Monochromatic Christmas

Hello stampers! Does monochromatic Christmas sound boring to you? Or does it sound complicated? This week I had a request from one of my club members to take the mystery out of our wonderful Snow Front stamp set. The sheer number of stamps in there can be daunting. Let’s take a look at why I chose a monochromatic Christmas card for this set.

 

The Inspiration

I had two sources of inspiration for this card. The first one was the Toile Christmas paper, the second was The Cow Whisperer. Now I love that name as I grew up on a dairy farm. But that is where the similarities end. You see, I was terrified of cows. I had to help with the milking and we had a few cows that were downright mean. They could kick sideways and they would do it when you least expected it. Most cows are gentle, but when you meet a mean one, look out!! There was no whispering then! Anyways, here is her card.

 

Simply Monochromatic

 

The idea for a monochromatic card was indeed inspired by the paper as it is also monochromatic. If you would stamp a colourful scene and put it on this paper it would be too busy. When you use Snow Front in just one colour it is not so overwhelming. I chose to use Garden Green, but you could also use real red as that is the colour on the other side of this stunning paper. We used to have wallpaper in our living room that reminds me of this paper. Maybe you did too?

Start by putting all your stamps on blocks. Then decide what sort of scene you would like to make. I like to take some cheap computer paper and play a bit. That takes the stress out of it as you are not wasting any of your precious cardstock.

 

The Most Important Tip

 

The most important tip when working with Snow Front is to use a mask. For this card I made a mask of the cabin. The way it works is that you first stamp your cabin where you want it to go. Stamp it again on piece of sticky note paper, cut it out and place it over your stamped cabin. Then you can stamp some trees around the house and it looks like the cabin is nestled in the woods rather than just floating in the scene. The other tip is to stamp multiple times without reinking, that will give you different shades of colour for a more realistic look.

 

My Card

 

 

I stamped the cabin first and then covered it with a “mask” which is just another cabin stamped on a sticky note and cut out. That allows you to stamp over your mask so that the trees and the slope come right up to the cabin to make it look like a unified scene. There are three different sized single trees in Snow Front. Your scene will look a lot nicer when you use different sized trees. I will do an exclusive video on how to make this card on my Pampered Stamper Elite Group on Facebook. If you want to be a part of this group you can be! All you need to do is place an order with me, either for product or for a kit. Kits can be shipped anywhere!

 

The stitched rectangle framelits are perfect for adding detail. “Lots of love at Christmas” is from Itty Bitty Christmas. What I liked best about using these two stitched rectangle framelits is that I didn’t have to do any fussy cutting. The sentiment fits right under the very vanilla rectangle, and because it is curvy you don’t even have to worry so much about trying to get it perfectly straight.

 

Don’t you just love how all the Stampin’Up! products coordinate? The garden green double-stitched ribbon is also part of the Toile Tidings suite. Very vanilla is the colour of the card base which is also the background for the Toile Tidings designer series paper. If you want to really take it over the top with coordination you can wrap your gift in our exclusive Toile Tidings gift wrap!

 

My lovely Clementine

 

I just had to end this blog post with a few pictures of my darling Clementine. She is my third grandchild who came into this world in the middle of a snowstorm just before 2am on Friday November 8. Oma missed her birth by about ten minutes because of that nasty storm. So did the midwives! My brave daughter delivered her 9 pound 6 ounce baby herself. Both are doing so well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is pretty awesome to be able to hold your grandbaby so soon after birth. Oh, those cheeks and that tiny nose! I’m so thankful that everything went so miraculously well given the circumstances. God is so good.

 

Thanks!

 

As always, thank you for stopping by today and reading my blog post. I love hearing from you! Thanks for sharing my creations on Pinterest and on Facebook and thanks to those of you who are ordering online from me and also ordering kits. I hope you have a wonderful day.

 


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A Cardinal Love Story

Hello stampers! Today I would like to tell you a cardinal love story. I love feeding and watching birds in my backyard, and cardinals are my favourite. The reason for this is not only their vivid colouring, it is the way they love each other. Did you know that cardinals mate for life? If you spend some time watching them you will inevitably see the male cardinal feeding the female berries or seeds. Now that is the most beautiful thing to witness! They also take turns sitting on the eggs and feeding their young.

 

That is why I wanted to make a card with a male and a female cardinal looking at each other. Their romance deserves to be  celebrated and the stamparatus and the silicone mat make it easy to make a reverse facing cardinal. Would you like to see my card?

 

The Card

 

 

When you open the card then you get a lovely surprise with the female cardinal inside looking back at the love of her life! This is made possible through the reverse stamping technique. You can see a video on how to do that here.

 

 

How do you like the colours of the cardinals? I am thrilled with how they turned out and I will tell you all about it very soon.

 

 

I will show you a couple of pictures to try and do justice to the z-fold construction of this card. I shared the measurements in a previous post. This basic card design was inspired by Rachel Tessman. You can find the measurements for this card in a previous blog post here.

 

 

You can see that my cardinals are enjoying hanging out in the amaryllis greenhouse. The light in there is perfect for photographing my cards and I have to use the resources I have on hand! Today is my last day here with Gerard, I fly home very early tomorrow morning so there will be no blog post tomorrow.

 

 

The Colouring Trick

 

Do you remember that I told you that I had no cherry cobbler or real red ink? My Blends collection is also still in Canada, so I had to get creative with what I did have and I am so very pleased with how it turned out. It really is amazing what can happen when you layer colours. I started with shimmery white cardstock. The cardinals were stamped with Tuxedo Black Memento ink and left to dry for a little while. The reason I let them dry for a while is because I was going to be colouring them with an aqua painter and ink. Water can make memento ink run if it hasn’t had time to set.

 

 

For the male cardinal I started with colouring him totally in Poppy Parade. This colour really lives up to its name, it really is exactly the colour of those large poppies in my garden, a beautiful orange-red. However, this is not the right colour for a cardinal. I decided to layer on some Lovely Lipstick. What a difference! After that I decided to add just a little more depth by adding a touch of Merry Merlot. Bingo!! It was just the right shade for my proud male cardinal. For his beak I first used Pineapple Punch and then coloured over with Flirty Flamingo.

The female cardinal was going to be a little more challenging because of her muted colouring. Mrs. Cardinal has a lot less red because she has to blend into her surroundings when sitting on the nest protecting her eggs and later her chicks. You have to remember that I used to question my talent as an artist, so this is a big deal for me! I started with a little Gray Granite around the edges and then filled in with Soft Suede that was really diluted with the aqua painter for a softer effect. I left a little white space which I then filled in with a little Poppy Parade also watered down significantly and then a touch of Flirty Flamingo. Her beak was done the same as for the male.

I no longer doubt my artistic abilities. Creating this pair of love birds was a lot of fun. I am so very happy with how they turned out. This card and this cardinal love story simply brings me joy and I hope it does the same for you.

 

Personal Reflections

 

Today is my last day in Holland. I wanted to do a blog post even though it is Thanksgiving Day in Canada. Here it is a regular work day. Thanksgiving Day is a “new world” holiday. Tomorrow my plane flies out of Amsterdam at 9:45am, that means I need to leave home at 6am, so there will be no blog post tomorrow!

 

My four weeks here have flown by. I am thankful that I was able to blog almost every week day and that I was able to do my weekly Facebook live videos both on my business Facebook page and also on my Pampered Stamper training group page. Many visits were made with my family here both over coffee and meals in their homes and also in fun restaurants and for this I am so very thankful. What an amazing opportunity to reconnect with my roots and also to hear stories about my parents that I had never heard before.

 

Gerard and I went to see a famous Dutch comedian and he was impressed that I was able to understand almost all of it. I met my cousin that night as well whom I hadn’t seen in twelve years! Last Friday we went to see a musical called Soldat van Oranje which is the longest running Dutch musical ever. It is in its 9th year and is a story about a student in World War 2 who flees to England to start an undercover operation with the help of Queen Wilhelmina. If you are interested in reading more about this, here is the link. I am sure there is a translate button so that you can read it in English too.

 

We only went out for supper three times in four weeks, the rest of the time we cooked together or we were at relatives. For the first time I had a taste of what it would be like to actually live here. Next time I will drive more myself and do some solo exploring. I was unable to unlock my phone so that means I had no GPS and having that would make me a lot more comfortable driving here.

 

It was interesting to work here with limited supplies. I have learned how to improvise and it has also stretched my creativity. My desire to share the opportunity of the starter kit has only grown through this experience. I am a firm believer that every new stamper should really start with this kit. Crafting is so much more rewarding, fun and easy when you have a few more supplies to work with. You may as well do that on a discount don’t you think?

 

Thank You

 

Thanks again for dropping by and for being a part of my journey. There is always room for you on my team if you live in Canada and I am always thrilled to help new customers get just what they need. I am looking forward to evolving my business to better serve my long distance customers. If you haven’t done so yet, please take the time to introduce yourself in the comments below. Have a super day and I will be back here when I am in Canada again.

 


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Toile Christmas Blue Jay

Hello stampers! Today I want to share with you a Toile Christmas blue jay. There was a card I was planning to recreate that I had seen at our Twin Teams gathering made by the talented Marion Greenlund. When I was finally ready to make this card I realized I was missing some key components, the most crucial of which was the Peaceful Boughs Bundle. That is how the card for today has come to be!

 

Toile Christmas

 

Do you know the meaning of the word toile? It is actually a fabric and is derived from the French word meaning “linen cloth”  or “canvas”, particularly cloth or canvas for painting on. In this case it refers to a type of repeated surface decoration traditionally printed on the same fabric. If you look at our Toile Tidings designer series paper you will see just that. Old Victorian wallpaper also looked just like that with a repeated picture or design.

The bird image in Toile Christmas is a cardinal which is a very popular bird in North America, but it can also be interpreted to be a blue jay. I don’t have any cherry cobbler or real red ink pads with me here in Holland, so I decided to make a blue jay. I combined it with the Feels Like Frost designer series paper for a look that I am really, really pleased with if I do say so myself.

 

The Card

 

Once again I really wanted to showcase the beauty of this paper without having to cut it down so I made a big 6 1/8″ square card. Of course that means that I will have to custom make an envelope to go with it but we have our envelope punch board to make that a relatively easy process.

 

 

 

 

 

Can you see why I am so happy with this card? The card itself is basic black and the panel on the right uses the full piece of 6″ by 6″ paper. I then cut a 2 3/8″ piece of the same paper (there are four sheets of each design in the pack) and I turned it upside down to get a bigger sky feeling. You can also see that it is a Z-fold card which allows the branches to overhang the one panel.

 

 

 

 

Here you can get a good look at the sentiment. This was also a stroke of genius inspired by necessity. I had no embossing powder so I used the Delicata copper ink pad and the stamparatus. That way I was able to ink up three times to get a nice bright image.

 

 

 

 

Two of the dies in Toile Christmas do not have coordinating stamps so I cut them out of shimmery white cardstock and coloured them with ink and an aqua painter. I added them to the stamped and coloured branch for some variety. After some close inspection I decided that something was missing. There was an extra branch laying on my stamp table just begging to be put to use, so I cut it up and added it in sprigs to the branches on the left. Do you like this version better as well?

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had more pictures of this version of the card but we had some major computer issues so these pictures are not currently available to me right now. It is imperative that I finish this blog post today so I don’t want to get bogged down into fixing computer issues, after all, here in Holland it is already late Friday afternoon.

To be totally honest, I am beyond thrilled with how this card turned out and I am also excited to share that  I figured out how to paint a cardinal without using cherry cobbler or real red. He will be the feature of Monday’s blog post.

 

The Measurements

 

If you are like me, you find it most helpful to be given the dimensions so that you don’t have to guess and mess it up or waste paper, so here you go!

Card base: basic black 6 1/8″ by 11″ scored at 6 1/8″ and 8 5/8″

Feels Like Frost designer series paper:  6″ x 6″ and 2 3/8″ by 6″ (tow of these) one on the front of the card and one on the opposite side.

 

Thank You

 

Thanks again for stopping by to read my blog, I hope you were inspired by my creation for today. Stop by again on Monday to see how I made some beautiful cardinals. If you live in Canada and don’t already have a demonstrator, I would love for you to shop online with me or if you are local to Chatham, Ontario then come to a class some time. To stay connected you can subscribe to my newsletter, that is where I promote my classes as well as on my business Facebook page which you can find here.

 


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