Sunday 30 March 2014

Inlaid Birthday

It's Sunday night here and I finally had a chance to sit down and just create!  It's been a hectic few weeks with packing up the house and de-cluttering some of our accumulated schtuff.  I really didn't have the energy to make a card, but I went into my bare craft room and made this card for the ColourQ challenge:

I signed up for the latest Online Card Class (which was fantastic!) but didn't have time to put into practice anything I learned.  I was seeing my fellow FMS team-mates making gorgeous cards with the things we learned on the course and I really wanted to play along! 

Anyway, this card uses the inlaid die-cut technique and be warned - this is my first attempt so it's not perfect.  I'm a bit limited in my word dies but I just got the speech bubble dies and thought they would work well.  NB:  This card is in no way unique as I've seen the speech bubbles and overlaid words but it wasn't openly CASE'd off any card.  I painted the "birthday" with Wink of Stella pen to give it a lovely shimmer.

Naturally, when I wanted to use Apricot Appeal and Going Gray, I find I've already packed them away, so I had to use Crisp Cantaloupe and Smoky Slate instead.

Thanks for looking.

Products used:

Stamps:  The Big, the Bold & the Happy (W&W), Wonderful Words:  Birthday (PTI)
Ink:  Smoky Slate
Cardstock:  Crisp Cantaloupe, Whisper White, Coastal Cabana, Calypso Coral
Accessories:  Birthday die (PTI), Speech Bubble Framelits (SU), Wink of Stella pen, MME Enamel Dots


Thursday 27 March 2014

Ombre Embossing Paste

Hi everyone and welcome back to another Freshly Made Sketch challenge!  This week our hostess is the one-and-only Jen Mitchell, who has given us this fun sketch to play with.

Now when you see my card, you'll likely think - well, she didn't stick to the sketch!  And you'd be right!  When I drew the sketch onto scrap paper, I neglected to note that the vertical panel was off-center.  And I've only just realised now!  Doh!  

While I love the stenciled panel and the sentiment on this card, the feathery/leafy blob just doesn't look right, but I couldn't spend any more time on it!  In my defense, I've spent all my spare time over the last two weeks packing up our house, as movers are taking into storage about 80% of our belongings so that tradesmen can do the repairs following the two major earthquakes in 2010 and 2011 (with a couple hundred thousand houses to repair, it can take a while...).  Now, I can easily live without a lot of my clothes and I use my iPad for reading but losing 90% of my stamps for 6 weeks is heart-breaking.  As I was packing things up, I kept thinking "I might need that" but I had to be ruthless.  To console myself, I have a rather large Simon Says Stamp order on its way to me ;)

Anyway, enough chatter.  I went for an ombre look with my embossing paste, by adding slightly more ink to the paste as I moved down the stencil.  Before it dried, I added some Dazzling Diamonds glitter and gave it a quick heat set.

I know the rest of the design team have wonderful inspiration for you so head on over to the challenge site and check it out!

Thanks for looking.

Products used:

Stamps:  Oh Happy Day (Avery Elle)
Ink:  Dusty Concord Distress Ink, Versamark
Cardstock:  Eggplant Envy, Basic Black, Whisper White
Accessories: Doily, Feather die (SSS), Little Leaves Sizzlet (SU), White EP, SSS Stencil, Dazzling Diamonds (SU)


Tuesday 25 March 2014

Christmas Tag

Hey there!  This week it's my turn to host the challenge at Merry Monday and I chose to go with a color challenge.  The first thing that draws me to a card is color, so it is quite fitting that for my challenge I chose some of my favorite colors - grey, red and white.

I won't tell you how long it took to make this card, but suffice it to say, this is probably version 5 or so :)

I really want to do a faux mother of pearl for the tag, but when I'd finished I realised there was no white on my card, so back to the drawing board.  In the end, I white embossed this beautiful Inkadinkado image onto Real Red cardstock and cut it out.  For the Basic Gray layer, I stamped the Christmas Collage stamp then sponged the edges.

I hope you'll check out the rest of the design team's inspiration and I do hope you'll give my challenge a go and build your Christmas card stash one card at a time!

Thanks for visiting.

Products used:

Stamps:  Inkadinkado, Christmas Collage (SU)
Ink:  Basic Gray, Versamark
Cardstock:  Real Red, Basic Gray
Accessories:  White EP, Basic Gray Ribbon, black twine, sponge


Thursday 20 March 2014

Dad's Birthday

It's time for another Freshly Made Sketch challenge and this week, our lovely hostess is Rita Wright.  Rita has given us a fantastic sketch which has wide open spaces for DSP or stamping or coloring or whatever you want!

I decided to go the coloring route.  My Dad's 81st birthday is next month and as a joke, I bought a digi stamp from Mo's Digital Pencil that I used for his card.

Disclaimer:  My Dad looks nothing like this - he's still young and sprightly and very handsome!

My Dad pretends to be grumpy when we acknowledge his birthday or give him a gift.  It happens every year without fail, so this year, I thought I'd play to that "grumpiness" and make an appropriate card!  I printed Grumpy Old Man onto Xpress-it cardstock and colored him with Copics.  I layered him onto Basic Black and used some DSP for the bottom panel.  Some red twine finishes off the outside.

For the inside, I went a bit cheeky with this:

I left plenty of room at the bottom for a personal note (possibly begging forgiveness for being so cheeky LOL).

Thanks for visiting.  If you haven't checked out the rest of the fabulous cards by the DT, head on over now.  I'd love to see your card in the gallery!

Products used:

Stamps:  Digi stamp by Mo's Digital Pencil, Shenanigans (Casual Fridays)
Ink:  Memento Tuxedo Black
Cardstock:  Real Red, Basic Black, Xpress-it, Brights DSP (retired)
Accessories:  Copics, red twine


Tuesday 18 March 2014

Quirky Christmas

Hi and welcome to the 100th Merry Monday challenge!  What an accomplishment!  For nearly 2 years Lesley has been helping us to create Christmas cards regularly rather than in a massive rush at Christmas!

To celebrate the 100th challenge we have a choice - sketch or colors or both.  I combined the challenges to come up with this:

I'm not a fan of pink normally but I do love bright pink and lime green together - it's such a modern and bright combo.  I chose a cute and whimsical stamp to go with these colors.  As cute and whimsical is not a regular occupant in my craft room, I was limited, but Polar Party came to the rescue.  I stamped the trees image and colored with Copics. 

As I don't have any pink/green patterned paper, I made my own, using a Tim Holtz stencil and sponging on Melon Mambo ink.  I then moved the stencil and sponged on some Lucky Limeade ink.  The green panels were dry embossed before being cut.

Here's a peek at the inside.

Thanks for looking.  Head on over to the challenge blog to check out the amazing creations from the rest of the DT.

Products used:

Stamps:  Polar Party
Ink:  Memento Tuxedo Black, Melon Mambo, Lucky Limeade
Cardstock:  Melon Mambo, Lucky Limeade, Whisper White, Xpress-it
Accessories:  Copic Markers, White Organza Ribbon, Tim Holtz stencil


Saturday 15 March 2014

Stitched Birthday

Today's card comes courtesy of the gorgeous colors at ColourQ, the sketch at Fusion and the stitching option at Seize the Birthday.  

I love the addition of the newsprint option for ColourQ.  My newsprint is all on a vanilla base, so I painted some with Gesso to whiten it up a little.  From there, I stamped the waterdrops from Designs by Ryn onto the Gesso in Crumb Cake and then clear embossed them.

The leaves were cut and stamped using the Harvest Berries set and the sentiment is from Birthday Bash Sentiments.  This is my first card with machine stitching on it!  In the past, I've been too lazy to get my machine out, but it just happened to be out today, so I bit the bullet and gave it a go!  All the cut off bits of thread were stuck randomly behind the leaves for a bit of added interest.

Here's a look at the very simple inside.  Some more waterdrops stamped in Crumb Cake.

Thanks for looking.

Products used:

Stamps:  Harvest Berries, Birthday Bash Sentiments (PTI), Waterdrops (Designs by Ryn)
Ink:  Crumb Cake, Memento Tuxedo Black, Lucky Limeade
Cardstock:  Crumb Cake, Basic Black, First Edition DSP, Whisper White
Accessories:  Gesso, Clear EP, Harvest Berries die, sewing machine, Neutrals button, Linen Thread, Fishtail Flags (MFT)

Edited to Add:  This card got a shout-out at ColourQ


Thursday 13 March 2014

Woodland Ferns

Hi everyone and welcome back to Freshly Made Sketches.  This week our sketch comes from our very own Artisan, Jennifer Timko!  

I wanted to go masculine with my card, so I pulled out the Hardwood stamp, which had been sitting on my shelves for a few months and never inked up (NBUS!)

To get the aged look I wanted with the Hardwood stamp, I used the Direct to Paper technique to smear Sahara Sand ink onto Sahara Sand cardstock.  I then inked up Hardwood in Early Espresso and stamped that on top.  

Okay, had that done, but what next?  After a few failed attempts using other stamps, I grabbed Meadow Greens and its matching die and created a fern using Very Vanilla cardstock and Pear Pizzazz ink.  To make it stand out on the Pear Pizzazz tag, I placed a 2" circle die cut in Early Espresso underneath the fern.

Here's a peek at the very simple inside.

Thanks for looking.  Do go check out the inspiration from the rest of my Design Team friends.  You're sure to be inspired!

Products used:

Stamps:  Hardwood (SU), Meadow Greens (PTI)
Ink:  Pear Pizzazz, Sahara Sand, Early Espresso
Cardstock:  Early Espresso, Sahara Sand, Pear Pizzazz, Soho Subway DSP, Very Vanilla
Accessories:  Button Latte button, black twine, PTI tag die, PTI Meadow Greens die


Tuesday 11 March 2014


Hi and welcome back to another Merry Monday Christmas Card Challenge!  This week, we have a fabulous color challenge for you from Margaret:

This isn't my favorite ever card, but it'll do!  I used Translucent Embossing Paste and a brick stencil on the Always Artichoke card base.  It looks all shiny IRL!  The main layer was stamped using Peaceful Pinecones stamp set.  The sentiment is embossed with gold embossing powder.  The whole panel is layered onto Gold Foil Paper.

Thanks for looking.  Take the time to check out the rest of the DT cards and try these colors yourself!

Products used:

Stamps:  Peaceful Pinecones (PTI)
Ink:  Early Espresso, Always Artichoke, Versamark
Cardstock:  Whisper White, Always Artichoke, Gold Foil Paper, Holiday Harmony DSP
Accessories:  Early Espresso Baker's Twine, gold sequins, gold EP


Saturday 8 March 2014

Primary Colors

After a busy, busy week at work, it's now Saturday and in between loads of laundry, I've got some time to stamp!  Today's card uses the fun, primary colors from Color Throwdown and the sketch from CAS(E) This Sketch.

My youngest niece is turning 4 next month, so I thought I'd use these fun colors to make her birthday card.  What little kid doesn't love red, yellow and green?  I tried to go SUO for this card and nearly pulled it off!  The tag die, the black twine and the Wink of Stella are the only things that aren't SUO on this card.  Go me LOL.

I have to admit I quite like this card - it's CAS but still has a lot of interest.  I used Jennifer McGuire's trick to get some dimension in the balloons by stamping once, then re-inking and rubbing off some of the ink before over-stamping.  

The card base is Real Red which was scored on all four sides.  Two PTI tags were cut - one from Daffodil Delight and one from Whisper White.  The balloons were cut out and had some black twine stuck to the back of them.  The number 4 was cut out of Real Red using the Bigz Typeset Alpha die.  All three balloons and the number 4 were painted with Wink of Stella for a lovely subtle glittery look.

Thanks for looking.

Products used:

Stamps:  Up Up & Away, Express Yourself
Ink:  Daffodil Delight, Lucky Limeade, Real Red, Memento Tuxedo Black
Cardstock:  Real Red, Daffodil Delight, Whisper White
Accessories:  Black Twine, Wink of Stella, PTI tag die, Bigz Alphabet Die


Thursday 6 March 2014

A Good Thing

It's Freshly Made Sketch Day so let's look at what Amy has in store for us this week.

What a fun sketch!  For my card, I tried a new-to-me technique that I've seen in blogland lately and in particular on Jennifer McGuire's blog called Watercolor Background.  

I white-embossed the sentiment onto a piece of Tim Holtz watercolor paper.  I then smeared some distress inks onto the watercolor paper before spritzing liberally with water.  I dried the paper with my heat gun.  I then took a Sahara Sand marker and outlined each letter of the sentiment.  I realise now that I didn't copy the sketch properly onto my scrap paper and didn't carry the horizontal strip right across the card front.  Sorry, Amy!

I made some rolled roses using white cardstock I'd sponged with distress inks.  Some leaves cut from Lucky Limeade finish the card.

Thanks for visiting.  Go check out the amazing cards from the rest of the design team.  This sketch is great fun and I'd love to see what you make with it.  As my card includes flowers, I'm linking up to Friday Mashup as well.

Products used:

Stamps:  Allegro (Penny Black)
Ink:  Tattered Rose, Rusty Hinge, Scattered Straw Distress Inks, Versamark
Cardstock:  Whisper White, Basic Black, Tim Holtz Watercolor Paper
Accessories:  MFT Rolled Rose die, Little Leaves Sizzlet (SU), Sahara Sand marker


Tuesday 4 March 2014

Houndstooth Christmas

Hi everyone and welcome back to Merry Monday!  

I have to confess - I really struggled with this challenge.  I don't have any country-themed Christmas stamps so I had to find other things to provide the country charm.

I used the patterned paper to give the country feel and then used a die cut that had what I consider to be country-looking angels on.  The stitching was paper piercing and I used a token button!

The inside was finished very simply.

Thanks for looking.  If you check out the rest of the DT cards, you'll see some beautiful cards with real country charm!

Products used:

Cardstock:  Riding Hood Red, Holiday Treasures DSP, Early Espresso
Accessories:  Couture Creations "Angel" die, Essentials paper piercing kit, Crumb Cake Baker's Twine, Neutrals Button


Sunday 2 March 2014

Four Pears

It's Sunday night here and time to get ready for another working week!  I did take some time today though to make a card using this week's colors from ColourQ.

When I saw these colors, I immediately thought of pears for some reason, so I hunted through my pear stamps for something suitable.  This stamp from Hampton Art Stamps was perfect and I decided to go for a loosely watercolored look.

I white embossed the pears stamp onto watercolor paper then spritzed liberally with water.  I then loosely colored the pears using Summer Starfruit ink.  Once that dried, I re-spritzed and colored with Cool Caribbean ink.  As some of the starfruit ink had run into the background, I decided to spread some starfruit ink across the whole background to give a greenish tint.  

I spent more time trying to decide how to finish the card that coloring it!  I didn't want to cover up the image so I kept it very simple, using a sentiment from PTI's Meadow Greens set.

I'm also linking this up at the Linky Party at Seize the Birthday.

Thanks for looking.

Products used:

Stamps:  Four Pears (Hampton Art Stamps), Meadow Greens (PTI)
Ink:  Memento Tuxedo Black, Summer Starfruit, Cool Caribbean
Cardstock:  Crumb Cake, Basic Black, Tim Holtz Watercolor Paper, Xpress-it
Accessories:  1 1/4" circle punch, 1 3/8" circle punch, aquapainter


Saturday 1 March 2014

The Dust of Everyday Life

After a bit of a stressful week, I made it into my craft room today to make a couple of cards.  This card uses the fab colors from Color Throwdown and the cue word "Paint" from CASology.  I'm also linking this up to Stampin' Royalty as it's a CAS card.

"Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life"  I love this saying.  This stamp is very old and made by Hampton Art Stamps.  I stamped it in Memento Tuxedo Black onto Whisper White and then over-stamped the paint splatter images from Grunge Me in both Tangerine Tango and So Saffron.  I layered that panel onto a piece of Tangerine Tango after rounding the top left corner.

The inside mimics the front:

Thanks for looking.

Products used:

Stamps:  Art Soul (Hampton Art Stamps), Grunge Me (PTI)
Ink:  Memento Tuxedo Black, Tangerine Tango, So Saffron
Cardstock:  Whisper White, Tangerine Tango
Accessories:  Corner Chomper

Edited to Add:  This card got a shout out at Color Throwdown.