My creative journey started when I discovered stamping and card-making in March, 2010. At the time, my husband asked, "how long is this one going to last?" A fair question considering my recent passing crazes: beading, triathlon, cycling, dog-training to name a few. I couldn't articulate an answer at the time but I knew that somehow, this would be different. What I've discovered is that stamping is not just a hobby to help pass the time or to keep my mind busy; rather, it has therapeutic qualities in itself. When I am making a card, the whole world shuts off as I focus on my design and concentrate on putting together the bits and pieces of card and ink. The creative process builds my self-esteem, calms my mind and delights my spirit. And I know that the card itself will also bring joy or solace to someone else one day. At the moment I firmly believe that crafting is a gift from God in my life and I am exploring ways to use this gift in some form of ministry for Him.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Christmas in November

I had some girlfriends around on Friday night for a Christmas card challenge night. The carols were playing, the bubbly was opened and I had a plate of strawberries and rum balls for the occassion. We had a lot of laughs and somehow even managed a bit of creative inspiration. Both of these cards for Stamp TV challenges: top is a sketch challenge and bottom is a colour challenge (green apple, lipstick red and white). The stamps are all Gina K Designs Blessed is the Season except the sentiment "peace" which comes from Hope Grows.
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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

This is my first effort at a one-layer card with my new pack of Gina K. Designs Pure Luxury White. And the verdict is...pure luxury! The card is so thick and gorgeous, plus it didn't even pill with my watercolouring. Normally I use only watercolour paper for an image like this bear. Admittedly, I didn't spend much time blending, just a basic colouring but I'm really happy with the results. I made this for a friend who just had her first baby, a boy. So excited to go an meet him tomorrow morning and I really hope she likes the card.

Stamps: bear image: unknown but I think it might be Penny Black. Sentiment: Gina K. Designs Fanciful Tags
Ink: StazOn black plus mementos and Tombows for colouring.
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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Christmas Colour Challenge

Janice has challenged us on StampTV to make a card using red, black and chartreuse. She was very specific that the green had to be that yellowy sort of green. I wasn't thinking Christmas at first but after looking at the gallery I decided the Christmas attempts did look good and I gave it a go. I wanted to create a window effect with the stamped and coloured scene, but rather than looking out of a window, you're supposed to have the impression that you're looking inside a window, to a warm and cosy peaceful Christmas scene inside the house. Hence the stamped snowflakes on the chartreuse background layer, as if you're outside. Not sure if it works, but I like it well enough.

Stamps: Gina K Designs "Very Merry Christmas" by Theresa Momber
Ink: Memento Rhubarb Stalk, Pear Tart and StazOn black, SU Soft Suede, Basic Grey, Tombows (orange and yellow)
Cardstock: SU Kiwi Kiss, Riding Hood Red, Black, white watercolour paper
Accessories: Spellbinders Fancy Tags
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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Another couple for Vicki's sketch challenges on Stamp TV. I made the one at the top first and then after entering it in the challenge discovered it was supposed to be a square card! A stickler for rules I am, so I had to do another one (bottom), this time changing it up a little with a different green and sentiment. I still seem to be drawn to these sympathy sentiments of Nina Brackett's. The top card uses an image from Gina K. Designs called "You are not alone", the sentiment from GKD, "Sending Sunshine" and the flourish from Inkadinkadoo. The bottom stamps are both from Nina Brackett's "Hugs and Prayers." The flourish background for both cards was made using Impressabilities Flourish as a letterpress.

Cardstock: Stamping Up, Navy, Lavendar, Certainly Celery, and ? (different green in bottom)
Ink: Memento Grape Juice
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Monday, October 18, 2010

sympathy cards

I haven't made a card for several days but this is the last one I did, for a Stamp TV sketch challenge. It seemed to get good feedback in the gallery and I know I really enjoyed making it. I've been thinking about sympathy cards a lot actually because I know that some people find them the hardest to make. For me, it's the reverse: I often find myself looking at a card I've made and then deciding it's got to be a sympathy card. Probably because I prefer the soft, cool, toned down colours which lend themselves to a sympathy card, and also because I enjoy making CAS cards. I'm wondering if I can somehow put these cards to good use, for others who do find it difficult to make/buy sympathy cards at the time that they need them.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Busy Becs new Blog

I've just been pointed (thanks Cheryl) in the direction of this awesome new blog based in Australia. Call out for design team at the moment. Hmmmm...

"Welcome to Bizzy Becs New Store Blog...Where you will now see all Bizzy Becs Store Design Team's Inspiration Cards, Tutorials.. Plus LOTS & LOTS of Giveaways.

Lots of fun with the Store Challenges now being set up on here.. Where anyone worldwide can now enter however, I have not forgotten about my Loyal Store Customers. As there will still be a special Prize for you..

As you may know we have been looking for 3 more Design Team members to Join Cheryl, Jackie, Cassandra, Leonie & Narelle. The Chosen 3 will be announced on here in the first week of November.. So If you are interested we would still love to hear from you.. Contact Us here for details.

This Blog Candy is to WELCOME you to Bizzy Becs Store Blog.. Blog Candy is open till November 10th, 2010."

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Moonlit Stag for Stamping Sisters

The challenge at Stamping Sisters for Christ this week is to create a card which reflects God's Creation in nature. Nothing speaks to me more of God's amazing gift to us in Creation than a lake in moonshine, with an animal or tree or two. I fully feel the privilege and honour that it is to be guardians or stewards of His beautiful natural world.

I have made a similar moonscape for a GKD Design Challenge, but with this one I added the foreshore and the stag in sillouette. I sponged the sky first with the lake masked and then masked the moon as well. I moved the mask when I was happy with the colours and sponged the lake, adding the island made out of torn card and then stamping the stag and grass last.

Stamps: Gina K. Designs "Life is Good" (Designed by Theresa Momber)
Ink: Memento and SU, Staz On black
Cardstock: SU Night of Navy, Apricot Appeal, Grey (light)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

CAS Christmas bells


This is a clean and simple card for this week's StampTV sketch challenge and I had to go Christmas, missing Giovanna's Christmas challenges very much. The image is stamped in StazOn and then coloured with my Tombows as well as my blender pen with a dab of Soft Suede. I sponged around the bells (I love these bells!) in soft Suede to give the oval a distressed look. Both ovals were made in my Cuttlebug with Nestabilities and placed on the base with pop dots. I stamped the branch image and the sentiment straight on to the card base using Staz On. You might not be able to see it but I scored double lines around the card base.

Stamps: Gina K Designs "Very Merry Christmas" designed by Theresa Momber
Cardstock: SU Riding Hood Red and Soft Suede
Inks: Tombows and SU Soft Suede, StazOn black
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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Colour Challenge for StampTV

The challenge this week was to create card using yellow, black and one colour from the cool colours on the spectrum. I've made blue and yellow cards before so I wanted to try something different: plum and yellow with black. I decided in the end I didn't like black with these colours, or at least in the layouts I was looking at, so used as little black as possible. And funnily, my original design was with the card in a portrait layout and at the last minute, I turned it on it's side and tried it that way. Decided with the bow and a bit of bling it looked well balanced that way and kept it. The yellow background layers were run through my Bug with the swirls embossing folder. The ovals and Fancy Tag were also die cut on my Cuttlebug. Thanks for looking!

Stamps: GKD Botanicals and Fanciful Tags (sentiment)
Cardstock, SU
Inks: SU So Saffron and Memento Sweet Plum
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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fairies with a Friend

My stamping buddy Tigger and I planned a card-making day (well, half a day really) where we could shut ourselves up in her sleepout and stamp to our hearts' content without interruption from the kiddies. It was fantastic! I'd like to say we did some thorough soul-searching together but really, we were very intent on our cards. We did however find some time to chat and pray for a friend on StampTV whose granddaughter was undergoing surgery.
Tigger has two little girls and I have three so I bought these Fairy stamps from Inkadinkadoo knowing that chances are, we're going to need images for little girls' birthday parties. Sure enough, when I brought them home, my three exclaimed, "Are they ours??? Can we keep them? Do the stamps have to go back to Helen??? (Tigger). The fairies are mine Girls and I'm sure you'll being seeing a lot more of them. :)
Stamps: Inkadinkadoo. Sentiments from SU (top) and Gina K. Designs (bottom)
Cardstock: SU Rich Razzleberry, Baja Breeze, Certainly Celery, black, Cameo Coral
Inks: Staz On, Tombow and SU markers
Thanks for looking.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sit Awhile Peace Card

The Stamping Sisters in Christ Challenge this week is to make a peace card. The idea was to use any traditional symbol or sentiment to represent peace, or to create an image which conveys the meaning of peace to you. With four young children in my house, the idea of peace is quite difficult to conceive! And yet, I try to achieve some semblance of peace at some point every day because I think it is unhealthy both physically and spiritually to be constantly busy and constantly surrounded by activity and noise. I strive for moments of quiet and peace however brief they may be. So the scene I've created in my card is definitely the embodiment of peace to me: a beach, lapping waves, blue sky and a comfortable chair to "sit a while...." I think that chair is the perfect place to sit and contemplate the many blessings of life and to meditate on God's plans in my life.

After making the card, I went outside into our yard to see what my husband was up to. There in our wild cherry sat two wood pigeons, filling their tummies with our spring blossoms. I enjoyed watching them for ages before grabbin the camera, and decided that was definitely one of those peaceful moments. I hope you enjoy the photos.

I stamped the chair in Staz-on and then masked it so I could sponge the scene around it. I separated the sky from the sea by using a post-it when sponging. When I removed the mask I decided I liked the chair in white. I deliberately kept the card clean and simple.

Stamps: Gina K Designs "The Journey"
Cardstock: SU Brocade Blue and Black
Inks: SU and Memento

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Christmas Card for Gina K Colour Challenge

The Colour Challenge at Stamp Tv for this week was to use red, green, brown and ivory. The colour challenges have all been about autumn lately, but of course it's spring here in New Zealand! So I decided to go for Christmas instead. I stamped the image in black Stazon on watercolour paper and then coloured with my Tombows. For the pot I used my blender pen and some SU soft Suede from the ink pad. I sponged lightly around the edge of the image with Soft Suede to give it a distressed, antique look. I stamped the background snowflake on the burgundy layer with VersaMark. The satin ribbon was coloured with my Almost Artichoke ink spot--worked a charm. The sentiment was punched with SU punches. Brown brads added.
Stamps: Gina K Designs Very Merry Christmas
Carstock: SU Bravo Burgundy, Almost Artichoke, Soft Suede, ivory
Ink: Tombows and SU (colours as cardstock)

Sam's 9th Birthday

Happy 9th birthday Sam! It's hard to believe that exactly nine years ago this minute I was in labour with my firstborn! It was a slow day but it's been a crazy fast nine years!
I made this card for Sam using my new stamps from Gina K Designs: The Journey, designed by the very talented Asela Hopkins. The minute I saw this image I knew it had to be for Sam and I chose the sentiment for the same reason. Of course I love all my children dearly but there is a special something about my relationship with Sam, probably because he is my firstborn, or maybe it's a mother-son thing. I'm not sure but I thank God every day for the blessings Sam has brought to our lives.
I stamped the image in Stazon on watercolour paper, coloured it with Tombows and then masked it in order to sponge the background and stamp the steps. I stamped the sentiment and made an oval with my Nesties, then cut out a fancy tag to frame it.
Stamps: Gina K Designs The Journey
Cardstock: SU, Black, Certainly Celery and Brocade Blue
Inks: Memento
Markers: Tombows

Friday, September 24, 2010

Autumn Memories for GKD

Gina from Stamp TV (Gina K Designs) put out a call for this month's guest design team. The challenge was to come up with our favourite autumn memory. Kind of funny since it's spring here in New Zealand and I really don't have any autumn-themed images. I have two memories. The first is of the Harvest Moon rising over Island View Beach on Vancouver Island. We used to hang out there a bit as teenagers and the Harvest Moon rising out of the water in Autumn was a spectacular sight. I sponged the background and then masked the moon before adding the blues and blacks. Stamped the island images and added the sentiment on a Fancy Tag.

Inks: Memento and SU
Stamps: GKD Life is Good

The second card and memory is a bit more obscure: Our family had this beautiful princess dress that my older sister got to wear every Halloween. It had puffed sleeves, frills, bows, tulle, lace, bling--you name it, this dress had it and it was exactly the colour of my card. I couldn't wait until it was my turn to wear the dress! The time finally came when she had outgrown it and it would fit me...but it was falling apart. Years later my sister was getting married--an October wedding--and Iwas her bridesmaid. The dress was the same colour! It also had bows and puffed sleeves but not so much bling. We were grown up by then. I stamped the background with the image to resemble a faint floral pattern in the dress and coloured the flowers with my Tombows. Added an organza ribbon and used my Fancy Tag for the sentiment. Added a little bling because I'm not completely grown up--not just yet anyway.

Cardstock: SU Baja Breeze, ivory, Soft Suede
Inks: Memento and Tombows
Stamps: GKD Friends are Forever

I hope you liked my memories.

Ticket to the Polar Express

Sam had to dress up as a favourite character from a book last week so we put our heads together and came up with the Boy from The Polar Express. I was able to make him a ticket out of cardstock using the train stamp from GKD Life is Good (Theresa Momber) but had to write some numbers and the word "Believe" on it in my not so good hand-writing. Gave him a little bell, put both in the pockets of his robe and voila! Perfect costume for my train-loving son.

Hummingbird Sketch Challenge for GKD

I made this card for a Stamp TV sketch challenge last week. It took a long time and I smudged a couple of spots but other than that I'm quite pleased with how it turned out. I embossed the background layer in my Cuttlebug and coloured the flower and hummingbird with my Tombows on watercolour card--cut them out and put them on top with pop-dots. The flourish in the background comes from the stem on one of the flowers: all stamps are GKD, Nina Brackett's set, "Hugs and Prayers"

Cardstock: SU Rich Razzleberry, Old Olive, Pink Pirouette
Inks: Memento and Tombows
Stamps: GKD Hugs and Prayers

Thanks for looking!