Wednesday 29 March 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #112 - "Anything Goes"

Oh, what fun!  I love an "anything goes" challenge, don't you?  It's a chance to call all the shots---make what you want---no holds barred.

As it happened, I had promised to make a birthday card for a sweet little lady who loves flowers and all sorts of girly things.  After just finishing a masculine challenge, this was a happy change and promised to be fun.

You'll forgive me if I neglect to list the products I've used.  The thing is that I'm not at home and did not remember to make a list (or bring any catalogues to look up products) and so I'm just going to let the photos shine on their own.  I can say that I've used a base of Soft Sky and have kept primarily to Very Vanilla, Blushing Bride and Sweet Sugarplum.  I've also used that gorgeous (but, alas, retired) Sale-a-bration Sugar Plum Glimmer paper.  If you were one of the lucky ones that managed to get some, you'll know what I mean.  It is such a great colour.

My card is a Double-Z fold and the centre acts as a type of "card in a box".  You'll see what I mean.  And so, we begin with the front of the card, all folded and ready to slip into a medium sized envelope.

As the card opens, you can see there are three sections.

The front panel

The centre "card in a box"

And the final panel.

But with this card I think you'll agree that it is all the parts together that make an outstanding "whole".

The card opened up.

I hope you enjoyed my card.  Next I hope you'll check out the creations by the other Watercooler Artists at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.  And then please link up your own creation for our enjoyment.

Wednesday 22 March 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #111 - Marsha's Masculine "Anything Goes" Challenge

I love masculine challenges and when, as Marsha's challenge happens to be, it is also an "anything goes" challenge, I'm over the moon.

What a perfect time for me to use one of my favourite stamp sets, In the Meadow.  Combined with the beautiful background of one of the Serene Scenery Specialty Designer Paper stack images, the card almost made itself.

Isn't it great?  Of course I could say a lot more about it but my laptop locked up on me and I'm on borrowed time on someone else's computer.  This has been quite the experience getting this far already.  I invite you to check out the wonderful creations by the other Watercooler Artists at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.  And then, feel free to link up your own masculine card for us to enjoy as well.

Monday 20 March 2017

Happy Spring! Let the white stuff be gone!

When I was growing up Spring was considered to begin on March 21st.  My mother-in-law loved knowing that she was born on the first day of Spring.  Well, they've done away with that and now we play by the rules of the cosmos.  The beginning of Spring varies a day in either direction.  And so, today is the beginning of Spring.  Yay!

All I need is a magic wand to make all that silly white stuff disappear.  Growing up in Victoria, I expected to see fields of daffodils as well as countless crocuses by this time of the year.  Robins?  Yes, they might be considered the harbingers of Spring, but for me it was the spring flowers.  What a perfect end to the dormant season and the beginning of new life all around us.

I have to say that when the Wondrous Wreath bundle was introduced, I loved the beauty of the wreath as well as the convenience of not having to fussy-cut it.  Well, when the Circle of Spring stamp set came out, I was even happier.  Not only did that continue the awesome Christmas wreath but it also introduced a gorgeous Spring wreath full of blooms.  And both could be cut using the Wonderful Wreath framelits.  Bonus!

That's what I've used today.  I made a pretty, clean and simple card using the Circle of Spring stamp set combined with the Wonderful Wreath framelits.  Just looking at it makes me happy despite the continuing blanket of white outside.

My base cardstock is the Heavy Whisper White.  I added a layer of Sweet Sugarplum and then another layer of "normal" Whisper White.  You'll notice that I've rounded the top left and the bottom right corners.  While I only stamped the pretty floral wreath and coloured it, I used the bow framelit from the Wonderful Wreath set to cut out a ribbon from the gorgeous Sale-a-bration Sweet Sugarplum Glimmer paper.

After adding a few pearls, I knew the card was done.  I hope you enjoy it.  Happy soon-to-be-Easter and Happy Spring!

Thursday 16 March 2017

The Wacky Watercooler March Blog Hop -- All about Sale-a-bration!

It's March and at the end of this month one of my favourite Stampin' Up! sales of the year ends.  What is it, you ask?  It's Sale-a-bration, of course.  Love, love, love those freebies you can get when you make a qualifying purchase.  In fact, this blog hop is all about showing off those free products in our projects.  Are you ready?  Be prepared to add a  few things to your wish list!

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 Sheri Lee's post.  

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For my first project I decided to use the gorgeous Avant Garden stamp set.  This set is all about flowers, leaves and sentiments.  A great combination and useful for so many types of cards.  I decided to create a Thank You card.  I'm finding that I have need of those more often than other types.  There is, after all, so much for which to be thankful and so many people to thank.

I kept my card relatively simple, using only four colours:  Whisper White, Pacific Point, Soft Suede and Mint Macaron.  My base if Whisper White.  Next comes a layer of Pacific Point.  Then I added some subtle texture and interest  by choosing a pattern from the Irresistibly Floral Specialty Designer series paper.  What I love about that paper is that it appears to be heat embossed so it's great for emboss-resist creations.  For this card, however, I just enjoyed the subtle pattern and used it to space the image from the Avant Garden set which I stamped using Soft Suede.

I used my Aqua Painter to colour in the flowers once I had stamped them using the Basic Black archival ink.  And, finally, I finished it off with a few loops of Copper Metallic thread under the sentiment.

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My second project is all about colouring.  That's become a popular pastime for adults during the last few years.  Well, for Sale-a-bration Stampin' Up! added a supply of their own colouring pages.  You get 12 sheets of four designs.  I've had fun using them as backgrounds or as the feature of my cards.  For this card I used the paper in conjunction with another Sale-a-bration offering:  the gorgeous Glimmer Paper in three colours.  I'm not sure which I like best.  For this card I turned to the Bermuda Bay and the Sweet Sugarplum.

This card really celebrates colour.  I've used three of the 2016-18 In-Colors for the blossoms (Sweet Sugarplum of course, Peekaboo Peach and Flirty Flamingo).  The centres of the flowers are Daffodil Delight with a layer  of  the gold Wink of Stella added.  Two of the flowers are coloured with the Bermuda Bay ink to tie in with the Glimmer paper.  And then I've used a variety of greens for the leaves and stems:  Old Olive, Pear Pizzaz, Wild Wasabi and Always Artichoke.  And then, for a subtle green background, I used the new Watercolor Pencils.

I really like the offset Glimmer paper behind just a portion of the Designer paper, don't you?  Leaving the other portion against the base of Basic Black makes that side pop as well.  

* * * * * * * * * * 

For my third and final project I went wild with the Hey Chick stamp set--the first product from the Sale-a-bration brochure which caught my eye.  Those chickens and the egg are simply priceless, aren't they?

To make the fullest use of those chickens and to make a really fun Birthday card for a member of the extended family, I decided to make this card a special fold.  Now I've heard this style of card called the Z fold, the Double-Z fold, and the Banded Z fold.  I really don't care.  In this case as in many others, what's in a name?  It winds up being the same card and I love how versatile it can be.

My base is Tip Top Taupe because it's nice and neutral.  The next layer is Early Espresso, taken from the colours in the Designer Paper which is from the Cupcakes and Carousels Designer paper stack.  Actually the colours in the Designer paper inspired most of the colour choices for the card.  As well as the Hey Chick stamp set, I used the Balloon Adventures set and also the Labeler Alphabet set.  Since birthdays are meant to be full of sparkle and fun, I also used some Red Glimmer paper, some Gold Glimmer paper and some of the Sale-a-bration Bermuda Bay Glimmer paper.  All additional sparkle was added with the Wink of Stella.  This card just catches the light!

This is the card totally folded up and ready to be slipped into a medium (4 3/8" x 5 3/4") envelope.  

I treated the centre section as I would the "card in a box" fold, sectioning it off so that the balloons could be layered and create more of a 3-D feel.  I could have added more detail, but remember, this has to be mailed.  More detail equals much more money in stamps.

This little guy simply shines with the brilliance of the Wink of Stella which enhances his feathers.

In this case the egg has some Wink of Stella and the rainbow-coloured "hair" and tail are brilliant with Wink of Stella.

I had so much fun creating this card.  I hope the recipient enjoys it as much.

* * * * * * * * * * 

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, Marsha Reed.

Wednesday 15 March 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #110 - A Clean & Simple Easter Bunny

I love Easter and Easter Bunnies are simply adorable.  Whether they're the real, wiggly nosed type or the yummy chocolate type, I love them all.  So you can imagine how happy I was when Heather Hopson decided to make her challenge all about Easter Bunnies.  Of course it has to be Clean & Simple, too, but that just makes it more of a challenge.

I wish I had a stamp as cute as those bunnies in Heather's picture.  Actually, hunting around my room, I quickly discovered that I don't have any bunny stamps at the moment.  I know I wanted to get rid of retired stamps, but purging all my bunnies?  In retrospect, I think that wasn't one of my best decisions.

But where there's a will, there's a way.  We're fine with die-cuts now and punch art is really just a bunch of die-cuts, right?  So I manufactured my bunny using, of all things, my Cookie Cutter punch.  I also used a few others, like my small oval and some circles, but you can see that in my card.  For my background I stamped some of the long grasses from the High Tide set using the Emerald Envy ink.  And then, just to separate the white layer from the white base, I sponged some of the same green around the perimeter of that layer, too.

The googly eyes?  Retired, yes, but oh so very cute.  I couldn't resist.

I hope you'll check out the wonderful creations by the other Watercooler Artists at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge and then link up your own cute Easter Bunny for us to enjoy.

Wednesday 8 March 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #109 - Brighter Days

This week I am hosting the colour challenge and I have to share how I discovered my colours.  I have a scarf which I particularly enjoy wearing and, when I took it out of the wash I thought to myself "these colours are amazing together".  And so I took a picture of a section of the scarf.  Wouldn't you know it!  The colours corresponded perfectly to our Stampin' Up! colours.  And so my challenge was born.

Aren't the colours gorgeous?  I had such fun using them for this week's card.  Of course I'm feeling unwell at the moment, but hopefully I will be able to get into more detail regarding the products I've used at another time.

I hope you'll check out the wonderful cards created by the other Watercooler Artists at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge and then link up your own creation for us to enjoy.

Wednesday 1 March 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #108 - Congratulations

Sketch challenges really make me think.  It's easy to create a card but keeping to the sketch takes a bit more planning.  The diagonal lines in Gail Allen's sketch challenge this week really made me sit back and consider how I could use my stamps and Designer Paper.  But it's that extra bit of thinking and planning that I believe helps me to think outside the box and become more creative.

I had just gotten the gorgeous Dragonfly Dreams bundle before our blog hop and so I was determined to use it for this challenge.  I thought it would be perfectly partnered with one of the beautiful images from the Serene Scenery Designer Series stack.  The greens and yellows with the bokeh just begged to be used.  I had a number of ideas for using a shape upon which a dragonfly would perch but in the end decided to swap out the small rectangle in the sketch for the "flight of dragonflies".  I think it works perfectly for the design.  That gave me the area above the diagonal line and also the "rectangle".  For the lower portion I must have changed my mind half a dozen times.  Finally I decided to use the Old Olive cardstock which I first embossed using the Seaside embossing folder.  Used vertically I think it looks just like grasses, especially since I sponged over the raised lines with Old Olive ink.

My "flight of dragonflies" took a while.  Instead of just using the die cut as it was, I decided to cut a second one and used the negative bits to fill out the spaces in the first die cut.  And so I wound up with the outlines of the dragonflies in the new Sale-a-bration Bermuda Bay Glimmer Paper with the wings filled in with our beautiful Gold Glimmer Paper.  Don't they look wonderful together?  And the sparkle!  Simply breathtaking.

I hope you enjoyed my creation.  You'll have to drop by the Watercooler Wednesday Challenge and check out the wonderful creations by the Watercooler Artists.  And then I invite you to link up your own card for us to enjoy.  Remember, you have until Monday, March 6th.