Monday, June 24, 2019

*CASology #346*

Happy Monday!!!  We celebrated the first few days of summer with a whole lot of rain here in Calgary.  We had a nice respite on Saturday in time for the Colon Cancer Canada Push For Your Tush (if you recall, we walked in the pouring rain last year) but it's been raining for days.  The grass sure is green... but it's going to be jungle length before we get a chance to mow it!

My hubby was away this past weekend and I spent most of my time watching crappy movies.  I even managed to make a few cards.  I am happy I had the time to play along with the current CASology challenge... the cue for this challenge was "ring".
I absolutely love these chain link circles dies... they end up looking so pretty and dainty!  A friend of mine had asked me to put together a set of cards for her and she wanted me to include a couple of sympathy cards... I thought that this ring would be the perfect start to a sympathy card.  I added a couple of those Michael's bridal flowers I bought *years* ago and I coloured them with a light yellow tombow.  I cut out the Avery Elle word "sympathy" in brown cardstock, added a brown gem to the centre of one flower and stamped "with deepest" from the Avery Elle Sentimental Too sent in Icing on the Cake Catherine Pooler ink.

I cut the layer slightly smaller than a regular card and popped it up on the top fold card with foam tape to add a little dimension.

In my world, CAS cards are perfect for sympathy cards... you want the sentiment to be the part that stands out.

Thanks for popping by today!

Thursday, June 20, 2019

*Giant Card*

About a week ago, a patient at the Chiro office I work at found out I made cards... and she asked if I could make a HUGE card for her and her co-workers to add photos and signatures to to give to their friend who is retiring.  I told her I wasn't sure I could pull it off as I only ever make small cards.  She was convinced that anything I could make would be better than anything she could buy.  So I decided I'd at least try....

And you know what, I kind of like what I came up with.  To be honest, I don't love it (in fact I can see where I could improve it) but it did turn out pretty darn well.
I started with two pieces of 18"X24" foam core board.  I used my Silhouette to cut the words out of vinyl.  I didn't quite make it centred, but I tried :-)  I then cut a bunch of these multi layered daisies with my Big Shot and four colours of cardstock and put them together using different colours together as much as I could.  I curled the petals on some of the flowers, sometimes both layers, sometimes only one layer and sometimes none at all.  I then sprayed them all with spray glitter.  After they were dry, I attached them around the words.  

The biggest thing to figure out was how to bind the two pieces of foam core together so that it would open and close properly.  I decided on some colourful 1" binder rings.

The woman who asked for the card came by to pick it up on Tuesday evening and I am happy to say that she was thrilled with it.  And I was relieved!

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

*Happy Father's Day*

Just a quickie card for you today....  so simple to throw together.  I have a tough time making more masculine cards... I hope I succeeded with this one.

I used this great Picket Fence Studios stamp in my Misti so that I could stamp it multiple times to insure I got a really black and crisp image.  I added the kraft layer to a white card and stamped the greeting on a scrap of white and gave it a flagged left end.  I put the sentiment strip on with foam adhesive to add some dimension.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

*Embossed Circles*

I was going to start my post with some chit chat about my shock that it's already the middle of June... but honestly, I'm shocked at how fast every week/month/year seems to fly by as I get older.  And I'm sure I've started 100 blog posts that way! LOL

So... here we are in the middle of June... the weather here in Calgary has been up and down, sunny and wet, rainy and snowy.... but hopefully we have lots of sunny warm days ahead of us.

I am on the Scrap'n Stamp blog today with another Clean and Simple card.  I sometimes wonder if perhaps my cards aren't quite "enough" for a design team since they are often so simple.  So this time I challenged myself to do a technique but still keep the card clean and simple, which is my style.
It's tough to incorporate techniques in to a clean and simple card as many techniques add too much to the card to still be considered clean and simple...  but I think this one worked well.

I started with a white panel.  I used my MFT stitched circles dies in different configurations, taped together with a large strip of Post-It Tape.  I placed them on the card panel and put them through my Big Shot with the rubber embossing mat so that the circles wouldn't cut but would just be embossed on the paper.  I moved the circles around, used different sizes and created this background.

I then stamped the word "birthday" (from Lawn Fawn) in Lime Rickey Catherine Pooler ink and put the layer on a mid blue coloured cardstock and used my Perfect Layers Tool to create my favourite 1/16" border.  I used Orange Twist, Tiki Torch and Samba Catherine Pooler inks with my Picket Fence Studio Life Changing Blending Brushes on a scrap of white cardstock and then cut it out with the Lawn Fawn Happy.  I added some black "stitch" lines to the cut out word to add a little detail and dimension before gluing it on to the front of the card.  All of this was added to the front of a white side folding card.

I'm thinking this card would have also stayed clean and simple had I used the same dies for the background but cut them out and used them as inlays in the holes I created instead of using them as an added layer to the card.  It would be a little more tricky to pull off but I think it could be really cool looking.

Thanks for popping by to visit again today.... I love reading your comments!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

*AAA Birthday Game #2*

Once again, very excited to have had some time on my days off to play along with the AAA Birthday Card Challenge blog....  this month, their challenge is to use water colours in your creation.
Now, I will admit, I haven't done a lot with either my water colour markers or my Ken Oliver Colour Bursts, so I was a little unsure of what I wanted to do.  I was cruising Pinterest and found a post with a colour combination I liked so I decided to play a little bit... and this is what I ended up with
And you know what?  I like it!

I used a bright blue and bright green colour of my Zig Water Colour markers on a piece of water colour paper.  I started by scribbling the colours on the paper and then moving it around with water.  I then added more colour while the paper was still wet and added more water to get the colours to move a little more.  I know I need to keep playing with this as it's pretty amateur but I am pleased with it.

Instead of hitting it with my heat tool to force it to dry more quickly, I let it sit for a half hour to dry on its own.  I put the panel in my Misti and inked up the stamps by Lawn Fawn with Black VersaFine Claire ink (my new favourite!).  I used the Misti because I knew I wanted a very crisp black on top of the water colour so I was able to restamp the images several times to get the darkness I wanted on the textured water colour paper.  To finish off the card, I used my Perfect Layers Tool to create a 1/16" blue border around the water colour panel and then put it all on to a white card.  And, true to me, I added a little sparkle to the centres of the balloons with my Wink of Stella clean pen.

Thanks for popping by for a visit!!

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

*Black and White One Layer*

I am playing along with the AAA Cards Challenge #142... so glad I was able to find some time this week to create this card.  Their challenge for this time around is to do a one layer card (and for them, that means no dies or embellishments either) with the added challenge of black and white.  I decided to do both of the challenges and honestly, I really love how this card turned out.
It was so simple to do.... what was hard was stopping and not adding more to it... no punch of colour (which I love to do), no sparkle, no bling....  I used stamps from AlteNew and Hello Bluebird and black VersaFine Claire ink.

Sunday, June 09, 2019

*Sunny Best Wishes*

Just before I headed off to start my work week last week, I got a parcel in the mail with some new goodies from Scrap'n Stamp ....  so on Wednesday, when I had a few hours before heading to work at noon, I created this quick and easy little card.
It went together quite fast using a few colours of cardstock, a great new die from Lawn Fawn, some Catherine Pooler ink, a sentiment stamp and a few clear bling.

I need to find some time to create in the next few days... and hope to hell that I can find some mojo.  I have nothing more to share with you in my photos... just this card.

Friday, June 07, 2019

*Stamp Out Cancer Blog Hop*

Welcome to the June blog hop with the Scrap 'n Stamp Design Team... this month we are doing a Stamp Out Cancer Blog Hop... While this Hop has a bit of a personal twist to it, we are here to raise awareness... here to encourage others to talk about their concerns, no matter how difficult or embarrassing it might be.

For those that are new to my blog, you probably don't know that at this time two years ago, I was newly diagnosed with Colon Cancer.  On June 20, 2018 I am walking in the Colon Cancer Canada Push For Your Tush...  a walk that raises money for education and patient support in Canada.  If you'd like to donate to my fundraising, you can click HERE.

I wanted a card I could send to a friend who was dealing with a cancer diagnosis.  I wanted it to be bright and cheery.  I know how much I appreciated the cards friends would send... funny ones, serious ones, hand made ones, bought ones.... just a little piece of sunshine in the mail.  I kept each and every one of those cards...
I created my card using a blue ribbon... the colour for Colon Cancer... but you could easily switch that up.
To start, I stamped the Picket Fence Studios stamp on white cardstock with my Versamark ink pad and I embossed it with clear embossing powder.  
I then grabbed six colours of Distress Ink (Picked Raspberry, Carved Pumpkin, Mustard Seed, Cracked Pistachio, Salty Ocean and Wilted Violet) and did a diagonal rainbow over the top of my embossed image.  A trick I find helpful when blending inks to put down your colours and then go back over the transition areas with the lighter colour of ink to create a good blending.  I used a paper towel to remove the excess ink from the embossed image.
I then took two of the stitched rectangles from My Favorite Things and taped them down to the front of the panel.  I was careful to try to create an even border with each of the rectangles
After cutting it out, I put things back together, but I flipped the outside frame so that the colours are in an opposite order to the main part of the card.  I want that inside frame to be the white card instead of the rainbow but I was worried about how well I could get my matting even, so I taped all of the pieces together before flipping them over and applying liquid glue to the outside frame and the inside panel.  I then added it all to the front of a white top fold card and removed that inside frame (which I used in a card a few days ago!).

I grabbed a piece of white grosgrain ribbon and I coloured it using the same blue Distress Ink, making sure to get good coverage on both sides.  I used some small glue dots to put the awareness ribbon together and then on to the front of the card.

If you shop at Scrap 'n Stamp this weekend (Saturday and Sunday), 10% of all sales will be donated to my fundraising efforts.... I am so thankful for this support!!

I hope you'll HOP along with the rest of the hop... check out what the rest of the design team has put together as well as see what a few Guest Designers have put together as well!  Please leave some comment love along the way!

On May 23, 2017 I had a colonoscopy I was sure I didn't need.  Ya, in retrospect, I had some symptoms, but everything was explained by other things.  I had been diagnosed as anemic, I had my gall bladder out in 2000, I wasn't overly regular....  but it was all explained by other things.

Not only did they find a polyp, but they found a mass that was large enough they could not pass the scope past it to see what was going on with the rest of the colon.  Within the week I knew it was cancer, I knew it wasn't Stage I and I had a date booked for surgery.

I was scared.

On June 23, 2017 I had surgery where they took just over half of my colon (the ascending colon and most of the transverse colon).  They also took 43 lymph nodes from the area (I had no idea we had that many lymph nodes in that area... I thought maybe 43 in the whole body).  I was in the hospital for 3 nights and recovered quite nicely, all things considered.  I did have a little set back with an infection that put me back in the hospital on IV antibiotics for 4 nights, but otherwise I did pretty well.

On my 47th birthday, I met with my oncologist for the first time.  We found out at that visit all of the lymph nodes were clear... which was excellent news.  However, there was a fine line between whether I was Stage II or Stage III... the tumour was large enough that it was starting to breach the colon wall which could indicate something closer to Stage III.  For Stage II, chemo isn't usually recommended but because of that possibility of the colon wall breach, I decided to go ahead with chemo.  I did 6 rounds of oral chemo over the next 7 months and was able to return to work full time again in May 2018.  From diagnosis to going back to work, I worked very sporadically.

While going through all of this, I worked with some friends of a friend who work for Alberta Health Services and they have created the elements for a campaign, featuring me (oh God!), encouraging people to talk to their doctor... to talk about the embarrassing things... to get regular check ups.  I was honestly *this* close to not mentioning the symptoms I was having (exhaustion, lack of nail growth, thinning hair, diarrhea...) to my doctor.  I figured it was all just the anemia and if I kept taking my iron pills I'd be OK.  I am so very glad I put on my big girl panties and stopped him from leaving the room, asking him to listen to my concerns... and very happy that something led him to send me to the lab to leave a stool sample.

Last year, on the one year anniversary of my surgery, I walked in the Colon Cancer Canada Push For Your Tush in Calgary.... and this year I will be walking again on June 20th.  We are using this blog hop to not only tell you all that you need to take your health seriously but to also help me with my fundraising!  Not only will you find my fundraising link on many of the blogs in the hop, the gals at Scrap 'n Stamp are going to donate a portion of all sales this weekend to my fundraising!  So if you were thinking of making a purchase, this would be a great time to do it!

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

*Foil Sympathy*

Happy Wednesday!  For most of you, Wednesday means the middle of your work week, hump day, if you will....  but for me, Wednesday is more often than not the first day of my work week... my Monday, if you will.  This week is a little messed up as I worked yesterday to fill in for a co-worker who is away for a few days... not a lot of time for creating on my days off this week so I am running low on cards to share... I will have to find some time in the coming days.  It might work out well that Bruce is super busy with work and may not be home some evenings for the next few weeks.

A friend has asked me to put together a set of assorted cards for her to send to her family and friends.  I have a lot of birthday cards in my stash but not much else so I have been thinking of a few things to add to her set... and while no one wants to need a sympathy cards, we all need one at some point.
I used a Simon Says Stamp die down the front of a white panel and taped red foil behind it.  I tried it with silver first to make it a little less "loud" but it just didn't look right.  I stamped an old Stampin' Up! greeting with black ink before putting the panel on the front of a white card using foam tape for a little dimension.

To me, sympathy cards need to be simple and understated.  I worry that the red might be a little 'too much'.

Sunday, June 02, 2019

*Daisy Birthday*

Yesterday was a big day for my hubby and me... June 1, 1991, we got married!  We were super young (about a month and a half shy of turning 21 and 23!!) when we got married and many said we'd never make it... but here we are, 28 years later, still walking this path together.  It hasn't always been easy, but we both are committed to making things work.  At the end of the day, I still want to hold his hand, kiss his face and feel his arms around me.

Not bad for a couple of kids, eh?  We now have kids that are older than we were when we got married!

I absolutely LOVE this cover die from A Jillian Vance Design.  Just when I think I'm done playing with it, I pull it out again.  This time I had the white die cut sitting on my desk for several weeks.  I don't even remember why I had cut it, but it was sitting there, begging me to play with it.
Now, don't get me wrong... I don't LOVE this card, but I don't hate it either.  I took the die, coloured the centres with two colours of brown Copics to give that brown eyed susan look to the daisies.  I layered it on to a piece of deep yellow cardstock that was cut just a little teeny bit smaller than the cover die so that there was no yellow mat around the edges.  I put that on the front of a white side fold card and added the happy birthday sentiment using foam tape.  I cut the flag-ended strip using a die from Lawn Fawn.  To finish it all off, I added sparkle to each of the flowers using my Nuvo clear shimmer pen.

Friday, May 31, 2019

*Plaid Birthday*

I was cleaning up my stamp area the other day, cleaning out some of the nooks and crannies in the storage that sits on my desk.  I found a 1/4 sheet of this stamped buffalo plaid using the Concord & 9th stamp and I decided to play around with it.
I cut off a strip of the stamped cardstock and put it on a white layer.  I used my Perfect Layers Tool to create a 1/16th border around the white panel and added it to a white card.  I added a simple birthday sentiment to the card.  I used sketch #321 from CAS(E) This Sketch

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

*Let's Celebrate Candles*

Happy Wednesday, everyone!  Here we are, at the end of May, and temperatures here in Calgary have been wonderful for about a week now.  Things are nice and green, flowers are starting to bloom...  I love spring and summer!

I created a card a few days ago for the upcoming Scrap 'n Stamp Blog Hop (happening on June7th) and I used a scrap from that card to create this card.
I started out with stamping the candles and the sentiment from Lawn Fawn on the centre of a side fold white card.  I coloured the images simply with my Copics, ensuring I didn't lay down a lot of ink so that it wouldn't soak through the front of my card.  I had this inked and stitched frame as a scrap on my desk and I added it to the front of the card.  I inked the cardstock with the rainbow of colours of Distress Inks and cut the frame with some MFT stitched rectanges.  Honestly, it was going to hit the recycling bin but I am SO happy it was sitting on my desk so that I could use it on this card.

To finish off the card, I added some Crystal Stickles to the candle flames.

I tried something a little different for photographing this card (and will try it for a while.  Instead of doing the card standing up, I am trying to do it with the card laying flat inside of my home made light box.  Let me know if you have an opinion on this as I'm not sure which is better at this point.

Monday, May 27, 2019

*Colourful Congrats*

I am playing along with the AAA Cards Challenge #140...  up to one third of the card with the bonus challenge of bright colours.  I love these Clean and Simple challenges but sometimes fine I don't have the time to play along.
I finally broke out this stamp set I bought a few weeks ago... MFT Color Drops.  I inked it up with Lime Rickey, Grape Crush, Samba and All That Jazz inks from Catherine Pooler.  I used some Post-It tape to mark off the left third of my card before I started stamping to ensure I had a crisp clean edge.  I then cut out the word Congrats, a die by Pretty Pink Posh, using silver glitter paper and I attached it to the front of the card using a fine tip glue by Stampin' Up!

Saturday, May 25, 2019

*You Make My Heart Happy*

I'm back today with another card using that great Weekend Doodles set from AlteNew.  I am SO glad I got this set and the matching dies!
For this card, I placed a piece of white cardstock in my Stamparatus and set up the stamp on the door.  I then stamped the image four times using Samba, Lime Rickey, Fiesta Blue and Tiki Torch Catherine Pooler inks to create the rainbow effect on the image.  I overlapped the colours a little bit to create some blending.  I then cut it out with the matching die.  I coloured a piece of white cardstock with Samba ink and once dry, used the MFT RicRak die to cut out the element along the right side of the card.  I put everything down with Lawn Fawn liquid glue and stamped the sentiment with Midnight Catherine Pooler ink.  I added a couple of clear gems around the wreath for a little dimension.