Thursday 29 September 2016

Paper Players 314 Take 2

I don't think I've ever put two entries into one competition before but here I am. I really liked the sketch this week at Paper Players.

I had an idea that I wanted to play with, which was to use an embossed version of Merry Medley as a background paper. Although I liked the card I made and entered it earlier in the week, it's just been bothering me ever since that I could have done it better. So here it is, take 2...

I like this one better but, if it starts to bother me that it could be even better, I promise not to impose a third version on anyone else!

Card: Garden Green, Copper foil paper, Very Vanilla
Stamps: Merry Medley, Holly Jolly Greetings, Holly Berry Happiness
Inks: Versamark, Tuxedo Black
Other: Copper embossing powder, Swirly Scribbles dies, Cherry Cobbler enamel shapes, dimensionals

Tuesday 27 September 2016

Stampin' Royalty 347 - Monochrome

This week's challenge at Stampin' Royalty - to make monochromatic project - brought me back to my recent experiments with making faux metallic paper. I love the richness of the browns/golds for a Christmas card.

Update: Very pleased to be a Top Pick at Stampin' Royalty.

Card: Early Espresso, Very Vanilla, Gold Foil
Stamps: Totally Trees, Holly Berry Happiness
Inks: Crumb Cake, Soft Suede, Early Espresso, Versamark
Other: Holly embossing folder, Gold embossing powder, linen twine, metallic star shape.
All products Stampin Up.

Monday 26 September 2016

House of Cards - Birds

When the reminder about the Birds and/or colour challenge at The House of Cards came through this morning, it really did jog my memory as well as give me a pleasurable way to spend a miserable afternoon.

I've not used my Best Birds set as often as I'd thought, so I had a perfect excuse to dig it out today. I started out using the colour palette as inspiration too although, now I have had a second look at it, I see I've deviated from it a bit.

Originally, I had a circle of vellum gold embossed with the hessian background stamp that is part of this set but in the end, after much umming and ahhing, I took it out. I think the simple sponged background lets the bird shine more and creates a more celebratory air.

Card: Soft Sky, Peek-a-boo Peach, Whisper White, watercolour paper
Stamps: Best Birds
Inks: Soft Slate, Soft Sky, Basic Grey, Pear Pizzazz, Crumb Cake, Versamark
Other: Gold embossing powder, Linen twine, Sparkle embossing folder, water and paintbrush, Stamp'n'write markers to highlight the painting, sponges

Paper Players 314

I loved the sketch at The Paper Players this morning and set to work on it straight away. Although the card looks good in real life, I've struggled to get a decent photograph of it.

Metallic embossing is notoriously difficult to capture, so I hope that viewers use a little imagination...

What I am particularly happy with is the Christmas tree. I stamped it first in Early Espresso, then added in the leaf block with Pear Pizzazz. Finally, I restamped the branch area only in Versamark and embossed it in copper and added a little embossed star to match. I like the contrast between the copper blinginess and the humble linen twine. 

Card: Early Espresso, Very Vanilla, Copper foil, Pear Pizzazz
Stamps: Merry Medley background stamp, Totally Trees, Holly Berry Happiness (sentiment)
Inks: Versamark, Early Espresso, Pear Pizzazz
Other: Linen twine, Copper embossing powder, dimensionals, Pinecone embellishment.
All products Stampin' Up.

Saturday 24 September 2016

CAS Colours and Sketches 192

I've spent the afternoon playing around with fancy things: copper and silver embossing, silver glimmer paper, baker's boxes and window sheets all in aid of some upcoming Christmas classes. 

Yet all the while this lovely sketch at CAS Colours and Sketches seemed to be calling me to play with it and eventually, I succumbed to its charm.

Sometimes it's hard to beat simplicity: a classic colour combination, some stamping and lots of open space.

Thanks for a great sketch to play with this week.

Card: Garden Green, Whisper White, Cherry Cobbler
Stamps: Holly Berry Happiness, Holly Jolly Greetings
Inks: Garden Green, Wild Wasabi, Cherry Cobbler
Other: Oval punch, Oval Scallop punch, dimensionals

Friday 23 September 2016

FMS 255

As I talked about yesterday, I've both been on holiday and have received some new stamps that arrived while I was gone. Today, I spent some time acquainting myself with the second of the Altenew sets I bought, Peony Bouquet. Beautiful - but the flowers are four step stamps, so quite a bit of practice was required! To focus my thinking, I was aiming to produce a card for the challenge at Freshly Made Sketches this week.

Yesterday's playing also reacquainted me with Delightful Dijon, a colour I usually by-pass but it got another outing today.

I've stamped the multi-layered leaves and grunge splatters directly onto the card but die cut the flowers so I could build up some dimension - and so I could play around with the matching framelits.

Card: Delightful Dijon, Old Olive, Whisper White
Stamps: Altenew Peony Bouquet, SU Touches of Texture and Timeless Textures, W&W Big, Bold and Party.
Inks: Tuxedo Black, Pear Pizzazz, Old Olive, So Saffron, Hello Honey and Delightful Dijon
Other: Peony Bouquet framelits, Sparkle embossing folder, dimensionals

Thursday 22 September 2016

GDP54 and FabFriday96

So, I've been away on holiday for the last couple of weeks. It was fabulous seeing parts of New Zealand I've not seen and spending time with my husband. Going to see Peter Jackson's Hobbiton set for the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies was a great favourite of the many things we did, along with exploring parts of New Zealand's early colonial history.

But I digress. I was very pleased to get back home and find that, in my absence, my new Altenew stamps had arrived. So very exciting! I've spent a lot of today playing with them and to give that play focus I've taken inspiration from two challenges. The first is the sketch from the Global Design Project.

The second was the colour challenge at Fab Friday.

The Altenew sets I bought (yes, I got two) I got because in addition to offering layered stamping they gave me a chance to explore water colouring which is what I've done today. Well, more of an ink wash really. I hope neutrals are ok in the colour challenge because I've used a touch of gold and Soft Slate as well.

Great sketch - I loved working with it. It's funny how your view of colours can change. Initially, I didn't like Delightful Dijon but I've used it in a couple of things lately and now feel that I'll buy a pack of it. It's actually great!

And I just can't resist adding in a Hobbit set photo - it's amazing to walk around the best representation of Tolkien's Shire you'll ever see. A real Hobbit village in the middle of a sheep farm! I feel a re-read of the books coming on...

Delighted to be the Fab Fave at Fab Friday with this card.

Card: Emerald Envy, Very Vanilla, Delightful Dijon, watercolour paper
Stamps: Altenew Tulips, SU Timeless Textures
Inks: Emerald Envy, Delightful Dijon, Soft Slate, versamark
Other: SU Softly Falling embossing folder, gold embossing powder, Delightful Dijon and Emerald Envy stamp'n'write markers, Emerald Envy solid twine, dimensionals, paintbrush and water.

Tuesday 13 September 2016

LIM 293

The challenge at Less is More this week is to create a one layer card using your favourite flower.
I'm a bit of an avoider where one layer cards are concerned, but I do so love my Wild About Flowers set...

The background was created using a spodge in stamped-off Wisteria Wonder, a fine splatter of Sweet Sugarplum and some medium splats in Perfect Plum. The flower is stamped in black and Elegant Eggplant.

Card: Whisper White, heavy weight
Stamps: Wild About Flowers, Gorgeous Grunge, Timeless Textures, Better Together
Inks: Wisteria Wonder, Perfect Plum, Sweet Sugarplum, Elegant Eggplant, Tuxedo Black.

Sunday 11 September 2016

CAS(E) 189

Great sketch this week at CAS(E) This Sketch.

I've taken a fairly literal approach to it because I wanted to play around again with the idea of filling a masked shape with stamping. I've not used these stamps for a while and enjoyed playing with multi-stamping again.

Card: Mint Macaron, Whisper White, Black
Stamps: Altenew Painted Blooms, Clearly Besotted Say it in Style, Stampin Up Timeless Textures
Inks: Tuxedo Black, Blushing Bride, Mint Macaron, So Saffron, Versamark
Other: White embossing powder, dimensionals, rhinestones, circle framelit to make the mask.

Friday 9 September 2016

CCMC 423

I really like the sketch at Create with Connie and Mary this week. It inspired yet another Christmas card for my current Christmas card spree.

I started by creating a piece of faux metal paper using the Holly embossing folder, some sponges and inks and a touch of gold embossing.

The faux metal paper was so pretty that the rest of the card needed to be kept quite simple: a die cut ornament, a little Wink of Stella and twine plus a simple sentiment. I like the richness of the Early Espresso and gold.

Update: I've been asked about how I made the faux metal paper. There are a bunch of videos about it around and from them, I've made my own way. I started with the lightest ink, which was Crumb Cake. I inked the folder and ran it through the Big Shot. Then I randomly daubed and sponged Emerald Envy. (You don't want to be too even handed about this -you want a bit blotchy.) I always add in some kind of green/blue to give that hint of verdigris. (Lost Lagoon was great and Pear Pizzazz works well.) Then I sponged on Soft Suede a bit more evenly and with more sponging and less daubing. Then  I lightly sponged with Early Espresso but aimed to highlight the impressions rather than all over coverage. (Save the darkest colour for last. ) Finally a light swipe over with the versamark pad and sprinkle on a metallic powder. This card uses gold. Check before you heat to see that you don't have stripes and that you haven't got too much on. I often rub it over lightly with my finger and/or give it a light brush over with a paint brush to make it more random. Don't worry if you end up with little clumps of powder as it adds to the random effect. Also, I use sponges not daubers to apply the inks.

Update: Delighted to be a Top Pick at Connie and Mary.

Card: Early Espresso, Gold metallic paper, scrap of Very Vanilla
Stamps: Holly Berry Happiness
Inks: Early Espresso, Crumb Cake, Soft Suede, Emerald Envy, versamark
Other: Holly embossing folder, sponges, Gold embossing powder, Delicate Ornament thinlits, Gold wink of stella, Gold twine, dimensionals

FMS 253

Although it is technically spring, and it was indeed springlike for most of the week, a miserable freak Antarctic blast has much of the country in its grip today. The heat's back on and the view from the window is bleak but at least I can be in my craft room guilt-free!

Since I got a bunch of Christmas goodies during the week, I've been on a Christmas card spree. The lovely sketch at Freshly Made Sketches lent itself nicely to a Christmas card and let me try out my newly acquired foil acetate too.

The acetate is beautiful and I can see I'll have to work at not putting it into the 'so-beautiful-no-occasion-is-good-enough-to-use-it' mental box that some things seem to end up in. 

Attaching it was an interesting experience. It was easy to tape it under the other items but the top was just a bit too floppy. Well, it turns out that with care and patience, glue dots can be cut into quarters and successfully applied underneath polka dots. I see that in some parts of the world, foil acetate is included in this week's specials - but sadly not in New Zealand or else I'd be buying up another packet!

Card: Cherry Cobbler, Very Vanilla, Foil acetate, DSP from Peace This Christmas, Gold metallic paper.
Stamps: Holly Jolly Greetings, Peace this Christmas (on the inside)
Inks: Versamark(outside) Cherry Cobbler, Garden Green, Soft Suede (inside)
Other: Christmas Greetings thinlits, Star framelits, Gold embossing powder, dimensionals

Wednesday 7 September 2016

CAS 189 and Paper Players 311

By happy chance I can combine challenges from two of my favourite sites today: CAS Colours and Sketches (it's colour week this week) and The Paper Players.

I've had in mind to try out a technique - Double Masking - that I'd seen on Pinterest. I thought it would look good in the challenge colours and it uses circular elements. The instructions were on Sandi MacIver's blog where she makes a fabulous card with the Love and Affection set. In her stunner of a card, she colours the images with Stamp'n'write markers, which would be much easier than actually stamping the big images in terms of getting a good clean edge - but since I didn't have the markers I had to do it the hard way! 

I do like the way it looks as though the flowers are floating in bubbles although I think you could use any shaped mask if you wanted to. Anyway, it's a great technique and I'm keen to try it out again. I'm thinking it might work with Seaside Shore - I'll let you know!

Card: Daffodil Delight, Island Indigo, Whisper White
Stamps: Botanical Blooms, Petite Petals, One Big Meaning
Inks: Real Red, Island Indigo, Daffodil Delight, Tuxedo Black
Other: Circle framelits to make the mask, Post-it notes.

Tuesday 6 September 2016

Fab Friday 95

Loved the sketch at Fab Friday this week and just had to give it a whirl. In fact, I can see it being used again!

It's easy to get carried away using the new stuff that comes in those lovely brown boxes after a new catalogue but there was a lot of lovely stuff last year too and so I've given some of it an outing for this card. (Although the copper foil paper only arrived this very morning.)

Disappointingly, the sponging behind the trees which is perfectly obvious in real life just isn't showing up so well in the photos. The 'hills' are sponged in Crumb Cake and the sky in Soft Sky.

Update: So happy to be a Top Pick at Fab Friday!

Card: Garden Green, DSP from Peace This Christmas, Whisper White, Copper metallic foil, Mint Macaron
Stamps: Thoughtful Branches, Holly Jolly Greetings
Inks: Versamark, Garden Green, Soft Sky, Crumb Cake
Other: Christmas Greetings thinlits, Delicate Ornaments thinlits, Dimensionals, Cherry Cobbler twine, Copper embossing powder.

Monday 5 September 2016

Just Add Ink 327

One of my favourite challenge sites is Just Add Ink and it's a colour challenge this week.

The colours naturally made me think of the Seaside Shore suite of papers and stamps but I didn't want to go overly nautical.  Something I've always struggled with is masculine cards and I'm also pretty slack about getting to terms with some of the packaging goodies I own. So, I set myself the task of a card and co-ordinating gift bag, suitable for a male and inspired by the colour challenge.

Here's how that ended up.

I'm really happy with the gift bag. It's the large size, made with the gift bag punch board. The bits I'm most pleased with are the 3D effect on the 'For You' created with the Soft Sky shadow layered in behind and the inlaid stars.

The card picks up on the themes of the bag and also uses a new set for me, Better Together.

Update: Utterly delighted to win at Just Add Ink!

Card: Dapper Denim, DSP from By the Shore, Very Vanilla, scraps of Soft Sky and Calypso Coral
Stamps: Better Together
Inks: Dapper Denim 
Other: Lots of Labels framelits, Mini-treat Bag thinlit set, Circle framelit, Subtles enamel shapes, dimensionals, Burlap ribbon, Gold binder clip