Sunday, 20 December 2020

Floral Urn again

This will probably be my last post for a couple of weeks, as I craft on the dining room table and my inconsiderate family expect to sit at it to eat Christmas dinner, so I need to pack my craft stuff away to make space for them. Not that they'll all be here - one daughter lives in France so because of Covid can't come over. She's sent us a Lego model of them all though, so that can sit on the table! The other daughter and her family were going to be part of our three-household bubble, but here in the UK we are divided into "tiers" according to the Coronavirus risk, and while we are in Tier 2, where household mixing is allowed just for Christmas day, they have just been placed in Tier 4, where they are not allowed to mix with anybody, so now it's going to be just us and my brother in law. The announcement came after the deadline for editing my online shopping order, so between the three of us we are going to have to eat seven people's worth of food!

Anyway, before moving on to the crafting I will wish you Season's Greetings (not the usual Merry Christmas because for many of us it won't be so merry this year) and see you all in 2021. Let's hope it's a happier year - but if we still have to stay at home, at least we crafters still have plenty to amuse ourselves. 

When I was playing with my gorgeous new set of Floral Shoppe stamps and dies the other day, I realised that with so many separate images they would be perfect for snippets makes, so I had to have a go! 

I made a shaped card blank by cutting the urn against the fold of a white card blank, overlapping the top of the die over the fold so as not to cut through it. Then I stamped the urn onto a snippet of green patterned paper., die cut it then blended some slightly darker green ink around the edges and into the areas that would be in shade, to give it the look of dimension. I attached it to the card base, leaving the top centimetre free, then used gold liquid pearls to embellish it and set it aside to dry while I made the flowers and foliage. 

For these I picked out snippets of light and dark green, light and dark pink and light blue card and stamped the flowers, leaves and berries using much darker shades of each colour. Then I very lightly blended the ink I had stamped with over  the images here and there, again to create a look of dimension. I used very sharp pencils to colour in the delicate leaves and stems. Then I die cut everything and used a ball tool and foam mat to add a bit of shape to each piece. 

Next I arranged them in the urn, below the unglued area, sticking them in place with pinflair glue which dries slowly enough to allow for any necessary rearranging. a little more glue under the edge of the urn holds it in place  and adds extra security to the die cuts. 

I'd arranged some of the berries to spill over at the front, but I'd intended trimming off the bits of foliage at the sides, thinking they would look as if they had somehow broken through the sides of the urn. But when it was finished, I thought actually it looks as if they too are trailing over the edge, but behind the curve of the urn, so they were better left untrimmed. 

I am sharing this with 

Pixie's Snippets Playground where there is a bumper Christmas party going on with giveaways every day, do pop over and have a look! 

We love Chocolate Baroque - anything goes 

Watercooler Wednesday - anything goes 

Tuesday, 15 December 2020

Floral Urn

 A dew days ago I was super excited to win the complete new Heartfelt Creations "Floral Shoppe" collection of stamps, dies and papers, thanks to Hochanda on Facebook. Such beautiful stamps, and working with them reminds me of the time when I used to do a lot of flower arranging. There is a large urn stamp and a whole plethora of flowers, foliage and berries to work with. Here is my first make using the prize. 

I made an easel card and covered the outside and insides with patterned papers from the pack. Then I stamped the urn onto another of the papers, embossed it with gold powder,  and die cut it. I also cut an urn from white card to help to give it strength and stuck the two together.  I used foam pads to attach it to the card front, leaving  the top edge free. 

I used a die, which I think was intended for hot foiling, to cut and emboss a border to use as a stay on the inside and decorated it with pearls. 

Now for the fun part - I stamped lots of flowers and leaves onto vellum with clear embossing ink and embossed them with white powder. I coloured them from the back of the vellum, using watercolour brush markers. This was very quick to do as the images were to be die cut, so I could just scribble the markers roughly over the areas to be coloured. Then I die cut everything and used Pinflair glue gel to tuck everything into place in the urn. 

I am sharing this with 

Crafty Hazelnut's Patterned Paper Challenge - Anything Goes  

We Love Chocolate Baroque - Anything Goes  


Monday, 14 December 2020

Dear Santa....

 If you still need a Christmas card for somebody on your naughty list, here's a quick make that might fir the bill. The image is a Bugaboo digi, coloured with Promarkers, and the sentiment is a Dylusions stamp. I've added a saucy lips brad. 

I am sharing this with 

Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers - L is for Lewd Christmas 

Passion for Promarkers - Add a sentiment 

Country View Challenges - Anything Christmas 

Monday, 7 December 2020

Friends Furrever

This is a card I made for a friend and now I know she has received it I can share it with you. 

Yes, it's those Katzelkraft cat stamps again! I used distress inks to create a vaguely sunsetty background then stamped pawprints all over it. Next I added a brick wall of paper printed from the CD "The Best of La Pashe 2012". I stamped the cats and the sentiment (a Clearly Besotted one) onto spare card and coloured the cats with Promarkers, then fussy cut them and attached them using 3D adhesive. 

I am sharing this with 

CD Sunday Plus - anything goes including something from a CD etc 

Show Us Your Pussycats - Furrything Goes 

A Bit More Time To Craft Extra - Anything Goes 

2 Crafty Critter Crazies - Anything goes including a creature 

Wednesday, 2 December 2020

Guest Designer at The Male Room

 I'm delighted to have been invited to be the current Guest Designer at The Male Room, where the theme is Tartan and Plaid. 

The challenge runs until January 5th, which means that  it includes Hogmanay. Hogmanay celebrations won't be quite the same this year, but I still decided to give my card a Scottish theme. 

  I had a piece of paper - an old magazine freebie - in the classic Royal Stewart Dress Tartan and found the perfect image and corners to go with it on the CD "The Best of La Pashe 2014". The corners are HUGE, though - this is a large 20cm square card and even so I couldn't fit all four of them on it, so I had to come up with a layout that allowed me  to omit one. That left me room to add the sentiment  and some candi to balance the weight of the other corners. 

Sunday, 29 November 2020

Grumpy Cat does Christmas

 When I saw the inspiration photo at Inkspirational this time, I knew I just had to use  the Grumpy Cat stamp from the Katzelkraft "Les Chats Russes" set. 

I stamped him on separate card and coloured him with Promarkers then fussy cut. I added red card as a base for him to sit on, topped with a Dylisions sentiment and edged with silver glitter,  then surrounded him with stamped baubles and foliage. 

I am sharing this with 

Inkspirational - photo 

Rudolph Days at Scrappymo's 

Show us your Pussycats - Furrything Goes 

Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - anything goes 

Friday, 27 November 2020

Fishing village

 I've spent ages trying to work out where this scene is meant to be - it reminds me so much of Mousehole in Cornwall, but the fishing boat has a WY registration, which stands for Whitby, in Yorkshire. Yet the stonework on the buildings looks as if it's the Cotswolds - which has no coastline! So I think it's just a general purpose English fishing village. 

Wherever it is - or indeed isn't - the decoupage and sentiment were printed from that faithful old workhorse of a CD, The best of La Pashe 2012. I wonder how many times i have used that over the years? 

That background is the result of a failed experiment. I sprayed a square of card with orange and brown distress effects,  then tried to get a crumbling brickwork effect by applying crackle glaze through a brick wall stencil and leaving it to dry. However when dried, the glaze just fell off, taking most of the ink with it. I do like the effect it created, although I'm sure there's a more straightforward way of creating something similar. Anyway, it makes a good background for the image, so it wasn't wasted. 

I am sharing this with The CD Sunday Plus Challenge, where as usual the theme is Anything Goes 

Sunday, 22 November 2020

Cakes and rainbows

 For once, I was actually ready and waiting before the playground gates opened, so I popped over here to publish the post - and realised I'd not actually written it yet. So here goes....

The background is made from snippets of brightly coloured paper 1cm wide. I cut a piece of card a little larger than I wanted the finished panel to be, covered it with tacky glue then arranged the snippets diagonally over it, carefully butting the edges. I'd chosen paper rather than card so there wouldn't be any bulky ridges if  I overlapped any bits. Once the glue was fully dry, I cut it out using a stiched square die. 

I stamped the cake and strawberries, using stamps from a set that was in the December 2018 issue of Creative Stamping, and coloured them with Promarkers. Can you guess what I was humming as I coloured "all the sweet green icing running down"?  Then I cut them out and die cut the sentiment, and arranged everything on the card front. 

I am sharing this with: 

AAA Birthday - For a Child 

Fab'N'Funky - Hand stamped or die cut sentiment 

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge 391  

Retro Rubber - They Said it's Your Birthday  

Sweet Stampin' - Birthdays 

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Pink Lady

 Oh no, I hear you groan, she's STILL playing with that Indigo Blu magazine kit! Well, I'm sorry but it just is the most beautiful stamp set ever and the stencil and embossing folder work perfectly with it. 

It's hard to choose a favourite stamp, looking back over the years, but this lady is definitely my current favourite. 

To make the card, I smooshed the background card with several shades of pink distress ink. When it was dry, I stamped the lady in the middle, masked off the image and used the darkest shade of pink ink to stencil the background. 

Then I used the embossing folder on opposite corners of the card.  This caused a problem I should have foreseen - the way the embossing folder sits on the card, the blank area on it squashes and flattens par of the embossing that's already done. There's probably a work-around but I couldn't think of it. 

Luckily I'd picked up the last of the smooshing inks on a scrap of spare card, for future use, so I embossed that as well. Then I fussy cut the corner on the main card and the whole of the second corner and distressed all the straight edges. I used a lighter brown ink to sponge the raised surface of the embossing and all the cut edges, then I used a thin layer of 3D adhesive to add the second corner to make it look as if she is peeping out from behind it. 

I am sharing this with 

Sweet Stampin - Your favourite stamp 

Sparkles Monthly - Use a stencil 

Colour Hues - Pink and Brown 

Sunday, 15 November 2020

Christmas Penguins

 Many years ago, before I started this blog, a friend was doing some charity fundraising and wanted as many penguin themed Christmas cards as possible. I had no penguin themed stash so tootled off to Crafts U Print and downloaded an assortment of penguin themed designs, so I could churn out a bundle of quick and easy cards for her. 

And there those designs have sat, on my computer, ever since that first set of projects. Until the need arose for a penguin themed card, over at Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers. But how the heck do you make a penguin snarky? Well, I thought about a t-shirt design I've often seen at Christmas time, but changed the first person sentiment to a second person one to make it more suitable for a card to send, and printed that out as well as my download. Naturally I had to choose my font carefully - Mark is getting used to me asking questions like "If you were a penguin, what font would you use?" 

The download makes a tri-fold card, but it's one that folds the opposite way from what I'm used to, I generally keep the tall panel to the right. I know there are no roolz about things like that, but even so next time I use it I might try flipping the whole image before I print it. 

I'm sharing this with

CD Sunday Plus - anything goes using a CD, download or USB  

The Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers - P is for Penguin 

Friday, 13 November 2020

Seeing stars!

 This month's challenge at Twofers is Stars, and I decided to go for dies rather than stamps this time as I really wanted to practise my night sky backgrounds and knew  these die cuts stars (sorry, I can't remember the brand) would stand out well. 

The first card is made with a background of blended distress inks splattered with dilute white gesso. 

I die cut the stars and sentiment in white, then covered the word "sparkle" with adhesive and coated it in white glitter, and coated the word "shine" with glossy accents - so they really do sparkle and shine. 

I am sharing this card with Inkspirational - Night 

The second card is the fashionable slim shape 

I sponged an arc of blue  right across the card and stamped and embossed the sentiment in the white space.  I really can't seem to find a silver ink/powder combo that works. Even the normally ultra-reliable  combo of WOW powder and WOW embossing pad lets me down. It's left me with a slightly distressed look -  so it's perhaps a good thing that I forgot to use my anti-static pad, contributing even more to the distressed effect. Let's pretend it was deliberate, shall we? 

I am sharing this with

Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge where I thought the theme was "use a sentiment" but that was last week, wasn't it? So I'm using the Anything goes option. 

Craft Rocket Challenge - Christmas/Winter  

Cardz for Galz - Silver and/or Gold  

And finally back to the two cards together which I am staring at the Twofers Card Challenge  

Thursday, 12 November 2020

Playing with old dies

I'm sure this is something we are all guilty of - as our collection of craft supplies grows, the older things whether they are stamps, dies or anything else, tend to get neglected. Today I dug out some of the dies I bought to make my Mum's 80th birthday card with - I've hardly ever used then since and she is almost 95 now! 

And dies and snippets are a perfect combo, so I fished in the snippets box and dug out a scrap of patterned paper and some bright plains to go with it. 

The sentiment is from a HOTP set that I bought in my QVC watching days, so that must be about 20 years old! 

I am sharing this with 

Pixie's Snippets Playground Challenge 390  

Shopping Our stash - Tic Tac Toe  - I've used the middle horizontal line 

Monday, 9 November 2020

Review: Hare Box Christmas Gift

 Something a little different from me today - it's a long, long time since I have published a review, but I'd really love to share with you the work of a family friend, fellow crafter and very talented artist Philippa Bandurek Bradbury. Recently Philippa has started to have some of her artwork made into beautiful cards and gifts, which you can see in her Etsy shop, Studio PBB

Philippa has sent me her Deluxe Hare Gift Box so I can tell you about it.

The star of the gift box is a beautiful apron, perfect for all that festive baking. 

(Oops, I really ought to have ironed mine before I took the photo!). The neck strap is adjustable and there is a useful pocket on the front. It's both beautiful and practical. 

The gift set also includes a print of the hare image, ready to slip into a standard sized frame, and three greetings cards in the hare design. It's a beautiful gift at £29.99, and this year in particular with less chance to visit friends and family, the fact that it comes in a letterbox friendly gift box, and can even be gift wrapped, is a real bonus. 

Philippa also sells greetings cards and sent me two of her stunning Christmas Cards, which are available singly or in multipacks. 

Aren't they gorgeous? 

You can see more of Philippa's beautiful work on her Instagram account  - much of what she shares there isn't for general sale, but for fellow crafters there's some breathtaking inspiration. And i believe she is open to special commissions too. 

Now, for an extra treat, how about trying to win one of the Hare Aprons for yourself? 

There are two competitions currently running, offering an apron as a prize. 

One is on the blog Fun As A Gran and closes on November 16th 

The other is on the blog Life, Ninjakillercat and Everything Else and closes on November 30th 

Good luck if you enter them (both UK only I'm afraid, due to postage costs) 

Friday, 6 November 2020

On Christmas Eve

 On Christmas Eve at sunset, you may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of Santa heading across the sky.... 

.... but only if you believe in the magic! 

For the sunset, I masked off the lower half of the card then punched a circle in scrap paper, reserving the circle, and used it as a stencil to ink the setting sun slipping down over the horizon. blending yellow, orange and red inks. Then I removed the stencil, covered the sun with the reserved circle of paper and lightly blended the same inks around the outside to create the sunset sky. 

Then I stamped the scene and sentiment, using stamps from an old issue of Creative Stamping. 

I am sharing this with 

Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - anything goes  

CASOlogy - Sunset  

CAS Christmas - Non traditional colours  

CAS on Friday - Christmas 

Faux Fox

Everything went wrong with this card! But I'm still sharing it because of the idea and because of all the time and swearing that went into the making of it. 

It's for the Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers "X is for fauX" challenge. I know I've already played once, but this is the card that was in the back of my mind all along, it's just taken so many attempts I didn't know whether it was actually going to become reality. 

Many, many years ago I was a compulsive cross stitcher, until I discovered rubberstamping. That sounds like the old Smirnoff ads, doesn't it? "She used to be a cross stitcher, until she discovered Smirnoff...." (for those who don't know, Smirnoff is a brand of vodka and the kind of ads they had in the 1970s would be banned now). Anyway, stamping is probably as addictive as vodka, but no stamps were inked in the making of this card. 

Which is a very long way of saying I have, for about 30 years, had an NBUS sheet of 14 count cross-stitch paper so I decided to use it with fineliners do do some faux cross stitch. What I didn't realise is how much smaller and closer together the holes have got over the last 30 years - nothing to do with my eyesight of course - and the number of attempts it took me to follow the blooming chart and produce the fox and lettering was so crazy that in the end they all ended up being done on separate scraps because I'd wasted so much of the paper there wasn't space to do it sampler-style as I'd originally intended. 

So all these bits needed a background, and while I was still thinking of faux things, what about using an embossing folder for some faux knitting? The buttons, however, are real. 

Thursday, 5 November 2020


No, not Remembrance Day although this is the right time of year for it, but the steam locomotive Remembrance - I thought it seemed an appropriate image to use this week because of the name. 

I  made an easel card using papers and a topper from Hunkydory's "Planes, Trains and Automobiles"  collection and added some twine and a peel-off sentiment. 

I am sharing this with

Cardz 4 Guyz - Adult male birthday 

Crafty Hazelnut's Patterned Paper Challenge - Anything Goes  

Make my Monday - Masculine 

Tuesday, 3 November 2020

Back to the Indigo Blu Kit!

 I just can't get enough of this kit! 

This time I've used the hot air balloon stamp again. I used two of my favourite colours, turquoise and green, colours that make me think of nature and the countryside - and of course are perfect for a balloon, floating between earth and sky. I smooshed them to cover my piece of card then stamped the balloon and sentiment in the centre. I used the embossing folder from the kit to emboss one corner, then fussy cut around the embossing and distressed the remaining edges. I stencilled some dots of turquoise around the remaining spade, then I lightly sponged black ink over the embossing and around the edges then added a few smudges of it here and there,  then added the panel to me base card. 

I am sharing this with 

A bit more time to craft - Anything goes

Fab'n'Funky - 500th challenge celebration - your favourite two colours and why 

Saturday, 31 October 2020

Crazy Cat Lady

When I was a little girl, old people's homes always seemed to be full of crochet. Crochet antimacassars and arm rest covers on the chairs, crochet mats and runners on the sideboard and coffee table, little crochet doileys underneath every ornament. So I decided to pair my almost-crazy cat lady (stamped with a Hampton Arts stamp and coloured with Promarkers) with some faux crochet doileys, fussy cut from Curiosity Corner papers, and background paper reminiscent of the floral chintzy wallpaper and fabric designs that old people seemed to have when I was a child. The woman in the picture actually looks a bit like my Great Aunt Evelyn, whose home in the late 1950s was crammed with crochet and chintz! 

I am sharing this with 

Alphabet Challenge - Old Folk  

The 2020 Cat Lovers Hop 

Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers - X is for fauX  

Friday, 30 October 2020

Birthday Cat

 No, you're not imagining it, I really didn't post a cat card yesterday. We had the grandchildren here for the day, and as the coronavirus situation is worsening and we don't know what will be happening at Christmas, we decided to have Christmas Dinner together yesterday. We spent the morning cooking together, got out all the festive table linen and serving dishes and then downloaded a film and spent the afternoon vegging out in front of the TV. Just like a real Christmas Day, and the grandchildren loved ot - so did we! But I'm back with a kitty card today. 

A card made with just dies and an embossing folder, for a change. The smocking folder is a very useful one as it has two completely different effects depending which way round you use it. I tried the cat die cut against both surfaces and it stood out best against this one. 

I am sharing this with 

Watercooler Wednesday - All About Occasions  

The Cat Lovers Blog Hop