Monday, 29 April 2019

Big bold butterfly

Isn't this big bold butterfly stamp lovely? I won it in a recent Butterfly Challenge and I think it's perfect for bright, CAS cards.

I coloured the butterfly with Promarkers  and used the same ones to colour a snippet of white card. The sentiment is stamped using a stamp that came in a recent issue of Creative Stamping, and than I used the die that came with the stamps to cut the word "Happy" from the coloured snippet. Next I covered the die cut in Versamark ink and heat embossed it twice with clear powder, to give a lovely shiny dimensional finish.

Out of focus, I know, but it shows the shine and the smooth rounded surface.

I am sharing this with

Alphabet challenge  - C for Clean and Simple 
CAS on Friday - Butterflies 
Make my Monday - Wings  
and another visit to the Butterfly Challenge, this time using the butterfly and the single element, Eminence, from the wheel.

Sunday, 28 April 2019

Not what I set out to make

I'm awfully late for Rudolph Day this month - April just seems to have slipped away and I thought it was still days and days away!

When I set out to make this card, I had in mind a delicate, elegant, subtle winter scene with lots of white and soft blues, with perhaps a hint of kraft for contrast.

But when I started to leaf through the Christmas papers that I've hoarded  collected over the last few years,  it turned into something very different! Once I'd spotted that little red truck, it just cried out to be made into the feature of the card....

Lots of die cutting, lots of layers and a bit of a fight with the ribbon (I only had a little bit and the first bow I made fell apart when the ribbon actually disintegrated in my hands!) and the card had eventually made itself. looking absolutely nothing like what I'd set out to create!

I am sharing this with
Rudolph Day  at Scrappymo's
Cardz for Galz - Ribbon or lace trim 
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge 
52 Christmas Card Throwdown - Printed holiday papers 

CD Sundays challenge #9 - Anything Goes

We're back to Anything Goes for our new challenge at CD Sundays and  today I'm sharing a card made using decoupage, paper and a border from the Crafters companion CD "The Tales of Beatrix Potter".

I think I wouldn't mind ironing so much if I could break off in the middle to do a spot of baking!

Saturday, 27 April 2019

Blackpool trams

This might seem a rather strange card to send a 93 year old lady, but it's the card I've made for my Mum's birthday in a couple of weeks' time.

You see, ever since she was a child she's  been in love with trams. She has quite a collection of tram related memorabilia - books, postcards and models, and she's even done a lovely cross stitch picture of a Blackpool tram. Our childhood visits to Blackpool always involved several tram rides - they were the high spot of the trip for her. So when I saw these fab tram stamps from Picture This, I knew I had to have them!

I've coloured them in colours as close as I could to  the trams that run along the seafront in Blackpool, and used some sea-themed papers printed from various CDs. I really wanted to include something that clearly referenced Blackpool, and eventually I found a topper on a La Pashe CD - most of it showed a couple in Victorian bathing suits but with a bit of very careful trimming I managed to get a glimpse of Blackpool Tower peeping out from behind the trams. I think my Mum will love this!

I am sharing this with Fab'n'Funky - Vehicles 

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Go wild!

I've made this card using a set of stamps that was a magazine freebie about two years ago.

I stamped, coloured and cut out the animals and made them a mini-jungle of assoerted die cut leaves using snippets in three shades of green.

I am sharing this with

Retro Rubber - anything goes 

CAS ology - Africa

Sweet Stampin - recycled elements or anything goes 

Watercooler Wednesday - all about occasions 

A hug of bunnies

The latest challenge at Christmas Kickstart is Christmas Bunnies  so I knew I just HAD to use this bunny-in-earwarmers stamp.

I stamped him once and masked him, then stamped him twice more and masked them, then stamped the snowflakes all around to create a background, also stamping snowflakes randomly over a second piece of card which I then overstamped with the sentiment.
The bunnies had chosen to wear outfits in contrasting colours, so how on earth was I to pick a background for the card? Ah, I know, more snow! And I had the brainwave of adding some snowy washi tape from a brand new roll I hadn't used before, so I hadn't realised it was transparent, so the snowflakes on it really don't show. Bad move. But then, when it comes to bunny carol singing, it's a case of the more snow the merrier....

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Dragonflies and water lily

It's only a couple of years since I got interested in using stencils, and I've built up quite a collection of lightweight plastic ones, so I'd almost forgotten about the brass stencils that I bought many years ago -  intended at the time for dry embossing over a light box.

Anyway, a little tin of brass stencils emerged from a cavern at the base of Mount Stash while I was looking for something else, so I just had to have a play, didn't I?  I chose this pretty dragonfly and water lily stencil and used finger daubers to apply inks through it onto a cream card base. I chose cream to keep the colours muted, but I think now I've resurrected this stencil I might try it again using stronger colours on white - heck, perhaps even a bit of glitter!

I am sharing this with

Less is More - Subtle Colours 

AAA Cards - along the edge

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Santa's Naughty List

My drinking lady silhouette stamp from SoSuzy hasn't had an airing for a while, and she's just perfect for using with snarky quotes!

Perfect Christmas party gossip! I teamed her with a Dylusions sentiment and some luscious lip brads, stick pins and pearl hearts.

I'm sharing this with 52 Christmas Card Throwdown - Snarky

Whatever the weather at Cardz 4 Guyz

Here in the UK, the weather is always a favourite topic of conversation, it changes so often. We've been known to experience weather typical of all four seasons in just one day! So it's no wonder we've picked Whatever the Weather for our latest theme at Cardz 4 Guyz.

I used decoupage and a sentiment printed from the Grumps section of the CD "The Best of La Pashe 2014" and added a rainy day background of black umbrellas randomly stamped on grey card and a die cut bike.

Monday, 22 April 2019

RECIPE: Cobb Salad

We've been treated to some really glorious weather recently and it's made me think about delicious salads to graze on in the garden on a summer's evening. This is a favourite salad of ours - first discovered on a trip to San Francisco when we stopped for a quick "light" lunch that turned out to be a super-hearty meal, and copied at home many times since.

To be honest, apart from the dressing it is really more of a serving suggestion than a recipe.

You will need some salad greens - ideally Cos or Romaine lettuce because that's nice and crispy, along with any or all of the following

Diced cooked chicken
Sliced boiled eggs
diced avocado
streaky bacon, cooked until crispy and crumbled
diced tomato
crumbled blue cheese - Roquefort is my favourite to use (you'll need 30g of it for the dressing) 
chopped watercress
parsley and chives, chopped finely and mixed together

For the dressing: 
30g crumbled Roquefort cheese
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
5 tablespoons olive oil

First make the dressing - work the cheese to a paste in a small bowl then cream in the mustard, Worcestershire sauce and a little salt and pepper. Gradually blend in the vinegar and whisk until well blended. Slowly whisk in the olive oil to form a thin dressing. 

Now fill a wide, shallow dish with torn or shredded lettuce. Arrange your chosen salad ingredients over the top, and serve with the dressing on the side so you can take your time over eating it without the salad going limp. 

Serves as many as you have food for, although if more than 4 are eating you may want to make extra dressing. 

Butterfly Easel Card

I love making easel cards, so I couldn't wait to get started on my card for the current Butterfly Challenge. I had  a Hunkydory topper sheet and matching card, and by coincidence a pad of Hunkydory toppers happened to have some sheets of a matching design which gave me a bit more material to play with.

I made a double easel card with the larger panel angled. I cut two butterflies from two of the separate topper sheets to match the ones already printed on the card, and layered them up with foam pads to add interest to the less heavily decorated side of the base, arranging the upper one to also act as a rest for the smaller easel. At this point I realised that the butterflies actually contained all the colour elements of the wheel, as well as pink, so of course I had to work in an embossing folder and an edge, didn't it? The background for the smaller easel and the rest for the larger one   were the perfect opportunities. So once again I'm claiming a Full House!

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Christmas at Easter

Happy Easter! Here in Hampshire we are basking in the hot sunshine - the perfect day to share a Christmas card, yes?

A very CAS one - the elf is stamped and coloured with Promarkers, cut out and added to the card with a stamped sentiment. It had a slightly unfinished look - adding a line of dots around the image  made it look much more complete.

I am sharing this with

Addicted to Stamps and More - Make your Mark 

CAS Christmas - Elf

Saturday, 20 April 2019

Framed snowman

This little snow-fellow is cheerily waving from the comfort of his frame! The frame is a cardboard slide mount - I think it's the very last one I have left from the first QVC kit I ever bought, so it must be about 22 years old. I covered it in dark blue trellis pattern paper which, like the fir tree backing paper, came from a Poundland pad. I used a stitched square die for the background, going over the lines with a fineliner to produce faux stitching and added a stamped sentiment. Before assembling the card, I used fine silver thread to attach a snowflake charm to the frame.

I am sharing this with
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - Anything goes 
Christmas Kickstart - Frosty and Friends

Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers - Nerd

This fortnight at the Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers our challenge is Nerd. And doesn't Edna look gloriously nerdy?

Now different people find different things nerdy - maybe Harry Potter or Doctor Who, maybe computers, maybe maths. But as a bit of a science nerd myself, I always think of all things scientific as being nerdy. I'm the kind of person who laughs at jokes like "There are 10 kinds of people, those who understand binary and those who don't." So you'll understand why I already had the Kate Hadfield "Science Time" digi stamp set in my collection.

I used the black and white jpgs for this card, using Craft Artist and the atom and molecule images to create a background then superimposing the boy over it. After printing, I coloured it with pencils and added Glossy Accents to the goggles and conical flask.

The sentiment - which I borrowed from a list of nerd pick up lines - is computer generated. I keep changing my mind about whether it sounds cute, creepy or downright sinister!

Why not share your nerdy creations with us and see if you can become Queen or Princess of Snark?

I am sharing this with

The Male Room - Anything goes (optional twist one layer) 

Watercooler Wednesday - Masculine Anything Goes 

Friday, 19 April 2019

Advice needed - choosing a new die cutting machine.

Crafting friends, some input please. My much loved Grand Calibur is heading for the great craft room in the sky - I can't really complain as it's been used about a gazillion times. Or more. Anyway, I need a new one and I'm looking for ideas which to buy as the GC seems pretty hard to find now. I know everybody with a Big Shot loves them, but don't they take up a lot of space when not in use? I'm really pushed for space and the GC fits very nicely into its own spot, I can't really find any more space than that. I've seen a folding version of the Big Shot, has anyone any experience with that? Or is there another brand or model I should be looking at?

I want to be able to cut and emboss. Most of my dies are the normal thin ones but I do have a few of the thicker Cuttlebug dies which i don't want to stop using. Most of my embossing folders are the standard type but i have a couple if the much thicker Spellbinders ones - I wouldn't be heartbroken if I couldn't use those any more.

I don't want to move to a smaller, Cuttlebug sized machine as i want to be able to cut large dies. The plates of the Grand Calibur are roughly A4 sized and that suits me perfectly.

Finally, i don't want an electronic machine - I had one once and really didn't like it. I love my does and embossing folders too much!

Glass painting revisited - a great activity for kids

Last week the grandchildren loved their experiments with shrink plastic, so when they came over this week, and once again it rained so we needed an indoor activity, I took them to The Range and we bought a pack of glass paints and outliner.

Now I used to be very keen on glass painting about 25 years ago, and much of it I did on acetate to make into cards, so although my paints and outliners were long since used up, I still had all the brushes and a large cardboard folder full of design templates to trace, so we had plenty of ideas to work with.

First of all, I showed them how to use the outliner, and got them to choose and trace designs on to sheets of acetate, while I set to to reclaim the acetate packaging so we had more to work with - it would be a pity to throw away packaging that could be used with its contents! We all found the outliner to be rather thick, coarse and hard to handle. I think it may be designed for use on large areas of glass rather than small designs, so now I have the paints and have rekindled my interest, I think I'll buy the finer outliner I'm more used to. 

Once the outline was dry - which took about 2 hours and not the 72 hours stated on the pack - we set to to paint our designs. 6 year old Holly is a very impatient girl  yet she had chosen a relatively complex design and was totally absorbed in it!

Here is our finished work:

Holly with her butterfly design

Lara with her sunshine design

and finally my own, made using the repurposed packaging and then  cut out and mounted on a card using spray adhesive

No, you don't get a photo of me holding mine against a window!

I am sharing this with Jingle Belles where it is their annual Earth Day Recycling challenge

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Green and gold

I love the combo of dark green with gold, especially for Christmas cards, and I think it looks particularly classy used in a CAS way.

The die was a magazine freebie several years ago, and oh boy does it need Stick-it adhesive! Those swirls are so very dainty nothing else will do.  The sentiment is stamped and heat embossed and I've added tiny flat back gold beads.

I am sharing this with

Fab'nFunky - Christmas 
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - Anything Goes 
52 Christmas Card Throwdown - Metallic & 1 colour 

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Use a spray at Back to Basics

It's new challenge day at Back to Basics and this time we would like you to use a spray  of some kind. It could be ink, water, mica, paint or, as I have chosen, bleach.

The background is made simply by spraying the green card with thin, cheap household bleach and then leaving it for several hours to develop.

The topper is stamped and heat embossed onto green card and then a bleach filled water brush used to pick out selected areas. In one or two places the bleach seeped out from the embossing, so once it was dry I went over these areas with a marker. It was the closest match I could find but not 100% the same, so I used the same marker to outline all of the main features of the image, to make it look deliberate!

Monday, 15 April 2019

Spring on the veg plot

As you know, my husband is a keen vegetable gardener so to him spring isn't about daffodils and blossom, it's about seedlings and earthing up and the sight of the year's veg plants peeping through the earth. So that's what my latest spring themed card celebrates.

I stamped the speckly earth in brown then masked it and stamped the onion shoots from the Hero Arts "Stamp Your Own Salad"  set, added a sentiment from the same set and finished with a die cut wheelbarrow.

I am sharing at
The Male Room - Spring 
CAS on Friday - Spring 

Butterfly challenge -full house!

I was planning from the outset to have a go at the Dutch Fold card for the current Butterfly Challenge - a fold I've seen around a fair bit recently yet never used myself. I hadn't quite decided what materials to use, though, and was rummaging through my patterned papers for inspiration when I  found a diamond patterned paper in all three of the challenge colours. So how could I possibly *not* go for the full house with a digital image too? Especially as my snippets box already contained a butterfly digi that I'd been sent and printed out when I was guest designer for a now-defunct challenge some time ago.

I added another paper from the set for the inner panel and the outsides of the two flaps,  and more of the diamond paper inside the flaps. A panel for the sender to write on is added to the inside using the same two dies as I've used for the image and mat. 

I am also sharing this with Make my Monday - Diamonds

Sunday, 14 April 2019

You must be having a giraffe!

(For my readers outside the UK, that's a commonly used phrase here, inspired by Cockney rhyming slang, for "You must be having a laugh" it "You must be joking")

When I was a child and went to the zoo, I never really saw the attraction of giraffes - I think it was because their faces were so very, very far above my head that I couldn't look them in the eye and kid myself that I was interacting with them.  Nowadays many zoos have high-level walkways so that we can see them from their own eye-level and it makes it much easier to feel a connection with them, especially as they often seem to be as curious about us as we are about them.

But there's always one that doesn't feel quite so confident about the humans and hides in the bushes, peering out to see if the coast is clear... this is that giraffe.

I used  a giraffe stamp from Katzelkraft, stamped over the edge of the card, coloured it with pencils then masked it and stamped some leaves around for the part of the bushes behind him.  I stamped more leaves onto spare card and cut them out and arranged them around him to give the impression that he is peeking out from among them, trimming off the ends of the ones that overhung the edge. Finally I added a sentiment from the Tim Holtz Big Talk Snarky sentiments pad. This is the sort of card I would send to a friend who is going through a tough time - we all have "ew, people" days, don't we?

I am sharing this with

Addicted to CAS - Humour 

Just Us Girls - Off the edge


Next up, using the same giraffe, I went for a complete contrast of style  and raided the snippets box for all kinds of textured and textured-looking materials as well as fifty two shades of green.  Here we have a far  more confident giraffe, happy to be the centre of attention and look you right in the eye.

I stamped the giraffe and sentiment onto pale orange card, and fussy cut the giraffe, adding a touch of white gel pen to his eye. I punched lots of green leaves and distressed the edges of the various layers, then assembled it all and added clear liquid pearls to look like raindrops on the leaves. I've not seen clear liquid pearls before - I got them in Poundland of all places. They give a rounder, more dimensional effect than glossy accents - well, exactly like normal liquid pearls only completely clear.

I am sharing this with

Pixie's Snippets Playground - challenge 350  - everything apart from the bamboo paper came from my snippets box
Creative With Stamps - Birthday 


And now for the two cards together:

Which of course I am sharing at Twofers - Zoo animals 

Easter Bunnies

We're not really big on Easter in our family - a small gift for the grandkids is about as far as it goes, so we never send Easter cards and I tend not to make any. But these gorgeous stamps and papers from Craft Consortium are perfect for Easter or for Springtime birthdays, and by making a card with no sentiment I have one ready for either occasion.

I am sharing this with

Sweet Stampin' - Getting ready for Easter/Spring 
Cardz 4 Galz - Pretty papers 
Crafty Calendar - 1 ribbon, 2 or more papers 
Tales from the Craft Room - Easter/Spring 
Country View Challenges - Easter and/or Spring 

April showers bring May flowers

I don't know whether it's the same where you are but we don't seem to have had many April showers yet this year. Our only wet days this month seem to have been the ones the grandchildren came to stay (and oddly enough, the only day this coming week that rain is forecast, we have them coming over for the day!) . So I hope that doesn't mean we are short of flowers in May, because around here the spring flowers in gardens and in the countryside have been magnificent this year.

The flower border on this card is a very old stamp, about 8-10 years old - that was supposed to go on a roller type gadget made by Fiskars to make it possible to stamp a continuous long border. I could never get to grips with the roller, but the stamp was too big for any of my acrylic blocks, so it gathered dust for years until I got my Misti with a nice big surface to hold the stamp.

The umbrella and sentiment stamps are from a couple of Clearly Besotted stamps that are 2 or 3 years old, and I've used a magazine freebie stencil and some Cosmic Shimmer blending ink to add the raindrops.

Because April showers often mean rainbows, I've coloured my card all in the colours of the rainbow - except for Indigo. I've never really come to terms with Indigo, I think it's a myth and was only invented to make the mnemonic "Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain" some legitimacy!

I am sharing this with

Little Red Wagon - April Showers

Stamping Sensations - April Showers Bring May Flowers 

Retro Rubber - Rainbows 

RRCB 108

CD Sundays challenge #8 - Birthday

Over at CD Sundays we are celebrating our 9th birthday, and we are celebrating in style with a very special challenge. Our theme, surprisingly enough, is BIRTHDAYS and we are offering a very special prize, that any crafter would love, so please do come along and join the party! All you need to do is create a birthday card that includes at least 1 element from a CD. It might just be a sentiment or a backing paper, it might be the whole card, or it might be CD elements mixed with other things like stamping, as I have done here.

All the printed elements come from the Hot Off The Press CD "5,400 Tags & Art". It's a very valuable resource, I always spend hours browsing when I go to use it, and what's more it comes bundled with a second CD packed with tea bags folding papers and designs. I don't know whether it is still available but it's well worth looking out for.

I added a background stamped with various stamps from a Leonie Pujol set and The Gentleman Crafter's set, echoing the colours of the printing and trying to recreate the fun of a party - perhaps with a few fireworks!

Saturday, 13 April 2019

Oriental dragonflies

Oh look, it's THAT stamp again! The dragonfly stamp that I thought I wasn't going to use very much... how wrong could I be?

This time I have stamped and embossed it with gold on black card. Using gold ink for the stamping rather than Versamark does mean losing some of the detail, but I had to balance that against wanting to be certain that the embossing showed up well against the black background - and of course there is lots of detail elsewhere in the card.

Everything else I've used here is very VERY old stash - the Chinese writing stamp I used on the red panel is one of my oldest stamps, the background paper is probably over 20 years old, the Chinese coins are from my one and only visit to the QVC outlet store in Birchwood (is it still there?) - I don't recall when it was but my Mum was with me and walking, and she's been confined to a wheelchair for at least ten years. But in terms of age, the real star of the show is the gold thread, Twilley's Goldfingering,  that I've looped through the loops in the coins. I bought this while I was at University, so it was some time between 1973 and 1976.

I am sharing this with

Use Your Stuff - Flora and Fauna 

Allsorts Challenge - Blossoms, Butterflies, Bugs 

Addicted to Stamps and More - Anything Goes