Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Hallowe'en!

Something homemade of a different kind:

As you can see: 1) I decorate cookies sort of the same way I make cards -- simple is good!
                       2) I'm not getting a job as a food stylist any time soon
Have a safe and fun Hallowe'en!
P.S. Please come back on Wednesday... I'm going to be starting a month-long guest designer gig!  Pin It Now!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Friends with Flair and Sympathy

I needed a sympathy card to send to a friend, and this is what resulted. It was my first chance to ink up this Unity/Webster's Pages image. The beautiful patterned paper was part of the amazing goody package my friend Meg sent me, and I used a strip of the reverse side instead of ribbon. A little different from my usual standard sympathy card approach, and I quite like how it turned out. It's going in Simon Says Stamp's current Anything Goes challenge. 
Be sure to stop by the Unity blog for lots of other Friends with Flair goodness!

Supplies: white cardstock, Crate Paper Portrait Collection patterned paper, Unity/Webster's Pages Love stamp, Bevy of Butterflies sentiment, Brilliance coffee bean ink, clear embossing powder Pin It Now!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Two CAS CASEs for Hallowe'en*

These are the last of my Hallowe'en creations for this year. I'm almost sure. ;) And although I thought I was still on a run of ideas, I suddenly hit a creative Hallowe'en wall. It took me a few days, but then it hit me... I have the September/October issue of PaperCrafts magazine (thanks, Meg!) and could look to it for inspiration! My first card is inspired by the online bonus project on p. 41.

When I first looked at the thumbnail picture, I thought, ooh, a yellow vellum moon, what an awesome idea! Then I discovered it wasn't vellum, it was cardstock. But I went with a vellum moon anyway; and I like how the patterned paper behind it gives it a bit of moon-like shadowing. A bat, a sentiment, and a black base... and call it done.
If you've seen this magazine, you'll recognize the source of my inspiration for the second card on p. 36.

This is a much closer CASE: black cardstock wrapped with twine, an image and a sentiment. I rounded the corners because I could; and because it echoes the round shape of the little (so not scary) owl. 
That's a lot of seasonal cards for someone who's not even that big a Hallowe'en fan! :D
*Just in case you're not part of the cult hobby... CAS = clean and simple, my kind of cardmaking style; CASE = copy and share everything, or in other words, take a card idea from someone else, tweak it, and make it your own. ;)

Supplies: (bat card) black cardstock, yellow vellum, Karen Foster patterned paper, Imaginisce Happy Hallowe'en stamp, Brilliance graphite black ink, clear embossing powder, Martha Stewart bat punch; (owl card) black & white cardstock, Unity Mix-Up of Cuteness stamp, Imaginisce Happy Hallowe'en stamp, Brilliance graphite black and moonlight white inks, clear & white embossing powders, Prismacolor pencils, Twinery mandarin twine, Marvy corner-rounder punch, dimensionals Pin It Now!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friends with Flair Friday... a Hallowe'en Break

I have managed to pause in my current affection for making Hallowe'en cards long enough to make a completely all-purpose one:

I really like this tail-wagger puppy; he's probably the favourite dog stamp I own. (That being said, I think I only have four or five dog stamps, as opposed to a dozen or more cat stamps. It's not my fault, sometimes people GIVE me cat stamps! :P) He's also easy to colour, easy to cut out, easy to use in a variety of ways.
Enjoy checking out the Friends with Flair creations, and have a great weekend! 

Supplies: white and Stampin' Up textured crushed curry cardstock, Unity Tail-wagger and Bevy of Butterflies stamps, Brilliance coffee bean ink, clear embossing powder, Sharpies, corner-rounding punch, dimensionals Pin It Now!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Yet More Hallowe'en

Yes, I'm still on the Hallowe'en kick, and here's my latest card:

I decided to use the Marah Johnson set, "Moxie", that I won from the All Things Unity challenge. It's the most gothic stamp set I own by far! I also may not decide to stamp and cut out one of these frames any time in the near future. :P I purposely overheated my embossing powder (honest!) to make it a little bumpy to add to the goth factor. (I'm not sure it really does, but it seemed like a cool idea.) I came across the CPS card sketch for this week, and decided it was a perfect layout to use. I didn't have the appropriate bat stamp (I have a "cute" sort of one) so used my Martha Stewart bat punch and a post-it note as a mask to sponge the bats on the card base. The hardest part of the card (next to cutting out that ornate frame, at least) was making sure the inset inside was centred so the "Boo" showed perfectly through the vellum window. 
Besides the current CPS #240 challenge, I am also entering this in the Simon Says Stamp Hallowe'en/Goth challenge, the CAS-ual Fridays challenge to make Hallowe'en cards without orange, and the Wee Memories challenge #72, Holiday Madness. And yes, I've started work on yet another Hallowe'en card! 

Supplies: white & Stampin' Up rich razzleberry cardstock, vellum, Unity Marah Johnson Moxie stamp, Brilliance graphite black & Memories black inks, clear embossing powder, Martha Stewart bat punch Pin It Now!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Scraps, yes. Orange, no.

I usually make a grand total of two Hallowe'en cards. I'm on a little bit of a roll this year! 

This was inspired by three challenges. This week's CAS-ual Fridays challenge is to make a Hallowe'en card without any orange. No problem, I'm not that big an orange fan anyway. ;) Simon Says Stamp is also having a Hallowe'en challenge. Then along came the challenge at Do You Stack Up? (DYSU#41) to use your scraps. Well! See that spooky tree? THAT is some scrap rubber left over from a Unity stamp set I bought a few weeks ago! When I removed the stamps, I thought right away that this particular leftover rubber piece would make an awesome Hallowe'en tree. Initially I tried to make my own background using some distress inks and an acrylic block, but it wasn't what I'd hoped. Then I took a look at this patterned paper and realized it would make a fine stormy Hallowe'en sky. (Not precisely a scrap, but I had cut into it before.) It's not really showing up in the photo, but I even sponged the edges of the crazy cat moon. (Me! Sponging edges! Oh, and stamped on a scrap of white cardstock, of course.) The sentiment is also a scrap... from a Twinery Hallowe'en freebie. 
I even have other Hallowe'en card ideas percolating in my head. No idea what's going on here... :P

Supplies: black & white cardstock, Karen Foster purple swish patterned paper, Amuse smiley cat stamp, scrap rubber, milled lavender distress, Memories black & Brilliance graphite black inks, clear embossing powder, Twinery Hallowe'en printable gift tag, dimensionals
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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Keep Calm and...

It's everywhere, isn't it? The British World War Two slogan, "Keep Calm and Carry On", has enjoyed a renaissance in the past few years, first in its original form and then in infinite variations. But when I saw THIS stamp, I knew it was the riff on the classic for me: 

I first learned of Market Street Stamps when my blogging friend Meg was named to the company's design team. Not only is Meg uber-talented, she's also very generous, and sent me this stamp recently after I admired it. (And included a bunch of other goodies, as well!) When it came time to use it, I was very impressed at how cleanly and evenly it stamped, especially for such a solid image. I wanted it to be the one focal point of the card, so I kept everything else simple. I did take a close-up photo to show off the Stickle salt rim on the glass and the quilting I scored on the background panel:

You can also see the clear glitter embossing powder I used. I've had it forever, and love its perfect mix of very fine glitter and clear embossing goodness.
This card is destined for a friend who will be celebrating a birthday that ends in zero. With that in mind, the inside reads, "After all, it's only another birthday." I think she'll see the humour in it. 
I'm adding this card to Market Street Stamps current first anniversary challenge to link up any MSS creation. I'm also going to add this to the latest Less Is More challenge: Cocktail. (Best. Challenge. Idea. Ever.) In the meantime, keep calm and... whatever! :P 
P.S. Not that any further proof of her genius is needed, but check out this awesome card Meg tucked in with the stamping goodies she sent me! 

P.P.S. Hey! This is my 100th post! Who would have thunk??? 

Supplies: white, black & Stampin' Up real red cardstock, Market Street Stamps Sip On stamp, Colorbox cranberry ink, clear glitter embossing powder, Icicle Stickles, Martha Stewart scoring board, dimensionals

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Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Glimpse into the Creative Process

1. Stare at the Paper Smooches current inspiration photo for a few days.

2. Stamp a whole school of fish from Birthday Buddies and colour using various shades from the inspiration picture. 
3. Wonder how to satisfy apparent current need for some shine, notice pins stuck in pincushions, and go, Aha! Use Versamarker to colour in party hats so they can be embossed in silver.
4. Note, briefly, that silver embossing powder is already starting to lose some of its shine, even though it's not that old. 
5. Cut out fish and play around with various layouts for a card.
6. Not be happy with any of the combinations. 
7. Look off to pile of various cardstock, papers, etc. and notice red mini card base left over from recent card-making.
8. Think, Hmmmmmm...
9. Pick one fish to pop onto card base, then stamp and emboss sentiment. 

10. Realize that card has moved a long way off from the original inspiration, but then decide to consider "inspiration" picture as just that... a starting point that can take one in many directions. 
11. Post to the Paper Smooches SPARKS challenge blog, and hope that better inspiration strikes before challenge deadline is reached.

Hope you have enjoyed this glimpse into the creative process.

Supplies: white & red cardstock, Paper Smooches Birthday Buddies stamps, Brilliance graphite black ink, clear & silver embossing powder, Sharpies, pop dot tape

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Friday, October 14, 2011

October 14th Friends with Flair

Happy Friday! It may be autumn (and grey, and rainy...) outside, but I'm thinking sunshine and happy thoughts with today's card: 

I used the crossword bird image again from the October 2010 Kit of the Month. Can't be too many other crossword birds out there! I stamped it twice, masking a bit of the circle out the first time so I could cut out the bird and branch with a little bit of white border. I thought colouring the circle this way made it look a bit like a sun against the blue of the embossed panel. The sentiment is from another Unity set, Bevy of Butterflies. I'm just a little addicted at the moment to inking up my embossing folders to create a bit of a faux-letterpress look. I'm entering this in the faux-letterpress challenge at Yvonne Yam's blog, Do More with Less. I've also added it to today's Friends with Flair over at the Unity blog.
Maybe if we all think sunshine, we'll get some this weekend! Have a good one.

Supplies: white & blue cardstock, Unity October 2010 Kit of the Month "Take Time to Laugh" & Bevy of Butterflies, Brilliance graphite black & tumbled glass distress inks, clear embossing powder, watercolour pencils, Crafts-Too embossing folder, dimensionals Pin It Now!

Monday, October 10, 2011

When in Vancouver...

Once or twice a year, my husb and I spend a week or so in British Columbia. Doesn't mean I have to go an entire week without playing with rubber stamps! :P There's a rubber stamp store on Granville Island, I'm Impressed, that offers a Coffee and a Card class every week. For a $2 donation to charity, participants enjoy a cup of Starbucks and the chance to make a card. I've been three times now. 

That's Eleonor facing the camera. She comes up with the week's card design and leads the class. 

That's me, gluing (too much of) the ribbon for the day's card. 

Putting the card together...

...and the finished product.
Whenever I bring one of these cards home, I always like to try it again, with my own personal slant. So here's my version:

I needed a thank you card for our cat-sitter, so I used colours that are a little more me, and different images. Music and flowers are related, right? 
Happy Thanksgiving or Columbus Day, and thank you to the many participants in the past weekend's blog hop in support of Julie Ranae! 

Supplies: white & Stampin' Up Riding Hood Red cardstock, Local King Rubber Stamp music background stamp, Hero Arts thank you stamp, Riding Hood Red & Brilliance graphite black ink, clear embossing powder, Cuttlebug tiny flowers embossing folder, Stampin' Up scallop border punch, Doodlebug Designs eyelet, dollar store ribbon Pin It Now!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Blog Hop for Operation Julie's Smile!

First off, the story behind this ginormous weekend blog hop:

The creative blogging community is coming together this weekend to help one of our friends, Julie Ranae. You may know her as the Design Team Coordinator for many wonderful companies from bakers twine to die cuts, rubber stamps and more. What many people don’t know about Julie is that she has had some pretty major dental surgeries in her life due to medication she had to take as a child. It was in her plans to think about having all of her teeth replaced at some point in the next 5 years, a decision that was pretty easy to plan out. But then it happened… she chipped her front teeth one weekend a month ago. The dentist told her there was no way to save them and it was his recommendation that she give in and have them all removed soon; for that day, they needed to get her front teeth done so her gums could begin to heal. He said he would "work out payments" with her to have ALL this work done...but when she called to make her appointment for the first step, they told her the amount of money that was needed and that the "payments" applied only to the two teeth that were extracted that day. So this is how she has found herself in this situation: needing at least $4000 to get started and another $3000 to finish the process…a total of $7000.
Nicole Rixon, owner of Sweet Stamp Shop put together this benefit after finding out about this situation and before Julie Ranae knew it, it took flight!
Because Julie is an event organizer by trade, she has taken on the job of organizing all of the blogs in this hop as her way of ‘working overtime’ for what she needs, the same as if she were able to work overtime at an outside job to pay for the work to be done.
It is the goal these generous friends and sponsors to help make this situation more doable for our friend so that she can share a brand new smile with all of us soon.
If there is anything you can do to help with a financial donation, there is a donation button ready for you to click. Any amount is appreciated and ALL DONATIONS will be eligible for prizes from our sponsor pool of over $2500.

On to the HOP! You should have arrived here by way of Tracy Schultz's blog. You can always check in at Sweet Stamp Shop's blog to get the full list of participants.

This is a mini-card (3"x3") made with a product new to me, Elizabeth Craft Designs Peel-Off Stickers. I stuck this intricate lady-bug on watercolour paper and coloured her in, then cut her out and popped her on a circle of purple cardstock. I heat-embossed the sentiment -- which I thought rather appropriate, given that this hop is for YOU, Julie -- so it would match the shine of the sticker. I also added some black diamond Stickles to the ladybug's antennae. 
Thank you for visiting, and for taking part in this amazing hop! Your next stop is Ashley Scrappin' Pink Piglet! Remember your blog comments give you a chance at the amazing prizes up for grabs! If you can make a donation (please see my sidebar) you will also be eligible for prizes. You have until October 9th at 11:59 pm to complete the hop. Have a great weekend, and Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving! 

Supplies: white & purple cardstock, Studio G stamp, Brilliance graphite black ink, clear embossing powder, Elizabeth Craft Designs Peel-Off sticker, watercolour pencils, black diamond Stickles, pop-dot tape
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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Paper Smooches SPARKS Challenge

Here is the current inspiration picture for the Paper Smooches SPARKS challenge. Cute! Obviously a baby theme, which I ignored. I'm just like that. I took inspiration instead from the colours (although mine are muted versions), the tag, the twine clothesline, the topstitching and the overall feminine feel. Here's what resulted:

Remember I'm still a newbie Cuttlebug owner, so this faux-letterpress technique is new and cool to me! I'm not sure you're really supposed to end up with that stippled look, but I like how it looks regardless. Besides, distress inks have interesting properties, so maybe you do get a stippled look. I used one of Kim's free digital images, and carefully watercoloured the flowers. (I find my printer ink can sometimes be smeary when watercolouring, but I was able to keep it clean this time.) I added a few leaves behind the flowers to give some contrast against the embossed layer. I love it when products from different companies coordinate: here the tag from Generations, the Divine twine, and the bundled sage distress ink. 
Be sure to pop in on Friday -- Operation Julie's Smile blog hop begins, and it's a BIG one!!! 

Supplies: cream & black cardstock, Paper Smooches digital stamp, Unity Gratitude=Joy stamp, Victorian velvet & bundled sage distress inks, CuttleBug Happy Birthday embossing folder, Generations tag sticker, Mrs. Grossman's happy birthday sticker, green Divine twine
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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Boo to you!

Welcome to my latest installment of Wow, you really can make a card without spending the big bucks! :D

I love these monsters! And I found them all in the cheap bins at Michaels! (Aside: don't even think about getting me started on the fact that they're dollar stamps in the US, and we pay 50% more.) The patterned paper is from a freebie digi pack! The Boo medallion is a Love the Day freebie! A bit of colouring, a scallop punch, some ribbon... poof, a cute and inexpensive Hallowe'en card! (Not to mention more exclamation marks than should ever be used in one paragraph.)
I made this for a boat-load haunted house-full of challenges. I pulled my colours and some of the themes from The latest Bows and Berries inspiration photo challenge. The ribbon loop qualifies this for this week's CAS-ual Fridays challenge (CFC22). I hope it's not considered double-dipping to also add this to the Ribbon Carousel challenge... anything goes. Speaking of... one last entry for the Simon Says Stamp challenge, although they've far surpassed their 1000 entries goal. (Next , they should team up with Pixar... "To Infinity... and Beyond!") 

Supplies: white & black cardstock, Sherry K Designs patterned paper, Love the Day "boo" circle, Brilliance graphite black ink, clear embossing powder, Prismacolor pencils, chipboard, Stampin' Up scallop border punch, Offray ribbon, Fiskars glue dots Pin It Now!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

World Card Making Day!

Really, there is such a thing! And what a great excuse to think, oh, I can't do (insert tedious chore here), I should make a card! :P I had time for two; one was needed, and one I wanted to make. 

We returned from a week away to read in our local paper that a friend had died while we were gone. I have known her since I was about eight years old, and she was a colleague of my husb's for several years. We were fortunate to attend her 80th birthday celebration earlier this year. Since we had already missed the visitation and funeral, I wanted a card for the family I could make quickly and easily. I went for a combination of two cards (see here and here). I wanted to incorporate a text component as our friend had been a newspaper columnist for our local paper for a number of years. (Aside: It's Dickens again! I went with A Tale of Two Cities for this card. Thanks, Project Gutenberg! The sentiment is also computer-generated.)
From that card, I went on to one that's been percolating in my head for a bit:

Is this not the least scary Hallowe'en card you've ever seen? How can you be afraid of Hello Vampire-Kitty?  :[ (Fangs, doncha know...) And this may be the most decorated card-interior I've ever done:

I stamped this cute little kitty when I visited my stamping buddy, Emily, this summer. It was just waiting for the perfect chance to be used! I popped her on my first-ever paper rosette, wrapped with some mandarin twine for extra Hallowe'en orange. The cobwebs and sentiment are embossed in holographic embossing powder. I think it's really great that purple has become an official Hallowe'en colour alongside orange and black! :P 
My Hello Vampire card is being added to this week's Simon Says Stamp challenge, anything goes. Because, really, a vampire kitty? If that's not anything goes, I'm not sure what is. ;)

Supplies: (sympathy card) white & Stampin' Up almost amethyst cardstock, watercolour paper, vellum, Stampin' Up Fifth Avenue Floral stamp, Brilliance moonlight white ink, white embossing powder, Stargazer Twinkling H2Os, dimensionals; (Hallowe'en card) black & white cardstock, Karen Foster patterned paper, Shery K Designs digital patterned paper, PSA Hello Kitty Trick or Treat stamp, Craft Smart cobweb stamp, Imaginisce Happy Hallowe'en stamp, Memories black ink, Dusty Concord distress ink, Colorbox orange ink, holographic embossing powder, Sharpies, Twinery mandarin twine, Fiskars glue dots Pin It Now!