Thursday, September 30, 2021

Four Seasons Challenge - October

Welcome to another Four Seasons Challenge!  After getting off to a great start in September, we're looking forward to seeing another gallery full of your fabulous entries this month.  We're still in the fall season, so just remember -- anything goes FALL, now through the 25th.

Have a look at our inspiration board:

I saw the coffee and leaves in the upper left corner and thought "I have the perfect stamp".  It's a retired and out of business Verve digi set called Coffee Please.  I made a composite with several images in the set and colored with Tombow markers and blender pen.

I stitched some fall papers from my vast hoard, "nailed" a frame with copper brads, added a leaf which I die cut from a splattery background piece.  After coloring, I smooshed the whole image panel with Versamark ink and embossed with ultra-thick embossing enamel -- two coats.  Just for fun.

Please visit the Four Seasons Challenge Blog for all the details.  The team has plenty more inspiration for you there.  I hope to see you in the gallery!  Enjoy!

Stamps:  Verve Coffee Please digi (retired, out of business)  Paper:  Fabriano Artistico Extra White 140 lb hot press watercolor, SU Bravo Burgundy, Neenah 110 lb white for hidden layers, miscellaneous old designer paper  Ink:  Printer, Versamark for use with UTEE coat, other misc for die cut leaf  Coloring:  Tombow markers with homemade blender pen  Other:  Copper brads, Hero Arts Wood Frame die, Taylored Expressions Mega Leaves die

Monday, September 27, 2021

Terracotta Vase and Autumn Wheat Twofer

Hi there!  It's been too long since my last post, but it's not because I've been idle.  Early fall is a beautiful time to be outside in the garden, or even to be in the sunny kitchen with the patio door open to welcome the season.  I've also been busy working ahead on cards I must wait to share... such as today's card which I sent for a dear friend's birthday.

I hadn't colored this stamp yet and I felt it could work for an early fall card if I used the right colors.  The stamp is Terracotta Vase by Deep Red.  I found it when searching flower stamps on 1-2-3 Stitch.  I have to say I'm a little confused... did Deep Red become Nellie Snellen?  You can see a near-replica here at SSS under the Nellie Snellen name.  I do spend a lot of time under my rock.

I colored with Copic markers and made a simple card design -- not CAS, but not too much.  After I tied the fun fiber I frayed the ends to make them all cute and curly.  Did some stitching, added a decorative border which is actually part of a rectangular die.  Hey, it was already cut and I felt the color worked.

I'm going to slip my birthday card into a couple of challenges before they close:

Seize the Birthday #223 -- Faux or Real Stitching.  I've done real stitching.
NBUS Challenge #30.  As I mentioned, the Terracotta Vase is a first time use.



I have a twofer today.  Pictured below is a card I made in early August.  I wasn't sure if I liked it enough, but actually I do like it quite a bit.  I mean, how much do you have to do to a card to make it likeable?  The wheat was die cut and then watercolored in a smooshing fashion.  Honestly, I can't remember exactly how I did the smooshing, but I do like how it turned out.  Supplies for both cards are listed below my signature.


I'm so glad you could drop in today.  I hope to be more consistent with my posts now that I'm ahead a little bit.  This is a busy card making season.  Have a beautiful day!

Card #1 -- Stamps:  Deep Red Terracotta Vase, JustRite Just Because set  Paper:  X-Press It Blending Card, SU Barely Banana, Neenah card base, Studio Light Wonderful Autumn DP  Ink:  Memento Tuxedo Black, Barely Banana  Coloring:  Copics  Other:  Fun Fiber, Cheery Lynn Dutch Daisy Stacker A2 Frame, JustRite custom die (name forgotten)

Card #2 -- Stamps:  Sparkle N Sprinkle 'Flowers Silhouettes" (out of business), SU Itty Bitty Backgrounds (retired)  Paper:  Neenah Classic Crest Super Smooth Solar White 110 lb, SU Rich Razzleberry, Arches 140 lb cold press watercolor (for wheat)  Ink:  Distress Vintage Photo, SU Crushed Curry and Marigold Morning, Versamark  Other:  Impression Obsession Wheat die, string, white embossing powder

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

CAS Mix Up Reminder -- Autumn Colors

Hello!  Back again with a reminder for our CAS Mix Up Watercolor Challenge.  It's my turn to host and I've chosen autumn colors for the theme.  Use them any which way as long as it's watercolor and clean and simple.


Once again I question the CASness of my card.  It started out with the simple acorn dress, then needed a frame, then the frame needed a background, then the dress was swallowed up in the background, so it needed the moon to highlight it, sigh...  I was afraid to add a sentiment for fear it would get even less CAS, ha!  It is what it is.  An old stamp and a beloved die came together to make a very fall card.

See the challenge blog for links to watercolor techniques.  I used SU reinkers for the background, but watercolored the stamp and Acorn Frame die with Tombow markers.  Supplies listed below signature.

The CAS Mix Up team has some really beautiful samples to share with you on the challenge blog, so be sure and hop over there.  You can't help but be inspired.

Thank you so much for your visit.  Wishing you a beautiful day!

Stamps:  Lockhart Acorn Dress (out of business)  Paper:  Arches 140 lb hot press watercolor, Cougar Natural, Neenah Classic Crest Super Smooth Solar White 110 lb for layering acorn die  Ink:  Palette Dark Brown for stamp, SU So Saffron, Really Rust, Old Olive for background  Coloring:  Watercolor with Tombow markers  Other:  Tutti Acorn Frame, Spellbinders Standard Circles Small and Grand Ovals, Sizzix Leaf Veins 3D embossing folder

Thursday, September 9, 2021

This and That Catch Up: Dogs, Garden, Stamp Room

Hi, everyone!  Some of you, my dear stamping friends, have been kindly asking about Wally and LuLu, and wondering how things have come together in my stamp room since all the home renovations, so I'm here today with a little catch up on that.

First, and most important in my heart is Wally and LuLu.  They're both as healthy and fit as you can imagine 10 and 12 year old dogs could be.  In the picture below they'd just returned from a neighborhood walk and are enjoying a little cool down on the lawn.

LuLu has had a remarkable recovery from her fibrocartilaginous embolism.  She has a slight limp and has to wear a bootie when walking on asphalt because she drags her foot a little bit when she's not thinking about it.  It takes some effort, so she tires more easily than in the past, but seems to be getting stronger every day.  On Labor Day we took the dogs for an off-leash walk on a woodland trail and they both ran like juveniles.  You'd never suspect a thing.  I could have cried with happiness.

With all the home renovations and then LuLu's embolism, the garden was neglected to a certain extent.  I watered and deadheaded, but not much else.  Our deck was torn out for the foundation work, so the flower pots were displaced and construction debris was everywhere.  It wasn't until late summer that we started working more earnestly outside.

There's my handsome Wally in the picture below.  He loves his blankie!

As for my stamp room, the only renovation in there was the flooring.  The whole house got new flooring, and what a huge deal it was to move out all the furniture!  My big desk (stamping command center) was broken in the process and there was no solution but to find a new desk.  We don't have a lot of resources in our town, so the new desk came from Wayfair.  I like it, but it's smaller with less surface area and storage than my other desk.

To make up for some of that lost space I added an additional piece on either end of it.  The white unit below is actually a kitchen cart from Wayfair.  I lost the drawer that I kept my large punches in, so I had to purge a few and hang the rest on a towel rack.  You can see "before" pictures here.  The rest of the room hasn't changed much except the floor.

I did a lot more purging and reorganizing, too much to mention.  I felt some despair at first, but it all worked out nicely.  In the end I have more room for stamps (my #1 passion), and I eliminated the overcrowding in my designer paper collection.

It would all be so much easier with built in wall to wall cabinetry and work surfaces, but this needs to stay a bedroom if we are ever to sell it as a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house.  Not planning on that, but you never know.

Back to stamping now.  I hope we can meet here again real soon!

Monday, September 6, 2021

Mermaid Tail

Hello and happy Monday to you!  Now that we're six days into September are you feeling a change in the weather yet?  It might be all in my head, but to me it seems different already.  The air feels more crisp, the wind has died down.  That's what I love about fall here on the Oregon coast -- no wind!

However, today's card is not meant to convey any of those fall feels.  It's all about summer and sunshine and beachy days when you just might spot one of the magical creatures pictured below:

I've combined Mintay papers and Impression Obsession stamps.  Both have been with me for a while, but it's a first time use for the Mermaid Tail and Make Some Waves sentiment.  I can't stress enough how I love to play with paper, and it worked out pretty well on this mini-slimline (3 1/2 x 6 3/4).  I've been loving this size card for a lot of years.  Very handy sometimes!

I colored with Copics and sparkled with Wink of Stella and Stickles Diamond glitter glue.  The sequins are called Soft Mint -- just a touch of  color.  I hand cut the sentiment flag and added mint-colored ric rac trim which reminds me of an ocean ripple.

I was truly shopping my stash when I made this summery card so I've linked to the challenge here:
Shopping Our Stash #453 - Summer Lovin'

Right from the get go it was my plan to play here:

And, since the stamps are being used for the first time (finally) I'm linking to Darnell's challenge here:

Just having fun.  Wishing you a good week and a chance to have a little fun yourself.  Thank you for your time today!

Stamps:  Impression Obsession Mermaid Tail and Make Some Waves senti  Paper:  Neenah Classic Crest Super Smooth Solar White 80 & 110 lb, Mintay Paradise designer paper  Ink:  Memento Tuxedo Black  Coloring:  Copics  Other:  Wink of Stella, soft mint sequins, ric rac, Memory Box Stitched Circle Layers

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Two Old Bats Halloween Challenge -- September

Note:  At the first of the month my few challenge posts sort of pile up on each other, so you may want to scroll down or click to see CAS Mix Up and Four Seasons posts.  Thank you!

Hello!  It's time again for Two Old Bats Halloween Challenge where it's all about the fun.  You're given an inspiration board which you can use if you want, or you can go in entirely your own direction.  I like using the board as a self-challenge.  First, a look at my silly sample:

Pictured below is the inspiration board.  Hmmm... lots of scary stuff on there this month, but that doesn't mean my card has to be particularly scary.  I saw the big spider and went with that.

The idea for using circles for the body and head came from Pinterest.  So easy and so cute!  I drew the legs -- now you can see how I can't even draw a stick figure, so thank goodness for stamping.  The head is popped up.  The smile is part of a stamp from the same set that gave me the small smiling spiders.  The eyes are circle punches.  I slid paper into the punch, flipped it over and traced inside the circle, then punched.  Pupils are Black Diamond Stickles glitter.

The two Whipper Snapper stamp sets I used are my all-time favorite Halloween sets.  I've had them for many years and I figured they were retired, but just for kicks I looked them up.  I'm excited to say they're still on the site:

If you enjoy making Halloween cards I hope you'll join us at Two Old Bats.  Have a wonderful day!

Stamps:  Whipper Snapper Hocus Pocus (hat & big smile) and Spooky Expressions (small spider)  Paper:  Neenah Classic Crest Super Smooth Solar White 80 & 110 lb, orange Bazzill, black, purple glitter cardstock, Reverse Confetti This & That designer paper  Ink:  Memento Tuxedo Black  Coloring:  Copics  Other:  Sequins, fine tip black marker, Black Diamond Stickles (eyes), Scotch brand foam mounting tape, 1/2" & 5/8" circle punches, Memory Box Stitched Circle Layers, Impression Obsession Trick or Treat, Impression Obsession Balloons (string die)

CAS Mix Up -- Autumn Colors

Welcome to our CAS Mix Up Challenge for the month of September!  It's my pleasure to be your host for a theme that's near and dear to my heart:  Watercolor Autumn Colors.  You can do any watercolor technique as long as it's autumn colors, but do remember to keep your card clean and simple.  See the CAS Mix Up Blog for more details, including a few links I've chosen for a variety of watercolor techniques.

I chose to watercolor a Penny Black Hugs & Cuddles stamp I purchased last autumn, but am just now using for the first time.  The sentiment is not part of the PB set.  I have several types of inks and paints for watercolor, but my Tombow markers are always on top of my desk and there are so many colors.  I like to scribble on a palette and pick up with a wet brush and apply to either wet or dry watercolor paper.

Did you notice the colors on the fox's face are reversed?  Should be red on top and white around the face.  Oops!  I didn't want to start over, so I let it be.  No embellishments, no designer paper.  I tell you, CAS does not come naturally to me, but I urge you to look at all the beautiful team cards on the CAS Mix Up Blog.  Inspiring!  We have the lovely Ros (Mikey's Mom) as our guest designer this month, too.

Come play with us.  The possibilities are wide open as long as your card features watercolor, autumn colors, and a clean and simple style.  Enjoy, and have a beautiful day!

Stamps:  Penny Black Hugs & Cuddles, Your Next Stamp Whatnot Sentiments Eleven  Paper:  Fabriano Artistico Extra White 140 lb hot press watercolor, Bazzill white  Ink:  Palette Dark Brown  Coloring:  Watercolor with Tombow markers