Thursday, 29 October 2015

It's All About the Candy! (Fab Five for the Retro Rubber Challenge)

*Thrilled to have been in the Fab Five for the Retro Rubber Challenge*

Last year I presented a couple of make-n-takes for a local charity scrapbooking crop and one of the ladies there had a few stamp sets that she was selling.  When I saw that some were older Stampin' Up! sets, I became interested and hunted through them.  One set, with beautifully sketched Hallowe'en characters, was too cute to pass up.  When I got home I hunted for the set on the internet.  All I knew was that it was for Hallowe'en, by Stampin' Up! and the date stamped on the wood was 2006.  Thank goodness the internet brought my hunt to a quick end.  The set's name is Best Fiends.  I discovered that a couple of the stamps were missing from the set which I had bought, but I was still very happy to have bought what was there.

For today's card I've used the Frankenstein image from the set.  I've also used the bats from the retired Tee-Hee-Hee set and the sentiment and candy corn from the retired Halloween Hello set.  After stamping the images and sentiment, I did a lot of cutting.  The fussiest of the lot was, of course, old Frankie, but I'm happy I cut them all out.  I had used two old, retired stamp wheels for the background and gluing the images on top of that really made everything "pop".

My colours are Basic Black, Tangerine Tango, Old Olive and Rich Razzlelberry.  I've used Whisper White for stamping my images and background as well.

I used the sketch from this week's Retro Rubber Challenge so that I could play along.

My colours are courtesy of the colourQ challenge this week because I'm also playing along with them.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015


There are quite a few challenges out there at the moment which are asking for Hallowe'en creations.  That's a good thing because, with Hallowe'en only days away, it's been on my mind quite a bit.  There's all the candy that has to be bought and then, of course, I have to think about my own costume since the boys love it when we all dress up to go with them for Trick or Treating.

I really liked the Friday Mashup challenge which asked for a Hallowe'en card or some ribbon or a mashup of the two.  Of course I mashed it up.  You knew I would.

I used a base of Basic Black, added a layer of Old Olive and then another layer of Basic Black.  That layer, however, was first cut with the "boo" die from the Boo to You framelits.  Then I cut a piece of Shimmery White paper using a maple leaf die and then stamped it with the adorable little witch image from the Greeting Card Kids set.  I had such fun colouring that image and then the leaf background!  Before adding the leaf to the card, I wrapped some thick green cotton twine around the black layer.

Isn't that little witch just the cutest thing?

I've also entered this card in the Inkspirational Challenge which is all about cute Hallowe'en.

And I've entered it into the {Pin}spirational Challenge which has an adorable photo inspiration.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Give Thanks

This is the time of the year when we reap so much from the land around us.  I love going into the markets and seeing fresh vegetables.  There is also something very special about seeing the fields with pumpkins ripening.  Soon everything will be gone and the earth will slumber under its blanket of snow, but for now I give thanks for the colours and the continuing mild weather.

I love the retired stamp set, full of blessings.  The images mirror the landscapes I see around me.  Retired or not, it's a set I will keep.  For the "Less is More" challenge I chose to use the field of pumpkins and the simple sentiment "give thanks".  It's very true that sometimes less is more.

You can find more cards and the sketch at "Less is More".

Friday, 23 October 2015


I've always loved trick or treating and all things Hallowe'en.  It was fun when I was growing up, fun when I took my own daughter out and now it's fun joining the group and taking out my grandsons.  We've always kept it fun with no mean tricks.  Decorations, costumes, treats---that's what it's all about.  Of course I love creating Hallowe'en cards!

For the Tic Tac Toe challenge at this week's Stamp, Ink, Paper challenge, therefore, I happily chose the third line vertically:  orange, cat, and patterned paper.

SIP Tic-Tac-Toe 19 800
What I created was a modified easel card.  It looks completely different closed than it does open.  Let me begin with the inside and build outwards.  I layered a partially embossed piece of Smoky Slate on my Basic Black base and then added a stamped piece of Whisper White in the shape of a gravestone.  A bit of Basic Gray sponging, a couple of cobwebs and my sentiment completed it.

Being a type of easel card, there is an upper section and a lower section.  The upper section of this card has the required patterned paper.  You can see that I've also added a window through which one can see a gnarled old tree with an owl sitting in it and, of course, there is the requisite full moon shining behind.

The lower part of the front is embossed with the same Boho Chic embossing folder as the bottom of the inside.  There is also a window frame attached which extends upwards.  Through this particular window, which is vellum, one can see the silhouette of a witch flying across that full moon.

Finally, with the card closed, you can see the whole scene together.  I love the way one can see through the vellum to the gnarled tree and owl, don't you?

And that's my bit of Hallowe'en fantasy for today.  I hope you've enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed creating it.  For more Hallowe'en fun, check out the cards at the Stamp, Ink, Paper challenge.

I've also entered this card into the Retro Rubber challenge.

And, since their theme is Hallowe'en, I've also entered the card into the Male Room challenge.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Thankful for you

It's fun when a challenge asks for a masculine card.  I don't make a whole lot of cards that are purely masculine so I have to sit back and give some careful thought to making this type of card.  Since the card is for the "Less is More" challenge, I knew I would be keeping it as simple as possible, but with a certain flare.  I decided on the direction of my card when I also chose to enter the Addicted to Stamps and More challenge which, this week, is all about making your mark (using markers and colours).

I used a base of Naturals White cardstock followed by a layer of Garden Green and then a layer of Whisper White which I first stamped and coloured before completing the card.  I used the old tractor image from the Harvest Blessings stamp set and the greeting from the Good Greetings set.

After stamping my image using Memento Black ink, I randomly coloured areas of the tractor using my Garden Green Stampin' Marker.  Then I randomly added colour to the grass using my Delightful Dijon Stampin' Marker.  After that I used my Aqua Painter to add a wash of Garden Green to parts of the tractor and a wash of Sahara Sand to others.

Finally I used a mask to add a "frame" around the image using a sponge and my Sahara Sand ink.  My sentiment is stamped using the Memento Black ink.

I kept it simple, but sometimes that really makes the biggest impact.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

SUO#133 -- Merry, merry Christmas

The SUO challenge really intrigued me since it asked for a pocket card.  Well, it's been a while since I created one of those and so I happily got to work.

I used a mixture of new and old for my card.  I wanted the pocket to be textured but didn't want to use an embossing folder so the subtle texture of the retired Core'dinations cardstock was the perfect compromise.  I decided to use Real Red and, for a fun addition, made it a pocket shaker card.  Why not?

For the images inside the shaker I combined the Lovely as a Tree stamp set with a fussy-cut Santa image from the Home for Christmas Designer Series paper.  Inside the shaker I added some of the retired snowflake and silver sequins from last year's Frosted Sequins embellishments.  

For the surprise greeting inside the pocket I used Whisper White and Crushed Cucumber and then added a Real Red Striped ribbon to help pull it out.  My sentiment is from the Wondrous Wreath stamp set.

For more cute pocket cards, check out the SUO challenge.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

FM230 - So lucky to call you my friend

You know I like mashing things up, right?  I haven't made any secret of that fact.  And then came along this challenge from the Friday Mashup and, quite honestly, I was left wondering what to do.  The challenge?

*create a project featuring doughnuts or baked goods
*create a project with a friendship theme
OR mash the two together and combine both themes

Well, I don't have a large doughnut stamp.  I do have some designer paper featuring doughnuts, however, and could imagine that as a strip somewhere on my card.  But I wanted a big doughtnut image.  So I delayed entering the challenge, knowing that my subconscious would work on the problem in the background.  It didn't let me down, either.  I love the way my subconscious works!

For my big image I used two of my circle framelits and cut out a "doughnut" from a piece of Kraft Paper.  Well, it really wasn't very thrilling.  It definitely needed a whole lot of loving attention.  So I cut another "doughnut" out of a piece of Whisper White cardstock.  Then I tore all around the perimeter of the inside hole and the outside.  I set the poor ragged circle shape on a piece of waxed paper and, after stamping Watermelon Wonder and Daffodil Delight sprinkles on it thanks to the Sprinkles of Life stamp set, I covered the entire thing liberally with my Crystal Effects.

When that had dried I first used my Bone Folder and gave my Kraft Paper doughnut a bit more 3-D shaping.  Then I used Tombow glue to paste the shiny Crystal Effects "icing" onto the doughnut.  A bit of selective cutting to give the look of a bite into the doughnut and I was done.  

I hope you'll check out the Friday Mashup and the cards presented by the Design Team.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Thanks -- a study in neutrals (Winner at The Card Concept)

Sometimes the best way to relax after a gruelling number of days is to do something one loves.  For me that something is crafting.  To make things simpler and allow me the luxury of having a path to follow, I checked out a few challenges.  I immediately loved the sketch from the Sundays Stamps challenge:

And then I saw the photo inspiration challenge at the Card Concept and I knew what I wanted to put into that sketch design:

I began with a base of Smoky Slate and then for the "a-kilter" layers decided on Basic Grey and a piece of light woodgrain designer paper.  I stamped a bird on one small square of Very Vanilla and a piece of a farmland image with pumpkins on another small square of Very Vanilla.  I put each on a thin matte of Basic Grey and then lightly coloured areas with my aqua painter and So Saffron.

After mounting everything I knew I wanted a little something more to balance the card and so sponged leaves in the lower left and upper right area using Basic Grey.  Then I added the die-cut "thanks" and the card was finished.  My inspiration from the photo was a combination of the colours and the textures.  It is in the style of a Clean and Layered card.

I hope you'll visit the two challenges and check out the wonderful cards created by their respective Design Teams.

Friday, 9 October 2015

FM229 - Hello Fall

I love the masking technique.  You have to give the whole project such a lot of thought and have to plan ahead.  I'm not always good about either of those habits so doing techniques like this is really good practise for me.  This is the challenge for the Friday Mashup, you see, and I usually enjoy mashing up both options that they offer.

Use all 5 or 3 of the colors listed above
Create a project using a Masking Techniques
or Mash it Up! and create a project with the colors above and some Masking

I decided to use the Vintage Leaves stamp set and proceeded to use So Saffron and Delightful Dijon inks to stamp a strip of leaves down the centre horizontally, masking the leaves as necessary to ensure that they did not leave ink across each other.  After stamping my leaves, I masked all but a strip down the centre horizontally, masked the leaves, and then sponged the unmasked section using Marina Mist and Night of Navy for an ombre effect.  The results, after I removed all the masking, were striking.

I used my aqua painter to colour in the uninked areas of the leaves using Daffodil Delight and Early Espresso inks.  Then, in the upper left corner, I stamped my sentiment from the For All Things set using Early Espresso.  I stamped and cut out an acorn from the same set and adhered it to the lower right corner using Dimensionals.

My base cardstock is Early Espresso followed by a layer of Delightful Dijon.  I did all my stamping and sponging on a piece of Shimmery White specialty paper.


Sometimes you finish a card and then something about it just doesn't "click" for you.  This is what happened with my card today.  I didn't like the way the leaves turned out stamped in such light colours.  I'm used to more outlines and definition, I guess and this wasn't doing it for me.

Luckily I still had my fussy-cut leaves to use as a mask.  More lucky still, since the Vintage Leaves set is photopolymer, it was easy to line up the images and stamp on top of them.  I did exactly that using Early Espresso ink and the look of the whole card changed immediately.  I prefer it.  I've left the original as well as my "take two" so you can decide for yourself if you prefer the outlined, more darkly stamped image or one that is stamped with colours close to the ones with which you filled the images.  "Take two" is the version which is going to be posted to the challenge sites.

For more examples of this fun technique, check out the Friday Mashup this week.

I've also posted my card to the Male Room challenge since it is all about Fall.


I love the Owl Builder Punch!  It will be a very sad day when it retires.  There are so many uses for it, especially around Hallowe'en when the little owl can become as cute or as spooky as can be.

For this card I've mixed the old with the new.  My good old friend, the Owl Builder Punch is, of course, the old.  The new?  Well, that is the Among the Branches stamp set along with its matching embossing folder, Woodland.  To really make the branches and trees of the embossing folder stand out as well as to set the atmosphere, I used my brayer to spread the beautiful retired Certainly Celery ink onto the inside of the folder.  Once I had run my paper through the Big Shot, the embossed piece of Whisper White had transformed into a slightly spooky grove of trees.  With some sponging around the perimeter using Basic Black ink, it became more spooky.

My little owl was cut from Basic Black cardstock and transformed from the normally cute little fellow into a bat-like creature with glowing red eyes (thank you, Red Glimmer paper).  I needed a spot for my monster-owl to perch and so stamped the branch from the Among the Branches set on Whisper White using the Basic Gray Archival ink and then fussy cut it once it was dry.

My final touch was to cut out the letters B-O-O using my Little Letters thinlits and scraps of Tangelo Twist, Whisper White and Pear Pizzazz cardstock.  Some sponging with Basic Black transformed the otherwise crisp, clean letters into something suitable for my scene.

My base cardstock is Basic Black with a layer of Tangelo Twist.  I mounted everything on that and my new Hallowe'en card was born---a perfect mixture of old and new.

I've entered my card into the SUO challenge which is all about punch art.

I've also entered my card into the Addicted to Stamps & More challenge because it fits perfectly into the photo inspiration.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

FM228 - You Make My Heart Smile! (Friday Mashup Glamette)

*Yay!  So great to be a "Glamette"!*

I'm in the middle of sorting through all my retired stamp sets.  My mind reels at the number of sets I've accumulated over the four short years during which I've been stamping.  Time to thin the piles.  If I'm honest with myself, no matter how cute, pretty or perfect a stamp set appears, if it's not in the style of cards that I make and has been sitting, unused, for most of its time in my house, I have to put it into the "sell" pile.  For me, with my hoarding instincts, this is a very difficult task.

During my time sorting, I came across a set that I had forgotten about and that really does appeal to me.  Especially since it's perfect for the challenge over at the Friday Mashup! this week.  This is the challenge:

The choices are:
Create a project with a silhouette image
Create a project with a background filled with colour
(sponging, watercolour, etc)
OR Mash them up and use both options

Of course you know I mashed them up.  The newly discovered old stamp set gave me the best idea!  Are you wondering about which stamp set I'm talking?  It's the Asian Artistry which I believe was introduced as a Hostess Set around 2009--well before I began with Stampin' Up!  I believe I picked it up at a garage sale and promptly put it on my shelf and forgot about it.  

Wouldn't most of those images be perfect as a silhouette?  I certainly think so.  My choice was to use the bamboo with the bird perched on it.  Just black out the bird and we have a full silhouette, after all.  For my background, I chose to do some watercolouring.  I used the Watercolor paper and used my circle framelit to create a mask.  I only wanted to watercolour a certain area, after all.  My colour choices for the watercolouring were So Saffron, Crushed Curry, Calypso Coral and Watermelon Wonder inks.

I used Basic Black as the base for my card, followed by a layer of Watermelon Wonder, and then topped those with my layer of Watercolor paper.  The image and the sentiment were both heat embossed using Black embossing powder.  Then I masked and watercoloured my sun.  Finally, the bird was coloured in with my Stampin' Basic Black marker.  

I love the results!  I hope you'll take time to check out the other cards over at the Friday Mashup challenge this week.

I've also entered my card into the "Less is More" challenge because its brilliant colours remind me of a mandarin garnet.

And, finally, I've entered my card into the Addicted to Stamps and More challenge since it is clearly Clean and Simple, which is what their challenge requires.