Monday, September 8, 2014

Sponging Like Nobody's Business

I am currently on a sponging binge.  I can't help it.  I love it I love it I love it.  This card is nowhere near what I had in mind when I started, but sometimes when you take a path you didn't know existed, you end up with something awesome.  Other times you end up in the woods with a bear chasing after you, but not this time!

The colours seem a little weird on my screen, but they're Blackberry Bliss, Pacific Point, and Island Indigo.  I started out by sponging the whole 4 1/4 X 5 1/2 sheet and then didn't want to cut it it was so pretty.  The tree is from Festival of Trees, as is the sentiment.  I've been wanting to make a shaped shaker frame for quite some time and this weekend I FINALLY picked up some mounting foam tape, as well as a gigantic jar of glitter (it's something ridiculous like 24oz).  It's just a clear glitter rather than shiny, which is perfect for making it look like a snowdrift!

I already have another card in mind that will incorporate both of these techniques, as well as some trees, so stay tuned!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Hello Fall


Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but summer is over my friends.  It was 5 degrees here this morning.  Boo.  However, with the return of autumn comes the return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte (yay!) and warm colours in the trees in my yard.

Thankfully, there are just a few tentative yellow leaves at the bottom of my trees, but it felt inspired to make a fall card anyways.  These colours always remind me of my dear cousin, Amber, so here's to you darling girl.

I began by using my brayer to make a layer of Hello Honey on my cardstock (which started out as Whisper White).  I inked it up and rolled it on, not worrying too much about coverage since I knew I'd be layering a little more.  Next, I added random spots of Tangelo Twist, Cajun Craze, and Real Red.  Once I had enough ink to my liking, I sprayed the piece with some alcohol.  This allows the ink to lift and mingle somewhat.  Using my heat tool I dried the ink.  After that I tried spraying it again, but it seems like the alcohol made the ink really sink into the paper.  I actually wanted the inks to run together way more than this, but I love how it turned out.  The spots where the brayer tapped the paper remind me of leaves.  The final ink step was to distress the edges with a little Soft Suede and Baked Brown Sugar.

To add a little dimension I ran it through my Big Shot with a nice embossing folder then matted it on Soft Suede.  I then used the large oval to cut out my sentiment and looped it around the inked layers with some linen twine.  I like the idea of looping the tread under the sentiment as a way to add another layer rather than behind it and using dimensionals to pop it up.  I didn't want a layer of colour behind the sentiment so this jazzes it up enough to allow me to get away without it.

I love love love this card, but I'm going to keep playing with spraying and inking until I figured out what it was I was trying for.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Oldie But a Goodie

This morning I was looking through my stash of DSPs and realizing that I have waaaaaaaaaaaay too much paper.  I buy a whole package, use 2 or 3 pieces (small pieces of each) then forget about it.  As a result of this, I have a whole desktop filing system dedicated to different DSPs.  Soooo...  How to use up some of the pieces.  I've done about 834 quilting cards (which I love to do but I'm bored of).  I can't imagine making a card with just DSP and a small sentiment (though I appreciate how lovely these simple cards can be).  Herringbone!  Yes!  Then my smarter side says, "Uh, remember how much cutting is involved?" and I scrap that idea (even though I really really really love those cards...).

Ah ha!  Candles!  I made a card like this ages ago and then forgot all about it.  It's a wonderful way to use up paper and it's cute as all heck.

Next month I'm starting with a brand new group of ladies (yay!  It's giving me a major crafting buzz) and I think this will be our paper card for the month (I'm thinking 2 cards with stamping as the main item, 1 card with DSP).

Making the card, though sort of time consuming is really easy.  Cut a bunch of 2" X 2" scraps of whatever paper you have lying around.  Use a skewer, Q tip, whatever you have that's about that size and round to wrap the paper around and roll away.  While the paper is still on the skewer, let it loosen up a little then use some liquid glue to seal the end (I love Tombow Mono glue).

To attach the candles I use my silicone sheet and smear enough hot glue for 2 candles then lie them on the sheet.  Add glue for 2 more, and so on until all 9 candles are attached, side by side, to the sheet.  You can then lift the piece up (carefully!) and run some more hot glue between pieces so that they stick together (just a little, you don't want it coming through the front).  Once that's done, flip it over and press down on the silicone sheet to smooth it all out and let it dry.  You've now got one piece that you can peel off and work with.  Using your liquid glue again squirt just a little inside the top of your candles so you can add a wick.  Since it's quite a bulky piece I use hot glue again to attach it to the card front.  Voila!  Super cute birthday card good for anyone, big or small, young, old, or geezer.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Snowy Backdrop

You know that feeling when you see a card you love but you don't have the supplies to make it?  Well, if you live in the city, no problem.  However, if you're a little country bird like myself, you make do with what you've got on hand.

I saw an amazing background that looked like a galaxy with all sorts of cool stuff that I don't have (embossing paste, Perfect Pearls, star stencils...).  I was determined to make a snowy background in the same fashion, so I set out rummaging through my stuff to see what I could find.

I sponged the background with Coastal Cabana and Lost Lagoon and was pretty happy with that as a base.  To get the snow, I used some pearly metallic acrylic paint I had on hand and mixed it with rubbing alcohol.  This made it nice and runny so I was able to pick it up with a paint brush. I then flicked my brush towards the page to get the misty look but the blobs weren't big enough for what I wanted so I just used the tip of the brush to add a few bigger dots on.  Turned out pretty well!

 After that dried I used some Staz On to stamp my image (and extended the trunks a little with a marker) from the new set Festival of Trees.  I usually centre everything on my cards but wanted to try something new this time and I'm really happy with the result.  The embossing folder is an old one but I just couldn't get rid of it.  Since there isn't a whole lot of the mat showing I wanted something on a small scale and this one was perfect.  Petals a Plenty would have worked as well, but I wanted to keep the snowflake theme going.

And what would a Christmas card be without a little ribbon?  This is the Lost Lagoon ribbon you can find in the Holiday Catalogue.  I layered a piece of white satin behind it so the ribbon stood out more than it would have on the monochromatic background.  Overall, I'm loving this card.  It could grace the homes of quite a few family members this December!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Traveling With Van Gogh

On Sunday I was dutifully drinking my coffee and looking up crafty stuff on the interwebs when I found a really beautiful card.   Like out-of-this-world beautiful (said card can be found here).  I was super blown away and wanted to make it immediately, but I don't have that stamp.  I started thinking about how nice it would look as a water scene...  maybe a sunsent...  ooh!  A boat on the ocean with a huge moon!  That's it!  Feeling rather pleased with myself with this stroke of genius, I plastered a smarmy grin on my face thinking about how impressive my card would be, I kept scrolling through her blog.  Hmph.  Seems she had the same genius idea that I did.  So, with some of the wind blown out of my sails (insert groan at corny joke here if you please), I finished looking and got to work.


As much as I was bummed that this ended up not being entirely my own idea, I was thankful to have seen hers since I wouldn't have thought to do the reflection in this way.  The card isn't perfect, and I'll need a few more shots to get it exactly how I want it, but it's still pretty awesome.

For anyone interested, I sponged the background to get it to reflect the colours I wanted; moon was So Saffron, Daffodil Delight, and Hello Honey; sky is Soft Sky, Marina Mist, Night of Navy; sea is Pool Party and Lost Lagoon.  For the squiggles reminiscent of Van Gogh I used the same markers but threw More Mustard into the mix on the moon.  Though the whole process didn't take as long as I thought it would, looking back at the card I was inspired by, I could have made my squiggles waaaaay bigger than I did.  I might try it again and see which size I like better.

Super excited for my hostess club ladies to see this!  I was thinking about surprising them at club with it, but it's too good not to share and I can't possibly hold off on it for another three weeks.

Happy Stamping!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Seize the Sketch & Funky Berries

Ok, so the first bit here is going to be about the card, the rest is about my hostess club last night.  Feel free to skip all of that if you don’t like hilarious/charming stories (however, you and I will secretly know what a killjoy you are if you do).

So since I’ve been back at making cards, I have stumbled upon Seize the Sketch.  I love their sketches and look forward to the challenges even if I don’t post them.  Imagine my sadness to rise this morning and find she’s moving on to other things (I hope your new adventure takes you wonderful places Jen-I-have-never-met!).  Anywho, since this is her last sketch I thought I’d hurry into my room before getting going on my should-dos for the day.

As soon as I saw the sketch I knew exactly what sets and colours I wanted.  I love when that happens (sometimes I sit and stare at my stuff for like half an hour before finally agreeing (with myself) on what to use.

Sponging/masking are two of my favourite things to do and this little set is pretty darn sweet.

Alright – enough card talk.  Onto the hilarity.  I know that all of you demonstrators (or whatever your company calls you) think your hostess club is the best, but I must inform you that you are wrong (feel free to fight amongst yourselves for who can take second place).  My club wins.  We started out maybe 3 years ago and have morphed a little with members but a few have been with me for the long haul and though they’re still my club ladies, they have also become dear friends.  I love the crafting part of our nights, but also always look forward to visiting and chatting.

One of my members (Misty) has three small people, and if you also have small people you know what HIGHWAY ROBBERY hiring a babysitter is.  She lives 35 minutes away, and we usually take about 4 hours or so at $8/hour, you can imagine how quickly that gets expensive.  All of us have kids at varying ages and I adore her little gremlins so she brought them over.  One of the other gals (Shannon) brought her a huge box of Kinex from when her kids were small and it was a hit.  So while we were making cards they played away in the living room nicely and left us to be creative.

After sometime they came in to update us on the progress of their creations.  At one point, the smallest person, Gavy, came in and offered Caren one of the berries the kids brought.  Sometimes Gavy is super shy so we were all paying great attention to him last night since he seemed in the mood for socializing, so when he offered Caren the berries we were all listening.  There’s Caren, eating the berries when Gavy says, “If it tastes funky, spit it out.  It’s probably poisonous.”

Oh.  My.  Lord.  All six of us lost it.  Snorting, crying, gasping for breath.  This went on for several minutes before we could get out you-know-what together.  I’m laughing right now just thinking about it.  They were Saskatoon berries, so we knew she’d be just fine, but it was just about the funniest thing you can possibly imagine.

Anyways, that had nothing to do with the card I posted but couldn’t help but share.   

Cheers to funky tasting berries!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Bird Nerd

Anyone that knows me well knows that I am pretty much a 92 year old woman inside a 32 year old body.  I like reading and sipping tea (with toast for dinner - completely reasonable), looking at quilts, cuddling with cats, going to bed at 8:30 whenever possible,  and birds.  Yep.  I love birds.  I was in Bella Coola with my hubs recently and I dropped (literally) everything to follow after a Stellar Jay (it was my first sighting - very exciting).  According to my son I have waaaaaaaaay too many bird things (mugs, blankets, pictures, laptop case, etc.), but I think Go Big or Go Home. 

So naturally, when I saw this noble little cardinal, he had to be mine.  Also, there's a Dicken's quote in this set.  What?!  I know.  Amazing. (It's a different one than what's showing...  Also, wouldn't it be funny to have a really skinny little bird at an empty feeder that says, "Please sir, can I have some more?")

At Christmas I send out a lot of cards, and it's a RIP OFF to send ones that are more than one layer up (like $1.75 or some darn thing) which is fine when it's one or two cards, but not 40.  So, this lovely specimen will be making the rounds to quite a few homes this year.

 Another thing I like about this card is the ability to produce a lot of them quite easily.  You could stamp your image and do the sponging, then head to the couch and watch Pride and Prejudice (or any Austen film of  your choosing) to colour.  However, if watching P&P, make sure not to have a marker in your hand when Mr Darcy graces the screen - he deserves your full attention.  (If you're a Bronte fan, the Jane Eyre with Michael Fassbender would also be a suitable choice here).

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Friends Forever

We all have the one friend that we would call in the event that we needed to bury a body need someone to share a secret with.  I love that this stamp says that, but in a sassy way.

I was at Michaels this weekend and they were clearing out acrylic paints for $0.75.  I figured I'd grab a few just for the heck of it and see if anything came of it.  Well, I started playing, and here's what I ended up with.  I cut up one of our sponges into 6 pieces and used them to apply the three colours I have here (pretty much Daffodil Delight, Pool Party, and Old Olive).  I like how the paint gave a little more body and texture than just sponging does (though sponging is one of my favourite techniques).  Since the medium is thicker than ink, I could leave it in the pattern that the sponge applied it in rather than blending it to make the colours transition into one another.  I'm really quite pleased with the result.

After I let it dry (sped up by using my heat tool on low) I used black embossing powder to add the stamp over top.  This would be really pretty using vintage colours and Early Espresso embossing podwer as well.  Hmm....  Maybe I need some more paints....

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Nutty or Nice? (Freshly Made Sketches 149)

Things I should be doing this morning:
  1.  Mowing the lawn
  2.  Folding laundry
  3.  Vacuuming/mopping all floors
  4.  Changing bedsheets
  5.  Going for a run

Things I'm not doing this morning:
  See above list

Not everyday can be productive, am I right?  Of course I am.  So rather than submit myself to the shackles of slavery that are housekeeping, I am in my craftroom.  I meant to have a bunch of posts lined up before I went on a holiday, but it didn't happen.  Anyways, here I am again with Freshly Made Sketches to start my day off right.

I know.  This guy is hilarious.  He's the Tom Selleck of nutcrackers.  I originally had the card without the glitter, but I figured Tom was feelin' the need for a little glitz so I grabbed my spray glue and sparkled him up a little.  The inside of the card (which I was too lazy to take a picture of) says, "nutty or nice?"  It sooooo appealed to my super corny side that I needed to have this set immediately.  For the rest of you, you can order it come September.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Monochromatic Part II

I made these cards a couple of months back for a class I did with a monochromatic theme. 

I love this one.  It looks like a flapper dress from the 20s (a time I would have loved to have lived in, minus you know, the whole world war business and ensuring depression... ok, maybe I don't really want to live then...)   Yes, you can buy scissors to make the fringe, but you can also just use your little trimmers to do the same thing.  I know it seems like a long process, but it goes by in no time at all.

This one was fun to do too.  LOTS of stamping, and you could do it with the leftover pieces from your clear mount stamps.  I happened to have the circle left over from the middle of a stamp from Chalk Talk, then used Gorgeous Grunge (a set I couldn't live without) to add some extra little bits.  For a little final touch I ran it through the Big Shot (actually, this is the last time I saw that folder... hmm...).  I love the dimension that final touch adds.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Monochromatic - Purples

There is always something so pleasing about monochromatic colour schemes.  You can really never go wrong.  When it comes to purples, I love Wisteria Wonder, but the other hues don't really call my name very often.  However, looking at my butterfly punches, this was not the story.  I've been meaning to make a card like this for some time, and apparently that time is now!

One of my colleagues retired this June (my mentor, in fact) and I keep collecting little gifts to give her throughout the next year to show her that she is missed, and that she meant (and still means) and awful lot to me.  She loves deep jewel tones, so this is the perfect one for her.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Deconstructed Sketch Challenge 161

Woah, I better pace myself.  This is post number three in the same day.  It's raining so I am alternating between binge watching Call the Midwife, and making cards. 

I've never made a card for this challenge but but was in love with the sketch as soon as I saw it.  Tape It is a new set I haven't used yet and this seemed the perfect chance to put it to work.  My hubs is back from a long stretch away at work next week so I figured I'd use this as an opportunity to make him a card.

Double Whammy! Colour Q 251

Whaaaaat?  Two posts in one day?!  Found this little gem of a challenge over at Colour Q.  These are colours I would never have thought to put together, but I'm in love.

I had a friend over crafting with me yesterday and I was looking through my sets thinking I wanted to do another collage set soon.  As soon as I saw this challenge I knew exactly what I was going to get up to.  Concord Crush retired a few years ago, but I held on to mine since I love the coolness of the shade.  I thought the Pretty in Pink got a little lost, but it's there nicely in the background softening up the white.  For collage purposes, this set couldn't be any better.  It's got enough images that you can make a full collage without consulting another set (perfect for my new hostess club) but the images are matchy-matchy so much that it's boring.  If you don't have it already (Kinda Eclectic) get it now.  Like right this minute.

For a final little step I gave the card front a light mist with a spray adhesive and tossed it in some glitter.  It took what was a nice enough card up the next level with a little oooooh factor thrown in.


After a long hiatus, I'm back to running a hostess club.  Though I haven't been doing much stamping over the past year, I've still been doing a monthly get together with a small group of friends.  For the summer, we decided we would each bring a card and enough supplies for everyone to make a card.  It's been a nice break for me since I actually get to make cards that night!

For our final club of this set up we've decided we'd try and wrangle in a few more ladies to  become junkies join us.  So the challenge was for each of us to use Swallowtail to make a card.  Since I'm trying to grow our group, I decided I'd demo three cards that you can do with just this stamp (pretty much).  I want them to get the picture that you don't need 800 sets until you're addicted and then you NEED them to make beautiful cards.

The first card is a simple mask and then some sponging with Strawberry Slush and Melon Mambo.  To give it a little more depth I added in some Blackberry Bliss, just around the edges.  The picture doesn't do the colours justice sadly, but feel free to make one yourself to see how luscious it truly is.

This set is stunning on its own, but also almost always pairs itself with En Francais.  I had it in my mind to stamp this on vellum and am super happy with the result.  It's a lovely any occasion card but I think it could easily serve as a wedding card as well.

Though I liked last year's In Colours, I am in LOVE with this year's (except the orange.  Sorry Tangelo Twist, orange isn't my cup of tea, never has been, likely never will be).  Lost Lagoon is a stunning colour, which I can foresee making its way into the regular line up in a few catalogues from now.  It's another masking card, and again, En Francais features.  And not that I had it in mind for a wedding, but it's screaming, "Make me a gift!"

Yay for stamping again.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Hello again... (Freshly Made Sketches 145)

Wow.  They don't delete your blog after an 18 month hiatus?  Nice.  Long story short, I've been doing a master's program.  It finished in May, but I needed some time to clear my head before venturing into anything new (or old) again.

So for my first challenge back, I headed straight to an old favourite, Freshly Made Sketches!  My personal preference is for messy, distressed cards, so I love this challenge.  It forces me to do something out of my normal zone.

I always seem to have 9,432 cards on hand, 3 of which are masculine.  So, in an effort to bring that total to at least 10, here's the first.  I love this set (Wetlands).  I'm a Canadian girl from an area that is teeming with Canadian Geese (which I love, except when their poop is all over the beach), so he makes me pretty happy.

I coloured him in but the image was just too stark so I cut out a mask and did some sponging - much better.  I really wanted to distress the edges, but this is not that kind of card, so I left it nice and clean.

So after a long haul away from stamping (like going in my room once every 6 months) I am thrilled to be back at it, and thanks to the girls from FMS for helping get my mojo back!