Monday, 20 August 2018

One layer for Autumn

We're beginning to have the first signs of autumn here - the hedgerows are laden with berries already and our long, hot summer is cooling off.

For this one-layer card I used stamps from the beautiful autumn-themed stamp sheet that comes with the current issue of Creative Stamping.  First I stamped a sentiment from the sheet, then (using faint pencil guidelines which I later erased because I'm a wimp) I stamped the four background squares by inking up my smallest square acrylic block with distress inks, spritzing it very lightly with water and stamping it down onto the card. I chose a berry silhouette stamp from the set and stamped it at a different angle on each square, then used a white gel pen to brighten the highlights on each berry.

I am sharing this with
Addicted to CAS - Berries
Mix It Up - anything goes & acrylic block stamping
Less is More - sketch

Playing with hexagons

The hexagon die I've used here is part of a bee-themed stamp and die set from Heartfelt Creations but I've been playing around with using them in non-bee-like ways.

For my first card, I cut each hexagon in half across the longest pat then rearranged them short sides together to form a background.

I covered the join with bright ribbon and finished with some Indian style kraft chipboard shapes.

I am sharing this with
The Alphabet Challenge - Kraft Card

My next card is very different - I cut the hexagon from three snippets of card, positioning a butterfly die in the middle of each before cutting.

I added a stamped sentiment and layered it using the very last scraps of card, then finished with the butterflies I'd cut from the hexagons.

I am sharing this with
Pixie's Snippets Playground Challenge #333
Just Us Girls - Light Green, Aqua and Pale Yellow

And finally, the two together

Which I am, of course, sharing at Twofers where this month's challenge is Geometric.

Oh BU&&ER, I've just realised both cards are birthday cards..... shhh…… don't tell anybody.... I'm sure nobody will notice! After all, they are obviously for different people's birthdays.
There, I think I got away with that, don't you?

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Festive Robin

I'm a big fan of the blog and store called Hope and Chances where, among Christine Emberson's wonderful inspiration, there is also a chance to buy specially produced monthly charity kits, and this month's was extra special as it included a wonderful limited edition robin stencil by Tina Ashton. I'm afraid the kit is sold out, so it's too late to get your hands on it, but here is the card I made using this month's kit.

That robin stencil is adorable, I'm full of ideas for it and I'm sure you'll be seeing a lot more of it from now on. Today I've used it in a different way, with embossing paste.
Once the embossing was dry, I replaced the stencil over it and sponged the inks through. The paste picks up a lot of colour and gives a really bold, intense look. I used a script embossing folder to create a background and finished the card off with brads and sparkly borders.
I am sharing this with
52 Christmas card Throwdown - script
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - No Stamp or Digi 
Just add ink - choose two  

Let's Go Fishing at CD Sundays

Our new challenge at CD Sundays has just started and this time the theme is Let's Go Fishing.

I've used this fun cartoon from the Ooh La La CD "Boys to Men", along with two backing papers from the CD. The arched trellis thing is a sheet from a pad of pre-punched paper. You can't see it clearly from here but it is lightly printed with a cloud effect.

I am sharing this with
Allsorts Challenge - From Boys to Men
Watercooler Wednesday - Masculine Anything Goes

Saturday, 18 August 2018

Shere Khan

In The Jungle Book, the ruler of the beasts is a tiger called Shere Khan and I think this tiger image always looks powerful enough to rule a jungle full of animals!

The stamp came out of a grab bag many, many years ago - I have no idea of the brand. I stamped it with Memento ink and coloured with Promarkers. I've added a sentiment stamped with a magazine freebie, some tiger-print paper, punched leaves and a scrap of corrugated card that came from the packaging of a bottle of olive oil.

I am sharing this with

Little Red Wagon - Lions and tigers and bears!
The Male Room - Wild & Free
Shopping Our Stash - Leaf it to me
The Library Challenge - The Jungle Book
Retro Rubber - Tic tac toe (I have used the diagonal line die cut or punch - green - leaves)

Friday, 17 August 2018

"Patchwork" butterflies

Back to my old favourite Cuttlebug butterfly day for this morning's card. although I tried to use it in a slightly new-to-me way.

I cut it three times using paper from a 6" Crafty Individuals pad, then doodled "tacking stitches" around the edge to give them a patchwork-appliqué look. On the background card I doodled some wavy lines then dotted blue liquid pearls here and there among them, then stamped a sentiment.

I am sharing this with

CAS on Friday - Butterflies
Cardz 4 Galz - Dies/punches

Thursday, 16 August 2018

Playful penguins

My Lili of the valley trio stamps have been out to play again. I think they are only available as digis now, but mine are actual real rubber ones! I think they are ideal for DL cards.

The sentiment is also a Lili of the Valley stamp. The background is stamped all over with a small snowflake block stamp.

I am sharing this with:
52 Christmas Card Throwdown - Black, white and one other colour  (I've used shades of turquoise)

Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - feminine or anything goes

Jingle Belles - sketch

Sparkles Monthly Challenge - Make your own background

Sweet Stampin - Christmas in August

The Holly & Ivy - Anything Christmas Goes

Sweet Stampin Christmas - Anything Goes

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

From the East

I'm glad we are starting to see some Oriental designs returning to the craft scene, as for me they will never go out of style.

Because it's been out of favour for so long, a lot of my Oriental stash is very, very old, like this beautiful kimono stamp that I bought on a holiday to the USA back in 1995. It was made by a company called Design in Squares - I've just searched online for them but they don't seem to be around any more. I loved Chinatown in San Francisco so when I found a craft shop not far away this seemed like a perfect souvenir.

All the papers I have used on this card are intended to be origami papers. That means they are very thin and light, and black heat embossing seems to really stand out crisply on them. The parasol border stamp is an unmounted one that was a gift from a friend many years ago. The flower and character stickers are from an old QVC set.

I am sharing this with

Make My Monday - Oriental 
A Bit More Time to Craft - Anything Goes

Garden at Sunrise

Morning! I'm just back from a lovely short break in Dorset, a birthday treat, and I need to start with a crafty confession - while we were there I went into a lovely, well-stocked craft shop….. and came out without buying a single thing! I must be a very bad craft shopper, because I seem to be completely incapable of buying on impulse. I get overwhelmed when there is so much amazing STUFF to choose from! I'm the same at a craft show - I love to go to the workshops and attend the demos, but I tend to come home with a pack of white card, a bargain bag of adhesives and a replacement black ink pad rather than lots of exciting new goodies.

Oh well, that's more money in the kitty for when one of you lovely crafters 'enables' me!

Which all explains why there is nothing new on this card.

This card is all one layer - I masked off the central square and blended inks for the background, then stamped the Crafty Individuals floral stamp over the space - I didn't quite line it up right so I added some grasses along the bottom to hide the gaps. After removing the mask, I outlined it with a black fineliner to make it look like a separate layer, then finished off with a stamped sentiment and some tiny highlights of white gel pen.

I an sharing this with
Shopping our stash - leaf it to me
Crafty Creations Challenge - Anything Goes
Flower Challenge - One Layer Card

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Get Well Soon at Cardz 4 Guyz

It's time for our new challenge at Cardz 4 Guyz  and this time it is my turn to choose - I have chosen "Get Well Soon", mostly because I struggle myself with Get Well cards so am looking to you all for inspiration!

A bunch of flowers on a card always works well for a female get well card but what do you make for a man? Well, I've just treated myself to a set of Hampton Art stamps that are perfect for the job and include some fun sentiments too.

To let the image speak for itself I've kept the card very clean and simple - just some fabric-effect paper to match that "elegant" hospital gown and some simple white Candi that remind me a little of pills.

I am sharing this with
Allsorts challenge - Boys to men
Addicted to CAS - Masculine

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers challenge #116 - Denim

If you are anything like me you will really need to get your thinking cap on for Edna's latest challenge at the Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers.

Coo, not just denim for Edna, she's gone for the double denim look!

Yes, she's chosen DENIM as our theme. It really had me scratching my head but eventually I dug out this old jeans pocket stamp that was once upon a time the monthly Clarity Stamp Club stamp, and gradually everything came together.

I stamped and embossed it twice onto denim blue paper then cut out the pockets and used more of the paper for the background. To make it look more like the bottom of a pair of jeans, I added a narrow strip of paper edged with faux stitching using a gel pen to look like the back seam of the jeans.

The sentiment - an often heard cry from women everywhere and very familiar to fans of the old TV series "The Fast Show" was stamped using a set of letter stamps that my younger daughter - now 37 - had when she was a little girl.

Friday, 10 August 2018

Not HER again, surely?

You must all be getting pretty familiar with my SoSuzy Cameo lady stamp by now!

It's such a perfect stamp to use with so many snarky sentiments: this is one of the sentiments that I bought at the same time as the image stamp. I usually use it in a very CAS way but I've gone a bit inky with it today, with a distress oxide background for the sentiment and a little of the ink added to the image. The background is stamped with champagne bottles from a recent magazine stamp set and of course the image and sentiment are at slightly drunken angles - how could they be anything else with a sentiment like this?

It's hard to choose a favourite stamp when you have as many as I do, although I have a definite top 10 (or so) but thankfully the Stamping Sensations challenge this month recognises that dilemma and asks us to use our current favourite stamp, and this lady is definitely mine!

I am also sharing this with Shopping Our Stash where I suspect several of the DT were pretty certain that when I saw the Silhouettes theme, this would be the stamp I reached for!

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Spots of Snippets

When I saw the sketch for this week's 52 Christmas Card Throwdown challenge

I thought immediately that it would be a great way of using snippets.

When you use a pad as often as I do the Tonic Studios Winter Wonderland one, you do end up with a lot of co-ordinating snippets, so I grabbed a handful of circle dies and a bundle of snippets and set to work. I gave the circles an appliqué look by doodling in faux stitching around them and framed the whole thing by ruling lines to fill the corners.

I am sharing this with
52 Christmas Card Throwdown - sketch
and of course, with all those snippets, Pixie's Snippets Playground.
And thanks to Liz's reminder, I'm heading back to The Crafty Calendar with a second entry that couldn't be more different from my first one!

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Paris Blues

I've been cutting - no, worse than that, tearing - into NBUS Graphic 45 papers again. I know, I'm getting reckless!

These papers are from a 6 x 6 Cityscapes backgrounds pad and I've kept to turquoise and teal, matching them with a stamped Paris Skyline stamp from the Tim Holtz Cityscapes set and a Paris collage image and postcards from a lovely un-named set I got in a bargain box at a craft show.

I am sharing this with
Sweet Stampin' - travel 
Crafty Calendar - dots and/or stripes
House of Cards - where I have chosen the "Use patterned paper" option.

Use a Digi at Back to Basics

It's my turn to choose the challenge at Back to Basics and  this time we would like you to use a digi (digital image) somewhere on your work.

Digis are a convenient alternative to rubber stamps - they are generally cheaper (especially when buying from overseas as there are no hefty postage and duty costs), easy to store, and can be manipulated to whatever size you want, as well as being reflected, re sized and even digitally inserted into backgrounds depending on what software you use. For complex manipulation, I like to use Craft Artist but to simply resize and print them, I just use Word. I know some crafters only use digis now, but I still use real stamps for most of my stamping because you can stamp on any shape, size and colour background, not just ones that will go through the printer.

However I do have a pretty sizeable collection of digis, many of which have been challenge prizes, and the one I have used here is from Di's Digi Downloads which was part of a prize I won from Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge a while back.

I coloured it with Promarkers. A tip - when colouring digis, the printer ink can be inclined to run and smear into the colour, especially if you are using pale colours and/or alcohol markers. However, if you leave at least 24 hours between printing and colouring, the ink has set completely and won't smudge.

Actually I coloured this image to match a completely different background paper but once it was finished, it looked better with this one. The paper and embellishments are from a Craft Asylum 12x12 Candy pad.

If you would like to join in but don't have any digis, there are quite a few sites that give away free ones - many of the sites that sell them have free samples or end-of-range designs,  and if you do an online search for "free digital stamps" you will find many more. There is a lovely blog called Free Digi Dearies where there are hundreds that you can download and use - although the designer, Mary, is now semi retired from designing she has kindly kept all her images on the blog and available for anyone who wants to use them.

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

It's hot to be cool

I think this too-hot weather is getting beyond a joke now. Can't we have some snow or something? However the chillis in the garden are loving the heat. So here is a card to celebrate.

The stamp set is a sheet of chilli stamps from Rubberdance - they don't seem to be currently available but they are a real boon for anyone with a chilli head in the family. For the background I stamped sentiments from the set over the blue card using a Versamark pad to give a watermarked look.

I drew a band across white card the width I wanted, then stamped the large chillis to overlap the edges, fussy cut it and erased the pencil markings, then coloured the chillis red and green and stamped tiny ones to fill the background.

Very much a hot and cool card!

I'm sharing this with Rubberdance where I have chosen to use the colour theme.

And also to the Rubberdance Forever Stamping Challenge

Monday, 6 August 2018

We are Siamese if you please

Our very first pets when we got married were two Siamese cats - actually they were just on loan to us for 6 months while the owners were overseas, but that was perfect for us as we were due to move after 6 months too. So when the lovely set of Siamese cat stamps appeared on a recent issue of Making Cards, I just had to have them!

The paper is also from the magazine. I used the two mirror-image cats then stamped the sentiment between them and hand-drew the banner.
And do you know, it's only just dawned on me that the banner would be LOWER than the point where it was tied to the cats' tails, not higher as I have made it. Never mind, there are actually invisible helium balloons holding it up....

The theme at Less is More is Pets, so I'm playing along

Hot Christmas!

We always associate Christmas with snow, but that's really only the case in the northern half of the Northern Hemisphere - and even then, snow at Christmas in the UK is pretty rare. I've spent Christmas in the tropics several times and it's still hot there, and of course heading on south it is in the middle of summer. So here's a card made in HOT colours.

I inked the embossing folder - an old magazine freebie - with red, orange, yellow and hot pink distress inks then ran it through with white card to give a faux letterpress effect.
The tree is stamped with some of the same inks and die-cut with a matching die.
I'd originally intended to place the tree in the centre of the embossed area to maximise the white space on this CAS card, but it looked lost - it's amazing what a difference moving it to one side made!

I am sharing this with
Alphabet Challenge - Jingle Bells
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - Embossing or ATG
Christmas Crafts All Year Round - hot/warm colours
CAS Christmas - Tree

Krafty Sunflower

No, I'm not changing my name to Liz! But I must say I thought about her blog while I was making this card.

The sunflower is an old Linda Luckin stamp, coloured in with watercolour pencils and a water brush and then fussy cut. I scored parallel lines on the kraft panel to give it a tiny bit of dimension and added a stamped sentiment.

I am sharing this with
Love to Craft - Anything Goes
CAS Watercolour - Sunflowers

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Bathing Belle

All the stamps I've used on this card come from the Rubber dance "Take The Plunge" set.

I chose a piece of deckchair stiped paper for the background. The image is stamped and coloured then die cit. I cut the rest of the layers in white card and stamped each randomly with one of the images from the stamp set, edging each piece with the same ink.

I an sharing this with
Little Red Wagon -  Use your favourite sketch (the sketch seems to have vanished from the challenge post but I used the one that was initially suggested)
Country View Crafts - Sun, Sea and Sand
Just Us Girls - Beach

Have a WINE-derful birthday!

Actually, why does nobody make that as a stamp, along with "Have a GIN-tastic time"? I would TOTALLY buy them!

The topper for this card is cut from elements I tore out of a craft magazine many, many years ago and have been languishing in my "sure to come in handy one day" folder (along with all my old glass painting designs) ever since. I added a background printed off The Wine Buffs CD and a wine bottle and glass cut with magazine covermount dies - I think these were on Die Cutting Essentials a year or so back.

I am sharing this with
The Male Room - Birthday (DISCLAIMER - it's fine for a blog to celebrate a 5th birthday with wine and gin, but not a person)
A Bit More Time To Craft - Anything Goes

Celebrate in Style at CD Sundays

Our new challenge today at CD Sundays is Celebrate in Style so we want to see your Celebration cards - including, of course, something from a craft CD.

The CD I have used is a Popcorn The Bear sampler CD from Crafter's Companion - it was a free club members' gift from Create and Craft some years ago. The backing paper, topper and borders are all printed from the CD and the sentiment is stamped with a stamp from a very old Hot Off The Press kit. The champagne glass is die cut using a magazine freebie.

Despite lots of careful measuring, the topper has still come out looking a bit wonky - I blame my astigmatism but my CD  Sundays teamies suspect I've been sampling that huge bottle of champagne!

Saturday, 4 August 2018

Queen Bee

The number of times I have used ink through a stencil and then just washed the stencil after use. That won't be happening any more! Thanks to the latest challenge at CAS Mix Up  which is Stencil Monoprint, I'll be spritzing the inky stencil with water and pressing it to a clean piece of paper and seeing what happens!

I had been using the Tim Holtz honeycomb stencil to make a background for a project you'll see later this month, and it seemed like the ideal opportunity to give the technique a go.

I tidied up the inky edges by cutting a panel with a stitched rectangle die, then stamped an image and sentiment from the Craft Consortium "Tell the Bees" set, coloured the bee and glittered the wings and crown.

I am sharing this with

CAS Mix up  - Stencil Monoprint  and stamping (plus die cutting and glittering)

Watercooler Wednesday - Feminine anything Goes

Craft Rocket  - Anything Goes
Blog Badge
2 Crafty Critter Crazies - Anything goes with a creature

Thursday, 2 August 2018

Missing You

The "missing you" sentiment on this card is a die cut using an old Cuttlebug die. The two flowers are stamped with a very old magazine freebie stamp, coloured and fussy cut. The leaves are stamped with a Crafters Companion stamp and the butterfly with a stamp from a set I won at the Butterfly Challenge last year. I had planned to stamp more butterflies but when I arranged the stamps on the card in the Misti it looked far more cluttered in real life than it did in my mind's eye, so I removed all but one and I think it has more impact that way. After all, it makes the butterfly look lonely which is the whole point of the card!

I am sharing this with
The Butterfly Challenge where I have used the elements Ferrari Red and Flowers
Sweet Stampin' Challenge - CAS

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Festive Ted

Having a rummage through my Christmas bits box I found a sweet decoupage sheet and papers that had come with one of those boxed Christmas craft magazines a few years ago - the date on the sheets is 2013 - and decided to have a play.

I love the jolly colours and the way the wrapping paper on one of the parcels echoes the background. Little Tad is looking very wistful though - do you think he's been told he's not allowed to open any of those lovely presents until Christmas day?

I am sharing this with

Crafty Hazelnut's Patterned Paper Challenge - August
Winter Wonderland - Christmas Gifts
The Holly and Ivy - Anything Christmas Goes

Snowman stickers

Yes, another Christmas card! I only seem to be able to focus on Christmas cards at the moment - maybe the recent hot weather has left me pining for the cooler day of winter?

For the background I stamped the Uniko snowflake background several times across the card. It has an angled edge, presumably to help tesselate it for all-over stamping, but I found the spaces left by the angled edge left a perfect place to stamp some fir trees. This single tree, stamped repeatedly, is an image from the very summery set of stamps that came with last month's Creative Stamping magazine. By stamping it in green and not colouring it in, it gives a good impression of a snow-laden tree. Finally I stamped the silhouette Santa in the sky. This stamp and the sentiment were gifts, which I think were surplus magazine freebies, so I don't know their origins.

The village scene is cut with an X-cut build-a-scene die, and how I WISH I  hadn't decided to inlay the windows, or had at least remembered to apply Stick-It to the yellow before cutting them!

Finally I added the two jolly snowmen, stickers from a sheet I bought in Lidl last year.

I am sharing this with
Addicted to stamps and More - Holiday
52 Christmas Card Throwdown - Stickers