Friday, September 30, 2016

Studio Play Day

Hi everyone.  Last Sunday I had a play day with my two friends, Susan and Christine. We tried out lots of different techniques and products.  So much fun!!  And a bit messy too.  What could be better??!!

One of the products we were experimenting with was alcohol inks.  There's little else that matches the vibrancy and intensity of AI colours.  But they are messy and stain everything.  We wore gloves (a MUST), and used parchment paper under our project (and over top of our silicone mats ... AI's will even stain the mats).

The ornament above is cut from an acetate sheet (you could also use acetate packaging from your craft supplies).  Alcohol inks work great on acetate.

Even though the tip of the alcohol inks is really small, I found that it flowed too quickly and was always getting more than I needed.  So I started by adding just two drops of AIs.  Then to get some more colours, but with less ink, I squirted a few drops onto my parchment paper, and picked up the colour with my fingers (with gloves!), and tapped it onto my piece above.  The results were spectacular ... the ornament looks like a piece of marble. Too bad I didn't try this BEFORE the CAS Mix Up Marbling closed. :)

* * * * *

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has sent me messages of love and support over the past while.  I had several emails and cards after announcing I would be taking a medical break from my blog.  After sharing my story about breast cancer two weeks ago, I have had many more wonderful messages and cards sent to me.

It has been very uplifting receiving all these positive messages (emails and cards).  I appreciate every one of them.

I took a picture of my mantel with the cards.  Look at all the gorgeous designs ... hand made by very talented card makers.  Thank you so much!!

Stamps:  Sentiment - Season's Gifts (Penny Black)
Paper:  White card base (Neenah 110 lb. card stock)
Ink:  Alcohol Inks:  Mermaid, Ultra Marine, Silver (Ranger); Versamark
Accessories & Tools:  Acetate, Ornament Set 2 die (Elizabeth Craft Designs), Silver cording, Silver Embossing Powder (Ranger), heat tool

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Exciting New Challenge


Bonnie and I are thrilled to announce a new card challenge --- CAS Watercolour Card Challenge.

We both love watercolouring on cards and we hope you do too! :)

We have been working on this for many months, and are excited to finally launch this new adventure.  We hope you'll play along.

The CAS Watercolour Card Challenge blog is up and running.  Come see what it's all about. :)

Our first challenge, along with Design Team Call goes live on Oct. 1st.  Don't miss it!

* * * * *

Simple card above.  Used a beautiful sunflower stencil gifted to me by my good friend Bonnie.  Sprinkled with Brushos, spritzed with water and quickly removed the stencil.  Let it dry.  Done! :)

Stamps:  Big, Bold, Happy (Winnie & Walter)
Paper:  Watercolour (Master's Touch --- gift from my friend Susan)
Ink:  Brushos:  Lemon, Orange, Dark Brown, Turquoise
Accessories & Tools:  Mini Joyful Sunflower (The Crafter's Workshop), water mister

CAS Watercolour Card Challenge Launch

Friday, September 23, 2016

Bamboo Rose

Hi everyone.  Today I'm sharing a card made with Altenew's Bamboo Rose stamp set.  LOVE this set! :)

I kept my card very CAS.  I started by adding some stamped splats for the background.  Used one stamp, changing the direction and stamping multiple times. The rose and leaves were stamped in Archival black ink onto mixed media paper.  I used distress inks to watercolour (abandoned coral, picked raspberry, festive berries for the rose; twisted citron, mowed lawn for the leaves).  I then fussy-cut and popped it up for added dimension. The sentiment is from the same stamp set.

Easy peasy and fun card to make.

I'm heading over to enter in the Altenew Ultimate Challenge Blog Hop.  Hope you've had a chance to check it out.  There are lots of different challenge blogs participating in the hop, including our CAS Mix UP! :)

Thanks for stopping by.

Stamps:  Bamboo Rose (Altenew); Paint Splats (Impression Obsession)
Paper:  White card base (Neenah 110 lb. card stock); Mixed Media (Strathmore 140 lb.)
Ink:  Archival Black (Ranger); Black (Memento); Distress Inks:  Abandoned Coral, Picked Raspberry, Festive Berries, Twisted Citron, Mowed Lawn (Tim Holtz)
Accessories & Tools:  paint brush

Altenew Ultimate Challenge Blog Hop

Monday, September 19, 2016

Lighter Marbling with Shaving Foam

Hi everyone.  Made another card from my last batch of marbling with shaving foam. I sure had fun with this technique. :)

CAS Mix Up's September challenge is Marbling, so why don't you give it a try.  Click HERE to see the challenge, which includes a few different marbling technique videos.

This marbled piece is from my stash when I added very little colour and lots of foam, so the colours are much lighter.

Click HERE to see a card I posted a few days ago with the same layout and die-cut,  but the marbled colours were much darker.  Interesting how different the two cards look. :)

To finish, I was inspired to try another new technique that I saw done by my good friend Susan (Cardmaker's Garret).  She die-cut acetate and then squirted drops of alcohol ink over it.  The colour is so translucent and pretty.  Click HERE to see Susan's card.   I did more of a "smoosh" with the inks and acetate, so there's variations depending on the look you want.  Super happy with this pretty fern leaf. Just popped up my marbled panel and added a very simple sentiment to finish the card.

Since a used a snippet of leftover marbling paper, and a snippet of acetate for my fern, I'm heading over to the Snippets Playground for a visit.  :)

Stamps:  Word Salad (Paper Smooches)
Paper:  White (Neenah 110 lb. card stock)
Ink:  Distress Inks:  Peacock Feathers, Peeled Paint (Tim Holtz); Alcohol inks:  Mermaid, Botanical (Ranger)
Accessories & Tools:  Acetate, Pair of Fern dies (Cheery Lynn), Shaving cream

CAS Mix Up September Challenge - Marbling
Snippets Playground - Week 247

Friday, September 16, 2016

Truly Grateful

I'm back! :)  Still have some healing to do, but I'm feeling well.  I've included a card above that I made, but this post is not about the card.

Today I'm sharing a personal story.  As my post title says ... I am TRULY GRATEFUL! And this is why ...

If you are one of my regular followers, you will remember me mentioning on Aug. 27th that I was taking a medical break.  At that time, I wasn't ready to share my story.  My emotions were very raw and I didn't know what the outcome would be. It's only now that I am able to share and hope it may help others.

In February I found a lump in my left breast.  I have lipoma (benign lumps of fatty tissue - mainly in my arms and legs), so I assumed the lump in my breast was one of those.  Then I started feeling uneasy about it so I went to my doctor.

He ordered a Mammogram and Ultrasound at the local hospital.  I had to wait two months to get it, but it was good that I went.  The lump I felt was a lipoma - thank goodness.  At the same time, the Mammogram also showed something suspicious hiding right underneath it.  I had to have a biopsy.

Two more months to wait ... waiting was one of the hardest things!  I was sick with worry and it seemed like forever for the two months to pass.  Finally on June 30th, I had my biopsy and a week later the results were in ... I have breast cancer.  I was devastated and scared.

Six weeks later I went in for surgery.  That was Aug. 29th, just a couple of days after signing off my blog for a while.  As well as removing the cancer, six of my sentinel nodes in my underarm were removed for biopsy to find out if the cancer had spread beyond the breast.  More waiting and worrying.

I just found out two days ago the cancer has not spread.  The surgeon feels she got it all, the margins were clear and the nodes all tested negative for cancer.  There were lots of tears of relief that day.  It was the BEST news!

This isn't over yet ... I still need to have more treatments.  I will be meeting with an Oncologist at the Cancer Clinic in the next few weeks or so.  Radiation is given to patients who have this type of surgery to make sure the cancer doesn't grow back. There may be other treatments as well, but I won't find out until I meet with the Oncologist.

I can now tell you that today I am in a good place! :)  And that's why I am truly grateful. It took just over seven months from the time I found the lump to get to this place. There are a few more months to go with treatments before everything is said and done, but the hardest part is over.  It's been exhausting and I know I am lucky because the cancer was found early and dealt with quickly.  I don't know what lies ahead for me ... none of us do.  I am hopeful after my treatments are finished, I won't hear the word cancer from my doctor ever again.  That is my hope.

From me to you ... make sure to do a self-exam of your breasts regularly.  And if you notice something is different, see your doctor right away to have a Mammogram.

I want to thank my family and friends who helped me through this extremely difficult time.  I love you all and appreciate you beyond words.

I also want to thank all who sent me positive emails of encouragement, prayers and beautiful cards during my medical break.  Each and every positive message I received made my days better and helped me get through the tough times.  Thank you so very much!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

More Marbling

Hi everyone.  I have really enjoyed playing with the shaving cream marbling technique and made some more.  I now have a good stash of backgrounds to use for future cards.  Just a reminder that CAS Mix Up September Challenge - is Marbling.

This time when I did the marbling, I only added a few drops of re-inker into the shaving cream.  I pulled a few prints that were pretty dark.  I wanted softer colours, so instead of adding more re-inkers as I did before, I added a little more shaving cream on top and spread it out with a spatula before pulling my next couple of prints.  This time I ended up with light marbling backgrounds with lots of white. Happy with the results.

I took one of my backgrounds and die-cut the pretty leaf sprig from Penny Black.  I placed it over a smooshed background made from the same colours of ink. It may be hard to tell that the leaf is from marbled paper, but it is. :)

This card has happily made it's way across the world to Scotland. Thanks again Mac!

Just to show you the full effect, below is a second card made with the leftover piece from the die-cut above.  This time I used the marbled effect for the background, adding a die-cut leaf from a beautiful sprayed piece I received from my friend Mary. Thanks Mary!  The colours are perfect together. :)

I hope you have joined in our CAS Mix Up September Challenge - Marbling.  If you haven't yet, give marbling a try.  It's lots of fun ... and a little messy.  What could be better??!! :)

Thanks for stopping by.

Stamps: Lots of Thanks (Simon Says); Happy Birthday sentiment (Technique Tuesday)
Paper:  White card stock (Neenah 110 lb); watercolour
Ink:  Distress Inks:  Peacock Feathers, Peeled Paint (Tim Holtz)
Accessories & Tools:  water mister, ?? die-cut (Penny Black), shaving cream for marbling, Rectangle Nestabilities (Spellbinders)

CAS Mix Up September Challenge - Marbling

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Altenew's Ultimate Challenge Blog Hop

Hi everyone.  CAS Mix Up is happy to be a part of the Altenew Ultimate Challenge Blog Hop.

Altenew has joined with 18 challenges to create the Ultimate Blog Hop featuring Altenew stamps and products.  Here's all the participating challenge blogs that are involved.

It's very exciting and there is so much creative inspiration from each challenge blog and their design teams.  Why don't you check it out??  Make sure to comment for a change to win.  Altenew is providing FIVE $35 gift certificates for a random draw of those that comment on all the blogs involved in the hop.  Come join in the fun and a chance to win prizes.

My card above includes a technique that looks like marble (in my opinion).  I smooshed Inka Gold in pink and gold to create this marble-y looking background.  I stamped and heat embossed in gold, a beautiful leafy branch from Altenew's Golden Garden stamp set.  The image was stamped twice (once on the card front, and once on the tag), using the Misti to line everything up.  It looks like the leaves have gone over the edge of the tag.  :)

I've also stamped, heat embossed in gold, and fussy cut a butterfly from Altenew's Wild Hibiscus stamp set, using more inka gold smooshed card stock.  Zigs were used to add in some more colour to the design.

I'm entering my card into the Altenew Ultimate Challenge Blog Hop, and adding it to the CAS Mix Up September Challenge - Marbling.  I hope to see you in both galleries!!

Stamps:  Wild Hibiscus, Golden Garden (Altenew)
Paper:  White card stock (Neenah 110 lb.)
Ink:  Versamark; Zig marker in dark pink
Accessories & Tools:  Rose and Gold Inka Gold (Viva Decor), water mister, Stitched tag die (Lil' Inkers), gold embossing powder, heat tool, white ribbon, gold cording

Altenew Ultimate Challenge Blog Hop
CAS Mix Up September Challenge - Marbling

Friday, September 09, 2016

Marbling with Shaving Foam

Another scheduled post ... I'm still off on a break but hope to be back soon! :)

Marbling with shaving foam ... I wonder who thought that up??!!  It works great, but is super messy, so be prepared ... you have been warned. :)

My friend Nancy mentioned that she did her shaving foam marbling next to her kitchen sink ... great idea!  I used a cookie sheet for containing the foam, and a kitchen spatula to remove the foam from my card front.  Then just washed everything down the sink.  Saved using tons of paper towel.

I used way more cream than I needed, so use less than you think.  And I had several cut card fronts ready to press into the cream and re-inker mixture, and still needed to get out more.  You can just keep spreading the cream and adding more drops of re-inkers.  Your colours get darker as you go along, but I ended up with several pieces that I can use for backgrounds or for die-cutting.  Definitely worth a try!! The video I followed is HERE.

One other tip I learned ... once you pull the card front off of the shaving foam, let it sit for a couple of minutes before removing the foam.  This will prevent the ink from smudging and give you more of a marbled look.

I made this for CAS Mix Up's September Challenge - Marbling.

This has been so much fun learning different ways to get a marbled look.  :)

Stamps:  Sentiment (Persian Motifs - Altenew)
Paper:  White (Neenah 110 lb.); Baked Brown Sugar (SU!)
Ink:  Reinkers:  Peacock Feathers, Antique Linen, Brushed Corduroy, Vintage Photo (Tim Holtz); Baked Brown Sugar (SU!)
Accessories & Tools:  Shaving Foam, skewer, Pair of Ferns die (Cheery Lynn), sponge

CAS Mix Up September Challenge - Marbling

Monday, September 05, 2016

Merry Monday Guest Designer

Hi everyone.  Sharing another scheduled post with you today.

I'm so excited to be Guest Designer at Merry Monday! :)  It's one of my favourite challenges and helps to keep my stash of Christmas cards growing all year long.

The challenge this week is ...

I was inspired to use this layout after seeing this AMAZING CARD by my friend Nonni!  Thank you for the inspiration Nonni!! :)  I LOVE this CAS design.

For my card above, the background is done with the rubber band embossing technique.  Simply wrap elastic bands around a brayer, ink up with versamark and roll over your card stock.  I used black card stock for my background, rolling in both directions so I have cross over lines.  Then I heat embossed with Gold Tinsel embossing powder from Ranger.  I also used the same embossing powder for the sentiment, stamping first in black and then heat embossing over top with Gold Tinsel EP.  I love how it gives the sentiment a two tone look.  A two-layer die-cut poinsettia in gold foil paper was added (shaped for more dimension), along with some gold seed beads added with glossy accents to the center.

Quick, easy and fun card to make.  Make sure to check out the Merry Monday Challenge #212 - Gold Black and White to see the cards from the very talented design team.  And come play along!  It's never too early to start making Christmas cards.

Thanks for stopping by!

Stamps:  Season's Gifts (Penny Black)
Paper:  White card base (Neenah 110 lb. card stock); Black (SU!); Gold Foil (SU!)
Ink:  Versarmark; Black (Memento)
Accessories & Tools:  Brayer, elastic bands, Gold Tinsel embossing powder (Ranger), heat tool, Blooming Poinsettia die (Poppy Stamps), gold seed beads, glossy accents

Merry Monday #212

Thursday, September 01, 2016

CAS Mix Up September Challenge

Hi everyone.  This is a scheduled post as I'm off on a break right now.

It's the start of the CAS Mix Up September Challenge.

I love the artsy design of marbling.  Today's card features "Floating Alcohol Inks Technique" which creates a marbled look.  I have used that for the front tag on the card above.  This is a simple technique were you partially fill a plastic container with water and then squirt alcohol inks into the water.  They rise to the surface.  You dunk in your piece of card stock (card stock, manilla tags, glossy card stock all work).  The alcohol inks are immediately attracted to the paper once it hits the water.  You just dip and pull out your card stock and you'll have some gorgeous designs to use for backgrounds, tags or die-cut embellishments.  I used teakwood and mermaid alcohol inks to make my main tag.

I die-cut a leaf sprig from dark brown card stock, pressed it with my versamark ink pad, and heat embossed in clear.  I like the shine on the leaves, which I shaped with my stylus and mat for dimension.  I also heat embossed my brown stamped sentiment with clear to tie it all together.  I cut out a second tag from a piece of smooshed Inka Gold (turquoise and gold), to place behind the the main tag to add some dimension.  I added a knotted dark brown ribbon with silver edges to the top to finish.

My CAS Mix Up card has Stamping, Marbling, die-cuts, Smooshing with Inka Gold, and Heat Embossing ... and it is still Clean and Simple,

I hope you'll come play along with our challenge this month.  Remember to keep your card CAS (Clean and Simple).  There are a few different video tutorials on marbling techniques on the challenge blog if you want to check those out and give them a try.

We are thrilled to have Kimberley Wiener (WienerHoneyMooners) as our Guest Designer for September. Kimberley won the CAS Mix Up July Challenge - Markers with this BEAUTIFUL CARD.

Come play along.  The challenge is open until the 24th so there's lots of time to try out some marbling on your cards. :)

Stamps:  Mix Mash (Happy Little Stampers)
Paper:  White card base (Neennah 110 lb.); glossy card stock for marbling; Early Espresso (SU!)
Ink:  Alcohol Inks:  Mermaid, Teakwood (Ranger); Early Espresso (SU!); Peacock Feather Distress re-inker (Tim Holtz)
Accessories & Tools: Gold Inka Gold (Viva Decor),  Little Leaves Die, Stitched Tag die (??), clear embossing powder, heat tool, water mister, silver edged early espresso ribbon (SU!)

CAS Mix Up September Challenge - Marbling