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Thursday, February 28, 2013

When Minutes Count

I take my time when making cards. I enjoy the process, not to mention the fact it can take me HOURS to pick the images, just the right colours... So when my friend Emily first encouraged me to check out the current 10 Minute Craft Dash challenge, I thought yeah, no. However, she continued to encourage me -- AND pointed out the prize this week was a Paper Smooches gift certificate. Hmmm... Finally, I decided I might as well try! At the worst, it takes me more than ten minutes and/or it's a disaster and I recycle it. 



Look! I did it! Not only that, I even incorporated the current Paper Smooches SPARKS Picture Perfect inspiration challenge. Kim says you can "follow the inspiration closely, or use it loosely", so I thought going with a love theme was a reasonable interpretation. And you are allowed to gather all your supplies and have your idea in mind before hitting the timer, thank goodness. Here's how my time broke down, more or less: 
     — Stamping and heat-embossing the soulful puppy: ~2 minutes
     — Colouring with Prismacolor pencils: ~3 minutes
     — Stamping on banner from die-cut stash: ~1 minute
     — Stamping paw heart and cutting out: ~1 minute
     — Putting it all together: ~2 minutes
All that and I had about twelve seconds left over! I thought it was okay to pull out an already cut piece to use; it's not like I purposely cut it out ahead of time just for this card! As it was, I had to cut down one end a bit, because of course I didn't centre the sentiment exactly. As you can tell, the puppy is quite roughly coloured; there's no time for careful shading! 
Although the pressure is all self-imposed, I found the time constraint a little stressful. So I'm not sure the 10 Minute Craft Dash will necessarily become a regular stop for me, but it was fun to try! I guess I better enter this into Simon Says Stamp's Anything Goes challenge, too. ;)
P.S. Paper Smooches (hee, aka P.S.!) is having their February DT blog hop starting today! Looks like more fun new dies from Kim.


     

 Supplies: white & Stampin' Up kraft cardstock, Paper Smooches Woofers and Tweeters stamps, Brilliance coffee bean, Memento rose bud & Stampin' Up Bermuda Bay inks, clear embossing powder, Papertrey Ink double-ended banner, pop-dot tape

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Self-Improvement...

This week, Crafty Creations Challenges wants you to reinvent yourself! And while that may sound like exercise and dieting, it's not nearly so onerous. Pick one of your cards or other creations... and redo it! Also known as CASEing (Copy and Share Everything), we want you to go back to a previous creation and remake it -- and possibly improving it in the process. 
To narrow down the CASEing options, I decided I would go back to last season's holiday cards, and pick one to update. Of course, I ended up picking two. ;) First, I went back to a simple design I really liked.


Original details here

As often happens when CASEing, the final product is similar yet quite different:



This did start on a landscape-oriented card with a sentiment, but it just. wasn't. working. Finally I realized that the bolder colours and the different image didn't lead the eye to the sentiment, but did stand on its own. So I tossed the original card base and ended up with this. 
For my second CASE, I went back to a technique I tried for the first time with a couple of Christmas cards. 


Original details here

My brayer and I aren't always the best of friends, but using it to apply Stickles to a dry-embossed panel works for me! I thought I'd try to extend the technique beyond the festive season. 



Purple is hard to photograph; glitter is hard to photograph; but I hope you get the general idea. I wasn't necessarily planning to follow the layout of my original card, it just worked out that way. Do these little chicks not look ready to celebrate? Of course I had to add a dab of Stickles to each of the party hat pompoms, as well. This one's going in the current My Graphico Anything Goes challenge. 

Now it's your turn to look back on your past work and pick something to reinvent! Our generous sponsor this week is Whiff of Joy



Supplies: (floral) white & dark green cardstock, Stampin' Up Beyond the Garden patterned papers, Stampin' Up Elements of Style stamp, Memories black & tumbled glass distress inks, watercolour pencils, Spellbinders oval & scalloped oval dies, Fiskars threading water punch, Rock Candy distress Stickles, pop-dot tape (celebrate) white, mauve & purple cardstock, Pink Cat Studio Farm Animals stamps, Memento tuxedo black, VersaMagic purple hydrangea & Memento lulu lilac inks, yellow Sharpie, watercolour pencils, Cuttlebug happy birthday embossing folder, Tiara Glitz Stickles, $ store ribbon, Creative Memories corner-rounding punch, pop-dot tape

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Friday, February 22, 2013

A Technique and a Sketch!

Have you seen this fun technique Jennifer McGuire posted on Wednesday? While I don't have an overly good track record with techniques, this one, with white pigment ink and coloured pencils, seemed worth trying. I've been reviewing my stash of Unity stamps to get ready for my Growing in Unity week next month (!), and found a stamp in one of my grab bags that I thought might work. 



I ended up with a card totally outside my usual box! The daisy-type blooms seemed to dictate more of a yellow/orange palette than my usual reds and blues. It also has a little more going on than my usual style. I think I like it, although now I need to put it away for a day so I can look at it more objectively. (What do you think?)
My layout is (loosely) based on the current Unity {be inspired} Challenge and of course I'm joining in with the Friends with Flair fun! Speaking of, hope you have a fun weekend planned! 



Supplies: white & dark green cardstock, Cosmo Cricket Clementine patterned paper, Unity stamp (from a grab bag), Colorbox frost white ink, Prismacolor pencils, Colorbok chipboard tag, May Arts (?) orange grosgrain ribbon, Maya Road vintage green pearl pins, pop-dot tape, corner-rounding punch

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

More Paper Smooches

I'm back with a second card I'm entering in the current Paper Smooches guest designer search for March:



I'm generally pretty modest (bashful?) about my cards, but really, how can you not look at this one and smile? That little puppy is utterly adorable. Yes, I did purposely use the dots on the patterned paper to outline her eyes. The edge of the grass is slightly distressed for a more natural look. (Because that paper is otherwise totally grasslike.) I pieced together the sentiment from two of the originals in the same set. 
P.S. It's my week "off", but there's a fun new challenge up at Crafty Creations Challenges! You've got till Tuesday to play along. 


Supplies: white & Papertrey Ink rasberry fizz cardstock, Pink Paislee House of Three & Bella Boulevard Sunny Happy Skies patterned papers, Paper Smooches Woofers and Tweeters stamps, Versafine onyx black ink, Lil' Inkers stitched sentiment flag die, Twinery pink sorbet twine, dimensionals

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SPARKS (but no flame...)

I'm playing along in the current Paper Smooches SPARKS challenge! It's a colour challenge this week as shown below:



I've been leafing through my Paper Crafts Card Design Handbook issue, which mostly leads to overthinking. :D I did, however use the gallon (teal)/quart (brown)/pint (cherry) tip for the colours when putting together my card.



I absolutely adore this cat image! I think in a pinch you could stamp him on a card base and call it done, he's that cute. I put a little more effort into this one, but he still really steals the show. 
Meanwhile, over at the CASology challenge blog, their cue word is "flame". This is a SPARKS card, but somehow I don't think it counts. 
Just for the fun of it, I'm going to also link this to Kim's current guest designer search, along with another card (and maybe a couple of older ones) I'll post in a few minutes. So wish me luck! Well, unless you're trying for the designer spot too, I suppose... 



Supplies: cream cardstock, My Mind's Eye Stella & Rose Hattie patterned papers, Paper Smooches Nine Lives stamps, vintage photo distress & Memento teal zeal inks, clear embossing powder, hole punch, pop-dot tape

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Monday, February 18, 2013

Green Thumb

I'm playing along with the current (for another 22 hours or so) CAS(E) this Sketch challenge! Here's Lisa's sketch:


And here's my interpretation of it: 


I stayed fairly true to the sketch, I think, except for making the focal point larger. And I don't generally sew on cards, so I scored the top of the banner, instead. I really like this Papertrey Ink gardening set, and have no idea why I don't use it more often. And right now it's reminding me that I could go buy some seeds soon to get a head start on growing a few of my summer garden essentials. It's such a nice way to ignore the reality that is an Ontario February. 
I'm also linking this card up (surprise, surprise) to My Graphico's current Anything Goes challenge. 


Supplies: cream & Stampin' Up naturals ivory cardstock, Bella Blvd. All Inclusive patterned paper, Papertrey Ink garden variety stamps, Stampin' Up garden green & chocolate chip inks, Papertrey Ink garden variety dies, Spellbinders oval die, dimensionals

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Love and Hearts

Happy Valentine's Eve! Any last-minute valentines you still have to make? If so, you're in luck, as the latest Crafty Creations challenge is looking for crafts with love or hearts as their theme! This week's sponsor is Clearly Besotted Stamps. They are generously offering two terrific photopolymer stamp sets, Under the Sea and Funny Farm, to this week's winner. 
I of course still had some valentines to make. I needed a valentine suitable for a boy:



A love robot seemed perfect! And how could I not stamp him in shiny silver? The speech bubble heart is cut from a scrap of cardstock I had misted for another card. (I've decided the most successful way for me to use spray mist is to mist a large piece of cardstock then cut what I need from the best part.) 
I also wanted to send a valentine to a friend I haven't been in touch with for a while...



I do like how my blue jeans pocket turned out! The pinks come right out of the latest Pinspired challenge. I'm also throwing this into My Graphico's extended Anything Goes challenge. I thought it would be fun to join CAS on Sunday's first-ever challenge, too! 
Showing your love? Offering your heart? Link up with us this week! 


                 

Supplies: (robot) white & Recollections silver cardstock, Recollections patterned paper, Market Street Stamps Robot Love, MediaLoot speech bubble, QuicKutz heart die, pop-dot tape; (just a note) white cardstock (plus scraps for small hearts)Crate Paper Random patterned paper,Hero Arts envelope background & Pebbles Sunny Side stamps, Versamagic Aegen Blue chalk ink, Faded Jeans & Stormy Sky distress inks, Wplus9 Love Note dies 

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Friday, February 8, 2013

Tuesday Trigger and Friday Flair


Happy snowy Friday! Well, not everywhere, but certainly here in southern and central Ontario. I'd wanted to make something to link up with Unity's Friends with Flair last week... but I had nothing. All week, nothing. I looked at challenges, blogs... nothing. Finally yesterday I decided to continue the slow work of cataloging my stamps, and since it's February, thought I would do all my heart stamps. And just as I'd hoped, that started the creative brain working again! Combined with this week's Moxie Fab World trigger photo, this card resulted:




From Cath's trigger, I took the colours, the heart image and all that clean white space. Using two pinks and a teal, I made a little bokeh-style background with sponge daubers. The milk and cookies image is watercoloured and paper-pieced (the chocolate chips just didn't look right in black!). And I just had to add a little gloss to the tiny heart on the glass. Now I have two valentine cards to choose from to give to my husb next week! 
And if I get stuck without ideas again, maybe some Friends with Flair browsing will kickstart the creativity again! Have a great weekend. 

Supplies: white, teal & Stampin' Up kraft cardstock, Unity September 2011 Kit of the Month (All Seasons) stamps, Memento angel pink, rose bud & teal zeal, Memories black & vintage photo distress inks, pop-dot tape, Glossy accents

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