Wednesday, 27 February 2008

I can't believe it! I've been published!!!!

Now that I've recovered from the shock and have stopped buzzing around long enough to post, I have to have a bit of proud moment here. I've been published! In the current issue of Crafts 'n' Things, in the Design Focus section (p. 99), is my card showcasing the Faux Batik technique. I originally submitted this card to The Rubber Stamper Magazine, but it was bought by the company that publishes Crafts 'n' Things.

Last week sometime we got a big white envelope from Amos Publishing, but I thought it was a book that we were to get from Scientific American for renewing a subscription so I ignored it. It's been languishing in the pile of mail which got tidied today in anticipation of some stamping buddies coming over tonight. I thought I would open this package and put it away to give to my dad for his birthday (is it too late for a spoiler alert? probably, but chances are fairly remote that he reads this blog and I'm sure my mother will edit the details of this post in her verbal report). When I opened it, I found the Crafts 'n' Things magazine, and I was wondering why on earth this would arrive in the mail, addressed to me. Could it be some sort of surprise gift subscription or something???? Then it dawned on me that they send free magazines to people who have submissions published. A whirlwind thumb-through revealed my card! Let's just say my small daughters were delighted with the shrieking and the jumping and the carrying on which is normally discouraged indoors.

How exciting! Thanks for allowing me this immodest moment :-)

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Sunshine Designs Hearts Galore!

I was so excited to see that a new contest had been posted a couple of weeks ago on! The February contest is to make a project using a heart theme and, of course, Sunshine Designs stamps. I was fortunate to receive the Hearts cube with my prize package for the November contest so I incorporated the curlicue heart into my card.

I had layered inks on the brain after teaching that class yesterday, so I decided to make a card using that technique in a pink colour scheme. I started by brayering chalk inks on my white cardstock (peach pastel and blush rose) using my mini brayer. Then, I stamped on my background stamp from the Oriental Floral cube in a variety of colours of pigment ink (papaya cream, terra cotta and pink). After I stamped the hearts in merlot (ink, not beverage), I heat set the paper with my iron, which reminds me......

[Back from turning off iron....] As I was saying, I heat set the paper and set about colouring in my hearts with dye based markers in shades of pink. With that done, I coated the hearts with Dove blender + clear embossing powder and embossed them. Then I used my stylus and foam tip (aka Magic Wand) to buff in some warm violet chalk ink. The next step was to remove the embossing powder with my iron and some blank newsprint. The last step on the main panel was to add the sentiment from the Friendship cube and emboss it in black. With the background panel done, I felt the card needed a bit of focus, so I embossed the curlicue heart on watercolour paper and coloured it with markers and added some pink stickles for oomph. A twist of silver cord and some cranberry Adirondack acrylics and this card was ready to put together.

I used black as a background mat, which really makes the colours pop I think. The card blank is one that was kindly brought all the way from Seattle by my aunt, who got it at Impress Rubber Stamps. [I am absolutely green with envy that she got to go there in person. Mind you, I think I might just keel over if I went there and was that close to all those scrumptious papers in person. ] I don't know the exact colour of this pink, other than that it is just the perfect warm, rosy hue to go with this card. I might have to get some more since it is the perfect complement to my pink chalk inks.... What you see here is half (gulp!) of my stock in this paper! What a girl won't do to try to win a contest ;-)

Anyway, that's today's card, this month's contest entry, and my stamping-therapy for the moment. Thanks for looking! I hope this inspires you to go and stamp your own entry for the Hearts Galore contest!
[Note: I call this technique Lovely Layered Inks and I learned it at Western Educational Activities in Edmonton. I have an upcoming class teaching this technique on March 28 if you're interested.]

Supplies: Stamps: Sunshine Designs (The Stamp Barn) - Hearts cube, Oriental Floral cube, Friendship cube; Ink: Colorbox pigment (black, merlot, papaya cream, terra cotta, pink), Colorbox fluid chalk (peach pastel, blush rose, warm violet); Paper: white matte cardstock, basic black, the perfect shade of pink - Memory Box duplex; Other: silver cord (SU), black embossing powder, clear embossing powder, Dove blender, pink stickles, cranberry Adirondack acrylic paint.

Saturday, 23 February 2008

From the Groovy Guava Garden

I had a great stamping day today. It was my first time teaching at my LSS and we all had a great time. The ladies made some really gorgeous creations. I'm really looking forward to my next class, which is on March 15. Check out the store calendar if you're interested.

Now for today's card. What do you do when you're pressed for time, short on ideas, and need a wayyyyy overdue thank you card? Crack open your new (and free!) stamp set and check the Stampin' Up idea book for sample ideas. That's what I did when I made this little number.

My open house order got here on Thursday and in the box was this hostess set (From the Garden). It's so pretty! I really liked the sample in the catalogue so I used that as my inspiration for this card, with a few minor modifications.

I stamped the image in groovy guava and sponged it lightly with blush blossom, barely banana, certainly celery and mellow moss. I added a bit of sparkle with my sakura glitter pen to the middle. The sentiment is stamped (somewhat crookedly) in mellow moss. (Crookedness is optional, but I was too lazy to start over.) I used a bit of groovy guava designer series paper and some groovy guava ribbon (the last of my gg ribbon from a share - do I get more???) to finish off the card. Everything is mounted on a guava card blank. Now I just need to write this up before our friends forget they ever did anything nice for us and/or vow never to do anything nice for us again.

I'm not sure whether the sponging added anything, I liked the toile look of just the guava on white, but there you go. I'll know better next time. When you're me, there's always another card on the way!

Thanks for looking!

All supplies Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted: Stamps: From the Garden, Much Appreciated; Ink: Groovy Guava, Mellow Moss, Barely Banana, Blush Blossom; Paper: Whisper White, Goovy Guava designer series prints, Groovy Guava; Accessories: Groovy Guava double-stitched grosgrain ribbon, glitter pen - Sakura.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Brocade Box

I recently picked up an alterable Plain Jane Cigar box at my LSS and decided today was the day to turn it into something pretty. I hemmed and hawed a bit about which papers to use, and decided to go with the gorgeous Brocade Backgrounds from last year's catalogue. (The same pattern is available now, but in fresh, spring colours.)

I started by painting the box with Antique Linen distress crackle paint (this stuff is so cool!), then cut my designer paper to fit inside and out and glued it down with Tombow Mono Multi. (I really like this adhesive, but I need to get better at not getting it on my hands because it's quite sticky. I know, I know, it's glue....) A little note about the paint - the crackle medium is built right in so no need for layering glazes over a base coat of paint, and the bottle has a built-in paint brush so no clean up afterwards! (Other than what you get on your hands and pants and floor when you drop the brush - oops....)

Once I had the box covered, I wanted to embellish the top a little, so I made a few layers with the designer paper and coordinating stamped images. I used the wonderful scroll and medallion from Baroque Motifs, and gilded the lily with the chocolate chip satin ribbon from the Winter Mini and a half-back pearl from the Pretties Kit. I added a little loop of ribbon to be a pull-tab for opening the box.

I was quite pleased with how this turned out. And the good news is I still have a box in my stash to try out another day, perhaps with a completely different feel to it. The original box has a window in the top, so the next one I do might keep that window. So much stamping, so little time!

Supplies: Stamps: Baroque Motifs - Stampin' Up!; Paper: Brocade Background, Chocolate Chip, Old Olive, River Rock; Ink: Encore Gold, River Rock; Other: Cosmo Cricket Plain Jane Cigar Box, Antique Linen Distress Crackle Paint - Ranger, ribbon and pearl - Stampin' Up.

Monday, 18 February 2008

Open House Project #2

Here's the other project we did at my Open House, which was before Valentine's Day. I also gave people the option of using other images and sentiments from "Priceless" and "Holidays and Wishes" if they didn't want to make a valentine.

This project uses the gift card size, which comes 20 to a package and includes envelopes. I actually ordered these by accident, intending to get mini square envelopes. But it was a serendipitous mistake since I really like this size of notecard and they came in very handy for my daughter's birthday party invitations and thank you notes. The guests at my open house also quite liked this size. I don't have the exact dimensions on hand, but it's about the size of card that you'd get in a bouquet of flowers.

About the card: the heart is stamped in Purely Pomegranate on Whisper White, cut out and accented with dazzling diamonds glitter. The background is stamped with Soft Sky and Pretty in Pink. The heart is popped up on a dimensional. The sentiment is pomegranate too, and the panel is mounted on a piece of pomegranate. Very quick and easy to make, but this little card has a lot of impact because the colours stamp so nicely on the whisper white. And the bonus is the envelopes stamp up just as nicely :-)
Thanks for stopping by!

Supplies all Stampin' Up: Stamps: Priceless, Holidays and Wishes; Ink: Purely Pomegranate, Soft Sky, Pretty in Pink; Paper: Whisper White, Purely Pomegranate; Accessories: two-way glue pen, dazzling diamonds glitter

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Twinkling blooms

Here's another card from my session experimenting with Twinkling H20's. For this card, I used my twinklings to apply colour directly to the stamp! In real life the colour is really vibrant and the shimmer is very apparent.

To do this technique, you need a fairly solid image stamp and you need to mist your twinklings and let them sit a bit to get nice because you want a nice thick application of paint to your stamp. Before you stamp you need to mist the stamp and I also misted the watercolour paper to make sure the pigment transferred well. Once I stamped the central flower, I re-misted my stamp and got two more images that way. The change in intensity makes for a nice look.

Once I had my images down, I added some background colour with my stipple brush. In real life it's not quite as dark as in the scan. I used blue near the top, some yellow and plum on the blossoms and green near the bottom. The sentiment is from the new Sale-A-Bration rub-on package. I kept the embellishments fairly simple on this card but I did add some eggplant acrylic paint in three spots just to frame the image. The raisin paper is a textured cardstock so it didn't need any stamps.

I'm pleased with the results of this experiment and I'll definitely be trying this technique again. I'm also in love with these Penny Black brush stroke stamps. I just need to find a good Canadian source. I found this one at Western Educational in Edmonton, but that's not terribly convenient for me. I'll need to keep looking. I have my eye on a few more of those stamps, especially the side-on butterfly, the dragonfly, and some of the botanicals. They're just too beautiful!

Thanks for looking!

Supplies: Stamp: Penny Black; Ink: brocade blue, summer sun, perfect plum, wild wasabi; Paper: watercolour, garden green, textured raisin cardstock; Accessories: Love and Happiness rub-on - Stampin' Up, stipple brush, eggplant acrylic paint - Ranger.

Friday, 15 February 2008

Twinkling backgrounds

Here's a card I made when I was playing around with my Twinklings when my aunt was visiting. I love my twinklings and wanted to try using them for more than colouring in images. For this card I took a piece of watercolour paper and a selection of blue, green, and blue-green paints and just painted on the various colours. I like the sort of watered silk look it resulted in.

Once I had the piece done, it was so pretty it was actually a bit hard to do something with it because I didn't want to use it. But, now that I'm over that, I like the way the card turned out. I decided to use a stamp I got a while ago but hadn't inked yet. It's a cute little butterfly from Old Island Stamps. I stamped the butterfly in Versafine ink (majestic blue). I really, really love Versafine ink. You will never see a crisper image. I wish it came in more colours! I digress.... After stamping the butterflies, I coloured them with a light purple Tombow marker and added some stickles for highlights. The card needed a sentiment but I didn't want to clutter the card too much - then I remembered my retired metal tags that I have had for a while and thought they would combine well with my new Sale-A-Bration rub-ons. And lo! they did! I'm quite pleased with how they came out. And it's a nice way to update some older embellishments. (I have another card in the works that uses another metal tag+rub-on combination!)

To finish the card I mounted the watercolour piece on some brilliant blue, and put the whole thing on a taken with teal card, which was stamped with the butterfly using versamark. A few little blue droplets and this card was finished. I really like the twinkling background and will be trying more of that in the future. It's nice to find multiple ways to use my various tools, and my twinklings are definitely one of my favourite stamping supplies.

Thanks for looking!

Supplies: Stamps: Old Island Stamp Company; Ink: Majestic Blue Versafine, versamark; Paper: watercolour, brilliant blue, taken with teal; Accessories: Stampin' Up metal tags, silver eyelets, white sheer ribbon, silver cord, Love and Happines rub-ons - SU, stickles, blue pebbles

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Height of Fashion Challenge Card

Today's Ways To Use It challenge on splitcoast was to make a card using fashion as the inspiration. Since I got *brand new rubbah* today {grin}, I wanted to use my new Riot of Petals stamp. I love those frondy blooms and they instantly made me think of those colourful, graphic designs by Pucci. I found some great inspiration on the Pucci website, but it was this caftan in blue that inspired this card.

I loved the colours in this blouse and the bold swirling lines. I thought the Riot of Petals echoed this feeling and I used my Tombow markers to colour the image (after embossing it in black) to get that same intensity of colour. The only embellishment I used was some ivory organdy ribbon, gold cord and a 1" circle sentiment. I tried lots of different things, but they all seemed to compete with the flowers. This embellishment seemed to suit though it didn't scan well. I might try to get a better picture of it if it's sunny tomorrow. (I keep telling myself I don't need one of those fancy set-ups that the serious bloggers use, but I'm getting a bit frustrated with my current system of going from real-card to digital-card.)

This was a great challenge and I had a wonderful time playing this one. And it's as close as I'll probably ever come to having something Pucci in my house ;-)

Supplies: Stamps: Riot of Petals, Circle of Friendship - Stampin' Up!; Ink: versamark, river rock; Paper: watercolour, basic black, brilliant blue, Papertrey Ink white; Accessories: ivory organdy ribbon, gold cord, Tombow markers, aquapainter

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Soft Sky Valentine

I made this card yesterday when my aunt was visiting. We wanted to play with some Twinkling H20's so I whipped this card together. In real life it's a bit softer looking, but my scanner doesn't seem to want to read the soft pink so it "auto sets" it to a much darker colour. I fiddled with it a bit to get it better, but this was as close as patience would allow. The card itself is Soft Sky, if that helps give you an idea. The heart is a soft pink with a hint of purple in it.

The heart is from the Sunshine Designs Hearts cube and I stamped it in Palette black noir. I painted it with a variety of twinklings and my aquapainter, using watercolour paper to get good blending. I used another heart for the background and stamped it in Soft Sky. The heart is mounted on a pink (Pixie Pink???) and a sheet of Michael's magenta. A few dots of Ranger acrylic in Stream and some stickles and this card was done like dinner.

Thanks for looking!

PS There's still time to register for my Lovely Layered Inks class at Heather's (Sat Feb 23 from 10-1 or March 28 from 1-4). It's going to be fun - it's an awesome project!

Supplies: Stamps: Sunshine Designs Hearts cube; ink: Palette black noir, soft sky; Paper: watercolour, pixie pink, magenta, soft sky; Accessories: stampin' dimensionals, twinkling h20s, Stream acrylic paint - Ranger.

Monday, 11 February 2008

Open House

I had my Sale-A-Bration Open House this weekend and was it ever fun! The ladies who came were so nice and we had a great time stamping and checking out the new catalogue. Several of the ladies also went home with some of my retired stamps. It was a bit hard to say goodbye to those lovely stamps, but I know they're going to good homes. And now there is room on my shelves for more stamps ;-)

Here's one of the make-and-takes that we did. It's a pocket card, inspired by this one by Mrs Boz on splitcoast. The colour scheme is Lovely Lilac and Almost Amethyst and uses the amethyst designer series paper. There is a flower stamped on the insert too, using the stemmed bloom from Polka Dots and Paisley. I'm hoping to post the other make-and-take today or tomorrow.

A big thank you to all the ladies who came to my open house and made it such a great time. See you next time!

I'm looking forward to stamping with my aunt tonight. She's visiting from out of town for a couple of days and she's a stamper too so I've cleaned off my stamp desk so there's room for two. Can't wait!

All supplies Stampin' Up: Stamps: So Many Scallops, Totally Tabs, Polka Dots and Paisley; Paper: whisper white, Almost Amethyst, Lovely Lilac, Almost Amethyst designer series print; Ink: Lovely Lilac; Accessories: scallop punch, round tab punch, stampin' dimensionals, corner rounder, 1/2" circle punch, almost amethyst, lovely lilac and certainly celery markers.

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Baby shower card

I was off to a friend's baby shower today and this is the card I gave her. I made it with my new Sale-a-Bration scallops set and some gorgeous designer series prints. I love how the colours all match! I'm getting very spoiled by all this colour coordination. :-) This card was quick to put together, and the only little extra is a bit of Sakura glitter pen on the stars for some twinkle. I used a ready-made long note, the punch was super quick, the patterned paper was quick, and I even dipped into my Sherbet Ribbon Originals. That very wide ribbon can be tricky to incorporate, but I think it works as a design element here.

I had a great big bag of presents for my friend. She wanted a second-hand shower, so I went "shopping" in my basement and found lots of things in good condition that I can pass on. I also found a great nursing pillow at the local consignment store at a fabulous price. It's nice to be able to get some more mileage out of baby things since they're only in use for such a short time.

The food at the shower was really yummy. Some great cheeses, delicious guacamole and a wonderful strawberry cake. I brought some triple chocolate brownies. I had given thought to making some lavender-lemon sugar cookies with my stork, ducky and teddybear cookie cutters, but my friend doesn't really consider something to be dessert unless it has chocolate in it. So I went with yummy, yummy brownies from this month's Canadian Living magazine. And to gild the lily I used my super-special Callebaut baking chocolate that my mother brought when she visited. The good news is there are leftovers! We have family over for dinner tomorrow night so the brownies will make a nice dessert.

Supplies: Stamps: So Many Scallops - Stampin' Up!; Ink: Certainly Celery; Paper: So Saffron long notes, Certainly Celery, designer series prints in So Saffron and Certainly Celery; Accessories: celery buttons and Sherbet Ribbon Originals (both SU), embroidery floss, Sakura glitter pen

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Fun flowery thank you

I had a few moments today during nap time and needed to do some therapeutic stamping. I needed a thank you card and found this flower from Sunshine Designs already coloured in my scrap box so I thought I would turn it into a card. I liked the pinks on the flower, but I found if I put it on pink paper, the pinks were diminished a bit. I like how they pop against the blue instead. (I'm sure this can all be explained by {deep, sonorous, CBC-type voice} Colour Theory, but I'm a simple girl and I just go by what I like.)

Anyway...back to the card. The flower was stamped in permanent ink and watercoloured with Tombow markers. I used Stickles to highlight different parts. That was the premade part. Today's work sprang from today's Ways To Use It challenge (to use dots/polka dots) and yesterday's sketch challenge. I added dots as the background (dots stamp from Polka Dots and Paisley) and a dotted strip of paper (again from my scrap pile). The dots on the stamp and the page pebbles echo the theme. The sentiment was embossed with white and popped up for some dimension.

Not my favourite card of all time, but I like it well enough. Now I just need to get it in the mail!

Supplies: Stamps: Garden Branch - Sunshine Designs, Polka Dots and Petals and Much Appreciated - Stampin' Up!; Ink: palette black noir, versamark; Paper: watercolour, brocade blue, bordering blue, certainly celery designer series prints; Accessories: page pebbles, tombow markers, white embossing powder, stickles

Can I share a proud moment? Remember the Rambling scrapbook page from a few posts ago? Well, I won the store gift certificate! I had thought it was a random draw, but I found out today it's not. My page was picked (from some pretty fabulous pages*) as the one the chooser liked best. I don't know who the chooser was, but thank you! I used my gift certificate to get this month's scrapbook kit :-) Can't wait to crack into that!

*I tried to put a link to the pages in, but I couldn't - they're at under {Be inspired}.

Monday, 4 February 2008

New contest at Sunshine Designs!

I just discovered that Sunshine Designs has posted a new contest! You can get all the details here, but in a nutshell, they want your best heart-themed card, scrapbook page or paper project.

These contests are a lot of fun, and the more people that enter, the merrier. I don't have any affiliation with Sunshine Designs, other than as a loyal customer. I've been a big fan of their stamps for a long time now and would encourage you to check out their website. They've made on-line ordering easy if your local stamp store doesn't carry them. (And if they don't, you should ask for them!)

I'm not sure yet what I'll enter, but I know I'll start thinking about it. I got the heart cube in my prize package for the November contest so I'm sure that I'll be using that in my submission. Time to get creative :-)

Baby Girl Zeppelin Card

My friend from work asked me to make a card for a baby girl. She wanted it to have a zeppelin carrying a bassinet instead of a cabin and a baby peeking out of the bassinet. Well, I didn't have a bassinet stamp, but I thought this little pram would be a reasonable substitute.
I started off with a window frame that I found in my stash. It had a lovely soft, weathered look, with a small window. I thought it would be cute to see only the carriage through the window, and then when you open the card, see the zeppelin. The small window also allows the sender to write a message inside.
I didn't have a zeppelin stamp, so I made the zeppelin using my word processing software, adding the baby's name, and printing it on patterned paper. I also cut some tail fins to match. I painted the carriage using twinkling h20's to coordinate with the front cover. The zeppelin is flying on a cloud background that I sponged using a homemade cloud stencil, following the great tutorial on Julie Buhler's blog. I drew in lines from the zeppelin to the carriage with my sakura glitter pen so they're visible, but not really obvious. A spiral clip and some ribbon for embellishment and that was that! (This little write-up has left out all the false starts and wrong turns this particular card took! All those twists and turns are part of what's fun about stamping.)
Thanks for looking!
Supplies: Stamp: Katie & Co; Paper: Soft Sky, Whisper White, patterned paper Making Memories, watercolour paper; ink: palette black noir; accessories: pewter spiral clip, cool caribbean rick rack, soft sky stitched ribbon (all Stampin' Up!), twinkling h20's, aquapainter, sakura glitter pen