Sunday, 31 December 2017

HLS January Watercolour Challenge

Wow, we're already into a brand new year!  I hope that 2018 is a wonderful year for everyone.

This month it's Anything Goes for the HLS Watercolour Challenge but you may like to play along with our optional twist of sequins.

I'm so excited to be part of the Happy Little Stampers Watercolour Challenge Design Team.  As you all know, I love watercolouring and so I'm looking forward to pushing the limits for this challenge.  

For my image I went slightly oversized and wound up with a 4 1/2" x 6 1/4" card.  But bigger is better, right?  My base is white followed by a layer of Pacific Point.  My image is stamped on a piece of Mixed Media paper and heat embossed using white embossing powder.  After that I went a bit wild with my new Brusho watercolour crystals.  What fun they are!  Truly, you always wind up with something a bit different since each colour is made up of many different coloured crystals.  For this gorgeous Penny Black image I used Scarlet and Ultramarine.  Instead of wetting my image first, I tapped a few crystals onto the image and then sprayed it with water.  Lightly.  I didn't want the red spreading everywhere, after all.  Around the image, I used the blue and added a few red crystals to the mix.  

When it came time for my sentiment, I doubled up.  I used one at the top left and heat embossed it using white embossing powder.  For the second sentiment, I heat embossed it using copper embossing powder.  Finally I added a few sequins and my card was done.

As always, there is lots of inspiration over on the Happy Little Stampers Blog, and don't forget that you could win the prize this time!

And guess what!  Our winner for this challenge will receive a $20 coupon to spend at the shop.  Check out all the details HERE


Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #150 - Heidi's Masculine "Anything Goes" Challenge

This is a two week challenge since we're getting closer and closer to Christmas.  I have so much left to do!  Thank goodness for some extra time to begin doing it.  In the meantime, I'm hosting this challenge and it's all about the men in our lives--no matter what the age.

This challenge couldn't have come at a better time.  I have my nephew's birthday coming up in January, after all.  I decided to use the Eclipse Technique for  the card as well as the new and exciting stamp set free with a qualified purchase for Sale-a-bration.  Yes, that's coming up in January, too.  Of course the Epic Celebrations set can be used for both guys and gals, but for my over-abundance of guys in the family, it is perfect.

I used the image of the sneakers as well as the headphones.  Perfect for the techie in my life and it also fit beautifully on the large numbers from the Number of Years bundle.  I kept to just a few tones for my colours, using Whisper White, Smoky Slate, Bermuda Bay and a background from the wonderful Wood Textures Designer Series paper stack.

I hope you'll find time to play along and create a card for our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.

I'm also playing along with the Party Time theme over at the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge.

Monday, 18 December 2017

Addicted to CAS #126 - Sparkle

When I saw the theme for this challenge, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.  After all, the brand new Myths & Magic Specialty Designer Series Paper has more sparkle built into the heavier-than-normal sheets than any I've seen before.  It's gorgeous!

I chose to fussy-cut the dragon from one of the sheets.  He has major sparkle and a real attitude.  Perfect for his job protecting the huge jewel which I stamped using the images from the You're Priceless set.  I didn't have to hand cut that image since, luckily, it uses the die from the Oh So Eclectic bundle.  For some major sparkle I pulled out my retired Crystal Effects, painted that onto the jewel, and then covered it with the incredible Dazzling Diamonds glitter.  You almost have to wear sunglasses when the light hits that glitter.

I'm playing along with the Addicted to CAS challenge #126 with this card.

I'm also playing along with the HLS December Anything Goes With Dies challenge.

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Less is More Challenge #359 - You Are Amazing

I've been looking at the Hostess stamp set, Feathery Friends, for quite a while now.  I liked it enough to add it to an order some months back but until now inspiration escaped me.  With this challenge, however, I got the glimmer of an idea and decided to run with it.  Keeping it clean and simple opened the door for me.  Funny how that works.

The main reason I bought this set is because I thought it would be fun to play with my Stampin' Blends colouring all the little bits and pieces of the images.  I decided to make a 4" x 4" card with a Whisper White base and added a die-cut cross-stitched circle in Whisper White for the stamped and coloured images.  Fitting it all into the circle worked out perfectly.  Using the Stampin' Blends was a pleasure.  I'm happy with the results.

I'm playing along with the Less is More challenge for this card.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #149 - Marsha's "All About Occasions" Challenge

Marsha is hosting a brand new challenge this week called "All About Occasions".  When you think about all the occasions which one celebrates during the year, you can imagine how many different card themes are possible.

Since Christmas is just around the corner and I still need some more Christmas cards, that's the occasion for which I created my card.  My husband and I were in Calgary at the end of last week and I found a small but absolutely packed-full-of-goodies crafting shop and spent some time (and money) discovering and buying new treasures.  One of those is the Cling Fox Friend stamp by Stampendous.  I love snowmen and I love foxes.  How could I have passed it up?

My base of Soft Sky followed by a piece of vellum which I embossed with the retired Northern Flurry embossing folder.  I topped that with a frame of Real Red to hold the vellum down without showing the glue and also for the effect of the red frame.  My images are all colouring using the Stampin' Blends (love them!).  The "Let it Snow" is an off-brand die-cut and the snowflake is cut using the Seasonal Layers Thinlets.  A scattering of rhinestones, and the card was done.

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

I've also linked up my card to the {PIN}spirational Challenge #205 which  is all about Winter and snowmen, etc.

I've linked it up to the Cardz 4 Guyz Challenge which is all about snowmen.

And, finally, I've linked it up to the HLS December Christmas Challenge which is anything goes.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Happy Little Stampers Watercolour Challenge - Let it Snow!

It's an Anything Goes challenge over at the HLS Watercolour Challenge and as a twist, it can be all about Christmas.

I had been thinking about using one of the new dies I bought some weeks back.  This one has beautiful script saying "Let it Snow".  Now I'm not wishing more white stuff on the ground, but that die really is asking to be used.

I love watercolouring, as most of you know, and so I decided to take a piece of Mixed Media paper and used some of my Distress Oxide Broken China on it.  As usual I smooshed some ink on a plastic mat and added a spray of water.  Rather than dip my paper into it, however, I took a wide brush and painted it on in streaks.  When I was satisfied with the look, I took my heat gun and dried it.  I took the piece, cut it with an oval die, and then cut another oval from a piece of Bermuda Bay cardstock.

I took a scrap of Bermuda Bay cardstock and a scrap of white cardstock and cut the sentiment out of each colour.  Then I added some Tombo glue to the back of the script and put it aside to get tacky.  While that was happening, I made a stencil of a tree by cutting it out of a scrap and keeping the negative piece.  I took a dauber and "smooshed" some Distress Oxide Peeled Paint into that to get the tree onto my painted oval.  After using my heat gun to completely dry that, I used my Aqua Painter and some Mossy Meadow ink to get some texture and dimension to the tree.  After that I used my Softly Falling embossing folder to add the illusion of snow.  Then I mixed a bit of Modelling Paste with water and "painted" on some white texture to make it appear as if there was a bit of snow on the branches.

You can see what I did with the die-cut script sentiment.  I attached part of the Bermuda Bay piece to the painted oval, part of the white piece to the Bermuda Bay oval, and then the rest of the Bermuda Bay piece to the base of Whisper White.  It makes me think that snow has fallen on the script.

As well as adding this card to the HLS Watercolour Challenge,  I'm going to add my card to the following challenges:

SIP Challenge 128 - Let it Snow

CAS Watercolour Challenge Dec. 2017 - Anything Goes

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #148 - Heidi's Feminine "Anything Goes" Challenge

Woo Hoo!  I get to host this week's Feminine "Anything Goes" Challenge!  I think it's such fun to come up with something distinctly feminine and this time I decided to make it Seasonal as well.

I love using the Beautiful You stamp set.  It's become one of my "go to" sets, especially when I'm thinking "feminine".  It's no surprise, then, that this card features one of the lovely ladies from this set.  As much as I've used the Beautiful You set, however, I've as good as ignored the Hang Your Stocking set which carried over from last year's Holiday Catalogue into the current Annual Catalogue.  I'm making up for lost time with this card.

I decided to make this a gate-fold card because it made it easy to feature my Beautiful You lady in a pretty oval.  Since she's the featured image, she gets to overlap both sides, keeping the "gates" shut.  As a background I heat embossed the stockings using White embossing powder on Basic Black cardstock.  I love the sharp contrast!

Because I used black, white and red for my featured image and for the ovals, I continued with the colour theme by having a base of Heavy Whisper White and then layers of red and black.  You'll notice my lovely lady has a stylized "Santa" hat.  Well, that's thanks to some fancy fussy cutting and then colouring with my Stampin' Blends.  I cut the stocking she's holding free-hand from some retired Christmas paper that fit my theme perfectly.

Of course I carried the same colour theme inside since the "gate" opens and shows it off nicely.  Onto my Whisper White base I attached a layer of Real Red and then a layer of Whisper White, after it had been stamped.  The sentiment, in Basic Black ink, is from a retired set called Christmas Messages.  The stocking, off-stamped once, in Real Red ink, is from the Hang Your Stocking set.

I had a lot of fun creating this card and hope you enjoy it, too.  I invite you to check out the other awesome cards created by our Watercooler Artists at the Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.

Remember, we're having a Design Team call.

I'm also entering this card into the Addicted to Stamps & More challenge, #271---Anything Goes.

And I'm entering it into the Moo-Mania & More Challenge since it's all about heat-embossing.

Another challenge I'm entering is the Merry Christmas Challenge #46.

Ch# 46  Anything Goes + Christmas

Optional: Fun Fold Cards

Last but not least, I'm entering it into the Inspire, Create Challenge #006 which is all about fancy folds.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #147 - Charlotte's "Anything Goes" Challenge

I was so stoked that this week would be an "Anything Goes" challenge!  I had been thinking about making a special shadow frame for Christmas and this challenge was perfect for something like that.

It all began with the super-adorable Ready for Christmas bundle.  When I saw it in the Holiday Catalogue, it was love at first sight.  And I wanted to show it off in a big way.  What better than a shadow frame, I thought.  And so began my obsession.  Whatever I happened to be working on, a small part of my subconscious was constantly at work with the planning for "my big project".

In the end I wound up combining that bundle with the Hearts Come Home stamp set as well as some unrelated Designer Series Paper and some retired products.  Amazingly it all came together beautifully, although the number of interruptions to my crafting time were staggering and I wondered whether the project would be finished in time or not.

I wanted texture for my shadow frame and so I reached for a piece of 12" x 12" retired Smoky Slate Core'dinations cardstock.  Without cutting, the shadow frame possible from a piece of 12" x 12" cardstock is 8" x 8".  I was fine with that and got to work.  For the inside background, after choosing and discarding a half dozen possibilities, I finally settled on a piece of the Naturally Eclectic Designer Series Paper.  I liked it against the Smoky Slate and it reminded me of snow.

For the presents, I turned to the Birthday Memories Designer Series Paper and to the retired Home for Christmas Designer Series Paper.  I stamped the adorable little Dachshund on a retired piece of Baked Brown Sugar and then stamped it again on a piece of Whisper White.  I cut out the doggie-sweater from the piece of Whisper White and coloured it with my Stampin' Blends before gluing it onto the little Dachshund.

You can see I cut the ornaments out from Glimmer paper and also Silver Foil using the dies from the Card Front Builder Thinlets.  This is what my finished project looked like on Monday night.

On Tuesday morning I knew it needed something more.  And so I cut out several more evergreen boughs and coloured some of the Clear Faceted Gems using my Cherry Cobbler Stampin' Blender.  I also stamped Santa and his reindeer from the Hearts Come Home set using Smoky Slate and somehow managed to fussy cut the images out without beginning to drool.

This is the finished project and I love it.  I hope you do, too.

There are some wonderful projects created by our Watercooler Artists over at the Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.  I hope you'll check them out, too.

I've also entered my creation into the HLS Challenge - Anything Goes with Dies

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge 146 - Kath's "All About Christmas" Challenge

Christmas is nearly here.  Just another month (and a couple of days) and it will be here.  I really do have to get my Christmas cards written.  Thank goodness, with the help of challenges like this, I've managed to make enough to send out.  Yay!  This week Kath is hosting our "All About Christmas" challenge.  And wouldn't you know it--I had a little "whoopsy" with this card.

It all began when I decided to use the gorgeous Father Christmas stamp set.  I had a scene in my mind and hoped I could recreate it in a card.  Father Christmas is such a wonderful image.  He's nothing like the modern Santa Claus.  This image is more European--older--wiser--probably less jolly.  I wanted him out in the snow, among trees.  Now I have quite a number of tree images available among my shelves of Stampin' Up! stamps but what I had in mind was more along the line of those trees for which we only have framelits--the ones from the Carols of Christmas bundle.

Well, rather than mope around wishing, I decided I would use those trees and proceeded to cut them out from a rectangle of Whisper White.  That piece became my mask (stencil).  After I had stamped Father Christmas, I used the stencil to place the trees and used my Aqua Painter and some Old Olive ink to get the shapes in place.  After that it was easy enough to layer my greens to create the trees.  I used my Aqua Painter and a variety of my inks to colour in Father Christmas and also to give a wash to the sky as well as shadows on the snow.  The only areas not Watercoloured were the pocket watch and the trumpet.  Those two were coloured with the retired Silver Stampin' Dazzle and the retired Gold Wink of Stella respectively.

Yes, Father Christmas is wearing a Fresh Fig coloured fur-lined robe.  The European Father Christmas is not your jolly red and white Santa Claus.

For the inside I decided to add a piece of Fresh Fig to the base Heavy Whisper White and then added two rectangles of Whisper White to that.  One has the images while the other bears the greeting.

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

I'm also entering my card into the CAS Watercolour Challenge which is all about Holidays.

And finally I'm adding my card to the Addicted to Stamps and More Clean & Simple Challenge.

* * * * * * * * * * 

I said earlier in this post that I had a little "whoopsy" with this card.  Well there is a bit of a story which goes with that.  Some years back when we were still living in British Columbia and my parents were alive, my daughter and I created a special Christmas present for them.  The face and hands are porcelain while the rest is wire structure and clothing which I designed and sewed.  It took us a while but my parents loved it.  When they passed on, the piece came to me.  And in time it will go on to my daughter.  It means a lot to both of us.

So one of the first things I had done when designing this card was to stamp and fussy-cut a reindeer from the Nature Sings stamp set.  After that I had water-coloured the image and set it aside.  Well, if you look at the card front, you'll be struck by the absence of that very reindeer.  Did I lose it?  No, I did not.  It is safely lying precisely where I put it.  The thing is that when I finished the card up to the point where you see it posted above, I loved the way it looked and totally forgot all about the reindeer.  It wasn't until I told my daughter about the post I had scheduled and about the card which I designed because of the piece we had created, that I remembered that poor missing reindeer.  And so here is the alternate version of the card.  The reindeer is only barely holding on--I didn't properly adhere him.  I can't decide which way I want the card to look now.  What do you think?

I'm entering the reindeer version into the Cardz 4 Guyz Challenge which is all about Reindeer.

And finally I'm adding this card to the Retro Rubber Anything Goes Challenge.  The Father Christmas stamp set was released in the 2016 Holiday Catalogue, over a year ago.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

A Cup of Merry!

I love coffee!  What could be better, then, when one loves coffee so much, than to have the two coffee sets by Stampin' Up! along with the matching framelits?  Of course Stampin' Up! also brought out the wonderful matching Coffee Break designer paper and I can't say enough about the terrific images on that paper.  They speak to a coffee lover's heart.

It's logical, under these circumstances, that I would jump right in when there is a coffee-related challenge, right?  Well, that's what I've done with the new {PIN}spirational challenge.

The background coffee rings are straight out of that package of designer papers.  The images, too, are cut from another sheet of the designer papers.  The little gold doilies behind the cups provide a bit of added bling as do the Glimmer paper hearts.

As I said, this was inspired by the {PIN}spirational Challenge.


The layout, however, is thanks to the sketch over the the Sunday Stamps Challenge.

Friday, 17 November 2017

Inkspirational Challenge #148 - Designer's Choice

I'm so excited to have been asked to be a Guest Designer for the Inkspirational Challenge this week.  I love their themes and this one is no exception.  We're asked to create a Christmas card using only neutral colours.  How fun is that!

I had just received a fun metal die from a lady in Saskatchewan and was dying to use it.  Thinking about it, I knew it would be perfect matched with the images from the Carols of Christmas bundle.  Since the challenge asks for neutrals, I decided to use Crumb Cake for my background.  It's a light enough colour to show off the black and Soft Suede I planned to use but also dark enough to show off the white snowflakes and glitter paper.

The sentiment with the circle around it and those pretty snowflakes is cut with the die I had just received.  Cut in black and then with the snowflakes re-cut from glitter paper, it is striking across the top of the card.  To balance it, I chose to cut my trees from black as well and then cut the little deer from Soft Suede.  For my background I used a piece of Crumb Cake which I first embossed using the Softly Falling embossing folder and then stamped with Craft Whisper White using the snowflakes from the retired White Christmas stamp set.  To "anchor" the deer and trees, I added a scrap of glitter paper left over from another project.  Serendipitously, it was just the right size and resembled a hill.

But as much as I loved the way this turned out, I wanted a bit more for this card and decided it would be an easel card.  I love easels because they stand so well and show off the card beautifully.  This would be a simple standing easel and its base would be Crumb Cake.  For the inside of the card I added a piece of Basic Black onto which I attached another piece of Crumb Cake.  A friend had sent me a lovely Taylored Expressions die which I used for part of the greeting:  Peace.  It cut beautifully from the black cardstock and had a star at the end which I covered over with a star cut from glitter paper.  Once I had glued that to the card, I stamped "it's all about" above it.  Then, with layers of the die cut lines and dots from the Detailed Santa thinlits, also cut from black cardstock, I finished off the inside.  (The layers were necessary to hold the easel in place when the card stood open.)

This was a fun card to make, especially using only neutrals.  I hope you'll check out the samples over at the Inkspirational Challenge.

 I'm also entering this card in the Addicted to Stamps and More challenge #268 which is all about Holidays.

PP370 - A White on White Christmas

I love the elegance of white on white.  And this time of the year, with the snow on the ground, winter and Christmas provide lots of inspiration.

For the Paper Players challenge, which is white on white, I decided to use some of the awesome new products in the Stampin' Up! Holiday Catalogue.  Of course, since I've been sorting through the retired products I've decided not to ignore any longer, I found some inspiration as well.

The first thing you'll notice about this card is the wonderful laser die-cut piece which I've used.  That came from an elegant Simply Sent kit called Simply Fabulous.  In fact I built the entire card around this piece.

Isn't it fabulous?  You can just make out the heat embossed musical notes which I stamped using the Sheet Music background stamp using White Embossing powder.

I love the way those boughs look, don't you?

That "peace" is from a retired set but it seemed perfect for the card.

I enjoyed the challenge of keeping to white (although white is not necessarily one colour as I discovered).  Thanks to Nance of the Paper Players for providing the challenge.

I'm also entering this card in the Addicted to Stamps and More Challenge which is all about Holidays.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #145 - Judy's Masculine "Anything Goes" Challenge

I love masculine challenges, don't you?  This one which Judy is hosting comes along at a perfect time.  It's my husband's birthday at the end of this month and now I have his card all ready for the big day.  Bonus!

My husband is not just an avid fly fisherman.  He ties his own flies.  He has books and magazines stacked everywhere and don't get me started on all the bins and boxes and drawers full of product.  Hmmm!  Change that to paper-crafting and I could be describing my own obsession.

I've used a retired Stampin' Up! fly tying stamp set too often.  When I came across a fly-tying/fishing stamp set as I rummaged through the products in a crafting shop, I was ecstatic.  Finally, some new images for his cards.  This set is by Inky Antics.  For my sentiments, however, I turned to two of my Stampin' Up! sets, Birthday Celebration and Guy Greetings.

I began with a base of Soft Suede.  For my next layer I used an image from the Wood Textures Designer Series paper stack.  After cutting it to size, I used my square framelit to cut four "window panes".  Next I stamped the image of the boat at the dock onto a square of Whisper White.  While that dried I took a scrap of Whisper White and stamped the fishing bag and the hat.  Then I coloured all the images using my Stampin' Blends.  I attached the scene behind the "window panes" and then used my Fast Fuze to attach the finished piece to the base.  I fussy cut the fishing bag and hat and mounted them to the card on dimensionals. 

For the banner across the top of the window, I used a piece of Soft Suede and heat embossed the "Congratulations" from the Guy Greetings using White embossing powder.  After attaching that with Dimensionals, I stamped the greeting from the Birthday Delivery set in the lower right corner using black Memento ink.

For the inside of the card I continued the theme but kept it simpler.  I stamped the fishing rod and fish on a piece of Whisper White and decided to keep the colours muted by using my Watercolour pencils.  Then I gave up finding just the right greeting and hand-printed my own, taking the liberty to play with the word fishin'.  After attaching the piece to the inside of the base, my card was done.

I hope you'll check out the wonderful cards created by the other Watercooler Artists at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.  You have until 5 p.m. Mountain Time on Monday, November 20th to link up a card to share with us.