Thursday, 5 October 2017

Faux Epoxy Embellishments

Don't fall off your chairs, but I'm actually blogging a card! I'm participating in this week's Make It Monday challenge, over at the Papertrey Ink blog, where Betsy Veldman is showing us how to feature faux epoxy embellishments on our cards. Fun for everyone! This is the card I made ...

Instead of just using clear embossing powder to make my embellishment, I thought I could save at least one step by choosing UTEE (ultra thick embossing enamel) but I ended up embossing as many times as Betsy did. Please note that I actually coloured the pumpkin! It felt good to make a card and I'm hoping that my motivation continues.


Paper - PTI Stamper's Select White, Smokey Shadow
Stamps - PTI Autumn Pumpkins
Ink - PTI Ripe Avocado, Terracotta Tile; Memento Tuxedo Black
Dies - PTI Autumn Pumpkins, Limitless Layers Circle 1-3/4". Mix & Mat: Pretty Brackets
Other - Ranger's UTEE; Copics

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Kitchen Renovations

It's been a while since I blogged, and I'm only doing it today because I promised to show some pics of the recent kitchen renovation in our condo. I'm obsessed and in love with my new space! I can't believe the transformation.

Let's start with The Before:

I lived and worked in this kitchen for 12 years. I loved that it had loads of room for storage. And that the appliances were decent. Period. I hated that it was so closed off and hot to work in. No one could ever join me in the kitchen, it was just too narrow. The brown cabinets never worked for me and neither did those square tiles that felt like chalkboard and were impossible to keep clean.

We had spoken to other corner unit owners in our complex and everyone said that the wall couldn't come down because it contained water pipes, but no one knew exactly where they were situated. Most people had simply cut a pass-through window in the wall, over the sink. But we knew that the wall didn't support anything (there are no supporting walls in the condo) and one day we just took a chance and hacked into it from the living room side! We discovered that the pipes were only in the pantry area and so we called designers, got quotes, and this is what we ended up with.

You can click on all photos to make them larger if you want ...

The After:

This is how open the space is now. The column contains all the mechanics and houses the pantry on the kitchen side. No decorating has yet been done.

A view from the living room.
The pantry. It was impossible to photo, but there is also a small pull-out pantry on the side of the fridge, which happens to be the wrong fridge and is being changed next week. :(
Looking toward the studio.
Looking towards the windows.
The island is 10 feet long! I never thought I had enough space for anything like this.
Excuse all the horrible angles and crooked images - I can't for the life of me take photos of big spaces. I don't have a proper lens and it's impossible to get it all in one photo. Plus lighting issues, of course. In general, the kitchen is super light and airy. I've kept some of the photos darker to be able to show a few details. Also, please note that no painting has been done in the space. Ceilings were opened up to reposition lighting and heating and electricity and it's all a big mess. We're busy making plans for the surrounding spaces and won't decide on paint colours until we're finished.

A few little detail shots:

Closer look at quartz countertops. They are white, not yellow, with grey veining.
In use during breakfast this morning. :)
I love the white and grey gleaminess of it all - including my super glossy white tile floors. One of the workers told me that it reminded him of a skating rink! I know most people wouldn't be crazy about them, but it's one of my most favourite things about the new space. I still have plenty of storage and because most of the cabinets are drawers it's super convenient. No regrets. Would live through the mess all over again. :)

P.S. I just noticed that everyone can see that one drawer face is STILL missing. The good news? Haven't had to make final payment yet!

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Colourful Birthday

Sharing a happy birthday card today that is nice and bright, just the way I like it. This one was so much fun to make! I'm playing along with two challenges this week: with Inspired by all the Little Things  because I just couldn't resist the inspiration photo ...

and with Hannelie's "just my style" layout over at CAS(E) this sketch! ...

This is what I was inspired to make from all that gorgeousness ...

I used two WPlus9 sets, Petunia Builder and Whimsy Alpha, for the first time even though I've had both for a while. (Blush.) Loads of ink colours were used, a combination of Altenew and Papertrey. The little "birthday" stamp is from Winnie & Walter's The Big The Bold and The Happy, a set I fall back on often.

Thanks for the visit! Happy to have this one in my stash, ready to go.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Altenew May 2017 Inspiration Challenge

I've been thinking for weeks about the Altenew May 2017 Inspiration Challenge, but not quite getting anywhere with it. I decided to get serious yesterday and came up with something that I'm not thrilled about, but I'm posting anyways. This was the gorgeous photo, courtesy of May Sukyong Park, that we got to work with ...

I played with the colours and came up with this ...

I used the stunning Peony Bouquet stamp set from Altenew, along with a combination of Altenew and PTI inks. Altenew's Shades of Purple mini cubes are the best purple dye inks anywhere! Love them. The die cut sentiment is from PTI and the woodgrain stencil is from Tim Holtz.

This card is business letter-sized (got the idea from Debby Hughes) and I can't believe how difficult it is to photo this format! Ack! Click on the photo if you'd like to see more details.

Thanks Altenew for an always fun challenge. You got me out of my slump. :)

Friday, 5 May 2017

CAS(E) this sketch! Strawberries

I'm playing with this week's CAS(E) this sketch! challenge because sketch challenges are my favourite. They leave you so much room to play along with, and it's fun coming up with something. This week's sketch is brought to us by Leigh Penner ...

I seem to make most of my cards using this exact same diagonal sketch. I'm trying to break myself of the habit but am happy to "need" to do one this week, LOL ...

It's not even spring here yet (haven't seen a single tulip), never mind time for summer strawberries, but I'm in a fruity kind of mood this week and made several cards with my PTI Still Life: Summer set. Very CAS. Some cute little sentiments from The Stamp Market finished things up.

Another rainy weekend predicted, but hoping they're wrong. I need me some grandson baseball! Thanks for the visit and have a great week!

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Colour Wash Backgrounds

Another fun Papertrey Ink Make It Monday Challenge featuring watercolouring. 😉 Laurie Schmidlin is up this week and you just KNOW that she made fabulous cards! She's showing us how to add watercolour wash backgrounds to our projects. I have done this before and it's about the only form of watercolouring that works for me - on occasion.

I used some really cheap watercolour paint that comes in tubes for my background. I squeezed the paint out onto pans and left them to harden for a few hours. It's my preferred paint, aside from reinkers, which aren't really paint. The thing I like most about it is that I can easily add in white to soften the look.

Please note that the splatters that look like brown spots on this card are really gold Colour Shine by Heidi Swapp (we are having clouds and rain all week). See detail below.

And, yes, I made another card with Tulip Time. I also used Still Life: Summer and a masked sentiment from Perfect Pairing. Hubby "strongly dislikes" my cherries that are uncoloured; and in fact thinks I've lost my mind for pairing the tulips with cherries. I'm calling it whimsical. Just to please him, and to see if he was right, I also stamped them in colour, but I preferred the outlines only on this card. The good news (for me) is that I had plenty of fruit left over to make other cards, which you'll be seeing in the near future. 😉 One of them may even have a colour wash background! 😃

Monday, 1 May 2017

CAS(E) this sketch #219

Playing along with this week's challenge, brought to us by Jen Mitchell, over at CAS(E) this sketch!

I turned it to make it horizontal, and came up with this ...

... which will be going out to a friend this week who is starting a round of radiation therapy. She's doing well and has lots of love and support and I know that she's going to be just fine. I think she'll appreciate the brightness of this card.

Stamps: Concord & 9th You are Enough
Inks: Memento Tuxedo Black; Ranger's Archival Magenta Hue; PTI Pure Poppy
Paper: PTI Stamper's Select White & Limeade Ice card

Friday, 28 April 2017

Stencilled Watercoloured Backgrounds

I'm playing along with this week's Make It Monday challenge, over at Papertrey Ink, but I'm not enjoying it one bit. I can't lie. I'm not a fan of watercolouring and Betsy is up this week and she's showing us how to add interest to our cards by stencilling in a watercoloured background. Blech! But I did it. And after 447 tries I have one that I'm willing to post ...

I did everything exactly as she told us to. I die cut my PTI Quatrefoil cover plate to use as a stencil, laid it over some Tim Holtz watercolour paper and coloured it in with PTI reinkers (Mint Julep, Spring Moss and Aqua Mist) and a wet paintbrush. When I was finally done with that step, I looked down at it and said "Quite frankly, you're boring". So I promptly put the cover plate back on top to emboss my card front. And ended up with some texture. Yes!

That's the thing I don't enjoy about watercolouring. There's no tooth, no bite, no texture. I like bold paintings done with acrylics and oils and mixed mediums, ones that scream out a message. Please don't take this the wrong way. I see plenty of watercolour artists (and cardmakers) who do fabulous work and I gasp at the beauty and at their talent, and I'm crazy jealous of them. I appreciate all of it. I can not paint or colour in any medium, so I certainly wouldn't say a word against anyone's style or amazing talents. It's just that I prefer bold and a bit over the top when it comes to art. Or graphic. But I love looking at all kinds of beautiful things, even ones that are not my personal style.

Anyway, now that I'm done with my rambling, I finished off my card with a nice PTI Big Hugs word die cut from Aqua Mist, added a stamped sentiment from that same set to a Keep It Simple frame, stuck on a branch from Beautiful Berries: Spring that I had left over from another project, and added some flowers from Tulip Time.

So remember, don't be mad at me. Just be glad that I don't often paint. I only did it for the chance at a $25 gift certificate. 🙃

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Papertrey April Blog Hop Challenge

Today is the day of Papertrey Ink's April Blog Hop Challenge and this is the inspiration that Nichole Heady shared with us ...

Megan Carter
I've finally decided what style of cards I like making the most - fun, happy ones. And simple, of course. This is what I was inspired to make this afternoon ...

Mostly only die cuts on this one. Not sure I'm thrilled about it, but it will do. I had problems getting motivated to make something for this challenge. I wasted a lot of time thinking about how much I would adore having a stamp exactly like those grey bell shaped flowers in the photo. :) Tried to come up with a hack for Bells & Boughs but it just wasn't working for me. Tulip Time wouldn't cooperate either. Yes, I told you I wasted a lot of energy. :)

Stamps: PTI Inspired: Love and Wonderful Words: Love, Make It Market Color Pop Florals. Dies: PTI Notched Flowers, Happiness in Bloom Leaves, Make It Market Color Pop Florals and a heart from Flipping Out.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Patterned Windows

I'm playing along with Dawn this week, over at Papertrey Ink's Make It Monday Challenge, and she's having us use patterns behind die-cut windows. This is the card I was inspired to make early this week ...

I said to myself that a very pretty sentiment could be called a graphic pattern. :) I just couldn't wait to use my new PTI Beautiful Berries: Spring set, paired with Tulip Time. It's the reason I bought the berries, to add something fresh to each and every flower set I already own. I'm thinking that they look more like lilacs than berries in this case but that's even better because it's even more springy that way! I used PTI's Alpha-Blocks die to cut a window into the front of my card. I'm saying it's a door :) and that it works well as a new home, welcome to the neighbourhood and/or happy spring card.

But then I thought I could try harder to use a real pattern. So I made another card, but I was still in a typography kind of mood :) ...

and made patterned paper with a sentiment from Concord & 9th. I also used more Beautiful Berries: Spring from PTI, as well as some flowers from the Make It Market Mini Kit: Color Pop Florals. I used a die from Mama Elephant, Columbus Circle, to cut out a window in my card front.

While I had all my supplies out for this second card, I decided to make another thank you card, this time one that could perhaps be used as a holiday thank you note ...

For this one I used my PTI Woodgrain Impression Plate to emboss a pattern behind my window and added some Beautiful Berries: Spring and Holiday Greens to the front of it.

Thanks for the fun challenge PTI and Dawn! It always gets me making something that I probably wouldn't have otherwise and that's a good thing.

P.S. I'm in love with Dark Indigo cardstock and will probably need to use it on every card from now on. :)

Wednesday, 12 April 2017


I'm playing along with this week's CASE(E) this sketch! #216, and I'm last minute. Again. I found the current sketch to be particularly challenging ...

I try not to look at the designers' takes, or the gallery, until after I've finished making my card. And now that I have, I think I could have done better. But it is what it is, and here's my card ...

Very simple, very white, LOL. Like lots of my cards. :) I started off by embossing my card panel with PTI's Herringbone Impression Plate, which gives a very subtle effect (see close up below) but in real life it still provides some lovely texture.

Then I added some random negative cuts from the SSS Chevron Full Pattern cutting plate to add more interest to my all white background. My greeting consists of a Neat & Tangled word die cut and Memory Box letter die cuts (to form the word "you", cut from some foil cardstock). A little sprig of flowers, mounted with 3D foam tape, finishes things up.

Thanks for looking and I hope you have a truly lovely Easter weekend!

Friday, 7 April 2017

Stamping Outside The Box

I'm playing with Lexi Daly who is up, over at the Papertrey Ink Make It Monday Challenge, with this week's tutorial. She's giving us a fabulous lesson in design and she's making us all stamp outside of the box. Literally. :) Lexi is the one who always gets me thinking of all the possibilities - her challenges are fun and pretty open, leaving lots of opportunity to make it your own. This is where I went ...

I started by dry embossing a box on my card front with an MFT double-stitched square die. Then I masked off a smaller square in the middle of that box and stamped PTI's Background Basics: Herringbone set, using two different ink colours. I wasn't going for total precision, just a loosely stamped background.

I then added a plant and pot from the PTI 2015 Petite Pots anniversary set and some flowers and a word die cut from the limited edition One Big Happy set to make a little scene.

Thanks for the really fun challenge, PTI and Lexi! I really liked it.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Inspired By All The Little Things #50 Celebration

I was so excited when my friend, Leigh Penner, asked me to guest on the Inspired By All The Little Things challenge blog this week.

The inspiration is just gorgeous ...

I went totally CAS, my absolutely favourite style, and used a set (Bows For You) from a relatively new company, The Stamp Market ...

I just love that sweet sentiment and thought that it, and the adorable bow, worked perfectly with the Celebration inspiration photo. The sprigs are from Altenew's Peony Bouquet. I stamped the bow with Grapefruit pigment from Fresh Ink, thinking that it went really well with all the pinky peach goodness in the photo.

Head on over to the blog to see how the team was inspired and to play along yourself. I hope you have a great weekend that includes some fun crafty time!

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Bunny Frame

I'm playing along with two challenges today. First up is Inspired By All The Little Things #49, this sweet little bunny ...

and second is Papertrey Ink's Make It Monday for this week, featuring curved sentiments. Of course I made a bunny card!

I used Don't Forget To Write, Baker's Dozen and Hippity Hoppity from PTI. Oh, and also the Petite Pots anniversary set. I started off by blending some Fresh Ink (in Island) on my Kraft card base and then built up the little scene from there. My pic is not great, because now it's way too sunny in the house(!!!), but I glittered the frame with some Distress Vintage Platinum glitter dust and added some Glossy Accents to his rose coloured glasses. And it was done!

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Yellow Bird

I'm playing along with this month's Papertrey Ink customer blog hop, where we're being inspired by these amazing images that Nichole Heady posted ...

Victoria Johnson
 I went totally literal and I liked it. I'm not sorry at all in fact!

I masked off an oval on my card front and ink blended some Aqua Mist and Lemon Tart onto it. I then added flowers and birds (PTI Spring Woods, Don't Forget to Write, Friendly Flowers and Atenew Vintage Roses) and finished off with a little sentiment from The Stamp Market.

And that's it from me. Happy Hopping!

P.S. Somebody stop me! I've recently started following Prima Marketing again and I feel an overwhelming urge to order more/new flowers to add to my already ginormous collection! They do come in handy for project photo taking. :)

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

PTI March 2017 Release: Day 5 Transformation

I'm playing along with Papertrey Ink's Day 5 challenge for the March 2017 release, which is all about transformation. We're being asked to create a new project based on improving a card we were not happy with. I have plenty of these to choose from, so this challenge was not a problem for me. :) In fact, I chose one that was in the reject pile from a creative session I had just yesterday. I was trying to make a card for their Day 3 challenge, which is to make a project with your all-time favourite floral set, but I hadn't quite managed to come up with one that I really loved.

Rosie-Posie is my favourite all-time floral set and this is the card I rejected yesterday ...

I'm trying to make more one layer cards this year, but I'm really having a hard time. I just never like the finished projects. So for today's card, I tweaked my design and added in some florals from my very close second favourite set, Tulip Time ...

and that added dimension just makes all the difference, IMHO, and I'm much happier with this one.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

PTI 10th Anniversary: Day 4 Photo Finish

Day 4 of Papertrey Ink's anniversary celebrations brought us the Traveler's Journal Ambassador, Heather Nichols. This is a very timely new feature for me because I've recently started journaling my life's voyage (ack! too dramatic sounding) again. I'm enjoying it as a creative outlet - I'm  not using very many photos, more words and more trying new techniques, etc.

For today's challenge I decided to make a traditional scrapbook layout, something I haven't done in forever. I just happened to have some photos on my camera from Monday spent with a couple of my grandsons ...

You can click on the photo if you want to try to read some of the journaling. :)
Yup, that's Léo and Émérik, complete with hockey puck pocks. PTI products used include the Make It Market Mini kit: Color Pop Florals, Shakers & Sprinkles stamp set and the Monthly Moments: Journal Pocket #3 die.

And hockey continues ... we'll be leaving tomorrow morning for a long weekend in Québec city (not a chore by any means; one of my favourite places in North America for sure) for yet another hockey tournament. This is Léo's first away-from-home sporting event, and we'll be there cheering him on! But at the same time we'll be missing Émé's league playoffs here at home :(. His team finished the season in first place and he's definitely one of the stars. Lots of choices have to be made when you're a nana. Can you tell I'm proud of them?!!