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.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Thinking of you at Christmas

I decided to use one of my favourite stamp sets today.  It's been retired for a few years now but it will always have a place in my collection.  I've even stamped the image of this darling little bird on a rock and painted it.  No matter how I've used it, the image speaks to me and makes me smile.  This time I've used it for a CAS (clean and simple) card.  It turned out just as I had hoped.
My base is Real Red.  I've stamped on the wonderful Shimmery White specialty paper and then coloured my images using alcohol inks.  The berries on the holly glisten because I've given them a coat of Crystal Effects.  My sentiment, also from the same Beautiful Season set, is stamped using Mossy Meadow ink.  Finally those three dots beneath the sentiment are Real Red Candy Dots.

It's clean and simple but is perfect for the coming season.  I've entered my card into two challenges, both of which are all about clean and simple this time around.

The first is the SIP Challenge.

I've also decided to enter my card into the Stamping Sensations challenge since I was so kindly invited to do so.

FM232 - Hello Fall! (Rock Star at the Friday Mashup Challenge)

*Thrilled to have been picked as Rock Star for the Friday Mashup*

There are few leaves in the trees now and those on the ground are, for the most part, looking a bit on the grungy side.  That's what I had in my mind as I created my card for the latest Friday Mashup challenge.  The mashup, you see, is all about either using leaves or using their sketch.  Of course there is always the choice of mashing the two together, which is what I enjoy doing.  My card, therefore, is all about the fallen leaves in my world using the sketch.

I decided to use the retired Naturals White cardstock as my base because it, too, is not completely clean looking with its natural fibres and specks showing.   I used a variety of neutrals, including Sahara Sand, Soft Suede, and Tip Top Taupe.  To those colours I added a bit of Cajun Craze, So Saffron and Delightful Dijon.  My stamp sets included Vintage Leaves, Gorgeous Grunge and For all Things.  I kept it simple.  After adding a bit of sponging around the perimeter of my layers, I finished it off with three little sequins.  That bit of bling seemed to be just what it needed.

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

Thursday, 29 October 2015

It's All About the Candy! (Fab Five for the Retro Rubber Challenge)

*Thrilled to have been in the Fab Five for the Retro Rubber Challenge*

Last year I presented a couple of make-n-takes for a local charity scrapbooking crop and one of the ladies there had a few stamp sets that she was selling.  When I saw that some were older Stampin' Up! sets, I became interested and hunted through them.  One set, with beautifully sketched Hallowe'en characters, was too cute to pass up.  When I got home I hunted for the set on the internet.  All I knew was that it was for Hallowe'en, by Stampin' Up! and the date stamped on the wood was 2006.  Thank goodness the internet brought my hunt to a quick end.  The set's name is Best Fiends.  I discovered that a couple of the stamps were missing from the set which I had bought, but I was still very happy to have bought what was there.

For today's card I've used the Frankenstein image from the set.  I've also used the bats from the retired Tee-Hee-Hee set and the sentiment and candy corn from the retired Halloween Hello set.  After stamping the images and sentiment, I did a lot of cutting.  The fussiest of the lot was, of course, old Frankie, but I'm happy I cut them all out.  I had used two old, retired stamp wheels for the background and gluing the images on top of that really made everything "pop".

My colours are Basic Black, Tangerine Tango, Old Olive and Rich Razzlelberry.  I've used Whisper White for stamping my images and background as well.

I used the sketch from this week's Retro Rubber Challenge so that I could play along.

My colours are courtesy of the colourQ challenge this week because I'm also playing along with them.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015


There are quite a few challenges out there at the moment which are asking for Hallowe'en creations.  That's a good thing because, with Hallowe'en only days away, it's been on my mind quite a bit.  There's all the candy that has to be bought and then, of course, I have to think about my own costume since the boys love it when we all dress up to go with them for Trick or Treating.

I really liked the Friday Mashup challenge which asked for a Hallowe'en card or some ribbon or a mashup of the two.  Of course I mashed it up.  You knew I would.

I used a base of Basic Black, added a layer of Old Olive and then another layer of Basic Black.  That layer, however, was first cut with the "boo" die from the Boo to You framelits.  Then I cut a piece of Shimmery White paper using a maple leaf die and then stamped it with the adorable little witch image from the Greeting Card Kids set.  I had such fun colouring that image and then the leaf background!  Before adding the leaf to the card, I wrapped some thick green cotton twine around the black layer.

Isn't that little witch just the cutest thing?

I've also entered this card in the Inkspirational Challenge which is all about cute Hallowe'en.

And I've entered it into the {Pin}spirational Challenge which has an adorable photo inspiration.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Give Thanks

This is the time of the year when we reap so much from the land around us.  I love going into the markets and seeing fresh vegetables.  There is also something very special about seeing the fields with pumpkins ripening.  Soon everything will be gone and the earth will slumber under its blanket of snow, but for now I give thanks for the colours and the continuing mild weather.

I love the retired stamp set, full of blessings.  The images mirror the landscapes I see around me.  Retired or not, it's a set I will keep.  For the "Less is More" challenge I chose to use the field of pumpkins and the simple sentiment "give thanks".  It's very true that sometimes less is more.

You can find more cards and the sketch at "Less is More".

Friday, 23 October 2015


I've always loved trick or treating and all things Hallowe'en.  It was fun when I was growing up, fun when I took my own daughter out and now it's fun joining the group and taking out my grandsons.  We've always kept it fun with no mean tricks.  Decorations, costumes, treats---that's what it's all about.  Of course I love creating Hallowe'en cards!

For the Tic Tac Toe challenge at this week's Stamp, Ink, Paper challenge, therefore, I happily chose the third line vertically:  orange, cat, and patterned paper.

SIP Tic-Tac-Toe 19 800
What I created was a modified easel card.  It looks completely different closed than it does open.  Let me begin with the inside and build outwards.  I layered a partially embossed piece of Smoky Slate on my Basic Black base and then added a stamped piece of Whisper White in the shape of a gravestone.  A bit of Basic Gray sponging, a couple of cobwebs and my sentiment completed it.

Being a type of easel card, there is an upper section and a lower section.  The upper section of this card has the required patterned paper.  You can see that I've also added a window through which one can see a gnarled old tree with an owl sitting in it and, of course, there is the requisite full moon shining behind.

The lower part of the front is embossed with the same Boho Chic embossing folder as the bottom of the inside.  There is also a window frame attached which extends upwards.  Through this particular window, which is vellum, one can see the silhouette of a witch flying across that full moon.

Finally, with the card closed, you can see the whole scene together.  I love the way one can see through the vellum to the gnarled tree and owl, don't you?

And that's my bit of Hallowe'en fantasy for today.  I hope you've enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed creating it.  For more Hallowe'en fun, check out the cards at the Stamp, Ink, Paper challenge.

I've also entered this card into the Retro Rubber challenge.

And, since their theme is Hallowe'en, I've also entered the card into the Male Room challenge.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Thankful for you

It's fun when a challenge asks for a masculine card.  I don't make a whole lot of cards that are purely masculine so I have to sit back and give some careful thought to making this type of card.  Since the card is for the "Less is More" challenge, I knew I would be keeping it as simple as possible, but with a certain flare.  I decided on the direction of my card when I also chose to enter the Addicted to Stamps and More challenge which, this week, is all about making your mark (using markers and colours).

I used a base of Naturals White cardstock followed by a layer of Garden Green and then a layer of Whisper White which I first stamped and coloured before completing the card.  I used the old tractor image from the Harvest Blessings stamp set and the greeting from the Good Greetings set.

After stamping my image using Memento Black ink, I randomly coloured areas of the tractor using my Garden Green Stampin' Marker.  Then I randomly added colour to the grass using my Delightful Dijon Stampin' Marker.  After that I used my Aqua Painter to add a wash of Garden Green to parts of the tractor and a wash of Sahara Sand to others.

Finally I used a mask to add a "frame" around the image using a sponge and my Sahara Sand ink.  My sentiment is stamped using the Memento Black ink.

I kept it simple, but sometimes that really makes the biggest impact.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

SUO#133 -- Merry, merry Christmas

The SUO challenge really intrigued me since it asked for a pocket card.  Well, it's been a while since I created one of those and so I happily got to work.

I used a mixture of new and old for my card.  I wanted the pocket to be textured but didn't want to use an embossing folder so the subtle texture of the retired Core'dinations cardstock was the perfect compromise.  I decided to use Real Red and, for a fun addition, made it a pocket shaker card.  Why not?

For the images inside the shaker I combined the Lovely as a Tree stamp set with a fussy-cut Santa image from the Home for Christmas Designer Series paper.  Inside the shaker I added some of the retired snowflake and silver sequins from last year's Frosted Sequins embellishments.  

For the surprise greeting inside the pocket I used Whisper White and Crushed Cucumber and then added a Real Red Striped ribbon to help pull it out.  My sentiment is from the Wondrous Wreath stamp set.

For more cute pocket cards, check out the SUO challenge.