Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Festive spray

I used to hate making one layer cards - now they are often my cards of choice. They are very unforgiving though - there's nowhere to hide a mistake and this is my second attempt at this card.

All the stamps came from a recent issue of Creative Stamping. First I stamped the poinsettia, then I masked it and used the foliage stamps to stamp the sprays around it, following the positioning of the inner petals. This is where my first attempt went wrong - although the flower has 5-way symmetry, I stamped 4 lots of foliage, one pointing to each corner. With the mask in place it looked fine but once I removed  the mask, the 5 and 4 jarred horribly, making it look very unbalanced. Heigh-ho, I can chop those bits up and use then on  other projects.

Once the stamping was complete, I used a pencil  to add a few strokes of red to the centre of each petal (yes, I know that technically they are bracts, not petals,  but this is a craft blog not a gardening one!) and finished the centre with a few dots of gold Liquid Pearls.

I am sharing this with

Fab'n'Funky - Christmas 

Inkspirational - mask 

Less is More - One layer, Winter Flora 

Poppies for rememberance

I live quite close to the military town of  Aldershot, so Remembrance Day is quite a big thing here, and of course a lot of forces veterans have settled in the area. So poppy themed sympathy cards  are very popular, especially as those who served in the World Wars get older.

This card has the poppy theme and also a background paper of postcards from other countries, to reflect the fact that the serviceman may have served almost anywhere in the world.

The poppy stamp is an umounted stamp that I got in a grab bag when I first started stamping, about 25 years ago. I coloured them in with Promarkers using very delicate strokes because of the fine detail.

The paper, too, is very old. It's a K&Company one - I think it was called Life's Journey - and is probably around 20 years old.  The sentiment is a clear sticker.

I am sharing this with

Make It Monday - Poppies 

Alphabet Challenge - P is for Pumpkins or Poppies 

Passion for Promarkers - Something Old 

Monday, 28 October 2019

Double the Joy!

I've got a bit of a twofer for you today - two very different cards made with the same die.

The first is very CAS. I sponged blending ink onto the base card through a circle stencil then topped it with a die cut medallion. I then die cut the word JOY and added it to a strip of blue card and mounted the whole thing over the background.

I am sharing this with CAS on Friday - Big Sentiment or word 

The second card is still bold but not at all CAS!

I used heavyweight watercolour paper to create a smooshed background, smooshing first with Twisted Citron Distress Oxide, letting it dry and then smooshing with Festive Berries.  Then I used a clear sparkle embossing gel from Nuvo to stencil the mandala quadrant on the top right of the card. I ran a black inkpad around the edge and then added the die cut sentiment with an extra but of bling to pick out the centre of the snowflake.

I am sharing this with

52 Christmas Card Throwdown - Smooshing 

Allsorts - Make your own background, no DPs 

Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - Anything Goes/Make your own background

Cards 4 Galz - Something beginning with S (Sparkle, Stencil, Smooshing)

RECIPE: Cheese and Guinness Scones

I know, I know, it's absolutely AGES since I posted a recipe. It's not that I'm cooking any less, far from it, but that most of it is from other people's recipes or ones of mine that I've already shared.

Anyway, over the weekend I've been doing some pre-Christmas cooking - the cake, the mincemeat and the pudding.  Like many people, I like to put some Guinness in my Christmas pudding. But it only uses about a quarter of a bottle, and neither of us likes drinking Guinness. I usually use up the leftovers in a beef casserole, but I fancied trying something different with it this time. A friend on social media pointed me to this recipe  which looked great but is written very much for an American audience, so I have "translated" it for British readers and adapted it slightly to suit my tastes and what was available in my kitchen.


280g plain flour
1 level tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
½ teaspoon salt
85g cold butter, diced
100g finely grated Cheddar cheese
left over Guinness - about 250ml (tip: it is easier to pour and measure if it is slightly flat, so leftover Guinness is a lot easier to handle than freshly opened stuff)

Pre-heat the oven to 220 C (200 fan), gas mark 7, 425 F

Line a baking sheet with non-stick paper

Sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarb soda and salt. Stir in the cheese then rub in the butter. Gradually blend in enough Guinness to make a very soft dough, just firm enough to handle.

Pat out on a floured surface to about 1.5cm thick and use a plain scone cutter to cut into circles.  I found it made 10 scones.

Place on the baking sheet and bake for 14 minutes until risen and lightly browned. Eat warm or cold, halved and spread with butter.

We found them absolutely delicious. They didn't taste "Guinnessy" at all - more Marmitey than anything, and although they are already packed with cheese they go beautifully with MORE cheese! The Guinness in them makes them incredibly light.

Scones tend to go stale very quickly so make sure you freeze any that you don't eat within 24 hours, or eat stale ones toasted. I rather fancy a toasted one with black cherry jam, or perhaps topped with cream cheese and some sweet chilli jam.

Sunday, 27 October 2019

Anything Goes at CD Sunday Plus

It's time for another of our Anything Goes Challenges - where you can use a CD, a download or an USB - at CD Sunday Plus but this time the team have a little extra twist: earlier this year we were all very kindly sent some CDs to use by the lovely people at Debbi Moore Designs  and today we have all  made our inspiration cards using these CDs.

I've used papers and a topper from the beautiful CD "Sunflower Dreams".

The current challenge is, as usual, Anything Goes, but it would be really lovely if some of you were to use a Debbi Moore product in your work. The website has lots of CDs, USBs and Downloads to choose from and some of the downloads are free - what a great way to try the products if you are new to them!

Saturday, 26 October 2019

One last cat post - for now

I had such crafting plans for today  - until I realised how much else I had lined up to do. And since there are only 24 hours in a day (well, technically if you live in the UK, tomorrow is 25 hours long - don't forget to put your clocks back!) I'm sharing these cards I'd already made but not shared instead. I gave the grandchildren a kit of papers and die cut decoupage to play with, and these are the cards I made to inspire them with ways to use the goodies. 

So this is my final entry to this year's Cat Lovers Hop at Her Peaceful Garden - it's been a lot of fun! I'm sorry I've not had time to comment on every entry but I've loved scrolling through the gallery   and visiting as many of you as possible. And the hop may be over but thanks to all the inspiration I'll be back with more cat cards soon. 

Friday, 25 October 2019

Christmas Cat for Rudolph Day

It's day 5 of the Cat Lovers Hop and it's also Rudolph Day (I hate to rub it in but that means it's only two months to Christmas) so I decided that today's cat card just HAD to be a Christmas one.

I seem to have two recurring designs for cat Christmas cards and I wanted to get out of that rut, and remembered that tucked away somewhere I had a booklet of  Christmassy cat decoupage  papers and designs. Everything is pre-designed, so it's definitely craft rather than art - but that's perfect for a busy day when the imagination seems to have gone AWOL.

I chose this design partly because it reminds me of my beautiful late cat, Charlie, and partly because the decoupage is very easy and it's a very long time since I did any really detailed decoupage. I might do one of the more complex ones before I put the booklet away again, just to remind myself how satisfying it can be.

I'm making another trip to Her Peaceful Garden to play in the Cat Lovers Hop again

And also sharing with

Rudolph Days at Scrappymo's

Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - use a flower or anything goes

Watercooler Wednesdays - All about Occasions 

Jingle Belles - Rudolph and friends 

Thursday, 24 October 2019

So sweet

Here my day 4 post for the Cat Lovers Hop. 

I've used another of my very, very old grab bag stamps - this one must be about 25 years old.

 I stamped  the kitty in Memento ink then filled in the fluttering heart with a Versamark pen and  heat embossed with gold powder. Then I framed it with a pre-cut frame from the Dovecraft Folkland collection and finished the corner with hearts cut using a Gummiapan die.

The background paper is also from the Folkland collection. The sentiment is cut using a Sizzix sentiment die. I pressed the words into the surface of a Versamark pad and heat embossed them with clear powder.  I thought it would be a good idea to align the word "So" with the bottom of the frame and "Sweet" at a jaunty angle. It wasn't until the glue was dry and the words firmly stuck in place that I decided  they would have looked much better BOTH at a jaunty angle.

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

And s-t-r-e-t-c-h

While hopping around at the Cat Lovers Blog Hop I've seen several cards made with these lovely stamps that came with Making Cards magazine last year.

Just look at those  contented faces on the stretching kitties! I've kept today's card very CAS, using just the cat stamps, some of the sentiments and  a generic paw print stamp that lurks in my stash. Everything is stamped in Memento Rich Cocoa and I coloured the cats with Promarkers.

I am sharing this with

The Catlovers Blog Hop at Her Peaceful Garden

Addicted to Stamps and More - CAS 

Passion for Promarkers - CAS 

Wizarding ways

Earlier this year I faced quite  a challenge when I decided to make a Harry Potter themed birthday card for my oldest granddaughter. I couldn't find any suitable stamps, but eventually after lots of searching, sourced and bought a set of background paper downloads. Of course i printed more than i needed, but I'm glad I held on to the surplus because one of them came in handy for the background for this card.

For the topper, I cut a square of flesh pink card. die cut the spectacles and hand cut some hair and a lightning flash. I finished with a border of paper coloured red and yellow with markers, to symbolise a scarf.

I am sharing this with The Library Challenge, where the current challenge book is Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone 

Tuesday, 22 October 2019


... sleeping in the sun, never going to get your day's work done....

For today's cat card I've used a rather sweet cat stamp which is a very old unmounted stamp that came in a grab bag when I first started stamping  many years ago. I stamped the image and masked it, then stamped the seaside scene from a recent Creative Stamping covermount. I coloured the background with watercolours and the main image with pencils, then added a Tim Holtz sentiment sticker. Of course if you are a cat, that's the forecast for EVERY day.

Naturally I am sharing this with the Cat Lovers Hop at Her Peaceful Garden

I am also sharing at Inkspirational where the word prompt is Mask 

Food and/or Drink at Cardz 4 Guyz

Our new challenge at Cardz 4 Guyz is food and/or drink - and what guy doesn't love pizza, or think of himself as a pizza chef if he makes his own, trying to toss and spin the dough like a pro?

This pizza chef is a digi from The Paper Shelter. I printed the uncoloured chef and coloured him with Promarkers, then layered him onto the background from the same digi set and added a sentiment, buttons and that Italy scene which is actually a scrap of printed ribbon.

Monday, 21 October 2019

Kitty Get Well Card

I have been promising myself for several years that I will join in the Cat Lovers Blog Hop over at Her Peaceful Garden,  and this year I have bitten the bullet. About time too - after all, I probably have even more cat stamps than dragonflies (if that's possible). I'm hoping to make several cards for the hop, but that might just be a pipe dream as I've been away a lot recently and am waaaaaay behind on DT work.

The stamps I have used for the main images come from the Precious Pets 2  set at The Card House. (I hate that site! Every time I look at it there are new stamps that seem to fall into my basket!).  The stamps I have used for the border and sentiment come from my magazine freebies collection. I coloured the images with pencils and inked the edges then finished off with a scrap of ribbon. 

I'm linking this up to the Cat Lovers Blog Hop - see you there! 

Saturday, 19 October 2019

Hang on in there

If this card looks familiar,  it's because I've made several very similar in the past,  choosing a different patterned paper for the "wallpaper" each time. I think this stamp set, which I won in the Playground a year or two back, is just perfect for  an encouragement card for anyone going through a tough time or simply needing to be cheered up.

I've used a scrap of woodgrain effect paper as "skirting board" and distressed the edges of the wallpaper, especially around the area of the claw marks. I stamped the cat on the background and again onto plain card, then coloured the second with Promarkers. I fussy cut it then placed it directly over the stamped image on the background - this saved me from having to try to cut all those claws and whiskers!

I am sharing this with

Cardz 4 Galz - Shades of Brown 
Fab'n'Funky - Feature a Creature 
Passion for Promarkers - Add a sentiment 
Time Out Challenges - Encouraging 

The Twofer that became a Threefer

So there I was, minding my own business, happily snipping and stamping away at my cards for the current challenge at Twofers, when another card sort of made itself.....

Settle down, it's a long story.

It started while I was watching Mastermind last night. I know I get card inspiration from some strange places, but Mastermind? REALLY? Well, the answer to one of the questions was "The American term for what we call Hundreds and Thousands is Nonpareils" - which led me to think of rainbow sprinkles - which made me think of the sentiment I've used on one of my cards - which made me think of vanilla doughnuts. My mind works that way. Sometimes.

So, armed with my Dylusions sentiment and the doughnut and sprinkles stamps from a past issue of Creative Stamping, I set to to create this card.

I am sharing this card with Less is More - Rainbow. 

Next I had a delve into the snippets box and came up clutching a  bundle of pretty floral papers. As there were three co-ordinating ones, each roughly a third of an A4 sheet, I decided to make a trifold card. The plan was to stamp the doughnut on the offcuts of the paper (snippets of snippets, if you like) and add them to the patterned panels - however they looked lost against the patterned backgrounds, so I stamped and coloured three more plain vanilla doughnuts which worked much better.

I am sharing this at Pixie's Snippets Playground - challenge #363 

So here is my Twofer pair, as I had originally planned them.

Which, of course, I am sharing at Twofers - Sweets 

However there were three stamped doughnuts, on patterned paper, left sitting on my table. Once I'd coloured in the "cakey" part they looked so pretty - if Cath Kidston made doughnuts, I reckon these would be them! I couldn't just throw them away or bung them in the Black Hole of "stuff I didn't quite use this time but might some time in the future" where so many stamped images go to die, so while I had the stamp set with its fun sentiments to hand, I popped them onto an extremely quick and CAS card:

So there you have it, the twofer that became a threefer.

Incidentally if you are still reading, apologies for radio silence for the last few days, I've been away at my Mum's for a few days. She's almost 94 now and getting very frail both physically and mentally so it's been quite a challenging time. It's lovely to be home and crafting again - crafting takes my mind off things wonderfully!

Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers #146 - P is for Pink Halloween

It's our annual Pink Halloween challenge at the Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers.

I'm not a big fan of Halloween and have very little Halloween stash, so this is a challenge I really struggle with, but I did have this little witch left over from the elements I used on a recent Cardz 4 Guyz post so I brought her out to play.

I stamped the spidery background and added a die cut cobweb and a Tim Holtz snarky sticker. I think this would be a great "Halloween party acceptance" card.

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Sunset or Moonrise?

I can't quite decide whether I've made a sunset or a moonrise here!

I've used the covermount stamps from the latest issue of Creative Stamping.  I punched a circle to use as a mask and also masked the area of the card below it, then sponged several shades of progressively darker pink ink to create a sunset (or moonrise - or possibly dawn) sky. Then I removed the masking and masked the upper part of the card and sponged a tiny amount of very light blue along the edge.

I used Versafine ink to stamp all the silhouettes and the sentiment -  it's my favourite ink for silhouettes as it gives good dark images. I added a tiny amount of grey pencil shading along the skyline and to give the deer and trees shadows, then  added a few highlights using Stickles.

I am sharing this with

CAS Christmas challenge - Winter Scene 

Christmas Kickstart - Woodland Creatures 

Jingle Belles - Pink Christmas 

Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - Anything goes

Anything Goes at CD Sunday Plus

It's time for our latest Anything Goes challenge at CD Sunday Plus. Don't forget you don't have to use a CD now, you could use a download or a USB. But I've got a lot of CDs in my collection so today's card has once again been made with a CD.

The artwork and background paper are from Joanna Sheen's beautiful CD "The Age of Elegance" and I've added ribbon and lace.

Thursday, 10 October 2019

Autumn flowers

Autumn colours aren't  just for trees and leaves - just think of the lovely earthy colours of chrysanthemums and the last of the dahlias and sunflowers.

I've used a very old Linda Luckin stamp for my floral swag. I stamped it with brown Memento ink and coloured it with Promarkers, using autumnal colours and adding a touch of brown to the leaves to show they are starting to change colour. For tiny areas like these leaves, I hold the Promarker  pen dead upright and as close to the tip as possible, then use very gentle strokes.

I stamped the sentiment and then cut out the floral topper (the stamp predates the fashion for stamp and die sets by many years!) and added it with a little 3D adhesive.

I am sharing this with

 Addicted to Stamps and More - Make your Mark 

Little Red Wagon - Cut it out 

The Flower Challenge - CAS 

Passion for Promarkers- Autumn Colours 

A Blue, Blue Christmas

OK, who's doing an Elvis impression right now?

For this card I masked off the edges of the card (and yes, I know I missed a tiny sliver on the top right corner, but decided trying to remove the ink would do more harm than good). Then I blended a light blue Cosmic Shimmer blending ink all over, keeping it as light as possible in the middle, and a darker blue distress ink around the edges.

Then I used black Versafine ink to stamp the large wreath to one side of the card, with the masking still in place.
After removing the masking, I dotted a Quickie glue pen lightly and randomly over the blue areas and once dry, pressed cold-foiling foil over the glued dots and rubbed to transfer the foil onto the card.

I made a tag with a stamped sentiment on it and attached it with a snowflake brad.

I am sharing this with

Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - Sentiment as the main focal point/Anything goes 

52 Christmas Card Throwdown - Sketch 

Ginger kitty

When I think "Katzelkraft cat stamp" I immediately picture their amazing Les Chats Russes set, but actually this beautiful cat stamp came from there too.

I stamped it with Versafine ink then used pencils to colour it to match the cute kittens printed on this lovely ribbon. I made a background by stamping paw prints randomly over orange card and added a sentiment stamped with one of the useful sentiments included in the AAA "Tower of cats" stamp set that you have probably seen on here quite frequently.

I am sharing this with

Allsorts Challenge  - Use ribbon 

Sweet Stampin - Animals

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

One die, two ways.

I love this useful and versatile maple leaf die that was a covermount on a recent magazine. Today I've used it in two similar but different ways ( I must have been infected by a  Darnell's Twofer Challenge bug!

Here I've cut the lower layer in coffee grounds card. This is card infused with coffee grounds to give the pattern. I bought a pack at the Eden Project in Cornwall many years ago and am ekeing it out very carefully as i love it and can't find any more. I'm down to my very last sheet! The top layer is in dark brown which I've also used as a mat for the background.
The background itself is a snippet of patterned paper from my stash, over-stencilled  with the triangle pattern and finished with a couple of dots  of candi.

I am sharing this with

Just Us Girls - Designer paper 

CAS Stencil - Patterned Paper 

My second card is made by cutting the lower section of the die from heavy watercolour paper coloured with brown brushos - I love the way the colour separates into so many toning shades.

I used the brown again for the upper layer and then masked a band on the base card and used maple leaf peg stamps in various sizes to fill it with leaves stamped in the colours i could pick out from the brusho paper.

As it is CAS Watercolour's third birthday, I simply HAD to finish with a birthday sentiment!

I am sharing this with CAS watercolour - Maple leaf