Sunday, 31 August 2014

Celebrate. Again. And Again.

I was struck by a comment that Kelly left the other day on this post, saying " I'm always happy to hear others making more than one or two versions of their cards!"

It reminded me that design is an iterative process. You try things over and over with small (or not-so-small) differences until you get to something you like. It is, after all, only paper and ink, right?

The other day I made my first Muse card and then stopped. But yesterday, I still had this Stampin' Up celebrate stamp out so I thought I would  see what else I could do with it. This time, the swirls of dots seem to originate in the 'b'. There are things I like about this iteration - the width of the panel doesn't have to be so big, allowing me to create a frame around it with layers of cardstock.  I like the 'connection' the two swirls have through the 'b'. But one thing I didn't like as much on this one was that it's not symmetrical. In fact this design emphasizes that the 'b' is not really the centre of the word because the 'e' is hanging off the end all by itself. Moving on....

The grandparents of this card, it won't surprise you to hear, were my Muse cards (for the sentiment) and also the Christmas cards that Kelly was referring to (for the dots). I love this font with its circular letters and straight lines.  So I tried a few of these with different colours, adding clear embossing over top of the dots (NO.) and having varying success with positioning the dots where I wanted them (even now, I'm not sure about the 'a').

Anyway, I guess it's just a long way of saying that it's ok to keep trying things - some will end up in the recycling bin and some will amaze you!

Saturday, 30 August 2014

i {heart} papers GD Post 6/CTS90 - So Happy for you

My new Avery Elle goodies arrived from i {heart} papers just in the nick of time. My sister just got engaged! And what better supplies to use to make a card for her and her fiance than 'We Go Together', 'So Happy' and the 'Happy' die!

I used the sketch from this week's CAS(E) This Sketch challenge.

It took me a little while to choose the colour scheme of white and Lost Lagoon. I wasn't comfortable making an overly feminine cards since there's a man involved, but I didn't want it to be too masculine either. Simple and elegant is a perfect compromise!

I actually cut the sentiment stamp (from So Happy) before I stamped it in Memento black so that I could use the die in place of the stamped happy. To add some shine, dimension and also to ensure that the white-on white was still legible, I used Wow clear embossing powder on the die cut. I stamped the little hearts from 'We Go Together' in Versamark and embossed them in silver and then coloured them in with a clear Wink of Stella so that they look like champagne bubbles coming out of the 'y'.

Friday, 29 August 2014

FFC39 - Merry Christmas

Another Festive Friday challenge! Here's the inspiration photo:

I focused on the green foliage and gold (I think that's a gold ornament under there), the scripty font and slanted placement of the sentiment. I used an Old Island Stamp Company branch and Stampin' Up's Endless Wishes (Christmas) photopolymer set.

Now it's your turn - this challenge will run until midnight on Wednesday, September 10. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Muse #82 - Celebrate!

I know it's early in the week for me to post my Muse card, but I'm so excited with this card I made for this week's Muse challenge, where our Guest Muse is Bobby and this fun card:

I just love the swirls of bright dots (I think they look like fireworks on the dark background!) but of course I also love my white space! I used an old Stampin' Up sentiment and an (I think) Inkadinkado or Stampendous swirl stamped using Desert Heat Kaleidecolor ink. I then added some Diamond stickles for sparkle.

I love that this one-layer card is simple, but fun and celebratory, just like Bobby's!

I know it's a busy time of year (lots of kids going back to school!)  but I hope you'll get a chance to play along - the deadline is next Monday at 8 am EDT. At that point you can vote for your favourites until Tuesday morning at 8. Results of the voting will be posted on Tuesday at noon.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Inspired by Laura. And Kate.

When I first saw Laura's card, I figured it would be one of the most-cased cards of all time. It's so simple, and yet so amazingly beautiful. It's one of my top 10 faves. (One day I'll have to figure out all my favourites and share them - sometimes, you just know a card is going to be classic the first instant you see it!)

Anyway, fast forward to last week, when Kate and her friends were in my craft room, playing with distress inks and stencils. They loved it! Kate made a polka dot background with Festive Berries, Mowed Lawn and Peacock Feathers. That colour combination caught my attention and reminded me of Christmas, and this card has been working itself out in my brain ever since. I love that even though I used circles, I get a plaid or argyle feeling from the pattern.

There are 399 (who, me exaggerate?) of these in my recycling bin. Different sized circles, different orders of colours, but mostly with smudges from the acrylic block. The first 'finished' one ended up like this, with a black Stampabilities sentiment:

It looks better in real life, but it's pretty dark. So I went back to the drawing board (pencilling lines to help me position the overlapping circles) and then stamping a Papertrey sentiment with Unicorn White and embossing with White ep. Still not my favourite technique. Maybe I'll try one (hundred) more time, stamping the colours off for a softer effect? I'll let you know.

CASology 110 - Letter

This week's CASology Cue Card is Letter!

Oh, this is a fun one - so many different ways to go!

I chose to focus on one letter. U. I originally thought this would be a love u card, but at the time, Struan was writing thank you notes after his birthday. I figured this design - clean, graphic, black and white would be masculine and fun enough for him. I popped the U up and then matted the white panel up to one corner. I really thought that it would look better in the bottom left corner (and give some balance with the 'thank') but it didn't (in my humble opinion). I offset the inside white panel in the same way. Anyway, this little card has already been sent to a generous relative and has done its job.

And, I want to say a very heartfelt thank you to all of you who left such kind comments on Kate's blog (and mine) - she's quite proud of her chance to be last week's GD and has been telling all her friends! We both really appreciate your kindness and support!

Now it's your turn - how will you interpret letter? Don't forget to stop by the blogs of the other DT members for more inspiration:

Monday, 25 August 2014

CAS-ual Fridays Winner Announced!

At the beginning of the last CAS-ual Fridays challenge (Tic-tac-toe here), Michele announced that there would be a winner drawn from the people who left comments on the blogs of each of the DT members, as well as an overall winner from the challenge itself.

The full announcement of all the winners is here.

The winner from my blog, is Elise C.

Congratulations, Elise - please email Michele at to get your prize code!

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Muse 81/OLS 8

This card has quite a combination of inspiration sources.

First, this week's Muse, by Marion:

Second, the colour palette for OLS8 - Shades of Summer:

and third, this gorgeous, gorgeous card (also inspired by OLS8) by Julia Altermann

Distress Arrow Sentiment-1

I cut a Papertrey daisy out of Post-it notes and laid it on my card. I then taped down a Kelly Purkey stencil, creating a frame. Yes, my friends, I used a stencil. I even enjoyed it! I used Worn Lipstick, Mustard Seed and Mowed Lawn distress inks - I love how they blend to create additional colours! I finished it with a single pink pearl.

There's still time for both these challenges: the deadline for Muse is Monday at 8 am EDT. You can then vote for your favourites until Tuesday morning. Results of the vote will be posted on Tuesday at noon.

OLS runs until Sunday at midnight.

Friday, 22 August 2014

FFC38 - Mid-Challenge Inspiration - Peace

Time for some mid-challenge Festive Friday inspiration! Here's our inspiration:

I admit that I first thought that black and white would be tough for a Christmas card, but in the end, I'm happy with the cards I've made for this challenge and I've been so impressed with the entries so far!

Again, I focused on the colour scheme and used those Tim Holtz trees, along with a 'handwritten' Verve sentiment. It was feeling a little too stark at that point, so I covered the panel in Versamark ink and then embossed it with iridescent ep. This is a quick, easy way to add a lot of sparkle!

I hope you'll get a chance to play along with us, don't forget that the deadline is Wednesday, August 27.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

i {heart} papers GD Post 5/CTS 89 - You!

A quick, CAS post for this week's CAS(E) This Sketch challenge, using some i {heart} paper products in a fun way.

Here's the sketch:

I wanted to create my rectangle using words. It could be tricky to line up all these words if you wanted them perfectly straight and centred. I think it's easiest just to make it look like it wasn't intended to be straight! Plus it adds some movement and fun!

I also tried a fun new mask/sponge technique that I saw on this card by Jasleen. I love that your eye sees the whole frame, even though there are only 4 little bits of it.  The distressed look of the sponging matches the 'old fashioned' feel of the type-writer font, and the frame provides some grounding for the floating words.

Products used:
Winnie&Walter - The Big, the Bold & the Happy
Winnie&Walter - The BIg, the Bold & You
Paper Smooches - Sweet Hearts
Memento Ink - London Fog & Lilac Posies
Ultra Smooth Premium White Cardstock

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

The Card Concept #17 - Inspired Thanks!

Welcome to the next Card Concept Challenge! This time, we have an inspiration photo:

I chose to focus on one of the pillows. I used a graphic Stampin' Up flower centre and stamped it on the card base and then stamped only half on a die-cut square. I cut several more squares and stacked them up to give some dimension. I finished the card with a Simon Says Stamp sentiment.

Now it's your turn!

Our Rules
  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, September 1 at 3 pm EDT.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

CASology 109 - Java

This week's CASology Cue Card is Java!

This week is extra exciting because my daughter, Kate is Guest Designer. The only problem is that neither Kate (she's 11) nor I drink coffee. We don't really 'get' coffee. So we were a bit stuck. And I have a confession, I think in the end Kate made a more 'Ardyth' card than I did for this one!

I decided to strengthen my 'java' message by using coffee colours - espresso, latte (ok, it's kraft) and cream. I paper-pieced the holder on my cup. Both stamps are from an old Hero Arts set.

Now it's your turn. Before you go, check out the inspiration from the other DT members:

Sunday, 17 August 2014

TO12 - Thanks!

From hot pink yesterday, to cool blue today. When I saw that my friend Anita (in France) is the Guest at Time Out, I just knew I had to play along!

Here's Anita's card:

I created a masked strip of Salty Ocean blending into Peacock Feathers. The masking edges weren't crisp enough so I popped another panel on top, which gives a great shadow as well as some dimension. I used a scripty Clearly Besotted sentiment die cut and instead of adding bling, I embossed the thanks with iridescent ep.

I do like that triple-layered die cut idea - I may be back.....

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Muse 80 - Happy Birthday

Ah, Saturday, my Muse day! Have I mentioned how much I love this challenge? (I know I own it now, but don't forget it was created by Jackie Rockwell, so I think I can get away with saying that I love it without being arrogant! lol!). Every week I'm truly inspired by the Muse and also by all the amazing cards that are linked up!

My card was inspired by this beauty from DT member Therese:

I went clean and graphic but stuck with the theme and the colours. I think that by outlining the MB die cut flower in black, I've included the black thread element, and my sentiment is from the same Altenew stamp set (doesn't it look like those old label-tapes?!). And let's not forget the enamel dot for the black flower centre!

There's still time for you to play along - the challenge will close on Monday at 8 am EDT. Voting starts then and continues until Tuesday at 8. Results will be posted on Tuesday at noon! Hope to see you there!

Friday, 15 August 2014

FFC38 - Merry Christmas!

Time for a new Festive Friday Challenge! Here's the inspiration photo!

For this card, I used my Stampin' Up tag punch with kraft cardstock. I added a Li'l Inkers snowflake (I cut this with Tracey's die when I met up with her a few weeks ago) that was stacked and embossed with iridescent ep. I used a Creatiate sentiment to complete my tag. For my card base, I tried to create a similar look to the black and white stripes from the photo, but less busy. I added 'smeared' Stickles to the edges of the white panel - this easy technique (ie put a thin line of Stickles down the edge of the cardstock and then pat/smear the Stickles with your finger), gives a pretty edge and subtle sparkle.

Now it's your turn - there's so much in this photo I know that the cards will be amazing! The deadline is Wednesday August 27 at midnight.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

i {heart} papers GD Post 4 - Cutting Edge 7/FMS149

Here's a fun multi-challenge card using products from i {heart} papers. I used the inspiration from the latest Cutting Edge card by Jackie Rockwell and the sketch from Freshly Made Sketches.

I love pink orange and yellow together - the ultimate summer colour combination, if you ask me!

Here's what I used:
Paper Smooches Gently Seasoned stamp set (dots)
Paper Smooches thanks die
Hero Arts Unicorn White ink
Lawn Fawn circle dies
Ultra Smooth Premium White Cardstock
Dimensional Dots

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

CASology 108 - Magic!

This week's CASology Cue Card is Magic!

I struggled with this a bit - I had lots of magic ideas, but many of them were not very CAS! But I kept coming back to Steppenwolf's "Magic Carpet Ride". It's been in my head ALL WEEK LONG! And in Canada, this is how we do magic carpets! lol!

I used a Papertrey silhouette and a Stamps of Life sentiment. To add a bit of interest to all the white space around my silhouette, I cut a partial layer for the hill with my Creative Memories Curvy Cutter (sadly retired) and added some Stickles for sparkle.

Now it's your turn - before you go, make sure you check out all the inspiration from the rest of the DT!

Sunday, 10 August 2014

OLS8 - Shades of Summer (Daisy)

Susan's got a great challenge over at One-Layer Simplicity for this month. She's chosen a number of summery colour palettes and we can choose whichever one we like to play along!

I chose this one:

And I was inspired by the technique Lydia used to make these pretty flowers here.

I cut a daisy from an old Fiskars punch and used it as a mask. I sponged Broken China distress ink and then Salty Ocean around the centre before removing the mask and using a spong dauber in Mustard Seed and then Wild Honey around the edges of that. I finished it off with a Papertrey sentiment.

CASology 107 - Stripe (take two)/CFC134 - White, Grey & Black

From time to time (but not often enough!) something inspires me so much that I just can't seem to stop for a while. After seeing Sherrie's stripe card for this week's CASology Cue Card, my brain went into stripe overdrive. This card was inspired by Sherrie's card.I

 I dug out a Uniko stamp of five lines and stamped it once in the centre of the card. My Smoky Slate ink was too juicy, and it resulted in these 'distressed' stripes, so I decided to go with it and stamped right across the panel. I added a die cut Happy (Papertrey Wet Paint) and stamped birthday. 

This time, I was inspired by Joyce's flag card:

I love how the overstamped thanks fits so well into these stripes (stamped with London Fog).

And finally, as I was putting everything away, I found another little stripe-y stamp that almost never gets used (it's from Grunge Me by Papertrey).

I stamped it above and below the same thanks - I love the clean graphic look!

I chose to make these cards in a masculine colour palette that fits in with this month's CAS-ual Friday tic-tac-toe challenge - white, grey and black (are you guys playing along with this challenge - don't forget there's lots of prizes!):

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Muse Challenge #79 - Happy Birthday to You

Here's my take on this week's Muse challenge where we have a beautiful summery card inspiration from Vicki:

I absolutely love the vibrant red and purple together and I think this technique is really cool. It results in a riot of colour that is absolutely amazing! But (surprise!) I wanted my riot to be a little more 'controlled'. I think that you really can use any technique and still make a clean-feeling card.

I don't really know how Vicki did this with her reinkers (actually, now I hear it was alcohol inks - come on Vicki, do a video!), so I used my Copics. I cut the Memory Box butterfly out of the white panel and popped out all the little bits. I then lifted the wings (this die is still 'stuck' in the centre - it doesn't cut all the way out) and drew the outline on the card base so I would know where to put my coloured dots. I added Stickles to the wings for sparkle and laid the (separately cut) black butterfly body on. The sentiment is from Annabelle Stamps.

I hope you'll get a chance to play along with us this week - the deadline for this challenge is Monday at 8 am EDT. At that time, you can vote for your top 3 favourite cards until Tuesday at 8 am (even if you didn't link up a card).  Results will be posted on Tuesday at noon.

Friday, 8 August 2014

FFC37 - Mid-challenge Inspiration

Time for a reminder about our current Festive Friday challenge! Here's the inspiration:

Now, I'm not always really a Tim Holtz kind of girl. He's obviously talented but usually the style of his stamps is just 'more' than mine. But I fell in love with these trees as soon as I saw them! I stamped them several times, masking the bottom of the card. I then used a Gina K sentiment, stacking the words like the gifts are stacked on top of the car. Finally, I edged it in silver, to pick up the chrome of the car.

This challenge ends on Wednesday, August 13 at midnight. Don't forget to link up here!

Thursday, 7 August 2014

i {heart} Papers GD Post 3/ATCAS 44- Golden Thanks

Another I {heart} Papers post today - this one to play along with the current ATCAS challenge, Gold.

You know how a rainbow ends in a pot of gold? Well that was my inspiration for this card. I cut part of the the rainbow die and coloured it with copics before laying it back into the panel. I stacked the thanks die with gold mirror card on top.

I used
MFT Rainbow die
Paper Smooches thanks die
White Cardstock