28 November 2023

So Mini Hellos

This is the name of the coolest wee stamp set with so many cute images (38; including sentiments) and I decided I would spend my day playing with some of my favourite CAS challenges sites doing Christmas so I could maybe get a few more cards as I was 3-6 short. 

The sites I'm playing along with are CAS on Friday (just Christmas) and Less is  More (D is for Deck the Halls); never fear the Christmas tree is coming to deck the hall ;)

Supply List:
Stamps: So Mini Hellos (The Stamp Market)
Ink: Grassy Knoll (PFS), Peony (PFS), Memento Black Tuxedo
Paper: Neenah Solar White #80 and #110
Other: Copic markers, Snow Flurries background stencil (LF), Glitter Hero Paste (HA), foam squares (SP)
Challenges: CAS on Friday #271, LIM #497

Copic Markers used (darkest >> lightest):
BG13/32/11 and BG000/0000

My first stenciled background is on the LHS below using Ranger's Texture Sparkle paste, I thought it looked a little flat; so had a go using the same paste and adding a tad of Simon Hurley's Clear Skies Lunar Paste (RHS), but the texture paste is not very textured it's very flat when dry and the sparkle is quite "big" and if I'm honest I do NOT like it at all. So I went back to my favourite Glitter Hero Paste (middle) for the challenge; the cool thing though is I whipped out 3 cards really quickly and easily! Even if I say myself they're fun.

I really enjoyed playing along and being creative, 2023 I seem to have signed up for too many Virtual card boxes and they're great but not leaving me anytime to just do my own thing. I've already decided I'm cutting back in 2024 and just creating more with what I own.


Having another go at Watercolouring

I'm really happy to report all Christmas cards have been posted away and it's not even December, so back to finishing off earlier classes I have signed up for.

Today I am finishing of the watercoloring with Manushree, this was supposed to be wet on dry techniques. I started-off like her but I didn't like the look of drawn fine lines with darker paint as my second layer if I'm honest, so ended up in the end doing a bit of colour removing with water and pushing the paint back towards the centre or where ever I wanted the shadow to be. I'm really happy how this turned out, I think I also prefer the colour palate of big flowers one colour and smaller flowers another colour, it looks more cohesive to me. Again this class was more about teaching us techniques with watercolour than making a card. My first go you can see HERE.

I have to say the watercolour paper they supplied takes a lot of water, I love it apart from it's cream. I still can't get over that the image is just stamped with Metropolis a dye ink.

Supply List:
Stamps: Nothing but the Best (PFS), Basic Banners: Celebrate (PFS) (plus matching dies for both stamp sets)
Ink: Metropolis (PFS), Seaside (PFS)
Paper: Watercolor (PFS - being released in 2024), Neenah Natural White #110
Other: Watercolor Artist Paints (ALT), Starry Skies Ombre glitter drops (PFS), Floral Backdrop (PFS), Blanket Stitched Rectangles (PFS), stamping foam
I can see the end is in sight for my February Create and Connect with Pinkfresh Studios with only one class to go - the mash up with Jennifer McGuire. Thanks for popping in and I hope you have a fab day.

26 November 2023

AAA Cards Challenge 254 : this one challenged me!

It's time for another challenge with AAA Cards and we have a colour challenge "black, gold and white". Sounded fab, opulent and perfect for a Christmas card but OMG  I couldn't do it clean and simple so watch this space hopefully you will see in the future some busy and complex cards with these 3 colours as my desk has lots of bits from my first try.

I ended up using a card design I use a lot (the wee window) plus some clean gold embossing and a bit of black to make it pop. I'm actually really rapt how it all turned out, it's rather dramatic. I love the font for the sentiment and I feel this would be a really effective Sympathy card design too.

Supply List:
Stamps: Flower Field Background (MFT), To the Wise One (HB - sentiment)
Ink: Versamark, Versafine Clair Nocturne
Paper: Neenah White, Black
Other: Master Layouts 3 (GKD), gold and clear embossing powder, embossing buddy
Challenge: AAA Cards #254

Well that certainly challenged me, I hope you can join us as we would love to see what you come up with. Do check out all the other fab cards on display as this really is a colour combo that packs a punch. As always when I see what the DT and then everyone that plays along creates I'm always amazed and inspired and hopefully you will be too.

Thanks for popping in.
✿ Karen ✿

22 November 2023

Having a go at Watercolouring

Still trying to finish of my classes I signed up for at the beginning of the year for so I can start 2024 with a semi-clean slate. Not sure if I'm winning but slowly getting there.

One of the classes from Pinkfresh's February 2023 Create and Connect virtual class was Watercolor Flowers with Manushree Mishra, if you Google Manushree she's does amazing watercolour images so I was really looking forward to having a go.

Of course when the supply list came she was using liquid pH Martin (which is not available in NZ) with the suggestion to use Daniel Smith watercolor paints. The latter is available here but horrifically expensive. Either option would have cost me more than the price of my class so decided I was going to stick to what I owned which is a Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolour palette (18 colours) plus I have received over the years some Daniel Smith dot palettes but then I saw my local craft store had a reasonably priced half pan watercolor paint set from Altenew (Artist's Watercolor) so I thought that would give me a bigger range to play with. As you can see there are heaps of colours (24 to be exact) in the tin and they are really intense and creamy, with quite a good range of colours plus black and white.
But in the end I still used the dark pink (no. 34) from my Gansai Tambi set as it was closer to what Manushree was teaching but the other colours/paints came from the Altenew set. The first card she was teaching was wet on wet techniques and she almost did a different way  on each petal.
I wasn't that happy with my shadowing, I probably had too much water on my paint brush but I did enjoy painting alongside her. Today, I went back in with my ZIG Real Color brush markers in close shades and add a bit more shadowing and it actually looks quite good!!
I don't like the colour of watercolour paper if I'm honest which is why I use Ranger's as it is white but I think this is the paper that Pinkfresh Studio maybe releasing next year, it's quite cream but it was lovely to watercolour on, so I may have to change my mind. The image has just been stamped with a mid-grey dye ink; Metropolis and there's no bleeding at all. So to hide the cream and plainness of the cream watercolour panel I splattered with some red-gold paint (maybe too much) and the same dark pink watercolour from the Gansi Tambi sets. We were supposed to add a foiled sentiment but I didn't like that there background card was WHITE so I stamped Happy Birthday from the set with my Versafine Nocturne ink and clear embossed it on C9's Lemongrass card stock as I felt that was similar to the leaf colour. The Ombre glitter drops are Butterscotch, one thing about taking 9 months to do the class I have the whole range of  Ombre glitter drops now (Champagne was supplied in our kits originally).

This is a very simple card, the corners have been rounded using the largest Rounded and Braided die which was also in our kit and last but not least the stamp set is called Nothing But The Best and is part of Pinkfresh's recent release so it is available to purchase now.

15 November 2023

October Create and Connect : Craft Along

I signed up for last month's Craft Along with Heather and Lea from Pinkfresh Studio as the class is great value (only $10USD) and if you can join them live, there's a chance to win gift certificates and chat with them before you start crafting as the event is held via a Zoom meeting. 

October's class was also featuring a stamp set I had bought as I loved it but hadn't used PLUS they were using their new inks. I have been waiting for so long for them to fill in the gaps in their ink collection but it's been a really slow process for them to get it right. Some of the original inks I think there are problems with the formulation as they were the last to be restocked and my 2 pads here are crystalline messes (Candied Apple and Raspberry Bliss). I hope this new batch is perfect as there are some beautiful colours amongst the blends.

The new Craft Along for November is in a few days and as you only have access to the videos for 30 days, I thought I'd better pull my finger out and get started on October's cards. When you sign up for the class you do get a PDF to download with detailed instructions and lots of photos.

This is Heather Hoffman's class card using products I owned so could just follow along as is. Lea's class I had to substitute the stamp set for another in my stash. It's actually a lot of fun looking in the albums in the PFS Fan Group on FB and seeing what others substitute to use.

Supply List (Pinkfresh Studio):
Stamps: Best Thing
Ink: Warm Buff, Doe, Peony, Begonia, Mulberry Blush, Sunkissed, Mimosa, Fruit Punch, Spansih Moss
Other: Dotted Lattice coverplate, Champagne glitter drops

Well I love this card, lots of tips and tricks shared. I just wish I hadn't been such a clean wee crafter as I had rubbed all the ink of my blending brushed but got a tiny bit out to give a hint on the left and right hand sides. I also like how we filled the bird cage in with the die cut out pieces so it wasn't too busy behind.

Update I did manage to finish of Lea's card later in the day.

Supply List (Pinkfresh Studio):
Stamps: Happy for You
Ink: Turquoise, Paradise; Wisteria, Hydrangea; Sage, Eucalyptus and Spruce Tips
Other: Art Deco Frame die, Dotted Lattice coverplate, Aqua and Amethyst glitter drops

Even though I ink-blended all 4 flowers from this stamp set I couldn't work out how I could use them in the frame and I actually like that's it's so clean and not too full PLUS I have 3 other images for another card ;)


12 November 2023

AAA Cards Challenge 253: you brighten my day

It's time for another challenge at AAA Cards and we're looking for Fall/Leaves done CAS (Clean and Simple). You've also got 2 weeks to submit your card, so plenty of time to join in on the fun.

I'm totally taking my inspiration from that gorgeous pink raincoat on the right as I've been looking at one of my stamp sets for quite awhile thinking why haven't I coloured you up. Fall is not really a big deal in New Zealand and we certainly don't send out cards but if we had gorgeous leaves like the bottom right hand cluster I would definitely embrace it as that is something to celebrate, unfortunately ours are more like the lower left hand side slippery and brown and make a MESS everywhere.

Anyhow it's time for my shocking pink raincoat and you may need sun glasses but I do sincerely hope it  "brightens up your day".

This gorgeous image is an oldie from Fun in the Rain (Hero Arts). My shocking pink Copic combo is RV09/06/04/02 and I coloured the dog up like I colour bears up, we decided he was a Jack Russell or some kind of terrier E37/33/53/51. For his lighter patch I used the lighter two E's; E53/51. A wee bit of R20 for his tongue and ear lobes plus T6 for the nose and dangly bits on the coat.

Thanks for popping in and I hope you can join in with this really fun challenge and do check out the other really inspirational cards from the Design Team on the AAA Cards blog; there really is some great ideas to inspire us all.

✿ Karen ✿

Rainbow Bridge Card

My sisters are both crazy animal lovers, one loving dogs but in reality all animals and is actually an animal communicator, appearing on TV and writing books. You can read more about Faye HERE.

My other sister must have some of her special abilities as every stray cat in New Lynn seems to end up at her place, unfortunately one of her dearly loved cats had to be put down this week and she seemed really upset about it, more so than usual. So I thought I would make her a card to hopefully brighten her day. I'm sure I haven't done Bruno justice as he was a magnificent looking golden brown and black cat.

My Copic colours used (darkest > lightest):
Rainbow; starting at the top stripe: RV13/RV21, YR16/Y17, Y17/Y15, YG05/YG21, BG13/BG11
Cat: W8, E59/57/33/53
Cloud: BG000

I've used a Close to My Heart stamp set Rainbow Bridge (D1862) and I must be getting old as I didn't buy the matching dies but I'm actually happy that my clouds, cat and halo look actually pretty good cut out by hand. The stamp set has really cool sentiments and inside reads "no matter how long we get to love them, it's never long enough" and a wee paw print.

Well I hope it brightens my sister's day when she receives her card.


5 November 2023

Pretty in Pink with Jenn

Another fab live virtual class with Jenn Shurkus aka Creative Chick today. The official class title is Tweets the Season, the new unofficial name is Pink-mas. This is a continuation of the free Create with Us class that Kelly Marie and Jenn run from the Lawn Fawn blog.

Jenn's paid classes are well worth taking as she steps up the cards quite a bit plus from the free class and we get instructions for three cards plus 2 bonus card suggestions. Her classes are really reasonable and provide colouring guides, lots of pictures and nearly 5 hours of videos if you miss the live class. She's out and about doing live classes face to face again so it's good she still squeezes in some virtual classes for those of us that can't catch her face to face.

Her love of teal and pink is well known, she doesn't really like red at all so uses pinks (R35 / RV13 / RV21) as her red colour combo frequently. Shock horror I don't think there's one BG Copic anywhere on any of these cards. I've had to use different backgrounds at times but I was fortunate I actually had ALL the stamp sets she used today plus a few of the backdrop dies.

This is my bundle of cards at the end of the class (3 official cards plus the 2 bonus cards one day two ways) so feeling Christmas cards are pretty well under control especially as I have a few other Christmas card classes to catch up on if needed. Otherwise, I'll have started on 2024 cards ;)

Jenn always provides prep you need to do before her class plus all the images needed for colouring need to be stamped and die cut out. The hardest thing IMO is conditioning the stamps so they stamp fab and crisp. As I wanted to join the second session at 8am kiwi time which was constructing the cards I actually coloured the images all up yesterday and then die cut them out. As I didn't want to arise at 4am to do live colouring with here I used the colouring guide provided in the class PDF. I do have to say this time as there was so many images the images in our handout seemed more crammed in than normal i.e. smaller; making it harder to actually see how she had blended. So I ended up doing what I thought she had done for the most part I was bang on, in places watching the replay I totally got it wrong but after doing quite a lot of classes under her tutelage it's hard to not to make cute images shine. So many images and so many die cuts...just waiting for glitter ;)

Card one and two below

Card one is pretty bang on Jenn's card but as I only have the 6x6" DSP pack I don't have a reverse to use inside the peek-a-boos but blending Guava ink (TE)  to the edges almost makes it look like a different DSP.

Loving the Pixie Dust glitter card stock for the Winter Wonderland window, it die cuts beautifully and is really sparkly in real life. As I don't own Quinn's ABC stamp set I die cut "home" out of Spiffy Speckle DSP using Henry's ABC dies, shadowed with Guava card stock to strengthen it then ink blended some Guava ink up from the bottom. It's definitely tighter for space but still works.

We had to wait until card three to see a dark teal blue background. I've used SU! Pretty Peacock instead of Lawn Fawn's Rain Forest card and I've used Itsy Bitsy Polka Dot background rather than a diagonal strip backdrop die. 

Bonus Card one; again as I don't own Quinn's ABC's I used a different sentiment from Ho-Ho- Holidays, I feel like my scene is missing a "floor" which the word MERRY provided using the big letter stamps but still pretty cute; got to love the wee mice under the mistletoe.

Bonus card two, done two ways. Jenn has used a Lawn Fawn cloud backdrop and I own one too but mine is landscape orientation. It's quite hard as Lawn Fawn seems to release a portrait and a landscape (and sometimes diagonal) orientations for their backdrops/coverplate dies. I already owned this portrait one from CTMH which is actually very versatile. I have used Pearlescent Vellum as my cloud inserts here; using up scraps to die cut them out and both cards use Lawn Fawn Ballet Slipper Card stock, the one on the right I have used my Distress Oxides to blend (Worn Lipstick > Saltwater Taffy > Spun Sugar). I've reintroduced the birdhouse as unbelievably I do NOT own a snowman from any stamp company, I maybe Jenn-abled to get Making Frosty Friends as that seems pretty shocking that I don't own one amongst all my stamps.

Another fab class and she's announced her next one will be in January using the newly released mini snow globes, can't wait for it.... plus some more Distress classes. Roll on 2024!!!