Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Before the trick-or-treaters begin to arrive, I thought I would take a few minutes and post a couple of Halloween cards I've made in the past week, before the occasion is over and we're into November. (Aside: November? Already?) 

Isn't this a fun sentiment? I started by colouring the too-cute-to-spook monster, then cut him (her? it?) in half and attached to the top and bottom of the sentiment. I'm entering this card in this week's Simon Says Stamp Anything Goes challenge. 

This one is a little bit spookier. I sponged distress inks on what was originally grey and black patterned paper so it would better match the tag. The cobweb die cut is covered in iridescent medium for lots of shimmer. The patterned paper is also misted with some Smooch spritz for sparkle, and the edges distressed. With Alice on the tag, I'm entering this card into the latest Quirky Crafts Challenge: Quirky Charades.
Hope your evening is filled with treats not tricks! I'll be back bright and early tomorrow with the newest Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers challenge -- you won't want to miss it! 

Supplies: (trick or treat) white & black cardstock, SEI Field Notes & Pebbles Thirty-One patterned papers, My Favorite Things Trick or Treat stamps, Ranger Archival jet black & Stampin' Up elegant eggplant inks, Sharpies, watercolour pencils, pop-dot tape; (curiouser) black cardstock, Echo Park Apothecary Emporium patterned paper, Graphic 45 Halloween in Wonderland tag, milled lavender and dusty concord distress inks, cobweb die, Winsor & Newton iridescent medium, vanilla Smooch spritz, Wink of Stella clear glitter pen, Hemptique twine, pop-dot tape

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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Flowers and Classes and SPARKS

Happy Saturday! Hope you are enjoying a beautiful fall weekend. I've got a card to share for the current Paper Smooches SPARKS "anything goes" challenge: 

I realize there's nothing particularly fall-like about this card, these are just the colours I happened to go with. :) For the flower panel, I used a layered paper-piecing technique as demonstrated by Shari Carroll in the Stretch Your Stamps 2 online card class. I started by stamping the image on the white panel and colouring the leaves and small buds. Next, I stamped the image again, this time cutting out the centre floral section. There were a few more leaves to colour, and the flowers to paper-piece. Next, I stamped on the patterned paper then cut out just the two main flowers. After adding a little dimension with a stylus, they were adhered. Finally, the one flower was stamped, cut out, shaped, and added with a few layered glue dots to lift it off the page just a little. Stickles were added to the centre of the flowers. Some patterned papers and a simple sentiment finish the card. 
Thanks for stopping by! 

Supplies: white card stock, Lily Bee Design Pinwheel patterned Papers, Paper Smooches Botanicals & Maya Road Perfect Cameras stamps, Versafine onyx black ink, clear embossing powder, watercolour pencils, rock candy distress Stickles, Creative Memories corner-rounding punch, glue dots, pop-dot tape

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Pink Christmas

Given the events in Ottawa today, it seems trivial to be writing a blog post about a card. However, as the card is for a good cause, I decided to go ahead. 

Let me say right off the top, pink is not really my colour. Red, definitely; pink, not so much. However, the generous people behind the challenge blog Jingle Belles, Stephanie and Lauren, are not only looking for pink Christmas cards, but they will also donate to breast cancer research for every card posted to their site. So pink it is. 

I've had my background made for days, but further inspiration wasn't exactly flowing. Then I realized, oh look, the challenge ends today. Nothing better than a deadline to get ideas flowing. ;) I decided to go all-out pink:

Neon pink, to be exact. I was striving for a little bit of a retro look as well. I used the falling snow stencil with some silver glitter paint before washing over it with Twinkling H2Os. The silver snow, trees and holiday cheer sentiment are all raised with pop dots. 
Pink not being in my usual Christmas palette, I'm also adding this to the current Merry Monday challenge to use non-traditional colours. 
If you are too late for the pink Christmas card challenge, why not check out the Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers pink Halloween challenge? Guaranteed fun! ;) 

Supplies: Neenah solar white cardstock, pink cardstock, watercolour paper, Stampin' Up silver glimmer paper, Gourmet Rubber Stamps holiday cheer stamps, Hero Arts neon pink ink, Simon Says Stamp falling snow stencil, PSX silver glitter 3D paper paint, Twinkling H2Os, Spellbinders circle die, Paper Smooches Borders 1 die, pop-dots

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Hopeful Halloween!

Don't worry... my title will make complete snarky sense in a moment. After all, it's Saturday, and time for a new Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers challenge! We are past Canadian Thanksgiving, American Thanksgiving is still over a month away, so what do we have left? Why, Halloween of course, as well as Breast Cancer Awareness month. So naturally we chose to combine the two. 

We are not even making the challenge that tricky... you can choose to make a Halloween card, a Breast Cancer Awareness card... or go ahead, combine the two in a pink Halloween card. Which at first seemed a little difficult, but then turned out to be a lot of fun:

This also happens to be bargain crafting at its finest, with the stamps from Michaels cheap bin and the cat sticker from an after-Halloween clearance. It must be the spirit of Halloween... I even distressed the edges of the patterned paper! I wanted a less-blended look to the ink distressing (opposite of the usual goal, I know), so I used a stippling brush to give a rougher look to the ink. Almost like that cat's tail brushed across the ink pad. :) 
I was so happy with the outside, I carried the design through to the inside: 

The bats are yet another Michaels stamp! And I do believe the sentiment was on sale. :D 
Visit the Snarky Sisters' blog for more inspiration -- including that of our latest Queen of Snark guest designer, Pamellia! And then I hope you'll join us. 

Supplies: Stampin' Up black cardstock, Echo Park Life is Good patterned paper, Craft Smart & Imaginisce stamps, Brilliance starlite black & Versafine onyx black inks, holographic embossing powder, K&Company Ghostly Greetings sticker, Wink of Stella clear glitter marker

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Festive Friday Two-for-One... on Wednesday

A week or so ago, my friend Jen created a card to enter into a Festive Friday challenge. This was a new-to-me challenge, and when I saw the inspiration photo, I was amazed... it was as though the photo had been inspired by a stamp set I have! :D But then of course I missed the deadline. Here it is anyway, along with the original photo: 

The wreath on the sled, instead of above, but still. Eventually I'm going to make a second card, since the set has the skates, too!
This week I was determined to play in plenty of time. Here's the current photo:

From this, I was inspired by the predominantly red and white colours, the long lines of the chair backs, and the ribbon, greenery and silver bells adorning them. This is what resulted:

All the die cuts were already in my bin of cut but not yet used stuff -- the little holly leaves are the leftovers from a border punch I have, and yes, I saved them. 
Since I'm early rather than late this time, there's still another week to play if you are interested! 

Supplies: (warm winter wishes) Stampin' Up ruby red cardstock, Strathmore multimedia paper, (?) patterned woodgrain paper, Stampin' Up Winter Memories stamp, Versafine onyx black ink, distress markers, Lil' Inkers stitched sentiment flag die; (Christmas joy) Neenah solar white linen, Stampin' Up real red & Recollections green foil cardstock, silver pearl paper, Gourmet Rubber Stamps Love and Joy Labels stamp, Stampin' Up real red ink, Lil' Inker Designs jingle joy dies, EK Success holly border punch, red Divine Twine, pop-dot tape

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

How You Doin'?

That phrase still reminds me of Joey's pick-up line on Friends, so very long ago now. It makes me smile when I get a chance to use it on a card: 

I made this card with three challenges in mind. Just Us Girls is featuring ombre this week, and one of my favourite things to do with paint chips at the moment is to die cut them into tags to take advantage of their ombre design. Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday challenge is to watercolour, which is how I shaded my bear -- he can be a dog, too, but in my mind, he's a bear on this card. And Mama Elephant has their Anything Goes challenge continuing for the month. 
By the way, how are you doin''? ;)

Supplies: white cardstock, watercolour paper, paint chip, Cosmo Cricket Clementine patterned paper, Mama Elephant Origami & Hello stamps, Versafine onyx black & Memento Luxe Gray Flannel inks, watercolour pencils, Paper Smooches zig zig tag die, pop dot tape, May Arts ribbon

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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Celebrate with Chris!

**My second post today! What's up with that?
You can see my other post here.**

My snarky sister Chris is a brand new member of the Just Us Girls design team! What better way to celebrate with her than to enter the first challenge with her as a member? Especially since it's such a fitting theme:

I have also learned that Chris likes to enjoy an occasional glass of wine, so I think my project is most appropriate:

Just because I made my wine tag clean and simple doesn't mean there can't be some shine! There is red glimmer paper behind the die cut sentiment, while the sentiment is blinged with red sparkle embossing powder. I filled in the heart with a little clear Wink of Stella glitter marker, but I think one would only really notice that detail before one started to drink the wine. ;)
Congrats, Chris! 

Supplies: white cardstock, Stampin' Up red glimmer paper, Unity Drink with a Joyful Heart stamp, Memento Luxe love letter ink, red sparkle embossing powder, Avery Elle Cheers dies, Wink of Stella clear glitter marker

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Do You Watercolour?

If you are a cardmaker, you probably do. It seems that the majority of cards I see online these days have a watercolour component. And of course I am no exception -- I've been really enjoying watercolouring with the real thing, distress markers or ink pads, pencils... I think that's part of the appeal, there seem to be endless variations. 
I've also been trying to get back to watching some of the techniques presented in the Online Card Class Stretch Your Stamps 2. Imagine my shock when a stamp set I actually own was the featured stamp set one day! Debby Hughes demonstrated a fun technique that I decided to try.

Step one was the background. I smushed some distress ink onto my stamp-a-ma-jig plastic square (not owning an acrylic block large enough), spritzed it with water, and smushed the result onto the paper. Next up was cleaning off said plastic sheet so I could stamp the balloons on it. This provides a template to see where the balloons are going to go, and then adding blots of various watercolours more or less where each balloon will end up. (Debby's card more, my card much less precise.) While that dried, I stamped and watercoloured my little bunny. When everybody was dry, I stamped the balloons in their final spot, added bunny, and stamped and embossed the sentiment. 
This card is for two challenges: this month's Mama Elephant "Anything Goes" challenge and Simon Says Stamp Wednesday watercolour challenge. 
If you're looking for a challenge... the current Snarky Sisters challenge is still open! I is for Iconic -- use an iconic person, place or thing as part of your project. You could be our next Queen or Princess of Snark! ☺️

Supplies: white & Stampin' Up melon mambo cardstock, Strathmore multimedia paper, Mama Elephant Up and Away stamps & die, Versafine onyx black & tumbled glass distress inks, Zing clear embossing powder, Koh-in-oor watercolours, watercolour pencils, black sharpie (to add the apostrophe!)

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Channelling The Far Side

The Naughty or Nice challenge blog is having a design team call! As a Snarky Stamper already, I think this would be a perfect addition to my current resumé. The theme this week is "Give Thanks", and of course I went more to the naughty than nice end of the spectrum...

I decided to pay homage to Gary Larson and the style of his Far Side cartoons. I stamped a turkey feather on every vaguely fall-coloured patterned paper in my scrap basket, thinking I'd have lots to to choose from, but then decided to just go ahead and put them all on. Fred's body is water coloured with distress markers. I made up the sentiment all by myself. "Fred" comes from my teaching days -- that was my go-to when I would blank on a student's name. 
With all these autumn colours (and all the tiny scraps!), I am also adding this to the current Shopping Our Stash challenge, "It's the Most Colourful Time of the Year". Fred is nothing if not fall-colourful. Oh, and it's an "Anything Goes" week at Paper Smooches SPARKS


Supplies: white, SU naturals ivory & Bazzill Basics textured brown cardstock, Strathmore multimedia paper, many assorted patterned paper scraps, Paper Smooches Jive Turkey stamps, Versafine onyx black ink, distress markers

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Smooch x Two

Can you tell I've been on a bit of a cardmaking roll recently?  My fifth post for October already. Of course I missed actually posting on World Card Making Day... I was making cards. :D 
Today's card was almost instantly triggered by this week's inspiration at the Curtain Call challenge blog. 

That doesn't mean it didn't take a few days to translate my ideas to actual cardstock. Here's what I ended up with:

I knew right away this was a good opportunity to to make a potential Christmas card for my husb, and that a snowman would be involved. I decided to perch the little bird on the snowman's hat, after she's obviously given him a *peck* on the cheek. To me, his shy smile speaks volumes. I coloured the bird's wing and tail with the same ink as the lips, allegedly to play up their heart shapes. And while I have lots of suitable patterned paper, I made my own sky background with a mask cut with a Paper Smooches die. 
It's an Anything Goes week at Paper Smooches SPARKS, so I'll enter this card there as well. 

Supplies: white & blue cardstock, Paper Smooches Swanky Snowdudes & Chilly Chums stamps, Memento Luxe gray flannel, Versafine onyx black, & Brilliance pearlescent sky blue & orchid inks, Zing clear embossing powder, watercolour pencils, Paper Smooches borders 1 & word bubbles dies, icicle & black diamond Stickles, pop dot tape

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Monday, October 6, 2014

Quirky Falling Leaves

Another in my recent spate of making sympathy cards so I might have a few on hand if there was the unfortunate need for one. This time, I went seasonal:

I've been admiring some cards recently that use watercolour crayons on stamps, and was inspired to try the technique again... even though I'd not liked any of my previous attempts. I do like how it turned out this time, however. I was able to stamp the leaf twice before cleaning it off to add the colours a little differently. The sentiment is from what I think is the first clear stamp set I ever bought. And the embossing powder I used just happens to be the second gold powder I ever bought -- with age it has mellowed to a not-too-shiny golden brown, which very occasionally is just what I need. (My very first gold embossing powder finally got so very old that it was too ugly to use. :D) 
I am entering this in three challenges with similar themes. Quirky Crafts Challenges has a quirky falling leaves (leaves or autumn colours) challenge, while Simon Say's Stamp's Monday challenge (yes, I'm entering a challenge on the very day it's posted!) has a falling in love with autumn inspiration challenge. And for old times' sake, I will link up with my former team at Crafty Creations Challenges, where this week they are looking for projects that use orange. 

Supplies: Stampin' Up soft suede textured cardstock, Strathmore multimedia paper, vellum, GCS Artstamps The Leaf & Inkadinkado Garden Flower stamps, Versamark ink, (really old) gold embossing powder, watercolour crayons

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Sunday, October 5, 2014

Merry Monday Sunday

With an hour or two to spare, I'm playing along for the first time with a Merry Monday Christmas challenge! I took the opportunity of yesterday being World Card Making Day to organize myself just a little bit (nothing too drastic) and decide on some challenges I wanted to enter. This week at Merry Monday they are looking for polka dots and/or stripes. I managed both:

I started with the falling snow stencil, mixing some glitter into my embossing paste for a little extra shine. When it was dry, I sponged on some blue distress ink for the sky. Then, worried that my snow was too random to qualify as polka-dotted, I decided to use my sweatered reindeer. I love using the speech bubble sentiments with either him or his snowflake-sweater-clad counterpart! The speech bubble is embossed in red glitter embossing powder, which my camera refused to capture in all its glory. The sweater dots are stickled and his nose and hooves glossed up with some black Enamel Accents. I matted the little scene onto some striped paper just to be completist. ;)  
And with the clock ticking, I shall get this entered! I'm also adding this to the Anything Goes category in Hero Arts' current Holiday challenge, and to Simon Says Stamp's Monday challenge... what better finishing touch than a sparkly red sentiment? 

Supplies: white card stock, Strathmore multimedia paper, Echo Park patterned paper, Hero Arts Christmas Reindeer & Holiday Conversation stamps, tumbled glass distress & Memento Luxe espresso truffle & love letter inks, clear & red sparkle embossing powders, distress markers, Simon Says Stamp falling snow stencil, Dreamweavers translucent embossing paste, American Crafts microfine glitter, Studio G red glitter glue, black Enamel Accents, pop-dot tape

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Saturday, October 4, 2014

An Iconic Post

Saturday and The Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers are at it again! We are already up to our 18th challenge -- time flies when you're being snarky -- and it should be a fun one:

I is for ICONIC! As always, Edna knows just the perfect way to usher in the challenge. We are looking for an iconic PERSON, PLACE or THING. I had lots of ideas (Eiffel Tower, Mickey Mouse, Winnie-the-Pooh...), but ended up going with one of my favourite sets...

For the non-geeks in the audience, this is the timey-wimey Tardis, in which Doctor Who, companion by his side, travels through time and space. So although my card showcases an iconic thing, it does also manage to hint at a person (the Doctor) and a place (the universe!) at the same time. I almost used another sentiment, "You never forget your first doctor", but somehow this one seems to have slightly snarkier implications if you bend your mind the right way. ;) The space background was made by pressing distress ink pads onto a piece of butcher paper (my low-rent version of a non-stick craft mat), spritzing with water, and pressing my paper into the inky result. Once that was dry, I sprayed with shimmery mist and waited some more. Finally I mixed a bunch of glitter into some embossing paste to stencil the subtle stars. This closeup shows them a bit better: 

All the drying time gave me a chance to stamp my Tardis, also in distress ink. Then, using a technique I picked up on the Stretch Your Stamps class, I pulled the ink in from the stamped outline to shade the image. (I thought if it had worked for flowers, it should work for this.) 
Need more ideas? Check out the great inspiration from my sisters as well as our latest Queen of Snark and guest designer, Lynn! I hope you'll join us with your own iconic creation! 
By the way... HAPPY WORLD CARD MAKING DAY!!! What a great excuse to make some cards. :D 

Supplies: white & black card stock, Strathmore multimedia paper, Viva Las VegaStamps Plate 925 stamps, faded jeans & chipped sapphire distress & Memento tuxedo black inks, Dreamweavers translucent embossing paste, Stampin' Up Dazzling Diamonds glitter, Simon Says Stamp Falling Stars stencil, pop-dot tape

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Friday, October 3, 2014

Thinking of You in Blue

I needed a sympathy card this week, and decided to make a few while I was in the *mood*, so to speak. This is one of them:

I started by making a mask with some scrap paper and a square punch. I used it to make the background with distress inks before stamping and embossing the Donna Downey flowers. The sentiment is also embossed. The fancy border is the edge of a Spellbinders borderabilities die that I've otherwise never used, but I like how it looks here. 
I'm joining in on today's Unity Friends with Flair blog hop. I'm also back tomorrow with the newest Snarky Stampers challenge... hope you'll come back! :) 

Supplies: white & navy card stock, Strathmore multimedia paper, Stampin' Up Beyond the Garden patterned paper, Unity Insightful Meadows & Tulips and Daisies stamps, stormy sky, tumbled glass, milled lavender & chipped sapphire distress inks, Zing clear embossing powder, Spellbinders Borderabilities tulips border die, 1¼" square punch

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