Thursday, April 30, 2020

Happy Little Stampers: Watercolour

Happy Little Stampers is starting May with the Watercolour Challenge! This month we are offering the optional theme of embossing. Of course you can dry emboss, but I went for my favourite, heat embossing: 

Sadly, I needed to make a sympathy card, and decided to start with this beautiful flower image from Concord & Ninth. I stamped it in black and heat embossed with white satin pearl embossing powder - over black, it sets to a lovely almost pewter finish. For my watercoloring, I went with Twinkling H2Os in blues and greens. I played around with a few different embellishments, but in the end decided to leave it alone with just the simple sentiment and blue mat. 

I'm adding this to the current Wednesday Anything Goes challenge at Simon Says Stamp. 
You will SMILE at all the beautiful interpretations of our theme displayed on the HLS blog! You have the month of May to join us. 

Supplies: Neenah white & (?) blue cardstock, Ranger watercolour paper, Concord & Ninth Vintage flower & Studio Katia You're So Sweet stamps, Versafine onyx black ink, Hero Arts white satin pearl embossing powder, Twinkling H2Os, Marvy/Uchida corner-rounding punch

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Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Addicted to Stamps and More: Make Your Mark

Welcome to another Addicted to Stamps and More challenge, where this week we want you to Make Your Mark! My only real pandemic splurge so far has been treating myself to a starter pack of alcohol inks and Yupo paper, and this challenge provided a great reason to try them out:

I have played with alcohol inks at creative playdates before, and then as now, I overused the inks - restraint is needed! Of course I also wanted to try everything at once, and added a little foiling to the panel before it was dry as well - it's not showing up a lot in the photos, but adds some fun shine in real life. I found an ink to go with the purple/magenta tones, and embossed it in holographic powder. A sprinkle of blue gems brings out the blues in the background. 

You can use anything that *makes a mark* for this challenge - inks, markers, paints, and more. Be sure to see what the rest of the design team chose to make their marks, and then I hope you'll join us! 

Supplies: Neenah white cardstock, Yupo paper, Pinkfresh Studio So Sweet stamp, Memento Luxe lilac posy ink, holographic embossing powder, seƱorita magenta, Baja blue & passion purple Jacquard Pinata alcohol inks, rubbing alcohol, rainbow shattered glass Deco Foil, Paper Smooches Paper die, Studio Katia sapphire crystals

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Thursday, April 23, 2020

Seize the Birthday: Food and/or Drink

It must be Thursday, because there is a new Seize the Birthday challenge: Food and/or Drink! Of course, we are always happy to see any birthday card in our link-up. 
Usually, I'd be all over the idea of adding celebratory adult beverages to a birthday card, but I had a pandemic-themed card I wanted to try:

I may be done with #stayhome cards after this, as I'm finding the humour's wearing a little thin, and I'd be just as happy to not need too many more! I hope the separate cake and candles, combined with the sentiment, get the message across. And this could double as a more generic "missing you" birthday card, I think. 

Lots of delicious inspiration from the StB design team and our current surprise party guest, Stef! I hope you will create a birthday card and join us. 

Supplies: Neenah white & Recollections black cardstock, Echo Park We Are Family patterned paper, Essentials by Ellen Wish Big & Neat & Tangled Origami Map stamps, Versafine onyx black & Stampin' Up real red ink, Wow clear gloss embossing powder, Copic markers, MFT blueprints 24 & 29 & Spellbinders circle dies, Spectrum Noir clear glitter marker

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Saturday, April 18, 2020

The Snarky Sisters Are Upcycling

In these strange times, Edna has decided to do some DIY fashion remodelling - and so we introduce the newest Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers, U is for Upcycle! And I am here to introduce lots of options for you to consider for your own upcycling project. 
Option 1: Upcycle a commercial greeting card 

Upcycled elements: the sentiment and pink panel. I know it's hard to believe, but a close family member gave me a birthday card with this sentiment! :D And now I am upcycling it into a pandemic card. ;) The pink panel is from the inside of the same card, so my only real contribution is the stamped and die cut martini glass. A close up shows off the sentiment panel's shine:

A second card using the inside of a greeting card: 

Upcyled element: background mat. That lovely blue argyle panel is the reverse side of this: 

It was tempting to just put this on a new card base, but what's the fun in that? :D So it turned into a Christmas card scene. The birch tree, deer and cardinal were all previously die cut, so this is using up stash, which is the next best thing to upcycling, as far as I'm concerned. ;) I'm adding this card to my snarky sister Jo's current Christmas Kickstart challenge, Winter Wonderland (Create a Scene) and Jingle Belles' (totally coincidental) upcycling challenge, Peace on EARTH. 

Option 2: Business Ephemera
I am always keeping an eye open for things that might be incorporated into a card someday, and that includes things like clothing tags, business cards, and the like. My first example: 

Upcycled elements: the Keep Calm panel. This was originally on something I bought in Port Dover, Ontario. I've had it long enough that I can't remember what. :D It just happened to perfectly match patterned paper and cardstock from Stampin' Up, as well as these two maple leaves I'd die cut and sponged ages ago for another project. 

Business cards can sometimes be fun, too: 

Upcycled element: Deer & duck business card. Granted, most business cards aren't as much fun as this one, from a restaurant in Vancouver. Some patterned paper for the card base and a Tim Holtz sentiment were all this needed. 

Option 3: A non-saving friend
This option might not be available to everyone. :D My good friend Emily is not a saver. She may stamp or die cut or colour a number of options for a card she's making, but what she doesn't use, she used to recycle. Until I came along and suggested it would be just as easy to save them for me! And sometimes, her cast-offs make their way onto one of my cards. Case in point: 

Upcycled elements: daffodil, white panel, patterned paper. Yep, all castoffs from Emily, just waiting for me to decide to put them together into a simple thank you card. I did have to die cut the patterned paper to size, and then in a show of extra effort, sponged around the edges in pink to add a little extra dimension to the panel. :D 

My sisters in snark as well as our current guest designer, Queen Tristan, have many other upcycled examples to inspire you! It's not necessarily easy to acquire new crafting supplies these days, so why not upcycle something and join us!

Supplies: too many to list! Ask if you are curious about anything... ;) 

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Thursday, April 16, 2020

Seize the Heroes!

Welcome to a very special episode of Seize the Birthday, that we are calling Seize the Heroes! While many of us are hunkered down at home, staying safe and avoiding a lot of outside contact, there are many who can't - healthcare workers, essential business staff, transportation workers, just to name a few. Many of the StB design team chose to take advantage of the digital images that My Favorite Things is currently offering that feature doctors and nurses. I made two cards, and even used up a little more patterned paper in the process! My first: 

My nurse is coloured simply with Copic markers, with a little pencil crayon shading for her scrubs. I decided today wasn't the day to start watching Copic hair-colouring tutorials. :D (Her hair may be better coloured than mine at the moment, LOL!) Initially I was going to go the fussy-cutting route, but MFT has very nicely left enough space around the images that they can be die cut on a panel. I found some striped paper that went well with her scrubs, then did a little computer manipulation so I could cut the two parts of the sentiment separately. 

I had planned to make a card with the other nurse image as well - but my printer ink decided to bleed into the Copic colouring! And this after I'd printed everything a couple of days ahead. (My first nurse was just fine. Go figure.) So I moved on to one of the doctor images, and coloured very carefully: 

She has a small printer ink smudge near her nose, but I decided I could live with it. Same simple colouring as the first card. I decided to use the sketch from CAS Colours & Sketches for my card layout. I found a vaguely chart-looking patterned paper for my background. :D This time I used a die cut for my sentiment. 

We have our usual link-up and rules for this special challenge - make a card for any of our current frontline workers and join us. And stay well! 

Supplies: (nurse) Neenah white & Stampin' Up basic black cardstock, My Mind's Eye The Sweetest Thing Bluebell patterned paper, MFT Call the Shots digital stamps, Copic markers, Prismacolor pencils, MFT stitched rounded rectangle die; (doctor) Neenah white & Stampin' Up basic black cardstock, Pebbles Yours Truly patterned paper, MFT Doctor's Orders digital stamp, Copic markers, Prismacolor pencils, MFT double-stitched rectangle & Paper Smooches thanks die

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Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Addicted to Stamps and More: Photo Inspiration

It's time for a new Addicted to Stamps and More challenge! This week we have a photo inspiration board:

So much to choose from here! I ended up making two cards. For my first one, I focussed on the pretty spring bushes, the textures and the colours: 

Appropriately enough, this die is called Spring Branch. After die cutting it from watercolour paper, I added pinks to the blossoms and greens to the leaves, then spritzed it with water and let it do most of the blending work. I assisted with my paintbrush here and there. ;) After it was dry, I added the brown for the stem. For texture, I used a striped embossing folder. And yes, I found another pandemic-appropriate sentiment! 

For my second card, I was attracted to the two pink bowls - and at first glance, I thought they looked more like cups, with the plates underneath. :D So I went with it: 

Since I knew I wanted my little heart to be pink, I went for a gold-coloured cup. I brought in the greys from the inspiration and embossed the main mat with a geometric design. 

The design team was inspired in all kinds of ways by this fun photo board! Be sure to visit the ATSM challenge blog for lots of ideas - and then I hope you'll join us! 

Supplies: (together) Neenah white & Hero Arts layering cardstock, Canson watercolour paper, Neat & Tangled Origami Map stamp, Memento Pear Tart ink, Hero Arts spring branch die, Zig markers, Darice diagonal stripes embossing folder; (tea) Neenah white & Papertrey Ink soft stone cardstock, Canson watercolour paper, Pinkfresh Late Nights & Lawn Fawn Tea-riffic stamps, Versafine onyx black ink, Wow clear gloss embossing powder, Gansai Tambi watercolours, MFT Blueprints 29 & star grid cover-up dies, foam tape

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Sunday, April 12, 2020

Easter Card

Happy Easter/Happy Sunday! I decided to make one last Easter card to fulfill my obligations for Day 6 of Kathy Racoosin's current colouring challenge. 

This card uses up a little more stash (but no patterned paper this time) - a bunny couple from Mama Elephant stamped long ago and a previously cut sun. The bunnies are coloured with Copics with some extra shading with pencil crayons. I made the background using a mask cut from a My Favorite Things grass die as well as their cloud stencil. I ran the top panel through an embossing folder to add a little extra interest, then popped a sentiment banner on top. I'll see if this is CAS enough to qualify for the current Addicted to CAS animal challenge, and it's definitely very CAS for Simon Says Stamp's Monday challenge, to add texture. 


Supplies: Neenah white & (?) yellow cardstock, Mama Elephant Honey Bunny & Clearly Besotted Sweet Little Sentiments stamps, Versafine onyx black & tumbled glass & mowed lawn distress inks, Wow clear sparkle embossing powder, Copic markers, Prismacolor pencils, Spellbinders circle, Lil Inkers stitched sun, MFT grassy edges & Winnie & Walter Katharine cutaway dies, Cuttlebug Seeing Dots embossing folder, MFT mini cloud edges stencil, foam tape

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Saturday, April 11, 2020

Cards for The Current Times...

Another day at home! Hope you are staying safe and well - and if you celebrate Easter or Passover (or just that it's Saturday), you are able to connect with family and friends virtually. 
There are some birthdays for us coming up later in April, and I wanted to incorporate our current strange times into the cards I made to send. It's been fun going through my stash to see what I can put a pandemic slant on. :D My first card:

I know the sitting part isn't super-healthy, but the STAY part of this sentiment is perfect! I had stamped both the dog and the sentiment a long time ago at a crafty playdate - I vaguely remember those - and when I went to colour my dog, discovered it wasn't overly Copic-friendly paper. I coloured him the best I could anyway. :D I have this little secondary pandemic goal of using up some patterned paper, so made a tag of my dog and sentiment, and backed him with a panel of patterned paper. Instead of ribbon or twine, I popped a big enamel dot on the tag hole. 

Card #2: 

For this card, I'm repurposing a get well sentiment from Technique Tuesday - the cooped up part is totally relevant to our current situation! My background suggests a little more freedom than most of currently enjoy, but I don't seem to have any battery cage stamps. :D I thought the patterned paper mat at least hinted at confinement wire. 

I hope to be back soon with some more pandemic-inspired cards! 

Supplies: (sit & stay) PTI white cardstock, My Mind's Eye Stella & Rose patterned paper, Essentials by Ellen Dog Lady stamps & dies, Versafine onyx black ink, Wow clear gloss embossing powder, Copic markers, MFT blueprints 24 & CUTplorations stitched tag dies, Echo Park Magic & Wonder enamel dot, foam tape; (cooped up) Neenah white cardstock, My Mind's Eye Steela & Rose patterned paper, Technique Tuesday Chicken Family stamps & dies, Versafine onyx black, broken china & lucky clover distress inks, Copic markers, Technique Tuesday jam jars & MFT stitched rounded rectangle & grassy edges dies, Glossy Accents

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Thursday, April 9, 2020

Seize the Birthday: Spring Fling

Hey, it's Thursday! Reminders like that can be helpful these days. :D Thursday also means it's time for a new Seize the Birthday challenge. It is my turn to pick the optional "topping", and it seemed like a good time for a Spring Fling - depending on where you live, it may have already sprung, you may still be waiting for it... or you may be into fall weather instead. But some spring colours or flowers or similar will maybe help brighten these strange times. 
My card was going to have daffodils on it. But as my teammate and friend Glenda said the other day on Instagram, our current times are mucking with my brain a bit. So while I could get my daffodils to layer properly, I was having little luck getting the stems and leaves to look right - and really regretting not having bought the matching dies for the set. :D Hence, my simpler card: 

Pussy willows totally qualify for a spring theme. Before I stamped and embossed the branch, I blended a little pale blue background for it. Using a warm grey Copic, I added a bit of colour to the bud scales at the base of each catkin, then coloured the catkins with a white glaze pen, both to cover the blue ink and to add a little texture to them. The sentiment (at least that worked form the daffodil set!) is embossed in a darker blue, and I added a trio of Studio Katia confetti sequins. There's also a little bit of patterned paper and a mat of warm grey cardstock to keep things from being too boring. ;) 

Inkspirational also says it's a perfect time to think spring, so I'll link my card there. Addicted to CAS is looking for texture; I have a little bit of texture (and possibly too many layers for their CAS definition?), but I'll try my luck there as well. 
Our surprise party guest Stef and the usual partygoers at Seize the Birthday have lots of springtime inspiration for you - hope you'll visit and join us! 

Supplies: Neenah white, Papertrey Ink smoky shadow & Hoo Arts blue layering cardstock, Memory Box Brioche patterned paper, Sunshine Designs Pussy Willow & Sunny Studio Stamps Daffodil Dreams stamps, Memento Luxe espresso truffle & Danube blue & tumbled glass distress ink, Wow clear gloss embossing powder, Copic marker, Sakura Gelly Roll white glaze pen, Studio Katia sparkling sea confetti

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Saturday, April 4, 2020

The Snarky Sisters Go Retro

Happy Saturday! Edna's obviously keeping herself busy while stuck at home by revisiting her glory days - because the Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers is offering R is for Retro as our new challenge! How retro is up to you. I decided to reach back into the so much simpler 1950s - you know, when there was just the Bomb and civil rights and the like to worry about...  

Some snarky paper from Authentique made this challenge an easy one for me. And while normally I miss getting to stamp on projects such as this (and my second one below), I was quite happy just playing with paper this time around. It's these crazy Coronavirus times, I guess! I went a little retro on my embellishment, too. The original cardstock for the flower was pink, but once I spritzed it with some spray and edged the petals in a dark ink, it came out much closer to the colour of the background paper. (Much closer in real life than according to the camera...) I put the flower together with a truly retro brass office supply brad before adhering it with a glop of Glossy Accents. 

That was so much fun I made a second one: 

Ah, remember those good old pre-isolation-days birthday parties? I think our birthday girl has been out of school a little too long if she thinks there's a pony in there. :D This time my floral embellishment is cut out of patterned paper. 
I'm adding this card to the current Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Birthday challenge.

There may just be no better time for a little snark than right now! Our Queen of Snark Mimi and the sisters have picked a few different eras and styles for their retro offerings, but I'm sure you'll love all of them. Do the retro thing and join us! 

Supplies: (from scratch) Neenah white, Bazzill pink & Recollections black cardstock, Authentique Party & Studio Calico Memoir patterned paper, Memento Luxe rhubarb stalk ink, Spellbinders Carnation Creations dies, Tattered Angels sienna spray mist, Marvy-Uchida corner-rounding punch, brass brad; (pony) Hero Arts sand layering & Recollections black cardstock, Authentique Party, American Crafts/Amy Tangerine Sketchbook & WRMK It Factor patterned papers

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