Sunday, 10 November 2019

Anything Goes at CD Sunday Plus

It's time for our latest Anything Goes challenge at CD Sunday Plus.

Today I have made a swing card using papers, toppers and a template from the lovely CD The Rachel Anne Miller collection.

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

All wrapped up at Cardz 4 Guyz

It's time for our new challenge at Cardz 4 Guyz and this time our theme is "All Wrapped Up".

So that could mean wrapped up nice and cosy, or gift wrapped - it's up to you!

I've stamped a Gruffles image - and the bears are wrapped up in scarves as well as having all the gift wrapped presents on top of the car - double whammy! I coloured the image with Promarkers and a silver gel pen.

I really wanted the border of gift wrapped parcels to show without being obscured by the image, so to do this I first cut the paper to size  then cut right around the border to remove it. I stuck the upper part on the mat and then used temporary adhesive to stick down the border, too, just while I positioned all the elements,  then removed it, stuck everything in place and replaced the temporary adhesive with permanent (I have a tape roller of bright yellow  temporary adhesive that rubs away with a fingertip when you no longer need it) and attached it once everything else was in place.

I am sharing this with

Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge  - Anything goes 

Pearly Sparkles - Christmas 

Passion for Promarkers - Christmas is Coming 

Monday, 4 November 2019

Inky Butterfly

Usually when I make a one layer card, I make a very clean and simple one, but one layer doesn't have to always be CAS as my card today shows.

First of all I stamped and heat embossed the butterfly in the centre of the card. Then I masked it with a second image stamped on scrap paper and used a die cut oval as a second mask over the top of that.

Next I masked off all the edges with tape and then went to work on the remaining space. I inked it with  light and dark olive green ink and then used the lighter ink to stencil diamond patterins in opposite corners. Then I used both inks plus a lighter green to stamp various stamps from The Gentleman Crafter's stamp set randomly over the background. It's fascinating to see how much darker the inks are when stamped or stencilled compared to when they are blended over the background.

After removing all the masks, I coloured in the butterfly and then used one of the markers to colour a wooden word embellishment to match and added that to the card.

I'm sharing with

Butterfly Challenge - One layer  - all 7 elements (although I found matching the colours tricky!)
Country View Challenges - Hand Stamped 
2 Crafty Critter Crazies - anything goes with a creature

Guest Designer at A Place To Start

I am delighted to have been invited to be a guest designer at A Place To Start  this month.

This month's challenge is a colour challenge - Caffeinated Colours - and here is an inspiration photo to show you what those colours are.

You can also use neutrals and/or add a splash of another colour if you would like to.

The colours made me think of an old  hand-tinted sepia photograph, and I have some toppers based on those so I chose one to use as a starting point for my card.

I've added lots of die cuts, embossing, flowers and pearls and even a few snips with fancy-edged scissors.

Sunday, 3 November 2019

Pirate Treasure

I do love these little pirate stamps from Clearly Besotted - perfect for children's cards, especially as they include both boy and girl pirates. This time I've used one of the boys.

I stamped the images and masked them, then cut masks to sponge in the sand and water. I used scallop-edged scissors to cut the mask for the water. After removing all the maskes, I stamped the sentiment and coloured the images with pencils.

I am sharing this with:

Inkspirational - One layer card 

CAS on Friday - One layer 

The Male Room - Pirates 

Perfectly CAS - Birthday

The bells, the bells!

At Christmas Kickstart this fortnight they are looking for bells on our projects.  That gave me an excuse to play with some lovely wooden embellishments that I recently got - these particular ones being bells decorated with tiny angels.

Aren't they sweet? I often add colour to wooden embellishments, but because I didn't want to obscure the pokerwork detail I kept these plain and decided to add lots of natural texture with the hessian-embedded paper and corrugated kraft. The sentiment is stamped with a very old Studio G mini set and I finished it off with holly brads because I wanted to play with more new stash add a pop of contrast to the red-and-neutral colour scheme.

Saturday, 2 November 2019

Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers #147 - Tea

The cup that cheers - Edna's got the kettle on for a nice brew up at the Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers this time.

Image may contain: 1 person

I have used a selection of papers and toppers representing that tea (and cheese)  loving twosome, Wallace and Gromit.  Not much snark here, I know, but tea demands to be treated with respect!

And really, Wallace's smile is a Work of Snark in itself!

I am sharing this with

Crafty Hazelnut's Patterned Paper Challenge - November 

Watercooler Wednesday - Anything Goes 

Guest Designer at 52 Christmas Card Throwdown

A few weeks ago I was a challenge winner  at 52 Christmas Card Throwdown and am delighted to be the guest designer for this week's challenge, which is this lovely sketch.

I've interpreted the sketch very literally, just moving the stars around a little as they seemed to work better this way.

The trees are die cut and then run through a holly leaf embossing folder. The snowflake is cut with a Uniko die and the sentiment stamped with a Studio G stamp.
The red and green card I used were Snippets, so I'm sharing this at Pixie's Snippets Playground 

Friday, 1 November 2019

Santa at Sparkles Christmas

It's already November 1st - how's the Christmas card making going? This month's inspiration at Sparkles Christmas Challenge is Santa/ Father Christmas  so we'd like you to include him on your card.

I've used background card, a topper and embellishments from a Hunkydory pack. and added some lace trim, a doily cut with a very old die (Marianne Creatables, I think) and some gold pearls.

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Festive spray

I used to hate making one layer cards - now they are often my cards of choice. They are very unforgiving though - there's nowhere to hide a mistake and this is my second attempt at this card.

All the stamps came from a recent issue of Creative Stamping. First I stamped the poinsettia, then I masked it and used the foliage stamps to stamp the sprays around it, following the positioning of the inner petals. This is where my first attempt went wrong - although the flower has 5-way symmetry, I stamped 4 lots of foliage, one pointing to each corner. With the mask in place it looked fine but once I removed  the mask, the 5 and 4 jarred horribly, making it look very unbalanced. Heigh-ho, I can chop those bits up and use then on  other projects.

Once the stamping was complete, I used a pencil  to add a few strokes of red to the centre of each petal (yes, I know that technically they are bracts, not petals,  but this is a craft blog not a gardening one!) and finished the centre with a few dots of gold Liquid Pearls.

I am sharing this with

Fab'n'Funky - Christmas 

Inkspirational - mask 

Less is More - One layer, Winter Flora 

Poppies for rememberance

I live quite close to the military town of  Aldershot, so Remembrance Day is quite a big thing here, and of course a lot of forces veterans have settled in the area. So poppy themed sympathy cards  are very popular, especially as those who served in the World Wars get older.

This card has the poppy theme and also a background paper of postcards from other countries, to reflect the fact that the serviceman may have served almost anywhere in the world.

The poppy stamp is an umounted stamp that I got in a grab bag when I first started stamping, about 25 years ago. I coloured them in with Promarkers using very delicate strokes because of the fine detail.

The paper, too, is very old. It's a K&Company one - I think it was called Life's Journey - and is probably around 20 years old.  The sentiment is a clear sticker.

I am sharing this with

Make It Monday - Poppies 

Alphabet Challenge - P is for Pumpkins or Poppies 

Passion for Promarkers - Something Old 

Monday, 28 October 2019

Double the Joy!

I've got a bit of a twofer for you today - two very different cards made with the same die.

The first is very CAS. I sponged blending ink onto the base card through a circle stencil then topped it with a die cut medallion. I then die cut the word JOY and added it to a strip of blue card and mounted the whole thing over the background.

I am sharing this with CAS on Friday - Big Sentiment or word 

The second card is still bold but not at all CAS!

I used heavyweight watercolour paper to create a smooshed background, smooshing first with Twisted Citron Distress Oxide, letting it dry and then smooshing with Festive Berries.  Then I used a clear sparkle embossing gel from Nuvo to stencil the mandala quadrant on the top right of the card. I ran a black inkpad around the edge and then added the die cut sentiment with an extra but of bling to pick out the centre of the snowflake.

I am sharing this with

52 Christmas Card Throwdown - Smooshing 

Allsorts - Make your own background, no DPs 

Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - Anything Goes/Make your own background

Cards 4 Galz - Something beginning with S (Sparkle, Stencil, Smooshing)

RECIPE: Cheese and Guinness Scones

I know, I know, it's absolutely AGES since I posted a recipe. It's not that I'm cooking any less, far from it, but that most of it is from other people's recipes or ones of mine that I've already shared.

Anyway, over the weekend I've been doing some pre-Christmas cooking - the cake, the mincemeat and the pudding.  Like many people, I like to put some Guinness in my Christmas pudding. But it only uses about a quarter of a bottle, and neither of us likes drinking Guinness. I usually use up the leftovers in a beef casserole, but I fancied trying something different with it this time. A friend on social media pointed me to this recipe  which looked great but is written very much for an American audience, so I have "translated" it for British readers and adapted it slightly to suit my tastes and what was available in my kitchen.


280g plain flour
1 level tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
½ teaspoon salt
85g cold butter, diced
100g finely grated Cheddar cheese
left over Guinness - about 250ml (tip: it is easier to pour and measure if it is slightly flat, so leftover Guinness is a lot easier to handle than freshly opened stuff)

Pre-heat the oven to 220 C (200 fan), gas mark 7, 425 F

Line a baking sheet with non-stick paper

Sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarb soda and salt. Stir in the cheese then rub in the butter. Gradually blend in enough Guinness to make a very soft dough, just firm enough to handle.

Pat out on a floured surface to about 1.5cm thick and use a plain scone cutter to cut into circles.  I found it made 10 scones.

Place on the baking sheet and bake for 14 minutes until risen and lightly browned. Eat warm or cold, halved and spread with butter.

We found them absolutely delicious. They didn't taste "Guinnessy" at all - more Marmitey than anything, and although they are already packed with cheese they go beautifully with MORE cheese! The Guinness in them makes them incredibly light.

Scones tend to go stale very quickly so make sure you freeze any that you don't eat within 24 hours, or eat stale ones toasted. I rather fancy a toasted one with black cherry jam, or perhaps topped with cream cheese and some sweet chilli jam.

Sunday, 27 October 2019

Anything Goes at CD Sunday Plus

It's time for another of our Anything Goes Challenges - where you can use a CD, a download or an USB - at CD Sunday Plus but this time the team have a little extra twist: earlier this year we were all very kindly sent some CDs to use by the lovely people at Debbi Moore Designs  and today we have all  made our inspiration cards using these CDs.

I've used papers and a topper from the beautiful CD "Sunflower Dreams".

The current challenge is, as usual, Anything Goes, but it would be really lovely if some of you were to use a Debbi Moore product in your work. The website has lots of CDs, USBs and Downloads to choose from and some of the downloads are free - what a great way to try the products if you are new to them!

Saturday, 26 October 2019

One last cat post - for now

I had such crafting plans for today  - until I realised how much else I had lined up to do. And since there are only 24 hours in a day (well, technically if you live in the UK, tomorrow is 25 hours long - don't forget to put your clocks back!) I'm sharing these cards I'd already made but not shared instead. I gave the grandchildren a kit of papers and die cut decoupage to play with, and these are the cards I made to inspire them with ways to use the goodies. 

So this is my final entry to this year's Cat Lovers Hop at Her Peaceful Garden - it's been a lot of fun! I'm sorry I've not had time to comment on every entry but I've loved scrolling through the gallery   and visiting as many of you as possible. And the hop may be over but thanks to all the inspiration I'll be back with more cat cards soon. 

Friday, 25 October 2019

Christmas Cat for Rudolph Day

It's day 5 of the Cat Lovers Hop and it's also Rudolph Day (I hate to rub it in but that means it's only two months to Christmas) so I decided that today's cat card just HAD to be a Christmas one.

I seem to have two recurring designs for cat Christmas cards and I wanted to get out of that rut, and remembered that tucked away somewhere I had a booklet of  Christmassy cat decoupage  papers and designs. Everything is pre-designed, so it's definitely craft rather than art - but that's perfect for a busy day when the imagination seems to have gone AWOL.

I chose this design partly because it reminds me of my beautiful late cat, Charlie, and partly because the decoupage is very easy and it's a very long time since I did any really detailed decoupage. I might do one of the more complex ones before I put the booklet away again, just to remind myself how satisfying it can be.

I'm making another trip to Her Peaceful Garden to play in the Cat Lovers Hop again

And also sharing with

Rudolph Days at Scrappymo's

Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - use a flower or anything goes

Watercooler Wednesdays - All about Occasions 

Jingle Belles - Rudolph and friends 

Thursday, 24 October 2019

So sweet

Here my day 4 post for the Cat Lovers Hop. 

I've used another of my very, very old grab bag stamps - this one must be about 25 years old.

 I stamped  the kitty in Memento ink then filled in the fluttering heart with a Versamark pen and  heat embossed with gold powder. Then I framed it with a pre-cut frame from the Dovecraft Folkland collection and finished the corner with hearts cut using a Gummiapan die.

The background paper is also from the Folkland collection. The sentiment is cut using a Sizzix sentiment die. I pressed the words into the surface of a Versamark pad and heat embossed them with clear powder.  I thought it would be a good idea to align the word "So" with the bottom of the frame and "Sweet" at a jaunty angle. It wasn't until the glue was dry and the words firmly stuck in place that I decided  they would have looked much better BOTH at a jaunty angle.

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

And s-t-r-e-t-c-h

While hopping around at the Cat Lovers Blog Hop I've seen several cards made with these lovely stamps that came with Making Cards magazine last year.

Just look at those  contented faces on the stretching kitties! I've kept today's card very CAS, using just the cat stamps, some of the sentiments and  a generic paw print stamp that lurks in my stash. Everything is stamped in Memento Rich Cocoa and I coloured the cats with Promarkers.

I am sharing this with

The Catlovers Blog Hop at Her Peaceful Garden

Addicted to Stamps and More - CAS 

Passion for Promarkers - CAS 

Wizarding ways

Earlier this year I faced quite  a challenge when I decided to make a Harry Potter themed birthday card for my oldest granddaughter. I couldn't find any suitable stamps, but eventually after lots of searching, sourced and bought a set of background paper downloads. Of course i printed more than i needed, but I'm glad I held on to the surplus because one of them came in handy for the background for this card.

For the topper, I cut a square of flesh pink card. die cut the spectacles and hand cut some hair and a lightning flash. I finished with a border of paper coloured red and yellow with markers, to symbolise a scarf.

I am sharing this with The Library Challenge, where the current challenge book is Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone 

Tuesday, 22 October 2019


... sleeping in the sun, never going to get your day's work done....

For today's cat card I've used a rather sweet cat stamp which is a very old unmounted stamp that came in a grab bag when I first started stamping  many years ago. I stamped the image and masked it, then stamped the seaside scene from a recent Creative Stamping covermount. I coloured the background with watercolours and the main image with pencils, then added a Tim Holtz sentiment sticker. Of course if you are a cat, that's the forecast for EVERY day.

Naturally I am sharing this with the Cat Lovers Hop at Her Peaceful Garden

I am also sharing at Inkspirational where the word prompt is Mask 

Food and/or Drink at Cardz 4 Guyz

Our new challenge at Cardz 4 Guyz is food and/or drink - and what guy doesn't love pizza, or think of himself as a pizza chef if he makes his own, trying to toss and spin the dough like a pro?

This pizza chef is a digi from The Paper Shelter. I printed the uncoloured chef and coloured him with Promarkers, then layered him onto the background from the same digi set and added a sentiment, buttons and that Italy scene which is actually a scrap of printed ribbon.

Monday, 21 October 2019

Kitty Get Well Card

I have been promising myself for several years that I will join in the Cat Lovers Blog Hop over at Her Peaceful Garden,  and this year I have bitten the bullet. About time too - after all, I probably have even more cat stamps than dragonflies (if that's possible). I'm hoping to make several cards for the hop, but that might just be a pipe dream as I've been away a lot recently and am waaaaaay behind on DT work.

The stamps I have used for the main images come from the Precious Pets 2  set at The Card House. (I hate that site! Every time I look at it there are new stamps that seem to fall into my basket!).  The stamps I have used for the border and sentiment come from my magazine freebies collection. I coloured the images with pencils and inked the edges then finished off with a scrap of ribbon. 

I'm linking this up to the Cat Lovers Blog Hop - see you there! 

Saturday, 19 October 2019

Hang on in there

If this card looks familiar,  it's because I've made several very similar in the past,  choosing a different patterned paper for the "wallpaper" each time. I think this stamp set, which I won in the Playground a year or two back, is just perfect for  an encouragement card for anyone going through a tough time or simply needing to be cheered up.

I've used a scrap of woodgrain effect paper as "skirting board" and distressed the edges of the wallpaper, especially around the area of the claw marks. I stamped the cat on the background and again onto plain card, then coloured the second with Promarkers. I fussy cut it then placed it directly over the stamped image on the background - this saved me from having to try to cut all those claws and whiskers!

I am sharing this with

Cardz 4 Galz - Shades of Brown 
Fab'n'Funky - Feature a Creature 
Passion for Promarkers - Add a sentiment 
Time Out Challenges - Encouraging 

The Twofer that became a Threefer

So there I was, minding my own business, happily snipping and stamping away at my cards for the current challenge at Twofers, when another card sort of made itself.....

Settle down, it's a long story.

It started while I was watching Mastermind last night. I know I get card inspiration from some strange places, but Mastermind? REALLY? Well, the answer to one of the questions was "The American term for what we call Hundreds and Thousands is Nonpareils" - which led me to think of rainbow sprinkles - which made me think of the sentiment I've used on one of my cards - which made me think of vanilla doughnuts. My mind works that way. Sometimes.

So, armed with my Dylusions sentiment and the doughnut and sprinkles stamps from a past issue of Creative Stamping, I set to to create this card.

I am sharing this card with Less is More - Rainbow. 

Next I had a delve into the snippets box and came up clutching a  bundle of pretty floral papers. As there were three co-ordinating ones, each roughly a third of an A4 sheet, I decided to make a trifold card. The plan was to stamp the doughnut on the offcuts of the paper (snippets of snippets, if you like) and add them to the patterned panels - however they looked lost against the patterned backgrounds, so I stamped and coloured three more plain vanilla doughnuts which worked much better.

I am sharing this at Pixie's Snippets Playground - challenge #363 

So here is my Twofer pair, as I had originally planned them.

Which, of course, I am sharing at Twofers - Sweets 

However there were three stamped doughnuts, on patterned paper, left sitting on my table. Once I'd coloured in the "cakey" part they looked so pretty - if Cath Kidston made doughnuts, I reckon these would be them! I couldn't just throw them away or bung them in the Black Hole of "stuff I didn't quite use this time but might some time in the future" where so many stamped images go to die, so while I had the stamp set with its fun sentiments to hand, I popped them onto an extremely quick and CAS card:

So there you have it, the twofer that became a threefer.

Incidentally if you are still reading, apologies for radio silence for the last few days, I've been away at my Mum's for a few days. She's almost 94 now and getting very frail both physically and mentally so it's been quite a challenging time. It's lovely to be home and crafting again - crafting takes my mind off things wonderfully!