Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Snowy scene Christmas card

Hello!  Here's a card I made last night when my mother came over for a stamping evening.  I had been experimenting with this stamp (Hero Arts) with different ink and paper combinations, trying a lot of different blues, mostly in chalk inks.  I settled on this one, in Blackbird Colorbox Fluid Chalk, stamped on Whisper White (Stampin' Up) and matted on silver mirror cardstock. I added a sentiment (Cornish Heritage Farms), embossed in silver. The card base is Basic Black, with a Brushed Silver accent strip.  There are some of the stars accented with Diamond stickles, but when I make this again, I will use Stardust.  Diamond has a hint of gold that isn't quite right here.

I know it's early to be thinking about Christmas cards, but I usually make them in batches over the summer holiday and I didn't this year, so I am feeling behind.  This card is a good candidate for a big batch - quick and easy but great results.  The secret here is to use a stamping mat to get a good impression.  Also, Sauron the Scanner is pointing out to me that the card would also benefit from a stamp positioner.  I don't often bother, but for a big batch, it would probably be worth it for the sentiment.

Can you believe it's September already?  I had a great vacation this summer and I hope you did too.  What are your plans for Christmas cards this year?  Do you send them?  Do you make them?

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Magazine giveaway

Hello!  I have gone through some of my stamping magazines and would like to make room for future new ones. Would anyone local like to give them a new home?  If you'd like them and you're not local, you'd need to be willing to pay shipping (or for me to visit and bring them with me!).  They are mostly Scrap and Stamp Arts, a few Stampers' Sampler/Take Ten and a couple of Paper Crafts.  Leave me a comment and let me know if you would like an armload of stamping magazines!

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Thank you teacher #4

Hello! Happy Canada Day!  Here's another thank you card for teachers.  I started with a sheet of paper that some time ago I had spritzed and sprayed with Dylusions ink in shades of pink and red.  Quite often I make extra when I have my spray station in operation.  (My spray station is the top of the deep freeze in the furnace room, so it can't be a permanent fixture.) I also like to mop up the extra colour with scrap paper and keep it on hand for future projects.

Once I had selected my Dylusion-y paper, I chose this wonderful negative image poppy stamp from Hero Arts.  I stamped it in Blackbird fluid chalk ink (Colorbox) because I wanted a very juicy ink, but also the detail of a dye rather than a pigment.  I also didn't want to emboss it in this case.  I trimmed it out, mounted it on some black then spent quite a bit of time auditioning card bases for it.  This is the part I always find trickiest, because some papers wash out the vibrant colours and neutrals can be too stark a contrast.  I often find that Japanese tsumugi paper is the answer, as it seems to be richly coloured enough to balance out the intensity of the Dylusions.  This card base is a lovely warm smoked paprika colour.  (I got mixed packs of notecards at my local art store - Wallacks, but if you can't source it in your local store, check out The Japanese Paper Place - they have links to retail locations and on-line sellers too.)  To finish off the card, I added a few dots of Black Diamond stickles to the poppies with centres showing.

Do you have any plans for Canada Day?  I will be making strawberry jam (how is that patriotic?  it's red and makes use of the wonderful berries that are at their peak locally) and watching World Cup soccer.  And quilting.  Fun day!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, 30 June 2014

Thank you teachers #3

Hello!  Here's another thank you card I made, using the same techniques described in this post.  I really like the shimmery Lumiere paint with the wooden stamps (green accent strip).  I learned this watercolor technique on the On-line watercolour class I took recently and tried it with the Stampin' Up watercolor wonder crayons.  Easy and fun!  The trick is to wait until the adjacent areas are dry so you don't get too much "running".  Also, use minimal layering of colour as the crayons are more opaque than regular watercolour paints and you can cover up some of the subtlety you might be trying to get.

Thanks for stopping by!  Hope you get a chance to do some stamping/painting today.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Thank you teachers! #2

Hello!  Here's another thank you card I made for the teachers this year.  I had a pretty stamped and painted panel on hand, along with a pretty strip of background paper, also on hand.  A quick arrangement and some foam mounting tape, a Not Quite Navy card base and the thank you card was done!

Now, more about the "on hand".  My mother and I have been getting together for stamping sessions on Tuesday evenings and last Tuesday we were at her house trying out some wonderful handcarved wooden stamps.  We were using them with Jacquard paints to stamp on fabric, but I had some leftover paint  on my transfer surface (aka yogurt lid!) and I couldn't bring myself to wash it away.  There were some scraps of pretty sage green around so I used up the rest of the paint stamping on those.  The delicate shimmer is just lovely, I think.

After we were done with the fabric experiment, we moved on to trying out Stampin' Up's watercolour wonder crayons.  These are watersoluble pigment sticks, not sure if Stampin' Up still sells them or not.  Anyway, I stamped this nice poppy (Stampendous) and embossed it in black.  For the background, I coloured directly on the paper with some soft greys and blues and added some darker ones in the corner, then blended with a wet brush.  These crayons are semi-opaque, so that is something to remember when adding additional colour.  (This is different from using regular watercolour paints.)  When it came to the flowers, I just lifted the colour directly from the crayon with a wet brush and layered up from lightest to darkest, starting with yellows, going to orange and then red and burgundy.  The final step was to add in some Distress Ink in Iced Spruce to cover up the big orange blob on the background, obtained by stacking two poppy panels that were not quite dry.  Oops.  You can blot away some of the pigment, but not all....

Thanks for stopping by! Hope you have a good weekend.  I plan to keep having an excellent weekend.  Yesterday included a trip to Foster Family Farm in North Gower for some baskets of fresh strawberries (delicious!!) and an outing to see the Royal Canadian Mounted Police musical ride in the evening.  I have seen it many times and it is always wonderful.  Not sure what we'll be doing on Canada Day (July 1), but something fun I hope! I will also need to turn some of those wonderful berries into freezer jam, as well as a splurge on strawberry shortcake :-)

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Thank you teachers!

Hello!  It's that time of year when I need a slew of thank you cards for teachers.  I had this little panel done for another card and decided not to use it. It's a Memory Box stamp, inked with Tombow markers and stamped over a scrap of paper that I used to blot up extra ink after a wrinkle-free distress technique.  I added little eyes to the birds and added blue stickles for embellishment.  The panel has a dark brown mat, and is popped up on a pale blue note card (also Memory Box).  I see that I had on some previous occasion inked the edges of the notecard with Ice Blue fluid chalk ink.  The sentiment is by A Muse, I believe.

Four more thank you cards to go - but I'll save those for another post.

Are you enjoying local strawberries?  We are, and off to pick some for jam this weekend. We even get some free, as members of our Community Supported Agriculture program.  What a great way to start veggie box season!

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Watercoloured Poppies

Hello! Here's a card I made with a technique shown in the On-Line Watercolour class I've been taking.  I was lucky enough to have a weekend of stamping with a great friend and we had a wonderful time playing in the stamp room.  I really wanted to try this techinque and my friend had the Sheena Douglass poppy stamp, which was perfect for the technique.  You can find great inspiration and instructional vidoes on Sanketi's blog here.  The top card was my first effort and the bottom card was my second attempt.  I like them both, but I like the composition in the second one better.  I also stamped the leaves in green, which makes for a softer look I think.  For the colour medium, I used a Windsor and Newton student watercolour set.  The sentiments are stamped in yellow pigment ink and embossed with Sahara Pearl (Many thanks - Stampin' Up; Happy Birthday  josephinekimberling for Impress Rubber Stamps).
This was a wonderful techinque to try and I had so much fun making these.  I have a Sheena Douglass sweet pea set that I want to try next.  I just couldn't get off the poppy kick.  I made two other watercolour technique cards, but will post them another day.  I need to dash and get ready for a special evening service at church tonight.  Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Mother's Day card and Watercolour Class Day 1

Here's the card I made for Mother's Day, using the vibrant backgrounds technique from the on-line class I'm taking (see sidebar).  I used Dylusions for the background in the new colours.  The flower stamp and background are from Penny Black and the sentiment is from Stampin' Up. This was a fun technique - masking with masking fluid and adding colour around the image.  I would like to try more of these with different watercolour media.  The masking fluid makes masking smaller areas much easier than trying to use masking film or paper masks.  Good times!

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Watercolour Class Day 4

Hello!  Here's a card I made using the Stamps Specifically for Watercolor technique in the On-line Watercolor class (link in sidebar).  I used a Stampin' Up two-step stamping set and Distress markers for the ink.  I sponged on some coordinating colours at the end and matted it on black.  I found a few coordinating scraps of paper for a quick and easy layout and it feels done.  I am thinking about adding some rock candy distress stickles to the main image, which would give it a bit of texture, but it might overpower the soft shimmer in the lavender piece.  I think I might just leave it as-is!

Thanks for stopping by.

Watercolour Class Day 1 - another project

Here's a sample I did for the Vibrant Watercolor Wash technique in the On-line Watercolor class I'm taking (link on sidebar).  I used Distress markers and the paper is white shimmer.  The stamp is one of Fred B. Mullett's stamps from nature prints, and the sentiment is Stampotique.  The stamps are embossed in black, except on the notecard (Memory Box in squash), which are stamped in Soft Olive (Hero Arts Shadow ink).  I love this technique and will try it again.  It is really quick and easy.  I am enjoying this class so far, and learning new things, which is always fun.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Watercolour Class Day 1 - Second Post

I am re-posting this one so I can load it into the class gallery.  It only lets me link to one picture for each blog post. It might be something I'm doing wrong, but I don't have time (or inclination) to figure it out right now so I am doing this work around.

My second card also features the same technique - painting through a stencil (The Crafter's Workshop Mini Fish Scales). I stamped this lovely heron and grass cluster (both Old Island Stamp Company) and applied some different Distress Inks with a colour duster brush.  (It's fun to play in someone else's stamp room - you get to try all sorts of things!) The cardbase is stamped with a linen background stamp (Stampin' Up) using Dark Peony Colorbox Fluid Chalk ink for a wonderful effect like Kaffe Fassett's shot cottons. It's a gorgeous effect and it did look like the shot cotton fabric (warp and weft threads are different colours). I will be using this technique again (and again and again!).

I didn't have time to try the other two techniques, but they are ones I have done before.  This one was new to me and it was a lot of fun.

Thanks for stopping by!

On-Line Watercolour Class Day 1 - First Post

 Hello!  I signed up for the On-Line Watercolor Class (see button on the right-hand sidebar).  The first class was yesterday and we learned about different watercolour backgrounds.  I was at my mother's house for a stamping visit and thought I would try out a couple of the techniques.

The top card features watercolour paint applied through a stencil (Memory Box Style No. 88515).  Once that was dry, I sponged Vintage Photo Distress ink on it and sponged a bit through the stencil.  Then I overstamped it with a text stamp (sorry I don't remember which one).  The sentiment (Stampin' Up) is is matted on some dark brown and mustard cardstock and accented with some stamped flowers (Stampin' Up). The card base is burgundy with a textured accent strip. I used a student-sized palette of Windsor and Newton's watercolour paints.

The bottom card also features the same technique - painting through a stencil (The Crafter's Workshop Mini Fish Scales). I stamped this lovely heron and grass cluster (both Old Island Stamp Company) and applied some different Distress Inks with a colour duster brush.  (It's fun to play in someone else's stamp room - you get to try all sorts of things!) The cardbase is stamped with a linen background stamp (Stampin' Up) using Dark Peony Colorbox Fluid Chalk ink for a wonderful effect like Kaffe Fassett's shot cottons. It's a gorgeous effect and it did look like the shot cotton fabric (warp and weft threads are different colours). I will be using this technique again (and again and again!).

I didn't have time to try the other two techniques, but they are ones I have done before.  This one was new to me and it was a lot of fun.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, 5 May 2014

Thank you card

Hello! Here's a card I made last night.  I made it for a lovely lady at work who has recently been to Japan for a vacation.  When I found out she was going, I told her how much I love the decorative Japanese paper.  She offered to send me some if she came across any during her travels if I paid for the paper and the postage.  Well, this offer could not be turned down and sure enough, one day a box arrived in the mail covered in Japanese writing!  How exciting - there were some lovely treasures in there and somehow knowing it came directly from Japan made it all the more special.  So, this card, made with some of that very paper, will be her thank you card on her return to the office today.

I started with this lovely stamped image (The Stamp Barn), stamped on watercolor marl using a blue Versafine ink (plus a bit of Memento for the red).  I added some shading with pencil crayons as it was a bit too stark otherwise.  The card base is tsumugi card stock (from a package of notecards in assorted colours - all lined with pretty mulberry tissue and complete with envelopes - I got them at Wallacks and The Papery).  The dark blue accent paper was also in the package of patterned paper (each piece of patterned paper had a coordinating solid - now if only quilting fabric assortments came that way too!).  I edged the green paper with Blue Iris Colorbox Fluid Chalk Ink and added some Red Pepper Adirondack liquid pearls for accent.  I see Sauron the scanner has highlight the downward slope of the accent strip for me so I have gently pried it off on that side and fixed it. I think the package she sent me is handmade patterned yuzen paper in origami squares.  I don't know how to do origami, so I hope I am not committing some outrageous faux pas in cutting it up for other purposes.  Somehow I think not- this is still a respectful and appreciative use of something beautifully made in an ancient art form.

If you can't find pretty Japanese paper at your local art store or your local specialty paper shop, you can find it through The Japanese Paper Place. This link will take you to re-sellers by country and on-line.

Thanks for stopping by !

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Birthday Bird

 Hello!  Here's a card I made for my dad's birthday.  I had been mulling over different card options (masculine cards are so tricky, aren't they) and nothing was really coming to mind. I did a few trials of a stamped image on inky paper and it wasn't really "coming together".  Then, that wonderful mysterious creative inspiration came into my head - what about a blobby bird card?  Hmm...what about a karate bird!  So I sketched one on my scrap paper and it was so cute.  Probably the cutest one - that's always how it is - the first sketch is the best. Anyway, that bird was just standing there and karate is really about the movement, isn't it.  So I thought, what about the bird breaking a board (pretty impressive to see your dad breaking a board with his bare hands).  So I drew the bird breaking a board.  Then more of that wonderful mysterious creative inspiration came into my head - the bird shouldn't be breaking a board, he should be karate chopping a birthday cake!  So I redrew it again, this time with a birthday cake.  Like usual, I watercoloured the image with Tombow markers and accented the picture with Stickles (Cranberry for the icing, Yellow for the flames, and some Black Diamond for the belt -ssh probably not regulation Shotokan black!)

I mounted the image on Night of Navy paper, then matted it on some citron (precious hoarded citron, only for special occasions like a father's birthday), then arranged some Basic Grey patterned paper (from the June Bug collection).  The sentiment (Papertrey Ink) is stamped in Blue Iris Color Box Fluid Chalk ink.  The paper is all edged in Hero Arts Wet cement (sentiment also edged in Blue Iris).

The second picture is the inside of the card, with some scraps of the paper from the outside on it.  I added an inside panel so that the writing would be easier to contend with on a navy card.  The sentiment on the inside is one of Heather's Stamping Haven stamps (should be available from Frog's Whiskers Ink if you are looking for it), and is stamped in Blue Iris ink too.  I liked this for a birthday stamp - and it's very suitable for this particular recipient (and probably sender too!).

Thank you for stopping by!  Hope you got some time to stamp this weekend too!

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Fredly Feather

Hello!  I had a few stolen moments this evening and a few minutes' quiet time at my stamp table seemed the perfect way to decompress after a long day and tiring commute.  I thought I might sift through my stash of pre-cut card projects from my days as a Stampin' Up demonstrator.  I have a few of these around, leftover from classes or workshops.  Well, the intended project is lost to the mists of time, but it's fun to think of something else.  Actually, I think this project was from a Father's Day card workshop from years ago and I think this one was some sort of sunset safari scene.  I no longer have those stamps, but I was inspired by this piece of glossy cardstock to get out my brayer and a multicolour ink pad (Winter Sky - Adirondack ink pad from Ranger) and add some colour.  The colours have run together somewhat, so I added some extra green in the way of Oregano (Adirondack from Ranger) at the bottom.  Because these are all dye inks, they were dry in no time and ready to be stamped on.  I wanted a solid image I could emboss and what better place to turn than my drawer of Fred B. Mullett's stamps from nature prints.  I chose this beautiful feather and embossed it with Hematite, Liquid Platinum and a bit of Antique Gold at the top.  It's on a True Thyme card base with a scrap of some sort of patterned paper that happened to be on my stamp desk at my finger tips (despite a massive tidy last week).  It was meant to be on this card I guess!  The card base is stamped with a script background stamp from Stampers Anonymous, also stamped in Oregano ink.  I edged the pieces of cardstock with that same Oregano ink.  I thought this card might be suitable for a masculine birthday or a sympathy card so I have left it unglittered (if you don't count the little bit of white gold glitter in my gold embossing powder - a great tip from Heather Hayley).

This went together so quickly I think I might see what else is in that drawer of "ripening" projects.  I'm sure there are some treasures waiting to be stamped.  Why don't you have a rummage in your scraps and make a quick card.  It can be fun to see what you can make with just a few things you might have on hand.

Happy stamping!

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Shabby Chic - CASE

Hello!  Here's a card I made, inspired by Nina B Designs here.  I loved her cards - the shabby chic feel was so pretty, and the soft colours and the beautiful stamps.  I didn't have any of the stamps she used, so I had to improvise (and add them to my wish list!).  I used a large flower stamp from Stampin' Up for the background, stamped in Hero Arts Soft Pink.  Then I added solid leafy stamp at the top (Stamping Bella) and the border stamp at the bottom (Papertrey Ink).  These were embossed in Seafoam white before sponging the card with Antique Linen, Vintage Photo and Victorian Velvet.  The ribbon is silk, from my stash and the dotted accents on the border are Orchid liquid pearls.  The main image is matted on kraft, then vanilla, and the card base is a pretty pinky purple from Papertrey Ink, and is stamped with the same flower as the background. Sauron the Scanner squashed the ribbon, but in real life it has a nice lively bounce to it.

Well, I'd better sign off for the evening.  I have to get to bed - I have two very special stampers coming over tomorrow morning for a stamping playdate!  I can't wait.  I've cleaned off my stamp table to make room for visitors and tried to remind myself where everything is.  I have my stamps in all different places, paper in all different places, it's a bit of a crazy system but it's a combination of where things will fit and what things I need to keep separate, etc.  Also, the time I spend looking for stuff helps remind me of what things I have, so I find that helpful.  And enjoyable.  It's not the sort of stamp room that someone super-organized would like.  If you are the kind of person that files your stamp according to the Library of Congress system, then you would be horrified and/or baffled by my system: Stampin' Up boxes in one cupboard, other wood mounts in a drawer cabinet.  Cling stamps hanging by clips, in binders, in Tupperware boxes, in DVD cases, in more Tupperware boxes, in a vintage metal card catalogue.  You get the idea.  The cling stamps are the wild card, but also the most fun to rifle through.

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

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Golden Anniversary Card

Hello!  I'm stealing a few minutes away from the men's gold medal hockey game against Sweden this morning to blog about this card.  I hope the gold card brings gold luck to our men's team!

I was asked to do a card for a 50th wedding anniversary, and decided that a beautiful design by my friend Mary would be perfect.  Her card was in bronzes, coppers, browns, and cherry red so I re-worked the colours and added a "Happy Anniversary" sentiment. 

Some notes on the card: each layer is a different colour of gold shimmer paper, going light to medium to dark.  The background paper is cream linen, sponged with Wild Honey and Vintage Photo distress inks. The two stamps are coordinating flowers (solid and outline) from A Muse.  The outline version is embossed in Princess Gold (Ranger) and the solid version is embossed in custom cocktail (Antique Gold, with a little White Gold Art Institute Glitter mixed in).  I painted the outline flowers with Twinkling H20s (Solar Gold, Egyptian Gold, Dragonfly Wing) and added some Gold stickles to the centres of the flowers and randomly here and there in the open spaces.  The envelope and interior of the card are stamped with the same flowers in gold Delicata (side note - sources tell me they are finally coming out with silver Delicata!!!).  The sentiment is embossed in gold on the little flag and popped up on foam tape.  The different layers are popped up as well, so this is definitely a card to be hand delivered to avoid extra postage. 

I hope you are getting some time to stamp in between watching curling, biathlon, ski cross, etc.!  We've been enjoying watching the Olympics ourselves.  The winter Olympics are my absolute favourite.  I'm not normally a sports watcher, but I find with the winter Olympics, I can enjoy any sport that's on.  Go Canada Go!!!

Friday, 21 February 2014

Last Chance Sale at Heather's Stamping Haven

Just thought I would share Heather's most recent blog post about her retirement sale.


Hi Everyone, we will be starting to pack up the inventory on Sunday the 23rd, so the last day for shopping will be the 22nd.  The wood stamps will be 75% off and the cling stamps will be 60% off.  Any dies will be 50% off and regular card stock will be 50% off. Come in and see the all the specials.


Thursday, 6 February 2014

Retirement Sale at Heather's Stamping Haven

Hello!  If you are in the Ottawa area, you will be sad to hear that Heather's Stamping Haven will be closing at the end of February when Heather retires.  She asked me to tell you about her retirement sale and there are still lots of goodies.  You'll want to stock up on your staple cardstock (lots of Neenah and gold and 130 lb which is perfect for Copics) and tape and you will still find some great stamps.  Drop in and wish Heather well in her retirement and go home with some great deals.  For you mixed media types, she has some new substrates in - canvas, yupo, etc. Cool stuff!


Monday, 27 January 2014

January Challenge #12 Happy Bird-day!

Hello!  Here's my latest January challenge card, another custom blobby bird.  (You can find a great tutorial on how to draw blobby birds here.)  As for turning the blobby bird into a Jedi, well, all I can say is, may the Force be with you.  The Force is not that strong with me, I think, as for a significant portion of the drafting process, my bird resembled Miss Clavel more than Obiwan Kenobi.  In the end, it turned out ok, though, despite using the wrong colour for the sabre.  (Who knew the red ones were for the bad guys?  My mother, that's who - full of surprises, she is.  And thanks to a friend for pointing me to the right chronicles in Star Wars lore to confirm it.).  I maintain that a red light sabre was the right design choice for this card.  I guess I should say also add that this birdie was inspired by Star Wars, to avoid the full wrath of the galactic empire raining down upon me.

This card is for my nephew, the second generation of Star Wars fans in the family.  I hope he likes it!

A note about the illustration - I drafted it with pencil first, then went over it with Copic Multiliner, and coloured with Tombow markers.  I deliberately let the red sabre run out of the lines to get the glowing effect.  It's better in real life.  Sauron the Scanner is a bit uncooperative.  I've added some glitter pen to the sabre, but I think I will add some stickles too.  Somehow Tombows need stickles like cookies need milk.  

I'll try to get my January challenge back on the rails - it's sort of falling apart, isn't it.  The latest lapse is because hubby and I started watching Homeland and we have been doing a Homeland marathon most evenings.  Not much of an excuse, I know, but there you have it. 

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

January Challenge #11

Hello!  Here's today's challenge card for my self-imposed January challenge.  The focal panel was in my scrap treasure box, and I think it was originally made of watercolour paper that had mopped up some diluted Adirondack colour wash sprays (lettuce and pesto, by the looks of it, though this is pure speculation).  At some interim scrap-rescue phase, I stamped this image (Magenta) on the paper and embossed it in black.  Back it went.  Fast forward to today, when it got plucked again from the scrap pile and enhanced slightly with some Tombow markers.  I added some shading to the skies and foliage with three shades (451, 533 or maybe 553, and 528), blending with a wet-then-blotted paintbrush.  I added the words from an A Muse sentiment stamp to the lines in the corner.  I trimmed out the image, matted on black, then put it on a card base, turning to my wonderful (but sadly neglected) collection of BasicGrey 6x6 packs.  I believe this is the Wanderer collection, and it's a lovely map in shades of blue and green.  I liked the echoing of the modular segments, the similar colour scheme and the way the birds seem to be flying above the streets.  It all seemed to work together.  You know when you leaf through your papers, looking for The One.  Well, this one winked at me and the twinkle in its eye said "Mr Right."  A few Ice Stickles embellishments (lemon and blueberry, I believe) and I was all done.  Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you are getting some time to stamp too.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

January Challenge #10 "Rock-a-birdie"

Hello!  Here's a card I made today, and am going to say it's for the challenge, but the only scraps I used were the watercolour and black paper.  The card base is crushed curry (textured) from Stampin' Up. 

I needed a 40th birthday card for a drummer and was fresh out of 40th birthday drum stamps so I decided to take matters into my own hands.

I drafted a quick picture on scrap paper (I usually skip this step, regret it, and waste a lot of paper).  This resulted in the initial pencil-on-scrap being the best of the versions, so there you go.  I can't win for losing here!  Lol.  Anyway, I drew a little birdie (with his homage to Neil Peart hat) drumming his little heart out.  You can click on the picture for a larger image, but I wrote on the drums "The Top 40 Band" in honour of the milestone birthday being celebrated.  Once I had sketched it in pencil, I went over it with a black Copic microliner, and then watercoloured the image with Tombow markers.  When I was done that, I went over some of the lines to corral some of the stray ink from watercolouring and to emphasize the lines a bit more.  Lastly, I accented the drums, cymbals, and hat with stickles (lagoon, gold, burgundy, respectively).  On the inside is a stamp that says, "old enough to know better...too old to care!"  hee hee hee.   The "happy birthday" stamp is from A Muse and is one of my favourites.  It's perfect for this layout, which I get a lot of mileage out of. 

Here you have it - the perfect solution to a gap in your stamp collection - draw your own picture!

Friday, 17 January 2014

January Challenge #10

Hello!  Here's a little card I made up last night when I got asked if I had any birthday cards suitable for her friend's husband's 75th birthday.  He loves music, so this stamp came immediately to mind.

I stamped the image (Troy Crisswell, Stamps Happen) on hot press watercolour paper and embossed it in black.  Using the design on the stamp itself for watercolouring inspiration, I used Distress Inks on a craft sheet along with a paintbrush and water to colour the image.  The last embellishment was some Antique Bronze Distress stickles on the main violin.  I trimmed the image closely and mounted it on black paper, then cognac metallic paper.  This assemblage got popped up on foam tape over the card base, made of Bazzill paper (6x6") and an accent strip of soft green from the scrap box.  The card base and accent strip were edged with Memories Art Print Brown.  The inside and envelope got special treatment too, with an instrument stamp (cello? violin?) from Darkroom Door and a nice music themed birthday greeting from Heather's Stamping Haven. I was quite pleased with it when it was all done, and she liked it too.  It will certainly be a one-of-a-kind at the party! 

Hope you get some stamping in this weekend.  I will try to squeeze some in - in between some painting at a women's shelter, taxiing children, a knitting date, and a sewing day.  It looks like it's going to be a good weekend!

Thursday, 16 January 2014

January Challenge #9

Hello!  I'm a little late posting this, and I did miss a day of the challenge.  What can I say - it was a long day and work and I just bagged out in front of the tv with my knitting.  These things happen.  In fact, under the new terms of the January challenge, these things are permitted at least once during the month of January. 

This card is a one-layer card, featuring the beautiful calligraphy of Quietfire Designs.  The heart is from Stampin' Up and stamped with Soft Blossom shadow ink.  The script is stamped with a Big and Juicy rainbow inkpad, but the "i love you" was coloured over with black marker before I stamped it to make it stand out.  The little hearts are embellished with Pink Taffeta stickles.  (BTW, have you seen the new colours of stickles? They are fantastic - great additions to the line up.)  Lastly, I doodled a border on this card to frame it in a bit.  The card base is a naturals ivory from Stampin' Up.  I am going to enter this card on the Less is More challenge, which this week is a one-layer card using hearts!  Bingo! 

Monday, 13 January 2014

January Challenge #8

Hello!  Here's is my latest January challenge card.  The embossed holly image was in my scrappy treasure box and I dug out the class instruction sheet from Krista's class to turn it from an embossed image into a card.  I love Krista's designs, so why try to improve on perfection!  Also, I think this was supposed to be the replacement for a card from Krista's class that got used!  (Insert gasp of horror here.)

I didn't have quite all the stamps to recreate it exactly, but did the best I could.  I also didn't use the colour guide (sssshhhh - don't tell Krista!) and highlighted the berries in a different way so re-oriented the focal panel accordingly.  

Well, no stories of hockey or literary legends today.  Just another Monday around here.  Well, that's not strictly true.  There has been a rogue sheet of bubble wrap that has been floating around our house, surprising all and sundry under foot.  Tonight was my turn to get "popped" by my children, both of whom got me on separate occasions.  Well done girls, though I fear I might have created two little monsters!  Or is revenge a dish best served cold.....

Sunday, 12 January 2014

January Challenge #7

Hello!  Here's a card I made yesterday but didn't get a chance to blog about.  We were having too much fun!  First was an outing to Mad About Patchwork to get some Kaffe Fassett shot cottons (yum - and more will be blogged about those on my Daley Quilter blog), then was an outing to the National Arts Centre for the family show, then a nice dinner out with the family courtesy some Christmas gift cards. 

The family show at the NAC was outstanding.  It was a tribute to winter sports, in light of the upcoming winter Olympics.  The orchestra started with the Olympic Fanfare, and then Ken Dryden, hockey legend, came out to be guest host.  Not only is he a hockey legend, but he is an incredible Canadian figure - lawyer, businessman, former Member of Parliament, officer of the Order of Canada, the list goes on.  I'm not the president of the Ken Dryden Appreciation Society, I just want you to picture someone warm and intelligent and synonymous with winter sports (he was a goalie for the Montreal Canadiens and won the Stanley Cup six times in eight years).  Anyway, enough on Ken Dryden - but you can see how he would be a gripping host for the show.  The orchestra played skating music and had winter sport videos and paintings showing in the background.  Then the Propeller Dance company came out and danced for us to the most stirring music. It was so beautifully moving.  The final part of the show was a telling of the iconic Canadian story, The Hockey Sweater by Roch Carrier.  Basically the story is one of Roch's childhood in the early 1950's in Quebec, where Rocket Richard and his fellow Montreal Canadiens were the heroes of every boy and man and lots of women too no doubt.  The Toronto Maple Leafs were the arch-rivals, as the only other Canadian team in the NHL at that time.  The story tells of hockey sweaters and what happens when a catalogue order goes awry and the wrong jersey is delivered.  And all this was told with the classic illustrations showing in the background and special music composed just to accompany the story.  It was magical! 

Well, before we headed out to enjoy that feast for the senses, I had time to make a quick card.  I had been tidying away a bag of stuff in my stamp room and found a set of Local King stamps and matching dies.  The set is called Chinese Flowers 2.  I stamped the image on a scrap of Dylusions paper (I always mop up the over spray with a scrap of either watercolour or marl or similar and save it for something like this).  I embossed it with some Chameleon embossing powder, which was on sale at Heather's.  It's really cool - a bit multicolour with a lovely sheen.  Hard to describe, but really neat.  Then I trimmed out the image with the die and adhered it to a scrap of black, and then to a scrap of light purple Bazzill.  Under all that is some textured cardstock stamped with a Penny Black background stamp using Pink Pastel fluid chalk ink, and arranged over more scraps in the background.  The card base is a neutral grey, and even though it's an odd size, I can always make an envelope to fit with my envelope punch board - yay!

That brings me to the end of this lengthy post.  Hope you get some stamping time in today. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, 11 January 2014

January Challenge #6

Hello!  Here's today's card, well, technically it's after midnight so it is yesterday's card, but it still feels like today if you know what I mean.

I had this focal panel in my "too nice to throw away" scrap box and kept struggling with what to mount it on.  I pulled out some Lovely Lilac Stampin' Up cardstock and I felt it sort of worked.  I tried a few other things but blue drained the rich blues and greens drained the greens.  This seemed to be it.  I found a scrap of textured soft green paper and that was good as an accent and for the sentiment.

The panel is kind of fun - I had been playing with Adirondack color wash sprays and soaked up some of the overspray with watercolour paper.  I used this to stamp a nice modular Magenta stamp and embossed in some different powders.  I don't know what I used - I think there is a bit of Moonstone and one is the last of a custom mix to use up the dregs so I could have the container back. It's a bit of blue and eggplant and moonstone and I don't know what else.  I just know that I am reminded how much I like to mix my own embossing powders.  That makes me think of my dear stamping friend, Fran, who was a so good at artful combinations of embossing powders and accents in her own cards.  I miss her!  I'm glad of these memories of her, that come to me when I am stamping and think of how creative and how inspiring she was, and how inspiring her memory continues to be.

Thanks for stopping by my little blog.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

January Stamping Challenge #5

Hello!  Here's today's card for my January stamping challenge.  This card is made from a number of scraps as well.  The main panel was in my box of scrappy treasures, leftover from an experiment with watercolour paper, distress markers, and embossing.  I've done a gradient of various distress markers and blended with water.  The stamp I used is called Looped Flower (Hero Arts).  For this card, I added some clear Wink of Stella (caution - use of this product may be habit forming!).  The sentiment is a rub-on (Stampin' Up), mounted on scraps.  In fact, it's on a scrap left over from trimming the accent strip (scrap) down to size for the card.  The white mat is the last scrap from a scrap of white linen.  The card base is bordering blue (Stampin' Up) and I still haven't forgiven them for retiring this colour... still, they occasionally bring back favourites (hello again soft suede!) so I live in hope.

All in all, this is a fun little scrappy card.  Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you have time to do some stamping too.

January Stamping Challenge #3

Hello!  Here's my next card for the challenge.  This one was also completed, except for the assembly, leftover from the same class I taught at Heather's Stamping Haven.

For this card, I made my own unique paper with chalk inks and a brayer, and then heat set with an iron, and stamped the flower image (Heather's Stamping Haven) twice and embossed in detail silver.  One of the flowers is trimmed out to the four whole petals and layered on top of the full flower.  I added some Cherry Ice stickles to the centre.  The rest of the card is straightforward - same flower stamped in chalk ink on the card base in an allover pattern, a dark purple mat, and a light purple fleck mat.  I did a sketchy doodle border to finish it off.  In the class card I had a light purple shimmer backdrop for the flower, but it was too beat up to use here, having languished a little too long on my desk.

Well, must dash!  This is late because we were out last night at the National Arts Centre, listening to a Mendelssohn violin concerto and a symphony by Bruckner.  It was a lovely evening out, always wonderful to hear beautiful music played live.  The solo violinist, Karen Gomyo, played a Stradivarius!  I don't know that I've ever heard one played before - it was neat to think of how old it was and how much music it has uttered in its life.  What a wonderful thing recorded music is - it's like the printing press - allowing so many more people access to a new world at any time and any place.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

January Stamping Challenge #2

Hello!  Here's today's card for the January stamping challenge. I had all the parts finished, it just needed to be taped together.  To be honest, it felt a bit like cheating, but it was languishing, incomplete, on my stamp desk, so it was good to get it finished.

This was one I did for a class at Heather's. The flower (Heather's Stamping Haven) is stamped three times and embossed with Golden Sand embossing powder and watercoloured with Tombow markers.  The flower is cut out twice and the petals interwoven.  Then that part is adhered to the third flower.  I embellished with some Gala Glitz (from Art Institute Glitter.  That stuff is incredible!  shards, gold balls, glitter, chunks, all different colours within the shade - if you don't have some, you should scout some out and you will quickly find it becomes a favourite embellishment).  Wow - that last bit is not going to win any  grammar awards now, is it! Good thing this isn't the January Good English Challenge!

The flower is resting on a piece of celadon cardstock that has been run through an embossing folder and lightly brushed with Golden Glitz Delicata ink.  The mat panel is metallic gold and the card base is a white metallic paper with a gold lustre to it.  Gorgeous stuff.  It is so shimmery and wonderful.

I love the sophisticated and elegant palette of this card, which is tempered by the whimsical swirls and flowers so it isn't too stuffy.

Thanks for stopping by!  Hope you are finding time to stamp.

Monday, 6 January 2014

January Challenge #1

Hello!  Yesterday I wrote about my new challenge for January, to make something each day from my newly weeded scrap box.  Here are the two (!) cards I made today.  The little heart panels were cut, stamped, embossed coloured and glittered and all ready to be matted and mounted on a card.  Just waiting like Little Orphan Annie for a card to come along and choose them.  Since there were two of them, it seemed only right to find them homes at the same time.

 The heart images (Sunshine Designs) were stamped and embossed in white, then coloured with Tombow markers and blended.  Then, a double-sided adhesive was applied and some warm tone ultra fine glitter was applied.  Then the images were left to languish ripen in my scrap box.

The other elements of the cards were also from my scraps box.  The card bases had been stamped for other projects and not used.  The top card has flowery hearts (Penny Black - enchanted garden) stamped in Memento Rhubarb Stalk. The sentiment is from a Stampin' Up set and is stamped in Hero Arts Raspberry Jam.  The embossing folder is from a set of two called "Bloom" and I like it for a Valentine's card because it looks like X's made of O's.  Get it?  XOXO? It's quite shocking how pleased I am by that....

The bottom card has little starbursts (Stamping Bella) stamped in two shades of pink on a Pirouette Pink card base.  The mounting panels were also bits of red and pink cardstock from my scrap box and some cream paper from my neutrals scraps. I keep all my neutrals scraps, no matter how small because they are perfect for sentiments and for popped-up accents.  I also like having little bits of black, brown and grey for accent strips, etc.  I keep them all in an increasingly battered see-through plastic envelope.  My coloured cardstock all went into a smallish box that was on-hand.  I used to keep all my bits and scraps in separate folders for Stampin' Up, and for Heather's classes, and then "other".  Now that I don't do Stampin' Up classes and only have one or two classes for Heather left, I may re-think my cardstock storage and streamline it.  In the meantime, a cardboard box is doing the trick for colourful scraps.

Well, day 1 of the challenge and I got two cards done! That should entitle me to a buffer day.  I hope not to need it, but Wednesday is looking busy so it might get used sooner rather than later!  Since I am in charge of this challenge, I henceforth permit buffer cards to be used as and when necessary.  If you are playing along, feel free to shape the rules to suit your schedule, just try to keep to the spirit of the challenge.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Happy New Year!

Hello and Happy New Year!  It's the last day of our Christmas vacation today and we have been enjoying it in our various ways.  The girls went tobogganing this afternoon and DH spent some time playing some music. I've been puttering in my stamp room, trying to clean it up.  It was getting really out of hand, plus I just got my knitting corner cleaned up and was feeling industrious.  My main objective was to clean off my cutting area (done) and the work area of my desk (mostly done).  I need to clean off the rest of the table, but the day is only so long and my family keeps wanting meals.  Still, I may get it done yet - Downton Abbey doesn't come on for another four hours ;-)

One big job I did get done was to sort through all my scrap hoards.  I wanted to get rid of old scraps I am never going to use and corral the scraps I will use.  I made myself a little box of items that will make quick cards, so that's where this card comes in.  I ruthlessly recycled designer paper I don't like, tiny pieces, false starts to cards and an interesting fold card I have been keeping around for years as design inspiration.  I finally decided that if I haven't been inspired to make one like it for this long, I am unlikely to ever make it.  And if I am ever overcome with the need to make one, Google and/or You Tube will help me out.  I'm sure all of you fastidiously neat and minimalist stampers out there are finding all this rationalizing and explaining hysterically funny.  For the hoarders and savers out there, you know what I'm talking about and I'm sure you are keeping every scrap of paper on a just-in-case basis too.  Well, I was able to weed out a lot of old scraps that were just discouraging my creativity instead of sparking it so I am feeling better about ditching them.  As a little reward for all this industry I allowed myself to make this little card.

I had made the ombre glitter hearts recently, trying to come up with my January class samples.  This one didn't make it, but I thought the glitter hearts were too pretty to pass up.  I used four colours of Be Creative glitter, with double stick tape behind the opening left from die-cutting the hearts with a Memory Box die.  I cut a second shape out of red, to put in the opening before I added the glitter.  I used Pink, Rose Copper, Apple Red, and Merlot glitter.  The panel is mounted on red shimmer cardstock, and the card base is Pirouette Pink (Stampin' Up).  The sentiment is from "love chapter" (Penny Black) and the xo is added by hand in metallic pen.  It's an odd shaped card, but with my new envelope punch board, I can make any size envelope I want!  I think I have some red heart wrapping paper in the wrapping box, which will make a great little envelope.

Buoyed by the success of my October stamping challenge, I am going to give myself a January challenge - to use something from my newly sorted scrap boxes and make something every day and post it to my blog.  How about you - any crafty challenges you want to set for yourself this month?