Thursday, 31 December 2009

First tag of Christmas

Hello! Are you having a good New Year's Eve? We are. We did a bit of shopping today, the girls got gift certificates for a toy store so we went out. Then we went for supper at a great Chinese restaurant in our end of town, then came home and played with the new toys. Now we're tucked up snugly and will try to stay up late enough to ring in the new year. We'll see. I was up very, very late last night finishing my tags for the 12 Tags of Christmas, which was a totally self-imposed assignment, but really a huge amount of fun and a real creative rush. I did get them all done and emailed off to Tim Holtz himself, and entered in the contest. My fortune cookie tonight said I would be successful in everything I turn my hand to, so I am optimistic about my chances.

Here's the first tag, based on this one by Tim Holtz. Design elements I used were the snowman motif, the steps for creating the background (distress ink, crackle treatment) and stickle-based icicles. I used blues and pinks and purples for the background, and stamped with SU snowflakes, also with a SU snow-related rub on. The snowman is Sunshine Designs, coloured with markers and cut out. The ribbon is SU. The tag is manila, smaller than Tim's but I had a bunch of these in my stash and they work surprisingly well with all the abuse they get. I did find that really good cardstock drank up too much ink for the wetter distress techniques. It tends to float a bit better on the manila - must be coated with something. Anyway, I liked how this one came out. It's quite sparkly in real life. I still don't know what I'm going to do with all these tags. It was a real hoot doing them, even if I did stay up far too late for my own good.
Well, I should get off the computer and spend some time with my true love, who did not (bless him) give me six geese a-laying today. Two children a-playing was quite enough for me!
Happy New Year!

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Butterfly Birthday

Merry Christmas! Has anyone's true love sent them four calling birds today? How about four pounds of back bacon? My true love went for groceries (twice) so he's in the good books today.
How was your Christmas? Mine was great, and now we are in that lovely, indolent, gluttonous aftermath. I have Jamie Oliver's leek and turkey pot pie in the oven and we are all hoping it is as good as it sounded in the recipe. Yum yum! Can't wait.

I have even been doing some stamping, withe extra bonus of having my mother here to stamp with! Last night we did a whole bunch of thank you cards featuring that cute little MS butterfly punch. I also did a birthday card for a friend of mine who has a birthday coming up. I went with a clean and simple card since I have been labouring away doing Timmy-style tags with endless layers and colours and textures. I was ready for something clean and non-Christmas. This butterfly has been kicking around my desk for a while so it was good to find it a home. It started out as a trial of versafine on glossy (works if you heat set it), using my SU floral stamp. It kicked around on my desk for ages like that, then it got used as a trial to see if alcohol inks can go over top. (They can.) This one uses silver and shades of blue and green. Then it kicked around on my desk for a while until I got my SU butterfly die for the Big Shot and it was the perfect thing to cut butterflies from. Poor little butterfly got moved from pillar to post, buried, discovered, tidied, buried, lost, found, you name it. Finally, last night was it's night! It even got some tiny rhinestones to celebrate.
For this card, I went with a simple layout, which I'm sure was inspired by a layout on Natasha Trupp's Clean and Simple blog, but can't remember exactly which one. Anyway, it's a plain white card, with a rectangular focal point is in the middle. The flourish (SU, Priceless) is in tempting turquoise with some royal blue glitter pen accents on the dots and the antennae. The sentiment is PTI, stamped in turquoise and versafine blue. Warning! Versafine needs to dry or be heat set if you are stamping on whisper white! Or your clean and simple will be all smudged and you will have to do it all over again! But don't worry, it will be faster the second time around because you will have already figured it all out.
Hope you're having a wonderful Christmastide!
Happy stamping!

Friday, 11 December 2009


No, that's not New Stamps Required (but I wouldn't say no". It's for Not Stamping Related! I have been madly writing and addressing Christmas cards so no time to stamp. This combined with Tim Holtz' 12 Tags of Christmas every day and I am going into agonizing withdrawal. Though I did have the satisfaction of popping cards in the mail yesterday, and the odd-size ones got put directly in the bag before Mr Post whisked them off in his van.

So, in the absence of anything stampy to show you, I thought I would show some other things that I have found either really cool or really funny lately.

If you have 6 minutes and volume on your computer, this will blow you away.

I've seen some of the following before, but they are good for a belly laugh every time. They remind me of the sign I saw outside a church here once that said (no word of a lie) "Lord save us from evil Psalms" What a difference a carriage return can make, eh, not that signs have carriage returns, but you know what I mean (if you were born before 1980....).

They're Back! Those wonderful Church Bulletins! These sentences (with all the BLOOPERS) actually appeared in church bulletins or were announced in church services:

The Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals.
Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our community. Smile at someone who is hard to love. Say 'Hell' to someone who doesn't care much about you.
Don't let worry kill you off - let the Church help..
Miss Charlene Mason sang 'I will not pass this way again,' giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.
For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.
Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help they can get.
Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.
A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow.
At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be 'What Is Hell?' Come early and listen to our choir practice.
Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.
Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.
Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person you want remembered.
The church will host an evening of fine dining, super entertainment and gracious hostility.
Potluck supper Sunday at 5:00 PM - prayer and medication to follow.
The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind. They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon.
This evening at 7 PM there will be a hymn singing in the park across from the Church Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin.
Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10 AM. All ladies are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the B S. is done.
The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the Congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday.
Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM.. Please use the back door.
The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare's Hamlet in the Church basement Friday at 7 PM. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.
Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance.
The Associate Minister unveiled the church's new campaign slogan last Sunday: 'I Upped My Pledge - Up Yours.’

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Bella Blog Hop

Welcome to the Bella Birthday Bash Blop Hop sponsored by Stamping Bella! If you've just happened upon my blog, you can CLICK HERE to find out how to start the tour.

My main image is Penelope with Prezzies, watercoloured with markers. Her flower is accented with a little gem. I like how this stamp is versatile - I've used it for birthdays too, but coloured this way to match my Christmas paper, it becomes a Christmas card. The aqua layer of patterned paper is also SB, the Patterned Holly stamp, stamped in lime green pigment ink and embossed with that vivid green embossing powder. I accented the open portion of the leaves with some watered down liquid pearls for some shimmer. The bottom layer of paper is Eskimo Kisses, ornament pattern, blurry because my main image is so far above it and the scaner had trouble focusing. This is due to my very bulky ribbon layer, which I love. It's wide grosgrain ribbon in burgundy, gathered using a lot of tape on the back of the panel. I love how it echoes the little ruffly bit on Penelope's skirt. I will now say that this was all along part of my master plan. (It's on the internet now so it must be true.)

Three gift certificates for $100 in Bella Bucks will be hidden along the hop, but we’re not telling you where so be sure to leave some love as you hop!!! Make sure you leave comments on every post so you have a chance to win!! Click here (post #87)to find out where to check if you've won. The winners will be announced on Monday, December 7. Thanks so much for stopping by! Now it's time to hop on over to Kathleen's blog for some great eye candy on the next stop on the hop.

Friday, 4 December 2009

12 Tags of Christmas #1

I recently discovered Tim Holtz' 12 Tags of Christmas feature. Wow! It's really amazing. I fell in love with them and wanted to try my hand at them. One of the techniques featured was on how to make plaid backgrounds with alcohol inks so I set to it. It's really easy and I have a tidy pile of them on my desk (tidy used figuratively here of course).

I used mostly reds, golds and purples for this background, and stamped on some wintry images from the Winter Post set (SU). I even tried out my new scratching tool - aren't I getting grungy here! I used versafine ink, which seems to be wearing off. Ink that rubs off is a bit more of an extreme distress effect than I was going, so I will need to be gentle with this card until I try a replacement panel. I will have to try a different kind of ink next time, and just hope for the best.

I also scuffed up the edges of the tag (textured cardstock, named similarly to the irascible hotelier at Fawlty Towers). A bit about how I made my tag. In the absence of the elusive #8 manila tags, I made my own from cardstock and trimmed the corners at the top. For once they are even, a fluke that will never happen again! I also punched a circle from burgundy, but punched across the edge of the paper to get a flat side. Then I added an eyelet with my crop-o-dile. I stamped it a few times with a snowflake from Winter Post and edged in plum and artprint brown. The fibres are from my stash and I just love how they add texture and interest and a hit of colour. The layers are various colours of Mr Fawlty cardstock, edged in artprint brown. The brown one was run through my Big Shot for some texture, and the light burgundy has been stamped with a non-SU Christmas tree in bronze. The main card has been stamped in snowflakes in gold and versamark. The brads are square and spell "joy". They were silver so I tinted them with my alcohol ink applicator while I had it out. They're not so stark now and blend better. When all was said and done my hands were filthy but I was very happy with the result. I loved the tag, but I needed to put it on a card. I'm not so assimilated into the TH cult that I can just make tags for the sake of tags. I'm also a few steps away from doing large amounts of metal work in my papercrafting. Please pass the koolaid!
Thanks for stopping by!

Cheerful envelope

Here, by popular demand*, is the envelope to go with the thank you card in my last post. White on white is not a great way to showcase this, but I forget how to change my blog settings. (No doubt it's somewhere in the settings menu, but it's post or fiddle, and I'm choosing post!)

I stamped it on a white envelope using a big and juicy ink pad (primary colours). Still lots of room for the address and return address, though I'm not sure how much Canada Post likes this sort of thing. But they have never, not once, asked my advice on anything, so I don't think I need to ask them either. None of the envelopes have been returned to me yet. Not like the year that I got about 30 back because I forgot to put stamps on them. They must love me there....

I did go on a tour once of the sorting facility (very interesting!) and they did mention that their machines don't like red on envelopes, so never use red ink or things will have to be hand sorted. It was very tempting to think that for 52 cents (or is it more now???) a pop, the delightful people at Canada post should be hand sorting my hand made creations. (One would think that it would brighten their day to come across some handstamped creation to add music to the poetry of postal codes...)

At the risk of sounding very Hyacinth Bucket, I'm tempted to think my hand made cards should be hand sorted, and possibly even hand delivered. On a silver salver. By a liveried footman. And definitely not, most definitely not, subjected to the indignities of a superbox.

*100% of blog comments requested it! How could I resist such a clamour from my following?!?

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Cheap and Cheerful Thank Yous

At last! I did a "clean and simple" card! And it was simple! And most of them were clean! (They are going, by and large, to 7-year-olds, so I am not too worried about the couple that got smudged.)
My daughter's birthday was last weekend, so I needed a batch of thank you cards (13!) for friends and family. I hemmed and hawed for a bit about what to do. I was tempted to try to use up stuff from my scraps stash, but that always takes a long time. Instead, I went to designer paper and coordinating cardstock and ink, for guaranteed wow and speed. I love how it all came together.
The "thank you" image is one I picked up at a beautiful stationery shop here in town (along with too much (????) Japanese paper). I told myself it would be handy to have a circular thank you stamp, and lo! I was correct. I love it when that happens. (I'm still waiting for the ideal moment to trot out my scrimshaw stamp, and appropriate occasions may be less frequent than birthdays and thank yous. Still, it was a gap in my stamp collection....)
This was a very punchy card, and very quick to come together. If you want to recreate it at home, and why wouldn't you, here are the dimensions: standard card base (I used a sturdy white cardstock, 5 1/2"x 8 1/2"), the patterned paper (Razzleberry Lemonade) is 4 1/4" x 2 1/2", the "thank you " is punched on 1 1/4" circle, and matted on a 1 3/8" circle (Rich Razzleberry). The scallop circle is a 2" scalloped circle, punched from coordinating patterned paper (also Razz Lemonade). The ribbon (crushed curry grosgrain) is about 4 3/4" long, trimmed with a notch to overhang the card (I love that!).
I also whipped up matching envelopes, feeling very pleased with myself. I have a nice funky flourish that I stamped with a very big and squelchy (juicy?) multicolour inkpad in the same bright yellows, pinks and oranges. I just love how those turned out. It's sometimes hard to get a nice matching envelope with a card that relies so heavily on patterned paper. I can't (a) bring myself to "waste" patterned paper like that lining an envelope and (b) be bothered to do it. In this case, the perfect stamp again presented itself as did the ink. There was a tricky moment when I wondered if I could find that ink pad since it's so big it doesn't fit any of the places I keep my normal inks. But I just said to myself, where is the first place you would have stowed it, and lo! there it was, cozily snuggled between my watercolour wonder crayons and my wood veneer. I must have filed it with the "W's" for "Wow-these colours match perfectly".
Well, thank you for stopping by and bearing with the horrors of my organizational skills and my overzealous use of interjections.
NSR: I went to see the Group of Seven Nutcracker with my SIL, niece and daughters on the weekend. It was fabulous! It was Ballet Jorgen, and their Canadian interpretation of the story was wonderful. The toys that came to life were woodland creatures and the dance of the loons was particularly magnificent. They are touring various places, so if they are coming to a stage near you, I would recommend them. I am no connoisseur of The Ballet, but they seemed quite good.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Partridge in a Bare Tree

Here's a Christmas card I finished up tonight. I've been plugging away at my Christmas cards. At this rate, I will be done in good time for Easter!
I fell in love with this image when I saw it at my LSS and I inked the tree with a dark brown marker and added colour to the bird with a couple of shades of twinkling h20 so it has a lovely shimmer. I added a tiny dot of marker for an eye, and swishled in some grey at the bottom to ground the image. I didn't know what to do with it, but I really loved the white space (actually off-white space) and it sat on my desk for a while, long enough to get a bit of an aged look and some smudges on the nice off-white space (sigh). Still, the smudges aren't fatal to the overall look, and tonight I decided it was time to make it into a card. I won't describe all the dead-ends, other than mention I have a fantastic border made of Glitter-ritz and pears. It's gorgeous, but didn't fit here. It will get turned into something lovely. I am totally enamoured with my new Glitter-ritz glitter! I also have a bunch of SU glitter, so I am going to see if it works with similar techniques because I know my club ladies would love that!
Anyway, back to this card. I spend quite a lot of time on the red background, and was a little dismayed that it is almost all covered up, but am coming to terms with it. I started by stamping the solid pear in gold on chili cardstock, heat set, then felt it needed some texture so I pulled out my marble effect cube. Boy is that thing ever cool! It is going to be my new go-to stamp for a nondescript texture background. I used artprint brown and soft suede for the stamping. Then I dithered for quite some time on the middle layer. I had a sheet of the perfect colour of Bazzill, but it's my last one and I don't know what colour it is and it is the perfect colour for every single card I am making (probably the reason it is my last one) and I couldn't bear to cut into it. That's when I discovered that the bluey-grey piece was, in fact, even more perfect. I dithered another while on what size and shape to make it and the stamping force drew me to my Christmas stamp drawer and this greeting leaped into my hand and it really worked. That layer needed a bit of something so I stamped the leaf & berry down one side in a medium blue chalk ink (Aegean blue). The greeting is stamped in chocolate chip craft ink and embossed with chocolate brown ep. I think chestnut ep would have been really good too, but my LSS was closed this evening so I couldn't do an emergency embossing powder run. You may be admiring the grunge effect I achieved on the greeting. It's very subtle, but not hard to do. First, ink your stamp with craft ink, and stamp. Realize you didn't ink/press hard enough and there is no way on God's green earth that the embossing powder will stick to that feeble attempt. Consider the folly of trying to re-position, but figure, what have you got to lose - it's not working as it is. Carefully reposition stamp and press harder this time, intently channeling the universe's stamping force. Lift away and presto, only misaligned on the bottom. Looks like something you'd pay money for in the grunge stamp aisle, so emboss it anyway. This is why I like edging everything in Artprint Brown - it gives that grungy distressed look to everything that disguises smudges on vanilla and ghosty greetings. It all looks like it was meant to be there.
Then I toyed for a long time with a vanilla taffeta ribbon and I eventually tied the perfect bow. I was very pleased with myself. The bow looked fantastic, but when I lifted my head up away from where I was hunched in obsessive concentration, I realized the bow looked terrible on the card and ruined the whole effect of the simplicity of the bird. Off it went. I am going to have to go to ribbon university. Or sell all my ribbon. Maybe sell all my ribbon to pay for ribbon university. Hmm.
So that's this card! I really like it. I think what I like is the interesting and very textural bottom layer, the medium amount of texture on the middle layer and the very simple top layer. I should add that there is a subtle linen texture to the vanilla paper that really adds a lot of interest. And in real life the shimmery bird draws your eye right in.
I love stamping. It's been a long week at work (is it only Wednesday???) where I've been dealing with one thing an another, with only logistic regression analyses to cheer me up between the one things and the anothers. So these evenings of stamping with my radio tuned to Studio 93 (awesome 80s new wave and the fabulous DJ Vinnie White of the Whites of Brighton) are intensely and gratifyingly therapeutic.
Now I must figure out what that sheet of Bazzill is so I can re-stock. It's sort of reddish brown, but it looks like it's two-tone red with brown flecks. It's not a solid colour. It came in a darks multipack if anyone has any suggestions.
Thanks for stopping by! And if you are reading to this point, well done! Reward yourself with a trip to the Quietfire Designs blog hop if you like beautiful calligraphy and stamps!

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Something fishy

A while back I went on a real background binge. I pounced and blended and dripped and splatted my alcohol inks all over the place. It's so much fun! But there are only so many sheets of glossy paper that can be tinkered with before I have to put them to a good use. I turned this one into an all-purpose card, which I actually recently used. (My cards have better odds of being hoarded than being given away, and I am always trying to fight this tendency, but it's hard.) I was off to a stamping play date at a friend's house (check out her awesome blog - she is one talented lady, and so so nice) and she just moved so I needed a housewarming card. A couple of fish was as close to housewarming as I had in my stash. (I know I have previously said that fish are for masculine cards, but I will also decide that they are excellent for housewarming, and if I search the internet hard enough, I might find that they are an ancient symbol for hospitality. After all, isn't there some saying about houseguests and fish????)
I was also fixated on finishing my velvet poinsettia Christmas cards that day. (Which I did finish, but the end result was that I only have fish cards for a housewarming. I love making fish cards, but there doesn't seem to be a good occasion for giving them. I'll have to hold out for April 1st, which has some sort of fish connection for the French. Now there's a reason to head off to Wikipedia, but I will try to finish this post first.)
Well, I did dash off to my friend's, we had a great night and even got some stamping in. We had a new order to play with and I made a cute holly card with button berry accents. So much fun!
Thanks for stopping by.

Anyway, I did the polished stone background with various alcohol inks on glossy paper. As I'm peering at it in the dim light, I see some vaguely flower shapes and I now recall that I had made a bunch of pieces of floral background stamped on glossy in Versafine dark blue. I didn't like them, so I thought I would try to enhance them with alcohol ink. It mostly covers them up, which considering I didn't like it in the first place is an enhancement. If I had been trying to keep it, I might be more annoyed. I should try to remember this for future reference. I had these fun peel-off stickers and I whapped those down, added some dewdrops and matting and I had my main panel. I put it on a textured base (C'bug folder with sticks, meant to evoke seaweed). A hairy bit of yarn finished it off. I like the colours and the various textures, etc. The alcohol backgrounds are just so pretty and interesting. I could just play all day!

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

What's Cookin'

Wow - there's nothing like a scanner to pick up all the flaws in a watercoloured image! My watercolouring usually passes the "can you see it from the highway?" test, but clearly doesn't pass muster for the scanner. My excuse (and I will stick to it) is that all the nicest versions of the card went off to 8 little girls as this batch of cards was invitations to my daughter's birthday party. We're having a make-your-own pizza party at a local grocery store that does these sorts of things. It's our first "outside" party, and I am really looking forward to it.

I love this stove stamp, and I must confess that when I saw this post, I was smitten! We used to have an avocado stove, but I don't recall that it was quite as jaunty as this one. But perhaps that's only because it didn't have funky chunky radishes to back it up. I love those Offbeat little veggies - the perfect retro touch to my stove.

I got this stamp originally to go with the sentiment "I hear there's a bun in the oven", but the guy's wife just had the baby so I have missed the boat on that one. Must now make baby card, instead, maybe will try another lambie effort.

Anyway, this card was fun to pull together and I used an apple stamp with this neat ink I have that is gold interference ink. It's very cool. I used it to stamp "yum!" inside too, along with all the details for the party.

Thanks for stopping by!

Lamb baby card

A friend of mine from university recently (well, not that recently, but it still feels recent to me) had a baby boy. This is very exciting news and I wanted to send a card and my well-wishes. I don't have a lot of baby stamps because it seemed like all my friends were done having babies. But they aren't, so I had to expand my repertoire of suitable images (more stamps - poor me!). I found this one at my LSS and it has a coordinating word-y image, which I used on the navy background.
I cased the sketch from Krista's summer class (the peapod one) and turned it portrait instead of horizontal. Really this card started out with the alcohol ink polished stone panel and I had a vision of that as the starting point, with soft blues and a dreamy quality. Then I had to colour this little lambie to match (used markers and paintbrush), and then took forrrrr-evvvverrrrr (said with all the dramatic emphasis I can muster) to find some matching blue cardstock to bring it all together. There were some tense moments at the last minute that it all wouldn't fit until my mother, who was visiting, suggested I turn the critical piece 90 degrees and whew! it all came together. (Have I mentioned that I have very poor spatial skills???) Anyway, thanks to my spatially gifted mother, this card all came together. I almost ruined it by over-stickling the sheep, but did you know that you can scrape most of the stickles off once they have dried. In the absence of a carding comb, it is a good way to remove excess glitter from a fleece.
Now I just need to get this and the present in the mail!
Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Heartfelt wishes

Our wonderful office admin assistant has left for greener pastures and Friday wa her last day. She's a wonderful lady, one of those people who just brightens your day, so I wanted to make her a special card. There was a group card circulating somewhere, but I thought another one wouldn't hurt the matter (and I never did see the group one so I'm glad I made this one!).

I totally ripped off the layout from one we did at last year's Christmas class with Krista Schneider (it was the piggy one). However, I did chang up the image and the colour scheme to this. I have had a big crush on the Indian Summer collection and have been dying to use it, and this seemed like the perfect occasion. I cuddled up with Jean and Lionel on the telly (those reruns of As Time Goes By just never get old!) and had some happy times colouring. This came together really quickly since I was using patterned paper and a pre-designed layout. When I'm trying to match marker to paper, I do test swatches on a scrap of watercolour paper. I usually have little scraps like that to hand since I can't throw them out because they will come in handy. (However, I ruthlessly throw out any piece smaller than 1/2" square. One does need to keep the tide of scraps at bay after all.)

The sentiment is a SU rub on since I didn't have an appropriate stamp of the right length (gasp! it's true!). (My stamp collection is quite varied and I usually can find something, but I didn't have a sentiment suitable for a farewell that was between 1 1/2 and 2" long and no more than 1/2" high.) This is just the sort of papercrafting emergency I foresaw when I ordered the Chit Chat rub ons, and they did indeed save the day.

Thanks for stopping by.

Supplies: email me if you're interested. Rub-on: SU (chit chat) and bravo burgundy cardstock (plain and textured).

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Jerome and Yvonne's house

When I showed this card to DH, he said it would be perfect for his aunt and uncle, who are Jerome and Yvonne. DH cracks me up. It's a lot of fun being married to the funniest guy around. (BTW, he now claims that he knew all along that the doors spell "JOY".) I do think we should send this to Jerome and Yvonne though. I tried out some rock candy here and it has a very snowy twinkle, without being glittery.

This was another of my stamping binge cards. I coloured it up last night with this Eskimo Kisses paper in mind. I kept the layout pretty simple - my brain was tired after a big day at work learning all about multilevel modelling for longitudinal surveys. This sounds harmless enough, but it was a full day workshop on 136 (it's true!) power point slides displaying the mathematical proofs and obscure syntax for calculating some sort of something to do with longitudinal surveys. It's the sort of thing that comes with a warning label on the text book and should only be attempted by a trained professional on a closed course (in other words by raving math geeks in a padded room!). It was just as well I had large doses of high-test stamping to look forward to at Krista's classes!!! Anyway, I will blame the peculiar combination of green trees and a snowscape on my temporarily addled brain. (And I will maintain to the last that any addling is only temporary.....)

BTW, Krista's classes were fantastic, beyond fantastic. I had such a lovely time. There were wonderful stampers there, and a real highlight was getting to meet IRL one of my blog fans, possibly my only blog fan who is not related to me by marriage or blood. I'm not sure what the netiquette is on being a fan of blog commenters (seems like it could be bordering on the immodest, but I won't dwell on that being someone whose blog exclusively contains her own creations and ramblings), but if I am allowed to be a fan of blog commenters, I am a big fan of Nimmy's! She has such lovely things to say and always makes my day. Thank you Nimmy! It was such a pleasure to meet you IRL. Just like my cards, you are wonderful in real life :-)

Thanks for stopping by!

Supplies: some non-SU, including stamps, buttons and paper. SU: soft sky ribbon, bravo burgundy paper, old olive (kiwi kiss?? it's dark and I can't tell) paper.

Oiler Ornaments

I have been on a stamping binge! To reward myself for a lot of recent hard (ahem) work prepping for stamp classes, I have gone on a just-for-fun stamping binge! A fellow instructor at my LSS inpsired me with her stack of Christmas cards in various stages of completion so I have been stamping feverishly, with reckless abandon, and heedless of vendor, but just lots of fun images to colour in. Fun, fun, fun! I am also so excited because tomorrow the fall series of Krista Schneider's classes starts at my LSS. I absolutely cannot wait!!!! This creative binge almost feels like the stamping equivalent of carbo-loading before a marathon (but without all the yucky running).

Here's one of the things I have been working on. I have been doing a lot of traditional Christmas colour combinations for my classes, so I wanted to do something out of the box. That DH hates non-traditional colour combinations like this is beside the fact (and the icing on the cake hehehehe).... I'm not sure why I picked orange and blue, possibly due to ornament shape triggering some vestigial after-effects of growing up watching the Oilers in their heydey. Either that or I wanted to use my pack of Marrakech paper in blues and orange. You decide....

[I just spent way too long trying to photoshop this card with the Oilers' logo superimposed on the ornaments. It didn't really work very well (and I learned I would make a terrible internet hoax artist) and I was also worried about getting in trouble with the internet police and the Oilers' lawyers for having illegal images on my website. I am sure this is a totally reasonable fear. And furthermore it seemed like a good enough reason to quit trying to photoshop it and get back to stamping. I will trust that you can picture the effect I was going for, and no one will be driven crazy trying to learn to use photoshop or get hauled off to internet jail for some sort of copyright infringement....] On the upside, I now have the perfect card to send to Wayne and Janet!

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Colourful Birthday

I am on a colourful card kick these days! I needed a card for a little girl's birthday party so I thought I would do one using some as-yet uninked rubber. This is Kenya Ketto - so cute, and really lends herself to multiple colours. Uncharacteristically, I found the papers first and then coloured her to match. (Usually I do it the other way around, but I was in a hurry tonight. I have a hot date with DH, Survivor/The Office and the couch.)
She's stamped with india ink, coloured with prismacolour pencils (unblended because I like the texture, and also too rushed/lazy to root out the OMS). Because it's a flower theme over at SB this week, and because it's for a 7-year-old girl, I added some flowers, embellished with rhinestones. Also a rhinestone on her wand. I will add some glitter now, but wanted to scan it in and I will be in trouble if I get any more glitter on the scanner....
Thanks for stopping by!
Supplies: I am not allowed to post most of them here under the rules of my demonstrator agreement but if you want to know, email me and I will answer. Paper: whisper white, basic black and rose red (SU).

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Alcohol Ink Splatter Card

Here's something I came up with after being inspired by Tim Holtz's video clip on alcohol ink splatter technique. I thought it looked like a really cool thing to try, so I got the few supplies together (compressed air, glossy paper -not photo paper - and alcohol ink), put on an old shirt, and sat down to play. I can't quite recall all the colours of alcohol ink I used, but if I were to guess: citrus, lettuce, denim, sailboat blue, red pepper, cranberry, lemonade, and currant. I am a big believer in using lots of colours! But you knew that about me already.
This background was my second attempt, since it does take a bit of practice. I used a variety of colours, some bright, some deeper, just fooled around a bit really. DH was not at all impressed with the initial (pre-stamped) background, and to be fair, it did look a bit blobby and messy (but to be fair back again, this is the point).
I thought my grungey-collagey stamps would be perfect for this. I got them in Victoria (BC) when I was there last year and my aunt took me to her LSS. They're Australian (Stamp-It) and are really useful for this kind of thing - very pretty background stamps in interesting textures and shapes. I used the corner mesh with a flourish and the large flourish and stamped with black India ink. The sentiment is embossed in black and sponged in yellows and greens, with a bit of navy around the edges. It's more vibrant in real life. (I couldn't get through a post without saying it looks better in real life, now could I!)

Normally I have a hard time figuring out what to do with this kind of background (generally being loath to cover up the splendid colour, but I took a deep breath and went for it. This one looked great on an early try with black and real red. I thought the sentiment panel being fairly plan balanced things nicely. I had some flowers in my stash, with some brads to finish it off. As an afterthought I pried off the sentiment panel and added the cord, and stuck it down again. This card also has a side hinge. If you're going to go outside the box, go all the way I say. Nothing says "wild and crazy stamper" like a side hinge card......

Here's a better shot of the alcohol ink (at the expense of washing out the sentiment panel and flowers). There's quite a lot of colour going on. It's so pretty that I want to try this again!

I highly recommend this type of card for late-night NVR (no vendor restriction) stamping therapy. The bright colours will really cheer you up and you will feel extremely clever and pleased with yourself for very little effort. Plus you get to use the canned air that has been kicking around the office for ages!
Thanks for stopping by!

Supplies: Stamps: sentiment - Full of Life set (Stampin' Up), background - Laura Koh set (Stamp-It, code sisetoo8lk); Ink: versamark, India Ink, citrus, yoyo yellow (yes, I used yoyo yellow on a card!), gable green, tempting turquoise, night of navy (yikes - did I really use that many????); Paper: whisper white, glossy, basic black, real red; Other: Adirondack alcohol inks, black embossing powder, silver cord (SU), Making Memories flowers (Fifth Avenue collection), BasicGrey brads.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Quick card

Here's a quick card I threw together this evening. It was a loooong day at work. Not a bad day, just a long one. I also popped out after work to go to Gymboree for some kids clothes and redeem Gymbucks. Now I remember why I never bother to do that! It's a madhouse and involves a lot of decision making. Not a great idea after a long day at work. Luckily things took an upswing when I stopped off on the way home for my Christmas swaps (some gorgeous ones in there) and made myself a cup of tea and tucked myself up in my stamping corner and turned off the world. Aaaaahhhh. Maybe that's why this card turned out faintly zen-like. I just got these rub-ons in the mail this week and thought I would try to use them on a card. They seemed to call out for a simple treatment, so I didn't do too much here. The card base (5x7) is some wonderful tsumugi cardstock in a beautiful oatmeal colour (yes, oatmeal can be beautiful, if you would rather think of it as pearl barley or mushroom blush, feel free, just know that IRL it is a soothing, undemanding colour). The only non-relaxing thing about this card was the vigorous popsicle stick rubbing of the rub-on, but at least I got some exercise today. The card seemed to call for a sentiment in the corner, and I was able to use an uninked stamp that I got from a nice lady in a nearby town when we went in on a PTI order together. It's an old SU stamp, and I have always liked it, but so far have only admired it from afar. It was somewhat gratifying to ink it up. I used Vivid ink in Vintage Green for that purpose, and it is a lovely match to the rub-on. (Unfortunately this only reinforces my tendencies to get every colour of ink around on a just-in-case basis.) I added some of the smaller rub-ons on the inside to continue the theme.
Now I feel rested enough to go and make lunches for tomorrow and fall into bed.
NSR: BBC Canada is showing new episodes of Hustle! I'm very excited. It's a bit of a new crew - Mickey Bricks is back in London and, with old partner Ash, has put together a new team of grifters. I'm not sure if Emma and her brother will be as good as Stacy and Danny, but I was not consulted on the casting. (I'm sure it was an oversight due to timezone or similar.) Mickey & Co can still pull off the perfect long con, to finance Eddie in a new bar of his own. It's on Sundays I think. And the Tudors starts this week (LOVE the costumes!), and the Office started last week (must remember to check out Dwight's blog - it's rotfl funny). Time to start banking up my video debt!

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Helpful birds

Hello! I've been away waaay too long. We were on holidays in August - went to Manitoulin Island for a couple of weeks, and then off to Newfoundland for a week too. Our tour of the islands - sounds like it involved a lot of sand and umbrella drinks. Not so much. Still, it was lovely and I even got some hammock time on the Manitoulin. If you are ever there, you must, must, must go to Mum's Bakery and try an apple fritter. Those things should be illegal. In fact they probably are.
Since I've been back I've been madly stamping to develop class samples, stamp club projects, Christmas card class projects, birthday cards, etc. You'd think that would amount to copious amounts of blog fodder. You'd think that, but you'd be wrong. (insert evilly laughing emoticon here)
My scanner was out of sorts, and my cord to withdraw pictures from my camera is missing, so I was unable to get my lovely creations from the real world into the virtual world. DH has fixed the printer/scanner so now I was able to scan in a recent effort, if not somewhat crookedly. I figured I would go for crooked+posted over straight+not posted.
I love this image from Stamping Bella, drawn by one of my favourite artists Krista Schneider. I love these helpful little birds. If I were drawing them though, I would have them putting away laundry and combing cookbooks for family-friendly recipes. Still, a bit of early decorating is a more helpful activity than sewing ball gowns. I embossed the image with charcoal embossing powder (zing) and coloured it in with markers (Tombows), forgetting entirely that there is usually snow on the ground at Christmas time. These will be the early birds (snort, get it??), decorating in November. You can tell it's November by the muddy ground and the 3 snowflakes that are there intentionally, and not stray flecks of clear embossing powder that escaped detection until the image was half coloured and it was too late (at night) to bail out and start again.
I fussed and fiddled with the embellies, trying desperately to use wide grosgrain ribbon like all the cool girls. Nope, didn't work. I did use a button, though, and a linen thread (SU) bow. So that kinda makes me cool, or at least a wannabe. And I used Primas, so that makes me trendy in a late adopter sort of way. But all in all, I like this card, and that makes me happy!
Thanks for stopping by!
Other supplies: patterned paper - Wassail line by BasicGrey, cardstock by Stampin Up (true thyme, chocolate chip, cranberry crisp), watercolour paper, brads (unknown), linen

Monday, 20 July 2009

Pretty birdie!

I made a card in this vein a while back, but this one is definitely the quick and easy version. This one is the standard size (half sheet, folded). I started with some lovely new heavy weight smooth white cardstock and stamped Picotage Print in Versamark Dazzle and embossed with clear powder. I then applied several colours of fluid chalk ink, mostly with my small brayer, but I used the sponge wand too, and some cats eyes direct to paper. I stuck to purples and blues, but used a bunch of different ones to get depth. I would like to tell you that you can get the same effect with one or two colours, but it would be a lie. You would get a different effect and it might even be nice (I wouldn't know, not being able to use only a few colours, even if my life depended on it). But it wouldn't be the same. The colours I used are listed at the bottom.

Anyway, I merrily brayered and wanded and sponged and dabbed till I got a little too much colour on (sigh). Then I removed the embossing using a dry hot iron and stamped on the bird image (Song Bird, Penny Black*) in Dragonfly Black and embossed in black. It's mounted on black, then on a lovely piece of tsumugi paper. I couldn't decide which colour suited best, the purple or the blue, so in true Winnie-the-Pooh fashion, I used both so as not to be greedy. A few accents in the form of sheer ribbon (knotted, thank you very much) and pearl stickers. All in all, this took me less than half an hour to make, in part because I'd figured out the design and colour scheme already for the other card. But really, this type of card is quick to throw together, and you still get a bit of a wow factor. I spent the most time hunting down my pearl stickers.

Heather asked me to try this white paper and I have to give it two thumbs up. I like it as much as the heavy, heavy 180 lb paper that I don't know where to get anymore now that Western Educational closed. This new paper is slightly lighter weight (and probably easier on my cutting blades), but still has a good heft. I loaded the ink and none bled through. I also had good success embossing, removing and re-embossing. Not all papers are so cooperative. So, when all is said and done, I really like this paper. It's also sturdy enough to make a good card base when you want a white one. I'll be glad to have a local source of this paper!

Sources: Heavy white cardstock, Picotage Print, Versamark Dazzle and Colorbox Fluid Chalk, small brayer (Ranger), sponge wand: Heather's Stamping Haven. Penny Black: hard to find a Canadian source, if you find one, let me know. I think I got this from Addicted to Rubber Stamps. Tsumugi paper: Heather sometimes carries it (she got me hooked), and I bought this batch from California Paper Goods. You can also get it at The Papery in the Glebe (Ottawa), and if you go there, you should also check out their other Japanese papers (washi? yuzen?). I got some nice tsumugi square notecards with coloured envelopes. They are so gorgeous that I am battling my every hoarding instinct and even went so far as to consider using one as a card base. Baby steps, my little one, baby steps.

Colours of ink used: In case you are interested (or want to wag a puritanical finger at my wanton colour use): Ice Blue, French Blue, Prussian Blue, Wisteria, Warm Violet, Dark Peony, Blue Iris, Night Sky (all Colorbox except Night Sky, which is Versamagic).

Friday, 17 July 2009

Birthday Card

This card is what is known in stamping circles as a BRAK - Birthday Random Act of Kindness. (Not to be confused with the BRAK diet [bananas, rice, applesauce and kielbasa***], to be fed to children after a tummy upset to ease their little g-i tracts back to health.)
It's not really random, though, as it's from my mother, who was fairly instrumental in me having a birthday at all. I suppose my birthday could be considered a random event in the cosmic scheme of things (or not, depending on your theological leanings), but this card was a custom-made treasure, just for me and the farthest thing from random you can get!

As for the card itself, a little stamping-scene investigation reveals that it is a lovely floral swirl (a new one from the Stamp Barn), stamped and embossed in gold, and coloured with Twinkling H20's. It's stamped on pale blue paper, which has been sponged around the edges and matted on black. The perfect ribbon from the stash (pale blue with gold edge) is tied in a darling bow for accent. The whole piece is layered on the most gorgeous Japanese paper (washi? yuzen?). This paper is so beautiful that I could never in a million years have sacrificed a whole quarter sheet for one card. This is why I know my mother loves me and this card is the farthest from random you can get!

Thanks Mum! I love it!

***This is not medical advice. I am not a physician. I'm not even all that funny. And where I'm from, it's koubassa, not kielbasa, as in koobie on a bun! What is with these Ontarians and their weird sausage appellations.....

Public Service Announcement in case I have a reader from Australia:

Platypus Creek has a big sale on right now (till 22 Jul) on Sunshine Designs and Stamp Barn Stamps (50% off wood mounted and 10% off cling), and other things too. Kinda neat to think of stamps from my neck of the woods being stamped with on the other side of the world. Makes me want to dash off to Australia for the sale, except that my friend told me it takes 29 hours. So not really a dash. As my dad likes to say, "If you're going there, you shouldn't be starting from here."

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Big Bow Club

Hello! Thanks for stopping by!

Today's card is living proof that you can teach an old leopard new spots. I've joined the enormous bow club! Kinda-sorta. I cheated - it's not layered on massive buttons and tied with twine. But still, for a big bow virgin, it's a big bow. I was hesitant, but I took the plunge. And I feel that the bold image and the strong colours called for a bold embellishment. In fact, the turquoise brads, which usually scream on a card, are muted to a whisper in the face of all the other exuberance on this card.

This was going to be a club project, because the hostess is a bright colours fan, but I couldn't remember if we'd done this technique. Also, it takes a while, and the last time I tried to get the ladies to do some messy stamping, there was almost open revolt. Instead we will be doing a nice tidy project, but still with bright colours :-) No crooked letters and blurry watercolours!

Anyway, back to the card. I just love this summery colour scheme! It's the new colours with tempting turquoise: crushed curry, dusty durango and melon mambo (mamba? I always forget which is the steamy dance and which is the deadly snake...and where I would normally trail off into a mumble to disguise my uncertainty, I have no such options with a blog, because as liberally sprinkled with ellipses as this blog is, they would look ridiculous, even by my astonishingly low standards, at the end of mamba. Mambo. Whatever....). I would love to have some flip flop (or plip plops as DD2 used to say) stamps for this colour scheme. I also love how the watercolouring on the curry cardstock turned out. It's so intense, and it blended quite well. I'll be trying that again too. I also love the white embossing - just freshens things up where black would be too severe. I just love it when a design comes together [the next day after a lot had been thrown out and I went to bed in a stamping huff].

So do you think this needs two more turquoise brads? I wasn't sure if that would be too symmetrical, and once the holes are punched, there's no turning back. (Which is why the brads are on there in the first place.....)

Thanks for looking!

NSR SPOILER: Has anyone watched Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food? I was really inspired. I try to cook for my family, but living in town now we eat out more than we should. This week I made a few stir fries, even venturing to the local fishmonger for a fishy stir fry. I was able to coax the kids into eating it too - and they loved it (not so much the second night, turns out that purple cabbage, despite it's wonderful colour, is still cabbage...). I love the idea of cooking in the community. I will have to let the idea percolate a bit.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up): Stamps: Jumbo Alphabet, One of a Kind; Ink: whisper white, dusty durango, crushed curry, melon mambo; Paper: crushed curry, dusty durango, melon mambo, tempting turquoise; Other: eyelet border punch, crushed curry ribbon, white embossing powder, tempting turquoise brads.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Happy Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day! The forecast was for rain, but it has "fined up" as they say in Canada's easternmost parts.

DH is making a picnic and we're off to do some kiddy stuff to celebrate the day. We sang Happy Birthday to Canada this morning - 142 years old. We stand on guard for thee!

No card today. I did a bit of stamping last night and colouring. I'm making a waterfall card for my dad with the Under the Stars set. He loves the outdoors, so it's appropriate.

I wanted to post where I got the Four Little Birds stamp I posted recently (and I will try to post the sources of things if I can remember them). It's available in Canada from Shamrock Rose Treasures . I just looked at her website and she has the most beautiful journals with covers from the Book of Kells. Gorgeous! There are also covers with prints of manuscripts by Mozart and Beethoven and lots of stuff like that. Double gorgeous! I think I'll hold off since I just ordered some new BasicGrey from Paperworks Co, some tsumugi paper and other fancy stuff from California Paper Goods (chugging its way northeast as we speak), and I have a cart on the go at A Muse. I'm trying to resist that. Hey! Just remembered it's a new month! I will have to revisit that cart. They have the farmer and the field on sale and I have a card in mind with a really dreadful pun...... C'mon, you know you're thinking it too! I emailed A Muse to see if they have that stamp, and they said they would consider it since it's not one they have. Cross your fingers for me that they make it :-)

Thanks for stopping by. Happy Canada Day!

Monday, 29 June 2009

Big thank you!

Here's a fun little card I made for Mother's Day, but am only just now getting around to posting it. I fell in love with this image (Four Little Birds, by Stamps Happen) and it was perfect for painting with my Twinkling H20s. I pretty much followed the colouring style on the stamp itself, I liked it so much. Ornithologists might beg to differ, but I think of these as pretty little Eastern Bluebirds. We had a pair nesting down the road from us at our old place. They're really lovely, though not as vibrantly blue as the Mountain Bluebirds that nested at my childhood home in the West.

My mother loves birds, has lots of feeders, and a pair of binoculars next to practically every window in case she needs to watch a bird at short notice. I thought she'd like this card, and indeed she did.

This image had a lot going on and a beautiful shimmer from the twinklings, so I kept the layout pretty simple, and sized it to go in a small open ended envelope (SU). Inside I stamped "Happy Mother's Day". There are a couple of embellishments (sheer ribbon and Adirondack acrylics in Lettuce), image on black and brocade blue and that's it! I really liked this card and it was one where I used the stamp right after I got it. (I normally like to let them age, or cure, for some time.)

Thanks for stopping by!

PS. To Nimmy: thank you so much for your lovely comments on my blog. They always make my day! Yes, this is really me, thought I don't know how proud I should be about ranting on about B&E Fairies, etc. I'm just grateful you think I'm real and not crazy! lol Thank you once again for all your kind and supportive words - they really mean a lot. If you were my neighbour, I'd have you over for colouring all the time, and as a special favour, I would labour hard and make you a great card the next time you went for poutine. BTW, thanks for the chip wagon referral - I will have to google it and see if we're anywhere close to the fabled fries.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

A Musing little card

I was cruising through blogland and stopped at Paper Trufflez, one of my favourite blogs. I followed the links to this challenge leading up to A-MUSE-APALOOZA, which was to make a card with ribbon as the inspiration.

I've had these A Muse stamps for a while, just waiting for a good time to ink them up. I really love this little stamp store, and the image struck a chord with me ;-)

I really like the A Muse style of stamping, which keeps things simple, lots of open space, and a little glitz here or there, a ribbon and some nice pattern. I tried to do that here, with the ribbon (wide grosgrain) as my starting point. I picked this nice stripe, which was languishing on my desk, rejected from a previous project. I trimmed it to fit here, added a lime scalloped stripe for the sentiment, added a bit of shadow and red glitter pen for accent (will probably go back in with stickles but I didn't want to wait for it to dry and it would have gotten my scanner messy).

This was fun to make. I've been doing a lot of manly cards lately so it was fun to just get out my stamps and play. It's also a bit of a change of pace for me, since my brayer didn't get involved and no chalk inks touched this paper. Anywhere. I couldn't resist the teensiest bit of colouring though. It was fun! I think I could get A Ddicted to this kind of thing!
Thanks for stopping by!

Supplies: Stamps: A Muse; Paper: BasicGrey (Gypsy - stripe and lime), Memory Box duplex cardstock (I believe it's Forget-me-not); Ink: Van Dyke Brown (Nick Bantock line, Ranger); Other: Stampin' Up wide grosgrain ribbon in Real Red, Fiskars scallop edge scissors, Prismacolor pencil crayons.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Bon voyage

First of all, please accept my apologies for the terrible scan! (Do I say that every time or what!) I will have to break down and get a photo tent, or a photographer. I had a hard time scanning the colours and still picking up the letters on the brads (which spell "dream"). In real life it's quite rich. In fact, DH first saw it and said with some feeling that it was really nice. His usual observations are not normally so positive, tending to focus more on crooked pieces and cards that don't open (which by the way was the intended design feature, as anyone who has made a pocket card knows...). If this gets a gush (relatively speaking of course) from DH, it must be a good one (despite the total lack of stamping!).

Here I am attempting the "detail inset", used to great effect by more accomplished photographers and bloggers than I. So this is what it feels like to ape one's betters....
This card is the living proof that I have almost enough stuff in my stash to make any possible card (lacking only aeronautical flight charts). The two hours I spent last night looking for this collage sheet is proof that I need a better organizing system (maybe I will add this to the photographer's job description!). I usually go by the system "I know where I put it", which failed me in this case. I only have a few collage sheets, so they don't get their own "spot". I hunted high and low (literally) and finally gave up, hoping that sleeping on it would trigger a memory. No luck. I decided tonight (card needed tomorrow) that I would have to look in every single spot (again) and it worked. I found them (mysteriously) in a stamp drawer. Hmmm. I blame this on fairies who come in and mess up my house at night. Apparently they also rearrange my stamping stuff (give me back my clear ruler please!). I am waiting for them to make dinner while I'm at work.

Back to my card. One of the people on my team is leaving on Friday for a big trip he's been planning for a few years. It's very ambitious. He's a pilot and they are flying a small aircraft over 3000 km. He's very excited about this, needless to say. When I saw the aircraft image on this collage sheet (Crafty Secrets), I realized it would be perfect. I also used the tag and post card elements, and the words "trip of a lifetime", "far off places", and "enjoy the journey" are on the inside. The brads are letters that spell out dream. The background is an aeronautical flight chart. (Sidenote here with kudos to DH who was dispatched at last minute for printer ink and it took him 3 stores, and then he even printed it for me. When I called him a Prince Among Men, he said, "Well I prints, anyway." Not just princely, but funny too!) Thanks to DH, I was able to print the flight chart (which I found free! Yay NavCan sample page!!! Usually they are at least $16.50 to buy - yikes! - and didn't I swear off atrocious punctuation and run-on sentences???) and use it for the background. I'm assuming the recipient will recognize it for what it is. He must have a zillion of these things for his trip.

He'll be flying over some wilderness areas and so I will also make him a kit: bear repellent (bottle of barbecue sauce with new label), a mosquito swatter (piece of 2x4), and face cream (Watkins bug bite ointment). I'll do a bit of a presentation tomorrow at lunch. We're sending him off in style, going out for lunch at the chip wagon across the road. Yummy poutine, here we come! (For those non-Canucks, and possibly Canucks outside central Canada, poutine is a tasty concoction of french fries, gravy and cheese curds. If you can stand the guilt, it's delicious!)
Thanks for stopping by!
Supplies: Adventures & Travel collage sheet (Crafty Secrets), fibres (Making Memories), Concho letter brads (Colorbok); Ink - Memories Artprint Brown (edging); Paper: Really Rust, Basic Black, Bordering Blue.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Card for farewell

Hello! It's been a long time since my last post! Things are whirling along here, busy busy busy. I haven't been doing nearly as much stamping as I'd like, and haven't had time to post anything.
I thought I'd post this one, but the photo didn't turn out great. It's hard to take pictures of black cards!
I stamped this with my mother, who's visiting. We'd hoped for more stamping time, but we've been having fun doing other stuff. (Yes, I will grudgingly admit that other stuff can be fun too....)
A colleague asked me to make a farewell/congratulations card for someone leaving for a promotion. I will make a sentiment to that effect for the inside. I left the outside all-purpose since I didn't have a "Farewell and Congratulations on Your Promotion" stamp. (Must be the one stamp I don't have.....)
The focal image was stamped in stazon on very vanilla, twice, and coloured with prismacolor crayons. I cut out a few squares and popped them up. The image is mounted on some lovely gold metallic navy, and black. The image behind is black treated with Perfect Pearls and embossed in my Cuttlebug. (Tip: don't use the Perfect Pearls cube direct to paper....) The cardbase is black, stamped with some good background stamps from Australia (Stamp It). They are those nice images that aren't really images but look good in the background. There's a sort of mesh with key, and a flourish. They were stamped in chalk ink to show up on the black.
I know I say it every time, but this looks better in real life. It's a bit shimmery, but not too shimmery, and will be just the perfect thing for us to wish this fellow well. We'll really miss him. He's one of those top notch guys to work with.
Thanks for stopping by!
Supplies: Stamps: Stampers Anonymous, Stamp It; Ink: black stazon, French Blue and Alabaster fluid chalk ink; paper: very vanilla, basic black, navy gold metallic, brushed silver; other: perfect pearls and perfect pearls ink, mister, pewter brads (Making Memories), Cuttlebug textiles folder.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Supportive Card

A friend of ours is walking in the Weekend to End Breast Cancer for the second time (wow!). We're going to one of her fundraisers soon so I wanted to bring her a card for encouragement. I had already used Causabella for her last walk, so I thought I would do something else. I thought of the marvellous bra cards I'd seen on splitcoast and various blogs. These are too numerous to mention individually, so consider this a great big thanks to all of you for your inspiring posts, most especially Frances in Australia for her easy-to-use template.

The card base is Blush Blossom, and the bra is made from a pretty rose petal patterned paper. I sponged in a bit of cleavage using blush blossom and creamy caramel, accented with a bit of versamark dazzle for shimmer. Word of caution when sponging: you are only one dab away from going from saucy to bad rash. (Yes, you may correctly infer that this is card number two.)

I accented the paper piecing with some sheer ribbon, which I ruched myself. (This was a royal PITA! Basically, I used a long straight stitch and gathered it up. But it's really cheap ribbon so it doesn't sew or gather nicely. And I used up my bobbin thread so sewing machine #2 is now out of commission - see quilted teddybear post for demise of #1 - until I can remember how to wind the bobbin. Luckily in-house sewing machine support will be here in a few weeks if I can't figure it out.)

I did persevere on gathering the ribbon because it just looked so amazing. How I suffer for my art! The ribbon is held in place with sticky strip. I had planned to use the same kind of ribbon for the straps, but the final length of gathering didn't go well for me (thread snapped, and I almost did too) and frankly I didn't have the patience to baste by hand. So, paper straps it was!

The final accents were a little pink breast cancer ribbon and a flower with rhinestone centre for the middle, which nicely hides the ribbon ends. I love how the ribbon pushes up on the edges of the flower making it look like it's nestled right in. It's a Pretties kit flower that was hanging around in the box, already dyed, just waiting for a home on a project. I love it when an orphaned embellishment finds a good home!

I used my Karen Foster snap stamps to spell out "a message of support" inside, being one who is unable to resist a pun, especially a bad one. Also there had to be some stamping on here somewhere!

Thanks for stopping by. I do feel I must say that in real life the colours are better. I really must get myself a light box. And find the thingy that goes with the camera into the computer. And find the tripod. (You can see why I use my scanner, which is attached to the computer already!)

Supplies: Paper: blush blossom, spring petals (Pamela Woods - creative imaginations); ribbon - Michael's; Pretties kit flower dyed with riding hood red, rhinestones.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Quilted teddybear

A colleague at work recently celebrated the birth of his daughter. I was asked to make a card to circulate at the office for well wishes.

I wanted it to be quite large for all those signatures, and a special card. This colleague is also a stamper, so no shortcuts or he'll know!

I started with a "quilted" background panel in the Parisian designer paper from the last catalogue. I had sewn a few lines when my sewing machine jammed. This put the kibosh on the card for the moment.

...time lapse (picture madly bustling family, as in a movie on fast foward, scuttling hither and yon doing laundry, groceries, going to Sparks, to the park, going to work, making dinner, going to T-ball, doing dishes, but definitely not stamping) ....

Ahh, back to the stamping desk. I dug up my other sewing machine and (importantly) remembered where DH spotted the foot pedal. I got that all fired up and tried out different designer paper in bigger squares. The previous effort used 3/4" squares but they were too weeny and fussy for such a large panel. These are 1 3/8" squares and suit much better. For some reason I had to sew on the paper upside down for the zigzag to look good. It's a better machine and probably has some fancy locking stitch on the "wrong" side. (Apparently, those who actually use their sewing machines for fabric - yes, some people really do - sew on the wrong side so this feature does make sense.) Anyway, I had to re-sew one and was able to start in the same hole so it doesn't show. (I felt inordinately clever about this. Don't give me a hard time as I seldom feel clever about anything, never mind inordinately clever so I plan to bask in the feeling for some time to come.)

The bear is stamped in chocolate brown and embossed in espresso. I watercoloured him with reinkers. What a fun technique! It gives such rich colours. I did find that the chocolate chip broke down a bit and went a bit red, so will plan to test colour combinations on scraps first. I accented him with some Walnut Stain distress stickles. The sentiment is also embossed in espresso and accented with some adorable button brads from my stash. (Thank you, AP!) The quilted panel is on a larger RHR panel, to fit on the card base. I punched the border for an accent. I really didn't want to mess around with calculating extra squares, and where the middle should be, etc. (remember I'm only a pretend quilter), so I made my quilt exactly 3 squares high by almost 5 squares wide (I had to cut off the extra little bit hanging over the edge, I told you I'm not a real quilter). Anyway, if you have the strength of character or a weakness for exactitude, you could calculate your measurements and get squares to fit your panel exactly. I accented with some ribbon, which in hindsight should have emerged through a perfectly placed eyelet, but I only thought of that after I had the slot punched. Oh well, I don't think anyone at the office follows Debbie Olson, so they'll never know the difference.

All in all, I'm pretty pleased with this card. Several people have commented on how heavy it is, so it must be nice! hahahah :-)

Thanks for stopping by!

Supplies (all SU except pen, brads & stickles): Stamps: Full of Life, Favourite Teddybear; Ink: chocolate chip craft; Paper: watercolour, whisper white (for quilt), Bella Rose dsp (for quilt), Riding Hood Red, Pirouette Pink, Chocolate Chip; Other: walnut stain stickles, reinkers (Kiwi Kiss, Choc Chip, Creamy Caramel, Close to Cocoa), Pretty in Pink taffeta ribbon, slot punch, sewing machine (2 sewing machines, to be exact), black micron pen for balloon strings.

Stamping Extravaganza!

Two friends of mine hosted a Stamping Extravaganza on Sunday afternoon and what an extravaganza it was! Picture a beautiful home in the country, delicious refreshments, gracious hosts and 24 ladies stamping away on a sunny Sunday afternoon. It was wonderful! A great big thank you to the co-hosts! You're the best! And another thank you to the ladies who came out for an afternoon of stamping and general merriment. A special thanks to those who came from out of town, and to those who were new to stamping.

The projects we made are shown above (picture them looking better photographed by a camera whiz using a spiffy light tent). Because many were new to stamping, I kept them fairly straightforward. We also made a gift box to put the paper in (lid - Bella Rose designer paper, bottom - Riding Hood Red, organza ribbon tied around). We made 3 of each design except the birds (2) and bear (1).
Bear: Under the Stars (I loved the squadron of mosquitoes diving in), Wow Flowers; Kraft, Handsome Hunter, Brocade Blue/Bordering Blue (ran out of former); Basic Black, Whisper White ink; Watercolour Wonder Crayons
Scalloped Oval: Oval All; Riding Hood Red Ink; Very Vanilla, So Saffron, RHR, Pumpkin Pie, cardstock, Washington Apple designer paper; Large Oval Punch, Scalloped Oval Punch; Earth Elements brads, So Saffron marker
Birds: Branch Out, Sincere Salutations; Whisper White, textured Kiwi Kiss, Baja Breeze, Pacific Point, Chocolate Chip; Chocolate Chip, Kiwi Kiss and Pacific Point ink; buttons (assorted colours, corduroy also)
Pink Birthday: Priceless, Hugs and Wishes; Cameo Coral, Pirouette Pink, Baja Breeze ink; Whisper White, Cameo Coral, Pirouette Pink cardstock; Pretties half-back pearls and rhinestone brads (2 pearls, 1 brad per person), Top Note die
I'll be having an all-occasion stamping class myself this spring (just as soon as I can convince DH it's a good idea, or possibly sooner). I'll keep you posted.
Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 1 May 2009

Feeder Friends

I made this card for my mother-in-law for Mothers' Day. She has a number of birdfeeders so I thought she might like it. (I was enchanted by it when I saw it.) I have a couple of bird+house mouse stamps but this is the first time I've inked this one up.

DH is a bit puzzled by the picture. He doesn't understand what a mouse would be doing in this situation. I'm not sure whether I should be glad that he's paying such close attention to my cards or whether I should be concerned that he's looking for the reason the mouse is there. The mouse is there because it's cute. I explained that the house mice are portrayed in numerous cute situations that aren't necessarily zoologically correct. The hundreds of images are there for colouring cute fuzzy little animals in charming/humourous/tender situations, not for illustrating a Canadian Geographic special issue. Bless his heart, but he was still baffled. Just as I am baffled by his seemingly endless ability to watch tv shows about digging holes or building bridges. I can see watching one show to see how to dig a hole, or build a bridge. But after that, don't you have it covered? I suppose he might well wonder why someone would need more than one stamp.... I'd better let him watch as many hole-digging, bridge-building shows as his little baffled heart desires!

Well, if you've made it this far, I shall reward (?) you with a description of this card. Stamped with palette noir (stazon buried on desk), and coloured with Tombow markers. Many many Tombow markers. Think of the house mice I'll be able to colour when my new shipment of grays arrives later this month! Poor DH won't know what hit him. Maybe I should purchase a House Mouse digging a hole and make him a Father's Day card.... I digress. There is a little bit of sparkle added to the feeder hanger and magnolia blossoms with my glitter pen. I thought about stickles (indeed they are never far from my mind), but thought they might be too overbearing. I just love those little chickadees, with their sweet little DH-like expressions. What is that mouse doing there?!?

Supplies: Stamp: Stampabilities (House Mouse) - Feeder Friends; Ink: Palette black noir; Paper: watercolour, basic black, garden green; Other: ribbon from my stash, Tombow markers, Sakura glitter pen, 4 episodes of In Treatment and half an Office (this week was hilarious - I nearly pmp laughing at Meredith's casual Friday outfit).

That's it for stamping and slightly related to stamping blather. Now for the NSR blather for those interested in DD2's condition. DD2 is finally on the mend, almost a week later. She's had a rough week, but she's feeling better and back to her chipper little self. It's good to have her back. DD1 has been very dear, making her pictures to cheer her up and being very solicitous all around.

I'm almost ready for the big Stamping Extravaganza on Sunday - all 24 spots are filled! There's going to be a whole lot of stamping going on! I'll share the projects next week after the class is over. I don't know if any of the people going read this blog, but I wouldn't want to spoil the surprise of the cards and gift box they'll be making.