A Note from Brit

Thank you for stopping by my blog! I have now moved over to my own domain for more room to grow, so make sure to check my new site and blog out at brittaswiderski.com. :)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Clean & Simple, Part 3: Glitter.

Recently I've featured simple cards that focused on one thing, layers and color, so I thought I would make it part of a series here on my blog. As time goes on, I'll be sharing a card or two that embodies one word that I like to use when crafting. This one features glitter as the main element. I started out feeling a little glittery, so the plan all along was to color in the butterflies and then go over them with stickles. I love putting glitter on things that are supposed to move; it just makes so much sense to me. Here's the card:
Clean, simple, and glittery fun. Here's a close-up of the top butterfly:
Yum! Here are some tips from this card about going over intricate images like these with opaque colored pencils.
1. Don't worry about covering up the details with colored pencil that gets to opaque.
2. After your done coloring, go back over the lines with a needle or paper piercing tool to lightly scratch off the excess pencil and bring out some of the detail again.
3. After applying the stickles, let the card dry with heavy things lying on top of the un-glittered areas. This will reduce warping. After a while (I usually leave it overnight), I put the car in between some wax paper and set books on top of it to ensure flatness.
4. Neutral-colored stickles like this one (Diamond) have different-colored glitter in them and can really give a different feeling to your card; make sure to choose one to accent the colors you already are working with. In this case, the gold flakes brought out a nice warm side of the card.

Supplies: Cardstock- Papertrey Ink, Stamps- Hero Arts (CL383- Antique Engravings) and Papertrey Ink (Sentiment- Butterfly Dreams), Colored Pencils- Prisma, Corner Rounder- WRMK, Ink- Tsukineko (Memento), Stickles- Ranger (Diamond).

In other news, I ordered a Big Shot this weekend from Amazon. I'm so excited to get it in the mail and start playing! I bought one of the sets of Spellbinders Circle Nestabilities because I think they are the most usable thing EVER for die cutting machines, and I can't wait to order some of the Papertrey Ink Embossing Plates. In Bloom, here I come! Please feel free to post links that you like for dies or tutorials on the big shot. I'd love to know as much as I can before the big arrival day comes. Ha. For those of you who are considering the Big Shot or the Cuttlebug, I thought I'd share the couple things that made me choose the Big Shot. Honestly, I think either one would be a good choice, and they're both in the same price range, but here's what swayed me:

1. Sturdiness. I love that the Cuttlebug can fold and is compact. That is a great feature for a college student like me who has very limited space for storage. However, there were some people on YouTube and on customer reviews that mention the Cuttlebug tipping over if not properly suctioned to the table. I like the idea of the bigger work bed with the Big Shot, so this was a plus for me. I'll just have to have some extra space to store it.
2. The multi-purpose platform. I just think it'll be nice to have the instructions written out on the platform in front of me. Either way, there's a learning curve with the sandwiches needed to use other types of dies, but I felt like this one would work best for me. A little less of a learning curve. :)
3. The slightly wider width. I honestly had no idea if this will even affect me and what I'll be cutting, but I figured having the extra half inch that the Big Shot boasts over the Cuttlebug is nice.

So that's why I went the way I did. There are many, many crafters out there that love both, so I don't think there really is a wrong choice here. I just thought I'd throw the list out to you in case you were on the fence like I was for... oh... two years.

Another thing: Shutterfly is having a sale of 20% off their photo books right now, no coupon needed. I'm making a point by Wednesday to make a book from my Australia pictures. It'll be nice to have something to show for my trip right away. (We all know how much I love quick and simple projects. Hehe.)

Thank you so much for stopping by today! I hope to have some more Australia pictures for you up first thing in the morning, so watch for those. Have a fantastic evening and get some crafting done!



Sunday, June 27, 2010

Australia, Part 5.

The Rocks Market. A place full of little gems and new experiences.
There were a ton of stands selling street food. It all looked so delicious, but we had just eaten so we didn't stop to wait in the long lines. I have no idea what the food above is, but I know I want to eat some.
Hands-down, my favorite part of the market was being able to talk to the artists themselves. Besides picking up a beautiful glass pendant for my mom, my friend buying a leaf necklace where leaves are taken and then covered very carefully with gold, and three of these beautiful scenes from Deb Broughton. She was adorable and so nice! Here's a link to her website.
Then Sara, her friend Matt, and I went to a pub near the market for some "cheap" beer for happy hour. The deal was 7 dollars for a 500 mL beer. It was delicious and wayyy more expensive than a beer would be in the states. Ha. It was nice that the drinking age was 18 in Australia. We could just have beers with dinner. It was great. :)
Franzikaner Pale was our ale of choice. It was delicious! It was about this moment that I started my love affair with pale, fruity beers.
Sara and Matt with our huge happy hour glasses.
On the way home to cook dinner, we stopped at the grocery store. I still find it weird that "lemonade" is really what we'd consider lemon-lime soda. I guess it makes sense?
 That night, we went out for a night on the town in the sketchy Kings Cross area of Sydney. The bars there were huge and exciting, and I have never seen so many people out partying in the city like that. We went to the World Bar, where they serve all of their drinks in tea pots. This was one of my favorite floors- it had legos on the wall put together to look like space invaders. Awesome!
This is the famous/infamous three-story Coca-Cola billboard that is the landmark of the Kings Cross part of town. It lit up the entire block.

So this was our adventure through art and beer. Up next: I finally get to eat my beloved fish and chips. Yesss.

Thank you for stopping by today! I'll be back tomorrow with more Australia pics and a card to share as well.



Saturday, June 26, 2010


Lately when I've been sitting down to create, I find myself focusing on one goal for each project. Here, I wanted to take a stamp that has a specific look and change it up. To do this, I simply did some paper piecing and put it all together with dimensional adhesive. I love how this turned out: simple, elegant, and it made me see the stamp in a whole new way.
Here's a close-up:
Supplies: Cardstock- Papertrey Ink (Raspberry Fizz, Vintage Cream, Sweet Blush, New Leaf, and Kraft), Ink- Tsukineko Momento (Black), Stamp- Hero Arts, Ribbon- Papertrey Ink, Corner Rounder- WRMK.

I challenge you to find a stamp that you've only used one way and switch it up! I'd like to see what you make. :)

Thanks for stopping by. You rock!



Thursday, June 24, 2010

I love kraft.

But I mean, I think you could probably tell. Hand me a stamp, some ink, kraft cardstock, and colored pencils, and you have one very happy girl. I have the 48 count set of Prismacolor Pencils (available here - 40 dollars is a decent deal for this set), and I use them religiously. What makes them better than crayola colored pencils? The quality. Prismacolors are so smooth and creamy, and you'll be able to tell the difference as soon as you try them out. The light colors are especially effective; they're very opaque. So, Crayola Colored Pencils are definitely a good place to start out when coloring with colored pencils, but I recommend a move up to Primsa when you get an extra couple of dollars lying around. You won't be dissapointed, promise.

So, without further ado, I present today's card:

and the close up of the coloring:
Yum! The quality of the pencils on the kraft is so pretty.

Supplies: Cardstock- Papertrey Ink (Kraft), Stamps- Papertrey Ink (In Bloom and Autumn Abundance), Colored Pencils- Prisma, Ink- Tsukineko Momento.

Thanks for stopping by today! What's your no-fail card? Please share :)



Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Australia, Part 4.

Hey there! Today I get to share with you my favorite day of pictures from my vacation- the walk from Coogee (pronounced cu gee) to Bondi (pronounced bond eye). Man, let me tell you, I have never been so amazed in my life. The 10-mile path was breathtakingly gorgeous, and I highly recommend it if you plan on visiting Australia.
This is the view from where we ate lunch. Australia is so strange- they have hardly any railings up on these high cliffs, so you can go right up and sit on the edge. It was magical. And scary. Sara's reasoning for the lack of laws? The Aussies' belief "if you're stupid enough to fall off, we probably didn't need you anyway." Ha.
I'm at the top of the world! It felt like it when you stood out on the ledge; all you could see was cliff and sea far below you.
This was my personal favorite pictures of the day. Sara quickly got off the ledge after looking over it. Ha.
Another heavenly view. This one, towards Bondi.
This is my current desktop background. Gorgeous.
Bondi Beach, one of the most famous in the world. It was here that I was introduced to the concept of surfer boys. And ohhhh boy, this was a very good revelation in my life. Hehe.
We took a bus over to Circular Quay to try to catch the bridge and the opera house in the sunset light. We were a little late for the sun, but this is still one of my favorite pictures.
This was the first time I got the chance to see the Sydney Opera House up close and personal. So pretty. I have more on that later, though. :)

This was part of the graffiti along the walls of Bondi beach. It was all so bright and cheerful, and this part really struck me. It's the little things that are truly inspiring in life.

I'm going to go relax and make a card or two. Crafting is always the best way for me to cool down. Thank you for stopping by! See you tomorrow, I hope!



Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A little late on the cupcake.

When I saw this color combination last week, I knew I had to make a card using it. I didn't have it done by the time the submissions closed, but that's okay. I like the card anyways. :) (By the way, if you haven't checked out this blog, I highly recommend it. It will make you hungry and inspired.) Here's the cupcake that inspired the card:
And here's what I created:
A close-up of the coloring:
And some good 'ol versamark action:
Supplies: Cardstock- Papertrey Ink (Aqua Mist, Kraft, Stamper's Select White), Stamps- Papertrey Ink (Polka Dot Basics II and Delightfun Dahlia), Ink- Tsukineko (black and Versamark), Ribbon- Papertrey Ink, Corner Rounder- WRMK, Colored Pencils- Prisma.

Today's another busy day of work and class. Hopefully I'll get a chance to show you some cool things from photography once I learn what the heck I'm doing. Hehe. Thanks for stopping by! You're lovely.



Australia, Part 3.

Good morning, friends! I wanted to pop in and share some more of my Australian adventure. This day, I went to the Art Gallery of New South Wales. It was probably the best free museum I have ever been to, and I had the best time wandering around the exhibits for hours and then walking through the city to explore.
This was my favorite painting that I saw by Camille Pissarro. I studied him in art history, and he was one of the only ones I actually found interesting. Ha.
The modern art was also fantastic. This piece was about 8 feet tall and had many layers of paint on it. It's beautifullll.
Then, I went to the Parliament building. I got to peek inside the chamber rooms, browse the art gallery, and walk through the library. Everything was so official and gorgeous.
This was the ceiling in the library- one huge stained glass art piece. It was sooo big.
When wandering through the city, I saw a Max Brenner Chocolate Bar. Eight dollars later, I was eating strawberries and molten chocolate, and let me tell you... it was worth. every. penny.

So that was my day wandering through the city by myself. And you know what? I fell in love even more. There are so many morsels of beauty in this city, and I only wish I had a few more weeks to find some more. :)

Be back later this afternoon with another card. Hope you're having an inspiring day!



Monday, June 21, 2010


I've been a bad, bad blogger! I had all of these things planned, and then I got back from vacation and life sped up. Funny how that works. Ha. Don't worry, I'll make it up to you though! I have my Australia recaps in the works, but I just couldn't resist posting a card I made the other day for Kristina Werner's Readers' choice Color Inspiration Challenge #4. Goodness, I had such a hard time with this one! I now have enough things on my desk to make three more cards because I'd get half way through and decide I didn't like where I was going. Ha, I guess that's the way creativity is. Anyways, here's the challenge graphic:
My take:
A close-up of the dimension. Isn't it funny that I spent SO much time on this card, but it ended up that the simpleness was exactly what I needed.
Supplies: Cardstock- Papertrey Ink (Lemon Tart, Pure Poppy, Terracotta Tile, Aqua Mist, and Stamper's Select White), Stamp- Papertrey Ink (Wonderfully Whimsical), White Pen- Signo, Corner Rounder- WRMK, Other- Ricrac.

Thanks for stopping by! I'm off to plan some more posts so you won't be deprived again. Hehe.



P.S.- It's great to be home, but I miss Australia. I can't wait to share the rest of my pictures!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Australian Adventure, Part Two.

G-day :) Today, we're off to a Saturday market in The Rocks, and I couldn't be more excited. This will hopefully give me a chance to pick up some awesome gifts for my family and friends back in the states. With the exchange rate especially good today at about 84 cents to the dollar, I think that's a perfect sign to spend a little cash. Hehe.

Okay, so on to the recap. The second full day I was here, on Sunday, we went to the Taronga Zoo. This was probably the coolest zoo I'd ever been to, just because I had never even heard of some of the animals. I learned so much and had a fabulous day hanging out with my friends and the animals.
Here's a shot from the ferry on the way to the zoo. The ferry ride cost us about ten dollars for a round trip, and it was so worth the fantastic pictures I took on the way there and back. This was my first encounter with the Opera House in all of its glory, as well. Just lovely.
The entry sign from the bottom of the hill. We took a cable car up to the top (which was covered by our admission fee) and got a fantastic view of the water down below. I highly recommend this zoo if you're ever in the area. It's fantastic!
My first encounter with a wallaby. They posed for us. Isn't this guy absolutely adorable?
This peacock posed for us as well. I've always thought it funny how they roam about in the park. I don't mind, though :)
This adorable creature is called an echidna. Like a porcupine but much cuter.
I also had my first encounter with koalas. Oh my gosh. They are so freaking adorable. I want to steal one and bring one home with me so badly. Something makes me think that US customs wouldn't be so happy about that, though. Hehe.
Another koala picture. I think I took about two hundred koala pictures. And I love every single one of them.
My favorite kangaroo.
He let me pet him. He was soft. And adorable.
Sara put this one straight to sleep. We now call her The Kangaroo Whisperer.
My second favorite picture of the day. The giraffe contrasted against the skyline. Gorgeous.
And then, of course, there were the chimps that had paper shreddings. It was quite a sight, and the baby chimps were absolutely precious.
Adam (Sara's twin brother) and me posing in the middle of a massive bench. It somehow ended up being a perfect day for the zoo, even though it was supposed to rain.
My absolute favorite picture of the day from the ferry on the way home. The skyline is gorgeous against the setting sun.
Holding up our train and ferry tickets. This is how we get around the city; the public transportation is so efficient here that 90 percent of people take the train or bus to work. Awesome. Way to go, Sydney. :)

Time to get ready for another busy day. I'll be back soon with another update! Thanks for stopping by, as always.