Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Shortcut Guide to Paper-Piecing

Hello, Saturday and a new Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers challenge! 

The multi-talented Edna has chosen "Q is for Quilts" for our latest challenge. And by that, we mean paper-piecing of any type. As you'll see if you click over to the main blog, we are giving this one a wide range of possibilities! I went for straight-up paper-piecing, but a lot of it... 

Paper-piecing can add a fun look to an image, but all that careful cutting can be a lot of work. So here's my shortcut... use an image that has matching dies that cut RIGHT ON THE EDGE! The Bird Crazy dies do exactly that. They even have little dies that cut out the eyes, beak and wings! Now that being said, I did still have some fussy-cutting left to do. I decided I wanted the wings in a contrasting paper to the bird's body, but they didn't look right without matching his tail feathers and back. I also cut out the ribbon for the present. I patted some distress ink on an acrylic block, spritzed with water and smooshed it on the bottom of a watercolour cardstock panel so he'd have somewhere to stand. All the papers are from an incredibly old patterned paper pad. 
My friend Glenda is on the team at Seize the Birthday, and for some reason I've never played(!), so I'm going to add my bird to their Anything Goes birthday challenge, as well as the current Wednesday Anything Goes challenge at Simon Says Stamp
Not only do we have great inspiration over on the Snarky blog, but we are also introducing some guest designers joining us for the next few months! I hope you'll pop over and give them a warm and snarky welcome, then join us with your own *quilted* creation! 

Supplies: white cardstock, Fluid hot press watercolour paper, Basic Grey PB&J patterned papers, Tim Holtz/Stampers Anonymous stamps & dies, Paper Smooches Birthday Buddies stamps, Versafine onyx black ink, Wow clear & clear matte embossing powder, Paper Smooches word bubbles die, Glossy Accents, pop-dot tape

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Monday, April 25, 2016

Ah, April...

It's April 25th. It SNOWED this morning. It didn't stay, but still. Might as well go back to making Christmas cards. 
First up, a card for the not-quite-finished Muse: ChristmasVisions challenge, where Cornelia is the current Muse with this amazing card: 

Let me show you my card, and then I'll explain how I got from Cornelia's to mine... 

Cornelia's card uses a reindeer (head) image, multi/rainbow colours, and a large panel set to the left. I used multiple colours to sponge a northern night sky, teeny deer instead of a large one, and black glitter paper instead of the stripes down the righthand side. Totally obvious, right? ;) I also spattered some homemade white Perfect Pearls mist over the night sky for some stars/snow (instead of Cornelia's stencilled dots) and clear-embossed both the image and sentiment. 
Next, a card for Merry Monday's new challenge, Let It Snow! (Please no.) Since it happens to be World Penguin Day, I chose to make a penguin card. 

Having made a successful (I hope) sponged night sky, I sponged a daytime one this time. Then I mixed some embossing paste with glitter to stencil the snow. While that was drying, I diecut the hills and misted them with my new shimmer spritz. So sparkly! Keeping in mind it's grey and dreary here, this is the best pic I could get. Imagine in real life...

If the weather doesn't improve tomorrow, I may just add to my Christmas card stock again... 


Supplies: (Noel) Neenah solar white & American Crafts black glitter cardstock, Memory Box Deer in the Field & WPlus9 Pretty Poinsettias stamps, Versafine onyx black & salty ocean, faded jeans, chipped sapphire, seedless preserves, dusty concord & twisted citron distress inks, Zing clear embossing powder, homemade white confetti Perfect Pearls mist, pop-dot tape; (happy holidays) white cardstock, Lawn Fawn Toboggan Together stamps & dies, Versamark, MFT black licorice & tumbled glass & salty ocean distress inks, silver embossing powder, Spectrum Noir & Sharpie markers, Simon Says Stamp falling snow stencil, Dreamweavers glossy white embossing paste, Stampin' Up dazzling diamonds glitter, MFT Scenic Safari die, Tsukineko Sparkle Sheer shimmer mist, pop-dot tape

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Sunday, April 17, 2016

Two More Christmas Cards?

It really is SPRING now, yay! But it seems I still have a few Christmas cards to get out of my system. First up, a card for the almost-over Merry Monday's 200th challenge! 

There are four options, so of course I had to pick two: the sketch and the colours. 

Other than shifting the sentiment banner off-centre, I stuck very close to the sketch. That little kitty and his mega-hat take up most of a regular A2 card, so this one is a little bigger, 4¾"x6½". I embossed him in holographic embossing powder for some fun sparkle. You can see a little bit of it here: 

After colouring him and putting the card together, I added Glossy Accents to the holly berries and Stickles to the furry parts of his hat. 
Next up is Jingle Belles with their annual April challenge to recycle/upcycle something on a Christmas card. 

If a commercial tag on a Christmas present catches my eye, I like to save them in case I can upcycle them later, so I figured this was an ideal time to use one. 

I thought the tag had a retro vibe, so I picked a couple of papers that I felt had that, too. Then while watching some tv, I traced over the ornament on the tag and all the little stars on the grey paper with my Gelli Roll pen. I also switched out the old ribbon on the tag for the silver. After putting everything together, the last step was adding the teeny sequins and, taking my cue from the talented Stephanie Klauck, added a little bit of silver Stickles to the centre of each. (With the end of a toothpick, they really are small!) 
And now... the sun is shining, I think I'll move on from Christmas to spring... 

Supplies: (cat) Neenah solar white & desert storm cardstock, Studio Calico Magical patterned paper, Penny Black Jolly Xmas Kitty & Paper Smooches Swanky Snowdudes stamps, Versafine onyx black & Ranger lilypad green inks, holographic embossing powder, Spectrum Noir markers, glossy Accents, icicle Stickles, fun foam; (glad tidings) white cardstock, Studio Calico Magical patterned paper, upcycled commercial tag, Gelli Roll clear glitter pen, May Arts silver ribbon, pop-dot tape

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Saturday, April 16, 2016


Heat embossing... my all-time favourite stamping technique. So I'm very pleased that Edna has picked it for our newest Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers challenge! 

It hardly seems a challenge! To mix things up a little, I decided to try a twist on a classic technique, emboss resist, by using one of my newest toys, watercolour powder. Here's my card: 

It's such a fun and easy way to get a mixed colour background! I stamped and embossed the plaid background first, brushed the entire panel with water, then sprinkled on the powder. I love the variety of colour you get with even just a single powder. While the panel was drying, I stamped (and heat-embossed, of course, that is what the challenge is all about...) and coloured the cat and ball of yarn with Spectrum Noir markers. The sentiment is computer-generated. 
Then it was simply a matter of assembling everything! A little closeup of the fun background colours: 

I stuck to heat-embossing, but other kinds of embossing count for our challenge, too! Be sure to check out the creations from my sisters in snark as well as our latest Queen of Snark guest designer, Jane.

Supplies: Spectrum Noir & Stampin' Up smoky slate & basic black cardstock, Strathmore mixed media paper, Stampers Anonymous/TIm Holtz Crazy Cats stamps and dies, Hero Arts large plaid pattern stamp, Versamark & Versafine onyx black inks, Zing clear and Wow white embossing powders, Spectrum Noir markers, red Magenta Nuance watercolour powder, pop-dot tape

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Thursday, April 14, 2016

Just Us Girls — Smooshing!

This week is trend week at Just Us Girls, and the trend that they have picked is Ink Smooshing.

I needed a birthday card we could send to my husband's aunt, and decided a little smooshing combined with a yet-to-be-used bird stamp would be just the thing. 

Very basic use of ink smooshing, I know, but it gave me just the look I wanted for the sky. It also meant I could ink right over the pale blue colours without worrying about the background showing through. I inked the little flowers in two shades of pink to (I hope?) resemble cherry blossoms. I didn't do a particularly good job of aligning the two layers of the flowers, but that just makes it ART, right? ;) No sentiment, as I wanted it to have more of a notecard look... there is a birthday sentiment on the inside. 
With those little cherry blossoms, I'm also linking this up to the current Monday Simon Says Stamp challenge, April Showers Bring May Flowers. (And what do April SNOW showers bring? I think winter has finally given up, thank goodness. :D) 

Supplies: navy & Stampin' Up naturals white cardstock, Strathmore watercolour paper, Hero Arts Colour Layering Bird stamps, Memento angel pink, rose bud, lulu lavender, teal zeal, nautical blue, rich cocoa, tuxedo black & tumbled glass & broken china distress inks, MFT blueprints 24 stitched rectangle die

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Monday, April 11, 2016

Another Christmas Card...

At the risk of perpetuating a stereotype about the Great WHITE North... it snowed again yesterday, the first double-digit day of April. So I made a Christmas card. I turned to the current Muse ChristmasVisions challenge and this week's card by Kimberly Wiener

Isn't this card adorable! I took inspiration from the whimsical style, watercolouring, and general layout. Here's my interpretation: 

Kimberly has a sledding snowman; I went with a skiing cat. He's watercoloured with distress markers, and the sky with two shades of Twinkling H2Os for a bit of shimmer. (I do find that when the Twinkling H2Os are used this dilutely, there's not a lot of *twinkle* to be found.) I used a little Wink of Stella on the kitty's ears and nose, Gelli Roll clear sparkle on the snow, and snow marker on the white parts of his hat and mittens. Instead of a little doodling around the image panel, I distressed the edges of the watercolour paper — I rarely distress, so it was obviously muse-inspired! After trying a number of different colours, this creamy yellow seemed to set off everything the best. 
Even though the little snow we had yesterday is almost gone, there may be one or two more Christmas cards in the works before I take a SPRING break. 

Supplies: teal & American Crafts textured cardstock, Strathmore watercolour paper, Penny Black White Slopes & Hero Arts Get Merry stamps, MFT black licorice & mermaid lagoon distress inks, Zing clear embossing powder, distress markers, Twinkling H2Os, Wink of Stella clear glitter brush pen, Gelli Roll clear glitter gel pen,  MArvy Uchida snow marker 

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Friday, April 8, 2016


I am very glad it's Friday. While these are very first-world problems, the return of WINTER (in APRIL!!!), an inability to touch a piece of cardstock without messing it up, and a killer migraine yesterday all combined to make a very long week. But this afternoon I actually made a card for the current Muse challenge with a minimum of mistakes, so perhaps that bodes well for the weekend ahead. 
This week's muse is Michele, and here is her elegant inspiration card: 

And here is my interpretation:

 As you can tell, I was totally inspired by Michele's card layout and main grey panel... so classy! I have some patterned paper that is very similar to her smaller panel, but decided to white-emboss roses on some rust-coloured cardstock. The colour (not my usual) was influenced by the paper I used for my little butterfly. Last week I had a chance to play with a gelli plate for the first time (so much fun!), and decided to use one of monoprints I made. Instead of a rectangle, I used a stitched tag for the focal panel. As with this card, I also used the opportunity to add to my stash of sympathy cards. (I do this with some trepidation; the last time I decided it would be good to have a bunch of sympathy cards on hand, we promptly needed to use them all, it seemed.) 
Unlike last week, there are still a couple of days left in this challenge, perhaps you will be inspired, too! 

Supplies: white, Stampin' Up dusty durango & Bazzill textured grey cardstock, Stampin' Up Fifth Avenue Floral & Hero Arts Newspaper Background & With Deepest Sympathy stamps, Colorbox frost white & Memento grey flannel inks, Wow white embossing powder, My Favorite Things Blueprints 24 & Technique Tuesday This Tag dies, Martha Stewart butterfly punch

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Sunday, April 3, 2016

Another Deadline Challenge

If my blog posts this past weekend are any indication, then I am definitely on a bit of a roll, challenge-wise... and I like working close to a deadline. ;) Twas ever thus, I must confess. I'm back with a card for the soon to be closing Muse challenge, where Jenni Murray is the current Muse with this beautiful card: 

I took inspiration from the poppies, the colours, the offset sentiment and the layout. And although Jenni hoped her card wasn't too reminiscent of a sympathy card, that was the route I went... 

Unlike Jenni's stamp, the stems on my poppies are solid, so I didn't want to ink mine in black and have solid black stems. Instead, I used distress markers to colour it before stamping it onto mixed media paper. Then I used a paintbrush to draw colour from the outlines to shade the flowers. Like Jenni, I added a pale wash of green to ground the stamp... to add blue would have been too difficult since the stems would have wanted to bleed into the blue — the green I could handle. ;) My sentiment was a little too long to stamp directly onto the panel as Jenni did, so it's on a simple banner. (I need to find one or two more classy sympathy sentiments...) 
Off to find more almost-ending card challenges! :D

Supplies: Bazzill marshmallow & Stampin' Up old olive cardstock, Unity Wishing You Joy& Hero Arts With Deepest Sympathy stamps, My Favorite Things licorice black ink, distress markers, Creative Memories corner-rounding punch 

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Carol Musing, Take II

I'm back with another challenge card for Muse ChristmasVisions and Merry Monday. (I need to type quickly, the current challenge ends soon!) Last night, when I posted this card, I mentioned the utter lack of success I'd had using a Christmas tree stencil. Well, I couldn't let myself be defeated! With yet another attempt, I have a card I can live with, and even like: 

This very clean and (allegedly) simple card still fought me every step of the way. My stencilling is imperfect, but I decided the patterned paper hides the little embossing paste slips. If you squint, you might see the score lines down the left side to balance the rest of the panel. I grabbed a textured card base from my stash — luckily I looked inside before I adhered the panels, as it was already pre-smudged! Then of course I managed a smudge on my newly-cut card base when I put a sentiment inside. Now there are two little snowflakes in addition to the sentiment. 
From Maria's card, I was inspired by her stencil use, Christmas tree, and pops of gold. And I hope my outside sentiment makes my carol inspiration clear. I'm also adding this to the current Anything Goes Simon Says Stamp challenge. 
Off to link up! Enjoy the remainder of the weekend. 


Supplies: American Crafts textured white cardstock, gold pearl paper, Basic Grey Aspen Frost patterned paper, Technique Tuesday Jingle All the Way stamp, Versamark ink, Wow white embossing powder, Simon Says Stamp Four Trees stencil, Dreamweavers glossy white embossing paste

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Saturday, April 2, 2016

O Christmas Tree Muse

What can I say? I like making Christmas cards, even in April. And since there was a skiffle of snow on our deck and on neighbours' roofs this morning, it doesn't even seem all that out of season. 
I've got a card for two challenges: Muse ChristmasVisions and Merry Monday. Merry Monday is looking for a card inspired by a Christmas carol, while at MCV, Maria Fischer is the week's muse. 


My carol inspiration is O Christmas Tree; from Maria's card, I was inspired by the graphic tree image, the small sentiment across the bottom of the card and the polka dots. Here's my take: 

Maria used a stencil... I have a small tree stencil that also has circles, but a day of failures convinced me to try something else. I thought this tree stamp had a similar feel with its snowflakes standing in for circles. I started by sponging some distress ink in the centre of the white panel then added a few sparkly spatters. The tree is embossed in white. I stamped the sentiment three times before trimming the panel and layering it on the green polka dot paper. A gold star sequin finishes the card.  

Supplies: white cardstock, Echo Park Holly Jolly Christmas patterned paper, Prima Merry Christmas Tree & Technique Tuesday Jingle All the Way stamps, Versamark & mowed lawn distress inks, Wow white embossing powder, homemade Perfect Pearls mist, Studio Calico gold star sequin

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Just Joking!

The Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers missed landing our newest challenge on April Fools by just one day, but we don't care! Our newest challenge...

J is for JOKE! Look at Edna rolling her eyes... it takes some work to get her laughing out loud. Here's my attempt: 

This is funny to me as my exes are all in my distant past. (We're talking high school and university, people.) And I'm either on good terms with them or we have totally lost track of each other. As far as I know...

My little puppy is stamped and embossed in grey, with grey Spectrum Noir colouring and a red collar (coated in Stickles) to coordinate with the sentiment. Of course his nose and eye have a layer of Glossy Accents to give them a healthy shine. The chew toy bones are stamped in two different shades of grey. 
(Full disclosure: the American spelling of NEIGHBOUR annoys me a bit, but not nearly as much as non-u versions of colour or favourite.) 
I'm adding this to Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Anything Goes challenge, and Paper Smooches April challenge. 
Come and join in the fun this challenge and tickle our funny bones! Be sure to check out the creations of my sisters in snark, as well as our latest guest designer, Irit! AND!!! We are looking for a guest designer or two for a six month gig hanging out with the snarkiest stampers ever! Click HERE for all the details. 

Supplies: white & Stampin' Up smokey slate cardstock, Paper Smooches Woofers & Tweeters stamps & Woofers die, Riley & Co. sentiment stamp, Memento Luxe grey flannel & Memento grey flannel, London fog & rhubarb stalk inks, Zing clear embossing powder, Spectrum Noir markers, Glossy Accents, clear rock candy distress Stickles, pop-dot tape

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Friday, April 1, 2016

It's April 1st!!!

Even though the start of this fourth month means that it's April Fools Day, it's no joke that there's a new challenge starting at Naughty or Nice Challenges today! 

Ah, rainbows. Sounds like the perfect prompt for a nice card, doesn't it? At first I thought, hmm, should I do balloons? A rainbow in a rain-washed sky? And then I gave my head a shake and went with the obvious choice... wine glasses! 

I really did cut a mask for the wine glass so that I could cascade them down the left side of my card. I found some hangover-inducing patterned paper to cover the card base before popping the main panel up with a layer of fun foam for extra stability. Easy and fun! 

I'm adding this card to Wednesday's Anything Goes challenge at Simon Says Stamp
What can you do with rainbows? Come and play with us at Naughty or Nice Challenges! 
Supplies: Papertrey ink white cardstock, Amy Tangerine Sketchbook patterned paper, Paper Smooches Free Spirits & Hampton Arts LOL Wine stamps, Versafine onyx black & Memento lady bug, tangelo, dandelion, bamboo leaves, teal zeal, lilac posies & grape jelly inks, fun foam

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