Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Inkspirational 146 - Thanks

Autumn appears to have been ousted by Winter.  That's what I gathered as I opened my blinds and looked out at the world this morning.  Gone were the yellow leaves and even the Hallowe'en decorations which I had admired around the neighbourhood.  Everything was hidden beneath a blanket of white.  "No!" A tiny voice within me shouted.  "It's the end of October.  Hallowe'en.  This isn't right!"  But the white flakes kept falling, ignoring me completely.

Making this Autumn card and ignoring what is going on outside placates me slightly.  I can pretend, can't I?  So I began with a base of Sahara Sand.  I had planned on a square card after finding a scalloped square in my "scraps" drawer.  So I cut the base just a bit smaller to allow the scallops their moment in the spotlight and attached the two together.

I ran a smaller square through the Big Shot and embossed it using the Pinewood Planks folder.  The pattern is nice and deep but not overwhelming.  Once I had attached it to the scalloped square, I put that aside and got to work on all the pieces which would adorn it.  First I cut two leafy twigs using the Eclectic Layers thinlits from the Champagne Foil sheet.  Then I cut a single maple leaf using the Seasonal Layers thinlits from the Copper Foil sheet.  I used my Simply Scored stylus and placed the maple leaf onto a Silicone Craft sheet and drew in the veins for the leaf.

Next I took two of the images from the Basket of Wishes stamp set and stamped my basket of Autumn blooms onto a scrap of Whisper White, using Basic Black ink.  I coloured the basket and blooms using my Stampin' Markers and then fussy-cut the image.  For my sentiment I used a lovely "Thanks" die from Taylored Expressions which I had been gifted by a good friend.

Doesn't the finished card look great?  I love the Champagne foil and Copper foil together.  I hope you'll check out the other Autumn themed cards at the Inkspirational Challenge.

Saturday, 28 October 2017

TGIF Challenge 131 - Love (in Eclipse)

I've definitely jumped onto the Eclipse "bandwagon".  Ever since I've tried it the first time, I want to use the technique over and over again.  So, of course, I immediately decided I would join in with this week's challenge over at TGIF.  After all, they're featuring the Eclipse Technique.

I was happy to receive some new and fun products in the mail a couple of days ago.  New is always good.  It gets the imagination rolling and stimulates creativity.  The stamp which I decided to use is an Australian one by KaiserCraft called Botanical.  I thought it would be perfect for the Eclipse technique and I was right.  And, bonus, I got to play with my Stampin' Blends too.

Products Used:
Stamps:  Papillon Potpourri (Stampin' Up!); Botanicals (KaiserCraft)
Papers:  Whisper White Heavy, Whisper White, Pool Party (all Stampin' Up!)
Tools: Bitty Butterfly Punch, Large Letters Framelits (all Stampin' Up!)

I hope you'll check out the other cards over at the TGIF Challenge.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

The Male Room #72 - Spooky

I've said it before:  I love silhouettes.  You can imagine how quickly I decided I was going to play along with the Male Room challenge since their theme this week is silhouettes.  What fun!

I decided to do a simply laid out card.  What I wanted to feature was a branch, a cat and the moon.  To prepare for that I made myself a mask so that I could begin sponging in a huge yellow and orange moon using Crushed Curry and Peekaboo Peach inks.  Once that was done I changed over to a mask to protect that moon I had just created and began sponging in the sky using Marina Mist and Night of Navy inks.  Partway through a rather vigorous bit of sponging created a wrinkle in my sky and it definitely showed.  Rather than scrap the piece and begin again, I took advantage of Fate's interference and carefully created a whole set of wrinkles all over the piece, making sure I left the moon smooth.  The finished sponging was even better than I had hoped.  The added lines from the wrinkles were a super addition.

Next I turned to the silhouettes I had planned to place across the moon.  The branch was easy.  I love the skinny, bare branch from the Stampin' Up! Seasonal Layers Thinlits.  After cutting that out from a scrap of Basic Black cardstock, I mulled over cat silhouette choices.  The Stampin' Up! Cat Punch simply didn't have enough attitude.  I had, however, bought a set of Tim Holtz cat stamps with matching framelits.  One of those cats had attitude to spare.  I used the framelit to cut out my cat from Basic Black cardstock.  The branch and cat were perfect against that huge moon.

I wanted a sentiment but didn't think stamping one, even with heat embossing, would show up well.  I did, however, have a retired Stampin' Up! framelit which spelled out "spooky" and used on a scrap of Black Glitter paper.

My base cardstock is Basic Grey followed by a layer of Night of Navy.  I love the way this turned out, don't you?

I hope you'll check out the other great silhouettes at the Male Room.

I also linked up to the Hand Stamped Sentiments fun challenge.

And finally, I'm also linking up to the Show Us Your Pussies Cats Challenge #23.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #142 - Charlotte's "All About Christmas" Challenge

It's getting colder outside and as much as I resist admitting that winter is getting closer, I know that it won't be long before that white stuff is covering the ground.  Of course that means Christmas is just around the corner, too.  Time to get Christmas cards made so I can get them to the Post Office before the dealine.  Thank goodness for challenges like this which make me think about using those Christmas stamps.  This week's challenge, "All About Christmas", is hosted by Charlotte Ehrukainen.

For this card I decided to use less traditional Christmas colours.  Yes, there is some sparkle to it but overall it's simply Basic Black, Basic Grey, Whisper White and Smoky Slate.  I think you'll agree that the dies and stamps carry off the neutrals very well.

I began with a base of Basic Grey followed by a layer of Whisper White.  For my next layer of Smoky Slate, I went to work on it before adding it to the card.  First I cut out an oval using my Stitched Ovals framelits.  Then I used the Softly Falling embossing folder to give it texture.  I also used the same Stitched Oval framelit to cut out a piece of the Black and White starry sheet from the Merry Little Christmas Designer Series paper.

Instead of putting aside the Smoky Slate stitched oval, I pencilled in approximately where I planned it to be within the cut-out oval area and then used Basic Black to stamp the image of the two reindeer from the Nature Sings set.  Once I had done that, I coloured them in with my Basic Black Stampin' Market so that they would be silhouettes.  Once everything had been fit together within the oval and attached, the card was ready for my glittery foreground.

I cut the trees using the dies from the Card Front Builder Thinlits Die set from a piece of Dazzling Diamonds Glimmer paper.  Then I cut the "curvy hills" using the dies from the Swirly Scribbles Thinlits set from the Dazzling Diamonds Glimmer paper as well.  I had to cut the wavy lines apart but they created a perfect landscape, didn't they?

As a finishing touch I added small rhinestones to each of the stars in the "sky".  I hope you'll check out the wonderful creations by our Watercooler Artists at the Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #141 - Heidi's Masculine "Anything Goes" Challenge

Guess what!  I get to be host over at the Watercooler Wednesday Challenge this week.  And it's one of my favourites, the Masculine "Anything Goes" Challenge.  With my nephew's birthday in October and needing a card, it's simply perfect timing.

I enjoyed making an eclipse technique card a couple of weeks ago and thought of the perfect way to use that technique for this card.  Bonus:  my nephew's name is just three letters long and so I wouldn't have to change the sizing of the card.

I began with Heavy Whisper White, a layer of Basic Grey, and then another layer of Whisper White.  That and some stamping would be my card.  With the eclipse technique, I think it's really effective to keep the stamping as simple as possible so that the raised letters don't get lost.  So I stamped the grove of trees from the Lovely as a Tree set along the bottom of the piece of Whisper White.  Then I lined up the framelits for the letters so that I could plan for the clouds and the hot-air balloon.  Once I had stamped those, it was just a matter of colouring everything.

I watercoloured a light wash of Soft Sky ink across part of the top of the card, down into the branches of the tree.  Then I watercoloured a light wash of Wild Wasabi ink across the bottom of the trees to give the illusion of grass.  Finally I used my Stampin' Markers to colour the hot-air balloon.

Taking the stamped piece, I placed it on my Big Shot and aligned the Large Letters Framelits just a bit below centred.  Once I had cut that out, I began to assemble the card.  I attached the Basic Grey to the base first and then the stamped piece, minus the die-cut letters.  Once everything was in place, I stamped my sentiment across the top left of the card.  Then I placed foam adhesive strips along the letters and attached them to the negative spaces on the card.

And that's how simple it is to do that technique.  But it sure looks great, doesn't it?

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

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Addicted to CAS - Happy Thanksgiving

The code word at the Addicted to CAS challenge is PUMPKIN.  It's a bit late for my Thanksgiving and a bit early for the one in the United States, but who is to say we shouldn't be having a little Thanksgiving every day, showing gratitude for all that we have?

Since I haven't taken the time to use the embossing folders in the Celebrations Duo, this seemed like a perfect time to remedy that.  Taking a piece of Heavy Very Vanilla, I used the "Happy" from that set, embossing it nearly in the centre horizontally.  Since I was keeping it nice and simple, I took a sponge and very lightly sponged some Peekaboo Peach ink over the embossing.  Then I took a scrap of Very Vanilla cardstock and stamped the "Thanksgiving" from the Happy Thanksgiving in the Teeny Tiny Wishes using Peekaboo Peach again.  I cut that into a thin banner and used Dimensionals to attach it under the embossed "Happy".

For my pumpkins I turned to the Painted Autumn suite.  After cutting out the ones I wanted from the Designer Paper and using my bone folder to  round them slightly, I attached the pumpkins, again using Dimensionals.

Sometimes clean and simple makes the biggest statement.  Check out the rest of the cards for this challenge at Addicted to CAS.  

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Peace, Hope, Love -- Merry Christmas Challenge #260

I wanted to see how the embossing paste might look painted on and found the perfect image on which to test this.  The two-step stamp set of the snowy tree from the Season Like Christmas set was perfect.

First I used a wet, broad paint brush to streak Marina Mist over the Watercolour Paper. I let that dry thoroughly.  After stamping the image of the tree I quickly spread clear embossing powder over it before the ink dried.  That way, after using my heat gun to melt the powder, the ink would be protected from the wet embossing paste I planned to spread over areas of the branches.

Using a paint brush to "paint" the fluid embossing past, it was easy to control how much "snow" I wanted on each branch.  Once it had dried, however, I found I had to go over the areas a second time in order to get the look I was after, but the results were much more like soft snow than simply using the embossing paste.

The three snowflakes are cut with dies from the Seasonal Layers thinlets set.  I cut the large one from Silver Foil and a smaller one from Whisper White cardstock.  Then I cut one more smaller one from Soft Sky cardstock for balance.

I created this card for the Merry Christmas Challenge sketch.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Happy Birthday to The Flower Challenge

How serendipitous that The Flower Challenge is having a birthday just as I had fun playing with my favourite flower stamp from this year's Stampin' Up! catalogue.  Oh, it's not the first time I've used the stamps but it is the first time I've used the brand new Stampin' Blends to colour them.  I just received my order a couple of days ago and have been anxious to see how well these new alcohol markers blend.  The answer?  They blend very nicely and the colours simply "pop".  The bonus?  The colours are spot on to the colours of the Stampin' Up! cardstocks.  You can see that for yourself by comparing the orchid colour to the surrounding cardstock.  The Rich Razzleberry matches perfectly.

I kept things simple.  I stamped all the orchid images on one layer and then coloured them using the alcohol inks.  I added a simple watercolour wash of pale green.  Then I added the sentiments.  The main stars, the flowers, totally take the spotlight.

I hope you'll check out the awesome cards over at The Flower Challenge.

I've also entered my card into the Addicted to CAS #121 since it's all about one's favourite stamp.  This is, as I've stated, my favourite of the floral stamps in the Stampin' Up! catalogue.

Thinking of You - Fun with my new Stampin' Blends

I loved using the Blendabilities but Stampin' Up! pulled them because of design problems.  Now, a few years later, new alcohol inks have been introduced with a brand new name, Stampin' Blends.  Well you know what the Bard said about a rose by any other name, right?  I had to try out the new pens to see how they compared to the originals.  Since my order arrived the day before yesterday, trying them out has been foremost on my mind.  But you know how life gets in the way.

Today I tried the new Stampin' Blends out on images which are from another company but, well, I fell in love.  So I had to have them.  Of course it helps that the image I used really let me try a lot of colours and also helped me to see just how good the pens are in tight places.  Overall, I'd give them an "A".  Easy to work with, excellent results.

I used the stylized image of the owl three times as you can see.  Two of the images are upright while one is hanging upside down.  Two of the images also share the same colours while one is the odd man out.  Well, there is a reason for that. 

I'm entering this card into the CASology challenge which has the "cue word" ODD.  Under the circumstances you can understand the layout, right?  There is an "ODD" number of owls.  One owl is the "ODD" man out in colour. 

I also created this card as a single layer card because I intended to enter it into the Inkspirational challenge.  

And finally, I'm also entering the card into the Crafty Catz Challenge which calls for a clean and simple card.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #140 - Happy Birthday

I love birthdays.  They happen all year long and cards are such fun to make because everyone's personality is different.  So the cards are going to be totally different, too.

Libby Fens is hosting this week's challenge.  I thought I'd make a masculine card for my nephew's birthday but then an order arrived from a fellow Canadian crafter.  She had offered an incredibly beautiful metal die online and I just had to use it. 

The frame of the die is a full 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" and covers the entire front of my cardstock, but the Heavy Whisper White shows through all the butterflies and leaves lots of room for stamping.  Part of me wanted to leave it plain and elegant but another part wanted something more and that's the part I listened to this time.  I used the die-cut leaves from the Eclectic Layers Thinlits (cut from the retired Mint Macaron) as well as the hearts and flowers stamps from the Weather Together stamp set.  The hearts are stamped with the retired Silver Encore Metallic ink while the flowers are stamped with the Daffodil Delight ink.  Since my large die-cut used Sweet Sugarplum cardstock, I coloured the centres of the flowers using the same ink.  A small "happy birthday" from the Teeny Tiny Wishes set, using the retired Mint Macron ink finishes the card off.

I hope you'll take time to check out the wonderful creation by our Watercooler Artists at the Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.

I've also entered my card in the World Wide Open Design Team Challenge.  I hope you'll check out the blog to see the fabulous entries.

And finally I've entered my card in the "Just Us Girls" Challenge for their word challenge:  Light.  I believe the card is appropriate since butterflies are lighter than air and bring light into my soul.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Addicted to Stamps and More #262 - Thinking of You

One of my favourite challenges over at the Accidted to Stamps and More Challenge blog is their "Make your mark" challenge.  As you already know, I love playing with colours whether it's Oxide Inks, markers, watercolouring or Alcohol inks.  Their challenge is clearly made with me in mind.

I had created a background on Glossy Paper using several of the Oxide inks.  I wanted it to be reminiscent of an underwater seascape and so I used Vintage Photo and Fossilized Amber along the bottom.  Then I went a bit wild with a number of colours for the top, including Wilted Violet, Broken China and Faded Jeans (don't those names make you smile?)  I was pretty satisfied with the results and so used it for this challenge.

I added some seaweed and fish from the Seaside Shore stamp set.  The seaweed I stamped and coloured using Shabby Shutters Distress ink as well as Pear Pizzazz ink.  For my fish, I stamped them on a scrap of Whisper White paper and then coloured them in using my markers.  They fit in perfectly, don't they?  Especially raised up on dimensionals, I think they add a much-needed touch to the scene.  Finally I stamped my sentiment using Basic Black ink and then layered the scene onto Bermuda Bay cardstock and then onto Heavy Very Vanilla cardstock.

I hope you'll check out the other fun cards at the Addicted to Cards and More Challenge.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Less is More #348 - Happy Birthday

I love watercolouring.  When I saw that the theme for the Less is More challenge is "Watercoloring", I was excited and got to work.  Of course it didn't help that I saw the challenge only two hours before it closed.  But I seem to do well under stress.  My adrenaline kicked in.  My imagination went into overdrive.  And I created a card with minutes to spare.

I love sunsets.  The other day we were driving along and I fell in love with the wonderful muted tones that painted the sky.  All sunsets don't have to be vivid and overwhelming, after all.  I decided to try to capture the tones in my creation.

On a piece of Mixed Media paper I worked with Calypso Coral, Peekaboo Peach, Crushed Curry and Marina Mist inks to make an ovalish sunset.  In the right bottom corner I stamped three of the trees from Lovely as a Tree and below that stamped the greeting from Teeny Tiny Wishes.  I cut a silhouette of birds on a branch with a die and attached that partway up and towards the left.

I love the result!

I hope you'll check out the other creations at Less is More.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Inkspirational Challenge #144 - Hello

I've been dying to try a new technique called the Eclipse. It's probably been around for quite a while but I wasn't aware of it. With this year's eclipse of the sun, however, everyone seemed to get on the "bandwagon" with this technique. Now it's my turn.

Over at the Inkspirational Challenge, the word prompt is "Hello". Of course my alphabet letters didn't fit onto a regular 5 1/2" x 4 1/4" card (one letter too large), so I decided to make my card 7 1/4" x 4". It worked out perfectly and I am as happy as can be with my first effort at an Eclipse card.

I began with the retired Mint Macaron as my base. The next layer had to be Whisper White because I wanted to be able to stamp my images and watercolour them. For my stamp set I turned to the Pretty Kitty set as well as the Sharing Sweet Thoughts set (for the Ladybug). The colours I used for watercolouring are Real Red, Mint Macaron, Crushed Curry, Marina Mist, Smoky Slate and Blushing Bride. I love using my Aqua-Painter for projects like this.

There are some awesome cards to check out at the Inkspirational Challenge blog for this "Hello".

I've also added my card to the Sisterhood of Crafters Challenge which is all about Dies.

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #139 - Bonjour Beautiful

This week Kath is the host at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.  Her challenge gave me a chance to use a whole bunch of my new "toys".  What is it, you ask?  It's our Feminine "Anything Goes" Challenge, of course.  You know how much I love those!

I wanted to keep my card rather graphic, with primarily black and white in a variety of shapes.  I managed that by beginning with a base of Heavy Whisper White onto which I added a layer of Basic Black.  Then I used a piece of the black and white plaid pattern from the Merry Little Christmas Designer Series paper on the right and left borders of the card.  Since I was working with a black layer, I cut a lampost from Whisper White, including a Whisper White banner to hang from it.  Before attaching the banner, I used the fancy candle thinlit from the Window Box thinlit set to cut a pattern into it.

Along the bottom of the card I attached a Whisper White stitched circle backed with a slightly larger Real Red circle.  I trimmed the bottom off each circle to let it sit properly along the bottom border of the card.  Then I fussy cut one of the poodles from the Birthday Memories Designer Series paper and attached that to the white stitched circle.  Since that sheet of DSP had a primarily yellow pattern on the reverse, I used the scrap bits to fit behind the candle flames and also into the lantern.

For my sentiment I thought the retired "Bonjour Beautiful" was absolutely perfect and so I heat embossed it above the banner in white.

I wanted to carry a bit of the design into the inside of the card and so used the huge script "Happy Birthday" for the greeting, stamped in Basic Black.  To add a bit of colour, I stamped the tiny birthday hat onto the two "p's" and the little birthday gift under the "y".   Both images are from the Birthday Delivery set.

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

I'm also adding my card to the Seize the Birthday "Anything Goes" Challenge.


 And I'm also adding my card to the {PIN}spirational Challenge #200 - Anything Goes.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Global Design Project #106 - Boo

It's been a little while since I chose to do a sketch challenge, but this one for the Global Design Challenge just "spoke" to me.  Of course it helped that I had just received my order with the Spooky Cat stamp set in it and I was dying to use it.  The sketch looked perfect for an owl on a branch with the full moon behind.  And so that's what I did.

My base is Basic Black and overall I've used current products from Stampin' Up!  The black glitter paper, however, is retired as are the alphabet dies with which I cut out the "BOO".  If you're curious as to how my owl perches on that branch so well, that has an easy answer.  I cut the owl apart across the feet, leaving the feet with the top part.  I glued that onto the branch to give the illusion of the claws perching and then glued the bottom part under the branch so it would look natural. 

The weird sky is the result of some playing around with my Watercolor paper and the Wilted Violet Oxide ink.  After I was happy with the purples and the paper had dried, I sponged some Basic Black around the perimeter and also in spots across the sky and moon. 

I hope you'll check out the Global Design Project challenge.  There are some awesome projects by the Design Team and linked up.