Wednesday 31 January 2018

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #155 - Anything Goes

Every time we have a fifth week in the month, our challenge has an "Anything Goes" theme.  I love those times because it lets me do what I please.

Of course one of the downsides to an "anything goes" challenge is that my mind goes wild with the possibilities.  I really have to rein myself in and force myself to stick to a project.  This time I decided to create a nice, large shadow frame using the wonderful images from the Myths & Magic Suite.  Yes, even that opened the door to a lot of choices but in the end I decided to concentrate on an "under-the-sea" theme.  Enter the mermaids and seahorses!

Of course even that meant I had to make some major decisions.  First I thought of having a treasure chest and then, before I began cutting out some of my Wood Textures DSP, I thought about having the stone portion of the wishing well from the Bright Wishes stamp set.  I could imagine something like that in a flooded area, taken over for use by the sea creatures.  In fact, a mermaid and her sea serpents could easily store their jewels there, right?  (Yes, the dragons became sea serpents in this little scene--a little "snip" and those wings were history and who needs fiery breath underwater?)

The images are all cut from various Designer papers:  the Myths & Magic Specialty Designer Series paper (mermaid, dragons, branches, and seahorses) and the Naturally Eclectic Designer Series paper (jewels and the background ombre piece).  The long grass is cut with the Swirly Scribbles Thinlits and the "amazing" is cut with the Sale-a-bration Celebrate You Thinlits.  That wonderful wavy watery look in the background is created by the Seaside Embossing folder.

I love the way this shadow frame turned out, don't you?

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

I'm also entering this piece into the Make My Monday  Challenge #63 - Fancy Folds

I've entered this piece in the Crafty Creations Challenge #359 - Anything Goes as well.

And, finally, I've entered this piece in the Simon Says Wednesday Challenge - Anything Goes

Wednesday 24 January 2018

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #154 - Judy's "All About Christmas" Challenge

I have to admit that it feels a trifle odd to be making a Christmas card just a month after Christmas but on the positive side, I'm starting on my stash for this coming Christmas.  Judy is hosting our challenge this week and, yes, it's "all about Christmas".

Of course I'm immersed in the Occasions Catalogue at the moment.  My excitement over my "new toys" hasn't waned yet and it was hard to tear myself away.  But then I thought, why wait?  Surely I could think of a way to use my new sets in a manner that would work for Christmas cards.  I knew that the Waterfront set could easily work but since last week's challenge card featured that set, I wanted something new.  And new it is.  I decided to see what could be done with the Charming Cafe bundle.  I decided to create a mountainside cafe from which one could see the distant trees and mountains.  With the boughs cut using the carried-over Christmas Staircase Thinlits dies and the lamp from the retired Christmas Lampost Thinlits, it was easy to add a festive touch.

It's hard to see, but I coloured the chairs with the Stampin' Dazzle Gold marker (retired) and also stamped along the lower part of the card using the brick pattern from the Timeless Textures set.  The little glittery "ornaments" are put on with the Cherry Cobbler Dazzling Details (retired), and the "NOEL" is die-cut using the Christmas Stockings Thinlits.  Oh, and the embossing folder I used is the Sparkle ef.

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

I'm also entering this card into the Merry Monday Christmas Challenge #274 which is all about snow.

And finally I'm adding this card into the Sisterhood of Crafters - Dashing Through the Snow challenge since it is all about snow.

Wednesday 17 January 2018

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #153 - Gail's Masculine "Anything Goes" Challenge

Gail is hosting our challenge this week and it's all about the men in our lives, young or old or in-between.  That's right, it's a Masculine "Anything Goes" challenge and it's right on time for a birthday that's coming up in my family.

Stampin' Up! is beginning to offer quite a few stamp sets which are great for a more masculine looking card.  One of the latest offerings in the new Occasions Catalogue is the very different Waterfront set.  What makes it different?  Well, the finished stamped images look as if one has taken a brush and done a bit of watercolouring.  There seems to be no end to the scenes one can create using this set.  All it takes is a bit of imagination and practise.

I'm making this for my nephew and the scene is similar to a look down Christina Lake at sunrise.  I know he always enjoyed going to the lake when he lived in British Columbia and will enjoy the card now.  I've used a number of different mediums to complete the scene.  First I mixed some Brusho crystals with water and set my scene.  I painted in the sky and water using the Prussian Blue and then painted in the Yellow where I knew the sun and the reflection would be.  I also added some Gamboge to the reflection.  After that I began stamping with my inks:  Smoky Slate, Old Olive, Mossy Meadow (retired), Crushed Curry and Peekaboo Peach.

Once I had added the mountains, the trees, the reflection and the sun, I knew that the scene needed a bit more.  So I added the birds (the three smallest from the High Tide set).  Then I took my Stampin' Blends and used the Crumb Cake to add some brown to the mountains and also between the trees to give the impression of cliffs.

The sentiment is also from the High Tide set and is stamped using Soft Suede.  I didn't ink up the "shine" because I wanted to add a die-cut instead.  I took the "sunshine" from the Sunshine Wishes thinlits, cut the word out of a piece of copper foil, and then simply cut away the "sun".  I think it's perfect for the card, don't you?

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

I've added my card to the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge which is all about adding a sentiment. 

Wednesday 10 January 2018

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #152 - Kath's "All About Occasions" Challenge

It's time for that new "All About Occasions" Challenge we introduced before Christmas and this time it's hosted by Kath Ricks.  I love this challenge because there are so many occasions which we celebrate throughout the year.

I decided on a birthday card because that is, without a doubt, the occasion that comes up most frequently.  I had ordered the new Bird Banter stamp set before Christmas and last week, finally had a chance to play with it.  Those birds make me smile.  And the types of birds lend themselves to some awesome colouring.  For my card I turned to the new Stampin' Blends.  Didn't the parrot turn out wonderfully bright?  I love the shading that's possible with the Blends as well as the lovely brilliant colours.

The stamp set comes with the branch and additional leaf and flower stamps.  I decided to add quite a bit of foliage and some flowers to add to the birthday fun.  And the sentiments that come with the set--so much fun!

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

I'm also entering this card in the Inkspirational Challenge #151 which is "all about stamping".

And I'm entering it into the Addicted to Stamps and More Challenge #274 which is "clean and simple"

Wednesday 3 January 2018

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #151 - Charlotte's Feminine "Anything Goes" Challenge

Welcome to the brand new year and to another Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.  I'm so happy we're starting the year with Charlotte's Feminine "Anything Goes" challenge.  I began playing with my Brushos over the holidays and am anxious to show off the results.

But before I get around to showing off my card and telling you how I created it, I want to give a heartfelt welcome to our new Watercooler Artist, Helen Finlay.  You can read a short bio about Helen and see her photo over at the Watercooler Wednesday Challenge post.

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I had never heard about Brushos.  Well, that's not quite true.  I had read the name in passing when viewing the posts of quite a number of our participants but didn't look into it any further.  That is, until Stampin' Up! announced that five colours would be released in the new Occasions Catalogue.  Did I want them or not?  Well, I had seen some remarkable results featured by some awesome crafters, time to check them out more fully.

Brusho watercolour crystals are produced in Sheffield, England and are simply remarkable.  The tiny crystals "explode" with colour when sprayed with water or immersed in water.  Using them isn't just a matter of having a colour, dipping in your brush, and painting your image.  It can be that simple but it can be so much more.  For my card I first stamped my rose image from the Rose Wonder set, using Versamark and then heat embossed it with silver embossing powder.  Then, once that was set and hard, I sprayed the rose and leaves with water and tapped out a few crystals, green for the leaves and red for the rose.  I used a damp paint brush to spread the colour, leaving areas darker in places and lighter in others.  Once that had dried completely, I fussy-cut the rose and leaves and attached them to a piece of Heavy Whisper White which I had previously prepared by tapping out just a very few green crystals and then spraying them.  I like the resulting splatter effect.

The border of the Heavy Whisper White is also heat embossed using silver embossing powder as is the sentiment.  Once finished, the piece was mounted on a base of Heavy Whisper White.

I found the Brusho colours to be incredibly brilliant and am anxious to try them out with some other projects.  I hope you'll decide to try them out as well.

Please check out the wonderful creations by the other Watercooler Artists over at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge this week.

I'm also playing along with the CAS Watercolour Card Challenge for January since it's all about birthdays.

Monday 1 January 2018

Inkspirational #151 - Stamping only

It's been a while since I did nothing but stamp.  My cards are usually a combination of stamping, die-cuts, colouring and whatever else appeals at the moment.  Of course I had to have a go at a challenge that demanded nothing but stamping.

I turned to a number of sets which I haven't used for a while.  For my background I used the Work of Art set and placed my grass as well as a couple of clouds.  I'm not at home and so finding ink that would work was a challenge in itself since I just grabbed my Memento stamp pad and Stampin' Blends to play with while house-sitting.  I did find a few mini Distress inks and they worked out perfectly well.  My clouds, therefore, are Milled Lavender and the grass is Shabby Shutters.

I turned to the Sheltering Tree set for the rest of my images.  The tree is stamped using Walnut Stain while the leaves are Shabby Shutters.  For the swing, I turned to my black Memento ink.  I also used the Memento ink for my sentiment which is from the new stamp set coming out in the Occasions Catalogue, Bird Banter.

It's surprising what one can do even when away from home and all the products that are usually at hand.

As I said, I'm playing along with the Inkspirational #151 challenge with this card.