Saturday, 15 December 2012

Decorating for Christmas

Hello!  We're decorating our house for Christmas this weekend, so I thought I would add some Christmas cheer to my blog too.  I got this banner from Godelieve Tijsken's blog, Stamping Mathilda.  She is giving away this blog banner so if you'd like to spruce up your blog, you can pay her a visit.  Thank you Godelieve!

I've been busy crafting, but not too much stamping - making calendars for teacher gifts (like the one in my last post), knitting (cowls, scarves, hats), and writing and sending Christmas cards (yes! before Christmas!).  And of course, shopping and wrapping.  This weekend we'll get the tree up and decorated and the house will feel festive.

Here's a little Christmas card, one I made this summer and coloured up at my daughter's soccer game.  Happy memories of a sunny evening at the park!

The image is one from Artful Stamper, and I coloured it with Copics and added Stickles for some sparkle.  The ornaments have some Glossy Accents for effect too. The background paper is from one of the BasicGrey Christmas packs.  This was a fun little one, and I see that Sauron the scanner has added a few extra smudges.  This must be why DH has been after me to clean the platen on the scanner after some scanning of embellishments that looked dry, but weren't. Somehow, my obsessive cleaning of my house (snort) consistently overlooks the platen of the scanner.

So, how are your Christmas preparations going?

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Desk calendar

Hello!  I haven't been doing too much stamping lately as I had done a whole bunch to get ready for the craft show (more on that in another post) and am kind of taking a breather.  Hubby and I are re-watching The Sopranos and I have been knitting a lot.  That said, I did make this sample for the class I'm doing at Heather's on Saturday (click here for details).  We'll be making this pretty desk calendar, which is great for a Christmas gift.  I plan to make a bunch for teacher gifts this year.  Depending on the colours of paper you make, you can make it more masculine or feminine or neutral.  For this one, I made sheets of paper in colours for each season, and then mixed them up a little bit.  But you could make them in any colours.

If you are interested in signing up for the class this Saturday afternoon, give Heather a call at the store to sign up.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 9 November 2012

Art is....

Here's a close-up of the Art is... card for the class at Heather's Stamping Haven.  The verse is from Quietfire Designs and the flower image is from Fred B Mullett's line of stamps from nature prints.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Class on Saturday

Hello!  Just wanted to pop by to say I will be teaching this class at Heather's on Saturday afternoon.  Check out Heather's blog for all the details.  We'll be doing three cards in a fall theme, and they are lustrous and the colours just glow.  Go twinklings go!  We'll also be using the new Rock Candy dry glitter, tinting it à la Tim Holtz with alcohol inks.  And using a gorgeous Fred B Mullett stamp from his nature prints line.  Now how's that for an offer you can't refuse!

Friday, 26 October 2012

Liebster Award

Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather when I found out I was nominated for a blog award.  (And no, it's not an award for Most Sporadic Blogger or Most Erratic Punctuation.)  A great big thank you to Erin for nominating me!


Here's what they say about the Liebster Award.

The best part about the Liebster Award is that in order to accept it you have to pass it along to 5 other bloggers with 200 followers or less. It's a fantastic way to discover great blogs!

Liebster is a German word meaning "Beloved," "Favorite," or "Dearest." This award is a peer to peer award in which fellow bloggers present the award to their favorite bloggers with less than 200 followers. The origins of this award is unclear, but is believed to have originated by a German blogger. This award was designed to be a blog award in the pay it forward fashion to share your dearest and most beloved blogs that have less than 200 followers.

Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to their blog. Post the award onto your blog.Give the award to five bloggers who you appreciate that have less than 200 followers. Leave a comment on their blog letting them know that you have given them this awesome award!

Here are the 5 amazing blogs with less than 200 followers that I would like to pass the Liebster Award on to:

Inky Fingers by Sue McCrae
Watermarks by Maureen Morton
My Paper Palace by Vicky Fernando
Heather's Stamping Haven by Heather Hayley
Thimbles, Bobbins, Paper and Ink by Jennifer and one more because I am a more-is-more girl
Ellie's ATCs by Ellie.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello and Happy Thanksgiving!  It's another beautiful day here and I thought I would share some of the colours we see in the woods behind our house.  I picked these up off the carpet of pine needles when we were out for a walk this afternoon.  It's so lovely and I thought it would be nice to share some of our iconic red maple leaves with you, and some others.  (Once you start picking up nice looking leaves, it's hard to stop!)

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Baptism card

There's nothing like a bit of mad-flap stamping before church on a Sunday morning!  I remembered at the last minute that our daughter's dear friend is being baptised today so I wanted to bring her a card.  This isn't exactly what I had in mind when I started, but the girly pink concoction that I suffered a fatal blow when I added some Wild Honey distress ink.  No amount of other inks could resuscitate it, and I was forced to switch tacks.

I grabbed some designer paper (Pyrus collection from BasicGrey) and started over.  The cross is stamped on one of the plain sheets in the pack and embossed with Garnet (gold, red, burgundy, lovely multihued effect) and edged in brown ink.  I think I put a little too much of the "old rugged" in, but I was running out of time.  A quick mat on some espresso linen and gold, then some coordinating papers underneath with the annoying realization that the cross shape does not lend itself to pleasing compositions.  Again, running out of time.  Mounted all on some burgundy cardstock (the espresso base was better, but felt that was too much brown for a happy day for a little girl).  In my defence, this colour scheme is perfect for today as we are in the midst of the fall colours and everywhere you look are glorious golds, yellows, oranges, reds and burgundies.

Well I'd better dash.  Just got busted - perhaps blogging is not on the essential to-do list for getting ready for church.  I guess we're not walking over today!

Happy stamping!

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Happy World Cardmaking Day!

Hello!  Happy World Cardmaking Day!  The "holiday" may be a bit contrived, but I fully support any and every excuse to spend some time stamping. In honour of this very special day, I wanted to use my new stamp set that I won from Darkroom Door. It's their 100th stamp set and with all sorts of stamping-related messages and images.  It's wonderful!

I use sponging and masking, inspired by a card by various ones I've seen on-line by stampers like these ones by Godelieve Tijskens and Heather Telford.

For this card, I masked off a rectangle using sticky notes and sponged in some distress ink (from left to right: Mustard Seed, Crushed Olive, Spiced Marmalade, Seedless Preserves).  Next I stamped on this botanical silhouette (Darkroom Door) using Memories Soft Gold.  I re-stamped it after removing the mask using black archival ink (Ranger), masking off some of the stems.  Then I added the sentiment (Darkroom Door), matted it on black and mounted it on my card.

Hope you get some stamping time today!

It's also Thanksgiving Weekend here in Canada, so I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving too!

Friday, 28 September 2012

Joy Bird Christmas Cards

Hello!  I've taken the digital plunge!  I picked up this adorable Joy Bird image recently from Krista Schneider and gave digital "stamping" a whirl.   I encourage you to check out the images she has available, especially today as she has a special Freebie Friday offering of an adorable Christmas Owls image.

 I printed off these owls on Heather's 130 lb cardstock and heat set them with my iron.  I found the ink ran less that way.  I am still experimenting with what combinations of ink and paper will work for me in terms of digital "stamping".  So far, my ink jet printer mostly likes to run, but I attribute this to my printer being one and the same machine as Sauron the Scanner, mortal enemy of cards.  In fact, you will see Sauron's vengeful nature in the poor scan of these little cards, which are actually much nicer in real life.  I coloured them with Copics and mounted on a couple of different bases.  The patterned paper is from the Brioche collection by Memory Box.

I just fell in love with this little bird and his cheery little footprints in the snow.  I don't think digital images will ever replace my rubber stamps, but it sure is a great addition to the repertoire.  I particularly like being able to resize the image to suit the project.  Do any of you have opinions one way or the other on digital stamps?

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Trendy Trees Class

Hello!  Just a quick post to let you know about this Saturday's class at Heather's Stamping Haven.   Here's the class description for the details.  Give Heather a call at the store to register.

Trendy Trees
Time: 2:00pm - 5:00pm eastern 
This class uses a great new stamp from Memory Box and its coordinating die. In our first project, we'll make a fresh and crisp card in beautiful fall colours in a clean and simple layout. In our second card, we'll glam up these little trees and take them to the next level with Art Glitter and transparency. Please bring the following Copics if you have them: E44, YG01, YG13, Y11, Y06, YR21, YR15, B41, B45, R02, R05, multiliner (.03 or .01). $30.00 + HST

Thursday, 20 September 2012

New Blog

Hello!  I've been a busy stamper and quilter, but not a busy blogger!  It's been a fun few weeks, with getting back to school and all that sort of thing.  We're getting settled into our new routines and enjoying the challenges of work and school, and the down-times in between.

I wanted to pop in and introduce my new blog, The Daley Quilter.  I'll post there from time to time about my quilting efforts and keep this as my stamping blog.

Two blogs!  Wow.  That's something for someone who has a typewriter, a rotary phone and no smart phone!

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Wise Men Christmas Card

Hello!  Here's a little something I've been working on for a few evenings this week.  It took me a while to get the composition the way I wanted it (still not 100% sure - suggestions welcomed), but I have settled on this.  I started by feeling like brayering some chalk ink (all Colorbox Fluid Chalk except where noted), so I selected a range of cream/ivories (Alabaster and Bisque), greens (Dark Moss, Warm Green, Deep Green) and reds (Tomato Sauce - Memories, Maroon).  I brayered on the colours, starting with creams, then greens and reds last.  Then I heat set with my iron and stamped the magi collage ("to follow the star" by Penny Black) and embossed it in black.

***insert 24 hours of hemming and hawing and consulting and experimenting here ***

Next, I stamped the damask patchily (on purpose, and is that even a word?) in Champagne Encore ink on black paper and cut out the ornament shape using a Spellbinders die.  I edged the inside of the frame with gold leaf pen and stuck the stamped image to the back.  This all got mounted on a lovely muted champagne gold mat, and mounted on a red card base.  It's fairly thin and flat and good for mailing (is that the card equivalent of "nice personality"???).  I might try adding some dots of liquid pearls.  Sometimes they finish off a design.

In non-stamping news, my youngest daughter, age 6, lost her second tooth tonight.  I have really been enjoying hearing her new windy sibilants and get no end of a charge out of asking her to say "swimsuit".  Fortunately, she is very obliging.

In quilting news, I have pretty much gotten the hang of my Stepping Stones pattern and am now well past needing to pick out every seam.  On the last block, I only had to pick out two of ten, and one of those was just because I hadn't had my coffee yet and was experimenting with whether I can quilt before breakfast.  (I'm trying to find my best time of day for quilting.  So far it's not looking like before breakfast, after work before dinner, after dinner, or later in the evening.  That leaves during the day time when I am supposed to be at work.  I think I would have a hard time explaining what my sewing machine was doing at work.  I am already known for bringing Tombows and Copics and colouring at lunch time, I don't think I need to add quilting to the list. That said, I was eyeing up one of the board room tables as being ideal for pinning the sandwich together.  That table has to be at least six feet across and at least twice that long.  It's massive.)

Well, back to the brayering - I plan to make a number of these for the craft show in early November.  I know that's months and months and months away.  Here we are in summer and that's practically Christmas, but when I look at the calendar in terms of actual days, it's frighteningly close

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Anniversary Card

I realized today that if I was going to make a card for my husband for our anniversary, now is the moment.  (It's our 16th anniversary tomorrow.)  Luckily he is out shopping for a tent tonight (I sure hope that #16 is not the year for Rip-Stop Nylon gifts....) so I have the house to myself to do some stamping without him watching over me, commenting on which stamps I should choose, what paper to select, choice of Copics and embellishments, etc.  (It's very hard to inflect typing with irony - I hope you were able to pick it up!)

I made this card in double-quick time (I have class samples to invent and quilt blocks to wrestle), using a heart-flower stamp (Inkadinkado) and sentiment (Flourishes).  The stamp is coloured direct-to-rubber with Distress Markers,  I also spritzed some gold smooch through a Crafter's Workshop Template and doodled around the flower.  I stamped it on a gorgeous Fabriano Medioevalis notecard.  Scrumptious.  These are hard to part with, but since it's him, I guess I will.

He's home now, I'd better feign innocence!  Too late!  He came downstairs and I was floundering trying to minimize the blog screen, then the next screen was the enormous scanned in card, which I had to cover with my hands and part of my shoulder.  I am clearly not cut out for subterfuge and deception!  I guess this is not such a bad thing in the big scheme of things.  He had a good shopping trip (I sure hope that #16 is not the year for Enormous Backpacks...).

Back to duel with the sewing machine!  I am working on my batik quilt and it is the gorgeousness of the fabric and pattern that is keeping me going.  I am determined to defeat complete this quilt.  My near-term goal is to reduce the ratio of seams-sewn to seams-ripped-out to under 1:2.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Great Vacation and a Quilted Table Runner

Hello!  Sorry to be away so long, but we were on vacation.  We went out to Alberta to visit my family for a few weeks.  It was lovely.  Great weather, lots to do, lots of time to relax.  I brought a few card kits with me to make up some stock for the craft show in November, and I got 36 cards done for that.  I'll try to scan those in and post them soon.

I also got hooked on quilting!  My mother's quilt guild had a show while we were there and it really inspired me.  I have always loved the quilts my mother makes, but my hatred of sewing has always deterred me from trying quilting.  It turns out that quilting is much more like making cards and scrapbook layouts than sewing.  Who knew!  I bought a table runner kit and my mother taught me to make that and I also picked up a quilt kit to work on as time permits.  Here's a picture of the table runner.  It uses the Divided by 3 pattern by Mountainpeek Creations.  It's on the ironing board, which is the small green floral print.  This runner is shades of brown, olive, soft blue and gold.  What fun!  (DH is a bit dismayed, he seems to be worried that I will get carried away.  You see my line about stamping has been that "at least I don't quilt".  Now I will have to have another expensive hobby that I don't do instead.  I think I will  not take up collecting antique tractors.  I do love antique tractors and my dad offered me his two.  So that is a legitimate hobby that I am not doing.  Think of the space and expense that would take!  I don't think hubby would want a back yard full of old tractors (though I can't see why not).  Still, to legitimate further my interest in this hobby, I should, I should build a tractor shed in the back yard, for restoring the engines, with lots of large tables and good lighting.  Then, while I am not restoring engines (because I am diligently not collecting tractors yet), I could use the tables for quilting.  The parts loft could be converted to a fabric storage loft, and the engine fluid nook could be converted to a kitchenette.  I'm sure hubby would be resourceful enough to install an intercom system so I could be notified when dinner is ready.  A bridge too far?  Maybe....)

Today I popped out to drop off my sewing machine for a tune-up and to get  a cutting mat and rotary cutter.  I will be all set to work on the two projects I have next in the queue, Stepping Stones by Judy Niemeyer, and another one that uses fat quarters that my mother had in her sharing pile.  What's really next is to clean up a portion of my stamp table to make room for the cutting mat and sewing machine.  We'll have to do a bit of rejigging of things in the basement.  My craft room is set up for stamping, not sewing, but it will have to do double-duty now, so I will need to do some editing and re-arranging.  However, right at this moment, I need to give the children lunch then take them out to get school supplies (fingers crossed that the school supply list from the end of school in June is where I think it is....I know I put it in a safe place.....somewhere......).  After that, do some unpacking and tidying then I can get back to the craft space with a clear conscience!

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Faux Batik butterflies

Hi!  Here's a card we'll be making at Heather's Stamping Haven in August for her anniversary celebration make and takes.  I'll be running this class on August 25th, but it may run during the week as well.  Keep an eye on Heather's calendar for the schedule.  The stamp I used is a butterfly image from Impression Obsession (copyright Hannah Davies/Impression Obsession Inc) and I did a number of these in different colours over the past few days.  It was fun!  I like how this looks like faux batik.  So colourful!  The colours in the top card are: spiced marmalade, seedless preserves, salty ocean, peacock feathers (card base More Mustard).  The middle card: mowed grass, shaded lilac, salty ocean (card base Cool Caribbean).  The bottom card: peacock feathers, mustard seed, spiced marmalade, ripe persimmon (card base Bermuda Bay).    Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Darkroom Door ATC Swap July 2012

Thanks to all the ladies who came out to my class yesterday!  I had a great time and it was fun to see all the beautiful cards people made.  Last night I had a bit of stamping time after the kids were in bed and I made some ATCs for the July swap at Darkroom Door in Australia.  I always enjoy those swaps when I get a chance to participate and it's fun to get ATCs back from all over the world.

The cupcake ATC is the one I made to swap and I made nine other ones similar to that one using the Sweet Treats filmstrips and companion wordstrips.  The theme for the swap is "For the Ladies", and all the ladies I know have a sweet tooth, so that's how I'm interpreting this theme, complemented by a very feminine colour scheme.  I started with some manila tags trimmed down for ATC size, then covered them with Spun Sugar Distress Stains.  Next, I sponged on some Salty Ocean and Dusty Concord Distress Ink, and stamped on some words in Dried Marigold Distress Ink.  I felt the backgrounds were still a little bare under the other elements, so I sponged on some Soft Lilac shadow ink through a Crafter's Workshop swirly template.  The trimmed down photo strips are distressed lightly around the edges and the word strips are tinted with Dusty Concord ink.  A little tab of ribbon (stitched grosgrain in Groovy Guava) and a black mat completed these.  For the black base I used Heather's new matte black, which is absolutely gorgeous.  International swap participants can choose to send two extra ATCs in exchange for return postage.  I made two extras using some scrap paper I had on hand from blotting up excess Dylusions spray from another project.  The tulip and bird are embossed in black.  The tulip is coloured with Copics and the bird is bleached out.  I added a bit of ground with a gray Copic marker for the bird and clipped out the words, ransom note style and inked the edges.  (Why can't I have such obsessive attention to detail in other areas of my life?  Like balancing the cheque book or making grocery lists?)  For the tulip ATC, I added a flourish stamped in white paint (hard to see - Sauron the Scanner is being uncooperative today) and a doodled border.  Now to get these in the mail and hope they get there in time!

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Two classes on Saturday

Hi! Here are the two classes I'm doing on Saturday at Heather's Stamping Haven. The Distress Marker class runs from 10-12:30 and the Inktense Stamping class runs from 2-5.

Click here for all the details and call or email the store to register.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Keep Calm....

Tee hee!  I fell in love with this stamp the moment I saw it, and it didn't take long to succumb to its charms.  It's one from Fred B Mullett and I've stamped it here on red cardstock and embossed it with white embossing powder for that (almost) iconic look.  I trimmed it closely then popped it up on a piece of white shimmer cardstock, then layered on matching (but textured) red cardstock.  This was then taped to a card base in pastel aqua.

I love this message, both the original sentiment, and the lovely pun.  My friend tries to tell me that puns are the lowest form of humour, maybe she's right, but I just can't believe that.  Puns are just too funny!

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you are enjoying your summer.

Non-stamping related.  We had a great long weekend last weekend (Canada Day was on Sunday, so Monday was a holiday).  The family went camping to Murphy's Point Provincial Park, which is on Big Rideau Lake.  We had a great camp site, which had a nice place for a hammock.  We took the kids to see the fireworks in Perth on Sunday night and they loved it.  (We all did!)  It was their first time seeing the fireworks and the volunteer fire department in Perth put on a spectacular show.  It was lovely to see their rapt faces.  This weekend is shaping up to be  a good one too, with a stamp class at Heather's this morning and then my brother's family over for a barbecue this afternoon.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Another Fish Card

Here's another fish card using a lovely Lil' Florida Jack image from Fred B Mullet's line of Nature Print stamps.  I used Fred's spritzing technique to get the field of diffuse images and my stamp positioner to add detail and intensity to one of the fish.  A few finishing touches with some white paint on the eye, some pencil crayon, and an ink frame and I had my focal image.  I used Tombow markers (027 and 528) and spritzed water for the fish.  The focal image is mounted on some khaki linen cardstock, and the card base is Not Quite Navy (Stampin' Up), stamped with a coral image from Fred B Mullet.  The lace paper is from my package of Japanese paper scraps and is so gorgeous I can't believe I used it.

I don't have time for chit chat today - must dash off to DD2's dance recital.  Have a great weekend!

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Birthday Card

Hello!  It's a gorgeous morning here, all sunny and fresh.  I needed a quick card for a birthday party this morning for a birthday party for my daughter's friend.

I surveyed the options, spent a lot of time dithering and mining out various things for various projects, then decided I didn't have time anymore to do any of those. (The master plan for the morning was to go to the Wallack's Art Store Warehouse sale at 9:00 and hope they had some great deals, and get a birthday present for the friend too, who likes to draw.  And the reason I ran out of time was I had to experiment with an artist's panel and Tombows/Copics in case they had them at a good price and I wanted more. So I had to do a quick bit of stamping and colouring and experimentation before breakfast, and ran out of time for an extensive card before it was time to leave.)

I stamped the tree image (Stampotique) in Memento on Heather's ivory 130 lb cardstock and coloured it in with Copics.  Can't remember the exact colours, but it was B0000, B00, B12 for the sky, and YG11, YG93, G95 and G99 for the leaves and grass and a few browns for the trunk.  I accented the grass with some pencil crayons for texture.  The smudges you may see are not on the card (for once) but on the scanner, which I keep forgetting to clean.  (If you saw my house, you would realize just how far down the list the scanner is in terms of cleaning priority.)  I accented the image with some Avocado Liquid Pearls and Crystal Stickles, and set it aside to dry while I took my daughter to the warehouse sale.

Now that was a hoot and a half.  It was in a part of town I haven't been to, so that was a bit of a fun exploration.  We discovered it's in the same place as the Art-is-In Bakery, and noted for future reference.  We headed in to the sale, found some great deals, but were dismayed by the 400 people (rough estimate) in line ahead of us to pay.  We didn't have time to wait in line in a warehouse, so abandoned the effort and went in search of Suzy Q doughnuts, which came highly recommended.  It's a new little place on Wellington with homemade gourmet doughnuts.  We bought one of each plus a few to make a dozen and brought them home, after a quick stop at the local Wallack's for a sketch book and pencil crayons for the birthday present. The doughnuts were delicious (sampled the dirty chocolate, raspberry-cassis with white chocolate drizzle, maple bacon and sugar-cardamom), the card is made and the presents are wrapped and it's not even noon!  Still lots of time for the party, laundry, groceries, stamping, etc. that fill a Saturday.  And a quick jaunt out to the Sportsplex for soccer team pictures.

Must dash off to a birthday party!  Have a lovely Saturday!

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Sympathy Card


Here's a card I made for someone at work who has recently been bereaved.  I wanted to use a technique that I learned at the classes I took a couple of weeks ago from Fred B Mullett.  This was a spritzing technique using Tombow markers and a botanical leaf image from Fred's nature print line of stamps.  The sentiment is from Quietfire Designs, as is the waxed twine around the edge.  The sentiment is embossed with Rust Antiquities embossing powder, so it's multi-toned and matches nicely with the varied shadings of the rest of the card.  The panels are all edged in Memories Art Print Brown, and the card base is a lovely vanilla bean Memory Box note card.  I like the Memory Box note cards because they are white on the inside - saves having to make a liner.  

This technique is from the Spritz me baby ... mo' betta class.  There are some basic instructions on Fred's website, but if you can take the class in person, it's waaay better.  I got to learn all kinds of things, like how to use TP (technical paper, on the same sort of perforated roll around a central cardboard cylinder as regular old tp) to blot up excess water, and how to avoid the Zone of Preciousness around the main image.  (I struggle with this.  The Zone refers to the urge to stamp your main image and then leave a nice perimeter around it, carefully avoiding stamping over this lovely image, so carefully positioned.  Someone who has fabric scissors and paper scissors, a cutting board just for fruit, and an extra pot of her favourite twinkling h20 is destined to have entire shrines set up to preserve zones of preciousness on cards.  Many thanks to Fred for urging me to overcome this tendency and stamp right on over that zone, and he is sooo right to do so.  But, as is the case with all good advice, it's nearly impossible to follow.  I am proud to say that in this card, I was successful in my struggle to overcome the urge to leave a Z of P, and there is only the slightest Nook of Preciousness under the main leaf.)

In other stamping news, I was out all day today, and last night, and will be out tomorrow at the wonderful classes run by Krista Schneider.  We are making wonderful things and it is just such a pleasure to be doing all that creative activity in the company of such delightful people.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Classes with Fred B Mullett

Hello!  I'm back from the most amazing three days in Massachusetts.  My friend and I took a couple of days off work to drive down there to attend some classes with Fred B Mullett.  He has a wonderful line of nature print stamps, botanical and sea life, and some fruits and vegetables, and lots of others besides.  And, he has some wonderful classes that he teaches, some using these stamps, some using colour and figure/ground principles to make a little magic happen.  If he is ever in your area, try a class or two or all with him and you won't be sorry.

A quick aside - we didn't want to get stuck in line at the border on Thursday morning and race to beat the clock to class, so we went down on Wednesday night.  We stayed just across the border in Derby Line at the gorgeous Birchwood B&B.  If you are ever in that part of Vermont, I would recommend staying there.  The hosts, Dick and Betty were gracious and welcoming and their home is lovely.  Betty had an antique store at one time and their home has some lovely antiques.  The building itself is from the early 1920s, but modelled on an earlier home on the property.  The gardens are lovely and the setting peaceful and quiet.  It was a lovely way to start our trip.

Back to the classes.  If you'd like to see a few of the things we made, check out Fred's class descriptions at this link here.  In every class, we walked through the steps together, made something with some fairly specific instructions, then were let loose to try it on our own.  Fred's a great teacher and it was wonderful to be able to try the techniques I've read about on his website.  Taking the classes in person really  made a bit difference.  He has great instructions and samples on his website, but to be able to hear the tips and tricks and context and all the rest of it really made the difference.

The pictures above are the two samples I did using the Dancing Rubber Fish technique.  The purple one is the one we walked through together, and the green one is the one I did on my own.  We also did classes called The Elegant Mess, The Rest of the Mess, and Spritz Me' betta.  Each class was wonderful and I learned so much.  My friend and I had the best time and are just on such a creative high it's incredible.  I came home and tried another fish, then realized I really did have to take Fred's advice and make an embossing powder chart, so I spent last night doing that to find out which of my powders are transparent and which are opaque, and which are somewhere in between.  I was certainly surprised by some of them!  Today I hope to get back in the craft room and really try some more stuff.   I have everything I need and I have a delicious number of beautiful Fred B Mullett stamps to play with.  These nature prints really showcase the techniques and add such lovely elements to the "nonrepresentational art" we made.  (See, I learned lots of new words, some of them artsy, some of them unique to the Fishboy Thesaurus, things like "tactilely interactive vulcanized tools for the replication of graphic imagery" (rubber stamps) and precision thermography powder application devices (cocktail straws).   I tell you, I really was in seventh heaven taking a class from a wonderful artist with a great sense of humour who likes to play with words.  Seventh Heaven!   It was pure, pure happiness, right from start to finish.

The classes were at Ink About It in Westford, Massachusetts.  It's a beautiful stamp and scrapbooking store.  They have a great selection of products and many, many wonderful samples.  Their classroom space is bright and spacious and the ladies at the store are darlings one and all.

To put the icing on the cake, it was so special to spend those three and a half days with my dear friend, just talking and laughing and really soaking up the whole experience.  It was a magical time and the memories will stay with me for a very long time.  They will have to.  I brought the wrong camera battery charger, so all the photo ops have, by necessity, been imprinted on my memory instead of a flash card.  Oh yeah, and I forgot my twinklings and last class projects there when we left so the kind ladies are going to mail them back to me.  (This had to turn into a true story about me at some point, didn't it!)

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Mother's Day Card

Hello!  Here's a card I made recently, but didn't post because it was for Mother's Day.  I guess that doesn't make a lot of sense since I stamped it with my mother while she was visiting.  Oh well, that's my trademark - not making a lot of sense!

Mum and I were playing around with Fantasy Film from the Art Institute Glitter folks.  It's wonderful, iridescent, shimmery stuff.  This is an Art Institute dragonfly stamp, and I followed the directions on the package to stamp and heat with an iron.  It doesn't show from the scanned version, but in real life, I made two layers for the dragonfly wings.  The background is distress ink and the bull rushes (Penny Black) were stamped by colouring directly on the rubber with Tombow markers and spritzing.  The sentiment is a Stampin' Up stamp and the circles are from Papertrey Ink.

My own Mother's Day has been lovely.  Hubby and the girls made me breakfast this morning: pancakes with sauteed apples (from DD2s new kids cookbook), fruit salad with lemon yogurt sauce (delicious Barefoot Contessa recipe), bacon, coffee, and juice.  The table was set beautifully, complete with a bouquet of roses, a bouquet of handmade flowers, handmade cards and a poem.  Then off to church where the junior choir sang a lovely anthem, then out shopping in the afternoon for some summer clothes with DD1, then out for dinner, and then a nice bike ride on a balmy spring evening.  Now home for the evening routine and a quick blog post while the kids do a bit of tidying.  It's also the 18th anniversary of the day hubby and I met.  Now that's a lot to be grateful for in just one day!

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Another Distress Marker Project

Hello!  Here's another project I made with Distress Markers.  I used them with the LaBlanche specialty stamping paper (same was what Ranger sells).  The markers work really well with this paper and I was able to blend them very easily.  I will be doing this card as a class in June at Heather's Stamping Haven, so I won't go into too much detail here.  The image is one by Magenta.

I will say that I really liked the combination of Distress markers with that super-smooth paper.  The background patterned piece is one I made, thanks to a new technique I learned from my mother (thank you!). The card base is my favourite - tsumugi paper.  Beautiful stuff!  I love the colours and the texture.

Well, I am off to steal a few minutes in my stamp room before I get going on the weekend chores.  I might even turn on the hockey game to listen to the playoffs while I stamp.  We'll see.  Hubby's playing his guitar and I'm enjoying listening to that.

Ok - Blogger has upgraded and won't let me attach pictures without using the new version.  But I can't see where to add labels.  I hate these "improvements" that make it hard to do things that used to be easy.  ---later-- I found the labels under an icon that looks greyed out, but turns out to be active with the right incantation.  I don't understand this move to icons everywhere.  This a blog.  That implies a certain level of literacy right there.  Why use impenetrable icons when a label would work?   Speaking of literacy, or lack thereof, I was walking downtown down a road I hadn't used before on my way back from a meeting. I went past an electric company installation and they had a big sign on the fence (big, imposing, serious fence) that said, "NO PARKING.  VILATORS WILL BE TICKETED AND TOWED."  This sign was repeated again, about 10 feet away.  On one sign, someone had turned the I in vilator into a flower, and on the other sign, some punctilious vigilante had added an O.   Here's a picture of the sign - it must be at a different location since it's on a brick wall, unlike the ones I saw.  I wonder if one could appeal one's ticket on the grounds that they are not a vilator, and are therefore exempt from this exhortation.  I'd hope so, but I wouldn't want to be the one to try it out.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Baby card

Hello!  Here's a card I made recently, but didn't want to post it until I was sure the recipient had seen it first.  I wanted a non-traditional baby card and I had this beautiful quote (Quietfire Designs) in mind.  I used a number of soft shades of Colorbox fluid chalk to brayer on to 130 lb cardstock and heat set with an iron.  I think I used Ice Blue, Creamy Brown, and Dark Moss.  I stamped the image and used Moss embossing powder for emphasis.  Then I die cut with spellbinders to get the image and coordinating mat in ice blue linen.  With that same linen, I made a background panel with a baby theme embossing folder.  The cardstock is a lovely soft moss green, and the accent paper is an espresso brown.  A few soft blue brads thrown in for good measure and I was done! 

Thanks for stopping by.  Happy stamping!

Edited to add:  the embossing folder is from Cuttlebug, and is one of a set of four called Word Collage.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Class sample - Distress Markers

Hello!  Here's a card I made for an upcoming class at Heather's Stamping Haven.  The class will be called "Fun with Textures" and will feature this card an another one, and some different techniques (creating texture with UTEE and the new Donna Salazar Mixed Media Inx).  The class is Saturday, May 5 from 2-5. 

The poppy stamp image and background stamps are all from Heather's Stamping Haven and the image is coloured with my .... (insert deep, sonorous, game show host voice here) Brand, New Markers!!!  (cue applause and raucous cheering).   That's right, I got my new Distress Markers and I was prepared to love them, and I do.  A lot.  I love my Tombows, I love my Copics, I love my pencil crayons, and now I love these markers.  The Distress colour palette will be a great complement to my Tombows from a watercolouring with markers point of view.  I'm looking forward to doing some experimenting with them and seeing what kind of things I can do with them.  Have you tried them out yet?

Happy stamping!

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Mastering Twinks & Scrap Sunday on Saturday

Hi!  Here's a quick stamped project to show you.  I was cleaning off my desktop (!) to make room for my large craft sheet, and I came across this coloured image.  I think I'd done it for my calendar class and switched to a poppy image for the calendar page.  This little beauty needed its own home!  I had a few other scraps that I incorporated into the design, and presto-change-o, this card was done!  The image (Heather's Stamping Haven) is embossed in black on watercolour paper and coloured with Tombow markers.    The sentiment is a rub-on, and the light green panel is embossed with the Tim Holtz brick wall and enhanced with some iced spruce distress ink.  So, here we have a Scrap Stash Sunday card on Saturday.  I'll slide it in on a couple of technicalities:  I can't actually remember what day  I made it, so it might very well have been a Sunday.  Also, it's Saturday morning here so it must surely be Sunday by now in Australia, if not Monday or Tuesday. 

In other news, I signed up for this on-line class, Mastering Twinkling H20s, and so far it looks great.  I have read over the first lesson, but not done the exercises.  The exercises look like a lot of fun.  I have always loved my twinks, and I'm looking forward to learning more about them.  I'll try to post my exercises on the class's Flickr group, and I'll post a link here if the group is an open forum.  Now it's off to feed the kiddies and get ready for my class at Heather's this afternoon.  I might even try to get the kids' hair cut this morning, but we'll see how the time goes. 

Have a great weekend! 

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Creative Chemistry Days 7-10

Day 7 (l-r): Nostalgic Batik,
Rusted Enamel, Distress Powder Resist
 Hello!  Here are the rest of the tags I made to go with the Creative Chemistry class with Tim Holtz that I took on line.  I really, really enjoyed it! 

Some of my favourites are the Rusted Enamel (can't wait to try that in different colours) and the distress powder resist - isn't that fabulous with my big Fred B Mullett fish!  I love the colours.  And I just got a wonderful bubble stamp at Heather's for the background by Ryn Designs. For that resist I used some sprays in shades of red.  Scrumptious!  I also loved the perfect pearls and am going to get them out far more often. 

Thanks for stopping by!  Now I'm off to clean up the aftermath in my stamping room.  I had hoped the elves would do it while I was out at work, but as usual, they didn't. 
Day 8 (l-r): Paint Dabber Resist, Crackle
Paint Resist, Shattered Stains

Day 9 (l-r):  Perfect Distress Mist,
Perfect Distress, Perfect Splatter Distress

Day 10: Rock Candy Distress Stickles

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Creative Chemistry Tags (Day 2-6)

Day 2 (l-r): Blended Distress/Spritz & Flick,
Brushless Watercolour,
Wrinkle-Free Distress

Day 3 (l-r):  Alcohol Ink Agates,
Archival Resist,
Stamping on Embossing Folder
 Hello!  Here's what I've been doing this afternoon.  I've been taking Tim Holtz' Creative Chemistry on-line card class (link here).  It's been wonderful and I have really learned a lot. He goes into a lot of detail and the techniques are a lot of fun.  Here are my efforts so far - definitely still in the learning phase.  I did go so far as to clear off a big space on my stamping desk so I could get all Tim Holtzy and lay out my craft sheet and have my heat tool right to hand.  I don't think I need it there all the time, but it was handy for drying between applications, etc.  I won't go into detail about the techniques, but I sure did have fun! 

Day 4 (l-r):  Watercolourng with Re-inkers;
Layered Misting,
Custom Stamp Pad

Day 5 (l-r): Stained Kraft Resist,
Stamping with Stains,
Marbled Stains

Day 6 (l-r): Watercolour with Markers,
Blending with Markers,
Stamping with Markers

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Floral card

Hello!  Can't believe it's been more than a month since my last post.  It's because of a few things like I haven't been stamping as much since I've rediscovered the joys of knitting (currently doing a scarf from some gorgeous Noro Furin).  Also, I have been teaching two classes per month in March and April, and coming up with twice as many samples takes a bit of time.  And work has been quite demanding, so in the evenings I tend to just collapse.  So that's why you haven't seen too many posts from me. 

Here are some cards I did, inspired by a sample Heather made at Heather's Stamping Haven.  She had embossed the floral background (Hero Arts) in white and coloured with Distress Inks. That's what I did here too, swiping my inks on a craft sheet and lifting the colours with a wet paintbrush.  The birthday sentiment is from Impress Rubber Stamps.  The image is mounted on a piece of citron cardstock and the card base is white shimmer.  This kind of makes me think of a china pattern or something.  I did a whole bunch of these in different colourways, and mostly thank yous and happy birthdays.  Once I came up with the layout I liked, it was easy.  Now I wish I'd matted the sentiment panel, but it's too late now!  I tried adding some stitching with a white pen, but it doesn't look great.  I think I will just live with them like they are. 

Hope all is well with you where ever you are!  Happy stamping :-)

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Almond Blossom Fairy and Weekly Menu Link

Hello!  Here's what I've been busy at in my stamp room for the past few days.  Not that this particular card took days, but arriving at this card did.  Heather got in some more flower fairy stamp sets. These are the famous Cicely Mary Barker flower fairies that I have always loved, and I have several now in my collection.  Heather asked me to do a class with them in March, so this will be one of the class projects for my class on Saturday, March 24th, in the afternoon (time to be confirmed).   The scanner hasn't quite done justice to the colours, unfortunately.  But then Sauron the Scanner and I have never been on particularly good terms. 

Thanks for stopping by!  I'm back to tidying up my stamp room and trying to figure out what to make for dinner.  Last night's effort was suffered in polite silence by my crew.  I found a recipe on line for salmon casserole with canned salmon, peas, peppers and eggs, sort of a crustless quiche idea.  This recipe was ideal because I had all the ingredients on hand and the exact amount of preparation time before dinner.  With this auspicious start, I knew that I had used up all my luck before dinner even started.  It was ok, they ate it (heavily bribed with the other half of their piece of cheese toast), remarking only that it was a dinner that didn't require chewing, only squishing through their teeth.  I don't have an exact quote as the daughter in question's memory is failing now that this is Going On The Blog.  Tonight I have less in the pantry than yesterday, and even less inspiration. Maybe we will have Pancake Day early!  Speaking of dinner, I did find a great website that does menu planning.  It's free, it includes recipes and it's nutritious, and the whole works.  It's put on by the government of Ontario and I would highly recommend it.  Had I been out shopping today, I would have the ingredients for numerous tasty meals.  Here's the link: Eat Right Ontario.  It's a bit wordy with a lot of links to get to a 40 page download (did I mention this was a government site? she said snidely), but it's top quality, full of great resources, and worth it in the end (did I mention I am a public servant? she said smugly). 

Thanks again for stopping by!

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Bellarific Friday

Here's my card for Bellarific Friday this week at Stamping Bella.  This week's theme is "Anything Goes", so I turned to one of my favourite Bella images, this dandelion silhouette and my favourite Bella sentiment stamp "life is too short for beige".  Now I know this card contains no beige whatsoever, but in the name of design, I am using gray instead of beige.  Indeed I recently read the word "greige" in a design magazine.  (Even typing that word makes me cringe!  Ick. Beige meets grey meets terrible mash-up word of even yuckier colour.)    I have been starved for colour lately.  We are knee-deep in February in Ontario, which means the landscape is various shades of grey, sleet, sludge and slush.  the trees are grey, the sky is grey, the roads are grey, everything is grey, bleak and grey.  So grey that I had to put hyacinths on the grocery list, not to eat, but to bring some colour into the house.  My DH, God bless him, brought home gorgeous fuchsia ones.  Lovely!

Ok, so enough about the bleak outsides.  We decided to go shopping for a new duvet cover and check out the new Ikea.  They just built one here that is the biggest in Canada and is approximately the size of  Prince Edward Island.  Before you get to where you can buy anything, you walk through approximately 53 km of showrooms, all done up in Ikea style.  Guess what the Ikea style is.  Yep.  Grey.  Grey with pops of colour.  so there will be a living room with charcoal couch, pencil lead carpet, exhaust fume drapes and a lime throw cushion.  Or a kitchen pewter cupboards, steel appliances, graphite counter top and a chartreuse tea towel.  You get the picture.  Everything was grey.  It seems this year's fashion statement is Bunker Living or Prison Cell Mod.  Even the bed linen store was no better, with 85 duvet covers all in shades of charcoal, graphite and oyster.  Ultimately, we settled on a duvet cover that is white with solid botanical silhouettes in lime green, greeny-beige and grey.  So, we did get some grey (my brush with stylishness) but the overall effect is green and white.  (That and my husband vetoed the hot pink and purple stripes AND the fuchsia paisley.) 

So, being inspired by recent forays into the world of home decor (usually we decorate in contemporary Playmobil and children's art), I translated it into a card for Bellarific Friday.  The stamp is "solid funky dandelion" and as I looked on the website to find that out, I discovered a very similar sample card there, with bright green and black.  Maybe that was deep in my subconscious, I have no idea.  They say there's nothing new under the sun (well, people other than Hamlet say that, and we never do find out what Horatio thinks of that!).    Anywho, that's my card for Bellarific Friday.  Thanks for stopping by!

Supplies:  ink: charcoal and gray whale colorbox fluid chalk, kiwi kiss stampin' up, lettuce colorbox pigment ink.  Zing lime green embossing powder.  Naturals white, kiwi kiss paper and grey paper from Heather's. 

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Sending scoops of love

Hello!  Here's my entry for Bellarific Friday at Stamping Bella this week.  The theme is Valentine's or Red and Pink.  I have this cute Valentine stamp, so I used it.  Inside the card it says "sending you scoops of love".  The image is stamped in India Ink and coloured with pencil crayons (mostly Bruynzeel, some Prismacolor).  The scoop is accented with Sakura glitter pen and the hearts are accented with a couple of layers of glossy accents (let dry in between layers).  The "bottom" hearts have one layer and the "top" hearts have two layers.  The background paper is Basic Grey from the Lemonade collection.  I had some heart shaped rhinestones so I coloured those with a Copic and added them.  I didn't have enough to go all the way across, so I used some little rhinestones in there too.  Here I am, with a Valentine's card in time for Valentine's Day.  Whodathunkit?!

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Another Japanese paper card

As I was writing my last post, I remembered I had wanted to try this card with a black background for my vase and branch.  Ignoring my to-do list, I set to it and came up with this while all the stuff was still out.  (Blithely ignoring the fact that this state is likely to continue indefinitely....)

I used Brilliance Coffee Bean ink for the branch and Brilliance Pearlescent beige for the flowers (branch and flowers - Impress Rubber Stamps).  I tried adding in some light blue flowers in pigment ink and didn't like a blob, which I tried to scrape off, causing a smudge and necessitating some punched butterflies (a.k.a. Stampers' All-Purpose Concealer).  I may whip up a few more like this as I have enough for at least 3 more in black with blue and brown accents . 

The background stamp is a calligraphy stamp from Fred B Mullett, stamped in Bordering Blue (RIP; BTW I found a whole package, unopened!  Yippee!  I can downgrade its status from Perma-Hoard to Short Rations.) 

Playing with Japanese paper

 Hello!  For the past couple of days I've been playing with my stash of Japanese paper.  I had picked up a big bag of scraps, so I used those to make about 17 or so cards.  Here are two examples.  For all of them, I punched a vase (punch from Carla craft) and stamped the bough+flowers (Impress Rubber Stamps) on a 2x3 3/4" piece of neutral cardstock.  I used the colours in the vase to determine the colours of the flowers, and the background accents, etc.  I found some wonderful scraps and these are two of my favourite cards.  When they were bright and cheerful like this, I made them into birthday cards, Mother's Day cards, thank you cards, etc.  More muted tones and purples I turned into sympathy cards.  Almost all the card bases are the wonderful tsumugi cardstock that comes in such beautiful colours and has such wonderful texture, reminiscent of slubbed silk.  For the purple card, I only had a tiny scrap of the vase paper, but I found another tiny scrap of the red and white and black that looked nice, and a bigger piece of the crumply paper.  On the blue card, I used an Oriental calligraphy stamp (Fred B Mullett) in the background.  (It's the stamp that has the poem about the words like stones and youthful tongue growing gray.)  The green card is a Mother's Day card, with the sentiment on the front (Stampin' Up) and a lovely quote on the inside with a Quietfire Designs calligraphy stamp. 

It was a bit like doing a jigsaw puzzle, finding all the bits to go together and arranging them to look nice on the card.  All the cards are finished off with some liquid pearls in the centres of the flowers, and the colours again depended on the overall colour scheme but I used mainly white opal, platinum, and used pale yellow on a couple and lettuce on one with yellow flowers and a brown base.  I now remember that I had thought of trying some on a black backdrop.  Hmmm...maybe something to try before I clean up the scraps!  Thanks for stopping by!