Monday, December 12, 2016

Merry HolODDays!

Good morning, Oddies! It’s that time of year again for our Hol-Odd-Day Hop and the Odd Girls have some ah-mazing projects for you this season! This is our last week of posts before the we take our holiday break, so what better time to hop than now! You can hop with us all week as well as joining us for special holiday posts here on our blog.
Christmas doesn't usually bring fairies to mind, but I just adore all the adorable fairy images over at Some Odd Girl store - and I couldn't resist using Pixie for my hol-ODD-ay card. I used my favorite Christmas color combo - reds, cream, olive green and a touch of gold for eyes and wings.

Now, let’s get a hoppin! If you get lost, just come back here to the main list:
Some Odd Girl blog
Elle ** You are here!

Be sure to leave a comment at each blog for a chance to win a special prize, $25 gift certificate with some extra winners of $5 that we'll announce on Saturday Dec 17, but everyone can get 25% off in the shop with the code HOLODDDAY! We’re so happy to have spent another year with all of you and we can’t wait to bring you some more ODD fun in 2017!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Chatty Sunday - Catch-up and Stash Kits

So, it's November 27th and you may be wondering where all the cards are from November's Stash kit. And the answer is... there aren't any right now (*insert sad frowny face here*).

Those of you who work in retail or sales know that winter holiday season is the craziest, most time-consuming time of the year - and it's no exception for my work. Add to that the family dinners/events, two design teams and a guest design spot, and I feel like I've barely had time to breathe this month.

Don't get me wrong, I'm extremely grateful for all the fantastic DT opportunities, all the lovely time spent with family/friends and having a great job! But there's still only 24 hours in a day and I do need a little time to eat and sleep every now and then. And until someone invents bottled sleep, I'll still need that good night's sleep.

December is likely to be more of the same. Although I'm not guest-designing for anyone in December, I've got a ton of extra Christmas prep - from baking cookies to finishing hand-made gifts to that last-minute shopping.

So, I'm going to pause Stash Kit projects until January - when I should have actual time to sit down and create some great projects. In the meantime, I'll try to share some of my holiday cards as I create them.

And, finally... Shopping/Spending Freeze...

I broke my spending freeze to do some Black Friday shopping this year. I had been building up a shopping wish-list for the past few months, and I basically bought everything on my list + a little extra and saved a very significant amount. So, I'll have quite a bit of new goodies to play with in the coming months - but I'm back on the spending freeze again after this.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, November 21, 2016

YNS: Tags Dare

Are you ready for another Design Team Dare?! Your Next Stamp is challenging its designers to break away from the same old same old and make a set of tags!. Hop on over to Your Next Stamp blog to see the other lovely creations, and don't forget to leave a comment for your chance to win a free stamp set of your choice.

I decided to go in the winter holiday direction and made a set of 4 Christmas tags that I can use to embellish my Christmas gifts with. For all four tags, I used the super fun stamp set called Holiday Buddies. This fantastic large set features 8 whimsical images that you can stamp and color, and 2 classic simple sentiments.
I admit, it was tough choosing just 4 images to feature, so I'm definitely going back and making another set of tags with the rest of the cute critters.

Since this stamp set has a bit of a retro flair, I chose some classic masculine/winter patterns as my tag backdrop. I used my Vintage Photo distress ink around the edges to add a bit of extra warmth and to go with the vintage feeling. Kraft stickers as sentiments kept the focus on the images.

Lastly, I added a few sparkly gumdrops from Holly Jolly and Ice Ice Baby. Don't they just look fun?!

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

YNS Challenge #52

Your Next Stamp has another challenge up and another chance to win a certificate to the YNS store and a chance to be a featured top pick on their blog!

For my card, I was inspired by the lovely palette that was shared as a part of this challenge:
Although the palette is fall-inspired, I thought it could work great for a winter holiday card. I thought I'd go in a more masculine-inspired direction, especially since there's a lot of boys and men in my family. It's nice to be able to share a card that sports my "cute" modern style, but still feels cool and fresh.

For my card, I used the sentiment from Holiday Buddies and the skate from the brand new Sports Fanatics Skating Fun stamp.

Isn't that stamp set fun?!

I hope you'll get a chance to play along with Your Next Stamp, too! Click over to Your Next Stamp blog for the rules and submission area.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

YNS: Snowman Dare

Are you ready for the Design Team Dare?! Your Next Stamp is challenging its designers to bring out the new November Release out for a little more play. This week, we're focusing on winter fun. Hop on over to Your Next Stamp blog to see the other lovely creations, and don't forget to leave a comment for your chance to win a free stamp set of your choice.

For my card, I decided to use the Snow Much Fun Snowman set - a smaller and more affordable set featuring an adorable snowman and matching sentiments. I stamped the snowman and colored him in with Copics, going for a yellow and grey contrasting color scheme.

I created a little scene for my snowman by using a circle die, some snowy patterned paper and a snowbank made with the Hills Die set.

Since I wanted the card to be small, I used a 4-bar card base and stamped the sentiment on the bottom. I added the circle, the hill and the snowman. As a fun embellishment, I added a few gumdrops in yellow and teal.

This card didn't take too long to create, which makes it a great candidate for a card set. A set of these thank you cards would make a fun Christmas gift.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

YNS: November Blog Hop!

Hello and welcome to my little corner of the card-making universe! This post is a part of the Your Next Stamp November blog hop, where the talented design team ladies and guests such as myself are sharing fun and unique projects to inspire you. You can play along with us by hopping along! The more blogs you visit and comment on, the greater your chances of winning a 25$ gift certificate to the Your Next Stamp store.

One of the things that I love about Your Next Stamp is the abundance of super cute and whimsical images to choose from. You can find a variety of trendy images and themes, but there's also a few very unique sets to choose from. One of my favorite sets is the mini splatter background (heart and star), and I haven't seen anything like it out there.

Of course, I couldn't help but mention the amazing gumdrops (enamel dots)  featured in the YNS store... They are my go-to embellishment, and I have loved every single shade I've bought (and I've bought a lot!). The sparkly gumdrops are especially fun to use because they add a subtle shimmer that makes a card shine.

For my blog-hop card, I opted for a mini-scene card featuring a sweet Darlings girl and her pet raccoon. I used my Copics to color a sunset scene, going with warm colors that are both autumnal and bright. With the versatile journey sentiment, I can send this card to a friend that's about to embark on a big trip or a friend that's entering a new and exciting chapter in their career.

My card uses the fun new set called Little Darlings Indians. You can find this set and other new stamps in this release here.  And if you place your order before November 10th, you will receive 20% off with the special coupon code:

Thanks for reading!

Friday, November 4, 2016

YNS: November Preview

Today, I've got a different kind of card to share with you. This card features a new stamp set from Your Next Stamp called Cool Backgrounds, as well as the Fancy Congrats die.

I was super excited when I saw this stamp set because it features a large splatter stamp. I love the splattered look on cards - it can add texture, color and the overall aesthetic of a cool modern card. And while you could get the same kind of effect with making a messy splatter with water or ink, it's just as fun (and much more useful!) to have a stamp that can play the same role. Knowing exactly how your inked splotch will looks makes for one great element that you can incorporate into your card layout planning.

In addition to the splatter stamp, Cool Backgrounds has a variety of patterns set in rectangles. This makes them both useful for stamping small sections, and for repeating to create one big textured area. I decided to use a stripe stamp and some clever masking to create striped circles on my background. Since I was going for subtle and planning to sprinkle some glittery gumdrops, the round shape was a detail I wanted to incorporate. 

I cut my sentiment with the Fancy Congrats die and a few stars (pst, there's a really cool star die set at Your Next Stamp) out of sparkly silver glitter paper. This echoed the soft gray of the stripes and the glitter from the gumdrops.

The end result is all elements playing together and fitting perfectly. Isn't that fun?!

Thanks for reading,

Thursday, November 3, 2016

YNS Challenge #51

Your Next Stamp has a really fun challenge up that is both fun and inspiring!

When I saw the lovely autumnal palette featured in challenge #51, I knew immediately that I wanted to do something different and unexpected. I happened to have the Party Animals stamp set on my crafting table, and I thought it might be fun to use it for my challenge card.

Using these autumnal colors was a refreshing challenge. I found myself a lot more careful about how I chose the color and where it was placed. The bright yellow and red turned into great accent colors, and the green, brown and grey gave the card a very masculine feeling.

This challenge also came with a sketch - and that made it much easier to pick and choose which shapes I wanted to highlight.

I hope you'll get a chance to play along with Your Next Stamp! Click over to Your Next Stamp blog for the rules and submission area.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Guest Designing for Your Next Stamp!

I just wanted to make a quick note that I've been asked to guest-design for Your Next Stamp for the month of November. I am so thrilled!

Your Next Stamp is a Canadian-based company that features absolutely adorable stamps, useful dies and a plethora of gumdrops (enamel dots). I'm a big fan and I'm honored that they asked me to join them. :)

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Chatty Sunday: Stash Kit October Review

 As October is now over, I wanted to review the kit and how I did with it.

In last week's chatty Sunday post, I briefly mentioned one of the biggest challenges and concerns with this kit - that the cards were starting to look or feel too similar. Both September and October had very thematic stamps (fall and Halloween) . October, in particular, was difficult because I felt like I ran out of steam sometime in the middle of the process (the spooky purple card). While I'm not unhappy with the cards I created, those last few cards fall more in the category of "like" than "love".

My goal with the Stash Kit project was to make use of my supplies, but I didn't want to create mindlessly or repetitively. Instead, I wanted it to be a way to continue being creative while having a better and more definite focus.

So, future kits will be less thematic, and hopefully a lot more fun.

Here's the tally:
- 11 cards created.
- Added dies, ribbon and card bases from my stash.
- Images colored with Copics and fussy-cut.
- 14 colored images and 4 sentiments left -- they will go in my ready-to-use bin.
- Images were colored with Copics and a couple were enhanced with Prismacolor pencils.

While Copics are still my top choice for coloring, I will try to expand my range a little in November and add some watercolor and purely pencil crayon coloring as well. I think that will lend itself to new techniques and designs.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, October 28, 2016

SOG - Spooky Scary Blog Hop!

It's time to trick or treat with the Odd Crew!

Our hop this week is full of spooktacular Halloween Tricks and Treats. Don’t worry, our tricks won’t be too scary! AND, just like trick or treating for candy, you don’t want to skip any houses…or blogs in this case! Every stop along the way will have (crafty) goodies for you but you won't get the treats you must be a good trick or treater and stop at every house and leave your comment. You can Trick or Treat with us thru midnight EDT on October 31, winners will be announced back here on Nov 2.

My trick is inspired by one of my favorite Oddie cards Ghostly Violin. I wanted to give this concept another try, but take it up a notch. So, I've combined Violin Gwen digi with the Wraith Mae digi to create a new undead bride. I set her against an aged paper script from Romeo and Juliet, and made a spooky sentiment with stickers.
So, my trick for you is to look beyond your digis and combine them in new and unexpected ways! You can add a touch of spooky or a touch of fun.

For this card, I printed a copy of each stamp, then printed another Wraith Mae onto a piece of very thin copy paper. I put the thin paper over Violin digi and traced where I needed to trim the image so it would layer over the stamp correctly. Then I used that as a guide to fussy-cut the shape I needed. Then I colored everything and adhered the two stamps together. Voila!

Here is our hop order for you after you leave the comfort of my porch...
Elle * You Are Here

Wondering what our treats are?
Well, of course we'll be doing a coupon code for 31% off at the shop throughout the hop, TRICKORTREAT.
Then from those of you who comment on every stop we'll be giving away 3, $20 GCs to the shop. Awesome, right? Make sure to stop in our community, Kristy  may have another surprise up her sleeve as well.
And there you have it!  Happy Haunting – I mean HOPPING!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

SK October - Batty

This is the final card using October's Stash Kit. With this card, I wanted to try a layout that was a bit like a scene card without being an actually elaborate scene. I used the adorable bat from Witch Way Is the Candy? by Birdie Brown (now retired) and some bits of paper I still had from a previous card. I added pops of white around the patterned paper strip and a couple of die-cut clouds to make the circular panel look like a purple moon.

 Thanks for reading!

Monday, October 24, 2016

SK October- Purple Kitten

Today's card is another Stash Kit card, using the cute cat and witch's hat from Lawn Fawn's Spooktacular stamp. This time, I tried a different card layout, going with a relatively clean and simple design and using up some paper scraps I had on my desk. I also tied some ribbon to this card, as well as sprinkled just a couple of enamel dots.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Stash Kit: November

One of the challenges with October's kit was that cards started to all look the same. So, I decided to add a touch of randomness and variation.

So, the kit for November does not have one unifying theme. Instead, I've just pulled a few random stamps from the stash and added a couple sets I could use for Thanksgiving projects. Since the selection is random, I've also added more paper pads.

Let's jump straight into it!

The Greeting Farm - Wednesday

Art Impressions - 29 Again

Simon Says Stamp - Apple of My Pie

Neat & Tangled - Better Together
Paper Smooches - Metropolis

I've chosen 3 different paper pads.

Lawn Fawn - Perfectly Plaid Fall 6x6

Lawn Fawn - Sweater Weather 6x6

Avery Elle - The Happy Collection 6x6

Lastly, I've added a few embellishments:

Your Next Stamp - Give Thanks for Sparkle Gumdrops

Your Next Stamp - Love Earth Gumdrops
Doodlebug - Rainbow Assortment Sequins

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Fall Blessings

I still had the Fall Foliage stamp and inks out from my last project, so I decided to give another try to the layered look. While I used a lot of the same supplies as last time, I also added a couple of new products - Nuvo Crystal Drops. If you're not familiar with this product, it's a liquid embellishment that has the look and feel of enamel dots after drying. I, personally, love it especially because it can be used to create teeny tiny drops that I love adding but that there are never enough of in an enamel dot package.

This card feels a lot busier than the other one, but I also think I did a better job with the layering.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, October 21, 2016

SK October: Orange Mummy

We're winding down to just a few kit cards left! For today's card, I kept things very simple and used one of my go-to layouts -- rectangle panels of various sized. I layered the sentiment and the mummy cat together and embellished with some enamel dots.

I opted to use orange tones, as I have mostly gravitated toward purple, green and black when it comes to Halloween.

This card is using Mama Elephant's Meowlloween Extras stamp and Doodlebug sprinkles orange vellum (I believe it's now retired).

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

SK October - Purple Spook

This card actually came together rather accidentally. I was planning on a much more elaborate set-up, including a patterned paper panel and some scattered sequins. But, as I was rummaging through my stamped images and sentiments, the ghost and the sentiment rectangle just fell together. I liked how it looked - like the ghost was popping out of the sentiment.

So, I simplified my design and just let that placement be the focal point. I wanted to add a bit of color to make the sentiment stand out, so I blended in some Dusty Concord distress ink into the corner. I adhered the sentiment and the ghost, then added them to a black card base. I tied some purple ribbon underneath.

The last step was to add some dots with Nuvo crystals. I added the purple dots just fine, then planned to add another few yellow dots for contrast. Of course, the yellow is not working great for me and instead of a nice dome, I ended up with a line. I was pretty bummed out, but then realized it could be fun -- it looks like streaks from falling stars or firecrackers, and that's a very interesting look. Creativity to the rescue, right?!

Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

SK October - Be Afraid

Yet another cute Halloween creation for October's Stash Kit project, today! Like yesterday's card, I'm using Mama Elephant's Meowlloween Extras stamp and Doodlebug patterned paper, along with a selection of dies.

For this card, I wanted to add a touch of sparkle, so I adhered a strip of sparkly silver cardstock. I kept the rest of the card very simple, and added the sentiments stamped on banner dies.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, October 17, 2016

SK October: Mousey Hello

Time for another Stash Kit card! This time, I'm using Mama Elephant's Meowlloween Extras stamp. I absolutely fell in love with the adorable little mice that's featured in this set - they're the main reason I bought the set - so, I wanted to make them a main feature.

I kept the card very simple, cutting a rectangle of Doodlebug patterned paper and using the Tri Circle die to create little windows for my mice. I added the mice with some foam squares, and adhered a simple sentiment underneath.

The card was missing something, so I added a couple of enamel dots and a hand-drawn border.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Fall Birthday

One of the card techniques I truly admire is a multi-layer clean card. It's the kind of card you may see Kay Miller execute with perfection, but my own attempts are a lot less grand. I'm not sure what it is, really, but I feel like my tries end up either too busy or not busy enough - the sweet spot of just right is so elusive!

Skills don't get good by just wishing we could do them - we get better with practice. So, I decided to throw caution to the wind and practice some layered cards. Since we're finally in the season of autumn, I thought I'd do an autumn birthday card.

I used My Favorite Things' Fall Folliage stamp (now retired) as it had some lovely leaves, acorns and branches that I could just stamp. I didn't want to focus on coloring, just color itself. 

 I started with the bright warm orange-yellow, using WPlus9's Wild Mango ink. I stamped a couple of leaves, then moved onto Simon Says Stamp's Khaki ink. For the acorn and dark branch, I used Lawn Fawn's Walnut ink - I loved the crisp edges and the even coverage. Lastly, I added a touch of red with WPlus9's Gala Red ink.

Once everything was stamped and dry, I fussy-cut the leaves and layered them together in a bundle. I adhered some with regular adhesive and used foam tape for other parts. I added the whole piece onto a rounded top die-cut, then layered it over another die-cut. Lastly, I used Gina K.'s Sweet Corn cardstock as my card base.

I added a simple sentiment on top and embellished with a few pearls and enamel dots.
Thanks for reading!

Friday, October 14, 2016

SK October: Red Witch

There's nothing more fabulous than a witch in a cute outfit, casting a spell. So, of course, I had to make sure I did some great coloring with today's card - featuring Kraftin' Kimmie's My Best Friends are Witches. I used rich reds and blacks for her outfit and made the spell-casting steam multi-colored.

I kept this card very clean and simple, so the focus was on the image. I just sprinkled a few shimmery sequins around - they reminded me of magical bubbles. I added a sentiment and set everything against a dark-colored cardstock.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

SK October - Candy Witch

Today's card is another cute addition to the Stash Kit project for October. The stamp featured in this card is one of my favorite Halloween stamps - Witch Way Is the Candy? by Birdie Brown. I was really bummed out that this stamp retired earlier in the year, but I know it's to make room for some wonderful new creations - and I'm excited to see what Torico will think of next.

I colored the cute witch with Copics, then fussy-cut her out. I paired her with bits and pieces of the cute Doodlebug paper - both pieces were left from a previous card. Then I added everything to a purple card base. I didn't center the front panel in the middle of the card base, just to add a little bit of extra interest.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

SK October - Purrfect Halloween

Last week (and some of this week), I was hit by a bad case of flu. Not only did all the ache and misery make me feel horrible, but it lead to a build up of work-related tasks - and those had to take priority over blogging. Now that I'm finally on the mend, I can go back to sharing cards on a regular basis again.

Today's card is another card in my Stash Kit project for October.  For this card, I used Lawn Fawn's Spooktacular stamp. This stamp features quite a few small Halloween icons that layer together just perfectly to create a sweet scene.

I wanted to add a little bit of texture to the card, so I pulled out some black Doodlebug sprinkle vellum. This vellum is not only tinted, but it features embossed swiss dots, which add a little extra texture without looking too busy.

I added a sentiment and a few small sequins to tie together all the colors.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

SK October - Candy

Today's creation features C.C. Designs Broom Ride (in the Roberto's Rascals line). This is the second card in my October's Stash Kit.

One unique thing I tried for this card is drawing different features - in this case, the eyes. I was inspired by Marika's awesome videos where she goes through the process of sketching in faces and features step by step. I wanted Twila to have more realistic eyes, so I sketched them in using a combination of Copics and colored pencils.

I paired Twila with some candy paper and a puffy sticker. The sentiment from My Favorite Things - (Birdie Brown) Witch Way is the Candy? finishes the card off just perfectly.

Thanks for reading!