Sunday, August 31, 2014

Baby Kittens

I’m getting ready for a card sale in the next week or so, and my friend said to me, “Christine, you need more baby cards!”   It’s true, I’m sort of past the baby stage and forget to make baby cards until I really need them.  I mean honestly - my daughter goes for University Orientation today so we are WELL past baby :)  

So,  just for my friend and hopefully others that will come to buy cards, here are a couple of baby cards.  

I used a There She Goes set that I just sold actually - I thought I’d stamp it one more time before I whisked it off to it’s new owner.  This company is no longer in business sadly, but boy they had some cute stamps and I enjoyed designing with them for a while.  This one was called “Cattitude”, and was full of cat themed illustrations (by Torico I believe).  

Here’s the boy design.  Very CAS and simple.  Clean lines and limited embellishments.  The papers are from an older SU Subtles pack.   

Such a cute set don’t you think?  

And now the girl version...I thought it would be fun to use the theme of the yarn ball and create circular elements to make the card.  

I switched up the colouring a wee bit, added some PTI paper, vellum circles, washi tape and some rhinestones and buttons for the girly effect.  The Spellbinders die is Heart Circles.  

And just as cute in pink!

Here’s the Copics I used:

In the center are the Copics I used for both the basket and one of the kitties in each basket, on the left are the Copics I used specifically for the boy card and on the right are the ones I used specifically for the girl kitties.  Hopefully that all makes sense!  

Friday, August 29, 2014

Happy Holidays Giveaway

Hello Friends!  How about some blog candy?  I’m so excited about this one!  I was asked to submit for a book by CardMaker and I just received my publishers copies.  It’s a fantastic Special Edition and isn’t even out on Newstands yet.  

It’s FULL of Holiday ideas including packaging items, gift card holders, and even special recipes set for Christmas giving!  I have 4 pieces in the book and now I’m sharing it with you!  

Here’s one of my projects that I’m really proud of features A Day for Daisies set called A Sign I Give. its up to you.  I’m giving one copy of the book away to any reader.  All you have to do is answer this question:

What features do you really appreciate and look for on your favourite paper crafting blogs?  

***Please leave your email address so I can contact you if you’re a winner.  

I’ll be picking a random winner and posting it next Saturday September 6th.  Good luck!

Vellum Bouquet

Hello friends!  Happy Friday to all of you.  Today half of my family is helping my brother and sister-in-law pack up “stuff” in their move to a different house (those members of the family with large muscles), and half of us are getting things done around here for school starting on Tuesday.  The summer is quickly winding down.  

Now some of you who are keen observers of the calendar might be wondering...hey isn’t it about new release time from Power Poppy?  You would be right....but we’re going to make you wait just a few more weeks for all that’s new at Power Poppy...and trust me it will be worth the wait.  I’m so excited about what’s coming shortly - you will want to save your pennies for a fabulous release!  

So today we’re all about finding some more new Peeps of the Week!  It’s anything goes from Power Poppy!  

Today I thought I’d play again with our beautiful Countryside Bouquet Deluxe set, and stamping it on cardstock and some lovely vellum for a softened effect.  

I began by taking some of the smaller flowers from the set and stamping them in white Craft ink onto vellum and then embossing them in white.  I like stamping in Craft ink for this effect because it gives you a bit of a thicker embossed image rather than with just VersaMark.  

After embossing, I flip the image over and colour on the back of the vellum with Copics.  It gives you a stained glass effect on the front side softening the colouring for a lovely background.  

Then I stamped the main bouquet onto XPress It Blending cardstock and coloured it with Copics.  Very simple accents including copic coloured rhinestones and some tulle and white lace.  

Copics Used:  (BV60, BV63, BV66, R24, R27, R29, R39, Y35, YR15,  YG21, YG23, BV02, BV04, G43, G46)

So we hope you’ll play along with us this week!

HERE’S HOW TO PLAY: All you need to do is use the linky below and share a new Power Poppy creation. Just that simple! It can be anything -- a card, an altered item, a 3D creation, a set of cards, ANYTHING!

  • Use Power Poppy Stamps on your creation! 
  • Link up your creation using the Linky on the Power Poppy Blog 
  • Mention the Peep of the Week challenge in your blog or gallery post with a link back to this blog post! 
  • We’ll accept entries up until Thursday @3PM EST and will announce the Power Peeps of the Week next Friday for our Peep of the Week post.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Birthday Bonnet

I did a little colouring for fun yesterday, wanting to play along with this weeks’ A Day for Daisies Challenge that’s called Veggie Love and is an inspiration photo (see below).  So I printed this pretty image called Bird Bonnet for a pretty little scene.  I think she looks pretty darling.  It’s a simple card design just pulling out theme of the flowers along the fence to create an accent along the bottom for the card.  I trimmed the flowers out of paper to have that freehand open feel mimicking the stamped flowers and then added some freehand cut felt for leaves.  

To tie the colour of the fence into the design I gave it some green shading.  The sentiment is from a Verve set (Poppy Birthday) and I just added a little sequin into the flower center.  And for fun I used my blender pen to lift off some colour polka dots from her bonnet.  The way the pen lifted off the colour gives it almost a watercoloury look which I thought was fun.  

Here’s the inside of the design.  

And here’s the Copics I used.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Inspired Paper Strips

Hey gang!  I have a really cool tutorial today over on the Power Poppy Blog on how to give your coloured creations a whole new look with dimension and paper strips....

Here’s a sneak peek and I hope you can drop by the Power Poppy Blog to take a look at how it’s done!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Scrapbook & Cards Today Hop!

Just in case you missed it, Power Poppy took center stage over at the Scrapbook & Cards Today blog with their Card Cafe Thursday! And today, there's another surprise! Head on over to their blog HERE to the and see how YOU could win a $25 gift certificate to the Power Poppy Shop!

I chose to play with some pretty geraniums from our set Geraniums Take Two.  I thought Id do them in traditional RED colours for fun; and to pair them with some country feeling gingham paper to really show them off.  

If you ever have paper that doesn’t quite match your colouring you can always colour it with your Copics too.  The greens in the leaves of the flowered paper were really more lime than green, I just took a G20 marker and evened them out a little bit.  

I did some varigated colouring on the leaves and added a little tag in the ribbons. 

Here’s the inside stamped in Memento Lady Bug ink.  

Copics used:  R24, R27, R29, R39, G20, G40, G43, G46, G28)

Have a happy Friday peeking at all the fabulous creativity from the Bloom Brigade playing along today! 

Allison Cope
Christine Okken
 (you are here)
Cindy Lawrence
Danielle Kennedy
Dawn Burnworth
Julie Koerber
Leslie Miller
Stacy Morgan
Tosha Leyendekker

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Foxy Friend

For some fun, I’m playing along today with the Reverse Confetti August Color Challenge.  I picked up my Quirky Cuties - Freida Fox set and had a little fun colouring, paper piecing and layering.  

Here she is all dressed up.  Colouring is with Copics, and I paired a few designer papers I had in my stash for the colours.  I’ve also added some embossed vellum under the layers to give it a touch of softness and texture.  

I used some bright yellows - but also a little bit of gold in the sequins.  And in this picture you can see that her face is popped up. 

She’s a sweetie!  

Monday, August 18, 2014

Some Sunny Inspiration

I’m excited today to be hosting my first TCP Tuesday Challenge!  It’s an Inspiration Challenge and these two gorgeous sunflower photos are what I’ve picked.  Aren’t they great?  Pick one picture or both to be inspired by.  

I am so taken by the colour combination in the 2nd photo that I had to do something with that design. That purpley-blue with the yellow looks so great! 

Here’s my sweet scene.  I’ve pulled out the lovely and dreamy Wish stamp set and stamped it in Memento Tuxedo Black onto XPress I Blending card stock.  After colouring the bunny and the sky with Copics, then I added pointillism in the background with my B60, B63, B66 Copics and finally finished off the whole design with Prismacolor Pencils to deepen the colouring.  

I’ve added some fun TCP dies to the design - Dots for the vertical white layer, Bitty Banners and Toppers Cutups for the yellow notebook style layer. 

In the background I stamped the tiny stars that come with the set, colouring a few in and then swiping the edges of the paper along the inkpad to give it more of a feeling of a border.  

The glittery stars are chipboard ones I had in my stash that squished into my white craft pad and some iridescent ice embossing powder.  

And here’s the inside of the design.  Simple and sweet.  

Check out The Cat’s Pajamas Blog for more inspiration from the team playing along today.  

Now I really hope you’ll jump into the Inspiration Challenge too.  Can’t wait to see what you create!  Here’s the deets!  

  1. Every other Tuesday a new challenge will be posted here on this blog as well as on our Splitcoaststampers forum and our Facebook page.
  2. If you want to play along you just upload your design using the InLinkz button below*. If you want to display your pretties on Splitcoaststampers use keyword TCPTUES273. Only the entries uploaded to the Inlinkz button will be considered for Swanky Stamper at the end of the month.
  3. You must have your project posted by the Monday, 12 midnight EDT before the next challenge to be eligible to win the Cat Cash.
  4. Cards and projects are not required to use of a Cat’s Pajamas Stamp or CutUps die.
  5. On the following TCP Tuesday, the winner will be chosen at random from the previous challenge and will receive a Cat Cash Voucher for $10 or $15 if a TCP product is used.
  6. At the end of the month, The Swanky Stamper will be selected from all the weekly entries. The Swanky Stamper will receive some of the stamps from our next release and get to play along with us at our Pajamas Party and Blog Hop. AND… They’ll even get a special spot in the Gallery highlighting the project that won them the gig and a snazzy badge to display on their blog.
  7. The Swanky Stamper will be announced the First Monday of the month on Splitcoaststampers, Facebook page and this Blog.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Inspired By...

A few weeks ago my dear friend Julie Koerber nominated me on her blog as someone who inspires her.  That is incredibly kind and really touching to me.  Julie is one fabulous lady with so many inspiring gifts that I have come to love and appreciate.  Above all she is loyal, faith-filled, savvy and has lived out leadership in joy and in challenges, and I am so grateful for her. You can read her Inspring Post HERE).  She is a gem and you definitely want to check out her beautiful work.

So here are my questions:

1.  What am I working on?   I’m almost always working on cards, the canvas size of a card is just right for me, so in that I’m usually colouring up something (I have a few designs I’ve coloured on my desk just waiting for a card - like above).  I’m also in organizing mode going through my supplies trying to decide what to keep, sell or give away.   One of my goals for the year ahead is to somehow get back to some scrapbooking - as our youngest son longs to have a baby scrapbook like his older sister and brother do.  3rd child you that’s something I’d like to be working on soon.  And, today I’ll be painting my older son’s room and a Porsche Mural on his wall.  I am happiest when I am doing something that requires some artistic creativity.

2.  How does my work differ from others of it’s genre?  That is a really unique question because I’m not sure most of us understand objectively what our “niche” is, and how it would be different from others.  However, I think that one of the things I love best about the card making process is the colouring.  Over the years I’ve worked hard to hone my colouring skills in different mediums or applications.  I am also a person who loves vibrancy in what I create, so you will often see rich colour in my designs.  I’m neither CAS or Shabby Chic or technique based;  I’m somewhere in the middle with clean layers, designer paper, and classy embellishing.  (At least I think I am!)  I really love botanical images and also enjoy images with whimsy and fun too.  For me it’s all about excellent illustration.    I also love to include photography into what I show on my blog, it’s a skill I’m continuing to work on.

Here is some of my past work:

3.  Why do I write/create what I do?  I do it as an expression of me, it brings me such satisfaction and contentment to create.   For all of you out there who create, I know you understand that.   To take something from a blank sheet of cardstock and form it into something beautiful that could be given to someone else is delightful to me.    For me it is also an expression of thankfulness to the God who’s given me the abilities I’ve been given.  It’s like an artistic voicing of worship.  There’s a song I really resonate with when it comes to my faith and my creativity, and I find it to be really hope-filled.

“You make beautiful things, You make beautiful things out of the dust,
You make beautiful things, You make beautiful things out of us."

I’ve also built such a kin-ship with many amazing people in the industry as we have worked together over the years that I treasure.  I hope that it does inspire other people in the process along the way too!  I’ve always wanted this blog to be a place where you feel encouraged, inspired and have a little fun.

4.  How does my Creative Process work?  I do approach the creative process differently each time.  There are times where I look at an image and go research what it might look like in real life to be inspired with an idea.  Other times I start with some designer paper and then colour an image to match the paper.  I might also peruse Pinterest or other people’s blogs that inspire me,  or start of with a a sketch or colour challenge to create.  Then it’s always colouring, paper and embellishments in that order.  It’s rare for me not to colour something on my card.  I also take a lot of time.  I’m not a fast creator.  Even when I card is “finished” I’ll likely look at it a long time to decide if its really got the visual interest and polish that I want it to.  I find that even after I’ve photographed my card and blogged it, I’ll look at and and say “Oh I wish I would have done _______ differently.

What’s fun is that I can do it all again tomorrow!

And now I get to nominate some other lovely ladies who are inspiring to me!

Tosha Leyendekker - Stamp Talk with Tosh

If I were to use one word to describe Tosha’s work it would be polish.  Tosha always puts excellence into her work.  Whether its something soft and ethereal or something rich, shabby and warm she manages to create with a something extra or something unexpected and do it with a beautiful touch.  Whether it’s a card design, some gift item or a one of a kind piece of jewelry Tosha’s work is always inspiring.  She’s also a great deal of fun and has a wonderful quick wit and sense of humor as well as a kind and generous heart.  We had a great time when a bunch of us girls gathered together last summer.  And I’m blessed to know her!

Broni Holcombe - Splashes of Watercolor

Broni is a fabulous lady.   One of the things I have long admired about her is how she uses colour.  Whether it is in a card design, an altered item, or a page in an art journal she just knows how to make it sing with colour.    And another thing that inspires me about Broni is that her colouring skills in any medium are always stunning.  She knows how to infuse saturation and light into her work, and I always leave inspired.   I so appreciate her work and have for a long time, way back to our Dirty Dozen days on Splitcoaststampers.  

Clara Cecilia - Clara Cecilia Photography 

This sweet and beautiful friend of mine is fabulous.  Amoung the many things Clara does, one is as a talented photographer and also a lifestyle blogger (along with her friend).   Clara oozes talent and she has this lovely way of making things she touches beautiful.  Whether she’s doodling or lettering something and making it look like a piece of art, creating a graphic that grabs you, or capturing moments for others in a view finder - she creates a story that makes you want to jump into it.  Her photography speaks whimsy and design savvy, and is beautifully light infused.   Whatever she does, she does with heart, and I’m so excited to see where life takes her as she blesses the world with her gifts.  I’m so proud of her!  

Well it’s been delightful to introduce to you these lovely creative and inspiring ladies.  In a couple of weeks you’ll get to hear from some of them about their creative process and who inspires them.  

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Beauty Captured - Thirty-Three

Hello friends!  I’m back with another round of pictures I’ve taken recently.  Many of the shots this week are of our time in my husband’s home town in ND.  

Hollyhocks at sunset.  They are my Father-in-Law’s favourite flower, they are so unique standing so tall in the garden. 

Dill :)  The flowery blooms of dill fascinate me.  As soon as you have it in your garden it can take over.  Even in this picture it looks like a sea of dill  - despite the fact that my Mother-in-Law has pulled so much of it out.  

More pretty hollyhocks.  


Trailing geranium.  I love these next shots I captured of the trails and the deck bannisters.  

The kids went tubing with my husband’s cousin and kids.  They are so good to us and whenever we come we always do something fun together.  Some of these shots I overexposed - and even so - some turned out cool with that look.  

Haha - this one is not the best shot on a crispness level - but it’s fun to show how much our older son was up in the air.  

The brothers :) I especially love family road trips for the bonding time you have together.  

Our youngest waterskiied for the first time and got up on his 2nd try.  He did great :)  

My handsome boys :)  

And finally back at home where we came to find a gabillion more mosquitos than we left, and these crazy grasshoppers.  They really are beautiful when you just look at them - the colours and markings are so unique - but YUCK.  I don’t love them.