31 May 2023

I was challenged by this colour palette

I really like the colours in this weeks Just Add Ink colour challenge but I was totally stumped on how I could use them in a card. It's been great seeing all the inspiration from the DT and some of the entrants and have pinned some cool ideas for future but it still wasn't helping ME to create a card with the colours.

To be honest I nearly gave up but pleased I thought let's have a go with one of my new stencils I bought from the Spring release for Honey Bee Stamps a few months ago. It's a very cool 6" x 6" stencil set which is totally clear so it is very easy to line up. In the set there are 4 stencils large flowers, small flowers, stems and leaves. I added a darker green to the mix so the stems looked different. A simple banner die from an old set and viola a bright, cheery card which has not a lot of white space and NO PINK to be seen!!

One of the great things I like about doing challenges apart from being challenged is I try and make sure I use something new I bought to (a) work out how it works and (b) to justify why I had to buy it, so I'll also enter my card at the Never-Before Used-Stauf challenge.

Supply List:
Stamps: Oh Hey (banner die and sentiment - C9)
Ink: Parakeet Party (SU!), Granny Apple Green (SU!), Tahitian Tide (SU!), Sunshine (PFS), Versamark
Paper: Tahitian Tide, Neenah Solar White 110#, Lavinia Multifarious
Other: Folk Art Daisy stencils (HB), Blending Brushes (TE), A2 Layer dies (WF), white EP
Challenges: JAI #654, NBUS #50

Thanks for popping in.

EDITED 1/6/23: Absolutely surprised and delighted that I was chosen by the JAI team. You all made my day for your lovely kind words.

"Fabulous stenciling and a simple Sentiment banner to keep the focus on the background"

"Wow - the colours and stencil are the perfect match"

"Love her background- it’s perfect!"

✿ Karen ✿

Make it Pop

I have to admit Seize the Birthday's latest challenge to make it pop had me a bit stumped for a bit, I was trying to work out what they meant by "make it pop" as it wasn't really that obvious looking at the inspiration from the DT. They always have a "topping" or "anything goes, as long as it's birthday related" but TWO of the DT had champagne bottles on the cards then I realised that was what make it pop was implying so off to look for something related to champagne. I found in my stash an old set from Avery Elle which I used to use for making wine tags so thought that would be bang on with the theme.

I also made an embossed sparkly layer using Hand-drawn Dots background stamp from Stampin' Up! and Raven Sparkle embossing powder from Brutus Monroe.

And inside the card:

Trying to snap how pretty the black sparkly dots are in real life:

I've used my Copics to colour up the champagne goblets, now I've never coloured up champagne before but attempted to emulate the colouring of Melania Deasy HERE. Unfortunately she hasn't listed her Copics used and I'm not as good a colourist as her but am very happy with the final effect.

These are the Copics I used:
Y02/00/000/21 YR21

Supply List:
Stamps: Sip, Sip Hooray (and matching die - Avery Elle), Hand-drawn Dots (SU!)
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Versamark, Versafine Clair Nocturne
Paper: Neenah Solar White, Black, Xpress IT blending
Other: Raven Sparkle EP (BM), clear EP, Copic markers, A2 Layer dies (WF), foam squares (SP), white gel pen (Signo)

I have a friend celebrating her 60th birthday soon, so will make a tag to match to go on the champagne bottle for real so very pleased with my classy card that pops.
✿ Karen ✿

30 May 2023

Playing with Magicals again

I say magicals, but it is a combination of Lindy's Magicals (cattail copper brown and ponderosa pines olives), Nuvo Shimmer Powders (falling leaves) and Ken Oliver's Color Burst powder (burnt umber).

Lately I have been playing with my shimmer powders trying to do water colour wash backgrounds with limited success. I am happier with today's play and the shimmer is pretty amazing IRL.

AAA Cards current challenge is hot and or cold drink. I was thinking of doing a coffee card but decided I would play with my powders some more and use them to colour up some die cuts. I sprinkled a small amount of powder on my wee glass mat from WRMK and added 1-2 drops of water with a pipette then swiped the die cut through the pools of colour, dried with my Ranger heat tool, and added more colour.

Hopefully you can see the copper shine below better, I'm sure coconut trunks are not coppery and shimmery but wow it does look magical!!

When I think of AAA cards I think smaller images which is where the idea of a cocktail came from. This one comes from a set called On the Beach. I normally do more watercolouring with my Zigs on Strathmore Bristol smooth and even though I'm using the rough side of the Ranger distress watercolor cardstock, the Zigs worked fab on it.

Supply List:
Stamps (all LF): On the Beach (coconut cocktail plus matching die), Beachy Christmas (sentiment and coconuts - hand cut out)
Ink: Versafine Clair Nocturne Black, Early Espresso (SU!)
Paper: Distress watercolor (RNG), Neenah Solar White 110#
Dies: Tropical backdrop (LF)
Zig Real Colour brushes: Dark brown, mid brown, oatmeal, orange, yellow green, light blue, shadow mauve
Other: 1mm foam squares (SP)
Challenges: AAA #241

A few of our family are flying to Fiji on Wednesday for a week, so I'm thinking my subconscious me wants to go too but I hope they enjoy those cocktails in the sun whilst we battle cold, rain and fog back home. There's plenty of time to join in with the challenge as they always give us 2 weeks. I love having some time to think of an idea, create a card and manage to take a picture on a gloomy winter's day. Have a fab day and you can be like me dreaming of cocktails in the sun, thanks for popping in.
✿ Karen ✿

26 May 2023

Dry embossing with CAS on Friday

CAS on Friday has a fab and easy challenge to do some "Embossing", it can be dry or heat embossing plus it should be CAS (clean and simple).

I am very thrilled to be a guest designer this week. It's been quite a while since I have used an embossing folder and I had a lot of ideas but decided to not make a white card and to make my "white space" Crushed Curry and add a few bees and a wee hexagon shaker, I love how it all turned out and you forget how fab embossing folders really are and how much dimension they can add to a card, this really old Hexagon folder is long retired from Stampin' Up!. Googling, it looks like it was released about 2014 but it's still a goodie and it's not 3D and doesn't need any fancy set-up, so easy to use.

Supply List:
Stamps: Bee Yourself (SSS)
Ink: Memento Black, Versafine Clair Nocturne
Paper: Crushed Curry (SU!), Black, Neenah Natural White, XpressIT blending
Dies: Bee Yourself (SSS), Honeycomb shaker (LF)
Other: Sequins for Everything (SU!), stamping foam (SP), Honeycomb textured impressions EF (SU!), Quickie glue pen (Sakura), Prisma glitter (LF), white gelli roll 10 pen (Sakura)

Copics (darkest >> lightest)
Gold: YR04, Y17, Y11
Black: W6/3/2
Wings: BG11/10
Cheeks: RV10

Well I hope you can join in with the fun but do check out what the other DT and entrants come up. One of the things I really love about being a guest designer is I don't know what the rest of the DT are doing either, so it's great fun to see what everyone else comes up with.

Thanks for buzzing in, have a fab day.

✿ Karen ✿

25 May 2023

Another pink card

I may need intervention, I 've never made so many pink cards as I have lately but I wanted to share the pink fairy wings from my Copic 101 class with Jenn Shurkus plus one of Stampin' Up! new refresh colours Bubble Bath, which I think works so well with my pink fairy :) I don't like to share colouring combos when I take a paid class but I don't think Jenn will mind me sharing the wing colour which is RV0000 and RV10. I am enjoying Jenn's approach to colouring images for cards, it is fun, easy and whimsical and I have never ever seen pink wings before, so innovative too.

I also wanted to play along with The Paper Players current challenge to have just one image i.e. my fairy and be CAS. The fairy image comes from my workbook for my class and was commissioned by Jenn for the class and all are drawn by Angie Blom. 

Supply List:
Dies: The Magic Is In You Phrase (PFS), Folk Edge rectangle (PFS), Heart Garden border (LF)
Paper: Neenah Solar White, What's Sewing On DSP (LF), Bubble Bath (SU!), Pearlescent Vellum (LF)
Other:  Prisma glitter (LF), white gelli roll pen (Sakura), Nuvo glitter gloss pen, Snowflake Pops of Color (SBC), Copic markers, foam squares (SP)
Challenge: PP641

My photo doesn't do justice to how cute this is or how fabulous the pearlescent vellum is from Lawn Fawn but I love it and my pink card! There's 2 more days to play along with the challenge if you have some free time or just check out all the inspiration.

✿ Karen ✿

24 May 2023

More magical mess!

I played 2 weeks ago with my shimmer powders and at the time I wasn't really that happy how it all worked out, you can see that post HERE. I thought I would have another go with some subtler colours from Lindys Magicals range.

I had seen a video of someone after my first attempt using an old stamp packaging packet to smoosh on some colour to make a watercolour wash so that was my starting point. 

I still think it looks a hot mess but it was my first go using CTMH Watercolor Paper which you can purchase as 12" x 12" packs, I'm guessing to make a watercolour page to scrapbook on. It's a lightweight watercolor paper so I wouldn't want to add too much water but it worked fine for what I was attempting to do here. You get 10 sheets in a pack (Z3146) but it doesn't seem to be available anymore to purchase, so no bargains of the year to be had.

Supply List:
Stamps: Floral Bliss (SSS), Inky Bouquet (PFS - sentiment)
Ink: Versafine Clair Nocturne, Versamark
Paper: Watercolor (CTMH), Terracotta Tile (SU!), Neenah White #110
Lindy's Magicals: Salt Water Taffy, Cape Cod Coral
Other: Pixie Dust Ombre glitter drops (PFS), white EP

I wasn't happy with the white opaque film in some places, doing some research it seems like their are opaque and transparent Magicals. My magicals came from a Nantucket Pearls set, so I'm guessing these are "opaque".

I thought I'd have another go dissolving some Magical in a few drops of water and then painting this time using a thicker watercolour paper. I think this was better and then thought I'd do a few splatters. I should have left well enough alone but then decided to do a more diluted wash and I'm not sure if that was a good idea as the "splatters" reactivated with more liquid touching them.

Supplies as above but Smoky Slate card stock from SU! and Fabriano Artistico extra white cold pressed watercolour paper. Starry Night Ombre drops and I have clear embossed the "thank you". I have added a few more magicals to the mix (Whale Watch Blue, Sea Grass Green and Rusty Lantern Lime) plus Lemon Yellow Color Burst powder from Ken Oliver Crafts.

The 2 cards side by side:

Well again the cards didn't turn out how I wanted but think I'm learning a wee bit more each time, hopefully I'll be closer to how I envisage it appearing in "my head" where all card ideas are waiting for me to try. Thanks for popping in.
✿ Karen ✿

15 May 2023

AAA Card Challenge is having their 9th birthday!

This is one of my favourite challenge sites as personally I really like CAS cards. Doing CAS is very easy but making it POP is the real challenge. You need lots of  "clean" space with minimal embellishments and layers.

I just had to add a "wobble" to my llama piñata as it is a "party celebration". If I am honest it took me longer to find where I'd stored the bag of them; as I bought them over 5 years ago and never used them until today but it's so fun I'm going to load a video of me playing with it, which is also a first for me.

The colours of the pink inks I have used today sound like they are good enough to eat and drink at the party too.

And wait for it MY FIRST VIDEO and we have "action, wobble"

Supply List:
Stamps (all LF): Year Seven - piñata/sentiment, Really High Five - sprinkles, Wood You Be Mine - bow 
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Versafine Clair Nocturne, Spun Sugar distress oxide (RNG), Pink Lemonade (C9), Bubblegum (PFS)
Paper: Hammermill 100lb, Xpress IT blending
Copics: RV10/11/12/14/17/19
Other: Prisma glitter (LF), Stardust stickles (RNG), white Gelli roll 10 pen (Sakura), Quickie glue pen (Sakura), black glaze pen (Sakura), circle stencil - used as a mask (TE), blending brush (TE), Action Wobbles (Hampton Art)
Challenges: AAA Cards #240

So Happy 9th birthday AAA, eat cake and be merry! Do check out the fab cards from the DT and if you have time, have a go it maybe worthwhile as Maaike from the DT is kindly offering a gift card to one lucky entrant, I'm not sure if is random winner or you have to "win the challenge" but I like to play along anyhow so it's still a win for me.

EDITED 4/6/23: Very honoured to be chosen as part of the top four, what fab cards everyone made to celebrate the milestone. 

✿ Karen ✿

11 May 2023

Definitely gumboot weather here...

Gosh we've had over 100mm of rain in 2 days in Hamilton, today is a 4 seasons in one day kind-of-day; sun, showers, rain, hailstones and it would be really lovely to see flowers coming after April's showers but for those of us that live down under we are heading into winter and our gumboots. 

I wanted to play along with Allsorts latest challenge "April Showers bring May Flowers" and decided this sounded like it was time to dust off my Flowering Rain Boots set from SU! One of the cool things about this set is that everything has a co-ordinating die and even though it's photopolymer it is one of the new types of stamps that SU! create and they are distINKtive and when they stamp the ink is graduated. So it is very easy to create a realistic image with light and dark shades. It was easy to stamp and die cut it all out and then I used my scalpel to make slits at the top of the boot for the tulip stems to fit. But I still at this stage had no real idea  on how to make a card with my stamped and die-cut image image; so I took all the guess work out of how to KReate the card by combining with a fab sketch from Freshly Made Sketches and it all come together in less than 30 minutes!

Supply List (all Stampin' Up! unless indicated differently):
Stamps: Flowering Rain Boots
Ink: Sahara Sand, Granny Apple Green, Mango Melody, Balmy Blue
Paper: Whisper White (yes it really is), Mango Melody, Balmy Blue, Pleased as Punch DSP
Dies: Flowering Rain Boots, Slim Stripes - 1/2" used (PFS), A2 Layers (WF), A2 Additional Layers (WF)
Other: Medium foam squares (SP), Copic marker Y38
Challenges: Allsorts #727, FMS #585 

Well that was another example of how 2 challenges are better than one and do check out all the fab cards on display at both sites. Thanks for popping in.

EDITED 16/5/23: My card was noticed by Jacquie from the FMS DT and I'm a princess! How exciting is that!!!  "Jacquie’s Choice: The rainy stripes are a perfect background for Karen’s sweet tulip filled boots! Congratulations!"
✿ Karen ✿

10 May 2023

Monochromatic Unicorn

Is this even possible?? I'll let you be the judge of that after seeing my wee one. I wanted to play along with Addicted to CAS's latest challenge which is "monochrome". I appreciate a Challenge which actually makes you think outside the box and if nothing else do check out the DT's work and the other entrants as there's some really cool cards/ideas for future cards on display.

I've used 5 blends of pale pink Copics to make my stripes (darkest  >> lightest):
  • R01/00 
  • R12/11
  • R21/20
  • R32/30
  • R43/22

Supply List:
Stamps and Dies: A Little Sparkle (LF), My Rainbow (LF)
Ink: Memento Tuxedo black, Versafine Nocturne Clair, Pink Lemonade (C9)
Paper: Neenah Solar White #110, Xpress IT blending 
Other: Quickie glue pen (Sakura), Prisma glitter (LF), 1mm square foam (SP)
Challenges: Addicted to CAS #237

Well I think a monochromatic pink rainbow is still very pretty and I hope I have bought a little sparkle into your day. Thanks for visiting.
✿ Karen ✿

Floral Bliss

Good morning all, its still pouring down with rain in Hamilton and if I didn't need to go out to finish of Mother's Day present etc I'd think yah I can play all day in my craft room. My poor country, parts of it are under emergency management, we no longer are land of the long white cloud but land of the torrential weather bomb.

But back to the crafting I was trying to play along with the gorgeous inspiration board from the latest Just Add Ink challenge and also combine it with The Flower Challenge "soft pastels", theoretically a match made in heaven as JAI is soft and dreamy Also it's interesting that JAI's picture has inspired more lilac cards than pink ones, I saw pink as the predominant colour but thought I would do a SOFT wash of pink and lilac to cover all bases.

Well I now know no matter how much water you try and tone down Nuvo's Cherry Bomb shimmer powder it's never becoming a soft pink!  I really like the concept of what I was trying to do for the challenges and going to share my card but trying to tone down the Cherry Bomb made it a bit of a mess. it's still pretty and the good thing was I had fun making it.

Supply List:
Stamps: Floral Bliss (SSS), Stripe-tastic Edge (YNS), Inky Bouquet (PFS and it's matching die)
Ink: Versafine Clair Nocturne, Versamark, Dragonfruit (C9)
Paper: Distress Watercolor (RNG), Black, Neenah #110
Nuvo Shimmer Powders: Cherry Bomb and Lilac Waterfall
Other: Twilight Ombre glitter drops (PFS), white EP

So back to the challenge and hopefully a more pastel look, this time I thought I would watercolor in with a paint brush so I could control the intensity of the colour. So I got out my Gansai Tambi Pearl paints (pink, lemon yellow, may green, white gold)  and my Zig Pearlescent watercolours (black pearl) to play with. Well I've managed to mute it down but I like the brighter one best but am using this card for the challenges as much softer. 

Supply List:
Stamps: Floral Bliss (SSS),  Inky Bouquet (PFS and it's matching die)
Ink: Versafine Clair Nocturne, Versamark, 
Paper: Distress Watercolor (RNG), Black, Neenah #110
Other: Magic Potion Ombre glitter drops (PFS), white EP, Gansai Tambi Pearl paints, Zig Pearlescent watercolour paints, Master Layouts 1 die set (GKD)
Challenges: JAI #651 , TFC #80

I may have another go at the Flower Challenge, not that I am very good with pastels as it's a monthly challenge but unfortunately Just add Ink's closes today so I'll finish with both are "better than horrible" and I'd have no problem using them to give to somebody.

✿ Karen ✿

8 May 2023


Is the challenge at AAA Birthdays and Seize the Birthday at the moment. It's a nice easy challenge if you want to have a go, the challenge is deciding which of your many balloon stamps to use or even a stencil or a die-cut, so many possibilities. As well Happy Little Stampers "Anything Goes for Birthdays in May". HLS are a new challenge blog to me but I really like they have multiple challenges for the whole "month" when you are as slow as me deciding what to KReate, 2 weeks is about right as I may forget too, but I do appreciate longer than a 7-day turnaround.

I decided to go with one of my oldie stamp sets that I love but I have to be honest I'm not that happy with my Copic colouring. I also decided to make a shaker card as I have too many sprinkles and my drawer is too full, shock, horror I can't fit anymore in! I may have to make a full panel shaker to use up a lot I'm thinking. I also die cut out 3 layers of my thickest white card stock to make my shaker panel, this is much easier than using thin foam strips.

Copics used (darkest >> lightest):
Bear body: E59/57/33/53
Bear muzzle: E53/51; R20; W5
Pink balloon:RV29/14/11 quite a lot of tip to tip marker colouring to get it to blend
Pink ribbon: RV14
Pink present: RV14/13/11

Supply List:
Stamps: Beary Special Birthday (MFT and it's matching die)
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Early Espresso (SU!)
Paper: Ballet Slipper (LF), Guava (LF), Stamp Market DSP (LF), Xpress IT blending card stock
Dies: Scallop circles (PPP), Nesting circles (WF)
Sprinkles: Strawberry shortcake clay confetti (PPP), Sprinkles embellishments (SU!), Stars glitter (Studio Katia)

EDITED 15/6/23: I made the Top 3 :)

✿ Karen ✿

Inspired by Grace

The latest Lawn Fawnatics Challenge is to create a card inspired by one of the design team OR anyone's card. What a fab challenge as if I'm honest the whole of the  Lawn Fawn DT are inspirational and it was  hard to pick one card by a DT member but I seem to be needing "happy retirement" cards lately and I thought this lovely card by Grace Camou would make a fab retirement card. Her card was also featured on the Lawn Fawn blog for the spring release freebie stamp set "Furever Friends" which was FREE with purchases over $60. You can see that post HERE.

I used the cats from the set to sit on the log from Wood You Be Mine as that was a no-brainer for this cat lover but the wee mice are also adorable but not as adorable as cats. 

I have made a standard A2 sized card and created my sunset using Watercolor Wishes 6 x 6" DSP. I stamped my cats onto some Xpress IT blending card stock with Memento Tuxedo black ink and then masked them up. I created a mask using Gina K masking paper which I had stamped on and fussy cut out.  I then stamped the log so the cats were sitting on top of the log. 

I wasn't that happy with my first log placement (the left cat's bum was in the air!), so that became my practice piece and can now go into my Copic blend notebook .

After colouring up the cats and the log I then fussy cut then out. For my background I sponged my "hill" of Kraft card stock with Tea Dye distress ink and splattered a bit on too plus a tad of watered down white acrylic paint to make my sandy beach. Everything else I think is pretty obvious looking at the card.

Lawn Fawn Supplies used:
Stamps: Furever Friends, Wood You Be Mine (log), On the Beach (shells and sentiment)
Dies: On the Beach, Outside In Stitched Rectangle Stackables, Stitched Hillside, Stitched Simply Wavy Borders, Everyday Sentiment banner
Paper: Watercolor Wishes 6 x 6" DSP

And here is Grace's fabulous shadow box card using Furever Friends I hope I have done an all right job casing her. Relooking at her card now I love the shadow she has on the log from the mice and must try that next time.

 The other fab thing about the Lawn Fawnatic challenges is one lucky entrant wins a $50 shopping spree in the Lawn Fawn shop which would be awesome to win, so wish me luck.
✿ Karen ✿

7 May 2023

Adorable Birdhouses

I have been really loving and inspired by the cute bird cards Lynn Put from the DT at the Color Throwdown has created as inspiration last week and this week which you can see HERE and HERE.

This week's colours were screaming make a flower card but I wanted to make a bird card like Lynn and I knew I had a cute birdhouse set in my stash from Sunny Studio Stamps which I hadn't even snipped apart until today. Then I discovered I didn't really have a branch to hang my birdhouse on either. So after looking at all my dies I settled on the thin branch and leaves from SU!'s Cherry Blossoms dies which are now retired and they worked really well. I had to snip one end of the cherry blossom die off as it was a curved branch. I have to be honest I haven't used this die before either.

I used up lots of scraps of card stock and even a left over Lawn Fawn flower from making a magic iris card awhile ago. This card has ELEVEN different companies products in it which I think is a record for me. I tried adding a shadow to the leaves with my bundled sage distress oxide but it really was too close a colour and doesn't  show that well. I have added a tad of snowflake Pops of Colour to the flower centre. Otherwise I think it's quite explanatory. The scalloped rectangle was a die set from my SCT class with Lawn Fawn from "Fall 2022" and hasn't been released as yet. It is also possible it is "part of another" Lawn Cuts set already. It measures 3.25" x 4.5" and the inner rectangle is 2.5" x 3.75".

Supply List:
Stamps: So Tweet (CTMH)
Ink: Early Espresso (SU!), Bundled Sage distress oxide (RNG)
Paper: Neenah White #110 and #80, Soft Suede (SU!), Kraft (SU!), Mango Melody (SU!), Lemon Chiffon (SSS), Ballet Slipper (LF), Sage (SP)
Dies: Build-A-Birdhouse (Sunny Studio Stamps), Cherry Blossoms (SU!), Sunflower Greetings (LF), Magic Iris Floral Wreath (LF)
Other: Blending Brushes (TE), Connect glue (GKD), Snowflakes Pop of Colour (SBC), 1mm stamping foam (SP)
Challenges: CTD #741, NBUS#50

Well I am really happy I have used my birdhouse die and didn't make a floral card plus there is still a few days to join in too but if you are time-poor do check out all the fab cards on display at the challenge site, you too maybe inspired to snip apart a die set bought and never used.

I also thought as I try to use never before used stuff for the challenges that I might as well embrace it openly and enter my card also at the official Never-Before-Used-Schtuff challenge site.

EDITED 9 May : I caught their eye at the Color Throwdown

✿ Karen ✿