Friday, 31 May 2013

FFC09 - Red Green and Gold

It doesn't get much more traditional than Red Green and Gold at Christmas time. And that's the current colour challenge at Festive Friday.

I went slightly  less traditional by using Mehndi Medallions from Wplus9. I embossed the largest medallion in gold and then coloured it with red and green copics. I dotted Stickles randomly over the top and then smeared it with my finger to get a very thin layer of sparkle. I mounted the medallion on a white circle that had also received the embossing/smearing treatment and then placed it finally on a red circle. (It's so pretty and sparkly in real life - I wish my photography skills were better able to show you that!)

This card is assymetrical - the interior panel has "Merry" from Classic Christmas (retired). The front of the card is cut one inch shorter, so that the medallion overhangs to the edge of the bottom of the card.

I love this multicultural feel of this - an Indian Christmas wreath!

There's one more week to play along with this Festive Friday challenge - I hope you'll get a chance to join us!

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Muse 19 - Thank You!

Let me start by saying that this card is dedicated to all of you who wished me a Happy Birthday yesterday.
THANK YOU SO VERY, VERY MUCH. I can honestly say it is a day I will remember always. To those of you who participated in Darnell's surprise Birthday Party (which is continuing until June 15th if you want to play along - longest (and best!) birthday EVER!), thank you so much for taking the time to make me a birthday card, and for all the good wishes and kind words. To Jackie and Geri, the co conspirators and to Darnell, the initiator, MWAH! You really surprised me, my friends, and I so appreciate all the effort you went to!

In my books, you will all be HEROES, FOREVER AND EVER! (thanks to David Bowie for that quote!)

And now it's my turn to CASE a card. This card is for this week's Muse challenge (I really hope you'll get a chance to play along before the deadline on Saturday at noon!). It's the last week of the month and that means a Guest Muse - the super talented, Turtle-eating* Michelle Williams! Here's her card:

I used a bold black Ditto sentiment and then created a circle around the sentiment with different sized circles. Same idea as Michelle's folk-art card, but by using bolder colours and a regular shape, this card has quite a different feel.

*Turtles are an American candy of chocolate, caramel and pecans. Someone sent some to Michelle in Australia and she said on her blog how much she liked them. So I sent her the recipe to make home made "Sweet Georgia Browns" - the Canadian version. Oh my word, they are YUMMY! Here's the recipe if you're interested (I recommend cutting out the salt).

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

The Sinking of An Empress

Empress of Ireland.jpg

Many of you know that I am a member of the Salvation Army. My family have been members going back 5 generations, to the early days in the late 1800s. 

Today (as well as being my birthday - scroll down to see my previous post) is the anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Empress of Ireland, an ocean liner that sank in the Saint Lawrence River following a collision with the Storstad, a Norwegian collier, in the early hours of 29 May 1914. 

Of the 1,477 persons on board the ship, the accident claimed the lives of 1,012. The number of deaths is the largest of any Canadian maritime accident in peacetime. (1,502 people lost their lives in the sinking of Titanic).

The passengers included 167 members of the Salvation Army, including the Territorial Commander for the Canada and members of the Canadian Staff Band, who were travelling to London for the first international conference.

My friend's grandfather was on the Empress of Ireland and survived. He became an Officer (pastor) in the Salvation Army because of the events that night. Previously, he was an accountant with an Insurance Company, but during the disaster, he promised that if he made it out alive, he would dedicate his life to God.

My great-grandfather was in the Peterborough Temple band, that was sent after the disaster to the conference to take the place of the Canadian Staff Band. At each performance, seats were set up in band formation,with white ribbons on each chair, in remembrance of the members of the Staff Band and the others who perished that night. 

This event is an important part of Canadian and Salvation Army history. As years pass, fewer and fewer people remember or even know of it. The last survivor passed away in 1995 at the age of 88. Each year, remembrance ceremonies are held in Quebec, near the site of the sinking, and the Salvation Army holds a remembrance ceremony at Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Toronto, to remember all those who perished that night.  Next year, a special commemorative is being organized to mark the 100th Anniversary of the sinking of the Empress of Ireland.

OLW 142 Happy Birthday To ME!

It's my birthday today.  (The clue from yesterday was that it was CASology's 46th challenge). That's how old I am today. Officially closer to 50 than 40. I feel pretty good about it - after all, aging is definitely better than the alternative, right? ;-)

And it's my turn to host One Layer Wednesday. This week's challenge is an inspiration challenge - make a card that you think I would like (in my style or involving my interests). I'll give you some hints, and you can take a look around my blog - you can case one of my cards if you like, but it must have only one layer.

My interests are varied and eclectic. I love my family (most of the time, lol!),  music, especially playing the piano, flowers, David Bowie, Christmas, James Bond movies, Diana Gabaldon novels,  Dr Suess' poetry, Pierce Brosnan, Robert Downey Jr, chocolate, autumn, spa treatments, jewellery, numbers and mathematics, baking, cardmaking and blogging, crossword puzzles (cryptic) and word games.

As for design, you know I love cheerful bright colours (especially aquas and rainbows) and clean design with lots of white space. Oh, yeah, and SPARKLE!

My card is a little busier than usual because it's hard to fit 46 candles on a 4.25x 5.5 piece of paper! My card is a simple grid design, (I literally drew a grid on it, so that my candles  would be fairly evenly spaced). I coloured the little candles (Kim Hughes before she was Paper Smooches) with copics and added Stickles for shine.


1. Create a one-layer card.  That is defined as a single layer of card stock folded in half. No other layers allowed!

2. Create a card that you think I would like - it can be inspired by my interests above or one of my previous cards. It does not have to be a birthday card.
   Remember to keep embellishments  to a minimum and NO ADDITIONAL LAYERS of cardstock.
3. Post your card online and link it to the InLinkz button to the right.  If you link to your blog, please link to  the specific post, not your blog’s main page.
4. HAVE FUN! I am looking forward in seeing what you create!

ETA - if you are already tired of CASing my cards for the blog-birthday-party hosted by Darnell today (thank you so much - what a lovely surprise!), please feel free to link up any one layer birthday card!

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Tuesday, 28 May 2013

CASology 46 - Furry!

Today's CASology Cue Card is Furry!

I'm more of an animal respecter than animal lover. I don't have a lot of furry stamps. And I just knew that I could not Google 'furry' for inspiration (can you imagine?! lol!)

Finally I came this little polar bear that came as part of a Michael's Christmas set (you know the "high quality" stamps that come with those "high quality" little ink pads and glitter glue as a kit and are finally worth the price once they're 85% off!).

He's a little small to be on his own, so I knew I wanted to repeat the image. Since he's white, I was able to fill the card without losing the airy CAS feel - just little pops of colour and glitter on his scarf for some interest and a simple Lizzie Anne Designs sentiment. (PS - did you know that polar bear's skins are black to absorb the little sunlight they get? And that their hairs are clear, not white? Strange but true!)

Now it's your turn. I can't wait to see where this one takes you - I'm picturing mink coats and unshaven legs! lol! And we've got a sponsor this week - Paper Smooches - see all the details on CASology!

Be sure to stop by the blogs of the other members of the design team to see their 'furry' cards!

and this week's Guest Designer: Lucy

Be sure to drop by tomorrow for a special day - there's a hint in the title of today's post!

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Pinterested Inspired Birthday

I know - you're wondering if you're in the right place! Yes, it's me, Ms Black and White with a Rainbow, trying my hand at something completely different. It's still pretty graphic but in a prettier way than my normal style.

I was inspired by this photo on Pinterest:

What attracted me to this photo was the two colours of grey and the two shades of red. I have 3 matching flowers in different sizes from the Stamps of Life. I placed all 3 on my acrylic block and stamped in Poppy and then in Coral, placing them so they look 'random'. I then added the Waltzingmouse leaves in Sand and Whisper. I used a Stampin' Up sentiment and finished it off with some little pearls. And I barely finished it before it was sold, so I guess it's good to branch out once in a while!

First Communion

Today is my nephew's First Communion. He is the younger brother of my niece, who only last month had her Confirmation. My sister has been very busy planning these events and will be relieved, I'm sure, when we all go home tonight! lol!

I don't often have reason to make a Yo-yo Yellow card, but John Michael loves yellow, so I went bright!

I used my Silhouette Portrait to make the cross. I lined up all the circles, then deleted the centre one and replaced it with a heart. I added his initials and today's date to personalize. Can you believe the fine-ness of these cuts?

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Rainbows Everywhere

Some more 'empty bin' projects. Both very simple and visually striking, I think!  For the birthday card, I used a Technique Tuesday set with all the handwritten words and snipped up an old Papertrey sentiment that said "Wishing you a day as special as you are".

For this thank you card, I used two circle nestabilities to cut a ring out of the white panel and then sponged it and placed it back in (couldn't decide if it was easier or harder than masking! lol!) I added a Hero Arts sentiment cut with a Papertrey label die. I call this the rainbow ipod card.

For this card I used MFT's monogram alpha and a flower snipped off of a Michael's thank you stamp to fill up the space (for my English one, thanks went right across the card).

I've made a ton of thank you cards in the last few days - I'll try not to overload you and show you only the ones I think are new and fun!

Friday, 24 May 2013

OLW141 - Thank you!

This is for this week's One Layer Wednesday hosted by Karen. It's called Repeat After Me (such a cute name!) The idea is to use one stamp repeatedly to create a background.

I have this little stamp of 3 dots and I thought it was fun to use it in this way to make another thank you card. I started by stamping the sentiment and then branched out from there.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

CFC101 - Thank You!

This is for this week's CASual Friday challenge to Stamp on DP. You know I don't use patterned paper very often  and the thought of stamping on it and making it very busy didn't initially appeal to me. But then I found this photo on Pinterest:

I thought it would make for an interesting card - almost an optical illusion. I found this old Stampin' Up striped DP from the Neutrals pack and went to town. I stamped the Stampin' Up sentiment and embossed it in clear and added a little pink gem for colour and sparkle.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Muse 18

I'm in stage two of  'empty bin' mode - I got quite a lot of cards finished on the weekend, after meeting up with my friend who basically cleaned me out of all the cards I made during stage one (thank you, my dear friend!!).

I decided to be efficient and make one of the thank you cards my submission for this week's Muse challenge. Here's Marion's beautiful inspiration card:

I focused on the rainbow of colours in the outlined flowers and used one of my old favourites, from Unity, along with a new favourite, the Inkadinkado sentiment. BTW, originally that wooden sentiment had "my way of saying" above the thanks. I popped the stamp into the microwave for 15 seconds, to loosen the glue and then just snipped off the extra words, knowing that I would get so much use from this simple, clean 'thanks'.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

CASology 45 - Royal

Today's CASology Cue Card is Royal

Here in Canada, we've just had a long weekend to celebrate Queen Victoria's birthday. She's long gone, but Canadians love any reason to party - it's traditionally our first 'fireworks' night of the season. Perfect timing for a Royal challenge!

This is a birthday card, based on lyrics from an old David Bowie song, Heroes. The song starts with "I will be King" and ends with "just for one day".

For today's card I cut the gold mirror crown using my Silhouette Portrait, and used a plain, masculine font.  This will be perfect for my Bowie-loving brother-in-law! My card base (and  computer generated font) is royal purple (otherwise known as Elegant Eggplant).

I actually used a variation on this idea couple of  years ago, when my sister turned 40 (fortunately, the lyrics also include "You will be Queen"). It wouldn't qualify as CAS, though:



So now it's your turn to be Queen for the day. Or princess, or whatever royal means to you! Don't forget to link up before the deadline on Sunday at 4:00 CST.

Monday, 20 May 2013

OLW140 - Border Card

This week's One Layer Wednesday challenge is hosted by Heather. The challenge is to stamp on the border of your one-layer card. In honour of Heather (the Queen of Sponging), I stamped, masked and sponged.

You may notice that this long Papertrey sentiment seems to have worked out perfectly. (If you look at the end of the each line of text and the beginning of the next, you'll see that they match up). One of you will think that I planned this. I wish I could say that I did. Or maybe I just have a super-subconscious mind that can do amazing things even when I'm not thinking about it. But I only noticed it after I uploaded the photo to the blog, so I'm pretty sure it was just plain luck! That's ok, I'll take it!

Sunday, 19 May 2013

The Empty Bin

Last Saturday night, we had a fundraiser concert and silent auction at my church.  My card sales had been pretty slow since Christmas, so I pretty much cleaned out my bin of cards. I took almost all of the birthday, blank and thank you cards I had on hand, grouped them as 7 sets of 10 cards and put them into clear boxes with pretty ribbons around them and donated them to the silent auction. They all sold for decent prices and I was happy to start with a proverbial 'clean slate'. Or empty bin!

Then my mom called to remind me that I had promised to make her 30 bell cards for her Handbell Symposium next weekend. I dropped everything and got them done. (I have photos - I'll show you one day!)

Then one of the teachers at school asked me to make her 40 thank you cards.

Then I made plans to meet up with a girlfriend this weekend. She asked me to bring my card bin because she's desperately low on birthday cards and needs to stock up (she often buys 30 at a time since we don't see each other very often).

Then one of my long-term Christmas card clients emailed me to ask that I make her a 'box' of assorted cards for her personal use.

Oh, the irony is not lost on me! But I'm not complaining!

All this week, I've been busy looking back at my designs to see what I can reuse to whip up a bunch of cards quickly. But I also like to try something new. And it's amazing how just 'having to get it done' gets the creative juices flowing! Love that productive feeling!

This is the first new design I was really pleased with - a simple graphic card using a Michael's sentiment and a Paper Smooches (Sugar Rush) candle. Bold, high contrast colours, simple shapes, a little sparkle and done!

And this is an old design (see here) revamped:

It reminds me of Billboard magazine. And I've entered it into this year's Papercrafter's Gallery Idol contest. If I get chosen by the PC staff to be in the top 20, then I'll be needing some votes for future rounds. Hint, hint! ;-)

Saturday, 18 May 2013

CASology Bloom - take two

OK, this card is for those of you who called me the "crazy dot lady"  (I know it was said with love! lol!) for this card I made as my sample for this week's CASology Cue Card, Bloom. I hope you'll get a chance to play along - the deadline's tomorrow at 4:00 pm CST.

And it's for one of you who last week wondered if her card was CAS enough for CASology. I mentioned in my comment that I had made two for this week's Cue Card, but opted for the one with more white space. But it shows how one idea can go in different directions.

And finally it's for the person who wondered how many takes it took before I landed on the card I actually used for this week's challenge (let's see, there was one with Stickles (yuk!), 3 with glossy accents, (which I thought was SUCH a good idea, but I couldn't actually hit the dots exactly and ended up with 3 gooey messes) and this one here, so I guess you finally saw number 5, which really proved that sometimes less really is more!)

This card used the same original idea, but kicked up a notch or two.  I quite like the 'mosaic' feel of this, created with two green copic markers, and completely eliminating the white space, which is really what takes it out of the CAS realm. I also messed up the centre, so I just cut it out and popped up the layer over this Hero Arts sentiment.

Finally, I should say that this technique is really quite simple and soothing and not even all that time consuming once you accept that you'll never make the dots all the same size! ;-)

Friday, 17 May 2013

FFC08 - Sweet!

Welcome to the second week of our Festive Friday trigger challenge.

The challenge is Sweet!

I struggled with this one - I don't have a lot of 'sweet' Christmas images. And you'll get an adult-rated surprise if you Google "sweet Christmas" for ideas! lol! I wanted something g-rated and kept looking at the other DT members' samples and participants' entries for inspiration.

In the end, I decided on a candy cane theme, with this perfectly appropriate Neat and Tangled sentiment. I thought I would do a panel in green and red (masked and sponged) stripes, with lots of white space. In fact there was so much white space, I thought I would add some sweet 'sugar' (coarse glitter) with double-sided tape. And it looked fine. Sweet as in candy cane, but not really sweet as in cute.

Then I remembered the gingerbread man from Scentsational Season (Stampin' Up!) which I bought last year and had not seen ink yet. I chomped out an opening for him to peek out, using a circle punch - you should have seen me trying to decide whether or not to do it - I was positive I would ruin the panel and have to start over - that's what comes of not planning ahead, but just letting the card evolve!  I pulled out my Really Rust ink (long retired, which is too bad because it's a great gingerbread colour). And now I think it's sweet as in cute.

Can't wait to see your sweet Christmas creations! Don't forget to link up before the deadline, Wednesday, May 22 by 11:59 pm (PST).

Thursday, 16 May 2013

CTS28 - Thank You

Time for another new sketch for CAS(E) This Sketch. This week's sketch is by N@Ali.

I went ultra graphic and used this distressed Impress sentiment and a shape from Paper Smooches. My son's birthday is coming up next month and it never hurts to have some masculine thank you cards on hand.

I hope you'll play along this week - it's always so much fun to see how everyone interprets the sketch a little differently. Don't forget the deadline is next Tuesday at noon. Go check out our super-talented design team's submissions for some more inspiration!

This will be my last CTS card as a member of the Design Team. It's been an honour to be a member of such a talented group of women, and I've had such a great time getting to know the other members of the Design Team and many of you participants!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Muse 17

This week's Muse inspiration is whimsical and fun - I hope you'll get a chance to play along. Here's Therese's card:

I focused on the fun feeling of the card. I used the same colours, in bolder shades and changed the animal to these adorable birds that I found in the Michael's $1.50 bin the other day. I used horizontal stripes and embossed them for some added dimension. (That's the MFT Grosgrain Ribbon texture plate again - it's so useful!)

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

CASology 44 - Bloom

This week's CASology Cue Card is Bloom!

Certainly everything is in bloom here in Toronto. It's a gorgeous time of year, although the poor allergy sufferers are, well, suffering!

My friend Shirley made a dotty card recently and I really like the idea (I used it once here). For today's card, I thought I would take it a step further and make the dots the main focus. I cut out a large blossom on my Silhouette Portrait and then made dots around it with some Copic markers. It's very difficult to do them all perfectly spaced and the same size, so I had to tame my OCD tendencies and embrace the beauty of  'imperfection'. Hey, if you can't get something perfectly even, then make it look like it isn't even ON PURPOSE.  At least the sentiment is straight! lol!

Now it's your turn - make a "blooming" card and link it up before the deadline on Sunday at 4:00 pm CST.

Here are links to the blogs of the other DT members - go check out what they've done with this week's Cue Card!

Monday, 13 May 2013

An Attempt at this week's LIM challenge

This week's Less Is More challenge is a fun one. One Layer, but with a twist. No white card bases allowed. My friend Hannelie made me pretty much give up altogether on this challenge when she linked up this card, which I think is probably the best One Layer Card EVER. I mean, look at the depth and interest she achieved. I just love how the flower and font of the sentiment look with that shading.

But then I had an idea. I started with a white card base. And then I sponged it all over and ended up with this (you can see that the distress ink wasn't even dry yet!):

To keep it clean and simple, after I embossed the sentiment in clear (yes it comes that way, with 3 'thank yous'), I sponged on only 3 colours, in shades that are closely related.

As you can see, in the end I couldn't resist cutting this down and putting it onto a white card base so that there's a nice big white frame around the edges! lol! I love my white card bases - thanks to Chrissie and Jen for the stretch this week but I'll have to give it another try!

Church Christmas - CASing Myself

Remember a little while ago, I made this card?

I didn't make it with the intention of it becoming one of my designs for my Church Christmas cards, but I was pleased with it and decided to adapt it so that it would be suitable.

Many of you know already that this year I'm making 300 Christmas cards for churches. Each church sends them out to members of their congregations, with a photocopied list of people of contributed to the project (the money goes to the church - I donate the cards) and a message from the church.

Because we need to enclose a list of participants, I generally make the cards a full A2 size, rather than my personally preferred 4.25x4.25 square.

To adapt this design, I did the following:

  • I made the focal point larger, by choosing a different, larger sentiment (Verve).
  •  I reduced the layers (and the amount of embossing that would have been involved!) 
  • Added some scoring on the front panel for interest. 
  • Softened the sponging so that I wouldn't have to cut a mask (although they were actually quite pretty just gold on white!).
  •  And I used Tempting Turquoise cardstock (an ongoing colour) rather than Bermuda Bay (which I'm running out of!) 
I made 24 of these in about 2 hours yesterday afternoon. (Which brings my accumulated total of Church Christmas cards to 113 for 2013!). While I love the design process, sometimes it's nice to switch over to the less intellectually demanding, more soothing assembly line process. Even if you end up with embossing powder in your hair, mouth, eyes, everywhere! lol!

I've added a new page "My Church Christmas Cards", which has most of them there (including some from past years, although many I don't have photographs of), and links to the corresponding Pinterest Board, if you're interested in seeing more.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Pinterest Inspired Mother's Day

This is the second card I made this week that was inspired by this photo I found on Pinterest:

I love the bright orange on the aqua wall. Aquas and corals are my mom's favourite colours so I decided to use this inspiration to make her Mother's Day card.

Unfortunately, it went into the mail a little late, and she probably won't get it until early next week. Luckily she reads my blog - Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

Saturday, 11 May 2013

OLW139 - 3x3

This week's One Layer Wednesday  challenge is hosted by Cheryl. The challenge is to make a card that measures 3x3.  I never make cards this size. And I never make tags. And from time to time, as I'm rushing out of the house with a hostess gift, but no tag or at Christmas when I use (gasp!) store-bought tags, I wish I did.

They are perfect for showing off smaller images, like this little panel from Magenta that I got years ago. (When I use it on a regular sized card, I usually repeat it, like I did here).  I love the intensity of the colour here but you could really colour the tulips any colour you like. Not sure where that sentiment came from, but I thought it was the right scale for the card.

You can see that there is still a little bit of warp in the card after I heat embossed - that will relax over time and it will be perfectly flat. I hope.

Friday, 10 May 2013

LIM118 - Complementary Thanks!

I wasn't sure I was going to get time to play along with Less Is More's challenge to use Complementary Colours this week. But I found this photo on Pinterest and that made it easy.

My colours are actually closer to the inspiration than this photo is showing - they look very blue. I used Aquamarine and Island Indigo cardstock and Only Orange for the letters (Soft Stone for the card base, to incorporate the colour of the headboard). I coloured the bottom half of the letters with a Copic marker to represent the 'fold' in the circle art above the bed.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

CTS27 - Happy Mother's Day

This week we have another fantastically versatile sketch, this time by Chrissy Larson:

I decided to try a one layer card for this sketch, creating the elements only with stamps. The Hero Arts sentiment takes centre stage, framed by a wreath of pretty flowers. I made the leaves with the brush tip of a green Copic marker and I used a black gel pen for the flowers' centres - it gives some great shine and a little 'bump' for dimension.

I can't wait to see what you'll come up with - don't forget to link up by the deadline - next Tuesday at noon!