Sunday, 22 December 2013

Christmas card

Hello!  Here's this year's Christmas card - kind of ran out of time for more.  I'm sure people can relate to that!  Normally I try to put "make Christmas cards" on my to-do list so that I can carve out some time for myself in the mad run up to Christmas, but this year I was taking a quilting class, so I was already carving quite a bit of me-time out and didn't feel I could add stamping to that.  Well, my class quilt top is done, and I did have a bit of time to make some Christmas cards to send out this year.

I used a design from a class I took at Heather's Stamping Haven from my friend Mary.  I loved this card.  I made a tiny change - sponged the focal panel instead of using wrinkle-free distress.  I thought it would be a bit faster.  The ornament stamp is a Penny Black cling stamp from the set "ornately".  I coloured it with Tombow markers and misted lightly before stamping.  After it was dry, I added some clear Wink of Stella to the ornaments.  The snowflake on the black strip is also from the "ornately" set and stamped in Delicata gold.  The background panel is stamped in Red Royal (Hero Arts) using a Penny Black background stamp called "christmas story".  The whole thing is mounted on a black linen card base and I used Delicata gold to stamp the greeting on the inside.  I really love Delicata gold for stamping on dark cardstock - it is crisp and clean and dries right away.  Tsukineko people - if you are reading my blog - please, please make us a Delicata silver too!  Please!

Well, this blog post must come to an end.  It was off to a shaky start since I couldn't log in to Google the way the accounts are set up.  So my blogging time did get a bit eaten up by technical contortions.

I hope you get some time to stamp over the holidays.  I have high hopes of some quality time at the craft table myself!  I will be working on my January class sample for sure - will feature Penny Black stamps in the theme of Love.  Perfect for Valentine's Day, anniversaries, wedding cards, etc.  I have a lovely little stack of cardstock all picked out and ready for experimenting!  But I am not going to rush into post-Christmas thoughts. I am going to enjoy the moment and anticipating the celebrations to come.

Happy Stamping!

Monday, 9 December 2013

Chirpy Thank You

Hello!  Here's one of a number of "the same only different" cards I made for my daughter to use as thank you cards for her recent birthday.  All stamps are from the Stampin' Up set "Friends 24-7".  The bird is stamped with sepia brown Versafine ink on Very Vanilla paper and the flower is stamped in Baja Breeze.  The image is matted on chocolate chip and arranged with some scraps of designer paper and Baja Breeze on a Crumb Cake card base.  The damask stamp on the card base is also stamped in Baja Breeze.  A few accents of Dark Chocolate liquid pearls finish off the card. These were quite quick to put together and using the designer paper scraps made it easy to pull the colours together, plus it felt good to use some of the scraps for a quick project.  The layouts are all very similar, but vary a little depending on the shape of the scraps.  Some have torn edges, some are vertical.  It all depends on what the scraps are.  I'll use this "formula" again - find some coordinating stamps, designer paper scraps, and coordinating cardstocks and have a happy stamping afternoon!

I hope your December is going well.  Ours is - November birthday has been wrapped up, December birthday is taking shape.  Hubby wants us to have a party so I am planning that - the fun part is going through the cookbooks deciding on the signature drink and appetizers.  Maybe I should also be auditioning the signature drinks too!  We've been doing our shopping and everyone is busy hiding packages and being mysterious about errands.  There's a cookie exchange planned at work and I think this weekend will see us putting up the Christmas tree.  The Advent activities are preparing us for the feast of Christmas, which is now only weeks away.  This past weekend we went out to the Living Nativity, which is well worth a visit next year if you are in the Ottawa area.  On a more secular note, the Jacquie Lawson Advent calendar this year has an Edwardian theme, which is lots of fun for all fans of Downton Abbey.  I hope you are enjoying your preparations for Christmas, and taking time to enjoy the moments of preparation.

Best wishes and happy stamping!

Sunday, 1 December 2013

More poppies

Hello!  I have a real weakness for poppy stamps.  I have quite a few in my collection.  Not as many as my pear stamps, but I still have quite a few.  I love to use my poppy stamps so here is a variation on a project I've taught at Heather's Stamping Haven, but in a different colourway.  I quite like the smoky sage and dark teal with the red poppies instead of the golds and oranges of the class project.  I like both, but it's fun to experiment with different colours.  Red, teal and kraft are a particular favourite combination of mine.

All stamps are from Heather's Stamping Haven's line of stamps.  The focal image of poppies is embossed in Bavarian Bronze embossing powder.  The background stamp is a Shakespearean sonnet in script, and stamped in Bundled Sage I believe, or possibly one of the soft shadow inks from Hero Arts.  The background on the poppy panel is one of the genealogy stamps from Heather's line.  The poppies are coloured with Distress Markers and some more Distress ink is sponged around the edges.  The whole panel is covered in Distress crackle paint (rock candy) and when it dried, more ink was rubbed into the cracks.  The dark teal strip was embossed with one of Tim Holtz' texture fades folders and all the card stock pieces were edged in Memories Art Print Brown.  Lastly, some dots of Adirondack liquid pearls completed the effect.

Well - it's time to get ready for church!  Must dash.  I just looked at the clock and it's 9:00 and the girls need to be there at 9:15 for choir practice.  I'd better get moving!

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, 1 November 2013

October Stamping Challenge #16

Hello!  Here's the card I made yesterday, but didn't get to posting till now.  I had some Dylusion-sprayed paper that was stamped with a Curlicue flower and embossed with a sandy coloured embossing powder that really didn't suit.  Still, I kept the paper around and decided that my October Stamping Challenge was the time to turn it into something.  I used a flower die (Tim Holtz - Sizzix) to cut some flowers out of it and tried various arrangements.  The card base was a reject from another stamping challenge (despite my efforts not to create more scraps than I can use!) and the strip underneath was another scrap from a different Dylusion-sprayed experiment.  The card base is stamped with a script stamp (I think it's one from Cornish Heritage Farms) stamped in some sort of olive ink.  I popped up the flower with foam tape, added Dark Blue stickles on the dots, and added a button and some Avocado liquid pearls.  I fear these additional embellishments are a bit over the top.  This is not my favourite project, but it did use all scrappy stuff that was on my desk, it did take less than fifteen minutes, but did not use a new stamp. 

This has been a fun challenge!  I don't think I can keep up the pace at the moment.  I am gearing up for the church bazaar where I am coordinating the sewing and knitting table.  I have a few projects on my knitting needles and I am taking a quilting class so have a sampler quilt underway.  I am absolutely not complaining, just not very good at juggling and balancing.  Still, this challenge has reminded me that it is always mentally and creative restorative to make time for stamping.  It is also satisfying to use up the scraps and bits and bobs that are cluttering my stamping desk.  I think if I kept this challenge up until the end of December, I would have a clean desk out of it.  December 2018 that is!!! Hahahahaaa!

Hope you get some stamping in this weekend!

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

October Stamping Challenge #15

Hello!  Here's another quick tag for my October stamping challenge.  I was experimenting with different ways to use this holly stamp (Penny Black) combined with Tombow markers so I cut this one out and mounted it on some scraps of paper leftover from layout auditions for my November class.  The focal image here is embossed in black, watercoloured with Tombows and accented with stickles and Wink of Stella brush pen.  I used my new Pine stickles - Ranger has some new colours out.  They have needed a new green for a while - Lime Green and Crystal are fabulous, but I was ready to have something that could go on darker colours.  I really love this new colour and can't wait to see the rest of them when Heather gets them in.

Thanks for stopping by. One more day of my stamping challenge!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

October Stamping Challenge #14

Hello!  Here's my latest stamping challenge project - a quick little tag.  I used some leftover parts from my explorations in making my samples for my November class at Heather's Stamping Haven.  The class will be on November 30 from 2-5 pm. The class projects are show below and my class is called Wink of Christmas because I have been trying out the Wink of Stella glitter brushes! They are a lot of fun and add a different sort of shimmer than stickles or twinks.  I quite like them.  My class also uses a great set of Christmas stamps from Penny Black.  Hope you can join us!

The other stamping things I have been doing this weekend are Krista's classes!  I haven't taken a picture (yet) of all my projects, but you can see them on Krista's website here.  If you click on one of the thumbnails, it expands the picture to a see-able size and you can scroll through.  We had such a good time!  Krista teaches a variety of colouring techniques: Tombows, Distress markers, Copics, and Inktense pencils.  It was a blast and the other ladies always make it such a special time.  A great big thank you to Krista, Heather, and all the other ladies for a wonderful weekend!

Well, all this stamping goodness is the reason I have been away from my stamping challenge.  I gave myself a pass since I was spending so much time doing other sorts of stamping.  I think my family might have really rebelled if I had spent any more time stamping and blogging!

Well, time to dash off to work here.  Hope you had a good weekend too and found some time to get inky!

Happy stamping!

Thursday, 24 October 2013

October Stamping Challenge #14

Hello!  Does this layout look familiar!  Hahahaha.  It's my last medallion from my ready-made stack.  I should mention that these medallions are from Holly Berry House.  They are a single stamp, which I stamp on many different pieces of cardstock and emboss with the same embossing powder (in this case it's gold).  I choose my cardstock to be a mix of light, medium and dark tones, as well as a mix of shimmer and regular, and maybe some linen in there too.  I like the effect here of a tight colour palette (shades of brown and gold) but a mix of textures (matte, linen and shimmer).

Then I cut out different parts of the image, being careful to cut just beside the embossing line.  Then, I layer them back together again.  I like to keep a "big" piece for the back.  It's also fun to apply Art Institute Glitter to the various design elements of the image.  This is easiest to do before they are assembled because the glue takes a while to dry.  I get a bunch of them on the go at once and then I get my glitter out and do it assembly-line style.  I also embellish them with stickles and liquid pearls too.  This particular one is mounted to a piece of textured cardstock (Sahara Sand).

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

October Stamping Challenge #12

Hello!  Here's my next stamping challenge.   I know I missed a day, but I was working on class samples for my September class and progress was slower than I anticipated. I was having way too much fun playing with my new Penny Black Christmas stamps and Wink of Stella glitter brushes.  I'll have those samples done soon, but they did mean I didn't get a scrappy challenge one done.

Here's the next one - I have a stack of these medallions (Holly Berry House) all assembled and waiting for a card.  I chose a Creamy Caramel card base (one of the layers) and stamped it with one side of the Marble Textures cube (Stampendous).  The medallion had been stamped on a variety of papers (shimmer and ordinary) and trimmed out, and layered with foam tape.  A number of the layers are embellished with coordinating colours of Art Institute glitter.  I added some gold Viva Decor pearls too.

In other stamping news, this weekend Krista Schneider comes!  I love this time of year and the happy anticipation of her classes.  This year's multimedia class is a gorgeous fall birch tree.  She walks you through all the steps so anyone can make their own gorgeous original artwork.  The samples are on Heather's website ( and on Krista's blog (link on the right hand side bar - Red is my Favorite Color)

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Heather's Stamping Haven

Hello!  As many of my readers will know, I teach classes at Heather's Stamping Haven in Ottawa.  I have been a customer for many, many years and Heather and her store are very dear to my heart.  It was with very mixed emotions that I learned of her intentions to retire this winter (click here for the post on her blog).  I am so pleased for her that she will be starting this new direction in her life and enjoy the freedoms that come with retirement.  That said, I will really miss her at the store!  It really has been a haven, in so many ways, and I have had such good times there with so many very dear people.

I know Heather is looking for a buyer for the store, so if you are someone with an entrepreneurial streak or know someone who has one that is looking for an active business with great growth potential, please connect with Heather.  I am sure I am not the only one hoping that someone takes over the business and keeps a wonderful stamping store in Ottawa!

Saturday, 19 October 2013

October Stamping Challenge #11

Hello!  This card came together in a flash because the focal panel was already in my scrap box.  All I had to do was cut a card base and tape it on (foam tape for dimension).  I also added a small pearl to the centre of the medallion.  If I recall (from too long ago than I care to admit), this panel was sponged with various shades of pink, coral and burgundy.  All stamps and paper are by Stampin' Up.

Thanks for reading!  Hope you find some time to stamp this weekend.

Friday, 18 October 2013

October Stamping Challenge #10

Hello!  Here is the latest installment of my October Stamping Challenge.  This one was made from a left over class kit and has been sitting out, waiting for a spare moment to be coloured up.  The stamp is Sunshine Designs (Flower Cluster) and stamped on shimmer cardstock and embossed in gold.  I coloured it with Tombow markers and blended it with a paintbrush.  I added some liquid pearl accents in Avocado (vines) and Lemon Yellow (round flowers) and stickles (Fruit Punch and Yellow) to finish it off.  The accent panel was embossed with a pretty spiral using a folder from a set of two called Twirl.  It has been my go-to set lately - very versatile.

This is Krista Schneider's technique, and she will be in Ottawa to teach her Tombow, Copic, multimedia, Inktense and Distress classes starting Oct 24.  Call Heather at Heather's Stamping Haven to register.  These are fantastic classes!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, 17 October 2013

October Stamping Challenge #9

Hello! Here's my next quick little card.  The tree image is one from Memory Box (first time inked), and I stamped it in a slate grey pigment ink on a scrap of paper that was nearby, edged it in the same grey ink and added some shading with pencil crayons.  I layered it on a soft grey scrap, and used a metallic grey accent strip from the scrap pile.  The little sentiment is from Stampin' Up and stamped in Wet Cement Hero Arts Shadow Ink.  The little dots are Gunmetal stickles.  The card base is a naturals white cardstock with a light fleck in it. 

I would like to play with this stamp a little more and explore the ideas on this card a little further.  I like how it came out and think it could be improved if I had a little more time to play and experiment.  Last night wasn't that night though, since we were out to see the Indigo Girls in concert.  It was a great show. Their opening act was a folk singer called Jeremy Fisher and he was really good too. 

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

October Stamping Challenge #9

This card for the October Stamping Challenge came together very quickly.  I found a leftover piece of 130 lb. smooth white cardstock, cut it down to size (card front is 3 3/4 x 4 1/2") and stamped this pretty floral image (Hero Arts).  I thought I was grabbing Tuxedo Black Memento Ink, so imagine my surprise when it came out purple!  It turns out I'd used Paris Dusk.  I quite liked the result so I went with that for my colour scheme and chose a selection of dusky purples for the flowers, with a hit of chartreuse for the leaves.  The sentiment banner is a Memory Box stamp, also stamped on a scrap with the same Paris Dusk and coloured over with the greens from the leaves.  It's popped up on foam tape.  How nice of the Memory Box people to size the banner to wrap the selection of stems of the Hero Arts flower!  Or perhaps it was the Hero Arts people planning the stems to fit in the banner.  Either way, I really like how it turned out!  The final accent were some Dark Blue stickles to go in the centres of the flowers.  This card was really, really fast and a lot of fun.

Happy stamping!

Edited to add:  I used Copic markers to colour the image, and the sentiment banner.  I don't recall which ones - just grabbed ones that looked like would work and went for a variety of similar tones.  

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

October Stamping Challenge #8

Hello!  Here's today's challenge card.  I had a piece of background paper sprayed with Dylusions in shades of green.  I stamped that with the JustRite background stamp (Secret Garden) using Prussian Blue Fluid Chalk Ink.  Then I ran it through the die cut machine using this viny Memory Box die.  Hemmed and hawed a bit over the setting, but settled on this duo - Brilliant Blue and Glorious Green Stampin' Up papers. The card is 4 1/4" square.  I glued down the die cut with Glossy Accents, and added some royal blue liquid pearls to the flower centres and lime green stickles to the leaves.  I felt it needed a little lift so I added some stitching with a white gel pen.  I think it could use a little more lift so I might try adding some more highlights with a white pencil crayon.

Thanks for stopping by.  Happy stamping!

Monday, 14 October 2013

Moonlit Castle

This was in my drafts folder from waaaaay back.  Not sure if Heather will run the class again or not, but usually if she has enough people wanting to take it, she will run it.

I'm going to post this now because it's a cute little card and I am cleaning out my drafts folder!

This is a sample for my next class at Heather's Stamping Haven. I wanted to try to make a card in the style of Michelle Zindorf, a stamper whom I really admire. I've spent a lot of time reading her tutorials and looking at the various ways she makes her cards so special. I don't know if this card achieved the goal, but I quite like how it turned out, so I decided that was enough. Michelle loves her brayer, and I love mine, and I love making backgrounds, which I think is why I'm so drawn to her work.

This is a short post because if you want to find out how to make this card, you'll have to take the class!

Supplies: All stamps Heather's Stamping Haven or the Stamp Barn.

October Stamping Challenge #7

Hello!  Wow - has a week gone by already?  Must be, if this is #7 of my stamping challenge.  This card was really quick to put together, since I found that lovely tag ready-made in my scrap box.  It features some Distress Ink resist and sponging through sequin waste.  That nice quote is a Stampin' Up stamp and the scrolls and flourishes are Stampers Anonymous.

I cut a fresh piece of card for the base,but used scraps of textured mustard and brown linen for the accent strips. The ribbon was also a scrap that was loitering on my desk.  I used an as-yet uninked background stamp (Stampers Anonymous) on the card base, but I think I used too light an ink (Pale Tomato Hero Arts Shadow Ink) because it doesn't seem to be showing up.  I also used a little spiral clip that was in my stash of spare odds and bits.  I think they might be a bit out of style, but then again, so am I.  I am justifying it on the basis of legwarmers coming back into fashion.  (I know - I can't believe it either.)  Here's my rationale:  if legwarmers can return to fashion, then anything can make a comeback.  So there - my spiral clip is not out of style, it is ahead of trend! 

Thanks for stopping by and a happy long weekend to my Canadian readers.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

October Stamping Challenge #6

Hello!  Another quick and easy stamping challenge for today.  I had a piece of Dylusion-ed paper on hand, so I stamped it with this new stamp (Magenta) and embossed it with black embossing powder. I highlighted the flower with a juicy light greenish yellow Tombow marker and some of the leaves with a green one.  I matted it on black, then on an ATC sized green. I decided I didn't want to make an ATC, so I grabbed the other half of the sheet of card stock from last week and made a base.  I stamped a gorgeous background stamp (JustRite) in Prussian Blue Colorbox Fluid Chalk on the base, masking off the lower portion.  I really like the subtle velvety effect of the chalk ink for a background.  It really does add a special touch.  The accent strip is a charcoal metallic scrap off the pile.  The finishing touches were a rub on (Stampin' Up) - why I have so much trouble getting them straight???  - some lettuce liquid pearls, and lime green stickles on the flowers' centres.

It's Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada.  I have so much to be thankful for.  I try to be intentionally grateful every day for all the blessings in my life, and especially so at Thanksgiving.  This season is so beautiful here - with glorious colours and glorious weather.  We had a wonderful feast last night with family.  Right at the moment I'm thankful for a couple of hours to myself to stamp and sew.  My elder daughter and I got up early to go to the 8 o'clock church service, and I have come home and the rest of the family is off to the 10 o'clock service.

I hope you get some time to stamp this weekend too!  Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

October Stamping Challenge #6

Hello!  Here's my quickie card for today.  I had this card base with the accent strips in my scrap box, obviously made up and rejected for some project in the long-forgotten past.  I also had a scrap of some sort of wax paper resist background in a dull grey, which sort of went with the colours in the paper on the card.  I stamped the wax paper resist background with this pretty (and as-yet uninked) bird song stamp (Crafty Individual).  I sponged a bit more distress ink on (Stormy Sky and Shabby Shutters) to bring in the blue and green.  Next was the little sentiment stamp, the perfect complement (and also as-yet uninked) from a Crafty Secrets set (Bird Notes).  I stamped it straight on the patterned paper, but it didn't show up as well as I would have liked so I re-stamped it on some cream cardstock and punched out the centre and popped it up on foam tape.  I also accented the bird with some pencil crayon for interest.  The finishing touches were some Avocado liquid pearls.  Another challenge card done and dusted in under 15 minutes, using only scraps from my scrap piles and using only previously un-inked stamps.

Friday, 11 October 2013

October Stamping Challenge #5

Hello!  Here's today's project.  It was a quicky thanks to a lovely chalk ink panel and a die cut Dylusions butterfly that were on my desk.  This is a little notecard - only 3 1/4" square.  The die cut is from Memory Box and I don't remember what stamp I used on the chalk ink background.  In real life it's a little softer and mistier, but Sauron the Scanner doesn't deal well with soft colours and I don't deal well with my photo editing software.  I stamped (Orchid Pastel Colorbox Fluid Chalk) the butterfly with a pretty Crafty Individuals stamp, all flowers and birds and swirls and things, just to give it some texture.  I flat taped the centre of the butterfly and put a bit of foam tape under the wings so it has real dimension on the card.  The finishing touches were some Worn Lipstick distress stickles and Rouge Liquid Pearls.

Hope you get some inky time today!  Happy stamping!

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

October Stamping Challenge #4

Hello!  Here's the next installment of my October Stamping Challenge.  I used that same nice ginger jar die cut and a scrap of alcohol ink glossy paper.  I stamped the flower (Impress Rubber Stamps) and embossed in gold.  The card base is stamped with the same stamp and its solid image counterpart in Azurite chalk ink.  The chop (Blockheads) is stamped in Barn Door Distress Ink on an unintentionally jaunty angle.  Serves me right for adding it after everything was done!  The focal panel has a lovely background stamp (Impress) stamped in Versamagic Aspen Mist.  I added a bit of a ground shadow with a Bruynzeel pencil crayon.

Not bad for 15 minutes!  (I never said they would have to be Earth minutes....this one was more like Neptune minutes, but only because I fussed and faffed over the layout.)  This card was mostly scraps - the only new piece was the card base.

Thanks for stopping by!  Time to go watch TV with hubby and work on my Opal Dot scarf (Kaffe Fassett pattern).  I'm auditioning colour combinations on swatches and teaching myself to knit with two hands at once. This girl knows how to par-tay!

October Stamping Challenge #3

Hello!  Here I am with the third installment of my October Stamping Challenge.  In real life it looks much better.  For some reason, the file is saving as 83 kb, so no wonder.  My husband was using my scanning program and obviously changed the settings.  I don't have time to fix it now, but I will try to get a better scan, because this card is really lovely.

Edited to add:  hubby showed me how to fix the file size issue.  This one has come out much better!  I can stop blaming Sauron the Scanner now that I know it was a box that was selected three layers deep in the Save dialogue box.  Silly me for not finding that!

I used a die cut for the ginger jar, and stamped it in gray flannel Memento ink using a pretty little floral stamp (newly inked) from Impression Obsession.  I coloured it with Copic markers and added some shading with Stormy Sky distress ink around the edges.  Then I gave it a good coating of Distress Crackle Paint in Rock Candy and set aside to dry.  When it was dry, I sponged on more Stormy Sky into the cracks.  The background pieces are all scraps.  The background panel is stamped in Hero Arts Shadow Ink (Soft Olive) using a Local King rubber stamp.  The card base is a lovely dusty green textured cardstock.  I accented the card with a couple of dots of Viva Decor dimensional paint.  This morning I realized the jar needed gold trim so I added it, using the outside of the die cut paper as a mortise mask so I didn't get any on the card itself.  The card is 4 1/4" square.  This challenge did take a little longer than 15 minutes, but only because of paint drying time and I am also not counting the time it took to colour the first ginger jar which I stamped upside down. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

October Stamping Challenge #2

Hello!  Here's Day 2's stamping challenge card.  This was an easy one because the whole card was ready made, except for the accent strip and Thank You medallion.  I think this was another reject from working up class samples for Heather.  I used the pretty leaf sprig stamp (Memory Box) and Dylusions sprays, then sponged with distress ink.  It's stamped on the hot press watercolour paper and matted on dark brown linen paper, and popped up on a cream linen card base.  The Thank You stamp (Rubber Soul*) is embossed in gold ink on brown linen paper and punched out with a 1 1/4" punch.  This card came together well within the 15 minutes, and make good use of a card that was almost finished and just waiting to come together.  Also, I am pleased because this card used a scrap of gold paper that I found under some things on my desk and I didn't make any new scraps either. 

* I think Rubber Soul has to be the best name for a stamp company.  So clever!

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, 7 October 2013

October Stamping Challenge #1

Here's my first card for my October Stamping Challenge (see this post for the details).  I used a pre-done focal image that was a reject for a class sample at Heather's.  It's stamped on kraft with a leaf image from Sunshine Designs and painted with Twinkling H20s.  It's layered on kraft, and then on blue shimmer.  The card base was cut new, but the accent strip was from the pile next to the paper cutter, so counts as a scrap.  Should I confess to the three additional scraps I generated for this card by cutting and rejecting accent strips?  Probably not.  The new stamp I used was the background stamp - a lovely stamp from nature prints by Fred B. Mullett.  Sorry about the mustard coloured watermark on the card, and the terrible scan.  Boy, Sauron the Scanner has really started doing terrible things to my cards.  On my monitor it looks like I used my card to blot bacon.  In real life it is much less blotchy and not bad looking.  Unfortunately, it's bed time and I don't have time to figure out how to change the font colour on the watermark or threaten and/or cajole the scanner into submission.

This card did squeak in under 15 minutes, but I am going to have to be a lot more decisive or start cheating change the rules on future projects since I used the whole 15 minutes for the layout on this one considering the focal panel was completely done.  All I had to do there was doodle the border.

Hope you found some time to stamp today too! 

Sunday, 6 October 2013

October Stamping Challenge - Play Along With Me!

Hello!  Three things have happened in quick succession for me.  First, my stamping friends asked me to blog more frequently.  Second, I have a number of new stamps that need inking.  Third, I cast my eye over my stamping area and it is a disaster!  I have tried to tidy it up but whenever I do, I can't bear to throw out this bit great paper, or that scrap of handmade background or this little treasure or that.   How do I fix all these things all at once?

I put on my thinking cap and decided set myself a stamping challenge for the rest of October - to make at least one quick project every day.  Here's my plan:

  • Spend no more than 15 minutes on each project
  • Make each project primarily out of scraps
  • Use at least one as yet uninked stamp  

So what do you think?  Are you with me?  Do you have a scrap pile that needs denting?  This might be a great way to get a head start on Christmas cards, birthday cards, or just padding the stash of ready-made cards.  I will have some sort of prize draw at the end for people who play along with me.  I'll figure out the details and post them later. In the meantime, set your timer for 15 minutes and get inky!

"Wait!"  you say.  "I always use my stamps the minute I get them!   I am a tidy stamper that hoards no scraps.  Can I still play along?"  Absolutely.  If you are this kind of stamper, because you have my (somewhat skeptical) admiration, you can play along too.  Just stamp something every day.  If you have the time and inclination to spend more than 15 minutes a crack, that's fine too.  I just needed a manageable time frame for myself.  The only thing that has to happen is that you make a project every day from now until the end of October.

And because every post needs a picture, here you go!  It's a random picture from my stamping past.  If memory serves, this was a class I did for Heather's Stamping Haven using Sunshine Designs stamps.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Would you like a glass of wine?

Hello! Here's a birthday card I made recently.  The recipient has been taking a number of wine tasting courses in the past couple of years so we got her a gift certificate for some more classes (or some special vintages to enjoy).  I thought this would be a nice card to go with the gift.  The stamp image is by Stamps Happen and I coloured it using the Tombow marker watercolouring technique using the image on the stamp block as my colour guide.  Next, I spritzed it lightly with Goosebumps and when they were dry, I sponged lightly with Antique Linen distress ink.  The image is matted on black linen paper, then mounted on a burgundy card base with a mustard fleck accent strip.  The card base and accent strip are edged with Memories Art Print Brown.  Inside it says, "Hope this is your best 29th birthday yet!"  I love that stamp!  It's from Impress Rubber Stamps.  On the envelope, I stamped the glass ring marks and splatters from Stampers Anonymous (Tim Holtz) in burgundy.  Don't you love it when a theme comes together?

Happy stamping!

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Class this Saturday

Hello!  Just a quick post before I head off to work.  I have a class at Heather's Stamping Haven (click here for link).  If you'd like to take it, give Heather a call at the store to register.

For a description of the class, time and other details, click here.  I love these fall colours!  The trees are just starting to change colour here.  I just love autumn!

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Golden Anniversary 2

Hello!  Here's a second golden anniversary card because I wanted to make something a little different to give the person who asked for them some choice.  The main inspiration for this one was that the couple celebrating their 50 years of marriage really love music so I wanted to incorporate music somehow.  I got out my music-themed stamping things and was trying out various embossing powders when I came across this one - Gilded Gold (Ranger).  Not to exciting on light coloured paper, but when used on black, it is stunning!  It's hard to describe, but basically it's only just gold, but definitely gold.  Like second generation stamping with gold ink only shiny and raised and in embossed form.  I think I have a new favourite embossing powder!

Most of my cards start from a focal image and go from there, but due to my new pash for Gilded Gold, I started with the background on this one (music notes scrap block - Cornish Heritage Farms) and decided to build up a little collage of sorts. I rummaged in my scraps bin and found some button paper and a piece of textured metal from a class I took at Heather's Stamping Haven (this only encourages me not to throw anything out.ever.bad.very bad.).  I remembered I had some lovely Darkroom Door photo chips and sure enough, I had a whole sheet to choose from.  I selected this piano one, and enhanced it with some Antique Linen distress ink and a scroll stamp (Stampers Anonymous) in Delicata gold ink (heat set it or it will smudge). The final touch was a little message that says "Happily Ever After" (Stampin' Up - Fancy Flexible Phrases), punched out and beribboned with seam binding and a bit of gold cord.  I matted on a cream gold, then a darker gold and put the whole thing (approximately 4 lb by now) on a cream linen base, also edged in Delicata gold and sponged with Antique Linen.  A few drops of Liquid pearls in bisque were the final touch.  Though now that I look at it, I am debating adding two more drops at the top left of the collage for balance.  I might wait till after I've had coffee though (I am writing this first thing in the morning) because I don't want to spoil the card with a misjudged squeeze of Liquid Pearls.  On the inside of this card, I put the sentiment "Once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary life, life gives us a fairy tale" (Stampin' Up).  A nice message for an anniversary!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Golden Anniversary

Hello!  I was asked to make a card recently for a golden wedding anniversary (50th) and here's what I came up with.  I was completely uninspired to make something traditional, so I rootled around in my stamps and found this one (The Stamp Barn by Frog's Whiskers Ink).  I thought there was plenty of scope for adding gold, and I liked the "two birds" element for the anniversary part.  The card base is a gold-fleck confetti (the ugly splotches have been added by Sauron the Scanner, aided and abetted by Paint Shop Pro - it doesn't show in my edited version, only when I load it here for your viewing pleasure).  I stamped the bird image and embossed it with gold, and used my Tombow markers to "watercolour" it.  I painted the ribbon with Solar Gold Twinkling H20s for extra oomph.  The sentiment (Stampin' Up) is also embossed in gold.  The panel behind the images is a soft gold, the sentiment is matted with a brighter gold and the bird image is matted on a brown gold.  This card has enough gold on it to qualify for the High Roller Discount on the Vegas Strip.  Go big or go home, I always say.

Thanks for stopping by!  Hope you're enjoying your summer/winter (don't want to be hemispherically biased here!).  We sure are - lots of swimming and barbecues and generally enjoying the break in the weather.  (We had a terrible heat wave last week.)  I've been doing some jamming and some quilting and some stamping and some knitting and some crocheting.  Good times!

Happy Stamping!

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Father's Day

 Hello!  Now that Father's Day cards have been distributed, I can blog about them here.  The top one was for my husband, and the bottom one was for my dad. 

The top card is done with a coloured panel that has a Hero Arts background stamped on watercolour paper and embossed in white and then coloured with Distress markers and blended with a brush and water.  I gave it a small accent strip on one side, from my treasured stash of iris cardstock, which is now discontinued (can you believe it?  I couldn't - it was the best almost purple-almost blue cardstock ever).  It was mounted to a blue linen card base (which Sauron the Scanner has auto-corrected into something very peculiar) and stamped with "Happy Father's Day" (A Muse).  I stamped it in Chipped Sapphire and accented it with a Sakura Glaze pen.  It turned out that it was a white Sakura Glaze pen, and this treatment rendered the stamping almost invisible so I traced over with the Chipped Sapphire Distress Marker and took the liberty of adding some kisses underneath.  My younger daughter felt strongly that there should also be "o's" with the "x's", but I wasn't really seeking design input at this point.   I added white opal liquid pearls to the dots at the circles' intersectins. 

The card for my dad was a fun one. We used this stamp (Impression Obsession) in Krista's classes recently, so I did a different take on it and stamped it in white on kraft cardstock and coloured it with Bryunzeel pencil crayons.  I put it on a Bordering Blue card base with some Stampin' Up paper that coordinates with these two papers.  Some mushroom adirondack dimensional pearls completed the look.  I asked hubby if it was too feminine and he said, "It's just feminine enough."  You would think I would know better by now than to ask him, but there you go.  I might just have learned my lesson. 

We've had a great Father's Day - a trip down to Brockville to see the tall ships, and a lovely dinner out. 

Thanks for stopping by!  Hope you got some stamping in this weekend too.

Friday, 31 May 2013

Mixed Media Poppies

Here's where I was tonight!  At Heather's Stamping Haven taking a mixed media class from Krista Schneider (standing).  We had so much fun.  These poppies were a blast to make.  We created them on birch panels with Copic and Tombow markers and Inktense pencils.  All this after a day of doing wonderful watercolour painting with Tombow markers.  I'm worn out, but in the best way.  Thanks Krista, Heather and all the ladies in class for making today such a wonderful day! 

Now I'm off to pack up my Copics for tomorrow' class!  If you are interested in seeing the class samples, the Tombow class is here and the Copic class is here.  There are also another couple of great classes on Distress markers and Inktense pencils. 

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Meadow Birds

Hello!  Here's a card I made last night and finished off this morning.  I fell in love with this stamp when I saw Krista Schneider's sample here and wanted to try it out.  I stamped on the super smooth watercolour paper from Heather's Stamping Haven using India Ink.  The birds, flowers and leaves (stamp by Impression Obsession) were done using the watercolouring with Tombow technique that Krista teaches.  (I am so excited about her upcoming classes!  I love this time of year!)  The birds are accented with stickles too, and there are some dots of Adirondack dimensional pearls in Bottle.  I also edged all the panels in the same green.  I like the look of edged panels and the shadow ink gets a beautiful soft edge to it.  It's crisp enough for a good image, but it also softens ever so slightly.  I quite like the Tide Pool shade on the chartreuse with the background stamp (Hero Arts) - a little edgy and introduces yet another green.  I like to build up a number of shades of the same colour on a card, especially when they are a bit strong on their own.  Somehow having more variety of strong colours lessens the overall impact.  Then adding in a bit of red (opposite on the colour wheel) really makes everything pop.  This is a bright and juicy card! 

Actually, I think all three layers of green are her new greens.  I am really liking her new colours, even if I am sad that they (whoever They are) retired Citron without so much as a by-your-leave.  Time to branch out and try some new things! 

Thanks for stopping by!  I'll try not to be such a stranger.  The real reason I haven't been posting much is my elder daughter has had a big school project to work on and Blogger wasn't letting me log in to my blog - it would go to her account unless I rebooted.  I didn't want to close all her windows (or figure out a fix...let's be honest) so I just avoided Blogger.  Today I tried out Firefox and discovered it works just fine for blogging!  That's great news.  I will be blogging more often now, especially now that the tv shows we've been watching are winding up/over.  Mad Men is a particular favourite, and this season has been really good. 

Thanks (again!) for stopping in to this little corner of blogland. Hope you get some good stamping time.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Double Embossing

 Hello!  Here are a couple of projects that I made based on the Double Embossing technique I read about in Craft Stamper magazine. I'll be teaching these at Heather's Stamping Haven on May 4th, from 2-5 p.m.  They are really vibrant, and are loaded with texture and colour.  The sentiments are both images from Quietfire Designs.  I really like the hand-lettered calligraphy of their stamps.  I dabbled briefly in calligraphy and I love the look and the art of calligraphy.  However, being able to use a stamp of real calligraphy is much easier and faster than practicing and hand lettering.  Maybe I'll get back into calligraphy myself one day (I still have all my leftie nibs and my slant board), but for now I'll stick to stamping (and scrapbooking quilting and knitting and crocheting and baking and reading, oh yeah and working full-time).

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, 13 April 2013

One stamp - two ways

Here are the samples for my next class at Heather's Stamping Haven.  The class runs next Saturday, April 20 from 2-5 p.m.  It's called "One Stamp - Two Ways" and features a beautiful tag stamp from Memory Box.  We'll make one in rich beautiful jewel tones and another in softer, muted colours, with a bonus window feature.  Both cards showcase the wonderful hand-lettered calligraphy stamps from Quietfire Designs.  Call Heather at the store to register.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Scrap Stash Sunday

Hello!  Here's a little something I whipped up yesterday using bits and pieces from the scrap and "things to save because they're too nice to throw out" box.  The focal image is a leftover from an ATC swap I joined, hosted by Darkroom Door.  It features stamps by Darkroom Door, and an embossed resist technique combined with a Tombow marker background in shades of red.  I matted it on black and added machine stitching.  It was an extra one for the swap, so it went in my "things to save" box and I pulled it out yesterday, added another mat in a different red, as well as an accent strip in yet another red.  I find this is a good way to "match" colours to a very colourful focal image.  By using a few different shades together, they are united, rather than looking like they don't match.  All these went on a confetti fleck card base that I stamped with a Hero Arts geometrical background stamp using Soft Granite Shadow ink.  I took a class last week at Heather's and the teacher got me hooked on light grey backgrounds.  Thanks for the inspiration, Meg!  The final finishing touch was a few dots here and there of black Enamel Accents (Ranger).  I will also note that all pieces except the ATC are edged in Memories Art Print Brown.

Thanks for stopping by!  I am hoping to make a few more dents in my box of treasures this afternoon.  I hope you get some stamping time too.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

CASE Study Challenge #131

I came across this challenge and it was irresistible!  I was in the mood to do some colouring and some embossing and to try out something quick and easy.  Well, when a CASE presents itself like this, full of colouring and embossing and the thinking is done already, I had to try it out.  The inspiration image is by Julie Ebersole.  Isn't it pretty!  I loved it.  Now if only I could photograph my images like that!  Wow.  

As it is, I settle for Sauron the Scanner, who grudgingly translates my cards from real life to the internet.  You will just have to imagine a soft glow from the back, like Julie's has.  

I used a Sunshine Designs image and painted it with Twinkling H20s (how I do love my twinks!) and added a birthday sentiment (Stampin' Up!).  I volunteered to provide birthday cards for an outreach program my church is doing, so I think this will go in that little stash.  The background is a cover-a-card stamp by Impression Obsession.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sympathy Card

Sadly, from time to time a sympathy card is needed. I made this one this afternoon, using bits and pieces from my stash of Japanese paper and embellishments.  The card base is kraft, stamped with a sprig (Memory Box) in Soft Sand (Hero Arts Shadow Ink) and Brushed Corduroy (Distress ink). The sympathy sentiment is from Cornish Heritage Farms.

On a different note, I'd like to say a big thank you to the ladies who came out to my class at Heather's yesterday.  I had a great time and it was a lot of fun to see all your projects - beautiful work!

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hello!  Here's a quick bit of stamping I did this evening for my sweeties.  I made two of the license plate ones, one for each daughter.  The other card is for my husband.  I hope they like their cards!
 Now for a bit about the cards themselves.  The license plate card is done with a Die-namics set (Vanity Plates I think) from My Favorite Things.  I stamped the plate with Colorbox Fluid Chalk ink in Arctic Deep and Berrylicious, and added Magenta stickles to the heart.  The background card is stamped with hearts (Stampin' Up) and the sentiment (Stampin' Up).

For the other card, I had a bit of fun spritzing some Dylusions and Adirondack Colorwash Sprays on some gorgeous Fabriano watercolour paper Heather just got in.  It's super smooth, which is lovely, and more economical than the Portofino (also lovely).  I haven't tried watercolouring on it yet, but it dealt beautifully with the colour sprays.  Once I dried the paper, then I stamped it with some chalk inks in various shades of pink, red and orange, using a Quietfire Designs nib-grid stamp and a Sunshine Designs heart.  I heat set it with an iron, then heat embossed in black the "I love you" alphabet message (Quietfire Designs) and accented with liquid pearls on the hearts.  A few other accents are the Memory Box hearts, which I coloured in with some Bruynzeel pencil crayons because I was really getting into the artsy vibe on this one.  I also tried out some new (to me) Viva Decor metallic paste in Platinum.  I just dipped in the old finger and swiped it on.  I got a bit more on than I would have liked, but that's ok.  Live and learn.  I also used it to edge the black linen card base (ditto on the overdose there too!).  In real life the platinum accent is more subdued and recedes a bit more against the embossed sentiment and the dimension of the heart frames.  However, Sauron the Scanner really emphasizes the platinum here, so you'll just have to take my word for it that it's nicer in real life.  I framed the focal panel with some intersecting lines in black fine tip pen, and edged it with the Barn Red chalk ink that I had used for some of the stamping.  It's a fun little card and I am going to enter into the Quietfire Creations Queen of Hearts Challenge too.

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you have a Happy Valentine's Day!!!!

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Upcoming class

Hello!  Just a quick note to let you know about a class I'm doing next Saturday, February 16 at Heather's Stamping Haven.  We'll be making two all-occasion cards, and I'll be doing two more all-occasion cards the following week as well.  These will be great classes for building up your stash.  We'll be focusing markers in the first round with the fish and the tree card, and on the 23 we'll be doing a ton of different things!  Hope to see you there!

Call Heather at the store to register.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Classes on Saturday - Spritzing and Stamping!

Hello!  Just a quick note to let my local stamping friends know that I'm teaching a couple of classes on Saturday at Heather's Stamping Haven.  I'll be doing the calendar class in the morning and two cards featuring Dylusions sprays and twinks in the afternoon.  Check out the details on Heather's blog here.  The class is called Autumn Glory, not only because of my tenuous grasp of dates, but because of the rich warm colours.  Hope you can join us!  I'm working on more class samples right now for February.  Picture Magenta stamps, Copic markers, my Position-It and a touch of glitter magic.