Wednesday 29 June 2016

WWC74 - Hello!

What's new about today's Watercooler Wednesday Challenge?  It's all about tags!  What a fun change of pace!

Our hostess, Marsha Reed, wants to see any type of tag creation, whether it be a tag by itself, a tag featured on a card, a tag on a tag or a tag attached to something.  My choice?  Well, I decided to make a tag, all by itself.  I wanted to focus on our wonderful new copper embossing powder.

I used three colours for my tag:  Night of Navy, Whisper White and Crumb Cake.  The two layers of cardstock are Night of Navy and Heavy Whisper White.  After heat embossing the image from the Timeless Textures set along the left side and bottom of the Night of Navy piece, I set it aside and began work on the Whisper White piece.  Using Night of Navy and Crumb Cake inks, I stamped various images from the Timeless Textures and Butterfly Basics sets along the piece, some in full colour and others off-stamped once to reduce the colours.  A few heat embossed splatters of copper and the stamping was done.  Then I used my distressing tool on the left and bottom edges of the piece before sponging Crumb Cake ink around the perimeter.

I used the large butterfly image from the Papillon Potpourri set and copper embossing powder to heat emboss my butterfly on Night of Navy cardstock.  I love how the finished piece looks as if it's copper metal inlaid with cobalt blue glass.  I would wear a pin like that!  (I confess that instead of using the matching Elegant Butterfly punch, I fussy-cut the butterfly in order to retain those antennae.)

I love how easily the new lightly woven Burlap Ribbon folds.  It was a simple matter to tie a bow of White Baker's Twine around the top, anchoring it on the tag.

Come on over to our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge this week and check out the other tag creations by our Watercooler Artists.  And then...why not link up your own tag for us to enjoy?

Tuesday 28 June 2016

PCCCS201 - Thank you!

This week's Paper Craft Crew Challenge is going to last two weeks.  That will give everyone lots of time to work on a great card to link up for the challenge.  It's a great sketch with a lot of possibilities.

I know that I usually use a Heavy Whisper White as my base but this time I let my Designer Paper make the decision for me.  Since I decided to use a lovely Crumb Cake and Night of Navy design from the Affectionately Yours Specialty Designer Series paper, I decided to use Crumb Cake as the base for my card.  I followed that up with a layer of Night of Navy and then added the Designer Paper.  For the inner rectangle, I used a piece of Night of Navy and, for the lower portion, used Whisper White so that I could easily stamp an image and also Watercolour it using my Aqua Painter.  For the narrow strip at the top I used a piece of the Affectionately Yours Washi Tape.  

I decided to use the adorable image of the hedgehogs from the Love You Lots Hostess stamp set.  Watercolouring them with Crumb Cake and a bit of Blushing Bride really brought them to life.  For the little flower the one hedgehog is giving the other, I used my Watermelon Wonder and Cucumber Crush Stampin' Markers.  A little banner cut from Cucumber Crush and a flower cut from Watermelon Wonder completes the card.

That little line of dazzle between the Whisper White and the Washi Tape?  I've used the Gold Glitz Dazzling Details for that as well as for the centre of the die-cut flower.

I hope you'll join us at the Paper Craft Crew Challenge and create a card inspired by our sketch as well.

Thursday 23 June 2016

The Swing Easel - Fun with Sizes

I discovered the Swing Easel card when I came across a card posted by the talented Amanda Bates, but when I found her instructions, I discovered that all her measurements are in metric and the card size is different from our "normal" sizes.  And so I've adapted the card to measure 5 12" x 5 1/2" when folded.  I have also adapted it to measure our "normal" 4 1/4" x 5 1/2".  Join me today as I lead you through both sizes with accompanying photos and instructions.

For my 5 1/2" x 4 1/4" card, I've used the In the Meadow stamp set because it fits the smaller easel much better.  This card fits perfectly into the standard sized Stampin' Up! envelope.  You can see the way the card folds and how the centre has been cut so that it can "swing" up and stand like an easel.  It looks difficult but if you have a good paper cutter, it's really quite simple.  I am, of course, using Stampin' Up!'s Stampin' Trimmer which allows me to score and cut easily.

I began with this template.  My cardstock measured 8 1/2" x 5 1/2".

Note that the broken lines indicate score lines while the solid, red lines indicate cut lines.

My first score line was at 4 1/4".

After that I cut along the red indicated lines.  PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU STOP YOUR CUT ALONG THE SIDE AT THE 2 1/8" POINT.  This is measured from the centre fold (4 1/4" score line).

You can see the score lines and cut lines on my base cardstock of Heavy Whisper White.

This is the Heavy Whisper White with the sides folded along the score lines.  Basically you will fold a "mountain", a "valley", and then another "mountain".  You can see already how the centre cut area is free to swing as you open the card to stand it as an easel.

This is the inside of the card.  You can see how the easel works from underneath.  I've made this into a birthday card, leaving one "word bubble" empty so that a personal greeting can be written inside.

This is the same card from the front.  I love the 3-D effect, don't you?

And this is the card closed for mailing.  A perfect 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" card.

* * * * * * * * * * 

You'll remember the card I posted last week for our Blog Hop, featuring that great new Country Livin' stamp set.  I used the 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" measurements for this card.  Really, it needed that additional sizing which a square offers.

This is the template for the 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" card.

I began with a piece of cardstock measuring 5 1/2" x 11".  My first score line was at 5 1/2".

After that it was just a matter of following the cut lines and score lines exactly as shown for the 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" card.

Good luck with your Swing Easel card(s).  If you have any questions or problems, just let me know.

Wednesday 22 June 2016

WWC73 - Thinking of You

It's time for a Clean & Simple challenge and this time Gail Allen has chosen Summer as the theme.  What a perfect time for this challenge!  This week we celebrated the Summer Solstice, or first day of Summer.

I love Clean & Simple challenges.  They force me to pare down my card to the minimum while still managing to satisfy the theme (and my inner critic).  For Gail's challenge, I turned to the new Swirly Bird stamp set.  My inspiration?  In the pretty hanging basket of yellow flowers outside my daughter's dining room window, an industrious pair of Robins decided to create their nest and proceeded to lay four tiny blue eggs.  

And so I improvised with the stamps in the set.  The long stem image, stamped twice, angled slightly apart, became my branch.  I added the leaves and a few blue flowers (also from the set) and then proceeded to add the nest, eggs, and the little bird image.  How serendipitous that all these images are contained in that one stamp set!

I wanted a second bird since the little guy who helped build the nest at my daughter's house, is great about taking his turns, warming the eggs, while his mate goes off for a meal.  With no additional bird images in the set, I had to use my imagination and so stamped the one bird image on a piece of Window sheet and then used the stamped image to "stamp" a reverse image on the branch.  In other words, I used the mirror-image technique.

Since the theme is Summer, I had to add a nice, bright sun to my card and that image is also among those in this stamp set.  Doesn't the new Peekaboo Peach make a wonderful, warm sun?  I used my Stampin' Markers to add details to the bird images, as well as the tell-tale "red breasts".  

I love how my inspiration translated onto this card so nicely.  Oh, and since the last picture those eggs are all gone.  Now there is no rest for Momma and Poppa Robin.  They are constantly making their ways back and forth to put food into four gaping beaks.

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

Tuesday 21 June 2016

PCCCS200 - Fabulous (Celebrating our 200th Challenge)

It's definitely cause for celebration when a challenge makes it to number 200.  For this challenge we have a fun sketch, of course, and a chance for blog candy.  First of all, the sketch:

The sketch made me think of the Pop of Paradise Washi tape colours and so I went with that as my inspiration.  For some reason I also had this idea of pink cowgirl boots in my head and I thought, "why not?"

My base is Basic Black followed by a layer of Melon Mambo.  Then I took one of the designs in the Irresistibly Floral Specialty Designer Series paper and sponged the outer area with Basic Black ink and then followed that up with sponging the inside area with Melon Mambo ink.  I love how the sponging made the "hidden" design prominent.  One of the special things about the Pop of Paradise Washi tape is that there is some gold among the designs.  And so I added gold to the design of my card.  The small piece of rectangle peeking out is Gold Glimmer paper.  Next I have a rectangle of black onto which I've first stamped the spray of flowers from the Birthday Blossoms set using Whisper White Craft ink.  Once that dried, I added some gold embossed splatter using an image from the Gorgeous Grungle set to the lower area.  Then I used a Blender Pen to take some VersaMark from my ink pad and carefully put a dot of the VersaMark into the centre of each blossom.  Using my tweezers, I added gold embossing powder and then used my heat gun to emboss it.  The results were even better than I had hoped.

I stamped the boots from the Country Livin' set onto Shimmery White specialty paper using Basic Gray archival ink and then watercoloured them using Melon Mambo ink and Basic Black ink.  For the buckle, I used the Gold Wink of Stella pen.  More gold in a die-cut butterfly and the heat embossed sentiment adds to the bling.  To ground the card and add a bit of "country" I used a piece of Burlap Ribbon behind the images.

I love the final result.  It's a fabulous feminine nod to all the country loving people.  I hope you like it, too.

Now, about the blog candy.  I'll send three die-cuts, one copper-embossed, to anyone living in Canada who comments on my blog post.  Further details on the Paper Craft Crew Challenge site.  See you there!

Thursday 16 June 2016

The Wacky Watercooler June Blog Hop -- Celebrating the new Annual Catalogue

Welcome to our celebration of the new Annual Catalogue.  It's always exciting to leaf through a new catalogue, oooohing and aaaahing over the brand new products which we can add to our already bulging craft shelves.  This challenge is all about our favourites.  Truth be told, my favourites change with each day.  It seems whatever new product I use becomes my favourite.  Ask me in another month or so, and I will probably have come to a realization of which products please me the most.

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 talented Jean Fitch.  Weren't her projects terrific?

* * * * * * * * * * 

My first project is all about my favourite Designer Style paper.  While I love the copper embossing on the Affectionately Yours Specialty Designer Series paper, the endless possibilities of the Irresistibly Floral Designer Series paper takes the lead for me.  There is no end to the colours I can use with this paper since it gives the opportunities of an emboss resist technique.  And the designs?  Absolutely fabulous!

I had a ball with the two designs I chose for my card.  The first one is just a strip of the lattice pattern and I used Marina Mist re-inker, water, and a wide brush to colour the white background.  After it had dried, I "buffed" the paper lightly to remove any blue marks from the embossed area.  The other design has a variety of flowers and leaves which are embossed.  Instead of putting a wash of colour over the whole paper, I decided to watercolour each flower and leaf.  Yes, it took a bit of time but I really like the end result.  The centres of the flowers have been heat embossed with the new Copper embossing powder.  I also heat embossed a spray of leaves from the Kinda Eclectic set with the Copper embossing powder and then fussy-cut it out.

Yes, I've used a variety of colours but they are wonderful together.  In total I used Whisper White (of course), Sweet Sugarplum, Rich Razzleberry, Marina Mist and Mint Macaron.  My sentiment is from the Thoughtful Banners set and was cut out using the Duet Banner punch.

* * * * * * * * * * 

My second project is all about my favourite new In-Color.  That was a hard choice.  They're new and I love them all.  If I'm pushed to the wall and have to make a choice, however, I would pick Dapper Denim as my top favourite with Peekaboo Peach running a close second.  Why those two?  Well, I love blues and Dapper Denim fills a colour void in the line-up.  It's a beautiful colour whether using the cardstock, stamping or watercolouring.  I can imagine myself using the colour happily on many of my cards.  Why the Peekaboo Peach?  Quite honestly, it's so different from any colour that we have or have had during my nearly five years with Stampin' Up!  It's not an orange and not a yellow but it has a both a warmth and wonderful tones that make me happy when I use it.

For my card I've used the SwirlyScribbles thinlits as well as the splatters from the Swirly Birds set.  I used the Dapper Denim for the splatters but offstamped once before adding them to the front of the card.  If you look closely, the hint of Peekaboo Peach is actually the cluster of flowers from the Birthday Blooms set.

The inside is a real surprise.  I've added a pop-up butterfly which, after stamping the large butterfly from the Watercolor Wings set using Dapper Denim and Peekaboo Peach, I've cut out using the Butterflies thinlits.

* * * * * * * * * * 

My final project features  my favourite stamp set/bundle.  Again, a hard decision.  I've loved all the ones I've been using.  I was tempted to use one of the bundles but then I realized that my favourite truly is the Country Livin' stamp set.  I guess my family has a bit of the cowboy in our blood because the boots and the guitar just "speak" to me.  I can see myself using this stamp set happily for years to come.

The card I've made is a special fold called the Swing Easel card.  I found several on Pinterest which were posted by the talented Amanda Bates but when I found the instructions on her blog site, discovered that all the measurements are in metric and the card size is different from our "normal" sizes.  And so I adapted the card to measure 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" when folded.  I'll share the adapted measurements in a different blog post.

In order to have the guitar neck stand nicely instead of bending, I had to use a piece of the retired Poster Board onto which I glued my fussy-cut image and then fussy-cut the Poster Board around it.  The colours I've used are Whisper White, Tip Top Taupe, Soft Suede, Peekaboo Peach, Watermelon Wonder, Cajun Craze, Smoky Slate, Basic Grey, Old Olive, Marina Mist and Soft Sky.  The watercolouring took some time because it was layered but I love the result, especially the beat-up, rusty quality of the old truck.

* * * * * * * * * * 

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 visiting another wonderfully creative stamper, Deborah Smart.

Wednesday 15 June 2016

WWC72 - Jean's Colour Challenge

It's time for another Watercooler Wednesday Challenge and this colour challenge is hosted by Jean Fitch.  Because they're still very new for us, Jean chose the 2016-18 In-Colors.  I welcome the opportunity to get to know those colours better.

Because there are five colours, Jean has allowed that 3, 4, or all 5 of the colours may be used for this challenge.  Of course I decided that I would use all five of the colours.  But you expected that, right?

My first thought was flowers.  I guess that since the Botanical Blooms were introduced, my first thought, especially with such bright and pretty colours, is usually flowers.  But I challenged myself to find something else, especially among the new bundles that have been offered in the new catalogue.  The resulting card is a mixture of stamp sets and framelits that, surprisingly, work very well together.

My base is Dapper Denim followed by a piece of Whisper White upon which I did my watercolouring and stamping.  Actually, the only stamping on the piece is the sun for which I used one of the images from the Swirly Bird set and Peekaboo Peach.  After I stamped that, I used my Aqua Painter and Dapper Denim ink to create the watercoloured streaky background.  And then I stamped the sentiment at the bottom right using Dapper Denim ink.

The leaf and flowers were cut using the Botanical Builder framelits and then sponged using the inks which matched the cardstocks.  The "swirly" covering the stamped sun and the long green "vines" were cut using the Swirly Scribbles thinlits.  And the flamingo was stamped using Flirty Flamingo ink on Flirty Flamingo cardstock and then hand-cut.  I added the white on the face and wings using my White Stampin' Chalk marker and then added black details to the face and legs using my Basic Black marker.  

A bit of bling by centring rhinestones on the flowers finished up my card.  I hope you'll check out the other creations by the Watercooler Artists at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge post.

Tuesday 14 June 2016

PCCCS199 - Hello

It's time for another sketch challenge at the Paper Craft Crew Challenges.  This week's made me play with all sorts of new toys.

I just got my shipment from Stampin' Up! a few days ago and have been itching to play with all the new products.  Unfortunately life doesn't always cooperate and so I've had to wait for some spare time---which, thankfully, happened today.  And so I've used some of the new In-Colors, several of the  new framelits and also one of the new stamp sets for this card.

Stamp set:  Pop of Paradise
Papers:  2016-18 In-Color Designer Series Paper Stack, Night of Navy, Flirty Flamingo, 
Emerald Envy, Crumb Cake, Whisper White
Inks:  Night of Navy, Flirty Flamingo
Tools:  Botanical Builder Framelits, Swirly Scribbles Thinlits, Birds & Blooms Thinlits
Embellishments:  Rhinestones

I hope you'll check out the cards created by the other members of the Design Team at the Paper Craft Crew Challenge.

Monday 13 June 2016

Country Livin'

Every once in a while a stamp set comes along that really speaks to a person.  This is what happened to me with the Country Livin' stamp set introduced in the new Stampin' Up! Annual Catalogue.  It's a simple stamp set with only three images and no sentiments but as soon as I saw it I knew I would buy it.

My father-in-law was more comfortable in cowboy boots and a cowboy hat than in anything else.  He was at home on a horse and some of my favourite memories are of my daughter sitting in the saddle in front of him, learning to be easy with those wonderful, beautiful animals.  And so I had to buy these stamps.  The boots alone sealed the deal.

As Fate would have it, three challenges converged to inspire a card using this set.  As soon as I saw the challenges, I knew what I would be creating.  It was as if I had the directions in front of me and I just followed them.  And when I was finished, the card was precisely what I had imagined.

This is a one layer card and I'm so glad that Stampin' Up! carries Heavy Whisper White cardstock.  It makes a much more substantial card than the "normal" Whisper White.  My stamping would not have looked the same using another colour as base.

First I stamped the image of the boots using the Archival Basic Gray ink on the Heavy Whisper White.  Then I stamped the same image on a piece of copy paper and fussy cut it out so that I could use it as a mask, protecting the original image from the next bit of stamping.  Once the two-way glue with which I covered the back of the copy paper had dried and was merely tacky, I carefully placed it over the original image.  Then I ripped a piece out of the remainder of the copy paper, making an oddly shaped hole in it.  I used that as a mask around the boots to protect the rest of the Heavy Whisper White while I stamped the open area using the Hardwood stamp and Archival Basic Gray ink.  Taking the copy paper away, I covered the stamped area with the piece I had originally ripped out of the copy paper, masking the stamped images.  That allowed me to stamp the splatters around the images using the Gorgeous Grunge stamp set and Bermuda Bay ink.

After using my Aqua Painter to watercolour the boots using Soft Suede and the Hardwood using Marina Mist, I stamped the sentiment in the bottom right corner in Soft Suede ink, using the Jar of Love stamp set.

The three challenges for which I've created this card are:

Colour Q  cQc#345 which provided me with the colours.

"Less is More" LIM#280 which suggested the splatters to me.

The challenge this week is for a One Layer Card with the theme of 

Stampin' Royalty SR#333 which called for a One Layer Card.   

                              One Layer Cards!
Create a card using only one layer!!!

Wednesday 8 June 2016

WWC71 - Heidi's Tic-Tac-Toe Challenge

I'm so excited!  This week I'm hosting the Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.  I hope you like it!  It's a Tic-Tac-Toe Challenge and I plotted it out so that there are choices that could include techniques, special folds and all sorts of goodies.  This is a great way to personalize your challenge card, by choosing three squares in a row, vertically, horizontally or diagonally and use those options for your creation.

I kept changing my mind about which options to use.  I actually created a Grad gift card and then thought of something completely different using a diagonal on the tic-tac-toe board.  Time almost ran out on me with so many other demands on my time but in the end I did get the second card finished and knew it was the one I wanted for my Tic-Tac-Toe Challenge.  I hope you like it as much as I enjoyed creating it.

If you've been following my blog, you will have noticed that I enjoy using a white card base for the majority of my cards.  In this case I went contrary to custom and used Night of Navy as my base.  My next layer is Mint Macaron.  After that my colours became very bright, staying true to the colours in the Affectionately Yours Specialty Designer Series paper which I used for my left side.  The right side, therefore, used Daffodil Delight while the flowers and leaves used the Mint Macaron, Watermelon Wonder, and Cucumber Crush.  For my sentiment I cut a piece of Night of Navy using the rounded square from the Project Life Paper Clips Thinlits.  I added a narrow backing of Mint Macaron to help it stand out against the DSP.  The hint of pattern between the DSP and the Daffodil Delight is a piece of the Affectionately Yours Washi tape.  The Mint Macaron chevron pattern almost looks like a line of stitching, doesn't it?

So it's clear that I used the top left corner "Birthday".  You may think I went across the tic-tac-toe board horizontally, but I went diagonally.  The Designer Paper was used only as an aid to choose my colours.  The centre square calls for "Buttons and/or Bows and/or Bling".  Well, one look at the golden flowers and you know that I chose "Bling".  There are the gold flowers, the rhinestone in their centres, and the Gold Glitz Dazzling Details in the centres of the other flowers.  The final square in the bottom right corner calls for "Die-cuts".  One look at the sentiment and all the various blossoms and leaves proves that I've satisfied that option.

This was a fun card to create.  I don't always "go bright" but the paper just begged for it and I couldn't say no.  I hope you'll check out the cards by the other Watercooler Artists over at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.

Tuesday 7 June 2016

PCCC198 - Thanks big time

This week's Paper Craft Crew Challenge is a colour challenge.  The best part?  There are three colours and you can add another---such as one of the brand new 2016-18 In-Colors.

I love those colours and decided to add the beautiful new Dapper Denim to the mix.  With a base of Whisper White and then adding a layer of Mint Macaron, the Dapper Denim layer just "popped".  Before attaching the Dapper Denim, I cut out inlaid butterflies with one of my framelits and then backed each butterfly with a layer of Mint Macaron, So Saffron, or Calypso Coral.  To finish the card off, I added one of my retired sentiments, heat embossing it in Whisper White.

I love the result and hope you do, too.  Check out the other Design Team cards at the Paper Craft Crew Challenge and then try out the colours yourself.

Wednesday 1 June 2016

WWC70 - Marsha's Sketch Challenge

This week is very exciting.  First of all we're adding a new Temporary Watercooler Artist for the next three months.  It's Penny Hanuszak, who has been linking up her wonderful cards frequently (and winning a number of our challenges).  Penny also participates regularly in our monthly Wacky Watercooler Blog Hop.

The other exciting thing this week is the challenge itself.  Marsha Reed is the hostess for a great sketch challenge.  I love sketches and this one is no exception.

As you know, you can change things about the sketch as long as it's still recognizably the sketch.  I chose to make a square card like the sketch this time but then I decided to flip the sketch over onto its side so that I could create the scene that came to mind with this sketch.

Doesn't that Sitting Here stamp set work out perfectly for this sketch?  And those pillows were just asking to replace the flowers in the sketch.

Stamp set:  Sitting Here
Papers:  Heavy Whisper White, Crumb Cake, Dapper Denim, Whisper White, Affectionately Yours Specialty Designer Series Paper
Inks:  Basic Black Archival, Smoky Slate, Dapper Denim, Emerald Envy, Flirty Flamingo, Peekaboo Peach, So Saffron, Tangelo Twist
Tools:  Woodgrain embossing folder, Softly Falling embossing folder

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

I'm also adding this card to the [Pin]spirational Challenge this week as it's an "anything goes".