Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #121 - "Anything Goes"

This week's challenge is an "Anything Goes".  I don't know how you react to these challenges, but I love them.  Even so I find my mind going "ping, pong" all over the place, thinking of first one project, then another, and so on.  It takes quite a bit of determination to rein myself in and focus on just one thing.

As usual that's the way I started out for this challenge.  And then I thought that it would be great fun to create something that isn't quite a card and could be a display item for someone I love.  Of course that brought to mind a framed piece.  But I've made a number of those and wanted this project to be different.  And then it came to me.  Why not do the framed piece but create it inside a shadow box frame?  I've been wanting to make one of those shadow box frames forever and this was a perfect opportunity.

Amanda Bates, to my mind, is the "Queen of shadow box frames".  She has included many in her blog posts as well as picture tutorials.   I found her tutorials easy to follow and have discovered that once you've made one, it takes only about five to ten minutes to make subsequent ones.  They really are that easy.  I've also discovered that I can make them in any size.  Basic rule:  whatever your inside measurement (the size of the stamped image piece you intend to frame), you just add five inches either way.  In other words, if you are intending to frame a 4" x 5" piece, you must begin with a piece of cardstock (easiest) or Designer Paper that is 9" x 10".  Once you know that, you can make small, medium or large frames.  Your limitation would be the size of your paper.

I decided to create an image using the new At Home With You bundle combined with the Sitting Here stamp set.  I love both sets and find they really compliment each other.  I also decided that I would back the stamped piece with Whisper White to put a white matte around it as if it had been professionally framed.  My piece, therefore, was 5" x 6 1/4".  The cardstock for my frame would, therefore, have to be 10" x 11 1/4".

I followed all the directions given by Amanda and wound up with a wonderful Early Espresso frame for my stamped piece.  Of course it needed a really striking sentiment to go with it and so I turned to the new Colorful Seasons set and heat embossed one of my favourites using the clear embossing powder over Early Espresso ink.

I hope you've enjoyed my little frame project.  And now it''s time to check out the wonderful creations by the other Watercooler Artists at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.

Since this creation is very masculine in style, I'm linking it up to the SUO challenge this week.

I'm also entering it into the Cardz 4 Guyz Challenge since these are some of my favourite masculine colours.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Colour Throwdown #444 - Thank You

I love simplicity.  As soon as I saw the challenge over at Colour Throwdown, I knew I would enter it.  Simplicity---and, of course, I'm a sucker for Lilies-of-the-Valley.

Beautiful inspirational picture, isn't it?  It caught my eye and my imagination and I immediately began thinking about what would look perfect and yet simple in those colours.

I decided on a simple white background onto which I attached first a leafy swirl of Pear Pizzazz cut using the Swirly Squiggles thinlits and then a Smoky Slate bird cut using the Birds & Blooms thinlits.  I added a bit more interest to the leafy swirl by attaching three tiny die-cut flowers.  Finally, I added a small Pear Pizzazz sentiment from the Thoughtful Banners set.

I hope you'll check out the other great cards at the Color Throwdown this week.

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #120 - Gail's Christmas Challenge

Christmas in May?  Well, maybe not Christmas, but certainly it's a good starting point  for making Christmas cards.  If you're like me, starting early means less pressure closer to the time I'm sending them out.  Having a Christmas challenge as part of our new line-up is definitely going to be exciting (and handy).

Isn't that an adorable image that Gail chose?  I love it!  And so I hunted around for something that gave me the same sort of feeling as this image.  I found it in the Pretty Kitty stamp set and the Hang Your Stocking bundle.  What could be cuter than a kitten peeking out of a Christmas stocking, after all?

I began with a base of  Heavy Whisper White and then added a narrow layer of Real Red and then another layer of Whisper White on which I did my stamping.  I wanted the focal point to be the stocking and the kitten, of course, and so I decided to stamp the cross-hatch background image from the You've Got This stamp set in off-stamped Crumb Cake as my background.  Then I stamped my sentiment partly at the top left corner and partly at the bottom right corner.  That left lots of space for my stocking and kitten.  The stocking was easy since I had the Framelits to cut all the pieces.  The kitten took a bit longer since I had to fussy-cut the image.  But together, the are perfect.

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

I'm also linking this card up to the Christmas Card Challenge, challenge #13.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

The Wacky Watercooler May 2017 Blog Hop - Celebrating the Carry-Overs

The end of a catalogue year isn't entirely sad.  Yes, we're losing a lot of products but there  is a nice, long list of products which carry-over and continue into the new Annual Catalogue.  Some are from the retiring Annual Catalogue, some are from the retired Holiday Catalogue, and others are from the retiring Occasions Catalogue.  This blog hop is our celebration for those products which are continuing and which we are happiest to see continue.  Choosing what I was going to use took more time than creating my projects.  But finally I narrowed down the list of what I planned  to use.  I wonder if my choices are in line with your own.

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 forward in this blog hop, you'll have arrived here from Judy Markowitz blog, a brand new "hopper" from New Mexico whom we are welcoming this month.

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For my first project I've created a masculine card using several of my favourite stamp sets.  At first glance it's clear that I've used images from the One Wild Ride set and the Lovely as a Tree set, but if you look more closely you'll see that my background has been created by using several stamps from the Timeless Textures set.  I used the Soft Sky, Smokey Slate and Crumb Cake inks and stamped those colours in layers.  After they had dried, I added a very light wash of each colour over the stamping to soften the effect and am happy with the results.  There is a suggestion of far-off mountains and an open range which makes a good background for my stamped trees.  Of course I masked the motorcycle to keep the image clear and uncoloured. 

If you look carefully, you'll see the suggestion of shadows coming forward from the trees which I think really helps add depth to the scene.

To add some interest to the inside, I also added some of the images from One Wild Ride.

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My second project is a birthday card which I made for a family friend back in British Columbia.  She loves roses.  She's also turning 70.  The perfect card for this lovely lady is one with the beautiful rose die cut which is part of the Rose Wonder bundle?   I combined one of the brand new In-Colours with one of my favourite continuing In-Colours and added a green.  Surprisingly enough, all the colours really compliment each other beautifully.  What are they?  The brand new Berry Burst, the continuing Sweet Sugarplum, and the classic Old Olive.  I used the Large Numbers Framelits to cut out the "70" and then used Tombo liquid glue to attach everything to the piece of Berry Burst which I had first embossed using the Sparkle embossing folder.

For the inside I decided to use the pretty die-cut hexagonal piece from the Window Box Thinlets dies to cut out a template which I used as a template to add the pattern to the Whisper White.  I sponged on Sweet Sugarplum, Pear Pizzazz, So Saffron, and Peekaboo Peach inks and then stamped my sentiment over the pattern using Basic Black ink.  

I don't usually use a coloured base but for this card I really think that the Pear Pizzazz looks great with the other colours.

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My final project is a take-off on the Double Z fold card which I've made several times.  This time, however, I chose not to have the additional narrow folded cardstock but instead, just went with the basic fold.  I also added a surprise to the card and, seeing how well this one turned out, will probably use this particular fold again in the near future.

I combined the Best Birds bundle with the Sheltering Tree stamp set.  To begin, I watercoloured the background.  Since I had decided to use Shimmery White cardstock for this layer, I knew the watercolouring wouldn't warp the paper.  I began with a strip of Pool Party and then changed to Pear Pizzazz for the lower portion.  To add some texture to the green, I stamped over the watercolouring with the same Pear Pizzazz using a texture from the Touches of Texture set.  I attached the stamped and watercoloured Shimmery White cardstock to a base of Soft Suede cardstock.

When the card it closed it looks as if the birds are right next to each other on neighbouring branches.  The tree in the background has the same pink blossoms stamped among the leaves.

When the card is open, however, you can see the distance between the branches and also that there are actually three blossoming trees in the background.  I just had to add the swing to the centre one.

In this view you can see why there is a piece of the Copper Trim ribbon showing in the other views of the card.  The surprise is that there is a tag inside with a sentiment and upon which one can write a note.

There is enough space in the pocket in which the tag rests to add a gift card as well.  

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And that's it for my projects.  I hope you'll enjoy them as much as I've enjoyed creating them.  

From here you'll be visiting another wonderfully creative stamper, Penny Hanuszak.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #119 - Judy's Masculine "Anything Goes" Challenge

After having had a Feminine challenge and then a Mom theme challenge it's fun to have a chance to make a masculine card.  This week Judy Markowitz is hosting a Masculine "Anything Goes" challenge and it's perfect timing as far as I'm concerned.

You see, my son-in-law's birthday was coming up and so, of course, I needed a card.  He absolutely loves to get away from the stresses of work by going out to a pond, lake, or river and doing some fly-fishing.  Well, I had hunted down and bought the perfect stamp set for that.  Back in 2002 Stampin' Up! released a terrific masculine stamp set named "Fly Fishing".  The images in that set are perfect.  But of course it's a retired set.  No worries.  We don't get to upset about anything like that in our challenge.

I decided to keep it understated.   Instead of using a lot of colours and making it almost like a photograph, I chose to go slightly vintage and water-coloured the fisherman and the surroundings in very muted hues.  Then I created a background of fish and flies on a piece of Bermuda Bay by stamping those images in Versamark and then heat embossing them with clear embossing powder.  Subtle but oh, so effective.

For the base of the card I used Early Espresso followed by a layer of Sahara Sand and then the embossed layer of Bermuda Bay.  I cut the image of the fly fisherman smaller than the actual image with my square framelits and added a narrow layer of Early Espresso.  Then I backed those with a layer of Sahara Sand cut with my square stitched framelit.

For the sentiment, I kept it to a simple "Happy Birthday" stamped in Early Espresso ink on Sahara Sand and cut with my oval framelit.  Then I backed that with Early Espresso cut with an oval stitched framelit.  The reason I kept it simple is this.  I had stamped one of the fancy fly imaged from the stamp set on a piece of Shimmery White cardstock and then carefully water-coloured it.  It looked great but I needed just the fly and so I fussy cut it, hook and all.  It looks great on the card but honestly I'm beginning to think I'm a fussy-cut-oholic.  To keep my sanity, I'll need an intervention.  (Yes, this is my cry for help.)

Well, a card needs to be attractive on the inside, too, right?  So I added a nice large layer of Whisper White to the inside and stamped my greeting.  Again, it's from that stamp set and is perfect with those flies added to the writing.  Just for good measure, I added a small fly image to the top right and then a lightly stamped (Bermuda Bay off-stamped twice) fish for the bottom left corner.  

The fly fisherman's dream card, right?  Well, Adam (my son-in-law) loved it.  So I suppose the fussy-cutting was worth it.

For more masculine cards, check out those made by our Watercooler Artists at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.  And then, feel free to link up your own creation.

I've also linked my card up to the SUO Challenge #174 since it is all about water-colouring.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #118 - Penny's "Mom" Theme Challenge

Mother's Day was a whole lot easier when my Mum was alive.  But we've lost my mother and my husband, Ken's, mother.  Of course the silver lining is that there is still a mother in our family and that is our own daughter.  And so that's what Mother's Day has come to mean to me, at least--celebrating the mother of my two grandsons.  What an amazing job she does of that, too!

With Penny's theme challenge this week being all about "Mom", it was fun rummaging through my stamps to see what I could put together that would make my daughter's card as personal as possible.  My picks were the Beautiful You set combined with the Sitting Here set.  The dog and the cat in the latter set are perfect since my daughter is forever helping out with animal shelters and/or adopting "just one more".  The swing is something she would love to have on her own front porch and the image from Beautiful You is nearly as lovely and elegant as she is.

I decided to make this card a special fold called the side-stage.  It's a fun fold and offers a few levels and more dimension to the card.  I began with a base of Heavy Whisper White and then layered that with Early Espresso and, for the smaller panel, some of the Serene Scenery Designer Paper.  For the larger panel I used a similar design from the Falling in Love Designer Series Paper.

I did a lot of fussy cutting for this card.  Let's just say that the group of flowers behind the cat was not cut out.  Everything else, yes.  The effect is great.  I love the added dimension.  But partway through the fussy cutting I questioned my sanity.

But this was a labour of love.  Who is counting blisters on fingers?

I hope you've enjoyed my Mother's Day card and that you'll check out those created by the other Watercooler Artists at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.  I hope to see your card linked up this week.

I've also added my card to the Just Us Girls Challenge with there theme of "Mother".

And I've added my card to the What Will You Stamp Challenge #WWYS115 since it is all about the Beautiful You stamp set.

NOTE:  For those who have asked about the fold.  This is a simple side-step fold.

With a piece of 8 1/2" x 5 1/2" cardstock, cut  lengthwise 1 inch from the bottom of what will be the front of the card until the 5 1/4" point.  Then use your scoring plate (or cutter if it can score) to score horizontally from the cut to the right margin at the 4 1/2" mark and then score from the top of the cut line to the left margin.  Then score from the bottom of the cut line to the left margin and finally score 1 inch above that score line to the left margin.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

You Amaze Me

I haven't had a lot of time lately to enter many challenges.  One gets busy with life and that's good, too.  But in checking out some of the entries to our current Watercooler Wednesday Challenge, I noticed that a few had also linked to the Simon Says Wednesday Challenge which, this week, is "a hint of pink".

You know how sometimes a title or phrase stays with you and somewhere in the back of your mind you're working on what you would do?  Well, this one was like an ear-worm.  And so I turned to a stamp which I had bought four or so years ago.  It's a Stampendous stamp featuring a ballet dancing frog, complete with tutu.  How could I not use that?

And so a card was born.  I love the result and am happy to be linking it to the Simon Says Wednesday Challenge.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #117 - Heidi's Feminine "Anything Goes" Challenge

Where do I begin?  Oh yes, I'm hosting this challenge.  And guess what!  This is a challenge we've never had before.  Awesome, right?  Time to get the feminine into our "anything goes".  This is just the beginning.  Our whole line-up has changed.  No more sketches and colour challenges.  Just check out the line-up in the right margin of our challenge blog.

But before I get into all the details of this challenge, I want to say good-bye to Heather Hopson who has been an awesome Watercooler Artist for the past few months.  I'm going to miss her cheerful presence as well as her creativeness.

There is more news!  We have two new Watercooler Artists who begin with this challenge.  Terrific, right?  You'll have seen their names under some of the cards linked up to our challenges and now you'll have a better opportunity to get to know their style and creative talents.  Yes, I'm referring to Fiona Whitehead and Judy Markowitz.

And now----showtime!

I'm so happy to be hosting the very first Feminine "Anything Goes" Challenge.  I decided to share the card which I've made especially for my daughter's birthday.  I go all out each year, trying to outdo what I made last time.  It's getting harder and harder.

I turned to the retiring Star Framelits and combined them with that outstandingly feminine set, Beautiful You.  As you know, this set came out in the Occasions Catalogue but guess what!  It's staying with us since it has a place in the new Annual Catalogue.  Sweet!

My daughter loves blues and bling.  That was easy enough since we had that gorgeous Bermuda Bay Glimmer paper during Sale-a-bration.  Combined with the endlessly glittery Dazzling Diamonds Glimmer paper, this card just dazzles.

It's an easel card and so it stands up beautifully, doesn't it?  Those little hearts are up on Dimensionals and keep the fold in place.

But even closed, this card is very pretty (and dazzling).  And it fits right into a square envelope but when you own an envelope punch board, that's no problem.

Besides the Glimmer paper, I also dazzled up that whole star on which I heat embossed the sentiment using white embossing powder.  What did I use?  The Clear Wink of Stella is what gives the lustrous dazzle to that star.

I had such fun making this card.  I hope you enjoyed it.  And now I invite you to check out the wonderful cards created by the other Watercooler Artists over at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.  Hope to see your project linked up to the challenge this week.

I've also added this card to the SUO  #173 - All That's Feminine challenge.