Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Butterflies meet NBUS

I'd already planned this card in my head before Darnell announced the optional theme for this week's NBUS (Never Before Used Schtuff) challenge. The beautiful Katzelkraft frame stamp was part of a batch of lovely stamps that one of my daughters gave me for Mothers Day last March, but unlike all the others she gave me, it was still sealed up in its original cello bag.

My plan was to stamp and colour it, cut out the centre and place it over a stamped text background and then add the butterflies, sticking to shades of brown so that it could also be an entry for the Butterfly Challenge, which is currently Underneath or Umber (oh, and Mrs A of said challenge has candy on her personal blog, check my sidebar for details!)

Then Darnell made me rethink, when she announced this week's optional theme  which is to use bubble wrap. So I thought "Why not?" and put the script stamp away for some other time.

I used a Walnut Stain Distress Stain to ink the bubble wrap then used it like a stamp on the card. The frame is stamped in brown Memento and coloured with watercolour pencils and a water brush, as are the butterflies (an old Kanban stamp)  and given dimension with Pinflair glue.

The jury's still out on whether the bubble wrap looks better than the script would have done - I think with the script, it would have had more of a "shabby chic" look and lent itself to a fussier treatment, with my whole battery of distressing techniques, lace, doileys, ribbons and pearls thrown at it! But the spots from the bubble wrap echo the circles in the frame, so it's a completely different look.

Ladybird again!

I couldn't help but laugh when I saw this week's challenge photo at Just Us Girls


Does it remind you of anything? For instance, this photo that I posted to the blog about a week ago?

Well, I was seriously tempted to CASe myself! But then, I know that I never enjoy making two such similar cards close together, so I decided to use the same ladybird and daisy inspiration in a completely different way, using  a set of very cute stamps from Clearly Besotted.
 I angled the flower head slightly to make it look as if it was looking up towards the sentiment. When the stamping and colouring was done, it still looked a little bare, so I doodled in a "bug trail" around the edge and added a tiny heart to cover up a smudge draw the viewer's eye towards the sentiment.

Something Beginning with C at Cardz 4 Guyz

It's the 5th Tuesday of the month, and as always on a first Tuesday, it's a "Something beginning with....." challenge at Cardz 4 Guyz. And our letter this time is C.

I've chosen something a lot of men seem to be crazy about these days - Chillis.

The Chillis and word stamps are from a wonderful Rubber Dance set that includes chillis of all shapes and sizes along with some suitable sentiments. I've used red Brushos to make a strip that looks as if it's been spattered with chilli powder, and added a tiny bit of sparkle in the form of black sparkly peel off borders.

Monday, 30 January 2017

Love Story

As you know, I'm not the world's most romantic of people, but I do occasionally make a card that could be considered romantic!

For this card I've used an image from a printed set that I bought from the Make It Show in Farnborough several years ago and a backing paper, sentiment and circular embellishment 9on top of the bow) from a Downton Abbey themed set that came free with a craft magazine a few months ago. I've added a punched border, wrapped with satin ribbon, peel off corners and borders and lots of pearls.

Fab'nFunky - Ribbons and/or pearls
Cardz 4 Galz - Movie madness (Love Story)
CRAFT - Love/Valentine/Anniversary

Ooh La La Creations challenge #221 - Thank You

It's time for our new challenge at Ooh La La Creations and this time we would like to see Thank You cards.

I thought this sweet little retro android from the Teentastique CD, available here, had a really grateful look on his face, perfect for a thank you card.

The film-reel type image and the single frame are both from sheets on the CD,  and I stamped the sentiment into the frame. To add to the retro feel of the card I added some die cut cog wheels and screw headed brads.

I am sharing this with Watercooler Wednesday - Masculine anything goes

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Oh Christmas trees, oh Christmas trees....

I've had lots of fun playing with the lovely Li'l Inkers stamp and die set that I won in the Playground - so much fun, in fact, that I ended up making the card twice in different versions of the same colourway.

I am sharing these at

52 Card Throwdown - Cream, Aqua and Brown
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - Anything Goes (I've not used the optional "no sentiment" twist)

Another Brusho background

I'm starting to get the hang of the Brushos I got for Christmas -  getting the effect I want is more difficult than I thought it would be but I've managed to get a bold background where the colours haven't merged into sludge, at last - next challenge is to tackle a more delicate one!

Having dug out the lovely Summer Meadow stamp earlier this week and used it for the first time, I can see it's going to become a favourite because as soon as this background was dry I could see it was the perfect stamp to use with it. I've used a white gel pen to add a few highlights and details. The sentiment is a magazine freebie stamp and the polka dot background from a Funky Hands download.

I am sharing this with
Sweet Stampin - Spots and Dots
Little Red Wagon - Happy Birthday
Inkspirational - Polka Dots


Celebration !

Fireworks and balloons - just what any celebration needs! The "fireworks" are a stamp from the wonderfully useful Gentleman Crafter set, the sentiment from a very, very old Hot Off The Press set which I bought in the days when Dawn Bibby was no QVC and the whole of Britain's crafting "family" spent Tuesday afternoons glued to the TV, and the balloons are a magazine cover mount, positioned to look as if the sentiment is being lifted into the air by them.

I am  sharing this with
Less is More - Balloons
Allsorts - Let's Celebrate

Do what you love at CD Sundays

I'm guesting again at CD Sundays, where this fortnight's challenge is "Do what you love". It's up to you how you interpret this - a technique or style of card that you love, perhaps? Or a card that features something you love? But don't forget, there must be something from a craft CD included in your work.

It was very hard for me to choose what to do, as I love ALL papercrafting! But I've managed to combine my love of paper, of stamping and of drinking tea into this card.

First of all I printed a backing paper from the Polkadoodles "Cherry Blossom Lane" CD onto card lightweight enough to go through my printer.  Then I ran the same card through the printer again, this time printing the teacup design from the La Pashe CD "Spring & Summer Templates".  Then I cut out and assembled the pieces, using the teabag pieces as templates on suitable snippets of card. I inked the edges a bit to soften the harsh lines from the printed template and stamped the sentiment using a magazine freebie set.

Incidentally, being left handed, I originally made a version of this card the other way round, with the handle on the left, simply by printing the template on the back of the card rather than the front - but even to me, for whom that is the "right" way round for a teacup, it looked all wrong! Teacups always seem to be shown with the handle on the right, and my poor old brain just couldn't compute when it was the other way round.

I am sharing this with
Craft Rocket Challenge - Add a bow
Glitter and Sparkle - Anything but a square/rectangle

Thursday, 26 January 2017

I've been knitting!

I used to be a very keen hand knitter, making all kinds of complicated multicolour and multi stitch designs. The children were always kitted out in picture sweaters of their favourite characters, and school fetes and local bazaars always got donations of hand knitted toys - do you remember the wonderful dolls and clowns that Jean Greenhowe used to design for the UK edition of Woman's Weekly? I was a keen machine knitter too, which is how I first met Sue of Zouave Cards,  and a fanatical cross stitcher, but I lost interest in all of that about 20 years ago when I discovered stamping and various other papercrafts.

So I'd not picked up a pair of knitting needles for all those years, WHY did I think it was a good idea to return to the fold using 2mm needles and fine crochet cotton?

I knitted on 2mm needles and then slipped the stitches on to "needles" made from cocktail sticks with beads glued on for the heard. The background is made with an Embossalicious embossing folder and the words die cut with the X-cut New Baby Icons die set.

I hope the embossed pink background counts as "white space" seeing as it's so uncluttered, because I am sharing this with Less is More where the theme is New Beginnings.

I'm also sharing it at Cuttlebugmania where the theme is "Hobby - I am crafting"

Summer Meadow

Most of my NBUS (Never Before Used Schtuff) stamps are red rubber ones. For the simple reason that it takes me a long time to get round to cutting them out. Years, in some cases. Take the stamps I have used on this card, Crafty Individuals Summer Meadow and Build a Meadow. Well, Summer Meadow was fine as it's an individual stamp, but I couldn't use it without the Build a meadow stamps too, could I? And they needed cutting out. So there they have sat, still in their packs, for several years.

Until now.

First I stamped the main image in white and heat embossed it. Then I watercoloured over it. I used pale colours thinking it would give a calm, tranquil effect. It didn't, it gave a washed out, practically impossible to see effect. I decided to ditch it and redo the stamping in black to stand out against a pale background but as this piece was about to be thrown away I thought "What if....?" and went over the watercolour with much darker blues and greens. and POP! The white suddenly appeared standing out against the darker shades.

For the background I stamped random elements of the Build a Meadow stamps using a Kaleidacolour Caribbean Sea pad.

This card is sort-of CASe'd - I've seen pretty much the same card somewhere, only done in brown and gold shades, but I can't for the life of me remember where. I've just had a really good browse through Pinterest and although I couldn't find the card that set off this train of thought, I now have plans to make about 5 million other cards....

I am sharing this with

Addicted to Stamps and More - Anything Goes
Use your stuff - heat embossing and watercolours
Darnell's NBUS challenge # 9    

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Ladybird, Ladybird....

I'm really combining the old and the new in this card - the ladybird is one of my oldest stamps, an unmounted stamp from a grab bag I bought when I first started stamping, about 20 years ago, and the daisy and sentiment are from a lovely goody bag I won just before Christmas.

I stamped the ladybird first and masked it before stamping the daisy. If you look really closely at the ladybird, you will see that the spots aren't really spots, they are hearts - isn't that sweet?

I am sharing this with
Make My Monday - Black and White with a spot of red
Perfectly Created Chaos - Black, white and 1 colour  
CAS on Sunday - Hearts
Allsorts Challenge - Daisy, daisy 

Hooray, hooray, it's Rudolph Day!

Yes, it's January 25th so that means as well as Burns Night (I hope you noticed my poetic tribute in the title) it's also Rudolph Day - the 25th of every month except December is when Scrappymo hosts her Rudolph Day challenge to encourage us to make Christmas cards all through the year.

My image is a very old peel-off sticker of a snow scene. It was originally silver and  I've always thought with all that snow, it was rather insipid, so this time before peeling it off from the backing I covered the whole thing with black Promarker and left it to dry overnight, before sticking it to white card and colouring it with Promarkers (very carefully as the alcohol in the inks can reactivate the black on the sticker) and clear Wink of Stella for the snow.

The background paper is a very old freebie from a club I once belonged to, the sentiment stamp is an Anna griffin one and I've used black peel-off borders and corners.

I am sharing this with:
Scrappymo's Rudolph Day
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - ATG/Use a Sentiment
C.R.A.F.T. Challenge - Christmas  
Jingle Belles  - Stickers

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

A shaped card at Cardz 4 Guyz

This week at Cardz 4 Guyz we would like to see a shaped card.

I had great fun creating this card:

To make the "tool box" I used a brown square card blank and cut the handle area out with an oval die, cutting both sides at the same time to make sure they lined up. Then I scored a line right across the front and back of the card just below the opening, and at each side I cut away the top corner of the card from the end of the score line to a point directly above the end of the opening.

I cut two pieces of kraft card, one about 5mm all round smaller than the area below the score line and the second the same width but around two thirds of the height, and embossed both with a woodgrain effect folder. I stuck the larger piece to the card and the smaller piece to brown card and trimmed a very narrow border around it. I printed out the tools, which are from Deedees Digis, cut them out and stuck them to the card then added the smaller woodgrain panel over the top.

I am sharing this with Digi Choosday - Anything Goes 

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Gardening Time

A couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to win Trimcraft's weekly "Want it Win It Wednesday" giveaway. I've been entering every week for as long as I can remember, and my request has always been for the First Edition Gardening Dies set. They arrived the other day - it's going to be a very useful set when it comes to making cards for Mark - and here is my first make with them.

All the die cuts use scraps from my snippets box - aren't dies wonderful for using up odds and ends? I'm particularly pleased with the fence - the snippet I used was from the notorious QVC "Elegant Vintage" kit of about 15 years ago, that so many of us bought and then were flummoxed by. (That's something else I love about snippets, so many of them tell their own story and bring back crafting memories when you dig them out).

The shed was a bit of a b****r to get out of the die intact, even using my full arsenal of tips, tricks and tools, and in fact this is my third attempt, resulting in it having a bit missing, which I've tried to hide behind the wheelbarrow, as my remaining scrap of woodgrain paper was too small to fit it all on!

The sentiment is stamped with a stamp from a Crafters Companion set,  and I've produced a stylised "lawn" by tearing random strips of grass effect washi tape.

I would like to share this with

Pixie's Snippets Playground weeks 265/266
Sweet Stampin - Dies and Punches
The Male Room - Washi Tape  

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers challenge #76 - Y did I buy that?

It's new challenge day at the Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers, and Edna is looking distinctly uncomfortable in her new necklace.

She's thinking "Y did I buy that?" and now we'd like you to delve into your stash and dig out something that makes you feel exactly the same.

I have chosen this butterfly printed, shocking pink, glittered acetate which I bought when I fell in love with it on a TV craft show. Why did I fall in love with it? Well, I only ever watch daytime TV when I'm not feeling well, and I must have been particularly feverish that day. I actually bought it in three colours, with coordinating foiled card, and have had it sitting in a box in a dusty corner for several years because I didn't have a clue what to do with it, especially the pink as it is just so garish. Even my four year old granddaughter has refused to use it!!!

I decided to make the most of the shocking pink by using it as an overlay over some black and white script paper from the DCWV Stack 9 pad that I love so much. Thanks to Sister Barbara for the inspiration!

Acetate being a right so-and-so to stick down invisibly, I just went with the extra strong double sided tape and then covered it up with a punched border. CHEAT!

I'd made my card by folding over one third of an A4 sheet, so there is only a half panel for the front, and covered that panel with the same backing paper and then added some punched butterflies, a border to match the one on the inside and a Dylusions sentiment that is designed to remind me (and you, and the Sisters) never ot make such an ill considered purchase again!

Hmm..... now it's finished, I actually quite like it. But maybe not enough to  go out and buy another batch of the acetate.

So, what's lurking in your stash that you wish you'd never bought? Why don't you dig it out and see what you can do with it? And please pop over to the Sisterhood  to see what the Sisters have created and share your work, so that we can share your pain. You could be crowned our Queen or Princess of Snark

Friday, 20 January 2017

The first of the Valentine cards...

... it had to  happen, didn't it? Not being a very romantic soul, I don't have much interest in Valentine's Day, but the rest of the world seems to disagree with me. So I end up making a few Valentines cards every year, although as you can see from this, my soul doesn't really go into them....

The central stamp is a Studio G one, the die cut hearts are Gummiapan dies and the card base is from a very old Craftwork cards goody bag.  I'd intended to just have the letters and hearts making a majestic sweep diagonally across the card, but it looked incomplete and the scattering of black gems made all the difference.

I am sharing this with
Watercooler Wednesday - CAS Love in red and white

Thursday, 19 January 2017

White on White

It's a White on White challenge at Sweet Stampin this week,  and here is the card I've made for it.

The embossed background is a Crafters Companion folder, the corners are from a very old Cuttlebug die set and the medallion is cut with a Spellbinders die set. The sentiment stamp is from a magazine freebie set that I've had for several years but never used before.

Playing with pretty papers

I've had a good rummage through my stash for this card, inspired by the Use 3+ 6x6 papers challenge at Use Your Stuff, and come up with one of those "Too gorgeous to use" pads we probably all have, simply called "Background papers 1" from Crafty Individuals. And I took a deep breath and started cutting.........

....... and stamping,  and embossing, and distressing, and matting and layering......

Sheet 1 is the background, sheet 2 the vertical rectangle and circle, sheet 3 the horizontal rectangle and the large butterfly/moth stamped on the remainder of the sheet (I used a second sheet of #3 to make a matching liner panel for the inside).

The large butterfly/moth is an old Graphicus stamp, stamped and embossed on the patterned paper  and the Thank You stamp is from Clarity. All the other beautiful butterflies and dragonflies are integral parts of the lovely papers, not stamped by me, so you can see why I was so reluctant to cut them!

I am sharing this with
Use Your Stuff - 3+ papers from a 6x6 pad
Little Red Wagon - Thank You
Sparkles Monthly Challenge - Thank You  
Allsorts challenge - Wings on Things
Inkspirational - Flutter 
Crafty Creations Challenge - Anything Goes

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Fresh flowers

Today the sun is shining and if you ignore the thick layer of frost on the ground you could almost believe spring is on the way. And I've been crafting with spring colours.

The flower is a very old unmounted stamp from Raindrops on Roses (they were an American company I used to use in the 1990s - does anyone know if they are still around?). I stamped it all over and coloured it in using the Promarkers I got for Christmas, and following the colours of the inspiration photo at Addicted to Stamps and More this week.  Then I topped it with a sentiment stamped from a fairly new Crafters companion set.

I am sharing this with
Addicted to Stamps and More - Photo Inspiration
Crafty Creations Challenges - Anything Goes
Just Us Girls - All over stamping

Deer in the snow

This leaping deer, a Gummiapan stamp from Swedish House, isn't specifically a Christmas stamp but works very effectively as one, especially when teamed with these Tonic Studios Christmas papers.

I used Gummiapan stitched ovals to die cut the image and mat, taking the image over the edge of the die before cutting, another new-to-me technique. I'm full of 'em at the moment!

I am sharing this with

Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - Feature a Creature
Christmas Card Challenges - Photo or anything goes 

One little Eskimo

Hooray! Darnell is having another NBUS challenge, to celebrate many things including her blog birthday. NBUS means Never Before Used Schtuff, which if you're anything like me you have far too much of.  This time she is having three challenges, at weekly intervals, with an optional theme for each. The optional theme for the first is using coloured pencils on kraft.

I've not tried pencils on kraft before, indeed I've not really used coloured pencils very much, and was surprised how well they show up against the kraft background. My NBUS is the sweet Eskimo stamp and sentiment, from a Stampin Up set, coloured with pencils and punched with a matching punch. Actually I made three Eskimos because I've not done much stamping and punching and thought I was bound to mess a couple up, but they all came out fine. The card looked cluttered with more then one on it though, so look out for two more coming to a card near you very soon.

The igloo is made by die cutting a circle, cutting it across just below half way and straightening the ends slightly with scissors. I added a bit of "brickwork" with stickles. The backing paper is some random stuff from my snippets box.

So there you are,  two NBUS stamps AND an NBUS technique. What more could the heart desire?

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Drinka Pinta Milka Day

If you are as old as me (ie very) and live in the UK, you can't fail to remember this famous advertising slogan for milk. It was everywhere in the last 1950s and early 1960s - on TV ads, on posters, in newspapers and magazines, on milk tankers and even on the sides of buses. In fact it even got a mention in the sitcom "Hancock's Half Hour", I seem to recall. Possibly one of the best known advertising slogans of all time, although whether it actually did persuade anybody to drink a whole pint of milk (*shudder*) every day is another matter.

On my first draft of this card, I used the letter stamps (from a child's printing set) carefully lined up, but they just didn't remind me enough of the original poster:

so I decided higgledy piggledy was the way to go. There are a couple of smudges from the edges of the stamps, that's because they are effectively toys and not the real thing. The kitty stealing the milk is a very old unmounted stamp from my stash - from the colour of the rubber I think it might be a Viva Las Vegas one but that is pure guesswork. I used a single tan pencil to lightly colour the kitty, and that's the only colour I've added to the card. I used Stickles to highlight the milk bottle and add a little texture.

I am sharing this with

Less is More - One layer: Your favourite drink or beverage (it's not MY favourite, far from it, but it's obviously the favourite of the kitty!)
CAS on Sunday - Black and White with one colour
Show Us Your Pussies - Furrything Goes

Triple Mat Technique at Cardz 4 Guyz

It's time for our latest challenge at Cardz 4 Guyz and this time we want to see you use the Triple Mat Technique. Don't know what it is, or seen it but never tried it before? Don't worry, I was in the same position. Luckily over on our challenge post there is a link to a tutorial explaining it all.

Once I'd seen the tutorial, the hardest part was thinking of a masculine way to use it. Most of my stamps that would lend themselves to the technique are pretty floral ones. Eventually I decided to use this stamp from the Tim Holtz Cityscapes set, keeping the whole card simple and monochrome so that I could concentrate on learning the technique.

To keep the layers perfectly aligned, I added a tiny dab of Pritt stick to the back of each one while I stamped the image. It was just about starting to dry when I came to peel them apart though, so I would like to find a more suitable temporary adhesive. I don't really want to use a spray that goes everywhere, and the low-tack tape wouldn't work when you are stamping right to the edge, so can anyone recommend a suitable adhesive? I'd really love to find an adhesive that leaves a good repositionable coating, even when dry, rather like the edge of a Post It note. It would be so useful for this technique, as well as for masks and stencils and all those "I'd really like to hold this in place for a few minutes" jobs!

I am sharing this with
A Bit More Time To Craft - Anything Goes
World Wide Design Team Open Challenge - Jan/Feb

Monday, 16 January 2017

Fakeaway Soft Noodles with Beansprouts

Use up lots of ends from the fridge and make a dish more delicious than the local Chinese Takeaway at a fraction of the cost? Yes please!

Our local takeaway charges £4.80 for a small portion of soft noodles with beansprouts. It comes to about a quarter of the amount I've made here, and also doesn't come with the trimmings and garnishes that turn it from a side dish into a main meal on its own. Yet my version uses half a packet of noodles, two eggs and a handful of odds and ends from the fridge - bargain!

I had half a bag of beansprouts in the fridge - something that often happens as a bag is often much more than you need, yet they don't keep well so need to be used up quickly or thrown away. And I HATE throwing good food away. I also had a few spring onions and one shallot, but anything oniony or shallotty will do.

To serve 4, you will need (all quantities are approximate, feel free to just use what you have around)

½ pack dry fine egg noodles
½ bag beansprouts
4 spring onions
1 torpedo shallot
small knob of ginger
2 large eggs
sunflower or peanut oil
1 tsp oyster sauce
1 tbs light soy sauce
1 tbs Chinese cooking wine or dry sherry
few drops of sesame oil
a few leaves of crisp lettuce eg iceberg or romaine, finely shredded
1 red chilli, seeded and shredded
1 tbs crispy fried onion flakes - these can be bought from Chinese food stores and are sometimes in the "salad toppings" area of supermarkets, or you can briskly fry a few dried onion flakes (or just leave them out!)
Lime wedges to garnish

Beat the eggs together. Heat a drizzle of oil in a small frying pan and tip in the eggs to make a small omelette. When cooked, tip it on to a plate and shred into thin strips. Set aside with the lettuce, chilli, onion flakes and lime wedges for finishing the dish.
Cut the spring onions, shallot and ginger into long thin strips.
Cook the noodles as directed on the pack, drain and keep warm. Heat 1 tbs oil in a wok and stir the spring onions, shallot and ginger until softened, then stir in the beansprouts and fry for 1 minute. Add the wine or sherry to the hot pan and keep on stir frying - the evaporating alcohol creates steam that helps the veg to cook very quickly. Fry for another minute until all the veg are tender-crisp. Mix in the soy sauce, oyster sauce and sesame oil, then add the noodles, tossing well to mix. Remove from heat and tip into serving bowl, then scatter the omelette shreds, lettuce, chilli and onion flakes over the top and garnish with lime wedges - a lime wedge squeezed over the noodles while eating is delicious!

You can ring the changes by adding shredded cooked meat, poultry or seafood, or for a vegetarian meal, toasted cashew nuts or fried tofu. So it's a very handy dish for using up odds and ends.

I am sharing this with the No Waste Food Challenge at Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary
No Waste Food Challenge

and with Kitchen Clearout at Madhouse Family Reviews

and also with Meat Free Recipe of the Week at The Flexitarian 

For a Man or Boy at Ooh La La Creations

It's my turn to choose the theme for the latest challenge at Ooh La La Creations. It's my very first time choosing the challenge there, so I hope you will join in, especially as it is one of my favourite themes - For a Man or Boy.

I absolutely had to choose that as my theme, because I'd fallen in love with this wonderful image from the Paula Oakley Collection CD, available here, since not only is my husband a keen gardener, but the bottle of beer on the shelf is Hog's Back beer - and the Hog's back brewery is our local independent brewery! I won't be able to put this card away for his birthday, as he saw me making it, but I'm sure he'll be sending it to one of his gardening friends, possibly with a bottle of the beer to go with it!

The image and papers are from the CD, the stamped elements are made using Sheena Douglass stamps, the twine came from the garden shed and the wooden tag and watering can are from the Dovecraft Curiosity Corner range. I was disappointed when I stamped the words onto the tag and the colour ran, and I wasn't going to use it at first, but then I thought that it actually had the sort of weatherbeaten look of a lot of the things you might find in a potting shed, so the tag stays!

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Butterfly and bling

I recently unearthed this beautiful Stampington butterfly stamp that I bought many years ago and has probably only seen ink two or three times.

Today I used the darker end of a Kaleidacolour "Soft Greens" pad to stamp it twice onto glossy card, then fussy cut one whole image and one just the butterfly. I placed them on a background of a die cut Spellbinders medallion, and added gem borders and gems between the scallops of the medallion.

I am sharing this with
Butterfly Challenge - Jewels and/or Jade
Allsorts - Wings on things
Mod Squad - Bling!
Inkspirational - Flutter

This blooming weather!

It's such a dark, gloomy, wet, miserable day here, and I've tried to introduce a breath of spring with this card in fresh, spring pastels, but having to take the photo in electric light has made all the colours look horribly garish!

The flowers are from Craftwork Cards, they have been hanging round for ages as I thought they looked rather flat and uninteresting, but by curving them with the scissor blades, layering them up and finishing them with Stickles, I've given them a bit mote character. The die cuts have used up lots of my snippets - pink swirly vellum for the butterfly and pink and white for the rest - the dragonfly panel and sentiment are Tattered Lace dies and the stitched oval dies are Gummiapan ones out of a gorgeous goody bag I won from Swedish House Crafts. I used  Hologram Stickles to fill in the wings of the large dragonfly in the die cut panel.

I am sharing this with
Shopping our stash - Stickle me Elmo
Pixie's Snippets Playground - weeks 263/264
Watercooler Wednesday - Colour challenge

Make it Male at CD Sundays

I'm still guesting at CD Sundays, and today our new challenge is Make it Male.

I know a lot of crafters struggle with masculine cards, but I love making them and I had lots of fun putting this one together.

The three papers are all printed from the old Funky Hands CD "Funky Daze", and matted onto black card. I used a fine liner to create faux stitching on the edges of the papers, and a V-tool to distress the card edges. The penny-farthing bicycle is cut with a Marianne die, then heat-embossed by covering with black ink and embossing powder to give a really glossy finish which sadly doesn't show up properly on the photo.

The cog wheels are cut with a Dies R us set, the button is from a bargain bundle I picked up on Amazon and the sentiment is created using a hand held Dymo label maker.

I am sharing this with
Crafty Gals Corner - Use Patterned paper
The Male Room - Anything Goes

Saturday, 14 January 2017

For a new baby boy

At this time of year there seem to be so many "something new" challenges around, and for most of them I've been using new stash, but I thought for the current challenge at Naughty or Nice I would have a change and make a new baby card. And I'm heading down the naughty route!

When a baby is born, the parents get lots of cards with messages about "your little bundle of joy"
at a time when really the only thing that would bring them joy is a good night's sleep. Don't get me wrong, a new baby is the most wonderful thing in the world, but new parents end up too tired to appreciate them. Maybe that's one of the reasons being a grandparent is such a magical thing! I'm sure any new parent would give a wry smile at this sentiment, a Studio G mini stamp set, and appreciate the thought behind it.

The papers are from a Perfect Prints pad and the embellishments are random bits from my stash.

Added 17 Jan - Oh dear, why did nobody tell me???? As I was popping this into an envelope to post just now, I spotted that the white-with-blue-pattern paper I used for the background is lying SIDEWAYS. I'd thought it was a random all over pattern but it's actually a regular one with directions and everything. Oh well, since you lot are experienced crafters and either didn't notice the booboo or were too polite to tell me, I will just have to hope that the recipients are the same way inclined. And I'll also have to hope that Darnell repeats last year's April 1st booboo linky since I have my entry all ready to link up.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

As white as snow

Here in the south of the UK we've not had any snow yet this winter, although some may be heading our way this weekend. But of course we still associate snow with winter and Christmas, and today's Christmas card is a snow scene.

The die I used for the row of houses is called Colchester Houses (no, I don't know why - my daughter used to live in Colchester and her house didn't look like that!) and the snowflake die was a magazine freebie a few years ago. The large triangle is embossed with the Cuttlebug Swiss Dots folder.

I am sharing this with
Christmas Card Throwdown - January Sketch

Cuttlebugmania - Winter Wonderland
House of Cards - Add a building and/or colour challenge
Time Out - Winter/White on White

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Happy Birthday at Cardz 4 Guyz

It's our third birthday at Cardz 4 Guyz so naturally this week our theme is Happy Birthday.

For my card, I've used a new stamp and punch set that I won from Cardmaking and Papercraft just before Christmas, it is meant to be a Christmas set, and the punch and stamp combo will make all kinds of festive characters as well as this little teddy bear, but I thought the bear would be perfect for a child's birthday card. The sentiment is from Dies R Us . I didn't have much of the blue background card, so I cut the sentiment from the middle of it before assembling the card. I don't normally cut away the insides of the card I use for layering (I know there's a name for the technique but it escapes me right now) as I worry that it might make the card too squishable, but removing a small piece like this still leaves plenty to support everything. 

 I am sharing this with
Glitter and Sparkle - Anything Goes
Sparkles Monthly Challenge - Happy Birthday