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.