Sunday, 30 September 2018

Those Besties Again

I just can't get enough of this best friends stamp that came with Making Cards magazine a few months ago!

This time I've paper pieced the dresses - a great way yo use up even tiny snippets of patterned paper - added layers made from the remains of the snippets and a background of another snippet of white textured card. The finishing touch is a snarky sticker sentiment from a Tim Holtz Small Talk pad.

I am sharing this with
Pixie's Snippets Playground  week 336
Sweet Stampin' - Spots 
Just us Girls - Stripes

Let it Snow

Still in catching-up mode, so here is a quick card made using some of the papers that came with the latest issue of Papercraft Essentials.

I've added a topper of a snowman, stamped with a Lili of the Valley trio stamp from about 5 years ago, when the stamps came as rubber rather than as digis, and a "silver" snowflake charm.

I am sharing this with
Jingle Belles - Let it Snow
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - something beginning with S - snowman, snow, silver
Retro Rubber where I have flipped the sketch otherwise the snowman would be facing out of the main body of the card.

Huge dragonfly

Right, the post-holiday laundry is done, the suitcases are stowed away in the loft and it's time to get my crafting hat back on. I'm trying to catch up with a few challenges, starting with a couple that close quite soon.

You probably know how much I love dragonflies so you won't be surprised that I treated myself to the dragonfly design of the new A4 stencil sheets from Crafters Companion. The dragonfly itself is far too big to use in full on a CAS card, so I offset it in the top corner of my card and used masking tape to cover up the rest of the stencil, stencilling with Imagination Crafts Sparkle Medium in Bright Copper.

The sentiment is stamped with a Paper Artsy stamp. I had been going to stamp it down towards the right hand corner, but it just seemed to sit naturally in that gap between the wings. However that left the card looking unbalanced, so I added a corner detail using some old matte black corner peel-offs (they must have been in my stash about 20 years!) which help the eye to move smoothly from top left to bottom right of the card.

I am sharing this with
Addicted to Stamps and More - Anything Goes.
CAS on Friday - Copper, black and white

Autumn Days at CD Sundays

It's my turn to choose the challenge at CD Sundays this time, and I've decided on Autumn Days.

I've used images and papers from the Creative Crafting World CD "Through the Year With Seraphina" which is crammed with adorable detailed images.

Aren't those mice sweet? I love the background paper that I've used on the inside, too.

I am sharing this with
Little Red Wagon - Falling leaves
Fab'n'Funky - All Creatures Great and Small
Allsorts Challenge - Autumn Glory
Alphabet Challenge - N for Nature 

Friday, 28 September 2018

It's impossible!

I've read so much about Impossible Cards and always thought they looked, well, impossible! However than I found this tutorial at Beccy's Place  and realised it's one of the easiest card folds ever!

I made a plain white card just to test it out, and even after making it I couldn't believe it was possible - that upright panel appears to have come out of another dimension! I've decorated it with lots of snippets from my stash, including some die cuts that were surplus from other projects. As they were originally cut from snippets, does that make them snippets squared?

I am sharing this with
Pixie's Snippets Playground - challenge 335
Cardz 4 Gals - What's new? (the impossible card fold)
A bit more time to craft - Anything goes
Crafty Creations Challenge - Anything Goes
Sparkles Monthly Challenge - Dies or punches

Right, if you are just here for the card, you can scroll right past the next bit - holiday snap time!

Now a bit more about our trip to Sardinia. It was rather disappointing because half the time the weather was like this:

- although when the sun came out, the same view was pretty spectacular!

There wasn't a lot to do in the town - we're not great beach fans or sun bathers, we're more culture vultures, and being a small, modern, purpose-built tourist resort it wasn't really our kind of place, although we did manage to swim in the sea every day (yes, even when it was raining - after all, we were going to get wet anyway!) and we had some lovely meals.

The town did have one event, a Festival of Love. It turned out to be a row of stalls selling things like candy floss, tattoo removal, artichoke paste and, of course, vacuum cleaners.

Because, you know, nothing says "I love you" like a new vacuum cleaner!
Apparently this weekend there is to be a festival of Fish Soup. I wonder how they will be celebrating that?

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Robin for Rudolph Day

Hi everybody
I'm sorry to be a day late to this month's Christmas party, but I'm just back from a holiday to Sardinia - more about that when I've got myself unpacked and sorted out, but it was, overall, a rather disappointing trip.
I made this card using the lovely stamp set that came in a recent issue of Creative Stamping. I coloured the robin with Promarkers and the fir cones with pencils.

I am sharing this with
Rudolph Days at Scrappymo's
Addicted to CAS - Tweet

52 Christmas Card Throwdown - Colouring 

Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - Patterned paper or anything goes
The Holly & Ivy - anything goes Christmas

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Autumn Leaves at Cardz 4 Guyz

It's time for our latest challenge at Cardz 4 Guyz, and with the nights drawing in here in the UK and the leaves starting to change colour, it's the perfect time for an Autumn Leaves theme.

I have used stamps from the brilliant set that came with issue 60 of Creative Stamping magazine. My card was inspired by one of their sample cards, which also used the emboss-resist technique and a hessian square, but I've made my version much more masculine by using bold colours and hard edges.

The emboss resist is done by stamping leaves all over the base card using Versamark ink, heat-embossing with clear powder and then sponging over with various inks in yellows, oranges and browns, before polishing firmly with a clean dry tissue to remove ink from the embossed areas.

The hessian is adhesive-backed hessian which is great when you want a clean, unfrayed edge as the adhesive backing holds the fibres together. I've topped it with leaves stamped with the same stamps, but skeleton or embossed metal leaves would look great, too, especially on a masculine card.

I am sharing this with
Make my Monday - Autumn Colours
Just Us Girls - photo 

Saturday, 22 September 2018

Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers challenge #119 M is for Monster

Our latest challenge at the Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers is M is for Monster

I've taken the cute route with my card today.

The image I have used is Monster family, a digi from Sasayaki Glitter. Because it was just crying to be coloured in bold, bright colours I dug out a snippet of double sided card and coloured the monsters to match it. I chopped the  background card in half and reversed one half so that both patterns show, and added a sentiment stamped with a Dylusions stamp.

My grandkids thought this card was adorable. They're odd like that.

Now, how about  popping over to see what the other Sistahs have created and share your own monsteriffic creations with us? You may be crowned queen or princess of Snark!

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Inky Backgrounds at Back to Basics

Our newest challenge at Back to Basics gives you lots of scope for creativity - Inky Backgrounds.

For this card I blended various shades of aqua and blue ink over the card, leaving the centre blank then using progressively darker shades as I reached the edge. I also blended some of the lighter inks over an offcut of card. When the main card was ready, I spritzed it with water and blotted it after a couple of minutes although this doesn't really show up in the photo but if you squint really hard you can see it towards the top right.

I stamped the butterflies onto the scrap card and fussy cut them, then when the other card was completely dry I stamped the sentiment in black then various flower and grass stamps using the inks I had used for the background plus light and dark olive green. I finished the butterflies with a touch of olive green too then attached them to the background with 3d glue.

Sunday, 16 September 2018

G is for.... at CD Sundays

It's time for this fortnight's challenge at CD Sundays, and this time our theme is "G is for..." so let your imagination run riot! Goats, golf, goldfish, Germany - there's a whole dictionary-worth (well, a 26th of a dictionary) for you to play with.

For my G-word I have chosen GEARS and have used lots of papers printed from the Magik Graphics CD "Steampunk Beauty" with the addition of die cut gear wheels. Here is the gatefold card I made.

Closed card


left hand flap

right hand flap

Fussy cutting the cog wheels on those borders took AGES - I think I'll look for different ways to use them next time!

Now let's see what the letter G means to you - and remember, you MUST use something from a CD in order to be considered as one of our top picks or prizewinners.

Friday, 14 September 2018

Festive bottle bag

You know how those gift bags people bring you bottles of wine in at Christmas always look too good to throw away, yet whenever you buy wine as a gift for somebody you forget they are there and buy a new gift bag, so the wodge of old bags in the drawer gets thicker, and older, and tireder?

Well I decided it was about time to breathe a new lease of life into one of my old bags - and having done so, I'm more likely to remember to use it, at least that's the theory.

The bag was originally just covered in tiny red stars. I added a strip of felt snowflake braid and topped that with three wine bottles, die cut from scraps, with stamped and die cut labels coloured with pencils and a blending stump. I finished it off with a bow and a snowflake button.

I am sharing this with

Christmas craft all year round - anything but a card 
Shopping our stash - upcycle

Thursday, 13 September 2018

A simple wreath

I am loving the stamps that come with the current issue of Creative Stamping magazine! There are lots of stamps for elements to add to this wreath, making it very versatile, but being just a basic twig wreath means it can be used very simply too.

Here I have simply added a sentiment, a tiny bow and a "poinsettia" flower made by stamping and heat embossing onto vellum and then colouring the reverse.

I am sharing this with
Addicted to Stamps and More - Clean and Simple
The Holly and Ivy - Anything Christmas Goes
CAS Christmas - Wreath

Another Double Easel Card

The double easel card is currently my favourite of all card folds - it is so very much easier than the end result looks!

For this card I've used some Hunkydory card and toppers from a set I won a couple of years ago. It somehow seems instinctive to use silver for the matting with them, but I've chosen a pale lilac (or, for the purposes of the Butterfly challenge, Amethyst) instead, which I think really brings out the colours of the design. I've finished it off with butterflies cut with First Edition Layering Dies.

I am sharing this with
Butterfly Challenge -  spin the wheel with the letter A - Amethyst and Add Layers
Crafty Creations Challenge - Anything Goes

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

More leaves

I've been having another play with the autumn-themed stamp set that came in a recent issue of Creative Stamping. The beautiful leaf stamps are really useful and perfect for the current challenge at Twofers.

and a closer look at each card:

The background is stamped all over with one of the leaf stamps then spritzed with mica powders in water, some copper and some green. It doesn't show on the photo but has given the whole thing a gentle pearlescent sheen.  The sentiment and hedgie are stamps from the same set. I coloured the hedgie in with pencils, using a blending stump on the ground beneath him.

I'm sharing this with Use Your Stuff - Animals

This time I used the same leaf stamp but stamped with green and heat-embossed with Verdigris powder. The background is embossed with a Darice folder and I've added a strip of mesh for texture. The sentiment is from the same stamp set.

I'm sharing these cards with the Twofer Card Challenge which this month is leaves.

Only a rose

This rose stamp is a very, very old stamp I bought from a company called Raindrops on Roses, probably about 25 years ago. I stamped it by colouring it with brush markers and then huffing on it to make sure the ink wasn't too dry.

I fussy cut it then added it to a die cut circle that had been stamped with a text stamp (flower related text, if you can read any of it, about the meanings of various flowers). It looked a bit too CAS so I added some Candi to the corners, which got me thinking. How is it I see people doing amazing things with Candi, building flowers and patterns, even cutting, folding and shaping it, when it takes me five minutes to even prise apart two that have stuck together? I'm just not built for the dainty stuff!

I'm sharing this with

CAS on Friday - Flowers

CAS mix up - ink stamps with markers & stamping & die cutting & fussy cutting

The Flower Challenge - Anything Goes

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Time for tea

Actually it's always time for tea where I'm concerned! So I love this Crafty Individuals stamp of a bird on a stack of vintage china teacups.

And I think it goes perfectly with the Dovecraft Curiosity Corner papers I've used here, with their bird, tea making and doily motifs, like a vintage afternoon tea. I've distressed the edges and piled them up in staggered layers so they look almost as precarious as that stack of teacups. The kettle, cup and tag are fussy cut from other sheets of paper in the set.

I am sharing this with
Inkspirational - Use a doily

Mix it up - anything goes & layering

All at Sea at Cardz 4 Guyz

Today's our new challenge day at Cardz 4 Guyz, and our latest theme is All at Sea. So we'd like to see anything to do with the sea - but don't forget to make it masculine!

My card is made using boat and sea stamps and a boat die from a recent Papercraft Essentials covermount, with canvas ribbon and deckchair-striped paper, plus a border stamped with a very old stamp (All Night Media, possibly? or PSX?) and coloured to look like pretty shells scattered along a seashore.

I am sharing this with
Craft Rocket Challenge - Boys/Men

Scribbled Christmas Tree

Yesterday I read a tip saying that if you tape watercolour paper down to your craft mat all around the edges before wetting it, and leave it to dry like that, it will come out perfectly flat. So I taped some down, got to work with the brushos and then left it overnight to dry.

It did NOT come out flat, not in the slightest. In fact I had to iron it between two sheets of kitchen roll before I could use it. So much for that tip! Anyway, here's what I used it for.

The Christmas tree stamp is an old "hand drawn" style one I've had for years, stamped and embossed in gold. The sentiment is stamped with gold delicate ink, which doesn't need to be embossed and is much better for fine detail.

I am sharing this with
CAS Watercolour - Tree

Just us Girls - hand drawn elements  ( I hope hand drawn by the stamp designer counts! You really don't want to see my hand drawing skills, or lack of them)

Monday, 10 September 2018

Vintage travel

I've had a lot of fun going through old stash and stamps to create this vintage travel themed card.

It starts with a map - actually a page from an old road atlas (north west Sutherland in Scotland if you're interested) slightly distressed at the edges.
Next a selection of train and plane images - the biplanes are cut out of a topper sheet printed from a CD, the top train is a miniature replica postcard and the other two trains are replica cigarette cards.
The top layer is made up of stamping - the two tags are elements from a Crafty Individuals collage tag stamp and the three travel posters are stamped with a wonderful old set from Tanda Stamps - sadly no longer still trading - I wonder if anyone bought the rights to their wonderful designs?

I am sharing this with
Country View Challenges - Planes, Trains and Automobiles
More Mixed Media - Anything goes/Brown

RECIPE: Stuffed Tomatoes

It's ages since I posted a recipe, but here's a seasonal one made with some of the amazing tomatoes Mark has grown this year. It's been a bumper year and we've eaten tomatoes with nearly every meal as well as having lots of sauce in the freezer and a fridge full of home made ketchup.

I used some of his Montserrat tomatoes for this dish.

They are the ones in the tray at the front. They are huge - about the size of a large man's fist - and sort-of hollow, with just a small core of seeds that is easily scooped out (but not discarded - the ones I scooped out are currently simmering in the latest batch of sauce). That makes them ideal for stuffing, although of course you can use almost any decent sized tomato if you carefully scoop out the seeds. Well, maybe not cherry tomatoes. Yes, I have made stuffed cherry tomatoes but it takes rather more patience than I can muster on a regular basis.

I had some left over boiled rice in the fridge and was planning a meal of spicy merguez sausages baked with butternut squash, so I wanted to make a suitable accompaniment. In the store cupboard there were a few pistachios and the tail end of a bag of currants - perfect.  To that I added a small onion, a knob of butter and a pinch of cinnamon.

To fill two very large tomatoes
About a mug full of cold boiled rice
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tbs shelled pistachios, chopped
1 tbs dried currants
pinch of ground cinnamon to taste
a small knob of butter

Fry the onion in the butter until translucent, then add the currants, pistachios and cinnamon and continue to fry slowly for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. This is important as you are using pre-cooked rice and don't want to warm it up until it is time to cook it.

When cold, mix with the rice, taste and season. Slice the tops off the tomatoes, scoop out the insides and stuff with the rice.

Replace the tops and bake in a moderately hot oven (it all depends on what else you are cooking!) until the tomatoes are cooked and the filling piping hot. Remember when reheating rice it must be fully heated through to destroy any lurking nasties.

The tomatoes don't look quite as spectacular when they come out of the oven because the soft sides might collapse, but oh my they taste delicious!

This is my recipe for this month's Kitchen Clearout link up at Madhouse Family Reviews, where you will find lots of ideas for using up those odds and ends in the fridge and cupboards.