Saturday, March 28, 2015

Christmas Trees... Just Add Water

The challenge prompt at Merry Monday Christmas Challenge this week is to feature a tree on your card. I have tree stamps! 

One of the nice things about making Christmas cards out of season is there is time to play around and experiment. If something doesn't work, oh well, there are still several months to go before panic sets in. ;) My card is actually a by-product of one such experiment.

My initial idea was to make a watercolour background, then stamp and emboss this tree as the focal point. I patted three shades of green distress ink on my *craft mat* (aka butcher paper), spritzed with water, and inked up a background stamp. I was able to stamp twice, and set aside the two backgrounds to dry. Before I wiped off the excess ink, I thought to try my tree stamp on another scrap of watercolour paper. And I liked it! I stamped twice more, not worrying about lining them up precisely... after all, it's artsy. It's so artsy, I even distressed and sponged the edges of the panel. I then found some patterned paper to coordinate and finish off the card. (Some day, I may learn to pick my papers and match my inks to them. Not this week. This must be the fourth card where I've inked something then thought, oh, I think I want some patterned paper for this. Sigh.) 
Maybe Merry Monday will offer a challenge next week where I can use those backgrounds I now have! ;) Hope you're having a great weekend. 

Supplies: white cardstock, Canson 140 lb watercolour paper, BoBunny A Gift of Love patterned paper, Artful Stamper stamp, bundled sage, peeled paint & evergreen bough distress inks

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Saturday, March 21, 2015

E is for Easter with the Sisterhood!

Spring has sprung (except, perhaps, for snarky sister Jessi), so Easter must be on its way as well! What better time for the latest Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers challenge: 

I snuck just the teensiest bit of snark into my card.

It's hard to go wrong with this Paper Smooches bunny! I decided I wanted him popping out of this little frame (which I've had in my stash o' die cuts so long, I can't tell you where it came from... I think it's Papertrey Ink paper and die, but I'm not at all sure). It's too hard to resist adding glossy accents to his eyes and teeth. A little vellum behind the frame softens the colours underneath. I was inspired by the current Shopping Our Stash challenge to make my own background for him. Nothing too fancy... patted some Memento teardrop ink pads onto some butcher paper, spritzed with some yellow/gold mist, then smushed my cardstock into it. After it dried, I dry embossed it for some extra texture. Orange and yellow are far from go-to colours for me, but they just seemed to work here.
As well as Shopping our Stash, this is being entered into Paper Smooches SPARKS Anything Goes challenge. 
Now it's your turn! Be sure to check out the creations of my Snarky Sisters, as well as this week's guest designers, Majo and Glo. I hope you'll join us! 

Supplies: white & orange cardstock, vellum, Papertrey Ink (?) patterned paper, Paper Smooches A Little Lovin' stamps, Colorbox truffle & Memento dandelion, cantaloupe & tangerine inks, Zing clear embossing powder, Papertrey Ink (?) & Paper Smooches word bubble dies, Cuttlebug seeing spots embossing folder, Art Anthology timeless colour mist, glossy accents, pop-dot tape & squares

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Saturday, March 7, 2015

Leprechauns and Sisters!

Happy Saturday, and welcome to a new challenge at the Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers! Now that we are into the lucky month of March, we are looking for all things leprechaun or St. Patrick's Day related. 

Strangest thing... I have little need for St. Patrick's Day cards (although I'm sure I'm very much in the minority) so of course I ended up making two. This is the one I made first:

This card is really out of my usual sphere. It's so... nice. (Or, as my husband said, "who made this and what have you done with my wife?" LOL) The main panel is a free digital image from Five Heart Home, printed on cream cardstock. I had made the background panel a few months ago thinking I might use it on a Christmas card. It's mixed media paper, coated with a thin layer of gesso for texture, and sponged with distress inks. I ad-libbed shamrocks using a small heart stamp. As I was trying the elements together, it still seemed to need a little something, so I added the two strips of Basic Grey paper ribbon. I am going to enter this card in Simon Says Stamp's current Monday challenge, Just a Hint of Clover
Feeling snarky after all that niceness, I went back and looked at our P is for Paddy challenge from last year. Katie Melhus's entry gave me my inspiration... 

I found my chubbiest, smuggest looking cat and inked him in orange, then rock 'n' rolled the edges in brown. And embossed him, of course. (Technically, with the calico colours, he is a she, but hey, artistic licence.) I had a student one year who would often say to me, "I love cats... they taste like chicken" (grr), which inspired the computer-generated sentiment. In a vaguely Celtic-style font, of course. 
Need yet more inspiration? Check out the cards, snarky and not, from my sisters and our current Queen of Snark/Guest Designer Dana! Feeling lucky? ;) Perhaps you'll be our next Queen or Princess of Snark! 

Supplies: (Irish blessing) Cougar cream cardstock, Strathmore mixed media paper, Paper Smooches Wicked Nauticool heart stamp, Memento cottage ivy & iced spruce, peeled paint & evergreen bough distress inks, Claudine Hellmuth Studio gesso, Marvy Uchida corner-rounding punch, Basic Grey Olivia ribbon doily, pop dots; (love leprechauns) white cardstock, Glitz Finnley patterned paper, All Night Media Cats stamp, Versamark, Simon Says Stamp orange peel & Memento rich cocoa inks, Zing clear embossing powder, Spellbinders oval dies, pop dots

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Friday, March 6, 2015

Merry Monday Friday

Hibernating (or attempting to) through February meant no Christmas cards were made, despite thinking I might attempt to make them throughout the year to prevent crunch-time stress. But now it's March, and Merry Monday has an easy prompt, so here I am! 

Red and green! I can do that. In fact... I made a one-layer card. Rare for me! And it only took fourteen stamps, six inks, and one embossing powder! 

I am ridiculously happy with this card. Although a lot of the credit must go to Jennifer McGuire and her tutorial on Stretch Your Stamps 2 for using floral builder stamps. There's a whole lot of multi-layer stamping and masking going on here -- very soon after I got this set, I decided I could live with the fact that I will never master lining the layers up perfectly, and that's okay. 
Hooray! That's three Christmas cards for 2015! :D 

Supplies: Neenah solar white 110 lb cardstock, WPlus9 Pretty Poinsettia & Papertrey Ink Thing Big Favourites #8 stamps, Memento ladybug, rhubarb stalk, bamboo leaves & cottage ivy, Brilliance galaxy gold & Versafine inks, pirate's gold embossing powder

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Spring Coffee Lovers Blog Hop (Part 4)

Phew! My fourth post of the day, a never-before experience here on the blog, and possibly one that may never be repeated. :D For the Spring Coffee Lovers Blog Hop, I have saved my coffee-themed card for last. 

This may be my favourite of my four cards. The card layout is courtesy of Tuesday Morning Sketches. It seemed to call out for patterned paper, and I thought the robins and flowers added a little spring theme to it. (Five different patterned papers! Me!) The image is from Clipart Panda. I've had the Viva Las VegaStamps sentiment for a while, just waiting for the right opportunity. 
The Spring Coffee Lovers Blog Hop runs until Friday, and there are lots of prizes to be had, so if you haven't yet, pour yourself a hot beverage and join in! 

Supplies: white cardstock, Crate Paper Maggie Holmes patterned paper, Viva Las VegaStamps Drink Coffee stamp, Memento Luxe teal zeal ink, Spellbinders circle dies

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Spring Coffee Lovers Blog Hop (Part 3)

Here we go with another card for the Spring Coffee Lovers Blog Hop! Yes, I had a remarkably productive couple of days yesterday and today. I'm still using mostly the same stamp sets for this card, but at least managed to mix it up a bit: 

This time the To Thine Own Shelf stamp set gets to offer more than a handy resting spot for the teapot. Of course, the books are either small, or that's one big teapot. Or we could say the teapot's more in the foreground and the books in the background. Hey, it's tea and books, so it works for me. The ultimate recipient of this card never needs to know the sentiment really refers to the subjects of the card...
In case you're wondering, I "kissed" the teapot stamp with a background stamp inked in a darker purple to give it some patterning. Lots of bright springlike colours, even if the patterned paper and card base are grey.
Thus endeth the tea card series. I've got one more to show you... this time with COFFEE! 

Supplies: white & Stampin' Up smoky slate cardstock, Studio Calico (I think) patterned paper, Lawn Fawn My Cup of Tea, Simon Says Stamp To Thine Own Shelf & Unity Layers of Life All for Love (December 2014) stamps, Memento tuxedo black, grey flannel, Paris dusk, tangelo, cottage ivy, teal zeal, rhubarb stalk, lilac posies & elderberry inks, pop dots

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Spring Coffee Lovers Blog Hop (Part 2)

As threatened promised, here I am again with another card for the Spring Coffee Lovers Blog Hop! Using the same main sets as I did for this card, I created a variation on the theme: 

A square card this time, and a different sentiment. Instead of die cutting the teapot image, I made a frame from some patterned paper. I used the same glitter embossing powder I used for the steam to emboss the sentiment, stamped in grey. 
Next up: another, slightly different card! 

Supplies: white cardstock, Stampin' Up patterned paper, Lawn Fawn My Cup of Tea, Simon Says Stamp To Thine Own Shelf & Viva Las VegaStamps Take Time For Tea stamps, Stampin' Up real red, Memento grey flannel (regular & Luxe), Colorbox frost white & Versamark inks, clear glitter & Wow white embossing powders, Spellbinders circle die, pop dots

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Spring Coffee Lovers Blog Hop! (Part 1)

It may not be quite spring yet (that's what the snow falling outside my window is suggesting here, at least) but it is time for the Spring Coffee Lovers Blog Hop! The hop started last Friday... and that was still February, when I was doing my best to pretend to be hibernating. But now it's March! So I have not one but FOUR cards to share! Of course I had to be contrary and make three of them tea-themed. Luckily coffee, tea and cocoa projects are all accepted. 

Nothing overtly spring-like here, but I think the bright colours and little hearts hint how happy I will be when spring finally arrives. ;) I photographed this on an angle to best show off the glittery steam -- Versamark and glitter embossing powder. The teapot is rock 'n' rolled in two shades of red to give it a little depth and definition. I used Leslie's Crooked Stamper Sketch #2 for my layout -- I hope Leslie doesn't mind I went mirror-image with it. And then there's the last day for Simon Says Stamp and its Anything Goes Wednesday challenge.  
And that's card number 1! I'll be back soon with another one. 

Supplies: white & Stampin' Up real red cardstock, Lawn Fawn My Cup of Tea, Simon Says Stamp To Thine Own Shelf & Unity Mixup of Cuteness stamps, Stempin' Up real red, Memento grey flannel & rhubarb stalk, Colorbox frost white & Versamark inks, clear glitter & Wow white embossing powders, Heidi Swapp polka dot stencil, Dreamweavers glossy white embossing paste, Spellbinders circle dies, Wink of Stella clear glitter marker, pop-dot squares

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Sunday, March 1, 2015

Three Songs and a Card (Naughty or Nice)

Hooray! Record-breaking cold February is over, March -- which contains the first day of spring -- has begun, and as an extra added bonus, there's a new Naughty or Nice challenge! 

March is a perfect time to go green, whatever that might mean to you. For we troublemakers at Naughty or Nice, we started with the thought that "it's not easy being green". Which of course made me think of Kermit. When I think of Kermit (not that I do THAT often), I also think of this song. All of which led to deciding to put a frog on my card. Thoughts of frogs led to thoughts of frog princes, which led to thoughts of not really wanting to kiss one -- and I'm not even a princess! All that led me to my third song, and the design of my card... 

I started by sponging a scrap of watercolour paper with distress ink, as well as flicking it with a few drops of water, before stamping and embossing the frog. I added a little extra colour to his spots, too. His lily pad is just a die-cut oval with a wedge snipped out. I added a teal panel -- after all, isn't teal just green striving to be blue and failing? I also scored a simple frame around the panel. His eyes weren't showing as much as I thought they should, so I added microscopic dots of enamel accents. Speech bubble, a couple of wood veneer hearts, and I have a card that makes me chuckle. Also a card to enter into this week's Simon Says Stamp Anything Goes challenge. 
Where will thinking green lead you? I hope you'll go green and join us! 

Supplies: white cardstock, Strathmore 140 lb watercolour paper, Echo Park For the Record 2 patterned paper, Paper Smooches A Little Lovin' stamps, Versafine onyx black, Memento Luxe rhubarb stalk & mowed lawn distress inks, Zing clear embossing powder, Paper Smooches word bubbles, Spellbinders oval & Simon Says Stamp Postage Stamp Edge dies, Studio Calico wood veneer hearts, Martha Stewart scoring board, pop dot tape

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