Saturday, 20 January 2018

Getting Sentimental

Over at Shopping Our Stash this week they want to see the sentiment as the main feature on our cards.

I was, however, in the mood for stamping and colouring some flowers - so I made them into a background.

The flower stamp is a very old one (about 20 years) from Raindrops on Roses, which I stamped randomly in Memento ink over a larger piece of white card then used a stitched square die to cut out the square. Doing it this way round ensured I could stamp over the edges without the "stitchy bits" making the stamp miss bits.

Next I stamped the "Just for you" sentiment from Stampin Up using black Versafine ink and heat embossed with black powder. Then I coloured the flowers with Promarkers, mounted it on the base card and added the second part of the sentiment on a white strip cut into a banner.

Friday, 19 January 2018

The Stag's Head

.. sounds like a pub name, so if you've dropped in expecting to read about a trip to a pub, I'm sorry to disappoint!

I was inspired to make this by the photo inspiration which is this week's challenge at Addicted to Stamps and More  

You can probably see that I was inspired by the black, white and gold colour scheme, the stags' heads and the spots and stripes.

The background is made using a Uniko stencil that I won before Christmas but hadn't used yet, on black card with Imagination Crafts Sparkle Medium. The stag topper is cut with a die I've had for years, part of an X-cut Build-a-Scene set. I positioned it in the centre of the bigger square and it didn't quite look "pulled together". Two stripes of spotty washi tape put that right!

I am also sharing this with

Uniko Studio challenge - Something old, something new 
Crafty Gals Corner - Anything Goes
Watercooler Wednesday - Masculine Anything Goes

Another Iris Folded Ballgown

I've had a bit of a break from Iris folding but the kits are almost finished now and I'm determined to use them up as part of my "spring clean".

I kept to purples and pinks for this one and the papers are all embedded with tiny silver sparkly specks rather than full-on glitter,  giving a pearlescent look, an effect I have emphasised by embellishing with pearls around  the waistline and hem. I have finished it with peel offs from the same prehistoric set I used on the reindeer card a few days ago - I have a feeling that could be the next set of old goodies I work on trying to use up.

I an sharing this with
Cardz 4 Galz - Anything but square
Fab n Funky - Girly  

Thursday, 18 January 2018

The first of the year

... Valentine, that is. I'm not a big fan of Valentines cards, I don't think I have a romantic bone in my body, but people want them so I make them.

This very CAS one uses a background made with a Santoro embossing folder, two different washi tapes, a pair of hearts cut with a Gummiapan die and a sentiment cut with a die a friend sent me from America - it has no brand name on it and is a flat sheet that cuts all manner of useful words at once - you can cut them all and save the spares for when you need then or do what I did today and tape a snippet of card over just the word you want.

I am sharing this with

Cuttlebugmania - Valentines Day
Use Your Stuff - Monochromatic  
CAS on Friday - Love 
C.R.A.F.T. - Love/Valentines

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

X is for......

I'm delighted to have been invited to be this fortnight's guest designer at The Butterfly Challenge and the first task Mrs A gave me was to pick the letter for the theme. I was very brave and chose X, which stands for Xtra Fold so this time's challenge is

#93 Butterflies + X is for Xtra  Fold and/or the colour Zomp

Now please don't do what I did and google the word Zomp, if you do a search, do an image search, because after what I found in a text search I had to scrub my eyeballs and wash my computer out with soap! However despite that, Zomp is apparently a beautiful blue green colour, somewhere between jade green and turquoise, reminiscent of the colours in a peacock's tail.

So Mrs A would like to see a card with more than one fold, OR a card using this lovely colour, OR (for extra brownie points and a chance of a bonus prize) BOTH. And of course there must a butterfly on it somewhere.

Here's my card, a zig zag fold that uses rather a lot of Zomp as well.

The panels are covered in card from a lovely Hunkydory kit and the extra butterflies die cut from snippets using a Dovecraft layering butterfly die set.

Now I'd love to see what you can make for the challenge - I'm looking forward to visiting you all when you link up to The Butterfly Challenge - see you there!


Post script - I see Mrs A has changed the name of the colour to Blue/Green now - it's the same colour though and I'm leaving the chatter about zomp in my post to give you a giggle!

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Romantic music

There's a very beautiful inspiration photo at Inkspirational Challenges this time

I've taken the violin as my main inspiration, and also gone with the lace and pearls, roses and overall romantic feel of the image.

The violin is a very old unmounted stamp from my stash - it must be around 20 years old and I think was originally from a grab bag bought from the American company Raindrops on Roses (I don't know whether they are still around). After stamping and cutting out, I covered it with Glossy Accents.
The stamped music background uses a Kanban stamp and the embossed one a Darice folder. I've added ribbon, lace, pearls, resin roses and die cut leaves to make a card oozing with springtime romance.

I'm sharing this with
Inkspirational  - photo challenge
A bit more time to craft - anything goes

January Blues at Cardz 4 Guyz

Time for our first challenge of the year at Cardz 4 Guyz and our theme is January Blues

I printed off papers and a design sheet from Debbie Moore's CD Cards for Men - Silhouettes to make my card.

Monday, 15 January 2018

Deer Deer Deer

Today's card uses the Lili of the Valley Reindeer Trio stamp set - one I don't use often enough!

I coloured them in with Promarkers and cut them out slightly outside the stamped area. Red and brown matting on a cream DL card, and a sentiment stamped with a Studio G mini stamp. The border is from a set of peel offs I bought some time round about the invention of the wheel.

I am sharing this with
52 Christmas Card Throwdown - Brown, Red and Cream 
C.R.A.F.T - Christmas
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - Feature a Creature
Jingle Belles - We THREE Kings
The Holly and Ivy - anything Christmas goes   

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Feathers for Twofers

In case you haven't heard, in which case you must have spent the last few weeks hiding under a mountain of mince pies (have you finished them all yet?) there's a brand new challenge in the blogosphere - Twofers, the brainchild of the lovely and talented Darnell.

The idea is to make two different cards, for different occasions, using the same stamp or die, and the theme for the very first challenge is FEATHERS.

Here is my pair of cards, using a beautifully opulent feather stamp which was designed some years ago by Linda Luckin - I'm afraid it is no longer available. I've used it to make two very, very different cards,  but as you can see I chose to emphasise the twoferliciousness by using the same layout for both.

So, I'm linking this first image up to Twofers - now for a closer look at the individual cards and the challenges I am linking them to.

First of all, the left hand, inky card.

This started off as something of an experiment -  I sometimes stamp an image in Versamark ink and then brush mica powders over it. I wondered if I could get a more two tone effect by substituting the Versamark for a coloured Versafine ink, so that's what I tried. I used a blue ink and a green powder - the result was very much NOT what I'd expected or hoped for but I rather liked it, so hastily planned a completely different card from the one that I'd had in mind.

Going back to the Versamark ink, I stamped the feather randomly over white card for the background, embossing with clear powder, then sponged purple, blue and olive green inks all over the card and buffed with a tissue to give a resist effect. The sentiment (a magazine freebie) is stamped in olive green although it looks black on the photo, and all the elements edged with purple.

I chose the "Congratulations" sentiment because I was thinking of the phrase "That's a feather in your cap!". In fact if I can find a suitable font I might print out an insert saying exactly that.

I am sharing this with
Rubber Dance - Purple, Blue and Olive green
Allsorts - No Patterned Paper

Now onto the second card

I always think feathers look lovely on sympathy cards, as do CAS styles and shades of purple, and today I decided to use the words "Thinking of you" rather than "With deepest sympathy" simply because I only have one deepest sympathy card and I wanted a change. The stamp is a very old HOTP one and I stamped it directly onto the card. I'm so much braver about doing that now I have a Misti!

I stamped the feather in deep purple and coloured it with pencils (all the bits of this card that look black are actually deep purple)  then layered it on to two shades of purple from my snippets box and added it to the card.

I am sharing this one with
Addicted to stamps and more - Clean and simple
Pixie's Snippets Playground weeks 315/316
Less is More - Purples
Watercooler Wednesday - All About Occasions

Technique at the Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers

Today at the Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers it's all about technique - Edna would like you to showcase a favourite technique.

One technique I came to not all that long ago is using bleach  in my cardmaking, and I have a fab NBUS set of Rubber Dance stamps where the main image just cries out to be bleached, so here is what I created.

The bathing beauty is stamped and heat embossed in black on blue card, and then painted in with a waterbrush filled with cheap bleach -  it has to be the really cheap, thin type, not the more common (and more expensive) thick kind. I outlined her and added a few waves to the sea with a blue gel pen slightly darker than the card.

For the background I spritzed more of the blue card with bleach, shaking a few bigger drops on from  paintbrush to give a splashy effect,  then when it was dry, overstamped with the life saver image. Now, is life saver a bit of a controversial word? Do my transatlantic friends use the word to describe a PERSON who saves lives, who I would call a lifeguard, rather than a THING? I can see a discussion starting to form in my head...

Anyway, back to the card - the sentiment and poster images are also from the same stamped set.

I am sharing this with
Use Your Stuff - Something new (the stamp set)
Crafty Creations Challenges - Anything Goes
Rubber Dance Forever Challenge
Sweet Stampin - Lots of Layers  

Monday, 8 January 2018

Rhapsody in Blue

I was so pleased with this card that I just had to make another masked-border card straight away!

This time I inked the border with a pale blue ink and stamped musical symbols (from a Kanban set) with a darker blue. To keep the card CAS, all I added to the central white space was a die cut music score cut with the Memory Box Music Party die, one of my most often-used dies. I kept the centres of all the "open" notes in place with a dab of glue, again to keep it as CAS as possible. In real life, the die cut is a much brighter blue than it looks, a pretty close match to the darker blue stamping.

I am sharing this with

Addicted to CAS - Music 
Dies R Us - Anything goes (using a brand of die they stock)
Make My Monday - Blue and white

Iris folded ball gown

Yes, it's iris folding time again! Today I've used a ball gown kit.

The card blank and the sparkly iris folding papers are very, very old stash but this time I've brought it right up to the minute by adding elements I got at Christmas time from Dovecraft's new Couture du Jour range. I'd packed my craft stuff away for the festive period when they arrived so this is the first time I've played with them.

The pleated hearts come as ready made stickers, and the spotty and stripey papers from the 6x6 pad. The shoe and flower embellishments, all gloriously sparkly to go with the sparkle of the gown, are actually from one of the designs in the decoupage pad. I reckon the designs have so many layers that nobody's going to notice if one or two of them get "repurposed".

I'm sharing this with Allsorts challenge - Something new

Is it Christmas already?

.. because I'm already well into making cards for Christmas 2018!

For this card I have used a very old unmounted rubber stamp that I think was designed by Trish Bayley, probably about 20 years ago. I stamped and embossed it in silver. (What a palaver that was - I forgot to swipe the card with my anti static pad and got powder everywhere, tried to clean it off with a soft brush but the brush slipped and took some of  the powder off the design so I had to add more powder and got even MORE on the card. Repeated this three times then finally decided to heat emboss it anyway hoping the stray powder would look like snowflakes. It didn't, it looked a mess, so I had to start again).

The background is embossed using a folder that was free with Quick Cards Made Easy a couple of years ago and the poinsettia is also cut with a magazine freebie die. The leaves are actually holly leaves cut with a Sizzix die because I don't have a poinsettia leaf die.

I am sharing this with
52 Christmas Card Throwdown - sketch

Cuttlebugmnania - Flowers
Sweet Stampin - Winter White

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Cling film..... I tried!

So.... cling film. That's the compulsory element at CAS Mix Up this month. I watched the videos, took notes, followed the instructions step by step - and you can't tell, without a magnifying glass, that I had cling film anywhere near this!

I laid the cling film out on my work surface, shook small amounts of brushos in greens, yellow and orange over it,  spritzed with water, laid my card down on top of it, turned the card over, scrunched the cling film around a bit then left it to dry with the cling film still in place, peeling it off once dry.

If you look really, really closely you can see a few "scrunch lines" close to the left hand edge of the panel. On the other hand, the cling film did seem to help the brushos to blend prettily and give a "cloudy" effect rather than a "blotchy" one (which is what I usually end up with) so it DID make a difference, even if it wasn't the one I was hoping for!

To make up for the lack of crease lines and patterns, I stamped and heat embossed a vine leaf panel over my background. The stamp is a very old UM that I got in a grab bag. I coloured the leaves in with a green marker then added a die cut sentiment, cutting it twice, once from black and the second from white, to add a slight shadow to help it to stand out.

I am sharing this with
CAS Mix Up - Cling film (plus optional elements die cutting and heat embossing)
CAS Watercolour - Birthday 
Shopping our Stash - Watercolour

Shocking Pink!

I don't use a lot of pink, but the current Butterfly challenge is One Layer or Ultra Pink so I had a look through my inkpads and decided that Picked Raspberry Distress Ink is about as Ultra as a pink can get!

This card is just one layer although it looks like several - I used masking to create the effect.

First I cut a piece of card 1cm smaller all round than the blank, to use as a mask, and masked off the centre. Then I sponged the pink ink all around it and stamped with a selection of tiny butterflies (from a set I won in the Butterfly Challenge last year. When I removed the mask, I used a fine marker to add a black edge to the inside of the frame.

Next I used scrap paper to mask off all but a rectangle in the centre of the card, and filled it in with sponged pink and grey inks. Once I'd removed all the masking, I used stamps from two old Kanban sets to add the flower silhouettes and butterfly.

I am sharing this with

Butterfly Challenge - One Layer and the colour Ultra Pink 
Country View Challenge - Anything Goes
Mix it Up - Anything Goes & Masking
Inkspirational - Stamping Only

J is for.... at CD Sundays

It's our first challenge of 2018 at CD Sundays starting today, and our theme is J is for..... 

Well, of course J is for January, but what else does it stand for?

J is for JAGUAR. I had to do a bit of research to find out the difference between a jaguar and a leopard to make sure I got the right one, and apparently jaguars are indigenous to the South American continent and as this handsome beast from Pollyanna Pickering's CD "A Walk in the Wild" is surrounded by Mayan carvings, I knew I had the right cat.

The images and papers are all from the CD and there were enough to decorate the inside as well as the outside.

I am sharing this with
The Alphabet Challenge - use 3 of something (3 leaves, 3 pieces of Candi)
Just Us Girls - Anything Goes

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Yet more Iris Folding

Yes, I'm still using up the old Iris Folding kits! Today I have used a Candlestick one, ideal for Christmas cards.

Just look at all that sparkle! Once again I've dug out the very, very old peel offs to go down the old fashioned "traditional" route with this card.
Since every single thing on this card is at least 15 years old, some of it probably nearer to 20, I am sharing with Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge, which is always anything goes and this week has the optional theme of Upcycle or Use Something Old.

Friday, 5 January 2018

More Iris Folding

I'm still working my way through my Iris Folding supplies. This time I used the very last card from a Snow Globe kit. The deep recess caused by the folding makes it perfect for crating a scene, so that's what I've done.

I added some die cut trees and a tree, bunnies and robin that I stamped with a friend's stamps last year, knowing they were bound to come in handy some time! I can't remember the brand but they look to me as if they were Clearly Besotted or Lawn Fawn judging by the style. They're not to scale, I hope, or that is one scary robin, he's about the size of a golden eagle!

The dimensional snowflake stickers were a pre-Christmas bargain from Lidl.

I am sharing this with

Little Red Wagon - Winter Wonderland
Addicted to Stamps and More - Holiday 
Creative with Stamps - Snowflake

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Rediscovering Iris Folding

As I do every January, I've decided that this year is going to be the year I get all my craft stash super organised. This year though there's a difference- I've actually made a start on it.

In the process of sorting some things out, I came across several part used iris folding strips and a pack of pre-cut sparkle and pearl strips for the technique, that I must have had for at least 15 years. I've not touched them for ages; I think I used one of them for a Christmas card a year or two back and they've not seen daylight since.

So, in the spirit of "Use it or lose it" I decided to have an iris folding session, using this sweet humming bird kit. I wasn't sure what colours to use so I tried doing a google search for "What colour is a humming bird?". I hadn't realised it was something akin to "What colour is a flower?" - I had no idea there were so many and varied colours of humming birds. Even so, I'm still nervous that Darnell may see this and, with her love of hummers, shriek "They're all completely the wrong colours!"

I used the card in the traditional style that was popular when the kits first appeared, leaving the card blank white and adding a simple peel off border and sentiment.

Then I tried using some of that white space - I sponged on some green ink and used a darker green to stamp tropical leaves here and there. The textured card means the images aren't very clearly stamped, making the bird stand out more, especially as I used colours that strongly contrasted with the background.

Now the card is intended to be used in portrait orientation, and indeed the humming bird looks most humming-bird-y used that way, but to my eye the apertures are a little too low down the card and it looks a little unbalanced, so I thought I'd try it in landscape instead.

And since it was the last card in my pack, I threw ink, flowers, leaves and pearls at it - why not?

I am sharing these with

2 Crafty Critter Crazies - anything goes with a creature

Watercooler Wednesday - Feminine anything goes

Crafty Gals Corner - Anything Goes

A bit more time to craft Extra - Anything Goes

Love to Craft - Anything Goes  

Monday, 1 January 2018

White on White Christmas at Sparkles Christmas

Happy New Year!  I hope you all had a good Christmas, and here's to a happy, health and peaceful year ahead.

Have you started thinking about Christmas 2018 yet? Over at Sparkles Christmas, we have - we're already making our cards, knowing that if we start now, we'll not have a crazy rush at the end of the year. Why don't you join us and make one card a month all through the year?

I've chosen our first challenge for the year, and the theme is White-on-White Christmas. Here is my card.

I used a Darice embossing folder for the background, and a selection of dies (the sketch circle is a Gummiapan die - the others have been in my stash for so long I don't recall where they came from) to create a wreath, then added a simple stamped sentiment.

I am sharing this with
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - something beginning with S  (snow)
A bit more time to craft - Anything Goes
Jungle Belles - Look What Santa Brought Me - he brought me a new Artbin die storage box, so I've been able to sort out all my dies properly, and although not a Christmas present, the sketch circle die I used for the wreath is new.