Saturday, December 25, 2010

Daughter's Purple Christmas Card

Ever since any of us can remember, purple has been daughter Val's favourite colour for anything and everything.  So every card I make for her has to be purple, no matter the occasion!  So this is her purple Christmas card for this year.  :-)
I stamped the larger poinsettia from my "Vintage Christmas" stamp set for Whimsy Stamps onto brown card stock.  It isn't "kraft" but it looks like it (kinda).  I wanted to use pencil crayons this time for the colouring.  I got inspired by Annika, who has been doing a lot of pencil crayon colouring these days.  I used Copic White in places when I was done to intensify the white in places.
The sentiment inside was done using a digital sentiment by Ann of Raindrop Echo Designs, also for Whimsy Stamps.   It is from her "Christmas Sentiments" collection.   I simply brought it into my Photoshop Elements program to add some colour with the paint bucket tool.  Fun!
Enjoy your holidays folks!  I know I will!  Thanks for coming by today!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Another Christmas Card

 I made this card for my MIL, who is responsible for getting me into this stamping habit!   And as a result, the stamp illustration jobs that I have been doing for about six and a half years now! Thanks Mom, your influence has enriched my life!  I will always be grateful to you for sharing your love of cards and stamps with me!
The image is one I did for Whimsy in a set called, Peace on Earth.  Now this image of the branches is much larger than the actual stamp.  I had to enlarge it when I was colouring it to use on the designer papers that Ann and I created.  The stamp is 1.8 x 2.8 " but this one is around 3.75" big.   The dp is one of Ann's and my creations as well, from the Holiday Folly Pack.

I coloured the image using Copics.  
I must say though that I have to think twice about using Smooch Pearlized Top Coat on certain inks.  Because it caused the black ink in the berries to smudge.  boo.  Live and learn.
This is the inside of the card.  I used one of Ann's digital sentiments from the 
"Christmas Sentiments" set.  I brought it into Photoshop Elements 8 to add some colour to the design.  I love being able to alter digis with colour using the computer!  Its so fast and fun!
I'm entering this into the following challenges:
Creative Belli Blog: Christmas
Freshly Brewed Challenges: Merry Christmas
For Fun Challenges: Anything Goes
Papertake Weekly: Anything Goes

Friday, December 17, 2010

Starry Night

Hi and welcome to my blog!  I have another Christmas card today, this one uses the rubber stamp I did for Whimsy, Starry Night.  I had fun trying to make the image look like night time without getting too dark.  The shadows on the polar bear were tricky but I am happy with the result I got.   
I used some of Ann's ticket stamps from her Holiday Ticket Sentiment set.  I also used her Ticket Die to cut it out perfectly.  And my snowflake die too!  I trimmed the one on top of the bow.  I have a second one just under the bow, its hard to see in the photo. 
I coloured Starry Night with the following Copics:
Sky: B63 plus pencil crayon to smooth out the lines of demarcation.  I find when I use a medium shade of Copics, and I have a huge area to cover, I can't do it without some lines showing.  Before I added the pencil crayon to make the streaks disappear, I used the blender pen to remove dots of colour where I wanted stars.  It made a nice little round "halo" for the stars.  I also removed some streaks in long lines to show the "rays" of the stars.  Then I went over the whole sky with my pencil crayon, and avoided the areas I had used the blender pen on.  Once I was done with the pencil crayon, I dotted Copic white in all the areas where I had used the blender pen to make a pinpoint "star". 
R22 was used on the horizon and blended towards the blue with the blender pen. 
Three big stars: Y23 and white pencil crayon, and then Smooch pearlized top coat to make them shine. 
I used white pencil crayon to make more "rays" coming out from the three big stars. 
Polar Bear Fur
E50 all over the entire bear's fur area.  In the shadows I used E53, B60, 63, 66 and C4. Cheek area was done with R00, 01, and 12.  I then used Copic white to make fur-like strokes all over, avoiding the cheek and inner ear area, and also avoiding the black lines of his eyes and facial features. 
After the first coat was dry, I went over it with more E53, B63 and 66 to deepen the shadows. 
Hat and scarf: R00, 22, 24 went on first.  I wanted a pinker look, so then I went over those colours with RV00, 21, 23 and 25.  I made some deep shadows using C2 and 5, and then went over those grey shadows with the RV colours again.  
 Fur trim on hat: C5, 3, 2
Penguin: N0, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8
Feet and Beak: E93, 95, 99
White feathers: E50, 53, C2
Ground and Shadow: E50, B60, 63, 66, C8, 6, B000, Blender and Copic White
I'm entering this card in the following challenges:
Stampin Royalty: Bring on the Bling
Gingersnap Creations: Polar Animals
Cute Card Thursday: One for the Kids
Copic Creations: Sparkle!
SCS WT 301: All That Glitters

Thanks for looking today! If you have any questions, send me an e-mail (address in my watermark and on my profile page). 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I'd Follow You Anywhere

Hi and welcome to my blog!  I have another Christmas card to share with you today.  I used my new "I'd Follow You Anywhere" image I illustrated for Whimsy Stamps.  This one is a rubber stamp, deeply etched red rubber of the highest quality.  The sentiment is by Raindrop Echo Designs and is found in this beautiful set called Winter Letter Seals.
I must say that I was really inspired by Annika's card on her blog.  I copied her card a little bit  and I even wrote to ask her what colours she used on the polar bear fur.  And she graciously filled me in!  Thanks Annika, waving!!
I find polar bear fur is always a bit of a challenge to colour.  Polar bears really are a creamy golden off-white and not pure white.  However, if you use Copics and make the whole bear yellow, its going to look really odd! 
White really does show some colour, as it reflects a lot of its' surroundings -  especially in the shaded areas.  It is just difficult to decide exactly what colours to use sometimes!  
 I did something a little different this time.  After I had coloured the fur using Copics, I took out a small round water colour brush and went over the whole body with single strokes of Copic White.  I had a base coat of E50 all over the entire body, and had used some greys and B60, 63 in the really dark areas. So when I made small fur strokes with the Copic White, it really stood out with the darker colours underneath. 
 I love how Copic White is the most opaque white I have.  It is even more opaque than my Acrylic white.  So it really gives great coverage and shows up really well against colours.  That's why it worked so well here. I also added a few white strokes of Copic White on the penguin's tummy and face and also made the snowflakes by just dabbing the tip of my brush all over the background and ground. 
Here is the list of Copic colours used on the image:
Polar Bear fur: E50 all over, then E53, B60, B63, W1, 3, 4, N0, 1, 3
I used those same colours on the ground underneath the characters too, and added B66 and N6 in the darkest shadows under the feet. 
R00, 01 and 12 for the cheek blush
Hats and scarves: R20, 22, 24, RV10, 21, FRV1, G20, 21, 24 and N6 for the deepest shadows on the pink parts of the hats.
Penguin feet and beak: E93, 95, 97, 99
Penguin body: N0, 1, 3, 5, 6
Background above the characters:  R20, G20, B60 - I used a lot of blender in this section.  I wet a small section first with the blender, then just dabbed on a few dots of colour, and blended it out for a subtle look.  I added a wee bit of light purple pencil crayon in places where I didn't get a soft blend.  Then Copic white in spots overtop for the look of snow falling. 
I'm entering this card into the following challenges: 
Incy Wincy Designs:  Non-traditional Colours
Fab 'n Funky: Christmas is for the children
Cupcake Craft Challenges: Non Traditional Christmas
Riley and Co: Metallics
Creative Card Crew: Anything Goes
Artful Inkables: Punches or die cuts
And don't forget it isn't too late to enter my challenge at Sundays With Crissy!   We're doing "Christmas or Winter cards" too! I have a couple of digi's to give away to one lucky participant. 
Thanks for looking and I hope your Christmas preparations are going well!  I got the last of my cards out in the mail today.  Just a couple more things to purchase and I'm all set! 
Bye for now!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Rubber Release! Hop! Candy!

Hello and welcome to the Whimsy Stamps December new rubber release BLOG HOP!

We have NINE gorgeous new Whimsy Stamps to show you today! These new stamps are available to buy right now from the Whimsy Stamps store along with all your Whimsy favourites. We also have our wonderful special guests joining us for this hop - the amazing trio of BevDeb, and Beate!

Here is a full list of the super fabulous new rubber stamps being released today:

Winter's Joy (Crissy Armstrong)
Valerie's Gift (Crissy Armstrong)
I'd Follow You Anywhere (Crissy Armstrong)
Love in a Bucket (Crissy Armstrong)
Cozy Cap Mouse (Meljen's Designs)
Penguin's Present (Meljen's Designs)
Love Letter Seals (Raindrop Echo Designs)
Music Notes Background (Raindrop Echo Designs)
Friendship Tickets (Raindrop Echo Designs)

I will be giving "I'd Follow You Anywhere" to one lucky participant!  All you have to do to enter the draw is use the Inlinkz option at the bottom of this post!  If you don't have a blog to link to, just let me know in the comments section and I'll make sure you are entered as well.  Here is "I'd Follow You Anywhere":

If you would like to participate in the hop and you didn't arrive here from Bev's blog, please CLICK HERE to return to the beginning of the hop at Bev's blog.

The hop starts today (Wednesday December 8th at noon EST) and ends on Wednesday December 15th at noon EST.

For this hop we have 7 different prize draws - WOW! The grand prize of ALL 9 of the new release stamps is being hosted by Simonne at the very end of the hop, but there are also 6 mini candy stops throughout the hop! Of course as you can see, I am one of them, but  I'm not going to tell you where the rest are, so you'll just have to keep on hopping to find them! *wink* 

For my blog hop creation I used Winter's Joy which I illustrated.   Here is your close-up:
I coloured her using water colour techniqes and water based Tombow Pens and Distress Inks.   I made her sparkle with glitter on her boots and Smooch Pearlized Top Coat on her scarf and hat.  The side view shows the sparkle more:
The sweet sentiment is by Ann of Raindrop Echo Designs and is found in her Winter Letter Seals set.  
So now it's time for you to continue the hop by hopping on over to Beate's blog where I know she has something amazing to show you!

Finally, here is a complete blog hop list in hopping order:

Here is a place where you can link your blog so you can be entered into the candy draw.

Thank you so much for hopping with us today and I hope you enjoy the new releases!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Whimsy Digi Blog Hop is ON!!

Welcome to my blog and the last stop on the Whimsy hop that kicks off December's digi release!  It's a big one, with new digi's from me, Ann, Katie and Melissa of Meljen's Designs. Plus me and Mel have coloured up some images for you to use as pre-coloured images!  Each file is JPG at 300dpi for high print quality.  And as usual, you can alter, resize, flip, or crop these images to your heart's content! 
If you have come from Sandra's blog, you are right on track.  If you want to start at the beginning and go all the way through, start at The Whimsy Blog where the hop order will be posted for your convenience. 
Now since I am the last stop, I will be choosing a grand prize winner from the comments on this post! But be sure to leave comments along the whole hop because two more blogs will also be randomly chosen to dish out some free images.  
The grand prize I will give to one lucky commenter will include their choice of five Whimsy digital images, and the chance to use those images as a GUEST DESIGNER for the month of December!  How cool is that! Chillin with the Whimsy Chicks for a month. 
You have until Tues. Dec 7th at noon to complete the hop.  Hop winners will be announced sometime after that. :-)
The first set of cards uses "Leap of Joy" fully coloured.  Now this image, and all the coloured images now for sale are also available as regular black-and-white images as usual.  Here is a link to the regular black and white version of Leap of Joy.
Here is a close-up of what the pre-coloured image will look like when you purchase it for immediate download (minus the watermark of course!):
I coloured the original on water colour paper using water based inks, namely Tombow Pens and Distress inks.  The white snow was hand painted with Copic White after the water colours were dry.
I wanted to chat with you about the pre-coloured images Whimsy is now offering.
I realize that a lot of us find the fun part of making the card is the
colouring. That being said, it is also great to be able to make up a card in a
hurry when you need to.
The upcoming holidays esp put a lot of pressure on us to get cards made. And
sometimes, it is impossible to make a card for everyone on your list, just for
sheer volume.
The pre-coloured images offer a workable solution to that problem!
I had a brainstorm idea to combine Ann's lovely digital frames with my
pre-coloured images and make cards on my computer that I could simply print off!
Once you create the template, it is so easy to just hit "print". Then after a
trim and a fold, voila, you've got your card! It is still hand made, but it
only takes a couple of minutes of your time!
Now mind you, the pre-coloured images can still be used as we normally use an
image we have coloured ourselves. And we can still layer our cards and
embellish them as always. (see the post below this one for an example)
I just wanted to point out that the other option, to print off a simple flat one
layer card, is also there.
I used a combination of effects found in iPhoto and Photoshop Elements 8 to
create the image templates. I then brought them into Word where I resized them and added text.
It was such a dream to work with the beautiful frames Ann created for us! It
was fun to add some colour to parts of them, and to stretch them to fit my
pictures. I think her frames plus pre-coloured digi images is the perfect
The deer card used Ann's Happy Holidays frame from Dressed Up Shapes 2. 
If anyone has any questions as to how I did any of it, I'd be happy to answer
you.  I won't be doing a tut on this anytime soon.  I really don't know how to go about that, as it was all done on computer.  And with so many different photo shop type programs out there, telling you how I did it on mine will only help those who have the same programs I have.  Nonetheless, if this computer-challenged non-geek can do it, anyone can! lol
Here's what I printed on the inside:
And on the back:
Here is another sample using "Touched By Love" pre-coloured digi in combination with another frame from the Dressed Up Shapes 2 set or sold individually as Curvy Frame Small Dots
I'm using these cards to also kick off my December challenge over at Sundays With Crissy.  Our theme for the whole month of December is Christmas is Coming or Winter is Here (your choice). Please join in the challenge if you can, and show us your Christmas or Winter cards!
Why not pay a visit to the Whimsy Store to see all the new digi's available, and mark your calendars for a new RUBBER RELEASE coming DEC 8th!
Thanks for your time today!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sneak Peek at new digi's and pre-coloured images!

Hello and welcome to my blog!
I have created a card with one of my pre-coloured images for Whimsy and this is your first sneak peek at it.    You can get this image I call, "Touched by Love" starting tomorrow, Dec 1st at Whimsy Stamps.   I'll be involved in their digi release blog hop tomorrow, so be sure to check back for that.  Denise will be giving out lots of blog candy to a lucky few, as usual.  :-D
This image will also be sold as a regular digi with no colour, so you will have the choice of either or.
The idea for this card came from Nina of Nina's Kreative Roteloft.  Her card inspired me so much I wanted to CASE it!  Isn't hers a beauty? 

The upcoming holidays esp put a lot of pressure on us to get cards made. And
sometimes, it is impossible to make a card for everyone on your list, just for
sheer volume.
The pre-coloured images offer a workable solution to that problem!
I brought the image into iPhoto and used a matte effect to give it a faded oval frame.  Then I printed it onto 90 lb water colour paper and cut it out using a Spellbinders oval die.  
The sentiment is also a sneak peek at one of Ann's new digi's soon to be released tomorrow. 
I brought it into Photoshop Elements 8 to fill in the letters with colour.  There was a little angel image on there as well and I decided to edit it out for my tag.  That's the beauty of using digi's.  Its so easy to alter them to your needs.
I'm also really happy to be using the snowflake die I helped illustrate for Whimsy! I call it, "Winter's Jewel". I drew the arms of the snowflake and one of the Whimsy artists (who knows Corel better than me) was able to line them up perfectly on a grid.  I just love how delicate it turned out!  
Here is a close-up of the pre-coloured digi as it appears printed on my water colour paper.  I did not give this one the faded oval (obviously!).  The one we're offering at Whimsy looks more like this one, in a rectangular format (minus the curved corners). 
For those who are curious, I painted my original on water colour paper using water based inks - a combination of Tombow pens and Distress inks were used.   
I find when I am printing these images, the colour is most vibrant when its printed on either glossy white card stock or photo paper.  When I printed it on water colour paper, the colours dulled a bit.   So I decided to intensify the colours in my photo program before I printed them again. 
 I found it a lot easier to decorate the inside of the card as well as the front with a pre-coloured image because there was no work at all to it. 
And you're getting another sneak peek at some of Ann's new digi's with this frame and sentiment!  I brought the frame, which is sold as a black and white image, into Photoshop and added colour using the paint bucket.  It was done in a snap and easy peasy too! 
I also coloured up some of the words on the sentiment layer, then put the two of them together.  Ann always does her frames and sentiments with a transparent background, so layering them is a cinch.  
And I just love being able to change the colours on them with the touch of a button.   For those who do not want to layer the frames and sentiments, she also sells them already put together, so there's literally no work to do.  Just bring it into Word, resize, and print!
Here is a close-up of the sentiment and frame:
Come back tomorrow for the blog hop and a chance at blog candy!  You'll see a ton of new image by all the Whimsy artists!  Mel of Meljen's Designs has also got some of her images coloured up to sell as well.  But all the digital images are also offered as black and white line drawings, as usual.  Its just that now you will have a choice!
Thanks so much for popping in to say hi.  Take care!

Friday, November 26, 2010

One More For the Stash

Hello there!  Just wanted to share a card I made to add to my Christmas stash.  I used a stamp I illustrated for Whimsy Stamps called, Santa's Midnight Snack.   The gorgeous dark green background paper was designed by Ann Vento of Raindrop Echo Designs and can be found HERE in the "Very Merry" pack.  Ann and I partnered together to design the papers and had a lot of fun.  We plan on doing more in the near future.
I'm entering this card in the following challenges: 
Paper Cutz Challenge: Anything Goes
SCS Free For All: Just Desserts 
No Time To Stamp: Black Friday (use black)
Crafty Creations Challenges: Christmas is Coming
Freshly Brewed: Winter/Christmas
For Fun Challenges: Anything Goes
Fab 'n' Funky Challenges: Go With The Flow (make anything you want)
ABC Christmas Challenge: X is for Xmas, optional flowers
Creative Belli Blog: R - Red, Ribbon, anything R
Stampin 'B's: Holiday Card
Delightful Challenges: Flower Power
Papertake Weekly: Cut It Out (die cut or punches)
Cute Card Thursday: Blast from the past (use one of their older challenges.  I chose Metal Mania, challenge 100 for my metal brad, metal chain and charm and the metallic gold dots on red paper)
I coloured Santa with the following Copics:
Santa hat, red striped pjs: R35, 37, 89
White stripes: E50
Candy canes: R35 and Copic White.  Plus I added red stickles on the red parts.
Bunny Slippers: R43, 37, B41, 60 and blender pen to remove colour to make the "fuzzy" look
Cookies: E31, 33, 13, 17
Santa's skin: E00 11, R20. 21
Santa's beard and hair and white hat trim: 
E50, W1, 3, 4
Plate: B21
Apron: C0, 2 plus blender
Background: G40, W00, 1, 3, 4, 5
I used clear Stickles on the pom and while it was still wet, I sprinkled Prisma Glitter on as well for extra glam. 
I spritzed the whole thing with Smooch spray and tried to pick that up with the angle shot, but the sparkle does not show.  :-(  In real life, it really glitters all over!  
I made the poinsettia flower with a die - can't remember the brand now... lots of dies and a punch used... any questions, just shoot me an e-mail (my addy is on the watermark).
Thanks so much for stopping by!  Happy Thanksgiving to my friends in the U.S.! 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Daughter Ashely's Music

Hi Peeps!
Hope all is well with you these days.  
I would like to show off my daughter Ashley's amazing accomplishment!
She has made an album of her original songs and it is now for sale!  Click on THIS LINK to take you to her web page where you can listen to snippets of her songs, and purchase her album if you likey!
She is a songwriter, a musician, a singer and an actor.  On her debut album, she not only wrote the songs, played the songs and sang the songs, but also arranged them, did back up vocals and basically all the instrumentation that you will hear.  She is sooooo talented, even if I do say so myself  (proud momma here!). 
Her Dad (hubby Mike) was the recording engineer.  I sang back up on one of the songs, "One By One".  It was a bit of a family effort.  :-)
Go have a listen, and enjoy Ashley's music!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Today Only Sale and Stamp-a-day Giveaways!

TODAY ONLY!! 25% off ALL the rubber or digital images I have done for Whimsy Stamps!  Find my rubber collection HERE and my digital collection HERE.  ALSO, as part of the ongoing 2 year anniversary sale-abrations at Whimsy Stamps, Denise is giving away one rubber stamp and one digi stamp from now til Friday!   Here's what she has to say on the Whimsy Blog:

You can enter each day, but please only enter one time for each drawing. We will offer up a chance at a rubber stamp here on the blog and a chance to win a digi stamp over on our Facebook page each day from now through end of day on Friday this week! 

And you can visit the Whimsy shop to find special savings on select stamps and collections each day this week!

So here's what you gotta do to enter:  Sign up on the Whimsy Blog to win this rubber stamp, "Starry Night"

And leave a comment on the Whimsy Facebook page to win Little Christmas Angel. 

*NEW Little Christmas Angel
All the Whimsy artists will have their own special day of sales this week, so every day from now til Friday you can save $ at Whimsy!

Just lettin' y'all know about it!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Name the stamp contest!

Hi Peeps!  Whimsy is holding a contest to name one of my soon-to-be-released rubber stamp images.  The winner will get the stamp!  It is just a small part of the goings-on all month long at Whimsy.  They are having a 2 yr anniversary celebration with loads of sales and giveaways!  See the button on my right side bar for details and click on it to go to the store.
This stamp will be released in December.  If you can think of a cute name for it, e-mail Denise at .   Denise is the one giving the stamp away, so you must contact her.  Please do not enter the contest here in the comment section or it won't count!!
You may enter as many name choices as you'd like.
You have until next Wednesday the 24th to send in your entry.
Here is a copy of the image:

Have fun peeps!!

Winner for my blog hop post!!

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2010-11-18 14:52:15 UTC

Congratulations! number 5 is

Please contact me with your snail mail info so Denise can send out your prize!!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Invitation

Imagine!  It has finally happened!! You have received the coveted envelope with the gold embossed letters and your name printed on the front; you will be going to the most exclusive, most elaborate, most desired of places in the whole world.    Finally, you have been granted access.

 You will get to taste the rich delicacies that have been prepared in the royal kitchen.  You will get to rub shoulders with all the other invited guests.  But most importantly, you will finally get the privilege of being with Her.  Butterflies start fluttering inside you and your pulse rushes with excitement at the very thought.   It seems you have been waiting for all eternity for this moment to arrive! And now it finally has! At last you have received the invitation…

One has to wonder, what took her so long to invite you?   Did she not notice the many ways you expressed your love to her?   Did she not receive the expensive gifts you kept sending to her?  Did she not hear the gentlemanly way you spoke of her – and so highly too?  Any listener would have read the love between the lines.  It is downright impossible to hide how lovesick you are.  Perhaps this was the very thing that scared her. 

Maybe she thought you were a crazy man, out of your mind.  But you gave her so many gifts of love!  You let her be herself always.  You never demanded a thing from her.  All you wanted was to be close to her.  And yet you promised her everything.  Promised to share your entire fortunes with her.  And that is saying a lot, since you are the richest man in the world!

You think to yourself, perhaps she listened to some close advisors who misrepresented you, and gave you a bad name.  It is quite possible they distorted all your loving actions and warned her that you had mixed motives.  Or perhaps they told her bold-faced lies, accusing you of being critical and hard to please.  Maybe they convinced her that you had an ugly, angry side and that you could be really mean and vengeful when crossed.   What is a guy to do with advisors like that whispering lies about you in her ears!

But all those love gifts and words of praise you kept lavishing on her finally broke her resolve.  Melted her heart.  Must have, because here you are holding that invitation in your hand.  Now you are standing on the doorstep of her palace!  And now, you are knocking at the door… your heart is pounding… this is the moment you have been waiting for!

 You can hear her footsteps from behind the door… the click, click of the locks as they are released… the sound of the handle as it turns… the creak of the door as it opens.  There she is, standing before you in all her glorious beauty.  Until now, you have never been this close to her.  You gasp.  Her beauty shocks you. You swallow hard.

 If your heart was pounding before, now it is about to jump out of your chest… you can feel it drumming in your ears and you feel your face flush.  And then you hear the sweetest words dripping like honey from the lips of the one you love… “Lord Jesus, please… come in…  Forgive me for making you wait so long.  I see your love for me now…. I didn’t before, but now I do… you are welcome to stay… forever.”

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Whimsy Hop! New Rubber! New DP! Metal Dies!

I'm starting off the latest Whimsy Blog Hop today, yay!  Welcome precious peeps! There are a ton of prizes to be won along the way, and lots of time to enter, so I hope you'll hop along with us!  The hop starts today (Wed Nov 10) and goes til noon Wed Nov 17th.
There are lots of new rubber stamps by the Whimsy Artists, so I hope you'll check out the fun we've been having drawing and designing them!
I'm giving away (well, Denise of Whimsy Stamps is!!) my Peace on Earth rubber stamp set!  I have used the angel from the set on my card.  See the entire set here.  If you are entering for the draw, leave a link to your blog by using Inlinkz at the bottom of this post.  If you don't have a blog, just make sure you tell me so in a comment and I'll make sure you are entered.  I'll be using to pick the winner on the 17th!
Well, I have some news for you! I have been secretly working away along with Denise and Ann of Whimsy on some special projects!  We have come up with some original 6 x 6 designer paper, AND some metal dies!!!  Ann developed a metal die for all her ticket sentiments and I designed (with some help from the Whimsy Studios) a snowflake die I call, "Winter's Jewel 1" !   I'm so excited to see my illustrations being used in these new ways!
My Winter Jewel 1 is on pre-order and will start shipping around Nov 22.  But the ticket die and papers are available now!  I can't wait for you to see!  And tell me what you think!
Ann did the bulk of the work for the paper packs.  Most of the images she used are my rubber stamp illustrations for Whimsy, which I hand painted.  But she used her graphic art design skills to arrange them in various patterns for the papers!  I think she did a fantastic job myself!
There are two packs that will be for sale.  Each pack will have two each of twelve designs for a total of 24 sheets per pack.  Here is a sample of one of the 6 x 6 papers from the Holiday Folly collection: 
And this is the snowflake I designed!  I actually had a lot of graphic help -- I needed it!  The Whimsy Studios artists helped me tweak it to get it perfect.  Without their input and know-how, it would not be symmetrical at all.  I'm afraid I've never had a course on computer graphic design, and when you are drawing a snowflake, you really need the help of a computer if you want it to look right. 
It wasn't ready for me to use on my card today, but I can't wait to get mine and start using it!  I'm rather pleased with how it turned out!  This die will cut and emboss just like the big name brand dies out there.  Cool, huh? heh - heh, yeah, cool (snowflakes -- cool -- get it??) Actual die measures two inches.
Now on to the details of my card!

I stamped my Angel from my Peace on Earth set in Versafine Onyx Black ink onto 140 lb. cold press watercolour paper by Canson. I used Distress Inks to water colour.  The background was done using a very loose brush stroke and two brushes; a round size 6 and size 10. 
I used Twinklets Diamond Dust glitter on the snowflakes and on the wings.  I used gold Smooch Spritz all over the card, but it is impossible to see the delicate gold sheen it gave it.  So nice IRL though!
The two white panels were embossed with the Spellbinders Impressability snowflake die.  I then used Vintage Photo Distress ink to distress just about everything!! lol
Snowflakes are from some Martha Steware punches and also some Spellbinders snowflake dies. 
The circle tag is from the new Winter Letter Seals by Raindrop Echo Designs (Ann Vento for Whimsy Stamps).  It cuts perfectly using the circle dies by Spellbinder! She's a smartie, designing a lot of her sentiments with those popular dies in mind! You can find all her Whimsy graphic work in rubber here and digital here
Below is another example of her beautiful work.  She does custom rubber stamps for crafters!! There are a ton of beautiful designs and fonts to choose from!  This is what she did for me that I can put on the back of all my cards.  And see how beautifully it fits my Spellbinders frame too! 
Not to mention, the custom stamps are made in grey rubber to save on costs.  They stamp well and yet are very affordable!!  AND she also does custom digital work too -- signatures and watermarks.  You can find the many templates she has available here.  And here's a hint: November 15 thru 21, Whimsy has a 20% off sale on all their rubber and digital Custom stamps! And this week, November 8 thru 14, all their digital stamps are 50% off!! They are having their 2nd birthday bash sale-abration all month long.  Check the blinkie on my right side bar near the top for details.

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:
The Crazy Challenge: Things with Wings
Stampin' Sisters in Christ Challenge: Display weather (snow, ice, rain, sun)
One Stop Craft Challenge Blog: Embossing
Drunken Stampers: Punch Me!
Paper Sundaes: Let it Snow!
Craft Your Passion Challenges: Use double anything (two embossed panels on mine)

 Seven of us are offering blog candy prizes, so you won't want to miss out on your chance to win!  And one of the blogs has the GRAND PRIZE of ALL the stamps being released today!  If you get lost in the hop, here is the hop order.  Don't forget to sign up below that with Inlinkz!!

Hop begins here Crissy Armstrong (that's me, that's me!!)
Phew, so that was a lot to tell you!  Now if you want to continue on with the hop, go to
  Simonne's blog to see what she has cooked up for you! 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Hubby's B-day card

I wanted to make a birthday card for hubby Mike with my new digital image, "Ride 'em Cowboy" from Whimsy Stamps.  I remembered that Anna Wight had some really sweet western cards in her gallery on Splitcoast Stampers, and so I went through her gallery and found this beauty of a card here.  It isn't exactly a CASE but I did keep her card up on my screen so I could copy the sketch and a bit of her embellishing style.   I love Anna's art and attribute a lot of what I learned about colouring to her.  I really appreciate her talent!

I coloured the image with Copics.  Now, I did something I would not normally do: I wanted to get the look of a buckskin horse, and I was not pleased with any of my choices in my Copic bucket.  So I started with E31 all over the horse body, and added E93 overtop.  The colour was a beautiful buckskin with those two shades.  HOWEVER!! This created a real problem for myself, that I was not anticipating.  What happened was, when I began to shade using E33 and 35, I was unable to get a good blend.  I tried going over everything with E31 to blend out the darker colours, but it actually just began to look like a dull grey!  I decided to quit trying to blend with Copics and instead use coloured pencil.  This was an attempt to rescue the colouring I had done, and it worked, thankfully. 
I won't bother giving you the Copic colours for this one, because I went over most of it, even the saddle, with coloured pencil, which altered the colours entirely.  Sigh... lesson learned! 
As in the Autumn Harvest Ride card I did with the workhorse two posts ago, I looked at various photos of horses so that I could get a realistic rendering of the shadows of the muscles. 
I am entering this card into the following challenges:
Craft Your Passion: Anything Goes
Lexi's Creations: Anything Goes
Cards for Men: Anything Goes
Freshly Brewed: Anything Goes
Copic Creations: Brown and/or Make a Scene
Digi's With Attitude!: Anything Western
Little Red Wagon: Use the colour Red
A Spoon Full of Sugar: Relish to Embellish
Anything Goes Challenge Blog: The Letter B (my card is for a Boy and I used Black and Blue!)
Papertake Weekly Challenge: Penny For The Guy (guy cards)
Paper Sundaes: For the Boys
Splitcoast Stampers Free 4 All: Tail Waggin' Greetings (use an image with a tail)

Anyway, Mikey loved his card and I loved making it for him!  Here is the inside.  I thought of photoshopping out what I had written and then thought nah.  I don't mind sharing what I wrote to my Luvy with you.  I'm not embarrassed over how much I love him!  He is truly a gift from the Lord to me. I love him so much!   We just celebrated 25 years of marriage last month.   It doesn't feel like its been that long.  I'm so blessed!  
The beautiful birthday greeting is actually two stamps, from Oval Snippets.  They are in a beautiful set from Whimsy Stamps and are designed by Raindropecho Designs.  I think they are gorgeous! 

Well I've chatted on long enough! Don't forget that all month long there are fantastic sales and specials and giveaways going on at Whimsy. It's their second anniversary sale-abration! Check out the button at the top of my side bar for details. 
A new rubber release is coming up in just a few days!!  So stay tuned, I will be in the hop on Wed Nov 10th to help launch that release!

God bless you and thank you for your kind visit today!