Friday, 31 January 2014

FFC24 - Silver and Gold!

Welcome back to the next Festive Friday Challenge! Here's the inspiration photo:

Lots of silver and gold with a couple of red touches! I chose to focus on that one clear glass ornament with the gold snowflake on it.

Making this card is so, so easy, but I think that the acetate window gives it a wow factor.

The trickiest bit is cutting the circle window in the same spot in the silver panel and the white cardbase. But I just laid the silver on top of the white and ran it all through the cuttlebug at the same time. It didn't cut through the white, but it did leave a big impression where I could place the circle nestability after I had taken the silver panel out of the sandwich. And it left that embossed 'frame' on the silver panel for a little extra texture!

I then simply taped some acetate in the window, die cut the Simon Says Stamp snowflake from SU!'s new Gold Foil paper (backed with Scor tape so that the snowflake became a sticker) and placed it in the window. The 3 little 'nail heads' at the bottom are some of the circle cut outs from the snowflake - they were too perfect not to use!

As for the inside, I dithered (that's a mom word for sure!) whether to stamp the sentiment so that it could be partially seen through the window or not. In the end I stamped a Creatiate 'Merry Christmas' in Cherry - here's how it looks. Although maybe you could argue that it mimics the cluttered, layered look of the ornaments in the box, I think I prefer it without the sentiment! I'd love to hear what you think! And we'd love to see you link up - the deadline is Wednesday Feb 12.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Happy New Year!

Tomorrow is Lunar (Chinese) New Year and the beginning of the year of the Horse. I'm well prepared for this occasion, with a whole drawerful of horse stamps!

Red and gold are lucky colours in Chinese design. I embossed my Deadbeat Designs abstract horse and (awesome!) sentiment in gold on red mirror cardstock. I used an embossing buddy to ensure minimal stray embossing powder. I had to 'buff' the panel to get the extra embossing buddy-stuff off after, but I'm pretty happy with my first try at embossing on mirror card! I made the cardbase out of red mirror card.

Muse 52, DD87 - Framed Bloom

I made this card for this week's Muse challenge, inspired by Marion's beautiful card here:

I focused on the layered flower and the frame, but went a little bolder in my colour combination, so that I could play along with this week's Dynamic Duos challenge as well:

I used the same layering idea for my petals as I did on this card, but this time in die cuts, rather than layered stamping. I decided to leave this card without a sentiment, so that the focus is completely on the graphic bloom.

I hope you'll be able to play along with us at Muse this week - the deadline is on Monday morning at 8:00 am. Voting takes place between Monday morning and Tuesday morning (anyone can vote, even if you didn't link up a card!) and the results will be posted on Tuesday at noon.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

CASology 80 - Purple Valentine

This week's CASology Cue Card is Purple!

I discovered a lot about my true feelings about purple this week. I use it all the time. In rainbows. I almost never use it outside of a rainbow. I really don't like it very much on its own. So I challenged myself to make a card that I would still be proud to give to someone.

In the end I decided to shift the focus a little from the colour to the interesting way I've attached this charm to the card. I punched a 1/16th inch hole in the charm and in the white panel, and used silver twine to attach it. That is the only place it attaches so it is free to move.

Now it's your turn! Do you love purple? Or not? Either way, there are lots of creative ways to use it - take a look at what the rest of the DT did with it!

Monday, 27 January 2014

Rainbow Flower Birthday

Still cranking out birthday cards! This wasn't made with any of my 500 (only slightly exaggerated!) Jan/Feb/Mar birthday people specifically in mind, but it may end up being used for one of them if I don't come up with something better. I love how the rainbow colours pop off the black and white, and I also love the intensity of the double-stamped inner petals - such an easy little trick to add a lot of depth and interest to flat stamping!

I made this flower about 10 times, and trick really became cropping it properly, so it felt balanced and had enough of each colour but was still interesting.

Michael's sentiment, Paper Smooches leaves used as petals.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

CASE Study175, Muse 51 - Happy 50th Birthday!

Next in the Birthday Card Factory! This one's for my husband, Michael, who is turning 50 next week. I used Donna's Case Study card as inspiration:

The Papertrey numbers and letters are actually silver foil paper from Stampin' Up, they give a nice shine. And I used the colours from this week's Muse Anniversary challenge (there's still time to play along - the deadline is Monday morning at 8 am EST. Come check it out!)

Saturday, 25 January 2014

FFC23 - Merry (Horsey) Christmas

A gentle reminder that there is still time to play along with the current Festive Friday Challenge!

It's been a while since I made any horse cards for my horse-surgeon sister. I bought this stamp at Crate and Barrell just before Christmas (but don't worry, it was already on sale!). This is a Scandinavian  toy horse from Yellow Owl Workshop and I think he works really well with the barn on this inspiration photo. After I stamped him, I went through my Christmas stamps, looking for a Scandinavian-looking sentiment. No, I didn't really know what that would look like either, but I figured I would know it when I saw it! lol! In the end, this Stampin' Up sentiment with the lines works perfectly to provide grounding for the horse, in a fairly neutral font.

The deadline is Wednesday at midnight PST (which is 3 am EST).

CTS61 - Happy Birthday

My craft room has become a birthday card factory! Between January 11 and March 5, we have my dad, Michael, our niece Kara, my MIL and Brother in Law (same day), my sister, another BIL, my mom and my daughter Kate. Phew!

This one is for my brother in law (same day as my MIL, but much closer geographically!)

I used this week's CAS(E) This Sketch layout:

I debated filling in the flames with yellow and/or stickles but in the end left it clean and graphic. Michael's sentiment and Technique Tuesday candle.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Muse 51 - Happy Birthday

Happy First Birthday to the Muse Challenge! We are so honoured to have Muse's creator Jackie Rockwell return as our Muse for our anniversary week - here's one of the two Muses that we showcased:

I focused on the black text, the black margin on the left side and the 3 little hearts, which I cut out of mirror card for some interest.

We're also thrilled that Vicki Dutcher has joined the DT - her first Muse will be February 3 - drop by her blog and welcome her!

There's still time to play along! The deadline is Monday at 8:00 am est, voting takes place from Monday morning to Tuesday morning and the top 6 will be announced on Tuesday at noon! I hope you'll join us!

PS - please take note of the new OLS Challenge blog button to the right - you can get it here!

And the Muse button is available here.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Happy Birthday, Kara!

I was so worried about getting my Mother-in-law's birthday card done and in the mail to Scotland to arrive on time for February 2 that I almost forgot our neice's birthday which is January 31. She lives outside London, so it needs to get into the mail as well!

This idea came from the overlapping sentiment on my MIL's card. I love the big bold colours (My Stamp Box Tall Solids Alpha) and the overlap (Uniko All Occasions Sentiments #2).

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

The Card Concept - Challenge 2 - Texture

Welcome back! Wow! The response to our first challenge was thrilling! We're so happy that you like this innovative concept that Lesley came up with!

Time for the second Card Concept challenge - to add texture to your card:

To translate this photo into a Clean and Graphic card, I chose to focus on colours of the house. With CAG, less is almost always more, so there's no need to make sure that every element from your inspiration is included.

I added texture in a couple of ways: first, I ran the strips of Suede and Poppy through my Cuttlebug with my Grosgrain Ribbon texture plate. Having the same texture on the whole panel helps to keep it clean.

I cut out a heart from the main panel and then another to create a white frame like the white trim around the door. The main panel and the heart are popped up with foam tape (the second type of texture). Even adding a tiny touch of Stickles around the edges creates subtle texture and certainly adds some sparkle!

(I'm also linking to CASual Friday's Colour Block challenge)

Here's a reminder of the rules for this challenge:
  1. Use the Challenge to create a card.
  2. Choose one of the design team "styles" to create your card. Click HERE for the different styles summary.
  3. Explain in your post which style you used.
  4. Link up your blog post here, not your whole blog.
  5. Comment on the card ahead of you and behind you in the linky. Everyone loves comments!
This challenge will end on Monday, February 3rd at 3pm EST.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

CASology 79 - Contrast

This week's CASology Cue Card is Contrast (and there's a back story!)

Just in case you think we (the DT members) don't struggle with CAS too, let me tell you where this cue card came from. One of us made a card for one of the upcoming challenges and uploaded it to the DT blog. She also asked us if we thought it was CAS enough. Let me tell you, it was a gorgeous card, and it was simply stamped, but it had very little white space. We agreed that it probably was not the best example of CAS and she went back and made another one.

We thought it would be fun to CONTRAST between CAS and not CAS. Some of us have made two new contrasting cards for this challenge, but I (running out of time) went back through my old cards and found one that I could CASify (word trademarked by my friend Susan Raihala).

Here's the original, from May 2013. Now don't get me wrong. I love this card. I love lots of non-CAS cards, but the point of CASology is to showcase CAS style.

See what I did? I used the same sentiment, and all the colours (plus one more, actually), but I toned it down a bit. Left a lot more white space. Seriously, white space is THE key to any clean card (clean and simple, clean and layered or clean and graphic). But white space doesn't have to be boring and flat. In order to maintain the linear feel of the original, I popped the strip up and added a bit of interest.

Anyway, that's where the Cue Card came from, but as always, you can interpret CONTRAST in any CAS way you like! Just remember to link up before the deadline next Sunday at 5:00 pm EST.

Here are links to the other DT members' blogs - go see how they've shown contrast!

Monday, 20 January 2014

CTS60 - Happy Birthday to my DMIL!

I know. Two posts in one day! I actually made this card this afternoon to post on Thursday, but then realized that the current CAS(E) This Sketch challenge will be over by then. And tomorrow is CASology and Wednesday is the new Card Concept challenge, so today was the only day for me to post and link up!

This is going to be my mother-in-law's birthday card. This is her favourite colour combination. I quickly arrived at the overlapping Neat&Tangled Happy Birthday stamps, but struggled with how to incorporate the 'ribbon' behind the sentiment/image panel.  In the end I embossed a strip of dots with iridescent ep for some more sparkle. But that left me with another dilemma. It's so hard to photograph clear glitter (especially when it's an integral part of the sketch). So that's why this photo is so dark - any lightening I tried made the glitter dots disappear!

MIM149, CFC126, Love you

I wanted to hop on the gradient glitter bandwagon started by Jennifer Rzasa. She made a beautiful blended glitter card that has inspired a lot of people. I couldn't bring myself to mix my glitters(!!), so I used half inch scor tape to create a rainbow with my various microfine glitters (one at a time!). I then cut this ring using two circle nestabilities. And then I didn't know what to do with it!

In the end I decided to go with a masculine valentine - simple, but with a pop of colour and sparkle. Not 100% sure of any perceived symbolism of a black heart. I'll be interested to hear what you think!

Perfect for the Make It Monday - Glitter Embellishments and CASual Fridays Colour block challenges.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

CASE Study 174 - Thank you!

This month's Guest at CASE Study is one of my all time favourite cardmakers - Donna Mikasa. Her cards make it in into my Pinterest Inspiration board A LOT! Here's this week's Inspiration card:

I focused on the sponging and the handwritten feel of the 'cool'. But I also used what I suspect is one of Donna's favourite colour combinations (although she often uses them on a craft card rather than white). I embossed the Paper Sushi sentiment and then sponged various distress inks over top. I then stamped the dots in the same colours of ink to create a tone-on-tone look.

Friday, 17 January 2014


Welcome to the first Festive Friday Challenge of 2014! This challenge is designed to help you keep up with Christmas cards through the year, so that there's no last minute panic! If you joined us last year, you saw how it worked. And if you didn't, well, maybe you're ready to join us this year! :-)

This year the challenge is a little different - we have inspiration photos rather than specific challenges like we had last year. So you can go in whatever direction the photo takes you. Here's the photo for this challenge:

I focused on the red and white of the barn, and the wreath. I cut PTI's Rustic Wreath out twice and bent the leaves of the top wreath, adding Lime Stickles to tne edges for some sparkle. I used white block letters and a white card base with a red panel to capture the feeling of the red barn with all the white trim.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Rainbow Birthday

On Tuesday morning, my order from IKEA came. Some new little bins for my stamps and that turquoise cart that everyone is getting. By 2:00 I was inspired to do a craft room overhaul, including taking one big bookshelf and one small bookshelf downstairs for Kate's American Girl 'apartment' (her dolls live pretty well, I tell you!). I brought in an old brown bookcase from the guest room, so a rethink was in order.

By 3:00, my craft room literally looked like a bomb went off in it. (Should have taken a photo!) By 9:00 this morning, there was still significant work to do, and I made a trip to IKEA to get the rest of what I should have ordered. By 3:00 this afternoon, I just knew I wasn't going to be able to make a card for today's post.

There were too many 'loose ends' (you know all that stuff that you don't really know what to do with, but you just can't seem to throw it out?). Then I decided to put the loose ends in a box to be dealt with later and sat down at my newly organized desk to see what would come to me.

A couple of my rainbow cards were featured at Paper Crafters' Library earlier this week, so I guess rainbow was own my mind. I used paper scraps to create the rainbow behind the white panel. I cut the white panel measuring 4x5, knowing that when I used my curvy cutter (Creative Memories, discontinued, sorry) and placed the two panels where a 4x5.25 panel should be, I would have a .25" gap where the rainbow could peek through.

My original plan (and first panel) was to have the sentiment along the bottom of the curve, but it looked wrong, so I cut my Papertrey stamp and stamped it to look like a smile.

PS - here's the brown bookshelf with all my new IKEA bins:

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Muse 50 - Merry Christmas

Isn't this fun? I love the bold colours and simple shapes in this. I was inspired by Therese's Muse this week - this row of masked, brightly-coloured cupcakes:

I was also inspired by the logo of a new stamp company called winnie and walter - I'm eagerly awaiting my opportunity to shop!
This Stampabilities sentiment (that echos Therese's sentiment with its handwritten feel and mixed fonts) is one of my favourite Christmas presents from this year - my mom found it for me at Hobby Lobby during one of her trips to the US. I just loved the handwritten feel of it when I saw it on this Muse card of Benzi's and went frantic trying to find it online, to no avail. I showed it to my mom online and she promised she would keep an eye out for it but then I forgot all about it until I opened it on Christmas day. Moms are great, aren't they? And now, here I am using it on my Muse card!

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

CASology 78 - Dot!

This week's CASology Cue Card is dot!

I used a big dot from Neat & Tangled's set Everyday Circles. To add some pops of colour, I used a slightly larger circle mask over the dot to leave a clean frame around the black dot. Then I masked some very thin lines and sponged from the centre of the card out to the edge so that the colour fades out.

Now it's your turn! Before you go, remember to check out all the inspiration from the DT members!

Monday, 13 January 2014

OLS1 - Thanks!

Is this the simplest card ever made, or what? I made it for the very first One-Layer Simplicity challenge, Restocking the Shelves. After Christmas, we're always low on Thanks cards (in fact right now, I'm low on pretty much everything, so I may be back with more cards!)

We have been absolutely delighted by the enthusiastic response you've given OLS! The number of comments and entries has been just amazing!

So I guess this card is thanks to YOU! For being such wonderful supporters and participants! If you haven't joined us yet, there's still time - the deadline is January 24.

Since this week's LIM challenge is one-layer hearts, I'll link up there, too.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Pinterest-Inspired Valentine

When I saw this photo on Pinterest:

I like the idea of a simple invite with a gold wrap to hold it all together.

I knew this design could translate into a wonderful, simple valentine. I used a Stampin' Up alphabet and a little heart die.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Muse 49 - Thank you!

Ah! I feel warmer already! This polar vortex has resulted in cold winter temperatures that have forced me to stay inside a lot this week, but Laurie's sunny Muse cheered me right up. Great fresh colours and a lovely message, too!

I focused on the shapes and colours that Laurie used. The flower is from Impress and the sentiment is from EMDash. I gave the flower a little 'dimension' by shading the petals with copic markers. It's an easy way to give your simply-stamped images a bit more interest!

There is still time for you to play along with us - the deadline is Monday morning at 8:00 am EST. Then you can vote until Tuesday morning, and the winners will be announced on Tuesday at noon.

Friday, 10 January 2014

RIC51 - Happy Birthday

One thing you can say for January, staying inside means I've had more time to look around and play along with challenges that have been passing me by for too long!

This week's Runway Inspired Challenge is fun - look at those fantastic bold colours!

And this week's Keep it Simple challenge is text: 

I focused on the blue suit and the red belt and used MFT's Max Alphabet to create this simple card.

Here's what I do when I'm not sure about spacing letters across a particular size of panel. I stamped Happy from left to right, and then started with the Y from birthday, and stamped it 'backwards', from right to left. That way I didn't have to guess how much space to leave between Happy and Birthday. Easy right?