Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Colour Challenge 360 - White Island Pool

Tuesday is the day for colour challenges at Splitcoaststampers. I played last week and found it really hard - somehow only having defined colours doesn't always point me in any one direction. It's almost too much like a blank page, which usually just leaves me with....a blank page!  This week was easy, though - white and greeny-blues are right up my alley!

I also took inspiration from this piece of artwork that I found on Etsy:

I love the depth of colour and clean graphic style. Who wouldn't be cheered up after seeing something like this?

I stamped the yellow flower centres then stamped over them with versarmark using a solid daisy shape and embossed the flowers with clear embossing powder. Next step was to sponge Pool Party and Island Indigo ink, with a sponge dauber, to get the background effect. Here it is:

What a nice, springy start to February - let's hope we continue with this fairly snow-less (at least here in Toronto) weather!

Stamps: Stamps Of Life
Paper: Whisper White, Gina K Pure Luxury
Ink: Pool Party, Island Indigo, Summer Sun, Versamark
Accessories: Black Copic Multiliner, Sponge Dauber, Clear Embossing Powder

Monday, 30 January 2012

Featured Stamper 260 - Wannabcre8tive

Each Sunday, Splitcoaststampers hosts a "Featured Stamper" challenge. We are supposed to pick one card from the Featured Stamper's gallery and CASE it. As I looked through Shirley's gallery, I couldn't narrow it down to one - I found four!

Here's the first one of Shirley's:

Love the crisp navy and white colour combination, the square card, the big circular flower. Here's my CASE:

Wouldn't it be fun to make a set of these in different colours?

The second one of Shirley's I chose because I absolutely love these colours on the craft background!  The white pops and I'm always a sucker for a snowflake:

 I would have loved to just remake her card exactly the way it was, but that's not really the point of the challenge:

The next two are Christmas cards from Shirley's gallery:

The first reminded me of an idea I had after Christmas. Every year, I make and donate the Christmas cards that our Church sends to members. The layout of this card had been rattling around in my mind for the 2012 cards, but with the word 'believe'. You often see that sentiment under Santa, but it applies equally, maybe even more, to baby Jesus. When I saw Shirley's card:

I knew it was time to put this idea onto paper:

I love the clean colour combination of silver, white and red. I think it echoes the simplicity of the message.

Finally, the Christmas star. Here's Shirley's starry sky on navy:

And here's mine:

Shirley - thank you so much for all the inspiration! I feel like I've got a head start on next Christmas already!

Navy Flower:
Stamps: Stampin' Up (Pick a petal), small  solid circle
Paper: Whisper White, Night of Navy
Ink: Night of Navy
Accessories: Stickles (to hide smudges!!) and circle punch for flower centre

Cherry Blossom tree:
Stamps: Stamin' Up (Season of Friendship, Little Pieces)
Paper: Sahara Sand, Whisper White
Ink: Soft Suede, Versamark
Accessories: White Embossing Powder, Red Copic marker

Stamps: Stampabilities, Papertrey Ink (Fresh Alphabet)
Paper: Whisper White, Cherry Cobbler
Ink: Versamark
Accessories: Silver Embossing Powder

O Holy Night:
Stamps: Inkadinkado (corner stars), Stampabilities (sentiment)
Paper: Whisper White, Gold Shimmer, Night of Navy, Gina K Pure Luxury
Ink: Night of Navy, Versamark
Accessories: Egyptian Gold Embossing Powder, Dark Blue Stickles, Champagne Stickles

Sunday, 29 January 2012

What was I thinking?

Damasklove is a blog I love to look at. Amber's style is clean and her eye is amazing. She has challenged us to take a card we made in the past, and redo it in our current style.

I started stamping in January 2006, after attending a Stampin' Up party hosted by my cousin. In my normal obsessive style, I immediately bought everything I could buy (embellishments, ribbon, inks, papers, tools) and learned every technique I could. And like many new converts, whether it be to religion or a new hobby or whatever, my fervour was high. Every card I made had to have everything I knew included in it! By Christmas of 2006, I was thinking I would make cards for the teachers' gifts. Better yet, I would make them sets of cards, in a unifying colour scheme. I made 4 or 5 different designs - I'm going to save the rest for the next "What was I thinking Challenge". Here is just one of these lovely creations:

What was I thinking?! The colour combination, the random, overdone stickles (and this is one of the cleaner ones in the sets). Ugh! And these poor women were so gracious and every one of them assured me that she loved the cards. That just makes me appreciate them even more!

But I love that flower and I wanted to make it a challenge, so I forced myself to remake this card with the same colours and stamps. I figured since I hated the colour combination so much, the best way to deal with it was to minimize the amount of colour used, and have lots of white space. Here it is:

 But a practically white card felt a bit like cheating, so I made another one. Same colours, different stamps:

I used a technique I learned on the damasklove blog  and shaded the stamped flowers with copic markers to give some more depth. My original intent was for this to be a portrait orientation, but I couldn't find the best 'fit' for the sentiment, which really wanted to fit right where it is. So landscape it is.

I like these cards so much better - what a fun challenge!

Live, Love, Laugh:
Stamps: Stampin' Up! Both Way Blossoms, Inkadinkado Alphabet
Paper: Whisper White, Certainly Celery, Gina K Pure Luxury
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Cool Caribbean
Accessories: Copic Markers, Fruit Punch Stickles

Little Baby:
Stamps: All Stampin' Up! solid flowers from various sets, Papertrey Ink (leaf)
Paper: Whisper White, Regal Rose
Ink: Memento London Fog, Certainly Celery, Always Apricot, Regal Rose
Accessories: Copic Markers

Saturday, 28 January 2012

CASE Study Challenge 75

The CASE study challenge for this week is this colourful get well card by Jen Razsa:

For my first card, I added some depth to the candles by 'feathering' the bases with copic markers. 

For the second card, I used my candle border punch. In my original vision of this card, I did not end up with the thickness of 6 layers of coloured card stock on the front, but then real life kicked in and man, does this card have (unintentional) dimension!  I do like the concentration of colour and overall, I think I prefer this one.

For my next post, a real "What was I thinking?!" and  re-do for the challenge at damasklove's blog.

Stamps: ? Candles, Waltzingmouse sentiment
Paper: Gina K Pure Luxury, Whisper White, Basic Black, Lucky Limeade, Pacific Point,  Concord Crush, Poppy Parade, Pumpkin Pie, Daffodil Delight
Ink: Versafine Black, Tangerine Tango, Summer Sun, Lucky Limeade, Pacific Point, Concord Crush
Accessories: Stampamajig, Birthday Candle border punch.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Inspiration Sources

While I love looking at the blogs of other cardmakers and also Splitcoaststampers.com, I've been trying to look in other places for inspiration, to avoid inadvertently 'stealing' other people's ideas. A couple of years ago, there was a tv show I enjoyed called Sarah's House. Sarah Richardson is a popular Canadian interior designer - I love her style - especially her calming colour palettes. The series followed her renovation of her own farmhouse. Similarly, Sarah's Cottage... well, you get the idea (although the cottage is on a private island - what a tough construction/renovation that must have been!)

The logo for Sarah's House is:

I still love the simplicity of the image and the cool colour scheme.

When my sister and her family moved into her long-awaited dream house, I shamelessly cased Sarah's logo for my own purposes:

I've been looking in unusual places for inspiration - I can't wait to show you some of the results!

Stamps: Parfait Alphabet - My Sentiments Exactly!
Paper: Brocade Blue, Old Olive, Gina K Pure Luxury White
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black
Accessories: Cricut Expressions cutter

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Happy Birthday Kara

I've seen at least two blogs with challenges to look back at your old cards and redo them - one is called the "What was I thinking" challenge. Well in the spirit of these challenges, I thought that I would show you the cards I've made for family members over the years. Some I don't have photos for, some I have TERRIBLE photos for and many, I really do wonder what was I thinking, but hey, it's all for fun, right?

Kara is my sweet niece, who lives in the UK. We don't see her very often, although we were lucky enough to have a fantastic vacation with the whole of my husband's family in France last summer, to celebrate my in-laws' 50th wedding anniversary.

So here are a few of Kara's cards.

2007 was a wheel that you could turn - it had 4 messages: Kara, Happy Birthday, 2, Love Struan and Katy

2009 (not sure where 2008 went!) - obviously my "more is more" period!

2011 (2010 appears to be MIA, but I recall a Cricut-cut "5" shaped card) - seems like yesterday!

And finally, 2012, in my current favourite girly colour combination:

I made both rings of dots by cutting a scalloped circle with a nestability and then using the reverse scalloped circle inside to cut away the centre.

I think it's fun to look back and see how styles (and hopefully skills!) evolve over time, don't you?

Supplies (2012 only)
Stamps: Inkadinkado Alphabet
Paper: Whisper White, Melon Mambo, Concord Crush, Pumpkin Pie, Green Sparkly (DCWV)
Ink: Melon Mambo, Concord Crush, Pumpkin Pie, Green Galore
Accessories: Scalloped Circle Nestabilities, Reverse Scalloped Circle Nestabilities, Stickles (dark blue and glam pink), Cuttlekids numbers, Cuttlebug

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

OLW 76 - Colour in Winter

Today's OLW challenge at Simplicity (http://simplicitybylateblossom.blogspot.com/2012/01/one-layer-wednesday-76-color-in-winter.html) is to make a card with a 'gallon' of grey, a 'quart' of white and an ounce of colour. Once again, as I was working on the 4th version of my first card (some cards just do not want to be made!), an idea for a completely different card came to me. So here they are, in order:

I have to admit that one-layer cards are not my strength. I always feel that they need a 'frame' of colour and so these may end up being 're-purposed' onto coloured card bases.


Stamps: Impression Obsession, Stampin' Up!, Papertrey Ink
Paper: Gina K Pure Luxury 120 lb
Ink: Memento London Fog, Melon Mambo, Summer Sunrise and Only Orange
Accessories: Stardust Stickles

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Splitcoast Stampers Inspiration Challenge # 320 - Land of Nod

The challenge was to find something inspirational on this website: http://www.landofnod.com/. I found this in the wall art section:
Love the colours and it also reminded me that I've been looking at those sunburst clocks and mirrors (you know the ones!) with an idea to use some border stamps to produce a similar effect. 

My first attempt at this was quite literal (although no actual peacock):

I used one stamp (a line of circles joined by a black line) and stamped it repeatedly and then coloured it with Copics.

Then I thought again. Some of my favourite card makers see an inspiration piece and are really able to get to the essential elements of the inspiration piece to produce beautiful clean and simple cards that still relate back. So I asked myself what I thought the core elements of a peacock are and came up with 'colour' and the circular fan shape. I used another border stamp (just a line of circles) to create this:

I don't think it screams 'peacock' - but maybe if you really listen, you'll hear a whisper....

Stamps: Stamps of Life (Borders 4 Me)
Paper: Whisper White, Pacific Point, Concord Crush
Ink: Tuxedo Black Memento
Accessories: Copics, Stickles

Sympathy Cards - A Sad Good bye to Shoelace Untied

Last week, my sister's horse needed colic surgery. My sister is an equine surgeon and was able to perform the surgery as well as the emergency tracheotomy he needed in the recovery stall. Despite her skill and the care given to him at the clinic and the prayers and good thoughts of many, many people, Shoe never fully recovered and my sister had to put him down. These are the cards that I made to send to my sister and the other lady who owned Shoe.

I only 'met' Shoe once - and from a respectful distance (I'm not the animal lover in the family)! But he was beautiful and spirited and brought my sister and his other 'owner' so much joy, and I loved him for that. Good-bye Shoe.

Somewhere in time's own space
There must be some sweet pastured place
Where creeks sing on and tall trees grow
Some paradise where horses go, 
For by the love that guides my pen
I know great horses live again
-Stanley Harrison-

Paper: Gina K Pure Luxury White and Cream, Island Indigo, Soft Suede, Early Espresso, Green DP (Basic Grey)
Stamps: Deadbeat Designs (horses), Kitchen Sink Stamps (horseshoe)
Ink: Island Indigo, Soft Suede, Early Espresso
Accessories: Cuttlebug, Circle Nestabilities.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

One inspiration, multiple cards

I love jewellery (I hear laughs from those who how much of an understatement this is!) and I love bright colours - in order, otherwise known as 'rainbow'. I found a photo  of a simple gold chain with brightly coloured tear-drop stones. I also loved the rainbow found in the RIC Challenge at http://runwayinspired.blogspot.com/ (although I admit I thought the bag just put it over the top! LOL!).  The necklace was photographed in a spiral and literally spoke to me (it said "BUY ME"). But I really have enough jewellery, so I did the next best thing - I made it into some cards. I started with this one:

It made me happy. Loved the white space and the bright colours (used copics to add dimension to the tips and a small spot of stardust stickles for shine (forgetting of course that you can't apply stickles to Stampin' Up reds or pinks without them changing colour!).

But I couldn't really connect it to the gold necklace. So I made this one:

And it made me happier. Yes, there is less white space, but the smaller darker portion inside each shape  makes it feel groovy to me. I'm going to use this for my Mother-in-law's birthday which is next week. But I still hadn't included the spiral that was in the original...... so I took another shot and here's the result:

I'm less happy with this one - it's my favourite layout (circle on a square) but I left out a couple of the colours and it just doesn't sing to me as well as the others.

Which one do you like best?

Stamps: Papertrey Ink (Modern Basics), Stamps of Life
Paper: Whisper White, Perfect Plum, Basic Black, Gold Mirror, Night of Navy, Silver Mirror
Ink: Stampin' Up!  Perfect Plum, Pacific Point, Real Red, Morning Marigold, Summer Sun, Melon Mambo, Lucky Limeade, Pumpkin Pie, Crushed Concord, Night of Navy, Cherry Cobbler, Tangerine Tango,  Rose Red, Always Artichoke
Accessories: Cuttlebug and Nestablities, Gold embossing powder, stickles

Friday, 20 January 2012

OLW 75 - a day of "firsts"!

I made these cards to participate in my first-ever challenge - the One-layer Wednesday challenge hosted by Susan Raihala at simplicitybylateblossom.blogspot.com. About half of my extended family's birthdays fall between January 11 and March 5 and most of them are male, so this is a challenging time for me each year! I'll probably use these for my husband and one of my brothers-in-law.

I bought this star stamp at Michael's last night. I love the heavy lines and the ability to use it in more than one way. Now, which one to link to Susan's blog?

Supplies: Stamps: Unity, Stampin' Up!, Recollections
Paper: Gina K Pure Luxury White 120 lb
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black
Accessories: Copics, Stickles

First Post

It's taken me a while to work up to starting a blog. I have no idea what I'm doing, but I'm looking forward to learning! First, to figure out how to upload photos.