Scene from my window

The Less is More challenge this week is a sketch challenge. It just happens to be a sketch of a layout I use fairly often so I was once again keen to play along. We have had ice, snow, rain, snow, freezing rain, snow…etc this week which, while treacherous for walking around, is very pretty to look at. When I got up yesterday the sun was not quite up but there was a line of yellow on the horizon and the rest of the world was snow laden and bluey grey.

This card is my attempt to recreate the scene.  I must say the scene was way more beautiful but it was fun to have a go. I masked the sides first and then stamped a row of trees in the background, the trees from Lovely as a Tree in the middle ground and the tree from Branch Out in the foreground.  I embossed the black trees and then drew the snow on the branches with a versamarker before embossing a second time. I added the colour by sponging and masking.

Thank you for all your lovely comments about the Berry Branch set of cards I made. I know there were several questions about how I made the winter card. I will try and do a tutorial soon or failing that at least give you some instructions – stay tuned!


Stamps: Thank You Kindly,  Branch out, Lovely as a Tree (SU)
Inks:  Versafine Onyx Black, Not Quite Navy,Going Gray, Summer Sun
Cardstock: MFP  Snow Storm Smooth Heavy
Also:  white e.p.

Snowy New Year

As my Christmas card count was very low this year I have made a few New Year cards for people I still want to send a greeting to. This one features Marina Mist, an SU colour I just purchased and really like.  I masked the hill, embossed the trees and snowflakes in clear and then brayered the sky. I’ll definitely use this technique again; I like the crispness of one colour with white.

Have a great day.


Stamps: Lovely as a Tree, Teeny Tiny Messages, Holiday Sampler
Inks:  Versamark,  Marina Mist
Cardstock:   MFP White
Also:  Clear e.p.

Snow laden tree

Crafty Creations Challenge is aiming to warm things up with a heat embossing challenge. I chose to emboss a very chilly scene. We have discovered since living in Canada that the sunny days which look so beautiful in winter are the coldest days despite the sun!

The large tree is the only part of the card heat embossed. I stamped the tree once in versamark then restamped ever-so-slightly lower in black before embossing in clear. The result is snow laden branches as seen in the close up below.

Thanks for dropping by today.


Stamps: Lovely as a Tree, All Year Cheer, small tree stamp from Embassy Arts
Inks:  Versamark, Basic Black, Marina MistBashful Blue
Cardstock:   MFP White
Also:  Clear e.p.

Monochrome and Masculine

The challenge at Less is More this week is to make a masculine card.  I certainly don’t have many masculine cards in my stash so it will come in handy.  There are not many masculine stamps in my collection either, most were bought with my son and his friends in mind: the extreme sports stamps from Stampin’ Up.  Rather than be extreme I pulled out the ever faithful “Lovely as a Tree set” and created a foggy hillside scene.

I worked on a piece of cardstock larger than the finished panel so I could crop it to the most appealing view.  I used chocolate chip ink for the whole panel, stamping the foreground trees first then adding a mask, stamping again, sponging, then moving the mask and repeating the pattern until I was stamping the final pale trees in the distance.

So my clean and simple does not include “white space” this time but plenty of empty unstamped space surrounding my image panel. The matted panel is popped up over the textured card base.


Stamps: Lovely as a Tree, Teeny Tiny Wishes
Inks:   Chocolate Chip
Cardstock:   Whisper White, Chocolate Chip, textured and flat

Woodland scene: Winter edition

Back in the summer I created a card using Lovely as a Tree for the OLW Stamp a Scene challenge.  I was quite happy with the outcome; both the layout and the technique worked well to suggest the depth of a forest on a summer’s day.  I decided to use the same layout and technique to recreate the card in fall and today I’m posting the winter edition.

I masked my two edges as usual but then added a “snowy hill horizon mask” so I could sponge  the sky.  Without moving any masks I stamped some trees in blue.  Then I removed the top mask and repositioned the “snowy hill horizon mask” and stamped the trees in black making sure that their trunks overlapped the horizon mask.  Before lowering the mask again I sponged a little blue along the edge to create the snow bank.  I move and sponged the bank in a few places again before lightly sponging along the bottom mask.

A favourite stamp, a favourite technique, a favourite layout and in my favourite colour!


Stamps: Lovely as a Tree, Teeny Tiny Wishes
Inks:   Basic Black Brocade Blue
Cardstock:   Flourishes Classic White

Snow falling on pines

When I showed this card to my second daughter she told me with a smile that I was in a rut.  I prefer to think I am on a roll!  I am concentrating on sponged landscapes at present, but it is entirely possible that tomorrow I might have no inspiration for another and start instead to punch out squares  or emboss flowers.

I intended for this one to be a one layer card but when removing the post-it notes at the end one took some of the white cardstock with it so I had to cut out my scene and create a new base.  I stayed simple just popping it up a little.  The falling snow was inspired by a gorgeous card Sally made here.  I used her technique of mixing a little white acrylic paint with water and splattering it  over the stamping and sponging.

Thanks for all your comments about the tutorial.  I am glad it has been helpful and will draw a name  to send the original card to on Saturday.


Stamps: Lovely as a Tree, Taglines (Flourishes)
Inks:   Basic Black, Perfect Plum, Going Gray
Cardstock:   Flourishes Classic White
Also: Stampin’ Dimensionals, White acrylic paint

The long awaited sponging tutorial

At long last I have created a sponging tutorial.  The photos from the tutorial worked well and the colours are accurate.  Unfortunately I had trouble photographing the final product(above) and getting the colours right.  In reality they are a little more vibrant.  (Also I think the camera lense has smudges on it as my photos always end up with smudges at the top or right hand side)  I know I have taken forever to do this tutorial but in deciding what to do I realized that it would be best to start with the simpler version: a sponged card without embossing so this is it.  I may even get around to another tutorial which includes embossing, but I know you will only believe that when you see it!

First I positioned post-it notes to create the borders of my scene.

Next I cut a hilly edge on another post-it note and positioned that two thirds of the way down the white space.  When doing a snowy scene I often divide the scene to allow two thirds sky, one third snow, otherwise there is too much white space.

I punched a circle out of post-it with a circle punch and positioned it in the sky.  For sponging I use a quarter of a circle sponge.  I have some from Stampin’ Up and some Dollar Store; the SU ones are better.  I start sponging with the lightest colour first and it often takes quite a while to build up the colour.  Remember you can always add more colour but you can’t take it off!

This is how I keep my sponges.  When I started sponging I didn’t allocate one sponge per colour I was a bit more random.  I soon discovered it was worth having more and keeping them labeled.  Mine are sorted in the old SU categories because I still think in the rich regals, soft subtles, etc.  I have yet to move on.

We interupt this tutorial to show you the downy woodpecker who flew in for a little suet mix while my daughter was taking a few photos for this tutorial.

After sponging with the lightest colour, which was Almost Amethyst, I started sponging with Brocade Blue.  I left a ring of amethyst around the moon and started the brocade outside that.

Then I moved onto Elegant Eggplant.  I just keep on sponging until I am happy with the blend and coverage.  It always looks more dramatic once you have lifted the masks at the end, so I peek underneath occasionally to see how strong the colour is.

Next, some trees.  I repositioned my hill mask, moving it left  and a little below where it was previously and removed the moon mask.

I stamped the trees in black, being careful to avoid the little grassy bits at the base of each tree.

At this point I also did a little sponging to show the edge of the snow bank.  I usually do a bit with the sponge, but to sponge a smaller area I use a q-tip.

Then I added some trees in Eggplant which I first stamped on scrap and then on the card so it would be paler and appear more distant.

I moved the hill again and sponged the edge of the hill to create the next snow drift.

You can add another few trees here also if you like so you have some more in the foreground.  Then move the hill mask again and sponge along the edge again.

Once you have the snow drifts and trees you want remove the hill mask and sponge a little colour along the lower edge so your scene will have an edge one the masks are removed.

There you have it.  If you lasted this long, well done.  If you are interested in having the original card leave me a comment and I will pick a name at the end of the week.  If you make a card using this tutorial let me know and I will put your name in the draw twice.  Thanks so much for dropping in and for all the encouragement you give me.


Stamps: Lovely as a Tree, Hugs & Wishes
Inks:   Basic Black, Almost Amethyst,Brocade Blue, Elegant Eggplant
Cardstock:   Flourishes Classic White

Rust tree

This is a card I made a while back, which has a more masculine look than many I make.  It also uses a tree stamp I don’t often reach for.

The image panel was made by masking a rectangle then sponging in rust, cocoa and a touch of ruby red.  The tree and sentiment are stamped in black and that is all there is to it.  Unfortunately my photo doesn’t show that the rust cardstock is textured but in real life it adds a little something.


Stamps: Lovely as a Tree, Everday Flexible Phrases
Inks:   Close to Cocoa, Real Rust, Ruby Red, Basic Black
Cardstock:   Flourishes Classic Ivory, Real Rust

Woodland scene: autumn edition

This is a total CASE of my own work!  I decided to revisit the summer one layer scene I did a few weeks back, this time using autumn colours.  I am going to create one for each of the seasons eventually.  I am having trouble photographing ivory cardstock at present; it ends up looking white.


Stamps: Lovely as a Tree, Teeny Tiny Wishes
Inks:   Chocolate Chip, Brocade Blue, Mellow Moss, Pumpkin Pie
Cardstock:   Flourishes Classic Ivory

Autumn Reflections

A few weeks back I made a one-layer card with a masked and sponged tree scene. Well the next step, in my mind anyway, was to try and create a scene with trees reflecting in water.   I had a few issues with this card and want to try again, but I’m still happy with my first attempt.

I didn’t set out to make a square card.  I pulled a piece of ivory cardstock out of the box, saw that it was already scored and set to work. First I positioned my  post-it note masks at the edges of the coloured sponged area, then I positioned another post-it mask half way down to mark the water’s edge.  I then sponged in blue, orange and yellow, with some brown right near the water.  Then I repositioned my middle mask and sponged the reflection side.   The trees were stamped next in both black and orange, after which I had to create my reflection.  This little trick I learnt from Michelle Zindorf, who stamps incredible scenes.  I inked the trees in black and stamped them onto the plastic sheet from the Stamp-a-ma-jig, which I then pressed onto the card.  After that it was just a matter of fiddling around with a marker to try and make the water’s edge a little more realistic.

After I was happy with all the sponging and stamping I removed the post-it notes to find that the cardbase I had stamped on was an inch shorter at the front than the back!  I can’t believe I didn’t notice at the beginning.  I didn’t want to matte it and stick it on another cardbase so it became a square card.

Thanks for dropping by.


Stamps: Lovely as a Tree, Teensy Tiny Wishes
Inks: Chocolate Chip, Summer Sun, Pumpkin Pie, Bashful Blue, Real Rust, Basic Black
Cardstock: Flourishes Classic Ivory