Sunday, May 1, 2016

The Gratitude Project - Week 17

\ˈgra-tə-ˌtüd, -ˌtyüd\

The quality of being thankful:  readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. 

Hello again!  I’ve almost let my Sunday pass without getting to another week of my gratitude project.  We had a busy week and then a weekend with a wedding....but I couldn’t let May Day pass without a picture of something I’m grateful for.  This week it’s my favourite spring flower:  Tulips.

This year we’ve had a very early spring, the earliest flowers I can remember, and, even better, my tulips this year are stronger and more abundant than I’ve seen in years.  Just the pop of beautiful colour and shape is enough to bring me joy and thankfulness that spring is here.  There is such a lovely simplicity to their bloom.

My husband had to prepare for a banquet and needed something for centerpieces, of course I suggested tulips, so this basket is not from my garden, but from the flower shop.  I love them all bunched together like this.  

And then I took a few shots over the last week of my tulips starting to bloom.  I love the look of these yellow tulips before they are fully open as they have a beautiful shade of yellowy-green.  You can probably see a couple of dots of purple.  That’s my muscari or grapevine hyacinth coming up too.  I love them paired with tulips.  

And here are the tulips a few days later.  I have red, purple and yellow and you can see my bleeding heart growing in the background.  That’s also looking gorgeous this spring, filling out so nicely.  

Tulips are equally beautiful on the inside too aren’t they?  I’m so grateful for this beautiful handiwork to greet me each day.  Flowers for me are a simple and radiant expression of hope.  

Friday, April 29, 2016

Created to Create

I’m so excited to show you the new digi Created to Create from Power Poppy!  It just makes me happy!  I completely love how Marcy illustrated it with the beautiful flowers, notebook and the paint palette.   And the sentiment means so much to me!  I so agree with it!  I believe God created me and when I create I feel like I’m honouring Him.  That sense of joy and delight in creating really speaks to me.  

I played with a new medium today!  I bought a small set of Inktense pencils at the art store the other day when I was there with my daughter.  I’ve heard a lot about them and the rich pigment they give, so I thought I’d experiment a little.  Do I ever LOVE them!  Because this is a digi, I printed it out on XPress It Blending cardstock, thinking I would colour with Copics.  But, when I got the Inktense pencils I thought I’d see what would happen.  

Though the paper did warp a little bit, the pencils are so smooth and blend so well that I didn’t have any issues.  You really don’t have to add a whole lot of water to the paper to get a really nice effect, and the depth of the pigment is amazing.  Also, because they are actually INK rather than paint, once it’s dry it’s permanent so you can also add other effects/treatments overtop if you like.  

So...all that to say, I created a simple little frame that can hang above my desk and celebrate why I love to create.  I wanted it to really have that watercolor washy look with lots of vibrant colour.  

I cut the frame a few layers thick and put a backing on to give it some weight, and added some satin ribbon between the layers.  

And here’s what it looks like hung up at my computer at home!  

Here’s the gang playing along today...

Allison Cope
Christine Okken 
(you are here)
Cindy Lawrence
Julie Koerber
Kathy Jones
Katie Sims

Monday, April 25, 2016

TCP Spring Blog Hop

Well folks, we’ve had lots of fun this week showing off all of the wonderful Sneak Peeks at The Cat’s Pajamas, and today all of the stamps and dies are available and we’ll show off one more round of creations.  You’ve probably come from the fabulous Sandy Allnock’s blog, we’re delighted to have her with us today! 

This also kicks off our next challenge at TCP....Flowers!  We hope you can join us!  

I couldn’t resist creating another card with these Sketchy Flowers!  I wanted to do some loose watercoloring with embossing and also use one of our new word dies.   I embossed the outlines of the petals and stems in white and then washed in some turquoise sky, some green to ground the bottom and then the vibrant orange leaves.  

I also washed in some watercolouring on the paper that I was going to cut the sentiment out of.  On this one I only wanted to use Hello instead of Hello There, so I snipped of the bottom of the paper after it came out of the die.  

A few rhinestones and some washi tape add to that carefree loose feel.  An easy breezy Spring card!

Now to head along the blog hop head on over to our last spot with Alma at the TCP blog, and tell her how awesome this release has been :)

Thanks for joining us for a great week of TCP Fun!  

Strawberry Fields

Oh you’re in for a treat Power Poppy friends!  (If you’re looking for my The Cat’s Pajamas Sneaky Peek....please scroll down).

Marcy has released not one but TWO fabulous digis today!  Just wait till you see them!  We’re joining the Instant Gardeners at Power Poppy to show them off.

I’m playing with the gorgeous remixed Juicy Strawberries image and it’s amazing!  I love Marcy’s fruit illustrations.  They are some of my favourite stamps EVER.  

I chose to print this digi in a soft green so that it would work for a no-line colouring look.  I’m so happy I did, because I really love how it turned out.  I gave these gorgeous juicy strawberries some zippy colouring with Copics, allowing those berries to shine.  

Marcy illustrated the cutest sentiments for this set.  They are so Marcy, and so perfectly sweet, and one’s you’ll want to have....but as I looked at the design, I just couldn’t figure out how I would add them to the front, so I’ll have to add it inside.  

On the background layer I used some confetti cream paper and smooshed some ink from the ink pad onto the paper (Memento Bamboo Leaves and Summer Sky) and then used my waterbrush quickly to soften it up a bit.  I wanted it to look like the background to a field of strawberries.  

Some piercing and simple blue gingham ribbon finish it off.  

Just take a look!  Isn’t it great?  I love the Squooshy Hug :)  And just wait till you see the second digi today!  It’s amazing, and I’ll be showing it off later this week.  

Here's the Instant Gardeners and the Bloom Brigade playing along, you’ll be so inspired!!  

Jennifer Dove
Broni Holcombe
Cheryl Scrivens
Debbie Olson
Barb Walker

Allison Cope
Christine Okken
Kathy Jones
Stacy Morgan
Tosha Leyendekker
Dina Kowal 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Going Postal!

Today is our last fabulous Sneak Peek before the PJ Party tonight , the release of all this good stuff and our Blog Hop tomorrow to celebrate!  

This last peek is with a great new set of dies called Square Stamps.  With this awesome set of dies you can create all sorts of postal themed fun.  

I did a little mixed-media playing with these dies, cardstock, vellum, felt and embossing paste to create this postage themed card.  I cut the inside of the dies with vellum and embossed the sentiment from our Sending You set inside, and added a sweet little felt heart in the center.  I attached that to two strips of cardstock that I had used a Falling Hearts Stencil (Simon Says) and embossing paste.  Then a few lines of felt hearts and a bit of washi tape finish it off.  

All those hearts together are so sweet!  

Here’s a peek at how fun these dies are.  As you can see they all incorporate stitched edges and can be layered together or used separately.  

All you need to do is comment on the Design Team’s Blogs to be entered to win a $10 gift certificate from TCP.  

Tonight is the Pajamas Party at our Facebook Forum...hope you can come by for fun games, and even more new sneak peeks.  

Here’s the Cat Pack with great inspiration ahead!

Brenda Nakandakari
Christine Okken (you are here)
Deborah Anton
Jessica Rone
Nancy Thomas
Wendy McGaffey
and Alma at the TCP Blog!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Sketchy Flowers

Alright people!  How about a new TCP set that will knock your socks off today?  It’s called Sketchy Flowers and I completely love it!  This set has so many possibilities! My head is filled with different ways you can colour it so I think you’ll see a lot more of this one from me because I’ll be reaching for it a lot.  

Don’t these blossoms just look dreamy?  Today I thought I’d show off a fun way to use it combining straight stamping and prismacolor pencils.  This set combines larger images with outline images and you can combine them or use them separately to your hearts content.

Here’s how I brought this one to life,  I stamped the flower blossoms with a light pink ink (I think this was SU - Pink Pirouette and the leaves with Memento Bamboo Leaves).  Did you know that the top center flower is actually a butterfly image?  I thought it would be a great flower petal too :).  After stamping I came in with my pencils and added veining detail to the petals and then the leaves to give them more life and dimension.

I used one of our other TCP Cut Ups Dies Always, and cut several layers of it in razzleberry and then in white, glued them all together, off-setting the layers so that both the razzleberry and the white would be visable.  What you may be able to catch a hint of is the sparkle.  After colouring I layed a Tim Holtz stencil overtop and spritzed the design with shimmery spray.  I’m never great at photographing sparkle however!  

The XOXO embossed sentiment is from TCP’s Conversation Hearts set.  A few sequins and pearls finish it off.  

Here’s the set....isn't it amazing???!  Like I many possibilities!

Remember, all you have to do to be In It to Win It is to comment on the Cat Pack’s blogs!  Pop on over and see all the great inspiration available to you today!

The Pajama Party is just a couple of days away!  Be sure to put it on your calendar and join us!  

Here’s the Cat Pack providing some gorgeous Sketchy Flowers inspiration!  

Brenda Nakandakari
Christine Okken (you are here)
Deborah Anton
Julie Elak
Nancy Thomas
Wendy McGaffey
Guest Designer Lesley Croghan
and Alma at the TCP Blog!