Monday, 28 March 2011

Lightening Struck This Time!

Happy Monday Evening!! While cooking dinner tonight I pictured a brayered background with Stampscapes stamps. It seems that I get all these ideas when I'm doing something else, (that I should really be paying attention to), and have to race off to my little piece of heaven (disaster) room to try and make my idea come to life. I'm pleased with what I came up with tonight. The image is the same but the layout is different than I had pictured! Are there boo-boo's?? You bet! When I sprayed the spray laquer, some of the black ink ran. Thank goodness for bows! There isn't really a recipe for what I've done. I brayer'd glossy cardstock with Adirondack Dye Inks in: Willow, Citrus & Meadow. There is only one Stampscapes scene stamp used and it's Prickly Branch. This is one stamp that I use quite regularily in my scenes but you would only recognize the tips used as filler in the foreground. The other Stampscapes stamp is the sentiment. Kevin has sheets of wonderful earthy sentiments that I'll be using more often. The dragonfly is from Gellatins and I've used Lime Green Stickles to make it look a little more lively! It's too bad that it doesn't really show. The branches have been accented with a Jelly Roll 'Star' pen. If it's tilted it shows the platinum accents. The wide satin ribbon is from WalMart and I used my 'Bow Easy' to tie it. That little piece of plastic makes it so much easier for arthritic hands. Background papers are from my stash but if I remember correctly, the mottled green is from a huge package I bought at Costco one year ago.

I tried to show you the Lime Green Stickles and the Platinum Jelly Roll pen highlights.  Some of the stickles show but I don't think you can see the others.  
Thanks for looking!

Crafty Purple Frog Challenge - Going Green

Friday, 25 March 2011

Happy Easter

Hi Everyone!
Gee, here it is Friday night once again and it's looking like I don't have a life! Au Contrair (sp?)... I've got all my Blogland friends!!

This card is my entry into the Sketches With Heart #2 challenge at Heart Song Inspirations. I apologize to all the lovely girls there that I'm not using one of their digi images for my card!! I'm new to digi's and although I could download the file there was no way I was able to open When I have a few minutes this weekend I'll do some researching on the net as to what program I should use, etc. Until then.... I'm so sorry!

The stamp used was from Elzybells Art Stamps #E0085 Chick Trio. The dp's are from SEI and Keepin' It Real by Amy Hurley. I've been trying to use bits and pieces of my stash to fill in the rest. Ribbon is from WalMart and I made the glue dots myself in two sizes.  The circle and circle border were cut on the Cricut.

Yes, the image is kind of small for the sketch but I went through everything I had that was Easterish and it was either too big, or too small. Now it sounds like I'm talking about the three bears! I started putting it together last Sunday after seeing what our sketch for the week was.  This was one of those cards where you put it in a spot you'll see it a lot and you keep thinking... It's okay, It looks like heck, It looks spectacular, It needs a whole lot of something! These were only thoughts as I knew if I were to say them outloud for a few days people would wonder if I'm on 'crack!' The finished product was acheived after dinner tonight. I kept adding glue dots to fill in and make up for the small image. It's not my favourite but I made the deadline!

I can hardly wait to see the sketch for next week so I can find my mojo and brain cells that seemed to get away from me for the last 10 days.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
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I'm Still Here!

Hello to all my new friends in Blogland!  Just a quick note to let you know that I'm still here but this has been a long, busy week which is why I haven't posted in a couple of days!  The shop is finally busy with the warmer weather!
I have a challenge card I'll be posting later on and have also played with my Stampscapes and a monochromatic scheme.  It's in purples with white highlights.  The scene is sitting on the table by my chair and I'm still deciding if I like it or not.  Maybe I should just post it and see what you think!  I'm my own worst critic no matter what I do.
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!  Spring is finally here and I'm loving it!!
p.s.  I'm so thankful to have you all!  I don't have a lot of free time and that makes it hard to do anything outside of home and work... with women my age.  With a blog I can sign in and visit my friends and see who has visited me!  I'm able to see what you've been up to without having a two hour coffee out.  With everyone's hectic lifestyles this is the perfect medium to keep in touch!  ;o)

Monday, 21 March 2011

Meeting New Friends!!

What a beautiful weekend we finally had here on the west coast!  I couldn't believe that I went from wearing a turtleneck at work on Saturday morning to wearing a t-shirt outside on Sunday!  Yessssssss!!!
On Saturday morning I was able to finally meet a new friend I've made from Blogland!  Her name is Nancy and she's from Courtenay which is approximately 1/2 hour south of Campbell River on Vancouver Island.  We met at one of my favourite shops, She Runs With Scissors in Campbell River!
First off, I'd like to say that Nancy is such a beautiful person, inside and out!  Not only is she extremely talented...she's a real gem and I am so lucky to have met her!
Nancy brought me a present made up of hand made flowers, which you can see a photo of on her blog,!  They are sooooo beautiful!  One is quilled and it turns out she is a quilling instructor!
I enjoyed our visit which lasted over an hour!  Nancy is going to keep me posted on classes in Courtenay so that we'll be able to visit again soon!  I can hardly wait!
Have a great week Nancy ... I'm looking forward to keeping in touch!
Check out Nancy's blog: Crafting Passions  Her creations are gorgeous!!

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Stampscape Tutorial - Rocky Mountain Foothills

Good Evening!

It's Friday night and there's a hockey game on so I headed off to my little corner of sanity to play with Stampscape stamps and colour!
I've been asked a few times how I colour different scenes so here's another one we'll play with.  I started out stamping the mountains and then added the pine tree in the foreground stamping it at varying heights.  I have more stamps on order but wanted some trees just a bit smaller to fill in the center of the image so used pines and rocks but used tape to mask off the rocks, ink the stamp, remove the tape and stamp the trees twice at different heights to show depth of field.  The last stamp I used was of the tree cluster and masked off the bottom of that stamp as well.  Once the trees were in order I needed a filler for all the gaps!  My most used and favourite stamp of the set is sedge filler.  This was stamped everywhere there was a space and also behind the trees to make it look like there was even more depth.
 First off I used my clouds stamp and Adirondack Aqua to do the sky. This is the first thing I do for all of my scapes.  For me, starting the sky seems to ground everything I'm doing when colouring the rest of the scene.

This third photo shows where I usually start when colouring.  Everyone has their own way of doing things but I always like to start light and gradually go darker.
I started with Lemonade and using the stylus I tapped it onto the trees, grass and gently tapped a bit in the sky above the mountains.  If you look closely you'll see where I've lightly tapped a tad of Lemonade on the Mountains as well.  Next time you look at the horizon you will see that it's always (from what I've seen) lighter.
The next colour to be added is Willow.  This is a lovely colour for lighter trees.  Once again I tapped it on the trees and on the grasses.  Try and keep the tips of the grass lighter but it you can't... we can lighten that up later on!
Now comes the fun part!  We're going to create our forest!  Using Adirondack Meadow you can tap in colour on the trees.  For the fir trees I load my stylus with colour and tilt the stylus so I'm only lightly tapping on the edge of the foam pad.  doing it this way keeps you from having trees look 18 feet wide!  Once you've given the trees some colour you can gently tap in some colour on the grass as well.  Don't add meadow to everything.  Look for the spaces between the grass tips.  These spaces are the lower end of the grass.  Grass is always a deeper shade closer to the ground (unless you live on the prairies or the desert... then the grass would be shades of brown!).
I love using Distress Ink in Burlap.  Using the edge of the stylus pad again, tap touches of colour onto the mountains.  During late spring, summer and early fall there is definitely snow on the mountains but... enough has melted so you'll see rock faces and greenery.  You can tap touches of Burlap in the grass here and there and especially in the foreground.  Forest grass is very sparse.
 Now we are going to refine everything and work on depth of field along with adding more colour to everything ...
Starting with the Cantelope, Tap in a bit of colour here and there on the grass tips.  Add a touch to the deciduous tree.  The Potter's Clay can be added to the tree, touches on the mountain...lower down, and touches on the grass.  The Cottage Ivy (green) will darken your forest.  Gently tap some on the fir trees, between the trees and on the darker deciduous tree.  On my sample I overdid the darker colours a bit so brought out my Adirondack Lemonade and tapped it over places where I wanted it lightened up a bit.
Alrighty... Now comes the sky and shadows!  Using a Q-tip or pointed sponge nibs you can start adding a little bit of Adirondack Aqua to the sky.  Follow the Aqua that is already on the sky from stamping and just deepen the colour between the clouds.  Once you're finished doing that you can lightly load a stylus with Aqua and gently tap in colour from the top edge downwards to just above the mountains.  I was in a hurry to finish this last night so my sky isn't exactly the way I wanted it.  Sometimes it's a hit and miss until I perfect my colouring!
Lightly load a stylus pad with Pitch Black and lightly tap in some shade around the base of the fir trees.  If your sunshine is coming from the left, then your tree shadow will start at the tree base towards the right side of your scene.  If your sun comes from the right, your shadows will go from right to left.  Depending on the time of day and how high your sun is above the horizon dictates how long your shadow will be.  Add some birds in the sky and voila!

Now, I'm going to show you my MISTAKE!!  I have seen highlights done with a white ink craft pen as dots on objects in the scene.  I was questioning myself prior to adding them and should have stopped there.  I'm going to show you my mistake and you can be the judge.  Myself, I won't use it again unless I'm doing a night or winter scene.  What I do use is... a jellyroll star pen in platinum.  When you look at the scene dead on, you don't really see the highlights.  When you tilt the scene, which is what people do when they open cards, you can see the subtle highlights.

Now you can see what I'm talking about!  Ewwwwww!  I'm not happy with this at all!  Hindsight is 20/20... How true!  Always go with your gut feeling!
One other thing I'd like to mention is... Adirondack inks will fade a bit if not sprayed with a laquer finish.  I let this scene sit overnight and it lightened up to where I really like it!  Too bad about the white dots!!
So, I hope I was able to give you some tips with this post.  If there's something you'd like me to do next just leave a comment!  This is also a learning process for me as well.  I've only been doing Stampscapes since January.

Stamps used in this scene:
023A  Duck trio in flight
267E  Pine & roscks small
196F  Pine tree
188F  Rocky Peaks
244E  Tree cluster
251C  Sidge filler

Thanks for looking!!

It would be greatly appreciated if you leave a comment to let me know how I'm doing on these tutorials.  I'm a newbie!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Just For Fun!

Hi Everyone!

Just a quick post of what I worked on tonight. I'll write more details tomorrow night after I get back to town. It's late and I'll be getting up at 4 a.m. to go work down island tomorrow.
This card will be entered at Heart Song Inspiration blog and I'll check around for others tomorrow.
Have a great evening... what's left of it!!
Talk to you all tomorrow...

I am back!!
On Wednesday I was asked to enter a challenge at Heart Song Inspirations so after I finished dinner I went to work trying to think up something that would work with the sketch there... this is what I came up with.  I am the first one to admit that I am much better at Stampscape scenes but I will give anything a whirl!  Thanks to all the Heart Song girls for leaving such wonderful comments on this post while I was at work!  You all boosted my spirits so high!!
The plaid paper is from G and the others are miscellaneous from my stash.  The stamp is from Stampin Up! and the bow made from Michaels ribbon and I used the Bow Easy which is one of my favourite tools.  Stickles were use to highlight the fairy and the flower.  My cutter must be wearing out because I had one heckuva time getting even cuts so.. used my Fiskers scissors to deckle te edges which hid all crooked cuts!!  WooHoo!  That was the first time I have touched those!!

Thanks for looking!!

Challenges I've Entered:
Heart Song Inspirations - Sketch
Simon Says Stamp Challenge - Anything Goes
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Mothers Day Card - 2

Good Morning Everyone!
I'm loving Tim Holtz' Perfect Pearls at the moment!  I started playing with the copper and bronze last night along with a fern frond stamp from Stampin' up!  I wish you could see how the Perfect Pearls glisten in the light!
First off I used my anti-static bag for embossing and it helped quite a bit with getting the pearls only where I wanted it.  Next, I put Perfect Medium on the stamp and stamped it randomly off the page.  You need to recoat the stamp with Perfect Medium every time you stamp.  This medium is clear but does have somewhat of a sheen to it so if you tilt it towards the light you'll see where you need to fill in.
Once the stamping is finished it's time to dust on the perfect pearls!  For the fronds I put copper towards the tip and bronze closer to the bottom.  If you were here to see the card for yourself you'd see that there is a subtle difference!  Next, take your larger fluffy brush and gently get rid of any excess powder.  Spritz your work lightly to set the pearls and that part is finished once it dries!
After that... it's up to you what type of dp's and embellishments you use.
The sentiment is from an old Stampin' Up! set and says...
"A mother is someone who can take the place of all others but whose place no one else can take."
Good luck and have fun playing with this fantastic medium!

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Stampscape - Dream

Good Afternoon Girls!

It's blowing a southeaster with horizontal rain today so thought I'd play in my room after the chores were done! (Didn't get them all done because I'm solar powered and it's rather dark with all the heavy clouds)
I've had Ranger Perfect Pearls in my drawer for a while and finally thought up a use for them! I didn't want to be like other Stampscape artists using the pine stamped multiple times and fades into the background. So once again I thought outside the box and this is what I ended up with!
I used the small lakeside cove stamps and didn't put the pearls on until I was finished stamping. I thought doing it that way I'd get a crisper image using the perfect medium.
The tops of the trees and the water are done with the pearl finish to simulate moonlight kissing the tree tops and playing on the water. The rocks were done in gold and the tree bottoms were coloured with copper. I thought the bronze was too dark to use on black.
Once it was all dusted off I added some stars with a Jelly Roll star pen along with a few more ripple kisses in the water. Stars were added last and if you look closely you'll see a couple of constellations!
The scene was layered on gold shimmery paper and my Martha Stewart photo corner punch finished it off (Hmm I think they are now my signature on every Stampscapes piece!)
The dream stamp was from 'G' and stamped with Brilliance white and then embossed with Stampendous Pearl.
A bow with generic ribbon was made and topped off with a real jewel... just kidding! The background cardstock is quite a deep brown but I tried to use the dining room light to make the Perfect Pearls shine and ended up making the background look lighter with my fantabulistic photography skills!
Hope you like it!

I have entered this card in the following challenges:
Simon says Stamp! - Anything goes
Craft Us Crazy - Be ONE With NATURE
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Saturday, 12 March 2011

Stampscapes Tutorial - Onset of Autumn

Good Morning Everyone!

I was playing last night and took a few photos while I coloured in my latest Stampscapes scene.  It is similar in layout as earlier versions I've done but once my new stamps arrive I'll be creating a lot more different ones!

I'm hoping to show you how I layer.  Is this the proper way of doing things?  I have noooo idea!  As with everything else I do, I fumble through and if it turns out, yippee!  If not... There's a trash can at my feet!

In this first photo you can see I use a stylus.  Always remember not to press too hard or you'll have football shapes on your scene!  Of course, I had to learn the hard way!  So, I started with Willow.  This was tapped onto the grass, trees and some on the lower part of the mountains.  Next came Lemonade.  This was used to add highlights to the grass and on the lower part of the sky around the mountains.
I also used my cloud stamp with Aqua for the sky.

The next step is to add the colours shown above: Citrus, Meadow, Cottage Ivy and Cantalope!  Start with citrus on the trees in the lower part of the grass.  Deepen the trees with Meadow while still letting a touch of citrus show through.  Do this once again with Cottage Ivy making sure that this colour goes where the trees are shaded.  Cantalope highlights the roof, grasses and deciduous trees. 
Okay... I hear ya!  You're thinking... oh my goodness... that's bright!
After each layer, sit back from your image propped up so you can try and visualize what is next or, add more of what you're using!
For this stage I used Terra Cotta, Frayed Burlap, Walnut and Fired Brick!  I placed Terra Cotta in the grass, on the cabin, behind the firs and a bit here and there for good luck!  Fired Brick is on the chimney, deciduous trees and grass.  I use Frayed Burlap for wood, shading on the grass, tree trunks, mountains and the cabin.  Walnut is great for shading anything brown and also for distance shading between trees.  You'll see a cool pencil by the photo.  It's an applicator called Fantastix and I found that at She Runs With Scissors for just over $1.  It absorbs colour and the tip is almost like melted into a point.  This is great for doing fine work like window frames and special touches here and there.
So... Are you still with me or kind of yawning your way onto the next Blog!?!
Here is a closer look at the photo with what's been used so far.  Trust me!!!  It gets better!
We are now going to brighten things up a bit and add to the sky.  Using that kewl Fantastix thingy you can deepen the breaks in the clouds with Aqua, and also add highlights to trees with Lemonade.  Don't forget to tap in some of the three on the mountains as if it were reflecting off the snow.
I also am putting more yellow onto the grass.  You're probably thinking... ya right!  Lighten things up????  Tis twue my grasshopper!  I think inside and outside the box!  These are 'dye' inks so I thought... ya!  I'll dye it back a bit lighter!  Tada!  It works.. for the most part!  While I was playing away... my dogs came in and decided that I should take them outside into a SouthEaster from h*%@!  All it took was one head bumping my arm and the stylus with walnut stain added to my sky!  After panicing (sp?), I tried lightening things up and voila!  Almost gone.. but gone enough that when I stamped the tree braches for framing.. you can hardly see the blobs now!
Now comes the last step!  Shadows!  Take your brown stylus pad and stamp off most of the ink onto plain paper.  Using black dye ink, lightly tap in shadows behind and between trees, the cabin roof where the sun won't hit, the side of the cabin where it's more of a low light setting.  If you goof and catch it quickly you can tap the black with your finger and it does come off onto your finger.  You can get a great look effect doing that at times too.. especially with the sky.
When I do a scene I always do two of the same.  I'll show you the two finished in a minute so you can really see that each and every scene is sooo different!  I'll try and set aside some time tonight to put them together on a card and post the photos after!
Here's the finished photos now.  One has lighter grass and darker sky and the other has a lighter sky and darker grass!  The birds in the lower picture sort of cover the other doggie boo-boo in pink.
Using autumn colour inks is new to me so this has been a learning tutorial for me too!  One thing that I did try (I thought of this while driving again!) was to use a crummy paintbrush, (One of those garbage stiff brushes kids get in the painting kits) and used a white Brilliance ink pad to tap in fine dots of highlights on the grass tips, tree tips and also for the chimney smoke.  Not sure if I like it but once I spray varnish on the photo the colours will sharpen up!
I'm not great at explaining how I do things!  I do hope it helped a bit so you can see the start to finish.
Hint:  When you're out for a drive in the country or wherever... take a look around to see how mother nature paints her pictures.  When you start thinking out in left field you notice so much more!
Good luck and let me know how you make out!!

** I finished one card and here it is!
The maple leaf stamp is from Stampede and was stamped on black then Perfect Pearls was added to keep with the autumn theme.  I'll post the finished pic of the other scene once I get it done.

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Blog Candy From Creations by Gill M.!!!

Wow!  Gill has some spectacular candy up for grabs!  I've checked out her blog and am so impressed!  She is one talented lady!
The candy is for going over 300 followers.  Head on over for a good look around and enter at the same time!
Good luck!!

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Anniversary Card

Hi Everyone!

I was feeling creative last night and started playing with all of my 'stuff.' The Happy Anniversary stamp from Inkadinkado was purchased last month and then I really felt the need for the large Spellbinders so picked them up too! Seeing as the budget was now blown I wasn't able to pick up some awesome looking blue flowers so... I tried making my own as I had watched Tammy's tutorial last week! So... Hmm.. didn't have the right flower punch and ended up looking through my Cricut cartridges and found one sort of similar on the Accent Essentials cartridge (pg. 63). When I had them put together and curled they looked awesome! Thought I'd take it a bit further and used my Stampin' Up! watercolour crayons to deepen the colour of each petal towards the center. Once they were put together I added Diamond Stickles to all petals on the outside edges. The picture makes them look like cr#* and honestly... they really do look better here in front of me!
I embossed the stamped image with Stampendous Blue Tinsel on top of Stonewashed Blue ink. Tried using clear Versamark but the blue embossing was too transparant. The second layer was put through the CB with the paisley folder. The ribbon was done on the 'Bow Easy' with thin cream and a dark blue that I've had around since dinosaurs roamed the earth. The heart stick pin was purchased the other day. What a score! There were loads of them in cream and also red for $4.00 at The River Scrapbook Room in Campbell River! I picked up the webbed ribbon? at the same shop. The cream was just toooooo creamy so picked up Distress Aged Paper today (now I've REALLY blown the budget!) as they were out of Antique Linen. That seemed to do the trick and made the embossing stand out a lot better. Added pop dots here and there for dimension and there you have it!... My 'Out of my comfort zone' card! Using 3-D flowers and extra ribbon along with pins is foreign to me so even though it's not a perfect card... I'm on my way to getting there!
Thanks for looking and hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
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Cancer Cards for Heidi!!

Hi Everyone!
Michelle from Michelles Scrapbooking And More is sending out a request for a grade six girl named Heidi who is battling a very rare form of ovarian cancer.  Click on the link for more information and the address.  It would be great to send cards from all over the world!  I will post mine by Sunday night.
Thanks for helping!!

Here's what I've come up with.  I'm not a little girly foo foo cardmaker but.. I wanted to send something to Heidi!

Not sure if I'm really sold on this card! I was trying to make a card for a little girl named Heidi who is 10 years old and has contracted a very rare form of Ovarian Cancer.

Most everything is from Stampin' Up! I cut out the paper flower in layers and propped it up with pop dots. No matter what angle I tried to photograph this I couldn't make the fairy sprinkles show... they are there tho! Now that you know this... The story of the card is that Heidi is the beautiful flower and the fairy is sprinkling vast quantities of fairy dust to help her heal and bloom. The saying says it all.. There's a little bit of magic in everything by Lou Reed. I'm hoping that the magic cures Heidi enabling her to live a long and healthy life!

So there you have it... The card isn't great but I wanted to get her story out there.

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Stampscapes - Dawn or Dusk??

Hi Everyone!
I'm home from a long work day down island. I left home at 5 a.m. travelling on ice (I have the right tires!) which turned into a mega-snowstorm around Courtenay! So... Mr. Snowplough happened to be going the same way I was so I tucked in behind him until it was clear enough to pass. Thank goodness I wasn't towing the trailer that I use to pick up and deliver equipment for the business... I was supposed to today but put it off for a week!
Okay.. enough of my whining! Hmm... not whining because I love driving in snow... more like overtired from having to concentrate harder than normal during the drive!
I started this Stampscape last night. Wasn't sure what I wanted to do so started playing with different ones. Those who know the stamp collection.... which one did I alter? It was the pines in the background. This stamp is actually from the lakeside cove and I taped off the rocks and put them in the horizon. Turned out not too bad.
I haven't gotten the new bunch of stamps yet so am kind of stuck in limbo with what I can create. Soon I'll have more stamp pad colours which will make it easier as well!
The inks I used today were: Adirondack - Pink Sherbet, Aqua, Lemonade and Stonewashed for the sky (I think it's my best sky yet). The trees and grasses were done with Willow and Meadow. I added black where needed for shading. Things kind of looked dark in the end so I put a good dose of Willow here and there to make it look like either morning or evening light on the grass.
The other dye inks used were: Memento - Potters Clay on the Cabin, Cantelope in the grass and a touch here and there on the cabin roof, Cottage Ivy on the fir trees and deciduous to darken. Distress Inks used were: Frayed Burlap on the cabin, path and tree trunks. The path still doesn't look right even after I added Potters Clay and a touch of Adirondack Black. Oh well... :o(
I've been wracking my little brain for ideas to embellish the Stampscapes. On my way home I remembered a video I found of Linda's (will put the link in here when I go back and find it) where you punch out paper and glue them together and layer until thick enough. I did this and then used the CuttleBug and woodgrain folder to add some texture. Once that was done Distress Frayed Burlap was rubbed on top and on the edges. They look much better here than in a picture.
So.... that's it for tonight! If you have any questions... let me know! Critique away!!! What are friends for?!
I may do a picture tutorial for the homemade glue dots and the buttons this weekend... if I find a spare minute!
Thanks for looking!
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