Wednesday, 14 March 2018

WWC161 - Helen's "All About Occasions" Challenge

This week's challenge is being hosted by Helen Finlay and it's all about the special Occasions in our lives.  You can see a few listed in the challenge icon, but you can probably think of a bunch more.  Let's face it, special occasions are one of the reasons we create our cards.

Here in Canada it's still quite a while before Mother's Day occurs in May but it was my mother's birthday last week and I've been thinking of her a lot lately.  Making a Mother's Day card just felt totally natural under the circumstances.

I kept this card very simple.  In fact it's a one layer card except that I matted the one layer and then adhered it to a base.  But you know what I mean. After stamping it, I masked the pretty stone wall image from the Hostess set, "Cosy Cottage".  Then I stamped the trees from the retired "In the Meadow" set so that they would appear to be behind the wall.  The sizing of the two sets is perfect.  They appear to be made for each other.

The scene I've created and watercoloured reminds me so much of a pretty garden to which we'd frequently go for a little picnic when I was growing up in Victoria.  After a snack, I'd weave together the little wild daisies so I could wear them like a crown in my hair.  Most of the time both my sister and I wound up wearing the daisy "crowns" which our Mum had made.  For some reason mine seldom held together properly.

While the outside of my card is rather simple, without embellishments or surprises, I had to do something special for the inside.  So I took the Sale-a-bration "Blossoming Basket" set and stamped the basket in the centre of a piece of 8" x 5" Whisper White and then watercoloured it before carefully cutting around much of it using my craft knife.  I left enough attached so that it would "pop out" when the card was opened.

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

I've also entered this card into the CAS March Watercolour Challenge which is all about Gardens.

I've entered this card into the That's Crafty! Challenge - Spring Into Action

And, finally, I've entered this card into the The Crafty Addicts Challenge #46 - All About Mums

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

WWC160 - Heidi's Feminine "Anything Goes" Challenge

It's my turn to host the Watercooler Wednesday Challenge this week.  What fun!  The challenge this week is our popular Feminine "Anything Goes" challenge.  I can think of so many possibilities!

I decided to make a Birthday card using the Beautiful You stamp set as well as the Charming Cafe bundle.  I wanted to create this card in the "Z" fold style and also wanted to have the image of the girl swing out when the card opened.  After a bit of planning and some detailed work, it came together beautifully.

I used the Memento Tuxedo Black ink to stamp all my images as well as the sentiments.  That made it possible for me to use both watercolouring and alcohol colouring techniques without any smudging.  For the image of the girl, I pencilled in a line where my fold would go and carefully centered her on that line.  Then I took my craft knife and cut around the image from the top middle of the umbrella to the bottom of her shoes, along the side facing into the card.  That allowed her to swing out as the card opened.

For the inside image, of the cafe, I used both the base for stamping and a second piece of Whisper White.  First I stamped the image of the table and chairs on the second piece of Whisper White.  Then I used the framelit for the table and chairs to cut those out, after which I used the square topped framelit with the table and chairs at the bottom to cut out the remainder of the "window".   After colouring my images, I attached the die-cut  Whisper White to the base using Foam Adhesive Strips to create dimension.  I also attached the table and chairs with the foam strips.

Unfortunately, the added depth of the inside of the card made closing it virtually impossible.  To fix that, I scored a second line along the score line I had made at 4 1/4", thus giving it a 1/8" fold, and the card closed perfectly.  It still fits into a normal envelope as well.  Bonus!

I'm dedicating this card to my Mum, whose birthday it is today, March 7th.  I miss her every day and know she would have loved a simple little card like this.

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

I'm also entering my card into the Seize the Birthday:  Anything Goes Challenge

I've also entered my card into the Addicted to Stamps & More #181 - Make Your Mark

Friday, 2 March 2018

I Love You and Coffee!

Every once in a while two challenges converge and I can create something that's perfect for each.  That's what happened with The Card Concept and Inkspirational.  It's all about the coffee. 

At first I hemmed and hawed about using the Coffee Cafe set since it, too, is all about coffee.  In the end, however, I went in another direction.  Since both challenges featured a pretty teacup in their inspirational photo, I hauled out a retired die set, the Cups & Kettle Framelits dies, and used the large teacup die to cut out a piece of the striped Springtime Foils Specialty Designer Series paper from the Sale-a-bration second release.  It made a perfect cup, especially after I sponged some Sahara Sand ink around the perimeter to give it dimension. 

For my background I used a base of Heavy Whisper White, a layer of the retired Baked Brown Sugar cardstock, and a layer of the retired Falling in Love Designer Series paper.  Before adding the DSP, I sponged around the perimeter using Baked Brown Sugar ink.  To give the cup more dimension, I used flower shaping tools to round it out and then added dimensionals (two deep in the centre) when adhering it to the card.  The sentiment is from the retired Merry Cafe set and is also stamped using Baked Brown Sugar ink.  To finish off, I cut a butterfly from Copper Foil and from Blushing Bride using the Bold Butterfly framelits and Butterflies thinlits. 

I'm entering this card in The Card Concept #87 (Freshly Brewed)

I'm also entering this card in the Inkspirational Challenge #155 - Coffee Photo

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

WWC159 - Marsha's "All About Christmas" Challenge

This week's challenge is being hosted by Marsha Reed and it's all about Christmas.  I love these challenges because they help me get my stash together so that I'm not as stressed at Christmas.  That's a great reason for everyone to join the challenge, don't you think?

Of course it's not hard to get in the Christmas mood when I look outside and see snow everywhere.  In fact the snow was my inspiration this time.  At least the snow on my card didn't require me to bundle up from head to toe.

I kept my card simple.  I took a piece of Whisper White and added five strips of Washi tape vertically to the right of centre.  The Year of Cheer Specialty Washi tape I used is retired now but it was in the last Holiday catalogue and is hands down one of the most elegant Washi tapes I've ever seen.  After adding the tape, I stamped my sentiment using Pacific Point ink and then used the Softly Falling embossing folder to carefully emboss each side without actually embossing the tape.  Then I added a matte of Pacific Point cardstock so that it showed only on the sides before attaching everything to a base of Heavy Whisper White.

For the snowflakes I turned to the snowflake dies in the Seasonal Layers Thinlits and cut three snowflakes out of Silver Foil using the medium die and two snowflakes using the small die.  After adding them, I finished up with a rhinestone in the centre of each one.

In real life this card simply shines and sparkles.  I hope you'll check out the cards created by our wonderful Watercooler Artists at the Watercooler Wednesday Challenge blog.

I'm sorry to share that Judy Markowitz will be leaving our team.  Family health problems make it difficult for Judy to commit to the demands of a weekly challenge.  I'll miss her creations as well as her bubbly personality.

I'm happy to be welcoming Tenia Nelson to our team.  I've loved her work for a long time and will enjoy working with her.

I'm also entering this card into the Winter Wonderland Challenge - Anything Goes (Our Tribute to Eileen.

And into the Merry Christmas Challenge #9 - Anything Goes

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

WWC158 - Helen's Masculine "Anything Goes" Challenge

This week's challenge is being hosted by Helen Finlay and was absolute perfect timing, too.  I had to make a birthday card for my grandson and this challenge is our Masculine "Anything Goes" challenge.  How serendipitous is that?

Since he had loved a pop-up card which I had created recently, I decided to create one just for him.  As luck would have it, I had just received a die in the mail which I had ordered with him in mind.  (Don't you love it when things fall into place like that?)

The die-cut on this card is beautiful, isn't it?  I cut it out of gold foil and then used my alcohol Stampin' Blends to add a bit of colour.  My grandson's favourite colour is red and so those drums are gold and red with black feet.  His name begins with an "X" which explains that great big X in the centre of that large drum.  I had such fun making this card because he is a special guy and besides loving to play the drums, he also follows "the beat of his own drum".

As I mentioned, I made the inside of the card a pop-up.  This one is all about his birthday and that great big red star comes out at least an inch or so.  As you can see, I left room in the centre to write something special to our special boy.

Oh, and since his birthday was a couple of days ago, I can tell you that he really was delighted.  He told me it's going into his treasure box. 

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

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

WWC157 - Heidi's "All About Occasions" Challenge

It's my turn to host the challenge this week and it's an "All About Occasions" challenge.  What fun!  There are so many occasions during the year.  Wouldn't you know it, I had a birthday card in mind.  That has to be one of the most frequently celebrated occasions of the year.  After all, everyone has one--birthday, that is.

What's a birthday without a bit of whimsy thrown in?  I've been dying to use the Party Pandas stamp set which I received free with my qualifying order (it's Sale-a-bration time--Woo Hoo!)  But I kept reaching for other newly purchased stamp sets.  Well, all that changed with this card.  I reached for those Pandas and introduced them to ink.

So where's the whimsy, you ask.  I did my usual mix and match bit with my stamp sets and added some fun from the Birthday Memories Suite as well.  Guess what!  That cute little girl and her friend, the Panda, are going to a birthday party.  Are you ready?

Don't you just love it?  I used the matching framelit to cut the little cutie from the Birthday Memories Designer Series paper.  Yes, they work on the patterned paper as well as on the stamped images.  Bonus!  I also used the framelits to cut out those party hats and the little gift which her friend the Panda is carrying.  The clouds?  They're from the Up and Away thinlits set and that wonderful red foil "celebrate" is another free Sale-a-bration item, the Celebrate You thinlits.  The background is just a watercolour wash using Soft Sky and Pear Pizzaz.

But there's more fun inside!  Why just use one Panda when you can use two, after all?  And the Panda inside the card is an especially talented little guy.  He's taken five of the cupcakes (all fussy cut) and is showing off his juggling skills by keeping them in the air.  I've made the inside a "pop out" so that our friend the Panda is standing away from the card and I've added a carefully cut "tree" of window acrylic to his back so that the attached cupcakes appear to be hanging in the air.

I decided to keep the background pale and neutral by adding a piece of Soft Sky cardstock and then the die-cut Happy Birthday (using the Happy Birthday thinlits) in Very Vanilla.  Any more fuss behind our Panda and those sweet cupcakes would not show up as clearly.

And there we have the complete inside of the card.  I hope you love it as much as I do.

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

I'm also entering my card into the following challenges:

Crafting From the Heart #194 - Anything Goes

Pammie's Inky Pinkies Challenge #1806  - Anything Goes

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

WWC#156 - Penny's Feminine "Anything Goes" Challenge

It's a Feminine "Anything Goes" challenge which Penny Hanuszak is hosting this week.  Such fun!  I'm so happy for the excuse to use a stamp set which I've been anxious to try out.

Which stamp set am I talking about?  The Sale-a-bration "Beautiful Peacock" of course.  I've seen some fascinating projects but each time I thought about using it I either came up blank or needed to make something totally different.  Not this time.  This time I'm going all the way.

I began with a piece of Mixed Media paper onto which I scattered some Yellow Brusho crystals and then let them work their magic as I sprayed them with a bit of water.  I love the varying shades of colour which come from one colour of the Brusho.  You never quite know what to expect and that's part of the magic.  Once I had heat dried the colour, I was ready to stamp.

There are some interesting pieces to this particular stamp set.  The peacock is a solid stamp, so you're stamping the colour instead of colouring an outline in.  Since I don't always get a perfect image the first time with a solid stamp, I hauled out my Tim Holtz Stamp Platform so that I could restamp if necessary without having the headache of trying to totally match my initial stamping.  I'm glad I used it because I had to restamp another two times after my initial stamp in order to get the saturated Bermuda Bay colour for my image that I had in mind.   While I had the paper on the platform I chose to stamp the "feathers" that way as well.  I wound up restamping each one so that was a good move.

As you can see from the card, the "feathers" are almost like flourishes or vines.  They do look wonderful, however, especially when you add several together.  I chose to have two Bermuda Bay "feathers" and then added one between them which I heat embossed in Copper embossing powder.  Don't you simply love the contrast?

As you can see, I also stamped a few of the tiny flower images along the "feathers" using Calypso Coral.  I thought the tiny flecks of warm colour in the Yellow Brusho were quite similar in colour to the Calypso Coral.  It doesn't hurt that the warm tones look great next to the Bermuda Bay.

Since I had the one "feather" heat embossed in Copper, I decided to heat emboss the crown and the wing in Copper as well.  As it happened, I had a negative bit of a die-cut lying on my table and it looked almost like the wing.  A couple of snips and it fit perfectly with a band of copper embossing around it.  Serendipitously, the piece had been the retired Bermuda Bay Glimmer paper.  It was clearly meant to be.

As you can see, I also added a few little copper foil hearts.  To finish off, I added tiny pearl embellishments to the centre of each flower as well as to the peacock's eye.

I simply love the finished card, don't you?

I hope you'll check out the wonderful creations by the other Watercooler Artists over at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.

I'm also entering my card in the following challenges:

Always Fun Challenges #44 - Anything Goes

Crafty Gals Corner #158 - Anything Goes

Lil Patch of Crafty Friends #75 - Anything Goes

Monday, 5 February 2018

A Musical Birthday

While looking through the challenges I enjoy entering, I noticed that two have the same theme.  Great news!  One card serves both and, since the "Less is More" challenge is celebrating its 7th Birthday, of course I would be creating a Birthday card.

Although both challenges don't ask for "clean and simple", the "Less is More" challenge hosts only clean and simple cards.  The Cardz 7 Guyz is open to many styles.  I decided to simply use a base of Heavy Whisper White and then add the cut-out image of the trumpet-playing raccoon from the gorgeous Birthday Memories Designer Series Paper.  Since the theme is music, I also decided to add a die-cut of musical notes on a staff to trail behind the raccoon.

To add a bit of colour and to anchor my raccoon, I sponged some grass using the retired Mint Macaron ink and also sponged some Soft Sky ink onto the musical staff.

To repeat the red in the raccoon's party hat, I stamped the "Happy Birthday" sentiment using Real Red ink and my retired Endless Birthdays set.  To finish up, I added a tiny punched out red foil heart to the final note on the staff.

I'm entering this fun card in the "Less is More" #364 - Music Challenge

Challenge #187

Friday, 2 February 2018

Amazing YOU

I've loved the You've Got This stamp set since it first came out and have happily watched it continue in each Annual Catalogue.  I suspect its time is nearing the end, but this is one stamp set I will be keeping.  What makes it so special?  Well, for one thing, I love all three sentiments and the font that was used for them.  I also love that terrific, large background grid pattern.  It has seen  its way onto quite a few different cards.  But it's the flower itself that really appeals to me.  This is such a generously sized flower and lends itself to so many types of colouring.  I've used watercolours, markers, alcohol blends and, now, even Brusho.  Each time the flower has come to life and I've been happy with the results.

This time I decided to heat emboss my flower in white embossing powder and then used the Brusho crystals to add colour.  For the bloom I turned to the Gamboge (orange) while for the stem and leaves I used the Moss Green.  I wet the bloom in stages with a wet brush, added a scant number of crystals, and then used a finer brush to move the colour around.  The results, especially once it was dry, were spectacular.  There is a clarity to this Brusho colours as well as a colour shift within the colour one uses due to the variety of colours in the crystals, that one does not see normally when colouring.

I fussy cut my flower and added it to the left on a Whisper White note card.  Then I simply added a die-cut "amazing" and a die-cut "YOU", thanks to the SAB Celebrate You thinlits.  Overall it's a simply constructed card but I think it is extremely striking and dramatic.

I'm going to enter this card in the following challenges:

CASology Week 285 for which the cue word is "Swoon"

LTCCB #19 - February Anything Goes!

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #155 - Anything Goes

Every time we have a fifth week in the month, our challenge has an "Anything Goes" theme.  I love those times because it lets me do what I please.

Of course one of the downsides to an "anything goes" challenge is that my mind goes wild with the possibilities.  I really have to rein myself in and force myself to stick to a project.  This time I decided to create a nice, large shadow frame using the wonderful images from the Myths & Magic Suite.  Yes, even that opened the door to a lot of choices but in the end I decided to concentrate on an "under-the-sea" theme.  Enter the mermaids and seahorses!

Of course even that meant I had to make some major decisions.  First I thought of having a treasure chest and then, before I began cutting out some of my Wood Textures DSP, I thought about having the stone portion of the wishing well from the Bright Wishes stamp set.  I could imagine something like that in a flooded area, taken over for use by the sea creatures.  In fact, a mermaid and her sea serpents could easily store their jewels there, right?  (Yes, the dragons became sea serpents in this little scene--a little "snip" and those wings were history and who needs fiery breath underwater?)

The images are all cut from various Designer papers:  the Myths & Magic Specialty Designer Series paper (mermaid, dragons, branches, and seahorses) and the Naturally Eclectic Designer Series paper (jewels and the background ombre piece).  The long grass is cut with the Swirly Scribbles Thinlits and the "amazing" is cut with the Sale-a-bration Celebrate You Thinlits.  That wonderful wavy watery look in the background is created by the Seaside Embossing folder.

I love the way this shadow frame turned out, don't you?

I hope you'll check out the wonderful creations by the other Watercooler Artists over at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.

I'm also entering this piece into the Make My Monday  Challenge #63 - Fancy Folds

I've entered this piece in the Crafty Creations Challenge #359 - Anything Goes as well.

And, finally, I've entered this piece in the Simon Says Wednesday Challenge - Anything Goes

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #154 - Judy's "All About Christmas" Challenge

I have to admit that it feels a trifle odd to be making a Christmas card just a month after Christmas but on the positive side, I'm starting on my stash for this coming Christmas.  Judy is hosting our challenge this week and, yes, it's "all about Christmas".

Of course I'm immersed in the Occasions Catalogue at the moment.  My excitement over my "new toys" hasn't waned yet and it was hard to tear myself away.  But then I thought, why wait?  Surely I could think of a way to use my new sets in a manner that would work for Christmas cards.  I knew that the Waterfront set could easily work but since last week's challenge card featured that set, I wanted something new.  And new it is.  I decided to see what could be done with the Charming Cafe bundle.  I decided to create a mountainside cafe from which one could see the distant trees and mountains.  With the boughs cut using the carried-over Christmas Staircase Thinlits dies and the lamp from the retired Christmas Lampost Thinlits, it was easy to add a festive touch.

It's hard to see, but I coloured the chairs with the Stampin' Dazzle Gold marker (retired) and also stamped along the lower part of the card using the brick pattern from the Timeless Textures set.  The little glittery "ornaments" are put on with the Cherry Cobbler Dazzling Details (retired), and the "NOEL" is die-cut using the Christmas Stockings Thinlits.  Oh, and the embossing folder I used is the Sparkle ef.

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

I'm also entering this card into the Merry Monday Christmas Challenge #274 which is all about snow.

And finally I'm adding this card into the Sisterhood of Crafters - Dashing Through the Snow challenge since it is all about snow.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #153 - Gail's Masculine "Anything Goes" Challenge

Gail is hosting our challenge this week and it's all about the men in our lives, young or old or in-between.  That's right, it's a Masculine "Anything Goes" challenge and it's right on time for a birthday that's coming up in my family.

Stampin' Up! is beginning to offer quite a few stamp sets which are great for a more masculine looking card.  One of the latest offerings in the new Occasions Catalogue is the very different Waterfront set.  What makes it different?  Well, the finished stamped images look as if one has taken a brush and done a bit of watercolouring.  There seems to be no end to the scenes one can create using this set.  All it takes is a bit of imagination and practise.

I'm making this for my nephew and the scene is similar to a look down Christina Lake at sunrise.  I know he always enjoyed going to the lake when he lived in British Columbia and will enjoy the card now.  I've used a number of different mediums to complete the scene.  First I mixed some Brusho crystals with water and set my scene.  I painted in the sky and water using the Prussian Blue and then painted in the Yellow where I knew the sun and the reflection would be.  I also added some Gamboge to the reflection.  After that I began stamping with my inks:  Smoky Slate, Old Olive, Mossy Meadow (retired), Crushed Curry and Peekaboo Peach.

Once I had added the mountains, the trees, the reflection and the sun, I knew that the scene needed a bit more.  So I added the birds (the three smallest from the High Tide set).  Then I took my Stampin' Blends and used the Crumb Cake to add some brown to the mountains and also between the trees to give the impression of cliffs.

The sentiment is also from the High Tide set and is stamped using Soft Suede.  I didn't ink up the "shine" because I wanted to add a die-cut instead.  I took the "sunshine" from the Sunshine Wishes thinlits, cut the word out of a piece of copper foil, and then simply cut away the "sun".  I think it's perfect for the card, don't you?

I hope you'll check out the wonderful creations by the rest of the Watercooler Artists over at the Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.

I've added my card to the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge which is all about adding a sentiment. 

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #152 - Kath's "All About Occasions" Challenge

It's time for that new "All About Occasions" Challenge we introduced before Christmas and this time it's hosted by Kath Ricks.  I love this challenge because there are so many occasions which we celebrate throughout the year.

I decided on a birthday card because that is, without a doubt, the occasion that comes up most frequently.  I had ordered the new Bird Banter stamp set before Christmas and last week, finally had a chance to play with it.  Those birds make me smile.  And the types of birds lend themselves to some awesome colouring.  For my card I turned to the new Stampin' Blends.  Didn't the parrot turn out wonderfully bright?  I love the shading that's possible with the Blends as well as the lovely brilliant colours.

The stamp set comes with the branch and additional leaf and flower stamps.  I decided to add quite a bit of foliage and some flowers to add to the birthday fun.  And the sentiments that come with the set--so much fun!

I hope you'll check out the wonderful creations by the other Watercooler Artists over at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge blog.

I'm also entering this card in the Inkspirational Challenge #151 which is "all about stamping".

And I'm entering it into the Addicted to Stamps and More Challenge #274 which is "clean and simple"