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.