Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Happy Little Stampers: Ocean

Welcome to a new month at Happy Little Stampers! We always start each month with the Watercolour Challenge. Our latest (optional) theme is OCEAN. Here's what I came up with:  

The card began when this cute whale just happened to land on a watercoloured panel made previously using Twinkling H2Os and a scrunched-up piece of plastic wrap. The crinkles in the plastic help pool the shimmer of the H2Os; I managed to get the effect to show up a little bit in the close up below.

Although he is looking quite grey in both my photos, the whale is actually watercoloured a pale purple, with just his belly a light grey. I stamped the sunrays with two shades of yellow ink for a bit of an ombré effect. An extra scrap of the watercoloured background was perfect for the frame part of the sentiment banner. Finally, on the purple panel, I added some wave detail with Versamark ink. 
There were a number of July card challenges featuring a nautical/water theme - if, like me, you managed to let them all slip by, here's another chance! (You also have lots of time to double your fun by linking up to the current S is for Sea theme at the Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers!) Grab your favourite watercoloring medium and join us! 

Supplies: Neenah white & (?) mauve cardstock, Canson watercolour paper, Neat & Tangled Mermazing stamps & dies, Neat & Tangled Sailmates & Sunburst & Paper Smooches Wicked Nauticool stamps, Versamark, Simon Says Stamp extreme black, & Catherine Pooler tiara & sauna inks, Twinkling H2Os, Zig watercolour markers, Spellbinders circle, Paper Smooches Bannerific & MFT wonky stitched rectangle & scenic safari dies, foam tape

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Saturday, July 27, 2019

Seaside with the Snarky Stampers

Ahh, summer by the sea. For me, it's actually summer by the bay, and that works just fine. :D Regardless, for the next two weeks, the Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers is looking for your S is for SEA creations! Is this not the best challenge graphic EVER? 

It took me a while to come up with a combination of sea and snark. At last, I came up with this: 

I started this by stamping the anchor and chain in black and embossing in aged silver embossing powder. The more I look at it, the more I realize I've got the anchor tilted the wrong way, but so far I'm living with it. :D Next I watercoloured the ocean background, adding a final wash of a sparkly green - which didn't add much green to the mix, but gave the ocean a delightful shimmer. While the panel was drying, I used distress inks to make my ocean floor, as well as stamping the sentiment strip. Then it was just a matter of putting it all together and hand-printing the HELP!

For more ocean views, be sure to check out the projects the Sisters have made, along with our current Queen of Snark and guest designer, Rina! Don your life jacket and join us! 

Supplies: Neenah white cardstock, Canson watercolour paper, Unity Beach Cottage Collection, Paper Smooches Nauticool & Neat & Tangled Sailmates stamps, Versifine onyx black & Antique linen & vintage photo distress ink, Wow clear gloss & Stampendous aged silver frantage embossing powder, Gansai Tambai watercolours, Sharpie pen, foam tape

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Monday, July 22, 2019

A Happy Purr-thday Card

It seems like it's been a long time since I made a card to play along in a challenge! The current MFT sketch challenge card layout was too good to pass up. 

Other than a smaller format, I stayed very close to the sketch:

I used two different MFT cat stamp sets... and I MIRROR STAMPED!!! This is my most successful attempt at mirror stamping yet. (By which I mean, it's usually a complete failure.) I wish I could remember where I saw it suggested to use a gelli plate for the technique, but at least I remembered to try it. I stamped the cat onto the plate with pigment ink, carefully pressed down a piece of watercolour paper, and was even able to successfully heat emboss the transfer. While waiting for the watercoloured kitties to dry, I die cut the white frame, added the sentiments and sparkly hearts to the blended panel (I had made it a while back at a stamping playdate), and adhered the various layers. The final thing was to perch the two cats on their *windowsill*.  

I'm also entering this in the current Happy Little Stampers Anything Goes with Dies challenge. 

Supplies: Neenah white, Recollections black, & Hero Arts blue layering cardstock, Canson watercolour paper, MFT Love You Furever & Cool Cat stamps & dies, Versafine onyx black, Colorbox orchid & assorted Catherine Pooler inks, Wow clear gloss & clear sparkle embossing powder, Zig watercolour markers, MFT blueprints 29 stitched die

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Thursday, July 18, 2019

Seize the Rainbows!

It's time for another Seize the Birthday Thursday! Our optional (but fun!) topping for our new challenge is RAINBOW. (Rainbow has seven letters, there are seven colours. Coincidence? I think not.) 

I made two cards for the challenge:

I wasn't entirely sure I liked the first background I made (on the right), so made another and finished that card first. 

For the background, I made stencils by tracing the arcs onto notepaper using a curved ruler and hand-cutting them. I wanted more than one so I wouldn't muddy the colours as I applied them. I die cut the panel then added the floral silhouettes, embossing them in sparkly black embossing powder. The sentiment is also embossed. With my rainbow panel, I'm entering this in Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday challenge... to make your own background. 

Once I'd finished that card, I decided that my first background rainbow wasn't so bad after all, and turned it into this: 

Initially, I wasn't sure I liked the extra pink at the top and the blank space at the bottom. But by balancing the top with a matching sentiment on the white, I think it works. A matching pink mat and a few clear drops add a little bit more interest. Rainbows and pink - I think I'll add this to the current AAA Birthday challenge, For the Girls.  

You can of course find a full spectrum of ideas from the Seize the Birthday design team as well as our current surprise party guest, Sue. Check them out, and then I hope you will join us! 

Supplies: (happy birthday) Neenah white & Recollections black cardstock, Paper Smooches Botanicals 1 & MFT Bitty Bears stamps, Versafine onyx black & barn door, carved pumpkin, squeezed lemonade, mowed lawn, blueprint sketch, shaded lilac & milled lavender distress inks, Ranger black sparkle embossing powder, MFT stitched rounded rectangle & Blueprints 29 dies; (someone special) Neenah white & Stampin' Up melon mambo cardstock, Sugar Pea Designs Feeling Sentimental stamp, Versamark & picked raspberry, carved pumpkin, squeezed lemonade, mowed lawn, blueprint sketch, seedless preserves & milled lavender distress inks, Wow clear gloss embossing powder, Winnie & Walter Katharine cutaway die, Studio Katia year drops

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Saturday, July 13, 2019

Joking Around with the Snarky Sisters

Even Edna still has a prank-pulling kid inside, and so this week the Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers is offering J is for Joke as our newest challenge! It's a good thing I didn't come up with this card when I was still working, it might have been way too tempting to use... 

My sentiment is a Funny Bones stamp from Riley & Company, and I built my card around it. Browsing through some Graphics Fairy images I've saved, I came across this guy, and with his valise and flying umbrella, he seemed to be a perfect fit. I did flip him to make the two-part sentiment easier to place. Ink and cardstock to match his subtle colouring, and I was done! I'm adding this to the current challenge at Addicted to Stamps and More, where they are currently asking for Clean and Simple cards.

Add a few laughs to your day by visiting the Snarky Stampers blog, where you'll see more funnies by the Sisters and our reigning Queen of Snark and guest designer, Helen. Join us to perhaps win a snarky crown to call your own! 

Supplies: Neenah white & Hero Arts blue layering cardstock, Riley and Company Calling in Sick stamp, Versamagic Aegean blue ink, Graphics Fairy image

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Saturday, July 6, 2019

Artist Trading Card News!

Today I get to announce why I have been practicing my Artist Trading Card skills the past couple of months... I am joining Happy Little Stampers ATC Challenge Design Team! This month our theme is FLORAL
I like to make ATCs in sets, so I made a set of four. I tried photographing them all together, but since two are on white cardstock and two are on a creamier mixed media paper, they really didn't play nicely together. So here they are in pairs. 

For the first pair, I started by selectively inking and stamping a dotted background stamp. Over that I used a floral stencil with translucent embossing paste. The stencilled areas resisted the sponging of the blue and green inks. for the left ATC, I added a sponged and die cut flower and a green hello sentiment. The right has a cluster of flowers and a wreath I cut in half to add some greenery.

For the second pair, I smooshed blue and purple distress inks onto an acetate sheet, misted them and used that for stamping my background roses stamp. For the left ATC, I found this large floral-style die cut in my stash, spritzed it with shimmer mist, and added a purple foil centre. For the last one, I adhered an assortment of die cuts, stickled the centre of the main flower and added a sentiment. 

Artist Trading Cards (and Coins) are a fun, small canvas to play with stamps, inks, techniques and more! Any details you may need can be found on the Happy Little Stampers blog. I hope you'll come and play along! 

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Thursday, July 4, 2019

Seize the Sunshine!

It's the first Thursday in July  - and Happy 4th of July to my US friends! It's also time for the first July Seize the Birthday challenge. 

Appropriately enough, our new challenge topping is SUNSHINE. Where I am, we've been enjoying a few days of sunshine and warm temperatures this week, yay! So I must have been feeling inspired when I made this card: 

My palm trees and tiki cocktail are left over from last years 30 Day Colouring Challenge - not that I'd actually coloured these pieces last year. I knew I had this sheet of sunray paper, and found a scrap of cardstock that matched for the sun. The beach is a combination of antique linen and vintage photo distress inks applied with a stippling brush. I was stuck as to where a sentiment would go, but then added the words to the sun rays, following the curves of the palm trunks. A few brushes of Wink of Stella to the cocktail was my last touch. 

I suppose to a few lucky people, this just looks like home, but to me it looks like an ideal vacation destination, so I'm adding this to the current Addicted to Stamps and More challenge: Holiday. 
We have a new surprise party guest for the summer: Su! Lots of inspiration from Su and the usual birthday party regulars, so be sure to head over to the main blog. You have two weeks to join us! 

Supplies: Neenah white & generic blue & yellow cardstock, Lawn Fawn Hello Sunshine patterned paper, MFT Tiki Party & Avery Elle Monsters stamps, Versamark, Memento tuxedo black, Verafine smoky grey, & antique linen & vintage photo distress inks, Hero Arts sparkle embossing powder, Copic markers, MFT Tiki Party, MFT blueprints 24 stitched circle & Sugar Pea Designs card builder elements dies, Wink of Stella clear glitter marker, foam tape

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Wednesday, July 3, 2019

ABC Christmas Challenge: N & O

Here we are at Christmas in July for ABC Christmas Challenge! We are also halfway through the alphabet - this month our themes are N for NO PEEKING and O for ORNAMENT
Since it's summer (finally!) where I live, I enjoyed making my Christmas projects sitting outside on our deck while enjoying some iced tea. I also broke from tradition and made my first project a tag: 

To me, a "no peeking" sentiment seems perfect for a tag, and I had all the makings for it in one Concord & 9th set. I started by die cutting the tag holder and creating a pattern by stamping the diamonds all over it. Then I heat embossed the no peeking sentiment... and realized it would have shown better if I'd not put diamonds behind the little letters. Sigh. A coat of sparkly gel pen made them much more readable. Second mistake was white-embossing the inner tag sentiment on red using Versamark instead of a white pigment ink - the thicker The North Pole letters aren't exactly perfect. :( I consoled myself with the knowledge that tags get even LESS attention than cards do. :D 


I got back to the cards with O for Ornament: 

I've had this cute little Christmas cat for ages and this seemed the perfect reason to add ink to her again. Some fun patterned paper for the background and to frame her, sparkly spray on the snow, and of course some gloss on the ornaments. 

Here we are, it's the second half of 2019 - time to start stockpiling some Christmas cards! With two fun prompts and lots of design team inspiration - plus some from prizes from co-team leader Samantha! - why not join us! 

Supplies: (no peeking) Neenah white & Stampin' Up real red cardstock, Holiday Cheer Tags stamps & dies, Versamark & Stampin' Up real red ink, Zing red glitter & Hero Arts white embossing powder, Gelly Roll clear glitter pen, Hemptique twine; (ornaments) Neenah white, Doodlebug Frosty Friends & (?) patterned paper, Memory Box grey card base, Magenta Christmas Cat stamp, Versafine smoky grey ink, Wow clear embossing powder, Copic markers, Sugar Pea Designs Card Builder Elements & (?) scalloped frame die, Glossy Accents, Tsukineko clear shimmer spray, foam tape

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