Sunday, January 29, 2017

Happy Lunar New Year!

Yesterday marked the beginning of the Year of the Rooster in the Chinese calendar — it is also considered a spring festival, but you can tell that to the snow falling outside. I wanted to make a card to celebrate the new year, but of course don't have any rooster stamps! The closest I have are baby chick stamps — and while of course cute yellow chickies may grow up into roosters, I'm not sure it's quite the symbology I was looking for. ;) So I went to my fallback position of paper lanterns, used the current CAS(E) This Sketch design, and came up with this: 

For the lanterns, I found a tutorial on Splitcoast Stampers for DIY lanterns using die cuts and a crimper (I had to borrow one). Especially on the patterned paper, the crimping is very subtle. It shows up a bit better in close-up: 

I added a bit of emboss-resist sky to the top corner of the main panel; the branch is misted to colour it. 
The Simon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge is Anything Goes, so I'll be linking my card there as well as the All That Glitters is Gold challenge at Shopping Our Stash.  

(I rotated the sketch 180°)

Supplies: PTI white cardstock, Memory Box Brioche patterned paper, gold pearl paper, PTI Uncorked & Paper Smooches Botanicals 1 stamps, Versamark & tumbled glass distress inks, pale gold pearl & Ranger clear embossing powders, Hero Arts spring branch & Spellbinder oval dies, Darice crimper, Mr. Huey's water cooler colour mist, glue dots

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Saturday, January 21, 2017


Do you sometimes look at something you've purchased, shake your head and think, "Y did I buy that???" That is exactly what Edna and the Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers are looking at for our newest challenge. We want you to make use of something you likely purchased with great enthusiasm, and then couldn't figure out how to use. 
I am generally pretty frugal in my crafty purchases, but I do have a weakness for cat- and music-related items. Cat stuff is usually no problem. Music stuff? Quite often it... sits. Case in point, this stencil: 

It's music! It's old-style! What's not to love? Obviously that's what I was thinking when I bought it last year. I even got it out for our last challenge, with no joy. But on my FOURTH try with it, I found a way to use it that I could live with. Ta-da:

Can you see it? There in the background? A lightly sponged music stencil! Which in itself is an accomplishment, as I don't seem to have a knack for just partially inking through a stencil and fading it off at the edges. The main stamped image is not so much a Y did I buy that as a Wow, my design style has changed a lot over the years. This is the first stamp I ever bought from Stampin' Up, and it was back in the early days when I thought making a card was essentially stamp something, maybe colour it, add a sentiment and call it done. I don't do that quite so much any more. 😉 I do still appreciate a stamp that does some collage-style work for me, though. The sentiment is from yet another music set that I needed to have. And I have used it... once or twice.
And there you have my latest instalment of Y????! Now it's your turn. Grab that stamp, paper, mist, or whatever that you just had to have and now sits on a shelf, quietly mocking you. If you need more convincing that yes, it can be done, all you need to do is check the rest of the team's creations, as well as this week's guest, Stephanie! And think how much better you'll feel actually using that special something at last! 

Supplies: Stampin' Up very vanilla cardstock, Strathmore watercolour paper, My Mind's Eye Bohemia patterned paper, Stampin' Up Music Expressions & Technique Tuesday Glee stamps, MFT black licorice & Papertrey Ink fine linen inks, distress markers, The Crafters Workshop small sheet music stencil

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Monday, January 16, 2017

Mix It Up Challenge

I actually found time to play in the current Ellen Hutson Mix It Up challenge before it closes tomorrow! Instead of a card, I decided to mix things up even more and make a wine tag: 

I combined my Avery Elle "cheers" die with the bear and sentiment from Julie's All Inside set. I used Prismacolor pencils to shade my HUGS sentiment, and to add a little pink to my polar bear's ears. And while I realize out in the wild, polar bears get dirty, mine is pristine to keep my tag very clean and simple. I think this will be perfect next time we take wine to a friends' house! Especially if we get invited anywhere before, say, spring. 😝

Supplies: Neenah white & dessert storm cardstock, Essentials by Ellen All Inside stamps & dies, Versafine onyx black & Ranger classic cherry inks, Prismacolour pencils, Avery Elle cheers die, pop dot tape 

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Sunday, January 15, 2017

A *New* Naughty or Nice Reminder!

The "Ready, Steady, GO" challenge continues at Naughty or Nice Challenges! We are looking for anything new, whether that's a new year, new stamps, new technique... you get the idea. I broke out some new stamps and dies for my reminder card. 

I LOVE these penguins! And truth be told, I did use one for a tag in November... but I used a friend's set. Now I have my own! I also used new dies from Winnie and Walter that very slowly hitchhiked their way from their warehouse after a Black Friday sale. 
I wanted my design clean and graphic, so instead of defined hills, I went with a straight diagonal for my slope. I did feel the need to add a bit of shadow under my snowboarder dude. He's coloured with Zig markers. 
I'm entering this into the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge, Winter Birthday. 
The current challenge continues until January 25th, and we would love you to join us! 

Supplies: white & blue cardstock, Bienfang vellum bristol, MFT Chill Wishes stamp & die, MFT black licorice ink, Zig clean colour real brush markers, watercolour pencil, Winnie & Walter Katharine dies, fun foam

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Monday, January 9, 2017

Happy New Baby

It's not very often that I need a card for a new baby, but I do this week! I have the perfect new image to use, too. 

Is that little sleeping bunny not adorable? I have an extra reason for liking it so much... 

I have had this little bunny figurine for as long as I can remember, a gift from my grandmother. And I've always loved it. 😊 For the design, I also turned to the current My Favorite Things sketch challenge, although my stamped bunny is not nearly as long as the horizontal banner in the sketch. (They do call it inspiration, after all...) I didn't purposely pick the pink polka-dot paper, but my bunny's blanket was obviously in my mind. 
Not surprisingly, there are a few challenges looking for something "new" in this first month of 2017, so I'm also linking my card up to Just Us Girls (word week: new) and the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge (new something: both my bunny image and a new baby card). 

Supplies: MFT grout grey cardstock, Strathmore mixed media paper, Echo Park Little Girl patterned paper, MFT Somebunny I Love stamp & die, Unity sentiment, MFT black licorice ink, distress markers, MFT blueprints 24 stitched rectangle frame die, pop-dot tape

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Saturday, January 7, 2017

Stencil It!

Happy Snarky New Year! For the first snarky challenge of 2017, we are challenging you with S is for Stencils.  Lots of options with this one to start out the year! Here's mine:

Of course I couldn't just use my stencils in an ordinary way, as I almost always do, with inks or embossing paste. Out came my DIY gelli plate! (Made by a friend, not me, so I can't even share how it was done.) I used this tutorial to make my leafy print, using two shades of green and a yellow. (What the tutorial doesn't tell you is how to line up your cardstock when you lay it down the second time on the stencil/gelli plate. So my shadows weren't exactly perfect, but I like how it turned out anyway.) I also used the same stencil to dry emboss the main white panel. 
So that takes care of the stencil part. What to do with it? For a little extra inspiration, I turned to Tuesday Morning Sketches and this week's sketch. What better than a crazy bird for the focal panel? I left off the embellishments that are in the sketch. The placement just wouldn't have been a great idea the way the bird is situated... 
My stencil came out of its package for the first time for this card, so I'm going to enter this card in Simon Says Stamp's Monday challenge to "start afresh". And with both watercolouring and stencilling, I'm entering this in Happy Little Stampers January watercolour challenge.
Our first Queen and guest designer of the year is Michele — check out what she and all the sisters have come up with using their stencils! And may you enjoy a fun and snarky 2017... although in some ways, maybe a little less snark than in 2016 might be okay, all things considered... 

Supplies: white & black cardstock, Bienfang smooth Bristol, Tim Hotlz/Sizzix Crazy Birds & Paper Issues/Snarky Stamps Ahhh Birthday stamps, MFT black licorice ink, Zig clean colour real brush markers, Anita's acrylic craft paints, Winnie & Walter Scenery: The Leaf Effect stencil, Spellbinders circle dies

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Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy Naughty or Nice New Year!

Here's wishing you a happy and healthy 2017! A new year, a new month, and a new Naughty or Nice Challenge, of course! 

We're calling it Ready, Steady, Go — show us your New Year's card, or new anything, really. I'm still waiting on my after-Christmas purchases to arrive, 😉 so here I am with a celebratory New Year card: 

Champagne glasses and shine, what else is needed? With the aid of my MISTI, I was able to  stamp my two champagne glasses, complete with bubbles, side by side. They and the sentiment are embossed in silver. I also spritzed the black base with shimmer mist, both for sparkle and just maybe because I forgot to prep it before I used my embossing powder. 🙄
New year, new supplies... new your choice! Hope you will join us. 

Supplies: Stampin' Up real red & basic black cardstock, Simon Says Stamp Cheers stamps, Versamark, Ranger silver embossing powder, Tsukineko sparkle sheer shimmer spray

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