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Saturday, February 17, 2018

Christmas Trees

Yep, another Christmas card. This time around, I'm taking inspiration from Cornelia for Muse: ChristmasVisions. (Next week it's my turn for the first time!) Here is Cornelia's fun and colourful card: 


I was inspired by the bright colours, the triangular trees, and the clean layout. Here's my version: 


I initially thought of some of the more graphically-designed tree stamps in my collection, but chose this fun die, instead. It was only later, when I went to check on the main challenge blog, that I discovered my teammate Kimberly had the same thought! Our process and results are quite different, though.) With distress inks, I sponged rough triangles about where I knew my trees would be. The least fun part of this die is putting adhesive on without making a mess. This time around, I used my smallest glue dots, and even then had to roll them up a bit. From foil cardstock, I cut the three stars and the "merry" sentiment. 
As you can see, Christmas cards are one of the few times I also decorate the envelopes. Not quite in the league of "mail art", but I usually try to find an image that coordinates with what goes inside. 
I might as well take advantage of making a Christmas card by linking up to a couple of other themed challenges: Jingle Belles: A Colouring We Will Go and Happy Little Stampers: Christmas Anything Goes (no optional hearts on mine). 
There is still a day and a bit to play along, so why not get in the mood for Christmas cards with Cornelia's inspiration... then you'll be all fired up when my card makes its appearance on Wednesday! πŸ˜‰


Supplies: white, textured blue American Crafts & Rager silver foil cardstock, candied apple, mermaid lagoon & mowed lawn distress inks, Essentials by Ellen Geo Tree, MFT blueprints 24 & Winnie & Walter merry dies (Winnie & Walter Ina Word: Merry stamp on the envelope)

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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Final Valentines

At least I think these are the final valentine cards for this year. πŸ˜‰ I didn't want to post them until they were received, which happened yesterday. 
My first card is based on my friend Tracey's card for the current Muse challenge. Here's her card: 


I took my cues from the sponged background, the bear plus heart, the layout and the white on black sentiment. Here's my version: 


Rather than a two-colour background, I used just blue on my main panel, then used a heart stencil and a barely damp cloth to lift some of the colour through the stencil. My little bear is embossed with sparkle embossing powder and watercoloured. 
With a love theme, at least a bit of red, and an ARTplorations stencil, I'm also adding this to this month's STAMPlorations challenge, Paint It Red. 
My next card is inspired by wanting to justify my purchase of a 12"x12" valentine-themed paper pad. πŸ˜† In my defence, it was $4 at Dollarama (thanks, snarky sister Barb for the bargain alert!) and the glitter and foil sheets alone practically make it worth getting. Here's my first card using some of it:


I went with a full postal theme, cutting the patterned paper with a postage stamp border die and adding a little stamped and paper-pieced love note as the focal point, popped up on a white heart. 


Crazy to say, this is my third post today! My reminder card for the current Naughty or Nice challenge is here, and my post for today's new Seize the Birthday challenge here


Supplies: (here's a hug) white & black cardstock, Canson watercolour paper, My Favourite Things Bitty Bears stamps, Versamark, Versafine onyx black & faded jeans distress oxide inks, Hero Arts sparkle & white embossing powders, Zig markers, MFT blueprints 24 dies, ARTplorations Hearts All Over stencil, foam tape; (love letter) white & black cardstock, EK Success/Martha Stewart Love Notes patterned paper, PSA Love Birds stamp, Versafine onyx black & Memento Luxe love letter inks, Ranger clear embossing powder, Simon Says Stamp postage stamp border & QuicKutz heart dies, foam tape

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Birthday Coffee or Tea?

It's time for a new challenge at Seize the Birthday! Our topping for this latest challenge is sure to be a popular one: Coffee or Tea!



As always, our topping is optional; as long as you've got a birthday project, we'd love you to share it with us. 
I drink more tea than coffee, but decided to go with a coffee theme anyway:


After initially trying a very clean and simple design, I ended up with this groovy card! The Bunn-style coffee pot and the orange that I chose for the sentiment seemed perfect for a retro treatment. And of course a punny sentiment never hurts, either. 
You may have one or two coffee or tea-themed stamps or papers in your crafting collection... but even if you don't, I hope you'll join us! 


Supplies: white & Stampin' Up mambo melon cardstock, Stampin' Up patterned paper, A. Jillian Vance Design Simply Said: Pothead, Brew-tiful & Beautiful Rose stamps, Versamark, Catherine Pooler tiki torch & Stampin' Up early espresso inks, Hero Arts clear embossing powder, foam tape

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Love Reminder

Valentine's Day has come and gone, but that doesn't mean you have to stop feeling the love! The February challenge at Naughty or Nice Challenges, All Loved Up, continues for another ten days. 


  

This time I tried to go a little bit naughty (or at least humorous) and used the optional colour palette more as *inspiration*. 


Ooh, look at *all* that masking so that my potty people could be holding hands. :P I paired these older Unity stamps with a much newer sentiment from Technique Tuesday. Luckily, I found some patterned paper that matched the potty girl ink colour! Since the colour palette suggests I should have more pink than blue...
I think this card works perfectly for the current CASology challenge: Together.
Lovey-dovey cards don't have to be for just Valentine's Day! Especially if you add an element of naughtiness. ;) You still have ten days to play along with us! 

P.S. I'll be back in a few hours with the new Seize the Birthday challenge! 


Supplies: white cardstock, Basic Grey True Love patterned paper, Unity Sweet Paper Pals & Technique Tuesday You Aren't Normal stamps, Versafine onyx black, Altenew rouge & Caribbean inks, QuicKuts nesting hearts & Sunny Studio Stamps fishtail banners dies, fun foam

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Saturday, February 10, 2018

Travelling the Galaxy with the Sisters


The Sisters are travelling to galaxies far, far away with our newest challenge: G is for Galaxy! As it has turned out, a few of us have a added a mini Doctor Who theme to today's offerings as well. Here's my contribution: 


I'm still having fun with the plastic wrap technique I used for Challenge 103, and thought it might make a fun galaxy background with the right colours. I sponged several colours of distress ink on watercolour paper, gave it a good misting with water, and pressed some crinkled plastic wrap on top. Once it was dry (one thing about winter: things like this dry faster...), I spritzed it all over with some sparkly mist for a little shimmer. The TARDIS is stamped and watercoloured with chipped sapphire distress ink. 


The sisters each have their own unique take on galaxy cards, as does our current Queen and guest designer, Helen! Travel cyberspace to see their projects, then set off on your own crafting flight! 

Supplies: white & navy cardstock, Canson watercolour paper, Viva Las VegaStamps Doctor Who stamps, Versamark, mermaid lagoon, blueprint sketch, chipped sapphire & wilted violet distress inks, Ranger clear embossing powder, Tsukineko sparkle sheer shimmer mist, foam tape

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Monday, February 5, 2018

Mixing It Up with a Hippo


There's a new Mix It Up challenge at Ellen Hutson! This month, they are pairing up with Hero Arts. I used one set from each, and two stamps from each set, to make this: 


I really wanted to make this card yesterday, but a headache had other ideas. But today I was able to put it together with a clear head, yay! The hippo and party hat are from the Essentials by Ellen set Wish Big, and the spectacles and sentiment from Hero Arts' Irreverent Birthday Messages. Mr. Hippo is stamped in grey ink and coloured with Spectrum Noir markers. For once I was able to leave the toenails unpolished. ;) His hat is shaded with purple Copics, then the polka dots added with a colourless blender. I purposely stamped the specs right over his eyes, then added a coat of gloss to emphasize the myopia. I used a stippling brush for the grass he's standing on. 


Supplies: white & AC cardstock, Essentials by Ellen Wish Big & Hero Arts Irreverent Birthday Messages stamps, Versafine onyx black & smoky grey inks, mowed lawn distress ink, Ranger clear embossing powder, Copic & Spectrum Noir markers, MFT diagonal stitched die, Gelli Roll clear glitter pen, Nuvo morning dew crystal drops, foam tape

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Friday, February 2, 2018

More Christmas Inspiration


It's still not my turn to be the muse at Muse: ChristmasVisions, but I'm keeping in practice by being inspired by the other members of the design team. Here's the current offering by Chriss Blagrave


So I'm standing by the first rule of Muse: ChristmasVisions — use the inspiration card as a starting point. So I took inspiration from the wreaths, bird, and the general colour scheme. From there, I made a quite different looking card... 


I watercoloured my little scene after stamping with grey ink and embossing in clear powder. My mad photography skillz don't really let you see the grey of the ink or the panel mat. Sigh. The red layer is dry embossed for a woodgrain texture that suits the scene. 
This is going into Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Anything Goes challenge and the HLS watercolour challenge (but no hearts on this one). 
So yes, it's February, Christmas seems so far away, but as our fearless leader Ardyth says, your December self will thank your February self for getting ahead of the rush! There are still a few days left to be inspired. 



Supplies: white, red & PTI smoky shadow cardstock, Canson watercolour paper, Stampin' Up Winter Memories & Hero Arts Friends and Family stamps, Versafine smoky grey ink, Ranger clear embossing powder, Zig markers, Papertrey Ink woodgrain impression plate

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Thursday, February 1, 2018

Blow Out the Candles...

It's Thursday, and that means there's a new Seize the Birthday challenge starting! Our new optional topping theme is CANDLES


If candles aren't your thing, any birthday-related project will do. I wanted to put a cake with my candles, which led to a long process for what should have been a straightforward card. But here it is: 


Someday I will find the perfect cake stamp. (I have a few of those: the perfect Santa is another ongoing quest. Of course what's perfect for me may not be perfect for you; personal opinion is funny that way.) In the meantime, I went through what I had, and this Unity cake stamp is my largest. I masked off the candles (there are only five, and three of them are solid — I didn't want brown candles!) and the "eat cake" sentiment in the top layer. (I think next time I will use the cake upside down; the *frosting* makes more sense to me that way.) I added as many candles as I could. ;) 
I hope Nancy doesn't mind that I've decided to appoint myself the comic relief member of the design team whenever possible. :D  
Everyone on the Seize the Birthday team has a different interpretation of our candles theme, including our current guest designer, Kristie, so be sure to check them all out! If you need to make a birthday card, consider putting candles on it (or not!) and join us! 
P.S. This is my second post of the day! My contribution to the new Naughty or Nice challenge can be found here. 

Supplies: white & blue cardstock, Stampin' Up real red glimmer cardstock, American Crafts Hip Hip Hooray patterned paper, Unity Eat Cake, Hero Arts Irreverent Birthday & Paper Issues/Snarky Stamps Ahh Birthday stamps, Versafine onyx black, Brilliance coffee bean & squeezed lemonade distress inks, Ranger clear & Hero Arts sparkle embossing powder, Copic markers, watercolour pencils, MFT blueprints 24 & Taylored Expressions champagne flutes dies, Wink of Stella clear glitter marker, Studio calico red star sequins, fun foam

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All Loved Up

Happy February! The month of hearts and valentines and all that other mushy stuff. Except for snow; it won't get mushy around here for another month or so. 
We may be called Naughty or Nice Challenges, but we seem to be making it difficult to go naughty this time around! 


We've titled our February challenge ALL LOVED UP, and we've even added an optional colour palette filled with pastel colours. Even though all those shades of pink were hurting my brain, I had to go nice:


Watercolouring is my go-to strategy when seeing a colour challenge with several shades of one colour, so I collected my pink and red Zig markers for the three roses. Silver embossing and greys sort of cover the neutral colour. (I thought more of the knife blades than the actual given shade...) A background wash of shimmery blue covers that colour. If you squint, you'll see I used a background stamp with watermark ink to add some interest to the pale pink base. The sentiment is white-embossed on a dark pink. 
Now it's over to you! Perhaps you'll take on the triple challenge of the theme, the colours AND making your project naughty! You have until February 25th to join us.
P.S. I'm back in a few hours with a new inspiration card for the latest Seize the Birthday challenge!

Supplies: Stampin' Up pink pirouette & melon mambo cardstock, Ranger watercolour paper, Great Impressions Rose Trio, My Favourite Things Tropical Sensations & Hero Arts Envelope Background stamps, Versamark ink, silver & Hero Arts white embossing powders, Zig markers, Twinkling H2Os, MFT blueprints 24 die, fun foam

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Saturday, January 27, 2018

Down on the Farm


Edna and the sisters are spending a little time in the country with F is for Farm Life! And darn, now I've got the opening theme from Green Acres stuck in my head. Yep, I'm old. :D (Also, you're welcome; I could have embedded the video, so you would have an ear worm too. But I just linked to it, instead.) 
My brother has a farm — a hobby farm, where the animals are more pets than farm animals. Along with horses and donkeys and sheep and (∞)... there are a number of goats. (I think nine at last count.) So that was my inspiration for this week's card:


My snarky sister Chris noted how grungy and technique-y this is for me, and she's right — it's the Tim Holtz effect, I'd say. Especially the Hipster stamps... they just seem to call out for  layers and *stuff*. To start my card, I stamped my goat then masked a circle  as well as adding two tiny goat ear masks. Then I stamped a text background and added a little stencilling. Mr. Goat is watercoloured with Zig markers. The sentiment is embossed in white on purple to go with his hipster tie and spectacles. I added a couple of off-true paper layers and called it done. And since this is quite a layered card for me, both with papers and ink, I'm linking it up to the current Wednesday Simon Says Stamp challenge, Layer It Up
We have quite a menagerie of farm animals on the blog today! Visit to see what my sisters and our newest Queen of Snark, Lisa, have cultivated! You have until February 9th to join us. 


Supplies: black, purple & Hero Arts latte layering cardstock, Canson watercolour paper, Crate Paper Maggie Holmes Signature patterned paper, chipboard, Stampers Anonymous/Tim Holtz Hipster & Hero Arts Newsprint Background stamps,Versmark, MFT black licorice, Memento grey flannel & broken china distress inks, Hero Arts white embossing powder, Zig markers, Stampers Anonymous/Tim Holtz burlap stencil 

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Thursday, January 18, 2018

One Layer at Seize the Birthday

It's Thursday, and that means time for a new challenge at Seize the Birthday


Our "topping" for the new challenge (which is always optional, by the way) is ONE LAYER. Oh yay. ;) While a lot of my cards definitely fall into the clean and simple category, I'm not overly comfortable making one layer cards for some reason. But here it is:


I started with a coloured card base, thinking it would add a little more interest than the usual white. I stamped my large rose and embossed it in white, then added some highlights with a white watercolour pencil, and in the centre with a white gel pen. The sentiment is also embossed in white. 
You really should go see my teammates' cards — so many different ways to approach a one layer card style! I hope you'll join us! 


Supplies: Stampin' Up poppy red cardstock, Stampin' Up Fifth Avenue Florals & Clearly Besotted Fancy Sayings stamps, Versamark ink, Hero Arts white embossing powder, Gelli roll white glaze pen, watercolour pencil

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Monday, January 15, 2018

More Celebrating!

Let us pause for a moment in the face of being halfway through January... already! Time flies when you lose a week of it to a stomach bug and then a bad headache. πŸ˜” Anyway, the first two weeks of January have disappeared, and I'm here to remind you about January's Naughty or Nice challenge! 


If you are celebrating something through crafting, then it qualifies for our challenge. I went ridiculously nice for the beginning of the month, so I felt I should try to redeem myself today: 


As always, there was a crazy animal with an expression suited to the sentiment. My pooch is coloured with markers, the congrats is an inlaid die cut, and the rest of the sentiment stamped and embossed. Easy and fun! 
It's easy and fun to join us, too! You have until January 25th to link up your celebratory creation. 

Supplies: white & teal DCWV silky smooth cardstock, Stampers Anonymous/Tim Holtz Mini Crazy Dogs & Cats stamp & die, Technique Tuesday Sassy Birthday stamp, Versafine onyx black ink, Ranger clear embossing powder, Spectrum Noir markers, Little B blockout die, foam tape

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Sunday, January 14, 2018

Muse... But Not Christmas

I hope that being on the Muse: ChristmasVisions design team doesn't bar me from playing in the other Muse challenge! Anita Bowden has a beautiful inspiration card, and there's a prize this week, too! Here's Anita's card: 


When I first saw this, I was reminded of pretty patterned paper with gorgeous florals in the corners and beautiful colours. So I decided I wanted to CASE Anita's card using patterned paper. Here's my version:



Along with the corner florals, I was also inspired by the rich colours and embossed central sentiment. I was surprised at how much of my patterned paper I had to look through to find one that would work! Then there was all the fussy-cutting. I tried some solid colours for the background panel, but ultimately liked this coordinating patterned paper best. I could have made the central panel the full size of the card, but like the way the pale yellow card base pulled the colour of the floral and blue backgrounds out. The embossing is done in moonstone powder, which is somewhere between gold and silver, and one of my favourite metallics. The sentiment combines two Simon Says Stamp sets... and their current Wednesday challenge is to use patterned paper, so I am linking up there as well. 




Supplies: American Crafts textured pale yellow cardstock, gold pearl paper, Prima Introspection patterned paper, Simon Says Stamp Essential Greetings & Happy stamps, Versamark ink, Stampendous moonstone embossing powder

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Saturday, January 13, 2018

Trying a New Technique


Happy New Year to all the snarkers out there! The Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers is back with our first challenge of 2018, T is for Technique. There are SO many stamping/inking/colouring techniques out there, how to narrow the choice? Luckily for me, the CAS Mix Up Card Challenge this month gave me the perfect one: cling wrap. There are a number of different ways to do this, and I used this version from the different links offered on the CAS Mix Up post. I thought it would be fun to see what happened if I used Twinkling H2Os as my watercolour base, and the results are fun! The plastic wrap (as I usually call it) seems to help concentrate the shimmer in areas. I used three colours and here's what I got: 


Isn't it fun? I can see this technique becoming a regular habit. I trimmed it to size and turned it into a card: 


To keep my crazy cat from disappearing, I left him mostly white and just added some shading. The bright yellow balloon doesn't fade into the background, either. πŸ˜‰ 
I highly recommend checking out what my sisters in snark have come up with for this challenge, not to mention that of our current Queen of Snark, Toni! Join us — you have until January 26th to play along! 


Supplies: white & black cardstock, Canson watercolour paper, Stampers Anonymous/Tim Holtz Crazy Cats & Crazy Things stamps & dies, Technique Tuesday Sassy Birthday stamp, Versafine onyx black ink, Twinkling H2Os, Copic & Spectrum Noir markers, yellow Divine Twine, foam tape

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