Wednesday, 29 June 2011

simply Less is More #21 - Sketch challenge

Simply Less is More Challenge #21 is to use a very elegant sketch - simple but, if executed well, really good and pleasing to the eye.  Question now is did I execute the sketch well? See for yourself.

The deets:

stamps: Stampin Up Very vintage (roller), Sweet Sentiments
inks: SU Crumb Cake, Soft Suede
others: Cuttlebug embossing folders, rustic twine, SU perals, 1 3/8" circle punch

I wanted to try a new technique I learned, brayer ink over embossing.  I'm really quite happy with the effect. By the time Crumb Cake was layered on, it looked rather dark hence the decision to go with Soft Suede for the sentiment.  I had trouble deciding where to put the sentiment - bottom centre or bottom right.  I'm still not sure, it is where it should be but there it is. I'm declaring it done.


CFC #8 - Getting Edgy in Pink

CAS-ual Friday Challenge #8 is to get creative with edges, e.g. use border punch/dies, tearing etc. How fun is that?  I knew exactly which die to use; it was just getting 'round to doing it!  I'm also entering this to The Sumer of Color - Pink; in the middle of winter here in Australia!

Here it is:

It's going to be to a gorgeous 10-yr old girl.

The deets - all produccts from Stampin Up, except for the border die (Tim Holtz)

inks: Blushing Bride, Regal Rose
Stamps: Punch Bunch (owl), Medallion
Punches: 2-step owl, 1 3/4" scallop (wings)
DSP and Cardstock from SU

I've never done pennant banners before and I think it's the perfect thing to 'lift' the card.  Doesn't it just look joyful? Well, it does to me.  DSP used was just from scrap and it's amazing what a little bit can do.

Quick Technique/Tip to get matching twine: (sorry, can't remember where I got this from but it's not exactly rocket science so will not worry too much about attribution here)

  1. Get some plain white twine.
  2. Run it over the stamp pad, with a paddle pop stick (or plastic ruler) to keep it down 
  3. Turn twine and keep running through until inked up as desired
Super-easy. Super-quick. Perfect match!

Note: if you use a clean plastic ruler, you can excess ink on the pad again, wipe it dry with a rag and you have less waste. How green is that? ;)

In the spirit of sharing, here's a farewell card I made. It's going to be from the whole IT department (where I belong) so there's lots of owls. Fun.
This card is a big A5 size.  I also put in a piece of copy paper, attached via a rustic twine to give plenty of room to write well wishes.  I also popped a few owls using dimensionals.  I had the owl punch and stamp out from above so the it just kinda flowed on to this.  Yet, how different do they look?


Sunday, 26 June 2011

OLW 59 - OLC thank you card

It's been weeks since I played with OLW and challenge 59 (especially the post by Susan) lured me back. Seriously, that lady can write.  And yes, she stamps really well, too.

Here's my entry:

As soon as I saw the grid of glass jars on the photo, I knew which stamp set to use: Stampin Up Apple Blossoms.  The grid of circles have been heat embossed though it probably didn't make any visual difference but there is a "roughness" about it that adds dimension to an OLC.

If you look closely, there are spots of shimmery silver.  I'd like to say that was intentional but to be honest, they're a serendipitous accident as I was battling with the SU Smooch Spritz in silver which I used for this card (and what a challenge that was).  I actually think the misty effect on this card is better. :)

There you have it.

PDCC 87 - Thank you PDCC DT gals

I won the PDCC cup a few weeks ago for which I got some fantastic stamps from the PDCC team and Stepping Stones Design.  I figured, using them for a PDCC challenge would be a great way to say thank you.

Here's my PDCC 87 challenge entry. This week's suggested colors are....

Slate Blue...Barn Red...Grey

This is really for all you wonderful people behind the PDCC - Thank you. Thank you for my win. Thank you for your fun challenges. Thank you for your inspiring work and friendly blog visits and comments. Thank you with all my heart.

The deets:

ink: Stampin Up  Basic Gray, Real Red, Not Quite Navy
Stamps: Stepping Stones Design 
other: SU Smooch Spritz in Silver, spica pen - clear, SU rhinestones
punch: SU heart

I found the SU Gray too dark so I stamped off before stamping onto that paper ribbon - much better I reckon.  I also had a lot of problem with the smooch spritz; I don't use it often so had trouble controlling the spray.  This is the 3rd card and I figured it's probably good enough - not quite the "shape" I had in mind but near enough.  Once I got started with the sparklies, I couldn't stop and so had to put a touch of spica and rhinestones on the butterfly...just for fun. ;)

For the focus heart, I stamped the butterfly on in blue before punching out (heart). Then I just sponged on red all around it.  I stamped and cut out another butterfly and only adhered the middle bit for extra lift and dimension.

Anyway, to all you wonderful gals at PDCC 
- including its talented community of challenge participants - 
thank you.

This card's for you.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

simply Less is More #20 - Monogram

Beautiful challenge #20 at Simply Less Is More using monograms.  Mandi and Chrissie keep coming up with interesting challenges and divine inspiration cards.  Mandi's (see pic at the end of post) really blew me away - so CAS, so elegant with a touch of cheek.  Perfect.

My first instinct was to do something similar but in the end, opted to match my entry to The Summer of Colour - green.  I made a gift box in green - my friend's favourite colour it seems - so perfect for the challenge.  I decided the card will have the same elements and colour but with a monogram, of course.  Here they both are:

My friend's name starts with a C and that card is full of meaning. C in my heart. x (stitched) as in xoxo. A pearl (tiny one on the flower on happy birthday) because this friend is precious to me.  I wonder if she'll pick up all of these little hints? The C, certainly.

A few other tiny design decisions: rounding the edges on the 2 strips using scallop scissors. Rounding the edges on the card using a punch. Use 2 shades of green ink both from Stampin Up: Pear Pizzazz and Old Olive.  Emboss-resist the C, instead of die-cut (I love how white paper can be transformed so much).

Mandi's inspirational card
The quality and quantity of entries at Simply Less is More are growing steadily. I'm beginning to feel out of my depth, as in out of my league.  Having played in the last 16 weeks though (missed first 4), it's really a habit now so maybe I'll keep playing anyway.

CFC #7 - Colour Blocks

Another super-fun challenge (#7) at CAS-ual Fridays.  Colour blocks.  I've been wanting to do this for a long time now so this was a perfect opportunity to do so.  My initial thoughts were to use paper using this sketch from Jennifer McGuire, which I first saw in a PaperCrafts magazine.

BUT, I changed my mind.  Instead I decided to go with colour blocks using inks.  Yep, inky-inky messy fingers.  Here it is....

To be honest, this was my second attempt.  The first one was more like this "hi" card I made a while ago (click photo to take you to the post).  I love this card and have not managed to give it away.  Anyway, I wanted to do this technique again but this time I wasn't so successful.  In fact, it got too inky and messy. Let's just say, I followed the sentiment on the card. This is far more CAS, believe me. :)

The deets:
Distress Inks: Shabby Shutters, Tumbled Sky, Worn Lipstick, Spicy Marmalade
Dye Inks: Stampin Up Old Olive, Tempting Turquoise
Stamps: HA Friends definition, Tim Holtz set, small flower from SU Always
Punches: EK notebook border, SU 3/4" and 1/2 " circles

I was going to stamp the text in black but it was too 'in your face'; lucky I tried on scrap paper first!  Also, the background flowers in Old Olive were stamped off first for a more subtle effect which ties in better with the distress ink. I used dye ink because I wanted a cleaner finish than I would get with the distress inks being too wet.

Colour-blocking technique:

  1. Tear up a piece of copy paper to form a wavy edge
  2. Position this as a mask on the Friends background stamp - expose about a third length-wise
  3. Put a post-it note or copy paper to expose just about an inch of the stamp.
  4. Ink up exposed stamp (it's a teensy bit)
  5. Lift up post-it and position a bit further down
  6. Ink up the un-inked bit with another colour
  7. Repeat 5 and 6 until you've inked the entire length
  8. Leaving your stamp facing up (don't lift it), position your card on top of it and press - upside-down stamping is fun!  For best results, use a brayer - the pressure applied is more even this way.
  9. I also sponged in a bit more colour using the same inks.

There you have it.  It's messy so be careful. I actually covered up the white side as I did my sponging (step 9) in fear of leaving some unwanted fingerprints.

Now, for another post....

Thursday, 16 June 2011

PDCC 86 - Just a little note

Check out the latest challenge #86 from The Play Date Cafe.

These colours are scrumptuous on their own and together - they spell Fun, Fresh, Fabulous.

Here's my take:

I know it's fun and fresh but is it fabulous? ;-)

The deets:

Unless indicated otherwise, product is from Stampin Up

paper: DSP Regal Rose, Tempting Turquoise, Tangerine Tango
stamps: Apple Blossoms
inks: Regal Rose, Tempting Turquoise, Orange Marmalade Distress Ink
punches: 2-step bird, 1 3/4" circle, Word Windows
others: ribbon from stash, clear spica pen

This really sort of evolved on me.  The only thing I 'planned' was the main panel with the cut-outs - bursting I was with excitement (geddit?) :-)  Then, I just got going from there and by the time I added on the sparklies, I was smiling. Gotta love a happy crafting session.  Actually, I toyed with the idea of putting bling on but the "flat" little sparklies look more fun.  I even put some on the polka dotted wing just for fun.

So what do you think?

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

simply Less is More #19 - OLC Framed

Finally got around to making my Simply Less is More #19 entry - OLC framed.  Been away over the long weekend and have been catching up ever since.

Right, quick post so I can have some time to go visiting the undoubtedly great work of the other LIMettes.

Here's mine:

I've said it before and I'll say it again - making OLCs is hard work!!! There's no room to hide 'mistakes'.  This is my second attempt and I can tell you, "aargh" and "gah" were constantly uttered.  Still, I'm smiling now because I've left it well enough alone, i.e. I've declared it done.

I do like layering inks on and nothing like an OLC to to get that going.  You wouldn't think there's so much product on this but so it is. Here are the deets:

TH Distress inks - Old Paper, Shabby Shutters, Broken China; Stampin Up Soft Suede, Versamark
stamps all from SU: 
SAB Bliss (butterfly), Teeny Tiny Sentiments, French Foliage (so faint you can hardly see the script but the raindrops are fab, don't you think?)
Perfect Pearls (sprayed on from a mini mister to echo the raindrops), gorgeous gorgeous DMC metallic floss, 1/8" circle punch

The floss would not stay still and was so hard to knot (slippery stuff) so I used a technique I learned from Jennifer McGuire. Punch a small hole through which the 2 ends go through and get knotted - after you wrap the floss around, that is. This works really well with ribbons and especially on a scrapbooking layout. That string will not move.

Cheers all.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

The (Northern) Summer of Colour - Blue

I just discovered another 'challenge' (oh no, and here I am already running out of time for this week's LIMette challenge). Anyway, it's called The Summer of Colour over at Twinkle, Twinkle and this week's challenge is blue.

It's not summer here in Australia (winter, in fact) but the idea of a 10-week challenge with a colour focus and encouragement to do mixed media...well, I'm in.  I'll try anyway.  It'll keep me going with some of the 3D or OTP projects I've been meaning to do.

'nuff prologue indeed. Here's my project, a clipboard that will soon be given as a birthday present to a friend who happens to be a teacher (yes, her name starts with A):

Ok, this isn't strictly blue but the the accent colour definitely is.  The ink is Tempting Turquoise from Stampin Up and it's such a lovely bright aqua colour which my friend likes. Ha! you say, no wonder she did the challenge.

All the stamps are from Stampin Up as well: Medallion background, Big Deal Alphabet (retired) and Cottage Garden.

The pen has been wrapped in Decorative Packing Tape (a new experimental acquisition).  The pen was already blue but wrapping it in tape gave it extra blue hues. Love it!

It would have been great to have a hole on the top of the clip. Instead, I've had to attach the ribbons on the back - lots of blues there and a touch of green, just because; well actually, my fave colour - a touch of me on a gift for a friend, geddit? :)

Getting too chatty here so best sign off and go visiting this new-found crafting community.

Before I end, though, here's a shout out to CraftAttack (Valerie) over at Bastelmania.  I had to investigate the recent spike in my stats and the site that managed to push out Simply Less is More as my top referring site by a huge margin...that's no mean feat.  Head over to her blog and you'll see why, i.e. she has a lot of visitors because she is a fabulous crafter.  I am honoured to be in her Blog list. THANK YOU!!!

It was there I learned of this new challenge as well. That's thank you again.  And it's there that I see it is possible to combine being CAS and a collage diva.  Thank you x3.  Of course, I'm no diva (yet). :)

CFC #6 and PDCC85 - CAS card,wish big

Combining challenges again this week. Both the CAS-ual Fridays Challenge and The Play Date Cafe Challenge are swoon-worthy.  I think the tic-tac-toe idea from CFC is really creative allowing you to choose your elements and the colours from PDCC are just beautiful.

Combine the two and what have you got? Well, something like this on my part:

From the CFC, I used the bottom 3: button(s), flowers and twine (well floss, actually).  If you look closely - and this may be 'cheating' - I also used the middle 3: flowers, punch (all flowers are punched) and gems. With all those elements, there's still a lot of white space.

I don't have any ink or paper to match the PDCC dusty rose colour, hence the floss. And look, I even did a bit of hand-stitching, something I rarely do!

A few more deets:
cardstock: Stampin Up Vanilla, Concord Crush
ink: SU Concord Crush
punches: SU 1 3/4 scallop circle, EK flower border
stamps: SU Short and Sweet (sentiment), Kaisercraft script background
others: SU rhinestones, button from stash, DMC floss

Cheers all.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Jac-Inks 10 - Sketch Challenge

Among the many benefits of doing challenges is an excuse to craft (read: avoid chores). :-)

I needed to make a new baby card so why not via a challenge? This time, it's with Jac-Inks. It's a sweet little sketch that lends itself to many possibilities. I stuck to it pretty much but I know this is one I'll definitely reuse, revise, remake.

Baja Breeze on Baja Breeze with just a hint of embossing for texture. Gotta love that.

stamps are all from Stampin Up: Fabulous Phrases, A Slice of Life
inks: Pear Pizzazz, Baja Breeze, Classic Black
colouring via Wonder Crayons: Wild Wasabi, Baha Breeze, Soft Suede and Markers (Riding Hood Red)

The little punched heart is from the Owl punch - it uses the littlest of scrap card but it sure adds impact; balances out the heart on the jumpsuit, too.  The little ribbon (Marina Mist) also adds a little without overpowering the focus of the card.

I stamped the jumpsuit twice so I can pop it up. I was going to do the same for the heart on the jumpsuit but that proved too tricky for me; it was just too small.

I also had several goes with the sentiment, even with a stamp-a-ma-jig. I need a bit more practice using it methinks. :-)

On with the day now, I suppose.

Cheers all and have a lovely day!!!!

Sunday, 5 June 2011

simply Less is More #18 - Monochrome

Do you view your blog stats? Well, I do and it comes as no surprise that my biggest traffic comes from Simply Less is More - that's solid proof of what a wonderful community the LIMettes really are.  So even though you don't leave a comment, you count as one of my visitors. Of course, when you do leave a comment, you leave a smile behind as well and that's just fantastic!

On to this week's LIMette challenge - monochrome.

I seem to have lost my mojo and struggled with this one. This is my 2nd attempt and the other one was complete unsalvageable.  Mandi is so right about how easy it is to coordinate with Stampin Up. Here's mine using all SU products.

inks: Pear Pizzazz, Old Olive
stamps: Medallion background (love!), Upsy Daisy (sentiment)
punches: modern Label, 1 3/4" and 3/4" circles
other: Pear Pizzazz ribbon, pearls

I really like the effect of the Old Olive on Pear Pizzazz cardstock. This tone-on-tone technique really brings this medallion image to life.

A quick tip I've learned from Michelle Dyson is to seal the ends of ribbon with a lighter; finishes it off nicely and guaranteed not to fray.

Thank you in advance for leaving a comment. :-)

Saturday, 4 June 2011

CFC #5 and PDCC 84 - a fun card

I'm combining challenges again this week just for fun - something on the lighter side as my previous PDCC card was an emotional ride (a very good one I must add).

This card is for the following challenges:
CAS-ual Fridays #5 - sketch challenge (layout inspiration)
the Playdate Cafe Challenge #84 - colours: lavender, green, pinkish/red (colour and theme inspiration)

And look what I came up with (so fun):

Doesn't it just look like such a happy window? I was going to have a semi-circular window with a birdcage showing.  But the PDCC photo tipped me over to having a vase on the windowsill and stuck to the rectangular shape. 

The vase is obviously the focus and it has been stamped, sponged and punched - you wouldn't think it started out as a bit of scrap white card!   I just love this technique of using the Stampin Up ornament punch to make a vase (read more about this technique here).  Actually, I also "glazed" it with shimmer paint, fighting the temptation to put glossy accents on it which would have been too in-your-face here (IMHO anyway).

The curtain works! It's made from white tissue stamped with lavender flowers.  I put eyelets on the top so you can move it along a piece of string.  WHY? Because it's fun and I can be a little crazy sometimes.   The scallops which were part of the sketch made for a lovely pelmet to hide all the curtain fittings. :-)

all Stampin Up stamps: 
Pocket Silhouette, Bliss (vase), Apple Blossoms (sentiment), So Happy For You (flowers)

I don't talk much about adhesives but it might interest you that I used 5 different types here: foam mounts, glue dots, glue (pen) for some of the tiny leaves, tape and sticky strip (I don't want this window to fall). That's a record for me I think.  

I think having a lot of white keeps it in the CAS side of things. 

This was fun. 

Thanks to all the lovely comments everyone - I really do appreciate the time and effort you put in doing so.  

May your day be bright and may the outlook through your window fill you with happiness.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

I won a Play Date Cafe Challenge! Yay!

The PDCC 83 challenge was a tribute to  Sarah Anderson who was leaving the team.  I found the whole thing cathartic: the blog hop, the creative process, the colour (my favourite) and the blog comments all left me with a plethora of emotions too hard to articulate. To top it all off, the PDCC awarded me the cup of the week.

I am very happy about this win...stirring more emotions yet again. :-)

I admire the work of PDCC players (sorry, playmate just doesn't sound right here). I join and never expect to win...never.  So as you see, this means a lot to me.

To all of you who've been with me on this ride, THANK YOU. You are all artists in my eyes.