Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Sneak Peek!

Two. Three. More. Days.

The new challenge theme is going to be a fun and festive one! 
Come and play!
See you on November1st.
Same time, same place!

PS: As always, thank you for your positive feedback and comments! 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Spotlight Feature!

Dear friends! It proved to be one of the most challenging times--judging all 352 entries! We (Dr. John, Stephanie and Virginia) almost resorted to random. org to pick Top10 Favorites and take the easy way out. BUT we felt that since it is a "challenge", there will be chosen winners with excellent designs and execution. We know this result can not please every one; please know that your participation and support mean the world to us.

 Without further are the Top 10 Favorites. 
We Virginia decided to break the rule and pick Top 12 Favorites instead!
Dr. John: "I like silly parachutes!"

1. #179 Michelle Lupton
2. #189 Toni at FHC

 Virginia: "I chose these winners because they have MAD skills in techniques. They also come up with the most original and innovative designs. "
3. #158 Kim M.
4.  #160 Donna
5. # 221 Piali
6. #226 Jen Rzasa
7. #291 Deepti
 8. #335 Cris G

Stephanie: "These designers have used white space creatively. They haven't fallen into the trap of filling all the space on their card. By keeping their elements to a minimum, they let their design speak for itself."

9. #92 Jen W.
10. #268 Annikarten
 11. #325 Preeya
12. #332 Lisa E.
From the Top 12 Favorites, the Random. Org picked two lucky winner for this challenge.
            Drum roll, please ....
  The 1st prize $25 Gift voucher goes to....  

 3. #158 Kim M.

The 2nd prize is a stamp set and a stencil which are generously offered by guest designer Christine Drogt from Create a Smile. The prize goes to....

5. # 221 Piali
Congratulations, Kim and Piali! Please e-mail me to claim your prize before midnight, Oct 28 Eastern Time. If not, another Top 10 Favorite will be randomly picked! 

In no particular order, here are our Honorable Mentions.

# 20 Hazel
#42 Maria F.  
                         #58 Annikarten(silly parachute) 
#75 Maureen W.
#103 Lauren A.
#126 Shelly
#134 Betty
# 118 Kristie
#165 Pam Sparks 
#180 May Park
#242 Robyn
#258 Ange Kelly
#293 Jingle

Thank you so much for your amazing support, comments and participation. I will be back on the 29th with a sneak peek of the next challenge!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Wrap-Up!

Hello there!
What a lot of fun we have had in this month's challenge - 352 entries! Wow!
The Clean and Simple challenge turned out to be our 2nd favorite challenge, with water-coloring still having the highest number of entries (359 of them)! Even so, I know you have enjoyed playing this challenge tremendously!

Today's post is only a summary of how YOU rose to the challenge! I have found some themes and chosen a few cards as examples. By doing this, I hope we all learn a few things along the way. After all, this is what participating in a challenge is all about, right?!

1. Minimalist approach: This proves to be the most effective and popular approach for this CAS challenge. 

2. Water-coloring approach: Some of you even did a free-hand drawing. Extra kudos to you! Aren't these stunning?

3. Diecut Approach: With the stamp and die cut combo, any CAS design is as easy as pie!
4. Stamping approach: At its core, card-making is really about stamping, isn't it? 

5. Coloring approach: Coloring is a huge deal in the world of card-designing. These are masterfully done!

6. Gold approach: Some of you are quite the "gold-diggers." Cards with the Midas touch prove to be VERY eye-catching!

7. Stencil approach: Stencils continue to be the new old-favorite tool for card-makers. And you can see why from these gorgeous creations!

8. Rainbow approach: Rainbows are the ultimate smile maker. They make everyone happy!

So there you have it! Congrats to all the card makers who had their card featured today.  They are all AWESOME. Please come back for our spotlight feature on the 25th! 

We have TWO prizes to give away:
~$25 Gift voucher from Simon Says Stamp
~ A stamp set and stencil generously offered by our guest designer Christine Drogt (founder of Create A Smile). Currently they are looking for a December Guest Designer (hint hint)!

It is an unbelievably tough task to pick winners (just saying...)!
Thanks for stopping by! 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Clean and Simple!

Hello, friends!
Have you checked out the amazing entries we have so far? We are reaching 300 entries as I write this post! It's going to take me a long while to comment on all the entries...I''m not sure if I can do them all at this point. I am going to try my best! I would love it if you comment on your fellow participants' entries! I bet you will find inspiration simply by checking out a few of them.
I am popping in with a CAS design of mine. This card has combined the 3 themes that we had covered before- stencil, pattern paper and diecut!
Supplies: Uplifting Creative Dies, Cupcake Day by Penny Black,  Fresh Cut by Basic Grey, Heidi Swapp Confetti stencil, white Embossing Paste (Wendy Vecchi)

I am working on the next two months of is VERY exciting!  If you would like to get all the updates, please make sure you like our page over facebook (see here). We are not taking a break in December! I hope that is alright with you :) 

Please come back for the wrap-up post on the 21st! Thanks for stopping by!
The comment feature in this post has been disabled.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Guest Designer- Yana Smakula

Hello, friends!
Are you loving this months' challenge? I think so! There is still lots of time to enter if you have not tried yet. Wait until you see our guest designer Yana Smakula's video and card! 

You may already know Yana for her gorgeous, trendy, card-making style. Her beautiful work is featured all over the blogosphere and she has recently become part of the Hero Arts DT! Her cards are always artistic, and yet she makes it look effortless!

This is how Yana interpreted the Clean and Simple style.
Yana showed us her creative process with her video! You have to check it out!

Here are the close-ups of this stunning card.
This is definitely a trendy New Year's card! Who wouldn't love it?
Isn't Yana's card amazing? You can follow Yana's blog here, subscribe to YouTube video here and follow her Pinterest here.
My sincerest thanks to Yana for taking her precious time to create this card and video!! I would appreciate it if you could leave Yana some love on her blog and give her a thumbs up over YouTube!
We have one more week until the challenge comes to an end. Hurry, don't delay!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Guest Designer- Cristina Kowalczk!

Hello and welcome!
 Please make yourself comfortable in your dressy attire or comfy PJ...because you are in for a TREAT!
This month's theme is "Clean and Simple"...
 and who first comes to mind when you think about this theme?

She is known as "Queen of CAS".
 You may have guessed it!
It is Cristina Kowalczk (aka Cristina Henriquez--the award-wining author ).
 If you just started card-making (like .... last week) and are not familiar with Cristina's work, here is a quick and insightful guide for you. You need to book mark her blog "My Paper Secret", follow her blog and study her blog. There, Cristina's paper secret is out!

I first came to know of Cristina's work through her glorious battle in Gallery Idol 2011. I, this gal is "out. of. this. world". Her cards are gorgeous, precise and engaging. Every time you view Cristina's cards, you "feel" something. Sometimes, it makes you just want to smile and sometimes you can't helping feeling "". That does not happen very often, but Cristina does it again and again and again....
 Here are just a few samples of my favorites of Cristina's.

Without further ado, here is Cristina's beautiful fall card for our Clean and Simple Challenge.
It really is just a card with a leaf die, isn't it? But,...Cristina had to do something out of the ordinary.... of course. By using those colorful strings, she has woven something special and unique into her design.
 Lucky for me, I finally made a connection with Cristina through blogging and I even got to meet her last October in her home town of Chicago! See how awe-struck I was after getting Cristina's autograph of her book?

Well, what do you think? Big thanks to Cristina for sharing her inspiring work with us.
Lastly, thank you for entering the challenge and making it so fun and exciting for me to run it. Please be sure to comment on 2-3 fellow players' work and give them some love, too! I am sure you will feel even more inspired.
We have one more guest designer coming up next. Don't miss it!
Thanks so much for stopping by!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Guest Designer - Christine Drogt

HAPPY World Card-Making Day!
 Have you played the Clean and Simple Challenge yet? Today's post will hopefully inspire you. It brings me great pleasure to introduce to you our first guest designer! Please welcome Christine Drogt. I have known Christine for a few years now. Back in the days when I was on CAS-ual Fridays Challenge design team, I noticed this German girl who did crazy cool designs and her amazing skills and details almost always KILLED it, as young people say these days. I have been a fan of Christine ever since. This talented stamper and now owner of Create A Smile happened to be the top winner of Virgina's View Challenge #1!

Christine: Hey there, it's Christine Drogt from Das Kartenchaos, 32 years old, from Germany. I've always had a passion for anything crafty and communication, that's why I studied cultural education and started working in a youth center with focus on creativity. If I find something that makes me happy, I'm absolutely passionate about it. So I joined different design teams, learned a lot and met the most beautiful, kind and inspiring people. I am a sucker for this supportive, crafty community and kind of manic about dreams that match my heart AND my skills...That's why I started my own stamp company Create A Smile in July - I am grateful that my hero Michael and all my crafty friends support me and my passion so much. I still work at the youth center - and I enjoy that job a lot, but Create A Smile is my second love - and I hope we'll go an long and successful journey together.
For my card I used the Swirly Stencil from Create A Smile and colored it with Mint Julep and Audrey Blue ink to achieve an ombre effect. Then I cut a piece out, following the stenciled lines. Have you ever tried to follow a stenciled pattern with your scissors? It's so much fun and you can get more out of your stencils to get a completely different look. That makes a nice background for CAS cards (of course you could also go for a smaller piece!).
I added the palm trees with the hammock from the Comfy stamp set because the background reminded me of waves. Oh, by the way: the German sentiment means "Time to smile". If I had a hammock, I would definitely wear a HUGE smile :)
I can't wait to see what you come up with for the CAS challenge!
Christine: I feel honored to be Virginia's guest for this amazing challenge - I know there will be tons of inspiring entries! Thanks for having me!
 Here are a few samples of Christine's beautiful CAS work 

  You can check out Create A Smile Store here, Blog here, Facebook here, You Tube channel here.  

 Isn't Christine's stencil work amazing? Big thanks to Christine for her beautiful inspiration.  AND because Christine is amazing... she is offering a prize to one of our Top 10 Favorites-a stamp set and a stencil! That means, we will have two prizes (as always, one gets $25 gift voucher from Simon Says Stamp) from this challenge!

So what do you think? I hope you jump in and join the fun. I can't wait to see what you create! We have TWO more guest designers. You definitely do not want to miss those posts!
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Virginia's View Challenge # 8

Hi friends! I am excited to introduce to you the theme for our new challenge. We are into 8th, yes, 8th challenge! I am pinching myself as this challenge blog is so wonderfully supported, thanks to your participation and feedback. I also want to give a shout out to Simon Says Stamp for their generous monthly prize to our top winner.

As we get into the swing of things for fall, let's focus on things that are clean and simple!
That's right, our theme is clean and simple.

What is clean and simple? Basically it's all about clever designs with minimal embellishments and layers. You can use sketches,one layer design ,masking, clever diecutting....just to name a few, to create a clean and simple card design with lots of impact. You can also added subtle textures by using different mediums (such as glitter, cork, burlap...) for your designs. You can enhance your designs by adding various dimensions with supplies such as pop dots. Creating your own simple embellishments is another great way to add to your CAS designs. And ...don't forget the "white space". They allow your designs to shine and breathe. Lastly, keep in mind the colors that reflect the overall design and sentiment. The sky is the limit!

Here are my CAS creations. I made two cards with almost the same supplies.
Card #1
Thankful for you
Card #2
love and blessings
  Supplies: Glossy Paper (Ranger), Alcohol Inks (Ranger), Paper Smooches (leaf dies), sentiment (Wheat Wreath from CAS-ual Fridays Stamps).

This monthly card-making challenge blog will run till the 18th (11:55pm Eastern Time) and there will be a SPOTLIGHT feature of Top 10 Favorites on the 25th. Any style and levels are most welcome!
1. to foster the love of stamping/card making among the on line community
2. to grow as a stamper/card-maker regardless of level and experience
3. to make new friends and encourage the camaraderie amongst the participants/blog followers.
You are encouraged to link up as many as projects as you like. Cards, scrapbook layouts, altered projects... anything with paper, stamps and inks involved are welcome! If the linked project is not related to the challenge, it will be deleted. Don't have a blog? No problem! Any link (Flickr, FB page, Splitcoaststampers...) is welcome!
The Top 10 selection criteria will be based on:
1. Originality (30%)
2. Execution (30%)
3. Craftsmanship (20%)
4. Presentation (10%)
5. Wow factor (10%)

Among the Top 10 Fav, there will be a random draw for a lucky (and talented) winner who will then receive the top prize. In order to qualify for the top prize, your project has to be NEW (not linked back to a previously made project). You are welcome to combine other challenges, but please limit your total number of challenges no more than 4.

Our Sponsor: Simon Says Stamp 
Our Top Winner (randomly selected from Top 10 Favorites) will receive a $25 voucher!
  AWESOME, eh?!
As always, we will have guest designers to inspire you in the next few days. Be sure to come back and be inspired!