Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Canadian Thanksgiving

Here is my first ever Thanksgiving card, made using an image I received in a swap.

Normally I jump straight from Summer cards to Christmas cards, but in the past year I've discovered that for many people Thanksgiving is their favourite holiday of the year.  This is interesting to me, since in our family a big fuss is made over Christmas, but rarely do we gather for Thanksgiving.  So after giving it some thought I decided to make some cards to celebrate this holiday which is so special to many.

Here in Canada, Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away!  Interestingly enough, not only the date of the holiday, but the history and reason for celebration are different than that of our neighbours to the South.  Here is a link to Wikepedia where  you can read about the history of Thanksgiving in Canada.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Retirement is like a coffee break

And here is another card made with the Ildico Kuma Cuddles Coffee Image.

I like to keep a handful of cards at work for when one is needed...and one for retirement seemed like it would be useful.  I wanted this to be a masculine card, since it seems most of the folks I've seen retire lately are men, so surely (Murphy's law!) the next one I'll need will be for a woman. LOL!  Guess I better make a pink version too :-)

Coffee with friends

Here's my first card using Cuddles Kuma Coffee, one of the new Ildico images, where I used one of the suggested sentiments from this weeks post.

Thank you folks for your suggestions, I have cards on the go using each of them, and I'm excited to be able to say that I'll be sending one to Leslie for being brave enough to give the first suggestion, and one to Alica for my favorite sentiment of these, which is used in this card.

Now, I better get back to card making and finish the others :-)

Have a creative Saturday!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Coffee Sentiments? Looking for ideas....

Well, I'm looking for some ideas about coffee sentiments...I'm hoping you all can give me some ideas! :-)

I've got this great image from Ildico, Cuddles Coffee, and it was easy to colour and so cute (how I LOVE these teddies), and yet I don't want to make just another cute card (I make a LOT of those!), I want to make a useful or quirky card (not so easy for unimaginative me). 

I have been known in the past to "cheat" by messaging one of my card making friends who seems to be able to come up with good sentiments for anything, but instead I thought I'd throw it open this time.

So far I've come up with "Retirement is one big coffee break", which will be very useful since I seem to have many folks around me retiring lately. What are your ideas?

I am curious, what type of sentiments would you use on a card with this image?

And to make it kind of like a contest, I will send a finished card using the suggested sentiment to (a) the first person with a suggestion, and also to (b) the person who contributes my favorite of the suggestions. 

Can't wait to see what ideas you have!..

Monday, September 21, 2009

Swirled glass experiment

This weekend I was inspired by a tutorial I found on Splitcoast stampers to make "swirled glass" as the feature of the card.   You can see my first results experimenting:

It really is a very easy technique.  What you do is take a bit of acetate sheet (overhead transparency) and pour a small amount of crystal effects or other similar product on it.  Then you squeeze a few drops of various re-inkers on it.  Here I used some of my Encore gold refill ink with a couple of regular organgy brown colours.  I swirled the ink around in the crystal effects with a q-tip and let it dry.  Then when it is dry, on the reverse side I stamped the top image with staz on black ink.  I layered this over a piece of white cardstock that I'd stamped some trees on in brown ink.

As you can see in the image, it gives it a lot of depth.  Tattered Angels glimmer mist was used on the background cardstock to give it shimmer, and I accented it with these lovely leaves that were a gift in a recent secret sister swap.

You can find the tutorial by following this link:
Swirled glass instructions

I'd be interested to see what you come up with using this technique :-)

The trees in the Background are from a Gina K set, and the leaves were a gift from a Christmas gift swap.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Ildico Monthly Challenge

Happy Saturday!  Well, Saturday's are my primary day for crafting, and this morning I woke up thinking about the Ildico monthly card challenge.  It was posted Thursday, and this will be my first chance to play since then.

I usually don't try to follow challenges, since I like to go where the muse takes me, but this week I thought it would be fun to try it out, and I'm thrilled with the result.

The challenge was to make a card using the colours yellow, lilac and cocoa, and I wanted to use one of the new Ildico released images, to celebrate my upcoming role as Guest Designer.  Most of the images are Halloween, which in my mind doesn't go with that colour theme, so I pulled out this cute one called Cuddles Kuma Morning.  I love this image since it represents how I want my days off to start -- get up, grab the paper, grab some tea or coffee, and relax.

I didn't have any suitable greetings handy, so I thought of the words that I would want to use with it, and then typed them in word and printed in a coordinating colour onto the cardstock.  It seems in the photo to be a somewhat plain card, and the reason is that the printed words and image are the focal point and I didn''t want to distract from that message.  I think anyone picking up this card will be busy looking at the drawing and reading the text, and that's what I want.

I'm going to give this card to a friend who's been a bit bogged down with life.  I'm sure she'll love it :-)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Exciting happenings

Well I have no new card to show you today, but some exciting news!

I've been accepted by Idico as a guest designer for the month of October!  This will be my first time as a guest designer, and I'm nervous to make sure my cards are good enough to represent the images....such a burden of responsibility!  Eek!!  but it is very exciting too :-)

Today they released their new halloween and fall images, you can check them out here, including some more of the teddy bear images I love so much!  I'm already planning my first card, and plan to do some previews this month even though technically I don't start till October 1st.

There's a new challenge site set up by Ildico, and I'm gonna use this for some inspiration.  The first challenge will be posted Thursday morning.

Anyway, I better get my beauty sleep where I can dream of all the interesting cards I'm gonna come up with for October :-)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

New baby card

Here is one of my Saturday creations :-). This card is for a friend who had a baby boy recently. I wanted to do something a bit out of the ordinary, and was looking through what I have when I came across this free digi I'd downloaded from Dustin Pike. Isn't it adorable?

I really like a lot of his artwork, and especially the bears! I was thrilled yesterday when I came across a two week special he is having on all his older digis - you can get something like 130 digis for $25! Check out the link here

Anyway, back to the card, after colouring the bear and the moon and the star I was trying to figure out what to do--I wanted a night sky, but didn't feel like masking and sponging. Instead I used crystal effects to coat the coloured images and let that dry, since then it would have like a plasticized coating. Then when it was dry I sprayed the Graphite Tattered Angels glimmer mist over it, and then used a paper towel to wipe off of the area with the crystal effects. Then I had to wait for that to dry, and then I built my card. You can see in the below picture how the light reflects off it:

That's it for this morning, I'm going to putter around and get inspiration for some Halloween and Fall cards which I'll be working on in the next couple weeks. Happy Day!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

What to do with all these cards?

Well, for us foks who love making cards, sometimes the problem we face is what to do with all these cards? When our husbands ask why we need a new stamp/paper/ribbon etc, we need a good reason, not just to say that we need to make more cards to stash in a box in the cupboard LOL! So let me ask you, what do you do with the cards you make?

One of the things I do is make gift sets, like the one above. I like to make them all different but coordinated with matching envelopes and put them in a nice box.

Sometimes I make my own little boxes, here's a couple templates of different styles you can use if you want to make your own box:
card box template 1
card box template 2
Another option is to buy little boxes (saves a lot of time and fiddling), I get mine (little plastic ones) from Gina K.

The above set of cards and box I made last fall as a gift for my SIL since she hosted Thanksgiving. Given she spent all day cooking turkey I figured this was the least I could do :-) And it was a lot of fun to experiment and try to come up with different but matching cards all using generally the same materials.

Here's another set I did more recently, a seashore theme using pastel/neutral colours. To acheive a soft effect I used light sponging in the backgrounds with ink, and coloured the images with my watercolour crayons:

Sometimes we want to give a little thank you gift or birthday gift and this set of cards seemed like it would be a nice general set I could give to most folks that they could use for lots of different things. I put these in my stash so I'd be ready when I needed's always very frustrating when I realize a gift or card is needed for the next day and there's no time to make it, so it's good to be prepared.

At this time of year I generally start giving away sets of Christmas cards for birthdays and other occasions in the fall months, so that the people who I give them to can use them for Christmas. I have a couple sets of these to work on in the next few weeks, I'll be sure to load up some pics for you once I do :-)

And for those of you who want a more close up view of some of the watercoloured images, here ya go:

Saturday, September 5, 2009

New Mousies

Ooh, I got a new shipment of mousies on Thursday from House Mouse. I was so glad they got here in time for the long weekend--usually it seems I always receive orders on a Monday, and then have to wait for DAYS for the weekend to come so I can use my new things.

Above you can see one of my first cards with the new stamps. This image is called Choir Practice.

Next here is a card made with one of the Mousies which was already in my cupboard, and this one is called Winter wind. I used the tattered angels glimmer mist on the background sheet and put little rhinestones in the centre of each of the snowflakes on the main image.

And my third little work of art, using the image called Yummy Cherries. Now I love this image, but let me ask you, do cherries in your part of the world still hang on the tree when the snow starts? I have a cherry tree in my yard, and the cherries were all done by end of July. Snow here won't likely come until December...I'm wondering where it is that they have cherry's and snow at the same time.

I used the same snowflake stamp from my snowflake drawer that I used in the last two cards (yes, I have a whole drawer in my stamp organizer dedicated to various snow flakes! What about you, how may snowflake or snow falling stamps do you have?). I stamped the image on blueish gray cardstock and used my white craft ink and a sponge to put some cloudy texture in the background. It was very hard to get the mousies face and skin a decent colour due to the blue background, I couldn't get there with my copics, so dug out some craft ink in a yellowish colour and applied that. The snow on the branches was coloured using an aqua painter and the ink from my white craft ink pad, and accented with a white gel pen.

I can't wait to get my white flowersoft, hopefully next week some time, since I have great ideas on how to use it with my new stamps. There are another 4 new stamps I need to show off, so keep your eyes open the next few days :-)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Friday night creation

I remember many moons ago when Friday night meant getting together with girlfriends, using our creative talents to paint our faces and accessorize our outfits, and head out to the bar....but time passes, and now a good Friday night to me is having a friend come over, changing into our pajamas, and using our creative skills to make pretty cards :-)

What do you think of tonight's little work of art?  I had fun making it (while sipping a cranberry and vodka martini.....).  I stamped in black versafine on glossy cardstock, and then coloured the windows and lamp light in yellow and some of the evergreens with dabs of dark green using my copics.  Then I used my gold Encore pad to go around the edges of both the main image and the farthest back background sheet.  The inbetween sheet is handmade paper from costco with a gold pattern in it.  I sprayed the primas with walnut gold Tattered Angels glimmer mist to improve the coordination.

Well, I'm exhausted.  That one card (and a bit of gossip) wore me right out.  All of you have a great long weekend, and enjoy the start of Fall.