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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Au Revoir

Well, the sun has set on another Tour de France. Le sigh. It's always my saddest day of the summer.

I made my little Paris at night scene using a piece I had watercolored quite a while ago and never used! I thought the purples and grays would make a nice evening sky. The stars were added in silver ink from the Hero Arts Shoot for the Moon set. And the Paris skyline is a cut file from the Silhouette store!

I had a ton of fun creating all of these TdF-inspired cards this month, and I hope you had fun tuning in to see them. You can find all of the bike-inspired cards I've made over the years on my Pinterest board!

Now the big question - will I keep stamping regularly now that the Tour is over? Tune in and find out. ;-)


After today's stage of the Tour de France, one of my very favorite cyclists, Jens Voigt, is retiring after 17 years of making his fans smile. He's the biggest character in the peloton, and I will miss him so very much!

All stamps for this one are Hero Arts - I was very happy to see I had a "danke" stamp for this card celebrating my favorite German!

Jensie is known as one of the most aggressive riders - he never gives up! And he's famous for this "shut up legs" quote.

There's so many things I love about Jens - his attitude, his humor, his tweets, the fact that he geocaches all over the world, the way he talks about his kids, the years of going solo and completely kicking butt... Man I'm going to miss him!

Stamps: Hero Arts (CL699 Sketchbook Letters, LP202 Three Bikes, 331479 Love This)
Paper: Neenah (solar white)
Ink: Encore silver, Archival black, Hero Arts Red Royal

More than just a haircut...

Today is the final stage of the Tour de France. THE FINAL STAGE! Say it isn't so! What will I do with my mornings?? Actually ride MY bike??? :-) The overall winner of this year's Tour has already been decided through the cobbles, the mountains and the time trial - the final stage into Paris is always just a formality in that respect. But, there's always (or usually, anyway?) an exciting, all-out sprint on the Champs-Élysées to win the day's stage! And today's card is inspired by my pick to win today's stage - Marcel Kittel!

This is an old digi image from The Greeting Farm, it's been on my computer for a while but I thought it was perfect for today's card - I'll explain why in a moment. After coloring him with Copics, I masked off and stamped a little bicycle on his tshirt. The black, white and blue color scheme is inspired by Kittel's team, Giant-Shimano. The bicycle brads are from Eyelet Outlet - aren't they the cutest??

I used the Sunburst shape from Hero Arts on my Silhouette for the background before adding the brads. I was inspired by the new retrosketches challenge:

As for Marcel Kittel... he's an amazing sprinter. But, he's also REALLY into his hair. It's pretty funny. They call it the Kittel-cut.

He even tweeted this as the Tour left England for France...

It just cracks me up. But as they said on NBC during coverage, "Marcel Kittel is more than just a haircut." Indeed! He's already won three stages so far this year. And here he is winning on the Champs last year:

Will he do it today?? We'll see. GO MARCEL!

Stamps: The Greeting Farm (Edward digi image), Hero Arts/Studio Calico (331479 Love This - message), cute little bicycle stamp Lisa Spangler bought in Japan on his tshirt
Paper: Neenah (solar white), black, blue
Ink: computer printer ink, Copic markers, Archival ink
Other: "Sunburst" cut file by Hero Arts in the Silhouette store, Eyelet Outlet bicycle brads

Friday, July 25, 2014

Flora the Cyclist

Today's post doesn't really have anything to do with the Tour de France, except that it includes a bicycle. And it makes me happy.

This sweet stamps is from Stamping Bella called Flora the Cyclist. And it's uncanny, she looks JUST like me, when I go out for a bike ride in my pumps. ;-) I colored her with my Copics, and added a bit of Distress Stickles on her trim. The message is half of "hello there" in Hero Arts' Enjoy Today set. I really love the font of these greetings! I went with my rule that clouds always make a card cuter, and I broke out my sewing machine for the first time in ages.

The Tour is almost over. Only two more stages - a time trial tomorrow, then a sprint into Paris on Sunday. Say it isn't so!!!

Stamps: Stamping Bella (EB120 Uptown Girl Flora the Cyclist), Hero Arts (CL759 Enjoy Today)
Paper: Neenah (Solar White), MFT (Blu Raspberry), Stampin' Up (Pink Pirouette)
Ink: Tsukineko (Memento Tuxedo Black), Copic markers
Other: Lil' Inker Designs (cloud die), Ranger Distress Stickles (Rock Candy), machine stitching

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Tour de Craft Guest Designer - Lisa Spangler!

My final Tour de Craft Guest Designer is my #1 cycling friend, Lisa Spangler! There are many reasons why I adore my Lisa, but we initially bonded over stamps and BIKES! We have a pact, that SOMEDAY we WILL be at the Tour de France together, cheering as they make their way up the classic mountain stages! So of course I have Lisa sharing a card today, during Stage 18 of the Tour de France, this year's final mountain stage through the Pyrenees.

Today's stage includes some classic mountain climbs, including the Col du Tourmalet, one of my personal favorites. I love love LOVE how Lisa incorporated the stage details into her card design. Awesome!!

Lisa watercolored one of my favorite Bicycle stamps from Hero Arts. What a cool look!! And she used the Bubble Confetti stencil to add the fun dots.

And... of course the photographs today are amazing. Because Lisa is amazing. I mean - sunflowers for the first photo!! That's so le Tour. Sigh. I wish we still lived near each other, I'd bring all my cards to her to photograph! LOL! (I know I could easily bribe her to do it for me - I'd just need to bring a donut or a cupcake!) ;-)

Thank you SO MUCH, mon ami, for joining me today. As always, I *adore* your card!! And I miss you soooo much!

Be sure to visit Lisa at Sideoats and Scribbles - you'll be inspired by each and every post!

Vive le Tour!

Kandinsky + Bikes = fun card!

Sorry I've been MIA with the Tour de France-inspired cards the past couple days!! Life got busy - I completed a large custom card order for a friend, and I also hosted a little two day "art camp" for my daughter and three of her friends. The first day we did projects that incorporated circles. While I was searching Pinterest for kid project ideas, I came across this Kandinsky-inspired tree. I didn't use it for art camp, but I thought the idea would make a really fun card!

I had a ton of fun with this card! I wanted to still work a bit of TdF-inspiration into it, so I started with a old French book page that my friend Anna gave me! I sponged on some Broken China ink, then spritzed with water. The tree was free-cut from some burlap paper (LOVE this stuff!!). And then I just took my scrap bin and went to town cutting circles! The message is from an old MFT set (Enjoy the Ride), and I added a little Studio Calico wood veneer bike that I also colored with a bit more distress ink.

It was actually difficult to get a photo I liked of this card - the colors and textures are much nicer in person!

Today the Tour is suffering through the 3rd of three mountain stages in the Pyrenees. I love the mountains!! How those guys climb mountains on bikes, honestly, I just don't know. And then, the high speed descents on these narrow mountain roads. Ugh! They are AMAZING.

I'll actually be back today with an awesome guest designer card, and maybe even another card! I have some catching up to do. :-)

Au Revoir,

Monday, July 21, 2014

Tour de Craft Guest Designer - Joy Taylor!

It's another rest day at the Tour de France, and another guest designer day here on my blog! Today's guest comes to us all the way from Australia, where she has to have lots and lots of coffee to be able to stay up and watch the Tour! She's Joy Taylor, and she is just massively talented. And she's one of my mountain stage buddies - we love to laugh together about the crazy people lining the roads on the mountains! Hey Joy, the Pyrenees start tomorrow!! Will we see any devils? costumes? naked people??! :-)

When she's not being silly with me, she makes drop dead GORGEOUS cards...

Sigh. I mean seriously, could her card be any more gorgeous??

Thanks so much for joining me today, Joy!

Be sure to stop by and say hi to Joy on her blog, Simple By Design.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Tour de France Sympathy Card

Today was yet another rainy stage at the Tour de France. Is this one of the rainiest Tours ever? It sure seems like it. So... a sympathy card for those poor cyclists riding so many days in the rain... wishing them brighter days!

The message is from a Hero Arts sympathy set called Remember. I picked up the bike clips at Paper Source ages ago - I'm down to only one left! Eek! (But proud of myself for not hoarding them!) And the cloud is chipboard from Magenta that I picked up when they held a class at my LSS. I had fun with it! I painted it with gesso, then put down some embossing paste. I added the swirls with a toothpick. Happy clouds!

The sketch was inspired by this one from retrosketches:

With all the rain (uhhh, not to mention the daily body punishment of riding bikes over mountains...!), I keep hearing about different riders with sinus issues, chest infections and/or bronchitis. In a show of solidarity, I also wake up each day with a sneezing fit and massively runny nose. THAT'S just how much of a cycling fan I am... ;-)

Stamps: Hero Arts (CL577 Remember)
Paper: MFT (Blu Raspberry), Neenah (Solar White), Doodlebug Design (Kraft in Color 6x6)
Ink: Ranger (Archival Black)
Other: Magenta (cloud chipboard), Ranger (gesso), Dreamweaver (Wendy Vecchi embossing paste), circle punch, bicycle clip, sequins

Friday, July 18, 2014

Tour de Craft Guest Designer - Linda McClain!

Today the Tour de France has reached the Alps. Oh how I love the Alps!! The stage today ends with an HC, or "hors catégorie" climb - that's French for "beyond categorization". In other words - so insanely steep it's off the charts!! How these guys can pedal their bikes up such things I just don't know.

But what I *do* know it that I have one of my very favorite stampers in the universe as my Tour de Craft guest today! Yay!! I'm happy to welcome Linda McClain, and her incredibly gorgeous card that celebrates the mountains...

The sequins on this card make me beyond happy. Hey, this is an HC card!! ;-) And Linda's one of those amazing stampers who makes the inside look gorgeous too. I'm lucky if I just pull off a decent card front, but look what she does on the inside...

There's a lot more detail about this card over on Linda's blog - Catered Crop - including some life lessons and cycling metaphors and Linda's own mountain climbing experiences. Good stuff! Linda never disappoints.

Now here's hoping the boys don't disappoint me on today's final climb! Fingers crossed for a crash-free day, full of excitement, beautiful images on my tv and minutes chipped away from Mr. Nibbles....

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Never Give Up.

Yesterday was a rough stage at the Tour de France for Andrew Talansky. He had started off the Tour as one of the favorites, with hopes of ending up on a podium in Paris. But then the crashes happened. And yesterday it all caught up to him. The television cameras stayed on him as he suffered to keep up, then drifted off the back of the peloton. And they remained on him as he pulled off on the side of the road and a team manager had a talk with him. Many thought that was it, he was getting in the car and calling it a day. But to everyone's surprise, he got back on his bike AND KEPT GOING!! He was obviously in tremendous pain,  wiping away tears as he rode. But he kept going. Thirty two or so minutes after the winner of the stage crossed the line, Talansky rode in to the sound of cheers. And it was heartbreaking and amazing all at the same time. So, today's card is inspired by The Pitbull, who I will think of every time I'm out of my bike and I think it's too hard to continue...

I played with my Hero Arts ink daubers for this one. I pounded them hard on my paper to get the awesome splotches. I love doing that - it's like taking out some aggression in the stamp room. I added some additional flecks of ink with a wet paintbrush, and stamped my favorite tiny little Hero Arts bicycle. The message is spelled out with Amy Tangerine stickers.

Talansky didn't start today's stage, his injuries were just too much. But the fact that he kept going yesterday, I will not soon forget.


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