Sunday, January 22, 2017

Happy Anniversary to us :)

Hi there :)

January 21st this year marked our 2nd anniversary and I decided to make Michael a card to celebrate.  I had seen a really cute card online that I thought I could adapt a bit to fit the occasion and they do say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  Here's the card that inspired me:
Card by Tara Sell
Tara has a great eye for design and she also creates crafting videos which she shares on her blog.  I watched her video showing how she made this particular card and she explained it all so well that my card came together very quickly.

I made my card using watercolour paper so that I could use my Zig clean colour markers and I'm really pleased with the results.  Here's my wee squirrel with his acorn from Gerda Steiner Designs Happy Fall (yes I had exactly the same stamp and die sets as Tara LOL)

Since this card was for our anniversary I got out my Tim Holtz Celebrate dies and die cut 'happy anniversary'.  I even remembered to use some Stick It to the back of my cardstock before die cutting the words so they were super easy to place where I wanted them.

On the outside I followed exactly what Tara had done on her card/video using the My Favorite Things - Trees in the Forest die.  I cut the 'hole' in the front of my card with My Favorite Things - Starry Circle die.

I really like the idea of the trees and the hole on the card front and I've got plans to do more of this type of card!

I stamped the 'oops' sentiment from the Happy Fall stamp set onto black card and embossed it with white embossing powder. 

It makes more sense with the cute wee squirrel peaking through the hole:

And here's the finished card:

Michael really loved the card and it's now sitting up on the mantle above the fireplace.  He's quite sentimental about things like this so it was nice to do something really special for him.

We had decided to go out for dinner last night to celebrate our anniversary and after much talking about 'where' we would go Michael came up with an idea... rang ahead and booked a table so it was all a bit of a surprise. 

We ended up going to Stratosfare Restaurant at the top of the skyline mountain... super cool.  We arrived at the restaurant via a gondola ride which was very cool... and the ride back down in the dark was even better... we could see the city lights spreading out for miles... truly gorgeous!

I have to admit that I was quite taken with all the lighting... those shades are phenomenal... although probably a bit much for our lounge LOL

While we were having dessert one of the waitresses brought over a tiny little cake covered in chocolate ganache, complete with a wee lit golden candle...  mini pink meringues and the chef had also written 'Happy Anniversary' in chocolate on the plate... so special.  We were then presented with a card from the staff at Stratosfare... we were totally blown away by it all.  What fantastic customer service!  They certainly took our celebration up a level!

So that was our anniversary... definitely a special celebration :)  Thanks so much for dropping by my blog today xx

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Mermaid cards

Hello :)

I've been having some fun in my art studio designing mermaid cards.  It all started when I found a stamp I'd had in my stash for YEARS.  Within minutes of finding the stamp ideas started flowing and I just had to go with it and here are the results.

I started out with this stamp from Sugar Plum Stamps.

I didn't take all the step by step photos I usually do because the design was buzzing around in my head but I think I got most of the steps.  I decided to do a set of four cards so I stamped all the mermaids with black ink and then heat embossed them.

I knew I wanted to do a watercoloured background so I painted over my stamped image with masking fluid and then I left it alone to dry.

When the masking fluid was dry I started on the water.  I used the wet-on-wet technique to paint in the water using Salty Ocean and Mermaid Lagoon (how appropriate!) Distress Inks.  I also did an extra piece of watercoloured card using the same technique... trust me, it will make sense later on!

Then it was time to add some colour to the sky.  I die cut some masks using Lawn Fawn Puffy Cloud Borders from regular card and then I used Tumbled Glass Distress Ink and a round blender to create a sky background.  It's the first time I've used this technique and I really like the effect.

Meanwhile... it had started to rain and Toby and Nivea wanted to hang out with me, so I brought their beds down to the art studio.  Then Nivea decided that running around in the rain like a loon was right up her alley!  Even though Toby had access to his big bed he decided to squeeze himself into Nivea's bed and then look at me as if to say... this bed isn't big enough for me... silly boy!  I couldn't resist getting a photo of him!

Right, back to the cards. The next step was to unmask the mermaid... I never get tired of seeing the design being uncovered!

I had an idea for making waves out of velum using my Mama Elephant Ocean Waves Trio dies.  The only problem was I couldn't find my velum anywhere!  It turns out that it's not so easy to get anymore.  Spotlight didn't have any... neither did the emporium art supply stores... neither did Warehouse Stationery.  In the end I bought some translucent tracing paper.

I got my dies out and cut the waves from the tracing paper.  Then I cut the tops of the waves from white cardstock using the same dies and stuck them to the inside of the waves and I love how it came together.

Once I had the wave idea sorted it was onto the colouring.  I used my Zig clean colour markers to colour in the images along with my waterbrush to smooth out the colours.  I got inventive with the colouring and did each mermaid in different colours and with super bright hair.  Here's a few images to give you some ideas of what I was working on.

At this point I got so carried away with the colouring and making the waves that I actually didn't take any photos!  I did manage to get photos of the gorgeous sequins and things that arrived in the post the other day which I now have in little glass jars... LOVE LOVE LOVE!  I used some of these delightful little goodies to add a splash of magic to my cards.

Here they are waiting for the sequins to dry overnight.  Have you spotted the blue wave in the front?... that was made using the extra piece of watercolour background from the start of this post.

This morning I took my cards outside to get good photos of them...

I have to admit that the mermaid with pink hair is my personal favourite!  Do you have a preference?

Here they are all together:

Thanks so much for dropping by my blog today xx

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

More ducks... and a little 'quack' up

Hi there :)

Since I made my other duck card I've been having ideas for making cards using some of the other stamps in the set.  These Gerda Steiner stamps are super cute so I came up with an idea to do a little row of 'can can dancer' ducks.  I knew exactly how I wanted them to look and I got busy yesterday making my card front.

In between visitors, chores and an osteopath appointment I finally managed to get my card front done and I was pretty pleased with it.  Then I layered it onto kraft cardstock ready to go onto a card base this morning.

When I looked at my ducks this morning I knew the kraft cardstock wasn't quite right... they needed a little bit of colour so... I decided to 'carefully' remove my ducks from their kraft cardstock and I might have been just a tiny bit zealous in my endeavors because THIS happened:

Although they come from the 'Lucky Duck' stamp set I don't think my wee ducks would call themselves lucky!

I was super annoyed with myself... I was definitely 'quacking up' but not in a funny way that's for sure! 

There was only one thing to do... take my idea (which I was super pleased with) and remake the card again.  This time around I actually made two cards... just in case I made another mistake but also because it was just as easy to stamp, heat emboss and mask two cards instead of just one.

Here's my cards (if you click on the images you'll be able to get a closer look):

There's no step-by-step photos this time but I did use exactly the same supplies and Zig clean color markers as for my previous card:
  • Images and sentiment stamped with Hero Arts Hero Hues ink pad
  • Images heat embossed with Ranger clear embossing powder
  • Duck bodies coloured with 050 Yellow and 052 Bright Yellow
  • Duck beaks and feet coloured with 060 Brown and 061 Light Brown
  • Grey shadowing under the ducks with with 091 Light Gray and 099 Cool Gray 1
  • Heart inked with Candied Apple Distress Ink

Thanks for visiting my little corner of the world xx

Monday, January 16, 2017

First card challenge for 2017... and a little tutorial :)

Hello there :)

Just recently I was browsing around the internet and I stumbled across a really cute stamp set from Gerda Steiner Designs.  I had never heard of this particular company before so I did a little more browsing around and found two stamp sets that I just couldn't resist. 

My stamps arrived in the mail a few days ago and then yesterday I was having another look at their site and stumbled across their 'Share your Designs' challenge.  All you have to do is share your design created with a GSD stamp and you could win $15 Store Credit. So I figured I'd give it a go:

  Here's a look at my finished card for the challenge... I'm super pleased with how it turned out:

I decided to take step by step photos of the stamping and colouring process so here goes:

I started off stamping a few of the little ducks, some reeds and the water lily.  I also heat embossed all of the images as I went.

Next I masked the lily flower so that I could add a lily pad and I also stamped the underwater duck's head and a tiny fish.

Then I made a mask for the reeds so that I could add a couple more of them along with a nosy little dragonfly... super cute! 

After doing all the stamping I decided to cut out my panel with my stitched rectangle dies from Lawn Fawn.  I kind of had an idea of how I wanted my finished card to look and I knew the stitching would look cool.

Before adding my background colour I applied some masking fluid to all of the images.  I love doing this technique because it's actually super simple and always has great results.

Since my little ducks were supposed to be sitting on the edge of the pond I added some 'sand' to the card with Scattered Straw Distress Ink and a wet on wet technique.

Then I added water by colouring with Salty Ocean and Mermaid Lagoon Distress Inks.

Since the duck family were at a pond I decided to do grass up behind them as if they'd just walked through a field.  For this I used Mowed Lawn and Twisted Citron Distress Ink.

While the masking was still in place I used some of my Zig clean color markers to add some extra details like some depth to the water ripples around the duck with 034 Dull Blue.

Then I added some more 'grass' with 041 Light Green.

Next came the exciting step of removing all the masking fluid... I LOVE doing this stage!

Now it was time for the really fun stuff... adding all the colour!  I went back to 041 Light Green to colour the lily pad.  I'm finding you can add lots of depth by blending with the water brush, drying it off with the heat gun and then layering on a bit more of the same colour... great effect!

I used three colours on my gorgeous wee water lily 024 Wine Red, 021 Light Carmine and 026 Light Pink.

Then it was 040 Green and 047 May Green to add the leaves to the reed plants.

The reed heads were done with 060 Brown.

Next came the gorgeous wee ducks using 050 Yellow and 052 Bright Yellow.

For the ducks beaks and feet I used 060 Brown and 061 Light Brown.  I also used these colours to colour the dragonfly's body.

The wee fish was coloured with 070 Orange.

For the wings of the dragonfly I used 083 Lilac.

One of the little ducks had his tongue showing so I coloured it with 025 Pink.

I finally had all the colouring done and I have to say that I was super pleased with how it all turned out.  The more I use my Zig markers the more I like them!  I decided to stamp one of the sentiments from the Lucky Duck stamp set onto the top of my card and heat emboss it.

Then it was time to make my card.  I layered my stamped and coloured card front with kraft cardstock and then layered that onto a plain white card base.

Here's my finished card:

Thanks so much for visiting my blog today xx