Friday, 19 February 2010

Pretty butterflies

This card started as something from my scrap pile. I'd made the background then got stuck in my usual rut of liking it too much to do anything with it. I eventually decided that I should turn it into something since it was too pretty to languish any further. It turned out so pretty that it was really hard to give away, but my friend's birthday was just the occasion to part with this.

It started out as just the butterfly background (Hero Arts) stamped in versamark to make a resist effect (I may have embossed it, can't remember). Then I added distress inks over top with my blending tool. It was at this point that the action resumed and the card got turned into something. I added some more stamped images (Cornish Heritage Farms) and painted the butterflies with twinkling H20s (Northern Lights) so they have a real shimmer. I also spritzed it with some Glimmer Mist. The sentiment (Impress) is in VersaFine (Lagoon) and the butterfly is punched from sook-wang tape and glittered with Stampin' Up Glitter. It's adhered only on the body part so the wings are raised slightly. If I were a certain stamping legend, I would pad under the wings with cotton before mailing. Luckily I am no legend (not even in my own mind) so I was spared that bit of mania. The card base is Pacific Point and so is the sentiment mat. Some Stream Dimensional Pearls added a bit of a finishing touch. Dimensional Pearls are always a bit of a gamble because they sometimes blob out or are too small or go on crooked. You can see examples of each peril on the card above. Once you start, though, you are committed, because no matter how bad they look now, they will look worse rubbed off. Trust me.

Thanks for stopping by! Are you glued to the Olympics? I am. I love the winter Olympics. Way, way more than summer Olympics and the coverage seems better too. Summer Olympics you don't see much live sport, but winter they seem to broadcast sport and not have so many talking heads. Also the summer Olympics are just endless running around in circles. In the winter Olympics it's burly athletes (let's not get gender biased here) hurtling down mountains at death defying (let's hope and pray) speeds. The girls are right into it too. I may have to break down and buy us all red Olympic mittens.

Well, back to packing for my class at Heather's tomorrow. It's a big class and we're doing a marathon three cards. Elite stamping ;-) I've trained for seven years for this moment....will I make it or will I be faulted on a time technicality. More likely I'll lose points for inky fingers and bad jokes!

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Oooohhhh! New stamps!!!

Heather got her shipment of new Tim Holtz stamps by Stampers Anonymous! Needless to say, I left her haven slightly poorer in wallet, but much richer in spirit. After the kiddies were tucked in and DH installed with the opening ceremonies, I cracked open my goodies and had a great time playing. I'd pop up every so often to see what was going on in Vancouver, but I also had time to make this card.
I started with a 2 1/2" x 5 1/2" piece of 130 lb white cardstock and stamped it with the sentiment in black pigment and embossed it in black. Next, I stamped the flourish in versamark to give a subtle resist effect. Then I added a gradient of colour with distress ink and my blending tool. I believe the colours I used (from bottom to top) were: tea dye, spiced marmalade, mustard seed, scattered straw, broken china, faded jeans, pine needles. Then I stamped the flourish on again with broken china and added the botanical silhouette in walnut stain. Lastly, I stamped the two butterflies in Encore gold, flying their way up from bottom to top, left to right. For an accent, I stamped the same butterflies on some shrink plastic that I had tinted with Stream alcohol ink. I stamped in black archivers ink (Ranger) since I had used alcohol ink and then I shrank it with my heat tool. (I keep an old aluminum pie plate around for this use - the high sides keep little shrinky-dinks from flying out.) One jump ring and one untangled hank of jute later, the butterfly was attached to the bottom of the focal panel.
The tricky thing is always finding the right paper - you want to complement the nice colours, not drown them or fight them. This jewelly muted turquoise was just the thing and the mustard tsumugi paper always provides interest and it's so richly pigmented that it holds its own against any homemade colour panel. I stamped the card blank with versamark dazzle (champagne) using the same flourish stamp, and added the tsumugi strips to accent. They needed a little something so a few strategic dots of dimensional pearls in Stream finished it off. I really love this card. I think I'll drop it by Heather's this morning to see if she wants it for a sample for her delicious new stamps.
Note: all stamps used here are from the Shabby French set.
Thanks for stopping by!
NSR: So what did you think of the opening ceremonies. I thought they were good, but I took exception to the mangling of our national anthem. It should be sung as it was written, there's no need to torture it to death as though it were the final round of American Idol. I really enjoyed the fiddling and DH liked the special effects. I found the torches a bit unusual, reminiscent of an alleged pastime of British Columbians. I'm not sure if this was intentional or not.
My favourite part, without question, was the opening with the First Nations dancers. That was a monumental moment in Canadian history and really brought the whole affair a level of class and import. So I will focus my memories on that rather than Nelly's choice of wardrobe and the 8th-grade-dance-a-thon wannabes lining the athletes' procession. All in all, I found it very Canadian - quite pleasant, slightly goofy, earnest, unthreatening and with one or two moments of pure magic.