Challenge Chewsday - Clean and simple cupcakes!

These past few days, I have been giving my Create a Cupcake stamp set and matching Build a Cupcake punch from the brand spankin' new Autumn/Winter mini a serious workout, and inspired by two different challenges this week, came up with this little card...


It was based on this Clean & Simple Fall-to Layout #134...


...which in and of itself is clean and simple indeed, but by the time I had finished stamping and punching all six cupcakes, white embossing all the "bows" deciding on each of their embellishments, putting them in order, sticking them down and wondering where on earth I was going to fit the sentiment (you will note that I went with a strip of vellum overlaying the bottom row of cupcakes so as not to obscure them too much...), well let's just say that whoever gets this baby outta feel really loved.

Not that I have anybody in mind at the moment, I'm just sayin...

The colours were inspired by last weeks colourQ combination:


I took a bit of artistic licence with this, as technically the Cherry Cobbler that I used for my flower and cherry decorations and the So Saffron brads as the flower centres were not officially part of the line-up, but I'm pretty sure I can make out some So Saffron sprinkles on the bottom left cake in the above pic, as well as a couple of specks of Cherry Cobbler too.

At least that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.  Just as well we're not playing for sheep stations here...

The other little project I have been having fun with involving the cupcakes is the project I'm demonstrating at my workshops this month.  Super cute, it must be said :-)

With several workshop dates already booked and Easter looming, I have limited workshop opportunities left this month, but if you want to see this gorgeous set of products put through its paces (AND keep the cute project for yourself!) contact me asap and we'll work out a date!

"Challenge Chewsday Cupcakes!" Stamps: Create a Cupcake Paper: Crumb Cake, Early Espresso, Whisper White, Vellum cardstock Ink: Crumb Cake, Early Espresso, Pink Pirouette, Certainly Celery, Cherry Cobbler, Versamark Accessories: Build a Cupcake punch, Subtles brads, White embossing powder, Colour Spritzer and Crumb Cake Marker, Crystal Effects, Stampin' Dimensionals

Challenge Chewsday - one of my own!

Right off the bat, I'm going to need to ask you to be kind to me today.

Firstly because I'm not at all sure of the card that I've made, but if I take the time to make another one, Challenge Chewsday will turn into Where the Heck Have You Been Wednesday and that's just not in the rules.

Secondly, I have found a picture online that I rather like so have turned it into a bit of a challenge of my own - the first I have ever thrown out there, so make of THAT what you will.

And thirdly, I have just spent waaaaay longer than usual with the process of uploading and editing my photo as our hard drive packed it in on Saturday morning, presenting me with an error message that I simply could not decipher when I switched it on, so I have had no computer all weekend, got it back yesterday afternoon and have spent a goodly chunk of this evening re-loading my programs, trying and failing to locate the disc that came with our camera in order to load photo's onto the computer (I managed a work-around), re-doing my watermark in Photoshop and getting myself all hot and bothered in the process in this incessantly humid Perth weather.

Whinge over.  Moving on...

This is the challenge that I set for myself this week...


The image comes from a blog I love to look at and have stashed away in my Google Reader in a file I call Gorgeous Inspiration.  I'm sure when you check out A Creative Mint for yourself, you will agree that it has been aptly filed :-)

Here is the card that I based on the colours above and am still unsure of, but we've been over that, so here you go...


I just received the Sale-a-bration set So Happy for You last week, and this was its first foray out of the box.  I did plan to keep the card simple, but I think I may have erred too much on the side of simplicity as it turns out...

This stamp set is one of the four that is available to you for FREE with a purchase of over $100 during the Sale-a-bration period, which finishes up at the end of the month.

Check out all of the available freebie stamp sets -->HERE<-- then contact me to place your order!

"Challenge Chewsday - One of my own" Stamps: So Happy for You Paper: Pacific Point, Baja Breeze, Tangerine Tango, Whisper White, Brights DSP Paper Stack Ink: Pacific Point, Baja Breeze, Tangerine Tango Accessories: Perfect Polka Dots Embossing Folder, Whisper White 5/8" Grosgrain Ribbon

Challenge Chewsday - Blushing Crumbs

Two weeks in a row - I'm on a roll folks!  And you'll note that Challenge Chewsday got the nod from the majority of commenters (commentators?!) on the last post - not that I was taking a poll or anything, but since you offered your opinions, let's go with it!

This week I headed back to Inkspirations HQ and used the fabulous sketch on offer there...

Combined with this PRETTY colour combination from ColourQ...

And this is what I turned them into...

On Thursday just gone, our gorgeous across-the-road neighbours added a beautiful baby girl to their already sweet and lovely family, so as a heartfelt thank you for giving me a brand new baby to sniff, with a little bit of congratulations thrown in, this is the card I made for baby Lily, that we headed over this afternoon to give them.

I also made a little matching gift tag to hang from the bag...

So there you have my challenge entry for this Chewsday!  Hope you're enjoying my new blog feature - I certainly am!

  • An oldie but a goodie - sponge the edges of your cardstock and paper for a lovely vintage look
  • Punch a strip of cardstock with a border punch, feed it through the Crimper, then concertina the straight edge together and stick it behind an oval or circle shape for a pretty border
  • Use a White Gel Pen in conjunction with watercolouring for some great highlights

"Happy Birth-Day Lily!"Stamps: Awash with Flowers, Teeny Tiny Sentiments Paper: Blushing Bride, Crumb Cake, Pretty in Pink, Whisper White, Watercolour Paper, Cherry Cobbler, In-color DSP stack, Ink: Versamark, Blushing Bride, Crumb Cake, Pretty in Pink, Pink Pirouette Accessories: White Embossing Powder, Ovals die, Eyelet Border Punch, Perfect Polka Dots Embossing Folder, Neutrals Brads, Crimper, 2-3/8" Scallop Circle Punch, 1-3/4" Circle Punch, Bitty Buttons, Owl Punch (heart), Blushing Bride Stitched Poly Ribbon, Stampin' Dimensionals, Glue Dots, Stampin' Sponges

New blog feature - Challenge Tuesday!

I've been thinking for a while that I ought to have more in the way of a plan in terms of what goes up on my blog and when.  Although flying by the seat of my pants is my usual MO of choice, it's not really working for me anymore, so I've decided it's time to get myself a bit organised.

So to get the ball rolling, I thought I would start simply, adding just one new thing to my blog schedule, or rather starting a blog schedule altogether, with a feature I'm going to call Challenge Tuesday.

For purposes of alliteration and perfectionism, I was half tempted to call it Challenge Chewsday but thought better of it.

The idea is that I will seek out some fun challenges to take part in, thereby possibly even alerting you, dear reader, to some challenge blogs and websites that you may previously have been unaware of.  Occasionally I may even throw in a home grown one, just for fun...

To kick things off, I have actually completed no less than FOUR challenges over the weekend, combining some sketch and colour challenges.

First up is the Pals Paper Arts PPA79 - Celebrity Colour Challenge...


...combined with the Clean and Simple Stamping Fall to Layout #126...


...for the following result:


It's not a combination of colours I would ever have thought to put together on my own,  and I've left this card on my desk so that I can keep sneaking peeks at it to decide whether or not I like it...

  • Use the Colour Spritzer to create a slight textured background on an otherwise plain cardstock base
  • Use part of a Big Shot die instead of the whole thing for a different look and greater product flexibility

"Pals Paper Arts PPA79 + Clean and Simple Stamping FTL126"
Stamps: Growing Green, Occasional Greetings
Paper: Rich Razzleberry, Riding Hood Red, Certainly Celery, Watercolour Paper, Lover Letter DSP
Ink: Rich Razzleberry, Riding Hood Red, Certainly Celery
Colour Spritzer, Rich Razzleberry Marker, Circle Scissors Plus, 2-3/8" Scallop Circle Punch, Big Shot, Top Note Die, Aquapainter, Stampin' Dimensionals

For challenges three and four, I went with the combination of  Inkspirations Colour Challenge #56...


...and Sweet Sunday sketch Challenge 103...


and came up with this:


I rather like this one, although again, the colours are unlikely to have made it onto the same project of mine without the prompting of a challenge, which after all is the whole idea of challenges I guess.

I encourage you to give some a go if you need to step outside of your stampin' comfort zone a bit :-)

  • A fine border of white or black cardstock is great for breaking up solid colours and adding definition to your layout
  • Invest in one (or all!) of the packs of DSP  Patterns Stacks, that way you'll have a DSP in all of your favourite colours

"Inkspirations Colour Challenge #56 + Sweet Sunday Sketch Challenge 103"
Stamps: Apple Blossom (L2 hostess)
Paper: Basic Black, Cherry Cobbler, Baja Breeze, Whisper White, Neutrals DSP Patterns Stack, Jolly Holiday DSP
Ink: Basic Black, Cherry Cobbler, Baja Breeze
Circle Scissors Plus, Stampin' Dimensionals

So there you have it, the first of what I hope will be many Challenge Tuesdays, although I should warn you right up front that they are unlikely to all feature more than one challenge at a time. I guess I got a bit carried away with the idea for this first one...

Helping Hudson challenge #4!

Right, let's get this show back on the road and back into chronological order!

With a mere couple of hours until this week's challenges close over at Helping Hudson, I have just managed to scraped in with challenges four and five.

At least I will scrape in if I can manage to keep the waffle to a minimum, so without further ado (or waffle), here is the colour challenge for the week...

hudson challenge 4And here is what I did with it...


A nice simple card - the best kind when the recipient is a bloke, as I can be close to certain that they're not going to treasure it for the remainder of their days like the gals in my life are more likely to do ;-)

Usually I watercolour this stamp set, but I had a bit of a brainwave and paper pieced it with some scraps of DSP that I think can pass quite well for the amber fluid, complete with rising bubbles...


If you're a super quick stamper, photographer and blog poster, chances are you still have time to whip up an entry into Helping Hudson Challenge #4 for yourself, but you'll have to be quick...


Then pop back here, as I'm about to upload challenge #5...

"Helping Hudson Challenge #4 - Colour" Stamps: Cheers to You, Basic Phrases Paper: Baja Breeze, So Saffron, Chocolate Chip, Confetti White, Bella Rose DSP, Good Morning Sunshine DSP Ink: StazOn Black, Chocolate Chip Accessories: 1-3/4" Circle Punch, Chocolate Chip Double Stitched Grosgrain, Stampin' Dimensionals

A colour challenge for Hudson!

Alrighty, hopefully you've digested my previous post, 'cause here comes the next one!

With my woeful posting record of late, this lot is likely to give you indigestion, coming thick and fast as it is, but having made the cards, I'm busting to share them, so without further ado or mention of indigestion, here's Hudson's first colour challenge....

And here is what I did with it...

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Now this stamp set is another with a certain sentimentality attached.  Heartfelt Thanks was one of the very first Stampin' Up! sets that I got, being that it was part of the demonstrator Starter Kit when I signed up almost four and a half years ago.

The little puffy flower is just so cute and I love the depth that is achieved by the two-step stamping factor.

And Seeing Spots - the set that the circular sentiment comes from - was the first set I received as a Christmas present from Stampin' Up! *sigh*

Next up, a technique challenge....

"Hudson's Colour Challenge #1" Stamps: Hearfelt Thanks, Seeing Spots Paper: Not Quite Navy, Rose Red, Whisper White Ink: Not Quite Navy, Rose Red Accessories: Big Shot, Perfect Polka Dots Embossing Folder; 1-3/8, 1-1/4 & 1/2" Circle Punches; Eyelet Border Punch, 1/4" Pretty in Pink Grosgrain Ribbon

A touch of the blues - a team challenge

Part two of my challenging week - this time set by Narelle, a member of my 'A Klass Act' stampin' team, on our online forum.

Narelle issued a challenge to use three different shades of the same colour - a monochromatic type scheme - for which I chose to focus on blues, specifically Brocade Blue, Brilliant Blue and Night of Navy...

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It looks for all the world as though the focus is out on my camera in this photo, and truth be told, it may just be, but the blur is kind of magnified by the shadow stamping effect that I used with two different colours of blue ink...

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This card gave me an opportunity to use some of the soon to be retired colours of cardstock in my stash - a stash that has been relocated to my stamping desk, right in front of my face so as to remind me that I really must use them as much as I can in these next few weeks.

Some of the retiring colours are already sold out, and many more are heading out the door in large numbers, so if you have yet to load up your stores with cardstock, ink and refills that are on the fond farewell list, be sure to get in touch to order some soon :)

"Upsy Daisy Blues" Stamps: Upsy Daisy, Sanded Paper: Brocade Blue, Night of Navy, Brilliant Blue, Very Vanilla Ink: Brocade Blue, Night of Navy Accessories: Large Oval Punch, Brocade Blue 5/8" Grosgrain Ribbon, Stampin' Sponges, Stampin' Dimensionals

A challenging week...!

It's week two of school holidays over this way, and I would have to say that it's been one of the most enjoyable school holidays I can remember.

Despite the fact that we have had a couple of overly crisp weeks in terms of weather, which was promptly followed by rain in large bucket loads, and a bit of a head cold on my part, we have have been enjoying several sleep ins, a bunch of pyjama days, loads of visiting, a number of play dates, a movie and large amounts of pottering at home.

The girls have been absolutely delightful, reveling in each others' company and being quite honestly, completely delicious!

So I've been thoroughly enjoying this relaxed time, which hasn't left a whole lot of room for blogging, so apologies for that :)

I have been stamping though, and have spent some time this week playing along with a number of challenges, hence the title of this post.

You may have noticed that the Design Team over at Just Add Ink has been expanded by about double, meaning that we only have to design fortnightly for the challenges.  We are free to play along in our off week though, and this week I decided to do exactly that - leaving it to the very last minute as is my standard OP, but anyway, here it is...

I especially wanted to play along with this one, as it involves Elegant Eggplant - a colour that I need as much practise with as I can get.

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Despite needing practise though, I do tend to use Elegant Eggplant very much as a highlight rather than a feature colour, but at least it's there!

I combined the colour challenge with a sketch from the Clean and Simple blog - a place that I head to on many an occasion when I'm in need of a fabulous yet simple layout :)

So there you have challenge number one!  Next up I'll show you a card that I made up for a challenge on my team stamping blog, and later this week the next JAI challenge!

All this is after we head to the park tomorrow followed by dinner with my bestie and her gorgeous family.

It's a tough life, but somebody has to do it ;-)

"Just Add Ink #25" Stamps: Seeing Spots, Polka Dot, Paper: Soft Suede, Elegant Eggplant, Rose Red, Very Vanilla, Raspberry Tart DSP Ink: Soft Suede, Elegant Eggplant, Rose Red Accessories: 1-3/8", 1-1/4" and 3/4" Circle Punches, Rich Regals brads, Vintage brads, Elegant Eggplant 1/4" Grosgrian Ribbon, Stampin' Dimensionals

Just Add Ink #22

This week, Just Add Ink brings you another colour challenge, and what a cracker it is!  The lovely Bronwyn Eastley - fellow DT gal - came up with this one...

I can honestly say that left to my own devices, I would likely never have combined these colours in a single project, but that's why they call it a challenge, right?!

Here's my contribution...


Saved by my DSP collection :)

All I did was punch out 1-1/4" circles from whatever Designer Series Papers that I could find with the relevant colours.

A bit of embellishing here and there (quite literally) and I was all done.

Hop on over to Just Add Ink to check out some fabulous creations with this combo and while you're there, have a go for yourself :)

Just Add Ink Challenge #22 Stamps: Seeing Spots Paper: Tempting Turquoise, Rich Razzleberry, Kiwi Kiss, Whisper White, Bella Rose DSP, Cottage Wall DSP Ink: Tempting Turquoise, Rich Razzleberry Accessories: Sunny Day Simply Scrappin' Kit, 1-1/4"  and 1-3/8" Circle Punches, Circle Ice Rhinestone Brads, Boho Blossom Punch, Button Bouquet, Rich Razzleberry Polka Dot grosgrain ribbon

Just Add Some Eggplant...!

So I have only just managed to make good on my promise to be back "later today" (at least according to my West Australian clock), but here I am with my entry for this week's Just Add Ink challenge.

This week it's another colour challenge for you and it was a large challenge for me as it involves Elegant Eggplant, which I can just never seem to make anything decent with!

Here are the colours...

And here is my contribution, that I'm not at all sure about, so please be kind...


As it turns out, the greatest challenge for me was finding a sheet of co-ordinating DSP to go in the background of the photo, but as you can see, that was a challenge that I didn't manage to meet.

I got out my Circle Scissors Plus for this one, which I must do more often, as I am rather partial to a circular element on a card, but quite often forget to include one.

I also dusted off Garden Whimsy for the first time in ages, which is another thing I try to do with challenges - incorporate a recently neglected stamp set at the same time.

So there you have it, a very bright and very challenging combination of colours.

The challenge for the week closes at midnight this coming Wednesday, so if you'd like to have a go at these colours for yourself, pop on over to Just Add Ink and play along!

Some extra stampin' tips for you to try....

  • Add some visual interest by popping your feature images up on Stampin' Dimensionals and extending them outside their "frame" as I've done with the butterflies
  • Tone on tone stamping - as I've done with the curly stamp with Elegant Eggplant ink on the Elegant Eggplant background - fills a bare space, but without being too busy and 'in your face'

"Just Add Ink Challenge #19" Stamps: Garden Whimsy Paper: Whisper White, Elegant Eggplant, Taken with Teal, Melon Mambo Ink: Elegant Eggplant, Taken with Teal, Melon Mambo Accessories: Circle Scissors Plus, Big Shot, Perfect Polka Dots Embossing Folder, Melon Mambo Polka-Dot grosgrain, Scallop Edge Punch, Stampin' Dimensionals

Just Add Water{colouring}!

Over at Just Add Ink this week, we have a colour challenge for you!  I chose to bust out my Aquapainter and Watercolour Paper this week, hence the title of my post.

Here are the colours...

jai 16

And here is my card...


I had no idea where I was going with this, I just sat and watercoloured while my small girl played Dora games next to me on the computer.

Aside from the occasional utterance of some Spanish phrase or other from the little one, we sat mostly in companionable silence doing our thing.  Such a nice thing to be able to do :)

If I'm not back before Sunday, which at this stage is a fairly likely scenario, Happy Mother's Day to all the lovely mums out there.  May your day be filled with lovely things that hopefully don't include a bunch of kitchen appliances from the department store catalogues that always appear at this time of year.

Seriously, can we not have something frivolous and whimsical instead of white and practical for Mother's Day?!

Although having said that, I'd change my tune quite happily for a Thermomix....

"Just Add Ink Challenge #16" Stamps: Embrace Life, Trendy Trees Paper: Watercolour Paper, Soft Suede, Ruby Red, Pretty in Pink, Sweet Slumber Specialty DSP Ink: StazOn Jet Black, Soft Suede, Ruby Red, Pretty in Pink, So Saffron, Versamark Accessories: Soft Suede Polka Dot Ribbon, Button Latte, White Embossing Powder, Corner Rounder Punch, Aquapainter, White Gel Pen, Stampin' Dimensionals, Kitchen String

Just Add some gorgeous colours!

We're up to week 10 over at Just Add Ink and we have another fun challenge for you to play along with.

This time, you need to put something together using this delightful palette....

When I saw it, I had thoughts of submitting my blog header as my challenge entry, as it pretty much fits perfectly, but given that none of it is Stampin' Up! and it doesn't involve any ink, I thought better of it and moved on...

I love the soft, prettiness of this combination, but my own stamped creation is somewhat busy and loud as it turns out...


I think it's the combination of the stamped upper panel and quite detailed DSP at the bottom that sort of shouts at you...

What do you think?

For the top part, I repeatedly stamped the decorative scrolly-type stamp from  Framed with Love out of the soon to be defunct Summer Mini catalogue, turning the stamp each time so as to fill the space with a fairly regular and tight fitting pattern.

You probably determined for yourself that the Stamp-a-ma-jig is pretty much a must-have for this  part...

See that Close to Cocoa 1/4" Grosgrain Ribbon across the centre...?   Well it's not actually Close to Cocoa at all, or at least it wasn't when it started out.  It's Whisper White that has simply been coloured in with the brush end of my Close to Cocoa Stampin' Write Marker.

How cool is that?!

Aren't you just so glad that you popped in today and had your ribbon colour possibilities extended in direct proportion to the number of Stampin' Write Markers that you own?

If you own every colour, then a roll of Whisper White 1/4" Grosgrain and some Very Vanilla in the 5/8" will enable you to custom make your own ribbon colours in varying widths as well!

You're welcome ;-)

The main stamped image is another from Framed with Love, as is the long skinny stamp that stretches across the card underneath.  I wanted to get the most out of the one stamp set, and aside from the greeting out of Vintage Labels, managed to stick to just the one stamp set.


Check out the neat and perfect cutting out in this shot (whilst trying to avoid the less than stellar stamping if you would....)

The perfect border here is due less to my scissor wielding talents, and more to the fact that I now own a very exciting piece of die-cutting machinery plus a die that matches this stamp perfectly!

It's coming up in less than a week's time with the amazingly extensive Autumn/Winter Mini catalogue, and without going into too much detail, I can tell you that it starts with "B" and ends in "ig Shot", so deduce from that what you will ;-)

I have another card to show you tomorrow that uses the same decorative scrolly-type stamp in a similar way, but in an entirely different colour combination, so pop in over the weekend to check that out.

In the meantime, head on over to Just Add Ink to check out the amazing array of projects inspired by this combination of colours, and play along for yourself if you like!

Oh, and don't forget that both the Summer Mini Catalogue and Sale-a-bration are all done and finished come April 1, so if you *need* anything out of either of those catalogues, you'd best be contacting me quick smart!

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Just Add Ink Challenge #10 - Colour Challenge Stamps: Framed with Love, Vintage Labels Paper: Cameo Coral, Blush Blossom, Close to Cocoa, Kraft Ink: Cameo Coral, Close to Cocoa Accessories: Vintage Brads, Whisper White 1/4" Grosgrain (coloured with Close to Cocoa Marker), Stampin' Sponges, Stampin' dimensionals

A challenging challenge for me!

It's week seven over at Just Add Ink, and this time around it's another colour challenge - a most challenging one for me that gave me a good old shove out of my comfort zone.

Here are the colours:

They look quite delightful and Springtime-ish here, but Bold Brights have never been a strong point for me, and having to create anything with such bright colours, quite frankly, 'frightens my life out' as my girls would say.

I will admit to a false start with this challenge that never made it into a complete card.   I wasn't happy with the stamped panel that I had created, so that was cast aside in favour of this...


The Flower Fancy stamp set that I have used here is usually one that I reserve for colours such as Rose Red and Always Artichoke, so inking up those flowers in Pink Passion and the leaves in Green Galore was quite a stretch.


The panel of Whisper White that you can see at the bottom of the card has been scored at random intervals using my bone scorer and paper trimmer.

To get this effect, you simply insert the cardstock into your paper trimmer as though you were going to cut it, but instead run the tip of the bone scorer down the cutting groove.  It's one of those great techniques that adds a little something extra to a project, but without requiring any fancy tools or equipment.

Not that I have anything against fancy tools or equipment - heck knows I own a lot of those (and have another en route as we speak....!) - but sometimes it's nice to be able to achieve simple but effective results using nothing other than what you have in your basic stamping kit.

Don't you agree?

I'd love to see what you can come up with using these colours - mostly so I can CASE some awesome ideas for myself - so make sure you head on over to Just Add Ink and play along!

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"Just Add Ink Challenge #7" Stamps: Flower Fancy Paper: Pink Passion, Tempting Turquoise, Whisper White Ink: Punk Passion, Green Galore Accessories: So Saffron Marker, Large Oval Punch, Eyelet Border Punch, Chit Chat Rubons, Whisper White Taffeta Ribbon, Stampin' Dimensionals

Just Add Ink #4 - A colour challenge

It's week four over at Just Add Ink!  Isn't it amazing how time flies when you're having fun?

And judging by the number of entries in the challenges each week, a lot of you are having fun with the various assignments too!

For your stampin' pleasure this week, it's a colour challenge...


As many of you would know, I am a huge fan of colour challenges, and if not for them, it's unlikely that I would use more than a handful of colours EVER!

In this case, Rose Red, Kraft and Whisper White get very frequent workouts at my stampin' desk.   Sage Shadow a little less frequently, but I love it still.

More Mustard I also like, but am quite often stumped as to what to put it with, so it frequently stays in the 'too hard basket', while I move onto other colours that I'm more comfortable with.

For this reason, I was very happy to be challenged with it this week, and here's what I came up with based on this set of colours....


The smokey effect of the flowers was achieved by stamping onto Kraft cardstock using Whisper White Craft ink, then dabbing Stampin' Pastels over the top.  Except for the flower petals - those are just the plain ink.

I stamped the image onto two separate pieces of Kraft and cut the flower images out of the second one, mounting them on top of the first images using Stampin' Dimensionals to give the card more dimension and realism.

The rest is pretty self explanatory, with some punching, some ribbon, a rub-on and a whole lotta layering to finish it off.

One thing that I will point out since we're talking colour, is that you will notice that although there are five different colours used in this card, they're not used in equal proportions.

In order not to have all the colours competing with each other, and to achieve a good balance, you want to make sure not to use the same amount of each colour, but use a slightly lesser proportion each time you add a new colour in.

You will notice in my card that Kraft is the colour that you can see most of, followed by Rose Red, Whisper White, Sage Shadow, then More Mustard.

It's a rule I follow with all of my stamping and creating and it seems to have served me well.   I can always tell when I haven't quite got the proportions right, as I won't be happy with the result until I add some colour here or subtract some there.

Give it a try and let me know how you go!  I'd love to hear if this little tip has helped you out :)

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"Just Add Ink Challenge #4" Stamps: Inspired by Nature Paper: More Mustard, Whisper White, Kraft, Sage Shadow, Raspberry Tart DSP Ink: Whisper White Craft, Rose Red Accessories: Eyelet Border Punch, Rose Red double stitched grosgrain ribbon, Whisper White taffeta ribbon, Chit Chat Rub-ons, Stampin' Pastels, Stampin' Dimensionals, Stampin' Sponges



New kid on the {challenge} block!

It's official!  The newest and freshest challenge blog around is here and it's all Australian!


One of the most exciting things for me about this news is that I am on the design team, meaning that I will be taking part in ALL of the challenges and doing general design-y team-y stuff!

Can you tell I'm a little bit new at all this?!

The other thing that it means is that with weekly challenges, I will be updating my blog at the VERY least, once per week with my design team challenge entries, which is exactly the kick in the pants I need to get on here more often.

The plan is that I will be updating more frequently than that, but working on bare minimums, weekly is the current promise ;-)

So,  want to know what the kick-off challenge is...?


Here's my creation based on these colours...



"Friends Forever Card" Stamps: Framed with Love Paper: Whisper White, Chocolate Chip, So Saffron Patterns DSP Ink: None Accessories: Chit Chat Rub Ons, Rose Red Wide Double Stitched Grosgrain, Flower Fusion, Rich Regals Brads, 1-1/16" Hole Punch, Stampin' Dimensionals


Want to check out out what the rest of the team came up with and enter your own creation?

Head over to Just Add Ink --->HERE<--- and go for your life!

Oh, and another reason you might want to check it out....



That is all.

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The last days of Spring series!

Despite the fact that I absolutely LOVED so very many of the products in the soon to be defunct Spring Mini catalogue,  I don't seem to have managed to blog about  them much.

I will be attempting to rectify that in the coming days as we wave a - possibly final - goodbye to the products that have graced us this Spring.

One of the things that screamed 'Springtime' most deafeningly to me has been the Walk in the Park Designer Series Paper.  The colours are so very fresh and pretty and Spring-y!

I thought it was about time I shared some more scrapbooking with you, so here is a layout I completed a little while ago featuring some of this gorgeous DSP and my equally gorgeous small girl.


I took the photos on a warm-ish Winter's day in the park across the street from our house while Soph was intent on checking out the little pink flowers that were dotted throughout the grass.

The journalling reads:

Never happier than when you are communing with nature...  Sweet Sophie, my little garden girl

I used this sketch as a starting point for my layout and used a t-shirt of Sophie's as the colour inspiration.


I've always loved the vintage-y look of this shirt and I think the colours are gorgeous together.

I zoomed in so you could see the beautiful detail in the image on the front of the shirt.

This happily also spares you from the assorted wrinkles and creases that are in abundance due to the fact that I don't iron.  It takes away too much time from more enjoyable endeavours, so I have struck it from my list of 'things that require my attention'.

I highly recommend it.

Stay tuned for some more projects involving Spring Mini stuff in the next little while, and to ensure that YOU get your hands on your must-have Spring Mini products, contact me today to get it while you still can...

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"Garden Girl Layout" Stamps: Jumbo Outline Alphabet Paper: Baja Breeze, Kiwi Kiss, Pink Pirouette, Walk in the Park DSP, Bella Rose DSP Ink: Kiwi Kiss, Regal Rose and Riding Hood Red re-inkers (to colour the Pretties) Accessories: Pretties Kit, Button Bouquet, Scallop Edge Punch, Old Olive Marker (for journalling)




Kristina's colour inspiration #54

It's been a very long time since I participated in one of Kristina's colour inspiration challenges!  In fact I just did a bit of digging and determined that my last effort was a whopping 26 challenges ago!

So a few days ago, having cleared and tidied my craft desk (and my floor - yep it was that bad!) I had no more excuses not to sit and stamp, so I decided that I would have a crack at the next colour inspiration.

Then yesterday, up went the colours....


Holy cow, those there are some bright colours!  I almost re-thought my determination to take part, but then I started formulating a plan...

The plan involved playing around with one of my current absolute FAVE stamp sets - Circle Circus - and instead of stamping it randomly as I have done previously, I decided on a more ordered approach.

This is what resulted:


What I love about Circle Circus is that it looks great all random and everywhere, but equally fun all lined up and regular.  This sure gave the ol' Stamp-a-ma-jig a good working out I have to tell you!

For the colours, I used a tiny bit of Tempting Turquoise as the Sky Blue that was called for in the challenge.  Over my way, the sky is quite often turquoise, so I used a bit of artistic licence there, and aside from that I'm all out of Soft Sky since it's been retired and I couldn't let that pesky detail get in the way of my resolve to have a play with this challenge!

Here's a bit of a close up of the detail....


At this angle you can see the crimping of the Green Galore flaggy thing a bit better and also the 'thread' that I have used in the button.  I mentioned this idea in a post a few months back where you cut tiny thin strips of cardstock and pop it through your button holes for perfectly co-ordinated 'thread'!

There are still a couple of days to have a play with the colour inspiration, so go on, challenge yourself!  It's a great way to have a go at something you would probably not usually choose for yourself, so a handy method to extend your stamping skills and step outside of your comfort zone a little :)

"Kristina's Colour Inspiration #54" Stamps: Circle Circus, Upsy Daisy (greeting) Paper: Pumpkin Pie, Taken with Teal, Green Galore, Tempting Turquoise, Whisper White Ink: Pumpkin Pie, Taken with Teal, Green Galore Accessories: Crimper, Pumpkin Pie Striped Grosgrain, Button Latte, Stampin' Dimensionals

Kristina's colour challenge #28 (plus some die cut fun...)

The lovely Kristina has another colour challenge up and today I had some cards to make AND some time to make them!  PLUS, I have had an idea buzzing around in my head for some time now that I just had to shake outta there, so I combined all these factors and bring you a real live post!  It's been a while, I know... Firstly, here is the colour inspiration picture...


And here is my contribution to the challenge....


I do love these colours together, and as is often the case with Kristina's challenges, I would never have thought to combine them unless prompted in this way!

The idea that I have had for some time and only just brought to life here is to use what remains of the 12x12 sheet of die cut blooms, once all the blooms have been used, which mine were quite shortly after getting them.  LOVE those things!  The sheets left behind are effectively great big stencils/masks of all sorts of funky, different sized flowers and I have been meaning for some time to use them as such!

For this card, I chose a few of the different flower stencils and sponged through them onto Ruby Red cardstock using Ruby Red ink.  Then with the mask still in place, I took my paper piercing tool and pierced around the edge of the shapes to further define the flowers.  It actually looks quite funky on the back too, with just the holes in big flower shapes -an idea for another time perhaps.... :)

After I had filled the piece of Ruby Red, I took a variety of circle punches and the two other colours of the challenge and made flower centres for them all.  The rest of the card is quite simple, so as not to be too busy as the flowers are busy enough on their own!

Kristina's colour challenge #28 Stamps: Basic Phrases Paper: Ruby Red, Pumpkin Pie, Sage Shadow, Whisper White Ink: Ruby Red, Sage Shadow Accessories: 1", 3/4", 1/2" and 1/4" Circle Punches, Pumpkin Pie striped grosgrain, Stampin' Sponges, Tool Kit, Die Cut Blooms

The next card, which I actually made first before I decided to have a go at the colour challenge, uses the same masking idea, but this time I took a card-front sized piece of Certainly Celery and sponged through the flower shaped stencils using Versamark, then embossed with clear embossing powder.  I made similar flower centres, this time a bit funky and off centre, then the rest of the card kind of evolved from there.


You can tell that there was no colour challenge involved here as I reached for my well-worn colour path of Rose Red, Regal Rose and Certainly Celery!  The So Saffron is a tiny variation on the theme :)


"Die Cut Masking" Stamps: Life Definitions Paper: Rose Red, Regal Rose, Certainly Celery, So Saffron Ink: Rose Red, Versamark Accessories: 1", 3/4", 1/2" and 1/4" Circle Punches, Regal Rose wide grosgrain, Certainly Celery thin grosgrain, Stampin' Sponges, Clear Embossing Powder, Die Cut Blooms

Kristina's colour inspiration #24

I haven't had a chance to pay along in Kristina's colour inspiration challenges for SUCH a long time, and truth be told, I probably didn't have time for this one either, but I like the colours and as soon as I saw the picture I was immediately inspired to use the Baroque background stamp with the emboss resist technique, so that kind of gave me a head start.  It would be SUCH a shame to have a tiny seed of an idea and not follow through (despite needing to prepare for World Card Making Day, making a baby gift and folding my large mound of washing...) wouldn't it?! So here is the inspiration picture...


And here is my take on not just the colours, but also the texture and design of the plate itself...


I couldn't get the correct angle in a picture to show the embossed pattern, but basically I just stamped the big and beautiful Baroque background onto a piece of Very Vanilla, embossed it with clear embossing powder, then brayered over the whole thing with Pumpkin Pie ink.  The whole reason I actually got Baroque in the first place was because I envisaged it being used with the emboss resist technique, but up until now, have never actually tried it out!  I have plans for some more now though.....

I didn't want to do much else on the card as the background is so striking on its own and anything much else in the way of embellishing would have made it too fussy.  So I stamped the 'because' sentiment from Life Definitions inside the large label type stamp from Frames with a Flourish, sponged the edges, added some Hodgepodge with a smidgen of wide grosgrain and that was enough :)

"Kristina's Colour Inspiration #24" Stamps: Baroque, Frames with a Flourish, Life Definitions Paper: Chocolate Chip, Old Olive, Very Vanilla Ink: Chocoalte Chip, Pumpkin Pie, Versamark Accessories: Clear Embossing Powder, Brayer, Hodgepodge Hardware (pewter), Chocolate Chip side grosgrain, Stampin' Sponges, Stampin' Dimensionals


Learning to love eggplant.....

....and I don't mean with my dinner!  I'm sure I'm not alone when I tell you that there are certain colours that are what I call my 'bogey' colours - ones I STRUGGLE with and just can't seem to get anything to work with.  Some cardstock colours I use with wild abandon and go through packs and packs of them, while others I have only ever got in assorted packs, and the few sheets I have ever owned remain intact (aside perhaps from a small circle punched out of one corner of one sheet for a colour chart!)  Well, for me Elegant Eggplant is one of those colours.  And it frustrates me as I see SO many people use it all the time and make it look beautiful (hi Chantell!) but for me it always looks horrible! Well having confessed my fear of eggplant to my friend, fellow demo and stampin' cousin Makeesha recently, what should turn up in her latest colour challenge but Elegant Eggplant in all it's eggplant glory?!  Keesh combined it with Pretty in Pink and Soft Sky for her challenge and I DO actually like the look of these colours together, but the question remains.....can I use Elegant Eggplant in a creation of my own and the result be even slightly visually appealing...?  Well friends, I have taken the challenge by the scruff of the neck, just this minute finished it and am actually not too appalled at the result...


Here is a bit of a different angle on all the dimension that's happening on the centre element...


I'm not sure that I'm converted enough to go doing anything silly like buying a bulk pack of 24 sheets of cardstock, but I am certainly prepared to see what I can do with the several remaining sheets that I have :) 

Now if anybody can suggest some delightful colour combinations using any of Handsome Hunter, Bravo Burgundy (I KNOW, another one that SO many people use with wonderful results but that continues to haunt me!) Glorious Green, Brilliant Blue or Yoyo Yellow I would love to hear them so I can dust off those few sheets as well!!

Incidentally, this card uses Carte Postale and the matching Leaves a la Carte Jumbo wheel, part of the Free Wheelin' promotion that finishes tomorrow!  Get your free wheels while you still can!!

Keesh's Eggplant Challenge! Stamps: Carte Postale, Leaves a la Carte Jumbo Stampin' Around wheel Paper: Elegant Eggplant, Soft Sky, Pretty in Pink, Whisper White Ink: Elegant Eggplant, Soft Sky, Pretty in Pink, Versamark Accessories: 1-3/8" Square Punch, 1-1/4" Circle Punch, Cherished Memories Rub-Ons, Soft Subtles brads, Stampin' Dimensionals