Sunday, April 29, 2012


Have you seen the current (for a few more hours) Moxie Fab Tuesday Trigger challenge? If you like butterflies, or watercolours, or fashion, this one is hard to resist. 

I am still tickled by my discovery of Sharpies+rubbing alcohol+rice paper, and thought it would lend the right effect for this inspiration photo. 

Don't be surprised if you see more of this technique here in the next little while.
Also, how can I resist adding this to Simon Says Stamp's current anything goes challenge? 

Supplies: white and purple cardstock, rice paper, Sharpies, rubbing alcohol, Martha Stewart butterfly punch, pop dot tape Pin It Now!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Being Inspired...

I've been feeling quite amused lately by the acronym CASE. What a great way to gloss over the fact that as a crafter, you're looking at someone else's work and, well, um, copying it. And yes, it does expand out to "copy and share everything", but that word COPY is not so blatant when it's hiding in the short-form, is it? 
But. Rarely does a CASE become a clone of the original, and it is a great way to have a starting point into a creation that often strays quite far from the original inspiration. So I'm going to stop blathering and show you my latest CASE. :D This is the final card Donelda chose from the March/April issue of Paper Crafts magazine: 

Isn't this card by Barb Murphy (on p. 41) great? Love that panel down the left-hand side. Now... this would be one level of challenge if I had alcohol inks and glossy paper... which I don't. So I looked around the virtual world for some ideas on how I might get a similar effect. One possibility came from an idea I'd pinned a while back on Pinterest, using Sharpies to make a tie-dye tshirt. (Now Sharpies I have!) The other idea came from my talented friend Virginia (yes, I mentioned her on Wednesday, too) -- she made flowers by dying coffee filters with distress inks!  I grabbed my Sharpies, some rubbing alcohol and a coffee filter. Dots of Sharpies, drips of alcohol, and let dry. That experiment led to the flower on yesterday's card! Then I wondered what other papers might be fun to try. I have tons of rice paper, and decided to experiment with it. And here is what happened:

I think it looks pretty good! Instead of lots of colours, I went with pink, blue and purple. I was fortunate enough to have a sheet of blue cardstock that worked perfectly. A mat of white, a Unity sentiment (hello, Friends with Flair Friday!) and done! 
Besides Friends with Flair, I'm going to link this up to the current Simon Says Stamp Anything Goes challenge
Happy Friday!

Supplies: white & blue cardstock, rice paper, Unity You Deserve Happy stamp, Colorbox frost white ink, white embossing powder, Sharpies, rubbing alcohol Pin It Now!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Inspiration from Paper Crafts Magazine...

... and beyond!
I wonder if perhaps Donelda and I left our two toughest inspiration cards from the March/April issue of Paper Crafts magazine to the last. I know these were two very challenging cards for me this week. I looked to other inspiration to help me make this week's cards my own. Today Donelda and I are CASEing the last card I picked, this one on page 44 by Laura Pryor:

I know I had an idea in my mind when I picked this card, but by the time I was ready to act on it? Gone. And any time I've tried to do a background like this, I have not liked the result; it always just looks scribbly to me. So then I thought back to a recent post by the always-inspiring Kasia Curry and ended up with this: 

I pulled out a spectrum's worth of Sharpies (Copics are for real crafters, obviously) and drew lines just as Kasia did to make my main panel. It turned out so bright and cheery! It made me think right away that a Paper Smooches sentiment would be the perfect match. And since I rarely (okay, possibly never) put buttons on my cards, I used this layered die-cut flower instead. But you'll have to wait till tomorrow to find out where that inspiration originated! ;) I really liked the extra-long format of Laura's card, but ended up going with a four-bar size (3.5 x 4.75 inches) in the end.
I'm going to link this card up to the current Paper Smooches SPARKS challenge -- the inspiration photo has the bright colours and graphic lines that go with this card, I think. Wow, that makes the fourth source of inspiration for this card, I think? I'm also linking to the latest Anything Goes challenge at Simon Says Stamp and Lily Pad Cards' flower challenge.
Tomorrow we're back with Donelda's final choice -- I had some serious fun with her pick! 

Supplies: white cardstock, coffee filter, Paper Smooches Birthday Buddies stamps, Brilliance graphite black ink, clear embossing powder, Sharpies, Spellbinders carnation creations dies, hemp cord, pop-dot tape Pin It Now!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Little Girls Rule at Crafty Creations Challenges

Sunshine and rainbows and ribbons for hair bows; that's what LITTLE GIRLS are made of!
That's our tag line this week at Crafty Creations Challenges: make a feminine creation for a little girl. Our sponsor this week is A Day for Daisies, and when you see all their sweet images, you may wonder WHAT I was thinking using the one I did. Don't worry, I'll explain! 

I realize this isn't an obvious little-girl card. I made it with a specific girl in mind, however; one who loves flowers and pretty things. I knew these poppies would appeal to her. I printed the image on watercolour paper and coloured the poppies with watercolour pencils. The photo doesn't capture the shimmery background my pale blue Twinkling H2Os added. (It captures the blue, just not the shimmer. :P) Instead of cutting the image out, I ripped the edges along a ruler to give a bit of an artist's canvas look to it. It's then pop-dotted on the red mat on a cream card base.
I will admit: I had a second reason for choosing this particular image. My talented stamping friend Virginia Lu has recently been the inspiration behind a challenge on Lily Pad Cards called Virginia's View. I've meant to play along each time it's been posted, and of course have never managed to squeeze it in. And now this is Virginia's last one! So I was determined to join in. And since this is the inspiration pic:

... it all seemed to be too perfect to pass up. It also just so happens there's a few days left in the Lily Pad flower challenge, too. 
Our winner this week will win a $12 gift card to the A Day for Daisies shop, so why not show us what you think little girls are made of? 

Supplies: cream & red cardstock, watercolour paper, A Day for Daisies Poppies, watercolour pencils, Stargazer Twinkling H2Os, pop-dot tape
Pin It Now!

Friday, April 20, 2012

My Turn to CASE a Card

Today it's my turn again to pick a card from the March/April issue of Paper Crafts magazine for Donelda and me to CASE (copy and share everything). I picked this card for the masking technique used: 

Sometimes I need bonk-on-the-head reminders like, hey, you could mask out an area of a design and put a sentiment! Sarah Jay was nice enough to provide just such a reminder with this pretty card on p. 22 of the issue. At first I thought I'd go the flower route, too, but eventually went off in an entirely different direction. 

I stamped and embossed the sentiment first, then masked it with a row of small post-its, which were handily just the right height for the job. I then stamped and embossed first the top, then the bottom of the key and music stamp. Of course, picking an image like this, rather than smaller images, meant taking extra care in getting them lined up just right. Finally, I stamped and embossed the long music strip, matted it with the black and added it down the left side of the card. 
Since it's Friday, I'm going to add this card to Unity's Friends with Flair linky fun -- even though I did sneak one non-Unity stamp in there (shh! the music down the side). The main stamps are from the Unity kit Key to Joy, so I hope I'll be forgiven. ;)
I'm looking forward to seeing what Donelda came up with for this one! 

P.S. As you may have guessed, my computer issues are resolved. All it took was an hour with a helpful call centre representative... and a credit card. Who knew my little cat could repartition hard drives? I really do know to close my laptop when I leave it unattended, but she was fast asleep... :P

Supplies: black & Stampin' Up very vanilla cardstock, Unity Key to Joy, Local King Rubber Stamp notes, Brilliance graphite black & Versamark inks, clear & pale gold pearl embossing powders, Martha Stewart border & Marvy corner-rounder punches Pin It Now!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

More Fun with Donelda and Paper Crafts Magazine!

(This is an abbreviated version of what I would otherwise write: computer issues! I'm on our "other" computer, so I'll do my best...)

Donelda and I are at it again! We've picked a few more cards from the March/April issue of Paper Crafts magazine to challenge each other. Today is Donelda's choice, and yes, it was a bit of a challenge...

We are using a fabulous card on p. 52, and I'd tell you who made it if all the info wasn't on the computer that my cat reformated somehow. :P (Donelda will have all the details.) I really liked the slant of the card, so to speak, and followed the layout very closely. My computer woes also kept me from generating the printed sentiment I was thinking of, since of course I didn't have a stamp that was exactly right. Polka-dot ribbon "leaves" work, right? This may even turn into this year's Mother's Day card, we'll see.
Now, off you go to see what inspired Donelda! Of course, I'd love it if you left a comment first.

Supplies: white, black & Stampin' Up rich razzleberry cardstock, Hero Arts musical clef stamp, Versamagic perfect plumeria chalk ink,  Spellbinders carnation creations dies, Stampin' Up grosgrain ribbon, Marvy corner-rounder punch, Recollections black half pearl Pin It Now!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Crafty Creations Challenges: Yellow and...

I decided to play along with Crafty Creations Challenges today even though it's my off-week. The current theme is a bit of a challenge for me: use yellow plus one other colour in your crafty creation.  I don't use a lot of yellow and thought it would be fun to see what I might come up with. Besides, I needed to make a thank you card, anyway.

I'll admit, I made this card before all the details had been posted for those of us on the design team, so I didn't really realize that the challenge was going to be to use yellow plus one other colour. Let's just say the brown of the branch is another neutral, shall we? Then I've got yellow plus green and a few neutrals. I knew I wanted to paper-piece a bird in this cheery yellow gingham, but when I got out this cute Stampin' Up set, the birds were a little too solid to paper-piece well. So I used this bird from a Jane's Doodles set instead. The solid yellow pieces: a paint chip! Why buy colours you're not as fond of when you can have lots of shades in paint chips for free? :D 
Perhaps yellow is one of your go-to colours, or maybe using it is more of a challenge (like me!). Either way, why not pull out some yellow ink, paper or embellishments and play along! 

Supplies: white cardstock, Recollections yellow gingham patterned paper, Stampin' Up Cheep Talk & Jane's Doodles Garden Friends stamps, Versafine onyx black ink, clear embossing powder, Laurentien markers, Stampin' Up ticket-corner punch, pop-dot tape Pin It Now!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Problematic Card

Ever have one of those cards? You know, where nothing looks quite like you imagined it, or planned it, or at least hoped it would? This is one of those cards...

First off, I think this card looks better in real life than in the photo, where the contrast between the embossed flower and the card base isn't quite so stark, and where the sentiment ink is a closer match to the patterned paper. That being said... I picked one of the sketches from the current Hero Arts contest and decided to use this awesome Hero Arts/Basic Grey flower as a focal image. I divided the patterned paper, put it back together with repositional tape, and embossed. When I tried it on a white base... I discovered my white embossing powder isn't so white. (I'm not sure if it's always been so creamy -- I've noticed before it's not a perfect white, but it really showed up with this large, semi-solid image. Maybe it's the age of the powder; who knows?) At least on the vanilla base, the flower just seems more highlighted, and not dingy, as it did against the white. The vanilla base also looks richer than the white did. 
So, while obviously this card didn't end up in recycling, and I'm willing to share it with cyberspace, and I've even entered it in the Hero Arts contest and the current Simon Says Stamp challenge (April Showers Bring Spring Flowers), I'm not entirely happy with it. And if you have any recommendations for a WHITE embossing powder, please share! 

Stampin' Up very vanilla cardstock, My Mind's Eye Stella and Rose Hattie patterned paper, Hero Arts/Basic Grey stamps, Colorbox frost white & VersaMagic Aegean blue inks, white embossing powder, circle nestability, pop-dot tape Pin It Now!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Flower Power!

If it's Wednesday, then it must be time for another Crafty Creations challenge! This week it's all about showing some flower power on your card or other crafty item. 

I think as far as flower images go, nothing I own has a bigger impact than this big Stampin' Up rose. I heat embossed it, watercoloured it with distress inks, then layered it on a panel embossed with Market Street Stamps vintage music background and sponged with the lighter two shades used to colour the rose. The sentiment is heat-embossed on vellum. This card is for my husband's aunt who turns a youthful 90 next week. I'm going to enter this card in Lily Pad Cards current flower challenge
Whiff of Joy is sponsoring our current challenge -- so why not come and show us some flower power? 

Supplies: black & white cardstock, vellum, Stampin Up Fifth Avenue Floral, Market Street Stamps vintage music & Memory Box happy birthday stamps, spun sugar, worn lipstick & festive berries distress inks, Versafine onyx black ink, clear embossing powder, Martha Stewart border punch, pop-dot tape Pin It Now!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Flashback Fridays: Die-Cuts

I seem to be getting to Flashback Fridays challenges a little later each time I play! This time around, the challenge is to revisit your first project that used a die-cut. Long before I owned a die-cut machine, I made this little card thanks to a die-cut I was given: 

The original post is from January of 2011, and was a CASE (copy and share everything) of a card of Emily's that I made when she was the featured stamper on Splitcoast Stampers. She was also the provider of the die-cut! I did get all fancy by cutting one end off. :P 

Pin It Now!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Week Two, Day Two with Donelda and Paper Crafts Magazine

Happy Friday, and the beginning of a long Easter weekend! Donelda and I are back again with another day of Paper Crafts magazine CASEing. My turn to pick today, and here's the card I chose, this one from Vivian Masket

This card is an online bonus project from the issue, so you can read all about the original here. I picked it entirely because of the ribbon, and knew exactly what I was going to use. 

I won this wide ribbon ages ago (along with a similar one in blue and brown), and rarely use it. From there, it was a matter of deciding the other elements for the card. I originally tried the flower from this card from last week, but it was too formal for this more casual ribbon. Fluffles the Cat, however, is just about perfect! Fluffles qualifies this card for the current DYSU challenge (DYSU#66), Friendly Critters. And of course I heat-embossed Fluffles, so this can go in the current Simon Says Stamp challenge to use your favourite tool. Although the patterned paper is from Echo Park's Holly Jolly collection, I thought the green was very spring-like. And that means I can enter this in the current Ribbon Carousel Challenge, RCC47, Spring is in the Air! Even though I basted and gathered the ribbon, instead of knotting it as Vivian did, I still needed a double layer of pop-dot tape to raise Fluffles high enough. No sentiment, but I'll be able to customize the inside when I'm ready to use this card. 
Donelda said she was immediately drawn to the ribbon on this card, too, so it will be fun to see what she came up with! 

Supplies: white cardstock, Echo Park Holly Jolly patterned paper, Stampendous Flower Fluffles stamp, Versafine onyx black ink, clear embossing powder, Prismacolor pencils, ribbon, pop-dot tape Pin It Now!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Paper Crafts Magazine: Week Two

It's such fun CASEing cards from Paper Crafts magazine with Donelda! We're still working our way through the March/April 2012 issue, and we're starting off this week with Donelda's pick first. She chose this card from Go-To Gal Teri Anderson

I have to admit, this is the first card Donelda has picked that didn't immediately "speak" to me. I like it, I just didn't immediately have fifteen ideas in my head to choose from. And -- there's no stamping on it! I thought about why she might have chosen it... and if I know Donelda, one of the things that would have attracted her was the opportunity to use some scraps! So that's where I put my focus. Here's the final product:

I felt the need to ground the pennants, so I attached them to some hemp cord, which may or may not indicate that my initial plan was to use a kraft card base. We also don't need to discuss the sheet of kraft cardstock that may have given its life in vain. It's possible there were going to be white clouds stamped on the kraft card base. So when I switched to the white base and added the sentiment, I realized there wasn't a lot to tie the sentiment to the pennants. That's where the little heart, glitzed up with some Glossy Accents, came in. It also provides a little echo of the brad that Teri used.
After that sad little story, it's time to go see what Donelda did with this inspiration! 
P.S. Since those pennants are all from my patterned paper scrap basket, I'm linking this up to the Moxie Fab World paper scraps challenge! And since my favourite stamping tool is my heat tool (no surprise there), it's going in this week's Simon Says Stamp challenge! 

Supplies: white and Stampin' Up real red cardstock, Stampin' Up (red), Recollections (orange & yellow), Karen Foster (blue), DCWV (dark blue, pretending to be indigo) & My Graphico (purple) patterned paper, Technique Tuesday sentiment stamp, Versafine onyx black ink, clear embossing powder, small heart punch, Glossy Accents, hemp cord Pin It Now!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Springtime at Crafty Creations Challenges

This week at Crafty Creations Challenges, we are thinking SPRING! Celebrate spring by making a card or other project that incorporates green, buds, blossoms, grass... you get the idea.

These seed package stamps are part of a set the awesome Meg sent me for Christmas. The plant images would also be fun to colour, but for this card I decided to ink them up on old olive cardstock, and used some kraft cardstock behind them to resemble old-style seed packets. I've been starting seeds the past few weeks to get ready for spring planting, so this card really epitomizes the season for me.
What about you? Make a spring card or other project and join us! We have a great prize from Digital Delights on offer this week, so why not play along?

Supplies: Stampin' Up very vanilla & old olive cardstock, Stampin' Up patterned paper, TPC Studio Victory Garden stamps, Memento tuxedo black ink, dimensionals Pin It Now!