Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #111 - Marsha's Masculine "Anything Goes" Challenge

I love masculine challenges and when, as Marsha's challenge happens to be, it is also an "anything goes" challenge, I'm over the moon.

What a perfect time for me to use one of my favourite stamp sets, In the Meadow.  Combined with the beautiful background of one of the Serene Scenery Specialty Designer Paper stack images, the card almost made itself.

Isn't it great?  Of course I could say a lot more about it but my laptop locked up on me and I'm on borrowed time on someone else's computer.  This has been quite the experience getting this far already.  I invite you to check out the wonderful creations by the other Watercooler Artists at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.  And then, feel free to link up your own masculine card for us to enjoy as well.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Happy Spring! Let the white stuff be gone!

When I was growing up Spring was considered to begin on March 21st.  My mother-in-law loved knowing that she was born on the first day of Spring.  Well, they've done away with that and now we play by the rules of the cosmos.  The beginning of Spring varies a day in either direction.  And so, today is the beginning of Spring.  Yay!

All I need is a magic wand to make all that silly white stuff disappear.  Growing up in Victoria, I expected to see fields of daffodils as well as countless crocuses by this time of the year.  Robins?  Yes, they might be considered the harbingers of Spring, but for me it was the spring flowers.  What a perfect end to the dormant season and the beginning of new life all around us.

I have to say that when the Wondrous Wreath bundle was introduced, I loved the beauty of the wreath as well as the convenience of not having to fussy-cut it.  Well, when the Circle of Spring stamp set came out, I was even happier.  Not only did that continue the awesome Christmas wreath but it also introduced a gorgeous Spring wreath full of blooms.  And both could be cut using the Wonderful Wreath framelits.  Bonus!

That's what I've used today.  I made a pretty, clean and simple card using the Circle of Spring stamp set combined with the Wonderful Wreath framelits.  Just looking at it makes me happy despite the continuing blanket of white outside.

My base cardstock is the Heavy Whisper White.  I added a layer of Sweet Sugarplum and then another layer of "normal" Whisper White.  You'll notice that I've rounded the top left and the bottom right corners.  While I only stamped the pretty floral wreath and coloured it, I used the bow framelit from the Wonderful Wreath set to cut out a ribbon from the gorgeous Sale-a-bration Sweet Sugarplum Glimmer paper.

After adding a few pearls, I knew the card was done.  I hope you enjoy it.  Happy soon-to-be-Easter and Happy Spring!

Thursday, 16 March 2017

The Wacky Watercooler March Blog Hop -- All about Sale-a-bration!

It's March and at the end of this month one of my favourite Stampin' Up! sales of the year ends.  What is it, you ask?  It's Sale-a-bration, of course.  Love, love, love those freebies you can get when you make a qualifying purchase.  In fact, this blog hop is all about showing off those free products in our projects.  Are you ready?  Be prepared to add a  few things to your wish list!

As you will remember, if you've wandered through our blog hops before, our blog hop is presented in a circular fashion.  What does that mean?  Wherever you begin in our blog hop, whether you go forwards or backwards through the participants, eventually you will wind up precisely where you began.  I hope you'll take time to visit all the participating blogs and, perhaps, leave a short message letting us know  what you've thought of our posts.

If you've been moving forwards through the blog hop, you'll have arrived here from the very talented Sheri Lee's post.  

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For my first project I decided to use the gorgeous Avant Garden stamp set.  This set is all about flowers, leaves and sentiments.  A great combination and useful for so many types of cards.  I decided to create a Thank You card.  I'm finding that I have need of those more often than other types.  There is, after all, so much for which to be thankful and so many people to thank.

I kept my card relatively simple, using only four colours:  Whisper White, Pacific Point, Soft Suede and Mint Macaron.  My base if Whisper White.  Next comes a layer of Pacific Point.  Then I added some subtle texture and interest  by choosing a pattern from the Irresistibly Floral Specialty Designer series paper.  What I love about that paper is that it appears to be heat embossed so it's great for emboss-resist creations.  For this card, however, I just enjoyed the subtle pattern and used it to space the image from the Avant Garden set which I stamped using Soft Suede.

I used my Aqua Painter to colour in the flowers once I had stamped them using the Basic Black archival ink.  And, finally, I finished it off with a few loops of Copper Metallic thread under the sentiment.

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My second project is all about colouring.  That's become a popular pastime for adults during the last few years.  Well, for Sale-a-bration Stampin' Up! added a supply of their own colouring pages.  You get 12 sheets of four designs.  I've had fun using them as backgrounds or as the feature of my cards.  For this card I used the paper in conjunction with another Sale-a-bration offering:  the gorgeous Glimmer Paper in three colours.  I'm not sure which I like best.  For this card I turned to the Bermuda Bay and the Sweet Sugarplum.

This card really celebrates colour.  I've used three of the 2016-18 In-Colors for the blossoms (Sweet Sugarplum of course, Peekaboo Peach and Flirty Flamingo).  The centres of the flowers are Daffodil Delight with a layer  of  the gold Wink of Stella added.  Two of the flowers are coloured with the Bermuda Bay ink to tie in with the Glimmer paper.  And then I've used a variety of greens for the leaves and stems:  Old Olive, Pear Pizzaz, Wild Wasabi and Always Artichoke.  And then, for a subtle green background, I used the new Watercolor Pencils.

I really like the offset Glimmer paper behind just a portion of the Designer paper, don't you?  Leaving the other portion against the base of Basic Black makes that side pop as well.  

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For my third and final project I went wild with the Hey Chick stamp set--the first product from the Sale-a-bration brochure which caught my eye.  Those chickens and the egg are simply priceless, aren't they?

To make the fullest use of those chickens and to make a really fun Birthday card for a member of the extended family, I decided to make this card a special fold.  Now I've heard this style of card called the Z fold, the Double-Z fold, and the Banded Z fold.  I really don't care.  In this case as in many others, what's in a name?  It winds up being the same card and I love how versatile it can be.

My base is Tip Top Taupe because it's nice and neutral.  The next layer is Early Espresso, taken from the colours in the Designer Paper which is from the Cupcakes and Carousels Designer paper stack.  Actually the colours in the Designer paper inspired most of the colour choices for the card.  As well as the Hey Chick stamp set, I used the Balloon Adventures set and also the Labeler Alphabet set.  Since birthdays are meant to be full of sparkle and fun, I also used some Red Glimmer paper, some Gold Glimmer paper and some of the Sale-a-bration Bermuda Bay Glimmer paper.  All additional sparkle was added with the Wink of Stella.  This card just catches the light!

This is the card totally folded up and ready to be slipped into a medium (4 3/8" x 5 3/4") envelope.  

I treated the centre section as I would the "card in a box" fold, sectioning it off so that the balloons could be layered and create more of a 3-D feel.  I could have added more detail, but remember, this has to be mailed.  More detail equals much more money in stamps.

This little guy simply shines with the brilliance of the Wink of Stella which enhances his feathers.

In this case the egg has some Wink of Stella and the rainbow-coloured "hair" and tail are brilliant with Wink of Stella.

I had so much fun creating this card.  I hope the recipient enjoys it as much.

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And that's it for my projects.  I hope you've enjoyed them as much as I enjoyed creating them.  From here you'll be visiting another wonderfully creative stamper, Marsha Reed.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #110 - A Clean & Simple Easter Bunny

I love Easter and Easter Bunnies are simply adorable.  Whether they're the real, wiggly nosed type or the yummy chocolate type, I love them all.  So you can imagine how happy I was when Heather Hopson decided to make her challenge all about Easter Bunnies.  Of course it has to be Clean & Simple, too, but that just makes it more of a challenge.

I wish I had a stamp as cute as those bunnies in Heather's picture.  Actually, hunting around my room, I quickly discovered that I don't have any bunny stamps at the moment.  I know I wanted to get rid of retired stamps, but purging all my bunnies?  In retrospect, I think that wasn't one of my best decisions.

But where there's a will, there's a way.  We're fine with die-cuts now and punch art is really just a bunch of die-cuts, right?  So I manufactured my bunny using, of all things, my Cookie Cutter punch.  I also used a few others, like my small oval and some circles, but you can see that in my card.  For my background I stamped some of the long grasses from the High Tide set using the Emerald Envy ink.  And then, just to separate the white layer from the white base, I sponged some of the same green around the perimeter of that layer, too.

The googly eyes?  Retired, yes, but oh so very cute.  I couldn't resist.

I hope you'll check out the wonderful creations by the other Watercooler Artists at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge and then link up your own cute Easter Bunny for us to enjoy.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #109 - Brighter Days

This week I am hosting the colour challenge and I have to share how I discovered my colours.  I have a scarf which I particularly enjoy wearing and, when I took it out of the wash I thought to myself "these colours are amazing together".  And so I took a picture of a section of the scarf.  Wouldn't you know it!  The colours corresponded perfectly to our Stampin' Up! colours.  And so my challenge was born.

Aren't the colours gorgeous?  I had such fun using them for this week's card.  Of course I'm feeling unwell at the moment, but hopefully I will be able to get into more detail regarding the products I've used at another time.

I hope you'll check out the wonderful cards created by the other Watercooler Artists at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge and then link up your own creation for us to enjoy.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #108 - Congratulations

Sketch challenges really make me think.  It's easy to create a card but keeping to the sketch takes a bit more planning.  The diagonal lines in Gail Allen's sketch challenge this week really made me sit back and consider how I could use my stamps and Designer Paper.  But it's that extra bit of thinking and planning that I believe helps me to think outside the box and become more creative.

I had just gotten the gorgeous Dragonfly Dreams bundle before our blog hop and so I was determined to use it for this challenge.  I thought it would be perfectly partnered with one of the beautiful images from the Serene Scenery Designer Series stack.  The greens and yellows with the bokeh just begged to be used.  I had a number of ideas for using a shape upon which a dragonfly would perch but in the end decided to swap out the small rectangle in the sketch for the "flight of dragonflies".  I think it works perfectly for the design.  That gave me the area above the diagonal line and also the "rectangle".  For the lower portion I must have changed my mind half a dozen times.  Finally I decided to use the Old Olive cardstock which I first embossed using the Seaside embossing folder.  Used vertically I think it looks just like grasses, especially since I sponged over the raised lines with Old Olive ink.

My "flight of dragonflies" took a while.  Instead of just using the die cut as it was, I decided to cut a second one and used the negative bits to fill out the spaces in the first die cut.  And so I wound up with the outlines of the dragonflies in the new Sale-a-bration Bermuda Bay Glimmer Paper with the wings filled in with our beautiful Gold Glimmer Paper.  Don't they look wonderful together?  And the sparkle!  Simply breathtaking.

I hope you enjoyed my creation.  You'll have to drop by the Watercooler Wednesday Challenge and check out the wonderful creations by the Watercooler Artists.  And then I invite you to link up your own card for us to enjoy.  Remember, you have until Monday, March 6th.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #107 - Penny's Masculine "Anything Goes" Challenge

It's time for another masculine challenge and this time it's hosted by Penny Hanuszak.  I love making masculine cards and projects.  There are a lot of men in my extended family and it's a good thing to have some cards on hand that are particularly designed for them.

I love an "anything goes" challenge, don't you?  It means that the sky (or my imagination) is the limit, in this case as long as it's masculine.  This time I decided I would finally get around to using my Nailed It bundle.  How awesome is it that we have a stamp set with some terrific images of tools, nails, bolts, etc PLUS a matching set of dies to cut them out?  The moment I saw the set, I knew I would have to buy it.  After all, with a brother-in-law who is a master carpenter and a bunch of would-be handymen in my family, this bundle is going to get a lot of use.

I decided to keep the colours neutral except  for a splash of red (unless you consider that silver is not a neutral?)  I even managed to get a strip of Silver Foil which I embossed using the new Hexagons Dynamic Textured Impressions embossing folder.  Otherwise my base is Smoky Slate with a layer of Basic Black and then a layer of Basic Grey.  The tool box is primarily Real Red except for the touches of Silver Foil and the screwdriver has a Crumb Cake handle.

You can see there is some sponging on the handle of  the screwdriver and also on the tool box.  The splatters on the Basic Grey were stamped with an image from the One Wild Ride set.

I hope you'll check out the wonderful creations by the other Watercooler Artists at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.  And then I invite you to link up your own masterpiece for us to enjoy.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

The Wacky Watercooler February "Spring Fever" Blog Hop

It's time for another blog hop and this time, since we're all getting rather tired of the white stuff, we're having a "Spring Fever" theme.  There is so much that goes on in Spring, isn't there?  Easter, Mother's Day, Birthdays and so much more.

As you will remember, if you've wandered through our blog hops before, our blog hop is presented in a circular fashion.  What does that mean?  Wherever you begin in our blog hop, whether you go forwards or backwards through the participants, eventually you will wind up precisely where you began.  I hope you'll take time to visit all the participating blogs and, perhaps, leave a short message letting us know  what you've thought of our posts.

If you've been moving forwards through the blog hop, you'll have arrived here from the very talented Marie Green's post.  

* * * * * * * * * * 

It's my grandson's tenth birthday today and so I took advantage of some of the new products which I ordered to put his card together.  What better set to use than the Everyday Hero as well as the Balloon Adventures?  If you're wondering about the "X" on his outfit, it stand for Xavian---however, we always call him X-Man.

You can't really see the full effect here, but the sentiment is gorgeous since I heat embossed it using the copper embossing powder.  

I continued the theme inside with another sentiment from the Balloon Adventures set.  

* * * * * * * * * * 

For my second project, I decided to use the gorgeous Window Box Thinlits dies.  I didn't use coloured paper simply because I intended to fill the box with colourful Skittles, one of Xavian's favourite candies.  With a white box, the colours of the skittles show up beautifully through the die-cut holes.

I decided  to put a big, shiny star on top, with the scribbly heart and the die-cut "10".  I'm happy with the result.  I just hope Xavian takes the time to have a good look before he opens it to get at the candies.

* * * * * * * * * * 

For my third and final project, I had an idea for a framed piece of art.  I began with a 6" x 6" piece of Watercolour Paper and sketched a background of sunset, waves and sand.  Then I began using various images from my stamp sets.  I used the lighthouse from the High Tide set as well as the seagulls and sentiment.  Then I added the sandpipers from the Wetlands set to balance the seagulls.  Finally I added the dancing girl from the Beautiful You set.  Then I set to the task of colouring in the lighthouse and the girl, to make them silhouettes against the bright sunset.  Of course, to give everything some depth, I also added shadows.

I think the images work beautifully together, don't you?

* * * * * * * * * * 

And that's it for my projects.  I hope you've enjoyed them as much as I enjoyed creating them.  From here you'll be visiting another wonderfully creative stamper, Penny Hanuszak.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #106 - Make a Wish!

This week I get to be hostess at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge and even though it's a Clean & Simple challenge, I decided to step it up by making it all about sparkle.  It's fun to add that final touch of sparkle, isn't it?  And that's what my challenge is all about---having fun.

I kept my card clean and simple, leaving a lot of white space.  I began with a base of the Heavy Whisper White and added another layer of Whisper White onto which I heat embossed the swirl from the Star of Light set using clear embossing powder to which I added some Dazzling Diamonds.  You can see the sparkle in the photo but I assure you it is really sparkly and dazzling in person.

On a scrap of Whisper White I stamped the fairy image from the Fairy Celebration set and cut it out using a stitched oval die.  Then I stamped the wings a second time on another scrap and fussy cut them out.  Yes, I could have used the Bitty Butterfly punch, which fits those wings, but I wanted them cut right to the stamped line.  Fussy cutting was the only way to get that done.  After colouring the wings, I covered them with Versamark and then added a mixture of clear embossing powder mixed with the Dazzling Diamonds again.  You can see the sparkly effect in the photo.

After stamping my sentiment, I decided to cut two very narrow strips of Dazzling Diamonds Glimmer paper and attached those beside the right margin and the bottom margin.

I love all the sparkles on my card, don't you?

I hope you'll come on over to the Watercooler Wednesday Challenge and check out the wonderful cards created by the other Watercooler Artists.  And then please consider creating your own sparkly card and linking it for us to enjoy.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Reaching Out

Every once in a while a story surfaces on Facebook which touches the heart.  This week, for example, I saw a post shared on Facebook by the niece of a veteran in the United States.  What was so special about that, you ask.  Well, she shared the advertisement her uncle had placed in the local newspaper, asking for letters.  This is, actually, his last request.  James Wiitamaki, the veteran in question, is dying from cancer.

You won't find the post on Facebook any longer.  The administrators, for whatever reason, removed it.  You can, however, read about it here, in this article from the FOX news.

It doesn't matter in which country one happens to live.  Veterans who have fought for freedom in any country's military deserve to be recognized; deserve not to spend their last days ignored and lonely.  Yes, James Wiitamaki is only one of many who have come back.  No, this makes no difference to the situations of all those others.  But, symbolically, James Wiitamaki stand for them all.

I am sending him a card.  He doesn't know me.  I don't know him.  But he deserves to know that someone cares.

They all do.  All our veterans around this world of ours.

If you, too, would like to send James Wiitamaki a card, here is his address:

James Wiitamaki,
V.A. Medical Center, B51-2,
4801 Veterans Drive,
St. Cloud, MN  56303

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #105 - We might as well Dance!

For a change we're having a color inspiration challenge over at the Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.  Marsha Reed is hosting this different slant with the photo shown below:

For Marsha's suggestions as to the appropriate Stampin' Up! colours, you can check out the post over at the Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.  If you're using colours by other companies, just let the picture inspire your choices.

I had fun with the colours.  Instead of choosing flowers, which would have been the easy choice, I decided to go with the gorgeous Beautiful You stamp set and let that lead my choices.  I have to say, I'm glad I did.  I love the final results.

There is an exuberance to the image of the girl leaping into her dance (or is she about to do a cartwheel?)  which the background Confetti Embossing Folder emphasizes.  I love the way all the colours work together in the card.  It makes me smile.  I love it when a card does that for me.

Have a look at all the other wonderful cards created by the Watercooler Artists over at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge and then, please, link up your own creation for us to enjoy.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #104 - Love You Lots

I love sketch challenges.  Serendipitously we have a sketch challenge hosted by Kath Ricks at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge this week.  As you can see, the sketch is very versatile.  Actually I didn't change it much for my card, as you will see.

Basically, I loved the layout just as it was and didn't even think about flipping it directionally.  The only little "tweaks" I made were to change it from a square to a more standard rectangle and also to change the oval to a circle.  Little things.

I had wanted to use the little love-bugs from the Hostess Love You Lots set for quite some time and the timing was perfect.  With Valentine's Day around the corner, what could be more perfect than the two love-bugs, the new Lace Doily from the Occasions Catalogue, the Falling Petals embossing folder, and the wonderful Ruched Sweet Sugarplum Ribbon, all thrown together into a romantic little card?

I used the Heavy Whisper White as my base and then added a layer of Crumb Cake and then an embossed layer of Sweet Sugarplum.  I stamped and coloured the little love-bugs before fussy-cutting them to mount them on a circle of Serene Scenery DSP, die cut using the stitched circle framelits.  The lace doily behind the circle really adds a touch of romance, don't you think?  To make the ruched ribbon stand out against the Sweet Sugarplum background, I backed it with a piece of the new 5/8" Burlap Ribbon.

To finish the card off I added three little red Glimmer Paper hearts to the upper left side.  I hope you'll check out the cards created by the other Watercooler Artists at our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

SIP Challenge #83 - Thanks

I like sketches which have a layer slightly "skewed".  They're fun to use and make an ordinary card just a little bit different.

I decided to use just three colours for my card:  Whisper White, Emerald Envy, Flirty Flamingo, and Mint Macaron.  The stamp set which I used is from the Occasions Catalogue, Special Reason.  My background is hand-coloured and is free from the Sale-a-bration Brochure.  The "Thanks" which I used as my sentiment is from Taylored Expressions and fits perfectly over that cut-out flower.

I hope you'll check out the Design Team cards over at the Stamp Ink Paper Challenge.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #103 - Birthday Wishes to the Leader of the Pack

This week's challenge is perfect, at least from my point of view.  Gail Allen is hosting a Masculine "Anything Goes" Challenge and today happens to be my nephew's birthday.  Talk about two birds and a stone, right?

Since this challenge is "anything goes", I began rummaging around my craft room, hunting for masculine products.  There are quite a number of them at the moment.  And then I remembered a stamp set which I had bought shortly before our trip in December and had not introduced to ink yet.  Given Alex's many interests, the set was perfect for his card.  Which one is that?  The One Wild Ride set, of course.  Not only does Alex love motorcycles, but he also makes life the wild ride it has been for the last 39 years.  He and danger have gone steady for years and he has the scars to prove it.

I chose to use primarily neutrals for the card with the addition of some silver.  Why silver?  Because our Alex simply "shines".  The new Hexagons Dynamic embossing folder left an amazingly deep pattern on the Silver Foil.  I embossed two strips, one debossed and one embossed because, quite honestly, I couldn't decide which way I liked the pattern more.  I also added two metal stars from the Urban Underground Embellishments pack.  My base is the Smoky Slate and then I've added layers of Basic Black and Basic Gray.  I've stamped the motorcycle image on Whisper White and then sponged some Basic Gray ink around it to age it a bit and make it appear scuffed.

Of course the inside had to be special too.

I know Alex will love the card.  I hope you do, too.

And now I invite you to check out the amazing cards created by the other Watercooler Artists for our Watercooler Wednesday Challenge this week.