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