Wednesday, 26 October 2016

WWC91 - Happy Birthday

It's time for another challenge and this week Marsha is hosting a Masculine "Anything Goes" Challenge.  Simply put, as long as I create something that has a masculine flair, I'm golden.

Of course I turned to one of my favourite stamp sets, The Wilderness Awaits.  Is it only meant for masculine projects?  Not at all.  But certainly my husband and brother-in-law both love anything to do with the outdoors or wild animals.  I love the way that little fox looks, curled up in its den but watching all that goes on.  I knew he would be perfect used with a brick wall and perhaps, some leaves.

I have been hoping for years that Stampin' Up! would carry some modeling paste.  What is so special about that product?  You can mix any colour of ink with the paste and then spread it over a stencil.  Once the stencil is pulled off, the resulting brick has so much texture, it actually looks real.  I love the effect.  That was my plan and as the day progressed I realized that I had put too much ink into the mix, making the paste more fluid than normal and much slower to dry.  Well, my project was due last night.  Go to plan "B".  Same idea but instead of the modeling paste I turned to the Stampin' Up! Brick Wall embossing folder.  First, of course, I used my brayer to add ink to the raised portion of the folder and then I embossed my paper.  That resulted in the lines of grout being a different colour.  I love the way that looks.

Stamps:  The Wilderness Awaits, Best Birds, Thoughtful Banners, Sprinkles of Life
Paper:  Soft Suede, Soft Sky, Very Vanilla, Tip Top Taupe, Whisper White cardstocks
Inks:  Soft Suede, Tip Top Taupe, Cajun Craze, Wild Wasabi, Crushed Curry, 
Pumpkin Pie, Basic Black (Archival), Whisper White (craft)
Tools:  Brick Wall embossing folder, Birds & Blooms thinlits, Duet Banner punch

I've also linked this card with the SUO Challenge for their Fall theme.

Of course my other card could be assembled today.  The modeling paste had dried nicely and gave the bricks a great texture as well as a feeling of solidity.  I changed the card up a bit simply because I don't often create two of a kind.  Instead of the tree and bird, I used a background of Whisper White upon which I stamped two images of the Sheltering Tree as well as a number of leaves.  I also used the Swirly Scribbles thinlits to cut out a whole bunch of little leaves in a variety of cardstock colours.

Stamps:  The Wilderness Awaits, Sheltering Tree
Paper:  Crumb Cake, Early Espresso, Cajun Craze, Crushed Curry, 
Wild Wasabi, Whisper White
Inks:  Cajun Craze, Soft Suede, Crushed Curry, Wild Wasabi, Pumpkin Pie,
Early Espresso, Basic Black (Archival)
Tools:  Swirly Scribbles thinlits, Crafter's Workshop Brick Stencil,
Teresa Collins Ba-Si-Cal-Ly Essential Modeling Paste

I hope you've enjoyed my journey through these cards.  For some amazing creations by the Watercooler Artists, check out this week's Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

The Wacky Watercooler October Blog Hop Celebrates Fall

Fall is such a  spectacular season, isn't it?  The trees put on their finest colours before retiring to their long sleep for Winter.  It's a time of year when artists and photographers do their best to capture a bit of that beauty and poets put together descriptive words in an effort to do justice to the scene.  Of course we paper artists also have to do our best, given the tools available to us.  Thank goodness Stampin' Up! offers some fine colours, stamps and dies to help us along.  Welcome to our celebration of Fall (or Autumn if, like me, you grew up with that name for the season).

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 Libby Fens' post.  Libby makes her home in Texas and is a member of our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge artists as well.

* * * * * * * * * * 

My first project uses the adorable Scarecrow from the Cookie-Cutter Hallowe'en set.  Along with the cheery pumpkin images from the Hallowe'en Night Specialty Designer paper and the pumpkin set from the Spooky Fun bundle, this card just makes me smile.  I used the letters from the Labeler Alphabet set to create the sentiment.

For me "Thankful" could easily be used for Thanksgiving or for a happy greeting to someone I care about and for whose friendship I am thankful.

* * * * * * * * * * 

My next project is a special fold card in a style which I have admired for quite a while.  I've seen it called a Twisted Pop-Up card, a Pop-up Panel card, and a Pivot Twist Pop-up card.  But by whatever name you've seen it before, you have probably also admired it.  I was looking for a template with our 5 1/2"x 4 1/2" sizing but could only find Collette Mitrega's YouTube tutorial.  So I fiddled around with the measurements and made mine the "normal" size for our envelopes.  What a perfect way to show off the fairies, playing with the colourful falling leaves!

I began with a base of Cajun Craze and added a layer of Crushed Curry.  Right there we have the basic colours of Autumn and it's easy to build from that.  I mentioned that I was going to be using fairies for this card.  I thought it would add a playful touch, especially for a Fall birthday.  For the front, therefore, I've used the image which has the fairy hanging from the cherry branch.  You'll notice, however, that the cherries are gone and I've added a leaf or two, concentrating on bright Fall colours for them and the fairy.  I've also added some bright foliage from the Awesomely Artistic set and then just had fun with the foliage from the Sheltering Tree to add some background colour and interest.  The sentiment is from the Birthday Blossoms set.

For this style of card there is a lot of interest added to the inside of the card.  The "mechanism" inside pivots the four panels and "presents" them.  It's quite a surprise for the recipient and not as difficult to make as one might think.  I used the four panels along the strip to feature more Fall colours and, of course, more fairies.

The first has some blooms at the bottom and some colourful leaves at the top.  I've turned to the Birthday Blossoms for those images.

The second has several leaves from the Vintage Leaves set, all colourful and one which has a tiny fairy hanging tight as it drifts downward.

The third has the little fairy sitting on her toadstool, holding up a large oak leaf.

And the fourth and final panel has dandelion seeds floating across and upward with a small sentiment in the middle.

Because this style of card offers room at the top of the base and at the bottom, I've added an oval with the birthday wishes and sentiment at the top and then a blank oval at the bottom which is perfect for writing.

I hope you've enjoyed checking out my special card as much as I enjoyed creating it.

           * * * * * * * * * * *      

My final project is for my daughter.  She love the Fall season best of all the seasons.  She exults in the multi-coloured leaves and the crunch of the fallen leaves as she walks through the woods.  What better way to give her a little pick-me-up when she is run off her feet, than to bring a bit of Fall into her home so that she can enjoy it.  I found the inspiration for this wall hanging on Clare McDonnell's Maple Leaf Memories blog.

The embroidery hoop and burlap are clearly not Stampin' Up! products but everything else is from the catalogues.  The leaves were first stamped using the Vintage Leaves set and Basic Black ink and then cut out using the matching Leaflets framelits.  I've used Tangerine Tango, Wild Wasabi, Crushed Curry, Tip Top Taupe and Cajun Craze cardstocks.   After cutting the leaves, I sponged them with several of the same inks and also added some deeper inks using my Stampin' Markers.  After that I used my scoring tool and Silicone Craft sheet to emphasize the stamped lines.  Finally I spritzed the leaves using my Spritzer and rubbing alcohol before crushing them in my hands.  Strangely enough, that sort of abuse results in some very realistic Fall leaves.

As an added touch, I created two acorns using Tip Top Taupe and the Pumpkin Pie Glimmer paper.  After cutting them out with the Acorn Builder punch, I proceeded to sponge the perimeters and I also added some highlight to the centres of the acorns using the Whisper White craft ink.  I also cut out two pine branches using the Pretty Pines thinlits and Almost Artichoke cardstock.

I wanted to add some cording as well but decided that the copper thread was simply too lightweight to show against all that foliage.  And so I cut the thinnest strips of Pumpkin Pie Glimmer paper possible and used those instead.
The sentiment is, unfortunately, retired but it seemed the most appropriate under the circumstances.

* * * * * * * * * * 

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, Gail Allen.  Gail is from the Sechelt in British Columbia and is also  a member of our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge artists.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

WWC90 - Happy Hallowe'en

This week's challenge is hosted by Libby and she is presenting a very graphic challenge with just two colours, black on white.  As if that isn't enough, Libby's challenge is also what we call a "Simply Stamped" challenge.  You have to do a lot of thinking and planning to achieve a "simple" card.

Before we get started and I unveil my own creation for this challenge, I am going to give you a very quick run-down of what our expectations for this challenge are:

"Simply Stamping" is a return to basics.  We expect either one single stamped base layer or a base with one single layer on that.  We expect simple stamping.  You can use masking, heat embossing, stencilling, sponging.  You cannot use an embossing folder or embellishments or additional layers (not even a tag).

What our team discovered is that it's not very easy to stamp simply.  It remains one of our most difficult challenges.  I decided that I would use two layers.  My base is Basic Black cardstock and then I added a layer of Whisper White upon which I did all my stamping, sponging, detailing.  It took time, but I was so happy with the results.  Normally I would have stamped my jar on a separate piece of Whisper White and then popped it up on Dimensionals.  Well, that's not allowed so it became part of my stamping challenge.  And it worked.

Stamps:  Jar of Haunts, Spooky Fun, Bite Me (retired)
Papers:  Basic Black, Whisper White
Inks:  Basic Black
Additional Tools:  Sponge

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

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

WWC89 - Thank You

I love colour challenges, especially when there is some bling involved.  So, of course, Penny's colour challenge for this week's Watercooler Wednesday Challenge is right up my alley.

Look at those colours!  They're elegant AND there is the added "bling" of Silver.  What could be better?  Actually I was tempted to simply make a card using those wonderful acorns.  But how imaginative would that have been?

And so I turned to my framelits for inspiration.  Of course with all that was going on last week plus Thanksgiving this weekend, I left this card until the very last minute.  Panic and inspiration don't always mix well.  My mind kept jumping from one possibility to the next until I was ready to pack it in and forget about the challenge altogether.  But I didn't.  Instead I decided to use one of the Birds & Blooms thinlits to cut a piece of Tip Top Taupe.  It was okay but needed something so I sponged around the perimeter using Tip Top Taupe ink which deepened the colour and gave it more dimension.  I really liked the pattern of the die-cuts in the bird and so I carefully coloured them using my Tip Top Taupe Stampin' Marker, being careful not to dislodge them from their places.  I liked it even more after that.

I wanted some background interest but I didn't want to emboss the whole piece of Whisper White and so I hand cut two heavy pieces of cardboard into ovals, laid them on top of each other, and used them instead of the bottom plate when I ran the Whisper White through the Big Shot using the Woodland embossing folder.  The result?  An oval of embossing.   I lightly sponged the embossed trees and branches using Tip Top Taupe to define them better.  I also used my AquaPainter to add a light wash of Soft Sky between the embossed trees.

I stamped the branch from the Best Birds set on Whisper White using Tip Top Taupe and also stamped several blossoms as well.  After using the Birds & Blooms thinlits to cute them all out, I used my AquaPainter to add Tip Top Taupe to the branch and Soft Sky to the blossoms and leaves.  After assembling everything, I stamped the sentiment from the Rose Wonder set in the upper right corner using Tip Top Taupe.  A scattering of tiny silver stars (thanks to the Umbrella Weather framelits) and the card was done.

I hope you'll check out the other creations by the Watercooler Artists for our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.  I look forward to seeing your card linked up this week.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

WWC88 - Love you!

Welcome to the challenge I'm hosting this week.  It's a sketch which I went a bit crazy designing with all those background lines and splotches but I think it has a lot of possibilities.  I hope you do, too, and are inspired to create a wonderful card which you will link up and share with us.

One thing that I've always loved about sketch challenges is that as long as one can still identify the sketch, there is a world of leeway in using it.  While I decided not to flip it on its side or turn it upside down, I had a lot of fun with that background, firstly by using a technique which I had never tried before, and secondly by stamping lightly over it to create the atmosphere that I had in mind.  While the sketch may appear very bold, I chose to use it to create a much softer, romantic card.  I hope you like it.

I began with a base of Heavy Whisper White.  Then I added a layer of Soft Sky which would be a matte for the stamped layer of Shimmery White specialty paper.  What I did with that Shimmery White layer was not just stamping.  The blotchy, oddly patterned area was my first attempt at the Bubble Magic Technique.  I first saw it in a card made by Dawn Olchefske.  Better still, she made an easy to follow video.  While I like the bubbles on my card, hers are much more airy.  But, for this card, it works.  When my  bubble-painted area finally dried, I was able to begin creating my card and for that I used the beautiful Touches of Texture stamp set.  The flower outlines in that set really appealed to me and there were splotches that I could use to colour the flowers and also to stamp centres.  I used Crumb Cake ink for the outline and the lovely Sweet Sugarplum ink for the stamped "blotchy" colouring (off-stamped to make the images softer and lighter) and Delightful Dijon for the centres.  The bee is also from the same set and is coloured using the Delightful Dijon.

For the main image and sentiment I turned to the Sunshine Wishes thinlits.  The thinlits heart is wonderfully abstract with a scribbled outline.  I cut it out twice, once from the Soft Sky cardstock and another time from the Sweet Sugarplum cardstock.  I used the "scribbles" from the Soft Sky and the centre from the Soft Sugarplum.  Before adding the centre, however, I ran the heart through my Big Shot using the Confetti embossing folder.  The added texture makes all the difference.  The "love" is cut using the same set of thinlits and Crumb Cake cardstock.  I love the size of the lettering and the style.  To finish the sentiment off, I used the "you" from the matching Sunshine Sayings stamp set and Crumb Cake ink.

To complete the design, I added three gold sequins to the upper left corner.  They compliment the Delightful Dijon quite nicely.

This was a fun card to create.  I hope you'll check out the cards created by the other Watercooler Artists at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.  Better still, check them out and link one up yourself.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

World Card Making Day (one day late)

It's World Card Making Day (plus one).  My card is late, but I hope that you'll agree that it's better late than never.  As you can see, I've "spread the love" by using a generous variety of products.

I wanted something whimsical.  I wanted to remind people that they should "spread the love" with their cards.  It should not just be about the one day.  It should be every day that we think of people, that we get in touch with people, that we spread the love with our cards.

I didn't want to be late posting this card. happens.

You can think that you're all prepared for something but you can't always know what is happening in your life.  World Card Making Day is a good example of that truism.   I had my card completed and was ready to take pictures and post and suddenly I found myself on my way out of town.  Planned trip?  No.  But sometimes when opportunity knocks, you answer the door.

I've been re-organizing my crafting room which, during the past couple of years, began to take on a life of its own.  I swear that things multiplied while I slept.  Piles grew overnight.  Products hid themselves and played peek-a-boo.  Stressful?  Yes.  So I bit the bullet and began the huge task of re-organization.  Storage was one problem which I had to admit would make life easier.  Bins were not my friends.  Yes, they provided storage, but they also became an ongoing headache because they store but don't make access easy.  If you've heard of IKEA, you know that that store offers almost unlimited storage  solutions which, at the same time, offer easy access to one's belongings.  The closest IKEA, however, is in Calgary and that meant a road trip.  Yesterday my daughter suggested exactly that and off we were.  No second thoughts.

I have the storage solutions waiting to be assembled.  My room is going to be much more functional.  And I didn't post my World Card Making Day card.  I also didn't send it off.  My jobs for today.

And so I turned to the Fairy Celebration stamp set in conjunction with the wonderful Serene Scenery Designer Series paper stack.  Along with those products, I decided to use a sentiment from the Sprinkles of Life set, the wings from Papillon Potpourri and the delicate images of Dandelion seeds from the Balloon Celebration set.  I picked my colours based on the various shades in the Designer paper.  My base is the Heavy Whisper White followed by a layer of Cajun Craze and then the Designer paper.  The inks are Archival Basic Grey, Blushing Bride, Delightful Dijon, Calypso Coral, Peekabook Peach and So Saffron.  I've also used White embossing powder for the Dandelion seeds and the sentiment.