Watercooler Challenge – WCC25 – Mandarin Wetlands

WCC25 – Mandarin Wetlands

also known as Kath’s Challenge Photo

For this challenge my fellow artist Kath provided us with a beautiful photo of what I think is a Mandarin duck.   Beautiful isn’t it? I kept coming back to the photo (I finally put it on my desktop) trying to decide on the colors I wanted to use.  Using feathers or a bird image or the idea of water was a given for me.  It was the colors that kept my brain running in circles.  There are so many wonderful ones to choose from don’t you think?  And surprisingly some have an almost neon look too.  How does Mother Nature do that? Got me thinking that Stampin’ Up needs a copper metallic paper…don’t you agree?

WCC25 - Kath's Inspiration Photo Challenge

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Here’s what I finally came up with:

Watercooler Challenge WCC25 - Mandarin Wetlands - Jean Fitch

Now if only my camera could have shown the right shade for the Crisp Cantaloupe! (ARGHH).   With the retirement of so many favorite products only days away I took the opportunity to bring out some of the ones I will miss featuring the most for another playtime.   I was late to the party in loving Crisp Cantaloupe…I know…dumb huh?   But now I can’t stop picking it up and working it into any number of designs including this one.  Until this week I hadn’t even realized how beautifully it pairs with Cajun Craze.  In looking at our inspiration photo at first I was caught by the darker and brighter colors…then I looked a bit more closely and what do you know…there were a few almost pastel shades to offset the deeper, darker colors.  Can you see the Cantaloupe color in the small section of the neck?  The Cajun Craze & Early Espresso were a no brainer for me and the Night of Navy was a nod to the slightly more neon blue that shades to a deep purple.

Then I scratched my head about how to show the feathery texture and the edging of cream color that seemed to outline so many colorful sections of this beautiful bird.  Then my eyes lit on my Sahara Sand Lace from the soon to be gone Occasions Catalog.  Perfect!  After all sand and water birds go together right?  That outlining as well as the water ripples was also the inspiration for the scored lines at the top of the Crisp Cantaloupe layer.  I’ve seen quite a few cards on Pinterest that use the scoring technique as an accent and it was fun to give it a try for myself.  Especially since I didn’t want the lace edging overwhelmed by an overall embossed layer.

The use of the Wetlands stamp set (thankfully not retiring) was a tough choice in some ways.  I wanted to play with the retiring Four Feathers but decided in the end that ducks had a lot in common with other shore birds and I wanted something a bit delicate to go with the lace.  I heat embossed two stampings of the single long image from the set with Whisper White Craft Ink and then Whisper White embossing powder on my Early Espresso paper then punched sections from both stamped images with the 1″ square punch.   The mat layer was a nod to the new catalog using Tip Top Taupe with the retiring Postage Punch.   Why oh why did Stampin’ Up have to choose that punch when looking to make room for new ones.   Sigh…it was the perfect layer for the 1″ Square punch don’t you think?   And you know how much I love creating layered inchies.

Supplies:

Stamps:  Wetlands, Label Love (retiring)

Ink:  Whisper White Craft Ink, Night of Navy Classic Ink

Paper: Cajun Craze, Crisp Cantaloupe (retiring), Early Espresso, Night of Navy, Tip Top Taupe (new In Color) Cardstock

Punches: Artisan Label (retiring), 1″ Square, Postage (retiring)

Other:  Heat Tool, Whisper White Embossing Powder, Sahara Sand Lace (Occasions Catalog and thankfully carrying over to the annual), Sticky Strip, Dimensionals, SNAIL

Tool tips:

1) To create a grouping of scored lines you need to take your courage in hand and allow yourself to freehand the look.  Start at your desired point and then draw lines of varying lengths 1/8″ apart.  The Simply Scored Board is perfect for this technique since the entire board is sectioned in 1/8″ lines. 

2) To create the mat for the sentiment – punch another Artisan Label shape in a contrasting color.  Cut the piece in half across the middle, snip the bottom corners and adhere each section to the back of the stamped punch piece.

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Join the rest of the design team over at the Challenge blog website here to see the rest of the teams designs and to add your own with the linky doodad.  When you add your own design and there are more than three entries, one of you will be a challenge winner and have the option to place the winner’s badge on your own site.  Of course…you’ll also win bragging rights!

That’s it for this challenge.   Don’t forget to check the Watercooler Challenge Blog post here to see who was the winner of the last challenge submissions by linky artists.    Check the challenge site for rules on competing for future challenges.

Hugs and Blessings to all my friends and readers.

Jean Fitch in pink

Watercooler Challenge – WCC23 – Mother’s Day Flowers Inspiration

WCC23 – Mother’s Day Flowers Inspiration

For this challenge Marsha provided us with a beautiful photo of a flower bouquet for a Mother’s Day (or other occasion) Inspiration.  Beautiful isn’t it?  My own Mom is no longer here to receive a bouquet but I hope she would like the paper version I’ve placed on a card for her and all my “other” mothers.  If you have a Mom or an “other” mother (a friend or person who you look up to and learn from and love as you would a mother) maybe this would be a good time to create your own card to let them know you are thinking of them.  Other mothers are wonderful to have in your life don’t you agree?

WCC 23 - Watercooler Challenge - Marsha's Mothers Day Flowers

Join the rest of the design team over at the Challenge blog website here to see the rest of the teams designs and to add your own with the linky doodad.  When you add your own design and there are more than three entries, one of you will be a challenge winner and have the option to place the winner’s badge on your own site.  Of course…you’ll also win bragging rights!

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Here’s my interpretation of Marsha’s lovely inspiration piece using one of my favorite stamp sets from the 2015 Occasions Catalog.  Build a Bouquet provided the sentiment, bamboo looking background and the stamped elements on the flower.  This stamp set has it all that’s for sure.

WCC23 - Marsha's Mother's Day Flower Inspiration - CASE Creation by Jean Fitch

 Supplies:

Stamps:  Build a Bouquet, Butterfly Basics (butterfly image).

Ink:  Calypso Coral, Crisp Cantaloupe, Baked Brown Sugar, So Saffron

Paper: Naturals Ivory, Crumb Cake, So Saffron, Calypso Coral, Whisper White, Wild Wasabi

Punches: Petite Petal, Pansy, Bitty Butterfly

Other:  Big Shot, Labels Framelit Collection, Flower Frenzy die (leaf bough), Rhinestone Basic Jewels, Wild Wasabi Twine from the Painted Blooms Cotton Twine Collection (Occasions Catalog), Crisp Cantaloupe Thick Baker’s Twine, Two Way glue pen, Sticky Strip, SNAIL

I also just happen to have project directions in a PDF format in case you want to make one of your own.   There is one direction I realized after rereading that I left off.  You can take a stylus and add lines to the the leaves on the bough to give a more natural and textured look.

Build a Bouquet Card

One quick note:  The Label’s Collection Framelits and the Flower Frenzy die are on the retiring product list and even better…are 50% off.  Cool!  Some of the items used are also in the Occasions Catalog which ends June 2.  Check with your demonstrator for details.

Some parts of the card are my own idea but the basic layout came from a number of Pinterest posts that came up when I did a quick Google search for inspiration using Build a Bouquet.  The primary being a post from Nicole Tugrul for a Connie and Mary Spring Collection Blog Hop.  You can see that card here.

That’s it for this challenge.  I hope you’ll join the Watercooler challenge and show us your own Flower Inspiration project and link up to us.  Don’t forget to check the Watercooler Challenge Blog post here to see who was the winner of the last challenge submissions by linky artists.    Check the challenge site for rules on competing for future challenges.

Hugs and Blessings to all my other mothers out there, friends and readers.

Jean Fitch in pink

Watercooler Challenge – WCC22 – Adventures in Silhouette

 Adventures in Silhouette

For this challenge Heidi  has provided us with a wonderful combination challenge to play with and create projects.

Challenge: Create with watercolors and a silhouette

Join the rest of the design team over at the Challenge blog website here to see the rest of the teams designs and to add your own with the linky doodad.

I once knew a lady who using a pair of small sharp and pointed scissors (her “snippity snips”), could cut the most amazing silhouettes of people, animals, plants and even complicated lace patterns.  Not being quite that talented with scissors (my paper snips from Stampin’ Up), I resorted to Stampin’ Up punches and dies.

Here’s my entry…no bunnies today but it is another 3D.  Have I mentioned lately that I’m hooked on 3D and punch and die related projects?   With Father’s Day on the horizon (okay…this basket would work for Mom too) I wanted something in what I considered guy colors.   I know…all our colors work for anyone (though good luck with Pink Pirouette or Blushing Bride for any guy who knows the names of our colors…or just has an aversion to pink) but you have to admit some can be a challenge (hm…maybe I should have given some thought to adding to my Father’s Day challenge coming up just to make it tough on all concerned) more than others.   My late husband was a fan of tans, blues and browns (a big fan of birds and other natural wonders too) so keeping all of that in mind here’s what I came up with.

Father's Day Basket - WCC22 - Heidi's Challenge - Front view basket - created by Jean Fitch

and a corner view so you can see the handle and a bit more of the lining.

Father's Day Basket - WCC22 - Heidi's Challenge - Side Basket view - Jean Fitch

I’m still deciding what to put inside this fun basket.  Maybe little 3″ x3″ why I love you cards or coupons for chores or dinners out or whatever your heart desires.  Of course…Hershey’s kisses and other treats are always a great pleaser as well.   And if your imagination fails you…Dad can always use another tie wrapped up and placed inside this much more imaginative basket!

 Supplies:

Stamps:  None so far

Ink:  Elegant Eggplant, Night of Navy, Lost Lagoon (does water count as an ink?)

Paper: Lost Lagoon, Early Espresso, Basic Black Cardstock, Festive Designer Kraft Paper (Clearance Rack), Watercolor Paper

Punches: Bird Builder, What’s Up, Owl Builder (circle for the birdhouse door)

Other:  Big Shot, Circles Framelit Collection, Flower Frenzy die (leaf bough), Two Way glue pen, Sticky Strip, SNAIL

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Not too bad for my first Berry Basket attempt.  Of course I had a bit of help.  My friend Patti Leeke created this gorgeous basket that was my starting point along with Heidi’s wonderful (and brain teasing challenge). Patti's Bird Punch Basket  I saw that and knew I had to incorporate the bird and bird house into my design. I learned a few things along the way.  One…I love this Berry Basket die!  And I bet you will too.   Here’s another fun project by my friend Deb that will give you a few more ideas on using with a card.  Deb posted it on our last Challenge in the linky doodad.  Nice when you can do cards and other things with a die than just it’s intended use.

Other tips from my friend Patti Leeke who has done quite a few of these.  1) Always line your basket with a fun paper.  That’s Patti’s firm and fast rule.  2) Put your cardstock basket together first (except for the rim and handle) and then add the liner -matching up the holes at bottom of basket and adding glue in between the holes as well as other areas (Patti’s favorite glue for this is the Tombow multipurpose liquid glue in the green capped bottle).  Once that’s done then add the scalloped or straight rim by placing the completed rim on the table and then squeezing the basket sides and move the rim up into position.  3) If you have a slightly imperfect side…hide it with a doily!  Boy do I wish I’d remembered that rule!

My tip…don’t stress about how it all goes together.  These baskets are going to be stinking cute no matter how it goes together.   I’m looking forward to making one with copper flashing.   Then I can put it on my desk to hold various doodads.   That’s the genius of a Bigz die.  It can cut 5o materials – see the list here:

Big Shot Materials List for use with Bigz and Originals dies

Here’s a quick look at the liner – do you remember that paper from the 2014 Holiday Catalog?  It’s now on the Clearance Rack at a killer price.   Father's Day Basket - WCC22 - Heidi's Challenge - inside basket And a close up of the flowers I used to cover up the handle attachment:

Father's Day Basket - WCC22 - Heidi's Challenge - heat and flower accent - Jean Fitch

Can you guess where I found the tiny heart?  It’s from a fairly new photopolymer monthly stamp set that doesn’t appear in the catalog – Lovely Amazing You.

In case you are still wondering about the basics of the Berry Basket die from the Occasions Catalog here’s a video from Stampin’ Up showing their tips:

I hope you’ll join the Watercooler challenge and show us your own watercolor and silhouette project and link up to us.  Don’t forget to check the Watercooler Challenge Blog post here to see who was the winner of the last challenge submissions by linky artists.    Check the challenge site for rules on competing for future challenges.

Hugs and Blessings!

Jean Fitch in pink

Watercooler Challenge WCC21 – Happy Easter!

Happy Easter sunrise and ribbon

And welcome to the WaterCooler Challenge WCC21

For this challenge Susan Horr has provided us with a wonderful set of colors to play with and create projects.

WCC21 - Susan's color challenge

Join the rest of the design team over at the Challenge blog website here to see the rest of the teams designs and to add your own with the linky doodad.

Here’s my entry…can you see all five colors?  I couldn’t resist making a 3D Easter bunny project.

Jean's WCC21 - Bunny Box CASE  of Linda Parker

With the challenge going live on Easter Sunday I felt I had to create something fun and just a bit sweet (yeah I know…bad pun with all those chocolate kisses on view).  I’ll also admit I’ve gotten addicted to these bunny boxes.  I’ve made quite a few as gifts the last week or so.    I’ll share pics of those others next week.  Along with their stories and a handy cheat sheet for making the bunny boxes.

The basic box uses my favorite Envelope Punch Board tool.  The rest is all punches, glue dots and sticky strip.  Can you see the bitty touches of Calypso Coral and So Saffron?  The whiskers are Calypso Coral Baker’s Twine that is sadly now retired but the paper is still current and available to punch with the Itty Bitty Accents Punch.  Only two dots of So Saffron but Susan only gave us the colors and didn’t say how much of each we had to use.  LOL   This really is a paper and glue project with almost no ink and only a couple of stamps from the Crazy About You, a 2015 Occasions catalog stamp set.

If you’d like to make your own here’s the link to fellow demo Linda Parker’s excellent video tutorial.  She’s a demo in the United Kingdom.  As far as I can tell she’s the originator of this design.  Thank you Linda for sharing your most excellent project and generous free tutorial.

 Supplies:

Stamps: Crazy About You (Happy Easter) from the 2015 Occasions Catalog

Ink:  Bermuda Bay

Paper: Whisper White, Bermuda Bay, So Saffron, Pool Party, Sahara Sand, Basic Black, Calypso Coral Cardstocks.

Punches: Extra Large Oval (formerly Wide Oval), Large Oval, 2-1/2″ Circle, 1/2″ Circle, Scalloped Oval, 7/8″ Scalloped Circle, Owl Builder (small circles on feet), Cupcake Builder (smallest So Saffron circles), Itty Bitty Accent pak (heart and flower), Curvy Label

Other:  Envelope Punch Board, Calypso Coral Baker’s Twine (retired), Venetian Crochet Trim, Calypso Coral Subtles Designer Buttons, Glue dots, Sticky Strip, Two-Way Glue Pen

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I’m also submitting this project for the Friday Mashup Challenge – FM203 –  here.

This is the first time I’ve entered the Friday Mashup and I’m not entirely sure if it’s okay to add additional colors (besides neutrals) or not.  If so then this is both the color challenge and the Easter Critters challenge all mashed up.  If not then I guess it’s only the Easter Critters.  I was so excited to see that their colors matched mostly with our Watercooler Challenge colors.  Great minds think alike right?   Check out the Mashup I linked above and join in that challenge as well.

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One more WCC21 Entry

Since Easter is for me, primarily a religious celebration I thought I’d make a second card to add to the WCC21 Linky.

Jean's Modern Label Cross - WCC21

Supplies:

Stamps: Crazy About You (Happy Easter) from the 2015 Occasions Catalog

Ink:  Bermuda Bay

Paper: Whisper White, Bermuda Bay, So Saffron, Pool Party, Sahara Sand, Calypso Coral Cardstocks.  Best Day Ever Designer Series Paper (2015 Sale-a-Bration retired) Calypso Coral sheet.

Punches: Modern Label, Itty Bitty Accents Pak, Cupcake Builder (small circles)

Other:  Stampin’ Up! Paper Trimmer, Glue dots, Snail, Basic Jewels rhinestones, ruler, pencil

Quick and simple, easy to make and mail out to friends.  I think this one will be going out to a community of nun friends in my old stomping grounds of the Santa Ynez Valley.  They have a wonderful farm and a mixed community of nuns and laity living on the property.  All committed to a simple way of life and celebrating our Lord Jesus in the context of the Divine Mercy.   I hope they will approve of the simplicity of this card and the joyful colors of Susan’s color challenge.  Lucky for me the Catholic Church celebrates the feast of Easter for more than just a day…so when they get it next week…it won’t we late!  😀

The basic shape of the cross uses Brenda Quintana’s brilliant Modern Label Cross Tutorial.  Brenda is also known as Qbee and and she’s famous for Hershey Treat folded 3D projects of all kinds.  To me she is simply the queen of simple and fun and she freely shares so many of her wonderful projects.  Check her out.  I’ve got an entire Pinterest board dedicated to her brilliance!

I hope you’ll join the Watercooler color challenge and show us your own interpretation of the picture and link up to us.  Don’t forget to check the Watercooler Challenge Blog post here to see who was the winner of the last challenge submissions by linky artists.    Check the challenge site for rules on competing for future challenges.

Hugs and Happy Easter!

Jean Fitch in pink

Watercooler Challenge WCC19

Welcome to the WaterCooler Challenge WCC19

For this challenge Bev Q provided us with a wonderful picture.   I love the fluidity of shape, simplicity and a multiplicity of colors to play with.  Kind of reminds me of I Dream of Jeanie too but I don’t think I can fit harem pants onto my card (well…or on me either).

WCC19 -Vases  Challenge Inspiration

Join the rest of the design team over at the Challenge blog website here to see the rest of the teams designs and to add your own with the linky doodad.

As with most inspirational picture challenges you can take your inspiration where you find it in the picture.  For me it was the rounded shape, the colors and the basic fluid lines.   And of course me, being me, I had to turn the picture on it’s head just to see what thoughts that provided.

 

WCC19 Vase inspiration picture upside down

Want to guess what I saw before I show you my card?  And no it’s not a squid or snail!

I ran into one tiny problem…the balloon die cut I decided to use is huge!   I just couldn’t see adding more balloons given the shape I had opted for so I ended up cutting back on the colors I used.   I also melded the brighter green and and lighter blue into a compromise…Coastal Cabana!   Bermuda Bay might have been a truer mix  (I always did enjoy color manipulation in my dying and weaving) but since I decided to debut my first use of Strawberry Slush I thought SS might need the comfort and company of it’s fellow In Color mate.  Wouldn’t you know I’d finally get into the 2013-2015 In Colors just as they are about to leave the stage?  Yep…that’s how my boat so often floats (or my balloon as the case may be).    Oh…and a quick reminder.  If you are wanting to keep these colors around make sure to pick up your refills, extra paper and so on soon!  The retirement list is coming out in a month or so and those In Color items disappear quick!

Okay…now that I’ve let the cat out of the bag…here’s my card.

 

Watercooler Challenge WCC19 - Balloon Hello Card - Jean Fitch using Balloon Framelits and the Hello You thinlit die

In my rendition of the inspiration picture I reflected the deep blue curves of the bottles in the scallop curves of the Night of Navy card base then added more curves with a round balloon, an oval mat and the curvy feel of the hello die of the new Hello You thinlits.  Have I mentioned yet how in love I am with the Occasions Catalog this year?  The balloon, bow and pennant banner piece are all from a die set that coordinates with the Celebrate Today stamps.   I was a tad chincy on my use of stamps on this card so you are only seeing the tail image (is it still a tail when it’s on a balloon and not a kite?) from the Celebrate Today stamp set.  One of many fun images for all occasions.   Another wonderful thing about the size of the balloon…it’s big enough to cover the inky smudge my fingers picked up when I opened the Crushed Curry ink pad.  Note to self:  Wash hands before assembling, stamping or touching layers of the card…especially when said layer is Whisper White!

Supplies:

Stamps: Celebrate Today, Hello There (interior), February 2015 Paper Pumpkin stamp set (the image on the balloon under the Dazzling Diamonds.

Ink:  Crushed Curry

Paper: Strawberry Slush, Whisper White, Night of Navy, Coastal Cabana Cardstocks.  Gold Foil.

Other: Big Shot, Balloon Framelits, Oval Collection Framelits, Hello You Thinlits, Dazzling diamonds, Adhesive glue pad, Two-Way Glue Pen, Dimensionals

Here’s a quick shot of my incomplete interior.  I’m still mulling over whether I want small flowers, another bow or what to dress up the inside of the card.

Watercooler Challenge WCC19 - Balloon Hello Card interior - Jean Fitch creation

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I hope you’ll join the challenge and show us your own interpretation of the picture.  Don’t forget to check yesterdays Challenge Blog post to see who was the winner of the last challenge submissions by linky artists.    Check the challenge site for rules on competing.

Hugs and Happy Stamping!

Jean Fitch in pink

 

Blessings of Peace and Joy be yours ♥

Dear Friends,

Last night was the last night of Hanukkah – the Festival of Lights – and today is the first day of Christmas – for many of us Christians the first day of an entire season.  So many images of light and joy are dancing through my thoughts these last few days as I celebrate these gifts from a loving Creator so I thought I’d pop in here to wish you all joy and peace and the blessing of light in your lives.

For me all holy days (well really all days since most are holy in one way or another)  are about Joy and on Christmas more than most.  One of my favorite blogs (The Velveteen Rabbi) gave me two Christmas gifts today.  One a link to a blog ( Telling Secrets ) I’ve never read before (but will be reading now) and who’s post about Joy and Christmas and life in between confirmed my own thoughts on the subject and reminded me what it is to breathe.

And second a poem that says so much and reminds us to carry Christmas with us throughout the year.   Thought I’d share that with you too.

by Reverend Howard Thurman

When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among people,
To make music in the heart.

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I thought I’d also share a bit of creativity with you as an added gift.   My dear friend,  fellow Llama and Wacky Watercooler member Patti Leeke shared her lovely picture of a star wreath with me awhile back and today seems a great day to share that with all of you as well.  Not least of which is because the Many Merry Stars Simply Created Kit that is the foundation of the wreath is on sale until January 5th or while supplies last.

Think of star shine, creativity and love and you have a picture of both Patti and her wonderful wreath.   Thanks Patti for sharing!  Now if only one of Patti’s New Years resolution was to start a blog!

Patti’s Many Merry Stars Wreath

Patti's Star Wreath 1

Patti's Star Wreath 2

Patti’s loving spouse Jim (Hi Jim and Merry Christmas) made the wooden wreath form (fancy name for a circle shaped ring) for Patti.  The rest of the supplies are mostly from the Many Merry  Stars Simply Created Kit with a few extras current and retired that Patti found in her studio.  Here’s the list based on what I can see:

Many Merry Stars Simply Created Kit, Tree Punch (2014 Holiday), Designer Rosette XL Bigz Die, Gift Bow Punch (2015 Occasions), Paper Doily Sizzlit Die (retired), Itty Bitty Accent punch pak (stars), Wonderful Wreath stamps and die set (2014 Holiday), Glimmer Paper (various colors), Snowflake Punch (retired), Small Circle Punch – not sure what size.

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That’s it for the blog today…back to the merry mayhem that is Christmas in the country…good food, good friends to share with, neighbors chickens, dogs, music and celebratory gun shots (theirs not mine and not recommended at all)  and a tangible joy that knows no bounds.

Merry Christmas to you all!

Jean Fitch in pink

 

 

 

 

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