Tuesday, 31 May 2011

CFC #4 - Congratulations and Pick a Square

Another combined challenge and 2nd post of the day. This one's for CAS-ual Friday on Graduates/Congratulations and simply Less is More Pick a Square (3rd and final...promise)!

My first LIMette entry was inspired by Chrissie and this one, my 3rd, is inspired by  Mandi. She is so right that Stampin Up products coordinate so well together and here I've used colours from the Brights family: Tempting Turquoise (ink, card), Regal Rose (ink, card), Daffodil Delight (ink, DSP) and Old Olive (ink, ribbon). I reversed Mandi's idea such that instead of using coordinating paper as matting/background, I used them in the foreground, right in the middle.

I very nearly decided to give this CAS-ual Friday challenge a miss as I really do not have any graduates in mind (oops, I just thought of a couple - yay!). Anyway, the DT had samples along the  Congratulations theme which also fits and more generic so here it is.  I'm glad I did it.

For this card, I also attempted to make an accordion-pleat rosette - looks like a medal, doesn't it? It's the first time I tried using this technique of using a strip of card though I've done similar using Stampin Up scallop punch for a Christmas card (see image on the left; click on link for more deets). That was only a few months ago but look how my style is evolving and leaning towards CAS more and more.

Thanks for stopping by and happy crafting everyone!


OLW 55 - Cats and Dogs on a square

Combining challenges again today. This time for OLW hosted by Jennifer with the theme of Cats and Dogs as well as Simply Less is More on Pick a Square (my 2nd!).

I'm posting this quick as this card is about to go to a friend who lent me a book.

I again used the thumping technique that Chrissie mentioned for this LIMette challenge.  I used Stampin Up Blushing Bride ink pad and Regal Rose marker.  As you can see, I made two very similar cards - well the stamps were out! :-)

My challenge entry is the second one I made and this time, I spritz it slightly with glimmer mist (home-made with Stampin Up shimmer paint and isopropyl alcohol in a mini-mister).  I quite prefer this more mottled look. What do you think?

This was such fun to do. I do love this dog image. Both heart and dog belong to a clear stamp set which, unfortunately, I've got no more details on...sorry.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

simply Less is More #17 - Pick a square

Simply Less is More has a new fun challenge - Pick a Square.  Lots of white space this week. I was much inspired by Chrissie's thumping technique. With new techniques, I usually think "I'd better try that some time". Well, this time, I decided, "I better try it right NOW!"

So here's my entry - completely and unashamedly fashioned after Chrissie's - including the Baja Breeze colour (best form of flattery right?). I went for a more subtle contrast using Marina Mist and it still looks mottled.  This thumping thing is going to be part of my regular repertoire methinks (so thanks Chrissie).

Still on the subtle side, I used a clear Spica pen to add just a hint of sparkle to echo the silver embossing. I had to edge this Stampin Up Upsy Daisy stamp a bit to the left so as not to go over the square too much....needs a bit more height I think.

There is so much white space here I feel like I need to add something but that would break the guidelines. I'm leaving it as is.

Maybe I should have another go.

Thanks again to all those who leave comments and tips. 

Chrissie's inspirational card

Saturday, 28 May 2011

PDCC 83 - A splash of green

I'm so glad I did the blog hop over at the Play Date Cafe this week. The team is farewelling DT member Sarah Anderson.   I don't personally know anyone in the team though the names, faces and avatars are familiar.  Moments like this make one see that behind the challenges are real people, with real lives. 

The blog hop struck a chord with me because a few years ago, a dear friend also moved away. People say the world is more accessible with technology and it's true but it's never the same as getting a smile face-to-face or getting/giving a hug when one needs it. 

A long prelude, I know, but making these cards took me a fair while. I felt I needed to channel everything I saw, read and felt during the blog hop. I had a real sense of Sarah being an artist whose work is characterised by lots of layers, textures, mixed media and that elusive touch of the unexpected, be it colour, design, material, etc.  I wanted to evoke this sense in my challenge entry. I wasn't happy with my first one (one with flowers and buttons) so had to have another go.  I'm much happier with the Artist card.  So, with my challenge entry this week is a personal message to Sarah (I hope she gets to read it):

Dear Sarah,

We don't know each other and yet we're connected through your work at PDCC and our love for crafting.  I'm sure you 'feel the love' of your DT team but I also want you to know that even I felt it through the blog hop - remember the lives you've touched, directly and beyond.

Good luck and enjoy on your new venture. Spread the love.

This artist card is for you!

best regards,

I did heaps on these two cards so instead of sharing everything like I normally do, I'll zoom into my favourite bits:
  1. script background with dandelions (Tim Holtz)
  2. shimmer paint (Stampin Up Platinum), especially diluted over the dress form - not that you can see it
  3. paint splatter (SU French Foliage)
  4. double-stamping Artist (Versafine Black and SU Wild Wasabi) for a shadow effect (so grung-y)
  5. Glossy Accents on the word

To the rest of the PDCC team - I feel you. Thank you for a wonderful blog hop and tribute to Sarah. 

Monday, 23 May 2011

simply Less is More #16 - Butterflies

It took me a while to get my head around what to do with the Simply Less is More Challenge # 16 - Butterflies. And even when I did get an idea, it didn't quite translate as well on paper  (again, I know).

Anyway, here's my second attempt. Design's slightly different than originally planned but it does incorporate all the techniques I wanted to include.

It's almost an OLC with all images stamped directly on the card. However, I thought the main butterfly needed a bit more focus so I popped on a frame.

Much as I'd like to share all the details, I don't have them all - lost details for sentiment and the focal butterfly. The background one is from the Stampin Up Cottage Garden set.  What I can share fully are the techniques:

  1. Wet emboss (all the butterflies including main one + the frame in Dazzling Diamonds)
  2. Emboss-resist using Distress Inks (Tumbled Glass). I stamped the sentiment on first in black and then the butterflies using Versamark with clear embossing powder
  3. Dry emboss (I know you can barely see the line but it's there)....and, wait for it.....
  4. Acetate!!!! I thought I really had to give it another go (Mandi and Chris have a lot to answer for, haven't they?). It made the frame look real.

So while I didn't combine challenges this time, I combined techniques instead. Fun!!

In my last post (with stitching and bling), I asked for tips on taking photos and Valerie (CraftAttack) very kindly pointed me to Susan Goetter's tutorial. Thank you both. Unfortunately, I don't have a lamp like Susan's so my photo is still very yellow. I will try again tomorrow during daytime here.
updated photo: taken during daytime. makes a difference methinks. :-)

Finally, I love all your comments and wish I could visit all of you back. There is the time issue, of course. HOWEVER, perhaps you can make it a little quicker and easier for me (and all others you visit), if you please put in a quick link to your blog in the comment so I don't have to go via your Blogger profile. My IT tips page has a quick tutorial on how to do just that.

Cheers all!

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Another combined challenge - bling and stitching

I'm having another go at combining challenges - it kinda triples the inspiration for me. This entry is for:

PDCC #82 (colour inspiration)
Scrapbook Boutique May challenge - stitching
CAS-ual Fridays #3 - bling

CAS is certainly becoming a style of choice so I thought the 3 challenges would really stretch me. Can I create something with vintage-y colours, some stitching (which I hardly ever do, least of all machine-stitching) and bling to boot.

Here it is. What do you think?

The "daisy" was stamped, stitched, cut and blinged.  I wasn't too confident with my daisy stitch, hence the stamp first. I also punched the holes before stitching so I knew exactly where the needle would go through. I got my mojo halfway through and nearly stuffed up (floss off, floss on fix).

I used one of my nesties as a template for the circle of bling. I think it worked rather well.  The sentiment was built out of 2 stamp sets (SU Wonderful Favourites and Upsy Daisy).

I think it looks like a scrapbook layout, speaking of which, here's the original PDCC entry I made. I'm not too confident sharing my scrapbook work but here it is anyway...no longer a challenge entry, just something to share.

Cheers all.

By the way, do you have a tip for photographing cards and layouts? Please share. Thanks.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

CAS challenge - You're a Gem

I've been busy around the house and scrapping so haven't had much chance to do my favourite challenges. So, I thought I'd be a little clever and combine them.  Fortunately, Less is More #15 has the same challenge as Jac-Inks, i.e. embossing - ok LIMettes have options other than heat embossing, but similar enough. CAS-ual Fridays has the buttons and twine challenge. Now, I'm not sure this is strictly OLC as the buttons are embellishments??? Chris and Mandi - you can tell me off gently.

without further ado....

Yes, it is white-on-white! I'm so excited about it.

The original plan was to have the buttons in a symmetrical square arrangement with the dazzling one (embossed with Dazzling Diamonds) right in the middle.  As you can see, I challenged myself out of my comfort zone and went for the 'random' arrangement - I can tell you, a square would have been much easier! Also, I used different dimensionals to get some height variations....you probably can't tell from the photos.

A gem stands out in the crowd so I do like the double-meaning here.

The deets:

inks: Stampin Up Craft White (sentiment), Versamark (button)
stamp: SU You're a Gem set
others: SU/Sizzix Buttons #5, Dazzling Diamonds, baker's twine

I had lots of fun with this one!

Cheers all.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

PDCC 80 & Mojo Monday

TWhoopee, the Blogger problem is fixed and I'm back to the new editor again.  It's a little thing but isn't that what life's really all about, i.e. the little things?

I haven't played at Play Date Cafe for a while and a visit from the lovely Julie Ranae  was enough prompt to participate in the PDCC #80 challenge. It was a good opportunity to visit Mojo Monday as well just for a little boost to the mojo.

And here's my "inspired" work. :-)

The deets....

stamps: Stampin Up Punch Bunch (SAB set), French Filligree, Short & Sweet (heart)
inks: SU Poppy Parade, Peach Parfait, Real Red, Versamark
Stampin Write Markers: PParade, PParfait, Pear Pizzazz, Cherry Cobbler, Pumpkin Pie
others: Dazzling Diamonds, Shimmer Paint - Platinum, Blender pen
Punch: SU Scallop Trim Corner and Border, Ornament punch

The choice of stamps is almost a no-brainer with a picture like that from PDCC.  I used Stampin Write markers to colour the flowers in and it's amazing how different it looks from this card just by using a different set of colours. I needed a third flower so stamped that separately, applied glossy accents (not the middle), cut and mounted on. Its stem was hand-drawn.

The vase was made using the ornament punch (visit my ideas page for more info) and made dazzling using DD just like I did for the bodice of this dress; it makes white on white really pop.

I don't have the matching Designer Series Papers so I made my own. I stamped French Filligree using Poppy Parade then sponged on PParade and PParfait. The whole thing was sprayed with a home-made glimmer mist: Shimmer Paint in Isopropyl Alcohol mixture in a mini-mister. Unfortunately, shimmer is very hard to photograph (tips welcome) so you'll just have to take my word for it.

The best part of this card for me? I managed to use the corner and border punches. I'm seriously challenged by these!

Cheers all. I hope you got something out of this post.

Monday, 9 May 2011

simply Less is More #14 - White on White

There's a problem with Blogger at the moment with the new post editor never successfully loading. I thought my blog was broken but luckily switching to the old editor worked for me so here I am posting about the new LIM challenge - white on white (it had to happen eventually).

Actually, I'm rather pleased it's on as I've been attempting to do this for a while, as recent as the previous LIM challenge....to no avail....This time, no choice but to really go white on white.
There are lots of things happening here and it's probably pushing the CAS boundaries but when it's white on white, there's plenty of white "space". :-)

The deets:

stamp: Bring on the cake
Ink: Versamark
others: Tim Holtz Sewing Room die, Cuttlebug cut and emboss die (wings), Heat & Stick Powder, Dazzling Diamonds

I pressed the dress top on Versamark and poured a 50/50 mix of Heat & Stick Powder and Dazzling Diamonds and voila a super-shimmery top. The skirt was made from 2 layers of scrunched up white tissue paper and sprayed on with Perfect Pearls mist to balance out the top which was very shimmery. I wrapped a skinny ribbon and added some tiny pearls - I love pearl buttons on real dresses. Actually, the initial skirt I made used embossed cardstock but it looked too heavy against the top hence the switch to tissue paper. The wings are also an after-thought and I think the card looks better with them than without them (open to suggestion here!)

The joke - this card will be given to a girl turning (sweet) 16 in August. It is so highly unlikely that this girl will ever wear a dress such as this. I do love that her sense of humour is steeped towards sarcasm, especially subtle ones - very British (I love British humour). If she ever gets a dress like this, it'll be sent off back where it came from, for sure!...hence the wings. :-)

I'm rather disappointed with this as it was much better in my head but so it is till the next card.

I've said it before but I'll say it again, thanks all for visiting and a special thanks to all those who bother to comment - it takes time and effort, I know.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

CFC #1 - Texting

Casual Fridays has finally launched its first challenge.  The challenge was to use text - stamps, paper, etc.

Here's my entry. Admittedly, it's rather subtle - faint text on the Stampin Up Designer Series Papers. So the text is not the focal point but hopefully it's okay. I haven't done much paper piecing so was keen to give that another go as well as get some ink on some new rubber:

All products are from Stampin Up

cardstock: White, Rich Razzleberry
DSP: Regal Rose, Old Olive
Ink: Rich Razzleberry, Old Olive
Stamps: Cottage Garden, Bring on the cake
Punch: Scallop Trim Border

The deets:

I stamped the outline flower on Regal Rose using Rich Razzleberry and Old Olive using same colour ink; the set doesn't come with leaves so I cut up the flower to make 'em. I stamped on the stem a few times and then put a border on using Old Olive DSP and punch-trimmed Rich Razzleberry.  Then, it was a matter of arranging flowers and leaves on the card; flowers are on dimensionals and have been blinged to match the sentiment. It's mother's day after all. I guess it's a card for me. :-)

Happy Mothers Day to all you mothers out there.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

OLW 52 - Circles

Susan is hosting this week's OLW challenge and the theme is circles. I love circles and so was rather stuck with what to do: stamp, emboss, draw/scribble, mask, implied? Choices, choices going round and round my head.

Here's what I came up with in the end:

super-simple and super quick.

stamp: Stampin Up So Happy for you
ink: SU Basic Black, Distress Inks: Shabby Shutters, Tumbled Glass
other: SU Top Note, at you Spica pen clear (real good for just a touch of sparkle without the mess, fuss and wait)

Happy Mother's Day 
to all of us fortunate enough to have kids - 
and to our mums fortunate enough to have us. :-)

It just dawned on me that it must be OLW's birthday - 52 weeks! Well done and Happy Birthday. Long may this challenge continue.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Medallion stamp

I really like the Medallion background stamp from Stampin Up. Certainly good as a background but awesome as a feature or focus.  Here's a card using it and I'm posting here to share a quick technique as well as for posterity as this card will be given away (I know, shouldn't all cards be?)  It's not even for a challenge!

stamps: Medallion, Teeny Tiny Sentiments
inks: Baja Breeze, Crumb Cake
Textured Impression embossing folder: Square Lattice

Focal point

Quick how-to:

  1. Ink up medallion stamp in Crumb Cake
  2. Sponge the edges and the middle with Baja Breeze
  3. Stamp. As this was a big stamp, I had it upside down and pressed my cardstock on it.  It's easier for positioning and handling purposes.
As the tones of the inks are fairly similar, I guess you can swap (1) and (2), i.e. ink with Baja Breeze first and sponge with Crumb Cake. It might be fun to add more colours as well...why stop at 2-tone.

a few more deets...

I intended to use a ribbon but the Marina Mist ribbon looked too dark so I went for the paper 'ribbon' and even stamped the sentiment on it. If you only ever buy one sentiment set, let it be Teeny Tiny Sentiments from Stampin Up; very handy and will see you through most (all?) occasions.


The idea came from Michelle Dyson who used River Rock and Basic Black combo on a square card.

Have a go and possibly link back here so I can see what you've done. Of course, you don't have to use the medallion stamp for this 2(or more)-tone stamping. And why stop at cards, do it on scrapbook and OTP projects as well. What combo would you do? 

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

OLW 51 - 3 of a kind

Jennifer is hosting this week's OLW with a really fun 3-of-a-kind challenge. Ideas have been floating in my head for a few days now and with one last dose of inspiration (will tell you in a minute), finally got everything down on paper...3x!

et voila

yes, deserves a close-up and here's one

The deets (all Stampin Up again - wow, 3rd all-SU for challenges in a row)

stamp: Pocket Silhouette
ink: Regal Rose, Peach Parfait, Tempting Turquoise
Stampin write markers: Certainly Celery, Regal Rose, Cherry Cobbler (for the glorious aqua-red combo and because I don't actually have a TTurquoise marker)
punch: Ornament XL punch

More deets...

A fellow LIMette, Vicky (aka Crafting Clare), inspired me 2x yesterday. (1) to finally create a blog page to collate great ideas which will grow over time and (2) use the ornament punch as a vase. Because this entry is for an OLC challenge, I had to innovate via masking and sponging (see my post-it masks photo below). Nevertheless, the original idea is most definitely Clare's. As an aside and in case you've missed the hint - the inspiration is from a fellow LIMette, i.e. a member of the wonderful Simply Less is More challenge community.

All up, it took less than half an hour to make all 3 cards. I chose not to put any sentiment at all; maybe I'll  change my mind later but for now, I really wanted to just see the flowers and the vase.

So happy.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

simply Less is More #13 - Lucky Dip

I always feel better after I've completed a LIMette challenge as it's a must-do nowadays. Challenge 13 is to do a thank you or congratulations card.  Just the excuse I needed to make a card I've been procrastinating on, i.e. to congratulate a young colleague on purchasing and moving to their new home. I'm also entering it in the Just Add Ink Challenge to just add a flower.

Here it is:
 I had the initial idea of white-on-white and stamping on a paper flower. As you can see, I've veered off a bit.

The sketch is an old one from Mojo Monday that I've been wanting to do.  It just wouldn't look right with everything in white. The off-centre LIMette challenge last week helped me get over my affinity for symmetry...notice the slightly off-centre flower to make room for the slit; that's intentional!

As with last week, all products used are from Stampin Up

cardstock: Whisper White, Old Olive DSP
stamps: Artistic Etchings, Teeny Tiny Sentiments
inks: Old Olive, Tempting Turqoise
punches: 1 3/4 and 2 3/4 scallop circles
other: Old Olive ribbon, Square Lattice Textured Impressions

I did stamp over paper flowers but punched ones - snip the scallops to make petals. I can't remember where I saw this technique - sorry can't attribute. In the spirit of honesty, I admit that I intended to sponge around with Old Olive but picked up a sponge still wet with Tempting Turquoise. Well, I do like these combination anyway so went with it and even stamped the centre and sentiment in the accent colour. 

Finally, look at these rounded corners. One is from a corner rounder - the DSP. The others are from a scallop scissors. This time, I do remember where I got the technique (see corner of sentiment), Susan at Simplicity by LateBlossom.  My "innovation" is cutting a bit more for a more decorative effect.

There are plenty of layers and texture but is this still CAS?