Sunday, May 31, 2009

Pink Cat Studio Geometry Challenge

It's been a busy but super fun week. I'm happy I had the time to create a bunch of cards for the Stampin' Out Alzheimer's challenges and participate in my first Pink Cat Studio Challenge. Head on over to the PCS blog to check out the rules and other creations for this month's geometry challenge created by Jodi-Ann Lee. I had so much fun with this challenge and I was more than excited to use this Lily & Billy Sweetheart stamp. My inspiration for this card came from Michelle B. over at Just Painting Around. Her scene cards will take your breath away! I sketched out my vision for this card last weekend and didn't get around to putting it together until last night but I did work on it little by little throughout the week. The card shows my husband riding his bike - with me in the basket - through the rolling hills of Toscana (Tuscany) where we hope to take early retirement as we've been studying Italian on and off for the last seven years. I know the white picket fence is not typical of the region but I had to use my new punch. I also wish I had an Italian cypress tree punch because that would've been so perfect. I've sent a friend in Italy out to search for Italian-themed stamps and accessories and I hope he's successful!! I had my wonderful hubby help me with the hills because they needed to be perfect. He's a former design engineer of racecars and bicycles so he knows something about curves. LOL

This was my original sketch (click on photos for larger image):

My son got a hold of it which is why it's all mangled. He just loves playing with paper but what nine-month-old doesn't? Heehee! I have BLOpen (remember those?!) marks all over it from the test strip. I completely forgot I had a cobble background stamp and was going to use this strip that looked like a sidewalk or gravel road. I also thought about going with the plain cardstock as the road as storyboarded here.

Then I worked on the placement of the trees which was difficult. Both scenarios looked good. Eventually I decided I liked them better all grouped together since the lone one would've been too close to the sun and also Lily's head. I just love how you can see the tree branches through the rice paper.

The last thing I did was use an exacto knife to cut out the white section between Lily & Billy's heads to show more of the hills in the background. It was scary because it required so much precision and control. One slip and I would've had to restamp and recolour the focal image! I was in luck and thankfully not my usual clumsy self. I don't think I'll ever use or give away this card because I love it so much!

Here's the final result:

And some closeups:

Sources: DCWV (striped square), SBD (card), Staples (trees) and Halcraft cardstock (all white areas); Provo Craft paper; random Japanese rice paper (greenery on trees); Pink Cat Studio Lily & Billy Sweetheart stamp; Memories Black ink; Copic markers; sentiment of an unknown brand; SU! Taken With Teal ink; McGill square punch; Chapel Road Artstamps cobble background stamp; McGill circle punches; Kane wavy scissors; Marvy Uchida tree punch; random Japanese rice paper; Martha Stewart picket fence edge punch; Versafine Archival Smokey Gray instant dry pigment ink

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A 3-in-1 SOA Card!

Initially I thought I was making a 2-in-1 card but it's actually a 3-in-1 card for Stampin' Out Alzheimer's. Wow! This qualifies for the challenges Any Winged Thing (self-explanatory), Two By Two Card Challenge (use brown, pink and one neutral colour plus two embellishments) and Verve Sketch Challenge (shown below). I rarely use this butterfly punch and almost got rid of it but I'm glad I didn't since it came in handy for this occasion. I coloured it in using my brown and pink Copic markers. Then I handwrote the sentiment because my gold and white embossed ink pads were all dried up. I guess it's time to get new ones. This card is busy but I love how everything matches and that ribbon is just gorgeous. It was almost too sunny this morning when I photographed the card so there are shadows everywhere!

Here's the Verve Sketch:
And here's my card:
Sources: DCWV cardstock; Provo Craft paper; unknown textured paper (was a gift); American Crafts mini brads in chestnut; BasicGrey mellow ribbon; butterfly punch; Copic markers; McGill circle punch; Fiskars Threading Water border punch; Dimension squares; Pilot extra fine gold pen

Friday, May 29, 2009

SOA All In One Challenge

This is another one of Stampin' Out Alzheimer's card challenges. I Brake For Stamps is sponsoring a challenge where participants need to create a card using one colour, one stamp, one ribbon and one embellishment. In a world where colours collide and the sky's the limit, this was incredibly difficult. It's only suiting that I came up with something baby-themed since my son and I were at the Children's Trunk Show earlier today! I made my own textured paper using heart and daisy stamps to match the print on the buggy, then I coloured in the shapes on the buggy using a Copic marker. I really wanted to use a brad where the round hinge for the buggy cover opens and closes but then I realized I didn't have any green brads! The only other embellishment I had was a mini clothespin but only in colours other than green so I took the same Copic marker and coloured that clothespin with it. This worked out very well. If I want to later, I can use the clothespin to add a personalized tag with another colour!
Sources: Halcraft cardstock; Stamping Bella bella baby buggy bumper; SU! Garden Green ink; Copic marker; Carl Craft long reach daisy punch; Carl By Marvy heart punch; Dashes, Dots & Checks ribbon; mini clothespin from my stash

Two SOA Challenges in One

I just whipped up this card for a couple of challenges on Stampin' Out Alzheimer's. This card is for the Button, Button Who's Got The Button Challenge (use three buttons anywhere on the card) and the Taylored Expressions Sketch Challenge (sketch shown below turned 90 degrees). I received my first set of Verve stamps in the mail yesterday and just had to use it right away! They're just gorgeous and ink extremely well. I'm officially addicted and will definitely be ordering the May Stamp Collection if I don't win them. I love this cardboard cardstock so I had to use it again for the second time this week. I also dusted off my glue gun for the first time in years to put the buttons on. Woohoo!

Here's the sketch:

And here's my card:
Sources: SBD and Halcraft cardstock; Provo Craft papers; Verve Because Of You stamp set; SU! Elegant Eggplant ink; McGill circle punches; Dashes, Dots & Checks ribbon; Darice hemp cord; random buttons from my stash

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Stampin' Out Alzheimer's

I've just made my donation to SOA and will be participating in some of their fabulous challenges for a good cause. My paternal grandmother suffered from this debilitating disease and it was horrible watching her deteriorate when I was a young girl. As a result I never knew who she really was so I would encourage people to donate no matter how little. Create fabulous cards as always with the added opportunity to win some great prizes and also get discounts on stamps! What could be better than that?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Random Occasion #5

I have a tendency to overthink my cards when I make them. This means it takes forever for me to make my cards when it shouldn't. Then my creativity gets stalled and my card sits half done for hours or days. Today I decided to make this card without putting too much thought into it. A couple we're very close to is dealing with a dying dog plus a family member's divorce so I decided to make them a card even though, again, today was supposed to be a rest day. I decided to go with the first colour scheme that popped into my head and slapped all the pieces together. Pink and teal are so pretty together, especially on a rainy day like today. First I created the background by colouring in random circles with my Copics. To create a focal point, I used my much-loved daisy punch and now I'm addicted to putting brads in the centre. The sentiment is a little smudged because it's one of those acrylic stamps that doesn't take ink very well so I had to stamp it three times to make it dark enough. I've recently become a ribbon nut and am trying new things with it. I think the off-centre knots finish the card nicely without making it look too busy.
Sources: DCWV, Halcraft and Staples cardstock; Provo Craft paper; HOTP Tiny Words & Images; Local King Rubber Stamp ripples background stamp; SU! Basic Gray and Taken With Teal inks; Copic markers; SU! brads; McGill circle punches; Carl Craft long reach daisy punch; Dashes, Dots & Checks ribbon

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Random Occasion #4

Yesterday I told myself I needed to take the day off and rest up. I decided to make this card anyway and ended up paying a hefty price. My back is hurting so much that it's affecting my stomach and I also cut up my finger badly on the new blade of my paper cutter. Ack!

I've only had this new cardstock and cute stamp set for one day but for the longest time I've been dying to (1) stitch a card, (2) use cardstock that looks like cardboard, and (3) make a tall card that opens from the bottom. I did all three here and even though the stitches aren't perfect and I wish I stamped the image and sentiment in brown ink, I love how it turned out. The multi-directional ribbon keeps the whole thing looking whimsical which really suits the cookie monster... er, dog... bear?

Let me tell you a funny story about why I bought this stamp set. The moment I saw it, I immediately thought of my husband's Babo. For those of you who aren't familiar with Uglydolls, Babo is essentially the star of the Uglyverse and he loves cookies. I even made him a bunch of cookies from felt.

Sources: SBD and Halcraft cardstock; Provo Craft paper; Inkadinkado Cookies for Life stamp set; Memories Black ink; Copic markers; Offray ribbons; American Crafts brads in chestnut

Monday, May 25, 2009

Mojo Monday Week 88 [MOJO88]

Ooooh, this might be my best card yet! This little skunk was the last of the SU Pun Fun set so now I've used them all which I'm very happy about. I don't like buying sets if I'm not going to use all the stamps in them. I also really wanted to use a new border punch that I picked up while on vacation in Pennsylvania last weekend. It's a new one by EK Success and it's an alpine trail. Don't you love it? I'm pretty sure I'll be making tons of Christmas cards with it! Anyway, I couldn't decide if I was going to make the bottom of my card green with the trees along the top and cover part of it with the circle. I decided that would cover up too much of the trees, especially after I added the yellow rectangles. Finally in a flash of genius, I decided to make slits with an exacto knife along the edges of the lower body and slide the trail behind the little stinker (LOL). It made the perfect border for the sketch without having to use ribbon. I haven't seen this done before but I obviously haven't surfed every blog and craft site in the world so it may very well not be original. However, I like to believe that I was the first to think of it and I hope it's inspirational to you all. ;)

Here's this week's Mojo sketch:
And here's my card:
Sources: DCWV and Halcraft cardstock; Provo Craft papers; SU! Pun Fun stamp; Memories Black ink; Copic markers; EK Success alpine trail edger punch; Kane wavy edge scissors; SU! brads

Scrapbooks By Design

At lunchtime today, I went for a little drive with my son out to the Beaches area to get some cardstock and new scrapbooking papers at Scrapbooks By Design. They're having a huge QuicKutz sale and although I don't own any dies or a machine to use them, I was so tempted to buy some for future use because I know I'll get one eventually. I was told QuicKutz is coming out with a brand new cutter in July called the Epic. If anyone has had a chance to try it out, please let me know how you like it and how it compares to other die cutters, especially SU's Big Shot. I also signed up for my first Copic Markers class next month and can't wait! I keep seeing some amazing works of art using the markers, especially on Anya stamps. Now I want to buy more Copics and some Anya stamps. Alas, my wish list grows longer. Haha!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sweet Sunday Sketch Challenge [SSSC19 / SSSCSOA]

It's been a while since I've had two posts in one day. Call me crazy! I guess I'm addicted to Karen's sketches because I really should be resting while my son naps. Anyway, I was super excited to use more of my BasicGrey ribbon. I'm also on a roll to use all the stamps in the SU Pun Fun set. This is the seventh one so I only have one more to go! I'm not pleased with the way the card photographed because it's much more stunning to the eye. The silver and gold fibres and flecks in the red paper don't really show up. Ah, well...

And here's my card:
Sources: DCWV and Halcraft cardstock; EK Success Harmony & Melody wedding paper; random japanese rice papers; SU! Pun Fun ewe; heart stamps of an unknown brand; Memories Black ink; Copic markers; BasicGrey Mellow ribbon; Dimension squares

Random Occasion #3

I had to make a masculine birthday card and considering the fact that I don't have many ideas when it comes to masculine cards, I absolutely love how this one turned out. It just popped into my head while my husband was making breakfast and I started on it immediately. From the colours on the rocket ship to the papers and ribbon, it's bright and cheery. This is also the first time I rounded the corners on the actual card. Oh, how it brings a smile to my face! I'm gaining confidence in my ability to make masculine cards and that's a great thing.

Sources: DCWV and Halcraft cardstock; Provo Craft paper; SU! Pun Fun; Memories Black ink; Copic markers; Fiskars Nostalgia corner edger; basic hole punch; Celebrate It Basic Narrows ribbon

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Amy R's Friday Sketch [AMYRS3]

I have mixed feelings about this card. While I'm happy with certain aspects of it, I'm not thrilled with it as a whole. Anyway, I'll just talk about my resourcefulness in creating my own nestie. I wanted to use a stamp I had never used before and it was too big for the two circle punches I own so I used a small American Crafts ribbon spool. I held up the image to the window allowing the light to come through and centred the image in front of the spool. Then holding the spool in place I traced the spool. I got out one of my oldest edge scissors and not knowing whether it would work or not found myself delightfully surprised at the result. How cool is that? I love the new ribbon and blue brads, too. However, the card still looks too plain for my liking and made me realize how bored I am with my cardstock! It's time to hit the craft store again.

Here's Amy R's sketch:
And here's my card:
Sources: DCWV and Halcraft cardstock; Provo Craft paper; SU! Pun Fun stamp and Brilliant Blue ink; Copic markers; American Crafts brads; Offray Straight 'N' Narrow ribbon; Kane wavy edge scissors

Friday, May 22, 2009

Mojo Monday Week 87 [MOJO87]

It's Friday and I finally completed my card for the Mojo sketch. It took me a while to catch up on last week's sketches but I did it! I finished all three and I'm pretty proud considering I was away on vacation last week. I started this card yesterday and got nowhere because, again, the lack of nesties and larger circle punches really gives me few options. I think I will at least invest in the Circle Scissor Plus when I host my first Stampin' Up workshop at the end of the month.

For this card, I used one of my never-before-inked bellas for the main image and a long-forgotten pair of scissors to scallop the edge of the yellow paper. I also had to cut out the green circle freehand so it looks a little wonky but it's the best I could do given the circumstances. I'm not sure the blue ribbon looks great on the yellow paper but it coordinates with the other blues on the card. Green ribbon would've been a better match but the shade I had clashed with the green circle. I've also learned that the more I use my Copics, the more colours I need! Overall, I am pleased with the result and I hope fellow book lovers will, too.

Here's the Mojo sketch:
And here's my card:Sources: DCWV and Halcraft cardstock; Provo Craft papers; Stamping Bella bookwormabella; Memories Black ink; Copic markers; Fiskars Victorian edge scissors; HOTP Tiny Words & Images; Vivid! Red ink; Dashes, Dots & Checks ribbon

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sweet Sunday Sketch Challenge [SSSC18]

I managed to squeak this card in last night but couldn't photograph it 'til this morning when the sun came up. Ah, the need for a photo tent! Well, I decided to use another one of my long forgotten bellas for Karen Giron's Sunday sketch. I also wanted to try out my Copics on a bella since they don't seem to turn out well with pencil crayons. Boy, do I ever love how bright the bella turned out! I actually started colouring her without thinking about what papers or cardstock I was going to coordinate with her. When I finished, I didn't like the colours but when I started looking for coordinating papers, it looked so good! The one thing I don't like is that the ink on her neck smudged and I also realized that the orientation of the green and blue polka-dotted papers is incorrect. I do love how her jeans look appropriately worn. Yay, I'm so happy with my Copics. This will serve as inspiration to use my bellas more often. Thanks, Karen, for another great sketch!

And here's my card:Sources: DCWV cardstock; Provo Craft papers; Stamping Bella teddybella; Memories Black ink; Copic markers

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Amy R's Friday Sketch [AMYRS67]

Chances are I won't get to make cards for all three of the sketches I do weekly since the links close tomorrow but I figured I had to do at least one. After all, I sacrificed a nap to make this card. Again, without nesties, I wondered how I was going to make this work. I seriously need to get a die cut machine and some nesties! They would sure come in handy. Anyway, I searched high and low to find something remotely oval that I could trace but had no such luck. I decided to choose an image that was oval-ish and this cute cow worked nicely!

Here's Amy R's sketch:
And here's my card:
Sources: DCWV and Halcraft cardstock; Pink Cat Studio Farm Animal Stamps; Memories Black ink; Copic markers; Sweet Petites grosgrain ribbon; American Crafts chestnut brads; Fiskars Nostalgia corner edger

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I'm Back

I hope you all didn't miss me too much! We went on a five-day trip to central Pennsylvania to visit family. It was our first trip with the munchkin and he was a star during the flights but he hated the car rides. The smelly rental car and uncomfortable rented infant seat probably didn't help matters but we all survived and I'm so happy to be home with my craft stuff again. I didn't realize how much I would miss making cards! Maybe I'll bring a few things along with me on our next trip.

It was great seeing my husband's family for a few days. It had been many years since we'd gone there for a visit but of course we'd seen them in other locations. We got a lot of fresh country air and ate a lot of delicious food. I loved listening to the birds and crickets in the woods. Of course we hit the Outlets at Hershey to get a ton of cute stuff for the baby and a few new things for me. I also ended up getting a couple of cool new punches and a ton of ribbon at Michael's and I can't wait to use them.

Today I went to pick up our keys from the catsitters and what I thanked them with was a mix of cards from my stash, both handmade and store-bought. I only had five minutes to throw together some wrapping and a tag before heading out to meet them so here's what I came up with.

Blogger keeps turning some of my images even though they are oriented in the proper direction on my computer. I don't get it! Is anyone else having problems with this and is there a way to fix it? I know basic HTML but not enough to make it work. Hopefully this afternoon or tonight I can use some of my new craft supplies to catch up on the sketches I missed! I have a bunch of cards to make for June and also need to replenish my stash so the sketches will definitely come in handy.

Sources: DCWV and Halcraft cardstock; SU! Pun Fun; Memories Black ink; Copic markers; fine black Sharpie pen; Offray ribbon; McGill circle punches; Marvy long reach tiny circle punch

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mojo Monday Week 86 [MOJO86]

This week's Mojo sketch really inspired me. I knew what I was going to do the second I saw it. When I finished my card, I was inspired by the pattern to go on a tangent and make a second card with a variation. I love the SU! Botanical Blooms set but never knew what to do with it. This sketch was perfect for it and I love the way my card turned out. I'm especially thrilled by the second card though because it's so fun. I'm happy I was able to make two cards since I'm gifting some cards from my stash to our catsitters.

Here's the sketch:Here's my card:
And the variation:

Blogger has distorted the picture somewhat. The sentiment is perfectly clear on the card!

Sources: DCWV cardstock; Provo Craft paper; SU! Botanical Blooms (1st card); HOTP Tiny Words & Images (2nd card); SU! Ballet Blue and Garden Green inks (1st card); Memories Black ink (2nd card); Fiskars Threading Water border punch; McGill circle punches (2nd card)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sweet Sunday Sketch Challenge [SSSC17] and Custom Wedding #3

Wow, I must be on the same wavelength as Karen Giron! I started this card yesterday because Angela and James ordered a custom wedding card from me last week. I had just added the ribbon and was wondering how to incorporate the bride and groom's names before putting it away for the night. This morning I was trying to decide if I wanted to use two hearts for the names and use brads to anchor them on the ribbon. When I saw Karen's sketch after breakfast, I couldn't believe my eyes. The only difference between her card and mine was that I had tied my ribbon on the right. I decided to ditch the heart idea and simply incorporate the rectangle for a 1-for-2 card (my custom wedding card and Karen's sketch challenge). I had to handwrite the names several times because the only gold pen I had kept exploding on me and pooling all over the paper. After two disasters, I got nervous because I was running out of the only matching paper left but I was finally able to finish. This card was extremely satisfying to make and I'm getting better at tying bows!

Here's Karen's sketch:
And here's my card:

Sources: Essence du Papier and Halcraft cardstock; EK Success wedding paper; random scraps; Basic Grey ribbon; Fiskars Threading Water border punch; McGill square punch; Pilot extra fine gold pen; Dimension squares

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there! This is my first mother's day so I know how very special today is. I just wanted to share what my husband and son did for me. It's so blog-worthy! My husband made this card for my eight-month-old son to give me and also bought me all these gorgeous Copic markers!! Apparently he had been sneaking into my stash in the evenings over the past week and working on this card bit by bit. Pit'r is our extremely xenophobic cat and the house hippo is a fictional animal but Pit'r likes to hide in our closets so we joke that she's hunting for the house hippo. Hippos Go Berserk by Sandra Boynton is also one of our son's favourite books so this all explains the card. Anyway, I think the card is such a silly creation and I needed to show it because I don't think there are many husbands out there who secretly make cards. Plus I can't wait to use my new Copic markers! I may just have to use them for Karen Giron's Sweet Sunday Sketch Challenge.

Sources (as far as I can tell): DCWV and Halcraft cardstock; Domtar EarthChoice paper; SU! Pun Fun; SU! Baby Firsts; sentiment of an unknown brand; Memories Black ink; Copic markers; Laurentien pencil crayons; Jewels chalks; Dimension squares

Friday, May 8, 2009

Amy R's Friday Sketch [AMYRTFS1]

When I saw Amy R's sketch this morning, I thought, 'Yikes, that looks difficult and I don't even have any nestabilities! How am I going to pull that off?' After a few minutes, an idea popped into my head. I decided to make a new Mother's Day card for my mom because I had thrown together a rather plain card for her in a frenzy sometime last month. Since I came up with a much better card thanks to Amy R's Sketch, the old one is going in the recycling bin! This card doesn't have the same geometry as the sketch because I have a pile of gorgeous Japanese paper scraps in my collection from years ago that I wanted to use. I had to work with the size of the scraps themselves in order to make them work. The biggest circle punch I have isn't very big but it was enough to fit a pondering sweet Lily. Of course I had to use another Pink Cat Studio stamp! I think the copper paper nicely accentuates her tan! I'm still learning how to colour with Copics so Lily's skin isn't the smoothest. The card is a little busy but I think it works.

And here's my card:

Sources: DCWV cardstock; Provo Craft papers; random Japanese rice paper; Pink Cat Studio Lily & Billy Sweetheart Stamps; Stampendous Hey There Cupcake sentiments; ICG alphabet punch set; Memories Black ink; Laurentien pencil crayons; Copic markers; Fiskars flower hand punch; Fiskars Nostalgia corner edger; Carla Craft long reach daisy punch; McGill circle punch; SU! tearing edge; xmas red Stickles; fine red Sharpie pen

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Kid Card #1

Thank you Karen G., Tiffany and Terri E. for your sweet comments! I only joined the stamping community recently so it's super nice to have this level of encouragement and traffic to my site. It's been a super busy week since we're going on vacation next week and although I received my new Pink Cat Studio stamps on Monday I haven't even had a chance to open the packages and cut up the stamps. Wow, just looking at them made me drool for days! I kept thinking, 'How am I going to initiate these stamps?! Do I use Lily or Billy first? What colours do I choose?' There are so many choices which is what makes these stamp sets so delightful. I finally decided there is no occasion more perfect than a little girl's birthday. A friend's daughter is turning three, very much in the princess stage, and also starting to craft with her mom so I hope this card not only makes her happy but is inspiring. I thought I would dress up Lily as a princess complete with ice cream and handbag. I decided to make up for my lack of markers by filling in the images with pencil crayons then layering with chalks to make the colours more vivid. I love the way my first Lily card turned out and I can't wait to make more!

Sources: DCWV and Halcraft cardstock; Pink Cat Studio Dress Up Lily stamps; HOTP Tiny Words & Images sentiment; Memories Black ink; Sharpie fine black pen; Gary Burlin silver glitter glue; Laurentian pencil crayons; Jewels chalks; Fiskars Nostalgia corner edger; McGill circle punch; American Crafts brads in grapefruit; Dimension squares

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Mojo Monday Contest [MOJO85]

This being my first Mojo card was very difficult in many ways and I learned a few lessons. I started it yesterday extremely sleep deprived. I had also purchased a new camera and spent many hours trying to figure out why my PC couldn't read the camera when it worked fine on the laptop. To create this card, I wanted to use a particular ribbon and that was another mistake. It's like buying a belt and building my wardrobe around it. It's extremely difficult and rarely works. I had the right paper colours but things got complicated when I was trying to decide which colour to put in each section. I also think the image I chose was too big. If I had used a smaller stamp then there would've been more room to work around it. Then when I started colouring I realized my pencil crayons just aren't going to cut it and I really need to get more markers. I love my bellas but they never seem to turn out the way I want them to.

Here's the Mojo Monday sketch:
And here's my card:
Sources: Halcraft cardstock; Provo Craft paper; Stamping Bella pmsabella; Stampendous Hey There Cupcake; Memories Black ink; SU! Taken With Teal ink; Copic markers; Laurentien pencil crayons; Fiskars Threading Water border punch