Sunday, 31 March 2019

CD Sundays #7 - Anything Goes

Our new Anything Goes challenge at CD Sundays has just started,  so you can make anything for us as long as you use a CD somewhere on it.

I've used the Polyanna Pickering CD "Farmyard Days"  for the paper, topper, sentiments and border.

The flowers are die cut with the upper layer of a First Editions Flower layering die. I've just bought new plates from my Grand Calibur and I think they must be a whisper thinner than my old plates because nothing seems to be cutting as well as it used to. The white flowers cut perfectly but the yellow-gold ones simply didn't cut right through. After cutting the first, I was going to discard it and try adding a shim for the next one, but then I looked at the partially cut one next to the white one and rather liked the effect of a lacy flower and a solid one with the same design. So I decided to try cutting a few more in the yellow-gold card to see if they would all come out the same. They did, and I'm rather pleased with the result.

Saturday, 30 March 2019


I've been mulling over making this card for a few days, but when I saw that this week's Allsorts challenge had been set by none other than Lynne and that she wants us to use some yellow, I just had to get stamping!

I happen to know that Lynne is rather partial to a glass of gin; not only that but the lovely ribbon I have used on the card was actually a gift from her, so this card is very personal to her challenge. I stamped the background using elements from the Hero Arts "Stamp your own salad" set and the sentiment using one of the fab new sentiment stamps from Crafters Companion.

I am sharing this with

Allsorts challenge - Yellow
Sparkles Monthly Challenge - stamped background   
Sweet Stampin - Funny 

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Simple sympathy

I think simplicity and elegance are important in a sympathy card, so clean and simple styles are perfect for them.

For this card I have used a very old Artylicious fern stamp, which I stamped three times at different angles to form a spray. A simple stamped sentiment and a matching purple mat were all that was needed to complete the card.

I am sharing this with

Addicted to stamps and more - CAS 
Less is More - take 3  (fern leaves)

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Let's get messy at Cardz 4 Guyz

This fortnight at Cardz 4 Guyz we'd like you to get messy, and show us an inky (or any other technique that gets you messy!) background on your card.

I've taken ink as my theme, using a beautiful stamp set that came with a recent issue of Creative Stamping magazine.

I smooshed two shades of  blue/aqua distress ink onto an acrylic sheet, spritzed with water and pressed white card into it to create my inky background. Then I stamped the ink bottle, masked it and stamped the quill pen (if you want to catch me  on a technicality, the lid is still on the ink bottle - however it's possible the writer could have made a hole in the top of the bottle for the quill, like we do with our brushos!), blot and postmark. I layered that onto black card then marked on the base card where it was going to go and stamped the pen nibs and sentiment to peek out at the side. I'm rather proud of myself for having managed to create a pretty CAS card using a messy technique!

I am sharing this with

Use Your Stuff - Black and white with a pop of colour 
Sweet Stampin' - Anything goes or Shakespeare   - I don't have any Shakespeare quote stamps but he did write with a quill pen and is often pictured holding one!

Monday, 25 March 2019

Robin on a log

Another outing for my lovely Crafty Individuals robin stamp, this time looking MUCH less CAS than on his first outing!

This time I stamped him in brown on cream card, then dusted the breast with red ink using an ink duster. Well, actually a lovely big blusher brush from Poundland! Then I fussy cut him, and you can imagine the words I used when cutting his legs  and that ~@$%£# twig!

To make the background I sponged several shades of light to medium green ink over a piece of cream card, with the lightest in the centre. Then I used a very dark green over the surface of an embossing folder and ran the background through it so the ink collected in and around the "inny" parts.  The sentiment and die cut ivy got a quick whisk of the blusher brush ink duster as a finishing touch.

Continuing my marathon catch-up quest I am sharing this with

Rudolph Day  at Scrappymo's
Jingle Belles - Rockin' Robin 
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - Anything goes or inspired by a song/carol
Allsorts Challenge - Feathered friends 
52 Christmas Card Throwdown - Embossing folder background 

Fab'nFunky - Christmas 
Addicted to Stamps and More - Holiday 

Sorting out the snippets

Although I've posted a few times using cards I'd made in advance, I've not actually been crafting for a few weeks now because we've had a constant stream of house guests who are inconsiderate enough to expect to be fed, which means me clearing away all my craft stuff from the dining room table, so most of it has been locked away in the garage. I spent yesterday bringing it all in again and restoring it to the it-looks-a-mess-but-I-know-exactly-where-everything-is state that I find best for crafting. (Just an aside here - I thought Mark just viewed my crafting "arrangement" as just chaos, but this morning he spilled some cocktail sticks on the floor and I said "Don't worry, I can use those for applying glue" and he put them in exactly the right place!)

While everything was packed away I took the opportunity to tidy out some of the boxes and drawers I use, in particular the snippets box because I was wasting a lot of "I know it's in here somewhere" time. So, with everything set up again, I was raring to get using some of my newly organised snippets, and I used LOTS of them in this card.

All the stamps are from a magazine freebie set a couple of years old. I stamped the background onto several different coloured snippets with two copies of it on white, then paper pieced the design onto one of the white backgrounds. Before adding the sea piece, I stamped, die cut and coloured the boat and added it so the water slightly overlaps it where it is dipping into that large wave. I added a black die cut circle to frame it all.

Now, as I'm so far behind with things I'm going to need to do some serious combining of challenges, so I am sharing this with

Pixie's Snippets Playground  Challenge 348 
Make My Monday - Going Round in Circles  
CASology - Ocean 

Watercooler Wednesday - Masculine 

Saturday, 23 March 2019

Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers challenge #131 - Unicorn

Today Edna's gone all magical - our theme at the Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers is U is for Unicorn.

I used a Dovecraft die for the unicorns. I really wanted them to be pure white - as far as I am concerned, unicorns are, and always have been, pure white and all this rainbow malarkey comes from the 1980s Rainbow Brite craze. However as a concession to the fashion for associating unicorns with all things rainbow, I really wanted to use them with this background paper. The trouble was, they didn't show up against such a busy pattern.

Mounting them on an acetate panel in the front of the card means the background is still behind them but far enough behind that they show up. It also pays a token tribute to the complete and utter myth that unicorns can fly. Of course they can't, it's Pegasusses that can fly! (Any discussion on the topic of the difference between a real myth and a mythical myth to be written in longhand on A4 paper and sent to Father Christmas, c/oThe North Pole).

Now to the sentiment, which I've adapted from a popular meme. The inspiration for how I created it comes from one of those Share if you remember this" posts that goes around on Facebook,  it has a picture of the "Word Art" logo and says "Share if you remember when this was considered to be exciting" or something like that.

Well, if like me you are old enough to remember when switching over from the black typewriter ribbon to the red one was enough excitement to see you through the week, you can probably recall how exciting it was to discover all the exciting things that Word could do. (I'm going for a world record of excitement in that last sentence). Sometimes even when you didn't want it to... I can't be the only person ever to have written a business letter and accidentally put floral bullet points into it. Borders, backgrounds, fonts, wingdings, clip art and Word Art; it seemed like a whole new world of creativity! And that shadowed rainbow effect in Word Art was my absolute favourite. So I just had to use it here. Rainbows and unicorns and all that.

Think yourselves lucky I stopped at that and didn't also use Comic Sans....

Image result for comic sans unicorns
And on that note, why not head over to the Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers and share your unicorn themed creations - you could be our next Queen or Princess of Snark!

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

A shaker card at Back to Basics

Earlier this week it was Mark's birthday. As you know, he is crazy about growing chillies, and I try to make chilli themed cards for him as often as possible. And since today's new challenge at Back to Basics is a shaker card, I thought why not a chilli themed one? So here is the card I made for him, and for our challenge.

First of all I stamped the chilli onto the topper card and onto a sheet of fun foam. Then I cut out the inside of the stamped image, lined it up over the stamped image on the foam and drew around the outside onto the foam. Then I cut the foam out a few mm inside  the line I'd drawn, and also cut the whole of the image out from the foam.

Next I did the rest of the stamping on the front of the card and used a red marker pen to fill in white bits and raw edges on the chilli, then backed the opening with acetate.

I stuck the foam onto a slightly smaller sheet of red card, then went on the hunt for shakey bits to add. My original plan had been to use chilli seeds, but all Mark's dozens of varieties of chilli seed are precious to him and he would notice them going missing, and there would be no point me buying a pack of seeds as he already has all the generally available ones so the leftover seeds would be wasted. So instead, I used some dried chilli flakes from the spice rack (and it's made me think - all kinds of spices and seeds would make a great shaker card. Wouldn't one filled with cloves smell wonderful?

Back to the card - I tipped my chilli flakes into the shape left when I stuck the foam to the red card, then carefully lined the front over it and stuck it in place before adding the whole thing to a card blank.

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

RECIPE - Pasta with Gorgonzola and Walnuts

This is one of the easiest recipes EVER so I'm going to use a bit of space having a nice ramble about how it came about.

Last year, we went to Sardinia for a late summer holiday. It rained. And rained. And rained. This is the view from our hotel room:

However, one evening the sun came out and we decided to wander into the village to visit the "Festival of Love" we'd seen advertised. It turned out to be a line of stalls selling such romantic items as plant pots, tattoo removal and apricot jam, and that most romantic of all items, the vacuum cleaner.

So, that occupied us for a good five minutes and we decided we would make the most of the unaccustomed sunshine to sit outside a café with a glass of wine. Along with the wine came a very generous helping of nuts, local breads and olives,  and we started to feel so relaxed and content that we ordered a second glass, and this time were brought a very generous selection of local charcuterie and cheeses.  By the time we'd demolished those, the evening diners were starting to arrive and the food they were ordering looked and smelled so good we decided to ask for the menu and make an evening of it.

That's where I spotted this dish and had to try it - local "trofie" pasta with Gorgonzola and Walnuts. When we got home I tried to recreate the dish and came up with this delicious recipe. I don't know whether it is exactly how the original was made, but we love it.

I use trofie pasta from an Italian deli, but any short pasta that would mop up the sauce such as spirals or penne would work beautifully.

To serve 2

150g pasta of your choice
100g Gorgonzola cheese, diced (look for the stronger, piccante, variety, not the milder dolce one)
75 g coarsely chopped walnuts
100ml double cream
1 tsp oil of your choice - I used light olive oil

Cook the pasta until al dente. In a small frying pan, heat the oil over medium to high heat and toss the walnuts in it, stirring constantly for 1-2 minutes until lightly toasted. Reduce the heat to low, add the cheese and cream and stir gently until the cheese is melted and blended with the cream. Serve with the pasta.

Yep, that's all there is to it - and it is delicious!

Dragonfly Get Well

Are you tired of seeing this dragonfly stamp yet? I don't think I will ever tire of it, and I'm still thinking up ways to use it. Today it is used on a Get Well card.

I made a brayered background using greens and blues,  then stamped and heat-embossed the image in black. Some layering, gems and a stamped sentiment to finish.

I am sharing this with

Allsorts Challenge - favourite stamp/image or die. My favourite stamp changes frequently but this is most definitely the current favourite!

Sweet Stampin - St Patrick's Day or use Green or anything goes 

Sunday, 17 March 2019

#6 Anything Goes at CD Sundays

Yes, we've now had SIX anything goes challenges in a row at CD Sundays - I hope you are enjoying the extra flexibility as much as the team are!  Of course, there's one thing we are totally Inflexible about, and that is our rule that a CD must be used somewhere on your work.

This time the CD that I have used is Joanna Sheen's "Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady". I don't think it is available now, but I believe Crafter's Companion produce one based on the same original artwork.

I made the base card from two square card blanks, sticking the right hand panel of one over the left hand panel of the other, to give a three-panelled card, then cutting off the tops of the end flaps diagonally from corner to corner. I added a pocket to the central panel and tucked in a tag made from one of the larger images on the sheet. This could be removed  in order to write a message on the back.

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Kiss me quick!

I do love this goofy reindeer stamp - even if I did think at first that it was a cat! That little angel on his head really cracks me up.

I've made a one layer card, colouring the reindeer with pencils and adding a sprig of mistletoe and a snarky sentiment. I made a matching envelope too.

I've made this for
Christmas Kickstart - Moves with Hooves 
and with apologies to DottyJo, as I'm really busy at the moment and have to pack all my craft supplies away today *sob* to make room for lots of house guests over the comping couple of weeks, I'm also linking up to several other challenges:
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - Anything Goes
Christmas Crafts All Year Round - Under the Mistletoe
A Place to Start - single layer card with matching envelope
CAS Christmas - Deer

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

I won the battle of the baby wipes!

You may remember the saga of my attempt to use the "ghosting" technique using baby wipes - if not you can see it here.

Anyway, I thought later, perhaps I'd used too complicated a stencil and not enough colour, so I tried again using a simpler stencil and  a really thick layer of watercolour crayon. And even with my earth friendly wipes, it sort of worked.

I suppose if the  result was meant to be really clear and well defined it wouldn't be called ghosting would it?

I've added a flower, stamped using a very old Raindrops on Roses stamp and heat embossed.  I do love the regal effect of a purple and gold combo!

I am sharing this with

CAS on Friday - Embossing, dry or heat
CAS  Stencil - Ghosting

The places you'll go....

Oh the places you'll go!

All my grandchildren (and their Mummies) are Dr Seuss fans - in fact my older daughter had "The places you'll go" as a reading at her wedding! And the sentiment I've used on one of these cards always makes me think of that book.

I've used dies from a Spellbinders balloon set: not ties I use very often as they are so big and bold it's hard to combine them with anything else.

I made this card first - I die cut the balloon twice, once in red and once in white, and used the white one twice as a mask to blend blue ink over the base card, fading away towards the bottom. Then simply stamped a sentiment and added the red balloon.

I am sharing this with  Little Red Wagon - Boys to men 

Now I was left with a white balloon that had had two lots of blue ink sponged over it - AKA a blue balloon. So, thinking of those long distance balloon releases that used to be popular back in the days before we learned about protecting the environment (do you remember them? You added your name and address and there would be a prize for the one that travelled furthest. You dreamed of the tag being returned from somewhere exotic halfway round the world, only to see it get burst by a tree branch before it had reached the end of the street) I added  the "You're going places" sentiment and some fun background papers. I think this would make a great card for a child's first day at school or first overnight school trip.

I am sharing this with
Allsorts Challenge - For a Child
Crafty Calendar Challenge - For a child 

And finally the two cards together

Which of course is the whole reason these cards were made, and I am sharing at Twofers 

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

To Die For at Cardz 4 Guyz

We'd like you to use a die - or more than one - on your masculine makes this time at Cardz 4 Guyz. I've used LOTS of dies...

The London skyline die set is from the docrafts X-cut Build-a-Scene range. It includes those other London icons, the Routemaster bus, the black taxi, the pillar box and the telephone box (which nowadays in the era of mobile phones is more likely to hold a defibrillator than a telephone). I used a white gel pen to draw in the double white "no overtaking! lines in the road, although the opportunity to ever overtake in London is so scarce they are hardly needed!

... and all three birds together.

Just for comparison. I think the blue tit is still my favourite but the robin is probably going to be the most versatile.

Great tit and callicarpa

Here's the final one of my set of three bird cards. Same style, same colouring method, mirror image layout.

This one is a great tit, although I'm wondering if he could be coloured as a goldfinch too - I'll have to have a play about (I've realised yesterday's robin wouldn't be able to pass itself off as a wren - the tail's all wrong). I'm not sure what the branch is meant to be - I've coloured it to match the callicarpa in our garden but that has much straighter twigs.

Monday, 11 March 2019

Mica dragonflies

It's that dragonfly stamp again!  I'm still loving it and still trying out different ways of using it.

This time I have stamped it in Versamark ink and then brushed green mica powder all over the image.  The firm rubbing needed to make the powder stick tends to blur the fine detail of the image,  but I made a feature of that by stamping it again onto acetate using Stazon ink and then cutting out just the dragonflies and attaching them over the green ones. 

I am sharing this with The Male Room -  Gorgeous Greens 

Lone robin

Here is the second of the cards I made with the beautiful new bird stamps. 

I've used exactly the same layout as before, colouring with pencils and blending very light pencil for a background.  I've coloured the little fellow as a robin but I think he could equally well work as a wren.

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Bluetit and blossom

I recently won a trio of really beautiful bird stamps from the Crafty Individuals blog. Naturally they provided lots of inspiration in the form of the beautifully arty designs they are well known for,  but I decided for their first airing I should use each one in a very CAS way to get a feel for the beauty of the image. And I used the RSPB Handbook of British Birds to get my colouring as accurate as possible.

Here is the first, a blue tit on a sprig of blossom, coloured with pencils. I pencilled a very faint background around the image and softened it with a blending stump.

I am sharing this with

Make my Monday - something new (a brand new stamp)
Little Red Wagon - Lions and lambs (wild creatures) 
2 Crafty Critter Crazies - Anything Goes with a creature 
AAA Cards - a second entry to the One + Three challenge, hopefully correct this time!
This time I've used one stamped image, pencils, one matted layer and a sentiment but not the friends optional extra twist

Saturday, 9 March 2019

Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers challenge #131 - Ombré

Edna must be feeling shady today as she's decided the new challenge at the Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers should be Ombre.

I've created an ombré background by blending three colours of distress ink,  then stencilled in spots and stars using the same ink. The image is a Paper Artsy stamp  and I picked up a tiny bit of the ink on a paintbrush to tint the stars on it. The sentiment is a Tim Holtz snippet.

Why don't you get shady with us this time? You could become Queen or Princess of Snark and earn one of this year's gorgeous badges!

I'm sharing this with

Sweet Stampin - anything goes (omitting the optional extra!)
Watercooler Wednesday - Feminine anything goes

Tales from the craft room - Lovely Ladies

You're a star

I was really stumped by the latest challenge at Less is More - Horoscopes.  Not being a believer in such things, I don't have any suitable stash apart from some huge and detailed peel-offs of the Chinese Zodiac, totally unsuited to a CAS card. And I had nothing to represent any of the individual signs of the zodiac apart from lion stamps, and with the challenge already a week old, all the lion ideas seem to have been used already.

Then I remembered this constellation paper from an old Stampin' Up pad - again not a very CAS style  but by only using it on a small part of the card it keeps the look clean. I stamped the sentiment star in yellow, then without removing from the platform, inked the tips of the points with orange and stamped again. I thought I'd finished then, but the huge star  combined with the dark paper made the card look too "bottom heavy" so I added a small die cut sparkly star in the opposite corner to help the eye travel across the card.