Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Dragonfly circle

I made this card after watching several videos showing me ways of extending the usefulness of the Misti, now I've added the Creative Corners to my arsenal.

To make the card, I cut the panel and an identical sized piece of scrap paper.  On the scrap paper, I drew lines between the midpoints of the top and bottom and left and right and then diagonally between opposite corners, making sure they crossed exactly in the centre, then with a contrasting pencil drew lines halfway between each pair of lines, again going through the centre, to divide it into 16 segments. I then placed the paper in the Misti, using the Creative Corners to position it, and placed the dragonfly stamp - a Linda Luckin stamp that is between 10 and 15 years old - in place so that it lay along one of the original horizontal/vertical lines and the wing tips touched one of the contrasting lines at each side, then closed the cover to pick up the stamp.

I then replaced the scrap paper with the card panel and stamped the dragonfly in pale blue ink four times, rotating the card a quarter turn each side, to get my first four dragonflies.

Next I swapped back to the scrap paper and re-positioned the stamp so that the dragonfly sat on one of the original diagonal lines, again with the wing tips touching intermediate lines each side. Then put the card back in place and repeated the stamping and turning, this time with green ink. It's a lot easier to do than to describe!

Finally I used an ornate corner stamp - this is a very old acrylic stamp that I *think* originally came from Tandastamps  -  and again used the scrap paper to position it before stamping the corners. I added a hint of pale blue gel pen to the stamped corners.

The sentiment is a magazine freebie stamp.

I am sharing this with Retro Rubber - Anything Goes


Super Heroes at Cardz 4 Guyz

Our theme for the next two weeks at Cardz 4 Guyz is Super Heroes.

This sweet little chap is a digi called Spider-Man Andy from Pink Gem Designs, coloured with Promarkers. The sentiment is stamped with words from a Studio G mini stamp set. The background is grey card, embossed with a brickwork folder then sponged with red ink, and I've added two die cut cobwebs.

I am sharing this with
Crafty Sentiments - Anything Goes

Monday, 26 March 2018

March Rudolph Day

I'm usually hammering on the door of Scrappymo's on the 25th of the month, waiting for the Rudolph Day doors to open, but I'm running a bit late this week and here's why.

Last week was my older daughter and son in law's 10th wedding anniversary, and they decided to mark the occasion not with a meal out or a holiday, but by running a half marathon to raise money for the Make a Wish foundation which provides "dreams come true" for children with life-limiting conditions. The race was this weekend, so the grandchildren came to stay with us while Mummy and Daddy went into London to run their race, staying overnight the night before to make sure they weren't delayed on the train in the morning, so we had a very busy weekend filled with an Easter Egg Hunt, lots of singing and dancing, and a teddy getting flushed down the loo at 1am. As you do. It didn't leave any time for crafting but it was a lot of fun and Mummy and Daddy came home very proud having achieved their target race times AND their fundraising target of £1,200.

All the singing reminded me of a Christmas song that had been one of their Mummy's favourites when she was a little girl, "When Santa Got Stuck Up The Chimney" - she loved to shout the "ATCHOO!"s at the end - so today I made a card that sums up the song.

I dry embossed the card using a Darice embossing folder. The starry sky is stamped with a Uniko snowflake stamp and heat embossed with silver. What is it with silver embossing powders? The last two I've had didn't actually stick to the ink at all and this new one clumps and goes gloppy. I never have those problems with gold!
Santa himself is a Little Claire stamp from one of their Trio sets, coloured with Promarkers and finished with Stickles. I seem to have captured the sparkle on the photo - I might need to crack open a bottle of champagne tonight!

As well as Rudolph Days I am sharing this with

Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - Inspired by a song
52 Christmas Card Throwdown - Embossing 

It's all there in black and white

This week's challenge at Allsorts is Black and white only (although skintone, silver and gold are allowed).
Now black and white is a perfect reason for a bit of Zentangling, and as the current Alphabet challenge is Z for Zentangle, I decided to combine the two - but in a style very different from a traditional Zentangle one.

The image and sentiment are stamped with the brilliant set of stamps that came with last month's Making Cards magazine, and the paper came with the magazine too. I used zentangle patterns on the dresses and shoes, using a very fine 1mm marker, and coloured the skin with Promarkers.

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers #106 - N is for Need Coffee

Edna's desperate for her caffeine fix over at the Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers just now, that's why our latest challenge is Need Coffee.

I'm much more of a tea drinker, so I don't really have anything coffee related in my stash, apart from a sheet of stickers sent to me by the lovely Darnell, so they have found their way onto this card.

Sadly I have finally run out of the coffee-grounds-infused cardstock I bought aeons ago at the Eden Project so I made a rough imitation of it using Brushos. The other background paper is one that's been lurking in my stash for years and I have No Idea at all where it came from. I've divided the papers diagonally so I could use the sticker borders to create an N for "Need".  The "coffee art" on the bottom left is made by using a coffee art stencil and metallic paint - it doesn't work as well as a craft stencil, after all it's really designed for shaking cocoa powder onto froth with. I don't suppose my craft stencils would perform too well at decorating a cappuccino either.

That poor lady looks rather how  felt by the time this card was finished. I think I'd better go and have a nice cup of tea to recover......

The Astrolabe

This Astrolabe stamp is from the docrafts Chronology range that was released a few years ago. Somewhere I have a CD of matching background papers but today I wanted to make my own background with a "vintage science" feel to it.

I stamped the astrolabe and masked it, then used distress inks to make a blended background. I stamped the lightbulbs and fingerprints then used a wet brush to remove some of the ink inside the light bulb images to make them look transparent.

I'm sharing this with

The Male Room - Space/Science
Watercooler Wednesday - Masculine Anything Goes

Bright butterfly

Many many years ago, when I was fairly new to card making, I bought a pack of butterfly shaped card blanks in assorted colours thinking how useful they would be. When I got them home, I couldn't think of a single thing to do with them - and I had about 24 of the blighters.

Gradually over the years I've chipped away at them, helped a lot in recent years by the grandchildren who have really loved decorating them, until I had just one pink one left, getting rather faded around the edges but still "too good to throw away".

At last I've used it!

First of all I dealt with the fading by dabbing a deeper shade of pink ink around the edge. Then I stamped all over with a Kanban butterfly background stamp and used a bright pink Wink of Stella to highlight the butterflies.

The stamp set includes three individual butterflies which I stamped onto contrasting mint green card and used as embellishments.

I am sharing this with

Crafty Sentiments Designs - Shaped cards

Friday, 23 March 2018

Easter Bunnies (?)

Now I've made this card it's dawned on me that the two "bunnies" in the silhouette aren't playing, they are boxing. And that means they are hares!

However I am claiming artistic license, for the purposes of this card they can jolly well be bunnies and like it!

I blended Distress inks to make the background for the image, which I stamped with a very old magazine freebie stamp, then I used the same inks with the addition of a pink one to stencil the spotty background.

The black bunnies are chipboard ones which I covered with black ink and embossing powder and heated so in real life they have a lovely shiny finish.

I am sharing this with

C.R.A.F.T. challenge - Spring/Easter
Shopping Our Stash - Here Comes Peter Cottontail
The Library Challenge (this is a new challenge to me and as a book lover it's right up my street) - Watership Down - inspired by the silhouette on the cover
Creative With Stamps - Bunny

Victorian postcards

Some time ago I got a set of miniature reproduction postcards from Foil Play. They are gorgeous - replicas of the Christmas postcards that were often sent instead of Christmas cards in Victorian times, and they are actually double sided, so the back shows the writing and postage that was on the original card - it *almost* seems a shame to stick them down, which is why it's taking me so long to use them up.

I've gone a bit mad with them here though and used three of them, all with old fashioned Santa designs. I did giggle a bit to myself though, if you blow the photo right up you will see that two of them are smoking and the one on the left, although gloved on one hand, is using the other to make a rather impolite gesture!

The green background paper is printed from a Joanna Sheen CD, and the sentiment cut from a sheet from the same CD.

I am sharing this with

52 Christmas Card Throwdown - Santa
Fab 'n' Funky - Christmas
Jingle Belles - Spirit of Christmas Past
The Holly and The Ivy - Anything Christmas Goes   

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Going dotty

I made this card with the challenge at Rubber Dance in mind, but now it's made I'm just wondering whether the sentiment alone is really enough stamping for their challenge? Oh well, I'll pop it into their linky and see what they say - I really don't want to destroy the CAS look of it with any more stamping.

The spotty panel is made by sponging purple, black and grey inks through a Uniko background stencil. I only had pigment inks in the colours pf purple and black I wanted, so I chose a black pigment ink too then sprinkled all the sponged spots with clear embossing powder and embossed it - it's given them lovely texture and shine in real life.

I used a very old border punch to edge the purple card then stamped the sentiment using a stamp from a recent magazine freebie set.

I am sharing this with

Addicted to Stamps and More - Clean and Simple
Use Your Stuff - On the Border
Rubber dance (possibly!) - Circles and/or black, grey and purple

And I just want to also share a picture of my latest bake - I'm still loving making sourdough bread after the class I attended a few weeks ago. Today I made a sourdough "hot cross bun" style loaf, with spices and fruits added to the dough.

Beside the seaside

I've gone for a very retro look to this card, using stamps from Rubber Dance's "Take the Plunge" set for the background and another Rubber Dance stamp that was tucked into my package as an extra for the topper.

To make the background I stamped the shells on white card in Versamark ink and embossed them with clear powder, then sponged blue ink all over and buffed the stamped areas. Then I stamped the anchors over the top in black memento ink.

I used the same ink to stamp the topper then lightly coloured it with pencils to give that "hand tinted photo" effect that was so popular in the early 20th century.

I am sharing this with

Cardz 4 Galz - Beach or nautical
Rubber Dance - Forever challenge
Mix It Up - make your own background
Little Red Wagon - Girls or Women    

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Fluttering into spring!

Today in the northern hemisphere it's officially the first day of spring, although there's still snow on the ground here in Hampshire. But despite that I saw my first butterfly of the year a couple of weeks ago so spring is definitely on the way!

For this card I spun the wheel at the Butterfly Challenge and came up with Lemon and Layers. The card I've used is much paler than it appears on the photos - I think combining it with black has really made the colour stand out. Actually the way it looks on the photos is probably a more accurate representation of the colour of real lemons, certainly of the Sicilian beauties I have in the fridge at the moment.

I used my Grand Calibur (had to replace the cutting plate again last week, it's just about the hardest working item in my craft room) for all the cutting and embossing. The lovely spring blossom embossing folder is a Tim Holtz one from Sizzix, the square is a Gummiapan stitched Squares die and the butterfly is cut with the dovecraft Layered Butterfly mini-set.

I am sharing this with

Butterfly Challenge -  Lemon and Layers
Cuttlebugmania - Spring
Sparkles Monthly - Spring is in the air

The bling's the thing

It can be very difficult to incorporate bling into a CAS card, but the sparkly washi tape that I adore makes it an awful lot easier.

All I needed to add was a topper - a die cut circle stamped with a cute bird and sentiment. These are  unlabelled clear stamps that came in a goody bag I won a few years ago, so I'm afraid I don't know the brand.

I am sharing this with
Allsorts Challenge - bring on the bling
Addicted to CAS - Birds  

Monday, 19 March 2018

Stencilled border

For this card I used a border stencil and inks from the lighter end of a Kaleidacolor Fresh Greens pad, then inverted the stencil to match up with the original one and stencilled again to create a wide border. The border is actually exactly 5cm wide, one third of the 15 cm card, although it looks smaller. I think it's because of the optical illusion that makes white space look larger, something we often subconsciously take advantage of when we are making CAS cards.

I've added a second optical illusion by using a fine liner to edge the border, giving it a slightly three dimensional look even though it is all one layer.

Finally I stamped the sentiment over the stencilled background, stamping several times to make it really stand out.

I am sharing this with

Less is More - One layer- Stencils
AAA Cards - Use only one third

Brain freeze

I think it must be the cold weather - I simply can't think of a title for this post. "Brown flowers" doesn't exactly sound appealing, does it - although I think they look rather pretty!

The image is a very VERY old unmounted stamp - I think it came from a grab bag about 20 years ago - which I have used time after time after time. This time I have combined it with a magazine freebie sentiment, stamped both in brown Memento ink  then coloured in with Promarkers in turquoise, khaki and several shades of brown.

The turquoise pearlescent card I've used for layering is edged with a Martha Stewart border punch and finished with a scrap of khaki and brown ribbon from my stash.

I am sharing this with Just us Girls - Turquoise, khaki and brown

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Fun in the snow

Actually I should have called this card "Fun in the snippets box" because everything on it apart from the image and buttons has come from my Christmas Snippets box, and I had a lovely time rummaging through it and reminiscing about past Christmas makes that the papers were originally used for.

The cute teddy in the snow image was stamped using a stamp from a magazine covermount set  many years old. All the papers came from the snippets box, as did the border - this was the only bit left of a sheet so I can't recall what it originally came from  - and the sentiment, which was from a sheet printed out from a very old Polkadoodles CD. I bought that CD before I had learned how to properly incorporate CDs into my crafting, didn't get on with it because I didn't know what I was doing, and gave it away after printing out just one or two sheets of images and sentiments. The large glittery snowflake was cut with a Uniko die using a scrap from my general snippets box.

I coloured the image to go with the papers and then used a nesties die to cut it out to match the shape of the sentiment. While it was still in the die I very lightly sponged pale blue ink around the edges. The final embellishments are a few buttons from my collection.

I am sharing this with

Sweet Stampin - Use Your Paper Scraps
Pixie's Snippets Playground - Snippets
Winter Wonderland - Outdoor Fun
Christmas at Sweet Stampin - Anything Christmas Goes

Rabbit at CD Sundays

It's new challenge day at CD Sundays, and this time our theme is Rabbit.

My card is made with an image, papers and borders all printed from the Crafters Companion "The Tales of Beatrix Potter"  CD and plain blue and olive papers, foam flowers, candi, pearls and a Craftwork Card die cut sentiment.

I am sharing this with

C.R.A.F.T - Animals 
Crafty Creations Challenges - Anything Goes
Watercooler Wednesday - All About Occasions  

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Cute as a Bug

I thought since the whole world seems to be going St Patrick's Day crazy I might as well share something predominantly green!

Hmmmm... on my screen the top left square, of dark green cardstock, looks pretty much black. In real life it's the same colour as the darker green of the caterpillar! My photography, and photo editing, skills leave a lot to be desired.

Anyway,  this cute little fellow, and the sentiment I've used with him, are from Clearly Besotted's "Cute as a Bug" set which I've had for three or four years and don't use often enough. He's looking pretty triumphant about something isn't he? He's probably been munching on Mark's plants, that's why!

I stamped him and masked him then stamped the grass, adding post-it notes either side to make sure the grass didn't run right out to where I wanted to cut. Then I die cut all the layers, stamped the sentiment on the card, and put everything together. I used garden twine to add to the garden feel. To keep the twine from slipping out of place, I wanted to attach it on the inside, but I didn't want sticky tape to show and didn't want to line the card. Luckily I have some Washi tape printed with grasses, so I ran a strip right across the twine, securing it firmly and adding a little garden touch to the inside too.

I am sharing this with

A Bit More Time to Craft - Anything Goes
CASology - Bug
Crafty Gals Corner - Make it Green
Retro Rubber - Tic Tac Toe using the middle line: Twine, Die-cut, Green

Framed peacock

This week I treated myself to a few Distress Oxide inks and when I put them together I thought "Those colours remind me of a peacock's tail" and so of course I had to have a play.

I cut out the peacock with a die that came with a copy of Die Cutting Essentials and coloured it with my new inks. I used papers from the G45 Artisan Style pad cut with a stitched rectangles die to make a background and frame, using 3mm foam pads to raise the outer layer to make a nice deep frame.

A stamped sentiment finishes it off. Peacocks ARE pretty awesome!

I am sharing this with

Dies R  Us - Frame It
Use Your Stuff - Die Cuts
Shopping Our Stash - Put a bird on it   

A flurry of snowflakes

It may be the middle of March but it's snowing outdoors here in Hampshire as I write this, which has put me very much in the mood for making Christmas cards.

For this card I have used a set of unbranded dies I bought from Amazon,  along with an Altenew sentiment stamp. The card base is made by cutting folded white card with a Nestabilities Labels die, making sure part of it overlapped at the top to leave a hinge.

I am sharing this with

Make My Monday - Gold or Silver
Addicted to Stamps and More - Holiday  
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - No Patterned Paper or anything goes
Fab 'n Funky - Anything but square
Love to Craft - Anything Goes

Friday, 16 March 2018

Quick and Easy Christmas

Now you may well be wondering why I feel the need  to make a quick and easy Christmas card in the middle of March - surely there's no rush, is there?

Well, it's been a hectically busy week and I've had practically NO time to craft, and yet the deadline for this week's 52 Christmas Card Throwdown  is approaching  and I really wanted to play along as kraft and red is one of my favourite festive combos.

Recently a friend gave me some crafting supplies - magazine cover gifts that she'd not felt inspired to use - and this lovely embossing folder was among them. To make a very quick card, I embossed it once in kraft and once in red, cut out the red flowers and added them over the kraft ones with 3D glue and then used liquid pearls for the centres.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

RECIPE: Quick and easy Apricot Chutney

I have been sent some of St Dalfour's delicious Thick Apricot Rhapsodie de Fruit to try, and today I am sharing a versatile and easy recipe that I created with it.

This isn't the kind of chutney you can put in a jar and keep for months, it's a "fresh" chutney intended for eating right away, although I should think that, if given chance, it would keep for a few days in the fridge. Not much chance of that in this house though!

It can be served with cheese, cold meats or curries but its real versatility is that, if served hot straight from the pan, it becomes a delicious sticky sweet-sour sauce, delicious with pork chops or sausages, so it's a two-in-one dish.

To serve two as a sauce or four as a chutney, you will need:

1 small onion
15g butter
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons Thick Apricot Rhapsodie de Fruit

Chop the onion finely and fry in the butter over a low to medium heat until very soft but not coloured, about 10 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and apricot and allow to bubble until well mixed and starting to thicken.

Serve immediately if using as a sauce, or pour into a dish and allow to cool completely if using as a chutney.

I was serving this with a very hot curry, so I just made the basic chutney, but you could add some heat and spice by adding any of the following:

Black mustard seeds, added to the butter a few seconds before the onion
Black onion (kalonji) seeds, added to the butter a few seconds before the onion
Chopped red chilli added with the onion
Chopped fresh coriander added after removing from the heat

I would only add one or at most two at a time otherwise the flavours could get too confused!

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Things with tails at Cardz 4 Guyz

It's my turn to choose the theme over at  Cardz 4 Guyz and I'd like to see Things With Tails on your work. So it could be an animal, a bird, a kite, a comet.... anything with a tail but we must be able to see the tail. If you have an animal facing front with no sign of its tail, then how would we know it hadn't lost it in an accident? So show us your tails, please!!!!

My tail comes to you courtesy of the beautiful Uniko stamps toucan.

I used a gold Delicata ink pad because it can be embossed and yet will dry completely when used without embossing, and dark green card. I stamped and embossed the toucan and masked it off, then stamped the sentiment several times to make it bold enough without embossing. Then I filled in the rest of the space with lightly stamped tropical leaves to form a subtle background.

I still wish that toucan had come sitting on a branch, he tends to look as if he's practising standing jumps!

Monday, 12 March 2018

Blossom time

The latest challenge at Twofers, where we are asked to use the same stamp or die for two different occasions, is blossom

I'd been inspired by the amazing card that Kathy made this weekend  to have a go at the Black Ice technique, so I watched the video she has embedded in the post and hot footed it into my craft room to try. I chose an apple blossom stamp which I've had for a few years - I think it was from Uniko but it may have been Clearly Besotted (why don't all clear stamp manufacturers give themselves a bit of credit on the cover sheet?)

Well, I obviously didn't take notes as I went along because I think I did just about everything wrong. I used a matt- finish metallic card rather than a Mirri one, a very open image instead of a detailed one, I forgot to add the lighter inky streaks over the body of the card and then I found my Versamark pad is so old and in-juicy that I had to press down quite firmly with it and got too smooth a coverage. So as a piece of black ice, my result was hopeless. However the shiny grey flower image that resulted looked rather pretty and I thought it would be ideal for a sympathy card, so I fussy cut it and used acetate to make it "float" between the upper and lower sections of a card.

I am sharing this card with
CAS Mix Up - Acetate (stamping, acetate, heat embossing and fussy cutting)

Less is More - Monochrome

Next, a birthday card using the same stamp. This time I used a gold Delicata ink pad - which dries without needing to be embossed or heat dried - on black card and coloured it in with metallic pencils.

It's really hard to get the metallic finish of the pencil to show in a phot so here is a closer look:

I am sharing this with
House of Cards - Use coloured pencils on dark card
Image result for design hues pencils

And finally the two together -  making the pencil on dark card even harder to photograph! Turning it slightly towards the window helped but only a little!

I am sharing these with
Twofers - Blossoms

The Flower Challenge - Anything Goes

And as for the Black Ice - well, it's back to the drawing board for me, with stern instructions to pay more attention to the instructions next time!

Poinsettia Symphony

For this card I have used a background paper that came with an issue of Making Cards magazine, years ago - I love the combination of Poinsetties and musical score but had never been able to think of a way to use it.

However winning the lovely Poinsettia and Pine stamp set from Altenew in the Playground recently changed that! I have very slightly distressed the edges of the paper and added some gold glitter gel to the flower centre.

I stamped the poinsettia twice,  once on the edge of the topper and again on red card, to help me to position the greenery, then  stamped the leaves and pine needles on the topper and used a waterbrush and watercolour crayon to add a very tiny hint of colour to the leaves.  Once the topper was added to the card, I stuck down the red poinsettia over the one I'd stamped on the topper and then added gold to the centre of that one too.

I am sharing this with

C.R.A.F.T. - Christmas 
The Holly and Ivy Challenge - Anything Christmas Goes
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - Santa or Anything Goes
Christmas Cards All Year Round - Flowers 
Jingle Belles - Hark The Herald Angels Sing