Thursday, 28 February 2013

CTS17 - Spring is Coming, right?

Time for CTS17! Here's this week's sketch:

We've just had a dumping of very, very wet and heavy snow (although not as much as some places, such as Kansas, thank goodness!). Here's the view from my front door - I can grudgingly admit that the trees are pretty:

It's so soggy and slushy and disgusting here, that I just had to make something green.

I tried something new (for me) with this card - I put the colour on the inside! I started with a white card, drew light pencil lines to find where I wanted the centre of my focal point to be and then lined up my little square nestability with the lines 4 times to create the window. I put a panel of green on the inside of the card to give a pop of colour and a background for my Papertrey daisy. The Verve sentiment is the finishing touch on this fresh birthday card that I'll send to my sister-in-law for her birthday later in March.

Now it's your turn - I can't wait to see your take on this sketch!

PS - MASKerade hit another milestone yesterday - 100,000 views! One. Hundred. Thousand. Holy Wow! I never ever would have even thought to wish for that when I started 13 months ago. Thank you so much!

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

FF 2 - Rustic CAS?

A quick post to meet today's deadline for Festive Friday 2:

If you know me at all, you won't be surprised to hear me say that rustic country is not always my favourite. I do like the look - especially at Christmas - warm, natural colours and lots of texture, but as with many of these less-CAS styles, there's a big mystery for me. How do they know when to stop? Why one bell per plate, why not more twigs? Why no red ribbons on the burlap? To me the scene looks busy - but I don't know how they knew it was not too busy but busy enough? (CAS is so much simpler - generally the sooner you stop, the better! lol!)

So I was going to give this challenge a miss. And then this Close To My Heart stamp arrived in my mailbox. When I ordered it, I knew it would be perfect for this simple treatment. To make this layout work for this challenge, I changed my plan to include copper embossing powder on the Old Island Stamp Company sentiment  to pick up the colour of the rustic bells. And that's about as rustic country as I think I can go. This time, anyway!

ETA - this card actually won this challenge! I feel so honoured (and pleasantly surprised! lol!)

Winner Badge.jpg

OLW129, Muse6, CASology 33

It's not often I hit 3 challenges in one card:

One Layer Wednesday - hosted this week by Karen - "All in a Row"

CASology 33 - Circle (don't forget to play along!)

And Muse 6 - inspired by this card by Deanna Jean:

I focused on the colours and all that beautiful white space!

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

CASology 33 - Circle

Today's CASology Cue Card is Circle:

I LOVE circles - they're so perfectly round! You can use them to make anything. If we've had some cue cards that were challenging because I couldn't think of something, this one was challenging because I couldn't STOP thinking of things (see an additional card below!)

In the end, I decided to go with part-circles and show how they can be used too! I cut one large red circle in half for the smile and cut a little bit out of the two black eyes to make them look like they're smiling too!

Now it's your turn to make us smile - show us your circles and link them up by the deadline on Sunday at 4:00 CST.

Before you do, be sure to visit the other members of the Design Team for a circle of inspiration!

and this week's Guest Designer:  Kim Heggins

Here is another, more traditional circle card, for my mom's birthday, which is today:

Monday, 25 February 2013

LIM108, CFC91 - Silver Anniversary

Ever hear that great minds think alike? I was all set to make my paper pierced creation for this week's Less Is More challenge, and then I visited my good friend Hannelie. Well. Plan A went out the window and I moved to Plan B. This, as a matter of fact, is Plan C, due to technical difficulties with Plan B. lol!

Like Hannelie (and like this card), I did my piercing from the back. I was inspired by those boards of pins that you can push your hand against and see the shape coming through the other side like this:

I used a grey and silver theme (that Sweet and Sassy heart is cut from mirror card) - perfect for an elegant wedding or 25th anniversary. And perfect for this week's CASual Friday challenge - Hi Ho Silver.  I created a round frame by outlining two nestabilities with pencil on the back of my white panel. I then flipped the panel over, glued the grey circle in the centre of the frame, to give some more grounding to the silver heart and popped up the mirror card heart.

ETA - this card was chosen as a favourite! Thank you so much!

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Horse babies

A couple of final horse cards before I send them all off to my sister's dressage trainer. This adorable Printworks image makes the perfect card for horsey people to send to friends who have a new little 'colt'. (I did a 'filly' version as well!)

I used the grosgrain texture plate again and another new Verve sentiment.

This Whippersnapper image is also great for horsey baby cards. And here's a rare (for me) appearance of patterned paper!

Now it's time to load them all up and put them in the mail. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Saturday, 23 February 2013

CFC91 - Hi Ho Silver!

This week, CASual Fridays has a completely fun challenge that just SCREAMED for a horsey card (I'm sure you all remember the Lone Ranger and his horse, Silver):

I am near the end of making a stack of cards for my sister's dressage trainer. This is a design that I just LOVE. This abstract Deadbeat Designs image is perfect for this minimalist treatment of 3 different embossing powders. And there's not much else to say about this card!

But I do have a response to a comment I received yesterday that made me laugh out loud about how I manage to achieve crisp stamping - is it the ink or the technique of stamping that I use? Well, to be serious for a minute, I'm back to using mostly Stampin' Up (old fabric) ink pads. I find as long as the inkpads are inked properly and the stamp is covered properly, they work pretty well most of the time. I do find that different stamps (clear vs rubber) take different ink differently. I usually use Whisper White for my card front panels - it's lovely and bright and smooth. And as for my technique. If only you could see how many of those pinwheels hit the recycling bin yesterday. I guess it is technique (and some luck), but since I have to just keep stamping until it happens, I'm not sure I can explain it to you!

Finally, if you've never played in a challenge, but would like to (or if even if you have), here's an interesting post that Jackie Rockwell wrote that gives some good tips and pointers for getting the most out of your experience!

Friday, 22 February 2013

OLW128 - Feminine Birthday

This week's One Layer Wednesday challenge is being hosted by Heather. The challenge is to make a feminine birthday card.

Heather advised us to use our favourite things - she sponged and masked, and I went for graphic shapes and bold colours.

(If you're a member of the SPCS (Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Stamps), you may want to stop reading now.)

I created this half-circle stamp by cutting a large clear stamp in half. I do this all the time - to me, that's one of the great things about clear stamps. I admit that mostly, I cut sentiments (and I try to cut them in such a way that they become like a puzzle and will fit together again in their original form), but I had a craving for a half-circle, and I just didn't have one. I did however, have a couple of circles this size, so I thought I would go for it. I cut it with a large pair of scissors, to try to keep the line as straight as possible. You would think that this should result in two half-circle stamps, but it didn't. At least I got one!

I simply added my new Verve sentiment and left it at that.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

CAS(E) This Sketch # 16 - SWAK

It's time for CAS(E) This Sketch 16:

Once again, I got a little stuck with the shape of one of the design elements. I saw lipstick (I hope it looks like lipstick! lol!).

I cut the gold 'case' using only a paper trimmer (and a score tool, to give it some texture). For the red lipstick, I used one of the Papertrey long label dies to make sure I got the curve right. The sentiment is The Cat's Pajama's Coolvetica alphabet.

The black glossy cardstock that I used as a mat is from one of our somewhat-local stamp stores (about 2 hours away, in the town where my parents live). I think the shiny black adds a fun touch.

Now it's your turn to see what the rest of the design team came up with and to see what you see in this week's sketch!

PS - thank you for all your kind comments yesterday. Here is where to find the MFT Grosgrain plate (I really am going to have to ask for a commission, even if only half of you who asked actually buy one - they'll be wondering what's going on! lol!).

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

CFC90 - Horsey Thanks!

This is a quick post for this week's CASual Fridays challenge:

And a quick reminder about this week's CASology cue card - flame (this could qualify - I certainly hope you'll be playing along if you haven't already!)

This is another card for my sister's dressage trainer - I'm up to about 40 cards and just about ready to send them out to her.

This was a fun technique that just evolved as I was playing around with the Muse challenge (I ended up going in a different direction for that card). I stamped a large circle in Daffodil Delight, then a smaller one in Summer Sun and then finally an even smaller one in More Mustard. Once it was all dry, I stamped the (unknown) horse and sentiment in Onyx and embossed with clear powder.

I liked it so much that I also made this one, with the same technique, although it does not qualify for this challenge:

Tomorrow I'll be back with this week's CAS(E) This Sketch card at 10:00 - see you then!

Muse 5 - Thanks so much!

This week's Muse is Marion and her cheerful card here:

What a fantastic colour combination! You can't look at this card and not smile. Go on, try! See?

 I decided to focus on the colours and the horizontal stripes. The sentiment is from Trendy Trees and I used the old Word Window punch. I added a bit of texture by running the coloured stripes through my Cuttlebug with my Grosgrain texture plate.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

CASology 29 - Flame!

This week's CASology Cue Card is Flame!

I knew I wanted to make my whole card the flame so I sponged various shades of yellow orange and red distress ink onto white cardstock. But then I needed a good sentiment. I thought about "Come on baby, light my fire", and decided to Google and see if there was anything better. This is an Ardyth-paraphrase of a Bruce Lee quote. I know! Bruce Lee - I don't really think of him when I think of romantic, but I thought this was really good.

Here's the whole quote:

“Love is like a friendship caught on fire. In the beginning a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love becomes as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable.”

Isn't that amazing? I think this will make a great engagement card - I can put the full quote on the inside to demonstrate the long-lasting nature of true love.

Now it's your turn to set the world a-flame! But before you do, warm up by checking out the blogs of the other members of the Design Team:

Monday, 18 February 2013

OLW127 - Pinterest Inspiration

Pinterest Inspired One Layer Wednesday? PERFECT challenge, Cheryl! Very occasionally, I spend a few minutes looking at interesting things on Pinterest (um, well that's almost true if you change 'few' to 'many' and 'occasionally' to 'daily'!) .

There is so much inspiration there - and my inspiration board is full of great images that appeal to me, but this week I had a hard time finding one that I could translate into a one layer card. Until yesterday, when I found this:

I would definitely NOT want this on my nails (as soon as I put anything heavier than clear on my finger nails, they start to feel heavy and I have to take it off!) but what a fun, fresh and lively design for a card!

I used Stampin' Up's Pick a Petal and Trendy Trees (sentiment).

On another note, after increasingly frustrating computer issues (as in crashing every 5 minutes by the end), we spent about 2 hours on the phone to India with Dell Support to determine that my computer has Alzheimers (faulty memory). This was a lengthy, but interesting process with a man who was extremely helpful and nice. A technician will come this week to determine whether the internal memory stick(s) and/or the mother board have to be replaced (and we're assured he or she will have said parts with them when they come). In the meantime, I'm on my old computer with no photo editor so I can't say how reliable my posting and commenting will be this week. (Tomorrow's CASology post is already scheduled).  I'll do my best, but if you don't hear from me, you'll know why!

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Pretty Ponies

I'm making more horse cards - this time for my sister's dressage trainer, who was the recipient of one of the sets of cards I made for my sister to give to her friends at Christmas. For many of them, I'm reusing old designs, with small changes, but I'm really happy with this one, which I have not done before. It's so simple to do, but it's quite pretty, I think!

I stamped the Starving Artistamps horse 3 times in versarmark and embossed in clear. Then I sponged a line of each colour of my Flannel Kaleidecolor inkpad to create the background.

I hope she likes rainbows as much as I do!

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Happy 90th Birthday

I have a neighbour who is almost 84. Last summer, she fell and needed some help for a while, and my daughter and I helped her by visiting every day and doing her grocery shopping from time to time. We have become close friends (she came to our house for Christmas dinner) and we still go over at least twice a week to check in on her and get caught up on each other's lives.

Last week, when I was there, she told me that she had to go get a birthday card for her daughter's mother-in-law (is there a name for that relationship?), who is celebrating her 90th birthday. These two ladies go to the same church and are good friends, but I think that my neighbour secretly (or not so much) loves the fact that this lady is significantly older than she is! Anyway, since the Hallmark in our local mall has closed, I offered to make the birthday card and this is the result.

I find it hard to make cards to order - I much prefer when people go through 'my box' and choose something they like. This was especially hard, since I have never met this lady (although I've heard a few stories!) and my neighbour really didn't have a lot of design criteria for me. But it's sunny and cheerful, so I hope it will be well-received (although I hear she can be a tough audience! lol!) I'll let you know how it goes!

Friday, 15 February 2013

PC3 - Last Valentines for 2013

These are my last Valentines for 2013. This is the one I gave to my daughter yesterday, and it was inspired by Pinspired Challenge #3.

I focused on the red and pink and the hearts. I used a Lifestyles Crafts colour wheel die to cut a red and pink circle and then taped it all together before cutting the heart out of the middle. The sentiment is an old Michael's stamp.

This card came about in two stages - here's the 'before', which I made from memory after seeing the inspiration photo briefly:

When I drafted this post and took a better look at the inspiration photo, I noticed the stripes on the wall and really wished that I had put stripes on my grey background. So I took the card apart and used a scoring tool to add the embossed stripes. Then I added the silver Stickles for sparkle. 

Now for my son's valentine, which is based on this card I made previously:

I used a different heart and bigger holes, because (God help me) I think they make the white panel look like someone used it for rifle practice. My son is into that stuff. And I hunted around for my distressing tool (do you still have yours?!) for the edges and simply stamped the date (Papertrey Fresh Alpha) rather than having any mushiness on the card front. There was plenty inside, though! lol!

I hope you enjoyed Valentine's Day - I think it's commercial and a bit cheesy but it's still FUN!

Thursday, 14 February 2013

CTS15 - Shhhh!

Can you keep a secret? This card, that I made for this week's CAS(E) This Sketch challenge is for my daughter's birthday which is not until early March. Here's the sketch:

One of the best things about making your own cards is the ability to personalize them and customize them for the occasion.  I kept this card very clean, but still personalized it by embossing KATE (using TCP Coolvetica) in clear embossing powder. The sentiment is Papertrey, the 1 is Parker numbers from Memory Box and the 0 is a 3/4" circle punch.

Another great thing about making cards is that I get to come to all your blogs and see how you've interpreted  the sketch - can't wait! The deadline is next Tuesday at noon, so go get busy!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

MUSE 4 - Half Full

Time for this week's Muse - Therese Calvird and her fun card. Look at how she's coloured that limeade - it practically glows!

I focused on the colours and the 'half' idea, and the grateful, optimistic feeling of the sentiment. I cut two circles with a nestability (anyone else finding after time that they don't cut so cleanly anymore? Is there a fix or do I need new ones? I don't think it's the Cuttlebug, which is admittedly old, but other dies work fine - just some of my favourite circles leave little 'hairs' on the edgeand I hate hairy circles! lol!).

Anyway, to get close to perfect half circles, I laid the circles on top of each other and cut them in 'half' at the same time using my judgement (and my paper cutter!). When you cut the same shape at the same time, you know the two pieces will fit together perfectly, even if they're not cut perfectly on the diameter of the circle. So I used the 'right' half of the green and the 'left' half of the purple and I taped the two halves together. Then I used Memory Box's Parker Letters to cut the sentiment on the line. Finally I popped the circle up with dimensionals.

I have to admit that when I first saw the sentiment on Therese's card, I thought, "why settle for half"? As my dad always said when we brought home a near perfect (or even perfect) test score, "That and better will do!"  I guess I'm a half-full (or better) kind of girl!

BTW - last week's card was voted (by the Muse participants themselves!!) as one of the top 3! Thank you so very, very much!

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

CASology 31 - Red!

Today's CASology Cue Card is Red!

I was inspired by an old Gap ad campaign that used red for some reason that I can't recall. (ETA - I've been informed now that it was an AIDS campaign, thanks for reminding me!) Everybody was wearing red t-shirts with words that had (red) in them- like this:

I emphasized my red a little differently!

 I think this will be a perfect masculine valentine or anniversary card. Not too sweet and fussy, and a very clear message. (Men need very clear messages, you know, they're not always so good at subtle hints!)

In order to get crisp black stamping, I used Versafine Onyx and clear embossing powder). To get a similar look in red, I used Distress Festive Berries  (I don't have red Versafine, but I needed the red to stay wet long enough to get the embossing powder on to it).

Now it's your turn to interpret this week's cue card - where will red take you?

Don't forget to see what the other members of the design team came up with:

Monday, 11 February 2013

LIM104 - Musical Friends

After I made yesterday's card for this week's Less Is More Challenge (Music), I came across this sentiment stamp (Verve's Floral Symphony) and thought about a way to incorporate flowers and music onto a one layer card.

The 5 scored lines are a subtle reference to a musical staff, and the flowers are placed on the staff, as if they are notes. And if you're not musical, and you don't get that, it's still a pretty card with a little bit of texture!

On another note, MASKerade now has 200 followers and over 94,000 views! Wow! What a milestone! I'm so appreciative of all the new friends I've made through this fun hobby!

Sunday, 10 February 2013

LIM 106 , OLW126, Musical Birthday

For this week's Less Is More Challenge - One Layer Music (my favourite!).  And, since I rarely use Pool Party, I'll link up to this week's One Layer Wednesday challenge to use a colour that you rarely use.

Unfortunately, I have no idea where these stamps came from. (except the sentiment, which is My Sentiments Exactly, stamped in Early Espresso).

I hope you're enjoying your weekend! We've spent a good deal of time clearing the driveway of the 30 cms of snow that fell and then all the snowplow 'droppings', which they kindly leave for us! But it's sunny and bright and warming up, so hopefully it will be gone soon!

Saturday, 9 February 2013

CFC 89 - Love You Till Tuesday

Oh, this is a fun one! This week's CASual Friday challenge is Love Song.

You know whenever the challenge is a song, I turn to my favourite, David Bowie, who has written songs for almost every occasion. A very long time ago, in the year I was born in fact (and the last time the Toronto Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup), he wrote a song called "Love You 'Til Tuesday". Here are the lyrics for the chorus:

Oh, beautiful baby
My burning desire started on Sunday
Give me your heart and I'll love you 'til Tuesday
Da da da dum [x4]

At the end of the song, he says, "Well, I might stretch it 'til Wednesday".

Now at the time (and for a while after that), we know he was 'experimenting', but he's now been married to Iman for over 20 years, so obviously he's a little less fickle these days.

Still, you can't really make a love card based on these lyrics, so I stretched and made an anniversary card for someone whose anniversary will be on a Tuesday. I wanted it to look almost like a reminder (you know how some men are about anniversaries!) so I only attached the calendar at the top centre with a gold brad to look like a thumb tack.

ETA - This card was chosen as a contender! Woohoo!