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!