Welcome to Chapter Three

Welcome to Chapter Three: Taking Life One Page at a Time -- a space to blog about those things that keep this retired gal from getting into ...

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Take a Risk, Hug a Cactus

Hi, everyone! Happy Saturday!

Hope you have something fun planned for the weekend. Hubby and I are planning on a lunch out and trip to a local thrift shop. Something fun for hubby (aka saving money), something fun for me (shopping!).

Take a Risk, Hug a Cactus

Today's card was initially inspired by Darnell's NBUS Challenge #6. Yep, our dear friend Darnell is at it again!

This seemed like a perfect opportunity to pull out that adorable never-before-used cactus from Paper Smooches' Comfortable Hugs stamp set -- paired with a NBUS sentiment -- and try to create something worthy of posting at the PS April Guest Designer Search.


Here's my creation. :)

Strathmore watercolor; Bazzill black and white cardstock; Stampin' Up! brown
StazOn jet black
Distress Ink mustard seed, scattered straw, mowed lawn, vintage photo/fired brick red, walnut stain
Paper Smooches Comfortable Hugs and Group Hugs
adhesives: Scotch ATG and Recollections foam squares

When I first saw this adorable little cactus, my initial thought was how clever... how original... to include a cactus in a hug stamp set. So Kim... so cute! My second thought was wouldn't it be just a tad risky to hug a cactus.  LOL

Last night, I pulled out the PS stamp sets I have with me -- Comfortable Hugs and Group Hugs -- and saw that cactus and this sentiment. I knew exactly which NBUS items I wanted to use. I just needed how to put the elements together in a way that communicated my original it's-risky-to-hug-a-cactus thought.
  • The background started out as a mustard seed wash, but it seemed too yellow and felt flat. Then, DI scattered straw was applied using a Ranger blending tool and a mini mister to achieve a more mottled, dimensional look.
  • The next decision was to create a vignette of a cactus holding his (her?) "hug me" sign. (I originally planned on the cactus holding two signs -- rule of odd numbers.... right?!, but thought the layout looked cleaner with just the one sign.)
  • Next, came the coloring. Now that I've ventured into the coloring world using colored pencils, I thought I'd try my hand at -- GASP -- coloring with Distress Inks. My few past attempts at watercoloring with Distress Inks did not go well. Those times, I used a water brush. This time, I used a bristled Claudine Hellmuth Studio brush. I'm so much happier with the results! Suffice to say, my other cards were not blog-worthy. And, looking back at some of the things I've posted in the past, that's saying something.  :)
  • Since using a bristled brush with Distress Inks was a new technique for me, I'm linking this up at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Blog's Take a Leap Into the Unknown Challenge.
  • The next trick was how to position/place the "task risks" sentiment. I tried heat embossing it in white on black several times, but ended up with stray white specks regardless of how carefully I brushed off pesky powders. However, I'm really happy with the look of the white on back sentiment strip. The idea for embedding the inlaid strip was shared by Jennifer McGuire during the Background Online Card Class.
  • The little heart in the sentiment was added because the sentiment was not quite centered as stamped. Man, I sure wish I could let some of these things go... but I think I'm a hopeless case.
  • Lastly, I added a little heart -- you know me, couldn't let go of that rule of odd numbers -- and popped up my scene's elements. The popped-up elements also add texture. So, I'm linking sweet little cactus to the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge Blog's Get Touchy Challenge.
  • One last word about the heart. I softened the jet black ink with a little gray and white penciling. The jet black ink seemed way too dark with card's muted, soft palette.
Wow, there sure can be a lot of work involved in creating a CAS card. But the results are so worth it.

So, what do you think? Thought conveyed?

Parting Thoughts

A new Spring Colors 4 Kids started today over at Send a Smile 4 Kids. Sounds like a great excuse to make a cute baby animal card.

There's one more day left to play along with the Tickled Pink Challenge over at Cards in Envy. A new challenge starts Monday.

Congrats to Marsha and Linda who won the MFT gift certificates over at W2CB. Our challenge winner will be announced today, and a new challenge goes live on Wednesday.

Sounds like lots of opportinity for some crafty weekend fun. Until next time, thanks for stopping and happy scrappin'!


  1. This is a super card Sybrina, such a fun image and lovely colours.

  2. Thanks for "taking a leap into the unknown" with us this week at the Simon Says Stamp Monday challenge! Your little cactus is cute, and your watercolors are lovely and bright, Sybrina!

  3. Such a great, fun card !
    Thank you for joining us at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge this week.

    Jo x

  4. You have created such a perfect design to showcase that cute cactus, Sybrina! I really enjoyed reading about the detailed process, too! Good luck with the Guest Design search at PS! I think you would be such an asset!! Thank you so much for playing in my NBUS Challenge #6 two times! I love your second card, too! Enjoy your day!! Hugs, Darnell