Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 Christmas Alphabet Tags Swap

Each year on the Yahoo Group CanadianStampTalk*, there is a swap of alphabet tags for Christmas. I have taken part most of the years it has been going (must be close to 10 now), and so I have a number of lovely Christmas tag collections in a basket under my Christmas tree. It is so much fun to flip through them each year and see all the variations on, oh, let's say, the letter Q! Admittedly some letters are easier to manage than others. Here are some scans (sorry for the rough quality, but click on them to view larger) of the 2010 tags:

Darlene Crane hosted once again (THANK YOU!) and created the lovely front cover on purple cardstock with two turtle doves black embossed and painted in with shimmery silver paint and edged with silver Krylon. She created the index of players for the final back tag and a festive beaded and beribboned tassel. Thanks to everyone who played this year.

A: Pat Makarenko’s All I want for Christmas is red and green, with roboon and layers. Pat, I hope we all get your wish!
B: Kristi-Ann Watrin had the cutest Bear and Bells; loved the srapped teal twine affixing the mini-bell to the letter.
C: Barb Krupa used brads and glitter to make her Candy Canes pop!
D: An elegant die cut and stamped Dec. 25 popped up on foam with ribbon, stamped snowflakes and crystal gems from Gail Akister.  The silver snowflakes are almost holographic against the red ones. Gail, who makes that label/frame stamp?
E:  Is for busy, high-kicking elves. Gaylene Ouchar sponged her blue tag with a darker shade of blue and coloured in the embellishments with metallic paint or markers. 

F: Bettiann Nielson did a warm tag for Faith, using a resist technique for the nativity scene and sponging terra cotta hues over top.
G: Christine Telega made a sparkly gingerbread man that looked real enough to eat, complete with the recipe and a gold snowflake.
H: Val Braun provided an angelic Holiday Hello in soft blues with layers and just the right amount of subtle bling.
I: Is for “It came upon a midnight clear” and Melissa Groenink stamped a background, resisted a hearkening angel, and sponged overtop to highlight. There is a shimmery sheen overall.
J: A rather busy tag from me (Charmaine Stack) that featured the word JOY. I stamped in black on acetate, and inked and glittered the underside for colour.
K: Karen Gilmore sent us a sweet, distressed Kris Kringle masked to create a background of Silent Night sheet music. Little red berries in his cap were glittered for sparkles.

L: Marg Elcich says “Let it snow” and it sure did on her tag!  A dry embossed snowy tag was painted white and spattered with blue ink, then layers of die cut or punched snowflakes were affixed with a crystal gem, and five more were added for effect. The main banner and its border were popped up with two layers of pop dots.
M: Music and Merry Christmas got equal billing on Karen Cielen’s red, black and cream tag featuring large musical notes. Very dramatic!
N: Heather Robinson featured an elaborate texturized background and a collage of a little gal that is either naughty or nice.  Guess only Santa knows for sure!
O: Teena Steele embossed ornaments on her green tag, sponged the edges, glittered the bows and stamped NOEL in the corner. Bright and festive!
P: Our hostess, Darlene Crane, provided the letter P. Peace on Earth was sparkle embossed on a lilac tag and overlaid with white vellum that was embossed with iridescent snowflakes. A white eyelet finished the tag nicely.
Q: Melanie Wortman patiently paper-pieced a quilt together to back her large gold Q.

R: Judy Preston brought us a wonderful reindeer on a red tag that was dry embossed with a great wood grain texture. The large letter R was glittered and the reindeer’s nose was beaded.
S: Lynne Martel’s homage to snow featured three different snowflakes (dry embossed background on luxe metallic cs; blue sparkle embossed feature stamp and a 3-D snowy glittered charm).
T: Donna Tameling created a snowy tree-scape with layers of glittered snow banks modern trees against a snowy sky.
U: Brenda Thain had one of those “tough” letters but did a great job with a banner proclaiming “U is for Universe where Christmas brings joy to all the world” and a wonderful globe ornament against a dry-embossed starry background.
V: Vintage Christmas was presented by Beth O’Brien and featured old-fashioned script writing, Victorian postoid images framed in red and green, red and gold ribbon and judicious use of glitter. The gold hole reinforcement and tiny gold stars finished the look.
W: Maryann Lawrence, who used white embossed snowflakes to resist sponged blue inks, created Winter in all its snowy glory.
X: Another challenging letter, but Sandy Proulx was up to the task, with a polished stone background in blues over stamped with silver snowflakes and embellished with glittery 3-D snowflake charm and blue crystal. The final touch?  A round tag that says Snow puts the x-citement in Christmas!

Y: Susan MacDonald created a VERY deeply embossed brocade background for her sage green tag, then attached music with brads, a burgundy ribbon and a flute of champagne with a sentiment about the New Year.
Z: Agnes Bottomley made me chuckle with her wonderful Zazzy (flashy, stylish or something shiny) bunny, who has a string of lights wrapped around his ears but needs to stay close to the electrical outlet to remain lit up!

*CST (CanadianStampTalk) is the largest forum on the net for rubberstamping, card making and paper crafting resources in Canada! The list is for Canadians, looking to meet other stamping and paper crafting Canadians and find out more about our passion for rubber, ink and all things related to card making including techniques other than stamping. We have swaps, friendly chit chat, great information, messages from Vendors.... and a great network of friendships and information! Membership is currently restricted to Canadians only. To subscribe to CST, email this address.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Belated Christmas Greetings!

Where have I been? Here it is Boxing Day (December 26) in Canada, and I have a quiet moment to write a brief note. I have missed blogging, but there have not been enough hours in each day to do all I need to do. Hopefully 2011 will allow for more. A belated Merry Christmas from me to you!

I made these Victorian style cones for my staff this year. I cobbled together terrible instructions from one site Christmas-Cocoa-Cones, a template from another site Escapade Direct, and then revised to get these the length I wanted. Double-sided scrapbook paper helped it go quickly, and stamps were from the Around Christmastime set from Waltzingmouse. Most are filled with hot chocolate powder, mini marshmallows and crushed candy canes in clear plastic cake decorating bags (they are already cone shaped).

I am looking forward to 2011 and more creative time. My thoughts are already turning to Valentines Day!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Happy Birthday Z-card

I am enjoying trying new card folds that allow a card to stand up and still fit in a normal card envelope. This one meets the test.

This is a set of Inkadinkado clear stamps and I stamped on laser photo paper using Jet Black Stazon ink. I had to add some bling, though.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Tim Holtz Meets Quietfire Design

It has been a lo-o-o-o-o-o-ng while since I have been able to do anything creative due to an incredibly busy work season. However, a week or so ago I made something that brought me a lot of joy, simply because it was made without any preconceived notion as to where I was going with it. This collage wall hanging was the result:

The crow and the music and the lovely scripted Corvidae are from the Crows Unmounted rubber stamp plate from Quietfire Design. The bird cage and flower die cuts are Tim Holtz Alteration dies by Sizzix.

Lately the only thing I have had time to do is make a card here or there as needed (thank yous for staff, mainly) or responses to a challenge if time allows. This was pure joy as I just sat and played without expectation or urgency, and when it was all done, I suddenly knew EXACTLY who was going to receive it. It was just perfect. Love when that happens. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Waltzingmouse Blog Waltz - August 2010

This month's waltz theme was Vintage or Shabby Chic. I tried to go for the latter. What do you think?

The flower is made by punching scallops from a sheet of apricot coloured vellum. A homemade brad fills the center.

The stamped label is from the Rescue Remedies set from Waltzingmouse Stamps, and the lacy border underneath is from the Faux Fun set. For details on the Waltz, please visit: The Friends of Waltzingmouse Stamps blog waltz post.

The pleated ribbon makes it qualify for Sharon's Stamp Simply Challenge #153. You can check out  that challenge on Sharon's No Time To Stamp Blog.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


I wasn't really feeling the flowers theme in this week's Waltzingmouse Sketch Challenge No. 9, so instead I went for a slightly medieval influenced motif. The sketch provided was:

I took some pebbly textured silver yogurt lids and backed them with cardstock, then ran them through my Cuttlebug to die cut and emboss. Then I pounced them with Wild Plum and Cranberry Adirondack Alcohol Inks and hot-fixed Swarovski crystals. 

A number of Waltzingmouse Stamps (the frame, the sentiment, and an isolated part of the Victorian Frippery Border for the corner motifs) complete the card. 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

31 Years of Wedded Bliss

Here's the card I gave my DH this a.m.

The quote inside (not shown) is a Quietfire sentiment: The secret to happiness is a good sense of humour and a bad memory. I think it is apropos!

WMSC8 & August Christmas Challenge

I don't know where the time goes but I am sad that I cannot take part in more of the weekly Waltzingmouse Sketch Challenges. Here is my very loose response to the eighth of these challenges:

You might have to use your imagination to see how the above has anything to do with this sketch:

This card is one of six that I made this week for Sylvia's Christmas Card Challenge for the month of August. My husband wants to know who this person is that has replaced his wife, who normally is frantically stamping Christmas cards between Christmas and New Year's to mail belatedly.

Why not get a jump on your holiday cards and play along and then post to Sylvia's blog here

Saturday, July 17, 2010

WMS July Waltz

Yes, it is that time again, the monthly waltz around the blogosphere with Waltzingmouse Stamps fans. The theme this month is blue and green. I let the paper do the work for me this time and opted for something pretty simple.

I added a little royal purple cardstock to go with the Versafine Imperial Purple Ink that I used to stamp the image and sentiment. Six kiwi green Swarovski crystals set off the Spellbinders Fancy Tag die cut.

I am always trying to capture the sparkle of those gems on camera! To find out more about the blog waltz and where to find all the amazing posts by other WMS fans, (and a chance to win a prize!) please visit the WMS blog post that reveals all!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Christmas Angels

Once again I am participating in Sylvia's Christmas Card Challenge and this month the theme is angels. These two vintage cuties are from an umounted stamp sheet I bought many years ago from Lazarwerx Studios. I stamped them on glossy cardstock in brown archival ink to keep the image outline crisp, then watercoloured them in pastel tones to keep the softness (if that makes any sense!).

I made six of these cards with various backgrounds. The sentiment is from A Muse Stamps and the Spellbinders Fancy Tag is lightly bowed in the middle to give a bit of dimension. The postal mark is an old Rubber Stampede stamp. The peanut gallery (my DH) thought the angels should have been mounted straight on, but I like my angels on angle!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Black Magic With a White Twist Technique

Sometimes cards take a long time to come together. I try to make cards with the recipient in mind, and sometimes that is tough. When learning a new technique, that can take awhile, too. Recently I came across this technique tutorial on Karen Barber's blog, Black Magic With a White Twist, and tried my hand at it. Please go look at Karen's beautiful work - mine is not representative (yet)!

I tried three different stamps with this technique, which is stamping with white pigment ink on dark cardstock and then colouring over top with pencil crayons. Karen's twist is to add little white pin dots to the design with a gel pen.

I think I overdid the dots on that last one! That flourish looks like it has a case of measles. I have only managed to make one of the samples into a card:

I am enjoying this technique and want to try it with other stamps. Karen's blog is full of inspiring samples and I hope practice makes perfect! Stamps: Scene - Stampin' Up!, Sentiment and frame - Waltzingmouse Stamps. Accessories: Spellbinders Labels Ten; White Versamagic Pigment Ink; Prismacolours.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Flat Cards

This is a flat card. Canada Post has gotten very sticky about what we mail in plain card envelopes these days. No lumps or bumps allowed. My predilection for Swarovski crystals, pop dot layers and ribbons means most of my cards must be swaddled in bubble wrap and sent parcel post to pass the eagle eye of the postmaster!

This top-fold card is just the white base and two layers. The Spellbinders Labels Ten die cut is stamped with a frame and sentiment from Waltzingmouse Stamps in red dye ink. I traced around the metal die with an Exacto knife to get a deep red mat that is just an eighth inch or so bigger than the stamped white die cut. The corner flourishes are also from Waltzingmouse. It is extremely simple and yet, somehow, I quite like it. I am not a "clean and simple" type card maker - so this is a surprise to me.

This card (below) is also flat, but I did not have to mail it anywhere. It was a Father's Day card for my husband that I made in a Burnished Velvet class with Deanna and Haroldine recently.

All the little white bits you see in the tie are actually reflections of light off the glitter. The gold-embossed sentiment is from the Words of Wisdom stamp set from Waltzingmouse. I thought it worked well with this tie (although I keep thinking of Rodney Dangerfield for some reason). 

I have one more flat card to show you, which I started in my Burnished Velvet class and finished at home. It is a Going Away card for a colleague at work. The word was created by die cutting letters out of cardstock that had double sided tape on both sides. Then I stuck the letters down on the card, removed the top liner, and loaded on the glitter. Burnished this with my finger to adhere it all well, and to bring up the shine. I am enjoying this technique very much.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Poinsettias For Christmas

Sylvia in Edmonton has a monthly Christmas Card Challenge and the theme for June is poinsettias. I don't have a green thumb, which apparently extends to card making! I have bits and pieces to make about six cards, but in the end have only managed to get two finished, and today is the last day of June, so it's time to post!

The first card is made with an old Magenta stamp. I created a Burnished Velvet background with fuchsia glitter, and use metallic gel pens to colour in the borders. 


Here is a close up (you can click on it to enlarge):

I prefer this second card, made with a stamper in mind. The flowers in the border were painted with Twinkling H2Os. 
 I created a Burnished Velvet border around the frame by laying down strips of 1/4 inch double sided tape and covering with glitter. Tapped and brushed off the excess, then burnished the glitter with my finger to adhere it well and bring up the sparkle. 

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Burnished Velvet

I recently attended a few classes at my local stamp store, Stampers!, to get better at the Burnished Velvet Technique. This is a technique that involves strong double-sided tape, and GitterRitz micro-fine glitters. After the glitter is rubbed into the tape, it feels soft like velvet and sparkles like crazy; two features which you won't be able to discern due to the limits of scanners and computer screens!

A close-up of the glitteriness:

For this card, the tape was exposed and then masks were laid down and selectively removed to colour in the flowers and leaves.

For the card above, I used a die set from Cuttlebug to create the tape base from a sheet of double-sided tape. Various parts of the tape liner were peeled away to apply the green and navy glitters.

The instructors, Deanna and Haroldine, are an example of women entrepreneurs who love what they do and have found two are better than one: Deanna is the glitter gal and Haroldine is the tape lady. When the two of them combined forces, Burnished Velvet was born.

WMS Sketch Challenge #4

Oooh, my, I am waaaay behind these days. I have been traveling for work and too bagged since coming home to do too much. I am also without a camera right now, so anything I share has to be flat so the scanner can handle it.

So I missed the Waltzingmouse Sketches the past few weeks, but managed to put together a flat card for today's sketch, which is:

Here is my card, which unfortunately didn't scan well. The Spellbinders Pendant is all glitter - Bronze GlitterRitz in the Burnished Velvet technique. It sparkles in real life. Some other colours to coordinate were also used.

Here is an angle shot that might show the glittery aspect better:

The sentiment is a Waltzingmouse Stamp. Thanks for looking. Some more flat cards will be coming shortly!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Waltzingmouse Stamps Challenge #1

The Mouse has started a weekly challenge blog, with a new challenge to be uploaded each Saturday. This is perfect for me - a mostly weekend stamper! This week we are to try our hand at creating a card that reflects this sketch:
Here's my go:
I used a number of Waltzingmouse Stamps on this card: the circle, the sentiment, and the background leaves. The maroon DP is actually digital paper from WMS, too. To get the closely nested scalloped squares, I first die cut the green one with the largest die in the Classic Scalloped Squares Small set of Nestabilities. Then, using an Exacto knife, I cut around the outside of the die on the digi paper to get a slightly larger border. I created the brad button with an I-top brad maker and set it on a die cut embellishment from the Cuttlebug Harlequin set. The tone-on-tone background was stamped with Antique Linen Distress Ink, and Adirondack Cranberry Ink was used for the sentiment.

I adore Swarovski rhinestones. They have a reflective quality that is unmatched in embellishments. They are a bit pricey, and I have only found them at Michael's. When I have a 40 or 50% off coupon, this is more than likely what I use it for. It's hard to catch the effect on camera, though.

Why not join us over at the Waltzingmouse Challenge Blog and see the wonderful cards the Design Team made for the first sketch, and all those uploaded by others. You don't have to use WMS stamps to play along, and there are random prizes to be awarded, too. Click on the blinkie at the right hand side of my blog to visit there now.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Red, Kraft, Cream and Chocolate

I finally had a chance to participate in Tracy's Holiday Challenge and made the requisite five Christmas cards, plus managed a couple of bonus gift card holders, using an interesting colour scheme of red, kraft, cream and chocolate.

Here are the five:

This challenge is great because I bought this Hero Arts stamp on sale at the end of January and I don't have to wait until next December to use it. I stamped the main image on white glossy in Stazon Timber Brown, then warmed up the colour to cream by brayering Antique Linen Distress Ink overtop. Cranberry Memories ink set the text apart.

The bottom border is a Waltzingmouse stamp. I added some bronze glitter to the swirls in the main image, but am not sure they show up (you can always click on any photo to see it larger):

And here are the gift card holders, which I made from a template by Claire Brennan that is available on Splitcoaststampers:

I hope I can play in Tracy's challenge again next month. Wonder what she'll come up with for June?