Monday, October 25, 2010

Santa Claws

All my friends know that I'm a bit crazy when it comes to my pets - they were my children before I had children, and they are as important to me as family & friends. So when one of my pets gets ill I pretty much turn into an emotional wreck ... which describes my mood over the past several days.  Buffalo Bill has been with the family for just under a year & a half and we are now on the verge of losing him. He is a young cat (no more than 3 yrs) but is in renal failure. He probably had undiagnosed congenital kidney disease but a cat fight last week, followed by surgery to repair his wounds, likely trigger the kidney disease. He has been in the hospital for 4 days and we find out today whether the treatment is working and his kidneys are rebounding or whether the damage is permanent (and thus fatal).  Instead of embarking on a weekend of self-recriminations (I never should have let him go outside) and homicidal fantasies (the cat that hurt him stalks him all the time - she actually chases him right to our door and sits outside of the window when he is inside) I decided to make a scrapbook page of one of my favourite sets of photos. And so, without further ado, here is Buffalo Bill at his finest:

Bill is quite a demanding, pushy cat who doesn't believe he should be restricted from anywhere. So when he decided the Christmas tree would be a fun place to rest, we were quite aware that resistance would be futile. What made the situation even funnier is that there were 3 kittens crawling in the tree after him (we were fostering them for the SPCA).  I love how disgruntled Bill looks in his Santa hat & beard! A cat with a sense of humour can be hard to find but I believe he found the whole situation funny especially when he started playing peek-a-boo with the hat.

I scrap-lifted this layout from the recent issue of Scrapbooking & Beyond Magazine. The papers and alpha are all from different lines but I love how well they coordinate with each other: fancy patterned paper is Bo Bunny (tis the season, fa la la), brown patterned paper is from SEI (Christmas mint) and the alpha is Basic Grey (bittersweet alpha).

Crafty Creations - red, brown, green

Saturday, October 23, 2010

It's a jungle out there

Today's card is inspired by the One Stop Craft Challenge picture inspiration challenge. When I saw the picture I immediately thought jungle due to the palm fronds and rattan furniture. And it just so happened that I had a set of Bugaboo images all coloured and waiting for the right project!

I don't have a lot to say about this project as it is all pretty self-explanatory. I chose the sketch from Sketchy Colors for my design and aside from adding some vine tendrils off the two outside images, the card is quite straight-forward. Except, of course, for the odd size! I'll be making a special envelope to fit this extra long card!

One Stop Craft Challenge - picture inspiration
Sketchy Colors - sketch
Tuesday Throwdown - anything goes

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A very pink birthday

As a mother with 2 boys, it is quite remarkable how often I end up needing a "pink fix". Last night was one of those times so I created this very, very pink & girly card.
The image is one I coloured several weeks ago after getting it as a limited time freebie from Mo's Digital Pencil (it really pays to be a follower of Mo's Facebook page). I used the current challenge sketch from Critter Sketch as my inspiration for the card design. I used a green Bazzil cardstock for the cardbase - and although it isn't obvious from the picture, the card is actually a bi-fold (opening in the center). Each square is cut from pink flowered paper then matted on a distressed white cardstock, both from Basic Grey "Olivia". I added some Stardust Stickles to the flower centres because everything is better with glitter! I also added Stickles to several elements of the image (the sash, party hat, present).

I would have liked to use just one ribbon for the card but I didn't have enough of either the white ruffled ribbon or the wider pink ribbon. My solution was to use the white ribbon horizontally and the pink ribbon for the bow. A largish raspberry button pulls together the lighter pink of the ribbon and the darker pink flowers.

Critter Sketch - it's hip to be square sketch
Our Creative Corner - use 3 or more types of embellishments (button, ribbon, Stickles)
Totally Gorjuss - pink
All Sorts Challenge - let's play Bingo (I chose the middle row - buttons, flowers, stickles)
Paper Sundaes - for someone little (this will be great for a little girl)
ABC Challenge - "F" is for flowers

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Trick or Treats

Halloween is all about the treats and I'm so glad that I have children who can go out and gather them for me (lol). I'm also pretty grateful that my kids are very picky about the candy that they will eat and they just happen to dislike my favourites. The second best part of Halloween is the making of cards - there are just so many cute images out there!

I have sent out this year's batch of cards and am now working on creating a batch for next year (sounds organized, but the reality is that I made too many last year and so have a backlog, but I don't want to stop making cards because, as already mentioned, there are so many cute images). Today, I have 2 cards to share with you so please keep scrolling down!

This first card uses a Bugaboo image (goofy halloween cat) added to an Elizabeth Dulemba image (caramel apple). As soon as I saw the caramel apple, I knew that I needed to set someone sitting on top and this new Halloween cat from Bugaboo is just perfect.
After merging these two images (Bugaboo provides their images in JPG and PNG so this is really easy to do with their stamps) I simply coloured and then added Glossy Accents to the caramel sections. I purposely put on the Glossy Accents with an uneven hand so there would be some lumps & bubbles just like with real caramel. I cut the image using a Quikutz Cookie Cutter die and then layered onto a plain black card-base. The patterned paper is by Basic Grey (from their Halloween pack). The spiders and word border are from a Memory Makers cardstock embellishment pack. As a final touch, I added some spider webs in the corners using Black Diamond Stickles.

CCEE Stampers - incorporate wood into your project (the patterned paper is a wildly coloured woodgrain)
MAWTT - Halloween
Fussy & Fancy Challenges - Halloween
Catch the Bug - enjoy the sweetness (caramel apple, mmmmmm)

Pile It On - kids' Halloween
Crafts & Me - Halloween
Creative Inspirations - Halloween
Cooking it up with Katie - use 2 of something (2 digis/2 spiders), add some letters (word strip), and glitter it up (spider webs)

Card #2 uses London Pumpkin from a fairly new stamping company - Simply Betty Stamps. These images are definitely different from the run-of-the-mill!
I coloured London Pumpkin with copics but ended up doing a lot of blending because I couldn't get the colours just right. I originally tried to do the hair brown with green ends but the colours blended and became orange (which didn't stand out enough from the pumpkin face). I kept working at it and eventually added enough brown to take most of the orange out, but I'm still not totally happy.

I matted the image on black cardstock and then made 4 blocks using Basic Grey patterned paper. The black velvet rick-rack was in my scrap and the glittery stars were part of a scrapbook page kit. I didn't photograph it, but the sentiment inside is "Ghouls just want to have fun".

Stamp Something - Halloween somethings
One Stop Craft Challenge - Halloween
Stamping Vacation - Halloween
Paper Playtime - pumpkins or spider webs (check out her face! too cool)
Crazy Challenge - Halloween
A Spoonfull of Sugar - Boo!
Stamping for the Weekend - Halloween

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sorting Hat

I am a huge Harry Potter fan and so I was thrilled to hear that Bugaboo Stamps was coming out with their own line of Potter-inspired images. I bought both the character and accessories sets (by the way, buy one set by Oct 16 and you get the second set for free!) and then had a terrible time deciding which to colour first. I finally decided on the Sorting Hat and a bookmark.

Now I absolutely have to apologize for the quality of the image - I can't for the life of me find the camera (it's in the house somewhere but probably lost in a pile of scrapping supplies) and so I had to scan the bookmark in order to meet the Bugaboo challenge deadline. Of course, that leads to some sharpness problems, but at least you can get the idea of what I tried to create.

And what was I creating? Well, I wanted to make a bookmark for my oldest son who is currently reading Book 2 of Harry Potter with his Dad. He is totally enthralled with the books and is even planning to be Harry for Halloween. I think he will enjoy having his own themed bookmark! Being a 7-year old boy, though, I knew this bookmark had to be simple and sturdy.

I used 2 layers of cardstock with a 3rd patterned paper layer on top. The hat is coloured, cut out, and popped up slightly. I drew in the lightning bolts (but don't they look more like random squiggles?) and then added a good thick ribbon. Personally, I think it needs glitter and colour but his fave colour right now is black and glitter would send him screaming. Oh, the sacrifices we make for our children (lol).

Too late to stay?

Last night was just wonderful - a dear co-worker is retiring at the end of the month and a small group of us went out to dinner to celebrate. There were plenty of laughs (and no, they weren't all due to the copious amounts of wine) and lots of reminiscing. Anyway, I made this card for the soon-to-be retiree:
I chose Mo Manning's "White Rabbit (Late)" because of his somewhat tired & downtrodden appearance. I also love the time theme since it always seems that something looked forward to will never arrive. I chose very neutral colours (after the card is for a man) when I coloured the rabbit. I cut him out using a Spellbinders die and then inked the edges for a distressed look.

To make the card, I started by stamping pocket watches randomly on a white card blank. The stamps are part of a Recollections set "About Time" that I picked up at Michaels awhile back and I used brown distress ink to keep a vintage/aged look. I inked the card edges and also lightly sponged distress ink over the card to tone down the brightness of the white.

The panels are created with Basic Grey, "manilla basics" matted on green. I love how the manilla paper has text & drawings all over it (so suggestive of paperwork). I inked the edges and added brass brads to the top and bottom of each panel. The sentiment is cut out with a Spellbinders die, inked around the edges and then popped up. The sentiment inside reads "to ask you to stay?".
For the final touch, I dissassembled some really ugly ribbon to rescue the brown twine. I wrapped three pieces of the twine around the image and then popped the entire thing up.
I'm really proud of this card - I worked quite hard at the shading on the rabbit and I'm thrilled with the overall vintage appearance of the card. Of course, the best complement of all was when my friend told me it was perfect for him!
Paper Sundaes - a change of season (moving from worklife to retirement)
Pollycraft Challenge - it's a fairytale (does "Alice in Wonderland" count as a fairy tale? I think so)
Little Red Wagon - something old, something new (he'll kill me, but the recipient is the something old [well, the twine is also really old], the digi image is new)
Papertake Weekly - 3 of a kind (3 panels, 3 pieces of twine, 2 sets of 3 brads)
Tuesday Throwdown - 3 of something (3 panels ...)
Craftalicious - anything goes
Stamping Vacation - no images that start with an "S"
Midnight Madness - sketch

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Reason for the Season

The current challenge over at Winter Wonderland is to make a Christmas card that uses the theme "Jesus is the reason for the season". Now anyone who knows me, knows that I am not a religious person. But I do have relatives that are quite devout Catholics so I decided to give it a try.

Of course, just because this card has a religous bent to it doesn't mean it couldn't also have a touch of whimsy. The image is fairly new from Bugaboo - part of "A Kid's View Nativity" - and I love how it manages to be both devout and fun. I coloured the image with Copic markers, keeping the colours quite neutral, with the exception of Mary's headpiece.

I wanted to keep the card clean & simple so I adapted this sketch from Sketch Saturday and only used one patterned paper (from Basic Grey).

Winter Wonderland - Jesus is the reason for the season
Alphabet Challenge - "X" is for Xmas
Off the Wall Craftiness - picture inspiration (I was inspired by the colours which I matched with my background paper)

Tiddly Inks Blog Candy

Wow! For all Tiddly Inks lovers, and for anyone who hasn't discovered Tiddly Inks yet, the blog candy currently being offered is an abolute must. This blog candy has a bit of everything:

3 sets of acrylic stamps, stacks of paper, cardboard, bits and pieces of goodies, mirrors and magnets, some cardstock and envelopes, a few finished cards and most important a CD of Tiddly Inks images worth $ pick the ones you want up to $50. :) Wahooooo!!!!

To get qualified for the candy, link your specific blog post showing this candy by Nov 4 at 11:59 PM.  So don't forget to post this candy in an actual blog post with a link back to and this candy.

Good luck everyone!!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

I was in a primary colour mood last night and so created a bright, cheerful birthday card that I can keep handy for my son to use for one of his friends.
The first step was colouring the birthday bear (such a cutie from Doodle Dragon Studios) with Copics, then adding some Glossy Accents to the letters and balloons. I printed off a second image so that I could cut out the box and front balloons and pop them up for extra dimension.

I chose the current sketch challenge from Midnight Madness for my card design:

I challenged myself to use no design paper - instead I took plain cardstock and dug through my (too large) collection of embossing folders. Then I added a border punched with a Martha Stewart border punch. Finally, I created 2 embellishments by cutting one column of loops (cut with the border punch) and adding a brad in the centre. The final result is a bright, fun card with lots of energy.

Midnight Madness - sketch
Creative Belli Blog - numbers (I dug out an embossing folder of numbers for the bottom left panel)
Fab n Funky - use a digi image
Stamp Something - something punchy (border punch used for 2 borders and embellishments)
Create 4 Fun - use a digi image
Doodle Dragon Studio - masculine (birthday card for a boy)
Pile It On - 3 things (used 3 embossing folders)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Shabby chic mini album

Update: I'm so thrilled that this project was selected in the top 3 for the Tuesday Throwdown Challenge! Yay me! lol.

This past weekend at the BC Crop for Kids, I took a couple of technique classes on creating interesting embellishments and backgrounds. I took some of those learnings, as well as several pieces provided in the class kits, in creating this mini album:
The album shape & pages were provided to us (cut using the new Tim Holtz die ornamental). The cover is brown coloured chipboard that I sanded and distressed, then hole-punched. For the cover, I used another Tim Holtz die cut that was provided to us along with some altered Ezee Pzee embellishments. The brown chipboard snowflake and flourishes are just spritzed with pewter glimmer spray - I love the shabby chic finish that resulted. I adhered a clear dew drop in the centre of the snowflake for a bit of bling. The album is tied together with ribbon that also came from the class kit.
Paper Playtime - ribbons, buttons and/or rhinestones (used ribbon and a dew drop)
Tuesday Throwdown - use chipboard (the cover, snowflakes, flourishes)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Whoo can Boo

This past weekend was an absolute frenzy of crafting because I attended the annual "BC Crop for Kids" (raising money for the BC Children's Hospital) and got to spend the entire weekend taking classes, doing "make & takes" and scrapbooking. Over the 3-days, I finished 7 scrapbook pages, several cards and a tonne of altered items including embellishments and some gifts. I will share the various projects over the coming weeks as I put the final touches on each one.

The first projects I want to share are a couple of "make & takes". There were "make & takes" by donation all weekend, with all the proceeds going to the Children's Hospital.

Boo!!! Halloween treat bag and bookmark

The treat bag uses a mix of Halloween papers along with a skull/crossbones that was cut on the Cricut. One of the nice parts of "make & takes" is that so much of the work is done for you - all that is left is choosing the colour/design combinations and then positioning the different elements.

I particularly like the bookmark which is a simple combination of paper circles (scalloped and plain) and an image cut from a patterned paper. The huge paper clip came from a stationary supply store so this is a really cheap and easy project. Good thing it is so easy because I have to make another bookmark before the kids see this one or else there will be fighting over who gets it.

The Crafty Pad - spooky
Stampin' for the Weekend - Autumn colours
By the Cute & Girly - spooky

Whoo! Owl card

This little card was made at a "make & take" put on by Gitte Bjerg-Jensen of Stampin' Up and allowed us to use the new Stampin' Up owl punch. I had a lot of fun putting together the different pieces to create these little guys. I placed them so that it looks like they are passing a message along (or perhaps talking about that middle owl?). Such a fun punch but I have to admit that putting those tiny little eyes in place was quite the challenge!
Crafty Creations - owls
Alphabet Challenge - "W" for wings