Wednesday, 28 March 2018

WWC163 - Penny's "All About Christmas" Challenge

We're having a Christmas challenge this week, hosted by Penny Hanuszak.  What fun!  It's great to have the opportunity to add another card to the stash I'm hoping to build for Christmas.  If all goes well, I should have enough cards to send out when the time comes.

The hardest thing about making a Christmas card right now is that it's finally Spring and I don't want to tempt the "white stuff" to make a come-back.  It still hasn't all melted from the ground, after all.  Rather than create a snow-filled scene for this card, I decided to concentrate on the small stuff.  And when I say small stuff, I'm talking about something about the size of a mouse.

The Merry Mice stamp set, although retired, is so absolutely cute and fun that I had to keep it.  Look at the adorable face on this little mouse!  And how cute is he, carrying that gorgeous ornament?  As much as anything, I love this set for the opportunity to do some colouring.  With the right colours and shading, the  image simply comes to life.  For that I used my Prismacolours and some Gamsol to smooth them out.

I kept things simple.  Besides adding some faint floor to ground Mr. Mouse, I also added some shadow because of the "light above him, just behind the "joy" die-cut sentiment.  The light rays are from the Sale-a-bration Amazing You stamp set and the "light" is actually a gold Faceted Gem.

I hope you'll check out the awesome cards by the other Watercooler Artists over at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.  And then why not link up your own Christmas creation for us to enjoy.

I've also entered this card in the Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge #378 - anything goes

And I've entered this card in the Simon Wednesday Challenge Blog - Simon Says Anything Goes #ssswchallenge

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

WWC162 - Charlotte's Masculine "Anything Goes" Challenge

It's Charlotte's week to host our challenge!  Woo Hoo!  And it's a Masculine "Anything Goes" challenge, too!  I'm stoked.  I have lots of men of many ages in my life and it's great to get a few cards made and put aside so that I don't have to frantically rush when an Occasion comes around.

The first thing that popped into my head was that I wanted to use the Memory Box Virtuoso Music die which I had bought years ago.  The next thing that popped into my head was that I wanted to mix the Woodgrain stamp with the Country Livin' set.  So I got to work.

I had a scrap of Heavy Whisper White and used that for stamping the guitar image.  I set that aside to dry thoroughly for colouring.  Then I took another piece of Heavy Whisper White, an 8 1/2" x 11" piece, and folded it to make it my base.  I tore the centre from a piece of copy paper and, through the ragged shape that remained, stamped the woodgrain using the retired Tip Top Taupe ink.  Then I thoroughly distressed the three edges of the front of the card before sponging the same ink around the perimeter.

Once all that had dried, I took the truck image from the Country Livin' set and stamped it onto the woodgrain using Smoky Slate ink.  Then I took the boots from that set and proceeded to stamp portions of that image on three corners.  I liked the "ghost" look of the boots but knew I needed more for the truck and so used my AquaPainter and the Soft Suede, Peekaboo Peach, and Crumb Cake inks to add some colour but still let the woodgrain show through.

You can see I sponged a bit of the Peekaboo Peach around the perimeter, too and also used it to warm up the guitar.  The music is die-cut using Soft Suede and the same colour is used for the sentiment.  The "Happy Birthday" is from the new Picture Perfect Birthday set while I pieced together the "Country Boy" using the handy "Labeler Alphabet".

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

I'm also entering this card for the Time Out Challenges #105 - It's their 4th Birthday Celebration

Monday, 19 March 2018

Experimenting with colours

Sometimes it's fun to simply grab a few products and have some fun.  No challenges.  No time constraints.  No agenda.  Just some fun experimenting with colours. 

For what I had in mind, a landscape of sorts, I decided to use the Nature Sings stamp set as well as my Brushos.  I haven't played with those Brushos enough.  There are so many ways to use them.  Instead of shaking loose some crystals and spraying them with water, or variations of that technique, I decided to treat them as watercolours.  I took my paint palette and added a tiny layer of crystals to the bottom of three of the little "bowls" and then added just a bit of water.  My chosen colours for this experiment were Emerald Green, Aquamarine, and Moss Green.

Before I began using my Brushos, however, I stamped the image of the trees and the image of the two reindeer onto my watercolour paper.  I decided to use the Basic Black Archival ink since it doesn't "bleed" into the watercolours.

From there I freehanded my scene using a flat square end brush, laying in a wash with a hint of Aquamarine for the sky and then a darker sweep of Aquamarine for the stream.  The Aquamarine didn't hold any surprise colours for me and I loved the way it became deeper in colour with each additional layer. 

The Moss Green was another story entirely.  It had hints of browns, tans, yellows and greens which all came into play as I set down my hills, rises and meadows.  I had swept colour right over the stamped trees, knowing that I could add Emerald Green to bring out the details.  I avoided colouring in the reindeer, however, because I wanted to stick to the clearer colours of my inks to add details to them using a fine pointed round head.  For that my inks were Soft Suede and some Sahara Sand.

The picture turned out reasonably well.  I can see where my weaknesses are.  But the Brushos are a product which will be interesting to try in more and different ways.  I look forward to it.

My sentiment is from the retired Remember This Project Life set.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

WWC161 - Helen's "All About Occasions" Challenge

This week's challenge is being hosted by Helen Finlay and it's all about the special Occasions in our lives.  You can see a few listed in the challenge icon, but you can probably think of a bunch more.  Let's face it, special occasions are one of the reasons we create our cards.

Here in Canada it's still quite a while before Mother's Day occurs in May but it was my mother's birthday last week and I've been thinking of her a lot lately.  Making a Mother's Day card just felt totally natural under the circumstances.

I kept this card very simple.  In fact it's a one layer card except that I matted the one layer and then adhered it to a base.  But you know what I mean. After stamping it, I masked the pretty stone wall image from the Hostess set, "Cosy Cottage".  Then I stamped the trees from the retired "In the Meadow" set so that they would appear to be behind the wall.  The sizing of the two sets is perfect.  They appear to be made for each other.

The scene I've created and watercoloured reminds me so much of a pretty garden to which we'd frequently go for a little picnic when I was growing up in Victoria.  After a snack, I'd weave together the little wild daisies so I could wear them like a crown in my hair.  Most of the time both my sister and I wound up wearing the daisy "crowns" which our Mum had made.  For some reason mine seldom held together properly.

While the outside of my card is rather simple, without embellishments or surprises, I had to do something special for the inside.  So I took the Sale-a-bration "Blossoming Basket" set and stamped the basket in the centre of a piece of 8" x 5" Whisper White and then watercoloured it before carefully cutting around much of it using my craft knife.  I left enough attached so that it would "pop out" when the card was opened.

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

I've also entered this card into the CAS March Watercolour Challenge which is all about Gardens.

I've entered this card into the That's Crafty! Challenge - Spring Into Action

And, finally, I've entered this card into the The Crafty Addicts Challenge #46 - All About Mums

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

WWC160 - Heidi's Feminine "Anything Goes" Challenge

It's my turn to host the Watercooler Wednesday Challenge this week.  What fun!  The challenge this week is our popular Feminine "Anything Goes" challenge.  I can think of so many possibilities!

I decided to make a Birthday card using the Beautiful You stamp set as well as the Charming Cafe bundle.  I wanted to create this card in the "Z" fold style and also wanted to have the image of the girl swing out when the card opened.  After a bit of planning and some detailed work, it came together beautifully.

I used the Memento Tuxedo Black ink to stamp all my images as well as the sentiments.  That made it possible for me to use both watercolouring and alcohol colouring techniques without any smudging.  For the image of the girl, I pencilled in a line where my fold would go and carefully centered her on that line.  Then I took my craft knife and cut around the image from the top middle of the umbrella to the bottom of her shoes, along the side facing into the card.  That allowed her to swing out as the card opened.

For the inside image, of the cafe, I used both the base for stamping and a second piece of Whisper White.  First I stamped the image of the table and chairs on the second piece of Whisper White.  Then I used the framelit for the table and chairs to cut those out, after which I used the square topped framelit with the table and chairs at the bottom to cut out the remainder of the "window".   After colouring my images, I attached the die-cut  Whisper White to the base using Foam Adhesive Strips to create dimension.  I also attached the table and chairs with the foam strips.

Unfortunately, the added depth of the inside of the card made closing it virtually impossible.  To fix that, I scored a second line along the score line I had made at 4 1/4", thus giving it a 1/8" fold, and the card closed perfectly.  It still fits into a normal envelope as well.  Bonus!

I'm dedicating this card to my Mum, whose birthday it is today, March 7th.  I miss her every day and know she would have loved a simple little card like this.

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

I'm also entering my card into the Seize the Birthday:  Anything Goes Challenge

I've also entered my card into the Addicted to Stamps & More #181 - Make Your Mark

Friday, 2 March 2018

I Love You and Coffee!

Every once in a while two challenges converge and I can create something that's perfect for each.  That's what happened with The Card Concept and Inkspirational.  It's all about the coffee. 

At first I hemmed and hawed about using the Coffee Cafe set since it, too, is all about coffee.  In the end, however, I went in another direction.  Since both challenges featured a pretty teacup in their inspirational photo, I hauled out a retired die set, the Cups & Kettle Framelits dies, and used the large teacup die to cut out a piece of the striped Springtime Foils Specialty Designer Series paper from the Sale-a-bration second release.  It made a perfect cup, especially after I sponged some Sahara Sand ink around the perimeter to give it dimension. 

For my background I used a base of Heavy Whisper White, a layer of the retired Baked Brown Sugar cardstock, and a layer of the retired Falling in Love Designer Series paper.  Before adding the DSP, I sponged around the perimeter using Baked Brown Sugar ink.  To give the cup more dimension, I used flower shaping tools to round it out and then added dimensionals (two deep in the centre) when adhering it to the card.  The sentiment is from the retired Merry Cafe set and is also stamped using Baked Brown Sugar ink.  To finish off, I cut a butterfly from Copper Foil and from Blushing Bride using the Bold Butterfly framelits and Butterflies thinlits. 

I'm entering this card in The Card Concept #87 (Freshly Brewed)

I'm also entering this card in the Inkspirational Challenge #155 - Coffee Photo