it would be fun to create something a bit more feminine this time around, incorporating the also-retiring Special Reason bundle and Papillon Potpourri with its coordinating punches.   I had an idea in my head and then it totally changed.

So, the idea was to use the Sale-a-bration Inside the Lines Designer Paper and, after cutting out the pieces for the Curvy Keepsake Box, hand colour them using primarily the retiring 2015-17 In-Colors.  Well, that went down the tube when I suddenly had the inspiration to combine the little box with a matching card and envelope.  You see, the Crumb Cake Note Cards & Envelopes are retiring.  Oh, yes, we're keeping the Whisper White, don't worry.  But I thought that I'd call attention to the Crumb Cake ones since I happen to have some on hand.  And so I decided to colour the background of the Inside the Lines paper using my Crumb Cake Stampin' Marker.  

When I finished, I realized that I didn't want to add a lot of colours.  I loved the elegance of the Whisper White with its Basic Black images and the Crumb Cake background.  And so I left it at that, only adding a touch of the retiring Gold Wink of Stella to the centres of the flowers.  I finished it up by adding a bow using the retiring Whisper White Organza Ribbon and two tiny butterflies from the retiring Papillon Potpourri (one in Crumb Cake ink stamped on Whisper White and the other in White embossing powder on Crumb Cake cardstock) cut with the retiring Bitty Butterfly punch.

Don't you agree that the simplicity of colours is absolutely elegant?

For the Crumb Cake Note Card I kept it nice and simple as well.  First I cut a piece of the same In the Lines Designer Paper using a stitched square framelit and coloured the background using my Crumb Cake Stampin' Marker.  Then I cut a piece of Whisper White cardstock using the next size up of square stitched framelits as a matte.  I used a Stylish Stems framelit die to first cut a flower from Whisper White cardstock and then cut another flower from Crumb Cake cardstock.  I used the negative bits from the Crumb Cake flower to fill in the spaces of the white flower except for the centre.  The Whisper White centre of the flower was completely and thickly covered using the gold Wink of Stella.  I also cut two leaves from the Crumb Cake cardstock and then added the flower and leaves to the bottom of the square.  Finally I added a Whisper White banner with the Happy Birthday sentiment from the Special Reason set stamped in Crumb Cake ink.

You can see I also stamped the envelope with images from the Special Reason set.  The flower and leaves are heat embossed using White embossing powder and then the centre of the flower is heavily covered in gold Wink of Stella.  I think the set turned out really well, don't you?

The little box with the matching Note Card & Envelope will be a nice little treat for someone's birthday.

* * * * * * * * * * 

And that's it for my projects.  I hope you'll enjoy them as much as I've enjoyed creating them.  Remember, if any of the retired products appeal to you, there is a limited time period before they become unavailable.  

From here you'll be visiting another wonderfully creative stamper, Marie Green.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #115 - Gail's Clean & Simple "Spring Theme" Challenge

I love Spring with all the re-awakening of the trees and shrubs.  I love the return of the birds and, of course, the blossoms which colour the world.  It made me very happy to be able to think about Spring and create something clean & simple for Gail's challenge this week.

Isn't that a beautiful image?  I'm so ready for green grass and flowers!  It may be white outside, but at least I was able to enjoy some blossoms on my card.

I've used two stamp sets for this card:  the Touches of Texture and the Circle of Spring (alas, retiring, but the sentiment is perfect).  The simple spray of blossoms coloured using the Marina Mist and Mint Macaron Stampin' Markers made me think of the Forget-me-nots which bloomed in my Dad's garden.  The bee is coloured using the Crushed Curry Stampin' Marker and then enhanced with the Wink of Stella.  Honestly, that made the wings come to life!

I've used the Heavy Whisper White as my base and then added a layer of Mint Macaron,  My images are stamped on another layer of Whisper White (regular weight).  That background behind the blossoms and the bee?  Another image from the Touches of Texture which uses the Mint Macaron, but off-stamped once to reduce the colour.

Simple?  Yes.  But to me this represents Spring.  I hope you enjoy it, too.

Check out the other cards created by our Watercooler Artists at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.  And then why not link up your own creation for us to enjoy.

I'm also linking up my card to the Less is More "Spring Walk" challenge.

And finally, I'm linking up my card to the Inkspirational "Spring Theme" challenge.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #114 - Penny's Colour Challenge

Penny is hosting a wonderful colour challenge this week!  The colours are bright and make me smile.  The picture she chose for her challenge is perfect!

Well, when I read that sentiment included in Penny's picture, I felt that was a challenge in itself.  I worked hard to think outside the box for this one and, in the end, wound up not only using all three challenge colours in cardstock but in ink as well.  All in all I used more stamp sets than I thought I would.  But when you consider that all the backgrounds are stamped rather than Designer Paper, it becomes easier to understand.

While the fold I've used is a simple "Z" fold, I decided that I wanted my dragonfly to extend out from the fold and so I only cut it partially into the Heavy Whisper White cardstock, stopping at the fold.  That way the wing is out when the card is closed but moves back into the cut as the card is opened.  I love the effect.  I cut a second dragonfly from Island Indigo cardstock and attached it to the stamped, partially cut dragonfly only along the body.

For my background on the front half of the card, I stamped the dots from the Dragonfly Dreams set randomly using Pool Party off-stamped once to mute the colour.  Then I used the Garden in Bloom set, off-stamping the images once before adding the large and small images of flowers randomly.  For my background on the inside half of the card, I again stamped the dots from the Dragonfly Dreams set randomly with the off-stamped Pool Party.  Then I used the flourish from the Timeless Textures set and randomly stamped it using Island Indigo off-stamped once to mute the colour.

Of course I couldn't just leave the card with one dragonfly but didn't want to use another large one.  And so I cut several strips of the small connected dragonflies and then just cut them into individual dragonflies.  The size was exactly right for what I envisioned.

I also added a stitched oval in Whisper White with a splash of Pool Party watercoloured across the centre.  With a matte of Pool Party cut with the scalloped Oval die, it fit beautifully inside my card.  Along the perimeter I added a large Calypso Coral flower as well as a smaller one, both cut with the Botanical Builder framelits.

If you look carefully at the first fold, you can see where the wing is cut into the cardstock.  This also shows the background stamping.

This is what the card looks like folded shut and ready for an envelope.  

I hope you enjoyed my card.  Now it's time to check out the wonderful cards created by the other Watercooler Artists.  I hope you'll be inspired to add your own creation to our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge link this week.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #113 - Libby's Sketch Challenge

I love sketch challenges!  They force me to think outside the box so that I can conform to the sketch and yet still use the stamp sets and dies which I have in mind.  The discipline of the sketch helps me to become more creative---or that's what I believe, anyway.

I really like Libby's sketch.  It's simple but at the same time, nicely structured.  Those stripes at the top could easily be Washi tape or they could be ribbons,  or even strips of Designer Paper.  They could even be a combination of all three (which, as you'll notice, is what I wound up doing).

Initially I was not going to buy the Moon Baby stamp set.  After seeing some incredibly creative samples, however, I changed my mind.  I don't make many baby cards, but this set will be a nice addition to the few baby-themed sets I own.  I love the  whimsy.  That little baby is adorable, whether it's draped over the moon or floating with the help of an umbrella.  I can just imagine the fun I'll have.

For this sketch I used a base of Heavy Whisper White followed by a layer of Dapper Denim and then another layer of Whisper White only this time embossed using an adorable retired embossing folder with stitched clouds.  For my stripes I used the now-retired silver SAB ribbon, a strip of Affectionately Yours Washi tape and a strip from the retired Cherry On Top Designer paper stack.

My circle is cut from the Dapper Denim using a Stitched Circle die and those stars in various sizes were cut from the Dazzling Diamonds Glimmer paper using the Stars Confetti punch and then glued on using the Tombo glue.  Tedious work but I love the effect.  Instead of just using the umbrella which was part of the baby image, I used the Umbrella Weather framelit to cut a larger umbrella stamped on Calypso Coral.

I hope you enjoy my card and check out the ones created by the other Watercooler Artists at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.  And then I invite you to link up your own card for us to enjoy.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #112 - "Anything Goes"

Oh, what fun!  I love an "anything goes" challenge, don't you?  It's a chance to call all the shots---make what you want---no holds barred.

As it happened, I had promised to make a birthday card for a sweet little lady who loves flowers and all sorts of girly things.  After just finishing a masculine challenge, this was a happy change and promised to be fun.

You'll forgive me if I neglect to list the products I've used.  The thing is that I'm not at home and did not remember to make a list (or bring any catalogues to look up products) and so I'm just going to let the photos shine on their own.  I can say that I've used a base of Soft Sky and have kept primarily to Very Vanilla, Blushing Bride and Sweet Sugarplum.  I've also used that gorgeous (but, alas, retired) Sale-a-bration Sugar Plum Glimmer paper.  If you were one of the lucky ones that managed to get some, you'll know what I mean.  It is such a great colour.

My card is a Double-Z fold and the centre acts as a type of "card in a box".  You'll see what I mean.  And so, we begin with the front of the card, all folded and ready to slip into a medium sized envelope.

As the card opens, you can see there are three sections.

The front panel

The centre "card in a box"

And the final panel.

But with this card I think you'll agree that it is all the parts together that make an outstanding "whole".

The card opened up.

I hope you enjoyed my card.  Next I hope you'll check out the creations by the other Watercooler Artists at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.  And then please link up your own creation for our enjoyment.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #111 - Marsha's Masculine "Anything Goes" Challenge

I love masculine challenges and when, as Marsha's challenge happens to be, it is also an "anything goes" challenge, I'm over the moon.

What a perfect time for me to use one of my favourite stamp sets, In the Meadow.  Combined with the beautiful background of one of the Serene Scenery Specialty Designer Paper stack images, the card almost made itself.

Isn't it great?  Of course I could say a lot more about it but my laptop locked up on me and I'm on borrowed time on someone else's computer.  This has been quite the experience getting this far already.  I invite you to check out the wonderful creations by the other Watercooler Artists at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.  And then, feel free to link up your own masculine card for us to enjoy as well.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Happy Spring! Let the white stuff be gone!

When I was growing up Spring was considered to begin on March 21st.  My mother-in-law loved knowing that she was born on the first day of Spring.  Well, they've done away with that and now we play by the rules of the cosmos.  The beginning of Spring varies a day in either direction.  And so, today is the beginning of Spring.  Yay!

All I need is a magic wand to make all that silly white stuff disappear.  Growing up in Victoria, I expected to see fields of daffodils as well as countless crocuses by this time of the year.  Robins?  Yes, they might be considered the harbingers of Spring, but for me it was the spring flowers.  What a perfect end to the dormant season and the beginning of new life all around us.

I have to say that when the Wondrous Wreath bundle was introduced, I loved the beauty of the wreath as well as the convenience of not having to fussy-cut it.  Well, when the Circle of Spring stamp set came out, I was even happier.  Not only did that continue the awesome Christmas wreath but it also introduced a gorgeous Spring wreath full of blooms.  And both could be cut using the Wonderful Wreath framelits.  Bonus!

That's what I've used today.  I made a pretty, clean and simple card using the Circle of Spring stamp set combined with the Wonderful Wreath framelits.  Just looking at it makes me happy despite the continuing blanket of white outside.

My base cardstock is the Heavy Whisper White.  I added a layer of Sweet Sugarplum and then another layer of "normal" Whisper White.  You'll notice that I've rounded the top left and the bottom right corners.  While I only stamped the pretty floral wreath and coloured it, I used the bow framelit from the Wonderful Wreath set to cut out a ribbon from the gorgeous Sale-a-bration Sweet Sugarplum Glimmer paper.

After adding a few pearls, I knew the card was done.  I hope you enjoy it.  Happy soon-to-be-Easter and Happy Spring!

Thursday, 16 March 2017

The Wacky Watercooler March Blog Hop -- All about Sale-a-bration!

It's March and at the end of this month one of my favourite Stampin' Up! sales of the year ends.  What is it, you ask?  It's Sale-a-bration, of course.  Love, love, love those freebies you can get when you make a qualifying purchase.  In fact, this blog hop is all about showing off those free products in our projects.  Are you ready?  Be prepared to add a  few things to your wish list!

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 Sheri Lee's post.  

* * * * * * * * * * 

For my first project I decided to use the gorgeous Avant Garden stamp set.  This set is all about flowers, leaves and sentiments.  A great combination and useful for so many types of cards.  I decided to create a Thank You card.  I'm finding that I have need of those more often than other types.  There is, after all, so much for which to be thankful and so many people to thank.

I kept my card relatively simple, using only four colours:  Whisper White, Pacific Point, Soft Suede and Mint Macaron.  My base if Whisper White.  Next comes a layer of Pacific Point.  Then I added some subtle texture and interest  by choosing a pattern from the Irresistibly Floral Specialty Designer series paper.  What I love about that paper is that it appears to be heat embossed so it's great for emboss-resist creations.  For this card, however, I just enjoyed the subtle pattern and used it to space the image from the Avant Garden set which I stamped using Soft Suede.

I used my Aqua Painter to colour in the flowers once I had stamped them using the Basic Black archival ink.  And, finally, I finished it off with a few loops of Copper Metallic thread under the sentiment.

* * * * * * * * * * 

My second project is all about colouring.  That's become a popular pastime for adults during the last few years.  Well, for Sale-a-bration Stampin' Up! added a supply of their own colouring pages.  You get 12 sheets of four designs.  I've had fun using them as backgrounds or as the feature of my cards.  For this card I used the paper in conjunction with another Sale-a-bration offering:  the gorgeous Glimmer Paper in three colours.  I'm not sure which I like best.  For this card I turned to the Bermuda Bay and the Sweet Sugarplum.

This card really celebrates colour.  I've used three of the 2016-18 In-Colors for the blossoms (Sweet Sugarplum of course, Peekaboo Peach and Flirty Flamingo).  The centres of the flowers are Daffodil Delight with a layer  of  the gold Wink of Stella added.  Two of the flowers are coloured with the Bermuda Bay ink to tie in with the Glimmer paper.  And then I've used a variety of greens for the leaves and stems:  Old Olive, Pear Pizzaz, Wild Wasabi and Always Artichoke.  And then, for a subtle green background, I used the new Watercolor Pencils.

I really like the offset Glimmer paper behind just a portion of the Designer paper, don't you?  Leaving the other portion against the base of Basic Black makes that side pop as well.  

* * * * * * * * * * 

For my third and final project I went wild with the Hey Chick stamp set--the first product from the Sale-a-bration brochure which caught my eye.  Those chickens and the egg are simply priceless, aren't they?

To make the fullest use of those chickens and to make a really fun Birthday card for a member of the extended family, I decided to make this card a special fold.  Now I've heard this style of card called the Z fold, the Double-Z fold, and the Banded Z fold.  I really don't care.  In this case as in many others, what's in a name?  It winds up being the same card and I love how versatile it can be.

My base is Tip Top Taupe because it's nice and neutral.  The next layer is Early Espresso, taken from the colours in the Designer Paper which is from the Cupcakes and Carousels Designer paper stack.  Actually the colours in the Designer paper inspired most of the colour choices for the card.  As well as the Hey Chick stamp set, I used the Balloon Adventures set and also the Labeler Alphabet set.  Since birthdays are meant to be full of sparkle and fun, I also used some Red Glimmer paper, some Gold Glimmer paper and some of the Sale-a-bration Bermuda Bay Glimmer paper.  All additional sparkle was added with the Wink of Stella.  This card just catches the light!

This is the card totally folded up and ready to be slipped into a medium (4 3/8" x 5 3/4") envelope.  

I treated the centre section as I would the "card in a box" fold, sectioning it off so that the balloons could be layered and create more of a 3-D feel.  I could have added more detail, but remember, this has to be mailed.  More detail equals much more money in stamps.

This little guy simply shines with the brilliance of the Wink of Stella which enhances his feathers.

In this case the egg has some Wink of Stella and the rainbow-coloured "hair" and tail are brilliant with Wink of Stella.

I had so much fun creating this card.  I hope the recipient enjoys it as much.

* * * * * * * * * * 

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, Marsha Reed.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #110 - A Clean & Simple Easter Bunny

I love Easter and Easter Bunnies are simply adorable.  Whether they're the real, wiggly nosed type or the yummy chocolate type, I love them all.  So you can imagine how happy I was when Heather Hopson decided to make her challenge all about Easter Bunnies.  Of course it has to be Clean & Simple, too, but that just makes it more of a challenge.

I wish I had a stamp as cute as those bunnies in Heather's picture.  Actually, hunting around my room, I quickly discovered that I don't have any bunny stamps at the moment.  I know I wanted to get rid of retired stamps, but purging all my bunnies?  In retrospect, I think that wasn't one of my best decisions.

But where there's a will, there's a way.  We're fine with die-cuts now and punch art is really just a bunch of die-cuts, right?  So I manufactured my bunny using, of all things, my Cookie Cutter punch.  I also used a few others, like my small oval and some circles, but you can see that in my card.  For my background I stamped some of the long grasses from the High Tide set using the Emerald Envy ink.  And then, just to separate the white layer from the white base, I sponged some of the same green around the perimeter of that layer, too.

The googly eyes?  Retired, yes, but oh so very cute.  I couldn't resist.

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