Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Blue Birds

My visit to the Make It show reminded me that I still had a couple of polymer bird embellishments left over from the ones I bought there last year, so I've been having a play with them.

I love that little nest with the eggs in it - it doesn't look like a lump of solid plasticcy stuff, does it? |I was delighted to find that I had a sheet of paper that went so well with it, from an old magazine freebie pad.

The die cut birdcage is actually part of a pack of self assembly wedding favours from The Range. Each one folds into a four sided box, the idea being to fill them with treats and put them by the place settings at a wedding, so trimming off the tabs and cutting them into separate panels means each one makes four sweet little bird cage die cuts!

I am sharing this with

Make my Mondays - Birds 
CRAFT - Mother's Day/Female

Tag it! at Cardz 4 Guyz

This week at Cardz 4 Guyz our theme is Tag it! so we would like to see your work feature a tag or tags.

I decided to have the tag on the inside of my card, by making a gatefold card with a twist - you can find detailed instructions at Going Buggy. I added a rather lovely metal embellishment to the front of the card - I think it originally came from The Bead Emporium but it's been sitting in my stash for years waiting for the perfect moment to use it.

All the elements apart from the metal trim and brads came from the K & Company Blue Awning collection - a beautiful set of designs that, although many floral designs are included, is in a strong blue/green/cream colour palette perfect for masculine cards. I bought mine many years ago and apart from about half of the 12 x 12 pad have very little left now - sadly it is discontinued but it's done me sterling service over the years.

I am sharing this with Allsorts Challenge - Metal and/or Charms

Butterfly Blues

A short and to-the-point post from me as we are having work done on the house today and I can't concentrate!

The butterfly die is an old Marianne Creatables one - that and the circles were cut from dark and light slate blue card. The sentiment stamp was free with last month's Making Cards. I've added corrugated card and washi tape from my stash and a few dots of Liquid Pearls.

I am sharing this with
Butterfly Challenge - Glossy Accents and/or Slate Blue
Glitter'n'Sparkle - Anything Goes
Cut it Up - Birthday Cards

Monday, 27 February 2017

Ooh La La Challenge #223 - Embossing

For our new challenge at Ooh La La Creations we would like you to incorporate some embossing into your work.

I've used the beautiful Elegant Nautilus design  from the Shawn Jenkins CD, available here , selecting the pyramage. Part of the design incorporates some script, so I've reflected that by using a script text embossing folder. I swiped the "inny" side (ie the raised side, which will form the inny part after embossing) with blue distress ink before embossing the white card, to leave the letters white - I think this technique is called faux letterpress. The layering is dark grey to match the scroll across the bottom of the image, and aqua gems add to the underwater look.

Paint roller card

This week we are having the downstairs loo revamped, so home decorating is very much on my mind! We're not having purple walls, though.......

For this card, I stamped the paint roller, sentiment and can, then used masking tape to make a space the width of the roller, which I filled with purple watercolour paint. I then used watercolours to paint the roller and can, apart from the roller handle which I coloured with a silver gel pen. Not being all that used to water colours, I didn't realise that even though I'd stayed well within the lines, the paint would bleed - next time I will try heat embossing the stamping to see if that will form an effective barrier. Oh well, I love the fact that crafting is a constant learning curve!

I am sharing this with
Sweet Stampin - One layer
AAA Cards - Watercolour

Sunday, 26 February 2017

A tripto the Make It Show

I mentioned yesterday that I'd been to the Make It show in Farnborough. In fact I went twice! On Friday I had a browse around the stalls, did a little shopping and a make and take, and met up with lots of friends, old and new. But on Saturday I went again and this time took my 7 year old granddaughter.

She's a keen, and competent, crafter and enjoys learning new crafts and techniques, so she had a wonderful time. We visited all the stalls and she was fascinated by how delicate a lot of the designs were this year - delicate seems to be the current crafting buzz word and there were lots of stamps and die cuts with very fine detail to be seen. Lara loved watching all the demos but was even more excited by the chance to join in!

First of all she had a card made specially for her in a demo on the GlitzCraft stand. Although she didn't have any hands on part in it, she was asked to choose the image and all the colours that were used.

(By the way, if she appears to have an odd expression on any of these photos, you just try to smile when you have a mouth full of chocolate muffin!!!)

Next we moved on to the BJ Crafts stand. Jean was feeling rather poorly and not doing make and takes, but she very kindly gave Lara a personalised stencilling lesson using the beautiful Glimmer Pastes from Imagination Crafts. Lara has dome some stencilling with me, but always using ink and a sponge, but thanks to Jean's patient tuition she quickly mastered the palette knife and produced this beautiful work of art.

Next on to the Stampin' Up stand, where Pip made her very welcome. The make and take there was a fashion themed card using stamping and paper piecing, two techniques that Lara is very familiar with, so she soon produced this.

After a break for a cup of tea and the aforesaid chocolate muffin, Lara was ready to spend the pocket money she had brought with her, and managed to get some great bargains. There were plenty products to be had at pocket money prices. We paused at the Usborne Books stall where Lara did some magic painting with one of the helpers, a little girl about Lara's age, and spent some time oohing and aaahing over some of the exquisite embroidery on display. That led us to the bobbin lace stall, where I was quite surprised that Lara was offered a chance to try it. I thought it would be far too complicated for her - well, all those bobbins, it looks too complicated for me! - but Lara picked it up straight away and added several rows to the lace strip that was being made by show visitors.

We stayed until the stalls were all closing and the show was at an end, and even then the only thing that could tear Lara away was the promise of a takeaway curry when she got home! It was a lovely day out and I'm so glad I took her. My grandma gave me my love of crafting and I am so happy that I have obviously done the same for my own first granddaughter.

Greeting the sunrise

This little wooden cockerel is all ready to greet the dawn.....

As you can see, I'm still struggling with white balance! I'm hoping that the longer, lighter days coming soon will help me with that.

The die cut circle of linen finish card is sponged with distress inks and topped with the little wooden rooster, which is from a pack of farmyard themed wooden embellishments. I scored parallel lines on the background card and then placed a very fine gold peel off between each pair of lines, to pick up the gold of the sentiment which is a very old die cut one from my stash.

I am sharing this with:

CAS on Sunday - Critters 
CASology - Score 
Addicted to CAS - Wood
Less is More - Sketch
Little Red Wagon - Down on the Farm   

Punch it Out at CD Sundays

For today's challenge at CD Sundays, we would like to see you use dies and/or punches on your work - not forgetting, of course, to include something from a CD too!

I have used the Debbi Moore CD "Steam Punk II - Steampower" and my beloved docrafts cog die set.

I printed the background out at half size, as on the CD it fills a whole A4 sheet, then added an image and sentiment from one of the design sheets on the CD. I love the way Debbi uses shading on her CDs to give a really metallic-looking finish to many of the frames and embellishments, so of course I cut some of the cogs from metallic card too.

Some of the design sheet and cogs were still unused, so I couldn't resist adding a sheet of  paper from my stash (I've no idea where it came from!) and making a second card.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

February Rudolph Day

It's Rudolph Day again, the 25th of the month where we share our Christmas makes over at Scrappymo's.

This month my festive manatee digi (sorry, I can't remember who made him, and his file name is simply "digi9004" which isn't very helpful. I've tried googling for him too, but the only results with this image led to my own blog, so I'm afraid if you fall in love with him/her you'll need to hope that I send you this card!

I decided this time to make him a she - and a she in a saucy mood, adding some kissy mistletoe paper printed from The Best Of La Pashe 2014, a hot lips brad and a Dylusions sentiment.

I am also sharing this with
Fab'n'Funky - Christmas
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - Upcycling or Anything Goes (just atg this time although I hope to be back with an upcycled card later in the week)

Friday, 24 February 2017

Tyger Tyger Burning Bright....

I mentioned earlier this week that we'd spent a night in Marlow so we could have a meal at the Hand and Flowers. Our hotel was a short walk, through the shops, from the restaurant, and one dress shop had a window display that really caught my eye. Not the clothes themselves, I can't remember a thing about those, but the decoration, which was made up of swathes of tropical leaves in black and gold.

Naturally I had to have a play - I've had this lovely Woodware leaf punch for years, but have only ever punched it in green before. I think it looks very striking in black and gold, doesn't it?

Of course the leaves need a striking image to go with them, and my lovely tiger stamp (an old unmounted stamp, sorry I can't remember the brand) was just right for the job. I've added a background of tiger print paper from a Zeeman pad. It looks textured, doesn't it. but in fact it is plain smooth paper. I have framed the image with a scalloped circle cut and embossed from black colour-core card with a light tan core, using a Marianne Creatables die, sanded after embossing to reveal the core. The button is from a bargain bag I bought on Amazon.

I'm sharing this with It's a Zoo Out There at Cuttlebugmania and Animal Magic at Stamping Sensations

Before I sign off for today, I'd like to quickly mention the Make It Show  which is on in Farnborough today and tomorrow. I've been there today and met up with lots of my crafty friends. I wasn't planning to shop, apart from a few basics (I'm sure I use more brown card than anyone else in Craftdom!) so it gave me time to watch lots of the lovely demonstrations and take part in one of the Make and Takes, an acrylic painting session. I'm not very skilled at painting so it was great to lean some brush techniques. I'm quite pleased with this for a first attempt!

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

A workman's tools

Sorry if this post is a bit brief, I've been away overnight and had the most amazing meal at Tom Kerridge's restaurant "The Hand and Flowers" in Marlow, and my mind is still totally on that and not really on my crafting! I made this card before we set out yesterday but didn't have time to post it then.

First I stamped the distressed diamond background - a very old Linda Luckin stamp and created the alphabet panel with a brass stencil and some Imagination Crafts Starlights Metallic Paint in Topaz. I stamped the paint pot and brushes (sorry, I can't remember the name of the stamp set) and coloured them in with Promarkers, then assembled everything adding a corrugated card panel finished with metallic brads.

I am sharing this with
Less is More - Alphabet 
CAS Mix-up - Stamping and corrugated card + 1 (stencilling)
Watercooler Wednesday - ATG masculine

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Under Water at Cardz 4 Guyz

It's my turn to choose the theme at Cardz 4 Guyz this week and I've chosen Under Water. Think fish, divers, submarines, sunken treasure...... there are all kinds of ideas suitable for masculine cards.

For my own card, I have used the beautiful Katzelkraft seahorse stamp.

The background for the stamped panel is watercoloured in blue, green and yellow, then stamped the Katzelkraft waterwall stamp but with the bubbles going upwards instead of down, in grey over the background and used some bare tree branch stamps (these are very old unmounted stamps from my stash - I think they are discontinued Linda Luckin stamps) along the bottom to look like seaweed. Finally I stamped the seahorse over the top and highlighted him with a thin coat of Stickles, although it doesn't show in the photo.
The backing paper is from an old K & Company pad.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Penguin Shaker

I'm not a huge fan of shaker cards. Which is why this little shaker card making kit, a freebie with a craft magazine, has hung around in my stash for a couple of years. I didn't really fancy making any of them yet they were far too cute to get rid of.

Anyway, today I finally decided that if the kit is going to justify its place in my stash, it had better earn its keep. So here is my penguin shaker card!

I am sharing this with:

CRAFT challenge - Christmas 
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - Something Green 
Jingle Belles - Clear 
Winter Wonderland - Anything Christmas Goes (in tribute to Eileen)


The Routemaster bus is a British Icon. To many people, all over the world, it is known as a London Bus, but  in fact they were popular all over the UK. Many areas had red ones like the London ones - the main ones going through our little town in the North of England when I was a child were red, but other local towns had blue, green and purple ones. The one thing they had in common, well into my teens, were that they were all classic Routemasters.

And here's a tribute to them.

I've used the X-cut Build-a-Scene London dies and this wonderful piece of ribbon from my stash (It originally came from either Crafty Ribbons or The Ribbon Girl, I can't remember which). I got a tiny blob of black ink on the card while stamping the sentiment, so I turned it into a bird and added a few more. They could be seagulls, ravens or pigeons, London has plenty of each!

I am sharing this with
Cuttlebugmania - Roses are Red
The Male Room - Wheels
Just Us Girls - Red/Black/Kraft

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Using Very Old Stuff

I've dug out some real oldies for this card - a K & Company 12 x 12 pad which I bought on a trip to America which must have been in 2005, and the old favourite Stampa Rosa hydrangea stamp which has the date 2002 scribbled on the side.

The image and sentiment are stamped with green Versafine ink and embossed with clear powder  and the hydrangea flower head coloured with a water brush and watercolour pencil. The benefit a stamped hydrangea has over a real one is that you can always be sure that if you want it blue, it isn't going to come out pink! A pinched border and lots and lots of layering with the papers finish the card.

I am sharing this with
Alphabet Challenge - Y for You choose
Rubber dance - Layers
Sweet Stampin - Flowers   

All "decked" out

The current challenge at Cardz 4 Galz is Crdz 4 Teenz and I immediately thought of the Gorjuss range, as they seem to be specifically designed to appeal to teenage girls, being cute and girly and yet in the darker colours that many girls love at that age.

 The image is a die cut decoupage sheet - I'm not a huge fan of die cut decoupage because however carefully you release and trim it, you still end up with paper tags - I can see one in the photo right now, that I'd missed while making it. But a friend gave me a gorgeous Gorjuss gift set last year and it has lots of decoupage sheets in it, so they are gradually being used. There are a few playing cards in the background of the design so I echoed those with a couple of real cards and a scattering of heart shaped stones.

The lower layer of ribbon looks a lot better in real life than it does on the photo - it is wire edged ribbon which I scrunched up tightly then gently flattened, to give a wavy edge. So what looks like sideways wobbles are actually up and down wiggles, if you get my drift. The wide ribbon looked a bit too big on its own so I topped it with some cute black floral ribbon.

Thanks to those ribbons, I am also sharing this with Glitter and Sparkle - Ribbons or lace.

A breath of spring

There are crocuses flowering now, and some of the daffodil buds are starting to show colour. There's a territorial dispute going on in our garden, as both the blue tit family and the sparrows are trying to lay claim to the nesting box - spring is on the way at last!

So I've delved into the snippets box and come up with a handful of patterned papers in fresh spring like pastel colours:

I simply punched lots of circles and arranged them to make a double border, then topped with a sentiment stamped with a very old Hot Off The Press stamp - it must be at least 15 years old!

Naturally with all these snippets I'm going to head straight to the Playground to join in the fun, but I am also going to share this with

Uniko Studio - Happy Birthday 
Allsorts Challenge - Anything Goes
Retro Rubber - They Say It's Your Birthday

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Sisterhood of the Snarky Stampers challenge #78 - X for Xtreme

 Image may contain: 1 person, outdoor and nature

And here we have a bit of Extreme Edna-ing! Our new challenge at the Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers is X is for eXtreme but we don't want you to indulge in a spot of  bungee jumping or white water rafting while you are crafting (although....... why not?). What we want is to see your stamping go off the edge of your card.

Something like this

I've stamped  the dragonfly off the edge of the card on each side,  using Versamark ink, and then brushed it with gold pigment powder.

But where's the snark? I hear you cry - well, look no further than the inside of the card.....

I am sharing this with
Craft Rocket Challenge - Anything Goes
Mod Squad - No White  (well there IS white on the inside - how else would you be able to write who it was to and from?)
The Crafters CafĂ© - No red or pink   
World Wide OPen Design Team - Challenge #19

Thursday, 16 February 2017

In a heart-beet

Well, Valentine's Day is over for another year, but what a lot of love themed challenges there still are floating around! So here is a slightly different take on the theme, made using the Hero Arts "Stamp Your Own Salad" stamp set.

Do ignore that black border, it isn't black at all, it's beetroot red, but as you can see I struggled and struggled and could NOT get the white balance on this photo right! I thought it would be fun to have a heart literally skipping a beet, so I doodled a dashed line between  the first and third beets and popped a sparkly holographic heart sticker onto it.

I am sharing this with

Addicted to Stamps and More - Clean and Simple
CASology - Romance  
Watercooler Wednesday - CAS with sparkle
Sparkles Monthly Challenge - Love  

There's a hole in my paper....

When I first read the title of this fortnight's Butterfly Challenge, I thought it said Paper Piecing and I had an idea all ready to start making - and then I looked at the inspiration samples and realised it was piercing and not piecing! So it was back to the drawing board for me. Right back, as I don't think I've done any paper piercing before, apart from making occasional holes to stitch into. Anyway, here is my entry for the challenge, Paper Piercing and/or the colour Fern

I stamped the butterfly collage onto vellum, using Memento ink (which dries frustratingly slowly on vellum, but gets there in the end) in a colour as close to my idea of fern as I could find,  and coloured it from the back with Promarkers. Then I used a stencil and pokey tool to pierce the border. resting it on a foam mat while piercing. I stuck the vellum to the background card with a dab of strong glue in each corner, covered on the outside with dots of candi.

Cat and mouse game

I'm usually one of the first to play at less is More, but I've been so busy with my ink holder (see my previous post) that everything else has been put on hold for a few days and now all the ideas that I'd pushed to the back of my mind are surging forwards and clamouring for attention!

So, first up, my card for this week's One Layer challenge at Less is More, which is Opposites Attract. For my opposites, I've chosen a cat and mouse (stamps from the Katzelkraft "Las Chats Russes" set) who, instead of sworn enemies, have become so friendly the mouse can happily sit on the curled tail of the sleeping cat.

The cat, meanwhile, is sleeping with one eye open to make sure there are no intruders! I stamped the animals in memento ink, masking off the mouse before stamping the cat, and coloured them in with pencils.

And as I write this I've just noticed something - I've stamped the pawprints the wrong way round!!!!  They lead away from the cat instead of to it. Oh well, he was obviously walking backwards.......

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Playing around with mixed media

If you are one of my regular followers, you might have noticed that for a few days my only posts have been planned DT ones, and that I've not been churning out my usual couple of cards a day. You may have put that down to missing mojo or lack of time, but actually I've been busy working on a much more ambitious project than I usually tackle, using several new-to-me techniques. So hre we have....... drum roll...... the ink storage unit.

In recent months I've had several lovely craft prizes that have made me feel like stepping outside my comfort zone. The first was from Oak House Studios, and as well as lots of lovely stamps the prize included some watercolour inks in bottles, and a flat packed MDF storage unit for them. I've used the inks several times but didn't really know how to tackle the storage unit.

That all changed when I won a recent challenge at Stamping Sensations and the prize was a bundle of mixed media goodies including some teal acrylic paint and a tube of Kroma Crackle. I really HAD to have a play, and the MDF kit was the perfect place to start.

You'll have to be kind to me, I'm a total novice at this kind of thing and I've probably thrown far too many techniques at it - but my word it was fun!

I assembled the kit and then painted with the acrylic paint. When that was dry I applies the Kroma Crackle, thickly in some areas and thinly in others, and left everything to completely dry. Next I used Imagination Crafts gold and aqua glimmer waxes here and there all over, then used Pumpkin and Green Stazon to stamp roses (from the Oak House studio goodies), leaves (Card-io peg stamps) and textured areas (Gentleman Crafter stamps) randomly all over. Finally I used black Stazon and a tiny butterfly to stamp all over and finished the butterflies with a hint of white gel pen.

Before I hit you with a gazillion photos I'll link up to some challenges so if that's what you're looking for you don't need to get RSI in your scrolling hand.....

I am sharing this with

A Bit More Time To Craft - Anything Goes
Crafty Creations Challenges - Anything Goes
More Mixed Media - Anything goes (omitting the optional red)

And finally, here are some views of it from several different angles. You can see why it's kept me so busy all week!

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

No Patterned Paper at Cardz 4 Guyz

Our new challenge has just started at Cardz 4 Guyz, and this week our theme is No Patterned Paper. 

For my card, I've used stamps to add lots of pattern where I might otherwise have used a patterned paper. The main image is a Crafty Individuals stamp called "It's a man's world" which I have stamped twice, cutting individual tags from the second image and mounting them over some sections of the first, attaching with tiny metallic brads. The background card is stamped with a border from an old steampunky stamp set and finished around all the edges with a stamp from the Gentleman Crafter's set. I've added a selection of die cut cogs which I've aged a bit with distress inks.

I am sharing this with Sweet Stampin - Masculine

Monday, 13 February 2017

Challenge #222 Die Cuts at Ooh La la Creations

It's time for our latest challenge at Ooh la la Creations and our theme this time is Die Cuts.

I've used a topper and background from the "Edge of Autumn" section of the Paula Oakley CD, which is available here.

I have framed the image using woodland scene dies cut using a set of X-Cut Build-a-scene dies, but before cutting I stamped the two darker brown pieces with a large leaf design background stamp, using Versamark ink, and dusted them with gold and copper metallic pigment powders. The dies seem to fit the proportions of the image so well they could have been designed to work together!

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Friendship, Love and Romance at CD Sundays

I'm delighted to tell you that following on from having been a guest designer at CD Sundays I have now been invited to join the permanent design team, and our new challenge is Friendship, Love and Romance.

I've used the Joanna Sheen project book and CD Rom set of amazingly detailed images from Josephine Wall. This image represents the story of Eros and Psyche - I'm more used to calling it Cupid and Psyche, so I don't know who is getting their Greeks and Romans mixed up, me or Josephine! But whether you call the gentleman Cupid or Eros, isn't it wonderful the way he is firing red roses instead of arrows from his bow?

This is a very detailed decoupage image - and with a LOT of layers, too, up to eight in places are provided on the design sheets.  In fact last time I used a decoupage from this CD, I felt there were too many layers and it made the card too thick and very "front heavy" so I just selected three of the layers to give a depth I felt comfortable with.

In the Snippets Playground

I'm very excited, because today Di is revealing the first ever guest designer in the Snippets Playground and she's given ME the honour of the role. Today is the "half term" post in the new two-weekly format, when the winners of the previous challenge are announced, and now the guest designer revealed, so I'm delighted to be the first of many. I believe Parsnip is sulking because he wasn't chosen - I'll have to look out in the playground later as I'm sure he'll be trying to play tricks on me.

Here is my card for you:

The dies I used are called Magnificent Christmas (but I left out the Santa hats), by Yvonne Creations.  The owls and branches are cut from snippets, of course, and the border is a scrap left from a sheet of 12 x 12 that has made numerous cards. It had a scallop border all the way round, so I cut a strip with border and background from one side and then added a strip from another edge of the sheet. Instead of backing the owls in another colour or piecing in the breasts and beaks, I coloured them in with fine markers. The sentiment is stamped using the very useful set that comes with the current issue of Making Cards magazine.

I hope to get round and visit lots of your entries - there is still plenty time to join in here and I must warn you that as long as I'm wearing my Visitor's Badge there is to be no running in the corridors! So why not have a rummage round among all your snippets, trimmings and offcuts and see just what you can create from them?

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Chloe Stems again

It seems like an age since I used my beloved Chloe Stems die, but they've had an outing today in honour of Less is More's 6th birthday challenge, where they have provided us with a colour wheel and want to see a card that uses  three adjacent colours.

I chose the yellow, yellow-green and bright green sections and teamed them with a die cut stitched oval and a simple sentiment stamped using one of the very useful stamps in this month's Making Cards magazine.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Another Valentine's Card

I think I'd better get myself a few boyfriends, as I've made several Valentines Day cards this year! Apart from the one I've actually made for Mark, which obviously I'm not sharing yet as he reads this (oops, better delete that bit about the boyfriends....) this will be my last for this year, so I'm sharing it with several challenges.

The heart stamp is a very old magazine freebie - I think it came from Craft Stamper and it must be at least 10 years old. I stamped it three times in red and embossed with clear powder, then added black squiggles between the hearts and cut around the edges of the whole border - not too close as I didn't want to crack the embossing.

The sentiment is another magazine freebie from about 2 years ago, cut and matted using Gummiapan stitched ovals dies. The dies for the flower and leaves are from my stash - judging by the colour of the metal I'm guessing the flower is a Marianne die and the leaves Spellbinders.

I am sharing this with

Mod Squad - Hearts and Flowers
Sweet Stampin - Love is in the air
Retro Rubber- Cross my heart
RRCB 55 

Cardz 4 Galz - Love is in the air
Creative With Stamps - Valentine 

AAA Cards  - Shape your love

Use Your Stuff - Love is in the Air