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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

CAS(E) this Sketch Sympathy

I seem to be on a mission this week... I have decided to take sketch challenges and use them to increase my collection of sympathy cards. It is always better, it seems, to have a few on hand when one is needed than to have to scramble to make one when it is suddenly necessary. This week's CAS(E) this Sketch challenge seemed like another perfect opportunity:



Like a number of the design team, when I saw this sketch, I thought it would be perfect for a watercolored background. Unfortunately, my attempts at watercolored backgrounds didn't seem to agree. ;) So instead I went for a subtle patterned background: 



I think if you squint, you can see it in the photo. ;) I purposely didn't completely ink my Bit of Burlap stamp before I spritzed it lightly with water. The image and sentiment came next. I thought it needed the jute twine at the top for a little balance. I also like the way the chevrons of the patterned paper subtly echo the burlap stamp. 
With this clean and simple design, I'm also entering this in Simon Says Stamp's current Wednesday challenge. 

Supplies: Stampin' Up naturals white cardstock, Studio Calico Classic Collection Vol. 3 patterned paper, Unity Love itty bitty & {ippity} Bit of Burlap & Hero Arts Art of the Card stamps, Stampin' Up bravo burgundy & antique linen distress inks, May Arts jute twine, glue dots

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Sunday, April 26, 2015

A Sympathetic Sketch

I have come to realize I rarely do sketch challenges. Come to think of it, I have trouble getting challenges done on time at all, but sketch challenges seem the toughest for me. But when I saw the new sketch challenge at STAMPlorations, it seemed to work perfectly with my recent realization that it would be not a bad idea to have a few sympathy cards tucked away for when they are needed. Here's the sketch and my take:




I tend to keep things clean and simple for sympathy cards, and this sketch seemed made for that. I started with masking a circle and sponging with distress inks. I stamped and embossed the pussy willow, then realized the open spaces let the colours show through. Luckily with distress inks, they react with water even after they've dried, so I was able to add water and mop up the ink with a tissue. 
So I suppose one card does not a stash make, but it's a start...

Supplies: Stampin' Up bashful blue cardstock, Strathmore mixed media paper, Sunshine Designs Pussy Willow & Unity Bevy of Butterflies stamps, Memento Luxe espresso truffle, milled lavender, broken china & faded jeans distress inks, Zing clear embossing powder, dimensionals

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Since It's Snowing...

I might as well make a Christmas card, right? To be honest, Mother Nature, I didn't need your prompting, I was planning to play along at Merry Monday Christmas Challenge as soon as I saw this week's prompt: 


Now that there's a cat back in my life, I find myself wanting to make lots of cat cards! And perhaps buying more cat stamps, too, like I need more. But for this card, I got out one of my older stamps.


This cute kitty is stamped and embossed, then watercolored. The pompom and hat trim are Stickled, and although you can't tell from the photo, the black mat is glitter paper. To me, this stamp calls for a clean and simple card design, so I'm also entering the current Simon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge. 
This snow better melt by tomorrow! :D 

Supplies: Stampin' Up real red cardstock, American Crafts black glitter paper, Strathmore mixed media paper, Penny Black Jolly Xmas Kitty stamp, Versafine onyx black ink, Zing clear embossing powder, watercolour pencils, frosted lace Stickles 

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Saturday, April 18, 2015

Time is Short at the Sisterhood...


That's right! The Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers wants to see what you can make in ten minutes or less. One of my least favourite challenges! I make cards for fun, not to feel stressed. But the Sisterhood called upon me, so here's what I came up with: 



And here's my process:

  1. Plan. Plan for a long time, because planning does not count in the ten minute limit, so the longer one plans, the longer one can put off the pressure. 
  2. Gather supplies. Any time-limited challenge I've seen (and I did even participate in one... ONCE) allows for having everything one needs at hand. Which is good for me, since I craft on our main floor and keep all my supplies in the basement.
  3. Put all not-needed supplies well out of reach to avoid confusion and distraction and places to hide for the things you do plan to use.
  4. Stop putting off the inevitable and make the card. :D
The card was made easier by using Graphic 45 papers and a coordinating journalling card. I could have just used the patterned papers, but it wouldn't have been any fun without a little stamping. I masked off most of a sentiment so I could stamp and emboss just the "you are". Then it was simply a matter of trimming and punching the corners of the sentiment, adhering it to the journalling card, trimming the two smaller cat images, die cutting the back panel -- realizing that in my haste I cut it longways instead of horizontally, so rearranging the layout immediately in my mind -- and adhering everything together. Just over eight minutes. Phew! 
For me, snark and speed did not go together, but of course it did for some of my Sisters! Be sure to check out their quick but quality cards, as well as a great one from our latest Queen of Snark, Manuela! And then I hope you can spare ten minutes and join us! 

Supplies: Stampin' Up basic black & naturals ivory cardstock, Graphic 45 Raining Cats and Dogs & The Magic of Oz patterned papers & journalling/ephemera cards, Hero Arts Cheer Up stamp, Versafine onyx black ink, Zing clear embossing powder, Simon Says Stamp postage stamp edge die, Stampin' Up ticket corner punch, pop dots


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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Merry Jingle Joy

I know, I know... for many of us, spring has finally shown up, and here I am with another Christmas card. All I can say in my defence is that there are two Christmas challenges that go together perfectly, so I had to play along! Merry Monday Is looking for vintage-style cards, while Jingle Belles, in honour of Earth Day next week, wants us to recycle/upcycle an element on our card. Here is mine:


I knew I wanted to reuse at least part of an old (commercial) Christmas card for this, so I started looking through my bin of saved cards. Look at the fabulous image I found! I have no recollection of saving it, so it's practically vintage on its own. ;) I edged each panel with a black ink pad, just to get rid of any harsh white edges. This was a very quick card to make, but I really like it! (My husb, not quite as much. Oh well...) :D 

     

Supplies: white cardstock, Teresa Collins Noel & Santa's List patterned papers, recycled Christmas card, Memento tuxedo black ink, Stampin' Up ticket corner punch, dimensionals 

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Friday, April 10, 2015

Two Cards, Four Challenges

I have actually made two cards, they each fit two challenges, and none of the challenges have expired yet! This may be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me. 
First up, a Christmas card: 


Merry Monday Christmas Challenge is looking for angels and cherubs this week, and I used Leslie's newest monthly sketch to design my card. I did a mirror image of the sketch so my angel would face into the card. I embossed the angel with holographic embossing powder for some extra shimmer. You can see it better here: 



This is after I watercolored her, but before I added a light blue wash to the background and shimmer paint to her wings. I had made a snowflake-stencilled background panel on some white cardstock, but found the image worked better with more contrast. Rather than add more layers, I ran the edges of the oval and the patterned paper along the edge of an ink pad. 
Next, a card better suited to the season, if not perhaps the weather quite yet: 


Paper Smooches SPARKS challenge is anything goes this week, while the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge has April Showers and/or Spring Flowers as its theme. The floral image is watercoloured, the sentiment die cut, and everything popped on patterned paper. Simple yet I really like the way it came out. (If I wasn't already a part of Naughty or Nice Challenges, this would totally work for this month's "In Bloom" challenge.) ;) 
Have a great weekend! 





Supplies: (Christmas) Bazzill marshmallow cardstock, Fluid hot-press watercolour paper, Echo Park Winter Wishes patterned paper, Hampton Art & Heather's Stamping Haven stamps, Versafine onyx black & tumbled glass & broken china distress inks, Zing clear & holographic embossing powders, Spellbinders oval die, watercolour pencils, Tsukineko frost white shimmer ink, pop dots; (celebrate) white cardstock, Strathmore mixed media paper, Lily Bee Design Pinwheel patterned paper, Paper Smooches Blossoming Buds stamp, Versafine onyx black ink, Zing clear embossing powder, watercolour pencils, Little B block out die, pop-dot tape

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Monday, April 6, 2015

Introducing Duncan

There's a new guy in my life, and his name is Duncan...


Isn't he handsome? We brought him home from the OSPCA a week ago, and he's starting to feel quite at home. He's a year old, and is a rescue cat. Of course he needs to send a thank you card to all the people who looked after him till he found us. 


And here he is, saying thank you in his own way. He's such an indefinable colour, but for my first attempt, watercolouring with a pumice stone distress marker seemed to work well. For the background, I used some of the smaller stamps that come in this stamp set.
Not as CAS as some cards I make, but I'm going to add this to the current Addicted to CAS "Cute" challenge. Because I think my card is cute... and I know Duncan is cute. :) 



Supplies: white cardstock, Echo Park patterned paper, Papertrey Ink Cat's Meow stamp set, Memento Luxe grey flannel & Memento teal zeal, tangelo, bamboo leaves, rose bud, elderberry, pear tart, dandelion, lulu lavender & london fog inks, clear embossing powder, Papertrey Ink Cat's Meow & Paper Smooches word bubble dies, pumice stone distress marker, dimensionals

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Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Day!

... and happy Easter, if that's your thing. Our family get-together was yesterday, and I realized today I have one more Easter card I could post:


Such an adorable bunny. His eyes looked a bit lost in the grey ink in which he's stamped, so I went over them with a fine black Sharpie then added a little smile to his face. Since he's sitting, I thought he'd be perfect on a mountain of colourful chocolate eggs. Wouldn't it be nice if I had an Easter egg die or punch? Of course I don't, but at least I have an appropriately-shaped balloon die. Then it was just a matter of rounding off the narrower end, where the knot is. The background is stamped as well, with a giant cloud background stamp. 
Since Easter takes place in spring (why yes, I am ignoring the dusting of snow we got last night), I am entering this in the "Spring" Just Us Girls word challenge. 


Supplies: white & green cardstock, copious patterned paper scraps, Mama Elephant Honey Bunny, Impression Obsession Clouds & Studio G sentiment stamps, Versafine smokey grey & Memento rose bud inks, watercolour pencils, Sizzix balloon & Paper Smooches stitched dies, Twinery pink sorbet twine, pop-dot tape

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Saturday, April 4, 2015

Just Kidding!

We may have missed April Fools by a few days, but we Snarky Sisters always enjoy a good joke. So of course our first challenge for the month of April had to be J is for Just Kidding: Make a Funny Card:


It can be a bit of a challenge to get Edna to smile, but the design team is going to try our best. Here's my contribution:


Somehow I am picturing Edna, in her sensible footwear, just nodding in agreement. :D 
There is lots of shimmer on this card, from the Twinkling H2Os used to watercolour the embossed sentiment and colour in the shoes to the metallic cardstock panel. The DIY enamel dots in the corner are part of a generous quantity given to me by my sister-in-snark Jessi
Look at all that shimmery goodness! 



If you are looking to add a few LOLs to your weekend, be sure to check out all the design team's creations. Plus, we have not one, but two previous Queens of Snark joining us for the challenge: JANE and MICHELLE

Supplies: Bazzill marshmallow cardstock, DCWV metallic cardstock, Strathmore mixed media paper, Riley & Co. stamps, Versafine onyx black ink, Zing clear embossing powder, Twinkling H2Os, Paper Smooches Frame 1 & Stitched dies, Jessi's DIY enamel dots, pop-dot tape 

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Thursday, April 2, 2015

Light It Up BLUE for Autism Awareness Blog Hop


Hello and welcome to the Light It Up Blue For Autism Awareness Blog Hop! April 2nd marks World Autism Awareness Day, and so dozens of talented crafters have decided to join together to promote awareness and acceptance of autism. We have so many fantastic sponsors that have shown their support for Autism Awareness and you can see the complete list hereIf you would like a chance to win a prize from one of these fabulous companies simply leave a comment here on my post, as well as on any of the other blogs participating in today's hop! Some individual bloggers will be offering prizes as well. Winners will be chosen at random and announced on Monday April 6th. A complete list of everyone participating can also be found by clicking the link or graphic above. 
Here's the card I created especially for the hop: 



As soon as I saw the "Draw Outside the Lines" panel from my Graphic 45 Typography pad, I knew I wanted to use that as the basis for my card. It would have been all too easy to just use the beautiful papers, but I decided to stamp a background, at least. Most of the elements are sponged around the edges with distress ink, and I even thought to add some blue to the back of the chipboard "Dream" since it peeks over the top of the card. I also cut down the front face of the card so the Matisse quote from the inside could show. Here's the card when it's not lying flat:



I hope you enjoy all the talent on display for this important awareness hop. Thanks for taking the time to stop here on your way! 
P.S. For more information on autism, Autism Speaks is one place to start. 



Supplies: white cardstock, Graphic 45 Typography patterned papers and chipboard element, Impression Obsession textural dots stamp, broken china & antique linen distress inks, Spellbinders circle dies, Hemptique twine, pop-dot tape

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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

In Bloom with Naughty or Nice!

And just like that, it's APRIL -- no fooling! Naughty or Nice Challenges is here to usher in a new month with a new challenge:


So far, the only thing in bloom at my house is a pot of daffodils I bought. So it was great to have an excuse to ink up some flower stamps. 


And yes, I went for the nice option over naughty. Never fear, though, you will find an excellent assortment of projects both naughty and nice on the NoN blog. For my card, I went back to the Stretch Your Stamps 2 online class, and was inspired by Yana Smakula's masked and kissed floral card. No stamp "kissing" here, but definitely a lot of masking. Not something I often choose to do; I need to be *encouraged* by a challenge or other inspiration. I do like the effect here, though. With all the Paper Smooches flowers used, I'm entering this in this week's Anything Goes SPARKS challenge. 
If you're still waiting for the flowers to bloom where you are (or even if you're not), why not create some of your own and join us? 
P.S. Please come back tomorrow, when I'm participating in an amazing blog hop! 


Supplies: mauve & Stampin' Up naturals white cardstock, Paper Smooches Botanicals 1 stamps, Versamark & Memento lulu lavender, lilac posies & grape jelly inks, pale gold pearl embossing powder, flower sequins, Creative Memories corner-rounding punch, pop-dot tape


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