Saturday, June 28, 2014

S is for...

noun: steampunk; noun: steam-punk
  1. a genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery rather than advanced technology.

The Snarky Sisters are back with a new challenge... STEAMPUNK! Edna is looking very fine in her steampunk garb, don't you think? I find steampunk as a design genre much easier to recognize than define... and much easier to admire than create. So of course I had to attempt this twice. ;)
For my first card, I went to the always reliable Pinterest to do the bulk of the work for me...

After trying to find the origin of this fabulous cat on both Google and Tin Eye, I concede defeat. It was just too much fun not to use. I paired Captain Mittens with some patterned paper that I sponged around the edges. I added some faux cogs and gears thanks to some washers and a metal button. All of them were soaked briefly in vinegar and salt to add a little ageing. 
Then I remembered I have one almost-steampunk stamp! Attempt #2:

I split the sentiment into three, partly so I could selectively ink the third word. This time I had real gears, thanks to a visit to my mother-in-law's basement and the discovery of a '50s era alarm clock. 
Of course I'm entering my cards into Simon Says Stamp's current Anything Goes challenge. 
And there you have it! Steampunk meets clean and simple. :D For some true steampunk inspiration, you need to see what my snarky sisters have created, as well as this challenge's guest designer, Shelly! And let's just say, if I can do steampunk, anyone can, so let's see your creations! 

Supplies: (Ambrose Mittens) black cardstock, Staples photo paper, Studio Calico Abroad patterned paper, Memnto tuxedo black ink, Marvy-Uchida corner-rounding punch; (dream, fly, imagine) white cardstock, Heidi Swapp No Limits patterned paper, Unity stamps, Versafine onyx black & Colorbox mango tango ink, Zing clear embossing powder, Memory Box woodland branch die

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Friday, June 27, 2014

Beavers and Maple Leaves

Happy Friday, and happy lead-up to Canada Day! I know my American friends have to wait till next weekend for their long weekend, but some lucky people will be able to turn this weekend into a four day one. Canada Day and a few challenges inspired me to make a fittingly Canadian card:

I'm using (more or less) the sketch from this week's Paper Smooches SPARKS challenge, and the CASology cue word "wood". You're right, no actual wood on this card, but there is our national wood-hewer, the beaver (I realize he was born a groundhog, but pop him in water and I think he makes a reasonable-looking beaver...) and a fine red maple leaf. I kept most of the elements of the Paper Smooches sketch, but dropped one panel and used a symbol in place of a sentiment. I die cut the leaf three times and layered them for some extra height instead of using pop dot tape. The beaver has glossy teeth and nose as well as a Stickled red Canada Day party hat. 
Since Simon Says Stamp has an Anything Goes challenge this week, I'm linking up there, as well. 
I'm back tomorrow for the latest Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers challenge. Let's just say what you'll see tomorrow is quite different from today. ;) Enjoy the start of your weekend! 

Supplies: Neenah solar white cardstock, My Mind's Eye Lost & Found Two Rosy & Lime Twist Fly a Kite patterned papers, Paper Smooches Birthday Buddies stamp, Memento tuxedo black ink, Paper Smooches Leaves 1 die, Spectrum Noir markers, white gel pen, Simon Says Stamp sequin, Glossy Accents, Clear Rock Candy Distress Stickles

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Sunshine on a Cloudy Day

It really is officially summer now! So I'm not going to let a cloudy day (make that two or three in a row, but whatever...) stop me from making a bright sunny summer card:

This card had already started to develop in my head when two challenges came out that gelled my ideas: Just Us Girls with a colour challenge to use orange, yellow and a neutral; and Addicted to CAS with a "sun" challenge. Even though that patterned paper actually has tiny flowers on it, I love that it almost hints at sand... okay, at least to me. A big yellow sun, bright orange flip flops and fun alphabet stamps made this a quick and easy card to put together. I don't know why the yellow "M" photographed so strangely... the shine of the clear embossing must have caught the light just the wrong way. 
It's also Anything Goes week at Simon Says Stamp, so of course I'm linking my card there, too. 
And while we're on the topic of challenges... there are still a few days left to break out the glitter and join our current Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers challenge! 

Supplies: white, yellow & orange cardstock; My Mind's Eye The Sweetest Thing Bluebell & Echo Park Dots & Stripes patterned paper, unknown alphabet stamps, Colorbox marigold & mango tango inks, Zing clear embossing powder, Lil Inkers flip flop, large sunshine & stitched rectangle mat dies, dimensionals
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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Confession, an Announcement... and Cards

First, the confession: despite the best of intentions, I rarely manage to play along with the weekly challenges at the challenge blog CASology. I follow the blog faithfully, save the cue word... and then *poof*! Time runs out. 
Then the other day, the post asked commenters to guess what what their 100th challenge word would be... and I was the one who got it right! That means I have the privilege of joining the talented design team as a guest for July. Woo hoo! 
I decided I really should get my act together and get a card made IN TIME for the current 100th challenge, with the cue word CELEBRATE.

And here is my completely unsubtle approach to that word:

In my personal definition of it, this squeaks in under the CAS (clean and simple) style. Although there are a lot of die cut glasses, they combine to form one main focal image. The hardest part of the card was trying to figure out how I was going to adhere all the glasses in just the *random* way I wanted them. Micro glue dots to the rescue! Micro glue dots are entirely too large for those teeny sequins, though... the smallest possible dots of Glossy Accents hold them in place. 
With all the Paper Smooches glasses, I am also going to enter this in the current Anything Goes challenge at SPARKS. I have a second Paper Smooches card I made, but it is such a major CASE (copy and share everything) of a card by current guest designer Diane that I'm certainly not entering it in a challenge. It will make a great end-of-school-year card though -- and that's something to celebrate, too! 

One more thing to celebrate... I think I've proved to myself that if I put my mind to it, I really can make a challenge card on time!

Supplies: (celebrate) a rainbow of cardstock from various companies including Stampin' Up, Lawn Fawn Hello Sunshine patterned paper, Paper Smooches Free Spirits Icons & Avery Elle Cheers dies, Simon Says Stamps sequins; (yee haw) white, Stampin' Up (?) blue & kraft & Bazzill textured yellow cardstock, Paper Smooches Smarty Pants & Buckaroo stamps, Versafine onyx black, Memories black & Memento Luxe espresso truffle inks, Zing clear embossing powder, Prismacolor pencils, pop dot tape & squares

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Sunshine and Stencils

There was little sunshine here today -- downpours and tornado warnings were the order of the day here. So it only makes sense that I made a sunshine card, right? 

The dark grey clouds also made this a little trickier than usual to photograph, so you may have to take my word for a few things -- for example, that the bunny couple really are subtly coloured blue and mauve with my Prismacolor pencils. The sky is stenciled using a Paper Smooches die cut and distress ink. I used another die from the same set to cut the green hillside. The sun is stamped, embossed and cut from happy yellow patterned paper. I almost let the sun stand on its own to complete the sentiment, but stamping the word sunshine helped balance the design and form a visual triangle with the bunnies and sun. 
Since I stenciled the sky, I'm linking this up to Simon Says Stamp's current challenge to "Stencil It". And now I'm just hoping for real-life sunshine tomorrow. ;)

Supplies: white & American Crafts textured green cardstock, Lawn Fawn Hello Sunshine patterned paper, Simon Says Stamp Color and Sunshine & Mama Elephant Honey Bunny stamps, Versafine onyx black, Colorbox mango tango & broken china distress inks, Paper Smooches Borders 1 & Simon Says Stamp Postage Stamp edge frame die, Prismacolor pencils, Icicle Stickles, pop-dot tape

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Saturday, June 14, 2014

G is for Glitter and GIF!

Hello Saturday! Not only is it bright and sunny outside, but check out what's going on at the Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers starting today! 

Mounting created Bloggif

Is that not the best challenge badge ever? Our sister in snark Lee has some mad skillz with both stamps and computers. All this in preface to pointing out that our newest challenge is all about GLITTER! Dry glitter, glitter paper, glitter glue... show us some shine. Here's what I came up with:

You may be noticing I used Lisa Arana's latest Wanna Sketch -- unfortunately, the link-up closed about four hours before this was due to post. However, I created my glitter panel with a stencil and embossing paste (and, yes, glitter), so I will be linking up to Simon Says Stamp's current "Stencil It" challenge. Embossing paste is a great way to add glitter without TOO much mess. I still chose to do my glittering outside, though. ;) I'd also like to point out that while there is no snark on the front of this card, I could easily add an inside sentiment such as "exactly what kind is open to debate." :D
Wait till you see the variety of ways the Sisters -- and our latest guest Regan -- decided to use glitter! Then come and join the fun... perhaps you will be our next Queen of Snark! 

Supplies: white & Stampin' Up basic black & basic grey cardstock, Hero Arts Cheer Up stamp, Memento Luxe love letter ink, Zing clear embossing powder, Spellbinders circle die, Heidi Swapp polka dot stencil, Dreamweavers translucent embossing paste, American Crafts red microfine glitter, pop-dot tape

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Friday, June 13, 2014

Tag Time!

This week, Paper Smooches SPARKS has a photo inspiration challenge: 

I haven't played along with SPARKS for quite some time, but the combination of some new stamps and dies with this photo convinced me to join back in this week. When you first look at this picture, you may see the rainbow, or the silver ductwork, or the cluster of objects and shapes at the bottom, but I saw... paint chips! I haven't created with paint chips for the longest time! With a little extra inspiration from an old Paper Crafts special issue (Card Design Handbook), I decided to die cut some tags.

These were so much fun to make! Here's a closer look at each one:

A sweet little tag I can use for my husb, in all sorts of shades of blue.

A cute any occasion tag, with a watercoloured fox and embossed sentiment and heart.

I think this would be a perfect tag for a bottle of wine taken to a girls' night out. The "cheers" was die cut both in silver glitter paper and black to get the shadowed look. 
I do have another idea for this current challenge... but we'll see what tomorrow brings! In the meantime, a fun new Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers challenge starts bright and early tomorrow, so I hope you'll come back and check it out! 

Supplies: paint chips, white, black & American Crafts silver glitter cardstock, watercolour paper, Paper Smooches stamps and dies, Versamark, Versafine onyx black, Colorbox espresso & Memento Luxe Danube blue inks, clear, white & copper pearl embossing powders, distress markers, Twinkling H2Os, Wink of Stella clear glitter marker, May Arts & Stampin' Up ribbon, silver elastic cord, 1/8" one hole punch, pop-dot tape

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

All Seasons

It's a rainy Wednesday here, so it's a perfect time for playing with paper and ink! A few of the Snarky Stampers were discussing various challenge blogs the other day, and Chris reminded us of the Just Us Girls challenge. Every first week of the month is a sketch challenge:

Lots of ways to interpret this classic layout. Here's my take:

These cute trees from an old Stampin' Up set had already been stamped and coloured and were just waiting to be used. The small circle elements in the sketch just weren't working for me, so I offset each tree on its backing layer for a little extra visual interest. While I was thinking this would make a good "missing you" card ("the only thing missing is you" kind of thing), I went with this quote from my favourite author, instead. I'm enough of a Dickens fan to know this quote is actually paraphrased, but I've learned to live with it. ;) The squares are adhered with glue dots for just the slightest hint of definition, while the white panel is popped up with foam tape. 
There's just over a day left in this challenge if you're thinking of joining... and another couple of days in our current ribbon challenge at the Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers! The two challenges could even be combined. ;) 

Supplies: white & Stampin' Up bashful blue cardstock, Stampin' Up Holiday Collection & Echo Park Here & Now & A Boy's Life patterned papers, Stampin' Up A Tree for All Seasons & Unity August 2011 Kit of the Month (All You Need) stamps, Memories black & Memento Luxe Danube blue inks, Zing clear embossing powder, Nellie Snellen square dies, watercolour pencils, Twinery denim twine, pop-dot tape

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Friday, June 6, 2014

Great Stories...

Happy first Friday in June! While it's getting harder to stay indoors now that the weather is nice, I did take a few moments to make a wine tag yesterday:

Red tag, red sentiment, red striped twine... obviously made with a bottle of red wine in mind. I used the bottom of the wine tag die to shape the ends of the patterned paper panel before stamping that fun Unity sentiment. You can't see in the photo (or, for that matter, all that obviously in real life) but I traced around the oval with my Wink of Stella glitter pen. Tweezers and a little Glossy Accents are the best way I've found to adhere those tiny shiny sequins. 
I'll be linking this up to today's Friends with Flair link-up -- and then it's time to head back outside! Enjoy your Friday. 

Supplies: Bazzill textured red cardstock, Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm patterned paper, Unity Alcohol and Salads stamp, Simon Says Stamp schoolhouse red ink, Avery Elle Cheers wine tag die, Wink of Stella clear glitter marker, Simon Says Stamp sequins, Twinery maraschino twine

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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Simon Says... Man Up

Okay, that is not exactly what Simon says. ;) The Simon Says Stamp challenge this week is to create a Father's Day or masculine card. While it has been a long time since I have needed a Father's Day card, I do have an anniversary coming up in a few weeks, so used the challenge as motivation to get a card done. 

Confession? This card started developing in my mind a couple of weeks ago, when Simon had a travel-themed challenge. It just didn't happen that week. This is one of those cards where the patterned paper really looks after most of the design work; I added a couple of backing layers as well as the die cut star and the arrow with a sentiment. The star is so small I had to roll up the micro glue dot, but that also popped it up a bit more, which was fine. Just for fun, I angled the arrow with dimensional tape at the back and a glue dot at the point. A simple card, but I think it gets the message across. 

Supplies: white, orange & Best Creations ocean blue glitter cardstock, Heidi Swapp No Limits patterned paper, (?) sentiment stamp, Hero Arts On the Go arrow die, Mama Elephant confetti die, pop-dot tape

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