Friday, 6 December 2013

My Christmas Tree & AYSI Challenge #014

It's definitely getting Christmasy around here! I put up our tree today. Actually, I bought a new "slim" tree and decorated it before my husband got home so it would be harder for him to say "return it". He likes it so it gets to stay! Also helps that it was pretty cheap and I used a gift card for part of it ;) Here's a little pic. It's not quite done, I'm missing a ton of decorations, but it's getting there! It fits our space a lot better, which was the main reason for getting it. We have a beautiful HUGE fake tree, but it's HUGE! (In case you missed that).


I know you didn't come here to see photos of my Christmas tree though, so here's this week's As You See It sketch challenge:
And my Design Team entry is decidedly NOT Christmas themed. I needed a change. 

 I had fun making this while my friends slaved away making their Stamper's Dozen cards.  It's fairly simple, but enough bling and added touches to make it special :)

Here are some alternate views:

And a close up:
The colours are Coastal Cabana, Smoky Slate, and Crushed Curry. I used the Chevron embossing folder (TIEF) on the card base. Chalk Talk framelits provided the cute little tag. I used some Coastal Cabana stretch ruffle trim for the tails and rhinestones to bling up the sentiment which is from Yippee-Skippee! (LOVE that set. Wish I could use it on everything!) I'm trying to remember the name of the DSP, but it's just not coming to me. It's the primarily gray, yellow, and blue one. It goes with the Beautifully Baroque stamp...I think it's something about Eastern...Eastern Elegance DSP maybe? Leave me a comment if you remember the name of this paper stack!! Thanks :)

Hope you're feeling inspired! Be sure to visit the other Design Team's pages for more inspiration!


Friday, 29 November 2013

As You See It Challenge #013

Today's challenge is pretty fun!! Just pick your favourite stamp set and go with it!  
Here's the "official" sketch:

I decided to go with Gorgeous Grunge as my chosen set. Ever since I first saw it in the Annual Catalgoue, I've loved it! I waited until Convention to receive it and have fun ever since!  

The Design Team was asked to share two projects featuring our choice stamp set so here we go: 

  This first card is a 3x3 I created for my customer Thank You's. Every order placed with me gets sent out with one of these. I do a new one each month so they're always different and fresh! 

The base is Raspberry Ripple with a Whisper White panel on top. I stamped the various Gorgeous Grunge images in Midnight Muse and Summer Starfruit. The 'Thank You' is stamped in Raspberry Ripple and then punched with the Modern Label Punch. A cute snippet of washi tape and it's done-zo!

The second card I'd like to share is from our make & take packet at Convention this year.  
The colours are fun and fresh with pops of Calypso Coral, Bermuda Bay, and Summer Starfruit. The stamp sets used are Gorgeous Grunge and Hello, Lovely.  I took a piece of white baker's twine and dragged it through the Bermuda Bay ink pad in order to dye it.  Lots of fun accents make this a great workshop card or gift box. 

So, there are two projects that I've created with Gorgeous Grunge! It's a super versatile stamp set and deserves space in everyone's collection!  

I hope you'll join the fun over at As You See It Challenge!

Enjoy your weekend!


Friday, 22 November 2013

AYSI Challeneg #12 - Joy & Cheer!

Snow! There, I said it! I know it's coming, and I know lots of people don't look forward to it, but there's not much to be done about it. I, for one, love snow (for the most part). 

Before I ramble on, I'll share the sketch:
I took some creative liberties this week by flipping the sketch and elongating that main image panel (what I perceived as the main image panel). Now that I'm looking at the sketch again, I realize that I left out the two rhinestones (or any embellishment you like). I did use rhinestones though. And how.

I "accidentally" ordered the Snow Day stamp a while back and finally broke it open and defiled it's virgin rubber inked it up!

Here's a sneaky peeky:
 Mmmm...mmm! Isn't that a cute snowman? I love snowmen! Building them, stamping them, eating them (cookies, that is).  They are winter to me.

I'm glad those snowflakes sort of showed  up. I inked them in the Illuminate pad and they are pretty subtle.

Here's the whole shebang! All the elements of the sketch are there, except for those two rhinestones that should be in the bottom right. I think I made up for it though as there is a splattering of rhinestones all over :)

I decided to use the Tasteful Trim XL Bigz die as I'd see it recently on one of Brian King's cards. (Love Brian King! I met him at Convention and it was one of the highlights for me! I'm still waiting to hear how my downline Heather's Rising Star trip went. She was with Brian King for 2 whole days!!)

The patterned flags are from the Winter Frost DSP paper stack. The cute whimsical words are from the Endless Wishes photopolymer stamp set. Sadly, it's sold out again! It's been pretty popular and I'm happy I got in on the second round :)

The colours I've used are Basic Gray, whisper white, Pool Party, and Rose Red (for the heart).  Crisp and cool.

Hope you've enjoyed today's featured card! Be sure to play with us at As You See It Challenge!


Friday, 15 November 2013

I heard a little...grunt? (AYSI Challenge #011)

We (meaning my kids) have this little book called "I Heard a Little Baa".  The first line is something like, I heard a little baa, it woke me from my sleep. First I saw some wooly fur and then I saw...a sheep!

Well, there's not a whole lot that rhymes with rhino. Whino, albino, lino...none of them fit with today's card. In fact, the only thing that has anything to do with today's card is the rhino. Um, ya. You read right.  Have a peek at this little fella:

I'm playing along with this week's As You See It Challenge which is to use the colours So Saffron, Blushing Bride, and Pistachio Pudding as beautifully displayed in the challenge photo:
 Love those bikes! I was tempted to go with a bicycle themed card, but decided to do a baby/kid card instead.

The photos speak for themselves mostly. I used the Morning Post numbers to create a colourful and fun background and our little rhine takes center stage. This would be a great baby card or a birthday card for a special little one :)

Hope you're leaving inspired!


Friday, 8 November 2013

Zing! As You See It Challenge #010

Pa-chow! Zing! Did you hear that? Another week has FLOWN by and it's time for Challenge #010 at As You See It Challenge!

I'm having sooo much fun doing these weekly challenges. Sometimes I'm amazed at what I come up with. Like this week. I was having a really hard time and stuck in a rut. I really wanted to use washi tape and I struggled and struggled. Then I just ditched the washi tape and went another direction and!

Here's the sketch before I get too far ahead of myself:

And here is my baby:

Once I got going, it came together pretty quick! I did have to reference the sketch about a bazillion times, but I'm really pleased with the outcome. 

I took a ton of pictures so bear with me...(side note, I think it's funny when people write "bare with me". I'm like, um, no, I'm not going to be bare with you...) Get back on track!

Here are some alternate views:
 That little strip holding the pearls? Yep, arrow of death. It was like getting a bad haircut. A little here, a little there. That's too long, not that side looks funny. It started out about 5 inches and now it's only 2.5. Sigh.

 Frosted Finishes are gorgeous!  Typically I would hoard these precious gems but HOARD NO MORE! We used them at my last technique night and this was the last one in the container! Gotta order more!

And, before we move on, I have to give a shout out to the Champagne Glitter Paper! That MAKES this card to me. 

 Also digging the Positively  Chevron background stamp. I inked it in Sahara Sand and stamped off once before stamping it on the Whisper White Panel. The Joyful Tidings is from Christmas Messages. It's stamped in Cherry Cobbler.

  There was still a lot of white space on the panel, so I decided to put the normally "inside" greeting on the outside. I lurve it. A lot. 

Put it all together and you have one stunning Christmas Card! Here's one last look so you don't get RSI (repetitive scrolling injury). 

Don't forget to join the fun at As You See It Challenge!

'Til L8tr (remember when people did that? Ugh!)


Friday, 1 November 2013

As You See It Challenge #009 (Splat, splat)

Challenges are....challenging! Who would have thought?!? I had a tough time with this week's challenge and I'm still not sure I'm 100% pleased with my design team submission, but I'm going to share it anyways.

Here's the sketch:

And here's my take:

At first glance, it looks as if I missed using two different flowers on this card but...

There they both are! I used the Blossom Punch and punched it out twice; once with daffodil delight card stock and once with Quatrefoil DSP. The other punch is the 7/8" scallop circle punch.  A whisper white button for the flower centre completes the trio.
Gorgeous Grunge is creeping up to the top of my "Favorite Things" list.  It gives a little somethin' somethin' to each project. And Yippee-Skippee, where the Awesome...Thanks! greeting is from, has been a fav since I first laid eyes on the 2013/2014 Annual Catalgoue! 

Hope you're leaving inspired! Go create and don't forget to load your photo to the As You See It Challenge blog!!

 Have a great weekend!



Friday, 25 October 2013

As You See It Challenge #008

Another week has flown on by!!  I had three classes within 7 days so I'm beat!! I remembered to do my weekly DT (design team) card though so I'm glad I have something to share with you.

Here's the sketch:


And here's my spin on it:

The photo colour is a little off. I used Pistachio Pudding even though it looks more like Old Olive. 

A couple snippets of Venetian Romance Designer Series paper creates two cute little pennants.  A simple strand of Whisper White Baker's Twine forms a bow.

And I used MORE basic pearls!! I'm proud of myself for not hoarding so I hope you'll give it a try as well! Of course the paper doilies provided me with the scallop circle shape. I toyed around with trimming the doily to make a smaller one to fit inside and after spending too much time fussy cutting, I just used the other half of the first one I'd cut. It layered well into the first one.  A simple strip of Crisp Cantaloupe punched with the scallop dots border punch and I was pretty much done. Other than that cute Thank You (which is from Lots of Thanks), I didn't do much else. 

I hope you will play along with us this week at As You See It Challenge

Have a super great weekend!! And be sure to check out the 25 stamp sets that are on sale 25% off!! It's Amaze-ZING! Shop in my online store HERE


Friday, 18 October 2013

AYSI Challenge #007 - A Little Vintage..

I love vintage style cards, but I find them overwhelming at times. This week's AYSI Challenge sketch really helped me to break it down.   

Here's the sketch:
Here's what I've designed:

I hope I've captured a vintage look. These little images are from a hostess set and I love how fancy they are. The chair with it's ornate legs, the old style hot air balloon, and especially the parasol. Cute and vintage.  I punched them out with the Postage Stamp punch and then lightly sponged the edges with Early Espresso ink. I also dabbed the sponge on the panel to distress it a little. I found the Very Vanilla was just too stark without it.

The pretty DSP is from Soho Subway designer series paper.  I also sponged these edges with Early Espresso classic ink.  

I'm really loving the shape of the Artisan punch. It's feminine and a little flirty.  I thought the pearls added a bit of whimsy. I also tend to be pretty stingy with my pearl usage so I kind of broke out of that with this card and used a few extra more that I've ever used before! It was fun! It doesn't hurt that Basic Pearls are one of the Weekly Deals this week! Check out the daily deals here

Here's one last look so you don't have to scroll back up! (Thoughtful, aren't I?)
 Enjoy your weekend and don't forget to play along with us at As You See It Challenge!


Friday, 11 October 2013

AYSI Challenge #006 - Antiquified

Really? Already? Another week has flown by (possibly because I've been sick with a nasty head cold for most of it) and it's time for another As You See It Challenge!

This week is another sketch! I made this card back in August (yes, us DT members are given a few weeks sketches in advance ;) so I've been waiting to share! 

First up, the sketch:

At Stampin' Up! Convention this past July, Pam Morgan, a SU employee, shared something pretty neat that I'd never thought of before. I'd seen it done in DIY but not in stamping. What am I talking about? Gilding of course! To be fair, this is a bit more than gilding ('cuz I think that's mainly when you just dip or do the edges) this is more like half submersion gilding.  I guess it would help if I showed you my card ;)

Here she be:

I had planned to give this card to my sister-in-law for her birthday back in September, but Melon Mambo (hot pink)  just isn't her. I could really use some purple embossing powder!

I really love everything about this card. It came together really quick, which is always a plus! The DSP is from Modern Medley...a must have. This paper is so versatile with it's feminine and masculine and plain stripe/dot prints. *word to the wise (unwise?). When I ordered this paper, I thought it was black and white. Turns out it's black and vanilla-now we're all wised up.)

Mmm mmm! Nothing says, "hello" like hello in Melon Mambo embossing powder! How fun is that?!? Even one friend who came to class who admittedly does not like this stamp, liked it after embossing it! It also ties in nicely with those....

 butterflies! I used both the Bitty Butterfly and the Elegant Butterfly punches and stuck on a few rhinestones. The largest b-fly is a black one first, then a Melon Mambo one on top with the wings gently folded to make it look like it's flying (or stuck to the card and trying to fly away).  

Let's talk about the doily.  It's a Stampin' Up! paper doily. I have a few packages of doilies. They are all "white" but one package is somewhere between white and vanilla. Remember above where we all got our wisdom on about the Modern Medley DSP being basic black and very vanilla? Well, the doily isn't quite very vanilla, but it's definitely NOT Whisper White! It's white anitiquified (is that a word?). It's not really a big deal as we embossed most of it anyways. To achieve this look:

1. Make sure you have just one doily (they like to stick together)
2. Apply versamark over half of the doily. Try not to have the straight edges of the pad. Blend a little.
3. Pour your embossing powder on in your choice of colour (I used silver here). 
4. Dump off excess (preferably back into the container to save the sacred powder and avoid it from getting blown away in step 5).
5. Heat set.
6. Admire your handiwork and give yourself a pat on the back. You just gilded something.

Here's one last look at today's creation:

 Hope you enjoyed today's card and easy peasy tutorial! Be sure to check back in often and PLAY WITH US at As You See It Challenge!

That's all for now!


Stampin' Supplies:
Card Stock: Basic Black, Melon Mambo, Modern Medley DSP
Stamp Set: Four You
Ink: Versamark
Accessories: Melon Mambo EP, Basic Rhinestones, Paper Doily, Silver EP
Tools: Bitty Butterfly Punch, Elegant Butterfly punch, Heat Tool



Friday, 4 October 2013

As You See It Challenge #005 - COLOUR CHALLENGE! (and a story)

It's week 5 at As You See It Challenge and I'm loving how motivated I am each week! This week we're switching things up with a Colour Challenge! Always fun and exciting...except when working with orange. I have to say, orange, or Pumpkin Pie, is not my favourite Stampin' Up! colour. I'm more into the beachy tones like blues and greens, even some pinks, but orange...not so much.  So this week it was a REAL challenge for me!

Here's the official challenge: 

I started thinking about Fall as we're now in the throes of Autumn.  It's a bittersweet time as the leaves change and the trees begin to fall asleep. The fruit is almost all picked (we live on an orchard/vineyard and there is a LOT of fruit to be picked) and we're getting ready to hunker down for the winter. I am definitely a summer girl, loving warmth, sunshine, beach days, and water, but since marrying a farmer (or agriculturalist as he calls himself), I've come to not like summer quite so much. So, I look forward to Thanksgiving (in Canada it's usually the 2nd Sunday of October) and within a few weeks, harvest is complete! Today's card features the farmer's best bud...the Tractor.

Gently Falling is a beautiful set of leaves and other fall-ish elements. It's a two step stamping set with a border lined image and the inside image. I chose to only use the inside image in order to soften it a bit. I inked the stamp in Crushed Curry then stamped off once and then rolled the edges in Pumpkin Pie. I love the look of maple leaves in Autumn.  

The tractors on our farm are actually blue Fords, but since Gumball Green was the colour of choice for the challenge, I went with John Deere.

I had really wanted to incorporate the basket of apples with the pumpkins below on the card somehow, but it was taking away from the background and tractor so I simply left it as is. 

Cute little faux bow using Pumpkin Pie 1/8" tafetta ribbon. 
We plant the seed, but God makes it grow.  Here's a personal tidbit (in case the above tirade about Fall wasn't enough).  Just before harvest started, there was an intense hail storm. We lost 60% of all of our crop within 10 minutes. Another chunk was severely damaged but somewhat salvageable.  It was devastating to say the least. I see my husband and father-in-law and uncle-in-law work incrediby hard all year long and to have the crop decimated in so little time was disheartening.  A wonderful group of volunteers from our church and my in-law's church came and helped to pick all of the grapes. They weren't quite ready, but the vines had been damaged by the hail so in order to let the vines focus on repairing themselves, the fruit had to come off. To say it was hard to see tons and tons (literally) of fruit be picked and dumped in a big hole would be putting it lightly. The good news is that we were able to pick what would normally take upwards of two weeks in 4 days. Pretty amazing! A HUGE Thank You to all those who came for an hour or days!

Harvest continued and we were able to work through the destruction and salvage half of our usual pear haul.  Then my husband's Grandma, or Granny as we affectionately call her, suffered 3 strokes.  She wound up in hospital and that's when the rain came. I figured God was giving us time with her. Time we normally wouldn't have during the busyness of harvest...unless it rained. We can't pick when it's raining or the fruit will get moldy. So it rained. More rain in September than I can remember. Granny was in hospital for a week and then a decision was made to move her to hospice.

Granny turned 90 last December and had lived a very full life.
She worked hard to provide a comfortable home and good meals for her family. 
She was generous and kind. 
She had been without her beloved "Gus" for 13 years.
She was ready to go. 

Granny stayed in hospice for a week where she was surrounded by family. My husband went most nights to spend at least a little time with her, although she was on fairly high doses of pain medication so she wasn't always "with us", we know she was aware. I went one evening, a Thursday, and her room was so quiet. As my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I noticed a few others were there as well. Then I saw a few more sitting on the floor. Others in the corners. There were 14 people in her room just.being.there.  What a testimony to your life when all of your family - children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews, all gather around your bedside.  

Granny passed away peacefully on September 16th. Her daughter and granddaughter were there with her. I had said to my husband in the middle of the night early on the 16th that I thought Granny would be leaving us that day. There was a violent thunder storm that night and it just seemed like it would happen. I was at work and then picking up Mason from school and then to the doctor. When I got up to my in laws to pick up my daughter, Lucia, there was a note on the door that my mom-in-law had taken Lucia to the hospice to be with Granny. I knew. I got to the hospice house and met my sister-in-law as she was leaving. She told me Gran had already passed. I went inside and most of our family was there. It was good to be with family.  We all went to Granny's later that night. The Big House. So many memories.  We had dinner together and then fired up the player piano. It's an old, old piano from 1906. A real player piano with the rolls and pedals.  My kids danced while their Papa John played. It brought back so many memories for the family. Some cried while others reminisced and laughed. Good. 
The funeral was this past Friday. It was a dreary day, as I figured it would be. We lost our Matriarch and heart of the Casorso Family.  We all know she is in a much better place, in the arms of our Saviour. Her suffering has ended. She lived a faithful and good life.  Later that day we went back up the Big House. We watched a movie our eldest cousin, August, had made of Gran's life using still photos and video footage. Then we looked at family slides. That was really good. Good to be with family. Just to be together.

My father-in-law said something quite profound. I had known God sent us the rain in order to give us those last two weeks with Granny. John said that the hail was God's provision as well. Without the hail, there would have been too much fruit for us to handle. In God's provision, the hail destroyed over half of our crop enabling us to be there with Granny, plan a beautiful service, and enjoy time with our extended family.  

We may not always understand the hardships that come our way, but I know that God knows and cares so much. Why else would He send His only Son to die for us? That doesn't look like a "good" thing, but the result of that is amazing. Restored relationship with Him. Life with Him. He provides in ways that don't always look like providing, but in hindsight, it comes to light. 

The earth has yielded its fruits; and God has blessed us. Psalms 67:6

Thanks for reading! I promise next time won't be so heavy!



Friday, 27 September 2013

AYSI Challenge #004

Week 4 coming your way! Amanda is doing such a great job designing these sketches! I've been so inspired and look forward to each new challenge!  

Here's this week's sketch: 

 I really loved the bicycle image from last month's My Paper Pumpkin and so I used it in this week's challenge.  I'd seen a technique call motion stamping so I thought I'd give that a try. 

 It was actually a happy coincidence that this card worked for this sketch! I had been surfing Pinterest for some ideas for my monthly technique class and this is sort of a collaboration of a bunch of things I liked from various cards! 

First of all, I love these colours! Coastal Cabana and Basic Gray. Yum! 

Second, that RIBBON! Some people don't like this ruffle stretch trim ribbon. I think maybe they should play with it a bit more! It's gorgeous to just add that "something special". 
The "thank you so much" stamp is also from the My Paper Pumpkin kit. I paper snipped it out and then cut out a few extra. Quick tip: stamp on the other colours, snip out, and flip over! So much easier than trying to trace or snip without some guidelines.   The three pennants are held together with a little silver brad.

One more view cuz it's just SO fun! Motion stamping is fairly simple. Ink your stamp once and stamp your paper. Then quickly stamp again and again without reinking.  This provides the fade or look of motion to your image. Give it a try, it's a quick and easy technique with great results!

Hope you've enjoyed this week's sketch! Be sure to play along with us :)


Stampin' Supplies:
Stamp Sets: August My Paper Pumpkin kit

Card Stock: Coastal Cabana, Basic Gray, Whisper White
Ink: Basic Gray classic ink
Accessories: Coastal Cabana Ruffle stretch trim, silver mini brad
Tools: Big shot die cutting machine, Honeycomb TIEF
Other: Dimensionals, paper snips, glue dots, Snail adhesive