31 March 2024

AAA Card Challenge 262: Sketch Challenge

Welcome to the latest sketch challenge at AAA Cards.  I really find sketches challenging but I am finding it is best not to overthink them and actually just use them as inspiration. 

So for the latest sketch challenge I've made a stacked animals in an "L-formation" without masking.

The 2 die-cuts balancing on top are just die-cuts with the bottom of the die-cut snipped gently up to the line by me and then using my Memento black brush marker swiping that edge so the images look seamless and as if "masked".

When I first got this set I played with it colouring the racoons in grey toned markers but looking for fresh inspiration lots of the MFT design team have done them in shades of BV (blue violet) and I thought how stinking cute is that, so just had to have a go and I really love how it turned out. 

The middle raccoon is slightly lighter BV02 > BV00 > BV000 > BV0000 as Carly Tee did HERE. I decided I wanted to go darker and added BV04 into the mix for the top and bottom racoons.

Supply List:
Stamps: A Little Racoon (MFT), Adorable Elephants - sentiment (MFT)
Ink: Sprout (C9), Memento Tuxedo Black, Versafine Clair Nocturne
Other: Copics, white gel pen, black glaze pen (Sakura), Grassy stencil (LF), Memento Tuxedo Black dual marker, 1mm square foam (SP)
Challenge: AAA Cards #262

Well I hope you want to rise to the challenge of this sketch, do check out the AAA Card blog for lots of inspiration from the fab design team. I love seeing what everyone creates so I do hope you can join us, as always you have 2 weeks for the challenge and don't forget we're a CAS (Clean and Simple) challenge. It's also my birthday today and that would be a fab present if you do choose to join in with us and play along.

Thanks for popping in.

✿ Karen ✿

28 March 2024

Let's Get "Striped" with Time Out Challenges

I am absolutely thrilled and delighted to be the Guest Designer for Time Out Challenges latest challenge. It's a real fun one too; to use stripes on your project. You have 2 weeks to have a go and you too could be a future Guest Designer for a challenge (if you want too) AND Lawn fawn are generously sponsoring this challenge so you could also win a $25 Gift Card to the Lawn Fawn store, how cool is that!
I'm using a card idea that Jenn Shurkus, taught me/us at a 2023 Virtual Art Retreat. I've modified her idea and am using a stencil and distress inks to make my stripes. Jenn loves making fab backgrounds. In her original class we made very loose streaks of colour using Distress Watercolor Pencils as our background then placed our dark grey Copic coloured image on top. 

I've used a stencil to re-create her look and working with my smaller blending brushes to blend in the stripes. As I am actually using a slimline stencil I die cut out a perfect stitched rectangle with Lawn Fawn's largest Inside Out Stitched rectangle die. But oops I'd been a bit messy and there was gold embossing powder on my plates and I had gold speckles on the RHS after running through my Big Shot. As this was my second go at doing the panel, I went into how to fix-it mode. So spritzed with shimmer spray and water and blotted but felt it needed some black splatters. I used my Licorice spray bottle to add a few drops by unscrewing and just tapping lightly the tubing for the nozzle to make controlled wee drops/splatters. When I sprayed it was much too dark on my practice run. 

My first panel I added a glitter paste through the stencil after ink blending and it looked fab but had a few funny reactions around some of the stripe edges which is why I tried again to make my striped panel.

Supply List:
Stamps and dies: Humbled and Grateful (PFS)
Distress Inks (RNG): Worn Lipstick, Kitsch Flamingo, Dried Marigold, Squeezed Lemonade, Twisted Citron, Salvaged Patina, Shaded Lilac, Wilted Violet
Paper: Hammermill white, Neenah #110, Black
Other: Versafine Clair Nocturne ink, clear embossing powder, Frost shimmer spray (imagine), Licorice Izink dye spray, distress mista bottle, small blending brushes (TE) and foam strips, Inside Out Stitched rectangle die (LF), Horizontal stripes slimline stencil (PFS), Warm Gray Copics (W2,4,6,8)
Well this is a fun, fun challenge and there's no doubting that adding stripes is really effective so hope you can join in as well but definitely check out the Time Out Challenge blog to see the the inspiration on show.

I'll also enter my card at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge which is an anything goes challenge. I also see Just Us Girls would like us to use  a stencil so I'll also enter their current challenge.

Thanks for popping in.

25 March 2024

Birthday dinosaurs

Just Add Ink has a "weird colour combo" up at the moment, the last time I thought a colour combo was weird and went just do it, just make a card, I really ended up loving it. This time I am not totally convinced about the combo. I personally find when I don't like a colour combo try to use it with scraps of card stock and dies. I thought the colours would work with my new-to-me Birthday Dinosaurs dies from Spellbinders. Making a girl dino with all the bits is always going to be super cute and I think she does look "RAWRsome" in Pretty Peacock, Fresh Freesia and  Cajun Craze.

I had a spare dino so decided to play along with the sketch at Freshly Made Sketches as well. I can't decide which card is cutest so will enter the double dino photo into the Just Add Ink Challenge and the Cajun Craze dino into the Freshly Made Sketches sketch challenge.

Supply List:
Stamps: Burlap background (TE), Fairy Friends (LF - sentiment "have a magical day"), Monster Fun (GSD - sentiment RAWRsome")
Ink: Fresh Freesia (SU!), Peacock (C9)
Paper: Fresh Freesia (SU!), Cajun Crush (SU!), Pretty Peacock (SU!), Neenah Solar White, black scraps
Dies: Birthday Dinosaur (SP), Featured Sentiments (ALT)
Other: 1mm foam squares (SP)
Challenges: JAI #694, FMS #628

There is something about a card made of dies that looks really special, but the wee girl dino certainly brings a smile to my face no matter what colour she is wearing. Thanks for popping in.

EDITED 28/3/24: Absolutely rapt to get an honourable mention at Just Add Ink, the winning card was amazing so you should check it out for real she totally knocked these 3 colours out of the park. 

The kind comments the some of the design team had to say...  "Such cute and fun cards, great use of the challenge colours".  "Absolutely adorable and perfect use of these colours!"  "Love these Dino! They are so pretty and super cute!!"

24 March 2024

Surprise Easter Card

I wanted to play along with CAS on Friday's Easter challenge plus combine with the elements from Tic Tac Toe too. So my card front is my clean and simple card for CAS on Friday:

I wanted to make a peek-a-boo window for my wee Easter chicken but I only own a square one from MFT so made my own using Just Stitching Double Circle dies (LF) and a circle die to make a window inside the double stitching.

Now I could have stayed with the CAS theme for Tic Tac Toe but I wanted to make a wee scene inside the card so I'm entering the inside of the card for TTT243 (Easter Eggs, pastel colours, grass). I'll also enter the inside of the card into the collaboration for "birds of a feather" with Time Out and Just Us Girls as well, plus Simon Says : Easter/Spring for their Wednesday Challenge too!

Aren't they just adorable, I've used an older stamp set from Lawn fawn called Chirpy Chirp Chirp and it has stamps to fill in the Easter egg and also the wee flower petals and wee butterflies, which made Copic colouring the chickens and bunny helmets easy.

I just grabbed 2 colour combos from my earliest blends I have, so nothing too fancy but I do like the peachy one a lot.

Supply List:
Stamps: Chirpy Chirp Chirp (LF), Eggstraordinary Easter Add-on (LF - sentiment)
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Fresh Freesia (SU!), Pale Papaya (SU!), Sparkling Rose (PFS), Sunshine (PFS)
Paper: Neenah Solar White #110, Xpress IT blending, Flower Market DSP (LF - retired)
Dies: Grassy border (LF), Just Stitching Double Circles (LF), Sweet Stacks : Circles (HB)
Other: Copics

Well that was a lot of fun combing a CAS card front with an Easter scene inside, hope you can find time to join in with one or all of the challenges.

EDITED 29/3/24: Very excited to say my wee card was chosen as the winner at CAS on Friday. I loved the card so pleased others agreed.


21 March 2024

Birds of a Feather

Two of my fav challenge sites Just Us Girls and Time Out Challenges have for their current challenge a collaborative challenge "Birds of the Feather". 

Suggestions were birds, feathers and "birds" of course can be us ladies/girls too. I had an idea but when I saw this DSP covered in feathers in the Bird Ballad collection (SU! - retired) I just had to use it.

I decided I needed a biggish bird, so it was time to bring out the Bird Crazy set (Stampers Anonymous). When I use one of the crazy critters I like to add on an accessory from Crazy Things and as Easter is approaching fast I chose the bunny ears. I coloured them all up using my Distress Watercolor pencils. I've cut out the eyes to make it crazier, popped them up on foam and added some Crystal Glaze (Nuvo). The word-fetti comes from Let's Chill (EE). The yellow card stock is Honeycomb from Concord &9 as it kind of matched the Mustard Seed pencil .

Well that was a lot of fun, just looking at the card makes me smile! Thanks for popping in.


20 March 2024

Guest star stamper time..

I'm very excited to be the guest star stamper at The Color Throwdown for this week's challenge and even more excited when I saw I had the fun colours of pink, green and pink to work with.

I have to be honest I went with what was on my desk for this challenge, I often spend so long thinking about my card I never make one or as has happened recently someone used what I was going to use so I have to start again.

I still had some gold embossed Fluttering Butterflies from my recent Create and Connect with Pinkfresh Studio (PFS) sitting there waiting to be coloured up as I still haven't done my make and takes or finished off the last 2 classes. I also had a birthday sentiment with Bubblegum (bright pink) left over from a card I made for another pink, yellow and green challenge the other day too.

This is such a pretty stamp set we received at the event and the great news for you it's in their next release coming next week, so you can get your hands on it too as it truly is FAB! It also has a coordinating washi which is really stunning but the cool thing about having the stamp and stencil I can make it any colour I want.

Supply List:
Stamps: Fluttering Butterflies (PFS), Easy Expressions : Birthday (The Ton)
Pink inks (all PFS): Ballet Slipper, Sparkling Rose, Bubblegum
Yellow inks (all PFS): Lemon Whip, Sunshine, Sweet Mustard
Green inks (all PFS):  Fresh Pear, Grassy Knoll, Key Lime
Other inks: Warm Buff (PFS), Versafine Clair Nocturne
Paper: Neenah white, Lemon Lolly (SU!)
Other: Floral Grid coverplate (PFS), Gilded EP (BM), Notched Corner Frame dies (PFS), Twilight Ombre glitter drops (PFS), 1/2" and 1/4" blending brushes (PFS)
Challenges: CTD#785

It's lovely working with these Spring-like colours as Autumn is arriving early by the look of it in New Zealand. Thanks for popping in and I hope you can join in too with these pretty colours. I'm looking forward to what the DT comes up too so do check it all out.

19 March 2024

You Party Animal

Just Add Ink has a fun challenge up on their blog to choose two (circles or squares or sayings). I was not planning it but I ended up choosing all 3. I've used a confetti stencil to add wee circles, I've made a square card as that seemed the most balanced and I've added a sentiment which is kind of a saying "you party animal".

I am playing with two new items that have turned up recently for me; Alex Syberia Designs Confetti stencil. The really cool thing about this stencil is it has 5 layers and you can create a pattern (not sure if I would call it confetti) that is multi-coloured and no spot touches another. I managed to get 2 layers done and then my card I was inking moved as I was lifting off the 2nd stencil. My Waffle Flower sticky mat had lost it's stick and needed a wash as it wasn't really sticky enough. No worries I thought, I can start again but when I looked at what I had created already I actually liked how random it was and it was not too busy. So decided that higher powers were making sure I didn't overdo it! 

I have used Worn Lipstick and Mustard Seed Distress inks and blended on Lavinia's Smooth and Multifarious card as it's WHITE, smooth and great for blending on. The wee mat is just the 2 inks blended around the edge and the banner is just the Worn Lipstick swiped on card to make me a perfectly matched coloured card stock.

The second new item is Pink & Main's Party Animal stamp and die set - look at how much detail the die cut out around the streamers and confetti. I really love this set and am so pleased I shouted myself it, as I had to get it from overseas as this brand is not available here at my local craft store/s. I probably shout myself a couple of shops/ships a year and wait until there is enough things available on my wish list to make the shipping not hurt as much as it does.

I've also cut out 2 extra white die-cuts for the party doggie and 1 extra for the sentiment to add stability and dimension plus a few 1mm foam squares to make the doggie balanced.

Copics used (darkest >> lightest):
Grays: W4/W2/W0/W00 and W8 for nose
Yellow-browns: E19/YR27/YR24/YR31
Yellows: Y17/Y15/Y11
Pinks: RV14/RV13/RV21

I'm also going to play along with Seize The Birthday's latest challenge with the additional twist of a co-ordinating tag. I went pretty simple with my tag, the biggest problem was finding ribbons that matched the ink colours.

Thanks for popping in.

EDITED 21/3/24: Very excited to say that my wee card was picked as the winner of the challenge at Just Add Ink

Here is what some of the design team had to say...

"Such a fun card! Love the tiny circles and cute image"

"Adorably cute and fun way to use the challenge"

"Ha! Love this fun combo of image and sentiment"

EDITED 28/3/24: My card and tag was one of the runner-ups noticed at Seize the Birthday receiving "Birthday Honours"


17 March 2024

AAA Card Challenges 261: anything CAS goes

I hope you can see there is a pattern this year at AAA Cards the odd-numbered challenges are anything CAS with an option, the even-numbered challenges are a sketch challenge.

So this week AAA Card's Challenge optional twist is Spring, which is funny as we are heading into Autumn in the Southern Hemisphere.

I'm playing with a new stamp set to me from Altenew called Simple Flowers Add-on. It's interesting what smaller sets Altenew puts out apart from the affordable price they often also have matching dies. I've gone real CAS on this and stamped directly to an A2 card base using a block. I've actually CASE-d Altenew's sample for the stamp set as that is what made me buy the set in the first place. 

I was happy with the stamping and design but would you believe it there must have been a piece of something on the edge of the darkest flower (where the bee is). I thought no worries I'll re-stamp it again but the second time I grabbed the lightest ink again for the misbehaving flower, so decided I would fix the first card if I could before making a third card. I tried adding white gel pen on top which didn't really remove the smudge so to cover it up I ended up using these bought and not used for a long time Bumblebee trinkets from SU!

Inks above are all Pinkfresh Studio: Sunkissed, Mango Sorbet, Fruit Punch; Fresh Pear, Grassy Knoll and Misty Coast. I finished off with a sentiment from Label Love (ALT).

This is what the repeat card looked like, I added a bumblebee even though not needed to use another one up out of the stash.

I definitely prefer the first card colour combo but a really effective set to make some quick cards. I like the modern look of the imagery too and the extra dots/spots. I hope you can make sometime to play along with AAA Cards as Spring colours are the bestest but anything CAS goes too!

I also thinks my card fits perfectly with Addicted to CAS's latest challenge "Bloom" so will play along with their challenge too.

Thanks for popping in.

Just one more Green card

I've found a new challenge blog called Caffeinated Christmas Card Challenge. It looks a fun challenge site and it's always good to start on the Christmas cards early, the only twist is you need to add a hot drink to the card. Surprisingly even though I can't start my day without a coffee or two I don't own many coffee stamps (or tea or hot chocolate). But of course there are one or two in different sets. So this month's challenge is to link up a newly created Christmas/Holiday themed card with at least one Green element! Your card can be Coffee, Tea or Hot Cocoa! Simon Says Stamp's Monday Challenge and Simon Says Wednesday Challenge both would like A Bit O' Green too!

Supply List:
Stamps: Xmas Selfies (MFT), Holiday Helpers (LF - wee hot chocolate cup), Hand Lettered Holiday Background (SSS)
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Versafine Clair Nocturne, Granny Apple Green (SU!)
Paper: Granny Apple Green (SU!), Xpress IT blending, Neenah Solar White #110
Other: Gelli roll 10 pen (Sakura), Quickie glue pen (Sakura), Prisma glitter (LF), Copics, Selfie square die (MFT), 1mm foam square (SP), Memento Tuxedo black pen

EDITED 1/4/24: My card got a honourable mention at CCCC


15 March 2024

Masculine Monster Fun

I have to admit when I saw the latest colour challenge at The Color Throwdown I wrinkled my nose up, thinking gosh that's hard and quite dull but wow do I love how my wee monster in the box tuned out in these colours, I would go so far as to say I love it!!

Copics I used (NB: I didn't use the E08 just the E07 to make the brown combo a tad more redder):

The blue panel has been cut with Altenew's Mix and Match Frame die-set. But this was a really easy card to create and just perfect for a nephew's birthday card. Well this colour challenge totally surprised me, so I challenge you to have a go, you too might surprise yourself. If you can't find time or feeling stuck do check out all the inspiration at The Color Throwdown blog.

Now the last time I coloured this wee monster up from Monster Fun set (Gerda Steiner Designs) it looked totally different (click HERE to see) but both ways are fabulous as it's such a fun set. I'm also going to enter my boy's birthday card at Addicted to Stamps & More's latest challenge as they are asking for "birthday".

Thanks for popping in and can you see the additional adorable wee watermark from Gerda Steiner on my "card alone" as they have a really fun challenge going on at the moment for an Easter Egg hunt if you use any of their stamps and share online.