Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Happy Birthday...CAS(E) this Sketch #38

A *cas* post to share my CAS(E) this Sketch card; fabulous sketch and yes, it was a challenge! At first glance, this may 'look' simple, but nope!  It's definitely one for stretching and flexing those creative muscles.  All the fabulous submissions so far - and I imagine a number yet to come - reveal that we were up for the event - and what an event it was!  So many possibilities...

Here's the sketch:

My card is a smattering of My Creative Time birthday sentiments from several sets, as well as the negative portion of my new, ever-so-delicate Memory Box "happy" die.  Apparently the 'subway inspiration' continues to play....

Lining up those stamps was definitely 'interesting,' as was the masking. I'm starting to quite like this whole 'inking' thing...or maybe I just want to buy more 'stuff.'  Either way, inks rock!  If you have a chance, check out the 'all you need to know about inks' video from Jennifer M.  Awesome+++ I want alllll those inks, every one of them...

Thanks so much for dropping by; please let me know you did! Your comments definitely brighten my day!

NOTE:  I'm adding this to the Do More with Less Challenge, inspired by Savannah O'Gwynn.  Let me say, plenty o'masking happened here...and trying to keep the sentiments 'in line').  If you haven't added your masking creations yet, do so before August 9th.  See you there!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Back at 'er, slowly...Paper Smooches SPARKS: Picture Perfect and Freshly Made Sketches

Nearly a month has passed since I played with a challenge, and whoa…out of practice!!  With all the learning and inspiration from Summer Card Camp, you’d think I’d be flying high with a new bag of tricks, new designs, new interpretations. “Ha!” I say. Big Ha!  Nope.  I’m still puttering as I did before, because I think I need some ‘processing’ time for all the lessons and techniques to penetrate into my creative psyche.  Ideas I have…but the ‘how to’ still needs some mulling.  Perhaps, like fine wine needs to age, so too does my thinking before doing.  Anyway…

Today, two cards for three challenges, and I’m pairing them up because they feature predominately Paper Smooches products.

Logically, I should be creating ‘water’ or ‘sunset’ themed images ("picture perfect" being the operative phrase), but…nope. In Summer Camp, the talented Kelly Rasmussen designed a subway-inspired card, with a series of “you” connected sentiments.  I decided to give this technique a whirl – with some masking to create words involved as well - selecting sentiments from my collection of PS stamps (I think I used four or five, including a Christmas set), and my colours from those in the photo: pink, red, yellow, orange and a bit of blue (water…blue, right?).  The resulting card may ‘look’ simplistic, but trust me: much time invested!  In real life, it’s kind of cool…Oh yes, since masking was part of my production, I’m also adding it to the ever-creative Savannah’s challenge at  the Do More With Less site.  Head on over for details - and be sure to join in!!

Here it is, my 'attempt' at a subway-inspired card:

(I'm a little bummed that my orange ink didn't turn our better, esp. since its new.  Grrr...)

I really like the 'concept' of this card, and will definitely make a return to this technique; some small note cards are coming to mind....

My second card – again with PS stamps - Calico - as the headliner – is for Freshly Made Sketches #96
.  Love making tags…just need to get back in practice!  

There...a small 'come back'...

Thanks so much for dropping by; please let me know you did! Your comments brighten my day!

Merry Christmas In July...X 3

Synchronicity:  I’m probably not using this word correctly, however, aside from liking how it sounds, and what I *think* it means, two events occurred this week that lead me to create the cards I’m sharing and the post I’m writing.  First event: the ever-talented, ever-engaging, ever-inspiring, best-posts-ever (guaranteed 1,000% to brighten your day!) Darnell’s news that she was featured as a Merry Monday Guest Designer.  I’ll wait while you ooh and ahhh (in awe) at her lovely card...la..la..la…).  Okay, you’re back, inspired I know…

Second event: as I’ve shared in recent posts, one or two (or eleven) new items happened to find room in my “mobile crafting unit” and what could I do, but bring them home.  New stuff merging with old stuff means time dedicated to re-organizing (yes, I do store paper pads/stamps alphabetically, by company/stamp titles.  Yes that is weird), sorting, shuffling and…in the midst of this effort, I happened upon the basket that houses my Christmas products.  Not having seen those in a while, I decided best to take inventory, especially since the desire to buy more Christmas stuff is increasing exponentially, daily. 

Paper-clipped together, in three tidy bundles (quite unlike me, so I admit to being pleasantly surprised at my neatness!), were the ‘makings’ for three Christmas cards that apparently didn’t make it to ‘the cut’ for last year.  As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, my dad writes poems – and last year, he wrote three for Christmas:  one Santa themed, one reindeer themed and one snowman themed – and I was ‘invited’ to make the accompanying cards.  The poems + cards were meant for my family and my sister-in-law’s folks – Santa cards for the women; reindeer for the men, and snowmen for New Years.   Of course, I was delighted to be part of the “Pa and Carol” construction, and took my tasks quite to heart, even though I was even more a card-making novice than I am now.  I found a wee Santa stamp, a reindeer stamp, a snowman stamp, a couple pads of patterned paper and…went to town!!  Grand total of cards = 6 X Santa, 6 X Reindeer, 6 X Snowman…except I only needed 5 of each.  Mathematician I am not! 

Anyway, here’s where the synchronicity fits: Darnell’s Merry Monday post + my find of the ‘extra’ Christmas card fixin’s = with my heart aglow with the memories of Christmas past, I put together a set of what I remembered from my previous ones (d-uh…no photos taken, as this was well before my blogging days!).  Each card in each series was ‘kind of’ the same, kind of’ different" – background papers, colouring, and so forth.  Overall, everyone liked their poem+art combos, and every 'couple’ in my family went home with one of each card (including Andy and I...yes, I had to make cards for us, and we had to 'pretend' to be surprised when we opened them.  My dad's funny!)

So….here are my entries to Merry Monday (and some cards that I might ‘case’ later this year…maybe). Bear in mind: novice+++ skill at work here; nothing spectacular, but I hope you think they’re a little bit cute:

What wonderful hours I spent last November making these, and stepping into that 'zone' yesterday was just as delightful. I wonder what Pa will have in mind for this year...hmmm, maybe I'll *have* to shop after all!!
Happy Merry Christmas in July!

Thanks for dropping by; please let me know you did! Your comments brighten my day!

ETA:  I received a most warm comment from Hazel, over at craftyhazelnut's christmas, inviting me to share my cards at her "anything goes challenge, as long as it's Christmas" for July.  Consider the invitation gratefully accepted.  Oh yes, and while you're here - click on her link: she has some FABULOUS Christmas cards on her site.  Inspiration?  Yes, Yes and YES!!  Thanks Hazel!!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Summer Camp Week 3 Day 5 - Home....and Home Stretches...

Suddenly, it’s Friday, our holidays are over (sort of…more on that for another post J), and the week has been a whoosh-of-a-fast one!!  Actually, plenty accomplished (do substantial hours in the car count as any sort of ‘did it’ feat?) that include:

Leaving Bend, after dragging me out, kicking and screaming, and 12 hours later arriving at my in-laws’ in Kelowna where we spent another heat-infused Tuesday. My mother-in-law was an outstanding hostess, as always, ensuring we were dined and wined exceptionally well.  My father-in-law, the poor dear, has been living in a seniors’ care home for just over a year (sad+++), however, he looks great and our visits with him were as wonderful as they can be. He continues to recognize us and even if we’re not always sure what the conversations are about, he’s still able to chat up a storm!  Our trip also coincided with the season of ripe cherries, peaches, pears; love those orchards!! And maybe I snuck in a wee spree to the sweet scrapbooking store, Ever After, where a couple of Memory Box dies were calling my name. Must heed those calls…

Wednesday, we re-packed and headed for home, to significantly cooler temperatures and an ‘empty’ house!  My brother’s family, with in-laws in tow, had fallen behind schedule with their holiday excursion, as the two little ones were dealing with colds in the earlier part of the week.  They did manage to escape city-life yesterday, picking up on the ‘second stage’ of their trip, where they’re staying at a water-slide + indoor playground hotel in Banff, a mere 10 miles from our place.  Yipppeee!! While I missed having them here, having them near is a 100% fantastic alternative.  

Thursday:  Highlight of yesterday is pretty obvious: trip to Banff, time with the kids!  The candy store was a hit; huge, gigantic hit!  Leaving a couple of sugar-rushed little cutie-patooties with their mom and dad, as well as grammy and grampy , to deal with was toooo funny (snicker x 1,000!!). 
Friday: trip to Calgary with my husband to run a couple of errands, back home now for a brief stop (post opportunity), then to Banff for my kidlet play time…

On to the cards I made yesterday:  oh, but they were a challenge, from the colours (light/dark brown, light/dark purple, aqua) to the sketches!  On one hand, excellent to do the ‘stretch’; on the other, hmmm….toughies indeed!  Bonus on both though:  using new stuff! On stage – a  couple of L’il Inkers yummies:  chevron die (need more practice, but oh, the possibilities…), connected circles + diamond stamps, as well as…drum roll….new distress markers, which I used to colour on the diamond stamps in the second card.  Colour. Huff. Stamp.  Lovely ease; still, need more practice, as I’m definitely a novice stamper…then on to using them to watercolour, because I have H20 brushes now, too!  New products means only one thing: more crafting must happen!! And I’m definitely game!!

Anyway…here they are:

(inspired by Sarah Moerman, whose cards featured a cut die-cut background for  a 
fun look; not sure mine constitutes 'fun' but it was certainly a new direction...

Some forgotten patterned paper found; distress markers for the stamps (slightly crooked...grrrr) and a bit of playing with the thanks die..

Thanks for dropping by; please let me know you did! Your comments brighten my day immensely!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Summer Cap...Week 2 Day 5 - New Colours; New Papers

Oh, time whizzes by!  A week ago we were packing to head to Bend, and now, in an eye's blink, we're packing to head home.  Sad face X 1,000!  On the plus side, despite *whew, super sweaty* conditions for today's race, my husband finished 11th overall in his racing category.  Happy face X 1,000.  I guess, in the grand scheme, things balance out, although I'll still wish a few more days in Bend!

To stave off thinking about leaving, I made a card, mainly to play with a new pap of paper: My Mind's Eye All Spice. Because seeing the patterns/colours is a bit difficult given my amateur photograpy, here's the image: *My Mind's Eye 6 x 6 ALL SPICE Paper Pad 6X6103  Pretty, rather subdued colours - and they worked quite well with one of the new colour palettes: white, light and dark blue, green and coral/pink).  The yellow is a bit of a 'sneak in,' based on the pattern I selected for the side strip, but I decided was okay, since it adds a bit of 'perk' to the card.  Sketch choice is #3, with inspiration credit going to Pamela Ho's Day 3 card.

Nothing inside yet (something I want to work on over the next while...maybe)...

Tomorrow's travel plan: drive north for 12 hours and (fingers crossed all will be well) arrive at my husband's parents' home in Kelowna for a visit, before heading home on Wednesday.  The "mobile craft unit" may be taking it easy for a couple days, but I'll aim to find time to 'stroll and comment' in Blog-land.

Thanks for dropping by; please let me know you did! Your comments add sparkle to my day!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Summer Camp Week 2 Day 5...New Colours + New Inspiration AND New Stamps + Inks

First, a wee whine: holy smokes but it's hot here in Bend! At one point yesterday, the car thermometer registered 112F! Temperatures like this do not happen where we live. Gahhhh...roasting. Major roasting!

That done (thank you for understanding): quick post to share a wee homework attempt that was cobbled together betwixt and between my husband's race and my 'racer's wife' duties. (Side note: pinning numbers on a rider when he is wearing his jersey could lead to safety-pin poke injuries.  Now, I'm not saying I may have given him a teensy jab - unintended, of course - but in case you should ever be in such a position, exercise caution.  I am, for the record, a skilled number-pinner-on-er...very important task, especially for rider ID when zipping past the finish camera).   BTW: his races are going super well!! He came in 9th yesterday the road race; 17th at the time trial (decent, considering he doesn't have a TT bike), and I'm not sure about the criterium race yet, as results aren't posted.  Last one tomorrow (where has the time gone!!)....

I really, super really wanted to try Jennifer's tri-fold card, with the flower border opening and panel background, however, the "mobile crafting unit" didn't have all the right tools I needed.  Adapt as required - and with that, use some of the new products that have joined my collection:  PS Calico and Reflections stamp set, as well as some dewdrop sized Memento/Versamark inks.  My amateur status at stamping with coloured ink will be readily apparent, however, I'm excited by the 'growth' opportunities. Best part: no stained stamps!!

My card is 'busy' with flowers and leaves, mainly because...well, new stamps #1, and trying to use the colour combination I selected, #2 (light blue, red, orange, green, white).  Two flowers are the 'wrong' blue (another ink added to the list for future shopping), so I used a better-suited match for the background panel. Not sure if it works; I'll see what leaving it for a few days results in, and decide then on renovations, or not.  My bouquet is nestled (crowded...) on to the PS notebook die, which I ran through first, folded, to make a mini card, and then a second time for the top holes.  I added a couple stamped flowers inside, and realized, yup, this card is indeed for "just a note" - as in a teensy, weensy, itty, bitty note.  Oh well...sometimes less is more, right!

Anyway, here's it's little outside

(apologies for the shadows)
and its little inside:

We're off to go *watch* a bike race in downtown Bend - the pro guys' criterium.  Should be awesome, especially with a field of 180...

Thanks so much for dropping by; please let me know you did! Your comments add sparkle to my day.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Summer Camp Day 3...Circle + Window + Butterfly = Thanks card

What a blisteringly hot day yesterday - and most spectacular in many ways (sweltering aside).  In an attempt to be a 'good wife,' I joined my husband on his 'easy ride' - he on his road bike, and me on my good old heavy, reliable mountain bike. (I do own a road bike, but haven't ridden it for a while - too sketchy for me, especially in the wind.  Call me a weenie, because yes I am!).  From our Seventh Inn have, off we went, for our 'jaunt' that took us down the highway, into the Tetherow golf course area (quiet road, thankfully!), into the awesome...wait, AWESOME...neighbourhood around Summit High School, back to admire, longingly, at a house we stayed at during a prior visit (my dream house...love it! Perfect - plus it has craft-room space allllll for me.  Wishing, wishing...), then retraced our route back to our rental.  Grand total: 1.5 hours. Not long in the realms of cycling; perfect time frame and pace for my husband; and me?   Yeessh!! I love my bike, but need to make a serious effort to ride it more often.  I can keep up with my husband (given he's not at race pace), however, I most certainly lack his fitness levels and recuperative power!  Jello legs for a good chunk of the day.  And just in case someone in 'bike land' might be reading this: could someone please, please, and please invent a bike seat that's comfortable?? Please??

Ride done, we stopped at the front desk to check on a couple of items I'd ordered prior to our trip and *fist pump* YES, they'd arrived!  Welcomed into my little collection: L'il Inkers (stamp set, connected circle die and chevron die, with more on the shopping list, awaiting the stock to be replenished) and a variety of Paper Smooches stamps - Reflections, Calico and Christmas sentiments (too cute to resist) - and dies - Speech Bubbles and the Power Rays.  Tickled pink!!

After some recuperating time (for me, that is), we headed out to shop for a bit. In one of the local  bike shops, my husband commented to the lady tallying up his purchases that finding this particular brand of cycling socks in Canada was like finding hen's teeth. She asked where we lived, he told her, and imagine the collective surprise to learn that her daughter lives in Canmore, a competitive cross-country skier!  Small world...and side note:   the price of his socks reinforces I need to have a whole lot less guilt about buying crafting stuff!  

Okay, enough of the travel-diary and on to my card I had a chance to make last evening.  It's a bit of a hybrid, drawing inspiration from two designers:  Jennifer M, from Day 1, and Julie E, from Day 3 - and the third sketch of Week 2's choices.  Bonus: I finally used some paper from a pad that's been sitting idle! Yayyy!!

My card wouldn't stand up properly for its photo shoot, so down it went, with the edge of a cuttlebug plate holding it closed, so you'll see that on the corner, along with a rather shabbily cut edge on one side. Grrr...my little cutter must need new blades.  Oh no, that likely means a trip to JoAnns *grin, grin*

(Thanks is from my new L'il Inker set. Cuteness!  
Hmmm...I wonder if it needs some different sized ink dots to jazz it up a bit.  Seems a bit plain-ish...)

And, a 'something' that I don't often do: a bit of an inside greeting...

Today is Race Day 1 - 74 mile road race starting from and ending at Mt. Bachelor. I'm nervous; my husband is not.  Go figure!!  He's out there at 1:30, during the heat-iest part of the day.  Hope my passing water-bottles to him in the feed zone is in good form!!!

Thanks so much for dropping by; please let me know you did! Your comments add sparkle to my day!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Summer Camp Week 2, Day 1 - One assignment, one 'sort of' assignment, and one just because

Last I wrote and shared a card, we'd just wrapped up officiating at a bike race on Sunday, and I was in a hurried frenzy cleaning and packing in preparation for our journey south.  Monday, we made our escape, traveling from the thunderstorm that made loading the car a bit of a water-dodge, into sunny skies, and incredibly warm temperatures (at least for us!).  Our first day destination - Kennewick - proved not only a welcome relief from 10 hours of driving, to a bit of a shopping 'score' for me!  I had a couple of quick 'time-and-budget limited' jaunts to Joann's (Tombow adhesives, some adhesive paper, which I've not seen before, being my 'featured buys) and Hobby Lobby where, left to my own devices, I'd likely still be shopping.  Featured buys included two 6 X 6 paper pads (seriously on  sale. Seriously!), a Christmas sentiment stamp and some clear embossing powder (I think I've been bitten by the embossing bug, as a result of Summer Camp).  My little 'fix' fixed, we carried on to Bend....

Our 'race-themed' Bend trips have an "arrival' routine that I thoroughly enjoy, even though my husband's part has me both marveling at his commitment to racing, as well as shaking my head in bewilderment.  Our first stop - before even entering Bend - is to head over to the charming tourist town of Sisters, which is also the starting point of the winding, sometimes hilly, sometimes steep roads of the McKenzie Pass.  We park, my husband dons his cycling gear, reconstructs his bike that has been wheel-less for a couple of days, grabs a couple of water bottles and off he goes, for a three hour ride.  Three hours: after spending 5 hours in the car previously, and previous to that, upwards of 10!  Admirable craziness!  While he's off training (his last 'hard ride' before Friday, the start of four competitions over three days), I do exercise of my own: poking around the shops in Sisters, some of which are totally darling!  My favourite is The Stitching Post, and even though I'm not a quilter, and have but dabbled in knitting, if I were so inclined in either of these ventures, this shop has it all!  I love looking at the wool, thinking about the numerous skeins I have at home, awaiting the touch of knitting needles (perhaps another scarf waiting in the wings...that's about the extent of my skills.  Although my mother-in-law gave me, last Christmas, a book to make knitted dinosaurs that are just so stinkin' cute...but I'd need to advance immensely before tackling any of those).  I love admiring the quilts on display, especially as this is the tail-end of a quilting show, so the artistry is quite amazing.  I love looking at patterns, wondering if my mom, who does quilt on occasion, might be interested.  Yes indeed, a sweet shop.

A couple hours later, I meet up with my husband at our pre-arranged destination - this time, at the Dee Wright Observatory - where, happy with his 'exercise high' (and I'm whining about feeling slacky and lazy), he changes, disassembles his bike, and we're off to buy groceries and beverages, before heading to our vacation rental.  Awesome.  All.

Yesterday, nestled in our new 'home,' I had time to explore other things 'new' while Andy went on a 'light' ride:  new cards from my amazing crafting friends, new challenges, and of course, new colours, sketches and assignments from Summer Card Camp.  Oh my, but I'm behind in my homework - and so, detention it was!

Week 2, Day 1 (already!!) and the featured card that caught my eye: Kristina's circle Thank You.  My first card is essentially a full-on copy of hers - and whew, good thing I thought to bring my circles and thanks dies (amongst a box full of other things!) and cuttlebug.  I used some of the new paper I bought at Hobby Lobby, as well as the technique Kristina shared for adding layers to word dies to mimic the dimension of chipboard.

Here it is, in all its simplicity:

Since this was so much fun to make, and because I had a detention anyway, I made a second.  A bit of an ooops with this one, in that I didn't follow the colour scheme. Blame shifted onto the papers: just tooooo tempting to play with:

Apologies for the lighting and rather busy background, which is the countertop in our rental. Another oops.

And, before I end this long post (oops #3), a circle pocket card I made a couple months ago as a 'just because' inspired by a card on the Scor-Pal site.  Oops #4, as you'll see, is the upside down patterned paper.  Note: if you attempt this at home, choose a random pattern, where up-down, left-right doesn't matter.

Circle cards: love 'em!!

Thanks so much for dropping by; please let me know you did.  Your comments add sparkle to my day!!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Summer Camp Days 4 and 5...Anniversary "Test Run" and a "Go"

It's travel-to-Bend eve; we've spent a total of of nearly 20 hours at the bike races over the weekend (I'm rather cross-eyed at the moment); I've whittled my 'accomplish before leaving' list down somewhat, and I can no longer resist posting my homework, so here I am...Quick post, likely point-form, and then, back to the tasks at hand...

Day 4 of Summer Camp was 10-Minute Challenge, and we were served a series of delightful cards, created by amazing designers: Kristina W, Jennifer M (our lead instructors), along with Jennifer Rzasa, Teri Anderson and Marion Vagg.  For reasons unclear, I chose to 'imitate' Jennifer R's birthday card, with a Happy 25th Anniversary card for my sister and her husband.  Twenty-five years together is awesome!  And the coolest part, is that I - yes, I - introduced them oh so many years ago.  One of my wiser decisions, as they are quite the 'perfectly matched' twosome, still very-much shining with the blush of true, deep love.

Jennifer's card featured white-on-white die-cut 'nestled' letters, xstamped arrows from this Hero Arts/Studio Calico set, a die cut arrow and, of course, birthday sentiments.  Her card - lovely to the nth degree - took her just a snippet over 10 minutes. Me: well, epic fail, because mine was easily 10 X 10 minutes, with results far, far less stellar.  Since I knew this would be more about 'learning and trying' rather than 'creating and sending' - on account of I don't have arrow stamps/dies (hello...what was I thinking!) or the same letter set as she does, I confess to creating only a front panel rather than a full card.  Given the outcome, I'm glad I did!  Let's just call this an 'epic experiment' where I did my best to improvise: stamped arrows replaced with die-cut hearts; nestled die-cut letters - done, but yeeshh, what a task that was - and a die cut 25 as an alternative to her die cut arrow.   I'm glad I took the challenge, however, I can say that once was enough - at least until that stamp set and a "happy" word die join my collection...

Here it is: my test run...

Sighh...on the plus side, though, I still have four more other samples to give a whirl...

On Friday several more colour combos were added, as were another batch of gorgeous cards. Kristina's embossed window and embossed acetate card, with an inside booklet piqued my interest.  Her "Thank You" with flowers, because my Happy 25th  Anniversary.  I used my Scor-pal to create the diagonal lines, as I didn't have the embossing folder she used, I used polka-dots on the window and speaking of embossing: the sentiment is! Score!  Other than a soft pink, I used 4 of the 5 colours. Score 2!  And even if the sentiment may be a wee bit swanky for the number and hearts die-cuts, I rather like the look.  It reminds me of my sister and brother-in-law: they're kind of upscale, but down-to-earth and fun at the same time...
Here it is, and it's in an envelope, ready to travel north...

Hope they like it - and my wish for them:  another 25 years+ of joy, laughter, life and love!!

Thanks so much for dropping by!  Your comments make my day!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Summer Camp Days 2 and 3...Homework Catch-Up

Only three more sleeps and we are Bend Oregon bound!  I'd add about another 20 exclamation points to that statement, except that between now and leaving, my 'to do' list includes a zillion things (okay, perhaps 15…10… is more apt).  

Even though I’m ‘technically’ on summer holidays, oodles of little tasks need my attention at work partially the result of the flood setting things somewhat ‘adrift’ time-wise; partially the result of colleagues just a bit too enthusiastic about packing and moving us to our new ‘home’ in the town high school.  The early move means my ‘work station’ is in a jumbly, tangled box-laden mess in the spacious classroom+connected offices site (actually, it’s my former classroom, before I resigned from teaching 1 ½ years ago.  A bit of a ‘home-coming’ of sorts…). Half my stuff is there, while the other half is at our Outreach office.  My aim is to send off report cards today so I can put a ginormous check-mark on that list item.  Organizing the disheveled space can wait.

Add to that house-cleaning, laundry, grocery-shopping - and ‘for good measure’ – we’re also officials for a bike race this weekend, both Saturday and Sunday!!  The plus is the event is local.   Once the last race is done, we’ll be performing our own ‘race’ in getting my husband’s cycling gear packed (he’s competing in the Cascade Classic, which runs from Friday, the 17th to Sunday, 21st – so our car will be filled to brimming with ‘his’ essentials), figuring out what card-making stuff I want to bring along (I’ve claimed ‘large box’ space for my own essentials)…lots and lots to do, but it’s all fun!  Sometimes, ‘anticipation’ is a very good thing!! 

While we’re away, my brother, sister-in-law, my darling niece and nephew, and my sister-in-law’s parents, will be staying at our place so I want to make double sure I leave things super-duper neat, clean and tidy!   The best part about their visit is that my sweet munchkins will be here when we return!!  Yayyyyyyy!!!
Even though I’m painting an “oh, I’m so busy’ picture, the truth is, all of this can be done in bits and pieces, and fairly quickly (provided I focus!), which means that in-between the ‘spaces’ I’ve been thoroughly enjoying Summer Card Camp! 

Two cards for the moment:
Day 2 the focus was on stamping techniques and I DID IT!! As in, I finally let go of my ‘cannot stain my stamps with coloured ink’ issue and…dived right in!  I used the masking technique with a TAWS stamp, then used the same inks to create the background mat, as well as the butterfly. A tie-dyed look, for sure, but I’m pleased with the result.  The stained stamp however…how do I get it clean again???  Grrrr…Lesson learned: no more Cat’s Eye inks.  Pretty, yes, but the stain factor is too much for me.  Shopping list for ‘other’ inks added to….

The cardstock is a bit dark for the colour choices we were to follow...oops!

Day 3 was another opportunity to practice the colours + sketches, and inspired by the entertaining video and charming card - banners made from scraps - created by Laura Bassen, I simply followed suite:

Colours and design, I'm okay with, but the "so" is really 'so-so.'  More 'word dies' added to the shopping list...

I have Day 4's 'attempt' to share later, after I fix it.  As in perhaps a complete renovation...  Off to work. Must. focus...

Thanks so much for dropping by; please let me know you did! Your comments, always welcome and always appreciated, add sparkle to my day!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Summer Camp Day 2: "Flap" top...sort of...

A day of distractions: that's my description of yesterday.  From spending time at work (still have left-overs to wrap-up before announcing I'm 'officially' on holidays), to grocery-shopping, to chores, to de-cluttering a bedroom in preparation for its new bed, due to arrive this morning, to phone calls to...well, you get the drift.  I did, however, thoroughly, completely, totally enjoy yesterdays Summer Camp lessons, featuring stamping techniques.  Indeed, my enthusiasm for testing out some of the ideas was so high that I *almost* delved into some of the 'stamp-staining' inks (okay, okay...colour-kissing inks) to create a card.  Almost.  Again, I got caught up with the cards featured, and because I didn't have a big stamp to practice masking/using different coloured inks, or gelatos for watercolouring, nothing 'alternative' popped into my creativity bin.  I have ideas sparking today, so we'll see where they lead.

Even so, I did make a card, following the first sketch of our three choices.  Jennifer's card features a large banner - background stamped on the diagonal, and sporting a die-cut "hello" - as the focal point, adhered only at the top, so a note/sentiments can be placed underneath.  Not only is the card fetchingly cute, but she showed us how to reinforce 'delicate' die cuts to give them both dimension and 'substance'.

My card - simple+++ - still involved 'more-than-you-could-possibly-believe'time (partially due to the afore-mentioned distractions, along with plenty of some gallery gazing, dabbling a bit with masking on practice paper, and so on...oh yes, and cookie baking + eating...).   I followed Jennifer's lead with a 'flap' front, choosing to use my PS notebook die (extended, as shown by Savannah here), scored at the top to allow a 'flip up,' and thanks die, reinforced with several layers of white die cut card-stock adhered under the blue.

I rather like the concept of this card...one sheet of 8 1/2 X 11 card-stock, with a lift-up banner/tag used as the front, means I could make four cards in this style.  Hmmmm.  Thrifty is a good thing...

I considered adding some embellishments to the Thanks panel, but with the polka-dots, it would be too busy.  Next time...For now, off to try some of those stamping techniques.

Thanks so much for dropping by; please let me know you did! Your comments add sparkle to my day!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Summer Camp Day 1...Hello & Fuzzies

Summer Card Camp 2 started with its usual fantastic flair of phenomenal inspiration including videos, featured projects by outstanding designers, detailed supply lists (yes, the wish book continues to grow!), tips and techniques, along with a "new to me" twist:  a first week focus on using at least 4 out of 5 recommended colours per card, along with a choice of three sketches to select from, as we work through our assignments.  Quite an interesting mix-and-match.

I'm tardy handing in my assignments for yesterday, but they were done.  Truly...well, except for a couple of finishing touches on one that I completed this morning, and taking photos.  Yes, I did write "assignments," as I ended up creating two cards, because for whatever reasons, I found this first day rather challenging.  Perhaps my muse was still at the bike race, because something was askew with my efforts.  The colour palette combined with the sketch I chose didn't flow in the direction envisioned, especially for the first card, where I was hung up on following Kristina's sample too closely.  "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again'...and I embarked on that trial path, winding up with plenty of 'dis-carding' along the way.  Finally, nearing the point of exasperation, I went a field trip to the Day 1 Gallery where, amongst the vast array of clever+creative+pretty, one card caught my eye; a card by my awesome friend (and now muse!!), Shannon.
Her unique take with the speech bubbles sparked a wee idea and off I went, to use, as Darnell would coin it, a NBUS - my TAWS Gotta Bug set.  First attempt was masking and colouring, which didn't bode well, so....paper piecing it was.  While I'm not overly thrilled with the result, I'm pleased with the 'concept' - it's a presentation I'd certainly try again.

Anyway, here's my 'learning' from Day 1:
First card's highlight - embossing vellum, totally new to me (need to emerge from under the rock more often!)

Assessment:  needs brighter and/or better selection of, colours, and the mixture of the elements is wonky.

Second card: Sending Warm Fuzzies collage. My plan to colour would probably result in a better 'image' but...my stash of Copic markers (2 sets of 6) see limited colours and shades too far apart to blend nicely. Interesting marketing strategy: a 'sampling' of colours that 'sort' of match, get you reeled in (because they are rather nifty to work with), but the realization that you must have more for the full potential of these markers to be realized.  For instance, if I matched each of my markers with one 'blending' neighbour, my little Copic community would expand by 12...and then I'd need another neighbour, and another.  Hmmm...lottery required.  Sorry, I digress...caught up in the 'I need more' moment...

Assessment:  a little "flat," however, the 'concept' has potential...maybe...(Speaking of fuzzies, apologies for the rather blurry photo...yeesh!)

One of the many positives about Summer Camp - the opportunity to improve every day...

Thanks so much for dropping by; please let me know you did! Your comments add sparkle to my day!!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Excited for Summer School!!!

We're just back from a most FANTASTIC weekend spent with my family!  From time with my folks, to plenty of hugs and giggles with my niece and nephew, to seeing my sister and brother-in-law's newly renovated house (yes, yes...I am wearing a light shade of 'green envy') Friday and Saturday were days of pure delight!  Our drive home - we left early Sunday morning - involved a side-trip for my husband to compete in his first cycling race of the season - our province's Masters' Championship and I ended up being an official (not following his group though, so I didn't actually 'see' him race).  His result:  silver medal!!  Pretty good outcome as a 'warm-up' to his much 'bigger' competition in Oregon next week!  Excited!!

Today, is the first day of Online Card Class Summer Camp #2, where I'll be a student, thanks to a most wonderful 'surprise' gift from a most amazing, generous, thoughtful friend, Shannon, who surprised, shocked, thrilled delighted and honoured me with a gift for the course.  I don't know what I did "right" to earn such a spectacular individual as a friend, but WOW - whatever I did, I consider myself incredibly blessed!! Shannon is a treasure; a most unique special gem! Thank you, dear Shannon, for thinking of me - and I'm ecstatic to be your classmate (and yes, I promise to do my homework!!!).

(The noise you hear in the background is a thunderstorm unleashing itself. Enough with the rain, please!).
Last week, I created two cards for the Pre-Class challenges, where we were invited to use colours for one, and a sketch for the second.  I deviated a bit, choosing to go with the sketch and try my hand at colouring (though not using those for the first pre-class challenge, as my Copic marker choices are pretty limited.  Learning to colour is one of my goals this summer (over and above what Summer School teaches us).  Of course, I was too late with my entries, because I debated too long about sharing, however...

Imagine my delight when, before heading to work today, I managed a quick glance at Day 1's lessons and discovered that the 'random' colours I used were choices required for this week's cards, along with the pre-class sketch.  Soooo...first launch into class with what I thought was "late" homework, but it kinda-sorta isn't.

Although my colouring needs work, all was going reasonably well and then I made an ink smudge. Can you see it there at the top (of course you can!). Grrrr....

Here's my other one.  Same sketch, but a couple of very different cards.  Kind of cool how that worked out.

And just because, here's the card I made for last week's retrosketches challenge that I missed entering...

Off to work, then rushing home see what Kristina and Jennifer have in store for us with their samples, videos, tips, supply lists.  Excited?? Only  totally! And again, Shannon, you are the BEST!!!  Hopefully, I'll be back later with today's assignment(s)....

Thanks for dropping by; please let me know you did.  Your comments add sparkle to my day!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Flutter, Flower and Frame...CAS(E) this Sketch #34

Yes, I've been making cards, but my heat oppressed - and suppressed - thinking sees me dilly-dallying with posting them.  Due dates are looming, and here I am, playing around with Feedly, going on extended blog-land expeditions, on-line window-shopping (heading to the US soon...may *have* to make some decisions to about a whole whack of couple of purchases from my wish novel list), sweltering and melting (add 'meltdowns' to that...my husband deserves a reward for enduring "my" heat issues...), and so on...Oh yes, I've also been practicing colouring.  Results:  need more practice.  Actually, plenty more, especially since I have some distress markers headed my way!

Anyway, quick post for yet another attempt at a *cas* card for CAS(E) this Sketch #34.  Perhaps not a 'lot' of white space evident on this (I could only get away with making smaller cards for 'so long') but I tried something else new-ish for me: stamping a floral border, as a 'next step' to the cas rules:  aiming for one layer.  Of course, I went with more than that, but...well, the learning curve is a long one for me.  Little, teensy, gradual steps (with the occasion retreat happening...).

Here's the CAS(E) sketch:

and my very simply-made card (flowers and frames are my 'fixation' once again...)

On stage:  PS Duo Die, Flap Happy die and stamps, Friendly Flowers and, because I 
wanted something other than floral patterns, some Bo Bunny Family Is paper...

Thanks so much for dropping by; please let me know you did!  Your comments add sparkle to my days!!