Friday, February 27, 2009

Kristina Werner colour challenge #43

Relaxing Riley - doesn't he look content? I made this card for Kristina Werner's Colour Challenge #43. This week's colours were chocoloate chip, pumpkin pie, ruby red, old olive and brocade blue.

Usually I have trouble using more than 3 colours, but I had this striped patterned paper that has all of these colours and more! I used watercolour paper and all of the required colours on my main image. I had some lovely velvet ribbon that I added to tie in my olive and patterened paper panels. I used ruby red brads from Earth Elements. I also used the small and large oval punches as well as Designer label punch from S-U with my sentiment. The sentiment is from Memories in the Making (Leisure Arts Collection). There are a bunch of sayings on this hand-held unit. I wish I was Riley right now, except, the drink would be in my hand!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Truly Scrumptious sketch challenge blog...

I came across another sketch challenge blog the other day called Truly Scrumptious . This is their first sketch challenge so I thought I'd participate. It has taken me until now to put the card together and upload it. I rarely make square cards, but I must say, I do like this layout. I used my new favourite Stampin' Up! Specialty Designer Series Paper (Parisian Breeze) and the coordinating colours of Baja Breeze and Close to Cocoa. Whisper White is my other neutral. I used Nestabilities for my punches (round and scallop). I used brads along with the felt flowers from Flower Fusion that matched. I finished it off with the Baja Breeze grosgrain ribbon. The stamp sets used were Dreams du Jour and Hugs & Wishes.

Watch for a couple of posts for cards using different ways to Watercolour. These cards (and more) will be one of the first classes that Cathy & I organize in the near future. More details to follow re signing up for the class. Hope this is a bit of a teaser for you!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Happy Little Houses!

It happens that Donna and I live in a neighbourhood where we are blessed with wonderful neighbours who have become one big extended family. We walk freely into each other's homes, can always find someone to share a bottle of wine, a hockey game, or a DVD; and at dinner time, we feed whoever happens to be in the building at the time without (much) complaint! Our neighbourhood isn't fancy. It doesn't aspire to be too much more than it is right now and we like it like that. It's how Donna and I met, along with several other terrific families and we are grateful every day for our cluster of "happy little houses."

So when I saw this stamp from Eat Cake Graphics, I just had to have it! I couldn't wait to ink it up, colour it with my Copic Markers and make this sunny little card to say, "Thanks - I wouldn't want to share this street with anybody else!"

Oh... and it just so happens to work right into this week's colour challenge on Split Coast Stampers!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Need Help with a Sentiment!

I love, love, love these images from Eat Cake Graphics! I had a ball creating this magical garden scene, complete with flying hippo. I purchased this little girl because I could imagine so many great expressions coming out of her mouth....but now I can't think of any! So please, help a fellow card maker out - leave me a comment with your funniest ideas for what she might be saying because I want to make lots and lots of cards with her!

The card itself was quite simple - just lots of colouring with watercolour pencils and some blending with a blender pen. I finished the card off with lots of stickles 'cuz it's a magic garden!

Mojo Monday 75 - Butterflies are Free!

Donna's right - Mojo Monday is a fabulous blog and I can't believe we're only just discovering it! The sketches are beautiful - so layered and rich with about a million possibilities!

So I'm a day late (and a dollar short) but here is my submission for this week's sketch challenge. I loved Donna's take on it - as usual, very sophisticated and soft. She's my hero! Unfortunately, sophisticated does not come naturally to me, so I went for pure whimsy. My image is one of many wonderful designs from Eat Cake Graphics and I spent some happy time on Saturday night colouring her in with my Copic Markers.

The patterned paper is from the Basic Grey Urban Lily collection and it worked beautifully, right down to the butterfly for this card. I followed the sketch pretty closely, using ribbon for one of the strips, a strip of paper punched with the Fiskars Threading Water punch for the scallop, and the aformentioned butterfly cut from Basic Grey paper for my embellishment. I just added a row of Kaiser rhinestones for some bling.

Happy Monday!

CC207 - Summer Kiwi Pies

Today's colour challenge at SCS is Summer Sun, Kiwi Kiss and Pumpkin Pie. I've been looking at this patterned paper from We R Memory Keepers that I've had for a little while and voila, it matched perfectly with today's challenge! Gotta love it when that happens. I used a sketch challenge (# 196) from SCS and then just needed to choose a stamp set. The new Trendy Trees set from S-U hadn't seen any ink yet, so I thought I'd use that. The card base is Very Vanilla. My embellishments were Old Olive brads and a silver pen that I used to dot around the pumpkin pie paper. A simple card, but that's what I wanted to do. Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work I go!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Mojo Monday Week 75

Here is my submission for the Mojo Monday Week 75 challenge. I used the Botanical Blooms Sale-A-Bration set. I used Gina K 120 lb. for my card base (man, this stuff is thick!) and some DSP. Chocolate chip was used as my layering panels. I inked the flowers with Cameo Coral and stamped off for the lighter images. I also used some dollar store rhinestones. I omitted the embellishment on the bottom left, which was optional. I tried something there, but it just didn't look right. Anyway, it's done, and I must get to my regular job! Have a good one!


Sunday, February 22, 2009

SFYTT - I {heart} stamping!

I found another sketch blog that I'm planning to follow. This one is from I especially love participating in sketch challenges because I have such a hard time with layouts. This takes all of the frustrated thinking out of the craft I love, so I am a happy camper! This card has no stamping on it - something I rarely ever manage. The sentiment is from the S-U Laughter and Love rub-on package. That is something else I rarely use, but I'm going to try that a little more. Anyway, I'm fairly pleased with the way this turned out - it's a little different for me. I used Basic Gray, Whisper White and Baja Breeze card stock. I also used the Urban Garden DSP for my main image and the panel behind it. I used the Dots cuttlebug folder on the white panel. The only other tool used was my Nesties for ovals. I am pretty sure that if I didn't need to sleep, I'd be making cards all night long!


FS107 - Casing Cupcakes

This was my submission for today's Featured Stamper (SgtStamper) on SCS. We are to change at least two things from the original. I changed the cupcake image, patterned paper, ribbon and solid colour. I also used a S-U (Flourish) Texturz plate on the coral colour instead of a CB folder. I omitted the stitching that was around the layers and used only 3 half-pearls (instead of 6). I used a two-way glue pen and added stickles to the "icing". The cupcake only has one candle in the middle, so I stamped the image twice more and cut out the candles and adhered them to the cupcake. I really like this layout and the card is much brighter and shinier IRL (this isn't the best photo). Have a terrific day!


SC105 - Riley on the Road

I was playing around last night after coming back from a hockey game and I pulled out this stamp I recently bought. Now, you know I'm a S-U demo, but I do occasionally "cheat" and use other stamps and other products. I hope to eventually catch up with all of the sketch challenges on SCS, so this my submission for SC105. I love these Riley stamps from Hanna Stamps. They are totally adorable. I see lots of use out of these (I only have two, so far), because my oldest son's nickname is "Moose". The patterned paper is from a scrapbook bundle from American Traditional Designs called "Road Trip". I thought it would be perfect to give Riley something to drive on. I stamped him with Timber Brown Stazon and used various inks with my aquapainter. I really like how this turned out. I used the "hello" part of "just saying hello" sentiment from SavvyStamps. I punched it using the tab punch. I used my Nestabilities to cut the circles. Brushed silver brads were the final touch.
Well, I'm off to another hockey game so I hope to play a little later for the Featured Stamper challenge on SCS. See ya!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Mojo Monday Week 74


Where have I been? I must have been sleeping for the past 73 weeks! I stumbled across the Mojo Monday blogspot yesterday after looking at my upline's blog (Paper Playhouse - take a look - Karen's cards are fantastic!). Cathy and I will definitely be following these layout challenges and posting our creations. Here is my submission for Week 74. I know my card colours are exactly the same as my last post, but I can't get enough of this Parisian Breeze Specialty DSP from S-U. My card base uses Gina K's 120 lb. paper. Holy cow! Is it ever thick! I knew it would be sturdier than the S-U Whisper White, but you can hardly bend this stuff! I definitely recommend scoring it before folding it because it breaks the fibres down easier for a crisper edge. The stamp sets used were Pocket Silhouettes (one of my fav's) and Best Yet (retired Hostess). I used non-S-U ribbon for my only embellishment. I hope to have more time later today to play a little more. For now, I must get out of my PJ's and get ready to bottle wine (I'll refrain from drinking it until later :).

Friday, February 20, 2009

WT206, SC140 - Stripes!

My hubby supports my crafting "hobby", but he also has made comments about "losing his wife to stamps and paper". Well, what can I say? I love being in the craft room and playing around. I sometimes (most times) wish I didn't have to work full time so I could devote more hours to this obsession! Anyway, I was playing around last night and made this card for the Ways to Use It Challenge (#206) to use stripes. I can't get enough of this specialty DSP from S-U. My layout was created using an old Sketch Challenge (#140). I like combining challenges, especially the Sketch Challenges because as I've said very recently, I don't have a lot of lay-out sense. It just doesn't come naturally to me. I think that's why I love the S-U products so much, because everything is coordinated for me and I don't have to think too much! I'm also trying to keep my cards simpler so on the few occasions when I do a workshop, people can see how lovely the cards can be without a lot of effort or a lot of supplies (especially important in these tough times, right?). I've taken a look at the upcoming Occasions Mini Catalogue from S-U (available on April 1st). Holy Cow! I NEED everything in that one! I don't often feel this way, but man, the products are absolutely fantastic this time around! Wait 'til you see the stuff - I'm sure you'll feel the same way!

LSC 208, SC161 - Big Flower accent

I was just playing around last night catching up on a few challenges on SCS and I came up with this card for Sketch Challenge 161. It also works for the Limited Supply Challenge #208 to use green. The challenge also suggests we limit the layers and embellishments. Aside from layering my flower, I think I did ok (considering I made the card before the challenge was posted). I used Very Vanilla and Always Artichoke from S-U. The patterned paper and brown layer is non S-U. I also used some flowers that I've had hanging around the craft room forever. I finished the flower layer off with a half vanilla pearl from the Pretties Kit. I'm finally using more of these great embellishments. I always end up keeping these (pricey) embellishments, but they are lovely so I'm making a committment to use more of them.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Embossed Echoes

I have a workshop booked for the niece of a very good friend of mine in a couple of weeks. I was playing around with ideas for the workshop and I ended up making this card, which I think I'll end up giving to her at some point (she is getting married later this year). She wants to make her own wedding invitations so I'm going to try to come up with a few ideas for her in addition to the workshop cards (which I still need to prep). When I asked her what she might want me to demonstrate, she indicated she likes embossing (among other things), which is why I think I ended up making this card. I embossed one of the flowers from the Echoes of Kindness hostess set (level 2) in gold and used my blender pens with various inks to colour the flower and leaves. I mounted the image on Pink Pirouette and added gold brads. I used the Damask Texturz plate from the backgrounds 1 offering. I love these Texturz plates and they are definitely the right price (3 double-sided plates for only $14.25)! I embossed the sentiment in gold and mounted it to the card base (also pink pirouette). I love the simplicity of the card, but I think it is also very elegant.

Kristina Werner's Colour Challenge #42

Here is my take on Kristina Werner's Colour Challenge - to use Whisper White, Kiwi Kiss, More Mustard and Really Rust. As soon as I saw the colours, I knew I wanted to use the With Gratitude set from S-U. I embossed the leaf in gold on Whisper White CS and then coloured it with More Mustard and Really Rust markers and used my blender pen to move the colour around a little. I cut out the leaf and mounted it with a pop-up on WW CS that I sponged with More Mustard. I layered that with a panel of Kiwi Kiss. I used SCS Sketch Challenge #110 (because I have no card lay-out sense). I embellished the card with a few brads and a some mustard satin ribbon (non S-U) that I layered on More Mustard CS. I'm using more neutral backgrounds on my cards & I'm trying to keep my cards a bit simpler.


Kristina Werner Colour Challenge # 42

Another great colour combo for us to play with is up over at Kristina Werner's wonderful blog! I fully intended this card to use more of the mustard and rust colours, but ended up with an eyeful of kiwi! (it is my current favourite colour so I guess it's not surprising!

I used one of my home made embossing plates to create the floral image and used the swatch colours to ink and add contrast to the embossed image. The patterned paper is from Sassafrass Lass and the little tab is cut by hand. Some sheer ribbon and a little bling and it was done!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Who is that Masked Bird?

I made this card in response to a Saturday Inspiration Challenge on Splitcoast Stampers this week. The inspiration pieces were from an art show where all the canvases were women's bras! One, in particular, covered in brightly covered feathers gave me the idea for this image.

I started by stamping the Hero Arts peacock image and masking it. Then I began stamping Squawk, from Inkadinkado repeatedly, masking as necessary to create a nameless crowd of pigeons surrounding the central bird.

I used shades of cool grey Copic Marker to colour the pigeons, so that my peacock would really stand out. Then I let loose and used lots of bright colours and blending to colour my showboating peacock.

To finish the card, I mounted the coloured image inside a deceptively simple gatefold card with the hand-written sentiment, "You're One in a Million."

I like how the outside looks very plain in contrast to the busy, colourful image inside!

Although the masking and colouring took a bit of patience, I really like the finished effect!

Dotty Dances

Whenever life gets me down, I pull out this rubber stamp from Artistic Impressions. Her name is Dotty and I adore her! If Dotty were a little younger, I'd say she's living with a severe case of denial. But since she is a woman of a certain age, I choose to believe her utter disregard for reality comes from widsom and experience! Either way, she always cheers me up!

This is a very simple card. I wanted to play with my Copic Markers and different shading techniques. I went for a smooth blend for most of the image, using the colours pictured below. I find that if I colour over the entire area with the lightest shade after I add shading, I get the most subtle results. On her purple dress however, I broke all the rules and used colours that were a more dramatic contrast and I didn't attempt to blend at all, just layered the colours on. I like both effects! Because I didn't own a brown Copic when I did this card, I made my own by combining the orange and blue to create Dotty's unique hair colour.

When I was happy with the colouring, I just trimmed my image out and mounted her on a very simple graphic background using foam adhesive. The sentiment is from an Inkadinkado set and just seemed to fit!
I hope you enjoy Dotty as much as I do!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Crazy for Cupcakes

I made this card for a workshop I had yesterday. I really liked the way it turned out and it received good reviews. I want to give full credit to Alison Fereday, who I swapped card fronts with at a Mega Meeting held in Burlington last month for the Amazink Canadians S-U group. I changed the cardstock, DSP, ribbon and sentiment, but kept the layout the same. I added Crystal Effects to the cupcake icing to give it a big of shine. The colours used were Regal Rose (card base), Pink Pirouette, Pumpkin Pie, Whisper White and Sweet Always DSP. I punched a hole in the side of the cupcake image and added a wee bit of ribbon. It was a fun and easy card to make. I absolutely love the new Eyelet Border punch.

I'll be getting my act together shortly to make some samples of upcoming classes I'm planning. Watch for technique classes, altered art projects and a class featuring The Big Shot!


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Kristina Werner's Colour Challenge #41

Alright, here is my submission for K. Werner's Colour Inspiration Challenge #41. I've seen a bunch of these accordian flowers on SCS and thought I'd try my hand at it too. Of course, I didn't read the instructions in the SAB catalogue for about 15 minutes, so I tried to do this a few different ways before I finally broke down and read it. The colour challenge required us to use Whisper White, Riding Hood Red, Basic Black and Basic Gray. I used a large white half pearl from the Pretties Kit and my sentiment came from the Define Your Life set. A little Riding Hood Red ribbon and voila, my card is done!


Friday, February 13, 2009

How Can You Tell If Someone is New to Blogging?

Answer: They neglect to check the box that allows everyone to comment!

Sorry guys! I have just realized that only Blogger members have been allowed to post comments up until this moment. While I appreciate that it is entirely possible that no one else had anything to say.... Now you can.

Thanks for your patience!

Cuttlebug baby buggy

Over the past couple of months, I have been trying to catch up on some SCS Sketch Challenges. This one was SC32. A bunch of ladies at work (5 of them - Yikes!) are ready to have babies, so I thought I'd get ahead of the game in the event one of them has a boy. I recently received Parisian Breeze Specialty paper which is absolutely amazing! It was a beautiful texture and is so thick, it's gorgeous. Can you tell I love it? It's definitely worth a couple of extra dollars. I used blender pens with baja breeze and chocolate chip ink on the raised image. I finished the card with S-U buttons and 5/8" striped grosgrain ribbon. The sentiment inside comes from the Best Yet (retired) S-U set and says "a little something for a little someone". I really hope that one of these gals has a boy!


Echoes of Kindness

I made this card for SCS Colour Challenge #205, which called for the use of pink pirouette, perfect plum and kiwi kiss. At first I wasn't sure I liked this card, but it has since grown on me. I used my blender pen and picked up the colours from the lid of my ink pads to colour the flower. The image comes from the Echoes of Kindness Level 2 hostess set. I also used the Eyelet Border punch, which I really love. To finish off the card, I used Styled Silver Hodgepodge Hardware and a sentiment from Fresh Cuts.


For a sick cousin...

Unfortunately, I needed to make a card for one of my husband's cousins. He just found out he has cancer of the abdominal wall (I forget the technical name for it). He was told he has, at most, a year to live. He only retired last year and he and his wife moved to a beautiful neighbourhood on Georgian Bay. It's so sad he won't have long to enjoy it.

I used one of the new S-U embossing folders from Backgrounds 1 (harlequin shape). It's a bit hard to see it here. I added little dots in between each "connector". The colours are chocolate chip, very vanilla and kraft. I used one of the trees from the Trendy Trees set from S-U. I used Old Olive and Garden Green and did the "Rock and Roll" technique on the leaves. I received the "Three Little Words" set from a recent Mega Meeting I attending with the Amazink Canadians group of demonstrators. The inside finishes the card with "thinking of you". I really hope I don't have to send a sympathy card too soon...


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Zen and the Art of Cutting Stuff Out of Cereal Boxes

A few days ago, I promised (threatened)? that I was going to try Mel's technique for making custom embossing plates using old cereal boxes! Well OMG, I am hooked! I finally have a reason to be grateful for the inhuman quantities of breakfast cereal that my teen aged son eats! (Keep eating, honey).

Mel's folders were made by cutting stamped images out of cereal box cardboard and adhering them to a flat panel, also cut from the cereal box. The whole thing gets sealed with a layer of Mod Podge and then you can run it through your cuttlebug to create your own custom embossed paper! There aren't enough exclamation points in the world to get me through this post!!!!

When I looked through my stamps, I just didn't have the images that I wanted for this technique, so I turned to my trusty QuicKutz Silhouette. I selected the images I wanted and cut them from cardstock first since the Silhouette won't cut through cardboard. Then I traced my die cuts onto the cardboard and cut them by hand. Here are the four plates I have made so far:

(I know, I know. But I like cutting things out! It makes me feel very Zen) I used the paisley folder to make the Valentine's card for Kristina Werner's Color Challenge - see previous post. Then I decided to experiment a bit and I made this card.

Basically, I embossed the chandelier on black cardstock, then swiped Gesso all over it. I sanded it to make the embossed image pop, but it still wasn't standing out the way I wanted. So I used Prisma Pencils and Gamsol to colour the background area pink with yellow highlights. Then it was a bit too garish for my liking. So I gessoed and sanded again. Finally, I coloured the raised areas of the chandelier with a clear Stardust pen, which doesn't really show in this picture. In real life, it really adds some glamour! This card is a little funky (even for me) so I'm back to the drawing board to see if I can come up with more ideas for using my new toys.

So now I think I'm going to spend about a week cutting stuff out of cereal boxes until I have the biggest collection of custom embossing plates on the planet! Plus, all that cutting will practically qualify me to be a Buddhist monk!

Kristina Werner Color Challenge # 41

Ever since we introduced the blog, Donna and I have been anxiously waiting for Kristina Werner's next wonderful color challenge so that we could participate. Our first week, Kristina was away for CHA and there wasn't one! Then, strangely enough, we both completely missed the announcement of # 40! I've been watching her blog with an eagle eye and one hand on my ATG every since and here it is - # 41!

The minute I saw this swatch, I thought "Valentines Day." (My serendipitous purchase of the Hero Arts stamp set, "Together" may also have contributed to my thinking). So without further ado, here is my take on the challenge.

I was feeling kind of swirly and sophisiticated for this card. I started by stamping the central image in black on smooth white cardstock and twice again on red cardstock. I cut the centre frame from the white and layered it onto one of the red images with foam adhesive. I trimned just the heart from the final red image and popped it again with foam adhesive on top of the white layer.

This picture doesn't show all the detail I would like in the background. The white panel is actually embossed with a homemade embossing plate I made for my Cuttlebug using some paisley images from the QuicKutz Silhouette as a guide. (More on this technique later, I promise)! I enhanced the embossed panel using white and silver perlescent chalks, then layered it with a grey panel and a red lable cut using the Spellbinders Large Lable Nestabilities.

The patterned paper is from the Basic Grey Bittersweet collection, the photo corners are cut by hand and I added a fun velvet scalloped ribbon from American Crafts for more texture. The final touch was a sweet little bow using thin silver cord around the focal heart image.

Now it's Donna's turn!

Friday, February 6, 2009

I'm Feeling the Love....

I'm not usually a big Valentine's Day girl, but when I saw this great paper from K and Company, I felt inspired to spread a little love! The first card, I made for my husband. It looks kind of old and raggedy (much like himself)!

It involves podging waxed paper to a cardstock panel and running it through your machine with an embossing folder. Then I alternated inking and sanding the panel until I got the kind of effect I wanted - kind of like an ancient fresco. I loved the texture on this panel! Then I just layered it up with some masculine (sort of) colours, ribbon, brads, and an embossed cuttlebug heart. The central image is cut from the K and Co. Paper and mounted over top.

Then I decided to make a second card for my son. This one is a little more colourful (much like himself)!

This one started as a plain white cardstock panel, embossed with the perfectly paisley cuttlebug folder then coloured with oil pastels on the raised images. I coated the whole thing with two coats of gesso, then sanded it selectively when dry to reveal more of the colours underneath. Love it! I cut the wave edge by hand and did lots of layering. Another image from the K and Co. paper, some ribbons and brads and it was done.

I'm really enjoying these cuttlebug techniques. There is a tutorial up today at Mel Stampz on how to make your own embossing folders! I can't wait to try it!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Musings on Imperfection

As much as I admire perfection in other people, I have found it just about impossible to achieve both in my life and in my crafts. You know the saying "measure twice and cut once?" This doesn't work for me. If I measure twice, I get two different results. Which then, should I cut?
But I have learned to work with, indeed, be inspired by my imperfections! Last night, as I backed out of the impossibly small and crowded parking lot where I work, I managed to back directly into a parked car. As I heard the metallic crunch somewhere over my right shoulder, it occurred to me that I really should try the new distressed metal tile technique I had read about earlier that day at the incredible Mel Stampz blog!
I love this technique! It's actually not difficult. Start by adhering a piece of aluminum foil to a panel of cardstock - use a brayer to get most of the wrinkles out - then run it through your cuttlebug with your choice of embossing folders. I used "Textile Texture." Then turn it face down on your Scor Pal and emboss a grid on the panel to emulate tiles. Cool huh? To distress the panel, I brushed on a layer of gesso, then sanded it lightly when dry. To really make the texture pop, I lightly brayered some Timber Brown StazOn ink over the raised areas.
To assemble the card, I layered a panel of Basic Grey Sultry patterned paper on a kiwi card base. Then I matted the tin panel with dark brown cardstock and adhered it the centre of my card. I stamped the Wildflower Seed image from Inque Boutique on a scrap of Basic Grey (I think it was from the Wassail collection, then coloured with chalks and highlighted with an opaque white gel pen. I matted the stamped image on dark brown cardstock and layered it on an angle to a Spellbinders lable that I had die cut from a medium blush cardstock. This went on the card with foam adhesive and I finished with a couple of scraps of kiwi coloured ribbon, tucked under the edges of the patterned paper.
Quite frankly, I'm much happier with this bit of distressed metal than I was with the distressed effect I created on my neighbour's car last night!