Thursday, February 28, 2019

Happy Little Stampers: Mists

Here we are at the end of February (where I am) and the beginning of March (in Australia, where Happy Little Stampers is based) - and that means it is time for a new WATERCOLOUR challenge! 

Our optional challenge twist for March is MIST. If you're like me, you have several spray mists, the challenge is using them. (And yes, for me, it may be true of other supplies as well... sigh) After a few artsy/technique-y fails (including one that I hoped would look a bit like the Mist badge above...), here is what I ended up with: 

For my background, I misted a panel of watercolour cardstock with orange, red and green mists. Then I added a few sprays of water to help them mix, travel and blend. Once it was dry, I also added a few splatters, and threw in a fourth splattered colour, grey. My crazy cat is watercolored with Zigs and die cut. I also die cut his eyes from regular cardstock so they could be bright white, as opposed to the creamier colour of the watercolour paper I used. And while I've been very classy with my floral cards for Happy Little Stampers so far, I decided it was time to show another side of my card-making. :D 

Visit the HLS post to be inspired by all the different ways my teammates chose to use mists on their cards this month! If you have a spray mist or three in your collection, why not dust them off and join us? 
P.S. It just so happens that the new challenge at Seize the Birthday, starting today, has the optional *topping* of Make Us Laugh! If I wasn't already on the team, I would add this! :D (My other humorous birthday card is here.)

Supplies: Neenah white & Stampin' Up basic black cardstock, Canson watercolour paper, Tim Holtz/Stampers Anonymous Crazy Cats & Hero Arts Irreverent Birthday Messages stamps, MFT extreme black & Versafine onyx black inks, Wow clear embossing powder, Zig watercolour markers, Mr. Huey boss lady & watercooler & Tattered Angels LED red & graphite spray mists, MFT double-stitched rectangle & Sizzix Crazy Cats dies, foam tape

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Seize the Birthday and Make Us Laugh!

Welcome to another Seize the Birthday Thursday! And to the last day in February. Unless you're in Australia or similar... how is March treating you?

I had the honour of picking the optional topping challenge for you today, and my choice is "Make Us Laugh". Sometimes a good chuckle is needed when it's birthday time! Since it was my idea, I did my best to bring my sense of humour to my card: 

It's hard to go wrong with any of the Tim Holtz Crazy line of stamps if you hope to inspire a chuckle, and I thought this guy's expression worked well with the sentiment. For once, I waited until after picking my background paper before colouring his collar, so everything goes together. I couldn't resist stamping the caution tape at the top and bottom for a little extra humour.

The rest of the team's cards are sure to make you smile, too! We also get to enjoy one last  card by our surprise party guest, Julie, before her limo arrives to take her home. Check out the rest of the creations, be inspired, and join us! 

Supplies: Neenah white & Stamping' Up basic black cardstock, American Crafts Hip Hip Hooray patterned paper, Tim Holtz/Stampers Anonymous Mini Crazy Cats & Dogs, Papertrey Ink Caution: Another Year Older & Crackerbox Palace Immature Forever stamps, MFT extreme black, Versafine onyx black & Catherine Pooler tiara inks, Wow clear embossing powder, Copic markers, foam tape

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Saturday, February 23, 2019

A Snarky Card Diet

All hail Saturday! Time for a new challenge at the Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers: D is for DIET!

So many ways to interpret this! Here's my first version: 

Mmm, cupcakes. ;) The sentiment is from Riley & Co, and the rack of cupcakes is from  Simon Says Stamp as part of a grab bag I won eons ago - no idea who made it. I coloured the cupcakes then added what I thought was an appropriate amount of Stickles...

For the background, I blended some distress oxide inks and splattered them with water. 

With my Copic-coloured cupcakes, I'm adding this to the current Shopping Our Stash challenge, Make Your Mark. 

I had a second idea in my brain, so decided to make another card...  

I consulted with snarky sister Jane about the bleaching the skin of this Gibson Girl (thank you, Jane!) and love how she turned out. She had just the right attitude for the sentiment, I thought. I'm adding this to the current monochromatic challenge at the current Paper Players challenge. 

My sisters in snark have all kinds of great inspiration to show you, as does our current Queen of Snark and guest designer, Tenia! You have two weeks to play along! 


Supplies: (cupcake) Neenah white & Stamping' Up basic black cardstock, (?) cupcake stand & Riley & Co No Sprinkles stamps, Versafine onyx black & fossilized amber, faded lipstick & festive berries distress inks, Wow clear embossing powder, Copic markers, MFT stitched scalloped rectangle die, icicle Stickles, foam tape; (14 day diet) Stampin' Up basic black & Recollections red cardstock, Deep Red Stamps Gibson Girl stamp, Versafine onyx black ink, Wow clear embossing powder, Tim Holtz/Ideology Small Talk Snarky sentiment sticker, Winnie & Walter Katharine cutaway die, bleach 
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Inkspirational: Use Your Stash

It's time for my second post as guest designer at Inkspirational! You'd almost think the theme was picked with me in mind...

 If you know me at all, you know that most of what I use to make cards is considered STASH - stuff I've owned for a long time. When I do buy stuff, it's more often a product that's been around for a while, rather than something newly released. (A rare exception was jumping on Concord & 9th's new Turnabout Toolkit as soon as it came out. Generally, I buy something hot off the production line once a year or less...) So I gave myself an extra challenge - not just use my regular stash, but dig into my bins of stuff already stamped and sometimes already coloured, too. (Some people call these UFOs - unfinished objects.) As I looked through my collection, I put together several items and came up with this: 

Stash stuff: every single piece on the wreath, including the sentiment. They all came to live in my stash after a play date with Emily last spring! This is a great layering set, since it's designed to be more artistic than precise. Precision is not always my friend. :D I built the wreath on a base previously cut from an Altenew wreath-builder set. The warm grey base layer was freshly cut for this card. 

Of course, once I had my stash spread out all over the place, it only made sense to put together a few more cards! 

Stash stuff: the light bulb was coloured for one of Kathy Racoosin's 30 day colouring challenges, and the background was embossed for another card but not ultimately used. The sentiment is freshly stamped. 

Thinking ahead, I next made an Easter card: 

Stash stuff: the lamb, bunny ears and butterfly were all previously stamped and die cut but had to be coloured for this card, the sky background was stamped a long time ago and the green layer had also been previously die cut. I added the sentiment and the purple mat. 

What happens when you use jelly beans as a photo prop:
they look like cat toys! 
And finally, a cat card:

Stash stuff: My snarky sister Chris sent me a bunch of stamped Katzelkraft cats and dogs, since I have yet to add them to my collection, so I coloured and fussy-cut this one; the kraft layer had also been previously stamped. I added the stamped and die cut speech bubble and the patterned paper layer. 

Phew! I hope you're still with me. I'd like to say I made a dent in my stash using all these, but... not really. :D You don't have to go to the same extremes I did, just pull from your not-brand-new supplies and join us! Be sure to check out all the great makes from the Inkspirational team, too. 

Supplies: (smile) Neenah white & Papertrey Ink soft stone cardstock, Winnie & Walter In Bloom: Ashlee's Rosie Posies & Altenew Halftone Smile stamps & dies, many many Altenew inks, Altenew Create-a-Wreath & Winnie & Walter Katharine cutaway dies; (warm thoughts) Neenah white Cardstock, Strathmore watercolour paper, American Crafts patterned paper, Concord & 9th Shine Bright & Unity/Jillibean Soup Watermelon Gazpacho Soup stamps, Versafine onyx black & Archival black inks, Wow clear embossing powder, Zig markers, Sizzix grid embossing folder, MFT blueprints 24 sentiment banner die; (Easter) Neenah white and Recollections purple cardstock, Waffle Flower Welcome Spring, Impression Obsession clouds background & Simon Says Stamp Essential Greetings, Versafine onyx black, tumbled glass distress & Brilliance pearlescent orchid & lavender inks, Hero Arts sparkle embossing powder, Copic markers, Waffle Flower Welcome Spring, Paper Smooches Borders 1 & MFT stitched rounded rectangle dies, icicle Stickles, pop dot tape; (grumpy cat) Neenah white & desert storm cardstock, American Crafts Hip Hip Hooray patterned paper, Katzelkraft Les Chats Russe, Taylored Expressions Grouchy Grumplings & Hero Arts text background stamps, Archival black & Papertrey Ink fine linen ink, Copic markers, Memory Box Big Word Pop Curve die, pop dot tape

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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

CASology Guest!

Excited to be guesting for CASology for their new challenge starting today! I always check the CASology challenges, almost always mean to play... and too often, miss the deadline. (One week challenges are not for procrastinators, obviously.) But Melissa and the CASology team were nice enough to invite me to guest with them today, after winning late last year for this card (the second one). I'm also excited that the new cue card is right up my alley! 

The CASology team are experts at classic CAS designs. So I decided to go all out and attempt a one-layer card:

I cut a square out of a large post-it note and used a stencil brush with my ink so my colour would stay light. Then it was a simple matter to ink the cat and the sentiment in the same colour! The idea came from these cards by Lydia that I pinned ages ago. 

Since that was truly clean and simple - and QUICK! - I made one more, this time with a layer...

Exactly the same process, except switched up the colour and sentiment with a slightly narrower panel to pop up on fun foam with a sliver of matching blue cardstock showing. 

I can't wait to check how the rest of the CASology team interpreted the current cue card, and hope you will check them out too. And then play along! 

Supplies: Neenah white & scrap blue cardstock, Impression Obsession Mini Cat & Clearly Besotted Message Me stamps, bundled sage & blueprint sketch distress inks, fun foam

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Thursday, February 14, 2019

Anything Birthday Goes!

Our newest challenge at Seize the Birthday is the classic "Anything Goes"! We always welcome any birthday card at StB, but there is no optional "topping" to help or hinder your inspiration for the next two weeks. ;) 
I decided my *anything* would be my new Turnabout Stamp from Concord & 9th!

I have been eyeing the various turnabout stamps for a while, loving what I saw people doing with them, but worried that they might not be as easy as they seemed to rotate and stamp perfectly. But when C&9 decided to create a toolkit last month, I was in. Confession: this panel is NOT absolutely perfect, but looks great anyway, I think. My happy mail finally arrived on a migraine day, but I really wanted to test it out. I grabbed four handy inks and stamped, attempting to follow the instructions, but missing one part. Random inks, imprecise panel placement on the jig, still liked the results. I have a feeling this is not my last turnabout stamp order. :D When I was ready to make today's card, I cut the bouquet panel to size, added a central sentiment and layered everything on a mauve card base. (Ugh! I know it looks more like dusty rose in the photos. Photography has been annoying me no end recently.) A smattering of iridescent sequins adds a hint of bling. 

A friend's birthday snuck up on me just the other day, and it was so good having a few cards already made to choose from - so why not make one and come join us! For more inspiration, be sure to visit the blog, where the regular party-goers, plus our surprise party guest Julie have a variety of birthday cards made to impress! 
P.S. Happy Valentine's Day! 

image source

Supplies: Neenah white & Hero Arts lilac layering cardstock, Concord & 9th Everyday Bouquet & Clearly Besotted Say What stamps, Versamark, Memento new sprout, nautical blue, lulu lavender & elderberry inks, Wow clear embossing powder, Concord & 9th Everyday Bouquet & Winnie & Walter Katharine cutaway dies, Little Things from Lucy's Cards iridescent sequins, foam tape

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Saturday, February 9, 2019

K is for Kitties - Possibly Snarky!

It's a Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers Saturday! We have a fun new challenge for you:

K is for Kitties! We do have some dog-owning outliers, but many of the sisters are staff to cats. A kitty challenge seemed only appropriate. Here's mine:

Shopping our Stash is currently holding a challenge called "Ode to Jessi". Jessi was not only our snarky sister, but a team member at Shopping Our Stash as well. So I thought it was fitting to combine the two challenges today. I chose to be inspired by this card of Jessi's: 

I could have used the same stamp and sentiment, since I have them too, but I wanted to go more with the spirit of the card than the actual images. I used an Altenew journalling card as my background for this smiling boy, and since I had a feeling it was what Jessi would do, added Glossy Accents to his grin. 

If you have a cat stamp or three, why not join our challenge? For more inspiration, be sure to see what my sisters in snark have come up with, as well as our current Queen of Snark and guest designer, Lisa

Supplies: Neenah white cardstock, Basic Grey Kelly Purkey Mon Ami patterned paper, Altenew Our Family watercolour journalling card, Taylored Expressions If Cats Could Talk & Party Grumplings stamps & die, Versafine onyx black ink, Wow clear gloss embossing powder, Copic markers, Simon Says Stamp Small Folded Banners die, Studio Katia diamond sparkle flowers, Glossy Accents, foam tape 

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Inkspirational Guesting!

I'm very excited to be guest designing at Inkspirational Challenges this month! Challenge #180 begins today, and it's a fun one:  

There are so many ways to incorporate text on a card (after all, most cards do seem to have sentiments...) and I was mulling over different approaches at the same time I was thinking about the valentine I still needed to make. They all mixed together and became this: 

These stamps are from a Christmas set, and I hadn't really thought of it for a Valentine until now! I started with the large XO sentiment, stamping it in red then embossing it in sparkle embossing powder before masking it to stamp all the smaller x's and o's. I'm still amazed I managed an entire panel without messing it up! The masked XO didn't seem quite defined enough, so I added a sparkly gel pen outline. I added a couple of of patterned papers as well as some glitter cardstock to frame the main panel. I cut a heart from the leftmost patterned paper, centred it in the large O, and added a thick coat of glossy accents to it. 

This just happens to be this year's valentine for my husb, so I'm entering the current challenge at The Male Room - Love Your Men. 

Supplies: Neenah white & Stampin' Up real red glitter cardstock, assorted patterned papers, Simon Says Stamp Big Holiday Wishes stamps, Versamark, Altenew blush & Ranger classic cherry inks, Hero Arts sparkle embossing powder, Gelly Roll red sparkle gel pen, Glossy Accents, fun foam

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Friday, February 8, 2019

Christmas Kickstart Challenge

My friend and snarky sister Jo Avery has started a new challenge: Christmas Kickstart Challenge

So far, I've not been very supportive - I missed the first two challenges. :( But the current one is Festive Felines, so how could I not play along? 
I used what I think may be my oldest Christmas cat stamp, bought at a now defunct dollar store chain. 

I have definitely got my value out of this $2 stamp! (I am guessing here, but the chain was called "A Buck or Two", and it's hard to imagine getting this cutie for just a loonie!) He's stamped and embossed, coloured in Copics and fussy cut. I gave him a circle of green as background, and thought this sentiment was perfect with his less-than-pleased look. Stickles on his hat, and though you can't tell in the photos, Wink of Stella on his gift tag. 

Perhaps to make up for lost time, I have a second cat card: 

Another of my older cat stamps. Again stamped, embossed and coloured in Copics - but this time with a Copic background as well. He's such a small image, I gave him a couple of layers to sit on. ;) To match the night sky, I used the same Copic (ultramarine) to colour white cardstock to match. Luckily I had a blue ink that worked perfectly for the sparkly-embossed sentiment. I added the snow/stars and a little snow edging with a glitter pen. 

I have a cat. His name is Duncan. Unlike the overwhelming majority of cats, he does not like boxes. (He was a rescue cat, and we wonder if there's something about confined spaces.) Until today, of course, when I was using my light box as a reflector... 

If Christmas cards aren't your thing, come back tomorrow - I have inspirations for two other card challenges that start then! 

Supplies: (meow cat) Neenah white cardstock, Basic Grey Alpine Frost patterned paper, Westwater Enterprises cat & Essentials by Ellen Tis the Season stamps, Versafine onyx black & bundled sage distress oxide ink, Wow clear gloss embossing powder, Copic markers, Winnie & Walter Katharine cutaway & Spellbinders circle dies, frosted lace Stickles, Wink of Stella clear glitter pen, foam tape; (warm holiday wishes) Neenah white & Stampin' Up glitter cardstock, Hero Arts Decorate You & Hello Bluebird Snow Play stamps, Versafine onyx black & Brilliance Mediterranean blue inks, Wow clear gloss & Hero Arts sparkle embossing powder, Copic markers, Nellie's Multiframes square dies, Gelly Roll stardust pen, foam tape 

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