Saturday, July 28, 2012

Dynamic Duos - Crumb Cake & Early Espresso

I have a bunch of work to do today.  That means that I'm feeling really creative and spend the whole morning in my craft room instead of doing what I should be doing.  I can't help it - especially when Dynamic Duos posts one of my favourite colour combinations. 

You can never go wrong with Crumb Cake.  It provides a lovely contrast for Early Espresso.  I've been wanting to use this stamp for a while, but it doesn't leave room for a whole lot else on the card, and I was having trouble finding a background that I liked for it.  Alas, this morning I was inspired (or procrastinating - your choice).  The texture and matting of this card provide a nice balance for such a large sentiment.

I knew that I wanted to give this card to my Mother-in-law, but I also wanted something else to slip in with it.  This little bookmark is the perfect thing.  Well, it's not little, but it's lovely.  I decided to stick with the colour scheme here as well.

These gigantic paperclips make perfect bases for flower bookmarks.  I have a feeling I'm going to go on a binge making these type of flowers, so stay tuned for a picture tutorial on how to make them.  The picture doesn't really do it justice.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Adventures in Collaging

After dinner tonight I sneaked out to the craft room again for one more card.  One of my favourite things to do whilst sipping my morning coffee is blog surf.  Yesterday morning I was poking around on Heather Telford's site Bits & Pieces and saw her series of collage cards.  Her creations are stunning and I pinned one with this colour scheme to make for later.  I didn't think I'd get to it until at least tomorrow, but I just couldn't wait.


The colours I've used for this card are Summer Starfruit, Lucky Limeade, and Old Olive.  I started by inking up En Francais with SS, then stamped it off once before daubing a little OO and LL on there as well.  The rest of the images are from Papaya Collage.  Oh, that's not entirely true.  That swirly guy up the right is a the Baroque Borders wheel (now retired).  I hate the wheels, but love the images so I rip the rubber off the wheel and make it into a long skinny stamp instead.  This way I can get full coverage, and blend the colours if I want to.

More Everything Eleanor

It's Sunday.  To me, that means homework day.  I finished writing a ten page paper on personality testing this morning, then proceeded to write a short essay on the analysis of dreams.  My brain was ready to explode, so I snuck out to the happy place for a few minutes.

I know I've posted a few cards with the Everything Eleanor set, but it really is just about the most beautiful set I've got.  I've been seeing these triple layer stamping cards all over the place and finally baaed along like a little sheep and made one for myself.  It's actually really pretty, but the picture doesn't really do it justice.  I'm not about to post the instructions for it, but you can go over to Frenchie Stamps to see it.  There are a ton of videos out there on this technique, but she has the best accent so I like hers.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Dynamic Duos #12

 I LOVE Poppy Parade.  I almost cried this year when it left the colour circuit.  Oh well.  I'm still hanging on to my supplies in case they ever bring it back (which I'm desperately hoping they will do).  Anywho, the challenge at Dynamic Duos this week is black and Poppy Parade, with a side of punches, if you please.

I must say that I haven't really used the Blossom Builder punch a whole lot.  I've had it forever, but it just isn't one of my go-to punches.  However, I've been seeing a bunch of theses decadent flowers lately so I pulled it out today to give it a shot.  It was a little time consuming, but well worth the effort.  I think I might bring a stack of paper in next time I'm watching a movie and make a few more.

The lovely flourish in the background is from Everything Eleanor.  I'm a lover of everything flourish (I even have a tattoo of a butterfly, the wing pattern of which is a bunch of flourishes).  They are simple yet elegant, and match many different styles of images.  Rather than just stamping the background like this, which would have been lovely too, I decided to use the delft tile technique.  Just adds another little extra.

Well, back to homework for the day.  Reading about Freud's psychoanalytic theory gets a little dry after five hours of it....

Friday, July 20, 2012

Stamping 411 #265 - Storybook Friends

It finally rained today.  In the last hour at the Farmer's Market!  Out of nowhere a thunder cloud rolled in and dumped on us.  Luckily it went away just as quickly and didn't come back until we were packing up for the day.  So upon coming home, I made my way out to the craftroom to make some more goodies.

Though I made a couple of baby cards yesterday, I still wanted to make a few more.  I found this sketch on Stamping 411 and played around in my stash to find some papers that I liked.  I've got a HUGE stack of retired DSP that I need to use up, so cards for the market are perfect.  I'm still on a kick with this set, and think the lamb is about a sweet as you can get.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

SUO Challege - Thank You

 After spending about five hours out in the craftroom today, I decided to call it quits.  After one more card.  Okay two, but anyways....

I bookmarked the Stampin' Up Only Challenge page a while back and finally got around to it today.  This week's challenge is a special thank you.  I love using layers, textures, ribbons, brads, and distressing.  This card gave me a chance to do it all!

The image is Hello Doily.  I stamped it in Primrose Petals, then stamped it off once to lighten the colour a bit.  Then I used my sponge daubers and added a little Soft Suede.  Next I inked up the inside of my Vintage Wallpaper EF with Soft Suede (just a little but) and ran my stamped piece through the Big Shot.  Finally, I punched the layers and added the ribbon.  The seam binding ribbon is perfect for this style, and I made a decadent three layer bow to go behind my vintage brad.  The sentiment is from Apothecary Art.  I love how elegant the font is.

Create With Connie & Mary #210 - Storybook Friends

It's Farmer's Market day tomorrow, so I've been busily creating to stock up a little.  I had a few people ask for baby cards last week, and I was lacking in that department, so here I am making a few for my stash.

I'd seen a card in a magazine a while back that did this paper piecing with the top note and have been meaning to do it.  Over at Create With Connie & Mary there's a colour challenge this week that works perfectly for both purposes.  The colours a similar to the pallet used in Stampin' Up's Storytime DSP.  I haven't purchased a package of that paper yet, but it's moving to the top of my list.

I made a baby card using another of the images from this set (Storybook Friends) a while ago but thought the little bunny with the wand was too cute to pass up.  On a funny note - it actually says "Surprise!" underneath the image - which I thought would be HILARIOUS on a baby card, but something tells me it might not be so funny to everyone else, so I suck with a generic sentiment instead.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Hand Stamped Sentiments #127

 The sun us out again today after a wild storm last night.  Sunny days make me think of butterflies and flowers.  This week's challenge at Hand Stamped Sentiments call for you to use the dazzling diamond dust technique. 

I made the panel with the fading ink and knew I wanted a dimensional butterfly on it as well.  What goes better with butterflies than shimmer?


I was going to add a birthday sentiment, but thought that the dark pallet would work well for a sympathy card.  I don't really like making cards that say "With Sympathy" because I think it's a little morbid to have those hanging around as "just in case" cards.  The phrase from Herb Expressions fits the bill nicely, but would also be used for someone going through a tough time.  Still a bit of a downer, but not so much as sympathy.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Upcoming Class

This Wednesday (the 18th), from 7:00 - 9:00pm I'll be hosting a card class.  During the class We'll be making three cards (one Christmas, one birthday, and one general that you can add whatever sentiment you feel like).

Please email me to register.  The fee is $10 and includes all the supplies that you will need to make the cards.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Freshly Made Sketches #43 - Be of Good Cheer

It's about 35 degrees outside (95 degrees to you ladies south of the border).  I love the sun and heat, but after baking outside in it for a few hours, a girl needs a break.  Where to I go to take a break?  My craft room - of course.

This week, Tui over at Freshly Made Sketches came up with a great little sketch for us.  The two panels make for a nice DSP display, and I've been stocking up on Christmas cards so I grabbed my Be of Good Cheer paper and away I went.


I love to mix up non-traditional colours for Christmas cards, but sometimes I really love good ol' red & green.  I'm not in love with the way Garden Green and Wild Wasabi look with any of our reds, and I got a little sick of always pairing Cherry Cobbler with Old Olive, so the addition of Gumball Green this year really made me happy. It's a fantastic green green.  Like grass green.  It's the green I think of when I think of Christmas.  As I dug through my Christmas stamps I almost cried when I realized that all but three of my sets are no longer available.  Delightful Decorations however is still going strong.  I love dimension on a card, but hate cutting things out, so punches are my friend.  I've gotten a lot of use out of this set, and think I'm going to use this card at an upcoming workshop.

Now for something completely unrelated to stamping, but that I feel the need to share.

When it's hot out, I want a cold drink.  The other day the heat was blazing and it was practically the Kalahari in my backyard.  I'm taking the kind of heat that you can see coming off the road in little waves.  The kind that makes your eyes turn into little swirlies.  I wanted something ice cold and tasty.  Problem there is that I wanted something tasty.  Not water, something with flavour.  The problem there is that I'm trying to cut back on my sugar intake.  Since I had two massive coffees in the morning with some flavoured cream, I couldn't justify drinking iced tea (the bad kind, made from crystals).  I wanted a Passion tea Lemonade.  The problem there, is that the closest Starbucks is a little more than an hour's drive along the highway.  So in my quest for a Passion tea Lemonade I drove into town and got some supplies to make my own.

Imagine my dismay when I got to the grocery only to realize that Tazo teas are $7!  What the heck!  Are you kidding me?  [And for starters, fruity "tea" isn't really tea at all.  It's masquerading as such, but I know better.]  There's no way I was spending $7 on something that I was almost embarrassed to buy, so I headed over to the Western Family selections (basically our grocer's no-name brand).  There I found Cranberry Raspberry, for $2.49.  Much better.  I dropped it in my cart and headed to the coolers.  When buying Lemonade, get the good stuff.  Simply Lemonade.  It's a complete rip off at $5.50 for under 2L, but it's delicious.   I added that to my cart and off I went.  (I realize that I could just post the recipe on here, but how boring would that be?  Plus, you can scroll down if you get bored of my rant.)

So here's what I did to make my very own just-as-delicious-but-homemade-so-better Passion tea Lemonade (okay, it's Cranberry Raspberry Lemonade, but tastes exactly the same).  First, separate your lemonade into thirds.  Keep one third in the bottle and store the rest for later (or make a huge batch if you have a big container).  Boil 1L of water and steep 7 "tea" bags in it for about 5 minutes.  Remove the tea bags and stir in about a tablespoon of sugar (I did this in a mason jar).  Then, wait for it to cool and mix it with the lemonade.  (To speed up the cooling process because I'm impatient, I poured it into a large baking pan and threw the lemonade container in the freezer.  It was ready to drink in about 20 minutes.)  The "tea" really cuts down on the sugar level of the lemonade, and gives it just the right amount of refreshingness (that's not a word, but bite me if you care).  I got three batches out of my one box of "tea" and container of lemonade. 

Now, I'm not one to always be looking for ways to save money, but it ended up costing me less than $8 for about 5L of tea.  I'm thinking each batch is about the equivalent of 10 ventis, so it seems like a pretty good deal to me.

Maybe tomorrow I'll make a batch of black tea lemonade and see how that goes.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Lesson in Colouring

So, now for my lesson in colouring.  I love my markers.  I think we kind of get shorted as adults when it's no longer really acceptable to sit down with a colouring book as a pass time.  Ever notice that whenever there's a small child and a colouring book, they never lack for an adult to play along with them?  It's because we want to colour too.  We're pretending that it's just us being nice and playing with the child, but that's just a cover-up for our real motive.

What's the lesson you ask?  Don't cheap out on your paper.  If you do, you will be very, very disappointed.  I'm in market mode for cards for the next few weeks, so I decided I would cheap out and buy a package of white cardstock from Michael's to make my money go a little farther.  It was $4.99 for 50 sheets instead of $8.50 for 40 sheets like I get from Stampin' Up.  Lesson learned.  It's more like thick paper than cardstock, and it's not shiny like the SU stuff.  I hadn't realized that the slight sheen of the SU cardstock makes it a nice base for colouring.  When I applied my blender pen to the cheap paper I wasn't able to blend the colours very nicely.

The one on the left is the cheapy paper.  See the lines from the marker?  I hate that.  On the right, the colours blend more subtly into one another, much like a brayer would do.  This is important if you're colouring a larger image with blender pens.  The dark patches are the actual marker to paper, and there's not a huge difference, but the SU paper takes the ink more evenly.  

You can't really see it very well, but the cheap paper also got wet too quickly and started to peel.  Not a very nice thing to have on a special card you've spent time making for someone.  The texture of the paper was all gross once I swiped the little gunk away.

So, take it from me and stick with good quality paper.  I'm going to get some of the watercolour paper on my next order, and I'm looking forward to using my markers on that.

Mojo Monday 249 - You're Amazing

What a busy weekend.  My dear cousin's step-dad passed away last week so we were busy this weekend with a memorial service for him.  Rather than than the traditional cry-your-eyes out type of service (which would not have been his style) we had more pf a party.  We decorated the hall with mementos from his life, and shared stories to make everyone laugh.  Quite a send off.

Did I mention it's been SWELTERING here lately?  All of this was done in a hall that did not have AC, so I've been sweaty and sticky for two days straight.

I'm home today however, and staying in my craft room for the remainder of the day.  It's scorching hot outside, but my room is in the garage where it's nice and cool.  Even the pets have found their way out here to try and escape the heat.

Today's card uses the Mojo Monday sketch as a base for this birthday card.  The elephant and ticket stamp are from You're Amazing.  It's a super fun little set that I think I'll get some good mileage out of.  The balloon is really neat too, and I thought about using that, but I wanted an image that I could colour.  (See following post for a lesson on colouring.)   The paper is from Birds of a Feather (also used on another card last week).  I'm still a little sad about losing Poppy Parade to make room for the new In Colours this year, but they're certainly growing on me.  The base of the card is Summer Starfruit, and the panel base is Raspberry Ripple.  That luscious ribbon is the Stitched Satin in Primrose Petals.  Island Indigo also makes an appearance on the DSP base.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Freshly Made Sketches #42 - Morning Cup

What's this bright thing filling the sky making it all bright outside?  I think it rhymes with 'fun'.  Did you know that the sky could be blue? I had forgotten that.  While those of you back east have been enjoying a heat wave, we westerners have developed webbed feet to accommodate the wet.  Seriously.  It's been raining FOREVER.  The last nice weekend we had was back in May.  The sun made an appearance around 1:30 yesterday (amidst clouds, mind you, but an appearance nevertheless) and seems to have stuck around.  This is the first morning for like 6 weeks that the sky's been blue.  And I have to go to the Farmer's Market.  Boo!

But I digress.  Yesterday morning I saw the sketch on Freshly Made Sketches.  [I feel the need to add in here how much I like these sketches.  I usually distress the heck out of my cards in one way or another, and wasn't a big fan of "clean" until I started following this blog.  It's still not my trademark style, but I have grown quite fond of it.  So a big thanks to the ladies that work so hard every week to bring us a new sketch.]

I like this card for a number of reasons.  1.  It's got steaming cups of (insert favourite hot beverage here) in adorable little cups.  2.  It uses Stampin' Up's Morning Cup stamp set which is a really great set if you like colouring.  3.  I got to put my new In Colours to use.  4.  The strip of DSP is from a new series that I really like, Birds of  a Feather, and it gives the card something funky and narrowed my pallet.

I meant to post this yesterday, but the battery on my camera was dead, and then I got lost in the time-warp that is my craft room.  THEN the sun came out, so I had to get my book and proceeded to spend the next three hours reading in the sun.  (Anyone read George RR Martin's Clash of Kings?  Loving it!)  Then it was dinner time, and I still hadn't gotten everything together for the market today.  Speaking of which, I got up early to do that, not to blog....

Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Papaya Collage (SUO Challenge - For the Birds)

I am in L.O.V.E.!  I’ve had this set for about two weeks but since I’ve only started back in my craft room recently, it took me until today to mount it.  Why?!  This is by far my favourite stamp set.  Sorry Elements of Style.  Move over Creative Elements.  There’s a new kid in town.  Over at Stampin' Up Only challenges, they've got a "For the Birds" challenge this week, and the image in this set is nothing short of stunning.  It was a perfect fit for my current project.

This weekend will be the start of my summer at the Farmer’s Market.  It runs from 8:30 to 1:30 on Fridays in a little parking lot in town.  It’s a lovely way to spend the morning – wandering and chatting with other vendors.  There’s some amazing produce and locally raised beef products.  And of course, there’s crafty stuff like what I bring.

Last summer I started making a few journals to bring and they were a hit!  I usually sold out of them each time I brought them so I’m trying to get  a little ahead of the game this year.

So this morning I came out to make some more cards and get a whack of journals done but then it happened.  I mounted Papaya Collage.  That was at about 11:30.  It’s now almost 2:30 and I’ve only made two journals.  Blame the stamps!

I’ve been stamping, tearing, inking, embossing, distressing, and stamping some more.  This set has endless potential for what you can do with it.

I love the combination of Pool Party and Soft Suede, but I threw some black into the mix this time and an pretty pleased with how it pops.

Just for fun, I decided to ink up some scraps of Wisteria Wonder, and it turned into another journal.

Hand Stamped Sentiments #125

 A few days ago one of my darling friends told me that she's pregnant!  This is very exciting news.  She and her husband have been discussing having a baby for a couple of years now (this summer is their second anniversary) so I was delighted to hear the news.  They are a most loving and kind couple, whom any baby would be lucky to call Mom and Dad.

So it is with them in mind that I made this card this morning.  Hand Stamped Sentiments has a colour challenge for  us this week and I knew that this little ducky had to make an appearance with this combo.  I had thought about making it a birthday card, but then immediately knew a baby card would be better.

He's one of the critters from the new set Storybook Friends.  I don't make a whole lot of chidren's cards, but I knew I needed this set as soon as I laid eyes on it.   The little fox is about the cutest thing I've ever seen, and I'm pretty much in love with the rabbit as well.  Maybe I'll try them out this afternoon sometime.

If you're looking for a new set to make playful cards with, I highly recommend this one.  You could easily not ink the word at the bottom (as I did with my baby card) and add whatever sentiment you feel like.  I think they would be particularly cute for birthday cards for small people, or even invitations.

Since the baby that I am so excited about isn't coming for another six months or so, I'll have plenty of time to make another card, so I'd love to give this one away to someone who is in need of a baby card!  if you'd like to enter into the draw, please leave a comment and next Wednesday I'll announce the winner and ask for your address.  I'll also stamp each of the images in Brown Staz On for you to use on your own cards.  And if you love the set as much as I do, email me to order it and you''ll receive free shipping.

Hope to hear from you!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Mojo Monday #248

I love summertime.  Any other time of the year I rarely have time to get to a Mojo Monday sketch on time.  Today however, I made three journals, two bookmarks, and a mojo card, all before 1:00pm!  I feel like a crafting glutton.

One of the things I love about Stampin' Up DSP is the inspiration for colour schemes.  Comfort Cafe is one of the releases in this year's catty and it contains a combination of colours I probably wouldn't think of on my own.  This sketch was perfect for a bunch of different patterns and textures so I took advantage of that to try out the new Chevron embossing folder.  I can see myself using this one a lot.  The Stitched Satin ribbon with this year's In Colours is rich and lovely and added the perfect finish.

Merry Monday

Yesterday I set myself a goal of creating five Christmas cards and I succeeded.  It was quite a stint in the craft room, but I'm glad I did it.  With the help of Merry Monday it was actually quite easy to get them all together.

This morning I checked out Always Playing With Paper to see the new sketch but she's taking a break this month and the challenge is to use any old sketch.  Well, I just happened to have done that already!


In an effort to clean out my paper stash a bit I've been going through my giant stack of retired DSPs and I have quite a bit of this one left.  Winter Post is also retired (much to my extreme disappointment), but I have enough of it left for an upcoming Christmas card workshop.  If you live in my area, the workshop will be held in my craft room on Tuesday, June 10th, at 7:00pm.  Drop me an email to register.

On a completely unrelated note, my craft room is a separate room in our garage.  Right now my husband is cleaning up the garage and listening to gangster rap.  Not what usually fills the air when I'm out here crafting.  I think he's pretending he's 19 again.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Paper Players #102

Christmas in July?  Sure is!  July 1st is Canada Day, so I was feeling patriotic when choosing the colours for this card.  No, our flag doesn't have anything Crumb Cake coloured, but the red and white are close enough.  I got a start on some holiday cards yesterday, so I'll continue that theme today.  Imagine my delight when I saw that the Paper Players had a Christmas theme challenge today!

I live this little ornament set (Delightful Decorations) and the swirls just begged to be paired with the Elegant Lines embossing folder.  A little scallop dots ribbon turned over and voila!  This was a really quick card to make and I'm thinking it would be a good one for mass production.

Now back to crafting.  My goal is to make 5 different Christmas cards before I take a break.  I could be here for a while....