Tuesday, 31 May 2016

The Lilac Garden

The latest challenge at CD Sundays is Let's Go Lilac . I don't have an awful lot of lilac stuff on CDs (ooh, maybe visiting the other entries this fortnight will give me some good shopping tips!) but I found these lovely background papers and a topper to go with them on Debbie Moore's CD "Shabby Chic - Enchanted Garden",

I've used them to make a large 20cm square card. Now that's all I have time to say today because i'm on granny duty and my granddaughter is getting hungry yet again.....

My crafty notebook

For years now, I've kept a crafty notebook, to scribble down ideas, sketch designs and list any forthcoming DT challenges so I can mull over  ideas for them. Until recently I have always altered my current notebook before starting to use it, but I started my current one in January this year and somehow still hadn't got around to it.

But today I have my granddaughter for the day and as it is pouring with rain and we can't go out, she wanted to spend the day trying out all - ALL - my rubber stamps and inkpads. And while I was lifting them all out, I thought I would have a good old play as well. So I picked out a selection of stamps - some favourites, a few that had never seen ink, and raided the snippets box for a bundle of snippets in various green/orange/yellow shades.

I covered the front of my notebook with black paper, then stamped an assortment of images onto various sized rectangles of card. I inked and the edges of each panel, and overstamped some of them with distress effect stamps - yes, even those fingerprints are stamped, not real. Then I arranged them all on the cover, moving them around until I was pleased with the arrangement. Then I stuck them in place and added a few Wink of Stella highlights.

Finally I stamped the Dylusions sentiment, that describes perfectly how I feel when I am crafting - and especially how I felt while I was making this!

I am sharing this with

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 231
Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers - Not a Card

Something beginning with Z at Cardz 4 Guyz

It's time for this week's challenge at Cardz 4 Guyz and this week we would like to see something beginning with the letter Z on your cards.

I'v chosen Z is for.... ZEPPELIN and used a background and image printed out from Debbie Moore's Steam Punk 2 CD-ROM along with some cogs cut using the X-cut cogs dies, lightly smudged at random with a gold inkpad them embossed with Verdigris embossing powder to give an aged effect.

The finished picture rather reminds me of old Led Zeppelin album covers - I never thought my mis-spent youth would provide me with crafting inspiration!

I am sharing this with C.R.A.F.T. Challenge- Fathers day/Male

Sunday, 29 May 2016


Those of you who know me through crafting may not know that until a couple of years ago, I produced a monthly magazine called The Competition Grapevine, and how I wish I'd had this lovely set of stamps from Honeydoo Crafts then! I love the effect of the grapevine trailing around the wine bottle and I'm sure I'd have used the images to make congratulations cards for readers who won prizes in my competitions.

I stamped the bottle and glass with Memento Tuxedo Black  and coloured them in with Promarkers.

Thanks to great detective work from Cara the last time I used it, I now know that the fab embossing folder I used for the background is Spellbinders M-Bossabilities Imperial - It produces two different but related designs, each of which looks good either way round, so it's really a four-way tool and I'm cross with myself for having let it languish unused in my stash for far too long!

I am sharing this with:

Cuttlebugmania - Embossing 
Just Add Ink - B  (B is for Bottle)  
Sweet Stampin - Embossing

Transparently Clear

Recent rummaging through my stash turned up a pack of A4 acetate sheets that I'd forgotten I owned, and a huge medallion stamp that I've had for around 10 years and never used.  I've put the two together in this card.

For the outer card, I scored and folded the acetate (remembering to peel off the protective coating - I remember, now, that the reason the acetate pack had been set aside was that I'd thought it was a duff batch, being rather cloudy looking - I'd not realised there was protective film on both sides!) and then used a black Stazon pad to stamp the medallion around the edges and to ink the edges of the acetate.

Then I used orange card to make a slightly smaller card for the inside, stamping the medallion again but this time using a Versamark pad to give a watermark effect. Then I stamped "Thank you" over the image, using an old Hot Off The Press stamp.

The orange card is just stuck to the back panel of the acetate, although the static in it makes it appear to be stuck to the front too. It's much easier for opening and closing than if it is stuck down front and back. I've put a white panel inside the orange card, to write in, and also covered the acetate behind the card with white, to hide the adhesive.

I am sharing this with:

House of Cards - Clear Papers
Mod Squad - Use it or Lose it

Saturday, 28 May 2016

The Snail Grand Prix

This weekend is the Monaco Grand Prix, when cars whizz around the complex circuit around the streets at a breathtaking pace. But what if the Grand Prix was run by snails instead of racing cars? Here we see those great classic snail racers, Reubins Barishello, Michael Shellmacher and Nigel Manshell racing for the chequered flag. And what fuel are they using? Why, Shell of course!

The snails are stamped with a Clearly Besotted stamp - I think the set is called "Cute as a bug", and the sentiment is an unmounted stamp I bought on ebay. I doodled in the trail using a Versamark pen, then embossed it with a gold-tinted hologram powder, which gives it a very realistic "snail trail" look when it moves around in the light. I hand drew the chequered flag, and doodled in the scrolls under the sentiment to cover a blob of ink for emphasis.

I am sharing this with

CASology - Fast 
Crafty Creations Challenges - Doodles Details
The Male Room - Critters and/or Bugs
Less is More - Sketch (well,   I was sticking pretty closely to the sketch - until I fiddled about with the snail images and decided it looked more balanced with one a long way ahead of the others!

Skating Scene

I've been having a rummage through my Christmas Bits Box and decided it's about time I had a good old clear out - use the usable bits and get rid of anything  tired, dog eared, faded or just too plain nasty to use. So this card makes use of lots of the usable bits - three different HOTP papers, an image from a magazine freebie booklet and snowflakes die cut from a scrap of card, using a die that was also a magazine freebie.

I'm sharing this with

Winter Wonderland - Pearls and Ribbon
52 Christmas Card Throwdown - die cuts or punches
Fab n Funky - Christmas  

Friday, 27 May 2016

Furry Friends - falling out

Friends sometimes fall out - we've all been there. Sometimes the rift is permanent, but with a really close friend, very often all it takes is for one to make the other laugh for everything to heal over and the rift to be forgotten. That's the kind of situation I had in mind when I made this card - the sort of thing you might send to a best friend who was temporarily off your radar.

The Katzelkraft "Chats Russes" stamps are perfect for any kind of snarky sentiment like this. The backing paper is a digital download I've had for ages and never quite got around to using.

I'm sharing this with Show us your Pussies, where May's challenge is Furry Friends.

La Bicyclette De Paris

Having a good old rummage through my stash the other day and I came across a sheet of vintage style London and Paris images, mostly featuring bicycles and flowers, that had been sitting around neglected for FAR too long, and decided to bring one of them out to play. I've noticed that fold-back cards seem to be having a welcome resurgence, and I love the way you can use them to incorporate the inside of the card to blend with the design on the front - in this case I have made the ribbon border appear to continue across the card and the doyley to appear to frame the top corner of the image when the card is lying flat.

The patterned papers that I have used are very, very old NBUS, left over from an Anna Griffin kit that was my one and only attempt at scrapbooking (I spent six months making it as a gift - the recipient glanced through it, said "mmm, very nice" and never opened it again - I didn't really fell like bothering after that) about 10 years ago.

I have incorporated a plain cream panel into the inside fold so a message can be written to the recipient

I am sharing this with

A Beautiful Mess - Anything Goes
Cardz 4 Galz - Vintage or Shabby Chic
Crafty Gals Corner - Anything Goes
Glitter n Sparkle - Anything Goes
Mod Squad - Use it or Lose it ( the patterned papers)   

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

A tale of two cards

I really wasn't happy with the "pop" themed card I made the other day  for the Something That Pops or Bangs challenge at Less is More- I've had some very nice comments on it, but of course they are from people who haven't seen it in real life - the camera can sometimes be very flattering! So I wanted to try again - but apart from champagne corks, what else goes pop or bang?

Crackers, party poppers, drums, balloons, car exhausts, the next door neighbour's van door at 3am, a fuse blowing? Either already done, or I have nothing suitable in my stash. And then the thought hit me - BUBBLE WRAP. Can there be anyone among us who has never idled away a few minutes popping bubble wrap? OK, so it doesn't physically appear on the card - but then, there was no real champagne on my first card, just an image of it!

So I set to to use bubble wrap on my card. This time, I knew that I wanted to combine it with the 2nd birthday challenge at AAA Cards and Use Your Stuff's latest challenge of Get Inky.  So I took out a set of three stacking die cuts from a very old Kanban kit and inked the largest and smallest by sponging on single colours from a Kaleidacolor "Birthstone" pad, then inked up the bubble wrap with the whole pad and pressed it onto the middle die cut to give an image of itself. I finished the card by stamping a sentiment on the smallest layer.

Well, the idea was good, but the final assembled card seems to lack something

Maybe it's just not what I was really in the mood for? So, back to square one. This time I cut a square of cardstock slightly smaller than my card blank and used the bubble wrap and ink to make a random splodge in one corner. I then sponged a little of the inks from the two extreme ends of the pad around the edges of the splodge, ran the edges of the card along the dark pink section of the pad for very gentle definition, and then stamped the distressed Birthday word (this was a joining gift from a monthly stamp club, possibly Graphicus? many years ago) over  the inky area and stuck the panel to the front of the card.

There now, inky, messy yet still CAS - exactly what I was in the mood for! So at last I have a version I am happy with - I hope you are too!

Sharing this with

Less is More - Something that goes bang or pop
Use Your Stuff - Get inky
AAA Cards - Happy Birthday


Veggie Good Friends

As you probably know, my husband is a very keen vegetable gardener, so when I read that this week's challenge at Make My Monday is In The Garden I naturally thought of a vegetable garden.

I've used a pair of stamps (the carrot and top are separate) from the Hero Arts "Stamp Your Own Salad" set, simply stamped haphazardly with the carrot tops coloured in with a Promarker. The sentiment is from the same set.

May Rudolph Day

It's that time of month again (no, not THAT time of month, I'm far too old for that, thank goodness!) - it's the 25th and that means it is Rudolph Day at Scrappymo's. You have until the end of the month to join in and share a festive make with us.

Here's my DT card for you - a very easy one this month using paper and die cut decoupage from the Papermania Folk Christmas collection. I think now people are very mobile and families spread out all over the world, lots of us particularly miss close family at Christmas time, so it's a perfect sentiment for the season.

I am sharing this with Winter Wonderland - Non-traditional Christmas Colours because although there are re4d and green in there, the dominant colour is the turquoise which gives it all a very non-traditional look.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Hip to be square at Cardz 4 Guyz

Today it's my turn to pick the theme at Cardz 4 Guyz, and I've chosen Hip to be Square - which means we want to see square cards ONLY please. You don't need to incorporate squares into your design (unless you want to, of course) but your card MUST be square.

I've recreated a toolbench, probably in a garage as it is obviously leaning against a brick wall. The wall is left over from a card I made a few weeks ago, and made with  a Crafters companion embossing folder, the bench and border with snippets from my stash, and the tools and sentiment are stamped with a Cathie Shuttleworth set that I find incredibly useful for male cards (and some female ones too!). I stamped the sentiment on a scrap of the woodgrain card and attached it with my trusty screw-top brads. I can be a bit obsessive about lining up the screw heads on them but this time I kept them lop-sided as I  really wanted it to look like a plank that had been hastily and unevenly attached to a wall, hence the ends cut with deckle edged scissors - I keep having to stop myself from going back to the card and straightening them though!

I am sharing this with
Pixies Snippets Playground - Week 230
Uniko Studios - masculine
Creative Card Crew - Masculine

Monday, 23 May 2016

The Christmas Elephant

Because an elephant is for life, not just for Christmas..... or something like that.

The image was stamped with a magazine freebie from a few years ago, coloured with Promarkers and a touch of crystal Stickles. The sentiment is a very old unmounted stamp.  Everything else is odds and ends from my stash.

Sharing with:

OLLCB - four legs, not two (OK, we can't actually SEE all four legs, but I'm assuming that if the elephant had any legs missing, there would be some kind of mobility aid on the picture, otherwise how would he have decorated the tree?)
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - Cute, or anything goes
C.R.A.F.T. Challenge - Christmas
52 Christmas Card Throwdown - Cute Little Christmas Critters   

Teen troubles

It's a difficult life being a teenager! Although my own daughters are long past that stage, and my grandchildren still too young, I have lots of friends who are parents of teens at the moment.

Peer pressure can be very difficult - a teenage girl who really loves pretty colours and girly treats may find herself among a group of friends who all decide to become goths - or vice versa. And sometimes they need to be reminded that it's perfectly OK to be who YOU want to be, not who other people think you should be.

So that's the thinking behind this card, which could be a "thinking of you" card for a teenage girl having a tough time, or simply a birthday card.

The image is a Crafters Companion one which I stamped and masked, then used Promarkers to create the background. I removed the mask and then coloured the image keeping to shades of grey, apart from the eyes.

The background paper is a very VERY old piece from my stash. It originally came from a Dawn Bibby kit, and I bought it as part of a de-stashing bundle on ebay many years ago, so I don't know exactly how old it is. I've added ribbons from my stash to add to the outward girliness, and a very appropriate Dylusions sentiment.

I am sharing this with
Sweet Stampin - Terrible teenagers 
Fantasy Stampers - All About the Girl 
Inkspirational - Photo Inkspiration 

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Foiling on Peel-Offs

If you've experimented with simple foiling - not using a fancy machine but using rub-on foils such as those available from FoilPlay - you've probably tried foiling on double sided peel offs, and may have had mixed results according to the brand of peel off you used. (I have a batch of unbranded ones I bought from a TV shopping channel that give poor results with everything - foils, glitter, flock or beads, while the few Hot Off The Press ones I have give excellent  results every time). But have you ever thought of foiling "normal" peel offs, perhaps to use up old stash or to get a particular image or sentiment to match the rest of your work?

No, neither had I until this weekend. I'd created a panel using black card cut with the outline part of a Creative Expressions die, and I'd used double sided adhesive sheet to cut the lacy edge, adhered to  the card and foiled it with a multi-coloured foil. So far, so good. Then I realised I didn't have a suitable sized sentiment die to put in the centre of the panel - everything was FAR too big or said the wrong thing.

So I fished out my old peel offs and found a birthday sentiment that looked right, and also an almost-finished sheet of unloved ones to test my theory on.

I covered the images thickly with Tonertex pen while still on their original backing sheet, then tested out different timings - to  remove the image from the backing immediately and apply it to the card? To wait until it was completely dry? After several attempts, I found that the best thing to do was wait until it was tacky but not fully dry. That way, there were no "pools" of Tonertex. Somehow the test images I allowed to dry completely on the backing sheet didn't take the foil as readily as those I removed partway through the drying.

Once they were in place on the card, I allowed the peel offs to dry completely and then applied the foil to match the lace edge. Now my sentiment was an exact match to the border.

The finished panel  looked a little out of proportion on the card I wanted to use it on, so I added a stripe of double sided tape, covered with foil and finished with yet more peel offs - unfoiled this time. One day I'm going to use up that peel off stash!!!

I am sharing this with

Dies R Us - Birthday
Glitter N Sparkle - Anything Goes
Allsorts Challenge - Happy Birthday


This week at Less is More, the challenge is "something that pops or bangs". Naturally, I immediately thought of a champagne cork.

I have a very old unmounted champagne bottle stamp, and a very new (well, less than 6 months old) champagne glass die, so they were the perfect combination. But I also wanted to represent the cork popping. I have a clear stamp from a Studio G mini set, intended for Fathers' Day, that says "pops" so I masked the "s" while inking it, then stamped and embossed it in gold.

I think the next step is where I went wrong - to give an "explosion" appearance, I sketched lines around the word with a glue pen and foiled it with gold foil - which I also used for the foil of the bottle top. I think the lines have taken it from a controlled CAS design to a rather messy one.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Waste not, want not

This morning I was doing some die cutting for a forthcoming DT card, and I thought the negatives were really too good to throw away. But I'd used scraps of card for the cutting, so they wouldn't have looked very good used as they were. Then I had a thought - why not use them as stencils?

I used a small sponge and Versafine inks to stencil the branch and pine comes onto cream card, and the result came out looking very much like watercolour painting. All it needed was a stamped sentiment to produce a CAS Christmas card that I feel as if I've made for "free" since the negatives were waste anyway.

I am sharing this with

CASology - Stencil 
C.R.A.F.T. Challenge - Christmas
Jingle Belles - Banish the blues

Animals at Twofers

This time it is my turn to choose our challenge at Twofers, and as I as keen to play with this new Giraffe head stamp from Katzelkraft, I decided our theme would be Animals.

For the background, I used a piece of yellow card and a round ended sponge, sponging random blobs of Tea Dye DI over it to give a "giraffe's neck" effect. Naturally it needed to go on to a tall thin DL card!

I've had no end of trouble taking a photo of this card, I've tried changing the lighting, changing the white balance on my camera, taking the photo on a sunny/dull/average window ledge, but still it comes out too dark, or too light, or too blue, or the brown looks black. I'll pop in a couple of the photos here, but actually it's a cream base card and topper, with dark brown stamping and matting, and the ribbon picks up the yellow of the background, on which the blobs are much darker than they look here! The lower photo is more accurate in everything but the cream, which has come out blue.

One day I'm going to save up my pennies and go on a photography course......
I am sharing this with:
Sparkles Monthly Challenge - Animal Magic 
Fab'n'Funky - No designer paper  

Friday, 20 May 2016

Getting Fugly again

I really wasn't happy with the card I posted yesterday for the Fugly challenge at the Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers, so here I am as promised with a second attempt.

You might not think of a butterfly shaped card blank as fugly, or even moderately ugly, but I've had this pack of them for around 20 years and never yet managed to use one successfully. Everything I've tried to make with them has turned out to be a total mess, and I've been trying to use them up by feeding them to the grandkids. Not as meals, you understand, but as fodder  for their insatiable crafting appetites. But with just a couple left, even they have started to groan "Oh not again Grandma!" and grab a plain rectangular card instead.

So, the card base is my Fugly element, and I decided this time to stop trying to pretty it up and go down the messy route. First I sponged various distress inks on it and spritzed with water, then when it was dry, lightly inked a large script stamp with the same inks at random and stamped all over the card. I added veins and stippled edges using the wonderful stamps from Gentleman Crafter (it looks as if they are still out of stock, pity as they are brilliant stamps) and went around the edge with a yellow Wink of Stella pen. I added the very faint circles you can see in places by inking a piece of bubble wrap with Antique Linen DI, dabbing it on the card here and there, and embossing it with matching Distress Powder before brushing most of it off.

I added some dragonflies stamped on white card and fussy cut, with green Wink of Stella for the bodies, then made the butterfly's body using a metal key, with raffia tape looped through for the antennae.

You know, I think I've changed something very fugly into something rather fab, a bit like the transformation from caterpillar to butterfly. And I can't remember when I last had quite so much fun making something!

Butterflies and Dragonflies

Over at Mrs A's Butterfly Challenge, the current challenge is A for Aperture and/or Apricot.

The apricot part was easy enough, as I had a piece of apricot card left over from making my Mum's birthday card, and exactly the right size to use with this magazine freebie embossing folder. These days I mostly die cut apertures as and when I need them, but I have a few pre-cut ones left over from my cross stitching days of about 25 years ago, and I thought I would customise one of these instead.

I stamped all over the aperture panel using a butterfly and dragonfly stamps from PaperArtsy, and filled in the gaps between them with tiny stamps that I think came from Raindrops on Roses. I coloured in the stamped images with two shades of Apricot, and then assembled the card with the embossed panel behind the aperture.

The sentiment is stamped with a Polkadoodles stamp and coloured to match the remaining stamping and raised with foam pads.

I am sharing this with

Butterfly Challenge - Aperture and/or Apricot
Little Claire's Monthly Challenge - Butterflies
Fab'n'Funky - No designer papers

CAS butterflies and flowers

A very CAS card from me this time - I have used flower and leaf stamps and a sentiment from the Uniko Studios Flower Power 2 set, stamped with the bottom strip of the card masked off, and grass from a magazine freebie stamped over the flower stems. The butterflies are a Debbie More stamp. In fact there was only going to be one butterfly, in the corner, but I got an ink smudge on the card and rescued it by adding the second.

I am sharing this with

Crafty Gals Corner - May Flowers
Addicted to Stamps and More - CAS
Mod Squad - One layer Birthday
Craft Rocket Challenges - Flower Power
Time Out challenges  - CAS & optional Purple  

Thursday, 19 May 2016

The wrong kind of Ugly

Edna has a fun challenge for us over at the Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers -  F is for Fugly. Apparently Fugly means F***ing Ugly, but to me it sounds like the world Fuggles, which is a kind of hop used in beer making. And it also makes me think of an old university friend who I've not heard from for at least 30 years - Christine Fuggle, if you should ever do an ego-search and see this, I'd love to hear from you, you can find my email address over on the right.

Anyway, back to the crafting, and what a pity this challenge wasn't six months ago, as my craft room clearout included getting rid of some quite astoundingly fugly stamps. But they have all gone to make room for the ones I really love, so all that is left behind are some rather horrible papers that have been lurking in the middle of pads of far more useful designs. I did, however, find a sheet of huge stickers with mildly snarky messages that somehow survived my cull. I'm not quite sure why the designer combined those particular sentiments with pretty shabby chic floral backgrounds and aggressively coloured papers, nor indeed why I may at some point have thought they were a good buy, but they are suitably fugly.

I've added a stamps, coloured and fussy cut image and a bit of inking, but I'm not happy with the finished card - it lacks cohesion. The image is too small, the sticker is too big and all in all, it's totally the wrong kind of ugly.

But anyway, here it is for now, and if I can find time to do something with those die cut butterfly shaped cards that seemed like such a good idea at the time, I'll be back for another visit to the challenge


This ferocious looking lion - well, OK, cute and cuddly lion - was stamped with one of my old favourite stamp sets, Woodware's "Jungle Pals". The sentiment and pawprints are stamped with the same set. The corrugated card is from my snippets box and the leaves are punched with a Woodware punch.

I am sharing this with

The Paper Players - CAS with a wild animal
Addicted to Stamps and More - CAS
Sparkles Monthly Challenge - Animal Magic
Creative with Stamps - CAS

B is for Boat

The inspiration for this card came from the current challenge at CD Sundays, which is Something beginning with B. I chose this BOAT decoupage sheet from The Best of La Pashe 2014, and combined it with papers from an old K & Company stack, which I thought went with it better than any of the papers on the CD.

after assembling the decoupage, there were small images left to decorate the inside of the card and the envelope.

I am sharing this with

CD Sundays - Something Beginning with B
Make My Monday - Let's Sail Away
The Male Room - Transport
Creative Card crew - Masculine 

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Lamb spiced rice and two salads

Mark and I are huge fans of cookery writer Sabrina Ghayour, and have just bought a copy of her latest book, Sirocco. Last night I cooked from it for the first time - here are the dishes I made (obviously, I can't provide the recipes for the dishes I cooked from the book, so I've given the page numbers so if you have a copy of the book you can go straight to them).

Lamb, saffron, dried lime and cumin spiced rice - page 191. I omitted the red pepper as Mark doesn't eat them, so my photo doesn't look as colourful as the original in the book

One of the ingredients is dried lime powder. I ground up dried limes that I bought in a Lebanese shop in France but I think if you couldn't get hold of them, you could substitute the rind and juice of a fresh lime along with a generous amount of black pepper, as the powder has a sharp, peppery tang.

I served it with Apple, Sumac, Red Onion and Pomegranate Salad - page 110, which I made exactly as described in the recipe, using lovely fresh mint from the garden.

And finally, a dish of my own invention, a feta, radish and walnut salad.


To make this you will need

A handful of walnut halves, toasted lightly in a hot oven for 5-7 minutes
A medium bunch of radishes (ours were straight from the garden), trimmed and sliced
50g feta cheese, crumbled
3-4 sprigs fresh mint, finely chopped
6 leaves Little Gem Lettuce, washed and torn into bite sized pieces.

Simply layer the ingredients in a bowl - lettuce first, then scatter over the radishes, then walnuts, then cheese and then mint. Very quick, very simple  and a lovely combination of flavours and textures. There's no need for a dressing - that could detract from the crunch of the nuts and the salty tang of the cheese.

With the radishes and mint coming on like wildfire in the garden at the moment, I think we'll be eating this salad again very soon.

I'm sharing my Feta, Radish and Walnut salad with Simple and in Season at FeedingBoys

Simple and in Season on feedinboys.co.uk

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Tea for Two

The stamp I've used for this is a very large Docrafts one that I won in a magazine giveaway a few years ago, and I think I've only used it twice, in fact it only just survived my big clear-out earlier this year. It just doesn't seem to be very versatile to me, an issue I often have with big stamps (or big toppers, big stencils, big die cuts, big patterns on paper....).

However today I decided to devote a bit of time to colouring it in more carefully than I have before, blending Promarkers to give shape and texture to the tablecloth and the curtains in the window behind, and add shadow and depth to the building, hedge and floor. That hedge really IS green, despite looking yellow on the photo. It isn't lack of phosphorous, or whatever it is that makes plants turn yellow, it's the Lime Green Promarker which is one of the least photogenic colours around!

 Then of course I had to rummage through all my snippets to find suitable cards for the layering. I really should have picked the layering colours first, and THEN chosen the colours for the image. What a good thing I have a lot (and I mean a LOT) of snippets!

I was tempted to add a snarky sentiment, as those two ladies look as if they could be playing a game of one-upmanship with each other, but it didn't look right so I changed it to a simple thank you - after all, if somebody had taken me out for a sumptuous tea like that, I'd be sure to send them a thank you card!

I am sharing this with

Cardz 4 Galz - Tea for two
Pixie's Snippets Playground - week 229
Sweet Stampin' - Thank You   

Fishy friends

Two of my grandchildren are being brought up in France, so over the last few months I've been introduced to lots of French children's songs. One favourite on my last visit to them was "Les petits poisons" complete with actions - and here is a video complete with the actions (and subtitles for French-illiterate grandparents!)

So I do tend to have "petits poissons" on the brain rather a lot at the  moment, hence my choice of a fishy theme when Less is More asked us this week to make a one layer card with the theme At Sea

I masked off the card to leave a strip near the bottom which I brayered with Kaleidacolor ink in Blue Breeze, then stamped the fish and gravel - both of which are very old unmounted stamps from a mixed grab bag I bought many years ago - with Memento ink. With the masking still in place, I stamped over the design using a water droplet stamp from Katzelkraft, with Versamark ink and then heat embossed it with clear powder. It's hard to tell from the main photo, but it gives a lovely water bubble effect that you can see on this close up

I finished the card with two stamped shells, also from the batch of old UMs, and the word "Friends" from an old Hot Off The Press set (from back in the days when they were on QVC) stamped with the Kaleidacolor pad.

I am sharing this with

Less is More - one layer, At Sea
Shopping Our Stash - Sounds of the Sea
Use Your Stuff - Heat Embossing
Just Add Ink - Masking   

Chalkboard Christmas

I've been away for a few days, visiting my Mum to spend her 90th birthday with her. She was feeling well enough to go out a bit, so we managed to take her to Southport and to Pennington Flash, two of her favourite places, and she had a lovely birthday weekend.

But now I have lots of crafting to catch up on! First up is a Christmas card using a stamp and paper from the Papermania Folk Christmas collection.

To give a chalkboard effect, I stamped the sentiment onto a black die cut, using Brilliance "wild orchid" and heat embossing with a very old "Pink Pearls" powder sent to me by an American friend. I used a white gel pen to colour in the snowman.

I am sharing this with:

Winter Wonderland - Snowmen
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - Pink
Christmas Card Challenges - Anything Goes

Man's Best Friend at Cardz 4 Guyz

The latest challenge at Cardz 4 Guyz is Man's Best Friend, so we would like to see your doggy designs.

Now I've been saying for ages that peel-offs were due to make a come back - dies are getting more and more delicate, and we are backing the delicate ones with adhesive sheet before cutting, and what does that give us? A home made peel off!

Somebody at Little Claire's had obviously had the same thought, because they have recently introduced a range of super new designed outline stickers, and I've used one of them on this card. I stuck it to a label die-cut and coloured it with Promarkers, and finished the card with a ribbon to match the colouring, using grosgrain ribbon and a knot as I think that is quite a masculine look.

The sentiment and pawprints are also from the sheet of peel offs.

I am sharing this with

Glitter and Sparkle - Ribbon or lace
Alphabet challenge - F for Furry Friends

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Ripped roses

The beautiful rose-printed vellum I've used in this card has been in my stash for years and years and YEARS. It was a gift from a friend and is just so beautiful it's taken me all these years to steel myself to use it, knowing that once it's gone, it's gone.

I've simply torn it to fit across my card, added a layer or torn white card with a stamped and embossed rose, and a corner embellishment of a rose (an old Kanban stamp) also stamped and embossed - I used Versacolour Old Rose ink and clear embossing powder.

I am sharing this with

CAS-ology - TEAR 
Crafty Creations Challenges - Monochrome
Shopping Our Stash - April Showers Bring May Flowers
C.R.A.F.T. Challenge - Happy Birthday

Fairy on the Moon

This card uses a stencil and stamp set that was a magazine freebie some time last year. I've not used it much, partly because I'm not a big fan of fairies, partly because it's such a massive stencilled image that it practically fills the front of a large 20cm square card so there's not much interesting you can DO with it, and partly because every time I use it, I think about how uncomfortable that bottom point of the moon must be, given where it is, and start spluttering with filthy laughter. But I expect that's just me.

I used Brilliance Pearlescent Lime for the stencilling, although as usual the pearlescence is lost in the photo. It has a lovely sheen in real life. The stamping and matting are in a navy blue that is a MUCH better match in RL than it is on the photo - dark coloured card always seems to look nearly black when the camera contrasts it against bright white!

I am sharing this with
Ooh La La Creations - Mythical
Allsorts - There's Magic in the Air
Glitter 'n' Sparkle - One for the ladies
Inkspirational - Mint and Navy

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Fresh as a daisy

For this card, I have mostly been using mystery objects. The flowers are an unmounted stamp from a grab bag I bought many, many years ago. I rather think they are meant to be cornflowers, but they make a very pretty general-purpose flower so today they are being daisies.

The embossing folder I used for the background is the same mystery folder I used a few weeks ago on this card - I still have no idea where it came from or how I came to own it, but I have discovered something very special about it - it is reversible ! Yes, if you turn it inside out. the reverse of each plate also forms an embossing surface which, while it matches the first in size and repeat structure, is a completely different design. So my mystery folder is actually two folders in one. It's going to be really useful if I'm ever looking to use two co-ordinating textures on one card.

I stamped the image with Memento ink and coloured it with Promarkers, then cut it out with a Spellbingers labels die and with the die still in place, sponged Brilliance ink in Wild Orchid around the edge.

I am sharing this with

Shopping Our Stash - April Showers Bring May Flowers
Cuttlebugmania - May Flowers
Make My Monday - photo inspiration