Monday 14 November 2016

Happy Holiday

This card was so much fun. I love the 'Primary' challenge at Fusion - I love bright colours, and the sketch was... well, challenging!
 It was a bit like a jigsaw working out how to piece it together.
The card is unashamedly a summer one (sorry, those of you approaching winter!) and when I made it, it was windy and cold, so I was looking forward, not out the window. Since I made it, we've had another major earthquake here in New Zealand, and many, particularly in the South Island, are suffering the consequences. I even wondered if it was appropriate to post, but then decided that I quite like how it makes me feel hopeful that there might be good things to look forward to soon.

Made using:
Stampin' Up paper (Whisper White, Garden Green, Real Red, Daffodil Delight), Pacific Point ink and 'brights' enamel dots
Craft Creations Kiwiana Christmas dies, embossing folder and stamps

Wednesday 9 November 2016

Awesome and grateful

For this card, I drew inspiration from three challenges: Less is More's colour challenge #301: purple and gold; The Paper Players' theme challenge PP320 'Count your Blessings - Thankful' and Stamp, Ink, Paper's theme challenge 'Grateful'. 

I have just received Stampin' Up's new Stitched Shapes Framelits, and was pleased when the oval shape worked with the Pretty Paisleys embossing folder. I can see many happy hours fiddling around with the stitched shapes ahead!

Here's the inside: 

Made using:
Paper: Stampin Up Very Vanilla, Gold foil and Petals and Paisleys DSP
Stamps: Paisleys and Posies, Grateful Bunch
Other: Stampin' Up Stitched Shapes Framelits, Pretty Paisleys Embossing Folder

Wednesday 2 November 2016

Merry and Bright

It's been a while since I had time to make a card for a challenge - very annoying when your job gets in the way of making cards!
I thought CAS(E) this Sketch's challenge #196 was great, and suited a very simple colour scheme, which I'd been wanting to try. As I did once before here, I used New Zealand's Christmas-blooming pohutukawa blossom, both as the main image and embossed into the lower half of the card.

Made using:
Stampin' Up Whisper White and Real Red paper
Craft Creations Pohutukawa Dies and Kiwiana Christmas Pohutukawa embossing folder
Rosies baker's twine
Simon Says Stamp Christmas Greetings

Sunday 9 October 2016

Card offering support

I made lots of cards over the weekend, since I knew I'd be back at work (school) today. However, this also means lots of posts at once! I loved the idea of a simple card offering support, in CASology's Week 218 challenge, and tried to strip back colour, design and layers as much as I could. Just HAD to lift the central image a little, though!
I embossed the flowers in white onto one of my favourite card colours - Stampin' Up's Sweet sugarplum. I chose Early Espresso as the sentiment colour - black seemed a bit harsh. Here's a close up: 
Made using: 
Stampin' Up products: Sweet Sugarplum and Whisper White paper, Sheltering Tree stamp (sentiment)
Other: American Crafts Zing! embossing powder in opaque white, BoBunny's Doodle Blooms stamps, My Favourite Things Sie-namics steel dies (stitched frame)

Freshly Made Christmas Card

I'm on a bit of a mission to make Christmas cards, and so the first thing I think about when looking at a new challenge at the moment is if I can imagine a Christmas card using it. Freshly Made Sketches' #257 gave me this idea. I was pleased to be able to use my new frame die from My Favourite Things.

Made Using:
Stampin' Up's Very Vanilla paper, Early Expresso, Watermelon Wonder and Emerald Envy ink
My Favourite Thing's frame die
Simon Says Stamp!'s Merry Christmas die and Christmas 3x4 stamp
Kaisercraft's Christmas Wishes stamp
My Mind's Eye's Christmas on Market Street Designer Cardstock Paper

Southern Christmas

I loved this week's CAS(E) this sketch challenge - #193 (see below) , and used it to give shape to my thoughts about Christmas cards here in the Southern Hemisphere. I do love 'traditional' Christmas cards with snow etc, but it always seems a bit odd to be exchanging them while wearing togs (a swimsuit to all you non-New Zealanders!) and eating summer foods.
I gave this card a New Zealand flavour by including the five stars (four big and one little) of the Southern Cross, which appear on our flag (also see below). I sponged the background with various shades of blue to suggest the light shining from the stars, but otherwise kept the colours very simple.

Made using:
Stampin' Up: Night of Navy and Whisper White paper, Pictogram Punches stamp set, silver embossing powder, Delicate Ornaments Thinlits dies, Soft Sky, Marina Mist, Dapper Denim and Night of Navy Ink
Other: Versamark Embossing ink, Simon Says Stamp Christmas 3x4 stamp set

Thursday 6 October 2016

Thanks in turquoise and lilac

For this card, I used Less is More's Colour challenge #296: turquoise and lilac, and CAS(E) this Sketch's #192 (see below for sketch). I love the new Petals and Paisleys suite from Stampin' Up, and enjoyed using it here.

Made using:
Stampin' Up Products: Whisper White Paper, Petals and Paisleys stamps and dies, Thoughful Banners stamps, Bermuda Bay ink, Lovely Lilac ink
Other: Francheville rhinestones, Faber Castell Watercolour pencils

Tuesday 4 October 2016

Daisy thanks

For CAS Colours and Sketches #193, I returned to one of my favourite Stampin' Up stamp sets - Grateful Bunch. I'm definitely not someone who is good at fine, detailed work, so it took a lot of effort and cursing to line the lace edge up. However, in the end I was pleased I'd persevered - and I've got lots of little bits of various-coloured lace-stamped card for future projects!

Made using:
Card: Stampin' Up Whisper White, Rich Razzleberry, Tangerine Tango
Other: Stampin' Up Grateful Bunch and What I Love stamp sets; Candy Dots, Daisy punch, Rosie's Epoxy dots.

Monday 3 October 2016

Fusion birthday

I often find that being given a task with tight constraints, like the most recent Fusion Challenge, forces me to think creatively in a way that more open challenges don't. It's oddly satisfying to work with not much 'elbow room'. For this card, I chose to include both the sketch and elements from the photo (which I've copied below).

Made using:
Paper: Stampin' Up - Basic black, Whisper White, gold foil and some scraps left over from my daughter's creative attempts years ago...
Ink: Stampin' Up - Blushing Bride, So Saffron, Pool Party, Memento - Black
Other: Stampin' Up Circle Dies, Enamel Shapes and Endless Birthday Wishes stamp set

Thursday 29 September 2016

Rainbow Congratulations

I suggest that it's impossible to make a rainbow card and not feel happy while you do it. In fact, it puts me in mind of the firefly verse:
I'd love to be a firefly
Cos fireflies have more fun:
How can you be grumpy
When the sun shines out your bum?
Here's the card that came from my happy place:

For it, I combined three challenges: The Paper Players PP314:

Can You Case It?'s CYCI#139, with the challenge 'Rainbows of Colour', and Less is More's 'Recipe' Challenge: Thread. Here's a close up of the 'thread' - I used jute thread and a stitched border die on the strips of card that make up the rainbow. I love those Stampin' Up candy dots on the flowers - such a pity they retired them - I'm glad I have a little stockpile, but it's running out fast. 

Made using:
Paper: Stampin' Up's Rose Red, Calypso Coral, So Saffron, Wild Wasabi, Wisteria Wonder, Very Vanilla and Pretty Petals DSP. Also a random strip of purple from an unidentifiable source!
Other: Memento Basic Black Ink, American Crafts jute  spools, ek tools mini petal punch, Stampin' Up's Thoughtful Banners stamps and punch, Kaiser Craft's stitched border diea. 

Tuesday 27 September 2016

Thanks with gold

This week's CAS(E) This Sketch (#191) demanded careful consideration (well, I suppose most challenges do, but this one definitely stretched my brain. I'd been using rich colours for previous cards, so decided to stick with those. The reds are very much my mum's colours - in her youth, she had striking black hair to her waist (then, in my youth, in an ornate behive!) and so has always suited these regal colours. So here's one for you, Mum - thanks for everything!

I brushed the edges of each square in gold, so that they were a little separated from the last - and also lightened the sponging as they got smaller. 

Because I'd kept the squares symmetrical (I get all twitchy when things are uneven!) I decided to place the sentiment in the middle as well, rather than on the side as in the original sketch:

Made using:
Paper: Stampin' Up Very Vanilla, Blackberry Bliss and gold foil
Ink: Stampin' Up Rich Razzleberry, Rose Red, Blackberry Bliss
Other: Stampin' Up Petite Petals stamp and punch, Thoughtful Banners stamp and punch, gold embossing powder and Versamark watermark,

Sunday 25 September 2016

Happy Birthday Flowers

For this card, I combined two challenges: the Paper Pal Arts PPA319 colour challenge: Flirty Flamingo, Mint Macaron and Emerald Envy, and CAS Colours and Sketches #192, a sketch challenge:

I saw lots of possibilities in the sketch, not least of which was a chance to use the colours, which I'd been puzzling over. Here's the result: 

Made using:
Paper: Stampin' Up Mint Macaron, Whisper White, Flirty Flamingo
Ink: Stampin' Up Flirty Flamingo, Emerald Envy, Memento Basic Blacj
Other: Stampin' Up stamps - Petite Petals, Grateful Bunch, Sky is the Limit (sentiment) and the Petite Petals punch.

Just another love card...

I loved sketch 255 from Freshly Made Sketches - I can see myself returning to it again and again. The white space is an invitation to get creative, and the layout keeps it CAS.
I began with a simple interpretation see bottom of post for that card, but then, looking at the colours of the flowers on this card, started wondering if it was possible to make a card in dark, rich colours that fitted the criteria 'clean and simple'. I'm not sure if the resulting card is CAS, but I'm still happy with the result: I think the contained nature of the sketch helped keep the lines of the card clean, as did the repetition of one simple shape (the heart).
The background for the hearts is sponged in Rose Red and Watermelon Wonder, and for the hearts I used a nifty little emboss-and-cut heart set from Stampin' Up that is now retired. 

Made using:
Paper: Stampin' Up Blackberry Bliss, Gold Foil, Bermuda Bay, Marina Mist, Pretty Petals DSP; Rosie's Studio Designer 'Birdsong' Scrapbook Pad, TAD Watercolour paper
Ink: Stampin' Up Rose Red, Watermelon Wonder, Blackberry Bliss
Other: Sizzix Fashionable Hearts Embosslit, Stampin' Up Thoughtful Banners stamp (sentiment) 

Here's my first attempt: 

Friday 23 September 2016


This card, a response to  Global Design Project's GDP#054 sketch Challenge, represents something of a  learning curve for me and since learning how to do new things is one of my favourite activities, making it was a pleasurable experience.

The first thing I learnt was that it's extremely tricky to emboss watercolour paper. I was happy with my lightly sponged background and muted green/brown tree, and wanted to finish it off with a gold star and baubles. The gold star went okay, but the baubles just didn't stick. I was going to throw it out and start again, but then paused, looked at what I'd done and realised I'd ended up with a light dusting of gold on the whole image, which I really liked - so I went ahead and heat embossed it anyway. (I assure you that is gold dust and not dirt, but I know it didn't photograph very well.)
My next issue was what to mount my tree on. Nothing seemed to work, until I hit upon the idea of making my own background (a JoMo DSP!) by layering two Kaisercraft clear stamps - a square music one in stamped-off Cherry Cobbler, and  'Script' embossed in gold.

My last barrier was when I realised I don't really have many sentiments that are Christmassy - (a problem I intend to remedy forthwith!). For the last 25 years, my Christmas cards have been a very simply mounted photo of our two children. I've had a copy of each photo mounted in similar frames and they're on the wall in a big 5x5 square that, as I'm sure you can imagine, tells the story of how they've grown up.

Now, however, my son has moved to England and so I have to make actual Christmas cards (and live with getting a bit tearful whenever I think he won't be home for Christmas). Anyway, I found this little Heidiswapp 'joy' in a 2013 set of 9 stamps and thought the sentiment apt and the size and shape perfect.

Made using
Paper: Stampin' Up Very Vanilla and Cherry Cobbler, The Art Department watercolour
Ink: Stampin' Up Mossy Meadow, Cherry Cobbler, Chocolate Chip
Stamps: Stampin' Up Thoughtful Branches, Totally Trees (the star), Kaiser Art Script and Music, Heidiswapp sentiment.
Other: Franceville adhesive rhinestone

Miniature Frames: Priceless

I love miniatures, so was very happy when it occurred to me that the stamp edges that I love in Stampin Up's Postage Collection stamps could become tiny picture frames for CASology's Week 216 challenge: Frame. I looked through all my Stampin' Up stamps for little images to frame, and ended up with the three you see here (the flowers from the Pedal Pushers stamp set, the bee/dragonfly from Jars of Love and the butterfly from Fields of Love.

 I went a step further and tried to make a gallery out of the images by hanging them with cotton, and decided that the 'priceless' sentiment from the Postage Collection set had a slight look of the kind of note you'd find on an art gallery wall.

Made using:
Stampin' Up Products:
Paper: Whisper White. Kraft
Stamp sets: Postage Collection, Pedal Pusher, Jar of Love
Other: Postage stamp punch, Gold embossing powder, Candy Dots
Other Products: Faber-Castell watercolour pencils

Sunday 18 September 2016

The Card Concept

I thought this photo was beautiful! I was especially inspired by the rainbow colours, but also wanted to try a slightly more abstract take on the idea of the grouped flowerpots. I sponged the dots of colour to soften their look. In my head to begin with, the card was clean and simple, but it didn't really end up that way!

Made Using: 
Paper: Rich Razzleberry, Whisper White, Dapper Denim, Daffodil Delight, Sweet Sugarplum, Bermuda Bay, Emerald Envy, TAD watercolour paper
Ink: Rich Razzleberry, Bermuda Bay, Emerald Envy, Daffodil Delight, Melon Mambo, Blackberry Bliss, Pacific Point, Mint Macaron
Stamps: Stampin' Up What I Love, I Think You're Great
Other: Stampin' Up tiny petals punch (retired), Francheville Pearls

Freshly Made Sketches #254

I used this sketch as an opportunity to try out two recent acquisitions: the Pop of Pink DSP, and the Sizzix Borders Thinlits. I really really like those pink polka dots, so used the dotty border thinlit to echo the shape. Here's the result:

Made using:
Paper: Stampin' Up Whisper White, Pacific Point, Pop of Pink DSP, Gold foil
Dies: Stampin' Up Hello You thinlits, Circles Collection thinlits, Sizzix Borders
Other: Stampin' Up Enamel Shapes (brights), Francheville adhesive rhinestones