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  The focal panel was in my scrap treasure box, and I think it was originally made of watercolour paper that had mopped up some diluted Adirondack colour wash sprays (lettuce and pesto, by the looks of it, though this is pure speculation).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?