Friday, August 31, 2012

Friends with Arty Flair

Usually, I set out to make a card with a fairly clear picture in my mind of what I'm going to do. Not that the finished product always turns out according to plan. :P Occasionally, though, I'll start out just with the stamps I want to use, and see where they take me. That was the case with this card. 

I really like this bird from the October 2011 Kit of the Month, "Faith, Hope, Love... Live By It". I got him in a Friends with Flair goody bag, along with several others from the kit, including the sentiment and leaves that I just by chance decided to use as well. They were obviously meant to be together. I stamped, embossed, sponged and cut out the bird and leaves. Then I spent a lot of time figuring out what the background would be, finally deciding on these two patterned papers. I love how the little strip of map paper just happens to say "adore" along the bottom, just from the way I cut it. And yes, I underlined "fly" with one of the leaves on purpose. ;) Altogether a smidge artier than my average card, and I like it! 
Today is Friday (yay!) and that means this card is off to play along with Unity Friends with Flair. It's also going into Simon Says Stamp's latest "Anything Goes" challenge, as well as Moxie Fab World's Assymetry challenge. Just being inspired by the sentiment I used.

Supplies: Stampin' Up kraft & bravo burgundy (I think) cardstock, Stampin' Up newsprint & Gartner Studios bon voyage-world map patterned paper, Unity October 2011 Kit of the Month "Faith, Hope, Love... Live By It" stamps, vintage photo, antique linen, peeled paint & bundled sage distress inks, clear embossing powder Pin It Now!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Christmas at Last?

There are HOURS to go in the Hero Arts August contest! So here's one more, slightly last-minute entry.

I've had this stamped panel of Starbursts sitting on my cutting mat for quite a while, while I've pondered different ways to use it. At the same time, in another remote corner of my brain, I've been thinking that it's time to start stockpiling Christmas cards for the future festive season. Eventually, the two parts of my brain communicated and this card was born. I'm liking the retro-funky look a lot!
Besides the Hero Arts contest, I'm also going to enter this in Moxie Fab World's gallon/quart/pint contest... this card has a gallon of red (just the way I like it), a quart of milk white, and a pint of silver. And of course I'll add this to Simon Says Stamp's anything goes challenge. ;)

Supplies: white & Stampin' Up real red cardstock, silver pearl paper, Hero Arts starbursts & get merry! stamps, Stampin' Up real red & Colorbox frost white inks, white embossing powder, Recollections silver rhinestones Pin It Now!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Summer Scenes

To me, this is the quintessential summer scene:

The new challenge at Crafty Creations Challenges today is to create a summer scene on your card or other paper-crafted project. Growing up near Georgian Bay meant many summer days spent on the water. So for me, this IS summer. You can't see from the photo, but through some fortuitous alchemy, the combination of black ink, clear embossing powder and Twinkling H2Os gives the trees a perfect greenish tinge when the light strikes them the right way. I made this for a friend who recently discovered he has cancer. I thought the serenity of the image struck the right tone. I'm linking this card up to the latest CASology challenge -- the cue word is "relax". 

My second card is a less literal interpretation, but I think still makes a summery scene. Being out in the garden (or among the container plants on the deck!) is also a big part of summer for me. That little butterfly was punched from some random flyer, and just happened to work perfectly with the blue chalk ink of the watering can and tools. I'm going to link this card to Moxie Fab World's movement challenge, because I like the way the eye moves along the different elements of this card. (As usual, I'm sure it's the 'innovative' part of the challenge that will do me in. :P) 
Our generous sponsor this week at Crafty Creations Challenges is Whimsy Stamps. I'm just glad it's a challenge that lets me hang on to summer a bit longer! Why not link up your summer scene? 
P.S. We're introducing some terrific new design team members today! Come check out their beautiful creations! 

Supplies: (shore scene) white & blue cardstock, watercolour paper, Stampscapes lakeside cove stamp, Versafine onyx black ink, clear embossing powder, Twinkling H2Os, watercolour paint; (garden friends) white & red cardstock, Papertrey Ink Garden Variety stamps, Versamagic Aegean blue, red magic & Spanish olive chalk inks, Martha Stewart butterfly punch, Marvy Uchida corner-rounding punch Pin It Now!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Birthday Friends with Flair

Time to play along with Unity's Friends with Flair! It seems that I need a TON of birthday cards in August. Here's one I made for my grandson's birthday... that just happens to be today! 

I love this cute little trio of "who"lagins. I think the stamp must be retired now, as I can't find it on the Unity site, but I was lucky enough to receive it in a pack of goodies that I won last year for participating in Friends with Flair. (Edited to add: I found it! I had the spelling wrong. Find it here.) They are popped up on blue cardstock that I stamped with Versamark using bubble wrap to add a bit of interest. The sentiment is computer-generated, with the HOOT! paper-pieced.
There is always inspiration to be found in the Friends with Flair entries, so check it out! 

Supplies: white, blue & Stampin' Up very vanilla cardstock, My Mind's Eye Stella and Rose Hattie patterned paper, Unity 3 Whooligans stamp, Versamark & vintage photo distress ink, clear embossing powder, Prismacolor pencils, black Enamel Accents, pop-dot tape Pin It Now!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Cardmaking Apprentices (Part II)

(Cardmaking Apprentices Part I is here.)

In my completely unbiased, totally objective opinion, my granddaughter is a very talented cardmaker! :) See what I mean...

This is the card she made for her great-grandmother's 90th birthday. Knowing her G-G loves flowers, she picked this Studio G one to ink up. One of her favourite techniques is to ink stamps in more than one colour, so of course all the stems were green, while the blooms came in pink, purple and blue. We found a couple of fun patterned clouds in my stash of die cuts. The sun peeking out from behind the cloud? I had neglected to bring any punches with me, so she improvised with a yellow "O" letter sticker! The "grass" is some Basic Grey paper doily ribbon, which we both think is very cool. 
I'm entering this card into Simon Says Stamp's Children's Summer Holiday challenge. A chance at a few more supplies is never a bad thing! ;) 

Pin It Now!

Cardmaking Apprentices (Part I)

I think it's terrific that Simon Says Stamp is offering a challenge just for kids. Especially since there are TWO apprentice cardmakers in the family! I have yet to convince my husb to make me one :P, but both my grandchildren love making cards for special occasions. And what could be more special than their great-grandma's (my mother-in-law's) 90th birthday? First up is a card my seven-year-old (eight tomorrow!) grandson made:

Their G-G enjoys feeding the backyard squirrels, so it was easy to choose the squirrel from Stampin' Up's Animal Crackers set. He chose not to ink the "I'm nuts about you" sentiment. He borrowed his sister's Prismacolor pencils to color the image. Next a "tree" from the SU set Cheep Talk. (It was the only tree-like stamp I had brought with me.) Then we looked through my stash of die cuts and found this Lil' Inker Designs acorn. A little green cardstock through a crimper, some pop-dot tape on the squirrel, and he had a terrific card. 
Next up, my granddaughter's card Pin It Now!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Still Thinking Summer

After a hot, DRY July, it seems like August has been nothing but rain! At least in my little corner of the world. But at Crafty Creations Challenges, we're still determined to think summer -- summer colours, in fact! Yellow sunshine, blue water, green grass; use these three colours to create your card or other paper craft.

I picked this beautiful teapot of daffodils image from this week's sponsor, Beccy's Place. Luckily for me, the colours are summery, but the image doesn't have to be, since daffodils do say spring more than summer, don't they? ;) I used this week's sketch from Retro Sketches, swapping out the flourish for a birthday sentiment. And I know it's just the sentiment, but I'll throw it into this month's Hero Arts challenge, too.
Why not join us this week with these summery colours? You could win two images courtesy of Beccy's Place.

Supplies: white & yellow cardstock, Kristin Bueter Baja Plaid digital patterned paper, Beccy's Place daffodils in a teapot image, Hero Arts Sending You Love sentiment, Stampin' Up bashful blue ink, Prismacolor pencils, Spellbinders circle & scalloped circle die, Chatterbox antique gold tacks, pop-dot tape Pin It Now!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Clean and Simple Tulips

I have another entry for the Hero Arts Clean and Simple Stamping contest! Yes, I said last week I was going to INUNDATE them with entries... and this is my second. The month's not even half over, though, so I'm not giving up yet. :D 

I love this newspaper tulips stamp. I chose to use it very simply for this card, and not just because of the contest! I wanted to let the image take centre stage. Red for contrast, and call it done! Makes a perfect any-occasion card.
I'm back tomorrow with the new Crafty Creations Challenge! It's a good one... ;)

Supplies: white & Stampin' Up real red cardstock, My Mind's Eye Lime Twist Life of the Party patterned paper, Hero Arts newspaper tulips stamp, Colorbox frost white ink, white embossing powder, Twinery maraschino twine, Creative Memories corner-rounder punch, pop-dot tape 
Pin It Now!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Winner winner...

... you know the rest. ;)
It's time to announce the winner of two Unity itty bittys from my Growing in Unity week! Of course didn't want to play nicely this morning, so Google to the rescue! Thanks to Mrs. Glosser's Math Goodies, I picked the day of the week...

Then the comment number...

Who turned out to be...

Congratulations, Julie! Please get in touch so I can get your info to pass on to the fabulous peeps at Unity! Of course, I don't know how you'll be able to stop at two, since itty bittys are half price this weekend! Speaking of which, I may have some shopping of my own to do...
Thanks to everyone who visited this week, and I hope you'll come back soon! And thank you as well to Unity for giving me this fun opportunity.  Pin It Now!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Growing in Unity {Day 5}

Happy Friday! I hope you've been here all this week checking out my Growing in Unity posts. If not, you may want to do a little backtracking -- one lucky commenter this week will win a choice of two itty bitty stamps from Unity
Again today I have two projects to share with you... plus a story of great customer service. A few months ago I ordered Unity/Echo Park Fright Night (since it was on sale and all....). I hadn't used it yet, since I hadn't needed Halloween cards. (Although some of the images are easily multi-purpose, and I'm also thinking that, upside down, the banners might make fun Christmas trees. Although come to think of it, I haven't been making Christmas cards lately, either.) But in my quest to ink up unloved stamps, out came Fright Night.

Two ideas started this card: wanting to use one of the file folder images, and making my own washi tape with this "boo!" stamp that came in a little bag of Unity goodies that I won. I stamped the boo image repeatedly on yellow tissue, cut it out, and layered it on double sided tape for some fun Halloween caution tape. The panel down the side is the same stamp embossed twice. Although a real file folder would have the tab on the back fold, this works better for a card. ;) 
I was having so much fun, I kept stamping!

I love this Fright Night Sweets stamp! I made the little treat bag from a sheet of digital Amber Ink iPaper. Sadly, Amber Ink seems to have vanished from the interwebs. The bag template is here. (I changed the handles.) 
When I opened my Fright Night set last week... I discovered a flaw! The bat had been cut wrong, and had lost part of one wing. I emailed Unity, and even though it's been months since I bought it, I was offered a replacement bat right away. How awesome is that? 
Since it's Friday, I'm linking this post to Unity's weekly Friends with Flair hop. And don't forget, commenting on this or any post this week might just net you a couple of Unity itty bittys of your own! Thanks for stopping by, and have a great weekend. 

Supplies: (card) black & orange cardstock, yellow tissue paper, Unity/Echo Park fright night stamps, Versamark, Memento tuxedo black & Versafine onyx black inks, clear embossing powder, Marvy Uchida corner-rounding punch; (treat bag) white & black cardstock, Amber Ink crackle dot white-on-black tiny iPaper, Colorbox orange ink, clear embossing powder, Martha Stewart bat punch, Offray ribbon Pin It Now!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Growing in Unity {Day 4}

Today for my Growing in Unity post, I have a pair of pear cards for you! When Unity released these Vintage Fruit stamps, I had to have them. When I got them, I was even more pleased to discover the text parts are school themed, and reference Ontario! I have used the strawberry and apple stamps with no problem -- perhaps because they lend themselves to pinks and reds, colours I use easily. Greens and yellows? Not so much. But in the intervening months, I've added Memento pear tart ink to my stash. How could I go wrong? :P 

For my first card, I kept it very simple. Stamped and sponged, matted with a darker green, rounded the corners. The card is a bit of an odd size to work with the stamp; the finished dimensions are 4¾" by 4". 
For my second attempt, I decided to get a little fancier:

For this, I embossed the stamp in black before watercolouring the pear. I found a coordinating patterned paper, as well as fabric and paper ribbons. 
Commenting on my Growing in Unity posts this week puts you in the running to win two itty bitty stamp sets from Unity! I'll be back tomorrow with my final post of this fun (for me, at least ) week.

Supplies: (first card) white and Stampin' Up old olive cardstock, Unity pear of a recipe stamp, Memento pear tart ink, Creative Memories corner-rounder punch; (second card) white & black cardstock, Recollections cornucopia patterned paper, Unity pear of a recipe stamp, Versafine onyx black, Memento new sprout, pear tart & angel pink inks, clear embossing powder, Spellbinders Labels Four die, Basic Grey ribbon doilies, $ store ribbon, dimensionals Pin It Now!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Growing in Unity {Day 3}

I'm back today with TWO cards for Growing in Unity! If you're visiting for the first time from the Unity blog, welcome; and if you're one of the faithful, I do appreciate your visits and comments. 
I'm continuing to give some attention to a few of the under-utilized stamps in my Unity stash. My first card is a less-than-typical wedding card... for a less-than-typical wedding. 

A while back, I felt the need to add a compass image to my collection, and really liked the classic lines of this Direction of Your Heart itty bitty. While I used the sentiment here, I hadn't used the compass yet. But when I wanted to make a card for my nephew's upcoming destination wedding (in Hawaii!), I thought this might be a great way to commemorate it. In my fevered imagination, I thought using a tag element would be a little reminiscent of a luggage tag. (I know, not really, but I can pretend.) And note the subtle, arrow-like shape of the sentiment? Pointing sorta kinda to Hawaii? It all works for me. :D 
My second card uses another itty bitty, the co-branded Webster's Pages Celebrate. While I had used this set once before, it was definitely time to play with it again. 

Several weeks ago, I pinned this image to one of my Pinterest boards. Mine of course looks quite different from the original, but that's the great thing about an inspiration picture, isn't it? I toyed briefly with the idea of reverse-stamping a reflection, but didn't want to wreck what I'd already done, and the image seemed a bit large for that, anyway. I am so pleased with the sponged water effect! Although I suppose to a sailor that's mighty calm water. :D 
I'll just take this opportunity to encourage you to leave a comment -- since one lucky commenter this week will win two itty bitty sets courtesy of Unity! There are close to 400 to choose from. Or maybe you've even seen one you like here today!  
I'm going to stretch a theme a bit here... this week at CASology, the cue word is POND. So I'm thinking of those people that make model boats and sail them around their neighbourhood pond... (Nice little connection here: I built a model wooden boat for my nephew to play with back when we were both much younger!) 

Supplies: (wedding card) white, navy & Stampin' Up kraft cardstock, Pink Paislee Daily Junque map patterned paper, Unity/Webster's Pages direction of your heart stamps, Memento Paris dusk ink, Stampin' Up ticket corner punch, Artemio gold eyelet, blue raffia, dimensionals; (celebrate card) white & navy cardstock, Memento Paris dusk & broken china distress inks, pop-dot tape Pin It Now!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Growing in Unity {Day 2}

As promised, today I have a slightly more masculine card as my Growing in Unity offering. Back in the spring I placed a Unity order, as there was a sale that was too good to pass up. As part of the offer, you could choose between two Itty Bittys (Bitties???) if your order reached a minimum level. Of course I hit the final order button and then did a mental forehead slap -- I hadn't requested my Itty Bity! I immediately emailed and begged forgiveness. Unity was awesome, and I got Wheely Fun in the mail with my order. But had I used it yet? Time to correct that oversight.

Is this not the cutest for a boy? I briefly considered paper-piecing the vehicles, but decided they were maybe a little small. (Especially since I'd have to cut out all the little windows!) Instead they are coloured with watercolour pencils. To me, the grass in front is like peering from the median at a line of traffic. The result is a cute card for a boy, I think.
Leaving a comment today and every day this week will put you in the running for two Itty Bitty stamps (perhaps even this one!), generously provided by Unity Stamps. And of course I'll be back tomorrow with another Unity card. 

Supplies: white & Stampin' Up old olive cardstock, Recollections gingham patterned paper, Unity Wheely Fun stamps, Memento tuxedo black and Paris dusk inks, Staedtler watercolour pencils, Memory Box puffy clouds & My Favorite Things fresh cut grass dies Pin It Now!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Hero Arts August Contest

*This is my second post of the day! (I'm shocked, too.)
Click here for my Growing in Unity post.*

Hero Arts not only makes great stamps, they also sponsor a monthly contest. And this month is perfect for me -- Clean and Simple Stamping! That's what I do best! So I plan to inundate them with entries. (We'll see if that actually happens. :D) 

Isn't this big award stamp fun? I paper-pieced the ribbons, and coloured the outline of the circle with my trusty Sharpies. I have no idea who makes the #1 stamps; I won them as blog candy. I cut out the image and popped it up on the orange mat, although it would be fun to make it into a pin and have it removable, too. 
I'm also going to enter this card into A Blog Named Hero's freestyle challenge. 
(Don't forget, I'm back tomorrow with another Growing in Unity post!) 

Supplies: white & Stampin' Up cajun craze cardstock, My Mind's Eye Lime Twist Fly a Kite patterned paper, Hero Arts/Basic Grey You're the Best stamp, Brilliance graphite black ink, clear embossing powder, orange Sharpie, Marvy Uchida corner-rounding punch, pop-dot tape Pin It Now!

Growing in Unity {Day 1}

Happy Monday! And for most of Canada, happy extra day off! I'm excited to be blogging all week with my Unity stamps -- I'm the Growing in Unity stamper this week! (Okay, enough with the exclamation marks.) :P I definitely have more Unity stamps than any other company -- they offer such a great variety of styles, and have sales way too often for me to always resist. 
I decided to give myself the goal of inking up some of my under-loved Unity stamps; whether they're the neglected aspects of a Kit of the Month, or a set I had to have, then balked on how I wanted to use them. First up, two stamps from the August 2010 Kit that needed some quality ink time:

I inked the little bird stamp in a light pink before stamping and embossing the larger bird on top. I used my holographic embossing powder to add lots of shimmer to the image. (I realize adding shimmery embossing powder to a chalk ink is a bit of a contradiction, but the purple happened to be a match.) The embossing folder that came with my Cuttlebug was a near-perfect echo of the flowers decorating the large bird. I knew I also wanted to incorporate my new Memory Box die in the design. Birds, flowers and music; pinks and purples -- works for a girly card, I think. :) 
CAS-ual Fridays is looking for projects with things you see in the sky, and A Blog Named Hero has a Freestyle challenge this week, so this card is there! 
Leaving a comment today and every day this week will put you in the running for two Itty Bitty stamps, generously provided by Unity Stamps! Thanks for visiting, and hope to see you tomorrow, when I'm back with a more boyish card. 

 Supplies: white, pink, purple & Stampin' Up melon mambo cardstock, Unity August 2010 Kit of the Month (All You Need), Memento angel pink & VersaMagic purple hydrangea inks, Memory Box virtuoso music die, Martha Stewart border punch, Marvy Uchida corner-rounder, pop-dot tape Pin It Now!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Cool Summer Treats

This week, the challenge at Crafty Creations Challenges is to incorporate a cool summer treat or treats -- think lemonade, watermelon, ice cream, popsicles -- into your paper craft.  I immediately thought of ice cream.

I had a lot of fun paper-piecing -- or maybe I should call it paper-layering -- the ice cream cone. The cherry just had to have a little Glossy Accents. And the wavy blue patterned paper made me think of the beach or a pool, another cool summer treat! 
Our sponsor this week is our teammate, Deena -- she'll be giving this week's challenge winner a choice of three images from her Etsy store, A Creative Need.  So think cool, refreshing thoughts and come and play along! 
P.S. Did you see that Crafty Creations Challenges has a DT call right now? You can read the details here. You have one more week to apply! 
P.P.S Come visit next week, when I'll be the Growing in Unity girl all week for Unity Stamp Company! (Hint: there's a prize to be won!) 

Supplies: white, Stampin' Up kraft, old olive & real red, & Bazzill sugar daddy cardstock, Jessica Sprague/LIV Designs Just Beachy waves patterned paper, Unity Mix-up of Cuteness stamps, Versafine onyx black, Brilliance coffee bean & Colorbox cranberry inks, clear embossing powder, Spellbinders reverse wonky rectangles die, Fiskars flowers corner punch, white gel pen, Glossy Accents, pop-dot tape Pin It Now!