Saturday, 30 June 2012

CFC 59 - Round and Round

This week's Casual Friday Challenge is called Round and Round - use two circles. There's just not much more to say about this card (except that what looks like Bashful Blue to me here is actually a piece of my precious hoard of Cool Caribbean - I wonder what colour it would look like if I had actually used Bashful Blue?!)

Fiskar's daisy punch, 5/8" circle punch and circle nestabilities. Papertrey sentiment stamped in Versafine Onyx (takes a while to dry, but it's crisp and it's BLACK).

Friday, 29 June 2012

OLW94 - Size Matters

This week's One-Layer-Wednesday challenge is hosted by Cheryl. She challenged us to make a card that is not a standard 4.25 x 5.5 size. I rarely do, anyway (most of my cards are 4.25x4.25 - they're square, but still fit in the regular envelopes and therefore do not require extra postage) but I figured the point of the challenge was to do something different.

This card is 3.5 x 4.75 (started out as 3.5 x 5, but there was a quarter-inch of air above that top tank!).

I will make a bunch of cards in this (or slightly different) designs for my son to use as his thank-yous after his recent birthday.

The tank is from DeNami (fluffy chick removed as explained here) and the sentiment uses Lawnfawn's Harold's Alphabet.

I just showed it to my son - he loves it! (of course right now he's practically drunk on the feeling of school being out - he may not be quite so enthusiastic when it comes time to write them all!)

Other business: If you are the person who liked the bird stamp from Michael's in this post, please email me at - I found the stamp and can mail it to you if you still need it!

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Vanity Plate Birthday

This card uses MFT's Vanity License Plate set. It comes with a die in the shape of a license plate and I thought it would be so fun to make vanity-plate cards. It's also a great alphabet on its own. To make this card, I stamped HAPPY twice, one right over the other. The Birthday panel is separate and popped up on dimensionals so that you can only see the top half and bottom half of the HAPPY letters.

You clever people will have noticed that Birthday has 8 letters, but there are only 7 in the rainbow (actually, really only 6 because it's impossible to find an 'indigo' inkpad!). So I added Turquoise and Melon as my extra colours.

I like versatile designs that you can use for different occasions. You could do Merry Christmas like this as well. Changing the alphabet (or all lower case?!) would also change the feeling. The possibilities are endless - and that's what makes this hobby so much fun!

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

RS17, PDCC 137 - Splash of Blue

For this week's Retrosketch,

and for this week's Playdate Cafe Colour challenge. (Edited to add: I was too late, so this card is not in the collection).

I used a Schlosser Designs sentiment, Papertrey star background and star. I'm struggling with the glare in my photos and am working on becoming better at the photography part of this hobby. It's tricky! I'm using the camera on my phone because our Nikon is not working properly and we're trying to decide whether to get a new one or fix what we've got (if we even can fix it!). I noticed that a number of the blogs I follow had posted photography tips today - I'll have to go back and have a closer look. But once they start talking ISO and aperture, I quickly get lost!

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

LIM74/FS281 - Paper Piecing

This year is our 15th wedding anniversary. I'm working on a '15 things I love about you' project, but Laura's card inspired me to also make an anniversary card. I used a DeNami 'love' stamp and various clear hearts. I found  SU! designer paper to paper piece the hearts, to incorporate this week's Less Is More challenge. Finally I added the little red hearts and the 'xv' for 15.

(Laura's inspiration photo)

On to other business: Lura asked for more detail about the horse stamp used in these cards.
It is a 2" square wood-mounted stamp (I'm sure it was originally in the $1 or $1.50 bin at Michael's). One side of the stamp says : Hampton Art, Washington NC, 27889, Made in China, copyright 2009, Designed for Studio g. The other side has a barcode with number 7  29632 10168 7. I hope you find it. I looked on ebay (where I got mine) on Monday morning for you - no luck. If you want, please email me at and send me your address - I can stamp a bunch for you and send them to you.

Monday, 25 June 2012

FS281 - Happy Birthday Struan, With Apologies to Laura

As you know, until frighteningly recently, I had no idea what I wanted to make for my son's 13th birthday card. That's not quite 100% true - I had a few little ideas. I wanted to use this tank stamp that I purchased (and altered) from DeNami designs (chicks aren't his thing - at least not the little fluffy kind!). And of course, he and his friends played paintball for most of the day on Saturday, so that's another theme I wanted to go with.

Then Sunday came, the day of Splitcoaststamper's Featured Stamper challenge. Laura O'Donnell was the chosen one this week. I scanned her gorgeous gallery, hoping against hope that she had made the perfect card for my son. Not a tank or paint splatter in sight (but many, many beautiful cards!). 

When I found this one, I loved the ring of birds. Hmmm. A ring of tanks? Laura, I'm SO SORRY!

I'm happy with his card and I know he will be too. Despite being a teen-age boy with every gross and annoying thing that comes with that, he's also one of my biggest fans and gets excited when I get a new follower on my blog or win an award for a card.

Happy Birthday, Struan! And "Many Tanks", Laura!

(CSS Alpha Duo, Lawn Fawn Harold's Alpha, Michael's paint splatters, Kaleidecolor Flannel inkpad)

Sunday, 24 June 2012

FS281 - Casing Laura

This week's Featured Stamper at Splitcoaststampers is Laura O'Donnell. It will come as no surprise to you that I chose this card of Laura's to case:

I used Uniko's graphic flower from the Time set, and The Craft's Meow Typically Teen set for the stripes and the splatters. I think the flower makes it too feminine to be my son's birthday card, but I've got an idea..... See you tomorrow!

CFC58 - Pretty in Pink

This card is for this week's CAS-ual Friday challenge, Pretty in Pink. It was inspired by this photo from Pinterest:

I started with an old daisy punch from McGill. This punch will not go through cardstock, so I had to think about how to make graduated pink daisies without using the various shades of pink cardstock. In the end, I found some leftover creamy shimmer paper that I had used in the distant past for some wedding invitations. I used four of my copics to make blocks of colour on the shimmer paper and then cut the daisies from there. Stampin' Up pearls and an unknown Thank you (Clear and Simple?). This will be a pretty card for my girlfriend who took my daughter all day on Saturday so that I could focus on my son's paintball party (an unqualified success, by the way, but man, it would be an expensive hobby!) Still no card for his birthday on Monday. I'm sure some inspiration will hit.....(soon, please!!)

Saturday, 23 June 2012

IC342 - My Sweet Muffin

I haven't had time to play along with the Splitcoaststamper Inspiration Challenge for a while. This week's site is My Sweet Muffin, a baby shop, where there are plenty of sweet little muffins! My inspiration came from this game:

I used Green Galore and Gable Green, Summer Sunrise (with Cystal effects for shine and dimension) and Real Red cardstock. Papertrey daisy die and an oval nestability for the ladybug, which was then just coloured with a black marker and popped up on a dimensional.

Thanks Ever so Much

This is a thankful time of year. It's time to say thank you to all those teachers and leaders that have spent so much time with our kids since last September. It's hard to believe that yet another school year is drawing to a close and summer and its fun activities are just around the corner.

I started this card as a Retrosketch #16 card. As you know, my card for that challenge ended up like this.  I started with two stamps from Paper Smooches Reflections set (the swirl and the blossom), and my trusty Kaleidecolor Spectrum inkpad. I kept adding dots until I got to this point, where it just felt finished. I just didn't know where to put the next dot, so I stopped. Sometimes cards tell you very clearly when you're finished.

I knew that this wouldn't do for Retrosketch #16, where the design needed to go right across the card. I also knew that I didn't want to cut it for my usual 4.25x4.25 card because I felt that the brightly coloured pattern really needed lots of white to let it breathe. So I grabbed this loopy Paper Smooches sentiment and am quite happy with the result.

Now I'm down to the wire for my son's 13th birthday, which is Monday. No card. No idea. Very little time due to his paintball (apparently it hurst - why would anyone want to do that?!) birthday party on Saturday and a church children's choir bbq on Sunday. Well, sometimes when we're under pressure we do our best work. Please, please, please let this be one of those times!

Friday, 22 June 2012

Pinterest Inspired - Wave

One of my cyber-friends, Deborah, pinned this the other day. I'm always fascinated by bright colours on dark backgrounds and I try to think of ways to achieve that look. These two cards are the results of this method:
Start with a 4x2 piece of white. Colour with copics (I started in the middle and went to each end - coloured yellow then green (then went over the edge of the green with yellow, to blend). Cut a 4x4 piece of black cardstock (second one was 4x3 7/8, to allow for the cut line in the centre). Glue coloured panel to white cardbase and then position black pieces (oh yes, I embossed the sentiment in silver before I put the black on the card).

For the first one, I really was trying to get the 'fuzziness' of the line in the original by using a grass border punch. Not sure I achieved that, but it's kind of cool in its own way. I think the second one (cut with my Creative Memories curvy cutter) is my favourite.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

OLW 93 - Take 2 - Sweet Kitchen Inspiration

For this week's OLW challenge - be inspired by something in your kitchen. 

I baked cookies yesterday and spent some time today perfecting the mix of mustard and caramel ink to make my  stamped cookies. Cinnamon stickles for the chocolate chips. Papertrey frame embossed in silver for the baking sheet. Schlosser Design sentiment.

Retrosketch 16 - N@ Ali

OK, this was HARD! But N@ and I started blogging and following each other at about the same time and I just LOVE her uber-cool style, so I felt I had to at least give Retrosketch #16 a good try!

N@'s original card used the colours of the rainbow, so I went with that (the one thing I felt comfortable with!) I just kept opening up my stamps and seeing if I could find something that would fit into this design. One of my favourite elements on N@'s card is the piece of cardstock wound with twine or thread. Such a clever way to add interest and texture. I tried to echo that with my big bolt stamp.

One thing I'm noticing here (having used mostly new SU! inkpads) is a certain 'graininess' to the ink coverage. Not sure about that. Have you had similar experience? Could it be the outrageous heat? (Apparently today (Wednesday) it's hotter here in Toronto than in Honolulu!)

ETA - I got a Retrosketches Shout Out for this one!

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

OLW93 - Kitchen Inspiration

This week's OLW challenge , hosted by Heather, is to make a card inspired by something in your kitchen. How cool is that? I immediately ran to my kitchen and took photos of everything I thought could inspire a card. This is the first one, based on a Crate and Barrel plate from last Christmas - I just love that wonky design! I started my first TWO attempts by trying to randomly stamp all the j's then all the o's then all the y's. (You know that the definition of stupid is to try the same thing but hope for a different result, right?) So on the THIRD time, I tried a different method. I put each stamp on its own block and worked from left to right, to try and get as many letters to fit into the masked space as possible. Much better!

Telling a Story

A while ago, I posted this card as part of a challenge to use dots.

One anonymous reader left a comment that she liked it in an off-the-wall way and that it triggered a story in her head. I thought that was funny, because when I made that card, it told me a story too and today's card is the story. I saw the chevrons as water and stamped the Impress stamp in Kaleidecolor Caribbean. I then masked the top row of the chevrons, stamped the sun in Kaleidecolor Desert and used the same large solid circle to make the 'land' in garden green. I used another mask and a little Christmas tree stamp from an old Papertrey set - these trees are just two different lengths of the tip of that stamp. Added some sparkle to the water, as you would get during a beautiful sunset and voila - a lovely Happy Summer card for my daughter's french teacher who tends to go to the wilderness in the summer (I don't blame her at all - she deserves some peace and quiet!). I'm still trying to get the sentiment right - when you put "Happy Summer" into the Google translator, you get "Ete Heureuse" while my rusty french mind thinks it should be "Bonne Ete". Any help would be appreciated!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

OLW92 - Stampin' on the Edge

My idea was to create a different kind of an edge to stamp along, rather than being stuck with a straight edge (I hope that's ok!). I'm pretty happy with this  - I love how these colours (Kaleidecolor Spectrum) seem to glow and jump right off the page. But it's so hot here and the clear circle stamps are so gummy that they were sliding around a little and the stamped circles aren't quite perfect. I'll have to remake this card on a cooler day, but I'm almost out of time for this week's One-Layer-Wednesday challenge - to stamp near the edge. Papertrey sentiment.

Edited to add: Oops! I just realized that although I didn't stamp off the rounded edge, I stamped off the side and bottom edge, so this doesn't actually qualify!

Better Late than Never? FS280 - Emily Keaton

I chose this card of Emily's because of the layout, which I saw differently than reality (people who know me will know that this is not an uncommon occurence!). Emily's card has a black front with photo corner die cuts on each corner. I saw it as a white card with a cool black shape on top and then a lovely big circle in the middle of the square (my favourite). I used a Hero Arts Chrysanthemum outline stamp and copics. I used Melon Mambo, and Basic Black, this week's Dynamic Duo challenge colours.

Sticking with the Dynamic Duo colours for this week, I echoed Emily's graphic use of rings on the background. Hmmm. Does this need a black frame around the white layer? You know I love a good black frame!  Stampin' Up (Mixed bunch flower and Fabulous Phrases thanks).

Thanks for the inspiration, Emily, and congratulations on being this week's Featured Stamper!

Monday, 18 June 2012

LIM 72 - Something Shiny

Wow! What a weekend - I spent pretty much every minute of it with at least one of my kids - birthday parties, shopping, visiting a friend in the hospital (she'll be fine, thanks!) - very little crafting time but time enough for this simple, shiny card with a bold black sentiment and frame.

For this week's Less is More challenge - Something Shiny. Soft stone and black cardstock, black ink. Cuttlebug flower die (cut in white with a 1/2 inch black centre), 1/4 inch circle punch in turquoise, melon, plum, lime and pumpkin pie.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Happy Horsey Birthday

I have a little friend called Trinity who is turning three later in the week. This is her birthday card. She loves horses and reminds me of another little girl I once knew who loved horses and is now an equine surgeon in Wisconsin (my sister). So while I had the stamps out, I made this card for my sister to give to her girlfriend's son, who will be turning one soon. The horse stamp is a Studio G, which I think means Michael's $1.50 bin, but I found it on e-bay and paid a little more for it. Stamped in Versafine Onyx and embossed in clear. The balloons and hat are from TSG's "Numbered Days" and I used Lawnfawn Harold's Alpha for the 3-pony-card and PTI happy birthday for the red and blue card.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Pinterest Inspired Arcs

When I found this pin on Pinterest, I rushed right to my craft room to make a card based on this amazing graphic design. I used a rainbow stamp and copics (Stamps of Life sentiment). You don't get the same 3D feel of the original (that just takes my breath away!), but I'm happy with it - the bright colours look like stained glass in the shaded arcs - just like a church.

Edited to add: Lydia chose this card for the Splitcoast Facebook page on Saturday! Wow!

Friday, 15 June 2012

Merry Christmas

For this week's Freshly Made Sketch. I had to laugh when I saw the blog - under the title, it asks "Will you be the Queen of Clean". Let me tell you, my cards are the only area where it's even a possibility! lol!

Also for this week's Casual Friday challenge to use acetate or vellum.

I seem to be focused on Christmas lately. I wanted the strip down the side to be one word and the "sentiment" element to be another, so I guess now that I think about it, it could have been Happy on the strip and Birthday on the bottom, or Thank on the strip and You on the bottom. Actually, the possibilities now appear to be endless, but it didn't occur to me at that point, so Merry Christmas it is!

The snowflake is an old Cuttlebug die cut from vellum, edged in Stardust Stickles. Christmas is a masked part of a big DeNami stamp and the Merry is unknown. Raspberry Ripple and Gumball green ink.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

OLW92 - Stampin' on the Edge

For this week's One-Layer-Wednesday, to stamp on the edge of the card without stamping off the edge of the card.

Also, a last minute submission for Casual Friday's challenge to use dots. And my dots have dots, so this one is doubly qualified! lol!

Papertrey dot, Waltzingmouse happy, Hero Arts Birthday.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Colour Challenges

This card is for this week's Colour Q challenge. I love these colours together. Blue and green are my go-to for masculine cards, but I wanted to use the negatives from the die cut from this card sitting on my desk. I didn't think any of us needed to see another Joy to the World card in the middle of June, so I went for Peace on Earth instead. I left the 'earth-cuts' on the Cricut cutting mat while I stamped Stamps of Life 'peace'. Memory box bird fussy-cut and popped up on dimensionals.

This card, for this week's Dynamic Duo colour challenge looks black, but it's Basic Gray - so is the ink. This is one of two new stamp sets I ordered from Stampin' Up - you'll recall (maybe not, it's been a while!) that I make horse cards for my equine-surgeon-sister to give to her friends and clients so I'm always excited to see new horse images. Instead of layering the white onto regal rose, I masked the centre with a smaller square and sponged the edges with the pink ink. I like the slightly uneven effect you get with the sponging - I'll do that again for sure.

This is another of the new inkpads - this one was juicy and quite easy to stamp with, although I did have to let the ink dry. I don't know if the in-colours just have less ink in them, because I definitely found them harder to work with than the Basic Gray.

One reader mentioned yesterday that she finds that the SU! pads are harder to open in the humidity of the summer. That got me thinking (and remembering how puzzled I was by the design of these pads when I first started stamping, and how puzzled I still am if a top ever comes off and I have to re-attach it!) I definitely notice a difference stamping in different seasons. Clear stamps are very soft in the heat, and even the rubber ones are a little different. I'm not sure I've ever connected my difficulty opening the inkpads to the humidity, but I did find my new pads stiff and difficult to open, so not sure if it's because they're new, or because of the weather. Interesting.... Do you notice any differences in different weather?

FTL #194 & New Stampin' Up! Goodies

For this week's Fall-to Layout:

Impress flower, SU! Thank you, various dots. Gumball Green, Midnight Muse, Raspberry Ripple ink. Raspberry Ripple and Whisper White cardstock.

I spent some time with my new inks this afternoon. As predicted, I'm loving the 3 colours I used above.I ordered the cardstock pack so I could see them all, but only got the 3 inkpads used here - pretty sure I won't order Starfruit, and the jury's out on Primrose Petal. I find with these in-colours that you can often just get away with another permanent colour - do you find that? Except Cool Caribbean - I'm still sad that we don't have that one anymore!

As for the firm foam ink pads, I haven't really decided what I think. They are definitely different from the old pads and some of them are very juicy (there's ink EVERYWHERE - especially on my clear blocks). I tried different techniques for getting full coverage on the flower (wood-mounted rubber) - this is about the sixth one I stamped - Raspberry Ripple was not so juicy. It was certainly more than the 'tap-tap' that I've heard about, but not as much as the 'tap-tap-push-twist-tap-tap' that the old ones were. I tried the inks with both rubber and clear stamps. I think it's going to be an ongoing journey while I get used to them.

The "thank you" is from a set called "Made for You" - it's one of 2 (yes, only 2!) new sets that I bought. Still waiting for my catalogue (given up on Stampin' Up! mailing list - called my Demo who has sent me one, but it hasn't arrived yet).

All in all, a fun afternoon with my new goodies - let me know what you've ordered and what you think!

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Retrosketch #15 - Joy to the World

I seem to be stuck on a theme.....

Cricut-cut globe (Graphically Speaking), Technique Tuesday stamp, Tinsel stickles and copics

My thoughts for my card for this week's Retrosketch started with thinking I would use a half-circle with a long strip for my sentiment for this sketch (and no ribbon, lol!). As I was putting everything away from yesterday's Joy to the World card, I came across this fun-to-colour,  long sentiment. Then I thought that my half-circle could be half of the world and Joy to the World seemed like the only possible card I could make!

I'm out of time for today, but I feel like I would like to explore some options with this card - maybe a blue theme, so that the earth could be more recognizable as itself? Any suggestions?

My new Stampin' Up! firm-foam pads arrived, but late in the day, so I haven't really tried them out yet. Tomorrow, I promise, and you can count on me to tell you what I really think. (And I also promise not to have another Christmas card!).