30 June 2023

Shaker cards for grown ups

Another stunning card from my Virtual Creative Art Retreat and its teal and bright pink - it must be a Jenn Shurkus card. It also incorporates my favourite stamp company Pinkfresh Studios I love their stamps, stencils, dies, hot foil plates and coverplate dies. We were very fortunate to receive the In My Heart stamp set and co-ordinating die in our event kit plus Jenn had provided us with a Mermaid card which had been die cut with the stunning Ornate Medallion coverplate, also from Pinkfresh Studios. The mermaid card stock is such a pretty teal blue and it sounds like it's been out of stock for the last 18 months with Lawn Fawn, sounds like Jenn bought so much it might be OOS again.

Normally what I love about the Pinkfresh Studio stamps is you colour them in with a stencil and a blending brush but with Jenn we got to colour them in with our Copics and wow it sure packs a punch and then we used our fab Trinity Stamps confetti mix to make a shaker card. I love these sequins and sure hope they do sell them to the public eventually. I've only been using the blue ones in the pack until now but now you can see there are white and pink ones (pink hearts too).

We've used Glossy Accents (RNG) and Prisma glitter to make the buds and the centres of the big pink flowers pop. 

Wow it's getting to the stage when I don't know hoe I'll ever be able to give these cards away, guess it means I have to make more ;)
✿ Karen ✿

29 June 2023

First go at ink smooching a background

The next installment on my Creative Art Retreat Journey with Jenn Shurkus and I finally had a go at smooching with Peacock Feathers distress ink and a cellophane bag to make a "watery background" for this absolutely adorable fox in her flamingo, Jenn had provided for this card the Dotted Scallops coverplate (PFS) on Distress Watercolour paper (RNG) PLUS all the stamped images which had been die cut out and the wave border. All I had to do was Copic colour, ink smoosh and stamp the sentiment and construct. I'm loving this stress-free easy KReating. 

I'm happy with my background but can see Jenn gets more spots with dark edges so more practice needed. I am also wondering if maybe I had too much ink on my bag as I only have mini Distress inks so I might have smooshed too many times or I didn't spritz with enough water but the background still looks fab. The delightful stamp set is Make a Splash by Avery Elle and the stampset plus die were also given to us as part of our kit.

Prisma glitter has been added to the shadows and the wave edge plus the fab sequins from Trinity Stamps used again. In our bag we received there are clear and pink ones but I just love these and hope they are available to purchase eventually. This card is so bright and cheery it certainly makes me smile.
 ✿ Karen ✿

28 June 2023

Take one stencil continued

Continuing on with my blogging of my Virtual Creative Art Retreat Journey with Jenn Shurkus. I blogged the other day (HERE) about the amazing Quatrefoil stencil from Newton's Nook that we used to make 3 different backgrounds.

Today I thought I would blog as my record of My INKredible Journey about the 2 other cards, starting off with the cat in the hanging basket that we got to colour up like Mr. Harley (Jenn's cat).

Stamp set: Newton's Hanging Basket (Newton's Nook)

Amazingly no glitter has been used in making this card, but we gave added interest to the hanging basket by adding flicks of our BG markers. Greens and blues are my favourite colours so this card resonates with me.

Stamps: Melody (Purple Onion Designs)

Glitter has been added to one and a half columns on the Quatrefoil pattern with a Quickie glue pen (Sakura) and Prisma glitter (LF). The fox has been grounded with wee dots of various Toner Grey markers.

Well I just loved both these card backgrounds and the critters too. I am absolutely loving this virtual class with Jenn and it is now my number one for next year 2024, same time by the sound of it (first week in June).

Four cards down, nine to go ;)

✿ Karen ✿

26 June 2023

Craft Roulette #169

Wow this turned into a real challenge. I decided really early on with the see-through that I would finally have a go for real to use my Window Frames stamp set by Simon Says Stamp. This was the monthly kit in February 2020 and guessing I bought this just before we went into lockdown, which seemed a long time ago now. I never got around to using it at the time and have taken it off to crafty weekend retreats with great intentions to use it but invariably it returns home looking brand new and not used :(

It is a very different stamp set with 3 frames; one with flowers which I have used, one with balloons and one with hearts. At the time we got a trio window die in the kit and a square shaker trio pouch (MFT). The shaker pouches are probably long retired but I'm glad I bought 3 packets worth as I'm off to my annual Craftirific girls crafty retreat next weekend and will definitely make more cards now I've finally inked the stamp set.

Unfortunately it doesn't come with a die to cut out the images so time to get fussy cutting. I coloured the flowers up in more earthy tones, which equates rustic to me and I even used Crunchy Leaf ink from Lawn Fawn to make the stems etc a pale brown which is an alcohol ink friendly ink. I do love and LOL at Lawn Fawn names of their colours.

I was looking at stencils for hexagons and I had 6-sided dies but to be a hexagon each side is the same length and same angle as I was thinking I could add  the sentiment onto a hexagon die to discover I don't own a hexagon die when I Googled what is a hexagon. I did know they were six-sided I just hadn't realised they had to be symmetrical. So it now has to be a stenciled background OR what I used which is stunning DSP called Golden Honey Specialty (SU!). 

I had a bee in another old SSS monthly kit wearing glasses (as apparently glasses especially sunglasses are fashionable) but decided my wee flower frame would suit a trio of wee bees including the Queen Bee wearing her very fashionable golden crown. I've coloured in the crown with my Signo gold gel pen and a few wee hearts.

I have also used some long retired Sequins for Everything (SU!) which come in a variety of colours and shapes including more hexagons. I have added Prisma glitter (LF) to the bees' wings. The bees come from Lawn Fawn's Hive Five set and the sentiment "thanks for bee-ing there" is from Bee Yourself  (SSS) stamp set. The background paper comes from Spiffy Speckles DSP (LF), I was going to use a pale lemon or mid-green card stock but I find myself reaching for this pack of 6x6" DSP it seems to work with everything and I love it comes with speckles and I don't have to splatter, it's all done for me ;) The stitched detail is the largest stitched rectangle stackables dies (LF).

I used my old blending combos from when I first started Copic colouring and looking at my sheet this is my best guess what I used (darkest >>lightest):
  • Orange flowers: YR68/YR15/YR21
  • Yellow flowers: YR24/Y19/Y11
  • Darkest green leaves (bigger ones): YG67/YG17/YG03 
  • Smaller green leaves: YG17/YG13/YG03

I'm really enjoying Craft Roulette as the combo of the 4 parameters certainly makes for a different card or project than "normal".

✿ Karen ✿

25 June 2023

Is it time to get outdoors??

Being Winter down under I think the answer is no, unless you like to ski but it's summer time in the Northern Hemisphere and I am delighted to announce I am the guest designer for AAA Cards current challenge to share a Clean And Simple (CAS) card showing outdoor activity.

So many possibilities and I worked out pretty quickly what I wanted to do but I wasn't that happy with my first go and ended up repeating the card. I really didn't like seeing the Copic bleed behind my front panel trying to make it a single layer card and it wasn't intense enough as I only did one layer trying to have minimal bleed through.

So once I had decided that it had to be a separate panel I then could use my Xpress IT blending card stock which made me happy.

I made a mask of the wee balloon from Lawn Fawn's Fly High set which I put on top of my coloured balloon so I could stamp the wee clouds "behind" the balloon. I have chosen my colours of orange, blue and green as I really like the 3 tents in the inspiration photo. I am trying to add more definition to my Copic colouring by using a white gel pen. The wee pennants I have added some Prisma glitter to them.

Copics used (darkest >> lightest):
Orange:  YR07/04/02 and Y38/35/32
Brown: E37/33/31
Blue: B05/02
Green: YG23/21

Here's the card up close:

And with my first attempted card:

Do check out all the other fab cards at AAA Cards and you have TWO weeks to submit a card, so we'd all love to see what you can come up with too.

Thanks for popping in.

✿ Karen ✿

22 June 2023

Take one stencil

and add some Jenn Shurkus creativity and you get 3 amazing backgrounds. I'm continuing on with my Virtual Creative Art Retreat Journey with Jenn.

Newton's Nook kindly donated for our box of goodies a very cute stamp set called Newton's Hanging Basket and a Quatrefoil stencil. Jenn created 3 different backgrounds using the stencil which added an amazing background for a small-medium image by itself. One of the things I'm really enjoying about this event is that Jenn is mixing and matching all the products for each card, just like we do at home.

The first card I blogged about all it's details HERE, the other 2 cards I'll blog and share more about them in the coming days but today's post is about the stencil and the stenciling.

All the blending has been done with Distress Inks onto Distress White Heavystock apart from the fox card which has been blended directly onto a card base (I use Neenah Solar white #110 for my bases) and it's not as smooth a blend but still really effective background and there is nothing to stop you from blending again onto a blending cardstock (I normally use Lavinia Smooth and Multifarious or Bristol Stathmore).

The original rainbow card has had a rainbow blended starting with the yellow in the middle on a slight diagonal, then we laid the stencil over the top and added a darker layer. The fox's rainbow is just  stripes with a light hand in stripes and again we started with the yellow in the middle.

For the middle card we used one ink and blended an upside down C, then blended another ink through the stencil to give a new colour. As this is a paid class I won't share the colours used but play with what you know and love or you can sign up to just buy the resources now (online 30 page handbook and approximately 12 hours of videos).

Jenn demonstrated and used Picket Fence's Paper Pouncers which she says she loves for fine stencils as you're not blending in circles to move the fine stencil lines as you're actually pouncing down and it looked real easy IMO. I had purchased recently from Krafters Cart some Altenew small blending tools which I used and I think they did a great job, they come in a box of 4. I can tell I'm getting arthritis in my wrists and these seemed like they might be easier to blend with was the main reason I thought I would try them and I think they worked out really great.

✿ Karen ✿

21 June 2023

Time to start glittering all the things

Continuing on sharing my Creative Journey Art Retreat with Jenn Shurkus. I think Jenn's most used phrase is "glitter all the things" and this wee card looks amazing without glitter but even better with glitter.

I snapped this yesterday as I had Copic coloured her on "day 1" and I thought all I had to do was sponge/blend around the edges, pop the panel up on foam tape and done. The other thing about Jenn is she loves, loves TEAL so I probably need to go refill my BG markers after "day 1 colouring" finished.

But no we weren't finished we added Prisma glitter (LF) using a Sakura pen to the white centres of the flower in her hair and the highlights on the bubbles and then using Distress Collage Medium Matte (in a bottle) we added a small amount to the narwhal's spots, horns and the shadows on the mermaids' tail. Then poured on top with a spoon Distress Rock Candy glitter (it's a really fine glitter but no Prisma bits and I like it a lot). Both these products are from Ranger. So yesterday we did the same technique for the first card I shared HERE but we used Ranger's Glossy Accents in a small bottle and Prisma glitter from Lawn Fawn. Both techniques give a really raised edge.

Now for the fun/hard part actually taking a picture that shows how amazing it looks in real life.

This stamp is a newly released stamp set from Trinity Stamps Sea You Soon. Jenn loves the sea and mermaids and lives at Cape Cod in the US and there are more mermaids to come, beachy things, pools, kitty cats; all the things Jenn loves but she said she had no say on what the sponsors donated but they know her well and they donated things she loves.

✿ Karen ✿

20 June 2023

Jenn Colours My World

Jenn Skurkus aka Creative Chick that is. I think since discovering Jenn at my very first big box event in September 2022 she's bought the magic of stamping, Copic colouring and my love of Lawn Fawn back into my life. Apart from the fact she's an awesome teacher and has great colouring guides she actually makes really bright and cheery cards. She is on the design team for a lot of companies and often I see what she creates for launches and go OMG that is so pretty and then I look at what the other DT create and I go nuh that'll be what I would create and save my pennies. Check out her blog in the link above to see some examples of her creations.

I have taken a few online classes with Jenn already working with various Lawn Fawn stamps, her Distress Watercolour Pencils was amazing plus recently Copic 101 which again if you're thinking of starting out with Copics is well worth purchasing.

But back to my latest Virtual class with her "Creative Art Journey June 2023" which I thought should I or shouldn't I enroll for. It was the usual $175 USD to buy and then shipping (I chose the middle option of her USPS options which was approx. $70 USD) and my kit turned up within 2 weeks which shocked me. I chose this same option for the Copic 101 class and my workbook spent 2 weeks at somewhere in the New York airport; so took 4 weeks to get to me and arrived 2 days after the class.

Jenn had already said that the products in our box was approx. $100 USD but she needs to also get paid which is fine and the event was two days long and approx. 6 hours of videos each day plus the handout and unboxing videos etc so I get it and I'm off to SENZ soon paying $69 for a class and getting a $20 stamp but the shipping always hurts on top plus our conversion rate to USD lately is pretty horrendous.

But OMG I am so glad I did sign up, this maybe is my favourite virtual class ever!!  My first shock was when my box arrived everything was in wee bags labelled card 1 - card 13. Most of the stamping and die-cutting was done for each card. Panels with background dies, scalloped rectangle panels, platform die cut out of DSP. Each card bag also had either Neenah White #80, Ranger Distress watercolor or Ranger heavy weight cardstock in it. All the stamps and dies I received are seriously cute and the big shock was Stampers Anonymous and Tim Holtz made a Creative Retreat EXCLUSIVE stamp set for us (there are 350 of us). Apparently the images in the stamp set are on various stamp sets but they have been combined and to a different size than normal, that alone is worth it's weight in gold IMO. I must admit I was totally blown away by all the prep that had gone into each box as I am so used to doing homework for days before a Virtual event normally. I still have to provide my own card bases and I had to stamp approximately 5 images but so minimal I was rapt I could just enjoy the Journey and Copic colour and make fabulous backgrounds = my kind of heaven. So lots of work goes into each box as well. I can see why limited to 350 boxes, Jenn did get help from crafting friends to do the box. I know Breann from The Ink Stand stamped and die-cut out all my vegetable images (I'm guessing but about a dozen veggies) I'm sure she would have die cut out all the images and then had a template in her MISTI to stamp the die-cut but OMG that is still substantial work.

Well it's 2 weeks since the live event and I have managed to finish day one's 2 videos which really are colouring all the things plus we got to make one card, even Jenn was laughing about it at the end of day one which ended up being six and a half hours long (there is a break in the middle). But we have coloured up lots and lots and everything will be ready to be assembled.

So here's my first colourful card which I love.

This card uses products from Gina K Designs (flower stamp: Bold Blooms), Newton's Nook (stencil), Pinkfresh Studios (sentiment), and sequins (Trinity Stamps) that we got in our box.

This was one of the cards we had to stamp (a) directly onto the card and (b) onto some masking paper to make a mask. This is the first time I have ever "coloured" up a flower grey but isn't it cool. I've also never used Glossy Accents (RNG) to make wee dots, my card was left covered in a pile of Prisma Glitter when I went off to bed and for the most part my dots are pretty good, the ones that look smudged I'm not sure if I made the drop too small or whether the  glitter squashed it but probably the former. The ink blending has been done with Distress inks on Ranger Distress Heavy card stock which Jenn provided. She also demonstrated using the new Picket Fence paper pouncers which looked amazing. I am now regretting selling of my full Distress Ink pads years ago, when oxides were released they were so much easier to blend with I actually sold off my full collection at the time of Distress Inkpads for half price and started buying my favourite colours in Oxides and mini inkpads. Space is always an issue when you have a bedroom as your crafty happy place. Back then blending tools weren't as good as what we have now and I would have been happy with my Distress Inks if I had today's tools to blend with.  For this card as I didn't have any paper pouncers, I used what was new for me, some mini blending brushes from Altenew for the stencil layer and I am pretty happy with them. How Jenn explained it is with delicate stencils using our normal swirling/circular motion it actually moves the stencil where if you are pouncing watching her its a more up and down motion. I am not sure how it would work with my mini inkpads and I know in my next big box event (this September) we're getting a pouncer in our kit as Picket Fences are sponsors this time around for that event.

For your interest these are my really colourful images waiting to have backgrounds prepared for them:

Hopefully I should be able to churn out the cards but we have a 4-5 days of grandkid minding coming up whilst mum and dad away so "watch this space".

Jenn is now selling the resources for this class i.e. the handbook and colouring guide plus access to the class videos etc for $30USD I think if you are even slightly interested in doing something like this when it is offered next year it would be a great idea to buy the Virtual Class as most of the stamp set and dies are readily available to purchase at the mo, apart from out exclusive Tim Holtz one. This is the link to where there is more detail about the class on Jenn's website CLICK HERE. The background techniques I can assure you will be worth the $30. I know Jenn mentioned she is having a Summer Sale for her classes soon but that is normally for older classes she still offers.

Well I guess I will be waiting online to register when registration opens next year as this is top of my list for Virtual Card Events to do.
✿ Karen ✿

19 June 2023

Inspired by a photo to go "Botanical"

I am really late to enter the latest Lawn Fawnatics challenge which closes today but these challenges are great as they make me use stuff I buy and there is a small possibility I might win the $50 USD gift card to spend in the Lawn Fawn shop and as there is a new release next week and I think I want the lot but can't afford the lot it's silly not to enter.

OMG my card turned out so much better than I could have ever dreamed. I have used Lawn Fawn's Pearlescent vellum which I love, love, love to die-cut out a Spring Flowers backdrop which I have loosely coloured up with my Copics to match the bright pinks and yellows in the inspirational photo. I have die cut outa Giant Happy Birthday from Guava card stock which I adhered to my Neenah White #110 base card first then laid my coloured vellum overlay on top. I love this vellum as well as being shiny it also doesn't seem to show the glue underneath. I then added a few daisy die-cuts from the Secret Garden Window die to the HB die-cut. I have added a shimmer pen to the paper daisies to match the pearlescent backdrop.

Copics used:
Yellow: Y13/15
Green: YG05/09
Pink-red: RV14, R46

I have mentioned before about the trick of using an old mail bag with bubble wrap in it to run underneath your card stock with detailed dies. I wish I remembered my tricks when cutting,  see the difference below but at least the wasted piece (sniff) could be my practice piece to see what the colours looked like on it before committing to colour the good frame.

And the photo-board that inspired my card:

Craft Roulette #168

I loved the spin of the wheel this week and it gave me the perfect opportunity to stamp up my new Mama Elephant stamp set; I have had my eyes on this set (Flower Friends), Flower Shower and Rainy Days forever and ever. Finally I got them  all last week so was dying to play with them. The first thing I discovered the stamp I used is not a chicken, it's a KANGAROO, which is too, too funny. I really thought it was a beak on his face but then thought why has it got bunny ears and whoo it also has a tail. So I was really confused by now and had to go to the Mama Elephant site to see what it really was. A chicken wearing an orange daisy would have been even more perfect but the wee roo is adorable too.

This week's spin of the wheel gave us these parameters to work with:

I have added gold gel pen to the bee's stripes plus gold embossed my sentiment. I have Copic coloured up my images. I used a post it note as a mask for my grassy area which is created with Twisted Citron distress oxide ink and I thought about sponging the sky but settled on some clouds with a Lawn Fawn die and their Pearlescent vellum paper which I love. I also love that the pearly sheen means you don't see the wee glue drop or mini foam square behind it either. This week I loved Mary's funn shaker card and the evil chicken card that the guest Maymay created, so it is well worth checking out HERE.

✿ Karen ✿

18 June 2023

Summer lovin'

This is the name of Jenn Shurkus AKA Creative Chick's latest online class. I was lucky and I took the class actually LIVE this weekend. Lucky or mad as it kicked off at my 3am but it is so helpful being able to ask questions as the class is happening. Though saying that Jenn is really awesome at getting back to you quickly if you do have a question and you're just doing it as a virtual class.

Jenn was working with the following Lawn Fawn sets: Mermaid for You, Duh-Nuh, On the Beach, So Jelly and You are Sublime. I don't have all these sets so I ended up using Mermaid for You, On the Beach, Ocean Shell-fies and Seahorsin' Around. I also didn't have the exact cover plate die she used and used my dotted scallop one from PFS and I had a different sun die than she used but everything worked out great and the star of the show as always is the cute Copic coloured images. Jenn does an amazing job of teaching you how to colour up small cute images for cards EASILY and even though I maybe using different images than she was (Seas the Day card) I just coloured up the different image with the same colours to get a "rainbow".

I also learnt that I was using the wrong Ranger cardstock for my backgrounds as I was struggling to get a smooth blend. Using Distress Oxides it wouldn't matter what cardstock you are using they blend like butter on everything but Jenn wanted to use dye inks as cleaner and not milky (like the sea should be). I persevered with what I had prepped and blended on for the class as with all the elements on top you don't really notice. This was my first go using my inks which were comparable in colour to the Lawn Fawn inks Jenn was using and I hated it, it was on the smooth side of my Ranger Distress Watercolour paper.

In the break I flipped it over changed out the pink ink and tried again it was better but  still not loving it, but it is what I did end up using after blending in more pink and lilac ink.

Anyhow Jenn took one look at my pictures and said you're using the wrong cardstock it's not watercolour paper I use Ranger Heavy Cardstock. Scratching my head now and lo an behold I do have some in my stash (surprise, surprise) but never used (surprise, surprise). I haven't tried blending on it yet but it is really smooth to touch.

I should have been using the cardstock on the LHS but it is interesting how their properties are identical and to be honest I assumed (wrongly) they were the same thing because of that and thought it was just different packaging and I'd never got around to opening it to cut into 1/4s for projects/classes.

This is Jenn's class sneak peek and her colours are so vibrant (they always are) so looking forward to having a go on the right card for the bonus cards I have yet to make.

As always this was another great class and it is interesting to see what others in class have substituted for the class too but here's some close ups of the cards I KReated to finish of with, I hope you all have a fabulous day and the sun continues to shine for us in Aotearoa.

Thanks for popping in for some Summer lovin'.

✿ Karen ✿

15 June 2023

New Stampin' Up! catalogue has launched

I had a fabulous Sunday at the Gordonton Hall on Sunday with 2 of the local Waikato demos Rayleen Baker (from Gordonton) and Irene Wardlaw (from Te Awamatu). These two ladies always have amazing cards with lots of fancy folds. It's a really relaxed day, we take our own lunch and get pampered with everything else being handed to us to create with. 

I'll just post the cards in maybe my favourite order, the first has to be the Lemon-Lime Twist card with the Zany Zoo DSP. I was devastated when they retired Lemon Lime Twist (it was an in-colour) as I love lime green, and when younger a lot of my clothes were lime green. I was still a demo when it retired and I was one of many demos who used to regularly chant in demo forums "bring back lemon lime twist".

Isn't this just fun and I love the "theatre" the Zany Zoo dies also has as part of the die set. These images all come from the DSP, some of them are coloured, some of them you colour up yourself. Some have matching dies, some do not and you have to fussy cut out. We have coloured up the images with SU! watercolor pencils, I used to own both sets but when I stepped down again last year I gave away my sets to the 2 ladies I attended the crafting day with but I was really happy how easily it was to colour them up with the watercolor pencil and a blender.

This card uses the Cheerful Daisies bundle and daisies are my favourite flower but I personally found the die cuts tricky to get out and would like to try the set with a metal shim before I bought the set but I loved learning how to make a curtain fold as an accent, it really is a stunning card.

Now the following cards are not really my vibe but I like the folds a lot, I just don't like fussy flowers or darkish cards.

I'm not sure what kind of fold you call this and I don't think Rayleen or Irene knew what it was but it was pretty fab and I actually surprised myself how much I loved the DSP we were working with. It's called Countryside Inn and a mixture of blues to white with wee small animals on it, mine has a wee bird, but I saw foxes and bunnies on other papers. The stamp set was Seasonal Branches.

The next card is a pretty cool design and I know they're trying to show of the new in-colours released this year but I personally don't like the colours and the motorcycle doesn't stand out enough IMO but it is a cool die as was the In-colour Lustre Specialty paper, which I was nearly tempted to buy as so luxurious looking.

Colours in my motorcycle are Boho Blue and the background card is Pebbled Path.

Last but not least this was amazing, a "seagull" card, it was so easy to put together but also so hard thinking back. The "wings" wrap around the front of the card too. We've used Petal Park stamp set and Inked Botanicals DSP.

Well what a fabulous day, lots of crafting done, introduced to what's new with SU!, lots of gossip and I learnt some new techniques. If you'd like to know more please contact Rayleen or Irene directly to attend a class, a home workshop or a future event. I have linked their names to their e-mail addresses I hope, in the first paragraph.
✿ Karen ✿