Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Diagonal Trio...STAMPlorations Challenge #10, Paper Crafting Challenge #8: No Patterned Paper

Hello - and a fine Tuesday evening here. Not a cloud in the sky; the peaks of the Three Sisters are gorgeous with the sun's reflection, and the wind - for a remarkable change - is breezy light. We've had some 'in the teens' temperatures (Celsius) the last couple of days, meaning that I'm wearing my slightly 'less downy down-filled' jacket, and my less bulky gloves! Yayy.. the forecast, though, calls for rain/snow on the weekend...and we're going to Lethbridge...first bike race of the season...sighhh.  I'll be packing my wintry garb for sure. Actually, I have a 'warm attire' reputation in the cycling community; at one point, folks didn't recognize me without my layers upon layers of clothes. To be fair, I don't recognize certain rider unless they have their  helmets on!  My husband has a down filled jacket that resembles a sleeping bag with arms,  and although it's meant for full-on winter condtions, I wear it at bike races often (and well into June!).  Riders laugh - in jest, of course - that I'm being a weenie, however, when the winds churn up and the rain starts pouring, we know that the spandex skimpiness of the riders' 'outfits' (I'm supposed to call them 'kits' but can't, because it makes me giggle, and I really want to say costumes *grin* but that makes my husband frown...) doesn't compare to my luxurious green-cozy-toasty-warm-oversize parka.  Yep...racing in Alberta...

Anyway, I'm meandering...

Last week, I had the honour and delight of being the guest desigher over at STAMPlorations, a site filled with all kinds of creativity-inspirng challenges and DT dazzles and delights.  Of course, the card I showcased (thank you again ever so much!) was one of three I made, just to be "on the safe" side.  As it turns out, the one selected, was the third created, so good thing the other two were 'practice runs.'  It was those diagonals that had me stumped...

Fast forward to this weekend, where even though I was immersed in sequin shaker cards, the STAMPlorations #10 sketch continued to call me.

Joining that voice was another: my one and only NBUS stencil.  Into the mix, came a couple of 'pings' - and we know totally who is well-versed in the magic of those: our sweet, talented, wonderful Bev, who recently made a stencil-debut of her own, using...polyfilla!  Polyfilla?  Of course, and the source of this brilliant idea came from yet another of our queens of amazing designs: Anita,

Imagine the choir in my head: sketch, diagonal challenge, stencil, embossing past - and unable to turn down the volume, what could I do but...sing along! A jaunt to the hardware store, a purchase of polyfilla, tracking down an old credit card (works like a charm as a spatula), and I started playing.

Today, I'm sharing with you my entries into STAMPlorations #10:  the two from the trio I made (you'll see why I liked #3 best, I'm sure), as well as the newest version, featuring my first ever embossing, a la polyfilla.  The arrangement of the stars on the stencil worked 'reasonably' well with the diagonal requirement. I used it in one direction on the top, then flipped it over for the bottom, leaving a gap between. Just as an aside, the stencil is one sheet with three images - hearts, stars and dots. You know what that means - gotta try out the other two...

Here is the first card I made (kind of too 'literal'...)

 And the second...
 The trio..

I'm entering these three into a new-to-me challenge: Paper Crafting Challenges #10: No Patterned Paper

Finally, the newcomer...hopefully the sketch inspiration is sufficiently evident...

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments make my day!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Thinking of You...Little Tangles Challenge #35: Mini Cards, Always Playing with Paper Challenge #5

Happy Sunday evening...and the 'Where did the weekend go?" daze has enveloped me once again!  I truly did dedicate 90%  of my waking hours to crafting, whether strolling through blog-land, where I discovered ever so many dazzling delights, or creating cards (four today, and at an average speed of 2 hours/card...seriously...that's pretty much a 'work day', however, a couple were duds, as in total duds), sorting/organizing (or rather, discovering 'new' things again, as I saw on a poster on one of the sites during my wandering) and dabbling with a couple new-to-me techniques.  All most enjoyable, rewarding, inspiring...and yes, a tad obsessive.  Given the weather - and of course, the sun has just now broken through the clouds - my crafting time was a wonderful indulgence, especially since the bike racing season - and our 'officiating duties' - begin next weekend. We start with a road trip to Lethbridge, about 4 hours' drive south, for a mountain bike race on Sunday.  I'm kind of excited; maybe some new scrapbooking stores to discover (priorities, right? Right!)....

Before sharing my card: a huge THANK YOU to all who left such sweet comments about my first ever - and second - shaker cards! Talk about boosting my spirits, as well as fueling yet another obsession!  Who knew those little gems were so darling...so addictive!  I'm smitten; indeed, I'm wondering where to buy sequins in bulk!! And yes, for the record, I did dream about shaker cards last night. Yep..that's me...so easily influenced.

Anyway, my card this evening, is for Little Tangles' Challenge #35: Mini Cards,

with the layout inspired by Lesley's Challenge #5.

 I wanted to create a set of cards (3 x 4), using the same paper pad (MME "Charmed") and Neat and Tangle sentiment however, as it turned out, I didn't gauge my time very well. This one's flying solo...

Off to call my mom, to see how's she's doing, and if I have a chance, a call to the 'little ones', too!  

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments make my day!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Hello: A SECOND shaker card!!...Paper Smooches: Anything Goes, Sequin Shaker Blog Hop, Cure for the Monday Blues #14

Hello again!

Well, if I surprised myself with a first shaker card, as shown in my previous post, you can imagine how shocked I am that a second one made an appearance!  Who knows what may happen next!!  Stenciling?

Because home-made pizza duties await (perfect Saturday evening meal always, but especially so on this cloudy, snowy day...yes.. I wrote the 's' word again...), I'll be super quick.

Before I share my card and where it's headed, a huge THANK YOU, to Paulina! Your amazing inspiration and outstanding tutorial have converted me from my "no-way, never will I make one of these" stance to making two in one day! I think I'm hooked!!

So, Sequin Shaker #2 is jaunting off to Sequin Shaker Blog Hop

The 'images' were inspired by the wonderful blacks, reds and 'donut colour' found in "Neutral's Nook" over at Taheerah's Cure for the Monday  Blues Challenge #14

and, as they're all Paper Smooches, I'm also entering into this week's PS SPARKS: Anything Goes Challenge


Here it is....my Hello City-Scape sequin shaker...

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments make my day!!

WOW! BAM!...Poppy Sketches #2, Sequin Shaker Blog Hop

Yes, yes...you read that post title correctly!  Sequin Shaker Blog Hop + me = an equation I considered most unlikely to add up.  Funny how things change...

When I woke up this morning, plans to create a shaker card were not on my "to do" radar.  No sireee; no shakers for me.  What I had in mind was a second card for Poppy Sketches #2,

because I wasn't overly thrilled with the first one I made (shown below).  I had a cup of coffee, ate some toast, all the while pondering Attempt #2.  What happened next wound up being one of those "finding inspiration in the most unexpected of places" situations.

I knew, from the first time she announced it, that I'd be checking out Paulina's Sequin Shaker Blog Hop; I knew we were guaranteed to see a gallery of darling shaker cards, the likes of which would be well beyond my creativity and ability.

Well, I went, I saw, I was inspired.  Next stop: off to Paulina's tutorial. I watched, I learned. I tried (and maybe cussed a little bit *grin*)

This is my first "official" shaker card *fist pump*!! (I made a sort-of one before, with three sequins...yes, three).

I still have to practice more (as in mega-practice), but all in all, the whole enterprise was rather fun.  It's not a super-duper awesome shaker card, in the grand scheme of things, but it's kind of cute, so I'm taking the plunge and adding it to

Bonus: it fits the Poppy Sketch (I hope!!), so I achieved my goal...in a round-about way...

The Explosion stamp is from Uniko; embossed, cut out, then coloured with copics (please don't look too closely. Copic colouring needs work...), then painted over with Wink of Stella.  You'll see the 'holy moley shiny' in photo #2....

Just for the record, here's card #1, created when my husband was out riding his bike (before the snow came...again).    Hmmmm,  after a couple days' pondering, I rather like it after all!!  Of course, I turned the sketch upside down...needed to keep my butterflies fluttering...

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments make my day!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Little Tulips and Butterfly Note...Clearly Besotted Challenge #10: Spring, Retrosketches #111

Hello...and I'm dashing in (again), fingers flailing wildly across my keyboard (why, oh why, when I need something typed tout de suite, does my mistake-making ability amp up! I haven't written even one word correctly since starting this.  Grr...) before the gate closes on the Clearly Besotted Challenge #10: Spring, with a layout inspired by Retrosketches #111

My card (I haven't had a card-making opportunity for what seems like ages, so I'm feeling rusty with my 'waiting-for-attention' stash) is a simple little version of things I love about spring:  flowers, especially tulips, and butterflies.  Neither have appeared here yet, but...one of these days, one of these days...Spring will make its dazzling presence known!   The tulips are sparkly in real-life; I imagined them as tulips kissed by morning dew....

We had an excellent Easter weekend with my family; absolutely excellent!  Of course, my Aunty C time with my niece and nephew was filled with hugs, cuddles, laughter, running alongside them while they rode their bikes (you should see my nephew on his run-bike - the ones with no pedals - he just gives 'er!!), Easter egg hunting, and all around just 'being' with them.  Love them to bits and pieces!!

One of the highlights of the time together involves a firetruck, as in a real firetruck, and accompanying firemen.  Stay tuned for 'soon' when I'll share details and , hopefully, photos.

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments make my day!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Have A GREAT Day...STAMPlorations Sketch Challenge #10 and Guest Designer

Hello, all!  We're enjoying the last little bit of our Easter weekend with my family, before heading home. While that makes me sad, my spirits have been exponentially uplifted because today, I am super excited, honour and delighted to be the guest designer over at STAMPlorations Challenge #10!!  When my little card here was selected as the winner for STAMPlorations Sketch #7, I was thrilled; realizing that part of the package was to be a guest designer, well...you can imagine my response.  Off the Richter scale!

THANK YOU so much to Shery and the rest of the amazing DT for this opportunity.  I'm quite smitten with the the STAMPlorations challenges;  having a role as GD, is simply fantabulous!

The challenge beginning today is Sketch Challenge #10,

Believe you me (one of my mom's pet sayings!), I spent plenty of time pondering what directions to go with this sketch, and finally settled on the card you see below.  Diagonals often stymie me, so I shy away, but with this GD opportunity, no way was 'being daunted' on the agenda.  A bit of 'trellis-like' stamping, a copic-coloured butterfly, and two wee sparkles: done!  A first card with diagonals for me...yayyyy!! I already have ideas for playing with this sketch again.

Please join me in the STAMPlorations Sketch Challenge #10, as well as their current April Challenge: Stamps and Your Favorite Technique

Wonderful DT inspiration, paired with some amazing prizes, await you!!  While you're there, check out the stamps (a new release is due shortly): they are amazing! 

Again, to the awesome team at STAMPlorations, a huge THANK YOU!!  

Thank you so much for dropping by; your visit and comments make my day!!

Friday, April 18, 2014

A 'Baby' Baby Card...STAMPlorations Sketch Challenge #9, STAMPlorations April Challenge: Stamps & Your Favorite Technique

Friday morning, and we're making plans to get on the road in a short while...maybe (insert *not sure* face). The 'snowfall warning' banner that was headlining the forecast in my family's city has shifted to our small town (seriously, enough x enough with the snow!), so our journey is under a 'weather cooperation' advisory.  At the moment, the skies are grey, the clouds low hanging, but no precipitations are in sight (fingers crossed). Perhaps I should rouse my husband from his sleeping in with a loud version of 'start the car, start the car', but that wouldn't be nice.  He's dealing with the tail end of a cold, so I should let him enjoy some luxurious sleep time a bit longer.  Besides, I'm  not packed yet.  My mobile crafting unit, however - themed entirely for my niece's use (she requested I bring the 'bug, because she likes turning the handle...) - is ready to go.  I have my priorities straight...

This morning's card is a 'baby' baby card, sporting the little stamps from my onesie die/stamp set, a die cut 'baby' (which I coloured using my inks...sort of sponging-ish, I guess) for matching purposes, and a series of stamped buttons for background, also from the same set.  All the images have some stickles added, although that's hard to see in the photo.

My card's layout was inspired by STAMPlorations Sketch Challenge #9 (such possibilities, this one!)

I'm pretty 'same old, same old' with my card creations (water-colouring, splatters = not in my repertoire), so hopefully *dies and stamping* will qualify as 'techniques'.  

Baby baby...here it is...

Off to pack....
NOTE: Delighted and honoured that this baby "Baby" received a Spotlight over at STAMPlorations! THANK YOU!!

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments make my day!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Wee Easter Bunny...Cure for the Monday Blues #13, A Blog Named Hero #42: Layer Cake, Inkspirational #54, The Pink Elephant #246,

Hello...Thursday - the beginning of our Easter long weekend, and the eve of our trip to see my family. Excitement abounds (although the 'snowfall warning' ain't impressing me none; hopefully we'll miss that if we time our departure right), so I'll cut right to my card.

First things first: my stash of Easter themed products verges on nil (need to address that - sale on Easter products at the scrapbook outlook in the 'big city'...trip planned for Saturday), however, I do have one Easter stamp, a wee stitched bunny die and two sheets (yes, only two!) of 12 x 12 Easter/Spring paper that I've had for a while.  So...given those limitations - and knowing I should bring at least a couple Easter items to my parents', I did the best I could...

My card was certainly inspired by the wonderful bunnies, eggs and bright colours over at Cure for the Monday Blues #13. Seeing this charming photo reminded me of the papers I'd squirreled away.

Sketched required; sketch found. Inkspirational #54

Because my bunny is so teensy (seriously, you will laugh at how small it is!), I needed something to add some 'bulk' - and the Layer Cake challenge over at A Blog Named Hero sparked ideas...
Also heading to The Pink Elephant #246, Easter theme challenge:

Whoa...I had no idea this little card would fit (sort of) so many challenges! 

Ready?  Here it is....

NOTE:  So honoured, thrilled and delighted that my rosette bunny was selected as A Blog Named Hero "Heroine". THANK YOU!!!!

A doily,  rosette and scalloped circle, made from each side of the 12 x 12 paper; a white sentiment-stamped circle and the 'star' of the show, my itsy bitsy bunny, sporting sparkly floral fur, no less!  Hard to see, but I scored the edges and along the diagonal, as shown in the sketch.

Yes, sometimes letting the paper do the talking is kind of fun (and just out of pure luck, the bunnies on either side of the rosette worked out fairly well when I die cut the doily, so my bunny total is actually three!).

Since you're here: one more share.  I decided to use up more of the patterned paper, making some bitty journals for my niece (four done, and a couple more we'll make together), inspired by the video here.  I made her a little envelope (inspired by Freshly Made Sketches #132, but I'm not linking up).  I've told her about them and she wants to write poems.  Immediately after announcing that, she asked me what a poem was....toooo funny!

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments make my day!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Hello Butterfly Minis....Freshly Made Sketches #131

Sunday evening, already - and a day of 'quiet'.  I crafted; my husband worked on his bikes.  It's so nice to have 'at home' time, because beginning next weekend (family visit...yayyyy!!  Short digression: during last week's Skype call, I was informed by Miss Niece that an Easter egg hunt *will* be happening, after which she wanted to know where the Easter Bunny lived.  My brother responded with "Easter Island"...sighhh. Miss Niece wanted to know if the bunny had to swim to get to their place - nothing gets past her - so brilliant daddy came up with 'nope, he just does big hops', and, well...more questions, more 'great' answers. Apparently we're leaving the bunny some carrot cake, too...) we are in for a long stretch of busy, busy weekends.  The season of bike racing begins...

My inspiration for today's projects - using my new (finally!) Reverse Confetti tags - are the sweet, warm-hearted Education Assistants who, in their classroom across the hall from me, bring so much joy to the lives of their special students. I decided to give them each a Butterflies Hello mini tag/card, to do with as they please.   The butterflies were also opportunity to practice my Copic colouring, with my grandiose collection of 12.  I figured a 'small' canvas might make me feel less Copic-challenged....

The cards are a reflection of Freshly Made Sketches #131,
in the style of 'miniature'. Hope my 'creative expression' fits the requirements...

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments make my day!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Beautiful Blooms Birthday (x 2)...Uniko Studio Challenge #8: Hello Spring, Time Out Challenge #3, The Pink Elephant #245, Muse #62, The Poppy Sketch #1

Saturday evening, and in just a short while, I'll be tackling my pizza prep tasks. Fresh dough and tomato sauce made this morning (my 'main' contributions), with some pepperoni, mushrooms and cheese waiting their respective slicing and shredding. Once that's done, my husband takes over to perform the magic. I can't remember when last we had home-made pizza night - before our road trip, or even longer. We are soooo due!

We  had a wintry day; snowy this morning, and now, windy, cloudy and cool. Perfect day for staying inside, except for quick jaunts to the local library (had to snoop the book sale), the 'new' grocery story (rebranded from a Sobey's to a Save-On-Foods - remarkably the same, but given it was a three day turnover, that's to be expected.  Good thing 'green' is the common colour for both companies...), and the old grocery story (prices much better, just sayin').  Before and after, we know what I was doing; my husband was in his 'craft zone', tinkering away on various bikes in his fleet. He's aiming to ride tomorrow, so hopefully the weather will cooperate.  Speaking of wishing for warmer weather...my sister and her husband are heading to Hawaii tomorrow morning, for two wondrous weeks.  Despite my best efforts at begging and whining, apparently I am not going with them...sighhh... Oh well, given that I'm not much for air travel, perhaps it's for the best. Still, Hawaii in spring - beautiful.  Wait, Hawaii any time - beautiful!!

Because so many of us are caught up in the land of "busy", I'll share two cards this post, both featuring my new Uniko Beautiful Blooms stamps and dies (I. am. in . love!), and "maybe' a wee butterfly (also a love object!).

First card is heading to Uniko Studio Challenge #8: Hello Spring, where we were invited to use one, some or all of the following beautiful colours:

My card features two colours - soft blue and green. I didn't have matching patterned paper for my frame, so I inked up the Beautiful Bloom stamp to make my own. Since it's a birthday card, I'm also entering it into the new TIME OUT Challenge #3 (without the masculine twist).  

Here's #1:

Stop with one card using those gorgeous blooms? No way! My next card - also heading to Time Out #3, as well as The Pink Elephant #245, with this photo as inspiration (isn't the music notes chair the perfect background for this stunning bouquet?) 

Muse #62, where Vicki's beautiful card - shown below -  also sparked ideas. Isn't hers simply amazinb!!

My layout, somewhat similar to my first card, but with some added features, was drawn from The Poppy Sketch #1, by the oh-so-talented Laura Davis.  
You'll see I switched up the banner for a butterfly, and used a scalloped frame, with an 'under-skirt layer' for the main panel. I came as close as I could with the colours, sooooo, fingers crossed I've met the requirements.

Here's #2: 

NOTE:  So honoured and grateful that this card was selected as an "unforgettable" at The Pink Elephant. THANK YOU!!

That's all for now...off to pizza prep!

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments make my day!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Casing Sandie...Inkspirational Challenge #53 - CASE Inkspiration

Hello! My goodness, this week is traveling so quickly, which is a plus, since work has been crazy-zany (the school year is drawing to a close, and with courses nearing an end, oh, the panic is 'just' beginning...), and a not-so-plus because I have cards to make (okay, and other things, too), yet my time seems filled with inordinate amounts of "I don't know what" busy-ness! Meetings upon meetings upon meetings are definitely infringing on my crafting time, never mind the 'return from holidays, reacquaint myself with chores' tasks. Oh well, the weekend is near, and next weekend is a trip to see my family for Easter, so in the grand scheme, all is quite wonderful!

As we know, the  journeys we take through blog-land bring us to the sites of some remarkable, talented, amazing designers. It was on one such trek, a few weeks back, that I discovered the incredibly creative, cas-extraordinaire, delightful Sandie, who is the lovely hostess of her blog, London Days.  Her wonderfully cas cards are showcased in her design team roles at STAMPlorations, Inkspirational and Time Out.  Let's just say that in a very short time, I've become a Sandie-fan!!

Of course, we know what happens when such treasures are found: we leave comments, we start following their posts, and before you know it, we see others in our 'circles' who have also found the same treasure.  Indeed, Darnell recently DJKASED one of Sandie's cards.  As it turns out, over at Inkspirational,  the Challenge #53 CASE  muse is none other than Sandie!  With Darnell's card as inspiration, I decided to take the plunge, and dive in to case one of her cards as well.  We could choose from the set displayed, or from anywhere on her blog:

Okay...you know me. I couldn't stop at one.. No sireee...I went for a second, then a third, and a fourth. Seriously, something about Sandie's style has captivated me. Plain truth: I love the simplicity of her cards, and the 'impact' they have.  So, in my constant effort to 'figure out' my own 'signature' style, I've decided to give Sandie's ways a whirl.

Today, I'll share two of my cases, because two are 'stuck' on my camera, and until I get a set of batteries, that's where they'll remain.  Grrr...I thought I had extras, however, wrong!  I'll aim to post them tomorrow.

Now, remember: Sandie's cards reside in the land of 'awesome', whereas mine are still adrift somewhere in the land of 'trying'.  I just want Sandie to know her style is ever so inspiring...and I adore it!!

My first card is a take on this one:

Sandie sponged the background, then stamped her flowers, using two colours of ink. Of course, sponging is well beyond my talents, so I went with the 'concept' of Sandie's card in my case: a patterned paper background with three die-cut flowers for the 'pop' effect.  I have the same PS sentiment, so I used it *grin*, added a scalloped border and...done.  Hopefully, you can see the kinda-sorta 'distant relative' resemblance.

My second card,  inspired by this gem,

attempts to replicate the colours and some of Sandie's image details - the 'mesh' background stamp and gold dots. For the blue...well, you'll see...

So, two cards (from the four) that I hope convey how fabulous Sandie's cards are.  I've learned a great deal in sampling' her style, and adding some infusions of my own flair.  Such fun...and yes, down the road, I pretty much know I'll be casing her again...and again...

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments make my day!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Precious Baby - Curtain Call: Baby Booties, Cure for the Monday Blues #12, Retro sketches #109

Hi again,
Another card to share before I a) forget and links close and b) call to chat with my niece and nephew, who I haven't talked to in such a long time!

Brief story:  while we were away, my brother took his family and my mom to a cousin's wedding way, way, way up north.  I'm so happy he did, because Mom hasn't been to her home town for quite a while and it was opportunity for my niece and nephew to meet the huge clan of aunts, uncles, cousins and second cousins on my mom's side. Added to that: a good ol' big small town wedding (300+ guests) - and that, in and of itself, was an eye-opening, ton of fun for the little ones.  My niece was excited, because she got to dance with the "princess" - the bride - and my nephew, well...he was just a hit in general.  Here's a photo of Mr. Dude, all decked out in his 'city-slicker' best to wow the relatives and rock up a storm:

I know I'm biased Aunty C, but I think he's a cutie patootie!!  
My niece, to the left, is navigating him (she likes to 'herd' her people sometimes. Way  too funny!).  

I am beyond excited to see them over Easter!!

Back to my card...from butterflies to babies.  My inspiration for images/theme comes from  Curtain Call: Baby Booties,

and Cure for the Monday Blues #12, where I was inspired by the sweet colours and the notion of 'cuddles' because baby-cuddling is so good for the spirit, (Taheerah selects the coolest inspiration photos - check out the shoes on the lower left. Want!)

My layout was Retro sketches #109 inspired

Isn't that elephant stamp/die adorable!!  Love this onesie!!

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments make my day!