Monday 30 April 2012

Time for men.......

No, not naked men, or men in uniform - sorry to disappoint - just a masculine card on the theme of time......

That's the challenge this week over at Make My Monday   which seemed the perfect opportunity to ink up an as yet unused Bo Bunny Time set.

I used the "round" sketch over at Less is More this time to create the card combined with this theme and went for shades of brown.

I die cut a scrap with a circle and used the waste to create a mask into which I stamped a kaiserkraft clock background and used a papertrey ink sentiment underneath.  I stamped the pocketwatch image onto so soft beige card and fussy cut and shaded lightly with a couple of pencils in brown and ochre.  I stamped the hands and cut and fixed with a brad - notice the time - if you look at most clocks for sale they will normally have ten to two as the time - and why?  Well it makes a happy smiley face and apparently that makes us more likely to buy them - you may notice that digital clocks show the same time, clearly the psychology behind it was totally misinterpreted by their marketing teams!  It's not showing up on the photo but I finished with a gold pearl spritz on the clock and popped it up on dimensional foam.

I'll be back again later with our new challenge over at St Lukes - it will be a nice easy one for regular LIM players ;-)

Saturday 28 April 2012

Graphically Less is More

For this week's challenge the leaders of LIM have come up with a couple of sketches in their inimitable clean and simple style of course.  I decided to go for the square option rather than the circle and the squares took my thoughts to Mondrian so today I'm CASEing a world famous artist - get me ;-)

I started with a 6cm square of white cardstock, drew some pencil lines to get the shapes I wanted and then went over them in different thicknesses with my momento marker and coloured some of the squares in blue, red, yellow and black - Mondrian's standard palette.  To add my twist, I covered the whole square with WOW Neutral Shimmer Embossing Powder - I love this powder - it makes thinks look like they are covered with frosted glass.  Mounted onto a black square of card and finished with a matching graphical sentiment also in black (from a sadly retired Elzybells set)

I'm waiting for the postman to arrive with some new stash - how come when he only brings bills he's here at 10 am but when I actually WANT the stuff he doesn't come until late afternoon :-(

CASual showers

CASual Fridays  challenge this week is April showers bring May flowers - well we're certainly getting the showers in northern England - we had a months' worth of rain in Sheffield in less than 48 hours this week and it is officially the wettest April on record for the city in 130 years!   Lots of the rivers around us are on flood watch again and some (thankfully further away from our house) have burst their banks already.  We were flooded back in 2007 and haven't seen the rivers like it since then - I have everything crossed that we're not in for a re-run but the forecast for Sunday looks pretty bad again :-(

Anyway, enough of the weather forecast - back to the card.  I was definitely influenced more by the April showers than the May flowers, but there are flowers on my card so I think it still fits.  For my design I used the sketch from Annabelle Stamps but gave it a CAS interpretation. 

I turned to my current favourite stamp range - Stamping Bella's Uptown Girls - and opted for the image which came to mind with the current weather - Lolly and her brolly and decided to paper-piece it.  I went for a cute yellow, blue and green floral paper for the brolly and wellies and covered them with glossy accents for the wet look and did the same with the green raincoat.  I trimmed the card front enough to take the scalloped glitter edge and finished with the sentiment that came with the stamp.

All the papers for paperpiecing were from my scraps box so I am also going to join Pixie in the playground this week  If you've not played along before, it's a weekly challenge all about using up the bits all us crafters insist on keeping ;-)  Race you to the swings......

Friday 27 April 2012

More flakes

I fancied having another got at both this weeks' Less is More challenge to use charms, and this weeks' 52 CCT snowflake challenge but I've had a lot on this week so only got chance to play tonight.  I decided it was a great chance to combine the two and as  I also wanted to join Mynette's frame stamping technique link party I threw that in the mix too!

I used a nestie lable 2 to cut the apperture, stamped around with 3 snowflake stamps in shades of blue and ran it through a snowflake embossing folder.  I stamped an Amy R stamp onto the base card inside the apperture and hung the snowflake charm on blue twine above it.

I'm also entering it into these challenges:

Crafts and Me - Embossing
Pixie Dust Studio - Embossing

Material Girl

I needed to make a birthday card for my niece so looked around blogland for some challenge inspiration and I think I came up with a record number of challenges to combine (well for me anyway!)  I started with the above sketch and the idea to use material and that sparked off an idea to stamp onto material so I pulled out one of my new Uptown Girls from Stamping Bella and stamped her dress onto some lovely tilda fabric.  I love the texture this adds to a card and can see me repeating the technique on lots of my images as its much quicker than colouring too!!!!   I stuck the fabric to card first to stiffen it and help prevent fraying.

I also fancied lots of layers so that covered another couple of challenges, and I used some K&Co dp and my MS punch around the page pansie punch.  Some buttons covered another couple of challenges, making it for birthdays is another and adding some sparkle and shine in the form of glitter brings in a 3rd.  I stamped my sentiment onto some twill ribbon and folded it for interest and texture.  I tied more ribbon around the image where the ribbon on the stamped dress should be and fastened it with a pearl brad.

I am entering the following challenges:

Quixotic Inspirations - Sketch
Cupcake Craft Challenges - Use material
Crafty Emma's Challenge - Button It
Ladybug Crafts Ink TLT Challenge - Birthdays
Pile it on - Sparkle and Shine
Stamptacular Sunday - Loaded with Layers  3 or more
Milk Coffee - Lots of Layers
Stamping Bella - Flowers
Waste Not Wedensday - Use up your stash  (buttons)

Thursday 26 April 2012


It was my Mother's Birthday yesterday and I was really inspired by a scrapbook layout from the fabulously talented Gabriella Polaco a while back where she showed a great technique for making hydrangeas  My mum loves flowers of any kind so I knew an interpretation of her scrapbook layout would make a great card for her and this is what I came up with (sorry the colours are really off - the base card is much more pink than the red it seems here so does go much nicer with the blooms - but as the grey skys refuse to move we're back to fake light photos!)

Here is a close up of the pot (cut from a cricut cartridge, as was the branch) which does show the flowers in more realistic colours - they were cut with a MS punch from dotty bazil card and glued on with pinflair glue with a liquid pearl centre.

The frame for the sentiment is waltzingmouse and the sentiment is computer generated using the new scriptina front which I much prefer as they've fixed the kerning issues.  The little bird was fussy cut from some freebie papers with one of the magazines this month.

I can report that it went down very well and has pride of place on the mantelpiece :-)

I am entering the following challenges:

Moving along with the times - Flowers or Garden
Little Darlings - Flowers
Prairie Fairy Fridays - Anything with flowers
Aud Sentiments - Anything Goes
Simon Says - Anything Goes

Wednesday 25 April 2012

Dragonflies and ferns

I've played along in a couple of Hero Arts Challenges this week and managed to combine two into one card.  I've used the sketch from the April contest challenge

and combined it with the challenge from A Blog Named Hero which is to create a window in your card

I wanted to go for an earthy feel to the colours as I wanted to play with my new stamp and die set and wanted to use the fern as my focal image with a few dragonfly accents.  I used a cream base card, added 4 strips of cardstock to a kraft sheet and die cut a window from it.  I cut a frame for the window in black to add contrast and then stamped a simple hello in the window.  I stamped the fern in green and brown die cut it and offset it over the window and had the dragonflies fluttering up the card - kind of looks like they're escaping the swamp!

4th Birthday

It's my local craft shop's 4th Birthday this week - the very fabulous Craft Den - and today they are celebrating with a demo day- Lynne the owner is demonstrating the Grand Calibur (on sale at a very special birthday price, better than any I can find on the internet if you fancy one) and she has Kay from Indigo Blu stamps doing lots of lovely demonstrations until about 4pm today.

Naturally a card was required and as I just picked up the spellbinders labels from the Den a couple of weeks ago, I thought I'd use them and the tropical leaf cheery lyn dies as the basis for the card.

I used my favourite of the new Waltzingmouse release stamps which co-ordinate with the label die and the matching border to create the background for the large 8x8 card.  The colours were from last weeks Colour Throwdown but I wasn't quick enough getting it done to join the challenge.  The sentiment is from Imagine That.  I made the felt flower by cutting out 3 flowers using a marianne flower die and folding them into 3rds and sticking together for dimension.  The 4 is a chipboard letter covered in the same felt as the flower.

I am entering this into this weeks Annabelle stamps challenge which is to create your own background with stamps and not to use DP.

Saturday 21 April 2012

Christmas snowflakes

The theme for this week's 52 Christmas Card Throwdown is snowflakes and Moving Along with the Times also want to see Christmas cards this week so I'm entering my card into both challenges.

I started with the DP and went for non-standard Christmas colours of pinks, purples, blacks and greys.  The papers are from a papermania 8x8 stack and to finish I simply embossed a die cut shape with black glitter embossing powder and then embossed a wooden snowflake with, appropriately enough, snowflake twinkle embossing powder.  An AB gem adds extra sparkle to the centre.  The sentiment was embossed over the DP strip with fine detail white powder.

Simply Charming

This week's challenge at Less is More is much nicer than last week's doodling - much less head scratching had to be had this morning - all that is required is to use a charm on your card.

I have a big pot of charms but haven't really used many of them before but I do like the finished look so will have to remember to use them more often.

I used a set of music themed stamps from Technique Tuesday and stamped a musical background onto some kraft paper and then embossed one of the sentiments from the set over the top in silver.  It's been really difficult to photograph so if it's not clear, the sentiment reads "Music is Love in search of a word".  Mounted onto black card and wrapped twine around and hung my grand piano charm from it.

Friday 20 April 2012

CASual sketch

The challenge over at CASual Fridays today is a sketch

I decided to have a play around with some new washi tape I got with a magazine and used that to be the basis of the design and made a frame with some nesties to represent one of the square's on the sketch and finished with a pink paislee chipboard, also free with a magazine for the other.

The sentiment is from Hero Arts, as is the dragon fly which is from one of their sets that comes with sizzix dies.

Thursday 19 April 2012

Birthday commission

A quick commission card I've made tonight - all I was asked for was "unusal and sister" and this is what I came up with.

I've made a gatefold card and covered both sides with a strip of gorgeous DP from a tilda stack (winter garden I think) and stamped a couple of frames from Waltzingmouse which are only fixed to the left hand panel so it can still be opened up.  Sentiment is also Waltzingmouse.  I finished with a couple of spellbinders leaf springs and some matching decorative photo corners.

I do think it has a kind of shabby-chic feel which is not my normal style but the papers leant themselves to it. 

I'm going to enter it into the Charisma shabby-chic challenge

Wednesday 18 April 2012

Cool runnings

Unfortunately this one is not in the form of a Jamaican Bobsleigh Team (sorry, poor joke but that's one of my all time favourite films so I couldn't resist the pun of a title!).  No, this is just a card for the birthday club at work the recipient of which is a keen runner....

I shadow stamped the papermania runner silhouette stamp to give the impression of him running towards us, did some simple matting and layering and finished with some brads and an embossed birthday sentiment on a faux ribbon.

There are quite a few male hobby/sport challenges around this week so I'm entering it into the following:

Make my Monday - Male sports/hobby

Secret crafter saturday - a card for a man 

Our creative corner - boys and their toys 

Everybody Art Challenge - Card for a Man 

And finally, as it's on kraft cardsock, I'm entering into the current Krafty Thursday challenge over at the spotted chick's hen house  and it fits with N for Neutral over at ABC challenge too 

Shades of black......

Just a quick card today to meet the deadline for the challenge and it's a new one on me!  When Chrissie and Mandi challenged us last year to make a White on White card for Less is More, that was the first time I'd tried it and found it difficult at first but grew to love the effect, so when Annabelle stamps last week wanted us to "say it in black" I decided to have a go at my first black on black card.   My thoughts went straight to sympathy, although I guess all black may be too dour but I actually think it worked out to be quite uplifting:

I think it's the bird heading to heaven that makes it less harsh.  I stamped him and the grasses and embossed with clear powder, added some velvet ribbon and then embossed the hero arts sentiment in white pearl, which came out kind of grey, but that makes it fit better somehow.

I'm also going to enter it into this weeks Craft Room challenge which is simply to add ink (ie no digis) 

Tuesday 17 April 2012

New Beginnings Blog Party

It's the 17th of the month, which can only mean one thing, it's time to waltz with the mouse over at the Waltzingmouse Blog Party :-D   The theme for this month's party is "new beginnings" which had me a little stumped at first, but in the end I decided to go with a wedding card.

I stamped the gorgeous dress from You're Lovely onto some papermania patterned white vellum and embossed with with white pearl EP.  I brushed over some blue distress ink, spritzed it and buffed with a tissue so the white patterned showed through but gave a soft blue hue to the dress.  I cut a nestie shape in white and embossed with text and mounted on a blue matt.   I decided to make it a DL card so embossed another strip of white with dots for more texture, mounted it onto silver and rounded all the corners, adding a blue bow.  The sentiment is from Big Day Additions and is perhaps my favourite ever sentiment set - those flourishes Clare designed are just TDF!   I simply stamped it onto the same blue card as I used for the matt around the image and embossed it with fine detail white EP.  I think it came out quite elegant in the end.

Looking forward to hopping around all the other blogs to see what new beginnings everyone else opted for.....

I'm also going to enter it into a new challenge I've found the Crafters Cafe Challenge which is a monthly challenge and this month they want pastel colours - well my soft blues are very pastel.

Monday 16 April 2012

Artistic glitter

Just a quick post tonight as I'm trying to finish my book in time for book group on Thursday and I have a fair way to go....

Over at do you stack up they want cards that feature glitter or bling which is the same as our current challenge over at St Luke's this month   I had a new set of stamps from There She Goes who are sponsoring the DYSU challenge I wanted to play with and thought it would work so here's my card.

I love the image and think there is so much truth in the sentiment (I think that's why I struggled to doodle on this week's LIM challenge!).  I coloured her in copics and then added thick stickles to the paint brush and tube and added a layer of glitter card just to up the glitter ante a little.

Catch you later

Saturday 14 April 2012

Opposites attract with doodling

I've been struggling with this weeks Less is More challenge all day - they would like us to "doodle" on our card in some way.  I doodle alot when I bored, but I only ever seem to draw stars and they're not even proper ones, so this was a tough challenge for me - almost as bad as the dreaded acetate :(

I've been trying out lots of things on paper with the first ink pad I grabbed and the pen that was out on my desk and they just happened to be orange and blue which are opposite on the colour spectrum (and sooo not my go to colours) and something just clicked.  The challenge at CASual Fridays this week is to use two opposing colours so I have made a card to combine both challenges.

I stamped the happy birthday ticket in momento tangelo and then hand drew the squiggly lines and circles with a bright blue fine liner from muji (I LOVE these pens and was so glad when they brought them out in 15 colours not just black and blue).   Not the most inspiring card ever, but better than anything else I've come up with so far!

Christmas kisses

I've got a lovely long day of crafting all to myself today so I've been hopping around to see which challenges to play in and decided to combine two to begin with - the waltzingmouse sketch along with this week's Christmas card challenge over at 52 christmas card throwdown which is a green and white colour challenge

I went for my favourite stamp from the festive foliage set and stamped it onto green dp to paperpiece it onto the white circle onto which I hand drew a dark green line.  I added 3 pearls to be the berries on the mistletoe and dotted each with some green stickles to add the detail back in from the stamp.  DP is from My Minds Eye Be Merry and the bottom strip was embossed using a sizzix folder.  To allude to the scalloped edge on the sketch, I tied 4 knots in a strip of green ribbon and finished with a matching sentiment from the same set.

I'll be back later with more challenges hopefully.

Wednesday 11 April 2012


In typical procrastinating fashion, I've had a whole month to play along in the Quixotic Paperie sketch challenge and leave it until I have 2 days to go before I actually get around to it!

I've always been in awe of Mary J's fabulous little circular cards - she packs so much in to them yet still makes them look clean and refreshing and I never seem to have the knack.  However, with one of her sketches to follow, I had to give it a go - so here's my interpretation.

I used the lovely yoga girl from kraftin kimmie and coloured her with copics.  Layered on teal, an embossed white circle with a little DP and lace to finish.  The sentiment goes with the stamp but I only used one word of it rather than the whole sentiment.

While I'm here, I thought I'd share a card I was commissioned to make for a wedding over Easter weekend as I now know it's been opened.

I printed the sentiment and then matched the ink and ribbon and stamped a border top and bottom using Waltzingmouse stamps with a few gems and then stamped a matching frame from the same set around the text, with an embossed lable behind.  Apparently it went down really well.

Monday 9 April 2012

Green Ribbon

I decided to have another go at LIM this week - I do love green  and it seemed like a good opportunity to combine it with this weeks challenge at There She Goes which is to use ribbon

The very first set of stamps I bought from There She goes was one of their gorgeous sentiment sets of which the above is one.  I love how large and flourishy it is and thought it would look great with little else on the card so I selected 3 shades of green ribbon in different thicknesses and fixed them behind a smooth panel on a textured base card.

Sunday 8 April 2012

Friendly snowflakes

This weeks challenge at 52CCT is a gorgeous sketch which I found really inspiring so made a card straight away without too much thinking for a change.

I started with a blue base card and decided to go for a total snowflake fest.  I cut a blue snowflake (MS punch) and stuck it onto a nestie circle adding a button and twine bow to the centre.  You're probably all fed up of it already but I couldn't resist returning to my new favourite paper inlay technique this time using my memory box snowflake die.  I stamped a sentiment from Amy R in pearl blue ink (hard to see on the photo but is says The chill of winter is warmed by friendship) and then ran the white card through a snowflake embossing folder.  I might make more of this design as it was quite quick (even with the inlaid border)

Saturday 7 April 2012

Less is Green

The first Less is More challenge of the month is always colour and this month it's three shades of green

I really liked the new inlaid paper marquetry technique I tried for the PDCC challenge this week so I decided to give it another go for this challenge.

I added the positive from one green strip to negative of the other, created a scalloped frame with nesties and added a sentiment from Penny Black.  I finished it with some gems for a tiny bit of sparkle so it would be eligible for our First Anniversary challenge over at my charity fund raising blog in aid of St Luke's Hospice.  All you need is some glitter, gems or something sparkly and you can enter for a chance to win our mega prize package worth around £50 so why not combine your green with some gems and join us


Thursday 5 April 2012

Play Date Butterfly

I just adore the colour combo at Play Date Cafe this week and as it happens I had already been playing with two of the colours for a new technique, so I decided to make it into a card with the addition of the avocado.

I started by covering the back of a strip of grey card with double-sided tape and die cut the butterfly from it.  I lightly adhered it to a sheet of paper and then carefully removed the positive shape, ensuring that all the negative shapes stayed in place on the backing paper.  I die cut the same butterfly from the blue mist card (this was actually an already sticky piece of card stock fro DCWV) and then I added the positive into the space left behind by the grey one so you end up with a flat surface a little like wood marquetry but with paper.  (I actually kept the negative blue bits and added them to the positive grey so I have another two tone butterfly but with no background)

I die cut a ring using two round nesties to create a frame for the butterfly from a lightly patterned DP and finished with a pair of PTI sentiments in versamagic oasis green which is the closest ink I had to the butterfly.  I really like the shape the ring and the strip created and might make a set like this with images in the centre of the strip.

Get your geek on!!!

I needed to make a card for teenage boy this week and they are always quite tricky but then I saw this kenny k image and thought it was quite glee (boy in question is at theatre school) so I went with it.  I decided to push my comfort zone further by using a colour challenge to set the colour theme and this weeks's Colour Throwdown gave me some lovely bright colours

I'm also entering it into this weeks Kenny K's Krafty Girlz challenge which is April Fool - an image which makes you smile and this one certainly does!

I coloured the image with copics, layered onto dp to match the colours from the challenge then made a greeting in word and created a triple layer ribbon from it.  Finished simply with a brad and a few stars cut with a MFT dynamics die.  The final touch was some glaze on the glasses and some glitter on the mirror ball...

Geek Chique nes pas?

Wednesday 4 April 2012

One Layer Challenges

I've done a couple of one layer cards this week - both with Waltzingmouse stamps as their sketch challenge this week is one layer

I thought the lace stamp from the new sets would pair up well with the vintage dress form so did some simple matting and layering in black and blue and finished with some tiny crystals.

I have to say that one layer is usually something I'm pretty good at these days so I opted to do one layer for this week's anything goes over at 52 Christmas Card Throwdown too  but I I don't think I did a great job with either card!  This is what I came up for their challenge:

I used a couple of Waltzingmouse sets in simple red and green on a golden pearl base card (doesn't show on photo)  It's a bit bleurgh really - I think my mojo has gone on holiday for Easter early!

Tuesday 3 April 2012

Beary Happy Birthday

It's my Aunt's birthday today - she's a ripe and lively 81 years young (honestly, we have days out shopping and I have to have a lie down when we get home - she gets in and starts doing the garden!!)  I knew I wanted to use this bear image as she loves teddies but I needed some inspiration for the layout and thankfully this week's annabelle sketch challenge came to the rescue.

 The sketch challenge can be found here

The image is from fizzy moon and is coloured with copics with the addition of glitter.  I cut it with a nestie and mounted onto another scalloped nestie and added a gem to the centre of each scallop.  I cut a decorative strip using nestie edgeabilities and added a large gem to the center of each decorative element and then used the die to edge with a narrow pen.  The sentiments are from 3 retired elzybells sets.   It's quite a bit "pinker" than my normal cards, but I think it's quite cute.

It would also be a great card to enter into our charity cards challenge which this month is all about bling and we have a £50 prize package up for grabs.

Monday 2 April 2012

CASual Song Inspiration

This week's challenge at CASual Friday's is to make a card inspired by a song - I decided to take one of my husband's favourite bands Kraftwerk for my inspiration and their song is called "The Robots".

I used the super cute set designed by Torico from There She Goes stamps - I have all her robot sets they are just wonderful.  These 2 are best friend robots - I stamped them onto grey card, shaded with pencils and then added some googly eyes before fussy cutting them out.  The stamps also come with a smaller solid block matching stamp which I stamped repeatedly to make a background before adding one of the sentiments from the set.

When looking for this set, I pulled out another one of theirs so decided to make another card for this challenge and also this week's challenge at There She Goes which is to use metal embellishments.  This card is inspired by the Christmas song "Little Donkey".

I don't think its particularly clear from the photograph but I have decoupaged the "butt" on the donkey, with and extra layer for the tail and the fluffy hair, stamped on kraft card and shaded again with pencils.  I added a strip of metal embossed with stars and also die cut some large stars from the same metal - the stars fit the theme at TSG and also echo the sentiment. 

Sunday 1 April 2012

Get your bling on!

I can't quite belive it but it's been a whole year since I started my charity fundraising blog in aid of St Luke's Hospice in Sheffield and all you lovely ladies out there in blogland have donated over 2000 cards in that time.  For our anniversary challenge I thought that a little bit of bling was appropriate so it's time to pull out your gems, glitter and metalics and give us something that sparkles!

My inspiration card was designed as an anniversary one either Golden or Ruby - a special cake with added bling, I left the sentiment off though so I can add it if it sells at a sale as I take a selection of stamps with me to personalise as required.  I gues it could work for birthdays too actually as it's just a cake.  The stamps are papermania, stamped and embossed in gold with gold bling and ruby ric-rac.

As it's a celebration on the blog, we need a big celebration prize so we have all these goodies up for grabs if you take part in our challenge this month.

It was pretty hard to photograph, so if you can't quite make it all out, it consists of the following:

A rainbow pack of felt sheets
A ribbon girl kit (yellow)
2 packs of antique gold effect embossed stickers
2 packs of assorted flowers
2 sheets of unmounted fairy and flower rubber stamps
a set of Papermania Christmas cling stamps
a Ladybug Crafts Ink Magnum cling stamp
4 packs of seed beads
a bunch of gold pearl sprays
a bunch of iridescent flower sprays
a bunch of gold leaf sprays
and a perfect Bow Maker MkII
The total value is over £50 so well worth an entry.  We award on merit, not random draws so give us your best work and all this could be yours!  We look forward to seeing you.

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