Friday, 31 December 2010

Starry Lady

I made this card for the challenge at the Stampotique Design Challenge blog, where the challenge was to use one punch and one diecut in your design. It's the challenge where you can use stamps other than just Stampotique images.

I started off with Ms Starry (Stampotique), embossed in gold on watercolour paper, and added in a bunch of stars (Papertrey Ink), also gold embossed. Then I punched out some stars using a Fiskars hand punch and coloured the image using Tombow markers and a paintbrush. I embellished with some stickles (see second image for more sparkle than the scanner could pick up) and added smaller stars with stickles, a gold leaf pen, and a glitter pen. I had left a gap for the sentiment (see third picture), but it was too big, so I put it on the inside. This left a large gap, and DH suggested that the card needed the Milky Way. He was absolutely right and I forgive him for all his comments about crooked stamping, excessive (i.e., any) ribbon, and corny content. The Milky Way was a stroke of genius, and I boldly and bravely set to with my gold and glitter pens to create a starry path for my lady here.

The die cut portion of the card is at the bottom, and it's more of the card base (dark purple), die cut with a Tim Holtz edger and sponged with Champagne shimmer paint. The panel behind it is amethyst stamped with the Gemstone cube (Stampendous) in amethyst and gold ink. The card base itself is stamped in Versamark dazzle using the Star map scrapblock by Cornish Heritage Farms. I also gave the card base a light spritz with gold Smooch spray. The focal image is mounted on foam tape over a gold mat, so that the punched stars have some dimension over the gold behind.

I've had this sentiment for a long time - I really like it. So when I saw this image of Ms Starry on the Stampotique website, I thought it would be the perfect complement to this sentiment. The words are embossed in eggplant on ice blue linen paper, matted on more dark purple and edged with gold leaf pen. The tiny stars are accented with gold stickles.
Now that I'm done, I have only one problem - choosing who to send it to since there are so many wonderful people in my life that make me smile like that. Not a bad kind of problem to have!
Thanks for looking.

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Adoration of the Magi

Here's my entry for the December challenge at Inkurable Stampers. I was very fortunate to be chosen as last month's winner of the international entries (thank you!) and a lovely stamp set from Tarisota Stamps will be on it's way to me all the way from Australia. I will be sure to post something when I get it. Thank you Sarah and Tarisota!!!
The theme this month is one-layer cards, with minimal embellishments. We were allowed to mount our layer onto a base, so I did that, since I like the framing effect. I wanted to use the Fred Mullet fish stamp (Pompano) that my mother brought me, and I was fooling around with it, colouring with markers direct to rubber, and one thing led to another and the next thing I knew, I had 3 Wise Fish , and they had to be following a star. So one emergency run to my local stamp store for a star fish later (and Heather didn't let me down!), I had my pisciform magi following the star. I must give apologies to Jo Capper-Sandon, as I'm sure I was led down this creative path by this wonderful Three Bee Kings card.
A few more notes about this card: the starfish is a Michael Strong stamp, stamped in Wild Honey, and coloured in with the same using a blender pen. The fish were coloured with Tombow markers, and the coral is actually from a gemstone cube (Stampendous), as is the "water", just a different side of the cube. There is a fan coral stamp too (Coronado Island). The crowns are by Tim Holtz - Stampers Anonymous and Stampin' Up and the sentiment is from Cornish Heritage Farms. I'm irked that it's crooked - my pilot test was straight, but this wound up crooked. I hoped it wasn't too bad, but my mother noticed right away, which goes to show you that no matter how old you get, you still can't sneak things past your mother. As for embellishments, there are platinum liquid pearl bubbles, distress stickles on the star and sand, and glossy accents on the eyes. If I were to do this card again (and this was effort number 3 or 4, so I was quite tired of colouring the fish with the 5 markers I felt it needed), I would mask the crowns. And get the words straight.
I'm not sure if I'll send this out. I don't usually send Epiphany cards, but this one might have to get used, if I could bear to part with it. I do have a soft spot for it. I showed it to DH, who said it was corny. (Corny?! Harumph. Try post-modern ironic or humorous allegory, but definitely not corny. Double-harumph.)
Thanks for stopping by! Happy Fifth Day of Christmas! Fiiiiiiive golden riiiiiiiings!

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Stampotique Design Team Call

Hello! Stampotique has a design team call. Click here to check it out. Spread the word, especially to any stamperissimos (those are the stampers who stand up to ...stamp...).

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Bellarific Zombie

It's not too often you need a zombie Christmas card, but I thought this Penelope with her prezzies (Stamping Bella) would do just nicely. I "enhanced" her with some stink lines, bugs, beetles, worms, and patches and coloured her up in grungy reds, golds and greens for a seasonal colour palette. The layout was for a Bellarific Friday sketch challenge, so that took care of that. The background paper is from last year's BasicGrey Christmas line (Wassail) and distress stickles finished off "the look". She's stamped in memento black and coloured with Copics.

Now wouldn't this look nice on Miss Havisham's mantlepiece this Christmas????

By the way, I do realize it's after Christmas, but technically, we are now in the season of Christmas, it being the third day of Christmas today. So I am uncharacteristically timely. Happy stamping!

Arch #23 Signs of the Zodiac

This is Arch #23 for the Inkurable Stampers Gothic Arch challenge, theme "Signs of the Zodiac". I have had this image of the woman with the bowl of stars (Ms Starry, Stampotique) for a while and have been itching to use it. I stamped her on watercolour paper and coloured her with Tombows and cut her out. I stamped the arch with the star map (Cornish Heritage Farms), which has signs of the zodiac constellations on it, also embossed in gold, and also coloured with Tombows. I added a few other stars (Papertrey Ink). The stars are stickled and some are popped up, like the lady.

I like this lady who is flinging stars into the sky, and she is a much more satisfactory theory for the origin of stars than some sort of cosmic collision of gases or whatever it is now that the physicists think stars come from.

Gothic Arch #22 Mythical Creatures

Here's Arch #22 - mythical creatures for the Inkurable Stampers Gothic Arch challenge. The main image is clip art, and is of an aquatic fairy on a shell, with a squid. She looks a bit glum, but then again, wouldn't you? All the other clip art fairies got to be doing interesting things like flying around on butterflies and lounging on flowers. She got the squid. So it seemed only right to use her on an arch and give her more of a reason to live, not that she shows any gratitude. That's squid fairies for you.
There is some stamping on here, the words (Stampin' Up) and the shells (Stampin' Up) on the dangly bit with the beads and pearls. I stamped those on shrink plastic and coloured with alcohol ink before shrinking. The navy paper is mulberry and already had the stars on it. The medallion at the top is metallic paper that I had on my desk so I clipped it to fit. I think it was from a spellbinders die originally and I embossed it and clipped to fit, and put a pearl on it.
I'm feeling a bit squid-fairyish about this arch, but not inclined to do a do-over at this point. These arches are what they are and there is more stamping ahead to waste time on do-overs. So onwards and upwards and off to use the new stamps I got for Christmas. Yay! I hope you had a good Christmas. We are having a great time and were even out swimming today with the kids.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Christmas Rocker

My apologies if my blog post led you to believe this would be a card depicting a kitten snoozing in a rocking chair in front of a fireplace bedecked with fir and holly. Instead, we have extreme guitarist (Stampin' Up), rocking to some psychedelic red and green. I think I can actually hear the electric guitar on this card! I didn't think I could get that effect with paper, but it turns out you can. I used glossy paper, with alcohol inks (watermelon, cranberry, citrus, sunshine yellow, willow) and a spray can of air. Tim Holtz does an awesome video on this - it's an easy technique and way more fun than cleaning your keyboard, which is the only other thing I know of to do with a can of spray air. I also embossed the rocker in black, and the grunge flourish is by Stamp-It in Australia. You can tell he's rockin' for Christmas by his hat, which is by yours truly, freehand (only four tries to get the right size!), with some liquid applique for trim. It sort of disappeared against the red (my planning skills, or lack thereof, let me down here) so I covered it with glossy accents to make it stand out. The message panel is sort of a terra cotta, but might be the new cajun craze by SU, I don't remember. It was just a scrap near my hand that really just begged to be included on this card. The "Merry Christmas" is from a wonderful Cornish Heritage Farms collection of Christmas greetings. I'm so glad I snapped that set up before they closed (a moment of silence in their memory....). The scratchy background is a Tim Holtz/Stampers Anonymous stamp, in crushed olive. The card base is Kiwi Kiss from my treasured stash. I love this green. It's the perfect shade of citrusy yellowy green, and I would go through my hoard in a flash. But I am trying to strike the right balance between using and enjoying it and tearing through my stash and not being able to get more. Right now I am erring on the side of never using, which is a pity. I'm glad I used it here - it's just right. This card is for a friend of mine from high school, and we used to go to rock concerts together and he is still a big fan of hard rock music. Because of this, I just had to make a non-traditional card for him and his family and I think this fits the bill. You won't find something like this at the mall! Nope. This is a one-of-a-kind!
Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, 18 December 2010

More Christmas Cards

Hello again!

Here are a couple of Christmas cards I made recently. I made quite a number with this image (Stamping Bella), coloured similarly to go with my pack of paper (Jovial line by BasicGrey). I used Copic markers, and then sponged on Antique Linen distress ink to tone the paper from bright white to off white to go with the paper. I also used stickles (Candy cane on birds, patina on dots) and crackle accents (Ranger) on the "boards". I love this image, and it is quite quick to colour up. These were fun cards to make, and good for using scraps of the paper. I edged all the paper with Memories Art Print Brown as well. Well, that's almost it for my Christmas cards this year. They are all (but one, which needs a letter which is only part-way done) in the mail. Now on to the Christmas cleaning and baking. I also want to make some cashew brittle and peppermint bark this year. We'll see how that goes. I also need to wrap presents, but hope to do that while watching National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. I love that movie! Speaking of Christmas shows, I have been watching the Jamie Oliver Family Christmas shows and they are so wonderful! The food looks delicious, and he is such an engaging presenter. I've also really been enjoying watching his series called Jamie's American Road Trip, which is very interesting. Well, time to throw another load of Christmas laundry (not really holiday laundry, but calling it that makes it feel more special).

Thanks for stopping by!

Christmas Cards

Hello! My apologies for being such a delinquent blogger. I don't know how people blog every day. Maybe if I didn't read other blogs, I could work on my own. But there are so many wonderful other blogs out there, how could I not!?!

Here's a card that I recently made (as in last night). It was quite quick to put together so I think this might be a candidate for some batch cards next year. It's for someone who loves glitter and shimmer paper, so I used both. I started with some navy shimmer paper and stamped the image (Snow Dust by Penny Black) and sentiment (Cornish Heritage Farms) with white pigment ink and embossed with a mixture of white embossing powder and warm highlight Glitter Ritz. Then I matted it on some white, and popped it up over a navy shimmer card base. I thought it would be nice to extend the dots, so I used a fanatstix stick to daub on some dots of white ink again and embossed those. I added some Star Dust stickles to the snow dots and the trees, and a rhinestone star to the "i" in Christmas. I like how the "t" in Christmas sticks down like a tree trunk (and a cross for that matter, but I am speaking for a design perspective here). This card is quite wonderful in real life (is that terribly immodest?) and the scanner can't really pick up all the shimmer. You'll just have to try one yourself and see!

I love this stamp. I see so many possibilities for spring (cherry blossoms), summer (leaves) and of course, autumn. And it's so perfectly laid out for wham-bam-image and whamitty-bam-bam sentiment, bob's your uncle, done. Gorgeous and quick and easy. Love it!

I hope you are well, and not getting too crazy. Remember to keep stamping on your to-do list at all times! Then you get to stamp and not feel guilty about it!

Thanks for stopping by!

PS A huge thank you to that very nice lady who gave me the coupon a couple of weeks ago. I got some great new colours of Adirondack paint dabbers, which I can't wait to use. Thank you!!! :-)

Friday, 3 December 2010

Bling it on!

The challenge this week at Stampotique is Bling, and all stamps are Stampotique. This is an easy one for me, since I have a drawer full of stickles, another one with Twinklings and lots of sparkly embossing powder. I also needed a birthday card for a 4-year-old girl and that task just begs for sparkle! I happened to have a piece of colourwashed and splattered paper big enough for a card leftover from a gothic arch. It's in gorgeous shades of pink and purple and yellow. Perfect for a little girl! I dithered for a bit how to stamp the fairy, and I settled on using Dusty Concord and embossing with iridescent ice embossing powder. She's stamped on watercolour paper, so I could paint her and so it would match with the base, which is watercolour too. I painted her with distress inks, shading a bit since things always look better painted with at least two colours. See that little heart on her chest? Painted with worn lipstick and spiced marmalade. Her face has tattered rose, worn lipstick and pumice stone. Honest! The wings have shabby shutters, tumbled glass, broken china, and pumice stone and the crown is wild honey + pumice stone. I also painted the mushroom with pumice stone and accented with enamel accents in white. When I had it all put together and mounted on the card (marigold morning - Stampin' Up), I felt that it needed something, so I drew in some swirls with diamond stickles, which I had also used to accent her wings. This was a gamble, and I'm 70% glad I did it. It really needed some words or other stamps, but I wanted to use this for the challenge, and I didn't really have any other stamps that would suit and the card has to be all Stampotique. Still and all, I like the swirls and really, this is for a 4-year-old girl who will likely not even notice in her haste to open the present. So really, it's for me and I like it. So there. I love the richness of the colours in the colour wash. I spend a lot of time with stained fingers thanks to my love of that technique. I might try that craft scrubby to see if I can clean them off. It doesn't really bother me, but I do work in an office, so I'd rather not have hands that look like I've recently been fingerprinted....

I have some other colourwash projects to post when I get a chance. Right now they're trapped inside my camera and I haven't had a moment to extract them since I have been off sick with a bad cold. It hit me like a ton of bricks on Saturday afternoon and it was only yesterday morning that I turned the corner and felt halfway human. Nothing serious, and I do get sick leave off work (just not off being a mommy).

On an unrelated topic, we watched the new Sherlock Holmes, the modern day one, with Tim from The Office as Dr Watson. It was fantastic! I was hooked right away. I thought they did a marvellous job. We've been enjoying Wallander too. And when I was off sick, I got caught up on my Midsomer Murder episodes. I sometimes wonder why English villagers don't move to the inner city to get away from all the crime. I mean they are bumped off left and right out there. Which reminds me of another show we enjoyed but haven't seen on lately was about the housewife mafia of Little Stempington and we can't remember what it was called. It had its funny moments for sure. I just liked the premise - too funny. All ladies-who-lunch on the outside and cold-blooded villains on the inside, cornering the local drug market on high-test hormone replacement therapy pills. Who knew rural England was this seething hotbed of crime??? (Other than Miss Marple, I mean, who was certainly well aware.)

On another unrelated topic, this weekend we are hosting our second annual gingerbread house building afternoon with the cousins. We have a cast iron mold (from Lee Valley Tools) that you bake the pieces in - one side is a log cabin and the other is a brick house. It's fun, but largely because DH does most of the baking and building. When I was a teenager I used to enjoy designing and making gingerbread houses at Christmas time. I remember making a few. I can hear rasping sounds from upstairs, which means DH is filing down more walls and roof panels so they make a better join. That is where we differ. He likes them to fit neatly together, straight line to straight line. I realize it is a cookie house, shortly to be encased in candy, so I just stick them together with gobs of icing to fill the major gaps. Actually, to be fair, it is nice to have someone like that in the house because it means that pictures get hung straight and the Christmas tree doesn't lean to one side.

Well, I should get back to it and not sit around blogging all night. I have things to do to get ready for Christmas, as well as Gothic arches to get caught up on, and the 12 Tags of Christmas have started already. Yikes! So much stamping to do, competing with other necessary tasks. How to choose??? People at work keep asking me if I'm ready for Christmas (and I do have to say that I resent bitterly this particular conversational gambit). I always respond with a chipper, "Another six weeks should do it!" and wish they would stick to the more traditional Canadian opening line, "Can you believe the weather we've been having, eh?" I guess I should be grateful that people still openly talk about Christmas, but I do dislike having to constantly defend my state of planning. My normal life gets planned on an as-needed basis, which is to say, whatever is happening in the next two hours. Long range planning gets done as-needed as well, which takes care of tomorrow, and possibly the next day if DH and I have had time to work in a strategic planning meeting. Any extras, like birthdays, holidays, church bazaar, throw a spanner in the works and seriously jeopardize things like laundry and groceries. I suppose if I gave up stamping, I could become some manically organized dervish, whirling the laundry from dryer to drawer on my way to menu planning and dropping the kids at gymnastics. In my new spare time I could host delightful candlelight suppers and stylish cocktail parties, but I would be so stressed from lack of stamping that I would likely become as murderous as a villager. Also, it would be a shame to lose the value of the investment on my stamps. By my calculations, if I stamp for seven hours a day for the next three hundred years, I will see a 10% return on investment. 10% is excellent, since our savings account only gets less than 1%. Now that I see the numbers in black and white, and realize what a great investment stamps are, I should get some more, and increase my returns by 9%, which translates (rounding up, carry the one) to investing in 9 times the stamps as I had been getting. I love it when the math checks out. I guess having an engineer husband is rubbing off on me.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Farewell Card II

I made this card for someone at work who is leaving for Paris very soon, so I chose a French theme. The Eiffel Tower is a Stampin' Up stamp, as are the filigree puffballs and floral sprigs (blue). The sentiment is by Darkroom Door, and was really my only stamp that had a suitable message that fit that spot. There are some background stamps by Stampin' Up and Stampers Anonymous (Tim Holtz). This is my go-to technique for a fancy card - lots of chalk ink brayering, lots of stamping over top, embossing, hits of black, a coordinated tag. This is a heavy card, and large, and I made it with an insert so that lots of people could sign it. I went with blues and golds, which seems like a very French colour palette, and the ruffled ribbon, gold cord, and swallow brad add some texture and interest. I like to frame things with some lines drawn with the bullet tip of a marker and a ruler. I tend to do a few lines, with ruler at different angles, which makes a nice border without having to be precise. Since it's the last step, any imprecision would show and ruin the whole thing, so I go for the feel of straight lines, but ones that are actually crooked. How fiendishly clever! Another tip is to use Heather's 130lb cardstock. It really accepts the chalk ink beautifully and withstands all manner of embossing and ironing and stamping without any ill effects such as warping etc. I love that stuff, especially for projects like this. You can see that I stamped the flourish in gold ink, which adds a very nice rich effect.
Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, 22 November 2010

Shabby Chic Christmas

The November challenge at Inkurable Stampers is to make a shabby chic Christmas card. The top photo was my first stab. I had in mind to use that lovely chapel in the woods (Paper Inspirations), stamped in Versafine sepia, and treated to the double-tack film and warm highlight Glitter Ritz treatment. Then I got stuck. I thought a pale blue backdrop would be in the shabby chic vein, and even added some blue velvet paper. And some ruffly ribbon, and a ribbon slide, which was sponged around the edges and stamped with a Cornish Heritage Farms sentiment (I like it to say "Merry Christmas", but this was the one that would fit on the die cut - oh well). There are also snowflakes stamped in light blue (seascapes, by Palette) on the card base.

I waited for a bright day that I was home in the daytime, got out the paper for a backdrop to photograph it, got it uploaded, etc. and realized that the only thing shabby chic about it was the ribbon and slide. The rest was just too crisp and I just couldn't call it shabby chic. I went back to the website for some inspiration and that worked. There were so many lovely examples, that I went to town. I sponged, and dabbed and daubed and remedied and I think that the second version is much shabbier. Not sure if it's any chic-er or not!

Version two included some felt snowflakes that I glittered, and I also sponged the edges and added the stamped brocade background. If I could have pried everything apart, I would have embossed the velvet too. I was afraid it might get too shabby if I started prying layers apart. As it is, it might be better submitted to a "faux scorched" challenge than shabby chic. Perhaps if I painted the whole card white and used it as a hat stand in my tiny hallway, it would be a better exemplar of shabby chic......

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Fun (?) Challenge

We were out for dinner with the kids to a family restaurant called Montana's. They give kids a placemat with puzzles on it and, lo! there was a word puzzle. I am a sucker for these and have been interested (my husband went so far as to say "obsessed" with it for a few days). The challenge is to come up with as many words as you can from the phrase "Escape to Montana's!". That was it, I was happily occupied for the entire meal, and for the rest of the evening. I have been adding a few words now and then since then, but I am running out. So far we have 181 single words, plus another 127 plural/conjugated words, and another 7 of questionable validity (though not sure there is a judge). The 8 questionable ones are santa(s), poo, pee (stop snickering), panto(s) and namaste. I didn't include any proper nouns. I allowed contractions as there was one apostrophe in the phrase. We astonished the waitress - she said people don't normally do that puzzle. What kind of joint is that? I mean you can't put a price on that much fun. It's just like Boggle only better because there's no timer! By the way, the puzzle comes with 16 spaces for the words. Sixteen! As if!!! We found 315, including the dubious ones. You can't write small enough, especially with the crayons they provide to fit those all into 16 spots, so we had to sacrifice the square challenge, colouring picture (moose and stag) and the maze.

BTW, you don't need to flame me for this post. I am well aware that I am a bit of a word geek, and noticed that I thought of words like "capon" and "peasant" before "mat" and "top". I'm not sure if I pass or fail that geek test........

So, in conclusion, I throw down the gauntlet: how many words can you find in the phrase "Escape to Montana's!"?

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Scrap Stash Sunday 9

I will shortly need a batch of quick thank you cards in an 'artsy' vein. I thought it would be a great thing to use up some scraps for. This one uses a piece of paper that I coloured with Ecoline ink and stamped with a Stampers Anonymous- Tim Holtz stamp. The circles are Sunshine Designs and the "thank you" is Stampin' Up. (DH didn't like this one - he thought it looked like I spilled coffee on it. Why do I keep asking him to look at my cards?) I did the same layout for the other one, with the scrap being a piece that I failed to notice when it was time to stop, blew through that red light and a few of the others too. I don't recall the exact stamps for that panel, but the main ones I can see are a ginkgo leaf (Old Island Stamp Company) and a flourish (Hero Arts), with a polka dot background stamp (Stampin' Up).

It's been a bit crazy lately - our church bazaar was this weekend, and my mother and I were making lots of stationery boxes for it, in addition to the stash of cards I made. (I am looking at a card that got scanned in but failed to make it to the bazaar - it was my spadefish "amour" card. Some . We made seven I think, and three were left over. My girls snaffled up two of them and I will keep the last one for an emergency gift. I got some great treausres at the bazaar and some Christmas shopping done. I can't wait to crack into my pickled baby carrots. They look amazing.

Hope you're having a good weekend! I am off to tackle the mountains of laundry and dishes that have piled up over the past while as we have been busy with the bazaar and associated urgent stamping activities. It is getting so bad that even I feel compelled to work on it rather than stamp. Yes, it is that bad. Also nobody has anything to wear tomorrow for work/school. So, heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it's off to work I go!

Silhouette Meets Masking

I've been seeing the most amazing cards in this vein on lots of blogs, and they referenced an article in a recent Craft Stamper magazine. I thought I would give it a try - it's really easy. Basically, you take your white card, mask off the edges of the card (I used sticky notes) and sponge in colour (I used Distress Inks). Then I stamped this Memory Box dandelion image in black pigment ink and embossed it. (I did heat set the Distress Ink first, which is why I don't have a black rectangle!). The "for you" is Stampin' Up and the little dots are Ranger black accents. I also added Diamond stickles to the dandelion seeds, so in real life there is some lovely gold sparkle. I found the whole thing looked better on a black mat, so I added that in and I was done. It's a great way to get a huge wow factor in very little time. It looks fantastic with the Penny Black brushstroke stamps, but I gave away the card before I could scan it in. That's about all the stamping chit chat needed for this one other than to say, if you want something super quick and easy, in any colour scheme, just get out your sticky notes and get masking!
NSR. My 4 1/2 year old (who pestered us endlessly - is it my half birthday yet? Am I 4 1/2 yet??? Finally that magic day came!) often uses the biggest number she can think of to express the notion of enormity. As in, "It's a million, hundred, thousand, thirty, twenty, eleventy-one days until my birthday." Some days I just want to eat her up.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Arch #18 Flowers

Here's Arch #18, theme of Flowers for the Inkurable Stampers Gothic Arch Challenge. I've been working away on these challenges and had this one done for some time, but didn't get to photographing and uploading it till today. So do you like my very artsy shadow effect? Purely accidental and I couldn't figure out how to photoshop it out. This photo was the best for showing the shiny beads and the shimmery Perfect Pearl stamping. This arch started out life as a card base, which was rejected for its original purpose. I had stamped it with this lovely agapanthus image (Stampendous) using Perfect Pearls and white/embossing. The brown strip at the bottom was also in the scrap basket (edged with a Tim Holtz border die) and I felt it worked perfectly here. The quote (Paper Inspirations) is on vellum embossed in gold. I glued on some purpley browny beads for some extra embellishment. I'm not sure that purple and brown will be my favourite colour combination, but for an arch it's ok. It makes a change from the usual distress ink backgrounds or Adirondack colour washes anyway!

Only a few more arches left! If you want to play along and are up for a marathon of arches, you still have time.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Arch 20 - Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Here's Arch #20 for the Inkurable Stampers' Gothic Arch Challenge. The theme was Planes, Trains and Automobiles. I hunted high and low for my vintage truck stamp that I won from Darkroom Door. You will see from the arch that I failed to find it that day, when I had some open time to stamp. I went with this gorgeous Hampton Art image (London Diva), stamped in India Ink on smooth cardstock and inked with Crushed Olive, Broken China, and Vintage Photo. I accented the bus with red pencil crayon, dropped on some water, and bleached the lady's face, veil, cuffs, collar and tummy-medallion. The side of the arch was unstamped, so I went over that with some text, didn't like it, stamped a flourish over top, embossed in Garnet. Still not loving it, but it was time to make supper so I was finished. I added a rhinestone brad to the top, since the point felt a bit empty. That's it, that's all! Thanks for stopping by. Only a few more arches left! The next one is Mythical Creatures. I have some goldified wings that seem like they might need using for that one :-) They have been hanging around on my desk for a while, so I'd like to try to work them in. How's that for a cliffhanger?! My blog meets True Blood/24/MI-5! ha ha.

Arch #19 All About Me

This is Arch #19 - theme "All About Me", for the Inkurable Stampers' year-long Gothic Arch challenge. This was such a tough one. I really struggled. I decided that rather than go "deep" on this one, I would just go with the flow, which I guess is really very much "me" after all. Just realizing that now! (Also very much me!) Anyway, the main image is a Stampotique one, and is me as the reluctant office worker (with bad hair and questionable sartorial instincts, if only I was that tall and thin though!). I am sleep-deprived, and in a partial zombie state most of the time (see the greenish pallor?), have to wear the 'office uniform' of blouse, etc., but usually try to have something colourful like a scarf knotted like a tie, or a shawl or something. I even have a blue blouse like this one, but no red polka dot tie, sadly. I don't wear mittens at work, but I do have some mittens that I knit for myself, and can usually only find one of any given pair, so that's about me too. I guess if I did want to go deep on this one, I would usually rather be outside admiring the sky and air than be inside at work. In fact, I would like to be a farmer (small multi-animal self-sufficient farm in remote, but idyllic location with bees and flowers and a Canadienne cow for our milk and cream), but my husband continually talks me out of it citing trivialities such as lack of money and vacation and the extreme likelihood that I would immediately lose interest in farming once I had to clean out the barn. Our plan is to take a farm vacation to 'cure' me of this dream, which could be a rather risky plan seeing as I could realize my true calling. Another thing about me - addicted to colour, colour wash, colouring, colour flinging, colour spritzing, colour sponging, colour-using of any kind. All of these are found somewhere on this arch. I also have a sense of humour and love to laugh. And I have a million stamps. Which explains the yellow joke panel (Stampin' Up stamp). Another thing about me is that I can never bear to throw away interesting scraps, so I have used some on this card to make the grass and the flowers and the yellow joke panel. Another thing about me is that I love Japanese paper, but can never bring myself to use it because it might get used up. I did get out some nice Japanese paper in shades of green to use as the grass. Do you see the watercolour paper grass that actually got used? hahaha. That is so me.

Also one last thing about me that you can't see directly on the arch - I lost her for quite some time, mid-project. I put things down on my desk and then they vanish, mid-project. I spend time hunting and cursing and vowing to improve my organizational abilities, then I find the thing and immediately abandon tedious activities such as tidying and organizing. One more last thing about this arch: the circles around my head symbolize all the balls I have in the air, but please also note all the ones that have fallen on the ground! So that's this arch. All about me.

Christmas card

Hello! Here's a Christmas card that I've been working on since August. That is to say, I coloured up the main image on holidays and recently put together the card itself. I did up a dozen of them, which is a good number to get efficient use of paper, design time, but not get sick of doing them. (I don't like mass producing things - I get bored of doing the same thing over and over.) The main image is Sunshine Designs, stamped and embossed in Espresso and coloured with Tombow markers, accented with stickles. The blue panel is stamped with another Sunshine Designs stamp, sort of a holly/mistletoe sprig in the same vein as the focal image. I stamped it in white, then a Cornish Heritage Farms Christmas greeting in Van Dyke Brown. The mats are chocolate brown, and the card base is a lovely rich, deep red. The accent panel is vanilla linen, embossed with snowflakes. All the bits and pieces are edged in Memories Art Print Brown. This card came quickly together once I got the layout and 12 cards are now in the stash ready to be filled out, addressed and mailed.
No jokes today, I'm afraid. I'm feeling very sombre today, as it's Remembrance Day in Canada. We Canadians pause to remember and give thanks for all those who stand, and stood, in harm's way to defend freedom and peace. Nameless in their multitudes, but each named and known and cherished by their Maker and their loved ones. Lest we forget.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Party invitations

Ok, I am not a very good blogger. I should figure out how to post these better, but I am in a rush. These are the three versions of the party invitations I mentioned in my last post. DD1 and I did colour washes (she picked the colours) using Adirondacks and watercolour paper. I love these! Then she picked some colours of Twinkling H20s and we flung and blobbed colour on top (our fingers are starting to get clean, but it's taken about a day and a half....v. professional look for me.... but I don't mind - it just means the outside matches the inside for a change, as in I am much happier to think about colours and ink and paint and my next design than I am to think about superpopulations and weighting data. One makes me smile and the other makes me shudder. I guess life is about balance, isn't it.) Anyway, we flung and blobbed our twinks, and then let them dry and I ironed everything and she picked out some embossing powder (Faded Jeans distress and White Gold) and I used the Tim Holtz splatter stamp for that. A quick "You're Invited" (Stampin' Up) and we were done. We picked out card bases together, she had the final say, and I added some stamping (Stamping Bella - I love that background!) and some rub-ons (BasicGrey and Stampin' Up!). And we're done!

I'm pleased with how these turned out. They're all different, all lovely, all full of texture and rich colour. Scrumptious!!! I should mention that the card bases are Memory Box (key lime, boysenberry and peony - what fabulous names!), so have white on one side. (And matching envelopes! I have those in the lime and boysenberry - double scrumptious!) I can't believe I am using my precious, hoarded Memory Box stationery on a bunch of Grade 3ers. Still, (1) it's meant to be used, not hoarded, (2) DD1 loooves this stuff and really gets it and appreciates it, and (3) who would love this better than little girls? I mean they keep everything! DD1 keeps shiny gum wrappers for pete's sake. (Does this cast aspersions on point #2?) Anyway, it's used, and I still have some in the stash. It's all good. If I ever win the lottery, I am getting one of every colour of Memory Box AND matching envelopes. My second thing to do with my winnings would be to bring Fred Mullett up here to do a class. My third thing would be to hire a personal assistant to clean and organize my stamp room. My fourth thing would be to build a stamping studio in the backyard, complete with loft and kitchenette, decorated by Ms Sarah Richardson. My fifth thing would be to do a stamping tour of UK, Netherlands, Australia, West Coast/Pacific Northwest/California, and the midwestern United States. And Japan for the paper. My stampy friends and I would hop a chartered jet and just do the rubber tour. I could blog about it, which would then turn into a movie deal, and I would get to do the casting for the role of DH (would probably offer it first to Mr Colin Firth) and I would also offer Mr Tim Holtz a cameo appearance. It's all falling into place. I can see it now..... [Note to self: start buying lottery tickets, DH's position that they are a tax on people who can't do math aside. Someone's gotta win, and who better than someone with a five-point plan!?!?!]

Thanks for stopping by! What would you do if you won the lottery?

Scrap Stash Sunday 8, part 2

Here's another scrap card I made on Sunday, and am just getting it scanned and uploaded now. I had a panel of chalk ink background that was all stamped and done up and rejected from another project. I used my poinsettia nestability dies and a couple of flower punches to cut out some nesting flowers. I used some dove gray flecked paper for the backdrop, stamped in Gray Whale chalk ink with a Stamping Bella background stamp, and in Azurite chalk ink for the words (Darkroom Door). The card base is the light yellow from Papertrey. The flowers are shades of blue and yellow too, with some gold thrown in for good measure. I like that sentiment - nice all-purpose one for a birthday or to mark some milestone achievement or similar. This will go in the bazaar stash.
I did some fling and blob backgrounds with my elder daughter last night. It was fun. We're making invitations to a party at a paint-your-own ceramics place, so I thought it would be fun to make artsy-fartsy invitations. Hopefully I can get those done soon. I need some stamping therapy. It's been a rough slog at work lately. I am quite ready for that to change, but it seems unlikely. Oh well, stiff upper lip chappie and all that. That and a good dose of punk rock for the drive home. In fact I am changing my theme song to The Ramones "I Want To Be Sedated". Speaking of music, the rousing strains of "The Maple Leaf Forever" are wafting to the computer room. My daughters have a CD of Canadian music that they play fairly often. It's quite delightful, and fortunately does not include that Ontariariario song (dreadful) by the same woman who wrote the Hockey Night in Canada theme song (iconic). I would definitely need to be sedated to be exposed to Ontariariaraio for any amount of time, never mind try to spell it.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Scrap Stash Sunday 8

Here's something I whipped up in my extra hour this morning between getting up to chivvy DD1 out the door to Junior Choir and remembering it's daylight savings Sunday.
I had made a few of these images for my entry into the Penny Black octoberfest contest, so I had some in my scrap basket, along with this snowflack embossed background. The bow was even pre-tied and on my desk demanding to be used. The image (Penny Black) was stamped in Majestic Blue versafine ink onto smooth white cardstock. I put a layer of double tack sheet on top and burnished in Glitter Ritz ultrafine (cool highlights). The effect in real life is so beautiful that it almost makes you feel bad that it was so easy. Almost! One shimmery white mat and a white card base later, and I'm done. And with time to spare to post! I love scraps!
By the way, a big thank you to the ladies who came to my class at Heather's Stamping Haven yesterday. I had a great time and it was lovely to see you, and I really appreciated that many of you travelled quite a distance.
NSR Hubby and I went to see the last movie in the Millennium trilogy last night, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. It was really good. I came out of the movie feeling like I could speak Swedish! Between the Millennium trilogy and a childhood spent watching the Swedish Chef on the Muppet Show, I should be able to trot out a few words. Sadly, no. And there was even time after the show to go out for a cocktail at Milestone's. It was lovely.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Winter Scene

I made this card for Penny Black's Octoberfest contest using Christmas stamps from this season's new releases. I stamped the snowy scene in Versafine on whisper white cardstock, and matted on navy. The trick there was to put double tack adhesive over top of the whole thing and apply cool highlights ultrafine glitter (Glitter Ritz) to the panel. The shimmer has to be seen to be believed. The sentiment is stamped on shimmer paper. The cardbase is white linen, with a Penny Black botanical stamped in Brilliance platinum. The whole effect is very cool and shimmery and if it's a random draw, I have a good chance. Otherwise, the comptetion is very stiff. There are tons of great entries in the contest.

Happy stamping!

Happy Hallowe'en

Happy Hallowe'en! We've had a great day. I was at an all-day Copic class with Krista Schneider. It was wonderful. Colouring alllll day - what could be better??? Well, going over to my brother's place for a super Hallowe'en party and then coming home to make a Gothic arch. That's a lot of goodness packed into one day. I'm so worn out from all that goodness I can hardly picture going to work tomorrow!
This arch was a fun one. I went with a pre-coloured piece of watercolour paper that I had around from a session of spray and smoosh on the freezer. I had used shades of green and blue from Adirondack colour washes and let them dry. I think Pesto, Mushroom, Stream, and Denim were implicated in this recent experiment. I stamped on the spooky branches and text (Tim Holtz - Stampers Anonymous) in distress ink, followed by the crow and pumpkin image (Inkadinkado) in Ranger Archival. To colour them, I painted on bleach over the moon, crow and pumpkins. Then, I added colour back in with a paintbrush and distress ink pads (mustard seed, spiced marmalade, rusty hinge, walnut stain). Then, swooped over the focal image with Rock Candy crackle paint, which did smear the moon somewhat (that would put the trick in trick-or-treat I guess). Waited impatiently for cracks to form then bam-whooshed it with the heat tool to finish it off. Then it needed something more, so more spooky branches stamped on and embossed with Bavarian Bronze to create some depth of field, or something anyway. So that's my Arch #21 - Spooky theme for Inkurable Stampers! Yay - in under the wire on Hallowe'en.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Bellarific Friday

Here's a card I made for Stamping Bella's Bellarific Friday, which is a sketch challenge (all stamps Stamping Bella). I like this cute owl image, with his plaid wings and polka dot tummy. I chose the patterned paper first (Blush, BasicGrey) to get my colour scheme. I used Tombows to colour the owl and mounted him on a scalloped circle (Nestabilities for both cuts). This is a 5 1/4" square card, and the red mat is metallic paper.

I'm not sure what occasion will call for a plaid/polka dot owl card, but doubtless I will recognize it when it comes up. Maybe I'll donate this to the church bazaar and someone will pick it up as the perfect card for someone heading off to an ornithologists' golf tournament. Niche market to be sure, but I would imagine that people have a hard time finding that perfect card for the owl fanciers in their lives.

Thanks for looking!

Friday, 22 October 2010

Arch #17 - Metals

Now this is metal, baby! I started with a piece of copper coloured foil (Spellbinders, I think), coloured it with alcohol inks (Terra Cotta, Denim, Espresso, Copper) and ran it through the Big Shot with a Tim Holtz folder (Retro Circles). Then I had it on my desk for two days while I fiddled and snipped and tried to find things that would look good with it. Not sure I succeeded there, but I will say that this was the best of a bad lot. This guitar dude (Stampin' Up!) seemed to trigger the music kind of metal for me (though his hair is too short and styled and pants a bit too stylish to be a real metal dude). Still, it's evokes the idea if not actually slaving to reality. I stamped him and embossed him with Lapis Lazuli on a piece of colourwashed paper I had on hand. That got scuffled on the edges, stamped with a word stamp (Tim Holtz, Stampers Anonymous) and mounted over some navy mulberry paper with stars. The "heavy metal" is from my label maker and at this point I called it quits. In real life the metal is very shiny and I spent the whole time making this freaking myself out seeing my reflection moving in all those retro circles. You know how movement can catch the corner of your eye, well this foil is extremely reflective. Add numerous ridges = more reflective surfaces, plus one over caffeinated stamper and you have one jumpy situation. And here I thought stamping was supposed to be relaxing!

Thanks for stopping by.

Arch #16 Birds

Ok, this arch (#16, Birds, for Inkurable Stampers) was a bit of a stretch for me. I wanted to do something a bit different, softer colours, more stamps, less 'stuff'. I assembled the various bird stamps from my collection of Sunshine Designs stamps (The Stamp Barn), as well as twiggy branchy bits, and some general design elements. I chose 3 colours of Distress ink, got out the sticky notes, and went to work. (Or should I say play!) The colours are Victorian Velvet, Stormy Sky and Peeled Paint. (I'm not positive on the green - I made this about a week ago.) I stamped, I sponged, I coloured (with Copic/Promarker) and highlighted with glitter pen and pearl paint. I also emphasized the borders between the areas with a black marker. In the end I decided I liked it enough to post, but I'm not in love with it. Still, it met the criterion to have fun trying something new, that was a bit of a stretch for me. (Except for the crooked "Happy" - that's my signature style!) I had the dickens of a time finding a word stamp for that panel. I guess that's where a bit of planning would have come in handy. Now that would be a real stretch for me!

Thanks for stopping by!

Arch 15 Keys or "Escutcheon Subdued"

Introducing the escutcheon formerly known as recalcitrant. This escutcheon caused me no end of grief, but I was able to subdue it in the end, only to discover that it looks like plop when I scanned it. I'll try to take a picture of it instead if it's sunny tomorrow since Arch #18 needs to be photo'd too. Anyway, this escutcheon was painted, sanded, painted another colour, distressed, embossed and painted again. Man, that grungeboard can take a lickin'. It practically had 40 lashes and it looks like the day it was born, or at least popped out of the hardware panel. I think in the end, it's mostly black, with some pearl and silver paint over top, highlighted with some blue, green and red twinklings that were out for another project. I backed the keyhole with some dark paper so it wouldn't peek through to the verdigris metallic panel, which I embossed with the Wrought Iron folder. The arch itself is a sort of greenish navy, with a delicate stripe. I stamped it with the Hero Arts weedy frame using a gold metallic, Peacock Gold, I think. I also stamped a weedy looking flower (Stampin' Up!) in brown on the side. The key is from my stash and the ribbon is BasicGrey (Periphery line I think), tied with hemp twine. All in all, this arch isn't what I had in mind, but it was good enough. I feel like it needs some words on it somewhere, but you know what, it was time to stop.
Thanks for stopping by!
PS Did you see how I pinned down that escutcheon? He's going nowhere now. I win! Also I suppose I should mention that this is for the Inkurable Stampers Gothic Arch challenge, but this would be the 15th time mentioning and you're probably catching on....

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Glowing Colour Wash

No scrap card today. I had to work most of the day, then tried to spend some time excavating my stamp desk. I did manage to clear a path towards it, so that's a start. I'll post one I made Saturday night instead.
This card features a brand new Penny Black stamp (yum!!!!), well new to me. Also new Adirondack Color Wash sprays. Double yum!!!

I got some new sprays recently and wanted to try them out. I covered the top of my deep freeze with packing paper, but an old towel would do. Then I spritzed a bit of paper (about 1/4 sheet, just grabbed a couple of plain whatevers from beside the cutter) with water, then some Adirondack color wash (wild plum, butterscotch, cranberry) and smooshed another piece of paper over top. Peel gently apart and wait to dry. You could do that, or you could rush over to your heat tool and dry them off to see how they're going to turn out. That's what I did. They will curl up, but they flatten out again. You can always iron them to flatten them out. (Which is what irons are for, right?) Once I had my piece dried off, I stamped a new Penny Black (Carefree Smiles!) repeatedly in black pigment ink and embossed in black. Matted on some black paper and then spent ages trying to find a paper to mount it on. The washes are so vibrant that they can really suck the life out of the background cardstock. I settled on this delicious tsumugi. It's richly pigmented so can stand up to the wash. I couldn't find an accent piece, so I trimmed the butterscotch bit off the end of another washed piece. A bit hard to do, since that piece was scrumptious, but if I am going to enjoy these washes, I need to get used to using the paper. That bit of butterscotch behind really adds a nice accent. I added the message stamp at the bottom (Sunshine Designs - The Stamp Barn) and some black accents (Ranger). Then today I added some white accent lines with gel pens and realized that however much I might want to be Michelle Zindorf, Queen of White Gel Pen Accents, I am not Michelle Zindorf, QWGPA. Still, my daughter liked it better with the gel pen accents, and I think I do too. It's always hard to know when to stop, especially with irreversible things like liquid accents and gel pen.
I am in love with these washes! They just glow. I am going to experiment with some resists next. Good times!

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

October Challenge at Inkurable Stampers

So, do you find yourself blinking and rubbing your eyes? I am. I wanted to do the October challenge for Inkurable Stampers (sketch with three stamps) before October whizzes past me. I saw this technique in a stamp magazine and the way that other person did it, it looked very cool. This looks not so much cool as out of focus. What you do is ink and spritz a solid stamp, then repeat with another colour. I used Deep Turquoise and Van Dyke Brown (Nick Bantock line). I like the turquoise and brown combination, which I accented with the colour base (a greenish navy) and the textured paper in shades of brown. I also stamped a sketchy flower (SU) and the message (SU) for my three stamps. The ribbon is a better colour match in real life, and it's a bi-colour silk ribbon from my stash that I believe I got from Stamp and Scrap Canada. They have some cool collagey things, but lots of stuff is out of stock since I think they are trying to sell stuff off. Still, every time I go there, they are still in business and I always find some treasures.
Well, I'm not sure how happy I am with this project, but it was fun to try out a new technique. It might just need a bit of work to get it right. The stamp that the other person used was more solid, which lent itself better to the purpose I think. Anyway, it is what it is. And it freaks me out every time I look at it, like I'm losing my vision or something. I'm losing something anyway, may not be my vision, but I am definitely losing it!
Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, 11 October 2010

Scrap Stash Sunday 7

Hello! Happy Thanksgiving! So much to be thankful for, including a few stolen moments this morning to make this card. I guess that would make it technically Scrap Stash Monday, but on a subjective scale, this feels like Sunday (minus church). Plus, it's my blog and I can do whatever I want. Ha!
This lovely partridge in a pear tree (Old Island Stamp Company) is embossed in gold on black paper, and was an orphan from another project. (They prefer to be called orphans, rather than rejects.) He is much happier now that he has been adopted by this project. There was a waifly stray piece of gold paper, no trimming required, immediately under my left hand on the table, so that was pressed into service as well. The music piece was floating at the top of a pile, and seemed like a great backdrop. I'll pretend it's the music for "The Twelve Days of Christmas". It had been stamped (Tim Holtz - Stampers Anonymous) and sponged with various shades of Distress Inks. The card base is a gray-green tsumugi, and had been cut and scored and orphaned during another project. I stamped it with khaki versacolour using a solid pear (Heather's Stamping Haven) and the sentiment is Cornish Heritage Farms (RIP) in India Ink (Memories). I like this card - quite non-traditional colours, but very soothing and still festive in an understated way. I guess the enormous, flashy gold piece in the middle isn't exactly understated, but it's my blog HA!
NSR. We had a lovely Thanksgiving. My brother and his family came over yesterday afternoon and hubby cooked a fabulous turkey. Yum yum. Mt Scio savory in the stuffing, as always (if you've had it once, you'll never want another kind). My sister-in-law brought her signature mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes in halved orange cups. I made pear salad, an import to our family tradition from my aunt's in-laws. Truly Ruly Punkin Pie from my paternal grandmother's recipe (though I wimped out on the pastry and used bought, not nearly as good, but worth it not to have lost my mind in the pie making process). The kids were sooo good and had a great time together. They even organized a Halloween dance party in the living room in their Halloween costumes. Nephew had his robot/spaceman costume and did an impromptu robot dance, complete with deadpan face. It was amazing. Niecelet and nephew stayed over so the grown ups could visit and play cards till the wee hours. It was awesome. Two things wrench me from my state of self-satisfaction (three if you count the pastry).
1. DD2 has asked approximately 17 times if we can have Kraft Dinner for our next big festive meal (Christmas). Yes, Kraft Dinner, that wonderful boxed variety, that claims to have real cheese in it. Yep. That's my girl. The local turkey impeccably roasted and home made Port and Pear Cranberry Sauce are apparently a little 2009 for her I guess....
2. DD1 and Niece (best friends since Day 1) made star badges for DD2 and Nephew that say "Great Job!". These were awarded for staying away from the big kids. My SIL and I had a big discussion about whether this was a very resourceful and inventive way to have all parties happy with the state of affairs (jr cousins wore their badges proudly all night) or whether it was quite a horror. By the cold light of day, I still haven't made up my mind.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Stampotique Vintage Challenge

Here's my card for the Stampotique Vintage Challenge. I was hoping my stamp order would get here in time, and lo! it was waiting for me today at the door. It was so exciting to tear into the package and see the new goodies. I've used most of them here (two lovelies didn't get inked up today, but they will soon). My inspiration for vintage here is the floral print on the girl's dress (seems like a very vintage print), the words clipped from a vintage book, and the chaste scene of new love blossoming 'neath a mushroom.
I found the background paper on my desk (more vintage??? hahaha), leftover from a spray and spritz experiment. I think I used Adirondack colour wash sprays (butterscotch, eggplant and espresso), but I can't quite remember. I think I also had some distress reinker and water in there too, as well as some Perfect Pearls, since in real life this has a lustre and shimmer. I also accented it with a bit of sequin waste and Antique Linen ink. The Giant Shroom, rocks, grass, and swirl plants were stamped on in India Ink, and accented with pencil crayons. The little ones, not sure whether I've decided they're faeries, goblins, wee folk, or what, are both stamped with the Gog Lin stamp and paper pieced for clothing. For the girl, I trimmed away her collar and hat, making some hair out of two hats instead. I also extended her tunic into a dress. The crown also gave her something different for her head. A few eyelashes turned her into a girl. Then, for the element that really made me love this card, the words. I don't have any Stampotique word stamps (yet!) and this challenge is Stampotique-only. So I turned to my trusty, dour vintage novel (The White Oaks of Jalna) and sure enough, the morose hero had an unrequited love scene towards the end of the book and I was able to cobble together this little description of the scene, which for me ties it all together. This card also made DH laugh, since "inward brightness" is just not at all the expected description of this little one. Anyway, I love these images, I love the giant shroom and these little characters.
I just googled this novel that I'm merrily redistributing, tiny piece by tiny piece, and it turns out it's by a Canadian author, an Ontario one no less. It was turned into a miniseries, the most expensive one in Canadian television history. Apparently it cost over $2000 to make. [I added that bit - we Canadians like to poke fun at ourselves. Sorry. Oops did it again! hahaha!]
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Folk Tree

Here's what I coloured in last night when we were watching TV (rented Wall Street for some 80's memories, thought I don't think I saw it at the time). The image is Artful Stamper, a new image by Krista Schneider. I saw it on her website in the new illustrations and fell in love with it and a few others which I hope to ink very soon. I stamped this on some Neenah crest I think, using Memento black ink. This image is perfect for Copics - nice detail, but the spaces aren't too tiny for those big tips to work in. (I only have the brush/chisel tips, only one of the tiny tip.) I went with a rustic colour palette of red, yellow, green and blue. I went for a quick and easy base: Cherry Cobbler, Garden Green stamped with chalk ink using a Cornish Heritage Farm backgrounder, and a scrap of Pacific Point. All piecses were inked with Memories Art Print Brown. I used stickles to accent (Tiara, yellow, Xmas Red, Crystal) and a PTI button with crochet cotton. I debated the button with hubby, who felt it was unnecessary and distracted from the card. I told him if I wanted is opinion, I would give it to him. He settled on deciding that looking at the button made the tippy tree less noticeable. I told him it was meant to be like that, "It's a folk tree." He just asked where they guy wires were. Sigh. [On the upside, I know what Christmas card I am going to make for him! bwahahahahahah]
Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Peeking Pumpkin

I made this card for an upcoming Impression-Obsession challenge, which is a colour challenge: coffee, pumpkin and nutmeg. I stamped the image (Peeking Pumpkin, H1792) in Memento black on Neenah white paper and coloured with Copic markers. It's been a while since I've had them out, so it was fun get reacquainted. This is a fun image to colour - all those leaves and details. I have another one stamped off that I want to try in pencil crayon. The pumpkin is accented with Spiced Marmalade distress stickles, the apples with Fired Brick, and the handle with Broken China. The card base is Bordering Blue (one of my favourite SU colours, now retired, and stockpiled in my cupboard). I stamped it with an I-O background (Fluff) in Palette ink (Burnt Sienna) for the nutmeg element. There is some dark brown in the border for the coffee element, and of course there is a pumpkin. I had meant to incorporate Early Espresso paper, but it didn't work out. I suppose the Bazzill paper that has the Happy Hallowe'en rub-on is the colour of instant coffee grounds. Whether those count as coffee is a debate for another blog. The final accent was some terra cotta dimensional pearls. Heather just got in some Viva Decor Pens, which are similar to dimensional pearls and I got a colour to try out. They seem more robust than the pearls, which tend to get squashed, no matter how long they dry.
Well, it's long past bedtime, so I should toddle off. Morning will come soon enough and I'll need to dream up breakfast for three kiddies before I swan off to a stamping class. I'm taking a neat looking one where we'll be playing with the metal stuff and all those tools from Ten Seconds Studio. It's going to be fun! I won't have my zombie class in the afternoon. Sadly, my gamble went bust - turns out there are not droves of stampers in town dying to turn Magnolia into a zombie. Oh well, it meant I could make this tonight instead of prepping for class so there's a pumpkin lining to that cloud!
I will be doing a class on Nov 6th, a gothic arch triptych Christmas card, which features exactly zero Magnolias and zero zombies.
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Gothic Arch #14 Numbers

This is Arch #14 for the Inkurable Stampers Gothic Arch Challenge. The theme is numbers. I hemmed and hawed, and then I got that lovely zing of an idea, that flash of inspiration that is so addictive, and what I really love best about all this. The tricky part is always in the execution. I'm moderately satisfied with the execution here, and like it well enough not to do over.

I started with the germ of an idea, "The four chambers of the heart", with the four members of my family in filmstrip form. I printed off the pictures (resized and b/w'd and all! Look who's driving now, Paint Shop Pro!) and tucked them under some filmstrip I had stamped another time on some acetate. I used a bit of glue pen to hold them in place before I glued the whole thing down with double sided tape. But first, I stamped the background, the harlequin and hearts (Stampin' Up) and my current favourite scroll stamp by Tim Holtz (Stampers Anonymous). The inks I used were Stormy Sky and Pumice Stone. The 4 and heart are grungeboard, the former was treated to distress ink, but I settled on black paint. The heart I painted pearly white, didn't like it, embossed in red tinsel, but white showed through, so re-embossed with red ink and red tinsel powder (lest you think these things come together in one seamless flow!). The words are printed off on the computer and I don't really like the paper. Note to self, don't cheap out - use Whisper White! The difference shows! I felt it needed more red accent so I blobbed on some dimensional pearls in little heart shapes and called it a day! (Well, called it a late night actually.) So there you have it. Numbers. The next arch is "keys" and I am struggling with a recalcitrant escutcheon..... It has been painted, distress embossed, painted again, glared at and sent to bed to think about what it's done. It will be allowed out when it is ready to cooperate with the other embellishments.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Gothic Arch #13 Christmas

This is my Christmas arch, another watercolour with Adirondack colour wash treatment. I didn't have the Red Pepper and found the Cranberry a bit purple, so I mixed some Ruby Red reinker with water in a mini mister and made my own red colour wash. The other colour used here is Lettuce. I also had a bottle of something (Weathered Wood reinker I believe) mixed with some Perfect Pearls, so that got sprayed on top and gives a lovely sheen.

The Santa image is a Tim Holtz stamp, and it's stamped in Versafine, as is the holly border (Heather's Stamping Haven) and the words (Stampin' Up). I bleach "painted" again to highlight the santa, snowflakes, etc. The holly is coloured with Tombows and I made the accent holly from green velvet paper scraps, dew drops, and a charm from the stash. Not my favourite arch, but I'm a woman with a mission. I am also Christmas-arched out after doing more versions than I care to count to develop a class sample.
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Gothic Arch #1 Butterflies

This was the first Inkurable Stampers Gothic Arch Challenge theme - Butterflies. I joined the challenge several themes in, and have been working my way back. Now I'm caught up in that direction, and will resume at #13, Christmas, but that will be another post.
For this arch, I took some watercolour paper and sprayed it with Butterscotch and Lettuce Adirondack sprays, heat setting and spraying to get the intensity I wanted. (I used some water too, to move the colour around.) Then, I stamped the sprig (Stampin' Up) in India Ink and 'painted' the flowers with bleach. The word stamp Papillon (Quietfire Designs) is stamped in Wild Honey. THe other word stamp is a Tim Holtz - Stampers Anonymous image. The butterflies are punched out of a glossy black scrap that I had been experimenting with a Hero Arts stamp and some mica gloss. That experiment didn't work, but they look nice punched out here. Lastly, I doodled a border around the edge with a fine point pen. Quick and easy! I am really enjoying those spray colour washes. They are fun to do. I did another one, that I'll be using for one of the other arches. I'm going to binge out on arches tonight since work is about to get totally crazy. I want to stockpile some good stamping vibes before I go under. It's going to be emergency stamping rations only for the foreseeable future. It's a vicious circle though, since the crazier it gets at work, the more stamping I need as antidote, but the less time I have for stamping but the more I need it. So, raise your ink pad to toast an evening of stamping. How many arches can I get done?
Thanks for stopping by!