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

Paper Pal Arts PPA318

I'd just talked to my lovely daughter on the phone, and so was in the mood for an affectionate card. However, a colleague has just relieved me of all my thank you cards, so I also needed to start making some more. The result is this card:

Made using:
Paper: Stampin' Up Night of Navy, Watermelon Wonder, Whisper White, Affectionately Yours DSP
Stamps: Stampin' Up Love and Affection, Jar of Love (for sentiment)
Other: First Edition Heart Dies, Stampin' Up Affectionately Yours washi tape, Stampin' Up Candy Dots (brights), Stampin' Up Petite Petals punch, Stampin' Up copper embossing powder, Versamark Watermark ink pad

CAS Colors and Sketches #191

A colour challenge that really challenged me! I love both Bermuda Bay and Cucumber Crush, but haven't warmed to Delightful Dijon, although this challenge did help me change my mind.
I used the challenge to try sponging a background on to a roughly edged piece of watercolour paper and then stamping over it.

Made using: 
Paper: Stampin' Up Bermuda Bay, TAD watercolour paper
Ink: Stampin' Up Bermuda Bay, Delightful Dijon, Cucumber Crush
Stamps: Stampin' Up Totally Trees, heidi swapp 8pc Thanks

CASology Week 215: Bark

Bark! Which way to go? Well, I've been looking for a way to use the cute little dog in the Stampin' Up 'Beautiful Ride' stamp set for ages, so figured this was my chance. He strikes me as a happy little guy, so I decided to make him bark at a party - and every party needs balloons!

Made using:
Card: Stampin' Up Whisper White, Pacific Point, Basic Black
Ink: Memento Black; other colours Faber Castell Watercolour Pencils
Stamp: Stampin' Up Beautiful Ride
Other: Stampin' Up Dimensionals

Global Design053 Project GDP#

I was immediately drawn to the colours of this challenge (Gold, Night of Navy and Watermelon Wonder), but ended up puzzling over how not to let them overpower each other. I remembered how much I'd liked the round(ish) stamp from Totally Trees, and so, in the end, decided to try some polka dots:

Made using:
Paper: Stampin' Up Whisper White, Night of Navy
Ink: Stampin' Up Night of Navy, Watermelon Wonder, Memento Black
Embossing: Stampin' Emboss Powder Gold, Versamark Watermark Pad
Stamps: Stampin' Up Totally Trees, Stampin' Up Endless Birthday Wishes (for sentiment)

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Stampin' Royalty Challenge SR#345

I'm continuing my love affair with Stampin' Up's Totally Trees stamp set and so decided to use it for this colour challenge (Delightful Dijon, Always Artichoke, Cherry Cobbler). I sponged the background onto water colour paper, and liked the texture of the trees when I stamped onto that slightly rougher surface.
Made using: 
Card: Stampin' Up's Basic Black, Delightful Dijon, TAD The Art Department watercolour paper
Ink: Stampin' Up's Delightful Dijon, Always Artichoke, Cherry Cobbler, Memento Tuxedo Black
Stamps: Stampin' Up's Totally Trees, Thoughful Branches (for the sentiment).

CASology Challenge: Beach, Just Add Ink Challenge: Just add...'P'

So I know this probably seems, to non-New Zealanders, like a very un-beachy card with a pretty tenuous connection to the letter 'P'. However, the flower is from the beautiful pohutukawa tree, which graces many of our beaches, particularly in the north, and blooms at Christmas (which as you all know is in the summer for those of us in the Southern Hemisphere). By way of proof, here's a photo I took a couple of years ago, on Christmas Eve, at Raglan in the North Island:

I hope this has convinced you! Anyway, here's the card. The sentiment is a Maori greeting which is commonly used by New Zealanders:

Made using:
Card: Stampin' Up Whisper White, Pacific Point, Real Red, Emerald Envy
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black
Die: Craft Creations Pohutukawa Flower (From the Iconic New Zealand Dies Collection)
Stamp: Kia Ora (EK406K) from Rubbadubbadoo 

Pals Paper Arts PPA317

I'm completely in love with the new Stampin' Up' Totally Trees stamp set - I'd marry it if I could (at least it wouldn't fall off motorbikes - see previous post). I especially love its retro look. In an alignment of the planets, the Pals Paper Arts colour challenge of Tangerine Tango, Rich Razzleberry and Crushed Curry exactly suited a retro looking card. I've kept it really simple, in keeping with that style.

Made using:
Card: Stampin' Up Crushed Curry, Whisper White, Kraft Cardstock
Ink: Stampin Up Crushed Curry, Rich Razzleberry, Tangerine Tango
Stamps: Stampin' Up Totally Trees, Vertical Greetings

Freshly Made Sketches Challenge #252

This card is a homage to my husband, who has recently done the TAT (Trans American Trail) - an off-road traverse of the USA on motorbikes. (Although, instead of saying 'Born to Ride', it probably should say' Born to fall off and break your collarbone and two ribs three days before the end, after riding 9000 kms'.)
Anyway, the red and blue background references the flags of both our countries (I'm from New Zealand), and I chose Dapper Denim and Cherry Cobbler because they're a bit earthier in tone and so suit the off-road experience. That's also why I water-spotted the sponged background. The silver background is - well - I figured even badass off-roaders need a bit of bling.

Made using:
Stampin Up Card: Basic Black, Silver Foil, Whisper White
Ink: Stampin' Up Dapper Denim, Cherry Cobbler, Memento Tuxedo Black
Embossing Powder: American Crafts Zing! Black Glitter Finish
Stamps: Stampin' Up One Wild Ride
Other: Bunch of Banners Framelit Dies, Washi Tape that isn't branded and I got it in a clearance sale.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

The Paper Players Theme Challenge PP311: Circles

Well, I must say I'm feeling a little impressed with myself - I've just used this challenge to be brave and make my first circular easel card. (I've also made up the gorgeous fold-out book kit a lovely friend gave me for my birthday. Like the easel card, I thought it would be extremely difficult, but it was well within my capabilities - although my friend had kindly done all the cutting etc and provided very clear instructions.)

Anyway, back to the challenge - I've also been wondering if I'd ever use the largest circle from the Stampin' Up Framelits Circles Collection, and was pleased to realise now was the perfect opportunity. The smaller, Crumb Cake-coloured circles are the next size down, and I embossed the outside one. A fun day!

Made using:
Paper: Stampin' Up's Dapper Denim, Rose Red, Blushing Bride, Emerald Envy, Crumb Cake, Black
Ink: Stampin' Up's Rose Red, Emerald Envy, Dapper Denim
Stamp: Stampin' Up Botanical Builders, Balloon Celebration (for the sentiment)
Die: Stampin' Up Botanical Builders Framelits
Other: Stampin' Up's subtles Candy Dots (now retired - a pity!). And a leafy embossing folder that I think might be Kaiser Craft, but I'm not sure because I threw out the packaging and the folder itself isn't labelled!

Monday, 5 September 2016

Stampin'Royalty SR#344; CAS Colours and Sketches #189 - Colours

Hello from a windy Southern Hemisphere spring day.
The CAS Colours and Sketches colour challenge appealed to me instantly, since I'm a fan of bright colours, but I had to think hard about how to balance them so they didn't 'shout' at each other. I've just bought the Stampin' Up 'Playful Backgrounds' stamp set, so the invitation by Stampin' Royalty to use stripes seemed like a good place to start.
I like the finished product, and will bear its design in mind for future cards.

Made using:
Paper: Whisper White, Real Red, Dapper Denim (realised I don't have Island Indigo and this was the closest I could do).
Ink: Daffodil Delight, Real Red
Stamp: Playful Backgrounds
Thinlits: Hello You
Other: ek tools punch (for flowers), Daffodil Delight enamel shapes

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Paper Pal Arts PPA316; Retro Rubber Challenge #rrcb46

I needed to make a baby card, and wanted to use the Stampin' Up 'Zoo Babies' stamp set I recently acquired in a sale of retired items (I've only been making cards for a bit less than a year, but I assume being retired means that teh set is more than a year old?). When I saw the Retro Rubber challenge, with the key word 'Critter', it seemed like fate! I love the little monkey stamp, and saw the Paper Pal Arts sketch challenge as a chance to use it more than once.
The picture in my head took a while to resolve into a card I was satisfied with. I knew I wanted to emboss the monkey, but played around for ages (see the two different attempts below).

In the end, I decided on a pretty traditional, pure kind of version. I did use 'Soft Sky' as the only colour so it remains gender neutral - decided I couldn't really ask if my friends know the sex of the baby just so I could colour my card accordingly (and, of course, it's always good to avoid sexism)!

Made using Stampin' Up product:
Paper: Whisper White, Soft Sky
Stamp: Zoo Babies
Other: Silver embossing powder, Layering Circles Framelits, Elegant Dots Embossing folder, washi tape possibly but not definitely Stampin Up!