Sunday 28 September 2014

Online Card Classes - Copics for Cardmakers - Days 1 to 5

Hi there!

I have signed up to Copics for Cardmakers, but was unable to start lessons until yesterday. Firstly, I was away for work this week. Secondly, I only owned about three colours and needed just a few more to practise with! Luckily for me, my order arrived in the mail yesterday morning. :-)

I am sharing my progress here, but please note, I am an absolute beginner. These are my very first Copic lessons. It is highly unlikely that anyone will learn anything from me, but hopefully in a few months, we can look back and see some progress, lol!

Second disclaimer - unusually for me, neatness has not been a priority. I'll tidy up how I work once I've learned some of the techniques. You'll see lots of outside-the-line colouring here.

Day 1 - Blending Basics
We started with two colour and three colour blending on balloons. I forgot to practice three colour blending because I was most interested in learning how to blend two colours (to stretch my limited stash). We were taught how to create light using the Blender, but I didnt' practice it this time. On the second balloons, those highlights were just created by leaving the first colour alone in that spot (not going over them again).
I forgot to add the red and green colours onto this next one. They were R29, R24, R22, and YG23, YG95.
Day 2 - Blending Tricks
On Day 2 we learn about tip-to-tip blending, acetate blending, and feathering. All very cool techniques that I didn't even know existed, except perhaps the feathering, but the lesson taught me more than I knew, for sure!

The little red-breast was made using tip-to-tip AND acetate blending. The little grey bird was just an experiment on my own to see how he would look in grey.
Next came butterflies.
 On the second butterfly I used feathering and tip to tip blending. I also added black outlines.
Day 3 - Get More Mileage out of Your Markers
I found the blending with grey lessons fascinating! Some of my results were a bit dodgy, but even those "not so great" results taught me things! The use of grey may be one of the best things I take away from this online class. That I need to buy more grey markers may be the accompanying lesson (I have three greys, T1, T4, and T6, that's it).
The umbrellas practice taught me all sorts of things that I should NOT do... and a few that I should.
Day 4 - Turning on the Lights
Day 4 was all about shading. My favourite lesson was where I learned how to imagine sections of images as either round, oval, square, etc and to imagine where the shadows would fall, depending on the light source direction. My favourite revelation was that it's okay to shade any way you choose to. :-)

The first flower has directional light. The second used the feathering technique on the flowers with more realistic leaves. The third flower I didn't like much (too dark), so I decided to experiment with the leaf colour, which was an interesting process.
Day 5 - Colouring skin, hair, and clothing
I will admit that I never thought I would learn how to colour skin and hair. It looks so tricky. I now think that with a little practice that I WILL learn this skill. Yay! I don't have many skin/hair colours, but I don't imagine I'll do much colouring of people, so for the moment my few colours will suffice.
When I was working on my first ballerina last night, my little real-life ballerina came over and exclaimed "You're colouring me!". She was right. I was colouring my ballerina to look like my little girl. :-)  She then put in an order for a ballerina in an aqua tutu, which I made this morning.
The aqua ballerina pleased my daughter and the order for my next ballerina is a red dress. Maybe I WILL be colouring more people... lol!

So that wraps up the first five days of lessons. I hope that next week I will be able to play along within a day or two of the lesson. I'm really enjoying this class and I'm so glad that I signed up. If you have been thinking of joining in, it's worth it! I managed to catch up on the first five days over the course of a day, so you certainly have time to join in and catch up with the rest of us. :-)

See you later!


Friday 26 September 2014

CAS(E) This Sketch 94 - Hello!


I may have wandered off on another tangent this week. For some reason I struggled with this sketch. This card is my fourth version. I finally decided on this sentiment because the h and the l's reflected those background lines in the sketch for me. My original cards were very graphic, and they just weren't working, so this time I used the lovely big hello and a bunch of flowers. I'm much happier!
I used PTI Wonderful Words: Hello, and wPlus9 Fresh Cut Containers stamps.
I really love this sketch, even though it challenged me (probably BECAUSE it challenged me). I can't wait to see how everyone else creates with this inspiration!

Thanks for coming by to visit me!


Thursday 25 September 2014

Fusion - Sunflower


Sunflowers! I cannot wait to see the gallery for Fusion Challenge this time around! The inspiration and the sketch work well together, and that inspiration... wow!

This is what I came up with. I tried out some colouring. I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out.
I used PTI Botanical Blocks stamps. Markers are SU! Blendabilities in Daffodil Delight, Night of Navy, and Old Olive.
Thanks for coming by to visit!


CASE Study 210 - Christmas berries


It's the last Thursday of the month which means it is our last week with Debby Hughes as muse at CASE Study. I've loved CASEing Debby this month! Most of the month I stayed pretty close to Debby's inspiration, but today's card took a flight of fancy all by itself, lol! I can see the love hearts and the "happily ever after" on the inspiration card, but all my brain was seeing was Christmas berries. :-)
This is Debby's gorgeous inspiration card.
Thanks for coming by to visit! I can't wait to see how everyone is inspired this week!


Friday 19 September 2014

The Cutting Edge 10


The Cutting Edge challenge this time has a most remarkable die-cut scene on the inspiration card. I looked at that card and thought there was NO WAY that I would be able to create a card to enter, it was just a little too much of a challenge for me, lol! My dies don't tend to be things I can create into a scene. They are generally shapes, or the outlines of stamps that I own. There are a couple of silhouette dies I have on my wishlist, but they haven't come home yet.

Anyway, after thinking about it a little longer, I thought I had found a solution. I could use the same form of block colouring without any stamping (except sentiment). I used PTI Mighty Oak die and the "grass" at the bottom is a MFT die. I hand cut a couple of little birds, based on the shape of a bird stamp I own from PTI Birds & Blooms. The only stamping is the sentiment, just like the inspiration.
Nowhere near as gorgeous as the inspiration, but closer than I thought I could get! Don't you just love that dog die? I think I would frame this dog and bird card if I received it!
Before I go, I thought I'd share a photo with you. Spring school holidays have begun. I took a couple of days off work to let the kids just laze around at home for the start of holidays (the rest of the time they go to vacation care, where they are busy, busy, BUSY all day long). My little girl had collected all of her dog toys (plus a jaguar, because there weren't enough dogs for the party, apparently) and put together a picnic of dried apricots, strawberries, and raisin toast. She called it her "puppy dogs' picnic" (like "teddy bears' picnic"). Our real-life dog, Coco, decided to join in and guard the food from the chickens. When I looked over the back balcony, this is what I saw.
Thanks for visiting!


CAS(E) This Sketch 93 - Smile!


You know how sometimes you sit down with one idea in your head and the card that appears in front of you has absolutely no relationship to that original idea? Yeah, well that happened with this card, lol! The sketch for CAS(E) This Sketch this week has a diagonal square. I quite like that square. I don't know how it got so lost in the translation... I'll just blame it on my brand new Fresh Cut Containers stamps from Wplus9. I got carried away with creating my little pot of plants and completely forgot what I was doing! The sentiment is wPlus9 Strictly Sentiments 5.
And this is the fabulous sketch.
I am also joining in with Darnell's NBUS Challenge #2 with this card. I'll link it up in the morning. ;-)
Today is my wedding anniversary. My hubby and I have been married 15 years. :-)  We have been together for 21 years. It doesn't feel that long. I still think he's pretty cute. In fact, I think he's cuter now than when we first met. ;-) He's also the best hubby in the entire universe. I can't wait to see him later on today when he returns from his week of work travel. I might make a special dinner. I might make a card, too! ;-)

Thanks for visiting!


Thursday 18 September 2014

CASE Study 209 - dreamy feathers


Oops! I'm running a little late! The day got away with me. I have a day off work for the first day of school holidays (parent-teacher interviews at school, buying new Summer uniforms for next term, shopping for family presents) and I thought I would have PLENTY of time to whip up a post for CASE Study. It turns out that I got home, lay down on my bed with my book and didn't come up for air until that book was finished. You know how it is when you only have a couple of chapters left... lol!

So here is my card!
Our muse is Debby Hughes, who is awesome, and inspires me all the time. I loved Debby's colour scheme and the wreath and feathers! I white embossed Waltzingmouse Stamps Fine Feathers on Fine Linen card, added a few sequins, and mounted on white card base.
Please forgive me being so tardy! And thanks for visiting!


Monday 15 September 2014

Getting to know me - the Creative Blog Hop


The first thing you need to know about me is that I am always playing "catch up"! My life is a constant game of valiantly attempting to keep up with all of my commitments and every now and then missing something, or just plain running late.

This is an example of running late. Michele (one l) from I Card Everyone tagged me for The Creative Blog Hop. Weeks ago. Yes, the tagging usually involves posting your own post one week later, but life got away with me, again! Apparently you're supposed to do your post on a Monday. So, I think I'm getting that part right. It is Monday in Australia, Monday in Europe, and very close to being Monday in the US (or perhaps already there).

I want to talk about Michele from I Card Everyone. She is such a lovely person! I really feel like we "get" each other. I found Michele about one day after she joined blogland. I think she had about four followers. I think it was Debby Hughes who told me about her, so I dutifully went to take a look, and I found that there was this awesome stamper who had been hiding somewhere... maybe Flikr, or SCS, or I-don't-know-where. I just know that every single card she has posted since her first has been AMAZING! I don't know how she does it.

So to answer the questions:
1. What am I working on right now?
Well, I always have several things on the go at once. In cards, I'm trying to figure out how to make a card using Altenew's Shadow Play stamps. I seriously love this set. It has SHADOWS. But I haven't quite figured out how to construct my scenes without copying other people's work yet. This one is the closest I've got so far to something I'm happy with. And it doesn't use the shadow stamps, lol!
The other things I'm working on is watercolours and drawing. The watercolours are an ongoing project. I don't paint much, so I don't give myself much time to practice. I'd like to do more art. Every now and then you'll see my painting/drawing in my cards. I have an idea for a stamp set. I'm not sure what I should do with this idea, but it is percolating away in my head right now. I'm drawing ideas and storing them away for a rainy day.

2. How does my work differ from others in my genre?
Mmmm, this is a difficult question. I lean heavily towards clean-and-simple and in particular one-layer. If you look at my watercoloured cards, they are also fairly CAS, only the watercolouring disguises this, because the edges aren't as crisp. My inspiration in CAS style has always been Susan Raihala, Laura Bassen, Cristina Kowalczyk, Debby Hughes, and Laurie Willison. There are others, but these are my main CAS inspiration people. I've been lucky enough to make friends with most of these lovely ladies. How does my work differ? I'm not quite as good as them yet (by a country mile). But I'm working at it. ;-)

3. Why do I create what I do?
I've always been crafty. I was lucky enough to attend an alternative school until Grade 5. It was a student-led learning system. I learned English and Maths and Science, but I also learned so much about art and photography and craft and film-making and looking after farm animals. My Mum, my aunts, my grandma, my great-aunts all were fabulous crafters, too. My family is full of musicians and artists. It's wonderful!

Personally, I make cards because they are a quick way for me to express my creativity. I'm busy. I work five days a week. I have a family who have lots of activities. I am an introvert who desperately needs some quiet time to recharge. Making cards allows me that time. Thinking about design, colour, texture leaves no space for other thoughts, it's so relaxing! I make time every single week to make something. Maybe only one or two cards, sometimes five or six. I'm also working on a crochet rug. That may take years, lol!

4. How does my creative process work?
Sometimes it is just an amazing stamp set that requires no other inspiration. Like Altenew Hennah Elements. Oh my! That set, for me, is perfect!

Sometimes it is a challengeRunway Inspired Challenge taught me that I can be inspired by fashion. I never thought this was possible, but not one to run from a challenge, I dove in head first. I have followed this challenge from the very first week. I don't always find time to join in, but I am always inspired.
Often it is other card makers. Like Sanketi, who makes amazing watercolours! Her watercolouring of a stamp set inspired this one for me. She continues to inspire me. I love her style.
Or Jen Rzasa, who makes watercolour look CAS. Jen inspired me to try my own watercoloured original drawings. The first bird was okay, for a first time drawing of a bird. The second one was an improvement. I'm yet to draw and paint my third bird, which I'm sure will be even better.

The other part of this blog hop is tagging other bloggers. When I went looking for my favourite bloggers to tag, I kept finding that they had already been tagged. So, I've given up on the idea of pre-empting who might play along. I have highlighted some who inspire me above. This is by no means an exhaustive list, because I am also inspired daily by:
Tracey of In My Creative Opinion - Oh my goodness, Tracey is just the loveliest person on Earth. One day I'm heading over to visit her and all the other Toronto girls.
Virginia Lu of Yes, Virginia - who finds time to visit and comment, despite being a very busy and very popular lady!
Ardyth of Maskerade - I forgot to mention Ardyth above in CAS inspiration. Ardyth has ultra-CAS perfected. She's also fabulously nice.
Lynn of The Mango Boys and Me - Lynn makes the best cards. She makes the best masculine cards. I love her style. And Lynn is one of the Ohio girls that I intend to visit one day. Her odd hours (very early mornings?) means that we connect most days.
Wida of Beachorado - Wida has something special. Over the years she has developed this into her very own style. I have a definite soft spot for Wida.
Darnell of djkardkreations - I "met" Darnell when she only had a handful of followers. These days she's so busy fending off her fanclub of thousands it surprises me when she still finds time to visit me, and send me greetings at the right time (birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas). Darnell makes me laugh. That's what attracted me in the first place and that's what keeps me coming back for more. One day on my grand tour of the US, I'm making a special trip to visit Darnell.

What a gigantic post. Please don't be offended if I didn't include you in my list. I have simply run out of time and must rush to bed. And I daren't delay this post another week! I'm sure most people won't make it the whole way through to the end here. If you made it, congratulations on surviving my excess of words!

Thanks for visiting!


Sunday 14 September 2014

Moxie Fab Fabulous Friday - Getting Fancy


I keep missing the Fabulous Friday Challenges at Moxie Fab World. There has been some amazing inspiration along the way, so I've been sad to miss out! Today I managed to sneak in one extra card while I was at my craft desk. :-)
I used PTI Building Blocks and Altenew Label Love stamps with a spritz of gold Smooch. I pretty much created the photo inspiration in my card - colours, placement of the rectangles.
The reason I was at my craft desk in the first place was to make a card for my daughter's teacher from this term. She was filling in for only one term. The regular teacher returns next term. The kids want to say thank-you. This card is A5 size.
I used Mama Elephant stamps - Pandamonium, Party Kit, and Flashy Letters.Inks are a mix of Mama Elephant and Memento Luxe. The twine is Twinery. The washi is from Typo.

I also needed to make some birthday invitations for my eldest daughter who turns 12 very soon. Her brief was for pastel floral invitations. These fit the bill.
Thank-you for coming by to visit me!


Friday 12 September 2014

CAS(E) This Sketch 92 - birthday cheer!


In Australia, right now, it is just after midnight on Friday. Early, early morning on Friday 12 September. That means I can start the birthday celebrations... Happy Birthday to me! :-)  Luckily, I made a birthday card for this week's CAS(E) This Sketch Challenge, which I can share with you.
I used PTI Note Niblets and Propose a Toast stamps to create this one-layer card. The photo editing leaves a bit to be desired on this one, sorry about that!
I would love to see your take on this fabulous sketch! It's pretty cool to work with. 

So, what does my birthday hold in store? First an early morning run to ensemble practice for my little girl, then a day of work, and then an evening at the school bush dance. I might get to sit down and relax about 10pm when I get home for the day... I think I might celebrate on Saturday instead. ;-)

Thanks for coming by to visit! 


Thursday 11 September 2014

Fusion - Shiny Pink!


Ooh, this week's Fusion Challenge inspiration is awesome! Awesome photo inspiration and awesome sketch! It's all about shiny pink!

For me, my shiny pink showed up in my butterfly's body, and the banner from the sketch is represented by a simple sentiment.
I used Mama Elephant Femme Frames die, Mama Elephant Merry Greetings (those little stars), Mama Elephant Party Kit (sentiment), and Memory Box butterfly die.
Isn't that car cute? I'm not really a car person, but I think I could get used to driving a shiny pink car like this. :-)

I hope you find some time to join in with us this time around!

Thanks for visiting!


CASE Study 208 - An apple for the teacher


This week at CASE Study I have taken a very literal approach to CASEing Debby Hughes' lovely CAS tags. It just so happens that the end of the school year is rapidly approaching, and I just love a simple CAS apple card for the teachers. ;-) We are about to start Spring holidays, and then only 7 or 8 weeks before school is finished for the year! Every single year I get surprised by this. Every. Single. Year!! I'll learn one day to prepare in July, lol!
I used PTI Teacher's Apple stamp set. I lightly stamped the apple, then watercoloured over the top. I hand painted the stem and leaf. The card base is stamped with Hero Arts Envelope Pattern background stamp (slightly mimicking the burlap bag). The die is Mama Elephant Femme Frames. A really simple card that satisfies my CAS leanings.
Tonight we have the Middle School Ensembles concert. My eldest daughter is playing violin in her strings ensemble and singing in the girls' choir. We also get to watch the boys' choir, the other strings ensemble (there are two in Middle School), the amazing band, and the percussion group. These concerts are just the best. Next week we attend the All School Choirs concert which has all of the choirs from the school from Grade 2 to Grade 12. Now THAT is always an amazing concert that gives me goosebumps all over. :-)

I hope you are inspired to join in with us at CASE Study this week. Last week's response to Debby's vellum beauty was amazing! Such a beautiful gallery!

Thank-you for visiting! See you soon!


Sunday 7 September 2014

Altenew September Challenge


Altenew is hosting their inaugural challenge and I could not wait to join in. The inspiration photo had my brain working on a card instantly. In fact, I think it was working on about three cards. I made one of them tonight.
From the inspiration photo I took the pale yellow background and those outline flowers and leaves. I really liked the effect of the uncoloured outline image against a coloured background. So I went about creating the idea for myself. I used Altenew Hennah Elements and added some hand-drawn flowers and leaves as well. The ink is Ranger Archival Black, the pen is Faber Castell Pitt pen (M), and the yellow is Cotman Watercolour in Lemon Yellow.
Those green stripes are grabbing my attention (and that little teddy). I'm wondering how I can incorporate those into an Altenew card... let's see if the idea can fully form before the end of the challenge. ;-)

Today was Fathers Day and involved a relatively relaxed day for my hubby and the kids. They did take a shopping trip at one point today. It seems they were not yet prepared for my birthday next week, and Fathers Day was the last available day to get things organised, lol!

Thanks for visiting.


Friday 5 September 2014

CAS(E) This Sketch 91 - a beadwork banner


This week for CAS(E) This Sketch I decided to stay a little closer to the sketch than I did last week. ;-)  I flattened it out into a one-layer card, despite my first instinct to create an actual banner and embellishment. I'm really pleased with how this turned out.
I used Altenew Modern Beadwork stamps. Inks are Memento Luxe Rose Bud and Tuxedo Black, and Mama Elephant Smoke and Blush. Card base is PTI Soft Stone.
I am totally enjoying Modern Beadwork stamps. I thought I might get frustrated with trying to fit those beads together into patterns, but they are surprisingly forgiving. Fabulous!

Tonight I was at my youngest daughter's first big ensemble concert - the Junior School Ensembles concert (strings, recorders, and choirs). Her string ensemble (about 30 kids on violin, viola, cello, and double-bass) have been learning their instruments for about six months. Most of them are about 7 or 8 years old. What the teacher achieves with the kids in such a short time always amazes me. They did well. Lots of proud parents in the auditorium tonight. :-)

And now, it is time to head for dreamland. I'm a little weary!

Thank-you for visiting me! I hope you are inspired to play along with us at CAS(E) This Sketch this week.