Sunday, February 21, 2016

Third Time's the Charm

My friend Tracey is the current muse at the Muse challenge! Here is her card: 

As you can tell from my title, it took me a few tries to get something I liked. For the card I was finally happy with, I was inspired by Tracey's flowers, colours, black sentiment, sprinkling of sequins and general layout. And here's the card I can live with...

I couldn't find flowers to create a cluster the way Tracey did (and yes, I tried), so I chose this image instead. Up to the final second, I was going to emboss in gold, but then I decided gold flower stems would be just too weird, so I chose verdigris, a mix of green and gold, instead. I watercoloured in similar colours to Tracey. I gave the flower centres some sparkle, and used black sparkle powder to emboss the sentiment. 
Thanks for the inspiration, Tracey! 

Supplies: white cardstock, Strathmore watercolour paper, Echo Park For the Record patterned paper, Paper Smooches Best Buds and Thanks stamps, Ranger black sparkle & PSX verdigris embossing powders, My Favorite Things blueprints 24 stitched rectangle die, Koh-i-noor watercolours, Sakura Gelly Roll clear sparkle pen, Simon Says Stamp clear sequins, pop dot tape

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Warm Merry Monday Wishes

Yep, here I am, making a Christmas card. It's a handy way to get out of a crafting slump! I turned to the current Merry Monday challenge for inspiration. 

Thanks to my crafting friend Ardyth, I have a new wreath stamp to play with, so I thought this would be a perfect way to make use of it. 

I used three similar green inks to layer the wreath. To make sure the berries showed up, I stamped them in red ink as well as embossing them in red. If you squint, you can almost see that the white panel is embossed with a woodgrain texture. 
February's not even over yet, and I have three, count 'em three, Christmas cards! :P 

Supplies: white cardstock, Stampin' Up red glimmer paper, Studio Calico Wonderland patterned paper, Hero Arts Color Layering Wreath, Versafine onyx black, Simon Says Stamp green leaf, Stampin' Up garden green & Memento cottage ivy inks, Ranger ruby red & Zing clear embossing powders, My Favorite Things blueprints 24 & Paper Smooches baby bow dies, Marvy Uchida corner rounding punch, pop dot tape

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Saturday, February 20, 2016

How Mixed?

Time for a new challenge at the Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers, and it's a fun one: M is for MIXED MEDIA.

It's easy to be intimidated at the thought of making something that is mixed media, I think. But most of us do it all the time! Using just two different media counts! At least by my definition. ;) Not wanting to be thought of as slacking off, I used four different materials for my card: embossing paste, Perfect Pearls, stamping with heat embossing and watercolour pencils. Here's the result...

The sisters and I have named this guy Frank, since he's strutting a bit of that Sinatra vibe. I started by creating the background, using this technique I've been meaning to try for a while. Other than you can't work too slowly, it's quite easy... I swiped some embossing paste through my stencil onto black cardstock, lifted the stencil and dropped it in a bowl of water so I didn't have to take the time right then to clean it, and then sprinkled three colours of Perfect Pearls randomly over the still-wet embossing paste. I carefully knocked some of the extra powder off and set the panel aside to dry while I worked on Frank. I stamped and embossed him twice, so I would have a whole bird, and one I could die cut for parts. I also stamped and embossed the hat, tie and present from the accessory kit. After watercolouring everything, I die cut all the parts and put him together. In the close-up, you can see where his eyes, nose and wings are raised just a bit with glue dots along with the hat and bow tie:

Once my embossing paste was dry, I buffed off the excess powder, even using a qtip to brush between the stripes. After die cutting it to the size I wanted, I adhered it to a black card base and popped up Frank and his gift with foam tape. A few snarky sentiments I have came to mind, but I have to admit, I didn't want to cover up any more of the front of the card! I'll save the sentiment for the inside.
I'm going to add Frank to the current Happy Little Stampers mixed media challenge, which is to use paint. 
Mixed media... not so hard after all! Why not join in and enter our current challenge? You'll want to see the amazing creations the sisters have made, as well as our newest Queen of Snark, Lorraine

Supplies: Stampin' Up basic black cardstock, Strathmore mixed media paper, Stampers Anonymous/Tim Holtz Bird Crazy & Crazy Things stamps & dies, Memento Luxe tuxedo black ink, Wow clear matte dull embossing powder, Dreamweavers translucent embossing paste, Kelly Purkey stripes stencil, mint, mandarin & biscotti Perfect Pearls, watercolour pencils, My Favorite Things blueprints 24 stitched rectangle die, pop dot tape

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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Last Minute Muse Challenge

As soon as I saw this week's Muse challenge card by Anita Bowden, I was inspired: 

So of course it took me until now, hours before the current challenge closes, to actually make the card. ;) 

My main inspiration was the embossing folder Anita used for her panel, which immediately reminded me of an easy technique Jennifer McGuire uses that she calls faux textured metal; reminded only because Jennifer uses the same kind of cool dimensional embossing folders. None of which I have of course, but lack of exact supplies rarely stops me. I inked up a panel of cardstock with three distress inks and brushed it with Perfect Pearls before the ink had too much time to dry. Then I embossed it and cut the size of panel I wanted. (I think it would be wise to make these ahead of time, not right when you want to use them; with the generous ink sponging, it would be good to let the panel dry before trying to cut it. I managed.) 
I was also inspired by the corner image cluster (although I went for flowers over foliage so I could enter this in the current Addicted to CAS "bloom" challenge), the big die cut sentiment and the general layout of the card. 
Closeup of the ooh, shiny as well as my imperfect stamp layering for the flowers. ;) 

 Supplies: Stampin' Up whisper white cardstock, Papertrey Ink Brushed Blooms stamps, tumbled glass, broken china & mermaid lagoon distress & Memento cantaloupe, tangelo, new sprout & bamboo leaves inks, biscotti Perfect Pearls, Darice diagonal stripes embossing folder, Paper Smooches quote tag die, Creative Memories corner-rounding punch, pop dot tape

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Saturday, February 13, 2016

Challenge Four Play

This morning, I was going through my list of saved card challenges — usually, what this means is sorting through all the challenges I had considered playing in and realizing the dates have already gone by. Today, however, I discovered four challenges that are still current, and that fit together perfectly! The challenges...

Merry Monday has a "chalkboard" challenge.

Jingle Belles says "text me" — make a card
with text as the main focus.

Just Us Girls is looking for a tag element. 
My Favorite Things (MFT) has
a sketch with a tag!

When I mashed all those challenges together, I got this: 

When I think about using the chalkboard technique, I always think of this, my one and only subway art-style stamp. Instead of black, I went for the green chalkboard look to be seasonal. None of my standard tag dies were large enough, but I used the bottom of a wine tag die and rounded the top corners so it would be a little bit fancy. I used my current favourite die (MFT's blueprints 24 stitched rectangle die) to cut the patterned paper panel. A circle of the same paper adds a decorative element to the tag... and yes, covers up where I pulled the twine too tight the first time, sigh. 
And with that, I've made TWO Christmas cards this year! :P 

Supplies: Stampin' Up naturals ivory & DCWV green chalkboard cardstock, American Crafts gold glitter paper, Basic Grey Evergreen patterned paper, Unity Santa, Stockings, Candy Canes, etc & Gifts Galore stamps, Colorbox frost white ink, Wow white embossing powder, Avery Elle cheers, MFT blueprints 24 & Paper Smooches snowflakes dies, Ek Success 1" circle punch, Hemptique twine, pop dot tape

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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Guesting at CASology: Week 184

Eek! Thanks to my win at CASology last week (#humblebrag) I get to guest alongside the talented design team this week! The current cue word is most timely: 

Time is running out to get those valentines made for the big day this weekend. This seems to be my year to make cute and mushy ones, and today is no exception: 

I started by stamping and embossing these sweet cats and colouring them using distress markers. I also stamped and embossed the sentiment and gave the panel a light wash of distress marker pink. I did the same with the perimeter of the heart, not that you can see it in my photo. If I continue using patterned paper at the volume I used it on this card, I should be through my current stash by the dawn of the next century. 
I used a sketch from Freshly Made Sketches, but with the size of my focal image, it really didn't look right on a standard A2 card. Luckily, it just so happened my cluster of elements was quite nicely centred when I chopped off the right side to make a square card! Of course, since that challenge is done, it doesn't really matter, does it? ;) I am adding this to CAS on Sunday (valentine), Just Us Girls (word week: valentine) and Simon Says Stamp Wednesday (have a heart). 
On behalf of the clean and simple regulars at CASology, I hope you will play along! 

Supplies: marshmallow Bazzill cardstock, Strathmore mixed media paper, Pebbles Yours Truly patterned paper, Simon Says Stamp Furry Kisses stamps, Memento Luxe grey flannel ink, Zing clear embossing powder, QuikCutz heart die, distress markers, Stampin Up ticket corner punch. pop-dot tape

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Saturday, February 6, 2016

Love Birds

With just over a week to go until Valentine's Day, love is in the air, even for the Snarky Sisters! We start a new challenge today... K is for Kiss. Of course, it's us, so you can choose to go all lovey-dovey, or perhaps you'd rather tell someone to kiss off!  
Much to my sisters' chagrin, I went the romantic route:

I started by giving this cute little pair of kissing love birds a bit of ground to stand on. Distress marker watercolouring gave them some colour. I then justified keeping all of my cast-off watercolour panels by finding one I could die cut a heart from to inset into the main panel. Even better, I then found a perfectly coordinating piece of patterned paper for the card base! What I'm ever going to do with such a mushy card is another matter entirely. ;) 
By some strange coincidence, there seem to be other heart/love-related challenges going on at the moment, so I am entering this in Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Have a Heart challenge and The Card Concept Sweet Hearts challenge (clean and layered). 
Be sure to stop by the Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers to see what my sisters in snark have been up to for this challenge, as well as our latest Queen of Snark, Dotty Jo! Then I hope you will come and join in the fun. 

Supplies: white & Stampin' Up basic black cardstock, Strathmore mixed media paper, unknown patterned paper, STAMPlorations Smallbirds & Holiday Artsy stamps, Versafine onyx black, Memento new sprout & spun sugar, worn lipstick & tumbled glass distress inks, Wow clear matte dull embossing powder, distress markers, QuicKutz heart die

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Monday, February 1, 2016

Naughty or Nice: Seeing Red

And all of a sudden... it's February! With the turning of the calendar page comes a new Naughty or Nice challenge: SEEING RED. Of course you may turn your thoughts to the making of valentines with that theme, but we are happy to see any creation where red is involved. And of course, we always encourage a little naughtiness! That being said, I ended up going totally nice with mine...

If you know me at all, you know red is my favourite colour. So of course when it came to this challenge, my mind went... blank. Too many options, perhaps? There were several false starts before I decided to incorporate the current (for a few hours) Muse challenge as part of my thinking. Here's Jenni Murray's card:

As you can see, I kept Jenni's overall layout, her sponged panel, and corner floral accent. Of course I used red instead of pink. With the change in orientation of the card, the sentiment looked better in the upper left, balancing the single flower. The leaves were die cut then misted, which just happened to give me a green colour gradient to balance the red. For a reasonably clean and simple (CAS) card, I managed to use products from a wide range of manufacturers! 
Thanks to reminders from Ardyth and Darnell, I am also adding this to the current ATCAS red challenge! 
Be sure to check out what my Naughty or Nice teammates have been up to! You have until February 25th to see red and join us. 

Supplies: white cardstock, Altenew vintage flowers, Local King Rubber Stamp notes & Technique Tuesday glee stamps, festive berries distress, Stampin' Up bravo burgundy & Memento angel pink & grey flannel inks, My Favorite Things Blueprints 24, Lil' Inkers stitched flag tag & Hero Arts spring branch dies, pop-dot tape

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