Monday, 11 December 2017

Feeling my way with Brushos

Some new products are more of a challenge than others.  Brushos are one of those products.  The results which I've seen in some cards and other creations have shown me that it is not just I that finds these watercolour crystal paints a challenge.  I imagine that patience and more patience is required for noteworthy results.  Isn't that true of everything, you ask.  In varying amounts.  The Brusho experience is one which can't easily be explained.

For one thing, when one is using watercolours, one rarely winds up with "exploding" colours.  But that's the closest I can come to describing what happens when water meets these crystals.  Oh, and crystals is perhaps a misleading word.  These are in many cases tinier than salt crystals, almost a powder.  But my goodness, what a lot of power in the powder!

I decided that I would buy one or two colours from a craft store in Calgary since we went there last week.  I wanted to try them out before investing in the five-piece set available through Stampin' Up!  Since it's so close to Christmas, my choices were Emerald green and Scarlet red.  I thought holly might be a fun first attempt.

Using my gorgeous Tim Holtz Holly Bough stencil, I took a water-based dye marker in soft grey and outlined the holly and berries, resulting in something akin to stamping on my mixed media paper.  Once that was nicely dry, I pierced a hole in the lid of my Scarlet Brusho and shook just a bit into a small paper cup.  Then I took my AquaPainter and "painted" some of the berries with water.  After that I picked up some of the Brusho crystals with the tip of a slightly damp brush and proceeded to colour the berries.  The results were both exciting and unexpected, with the Brusho wildly deciding what to colour and how much colour to leave in spots.  Long story short, I did the same with the Emerald crystals and the holly leaves with even more wildly spreading Brusho colours.  It was not what I expected but at the same time, there was something original and attractive about the results.  Enough so that I continued with the piece and used it in a card.

I've also added a cardinal from an unnamed die and some of the beautiful Year of Cheer Specialty Washi Tape.

I've decided to link this card up to some challenges.

Fab & Funky Challenges #374 - All Tied Up since it has a tied  up bow holding those little tags.

HLS December Watercolour - Anything Goes.

Addicted to Stamps & More #271 - Anything Goes

Friday, 27 May 2016

SIP49 - Once is Enough

This week's Stamp, Ink, Paper Challenge is all about flowers.

SIP Challenge 49 Flowers 800
What fun it is to use flowers when you've just gotten a new embossing folder!  I chose to emboss my image on a piece of Whisper White and then I used sponge daubers to add ink to the raised portions.  The result is a pretty, lightly coloured bouquet in the top left which I complimented with a sentiment in the bottom right.  A few splatters here and there and my card was complete.  

Stamps:  Fifth Avenue Floral
Papers:  Heavy Whisper White, Emerald Envy, Whisper White, Peekaboo Peach
Inks:  Basic Black, Emerald Envy, Flirty Flamingo, Peekaboo Peach, Basic Gray
Embellishments:  Basic Pearl Jewels

I hope you'll check out the other cards at the Stamp, Ink, Paper Challenge.

Monday, 23 May 2016

The Male Room Challenge #35 - Happy Father's Day!

The norm seems to be to create more "girly cards" with flowers and butterflies and the like.  Don't get me wrong, I love making cards like that but I have a lot of men in my life as well and so really embrace the chance to create a masculine card. That's where The Male Room Challenge comes in.  And this challenge is all about transport.  There are so many types of transport.  This should be fun.

One of the types of transport used a fair bit around this area is the tractor.  Of course when one is travelling down the highway, slowing traffic, they're not much fun.  But in their proper environment, the farm, they are invaluable.  

I got this stamp set with the tractor and corn a few years ago to stamp in my Scrapbook.  The boys had gone into a corn maze and I thought the set was perfect to include as additional images on my pages.  How handy that I had it at my fingertips for this challenge.

I decided to make my tractor red (although I will admit that most of the tractors that I have seen here in Canada have been green or grey).  I wanted it to "pop" against the more natural colours of the soil and the corn.  All of the colouring is with my Aqua Painter and inks.  I love the watercolour effect and found it easier, that way, to give an illusion of the tilled soil.  

I'm also entering my card for the Design Team.  Those who have followed my blogs know that this is the one which I created to use for the cards and other creations that include products and stamps other than Stampin' Up!  My other blog, Stampin' Along With Heidi, has a great many more posts because they focus on my Stampin' Up! projects.  If I were to be chosen to join the Design Team, I would prefer to link up with this blog, Reaching Deep Within.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

FMS237 - Today Belongs to You

I love clean and simple sketches.  For me the challenge is to put across an idea or tell a story with the least number of images (or words).  The sketch at the Freshly Made Sketches challenge allows me to do that.
I love the clean lines of the sketch.  For my base I chose the Night of Navy.  I added a layer of Whisper White for my stamping and also a border to the right side of the Whisper White from the Affectionately Yours Washi tape.  I've had the sentiment forever and the tiny flower came with that stamp set, echoing the flowers in that Washi tape border.  Just for fun I added the butterfly from my retired Best Thoughts stamp set and a few splatters thanks to the wonderful Gorgeous Grunge set.  For my colours I used Watermelon Wonder, Cucumber Crush, Daffodil Delight, Blushing Bride, Night of Navy and, of course, Basic Black.

I hope you'll check out the other cards at the Freshly Made Sketches challenges.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

PP295 - Little Moments

I bought this Local King Rubber stamp set originally because one of the images was perfect for my sister-in-law's baby shower.  She and her husband spent some time in Africa and giraffes were one of their passions.  How nice that I can use the set again for the Paper Players Challenge!  It is all about wild animals.

I decided to keep the card very clean and simple, using only four colours:  Whisper White, Basic Black, Tip Top Taupe and the very new Peekaboo Peach.  For my background I used the retiring Go Wild Designer paper stack since it echoes those colours as well as the markings on the giraffes.  My sentiment is from the Watercolor Wings set.

I hope you'll check out the other cards linked for this challenge at the Paper Players.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

When white is another colour - Less is More #270

One of the things that I love about CAS cards is the amount of white space.  But what if the white can't be white?  Then you're looking at leaving as much of the coloured background space as clean as possible, right?  Yes, I know the concept, but it still felt odd thinking of Blackberry Bliss as my "white".

I've used Blackberry Bliss as my base cardstock and then added a layer of Whisper White just for the framing and then another layer of Blackberry Bliss.  On that final layer of Blackberry Bliss, I've heat embossed both the images and the sentiment using my White embossing powder.  The image of the floral silhouette is from the Serene Silhouettes set while the bee is from the retired Springtime Hello set.  The sentiment is from the Rose Wonder set.

I hope you'll play along with the "Less is More" challenge this week.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Catching up to the new year!

It's 2016.  I remember when everyone was terrified that all computerized things would stop working and that chaos would result with the coming of the year 2000.  Remember the Y2K scaremongering that went on?  And now we are sixteen years into the new Millenium.  Yes, there are scary things out there but not the type that they warned would come as we entered the 21st century.

I didn't make any formal resolutions this year.  I'm trying to make changes in my life but those have been ongoing anyway, so making those resolutions wasn't necessary.  I usually wind up making some great sounding ones which are almost sure to be broken, so why bother?

For some reason the cold and snow, even though we haven't had that much snow, are bothering me more than usual this year.  I think I'm ready for a new, more temperate climate and, if it wasn't for the stronger, more compelling wish to be close to my daughter and grandsons, I would embrace a move.  But I'll put up with the cold and snow forever to stay close to those I love.

While I love going out and having winter fun

I'd rather be having fun without all those extra layers.

Yes, the sun makes the snow sparkle like diamonds.  I think it's breathtakingly beautiful.  But then, today, for example, just going outside takes my breath away (in a completely different and more unpleasant way).  

I'm still on the fence about staying with Stampin' Up!  I love many of their products but have come to the conclusion that I'm just not "into" running a business, no matter how casually I run it.  It's the creating aspect I love.  And I look around and see so many other ways to use my creativity that I question whether I want to put all my efforts into the paper-crafting "basket".  We'll see what happens.  

For the moment, my immediate task is to continue the ongoing effort to de-clutter and stop hoarding my supplies.  We'll see how that goes, too.

Hope you enjoy your journey through this year.  Keep safe and be kind.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Merry & bright!

Well, outside it certainly isn't bright but that doesn't mean it can't be merry inside, right?  I just got my small pre-order of products from the upcoming Occasions Catalogue and along with it came a couple of stamp sets which I received free because of Sale-a-bration.  That's right!  After Christmas, just about as the new year begins, we'll be offering free items with qualifying orders for our yearly Sale-a-bration.

I fell in love with the chick in the Sale-a-bration Honeycomb Happiness stamp set and, of course, that is one of the ones which I just received.  With Christmas looming so near, it seemed natural to grab the hat stamp from the Snow Place stamp set and the matching framelit to make a little "Santa" hat for my chick.  Of course the chick has no framelit, but I don't mind fussy-cutting as you well know.

Then I grabbed the Perfect Pines framelits and cut out a cute little Christmas tree for my chick using the Stained Glass pattern from the Season of Cheer Designer Series paper.  After colouring the white lines with my Basic Black Stampin' Marker and putting a black outline around the perimeter of the tree, it was perfect.  This is my version of what a Christmas tree would look like if an Easter chick got hold of it.

Of course I added a Honeycomb Embellishment to my chick's tummy and then added my sentiment from the Endless Christmas set.

Cute, right?  Well, I created this card for fun as well as with a couple of challenges in mind.

The first challenge is the SUO challenge which is asking for cards and/or gifts for children.

The second challenge is Create with Connie and Mary's sketch challenge.


Monday, 7 December 2015

Peace -- For the 100th (and final) challenge at Colour Me...!

Some images simply evoke a certain response, don't they?  A winter's scene with the moonlight glistening on the snow, trees in the distance and a sleigh pulled by a horse gliding by---what does that make you think of?  For me, the word is "peace".  And that's what this card is all about:  peace.

I've used a base of the heavyweight Whisper White followed by a layer of Soft Sky.  Then I've added another simple layer of Dazzling Details Glimmer Paper and, finally, the die-cuts of the trees and the horse drawn sleigh.  I've cut those images from a piece of Soft Sky and brought the die-cuts right to the edge of the glimmer paper so that they appear linked to the Soft Sky layer.  Finally I added a die-cut sentiment in Soft Sky as well:  the single word, peace.

It's very simple.  I've added no other embellishments.  After all, what could possibly compete with the glistening Dazzling Details?

This is my card for the final challenge of Colour Me...!  It's a challenge I didn't play every time, but I followed it and played along each time the colours intrigued me.  I will miss the challenge.  It was always fun.

Monday, 30 November 2015

FM235 - Thankful for snow

I look at the title for this post and wonder if I've lost my mind.  Really, I like snow for a few weeks around Christmas and into January.  After that it can melt.  That's how it was while I was growing up in Victoria and it worked then as well as it would now.  But then, as I watch the antics of my grandsons in the snow and see their two canine friends frolic happily, I realize that, for now at least, I am thankful for the snow.  Ask me again in a month or two.

I had a lot of fun with my card.  The sketch for the Friday Mashup, with its slanted division between the upper and lower areas appealed to my sense of fun.  And so I hunted for some fun DSP and stamps.  I think my hunt was quite successful, don't you?

I had to match portions of two sentiments in order to get what I wanted.  But that's half the fun!

For more cards using this sketch, check out the Friday Mashup.

I've also entered my card in the anything goes challenge at the Weekly Christmas Card Challenge.

And, last but certainly not least, I've entered my card in the anything goes challenge at the Retro Rubber Challenge.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

The Mad Dash to the Finish Line!

I've been making Photobooks for the past couple of years.  I have so many begun-but-not-finished Scrapbooks that I had to find a way to get from start to finish.  My way?  I buy a Photobook coupon with an expiry date and then I have no choice.  I don't like to throw money out the window any more than other people do.

Well, that's what I did with my Alaska Photobook.  You'll remember that I mentioned Ken and I took a cruise to Alaska along the Inner Passage back in July.  I decided to buy a Photobook coupon near the end of July and, since it expired November 29th, knew I had lots of time.  Well, time goes by.  Actually time races by.  Have you noticed that, too?  It doesn't just pass, it whizzes by so quickly that if you blink, you miss something.  Well, I blinked a couple of times and suddenly I'm in November and the expiry date is looming dreadfully close.  This wasn't the way I planned things.

Editing is the most tedious part of the process.  You begin with 800+ photos and know that you can't possibly use more than 150 to 200 without boring the heck out of anyone who opens the book.  And, quite honestly, a lot of those photos are so similar that it takes away from the good ones to put in all the other ones as well.  Editing took me a week and a half.  I wound up with 248 photos that I had edited and thought I would use.

Time to begin the Photobook.  I had bought a coupon for a large, coffee-table style book.  It will measure 12" high by 17 1/2" wide.  Yes, it's going to be a bit of a monster, but I wanted room to show off some of the best photos.  Putting the Photobook together has taken me just over two weeks.  The deadline is coming up in days and I am feeling rather good since it has been assembled.  Next comes the editing process.  No matter how closely I check the written areas, I always wind up with at least one error.  It annoys me no end, but it has become an accepted fact.

Would you like to see a few of those photos?  Even though we went back in July, I am still stoked about some of the photo opportunities that came my way.  Yes, it is overcast and wet in most of the photos, but this is one of the world's largest rainforests.  We had a wonderful time despite the weather.  If you click on the photo, a larger version will show.

Approaching Icy Strait Point

Our cruise ship from shore at Icy Strait Point

A pod of Orcas during our whale watching excursion

Two sea lions, one of which was taken by an Orca

Approaching the Hubbard Glacier--sea lions on an iceberg

A panorama of the Hubbard Glacier which is growing each year

The left side of the Hubbard Glacier

The right side of the Hubbard Glacier

A long view across Mendelhall Lake

Mendenhall Glacier with iceberg in foreground

White water rafting down Mendenhall River

Gastineau Channel in Juneau

Tree on top of Mt Roberts, deformed by heavy snow

Doesn't this look like a Japanese painting?

Our cruise ship in the Juneau harbour from the top of Mt Roberts

Zane (our guide) and I in front of one of many Tlingit totemic carvings

In Ketchikan, eagle's nest in Tatoosh Islands

Kayaks waiting for our adventure

Our first time in a double kayak.  The saltwater was like glass.

Eagle  near the top of a snag in the distance

Close up of eagle on snag with added quotation

Our guide.  In sunny weather there would be seals on the rocks

An eagle watches for fish

An eagle in the trees

The fine drizzle and mist made magic

Ketchikan city

Ketchikan city

Ketchikan--a statue honouring the many founders

Ketchikan harbour and city view.  The roads are on stilts.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

FM234 - Winter chills (Friday Mashup winner)

*So stoked to be picked as a Friday Mashup "Glamette" this week*

Well, the weather has turned and a bit of snow has flown.  When I say flown, I am being quite literate.  It's been so windy since last night that the snow didn't get a chance to drift softly from the sky.  Instead, it flew here, there and everywhere because we had such strong gusts of wind.  Of course there are a few perks to that.  For one thing, since it really only snowed a very little bit, the walks and the roads are pretty well bare.  Yes, there is a bit of ice here and there, but overall winter touched us lightly.  Good thing, since the real winter season really only begins later in December.  But it's cold.  Very, very cold.

When I saw the Friday Mashup challenge which they've called "Baby, it's cold outside", I could relate.  It really wasn't very hard to think of a card, especially since they provided the colours.  I enjoy using Mint Macaron, Whisper White, Pool Party and Smoky Slate.  Together they're a bit subtle, but they do make me think cold, icy thoughts which are in tune with the world outside my window today.

I had a bit of fun with the card.  Once I had stamped my image using Smoky Slate and my sentiment using Pool Party, I used the Softly Falling embossing folder to give the impression of snow.  Then I took one of the ornament framelits and used it to cut some Glimmer paper.  Instead of using the ornament shape, I cut around the "mask" and made a thin border of an ornament.  It fit around the image and sentiment perfectly and was just right, especially after I added the small Pool Party bow.  My base cardstock is Whisper White and the next layer is Mint Macaron.  They do look quite nice together, don't they, in their very understated way.

For more cards using the Friday Mashup winter theme or their colours, check out the Friday Mashup Challenge page.