Monday, December 11, 2017

Catch-up Post #3 - November 2017

This is the last of three catch-up posts I'm making today to cover the second half of 2017. These five cards are a bit fresher in my mind than the ones in the previous two posts, so I'll be able to provide a bit more info on them.

1. Splitcoaststampers Sketch challenge SC671 - This interesting sketch turned into one of my more favorite Christmas cards of this year:

I used my beloved Year of Cheer metallic DSP from Stampin' Up for this card as well as silver foil and Whisper White cardstock. The Joyce die cut is from last year's Candy Cane Lane Stamp of Approval, as is one of the die cut snowflakes. The other two snowflakes are from My Favorite Things. The snowflake behind the Joy was stamped with silver Delicata ink.

2. Peaceful Deer Scene - When I started my nature scene card for WCMD, I got off to a false start because I didn't realize at first that I would need to make a horizontal (landscape) card. For this card I began with the vertical (portrait) sky I initially watercolored and built from there. The tree and deer die cuts are from a Stampin' Up stamp set called Carols of Christmas along with its coordinating Card Front Builders thinlits die set. The card base is a piece of my precious Mint to Be, a long-retired SU color that I carefully hoard but for special occasions like this.

3. MFT Challenge - Card 1  This is the very first card I made with my early surprise Christmas present, a Brother ScanNCut. To say I'm in love with this machine doesn't even begin to express how I feel, and I'm sure I don't know the half of what it can do yet! All I can say is I have an extremely generous friend who must like me an awful lot!! (Massive thanks to you-know-who-you-are!)

4. MFT Challenge - Card 2   Because I had the stamps and paper out, I figured I'd see how quickly I could make a second card similar to the one above. Would you believe this took me under 20 minutes? It helped a great deal that the ScanNCut could cut out the cat and flower in seconds flat! This machine is going to be a real game-changer for me - not only in terms of cutting speed, but now I no longer have to spend a small fortune on coordinating ("cookie cutter") dies for stamp sets that might require some fussy cutting. I'm already looking at my old stamps differently now knowing that I can do so much more so much more easily. I haven't been this emotional about a tool since I got my Big Shot!

5. Thank You Berry Much - I needed a break from working on my Christmas cards and wanted to do something using my new ScanNCut... but what? My muse suggested I just reach into my bin of stamps I have at my feet (don't ask) and make something with whatever set I randomly grab. The winner was a Catherine Pooler Designs set called I Pick You, a fruit-themed set. I pretty much knew right away what I wanted to do:

I used the ScanNCut to cut out a bunch of the small strawberries and then raised them up with Stampin' Dimensionals to give the card front a 3-D look:

The inside:

* * * * * * * * * * * *
Whew! I have now posted all my finished cards from the second half of 2017. I really need to remember to post as I go so I don't have to do these massive catch-up posts.

Coming up next: I should be finishing my mass-produced Christmas cards pretty soon (since they need to get to the post office!), and I am also working on a chicken card. :) (More on that later!)

There's about 14 days til Christmas and holiday madness seems to be in full swing in most places judging from what I hear from my friends and see/read in the news and on social media. Just a reminder, if you're one of those people who are trying to move faster than the speed of sound: It's okay to stop, get one less thing done, and just savor the moment. Enjoy a cuppa hot chocolate or coffee, kick back and relax for a bit... YOU are worth more than anything you DO, so take care of YOU! Besides, we'll all be better off if you're better off.

Peaceful smiles,
Joyce Spear a.k.a. StamperJoyce

Catch-up Post #2 - World Card Making Day 2017

If you ask me what my favorite holiday is, I'll either tell you it's Halloween, Christmas, or World Card Making Day, depending on which is coming up next on the calendar. This year WCMD exceeded my expectations! True to form, StampNation posted a bunch of fun challenges, and a slew of sponsors offered up prizes for participants... and I snagged a generous prize package of Spectrum Aqua markers and accessories from Crafters Companion! I can't wait til the package arrives! But more on that later...

I managed to complete all of the challenges this year, and entered multiple cards for a couple of them. I won't lie - I was at least partially motivated by the huge number of possible prizes, but I also saw it as a great way to get a bunch of my holiday cards made before crunch time. Without further yapping, here are the cards:

Challenge 1 (Canada) - Nature scene: I decided to use my brand new Winterhaven Stamp of Approval collection to create this first card, and I'm really pleased with how it turned out. I started with the week's sketch over at Splitcoaststampers:

then did some watercoloring on shimmer paper, die cut some shapes, and here's what I got:

Challenge 2 (Alaska) - Use snow-like product such as embossing paste or whipped spackle: For the first card I used some shimmery embossing paste over Catherine Pooler inks. I think the sentiment in white on vellum is the perfect topping to this card.

I love (!) how the next card turned out, though it's hard to appreciate fully in just a photo. I used Cosmic Shimmer embossing paste which is comparable to Faber Castell's Glass Bead gel. Pretty stuff, especially when the light hits it!

Challenge 3 (Australia) - Great Barrier Reef mood board (sea creatures, mermaids, colors): I went sea creatures (loosely interpreted).

Challenge 4 (Ancient Rome) - Use something old, something vintage, something distressed; make a birthday card for someone old, etc.: I made a birthday card for an old friend (one I've had for a long time and who is getting up in age) with one of my oldest stamps (Ziggy) and some ancient DSP from my stash. The card base is Robin Hood Red - anyone remember that?

Challenge 5 (Spain) - Flamenco dress mood board: I went with this background because it reminded me of the colorfulness of the flamenco dresses, with the circles mimicking the swirls and twirls of the dance. The dancing lady is from a Stampin' Up! set called Beautiful You.

Challege 6 (France) - Cheers!  This challenge was the most, uh, challenging for me, but I think in the end the cards I made for it are my favorites. I started out using a "cheers" sentiment from the Winterhaven Stamp of Approval collection, and built a card around it using gold metallic DSP from Stampin' Up's Year of Cheer specialty paper pack (which I am in total love with!) along with gold foil paper, a gold snowflake doily, gold washi tape, and some shiny gold sequins.

This next card was made with similar components, but since the DSP had silver and I think champagne, I didn't limit myself to gold. The sentiment is stamped with silver Delicata ink, and I used several colors, shapes, and sizes of sequins.

This next card is my personal favorite, probably because it's so... unique (that's the nice word for weird, which is what two people have called it, lol). The DSP panel is framed with copper foil, while the snowflake frame to the sentiment is silver to accent the silver mistletoe berries in the paper print. Little copper snowflakes accent the card front.

And the fourth card I entered in this challenge is light and simple compared to the last. If I remember correctly, the Joy die is from a previous Stamp of Approval holiday collection, I think last year's. A silver snowflake on foam dots under a die cut panel, some metallic washi tape, some strategically placed rhinestones, and voila'! a card is born! Once again the Year of Cheer DSP does a lot of the work.

The last two cards didn't have "cheer" referenced on the front, but I still posted them in this category because of the cheer reference on the inside of the cards:

Challenge 7 (Ireland) - Green: This is one of the first cards I made for WCMD and has a lot of heart and soul poured into it. I started by stamping the Ornamental background stamp I received in the Winterhaven SOA in Grass Skirt, then stamping the little circle inside each ornament with gold Delicata ink. I layered that panel over some gold cardstock, added my multi-dimensional poinsettia, and an easy sentiment circle. A bit of twine at the top is the perfect red accent, and I couldn't resist putting a rhinestone in the sentiment's "o".

Here's the inside:

* * * * * * * * * * * *
That's the end of my World Card Making Day 2017 cards, so I thought I'd take a second and show you a picture of the prize pack I won from Crafters Companion. It includes a complete set of Spectrum Aqua markers, a marker stand so I can have them at reach on my desk, Spectrum Aqua cardstock, water brushes, Spectrum Noir glitter pens, and a slew of stamps! Wowza!

I am still patiently waiting for my goodies to arrive, but when they do I'm sure I'll say they were worth the wait. Can you believe it? Pinch me, I must be dreaming!

That's it for today. One more post and I'll be caught up on my creations so far this year. Then I'll be able to post the batch of Christmas cards I'm currently working on!

Joyce Spear a.k.a. StamperJoyce

Catch-up Post #1

This summer and autumn were filled with all sorts of crafty goodness, and as a result I finished up my 100th card for the year recently! Unfortunately in all the stamping madness this blog got left by the wayside for a few months. Rather than post each project separately and give all the deets, I think I'll try to break everything up into two or three groups and post pretty much just the pictures in the order the projects were done (as best as I can remember). I don't have a huge blog following so I doubt there will be much of an outcry - but if any of my loyal readers has questions on anything in these posts, I hope you'll feel welcome to ask!

Hang on to your hat, because heeeere we go!

1. Art swap with some friends in a Facebook group - Mini art pieces made with Gelatos, stickers, and other embellishments

2. More cards made with Gelatos backgrounds (as a continuation of this post)

3. Curved border dies (also seen above and in #4)

4. CAS Christmas card made with Catherine Pooler Designs stamps and inks

5. Splitcoaststampers Sketch Challenge SC660

6. Made with Catherine Pooler's August Stamp of Approval release which had the theme of Counting Blessings. Also used her inks.

7. Personal challenge from a friend

Lest your head explode from too much beauteousness at one time (lol), I will break here and continue the parade of projects in the next post. This is a good breaking point, too, since the next batch of cards were all made as part of the World Card Making Day (month) festivities - which was definitely a fun and productive month!

Thanks for looking!

Joyce Spear a.k.a. StamperJoyce

Monday, July 10, 2017

Eleven Cards with Gelatos Backgrounds

This is my second blog post for today. If you haven't seen the first one (Blogger sometimes does weird things), you can view it here.

Over at StampNation, we just finished up a masterclass with Faber-Castell in which we learned about Gelatos and techniques for using them as well as mediums such as Whipped Spackle and gel medium. I think I could use what I learned to play with my Gelatos for a long time without getting bored!

I sat down one day and made a bunch of backgrounds just to get a feel for Gelatos and try out some of the techniques that were taught. Many of the backgrounds turned out well enough to make into cards, and following are the first eleven I finished.

Card 1: For this card as well as the second, I colored on cardstock and blended the pigment with my finger. This first card features some inlaid die cutting just for fun.

Card 2: The second of the finger-blended cards blended more easily because I primed the cardstock with gesso. In hindsight, I wish I had used a smaller piece of vellum for the sentiment layer.

Card 3: was finger-blended on cardstock without gesso. I then put a stencil over it and wiped out sections with a baby wipe.

Card 4: is the same technique as above with a different stencil. I was more aggressive with the baby wipe this time.

Card 5: is finger-blended color blobs that turned out looking a bit like an Impressionistic painting.

Card 6: The next three cards were made with white cover plates (A2 sized dies) over a blended background. I think they're pretty groovy.

Card 7:

Card 8:

Card 9: I think this might be my favorite from this batch of cards. I simply pushed Gelato pigment through a stencil using my fingers.

Card 10: I used the same stencil as above, but this time used a baby wipe again to remove the pigment. I think it's so cool how one stencil can create such differing results.

Card 11: This card almost didn't make the cut because I felt the black feathers were too overwhelming. I covered them with Wink of Stella (hard to see in the photo) and put them on a blended background that had been splattered with white and black pearlescent watercolors. It was better, but I still wasn't sure I liked it. I finally made peace with it once the tribal borders were added.

Not a bad show of work for a few days, eh? I still have nine more card backgrounds that I want to turn into cards, hopefully this week. I also hope to Mod Podge a bunch of really cool paper stencils I got from Faber-Castell... and play with my new Whipped Spackle... and paint with Gelato-tinted gel medium... and -- well, you get the idea. I better go get busy!

As ever, thanks for stopping by. I really do appreciate my subscribers! I'm toying with the idea of having a bit of Blog Candy when I reach my 500th post, which will be soon. (This one is #490, I think.) Is anyone interested?

Make my day and leave me a comment telling me which of the eleven cards I posted today is your favorite!

Big smiles,
Joyce Spear a.k.a. StamperJoyce