20 May 2024

Mindy's Galaxy in a Glass card

Just sharing the fabulous card Mindy Eggen taught at the Spellbinders Weekender Retreat. I have to admit anything with ink blending really excites me and this was no exception.

We started by blending an A2 panel with water reactive inks. I used my Ranger Heavy Card stock and Distress inks, in hindsight maybe I should have used Distress Watercolor paper as we certainly ended up wetting it a lot. The watercolour paper in my kit was missing so I had to swap out with my own card.

Mindy started by blending a greenish yellow in the middle of her card, she then she applied a teal blue ink around it on one side. She blended across the top into the blue and the yellow-green a velvety rose pink ink and then the next colour blended in was a bright berry pink followed lastly by a vibrant purple. She then ink blended all the edges with a black ink. Then wet the whole panel quite a lot with her mister bottle so the inks were moving and let the colours mix more before drying with a heat tool. Lastly when dried splatter with white paint. This is my panel all dried and ready for die-cutting.


We used 3 die sets for this card; Sunset in a Glass, Tropical Flair and Tunnel Clouds.




We also ink blended on a dark blue card stock black ink all around the edges and splattered with the white paint again (Splatter White Opaque Watercolor by Spellbinders).


These were the inks I used and the approximate positioning of where I blended them into the panels. Mindy was working with Simon Hurley inks.




Well I love how cool this card is and I am thinking of giving it to an ex-colleague who is about to retire so thinking about what sentiment to use on it. The pain of all that die-cutting is fading when I look at this card. 

✿Karen✿

Weekender Fun with Spellbinders

I just had a fun weekend with my friend Donna who is one of my oldest and bestie friends, we go back to working in a hospital lab in the 1980s and she's also to blame for getting me into crafting when she dragged me along to Creative Memories workshops to learn scrapbooking in the 90s. My usual suspect in all things crafty Sarah was also in as well.

We all took part in Spellbinders Weekender Virtual retreat. Personally I'm trying to have a bit of a hiatus from Virtual boxes and kits as I'm quite a way behind with them but it was really hard to not sign up as our local craft store Krafters Cart actually bought the kits into NZ and shipped them to us for under $10. Most virtual kits the shipping is normally around the $100 USD mark which adds a lot to the cost for us down under but I justify it as I'm getting first class tuition which is free and the kit always is at least the value of what we pay for it. The problem is so many companies are now offering them it's really hard to pick and choose which ones to do. But I have to be honest as you get SO MUCH product in the kits (some of it you wouldn't normally buy as its not your thing) that I'm running out of storage space in my craft room.

We got the kit box with plenty of time beforehand which was just as well as there was so much die-cutting to be done. I knew there'd be a lot but there was truckloads and I actually ended up getting blood blisters under my index and thumb nails tearing the dies off the backing sheets. Also the cutting was complicated with lots of different coloured papers in the kit and to be honest I don't think I got all the coloured card we were supposed to get in a kit but in the end I worked with what I had and filled in the gaps with something similar in my stash they were using. Also the teachers were using dies from multiple die sets to make one card which complicated things as well. I posted a wee quick video on my Facebook page of all the diecuts which you can see HERE.



The three of us post lunch on Saturday which was the Friday class and cocktail party in the States. Luckily we had just bought ourselves a new TV,  after 20 years we finally replaced the 32" TV with a Chromecast attachment for a 55" smart TV which made watching YouTube videos so much easier and so much BIGGER and clearer.


Myself with bubbly and OJ whilst listening to the stream.

Sarah looking happy.



My kitten enjoyed playing with the cocktail umbrellas! I'll be back soon to share a card or maybe even more from the event. Hope to see you then.
✿Karen✿

15 May 2024

AAA Colourful Dreamy Moodboard

It's time for another challenge with AAA Colourful and I am so delighted to be joining them as a Guest Designer this month. I love colour and was very excited when this new challenge blog started up and here we are at month four, doesn't time fly! 

This month's moodboard is so dreamy and it really reminded me of Craft Consortium's Ink Drop Papers which are perfect for those of us that would like the look of alcohol ink backgrounds.


I'm sure I not the only person who has watched a Jennifer McGuire video and went and bought what she was working with and I must admit this is how I own some CC Ink Drop papers and also some coverplate dies from Honey Bees (Delicate Daisy A2 Top and Base plates) after watching her create her usual magic. I have blogged about my first plays HERE and HERE. When Jane invited me to be the Guest Designer this month I went this will be easy that moodboard looks just like my DSP so I'll just tweak the card design using this time Vivid Ink Drops DSP (CC) and use a different "leaf" and the coverplate dies Jennifer "made me buy" for the background.


I'm really happy with my card but feel that my 3/4" paper strips maybe too green and the yellow seems to have disappeared in the strips. This is a no stamping card as the sentiment is a ready-made foiled sentiment from Pinkfresh Studio. The lovely leave die is Whirl Leaves (SSS)



Well I hope I have provided some inspiration for the moodboard or to just to use up some DSP in your stash as this truly is a really effective card and quite quick to put together which is always appreciated if you need a card in a hurry, this design would also work so well for Sympathy cards. I'm looking forward to seeing what the Design team came up for the challenge so hope you can join in, you have plenty of time to play along.


I'm also feeling like my colours are quite representative of the colours at The Paper Players at the moment so will join in with their latest challenge. Also Simon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge is to add a die cut and when you add a SSS die cut to your card it would be foolish not to enter as who doesn't want to win a $25 gift card to their store (it will pay for my postage back to NZ).


Thanks so much for popping in.
✿Karen✿

12 May 2024

AAA Card Challenge 265: Celebrating our 10th Birthday

Hi everyone! Welcome to the next challenge for AAA Cards. We have an anything CAS goes with an optional twist of Birthday.
We are celebrating our 10th Birthday!!

So we want to party with you as it's not everyday you turn TEN (10).

We have prizes! Quite a lot of prizes!

Some are only available to certain countries/zones due to postage, so please make sure when you link your card to also add your country letters to your name;
e.g. Maaike-NL, Karen - NZ, Kristin - USA, Tristan - AUS etc. etc. etc.
.

We also do not have a guest designer as we want everyone to be in with a chance to win a prize, so get cracking and remember to make it CLEAN AND SIMPLE.

  Only CAS CARDS will be considered for a prize.


Wow ten years that truly is a worthwhile achievement for any Challenge Blog. I've chosen my inspiration to make a fun card from the cute monkey with balloons on the challenge photo, but you can just submit a Clean and Simple card as well but who doesn't need a birthday card in their stash. 

But we truly would love you to join in with us to celebrate. If you'd like a chance to win a prize definitely think about how CAS is defined at AAA Card Challenges.


I have KReated a monkey with balloons birthday card as I just love the cheeky monkey in the challenge photo. I have Copic coloured up my image. Once die cut out I have also added 2 blank die cuts to the image for a bit of dimension. I have very lightly blended Salvaged Patina distress oxide behind it all as I'm sure s/he is floating in the sky. This really cool monkey comes from Party Animals (Pink & Main). Then just a tad of Diamond Stickles to the balloon highlights and the bottom of the ice-cream as it is a PARTY!!!



Copics used (I colour dark >> light):

Monkey: E37/33/53/51 E53/51 and RV 21/10
Pink: RV13/21 (10 also added to balloon)
Orange: YR16/Y17
Yellow: Y17/15 (11 also added to balloon)
Green: YG05/21 (09 added to balloon first)
Blue: BG13/11

Well I hope you can join in with us at AAA Cards Challenge and celebrate this momentous occasion, as always you have 2 weeks to create your card. If you can't make it do call by the Challenge Blog and wish them/us a Happy Birthday;)

It's also ironical our sister blog AAA Birthday Challenge challenge for May is a CAS Card so I will enter my card there to play along with them too.



✿Karen✿

7 May 2024

Just Add Ink 700th Challenge

Gosh what a worthy achievement, now I thought I would start of by reminiscing about MY Just Add Ink journeyas they have been a BIG part of my challenge life and blogging. 

The very first challenge of theirs was January 2010 and I was a day too late to enter - that's often the story of my challenge life I get the closing time wrong. You can read that blog post HERE and this is my card and the challenge colours (sob I loved all of these colours and ALL retired). Gosh what a fab card even if I say so myself, I still love it, feeling like I need to recreate it again!

I also see I didn't know how to blog as well as I do know and I've just linked to the generic Just Add Ink blog with my blog post.



Back in 2010 I was pretty busy with a full time job running a hospital laboratory plus running my Stampin' Up! business which included prepping for classes, workshops, extravaganzas etc. so I wasn't really into challenges but tried to play along with Just Add Ink, NZSU Blogs (which I ran for awhile) and my stamping idol Kristina Werner's Make a Card Monday's. In all honesty the card I entered for the first challenge I can see was totally inspired by Kristina looking at it now.

So skip forward to 2022 and again I decided I was going to restart doing card challenges to refind my lost MOJO and Just Add Ink (and CAS on Friday) was the first challenge I chose to play along with and you can read about that card HERE. Again it was a colour challenge and no. #598.




So thanks to all the Design Team over the years I see Chantell has been their since the beginning and I can see why I played along originally, my friend Delys Cram was on the original DT. HERE is the link to the first Challenge FYI. I love that Just Add Ink has a range of things for us to do with their challenges, each week is different.

So here we are in 2024 and they want shimmer and shine, now I might have gone overboard and I don't think my photo taking skills have improved but you may need some sunglasses when I really show the shine I got on my card to celebrate this FAB MILESTONE WITH JUST ADD INK.


I decided I would try to do a Mixed Media Technique Libby Hickson taught for WCMD 2023 which I meant to try and never did at the time. So a call out for Shimmer & Shine deserved me having a go at it.

I'll start off with the FINAL card and then show how the card was created and the supplies used. Libby's name above is linked to the blog post with a video if I'm not explanatory enough.


Just in case you can't see the shimmer and shine above:



This is how I KReated my card, I used Hero Art's Neon Bright Watercolors : Brights Sunshine, Brights Orange and Brights Pink and added to a wet watercolour paper panel.



Apply Hero Arts White paste through a stencil; I used Art Deco Dancing Lights stencil (HA).


Remove stencil carefully and throw the stencil and palette knife into water (clean later). Sprinkle Iridescent Gold embossing powder (HA) all over, I was a bit shocked as I thought my panel should have been dried as I had left it for 2 hours plus I had also dried with my Ranger heat tool. At this stage looking at my panel I was worried powder was stuck to more than just the paste.


But nothing to lose so onwards and you heat the paste/powder with a heat embossing gun until the powder "bubbles and bursts" and hopefully you can see below all the "extra powder" actually brushed off.


Now this is where I wish I hadn't used my deckled rectangle die to cut out the panel as I can see it has flattened my puffy gold paste and also my plates have scratched it . You don't see the scratching looking at the card IRL but you can see it is flattened a bit. I actually own Tim Holtz's deckled edge guillotine so wish I had used that but always think a die is more accurate. The deckled rectangle comes from a Mixed Frame rectangle die set by Altenew.


Card stock mat is Sweet Pea (C9) it seemed to tie in with the pink in the watercolours, the fab glimmer paper is an old Rainbow Glimmer paper from SU!. Wee butterfly is from Memory Box Intricate Mini Butterflies and has been die cut out of black glitter paper with a Magenta glitter drop (PFS). The many thanks die is an oldie from Essentials by Ellen.


Well that was a lot of fun and this card packs a wow IRL so I know whoever  receives it will think it's pretty cool as who doesn't love shimmer and or shine!

Once again HAPPY 700th challenge Just Add Ink. Hopefully I'll still be around to do your 1000th ;) I'll also enter my card in Simon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge for feminine cards as I have been  stuck in bed with a cold but really wanted to make sure I played along with this milestone for the JAI team.
✿Karen✿

6 May 2024

Just popping in to say Hello

Hi everyone I seem to have picked up my grandson's head cold and am barely able to craft as my nose is too runny. I've managed a few cards for Design Team commitments as I like to stay on top of them and work ahead for reasons like this. I've managed some homework for next weekend's Weekender Event with Spellbinders but only scratched the surface of what I need to do. OMG so much die cutting. I knew it would be a lot but I truly had no idea what a lot was, until now. I'm doing the event with a few girl friends, hopefully we can all get together so it should be awesome fun once the homework is all done.


I can't believe it Jenn Shurkus has announced save the date, as she is doing another Distress Watercolor Pencil class LIVE and it's in the same weekend but just one of the days, it's her May 18th so she will be LIVE on my Sunday 19th. I think I maybe doing Jenn's class live and not my die cutting but that will be dependent on whether friends are staying with me to do the Spellbinder's Weekender retreat. I absolutely loved  her first class you can see my efforts HERE.



Last but not least Online Card Classes has just announced today there next class: Extraordinary Embossing Folders, happening late May. Their classes are phenomenal value with a big range of tutors and they are always priced at under $30 USD with an early bird saving the first week, at the moment it's $24 to register. You also get to work with what you own.



✿Karen✿

29 April 2024

I was a bit stumped with this colour combo

I have to admit the latest colour combo challenge at Just Add Ink had me a bit stumped: Coastal Cabana, Starry Sky and Berry Burst - these are all Stampin' Up! colours and I have in my stash the first two. I thought Dragonfruit (C9) looked pretty close to Berry Burst so that's what I used instead. Often when I stumped I will just watercolour something up using the reinkers and as I had recently received a hydrangea stamp I thought that would be a great flower to colour as hydrangeas often have a real range of shades.

I also wanted to play along with the latest Tic Tac Toe challenge using the first column (flowers, embossing, gems). I have dry embossed with an embossing folder plus white embossed the sentiment and added lots of gems.

Of course the flower I coloured doesn't have a die so I ended up fussy cutting it out and as it was watercoloured I used my 100 Copic black marker to try and blacken the edges and tidy the cut edges up a bit, this worked fine apart from where the marker went for a skid on the petal!!

I've also acquired from the SU! retirement sale the Dots & Spots coverplate die, I was so happy they reduced it finally to a "real price" as it retired. I wasn't prepared to pay $72 (kiwi dollars I'm talking about) for a coverplate die no matter how cute it is, when most companies charge half that price and I added a really old SU! embossing folder for some more dots (Perfect Polka Dots).



Supply List:
Stamps: Paint-A-Flower: Hydrangea (ALT)
Ink/re-inkers: Versafine Clair Nocturne, Versamark, Coastal Cabana (SU!), Starry Sky (SU!), Dragonfruit (C9)
Paper: Coastal Cabana (SU!), Starry Sky (SU!), Dragonfruit (C9), Neenah solar white #110lb, Watercolour (Fabriana Artistico cold pressed)
Other: Dots and Spots die (SU!), Perfect Polka Dots EF (SU!), white EP, no. 4 round paintbrush, Magic Potion Ombre glitter drops (PFS), 2mm foam squares (SP), Copic 100 black marker
Challenges: JAI #699, TTTC #246



I'm really happy how my card turned out - I don't make enough flower cards, so it's nice to tuck one away in my stash. Also, again those colour combos that stump me always look fab when KReated too, Thanks for popping in.

EDITED: 2/5/24: Really happy to be chosen as the JAI Winner and big thanks to them for pushing me outside my comfort zone. This was the kind comments from their DT:

Striking combination of dotted background and
beautifully soft hydrangeas

Beautiful hydrangeas are a lovely way to use
the challenge colours in Karen's fun design

Such a pretty use of the challenge colours.


✿Karen✿

28 April 2024

AAA Card Challenge 264: Sketch Challenge

Hi everyone it's time for another fun sketch this week at AAA Cards and if I'm honest I've emulated the sketch pretty good IMO. It reminded me of a wreath with a wee butterfly. So that's what I have created.

I'd forgotten how much fun or how effective it is using Gina K's Wreath Builder system. I have to be honest this is the first time I've done an A2 panel rather than a square. Gina has a video showing how to create an A2 Card which you can watch HERE if you're like me and have her wreath builder. Also I blogged HERE how you could make a wreath without a wreath builder.

I used the 4" template for my wreath builder and chopped a 1/4" of each side of an A2 panel. I also lightly blended Ocean Breeze on my wee butterfly die-cut. 

Supply List:
Stamps: Original Wreath Builder (GKD)
Ink: Ocean Breeze (PFS), Mint (PFS), Versafine Clair Nocturne
Other: Intricate mini butterflies dies (Memory Box), Aqua Glitter drops (PFS)


Definitely check out the fab cards from the Design Team and others , I am always constantly amazed at what clever concepts my fellow DT came up with for the sketches. Hopefully something will "turn on a light bulb" and inspire you to play along too. Just a reminder AAA Cards is a CAS challenge site:


Well I hope you have time to join in with us, as always you have 2 weeks to play along. I'm also playing along with the Colorful Options challenge for April which is PASTELS, so I feel my colours are cool pastels.

✿Karen✿