Thursday, 31 August 2017

Looking back to the beginning

Those of you who follow my blog know that I love entering challenges.  It's a fun way to use stamps, products and also stretch oneself and think outside the box.  This week I popped in to the SUO challenge and also to the Inkspirational challenge and couldn't believe my luck.  Both challenges asked for something from the past.

My past with stamping isn't that long ago.  This November I will have been with Stampin' Up! for six years.  Prior to joining I had scrapbooked but had done little or no stamping except in a group workshop or class.  The two or three stamps I bought during that time have since been sold.  I have, however, kept a few Stampin' Up! stamp sets from that first rush of buying.  Since I joined at the beginning of November, I bought the Christmas Post stamp set.  I even made all my Christmas cards that year using the set.  Even though it rarely sees ink any more, I can't bring myself to let it go.

I decided to go all out and create a very vintage Christmas card using this set.  The images just about beg for that, don't they?  To begin, I used a base of the Crumb Cake cardstock.   Along with that I used Early Espresso as my second layer and then embossed and stamped on a layer of Very Vanilla.  Before actually adding those to the base, I used my distressing tool and went to town on the edges and then did some heavy-duty sponging.  With a bit of added splatter thanks to Crumb Cake ink and my Gorgeous Grunge set, I had definitely aged the cardstock.  For the image of the couple skating, I first stamped them, then cut them out using my stitched circle framelit and then softly coloured them using my Aqua Painter and some Cherry Cobbler ink and Old Olive ink.  After that I sponged it with Crumb Cake and added some splatter as well.

I had forgotten just how much fun aging a card can be.

I am entering this card into the SUO Challenges 182  A Blast from the Past.

I am also entering this card into the Inkspirational Challenge 142 Designer's Choice, Oldie but Goldie.

So happy to have been one of the Top Picks at the Inkspirational Challenge.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #134 - Anything Goes Challenge

This week's challenge occurs on the 5th Wednesday of the month and so it's an Anything Goes challenge.  Terrific, right?  Well, I sure thought so since it allowed me to work on something I had saved for a day just like this.

You see earlier in August my daughter and I took her two boys on a road trip to Lethbridge, Alberta.  Her oldest boy has been reading up on all things Japanese and was anxious to see the famous Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens.  Well, it was terrific and one of the items which I brought home was an undecorated fan.  I had some ideas for it and that is exactly what I intended to decorate up for this Anything Goes challenge.

I began by using a large brush and some Soft Sky re-inker mixed with water to put a wash of blue over some of the fan.  I left the edges, top and bottom uncoloured.  I wound up having to put a second wash of colour over the fan since the first coat was virtually "swallowed" up by the paper.

Once it was fully dry, I used my Climbing Orchid set and two sizes of Orchid flowers to stamp across the fan.  I used my Basic Black pigment ink since I wanted to watercolour and the pigment ink is waterproof.  That's when I realized that stamping the flowers would be more of a challenge than anticipated.  For that first Orchid, I wound up using my waterproof journalling pen to add unstamped lines.  After that, I rocked and rolled the stamp and wound up having to do much less "patch" work.  Despite the annoyance of those ribs, the finished, stamped Orchids looked great and I could hardly wait to use my inks and Aqua-painter to begin colouring them.  But I waited to ensure everything was totally dry.

For my colours I turned to the new In-Color, Berry Burst, and its close relative in colour, Rich Razzleberry.  For the small Orchids, I did a colour wash of Rich Razzleberry.  Once that had dried I added more colour with the Berry Burst.  For the larger Orchids, I coloured them entirely with the Berry Burst, shading areas darker with the same colour.  Then I used my Aqua-painter and some Emerald Envy ink to add some free-style leaves.

It took a little while for everything to fully dry.  Once I was satisfied, I proceeded to run the top edge of the fan along my pad of Versamark and then heat embossed it using Copper Embossing powder.  I loved the results and so added more copper.  You'll see some along the "face" of the orchid as well as the top of the large orchid, and, of course the stems of the orchids.  The copper is simply stunning against the fan and the inks.

You'll have noticed the Japanese writing.  That comes from the Artistically Asian set and, apparently, means Faith in God and Friendship.

I hope you'll come over to the Watercooler Wednesday Challenge and check out some of the other wonderful projects created by our Watercooler Artists.  Remember, you have until next Monday, September 4th, at 5 p.m. Mountain Time to link up your own masterpiece.

I've linked my creation up to the "Less is More" Challenge #343 since this week's challenge is to use a real object.

I've also linked up to the Addicted to Stamps and More Challenge #257 since it's all about Making your Mark and this fan is all about painting it with my inks.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #133 - Penny's "All About Christmas" Challenge

I love our "All About Christmas" challenges.   They offer me a perfect opportunity to build up my stash of Christmas cards and, best of all, let me play with some of the wonderful new products from our Holiday Catalogue.  This week's enthusiastic hostess is Penny Hanuszak.

I really saw some wonderful possibilities with the new Night In Bethlehem bundle.  One of those possibilities was to marry it up with the new background stamp from the Annual Catalogue, Sheet Music.

What I envisioned was a three colour background in that music as well as sponged over with colour.  Unfortunately sponging over the dye-based ink in my chosen colours with the same colours of dye-based ink left me with barely a shadow of any sort of image.  And so I tried an experiment.  I inked up the Sheet Music stamp using Oxide inks with Faded Denim at the top, Peeled Paint in the centre, and Vintage Photo at the bottom.  I liked the stamped image and thought the colours were close to my Stampin' Up! colours.  Oxide inks are permanent when fully dried but before I let them dry, I gave the stamped piece a soft spray of water and then let it dry.

If you look closely, the image of the sheet music has some splatters and runny bits.  I thought that added to the vintage look I was after.  I used Marina Mist to sponge the top area, Pear Pizzazz to sponge the middle area and Soft Suede to sponge the bottom area.  Since the Oxide ink has both dye and pigment inks, the image stayed visible enough after some very enthusiastic sponging.

I stamped the first town silhouette using Crumb Cake since I wanted it to look faded.  The town silhouette in the foreground was stamped using Early Espresso to give it a real solid look.  Once I knew the sponged ink was fully dry, I used my embossing buddy on the card and stamped the star and the last line of one of the sentiments from the Night in Bethlehem set using Versamark.  After heat embossing them with Gold Embossing Powder, I turned to the figures of Mary, Joseph and the donkey.  I stamped those using Basic Black and then cut them using the appropriate framelit.  Since I didn't want the stark white against my card, I sponged some Soft Suede around the edges of the figures before attached the piece using the small Dimensionals.

I hope you'll check out the cards created by the Watercooler Artists at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.

I've also added my card to the Jingle Belles Challenge since it fits this fortnight's prompt for a Vintage Look.

And I've also added my card to the Merry Monday Christmas Challenge for their Christmas in July Summer Link-Up.

Last but definitely not least, I've added my card to the Addicted to Stamps and More #256--Anything Goes Challenge.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #132 - Marsha's Masculine "Anything Goes" Challenge

This week's Watercooler Wednesday challenge is hosted by Marsha Reed.  It's a fun Masculine "Anything Goes" challenge and is coming in so handy for me.  I had to make a masculine card and so I was all ready for this challenge.

I decided to use the new Pocketful of Sunshine bundle.  This is perfect for both feminine and masculine cards, especially if you're intending to slip a gift card or money into the card.  Since I was making this for a young man, a nice denim pocket against a woodgrain background seemed perfect.  I decided that the stitching would show up better if I heat embossed it in white.  Since I sponged around the Marine Mist pocket to give it dimension and make parts darker, the white really "popped".  I really liked the look of the Copper Ribbon on the tag as well.

The pocket on the front of the card isn't open.  I used it to hold props such as the birthday tag and the "cool" sunglasses.  On the inside, however, I made sure the pocket was open and ready to receive the gift card on which I had planned.

This was such a fun card to create.  I hope you've enjoyed it and will check out the wonderful cards created by the other Watercooler Artists at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #131 - Kath's "All About Birthdays" Challenge

*Chosen for Top Three in the SUO Challenge----Yay!*

I love celebrating birthdays, don't you?  And making a card for someone's birthday is such a pleasure.  Naturally I'm happy that this week's challenge, hosted by Kath Ricks, is "All About Birthdays".

When I first looked through the new Annual Catalogue, I was drawn to the fun new Birthday Memories Suite.  The stamp set with its matching framelits and that colourful Designer Paper were hard to pass up, especially since there was also some beautiful Stitched Edge Ribbon and Balloon Honeycomb Embellishments.

I decided to make my card in the popular Double Z fold.  I think it shows off the paper and the characters in this set wonderfully well.  To begin, I used a base of Heavy Whisper White.  I followed up with a layer of Lemon Lime Twist and some of the beautiful Designer Paper.

The Fox was the easiest.  There was a framelit that cut him out from the Designer Paper with all the characters.  I didn't even have to stamp him or colour him.  The rest of the gang?  I fussy-cut them all.  By the end I had to take a break.  Using the hand-cut characters, however, really made the wonderful "animal parade" possible.

You can see that I've sponged some grass on a layer of Whisper White in order to give the characters a background to anchor them.  The inks used were a combination of Lemon Lime Twist and Old Olive.

Doesn't that "animal parade" look great?  To finish off I added two of the Balloon Honeycomb Embellishments over the two cut-out balloons.  Can't you imagine a child's face when he or she opens this card?

I hope you'll check out the terrific cards created by the other Watercooler Artists at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.

I've also included my card in the SUO Challenge since it  is also all about birthdays--how handy is that!

Monday, 7 August 2017

PCC254 - Live Life with Zest!

It's been a while since I played along with the Paper Craft Crew.  But then that's why I left the Design Team.  I had so many things going on in my life.  Well, time to have fun and "live life with zest".

When I think of fun in the backyard, I usually think about having some fresh lemonade.  (Spiked or not depends on the occasion).  With this new catalogue's great stamps, creating something that really looks like a glass of lemonade was super easy.  I simply reached for the Lemon Zest set and the Coffee Cafe bundle.  On their own or combined, these are such fun to use.

I had found, among the piles of papers I've gone through lately, some DSP which really caught my eye.  Imagine how thrilled I was to be able to use it with this card.  First, however, I reached for my new Tim Holtz Oxide Inks and played with that DSP a bit.  Using the Fossilized Amber and the Vintage Photo, I managed to make the DSP even better.  How great is that!

I used Heavy Whisper White for my base and then a skinny layer of Basic Grey.  My glass has some shine because I simply had to cover it with some Crystal Effects.

And there you have it, my fun drink for my summer BBQ.  I hope you'll take time to check out the other cards at the Paper Craft Crew Challenge.

I was thrilled to hear that I was among the Top Picks for this challenge.

grab button for Paper Craft Crew Challenges

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Santa Claus is Coming on the "Jingle Belles Challenge"

I love Santa Claus images and all they represent.  For me he is the "spirit of giving" and no matter how he is dressed or shown in the various countries that have his image around the Christmas season, he makes me feel good.

In last year's Stampin' Up! Holiday Catalogue a stunning die was offered but I sat on the fence and hemmed and hawed until too late in the season and wound up buying it right around Christmas.  That bundle has been sitting there, waiting to be used.  As luck would have it, the die set made it into the new Annual Catalogue so all is not lost.  With the challenge over at the Jingle Belles, I finally had an opportunity to take the set out of the package and use it for a card.

I used the Heavy Whisper White for my base.  Then I added a layer of Dapper Denim cardstock so that the die-cut Santa image would "pop".  I love how well he shows up, don't you?  Of course Santa wouldn't be the Santa with whom we have all grown up without that famous list.  I stamped that and, after fussy cutting it, added it to the card along with a heat embossed, stamped sentiment.

I hope you'll check out the other terrific cards over at the Jingle Belles Challenge.

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #130 - Gail's Feminine "Anything Goes" Challenge

Do you know what really makes my heart race and my stress levels rise?  Realising that it's half past midnight and that I haven't written my post for the morning's challenge.  I'm still hyper-ventilating.

This week's challenge is hosted by Gail Allen and is an awesome Femining "Anything Goes" Challenge.  As luck would have it, I needed a sweet and funny and absolutely awesome card for a friend's birthday.

This fun and talented lady love pink and lots of "bling".  She also loves greys and blacks and, as luck would have it, flying pigs.  Can you guess which set I used for the card?  If you didn't guess the new This Little Piggy set then you haven't checked out the Annual Catalogue too closely.  Not only is this set all about pigs, it also includes a flying pig!  

I began with a base of Basic Black so that all the other layers I added to the front of the card would "pop".  Of course, besides the requisite colours, I added several layers of Glimmer paper and also some nice and shiny pink Glimmer Paper hearts.  On top of all these layers and details, I added the image square which I cut from Smoky Slate cardstock using a square stitched die.  I needed something to indicate that this pig didn't just have wings but was flying way up in the sky and so I turned to the new cloud masks and added some to the die-cut square using the new Modelling Paste.  Once those dried, they really looked like puffy clouds.  Love that paste!  I had stamped, coloured and fussy cut the little flying pig image already and was able attach her using Dimensionals.  Doesn't she look as if she's happily flying high up in the clouds?

With a showy front of the card, I needed something inside that was a bit more than just a greeting.  And so I added a special fold and another flying pig.  (One can never have too many flying pigs!)  And, of course, I added some more "bling".

Because the inside of the card was a layer of Smoky Slate on top of the Basic Black base, I added some Whisper White stitched squares over Basic Black mattes for the sentiment as well as for the written greeting.

I hope you've liked my creation and hope you'll check out the cards created by the other Watercooler Artists at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.

I've also entered my card into the "Just Us Girls" Challenge since I've used a mixture of new products and old.