July 14, 2018

Shaped Cards for Crazy 4 Challenges

For my second week hosting over at Crazy 4 Challenges, I decided we should make shaped cards. Anything other than a plain circle, rectangle or square. I had lots of ideas but then I realized I’d already made this card that I loved!

c4c 18 scalloped card shape challenge

When I made it, I was experimenting with some new supplies. The Rebecca Lace background from Simon Says Stamp and some gorgeous new Daniel Smith paints. If you like to watercolour, you MUST get yourself some professional paints, just a few at a time, when they are on sale. Preferably Daniel Smith ones. They truly are amazing! I also finally got myself a few Silver Brush watercolour brushes. They are soooo much better than the ones I’d been using. I had a variety of brushes from value lines from Curry’s to expensive ones from Michaels (coupon baby!) and even some from the dollar store. I’ve always wondered how someone could paint something then come back to the first part and add pigment when in my world, that paint would already be dry! Well, it’s because Silver Brushes hold an enormous amount of water! Oh, now I get it! That’s how their paint is still wet! Such a revelation!

The colours I used here were Amythyst Genuine, yes, the actual gemstone is used to make the paint, Duochrome Oceanic which is an aqua with gold shimmer in it, Rhodonite Genuine, Bronzite Genuine, Prussian Green and Cobalt Teal Blue. Most of these are shimmery which looks so amazing with the platinum embossing powder I used to emboss the lace image. I used multiple layers of the same powder to colour my Thinking of You die cut. The stamp is actually square but I decided I preferred it trimmed into a scalloped circle.

I hope you have some awesome ideas for shaped cards. If you join us over at the C4C blog, don’t forget to come back here and leave me a comment so you are entered in my giveaway!

Enjoy, Rebecca

July 13, 2018

Mermaid’s Treasure

For the last few years, I’ve been obsessed with all things related to the ocean and blue-greens like teal, aqua and turquoise. I didn’t have any mermaid stamps until this year but I am so hooked!

mermaids treasure shaker

This sweet little gal and her accompanying stamps are by Stamping Bella. This style of illustration is my favourite from this company. She was so much fun to colour with my Copics. The little dots on her tail look like scales right? The coins in the treasure chest are coloured with a coppery gold pen. Isn’t the ocean-themed frame stunnning? It’s by Hero Arts, cut from Bristol Smooth paper, sponged with Distress Oxide inks and flicked with water to create texture. The little tiny fishies I added as accents were cut from the area behind the mermaid; rather than wasting them, I trimmed the fish colouring them with warm colours to help them stand out. The background is hard to make out here but it’s stamped with the sea weed stamp that accompanies the mermaid.

Do you love the ocean? I could make nothing but beach and ocean themed cards and be very happy!

I’m hosting a giveaway! Read the details HERE!

Enjoy, Rebecca

July 09, 2018

Eiffel Tower Tea Set Card

I’ve got to admit, I’ve been holding out on you guys. I often post my cards to Instagram and forget to post them here. Sometimes I don’t even remember to take a photo of them with my good camera and all I have is an iPhone pic! So this summer, I am resolved to find all the cards I’ve made in the last while, about 6 months I think and post them all! We shall see how long this particular resolution lasts!

Eiffel tower tea card

This card was for the spring Coffee Lovers Bloghop. The Eiffel Tower is by Hero Arts, (I’m so used to Instagram that I almost typed #heroarts!) which I airbrushed in tan to get as close to the colour of the real tower as possible. Did you know that it is painted in an ombre of tan? But metallic tan of course. To save time, I die cut the tea pot and cup (dies by Poppy Stamps) with coaster board so I wouldn’t have to layer so many die cuts. Just snag a few every time you go out to a restaurant or bar! Most die cutters will get through it in just a couple of passes with a shim.

The background is text paper from PTI but it looked too plain so I airbrushed some of the colours from the patterned paper on it. At the bottom I added a fabric doily; sadly most of it was covered by the flowers.  I finished the card with some crystals, silk and paper flowers along with some die cut flourishes.

Eiffel tower tea card2

I wonder if some of you are curious as to why so few of my cards are my usual shabby chic style. There are a couple of reasons. First, many of the stamps I get in my Hero Arts and Simon Says Stamp kits don’t lend themselves to shabby designs. I wish I was like Melissa Philips and I could make a shabby card out of nearly any stamp set! But alas, I lack that particular talent. Also, I’ve been trying to sell my cards and the over-the-top shabby ones I love to make don’t sell very well. I will always be a shabby and elegant designer at heart but I have been enjoying making some cards that aren’t as ornate and girlie. Oh, I guess there is another reason. I’ve been colouring a lot and not finishing those cards! Especially since I’ve participated in the last couple of Kathy Rascoosin’s 30 day colouring challenges. That’s another goal of mine, to turn those coloured panels and backgrounds into cards!

Enjoy, Rebecca

July 07, 2018

Hola! Piñata Celebration Spinner Card

Hey paper crafters! It’s my month to host at Crazy 4 Challenges and I’m so excited for you to see the challenges I’ve created! In addition, I have a giveaway for you this month, more details below.

c4c 18 window pinata spinner

My card features stamps from the Mexican-themed Hero Arts kit from a couple of months ago. My theme for the week at C4C is WINDOWS. There are lots of ideas on the blog to get you started. When I thought of a window, I though of a spinner card, cutting a circle window in the front panel so the piñata can spin. There is only one little donkey (not two mirror images) so I didn’t have a stamp for the back of the spinner. I stamped the image, got out my light box and traced the image on the back. Then, d’uh, I realized that I needed two images so I could sandwich the clear thread in between them. So I grabbed another piece of paper and used my light box again to trace another donkey. Now I had one facing each way!

c4c 18 window pinata spinner2

The beautiful intricate white frame is from the kit too! I just love how it looks like lace. In this second photo you can see how the spinner seems like it hovers in space because I used clear jewelry stringing material to suspend it in the window. I added a few cacti in pots to the front of the card and I’d also coloured a cake but since it didn’t fit on the front, I added it to the inside of the card. I don’t usually decorate the inside of my cards (I like lots of room to write) but I’d already added the circle die cut and sentiment, so why not add a little more?!

So, I’m sure you are waiting for the giveaway details right? All you have to do is play along with any or all of this month’s C4C challenges, link up your card and come back here leaving me a comment that you made a card for the challenge! The prize is a pair of earrings custom made by me in your choice of colour and metal (silver or gold). We can discuss styles you like if you win. Below is a pair I made a while ago. I can easily make them more or less intricate and shorter if you prefer.

icicle lights for katie earrings

I’m also adding some paper crafting goodies! Have you ever pushed ‘Add to Cart’ once but then it seemed like it didn’t work so you hit it again? Well, I do that ALL.THE.TIME! I rarely if ever order something I already own in a later order but I accidentally order 2 in the same order! So, that means I have a stash of fun goodies that are duplicates! I’m happy to pass some on to you!

I can’t wait to see your take on WINDOWS! If you regularly post on Instagram, you can still link up your card! Just click on the 3 little dots in the top right of the screen. Then click Copy Link. Paste that link into the Mr. Linky and you are all set!

Enjoy, Rebecca

July 01, 2018

Party Balloons!

This week at Crazy 4 Challenges, we were asked to try out the Eclipse Technique. I did another card with this technique recently so I’ll have to post it soon.

c4c 18 party eclipse technique

Basically the technique requires you to cut a word or shape out of a background then add foam tape and add the die cut back into the spot from which it was cut. The background can be stamped, painted, printed (like patterned paper) or in my case, die cut! I cut a bunch of balloons all in white then added them to the card. The paper I used was not too thick so the die would cut through both layers. The balloons are by MFT, the confetti by PTI and the party from Winnie and Walter. I added Copic marker colouring to the balloon areas of the word die cut to make the word stand out more; all white would have been pretty boring right?!

So this card could be used for a male or female, I used only a bit of pink and purple for the die cuts and none for the sequins. I added a couple of strips of paper along the edges for another pop of colour. I rarely add a full sheet of paper when I do a layer. If just two edges show, I add strips of paper. If I want a layer that shows all around, I often cut the center out so I can save that bit for die cutting. I don’t do this on small layers but it does save money in the long run.

I hope you can come up with a cool design using the eclipse technique! Please join us over at the blog!

Enjoy, Rebecca

June 23, 2018

Time for Summer, Baby!

We’ve had some pretty hot temperatures lately here in Southern Ontario so a bathing suit card was perfect for this week’s Crazy 4 Challenges theme of Ombre!

c4c 18 ombre bsuit

I absolutely ADORE this background paper. I could have 10 sheets of it and it still wouldn’t be enough. I wanted 2 layers under the bathing suit  but I also wanted to let that awesome ombre paper shine so I used some vellum for my lowest layer. The bathing suit was popped up on foam but I chose to cut multiples of the ‘relax’ die cut to make it more dimensional. However, when it came time to add it to the card, I realized I was in a bit of a pickle as the ‘x’ is a separate piece! So I cut several more of the ‘x’ until I raised it up to match the rest of the word. I also did that with the ‘r’ so it would match the ‘x’. A touch of shimmer pen to the swimsuit and ‘relax’ plus a few coordinating sequins and I was done!

I hope you have lots of ideas for making a project with some ombre paper or other supplies. Maybe a watercoloured or sponged background? Don’t forget to link up your creation!

Enjoy, Rebecca

June 16, 2018

Cupcake Celebration!

We have a very intricate sketch this week at Crazy 4 Challenges! It’s got lots of shapes and layers to work with.

c4c 18 june sketch cupcakes

This project was coloured entirely with Copic markers with the exception of the inks on the banner but even that is shaded with Copics. I started by colouring the cupcakes but then I couldn’t find a background paper I liked for the life of me! ugh!! So, next I airbrushed a background with the same Copics I used to colour the cupcakes! I thought it turned out subtle but nice. The strips of paper and the die cut frames were also coloured using the same markers. The frames were made with some of the first dies ever manufactured, basic squares and scalloped squares from Spellbinders. The cupcakes, dies and the celebrate banner are all from the Baker’s Dozen set by PTI.

Isn’t this a fun sketch? Come on over to the C4C blog to play along with the Crazies this week!

Enjoy, Rebecca

June 09, 2018

Masculine Congratulations

Hubby always has me make cards for him for his co-workers. I really don’t mind because it’s the least I can do since a huge portion of our disposable income goes to my crafting! And the timing was perfect because our theme at Crazy 4 Challenges is masculine cards.

c4c 18 masc congrats

He needed a congrats card for someone he knows who is leaving for a job elsewhere. I always ask him about the person so I know what direction to take when designing the card. This guy likes the outdoors but that was all I got. Men aren’t the best at noticing the type of things about a person that lead to designing a card that suits them. :)

Fortunately, I have a searchable iPhone program that I’ve set up with a ‘masculine’ category so finding some outdoorsy male paper wasn’t too hard. The paper is from a great masculine pad by Kaisercraft. The small ‘quality’ panel and the congratulations are from the back of the same pad! I love how Kaisercraft has so many fun pieces in the back. The tree was die cut and sponged to add a bit more of the outdoors and I found some self-adhesive metal pieces that look like brads but had no prongs. They were the perfect colour, aged copper, for this card. The top of the card is made from kraft paper I embossed with a PTI texture plate. To add a bit more texture to the patterned paper, I stamped some vintage style stamping.

Do you struggle with masculine cards? Maybe you can find some inspiration over at our blog! Pop on by and leave a comment for our team. Then make a card and link it up!

Enjoy, Rebecca

June 02, 2018

Summer Flamingo Card

So apparently yesterday was Barefoot Day which makes that the theme for Crazy 4 Challenges. Which suits me fine as I regard socks as torture devices only to be worn when desperate! That means I’m barefoot anytime I’m inside and as much of the year as I can manage outside.

c4cbarefoot flamingo

All the papers are from Authentique, a pack called Utopia. The flamingo is an Echo Park die that I cut from more patterned paper. To make the dots not quite so prominent, I added some Worn Lipstick Distress ink. Then it was a bit too plain pink so I added some orange, just a touch, with Marmalade to mimic the flowers. I hand cut the monstera leaf, I just love those, don’t you? So vibrant in colour and organic in shape! The hibiscus flower (or whatever it is) is a wood veneer accent that I coloured. I filled the Polaroid-style frame from Simon Says with various Lucy’s Sequins. The aren’t as bright as the flamingo but that’s ok as I wanted the flamingo to stand out anyway. And they do look brighter IRL.

I hope you can find something in your stash that is barefoot so you can play along. Basically any bird or animal that isn’t dressed in some sort of outfit with shoes will work so hopefully you have lots to choose from! Even some sea creatures in shells have a ‘foot’, snails do too! So lots of ideas you can work with. Head on over to our blog and link up your project!

Enjoy, Rebecca

May 25, 2018

The Most Annoying Graduation Card EVER!!

So the challenge this week at Crazy 4 Challenges was to make a graduation card. Seems simple right? Oh, you would think so…

c4c 18 grad

Oh but I had to complicate things by using Chibitronics lights. These are usually pretty easy to use, I’ve done it before, no big deal! Well, this time I spent HOURS agonizing over why they wouldn’t light. So I get all but one working… try to adjust the last light in the sequence… don’t change a. single. thing. with the other three lights. Now the first three don’t work and the last one does!!!!! AHHHHH!!! {insert bag language here}. So hubby comes to help. After much ‘rewiring’ all of the lights work. By now I’ve tried soldering the lights (apparently I’m very bad at it), taking lights out and replacing them and adding the special fabric conductive tape to try and make them work. Hubby gets them all working. Great. Off he goes, I add the card front, one light goes out!! {insert tearing hear and rending of garments here}. After another hour, I finally get it to work. Ta Da!! (total of 5 hours now working on this card!)

c4c 18 grad2

Why oh why did I go to all this fuss and frustration? Well my baby is graduating from Kindergarten this year. I know, it’s a silly thing to have a kindergarten graduation but it is so terribly cute and he loves Chibi lights cards so much. I just HAD to get it to work. He’s actually been in kindergarten for three years now. Being born mid-December, he really wasn’t ready for JK the first year so he only went for afternoons until March, you know, like in the olden days!! June of last year (16/17 school year) he just wasn’t ready for grade 1. He would have been so far behind. He was diagnosed last year with ADHD, learning issues and academic delay. He should get special help but brilliantly, they don’t really help kids until they are already way behind in grade 3. Because many kids catch up by then. ugh…

As we don’t celebrate his birthday, he is only older than the other kids in his class for a week or so before the holidays. When he comes back from break, he will be the same age as any kind with a very early Jan birthday. So not really a social stigma which some parents worry about. So for him, leaving kindergarten is a real accomplishment. More so than for other kids.

Back to the card! I forgot to get a photo of the pull tab which is also the switch for the lights but it says ‘happy graduation’. He saw me making it but he hasn’t seen it finished so he will still be surprised.

I hope you can join us this week with your own graduation card. Don’t forget to link it up and leave a nice comment for the team and their inspiration!

Enjoy, Rebecca

May 24, 2018

Smile Tropical Card

It’s time for another sketch over at Crazy 4 Challenges! I’d just gotten my May Simon Says Stamp card kit when I made this card so I just had to use it for this card!

c4c smile floral

As I often do, I treated the sketch as more of a suggestion rather than making my card match it exactly. I also flipped the sketch turning it upside down.  The clusters of leaves and flowers represent the circles on the sketch and the adorable little scalloped circles sub in for the small banners. I also added some yellow vellum, (that matched perfectly! Wahoo!) so the stickers would stand out from the busy background paper. I actually needed to use two layers to get enough opacity to cover the paper. I used a Hero Arts tag die to cut the tags but ran it through my die cutter again after repositioning the paper so I got a narrower tag.

C4C435Sketch

I’ve been having trouble with the program I use to write my blog posts so I’m afraid you only have tonight and tomorrow to play along but I hope you love this sketch enough to make some time!

Enjoy, Rebecca

May 12, 2018

Camel Train

I had to think really hard about this week’s Crazy 4 Challenge Theme. Trains. That’s very specific and believe it or not, I have NO train stamps! What? I have over 7000 stamps collected across more than 14 years but not a single train? How is this possible? So I had to get very creative this week!

c4c 18 camel train

So I give you a CAMEL train! Also known as a caravan, a camel train delivers goods across many miles. Almost the entire card was done with one stamp set by Hero Arts from a recent card kit. Other than that, all I used was a single ink pad, one die and my watercolour paints. Oh, and some embossing powder for the moon but that is optional. I just think it would be pretty hard to leave the moon intact while painting around it with such deep colours. I used a lot of water to do the sky because extra water means blooms which I love in sunset or sunrise skies.

c4c 18 camel train2

Here is a close up of the sky. I do wish I’d brought the darker colours down lower but oh well. I just love sunrises and sunsets!

c4c 18 camel train3

I really wish you could see the lovely shimmer in the Daniel Smith bronzite paint I used for the sand. I tinted it darker with a dark brown paint for the shaded sand areas but you can still see the shimmer. Oh, and the intense metallic bronze tintedFinetec watercolour I used for the details on the camel’s tack (or at least that’s what they call the hardware you put on a horse); it’s very metallic! I didn’t mind that the sandy areas didn’t come out smooth as sand really isn’t in real life. I hand-cut the camel because the white edges really wouldn’t have worked well.

I hope you have better luck with your stash than I had with mine and you have some train stamps! Come on over to the C4C blog and join us this week!

Enjoy, Rebecca

May 05, 2018

Dad Hero Card

Our challenge at Crazy 4 Challenges this week was to make a super hero card! I was a bit stumped by this one! I have one super hero stamp but it’s really old so I pretty much gave it to my son who loves it. Sure, I could have used it anyway but I don’t have any papers that would go with it either! Not really my style as you know!!

c4c 18 dad hero

So I looked through my stash and found a hero sentiment. Perfect! The Fun Fasts paper is a journaling tag from Basic Grey; the papers are from the same collection all of which I received in a Simon Says Stamp kit from ages ago. I love the floral paper; it’s pretty but not so much that it can’t be used on a masculine card.

c4c 18 dad hero2

I used the shadow stamping technique for the sentiment. With dark ink like I used, you can just shift your paper and stamp again with the lighter ink. However, if you want to use a lighter ink for the main image or sentiment, you will need to emboss it to keep the shadow ink from overlapping. I didn’t want a shiny sentiment so I used some WOW matte clear embossing powder. I didn’t really need to emboss because my main ink was dark but better to do it when I don’t need to then forget when I do need it!

Have you got some cool super hero supplies? Come on over and play our latest challenge with us!

Enjoy, Rebecca

Time for Fiesta!

Last month Hero Arts sent a really fun Mexican-themed card kit. When I first saw it, I was hesitant as it really isn’t my style. But I get card kits for a reason, to challenge myself, and the images looked fun to colour. Also, the large ornate die was amazing!

Time for Fiesta chibi card

My kids had been begging me to make a Chibitronics card so I combined the kit with some fun lights. The concept was that in the day, the sun in the desert is so hot, it’s practically white hot. But later in the day, it glows orange as it sets. The mouse is coloured with Rather than colour the cacti, I used Distress inks, some Oxide, some regular, to sponge on some colour. After, because the Oxide somewhat covered the stamped lines, I re-stamped using my MISTI.

Time for Fiesta chibi card2

In this photo, you can see that pulling out the tab both completes the sentiment and actives the lights with a switch. I’m not thrilled with the obvious three lights rather than an overall diffused light so I may try to add some vellum over the two layers of tissue I used to see if I can get it to diffuse more. Once you get the switch set up properly, it works really well.

I’m not into scrapbooking much anymore though I always intend to go back to it some time. I kind of stalled out after my second son turned about 18 months. I never got a decent photo of him because he was obsessed with my camera; so every photo has his face next to the lens, massively blurred out, his arm in front of his face as he reached for the camera or was crying from being told he couldn't have the camera! But it is International Scrapbook Day so I thought I’d wish you a good one!

Enjoy, Rebecca

April 28, 2018

Snow in April?

And not just on my card! We recently had a massive ice storm so I guess it is perfect that our Crazy 4 Challenges theme this week is to be inspired by the phrase, ‘skating on thin ice".’

c4c 18 skating on thin ice

The large snowflake striped die is by Memory Box which I cut from white cardstock and some fancy specialty paper layered to create a 3-D embellishment. The edge of the patterned paper was scalloped using a Simon Says Stamp die which reveals some fun striped patterned paper underneath. From Honey Bee stamps I used the stamps and dies for the sentiment. Overall, this is a pretty simple card with not too much technical or intense going on. But sometimes simple is all you need right? :)

Do you have a take on the phrase ‘skating on thin ice’? Join us over at the C4C blog.

Enjoy, Rebecca

April 21, 2018

Seaside Happy Retirement Card

Do you love the sea? The beach is my favourite place! It’s where I would go if I was to retire so I often make retirement cards with this theme. This week at Crazy 4 Challenges we were asked to use a sketch so I managed to combine the two.

c4c 18 seaside retirement

The paper is from a pack by Prima. It’s an unusual collection of florals, vintage ephemera and masculine papers. These papers were ones with a definite masculine feel so they were perfect for a guy card. Only problem is that most of the wording on the ephemera images was love based. Not exactly perfect for a card for hubby to give to a colleague! ha! I’ve recently been redoing and reorganizing my craft room; in the process I found this awesome tag I saved from a pair of Nevada Jeans. I had to cut off the top of the tag as it was too big but this part of it was perfect and just the right size to fill the spot that had a very obvious lovey sentiment!

Do you  love sketch challenges? Be sure to pop on over to our blog to see the main sketch (my version is a bit of a take on the sketch, not exact) and link up your own version!

Enjoy, Rebecca

April 14, 2018

Mom, Love You More Than Coffee

I love the smell of coffee even though I don’t drink it. My mom never drank it when I was a kid and my dad only drank it when he was at work. So I’d only wake up to the smell of coffee when my grandparents were visiting. It’s one of the best smell memories of my childhood!

c4c 18 mom coffee

So when I saw our challenge at Crazy 4 Challenges was to be inspired by, you guessed it, coffee!!! I made the coffee cup with paper piecing and layered die cuts to make it more like a chipboard embellishment. I even carefully trimmed out the cup itself, the small rim and handle is all you can see, and layered it up a bit more so it’s higher than the saucer and the coffee is a couple of layers lower. It’s a small thing but adds some fun texture while keeping the card fairly flat. Even with the small flowers, the card will still mail with standard postage. That’s always a bonus!

The stamps are by Neat & Tangled, don’t you love the sentiment? So cute right? I added the Mom die cut and some tiny stamped hearts just to add a little something extra. The gorgeous paper is by Prima, it’s one of my faves. I kind of wish I’d added some messy thread under the cup but oh well!

I hope you love coffee-themed crafting as much as I do! So join us over at C4C and link up your project!

Enjoy, Rebecca

April 02, 2018

An Apple a Day…

Our challenge at Crazy 4 Challenges this week was to make a medical themed card. A thank you for a medical professional who has helped you out or a get well card!

c4c 18 ty dr

I stamped the nurse and patient from a set by Art Impressions, then penciled in the rest of the scene. When I was happy with the design, I went over it with a Copic multiliner. I kept the lines slightly sketchy so they would work with the rest of the images. In retrospect, I do wish I had placed the pie chart in a different place! The images were coloured with Polychromos pencils. Finally, I added the glitter paper die cut sentiment by Hero Arts and stamped the smaller sentiment.

This card is for my family doctor. She is an interesting character with short spikey purple hair and a love of big, bold earrings! She is so kind and caring, not rushing you out like so many doctors now. You are probably picturing someone quite young but she isn’t and I’m so worried she will retire!

Have someone special in your life who would love a medical themed card? Hop on over to the C4C blog to play along with us this week!

Enjoy, Rebecca

March 24, 2018

Rainbow Unicorn Magical Wishes

I just got these brand new stamps and dies from Concord and 9th! I love that this unicorn is a bit more realistic than the other unicorn stamps I’ve seen. I used hot press watercolour paper and some professional water colours (various brands) to colour the image.

c4c 18 unicorn shaker

The paper has a definite ivory tint so it was a bit hard to match some of the other parts of the card. I used the cloud die included in the set to airbrush the clouds on the background then I die cut the oval from the aqua cardstock (PTI). I would have cut the cloud from white paper but it looked really odd next to the ivory water colour paper. So I used Tim Holtz silver glitter paper instead.

I created my shaker in the usual way placing the oval die cut on the card base to back the window. I made 4 of these cards at once so I made up a huge batch of multicoloured sequins and beads, too many in fact so I have extras to use on future cards! To finish, I added lots of stars, the sentiment and lots of shimmer pen.

Our theme at Crazy 4 Challenges this week was to make a card or project for a kid! These are actually going to adults but seriously, who doesn’t love unicorns with rainbow mane and tail? :) Awesome right? Have fun!

Enjoy, Rebecca

March 21, 2018

Mermaid Songs Canvas

Once in a while, I like to make a project other than a card for Crazy 4 Challenges. I made this mermaid a while back and started the canvas but hadn’t finished it yet. I happened to notice it right while I was deciding what to make so it worked out perfectly!

c4c 18 mermaid canvas

When I started, I had a slightly different plan so I covered the canvas with Tim Holtz tissue paper. Then I covered it with watered down gesso. Next I mixed up a concoction of acrylic paint and shimmer acrylic paint for the sky. The shimmer paint was old and pretty thick so it made a sort of paste so instead of painting it on, I used a palette knife. It gave me some really cool texture! I liked it so much that I repeated the technique for the sea except I added much more of the shimmer paint. For this layer I also used a palette knife to give me some texture. I deliberately applied it in wave-like motion and because I didn’t mix it completely, there is some colour variation as well especially in the lower corners. It’s subtle and didn’t show up well here because the shimmer reflects the light so strongly.

mermaid canvas closeup

To follow the sketch I needed a half circle at the bottom so I mixed up another concoction this time with gold and buff paints, some texture paste and some gold glitter. Again, it was applied with a palette knife; I didn’t use any template, I just applied it like cake icing until I got a shape I liked. While the paste was still wet, I embedded shells, shell chips and added some more glitter; gold glitter all over and some bright colours to look like coral and little creatures sticking to the rock. Some green glitter was applied to look like sea weed as well. I liked it so much that I created a large sea weed growing off the top of the rock using texture paste and glitter. The shape I wanted was much too small for the palette knife so I used a new set of silicone tipped tools I bought.

mermaid canvas rock closeup

For the corals, I used a stencil from Red Lead paper company. I tried adding pink and red glitter but I waited too long (off washing the stencil) so it was splotchy and I didn’t like the colours. So I mixed some Autumn Rose and Copper Nuvo drops and painted that over the top. I liked that so much better! I used another Red Lead stencil to add the words using gold paint mixed with light modeling paste. It kept a hint of shimmer which I liked. So much is shimmery on this canvas that this is a nice contrast.

Also to match the sketch, I added some sea creatures to the canvas. These chipboard shapes were from Michaels; I covered them with various paints. The Prima doll stamp by Julie Nutting was stamped on scrapbooking paper from Craft Smith except for the skin which was stamped on X-Press It paper and coloured with Copic markers. Last I added some Nuvo drops for bubbles, a plastic starfish to her headband and a few sea gulls in the sky.

Join us over at the C4C blog with your project featuring this fun sketch.

Enjoy, Rebecca

March 11, 2018

Floral Smile Card

I recently saw that The Flower Challenge is looking for a new design team member! So I decided to play along with their latest challenge. It’s pretty easy, Anything Goes!

gold n rose smile card

Think I used enough flowers? Ha Ha! The background paper is by Echo Park and the flower dies are by Altenew. I don’t usually use an odd colour for leaves but this time it seemed to work perfectly. Adding green really wouldn’t have worked although I guess a sage colour might have been ok. The heart die is by Hero Arts and I made the tag by hand but used the reinforcer die from a tag set by Neat n Tangled. No matter how many tag dies I have, I never seem to have he perfect length and width I needed! Does that every happen to you? The stencil I used on the tag is by Prima. And last but not least, the sentiment is by Papertry Ink! I shopped at almost every store in my stash for this one!

TFChallenge_18

I really hope the powers that be at the Flower Challenge enjoy my card. I really enjoy the challenge of being on design teams. I work best with deadlines!

Enjoy, Rebecca

Crazy 4 Chickens?

Sadly Crazy Designer Bonnie had to step down from the team but before she left she gave us her challenges for the month. This week she challenged us to use chickens as inspiration. Apparently she had chickens for over 40 years! I can only imagine how delicious those eggs would be! If you don’t have any chicken in your stash, feel free to use the closest bird stamps or papers you have.

c4c 18 eggs in nest

Yes, my card features eggs not a bird, but if you look carefully, you’ll see the birds I stamped on the cardstock in the background. A lot of what I used is from the Hero Arts kit from last month. The eggs and nest are die cuts, the branch is one of the stamps and even the small butterfly and tiny leaf branch were in the stamp set. I coloured the eggs with watercolour and sponged ink onto the nest except for the leaves which I coloured with pencils. After the eggs were dry, I flicked on some very dark brown watercolour with a tiny brush to get the smallest dots.

The watercolour I used is quite chalky which is normally terrible for watercolour. But this pan in particular works amazingly for lettering (use a brush to apply it to your calligraphy nib) and the chalky look was perfect for the eggs too. It’s a handmade watercolour by DesignsByRachelBeth on Etsy. Her darker colours are not chalky at all and have luscious pigments. I highly recommend them.

Fun challenge right! Pop on over to the Crazy 4 Challenges blog to join us this week. Be sure to link up your fowl creations by Friday midnight!

Enjoy, Rebecca

March 04, 2018

Let Them Eat Cake!!

We had yet another dessert challenge this week at Crazy 4 Challenges! Yummy! Isn’t cake the best? My favourite is chocolate with fudge icing, ganache and caramel sauce! Although I have so many favourites!

c4c18 eat cake

This cake is by Flourishes but sadly the relaunch didn’t go as planned and it’s closed again so this stamp set isn’t available. But this cake was exactly the right size for this card! I stamped it in a medium grey with my MISTI leaving the stamp inside.

The image was coloured with pencils to add some shading to the cake and colour to the plate. I used mostly warm greys and gold pencil (which didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped) then placed the image back in the MISTI to stamp it with Versamark and embossed it with gold powder. I did this so the pencil tip wouldn’t damage the embossing as happened to me once before. Sadly some of the careful shading I did disappeared. I knew that the lines would be much fatter after embossing so I tried to compensate for that but not quite enough. It’s something to keep in mind if you decide to try this.

The pink die cut and heart use paper from Echo Park from the June Simon Says Stamp kit from last year. The heart die is by Hero Arts and the ornate panel die is cut from the A2 Devine Eloquence set by Spellbinders. The sparkler is from the Happy Day set by Concord & 9th. I drew in the ‘stick’ using a dark grey gel pen. It looks a lot like the colour of a real sparkler.

Enjoy, Rebecca

February 24, 2018

Berry Kindness

I am in love with all the new kindness sentiments the card making industry is producing right now. It seems like almost every company out there now has a sentiment set dedicated to this type of sentiment! What a lovely sentiment to share! The world can always do with more kindness.

c4c 18 berry kindness

Our theme at Crazy 4 Challenges this week was yummy food! Rather than use a cake or cupcake like I have before for this type of challenge, I went for the new (to me) Beautiful Berries: Summer set from PTI. I used Blueberry Sky and Aqua Mist for the base of the right berry bunch. You wouldn’t expect the aqua mist right? But true blue is uncommon in nature so I added the touch of aqua by stamping right over the first blueberry sky stamping. I did the same with the darker blue using Enchanted Evening and Hawaiian Shores.

The pink berries were stamped with the 3 lightest shades from the Altenew Cherry Blossom mini ink cube set. I used Green Parakeet and New Leaf for the leaves. The background was embossed with the woodgrain texture plate and inked lightly with parakeet and limeade ice. The sentiment is by Neat n Tangled from their Kindness matters stamp set.

I’m looking forward to seeing all your entries for this week’s challenge. You have until Friday at midnight to link up your project!

Enjoy, Rebecca

February 23, 2018

One Image 3 Ways

I have a different type of post for you today. Colouring is all the rage so a comparison was in order. Copic vs watercolour vs 2 brands of pencils using the same peony image; Blooming Bunch by Studio Katia.

3 ways a

Here are all three version together. I tried to use similar colours but I did white emboss the watercolour version, gold embossed (after colouring) the pencil image with simple black stamping for the Copic flowers. This image is so intricate and detailed that no-line colouring would have been quite tricky given the size of the image. It was also quite tricky to edit this photo with the varying contrast! So for each colouring method below I’ll give you the pros and cons plus my overall impressions for my own colouring and skill level.

3 ways b

First up is the soft watercolour. This one is deliberately quite different than the others as I didn’t want to stay within the lines, define one petal from the next (except for the largest ones) or create realistic shadowing.

Pros: This is really fun! No stress, just paint mixing and slightly messily add the colour. Beginners can have a fun look quickly. Mid-priced paints, brushes and paper are easily available and work very well. There is something about painting that takes you back to being a kid in the best way  possible! Results can vary from rustic to sophisticated to playful with not too much effort. Portable. They are simple enough to set up and if you know colour mixing, you can travel with a very small number of colours in a travel palette.

Cons: Not usually a realistic or smooth style unless you are pretty experienced. If that’s the look you desire, this may not be your best medium. Mixing colours can be intimidating for someone who isn’t used to it. If you have full-set syndrome or always like to buy artist quality, you could be set back quite a bit of moo-lah! Can look very flat if you simply paint in an area without any shading.

My Take: this was the easiest, least time consuming and most fun. I will definitely approach this type of image using watercolour over and over.

3 ways c

The second version uses Copic markers. I used the flicking technique which you can do doubt see in some places as I’ve been working on achieving contrast more so than perfect smooth blends.

Pros: This was the most realistic to my eye. From a distance, the shadows look the most realistic. I love having a ton of colours to choose from without having to mix. That being said, I did blend the flower on the right. I wanted a peachy-corally pink and Copic seems to skip from very orangey pinks to purpley pinks with only the dusty rose shades of R80s in between!

Cons: If a colour you want isn’t there you can’t just mix it on a palette. You can make your own marker, use glazing (working in layers, that’s what I did here), or blend on a palette and pick it up with one of your markers. The super smooth blending we all try so hard to achieve isn’t the most realistic for organic subjects. I especially noticed this in the top left flower. Full set syndrome costs a pretty penny!! To me, these are only semi-portable. I always need a lot of markers so they aren’t ideal. But many people travel with a case for their markers so it can be done.

My Take: I’m a pretty experienced Copic colourist so these feel at home in my hands. But I don’t think they are the best medium for organic shapes for me. Even with the flicks I didn’t blend, it still feels too perfect. I may experiment with adding some coloured pencil especially to the shadowed areas of the top left flower.

3 ways d

Last but certainly not least are the coloured pencils or pencil crayons (Can/UK). These took the longest for me for sure. Double the 60 min I spent Copic colouring and quadruple the 30 min I spent on the watercoloured version, yep, 2 whole hours!! I stamped this on in kraft and worked on it before re-stamping in Versamark and embossing in gold when I was done. I did this to prevent the pencil from chipping the embossing which has happened to me before.

Pros: Mid-priced pencils are very cheap. They work on almost any paper and can be used on dark or mid-tone papers too! Even expensive pencils are still less than $2 each which laughs in the face of the $8-10 Copic Sketch marker and $15-25 Daniel Smith watercolour tubes. (approximate and in CAN $) Pencils give you instant texture even if all you do is apply a single colour to an area. They are very portable with most sets coming in a reusable package or tin.

Cons: These take time to apply! Definitely the longest of the three mediums. You may or may not like the texture achieved by these. I prefer to blend them with either my lightest colour or a white, ivory or pale grey. You can also use a blender pencil. This is an extra step I’d rather not take. (It is possible I’d be happier with a smoother paper. I’m still experimenting.) Even with full sets, you may feel like you are missing some colours you’d like especially if you are used to the infinite colours of watercolour or a huge collection of Copics. With watercolours, there are many premium brands which are fairly easy to find so any are a good choice. There is really only one brand of premium alcohol markers. Deciding which pencils to buy is a bit harder. Different brands are more a matter of taste than anything else so someone moving from mid-priced to premium might have a hard time deciding which will best suit them.

My Take: I might have spent more time getting greater depth in the shadows but my hand and wrist had enough! This will definitely NOT be my go-to for quick cards unless the colouring portion is minimal but I will use it a lot for textured images like critters, tree back, dirt, rocks etc. I’m trying to get used to the pencil texture as I’m more used to the smoothness with Copics and watercolour as I use them far more often. Can you guess which is Polychromos and which is Prismacolour? First I’ll tell you why I used both. I struggled to get three distinct pink shades just like I did with the Copics. So after colouring two flowers, the two lower ones, I switched from Poly to Prisma. I still ended up with a shade that was close to the lower left flower but just different enough. Adding the little yellow flicks to some petals helped sell it as a different variety of peony.

I love all three of these in the end and I fully intend to use all 3! By doing this experiment and even writing this post out for all of you, I have kind of sorted out which to use and when. I’d never pick crayons or watercolour for a metallic image, Copics reign. They are also best for me for a complex image. Most of my flowers from now on will be watercolour likely with some pencil for the deepest shadows. When I want to take something with me, I’ll grab my pencils. For pure fun and playtime, watercolours all the way.

I hope this post helped you or inspired you to do your own experiment. I’ve been posting far more on Instagram than here on my blog. Head on over and follow me! BecCreates1

Enjoy, Rebecca

February 17, 2018

Vintage Sewing Card

This being the third week of the month, over at Crazy 4 Challenges we have a sketch for you to use when making your card or other project.

c4c 18 button card sk

I, as I often do, used the sketch pretty loosely and flipped it too. I used some soft yellow paper as the banner and the button card as my partial circle. I moved the sentiment strip up to the top and substituted some pretty lace. The chevron paper was too white for this card so I applied some Antique Linen Distress Oxide ink over the top. While this ink can be opaque if applied heavily, it can be applied lightly and transparently! I often used to add regular Antique Linen Distress ink over white paper to age it but this works much more smoothly and applies more easily. Yeah!!!

C4C422

The patterned papers are all by My Mind’s Eye and the stamps are all by Papertrey Ink. Make sure to pop on over to the C4C blog and join us for this fun challenge!

Enjoy, Rebecca

February 09, 2018

Love is In the Air

‘Tis the season for love! Our challenge this week at Crazy 4 Challenges was to make a love or appreciation card. I also combined this with the PTI 11th Anniversary challenge to use one of their design team sketches from their favourite card from last year.

c4c 18 love felt heart

I used the sketch from Stephanie’s cotton candy card from Stamp-a-faire. I ADORED this card and made my own version of it. Because it is so puffy and thick AND cannot be squished, it’s been moving about my craft room as I can’t find a good place for it. And let’s face it, it’s too cute to put away! Link HERE.

For this card, I used PTI background paper, Simply Jane, felt and cardstock for die cutting. It’s really an awesome sketch, I’m sure I’ll be using it again. This also works for the other challenge, remake a card you’ve made. This one may not be masculine exactly but it’s far more restrained than the original card.

c4c paris love

The theme continues! I got on a roll with the love theme so I made another love card. If you are reading from a place where English isn’t your first language, S.W.A.K.  stands for Sealed With A Kiss. People, girls especially, used to kiss the back of envelopes with mail to their young men and leave a lipstick mark then they would write SWAK. Especially letters sent overseas to soldiers during war time. Cute right? Starting out, I knew I wanted to use this awesome Eiffel Tower themed paper. But I didn’t have an idea of what else I wanted to do until I pulled out the lipstick paper from the same Ooh La La pack from Craft Smart (Michaels).

I hope you will play along with us at C4C this week. It’s a fabulous and popular theme for this time of year. Even if you can’t play along, visit the site to see everyone else’s cards and leave a loving comment! (See what I did there??!!)

Enjoy, Rebecca

February 03, 2018

Doesn’t Everyone Like Hearts?

Hearts! That’s our theme for this week at Crazy 4 Challenges! I’ve always loved hearts so this was a pretty easy challenge! I even ended up making two cards because I was having so much fun with the challenge and the Simon Says Stamp card kit from November.

c4c 18 heart love card (2)

The first card uses the stunning embossed paper included in the kit. Oh my, this stuff is so gorgeous! (I really wish it showed up better here. But you can click on the photo to see it larger.) I’ve been hoarding it trying to think of a good way to showcase it. I wanted to die cut it but that might have squashed the embossing. So I just traced a Hero Arts heart die cut and cut it out by hand. The background was stamped with a woodgrain stamp but I wanted more contrast so I added lots of Copic airbrushing. When I was finished, the woodgrain stamping still showed up. But now, I can’t see it at all. Maybe the Copic ink reacted somehow with the chalk ink, I’ve no idea! I still like how it looks though. A couple of stickers from the kit, some messy thread and sequins and I was done!

heart and home card final

This card again uses a lot of items from the kit. The house and tree are stickers. The sign in the corner is from one of the papers with lots of squares meant to be cut apart. Each square has a different quote or sentiment and different backgrounds and accents. At least I think the are meant to be used separately, that’s always the way I use them. I even call them ‘cut-apart’ sheets! I added the hand-cut hills, twine, lace and the woodgrain paper. When you get a kit, do you usually use just the kit contents or do you add additional items? I almost never stick to just the kit contents but they are a great starting point.

The house and tree have fun foam behind them and so does the front hill. But I just added a BIG blob of Multi Medium matte underneath and very gently placed them down so the height was maintained. So very much easier than cutting a tiny foam square.

I hope you can play along with our challenge this week! Hearts are pretty easy so I hope lots of you head on over to C4C!

Enjoy, Rebecca

January 29, 2018

Spotlight on Spotlighting

Have you ever tried spotlighting? It’s a stamping and colouring technique where you set aside a section of your stamping to be coloured leaving the rest uncoloured. In the case of solid stamping, the areas that would usually be left blank are stamped in a neutral colour.

c4c 18 floral shadow miss you tag_thumb[1]

For my card, I cut a tag just using my paper trimmer so it would be the perfect size for my card front. Starting at the top left, I placed my Altenew Floral Shadow stamps on the base white cardstock. I arranged them all so each stamp was on both the base and the tag leaving a bit in the center for the sentiment. I stamped each stamp first in grey on the base in my MISTI then I aligned the tag on the grid paper using some repositionable adhesive and stamped on it using Altenew coloured ink.

Using the MISTI makes a card like this so much easier. I have made one like it using a T-shaped stamp positioning tool but it was so much harder! Gotta love my MISTI. I also have the Tim Holtz stamp positioner but I mostly use it with rubber cling stamps. When the stamping was all done, I popped the tag up on some fun foam after adding an eyelet and some fibres.

Enjoy, Rebecca

Do Opposites Attract?

It’s time for another challenge from Crazy 4 Challenges. This week was to use opposites. There were so many options it actually made it a bit harder than some other weeks. Too many options can be overwhelming right? LOL!!

c4c 18 hello opposites

I finally settled on opposite colours and patterns. While not exactly true opposites, I thought that bright colours vs neutrals and a random, organic pattern vs a very linear, graphic pattern worked pretty well for this challenge. The floral paper is from a Simon Says Stamp kit from last year and the striped pattern is actually cut from a sheet of washi paper.

The sentiment was cut from both pink and black cardstock which I had attached to some cheap white cardstock as a base. That way I didn’t have to piece the two colours afterwards. I added some Wink of Stella glitter pen to the Hello. A few sequins, including a spliced one which helped emphasize the opposite theme, finished this card. There are a few clear gems you can’t see too. That part looks much better IRL.

We at C4C all hope that you can play along! It’s a really fun challenge right? Big and small, high and low, black and white, opposites on the colour wheel, light and dark, north and south, land and sea, earth and space, old and young, there are so many possibilities!

Enjoy, Rebecca

January 20, 2018

You Put the Fun in Funfetti!

Ok, to start off, I thought I’d explain funfetti to anyone not familiar with the term. It’s a cake (or icing or donuts etc) filled with bright, multi-coloured sprinkles. Not on the top, right inside the batter. Mostly used for birthdays of course, the term is now practically synonymous with PARTY TIME!!

c4c funfetti lady

So it was the perfect sentiment for this stamp set by Ellen Hutson.The lady was stamped on XPress it and I coloured her skin and hair with Copics. Then I paper pieced her dress using My Mind’s Eye paper. I also Copic shaded the dress which makes it look way more realistic. For the balloons, I used dies by MFT and the giant partial balloon from the Ellen Hutson Yay die set. The strings are by PTI. To get the balloon string to look like it was in her hand, I carefully trimmed along her fingers and tucked in the string. A touch of glitter pen and some crystals on the balloons and I was done!

Enjoy, Rebecca

January 15, 2018

Sweet Baby Shaker Card

Our challenge at Crazy 4 Challenges this week is to be inspired by Rubber Ducky day! Who knew there was even such a thing? I’ve heard of some weird ‘holidays’ but really?? LOL!! Anyway, if you don’t have a ducky to use for your project, feel free to use another kind of fowl or bird.

c4c 18 sweet baby shaker

I had planned to make a baby card using a ducky stamp but when I pulled out a paper pad to use, I saw these lovely geese by Carta Bella! How perfect! I bought these Square Shaker dies from PTI a while a go but hadn’t used them yet. The scalloped frame is perfectly sweet! The goose paper was so cute I didn’t want to hide it so the shaker sits right on the patterned paper. It’s a little harder to build a shaker this way but I was careful to keep the shaker bits in the middle while I added the top.

c4c 18 sweet baby shaker2

I added sequins and beads from several packets by Lucy’s Little Things. I do like to mix and match! I layered on some die cut words from Echo Park. After this, I looked back and decided I didn’t need anything else. Normally I’d add ribbon, Nuvo drops or some other small embellies. But with the busy design on the patterned paper, it looked fine as is.

If you are looking for a challenge to join, pull out your bird stamps and get colouring! If you love to colour, be sure to also link up to Kathy Rascoosin’s 30 Day Colouring Challenge!

Enjoy, Rebecca