Sunday, 10 December 2017

Advent Calendar Extravaganza with Taheerah Atchia

Good morning! It's an exciting day here - I've been invited to be part of Taheerah's Advent Calendar Extravaganza!

Advent Calendar Extravaganza is -the- festive event of the season! This ‘hop with a twist’ was dreamed up by Taheerah Atchia and features surprise destinations each day! Joining in the fun with Taheerah are ONE HUNDRED special guests - each serving up some fantastic Christmas inspiration! Just like an Advent Calendar, you’ll never know where you’re going to be visiting next until you ‘open the door’!

And that’s not all! With 25 *amazing* sponsors taking part as guests as well, your crafty wish list is bound to get a boost with a chance to win a prize EVERY SINGLE DAY!!

Join in the fun every day at to see what special surprises await behind the door!

Here's my project. I decided to create a Nativity scene with a twist - it's Christmas morning (with a sunrise) rather than the traditional night sky.

The sun was made using one of my first alcohol ink experiments. I am missing the 'official' blending solution and any metallic mixatives, so I used my Delicata Gold re-inker (from AGES ago!)  and some rubbing alcohol and made a 'polished stone' background - it has beautiful golden, sunshiney shimmer! I borrowed an idea from Jessica, to use a camera lens cleaner to 'blow' the ink around on the Yupo paper.

I used stamps and dies from SugarPea Designs (also available at today's sponsor, Seven Hills Crafts!)

It’s not a party without a prize - and with prizes every day there are several chances to win! Today’s prize is generously supplied by Seven Hills Crafts so you’ll definitely want to win! Simply leave a comment on this post - then head back to and leave a comment there too! You must leave a comment on Taheerah’s blog as well as mine in order to be eligible to win! Don’t forget to grab the other surprise destinations from Taheerah’s blog and head over to them to leave comments there as well to improve your odds even more! You have until 23:59 EST on 31st December 2017 to enter.

Don’t forget Advent Calendar Extravaganza runs from 1st-25th December inclusive so make sure you visit every day for fabulous inspiration and amazing prizes every single time! Merry Christmas!




Saturday, 9 December 2017

FS566 - Alcohol Ink Merry Christmas

Congratulations to this week's Splitcoaststampers' Featured Stamper, Becky!

I chose this card as my inspiration:

I focused on Becky's:
-rainbow background
-black script sentiment
-crystal embellishment

I changed:
-background technique
-orientation and layout
-no ribbon

I tried a wet-on-wet technique with Alcohol Inks and rubbing alcohol. It's similar to wet on wet with watercolour. I covered my Yupo paper with rubbing alcohol before dropping the inks on it. Then I tilted the paper back and forth to get the inks to move and blend. As it dries, it continues to move and soften a bit, and gives these dreamy blends. I made 3 different panels (in the video below).

I inlaid the snowflake and sentiment using my craft pick and jewel picker. These two tools are so useful for picking up the tiny pieces and putting them where they belong!

I used:

AAACards104, Addicted to CAS, ATSAM271

Funny (but true!) story - I make Christmas cards all year. For challenges, for fun, for no reason at all. When December comes, I don't generally worry about getting my cards done (too many other things to do and worry about!) because I have a stash.

Except this week, a teacher-friend of mine asked me to bring my stash to her, so she could choose a few for her own boys' teachers. And then she passed my stash around and in the end I sold so many cards, that now I AM worried about having enough cards to send to my friends and family!

Last night I sat down and quickly whipped up a few using some new Catherine Pooler products - this was one of my favourites. These inks are amazing - they stamp crisply, but they also blend so well. I love how when you blend these inks, you can deepen the colours around the edges and by leaving the centres of the ornaments lighter, they look dimensional and like they're glowing. To make this easier, I use sponge daubers rather than blending tools - they're smaller and easier to control when blending small areas like these ornaments.

I'm linking up to 3 challenges (click on the photos to check them out):

I used:

Friday, 8 December 2017

Paper Smooches Winter Challenge

Here's a fun, quick little Christmas card for the current challenge at Paper Smooches.

 I cut  my Paper Smooches Snowman 2 pieces and then coloured them with Copics (faster and more efficient than cutting him several times out of different colours of cardstock). I then cut out the JOY but had to cut it in half and spread it a bit wider to allow for the snowman's head to become the 'o'.

I used:

Thursday, 7 December 2017

AJVD - Tips for Last-Minute Christmas Cards

I'm on the A Jillian Vance Design Blog today with tips for making Christmas cards at the last minute. I started with these cups as inspiration....

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Muse 245, CTS249 - Beautiful Day

I am still playing catch up after a few days away last week. It feels so good to get back to crafting after a break, doesn't it? This is my card for this week's Muse challenge, where Anita has given us an elegant inspiration:

I focused on Anita's:
-floral theme
-partial die-cut
-white embossed/watercolour technique
-script sentiment

I changed the layout to fit with the current CAS(E) This Sketch challenge:

I haven't watercoloured like this for a long time, so I had fun with mixing Distress Inks to create different shades for my flowers.

I used:

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Muse 244, FS565 - Celebrate the Season

Well there must be something about piled-up cards this Christmas, because I was able to combine inspiration from two challenges for this fun card with a retro-vibe!

Congratulations to Donna (aka Krashscrapper), this week's Splitcoaststampers' Featured Stamper! I chose this card as my inspiration:

And then at Muse, Guest Muse Kimberly brought us this CAS car(d)!

I focused on Donna's:
-car theme
-Christmas tree
-stitched 'snow'

I changed:

I focused on Kimberly's:
-car theme

I used:

Thursday, 30 November 2017

AJVD - Season's Greetings

I'm on the A Jillian Vance Design blog today with this card that uses a new product - INKpression plates. And look how I used those flat sequins to create a border!

Sunday, 26 November 2017

FS564 - Joy, Joy, Joy

Congratulations to this week's Splitcoaststampers' Featured Stamper, Andrea, aka papercrafter40.

I chose two cards as my inspiration

(focused on background technique)

(focused on 3 word sentiment)

That bokeh background is awesome so I focused on that, although I changed the colours. Here are some things I learned (the hard way - this is the 3rd attempt at this background technique).

  1. make sure your background colours are dark enough so that the white ink will show up
  2. using different shades of similar colours helps with the unfocused-bokeh effect. Andrea achieved this better than I did, by staying within one colour family, although I like the fun feel of my colours, too.
  3. Lots of white dots are better than a few.

Don't Forget about Ellen Hutson's Sale! 20% off !

I used:

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Muse 243 - Deck the Halls

Oh my goodness, aren't these mice adorable! This is my card for this week's Muse challenge, where Kim brought us an equally cute inspiration:

I focused on Kim's:
-mice theme
-dotted background

Thanksgiving is long over here in Canada (we celebrate in October), so I went with a Christmas theme and pulled out some un-inked Stampin' Up stamps and coloured them with Copics.

I used:

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Ellen Hutson 11th Anniversary Blog Hop (Day 2)

Welcome! Today, I'm thrilled to be hopping with some very talented ladies in the 2nd Day of Ellen Hutson's 11th Anniversary Blog Hop!

It took me forever to come up with this card. Only because when I was asked to participate, I was told to use my favourite Essentials by Ellen products. I completely freaked out! Favourite?! What?! That's like choosing a favourite child!! Haha! I went through all my EBE sets again and again. When I finally settled on Bold Blooms and Bold Blossoms (with some help from Modern Christmas), this seasonal card came together quickly.

I love the dreamy quality the soft colours give this card.

Happy Anniversary, Ellen! I wish you many, many more!

PS - there are PRIZES! Check out the CLASSroom for all the details!

The next stop on the hop is the fabulous Donna Mikasa!

I used:

Monday, 20 November 2017

EH Pin-Sights - Happy Thanksgiving

Good morning! Here's my card for the current Ellen Hutson Pin-Sights Challenge:


I was totally captivated by the rich colours in the leaf photo - from greens to yellows to that deep purple, and I knew I wanted to use those, so I started to experiment.

I started with what I know best - Distress Inks. I blended a full 4.25x5.5 panel of Neenah with Seedless Preserves, Fired Brick, Ripe Persimmon, Wild Honey and Forest Moss. I loved the depth of the colours. I then took a leaf stamp and started stamping with water (spritzed the stamp with water, held it on the panel for about 4 or 5 seconds). The immediate effect was less than impressive. 

So I thought I would try Distress Inks on watercolour cardstock to see if the water would be more noticeable. Unfortunately, I couldn't get the same intensity of colour on that cardstock and really, the water didn't seem to work at all. 

Next, I tried Distress Oxides on watercolour. They blend beautifully and the water lifted pretty well, but the colours I have were not quite right.

After doing all this, I looked back at  my first panel and could see that while they effect was still subtle, it really had developed a bit as everything dried. Of all my work, this one was the one I liked best.

I cut a few full leaves from the first panel I had created and then blended a narrower strip and stamped the leaves a little closer together so that they would be visible even on the smaller surface.

I created my sentiment with stamps from two different stamp sets. They have a similar line weight and hand-written feel, so they work well together.

I used:

Sunday, 19 November 2017

FS563 - Happy Birthday

Congratulations to this week's Splitcoaststampers' Featured Stampr, Helen (heleng). I chose this card as my inspiration:

I focused on Helen's:
-floral theme
-general layout
-script/text sentiment strip

I changed:

You'll see in my blending technique in the video (below) that I kept each colour very dark and concentrated in the centre, then softened it as I blended outwards in a circular motion. This was to create differences in tone on each flower.

I used:

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Challenge Me A Christmas Card with Michelle Lupton

I'm so excited to be here today with Michelle. She has started a really fun series called Challenge me a Christmas Card, In past years, people were asked to give Michelle a challenge and she would make a card. This year, she's kicked it up a notch and is asking a friend make a Christmas card based on the same theme or inspiration. 

Michelle and I became friends a few years ago when we were both on the A Blog Named Hero Design Team. She is a very talented card maker and a lovely person as well! I am so thrilled that she asked me to play along!

Here's the inspiration:

And here's my card:

I focused on:
-colour scheme
-Nordic theme
-Christmas trees and snowflakes

Don't forget to head to Michelle's blog to check out her card!

I used: