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.