Saturday, September 26, 2020

JUGs: Photo Inspiration

It's time for a new Just Us Girls challenge, and it's a photo inspiration! Sadly, it's my last guest post - thanks to everyone at JUGs for letting me play along this month! 
From the photo above, I took inspiration from the stars (and really, it will be interesting to see if any projects DON'T have stars!) and the colours. Here's mine: 

Naturally, since it's a relatively clean and simple photo, I have a more layered design than usual. :D I used a star stencil to make my background, inking each star in pink and red. My first try, I also tried to stamp patterns on some of the stars, but that quickly turned into a fail, so instead I spritzed them with shimmer spray. Next, I die cut the smaller stars, and actually pulled out an old SU punch for the largest one. Shiny foil, so hard to capture in a photograph. I stamped my sentiment and embossed it with sparkle embossing powder; then masked off the "y" so that I could underline it with, yes, more stars. And how could I not replace the dot over the "i" with a teeny star? Finally, I was lucky enough to find a patterned paper with the same pink and red, as well as a matching red cardstock for the card base. 

I hope the photo gives you the inspiration to play along! 

Supplies: Neenah white, Recollections red & Ranger silver foil cardstock, Koh-I-Noor smooth bristol, Lawn Fawn Snow Day Remix patterned paper, Lawn Fawn Ho-Ho-Holidays & Hero Arts Kelly's Fa La La stamps, Versamark, Versafine onyx black & spun sugar & festive berries distress inks, Hero Arts clear sparkle & Ranger detail silver embossing powder, ARTplorations Oh My Stars stencil, Sunny Studio Stamps fishtail banners & Paper Smooches teeny stars dies, Stampin' Up star punch, Tsukineko shimmer spritz

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Thursday, September 24, 2020

Happy Seize the Birthday!!

Seize the Birthday is celebrating a birthday of its very own - it's our 200th challenge! So we're throwing a birthday party and offering a few presents to mark the occasion - Nancy has generously offered two $25 gift certificates to Simon Says Stamp for our top two winners! To be eligible to win any of our prizes, we are asking that for this challenge only, you follow the current "topping" - anything goes entries will not qualify for prizes. And our challenge topping is... 


Create a birthday card or project inspired by any aspect of the graphic above: the colours, the balloons, the watercolour look... the choice is yours. Please be sure to explain in your post exactly how the graphic inspired your creation. 
For even more fun, four of the design team members have goodies to be won - and I am one of them! Here is the prize for some lucky entrant: 

Three stamp sets from Simon Says Stamp! To win any of these *hidden* prizes along the way, we ask that you stop by each of the design team's blogs and leave a comment. 
Here is how I was inspired: 

I knew right away I wanted to take advantage of the three balloons in the upper right corner of our graphic. I used the same stencil as I did for this card a few weeks ago, but in a quite different way, picking individual balloons to stencil onto my card base. My colours are not exact copies of the colours of the originals, but I had three new inks I wanted to try out! I used the same inks to add splatters all over the card, again inspired by the graphic. Finally, I embossed a big bold sentiment, added some sequins for sparkle and score lines around the edge. 

I hope the Seize the Birthday challenge graphic will inspire you to make a birthday card - or up to a maximum of three! - and play along with us for a chance to win a prize! 

Supplies: Koh-I-Noor smooth bristol, A Muse Birthday Greeting stamps, Versafine onyx black & Catherine Pooler Melon Ice, Stone Blue & Polished Inks, Hero Arts clear sparkle embossing powder, Studio Katia Birthday Balloons stencil duo, Gelly Roll black sparkle gel pen, Sharpie pen, Wink of Stella clear glitter pen, Little Things from Lucy's Cards icicle sequin mix

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Saturday, September 19, 2020


It's time for a new Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers challenge: S is for Slider! I decided to take the cardmaking definition of slider, and fortunately have a slider tag die that made it easy: 

The front panel is made with a new-to-me stencil and lots of distress inks. Before I lifted the stencil, I also splattered some perfect pearls mist on the glasses for a little extra fun. The same inks colour the front of the slider tag, also with splatters. I matched colours to ink up my two martini glasses for the front of the tag. And now the slider reveal!

Nothing too snarky, but... alcohol! :D A couple of other views: 

Since my stencil saw ink for the first time for this card, I'm linking up to Darnell's September NBUS challenge. 
Be sure to check out the, ahem, varied interpretations of "slider" from the Sisterhood. And then I hope you'll join us! 

Supplies: Neenah white & Recollections red cardstock, MFT Martini Time stamps & dies, Paper Smooches Wine Sampler stamps, Memento ladybug red, Altenew Persian blue & faded lipstick, carved pumpkin, squeezed lemonade, twisted iron, blueprint sketch & wiled violet distress inks, Studio Katia slider tag & Winnie & Walter Katharine cutaway dies, Picket Fence martini stencil, confetti Perfect Pearls mist, Hemptique twine

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Inkspirational: Day

 It's time for a new Inkspirational challenge! Today we have a word prompt for you: DAY. I knew immediately the sentiment I wanted to use, and then it was merely a matter of building a card around it: 

As I looked though some of my already-stamped images, this intrepid bunny seemed like a fun idea for a beautiful day card. The balloon also seemed to lend itself to a slimline design. I inked a sky with some grass waaaay down below, cut it with a slimline die (many thanks to my friend and teammate Carol for these!), added the sentiment and then popped up bunny and balloon. Being such an adventurous bunny, I'm adding him to the current theme at Time Out Challenges

This might be a perfect day for some, but I decided to also make a card that showcased a little more of what I might consider a perfect day: 

Relaxing and reading on a sunny afternoon? Count me in. :D This adorable kitty and a few of his siblings were stamped and sent to me by my friend Joyce. (Along with the cutest card using another one!) He's coloured in Copics, the sun stamped in yellow and orange, and the grass added with a stippling brush. I decided to add a funky edge to the bottom of the panel, then realized I'd die cut myself into a bit of a corner as to adding a sentiment. I separately stamped the three parts of a "read-relax-repeat" stamp so I could follow the lines of the panel. 

Lots of interesting interpretations of the word prompt from my talented Inkspirational teammates! I hope you will find the time to play along. 

Supplies: (beautiful day) Neenah white cardstock, Strathmore mixed media paper, WPlus9 Going Places stamps & dies, Unity October 2010 KOTM sentiment stamp, Versafine onyx black, Memento tuxedo black & tumbled glass & mowed lawn distress ink, Hero Arts clear sparkle embossing powder, Zig markers, Gansai Tambi watercolours, MFT cloud stencil, Pinkfresh Studios essentials slim cuts die, foam tape; (read relax repeat) Neenah white & Hero Arts yellow layering cardstock, MFT Dots & Stripes Fresh patterned paper, MFT Sunny Vibes & Our Story & Hero Arts sun stamps, Memento tuxedo black, Catherine Pooler tiara & tiki torch & mowed lawn distress inks, Copic markers, Sugar Pea Designs card builder elements die, red glitter Gelly Roll pen, foam tape

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Just Us Girls: Colour Challenge

I'm welcoming the weekend with my third Just Us Girls guest designer post! This week my friend Carol is asking us to use the colours GREEN, BLUE, and PINK to create our projects. Rather than use these to colour my card, I thought I would make them the backdrop: 

The three colours are blended onto a panel of Bristol cardstock. With a polka dot stencil, I blended more of same colours, letting them overlap on the shaded transitions. The floral image with added dragonfly is embossed in white over top. Finally, I added a simple sentiment. 

I think the possibilities with these three colours are endless - I hope you will come up with your own spin and join us! 

Supplies: Neenah white & Fabriano blue cardstock, Koh-I-Noor smooth Bristol, Echo Park Winter Wishes patterned paper, Unity Insightful Meadows, Paper Smooches Botanicals & Clearly Besotted Sweet Little Sentiments stamps, Versamark, Altenew Persian blue & tumbled glass, spun sugar & bundled sage distress inks, Wow white embossing powder, Heidi Swapp polka dot stencil, Sugar Pea Designs Card Builder Elements & MFT blueprints 29 dies

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Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Color Hues #2: Navy and Turquoise

Here we are at the second-ever Color Hues challenge! What a beautiful gallery we had for our first challenge; thank you so much for your enthusiastic turnout! For our new challenge, we are leaving yellow and green behind and moving on to NAVY and TURQUOISE.  I have a fraught relationship with turquoise - if such a thing is even possible. :D When I was a kid, my mother was "allergic" to turquoise - it gave her a migraine. But the lines between turquoise and aqua, or teal, or similar, were finely drawn, and might depend on who was wearing it. ;) So my understanding of this colour is not great. Fortunately, our challenge graphic is a great help. As is owning ONE ink pad named turquoise. ;) For me, nautical seemed the way to go:  

I've always liked this serene-looking sailboat, and often stamp it in navy, so chose to use it here. I masked the sail, then stamped the compass rose onto scrap paper before second-generation-stamping it behind the sail. Next I masked a straight line along the bottom of the boat so I could... SWINK! My friend Ardyth recently made close to a billion cards (I think she said eleven?) by making backgrounds where she swipes ink pads directly on her cardstock. My turquoise pad is ancient and therefore perfect for the wispy look I wanted.  The patterned paper behind the main panel is about as dark as turquoise can go... I think. :D 

And there we go - after confessing to my challenges with turquoise, I managed three hues of it! If I can do it, so can you - I hope you'll join us! 

Supplies: Neenah white cardstock, Echo Park Winter Wishes patterned paper, Unity Celebrate & Direction of Your Heart stamps, Colorbox turquoise & Altenew sapphire inks

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Saturday, September 12, 2020

Just Us Girls Trend Week

Welcome to the weekend, and my second Just Us Girls guest designer post! This week we are asking you to "Cut Into Thirds". When I was pondering various ideas, I came across the colour palette at the current Shopping Our Stash challenge, and a Halloween idea was born: 

I started by blending distress oxides on Bristol in three of the SOS colours, then splatted it with water. The bats are a background stamp from Catherine Pooler, stamped in black and embossed in holographic embossing powder. The sentiment on vellum is also embossed in the same powder. Fun thing about vellum - depending on the humidity, it wrinkles a bit as sen in my photos, but if the air is drier, it smoothes back out. Of course this always coincides with poor photography lighting. :D 

I hope you will pick something to "cut into thirds" and join the challenge! 

Supplies: Recollections black cardstock, Canson Bristol paper, vellum, Catherine Pooler Going Batty & Neat & Tangled Booed stamps, Versafine onyx black, fossilized amber, bundled sage & wilted violet distress oxide inks, holographic embossing powder, Spellbinders circle die

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Thursday, September 10, 2020

Seize the Birthday: Die Cuts

Welcome to another Seize the Birthday Thursday! For the next two weeks, we are challenging you to use only die cuts - with the option of a stamped sentiment, which I think is very generous of us. :D But if you're like me, and all die cuts aren't really your idea of a fun time, we love to see any newly made birthday card in our gallery!
Although stamping is my first love, I did take on the challenge of an all die cuts card, right down to the sentiment: 

The poppy is from Concord & 9th, and while I did consider adding my own shading to the petals and leaves, I decided I liked them as they were with the debossed details, deciding to just curl them a bit instead. (One advantage of late summer humidity, shaping cardstock is much easier.) To add some interest to the design, I smooshed a watercolour cover panel die cut with green ink. And even though that base layer is called "cream", to me it's pale yellow and I liked the touch of brightness. The sentiment is the same colour as the flower centre. 

Then I realized that while trying a new-to-me die for the first time is fun, I have a die set that I've been meaning to use for ages, and I really shouldn't skip this perfect opportunity! 

This cute little Papertrey Ink kitty is a hand-me-down from Ardyth - she had never cut the dies apart, and until this card, neither had I! Of course my first use had to be a grey card in homage to Duncan the cat. The balloons and embossed panel are both from my stash. This time I went for a stamped and embossed sentiment, underlining it and the kitty with some washi tape. 

So many beautiful die cut creations on the Seize the Birthday blog from my teammates as well as our new surprise party guest, Angie! Why not make a birthday card and join us? 

Supplies: (happy birthday) Stampin' Up ruby red & garden green, Papertrey ink smoky shadow & Fabriano cream cardstock, Canson watercolour paper, Stampin' Up garden green ink, Concord & 9th Pretty Poppy, Paper Smooches happy birthday & (?) horizontal striped cover plate dies; (happy purr-thday) Neenah white, Stampin' Up smoky slate, basic black & pink pirouette & (?) aqua cardstock, Sunny Studio Stamps subtle grey tones patterned paper, MFT Cool Cat stamp, Versamark, Wow white embossing powder, Papertrey Ink Kay's Critters Cuddly Cat, Lil Inkers stitched rectangle, MFT Blueprints 29 sentiment banner & (?) balloon dies, WRMK dotted embossing folder, black Sharpie pen, Twinery Caribbean twine, Queen & Co washi tape, foam tape

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Saturday, September 5, 2020

Snarky Stampers Are Friendly?

It's a Snarky Saturday! Our new challenge at the Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers is FRIENDS.  More than ever, I think we've all discovered the importance of family and friends during this long season of Covid-19. That's not to say there isn't still room for a little snark...

This is one of those cards where the sentiment came first. None of my snarkier friendship stamps were inspiring me quite enough (and that's a pandemic thing, too, isn't it? - struggling sometimes to find motivation...), and so I looked through my Tim Holtz snarky sentiment stickers and thought this was the one. :D This is also when I am glad I bought a "pound of rubber" on sale at Viva Las VegaStamps - sometimes in the assortment I will find just what I'm looking for. My window scene is watercolored with Gansai Tambi and Zig watercolours, and I went for a very clean and simple look. That's off-centre. Whatever. :D 

Lots of friendly inspiration on the Snarky blog, from my sistahs and our current guest designer, Beverly! Show your love - or your snarkiness - for your friends and join us! 
(This is my third post of the day! Scroll down for Inkspirational and Just Us Girls posts!) 

Supplies: Stampin' Up basic black cardstock, Canson watercolour paper, Viva Las VegaStamps Lady Looking Out Window stamp, Simon Says Stamp extreme black ink, Gansai Tambi watercolours, Zig markers, Tim Holtz small talk snarky sentiment sticker

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Inkspirational: Photo

Welcome to a new challenge at Inkspirational, and my second of three posts today! We have a fun photo inspiration for you - click on the photo above for a larger version, or check it out on the Inkspirational blog. 
Other than the rather muted colours (boo), one of the first things that jumped out at me in this scene is the large section of tree trunk. Since I knew I had a stamp I could use, I created my design to incorporate that.

From the photo, I also made use of the checkered floor, the balloons, and the streamers. Then I added a bear. :D For the balloon, I added sparkle and Glossy Accents. I decided not to use an overly specific sentiment, since a birthday is really only implied in the picture. 

So many fun projects from my design teammates - check them out and then I hope you will join us! 
(Please click here for my Just Us Girls guest post, and I'll be back soon with my Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers card!) 

Supplies: Neenah white cardstock, Memory box grey card base, MFT Bitty Bears, Simon Says Stamp/Kelly Purkey Oh Dear & (?) streamer stamps, Versafine onyx black & Memento London fog inks, Wow clear gloss embossing powder, Copic markers, Spectrum Noir clear sparkle brush marker, Glossy Accents

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Just Us Girls Guest Designer!

Woo hoo! The lovely design team at Just Us Girls has asked me to guest design with them for the month of September! And this week's word prompt seems ideal to kick off the September challenges: LEAVES. Although I'm not looking forward to the end of summer, I chose a fall palette of leaves anyway.

I used a trio of alcohol ink colours, plus a little gold, to create a Yupo sheet of autumn colours, then die cut my trio of maple leaves. The neutral, textured cardstock added some interest to the backing panel without taking away from the colourful leaves, I thought. Finally, a torn vellum strip with the sentiment embossed in gold, to bring out the bits of gold on the leaves. 

The talented team at JUGs have many interpretations of LEAVES to inspire you! I hope you will find time to join us - the challenge runs until midnight EDT Thursday. Thanks again for inviting me to play along this month! 
(This is the first of three posts today - I hope you will come back later for Inkspirational and the Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers!) 

Supplies: Papertrey Ink smoky shadow & Bazzill textured beige cardstock, Yupo paper, vellum, Hero Arts sympathy stamp, Versamark ink, Simon Says Stamp antique gold embossing powder, Jacquard Piñata señorita margarita, calabaza orange, sun bright yellow & rich gold alcohol inks, Poppy Stamps Maple Leaf & MFT diagonal stitched rectangle die

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Wednesday, September 2, 2020

ABC Christmas Challenge: S & T

The first Wednesday of the month means it's time for a new ABC Christmas Challenge! It's now September, so definitely time to start thinking about making Christmas cards if you haven't already. This month we have two prompts for you - S for SNOWY and T for TINSEL. Here is my snowy card: 

I decided to do a variation on a tag I made last year for Tracey's 25 Days of Christmas Tags. (It's the third tag on this post.) To start, I stamped, embossed and die cut a number of these pretty Studio Katia snowflakes. Then, in case this wasn't snowy enough, I used a snowflake stencil to dry-emboss the main panel. Before I adhered the snowflakes, I embossed the sentiment in silver. After adhering and trimming the die cuts, I edged the main panel in a silver Sharpie - in retrospect, I rather wish I hadn't, but I did, so there it is. :D 

My card for tinsel is a little more complicated: 

Before I did anything, I checked that the British definition for "tinsel" (Where ABC is based) was the same as mine - even in my household of two, there are two different definitions for tinsel! It does seem that tinsel can refer either to the long strips of shiny silver that get draped on a Christmas tree last, or the long strings of what I learned as a kid to call "garland". With that out of the way, I knew I was safe to use my tinsel ribbon from Stampin' Up. I decided the easiest way to use it was to create a wreath and wrap the tinsel around it. I smooshed some watercolour paper with green inks, cut out lots of evergreen sprigs, and assembled my wreath, adding a die cut bow as well. I hung my wreath on some woodgrain-embossed cardstock, and added a die cut sentiment. The sentiment has long been in my box o' Christmas stash, so the dot above the 'i' was nowhere to be found. Doesn't the silver Stickles work well?  
I've already been told I can make more of these. ;) 

Beautiful Christmas cards, as always, from my teammates will, I hope, inspire you to make some Christmas cards and join us! 

Supplies: (snowy) Neenah white cardstock, Studio Katia Snowflakes stamps & dies, Versamark ink, Brutus Monroe sterling shimmer & Ranger super fine detail silver embossing powder, Memory Box Winter Tiny Snowflakes stencil, silver Sharpie; (tinsel) Neenah white, scrap red & (?) silver glitter cardstock, Craft Smith red card base, Canson watercolour paper, bundled sage, mowed lawn & evergreen bough distress inks, Paper Smooches Wreath Builder, Baby Bow & Merry Christmas dies, Papertrey Ink woodgrain impression plate, Stampin Up silver trim tinsel, silver Stickles

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Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Welcome to Color Hues!

There's a new papercrafting challenge in town, and it's called Color Hues! At last it is time for our very first challenge. Color Hues is created by Nancy Leppek, who I'm sure many of you already know. The concept: twice a month we shall challenge you to use as many hues as you wish of the two colours we name (plus neutrals) in your project. The design team will always have projects to inspire you, and you may enter each challenge up to three times. 
Here are the colours for our first challenge! 

Using only yellow and green, my mind went right away to sunflowers. Here's my card with them: 

I have a few different sunflower images to choose from, but decided on these older ones from Papertrey Ink. (Come to think of it, none of my sunflower stamps are exactly new.) I "rock 'n' rolled" the sunflowers in light and medium yellow inks, then added the centres in the medium plus a dark yellow/gold ink. The leaves are also rock 'n' rolled in two shades of green, although the small size makes it hard to notice. Then I used the same two green inks with a leaf stencil; using the lighter green ink first, then rotating the stencil and using it again with the darker ink. I layered the sunflowers and leaves on, then tucked the sentiment into the space between the leaves. 

It's not every day you can play in a BRAND NEW challenge! The design team is offering lots to inspire you, then I hope you will come and play along! 

Supplies: Neenah white cardstock, Papertrey Ink Simple Sunflower stamps & dies, Studio Katia You're So Sweet stamp, Cathrine Pooler tiara, sauna & tiki torch, Memento bamboo leaves & Stampin' Up garden green inks, Winnie & Walter The Leaf Effect stencil, foam tape

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