Thursday, 31 March 2011

Bellarific Friday

Here's my card for Stamping Bella's Bellarific Friday this week, challenge is polka dots. I used that great flower (Stamping Bella), which has some dots in the design (oh, how it pained me to hide some under the ribbon, the ribbon nearly didn't make it!), the solid grey piece has embossed polkadots and the patterned paper has large and small dots (SU). I stamped the flower on shimmer paper using India Ink and painted it with stamp pads (Baja Breeze, Old Olive, Not Quite Navy - SU; Willow - Adirondack; Brushed Corduroy, Peeled Paint - Distress). I also added a bit of a doodle-y frame with my Micron .05.

I made this for a colleague at work who is coming back after an extended maternity leave. It will be nice to have her back and I'll bring this in for the team to sign. I'm even going to stamp the solid version of this flower on the inside - so cool. Other bits and bobs - the ribbon is the double sided kiwi kiss ribbon from SU and the black dots are the Ranger liquid accents in black, the perfect finishing touch for a polka dot challenge! Did anyone else out there play along?

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Easter card

Hello! I made this card for the Stampotique Animal/Bird/Insect challenge, and when I went to enter it, I found the challenge closed. This is the second time I've missed the challenge. How stunned am I? I am losing my mind. Granted, there wasn't a lot left to lose, but this is irritating. Still, it's a cute card and I mean to give it to a friend for Easter.

I don't have any Stampotique animal/insect/bird stamps, so my thought was to make Marci here into a little Easter bunny. Her bunny ears are actually parts of Moon Girl's wings (feeling quite clever about that!). I stamped Moon Girl on vellum and embossed with Moonstone (no other choice of ep really seemed appropriate) and trimmed out the parts of the wing I wanted. Then after I had Marci stamped and embossed in Chocolate Brown (again, no other ep seemed right for an Easter bunny), I made a slit in the card stock at the top of her head and inserted the "ears". When I trimmed them out, I left little tabs on the bottom to glue down on the back. Marci is stamped on a light pink cardstock that has a faint texture. I coloured her with Distress inks (crushed olive, forest moss, tattered rose, pumice stone) and added in some small grass clumps too. She's embellished with some stickles (champagne, star dust). The card base is the light lemon PTI card, topped with some pretty decorative paper from my stash. It's a pad of Provo Craft handmade paper that I've had since I first got hooked, and I am trying to use it up. Then the card still needed a little something else, and I found a gorgeous piece of textured Japanese paper and used that. I found a great deal on scraps of Japanese paper, all in a big bundle for a good price (at Wallack's art supply store). It's ideal, because I can never bear to bring myself to cut into a full sheet, but these scraps, well they're already scraps so I feel free to use them. Unless they're really pretty and there's only one.... Ok, maybe I'm not quite cured of hoarditis, but I'm getting better and at least it's a start! The final touch took the form of three dots of Espresso dimensional pearls. On the inside is an Inkadinkado stamp that says "Chocolate: It's not just for breakfast".

Thanks for stopping by! Hope you have some time to stamp this week.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Upcoming Class

Hello stampers! If you are near Heather's Stamping Haven, here is my next class, scheduled for 10 am on Saturday, April 16th. (I'll try to schedule an afternoon one soon, just this one I had to do morning to accommodate prior obligations.)
This class is called Quick and Easy Collage, and we'll be making these two projects. Hope you can come and join us!

Friday, 25 March 2011

Paint Challenge

Here's my card for the March challenge at Inkurable Stampers, which is to use paint. I started with a sheet of textured shimmer paper, and coated it with acrylic paint dabbers and (pool and lettuce). The shimmer didn't show through, but I still like the texture of the paper, and the white bits still show shimmer. The "thanks" (Impress Rubber Stamps) was stamped in black and heat embossed in black, and matted on more black. The card base is olive, with some botanical silhouettes (Darkroom Door) stamped in dusty lime and Opaline blue ink. The flowers are from my stash.
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Quick card

Hello! I made this quickie this week, mostly because that little scrap of alcohol ink background was too pretty to throw out and too small to put away. I recently came home with this pear stamp by The Artful Stamper (my treat for last week, never could resist a pear stamp), and it seemed like the perfect thing to go on this little scrap. I had made up a bunch of this paper for an ATC swap and this was what was left over. I think the colours were lettuce, butterscotch and espresso (and maybe pesto). The pears were stamped in India Ink and left to dry overnight. (So while this was a quick card in real time, it did take three evenings to put together.) The pears are mounted on a black mat, then on a gold mat, then another black mat for good measure. I'm not normally so zealous when it comes to matting, but I liked it here. It was a fairly small piece and it really bulked it up. (Mats are the new protein shake!) The card base is black, with a panel of music collage from a Tim Holtz patterned paper block, with some tissue tape stuck down in a willy-nilly "L" to cradle the focal image. I also gave the card a spritz with some gold smooch before adding the pear panel. Oh yeah, and my favourite thing about the pears was highlighting them with some Twinkling H20s. I've never used those on glossy before, but it really seemed to work here - just defined the pears that little bit against the background. And I drew in a shadow with a dark grey copic marker. So there you have it: a 15 minute card that took 3 weeks.
Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, 21 March 2011


Hello! I've been fooling around with my Copic markers lately, colouring in a bunch of stamped images. This image is by Stamps Happen and I coloured using a whole bunch of different markers, too numerous to mention. I will say that the scanner makes it look greener than it does in real life. Also, I discovered that my mother was right (but ssshhhh don't tell her I said that) - if you add the complementary colour on the colour wheel, it will make your main colour look more interesting. Case in point the blue on the birds looked really flat despite me having used at least four or five shades of blue and gray and purple (sorry no before and after shot). Probably more like six or seven. Then I added in some orange (opposite on the colour wheel to blue) and bam! - brought them to life. You don't look at it and say "blue and orange birds??", you just see texture and depth and it no longer looks flat. Who'da thunk??? So the next time your Copics are looking a bit flat at lifeless, add in a bit of an opposite colour and see what happens. It's pretty neat. Mind you, I like my Copics to look more artsy and less comic-book, so if you prefer a purer the 3-colour effect from light-med-dark of neighbour markers, then this might not work for you. Myself I quite like the almost painterly effect. Plus with Copics you can add and add and add for hours, shading all through the final episode of An Idiot Abroad and all of Top Gear. I will confess to having started watching Top Gear, after having ignored it for years. I thought it was all a bunch of know-it-all men spouting off about cars. Well it is, but they also do hilarious stunts and two of the three are quite entertaining to watch, and the stunts they get up to are really fantastic. Almost Red Green-esque in their execution (Canadian ref., sorry). The third requires significant amounts of Copics and colouring to tolerate. Also, it's kind of fun to watch people who are so clearly passionate and knowledgeable about an obscure topic like cars. It kind of reminds me of when we stampers get going around the table discussing more mainstream hobbies, comparing the relative merits of this ink or that and how different heat tools perform in various conditions. Also we've been watching An Idiot Abroad with Karl Pilkington, which is quite good, if you like that sort of thing. Think the Lonely Planet but instead of Ian Wright getting all involved in the local culture, picture more of an Eeyore personality literally choking down some local delicacy or making some ascerbic observation with a wickedly deadpan comic delivery.
And back to the card. It's stamped in Memento black, coloured with about 3000 copics, on Heather's 130 lb cardstock. Edges sponged, matted to soft gold glossy cardstock (with a nod to the incomparable Jo Capper-Sandon, see sidebar for her blog, where you will find marvellous creations, several with gold mats like this), mounted on Crate paper card, stamped with a border stamp (The Stamp Barn). I also put glossy accents on their little eyes for some shine, but decided against stickles, though I may change my mind. I do have the new colour of medium blue that might look great on them. Or it might compete with the mat. I'll decide tomorrow.
And with that, I'm off to bed. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Bellarific Friday

Here's my card for Bellarific Friday this week at Stamping Bella. It's a sketch challenge and I was just fooling around with the copics while trying to catch up on video debt. Here's what I coloured while good old Inspector Morse and Sergeant Lewis cleaned up Oxford. It's such a cute image!

I didn't set out to make a card in primary colours. The scanner doesn't do it justice - it's much more virulent in real life. And I haven't even stickled it yet. (I'm not allowed to get any more stickles on the scanner. Some people just don't appreciate patina and distressed/altered surfaces....) I didn't set out to make an orange card. It's just that once I had the image coloured and matted on bright blue (again, how did that happen?), it seemed like a good way to use up my orange paper. That way I can combine the virtuous feelings of actually using my Basic Grey 6x6 packs without having to use any of the paper I actually like. That's not quite true, I do like those circles on the green background, but I'm not sure why I thought they looked good on the orange. In real life it does look a little better. The blue frame is bolder and anchors the eye on the centre. I just couldn't convince Paintshop Pro to darken only the blue scallop mat.

NSR. Well, the girls have been enjoying St. Patrick's Day. They spent two days making decorations and I left them homemade broccoli soup for lunch - nice and green! They were overjoyed when I came home and announced that St. Patrick's Day was a feast day and we could have dessert. They literally danced for joy. We've given up dessert for Lent as a family (all "40 weeks" of it, according to DD2, age 4). The girls then took to the calendar to scout out any other upcoming saints days where Lenten strictures are lifted and were very happy to see St. Joseph's Day on Saturday and the Annunciation next week. Two budding hagiographers, or just two girls keen to find the Lenten loopholes??? Well, happy St. Patrick's Day to you!

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Hero Arts 50 Grand

Hi! Can you believe the weekend is over? I can't. Where did it go??? Yes, we moved our clocks ahead today, but it feels like I lost more than an hour. I'm not ready for Monday morning at all. Anyway, enough whinging about that!

Here's a card I made for the Hero Arts 50 Grand celebration. Their flickr group had close to 50,000 posts, so they are doing a giveaway and here is my entry. I stamped that lovely butterfly collage (Hero Arts) on a piece of paper I'd made a while ago using Adirondack colour wash sprays and pickling salt on watercolour paper. The salt is what gives those neat knobbly effects. I don't remember what colours I used, but pesto, lettuce and a watered-down denim spring to mind. There may have been mushroom and butterscotch too, but I can't really remember. It's going to be different every time anyway.
I stamped the image using the Fiskars board with sponge feet and it did a great job! I needed to spray the cling part of my stamp with window cleaner and wipe it off, since that is the only way I've found (thanks to Kim for the tip) to get Hero Arts stamps to stick to the blocks. They have the stickers on the backs that interfere with the cling. So I stamped it with black pigment ink and heat embossed in black and then stamped the big butterfly the same way on plain watercolour paper. That one got cut out and painted with (8!)Distress Inks and a coating of light blue Twinkling H20 for some shimmery sheen. (Distress inks used: Stormy Sky, Faded Jeans, Forest Moss, Pine Needles, Chipped Sapphire, Dusty Concord, Walnut Stain, Rusty Hinge - I am a hopeless case!) Then trimmed the image, mounted it on black, mounted to a piece of Spring Moss (? the light green PTI paper) card, trimmed to a 5x7 folded card base. The thank you is also Hero Arts, stamped a little too high, so the black dots were dotted in to "bring it down" visually. Then everything was happening at the bottom of the card so I fooled around for a long time with fibres and bows, etc. I settled on these two fibres from my stash knotted and glued down. I think they do a reasonable job of balancing all the action in the bottom part of the card, but still linking them visually. Doubtless there is an artsy term for this, but I just call it gut-feel.
Well, I am back to the stamp table. I want to do the Darkroom Door ATC swap this month since the next few coming up I don't have the stamps for. This month is Filmstrip theme and there were lots of lovely filmstrips in my box. I am doing an alcohol ink background since I took a class at Heather's Stamping Haven on Saturday and got all re-inspired to use those with a new (to me) technique. (Thanks Fran!)
Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 11 March 2011

Inkurable Stampers - Bookmark Challenge

Here's my bookmark for the current Inkurable Stampers challenge. Well, current for the next 11 hours. Nothing like under the wire, and this challenge ran a bit long too. I thought it would be easy to whip off a bookmark. Not so much! This one was whipped off, and it shows. Still, it was fun to get all inky, and if I didn't have to sleep for most of the next 11 hours, I would probably do another one.
This one features Darkroom Door stamps (words and botanical silhouettes) and a Stampers Anonymous flourish in gold. All ink is Distress ink and the ribbon is hand-dyed (not by me) silk ribbon.
My box of goodies from Darkroom Door was amazing: a TON of new stamps and only two duplicates, film strips, paper, kits, word strips, photo chips, a punched red circle (!), and a sheet of cling mount so I could get some stamps mounted already. So many goodies, and two new sets (since I was already paying for shipping, it seemed smart). Rubbery goodness all round.


Goodies, stamping goodies in the mail! First was a lovely little envelope from a wonderful, inspiring person, Jennifer McGuire. You probably know her blog (it's on my sidebar), which features lovely creations, mostly for Hero Arts. She liked one of my comments one day and sent me some stamps - what a sweetie! Hope to get those inky pronto.

Also in my mailbox was a parcel notice - could only mean one thing - parcel from Darkroom Door has arrived! I whizzed over to the post office and, sure enough, it was!!! And even better, I won the customs lottery and didn't get dinged. Yippeee!!! Now to dig into that and see what's in the box. It was a mystery 'grab bag' type of discount so I can't wait to see what's there.

So, no time to post, time to play!!! Is it too early to send the kids to bed?????

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Bellarific Friday

Hello! I'm finally back! It's been a while. Thanks for the lovely comments of encouragement. I'm at 2/3 workouts this week and have my eye on a ferny collage stamp from Magenta. I hope it's still there.

I made this card for Bellarific Friday, theme is Aquamarine this week. I was clearing off enough room on my desk to stamp and found this lovely scrap of Ecoline paper in, wait for it, aquamarine! Wow - it was meant to be. Stamping serendipity. It was just a scrap, so it's the little backdrop piece. I used a flower stamp and double stamped it to be able to pop up the flower, embossed it, and coloured it with Tombow markers, accented with stickles. The card base is Cool Caribbean (can never remember if it's two r's or two b's...) with another Bella stamp stamped in Azurite chalk ink. This morning as I looked at it, I felt it needed something else, so I doodled a border around the focal immage. I think that's better, but I still feel like it needs something else. Oh well, on to the next project tonight - this will have to wait. I want to get this sent off to Bella land since I've missed a lot of Bellarific Fridays that I wanted to play along with.

In other news, I have a couple of classes at Heather's coming up: March 19th I'm teaching a class on some new ideas with my all-time favourite favourite Stampers Anonymous stamp. Then on the 26th I'm doing my Distress book again.