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.


  1. This is so sweet, & perfect for a little girl!

  2. Beautiful card, love the bling on the crown. Great job and thanks for joining us at Stampotique Designer's Challenge.

  3. Beautiful card and great bling! Thanks for joining us at SDC # 20.

  4. Karen, this is beautiful! The colours are so rich and the bling just brings it out even more! Thanks for playing with us this week



  5. This is so rich, love what you have done! Thank you for playing with us this week!

  6. Karen, this is absolutely gorgeous!! The colors and fabulous!!! I'm so glad you joined in the fun for the Stampotique Challenge this week! Good luck in the draw!
    Val :)

  7. Gorgeous gorgeous! LOVE the colours you've chosen too.I'm sure everyone else will notice this even if the little birthday girl is busy in a wrapping paper frenzy!

    And talking of Midsomer, I'm watching it right now lol. Our village is a bit like that, but fortunately without the 5 murders a week :0)

    Take care, have a good Christmas if I don't 'speak' to you beforehand xx