Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Joy

And just like that, it's Friday! And for many, the start of the last long weekend of the summer. I thought I would start the weekend by playing along with Unity's Friends with Flair with a card I made inspired by the Stretch Your Stamps 2 class. 

Jennifer Rzasa made a beautiful card using an outline floral stamp, debossing, and distress inks. I decided to try her technique with the poppy from Wishing You Joy. I started by stamping the poppy on some cardboard, cutting it out, adhering it to more cardboard and cutting that out. This created a thick enough layer to deboss my white panel in the Cuttlebug. The pic below shows the debossing a bit more, but it's more obvious in real life. 

Instead of ink pads, I used distress markers to colour the poppies before stamping. Then with a damp paintbrush, I pulled some of the colour into the poppies from the outlines, and brushed over the stems as well for more of a watercolour look. I embossed the sentiment and layered the panel on matching pearl paper. 
I'll add this to Simon Says Stamp's current Anything Goes challenge, too. And now it's time for the weekend to start! 

Supplies: Neenah solar white cardstock, pale gold pearl paper, Unity Wishing You Joy stamps, Versamark ink, pale gold pearl embossing powder, distress markers, pop-dot tape

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Forgetful SPARKS?

I haven't played along with the Paper Smooches SPARKS challenge for quite a while, but I really like this week's Designer Drafts sketch challenge: 

I made my card the day the sketch was revealed. Wait, what's that you say? It's Thursday now? I know, sigh. The day after I made the card, I gave it away, and you know the old saying about out of sight, out of...? Last night I remembered I needed to get my card entered, and realized I never did photograph it. :( A few texts, an iPod photo appeared, and my work can be displayed! 

For reasons that a professional could likely shed some light on, the sketch made me think of scenes in old movies with split screens showing two of the characters talking on the phone. So I have my dog and my birdie characters! Add some colouring, some patterned paper, a few Paper Smooches dies, and done. 
Along with SPARKS, I'm going to add this card to Simon Says Stamp's current Anything Goes challenge. 

Supplies: white & American Crafts yellow textured cardstock, My Mind's Eye Lime Twist Fly a Kite & Echo Park Country Drive patterned papers, Paper Smooches Woofers and Tweeters stamps & dies, Versafine onyx black ink, Wow clear embossing powder, Paper Smooches Borders 1 & Clouds dies, distress markers, yellow Sharpie, pop-dot tape

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Monday, August 25, 2014

A Unique Blog Hop

My turn to participate in A Unique Blog Hop. I was tagged by Chris of Chrispy's Creations. (You can see her post here.) This blog hop is a way to get to know your friendly blogging crafter a little bit better! Now if you've ever noticed the title of my blog, you'll realize that this might not be my first choice of things to do... but Chris asked SO nicely -- not to mention more than once -- how could I refuse? 
I *met* Chris when I joined the design team at the late lamented Drunken Stampers challenge blog. We have both since migrated to our current shared team, the Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers, where we have a great time being snarky in the friendliest manner imaginable. Chris is everything you might look for in an adopted sister -- fun and funny, quick to laugh but also quick to empathize and offer a friendly shoulder. Some day I'll just show up on her doorstep, or she on mine, and I'm sure we'll start yakking like we've known each other for years. ;) 
And now... on to the blog hop questions! 
How did you get started?
Well, there usually needs to be two people, then... oh, how did I get started crafting. I have loved paper in all forms as long as I can remember. For drawing, folding, cutting, layering. So I have long had selections of pretty papers of different types in my life. When I started teaching, I liked to add stickers or stamps to students' work, so started to collect a few rubber stamps and ink pads. But then! On a little expedition one weekend, we went into a rubber stamp store in Port Carling, Ontario. (The store is long gone, alas.) The store owner introduced me to the magic of HEAT EMBOSSING! I have never looked back. Splitcoast Stampers helped me refine my design and style, as did crafty friends I started to get to know through that site or by following blogs. A few of those new friends encouraged me to start this little blog of my own -- hard to believe, but it will be four years come December! 
What are you working on?
August is a month of family birthdays, so a lot of birthday cards and tags have been made over the past few weeks. I was also fortunate enough to win a spot in the new online card class, Stretch Your Stamps 2, so have been working through the lessons whenever I can. And of course, every two weeks I have a project to make and blog about for the Snarky Sisters challenge.
Here are a few of my most recent creations, not yet blogged...

How does your work differ from others?
I don't think I have a particularly unique style... I tend to be a clean and simple (CAS) stamper, without too many layers or embellishments. Often cute or whimsical, with the occasional attempt at classy or elegant. And then of course, for Snarky Stampers, I often aim for subtle snark, my favourite kind. 

What do you create?
Mostly cards, with some tags (especially at Christmas) and the occasional gift bag or box. No scrapbooking here! :)
What does your crafty space look like?
Well. I've never been a desk person. So while I have a fine desk that would be perfect for crafting -- where I do most of my work looks remarkably like our dining room table or the family room floor. With the occasional wander into the kitchen, where I like to do my heat embossing. (I think that's left over from when I started, and heated the embossing powder over the toaster.) The kitchen's also a handy place to clean my stamps. So my desk is the perfect place to keep some of the tools of the trade:

On the desk are my Cuttlebug along with dies and embossing folders, paper cutter, scoring board and envelope maker. And if you look carefully, you'll see Edna, our Snarky Stamper mascot! To the left of the desk is a storage cube with markers and pens on top, and drawers for twine, washi and ribbon. To the left of the photo are shelves holding my stamps and embellishments, while to the right there is storage for inks, paints, etc. and a rack for twelve by twelve papers and coloured cardstock. Across the room I have more shelves for white cardstock, paper pads and various other odds and ends. 
Since my supplies are all in the basement, and I craft on the main floor, I have turned stamping into a remarkably healthy hobby. ;)
Now it's my turn to tag a few fellow stampers -- but a lot of my friends have either already participated or are just too busy at this start-of-school season. Luckily, my incredibly talented and sweet friend Jocelyn has agreed to play along! Her blog, Red Balloon Cards, is a constant source of inspiration. She's asked for an extra week, so you'll see her blog hop post in two weeks on September 8th. 

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Saturday, August 23, 2014

K is for...???

Happy Saturday! It'a time for a new challenge at the Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers -- we had a large and talented turnout for our previous challenge, Z is for Zoo! I think you'll find our new one appealing as well, even if some of the design team seem to have been a little confused... 

It seems we thought that the K stood not just for KRAFT, but for KRINGLE! Some of us decided that a kraft challenge was a perfect excuse to break out the Christmas spirit(s) and make a festive card. For me it was also a chance to use this subway-style stamp (and is it just me, or has that trend already left the station?) and combine it with a chalkboard technique. The shiny background circles are courtesy of a stencil, embossing paste and microfine glitter.
Of course I didn't stop there, but made a tag too. 

This one is stamped and embossed on watercolour paper, then each section brushed with distress inks. 
Perhaps you too will decide that our latest challenge is the perfect excuse to get a late-August start on your holiday card-making! We will happily accept any season or occasion as long as you've added some kraft to the mix. ;) Remember to check out the challenge blog for the rest of the design team's creations -- including our latest guest designer, Hazel! She got the Christmas memo, too! 

Supplies: (card) white, Neenah desert storm & DCWV red silky smooth cardstock, Doodlebug Home for the Holidays patterned paper, Unity Santa, Stockings, Candy Canes, etc. stamp, Colorbox frost white ink, Wow white embossing powder, Heidi Swapp stencil, Dreamweavers translucent embossing paste, Wow microfine red glitter, white Prismacolor pencil, pop-dot tape; (tag) Stampin' Up kraft & garden green card stock, watercolour paper, Unity Santa, Stockings, Candy Canes, etc. stamp, Colorbox frost white & salty ocean, festive berries & mowed lawn distress inks, Wow white embossing powder, vanilla Smooch spritz, generic green ribbon & Twinery peapod twine

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Friday, August 22, 2014

Online Card Class -- Card 4 (and Friends with Flair!)

After all my cards based on the first day of my online card class, Stretch Your Stamps 2, I'm skipping ahead to Day 3 -- alphabet and sentiment stamps! I do have some great panels that I made from the second day of background stamp lessons, they just haven't made the leap to any finished cards yet. In the meantime, I combined the techniques of Debby Hughes and Stephanie Klauck to create a cheery birthday card:

I started with three die cut clouds on which I stamped "birthday" randomly. In hindsight, I also could have stamped first, die cut second, but I'm not sure if that would have made much difference. I sponged around each cloud -- perhaps a little too much, they're pretty stormy for birthday clouds! Then I cut the hill and tried to randomly stamp "happy"... nope. Needed the stamp positioner for that. Sponged around the edges of the hill with green, and the white panel is sponged with a light blue for the sky. Finally I stamped the happy sun, embossing the orange rays with holographic embossing powder. Isn't art great? You can put the sun in front of the clouds if you want. :D 
With the sentiments doing a lot of the work on this card, I'm linking up to Unity's Friends with Flair -- I haven't joined in for ages! Hope you'll come back tomorrow to discover the newest Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers challenge. Have a great weekend! 

Supplies: white & textured orange American Crafts cardstock, Unity stamps (from grab bags) & Simon Says Stamp Color & Sunshine stamps, Memento teal zeal, new sprout, bamboo leaves & dandelion, Colorbox mango tango & tumbled glass distress inks, holographic embossing powder, Memory Box small cloud dies, Paper Smooches Borders I dies, pop-dot tape

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Online Card Class -- Card 3

Another card inspired by the online card class Stretch Your Stamps 2 -- and yes, it's another card just from the first day's lessons! 

This one again uses Shari Carroll's watercolour technique, while the layout is inspired by Lisa Spangler's card. I really like how the distress inks blended on this, and lets the background stamp become a pretty foreground. ;) 
With that, I think I might even be ready to move on to the next section of the class... alphabet and sentiment stamps! 

Supplies: Stampin' Up rich razzleberry cardstock, Strathmore 140 lb watercolour paper, Impression Obsession roses & Papertrey Ink simple sunflower sentiment stamps, Versafine onyx black & Victorian velvet, faded lipstick, stormy sky & dusty concord distress inks, clear embossing powder, pop-dot tape

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Monday, August 18, 2014

Online Card Class -- Card 2

I'm back with another card inspired by the online card class Stretch Your Stamps 2. Just the first day has led me to three cards already -- I may never finish the course! ;) It's a great incentive to pull out all kinds of stamps and try all kinds of things with them. 
For this card, I was inspired by Shari Carroll and her technique of faux-watercolouring a background stamp with distress inks. Shari used a reverse background stamp -- the kind where the design itself stays clean and the background takes the ink. Turns out I don't have any of those, so I pulled out a stamp I thought might work. 

Shari used a patterned background stamp that she cut into inchies to make a grid-style card. I felt the roses on mine might not lend themselves to that, so selectively die cut three sections. The centre, larger square is popped up on the blue panel. 
I have another card using this same technique I like even better! I hope to be back soon with it. 

Supplies: white & blue cardstock, Strathmore 140 lb watercolour paper, Impression Obsession roses & Memory Box happy birthday stamps, stormy sky, Victorian velvet, worn lipstick & dusty concord distress inks, Nellie Snellen square dies, pop-dot tape

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Online Card Class -- Card 1

I was so excited to learn I had won a spot in the newest Online Card Class -- Stretch Your Stamps 2! I found out the day the classes started... and wouldn't you know it, it was the start of two crazy-busy weeks. So yes, the classes officially ended Friday, but I started catching up this weekend.
The first two days are all about using using your background stamps. My card is inspired by Kristina Warner and her multilayer emboss resist technique, as well as Tasnim Ahmed, who cut out portions of a patterned background. 

I used my Hero Arts plaid background, embossed in white and watercoloured in red, green and yellow. I was initially thinking I'd use it for a Christmas card, but a) it looked not at all Christmasy when complete, and b) plaid and watercolours aren't really all that compatible. :D So I chose to minimize the plaidness by cutting one row of the squares out on the diagonal to get a strip of diamonds. I also cut a thin strip from one edge to anchor my bold sentiment and balance the card. I have of course kept the plaid scraps for when a different inspiration strikes. 
So there you have my first class-inspired card! There are more, just from day one, coming up soon! 

Supplies: white card stock, Strathmore 140 lb watercolour paper, Hero Arts plaid background & Maya Road picture perfect cameras stamps, Versamark & Versafine onyx black inks, Wow white embossing powder, Grumbacher cake watercolours, Marvy Uchida corner-rounding punch

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Saturday, August 9, 2014

It's a ZOO in Here!

"In here" referring to the world of the Snarky Sisterhood

Our fourteenth challenge brings you the last letter of the alphabet, Z! Z as in zoo -- use an animal or animal print on your project. I hadn't offered much in the way of snark to the sisterhood lately, so I added a bit to a birthday card:

If there's going to be an elephant in the room, might as well make him a cute one. I paired him with patterned paper offering lots of age guesses, and a computer-generated sentiment. 
Since I have never played along at Seize the Birthday, where my friend Glenda is on the design team... I'm linking there. (No "topping" -- if it was dark chocolate, I would have already eaten it anyway...)
While you're here, it seems like a good time to pick a winner from the comments on last week's CASology blog candy post! Drumroll (and, please...

And what do you know, randomly picked my occasionally random, often snarky sister JESSI! (Not rigged, honest.) Jessi, email me about your prize! 
Be sure to visit Jessi and the other snarky sisters for more zoo inspiration. Our guest designer this week is the one and only Darnell, so stop by and check out her cards, too! 

Supplies: white cardstock, Echo Park Lime Twist Fly a Kite patterned paper, Sassafras Freedom (such irony for a zoo theme...) stamp, Memento Luxe gray flannel ink, Zing clear embossing powder, Spellbinders circle die, pop-dot tape

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