Winter challenges

Winter branch

One of the challenges of winter is the warm days, like today. It may not sound hard to take but when you get rain instead of snow you get ice covering everything. And, I may be wrong, but the bitter cold seems to keep the germs at bay whereas the unseasonal thaws don’t.

But this post is really about a couple of card making challenges I am entering. The first is the current CASology challenge “winter”

Week 26 - Winter

and the second is CASe this Sketch #10.


I have been inspired to enter a few more challenges by Ardyth who enters several regularly and always nails each one. I think I have said it before but I actually find challenges quite, well “challenging”. It seems to me that being given the parameters for a card is a sure way for all my inspiration to disappear.  I was pretty safe with the ‘winter” challenge as I never seem to tire of those winter scenes and the sketch was similar to one of my favourite layouts so I was, this time, up to the challenge. It still took me two attempts to get it right!

This branch is from a Penny Black halloween set but as far as I am concerned it can be useful all year round; I just left the bats out! I stamped the branch in black first then, using a stamp positioning tool I stamped it again in versamark a little above the black image. After embossing in clear powder I was able to sponge the sky behind and expose the snow laden branch. When I had the snow banks and sky completed, the scene really cried out for a little contrast. A few red berries would have been perfect but I didn’t want to risk wrecking it by adding them over the sponging so instead I added a few hints of pink to the sky and snow.

Enjoy your weekend.


Stamps:   WishesHoot of a Time (PB)
Inks: Memento  Teal Zeal, Angel Pink,Versafine Onyx Black, Versamark(Tsukineko)
Also: clear embossing powder

47 Comments on “Winter challenges”

  1. Ardyth says:

    Stunning sponging, as always, Heather – love the pink around the edges – so pretty and so much depth! And thank you for the kind words!

  2. I call this “nailed!” I’m of two minds about you getting into challenges, Heather. One, “Good for you, they are awesome fun!” Two, “There goes any chance for me to win!” I’ll enter anyway, ’cause of the fun, so no worries; it’s just a fact of how massively talented I think you are!!

  3. Mary H. says:

    Heather, just beautiful, as it always is. I was so charmed to read that it took YOU 2 tries to get this just as you wanted! I’m struggling with your snow sponging technique (I ‘think’ I may be getting a tad better, but then next time I try, ugh!). So you’ve once again inspired me that even the ‘experts’ have challenges too. I’m with Darnell’s thought: If Heather is in the challenge, no hope for me! But that’s ok, the fun part is in the ‘creating’ – not just the ?winning? And it’s always such a thrill to see what everybody submitted. Loved that you used a ‘not for winter’ stamp on this one. It worked beautifully. Hugs & TFS

  4. Marianne Lait says:

    Another beautiful wintery scene, absolutely love the snowy scenes you do………..what an Artist!!!

  5. Nonni says:

    This is so beautiful. Your skills at sponging and creating a scene are amazing!

  6. lostinpaper says:

    What can I say but….. WOW!
    Thanks so much for sharing at CAS(E) this Sketch this week!

  7. fiona says:

    Exquisite card, it almost looks like a photograph. Stunning.

  8. Rosemary D says:

    goodness… this is absolutely gorgeous!! your shading is stunning… thanks for playing along with CASology this week!

  9. Kate says:

    This is just beautiful 🙂
    Kate x

  10. Ann Cox says:

    This is absolutely lovely!

  11. Janine B says:

    Gorgeous as always

  12. Geri Greening says:

    Absolutely stunning Heather! I admire your ability to use your stamps in such versatile ways! I never would have guessed that this was a Halloween stamp!

    Date: Sat, 12 Jan 2013 19:03:14 +0000 To:

  13. Tracy says:

    This is lovely heather, we are waiting on some snow in the uk, but I agree love the crisp days. Tracy x

  14. Oh my GOODNESS this is STUNNING!!! So glad you played along with us in this week’s CAS(E) this Sketch!

  15. Linda says:

    This is beautiful. I would love to watch you do this. Your description is excellent, but I think seeing you make this card would be so helpful I must be a visual learner!! I love the snow on the branches.

  16. Patti Cunningham says:

    I absolutely love your work. You make everything look so easy and so elegant. Thank you.

  17. Jen Mitchell says:

    Absolutely stunning!

  18. Jen W. says:

    Your stamping never ceases to amaze me, Heather. I’ve had to stop visiting to give my chin a chance to heal! 🙂 Thanks for playing along with CASology and CAS(E) This Sketch this week!

  19. Lindsey says:

    Yes, this is pretty much perfect. 🙂 I love the richness and depth you achieve on a one-layer card. I saw that your area was due for some freezing rain last night; that I think is the worst. (Well, except for when I was still teaching and it would close the schools, not just cancel the buses. 😉 )

  20. Judy1223 says:

    Well, Heather, what can I say that hasn’t been said here…this is absolutely amazing! Your sky is absoluely perfect, and the snowy branches actually look cold to me! Thanks for playing with us at CASology this week!

  21. Beautiful sponging on your background. Thank you so much for sharing with us this week at CASology!

  22. Greta H says:

    The way you make hills & snow banks is incredible, Heather! This is a masterpiece!

  23. Maarit says:

    Totally stunning! And very inspirational.


  24. KatieP says:


  25. Barb Ghigliotty says:

    Another really BEAUTIFUL snowy scene!!!

  26. Stunning. You are really getting me in the mood to get inky again today! x

  27. Shirley-bee says:

    Ooh, Heather, your artistic talent and creativity with sponged snow scenes never ceases to amaze me! You change the angle, the colours, the depth, and the results are stunning every single time. I’ll definitely be case-ing this one! (I may have said that on a few of them!)

  28. Anne from France says:

    Changing the perspective like this changes the whole mood of the scene. It looks warmer cosier somehow…or am I just being a bit OTT? I really like what you did here and you have inspired me to play around with angles and layouts more. Thank you!

  29. Julia Aston says:

    Your winter scene is just wonderful Heather! I love how you clear emboss the branches and sponge the snowy field!

  30. Karen M says:

    Hi Heather, I have to say that this is extremely striking! A truly beautiful winter scene and I love how you did the versa mark Stamping just above the branches. An amazing effect. Love everything about this sweet card Kx

  31. Maureen Merritt says:

    WOW, I don’t know how you do it, but you make the most gorgeous sponged scenes in the papercrafting community! Really amazing!
    Thanks for sharing your talents with us at CASology!

  32. Gabby says:

    Lovely card! Like the double stamped and emb branch and the snowy background/sky look fantastic! 🙂

  33. debbie says:

    I just love your cards and this one is particularly stunning! I would love to see some berries on the branches if you ever remake this card, maybe using liquid pearls so as not to affect the stamping? I would also love to watch a video of you making this type of card. Keep up the great work.

  34. Kathy harrison says:

    I really love your style. Thanks for sharing your beautiful work with us:-)

  35. June K says:

    Wow.. . so gorgeous.

  36. Brenda B. says:

    Heather, I’ve just stopped by after seeing your winning card over at CASology! What an absolutely fantastic card! It is so very breathtaking. I couldn’t resist exploring your blog while I was here. You have incredible talent…I’m so inspired and in awe of your creations. I’ve added you to my blog reader list!

  37. maria f. says:

    This card just jumps out of the thumbnails at the challenges, and now that I see you won at CASology I have to say you are so deserving. So striking. But also so soothing. Lovely and oh-so-artistic work.

  38. Barbara roe says:

    You certainly deserve first place this card is gorgeous.

  39. I keep coming back to ths fabulous card again and again.
    It speak sto me of wonder, and solitary beauty.
    The depth is so wondrous!

  40. Doris says:

    You really captured the beauty of winter in this peaceful card!

  41. Chrissy L says:

    This card is absolutely amazing! My jaw just hit the floor! I so glad you shared it with us at CAS(E) this Sketch!

  42. Mmmm? What’d I tell you! Winner card! Congratulations for the honor of a CTS Favorite for your stunning card, Heather!! Wheeeeeee!!

  43. Lynda says:

    I came here from CAS since you won this time! Congrats! I think your card is so eye-catching! The way you made the wintry branches worked perfectly!

  44. Emma Woods says:

    Congratulations on winning this time, the card is so peaceful and awe inspiring it caught my eye immediately and I had to come and look at your blog.

    Nature has a wonderful way of showing the seasons doesn’t it.

    Well done again


  45. Leslie says:

    I have just seen this on Pinterest and tracked down your blog post…this is stunning!!!

  46. Darlene B. says:

    Another visual learner here! 🙂 Would you pretty please (with a cherry on top!) consider making a YouTube video tutorial explaining how you composed this as well as showing us the step-by-step process of this card? Thank you for making the world of paper & ink a much prettier place!

  47. Heather this is fabulous! I love how much impact your sponging has – WOW!

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