Sunday, 31 August 2014

Christmas Cheer

Do you love the simplicity of the Festival of Trees bundle?  I certainly do.  Along with the coordinating punch, this stamp set is such fun to use.  You can just imagine how thrilled I was to find some coordinating Designer Paper in the Santa & Co Designer Series paper.

I used a base of Naturals White and then a layer of Old Olive, followed by a piece of the Designer Paper.  I kept the pieces of paper close in size to make the frames around each very narrow.

When I checked the colours against my cardstock, I saw that the lighter green trees matched my Pear Pizzazz perfectly while the darker trees matched the Old Olive.  I used my Scallop Tag Topper punch to cut out a tag in Pear Pizzazz and also one in Old Olive.  I cut a rectangular window into the Pear Pizzazz tag and backed it with a piece of Window Sheet.  Onto the Old Olive tag, I heat embossed the sentiment from my (retired) Christmas Messages stamp set using White embossing powder.  Then I put some sequins into the middle of the Old Olive tag and attached the windowed Pear Pizzazz tag using strips of Dimensionals.   Now the tag became a "shaker" tag.  What fun!

The rest was easy.  I used my (retired) mini Tree punch to cut two little Gold Foil trees which I attached to the tag using Dimensionals.  I also tied a bow to the top of the tag with my Gold 1/8" ribbon.  Both the tree and the tag were attached to the card using Dimensionals and the tree was topped with a tiny gold sequin star (actually Baked Brown Sugar from the In-Color Sequin Assortment, but it looks like gold).

For more cards that have shakers, check out the City Crafter Challenge.

For more Christmas cards, check out the Christmas Card Challenge.

For more Christmas cards where anything goes, check out the Completely Christmas challenge.

And just missed the tag challenge at Make My Monday but you can still see the other wonderful entries here.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Birthday Boy

My nephew is crazy over planes. Whether he's building them or flying them by remote, he loves them and can't get enough of them. Naturally when this stamp came my way I had to make a card for him. I'm not sure he ever tied a kite's tail to his plane, but quite honestly, knowing him, he may very well have done so. Especially if he thought it might help it fly more true.

I made this card a 5 1/4" x 5 1/4" square. My base cardstock is Naturals White followed by a layer of Not Quite Navy. In keeping with Nicole Watt's sketch on Pals Paper Arts, I made the next layer of Cherry Cobbler smaller to allow for a wider frame around it.  Then came my layer of Whisper White which I had stamped and then coloured using my wonderful Blendabilities.  They make colouring a real joy.  I kept it clean and simple to emphasize the coloured image and clean lines and  added only a sentiment from the Label Love stamp set and cut it out using my Artisan Label punch.

For more cards that are geared for the kids, check out Fab 'n' Funky Challenges.

For more cards using this wonderful sketch
check out Pals Paper Arts

Monday, 25 August 2014

I Love Cats!

Yes, I do.  I love cats.  But I'm not quite the crazy cat lady with just two of the little darlings in my household.  When I saw this stamp, however, I simply fell in love with the happy little old lady surrounded by her cats.  And don't you just love her coffee cup---I love cats.  So perfect!

Except for the stamp, everything else is Stampin' Up! product, especially those wonderful Blendabilities with which I coloured my image and made my little scene.  Aren't the letters perfect?  They're the new Little Letters Thinlits and are so easy to use.  I love their size and simplicity.  I cut them directly into the Whisper White stamped and coloured piece before mounting all the layers together.

For more cards using a whole lot of letters all over them, check out Stampin' Royalty.

For more cards that are clean and simple, check out Addicted to Stamps and More.

Happy Birthday---Keeping it Clean and Simple

Do you like kittens and hedgehogs?  I sure do!  What could be more cute than a kitten juggling roses along with a hedgehog running to supply them?  What a happy way to send someone some birthday wishes!

I used the Penny Black stamps for my images of the kitten and hedgehog.  Together, they made such a cute scene.  Of course I coloured them using my Blendabilities and then chose paper for the background that pulled out the colours that seemed happiest to me.  My base cardstock is Naturals White.  Then I placed two layers askew, one in Cajun Craze and the other in Crushed Curry.  On top of those I placed my stamped and coloured piece of Whisper White, set straight to match the lines of the base cardstock.

For my Happy Birthday sentiment I used the fun and funky Sassy Salutations stamp set.  To finish off, I set a Cajun Craze Candy Dot at each corner of the Crushed Curry.  I kept my card very clean and simple.  All my stamping is done on the one layer of Whisper White.  I think it really shows off the happy scene better to place all the attention on it rather than on all sorts of added embellishments.

For more fun birthday cards, check out Seize the Birthday.

For more Clean and Simple cards, check out Addicted to Stamps and More.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Perk Up! -- Another Ode to Coffee.

Am I obsessing about coffee?  It may seem like it but this is actually a celebration of the little monkey stamp I re-discovered.  Well, and it's a bit about coffee.  Without coffee, my world would be slow and sad.

I found a great sketch at the Freshly Made Sketches Challenge:

Besides that, I found a challenge with a geometric theme at Addicted to CAS:
I also found a challenge called "to die for", all about adding a die-cut, at Papertake Weekly Challenges.

What does all that add up to?  A really fun card would be the right answer.  I chose to use my coffee-carrying little monkey again for this card.  I also used a Jim Holtz "Honeycomb Panel" die, the Stampin' Up! Morning Coffee stamp set (retired), and the Stampin' Up! Gorgeous Grunge stamp set.  All the colouring was done using the new Stampin' Up! Blendabilities.

My base cardstock is Baked Brown Sugar followed by a layer of Early Espresso and then a layer of Naturals White which I stamped using the Gorgeous Grunge set.  In the top right corner I stamped "Perk up" from the Morning Coffee set.  Then I attached the Early Espresso die-cut honeycomb panel and filled in the hexagon spaces with Baked Brown Sugar die-cuts.  

I stamped the monkey and the coffee cup onto Whisper White using black Memento ink and then fussy-cut them both after colouring them.  I attached the monkey to the honeycomb panel and then attached the coffee cup to an Early Espresso die-cut hexagon and attached that to the card with Dimensionals.

For more cards using this sketch, check out Freshly Made Sketches.

For more cards with a geometric theme, check out Addicted to CAS.

For more cards featuring die-cuts, check out the Papertake Weekly Challenge.

Dies and Bokeh, Oh My!

I've been a photographer since the first time I received my own camera when I was ten.  Those early photographs show a curiosity in capturing the world around me.  There were a lot of "duds" but some photos that showed promise.  Over the years I've honed my skills and learned so much more about the why of a good photo.  Manually choosing my aperature is one of the things I choose to do for most of my photos.  And that's where "bokeh" comes into play.

Basically bokeh is the quality of the out-of-focus areas of the photograph.  Even though one ensures a good out-of-focus or background blur by choosing a large aperature, the rest depends on the actual lens of the camera.  Some lenses are known to provide excellent bokeh by rendering the background blur into circular patterns.  Overall, the background blur should be soft and creamy with smooth, round circles of light.

Okay, this is not a photography lesson, but the card that I've created does depend on bokeh, or rather my rendition of bokeh through the use of stamps and sponge daubers.  After first sponging some Pool Party over a piece of Whisper White, I spent some time using both along with the following inks:  So Saffron, Pear Pizzazz, Daffodil Delight, Pistachio Pudding, and, finally, Whisper White craft ink.  The results are pleasing and not entirely unlike bokeh.

After all that dried (the craft ink takes quite a while to dry), I stamped my primary image, the birds in their nest from the World of Dreams stamp set.  Then I attached my die-cuts.  I had cut a birdhouse (Poppy Stamps) and a sentiment (Spellbinders) out of Basic Black cardstock.  I loved the stark contrast of the die-cuts and stamped image against the bokeh.  It made me think of leaves and sky all around.

For my base cardstock, I used Naturals White, then a layer of Basic Black and a layer of Pear Pizzazz.  I put a Basic Black matte on the "bokeh'd" Whisper White and then attached that to the card using Dimensionals.

For more cards including both bokeh and die-cuts, check out The Friday Mashup.

For more cards including die-cuts, check out the Papertake Weekly Challenge.

For more cards using this sketch, check out CAS(E) this Sketch!

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Fly-fishing in Black and White

My husband is an avid fly-fisherman.  He ties his own flies and loves to get out to rivers and lakes to challenge himself against those wily fish.  Apparently if the fly isn't exactly right, one's chances of luring a fish are desperately poor.

It took me a while to find a fly-fishing stamp that really appealed to me.  I finally found it on the internet---a retired Stampin' Up! set that was exactly right.  The mountains in the background are reminiscent of the area in British Columbia where my husband grew up.  Of course I bought it!

I kept my card to simple black and white.  I wanted it to be a reminder of what his fishing days back home would have been like and I didn't want colours to get in the way of the scene the way they sometimes do.  My base cardstock  is Basic Black, then a layer of Naturals White and then the stamped scene on Whisper White matted with Basic Black.  My sentiment, too, is on Whisper White matted with Basic Black but is raised up on Dimensionals.  I chose to use the Woodgrain embossing folder on my Naturals White because, when mounted sideways the way I have, it is so much like the ripples on water.

I'm entering this card in the Make My Monday challenge since its theme is "sports".  For more card in this challenge, check out this page.

Ode to Coffee --- Perk Up! Featured Artisan pick at the Paper Craft Crew Challenge.

(So thrilled to be picked as Featured Artisan at the Paper Craft Crew)

I love coffee!  In the morning it is the friend that wakes me up and makes opening my eyes tolerable.  During the day it gives my energy a little boost.  With dessert---well, what is dessert without coffee?  C'mon!

When I saw that there was actually a challenge with the theme "Java", my cup virtually runneth over and I knew this was a card I would make.  No question!  I would meet the Java challenge.

Of course when I saw the sketch offered by the Paper Craft Crew, I could see the card already, taking shape in my head.
Paper Craft Crew Card Sketch #106 for August 20, 2014 #stampinup #cardchallenge #papercraftcrew

My colours?  Well, Early Espresso for the base, of course.  I like my coffee black and this colour simply looks like what I have in my cup.  Baked Brown Sugar---the colour of my husband's coffee.  The rest I would leave up to the colours in my image.  

I had bought a stamp a couple of years ago for no other reason than I fell in love with the silly monkey carrying two coffee cups.  I mean, really, what's not to love?  This was the image that I would use for my card.  I also decided to use the coffee cup from Perfect Blend to stamp all over a layer of Baked Brown Sugar as some background interest.  I also love the sentiment and that would be part of the card.

This is a card that I had so much fun creating it simply makes me smile to look at it.  The stamp sets that I used from Stampin' Up! were Gorgeous Grunge, Perfect Blend and Morning Cup (retired).  The main star of the card is unnamed.  Sorry, I can't find the wrapper and so the poor monkey is anonymous.  The beautiful Washi tape across the lower portion of the card is from the Watercolour Wonder collection.  All the colouring was done with my Blendabilities.

The card measures 5 1/2" x 5 1/2", has a base of Early Espresso, next a layer of Crushed Curry, then a layer of Early Espresso, then a stamped layer of Baked Brown Sugar and then the two matted panels.  This is no lightweight!

But that really wouldn't do for the CASology challenge, even though the card is clearly all about Java.  It really isn't about the CAS, however, and so I proceeded to wander along another path.  Clean and simple---java---well, why not have fun with the tech side of the Java term.  We all have Java on our computers, right?  Without it, where would we be?  Many of our apps wouldn't even run without javascript.

And so, without further ado, I introduce the much simpler and very clean Java (tech) card.  My image is from There She Goes clear stamps.  My base is Naturals White, then a layer of Cherry Cobbler, another layer of Whisper White and then the grey-matted Whisper White rectangle with the image.  I used my Blendabilities again but left an image of "Java" white on the screen.

For more cards using the Java theme, check out CASology.

For more cards using this sketch, check out the Paper Craft Crew Challenges.

For more cards with the "anything goes" theme, check out the Simon Says Monday Challenge.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Sparkle --- SSC #32

I had found a sketch on the Sunday Stamps Challenge and knew I wanted to try making a card from it but couldn't decide what to use for the "doily" shape.  This is the sketch:

I've been thinking a lot about Christmas cards lately because the Blog Hop in which I participated was featuring a sneak peek at Stampin' Up!'s new Holiday Catalogue.  So I decided to trade out the doily shape for a snowflake and change the flowers for sparkly snowflakes.

I used a base cardstock of Pool Party with a skinny layer of Smoky Slate and then a layer of Whisper White.  I only attached the Whisper White and Smoky Slate together initially and then added three strips of the new All is Calm Designer Washi Tape and then a ribbon of Pool Party Seam Binding tied into a bow near the bottom.  Then I attached that combined layer to the Pool Party base.

Next I stamped a piece of Whisper White with the largest of the Festive Flurry snowflakes using Pool Party ink.  I'm so glad that the Festive Flurry bundle is being carried over until August 28th.  If anyone doesn't have these yet, they may want to order them soon.  Time is running out.  I cut out the stamped snowflake using the matching framelit die and then cut it in half and attached that to the card, slipping it under the Pool Party ribbon slightly.  

To finish off I stamped the top right corner of the Whisper White with the sentiment using Pool Party ink and then added two of last year's Frosted Finishes Embellishments plus a large Rhinestone just above the bow.  A bit of Dazzling Details Silver Sparkle added to the snowflake made it "pop".

For more cards using this sketch, check out the Sunday Stamp Challenge.

For more cards with "anything goes", check out the Simon Says Monday Challenge.

Monday, 18 August 2014

SCCC 38---Peace on Earth

Those of you who have been following my blog will know that I try to participate in the weekly Christmas Card Challenge to which one of my friends introduced me.  I love the chance to create a Christmas card, no matter what the time of year.  This week's challenge is to use embossing folders or heat-set embossing on the card.  Or both.  You probably already know I'll be using both.

A few weeks back, at our local Farmer's Market, I had happened to buy a beautiful Memory Box die called Deer Trio.  I love deer.  They were so much a part of my life back in Grand Forks, BC where I used to live.  They roamed everywhere, even in town.  Clearly the die was meant for me to buy.

I chose to make my die-cut out of Basic Black.  The deer would simply be silhouettes against an embossed Silver Foil background.  I embossed the Silver Foil with my Northern Flurry embossing folder and loved the way the foil took such beautifully sharp embossing.  My base cardstock, of course, had to be Basic Black.

Overall, I already loved the results.  For the one finishing touch of a sentiment, however, I chose to use my Vellum cardstock which I first heat embossed using Black Embossing powder.  Then I cut it into a banner and attached it across the top of the largest embossed snowflake using tiny silver brads.

I stopped while the card was still clean and simple.

For more cards in this challenge, check out the Christmas Card Challenge.

I've also entered the card into an animal theme challenge.  I love that it concentrates on clean and simple designs.  For more of these card, check out "Less is More".

Sunday, 17 August 2014

CASE Study 4th Anniversary Challenge

If you have time, you should check out the CASE Study 4th Anniversary Challenge.  There are some wonderful video tutorials and samples that are part of the Design Team's Blog Hop as well as some great samples made by participating crafters like myself.  After checking out all the blogs that are part of the blog hop, we are invited to CASE one of the projects ourselves.  This is what I'm doing in this post.

I chose to CASE Maureen Merritt.  I loved the romantic feel of her project and knew I could come up with the materials necessary to attempt it.  This was her project:

I haven't worked much with stencils and don't own any that would work to achieve the look of Maureen's card, but I pride myself on being able to find ways around obstacles like that.  Making my own stencil by cutting paper out with one of my die's, for example, helped me to get the effect I wanted.  I used the Poppy Elsa Butterly Branch and also my oval framelit.  Together they worked to give me a pattern over which I was able to use my sponge dauber to add Melon Mambo ink.  For the vellum leaves, I used my Penny Black Dancing Leaves die.

For my bits of "dazzle", I added three of the tiniest of the butterflies from the Beautiful Wings embosslits folder cut from Gold Foil and several of the large rhinestones coloured with my Melon Mambo Blendabilities.  The "hello" is cut from Gold Foil as well and the "sweet love" is heat embossed using Gold Embossing powder.  

Finally, I used my Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder on my base cardstock of Naturals White.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Merry & Bright---Snowflakes meet a Christmas Cardinal

I'm so glad that the Festive Flurry bundle is still available until the end of this month, aren't you?  Those snowflakes and matching framelits are awesome.  I knew when I saw the sketch at the Paper Craft Crew challenge that I would want to use them.  I also wanted to use the cardinal from the Beauty of the Season stamp set.

Paper Craft Crew Card Sketch #105 for August 13, 2014 #stampinup #cardchallenge #papercraftcrew

I used a base cardstock of Island Indigo topped with a layer of Naturals White.  For the smaller rectangle I used a base of Island Indigo topped with a layer of Pool Party that had been embossed using the Northern Flurry embossing folder.

For my shapes I had decided to use the Festive Flurry snowflakes cut from the Silver Glimmer paper.  The open snowflake was easy enough but for the solid one I first stamped the cardinal onto a piece of Whisper White and coloured it.  Then I fussy-cut it and glued it onto a piece  of Silver Glimmer Paper using my Tombo glue.  Once that was dry, I used the snowflake framelit and cut it out, having centred the cardinal.  I loved the result!

Assembly was easy.  I used a small strip of the retired Winter Frost Designer Stack for the accent and then layered everything on top.  The solid star with the cardinal was attached with Dimensionals.  For my sentiment I used the Hostess Good Greetings stamp set heat embossed in silver on Island Indigo.  The final touch was putting three little Island Indigo Candy Dots in the top right corner.

For more cards using this sketch design, check out the Paper Craft Crew challenge blog.

For more cards using a lot of glitter, check out the Stampin' Royalty challenge blog.

For more cards using a holiday theme, check out Addicted to Stamps and More.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Love you always! A bearded iris, some gold and some challenges.

What do I like about the CAS challenge?  Their name says it all: C(lean) a(nd) S(imple).  It's fun to create something along those lines and have it be elegant and over the top despite keeping it clean and simple.  This week's challenge has the code word "Gold".  Besides silver, gold is my favourite metal for crafting.  The hard part would be zeroing in on just one creation that included gold.

That's where the sketch challenge from Seize the Sketch came in handy.  Using that sketch, I knew how I would design the card.

I love irises, especially bearded irises.  They're such an elegant flower.  On a whim, I bought a stamp called Bearded Iris, part of the Britain in Bloom Collection.  This would be its first inking and I found the prospect exciting.  I had checked out colours of irises on the internet and my choice was to make mine shades  of blue.  A perfect opportunity to use the Night of Navy Blendabilities as well as the Old Olive.

I stamped the image on my Shimmery White cardstock using Memento black ink.  Once I had coloured everything I knew I wanted to fussy cut the image.  I am a bit crazy that way sometimes.  There was a lot of fussy-cutting.  But you do what the creative imp riding your shoulder tells you to do.

The rest of the colours for the card grew out of  the colours in the image of the irises.  So my base cardstock was Marina Mist, then a layer of Crushed Curry, then a layer of Marina Mist and, finally, Gold Foil.
The worst part of the assembly was cutting my dimensionals skinny enough to fit under the narrow cut pieces of the iris and leaves.  But I persevered and, finally, realizing that some of the dimensionals would peek out, coloured the sides of the dimensionals in the appropriate green.  *sigh* What a person will do for art!

I chose a small, square sentiment from the Something to Say stamp set, "love you always!"  I heat embossed that using Gold Embossing powder onto a piece of Night of Navy and then used my 1" square punch to cut it out.  Then I adhered that piece to a piece of Crushed Curry and fussy cut around the square, leaving an extremely narrow piece showing.  Finally I cut a piece of Marina Mist using my Postage Stamp punch and attached the sentiment square to that.

I love it when the finished card is as good as your imagined card, don't you?

For more cards using lots of gold, check out Addicted to CAS.

For more cards using this sketch, check out Seize the Sketch.

For cards with "anything goes", check out (PIN)spirational Challenges.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Christmas Blessings

Aren't Poinsettias a work of art?  They're such a different looking flower.  The blossoms look just like the leaves, only they're a different colour.  If you had only heard the Poinsettia described and had never seen it, you'd probably wonder what all the hype was about.  Why would it be our Christmas flower?  Once you've seen it, however, you'd stop wondering.  It really is a wonderful flower.

I've used the Poinsettia from the Joyful Christmas stamp set and coloured it using my Blendabilities.  I masked the finished flower and stamped snowflakes over the Whisper White paper.  It really softened the effect, especially since I chose to stamp the snowflakes using my Encore Silver ink.  On top of that I stamped my sentiment using Always Artichoke.  The simple words "Christmas Blessings" seemed the perfect fit.

My base cardstock is Smoky Slate followed by a layer of Cherry Cobbler and then a layer of Always Artichoke.  Then I mounted the stamped Whisper White on those layers.  A simple card but the Poinsettia makes it elegant.

For more cards using these colours, check out Christmas Card Challenges #37.

For more cards that are "anything goes" Christmas cards, check out Completely Christmas.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Merry -- The same card in two colour choices

It's surprising what a bit of change in colour can make.  I've made the same card but using two different colour schemes.  The first one I had made in order to enter the Christmas Card Challenges which was to use embellishments.  That was easy because I had planned to use rhinestones, gold foil and a die-cut anyway.

The second card evolved out of the first one because I loved the colour challenge at colourQ and could easily imagine the card made in those colours.  Of course if I had found this challenge before making the card for the other challenge, only one card would have been necessary.  But that's okay.  It's always good to be able to show how colours can make the same card appear different.

What do you think of the way the card looks with the strip of Cherry Cobbler in the centre changed to Early Espresso?  Even the change to Certainly Celery doesn't make as profound a difference.  Overall, my favourite is still the first one I created, but I do like the other colours as well.  What do you think?

With Early Espresso and Lucky Limeade.

With Cherry Cobbler and Garden Green.

For more cards in the embellishments challenge check out the Christmas Card Challenge.

For more cards in the colour challenge, check out colourQ.

In the meantime, leave me a comment and let me know which colour choice you would make.

Boo to You

I love the sketches at Freshly Made Sketches and this week's immediately struck a chord.  I knew what I wanted to make as soon as I saw it.

Mine would be a Hallowe'en card but I had no ghostly images with which to work.  Thank goodness for snips, Whisper White paper, and a bit of imagination.  Voila, ghosts!  I shaded (yeah, notice the play on words) around them lightly using Smoky Slate so that they would appear to have some substance.  Then I cut a spider's web using my There She Goes Spider's Web Die.  I wanted that web across the card in place of the string in the sketch.

For the button, I simply stamped the spider from the retired Googly Ghouls stamp set.  Green eyes were perfect since I used the Mossy Meadow as my second layer.  My base, of course, was Basic Black, followed by the Mossy Meadow and then another layer of black set askew.  

Along with the ghosts, webs and spider, I needed a sentiment, but nothing too serious.  What could be more perfect than the "boo to you" from the brand new Good Greetings stamp set?

For a look at more cards in this challenge, check out Freshly Made Sketches.