Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Playing with Pencils

This is a first for my blog life: a post that is not about entering a challenge. No friends, this post is just because I've been having some fun experimenting. The long summer school holidays give me lots of time in my craft room and in my latest box of Stampin' Up goodies were the new watercolour pencils and some blender pens.

I'd long overlooked blender pens in the catalogue. I didn't really understand what they did. When I wanted to colour, I used ink and water. My days experimenting have given me a new tool in the toolbox. Blender pens are the business when it comes to making watercolour pencils sing! Yep, complete and utter convert.

Blender pens smooth out the pencil lines and make the pencil act like paint but the colour is more intense than with water. I like that you can use the blender pen, like water, to pull colour into an area to easily give variation in colour. I also like that you can pick up colour with the blender pen directly from the pencil lead if you want a strong burst of colour. You can see all this in these pictures.




I like that there seems to be a bigger degree of control with the blender pen and it's generally kinder to the paper. With watercolour paper, or even shimmery cardstock, that's not an issue but it is with the Inside the Lines DSP, available as a Sale-a-bration item.

I'd never really understood the attraction of adult colouring in, although as a stamper I probably should have. But this paper ticks that box. I have just had so much FUN colouring it and then using it to make cards. I've still got a lot of exploring to do.

Today, I'm sharing a couple of my experiments. There's nothing too original about them. Pinterest is full of similar types of things but everyone has their own little spin on them. Here's mine.



If you live in New Zealand and are interested in these pencils ($33.50 for 12) or blender pens (3 for $20) or any other Stampin' Up product, message me or click on the SHOP NOW button in the sidebar. 




Tuesday, 17 January 2017

On Board with the Retro Rubber Challenge Design Team

I'm so pleased to be joining the team at Retro Rubber Challenge Blog!

It's such a great idea to have a challenge that uses stamps over a year old. If you're like me, it's so easy to get carried away with new things and put aside the stamps you've already got. This challenge gives you a good reason to go back and revisit your former favourites.

The first challenge of the year, and my first challenge for the team, was indeed a challenge for me. Since in my neck of the woods Christmas is mid-summer and even in winter is doesn't snow, snowflake stamps are not a high priority for me. Luckily, I had bought Endless Wishes - a Stampin' Up Christmas set - for the way you could combine words into your own sentiments. It had three unused snowflakes in the package. I got this set the first year I started stamping, so this set came around Christmas 2014.



Masking and sponging are among my favourite techniques. I cut circles into a paper mask and then stamped the large snowflakes in versamark and heat embossed them with white powder. Then I reassembled the mask, sponged the colours and stamped in the small snowflakes. There is a subtle ombre effect going on as the bottom snowglobe is done in Island Indigo, the middle one in Marina Mist with touches of Island Indigo while the smallest is Soft Sky with a touch of Marina Mist. 





I cut the 'Wishes' three times, once in black. The black bottom layer is offset by a millimetre or two to give a shadow effect. This die and the sentiment are part of the first set of I ever bought from Winnie&Walter and was one of my first forays into online shopping back in early 2015.



I added some rhinestones to the centres of some snowflakes to pick up the bling from the silver glimmer paper mat.

I'd so love to see which of your old stamp sets you're going to dig out for this Retro Rubber Challenge. You have two weeks to join us.

Ingredients
Card: Island Indigo, Silver glimmer paper, watercolour paper, scrap of Basic Black.
Stamps: SU Endless Wishes, W&W Big, Bold and Party
Inks: Island Indigo, Marina Mist, Soft Sky, Versamark
Other: White embossing powder, W&W Big, Bold and Party dies, sponges, rhinestones, circle framelits to make the mask.

Paper Players 327 and Sunday Stamps 144

Over the last few years, I've gathered up a collection of music themed items: papers, dies, embossing folders and a very few stamps. I'm not sure why music seems to be a hard area to find good stamps in but there it is. This carefully hoarded collection has been created because I have a son who is a very passionate composer and performer. Consequently, many scrapbooking layouts have been devoted to musical pursuits! Today I needed to raid the box as his birthday is this week.

For inspiration I've used the sketch at Sunday Stamps and the colour challenge at The Paper Players.



For my extra colour, I've chosen Bermuda Bay.


The musical note embossing folder I bought online a couple of years ago and is a Darice folder. It makes a good backdrop for the clef die cuts.


I cut a black and a Bermuda Bay of each clef, stacked them but offset the black to create a shadow.


So, Happy Birthday son!

Ingredients
Card: Bermuda Bay, Basic Black, Whisper White
Stamps: Stampin' Up Big on Birthdays and Labeller Alphabet
Inks: Bermuda Bay and Tuxedo Black
Other: Darice music embossing folder, Elizabeth Craft Treble Clef dies, dimensionals, black candy dot.




Monday, 16 January 2017

Cas(e) This Sketch

It looks as though this is a week for experiments: one yesterday and now one today. When I bought Altenew's Peony Bouquet, two things appealed to me: the multilayered stamping option and the option to use just the outline stamp for water colouring. I've done a few of the former but today is the first attempt at the latter. Inspiration came from the beautiful sketch at Cas(e) This Sketch.




So glad to have this stamp in my collection. Other than some stamps used, everything else is Stampin' Up.

Ingredients
Card: Old Olive, watercolour paper, Whisper White
Stamps: Altenew Peony Bouquet, W&W Big, Bold and Party, SU Gorgeous Grunge and Timeless Textures
Inks: Rose Red, Old Olive, Soft Sky, versamark
Other: white embossing powder, dimensional, aquapainter, silver metallic thread, metallic shapes





Sunday, 15 January 2017

Global Design Project 69

Today's card is also an experiment. What happens if the white space stops being white? For inspiration, I used the colour challenge at Global Design Project.


I've recently made a card in Hello Honey, grey and black. I thought it was a smart and stylish combination so I chose black as my third colour in this challenge to echo that.



And on the inside...


I like the crisp feel and the way the embossed black background takes on the look of pressed tin. To keep it more masculine, I resisted the urge to add a scattering of sequins. Note to self: go for a dark background more often - the result can be a more dramatic card.

Ingredients
Card: Basic Black, Delightful Dijon, Silver foil, Whisper White (inside)
Stamps: Big on Birthdays, Dragonfly Dreams
Ink: Tuxedo Black, Delightful Dijon (inside)
Other: Detailed Dragonfly thinlits, Sparkle embossing folder, Silver metallic thread, metallic shapes, dimensionals
 All products Stampin' Up






Saturday, 14 January 2017

FMS 270 and Colour Inkspiration 1

Today's card is inspired by both the sketch at Freshly Made Sketches and the colour challenge at a brand new challenge, Colour INKspiration.



While I'm an 'old hand' now at entering online challenges, Colour INKspiration will be a new type of challenge for me as it is a Facebook challenge site.  So... I hope to get an entry in. 😀 

If you are interested in playing along, their page is here.

Very kindly, the colour challenge rules this time let us play with a minimum of three of the colours. I've used Sweet Sugarplum, So Saffron, Mint Macaron and the tiniest traces of Blushing Bride.


To create the centre panel, I used an acrylic block to stamp the background colours, stamped the outline of the stamp in half strength Staz-on, then watercoloured the image. I added in some additonal textures with the netting stamp from Butterfly Basics and with Timeless Textures before adding the layered butterfly and a few rhinestones. I partially embossed with the Softly Falling folder so that the dots didn't come too far down the card front and I like how they're a bit like falling rain on the flower.



So this card is a mix of old and new. The lace edging is from Delicate Details, a Sale-a-bration item, while the greeting is from Big on Birthdays, available in the new Occasions catalogue. But the centre image is from one of my most used sets, Butterfly Basics - still available from the Annual Catalogue.

Ingredients
Card: Sweet Sugarplum, Mint Macaron, Whisper White, Watercolour paper
Stamps: Butterfly Basics, Big on Birthdays, Delicate Details, acrylic block
Inks: Sweet Sugarplum, Mint Macaron, Blushing Bride, So Saffron, Stazon
Other: Aquapainter, rhinestones, Itty Butterfly punch, dimensional, Stamp'n'Write marker - Mint Macaron.







As You See It Challenge is back!

If you used to play along with us at As You See It, you will have noticed that we've been absent for some time now. It's a long story but it's covered by saying we experienced extreme technical difficulties and after a lot of attempts to save the site, we've started afresh. Should anything go wrong this time round, it would pay to check in at our Facebook page for any updates or information. Like us here on Facebook anyway to keep up with the latest in challenges and winners!

So, it's with great pleasure we kick off the renewed As You See It Challenge with a fabulous sketch for you to play with.



I'm so enjoying the new Dragonfly Dreams and Detailed Dragonfly thinlits from Stampin' Up and so here they are again! The stitched square framelit made a lovely edging for the acrylic block stamped panel. The stitching is taking the place of the ornate mount in the sketch.





It's hard to see here but the dragonfly has a glimmer, courtesy of some clear Wink of Stella.


Remember, you have TWO WEEKS to join us in showing us how you see this sketch and we'd love to see what you do.

Ingredients
Card: Island Indigo, Garden Green, Whisper White
Stamps: Dragonfly Dreams, Awesomely Artistic, an acrylic block
Inks: Island Indigo, Garden Green
Other: Detailed Dragonfly thinlits, Hexagon embossing folder (retired but there's the new Hexagon Dynamic Textured embossing folder in the new Occasions catalogue that's even better!), rhinestones, clear Wink of Stella, dimensional.