Monday, April 29, 2013

It's that Time Again

It's that time again. Yes, time to update the blog and enter a Simon Says Stamp challenge. This week the SSS challenge is 'Anything Goes' and they already have over 1000 entries! I'm still entering though. For a change I will add the details for the challenge  here  instead of at the end of my post. That way I can think of a catchy phrase to end on. Must think of one then by the time I finish my post - no pressure!

A friend recently had a BIG birthday so I thought I better make a BIG effort for her card.  A Sizzix accordion die recently came to live with me so I pulled it out and had a play. A word of advice: don't try this for the first time with a script piece of paper. It makes it very difficult if you are learning how to put it together with the added stress of making sure the script is the right way! Won't make that mistake again. If you look closely you will notice that the script is upside-down on at least one side - just don't look that closely now that I said it.

The flowers on the front came with a prize I won from NZ Paperchase. I won a gorgeous album with hidden folding pages, these flowers and some other decorative bits. As soon as I pulled the flowers out I knew they had to go on the front of this card. Thanks NZ Paperchase. I'm also loving curling the ends of the flowers to create twirly tendrils (I'm ashamed to admit I used to cut them off!).

One thing I am loving about that photo is that you can't really see that I stuffed up my friend's name and covered over it with the same colour cardstock. I had the lovely script stamp which I stamped each part individually as it was all on one line on the stamp. Then I realised I didn't have a way of adding her name in a matching script stamp. I did try handwriting it myself but it looked disastrous! My fix: I coloured some Basic Grey mini letters black then added glossy accents. I then adhered them to the same colour cardstock and glued it over my own disastrous handwriting attempt. You wouldn't even have known if I told you (well, to be honest, you could in real life but this is blog world - not real life!)

Next up are photos of all four pages together then individually starting with the front:

And now for the back:

I got to play with a new Prima stamp which I heat embossed in pink, liquid pearls which are new to me (and I now love) and some old stamps which I do use often. I put in a lot more effort with this card but it was a important birthday for an important friend.

For those of you who don't know I have challenged myself to use items from my stash that are either old or unused on all of my creations.  For this creation I have used: Spellbinders die (unused - bought last year), Making Memories flower brads (reeeeealy old that my Mum bought me in the States years ago), Kaisercraft stamps (old - on sale),  Paper (found during my rummage/tidy) and flat flowers (old).

Thanks to this card I have tidied one part under my desk. I wanted to find the paper/cardstock to use and ended up sorting through all the bags of paper from LSS that I have purchased over the last year (+) and put/shoved out of the way under there.  I semi sorted them and it looks a lot tidier and more roomy and I have added to my 'donate' pile. I'm trying to slowly purge my older items and donate them or regift them. My donate pile is slowly growing. Give me a shout out if you want any sent your way or have suggestion of where to donate the items (I'm thinking hospice).

Sorry for the long blog post but I have two more pictures to share and my final gag. For my friends gift I put a gift card in a decorative tin with 40 peppermints. I then added a decorated note on the front that said: 40 SUCKS.

Get it?

Thank goodness my friend did and found it funny too :)

Paper (Bu Bunny), Cardstock (Stampin' Up!), Flower Brads (Making Memories), Stamps (Kaisercraft, Rubbadubbadoo, Stampin'  Up!, Prima), Dies (Sizzix, Spellbinders, Stampin' Up!), Ink (Stampin' Up!, other, Stazon, Versamark),  Twill (Typo), Letters (Basic Grey, American Crafts), Flowers, Liquid Pearls, Glossy Accents, Acetate, Embossing Powder.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Inspiration Emporium April Challenge

This month I participated in a swap with some ladies from the NZ Paperchase Facebook page. We were paired up and had to send our partner 4-6 items. Our partner then had to create something for us with at least 4 of our items. My partner was a lovely lady who sent me this parcel:

While I was waiting for my surprise parcel to arrive I was thinking of what I would create. I had come up with an idea in my mind but when I was pulling the items out a layout just fell into place. It also just happened to work with a base paper I had out on my desk. I had randomly chosen a piece of paper from my stash and played with a new stencil and texture paste. I added ink and some script stamping to blend the paper, the layout pieces and the photos together. This is my final layout:

I found it interesting that I was really nervous making this for someone else. A total stranger that I didn't know their style or preferences. I kept second guessing and emailing pictures to the BFF to get her advice. Eventually, I had to tell myself that I do this [create] regularly and need to just let go of my insecurities and just do it.

I was happy to see that Inspiration Emporium's challenge this month is to use a mask or stencil -  I am submitting my layout for that. The details for their challenge are  here

I told you I have been busy lately even if the blog has been quiet.

Paper (MME),  Texture Paste (Jo Sonya's), Ink (Colourbok, Tim Holtz, Stazon, Stampin' Up!), Stamps (Dear Lizzie, Glitz), Bird Twill (Tempo), Flower Brads (Making Memories), Flowers, Pink Ribbon.  All other items from my swap partner.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Taking on an Elephant

Today I took on an elephant of a challenge and, by joves, I think I won! I decided, at the last minute, to try the next Mama Elephant sketch challenge. I liked the look of the sketch - similar to the last one they did - and I managed to complete it super quickly. I grabbed a random piece of paper I had put in my card making baggie, the doily stamp set I couldn't manage to use last time I did their sketch challenge, 2 washi rolls and, of course, my two ME stamps sets that I own (love, love, love them). I may only have two sets but there are so many different sayings on there that most events are covered. They would be good for Project Life too but, despite buying the various pocket pages, I haven't managed to put one single Project Life item together.

Here's my completed card:

I'm happy I got to use up some older paper, use some items that don't get used much (doily set) and I got to use new stuff too (washi tape).  Even better, I used some vintage items from my stash. While looking for the three little something somethings for the top left corner I found a pottle of vintage finds I have had for so long I don't remember when they first came to live with me. I love that and I think they look perfect!

Here's a sneaky tip too: I managed to miss-stamp the sentiment (I wanted it to go off the edge). I fixed it simply by colouring the missing bits with a black stamping pen.  Yay! While I am admitting to woopsies I might as well admit that the doliy stamp also didn't go off the edge as intended - note to self: use a stamp positioner! I simply rounded the corners and, hey presto, no more mistake :)

Here's the Challenge details:
Mama Elephant Sketch Challenge 03 (04-14/04/13 NZ Styles!) link is here

Washi (Tim Holtz, Somi), Paper (Prvocraft), Stamps (Mama Elephant, Rachel Greig), Ink (Versafine, Stampin' Up!), vintage pieces.

If I wasn't supposed to be resting today I'd try another one but I'll opt for the rest so I can create some thing else another day. I can only take on one elephant a day anyway :)

I just noticed that I didn't ink the edges of the card - world's first for me!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Just Don't Look At My Bottom

Although I haven't posted anything since the beginning of March I have been creating I promise (and a little bit of online shopping). I played around with a wooden box I bought in December last year and entered it for a competition online. I didn't win - I didn't expect to as it is not spectacular. I am really happy with it and going over the top with frou frou and bits n bobs is not my style. It needs to be practical and useful for my daily life. I'm not sure yet where to put it and what to use it for. Obviously you would think store travel items in it but I may store mini albums in it as well as memorabilia.

Just because I have step by step photos I will do a long, photo heavy post showing you what I did. Do not be fooled - this does not mean that it is technically difficult or challenging! It is really basic, simple stuff but it was a requirement of the competition to photograph it step by step so I might as well use the photos. Forgive the terrible photo quality: Sun streaming in the window on overflowing desk do not a good picture make.

This is the original box (a steal at $15). The pictures on top and front are cute and whimsy but not my style so they had to 'disappear'.

Next I needed to select colours - I had a new 'shipment' of product arrive at my door so I had a couple of distress paint options to work with. I painted my options on the bottom of the box to test how they would look on the wood.

The washi tape I actually used had fallen off when I took that picture! I decided on a blue distress stain and Bundled Sage distress paint. I wanted the wood + stain to look very beachy and whitewashed. I think it looks good - just ignore the cutesy pictures for now.

Next I used the distress paint on the edges of the box.

I added Washi Tape to the top edges, painted the hinges with the distress paint and added paper to the top and front. Ta Da!

Here's a close up of the hinge - I really like how it turned out.

I left the sides blank with the stain as I like the whitewash look. I thought if I covered the sides the box would look to heavy too.

Remember the second photo showing how I choose the colours? I decided to leave the bottom as it was. Seriously, who is likely to turn it over to look? If you were the kind of person who was worried about your bottom you could either paint it or add felt to cover it. As for me; I just hope no body looks at my bottom! :)