Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Blue is the Colour at Cardz 4 Guyz

Welcome to this year's last challenge at Cardz 4 Guyz.  This time our theme is "Blue is the colour"

I've used a Tim Holtz "cityscapes" stamp of the London Skyline. I stamped it in Versafine ink onto watercolour paper, then used a watercolour pencil and a water brush to add some colour to the buildings here and there. The papers and postage stamp are from Graphic 45 and I've added a stamped sentiment and some candi - and I've just noticed one of the candi dots has slipped out of position so now I'm off to repair it!

I'm sharing this with

Allsorts Challenge - Anything goes

Just Us Girls - Anything Goes

Sunday, 29 December 2019

Butterflies and tags

Hello again - I've not been crafting or blogging for a while because we've had family to stay over Christmas, but things are beginning to get back to normal again and it's a refreshing change to make something that isn't Christmassy!

The papers I've used for this are snippets from the Dovecraft "Couture du Jour" 6" pad. I used a fancy punch on the horizontal piece - I seldom think of combining dies or punches with patterned paper but the effects can be lovely. Must make a note to try it more often in 2020. 

The butterflies and tags are odds and ends left over from old kits, and the gems were the very last ones on a sheet. Along with a tiny scrap of ribbon, this really is a "using up odds and ends" card but I think the colours and the vintage roses pull it all together. 

Friday, 20 December 2019

What a coincidence

Yesterday Mark and I exchanged Christmas cards. Here is the card I made for him:

He laughed when he saw it - then I opened the card he had bought for me and it was almost identical, only blue where mine is red and with buildings instead of deer! On close inspection we think they've even used the same clip art for Santa and his sleigh on the card he bought as the artist who designed the rubberstamp I used did - the silhouette is identical in every detail.

Well, they do say that great minds think alike!

For my card, I blended distress inks over a square of card, keeping it white in the middle and dark at the edges, then dripped water from a fine waterbrush here and there to make those almost bokeh-like circles, blotting away the excess water. Then I built up the scene using an assortment of stamps, positioneing them well away from the centre so as not to distract from the sentiment.

I used white Brilliance ink to stamp snowflakes and added a touch of Stickles to the snowy ground.

I am sharing this with

Christmas Kickstart - last minute madness  

Stamping Sensations - Anything Goes  

Saturday, 14 December 2019

Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers #150 - X is for X-rated Christmas

What would December be without a naughty challenge over at the Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers?

This year out theme is X-rated Christmas (if you are easily offended, why are you still here?)

Of course, the X-rated bit is the fact that he's smoking a pipe - nasty, dangerous habit that! Anything else you read into it is entirely in your own mind (and mine).

The image is from  the now-defunct KennyK  designs, coloured with Promarkers,  and I produced the sentiment on the computer.  The background is meant to look like a leg in fishnet stockings, but the card that looked a perfect flesh pink on a dark, gloomy afternoon looks a much harsher pink in proper light. As if the wearer, perhaps, has has a few more proseccos than is strictly advisable. I embossed the card using a smocking effect folder with black ink dabbed over the raised surfaces.

Sunday, 8 December 2019

Christmas Prize Challenge at CD Sunday Plus

In a change from our usual Anything Goes challenges, our latest challenge at CD Sunday Plus  is a special Christmas prize challenge with the theme Christmas.

I've used papers and a sentiment from the Katy Sue designs CD "The Christmas Spirit"  and added this fun Snowman digi from Bugaboo which I've coloured to go with the papers, using Promarkers. The finishing touch is a strip of self adhesive felt snowflake trim which was a gift from a non crafting friend.

Thursday, 5 December 2019

Happy Birthday Claire

Today it's the birthday of my friend Claire, and I'm sharing the card I made for her.

I've used a pretty agapanthus background paper which was part of a joining gift I received from a craft club about 20 years ago - I just knew it would come in handy one day! The silhouette lady is stamped using a stamp from So Suzy, and I've added some die cuts and gems and a Tim Holtz sentiment sticker,  layered onto a snippet from some magazine freebie papers.

I am sharing this with

Crafty Hazelnut's Patterned Paper challenge - December 

Stamping Sensations - Anything goes 

Watercooler Wednesday - Feminine anything goes

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Christmas Critters at Cardz 4 Guyz

It's time for our new challenge at Cardz 4 Guyz and this will be our last before Christmas to give the team a festive break. As you may well still have some cards to make, we'd like to see Christmas Critters on your cards this time.

I've used the Woodware "Tweet Birds" stamp set, an old favourite of mine which I  won in the Snippets Playground 4 or 5 years ago. I used a deckle edged ruler to draw the ground and stamped them across the card, coloured them with Promarkers and topped each one with a Santa hat brad.

I am sharing this with

Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - Anything goes/Things with wings

2 Crafty Critter Crazies - December challenge

Just Us Girls - Anything Goes 

Monday, 2 December 2019

Sparkling fairy

One of my granddaughters will be 6 years sold next week, and like most 6 year olds is all about fairies and sparkle at the moment, so here is the card I have made for her.

I've used a large stencil to make the card and coloured it in with glitter embossing pastes - I applied them very thickly, partly to make sure as little as possible of the background showed through and partly to give the fairy real depth and texture, especially for her hair.

And there's even a butterfly there to keep Mrs A happy, because I'm sharing this with the Butterfly Challenge where there's the annual month long fairies, elves etc challenge.

Sunday, 1 December 2019

Winter Wonderland at Sparkles Christmas

It's time for our December challenge at Sparkles Christmas and this time our theme is Winter Wonderland.

I've used some ice blue card and stamped a winter mountain scene that came in a recent magazine, adding extra trees each side to fill the card, then heat embossed it. I added Stickles to look like sparkling snow and ran a black peel off border around the edge.

Here's a better view of all that sparkle!

I am sharing this with

Fab & Funky - Christmas 

Little Red Wagon - Snow Much Fun 

Saturday, 30 November 2019

Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers #149 - Y is for Yummy

If you are anything like me, your thoughts are probably already turning to all the yummy goodies you are planning to enjoy over whatever festive season you celebrate at this time of year -  right now I'm thinking of mince pies and Christmas pudding but just look at all that yumminess Edna's daydreaming about!

So it seems highly appropriate that the Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers have a Y is for Yummy challenge starting right now.

Mmmmm.... luscious strawberries and a cream and jam layered sponge. All the stamps came from a cover mount with Creative Stamping a few months ago and I coloured everything with Promarkers, adding touches of white gel pen to give the icing the appearance of glossiness.

I am sharing this with

Inkspirational - Naughty 
Crafty Cardmakers - No Patterned Paper 
Passion for Promarkers - 3 or more layers

Monday, 25 November 2019

Only a month to go....

... and that mans it's Rudolph Day again.

My Christmas card making is winding down for the year now, although I still have a handful to share, but I can't resist Rudolph Day!

I've used the cover image over at Jingle Belles as my inspiration for the card, copying the layout but using brown and neutral shades and adding natural textures of wood and lace. I die cut reindeer and a pre-made pearly swirl (which was an absolute barsteward to get off the backing without tangling up on itself, I ended up cutting it into segments) complete the layout.

I an sharing this with

Rudolph Day at Scrappymo's

Cardz 4 Galz - Get ready for Christmas 

Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - atg/something beginning with R  

Jingle Belles - Header Inspired 

Sunday, 24 November 2019

Pot Black!

I do enjoy watching the occasional game of snooker - I even used to play a little during my mis-spent youth - so I thought for my latest Snippets make I would attempt to recreate a snooker table.

I cut a rectangle of green card then die cut a dark brown frame to use as the edge of the table. I decided not to add pockets as they would weaken the frame too much. I used a white gel pen to draw in the baulk line and the D.

Then I used the large hole on my Cropadile  to punch coloured circles from teeny tiny snippets of the appropriate colours for the balls, stuck them in place (ooops, there wasn't room for the full 15 reds so I've had to make do with 10) then used crystal clear liquid pearls from Dovecraft to give each one a ball shape. I was a little impatient here - the reds would have been better if I had allowed each one to dry before doing the one next to it, but that stuff  takes FOREVER to dry and I'd have been still doing then one by one into the middle of next week!

A sliver of brown forms the cue and I've used a Dymo label maker to create a punny sentiment.

I am sharing this with

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge 366 

The Male Room - Hobbies 

CAS on Friday - use a frame 

Allsorts - Thank you (or new year)

Anything Goes at CD Sunday Plus

We have another Anything Goes challenge at CD Sunday Plus today.

I've gone very vintage with papers and a topper from Joanna Sheen's Victorian Birthdays CD, made into a very retro style card with lots of gold peel-offs.

Thursday, 21 November 2019

Over the lily pond

A few weeks ago I shared cards made with large Autumn leaves and Butterfly stamps  that I've had for at least 20 years, and today I've used the third and final stamp from the set.

I coloured the image with Promarkers, adding Stickles to the bodies and wings and Glossy Accents to the "eyes" (actually I think they're the dragonfly equivalent of antennae). I finished off with a stencilled border and a stamped sentiment, and a few gems for even more sparkle.

I am sharing this with

Sweet Stampin - all things bright and beautiful 

Little Red Wagon - You say it's your birthday 

Passion For Promarkers - Sparkle & Shine 

And now I'm going to go and continue my rescue attempt on a card that has gone very, very wrong. You may or may not ever see it depending on how the rescue goes.

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Icy Cold at Cardz 4 Guyz

Today;s new theme at Cardz 4 Guyz is Icy Cold.

I've used a decoupage image printed from the Grumps section of the CD "The Best of la Pashe 2014" and extended the brick wall to fill the card by running pale grey card through a brick effect embossing folder and then sponging red ink over the surface.

Sunday, 17 November 2019

CASE-ing myself

I have a screensaver that shows me a series of random photos from my entire collection and  yesterday it showed me one I made about 5 years ago which inspired me to recreate it in a slightly different way. Annoyingly once it had flashed off the screen I couldn't locate it among my zillions of photos so I can't show it to you for comparison.

Mark says this reminds him of the San Ignacio Lagoon in Mexico where we went on a whale watching trip about 25 years ago. But the birds flying past then would have been pelicans, rather than geese, and they fly in a line rather than a V.

I made the landscape by tearing card and paper - for the water, I chose paper that was blue on one side only, and used a tearing ruler to get a straight-but-rough line to look like breaking waves.

I placed the torn strips on the card to gauge the position of  the rising sun then removed  them and sponged in yellow and orange inks to give a sunrise. Then I stuck the torn strips in place and added a stamped sentiment.

I am sharing this with

Addicted to CAS - Birthday

Alphabet Challenge - Quick and Easy 

Less is More - That's Torn It 

Saturday, 16 November 2019

Lots of butterflies

I've been playing with some printed die cut elements and tags,  along with papers from Dovecraft's Folkland range

I managed to find some very old white peel off sentiments in the depths of my craft stash for a finishing touch.

I am sharing this with the Butterfly Challenge where I have chosen the Periwinkle and Patterned Paper elements. 

Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers #149 - Q is for Quip

The latest challenge at the Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers is Q is for Quip. Now if cats could make quips, they probably wouldn't - unless they were the late lamented Grumpy Cat, making grumpy quips.

So here is my favourite grumpy cat stamp - from the Katzelkraft "Les Chats Russes" set, making a suitably grumpy quip.  I stamped the cat and masked him and the edges of the card, then sponged orange and yellow inks over and stamped feathers - all that is left of the poor little bird - randomly over.

The sentiment is computer generated. I think my husband was pretty puzzled when I asked him, "If a cat could type, what font would it use?".  I chose one called Mister Sirloin BTN Rare. Because if a cat was choosing a font, it would be sure to choose one named after something to eat.

I am sharing this with Addicted to Stamps and More - Make Your Mark

Thursday, 14 November 2019

A Single Rose

This fortnight's snippets make is centred around a paper gift bag. The stripey side panels were far too good to throw away, so I chopped them off and added them to my snippets box where they have languished ever since.

I had the card all planned in my head - the spotty kraft background made by stencilling ink onto the card then embossing with gold powder, with a strip of stripey paper towards one side and the flower arranged on the strip. But it just didn't look in real life the way it did in my head, so it has evolved.

The rose is stamped on a snippet of jade card and heat embossed in gold. It's a very, very old stamp, at least 20 years, from the now-defunct Raindrops on Roses. However I arranged it on the background, though, it seemed to "melt" into it, so I gave it  bit of contrast by die cutting a small circle from a scrap of white and layering it onto the waste die cut circle from yesterday's kraft card.

I covered half of my stencilled background with the stripey paper then covered the join with sparkly washi tape then matted the whole thing on a scrap of dark blue card because my snippet of jade green had been too small. Finally I added my rose topper and a (very ancient) peel-off sentiment.

So there's LOTS of old stuff been used on this card, isn't it a good thing I hardly ever throw anything away?

I am sharing this with:

Pixie's Snippets Playground - challenge 365 

Retro Rubber - Anything goes 
RRCB 123

The Flower Challenge - add spots or stripes 

Fab'nFunky - add some sparkle

Sweet Stampin - Make your own background

Wednesday, 13 November 2019


The main stamp I've used for these two cards is a very, very old one that I bought in my early days of stamping so it's well over 20 years old. it was made by PSX and the sate on it is 1993 although I think I got it a couple of years after that. That's the joy of red rubber and wood isn't it?  The stamps may take up a lot of space, and are no use in a platform, but given a little TLC they will last forever.

My first card uses the main image stamped repeatedly down the sides of a fold-back card in dark green, with smaller cones and foliage stamped in between to fill in the border, then the cones lightly coloured with pencils. The topper is made with a combination of word stamps and little sprays of pine in the corners.

I am sharing this card with Little Red Wagon - Don't Be Shy 

For my second card, I stamped and embossed the image in white on a kraft card blank. I die cut a circle the size of the image from another piece of kraft then embossed it using a Swiss dots embossing folder, then continued the dotty theme out to the edge of the card with spotty washi tape. That isn't a bit of ultra clever colour matching, to get the kraft coloured dots on the tape - sneakily, the dots are transparent so the colour shows through from behind. I added a stamped sentiment  and the whole thing looked a bit drab so I had a rummage through my stash and found this pretty green glittery swirl that was sent to me in a RAK many years ago.  I think that little pop of glitz is just what the doctor ordered.

I'm crossing my fingers ever so tightly that kraft counts as a neutral over at Make My Monday so that I can join in the Red, Green and White challenge.

And now, the two cards together, because of course the inspiration behind them came from Twofers where this month the theme is Holiday Greenery  and the twist is that both cards can be for the same occasion.

I am sharing the pair of cards at

Twofer Card Challenge - Holiday greenery 

Watercooler Wednesday - All About Occasions 

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Joy to the world

Hello strangers! Yes, it's really me, not a pre-scheduled me. I'm afraid the mojo has been seriously MIA recently,  so I've missed loads of challenges and got waaaaay behind with DT posts. But the inspiration particles are starting to strike again, albeit gently, so it's time to do some catching up.

For this white-on-white Christmas card, I have used a background embossed using a Darice embossing folder and topped it with the die cut word "JOY" using a die I was generously gifted after being guest designer on the CAS Christmas blog a while ago. The finishing touch is a pair of cut and embossed swirls that I made with a lucky dip pre-loved Spellbinders assortment I bought a while back. Very different elements unified by the white on white theme.

I am sharing this with rather more challenges than I usually would (apologies to DottyJo!) because I am so very behind with things!

Allsorts Challenge - White on white
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - Anything Goes 
Shopping Our Stash - Here Comes Suzy Snowflake 
Christmas Kickstart -  Snow
Cardz 4 Galz - Let it Snow

Sunday, 10 November 2019

Anything Goes at CD Sunday Plus

It's time for our latest Anything Goes challenge at CD Sunday Plus.

Today I have made a swing card using papers, toppers and a template from the lovely CD The Rachel Anne Miller collection.

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

All wrapped up at Cardz 4 Guyz

It's time for our new challenge at Cardz 4 Guyz and this time our theme is "All Wrapped Up".

So that could mean wrapped up nice and cosy, or gift wrapped - it's up to you!

I've stamped a Gruffles image - and the bears are wrapped up in scarves as well as having all the gift wrapped presents on top of the car - double whammy! I coloured the image with Promarkers and a silver gel pen.

I really wanted the border of gift wrapped parcels to show without being obscured by the image, so to do this I first cut the paper to size  then cut right around the border to remove it. I stuck the upper part on the mat and then used temporary adhesive to stick down the border, too, just while I positioned all the elements,  then removed it, stuck everything in place and replaced the temporary adhesive with permanent (I have a tape roller of bright yellow  temporary adhesive that rubs away with a fingertip when you no longer need it) and attached it once everything else was in place.

I am sharing this with

Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge  - Anything goes 

Pearly Sparkles - Christmas 

Passion for Promarkers - Christmas is Coming 

Monday, 4 November 2019

Inky Butterfly

Usually when I make a one layer card, I make a very clean and simple one, but one layer doesn't have to always be CAS as my card today shows.

First of all I stamped and heat embossed the butterfly in the centre of the card. Then I masked it with a second image stamped on scrap paper and used a die cut oval as a second mask over the top of that.

Next I masked off all the edges with tape and then went to work on the remaining space. I inked it with  light and dark olive green ink and then used the lighter ink to stencil diamond patterins in opposite corners. Then I used both inks plus a lighter green to stamp various stamps from The Gentleman Crafter's stamp set randomly over the background. It's fascinating to see how much darker the inks are when stamped or stencilled compared to when they are blended over the background.

After removing all the masks, I coloured in the butterfly and then used one of the markers to colour a wooden word embellishment to match and added that to the card.

I'm sharing with

Butterfly Challenge - One layer  - all 7 elements (although I found matching the colours tricky!)
Country View Challenges - Hand Stamped 
2 Crafty Critter Crazies - anything goes with a creature

Guest Designer at A Place To Start

I am delighted to have been invited to be a guest designer at A Place To Start  this month.

This month's challenge is a colour challenge - Caffeinated Colours - and here is an inspiration photo to show you what those colours are.

You can also use neutrals and/or add a splash of another colour if you would like to.

The colours made me think of an old  hand-tinted sepia photograph, and I have some toppers based on those so I chose one to use as a starting point for my card.

I've added lots of die cuts, embossing, flowers and pearls and even a few snips with fancy-edged scissors.

Sunday, 3 November 2019

Pirate Treasure

I do love these little pirate stamps from Clearly Besotted - perfect for children's cards, especially as they include both boy and girl pirates. This time I've used one of the boys.

I stamped the images and masked them, then cut masks to sponge in the sand and water. I used scallop-edged scissors to cut the mask for the water. After removing all the maskes, I stamped the sentiment and coloured the images with pencils.

I am sharing this with:

Inkspirational - One layer card 

CAS on Friday - One layer 

The Male Room - Pirates 

Perfectly CAS - Birthday