Wednesday 29 November 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #147 - Charlotte's "Anything Goes" Challenge

I was so stoked that this week would be an "Anything Goes" challenge!  I had been thinking about making a special shadow frame for Christmas and this challenge was perfect for something like that.

It all began with the super-adorable Ready for Christmas bundle.  When I saw it in the Holiday Catalogue, it was love at first sight.  And I wanted to show it off in a big way.  What better than a shadow frame, I thought.  And so began my obsession.  Whatever I happened to be working on, a small part of my subconscious was constantly at work with the planning for "my big project".

In the end I wound up combining that bundle with the Hearts Come Home stamp set as well as some unrelated Designer Series Paper and some retired products.  Amazingly it all came together beautifully, although the number of interruptions to my crafting time were staggering and I wondered whether the project would be finished in time or not.

I wanted texture for my shadow frame and so I reached for a piece of 12" x 12" retired Smoky Slate Core'dinations cardstock.  Without cutting, the shadow frame possible from a piece of 12" x 12" cardstock is 8" x 8".  I was fine with that and got to work.  For the inside background, after choosing and discarding a half dozen possibilities, I finally settled on a piece of the Naturally Eclectic Designer Series Paper.  I liked it against the Smoky Slate and it reminded me of snow.

For the presents, I turned to the Birthday Memories Designer Series Paper and to the retired Home for Christmas Designer Series Paper.  I stamped the adorable little Dachshund on a retired piece of Baked Brown Sugar and then stamped it again on a piece of Whisper White.  I cut out the doggie-sweater from the piece of Whisper White and coloured it with my Stampin' Blends before gluing it onto the little Dachshund.

You can see I cut the ornaments out from Glimmer paper and also Silver Foil using the dies from the Card Front Builder Thinlets.  This is what my finished project looked like on Monday night.

On Tuesday morning I knew it needed something more.  And so I cut out several more evergreen boughs and coloured some of the Clear Faceted Gems using my Cherry Cobbler Stampin' Blender.  I also stamped Santa and his reindeer from the Hearts Come Home set using Smoky Slate and somehow managed to fussy cut the images out without beginning to drool.

This is the finished project and I love it.  I hope you do, too.

There are some wonderful projects created by our Watercooler Artists over at the Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.  I hope you'll check them out, too.

I've also entered my creation into the HLS Challenge - Anything Goes with Dies

Wednesday 22 November 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge 146 - Kath's "All About Christmas" Challenge

Christmas is nearly here.  Just another month (and a couple of days) and it will be here.  I really do have to get my Christmas cards written.  Thank goodness, with the help of challenges like this, I've managed to make enough to send out.  Yay!  This week Kath is hosting our "All About Christmas" challenge.  And wouldn't you know it--I had a little "whoopsy" with this card.

It all began when I decided to use the gorgeous Father Christmas stamp set.  I had a scene in my mind and hoped I could recreate it in a card.  Father Christmas is such a wonderful image.  He's nothing like the modern Santa Claus.  This image is more European--older--wiser--probably less jolly.  I wanted him out in the snow, among trees.  Now I have quite a number of tree images available among my shelves of Stampin' Up! stamps but what I had in mind was more along the line of those trees for which we only have framelits--the ones from the Carols of Christmas bundle.

Well, rather than mope around wishing, I decided I would use those trees and proceeded to cut them out from a rectangle of Whisper White.  That piece became my mask (stencil).  After I had stamped Father Christmas, I used the stencil to place the trees and used my Aqua Painter and some Old Olive ink to get the shapes in place.  After that it was easy enough to layer my greens to create the trees.  I used my Aqua Painter and a variety of my inks to colour in Father Christmas and also to give a wash to the sky as well as shadows on the snow.  The only areas not Watercoloured were the pocket watch and the trumpet.  Those two were coloured with the retired Silver Stampin' Dazzle and the retired Gold Wink of Stella respectively.

Yes, Father Christmas is wearing a Fresh Fig coloured fur-lined robe.  The European Father Christmas is not your jolly red and white Santa Claus.

For the inside I decided to add a piece of Fresh Fig to the base Heavy Whisper White and then added two rectangles of Whisper White to that.  One has the images while the other bears the greeting.

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

I'm also entering my card into the CAS Watercolour Challenge which is all about Holidays.

And finally I'm adding my card to the Addicted to Stamps and More Clean & Simple Challenge.

* * * * * * * * * * 

I said earlier in this post that I had a little "whoopsy" with this card.  Well there is a bit of a story which goes with that.  Some years back when we were still living in British Columbia and my parents were alive, my daughter and I created a special Christmas present for them.  The face and hands are porcelain while the rest is wire structure and clothing which I designed and sewed.  It took us a while but my parents loved it.  When they passed on, the piece came to me.  And in time it will go on to my daughter.  It means a lot to both of us.

So one of the first things I had done when designing this card was to stamp and fussy-cut a reindeer from the Nature Sings stamp set.  After that I had water-coloured the image and set it aside.  Well, if you look at the card front, you'll be struck by the absence of that very reindeer.  Did I lose it?  No, I did not.  It is safely lying precisely where I put it.  The thing is that when I finished the card up to the point where you see it posted above, I loved the way it looked and totally forgot all about the reindeer.  It wasn't until I told my daughter about the post I had scheduled and about the card which I designed because of the piece we had created, that I remembered that poor missing reindeer.  And so here is the alternate version of the card.  The reindeer is only barely holding on--I didn't properly adhere him.  I can't decide which way I want the card to look now.  What do you think?

I'm entering the reindeer version into the Cardz 4 Guyz Challenge which is all about Reindeer.

And finally I'm adding this card to the Retro Rubber Anything Goes Challenge.  The Father Christmas stamp set was released in the 2016 Holiday Catalogue, over a year ago.

Tuesday 21 November 2017

A Cup of Merry!

I love coffee!  What could be better, then, when one loves coffee so much, than to have the two coffee sets by Stampin' Up! along with the matching framelits?  Of course Stampin' Up! also brought out the wonderful matching Coffee Break designer paper and I can't say enough about the terrific images on that paper.  They speak to a coffee lover's heart.

It's logical, under these circumstances, that I would jump right in when there is a coffee-related challenge, right?  Well, that's what I've done with the new {PIN}spirational challenge.

The background coffee rings are straight out of that package of designer papers.  The images, too, are cut from another sheet of the designer papers.  The little gold doilies behind the cups provide a bit of added bling as do the Glimmer paper hearts.

As I said, this was inspired by the {PIN}spirational Challenge.


The layout, however, is thanks to the sketch over the the Sunday Stamps Challenge.

Friday 17 November 2017

Inkspirational Challenge #148 - Designer's Choice

I'm so excited to have been asked to be a Guest Designer for the Inkspirational Challenge this week.  I love their themes and this one is no exception.  We're asked to create a Christmas card using only neutral colours.  How fun is that!

I had just received a fun metal die from a lady in Saskatchewan and was dying to use it.  Thinking about it, I knew it would be perfect matched with the images from the Carols of Christmas bundle.  Since the challenge asks for neutrals, I decided to use Crumb Cake for my background.  It's a light enough colour to show off the black and Soft Suede I planned to use but also dark enough to show off the white snowflakes and glitter paper.

The sentiment with the circle around it and those pretty snowflakes is cut with the die I had just received.  Cut in black and then with the snowflakes re-cut from glitter paper, it is striking across the top of the card.  To balance it, I chose to cut my trees from black as well and then cut the little deer from Soft Suede.  For my background I used a piece of Crumb Cake which I first embossed using the Softly Falling embossing folder and then stamped with Craft Whisper White using the snowflakes from the retired White Christmas stamp set.  To "anchor" the deer and trees, I added a scrap of glitter paper left over from another project.  Serendipitously, it was just the right size and resembled a hill.

But as much as I loved the way this turned out, I wanted a bit more for this card and decided it would be an easel card.  I love easels because they stand so well and show off the card beautifully.  This would be a simple standing easel and its base would be Crumb Cake.  For the inside of the card I added a piece of Basic Black onto which I attached another piece of Crumb Cake.  A friend had sent me a lovely Taylored Expressions die which I used for part of the greeting:  Peace.  It cut beautifully from the black cardstock and had a star at the end which I covered over with a star cut from glitter paper.  Once I had glued that to the card, I stamped "it's all about" above it.  Then, with layers of the die cut lines and dots from the Detailed Santa thinlits, also cut from black cardstock, I finished off the inside.  (The layers were necessary to hold the easel in place when the card stood open.)

This was a fun card to make, especially using only neutrals.  I hope you'll check out the samples over at the Inkspirational Challenge.

 I'm also entering this card in the Addicted to Stamps and More challenge #268 which is all about Holidays.

PP370 - A White on White Christmas

I love the elegance of white on white.  And this time of the year, with the snow on the ground, winter and Christmas provide lots of inspiration.

For the Paper Players challenge, which is white on white, I decided to use some of the awesome new products in the Stampin' Up! Holiday Catalogue.  Of course, since I've been sorting through the retired products I've decided not to ignore any longer, I found some inspiration as well.

The first thing you'll notice about this card is the wonderful laser die-cut piece which I've used.  That came from an elegant Simply Sent kit called Simply Fabulous.  In fact I built the entire card around this piece.

Isn't it fabulous?  You can just make out the heat embossed musical notes which I stamped using the Sheet Music background stamp using White Embossing powder.

I love the way those boughs look, don't you?

That "peace" is from a retired set but it seemed perfect for the card.

I enjoyed the challenge of keeping to white (although white is not necessarily one colour as I discovered).  Thanks to Nance of the Paper Players for providing the challenge.

I'm also entering this card in the Addicted to Stamps and More Challenge which is all about Holidays.

Wednesday 15 November 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #145 - Judy's Masculine "Anything Goes" Challenge

I love masculine challenges, don't you?  This one which Judy is hosting comes along at a perfect time.  It's my husband's birthday at the end of this month and now I have his card all ready for the big day.  Bonus!

My husband is not just an avid fly fisherman.  He ties his own flies.  He has books and magazines stacked everywhere and don't get me started on all the bins and boxes and drawers full of product.  Hmmm!  Change that to paper-crafting and I could be describing my own obsession.

I've used a retired Stampin' Up! fly tying stamp set too often.  When I came across a fly-tying/fishing stamp set as I rummaged through the products in a crafting shop, I was ecstatic.  Finally, some new images for his cards.  This set is by Inky Antics.  For my sentiments, however, I turned to two of my Stampin' Up! sets, Birthday Celebration and Guy Greetings.

I began with a base of Soft Suede.  For my next layer I used an image from the Wood Textures Designer Series paper stack.  After cutting it to size, I used my square framelit to cut four "window panes".  Next I stamped the image of the boat at the dock onto a square of Whisper White.  While that dried I took a scrap of Whisper White and stamped the fishing bag and the hat.  Then I coloured all the images using my Stampin' Blends.  I attached the scene behind the "window panes" and then used my Fast Fuze to attach the finished piece to the base.  I fussy cut the fishing bag and hat and mounted them to the card on dimensionals. 

For the banner across the top of the window, I used a piece of Soft Suede and heat embossed the "Congratulations" from the Guy Greetings using White embossing powder.  After attaching that with Dimensionals, I stamped the greeting from the Birthday Delivery set in the lower right corner using black Memento ink.

For the inside of the card I continued the theme but kept it simpler.  I stamped the fishing rod and fish on a piece of Whisper White and decided to keep the colours muted by using my Watercolour pencils.  Then I gave up finding just the right greeting and hand-printed my own, taking the liberty to play with the word fishin'.  After attaching the piece to the inside of the base, my card was done.

I hope you'll check out the wonderful cards created by the other Watercooler Artists at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.  You have until 5 p.m. Mountain Time on Monday, November 20th to link up a card to share with us.

Sunday 12 November 2017

Inkspirational 147 - Have a Magical Birthday

The Inkspirational challenge is a Word Prompt:  Trend.  I had to think about this for a while.  There are so many trends.  Of course it's easy to sit there letting all the possibilities "ping" around in one's head but sooner or later the "pinging" gets tedious and one has to settle into one avenue of thought.  Mine was (big surprise) trendy images.

My daughter works as Librarian at one of our local schools and, when I asked  her what she found the current trend regarding images might be, she was quick to agree with me that it had to be magical creatures.  The "stars" among these magical creatures are what I've also seen in the crafting world:  unicorns and fairies.  I have stamps featuring fairies and even mermaids.  I do not own a single unicorn stamp.  A quick visit to the rather inadequate Michael's in a nearby larger city did not provide me with any images of unicorns, either.

I don't know if you're familiar with a cute quote which I've come across several times this year:  "Roll me in fairy dust and call me a unicorn!"  Well, I might not have a unicorn image but I could use that quotation to my advantage.

Now that you've heard the "backstory" to my card, you'll better understand what I've done.

I began with a base of Heavy Whisper White cardstock.  Then I took a piece of Watercolour paper and had some fun with two of my Distress Oxide inks, the Broken China and the Wilted Violet.  With the Broken China, I dabbed the paper into the ink which I had sprayed lightly with some water.  After heat drying that, I took an old toothbrush and dipped it into the Wilted Violet which I had sprayed with water.  Running my finger along the bristles caused a nice, fine spray to fall on the paper.  I heat dried that and, after stamping the sentiment from the Magical Mermaid set in the top right corner, I mounted it on a piece of Berry Burst cardstock and then onto the base.

I took a scrap of Shimmery White cardstock and stamped the image of a kitten from the Pretty Kitty set and also one of the fairies from the Fairy Celebration set.  I put those aside to dry thoroughly and worked on the inside of my card.  Onto the white base I adhered a piece of retired Coastal Cabana cardstock.  Then I added a piece of Whisper White onto which I stamped a sentiment from the Fairy Celebration set and the little fairy dust sprinkles from the set as well.

Back to my kitten and fairy.  I freehanded a unicorn horn onto the kitten's forehead and then proceeded to fussy cut both images.  Then I coloured them using my Stampin' Markers as well as a few other non-Stampin' Up! metallic markers.  Then I took a small brush and added some transparent glitter paint to the unicorn horn, the fairy wings and in the area where I intended to mount my kitten.
Once dried, I used dimensionals to add my images to the card.

I love the expression on the little unicorn kitten's face!  And the inside of the card is fun as well.

It was fun thinking about and using the trendy images.  The Oxide inks are a current trend among crafters as well, so I'm heaping on the trends.

Check out the other fun cards over at the Inkspirational Challenge.

I'm also entering my card into the Seize the Birthday Challenge.

And finally, I'm also entering my card into the Addicted to Stamps and More Challenge #267 which is all about making your mark.  Since all I've done is colouring of many types, my card qualifies.

Wednesday 8 November 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #144 - Penny's "All About Birthdays" Challenge

I love making birthday cards!  This week Penny is hosting a fun "All About Birthdays" challenge and I had a great time mixing and matching stamp sets and framelits. 

I began with the idea of someone coming home to a surprise party.  So I tried to figure out how to present that in a card.  I didn't want any images of people---not that I had any that would have worked, but I did have the terrific At Home With You bundle as well as the equally terrific Birthday Memories Suite (notice that this one is so awesome, it's actually a Suite!)  Together they would be perfect for what I had in mind.

I normally tend to have a base of Whisper White or Very Vanilla.  This time, however, I wanted to play with the colours in the Birthday Memories Designer Series Paper and so I chose Pacific Point as my base.  On top of that I added a layer of Basic Black and then a combination of So Saffron (first embossed using the Pinewood Planks Dynamic Textured embossing folder) and Crumb Cake to appear like the front and porch of a house.

Onto that I adhered a white-framed Olive Green door with a Peekaboo Peach welcome mat in front of it.  The Peekaboo Peach went rather un-peach-like stamped on the Crumb Cake but I liked the colour as a mat.  I added the little porch light and the vase full of flowers.  All these images are from the At Home With You bundle and were coloured using the new Stampin' Blends (love them!)  Then I added two gifts and a balloon, all cut from the Birthday Memories Designer Series Paper.

That string on the balloon is the Black Metallic Thread which I absolutely love.

For the inside of my card I kept it quite a bit simpler.  To the Pacific Point base I added a piece of Whisper White onto which I stamped the sentiments from the At Home With You stamp set using Pacific Point ink.  Then I fussy cut three balloons and two birthday gifts from the Birthday Memories Designer Series paper and added them.  A few lines with my Journaling Pen to give the balloons some string and the inside was done.

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

Wednesday 1 November 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #143 - Gail's Feminine "Anything Goes" Challenge

I'm so glad that Gail is hosting a Feminine "Anything Goes" Challenge this week!  I had the best idea for a card.

I knew I would use the Beautiful You stamp set along with the Half Full set.  I had an idea and hoped I could pull it off.

I began with a piece of Shimmery White cardstock onto which I stamped the image of the dancer from Beautiful You, using the Memento ink so that I could use my Stampin' Blends.  I didn't stamp the full right hand, however, but had a piece of Washi tape over that spot on the stamp when I inked up and then removed the tape so I could stamp the image without the hand.  There was a reason for this madness.  I wanted to have the dancer hold a glass of wine in her outstretched hand.

Next I inked up the smallest of the wine glasses in that row of wine glasses.  Then I carefully lined up the glass to the area where the hand should be and stamped it with the Memento ink.  I was almost afraid to remove the stamp but when I did, the positioning was perfect.  I must have had an Angel guiding my hand.

After that it was easy-peasy.  I continued to stamp with the Memento ink and wound up with a line of glasses to both sides of my dancer.  The scene was complete.  If you look closely, you will see that the background looks as if it has a wash of pale pink.  That is, in fact, coloured in using the Light Pink Pirhouette Stampin' Blend.  For the rest I used Rich Razzleberry on her gloves and dress, Crumb Cake on her hat, Ivory on her skin, Cherry Cobbler on the red wine, Daffodil Delight coloured over with the Color Lifter for the white wine and, finally, Smoky Slate for the shadows and floor.

The sentiment is heat embossed in White Embossing Powder on Rich Razzleberry and hand cut.  The holly is cut using the framelit from the Christmas Stockings Thinlits.  The finished piece was mounted on a piece of Rich Razzleberry cardstock and then onto a base of Heavy Whisper White.

For the inside of my card I wanted something a bit special and so went to work.  First I stamped my sentiment onto a piece of Whisper White and then stamped the large glass to the left side.  I mounted the Whisper White onto a piece of Rich Razzleberry and then onto the base.  This was fine and I could have left it but I had something else in mind.  It just took a bit of juggling and figuring out.

I stamped the bottle onto a scrap of Whisper White and then coloured it using my Stampin' Blends.  The green glass is actually a blend of Old Olive underneath and then a layer of the Light Pool Party.  Then I went lightly along the right side with the Old Olive again to give the illusion of liquid inside.  My label is coloured with the light Crumb Cake and then covered with the Wink of Stella.  For the foil around the neck of the bottle I used a non-Stampin' Up! gold pen.

The hard part was figuring out how to make the bottle move so it would be crushed when the card closed.  After opening and closing it almost a hundred times I figured out the path the bottle would have to take and then took my cutting tool and cut the path into a prepared piece of Whisper White mounted on Rich Razzleberry.  Then I mounted the piece on Dimensionals and had the bottle move up and down that track as the card opened and closed.  The secret behind the bottle is thick Acrylic paper glued along the length of the bottle and then ending in a "T" which rides inside the track.

I'm so glad I managed to finish without flinging the unfinished card into the garbage.  It all worked out quite well.

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

NOTE:  I have had a lot of questions about the bottle and whether it bends.  No, it does not.  I backed it with acrylic (sometimes called Window) sheet.  This is the heavier variety which Stampin' Up! once sold so it has a lot of body and doesn't bend easily.  That gives the bottle enough of a "backbone" to stay straight as it travels along the cut out path.  When the card is shut, the end of the bottle is way over at the end of the path.