Thursday, January 28, 2016

Happy Retirement - Part 2

Hi everyone.   A couple of weeks ago I posted a retirement card I had made for a friend I used to work with.  Today I'm sharing another.  Just back from lunch out with my two friends that retired, so they both now have their cards. :)  Happy Retirement Georgia & Patt!!

This is my new stamp set from Altenew called Peony Scrolls ... the images are so pretty!  I got it for Christmas, along with a bunch of other crafty supplies.  Santa was good to me this year and knew exactly what to get me. :)  Honestly, hubby and I sit together and order on-line so that the right things are bought! :)    We do it for both my gift and his.  It works!  :)

I used my Zig Watercolour Pens on watercolour paper.  I first stamped the main flower in black waterproof (archival) ink, added a mask on top, and added a couple of scrolls and leaves.  Once watercoloured, I used my white gel pen to add some interest ... just adding dots here and there.  The sentiment is stamped onto black card stock and heat embossed in silver.  It's the only Retirement sentiment I have ... so tiny! :)

Stamps:  Peony Scrolls (Altenew); Teeny Tiny Wishes (SU!)
Paper:  Watercolour (Arches 140 lb. cold press); Black card stock (SU!)
Ink:  Black Archival (Ranger); Versamark; Zig Clean Color Real Brush pens (Kuretake)
Accessories & Tools:  water brush, white gel pen, silver embossing powder

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

More homework ...

Hi everyone.  Yesterday I posted two cards with a watercolour wash sunrise in the background.  That wash was done wet paint on dry paper (wet on dry).  Today's wash is wet on wet ... just like it sounds, wet paint on wet paper.  I love how the colours of the paint flow when they hit the wet paper.  I did a random design with just adding squiggles of colour and letting the water do most of the work.  I also tilted my panel when it was really wet to allow the colours to run.

I started out by doing this wash on the horizontal.  But when I made my card, I loved the look with the panel being vertical.  It reminds me of the look of Northern Lights behind the snowy scene.  I'm really happy with how this turned out.  Of course, you can't go wrong with using green and turquoise together ... awesome colour combo! :)

I added two ripped white snowbanks at the bottom and a die-cut three which I embossed with flourishes.  I swiped my Versamark across the top of the embossing and then heat embossed with iridescent powder.  Just adds a bit of sparkle.  The sentiment is stamped with silver ink and doesn't show up well in the photo, but is pretty in real life.

Edited to add:  The technique I used for this background was one that I saw on YouTube (not the watercolour class that I'm taking right now).  The video is by Gina Kim and it's excellent.  Here's the link.

Stamps:  Red Star (sentiment) Penny Black
Paper:  White card base (Neehan); Watercolour Paper (Arches 140 lb. cold press)
Ink:  Phthalo Turquoise Watercolour (Winsor & Newton), Hookers Green Watercolour (Opus Essentials); Silver (Delicata)
Accessories & Tools:  1" flat brush, 5 Part Pine Die (Elizabeth Craft Designs), Musical Flourish embossing folder (Cuttlebug), Iridescent Embossing powder (Ice by Stampin' Up!), heat tool

Chevron - Part 2

Here's another of the chevron designs.  I posted one yesterday (my first attempt); this is my second attempt.

I used more water to soften the tones and ended up with this soft pastel look.  My hand strokes are a little better than the last one (still lots of room for improvement), but I was surprised how much more relaxed I was with my second attempt.  I made a full card front, cutting it in half to have a smaller panel for today's card.  This is more my usual CAS style :) ... plus I still have another half panel to make into a card at a later date.

I'm still working on techniques from Day One and inspiration from Day Two.  I hope to start my Day Three lessons soon, but I'm already falling behind. :)  I'm not going to rush this course, and just work at my own pace.

Thanks for following along as I learn new things. :)


One other quick note.  I've lost many followers the last couple of days ... guess Google is doing their "thing".  If you aren't getting my updates in your blog roll, please consider following me again.   Thanks!  xx

Stamps:  Fun Birthday Seniments (Happy Little Stampers)
Paper:  White card base (Neenah); Watercolour Paper (Arches 140 lb. cold press)
Ink:  New Gamboge and Alizarin Crimson watercolour paints (Winsor & Newton); Gold ink (Delicata)
Accessories & Tools:  1/2" flat brush, Little Leaves die (Sizzix)

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

New Beginning

Hi everyone.  Playing with watercolours again this afternoon.  This time I've done a watercolour wash (wet on dry) using Dawn's wonderful instructions from the on-line watercolouring intermediate class that I'm taking. :)

I have a two-fer as Darnell would say.  I did the watercolour wash of a sunrise onto a horizontal piece of watercolour paper and then cut it in half to make two cards. :) Always good to build my stash, or maybe this will go in the donate box.  Either way, I got good use out of one card front. :)

Here's the second ...

I learned something by accident with this card.  I decided to heat emboss the image and sentiments (liquid platinum for the first card, white for the second).  My heat tool is very hot ... it's not a crafting heat tool, it's something I "borrowed" from my hubby's workshop and have kept for the past five years. :)  It's meant to strip paint, so it's pretty hot.  Anyways, the watercolour changed colour when it was heated. The red turned darker and almost purple in spots.  Still happy with the look, but not as bright as before the heating.

I mentioned earlier today that I got my new STAMPlorations order, and in it was this beautiful stamp set by Deepti Malik.  I love the image and her sentiments are so perfectly matched. :)

I was inspired to make this card after seeing this beauty by my very talented friend Maria (reislingmama). After doing my wash, and then looking at my new stamps, I thought of Maria' gorgeous card so this became a CASE. :)  Thanks for the inspiration Maria!!

More watercolouring to do and I'll be back tomorrow with more to share with you. Thanks for taking the time to visit.

Stamps:  New Beginning (dee's artsy impressions)
Paper:  White card base (Neenah); Watercolour paper (Arches 140 lb. cold press)
Ink:  New Gamboge, Alizarin Crimson watercolour paints (Winsor & Newton); Versamark
Accessories & Tools:  1" flat brush, Liquid Platinum embossing powder (Ranger), white embossing powder (Hero Arts), heat tool

Watercolour Class - Day One

Hi everyone.  I started an on-line watercolouring class yesterday.  I'm learning all about watercolour paints, brush strokes, etc.  Up until now, I have been mostly using different inks to watercolour, so this is a new experience for me.  I did one watercolour wash card using peerless watercolours about a year ago, and it turned out wonderfully.  I'm now think it was beginner's luck. :)  Watercolouring takes lots of practice to learn how to control your brush strokes, how much water versus pigment to use, etc.

I'm sharing my first card I made.  You can see that I don't have a very steady hand at this yet, but hoping with practice I will get better.  I really did enjoy making this card.  It is a very similar design to the example card from the course, and not my usual CAS style, but I'm happy with how it turned out.

I also received my latest STAMPlorations order in the mail yesterday - YAY!  And used one of my new sets to create the sentiment banner.  It's heat embossed in white onto a torn piece of vellum.  I then I coloured in the Happy on the back of the vellum using a copic marker.

I did make a second card front with the same design, using more muted tones by adding higher water ratio than this card.  I hope to make it into a card later today and share with you.

Stamps:  Big Greetings (STAMPlorations)
Paper:  White card base (Neenah); Watercolour paper (Arches 140 lb. cold press); Vellum
Ink:  Watercolour Tube paints (New Gamboge, Alizarin Crimson - Winsor & Newton); Versamark
Accessories & Tools:  1/2" square tip brush, white embossing powder, heat tool; copic marker Garnet; sequins

Sunday, January 24, 2016

In the Studio with friends

Hi everyone.  Yesterday my friends Susan (Cardmaker's Garret) and Christine came over and we played with a few different techniques.

First of all, here's the card I made with a snippet of my woodgrain background. Entering into the Snippets Playground! :)

Such a wonderful technique, especially if you are wanting to make masculine or rustic cards.

I made a woodgrain background, cut out the section that I liked best, and then distressed the edges using a tool from Making Memories.  I knotted two strands of twine and wrapped them around the bottom.  I found a heated copper leaf sprig in my stash and simply glued down a couple of the leaves, leaving the rest loose so it created some dimension.  Also did that with my distress background, adhering the middle back only to my front.  This leaves the sides loose creating dimension without using pop dots. A simple stamped sentiment finishes the card. :)

Here's a pic of my background from yesterday (yes, we each made LOTS). :)  The only one I didn't include was my first attempt at alcohol inks on yuppo paper.  I added WAY too much ink and it turned out to be a dark mess.  Hopefully I'll do better next time. :)

Just a few tips of things we learned yesterday.

We tried all different kinds of inks with the embossing folder stamping technique, and they all worked, but the brushos were by far the best results (see the two brick and two woodgrain designs in the front row.

And instead of inking and spritzing the inside of the embossing folder and then turning it over to "stamp" onto our papers, we found it worked better if we inked and spritzed the inside of the embossing folder and then placed the card stock on top and pressed down.  It seemed to transfer more of the design and ink that way.  Always good to try it both ways, though, and see which works best for you.

There are more things we tried yesterday, but I will talk about them once I post the finished cards.

Stamps: Bitty Birthday (SU!)
Paper:  White (Neenah)
Ink:  Distress Inks:  Antique Linen, Rusty Hinge, Weathered Wood, Vintage Photo, Tea Stain (Tim Holtz); Soft Suede (SU!)
Accessories & Tools:  Scor-pal, twine, copper metal sheet .005 thickness (K&S Precision Metals), butane torch, Little Leaves die (Sizzix)

Snippets Playground Week 213

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Embossing Folder Stamping

Hi everyone.  Another post where I'm using a wonderful technique that I first saw done a couple of years ago by my good friend Karen (Snippets)  She has perfected this technique.  Check out her amazing cards done with embossing folder stamping here, here, and here. It's a fun and easy way to create a beautiful watercoloured background for cards using embossing folders in a whole new way.

I have done this on plain card stock, although you could also use watercolour paper or mixed media paper and get spectacular results.  The only trick is to get comfortable with how much water to spray ... a bit of practice and you'll have it figured out.

For this I took two distress ink and pressed them randomly onto the inside of my honeycomb embossing folder (on the raised side of the pattern).  I sprayed with a little water, turned my embossing folder over, and used it to "stamp" onto my white card stock.  I love how the pattern is random and the ink flows with the water.

I stamped a butterfly onto more white card stock, embossing it with liquid platinum embossing powder.  Then I coloured it in using the same inks I used for the background, but added a few coats so that the colour was more saturated.  I fussy cut the butterfly and popped it on top of my background.  The sentiment is also heat embossed in liquid platinum to tie it all together.

I hope you'll give this easy and fun technique a try.  :)

Thanks for dropping by for a visit!

Stamps:  Butterfly Birthday, Thinking of You (Happy Little Stampers)
Paper:  White (Neenah)
Ink: Distress Inks:  Ripe Persimmon, Picked Raspberry (Tim Holtz); Versamark
Accessories & Tools:  Honeycomb embossing folder (Sizzix), water mister, liquid platinum embossing powder (Ranger), heat tool, waterbrush

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Karen's Woodgrain Background Technique

Hi everyone.  Many times I have mentioned my wonderfully talented friend, Karen (Snippets).  She is amazing.  She was the first person I saw doing the embossing folder stamping ... and the only person I've ever seen do random embossing folder stamping (more about that at a later time).  Karen has perfected a tried and true way to make the most beautiful woodgrain backgrounds.  She started doing them a while ago, and many of her followers (especially me!), nagged her to write a tutorial. Well, she shared her tutorial today on her blog ... click HERE to see it.  AWESOME!  I had to give it a try right away.

It was quick and easy to do.  I used some cheap glue that I bought at the $1 store ages ago, my scor-pal and some distress inks to create this fabulous background. Thank you so much Karen!! :)

I hope you'll check out her tutorial and give it a try for yourself.

Stamps:  Sweet Sentiments (Amy R)
Paper:  White (Neenah); Early Espresso (SU!)
Ink:  Distress Inks:  Antique Linen, Rusty Hinge, Weathered Wood, Vintage Photo (Tim Holtz); Early Espresso (SU!)
Accessories & Tools:  glue, scor-pal, Meadow Leaf die (Poppy Stamps), sponge

Friday, January 15, 2016

Heartfelt Thanks

Hi everyone.  Back with another watercoloured card using my Zig Clean Color Brush Pens.  I do love the vibrant shades from these.  I used purple today ... not a colour I use very often - not sure why because I love how this turned out.  The two shades of purple work perfectly with the silver embossed image and sentiment.  Silver ... because that's the challenge at the new CAS challenge at STAMPlorations.  So excited to see a CAS challenge there.

I used another free stamp I received from STAMPlorations with one of my orders (gotta love that!). This is French Marigold.  Isn't it gorgeous??!!  I know marigolds are yellow or orange, but I really wanted to create a purple flower. :)

Originally I just had the flower and the sentiment on my card front, but I thought it would be fun to add some interest to the background, so I randomly inked up spots on my large grid stamp and then heat embossed in silver.  I love how it just adds a little somethin' somethin' to the background. :)

Here's a close-up ...

Since I used STAMPloration stamps, I'll also enter this into the STAMPlorations Anything Goes.  This challenge is always open ... enter as many times as you like, just as long as your main stamp is made by them.

I have signed up for an on-line watercolouring class that starts on Jan. 25th.  There's a pre-class gallery for students to share the watercolouring projects they've been working on, so I'll share this card there as well.

Edited to Add:  I used a snippet for my flower, so I'm dropping by the Playground for a visit. :)  Had some technical difficulties, so Di is letting me add to this weeks challenge.  Thanks Di!

Thanks for dropping by for a visit! 

Stamps:  French Marigold, Fond Expressions2 (STAMPlorations); Grid (Simon Says)
Paper:  White Card base and front (Neenah); Mixed Media for flower (Strathmore)
Ink:  Versamark, Zig Clean Color Real Brush Watercolour Markers
Accessories & Tools:  Silver embossing powder (Ranger), waterbrush

STAMPlorations January CAS Challenge
STAMPlorations Anything Goes Challenge
Snippets Playground Week 212

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Faux Mother of Pearl Birthdays

Hi everyone.  Today I'm playing along with Time Out Challenge #47 - Birthdays with an optional Technique Twist of sponging.  It's always great to have birthday cards on hand ... and I love to sponge, so this is a perfect challenge for me. :)

Today I made three versions of my card.  I started by using the Faux Mother of Pearl technique (click HERE to see my video tutorial).  I sponged on bright yellow and bright green over top of the pearl resist.  Love these colours together ... so fun! :)  I used the same sentiment for all three cards,  and also used the same splatter background for the first two.

I'm also using a new-to-me two part butterfly die that I got for Christmas.  I didn't realize until I cut my first butterfly that it doesn't cut all the way through.  Instead it leaves the body attached and the wings are loose so you can pull them forward to add dimension.  So cool!  I used as it was intended for the first card, with the butterfly partially cut from the card front and faux mother of pearl panel in behind (also partially die-cut).  And I used it as a regular die for the second card (just cutting to detach into a separate die-cut butterfly).  And since I had a little bit of my faux mother of pearl card leftover, I created a third card using a small panel.  I used a smaller die-cut butterfly to better balance the design ... the large butterfly used on the first two cards was too big.

Here's the other two versions ...

Stamps:  Mix Mash (Happy Little Stampers), Gorgeous Grunge (SU!)
Paper:  White (Neenah)
Ink:  Distress Inks:  Squeezed Lemonade and Twisted Citron (Tim Holtz)
Accessories & Tools:  Frosted White Acrylic Paint (Tsukineko), cling wrap, sponges; Butterfly dies:  Asti Butterfly Wings, Willoughby Butterfly Wings, Moonlight Butterfly, Kaleidoscope Butterfly (all butterfly dies are Memory Box)

Time Out #47 - Birthdays with optional sponging

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Cozy Christmas Stocking

Hi everyone.  Today I'm playing along with Merry Monday Challenge #187 (Plaid).

The only plaid I could find in my studio was woven ribbon, so I cut off the wire edges and attached the ribbon to a piece of sookwang tape.  It's so strong and will hold all the fibers together so it doesn't fray.  Then I cut out a stocking, white felt cuff, and a sprig of holly from some green felt.

I thought the stocking would be perfect with a stitched background.  A simple sentiment finished the card.  Fun, easy card to make.

Come play along.  Use plaid ribbon, plaid patterned paper, or make your own plaid by drawing some lines with a ruler.

Thanks for dropping by for a visit!

Stamps:  Christmas Sampler (Paper Smooches)
Paper:  White (Neenah)
Ink:  Real Red (SU!)
Accessories & Tools:  Stitched mat die (Lil' Inkers), Stocking die (Sizzix), Holly Vine die (Memory Box), plaid ribbon

Merry Monday #187 - Plaid

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Happy Retirement

Hi everyone.  Today I'm sharing a card I made for a friend who recently retired.  I have two friends that I used to work with years ago, both retiring at the same time, so you will be seeing another retirement card soon. :)

I made a CAS Mixed Media card.  The flower is from STAMPlorations and I got it as a free stamp along with one of my purchaes.  It's currently out of stock as it was so popular, but will be back soon as an addition to Shery's stamp inventory.  Click HERE to see.

I stamped the flower onto mixed media paper with archival (waterproof) black ink.  Then I added bits of colour with my distress markers, blending the colours out with a water brush.  I love how it turned out.  I used both orange and pink which created lots of tones of colour and depth.  I fussy-cut the flower and set it aside.  The background splats were stamped in Delicata Gold (my favourite gold ink) and then the flower was popped up over top.  The sentiment was stamped onto a banner and popped up for added dimension.

Once the card was finished, I thought the flower looked a little dull against the gold splats, so pressed some gold ink onto my craft mat, picked up the colour with my water brush and sloshed some of it over top of the flower.  It added some shimmer and sparkle ... love how it turned out.  Close-up picture below that hopefully gives you a better view.

I'm entering this into several STAMPlorations challenges that are running for January.  First up, the brand spanking new CAS challenge.  I didn't use the option this time.

Also entering this into STAMPlorations January Theme & Sketch Challenge ... my card is definitely CAS and looks a bit like the sketch ...


And also entering STAMPlorations Anything Goes challenge, as well as the Mixed Media Card Challenge - New Beginnings.  The mixed media on my card is stamps + ink, plus watercolouring, splats, fussy-cut and popped up flower and popped up sentiment --- hope it qualifies. :)


And last, but not least), entering the Snippets Playground to share and have some fun with Di and the gang.

Thanks for dropping by for a visit!

Stamps:  Helenium Large (STAMPlorations); Teeny Tiny Wishes (SU!); Gorgeous Grunge (SU!)
Paper:  White card base (Neenah); Mixed Media paper (Strathmore)
Ink:  Black Archival (Ranger); Distress Markers: Ripe Persimmon; Picked Raspberry, Shabby Shutters, Peeled Paint, Brushed Corduroy, Vintage Photo (Tim Holtz); Delicata Gold (Tsukineko)
Accessories & Tools:  water brush

STAMPlorations January CAS Challenge
STAMPlorations January Theme & Sketch
STAMPlorations - Anything Goes
January Mixed Media Card Challenge - New Beginnings
Snippets Playground - Week 211

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Celebrating with Fusion

Hi everyone.  Today I'm honoured to be Guest Designing at Fusion as they celebrate 2 Years of challenges --- YAY!  My good friend, Julia (Create with Me) is on the Design Team and she asked me to join her for this challenge ... thank you Julia!!

Here's the challenge ...

I LOVE this inspiration photo, and used several elements to make my card.  I used the Smooshing with Acetate technique to add the bright pink and yellow splats background, picking up the colours in the photo.  A bright yellow stamped chevron on the left hand side mimicks the table runner, and a die-cut white leaf sprig with punched flowers carries through the floral theme.  A soft gray stamped sentiment banner doesn't compete with the colours ... and a few clear sequins add a little sparkle to finish.

I hope you'll check out the Fusion Challenge and come celebrate.  Make a card using the photo for inspiration or the sketch ... or both. :)  See you there!

Stamps:  Mix Mash (Happy Little Stampers)
Paper:  White card base and die-cuts (Neenah); Mixed Media main panel (Strathmore)
Ink:  Picked Raspberry, Squeezed Lemonade (Distress inks from Tim Holtz); Smoky Slate (SU!)
Accessories & Tools:  piece of acetate, water mister, Little Leaves die (Sizzix), Hydrangea punch (Martha Stewart), clear sequins

Fusion - 2nd Year Celebration

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Happy Belated Birthday, Dear Friend!

Hi everyone.  My dear friend Karen (Snippets) celebrated her birthday at the beginning of January.  I was behind getting her card in the mail, so she has just received it. :)

Hope you had a wonderful birthday Karen!

I made this background a while ago, so I'm not 100% sure of what ink I used, but believe it is brushos (turquoise and ultra marine) with some gold Inka Gold wax.  I tend to make up a lot of backgrounds to have on hand for making cards at a later date.  Must remember to write on the back the inks I used. :)

I wanted the gorgeous colours of the icy sky to be the star, so added a simple white embossed image of two trees and some snow drifts.

Thanks for coming by for a visit! :)

Stamps:  Snow Dust (Penny Black); Fun Birthday Sentiments (Happy Little Stampers)
Paper:  Mixed Media (Strathmore)
Ink:  Versamark; Delicata Gold; Brushos
Accessories & Tools:  Inka Gold, water mister, white embossing powder, heat tool, Snow drifts die (My Favorite Things)

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

You're so very Special

Hi everyone.  Today I'm playing along at CASEplorations on the STAMPlorations blog. This month they have the very talented Laura Bassen as their CASE inspiration.  I LOVE her card and just had to play along.

As you can see, I used the same stencil, sponging with yellow and lime green inks.  I love how bright and cheerful the card is.  I kept everything else to a minimum, with just a simple black stamped sentiment and a few sequins for sparkle.

If you have a chance, check out the amazing cards for the CASEplorations Design team - you'll be glad you did.  And come play along! :)

I'm also entering my card into the STAMPlorations Anything Goes challenge that runs continually. :)


Changes to Blogger!

Effective January 11, 2016, only Google account holders will be able to follow blogs with Blogger.   In addition, Blogger will also remove any followers without a Google account from the blogs they are following.  For the full announcement from Google, click here.

I hope you'll want to continue to follow my blog.  So if you do not have a Google Account, you have a couple of choices in order to continue to follow.

  • You can create a Google Account.  Then you would need to become a Follower again because all previous Followers who did not have an account will be permanently removed from my Follower lists by Google.
  • If you choose not to open a Google account, you can still follow my blog via email.

Thank you!

Stamps:  Fond Expressions2 (STAMPlorations)
Paper:  White card stock (Neenah)
Ink:  Squeezed Lemonade, Twisted Citron (Distress Inks by Tim Holtz); Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Accessories & Tools:  Leaf Prints stencil (ARTplorations); sponges, sequins.

January CASEPlorations
STAMPlorations Anything Goes

Monday, January 04, 2016

Five Favourite Cards for 2015 ... and Farewell to HLS

Happy Birthday Bonnie

Hi Everyone.  I'm joining in again over at Debby's Blog. A week ago she posted a challenge to share our five favourite Christmas cards for 2015.  Now it's time to share our five favourite cards of the year.

These are my favourites and you'll see there's a mix of all the different techniques that I love so dearly.  Interesting how that worked out.  There's stenciling, die-cutting and shaping, sponging, Inka Gold, and watercolouring. :)

Hope you enjoy the look back on 2015. :)


On to other news.  Today I have resigned from the HLS Design Teams.  I have really enjoyed being on the teams during the past year and have made some new friends along the way.  It's time to move on.  Not sure what the future holds, but I know new adventures will come my way.

Thank you!