Thursday 26 February 2015

Wacky Watercooler "Spring Fever" Blog Hop

Welcome to our Wacky Watercooler Spring Fever Blog Hop.  It doesn't feel much like Spring here right now since we've had yet another snowfall and all the dingy snow has turned sparkling white.  The temperatures have gotten much colder as well so my dreams of not having to wear boots or my heavy winter jacket have been shattered.  Yes, it's still February but I'm so very ready for Spring.  My projects, therefore, are helping me to have an illusion of Spring coming.  I suppose that's better than nothing at all.

Our Blog Hops run in a circular manner.  What that means is that no matter where you begin, as you go from one participant to the next, you will inevitably wind up at the point where you began.  I hope you'll find time to check out all our blogs.

If you've been moving forward in the blog hop, you'll have joined me after  visiting the very talented Penny Hanuszak's blog.  Isn't she creative?

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For my first project, I drew Penny Hanuszak's name.  What that meant is that I had to go back through her blog posts to find my favourite among her Spring or Easter posts.  It wasn't an easy choice and, after waffling back and forth a few times, I decided to CASE her March 7th, 2012 post.  I knew I would be able to make my version into a Spring themed card and I loved her layout.

For my card I turned to the beautiful Irresistibly Yours Designer Series Paper that is free during Sale-a-bration with a purchase of $60.  I love that paper simply because it is so very versatile.  Since it has the appearance of white heat-embossed cardstock, you can sponge it, brayer it, or, as I chose to do, spritz it using the handy Stampin' Spritzer filled with a mixture of Isopropyl Alcohol and a few drops of Rose Red re-inker.   I think it looks wonderful with the white, Smoky Slate, and Basic Grey of the card.  

My image is from the World of Dreams stamp set while my sentiment is from the A Dozen Thoughts stamp set.  I finished up with some small, clear rhinestones and a piece of the lovely, retired Two-Tone Ribbon that is a mixture of Pink Pirouette and Rose Red. 

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For my next project I decided to create what is called a "Joy" fold.  I hadn't done a card with this fold for over a year and had an idea for a square version.  What I had in mind would let me use some of the stamp sets from the Occasions Catalogue that I hadn't yet gotten around to introducing to ink.  

What I like about the Joy fold is that it is like two cards put together:  a large one and a small one.  Of course one has to have an embellishment on the front of the card to help keep the smaller card closed, but that's part of the fun.

My card uses the Ray of Sunshine stamp set from the Annual Catalogue and a number of sets from the Occasions Catalogue.  For the main image I used the Sheltering Tree stamp set and then, for the inside, I used the Painted Petals stamp set.  The beauty of the Painted Petals set is that it complimented the Painted Blooms Designer Paper which I had used for the larger card as well as the Spring Flowers embossing folder which I had used on the Pacific Point panel (to help the design show up I sponged the embossed panel with a bit of Craft Whisper White ink).

Of course I had to do some fussy-cutting.  That wouldn't surprise anyone that knows me.  So, for the front image, I stamped and cut out the tiny bicycle so that it could appear to be leaning against the tree.  I love the finished effect but those handle bars were wicked to cut.  I also cut out the sun which holds the smaller card shut, but that was an easy piece of cutting.

I really love the way these stamp sets worked together so beautifully.

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I thought it would be fun to make a 3-D project and so my little Easter basket was "born".  I had fun using the new Berry Basket Bigz Die to cut out my basket.  I decided to use Cajun Craze and then, for the handle and the top border, added some Gold Foil and Silver Foil.  They just "pop" against the rich colour, don't they?

I could have left it at that, filling it with some candy and Easter "grass".  But I love the Simply Pressed clay and  wanted to add a few eggs to the basket.  Making the eggs was very simple and I put them aside for a few days to let them air dry.  Then my darling daughter came over for coffee and suggested that it would be adorable to add some ears or a beak to the eggs and have them "dressed up" like chicks or a bunny.  Of course I loved the idea!

My little chick wound up being attached to the front of the basket.

My little bunny wound up inside the basket.  His nose?  A tiny pearl coloured with my Blendabilities.

And then I just added googly eyes to my other two eggs and made up nine blossoms using the Spiral Flowers Original die and some of the Typeset Specialty Designer Series paper.  I sponged a bit of Crushed Cantaloupe to the edges of the flowers and added some black "stamens" cut using my Fringe Scissors.  I also added a few Typeset flowers around the basket and a butterfly cut from the Dazzling Diamonds Glimmer paper using my Butterflies Thinlits.

The final touch is a little staked sign with Happy Easter heat embossed in White embossing powder.

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That's it for this month's Blog Hop projects.  I had such fun making everything and hope you enjoyed all my projects.  If you get a moment, please leave a comment.  I'd love to know what you thought of my projects.

Your next stop will be with the very talented Deborah Smart.  She always has such creative projects!

Wednesday 25 February 2015

PCCCS133 -- On Your Perfect Day

It's time for another Paper Craft Crew Challenge and the sketch this week is beautiful.  I love the square shape.  I don't do square cards that frequently, but those times that I do, I always find them exciting.

My first thought was to use the Best of Brides & Babies stamp set.  Along with a very simple colour palette such as Island Indigo, White and silver, this would be a very elegant wedding card.

For my base I used Naturals White to make my 5 1/4" x 5 1/4" card.  For my next layer I turned to Island Indigo and then added a layer of the star embossed Irresistibly Yours Designer Series Paper.  A bit of sponging on the Designer Paper using Island Indigo ink and some splatters in the same ink made the perfect background for the remainder of the card.

Using Island Indigo as my base for the small rectangle, I topped it with a piece of Shimmery White cardstock onto which I had heat embossed the bride and groom image using Silver embossing powder.  I also heat embossed the bells image from the same set onto a scrap of Shimmery White paper using the Silver embossing powder and then fussy-cut them out.  After cutting the bells, I mounted them on a scrap of Island Indigo cardstock and cut around them, leaving a thin frame of colour.

I decided to put the sentiment on a banner and so I used a narrow piece of Island Indigo and heat embossed it using White embossing powder.  The circle and second narrow banner are both cut from Silver Foil.  I used one of the larger Epoxy Sticker hearts backed with an Island Indigo heart as an accent on the Silver Foil circle as well as a few clear rhinestones.  

I hope you'll join us with your own creation for this week's challenge at the Paper Craft Crew Challenge site.

Sunday 22 February 2015

WCC18 -- Hugs & kisses

*So thrilled to have this card be a runner up for the ColourQ Challenge*

Welcome to another Watercooler Challenge.  This week we have a sketch challenge and I had so much fun with it.  The fact that one of our talented Watercooler Artists designed the sketch made it even more special.

I used Naturals White for my base and added more white with the Irresistibly Yours Designer Paper.  For added interest I also used Blackberry Bliss, Raspberry Ripple (retired), Wisteria Wonder and Gold for my card.  If you look carefully, you will see that the Irresistibly Yours piece has been sponged with Blackberry Bliss, Raspberry Ripple and Wisteria Wonder inks.  The colours really emphasized the embossed look of the Designer Paper, didn't they?

For my right and left borders, I used a strip of Gold Foil topped with Blackberry Bliss which I had first cut using my Dotted Scallop Ribbon Border.  For my banners, I used Gold Foil and, for the shorter one, Wisteria Wonder, and for the longer one, Raspberry Ripple.  First of all, however, I heat embossed the Raspberry Ripple with my Sentiment using White embossing powder.  I love the script in the sentiment, don't you?  That's from the Hostess Good Greetings stamp set (retired).  

Instead of a circle, I chose to cut and attach a Gold Foil butterfly cut using my Butterflies Thinlits die.  Along the centre of the butterfly I added a line of tiny pearls with a larger pearl for the head.

And now it's your turn to join us for the Watercooler Challenge.  Just attach your own card, based on our sketch and play along.  

The colours I've used in my card are all part of the ColourQ Challenge for this week.  Check it out and play along.

Wednesday 18 February 2015

PCCCS#132 --- Happy Birthday Wishes

When I saw the sketch for this week's Paper Craft Crew Challenge I wasn't sure what I wanted to do.  It's been a little while since I used doilies for my background and I wasn't sure about having a background of Designer Paper.  So I sat back and thought about it.  It took me nearly a week to think about it but that's my usual process.  I have to let my subconscious do the designing and then I can go ahead and begin my creating.

 Paper Craft Crew Card Sketch 132 #stampinup #papercraftcrew #papercrafts #cardchallenge

My card began with a piece of Designer Paper.  I love the pale yellows, soft browns and white of the design I chose from the Park Lane Designer Series Paper.  It was subtle enough not to take over the card and allowed me to make my colour choices.  For my base I chose So Saffron and then added a layer of Soft Suede before adding the Designer Paper.

It's difficult to see all the details, but after cutting a piece of So Saffron using my Floral Frames framelit, I stamped it first with the honeycomb from the Butterfly Basics set using So Saffron ink and then stamped it with the fern from the same stamp set using Soft Suede ink after off-stamping once.  Then I sponged around the perimeter of the shape using Soft Suede ink.

I cut a large doily from Soft Suede using the retired Delicate Doilies Sizzlits L Die and attached that behind the floral shape.  After adding some Calypso Coral ribbon tied into a bow (Sale-a-bration), I attached the combined floral shape and doily to the card using Dimensionals.

For my sentiment I heat embossed the greeting from the Petite Pairs stamp set using Calypso Coral embossing powder on Whisper White cardstock.  Then I cut that out using my Ticket Duo Builder punch and sponged around it with both Soft Suede and So Saffron inks.  The butterfly was cut from the reverse side of the design I used as my Designer Paper (providential, huh?) using my Butterflies Thinlits die.

 I finished off with some pearls and two little hearts from the Itty Bitty Accents Epoxy Stickers which I had first coloured using my Calypso Coral Blendabilities marker.

I hope you'll join us this week by linking up your own version of our sketch at the Paper Craft Crew Challenge site.

I've also entered my card in the Seize the Birthday challenge.  Those little heart epoxy stickers are the perfect "toppings". 

Monday 16 February 2015

The Creative Blog Hop Experience---take two!

Thank you very much, Susan Horr of Susan Stamps, for nominating me to participate in the Creative Blog Hop this week.  Susan is a long-time member of our monthly Wacky Watercooler Blog Hops and has always amazed me with her many creative projects.

For my project this time around with the Creative Blog Hop, I had been thinking of making an easel card.  I love easel cards because they are such fun to display.  Of course this easel card would be different than my usual rectangular or square ones because I was determined to make it round so that I could also submit my card to the SUO Challenge which is all about different shaped cards.

I began with a Basic Black base simply because black is such an elegant colour and almost anything looks wonderful framed by it.  I had also been eyeing the new stamp set lying on my crafting table, Indescribable Gift.  I had fallen in love with the branch of flowers but so far had done no more than look at it and promise myself I would use it "soon".  Soon is a very flexible time measurement.

I stamped the branch of flowers on a piece of Typeset Specialty Designer Series Paper.  This is a very lightweight paper and was perfect for the delicate flowers in the stamp.  Then I used my lightest Smoky Slate Blendabilities marker to add some tint to the wood and leaves, the lightest of the Daffodil Delight Blendabilities markers to add some tint to the flowers, and followed that up with using the Blendabilities Colour Lifter to take away much of that tint, especially in the flowers.  Finally I used my Real Red Stampin' Marker to add a bit of colour to portions of the blossoms.

Then I used my Paper Snips to fussy-cut the whole branch with its flowers, buds and leaves.  By the time I was two thirds of the way through the cutting, I was questioning my sanity, but they don't call me the Queen of Fussy-Cutting for nothing---I persevered and finished the job.  I took the delicate cut-out and immersed it in a plate full of water, tapping the flowers to get the Real Red to run.  When the water turned pink, I so very, very carefully took the cut-out and placed it on some paper towels, carefully blotting it until it was just barely wet.  After that I let it continue to dry on a flat piece of plastic and got to work on the remainder of the card.

This is the front:

The inside:

And, finally, standing as an easel:

As you have probably guessed, this is an anniversary card.  I love what it says on the inside and the whole card makes me think of romance.  That slight wash of light colour around the edge of the card?  I sponged it lightly with some Craft Whisper White ink.  

And now for the questions that are part of this blog hop:

#1.  What are you working on now?   I'm working on preparing for my Open House this coming weekend, my Design Team card for the Paper Craft Crew Challenge, arranging for the Watercooler Challenge this coming weekend and organizing the Wacky Watercooler Blog Hop which launches on February 26th.  It's a busy month!

#2.  How does your work differ from others in your genre?  If by genre you mean cardmakers then I don't really differ all that much.  After all, we work with paper, ink and embellishments.  I use any colour that appeals at the moment or that compliments the theme of my project.  I think most of us do that.

#3.  Why do you create what you do?  I get inspired by an idea which can come from any number of sources:  a photo I've seen or taken, a card that caught my attention, a new technique of which I've heard, etc.  Bottom line, I create anything that will give me joy.  I have designed clothing, costumes, knit and crocheted items, done woodwork, painted pictures and murals, created pottery and projects out of an enormous variety of materials.  I love to create.  I am constantly inspired.  Colours, textures, shapes---all inspire me.  

#4.  How does your creativity work?  That differs for each project.  Usually my ideas or inspiration "incubates" for a while and my subconscious wrestles with it until suddenly I know just what I am going to do and go ahead with my creation.  Those times that I force the issue are the hardest for me as I find myself changing my mind dozens of times during the creation stage.  If I haven't developed a clear idea of what I'm doing, I know I will be constantly changing paths.

My last task for this Creative Blog Hop is to nominate someone to follow along with their own blog post next Monday.  My nominee is Jeanne Kupsh who is currently in Germany with her husband and daughter, where they have been posted with the military.  Jeanne is one of the most creative and talented people I know.  Her blog is always fun to visit.  I hope you'll join her next Monday when she presents her wonderful creation at Jeannie's Happy World.

I've also entered my card in the SUO Challenge which, as I mentioned, is all about different shaped cards.

And lastly I've entered it in the Inkspirational Challenge which is a photo challenge and my blossoms are perfect for it.

Wednesday 11 February 2015

PCCCS131 --- Wood you be mine?

I'm getting a lot of mileage out of the Wood you be mine? stamp set.  I knew I liked it when I first saw it in the Occasions Catalogue because it's always fun to have more images that will work for a masculine card.  And this set is such a good mixture of images---fun and regular.  They'll even work with other sentiment sets for all sorts of occasions.

The card I've made for this week's challenge is a Valentine card.  With Valentine's Day only a few days away, it just felt natural to be thinking of sweetly romantic cards.  I thought this week's sketch worked really well for the images in the stamp set as well, so off I went on my creative journey.

Paper Craft Crew Card Sketch 131 #stampinup #papercraftcrew #papercrafts #cardchallenge

I don't seem to be able to get away without doing some fussy-cutting lately.  This card was no exception.  For that fancy strip across the card, I decided to stamp a "ribbon" of trees using the images from the stamp set and then cut that strip out.  It took longer than I expected because it was long and it had so many little jigs and jags.  But I really do like the way it fits across the card and that's what counts.

I kept to a relatively neutral colour palette with a couple of pops of colour in the hearts and his hat.  For my base I've used Soft Suede and then added a layer of Sahara Sand which I first embossed using my Woodgrain embossing folder and then stamped with my Gorgeous Grunge splatters using Sahara Sand ink and Crumb Cake ink.  I think it gives the background a feel of sawdust, don't you?

I hope you'll join us this week for the Paper Craft Crew Challenge.  Use our great sketch for a Valentine or for another occasion.  Just have fun.

I've also entered my Valentine card into the Make My Monday Challenge.

And finally, I've added my card into the Male Room Challenge.

Sunday 8 February 2015

WCC17 --- Wood you be mine?

It's time for another Watercooler Challenge and this time it's all about Valentines.  I wanted to make a Valentine that would appeal to a man and decided to use the Wood You Be Mine? stamp set as well as the Adventure Bound Designer Series Paper Stack.  Inspiration came quickly because those pictures in the Paper Stack just lend themselves beautifully to a masculine styled card.

I chose to use a background of stacked wood.  Perfect, I thought, with the axe from the stamp set and the sentiment "Wood you be mine?"  I began with a base of Naturals White and worked my way up with layers of Basic Black and Real Red.  I decided to have the sentiment in a word bubble (thank you, Word Bubble Framelits) and used Basic Black and Real Red to mat it for fun.  I stamped the axe image and fussy-cut it before colouring it with my Blendabilities and a bit of silver from my Stampin' Dazzle Marker.

The sentiment and the axe are raised on Dimensionals to make them pop.  Three little hearts cut from a piece of Red Glimmer paper using my Confetti Heart Border punch finish up the card.

For more cards with a Valentine theme, check out the Watercooler Challenges.

For more cards using Dies in their creation, check out Stampin' Royalty.

Better still, link up your own Valentine card and join the challenge.

Wednesday 4 February 2015

PCCCS130 --- The Essence of Love

I don't buy a lot of single stamps but occasionally one will "speak" to me, which is what happened in the case of the Love is Kindness stamp.   Those tulips are gorgeous.  My Mom loved tulips, my daughter loves them, and I, too, love them and feel they herald the coming Spring.   The sentiment, too, is awesome.  Truly, Robert Louis Stevenson hit the nail on the head when he said "the essence of love is kindness".

The sketch for this week's Paper Craft Crew Challenge worked perfectly for what I had in mind in using this stamp.

I decided to turn the sketch on its side to allow for the shape of the stamp, but that's allowed with our challenges---tip them, turn them, use different shapes but make sure you can still tell it's our sketch. 

I decided to stamp the image twice using my Memento black ink on Whisper White.  I wanted to fussy-cut out several of the tulips to give the image more of a 3-D effect and wound up cutting out the "newspaper wrap" as well.  After colouring the full image as well as the cut-out portions using my Blendabilities, I used my Bone Folder to give some curve to the cut-out pieces.  As well as curving the newpaper wrap, I sponged a bit of Baked Brown Sugar ink around the perimeter to add shadows to the curves.  Then I tied a bow of Baked Brown Sugar Baker's Twine around the newspaper before using Dimensionals to attach the piece to the main image.  I also used Dimensionals to add the cut-out tulips.

Before adhering the stamped Whisper White piece to my base of Calypso Coral and Hello Honey, I sponged around the edges using Hello Honey ink. 

I think you can see the added dimension in this picture but I also took a picture at an angle to give you a better look at the 3-D effect.

The main body of my card uses Baked Brown Sugar as its base and then I've added a layer of Calypso Coral.  Next I've added a piece of the beautiful Painted Blooms Designer Series Paper to the bottom portion of the card and, for the top, a piece of Naturals White embossed using the beautiful new Spring Flowers embossing folder which I lightly sponged afterwards using Hello Honey ink.

A piece of Hello Honey Stitched Satin ribbon, a scattering of embellishments, and my card was done.

I hope you'll consider joining us this week by submitting your own interpretation of this sketch to the Paper Craft Crew Challenge.