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 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!

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 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

There are now 2 Exclusives available at the AW Digi shop at Aurora 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

An Irish Blessing

Busy Thursday.  This is my second post of the day.  I'd also love it if you'd visit my GDT post for the C.R.A.F.T. challenge HERE.

Since St. Patrick's day is TOMORROW, I thought I ought to hurry and use the fabulous Lucky Day Freebie set (until St. Patrick's Day) from the Verve Store and enter their Lucky Day challenge.  I changed the color of one of the Irish coffee mugs from black to brown in my Printmaster Pro Program and sort of digitally free handed some whipped cream on top.  My own Irish Coffee mugs are clear glass with etched shamrocks, so that was the look I was going for. The digital paper is from AMBillistrations and I also used one of the other colorations in the set to fashion a saucer.  The Irish Blessings sentiment is also from the Verve Lucky Day set that I expanded upon slightly.  After printing I did a bit of shading with Copics, pencils and pens and there ya go.  

I'm also entering this is the Outlawz Tuesday Color Challenge, the DL.Art March Linky Challenge, Lil Patch of Crafty Friends #53 AG, SOSS #79 G is for Green with Envy and Simon Says Wednesday A Bit O'Green.

Guest Designing for C.R.A.F.T. Challenge

I'm thrilled today to be joining the C.R.A.F.T. challenge as Guest Designer.  The theme this week is Christmas and there are 2 fabulous Sponsors, 

I have the pleasure of working with two adorable Snowmen from Digital Paper Craft.

I've colored them with Copics and added them to a pop-up scene I made with the snow drift die, stitched snowflakes and paper from Lawn Fawn, and sentiment die from Kat Scrappiness.  Thank you so much to Jo and the team for allowing me to join you this week.  Be sure to visit the C.R.A.F.T. Challenge blog to see the fabulous creations and we hope you come and play along.

I'm entering this in the Lil Patch of Crafty Friends #53 AG, Kerst Christmas March FB Anything Christmas, 12 Months of Christmas Link up AG, the Holly and the Ivy Christmas challenge AG, Season's Greeting Christmas Challenge AG, CHNC Challenge #324 AG, CHNC Extra  for March AG, Crimbo Crackers #128 Die Cuts, and A Snowflake's Promise March Challenge #38 AG.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

It's a Girl!

I've had this adorable little Love Bear from Scrap N' Dipity paper pieced (with did paper from AMBillistrations) for awhile and finally figured out what to do with him...or should I say her?  The Scrap N' Dipity Blog challenge calls for hearts, but it's a little late for a Valentine's theme, so as I poked around in my stash, I came across these little hot pink doilies.  Positioned behind the little bear's head, it looked just like a baby bonnet so I added a bow under her chin, et voila, a baby girl teddy!  

To further the Heart theme I also added a heart shaped doily behind her and a small epoxy heart under the sentiment cut from a Cuttlebug die.  To further the pinky goodness I added a scrap strip in a darker pink and ruffled some Baby Pink crinkle ribbon from the Baby Bundle at DL.Art on some Scor-Tape and 3 "skittles" that just happened to be stuck to my desk with glue dots and called it done.

I'm also adding this to the DL.Art March Linky challenge, Lil Patch of Crafty Friends AG and the Outlawz Festive Fridays for their Something Pink theme. 

Monday, March 13, 2017

But I'm not tired yet!

It's the last day for the Limited Runs Stamps February/March FB Progressive Challenge and as usual I'm just under the wire. You can read about it HERE Little Boy is in the shop at regular price now, but you can preview or purchase the digi for March/April if you did not participate in this last month's round.  

I made a tag using DP from K&Co Itsy Bitsy 8x8 stack and colored Little Boy with Copics accordingly.  I couldn't help but add some googly eyes.  HeeHee!  I purchased the Die-versions Moon and Cloud die specifically to use with this stamp and had planned to use the sentiment "Goodnight, moon" until yesterday when we changed to Daylight Savings and lost an hour. I don't know about you, but it takes me FOREVER to adjust to a time change. 

I cut the Moon and cloud 3 times to layer and embossed the cloud with a Cuttlebug folder. Then added a little teddy charm tied with twine from DL.Art and some crinkle ribbon from the Spring Bundle 1 and Baby Bundle.  The sentiment is computer generated.

I'm also adding this to the DL.Art March Linky Challenge, the Cutie Pie Challenge Dies and Digis, Lil Patch of Crafty Friends #53 AG, and Happy Little Stampers March AG with Dies.