Hello there!  Today’s post is a reminder for the technique challenge that’s currently running at Christmas Card Throwdown.  It’s one that was new to me – Embossed Impressions.  Although the original challenge writeup at CCT says entries can have either heat or dry embossed techniques, “embossed impressions” is a technique all to itself.  Since I hadn’t tried it before, I Googled it and found a few different videos on YouTube to guide me along.  The idea is to use VersaMark ink to ink up a die, then run it through your die cutting/embossing machine with an embossing mat so that the die leaves an inked impression in the cardstock.  Then you sprinkle the impression with embossing powder and heat emboss the design.

I have to say that this did not turn out as well for me as I had hoped.   It seemed easy enough based on the videos, so I tried it with a snowflake die.  My results were pretty disastrous.  My first attempt, I had the wrong “sandwich” of materials and they were too thick to go through my Big Kick, so I had to abort that try.  My second go at it, I was interrupted mid-process by a telephone call and the ink dried before I could add the embossing powder.  I hoped that the third time would be the proverbial charm, but no.  I thought I had tapped the ink on the die very gently, but the embossing powder stuck all around the edges of the die and on some of the solid areas.  Even though I was able to clean off some of the excess powder before I heated it, it still looked like a huge mess.  So I thought about what other dies I could use.  I decided to try it with my “happy” die, thinking I’d add in the word “holidays” with a stamp.  This worked somewhat better.  Still messy, but not as bad.  I added the “holidays” with gold ink and heat embossed it… but then the “holidays” showed up much brighter than the “happy” because of the gold ink.  That prompted a lightbulb moment.  I tried it once again, but used gold ink on the die instead of VersaMark.  That gave me a brighter, bolder result with the embossing of the impression.  I do think it’s downright near impossible to get a good clean image with this technique, though.

Anyway… now that my fifth attempt resulted in a somewhat decent looking embossed impressed sentiment, the gold on the red background seemed a little too simple.  I figured since I already had the embossing powder out, I’d add some embossing to the edge of the red panel.  In retrospect I probably got a little too heavy handed with that.  But as they say, the show must go on, so I went ahead and put the panel on a white card base.  It’s definitely not the best card I’ve made. And sadly, it’s one of the worst ones I’ve made as a CCT Design Team member. But at least it’s an honest attempt at the technique.

52CCT 08-19-2017

Goodbyes are rarely easy.  It’s with a bittersweet note that this is the last card I’m making as a Design Team member for Christmas Card Throwdown.  I’ve been a part of the team there since March 2013, and while I’ve enjoyed my time there, four and a half years is long enough and it’s time for me to step down from the team.  I hate that this card that I really don’t like is my last one for the team.  I guess I’ll just have to play along as a participant in a future challenge and see if I can come up with something better.

Thanks for stopping by today!  If you’d like to give our challenge a try, you have until 7:00 p.m. Eastern time Friday, September 1 to submit your card at the CCT site.

Supplies:
Stamp: So Happy (Avery Elle)
Cardstock: Real Red (Stampin’ Up); Solar White (Neenah)
Ink: gold (ClearSnap)
Other: Simply Said Happy die (Avery Elle); gold embossing powder (Ranger); corner rounder punch (EK Success)

Hello!  It’s the third Tuesday of the month, which means it’s color challenge time again at CAS Colours & Sketches.  Karen has chosen some bright, playful colors for us to work with this week.

Despite the cheeriness of the colors, I seem to have a hard time working with them whenever they come up separately in our challenges – so putting them all together had me wondering what to make for a while!  Oh, but that’s what makes it a challenge, right?  :)  Finally I settled on using a musical stamp that I’ve had for years but I don’t think I’ve ever actually used.  I thought that combined with a sentiment, it would make a pretty decent birthday card.  I’ve trimmed down the focal panel so that I could use a colored card base to mat it, for an extra pop of color. I used a stitched border die for the bottom edge, but because I didn’t have any stitched detailing on the rest of the card, I turned the die so the stitching would be on the cut off portion.

CASCAS236

CC&S color236-001

Now it’s your turn to create a clean and simple styled card using these colors, and share it with us at the CC&S site!  You have until 6:00 p.m. Eastern time Monday, August 21 to link your card.  We hope you’ll join us!

Supplies:
Stamps: unnamed musical notes stamp (Inkadinkadoo); Handwritten Notes (Avery Elle)
Cardstock: Crushed Curry, Whisper White (Stampin’ Up)
Ink: Crushed Curry, Bermuda Bay, Calypso Coral (SU)
Other: Landscape Trio die (Mama Elephant)

Hello there!  It’s time for another month of challenges at CAS Colours & Sketches!  We have some bold, bright colors for our challenge this week.  One of them has been a part of Stampin’ Up’s color lineup for a few years, but the other two are In Colors that were introduced last month.  As always with our color challenges, if you don’t have the exact colors shown in our challenge graphic, you may use whatever you own by any company so long as you match the colors as closely as possible.

It’s been a while since I’ve made a card specifically for Send a Smile 4 Kids, so I decided to focus on that organization when I was working on my card for this challenge.  The bright chartreuse had me a little stumped at first because to me it seems too yellow to work well as foliage.  Since it’s Independence Day here in the U.S. I kept feeling like I should do something with stars and/or stripes, even though the colors are far from our patriotic red, white and blue.  :)  I ended up going graphic with a design I found on Ardyth’s blog.  I decided to embrace that bold greenish yellow by using it for the card base and to stamp the sentiment.

CASCAS230

CC&S color230-001

Thanks so much for stopping by today!  I hope you’ll make a card with these challenge colors and share it with us at CC&S.  You have until 6:00 p.m. Eastern time Monday, July 10 to link your card at the challenge site.

Supplies:
Stamps: Simply Said: You (Avery Elle)
Cardstock: Lemon Lime Twist, Island Indigo, Berry Burst (Stampin’ Up); Solar White (Neenah)
Ink: Lemon Lime Twist (SU)
Other: Puffy Stars die (Lawn Fawn)

Hello!  It’s a little hard to believe June is drawing to a close already.  Time sure seems to be flying!  As today is the fourth Tuesday of the month, we have a new sketch challenge for you to try over at CAS Colours & Sketches.

If you’ve an avid follower or participant at CC&S, you might recognize this sketch as being one used before by our team member Jane.  The fun wonky angle makes it pretty distinctive!  I’ve used shimmery cardstock for the front of my card, which looks lovely in person, but is hard to capture the subtle sparkliness in photographs.  I wanted some color to the angular portion, so I scribbled some metallic Gelatos on a scrap of shimmery cardstock and blended them with a damp paper towel.  I used the same method to color another scrap of shimmery cardstock, from which I die cut the hearts.  I also die cut the angular portion from the card front.  I’ve popped the card front up from the striped portion by using some shims of scrap cardstock; I think the shims give more substance underneath that layer than my dimensional adhesive spots would.   I chose not to heat emboss the sentiment.  When looking at the card from an angle, it kind of disappears into the cardstock, but looking at the card head on it’s nice and bold.

CASCAS229

sketch 229

I’m really looking forward to seeing what our challenge participants at CC&S create this week!  Be sure to link your card at the challenge post by 6:00 p.m. Eastern time Monday, July 3.  Thanks for stopping by today!

 
Supplies:
Stamp: Hugs & Wishes (Stampin’ Up)
Cardstock: Shimmery White, Thick Whisper White (SU)
Ink: Champagne (Encore)
Other: metallic Gelatos (Faber Castell); hearts die, stitched rectangles die (Lawn Fawn); custom panels die (Avery Elle)

Hello there!  It’s color challenge week again at CAS Colours & Sketches.  I have the honor of being challenge host this week, and I’ve put together a combo using a couple of Stampin’ Up’s limited edition In Colors paired with a metallic.  Although we use Stampin’ Up color names for reference, you’re always welcome to use any companies’ products – we simply ask that you match the stated colors as closely as possible.

I admit that when I came up with this challenge idea a couple months ago, I did have some idea of what I wanted to create with them… and now that idea has completely left my memory.  On my computer, I keep a folder of cards I really like that I’ve found online, so I browsed through that for inspiration for today’s card.  I noticed this one made by Karren Johnson and decided to CASE it… “CASE” being an acronym for “Copy and Selectively Edit” (at least that’s my favorite definition of what “CASE” stands for).  The similar colors are a pure coincidence.  I started by die cutting the front panel of the card.  I stamped the sentiment and floral image with copper pigment ink and heat embossed them.  Then I watercolored the flower with ink, and die cut the curved line of the sentiment panel.  As I was holding the pieces of the card together I felt it looked a bit stark, so I added some splatters of color.  Using peach cardstock for the base of the card adds another punch of color.  It was hard getting a photo to show the shine of the heat embossing, so you’ll have to take my word that it looks better in real life.

CASCAS228

CC&S color228-001And there you have it.  What will you create with these colors?  Be sure to share your card at the CC&S site by 6:00 p.m. Eastern time Monday, June 26.  We’d love to have you join in the fun and creativity!

Supplies:
Stamps: Jolies Fleurs (Lizzie Anne Designs); Sophie’s Sentiments (Lawn Fawn)
Cardstock: Pure Ivory (Gina K. Designs); Dapper Denim, Peekaboo Peach (Stampin’ Up)
Ink: Copper (ColorBox)
Other: copper embossing powder (Ranger); stitched rectangles die (Lawn Fawn); Custom Panels die (Avery Elle)

I have a quick post today to share a card made for an important man in my life – my dad.  He’ll be celebrating his birthday this weekend, and I’ll be lucky enough to visit with him on his special day.  He’s not one to turn down ice cream when it’s offered to him, LOL, so that’s why I thought he’d like the cute little ice cream cone.

FMS291

I’m combining several challenges here:  Less Is More, Freshly Made Sketches, AAA Cards, and The Paper Players.

 

Thanks for stopping by today!

Supplies:
Stamps: Here’s the Scoop (Lawn Fawn); Cake & Candles (Avery Elle)
Cardstock: Pure Luxury White, Pure Luxury Ivory (Gina K. Designs); Close to Cocoa (Stampin’ Up); scraps from Blush 6″ x 6″ paper pad (Basic Grey)
Ink: Close to Cocoa (SU)
Other: birthday embossing folder (ProvoCraft)

Hello there!  It’s color challenge week again at CAS Colours & Sketches.  I’ve combined the color challenge with one of our recent sketch challenges, #224, taking the liberty of using the mirror-reverse of the sketch.

The card is pretty straightforward so there’s not a lot I can say about it.  I used Versamark ink to stamp a bit of texture on the kraft-colored strip.  The flower is raised up from the card base with some scrap cardstock shims to add a bit of dimension.

CASCAS226

CC&S color226-001

Since the theme at The Paper Players and at AAA Cards is “birthday”, I’m going to enter this card in those challenges.

Be sure to check out what the rest of the CC&S design team did with this sketch. Then show us what you can make with it! You can link your creation to the challenge blog until 6:00 p.m. Eastern time Monday, June 12.  Thanks for stopping by today!

Supplies:
Stamps: Delight in Life, Canvas (Stampin’ Up); Cake & Candles (Avery Elle)
Cardstock: Soft Sky, Kraft, Very Vanilla (SU)
Ink: Calypso Coral, Soft Sky (SU); VersaMark (Tsukineko)

Hello!  It’s time for a Timeless Tuesday double challenge at CAS Colours & Sketches!  We’ve gone through our sketch archives and pulled out one of our previous sketches, and we’re pairing it with some retired Stampin’ Up colors.  To meet the challenge this week, the sketch must be used with the colors.  If you don’t have the exact colors it’s OK –  just use whatever you own that comes close to them.

I’ve been away from my craft room for much of the past week, and I have to confess that last night when I was working on this card, I had a hard time getting into a crafting frame of mind.  This is definitely not one of my better cards but it meets the challenge so I’m going with it.  I used the lighter shade of blue for the card base and used the darker for the sentiment.  I rotated the sketch 180° so that I had a wider space at the top of the card for the sentiment.  Instead of using a piece of cardstock for the wide horizontal strip, I scored five lines.  It was hard to capture them in the photo, but they do extend across the entire front of the card.  It’s been a long time since I’ve used ribbon on a card, but I had the exact color of blue to work with the challenge.  I debated adding a bow, but I thought that would take away from the clean and simple style of the card.  The “present” is raised up from the card base with dimensional adhesive.

CASCAS225

double 225 finalBe sure to stop by the challenge blog and see what our Design Team members have done with this challenge!  Then create your own card using these colors and the sketch, and link it to the challenge site by 6:00 p.m. Eastern time Monday, June 5.  We’d love to have you join us!  Thanks for stopping by today.

Supplies:
Stamp: Cake & Candles (Avery Elle)
Cardstock: Baja Breeze, Purely Pomegranate (Stampin’ Up)
Ink: Blue Bayou (SU)
Other: Blue Bayou ribbon, dimensionals (SU)

Hello!  I’m excited to be the challenge hostess at CAS Colours and Sketches during the month of March!  I hope you’ll join in the fun and creativity of our color and sketch challenges.

The first Thursday of the month means it’s color challenge time.  There’s a story behind the colors I’ve chosen.  I enjoy watching college football (American football, not soccer 😉 ) and I’m proud to say that my alma mater’s team, the James Madison University Dukes, won the national title in their division for the 2016 season.  In honor of them, I’ve chosen purple and a golden yellow for the school colors, plus grey to represent their bulldog mascot.

For my card, I went back to a previous CC&S sketch.  I didn’t really want to use an elephant again since I used it with the sketch that time.  I tossed around a few different animal ideas but none of them were giving me a “yeah!” moment, so I decided to go ahead with the sweet little Ellie again.  I originally planned to make a birthday card and  have her holding a few balloons with her trunk, but there didn’t seem to be enough room on the card panel, turned horizontally or vertically, to situate the balloons well.  So she’s joined by a couple of friendly butterflies. I turned the tilted panel in the opposite direction from how the sketch is drawn, just for a little variety on the sketch idea.

CASCAS213

CC&S color213-001

It’s been a while since I’ve done this much coloring on a card.  I feel like I’m out of practice.  :(

Be sure to check out what the rest of the CC&S Design Team has made!  Then create your own clean and simple styled card with these colors and link it to the CC&S site by 6:00 p.m. Eastern time Monday, March 13.  We’d love to see what you make!

Supplies:
Stamps: Ellie, Storybook, Simply Said Hello (Avery Elle)
Cardstock: Crushed Curry, Elegant Eggplant (Stampin’ Up); Solar White (Neenah)
Ink: Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Other: markers (Copic); stitched rectangle die (Lawn Fawn)

Yikes!  I’m a little late today with my post for this week’s challenge at CAS Colours & Sketches.  I made a card yesterday but I wasn’t very happy with it.  As I was trying to fall asleep last night, another idea popped up in my mind.  So I got up this morning and gave it a try… and as luck would have it, it didn’t go quite as easily as I’d hoped.  But anyway…

I wanted to combine this week’s sketch challenge with the ombre challenge at Less is More and the “hello” challenge at AAA Cards.  My first card had a large flourish that I inked in three shades of blue, but I just wasn’t pleased with the overall look of it.  For my second attempt, I thought of using the sentiment “hello, sunshine” with my sunburst stencil.  I used two different shades of yellow to ink the stencil design, layering the darker shade to make it bolder toward the center of the design and fading out the lighter shade toward the edges.  Then I went to my stamps, looking for what I thought was a “hello, sunshine” stamp… and was disappointed to discover that the stamp only says “sunshine”, and it’s made to be used with a “hello” die.  At that point I thought, “My ‘hello’ die is going to look too big.  I have alphabet stamps, so I can spell out the sentiment with them.”  That didn’t go too badly, other than trying to position an apostrophe stamp for the comma… until I stamped the sentiment.  The first two times, the sentiment came out splotchy and messy looking.  So I cleaned the stamps and tried again.  That was slightly better but the letters still looked fuzzy.  So I figured I’d try my “hello” die anyway.  It turned out that the die filled up some of the tiny areas of the stencil that didn’t ink up well.  So I went with it, using textured cardstock for the die cut.  And finally the card came together.

CASCAS205

sketch 205

 

Despite all the troubles I had putting this card together, it’s still a lot better than my first card!

I hope you’ll have better luck creating a card with this sketch, and that you’ll share it with us at CC&S!  You have until 6:00 p.m. Eastern time Monday, January 16 to link your card there.  Thanks for stopping by today!

Supplies:
Stamps: none
Cardstock: Solar White (Neenah); Summer Sun textured (Stampin’ Up)
Ink: Summer Sun, Daffodil Delight (SU)
Other: Simply Said Hello die (Avery Elle); Rays stencil (Tim Holtz)

It’s time for the last CAS Colours & Sketches challenge of 2016, and we’re closing the year out with another seasonal challenge.  This week we’d like for our participants to choose one of our sketch challenges from 2016 and make a festive card with it.

I missed out on challenge #173 back in May because at the time, I had to go out of town unexpectedly.  So I decided to use it for my card this week.  It’s great for a quick card!  I used a couple of scraps of designer paper for the diagonal strips, stamped a sentiment in a coordinating ink color, and the card was done!  I spent more time deciding which designer papers to use than I did assembling the card.

CASCAS203

CC&S sketch 203-001

sketch 173

We’d love to have you join in our challenge at CC&S!  Check out the Sketch Challenges Archives tab, pick one of the sketches from 2016, and make a holiday card.  You have until 6:00 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday, December 14 to link your card at the challenge site.  Thanks for visiting today!

Supplies:
Stamps: So Happy (Avery Elle)
Cardstock: Pure Luxury Ivory (Gina K. Designs); scraps from Nordic Holiday 6″ x 6″ paper pad (Basic Grey)
Ink: Cherry Cobbler (Stampin’ Up)

Hello again!  This week is sketch week at CAS Colours & Sketches.  I hope you’ll consider joining in the fun and creativity there by creating a card of your own with this sketch!

In the spirit of full disclosure, I first drew up this sketch several years ago for a different challenge blog.  And there are probably very similar sketches to it out there in challenge blog land.  But I figured since I drew this one, I could use it again for CC&S.

I had the sweet little elephant image left over as a “reject” from a card I made a few months ago.  Since the stamp set name is “Ellie”, I’m going to assume it’s a girl elephant.  She’s been sitting on my desk since July (good thing she’s just a little cardstock elephant and not a real one…  heh heh, bad sense of humor, sorry).  I decided it was time to put her to use on a card.  This time I was able to match her pretty well to one of my brown cardstocks, so I’ve used that for the angled panel.  I figured some green grass would be a nice way to give the elephant some “ground” so she’s not seemingly floating on the focal panel, so I die cut some grass from a scrap of cardstock and put Ellie between some shorter and some taller grass.  I used the same shade of green cardstock for the card base.  The sentiment was stamped in the same shade of green, too.  Using a stitched die for the focal panel gives it a little extra interest than if I’d used just a plain piece of cardstock. And now there’s a cute any occasion card for the box I’ll be sending soon to Send a Smile 4 Kids!

CASCAS199

sketch 199

Addicted to Stamps and More is having a CAS challenge this week so I’m going to enter this card there.

Be sure to visit the CAS Colours & Sketches blog to see the terrific cards the rest of the design team has made.  I’m sure they’d love it if you left them comments, too.  Then show us what you can do with this sketch!  Link your card to the CC&S site by 6:00 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday, November 16.  Thanks for stopping by today!

Supplies:
Stamps: Ellie, Simply Said Hello (Avery Elle)
Cardstock: Wild Wasabi, Baked Brown Sugar (Stampin’ Up); Pure Luxury Ivory (Gina K. Designs)
Ink: Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Other: markers (Copic); Grassy Border and Stitched Rectangle dies (Lawn Fawn)

Hello!  This week is sketch week at CAS Colours & Sketches, and I think this week’s sketch is a pretty neat one.  It has a big curve that I think adds a fun touch to it.

The sketch actually reminded me a lot of some of the flap cards I’ve made in the past, and this one provided inspiration for today’s card.  I didn’t make this one with a flap, but I used the same color palette and the tree idea.  With autumn right around the corner, this seemed to fit with the change in season.  I cut a piece of white cardstock, used a die to form the curved shape, and then stamped the tree trunk image.  I sponged a sky and some grass around it before stamping the leaves.  I attached the panel to a card base in the color I used more dominantly in the leaves.  It’s hard to tell in the photo, but the card base is textured cardstock.  I added a simple sentiment and the card was done.

CASCAS190

sketch 190

What will you do with this sketch?  There are so many possibilities!  I hope you’ll try out something and share what you create with us!  Link your work to the CAS Colours & Sketches blog by 6:00 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday, September 14.   Thanks for stopping by today!

Except for the die, all supplies for today’s card are from Stampin’ Up; many of them are retired products.
Stamps: Branch Out, Trendy Trees
Cardstock: Whisper White, Summer Sun textured
Ink: Soft Sky, Certainly Celery, Close to Cocoa, Summer Sun, Pumpkin Pie
Other: Custom Panels die (Avery Elle)

Hello!  Please accept my apologies for being a little late with my card for this week’s challenge at CAS Colours & Sketches.  I was having a hard time getting in a crafting frame of mind after being out of town last weekend.  But my brain finally kicked back into gear this morning.  So without any further ado…

We have a color challenge this week.  I bought this stamp set a while ago but hadn’t worked up the nerve to use it yet – I’ve seen so many adorable cards using it, that I worried I wouldn’t make one up to par!  But I felt the taupe in the color challenge was a good color for this cutie pie elephant and I decided it was time for me to give it a go.  I don’t have ink in the actual Tip Top Taupe color, so I colored the elephant with my markers the best I could to match the cardstock.  Trying to blend grey with a brownish color to make taupe wasn’t the easiest thing, but I think it worked out okay in the end.  (This card shows my second attempt; my first elephant didn’t match as well.)  I attached the striped piece of designer paper to the card base and stamped the balloon to get a sense of where to place the elephant.  I also stamped the balloon onto some curry-colored designer paper to fussy cut and adhere into place along with the elephant.  The card seemed a little flat once I had it all together.  So I stamped the balloon again onto the same designer paper and onto a scrap of cardstock.  I fussy cut them and glued them on top of the first designer paper balloon, sandwiching the cardstock between the two designer paper layers.  This gives the balloon a little more dimension, which makes me happier with the finished card.

CASCAS183

CC&S color183-001

I’m going to enter this card into a couple of challenges.  The code word for the current challenge at Addicted to CAS is “stripes”, and the repeating stripes are my repetitive element for the current challenge at Less is More.

Be sure to check out what the rest of the CAS Colours & Sketches design team did with these colors.   Then show us what you can make with them!  You can link your creation to the challenge blog until 6:00 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday, July 27.  Thanks for stopping by today!

Supplies:
Stamps: Ellie (Avery Elle)
Cardstock: Tip Top Taupe, Watercolor Wonder designer series papers (Stampin’ Up); Pure Luxury White (Gina K. Designs)
Ink: Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Other: markers (Copic)

Hello there!  Even though here in the United States people are getting ready this weekend for Independence Day, it’s always the Christmas season at 52 Christmas Card Throwdown.  The first Saturday of the month means it’s sketch challenge time.

I’ve kept my card very clean and simple in style.  The sketch is drawn up as a square card, but I’ve stretched it out into a landscape-oriented rectangle.  I’ve substituted a snowman for the triangle in the sketch. He’s kind of triangular!  I had the yellow cardstocks out on my desk after working on another card, and decided to go against the usual Christmas and wintry colors and use them for today’s card.  The “warm wishes” sentiment made me think of using orange for the circular element, making the circle appear somewhat like the sun.  Anyway, I think the card turned out pretty cute – and it was a good way for me to think outside of the box and use some colors that I tend to shy away from.

52CCT 07-02-2016

Check out what the rest of the 52CCT team has created this week.  Then have fun with the sketch and share your own card with us at the challenge site!  You have until 7:00 p.m. Eastern time Friday, July 8 to link your card.  Thanks for stopping by today!

Supplies:
Stamps: Be Jolly (Avery Elle)
Cardstock: Crushed Curry, Pumpkin Pie, Daffodil Delight (Stampin’ Up)
Ink: Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Other: markers (Copic); Stitched Circle die (Lawn Fawn)

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