Welcome to our February Blog Hop. What better theme than to celebrate all the occasions that keep happening in our lives? Of course there are the holidays, but every month sees countless birthdays not to mention retirements, weddings, births, and so much more. Luckily there are lots of products in the Occasions Catalogue, Sale-a-bration Brochure and Annual Catalogue which work beautifully for these special cards and projects.
As you will remember, if you've wandered through our blog hops before, our blog hop is presented in a circular fashion. What does that mean? Wherever you begin in our blog hop, whether you go forwards or backwards through the participants, eventually you will wind up precisely where you began. I hope you'll take time to visit all the participating blogs and, perhaps, leave a short message letting us know what you've thought of our posts.
If you've been moving forwards through the blog hop, you'll have arrived here from the very creative Deborah Smart
. Weren't her projects terrific?
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My first project is a retirement card but, as you know, that's just because of the sentiment I chose. It could just as easily be used for other occasions, depending on your choice of sentiment. I've been using a lot of bright colours lately and so I wanted to use something different for this card. I love browns and blues together. The colours offer a very subtle elegance and can be used for so many occasions.
I began with a base of Sahara Sand and topped that with a layer of Soft Suede which I first embossed using my Woodgrain embossing folder. Then I took another piece of Sahara Sand and cut it using my Striped Scallop Thinlit. Instead of using the entire die-cut to cover the Soft Suede, I cut it carefully in half and flipped one side to face the other and then put them on top of each other. It sounds odd but the result is gorgeous. Instead of scallops, the pattern becomes overlapping circles.
I love the new Botanical Gardens Suite. What a wonderful collection of framelits, stamps, papers and embellishments. There doesn't seem to be an end to the projects that can be made using them all. I decided to make some leaves, fern fronds and a large, overblown flower. And that's where my blue comes in. I used the Marina Mist cardstock and ink as well as some browns and the Delightful Dijon for my flower. And for my sentiment I turned to the Wild About Flowers set which actually offers a retirement stamp.
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I decided to use another of the beautiful flower stamps in the Occasions Catalogue for my next card. I can't believe, now, that I almost decided not to get this bundle. For something I didn't think I wanted, I've certainly used it a lot. The bundle to which I'm referring is the Rose Wonder stamp set and matching Rose Garden Thinlits dies. This time I decided to make a Double Time Stamped card. For this style of card, you basically cut two pieces of cardstock, one quite a bit smaller than the other, and then carefully centre the smaller piece on the larger piece and stamp on both at the same time. The result, once the smaller piece is matted and separated from the larger piece with Dimensionals, is really surprisingly elegant. It looks much more complicated than it is.
I used two pieces of the beautiful Shimmery White specialty paper and stamped the large rose with leaves across both pieces using Versamark. Then I heat embossed both with Clear embossing powder. After that it was simply a matter of watercolouring the image on both pieces of paper. I used Rose Red and Wasabi Green for the rose and then added a light colour wash of Tempting Turquoise to some of the background. The matte which I used for the small piece and for the large piece was also Rose Red. My base is simply the Heavy Whisper White.
My sentiment is stamped on Vellum cardstock using Rose Red ink and then I immediately covered the ink with Clear embossing powder. Since the ink is slow to dry on vellum, this works as well as Versamark but there is no end to the colours that can be heat embossed this way. The label was cut with the label die from the Rose Garden Thinlits die set.
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For my final project I had the best inspiration. My grandson, Xavian, just turned 9 on Tuesday and so I needed something super-special for him. He's the one who, when he's asked which colour is his favourite, will always say "all of them". (But I think he favours red just a bit more than the rest.) He also loves balloons, especially the floating, helium-filled ones. What could be better than that fun Balloon Bouquet punch and the bright balloon-filled Cherry On Top Designer Paper stack?
I decided on the Heavy Whisper White as my base. Since I wanted to use the Party Pop-Up Thinlits dies for the inside and wanted to use Whisper White for that, the white base would "flow" from one to the other. I used the "Happy Birthday Cake" die to cut a piece of 3 3/4" x 10" cardstock. Then I used my Aqua Painter to watercolour the cake stand with Crushed Curry ink, the "Birthday" with Bermuda Bay ink and the "Happy" with Watermelon Wonder ink. I watercoloured the candles using all three inks. For the flames of the candles, I added a bit of Cherry Cobbler Dazzling Details to give a sparkly effect. Once the ink had dried, I stamped "Make a wish" from the Party With Cake set on the cake stand. Next, I adhered the die-cut strip to the card base and then I added a strip of the Watermelon Wonder Designer Series paper to the top and the bottom of the white strip. The final touch was a balloon cut with the punch, coloured with my Aqua Painter and Watermelon Wonder ink, and covered with a layer of Crystal Effects. If you look closely, you'll see the silver thread holding the balloon.
For the front of the card I used a lot of balloons, both large and small. I cut them from Whisper White cardstock and coloured them using my Aqua Painter and Watermelon Wonder, Cucumber Crush, and Crushed Curry inks. Then I covered them with a layer of Crystal Effects and, while they dried, worked on the rest of the design.
To my base of Heavy Whisper White I added a layer of Cucumber Crush and then another layer of cardstock, Pool Party, which I first embossed using the Lucky Stars embossing folder. (You always want to have extra luck on a birthday, right?) I added a strip of the balloon patterned Designer paper from the Cherry On Top stack.
On a small piece of Whisper White I stamped "Birthday Boy" from the Sale-a-bration Hello stamp set using all the colours that were in the strip of Designer Paper. Then I added a Watermelon Wonder matte and a Cucumber Crush Matte before mounting it to the card with Dimensionals. The balloons were also attached with Dimensionals and, if you look closely, you'll see a silver thread tied to each one and gathered together under the little banner at the bottom.
After stamping and watercolouring three balloons on the envelope, my card was ready for Xavian.
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And that's it for my projects. I hope you've enjoyed them as much as I enjoyed creating them. From here you'll be returning to the beginning of the circle again, and another wonderfully creative stamper, Marie Green.
If you get a moment, I'd love it if you would leave a comment.