Thursday, 22 December 2011

Artichoke Birthday Card

Hi!  Here's a card I made recently for my husband's birthday.  I needed a quick and easy masculine card, so I cast  my eye over my stamps and cards on-hand and threw out that notion.  It was 11 pm and a long day and I really just needed some stamping therapy, not a "requirement".  My eye lit upon a Stampin' Up stamp set called Homegrown, with beautiful line art vegetables. Instantly I knew I needed to colour some artichokes, so I stamped them on a card base (naturals ivory) in India Ink and coloured them with my Bryunzeel pencil crayons in lots of different shades (green, yellow, brown, red, blue and purple).  I also added a bit of shadow with a soft grey.  I didn't blend with anything, just the pencils.  I find if I don't get too carried away, they blend well together, and if I do get a line, I can cover it up with something darker or assist it with my finger and some firm rubbing.  Besides, I wanted the variegation of the different colours to make them look more lifelike.  I needed a birthday message, and once again, my eye lit upon just the thing, a wonderful script stamp by josephinekimberling for Impress Rubber Stamps.  That got stamped in India Ink too, and then it made my card lopsided, so I trimmed off some "white space" at the top to get the proportions I wanted and I was away to the races.  I normally like to make a card with the person in mind, and in this case I don't really have any cause to associate DH with artichokes.  Instead, this card was all about just following what felt right and taking the chance that I could give it to someone who would appreciate that aspect.  And failing that, not really mind if he got an artichoke card for his birthday. 

Well, I'm off on holidays now, and my wenting is done for the morning.  I went to my daughter's class to help them sew felt ornaments for a little bit, then I went to an electronics store to return something, then I went to get groceries.   Now I'm home and about to the fruit I soaked overnight in rum into fruitcake and then do some wrapping and maybe make some peppermint bark.  We'll see how long the other things take me.  I'm taking two days off before Christmas to do my baking and wrapping and general getting ready. 

Thanks for stopping by!  Have yourself a merry little artichoke!

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Christmas Card

Hello!  This will be a quick post before we dash off to church.  Today is the Advent Pageant - always a good time. 

I was "cleaning up" the stamp room yesterday and found two of these trees stamped and embossed on watercolour paper and decided to "whip up" another two Christmas cards.  I had thought I was done Christmas cards, but those were only the mailing ones.  I realized I needed another 30 or so...

I had been doing a lot of red and green cards so I decided to try something else and used bluey greens, oranges and pinks here.  I used Tombow markers and blended them with a paint brush.  I like it for the most part, but I think the traditional colours are still my favourite.  Still, it was fun to get out the new Stickles that don't get much use.  The Eucalyptus, Mystic Green and Tropical Tangerine were *perfect* here and this card has more sparkle and glitz than a Vegas showgirl.

Well, I must dash and feed Thing 2.  (Thing 1 is at a sleepover birthday party.)

Thanks for stopping by!

PS.  Dear Santa, Please bring me a clean and decorated house, some tins of home baking (including Granny Borrowman's gingerbread please) and some clean and folded laundry.  Thank you! 

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Holy Holly Batman!

Hello!  Here's my card for the December challenge at Inkurable Stampers, theme of Holly.

Well, here's where my near fetish for holly stamps came into its own.  I used a Penny Black brush stroke holly stamp for the main image, a Stamping Bella holly stamp for the background, and on another version of this card I used the Heather's Stamping Haven solid and open holly stamps. 

I started off by using a layout and technique idea from my stamping friend Mary, but changed up the colour scheme a bit.  I coloured a panel of watercolour paper with Tombow markers in shades of light yellow, light blue, and many greens, just scribbling on randomly.  Then I spritzed generously with water and let it blend around by itself, getting a fair bit of green on my hands.  (It washes off eventually.  I don't want to say how long because it all depends on how much you wash your hands.  I guess if you are neither a compulsive hand-washer or a germophile, it will wash off in about a day, unless you are very neat and don't get any on your hands in the first place.  If you are that person, I would watch for other miracles too, like Virgin Marys in your watercolour puddles.)  Ok, let the watercolour panel dry, and help it along with a heat tool if you want, once it's stopped sopping and dripping.  I set it aside to drip onto my crafting rag, which helped contain the mess, and added a cheerful green to the rag.  Once it was dry, I stamped with the Stamping Bella solid holly in Evergreen Bough distress ink, and also some music (Cornish Heritage Farms) in the same green.  Then I ironed it to seal the deal and stamped the Penny Black brush stroke holly in black and embossed in black.  Next was the message (from the Darkroom Door Dear Santa collection), but I wished afterwards I'd embossed that too.   I accented it with my sparkle pen, but I still wish I'd embossed it - next time. The card base is a medium gray linen, stamped with the same Penny Black holly in Ice Jade chalk ink.  The front side of the card is cut short by about 1 1/4", and a gold edge strip applied.  On the inside of the card is a black linen strip, stamped with my current favourite stamp, a scripty background from Impression Obsession.  I am using that stamp on everything.  Everything.  It works everywhere!  It is the little black dress of stamps.  Not that I have ever had a little black dress, or needed one, but I use the term to indicate a wardrobe staple, that can be dressed up or down, go uptown, downtown, day to evening with the right accessories, etc.  Only the stamp version is much more gratifying and requires neither pantyhose or high heels.  Once everything was all put together, I put some Patina stickles on the holly leaves and some Xmas Red and Candy cane stickles on the berries.   Yay holly!  Yay stamps!  This will be a quick one to do a batch of, maybe later tonight. 

Thanks for stopping by! 

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Bellarific Friday - White Theme

Hello!  Here's my card for Bellarific Friday this week at Stamping Bella and the theme is white.  I used the three ornament stamp, stamped on white linen with gold Delicata ink (fabulous stuff - so gold and great detail - I have used it on everything for the last two weeks).  I re-stamped it on cream linen and cut out the ornaments to pop up.  I accented with a white gel pen and then added some tape around the edge of the white linen panel topped with warm highlight glitter ritz.  I accented some of the ornaments with glitter ritz too, to tie it in.  Also, the polka dot ornament is paper-pieced with white linen.  the panel is mounted on gold metallic and the base card is a slightly textured white metallic with gold iridescence.  I stamped the base card with Stamping Bella solid holly using alabaster chalk ink.  In real life it's totally fabulous but Sauron the Scanner bears me some monstrous grudge and refuses to capture its beauty for you.  Trust me.  Even my DH said it was really beautiful, and he's not one who's normally lavish with praise.  I think I will make more of these as they are quite quick to do (minus the fiddly paper piecing, which could be achieved more quickly with the gel pen in future).  I will use the narrower tape for the glitter frame next time too, but again, live and learn.  I'm not displeased with this, but now that I want the narrow edge, I will fixate on that until I get a chance to try it. 

I'm in full Christmas card mode right now, and finished a small batch (6) of cards from Krista's Copic class this fall (the stained glass nativity scene).  I hope to post that soon, but I make no promises.  I have a lot of things to do.  In fact my friend and I were talking (on the chat feature of Facebook Scrabble) about how we're so very far from being ready for Christmas.  I said I have to battle perfectionist tendencies and so far lowering my standards and eliminating unrealistic (i.e. any) goals has been the secret to my success.  She said she will stop procrastinating.  I said I planned to do that as well, but not just yet.  And for the record, Facebook Scrabble doesn't take that long, I usually play a quick word before my morning shower.  That's hardly encroaching on laundry-shopping-wrapping-cookie baking-gingerbread house building- tree decorating - Advent meditating-Christmas card writing time, now is it?  And also for the record, I put "make Christmas cards" at the top of my To Do list every year.  Stephen Covey says to prioritize, and I find that a very helpful secret to success. 

Thanks for stopping by!  I must go and see if I can play my X and Q!

Friday, 2 December 2011

Christmas Card

Hello!  It's been way too long!  Since I've last posted, there was the church bazaar, my daughter's birthday party, my daughter's family birthday party, my parents' visit, and the hurly burly of daily life.  Good things, all, but no time for blogging, and precious little for stamping.

I had gotten this stamp and the Christmas colours of Distress Ink at Heather's recently and I really wanted to try them out.  It's a gorgeous brush stroke poinsettia (Penny Black), with a holly sprig.  I've tried it a few different ways, but here I started with a piece of sage green, sponged in some Iced Spruce and stamped on the old script (Impression Obsession) in Memories Soft Gold.  Then, the poinsettia on top in Delicata gold (that stuff is fantastic!  dries instantly on porous paper - cue foreshadowing music here), the Merry Christmas (Heather's Stamping Haven) in black.  Doodled a frame with a Micron too.  I edged the panel in the gold ink too.  This piece is n a dark grey linen mat, then a lighter grey linen card base, on which I stamped the poinsettia again, this time in a sage pigment ink.  The accent bit is a piece of Ionize metallic paper (my new favourite since Krista's class this fall), which I zipped through the Cuttlebug (why don't I have a holly folder????) and applied more delicata ink.  Most of the ink is off my fingers now, the next day, and I found that delicata will eventually dry on metallic paper, but not quickly enough not to make a bit of a smudgy mess.  Next time I will set it aside to dry for five minutes or so.  The final element was some artful application of Champagne Stickles, mostly in the centre, but also here and there, as I've been seeing done with sticky-back pearls on lots of blogs.  This will mail more easily, and helps put a tiny dent in my stickle supply.  Well, this card has been percolating for a while, and it was good to get it out.  I might make a few more tweaks to size of panel, etc,., but I think this is in the running for one of my Christmas card batches this year!

Thanks for stopping by.

PS  Sorry about the wacky formatting - Blogger updated their interface while I wasn't looking and I don't have time this morning.  Really I should be getting everyone ready for the day and not blogging, but there you go.  We'll compromise with wacky formatting and a mad scramble for the bus.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Just for You

Hello!  Happy Hallowe'en!  We had a nice time out trick-or-treating with the girls.  There weren't a lot of kids out in our neighbourhood, so people were quite generous and gave out handfuls of stuff and were quite pleased to see some cute little girls at the door. Hubby even did a quick jack o'lantern for the front porch.  Some people had some good decorations out, and one house had a ghouly-skeleton with glowing red eyes that waved its arms and moved its mouth and talked about the haunted house.  My five-year-old's eyes were like saucers.  I hope it doesn't give her nightmares!  After the kids were in bed, I wound down with my stamps, and thought I'd do a couple of cards in the same vein to save design time.  I'd seen a card like this at Heather's Stamping Haven, with the various diamonds cut out and popped up, but I couldn't remember exactly how it went.   I started by stamping the image (Stampers Anonymous) on some cream linen card stock using India Ink (Stewart Superior), once on the card itself, and a second and third time on a scrap of the same paper.  Then, I cut out the scrap piece, the full image, and then a couple of diamonds.  I also cut away a couple of diamonds to look through to the base layer.  To add colour, I used a moist paintbrush and lifted colour from Distress Ink pads.  For the top one I used: Pumice Stone, Scattered Straw, Forest Moss and Stormy Sky.  For the bottom one I used:  Antique Linen, Pumice Stone, Victorian Velvet, Seedless Preserves and Gathered Twigs.  I really like those last two special issue colours.  I coloured each layer the same, then assembled usinging dimensional foam tape between the layers.  To finish it off, I highlighted some diamonds with Rock Candy stickles for some non-glittery sparkle.  The sentiment is a stamp from Quietfire Designs.  I wanted to make these cards all-purpose so that seemed like a good choice. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, 29 October 2011

One layer card

Hello! Thanks for stopping by. It's getting to be that time of year when I need a bunch of cards to donate to the church bazaar. Clean and simple options are always quick to do, and can be striking. I had a card base handy, so I masked off an L-shape with sticky notes and sponged on some distress ink (Victorian Velvet and Stormy Sky). It seemed to need a horizontal silhouette vignette. Since I didn't have the perfect stamp for that (gasp!), I had to improvise. I found this lovely shorebird (Old Island Stamp Company) and stamped it on in black and added some extra ripple lines with my Micron. I found a suitable sentiment for underneath (A Muse) and added some birds in flight, again with the pen. The all-seeing eye of Sauron the Scanner has revealed my sponging shortcomings, but I'm hoping the hurly burly of the Christmas bazaar will mask (ha ha! who says puns are the lowest form of humour? I refuse to believe it) any imperfections.

NSR: We're getting into Hallowe'en here - costumes have been chosen, pumpkins purchased and ready for carving, candy bought for trick-or-treaters. We had a party at work yesterday and I had the dubious honour of winning the Thematic Costume category. I wore a buttoned dress shirt with my husband's tie, a brown fedora and a glued-on mustache, and toted my iron. Can you guess what I was? (Hint - I foreshadowed my love of puns in the previous paragraph.) Yes, you guessed it - I went as Iron Man. My friend at work said I looked like Everyman on a New York subway. At least that's what she said when she stopped hooting with laughter long enough to come up for air. Then she insisted I refer to women as "dames" for the rest of the day and pretend I worked for Barney Miller down at the precinct. I think it was the mustache. It was quite realistic (ca. 1978). My kids just couldn't stop looking at it, and touching it. I think it really freaked them out. I would post a picture except this is the internet and people from work might see it. Oh yeah. They saw it in person. I'm still not going to post it. It was one of those magical moments that had to be experienced in person.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Windy Day

Hello! What a wonderful couple of days at Heather's Stamping Haven, taking Krista Schneider's workshops on colouring with Tombow and Copic markers. Eighteen projects later, I'm worn out but enjoying the creative intensity of the last two days. Friday was a day off from work (!) and Tombow markers. We did 11 Christmas cards and fell in love with lots of stamps and colour combinations. Saturday was 8 projects and lots of great Copic colour combinations to try out. This particular card was one of my favourites and it is such a great image from The Artful Stamper. This stamp was discontinued for a bit, but they have brought it back. Yay! If you can't find it at your local stamp store, get in touch with Heather and she can probably get it to you.

The top left card is the one that Krista taught us, but she said it would be great in all sorts of colour combinations, especially a monochromatic with a hit of red for Christmas. I thought that would be fun too, but I owed my family some time. So I came home and played with the kids for a bit after supper. We alphabetized my chalk re-inkers as I had dumped the box (a second time, immediately after sorting them and was too fed up to re-sort). It was great fun. My five-year-old particularly enjoyed it. (We are quite the party family. Who likes to rock the party? We like to rock the party.) They loved that so much, they begged to alphabetize something else so we alphabetized my stickle drawer. This is quite hilarious given the rest of my stamp room which, although tidier than it generally is, is not exactly organized to military standards. An alphabetical stickle drawer in my stamping space is sort of like having a flashmob where only two people in the crowd are singing the same song. (Speaking of flashmobs, it was one of my New Year's Resolutions to see one and I still haven't. Do you have to be Twittered to find out about them? Because I am not signed up to Twitter. I use another social media interface for the purposes of playing Scrabble and "liking" cool Stampbord projects but I can't see myself joining something else just to see what #twitspace is going on in 45 characters or less. I tend to prefer formats that allow for lengthy ramblings. Hah!)

** Back to the cards! (Click the image to see it in a larger version.) After the kids were in bed, I coloured up a few more and mounted them. I made a pastel one (top right) and a blue-grey one (bottom left, love that one!) and then finally channelled Krista a bit to do the last one, the monochromatic one with hits of red (bottom right). I didn't want red leaves, so I drew a few birds on with the Copic multiliner and coloured them in. For the snowy scenes, I used Rock Candy stickles on the snow, and then coordinating stickles from my (temporarily) alphabetized drawer. I confess they are no longer completely alphabetical (sorry LH!), but the drawer wasn't full enough too keep them from sliding out of order. I don't know which confession is worse: I have enough stickles to alphabetize, I let them get out of order within hours of being sorted, or I don't have enough to fill a drawer all the way to the back. Actually, I like them all in a tumble-jumble because I can rootle through them and re-acquaint myself with all the options whenever I am looking for one. If they're all standing up, I just zoom to the one I want, and forget to notice neglected colours.

Thanks for stopping by! Hope this makes you think about different ways to colour an image to create different results.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

ATC Class Nov 12th

Hello! Just a quick post this morning before I dash off to work. Here are the ATCs I made for an upcoming class at Heather's Stamping Haven. It's going to be from 2-5 on Saturday, November 12th. If you'd like to take the class, please register with the store.

I tried to make ATCs in several different styles, and I will also give people some sketched designs for how to use ATCs as card-starters.

I love all of them, but I think my favourite is the Snowy Day one, which has some surprises hidden inside.

Hope to see you on the 12th! In the meantime, I am going to be a parent volunteer on the kindergarten field trip. Naturally it's the coldest day we've had so far, 8 degrees, windy and rainy. Good thing I'm made of stern stuff. Then tomorrow and Saturday are the all-day classes with Krista Schneider at Heather's! Can't wait - two full days of colouring with Copics and Tombows, 18 projects over the two days. I love it.

Thanks for stopping by!

PS. Stamps: Heather's Stamping Haven, Sunshine Designs, Hero Arts (gold flower), Stampers Anonymous (butterfly ATC). Sorry about the formatting. Ran out of time and patience to get it any better.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Scrap Sunday 13 - on Monday

Here's a card I made this evening from some scraps. I'm calling it a Scrap Sunday card since today is a holiday (Thanksgiving), so it's still the weekend. I had a piece of green flecked paper that I'd made from some spray I think (guessing lettuce and mushroom Adirondack color wash). I stamped it with this lovely calligraphy stamp from Quietfire Designs and matted it on a scrap of cork, then over a scrap of lovely handmade olive paper, and the card base is a cream coloured linen. Very quick and easy! (If I don't count all the false starts and the dead ends along the way.) I love cards like this that count as "cleaning off the stamp desk". Also, it's my reward for working hard on my holiday to get all the laundry done. Today and yesterday were gorgeous, so I was a laundry dervish, washing and hanging out to dry about 8 loads. All three clotheslines were pressed into service, and nearly all the clothespins. And even better - all the laundry is put away, and I even ironed! Pretty soon my husband is going to say, "Where is Karen? What have you done with her? Unless this imposter can cook, I want my real wife back!"

Happy Thanksgiving! So much to be thankful for.

NSR. It's been a good weekend. Friday started out with a meet and greet at work, with the big head honcho (many, many levels above me). When I met her she knew my project and said kind things about it. That was neat - she has a lot of people working for her, doing a lot of things, so the fact that she knew what I'm doing was kind of neat. And unusual for me since I usually prefer to fly under the radar. Then Friday night we all went to the rector's house for a wine and cheese for the stewardship committee and their families. (Well kiddies got movies and snacks, not wine and cheese). Hubby is chairing the committee so it's a busy fall around here. It was a very nice evening, just a shame that I'm always totally worn out by Friday night. Then Saturday morning was a wonderful stamping class at Heather's Stamping Haven and we made some gorgeous projects with Caran d'Ache crayons. Then home to make pear salad and do some whirlwind cleaning while hubby took the kids to the park for a family fun day with the cousins. Then off to my brother's place for a huge turkey feast, thanks to my sister-in-law. Such a wonderful meal! The kids had a sleepover so the grown ups got to stay up late (i.e., past 8 pm) visiting. Sunday morning was church, hubby was duty warden so gone bright and early to let in the 8 o'clockers, so I got to sleep in and have my coffee in the comfy chair overlooking the woods, reading a good book, enjoying the sunny morning. Didn't have my watch on so enjoyed this solitary scenario for far too long, and rushed pell-mell to church, arriving just in the nick of time. The church looked so lovely with all the Thanksgiving decorations everywhere! In the afternoon we raked some leaves and played outside, then went for a drive to Lanark County and the Mill of Kintail just outside Almonte. There's a museum there in the old mill and some lovely walking trails, which we enjoyed. The kids' favourite part was playing Pooh Sticks on the bridge over the Indian River. Some notable surgeon-sculptor-scholar type person (R. Tait Mackenzie) converted the mill in the 1930s and lived there with his wife, a published poet. Wouldn't that be great? I would love to stumble on a ruined mill in the woods, see the potential, rebuild it fit for habitation and move in the next year. Today was a bit of a quieter day, playing outside in the leaves, picnic outside, bike ride and playground, and Addition Bingo after supper (do we party it up, or what?!). Also a fair bit of bustling and things around the house, inside and out so we can face with a minimum of dread the Sisphean task of getting the family through the week. That brings me to now, and a few minutes for stamping and blogging! Yay!

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Copic Poppies

Hello! It's been a while since I've posted - I've been busy cleaning out the stamp room, and the computer has been in use during blogging hours. But this week the stamp room got clean enough to stamp this poppy image (Hero Arts), and colour it while watching tv. I tried out some new things I learned at the Intermediate Copic class, things like shading and shadows and different colour families. I am still no expert on shadows and shading, but will claim that my main source of light comes from some direction, and then random other sources of light and shadow may also come into play depending on the backstory of my image. So, for example, here, the sun is coming from more or less above, except for the parts where there was a child playing with a flashlight, and another part where another child was casting shadows. You see, if you can imagine a light source, you can imagine all sorts of things. (You are beginning to see why I have not yet been plucked from Copic obscurity and brought to design team fame and glory.)

Anyway, coloured up the poppies while watching Strike Back and seeing Sgts Scott and Stonebridge shoot their way out of this week's (seemingly) certain death. Not normally my sort of tv, but Sgt Stonebridge is extremely easy on the eyes and they do a cliffhanger every week that brings me back. We are on Story Arc #51 of Plot #3 and it's only 5 episodes in. I tell you, not much time to dither between YR31 and R02 or you will lose the thread completely. Oh yeah, it's the hunk shooting his way out of a sticky situation. So far the main difference between episodes seems to be which country he is shooting his way out of and which babe his sidekick is tomcatting around with. So far it's been India, South Africa, the Sudan, and Kosovo (or brainbox, blondie, Irish exhibitionist, doctor, journalist).

Oops - got a bit side tracked there. Back to the card. I masked off the poppies (just the flowers) and stamped the background music (Cornish Heritage Farms scrapblock) in Antique Linen distress ink. I also sponged in some Linen and Vintage Photo around the edges to soften the white paper (too stark). Decided a poppy should be popped up and coloured up another one. It's trimmed to 4"x5.5" so I could have a strip of red fleck down the side (I believe the paper is called poppy fleck - meant to be!). The sentiment (Papertrey Ink) is heat embossed in black, and the accents are Cello Glitter Ritz (Art Institute). Clearly I am a philistine since when I ordered it, I thought it might be clear glitter, as in cellophane. It's a lovely rich brown, as in cello the instrument. Edited to add: Copics used for poppies: YR31, YR02, R22, R08, E19; used for stems: BG93, YG93, YG97.

In non-stamping related news, my five-year-old washed the dishes tonight. She loves being helpful, so I thought I'd give it a whirl. She did a great job. I did the sharp knives and really grubby/heavy things, but she did all the little lunch containers and things like that. I was so proud of her!

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Inkurable Stampers September Challenge

Hello! The September challenge at Inkurable Stampers is to use eyelets (link here). I had my new Twinkling H20s out, so I made another ATC, this time using a Hero Arts stamp embossed in gold. Once it was embossed, I painted it in shades of warm gold and brown with some magenta highlights (Golden Nugget, Desert Clay, Harvest Sol, Raspberry Wine). I matted it on some burgundy linen cardstock, and embossed the edges in gold. Then stamped "inspire" (Darkroom Door) on a torn strip of the same linen paper and attached it with eyelets. The finishing touch was to add some Gala Glitz (Art Institute) to the flower (little gold balls, and shards of gold glass). I really must get some gold Gala Glitz. I'm tired of winkling out the gold pieces out of my teal jar....

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Twinkling ATC

Here's an ATC I made for the Creative Imaginations Luminarte Raffle described here. Basically, you send in your ATC and cross your fingers.

I recently picked up the newest sets of Twinklings, this ATC uses all the colours from the Autumn Brilliance set: Mystique, Harvest Sol, Spanish Moss, Raspberry Wine, Golden Nugget, and Desert Clay.

I started by stamping the leaf (Fred B. Mullett) in an Adirondack multicolour ink on some 130 lb cardstock, and clear embossing it. (versamark + Adirondack then e.p.) Then painted on patches of the new twinklings, admiring each -these colours are wonderful! Then, ironed away the clear embossing powder and stamped on the tree quote (Quietfire Designs) and embossed it in black. Added some leaves stamped with twinklings, and some crackle effect (Stampendous cube) in black India ink. Added a maple leaf brad from the stash, matted on some black cardstock, and called 'er done.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, 19 September 2011

Sympathy Card Revised

My bold move paid off! I like this revised version better than the original here. A minor tweak, but one of the big things we learned in the Intermediate Copic class on the weekend was how to give yourself constructive criticism. Basically, you pretend (a) it's not your card and (b) the person who made it is immune to criticism, in fact revels in it, begs for it, and always wants more. (A and B are usually mutually exclusive, so this is a hard lesson to learn.) My first round of constructive help was to gussy up the card, since I just had the seniment panel and gold bits. No leaves or frame. It just needed a little something else. This is for the church bazaar so I wanted to keep it easy to mail, so that ruled out adding a raspberry bough or similar embellishment (as if! ha!) and of course I couldn't add ribbon to a card to save my life. So fussy little vellum leaves remained an option. Not too bad. The only problem with being your own critic is you don't have all those great ideas for fixing things that other people do. The up side is you're never so mean you can't take it.

Botanical Sympathy Card


I stole a bit of stamping time tonight after a long day and it was nice, very nice. I tried out some Fred B. Mullett stamps to make a sympathy card. They are a great background, and conveyed the sort of restful background I was looking for. I used two stamps, Wild Raspberry (the one with multiple leaves) and Lil Salal Leaf, using an old Adirondack multicolour inkpad (Winter Sky). The colours seem to have mostly run together in it, but it does date back to my early days of stamping, so I don't really mind. The colours are still beautiful and a little varied so it doesn't look like just one colour. I embossed the Lil Salal leaf a couple of times on vellum for an accent using Peridot embossing powder. This was the same e.p. I used for the sentiment (by Quietfire Designs). I sponged around the edges with Weathered Wood and Pine Needles. I felt it needed more, so I added a frame and the strip of metallic paper. I have just now ripped off more of the gold paper so it will fit in the frame (do I live on the edge or what!) and it does look better, though I will have to join the frame lines, which will be a risky manoeuvre at best. Wish me luck! (If you hear an anguished groan, you'll know it didn't work.)

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Birthday doodle birds

Hello! Here's a birthday card I made that was inspired by birds I saw on the blog Stamping Mathilda here. If you would like to make your own doodle birds, here is a link to the tutorial on
Delphine Doreau's blog. They are really easy to do, just have fun! I drew these on Papertrey white cardstock using a Copic Multiliner, and coloured in with Copics. I was at the Intermediate Copic class on Saturday so I am all revved up about my Copics right now. I wish I'd used my 130 lb cardstock from Heather since the Copics bled right through the PTI stuff. I lined the inside of the card to hide it, but I had been hoping for a one-layer card. I didn't have time for Stickles to dry since I was delivering this to the birthday girl right way, so I used Sakura glitter pens. Clearly I didn't wait long enough for those to dry as the keen-eyed observer will see where the red one smudged on the crown. I also accented the birds' eyes with the black Sakura glaze pen. The stamped "happy birthday" is from A Muse. I loved doing these blobby birdies - so much fun! And there will never be another birthday card just like this one. I am going to enter this card in the Simplicity One-Layer card challenge here.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Funky Christmas

Hello and happy long weekend! It's Labour Day weekend here, and we are enjoying the time off work, but it's not quite turning out how we pictured. I guess that's what happens when you're a grown up! Free time gets eaten up with responsibilities. Oh well, I still found a few minutes to stamp. The lovely Jennifer McGuire surprised me with a RAK gift of stamps (thank you!) and here is something I made with one of them.

The main image is a Hero Arts stamp, inked with Colorbox Fluid Chalk ink (Lime Pastel) and then embellished with several colours of stickles. Basically I selected all my shades of light green, gold, and red, with some burgundy too and dotted all the dots. (Though by the cold light of day, I see I missed some.) Then, the next day when all those dots are dry, I matted it on gold, then burgundy. The card base is olive green (Kiwi Kiss from SU I think), stamped with a funky snowflake stamp from Sunshine Designs (available from Heather's Stamping Haven) stamped in more Lime Pastel. I ran some Poppy sparkle paper (part of my treasured hoard now that it is discontinued, just like my Kiwi Kiss unfortunately) through the Big Shot using a dotty Tim Holtz folder. A strip of burgundy linen added a bit of oomph to that panel and I also matted some burgundy on the gold too, for some depth. The card was feeling like it was missing some depth of colour to anchor it, apart from the burgundy stickles. I can see cranking out a few of these for Christmas - quite fast and easy. I've made a similar card for Jennifer as a thank you, and will post it later. This is a fun stamp - outside my comfort zone for sure, but it's so quick and easy and I love the results. Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your weekend!

PS I'm entering this in the Simon Says Stamp Challenge Blog Hop - theme "Anything Goes". There is some great blog candy for the lucky winner. Now I'm off to do some hopping!

Friday, 26 August 2011

Happy Anniversary!

A few days ago we celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary and this is the card I made for my dear husband. I used naturals ivory card stock and stamped the heart (Stampin' Up!) in red chalk ink (Memories - Tomato Sauce), lightly sponged with brown chalk ink (Colorbox Fluid Chalk - Chestnut Roan) on one edge for depth. I tried out a few different reds but liked this one best. Can't decide whether the gratfiication of finding the perfect red outweighs the shame of having so many reds to choose from...... I heat set the heart in preparation for stamping the main image (Quietfire Designs) in black and heat embossing in black. I really, really love this image. The calligraphy is stunning and I like how the message is hidden. Next, I matted the image on black cardstock, and then popped it up on a naturals ivory card base. Decided it needed something else, so I used my ruler and .03 Micron pen to add the line to frame it on the inside. There are also Platinum stickles filling the hearts in the words "I love you". I can't usually pull off clean and simple, but I think I did it here! I can see doing versions of this card with all sorts of lovely Quietfire Designs quotations over a nice accent stamp......but not this morning! Have to get dressed, get the kids to camp, get to work, get to 5:00 when the weekend starts! Thanks for stopping by.

PS. Veggie update. I got an enormous cauliflower at the farmstand on Tues, seriously, it was bigger than a soccer ball. Anyway, googled grilling recipes and discovered that grilled cauliflower is unbelievably delicious. Kids weren't too keen, but grown ups scarfed it down with relish. (Actually with veggie box feta cheese sprinkled over! haha.) I couldn't recommend it enough. I normally love cauliflower, but this took it to new heights. Basically sliced off a few 1" slabs off the head, keeping the stem part too to hold all together. Rubbed with olive oil, sprinked with coarse salt and pepper and chopped oregano. Grilled till lovely brown (what makes it yummy). We sprinkled with feta as it was on hand, but wouldn't be essential.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Early efforts in art journalling

Hello! I'm home from a great holiday at Manitoulin Island. Before I left, I picked up a book on art journalling by Gwen Diehn called The Decorated Journal. It's a wonderful book and very inspiring. I particularly enjoyed the section on making maps, and thought that would be a good thing to include in the journal I'd brought on vacation in case I felt crafty/creative. I sketched a map of the route from our house to Manitoulin Island, a drive of about 9-10 hours (600 km), west from Ottawa to Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron. (Note, map for artistic outlet purposes only and not to be used for navigation, academic studies, land titles, etc.) After packing our car (a.k.a. The Blue Jellybean) to the gunwales (including DD2's bike!), we set off. This map captures the journey. Gwen Diehn talks about mapping as selection of what's important, and here I've put down what were important to me, mostly where we stopped driving and took in a bit of local scenery.

The first portion of the journey goes west along the Ottawa River, which forms the boundary between Ontario and Quebec. At Mattawa, the Ottawa River goes north, and the Trans Canada Highway continues west towards Lake Nipissing and North Bay, and then up towards Sudbury, which is a nickel mining town. There is an enormous nickel there (five cents), commemorating something or other (link to Wikipedia entry). We stop there for a play and a picnic on the way home, but my investigations of historical or informative plaques are always severely curtailed due to the long drive and necessity to keep stops short. (My weakness for such plaques goes unrequited, so absolutely no chance of nipping in to Brent Lake to see the meteorite crater and related plaque - 32 km off the highway....maybe one day.....). We did stop in Mattawa for a picnic lunch, and I happily read the plaque there describing the importance of the location to the fur trade when waterways were the main transportation routes. Mattawa also has some lovely heritage architecture and stunning views, nestled as it is in two valleys. Anyway, back to the page...

I sketched the map, using a road map for reference (perhaps should not admit this???), adding the key stopping points for us along the way, and our destination, Manitoulin Island, and some other things I felt like adding. I mainly added rest stops, like the Tim Horton's (a chain of coffee & doughnut shops that seem to appear in every sizeable town). My 5-year-old daughter couldn't tell them apart and kept getting confused about whether we were back to the one we'd stopped at before. Another was the Pembroke Irving (gas station chain known for its clean bathrooms) and this particular rest stop had maps inside where I showed the girls our journey. Another stopping point on my map is symbolic of the many lovely little provincial picnic/rest areas that appear all along the route and make great places for a picnic and a place to get the wiggles out. On my map, the road stops at Espanola, but in real life the Trans Canada continues westward out to Vancouver. The only land access to the Manitoulin is the swing bridge at Little Current, which is a former railroad bridge. I made a few mistakes on the map (in best Bones McCoy voice, "Damn it Jim, I'm a stamper, not a cartographer!"), and Lake Nipissing and the lakeshore are in the wrong place (L Nipissing is east of the French River ghost town). (Random aside: I have always had a fascination with this ghost town since I found it on the map. However, it is inaccessible by road, so I will need to take up adventure canoeing if I ever want to go there. Since I can't actually get there, I keep building it up in my mind into quite an elaborate location that I am missing. In real life, it's probably nothing like I imagine, if anything of the town even remains, so I will hold off on training to become a wilderness canoe expert for the time being to avoid disappointment. Still, I find the notation on the highway map tantalizing.... )

After sketching the map in pencil, I used my daughter's watercolours to paint it. This was a bit of an adventure and I added a bit too much here and there, learning (I hope!) a lesson about leaving well enough alone. (And learning that I should invest in some good watercolours.) Still, I was pleased with the result, and did actually learn something about the geography of the trip, from the fertile Ottawa Valley, up towards the Canadian Shield, then to Manitoulin Island, with its unique landscape and history. The swing bridge at Little Current was a challenge. I could see it in my mind's eye, but couldn't draw it from that. After reading Gwen Diehn's advice on drawing and the art of truly observing the subject, I dug up a photo of the swing bridge and realized that my mind's eye wasn't really very accurate at all. My rendition here is based on my observations and some artistici license, really just capturing the essence of the structure and the main lines. But it really does look like the real thing. Who knew! Before I get too carried away with my new-found drawing abilities, I cast my eye on my fleur-de-lis in Quebec and regain my humility..... Also, the island itself was impossible to draw accurately. Way too many wiggles and squiggles, and hubby said it should be bigger. I maintain that I wanted to convey the vastness of the lake..... In real life the island is closer to the mainland and there are hundreds of islands in the North Channel, as well as large islands on the east side of the island. And the Bruce Peninsula should probably appear on my map. But it's my map and I have never been to the Bruce Peninsula, so on my map, it appears in direct proportion to my experience.

I really enjoyed the observing and the sketching and watercolouring process here, and was quite pleased with the results of my initial efforts. Many thanks to Gwen Diehn and her wonderful, inspiring, and empowering book!

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Baby card

Hello! How are you? I'm feeling a bit frazzled, back at work after a week-and-a-bit's vacation. We went to Newfoundland to visit relatives. More on that below, if you are interested.

About the card - I am going to a baby shower and needed a card. I started with this lovely black and white photo from a Darkroom Door Montage sheet (Hello Baby collection) and clipped it out, and tinted the sweater with pink distress ink in a couple of shades. Mounted it on grey linen, then popped up off another layer of grey linen when it turned out to be too small for the final card. The next piece down is white, embossed in the Cuttlebug, and sponged with pumice stone. Next down is dark grey, then the same grey linen, stamped with a scroll (Stampers Anonymous) in Lake Mist. Then the card base is Pirouette Pink, stamped with Linen (Stampin' Up!) in Spun Sugar, which didn't show up very well, but I thought another stamp would be too busy. The "sweet baby girl" is from SU's Everyday Flexible Phrases and didn't turn out well when I stamped it down, so I did it ransom-note style on gray linen and dotted some liquid pearls around it. Then everything was going on down in that corner and the light grey on the other side couldn't hold it, so more liquid pearls went up on the top corner. I also discovered I need pewter liquid pearls (is there such a thing?) and I don't have light pink either. How did that happen? Must remedy that. Had the perfect shade of embroidery floss and spent a happy half hour reviewing all my buttons to find the almost-perfect one. Ideally it should have been a four-holer to match the picture, but it's a two-holer, which is easier for tying bows anyway. I'm quite happy with this - pink and pretty but not too precious. Hope she likes it!

Re Newfoundland: Had a great time - saw whales, lots of scenic vistas, even splashed in the North Atlantic. The girls were the only ones brave enough to get completely wet, and they had to be hauled out of the waves when the bystanders got too cold to watch anymore.... We were at a wonderful sandy beach (rare, most beaches are rocky) and the waves were wonderful. Came home with some bakeapple jam and more bakeapples besides. The bakeapples were ripe so hubby and his folks spent three evenings on the mash picking them. I declined, as there were already more than enough opportunities to tramp around in the bog. I think those are delights best appreciated by someone who grew up doing it. CFAs (come from away) just can't quite savour the fly bites and wet feet properly. I am, however, quite happy to savour the bakeapple jam! Bakeapples are a berry that grows on the bog or mash as it's locally known, and you might know them as cloudberries. They are orange when ripe, and can be red and yellow. They smell heavenly and make delicious jam. I also came home with my husband's old Olivetti typewriter. There was a bit of grumbling about packing it (weighs close to 50 lb), but hubby came through for me. Now it's right in the thick of things, back to work, girls in daycamp, soccer, swimming, haircuts, meetings, all the normal stuff. Hard to imagine it was only a few days ago I was ankle deep in a cliff-top peat bog, I mean gazing out over the bay with the wind in my hair. Yes, you read that right, I did organize a family hike on the Cape English trail, which goes up over the clifftops at Cape English. The "path" doesn't go right to the edge of the cliff, but there are enough alarming views to cure me of any desire to go anywhere near a cliff any time soon. It was all perfectly safe and we were at least 100 feet away from the edge and the brink of certain death. And hubby assured me that he never heard of anyone vanishing in a sinkhole in a peat bog either. Well, that's enough rambling about our holiday - it was great, I highly recommend Newfoundland as a vacation destination, and ideally you should stay with someone who is a fantastic cook! Apropos of nothing, I would recommend flying Porter - liked everything about it and it was really fast. Our car rental was a Ford Fusion, and since I have been watching so much Top Gear, I now feel qualified to do an automobile review. Like all Fords, this one is built for a race of giants, and they try take your mind off the disappointing performance with lots of rumble and roar and a 3d-effect dashboard. The one good thing about it was the trunk, which was big enough to hold our Prius and a team of sled dogs. The girls didn't like it since, not belonging to a race of giants, they couldn't see out the back windows. Still, it got us around, which was the point in the end.

Must dash - rambled enough! If you made it this far, well done! You can add another 600 miles to your frequent blogger account.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Book recommendation

Hello! Nothing stamped to post today, just a book recommendation. I just finished reading Remembering the Bones by Frances Itani. It's a wonderful book! Frances Itani is an Ottawa writer, and has won numerous awards. I really enjoyed another of her books, Deafening. Remembering the Bones is beautifully written and a wonderful, empowering story. Reading a well-written book is such a pleasure, and when it's a great story, even better. It makes me wish I belonged to a book club, so I could discuss it with other people. Things like why all the women have men's names, and what that might mean. Have you read that book? Do you have a recent favourite? Now that I've finished that one, I'm treating myself to a frivolous mystery novel, and I chose one by Lynda LaPlante, writer of Prime Suspect. So far it's a good one, with a twist in that the protagonist is a bad guy. I'm also reading what claims to be a suspense thriller, but so far the only suspense I'm in is wondering when it's going to get interesting. We recently read our elder daughter another book by Kate diCamillo, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. What a lovely story! We'd loved reading another of her books, Despereaux, and I mean to get her others. They are such beautiful stories of hope and courage and the struggles to do the right thing even when it's hard. Not bad messages to convey to children! Happy reading! Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Wedding card

Hello! Here's a card I made for a lovely person at work. She's getting married this summer, and I wanted to make a card for everyone to sign. I used this beautiful Penny Black image and heat embossed it and added colour with Twinkling H20s. Her colour scheme is shades of green, so I went with fresh shades of green on the card, with white embossing on ivory shimmer for the panel underneath (Stamp: Bella Toile, Stampin' Up). I accented with some glitter and pearls here and there as well (click on the image for a closer look). The scan doesn't do it justice - it's very elegant and shimmery in real life.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Summer Card Camp Week 4, part 2

Here's an ATC I made for the colour challenge this week at Summer Card Camp. I thought it would be fun to try an ATC using a piece of background paper I made. I started with a piece of Heather's 130 lb cardstock and wanted to try my new stamps from Crafty Individuals that I won with the Gothic Arch challenge (thank you!). I stamped one of the flowers in white paint and let it dry. Then, I brayered on shades of fluid chalk ink (Colorbox), in the challenge colours. I think I used French Blue, Ice Blue, Lime Pastel, and Ice Jade. Then, stamped on more floral motifs with Deep Lagoon. Set aside, made yesterdays card, and came back to it tonight. I used the floral motif tree and embossed in white, adding colour with Tombows and detail with seed beads. (These were glued on as after thoughts, but realistically I was never going to sew them on.) The bottom is some grass punched with the Martha Stewart grass punch, and the words are clipped from a Darkroom Door wordstrip. I also accented parts of the tree image with a Sakura glaze pen. The image was whiter until I sponged over some Deep Lagoon chalk ink. Note to self - this stuff does not completely rub off white embossing powder. Next time I'll use dye ink for that little step. I matted the piece on some black and felt done. I think I wish the tree were a bit whiter, but I am not going to start from scratch all over again. I like it well enough. I need to get to bed - I have an important meeting to go to tomorrow and will need my wits about me. Speaking of work, I am really enjoying my new job. It's completely different, which is lots of fun, and I am using so many things I learned in the other job over the past ten years. I do miss the great people where I used to work, but I am getting to know some people at the new place, so that's good. The main thing about the new place is my "international" keyboard. The punctuation is all in weird spots and the shortcut functions are in different places, so my touch typing is really getting messed up. It's the little things that drive you crazy, isn't it! You never know how much you use an apostrophe until it is in an awkward spot (right right finger, lower row + shift). It's easier to type the yen symbol on my new keyboard than the apostrophe.

Thanks for stopping by!

Summer Card Camp Week 4

According to the descriptions, this week's colours include a soft denim-y blue, so I chose this cardbase (Memory Box) and punched out a large number of small flowers from white linen paper. I glued them down into a rectangular area and popped up the top layer of flowers. To bring in the other colours of the colour scheme, I added centres using stickles and dimensional pearls in lime green, blue and teal. The sentiment (A Muse) finishes off the card. Simple!

Sunday, 17 July 2011

RAK from Sarah S

Hello! I wanted to post a quick card that I got in the mail last week. I was lucky enough to win the stamp draw for the Inkurable Stampers Gothic Arch challenge, and my prize package arrived last week. (More info on the challenge wind-up here.) In that package were the lovely Crafty Individuals stamps and designer paper, but also this wonderful card, made by Sarah Schwerin, who hosted the challenge. I love this card - the blues just glow and the netting and braided twine add such lovely texture.

Also in my envelope were my Inkurable Stampers ATCs from a swap I participated in. I'll try to get a photo of those and post, but they are all lovely, each and every one, and I keep going back to look at them and see something new each time.

Thank you for the lovely card, Sarah, and for the great prizes! I can't wait to get them inky :-)

Saturday, 16 July 2011


Hello! No stamping post today - just a couple of random recipes I came up with last week. These are "fridge scrounging specials", using what's on hand. It helps to buy interesting looking things at the store! Amounts here are approximate - use more if you need to, use less if you don't have enough.

Blue Potato Salad

new blue potatoes (1 lb? 2 lb? enough to feed 4 in a salad), washed and boiled (halve them if they're bigger than the rest)
2-3 stalks celery (give or take), roughly chopped
2 apples, chopped
2-3 shallots or 1 onion, finely chopped
a good hunk of soy curd (by which I mean double-smoked bacon, chopped or approx 4 slices bacon, chopped)

1 tbsp strained soy whey liquid (by which I mean rendered bacon fat with the shallots/onions in it)
4 tbsp apple cider vinegar OR if you just bought sherry vinegar because it looked interesting, 1 tbsp sherry vinegar and 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp dijon mustard
good pinch Maldon salt
good few twists of ground pepper

Saute bacon to crisp up and render fat. Drain fat, leaving approx 1 tbsp. Saute the onions or shallots until translucent. Whisk vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper. Whisk in the bacon and onion/shallot. Taste, and if too tart, add a teaspoon of sugar. However, the dressing should taste stronger than you like when tasted by itself as it needs to be able to flavour the potatoes. Pour over warm potatoes, apple and celery and toss to dress the salad. The warm potatoes will drink up the dressing beautifully. Serve warm or at room temperature. Also good cold for lunch the next day. The blue potatoes are beautiful with the red apple skins. This was a hit with 3 out of 4 family members, but earned a solid 5 stars since my vote counts for more. I loved this. It's the double-smoked soy pellets - beautiful.....

Quinceatoonapple Crisp

Toss together in a casserole dish:
2 quinces, thinly sliced (or use 4-5 apples instead)
2 apples, sliced
1 1/2 cups saskatoons (or blueberries if you are not so fortunate as to have saskatoons on hand, but it won't be the same)
3/4 cup sugar (or less depending on how sweet your apples are)
sprinkling of cinnamon

1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
pinch poudre douce (Victorian Epicure, optional)
sprinkling of cinnamon
pinch of salt

For topping, mix together in a bowl and sprinkle over the fruit mixture. You can add some chopped nuts. This is quicker if you use the 1/4 cup measure for all topping ingredients, measuring the oil last.

Bake at 350F for about 40 minutes or until you see the juices bubbling up through the topping. Serve warm. Very nice with vanilla ice cream, or custard, but delicous all by itself. Also nice cold the next day. This earned a "I love this" from DD2 who is very hard to please. You can substitute other fruit, but you must create a new name that incorporates all the fruit. No "bumbleberry" cop outs allowed.

Ok, I realize that the best thing about foodie blogs is the lovely photographs of the dishes, attractively plated and steaming fragrantly. However, I am never (as in never) in the frame of mind to try to photograph dinner. It's hard enough to rush home from work and get it on the table before the family devolves to hunger-induced barbarism. You will have to believe me that the blue potato salad was a feast for the eyes made all the more appetizing with the smell of bacon and onions and the quinceatoonapple crisp had jewel tones fit for the Tower of London, with a crispy golden-brown topping that smelled like oatmeal cookies.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Summer Card Camp Week 3

Here's the colour combination for this week's project at Summer Card Camp. I was stuck in Christmas theme cards, but couldn't bring myself to do a Christmas card. It's July!

Speaking of July, we have started getting our veggie box from a local farm (Foster's Farm). We've been enjoying the most delicious fresh vegetables. Tonight was beet greens, sauteed in flavoured butter I had in the freezer thanks to Jamie Oliver. The greens were delicious and I swear you feel healthier just cutting them up, inhaling the antioxidants and enjoying the emerald green leaves and ruby stems.

Back to the card. Here I started with a scrap of off white paper, stamped the quote (Fred Mullett) and embossed it in Bavarian Bronze (metallic brown). I thought I would incorporate the stone and butterfly imagery from this poem and stamped my Stampotique stone (large and small sides) here and there in Lake Mist. I antiqued the edges a bit with distress ink and matted it on some brown card and some medium brown Bazzill. The card base is 3 1/4" x 6 1/2" and stamped with a butterfly and the word Papillon (both Quietfire Designs). I used a bit of fancy Japanese paper for red accent behind. More red elements are the red eyelets (I knew they would eventually find a home on a project!), some crochet cotton and a button. The button was a late-game addition, added on this morning before I went to work. This description makes it sound like the card came together in a hurry and part of some master plan, but really it came together like all the others, trial and error, and hemming and hawing, trying different things. I like how the butterflies came out - stamped in Toffee versafine, and the lovely "papillon" from QF, hand lettered by the owner, Suzanne Cannon. A long time ago I dabbled in calligraphy and have always loved it. As for that poem, well, it came in a lovely parcel of Fred Mullett stamps, as the English translation to the Japanese calligraphy stamp I bought. I presume someone more cultured than me would be able to plumb the depths of that poem, but for me it was the ideal shape for this card, and had the words "stone" and "butterfly". More opportunistic than cultured, granted. Still, maybe one of my readers will enlighten me. In the meantime, I'm pleased with how this turned out even if I don't have the faintest idea who I'd give it to.

Well, off to enjoy an episode or two of Game of Thrones with hubby. Sean there's a reason to pay for extended cable!

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Summer Card Camp Week 2

Hello! Here's my card for Summer Card Camp, Week 2, featuring this week's colour combination (pale yellow, rusty orange, poppy, lime, grass green). I'm also using this card for this week's Bellarific Friday at Stamping Bella. I placed the three daisy stamps on an acrylic block and stamped them down the length of a 3"x6 1/2" piece of Bella's Bestest paper. I chose Copics in this scheme, or as close as I could get. I don't have a juicy yellow green like that - all mine are a bit greyer. I love that juicy lime colour - you can almost smell the lime zest! Anyway, I coloured it and then had to figure out the layout, which has to include ribbon for this week's Bellarific challenge. You know me and ribbon (love-hate releationship - I love ribbon, it hates me). Anyway, I finished off the card by matting onto some So saffron (SU) and Poppy Parade (SU) in an oblong card. I embellished the flowers with matching stickles (lime green, yellow, copper, Christmas red) so they're quite sparkly in real life.

NSR: Two notable family achievements today: DD2 (age 5) rode her two-wheeler today for the first time, no one holding on, no training wheels, just free-wheeling down the street and pleased as Punch. She must have gone up and down the street a dozen times (Hubby's going to be sore tomorrow - jogged alongside). Second notable achievement, different scale, different continent, different generation. Grandpa is due to reach the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro at sunrise, which is some time in the middle of the night tonight my time (see earlier post on baffling nature of timezones). He was going to try to send a text, but wasn't sure whether it would work. Part of me hopes that at least mountain tops are unsullied by digital traffic. But part of me hopes it works. Apparently he's having a great time and really enjoying himself.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 1 July 2011

Glimmer fish

Here's another card I made with a glimmer-misted sheet. I embossed the fish image (Heather's Stamping Haven) in black and matted on a blue-green piece, then black. The card base is more of the same sheet of glimmer misted paper, but I sponged on some sequin waste, stamped a shell (Stampin' Up) in orange distress ink, and a fan coral (Coronado Island) in black. A little piece of netty looking mesh ribbon is an accent. I misted that with light yellow to tie it in. Overall, I like it, but it's a bit busy. If I had my time back, I'd re-think the black fan coral and the really dark sequin waste. Still, I like it well enough. In real life it has a life of its own with all that sparkle.

NSR: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are in town today, but we're not battling the crowds. We went last year to see the Queen, but that was enough for a few years. We'll watch on TV. I had my last day of work at my old job yesterday - very emotional. Was there way too late cleaning out my filing cabinet and backing things up. That always takes longer than you think it's going to. Backing up is a pain in the neck - and the program we use at work won't allow you to take out the disk without turning everything off and on again. That adds a lot of time and headache. I made stern vows to myself to become paragon of organization and order in my new job. This may be a vain hope, but hope one must. Well, must dash. 1001 things to do today and I forgot to add blogging to my list so it would "count" as a legitimate activity.

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Summer Card Camp Week 1


As you can see by the image below, I'm doing the summer card camp I saw advertised on Jennifer McGuire's blog (link in sidebar). This week's colour challenge is shown below and was a real stretch for me, as I don't normally go for such bright colours. But that's what challenges are all about - stretching creativity.

Here's the card I made, with a stamped image on Heather's 130 lb cardstock. I will have to check where the image is from, but I got it at Heather's Stamping Haven.

I coloured it with Copics, keeping to the scheme, and added some pencil crayon for depth, and stickles for sparkle. The orange piece is embossed, and the sentiment (Stampin' Up) is punched with an SU punch and accented with the perfect Swarovski crystals - they are pink or purple or orange depending on how you look at them. The card base is rich razzleberry and stamped with a dotty flourish (Impress Rubber Stamps).

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

This says it all (or at least some of it!)

I picked this up a while ago, and gave it to myself for my birthday recently. I loved this - it's by Anne Taintor and there are a bunch of great magnets and other gifty items like it. I got another one that says, "I always wanted to be someone. Now I realize I should have been more specific." Too funny.

I was a bit down about this milestone birthday, but thanks to the kindness and generosity and love and support of friends and family, I am enjoying it immensely. Hurrah indeed!

And I want to know where Anne Taintor got my picture.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Thank you card

Here's a card I made for the girls' bus driver this year. He was particularly punctual and particularly patient when we weren't. Two excellent qualities in a bus driver. Bus drivers...they have the perfect job....all their problems are behind them! ar ar ar. Not my joke, but my favourite bus driver joke of all time.

I used the Hero Arts foliage stamp, inked with various shades of distress ink, misted and then stamped onto putty coloured linen paper. Then over stamped with a Cornish Heritage Farms text stamp (scrap block) in pumice stone. Sponged on some old paper and walnut stain around the edge and matted on brown. Dithered endlessly about layout, and eventually settled on this. I used a precious chunk of some paper a friend brought me from her summer holiday and one of her stamp store pilgrimages. It's beautifully textured, think of the seaweed you wrap sushi in. (If I weren't such a hick, I would know what that's called. If I weren't so lazy, I would look it up!) The bottom is card base stamped with the same foliage and tinted Rusty Hinge. I wrapped some linen thread and used one of my hoarded Asian coins. We must really hold this guy in high esteem - using up hoarded paper AND hoarded embellishments, all at once.

NSR. An emotional day at work. It was my farewell lunch, and some goodbyes to special people. It's not a big town and we may cross paths again. Indeed I hope so. Still, it's hard to say goodbye to somewhere I've worked for over ten years and step into the unknown. Wish me luck!

Monday, 27 June 2011

Inkurable Stampers June Challenge

Here's my entry for the June challenge at Inkurable Stampers, which is Spots, Dots and Circles.

I recently took a great class at Heather's, featuring Glimmer Mist and I used that technique here, misting and spraying and bleaching out selected portions. I coloured some back in with pencil crayon too. I chose the bird image (Hero Arts) for the circles on it. I also added some paint circles, and the background has a circular motif on the stamp (Stampers Anonymous). The message (also Stampers Anon) is embossed in black. The paper is from a Tim Holtz pack, two sides of one sheet. And a little round clock brad to finish it off. In real life it's quite sparkly. I'm not sure about it - maybe the square is too square. Still, needed to get my entry in before the end of the month, which arrives early due to time zones in Australia being several days ahead of us here in Canada. (I love to say things like that to hubby, who is an engineer and immediately starts to explain the quantum mechanics of time zones and how it's not actually time travel, it's to do with the curvature of the earth and Sir Sanford Fleming trying to catch a train. It's at this point I normally tune out so I can't exactly say how time zones work, other than it's either much earlier or much later somewhere else, and will always be the wrong time to call.)

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Colouring, colouring and more colouring!

Hello! I've been doing some therapeutic colouring lately while watching tv with hubby. I stamped off a bunch of images (Sunshine Designs) with Memento Tuxedo Black onto Heather's 130 lb cardstock and coloured them different colour ways with Copic markers. Last night I had a few minutes while hubby was working on some committee stuff, so I took some time to turn them into cards. Basic formula: find matching cardbase and Basic Grey paper, mat, layer, etc. and finish off with Stickles and Dimensional Pearls. The big flowers got a sentiment in the white space (Stampin' Up). I think my favourite is the yellow flower card. My nephew's favourite was the blue flower card. I sprayed some Delphinium glimmer mist on the background paper for some subtle sparkle in the background. If you're interested, the coloured papers from top to bottom are: PTI lavender moon paper with pattern from BG Kioshi; Stampin' Up Really Rust with paper from BG Scarlett's Letter; Heather's dark purple cardstock (and a SU Sage Shadow mat) with BG LilyKate; SU So Saffron card base with paper from BG Perhaps.

NSR: Just finished reading a Kate Atkinson novel, Started Early, Took My Dog. It's the 3rd or 4th Jackson Brodie mystery and it was really good. Dark, but with great dashes of humour here and there. Also, her books always weave together numerous threads that are seemingly unrelated.