Xmas 2015


I hope you enjoy reading this blog and find inspiration and ideas from what you have seen here but I would ask you to please respect my copyright and not use my pictures for publishing as your own work, or for entry into challenges.

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 154 - Snow

Lin is hosting today and she has chosen Snow for her theme. I am sure there are still lots of snowy creations to be made for Christmas!

As it is the last challenge of the year Kim thought that it would be nice to add a prize, and this is the stash our lucky winner will get.
It's another inked background from me... 

My base card was my trusty 6 x 6 square, that I stamped with a snowflake die in silver ink. Onto that, I layered some silvery blue card and then some silver embossed card.

I layered onto this a topper that I had done using a Sheena Douglass stamp, and a selection of pink, blue and lavender distress inks, masking the couple the moon and the lamps. 
My couple were coloured in using speccie noir pencils, which I blended.I decided to use glitter for my snowflakes in the scene, but flower soft for the snow on the bridge and at the base. 
Finally, my sentiment was stamped along the bottom of the card (it came from a woodware stamp set). 

Monday, 30 November 2015

Challenge 153 - Crafty Cardmakers & More - Twas the Night...

Lin is hosting our challenge this time, and her theme is 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. She would love to see your creations that depict one of the lines from the poem.  If you need to be reaquainted with the words, they are set out in full on the challenge website Crafty Cardmakers & More.

 Most crafters will recognise that they have a cycle of favoured techniques... I have always liked stamping and inking and just lately my preference has been for doing that again.

My mum was always the "scene builder" of the two of us, and for some time after she died I just shied away from doing it because it brought back memories of when we stamped together.  But it's almost 4 years now since I lost her, and I've been tentatively "having a go" again.

My base card is my favoured 6 x 6 inch square, onto which I layered a black and white polka dot mat.  I used a square of Sheena Douglass stamping card for my topper and started by masking off the moon with a mask I cut myself and  created hillsides with a clarity mask. (Ink colours were denim blue, chipped sapphire, shaded lilac, Iced Spruce and Soot black and a touch of Brushed Corduroy to tint the roof of each house)

I used Hobby Arts Country scenes stamps to make my village scene - it had the really useful fencelines and small trees!  The Santa and moon stamp was from a set I got free with a magazine, as did the Twas the night before Christmas words that I stamped and embossed with silver fine detail powder.  You can just about read the words - unfortunately it's not come out too clear in the photo...

Lastly, I went over various parts with my wink of stella pen (the moon, the snow) and added a touch of glitter to the trees using a quickie glue pen and some glamour dust.

Now I'm in the mood, I think I will do some more toppers for the remaining Christmas cards I have to make.  Such fun! 

Monday, 16 November 2015

Challenge 152 Winter Birthday - Crafty Cardmakers & More

I am sure we all know some poor soul who has a Winter, or even worse a Christmas Birthday - our Design Team Leader Lin's is 27th December and my late mum's was the 19th! 

So for our challenge this time we want to see your Winter Birthday creations.

Josephine is hosting this one and will get to choose our Winner/Top 5.


I've been venturing back to distress ink backgrounds recently, so I decided to make mine a wintery sunset/sunrise scene, where the sun is pinkish rather than the luscious yellow of summer.

First thing I did was to shade the background of a square piece of stamping card, because my stamp (woodware) is a silhouette.  If you stamp the trees first, there is the chance you can smudge the image during the blending process, and also muddy the effect.

So using a mask, I made the hilly bits at the bottom, then used the same colours to make the top of the sky.  In the middle of the two I blended in two shades of pink - a deeper round area in the middle.  Having done that - I stamped over the top and using a quickie glue pen, added some glitter to my tree branches.

The card base is my favourite 6 x 6 - and I ran the front part of  it through the cut n boss in a creative expressions embossing folder.  Onto this I layered a pink dotty background paper onto which I placed my coloured image.  

It looked a bit flat - so I decided to make it a shaker!  I cut another piece of card the same size as my topper image, and cut the centre out to make a frame using a tonic square die.  After running this through the cut n boss in the same embossing folder previously used,  I backed the frame with acetate (using red liner tape to keep the acetate in place) and then edged the topper image with foam shaker tape.  In the centre of the image I placed a few small scoops of micro beads and after peeling off the shaker tape backing, stuck the frame firmly on top.  

With hindsight, I could have put more beads in there...

To finish my card, I added the sentiment in the top right hand corner.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

So many people leaving... memory books

It's been big changes all round where I work recently, with fair number of people being made redundant.

This month, for a change, we had a number of people leaving because they had other jobs!

My contribution to the farewells was to make a memory book for each of them, to remember their time with us.

 The process for the first one was the same for the covers (greyboard covered with a paper created using serif) but I decided to use my cinch to bind it.  Which was a good idea if I had planned it properly, but I made it incredibly hard for myself because I didn't!

I got a reasonable effect by the skin of my teeth - but it took much effort and I decided not to do that with the last two...
Instead, I used my trusty cropodile and punched two holes and then used book rings!  The effect was pretty much the same and saved me from grinding my teeth right down!

Each of the books had the recipients name on it - you can't really see it in the last one, as the diecut letters were on the panel, white on white.  It looked really effective in real life!  Unfortunately, the photo doesn't totally show it.  Inside was a number of card inserts, onto which I stuck the small cards I had given everyone to write their messages onto, and the photographs we had of people the recipient worked with, and anything relative to their job.

Et voilá !  A lovely keepsake.

What you would need to make one yourself:
  • Two pieces of greyboard cut to size.
  • Two pieces of covering paper, slightly larger, say 1.5 cm or just over half an inch all round.
  • Two pieces of lining paper, slightly smaller than the covered greyboard. 
  • Number of cards cut to size to fit inside the covers (as many as you like)
  • Two Book rings
  1. I covered the greyboard in the cover paper, sticking it down on the inside of the cover with red liner tape.
  2. Then, I stuck the liner paper onto each inside cover.
  3. Using the cropodile, I marked each cover 1 inch in from the long edge each side and cut two holes in  line with the mark (around 1.5 cm in from the short edge).
  4. I then cut corresponding holes in all the insert cards.
  5. I put the covers  (innerside faceing) around the insert cards and put the bookrings through the hole.
  6. And then was the fun bit - I decorated the cover.
  7.  I created a box for each of the books using stiff card - I thought it looked better for presentation purposes - but you could put it in a pretty bag, or cover it with tissue.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Challenge 150 at Crafty Cardmakers & More - Autumn colours

This week it is my challenge at Crafty Cardmakers and more, and I would like to see those glorious autumn colours - oranges, browns, russets, green and dark yellow...

You will see that my wonderful teamies have produced a fantastic array of cards to inspire you - don't forget to visit their blogs to see how they did them!

I decided to make a man's card this time - I KNOW!  I find men's cards really hard, but I'm still chipping away at my crafty stash, and this time I found a sheet of Hunkydory toppers that were perfect for this challenge colours, and bonus, suitable male subject matter.

My base card was plain cream cardstock cut to be a 6 x 6 card (my favourite size).  Onto this, I layered a piece of brown card.  As I don't have much of this card (and can't remember where I got it from) I took the centre out with a layer die to use on another card.  Because I didn't want to have a dip, I cut another piece out  of scrap card the same thickness to put in its place. 

Onto the brown card, I put a piece of decorative paper that I had put through the cut n boss in a Sheena Douglass leaf embossing folder.  Before sticking it down, I coloured it with distress inks and edged it with gold pebeo gilding wax.

I then cut out the orange swirls from some scrap card, and then stuck them to the backing paper.  Using foam pads, I attached my Hunkydory toppers, and the card was done.

This was a comparatively simple card to make and didn't take very long - one of the benefits of using the toppers.  I'm not much of a "pick and stick" crafter by choice, but there are times when having the work done for you is beneficial, and there is a place for all this in the crafty world!

Monday, 5 October 2015

Challenge 149 at Crafty Cardmakers & More - Circular Card

Kim is hosting today and would love to see your Circular Cards.
I finally used my Tattered Lace circle stepper card die to make my card!  I have this very bad habit of spending lots of money on dies and then leaving them pristine in the folder for A Very Long Time... and along with my resolution to use more of my stash, I have resolved to stop doing that!
Anyway, this card was the perfect opportunity to use not only the Tatty Lace die, but also a variety of others that I have available. 
It's very straightforward to make up once the card base is cut, as the score lines are very clearly defined.  I used a pearlescent card for mine.  The "tartan" layer paper came from an 8 inch pad that I had in my stash, and I used some of the off cuts to make flowers.  I then rummaged through my stash for matching tone papers  and luckily found a couple of pieces of lavendar/mauve paper that was suitable.  I used the smallest die in the grand circles spellbinder set of dies to make my base circle, and then cut a circle using a tonic circle die for the topper base.  Offcuts of these papers were again used for flowers. The topper was on a sheet I had printed off (possibly a Crafters Companion Mulberry Wood CD) at some point and only used one image.  It fit the circle perfectly - how cool was that?

I used some scrap pearlescent card to cut out the sentiment and the swirls and then arranged and stuck everything on the card.  The last thing I did was to stick on some creative expressions pearl corners and some diamante stones in the centre of my flowers.

I had to custom make and envelope to fit it, but fortunately, I recently discovered an app from WRMK for their envelope board that I downloaded to my phone which works out the paper size for any size envelope.  Well worth looking out for if you have one of those boards!

Monday, 21 September 2015

Make it Sparkle - Challenge 148 at Crafty Cardmakers and more

Sally is hosting today and wants to see you 'Make It Sparkle' so any form of sparkle is allowed, glitter, gems, pearls, shimmer sprays etc.

Very fortuitously, I was asked to make a wedding card just last week, and theme it "silver and diamonds".

My card was actually very straightforward, as it is largely diecuts!  
I used a 7 x 5 inch pearlescent ivory card base and onto that I layered a piece of the same card, with some silver card that I ran through my cut n boss machine in the lattice hearts embossing folder matted onto it.  

Using the same ivory card, I then cut out the bride and groom figures, the congratulations sentiment and the lattice heart with the birds.  All these dies are from Joanna Sheen's range.  Additionally, I used a small tattered lace heart.  I mounted all of the diecuts except for the tattered lace heart onto the card using thin foam pads - I didn't want them to be too obvious, but did want a little bit of height.  The latticed heart didn't show up against the silver lattice background, so I backed it with some scrap ivory card before sticking it on, and it worked a treat.

Next, I chose some "diamond" small adhesive gems and stuck them on the intersections of the lattice in the heart, and at the top of the headdress of my "bride".

Finally, I diecut the intials of the bride and groom using spellbinders alphabet dies, and attached them to the heart.

Because I used heavy base card, it was satisfyingly weighty, and I printed out an insert with a motivational poem on the inside left cover to go inside.  To finish it off, I presented it in a narrow box, that was made from the same ivory card.


Monday, 7 September 2015

Challenge 147 at Crafty Cardmakers & More - Flower embellishments

This time round at Crafty Cardmakers, Julie is hosting our challenge and she would love to see your creations with additional flower embellishments. 

She wants to see your handmade creations and diecut, and premade flowers, BUT NO FLOWER IMAGES, or rather Flower Images ALONE do not count, there needs to be additional dimensional flowers added to count. 

This is right in my comfort zone - I really like making flowers!  For my project, I  thought I'd show you  a 21st birthday gift box I made  from a template (Arty Farty, I think). 

It's about 6 inches  in diameter and is ideal for a small gift (like the earrings and necklace that was going to go inside this one).

I made the box from plain white card, and distressed  and stamped all the pieces before putting it together. The request was for pink and purple, so that was the colour distress ink I used.

There are a lot of pieces.... 6 individual sides,  a top lid, an outside and an inside bottom and then layering pieces for the side and top inside and out.  Each side is cut out individually and stuck to a base using a tab, and then joined using a piece of vellum (cut to form a hinge????).  I stamped this vellum with the same flower stamp I had used for the inside of the flaps.  The inside flap cover hid where the vellum was stuck down.

On the outside of each "flap" a further piece of card is stuck - I embossed these with my butterfly embossing folder and then coloured them to match before sticking them on.

I used some of my Nuvo crystal drops to put the faux "pearls" all around the edges of the layered panels (this took ages!) and then attached the ribbon and charm onto the front of the box using my hot glue gun.

I stamped the name and the 21 in versamark and then heat embossed it in silver. Then it was time for the flowers!  I used my Dreamees stitched flower stamps to stamp out a number of varying sizes and cut them out.  Then, I used my chameleon pens to colour them in.  I was really pleased with the shading effect I got with the pens!  Before I made the flowers up, I went over them with my clear wink of stella pen, which gave them a lovely shimmer.

 I used my pokey tool end to shape the petals and then layered the different sizes to make a number of flowers, which I stuck (along with the name and number)  onto the top of the box with my glue gun.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Challenge 146 at Crafty Cardmakers & More - no patterned papers

Lin is hosting our challenge today and would like to see your creations without any patterned papers on them! 
For my card, I used a 7 x 5 blank white card.  I distressed around the edges with Victorian Velvet distress ink.
Onto the card base, I layered a piece of scrap white card, that I had run through my cut n boss with a butterfly embossing folder, and which I had coloured with broken china distress ink to bring out the embossing.  I rounded the corners with my x cut large corner rounder.
For my topper, I stamped a woodware stamped image onto a plain piece of white card and rounded the corners.  Then I coloured in the image using promarkers in shades to match the distress inks (sorry, I forgot to note the actual shades used).  
Next, I cut the card into three equal size strips, and distressed all four edges of each with the victorian velvet ink.  Then, I reassembled them onto a piece of black card, leaving a narrow border in between the strips.  I then trimmed the black card to leave a narrow border all round but leaving a gap at the bottom for the sentiment.  I rounded off the corners of the black card to match the base layer.

I attached the sentiment (piece of scrap white card with corners rounded and stamped with versafine ink pad and heat embossed in a turquoise powder) after distressing the edges and stuck two faux pearls on either side.
Finally, I used my wink of stella pen to add some lustre to the leaves and some stickles to add some sparkle to the stamen of the flowers.

Monday, 10 August 2015

Challenge 145 - Warm summer colours

Bec is hosting for us this time and would like to see your creations with lovely warm summer colours. 

I chose to make a card focussing on a seaside view this time, again using some scrap card from my stash.  

I have lots of squares of watercolour card because my watercolour pad is A4 - inevitably I trim it square, so end up with that long strip over!  

The base cards were edged with a punch (sorry - forgot which one!) which had a look of waves about it, and were layered.
For my topper, I used an acrylic block on which I scribbled in random lines using my aqua water colour pens.  When I had the colours about right, I spritzed it with water, and then pressed the block itself onto the water colour card.

This left me with some stripes, and I used some hobbyart stamps to make a scene, using black ink.  I coloured the stamps in using the aqua pens - it's amazing how you can give definition to random lines just with a few images!

I finished the card off with a stamped seashell, that I coloured with one of the pens.

I haven't put a sentiment on there yet - not sure if I want it to be a birthday or what.  I've found myself doing this more often now - it adds a bit of versatility to the cards when I am choosing which occasion to use them for.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Crafty Cardmakers & more challenge 144 - Anything but a card

Carole is hosting today and would like to see your creations that are anything other than a card. So tags, gift boxes, altered art, home decor. Anything as long as it's not a card.

My project is a standing Friends word made from MDF.  

It came in the standard brown colour, so I painted it with some cream base paint  and then applied some crackle glaze.  When dry, I overpainted it again with some matt green paint and waited for the crackles to appear.  I don't think I had applied enough glaze, as the crackles weren't significant so I enhanced it by adding some pebeo gold gilding wax to the letters as well.

I had bought the small figures earlier because I liked them, with no real idea of what to do with them.  But when I was thinking of decoration,  I saw the width of the base of the friends stand and I thought they would be perfect to go there!  Last September when I went to Ally Pally, I bought some dried flowers and things from the Anna Marie stand and I used those to decorate the base of the stand, along with some red pine cones I had bought in Hobbycraft.  All were stuck down with hot glue, around the figures also stuck down with hot glue.  

I really like the effect I got with this - the final touch was that I used the Crafters Companion big score board to make an oblong box to put it in and it was ready to be given as a gift.  

Monday, 13 July 2015

Crafty Cardmakers & More challenge 143 - Water

This time we want to see your projects with water depicted on them. So you might choose rain, a lake or the ocean either beneath the waves or on top, maybe a bath.

My card was for my eldest nephew's birthday.  He has taken up scuba diving and has just had his first diving holiday.  

 For my base card, I used a plain white A5 tent folded card and onto that layered some blue card and a stock photograph of a diver.  (Maybe next time he goes diving he can take his camera and I can use a real life action shot!)

For my sentiment I stamped out some letters using the Clarity letterbox stamps, and attached them to some bakers twine to make bunting.  I attached them to the card using some hot glue and gems to cover the ends of the twine.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Crafty Cardmakers and more Challenge 142 - Sentiment

It's my turn to host the challenge this week at Crafty Cardmakers and more, and I have decided that I want to see your creations where there is an added sentiment. 

It would be lovely if the sentiment were the focal point of your design, as I have done in my sample, but as long as there is one on there, although not so small we can't see it, then it will count.

My card is a 7 x 5 inch textured white card blank.   I utilised some matching papers from my scrap box in a peach shade, and used some swirl stamps and distress inks to enhance them.    The base layer was coloured more intensely, and then the swirl was stamped in versamark and heat embossed onto it.

The next layer had some swirls stamped onto it using a complementary ink, and also some text was randomly stamped over the top.  The edges were distressed so they would pop when layered.

Finally, the sentiment was from a woodware set, and was stamped onto the same cardstock as the base card.  I liked the texture on the sentiment plate, but if you didn't like that, it could be stamped onto a smooth card.  I layered the sentiment topper onto some scrap gold card, and lay some ribbon scraps across the two sides - when you have a sentiment topper like this, you only need small pieces of ribbon to stick out of the sides!

The flower was punched with the same paper, but you could punch it from the layers that are going to be covered up if you didn't have enough.

Finally, I used some of the new Tonic Nuvo crystal drops in gold to add accents at top and bottom.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Challenge 141 - For a man or a boy

This week at Crafty Cardmakers and more,  Vania is hosting and she wants to see your creations for the men/boys in your life. So anything that is suitable for a man or boy will be fine.

For my card, I used a plain cream base card (A4 folded to A5).  I chose a piece of A5 brown card as my base layer and then rescued some of my scrap paper – this sun ray pattern is easily achieved with smallish rectangles of paper, cut in half diagonally and then stuck down on the top half of a backing sheet to form the “rays”.  When you have created the rays, it is a simple matter to trim it to size at the top and sides. 

For the bottom of the card, I used a strip of cream card cut with a border punch that was also layered onto the brown card, and which had the sentiment stamped into the right hand corner.

My topper was a borrowed stamp, so I am now not sure who made it (but it may well have been Woodware) that was stamped onto cream card with brown ink and then distressed with brown around the edge before being layered onto the same brown card as my base layer.

So there you have it – a really nice man’s card with very little outlay.

Monday, 1 June 2015

Challenge #140 Stitching, Faux or Real

This week over at Crafty Cardmakers & more Sue is hosting  the challenge and she would like to see your projects that include stitching. The stitching can be faux or real, but it would be lovely to see real stitching or even embroidery on your creations

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take part in this challenge, but why not pop over and have a look?  You can join in here: http://craftycardmakers.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/140-stitching-faux-or-real.html

Monday, 18 May 2015

Challenge 139 Crafty Cardmakers & more - a Shaped card

Kim is hosting our challenge this time and wants to see your shaped cards. Plain squares or rectangles DO NOT COUNT, but any other shape is fine.
Very fortuitously, I recently went to a make and take class with John Lockwood, demonstrating some of the Sue Wilson Noble dies, and we made a shaped card!
I was expecting die cutting, but this card was beautiful - and not as difficult as it looks!  The trickiest part was probably lining up the various dies so they are level.  I'm not convinced I managed it - one side looks a little uneven to my eye, but it's beautiful still despite that.
We used a plain A4 base card, folded in half and then the biggest die was taped so that the cutting edge was just above the top of the fold.  I was really worried I'd get this wrong, but amazingly, it worked.
Then we cut the various layers out including another of the largest dies out in a contrast colour (this lovely duck egg blue).  I decided to put one of the die cuts  (white) behind the blue filigree die cut, as I didn't want the sentiment to be seen, but it could have been left so you could see through it all.
We used some creative expressions cosmic shimmer pearl drops to put "pearls" all around the outer filligree edge, and in the filigree centre. 
Finally, I die cut the sentiment in the duck egg blue, and mounted it onto card and fussy cut around it, and stuck it in the bottom left hand corner.  In the top left corner I stuck a narrow ribbon multi bow which I had coloured with a promarker to match.
I couldn't afford to buy the dies after the class this time (I had far too many other goodies in my basket already) but they are on my Wishlist for Ally Pally in September - Creative Expressions give a discount if you spent over a certain amount.  All I need to do now is work out exactly which ones we used...

Monday, 4 May 2015

Crafty Cardmakers & More Challenge 138 - Make your own background

Pamellia is hosting today at Crafty Cardmakers & More.

She would like to see something that you have created using a background you made yourself. So NO designer papers please.

I like making backgrounds - sometimes I get more pleasure out of doing that than making the topper, to be honest.

I'm not a neat crafter - I like the messy play aspect of it sometimes, and I have been looking at the brusho backgrounds for some time now.  

Recently, I discovered a craft shop that specialised in all the arty inks and paints I love (check out That's Crafty, in Harold Wood) and treated myself (among other things) to a starter pack of the brusho paints.

They look like any other powdered paint and come in small drums.  However, if you shake a tiny piece of the powder onto a piece of water colour card that has had a plain water wash put over it, each speck EXPLODES into colour spectacularly!

This was a smallish card (A6) and I made it for a friend who recently lost her mum.  She was dreading this birthday, the first without her mum, so I didn't want to go over the top with her card.  

I used half a sheet of A4 white card folded in half to make my base card.  I cut a piece of water colour card from Crafters Companion to make my background layer.   First I did my plain water wash, and then using a small brush picked up some of the colour powder from each drum (turquoise, yellow, lemon,  orange and emerald green) and flicked it randomly on the wet card.  Where bits had dried a bit, I spritzed it and reactivated the powder.  When the wash had dried, I stamped onto it an inkylicious flower silhouette stamp inked up with black archival ink.  When it was dry  I spritzed the whole thing with some docrafts spritzing ink (gold).

When the card was dry again, I layered it onto a piece of black card  to make a thin edge that would make the colours pop.  I wrapped some black spotty ribbon around the bottom of the mat and layer, and then stuck the whole thing onto the base card.  

The last thing I did was to stick a bow made using the same ribbon and a stamped sentiment edged with distress inks onto my ribbon strip using my hot glue gun.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Challenge 137 Crafty Cardmakers & More–Dots

Sally is hosting for this challenge and she would like you to go DOTTY, so something that has obvious dots on.137 DOTS

I’ve been trying to use up my crafty stash recently – it’s a small effort to counteract the amount I buy!  For my card today, I used a 7 x 5 blank white base, and went through my “bits box” for the other pieces of card. 

I used the swiss dots embossing folder to make the silver base layer, and another folder called daisy and swirls for the pink layer.  My new cut n boss machine really embossed it deeply – this would have been perfect for sanding the top layer down, but I didn’t want the shabby chic look this time round so I left it alone.

I managed to cut out a postage stamp shape out of my magnetic sheet when I cut the white base for the topper – but I guess that happens to everyone sooner or later!  I taped it back in and hope that will hold for a while… *blushes*

I stamped another piece of the scrap pink card with the dotty stamp, and cut out a small butterfly to stick on as an accent, along with a pink gem.  The topper was stuck on with foam pads.

I had this grey dotty ribbon in my stash, which I felt went well with the pink and silver, so used that.  The ribbon was a bit stiffer than I like for bows, but it tied eventually, and I stuck it on with my hot glue gun.

Finally, I stamped the happy birthday greeting in pink and flanked it with two more gems.

Monday, 6 April 2015

Challenge 136 at Crafty Cardmakers & More - Wings

Mary is hosting today and wants to see something with Wings.. birds, planes, fairies, insects or even a steampunk clock, as long as it includes Wings.
My preference has always been for less embellishments on my cards - it makes it easier to post, and I just generally like a less fussy look.
This card is minimal in layers, but the topper itself is fussy in the extreme!  I was going through some folders on my pc and discovered this lovely digistamp - sorry, my record keeping is pants and I can't work out who to credit.  So if anyone recognises it, please let me know so I can do that!
My base card was my fave 6 x 6, and I used some scrap card to make the backing strip, running it through the cut n boss with the free hessian folder from the latest Crafters Companion Inspiration magazine.  The die was also a freebie from a magazine but (*points up*) as I said my record keeping is rubbish and I can't remember which one!
I coloured the image itself with promarkers, using primarily greens and yellows for the foliage.  I had purple card for my embellishments, so I thought the lime greens would work well, and I decided to use pink and blue for the birds.  I used spectrum noir pencils to colour the birds and apply definition and shading.
I used the pink and blue pencils I'd used for the birds to blend together to make the frame colour and finally, I stamped a simple greeting in the same colour as the scrap card.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Challenge 125 Crafty Cardmakers & more - Spring has sprung

Marlene is hosting for us today and would like to see your Spring themed creations. So that could be a new life (baby) either animal or human, spring flowers, soft spring colours etc.

 I've gone for the new baby - especially since for the first time in ages I got the opportunity to do a pink card!  

I used my favourite Presscut stepper card die, a Sweet Dixie pram and rattle die and some card and embellishments from my stash. 

I love this stepper card die - it's just so versatile!  Also, it includes the dies to add the decorative layers.  I kept this card comparatively simple, just using a plain pink card from my stash (it has a linen texture) as the base layer.

I cut the pram and rattle out of centura pearl card, cut with great ease using my cut n boss machine.  It cut very well, with just one pass.  I used some candi to highlight the wheels of the pram, and the bar across the bottom of the card, to which I added the baby's name. 

I used a small best wishes sentiment from my stash, and finally, added a button and bow, which I stuck on with my hot glue gun.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Challenge 134, Crafty Cardmakers and more–A special woman

How fast is this year flying by?  I can’t believe it is nearly the middle of March and  it’s time for another challenge at Crafty Cardmakers and more.  Pamellia is hosting this one, and as Mother's Day is right around the corner she would like to see your creations for a Special Woman.  They don't have to be Mother's Day cards though, as long as they are for that special lady.

134 special woman2My card is for one of my friends to give to her mum – sadly, I lost my mum almost 3 years ago, so I don’t make one for myself any more.  She asked me to make it a super special one this year, as her mum is battling cancer and has had a really rough time since last Mother’s Day.

So this one is a biggie that needs a box!  I made an 8 inch square base card, and layered onto that with some spotty double sided card I had bought some time ago from Crafters Companion.  I cut a frame out of the same card (using the other side) and attached it to the card base using some pieces of card 5 x 1.5 inches, scored and folded at 1/2 inch and 1 inch to raise it from the base.

I used an image from a Debbi Moore cd (a freebie given away with a magazine) of butterflies for the centre of the base card, and printed off some extra butterflies which I cut out and along with the butterflies on the base, sparkled using my wink of stella clear brush pen. 

I used some flower dies from my stash to cut out some flowers along with a new purchase from Britannia Dies (rose leaves strip) to cut out my leaves, all in thin white card, which I coloured with distress inks.  I shaped the flowers with a ball tall, before spritzing them all with a docrafts gold spritzing ink.  I used some self adhesive pearls for the centre of the flowers, and arranged them on the corner of my frame, using my spiffy new Bosch cordless glue gun. (love it!)

134 special woman cropped detailI attached some gold chiffon ribbon to the other bottom corner of the frame and stuck a double bow onto it.

I put the cut out butterflies on the frame too, and then decided that the small ones needed a bit more bling – so I used stickles to make the glitter more obvious.

Using a scrap of offcut spotty card, I stamped the word MUM with a brown stazon ink.  When it was dry, I cut the letters out and stuck them on the card using silicone glue, and then glossed them with glossy accents.

Finally, on a piece of scrap white card, I stamped the greeting in the same brown stazon, before fussy cutting it out, and  toning it down with walnut and a pink distress ink.  I went round the edge of the greeting with some Pebeo empire gold gilding wax and stuck it onto the frame with silicone glue.

I was really pleased with the flowers – I love the way they look and I think it’s one of my favourite things to do.  And of course, I love the butterflies, too…

Thursday, 26 February 2015

My “Book of Shadows”

While browsing You tube, I found a tutorial on making an antiqued book from scratch – and I also saw some replica book of shadows from the tv series Charmed.

I loved that series!   I resolved to have a go at this – albeit on a smaller scale -with the aim of populating it with recipes and remedies handwritten using my calligraphy pens.. 

So I sent off for the grey board for the covers and began.

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These are the materials I used – greyboard for the covers, with some faux leather a la Sheena Douglass for the cover, which I’d coloured green and run through the cut n boss.  The spine was made using half of the centre of a kitchen roll inner tube.  Because I am a muppet, I didn’t take pics as I went, so pretty much all I have is the finished article.  But hey, very pretty! 

I used my serif craft artist 2 software to create my triquatra for the front cover, and coloured it with promarkers then backed it onto black card and edged it with gold micron pen, before spraying with varnish spray.  I was really pleased with the way it turned out.

book of shadows

The first time I covered the spine, I did it with more faux leather paper and swiftly learnt that it wasn’t going to work, because it split when I tried to close the book.  The trainer used fabric in the tutorial, and there was clearly a reason why!  I found some fabric, but when I had got it on the spine it was a bit pale for my taste. 


I brooded about it for a couple of days and then toned it down using distress ink and gilding wax.  Result!!

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For the inside, I turned again to my trusty CA2 and printed off some suitable backing paper onto thin card and stuck it into the inside covers.

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I ordered my album posts and corner protectors online as I couldn’t source any in my local shops, but while I was waiting for them to be delivered decided it was now time to turn my attention to the papers. 

The original tutorial linked to a method of aging paper with tea – so I took some basic copy paper and dyed a batch with some nice Assam tea.  When they had dried, I rounded off the corners, and edged all around on both side with gathered twigs distress inks.  For the front sheet, I used CA2 and my laser printer to print off the wording Book of Shadows onto one of the dyed sheets.  I then ran the sheet through the foiling machine, foiling only the decorative Initial letters in gold.  A nice side effect was that the foiling machine melted the laser ink in the remaining letters, leaving them shiny!

2015-02-26 22.06.25       2015-02-25 21.50.46

So, the finished book, in it’s box, and out of it.


This is a close up of the corner protectors that I bought.


And finally, a view of the inside with the album posts and paper sheets in place.


Monday, 23 February 2015

Challenge 133 Crafty Cardmakers & More–Stripes

133 stripes

Our challenge this week has been set by our teamie Leslie – and unfortunately she is moving on to new challenges and is standing down from our DT.  It’s been a pleasure to be on the DT with her – I would strongly suggest you go over to her blog and catch up with her new ventures…

Anyway, back to the card.  The theme this time round was Stripes, and I looked through my stash for suitable paper and ended up looking at my Serif Digi kits.  Like everything else, I keep buying them, and never use them!  This year my resolution has been to use the things I buy, so I used craft artist 2 to pull together the basics of my card. 

However, because I actually like to physically do it, what I did was to make some layers and then physically cut out some of the other things to embellish the card.

The Digikit that most of the components came from was a Daisytrail kit called Sew in Love.  I printed off the stripey paper first, and used that as the base layer on my fave 6 x 6 square card.  I used two types of spotty paper for the next layer, and then realised that you could then barely notice the stripes – so I cut the second spotty square out to show the stripes below.  The flowers were also part of the digi kit, so I printed off a selection (adjusting the sizes for some of them) and then cut them out.  I painted them with some wink of stella pen (clear) to give them some glitz and arranged them on my card, sticking them in place with glossy accents.  I used buttons from my stash for the centres.

All that remained was what to put in the stripy square without hiding them – and of course, the answer is butterflies!  I cut two memory box butterflies out and coloured them with distress inks (gold Pebeo gilding wax on the body) before going over them with the wink of stella pen too.  I attached them with the glossy accents – and was really pleased with the outcome.

One more piece of kit getting dusty in my workroom used!

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

A quick card…

This card was one I needed super quick – and while I was in work, at that!

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I realised during the morning that it was my friend’s birthday the following day – so as I always keep a bit of stash in my drawer at work “just in case” I  rummaged through it and came up with a pullout of paper and images from Making Cards magazine to make my card during my lunch break.  It was limited resources, but I decided to treat it as a challenge.

I used my trusty 6 inch square base card, and used a square of the plain side of one of the sheets as my base layer (don’t you hate it when they double side the paper?  I always feel I am losing a sheet, not gaining one!) and then took some strips from the patterned sides to use as decoration and sentiment. 

I cut the large butterfly out from one of the sheets, and although you can’t really see it in the pic, coloured over the wings with my wink of stella clear pen. 

Finally, I went around the edges in a white gel pen to make faux stitching. 

And hey presto!  Ultra quick birthday card!

Monday, 9 February 2015

Challenge 132 Crafty Cardmakers and More - Love, Love, Love

As Valentine's Day is a heartbeat away our host for this challenge, Lorraine, would like to see your love themed creations. So love, romance, valentine, wedding or engagement will all be suitable.

For my card, I chose a 7 x 5 inch landscape base card.  I am trying (largely unsuccessfully) to reduce the amount of unused stash I have in my room and so I dived into the scrap card/paper and topper boxes to make this card.

I believe the heart backing papers and the image came from a freebie in a magazine as they were all on the same A3 folded to A4 sheet.  However, when I had them layered up, and the small toppers attached with foam pads I thought something was missing.

Back to the scrap card box, and I chose some red card left over from Christmas, and using a stamp set (free gift from a magazine called Happy Day clear stamps) I stamped out the bunting, and then stamped in the appropriate lettering using (possibly Hobbycrafts) small capital letters.  
I stuck the bunting onto some red and white bakers twine with wet glue and when dry, tucked it behind the backing paper and the small toppers with initials on, sticking it with glossy accents.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Thinking of You card

 I like CD Crafting - to have thousands of sheets of images and backing paper on hand is so liberating when I look at the amount of space my existing papers take up!

I recently had a big order for Thinking of You/Sympathy cards and I decided to make the theme floral for most of them.

The CD I used for this card's images  was Debbi Moore's Cottage Garden Moments.

My card base was my fave 6 x 6 inches, and I put the base layer of the backing paper onto it, rounding all the corners with my corner edger.

I used some of the white card left over when trimming down my A4 sheet to make the card base for the topper.  So that it looked more ornamental, I used the inverse corner edger from Xcut to make the shape.  I used a silver marker pen to edge it - really makes the card "pop" and is so easy to do!

I fussy cut out one of the images on the sheet and mounted it on the topper using foam pads.

Finally, I used a silver peel off on another piece of scrap card, cutting the pointy edges "by eye" to make a chevron.

I am entering this card into the following challenge:

CD Sunday - Floral Frenzies


Monday, 12 January 2015

Crafty Cardmakers and more challenge 130 - Something Old, Something New

As we have just said goodbye to 2014,and 2015 is in it's infancy, our hostess, Leslie, would like to see your creations incorporating something old and something new. This could be old stash and new stash combined, or perhaps an old technique and a new one.
For my card, I thought I would share a wedding card I have made for a colleague to give to her nephew.  
The old was the style - she wanted it to be the same as the card I did for her sister's birthday, and the new was the luscious gold  and ivory ribbon I snapped up in a sale last weekend.
 The card itself was an 8 x 8 base, with an acetate dome front.  For the front  of the card, I used backing paper from a serif kit, onto which I had put a photograph of the happy couple.  I used the same serif kit to make the heart topper, which I replicated and cut out and decoupaged.  I decorated the corners of the card with pearls, and put my ivory ribbon bow so that it covered the fact there was no bride to be under the neck! 
The acetate was prefolded and stuck down with super sticky double sided tape and the gold ribbon went inside the card, and hid the "join" where the card back was stuck onto the card front acetate.

Finally, I used some peel off stickers to put the sentiment on the acetate dome.