Sunday, 30 September 2012

CFC72 - Toot Your Own Horn

This week's CASual Friday challenge is really interesting. Make a card inspired by your own blog header.

When I saw this, I 'raced' back to my blog and heaved a huge sigh of dismay. Man, if I had known something like this was coming along, I would have made my header a lot more, ahem, INTERESTING.

That's not to say I don't like my blog header - Minna did a great job incorporating the elements I wanted (the capital MASK and the little mask at the end), but it's not really going to generate a lot of inspiration for cards, now is it? lol!

As it turns out, I have the perfect stamp - this huge DeNami Merry Christmas is just the thing. I stamped it in versamark and embossed it with Silver Lightning embossing powder (you can't see that my blog header is sparkly, can you? lol!)

Saturday, 29 September 2012

FTL 209 - Merry Christmas

Have you noticed that I seem to be in full-on Christmas mode?  I don't send Hallowe'en cards - it just doesn't feel like a card-sending occasion to me. (That hasn't stopped me from purchasing a drawerful of adorable images that I have just in case, though!)

I make Christmas cards all through the year, but I really ramp up around this time of year. September feels like I'm at the top of the first really big hill on a roller coaster. Once school starts, the rollercoaster starts and I just hold on until I arrive back at the station that is Christmas. It's so busy, but it's also so fun!

This card uses Fall To Layout 209 from Clean and Simple Stamping:

It doesn't get much simpler than this - 3 stripes glammed up with some Stickles and a simple Papertrey sentiment. What a versatile layout - you could use it for any occasion just by changing the colours and the sentiment.

Friday, 28 September 2012

OLW 107 - MASKing

This week's One Layer Wednesday is being hosted by Karen. The challenge is to use masking. Remember last week, the challenge was to use sponging?

I tend to confuse masking and sponging in my mind because I often do both together, like last week. So this week I decided to do masking with no sponging. Amazing how my mind works, isn't it? lol!

I masked a 1/2 inch strip across the front of the card and then stamped the Impress snowflake in stamped-off London Fog and versamark (so it wouldn't be completely colourless). I pulled off the mask and embossed the snowflake bits with iridescent embossing powder.

Then I scored each side of the masked strip and stamped Annabelle Stamps "Joy" in real red.

You will have noticed that I've photographed this card on a red background. And now you know my little secret about one layer cards (especially white one layer cards). I always think they look better with a coloured frame around them. Gasp!

Also, it's much easier for a camera (at least my camera and my limited photography and photo editing skills) to deal with high contrast images. Here's what the photo looked like on my normal white background:

So, you can see that I continue to struggle with photography, but I figure that the whole world struggles with it, otherwise there would be no Photoshop, right? lol!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Casing Bethany

(Oops - this was supposed to be Thursday's post - I'm struggling with Blogger (actually, I'm struggling with my BRAIN, but I'm going to blame it on Blogger!)

Yesterday as I was on my walk, I saw a kid wearing a striped hoodie in these colours. I just love them! Masculine, but not the usual olive and navy and brown. But I wasn't sure what to do with them until I saw this card by Bethany:

Is that a cool idea or what? (and be amazed at how all her stripes are exactly the same width and length - I am!) So I took my two pieces of inspiration and put them together and made a card that really, really feels like me. Even though there are no Stickles! lol!

 I used masking (this week's One Layer Wednesday challenge, at Karen's blog), but it's more than one layer, so I can't link it up for that. But don't be surprised if you see these colours again!

FS294 - Casing Jackie. Again.

This is my second card for this week's Featured Stamper challenge at Splitcoaststampers. It was inspired by this card by Jackie:

I used the flower from Mixed Bunch (Stampin' Up) and the leaf is from Modern Basics (Papertrey). I am still searching for a lighter grey cardstock (Basic Grey here) and would be happy if you let me know the name of your favourite - I'd really like one that's almost silver, without being metallic. My sentiment is a woodblock stamp that has no markings on it whatsoever.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

CASology 12 - SHOE

This week's CASology Cue Card is SHOE!

As I was thinking about this challenge, I remembered that I'm falling behind in making some horsey cards for my sister, the equine surgeon, to give to her friends and clients. So I used a horse shoe from Stampin' Up's latest horse/western set, Horse Frontier. Horseshoes are full of luck when they're positioned like this, so I went with that sentiment, using Stampin' Up's Contempo Alphabet and The Stamps of Life Mini4ABC. The flowers in the horseshoe are an from an old Inky Antics clear set, the stem is probably from a Papertrey set.

Now, gallop away and show us your shoes! But first, drop by and see what the other members of the design team have created:

Monday, 24 September 2012

FS294 - Casing Jackie

This week's Featured Stamper is Jackie Rockwell. She is a wonderfully talented lady who has a Cameo Silhouette (or is it Silhouette Cameo - I can never remember). I am convinced that she also heads up "the conspiracy" to make me want and purchase a Cameo. So far I have resisted, but every time I see one of her Cameo cards on the Cameo Spotlight blog, it gets harder and harder. And Christmas is coming!

I absolutely love Jackie's work and quite a few of my 'all-time favourites' are her cards. When I commented on  this card that Jackie submitted to the CASology  SKY challenge last week,

she told me that she had almost 'dedicated' it to me - she knew that it was in my style - favourite layout, bright colours and simple shapes. Isn't it fun how we get to know each other and recognize the designers of cards even before we click?

I knew I just had to CASE it for this challenge. I really wish I had had more time on Sunday to do some more cards (and I may still do more later in the week), but life got in the way, as it does! lol!

It was not my original intention to have a star that was completely sparkly, but a Stickles 'accident' made it a necessity! Fortunately, no one was hurt! I cut the star with two Nestabilities and then sponged it with Honey and Marmalade distressed inks. I edged it in Stickles and then laid it down to dry. Then I put something down on top of it (the accident) and to fix it, just smeared the Stickles around a bit with my finger. All fixed!

Sunday, 23 September 2012

OLW106 - Joy!

I decided to give this week's One Layer Wednesday challenge another go. Heather is hosting this week and the challenge is to use sponging. I used a Tim Holtz Mover and Shaker die to create a mask out of my brand new 5x7 post it notes and then sponged each cut out portion with a different colour.

This was inspired by this photo on my Inspiration Board on Pinterest:

:: Berlin Poster - Remy Sanchez ::

Saturday, 22 September 2012

CFC 71 - Thanks

This week's CASual Friday challenge is Fall Fun. So here are some fun falling leaves! lol! I love the '70s colour combination in this little 'stained glass' leaf from Paper Smooches Gently Seasoned set. I rounded the opposite corners to emphasize the movement of the leaves from top left to bottom right - did it work? Little dabs of Diamond stickles at one end of each leaf just because I like a little sparkle on my cards.

I really love stained glass - so much that a few years ago, I took a course through the Toronto District School Board's Continuing Education department. I had a wonderful teacher who let us design what we wanted to make and helped us, really just letting us use class time as studio time. Here is the result, that hangs in my kitchen.

I designed it myself to fit my kitchen window, loosely based on a Frank Lloyd Wright design called The Tree of Life and the materials that we had available in the class. I really needed to make two of these (this window has a matching window to the left), but that was a little ambitious for an 8 week course (I barely finished this one and you can easily see that the lines do not all line up perfectly!). When I registered to take the course again and make the matching window, the teacher had changed, and she had a firm idea that every person in the class would be making the same project. Maybe one day, I'll find a way to make another one, in the meantime, this is a fun reminder of me with a soldering iron in my hot little hands!

Friday, 21 September 2012

The Fall Birthday Rush Begins....

I'm starting to play around with all the birthday cards I need to make for my niece and five nephews who have their birthdays between October 4 and December 11. Even though my niece's birthday is not first, I find making the boys' cards harder, so I left them for later! I like this colour combination (in fact, I used it for her birthday last year, too!). The layout was inspired by a front door I saw on my walk this morning - it was all one colour (pale natural wood), but definitely had the half-circle panel on the left side, where the door knob was. (Glad I remembered it long enough to actually make the card! lol!) I masked the circle before stamping the stripes (Papertrey Faux Ribbon) and adding sparkly stripes with Stardust Stickles. I used The Stamps of Life Mini4ABC for the 'sentiment'.

This year's card is a little sleeker than last year's card, which I found in my old photos (pre-blog!). Here's the telescoping card I made for Ellie last year. Obviously, these photos were taken before I realized that she was only turning 11 at that time (easily fixed, before I gave it to her!). 

Thursday, 20 September 2012

OLW 106 - MASKing

This week's One Layer Wednesday challenge is being hosted by Heather, the Queen of sponging. And the Queen has decreed that this week's challenge will include sponging.

I admit that sponging is not always my favourite technique because it's messy and unpredictable (probably if I did more of it, it would become more predictable!). But the texture you get is deeper than stamping, and the wonderful blending possibilities are endless.

Although I've made a couple of cards recently where I used sponging to achieve blending (this sympathy and Christmas card), I knew I wanted to make a card that had more precise images this time. I used one big mask with all the circles cut out so that I wasn't moving paper around and exposing bits that I knew I wanted to be smudge-free! I rounded the (unknown) sentiment to fit.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

LIM85 - Out of this world!

This week's Less is More challenge is to use an oval. I used 31 (who, me? competitive? lol!).  After all those ovals, I  had to mat the image on a circle, just for a change!

The stamps are from The Unity Stamp Company.

On another note, the official start of my favourite time of year came yesterday while I was in the grocery store. I'm talking about my first sighting (and tasting, although that was after I had paid!) of Honeycrisp apples. They're soooo good, but we only seem to see them in the fall, so I'm guessing that they don't store (or travel) as well as other apples for some reason. And I just found a new recipe in my Looneyspoons Collection cookbook for cinnamon-raisin bread pudding with warm apples - it's actually healthy enough that the kids can eat it for breakfast! I can't wait to try it! Of course I'll have to go grocery shopping again to get the couple of ingredients that I forgot to pick up.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

CASology 11 - White!

This week's CASology Cue Card is White!

When I think white, I think snow (I know, it's MUCH too early). In fact, I really only like snow in the abstract. Like on cards (although I bought some great new winter boots last week, but I'll be happier if I don't have to wear them. EVER. lol!)

When making all-white cards, you have to rely on something other than colour to create visual interest. You may use more layers than usual or different materials or embellishments to add texture. I chose to use a negative die cut using a Cuttlebug snowflake die, and then I popped up the layer and add lots of sparkle with Stickles and an old Doodlebug gem (they were the best shape!)!

Now flutter off and show us your whites! But first, drop by and see what the rest of the Design Team did with this week's Cue Card:

Monday, 17 September 2012

FS293 - Casing T Joy

I have two cards for this week's Splitcoaststampers Featured Stamper challenge:

 I used a Papertrey scribbly flower and (I think) an Inkadinkado sentiment. My card above was inspired by this card by Tricia (which she entitled "Challenging Colour Challenge" lol!) I love the autumn-y colours and the way she stamped the flowers onto the punched circles.

For this card, I used Stampin' Up's Trendy Trees, and a clear sentiment. I reverse-masked the circle and sponged Squeezed Lemonade and Spiced Marmalade to create the foliage. The card is 3.5 x 5 inches and is one layer, so I'll also link it up to this week's One Layer Wednesday challenge - Autumn. We do have a few trees in our neighbourhood that turn this wonderful, almost neon orange colour - I call them the 'glorious trees' and I look forward to seeing them each October - I noticed that the biggest one is just starting to turn!

This very, very CAS card was inspired by this card by Tricia:

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Pinterest Inspired - Subliminal Messaging

This card was inspired by this photo on my Inspiration Board on Pinterest:

/ one plus one

I thought the use of the big letters in the background was really fun. I used My Stamp Box Tall Solids alphabet for the background, using only letters from "Happy Birthday" (did you 'sense' that subliminally? lol!) stamped in Melon Mambo, Tempting Turquoise, Night of Navy and Sahara Sand. I love the 80s feeling of madras plaid that it gives.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

CFC70/FTL208/DD20 - Happy Birthday

This card is for this week's CASual Friday challenge - Black and White plus 1 other colour.

And for this week's Clean and Simple Stamping Fall-To Layout:

And this week's Dynamic Duo:

I'm quite liking the Contempo Alphabet (Stampin' Up) that I used for 'birthday' - it's very clean. And the "Happy" dots are from My Stamp Box.

When I'm making a card like this and placement is important, I often draw a grid on the white layer in pencil before stamping. (I pencilled in a grid for the happy  (clear stamps) and a single line for the birthday (woodmount stamps), and used my stampamajig very carefully!) This technique doesn't work as well if you're stamping in a light colour - you'll see the pencil under the ink and not be able to erase it. Also, it can be heartbreaking if you are erasing enthusiastically and you crumple your layer. Trust me. I know!

Really in my heart, I wanted to use rainbow colours for birthday (but you knew that already, didn't you?) - and I may make this card again, so I can do that. But I think the Lucky Limeade looks good with the black, and makes it very masculine.

Don't forget that today is the big reveal for this month's Splitcoaststampers Dirty Dozen gallery. Here's a teaser  (I'm not supposed to show you any of the cards I uploaded to the Gallery - you have to be a member of the Fan club to see them, but this one's an extra!) - can you guess the theme?

Friday, 14 September 2012

Up on the Rooftops

This was the first card I made for this week's CASology Cue Card - SKY.

Although I like it very much, it really isn't very CAS, so in the end I went with my lightning idea. But as you can see, I've been doing quite a bit of sponging lately. Very messy and lots of ink under the fingernails!

For this card, I masked the moon and then I used Stampin' Up inks, ranging from Soft Sky to Baja Breeze to Marina Mist to Not Quite Navy to Night of Navy to create the night sky. To keep the emphasis on the sky, I only used the rooftops of the My Stamp Box houses. When I sponge, I usually use those little finger tip sponge daubers. The only thing is that you need to be careful not to get the actual shape of the sponge dauber. I have a set of about 24 of the daubers and try to keep them for a single (or two) colour, so that I can use them over and over.

This little Santa stamp has absolutely no markings on it, but it came with a wood-mounted set that included a snowglobe, a snow man, a snow dog, a snow cat and possibly some others. I know it probably bought it in 2006, back when I first started stamping, but I'm pretty sure it's never seen ink until now!

There's still time to play along with CASology - I always love seeing all the different creations you come up with! The deadline is Sunday at noon (CST).

Thursday, 13 September 2012

OLW105/CFC 69 - Embossed Autumn!

This week's One Layer Wednesday challenge is being hosted by Cheryl. The theme is Autumn - my favourite time of the year - the crisp air, the cozy sweaters and boots (fashionable boots, not yucky old snow boots!), the fresh apples (Honeycrisp - YUM!) and more than anything else, the beautiful rich colours of the leaves.

In Toronto, we're not quite there yet. It's about 27 degrees Celsius (high 70s?) and yesterday I was wearing my white capris, even though it's after Labour Day! (don't worry, my white purse has been put away!) LOL!

This week's CASual Friday challenge is to use embossing. For this card, I used one of my favourite WOW techniques. I just hope you can actually see it in the photo. I used two colours of embossing powder - copper and gold. I dropped the copper on in various places, not all over then tapped off the excess. Then I poured gold ep over the whole card face (it won't stick where there's already copper) and tapped off the excess. Apply heat and you end up with this wonderful two-toned effect (you can do even more colours - I've done it with silver gold and copper on a big snowflake - it's so pretty and people are always asking me how I did it!)

The leaves are an old Stampin Up! stamp (Artfully Asian) stamped several times, and the sentiment is Technique Tuesday. I used a Soft Stone cardbase rather than white, for a change.

And, as you can see, I'm learning how to put a watermark on my photos in Photoshop (I'm making very slow progress with this program, but thanks to Kelly, I've got a couple of quick lighting adjustment tips that seem to work really well most of the time, so I'm happy!).

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

LIM84/FTL207 - Treasure your Memories

For this week's Less Is More challenge, to make a one layer card using foliage and this week's Fall To Layout:

I masked and sponged the left side with various distress inks in autumn colours and used a Papertrey foliage image. The sentiment says "Verses Rubber Stamps" on the side - I can't remember where I got it, but it is a favourite of mine for sympathy cards - it's always so hard to know what to say when someone dies, but "Treasure your Memories" is often a good one.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

CASology 10 - SKY!

This week's CASology Cue Card is SKY.

I have to admit, I really struggled with this one! Birds, planes, kites, angels, balloons, stars, moon.....what to put in my sky? 

Then it hit me like a bolt of lightning. Really.  Right when I came across this MFT lightning from Masculine Graphics. I stamped in Versamark and then Summer Sun, and then embossed with iridescent embossing powder for sparkle.  To make it a little more interesting, I used a square rather than a round black mat for the focal point. But the cardbase had to be grey - I mean, grey sky is where lightning comes from, right? lol!

This week, the sky really is the limit - go put your thinking caps on and link up your creations! We can't wait to see them all!

But first, don't forget to see what the rest of the members of the Design Team have for you:

Monday, 10 September 2012

Featered Stamper 292 - Back to Kissing School

I made two cards for this week's Splitcoaststamper Featured Stamper challenge, where the Featured Stamper is Angela R.

The first one was actually inspired by the INSIDE of one of Angela's cards! I love the black on the grey with the pop of red:

(Angela's card interior)

The second card I made was inspired by a card where Angela used the kissing technique. Now I obviously missed that class, because mine is not nearly as crisp as hers is, so I guess it's back to kissing school for me! lol!

(Angela's kissed blossom card)

Both cards use Waltzingmouse sentiments. The second uses Stampin' Up's Big Blossom, with Pumpkin Patch Kaleidecolor ink.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Another Do Over Day

Another do over - or as some like to say, casing myself. This time, I'm casing this card. I moved the sentiment (Stamps of Life Basics4ABC) to the bottom and tried a slightly more feminine feel by using a tulip (Papertrey) rather than the balloons, and a different colour combination.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

CFC69 - Embossing

For this week's Cas-ual Friday challenge - to use embossing. I have two thoughts on this card.

My first thought goes like this:

1) I should get extra points, because I embossed 3 (or was it 4?) times. First I stamped snowflakes in Versamark on white card, embossed them in clear and then sponged in Soft Sky. Then I stamped snowflakes again, and embossed them and sponged in bashful blue. Again in Marina Mist. Then I stamped in Midnight Muse, sponged the edges and then covered the whole panel in Versamark and embossed with iridescent embossing powder - it's so sparkly in real life and has a pebbly texture to it.

Then I looked at the panel and had my second thought:

2) This is NOT a clean and simple technique. How to make a clean and simple card from it? I solved that by cutting most of it out of the centre and leaving lots of white space for this fancy DeNami Designs sentiment. I didn't even pop it up to create extra dimension. You can make a CAS card with a very busy pattern, if you balance it with lots of white. At least I think so!