Friday, January 29, 2016

No Words

The challenge cue word at CASology this week is ADORE. I decided I would try making a card that would get the message across without actually using the word: 

I like the combination of the giant speech bubble with tiny typing Snoopy! And while we know those antique curiosities known as typewriters didn't actually have heart keys (okay, I know this; whether you know depends on your age, I guess) I think the message that he's typing a love note is clear. Handwriting a love note might be more romantic, but his lack of opposable thumbs must have posed a problem. I chose my background paper solely on the basis that it is close to the colour of the typewriter in our home when I was small. I used a small scrap to paper piece the body of the typewriter. I also like the way the colour contrasts with the red hearts and makes them pop. The hearts also have some shine with clear Wink of Stella, that you can see in person but not in the photo. With that pop of red, I'm going to enter this card in the current Addicted to CAS RED challenge, as well as Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Anything Goes challenge. 
Happy Friday! 

Supplies: white cardstock, Basic Grey Kelly Purkey Mon Ami patterned paper, PSA Peanuts Joe Cool & Neat & Tangled A Lot to Say & Origami Map stamps, My Favorite Things black licorice & Stampin' Up real red inks, Wink of Stella clear glitter pen, pop dot tape 

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Happy Hearts Day

Back again, playing along with more challenges! This time, I've combined this month's CASEplorations and Happy Little Stampers mixed media challenges. 


I feel more than a bit unworthy to CASE (copy and share everything) a card by Laura Bassen... but I went ahead and tried anyway. ;) I was inspired by her multicoloured stencil embossing and the bold central sentiment. 

At first, I was disappointed that my colours didn't blend into one another as smoothly as Laura's do on her cards (she shows a few using this technique), but as I looked at it more, I decided I was okay with it. I kind of like how some of the hearts look highlighted. I die cut the "happy" out of both pink and black cardstock so I could set the pink letters in the black banner. "Have a" and "day" are both from a Paper Smooches stamp set. The small stamped hearts are Basic Grey. I decided I wanted a little something more, so I coated a wood veneer heart with gesso, and then added a second coat, tinting the gesso with distress ink first. Laura finishes her card with dots of Glossy Accents. I really like that look, but felt sure I'd mess it up, so went with the purple half-pearls instead. Here's a close-up: 

As far as mixed media — I have embossing paste stencilling, stamping with heat embossing, painting with gesso... and I'm not sure if die cutting counts. ;) 

Supplies: white & Stampin' Up melon mambo & basic black cardstock, vellum, Paper Smooches Blossoming Buds & Basic Grey Tweet stamps, Versafine onyx black, Colorbox orchid & festive berries, picked raspberries, seedless preserves & blueprint sketch distress inks, Zing clear embossing powder, Little B blackout line art & Mama Elephant femme frame dies, ARTplorations hearts all over stencil, Dreamweavers translucent embossing paste, Claudine Hellmusth Studio gesso, Studio Calico heart veneer, Queen & Co lavender half-pearls

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Monday, January 25, 2016


I always like it when challenges and paper crafts companies play nicely together! I've combined two challenges, My Favorite Things (MFT) Sketch challenge and Just Us Girls photo inspiration challenge. 

I lengthened the sketch to a portrait orientation. From the photo, I was inspired by the blue and buttery yellow colours as well as the anchor on the wall. Here's what I ended up with:

I confess to several false starts with this one. I thought a negative die cut of an anchor would be great for the circle element of the sketch. Once I did that, however, I realized it was much too large. Instead, I embossed the anchor stamp in old gold embossing powder... not a good look. This pale gold pearl embossing powder is much better. Amazingly, I got my multiple-sentiment stamped panel right on only the second try. Even more amazing, I embossed the sentiment in white on the striped paper and got it right the first time! A little close-up of the details I've mentioned. 

You can see where I've given the anchor element some dimension by layering it on four cardboard circles that were edged in the same ink used to ink the small sentiments.
As for companies getting along, I used stamps from both Technique Tuesday and Paper Smooches and patterned papers from both Graphic 45 and Authentique. The dies are all from MFT, but I feel confident they would have played nicely with others as well. The bottom of the sentiment panel is punched with a Threading Water punch. The negative of the scalloped edge is just like waves!

Supplies: cougar ivory cardstock, Graphic 45 By the Sea & Authentique Anchored patterned papers, Paper Smooches Wicked Nauticool & Technique Tuesday Vroom Sentiments stamps, Versamark, Memento Paris dusk & Colorbox scarlet inks, pale gold pearl & Wow white embossing powder, MFT blueprints 24 dies, Fiskars threading water punch
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Saturday, January 23, 2016

Technique Time

It's Saturday, and that means it's time for a new challenge at the Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers! For our 51st (!!) challenge, we have T is for Technique. Show us your favourite, or try something brand new to you! 
If I chose to use my favourite technique, heat embossing, that would hardly be a challenge at all — it's more of a challenge NOT to emboss. In searching for a new technique to use instead, I decided to give no-line colouring one more try. (My previous attempts have made for excellent recycling bin filler.) If you're not familiar with this technique, Alice Wertz is definitely a master of it. While I'm sure many people have, I haven't personally seen anyone use this technique with the Bird Crazy set, so that was my personal challenge. I think it worked! 

I started by stamping my bird in antique linen distress ink, to give just a light image. Then I watercoloured him with distress markers. My favourite part is how well the colours blended on his body. My least favourite part is his beak, which looks a bit like a collagen injection gone very wrong. Even so, when it came to choosing a card base, matching the orange worked the best of anything I tried. For the background panel, I smooshed the same colours as I used for the bird at the top of the panel, and allowed them to run down the panel's length. The sentiment cracks me up, even if I'm not entirely sure yet what I mean. :P 
For my design, I used the current layout from Tuesday Morning Sketches, rotating, stretching, and leaving off a few layers. Since a bird is centre stage, I'll link this up to Simon Says Stamp's current Critters challenge as well. We were encouraged to show off a picture of our own critters too — well, if you insist. This is Duncan, checking out a few patterned papers while holding the Best. Toy. Ever. Also known as an ink-blending sponge. He loves them! 

Do you have a favourite technique? Or perhaps a technique on your must-try list? Come and play with the Snarky Sisters! And of course, check out our blog to see what my sisters in snark cooked up for this challenge. We hope you'll join us!

Supplies: orange & Bazzill textured teal cardstock, Strathmore watercolour paper, Tim Holtz Bird Crazy & Rubber Dance Sarcastic Superpower stamps, Versamark & antique linen distress ink, Wow super-fine white embossing powder, peacock feathers, mustard seed, spiced marmalade & walnut stain distress markers, Spellbinders circle die

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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Three Challenges, One CAS Card

On a cold and snowy day, it's nice to sometimes think ahead to spring by making a card! I was inspired by three different challenges to do just that. My latest card started with this week's Muse challenge and a card by Tracey

I was inspired by Tracey's overall layout. die cut main panel, the springtime colours, and CAS (clean and simple) design. Incorporating the current CASology cue, CLEAR, and Paper Smooches' January four-colour challenge, here's what I ended up with: 

I used four colours of Twinkling H2Os — playful peony, iris petal, mango freeze and celadon — to paint the flowers. I also added a light halo around the image and filled in the outline letters with green. I suppose if I'd left them uncoloured, they would count towards the clear cue too, but my glass jar will have to do.

I was hoping a close-up would show some of the shimmer... not really. 

Supplies: white cardstock, Strathmore watercolour paper, Studio Calico patterned paper, Paper Smooches Best Buds & Friendly Flowers stamps, My Favorite Things black liquorice ink, Twinkling H2Os, My Favorite Things Blueprints 24 stitched rectangle die

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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Reminder to be Naughty or Nice... and Silly!

Thought I would stop in with a quick reminder that the January Naughty or Nice challenge, LET"S GET SILLY, continues until January 25th. That means you have almost a week left to play! 

A snowy day in January seems to be a fine time to be silly, so I thought ahead to Valentine's Day and put together this punny little tag:

The cheese and sentiment are from an older Newton's Nook set, and the patterned paper from probably an equally old patterned paper pad. The tag die is brand new, though — I won it thanks to Tracey's 25 Days of Christmas Tags event. (Thanks, Tracey! I plan to play again next year... and not just because I was lucky enough to win something.) 
Since I'm in reminder mode, I'll also mention you have until end of day Friday to play along with O is for Old, the current Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers challenge! Hmm, I think the two themes could even be combined! ;) 

Supplies: white & Stampin' Up real red cardstock, Echo Park Yours truly patterned paper, Newton's Nook Just Say Cheese stamps, Versafine onyx black ink, watercolour pencils, Technique Tuesday This Tag die, Quickutz heart die, unknown small tag die, twine recycled from commercial Christmas tag, pop-dot tape

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Sunday, January 17, 2016

Enjoy the Ride

I've been having fun playing along with challenges now that I'm back to stamping again — it often seems hard to get back in the groove after a break, and Christmas/New Year's was definitely a break from crafting, if not from being busy. ;) Today I'm using the sketch and theme from the January challenge at STAMPlorations

I can use stamps, I can do CAS (clean and simple), and the sketch has a lot of possibilities. Here's my interpretation:

I'd say my main deviation from the sketch is leaving a border of the green card base showing on the right side of the card as well as the left. With that car looking like it just might be careening out of control, I think this may make a fine age-related birthday card with the right snarky sentiment inside. ;) 
Since I've used STAMPlorations stamps, I'll also be entering this into their never-ending anything goes challenge. 

Supplies: white cardstock, Craft Smith textured green card base, STAMPlorations Enjoy the Ride stamps, Ranger lilypad ink, fun foam (under the white panel for dimension) 

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Sunday, January 10, 2016

Shopping Our Stash (Gah!)

Several of us in the stamping world were shocked and saddened with the recent death of fellow stamper (and for many, friend) Leslie Hanna, aka the Crooked Stamper.  In tribute, Shopping Our Stash's current Colour Me Monochromatic challenge suggests creating a card either in a favourite colour, or Leslie's LEAST favourite colour (gah! — as she would have said) pink. I definitely wanted to play along, even though I feel a little bit (gah!) about pink myself. 

Pink this definitely is. I started with smooshing four (why do I have FOUR? Now there's a question) shades of pink distress ink on my craft mat/butcher paper, misting with a bit of water, and using the result to ink this roses background stamp. While I got a very pretty full size impression, with a second inking I also got this smaller panel. I decided to use it with some coordinating cardstock and a simple thank you sentiment. The full size panel has gone into what Leslie would have called a UFO (unfinished object) pile for use some other time. 
There's still a bit of time left if you want to play along, too, in (gah!) pink or some other colour.

Supplies: Stampin' Up melon mambo & textured blushing bride cardstock, Strathmore mixed media paper, Impression Obsession Cover-a-Card roses & Hero Arts thank you stamps, spun sugar, worn lipstick, picked raspberry & victorian velvet distress inks, pop-dot tape

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Saturday, January 9, 2016

How Old?

Saturday! And after giving ourselves a couple of extra weeks to recover from the festive season and all that entails, the Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers is back with a new challenge! 

O is for OLD. We're hoping you'll get your snark on and make something that pokes gentle (or not-so-gentle) fun at the ageing process. As has been said, it is better than the alternative. Here's what I came up with: 

Yes, I'm using a Bird Crazy stamp again! They seem ideally suited to a snarky sentiment. I went for this guy for his oh-so-innocent look. A little watercolouring was all he needed. Now to find the perfect person to send this to! ;) 
If you haven't already, it's time to put away all those stamps referencing peace and goodwill and all those happy happy things and get back to being snarky! My sisters in snark had a lot of fun with this prompt, as did our latest guest designer and Queen of Snark Cyndi! You have until January 22 (wait, how is that possible? Did January not just begin?) to join us. 

Supplies: white & blue cardstock, Strathmore watercolour paper, Tim Holtz Bird Crazy stamp & die, Snarky Stamps Ahh Real Birthday sentiment stamp, My Favourite Things black licorice ink, Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolour paints, Lawn Fawn A Birdie Told Me & Simon Says Stamp Pstage Stamp Edge Frame dies, Versamarker, pop-dot tape

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Friday, January 8, 2016

I Can't Believe...

... I made a Christmas card today, the start of the second week of January. Lots of people do make holiday cards year-round, to save some stress come November/December, and I often do as well. But this year I felt I was done with making them for a month or so at least. And then along came the latest Essentials by Ellen Mix It Up challenge. This month, the challenge is looking for a mix of their product and My Favorite Things (MFT). So I mixed and matched and made my card: 

I can't help it if this is my very favourite Essentials by Ellen stamp set. I thought Santa would be perfect poking his head out of this wonky window. His beard is adhered to the card base, while his hat is popped up on foam tape that is just a bit thicker than what I used to pop the stitched panel, so there is some interesting dimension. Otherwise, I kept my design very simple... white on white with just the pops from his red hat and the black embossed ink. It is one of the most CAS Christmas cards I've ever made, which is why I'm going to add it to the current Simple CASology challenge. Since I used my NEW MFT Peek-a-Boo wonky window and Blueprints 24 dies, I am also linking up to the current Monday Simon Says Stamp Something New challenge. 

Supplies: white cardstock, Essentials by Ellen Tis the Season stamps and die, Versafine onyx black ink, Zing clear embossing powder, My Favorite Things Peek-a-Boo wonky windows & Blueprints 24 stitched rectangle dies, Spectrum Noir marker, pop-dot tape

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Thursday, January 7, 2016

Muse Challenge

Apart from a card for the latest Naughty or Nice challenge (Are you playing? You should!) I haven't been making anything for several days now — partly that's what happens when I actually clean up and put everything away, I'm not overly inclined to get stuff back out again. :D However, lest I forget how to stamp, I decided it was time to start again, and the latest Muse challenge seemed a good way to begin. Here's the Muse card, by Michele

I was inspired by Michele's card layout, her design of black and white with just a pop of colour, and her mushy theme. ;) I wandered off a bit, but here's what I ended up with: 

Shockingly, I went with blue instead of red for my pop of colour. In addition to a shiny blue foil heart, my cat's collar/ribbon is also blue. My black and white patterned paper isn't a true black, and my cat and sentiment are on watercolour paper, which isn't really white, so I ended up with a grey card base. Since it matches the cat, that's fine with me. And obviously, instead of putting my image and sentiment on one large oval panel, I chose a smaller circle and a sentiment flag. 
Now that I've made one card, I may feel like making more! Thanks for stopping by, and check back tomorrow, just in case... 
Supplies: American Crafts textured grey cardstock, Strathmore watercolour paper, KaiserCraft Black and White Timeless patterned paper, My Favourite Things I Knead You stamps, Versafine onyx black ink, Zing clear embossing powder, My Favourite Things Blueprints 24 stitched circle die, distress markers, blue heart die cut from stash, pop-dot tape

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Friday, January 1, 2016

New Year, New Naughty or Nice Challenge!

Happy Day One of 2016! I hope the new year holds only good things ahead. Here's one good thing... the newest Naughty Or Nice challenge! This month, we are asking you to Get Silly. Silly images, silly sentiments... whatever tickles your silly bone!

When I sat down to make my card for this, I wasn't sure I still remembered how to make anything that wasn't Christmas-related. I decided to go the puns-are-silly route, and here's what I came up with: 

Isn't that little guy (hamster? gerbil? Never did own any rodent-related pets) cute? I almost hung him from the top of the wheel, but decided that might be a step too silly. I chose bright cheery colours to go with the happy, punny sentiment. 
You know the Troublemakers will have their sillies on, so be sure to stop by the challenge blog for some giggles. And then bring out your silly supplies and join us! 

Supplies: white & yellow cardstock, Stampin' Up patterned paper, Lawn Fawn Wheelie Like You stamps & dies, My Favourite Things black liquorice ink, Prismacolor pencils, Mama Elephant Femme Frames die, Creative Memories corner-rounding punch, pop-dot tape

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