Monday, November 29, 2010

Sending Christmas Wishes

Go morning, and happy Monday! Well, perhaps it isn't a "happy" Monday but it's OK, right? I had a fun weekend of crafting and hope to be finishing up a few projects to share. In the meantime, here are a couple more Christmas cards that I created using supplies from a Photo Express card kit (House Mouse #4). The card kit included all of the papers & ribbons that I've used although I threw in some brads of my own and changed up the layouts.

Card #1 uses a digital image (Bronson & Beaker Letters to Santa) that I purchased from Pollycraft Digi Stamps & More. The image has been coloured for quite a while just waiting to be used and I thought the colours of this paper were a great match. 

Card #2 uses a stamped image provided in the kit - I just love all things House Mouse and this duo is particularly adorable. I coloured the image using Copics and then added a bit of Glossy Accents to the red flowers in the swag. I'm wondering if the gold bow is a bit too small though? There wasn't enough ribbon in the kit to make a larger bow but I think this might be a bit out of proportion - what do you think?

Crafty Catz - Christmas
One Stop Craft Challenge - Christmas cuties
Pile It On - feathers 'n fur
Stamping Vacation - snowy Christmas wishes

Friday, November 26, 2010

Stained glass Christmas

So tell me, do crafters ever get tired of glitter? You don't actually have to answer that because the answer is so obvious - everything is better with glitter! And with that idea in mind, I decided to experiment with some acetate, peel-off stickers and glitter.

To create these cards I started with a sheet of acetate that I cut into circles. I adhered peel-off stickers to the smooth side of the acetate and then coloured on the rough side using my Copic markers. Next I added matching Stickles glitter glue to the rough side and let dry. Next, I cut a slightly smaller circle from a piece of Basic Grey patterned paper (Eskimo Kisses) and a cardbase. Once the glitter glue was dry, I attached the acetate between the cardbase and the patterned paper so that the image showed through.

To embellish the cards, I created a swag with pine branch punches and a poinsettia flower. As you can see, I went non-traditional by using a light green and lots of pink. I think the result is a very feminine and sparkly card that suggests stained glass.

Drunken Stampers - no stamps
Totally Gorjuss - Christmas using non-traditional colours
Crafty Creations - Christmas
Creative Cottage - non-traditional Christmas
Stamping Vacation - start here: red glitter (see the second card with it's deep red)
ABC Christmas - "X" is for Christmas, optional: flowers
Lil Red Wagon - Basic Grey
Fussy & Fancy - Christmas with no red/green (see the first card; I used such an unusual shade of green that I hope it counts)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Something to crow about

Today I'm sharing a scrapbook page that I completed about my youngest son's Halloween performance. His kindergarten class has been learning about crows so their Halloween party had a crow theme. All the kids dressed in black and they performed a couple of songs about crows. It was a wonderful performance and, as you can see in the pictures, my son had a great time!

To scrapbook the day, I used a simple layout with bright red and black embellishments. The title is computer generated, as is the journalling block on the page bottom. I framed 2 of the performance pictures with an Ezee Pzee chipboard frame (filmstrip) that I coloured black. I matted the larger photo in black as well. I created the popcorn bucket by covering an Ezee Pzee popcorn bucket die cut with the same red striped paper that I use on the layout. I added some shading to help give definition and depth to the container. For the popcorn itself, first I painted the die cuts using a vanilla colour paint. Then I used a yellow Copic marker to add shading. And then finally, I used a brown marker to draw in some definition lines on the larger pieces. The crow & owl stickers are Martha Stewart (purchased on sale just after Halloween!).

Now that I look at the photograph of the page, I'm considering moving the popcorn bucket and crows up a bit higher - there seems to be a bit too much white space above it. Hmmm. I find it interesting how often I re-evaluate a project when I see it photographed - seems to just present it differently somehow. Do you ever find the same?

Everybody Art Challenge - use shapes (I used several die-cut shapes)
Papertake Weekly - cut it out (use a diecut shape)
Copic Creations - shading your paper-pieced sections
Fab n Funky - go with the flow / anything goes

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Serious Christmas Card

I've been making Christmas cards like crazy so I was just thrilled to find this sketch at Cute Card Thursday because it is so versatile. So far I've made 3 cards using the same sketch (and in fact, the same background papers) and I'm loving each one.

For today though I want to share this card which I made using an Ezee Pzee gift diecut and some Basic Grey papers.

I wanted this card to be more masculine because I intend it for my doctor and I just love how this patterned paper (from Basic Grey) manages to look festive yet not flippant (if that makes sense - LOL).

To make the 3D gift on the front, I wrapped the Ezee Pzee diecut in a scrap of the patterned paper and then added gold Stickles to the inside of the circles so that it really glitters and stands out. To emphasize the fact that the present has a lid, I folded a separate strip of paper and adhered it onto the top - the result is very dimensional. Then I added a gold ribbon and bow, again following the lines of the diecut shape itself.

I thought about adding a sentiment to the front of the card but decided to go with these poinsetta flowers instead. Originally they had coloured gems in the centres but I removed those and added gold Stickles. Then, to pull the card together even more, I coloured 2 of the flower layers to match the green matting of the gift.

Cute Card Thursday - sketch
Simon Says Stamps - sparkle
Crafts & Me - glitter
Our Creative Corner - 3D
Cards for Men - Christmas for a male
Creative Inspirations - Christmas
Everybody Art Challenge - use shapes
Papertake Weekly - cut it out (use a punched shape or diecut)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Teacher's gift

Today's project is my first created for the Ezee Pzee Dezign Team. For those of you who aren't aware, Ezee Pzee is a brand-new company producing laser-cut diecuts and albums. The products are fabulous and of the highest quality which makes them a real pleasure to work with! For my first Dezign Team project I chose to use a die cut apple and alpha to embellish an inexpensive chalkboard that I picked up at Michaels.
I decided to go quite rustic so I stained the frame of the chalkboard using Distress Ink and Copic marker. Next I coloured the apple (again using my Copics) and alpha and adhered them to the frame. I had a heck of a time getting the apple just right - at first it was too flat in appearance, but this chipboard is so wonderfully dense I was able to keep working it until I got the look I wanted. The "A B C" were really easy to colour - just a couple of layers with my Copic markers. I didn't put any finish on the chipboard as I wanted its natural brown colour to come through to enhance the rustic feel.

I went back & forth on whether I should add any finish to the shapes but I decided to leave them plain so that, again, the rustic appearance was enhanced. I figured that even a matte finish would be too much.

I love how easily this project came together - colouring the apple was probably the longest step. My plan is to pack this away now for a teacher's thank-you gift although the kids spotted it and are trying to convince me to let them have it. We'll see ....

Papertake Weekly - use Autumn colours
Simon Says Stamp & Show - use your Distress inks
Creative Card Crew - thanks (thank you gift for teacher)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Christmas wish-lists

Christmas is rushing ever-nearer and so the kids are thinking more & more about what they want from Santa. To help them keep their lists in order (and under control) I made up these fun little wish-list hangers for them. I saw this idea on one of the blogs I read but can't remember whose. If you recognize the source, please let me know as I would really like to give proper credit for the idea.
I started with a couple of wooden signs that I bought at Michaels for $1.99 each. I stained/coloured them using Distress Ink and Copic markers to achieve a natural wood appearance. I then attached a long ribbon down the back and adhered some coloured craft sticks (using very strong Sookwang tape). The kids will write their "must-have" items onto the sticks.

To decorate the signs, I used a computer generated label that I embellished with glitter. The key ingredient though was the addition of decorated chipboard shapes that I got from Ezee Pzee.

Luke asked for a snowman on his list so I chose this wonderful snowman shape. I started the decorating process by colouring his hat and arms with Copic markers. I then added Glossy Accents to the hat. Once that was dry, I added green Stickles glitter glue to the scarf and hat band and then orange Stickles to his nose. Again, I needed to give some drying time before covering the rest of the snowman with Sookwang double-sided tape and then pressing in white fun flock. For the finishing touch, I added small black brads in 2 different sizes. I love how dimensional the final product is. And all the different textures (especially the fun flock) are lots of fun.

Alex decided on a pair of mittens and I admit to having some difficulties getting the finish just right. I decided to use 2 colours of fun flock which is something I haven't done before. First I tried adding it with Sookwang tape but I wasn't happy with the final look - it was just too flat. So I decided to add another layer using glue as the adhesive. It gave a much thicker finish but I probably should've scraped off the first layer as the glue didn't go on evenly and so the final product ended up a bit lumpy. I've convinced myself that this is OK since the mittens are intended to be those home-knitted thick type (LOL). I added a bit of green Stickles to finish it off.

And now these hangers are on strong magnets on the fridge just waiting for Santa to come by and fulfill all the wishes. Oh, and I had to add several more sticks as the boys seem to think Santa is a lot more generous than he really is. And talk about generous, you must check out Ezee Pzee's facebook page. There is a brand-new challenge to create Christmas projects and the winner (randomly chosen) will get to design their very, own chipboard shape set! And if you don't have any Ezee Pzee's yet, you will find the order form right there as well as a list of stores now carrying the line.

Ezee Pzee Challenge - Christmas
Critter Sketch - texture
Winter Wonderland - make a decoration
Challenge Up Your Life - Christmas
One Stop Craft Challenge - snow people
Our Creative Corner - 3-D Christmas
Simon Says Stamps Challenge - sparkle
Creative Inspirations - Christmas / Winter

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Best present ever

Today's Christmas card features an adorable dog from Mo's Digital Pencil Too.
I coloured this digi image with Copics and then cut out him using a Spellbinders die. Then I lightly inked the edges of the frame with a Copic marker (R25) to help the panel stand out more against the busy background paper. The patterned paper itself has lots of glitter & glitz so I kept the embellishments to a minimum, just adding a stretchy Christmas'y ribbon along the top. The card is quite simple but I'm really quite pleased with my colouring job on the dog - I have lots to learn about shading but I think I managed to capture the ruffled softness of the fur.

This is a super short post today as I am tired after spending last night at a benefit dinner for "Feed the Future" (providing hot lunches to children over the summer months when school lunch programs aren't available. The food was good and the company enjoyable but the highlight of the evening was meeting Chef Michael Smith and hearing about his recent experience cooking for the 2010 Olympics up in Whistler. He had some great stories about the food preferences and special requests of the various Olympic athletes. And it doesn't hurt that he is a super nice guy who had all of the ladies in the room (excepting me, of course) drooling into their prime rib.
Have a wonderful day!

Totally Gorjuss - traditional Christmas colours
The Crafty Pad - Christmas sparkle (the paper & ribbon have sparkle/shine)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Everything in 3's

Lil Red Wagon's current challenge is to "do it in 3's". I took this challenge really to heart and made 3 cards with plenty of 3's.
These 3 cards were very quick & easy. First step was adhering the peel-off stickers to cardstock and colouring the images (using 3 Copic colours - R35, BG13, YG95). Next, I chose 3 background papers from the Basic Grey "Jovial" pack which I used for matting and the background panels. I love how this paper pack takes a non-traditional look at the green/red/blues of Christmas. And then I used 3 tools - an EK Success small scallop border punch (for either side of the central card), EK Success leaf punch (for embellishments on central card), and a Cuttlebug embossing folder (to emboss the white card-base).

I chose 2 sketches for my inspiration, one from Midnight Madness and the other from Mercy (oops, guess I should have used 3 to keep the theme of 3's going). The central card uses the Midnight Madness sketch. I cut each peel-off sticker image into a square and then matted them onto a lightly patterned paper. I used the border punch to create a partial frame on either side (keeping the left side much thinner than the right for added interest). When I added the matted images, I overlapped them slightly (as in the sketch) and then added some punched out leaves to fill in some of the white space and pull the images together.
The other 2 cards use Mercy's sketch. I cut around the two coloured images maintaining a narrow white outline to help them stand out. I attached them to the matted background panel using some pop dots. Then instead of a single ribbon I chose to use two thin ribbons adhered with a brad each. After pulling the cards together I decided they looked too plain so I added embossing to the white cardstock and it's hard to see but I also added some Glossy Accents to the red circles on the images to make them pop a bit more.
These were super fast cards but I like the end results. These just may end up being my go-to designs for this Christmas. After all, everyone can't have a super-special one-of-a-kind card - but don't tell them - LOL.

Lil Red Wagon - do it in 3's
Fab n Funky - going around in circles (the patterned papers is full of circles)
Challenge up your Life - blue & green
Paper Sundaes - use at least two: punches, ribbon, embossing, blue (hey, I used all four!)
Critter Sketch - texture (embossing, popped up panels, ribbon, stickers)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

You ain't getting *@#!

Today's Christmas card is my favourite to date. I'm usually pretty critical of my projects but there are just so many things that I love about this one that you'll please forgive me while I gush a bit.

First, I love that I repurposed some of the elements (the sleigh and it's stack of presents were pulled from an old Christmas tag) and the presents stacked at the front are made from various scraps.

Second, I love how the stair step design gives so much opportunity to add detail and additional elements. And when folded up the last 2 lines of the sentiment are hidden which gives a little "surprise".

Third, I adore the contrast between the traditional paper (from Basic Grey) and embellishments and the modern digi (from Bugaboo).

And finally, I LOVE the attitude. What can I say, everytime I look at this digi & sentiment I just chuckle. Hope this gives you a little laugh too.

Creative Belli - something old (the sleigh), something new (the digi), something borrowed (my son's finger to hold the ribbon in place), something blue (the sparkly stars on the gifts)
Crazy 4 Challenges - Christmas
Creative Inspirations - Christmas
Stamp Something - use a digital (image & sentiment)
Top Tip Tuesday - use an image & sentiment

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Holly fairy

Sometimes the best cards are quite simple - this Christmas card is just an image, two papers, 1 ribbon and a few dewdrops.
The image is from Mo's Digital Pencil Too. I coloured her using my warm grey Copic markers and kept everything very neutral so that the holly wings would stand out. I'm not thrilled with the shading on the dress although I like the way the ruffles turned out. I have to challenge myself to add more shading - I am so often too conservative and the image just doesn't pop the way I want it too.

I cut the frame just a little small so that the dress and one wing would overlap the background - I see this as a pretty simple way to add some dimension to a project without making it bulky with too many layers. The papers are both from Basic Grey; I love how the whole card ends up feeling serene, even with the strong red.

Crazy Challenge - wings
Basic Grey Challenges - wings
Tuesday Morning Sketches - sketch (I rotated the sketch)
Cute Card Thursday - anything goes
Paper Sundaes - let it snow (it's subtle, but she is holding a snowglobe)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Carolling cats ... or is it caterwaulling cats?

I had the best afternoon yesterday! My sister-in-law Leslie had a group of us over to her place for an afternoon of Christmas card making. I was amazed at how well she had everything set up - there were stamping, cutting and glitter stations. There were snacks (yummy cookies!) and plenty of space. It was a productive afternoon as I finished 6 cards but I've decided to share just one or two a day so I don't overwhelm anyone. LOL.

This first card uses a Mo's Digital Pencil Too image that I just adore.
I coloured the image with Copic markers and then decided on the scalloped heart Spellbinders die to frame it - I like the way the heart is off-set, as if their "singing" has knocked the heart right off its axis. Best of all, I picked this heart set up at a garage sale over a year ago and this is the first time I've actually used it! I inked the edges of the heart with a marker and then adhered it with a few pop-dots. The paper has been in my stash for years as has the ribbon. I love when I'm able to use items that have been gathering dust! At first I had the ribbon going straight up & down but I ended up putting it on an angle to emphasize the placement of the heart.

This was a quick card to put together (although the colouring took quite a while, but I never count that since I just colour while watching TV) and I think I'll probably try to duplicate the layout a couple more times although with different cats, of course. Anyway, have a wonderful day and hope your ears aren't assaulted by any carollers quite yet.

Crazy 4 Challenges - square card
Pile it on - holiday card using an animal
ABC Challenge - "H"is for holiday
Digital Tuesday - use something you've never used before (the nestie)
Alphabet Challenge - "C" is for cats

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Thankful for exciting news

I have to start today's post by announcing some very exciting news --- I've been chosen for the brand-new design team (sorry, make that deZign team) at Ezee Pzee. If you haven't heard of Ezee Pzee yet then you will soon - this is a new company making wonderful, high-quality, detailed chipboard shapes and albums. If you look through my blog you'll see some examples of the great product that is being developed. I'm so thrilled to be a part of this new company!

I wish I had a new Ezee Pzee project to share but unfortunately I haven't had time yet since I just got the news. Be assured that I will be working on some very soon. In the meantime, here is a Thanksgiving card that I put together using some freebies from Create with TLC and Digidrawn (on CDAC).  Here in Canada, Thanksgiving is long over but it's always good to be prepared.
TLC is currently sponsoring the colour challenge at CDAC so I had no problem settling on a colour scheme. Paulette kindly made a digi and sentiment available free for the challenge but I decided to use the scarecrow which I picked up from her awhile back. I have wanted to use him since first seeing him --- Isn't he just too adorable? I coloured him with Copics and then traced a frame behind him using a Quickutz cookie cutter die. I wanted it to look as if he was jumping off the page so purposely left his hands and hat top out of the frame.

Digidrawn is sponsoring another challenge on CDAC - this one is to use layers so I coloured two copies each of the pumpkins and corn images (these were also provided free for the challenge). I cut out the small pumpkin and layered it onto the pumpkin pile. In order to get a more rounded affect, I placed the cut piece upside down into the palm of my hand and then used an embossing tool to gently curl the sides in. I used Zip-dry glue to keep the shape. For the corn, I popped up one of the strips of husk.

As usual, I used Basic Grey papers and then finished off with some buttons from my stash. Oh, and I also swept a bit of distress ink along the edges of the frame and card-base to tone down the brightness of the white. I wish I had photographed the inside of the card because I used the free sentiment that TLC provided.

Off the Wall Craftiness - colour combo
Our Creative Corner - attitude of gratitude
Scrap, stamp & doodle - Fall
CDAC Challenge - colour, other theme
Copic Creations - use your browns and/or create a scene
Stamping Vacation - any shape frame except square or circle
Stamping Vacation - occasion oasis: Thanksgiving

Friday, November 5, 2010

Moving on ...

There must be something in the water because yet another co-worker is leaving. That makes 3 (out of our small group of 8) in the past month! For Brian's card, I chose to go with a homey feel; autumn'y shades, faux stitching, and a sock monkey. 
The image I chose is from Bugaboo and I coloured it using Copics. The paper I used has a bit of a grain to it which gave the coloured image a rougher look which I think works well with the distressing on the card. I cut the image out using a Spellbinders and then ink the edges with Antique Linen Distress Ink. The paper is from Basic Grey (a Christmas pack!) and I also inked the edges (just enough to make sure there is no white showing on the cut lines).

I used a chipboard speech bubble from Ezee Pzee Embellishments. Here is an enlargement so that you can see the detail. I painted the shape with Memory Makers Vanilla Latte paint and then lightly sponged Antique Linen distress ink over it to try and mimic the look of the cream in the patterned paper. I added the sentiment (and this was incredibly difficult for me) in my own handwriting - first with pencil and then with red ink. I chose not to erase the pencil because, again, I wanted to give it a softer, fuzzier feel.

The final touch were fauz stitches around the outside of the speech bubble (I was trying to make it look like it was stitched like the monkey) as well as some faux stitched lines on the patterned paper. The card design overall was based on a sketch from Sketch Saturday.

Thanks for looking and I'd love to hear any suggestions you might have to improve on this or any other project I post.

Sketch Saturday - sketch
Paper Sundaes - for a boy or man
The Crafty Pad - stitching
Papertake Weekly - for a boy or man
Lil Red Wagon - use some red (I think it's the red hat & buttons that make this pop)
Cards for Men - anything goes
Crafty Cardmakers - stitching

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My handsome son

It's that time of year when the first school portraits are taken. I had to scrapbook this picture right away because I am so in love with the picture.
I kept the layout very clean & simple to put all of the focus on my boy's grin. Can you see the mischief lurking not far at all beneath the surface?

I used plain red & mustard cardstock to matte the picture. I chose an "A" from Basic Grey and matted it on mustard card. I used my Copics to emphasize the orange, yellow and purples in the letter. The remaining letters are Thickers that I coloured to match as well.


CCEE Stampers - clean & simple

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pumpkin Putt

I love Halloween - the costumes, the candy, and most especially, all the scrapbook embellishments & paper. Gee, am I obsessed or what? We spent a fun family afternoon at our local Art Knapp's Plantland enjoying their Halloween fundraiser. For a very reasonable donation to Juvenile Diabetes Association, the kids got to ride a ghost train around the nursery, play 9 holes of mini-golf, swing on some old-fashioned tire swings and even try a kid-sized zip line.

Getting started on this layout was a challenge at first because I wanted to include lots of photos but then I happened across an ideal layout in the latest Creating Keepsakes Magazine (issue Nov/Dec, p. 71). I used the layout as my sketch and then went wild with the Halloween embellishments. Pretty well everything I used came from a page kit purchased last year from Memory Workshop (a great scrapbook kit club). The paper and pumpkin stickers are My Mind's Eye. The ribbons were all part of the kit too. I have to say that this kit was a gold-mine - so far I've made 2 layouts plus 3 cards and there is still lots of product left.

I had lots of fun creating the title for this page. I used a digital stamp (the cobweb) from Tiddly Inks and then overlayed a computer generated title. The journalling, title and stamp were all printed directly onto the cardstock and they I attached the photos and embellishments.

Crafty Creations - Fall or Halloween
Paper Play - a haunting we will go
Crafty Catz - Halloween
Totally Gorjuss - spooky
Pink Elephant - brown and orange
Stamping Vacation - sticky situation - use a pumpkin sticker