Sunday, 10 December 2017

No sh**, Sherlock!

I've been very quiet on the crafting front recently, only posting my pre-scheduled DT pots, that's because last weekend I injured my shoulder and haven't been able to do any crafting for a whole week. Luckily it's starting to get better but I'm still a few days away from being able to wield a craft knife or crank the handle of my Grand Calibur.

So I'm taking this opportunity to share with you the card I made from my friend Claire's birthday - actually I made it a couple of weeks ago but didn't want to share it until she'd received it as she reads this blog. She's a Sherlock Holmes fan so the Graphic 45 Master Detective papers are ideal for making a card for her.


And while I had the papers out, I couldn't resist making a second card with them


I am sharing with
Crafty Creations Challenge - Anything Goes
Crafty Hazelnut's Patterned Paper Challenge - December
Love to Craft - Anything Goes  

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers challenge 99 - Vegan

It's new challenge time at the Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers and this time Edna has chosen V is for Vegan which simply means we want to see an animal on your card rather than on your plate!



I've never knowingly eaten elephant, and don't plan to, nevertheless I decided to feature an elephant on my card. Because lurking in my Very Old Stamps I have an unmounted stamp of an elephant's bottom, and I get far too little reason to stamp elephant's bottoms. It's an unmounted stamp and I'm guessing from the colour of the rubber that it came in a grab bag from Viva Las Vegas.


I started by sizing and printing the sentiment and pile of poo - these were a free download which I think came from Bugaboo stamps - and then cut the paper to shape. I stamped the elephant in dark grey then coloured it in with various grey pencils, then used a deckle edged ruler to draw a skyline and stamped the lone tree (a Debbi Moore stamp which I lost about 10 minutes after making this card, I hope it turns up again soon!). I added just a hint of distant savannah and sky with watercolours and used a pencil to doodle in the footprints. I coloured the egret on the elephant's back with a white gel pen to make it stand out, and finished the pile of poo with glossy accents.

And they say an elephant never forgets......

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Recipe - Carrot and lentil soup with sourdough croutons

Yes, you read it right - a recipe! Well this is supposed to be a "food and craft" blog, but in recent months the food seems to have slipped into oblivion for various reasons. However I've just made some really delicious soup that I couldn't resist sharing.


Sorry it's such a rubbish photo but I was in a hurry to tuck in!

The inspiration for this soup was the last few rather limp carrots in a bag, a stub of stale sourdough bread and a half litre tub of frozen chicken stock that fell on the floor when I was getting something else out and the container shattered so it needed to be used. A rummage in the cupboard produced the tail end of a bag of lentils - I didn't weigh them but it looked like about 80g.

So, to make 4 hearty servings you will need

1 medium onion
4 medium to large carrots
80g red lentils
½ litre stock - vegetable or chicken, plus the same amount of water
a knob of butter
your choice of spice (optional) - see recipe
seasoning

and for the croutons

stale sourdough bread (the equivalent of about 2 slices of bread)
1 tbs light olive oil

First start the soup. Peel the onion and carrots and cut into large chunks, then whizz in a food processor until very finely chopped. (If you don't have a food processor, chop them roughly and use a stick blender on the soup when it is cooked.)

Melt the butter in a large saucepan and stir in the carrot and onion mixture, and cook gently, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes. Then add the spice if you want - I like to add just one spice and ring the changes between cardamom, cumin, ground coriander, ground ginger and chilli - just a generous pinch, to bring out the flavour of the carrots, rather than to add a spicy flavour. Carrots go well with all these spices - or you could omit the spice completely, or stir in some chopped fresh coriander or parsley when serving the soup. Today I used two drops of cardamom scented Spice Drops. Mix in the spice than add the stock and water. Bring to the boil, add the lentils, cover and simmer gently for around 30 minutes until the lentils have completely broken down into the liquid. Don't add seasoning (or use salty stock cubes) until the end, or they may not fall properly.

While the soup is cooking, make the croutons. Heat the oven to 180c (fan) 400F, gas mark 7.
Cut the bread into small dice,  about 1cm cubes,  toss in the oil and spread on a baking tray. Bake for 7-10 minutes until crisp and golden, then tip onto kitchen paper to absorb any left over oil.

When the soup is cooked, taste it and add seasoning. Serve with a scattering of the crispy croutons on top.

By varying the spices this soup can taste different every time - you can travel all around the world in a bowl of carrot soup, adding whatever flavour or spice blend takes your fancy. Or make it taste fresher in the summer by replacing the spice with orange or lime zest and juice. It only costs pennies to make, especially if you get a huge bag of carrots at half price as I did, and buy your lentils and spices in an Asian store or the World Foods section of your supermarket. (Have you ever noticed how much cheaper spices and pulses are in that area than they are in the rest of the store?)

I am sharing this with Kitchen Clear Out at Madhouse Family Reviews

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Jingle Bells

It's getting closer to Christmas, and time to start writing cards, so the ones I'm making now need to be pretty quick and easy.


For this card  I've used a pyramage and papers printed from Ooh la la's CD The Shawn Jenkins Collection, layered with green and a green bow.

I am sharing this with
Christmas Cards All Year Round - Anything Goes
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge Extra - December
A Bit More Time To Craft Extra - Anything Goes

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Snowman at Cardz 4 Guyz

It's my turn to choose the theme at Cardz 4 Guyz, and I have chosen Snowman.


I printed out an image and background from the La Pashe CD "The Wrinklies Christmas". If you are old enough to remember it, doesn't that snowman look like old Albert Steptoe from the 60s sitcom Steptoe and Son? I'm a bit intrigued by the person building the snowman - it looks like an elderly man to me, but he/she appears to be wearing a skirt. Oh well, for the purposes of this card, it's a man in a skirt. What you wear in the privacy of your own garden is up to you....

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Christmas Present at CD Sundays

It's time for our latest challenge at CD Sundays and this time our theme is Christmas Present. Don't forget that if you don't want to link up over at the blog, you can now enter via our new Facebook page.


I've used a decoupage sheet from the La Pashe CD "Christmas with the Wrinklies" (although I believe it is on one or two of their other CDs too) - it makes me laugh every time I see it. The sentiment is cut from the same sheet and the border is cut from a matching backing paper, also on the CD. The background is embossed with a stocking-stitch embossing folder and the stocking button is from my stash.

I am sharing this with
Make My Monday - Happy Christmas
A Bit More Time To Craft - Anything Goes
Fab 'n' Funky - Christmas  
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - Anything Goes/Quick and Easy
Watercooler Wednesday - Anything Goes
  

Friday, 1 December 2017

Snowman at Sparkles Christmas

This month at Sparkles Christmas we'd like to see a snowman - or some snowmen - on your card.

Here is my card for you:


I used the Snowman Trio stamp set from Lili of the Valley, coloured them with Promarkers and Stickles, fussy cut them and mounted them onto a panel of embossed card, using a snowflake folder that was a mag freebie a few years ago. I added a green layer with a punched border. leaving space to add some cute heart ribbon, and echoed the heart theme with a die cut made with a Gummiapan die. A simple stamped sentiment finishes the card.

I am sharing this with
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - anything goes (or use a doily)
Sweet Stampin - Use your favourite Christmas Colour combo (red, green and white)
Alphabet challenge - Snow People
Shopping our stash - Snow Much Fun 

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Giant Snowflake

I am loving the snowflake dies from Uniko so much, and the biggest of the three is perfect as the stand-out centrepiece of a bold, bright card like this:


I cut it in red card then added it to a circle cut with my trusty old Nesties. The glitter card is from Lidl, and because it's often hard to stick things to glitter card, I used a smaller Nestie to cut a circle from the glitter card behind where the topper was to go. Then after adding the ribbon and matting onto red, I used foam pads inside the circle, which were now stuck to the red background card instead of the glitter, and added my die cut topper to that.

I couldn't resist another photo from an angle to pick up all that sparkle!


This was inspired by this week's photo at Just Us Girls

There is just so much to work with in that photo - I've gone for the red, white and turquoise colour scheme,  the sparkle of the turquoise tinsel, the red and white ribbon and the round tags with giant snowflakes on them. But really I could have made a dozen different cards that would all have been inspired by it!

I am also sharing with
Cuttlebugmania - Let it Snow
Holly & Ivy - Anything Christmas Goes



Sunday, 26 November 2017

Sparkle all the way.

This is one of those rare - VERY rare - cards that turned out in real life exactly how I had pictured it in my mind's eye.


It really couldn't be much simpler - ideal for mass producing if i find at the last minute that I need a few more cards. The snowflake is die cut from glitter card, using one of the lovely dies in my wonderful  Uniko prize, and glitter washi tape in plain and spotty purple arranged in a "tick" shape on the card, positioned so that the starry middle of the snowflake exactly matches the plain tape where it joins up. This sentiment, from the stamp set given free with a recent issue of Papercraft Essentials, is the perfect size  and style foir the card and the snowflake is added with very small dots of 3-D adhesive.

I am playing along with
Uniko challenge - Christmas
Jingle Belles - Baby it's Gold Outside
Less is More - Let it Shine
AAA Cards - Christmas  

Star tree

This star tree stamp is one of my oldest stamps, it's unmounted  red ubber and came in a grab bag about 20 years ago.


For this card I've combined it with a santa stamp that was a magazine freebie a few years ago. First I stamped Santa, then masked him and used green ebossing ink to stamp the tree, heat embossing it with green sparkle powder. I coloured Santa with makers, stamped  a sentiment then added gems, ribbon tape and a button and a red mat.

I am sharing this with
Just add ink - red, green and white
Winter Wonderland - red and green

Chloe Stem Sympathy

I always say I'm not superstitious - and yet I also have this feeling that keeping sympathy cards in stock is somehow tempting fate, which means that when I need one I have to make a very quick one (or *shudder* BUY one - which would sort of imply to the bereaved person, if they are used to getting hand made cards from me, that perhaps I didn't care enough to make one) . So I like to have a few quick designs up my sleeve for such times, and that generally means they need to be CAS.


Sadly, yesterday I had the news that a friend's husband had passed away. Out came the Cloe Stem die from Memory Box, always a great one for sympathy cards because of its simple elegance, and a rummage through my snippets box yielded black, grey and purple card to cut this cluster of flowers and butterfly, to arrange on stitched ovals. A stamped sentiment and some caring words on the inside and my card was ready to post.

It seems strange to head into the Snippets Playground with something as sombre as a sympathy card, but sadly we do all need them from time to time and this one is made entirely from snippets. Actually my friend's husband was a witty, playful man with a great sense of humour and would probably have fitted in very well in the playground, if he'd been a crafter, so maybe it isn't so strange after all!

I am also sharing this at Addicted to Stamps and More, where the theme is CAS.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Glasgow Butterfly

The latest Butterfly Challenge is H is for Handwritten and/or the colour Lemon. Now if you've ever seen my handwriting, you'll probably understand why I love stamping! So I'm going to have to stick to just the colour option this time.


The stamps I've used came with a magazine (Creative Stamping?) a year or two back, and I've kept to a very simple yellow, grey and black colour scheme instead of using the rich jewel colours I generally use with them. I'm still getting very excited by how accurately I can position corners with my Misti and have used it to full advantage here so those rose clusters really frame the central image.

For the layout, I have used the sketch at this week's Little Red Wagon challenge,  and am entering this card into both this and the Butterfly challenge.

Dashing through the snow

It's exactly a month to Christmas Day - how is your card making going? If you are way, way behind, there are some very quick and easy ways you can get up to speed and still send home made cards. CDs can be really helpful for this.




For this card I used the Ooh La La CD Yesterday's memories. There is a section on the CD that contains some extra quick cards, ready just to print, trim, fold and use, although if like me you have a printer that won't take a decent weight of card you will have to stick it to sturdier card once printed. The CD provides both front and back of the card - or the back could be cut off and used as a fly leaf on the inside.

You can send your printed card right away, or if you have a little more time you can do as I did and add a little creativity to it - there is a printed border of gems and pearls which I covered with real gems and pearls (by real gems, I don't mean actual rubies or anything, but just not paper ones!) and went over all the edges of the image and background with silver peel offs to give a sensation of depth. Then to balance the silver on the right of the card, I added a silver peel off border to the left.

I am sharing this with Allsorts challenge, Inspired by a Christmas Carol or Winter Themed Song - the song, of course, being "Jingle Bells" as there, among the trees, is that one-horse open sleigh, dashing through the snow!

And as it's the 25th of the month, I'm also hoping to share this with Rudolph Day at Scrappymo's, although Maureen doesn't appear to have unlocked the gates yet and I'm sure I'm not the only one hammering on them waiting to be let in!

Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers challenge 98 - Industrial

Our new challenge at the Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers is I is for Industrial




What Edna means by that is Steampunk, so don that flying helmet, crank up that steam engine and let's see how snarky and steampunky you can get!


I nearly always go for a masculine look when I attempt steampunky styles, so I thought I'd try something a bit more feminine. The image is from a Kanban die cut decoupage sheet and I computer generated the sentiment, matching the colours as closely as I could.

The base card is covered in tissue paper with vintage ads, and edged with two tones of metallic gilding wax. I added an embossed panel and die cut cogs, feather and penny farthing bicycle plus a random ticket I found lurking in my stash.

Friday, 24 November 2017

Some like it hot!

As you probably know, Mark is a very keen chilli grower so I was delighted, about 2 years ago, to find that Rubber Dance has a whole sheet of chilli themed stamps, and had to get them straight away.

When I saw that their November theme is "Inspired by a Movie",  the film "Some like it hot" immediately sprang to mind - perfect for these stamps!


I made a background with orange and yellow distress inks then stamped the sketchy chillies all over in red and green, then stamped two each of the large open chillis, just for position, stamping them again on separate card, and filled in the gaps with the word "Hot!".

Then I coloured in the separate chillis. You may be wondering why I didn't just stamp them on red card, since I coloured them a uniform read, and the answer is that didn't occur to me until I'd finished colouring and cutting them out. I stuck them down over the "placemarker" ones I had stamped on the background, and then covered them all in Glossy Accents - the shine doesn't really show on the photo but it looks pretty good in real life!

I am sharing this with
Rubber Dance - Inspired by any movie (Some like it hot)
Fab 'n' funky - Inspired by a song, film or book (Some like it hot)
Retro Rubber - anything goes (all stamps are 2+ years old)

Winter landscape

I had the idea for this card, with the glittery pine forest, while I was stuck in traffic the other day and it was 5 days before I could get home to try it. No, I wasn't stuck in traffic for 5 days, but I was heading away from home for a trip...



I made the sky with a little water colour then stamped the snowflakes, from Uniko, in pale blue. I stamped the trees, which I think are an old Clarity stamp,  with a green embossing ink and embossed them with sparkly green embossing powder. The sentiment is another Uniko stamp.

I used a Tonertex pen to go around the edges and make a few "starry" dots in the sky, then when it was dry, foiled it with a silver holographic foil from Foil Play. Silver organza ribbon tied around the panel is the finishing touch.

I am sharing this with
Crafty Creations Challenges - Anything Goes
Watercooler Wednesday - All about Christmas 

 

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Reindeer at Cardz 4 Guyz

It's time for our new challenge at Cardz 4 Guyz and this time it's all about Reindeer.


I used the Gummiapan text reindeer stamp, and using the Misti stamped it first in light brown ink and then just inked the hooves, horns, tail and nose in a darker brown and stamped again. I love being able to stamp over again so accurately! I've mounted it on squares of reindeer paper and two shades of brown, all from my snippets box and cut with stitched square dies.

I am sharing this with
Inkspirational Challenge - Christmas card using neutral colours

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Christmas Things With Wings at CD Sundays

It's time for our new challenge at CD Sundays and I've chosen the theme this time - Christmas Things With Wings. I was thinking of birds when I chose the theme, but of course angels have wings too and are perfect for the season, so you have plenty ideas to choose from. And there's some great news for any of you who would like to join in but don't have a blog - we now have a Facebook page where you can post your entry!



I've used an image and paper from the Joanna Sheen Vintage Christmas CD set, and in order to use every scrap of that lovely paper I've made a card that is a bit of a hybrid between a fold-back card and a joy fold one. There is just a single layer of decoupage on the robins, just enough to make them stand out without adding too much weight to the image.

I am sharing this with
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - Blue or anything goes

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Pine cones and ivy

The new challenge at Christmas Card Throwdown is a rather unusual colour challenge - brown, green and kraft. Not a traditionally festive combo, but it made me think of pine boughs.


I made the background by stamping the old PSX Large Pine Cone stamp randomly over kraft card, using Versamark ink, and then dusting it lightly with brown and green chalk - I didn't want to add a lot and make the images too bold, or it wouldn't have shown up the die cutting and sentiment so well.

I used one of the sentiment stamps from my recent Uniko prize  and then edged the panel with green ink. Finally I added a selection of die cut pine cones, pine and fir branches and ivy.

Right, I'll be offline for a few days now - unless I get so desperate I end up taking my iPad to Tesco and using the free Wi-Fi. I do have a couple of scheduled posts coming up, for CD Sundays and Cardz 4 Guyz, so YOU can see ME tomorrow and Tuesday - and I can see YOU again later in the week!

Santa and sparkle

Sorry to be throwing so many posts at you today but I'm likely to be without internet for a few days so I'm trying to get ahead of myself. Also it's a grey, wet, gloomy day so what better to do than spend it crafting?

Today's Less is More challenge is to CASE a card made by DT member Susan. Here is her card:

 
 
and here is my CASE of it:
 
 
The Santa image is stamped and punched using the SU "Cookie Cutter Christmas" set, and the sentiment is from the same set. Now, you may be wondering why I've added pink and purple speckles to the background? Well, they're not pink or purple at all! Because I loves Susan's touch of sparkle in the background, I brushed the area around Santa on my card  with a product called Jo Sonja's Opal Dust - it's an Australian product and I've had it for about 20 years. (I've just googled - it's still available). Tiny opalescent flecks are suspended in a clear gel, and you brush it onto card, or just about anything else, and when the gel dries it leaves a scattering of tiny, tiny particles here and there that reflect the light. In the main photo it doesn't show very well, so I tried a different angle to the light and you can just about see the effect below - it's so pretty yet very subtle, making it perfect for CAS cards.

 

Sparkling stencil

I love the cover gift that came with the current issue of Papercraft Essenials - a stencil of a mandala quarter-circle with a coordinating small circle and border, and just couldn't wait to play with it. Here's my first attempt:


I've used Imagination Crafts Sparkle Medium to stencil it onto brown card, and stamped and heat embossed a sentiment onto matching card, then matted everything with turquoise pearlescent card.

Sparkle is very hard to capture in a photo but I'm sure you can picture how gloriously glittery it is in real life!

I am sharing this with
Allsorts challenge - Glitter 
Sweet Stampin - Birthday
Just us girls - Turquoise, gold and brown

Lots of Washi tape

I have loads and loads of Washi tape, but can never really think of ways to use it. Much of it is Japanese Kawaii style stuff with oddly translated sayings on it - that might never get used - but today I had a good furkle around Pinterest for ideas, combined about 350,000 of them, grabbed several NBUS rolls of tape and set out to see what I could come up with.


I'm a bit impressed with myself actually! The leaf sprigs and sentiment are stamped with a Crafters Companion clear stamp set. (Hang on, do they actually MAKE clear stamp sets? I have it quite fixed in my mind that's where they are from!) and the flower stamp is a very old Craft Stamper freebie.

I am sharing this with
CAS on Friday - Washi Tape
Just Add Ink - R is for...... (red)

Friday, 17 November 2017

Sparkling snow

That spotty Uniko stencil has been out to play again, this time in a totally different way.


I stencilled the background layer using Imagination Crafts Sparkle Medium  - actually in the photo it looks almost fluffy rather than sparkly! Then I added three layers of buildings cut with X-Cut "Build-a-scene" dies. These dies are a bit peculiar, some of the buildings follow the lines of the hills rather than being perpendicular - I wouldn't like to drop anything on the floor in those houses in the middle row! But they do build up into a sweet scene, and I used 1mm foam pads between the layers to emphasise the dimension. A simple stamped sentiment on the front layer is the only thing breaking up the white-on-white look of this card.

I am sharing this with
Dies R Us - Snow
Addicted to Stamps and More - Holiday 
C.R.A.F.T. - Christmas 
Sparkles Monthly - White Christmas

Master Detective

I've been having a play with papers and chipboards from Graphic 45's Master Detective range today:



Sorry about the out of focus second photo - I don't seem to have much depth of field so maybe I should have opened the card wider to make a flattish surface instead of a deep "V". Oh well, it does show you that I decorated the inside too!

This card involved a lot of fussy cutting - which is often the case with Graphic 45's fabulous papers - a bit of distressing and the addition of a key and some twine.

I am sharing this with

Fab'n'Funky - Masculine Touch
Watercooler Wednesday - Masculine Anything Goes
 

-o0o-

While I had the goodies out to play, I made another card, inspired by a sample in Papercraft Essentials. Their sample was designed for a much smaller card, but I adapted it for a bigger A5 one because I think large images deserve large cards.


The sentiment is cut with a Spellbinders die from a sentiment set I got recently.

I am sharing this card with
Cuttlebugmania - Masculine

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Going dotty!

Here I've used yet another of the goodies from my wonderful Uniko prize, a stencil with a random all-over spot pattern. Stencilling isn't a technique I generally associate with clan and simple cards but this is one that can really lend itself to the style.


I used a sponge and the Kaleidacolor "Birthstone" ink pad to colour the spots, then added a simple die cut sentiment.

I am sharing this with
AAA Cards - Celebrate


and also with two challenges I don't usually associate with CAS cards, simply because stencilling doesn't have to be part of a complex design!
Country View Challenges - Stencils 
Mix it up - anything goes & stencilling

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

That reindeer again

I am loving this Gummiapan text reindeer stamp! It seems to work particularly well with the Tonic Studios Winter Wonderland papers.


Apart from the reindeer, which I stamped and fussy cut (must check to see if they have a matching die!) everything has come from the pad, so it was a great way to use up some of the snippets - I used pieces of 7 different papers as well as one of the sentiments.

I am sharing this with
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - Reindeer or anything goes
Use Your Stuff - 5+ patterned papers
The Holly and Ivy - anything Christmas goes
House of cards - holiday and/or colours
 

In the bulrushes

One issue I've had with silhouette stamps over the years is that if you don't get a clear impression the first time, you can never sort it out, except perhaps with a black pen and a lot of care. The invention of stamping platforms has changed all that and at last I can get a crisp, clear and fully black image of this lovely Katzelkraft stamp of a heron/stork/crane  taking flight from in a clump of bulrushes.


I stamped it onto glossy card on which I had created a background by sponging on individual colours from a Kaleidacolor Caribbean Sea pad, then cut it out with a stitched oval die and layered it with black and turquoise, finishing the corners with black gems.

I am sharing this with

A bit more time to craft - anything goes
Just us girls - silhouette stamping
 

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Walking in a Winter Wonderland part 2

While I had the stamps from my previous post out, I decided to make a second, completely different card using them:


For the background I used a stencil from Imagination Crafts - there is a deer in the middle but I masked it off before using Sparkle medium to stencil the scene. Then I stamped the girl but this time added the bird and dog from the same stamp set. I fussy cut the girl and dog and used the die that came with the stamps to cut the bird. The sentiment is stamped with a Dylusions stamp.

You can just picture the scene, can't you - the girl is out walking the dog, stops to look up at the snowy sky, and the cheeky little robin swoops over and scores a direct strike in her eye! Oh well, it's supposed to be lucky.

It reminds me of a doggerel verse from my childhood

"Little birdie flying high
Dropped a message in my eye
As I went to wipe my eye
I thanked the Lord that cows don't fly."

And on that delightful note I'll head off to share this with
Naughty or Nice - Walking in a Winter Wonderland (naughty entry)
C.R.A.F.T. - Winter