Sunday, October 15, 2017

Boo! Spooky Cat PP366

Hiya friends!  Just a quick card today for our challenge this week at The Paper Players.  Lovely Laurie is our hostess for a fun Clean-and-Simple challenge....
 I am really glad this is a Clean-and-Simple week because time during this week sure got away from me!  Despite that, I love making Halloween cards and I love the "spooky" element even more.
Black cats, a spooky yellow moon, "crows", and a deep, dark forest all say "Spooky Halloween" to me!  I had this piece of Basic Gray cardstock in my stash--it was embossed with the Woodland folder and rubbed with white craft ink.  I thought it was just the right smoky, foggy look my spook forest needed.  Although I didn't really stick to it, this week's sketch at Freshly Made Sketches inspired my cut out window.  Through the window peeks a Crushed Curry moon made with a circle die and sponged ink.  The stark white sky needed some spooky clouds, so I used the classic scalloped circle technique to sponge on some Smoky Slate ink.  We can't have Halloween without a black cat and this one is embossed in Silver with the Spooky Cat stamp set and popped out with the Cat punch.  Easy peasey!  I needed a little something in the top right corner for balance and these birds from the HIgh Tide set, in context, look a lot like a flock of crows!

So there you have Clean-and-Simple Spooky card.  Hope you like it!  Check out the rest of my teammates for some spooky inspiration over at The Paper Players!  Thanks for stopping by, friends!

The Paper Players Design Team 

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Colorful Seasons of Watercolor PP365

Hi everyone!  Our sweet and talented friend, Joanne, is our hostess this week at The Paper Players for a lovely color challenge:
I must admit I haven't used Peekaboo Peach much at all and now that I have, I'm not sure what took me so long.  It's a really lovely shade of orange and a refreshing take on the traditional orange of autumn.  I needed a masculine birthday day for a work colleague so I was inspired to make a relatively clean and simple card:
I am quite fond of this trend or watercolored backgrounds.  It's such a simple way to combine colors and it's really difficult to mess up watercolor! There's no mistakes in watercolor as it's all supposed to look rather artistic anyway!  I layered on washes of Crushed Curry and Peekaboo Peach to the hot press watercolor paper.  After each layer, I dried it with the low setting of my heat gun coz I'm impatient like that and can't wait for it to dry naturally, ha!
Once I was happy with the color intensity of the background, I stamped some random leaves from the Colorful Seasons stamp set in Early Espresso using my MISTI several times to achieve a [almost] solid stamped image.  The companion dies to this set are gorgeous and this maple leaf is amazing--especially in Copper Foil paper.  I backed it with a solid Early Espresso leaf to really make the copper pop.  Just a touch of linen thread was all this simple masculine card needed.
This pretty little leaf makes a great spray across the inside of the card.  Here we really get to appreciate the fresh look to the peach leaves.  I think I had a little leftover Early Espresso on my stamp when I inked up the leaves but, in truth, I like the little bit of speckle it adds to the leaves.  

I hope that you've enjoyed today's card and it inspires you to play along with us at The Paper Players.  For even more inspiration, pop over to my teammates' blogs and check out all their pretty creations.  Thanks for stopping by, friends!

The Paper Players Design Team 

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Autumn Blooms PP364

Happy Sunday, everyone!  Sunday is fun day because it's the start of another challenge at The Paper Players.  My dear friend Sandy has some gorgeous inspiration to get our mojo going for her theme challenge of Autumn Floral:
This card took waaaay longer than it should have.  Not because of the theme of the inspiration photo, because I could not translate the image in my head to paper!  I tried numerous stamp sets but couldn't capture the blended hues I wanted with just a single color of ink.  In the end I went with an old standby image and found my happy place in watercolor! 
I also used the fantastic sketch at the Global Design Project as my starting point--sure do love a sketch challenge and this one is great!  The first thing I stamped was the leaf from the Colorful Seasons stamp set.  I inked it in Crushed Curry and lightly kissed the inked stamp with Cajun Craze.  When stamped it gave a two-toned color to the leaves and no two are exactly alike, just like real leaves!
I am really liking the Fresh Fig in color for fall projects.  The gorgeous flower from Birthday Blooms was stamped in Basic Gray archival ink onto cold press watercolor paper.  I colored the image in layers starting with Sweet Sugarplum, adding a few layers of color to rich the intensity I liked.  Fresh Fig was washed on to shade the flower and add dimension.  I washed the center of the flower with Crushed Curry with some drops of Cajun Craze.  I wanted to mimic the color of the leaves in the inspiration photo as well as my stamped ones, so I colored these with a blend of Old Olive, Crushed Curry and just a hint of Cajun Craze.  The whole image was actually stamped twice--once to provide the base with leaves and the second to cut out and pop up just the flower.  I added some looped copper thread and a bitty die-cut stem in copper foil paper from the Flourish thinlits.
By this time, I was running out of light to snap a pic of my card so the inside was a quick 1, 2, 3 stamp job using a sentiment from Thoughtful Branches in Fresh Fig, the Birthday Blooms flower in Crushed Curry and some [retired] Gorgeous Grunge splatters in Sahara Sand ink.  There were a TON of stamp set and dies on my desk by the time I finished this card, lol!  It took me awhile to get there but, in the end, I am pleased with the colors and final result.  I hope you are too!

Here's the awesome Global Design Project sketch--thanks for the inspiration GDP!
Please go check out the rest of the lovely autumnal inspiration from my teammies at The Paper Players.  Maybe you'll be inspired to play along with us before the challenge closes on Friday, October 6th at Noon (PST).  Thanks for stopping by!

The Paper Players Design Team 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Brightly Lit for Halloween PP363

 I am excited to host this week's challenge over at The Paper Players with a sketch that I designed! 
It's funny, this sketch is a little more layered than most of my cards lately but I really just wanted to work with paper and layers!
I also really wanted to play with this new bundled stamp set and framelits called Brightly Lit Christmas....and I REALLY wanted to use it to make a Halloween card! So, I did.  :-)  With the help of the new cat punch, that is.  The background paper is long ago retired  but, of course, I hoarded it and still have plenty.  The rest of the card is quite simple--there's hardly any stamping. I will admit, as much as I like the cute lampost once it's put together, it is time consuming!  Not sure how many of these I would make.  I do like the separate die that cuts a piece to go behind the lantern to light it up.  I took my color cue from the paper and used [retired] More Mustard for the inserts as well as the sponged circle behind the lamp.  I'm afraid once I assembled everything, my mojo--as well as my time--had run out so I didn't finish the inside for you today.  In fact, I'm going to cut this short as we just recently arrived back home from an all-day volleyball tournament and this volleyball mama is ti-red!

I love what my teammates did with my sketch so I do hope you will go check them out at The Paper Players.  Maybe they will inspired you to play along with us before the challenge ends on Friday, September 29th at Noon (PST).  Thanks for stopping by!

The Paper Players Design Team 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Merry Pumpkin Spice! PP362

Oh my friends, am I glad to be back with you!  I've been in a tunnel of Hurricane Irma--before, during and after.  We are very fortunate to have come through without any damage to property but it was a whirlwind roller coaster of emotions not knowing where it was going to land or how we would fare through the storm.  Big thanks to everyone who sent me thoughts and prayers through it all.    Happy to move on to brighter things, including being back with my gal pals at The Paper Players where lovely LeAnne has a fun Clean-and-Simple challenge for us:
Clean-and-Simple Harvest!  The harvest photo inspired me with the colors of black, green and vanilla and I found the perfect companion in the Merry Cafe stamp set:
I live in Florida now but growing up in Michigan, the best part of fall was a trip to the cider mill.  Fresh apple cider and warm cinnamon doughnuts with a walk in the crisp autumn air was the perfect way to spend a fall Sunday.  Although we weren't drinking pumpkin spice lattes back then, I can't think of PSL season without thinking of our family trips to the cider mill!  Now, my daughter and I herald the arrival of fall with the appearance of pumpkin spice at Starbucks!  Cider mill or PSL, it's all family memories that I cherish.  The fabulous square sketch at Freshly Made Sketches inspired my layout with a 4.25" square that fits inside a regular A2 enveloped for easy mailing.
This gorgeous plaid paper is from the Merry Little Christmas DSP--proving that a great pattern is more versatile than just Christmas. There are some sweet little sentiments in the Merry Cafe set and I finished out the inside with a combination of two different stamps.  

I hope you enjoyed my card today--thank you for stopping by!  Before you go, be sure to check out the rest of the inspiration from The Paper Players design team.  I hope you'll play along with us before our challenge ends on Friday, September 22nd at Noon (PST).

The Paper Players Design Team 

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Spooky Cat but really an Owl PP359

Hi  all!  Lovely Laurie is our hostess this week at The Paper Players for a great sketch challenge:
Isn't that a good sketch?!  You'll see from the fabulous inspiration of my teammates that there are lots of ways to interpret it, too.  I recently received a box of pre-order goodies from the upcoming SU Holiday Catalog and have a sneak peek for you!  I couldn't quite bring myself to start making Christmas cards yet but I could get started on my first favorite fall holiday...
 I have to laugh at myself...I don't send many Halloween cards but I sure do like to buy the stamps and make the cards.  Can anyone relate?!  I especially like a bundled set like Spooky Cat that is bundled with an awesome cat punch.  Instead of the cat, today I feature the fabulous owl from this set. He looks more realistic than the more whimsical owls I have in my collection.  The base of the card is a piece of Crushed Curry cardstock run through the Big Shot with the Woodland embossing folder.  The rising full moon is cut with Circle Framelits from some retired DSP, Going Places.
The "tree" is actually two branch die-cuts from the Seasonal Layers Framelits.  Cut from Sahara Sand cardstock and then layered together with the fine tip glue pen.  They make the perfect perch for my owl and coordinate nicely with the embossed Woodland trees in the background.
You have to see the owl close-up as he photographs quite dark.  He is stamped in Fresh Fig ink on to the same cardstock.  I fussy-cut the image and then heat embossed his beak and claws with copper embossing powder.  How did I get just those tiny parts to the owl, you ask?  Some time ago, SU carried a Versamarker pen.  The same ink as a Versamark stamp pad but in a marker form--great for small areas!  It's retired from SU but I found it for you on're welcome. :-)
Just one last image for you....this stamp set also has a fun stamp that layers over the owl with a great sentiment.  I used the branch stamp from Colorful Seasons in Sahara Sand for the owl to perch on and Fresh Fig for his eyes and sentiment.  I also added a sponged Crushed Curry moon and some Fresh Fig "bats" (née seagulls) from the High Tide stamp set.  

Thanks for stopping by today.  Be sure to check out the rest of the team at The Paper Players and play along with us before the challenge closes on Friday, September 1st at Noon (PST).

The Paper Players Design Team 

Sunday, August 20, 2017

CAS Color for Birthday Blooms - PP358

This week at The Paper Players, the fabulously talented Joanne has a fun Clean-and-Simple challenge for us: Get Coloring!
 Like so many people, I find coloring very relaxing.  In fact, I saved time at the end of a busy work week just so I could color a project for this challenge.  I came home from work, poured a glass of wine and got busy coloring with my inks and Aqua Painter!  Ahhh.....relaxation.
 This big gorgeous flower in the Birthday Blooms set is one of my absolute favorite to color.  The lines on each petal give a hint where there should be some shading and no matter what color you use, it always turns out beautiful! I always admire the white embossed and watercolored flowers of my teammie, Deanne, and she is the inspiration for today's creation.  The bloom is embossed in white on some hot press watercolor paper.
I have mentioned before that my watercolor technique involves layers of color.  I thought you might want to see how that works for me as I colored this blossom.  Above is my first pass with color including Blushing Bride, Soft Sky, and Lemon Lime Twist.  I try to pick colors that are close to each other--think of how they might appear on a strip of paint colors.  So, the flower uses Blushing Bride and Calypso Coral, the background is Soft Sky & Pool Party, and the leaves...well, I didn't have a pair to Lemon Lime Twist so I just started with a light wash of color and kept adding depth with darker versions of the ink.
 I added a few more layers of Blushing Bride to make it true to the color.  Once dry, I started adding layers of Calypso Coral to achieve the final effect.  Where there are extra lines on the petals, I made sure to add a deeper color using less water for close to a full strength color.  Using the same technique as last week's flamingo card, I trimmed the sides of my main panel with the rotary cutter and fussy-cut around edges I wanted sticking out.  This is a Clean-and-Simple challenge so I didn't want to add layers but the plain card base needed a little detail.  I stamped opposite corners with the same blossom as my focal point in Soft Sky ink.
The inside is a very simple treatment of more blossoms and a fabulous sentiment from Watercolor Wings.  This flower is so pretty all on it's own just as a line stamp as you see here--it doesn't even need color!

I hope you've enjoyed today's card for our Clean-and-Simple challenge at The Paper Players.  Pop over and see all the gorgeous inspiration from my teammies.  Maybe you'll be inspired to join us before our challenge closes on Friday, August 25th at Noon (PST)  Thanks for stopping by!

The Paper Players Design Team 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Fabulous Flamingo PP357

There's no other title to give today's post because the flamingo set I used for my card really is, well... fabulous!  And, so is the tropical color combination Sandy is hosting for us this week at The Paper Players:
 I knew right away that I would ink up the new-to-me Fabulous Flamingo set.  I can't live in Florida and not own this set, right?!  Advance apologies to I sat down to make my card I discovered that my Pear Pizzazz ink pad has dried up!  It's the old-style felt ones and I had no ink refills for it.  So, I substituted the current in-color Lemon Lime Twist which pairs equally as well with Bermuda Bay and Calypso Coral.  I'm also happy to share today's card with my dear friends on our sister site, Freshly Made Sketches as they celebrate sketch #300!  Congratulations, gals that is a huge milestone.  You'll notice that I flipped the sketch to better suit the orientation of the flamingo.  Here's the awesome sketch and my card:

This card is deceptively simple.  Deceptively because although it has only two layers, there are some details that take a bit of explaining.  In order to match the sketch, I needed a short and narrow panel for the flamingo.  Because the image is wider than I wanted, I stamped him on a piece of thick whisper white cardstock and trimmed the sides leaving just a bit of the image hanging off the edge.  To do this, use a rotary cuter and cut down each side just to the image.  Then use small scissors to fussy-cut around the edge you want hanging off.  This might help:
This image is four stamps! There is the solid base of the bird's body, the shadow which highlights the neck, lower body and legs.  These were both stamped in Calypso Coral with the solid body image stamped off once.  The line art on the body and legs are two separate stamps.  All these stamps give a lot of flexibility with how you want your flamingo to look.  TIP: I found the best results stamping the highlight image w/legs FIRST.  Using this one first makes sure that your flamingo ends up standing straight and tall instead of leaning forward.  That's not such a fabulous look, lol!
Lately, I've been making simple cards with less layers and I didn't want to use another layer of paper under the panel with the flamingo.  I decided to mask off an area that would mimic a layer of paper and stamp directly on my card base instead.

That's all for the tricky parts---oh, the Bermuda Bay "enamel dots" aren't  really Bermuda Bay.  I didn't have any in that color but I did have a aqua colored Sharpie marker which did wonders for changing the color of my enamel dots!
 Have to show you a close up of the flamingo as her plumage is bedazzled with Wink of Stella.
And, lastly a peek at the inside with some stamping in the corner.  Just shows how pretty these three colors look together.  Whew, and that's it!  I hope you liked today's card.  Be sure to check out the rest of my teammies with their lovely creations at The Paper Players!  Also, pop over to Freshly Made Sketches and wish the team there a Happy 300th!

The Paper Players Design Team 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Radiant Light in the Great Outdoors - PP356

Hi friends!  This week I am the happy hostess over at The Paper Players with our first Theme Challenge of the (new) month:
The Great favorite place to be.  Whether at the beach or in the forest, I love being outside.  And when it comes to "outdoor" stamps, I would be hard pressed to find a tree or leaf stamp that I didn't love!  Every time there's a new one from SU, I say "nope, don't need it" and you can image how long that lasts! 
Today's card was inspired by one that I found while roaming around Pinterest.  This stunning card from Susan Goetter took my breath away.  I love pinning cards that inspire me to re-create them with Stampin' Up products.  Unfortunately, I needed two sympathy cards this week and Susan's gorgeous creation had just the right melancholy feeling I thought was appropriate.
The rugged texture of hot press watercolor paper was just right for the watery look I wanted with my colors.  I laid down a base of light colors for the earth and sky first using Soft Sky and Pear Pizzazz.  Once that dried, I added some streaks of Old Olive and [retired] Baja Breeze.  I kept adding more layers of color until I was happy with the look.  Honestly, I really don't know what I'm doing, I just play around with color and water until I like it!  The tree line is from a [retired] set called Happy Scenes and the trees have snow clumps on them.  I didn't want a winter look to the trees so I used my Aqua Painter to blend the ink which covered up the snow clumps and added to the watercolor look of the whole design.
Vellum adds elegance to any project and since the overall design of this card is quiet and simple, a vellum insert adds a little extra special touch.  I replicated the scene from the front on a piece of Very Vanilla cardstock with brush strokes from the Work of Art stamps.  The colors were more vibrant, without watercolor, and the vellum overlay mutes the colors.  This sentiment is from a retired set called Love & Sympathy and has always been a favorite of mine.  It's always so difficult to know what to say in a time like this and the idea of our loved ones watching over us resonates with me and, I hope, brings comfort to my two friends who experienced great loss this week.  

I hope you've enjoyed today's card.  We would love for you to play along with us at The Paper Players.  Be sure to check out all the other inspiration from my teammates and then play along before our challenge ends on Friday, August 11th at Noon (EST).

The Paper Players Design Team 

Sunday, July 30, 2017

A Birthday at High Tide - PP355

Hi there, friends!  Isn't it amazing how fast we roll back around to Sunday?!  The good thing about that though is it's the start of another week with The Paper Players!  This time, our wonderful Joanne is hostess for a Tic-Tac-Toe challenge...take a look:
I continue to work my way through my newest SU stamp sets with a new-to-me set...High Tide.  I'm not a huge fan of the nautical look but I love all the creative elements in this stamp set.  The shoreline that fits right under the lighthouse, the swaying beach grasses, the gorgeous sentiments and those birds!  Oh my, what's not to love?  Oh yeah, and it's photopolymer (clear) too...bonus!  For the Tic-Tac-Toe board I worked diagonally with blue, enamel dots, and birthday.
I've seen a lot of cards made with this stamp set that feature a sandy shoreline for the lighthouse.  Since this card is destined for my FIL, I needed to give it a grassy base...just like the Cana Island Lighthouse they see from their front window on the shores of Lake Michigan.  I've stamped the lighthouse to look like the Cana Island one too which is all white.  The Smoky Slate color is similar--it could be a white lighthouse shaded with the setting sun.   The lighthouse is a two-step stamp and I used Smoky Slate for both layers.
You might remember a tip I shared in this post about using the backside of our photopolymer stamps for a solid image.  I used that technique again here to stamp the background of the water in Marina Mist ink and the ripples of water in a darker Dapper Denim.  It adds a fabulous depth and dimension to the water.
On the inside, I stamped a setting sun over the water.  The water is stamped again in Marina Mist--this time using the "right side" of the stamp.  The sun and sun rays are also part of this set and stamped here in Crushed Curry.  Love that this triangle stamp can be used either as a beam of light (as on the front of the card) or for a ray of sunshine!  The birthday sentiment is from another stamp set--Best Birds--in my stash.
I made a second card with a Very Vanilla base (love that new thick vanilla cardstock!) and changed the inside for a different purpose.  The sentiments in this set really are wonderful--with a trendy look of mixed fonts and heartfelt thoughts.

I hope you've enjoyed today's card.  We would love for you to play along with us at The Paper Players.  Be sure to check out all the other inspiration from my teammates and then play along before our challenge ends on Friday, August 3rd at Noon (EST).