Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Watercolour Swirls

Since my earlier design "Nature-Inspired" took a little bit of brain and design time, I simplified this next one for today's Splitcoast colour challenge (CC197). I also followed the Mojo Monday Week #64 sketch for my inspiration but omitted the sentiment. My design stemmed from this gorgeous border pattern from Penny Black. This is one of my first stamps (although when I first got into it, I bought a load!). I still love it and usually choose to watercolour, which is what I have done here using an aquapainter and baja breeze, kiwi kiss and not quite navy inks. To define the flowers and leaves further I also went over with a blender pen. The rest is really just layers of cardstock embellished with cuttlebug embossing. To create the 'belt' panel, I cut two pieces of basic gray cardstock using my nestabilities rectangle scallop die, then trimmed the straight edges and overlapped matching the bottom edge.

Stamps: daisy pattern, Penny Black
Ink: SU baja breeze, kiwi kiss and not quite navy; Versafine in onyx black
Paper: SU baja breeze, kiwi kiss, not quite navy, basic gray and very vanilla (textured); Strathmore Watercolor cold press 140lb paper
Other: nestabilities rectangular scallop die; eyelet setter; eyelets from Magic Scraps; pop dots; cuttlebug 'swiss dots' and 'swirls' embossing folders; SU kiwi kiss satin ribbon; aquapainter and blender pen


Not only do I love the sweater behind Kristina's Werner’s color challenge #35 this week, but the colours work well together. {...although I was careful with the amount of so saffron mixed with chocolate chip because of my days working at Pizza Delight as a teenager--those yellow and brown polyester suits were awful!} I see a little soft pink in the sample, so I included just a hint in my card. I knew I had to work felt and embroidery somehow into the design too (this meant a quick trip to Michael’s today because I don’t embroider). I haven’t used these leaf and flower stamps for a very long time, but I think they’re fairly timeless. Lots of layers here...to tie in with the natural theme, I embossed the very vanilla panel with my 'wild flower gone to weed' cuttlebug folder. Actually I think this folder is gorgeous and was so glad to have a reason to use it. The embossed image is lightly dusted with so saffron pastels. I inked the flower with pink pirouette then rocked it in close to cocoa before stamping, cutting it out and embellishing with brads. I stamped the leaf image in close to cocoa on the same colour cardstock, then cut out the leaves. I edged the so saffron leaves in the background with my stampin’ write chocolate chip marker then huffed and stamped. Before embroidering the stems, I stamped the leaf image again in a light distressed ink—I knew it would give me a guide for stitching and blend in with the very vanilla and so saffron colours without being too noticeable. To keep with the ‘nature inspired’ theme, I embroidered a 'stem stitch' with 100% linen floss (nice stuff) and finally used my SU alpine chocolate chip felt ribbon. I love the look of this ribbon, but it’s so thick!!

Earlier this week I played along with the ‘half-baked’ challenge (WT196) on Splitcoast and I've repeated a similar effect here, trimming off the left edge of the focal image and mats. I used my Fiskars scallop edge punch for the baja breeze border, distressed the bottom, set the holes with so saffron eyelets and created faux stitching detail with my Hero Arts stitched ribbon stamp (I don't think I've actually ever used this stamp before) and a paper piercer.

Stamps: Stitched Ribbon, Hero Arts; Leafy Shadow and Batik Flower, Paper Inspirations
Ink: SU pink pirouette, close to cocoa and so saffron classic; SU stampin’ write marker in chocolate chip
Paper: SU chocolate chip, close to cocoa, baja breeze and very vanilla (flat and textured)
Other: nestabilities circles/scallops; eyelet setter; SU Fresh Favorites II eyelets in so saffron; pop dots and dimensionals; SU stampin’ pastels; SU paper distresser; paper piercer; stamp-a-ma-jig; cuttlebug embossing folder; SU ribbon originals alpine; metallic brads, making memories

Monday, December 15, 2008

Are you this awesome in a velvet skirt?

My first order of MFT stamps arrived today! Very exciting! So...I decided to create this card for the MFT Sketch Challenge (MFTSC60) that runs until tonight at midnight. My Wübē paper was still out and since I like the colours for the MFT's Who's That Girl Challenge (MFTWTG14) so much, part of my work was already done. I added green to the blue, brown and white combination.

Where's the velvet?--I stamped the image on green patterned paper and white card stock, cut out the sofa and skirt pieces, then added white flock to the skirt for texture. The rest of my E-Girl is coloured in copics. I used my Fiskars scalloped edge punch and found that the holes were perfect for these matte finish brads that tie in with the white skirt and sentiment panel. I haven't used my slit punch for awhile, so I thought it was time--it was always a favourite. I ran the soft sky panel through my cuttlebug 'circles and spots' (not sure what the name is) embossing folder. The rest is all layers of blue bayou, chocolate chip and the Bohemia lime green paper from MME.

Stamps: Who's That E-Girl?, My Favorite Things
Ink: Adirondack dye ink in espresso; SU close to cocoa classic ink
Paper: Gina K 120lb Pure Luxury cardstock; SU chocolate chip, close to cocoa, soft sky, and blue bayou (flat and textured) cardstock; Rhythm n Blues Waves, Wübē; Bohemia Backyard "Just Be You" Stripe/Lime, mme
Other: lily white flock, crushed velvet; nestabilities circles/scallops; SU slit punch; Fiskars scalloped edge punch; SU kiwi kiss satin ribbon; sponge; circles and dots cuttlebug embossing folder; matte finish brads, Lasting Impressions; pop dots; copics: E01, W3, Colorless blender filled with B00 ink, W7, E29

Call Me for a Latte

I combined today's Bella sketch (BSC59) and MFT's Who's That Girl Challenge (MFTWTG14) to produce this card. This week's MFT featured set is "Call Me" - but, I don't have it. I played with the theme and the additional colour challenge: blue, brown and white. I've been holding on to this Wübē paper for a long time. Love it! The 'call me' challenge led me straight to it. I then created the telephone swirl and sentiment in Illustrator with my wacom tablet and pen. 'Lattebella' is stamped in Adirondack dye ink in espresso and coloured with copics. I've played a bit with the original sketch because I don't yet have oval nesties, so I used circles and lowered the horizontal strip to accommodate the larger image. No bling; just a little 'close to cocoa' sponging on the edges of some of the cardstock panels.

Stamps: lattebella, Stamping Bella
Ink: Adirondack dye ink in espresso; SU close to cocoa classic ink
Paper: Gina K 120lb Pure Luxury cardstock; SU chocolate chip, close to cocoa, soft sky (flat and textured), and tempting turquoise cardstock; Rhythm n Blues Waves, Wübē
Other: nestabilities circles/scallops; eyelet setter; eyelets from Magic Scraps; pop dots; computer, Illustrator and wacom tablet

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sweet Swirls

I used Taylor's Cupcake Challenge #46 sketch for this card. I have no cupcakes--I know, you're thinking "what!!"--so I turned to my computer and Illustrator and created my own. You're also probably thinking that this cupcake belongs in Whoville, but I hope you think it's kind of fun. If you like it, feel free to save a copy to your computer and size/print/play with it--if you do, please let me know what you come up with! I printed on Gina K 120lb Pure Luxury cardstock (it really is as good as Karen says!) and coloured my image with copics, then added cotton candy and golden pink coloured stickles. My sentiment is a combo from savvy stamps' "sweet pea" and Hero Arts' "from the Heart." I used markers and huffing on the "sweet" and covered up the text I didn't want with a sticky note before inking "Heart" with SU pumpkin pie. At some point between stamping, glitzing and photographing this card, I smeared the sentiment. I also stamped it on the left without thinking about following Taylor's sketch more closely, so I flipped the sketch and embellished the right top corner.

The layers of this cupcake card... the base is pink pirouette textured cardstock; then pumpkin pie, which I ran twice through my distressed stripes cuttlebug folder to emboss the length of this strip(5.75"); the patterned slice is Basic Grey Oh Baby! Girl Natalie; and the image is matted in basic black and then pink pirouette cardstock. I also used the Fiskars threading water punch for the pixie pink scalloped design along the bottom, but added petal pink liquid pearls for a little frosting. The green polka dot ribbon is from my stash and I used both sides to repeat the dots and the solid colour.

Stamps: from the Heart, Hero Arts; sweet pea, savvy stamps
Ink: SU pumpkin pie; SU pretty in pink and basic black stampin' write markers
Paper: Gina K 120lb Pure Luxury cardstock; SU pumpkin pie, pink pirouette, pixie pink and basic black cardstock; Oh Baby! Girl Natalie, Basic Grey
Other: cuttlebug 'distressed stripes' embossing folder; pop dots and dimensionals; stickles; liquid pearls; computer, Adobe Illustrator, Wacom tablet and pen; Fiskars edge punch

Friday, December 12, 2008

Half dressed

I like the ‘half-baked challenge’ (WT196) on Splitcoast for this week and immediately thought of the little sneak peak teasers for the Papertrey Ink releases. I rummaged through my stash of old scrapbooking supplies and found this embossed ‘chick’ paper, which combines well with these images from Inkadinkado. The card and techniques are quite simple: I coloured the images with copics; cut and embossed with my circle/scallop nesties; embossed the white background panel with my 'swiss dots' and the kiwi kiss panel with my 'stylized flowers' cuttlebug folders; and followed Wednesday’s sketch (SC206). I was trying to just show enough of the images and text to allow whoever’s looking to fill in the rest, but my teasers are a little obvious.

I thought I'd also show you the original project behind this fabulous embossed pattered paper. When I was teaching scrapbooking and stamping classes at Cherished Scrapbooks, a local scrapbook store in the Oakville/Mississauga area, I created this canvas for our wall of instructors and staff. This was years ago as my little guy Henri was just a baby and Karen worked there too, but I still love the paper and colours today.

Stamps: dress/purse/shoe from Inkadinkado set
Ink: Memento tuxedo black
Paper: SU groovy guava, kiwi kiss, tangerine tango and whisper white textured; Gina K pure luxury 120lb cardstock; 'chick' paper, unknown
Other: circle/scallop nestabilities; SU celery and olive organdy and SU black grosgrain ribbon

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Warm Woolies

There's so many directions to go with Kristina Werner's colour challenge #34 this week! So yummy! I have a second design in mind but couldn't get past taking this one quite literally, so I pulled out some baby alpaca wool I actually bought recently at Spun Fibre Arts in natural and my reinkers to dye my own yarn. After knitting the sweetest little swatch, I ran a line of each of the colours to create a striped knit pattern. The wool sucked it in and wanted more! So I gave it and now am still waiting for the dye to set and dry. Dabbing with paper towel softened the colours; heat setting just singed the swatch. Although these challenge colours are so gorgeous, there's a lot of them to work together, so certainly celery appears only in the dyed wool and in the sponged embossed background panel. I liked the way the other colours worked together. Simple layout here: the rectangular mats are cut and embossed with nestabilities; the background panel is embossed with my cuttlebug swirls folder, then liberally sponged with all of the colours in the challenge; a little paper piercing on the pale plum panel; and my warm wishes sentiment is stamped in bordering blue to keep away the winter chill. The grosgrain ribbon is from a retired SU collection.

Stamps: warmest wishes, Hero Arts
Ink: SU pale plum, perfect plum, bordering blue, certainly celery and sage shadow (classic ink and reinkers)
Paper: SU pale plum, perfect plum, bordering blue, sage shadow and whisper white card stock,
Other: rectangular Nestabilities; cuttlebug 'swirls' embossing folder, baby alpaca wool; toothpicks; pop dots and dimensionals; SU ribbon; paper piercer

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Today's colour challenge (CC196) on Splitcoast is fabulous for Christmas! I found that Basic Grey's Dasher paper from the Blitzen collection was perfect for this colour combo and together with the Winter Post stamp set. I used my SU Stampin' Write markers to highlight parts of the snowflake and the post mark, which are both popped out with dimensionals. Since my rectangular nestabilities aren't long enough to give me a border the length of my card, I used the long edges and pieced them together--the snowflake embellishment is hiding the seam. I cut and embossed the circles with my nesties. I should have stopped there! Unfortunately my stickles in xmas red were calling and I goofed at the very last minute.
Stamps: Winter Post, SU
Ink: SU sage shadow and chocolate chip; SU stampin' write markers in taken with teal and real red
Paper: SU whisper white, taken with teal, riding hood red and sage shadow; Blitzen Dasher, Basic Grey
Other: circle and rectangle/scallop nestabilities; SU ticket corner punch; SU riding hood red taffeta ribbon; aged copper hodgepodge brads; dimensionals; cuttlebug swirls embossing folder

December Birthday

I created this card for last week's bella colour challenge (BCC57). How many people in your life have birthdays in December—thought this was perfect for my niece Michaela who celebrated hers on Sunday because it combines winter with pink and balloons. I used my SU watercolour wonder crayons to colour bella; paper pieced her balloons to tie in with the K&Co Peppermint Twist paper in the background; and debossed the image with a scalloped edged rectangular nestie. The layered flower and cuttlebug snowflake cover up a little mistake. TFL!

Stamps: balloonabella, Stamping Bella
Ink: Staz On in timber brown; SU ballet blue (sponging along the edge); SU stampin' write marker in ballet blue (bows)
Paper: SU ballet blue; watercolour paper (unknown); Brenda Walton 'Peppermint Twist' deluxe specialty paper pad, K & Co.
Other: rectangle scallop nestabilities, SU fresh favourites II eyelets; sponge; cuttlebug snowflake die; SU watercolour wonder crayons; aquapainter; embossing folder; stickles in waterfall

Karen gave me an idea

Well, actually, Karen gives me lots of ideas. But when I saw her Snow Swirled card for last week's sketch challenge (SC205), I saw the light at the end of my "got to make over 50 Christmas cards" tunnel. I'm determined to combine our family photos with a hand-made creation, but my original design is somewhat time-consuming! Karen's is gorgeous, of course, so why am I bothering to post something that so closely case's hers?

Mine is simplified without the paper piercing and expensive brads. Remember, I’m trying to make over 50 cards here! I used my big note die to cut both the photo and the frame, then trimmed the outer scored edge from the photo. For some, I sanded the edge of the photo to give a distressed look, but I've found that sometimes depending on the developer (I just print online to Costco.ca) and the colour near the edge of the photo, the sanding can reveal a red tinge. This is usually yukky, but it worked with the Christmas theme and colours. In the end, my card actually follows SC120 more closely.

Stamps: none
Ink: none
Paper: SU very vanilla, chocolate chip, baja breeze and Ski Slope DP
Other: Big Shot 'Big Note' die (SU/Sizzix); very vanilla and red riding hood taffeta ribbon; hodgepodge and brads; SU ticket corner punch; photos by Kelly Wilk Photography

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A winter wish

This card is double duty for two challenges: TECC45 (Taylored Expressions Cupcake Challenge 45) and LSC197 on Splitcoast. Lots of rules to follow. First, Taylor's sketch was fairly specific--I used circles though instead of ovals (basically because I don't have oval nestabilities yet!). For the Limited Supplies challenge, I was asked to use
1. snowflake images only whether stamps, patterned paper...
2. a monochromatic colour scheme
3. some sort of “bling” or sparkle
4. one word only

I think I stuck to snowflakes--the 'swiss dots' embossing folder created the flurries. ;) My monochromatic scheme is winter silver, white and muted blue/soft grey. My bling is mostly in the silver embossing. And my one 'wish' is focal to the snowflake embellishment. The chipboard snowflake is inked up with basic gray classic ink, then sponged with white craft ink, embossed with detail silver embossing powder on the edges for a distressed look, and finally, sponged with more white craft ink and heat set. The snow flurries are also heat embossed in silver (but I used Versafine for finer detail). I was inspired by Karen's bella card recently; I've layered my nesting circle/scallop/circle in the same way.

Stamps: snow flurries and sentiment, SU
Ink: SU sahara sand classic, basic gray classic, whisper white craft; Versamark in onyx black
Paper: SU whisper white and going gray; Blitzen Fresh Snow and Jack Frost, Basic Grey
Other: circle/scallop nestabilities, SU 1/2" circle punch; SU detail powder in silver; heat gun; SU basic gray taffeta ribbon; silver hodgepodge brads; sponge; cuttlebug 'swiss dots' embossing folder

Friday, December 5, 2008

Challenges on Splitcoast

This week I took on several challenges and posted these two to Splitcoast, but didn't have a chance to give the full details here until now. Busy with kids and Friday appointments at Sick Kids--today was especially long.

First, MFTSC59: My other ride...
I ordered my first stamps from 'My Favorite Things' this week. I'm so excited to be back into stamping and inspired by my friend Karen. Make sure if you have an 'enabler' in your life who got you on to MFT that you let Kim know (see Refer a Friend in Forums on Splitcoast). My card doesn't actually use an MFT stamp but I loved their naughty sentiments, particularly "My other ride is a pole!" My minivanabella from Stamping Bella, which is a little too close to home with the three kids and minivan in constant motion, was perfect for this. I searched for patterned paper that had vertical lines (the pole) and found this kinky, 'amplified psychedelic' from American Crafts. The rest is quite simple. I cut the freehand curve on the reverse side of the patterned paper using Martha Stewart's straight blade (the one that inserts into the handle). The great sentiment is printed on my laser and the image is coloured with copics. I'm so looking forward to trying the Gina K pure luxury 120lb cardstock I ordered this week. I'm okay with the copics but have seen so much better!! ...a little sponging around the edges and some simple ribbon.

Stamps: minivanabella, Stamping Bella
Ink: Adirondack dye ink in espresso
Paper: SU whisper white textured, purely pomegranate, chocolate chip; American Crafts amplified psychedelic
Other: dimensionals; ribbon, unknown; Martha Stewart straight blade with handle

The other one, WT195: Three Birds (for Karen)
Confession: I had already created this card days before even seeing this Splitcoast challenge, but I thought it would be perfect for an embellished envelope. I had just been to Scrapalicious in Oakville to drop in on Cathy for a long overdue but quick hello and spotted these Hero Arts birds (a set of 4). My square nestabilities arrived the same day from Scrappin Great Deals!! Cathy gave me some pointers on using copics, the most important tip being a reminder to pick up colour from the tip of one marker to transfer temporarily to another making a third colour. This was a breakthrough for me! Not only did this produce better blending but it was a relief to know that I didn't need all of the hundreds of colours available! Thank you, Cathy!

So basically, the design came from a great piece of patterned paper (SU) for colour inspiration: river rock; old olive; and real red, or in this case, riding hood red for a more muted contrast. I wanted to include three of the birds in the set and decided to use a long note in river rock. Time to part with my stash! I used the square nestabilities for clean cuts and embossing. No sponging, no stickles...just clean and simple. The envelope repeats the pattern from the paper with punched river rock, real red and old olive circles. The birds are stamped over the circles and envelope and coloured with copics too. Okay, copics don't work so well on envelopes, but no surprise. I touched up incomplete lines on the stamped bird images with my chocolate chip marker.

Stamps: birds, Hero Arts; sentiment, SU
Ink: Adirondack dye ink in espresso
Paper: SU designer paper, river rock, old olive, chocolate chip, real red, riding hood red
Other: copics, square nestabilities, chocolate chip grosgrain, SU long notes and envelope

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Shop a Little-Color Inspiration Challenge

Love Kristina Werner's challenges. Since I was already playing with bellas for this week's BSC challenge, I knew I wanted to use 'emmybella' and her shopping bag. I looked around on Splitcoast and blogs for interesting card holders and found Nichole Heady’s tutorial. Combining bellas, Kristina's colour inspiration—celery, teal, white, chocolate chip and pumpkin pie—and a gift card holder, this is what I came up with.
Basic Grey’s Skate Shoppe in ‘Drop in’ was the perfect paper to pull it all together; with a little sponging around the edges, the colours are all there!
Since I do a lot of work on the computer, I often create sentiments in InDesign if I don’t have the right stamp. I’ve seen “shopping therapy” out there and “ you go girl” but I liked the teaser “need a little...” The inside says “sumpin’, sumpin’...,” (a visit to Brandi Wiggins-Côté's blog got me thinking). Seemed to fit.

I embossed the orange background with my cuttlebug ‘Spots & dots’ folder; used the BG paper for the card slider pocket and strip in the background; and printed the sentiment on my computer. I played around with chocolate chip grosgrain ribbon for the slider and so my slot, which I created with my JudiKins pen knife, is slightly bigger than it needs to be for the celery organza I ended up using. Also since I went with a slightly narrower pocket sleeve than illustrated in Nichole’s tutorial, I couldn’t get my circle punch in to create the half circle after I had already sealed the pocket with terrifically tacky tape. So, I used my coluzzle circles. I coloured emmybella in copics and made her shopping bag pop with small punched circles and orange tissue. This is my favourite part! I wish the Shop card at Cadillac Fairview was fully loaded for me, but it’s all used up—I just put it in there for the picture.

Stamps: emmybella, Stamping Bella
Ink: Adirondack dye ink in espresso
Paper: SU pumpkin pie, whisper white, certainly celery, taken with teal and chocolate chip cardstock; Skate Shop “Drop-in”, Basic Grey
Other: cuttlebug ‘spots & dots’ embossing folder; coluzzle circles; SU corner rounder and decorative edge punches; certainly celery organza ribbon; dimensionals; terrifically tacky tape; Making Memories mini brads powder (childhood collection); JudiKins knife; computer; tissue paper