I happen to have several dear friends who have birthdays in August and September, so the timing was perfect to make their birthday cards at the same time I was completing Challenges. The first card is one of those, and it went to my friend and faithful commenter Chris (Hi, Chris!).
The first Challenge was to use GOLD for the California gold rush. I pulled out my foil cardstock and set to work making my first ever inlaid die cut card, which is exactly what it sounds like - a card where the die cut is laid into the background.
I used Cucumber Crush paper from Stampin' Up!'s Color Me Irresistible specialty DSP for the striking background.
Inside I used the very popular stamp set called Bird Crazy put out by Tim Holtz and Impression Obsession, and colored them with my Zig Clean Color pens and clear Wink of Stella (for the eyes).
Yes, I do color outside the lines...
There's no question why SUN, SURF, AND SAND was the theme for the second California Challenge, and here's my fun card:
The background was created by scribbling with Zig Clean Color Real Brush pens on watercolor paper, then misting with water. It's layered on a Tempting Turquoise card base and jazzed up with Sparkling Clear sequins in various sizes from Pretty Pink Posh. The background behind the butterfly is also done with Zigs.
Years ago when I tried to make a shaker card I had a horrible time with it, but this card came together pretty quickly once I made peace with having to abandon my original plan. In fact, I had so much fun with it that I ended up buying lots more sequins and other sparkly things to put inside... so keep watching, there are more shaker cards in my future!
What does this have to do with the Sun, Sand, and Surf theme? you may ask. I got the bright sun with the yellow, the surf with the blue, and the sand.... well, if you squint enough you can see it. :)
The third theme was GLITZ & GLAM, a reference to the glamorous stars of Hollywood. This was the first card I started while at Carey's home, and I used (and fell in love with) her My Favorite Things' Ride the Wave dies. I started by running several colors of metallic/foil cardstock through the Big Shot with the MFT die set and a butterfly and word die. From there it was like putting together a puzzle:
Once again I used the inlaid die cut technique. Can you tell I really like doing this? Unfortunately my camera likes foiled paper even less than it likes bling, so you'll have to trust me when I tell you that this card looks incredible in person!
STRIPES was the theme for the fourth Challenge as a nod to Alcatraz. I again used the Bird Crazy set and combined it with images from Stampin' Up!'s Sketched Birthday set. Since I was using Stampin' Up! DSP, I used Stampin' Write markers to color the images in coordinating colors. The sentiment is one of Carey's stamps and was perfect for a birthday card being sent to a special male friend.
I tried my hand at a free-style border on the inside... but I'm not so sure I like how it looks.
I might have gone a bit overboard with the fifth Challenge theme, PRINTS, which is a reference to the fashion industry. The stamps are by Inkadinkado.
Challenge 6 requires THREE OR MORE COLORS, a reference to the Painted Ladies row of houses in San Francisco. I decided to try my hand at a CAS (clean and simple) card, and ended up with something that I felt was just "okay," but everyone else loved! The butterfly is the positive of the die I used to make Card 2, and I just accented it with clear Wink of Stella. I offset both the butterfly and the word 'hope' with black, added a scrap of black and white DSP to the side, attached some sequins, and Voila'!
The final card Challenge was a tip of the hat to California's wineries, and the card was to somehow reflect MY FAVORITE BEVERAGE. I was working into the wee hours to complete the last card before the deadline, so rather than spend my time hunting for a coffee or booze stamp set, I decided to just tell everyone the truth, that this card was made possible by my new friend coffee. (I never used to be much of a coffee drinker, but now I can't get enough of the stuff!) The butterfly was one of Carey's scraps, and she initially used it to show me how to use a laminator and sheet foil to turn an ordinary paper butterfly into something magical. A laminator has now been added to my wish list!
So that's it folks - all of my recently completed cards. I have another series of cards I made with products from Catherine Pooler's Stamp of Approval box, but I still need to finish up the insides before I post them. The flowery card from my last post is a sample of how those cards turned out, and my intent is to have the rest finished and posted this week.
There are so many challenges and bloghops and projects going on right now that I'm a little frustrated with how little of it I get to participate in. My focus right now, though, is in getting my "studio" (aka living room) unpacked and organized because I'm tired of rooting around boxes to find my supplies. A few weeks ago I was very excited when my long lost companion (my beat-up but still wonderful 6' long worktable) joined me beside my desk:
It's already been buried under "stuff" and then cleaned up several times, which is a good sign that I'm making progress.
And speaking of progress, I better get moving... !
Joyce Spear aka StamperJoyce