Thursday, 18 July 2019

An Impossible Card

I think this is only the second time I've mad an Impossible Card. They fascinate me - despite having a very mathematical mind and knowing how they work, they still look completely impossible when they are finished!




The background is made on watercolour card with red and green distress inks which are much darker than they appear on the photo - I think it must be the contrast with the black, making them look almost pink and yellow. . I stamped the moth images onto part of it - they are beautiful old stamps from The Stamp Man, I kept the leaflet that came with them and it is dated 2003. I've just checked their website and they don't seem to stock Aspects of Design, which was their own range, any more so this stamp set is probably no longer available, a pity as it is gorgeous.

I stamped random tiny dragonflies over the rest of the inked card to use as a background.

I am sharing this with The Butterfly Challenge where I am claiming all 7 elements - BINGO!

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

CAS Christmas mid month post

I am Guest Designer at CAS Christmas this month and it's time for the mid month reminder.  The theme is Snowflake 


and here is my reminder card for you.


I masked off the card to leave a strip which I sponged with pink and blue distress inks, then stamped the big, bold snowflakes and sentiments using a bargain stamp set that I bought in Poundland. Some branches have a good range of craft supplies, and  they appear to be from discontinued Dovecraft ranges that have been rebranded with the store's own craft brand; well worth looking out for if you aren't concerned about being at the cutting edge of crafting fashion!

The challenge closes on July 24th so hurry, you only have a week left to play!


Spice it up!

Mark's chillis are starting to form now, after a disappointing start, so here is a card that celebrates all things chilli.


I've made a one layer card, stamped with red and green chillies from Rubber Dance and finished with a sentiment from the same set stamped boldly over the top of them.

I am sharing this with

Addicted to CAS - heat 


Allsorts Challenge - Clean and Simple 

Watercooler Wednesday - Masculine anything goes

Season's Greetings

All these "Christmas in July" challenges are really giving my Christmas card box a welcome boost!


I made this card using the Tonic Studios "Winter Wonderland" pad - I've had it for several years now and must have made dozens of cards with it, yet it's still going strong. It started out with 42 8"x8" patterned papers and 24 sentiments, and I totted up that there are still 19 uncut sheets and 16 sentiments left, plus a generous handful of snippets. And the small patterns mean that even the tiniest snippet can be useful. The designs are timeless and the colour scheme makes it great for masculine cards.

I am sharing this with

52 Christmas Card Throwdown - Red, green and brown 

Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - Use some red 

Shopping Our Stash - Christmas in July 

The Male Room - Christmas in July 

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Transport at Cardz 4 Guyz

Our new challenge is starting at Cardz 4 Guyz and today the theme is Transport. A perfect chance to play with the super Trucks'nTrams set from Picture This


The trucks are vintage ones with a very 1940s/1950s look to them. The ribbon reminds me a bit of a road.

I am sharing this with
Use Your Stuff - Masculine 

Monday, 15 July 2019

Flying High

The current challenge at The Library Challenge is Jules Verne's "Five Weeks in a Balloon"  and this is my take on it.


The image is a Crafty Individuals stamp which I have coloured with watercolours to help keep the vintage look. For the base card, I cut a cloud shaped template from scrap paer and sponged light blue ink over it although the effect doesn't show up very well in the photo.

Get the fizz ready!

What would a celebration be without champagne?


The bottle, glass and bubbles were stamped with a set of stamps that came with a magazine a few years ago. The bottle is fussy cut and the glass cut with the matching die. I remember thinking when I got the mag "How odd that they've included a die for the glass, it's just as simple a shape as the bottle". However I tried fussy cutting a glass - just once. If you have the same stamps and are thinking the same, good luck with cutting that glass stem!

The sentiment is stamped with a very, very old Hot Off The Press stamp that was part of the very first kit I bought from QVC. I started shopping with them when my daughter was doing a project about TV shopping for part of her 6th form media studies course, and she's just celebrated her 40th birthday, so you can imagine how old it must be!

I am sharing this with

Cardz 4 Galz - Party time - celebrate! 

Less is More - Celebrations

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Every little helps...

I think most of my UK based friends will recognise immediately what the inspiration for this card is - if not, the title of the post is another big clue!


It came about when I saw a joke on Facebook that was a parody of the Tesco Value logo - something at the back of my mind made me think "Actually that might be a fun layout for a card". And once I'd had the idea, I just had to see if it worked.

I think Tesco has changed the value range now to a rather dull brown-and-beige design but this is still the one we all recognise.

I used Promarkers to rule the background stripes and to underline the stamped red "Hello". The leaf border on the red layer is stamped with Versamark and embossed with white opaque detail powder simply because after many years of searching I've still yet to find a white inkpad  that gives a clear, consistent result. Recommendations would be very gratefully received! All the stamps were from the set that came with the current issue of Creative Stamping.

Making this card really made me laugh!

I am sharing this with

Creative with Stamps - Stripes 


Just Us Girls - sentiment as focal point 


Watercooler Wednesday - all about occasions 

Saturday, 13 July 2019

Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers #139 - Joke

It's new challenge day at the Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers and today Edna has chosen J is for Joke

Image may contain: 1 person

Naturally I decided to use stamps from the Katzelkraft Les Chats Russes set because they always make me smile!


The room scene is created from snippets and the joke is generated on the computer. Would you believe it, after years of looking for suitable "speech bubble" stamps and tearing my hair out trying to find digital versions online or in Craft Artist, I've realised they've been there all along on good old Word, and fully customisable too so I could get the "pointy bit" exactly where I wanted it. It's Occam's razor, isn't it? Don't spend time looking for a complicated solution when a simple one works perfectly!

If you, too, are on the quest for speech bubbles, or callouts as they are apparently known, they are in the Draw menu of Word, in the Auto Shapes section. And I have a sneaky feeling that you all, every single one of you, already knew that and have been keeping it from me!

Lots of snippets were used for this so I'm heading over to The Playground with it - as long as Dudley promises not to chase my cats!

Broad Bean Season

The latest challenge at Twofers is Garden and as you know, our garden is very much a vegetable garden. The broad beans have been magnificent this year - the plants are now over but the fridge is still full of delicious beans, so my cards this time are a tribute to Broad Bean Season.



The stamp set I've used is the hero Arts "Stamp your own salad" set. Funny, isn't it, how when you buy a set of stamps you fall totally in love with each one, but then some of them hang around, seldom or never seeing ink, and others get used so often you're practically on first name terms with them? This set definitely falls into the latter category for me.

One odd thing I've noticed though - broad beans actually grow pointing upwards, like a bunch of fingers pointing up to the sky, yet if I stamp these beans the "right" way up, they look completely wrong. If you don't believe me try standing on your head and looking at the photos...

OK, are you the right way up again? Blood rushed to your head? Well, here they are individually.


I randomly stamped the broad beans and some sketchy tomatoes all over to create a background  then stamped the sentiment to create a friendship card.


A border of beans, a sentiment and some candi make a very CAS "missing you" card.

Naturally I am sharing these cards at Twofers 


And i am also sharing the second card with Allsorts challenge - Clean and simple 

Friday, 12 July 2019

How to make a double easel card.

One of my favourite card folds is the double easel, and just about every time I make one I get comments like "That looks complicated" or "I wish I knew how to do that" so I thought I would  share with you just how simple it is. A scoring board will help you to make your card base very quickly.



I usually use an A4 sized piece of cardstock but any size will do. Score the centre line but don't fold it yet. Then measure up from the bottom left hand corner the same distance as from the corner to the centre fold and mark the edge. Cut across from the mark to the centre fold, making sure you keep the cut parallel to the long edge.

You will have a long strip and a square, each attached to the other side along one edge.

Now measure the centre of the long strip (if you are using A4 card and have half and quarter A4 measurements on your scoring board, the measuring is all done for you) and score it.

Move on to the lower square and score from the point where the square, strip and other side meet to the bottom left corner of the square.  This is the most important step because somehow the opposite diagonal looks more sensible, but if you do it that way your easel will point outwards from the card and look peculiar.

Your piece of card will now look like the diagram above, where dotted lines are score lines and solid lines are cuts. Make valley folds along all the score lines and burnish them well with a bone folder, and your card is ready to decorate as you wish, remembering to include raised elements on the base to act as "stops" to keep the easels standing up.  I'll end this post with photos of some of the many cards I have made this way to give you some ideas.  I often add more and thicker embellishments to the base  than I usually would to the inside of a card, after all the stops are going to stop it from closing fully anyway so why not go the whole hog!

One final tip - after completing your card, or indeed any fancy fold card, grab that bone folder again and re-burnish all your folds. You'll really notice the difference in the way  the card stands and lies.














When life gives you lemons...

No, don't make lemonade, you can do something far more exciting than that!


I sponged a random diagonal band across the card  then stamped the fun sentiment from Rubber Dance over it, then added lemons stamped with the Hero Arts "Stamp your own salad" set.

I am sharing this with

CASology - Citrus  


Addicted to stamps and more - Clean and Simple


And I'm making a second visit to Shopping Our Stash just to prove that the dreaded one layer card no longer gives me nightmares!

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Butterflies, Buttons, Brads and Bows

I've recently been sent a gift of some lovely earrings and I thought it would be fun to make my thank-you card in colours to match the earrings.


The stamp I have used is an old Stampington & Company one called Elegant Butterfly. I stamped it twice, in light and dark purple,  then cut out the light purple one and sponged the darker purple around the edges. Then I cut out just the butterfly from the dark purple and attached it over the light one with 3D adhesive.

I've added a stamped sentiment, a button, ribbon, bows and brads from my stash and paper from what was probably the very first 12x12 paper pack I bought, it must be close to 25 years old!

I am sharing this with

Fab'n'Funky - the colour purple 

Sweet Stampin' - Add a button 

Use Your Stuff - Birds, bees or butterflies 

Make my Monday - Thank you 

Sparkly reindeer

It's really hot, muggy and humid here in Hampshire, so I'be been cooling off by making a Christmas card.


I wanted to add lots of festive sparkle yet make it suitable for a boy - I think by keeping the overall look of the card simple I've achieved that.

First i made the background by stamping a snowflake randomly in Versamark ink then embossing with hologram powder to add a hint of sparkle.

Then i stamped the reindeer and cut and embossed it with this oval Spellbinders die  that always makes me think of snowballs surrounding the image. Keeping the diecut in the die, I inked around the edge with an aqua ink and a beige one blended randomly. I coloured with Promarkers and Stickles then attached it to the card and finished the "snowballs" with gems.

I am sharing this with

Jingle Belles - tic, tac, toe  (I've used stamping/diecuts/bling)

The Male Room - Christmas in July 

Little Red Wagon - It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Photo inspiration at Back to Basics

It's time for our new theme at Back to Basics and this time we have an inspiration photo for you.



What ideas can you get from this? You might choose the colours, the furniture, the recurrent diamond shapes, the lamp, the curtained windows - there are lots of ideas to work with.

I've used the white, turquoise and brick red colours, the diamonds and the chairs as my inspiration.


My brick red seems to have come out rather more red than brick in the photo though!

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Fussy cut flowers

I've had this flower stamp for many years, so long that I actually ordered it from the USA by post, rather than online. Do you remember what a hassle ordering internationally used to be in the days before Paypal?  Anyway, it's from Just For Fun stamps and it's called Daisy, although depending on how it is coloured it can be any number of flowers.



I stamped the central daisy then masked it before stamping the ones either side. Although there is hardly any overlap, I wanted to make sure there wasn't a messy join and with rubber rather than clear stamps it's not always easy to see.

Next I coloured the flowers with Promarkers, using very light strokes rather than solid colouring, to keep the colours pale. It turned out to have an added bonus - the light strokes meant the colour didn't penetrate the card, so the back was clean and I didn't have to line it before moving on to the fussy cutting.

I lined the inside back of the card with pastel yellow to match the flower centres. I'd originally planned to stamp the sentiment on the part of the inside left visible after cutting, but when I tried it looked too top heavy so I positioned it on the outside instead.

I am sharing this with

Inkspirational - 3 or 5 of something 


Little Red Wagon - Repeat Day 

The Flower Challenge - Pretty Pastels 


AAA Birthday - For the Girls 


Passion for Promarkers - Flowers

Monday, 8 July 2019

Teeny Tiny Kitty

I adore this tiny kitty stamp and it's perfect for very CAS Christmas cards.


The kitty is from a stamp set that came in a boxed magazine kit 7 or 8 years ago. I coloured it with pencils and stickles, and stamped some pawprints - although tiny, they are so big compared to the kitty that they make it look as if they are close but he is sitting a long, long way away, adding a sense of depth to the card.

The sentiment is from a Studio G set (I think) which is about 10 years old.

I am sharing this with

AAA Cards - Maxi white space/Christmas in July 


Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge 

Retro Rubber - Christmas in July 

Shopping Our Stash - the dreaded One Layer Card

Tales from the Craft Room - Christmas in July 

Crafty Calendar - Christmas in July 

Sunday, 7 July 2019

Splash bouquet

I suppose I really ought to have called this "Happy Birthday Darnell" again, because CAS Watercolour has dedicated this month's challenge to her. And since she is such an awesome lady, I chose a stamp and sentiment from the set that came in the current issue of Creative Stamping magazine.


I used Brushos to create the background - whoop! after several years of trying, I'm finally beginning to get some control over them and persuade them to do approximately what I want them to. And of course the beauty of them is that they will never  behave precisely so the result is different every time.

I coloured the bouquet with watercolour pencils and my finest water brush,  cut it out and attached it with 3d adhesive.

I am sharing this with

CAS Watercolour - Bouquet of Flowers


Watercooler Wednesday - Feminine anything goes  

Anything Goes at CD Sundays

It's time for our latest Anything Goes challenge at CD Sundays - don't forget to include something from a craft CD  though!


Today I've used a fun CD  called "Making Cards for Boys" that was a free gift with Making Cards magazine a few years ago. I finished the monster's eyes with Glossy Accents and added a sentiment that is actually part of a set of jungle animal themed stamps.

Friday, 5 July 2019

Butterfly circle

This circle die from Marianne Creatables is one of the very first dies I ever bought and has seen years of service - and I still love it.  It's  perfect for creating shaped cards as the scallops are spaced so that it is easy to angle the circle to make it stable when standing.


I used it to create a hinged card, cutting the front from a deep burgundy cardstock (it looks even deeper in the photo, my camera really doesn't like dark colours). I've decorated it with some pretty patterned paper, a strip of patterned border that was part of a prize in a previous Butterfly Challenge, a wooden sentiment, a butterfly sequin and a sweet little wooden flower with a faux pokerwork butterfly image.

There's a story to the pokerwork embellishment - I was shopping in Camberley one day when there was a sudden cloudburst and I ran into the nearest shop, one of those cut price stores that sells everything from plastic flowers to washing up liquid, and spotted a small display of craft supplies. In among them was a pack of these wooden flowers and butterflies, and I couldn't resist. In fact I loved them so much I went back the next week to buy more - but the shop had closed. It must have been one of those places like Narnia that only appears when you aren't looking for it!

Anyway, stop rambling Jane and get sharing!

Naturally I'm sharing with the Butterfly Challenge where I'm claiming just the Hinged card element this fortnight.

I am also sharing with Crafty Hazelnut's Patterned Paper Challenge