Wednesday, April 27, 2016

WWC 65 - Anything Goes

Our theme this week for the Watercooler Wednesday Challenge is Anything Goes. This means there is no specific theme to follow. Sometimes, that in itself is a challenge if I don't have an inspiration right away. Sometimes, I need to have a theme to follow. But, this week I had no trouble coming up with an idea.

As you may know, Stampin' Up has a brand, spankin' new catalogue coming out in June. That means we have to say goodbye to some of our favourites. One of my favourites from the Occasions 2016 catalogue is the A Nice Cuppa Stamp Set. So I'm trying to use it a lot. However, it is a set I know will stay in my collection!

I've also been trying to use up my stash of Designer Series Papers. The piece I used here wasn't in a package and I can't remember what collection it is from. But, it's pretty and I like it. What do you think? Perfect for a garden tea party?

The stack of tea cups is stamped in Mint Macaron and fussy cut. A Tea Lace Paper Doily makes a perfect background. Adorning the tea cups are sequins from the Metallics collection with a Basic Jewels Rhinestone in each one.

Here's your chance to show us what you have been inspired by. Just visit the Watercooler Wednesday blog to see what the other Watercooler Artists have come up with and link up your creation!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Time to say goodbye!

It's April and spring is in the air! There's also a lot of exitement in the air for Stampin' Up! demonstrators. Although it is tinged with a little sadness.

The excitement is because there is a brand new catalogue on the horizon with lots of cool new stuff. The sadness is because some of our favourite things have to go to make room for the cool new stuff.

If you have been following the Hop in order, you have arrived here from Deborah's blog. As you can see, we all have favourite products we hate to see go!

So this month at the Watercooler we are saying goodbye to the 2014-2016 In-Colors. I think this has been my most favourite group of In-Colors - ever! From Mossy Meadow to Lost Lagoon to Hello Honey to Blackberry Blisss to Tangelo Twist - I love them all. If I had to pick my most favourites from this group, it would have to be #1 Mossy Meadow, then it's a toss-up between Lost Lagoon and Blackberry Bliss.

First up is my Mossy Meadow card. I saw a tutorial graciously shared by another Stampin' Up demo - Lyssa Zwolanek - in which she used the Brick Wall Embossing Folder to make bamboo. While I was following her tutorial, my mind was going over ideas for using my piece of bamboo in a project. I kept picturing stalks of bamboo with leaves growing out of them. Like this:
My card base is, of course, Mossy Meadow cardstock as are the leaves cut using the Botanical Builder Framelits. The sentiment is from the Tin of Cards stamp set and stamped in Mossy Meadow. The fern leaf image in the background is from Butterfly Basics, stamped in Pear Pizzazz.

For the bamboo, colour used are: Early Espresso, Crushed Curry and Pear Pizzazz. The cardstock is Crumb Cake.

When I looked up the symbolism of bamboo, I discovered that when giving a gift of bamboo to someone, the number of stalks means different things. For instance, a single stalk is never given as a gift, and a gift of four stalks of bamboo is considered extremely rude and could be considered a death wish.

Three stalks of bamboo is one of the most favourite number combinations to have in a home. It brings three kinds of luck: Happiness - Fu; Long Life - Soh; Wealth - Lu (career promotions). I'm really glad I Googled bamboo - and also that I have got into the habit of using uneven numbers when stamping repeat images or using embellishments!

Next up - Blackberry Bliss!
 Funny story about this card. It was supposed to be Lost Lagoon. But, the butterflies insisted on being Blackberry Bliss. The Lost Lagoon versions just weren't working - they will have to find another project!

The DSP is from the Neutrals Paper Stack - I love this script design in all the colours - this one is Soft Suede. I cut out phrases and single words and glued them onto the gold foil strips. Those gold strips are leftovers from the Tin of Cards card kit. What a fun time I had putting that together with my Mom one afternoon. And lots of left overs to use on other projects - like this one!

Now, about those butterflies - I had not intended to have a stack of them. After all, do you ever see butterflies piggybacking? But, first, the Blackberry Bliss die cut didn't pop enough on its own - so I laid some strips of the Gold Glitter Tape from Sale-a-Bration on a scrap piece of Whisper White carstock and die-cut the solid image butterfly. Then it looked naked without some embellishments. I had the Papillion Popourri stamp set and matching punch out already as I had used them for my Lost Lagoon version. It was a simple matter to stamp a BB butterfly and punch it out. Obviously, I thought there wasn't enough bling on this card already, and the Gold Thread was also right in front of me. So - why not use it? Here's a closer look:
My third project is the twist for this Hop. We were each assigned a fellow-Hopper and directed to check out their blog and CASE (Copy And Share Everything) one of their projects. I was matched up with Deborah. After scrolling through one fabulous project after another, I finally settled on this one from her January 7 Watercooler Blog Hop post:
She used a Bundle I was really hoping would be carried over into the new catalogue. But, no. So this is also a farewell to the A Nice Cuppa stamp set and Cups & Kettle Framelits. Here is my version of Deborah's card:
The tea pot is cut from the Bohemian DSP and embellished with strips of Gold Glitter Tape. I had just received the Bermuda Bay Sequin Trim and, as an afterthought, use it to pour out of the tea pot. It's blueberry tea, by the way. The cup is die-cut from Whisper White cardstock and sponged with Tangelo Twist.

Now it's time for you to visit Marsha and see the fabulous treats she has in store for you! Just click on 'Next' below to be on your way. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

WWC64 - Heidi's CAS Challenge
The Watercooler is all about Spring this week! Heidi has chosen a Spring theme for her CAS - Clean And Simple - Challenge.
While the word "spring" brings to mind images of flowers blooming, birds singing and the sun shining, the spring season itself can also mean showers. That's where I went for my inspiration. The Sprinkles of Life stamp set has a couple of stamps that were perfect. And the co-ordinating Tree Builder Punch has a shape that works perfectly as a cloud. Put them all together, and this is what I came up with:
The card base is Pool Party cardstock and I stamped the raindrops using Pool Party ink. Also punched  out some raindrops and the cloud from Silver Foil. Then I thought about that saying "April showers bring May flowers." and thought - a shower of flowers! The stamp is from Botanical Blooms and stamped in Hello Honey.

To finish it off, the sentiment is also from Sprinkles of Life, stamped in Pool Party. And there you have it! I think CAS should also mean easy to make - and this card sure was.

Now we want to see your interpretation of a spring-themed Clean And Simple design! Just visit the Watercooler Wednesday blog to see how the other artists interpret Spring, then link up your creation to join the fun!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

WWC63 - Kath's Colour Challenge
Welcome to Watercooler Wednesday! This week Kath has given us a great colour challenge. Don't these colours scream spring? or happy? or party-time?

I like colour challenges because they take away one decision I sometimes struggle with, and that is what colours do I choose? For this challenge, I also already knew that I wanted to use the Pedal Pusher Sale-a-Bration set that I got just before SAB ended.

Other than that, I really didn't know what direction my card would take. Sometimes that's what happens when I sit down to create. I just have to go by the seat of my pants and see what happens! It can be really surprising. Here's what happened:
The first thing I did was to stamp the bike image with Archival Black Ink. Staying with the challenge colours, I used Watermelon Wonder, Pear Pizzazz and So Saffron markers to colour the bike, basket and flag.

Next, because the bike needed a path to roll on,  the lines image from Gorgeous Grunge inked in Pear Pizzazz took care of that.

Then I was stumped. So, I took a break, did the dishes, made a cup of tea - and then it hit me. Balloons!! Out came another SAB set - Honeycomb Happiness - which has a great balloon image. I stamped it multiple times on Whisper White cardstock using Archival Black Ink.

To colour the balloons, I tried something I had seen on numerous blogs. Using ink refills in the challenge colours, I just put drops of ink in the lids of the corresponding ink pads. Then, with the clear Wink of Stella pen, I squeezed a couple of drops of the glitter ink into the ink refill drops, mixed it up and painted the balloons with it. The result is a gorgeous, richly-coloured ink with sparkles! Here's a closeup:
To give the balloon bunch some dimension, I glued some directly on the cardstock, then popped a layer up on Stampin' Dimensionals, and the green balloon on top had two dimensionls stacked on top of each other.

To me, the whole thing looked so carefree, the only sentiment that would work was from a retired stamp set - Yippee-Skippee! To finish off the sentiment, I reached for a new product I just received in my last order. It is the Alphabet Rotary Stamp. This thing is just fun. I dialed it around to stamp It's Your Birthday onto a scrap of Whisper White CS, cut the works out and doodled with a Project Life Journaling pen.

So, to join in the fun, simply visit the Watercooler Wednesday Challenge Blog to see what they other Watercooler Artists have done with these colours. Then link up your creations. We can't wait to see what you come up with!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

WWC62 - Leanne's Tic-Tac-Toe Challenge

Welcome to Watercooler Wednesday!

This week's Challenge gives you lots of choice - which can be a challenge in itself. Leanne has put together a Tic-Tac-Toe Challenge, which works just like the game. Choose any three in a row, horizontal, vertical or diagonal.
Here are your choices:
When I first looked at this, I had tentatively decided on the top line: Flower-Watercolour-Fun Fold. Then, when I was "researching" Pinterest for inspiration, I saw something that stopped me in my tracks! Does that ever happen to you?

What I saw was an absolutely breath-taking card done by Sandi MacIver.  She also created a detailed video about what she calls Sepia Watercolour Technique. So, I could still use the flower and watercolour, but her technique also had embossing. So, I switched my choice to the Flower-Embossing (dry or heat)-Paper Piercing. The Paper Piercing was easy to add in the corners.

As I was gathering my supplies, the first snag I ran into was that I don't have the stamp set she used. I ended up using a Hostess Set from the 2014-2015 catalogue - Bloom with Hope.

The next snag happened when I grabbed Early Espresso instead of Soft Suede to do the wash on the watercolour paper. However, I didn't clue in until much later that that was what I had done. By that time, I had done so much I didn't want to scrap it and start over. And, I had already messed up one side of my watercolour paper and was working on the second side! How can something that should be so easy end up being so difficult? Well, grab the wrong colour of ink, for starters.

To try and lighten things up, I took the largest acrylic block, spritzed it with Stampin' Mist, and pressed it onto the watercolour paper. While it was still moist, I used my Aquapainter and removed colour from where it was the darkest. I finally got it to where it didn't look too bad.

At this point, here's what I had done:
1. Using aqua painter, wet the watercolour paper all over.
2. Pick up ink from the lid of stamp pad and just brush randomly all over. You want varying shades of colour - dark, medium and light.
3. If not in a hurry, let air dry. Or, use your heat tool to speed things up.

Next, stamp flower image using Staz-On Black. Again using the aqua painter, pick up more of the Early Espresso (or Soft Suede) ink and add a bit to the flower petals.

In Sandi's video, her next step involved using a tiny paint brush to 'paint' bleach along the tips of the flower petals. That's when I encountered Snag #3. I didn't have a really tiny paint brush. And, I didn't want to run out to the Dollar Store to find one. So I thought, use what I have. But, even the smallest one I had wasn't fine enough and I didn't like how it looked. But, I waited before trying anything else and went on the the next step.

That step was done with 2 images from what's fast becoming my favourite stamp set - Timeless Textures. First, I stamped the flourish with Versamark Ink and embossed with white embossing powder. Then take the dots image and stamp randomly with Staz-On Black. The sentiment is from Picture Perfect and is also embossed with white embossing powder.

Here's a close-up of part of my card:
You can see the paper piercing details in the corners.

Because I didn't like how the bleached areas looked, I used my Signo White Gel Pen and covered most of them up! Brightened things up nicely. Finally, I used a stamp from Really Good Greetings and just inked the word 'imagine' with Staz-On Black, stamped off once. Just stamp this randomly. You could use any word you wanted - or two or three different words in different fonts.

And here is the final product:
Bloom With Hope SU
 Now it's your turn - head over to the Watercooler Wednesday blog to see what choices all the other Watercooler Artists went with. This challenge is a lot of fun because there are so many options!

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