Sunday, March 26, 2017

Spring has Sprung!


Oh WOW!  I've completed 3 1/2 projects and this is my 3rd post of the day.  I think I'm running out of steam and it's almost Wine o'clock.  I'll TRY to keep this short and sweet (but you know how hard that is for me, LOL).  This cute stamp is called #948 Bee Hive Sweetie by Sandra Caldwell.  I've colored her with Copics, fussy cut and popped her head on an Action Wobble.  I've used Spellbinders Grand Circles to cut the mats for the card and also cut, inked, trimmed and popped the honeycomb corner die from a set by Tim Holtz.  The sentiment is computer generated, cut with a Spellbinders scalloped oval die and also popped, as are two of the 3 flowers from my stash.  The grass is actually an icicle punch from Martha Stewart.  Done!

I'm entering this in Simon Says Monday Layer it UpSimon Says Wednesday More than One Die or Punch, Tuesday Throwdown Add DimensionYour Scrapbook Place March AG (using Sponsor image), Crafty Friends "B" is for (bees, blooms, and beehive), Word Art Wednesday #274-275 and Lil Patch of Crafty Friends #54 AG.

Loving the BUZZ!



I'm so thoroughly enjoying the Spring Coffee Lovers Hop but had a few more challenges I want to enter too.  It's the last day to enter the "Bee Silly" contest on the Sandra Caldwell Stamp Fans FB page with 4 "Bee themed" digis on sale for only $1.50.  You can check them all out HERE.  On this card I've used #1425 Two Bees Friends  but wanted to see if I could somehow incorporate it into a Hop card as well.  At the Scrapbook Expo I saw some Coffee themed outline stickers I thought might be useful for the Hop and the bold black lines definitely worked with my color scheme.  I peeled 'em off, stuck them on white cardstock, fussy cut them and did some coloring with my Copics.

For the card base I cut a Spellbinders Grand Dahlia and embossed it with Swiss dots and layered circle center (the top one embossed with a Cuttlebug honey comb folder) and layered the whole shebang on a Spellbinders Grand Decorative Labels One die cut that just happened to be laying on my desk (I told you I've got a mess in here, but sometimes it pays not putting things away. The lovely script Coffee Die is from Verve Stamps. This takes care of Simon Says Monday Layer it Up, Simon Says Wednesday More than One Die or Punch , and the Outlawz Saturday Paper a la Mode Embossing Challenge.



Here's a closeup of #1425 Two Bees Friends.  They're colored with Copics, fussy cut and "bee"cause they're "Loving the (caffeine) BUZZ" I couldn't resist putting them on an action wobble. HeeHee!  Sorry, no time to take a video of them in action. This post is long enough.



I'm also adding this to the Aud Sentiments any Sentiment Except Birthday, Lil Patch of Crafty Friends #54 AG, Pile it On #128 Humor or Plaid, Alphabet Challenge "A" is for Anything with Wings, Word Art Wednesdays #274-275, Your Scrapbook Place March AG (using Sponsor image), Tuesday Throwdown Add Dimension and Crafty Friends "B" is for (bees, blooms, and BUZZ!).

A Little Coffee


It's Day 3 of the Coffee Lovers Blog Hop and I dare say I won't get anything else done around here until it's over.  Sooo many coffee stamps, sooo little time and the inspiration is mind boggling!  I made this fun little project with stuff I got as a Make and Take (only I didn't make it there) at the Scrapbook Expo.  I knew the Hop was coming up and I thought the size of the cup with the sippy "to go" top was too cute for words.  I don't use disposable cups in my bathroom and I have NEVER seen the to go tops with the little sippy hole (and still can't find them when I "Google" it) so I actually plunked down $3.00 for the paper cup, lid, and my choice of precut paper for the bottom and sleeve, matching round for the top and the pretty flower.

To personalize it, I colored the Mini Bird Coffee to Go Set from Limited Runs ( a Super Sponsor for the Hop) and cut the sentiment with a Spellbinders  scalloped Oval.  Isn't it cute?  Be sure to visit Limited Runs Stamps and see all of the fab new Coffee and Tea related stamps, the Coffee and cupcake discount deal, and grab the cute freebie Nikki is offering for more chances to win.




Saturday, March 25, 2017

Spring Coffee Lovers Blog Hop Day 2-Thank you Verve!



I'm telling you, it's really hard to actually craft when there's so much fabulous inspiration  going on at the Spring Coffee Lovers Blog Hop.  I can barely tear myself away from the computer to eat and I'm actually shivering with excitement (or is it the caffeine?)  Anyway, I was thrilled that Verve Stamps (a Super Sponsor for the Hop) had another fabulous digital freebie and Link Up opportunity on their Blog.  I was lucky enough to be the winner last time for the Lucky Day challenge and thrilled that I've already gotten my fabulous goodies (mostly coffee related) so you should be seeing some of my winnings a little later in the Hop.  My gift voucher went an especially long way because they just happen to be having a sale, so thanks so much to Julee for everything! 

I've played around digitally with the sun, tea cup and 2 sentiments from the Rise and Shine Free Printable.  I fashioned a long thin card with digital papers from AMBillustrations.  The digital frame was in my files with no name.  I printed it and colored the sun and cup with Copics.  Easy peasy.  I'm hoping my color scheme is Springy enough.

I'm also adding this to the DL.Art (another Super Sponsor) March Linky Challenge, Word Art Wednesday #274-275 and Lil Patch of Crafty Friends AG challenge #54.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Day 1 of the Spring Coffee Lovers Blog Hop


It's the day we've all been waiting for!  The Spring Coffee Lovers Blog Hop is off to an amazing start and even though I've blogged twice today, I wanted to join in with the coveted prize I won from the Winter Hop. A huge thanks to Lil' Inkers Designs for the amazing Latte Love stamp set and Dies.  

I'm the first to admit that I stink at real stamping so I bought myself a Misti.  All was well while stamping the cup with black Staz-on, the coffee in brown and even the over stamping with (semi)opaque white for the yummy crema.  I stamped on heavy watercolor paper so I could try out my watercolor crayons but it all went to hell when I went and stamped the sentiment.  

I think the paper was too heavy for the magnets as I had to use the foam with the clear stamps and it seemed the paper jumped a bit with my first try, so when I reinked and stamped again, I had a shadow.  Okay fine, so I'll just use the matching die to cut out the cup and I'll restamp the sentiment but so you think I could find it? Honestly, I just HAD it!  I turned around and it was GONE (buried under the stacks of stuff covering every surface of my craft room) sure to be discovered at some later date, but not today.  So please pretend that the shadowed sentiment was intentional.  It's actually starting to grow on me and the way I see things anyway without some sort of vision enhancement.  Cheers!



I'm also entering this in the Outlawz Sunday CAS Birthday Card challenge and Lil Patch of Crafty Friends #54 AG.

New release from Sandra Caldwell



WOW!  Today looks like it's going to be a busy day.  This is my second new release post of the day.  Lots of new goodies to color.  WooHoo!  I'd love it if you'd check out my first one HERE, too.

It's Friday and that means a fabulous new bunch of stamps available from Sandra Caldwell.  You know I love me some kitties, so I was thrilled to work with #1441 Pup and Kitty Friend (even though the puppy got top billing, I think he's pretty cute, too).  The fun paper and sentiment came from a pack I recently got at the Scrapbook Expo called Meow by Echo Park.  The paw print punch is from EK Success and the teeny check is from Graphic 45.



Here's a closeup of the adorable #1441 Pup and Kitty Friend.  I've colored them with Copics with a bit of fur detail from Prismacolor pencils.  I ended up cutting them out with a Spellbinders Label 17 and inking with Faded Jeans while it was still in the die.



The actual card design was inspired by the Outlawz Wednesday Sketch challenge.  I really enjoy playing on the forum because there are 7 new challenges a week.

You can see inspiration for many of the new release stamps in the Sandra Caldwell Stamp Fans FB Group.  Hope to see you there.

I'm also entering this in the Lil Patch of Crafty Friends AG challenge #54, the March SUYP (Cat's only) challenge, Your Scrapbook Place March Challenge AG  (using Sponsor image), 4 Crafty Chicks Punches or Dies, Aud Sentiments Any Sentiment but Birthday, the DL.Art March Linky Challenge, Simon Says Stamp Use More than One Die or Punch, Simon Says Monday Layer it Up, TTRCD Week of March 21 AG, Creative Corner For the Dogs, If You Give a Crafter a Cookie #65  and Glitter and Sparkle #231 AG 3/3.  


Double Showcase at Aurora Wings


There's more excitement on the Aurora Wings Showcase Blog today with a brand new Double Release!  Several of us from both the Aurora and Stella Design teams have joined the Showcase gals to introduce the newest member of the Seasonal Sprites, Spring Sprite, available HERE on Etsy and HERE in the AW Digi Shop.  I've used the png version so I could print her directly on a journal page background from Ephemera's Vintage Garden.  The background is a shabby style so I distressed the edges of all of the mats with scissors and inked with Brushed Corduroy.  I even did a bit of dry brushing with gesso (because I couldn't find any white acrylic paint) here and there, although most is just in the background itself.  I love Spring Sprite in this scene, but couldn't resist adding little friends from the Easter Bunny 2-pack.



Here's a closeup of the adorable Spring Sprite.   I've colored her with Copics with just a bit of detail with Prismacolor pencils.  I find that sometimes with using the png version with a detailed background, the digi gets a little lost.  To bring her better into the foreground I've outlined her with WG Copics both 1 and 2 to shadow her a bit and help add some depth and make her shine.



Here is the first of the sweet little bunnies, available HERE on Etsy and HERE in the AW Digi Shop.  Had I planned this better, I would have added them also with the png versions directly to the scene before printing, but hindsight is always 20/20.  You can immediately recognize which version of the digi you're looking at in either shop by the background.  The png versions in both shops have  dotty background with a white image, rather than an artist's coloration, which means you can add them directly to a digital background and print them to color, no fussy cutting.  The more flowing and intricate images are available in jpg only.


Fortunately though, I had these little guys sitting on my desk all colored, waiting for someplace to go.  They were fussy cut and everything, so I'll I had to do was add them to the scene.  Don't they look adorable with Spring Sprite in her Easter finery and cute bunny ears?




The other new release today is the gorgeous Lady Blossom, available HERE on Etsy and HERE in the AW digi shop.  the possibilities are endless with this fabulous new image.  Be sure to visit the Showcase Blog and see the amazing inspiration from the Showcase Team.



And looky here!  I know you want to grab these gorgeous new digis immediately so here's a discount code good through March 27 for both the AW Etsy and AW Digi Shop.  What are you waiting for?  

Use one or both with our sketch to enter our current Sketch Challenge on the AW Challenge Blog or feature the color green and add add to the Green FB contest that runs through the end of the month.  In any case we can't wait to see your version of these lovely new digis. 

Oh and BTW, we're only 26 members away from 3000 in our Stamps by Aurora Wings FB Group so be sure to tell your friends to join because when we hit 3000, that means PARTY! 


Here's how to keep up with all that's happening at Aurora Wings.

Aurora Wings Digi Shop (newly revamped!)

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

What's the BUZZ?


There's still time to enter the "Bee Silly" contest on the Sandra Caldwell Stamp Fans FB page.  Sandra has discounted 4 "bee related" images to just $1.50 (HERE) for the contest and you can enter with as many as you like.  I've chosen the adorable #573 Buzzy Betty.  I was thrilled to use my new "Buzzing Around" die from Die-namites that I cut in half and layered with Prima flowers with button centers and bee brads from Eyelet Outlet.  I cut it twice and trimmed the bees so they could be black underneath.  The little hive in the crner is also from Eyelet Outlet and I added a crinkle ribbon bow behind it, from the Gold Bundle at DL.Art for the Outlawz Festive Fridays Use a Ribbon theme.


Here's a closeup of #573 Buzzy Betty.  She was colored with entirely with Copics and fussy cut to layer on the circular mat embossed with a Cuttlebug folder.  The sentiment was computer generated.


Here's the dimensional shot.  I popped the flowers and bees with foam which allowed the "flight path" to sort of float above the card.  I not only liked the way it looked, but I was hesitant to try gluing the thin cuts for fear of darkening the kraft paper.

The "Bee Silly" contest runs through the 26, so there's still time to enter.  Hope to see you there.

I'm also entering this in the DL.Art March Linky Challenge, the Your Scrapbook Place March AG challenge (using sponsor image), Lil Patch of Crafty Friends #54 AG, Simon Says Monday Layer it Up, Tuesday Throwdown Add Dimension, Come and Get It AG, Crafting When We Can Add Circles, Glitter and Sparkle #231 AG, the Corrosive Challenge March AG and Dragonfly Dreams Girly with Die Cut/Punch.  

Monday, March 20, 2017

New Challenge at Aurora Wings



Our new challenge starts today at Aurora Wings and I'd say for some (like me!) it may be quite the challenging one. It's a Sketch Challenge (EEK!) and here it is.  WARNING:  I'm afraid this might me a really chatty post for all kinds of reasons, so grab a cuppa (or ignore me all together and just look at the pretty pix).



Now fortunately I've been playing in a sketch challenge fairly regularly to overcome my fears and also get the hang of not necessarily following the sketch to the letter. (Yeah, I'm sort of a "play by the rules" kind of gal.)  However, I knew I wanted to use the gorgeous new Crimson Blossoms (available HERE on Etsy and HERE in the AW Digi Shop) and exactly the papers I wanted to use, so a pretty literal interpretation of the sketch was in order.  

Three of the 4 patterns I used came from the Bo Bunny Serenade 6x6 collection, and because the green prints from that stack were either too dark, or the pattern scale was off, I chose a scrap from my desk that filled the bill.  I was particularly thrilled with the dark background with the corner details that provides not only a dramatic base for the design, but also filled two of the corners without confusing the sketch too much.  It also provided a nice color scheme for Crimson Blossoms.  Although I had already planned to do the poppies in red, the gold worked well for her ear wing.



The only down side is that the paper is 6x6" which meant the image was going to have to be pretty darn small to fit everything in. Crimson Blossoms was printed to fit in a circle with only a 3 1/2" diameter.  EIYIYI!

This closeup shows my first step in completing the coloring and done totally with Copics.  At this size there were some areas I was unsure of.  Sometimes it's hard to tell with a fabulous flowing design like this just exactly what is what, so I find no shame in referring to the artist's colored version, or to those of the Design or Showcase Teams. That's what they're there for, inspiration, and often times clarification of a particularly detailed image.  I do admit I had to color in stages because at this size my eyes got a little buggy after awhile. I actually recommend it, because stepping away from your work gives you a fresh eye to fine tune your coloring. I also often take pix along the way to see how certain colors photograph (especially purples) so I can adjust if necessary.  

In this first shot though, I thought was done, but when I went to watermark and saw it in a huge size in my photo editing program, there were areas I'd missed, or needed more blending, or additional shading, so it was back to the drawing board.



This is the "after", which may not look that much different in this size, but after blending a bit and cleaning up some areas, I went in with some Prismacolor pencils for a little more shading and filling in gaps where I was afraid of bleeding from markers.  Make sure you're DONE with your markers before pulling out your pencils or you may end up ruining your tip.


Here is the finished Crimson Blossoms finally cut out with a Spellbinders Circle and lightly inked with Brushed Corduroy Distress while still in the die.  The red Lacy Circle really set her off, don'tcha think?



Here's the dimensional shot. Dimension?  Yeah, I thought one of the ways to personalize a sketch was to add some dimension so I've popped four of the layers, the floral mat (cut with Spellbinder's Deckle Rectangles, BTW), the striped piece, the Lacy Rectangle and Crimson Blossoms.  I've also used several colors of foam in black, sort of a dark beige and red.  I make my own by buying sheets of fun foam in a number of colors and apply 3" 3M transfer tape to both sides in strips so I can cut any size and shape I want.  I also find that it disappears when viewing your project from the side, especially if you choose the color of the bottom layer for your foam when popping.

So there ya go.  Hope you will visit the Challenge Blog and see my Aurora teamies' lovely takes on our sketch and join the fun.



And by the way, this coupon is good through the end of TODAY at both the AW Etsy Shop and AW.com.

There are now 2 Exclusives available at the AW Digi shop at Aurora Wings.com that you won't want to miss.


Here's how to keep up with all that's happening at Aurora Wings.

Aurora Wings Digi Shop (newly revamped!)




Friday, March 17, 2017

New Release for Sandra Caldwell


It's Friday and that means it's another new release day from Sandra Caldwell.  I always get a kick out of Sandra's adorable cats, but I gotta say, #1435 Cat in the Beanstalk has to be one of my faves.  I knew immediately I wanted to add some dimension to this fun scene so I printed the image several times so I could fussy cut and pop.  I had loads of green paper laying all over my desk from St. Paddy's Day projects so I had no trouble choosing colors or framing the fabulous image.



Here's a closeup of the little guy and his GIANT beanstalk.  He's colored with Copics with the leaves and cloud fussy cut to add more layers.  I love his expression and thought a bit of encouragement was needed so I came up with the sentiment I printed on a Die-version's die (with the dangling moon and stars cut off) and popped it at the top.



Finally the dimensional view.  I had a ball with  this new #1435 Cat in the Beanstalk and there's plenty more where he came from.  Visit Sandra's Etsy Shop (babycakesdnd) to see all the newbies and be inspired by the Dt makes in the Sandra Caldwell Stamps Fans FB Group.  Lots of fun games and prizes to be had there too, and the March FB Contest, "Bee Silly", is in full swing. Sandra has discounted 4 cute bee stamps to only $1.50 to join in.  Check them out HERE.

I'm entering this in the DL.Art March Linky Challenge, SUYP (cats only) March AG/St Cat-rick's Day challenge, Simon Says Wednesday a Bit O'Green, Lil Patch of Crafty Friends #53 AG, Your Scrapbook Place March AG (using Sponsor's Image) , Simply Create Too March Lots of Green (3/3), Glitter and Sparkle Use some Green, Classic Design Team Open March, World Wide Design Team Open #120Inspiration Destination #123 AG, and TTRCD AG week of March 14th

A Christmas Star for the Outlawz


It was a very, VERY busy day yesterday with 3 cards already blogged, so when I finished this last one I was just too tired.  It is my third entry into last week's Outlawz Festive Fridays for their Christmas Star theme and I managed to incorporate  Paper a la Mode Saturdays Tear it Up theme as well.  I was thrilled to use two Die-versions dies I received after Christmas.  They must have been close-outs because I can't seem to find them anywhere now.  I trimmed both the Bethlehem Border and Nativity Border to fit my card with the Spellbinders Labels 4 window I'd cut.  The layers were popped with foam and I tore the white card stock in front of the town and on either side at the bottom where the camel and donkey are standing.  The sentiment, thin silver borders and stars are metallic stickers.

I'm also entering this in the Lil Patch of Crafty Friends #53 AGKerst Christmas March FB Anything Christmas12 Months of Christmas Link up AG, the Holly and the Ivy Christmas challenge AGSeason's Greeting Christmas Challenge AGCHNC Challenge #324 AGCHNC Extra  for March AGCrimbo Crackers #128 Die Cuts, Happy Little Stampers Christmas Challenge AG/add a star, Happy Little Stampers AG with Dies and A Snowflake's Promise March Challenge #38 AG.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Happy St.Cat-rick's Day


Really, really, REALLY busy day today.  This is my THIRD post.  (Yea, ME!) Please scroll down for the others.

You know I love playing in the (SUYP Cat's Only challenge) and the March theme is AG (with cats, of course) or St.Cat-rick's Day.  Of course I couldn't resist the latter, especially since Ike provided us with this fabulous fur-eebie, complete with sentiments.  WooHoo!  Kind of a simple design with shamrock digi paper from AMBillustrations and a striped piece that was laying on my desk. I added one of Ike's sentiments and some glitter shamrocks because he looks like he's feline lucky.  LOL



Here's a closeup of this handsome guy.  I've been practicing fur and tried to add texture with only my Copics this time.  (Okay, there's a teeny bit of pencil here and there, but the majority of him is marker's only.)  I have a bad habit of putting multiple images on my page before printing and when I went to cut him out with a die, there wasn't room.  GGGrrr!!!  Of course I could fussy cut, but I wasn't up for tackling the whiskers so I decided to color a rug under him.  At first I only had the 3 colors of green and it looked really sucky, but after pulling out the pencils and drawing in what is supposed to be a rag rug design, I thought it wasn't half bad.

Thanks to Ike for her generous gifts of fabulous freebies (you can find more on her Ike's World Challenge, and also on the Ike's Art Fan Page.)  Love, love, LOVE them, especially her KITTIES!

I'm also entering this in the Ike's World AG /optional Over the Rainbow challenge, the Outlawz Festive Fridays St. Patrick's Day theme (close enough, LOL), Lil Patch of Crafty Friends #53 AG, Glitter and Sparkle Use Some Green and Simon Says Wednesday A Bit O'Green