Friday, January 31, 2020

Happy Little Stampers Watercolour: Bling

Heading into February, it seems only fitting to add a little BLING to what can be a dark and dull month here in my part of the world. And so Happy Little Stampers Watercolour Challenge is offering bling as February's challenge! The bling is optional of course; we love to see any watercoloured project in the gallery. 
While deciding what I wanted to make for this month, I discovered two different hydrangea images that I had stamped and die cut previously. I thought it would be fun to paint them both to see what happened. Here's the first one: 

This hydrangea is from Technique Tuesday, and it is stamped in black and embossed with a pearly-sparkly powder on watercolour paper. For this image, I decided I wanted to use my Zig watercolour markers. For each petal, I added a few strokes of light blue and mauve, then blended them together a bit with a paintbrush. I purposely tried not to overblend, as I wanted each colour to stay distinct as well as letting some white show through. I used medium green on the leaves, again trying not to blend the colour too much. After putting the card together, I added some Stickles to the centres of the florets. Sparkly embossing powder and Stickles: my level of bling. ;) I'm adding this to Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Anything Goes challenge. 

I also had a much larger hydrangea from Ellen Hutson that I'd embossed in white on watercolour paper: 

This time I got out my Gansai watercolours. I started with a light wash of blue then mauve, letting them blend more this time. Once that was dry, I went back in with a fine paintbrush and the blue, deepening the colour around the floret centres. The main panel is blended with bundled sage distress oxide ink. This time for bling, I added a die cut foil sentiment and gold Nuvo drops to the florets as well as a trio under the sentiment. 

Be sure to check out the beautiful makes on the Happy Little Stampers blog today - watercolours and bling are all you need to join us! And even the bling is an option... ;) 

Supplies: (good friend) Hero Arts layering & (?) green cardstock, Canson watercolour paper, Technique Tuesday Happy Hydrangea & Hero Arts Cheer Up stamps, Versafine onyx black ink, Altenew translucent pearl embossing powder, Zig watercolour markers, MFT stitched rounded rectangle die, Frosted Lace Stickles; (happy birthday) Neenah white & $ store gold foil cardstock, Canson watercolour cardstock, Essentials by Ellen Mondo Hydrangea stamp & die, Totally Awesome stamp, Versamark, Versafine onyx black & bundled sage distress oxide ink, Wow clear & white embossing powder, Gansai Tambi watercolours, Paper Smooches Christmas Words 2 & MFT stitched scallop rectangle dies, bright gold Nuvo crystal drops

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Thursday, January 30, 2020

Seize the Birthday: Creatures Great and Small

It's time for another Seize the Birthday Thursday! Our new topping is "Creatures Great and Small". Remember, the theme is optional; we love to see any new birthday card in our gallery! 
I decided to go with a creature on the greater side... 

For the background panel, I used three colours of distress oxide and ink smooshed some mixed media paper. The oxides are fun as they don't blend as much as regular distress inks, especially if the panel dries between smooshings. Once I had something I liked, I matched markers as best I could for my elephant's party hat and podium - he is in greys, of course. I die cut the balloons from coloured cardstock and added a thin layer of Nuvo drops for shimmer. The party hat pompom has a big drop of Stickles. 

I'm adding this to Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Anything Goes challenge. 
Joyce continues as our surprise party guest, and everyone has birthday creatures to inspire you! Hope you will come and play along. 

Supplies: Neenah white, American Crafts textured purple & scrap blue cardstock, Canson mixed media paper, Unity It's a Party & Clearly Besotted Many Mini Messages stamps, Versafine smoky grey, antique linen, tumbled glass & wilted violet distress oxide inks, Wow clear gloss embossing powder, Copic markers, MFT stitched scalloped rectangle & Provo Craft balloon dies, frosted lace Stickles, white blizzard Nuvo drops, The Twinery lilac twine, foam tape

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Saturday, January 25, 2020

Snark Meets Valentine's Day

The Snarky Stampers are back with our second challenge for 2020! And we have gone way back to our beginnings, with A is for Anti-Valentine. Do you not love Edna's t-shirt? <3 Obviously Valentine's is an occasion perfect for snarkiness. 
I had a few different ideas for this theme. I knew that one of my Ink Road stamp sets had a sentiment saying, "I dislike you the least" - but when I got the set out, I discovered a sentiment that I think is even snarkier for the annual day of love and mushiness: 

My husb laughed out loud when I showed him this, so I think I succeeded in bringing the snark. ;) I started by blending some distress ink on white cardstock, starting at the centre and letting the intensity fade closer to the edges. It wasn't quite working for me on its own, so I added a very thin layer of Perfect Pearls to add a touch of shimmer before I used   a hearts embossing folder. (It's amazing when you pull supplies by theme; I think I have four different ones.) Black seemed appropriate for the sentiment and card base, and I called it done. :D 
A closeup shows the shimmer a bit:

We have a returning Queen of Snark with guest designer Michelle, and of course lots of snark from the Sisters, as well. Feast your eyes on the inspiration and then join us! 

Supplies: Neenah white & Recollections black cardstock, The Ink Road Modern Romance stamp, Versamark & candied apple distress ink, Hero Arts white embossing powder, Perfect Pearl Perfect Pearls, WRMK Next Level dotted embossing folder, Tim Holtz/Sizzix Stacked Deckle dies, foam tape

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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Addicted to Stamps and More!

I'm excited to announce that I've joined the design team at Addicted to Stamps and More! ATSM is a weekly challenge blog with five rotating themes. We accept cards, tags, scrapbook layouts... and more! ;) This week, our theme is HOLIDAY

While there are lots of holidays to choose from, I went for the easy answer: CHRISTMAS. After all, it's not like I've put all my supplies away yet! :D It also seemed the ideal chance to play along with the current challenge at Christmas Kickstart, Penguin Parade. 🐧

Lawn Fawn penguins are so cute! And while I could have had a literal parade of penguins, I decided to go with one skating one. I gave him a sparkly ink-blended circle to skate on, with a silver skate trail. The sentiment is embossed in the same silver. For a little extra interest, I added a strip of patterned paper and a trio of iridescent snowflakes. 

I hope you will go see what my new design teammates have created - there may even be a non-Christmas card or two - and then join us! 

Supplies: Neenah white cardstock, Echo Park Winter Wishes patterned paper, Lawn Fawn Holiday Penguin stamps, Versamark, Versafine onyx black & tumbled glass distress ink, Wow clear gloss & Ranger ultra fine silver embossing powder, Copic markers, Tsukineko sheer sparkle shimmer spray, Studio Katia iridescent ice crystals, foam tape

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Thursday, January 16, 2020

Seize the Stencil Birthday

It's time for our second January Seize the Birthday challenge! Our new - but always optional - topping is STENCILS. As ever, we love to see any newly created birthday card, but stencils certainly offer lots of options for adding extra interest to your cardmaking. 
I decided to go with an underwater scene: 

I started with my background, using a fun bubble waves stencil and blending a number of distress inks through it. Next, I stamped, coloured and die cut a variety of critters (and a little vegetation) to make my scene. Since he was the biggest and I would be popping him up, I thought it worked that my one fish had the same colours as the background. For the sea bottom, I used two shades of distress ink and a stipple brush to create my sand. To get the sentiment I wanted to fit on the speech bubble dies I have, I needed to mix words from two different companies, but the fonts play nicely together. Finally, as a finishing touch, I added a little strip of patterned paper that complements the sandy bottom.  
Although I didn't use one of my ARTplorations stencils this time out, I'm going to link this to January's Stencil Challenge at STAMPlrations, as well as Inkspirational's current Fauna challenge.  

My friend Joyce continues as our surprise party guest, and you'll be amazed at all the different ways stencils have been used on our birthday cards! Take a look, be inspired, and play along. 

Supplies: Neenah white cardstock, MFT neutrals patterned paper, MFT Beach Buds stamps & dies, Paper Smooches Birthday Buddies & Paper Issues/Snarky Stamps Ahhhh Birthday stamps, Versafine onyx black, broken china, mermaid lagoon, blueprint sketch, shaded lilac, antique linen and gathered twigs distress inks, Wow clear gloss embossing powder, Copic markers, Heffy Doodle bubble waves stencil, MFT scenic safari & Paper Smooches word bubbles dies, foam tape 

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Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Jingle Belles Wraps It Up

It is possible that I may need an intervention. I can't seem to stop making Christmas cards!  Granted, a few of them have been for design teams I am on, but the non-Noel mojo seems to have been left behind in 2019. :D Since the Christmas wrapping paper needed to be organized anyway, I decided to play along with the first Jingle Belles challenge of 2020: No Time Like the Presents. I found a remnant of paper with large square illustrations, and made two: 

Look! She's reading a book by a Mitford! Probably Nancy. A mat of red paper, a panel of patterned paper and a white-embossed sentiment didn't seem quite enough, so I added a single die cut snowflake. 

My second snowman is wearing an enamelware pot on his head rather than reading material. (There were Christmas trees in the wrapping paper mix, too, but I forced myself to stop. making. Christmas. cards.) This time I found a leftover panel of stencilled candy canes for a background, and used red cardstock for the card base and the sentiment circle, layering a few together for extra dimension. I'm also adding this to the current CAS on Friday Winter challenge. 

Two more Christmas cards! Which is great, but I may have to lock up the Christmas supplies for a while... ;) 
ETA: And oops, I missed the Jingle Belles deadline! 

Supplies: Neenah white and (?) red cardstock, Echo Park Keepin' Cozy patterned paper, wrapping paper, Hero Arts Get Merry & Flora & Fauna Cozy Cuddles stamps, Versamark & festive berries distress ink, Hero Arts white embossing powder, Picket Fence Studios Candy Cane Lane stencil, Tim Holtz/Sizzix mini snowflakes & Winnie & Walter Katharine cutaway die, 1" circle punch

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Saturday, January 11, 2020

The Snarky Sisters Have Headaches

We may be more than a week into 2020 already, but that doesn't mean Edna and the Snarky Sisters have fully recovered from the excesses of the holiday season! And so we offer our first challenge of 2020, H is for Headache.  
I have one headache sentiment, courtesy of Tim Holtz snarky sentiment strips. When you visit the blog, you'll see that two of my sistahs have the used that sentiment for their cards! And while it would have been fun for as many of us as possible to use the same sentiment, I decided to cast further afield. As a migraine sufferer, this caught my eye:

While I prefer to use stamps rather than computer-generate a sentiment, I knew I could work with this. ;) 

I considered using adult beverages as my corresponding images, but this crazy cat looked to me like he might have a headache, so I coloured him in. Of course his eyes needed some Glossy Accents for that glassy, dazed look. The bam bubble die cut is for extra added headache effect. :D 

The rest of the sistahs, as well as our Queen of Snark and guest designer, Julie, have lots of inspiration for you - hope you'll come and play along with us! 

Supplies: Neenah white & (?) yellow cardstock, Stampers Anonymous/Tim Holtz Crazy Cats stamp, Simon Says Stamp ultra black ink, Copic markers, Paper Smooches Bam Bubble & MFT wonky stitched rectangle dies, Glossy Accents

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Thursday, January 2, 2020

Happy Little Stampers CAS: Wings

Yes, I've joined the Happy Little Stampers CAS Challenge design team! I've always considered myself a clean and simple cardmaker, but this is my first time on a CAS design team! I'm looking forward to matching themes to CAS designs. 
Our January theme is WINGS. I was tempted to think outside the box and use an airplane for my card, but eventually settled on a couple of feathered - and musical - friends: 

To keep my card CAS, I blended some distress ink along the bottom of my card as a ground for my little scene. My birds and music stand are stamped, embossed and coloured with Copics. After die cutting them, I arranged them on the card base and added the sentiment and a couple of notes. 

Be sure to visit Happy Little Stampers to see the great inspiration cards by my new design teammates! A big thank you to Kylie for giving me the opportunity to join the team. 

Supplies: Neenah white cardstock, Lawn Fawn Critter Concert stamps & dies, Versafine onyx black & bundled sage distress ink, Wow clear gloss & clear sparkle embossing powder, Copic markers, foam tape

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Seize the Birthday: New Year, New Look!

Check out our new look at Seize the Birthday for this brand new year! Big thanks to design team member Ashwini Rao for supplying our new badges and banners. 

Ashwini also picked our first "topping" for the year, and it is a tough one for me... LAYER IT! Of course, as always, we accept any newly crafted birthday card in our gallery, but as a team member, I really should use the optional challenge theme. And there are lots of options: I could have used layering stamps or layered die cuts... but instead I went a more challenging route and ended up with this: 

I have a not-so-secret affection for Graphic 45 papers, even though they are so out of my crafting wheelhouse. They do not exactly lend themselves to clean and simple cards. :D Still, once or twice a year, they call to me to come play with them, and a layered card is a perfect excuse. Most of the elements are from an 8x8 pad called Vintage Hollywood, with the tickets and countdown frames from their Curtain Call collection. As usual with G45 papers, I couldn't fit what I wanted on a regular 4¼ by 5½ card front, so this one is 6½ by 4¾. (How did I pick my size? By looking through my stash of random envelopes, of course. :D) For the backing panel, I sponged Versamark through a star stencil, added a freehand border with a Versamarker, then brushed on some Perfect Pearls. 
There's no obvious birthday sentiment, but I thought "Born to be a Star", popped up a little with some fun foam, combined with the less obvious "VINTAGE Hollywood", definitely suggested a birthday card. Even "On with the Show" works! 
Here's a close-up of the layered collage: 

Our surprise party guest for the next two months is none other than my friend and 25 Days of Christmas Tags teammate Joyce! Please visit the Seize the Birthday blog to check out hers, as well as my birthday teammates', creations! I hope you will join us. 

Supplies: Recollections black cardstock, Graphic 45 Vintage Hollywood & Curtain Call patterned papers, Heffy Doodle Starfall stencil, Versamark ink, Versamarker, biscotti Perfect Pearls, fun foam

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Wednesday, January 1, 2020

ABC Christmas Challenge: A & B

Happy 2020! Since the new year is starting on a Wednesday, so is the alphabet at ABC Christmas Challenge
Our challenges this month are A for Anything Christmas and B for Bingo. For my anything Christmas card, I made my first ever shadow box card! 

I am so happy with the way this card turned out, and a lot of the credit goes to my friend Stephanie, who has a really easy-to-follow tutorial here. (Sure, I could try to explain how I made mine, but Steph's instructions can't be beat! Also, I don't make videos. :D) I have two layers of snow, with images adhered to them and directly to the base of the box. Not having an engineering degree, this first attempt doesn't sit perfectly flat when folded, but close enough to still fit in a regular envelope, which was good enough for me. ;) 
Our second prompt this month is a bingo challenge, with the following grid: 

Oh look, there's clean and simple in the bottom row. :D Seemed like a good choice for me: 

I stamped and silver-embossed all the snowflakes in the Studio Katia Snowflakes stamp set and die cut them. As it turned out, I only needed three of them for the die cut panel I wanted to use. I added an embossed sentiment, and this card was done. 

While the snowflakes were right there anyway, I made a second card: 

This one counts for the bottom row of the bingo board as well, but not as obviously, with just the dir cut base panel and the sentiment banner. This time the snowflakes are embossed in white, with different colours of distress ink blended over each. 
I know, I know, it's January, but if you're anything like me, not all the Christmas card supplies have been tucked away.:D Why not give yourself a head start and join us? 

Supplies: (ho-ho-holidays) Neenah white & Stampin' Up real red cardstock, Lawn Fawn Snow Day Remix patterned paper, Heffy Doodle Santa's Village stamps & dies, Lawn Fawn Ho Ho Holidays stamps, Versamark onyx black & Stampin' Up real red ink, Wow clear gloss embossing powder, Copic markers, MFT stitched square, blueprints 29 sentiment banner & Scenic Safari dies; (silver snowflakes) Neenah white cardstock, Studio Katia Snowflakes stamps & dies, Versamark, Ranger ultra fine silver embossing powder, MFT stitched rectangle die; (Christmas cheer) Neenah white cardstock, Craft Smith green card base, Studio Katia Snowflakes & Technique Tuesday Jingle All the Way stamps, Versamark, Ranger classic cherry & spun sugar, festive berries, salty ocean, milled lavender & evergreen bough distress inks, Wow fine white embossing powder, Sugar Pea card front element builder & MFT blueprints 29 dies, foam tape

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