26 March 2011

Week 8 Sketch

Welcome to "Less is More" for the start of our new challenge.
What wonderful entries we had again last week. Even though we say it all the time, your comments blow us away and thank you so much for all the continued support.
Without you all visiting, entering and visiting each other, we wouldn't be where we are today...
proven by a few statistics!
We eagerly watch the Crafty Blogs [icon on sidebar] and we 'rose' to an amazing number 7 during the week. That is truly phenomenal!
On our very first week we had 167 entries and this has continued to grow and grow. The amount of comments you leave us is truly amazing and is what sets us apart from other challenge blogs we've come across. We also now have over 600 followers!
We both managed to still comment on all of you individually and will do as much as we can. Rest assured we will always both look at all entries even if you only get comments from one of us!
OK so onto this week,
 it's SKETCH week.

This was intended as a DL card, but although dimensions don't have to be exact, the proportions should be similar. (A tall thin card)
We have just learned from Lynne that DL stands for Double Length, so the card should have a height that is Double the Length of the width! Thanks Lynne.
You can interpret it however you wish but we do need to recognise the sketch and most of all your design must be clean & simple and most definitely
"Less is More"

And now onto our cards
Mandi first this week

Flowers are Stampin Up set Growing Green
stamped onto Pink Petticoat papers
Orchid pink and Pistachio and Fairy Dots [blk]
[With every pattern design you get the solid colour match too]
 Centre of green flower is black glittered and the 
gems are just stuck on the dot flower for a bit of interest
Font is Tall Paul

My little tut for this week is about matching a computer generated font to the colour in digi papers [or any scanned image in your computer files]
All digi papers are made up of a Red, Green and Blue colour palette,
so we need to determine what combination they are made of.
I do this using Paint as it's normally built into your computer.
On the start menu type Paint in the search box and open the program.
Then go to File 'top left hand side' A box appears select Open
From here you need to tell it where your particular paper is stored. Once you locate it, 
click Open and that paper will appear in the paint window
On the left hand side are 'tools' Select the little icon that looks like a pipette [3rd down on mine]
Click it onto the colour you want to match
Click Colors
Then Edit Colors [from a pop up box]
A box appears and click Define Custom Colors
There on the bottom right you will see, for instance
Red 231
Green 18
Blue 97
Make a note of these and you then change your font colour using these numbers.

This week I (Chrissie) have done 'his and hers' versions of the sketch.

Each card uses a heart from the Stampin' Up' I (Heart) Hearts' set of stamps and a background stamp also from Stampin' Up. The masculine version uses 'Friendly' and the female version 'En Francais'.

In both cases I have stamped the heart and then after cutting out, double embossed it with clear UTEE.

Each has a simple ribbon treatment.

The sentiment on the first card is from SU Vintage Vogue.

The sentiment on this card is a stamp from Penny Black.
The twiddly bit around this heart was made with a snipped up Martha Stewart border punch!

One of our community, Tara (Craftilicious) is starting a new Charity Challenge Blog with a DT selected from our number here at "Less is More"
This is what she writes...
  My father passed away 3 years ago from cancer was greatly supported by our local hospice, who I have been trying to support ever since through various crafting projects.  We have now started a crafting group at the hospice with the aim of coming up with craft-based projects to raise funds for them.  My first project is to start a charity challenge blog.  This will be a monthly competition to make a card and I am trying to encourage those who play along to post the physical card they make to the charities freepost address so we can have lots of lovely handmade cards to sell both in their shops and at crafting events we intend to put on throughout the year.
This challenge goes live on April 2nd and can be found here.
I'm sure lots of you would love to support this worthy venture!

We encountered many entries this last week, whose blogs still have Word Verification enabled. We would be really grateful if you could PLEASE TURN OFF WORD VERIFICATION , as it takes us so much longer to leave comments and we DO try our best to get round to everyone and with over 200 entries each week that's quite a lot of commenting!

We hope you enjoy the challenge this week and eagerly await your entries.

19 March 2011

Week 7 Theme Challenge - Masculine!

What wonderful entries there were last week and how very inventive you all are. It has been so rewarding to see so many participants submitting several cards as confidence grows and imaginations are sparked.  
It's practically a full time job for us to visit you all, but this week we were delighted to receive comments from lots of you on our personal blogs.We truly appreciate this and hope that you will continue to visit us.Thank you so much!

Our challenge this week is a 'bete noir' for many of us, so in the true spirit of challenges our theme this week is


As ever, we would ask you to observe our guidelines above in creating your card for a man.

For this card, I used a stamp from the Stampin' Up Studio Sketches set, stamped in Chocolate chip ink onto ivory card. I wondered about inking around the edge of the image whilst in the die, but after consideration decided to leave it plain.
 This Spellbinders Label set (no 12) comprises 6 dies, each one just over 1 cm smaller than the next largest in the set. This gap seemed too large a border for my image to I decided to do a little inventive trimming.
Modifying Die cuts
  • Firstly I cut a spare shape the same size as the one for my image.
  • Next I cut the mount for my image using the next size larger die.

  • I attached the spare card to the mount using a dab of  re-positionable glue. I put it in one corner leaving the appropriate size border that I wanted for the finished mount on two sides.

  • Then I placed the same die I had used for cutting it, around the next corner using the spare card as a guide, and put it through my Cuttle bug,(corner to be cut facing toward the machine) and wound it through just enough to cut that corner and then wound it back. 

  • I then turned the card once more, placed the die around the next corner, and with that corner facing the machine just wound it through enough to cut that corner and then wound it back once more.
  • I repeated the process for the final corner.

I also did a bit of jiggling with my sentiment tags. Previously I'd never managed to get a mount for a tag, but using the same process I did it today.
    I stamped the sentiment, die-cut it with the appropriate gap on one side, then moved it along the die and re-cut, just winding through the Cuttlebug enough to cut one end then winding back!

    I did the same with the larger tag for the mount!
    You must excuse my badly scarred cutting plate, but it's seen a lot of wear!

    And now it's over to me Mandi

    Masculine cards are probably the ones we find most difficult.
    I have decided to show a simple option for those times we need to make a card where the man has
    no hobbies, doesn't like sport, doesn't drink! Yep aren't they a pain!
    Us girlies are so much easier to cater for eh!

    So what do we do for men!
    I think a bit of texture, pattern or colour goes a long way.

    I had originally decided on strips of textured embossed card in black and white, then as I was searching I found my Fleur de Lis [FDL] embossing folder and 'ting' remembered my FDL die cuts!
    And this happened
    So black or white....I don't know which I prefer, I keep changing my mind!

    The font I used is called
    you can find it here

    A little mention about placement.
    The sentiment is off centre, and I placed the FDL off centre too, but bringing it in about the same distance from the edge as the Happy Birthday, giving balance
    For the white example, I offset the large FDL die cut, rather than placing the whole thing onto the card. It creates a different effect i think!

    As always we would like to to continue to visit fellow participants blogs to leave a friendly comment. With the growing popularity of our challenges, we are finding it increasingly difficult to get to everyone's blog, but we have just about managed to date. If numbers increase radically we may have to share the commenting between us and so your commenting will be even more welcome.

    12 March 2011

    Week 6 One Layer Card - "Off the Edge"

    Last week was another wonderful week for us here at" Less is More". We are so pleased that you are enjoying our challenges and would like to thank all of your for your kind words about our blog.
    Not everyone is managing to keep to our guidelines however and we have seen quite a few cards with many layers and little or no white space. It's hard to become accustomed to the genre, but so many people are becoming more comfortable with the Clean and Simple concept and are now enjoying their success.
    A few people have felt a little deflated by apparent negative remarks, so we must all be sensitive to the way in which the posts are written... it is sometimes a little difficult to tell if constructive remarks will be accepted with alacrity, but if constructive comments are invited, then it would be great to offer suggestions.
    We do not wish that anyone is offended or upset by any remarks which are made during the course of our challenges.
    On that note we invite you to comment on our cards on our own blogs too! Thank you to those that have done so, much appreciated
    Several  have expressed problems with photographing their cards. There is a FREE photo editing program available on line from Picasa here which  you can download and then drop your photos into to edit. There is even a button which is labelled 'I'm feeling lucky' so with the press of one button, your photo will be enhanced. There are more advanced features, so if you're having trouble, do give it a try
    Our challenge this week is that tricky one... the
      ONE LAYER CARD with the theme OFF THE EDGE
    We would like to see part of your image off the edge of the card. We have added the additional criterion of NO SCORED LINES.

    And now onto our cards

    This is one of my favourite stamps ever! It's called "My Mother's Dress' by Inkadinkado
    I printed the sentiment on the computer, was lucky and lined it up 'by eye' and it was in the place I wanted it!
    Then stamped the dress in black Stazon. As it was onto the dark pink card I didn't need to colour the dress. Instead I took a glue pen and added 'scribbled' lines to match the design and them sprinkled with Glamour dust. This is an effective technique if, like me, you aren't into colouring!
    The font I used is a free one called Jellyka, St Andrew's here I do love a scribbly font!
    ;Now a little tip about the  use of different  ink pads.
    This dress has a fair bit of intricate detail. Therefore the best ink to use is a dye based ink as embossing with a 'softer' ink pad, such as a pigment ink loses some of these details and becomes more solid.
    You can see by clicking the smaller pictures, just how different it can look.
    The bottom one was just something I was trying I stamped with Versamark, then heat embossed with 'Mother's Day pink' powder, then took my Brilliance dew drop ink pad and applied some white as shading. You could also get the same effect with chalks.

    For my card I used a Rollagraph Wheel floral stamp, which I bought at the last Show at the NEC and has remained uninked since. So I stamped using Versamark, starting just off the card at one side and rolling right off the card at the other side. Then I embossed it with white detail embossing powder. I had tried clear embossing powder in a previous incarnation (this is about my 5th attempt at getting this right!). Once embossed I coloured the flowers with  Stampin' Up inks in Baja Blue and Soft Suede using my water brush.
    If you squeeze a Stampin' Up inkpad together when it is closed, a small amount of ink is transferred to inside of the lid which can then be used like a palette. 
     For the sentiment I used Sahara Sand ink. The reason for using a lighter shade for this was to make it match with the deeper colour I had used for the flowers, but which had been diluted and lightened by using the water brush.
    To complete the card I added a few strokes of glue and a liberal sprinkling of Glamour Dust.
    Several people have commented on how straight this was stamped ... I did use a Stampin' Up Wheel Guide... not exactly cheating, just being sensible I guess!

    Keep checking to see who is in our ShowCASe this week. The photos will be added to the slide show and also on the ShowCASe page, accessible at the top of our blog.
    Have a great week, we are looking forward to seeing all your cards.

    05 March 2011

    Week 5 Colour - Pastel Colours

    What an amazing week, we can hardly believe the fabulous support our blog is receiving with a mighty 231 submissions. Thank you so much everyone!
     It seems that confidence is growing apace and sometimes second and third attempts are being submitted. It's truly wonderful how ideas are being taken on board via our mutual support, commenting  network, and lots of suggestions have been acted upon with very positive effect.
    There are still some participants who have not removed the Word Verification option from their blogs and we have had several requests from commenters about the difficulties that Word Verification present. I have discovered that some people didn't actually realise that their blogs were set up this way. For this week, if we meet a blog where the the Word Verification is still active we will put a WV in our comment just to draw attention to it. Don't forget that Blogger has an anti-spam filter and  you can opt for Blog owner approval, should you be worried about unwelcome comments.

    On to this week's challenge and being the first challenge of the month we are on to a colour challenge which this week is 


    This image was stamped with Versamark and coloured with Stampin' Up pastels in Almost Amethyst, Mellow Moss with a little Sage Shadow on the under edges of the leaves. The colour was applied with a cotton bud (Q tip). It was cut out with a slim oval Nestie and popped onto a larger one using dimensionals to give some relief. I didn't have any matching ribbon, so I coloured a piece of white ribbon with a Copic marker.
    The backing of the stripy paper is a Faux Nestie. I didn't have a die of the dimensions I required, so I cut my card to the size I wanted and then used a Nestie to hand emboss the edges.
    Faux Nestie

    • Cut the card to the required dimensions.
    • Insert one corner of the card into a corner of a Nestie, cutting side up.
    • Using an embossing tool, rub the card around the inner edge of the die, thus embossing the edge of the card.
    • Move the card around inside the die between strokes, until all the edges have been embossed
    And now it's over to me...

    Yes, I do have a fair bit of black on my card...we are allowing that!
    I think of  pastels a bit sickly sweet...
    adding black makes them more simply chic!!

    I stamped my circles, which are from the Stampin' Up Circle Circus set,
    then punched circles in different
    papers which I'd printed from Pink Petticoat.
    I used Blossom Fairy Dots,
    Pistachio Harlequin
    and Turquoise Pinstripes.

    I also punched a few daisies, which I put onto my foam mat and with an embossing tool, pressed into the centre of the flower. This technique makes the petals raise and makes for a more 3D flower. This is super for multi layers.
    The super swish 'bling' is a cupped jeweled edge embellie with a 10mm 'diamond' gem in the centre. I bought loads at a recent craft fair, as I LOVE them!

    So you will think, I've got a lot of embellishment on my card today... well you'd be right!!
    It's perfectly acceptable to have embellishments as long as the overall design is clean and simple!
    I finished the card off with a simple sentiment. I did wrestle with whether to add one or not, then decided one would fit nicely into the little area above the 'bling'. [Sorry it's the same one as last week!].

    As always we would ask if you could visit some fellow participants' entries and leave a comment. We were delighted to see so many words of congratulation for our February winner Jose, what a wonderful sense of community there is at "Less is More"! We are very grateful to you all!

    02 March 2011

    February Winner

    We are delighted to announce our very first "Less is More "  winner.
    This lady has entered every challenge with her beautiful creations, submitted more than one card for some challenges, she has commented on other participants entries and is displaying the "Less is More " banner on her blog!... we realise that several people have done this too, but there can only be one winner and that is.....

    Jose, please email us with your address so that we can get your prize (donated by Mandi) off to you!

    This coming month the sponsor is Amber Ink who will be donating a 25$ voucher to use in the store.
    Details are on the sidebar!