Saturday 30 September 2017

Merry Monday #258 - Chase the Snowflakes

According to the weather networks, Monday is supposed to bring us some white stuff.  I'm not ready for it.  I'm all for Fall and crunchy leaves and pretty yellow and orange vistas.  I love hearing the Canada geese overhead, honking out maneuvers for the young, untried additions to their ranks.  I love the warmth of the Fall sunshine with its hint of frost overnight.  I'm not ready for winter or anything that hints of winter.  I am hoping the weather networks are wrong.

Don't begin to think that this means I'm one of those "Bah, humbug!" types who eschews Christmas.  Far from it.  I love everything about Christmas.  And, appropriately, at Christmas snow belongs on the ground.  It is the magic blanket which hides all the dead grass and makes the landscape pretty again.  But Christmas is almost three months away.

A few years back I found the sweetest stamp set by Stampendous.  It featured a group of penguins who clearly love the snow and everything about it.  They're total winter "people".  I loved the image and also the sentiments and so had to buy it, of course.  The challenge at Merry Monday this week is perfect for my little stamp set and I was thrilled to be able to haul it out and use it.

I may not be ready for snow yet but the sentiment, "Take time to chase snowflakes" is something I embrace each year.  I make sure I get out there to enjoy the snow with my grandsons and also with my daughter since both of us love to go cross-country skiing.  I kept the card simple, making the image and that sentiment the primary focal points.  Oh, of course, I added some bling, not only in the form of rhinestones, but also in the form of the Wink of Stella which you can just see under the sleigh and also in the pom-poms of the toques which the penguins are wearing.

You can see why I'd want to use this image for the challenge, right?  It's not everyday that one has the perfect stamp right there.

This is entered in the Merry Monday Challenge #258.


I've also entered my card in the Christmas Card Challenges CCC22.

Thursday 28 September 2017

Crafty Catz #385 - Happy Birthday

Since I realized that I had yet another birthday card to make, it seemed logical to add it to the Crafty Catz challenge as well.  After all, there is no such thing as wishing a person (or a challenge) a happy birthday too often.

For this card I used primarily the Designer paper and images from the Birthday Delivery suite.  Since the little girl holding the cupcakes is wearing Pacific Point blue, I decided to use that cardstock for my base.  The reverse of that piece of Designer paper is Real Red with line-drawn images of balloons, presents and, of course, birthday cakes.  That became my next layer.  Then I added a Blushing Bride die-cut embossed with little floating hearts.  Perfect for a birthday!  The oval cut with the little girl and cupcakes fit perfectly onto that shape.

From another piece of Designer paper, I die-cut one of the gorgeous birthday cakes and added that to the card.  Why stop at cupcakes, after all?  With a Happy Birthday banner added, stamped with Real Red and Pacific Point to match, my card was complete.

I wish the Crafty Catz Challenge a very Happy 8th Birthday.

Wednesday 27 September 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #138 - Marsha's "All About Christmas" Challenge

I heard on the radio earlier this week that we only have three months before Christmas.  I'm not worried about shopping.  I do some of my best shopping at the last minute.  What I can't leave until the last minute is getting my Christmas cards together.  Thank goodness for challenges like Marsha's "All About Christmas" this week.  I'm getting quite a bundle together.

Of course I've been getting some new Christmas sets from the Holiday Catalogue.  For this card I went all out and combined two of my new sets.  For the lower half I used the elegant Swirly Snowflakes Thinlits dies and then for the upper half I used the Hearts Come Home bundle.

I had to do some layering with those snowflakes.  To the white snowflake base I added  the larger simple snowflake cut from Silver Foil and then I added the smaller simple snowflake cut from Pool Party to match my base.  Doesn't that show up beautifully against the deep blue of the Night of Navy?
Above the die-cut snowflake border I added a border of tiny die-cut dots and then, about a half inch above that, added another border of tiny die-cut dots.  That would be for my sentiment.

At the top of the white cardstock I used the Hometown Greetings Edgelit dies to cut the slope with houses, trees and the snowman.  At the door of each house I added a small die-cut Silver Foil heart to reflect the sentiment.

As I said, my base for the card is Pool Party.  Then I added a layer of Silver Foil and a layer of Night of Navy.  To that I attached the white die-cut piece with the houses and snowflakes.  I used the Hearts Come Home stamp set for my sentiment which I stamped on a scrap piece of Whisper White using Night of Navy ink.  Then I cut the scrap piece apart and used the narrow "All hearts come" on the left side and the "For Christmas" on the right side, leaving the centre empty so that I could stamp the "home" directly between them.

Finally I added a rhinestone in the centre of the "o" of "home" and also in the centre of each snowflake.  It wound up being such a glittery card.

For the inside of the card I kept it simple.  I added a piece of Whisper White to the Pool Party base and then stamped my sentiment (from the retired Wondrous Wreath set) using Night of Navy ink.  Along the bottom border, I stamped the houses and trees from the Hearts Come Home set using Pool Party ink.

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

Because the SUO Challenge is all about using one's favourite dies, I decided to enter my card into their challenge.  I see many, many more projects using these beautiful dies.

I also decided to enter my card into the "Anything Goes" challenge at Addicted to Stamps and More.

Tuesday 26 September 2017

Happy 8th Birthday, Crafty Catz #385

So excited to have been a winner!

A lot of challenges come and go.  All the more reason to celebrate a challenge which has been going strong for 8 years.  And to celebrate, I thought I'd make a special birthday card.

A couple of years ago I bought a crafting magazine which happened to come with a stamp set and a little booklet of patterned paper.  I believe I've used the stamp set once but this will be the first time I actually cut and use the paper.  Why now?  Because it has the perfect pattern to go with the adorable kitty from the Pretty Kitty stamp set which I chose for this card.  It works both ways.  While the paper is perfect for the image I'm using, the colours in the paper are going to lead my choices in inks and cardstocks.

My base is the Heavy Whisper White followed by a layer of Melon Mambo and then the pretty patterned paper.  After stamping the image I cut it out using a stitched round framelit and then made a matte for it with a piece of Melon Mambo.

I coloured the kitten, the pot, and the flowers using my Aqua Painter and the following inks:  Old Olive, Pear Pizzazz, Marina Mist, Daffodil Delight, Melon Mambo and Pumpkin Pie.

And there we have it.  Happy Birthday to you at Crafty Catz.  Hopefully there are many more.

Monday 25 September 2017

Simplicity and elegance

I love all sorts of techniques and styles of cards.  Every once in a while I like to go back to the basics and simply stamp.  My favourite, when I'm in this mood, is to keep it clean and simple.  To me that means having a great deal of lovely, open space so that the focal point, the image which I wish to spotlight, takes all one's attention.

Orchids, by their very nature, command a lot of attention.  They are not a shy and retiring flower.  For them it's the spotlight every time.  What better image, then, for my clean and simple card, than the orchid?

On a piece of Watercolour paper I stamped my orchid three times, the third time, having masked the second orchid so that the third appears to be slightly behind that bloom.  I used Fresh Fig ink for each image.  It's a good, strong colour and is common to many orchids.  Once the ink had dried I used my Powder Pink marker to colour in the centre of the orchid petals, leaving the outside portion white.  For the very centre of the orchid I first coloured it in using Crushed Curry and then went over that with my Wink of Stella.  I added sections of stem freehand using Soft Suede and then added some Old Olive.

For my sentiment I turned to Soft Suede and then added Crushed Curry freehand.

My inspiration for this card came from three challenges.  First I followed sketch 21 from "Less is More" #347

The images are from Addicted to CAS #120 which called for florals

And finally the sentiment is from Inspirational Challenge #144 which is all about "hello"

Sunday 24 September 2017

Inkspirational #144 - Hello Fall

This is such a pretty time of the year--or at least it would be if it would just dry up and let me enjoy the colours.  I had hopes to get out to do some photography earlier today when it was pretty with puffy clouds and sunshine.  But sometimes in between finishing chores and getting ready, the weather did a complete turn-about and the sky became grey and the rain began to fall.  But the falling rain is NOT why I called this post Hello Fall.

We don't get the heart-stopping show of colours that the East gets.  Still, the vivid yellows and occasional oranges we do get are sensational, especially when reflected in a lake or pond.   I still hope to get a chance at photos before all those leaves dull and fall.

In the meantime I've been playing with Glossy cardstock and a few of my inks.  This time they're all Stampin' Up! inks, namely Olive Green, Cajun Craze, Crushed Curry and some Soft Suede.  I covered the Glossy paper with a light wash of Olive Green and let that dry.  Then I took some ink mixed with a bit of water and splattered it over the Glossy paper.  I repeated that with all the aforementioned colours, allowing each to dry in between, and wound up with what would become my leaves.

I began with a base of Heavy Whisper White.  Then I added another layer backed with a narrow matte of Olive Green and finally another layer backed with a narrow matte of Cajun Craze.  I wanted the interest in the background without adding embossing or stamping.  After using the Seasonal Layers Thinlits to cut a branch from a piece of Soft Suede and attaching that to the card, I cut three "hello's" from pieces of Crushed Curry, Old Olive and Cajun Craze with a retired thinlit.  I glued those together, layering them to show a border of colour on each side and then attached the sentiment to the card.  Then  I took the tiny maple leaf thinlit from the Seasonal Layers set and proceeded to cut leaves from the coloured and splattered Glossy paper.

After adding the leaves to the branch and also randomly to the empty areas, I added the "FALL" to the sentiment as well as used my Cajun Craze marker to ink in the "hollows" that were not in the "hello" die-cut.

I hope you'll check out the cards at the Inkspirational Challenge.  This week's theme is all about "Hello".

Saturday 23 September 2017

{PIN}spirational Challenge #199 - For the Love of Giraffes

 Thrilled to be among the top 3.
Top 3 Badge!

Some years back I discovered the famous photograph "The Kiss", of Misha and Makulu, the mother and child Rothschild Giraffes who took the world by storm back in 1990 when Makulu was born.  Much like Tajiri's birth in April 2017.  I have a large reproduction of that photograph in my home and was delighted to discover that the Local King Rubber Stamp company had created a set of stamps of my favourite giraffes, called Love Reaches New Heights.  And now I've discovered this challenge which gives me an excuse to use my stamps again.  Sweet!

I kept the colours simple and reasonably neutral to make sure that the focus would be on that sweet giraffe's face.  What can I say?  The image simply makes me smile.

I'll be giving this card to my sister who hasn't been feeling very well.  She love giraffes, too, and will love this adorable face.

I hope you'll check out the {Pin}spirational Challenge blog for this challenge.  The design team has created some adorable samples.

Tajiri with Allysa

Thursday 21 September 2017

JOS #006 - Amazing You!

There are times when I buy a stamp set for purely sentimental reasons.  Such a purchase was the Talented Trio set.  My daughter was a competitive figure-skater while growing up.  I remember many, many miles travelled to get to competitions and testing days.  Of course all that driving was done in the dead of winter and through some of British Columbia's more challenging mountain passes.  She doesn't skate much any longer and has lost her double and triple jumps through lack of practise but she is still a joy to behold on ice.  How then could I pass up buying the Talented Trio set?  It's retired now but I will forever love it.  How serendipitous that the new challenge at the Joy of Sets is all about the "T's".

For a change in pace I chose to do one of the "watercolouring without the lines" techniques for my card.  By stamping the lines using the colours with which I planned to watercolour, the lines would disappear.  Magic---well, almost!

I had fun mixing the current inks with the current cardstocks and then adding in some retired products.  The primary one, of course, is the stamp set.  Then, too, the designer paper has retired but is perfect since every movement my daughter makes on ice brings music to my inner ears.  I also stamped in some snowflakes thanks to the retired Happy Scenes set.

Primary Stamp Set:  Talented Trio
Colours:  Tempting Turquoise, Emerald Envy, Soft Suede, Very Vanilla, Blushing Bride

I hope you'll check out the other creations at the Joy of Sets Challenge.

I've also entered my card in the Jingle Belles Challenge for their fun Tic-Tac-Toe game.

And finally I've entered my card into the SIP Challenge #117 which is all about Watercolouring.

Wednesday 20 September 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #137 - Penny's Masculine "Anything Goes" Challenge

It's time for Penny's Masculine "Anything Goes" Challenge.  I love these masculine challenges!  I have more men in my extended family than women (and that includes the young ones).

I have to make a confession about this card.  For a change I didn't make it for anyone in the family or even for a friend.  I came across this old, retired stamp set at a garage sale and fell in love.  I think it came out sometime around 2008 and is called "For Father".  The sentiment confirms that it came out as a Father's Day set but the images are timeless and good for any occasion.  The image which I've used simply asked to be made into a card.  Who can say "no" to this adorable little pup?

Actually I used another retired set in creating my background.  The Daring Adventure set provided the shoe-prints while the cuttent Foxy Friends set provided the paw-prints.  I also added a bunch of splatter and rings from the Timeless Textures set.  All that stamping was done on a piece of Very Vanilla using Smoky Slate and Crumb Cake inks.

But the main event on the card is that pup.  That woebegone expression simply begged for the "Missing You" sentiment from the Thoughtful Banners set.  I kept the colours neutral and continued those neutrals for my Crumb Cake base and the Early Espresso and Very Vanilla layers.

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

I've also entered my card into the Retro Rubber Challenge #71 since it's an "Anything Goes".

I've also entered it into the Use Your Stuff Challenge #280 since it's all about pets.

Tuesday 19 September 2017

Playing with my food!

When I was little I remember being told time and again not to play with my food.  Then came adulthood and I remember telling my daughter time and again not to play with her food.  Well no one is getting after me any longer and I don't have to be a role model for my daughter any longer.  Time to begin playing with my food again.

If you've been following my Instagram account or read my personal Facebook page, you know how exciting this year has been for me since I've been growing a few vegetables in my little (very little) garden.  A few of those vegetables have been beets and yesterday I pulled a few and cooked them in their skins.  Once I could insert a knife point into them I poured off the water and commenced pulling off the skins.  I had quite the pile and was about to toss them in the garbage when the thought passed through my head that they would make the prettiest colour of ink.  Dangerous thought.  Of course I had to act on it.

So I grabbed a couple of small pieces of Glossy cardstock and "smooshed" some peelings onto them.  Once dry, the resulting colour was every bit as wonderful as I had imagined and the designs on the Glossy cardstock reminded me of the designs I have gotten from the Distress Oxide inks.  Of course that led to another brilliant idea.  I took my Broken China Oxide ink pad, smooshed it onto a piece of plastic, added a light spray of water and proceeded to add some to the Glossy cardstock.  I absolutely loved the results after using my heat gun to get everything dried.  Adding a few splattered droplets of Fossilized Amber Oxide ink, I dried the pieces and put them aside.

Today I used one of the pieces.  Like I said, they were small pieces of Glossy cardstock so I wanted an image that was in keeping with the size.  The Artistically Asian was perfect and so I stamped the bamboo image as well as the Asian characters onto the piece using Basic Black pigment ink.  That took a while to dry.  In the meantime I pulled out some colours of cardstock to compliment the colours on the Glossy cardstock and wound up with the new In-Color Berry Burst and one of the Bright family, Bermuda Bay.  For my base I turned to the Heavy Very Vanilla and as a matte around the Glossy cardstock, I used Basic Black cardstock.

After assembling the card, I heat embossed the sentiment from the Dragonfly Dreams set at the bottom using White embossing powder.

I'm entering this card into the Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge.

I'm also entering it into the Simon Says Wednesday Challenge.

Sunday 17 September 2017

Inkspirational #143 - Live, Laugh, Love

Hurrah my card made it into the Top Picks!

I've been playing with Distress Oxide inks lately.  The combinations are never-ending as are the incredible patterns.  Sometimes I pull out the bright colours and sometimes it's the more subtle, neutral tones which appeal.  Well, I had been playing with the more neutral Fossilized Amber, Peeled Paint and Vintage Photo with some awesome results.  I put the pieces of Glossy paper with which I had played, thinking they would be good for a future project.  Little did I know that the future project would come along so quickly.

Having visited the Inkspirational Challenge, I saw that my card from a couple of weeks ago had been among the Top Picks.  After doing a short but sincere "happy dance", I looked at their current challenge and immediately thought of those designs on my Glossy paper.

I also immediately thought of one of my favourite stamp sets, Beautiful You.  And so I went to work.  Because of the colours in my freestyle design, I chose the retired Baked Brown Sugar cardstock as my base.  I followed that up with a thin layer of So Saffron and then added another thin layer of Basic Black.  Those colours were perfect as the "frame" around the Glossy paper design.

I wanted musical notes on my paper but I wanted them to be very subtle.  And so I took the Sheet Music background stamp and just inked a centre portion using the Fossilized Amber.  After stamping that on the Glossy paper, I decided not to use my heat gun on it or even let it dry completely.  Instead, I used a Kleenex to wipe the stamped musical notes from the paper.  The result was a definite but subtle image of the notes in a slightly amber tone.

Following that, I stamped the image of the dancing lady using Basic Black pigment ink.  It showed up beautifully against the design on the paper.  I also stamped the sentiment from the same set, using the same ink, in the lower right corner.  

I hope you'll check out the other great designs at the Inkspirational Challenge.  

Wednesday 13 September 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #136 - Gail's "All About Birthdays" Challenge

It's Gail Allen's turn to host at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge this week and her challenge is "All About Birthdays".  Such fun!  I love creating birthday cards and this leaves it open for any style at all.

In creating my card, I had so many different ideas that in the end it just grew like "Topsy".  I tried a couple of different techniques, used some brand new Designer Paper, and decided to make it a Gate-Fold design.  The finished results?  I'll leave that judgement up to you.

I began with a 4 1/4" x 11" piece of the Heavy Very Vanilla cardstock, making score lines at 2 3/4" and 8 1/4".  To each side of the front I added  a layer of Early Espresso and then a layer of the Painted Autumn Designer Series paper.  (Don't those sun flowers look bright and cheery?)

For the overlap, to close the gate-fold, I first cut a layer of Early Espresso with the largest of my Stitched Circle framelits.  Then I cut a layer of Soft Sky using the next size down.  To give the illusion of ripples and also to pull all the colours together, I cut a piece of the leafy swirl from the Garden Green cardstock and from the Lemon Lime Twist cardstock using the Swirly Scribbles thinlets.  Once I overlapped them and attached the four die-cuts together, I had a great place for my dragonfly to land.

Now let's talk about my dragonfly.  That was the result of a whole lot of experimenting and playing around.  First of all I had been trying out some Oxide inks on Whisper White.  I thought the results were very similar to some of the background portions of the DSP and so used the Detailed Dragonfly thinlets to cuts out a dragonfly.  I had also been oohing and aahing over the wonderful hot glue/metallic embossing which I saw on some Pinterest samples and so decided to try that out for my dragonfly's body.  First I ran hot glue along the body, trying to keep the amount of hot glue controlled to create the correct form.  While that was still warm, I sprinkled it with Silver Embossing powder, which stuck nicely to the warm glue.  Then I used my heat gun to completely melt that embossing powder and wound up with what looks like a real metal, 3-D dragonfly body.  I was totally stoked!

To finish off the wings, I sponged around the perimeter using Crushed Curry ink and then stamped the wings with Versamark using the lacy image from the Touches of Texture set and heat embossed that with Silver Embossing powder.

For the inside of the card I kept to the dragonfly theme.  I had created a background using several of my SU! inks and trying out the salt technique.  I wan't happy with it but put it aside "just in case".  Well it worked perfectly for this card.  I began by adding a layer of Early Espresso to my card and then added the background layer.  To that I added circles cut from Whisper White and Garden Green cardstocks using the various sizes of my Stitched Circle framelits.  After stamping my sentiments on the circles, I added silver foil dragonflies and hearts.

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

I've also entered my card into the Global Design Project 104.  Having used the sketch but changed it to a gate-fold, I think it still meets the criteria.

Wednesday 6 September 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #135 - Judy's Feminine "Anything Goes" Challenge

This week's challenge at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge is hosted by Judy Markowitz and has a Feminine "Anything Goes" theme.

This challenge gave me another chance to pull out my Oh So Eclectic bundle and put together a cute Thank You card.  I began with a base of the Heavy Whisper White.  Then I pulled out a piece of Pear Pizzazz which I had "wet" embossed using the beautiful Layered Leaves 3D Dynamic Textured Empressions Embossing folder (try saying that name quickly).  I had embossed two pieces of Pear Pizzazz some weeks back.  One, I had run through the Big Shot dry.  The other, I had run through the Big Shot after liberally spritzing the cardstock with water.  Both embossed beautifully but the one which I had spritzed did emboss more deeply and, actually, had slight colour changes around the leaves.  What I really liked was that the embossed leaves looked so similar to the leaf image in the stamp set (which also had a matching framelit, of course).  So I stamped two leaf images on Pear Pizzazz paper and cut them out with the die.

I also stamped two of the "profile view" flower images on Whisper White paper using Berry Blast ink for the petals and Pear Pizzazz ink for the stem.  Once that had properly dried, I used my Aqua Painter and more Berry Blast ink to partially colour the petals.  Then I cut those out with the matching die and moved on.  My next image was the full face flower which I stamped on Whisper White using the Fresh Fig ink.  Once that had properly dried, I used my Aqua Painter to colour it using Fresh Fig ink.  For the centre I used Crushed Curry.

Finally, I used the patterned lattice die to cut the embossed piece.  Rather than having the Whisper White show through, I took a piece of Glossy cardstock and used my Aqua Painter to add a wash of Crushed Curry.  I had intended to attach all the die-cut pieces around the lattice cut but realized I needed a greeting.  I found one I really liked in the Rose Wonder stamp set and stamped it on a piece of Whisper White using Berry Blast ink.  After cutting it into a banner, I attached it to a piece of Berry Blast cardstock and fussy cut a border around the original banner.  Once that was finished, assembly began and with the help of some Tombo glue and some Dimensionals, the card took shape.

I hope you like the way it turned out.  Oh, the centre of the flower?  I wanted it to pop and it just didn't with the inked colouring and so I added some Versamark to the centre and heat embossed it in Gold Embossing Powder.  I like it so much better this way, don't you?

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

I've also linked up this card for the weathered florals theme on the Card Concept Challenge #77.

Tuesday 5 September 2017

Happy Birthday --- Seize the Birthday Challenge

For the Seize the Birthday Challenge there is always a choice.  One can choose their suggestion which they call "the toppings" or one can choose to go one's own way and create an "anything goes" card.  The only hitch either way is that it has to be a birthday card.

 Our "Toppings" option this time is...
"Ocean Colors"
(Blue, Green and or Aqua)

I had been wanting an excuse to play with a few of the Distress Oxide inks which I had managed to find and buy.  Among them, the Broken China and Peeled Paint seemed like the closest to the "topping" colours.  To those I added a neutral, the Vintage Photo.  I love the way these Oxide inks separate into new colours and shades and also the way they layer without becoming muddy, as long as you dry the colours in between each addition.

Once I had created my background, I checked out my cardstock to see what would be the most complimentary colours.  In the end I used Bermuda Bay as my base followed by a layer of Gold Foil.  Then I attached my background piece.  For my huge "Happy Birthday" greeting, I die-cut the Bermuda Bay Glimmer paper but backed it with a layer of die-cut white to make it pop.  As an embellishment, I finished up by adding a little dragonfly die-cut from Gold Foil with the negative portion of the wings filled with Bermuda Bay Glimmer paper.

Overall this was an easy card to create and makes me want to play with those Oxide inks even more.

This card is entered into the Seize the Birthday Challenge.

I've also entered my card into the Tuesday Throwdown Challenge since it is all about punches and/or dies.