Thursday, October 31, 2019

Happy Little Stampers: Animals

We're kicking off November at Happy Little Stampers the way we usually do, with the Watercolour Challenge! Our optional theme to inspire you this month is Animals. Being November and all, my thoughts turned to my various Christmas-themed animal sets. I pulled out a perennial favourite, and as a bonus, ended up with two cards. Here's my first:  

I do love these sweater-clad reindeer from Hero Arts, and they tend to show up at some point on my holiday cards each year. It also helps that the current challenge at Jingle Belles is Rudolph and Friends! I started with the background: I heat-embossed two trees from the set in white, then added a light wash of blue watercolour for a winter sky. I thought I'd make him a daytime reindeer, not a night shift pull-the-sleigh one. ;) While the background dried, I stamped, embossed, and watercoloured my critter. Once the main panel was dry, I die-cut it to size and added the sparkle-embossed sentiment. 

My second card came about partly because I coloured my first reindeer in my usual festive reds and greens, only to realize he didn't quite go with that first serene background I'd made. 

This time I did create more of a nighttime galaxy sky - my first attempt at a watercolour one. (Usually I blend distress inks until I get a result I can live with.) Since the sky necessitated a lot of water, I clear embossed a full moon as opposed to hoping a paper mask would work. Once all that wet watercolour was dry, I splattered some white Perfect Pearls solution to add some star/snow interest. To tie in his festive sweater, I die cut the "merry" sentiment from red cardstock as well as from red fun foam to add dimension. I inked the smaller part of the sentiment with green to also complement that fine sweater. ;) 
I'm also adding my leaping reindeer to the current Simon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge, Anything Goes. 

I may have decided on Christmas cards, but on the HLS blog, you'll find all kinds of animals for all kinds of occasions! And don't forget, even the animals are optional - we'd love to see any new watercolour projects. 

Supplies: (peace) American Crafts textured blue cardstock, Canson watercolour paper, Hero Arts Christmas Reindeer stamps, Versamark, Versafine onyx black & Brilliance pearlescent sky blue ink, Wow clear, sparkle & white embossing powder, Gansai Tambi watercolours, MFT wonky stitched rectangle die, Gelly Roll white glaze pen, foam tape; (merry & bright) Neenah white & Stampin' Up basic black & real red cardstock, Canson watercolour paper, Hero Arts Christmas Reindeer stamps, Winnie & Walter In a Word: Merry stamps & dies, Versamark, Versafine onyx black & Ranger lily pad ink, Wow clear gloss embossing powder, Gansai Tambi watercolours, Confetti Perfect Pearls, red fun foam, foam tape

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Thursday, October 24, 2019

Seize the Birthday Candles!

Welcome to the last Seize the Birthday challenge for October! (How does that even happen? :D) While we hope you will seize our challenge, you might want to be careful seizing our optional topping... it's CANDLES! 

As always, our topping is up to you, we love to see any new birthday creation linked up in our gallery. I had a candle die I'd been, um, burning to try, so this challenge was perfect for me. 

I die cut this once from white and once from black as I wanted a dark background as contrast to the coloured candles. You'll notice I left some of them white - this was going to someone turning eleven, so I only coloured eleven. Yes, I sometimes worry about me, too. :D Since the candles are solid-coloured, I thought a striped background panel would be fun to add. An embossed sentiment, some sparkle on the flames, and a strip of black to tie everything in, and I called it done. 

Be prepared for lots of birthday candles on the Seize the Birthday blog, from the rest of the design team and our surprise party guest, Annie! it's fun to see how many different ways candles can be used on a card. Candles or no, make a birthday card and come join us! 

Supplies: Neenah white & Stampin' Up basic black cardstock,(?) patterned paper, Technique Tuesday Sassy Birthday stamp, Versafine onyx black ink, Wow clear gloss embossing powder, Alexandra Renke Candles die, Copic markers, Creative Memories corner-rounding punch, Wink of Stella clear glitter marker

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Saturday, October 19, 2019

It's That Time Again...

Every year, the Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers combines All Hallows Eve and Breast Cancer Awareness Month for PINK HALLOWEEN! Every year, I wonder if I'll be able to come up with yet another pink-themed card, and every year I manage somehow to create something at least a little different. Here is the latest: 

The background came first: I blended three shades of distress oxide inks on some mixed media paper. Then I misted a cobweb stencil with water and laid it on the panel to lift some of the ink. I knew my Tim Holtz paper dolls had some great Halloween images, and this pair of witches seemed perfect. I added a few spots of colour with Copic markers. The sentiment is heat embossed, of course. ;) 
With my spooky cobweb, I'm adding this to the October Anything Goes stencil challenge at STAMPlorations. I'm also entering both of the Simon Says Stamp challenges: Monday's All Things Pink, and Wednesday's Halloween

Be sure to check out all the pink and spooky creations by my sistahs and the current Queen of Snark and guest designer, Laura! Halloween approaches, so why not get pretty (and snarky) in pink and join us! 

Supplies: black & purple cardstock, Strathmore mixed media paper, Stampin' Up Tee-Hee-Hee stamp, Versafine onyx black & worn lipstick, festive berries & wilted violet distress oxide ink, Wow matte dull embossing powder, ARTplorations cobweb stencil, Tim Holtz/Idea-ology Paper Doll Ancestors, Copic markers

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Sunday, October 13, 2019

It's Definitely Autumn

Happy Thanksgiving, or perhaps Columbus Day, or Indigenous People's Day... or just happy weekend! In my hemisphere, it is most definitely fall, and there are a slew of challenges to celebrate that. Personally, I don't really celebrate autumn, mostly because it is the lead up to winter, NOT my favourite. But it's hard to fight the weather (as opposed to climate, but that's an entirely different story) so autumn it is. I needed a couple of thank you cards, and went with the whole seasonal thing. 
My first card was inspired by the current CAS Watercolour Challenge, Simon Says Stamp Monday Fall/Autumn Challenge and the Happy Little Stampers Anything Goes with Dies challenge. 

I started this by painting a piece of watercolour paper with yellows, greens, oranges and reds. Once it was dry, I die cut a bunch of maple leaves from it, and also die cut four from the cream panel so I could inlay them. After stamping and embossing the sentiment, I layered the panel on a brown mat and adhered it to a cream card base. 

My second card is inspired by Shopping Our Stash's It's Pumpkin Spice Season challenge and STAMPlorations' Anything Goes stencil challenge.

I started by masking a narrow strip on a white panel and blending some antique linen distress ink in the open space. Then I used an Autumn Falling stencil, but only the smaller leaves in it. Of course as I blended the individual leaves with distress inks, I managed one or two smudges. So I added a few more flecks with a very fine paint brush just to make them look like they belonged. :D I added a stamped and embossed sentiment and adhered it to the card base. 

Whatever the rest of your weekend brings, enjoy! 

Supplies: (1st card) Stampin' Up very vanilla & Bazzill Basics brown cardstock, Canson watercolour paper, Hero Arts thank you stamp, Memento Luxe espresso truffle ink, Wow clear gloss embossing powder, Gansai Tambi watercolour paints, Paper Smooches Leaves 1 & MFT blueprints 29 stitched rectangle dies; (2nd card) Neenah white cardstock, Clearly Besotted Sweet Little Sentiments stamp,  Memento Luxe espresso truffle & antique linen, squeezed lemonade, carved pumpkin, barn door & gathered twigs distress inks, Wow clear gloss embossing powder, ARTplorations Autumn Falling stencil, MFT wonky stitched rectangle die 

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Thursday, October 10, 2019

Seize the Kid's Birthday!

Here we are at Thursday already, and time for another Seize the Birthday challenge! Our (always optional) topping (picked by me! Sorry, Glenda 😂) is FOR KIDS

My default cardmaking style seems to veer towards the cute, so I'll admit, I wasn't really challenging MYSELF with this one. 😉 Here's what I decided to do: 

I would actually give this to just about anyone who likes cats, but it is certainly suitable for a younger person. You can't go wrong with Lawn Fawn if you want a cute card, so I chose a cat set and some die cut pieces from a Simple Stories collection. After stamping and embossing, I matched my colouring as closely as I could to the colours in the die cuts. I edged my card base with some paw print washi tape, matted my main panel with a little dark orange card stock, and put everything together. 

Our surprise birthday party guest, Annie, and the Seize the Birthday design team have terrific inspiration cards for you to admire, and then I hope you will join the party and play along! 

Supplies: Neenah white & Bazzill Basics orange cardstock, Lawn Fawn Meow You Doin'? stamps & dies, Versafine onyx black ink, Wow clear gloss embossing powder, Copic markers, Simple Stories Snap! Cat, Queen & Co. washi tape, foam tape

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Sunday, October 6, 2019

World Cardmaking Day!

Happy belated World Cardmaking Day! Yes there is such a thing, and yes, it was yesterday. To honour it, I actually did make a card! Photography and blogging are NOT cardmaking, so I decided to leave that until today. ;) 
Pinkfresh Studio offered a number of challenges to celebrate the day, and I knew just what I wanted to use for Challenge #2, Jump Start to the Holidays

This bear from Christmas Wishes has always given me pause. His presents stamp solid, so what fun is that? But yesterday was the day to try him and see what happened. I also picked him because I wanted to play in my friend Jo's current Christmas Kickstart challenge, It's a Gift! Once I stamped him, I realized that none of the gifts he's carrying are completely solid, so some colour can be added. To emphasize my intent to enter Jo's challenge, I masked him and stamped a row of presents behind him, as well. Everything was coloured in with Copic markers. The sentiment is embossed with sparkle embossing powder for a little festive feel, but I didn't add any other bling - I wanted to keep the feel of the card modern and maybe even a bit masculine. To that end, I matted the main panel with some fun graphic patterned paper - I also had the current Just Us Girls designer paper challenge in mind! 

Sadly, the forecast for the next few days is busy with a zero percent chance of cardmaking, so I'm glad I was able to play on the official day! 

Supplies: Neenah white cardstock, Studio Calico Wonderland patterned paper, Pinkfresh Studio Christmas Wishes stamps, Versafine onyx black ink, Wow clear gloss & clear sparkle embossing powder, Copic markers, Spellbinders reverse wonky rectangle & Winnie & Walter Katharine cutaway dies

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Happy Little Stampers ATC: Three of a Kind

It's time for a new Happy Little Stampers ATC Challenge! This month, we are looking for a set of three Artist Trading Cards or Coins, but the theme of them is up to you. 
As I was pondering what theme I'd like to choose, I did think perhaps a trio of wine-related ATCs... but then I remembered I'd already managed to do that when we had our TIME theme. :D So then my obvious choice was... cats! 

For the background, I grabbed some black cardstock, a cat stencil, and translucent embossing paste. While that dried, I decided which of my, ahem, several cat stamp sets I would like to use, and thought this quirky MFT set would be fun. I did some loose watercoloring of the three cats and a few accessories. By this time, I was able to go back, cut the three ATCs, and use distress oxide inks to add some colour to the backgrounds with the emboss resist technique. Adding washi tape to each ATC initially came about as my stencil wasn't quite long enough to cut three full cards. Adding washi down one side of my one card covered up the missing stencil part. Then I realized it would be fun to add it to the other two as well. Finally, I stamped and embossed the three sentiments, cut them out, and added everything to the bases. Here's a closer look at each one. 

With the embossing paste backgrounds and heat-embossed sentiments, I'm adding my trio to the current Shopping Our Stash challenge, Dream the Embossible Dream. They are also going to Addicted to Stamps and More's Anything Goes challenge. 
You'll enjoy seeing all the different themes the design team chose to use for their cards and coins! I hope you'll be inspired to join us with your own trio of ATCs. 

Supplies: Neenah white & Recollections black cardstock, Canson watercolour paper, MFT Cat-itude stamps & dies, Versafine onyx black & assorted distress oxide inks, Wow clear gloss embossing powder, Zig watercolour markers, Ranger/Dylusions It's Raining Cats stencil, Dreamweaver translucent embossing paste, CUTplorations ATC tag builder die, Queen & Co. washi tape, foam tape

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Saturday, October 5, 2019

Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers: 42 for 145

As you may have noticed, Edna and the Snarky Sisters do like to be creative in our challenges. And so I introduce you to Challenge #145 (which we now wish we had thought of 103 challenges ago...) Z is for Zaphod Beeblebrox

If you are asking yourself, who or what is Zaphod Beeblebrox, I am guessing you have never read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. And if you haven't, please put it on your TBR immediately. It is a witty romp through space with an oddball cast of characters, written by a genius wordsmith. I will try not to give away too much of the plot here. ;) Hitchhiker's began as a BBC radio serial and was first published in 1979. Looking through it, I found this quote that I'll just leave here for our modern times... 

It is a well known fact that those people who most want to rule people
are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. To summarize the summary:
anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President
should on no account be allowed to do the job.

But wait, you're not here for a book club, you're here for a paper crafting challenge! Instead of a card this week, I decided to make a recipe card: 

This drink was created by Zaphod Beeblebrox, former President of the galaxy. The authentic ingredients can be found at the beginning of Chapter Two in the book, but for those of us who aren't galactic hitchhikers, this version was invented in an Ottawa bar actually named Zaphod Beeblebrox. Sadly, I never made it in before it closed a couple of years ago. Also sadly, I haven't had time to try it yet! I feel like I'm letting down the Sisterhood. :D Besides printing this out on computer, it was an easy matter to add a couple of stamped decorations, die cut the recipe card, and back it with some suitable star chart paper.
Lots of intergalactic inspiration on our challenge blog, both from the Sistahs and our current Queen of Snark, Lisa. We are looking for any space/science fiction-related creation, so don't feel limited by our challenge title! 

Supplies: Neenah white cardstock, Pebbles patterned paper, Fiskars Join the Party stamps, Versafine onyx black ink, Wow clear gloss embossing powder, Copic markers, MFT wonky stitched rectangle die

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Wednesday, October 2, 2019

ABC Christmas Challenge: U & V

The first Wednesday in October means that it's time for the latest instalment of ABC Christmas Challenge! We are getting closer to the end of the alphabet... which means closer to Christmas. This month's themes are U for Upcycle and V for Velocity
I often save a few of the Christmas cards we are sent with an eye to an element that could be used for a card of my own. So I went through my collection and selected two that I thought had potential. Of course it was only as I was cutting them up that I realized "before" photos would have been a great idea. Sorry! My first card: 

Upcycled elements: fussy cut bird and holly, silver and red circles (all from one card). New elements: white panel, red card base, sentiment. 

Using more parts from the first card plus some from the second card, I also made a couple of tags:

Upcycled elements: red die cut trees, silver backing, white tag base, ribbons and cord (not from the cards I selected, but from my stash). 
New elements: Black tag base, silver-embossed sentiment. 

I even have elements left that I can use for more cards or tags!
Next up, V is for Velocity. I (very) briefly considered making an interactive card for some literal velocity, but then decided that wasn't where my crafting skills lay that day. ;) So here's my figurative velocity scene instead: 

This set from Ellen Hutson is perfect for a velocity scene! The mountains and skiers are coloured with Copics, and the sky blended with tumbled glass distress ink. The main mountainside is cut with a Paper Smooches die. I added a few puffy white-embossed snow dots and a sparkly-embossed sentiment. 

The ABC Christmas Challenge design team have some great examples of upcycling and velocity, so be sure to visit! Now that it's October, let us inspire you to make some Christmas cards and play along!

Supplies: (upcycle card) Neenah white & Stampin' Up ruby red cardstock, Simon Says Stamp Peace on Earth stamp, Versafine onyx black ink, Wow clear sparkle embossing powder, Spellbinders circle & Winnie & Walter Katharine cutaway dies; (upcycle tags) Recollections black cardstock, Essentials by Ellen Mountain Holiday stamp, Versamark ink, Ranger ultra fine silver embossing powder, CUTplorations manilla tag die scrap ribbon & cord; (let it snow) Neenah white & Stampin' Up basic black cardstock, Essentials by Ellen Mountain Holiday stamps & dies, Versamark, Versafine onyx black & tumbled glass distress ink, Wow clear sparkle & white puff embossing powder, Copic markers, Paper Smooches Borders 1 die, foam tape

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