Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Flipping for Blue Hydrangeas

Hello all! This is an exciting day for Flourishes -- it's the first day folks can shop and qualify for the next fun-filled, money saving club we call.....


Otherwise known as the Flourishes Loyalty Incentive Program! How do you become a member? Starting TODAY, the next time you go shopping in the Flourishes online boutique and spend $100 on a single purchase (not including taxes or shipping), you will receive this beautiful stamp set called Happy Thoughts! It was penned by artist Sam Pickard and the fabulous sentiments were the creative genius of Dina Kowal! Keep in mind, you can't purchase this set -- the only way you can get your hands on this lovely floral spray of Hydrangeas and these beautifully scripted sentiments is to become a FLIP member!   AND.... that beautiful stamp set is only just the beginning! When you become a FLIP member, it's your pass to BIG SAVINGS!


On the first of every month, for one day only, we’ll have a sale you will FLIP over! ONLY members are able to cash in on this sale: 15% off nearly everything in the store! (Sale does not apply to gift certificates, Silhouette Cameo Machines or Copic Markers). A day or two before the sale, you’ll receive an email with a special “members only” coupon code to use on the first of the month. Just insert this code in the coupon code box at the time of check out, hit “apply” and 15% will automatically be taken off your entire order! This promotion expires July 31st, 2014. Customers receive benefits only from the time they qualify. So, unfortunately, you can’t make up for lost time. One more reason why you should become a FLIP member soon!

Just look!  Gorgeous isn't it?

Happy Thoughts SS257-Web-WM

Ok gang...since most of you know I've been away this last month, I haven't had a chance to finish up my card with this set....but I thought instead I'd show you a little colouring tutorial on what I've done so far with it.  Then when I have a spare minute I can show you the finished card.

Once I've stamped my images with Memento Tuxedo Black ink on Flourishes Classic White cardstock, I start with a colour combination from our Flourishes Copic Collections that will work for the image, then I know I'll have a beautiful blend of colour and shade.  My favourite hydrangea flower color is the blue type, so I picked Flourishes Clematis Collection.    I always start with my lightest colour first, in this case the B60 and lay down a soft bit of color with light flicking strokes.  

I like my images to look quite natural with lots of highlight and depth, so I don't color the whole image in with the lightest colours.  Others do, but it's just not my style, and that's totally ok :)  I say, find your style of colouring and polish it!  

Then I added some deeper color with the next deepest shade of marker (B63) in the deeper areas of the petal but not the entire area I coloured previously, then blend it out with the same type of flicking strokes with the B60 marker.  See how I've still left areas of highlight?  Those are the areas on the petals that are lit most by the light source or are "coming toward you" if it were in real life.  

Next in the deepest parts of the petals or what would be in shadow or receeding away from you I add the B66 marker, and blend with the B63 marker.  See what a difference the darker colour makes for realism?  

And lastly I blend it out with the B60 marker.  You'll see in the last photo at the end of the post,  that I did add some more B66 to these petals because the contrast between light and dark wasn't strong enough for me.  I use very light strokes so it's always blendable if it goes on too strong.  

Next I worked with the leaves.  I often think about the colour wheel and what would be a good contrast.  This blue on the petals leans toward a purpley-blue so yellow is opposite on the colour wheel from purple. So, I went with a more yellowy-green colouring for the leaves from our New Leaves Collection.  Again, I lay down a light flicking motion of color with the lightest in the combination.  I work from the inside of the leaf outward.  Do you notice that I left the center of the leaf white?  Often the veins in the leaves are the most raised part of the leaf - so I decided I'd leave it the lightest colour.  

YG23 is the next deeper shade in this collection and I colour it into the center of the leaf...

And then blend it with the YG21 marker.

I rely on the illustrator and my imagination to "see" in the stamped images where that leaf might be bending away from me and need deeper colour.  That's where I add the YG25.  And then blend with the lighter colours.  

And as I play a little more back and forth with the colour the realism starts to take shape.  

Now look at my lovely leaf stem....a too-full marker plopped Copic solution right on the paper...grr, its so frustrating when that happens!  Good thing I was already planning on cutting these it won't even matter!  But I didn't want SO much contrast between white and the darkness of the center of the leaf so I took a really light color YG00 and feathered out a little in those white spaces I had out the outside of the' softens the effect, and because I left it till the very last it stays really light.  

Now for the finishing colouring touches...

One way to tie images and colours together is to use the different "shades" in each other....hang with me for a sec, and I'll explain.  By adding a little blue B63 - into the depths or shadows of the leaves, I give the leaves a cool shadowed effect that is the exact tone of the flower petals.  It's just the right touch to bring the two elements of the design together.  I'll be back soon with what the finished card will look like!

Now it wouldn't be fair if we showed you this gorgeous set and didn't show you amazing samples thanks to our team of fabulous designers! Hop on over and see what these ever-so-talented ladies created using this exclusive set!

Remember, the only way to get your hands on this beautiful new set called Happy Thoughts is to become a FLIP member. When you qualify, this stamp set is our gift to you! Coming soon, we'll be adding a Silhouette Cut File to the store, just for this set! Fun stuff! Before we go, be sure to tune back in tomorrow to the Flourishes Blog! The Senior Design Team will be focusing on one set that's been a Flourishes Favorite for quite some time. You won't want to miss all the creativity coming your way .... just in time for some weekend creativity. See you back here then!

Happy Hopping with Melanie!

Good morning!  Today several members of the CardMaker Blog team and Gina K. Designs team are  showcasing stamps used in Melanie Muenchinger's newest book Fabulous Stamped Frames, published by Annie's. This cardmaking tutorial book features 36 projects using seven of Melanie's bold and line art frame stamp sets from Gina K. Designs.  These versatile setseach contain a frame stamp large enough to fill an A2 card front, which can be rotated portrait or landscape style, along with coordinating images and sentiments, that allow both beginners and advanced crafters to enjoy endless design possibilities for year-round themes, occasions and styles. Not all sets are needed to get a ton of instruction and ideas from this book! Melanie challenged us to each put our own spin on one of the sets, so we hope you enjoy what you see today!  She and Gina will be sharing videos as well to show more of the book and some of the stamps in action.

Here is what I made :)

I got to play with Melanie's beautiful set Branching Out.  It has numerous elements in square, circular or rectangle fashion that can be used alone, or other elements from the set added to accent the frames. I love the delicate feel to the set and the numerous elements that you can mix and match together.  All the bits and pieces are interchangeable.  I stamped the circular framing piece in black adding the pretty perched bird and then all the other coloured flowers and berries with soft peaches and blue-y greens to match this pretty Teresa Collins Summer Stories  paper.  Just those little bits of dimension really accent the frame.  

I've paired it with some metallic black paper, pretty pearls and some button, lace and iridescent twine.  I wanted it to have that simple delicate feel because it has that sort of dainty feel to me.  Lovely and peaceful isn't it?  

Here's what this lovely stamp set looks like:

Now you'll want to know this fun SALE NEWS from Gina K...

And here's where you can hop along to get tons of inspiration from Melanie's sets in the book...enjoy!

Christine Okken (you are here)

Monday, July 29, 2013

Chill on your Birthday Set

Isn't one of the fun things about paper crafting the ability to make special things that are perfectly matched together?  I love that aspect of what I do :)  

Today I wanted to show you a cute little birthday set I made around the popsicle theme and our new Flourishes set Pinwheels and Popsicles, I just can't seem to put this set down!  

I made a cute little candy holder box and a popsicle card in my favourite lime green flavour.  First I stamped the popsicles from the set onto Flourishes Classic White with Memento Tuxedo Black ink cutting them out with a standard circle Spellbinders shape then framing it out with a Flourishes Classic Kraft  Lacey Circles die.  Coloured up with Copics.  Then for the cute popsicle treat box I used a Silhouette cut file from the store using Flourishes Color Made Easy Pistachio card stock, and then with the same out size and shape made a little mini card to go with it.  Above is the treat box on it's side and below is how the treat box opens and tucks inside the flap.  You can click on these pics to make them larger too.  

For the sticks of the popsicles I traced the rounded shape on the box onto Kraft cardstock then cut out two for the card and then ran them through a woodgrain embossing folder to really give you that stick feel.  

I stamped the sentiment with Memento Pear Tart and on the inside of the card it reads - "Just Chill".  

A very cute little set for the next birthday treat!  

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Photography 52 - 30 The American Adventure Pt II

Want to hear more about our American Adventure?  Lots of photos ahead gang - one of my longest posts ever!!  I hope you're ready!

We stayed in Colorado Springs for a week and also toured the Air Force Academy base.  Our brother-in-law is a former Major in the Air Force so we got some of the inside info with him as our tour guide.  :) 

Here's a B52 Bomber.  These planes were massive...and still in operation around the world too.  

This was really cool, the class of cadets on their first day wearing their "blues" and learning how to fall in, march, fall out....all those good basics.  It was really fun to watch them.  So above is them measuring out their spacing.  

Air Force Academy Chapel....these pointed triangles on the chapel are so beautiful...the inside is lovely too.  

This is how gorgeous the inside of the chapel looks, the stained glass is beautiful.

Do you notice that on the end of each pew it's designed to look like the tail of an airplane?

More of the stained glass and the mountains out the window.  It's a beautiful location for the Air Force Academy to worship in.  

Our next major stop was Glen Eyrie.  This is the castle in Colorado Springs that Colorado Springs founder, General Palmer built for his family in the early 1900's very near the Garden of the Gods.  I cannot say enough wonderful things about our time there, I think its one of the hidden gems of Colorado Springs, and I think that it may be one of my favourite things all trip.  I very much was looking forward to it.  The grounds are gorgeous there, and I caught this little butterfly in the flowers.  

General Palmer was an amazing man.  Such a visionary!  I could talk on and on about all the things we learned about him.  He was a railroad man, and became very wealthy, but not without also being a very generous philanthropist as well.  His castle, Glen Eyrie was fashioned after castles he had seen in Europe and he also imported many of the things he used in building the castle (like all the 24 fireplaces) from European materials.  The Castle is 64 rooms, and AMAZING...but there's a lot of other wonderful things on the property as well.  Glen Eyrie is now owned by the Navigators, and used as their headquarters, a training facility, and also you can come a stay there too.  They want to share it with anyone.  And we sure enjoyed it.  

One of the creekbeds at Glen Eyrie.  All the stone bridges he built on the property are still standing.  I can just imagine horse drawn carriages still pulling up to the property for the lavish parties they held there in the early 1900's.  

One of the buildings on the property we also got to tour was this one, The Pink House, it was actually built by the previous owner, the Straik Family, an oil family from Texas who wanted to use it as their summer home while they restored the property after it had been in disrepair.  This house is stunning inside.  6200 feet and all restored to be so warm and inviting.  What you can't see, but I'll point out is above the pink house on the ridge - the recent fire in Colorado Springs came as far as over that ridge.  600 yards from Glen Eyrie.  They evacuated but gratefully the property was saved.

Outside of The Pink House, they have a hummingbird feeder.  I was completely fascinated by the ruby throated hummingbirds that flitted throughout the canyon.  I was able to catch a few of them.  They are gorgeous creatures.  

The weathervane above the carriage house.  

And here is the castle.  Honestly it was just stunning.  I had my jaw open most of the day.

General Palmer was so progressive, so forward thinking that so much of the castle was decades ahead of it's time.  The castle was finished in 1904.  Some of the fun details we found out about:  He had fire extinguishers and hoses installed in hidden panels in each room, it had a central vacuum system, a phone, a call system for the servants like Downton Abbey -  only electric, he had a 2 lane bowling alley, a solarium for his daughter who had tuberculosis, a green house, his own dairy, his own school for his children and childen of the staff.  The man was amazing, and I was delighted to hear about him.

Here is another view where you can see more of the castle.  

Our older son isn't grouchy :)  He just didn't realize I was taking the picture yet! 

This is where they do high tea each day in the castle.  Isn't that room amazing?  I just love all the decorative moulding.  

General Palmer's room.  His bed is one of only two pieces of original furniture left.  After the Palmer's sold it, and before the Straiks and then the Navigators purchased the property, it went into disrepair and many pieces were stolen.  This bed was one of the pieces the recovered.  

Me and my hubby in the entrance hallway to the great hall.  

This photo is one of the rooms (my favourite) in the Pink House.  WOWEEEE.  I'd love to stay there someday.  They do marriage retreats too....I'm thinking that maybe for our 20th Anniversary next year we'll have to go back!  

They have a beautiful rose garden on the property too.  Many of the roses are done blooming, but these mini roses were so pretty.

And more examples of the beauty of the gardens there.  It was such a wonderful memorable day for our family.  Blessings all around us.  

From Colorado Springs we moved on to Moab, UT to the Arches National Park!  In our original plans we had hoped to go as far as the Grand Canyon with a pop up tent trailer.  We sadly found out we couldn't pull the trailer with our van, so we had to re-vamp everything, so a close second and similar location was Moab.  I think God knew that we needed to go exactly where we did because we have had the best time.  

It really is a place of majesty, stillness, and beauty.  I read on a Moab brochure a quote that read  "Wilderness is not a luxury, but a necessity of the human spirit" Edward Abbey.  And the desert in Moab has that amazing quality of restoration that I think the writer was talking about.  It has the ability to make you feel very small - and for that to be a good thing.  It right-sizes things in life in a very beautiful way.   This is a section above is called Park Avenue - and the Courthouse Towers, incredible.  Below is that same viewpoint with my longer lens.  

This is called Balanced Rock.  You can see why :)  Early on that day it was cloudy but hot.  Later the sun came out and baked us.  

I just love the look of the desert with the rock formations popping out all over.  In the background is the La Sal Mountains.  

Behind the older two is one of my favourite Arches from the day - this one is called Double Arch.  A short hike up there and you can climb right up into the arches.  It's amazing as you can see below.

Here's my husband and the kids up right in front of one of the arches...Now if I could just photo shop out those people in the background!  

And here's me and the kids in right in the arch.  You get a feeling for how massive it is.  And behind the arch?  Big Drop!  

This is Delicate Arch.  We hiked to it from the bottom side, but there's a shorter hike you can do to see it from the top side (see those little dots of people on the ridge?), however by this time the sun was baking and that was a 3 + mile hike.  

Our little guy LOVED scrambling on all the rocks.  They're called slick rock, I'm guessing because of how they must get if it's rainy or snowing.  But during the summer, if you're careful, they're awesome to climb.  

And this above is Skyline Arch.  I loved this one because you have to climb into a canyon to see it, and it's a little secluded.  You can see how massive it is by how tiny our daughter is.  

All in all a spectacular day.  

The next day we went to Canyonlands National Park, just a short drive away.  Where Arches National Park is one where you are on the floor of most of what you see and can climb up into the arches, Canyonlands National Park puts you above the canyons.  It's like a mini version of The Grand Canyon.  And I think it might give it a run for it's money.  It's incredibly dramatic, majestic, vast and impressive.  I'll just show you a couple of pics from there.  Then save the rest till next week!

These below are all worth clicking spectacular arch in the Canyonlands National Park is this one, Mesa Arch.  It's not huge...but the view through the arch is amazing.  You can see the spectacular canyon, another arch, and the La Sal Mountains in the background.  They say it's stunning at sunrise.  

This will likely be our Christmas Picture this year don't you think?  A very kind gentleman offered to take our picture.  I'm always so grateful when someone notices and offers that.  

This is what the view looks like through the arch without people.  Amazing is an understatement.  And the drop-off behind the arch is so scary.  

And this is the view of what's through the arch. See that other arch in the center?  They call that the Washing Woman.  It looks like a woman doing her laundry :)  

Such a overwhelmingly beautiful place.  

And I hope to have a surprise from our next location next week for you!  

Thanks for sharing this week with me!