Saturday, February 29, 2020

Happy Little Stampers Watercolour: Flowers

It's March in Australia, and soon to be March here, and so the next round of Happy Little Stampers begins with its Watercolour Challenge! Our optional theme for March is flowers - and here, where it's still WINTER, flowers seem like a fine idea. 

I watercoloured this pretty stem of sweet peas with my Zig markers and die cut it. For a little interest on the white panel, I used a section of a scraped paint stencil with green distress ink, letting it fade away towards the top and bottom. A sentiment banner and a trio of sequins finish this clean and simple card. 

There is a veritable bouquet of inspiration on the Happy Little Stampers blog today - check it out and then I hope you will join us! 

Supplies: Neenah white & Hero Arts layering cardstock, Ranger watercolour paper, Studio Katia You're So Sweet stamps & dies, Versafine onyx black & mowed lawn distress ink, Wow clear gloss embossing powder, Zig watercolour markers, Memory Box scraped paint stencil, MFT blueprints 29 sentiment die, Ink Road sequins, frosted lace Stickles, foam tape

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Thursday, February 27, 2020

Seize the Birthday: Focal Point Sentiments

Welcome to a new Seize the Birthday challenge! For our newest *topping*, we are suggesting you create a card with the sentiment as the focal image. Of course you know that we like to see any newly created birthday card in our link-up, so our topping is optional. 
I have some great, fill-the-card Christmas sentiment stamps, but not as much in the way of sizeable birthday sentiments. Luckily, I had a choice of dies that would give me a focal sentiment. Here's my card: 

This die cut sentiment from My Favorite Things certainly fills a card nicely! I can sense a few of you thinking, but it would also make a terrific shaker card! I just wasn't ready to make my one annual shaker card yet this year. :D Instead I found some patterned paper to go with the blue I'd chosen for my main panel. I'm not sure I love this cake as a centre image - not thrilled that the candles/sparklers are black. To help offset that, I added some yellow "glow" behind each sparkler, then dabbed a little Stickles in the centre of each. Also, at some point in my colouring, I decided the cake also looked like a hat. And so now of course I'm having trouble unseeing it that way. I stuck it on some foam tape in the middle anyway. I think this is CAS enough to enter in the current Addicted to CAS challenge, where the code word is CAKE. And of course, there's the Simon Says Stamp Anything Goes Wednesday challenge. 

Our surprise party guest Joyce is with us for one last challenge post - she and the design team have lots of fun takes on the challenge theme. Make a birthday card and join us! 

Supplies: Neenah white & Stampin' Up bashful blue cardstock, Basic Grey patterned paper, Technique Tuesday Sassy Birthday stamp, Versafine onyx black ink, Wow clear gloss embossing powder, Copic markers, MFT birthday centrepiece, blueprints 24 stitched frame & spellbinders circle dies, Wink of Stella clear glitter brush marker, frosted lace Stickles, foam tape

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Saturday, February 22, 2020

The Sisterhood of Evil Stampers

The newest challenge at the Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers starts today, and it is a fun one: E is for Evil! As for our challenge badge, I'm not saying a word. :D 
I had to ponder this one for a while... evil is somewhat subjective, I think. Also, I don't have a lot of sentiments that are evil *enough*. As can happen, my mind eventually wandered to cats. After all, cats do sometimes get a bad rap - black cats and bad luck, familiars of scary witches... there's even a myth that a cat will jump in a crib and steal a baby's breath. So cats it is: 

This trio of ATCs was a lot of fun to make, and use some of my earliest cat stamps, too! I didn't even have to colour them! A closer look at each one...

This is the cat face that got me started. He seems to look demented enough. ;) The background is distress oxide ink blended on manila tag, splattered with water (see that extra little mark just above the Moi? That was a cat hair. How appropriate.) and then fish skeletons stamped in the same inks. All sentiments are computer-generated. 

I think this is my favourite of the trio. I knew this chubster would look great with a little feather as evidence to his *crime*. (Nature, red in tooth and claw...) Handy to have a former fly-tie-guy around the house for when feathers are needed. 

I couldn't resist using this crazy-faced cat, too. (I got out my Tim Holtz Crazy Cats; they may be crazy, but none of them really look that evil. :D) Another distress oxide blended background with some delightfully muddy paw prints. 
Make sure you visit the Snarky blog to see all the variations on our EVIL theme! Our current Queen of Snark and guest designer is Rina. Channel your darkest self and join us! 

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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Addicted to Stamps and More: Make Your Mark!

It's time for a new Addicted to Stamps and More challenge, and this week it's "Make Your Mark". Since it's my first time with this theme, I thought I'd review what exactly this means: on your card, we want you to use anything that can, literally, make a mark. So you could use Copics, watercolours, sponges, stencils... it's really the next best thing to an anything goes challenge! (We have those, too.) 
I decided I felt like making my mark with Zig watercolour markers for this. And since it seems like it's been days since I made a cat card :D, here's what I came up with: 

Looking to do something a little different, I decided to find a couple of cats that would fit in this MFT stitched frame. Once I had my cats coloured, I decided to back each of the frame panels with some patterned paper, so I could play along in the Wednesday Simon Says Stamp challenge, Two or More Patterned Papers

There is a wide variety of *marks* on the ATSM blog, so be sure to visit and gather some inspiration! 

Supplies: Neenah white cardstock, Memory Box grey card base, Crate Paper Fourteen patterned paper, MFT Cool Cat & I Knead You stamps & dies, Versafine onyx black ink, Wow clear gloss embossing powder, Zig watercolour markers, MFT blueprints 29 dies, foam tape

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Friday, February 14, 2020

A Perfect Valentine Pear


Happy Valentine's Day! Or, simply, TGIF. ;) I've got one last valentine to share for this year, and now that it's been received, I can display it publicly: 

For this punny card, I used the Lawn Fawn set My Silly Valentine - an oldie but goodie, and I was pleasantly surprised to see they still keep it in stock! The pears were easy to colour with a few shades of Copic markers, but I did use a green pencil crayon, a la Kathy Rac, to add a little definition to the two leaves. Since it's a valentine, I used a heart die to cut them out, then stamped the banner sentiment with an extra little heart added. 

I'm adding this to the current Lawn Fawnatics challenge: Lots of Love! 

Supplies: Neenah white & Hero Arts layering cardstock, Crate Paper Fourteen patterned paper, Lawn Fawn My Silly Valentine stamps, Versafine onyx black ink, Wow clear gloss embossing powder, Copic markers, QuicKuts nesting heart & Sunny Studio Stamps Fishtail Banners 1 dies, foam tape

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Thursday, February 13, 2020

Seize the Birthday: Show Me Your White Space

It's a Seize the Birthday Thursday! Our newest topping for your consideration is "Show Me Your White Space". Barbara picked our topic, and shares a design definition of "white space" on the StB blog. Of course, if you are a more layered type of designer, we love to see any and all birthday cards in our link-up.
As a predominantly CAS (clean and simple) cardmaker, I didn't mind leaving some white space on my creation: 

Of course, for a truly CAS design, I would have made a one layer card, but I also enjoy bending the rules a little bit. :D I combined this *calling bird* from Ellen Hutson's Twelve Days stamp set (sadly, retired) with a sentiment from their Everyday Punnies set. A little Copic colouring, a little Glossy Accents on the red hot line just for fun, and this really was quite simple to make. 

My teammates and our continuing surprise party guest, Joyce, have each put their own spins on their "white space" cards, so be sure to check out their inspirations, too. Make a birthday card and join us! 

Supplies: Neenah white cardstock, American Crafts Hip Hip Hooray patterned paper, Essentials by Ellen Twelve Days & Everyday Punnies stamps, Versafine onyx black ink, Wow clear gloss embossing powder, Copic markers, Winnie & Walter Katharine cutaway die, Glossy Accents

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Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Another Two Challenge Card

Another card for two challenges today! This time I needed a birthday card - funny, I know, considering I'm on a birthday card design team - but sometimes it's fun to make a card with the recipient in mind. I turned to the current CAS(E) This Sketch challenge for my layout inspiration, and Just Us Girls with their Stripes theme to help put the sketch together. I mixed them in a blender, added my own seasoning, and came up with this: 

I rotated and manipulated the size of the sketch panels a little bit, but I think the original is still clear in my adaptation. To keep things clean and simple, I refrained from any mats under the two main panels - I think the double stitching of the bunny panel makes a good stand-in. The grey hare himself is coloured with Copics, with some Glossy Accents on the candle flame, and a touch of sparkle on the cupcake wrapper and (I couldn't resist) his nose. 

Funny thing is... I'll be back on Thursday with my post for Seize the Birthday

Supplies: Neenah white cardstock, Memory Box grey card base, Bella Blvd Sunny Skies patterned paper, Taylored Expressions Party Grumplings stamps, Versafine smoky grey ink, Wow clear gloss embossing powder, Copic markers, MFT double-stitched rectangle die, icicle Stickles, Glossy Accents

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Monday, February 10, 2020

A Two-Challenge Valentine

Having the need for another valentine or three for this Friday, I was inspired by two current challenges - CAS Colours & Sketches has a colour challenge this week, while CAS Mix Up is looking for stencils made from die cuts. Combining the two, I was able to come up with this: 

The die that I used for the stencil is a little square array of nine hearts, so I did my best to line them up and space them properly as I cut a stencil out of acetate. Before using the stencil, I lightly blended distress ink to a masked area on my panel - that's the pink of the colour challenge. Then through the stencil, I blended more ink to increase the intensity of the hearts' colour, then also sponged some Versamark through it, so I could emboss them with holographic embossing powder. The sentiment is also masked a bit, as those diamonds are meant to stretch right across a card. With a teeny brush, I added the same ink to the heart in the sentiment. A silver mat took care of the final challenge colour. 
For CAS Mix Up, in addition to the die-cut stencil, I have ink-blending, stamping, heat embossing and panel die-cutting. 

I have whole minutes to spare before the Colours and Sketches challenge ends, so that's it from me for now! 

Supplies: Neenah white & Ranger silver foil cardstock, acetate, (?) sentiment stamp, Versamark, Versafine onyx black & festive berries distress ink. holographic embossing powder, Impression Obsession Conversation Heart Block & MFT stitched rounded rectangle dies
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Saturday, February 8, 2020

The Sisterhood of Snarky Felines

Happy Caturday! Our new challenge begins at the Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers, C is for CATS. Edna has perhaps seen the movie too many times? :D 
I have lots of cat stamps to choose from, and found a perfect match for a snarky sentiment strip from Tim Holtz: 

My Katzelkraft cat is coloured in greys in homage to our cat Duncan. To provide a colourful contrast, I created a background with a stencil and distress oxide inks. 

We have a special guest designer for this challenge, Stephanie! Even the dog-loving sistahs have dusted off their cat stamps, so take a look then join us! 

Supplies: Crafter's Companion Spectrum Noir white & (?) yellow cardstock, Katzelkraft Les Chats stamp, Memento tuxedo black & festive berries, wild honey & fossilized amber distress oxide ink, Copic markers, Picket Fence waffle squares stencil, Tim Holtz Snarky sentiment strips, MFT wonky stitched rectangle die, foam tape

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Wednesday, February 5, 2020

ABC Christmas Challenge: C & D

The first Wednesday of the month brings a new instalment of the ABC Christmas Challenge! It's still early in the year, so we are only a few letters into the alphabet, and this month we bring you two fun themes - C for CATS and D for DOGS. 
Of course, it would be easy to take any cat or dog stamp and place it in a Christmas setting for these cards. But I figure I have an overflowing collection of Christmas supplies for a reason! It also seemed like a great opportunity to dust off some older stamps. So first up, my cat card: 

And yes, this Penny Black stamp is old enough to be wood-mounted. :D I stamped and embossed my kitty on watercolour paper and gave him some simple colouring with Zig markers. I still haven't decided if I like the zigzag borders I added, or if they're just weird. ;) 

Please don't tell the dog lovers out there, but I am pretty sure I only have one stand-alone Christmas-themed dog stamp - and it had never seen ink. Thanks to this month's theme, now it has! 

This guy came in a grab bag of Christmas stamps from Viva Las VegaStamps. Originally he and the sentiment were stamped onto the same panel, but I didn't like the sentiment placement, so after he was coloured, I cut him out. I stencilled a subtle background on the kraft panel using distress oxides (Versamark for the two pine cones) and my smallest Studio Katia blending brushes. The jingle bell shines with a little gold Smooch.
Now my dog doesn't have wings, but he is channelling one of Santa's magical reindeer, so I've almost got the optional wings theme at this month's Happy Little Stampers Christmas Challenge

Of course, by then I was on a roll, so the dog AND cat cards started:

This was the first stamp that came to mind when I saw our themes, but that would only get one Christmas card made, wouldn't it? :D Judging by hostess Jo's card, I think this has enough red to qualify for her current Christmas Kickstart Challenge

And this may be the only other set I have that features a dog: 

I masked the cuff onto each stocking before colouring and cutting them out. Of course the cuffs and the heel and toe of the middle stocking called out for some bling. This card fits the current Jingle Belles' We THREE Kings in two ways: there are three stockings; and cats do usually consider themselves king (or queen) of their domain. ;) 

And look at that - two themes, and four more Christmas cards in the pile! Lots more canine and feline inspiration on the ABC blog, so check out everyone's cards then join us! 

Supplies: (be merry) (?) red cardstock, Craft Town textured green card base, Canson watercolour paper, Penny Black White Slopes & Hero Arts Family & Friends stamps, Versafine onyx black ink, Wow clear gloss embossing powder, Zig markers, Hello Bluebird Basic Border & Spellbinders circle dies; (doggone) Neenah white & desert storm cardstock, Craft Town textured green card base, Viva Las Vegas Dachshund with Antlers & Have a Doggone Happy Holiday stamps, Versamark, Memento Luxe espresso truffle, Stampin' Up real red & bundled sage & festive berries distress oxide ink, Wow clear gloss embossing powder, Copic markers, Stampers Anonymous/Tim Holtz Festive stencil, Smooch gold ink, foam tape; (joy & love) Neenah white & Recollections red cardstock, Simon Says Stamp Furry Christmas stamps, Versafine onyx black ink, Wow clear gloss embossing powder, Copic markers, MFT stitched scallop rectangle dies, Icicle & Frosted Lace Stickles; (stockings) Neenah white & (?) red cardstock, Sunny Studio Stamps Subtle Grey Tones patterned paper, Newton's Nook Holiday Stockings stamps, Versafine onyx black ink, Wow clear gloss embossing powder, Copic markers, black Sharpie pen, Nuvo white blizzard glitter drops

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Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Addicted to Stamps and More: Photo

A new challenge at Addicted to Stamps and More begins today! It is Photo Inspiration week, and we have this beautiful, just-in-time-for-Valentine's picture for you. I attempted to be inspired by as much as possible: 

The background in the photo made me think of a bokeh background, so with distress oxides and white pigment ink, I made one. There are roses, so I stamped and embossed a rose and leaves - this is actually a two step stamp set, but I wanted to practice some colouring now that I've been watching Kathy Racoosin's online colouring class! Baby steps, but I'm really happy with how this rose turned out. Kathy wants us to "be fearless" in our colour choices, so I used a purple as my darkest colour to add depth to the "nooks and crannies". I also added fine details with pencil crayons after using my Copics. For the heart element, I used a stitched die cut to add my sentiment. (It's actually a tag, but I cut the top loop off.) And for sparkle, I added a narrow mat of silver glitter paper. I used a recent sketch from Freshly Made Sketches for my card design inspiration. 
While much more CAS than the average make on the Simon Says Stamp Monday challenge, I'm going to be fearless ;) and add this to the current Floral Frenzy challenge. And while I'm not sure three quite counts as enough, I'll also enter this in the current Add Leaves challenge at the Flower Challenge.
Lots of beautiful makes from my ATSM teammates, so be sure to pop over to the blog for lots more inspiration! Whether you need a Valentine or just feel inspired by the photo, I hope you will join us! 

Supplies: Neenah white & American Crafts silver glitter cardstock, Canson mixed media paper, Winnie & Walter In Bloom: Julie's Roses, Lawn Fawn Tiny Tag Messages & various circle stamps, Versafine onyx black, Brilliance moonlight white & antique linen, faded lipstick & festive berries distress oxide inks, Hero Arts sparkle embossing powder, Copic markers, Prismacolor pencils,Sharpie pen, Lawn Fawn Tiny Tags die, foam tape

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