Friday, May 31, 2019

Happy Little Stampers: Love

Welcome to the June Happy Little Stampers Watercolour Challenge! Our (always optional) theme this month is LOVE. Lots of possibilities with this, I think! Here's mine:

Watercolour powders, the easiest form of watercolouring! So easy, in fact, that I checked with my teammates to make sure it was allowed. :D My favourite watercolour powders have other colours mixed in with the main shade, and this one, mostly red, also has some orange and even a bit of blue. I'm using one of my favourite ways to use these powders, with a white-embossed background image. I love how the colour automatically pools and concentrates more in some areas than others, giving a look that seems (to the non-crafting eye) much more work than it is. Here's a closer look: 

Over the base, I layered a die cut cover plate, adding the two part sentiment and an enamel heart. 
For more inspiration, my watercolour teammates have many beautiful interpretations of this month's theme! Or you are welcome to add any watercolored project to our link up. You have the month of June to come and play along! 

Supplies: Neenah white cardstock, Canson watercolour paper, MFT Roses All Over & Concord & 9th Love You Mean It stamps, Versamark & Versafine onyx black ink, Wow clear glitter & white embossing powder, Magenta Nuance berry watercolour powder, Sugar Pea Designs Large Striped Cover Plate die, (?) enamel dot

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Thursday, May 23, 2019

Seize the Birthday with Presents!

It's time for another Seize the Birthday challenge! 

For the last challenge, we had the birthday balloons, and now we're bringing out the PRESENTS! As always, our birthday card topping is optional - we like to see all handmade birthday cards in our linkup. 
I decided to pull out an older Hero Arts stamp for my card: 

I think up until now I've only used this stamp at Christmas, but it seemed perfect for our theme. She is stamped (masking off the "for you" sentiment beneath her) and sparkle-embossed on watercolour paper. For more sparkle, I pulled out my Twinkling H2Os for both the light wash of the background and the more intense colouring of the image. You can get a better idea of the sparkle from this full-sunlight close-up:

Going through some of my patterned paper, this yellow one seemed the best fit for the multicolour image. Although my sentiment isn't specifically birthday, I think it's clear this is meant as a birthday card - well, that and the "Happy Birthday" I stamped inside. 😉

With all my bright colours, I'm adding this to the current Simon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge, Bright Colours Inspiration Mood Board
There are many more presents to be inspired by on the Seize the Birthday blog, from my teammates as well as our current surprise party guest, Linda! Why not give someone the gift of a handmade card and join us! 

Supplies: Neenah white & Stampin' Up basic black cardstock, Canson watercolour paper, American Crafts Hip Hip Hooray patterned paper, Hero Arts For You Gifts & Lawn Fawn Tiny Tag Sayings stamps, Versafine onyx black ink, Wow clear sparkle embossing glitter, Twinkling H2Os, MFT Blueprints 29 stitched rectangle & Lawn Fawn tiny tag dies, Pinkfresh Studio enamel dots, Hemtique twine, foam tape

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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Artist Trading Cards

Do you make Artist Trading Cards (ATCs)? I haven't made a lot of them, but they are a fun little canvas to play on! I like them for a few reasons: the small canvas is a fun size to work with, they can provide a *nudge* when card-making ideas seem to be lacking, and I find them ideal for using both backgrounds and images that are left over from card making. Seeking some inspiration today, I went to the current Happy Little Stampers ATC Challenge, where the theme is "hello". I pulled out my bins of stash and made two: 

For the first one I used a leftover ink-smooshed watercolour panel: 

The morning glory was also previously stamped, and the leaves were leftover die cuts. So really, all I had to do was cut the ATC, then add the embossed sentiment and place the flower and leaves.
My second one was just as easy:

The background panel (purple, although it's looking a bit black in the photo) is a leftover from experimenting with my distress oxides when I first got them. The butterfly is die cut from a panel where I was trying out a technique with spray mists. Another quick to assemble ATC! I'm adding this one to the current STAMPlorations Things with Wings linky party.  

Supplies: (hello there) Neenah white & Stampin' Up old olive cardstock, Canson watercolour paper, Altenew Build a Flower: Morning Glory stamps & die & Hero Arts/Basic Grey Hello stamps, Versafine onyx black & assorted Altenew & distress inks, CUTplorations ATC tag builder & PTI leaf die; (hello) Neenah white & (?) purple cardstock, Altenew Label Love stamp, Versamark &assorted distress oxide inks, Hero Arts white embossing powder, Memory Box texture scraped paint stencil, MFT butterfly & CUTplorations ATC tag builder dies, assorted spray mists

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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Guest Elf at Christmas Kickstart!

My friend Jo has asked me to be her newest guest elf at her Christmas Kickstart challenge!  The theme starting today is CHRISTMAS KIDS. I thought an interactive card would be perfect for kids (of all ages)! 

It was also just the push I needed to try out my new Lawn Fawn magic picture changer dies. I chose a cute little penguin for the first picture you see, colouring him simply with Copic markers, then masking him to sponge in a sky. I didn't even think about masking the snowflakes/snowballs, just coloured them with white gel pen after the sky was finished. (I suppose I could have used masking fluid, but there's the drying time... :D) Since it was my first time using these dies, I kept it simple and just used a sentiment for the second panel, rather than trying to line up a second image. 

Following along with the video kept the assembly of this surprisingly easy! I kept the rest of the card simple, using some fun patterned paper for the card base. 
Here is why you should join Jo and me for this challenge: you will add to your Christmas card stash, so your December self will thank you; and making cards for kids is fun! You have two weeks to play along.

Supplies: Neenah white & Stampin' Up real red cardstock, Lawn Fawn patterned paper, Hello Bluebird Snow Play stamps, Simon Says Stamp intense black & Stampin' Up real red inks, Lawn Fawn Magic Picture Changer & Magic Picture Changer add-on dies, Copic markers, Gelly Roll white gel pen

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Saturday, May 18, 2019

Ironmongery with the Snarky Sisters

With this steampunk-ally cool graphic from our snarky sister Lee, I am pleased to announce our new Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers challenge begins today: I is for Ironmongery! (We haven't run out of different ways to title our annual steampunk challenge yet...) Some of the sisters are totally into steampunk; others, like me, only dabble occasionally, but it's such a fun genre to explore. And explore I did, with <gasp> three different projects to show you today!
I was inspired to dust off my gelli plate and acrylic paints and make some steampunk backgrounds. If you've ever played with a gelli plate, it's not really something to just make one print. So here's a selection from my morning of play time...

I refreshed my gelli print techniques by watching this video by Shari Carroll. She uses regular printer paper for her prints! I tried it, too, and really liked the results. It does mean you are working with very thin paper to make the rest of your card, but if you're careful, the results are fine. Here's my first example, where I even managed to include a trace of snark: 

This is the third print I lifted from this particular arrangement of paint and die cuts - another great suggestion of Shari's is to use freezer (or in my case, butcher) paper for your die cuts - when you lift them from the plate, most of the paint stays behind, as you're seeing here with the gears. I also love that it left the perfect place for my young man to stand and rest his hand. Going through my Tim Holtz snarky sentiments, this one seemed to work. 

Now a not-so-snarky one: 

This time I used a stencil for my print, before stamping and embossing the steampunk bird on patterned paper and fussy-cutting him. A sentiment and a few die cut gears (from the same patterned paper) and I have that rarest of beasts, a clean and simple steampunk card! 

Finally, my brother's birthday was a few weeks ago. In making him a gift bag, I was feeling in an artsy/inky mood, and made him somewhat of a "steampunk lite" one: 

Stencilled brick, clear-embossed clocks, a spooky chandelier, a few die cut gears (again!) and a larger version of the same Tim Holtz paper doll as on my first card. 
And there you have it! And I'm just a small cog (haha) in the blog full of inspiration on the Snarky Sisters site! Be sure to visit to see my sisters' creations, and also our current Queen and guest designer, Tristan! Hope to see your Ironmongery creation in the links. 
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Thursday, May 9, 2019

Seize the Birthday with Balloons!

Happy Thursday and welcome to the latest Seize the Birthday challenge! Our topping inspiration for you for the next two weeks is  🎈BALLOONS!🎈 As always, if the topping doesn't immediately inspire you, we would love to see any birthday card you make.

My card features just one balloon, but I think it still counts: 

To think I hadn't put the bird on top of the hippo's head before! He fits perfectly, and with the balloon gives a nice flow to the images. They are all coloured with Copics, with a generous coating of sparkle on the balloon. I even captured a hint of it in the close up below: 

This is our first Seize the Birthday post for May, which means a new surprise party guest, Linda! Please welcome her to the party as you admire all the inspiration the team has provided for you. 

Supplies: Neenah white & Stampin' Up bashful blue cardstock, Essentials by Ellen Wish Big stamps, Versafine onyx black ink, Wow clear gloss embossing powder, Copic markers, Wink of Stella clear sparkle pen, Gelly Roll white gel pen, Itoya finepoint marker, fun foam

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Tuesday, May 7, 2019

A Snarky Christmas Kickstart Challenge

My snarky sister Jo started her very own card making challenge this year, and she's invited the Snarky Sisterhood to play along with her for her newest Christmas Kickstart Challenge: Snarky Christmas! So many possibilities! I decided to go with a theme close to many of the sisters' hearts... 

This was a fun card to make! I started by stamping the glasses in black and embossing with a clear-with-gold-sparkle embossing powder. Next I added the ornament and swizzle stick, this time embossing in fine clear powder. Finally, the champagne bubbles in, yes, champagne embossing glitter! After colouring the glass additions, I added Wink of Stella then some Glossy Accents. Because Christmas. The sentiment and music notes are embossed with a sparkly embossing powder. A little bit of pale gold paper sets off the sentiment strip. 
What better way to get a head start on your Christmas cards than by adding the fun of making a snarky one? (This is card #20 for me this year, yay me!) Be sure to check out all the inspiration Jo and the sisters have come up with. Then come and play along! 

Supplies: Neenah white cardstock, pale gold pearl paper, MFT Christmas Cocktails & A Jillian Vance Design Jingle All the Way stamps, Versamark & Versafine onyx black ink, Wow fine clear, clear gold highlight, vintage champagne & clear sparkle embossing powders, Copic markers, Wink of Stella clear glitter pen, Glossy Accents

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Saturday, May 4, 2019

Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers: What the...

Honestly, is there a more fun crafting challenge out there than the Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers? After all, we're back with our newest challenge, W is for WTF! I'm sure you can imagine the enjoyment we all had putting our own spin on this challenge theme. We had several different ways to interpret the prompt, and and I chose to take a fairly literal route. And make it festive!

So often, Tim Holtz's "crazy" series seem to be perfect for Sisterhood challenges. I knew I wanted to use a crazy cat with this sentiment, which I actually masked from the full one "You're Festive AF (and I Love It)" - shorter to me seemed just a little bit snakier. To make sure the card looked festive, I made a background using a plaid builder stamp set and traditional colours. 

I may have to make an entire series of these cards, but for now I've limited myself to two:  

Had to let a crazy bird in on the action, and this one was perfect to hold a candy cane, since there is a die to cut his wings separately, making it easy to tuck it under. For this card I blended a distress oxide ink sky and added festive snowflakes. 

You know you want to see how the sisters interpreted this new challenge, and our current Queen, Granne, has a fabulous guest design card as well, of course. Hope you will come and play along with us! 

Supplies: (cat) Neenah white cardstock, vellum, Tim Holtz/Stampers Anonymous Crazy Cats & Crazy Things & MFT Plaid Builder Background & Sassy Pants Holiday stamps, Simon Says Stamp extreme black, Stampin' Up real red & garden green & Catherine Pooler tiara inks, Tim Holtz/Sizzix Crazy Cats & Crazy Things, Winnie & Walter Katharine cutaway & MFT blueprints 29 sentiment flag dies, Copic markers, icicle Stickles, Itoya fine point black marker; (bird) Neenah white & Recollections black cardstock, Bienfang Bristol, Tim Holtz/Stampers Anonymous Bird Crazy & Crazy Things, Local King Rubber Stamp Snowflakes & MFT Sassy Pants Holiday stamps, Versamark, Versafine onyx black , Simon Says Stamps intense black & tumbled glass & faded jeans distress oxide inks, Wow clear sparkle & Stampendous shabby white embossing powder, Tim Holtz/Sizzix Bird Crazy & Crazy Things & MFT wonky stitched rectangle & blueprints 29 dies, Copic markers, Gelly Roll white gel pen, icicle Stickles, foam tape

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Wednesday, May 1, 2019

ABC Christmas Challenge: J & K

Here we are in the merry month of May! That "merry" reference dates back to a 17th century poem, but it's as good an excuse as any for making Christmas cards, I figure. ABC Christmas Challenge is back with two new prompts to inspire you: J for JINGLE and K for KIDS! First up, my J for Jingle card:

This was an easy prompt for me, since I have not only a "Jingle All the Way" stamp set but also a music stamp of Jingle Bells. I used that for my background, along with the jingle bell outline that I stamped randomly in Versamark then brushed with gold Perfect Pearls. For the sentiment banner, I used both layers of the jingle bell along with the song lyric sentiment. A bit of gold twine added an extra bit of embellishment. 

I wasn't sure if K for Kids had to have a kid on the card, or if a card suitable for kids was enough, so I attempted both:  

She's almost a little mini-me! :D The scene is watercoloured with Gansai Tambi paints, including a shimmery blue for the sky. I used Wow white puff embossing powder to add texture to the trim on her outfit. After I framed the scene and added a patterned paper mat, the card still needed a little something, so I added the blue foil snowflake. 
The shimmer of the sky shows up a little bit in the closeup below... 

Not to brag, but I now have two more Christmas cards ready for the busy season! If you join this month's challenge, you'll be thanking yourself come December, too. Be sure to visit the blog for lots more inspiration from the rest of the design team. 

Supplies: (jingle) Neenah white & Recollections black cardstock, Echo Park For the Record patterned paper, A Jillian Vance Design Jingle All the Way & Viva Las VegaStamps Jingle Bells stamps, Versamark, Versafine onyx black, Brilliance galaxy gold & Stampin' Up garden green inks, Hero Arts clear sparkle embossing powder, perfect gold Perfect Pearls, gold tinsel twine; (let it snow) Neenah white, Stampin' Up real red & $ store foil cardstock, Doodlebug Frosty Friends patterned paper, Penny Black Arctic Antics stamps, Versamarker, Versafine onyx black & Stampin' Up real red ink, Wow clear gloss & white puff embossing powder, Gansai Tambi paints, MFT stitched scalloped rectangle, Nellie's Multiframes rectangle &  Sizzix/Tim Holtz mini snowflake die 

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