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Friday, April 6, 2018

Boycotting Winter

Ya. You read that right.
I am officially boycotting winter.
There is a Fowl Language Comic that depicts winter in 2 panels. The first one states that winter before Christmas is a magical time full of wonder. The 2nd panel states that after Christmas it's pretty much just a miserable cold and grey time.
And we are in our .... seventh? bout of it.
We had a hope in February of an early spring when thaw started and tempurtures crawled upwards.
Then we got a cold snap and a bunch of snow.
The same hope, a little more timid yet more yearning happened in March.
Then more snow and another cold snap.
It's now early April and we are in another cold snap with threats of even more snow.
I agree with Lucy from the Peanuts comics if you've seen them. This is BS. lol
So that aside, at least at my desk I can create the wonderful  bright colors of spring, with it's richness and blooms.
At least there is that.
I like to create in themes. So I will grab color schemes and a design element and do a few cards in various designs. Today that's what I have done, using the versatile Secret Garden stamp set from Stampin' Up! (Sadly, retired) and Forget Me Not by Papertrey Ink. I also had some Glimmer paper pack left over from last year's Sale A Bration that I used as accent pieces. The color pallet I chose to go with was Berry Burst from the new Stampin' Up! in Colors (absolutely gorgeous!) Old Olive, Blushing Bride and Sweet Sugarplum. They just work so well together! The first 3 cards also showcase Curly Cute sentiments from Stampin' Up! (unfortunately also retired) and the last one was for Mother's Day and features the Family Ties Stamp set from Papertrey Ink.
I've been inspired by bursts of flowers, like in a floral spray. My mom has one over a large portrait in her home and it's gorgeous. Then of course, now you can make your own or buy them at Michaels. Mom got hers before it was cool lol.
And the whole floral spray works so wonderfully. I see others inspired by the idea and using it all over Pinterest, so it was only a matter of time before I hoped on that bandwagon. And I must say that I love the results. You can either mask off where you are going to put your sentiment, or just cover it with a layered sentiment piece.

Another favorite thing of mine to do is create my own background paper. Put a piece of Whisper White in front of me and a versatile stamp set (usually flowers lol) and I can bust out a piece of custom patterened paper that works with my creation. I forget what the technique is called, but instead of inking your stamp in the traditional way, you smear it across the inkpad and stamp it that way. The result is a less clean, more artist, water color effect.

 I also really love the Gorgeous Grunge set from Stampin' Up! The splatters behind some 3D floral elements add even more dimension to the card to create the spray effect more vividly.
 Lastly this card is the outside of the Mother's Day card I created for a friend of mine. I really loved the color scheme of the previous cards so I recycled it a few weeks later to create the card. I used the Papertrey Ink sets: Family Ties and Forget Me Not for the background and sentiment, then created the lovely little blooms with my trusty Tim Holtz Tattered Florals Die.

Despite the snow and frost and cold and wind outside, I was able to bring lucious colors of spring across my desk once again.
Sad part is when Spring and Summer finally DO get here, I'll be digging out the snowflakes and wintery blue colors for the upcoming Christmas shows. Got to get started early doncha know!

Thanks for stopping by!
~Brandie~

Monday, April 2, 2018

Easter Blooms

Happy Easter Everyone!
What a beautiful and wonderful holiday :) Unfortunately for being in Northern Alberta, the weather isn't cooperating all that well. Winter hit back with a vengence and we've had another dump of snow (yes, snow) and temps dipping into -20 degrees celcius.

I am officially over it.

Thankfully the sun is peeking out and will melt all the snow with it. I am eager to see the spring blooms and colors and bright grass. I don't have much of a green thumb so I don't have a garden myself, I have tried my hand at it and it turns out I kill everything planted.
I think I'll create flowers that last out of paper. Less likely to over or under water them that way lol.
Despite the dismal snow covered ground outside, inside is full of bright spring colors and blooms. I wanted to do something special for my kiddos for Easter so I created flower pot favors with my famous homemade candies.
You can buy terra cotta planters from the dollar store for cheap. Mine were $2 CND for a pack of 2 that were about 3 inches in diameter. So not huge but perfect for creating what I wanted. They have smaller pots as well so you're not stuck with the size if you wanted to do something smaller and simpler. I painted them with acrylic paints and to do the sponging technique, I seriously used a bunched up piece of paper towel. Topped it off with ribbons and a paper flower(s).
The 'lids' are simpley paper. I got the Spellbinders layering circles sets and the largest of the scalloped circle was large enough to cover the top of the pot. My color scheme was Bermuda Bay and Soft Sky for the one and Powder Pink and Sweet Sugarplum for the other. The paint and ribbons I used correspond nicely. The flowers are from Tim Holtz Tattered Florals, where I used my stylus to form the paper and my copics to color blend them out. Finishing the center off with a simple pearl embellisment.
Back to the lids, the images are courtesy of Whimsy Stamps. "Bonnie" is the sweet bunny in the basket on the teal set. "Springtime" is the lovely bunny hanging from the tree branch. These are the artwork from Sylvia Zet with Wee Stamps (Whimsy Stamps). I adore her work and trust me when I say, you WILL be seeing more of her art featured on my page!

For those who were interested, the candies were molded into egg shaped thanks to a lovely silicone mold from Wilton and I wound up making: cream eggs, fudge, caramel and cookie dough truffle eggs for the kids.
For the record- they were a big hit :) As they get older it's really nice to do more than just the go-to candy basket. They appreciate the work that goes into the handmade and though they still get their Easter bunny and egg hunt- they were really stoked for something special from mom.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you all have a wonderful Easter holiday and were inspired by my little post.

~Brandie~



Friday, March 16, 2018

Super Hero Smack Down

Tho they be small, they be mighty.
Today's post features the Mini Heroes from the Greeting Farm. These adorable guys and gals are standard super hero characters, but with a bit of ingenuity you can model them after other trademarked heroes. I've tried Spiderman and Deadpool. With the different masks the set has you can do Star Saphire and kudos if you can figure out how to make a Batman lol. I have had no luck with that. But granted I hadn't tried very hard.
With this set I wanted a bit of girl power! So she's NOT, but the one girl is colored very Supergirl ish and then the other girl is very Black Cat. For all my fellow comic book fans, I am so sorry about mixing the teams *DC VS Marvel lol. But hey- I don't play either team- I love both.
So of course I got more work out of My Favorite Things Dienamics Blue Print 27. I will rave once again how awesome they are for making comic panel layouts.That paired once again with My Favorite Things You're Super city scape background is just so COMIC!
 Unlike my last post I did the inside of the card more subtle. So I just layered the cityscape, did the sentiment and added an extra hero because- heroes are awesome!

Well I hope you have a super day. thanks for stopping by!
~Brandie~

Friday, March 9, 2018

Comic Capers

Hello,

Today is all about super heroes! It has taken me a long time to finally get a bit of a super hero stamp collection, thanks to the movies that are coming out, the genre is becoming more popular in mainstream and the arts- so now we have more companies (thankfully) creating fun and imaginative sets. When paired with some of the Blueprints die sets from My Favorite Things, they make great comic bookesque themed cards.
These cards feature Caped Crusaders from the company Craftin' Desert Divas. A wonderful set that incorporated DC's popular characters with a childlike flair with animals. I used My Favorite Thing's Die-namic Stitched Collage frame. LOVE IT. It's perfect for comics!
I used 'Batman' and 'Wonder Woman' as the characters for this card from the Caped Crusaders set. Pairing that with My Favorite Things stamp and die set: You're Super. The skyline made a great panel for the comic. I also loved all the sentiments from the stamp set and how they coordinated and covered different celebrations. It worked really well for the exclaimation POW! panel.
I also used the sentiments from The Greeting Farm "Little Heroes" stamp set. The hollow letters allowed me to color them in.
With comics it's very traditional coloring, so my primary colors were ... well primary colors. Red, Yellow and Blue- and of course black. So I used Real Red, Daffodil Delight and Daper Denim from Stampin' Up!

The inside featured 'present stacks' from a couple different My Favorite Things stamp sets and the Die -namics Blueprints 29 from My Favorite Things.  The background is pieces from the Comic Heroes paper pack from Recollections. One of the fun things I found out, is stamping a polka dot background in Daffodil Delight before stamping and die cutting the exclamaition piece. Ties the whole comic theme in together. The inside of the card really does look like another cover for a different card so I don't think I would do that again, but it was fun to play with!

I hope you enjoyed!
~Brandie~


Sunday, March 4, 2018

Flower Power

Hello all!

As I stated before, a friend of mine was looking for donations for silent auction items for a very dear organization called Tiny Hands of Hope. To recap, it's an organization that gives support and awareness to pregnancy and infant loss. It's such a tabboo subject because of what it is, but it can't be. Women and men need to have that freedom and support to be able to talk openly and grieve.
It was definitely an honor to be part of that.
I went all out to make something that I would want to put a bid on myself. I got a LOT of use out of my Tim Holtz Tattered Florals for this one. I have made the tattered roses a bunch of times (big shout out to my girl Rhonda for showing me how! and for the die- she's too sweet!) but I wanted to get more out of it so I broke out my stylus and piercing mat to manipulate and form the paper and just layered them up. The boxed set includes 9 3x3 notecards that DO NOT fit in the envelopes. Sigh. Lol the flowers were just too big. So I had added photo mounting squares on the backs so they could be adhered to gifts.

I also created 9 greeting cards in 3 different styles. One was the traditional A2, one was a Z fold card with the 'z' part just cut off and the last one was a fun one. I did an A2 tent fold card, but then I cut the front to only 1 inch, and then had a 3.5x2.5 layered sentiment 'floating' in the middle and attached to a 1 inch strip on the bottom to keep the traditional A2 size.

The other thing I wanted to do to create the colors was take my copics and actually color the flowers instead of just inking them. I took the darker shade and starting with one petal working inside out, I flicked the color outward. I then took the next color- a few shades lighter- and blended towards the edge leaving a bit of the whisper white left to use the lightest shade to blend it all. If you wanted to you can even use a coordinating color to dot the petals with a darker color to create floral dimension.
Then, of course, finish it off we got some clear Stickles.
So this beautiful boxed set was inspired by the new bridal colors of the season- navy (Daper Denim), blush (Powder Pink), and Vanilla (Very Vanilla).
I used the Hardwood background stamp which is perfect to create rustic and shabby chic cards. Especially partnered with the Gorgeous Grunge set because it gives that... well 'grungy' chic.
I also love the Beautiful Bouquet set. Not only am I all about those flowers ;) but I adore versatile stamp sets for a variety of ocassoins with the same font so you can interchange them. And the font on this stamp set is absolutely gorgeous.

I created a box that was 8.5x11which was really hard to construct. I used the book binding technique to peice together the base in separate parts. It's tough because scrapbook paper to bind the pieces together only comes in 12x12 so I didn't have much to work with for edges. But I think I made it work!

Well that's it for me! I hope you're all inspired.

~Brandie~

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Beautiful Blends

Good Morning all!

Back at the crafting desk creating something special for a friend of mine.
In Northern Alberta we have a wonderful support group called Tiny Hands of Hope. It's a very delicate conversation topic as it deals with infant and pregnancy loss, and wanting to bring awareness to it as it's one of those 'don't talk about it' issues- and it should not be.
So a friend of mine is on the board and needing a donation item for a big to-do they have coming up and I am so honored and excited to create something amazing for her- so that will be coming in the near future!
As for today I went into my recent archives to find something fun. As I stated before I quit my full time job in lieu of my current job. There was a month between the two, so noonly did I spend that time in interviews, online applying and pounding the pavement, I found my creative mo-jo again and went nuts making a variety of cards.
So today's creation used a retired Stampin' Up! set called Secret Garden. It's a gorgeous set perfect for blend coloring- so I purchased it when I first got Stampin' Up!'s blendability markers. Unfortunately the markers got recalled due to a manufacturing issue- but copics worked fine in a pinch.
(on topic- make sure to check out the 2018 Stampin' Up! Occasions catalogue as they have fixed that issue and now re-launched them. They have a beautiful array of colors and at a decent price point.)
ANYWAYS the thin outline in these images were also perfect to emboss in Whisper White and do some emboss resist techniques. I found a beautiful card on Pinterest who used the technique as I did for a Christmas card- stamped a border and then smudged various colors over it and had a bold black sentiment in the middle.
So here's my take on it:
I used Pumpkin Pie, Melon Mambo and Daffodil Delight to do a warm sunset sort of color scheme. Plus the stamp set had coordinating dies so it was fun to create that same technique and just die the pieces out and do a 3D dimension element on the side.

I followed the same technique on the inside to bring the inside and outside of the card together. I love doing that so it keeps the same theme and there is interest on the inside of the card.

Well that's it for me! Thanks for stopping by!
~Brandie~

Friday, February 23, 2018

Back at It

Just a quick one today- and though it's quick, and though I've said it before, I do plan on blogging and sharing on a more regular basis. As I've stated, writing and crafting are both passions of mine- passions I have wanted to purue. Not sure how to really make a career out of them, but I know that it wasn't going to happen sitting behind a desk each day to the point of exhaustion where I had no energy to pour into my passions.
This poster popped up on my Facebook newsfeed one day and I just had to post it on my own page. It really spoke to me. I, especially as a woman and especially as a wife and mother, put my own desires on the back burner for so long. I tried to balance work and life and family and business for so long and it was a slow agony.
Something had to give.
So I have quit my full time job and as scary as it is, and as much of a leap of faith as it has been, I feel freer for it.
I have so many plans and ideas and dreams that it's quite intoxicating lol.
Got myself a part time job that frees me up to focus on my passions more. And that excites me more than the telliing of it. 
So with all that said, here's a quick inspiration for any of my followers and fellow stampers:


 These are the "Cheeky Monkeys" from a company called Clearly Besotted. They have the cutest critters I have ever seen. I'll defintely be show casing more of their sets later as someone got spoiled this past Christmas.
So in trying to be unique, I love having cut-away parts on my cards. They add a different sort of dimenssion to cards to make them different than what you'd normally see. So what I did here was cut 2 inches off the front of a standard A2 card and then layered some leaves and random monkey images to cover the cut. It works really well with the inside of the card which does this cute peek-a-boo effect.

Paper: Pear Pizzazz, Early Espresso, Whisper White, Crumb Cake Stampin' Up!
Dies: Spellbinders
Stamped Images: Cheeky Monkey- Clearly Besotted


Thanks for stopping by!
~Brandie~