Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Blue Christmas Card

Still following along with the Holiday Card Challenge for the Kards for Kids drive, this next colour scheme is my favourite!  I just love blue!  For the holidays, blue and white is just so calming to me.  That's right - the colour challenge I'm answering this time is blue, white and silver!

I followed the card sketch over at Clean and Simple Fall To Sketch #258 for this card.  It was seriously simple!  This one is going in my files for how to use up scraps!  I also played with my new Accucut Craft die.  (I won a pack of chipboard sheets for my "smart business tip" on their blog too! Visit their blog for all the smart business tips!)

The ornament on the right is my Accucut Craft one and the one on the left is a Quickutz die (which became Lifestyle Crafts which has been recently acquired by We R Memory Keepers).  The paper is a silver embossed snowflake paper from Hot Off the Press.  It's from their "Color Me" line.  This line of paper is ingenious for those people who don't want to stamp and emboss their own patterns (or don't have the stuff to do it).

The sentiment is from a Stampendous stamp set: 'Tis the Season.  That set has been lovingly used this season so far!  I just love how the embossing folders worked out on these ornaments.  I used a Quickutz folder on the larger ornament and a Stampin' Up! folder on the smaller one.  The ornament toppers and solid strips are a silver metallic paper.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Anniversary Card for my Husband

Today is your seventh wedding anniversary (although we have been together for 18 years).  I borrowed a stamp from my sister.  I knew I wanted it when I saw it in the Close to My Heart catalogue but my sister bought it, so I didn't have to.

I've been trying to think of ways to use black more as a base for cards.  I knew I wanted to use dark colours for this one to try and make the red really pop.  (My red ink is not the strongest though... maybe I should have embossed it.  Oh well!)  I do like how it turned out.  I really wanted this love-based card to not be frilly and girly.

I used some scraps from the two wedding albums I've worked on recently (one being mine - yes - STILL - after 7 years!)  I based this card on a sketch (but I can't find it now).

My husband is a definite keeper!  He's always thinking of me first - all day every day.  He has triple the energy I do - works all day (often more hours than I do) and does a lot more around the house than I do.  He takes extremely good care of me.  We are total opposites in all the little details but similar at heart in the ways that matter.  Our divergent details help us to balance each other out.  Without him, I would be completely off-kilter!

I do truly adore him!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Purple Snowflakes Christmas Card

As part of the Smiley Team, I'm playing along with the Holiday Card challenges at Kards for Kids at Toronto's Sick Kids Hospital.  Still playing with my penguin set of stamps, I used the mini snowflakes to make a pattern.  (I threw in another snowflake from an HOTP stamp set too.)
I used three purple inks on this card and the purple paper is from DCWV (a stack I nabbed at Homesense for a great price).  It was quite enjoyable stamping the snowflakes wherever I felt like it.  There was no precision needed.  I didn't want to cover the sentiment, but I could have stamped right over it and have snowflakes overlapping.  They do that when they are falling anyway!

The sentiment is from Stampin' Up!  If you would like to learn more about this technique, Gina K. Designs has a done great tutorial recently on background stamping with snowflakes.

One challenge down - at least 4 more to go!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Freshly Made Fairy!

So, my sister asked me to attend a free Copic Marker demo at a Michaels crafting super store this weekend.  I have a decent number of Copics, but I have never taken any particular Copic colouring classes, although I have watched many useful tutorials online.

Last weekend, we had a Holiday Card class with Close to My Heart and we made this really cute village scene to learn the technique of masking.  Well, I wasn't planning on buying any Copics, but my eyeball happened to fall on a colour that was just like the colour we used on the holiday village (which is a stamp set I bought too)!  The Copics were on sale as well, soooo.... I had to buy it.  And then.... I had to buy it a friend so I could blend too.

Next, I found a sweet little sketch challenge to allow me to play with my new Copic colours.  Here is the original sketch from Freshly Made Sketches Challenge #103:

Here is my entry:

It's clean and simple, which is right up my alley!  I used a digital fairy image from A Day for Daisies (which is no longer available).  The Copic colours BG72 "Ice Ocean" was the colour I had to buy and BG10 "Cool Shadow" is the friend I bought for it.

Now, the demonstrator at Michaels said she was told to use the dark colour first and then go back in with the lighter colours to blend.  I am used to starting light and slowly darkening an image.  So, that's how I do it.  I colour all over in the lighter colours first, leaving white where I want pure highlights (none in this case).  Then, I dab in some shadows and then I go back with the light marker to blend in that darker colour.

For this one, though, I tried it the other way: dark first and light after.  I left white when colouring with the darker marker for where I wanted the lightest highlights.  I found I had to go back over it a lot more than with my normal method in order to not have such a stark contrast where one colour ended and the other started.  But it still worked.
Click for larger view.

Personally, since these markers blend so well, I think it would work either way.

So, how well did I match the colour from last week?  (I should mention, Close to My Heart has alcohol markers too and I bought some, but they haven't been delivered yet for me to play with.  Their markers are much cheaper and come in blending pairs.  Since they are alcohol markers, I fully expect them to blend with my existing Copic markers.)

Here is the card we made last week.  The roof of the building in the middle is the colour I wanted to match.

This holiday card is designed for a No.10 (long, skinny) envelope.  I decided to try my masking on a regular small invitation size.  (Got lots of card and envelope sets on sale at Michaels when I went with my sister too!)  The original sample from our CTMH consultant was more monochrome, so I decided to try that out.  I haven't finished my card, but here is the village panel:
It's actually a very close match!  The colour I got has a little more grey undertone than the CTMH one.  The CTMH one has a little more green undertone.  You can't see the difference with the photo very well, but I can see it with my naked eye.
CTMH left; Copic right
I had fun playing with my new markers.  I love blues and teals!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Precious Penguin Stamps

I just had my annual crafting long weekend (which extends through the week for me).  I had Close to My Heart Stamp Consultant, Sheri, come to teach a holiday card workshop.  With the sales from the workshop, I was able to obtain an ultra adorable penguin stamp set that is a hostess set.

I just love this set.  It is so playful!  Plus, with penguins being naturally black and white, there's minimal colouring to do (even none if you prefer!).  Have a hard time making masculine cards?  Animals are a great non-gender specific way to pull off a card!

Sheri is sponsoring the Kards for Kids National Stamping Month card drive.  So, I just had to break out my new little buddies and make a card for the drive.  Here is my penguin card:

Easy Peasy!  Except for the card base, it's made entirely from scraps.  I really like this design and have repeated it a lot lately while playfully digging through my scraps.  For the penguin, I coloured the ear muffs and used a sparkle gel pen on the scarf.  Took all of 30 seconds!

The set comes with a couple of small snowflakes so, if you don't have any snowy paper, you could just stamp your own background strips on white paper.  It's just so simple and yet so sweet.

Check out the card challenge yourself for your chance to win some CTMH stamps!  I've already made a handful of Holiday and Halloween cards for the children at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Kids.  This batch will include some notebooks for the parents and a small mix of bookmarks and card kits for the treasure chest from which children can pull gifts after a difficult day of treatments.

I've been working on my wedding album this past weekend but these cute stamps have been a distraction for the last few days.  Aren't they darling?

Monday, September 2, 2013

Hand Made Christmas Cards Gone to the Dogs

Here are a few holiday cards that my friend Claire made for the Southern Ontario Animal Rescue to use this holiday season.  There were over 10 cards in total, but some of the design elements repeated so I have chosen just a few to showcase.  (The whole set has already gone to SOAR.)

Click any image for larger view.
Here, Claire used a tutorial to create a chevron without a die.  I think it turned out really sweet.

On these next two, Claire used the tags that already were part of the paper design.  She cut around the tags and mounted them as a focal piece on her cards. This technique is a great way to ensure all your design elements co-ordinate with each other.

These larger images were also part of the paper collection.  Here, Claire made her own backgrounds with some stamps and ink.

Overall, it was an adorable set and I am sure it will be entirely used up by SOAR this year!