25 October, 2015

Shake Shake Shake...

Another distraction took me away from colouring this week.

It reminds me somewhat of those books or television programs where you have to pick an option which determines how you proceed.  So here goes:

The Scenario:
You're running on rationed energy reserves, still recovering from post-infusion aftermath and co-hosting a baby shower the following day.  You need to make three desserts and a card.  You spend the day baking and working on the desserts.  12 hours remain until the event and you initially consider leaving the card til morning but think better of it.  Do you:

A) Acknowledge youe limitations and choose a card design which was easy and elegant, striking yet simple and would allow you to conserve what little energy you had for the following day.

B) Set your heart on a shaker card (never having made one before) - one with a star shaped window and stars along the side.

You picked option B?  Go you and your nerves of steel!

So now what?  How do you pull off this crazy idea?  Do you:

A) Find a tutorial online with clear instructions and a simple technique,  Ideally one with a video.

B) Go rogue!  Decide now is the ideal time (do you hear the clock ticking??) to see whether an idea for a technique for shaker cards that has been at the back of your mind for a few years will actually work.  You have neither time nor desire to practise so you get stuck right in,

Option B again?  Like a Boss!

And so that's what we did.

I learned a lot from this card which was larger at 6x8 inches.  While I was really pleased, I also know what I would do differently.

baby shower card cards stampin' up! teresa collins you are my happy collection shaker elephant star

When the latest In-Colours were released, I always thought about Watermelon Wonder and the "You Are My Happy" collection by Teresa Collins despite not being an exact colour match.  I also thought the elephant print paper would make a great pattern for a baby girl card with a "different" colour scheme,

I picked some other colours I thought would give a similar effect (Calypso Coral, Blushing Bride and retired Crisp Cantaloupe).  Interestingly none were exact matches to the colours on the paper, but because the colours were all variations on pinks, reds and peaches, the additional shades looked like a purposeful choice.

Next, I put together sequins, spangles and punched "confetti" to stuff the pocket with,  It's a little tricky to put in enough to be able to see it, but not so much that it doesn't "shake".  In retrospect, I'd add a little more stuffing next time.

baby shower card cards stampin' up! teresa collins you are my happy collection shaker elephant star

I've thought for a long time that page protector designs I wouldn't use or ones I'd cut down to use as inserts would make great shaker pockets.

I thought I'd sew them since I sew on layouts, cards and modifying page protectors but I was a little unsure how machine stitching would hold all the tiny sparkly goodness inside.  Since the idea was born, WeRMK came up with a Photo Sleeve Fuse tool which I thought long and hard about before giving in and buying it.

Sometimes a few page protectors in a pack come damaged or certain small people damage them so I figured I'd get enough use out of it.

I'm pleased to say it worked beautifully.

baby shower card cards stampin' up! teresa collins you are my happy collection shaker inside elephant star

I cut stars from DSP stacks and cardstock and stamped just one.  Given more time I'd do more to them - heat embossing, dry embossing, stamping and maybe use more gold.  I would also add a star to the inside of the card on the "back" of each star (am I making sense?), but I did position them on both sides of the card so they'd align.

baby shower card cards stampin' up! teresa collins you are my happy collection shaker elephant starbaby shower card cards stampin' up! teresa collins you are my happy collection shaker elephant star

Because my craft area hasn't been fully organised, I just grabbed what I could easily find in terms of embellishments and something to "hold" the sentiment. I used a sticker to alter the words on the polaroid frame and wrestled with the alphabet stickers to align the way I wanted (despite the scripty font causing grief with its ascenders!!)

baby shower card cards stampin' up! teresa collins you are my happy collection shaker elephant star

I can safely say my craft area now looks horrific as a result of the frenzied crafting,  It looks as though some sort of explosive device detonated in a craft store.

Oh well - damage control tomorrow and more colouring after that!

21 October, 2015

The Colouring Marathon That Wasn't

In anticipation of my regular infusion on Monday, I decided I'd try colouring on-the-go.  The 30 Day Coloring Challenge is well underway and I wanted to get more practise in.

In preparation I stamped about 20 pages of images from a variety of manufacturers, packed my markers in the travel wallet and I looked forward to seizing the...pen!

Despite the stamp press I started using since the arthritis began, I struggled getting crisp clean images.  I did however get beautifully black fingers which still bear traces of Memento ink 3 days later.  Go me!

It so happens a MISTI (which is a kind of cross between a stamp press and Stamp-a-Ma-Jig) was on its way to me and arrived while I was at the hospital.  I'm hoping this will make all the difference!

A cascade of events arose which made colouring difficult.  I had no sleep Sunday night due to jitters from asthma meds which meant copious consumption of espresso and Red Bull on Monday morning.

The caffeine had already made me shaky, but adding a double helping of pre-meds before my infusion made things virtually impossible.

I was especially looking forward to colouring the teeny animals from the Stampin' Up! Made With Love set and a few retired baby stamps.  Might have something to do with a new niece arriving in a few weeks time!

It wasn't a good choice to start with since the animals are small and by the time I was semi-happy with the blending, the markers were bleeding outside of the image,  I was frustrated but it was mainly for practise and I don't mind fussy cutting so that's always an option.  I still should have started with some larger images though.

I was pretty tired and gave up when I couldn't get the cute pink shoes to blend the way I wanted and switched to fiddling with the code on my blog (which I should check given my inability to think straight!).

Tuesday was spent mostly asleep.  Most people taking this medicine have a kind of "hangover" the day after.  You know you're tired when you sign for a package containing crafty goodness (and more markers!!) and go straight back to bed without opening it.

Feeling much better today so I'm busting out the markers again.  It's so much more comfortable at my own desk without being tethered to a pole!  I learned my lesson from Monday and picked Awareness Marci from La-La Land Crafts since it was World Arthritis Day on 12 October and I just got "juiced".

Of course there isn't an official ribbon for Psoriatic Arthritis since it's one of the rarer forms, but there are a few ribbons people have designed online combining the colours for psoriasis (orange or orchid/orange) and for arthritis (dark blue).  Rather apt as it's going to be as difficult to colour as the disease is to treat, but I gave it a shot.

I've never coloured curly hair before so it was another challenge, but I was ready to give it a go.

After that, I tried Awareness Anya from The Greeting Farm.  She's smaller than Marci but less detailed and I got to try both kinds of ribbon.

That's it for today and now that I have a few extra markers in colours I was missing, I can continue preparing the first project in what I hope will be a series for the rest of the Holiday Catalogue.

16 October, 2015

Seeking Pink Crafty Mama's Assistance

The next few things I've been working on for the 30 Day Coloring Challenge have been put on hold because one of my sisters (Helz) was needing to to make a card for a friend who recently had a baby girl and required a little assistance and the use of a certain Crafty Mama's supplies.

I told her to do some homework and come up with some cards she liked on Pinterest.  She settled on this Pin.  The card also had to include some purple since that was the recipient's favourite colour.

The most natural place to begin was to find a multi colour print that would set the colour scheme for the rest of the card.  Purple is surprisingly scarce in the scrapbooking world although there has been a little more lately.  An older collection from We R Memory Keepers included purple, pink and other appropriate colours.

Since the card was to be larger at 6x8 inches, a 12x12 sheet of cardstock in Old Olive made up the card base and other cardstock colours were Very Vanilla and Pink Pirouette.

Helz had the idea of attaching a bunch of balloons to the pram from the Something For Baby Bundle.  Mama Elephant's Up and Away set was perfect.

After a crash course in colouring with alcohol markers, Helz did an incredible job on the balloons!  I'm stunned really!

And here is the finished product.  Hope the new mum loves it!

I guess this counts towards the challenge, right?

Stampin' Up! Products Used:

08 October, 2015

Happy Anniversary, GeekBoy!

A year ago I had a cool idea for an anniversary card for the Hubster.

I started the card but ran out of steam.  A year ago things were so much worse with Arthur.

This year I was determined to finish it despite being in a small flare but I pushed through and FINISHED!  Small victories, but each one boosts the morale and gets me closer to my goals so a mini celebration was in order.  AND I was/am hoping to take part in The 30 Day Coloring Challenge as much as I can this October.

the greeting farm cheeky geeky stamp prima school memories crate paper love notes copic geek nerd nerdy card cards math

One of the patterned papers I used last year was from an older Crate Paper valentine collection. 

As someone who doesn't celebrate holidays, I'm always after ways to use themed products in a different way.

Since it was our 14th anniversary, it seemed perfect (as long as I avoided any "February" words).  This presented a new problem.  It's now our 15th anniversary!

Sure I could cover it up or pull it out but I just went with it and decided to draw attention to the fact and make it a 14/15 card!

I should point out that while I DO like using layers on both cards and layouts, this card ended up with a few more layers than I would have liked due to mistakes where my dodgy handwriting was concerned so it's a little messier than I hoped, but I suppose it looks like a messy teenagers diary or schoolbook maybe?

It's inspired by this pin on Pinterest, but since he is a maths major, I left the working and solution out so he could solve it himself.

He ended up needing far less space than I allowed since this card is about 5x7 inches (maybe more!).

the greeting farm cheeky geeky stamp prima school memories crate paper love notes copic geek nerd nerdy card cards math inside

Several friends and family members have said Hubster reminds them of Sheldon Cooper.  Should I be flattered or offended??

It is true though and we embrace our collective geekiness (a certain Crafty Mama has a laminated periodic table at arms reach in her craft space...).

The stamp is from The Greeting Farm and I bought it especially to use on cards for Hubz.  Since we met when I was 17 and still at school it was quite apt!  I attempted to make her uniform look like my old school uniform, but I never get away with wearing it in such a sloppy way!

I used a little Crystal Effects on her glasses to make them shiny but it was so fiddly in such a small area!

the greeting farm cheeky geeky stamp prima school memories crate paper love notes copic geek nerd nerdy card cards math

My only issue with the equation is the use of the letter "i".  It's necessary for the solution to make sense but I had a feeling Hubz would assume it related to complex numbers rather than basic algebra and it was indeed the case!

This is our exchange when he prepared to solve it:

H: does the i...?
Me: (doing her best Grumpy Cat impression) NO!
H: (disappointed) oh. 

The solution itself is also meaningful being an old school emoticon phrase given we met in a chat room!

Now it may not appear that there is much Stampin' Up! product used.  Its true there isn't a lot, but there is some.  I craft first and foremost for myself and for the people I love so I use whichever products will work best at the time to achieve the result I want.  I'm never going to be forced into using something just because it is or isn't from a particular manufacturer. 

I do love SU products but they just didn't have this kind or stamp or these sorts of papers, stickers etc right now so I found what worked.

I do have some SU projects coming up though so stay tuned.

The progress is my craft area is slow,  I still have a few boxes of randomness to sort through and now stuff on desks to put away having got stuck into crafting before everything was completely ready (I knew that would happen :-/)

It's more ready than when Quality Control Inspector visited but still needs some more work before it's fully functional.

Stampin' Up! Supplies used: