Sunday, 29 September 2013

OLW159 - Free For All

Karen is hosting this week's One Layer Wednesday challenge and in my opinion, it's just in time - A Free for All. Every once in a while we need to do something just for fun, with no limits or requirements.

And this is fun, don't you think? You know I love a good rainbow and this was inspired by a logo that I saw on Pinterest. I masked and sponged the various shapes with distress inks and then I used an Eat Cake Graphics sentiment to finish it off.

Friday, 27 September 2013

FFC18 - Seeing Stars!

Time for a new Festive Friday challenge! Include a star in your project.

This card shows how you can do the same thing, but by simply changing colours, you can completely change the feel. I've used this classic, CAS layout with a star before, for Bev's birthday.  That card is similar yet very different in feel due to the different colours and techniques. Instead of layering die cut stars, I stamped the same outline star 3 times, slightly offset each time before embossing it in gold. This little A Muse Artstamps sentiment was the perfect finishing touch.

Actually, now that I think about it, this is probably how the shepherds saw the star - remember they were quaking in fear - everything probably looked a little fuzzy!

And now it's your turn. I can't wait to see how you use a star (or stars!) in your projects!

ETA - thanks to Barb, I've added this to the Moxie Fab "All that Glitters is Gold" challenge.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

RIC44 - Happy Birthday, Thomas!

My nephew's birthday is coming (in fact, I have 5 nephews who have birthdays between October 4 and December 11, so be prepared for lots of boy birthday cards over the next couple of months!). Thomas is my eldest nephew and so an understated, sophisticated design is in order (the other 4 are turning 6 and 7 this year, so their cards will have a different feel!)

I decided to take my inspiration from the current Runway Inspired Challenge:

I focused on the partially covered spidery looking vines and chose a thin font and used some vellum to convey a similar feel.  I cut the front panel using my Silhouette and then cut the same numbers twice in vellum. I took out the white 15 and laid in the vellum 15 before stamping and embossing the sentiment (Milo's Alphabet from Lawnfawn). Then I laid the other vellum 15 on top, so the embossed sentiment is sandwiched between two layers of vellum.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Muse 36 - Thanks

For this week's Muse Challenge, inspired by this beautiful card by our Guest Muse, Karen M

I focused on Karen's cool colour scheme, the black embellishments and the little dots. I started by creating plaid cardstock with 3 blue copic markers and then I cut out the petals using Paper Smooches and Papertrey dies. (I cut a solid shape using the bigger leaf die and then cut it again with the smaller one to create outline petals).  I glued them down only in the centre, so that they are curving up a bit on the edges to create some dimension. I was thinking a nice big black brad would work nicely to hold this flower together. However, no nice big black brad on hand, so I cut 3 circles from black cardstock and stuck them all together. I added little dots with a black gel pen and finished it off with a sentiment.

I hope you'll get a chance to play along with us at Muse this week - the deadline is Monday at 8:00 am EDT. Even if you can't make a card, please make sure you come back to vote on your favourite 3 projects from Monday at 8:00 am to Tuesday at 8:00 am. Results will be posted on Tuesday at noon!

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

CASology 62 - Autumn

This week's CASology Cue Card is Autumn!

Nothing says autumn like brightly coloured leaves. For this card, my original idea was to mask the strip and fill it in with the leaf stamped in different colours. When I removed the mask, I felt like it was a bit boring, so I added a few more in a diagonal pattern to create some falling movement. The key to keeping a card CAS with all this stamping in so many colours is to focus your 'busy-ness' in one area and leave lots of white space.

I'm also linking this up to CASual Friday's challenge (autumn colours and a leaf) and to the current Retrosketch challenge (I inverted it for my card):

Now it's your turn - I predict a lot of CASology/CFC challenge combinations this week - they work so well together!

But before you go, don't forget to check out the rest of the DT's AUTUMN creations:

Monday, 23 September 2013

CFC115 - Fall Colours and a Leaf

Another challenge I haven't played with for a long time is CAS-ual Fridays. This week's challenge is to use autumn colours and a leaf. I chose a leaf from Paper Smooches to create this lotus blossom of autumn colours, one of my favourite Michael's sentiments and a copper brad. It actually took an embarrassingly long time to make this card - when you're relying on stamping to be the focal point of your card, it's got to be placed in the right spot (I started with a much larger white panel and then cut it down bit by bit until I was happy with where it sat on the card) and it's got to be stamped perfectly - every little flaw becomes very, very visible!

Here in Toronto, our leaves are just starting to turn. It's been a strangely cool and wet summer, so it will be interesting to see if that impacts the show of glorious-ness that we usually get in October.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

OLW158, RS82 - Thank you!

Here's another card for this week's OLW (Fly Away with Me, Hosted by Heather) and for a challenge I haven't played in a while - Retrosketches, which reminded me of my card from Friday.

I masked a thin line and sponged it  with various inks. Once I removed the mask, I stamped this Impress sentiment and a little clear butterfly.

Off to start getting dinner on the table. Our oven is (still) dead and I think that Michael may have finally accepted that it's time for a new one. In the meantime, our pizza will be cooked on a pizza stone in the bbq - I'm becoming quite good at getting the timing right!

Muse #35 - Love You!

For this week's Muse, inspired by this beautiful, romantic card by Marion:

I focused on the colours  (LOVE that subtle pink stripe down the right side!), the die cut and the theme.

There's still a bit of time for you to play - the deadline is tomorrow (Monday) at 8:00 am EDT. Even if you can't make a card, you can still vote for your favourite 3 submissions between 8:00 am Monday and 8:00 am Tuesday! Hope to see you there!

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Tuesday Trigger - Celebrate

It's been a while since I played with the Moxie Fab World Tuesday Trigger, but this one is so interesting and beautiful! It took me a bit of time to figure out how I was going to achieve a similar look and feel.

I noticed that the rectangles in the inspiration don't appear to be one solid colour. So I used my Caribbean and Desert Heat Kaleidecolor pads to achieve that kind of blended look.

When I stamped my Stampin' Up Celebrate directly on the coloured rectangles, I found it a bit busy and hard to read, so I stamped the sentiment again on white and cut a narrow strip out of the white and popped it up - it's kind of fun that the whole word isn't on white - it adds some texture and depending on where you are when you're looking at it, the different parts letters line up slightly differently.

ETA - this card was selected as a Target!

Friday, 20 September 2013

FFC17 - Navy, Silver and White

Time for some mid-challenge inspiration for the current Festive Friday Colour Challenge:

I took my inspiration for the layout from this super-clean card I found on Pinterest. I love design like this - so easy to use over and over for different occasions just by changing colours and the 'button' element.

I masked the thin line and sponged it with Night of Navy and Tempting Turquoise, blending them well. Then I I cut and adhered MFT snowflake out of silver mirror card. I decided to preserve the peaceful feeling by leaving the front without a sentiment, but I stamped one on the inside.

There's still time for you to play along - link up before the deadline on Wednesday!

ETA 4:25 pm - I've turned off commenting on this post - I'm sorry, but I've had about 25 spam comments on this post today so far.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

OLW158 - Fly Away With Me

This week's One Layer Wednesday challenge is being hosted by Heather. The challenge is to make a one layer card featuring something with wings. Heather used a butterfly and some sponging and made a beautiful, feminine card. Being the mother of a Royal Canadian Air Cadet, my mind turned to something more mechanical!

We've watched quite a bit of formation flying over the summer and I've become very interested in this topic I previously had no interest in! I know about pitch and roll and yaw, and I know the names of the various formations that the Snowbirds performed at their summer airshows. Most of them, anyway!

It never hurts to have some masculine thank you cards on hand, so I stamped this Stampin' Up image 3 times in black and then added an Impress sentiment that has the same sketchy, military feel.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Teenage Drama!

My friend asked me to make a birthday card for her niece who is turning 18. I figured something with high drama and sparkle would be good. I cut '18' and then simply used the offset function on my Silhouette to create the neon pink borders (it's so cool - you can choose how thick you want the borders to be and it cuts it perfectly!) I then glued the black onto the pink onto the black card base and covered the exposed pink in Glam Pink stickles. I used a matching pink panel inside the card, stamped with Happy Birthday.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

CASology 62 - Arrow

This week's CASology Cue Card is Arrow!

My bounciest, happiest, funnest friend had to have surgery on her knee last week. I know it's going to be hard for her to sit still long enough to recover properly!

I wanted to send her a card, but 'Get Well' didn't seem to cut it. I mean, she's not really sick, is she. (actually, sometime, let's discuss how a card with 'Get Well Soon' on it doesn't work for a lot of situations - do you find that?). This week's Cue Card got me thinking of directions and that led me to this bouncy, happy, fun design.

I cut the arrows with my Portrait, and stamped them with Lawnfawn's Harold's Alpha and some rainbow dots. I masked and used an Inky Antics sentiment for the rest (the sentiment is actually 'Hope you're back in the saddle again soon').

Now it's your turn to see what direction Arrow will take you in. But first, don't forget to see where the other DT members went with it!

OLW157 and a word about Heat Embossing

This week's One Layer Wednesday challenge is hosted by Cheryl and the challenge is to make your sentiment take 'centre stage'.

This design is inspired by this one I found on Bev's blog the other day when I was looking through in preparation for her birthday yesterday. I used an old Hero Arts sentiment and coloured it in with copics. I adapted Bev's colourful design to be one layer, and it's easy, peasy and celebratory!

Now for a little word on heat embossing - a number of you asked me about my foil-wrapped chipboard and my silicone grabber. I start this story by saying that to my knowledge there is no science about this method, although it does seem to smack of that increasingly-rarely-found thing - common sense.

It all started in 2007 when I was making save the date cards for a couple.

 We used red cards and envelopes from Michael's and in order to tie them together, we decided to emboss the flower in clear onto the envelopes (sorry, no photo, but I know you have a good imagination!).

The envelopes were thin and burnt like CRAZY as soon as I got anywhere near them with the heat gun. So I put my thinking cap on. I took a piece of the cardboard that comes with Stampin' Up! DP and cut 2 5x7 panels and glued them together to make it thick and rigid. Then I put aluminum foil over it and taped it at the back. My theory (this is the common sense part) was that by putting this foil-covered card under the envelope, the foil would reflect some of the heat from the heat gun and the powder would melt from top and bottom. Whatever the science is, it worked. And I noticed that the happy side-effect of this method was a definite reduction in warping. It doesn't eliminate warping, but I find that quite often the paper will relax as it cools and reduce warping even further. And if that doesn't work, I put it under a dictionary! (BTW, I'm still using the same foil-wrapped card, so it was definitely a very cost-effective invention!)

Now for the silicone grabber. I usually try to emboss on a larger piece of cardstock than I need so that I don't have to get my fingers too close to the heat gun. But for those little pieces, I used to have those tweezers that came with the 'tool kit' that was popular a few years ago from Michael's. Over time, I found that I ended up with embossing powder melted right onto them and if I used them, that powder would melt again and leave marks on my new piece. I actually saw this contraption on someone else's blog (please let me know if it was you) and managed to find one (brand name Trudeau) in my local kitchen gadget shop (Home Outfitters - I don't think they exist outside of Canada  - the link above is to Amazon). I've only used it a couple of times, but one thing that I do like is that the top side of the pincher is smaller than the bottom side, so you can get a good grip on the bottom of the foil board but right at the edge of the top of your cardstock and you are not just hanging onto the edges. The other good thing is that because it's silicone, the melted EP will not stick to it. Here are a couple of pictures that are hopefully worth more than the last 1000 words!

Monday, 16 September 2013

Happy Birthday, Bev!

Happy Birthday to my good blogging (soon to be real-life) friend, Bev from Gotta Do the Happy Dance!

Hannelie contacted a bunch of us in advance to co-ordinate a birthday blog surprise for Bev, but you are all invited to join in the birthday fun!

Bev is a very talented cardmaker, but more than that, she is a sweet person who is always positive and who always has a kind word of support for so many of us in this blogging community.

For this card, I used a nestability to cut 5 stars and then I glued them together, just slightly offset, so that you can see them all.  And I'm so excited that in less than a month, I will be able to deliver this to Bev IN PERSON when I go to Wisconsin for my annual trip to visit my sister. I just can't wait to have some time to chatter away with Bev and for us to really get to know each other. I know from my visit last month with Virginia and Tracey that blogging friends (just like the cards we make) are even better in real life!

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Craft Room

I don't know about you, but I love seeing other crafters' work spaces! I'm always looking for good organizing ideas and tips and maybe I'm a little nosy, too!

Anyway, I thought I'd share some photos of mine. I have done a minor clean up but I find that it's really an ongoing process and I'm constantly making little changes and I figured I'll never actually be DONE.

My craft space is a little room (probably 10x10) with a beautiful big arched window. In the summer, I keep the blind up, but during winter evenings, I put it down so my neighbours don't have to watch me getting inky! The window faces north, so I don't get direct sunlight and it's generally a lovely, bright place to work. Except that it's the furthest room from the furnace/air conditioner, so it's not always the most comfortable place to be. But I digress....

Here's the view from the door. IKEA desk and bookshelves. Pottery Barn Kids 'nooks' on top of the short bookshelves. Cheap Staples chair. To the right, the door of the closet is off its hinges and has some of my punches hanging on it in a clear shoe hanger.

View from the closet. More IKEA products (2 sets of drawers, stacked in the far corner) and just the edge of a 'workstation desk' visible. In the right hand bookshelf, you can see my Copics and my Stickles (hanging upside down by velcro dots) as well as my unmounted stamp storage on the shelf at the right hand side.

My most-used inks. Mostly Stampin' Up, but some Memento and Hero Arts as well. My 'less-used' inks are in a box on the bottom shelf of this same bookshelf.
You can see some of my DVD Stampin' Up unmounted stamps and some of my CD cases of clear stamps. Ah, clear stamps and their storage - it's my constant challenge. Some are in CD cases (mostly alphabets).

Many of my older stamps are in these clear storage containers from Stampendous. Back in the days when it didn't matter what manufacturer I was using (because I wasn't posting), I organized them all by theme. For example:

This is my container with my favourite Happy Birthday sentiments. When I'm making a birthday card, I pull this out and see which one works best (as well as checking my wooden stamps - see below).  Or if I need a pumpkin (or an animal, or a shape), I can see them all in one place and choose the best one. It saves me flipping through every set I own, every time. But it means I often don't remember who the manufacturer is.

So I started this system, as demonstrated by Jennifer McGuire.  These are my newer sets, stored in  Avery Elle storage pockets, with a piece of Michael's white cardstock inside. I colour code them (with a stripe of Copic colour) - green is sentiments, yellow is backgrounds/elements, pink is floral, plain is other, red is Christmas. On the left side of the bin, I have all my dies also in pockets, on magnet sheets. I'm loving this for the dies, but I do feel like I'm flipping through all my clear sets all the time to see if I can find a suitable sentiment. Not 100% sold on this system, although it does allow me to give credit where credit is due!

Here's a better view of the workstation desk. On the upper shelf, and under the drawers (and in the spot where one would sit if they were sitting at this desk), I have stacks of drawers that keep things like tools, small punches, glitter, bling, ribbon scraps and supplies. Having this workstation leaves me a nice big clear space so I can leave my Cuttlebug out (the drawer under the Cuttlebug has all my plates and embossing pads, as well as sandwich instructions). See below for what's in the left hand drawer. Can you see my circle nestabilities hanging from 3M hooks on the side of the IKEA drawers? I got sick of taking them out of their storage every single day to use them. The boxes behind the Cuttlebug have finished and almost-finished cards in them. To the left  of the workstation is the edge of the monstrosity of a ribbon-keeper I bought in my 'have to own everything' stage. Fortunately, it's behind the door, so I can forget about it most of the time.

The left hand drawer of the workstation has all my embossing powders, my heat gun, my silicone 'grabber' and my foil 'reflector'. I put the piece of cardstock I'm embossing against this foil-wrapped piece of chipboard to help reduce warping and burning. 

On top of the IKEA drawers is more ink storage - my Kaliedecolor and distress inks are here (and my Walkman and speakers).

Inside the IKEA drawers, I use shallow bins to help keep my wooden stamps organized. They are organized by theme, for the reason above. It will horrify some of you to know that I do not keep my Stampin' Up stamps in sets. The ones I want to keep, I write the name of the set on the side, and I sell the rest in my LSS's semi-annual garage sale. BTW - wooden stamps are my favourite (except for those very small ones, then I prefer clear).

Finally, in the closet is my coloured paper storage. I was able to buy these used 12x12 clear stacking racks from my LSS at a great deal and I keep each colour in a 9x12 'ziploc' type bag - full sheets and scraps. It takes up a lot of space, but it's definitely easy to find  a colour when I need it! At the bottom is my mess of glitter, shimmer and patterned papers. To the very left, you can see the door with the punches hanging on it.

I think I've hit all the highlights - and more! I hope you've enjoyed this little 'tour'! Feel free to ask any questions or contribute any helpful tips!

Friday, 13 September 2013

FFC16 - Navy, Silver, White

Time for a new Festive Friday challenge! It's a colour challenge - navy, silver and white.

When used for Christmas, these colours always make me think of the star in the night sky. I was inspired by Bev's apple card from last week's CASology challenge. I loved the off the edge focal point, and extended mine way over the edge.

I hope you'll play along with this challenge - Christmas is getting closer and closer, you know - time to start stocking up on cards!

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Muse #34 - Hello, Baby Bear

For this week's Muse challenge, where our inspiration is this clean card by Therese:

Debby Hughes used this Ink+Wit  image once upon a time and I knew I had to have it. It's perfect for baby cards! And brown (Baked Brown Sugar) and cream is a great neutral colour combination for baby cards. It's especially useful for those baby showers that happen before the baby arrives, but it's easy to add a last-minute tiny pop of colour as I have here if you know what kind of baby it is.  The sentiment is from Stampin' Up!

This card is neither a 4.25x4.25 square (my favourite go-to size) or a 4.25x5.5 standard card. It's 4.25x 4.875 (that's 4 7/8). There's no science to it - I just felt it was the right amount of space plus it will still fit into a regular envelope.

There's still time for you to play along with Muse this week. The deadline is Monday at 8:00 am EDT and then you can vote until Tuesday at 8:00 (even if you didn't get a chance to play along!). Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Just for Fun!

I'm channelling my inner Laura Bassen on this card I've made just for fun. Laura is the queen of the stamped plaid and I am constantly inspired by her amazing talent (plaid and otherwise!). I was also inspired by this logo I found on a truck on the highway the other day (don't worry, Kate took the photo while I was driving!)

I used Papertrey's Super Stripes (and I had to use a Cuttlebug plate as an acrylic block, because those two purple stripes are pretty long!). The sentiment is a Michael's $1.50 stamp.

ETA - decided to link this up to a challenge I don't think I've seen before - CAS (Colours and Sketch) where the challenge is rainbow. Hmm. May have to do another one! 

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

CASology 61 - Silhouette

This week's CASology Cue Card is Silhouette!

My nephew is turning 6 in November, and this is his current favourite silhouette! I cut the bat on my Portrait and used my Parker numbers (Memory Box) for the 6.

By using clear, high contrast colours and simple shapes, the overall feeling is still clean and simple.

Now it's your turn! But before you go, check out what the rest of the DT came up with for your inspiration!