Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #124 - Fiona's Masculine "Anything Goes" Challenge

Today's challenge is hosted by Fiona Whitehead.  Her challenge gives me another chance to create a masculine card, something that comes in handy with so many men (of so many ages) in our family.

I made this card for my son-in-law for Father's Day.  So he's seen it but now it's being unveiled to the world.  Since my son-in-law is a natural born singer whose voice can do justice to virtually every genre of music (except, perhaps, opera), of course the guitar from the Country Livin' set came to mind.  In fact I channelled a bit of George Strait (his favourite country singer) with that rustic look, the guitar, and the old beater of a truck.

I've used this stamp set a fair bit since it was introduced last year and have been inspired all over again by the addition of the Wood Textures Designer Series paper stack in this year's brand new Annual Catalogue.  There is something about those wonderful wood textures which just asks to be paired with the Country Livin' set.  Of course I've also done some sponging around the perimeter of the paper and the window using some Soft Suede ink.  The window?  Just used my small square framelit four times.  Gives it a rustic "feel".   I think the sponging really compliments the Cajun Craze cardstock which I used as the matte for my card as well as for the sentiment.  And when you're hunting around for just the right sentiment, what could be better than making one's own with the always handy Labeler Alphabet set?

And now I hope you'll check out the terrific cards created by the rest of the Watercooler Artists at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.  Better still, link up your own masculine creation for us to enjoy.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

MOJO500 - Full of Love for You

Sadly MOJO Monday is closing it's doors with this challenge.  I haven't entered their challenges frequently but those times that I have, I've always found their sketches to be inspirational.

I began with a base of Whisper White and then added a layer of Emerald Envy, followed by a layer of Naturally Eclectic Designer Paper.  I combined that with the wonderful new Sharing Sweet Thoughts stamp set which was designed for the Ronald MacDonald House charity.  I love that jar in the images which can be cut using the Everyday Jars Framelits. Of course the butterflies don't have matching dies but that's what my little sharp scissors are for.

I turned the sketch on its side to accomodate the jar image and so decided that the second background rectangle would be a branch rather than just the rectangle.  For the vertical bands I turned to the new In-Colors and took a strip of the Peekaboo Peach and embossed it using the Cable Knit embossing folder.  Then I took a very narrow strip of the Lemon Lime Twist and added that.

Like I said, I haven't joined the MOJO Monday Challenge frequently, but will still miss its strong presence among the challenges.  Thanks for all the great ideas and all the inspiration.  This card is for the MOJO500 challenge at MOJO Monday.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #123 - Marsha's "Fireworks" Theme Challenge

Marsha Reed is hosting a theme challenge over at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge and it's all about fireworks.  This time of the year, that's definitely a suitable theme.

The thing is that I don't have any specifically "fireworks" stamps.  But that doesn't matter when you're creative and have a whole lot of retired and current products just asking to be tried.  Let the fun begin!

I decided to use a nice bright, white base.  Everything shows up well against that, right?  Then I took a piece of Night of Navy cardstock and embossed it using my Softly Falling embossing folder.  Sponged lightly over the raised dots with retired silver ink, that sure looked like a starry sky.

Next I turned to a recently retired set I barely used, the Star Blast Edgelits dies.  With those I cut a piece of Red Glimmer Paper and also one of Dazzling Diamonds Glimmer Paper.  After cutting those pieces apart, reassembling them artistically in a fireworks pattern and mixing and matching the colours, I was pretty sure I had created a pretty good display.

But the bottom of the card felt empty.  Yes, I was adding the "celebrate" but that really didn't feel like enough.  Well, from retired set to brand new, unopened set.  I turned to the gorgeous new Seasonal Layers Thinlits.  To be precise, the Adirondack chairs.

The perfect spot to watch the stars or a wonderful fireworks display.  A couple of chairs and two drinks worked out perfectly, especially with the added banner.

I hope you enjoyed my card today and that you'll check out the ones created by the Watercooler Artists over at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.  And then why not link up something yourself once you've been inspired?

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #122 - Libby's Feminine "Anything Goes" Challenge

I just love our new Feminine "Anything Goes" Challenges and that's just what Libby Fens is hosting this week.

Funny story.  I created a shadow box frame card for last week's "Anything Goes" challenge but didn't post the one I created.  As circumstances turned out, I created a more masculine one for that challenge and then  decided to put the much more feminine shadow box frame into this challenge.  Good strategy or poor planning?  All in all it worked out very well and I'm excited to share my pretty creation with you.

I had been rooting around in my retired products, deciding what would go and what just had to stay in my stash (I'm a bit of a hoarder), and came across some of the gorgeous (but retired) Co'redinations cardstock.  It was a package of the Neutrals and I knew I had to make my frame using the lovely textured white.

It made me so happy to get the chance to use that gorgeous Bright Wishes stamp set.  Doesn't the wishing well look terrific combined with the littlest fairy from the Fairy Wishes set?  And those flowers and branches adorning the frame?  Those are from the brand new Colorful Seasons bundle.

I also got to use one of the brand new In-Colors!  I wasn't sure what I would think of the bright Berry Burst colour but it's absolutely gorgeous.  The matte inside the frame is cut from that cardstock and the roses climbing up the side of the wishing well are coloured using that ink.  Surprisingly the colour really looks great with our older In-Color, Sweet Sugarplum.

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

I've also linked this card up to the new SUO challenge which, this week, is featuring "Out in the Garden".

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #121 - "Anything Goes"

This week's challenge is an "Anything Goes".  I don't know how you react to these challenges, but I love them.  Even so I find my mind going "ping, pong" all over the place, thinking of first one project, then another, and so on.  It takes quite a bit of determination to rein myself in and focus on just one thing.

As usual that's the way I started out for this challenge.  And then I thought that it would be great fun to create something that isn't quite a card and could be a display item for someone I love.  Of course that brought to mind a framed piece.  But I've made a number of those and wanted this project to be different.  And then it came to me.  Why not do the framed piece but create it inside a shadow box frame?  I've been wanting to make one of those shadow box frames forever and this was a perfect opportunity.

Amanda Bates, to my mind, is the "Queen of shadow box frames".  She has included many in her blog posts as well as picture tutorials.   I found her tutorials easy to follow and have discovered that once you've made one, it takes only about five to ten minutes to make subsequent ones.  They really are that easy.  I've also discovered that I can make them in any size.  Basic rule:  whatever your inside measurement (the size of the stamped image piece you intend to frame), you just add five inches either way.  In other words, if you are intending to frame a 4" x 5" piece, you must begin with a piece of cardstock (easiest) or Designer Paper that is 9" x 10".  Once you know that, you can make small, medium or large frames.  Your limitation would be the size of your paper.

I decided to create an image using the new At Home With You bundle combined with the Sitting Here stamp set.  I love both sets and find they really compliment each other.  I also decided that I would back the stamped piece with Whisper White to put a white matte around it as if it had been professionally framed.  My piece, therefore, was 5" x 6 1/4".  The cardstock for my frame would, therefore, have to be 10" x 11 1/4".

I followed all the directions given by Amanda and wound up with a wonderful Early Espresso frame for my stamped piece.  Of course it needed a really striking sentiment to go with it and so I turned to the new Colorful Seasons set and heat embossed one of my favourites using the clear embossing powder over Early Espresso ink.

I hope you've enjoyed my little frame project.  And now it''s time to check out the wonderful creations by the other Watercooler Artists at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.

Since this creation is very masculine in style, I'm linking it up to the SUO challenge this week.

I'm also entering it into the Cardz 4 Guyz Challenge since these are some of my favourite masculine colours.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Colour Throwdown #444 - Thank You

I love simplicity.  As soon as I saw the challenge over at Colour Throwdown, I knew I would enter it.  Simplicity---and, of course, I'm a sucker for Lilies-of-the-Valley.

Beautiful inspirational picture, isn't it?  It caught my eye and my imagination and I immediately began thinking about what would look perfect and yet simple in those colours.

I decided on a simple white background onto which I attached first a leafy swirl of Pear Pizzazz cut using the Swirly Squiggles thinlits and then a Smoky Slate bird cut using the Birds & Blooms thinlits.  I added a bit more interest to the leafy swirl by attaching three tiny die-cut flowers.  Finally, I added a small Pear Pizzazz sentiment from the Thoughtful Banners set.

I hope you'll check out the other great cards at the Color Throwdown this week.

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #120 - Gail's Christmas Challenge

Christmas in May?  Well, maybe not Christmas, but certainly it's a good starting point  for making Christmas cards.  If you're like me, starting early means less pressure closer to the time I'm sending them out.  Having a Christmas challenge as part of our new line-up is definitely going to be exciting (and handy).

Isn't that an adorable image that Gail chose?  I love it!  And so I hunted around for something that gave me the same sort of feeling as this image.  I found it in the Pretty Kitty stamp set and the Hang Your Stocking bundle.  What could be cuter than a kitten peeking out of a Christmas stocking, after all?

I began with a base of  Heavy Whisper White and then added a narrow layer of Real Red and then another layer of Whisper White on which I did my stamping.  I wanted the focal point to be the stocking and the kitten, of course, and so I decided to stamp the cross-hatch background image from the You've Got This stamp set in off-stamped Crumb Cake as my background.  Then I stamped my sentiment partly at the top left corner and partly at the bottom right corner.  That left lots of space for my stocking and kitten.  The stocking was easy since I had the Framelits to cut all the pieces.  The kitten took a bit longer since I had to fussy-cut the image.  But together, the are perfect.

I hope you'll check out the wonderful cards created by the other Watercooler Artists at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.  And then, please link up your own creation for us to enjoy.

I'm also linking this card up to the Christmas Card Challenge, challenge #13.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

The Wacky Watercooler May 2017 Blog Hop - Celebrating the Carry-Overs

The end of a catalogue year isn't entirely sad.  Yes, we're losing a lot of products but there  is a nice, long list of products which carry-over and continue into the new Annual Catalogue.  Some are from the retiring Annual Catalogue, some are from the retired Holiday Catalogue, and others are from the retiring Occasions Catalogue.  This blog hop is our celebration for those products which are continuing and which we are happiest to see continue.  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 are 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 Judy Markowitz blog, a brand new "hopper" from New Mexico whom we are welcoming this month.

* * * * * * * * * *  

For my first project I've created a masculine card using several of my favourite stamp sets.  At first glance it's clear that I've used images from the One Wild Ride set and the Lovely as a Tree set, but if you look more closely you'll see that my background has been created by using several stamps from the Timeless Textures set.  I used the Soft Sky, Smokey Slate and Crumb Cake inks and stamped those colours in layers.  After they had dried, I added a very light wash of each colour over the stamping to soften the effect and am happy with the results.  There is a suggestion of far-off mountains and an open range which makes a good background for my stamped trees.  Of course I masked the motorcycle to keep the image clear and uncoloured. 

If you look carefully, you'll see the suggestion of shadows coming forward from the trees which I think really helps add depth to the scene.

To add some interest to the inside, I also added some of the images from One Wild Ride.

* * * * * * * * * * 

My second project is a birthday card which I made for a family friend back in British Columbia.  She loves roses.  She's also turning 70.  The perfect card for this lovely lady is one with the beautiful rose die cut which is part of the Rose Wonder bundle?   I combined one of the brand new In-Colours with one of my favourite continuing In-Colours and added a green.  Surprisingly enough, all the colours really compliment each other beautifully.  What are they?  The brand new Berry Burst, the continuing Sweet Sugarplum, and the classic Old Olive.  I used the Large Numbers Framelits to cut out the "70" and then used Tombo liquid glue to attach everything to the piece of Berry Burst which I had first embossed using the Sparkle embossing folder.

For the inside I decided to use the pretty die-cut hexagonal piece from the Window Box Thinlets dies to cut out a template which I used as a template to add the pattern to the Whisper White.  I sponged on Sweet Sugarplum, Pear Pizzazz, So Saffron, and Peekaboo Peach inks and then stamped my sentiment over the pattern using Basic Black ink.  

I don't usually use a coloured base but for this card I really think that the Pear Pizzazz looks great with the other colours.

* * * * * * * * * * 

My final project is a take-off on the Double Z fold card which I've made several times.  This time, however, I chose not to have the additional narrow folded cardstock but instead, just went with the basic fold.  I also added a surprise to the card and, seeing how well this one turned out, will probably use this particular fold again in the near future.

I combined the Best Birds bundle with the Sheltering Tree stamp set.  To begin, I watercoloured the background.  Since I had decided to use Shimmery White cardstock for this layer, I knew the watercolouring wouldn't warp the paper.  I began with a strip of Pool Party and then changed to Pear Pizzazz for the lower portion.  To add some texture to the green, I stamped over the watercolouring with the same Pear Pizzazz using a texture from the Touches of Texture set.  I attached the stamped and watercoloured Shimmery White cardstock to a base of Soft Suede cardstock.

When the card it closed it looks as if the birds are right next to each other on neighbouring branches.  The tree in the background has the same pink blossoms stamped among the leaves.

When the card is open, however, you can see the distance between the branches and also that there are actually three blossoming trees in the background.  I just had to add the swing to the centre one.

In this view you can see why there is a piece of the Copper Trim ribbon showing in the other views of the card.  The surprise is that there is a tag inside with a sentiment and upon which one can write a note.

There is enough space in the pocket in which the tag rests to add a gift card as well.  

* * * * * * * * * * 

And that's it for my projects.  I hope you'll enjoy them as much as I've enjoyed creating them.  

From here you'll be visiting another wonderfully creative stamper, Penny Hanuszak.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #119 - Judy's Masculine "Anything Goes" Challenge

After having had a Feminine challenge and then a Mom theme challenge it's fun to have a chance to make a masculine card.  This week Judy Markowitz is hosting a Masculine "Anything Goes" challenge and it's perfect timing as far as I'm concerned.

You see, my son-in-law's birthday was coming up and so, of course, I needed a card.  He absolutely loves to get away from the stresses of work by going out to a pond, lake, or river and doing some fly-fishing.  Well, I had hunted down and bought the perfect stamp set for that.  Back in 2002 Stampin' Up! released a terrific masculine stamp set named "Fly Fishing".  The images in that set are perfect.  But of course it's a retired set.  No worries.  We don't get to upset about anything like that in our challenge.

I decided to keep it understated.   Instead of using a lot of colours and making it almost like a photograph, I chose to go slightly vintage and water-coloured the fisherman and the surroundings in very muted hues.  Then I created a background of fish and flies on a piece of Bermuda Bay by stamping those images in Versamark and then heat embossing them with clear embossing powder.  Subtle but oh, so effective.

For the base of the card I used Early Espresso followed by a layer of Sahara Sand and then the embossed layer of Bermuda Bay.  I cut the image of the fly fisherman smaller than the actual image with my square framelits and added a narrow layer of Early Espresso.  Then I backed those with a layer of Sahara Sand cut with my square stitched framelit.

For the sentiment, I kept it to a simple "Happy Birthday" stamped in Early Espresso ink on Sahara Sand and cut with my oval framelit.  Then I backed that with Early Espresso cut with an oval stitched framelit.  The reason I kept it simple is this.  I had stamped one of the fancy fly imaged from the stamp set on a piece of Shimmery White cardstock and then carefully water-coloured it.  It looked great but I needed just the fly and so I fussy cut it, hook and all.  It looks great on the card but honestly I'm beginning to think I'm a fussy-cut-oholic.  To keep my sanity, I'll need an intervention.  (Yes, this is my cry for help.)

Well, a card needs to be attractive on the inside, too, right?  So I added a nice large layer of Whisper White to the inside and stamped my greeting.  Again, it's from that stamp set and is perfect with those flies added to the writing.  Just for good measure, I added a small fly image to the top right and then a lightly stamped (Bermuda Bay off-stamped twice) fish for the bottom left corner.  

The fly fisherman's dream card, right?  Well, Adam (my son-in-law) loved it.  So I suppose the fussy-cutting was worth it.

For more masculine cards, check out those made by our Watercooler Artists at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.  And then, feel free to link up your own creation.

I've also linked my card up to the SUO Challenge #174 since it is all about water-colouring.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #118 - Penny's "Mom" Theme Challenge

Mother's Day was a whole lot easier when my Mum was alive.  But we've lost my mother and my husband, Ken's, mother.  Of course the silver lining is that there is still a mother in our family and that is our own daughter.  And so that's what Mother's Day has come to mean to me, at least--celebrating the mother of my two grandsons.  What an amazing job she does of that, too!

With Penny's theme challenge this week being all about "Mom", it was fun rummaging through my stamps to see what I could put together that would make my daughter's card as personal as possible.  My picks were the Beautiful You set combined with the Sitting Here set.  The dog and the cat in the latter set are perfect since my daughter is forever helping out with animal shelters and/or adopting "just one more".  The swing is something she would love to have on her own front porch and the image from Beautiful You is nearly as lovely and elegant as she is.

I decided to make this card a special fold called the side-stage.  It's a fun fold and offers a few levels and more dimension to the card.  I began with a base of Heavy Whisper White and then layered that with Early Espresso and, for the smaller panel, some of the Serene Scenery Designer Paper.  For the larger panel I used a similar design from the Falling in Love Designer Series Paper.

I did a lot of fussy cutting for this card.  Let's just say that the group of flowers behind the cat was not cut out.  Everything else, yes.  The effect is great.  I love the added dimension.  But partway through the fussy cutting I questioned my sanity.

But this was a labour of love.  Who is counting blisters on fingers?

I hope you've enjoyed my Mother's Day card and that you'll check out those created by the other Watercooler Artists at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.  I hope to see your card linked up this week.

I've also added my card to the Just Us Girls Challenge with there theme of "Mother".

And I've added my card to the What Will You Stamp Challenge #WWYS115 since it is all about the Beautiful You stamp set.

NOTE:  For those who have asked about the fold.  This is a simple side-step fold.

With a piece of 8 1/2" x 5 1/2" cardstock, cut  lengthwise 1 inch from the bottom of what will be the front of the card until the 5 1/4" point.  Then use your scoring plate (or cutter if it can score) to score horizontally from the cut to the right margin at the 4 1/2" mark and then score from the top of the cut line to the left margin.  Then score from the bottom of the cut line to the left margin and finally score 1 inch above that score line to the left margin.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

You Amaze Me

I haven't had a lot of time lately to enter many challenges.  One gets busy with life and that's good, too.  But in checking out some of the entries to our current Watercooler Wednesday Challenge, I noticed that a few had also linked to the Simon Says Wednesday Challenge which, this week, is "a hint of pink".

You know how sometimes a title or phrase stays with you and somewhere in the back of your mind you're working on what you would do?  Well, this one was like an ear-worm.  And so I turned to a stamp which I had bought four or so years ago.  It's a Stampendous stamp featuring a ballet dancing frog, complete with tutu.  How could I not use that?

And so a card was born.  I love the result and am happy to be linking it to the Simon Says Wednesday Challenge.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #117 - Heidi's Feminine "Anything Goes" Challenge

Where do I begin?  Oh yes, I'm hosting this challenge.  And guess what!  This is a challenge we've never had before.  Awesome, right?  Time to get the feminine into our "anything goes".  This is just the beginning.  Our whole line-up has changed.  No more sketches and colour challenges.  Just check out the line-up in the right margin of our challenge blog.

But before I get into all the details of this challenge, I want to say good-bye to Heather Hopson who has been an awesome Watercooler Artist for the past few months.  I'm going to miss her cheerful presence as well as her creativeness.

There is more news!  We have two new Watercooler Artists who begin with this challenge.  Terrific, right?  You'll have seen their names under some of the cards linked up to our challenges and now you'll have a better opportunity to get to know their style and creative talents.  Yes, I'm referring to Fiona Whitehead and Judy Markowitz.

And now----showtime!

I'm so happy to be hosting the very first Feminine "Anything Goes" Challenge.  I decided to share the card which I've made especially for my daughter's birthday.  I go all out each year, trying to outdo what I made last time.  It's getting harder and harder.

I turned to the retiring Star Framelits and combined them with that outstandingly feminine set, Beautiful You.  As you know, this set came out in the Occasions Catalogue but guess what!  It's staying with us since it has a place in the new Annual Catalogue.  Sweet!

My daughter loves blues and bling.  That was easy enough since we had that gorgeous Bermuda Bay Glimmer paper during Sale-a-bration.  Combined with the endlessly glittery Dazzling Diamonds Glimmer paper, this card just dazzles.

It's an easel card and so it stands up beautifully, doesn't it?  Those little hearts are up on Dimensionals and keep the fold in place.

But even closed, this card is very pretty (and dazzling).  And it fits right into a square envelope but when you own an envelope punch board, that's no problem.

Besides the Glimmer paper, I also dazzled up that whole star on which I heat embossed the sentiment using white embossing powder.  What did I use?  The Clear Wink of Stella is what gives the lustrous dazzle to that star.

I had such fun making this card.  I hope you enjoyed it.  And now I invite you to check out the wonderful cards created by the other Watercooler Artists over at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.  Hope to see your project linked up to the challenge this week.

I've also added this card to the SUO  #173 - All That's Feminine challenge.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.