Sunday, 30 November 2014

WCC14 --- Greetings to you

Watercooler Challenges

Welcome to the Watercooler Challenge.  This is the last one for this year and the challenge is to create a box, banner, bag or tag.  I wound up making both a box and a tag.  It's just the way it turned out.

If you've followed my blog, you'll have seen a variation of this box before.  I initially created it to fill up with those cinnamon hearts that come out for Valentine's Day.  My husband loves those and I was working on some Blog Hop projects.  And so the little box was created.  It's a variation of my first box which I created using the Scalloped Tag Topper punch.  This box actually closed---which works out well if you're filling it with loose cinnamon hearts I can assure you.  Today's box is just a little bit taller than that first closing box because I'm filling it with Christmas chocolates and they take up more room.

You can find the template and full instructions for the closing box here.  The changes in measurements are as follows:  begin with a piece of cardstock measuring 6 1/2" x 8 1/2".  Along the long side score as shown (2", 4", 6", 8").  Along the short side score at 1 1/2" and 4".  Everything else is the same except that you trim the top tabs that don't have the scalloped edges to 1 1/2".

This is the box top, open and closed:

This is the box closed and decorated up but without a tag:

This is the tag:

This is the box with the tag attached:

I hope you'll check out the rest of the projects for this Watercooler Challenge.  If you'd like to play along this time, just upload your post with our Linky.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Less is More celebrates #200

Celebrating the 200th of anything is a big thing.  Celebrating a blog's 200th Challenge is very big.  There are a lot of challenge blogs out there.  Some make it...some don't.  To make it to the 200th challenge and still have lots of participants is pretty amazing.

The challenge this time is for a celebrations themed week, of course.  I wanted to keep it very simple but still make it a real celebration.  I began with a base of Naturals White and then followed that with a split layer of Pacific Point and Real Red.  Then I added my final layer:  Whisper White which had been stamped, scored and coloured.

I stamped the little bird riding an arrow image from the Hello Love stamp set using black Memento ink and the "celebrate" from the Good Greetings stamp set using Real Red ink.  I coloured the bird with my blendabilities.  Then I used several of my circle framelits and traced around them with my scoring stylus.  Since I had placed my cardstock on my piercing mat, the circles were nice and raised.  For the centre I added a clear rhinestone.

For more cards made with a celebration theme, check out Less is More.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Christmas Bliss

Sometimes you run into a snag when you're making a card or entering a challenge.  This card ran into all sorts of snags and finally wound up missing the challenge time completely.  This is its sad story.

I've been running back and forth, looking after our daughter's house while they're gone for two weeks.  I certainly don't mind that in the slightest because I love them dearly, love their animals, and they look after our house when we're gone, too.  This week has been "interesting".  Besides a lot going on in my own life, there has been a horrific storm that pretty well stopped everything in its tracks.  Within the last 30 hours we've had a foot and a half of snow and it's still snowing.  The winds carry the snow off the roofs, causing deep drifts which make walking and/or driving even more of a challenge.  This morning we even lost our internet for a few hours.  Luckily it's finally back on but not in time for me.  Ah well...serves me right for not being an early bird, right?

My card uses that rather comical Designer Paper, Santa & Co.  Believe me, you don't see Santas like this every day.  I decided to take bull advantage of their odd appearance and odd postures.  They are the main focus of my card.  My sentiment simply underlines their oddness.  It's the title stamp from the Christmas Bliss stamp set and is perfect for the card.  I simply added a retired Real Red button and a candy cane cut out with the retired framelits set and the card is ready to give to a friend who will thoroughly enjoy the eccentric Santas.

This sketch is from the Paper Players Challenge which you can view here.

I've entered the card in the Less is More challenge since it features Santa Claus.

I've also entered the card in the Merry Monday Christmas Challenge since it features red, green and white.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

PCCC#119 --- Best Kid Ever

Sometimes it seems there aren't enough hours in the day---or days in the week, for that matter.  Right now I'm between houses half the day because our daughter and family are off enjoying Disney World and the house (and cats) needs attention.  I had doubts that I would get this challenge off the ground, let alone finished in time.

I decided to make a boy's birthday card since I need one anyway and it's a way of getting two things off my "to do" list.  The Boys Will Be Boys stamp set is perfect for very small boys and even "getting closer to double-digit" boys.  After all, robots and legos have an almost ageless appeal.  I also decided to keep to the primary colours simply because they are so bright and happy.

The sketch for the Paper Craft Crew Challenge was perfect for what I had in mind:

Paper Craft Crew Card Sketch 119 #cardsketch #stampinup #papercraftcrew

Instead of spatters, however, I turned to the retired Confetti stamp set for the background.  Those hearts were perfect, especially stamped in the primary colours.  Instead of newsprint I chose to use one of the sentiments from the retired Bring on the Cake stamp set repeated many times and in many directions on my Daffodil Delight cardstock.  The lego pieces from the Boys Will Be Boys stamp set fit perfectly over the "soccer ball" which is actually simply a 2" circle embossed with the Hexagon embossing folder.

For more cards using this sketch, check out the Paper Craft Crew Challenges.

     Stamps used:  Boys Will Be Boys, Bring on the Cake (retired), Confetti (retired)
     Paper used:  Real Red, Marina Mist, Naturals White, Daffodil Delight, Whisper White
     Inks used:  Real Red, Marina Mist, Daffodil Delight, Memento Black
     Tools and Embellishments:  Cherry Cobbler Baker's Twine, Stampin' Markers,
              Big Shot, Decorative Dots Embossing folder, Paper Snips, Stampin' Trimmer

Sunday, 23 November 2014

So much for which to be thankful

It's nice to have a day in which we give thanks but I maintain that each and every day is a day to be thankful.  We have so much.  We enjoy such freedoms.  We can be creative to our hearts' content.

I love the colours in the Colour Me...! challenge.  Early Espresso, Soft Suede and Cajun Craze go together so beautifully.  Add in the soft brightness of Very Vanilla and you have a winning combination.  It's been such a busy few days, however, that I began to despair of having a chance to enter the challenge.  Today I stole a few hours.  I have to say, taking those hours and just having the opportunity to create something felt really good.

I decided to use the sketch from the challenge at the Freshly Made Sketches.  The layout was perfect for what I had in mind.

In sorting through some of my retired stamp sets a week or so ago, I had come across the Full of Blessings set and knew I wanted to use it this year.  Its images are timeless and, for this card, could be coloured using the colours in the challenge.  It's always such a boost to the spirits when everything falls into place, isn't it?

I love that the inks can be so many different shades of the same colour when one uses the Blending Pen.  I managed to get the pumpkins and the field to look very real simply with the Cajun Craze ink pad and Blending Pen.  So much for having to use a whole lot of colours.  Simplicity can really work and look great.

For more cards using these colours, check out the Colour Me...! challenge.

For more cards using this sketch, check out Freshly Made Sketches.

     Stamp sets:  Full of Blessings (retired), Project Life Holiday Cheer
     Paper:   Naturals Ivory, Very Vanilla, Cajun Craze, Soft Suede, Early Espresso,
                   Colour Me Autumn Designer Series Paper
     Inks:  Memento black ink, Cajun Craze, Early Espresso, Soft Suede
     Embellishments and tools:  Early Espresso Seam Binding ribbon, Blender Pen, 
                Argyle Embossing Folder, Big Shot, Stampin' Trimmer, Snail Adhesive,
                Dimensionals, Corner punch

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

PCCC#118 -- Masculine Birthday

My husband isn't a very sentimental man.  You can imagine, therefore, how I felt when he was cleaning out his drawer and said "I don't know what to do with all these cards you've given me.  They're too nice to throw away."  I was really touched.  He always throws away cards.  Apparently not the ones I make, I've discovered.

His birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks.  Of course I'm making him a card, but this time I want it to be even more special since he doesn't throw mine away.  The sketch at the Paper Craft Crew Challenge was perfect, I decided.

Card Sketch 118

My husband's father was a hunting guide in the Canadian Rockies.  My husband, as a result, grew up enjoying the great outdoors and, of course, hunting.  He doesn't hunt any longer, but still loves pictures of wildlife.  The Walk in the Wild stamp set may as well have been specially made for him.  I decided to feature the moose.

For my base cardstock I decided to use the new Kraft cardstock.  My next layer is Marina Mist and then another layer of Kraft but this time embossed using my Woodgrain embossing folder.  For the narrower rectangle I used a base of Marina Mist and then topped it with a layer of the tree pattern from the Santa & Co Designer Series Paper.  I attached that to the card using Dimensionals. 

For the final small square I used a base of Early Espresso followed by a layer of Whisper White that I first stamped with the moose image and then coloured using a combination of Blendabilities and Stampin' Markers.  I attached the square to the card using Dimensionals.

I wrapped Linen Thread around the narrow rectangle and tied a small bow.  I added two banners, one cut from the Natural Chevron Ribbon and the other cut from the Mossy Meadow Stitched Satin Ribbon.  My sentiment is from the Sketched Birthday stamp set and I finished up with three Early Espresso Candy Dots.

I'm sure my husband will be keeping this card, too.

For more cards using this sketch, check out the Paper Craft Crew Challenge.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

WCC13 -- Christmas stars

Watercooler Challenges

Welcome to another Watercooler Challenge.  This one is all about Christmas and that left a whole lot of possibilities.  What I finally decided on was to make a tag on a card using non-traditional Christmas colours.  Why make it easy, right?

If you haven't bought the Lucky Stars embossing folder or the Confetti Stars Punch yet, I suggest you give it serious consideration.  They're both so very versatile and fun to use and both are in the Holiday Catalogue which will be retiring January 5th.  I'm glad I bought them both because they're an important part of my creation.

I decided to use Naturals White for my base.  Then I added a layer of Lost Lagoon and then a layer of Soft Sky which I first embossed using the Lucky Stars embossing folder.  See how pretty those embossed stars look!

My next project was the tag which I planned to make to put on the card.   I decided to use Hello Honey as my base and then added a layer of Whisper White.  No, it doesn't look white, but this is what I did to it before I attached it.  I used the Confetti Stars Punch across the top and then used my corner punch to round off the top corners.  Then I used my Sponge Dauber and Lost Lagoon ink to colour the Whisper White, making it a very solid colour across the punched out stars and then streaking it in the centre.  I sponged in some Hello Honey and Wisteria Wonder where the streaks were to give the illusion of Northern Lights.

Then I ripped two strips of Whisper White, sponged a bit of Soft Sky across the ripped edges, and attached them to the lower portion of the coloured Whisper White to make it appear like snow.  I stamped Santa and his reindeer from the Holiday Home stamp set just under the punched out stars using Memento black ink.

I added a house from the Holiday Home stamp set which I cut out using its matching framelit and coloured it before attaching it with Dimensionals.  Then I used my Tree punch to cut out a tree from Black cardstock and also attached that with Dimensionals.  To dress up the tree, I used my Confetti Stars punch to cut out some Hello Honey stars and glued them onto the tree using Tombo glue.

The rest is just sentiments and ribbons.  I love the sheen of the Hello Honey and Lost Lagoon Stitched Satin Ribbon, don't you?

For more Christmas themed projects, check out the Watercooler Challenge.  If you'd like to add your own Christmas project, the Linky will be open for two weeks.

For more tags or tag-oriented cards, check out Tag You're It!

For more of "anything goes" for Christmas, check out Addicted to Stamps and More.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Simple Thanks

*Proud to be a Top Pick for the Stampin' Royalty challenge this week!*
*Proud to be a Top Pick for Make My Monday this week!*

It's a wonderful feeling to be thankful.  Just as wonderful is the feeling one gets when one receives thanks---for a job well done, for a gift, or simply for being there.  Thank you cards are a big deal.

I like to keep things simple most of the time.  I like having one definite focal point and not overcrowd things.  Oh, I have my occasional fancy day, but overall my creativity leans towards the simple.  That's not to say it's simple to make my card since I am the uncrowned Queen of Fussy-cutting, but the final look is usually simple.

Todlay's "thank you" card certainly looks simple.  I like that about it.  My base cardstock is Crumb Cake and then I've added a layer of Very Vanilla.  I kept that simple and unadorned except for the sentiment and a few hand-drawn lines.

Part of my focal point is another piece of Very Vanilla which I've first stamped with the foliage and berries from the An Open Heart stamp set and coloured using my Blendabilities.  After that I embossed it using my Woodgrain embossing folder and then sponged the perimeter with Crumb Cake ink.  After attaching it to my card, I added a touch of Crystal Effects to each berry.

The "star" of my focal point is the bird from the An Open Heart stamp set which I've stamped onto a piece of Very Vanilla, cut out meticulously (including those tiny claws) and then coloured using my Stampin' Markers.  After colouring it, I attached it to the foliage using tiny cut pieces of Dimensionals and then added a touch of Crystal Effects to the eye.

And that is my card.  I hope its simplicity pleases the recipient as much as it pleases me.

For more cards that follow this sketch, check out Addicted to CAS.

For more cards that feature berries and foliage, check out Make My Monday.

For more cards that feature being thankful, check out the Stampin' Royalty Challenge.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Trees, cardinals and sparkles!

*Thrilled to be chosen a Cut Above by the Paper Players!*

I've been fighting a cold so you know that loggy feeling you get when that happens.  Nothing seems to inspire you.  I've been feeling that way.  It's unusual for me because I like to be designing cards and doing other creative things.  But, like I said, I feel loggy.

I wanted to make a card that would cover two challenges.  The Paper Players colour challenge:

And the CAS(E) this Sketch! challenge:

I thought both would work together brilliantly.  I just wish I was feeling brilliant myself.

I haven't used the Festival of Trees stamp set and matching Tree Punch as much as I expected.  So I decided that would work quite nicely for the sketch.  I stamped the tree twice right onto my cardstock, the first time with the stamp fully inked and the second time a bit to the side and lower and off-stamped twice.  Then I stamped the tree on scraps of cardstock, once fully inked and the second time off-stamped once.  That gave me a variety of tones using the same green:  Mossy Meadows.

Since I decided to use a strip of the Cherry Cobbler plaid design from the Trim the Tree Designer Stack for my left margin, I decided to repeat the colour again with two cardinals, also from the Festival of Trees stamp set.  I coloured the face black because it made them look more like cardinals.  I also repeated the Cherry Cobbler in the ink for the sentiment which is from the Christmas Bliss stamp set.  Then I cut it out using my Modern Label Punch.  Then I cut a piece of Cherry Cobbler with the same punch, cut it in half, and backed the sentiment with it.  Four rhinestones to top the trees finished up the card.

For more cards using this colour scheme, check out The Paper Players.

For more cards using this sketch, check out CAS(E) this Sketch!

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Giving thanks

*Thrilled to be a Top Pick for this week's Sunday Stamps Challenge!*

It's getting close to Thanksgiving across the border in the United States.  Some of the challenges are reflecting that and so I've created this card with thoughts of their upcoming Thanksgiving and also with the thought that we really should remember always to "give thanks for all things".

My card is based on a sketch from the Sunday Stamps Weekly Challenge:

And on a colour scheme from the Pals Paper Arts Challenge:

PPA226 Nov 6

The theme, giving thanks, is based on the SUO Challenge.

For my base I've used Naturals White.  I followed that up with a layer of Soft Suede.  Since the sketch shows Washi tape behind the image, I used the Tape It stamp set and the three colours of the challenge to stamp my own "Washi tape" on Whisper White cardstock and then cut the strips out.  After attaching them in a random pattern on the layer of Soft Suede, I got to work on my main image.

I took a rectangle of Naturals White and cut a square into it using a square framelit.  That gave me my Polaroid frame.  I stamped the sentiment from the For All Things stamp set onto Whisper White and attached the frame around it.  Then I stamped two pumpkins from the Fall Fest stamp set using Cajun Craze ink, one with full ink and the other off-stamped once, and cut them out with their matching framelits.  I also cut three leaves from Mossy Meadow cardstock using the Fun Fall framelits.  

After attaching the pumpkins to the frame, I attached an extremely thin strip of Mossy Meadow to each pumpkin and made them appear to be vines.  After attaching the leaves to the vines, I wrapped some Linen Thread around the bottom of the frame and attached it to the card using Dimensionals.

For more card using this sketch, check out Sunday Stamps Weekly Challenges.

For more cards using these colours, check out the Pals Paper Arts Challenge.

For more cards using this theme, check out the SUO Challenges.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

A Christmas Cardinal

I love the cardinal in the Beauty of the Season stamp set.  It's a lovely sketch and is wonderful to use for Christmas cards.  That pop of red lifts one's spirits when there is snow everywhere.

I found two challenges that seemed perfect for my cardinal.  The sketch is from the Paper Craft Crew Challenges:
Paper Craft Crew Card Sketch 117

While the colours from the Hand Stamped Sentiments were just what I wanted:

I began with a base of Naturals White and then added a layer of Soft Sky and another layer of Whisper White.  I had first embossed the Whisper White using my Lucky Stars embossing folder to add some texture and interest.  For my background rectangle I added an piece of Naturals White embossed with my Woodgrain embossing folder and backed with a matte of Real Red.  Then I added a strip of the Garden Green pattern from the Trim  the Tree Designer Series Stack and Soft Sky Seam Binding ribbon for the bow.

I used my sixth from the smallest circle framelit to cut Soft Sky cardstock and backed it with a hand-cut matte of Real Red.  On the Soft Sky circle I stamped the cardinal using my Memento black ink.  Then I stamped a second cardinal on a scrap of Whisper White and fussy-cut that out.  After colouring the cardinal with my Stampin' Markers, I carefully attached it over the stamped cardinal on the Soft Sky circle.  I added a touch of Crystal effects on his eye and on the red berries as well.

For my sentiment I used the "merry christmas" from the Good Greetings stamp set and then added a snowflake from the Frosted Sequins (coloured blue with the lightest of my Coastal Cabana Blendabilities).  The final touch was the addition of three Real Red Candy Dots and my card was finished.

For more cards using this sketch, check out the Paper Craft Crew Challenges.

For more cards using these colours, check out Hand Stamped Sentiments.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Owl about a couple of challenges

As you've noticed, I enjoy challenges.  I've found that they push me into areas that I might not otherwise explore.  One of those areas is stamp carving.  You'll remember that Stampin' Up! introduced their Undefined Stamp Carving Kit last year.  I was excited about it and, almost immediately after getting my kit, carved a simple little cartoon cat and then put the kit away.  Of course I felt guilty about not using it but it was easy to keep putting it off.  Until now, that is.  A challenge came along.

You may think that the challenge was all about stamp carving and you'd be wrong.  The challenge was all about owls.  Well, I love owls.  The problem is that except for those adorable little owls in the Baby, We've Grown stamp set, I don't own any owl stamps.  I knew Fate was pushing at me when I found another challenge which is about "birds of a feather flock together".   So I decided to carve an owl stamp.  It took some work, but I'm proud of my efforts.

I chose Naturals White as my base cardstock and then a layer of Mossy Meadow.  My next layer is a piece of Shimmery White cardstock on which I had used the marbled alcohol marker technique.  I stamped the branch from the retired Take Care stamp set on Whisper White and fussy cut that out.   I glued the branch down using Tombo glue.   Then I stamped my owl twice on Whisper White and cut them out.  After colouring them, I adhered them onto the branch using Dimensionals.  For my sentiment I turned to the Yippee-Skippee stamp set and stamped it onto my Shimmery White paper using Memento black ink.

For more cards using the photo inspiration of owls, check out Inkspirational Challenges.

For more cards interpreting the words "birds of a feather flock together", check out TIME OUT Challenges.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

WCC12 Believe --- Gentle Peace

*So thrilled to have my card among the top picks at Freshly Made Sketches!*

Welcome to another Watercooler Challenge!  This week's challenge is a colour challenge.  It's always interesting to see what one can do with set colours and with our colours being Night of Navy, Marina Mist and Silver, I decided my card would have a Christmas theme.  Since one of my newest stamp sets happens to be Gentle Peace, I naturally reached for it.

I decided to use Naturals White as my base and then added a layer of Night of Navy.  Then I added a rectangle of Silver Foil and, partily on top of that, added a banner cut from the Marina Mist starry print from the Santa & Co. Designer Series paper.

I chose not to use the entire image from the Gentle Peace stamp, but, instead, cut the rectangular portion of it, leaving the stained glass window around the figures but eliminating the arch.  Using only the Night of Navy, Marina Mist, and Silver to colour my image was a challenge, but that's what it's all about.  I like the way it turned out---very minimalistic.  Then I stamped a simple sentiment from the hostess Good Greetings stamp set:  "believe" onto a piece of Night of Navy using Versamark and heat embossed it with White Embossing Powder.  I cut that out using my 1 1/4" circle punch and then  cut a backing for it out of Silver Foil using my 1 3/8" circle punch.

I hope you'll check out the rest of the cards made by our Watercooler Artists and consider joining us by linking your own version of our colour challenge here.

I used the sketch from the Freshly Made Sketches challenge for my card.  Check out more cards using this sketch here.

I've also entered my card in the Christmas Card Challenges.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

The Best Things in Life --- Two challenges

*Thrilled to have my card pick as a Colour Connoisseur at the Colour Me...! challenge!*

I love it when a sketch is for a card that is unusual.  That describes the sketch at Hand Stamped Sentiments perfectly:  unusual.  Of course I had to try it.

It's fun when I can find a colour challenge that appears just perfect for a sketch challenge and, with the dual challenge opportunity at Colour Me...!, I found just that.

Since there was a choice as to which of the colour combinations could be used, I chose number two, chocolate chip, blushing bride, and lost lagoon.  Of course it's always all right to use a neutral with the colours and I chose white.

I had just received the Lovely Lace embossing folder in my last order and this seemed to be the perfect opportunity to use it.  So I cut five narrow strips of Whisper White, arranged them in the embossing folder with a small gap between each one and ran them through the Big Shot.  I sponged Blushing Bride into each of the lacy flowers and then used a sponge dauber to add some Chocolate Chip into the centres.  Then I used my Aqua Painter and Lost Lagoon ink to colour the leaves.

For my base I used Naturals White and then added a layer of Blushing Bride which I had first scored so that there would be a scoring line between each strip of embossed Whisper White and many scored lines below the strips.  Then I glued down the strips of embossed Whisper White.

For the off-set piece, I cut a piece of Whisper White which I glued to a matte of Blushing Bride.  I stamped my sentiment using Lost Lagoon and the Feel Goods stamp set.  Finally I added a tiny bow of White Baker's Twine and a heart that I cut from Silver Glimmer paper spritzed with Blushing Bride ink.

For more cards using this sketch, check out Hand Stamped Sentiments.

For more cards using these colours (Team Tara), check out Colour Me...!