Thursday 31 May 2012

Dude's Rule!

Dude's Rule is Susan's challenge this week for one layer Wednesday  and as I was still in "Father's Day" mode last night I decide to have a go and make another card for the charity sale coming up.  I wanted to play with the splatter background technique that is around at the moment, and I have to say I wasn't that successful............

I stamped the rosette in two shades of momento blue direct to the card and masked it off (I think the stamp is jenny browlin) and stamped the fabby "No 1" from the new Waltzingmouse relations set into the centre in black.  I then masked it off using a post it and took the pipe out of a spritz ink bottle to do the splatters.  However, a couple of my splats landed too near to the mask and as the ink is soooo runny, it bled underneath.  I added a fathers day sentiment (stampin up) to the side.  Bit messy but OK for a first attempt - just a shame about the ink bleeding - I think I'd use paint and a toothbrush for the splatter next time like we used to do in nursery school ;-)

I'll be back later with our new challenge for St Luke's which I hope will be a lot more popular than our month long one layer challenge has been as it seems we scared you all off with it!

Wednesday 30 May 2012

Embossed Christmas

This week's 52CCT challenge is to use heat or dry embossing on your project

I decided to go all Scandinavian with trees as my theme and a red and natural kraft colour theme.

This really was one of the quickest and most simple Christmas cards I've ever made, but I really like the effect so may well make a set of them.  I used a hero arts stamp and emboss set to create the bottom panel (stamped first in rhubarb stalks momento ink).  I used my grand calibur so I could run the car through open and get the embossing just where I wanted it.  The strip with the merry Christmas on it is a gorgeous washi tape I got on ebay from Singapore.  The finishing touch is a painted wooden Christmas tree I got in the John Lewis January sales which just adds a little "pop".

It's very humid here tonight but the rain we should have had about 5 hours ago has finally arrived so hopefully we'll start to cool off a little - let's get the rain over and done with before the extended Jubilee bank holiday weekend - although the chances of breaking the bank holiday rain tradition look pretty slim :(

Tuesday 29 May 2012

Manly paper

The challenge this week at CASual Fridays is to use Decorative Papers on masculine cards   Well as I am trying to make some more father's day cards for the St Luke's Summer Fair on 9th June, this was perfect timing so I've made a couple for this challenge.

On this first card I've used a couple of different digi papers, the background strip is a Sherry K digi and the dotted kraft is basic grey.  The sentiment is from a couple of different waltzingmouse sets and the big stars were die cut (mft die) from double sided sticky sheets and covered with gilding flakes (I'm loving this technique - you need to run the sheets through your die cutter 2 or 3 times but it makes easy and dramatic embellishments).

For this second one I used another of the Sherry K digi papers as the basis for the design and used my favourite masculine stamps from the Crafts Meow to match - I stamped and cut the moustache onto a die cut circle and added a sentiment from the same set underneath.  The strips of paper were from my snippets box and the sentiment circle was cut from another Sherry K sheet.

It's the first time I've used digi papers and I have to say I like the flexibility they offer and they certainly help me get over my "but if you use it you won't have it any more" issues.....   If you like them, she is currently having a 3 day 50% off sale and there are even 3 packs you can get for free:-)

Monday 28 May 2012

Throwing my hat in....

I've been umming and ahing all month about whether or not to enter this year's Gallery Idol competition run by PaperCrafts Magazine.  I found the theme of "encouragement cards" a bit tricky and am not sure my card making is up to "idol" standard.  But, as the saying goes, you've got be in it to win it so I finally had a go this weekend and these were my two efforts:

The sentiments on both cards are from the There She Goes Hang On set.  For the first I stamped a musical background, mounted 2 die cuts one in black card one cut from double sided sticky sheets and covered with Yorkshire Dales gilding flakes.  The second is just a tim holtz brick wall embossing folder on kraft with a little pumice stone ink, some black mats and a knotted "rope"

Saturday 26 May 2012

Shapes and Toppers

Well today's Less is More challenge of shaped cards was a bit of a curve ball!  I wasn't sure what to do but then I remembered that some of my cricut cartridges have cards on them.  They cut a shape just at the front though so I cut them and then traced the design from the front to the back and cut it out to make them properly shaped - I didn't think that through on my first one - a heart which really doesn't stand on it's point lol!  It will probably become a gift tag on a present I think.

 The butterfly was much more successful for a shaped card - the base is more stable and it was a more sensible size (both were cut to 3 inches on the cricut - I get very frustrated with the sizes that come out as they bear NO resemblance to the actual size you ask for!)   For both cards, the cricut eventually, after many sheets of wasted cardstock, cut both a base card and a topper (from Damask Decor cartridge) and I coloured the topper with distress inks and pearl spritzing.  The sentiment on the butterfly is by Paula Pascal and I hand wrote the one on the heart to follow the curve.

While the cricut was doing its stuff, I had a play and made another card - not for any challenge so I'm just sharing it before I go and to enjoy the sunshine.  This was made with a gorgeous topper I received in the post today from Tracy - the lovely lady behind Cardmakers Delights who was stalking me yesterday (private joke!)  She asked me if I'd like to try some of her toppers - for free (see told you she was lovely) the only catch was to make a card and blog it.  Well, it wasn't hard at all to agree to that, she has some gorgeous designs and now I have them in the flesh I can also vouch for the quality of the cardstock and printing.  I decided to be all "jubilicous" and make something patriotic with the lovely vintage keep calm topper included in the pack - I opted to keep it simple with an embossed flag behind, a blue mat and a matching regal bow.

Friday 25 May 2012

Flashback Friday Guest Host

Well today is an exciting day as, following my win last month, I get to be guest host over at Flashback Friday today, and I even get to choose what this month's flashback will be.  So - pop on back to the early days of your blog, find your FIRST MASCULINE CARD and link it on up to the flashback party :-D

It's easy-peasy lemon-squeezy - no new cards to make, just take a browse back and marvel at how much your crafting has changed.  There are even prizes - how good is that???   Our sponsor this month is Perfect Presentation

Perfect Presentation

The prize is choice of 3 files in any format from pdfs, to svg cutting files there is something for everyone!

To get the party started, we have a bit of a blog hop for you to feast your eyes on - you should have started over at Flashback Friday, and then I'm your first hop.  Here's my first ever masculine card (and coincidentally my first ever easle card too!)

I made it back in April 2010 using a LOTV topper some scraps of dp some ribbon and some alphabet stickers.  Not as horrendous as some of my other firsts!  The original can be found here

Now it's time to carry on the hop and see what other masculine goodness the Friday Flashbackers have to share:

Thursday 24 May 2012

Feeling felty

It's the blog party today (although a little delayed) which meant I had time to make something!  Those of you that know my blog will see stamps from the house of mouse make a pretty regular appearance - they are my go to sets in my top stamping drawer for ease of access, so I do love to play along in the monthly party of all things mouse :-D  The challenge this month was to use felt in your card.

I'd been avoiding this sketch all week as it terrified me, but last night whilst trying to think of something felty I hit upon an idea that I thought would work with it:

I cut 5 tiny pink hearts from an old sizzix die (it's actually the centre of the letter o in a LOVE die) from yummy dark pink felt and stuck them in place of the squares on the sketch, adorned with a tiny pale pink gem.    I then used two sentiments from Compact Sentiments part two (the eagle eyed amongst you may spot the different layout to the smile one - I VERY carefully cut the "you" off the stamp so I could put it where I wanted it - I can still use it as it's meant to be as well so don't panic) popped up with dimensional foam with gently inked edges.  I think it will be my anniversary card to my husband next month.

I'm also going to enter this into CASual Friday's dies and punches challenge and the Dies to Die for anything goes with a die cut challenge.

Can't wait to see what everyone else has brought to the party.


Wednesday 23 May 2012


The theme over at 52 CCT this week is Nativity

At first I didn't think I had any nativity stamps but a search through my stash found 3....   Someone needs to make a stamp index and soon!!!!!!   I decided to go for this cute and as yet uninked LOTV stamp

Very simple card - coloured with copics, cut with nesties and layered with some DP from DCWV and some gold mirri and finished with a gold tinted sentiment from Craftwork cards.

After all the miserable weather, it's now really hot and sticky so I'm off to have a cool bath before bed.

Monday 21 May 2012

Bright Bite

I really loved the vibrant stack of macaroons that was the Tuesday Trigger over at Moxie Fab last Tuesday and as soon as I saw it, it brought one of my stamps to mind, and I finally managed to get it coloured over the weekend.

The way the macaroons are stacked reminded me of this stack of teacups by Papermania so I decided to make a very simple card just translating the colours from the stack into my teacups.  I coloured them with copics and added a little glitter here and there.  The sentiment is from Waltzingmouse Frame It.

I'll be sending this across the pond to my blogging buddy Deborah - hope that's not spoiling the surprise but I know you like cup images, and wanted to send you something bright to drive away the homesick blues.

More babies

I didn't get much time to look around everyone's entries for the Less is More challenge yesterday as my friend, who isn't remotely crafty, came round to my house for lunch with a card kit she bought whilst with me on one of our recent shopping trips to Chesterfield.  I convinced her she could make the kit so she bought it and she came round so I could help and she could use my stash - they're Christmas cards but it's never too early to start right?   She did enjoy it but she definitely didn't catch my crafting bug (more's the pity as it would be nice to have someone to play with!) but I do think she made a good job for a first attempt (even though she was a bit freaked when I suggesting adding to and changing the designs that were on the box!!!!)

However, I did make a start on my visiting, and I was totally blown away by this card by Vicky as I just love how clean and graphic it isand the little heart is so cute.  I was really inspired to make an even more stripped down version - so I knocked up a couple of quick cards, again for the forthcoming sales I'll be doing for St Lukes (we have a couple coming up in June).  They haven't photographed very well as the colours are so soft (angel pink and summer sky momento)  The hearts are actually sequins.

I'll get around to everyone else later in the week - time for bed now as the weekend is officially over :(

Sunday 20 May 2012

Mini Masterpiece?

The challenge for one layer wednesday this week hosted by Heather was to create a 2" masterpiece on your card.

I was TOTALLY blown away and inspired by Heather's tutorial she did on how she created her mini masterpiece, so even though I'm really not great at inking techniques, I decided to have a go.  Once I'd done it and started to write this post I've realised that my version uses the identical colours to Heather's OLW piece so I may have CASEd it a bit too closely (although with no-where near as good a final outcome!!!)

I followed the tutorial and used a penny black grid line stamp, an inkylicious floral stamp (which is larger than the 2" square) and a sentiment from Elzybels (now available as a Penny Black stamp)   I had to draw a border around my square as I got a bit of a bleed under my masking - hope that a 2.1" square still counts ;-)

It's soooo not a masterpiece, but I am proud of it for a first attempt and I really love the effect so will definately give the technique another go.

Saturday 19 May 2012

Wee little babies

This week is theme week at Less is More and the theme is cards for babies or children

I decided to make a couple of cards to go into the St Luke's box - baby cards always sell well.  I used the onsie jumbo wheel from stampin up and coloured (copics) and cut out 2 of the images - one pink, one blue - very predictable ;-)   I mounted them onto a white panel embossed with baby feet and some colour co-ordinated mats behind.  I stamped the gorgeous sentiment from Waltzingmouse Compact Sentiments onto matching paper.  Cute and very easy to assemble.

Friday 18 May 2012

Anniversary Silhouttes

The challenge this week at CASual Fridays is to use punches or dies

I thought it would be a great opportunity to use a couple of the new Marianne dies I won recently over at Make My Monday

I die cut the couple from black card, mounted them onto a 5" square of grey which I punched with a Martha Stewart punch around the page punch set and finished with a Waltzingmouse sentiment.  Very quick and clean and simple, but not creatively very stretching - perhaps I'll try and give my mojo a workout and try again later in the week....

Thursday 17 May 2012

Bunting, birds and butterflies

Whilst I look in awe at the DT's creations every week, I often find the colours at CR84FN a bit too much of a challenge for me, but this fortnight was more in my comfort zone, so I decided to have a go and play along.

I used a couple of stamps from a new papermania "bunting" set by Lucy Cromwell, one image and one sentiment.  I stamped directly onto a textured 3" base card and then coloured with just 5 faber castell pencils and blended with a dry stump to prevent bleed through.   I'm quite pleased with the CAS results.  As its one layer, it would fit our ongoing challenge over at St Lukes Charity Cards Challenge too.

Wednesday 16 May 2012

Colourful Christmas

The challenge this week at 52 CCT is a colour challenge - to use purple, green and silver

At first I thought it was an odd colour combo - but then I found a set of green and purple craftwork card parts I'd bought a couple of years ago so obviously I was attracted to and it does actually work really well (thanks Mynette for making me look at it again!)

I used a purple base card and a piece of pearl lime green cardstock that matches the craftwork cards set and stamped on it a new gorgeous tree from Dimension stamps that I picked up at a craft fair on Sunday.  I embossed it with primary indigo powder from WOW and added some purple stickles for extra sparkle and silver for the star on top.  I added a strip of embossed silver cardstock and finished with a purple sentiment circle from the craftwork cards set.

Tuesday 15 May 2012

Colour Curious

Well, those of you who know me, know that my favourite colour is teal - I make cards with it, have it all over my house and even bought a teal wedding dress!

So when I found this quiz  What color are you?

and then got this result:

you are teal

Your dominant hues are green and blue. You're smart and you know it, and want to use your power to help people and relate to others. Even though you tend to battle with yourself, you solve other people's conflicts well.

Your saturation level is very high - you are all about getting things done. The world may think you work too hard but you have a lot to show for it, and it keeps you going. You shouldn't be afraid to lead people, because if you're doing it, it'll be done right.

Your outlook on life can be bright or dark, depending on the situation. You are flexible and see things objectively.

the html color quiz

it really made me smile :-)

Sunday 13 May 2012

St Luke's Mid Month Reminder

Well it certainly seems like we've scared off our regulars over on the St Luke's Charity Cards Challenge Blog with our one layer challenge this month as we've hardly had any players.  So, as its one layer week over at Less is More I thought I'd combine their "use 3 stamps" with our "anything as long as its one layer" to see if we can prompt a few more players to join us.  We have a couple of lovely stamps from Lili of the Valley up for grabs....

My three stamps were from 2 sets - the flower and frame are both old ones from Elzybells whom I loved so much so am SOOOO pleased to see that she is now designing for Penny Black and that some of her old stamp sets (including the round flower set to match this one) are being re-released.  The sentiment is from a new set from Papermania by Lucy Cromwell.   I masked off a strip then stamped the flower and frame, removed the mask and added the sentiment into the gap - simples. 

See ONE LAYER DOESN'T HAVE TO BE SCARY.....................

Saturday 12 May 2012

There She Goes Mother of All Blog Hops

Welcome to the 3rd annual Mother of All Blog Hops sponsored by There She Goes Clears Stamps!   Over the next two days, we (customers and trendsetters!) will be featuring some of our favourite There She Goes Clear Stamp sets!   Not only that, we’re going to give YOU a chance to win some fabulous prizes!
To find out how, please go to the There She Goes’ blog and read the simple instructions.
I'm really excited to be playing along for the first time as I LOVE TSG stamps and was really lucky to get to be able to showcase probably my all time favourite stamp set - the LOVEBOTS!

I used 4 of the 7 stamps that come in the set on my card.  I started with a little film strip die into which I stamped the tiny shadow image of the weighing scales bot, showing more of him in each frame to give the illusion of it being an actual film strip.  I then coloured and fussy cut the matching outline image and placed him over the film strip.  The chevron background was embossed before diecutting with an "industrial" folder.  I stamped one of the sentiments between the two robots directly onto the card - I'm quite a CAS girl so despite having a huge stash of DP I don't use it often. 

For the larger robot, I stamped him 3 times, coloured with copics and decoupaged areas of him so that the hearts really were flying out of his tummy doors (you can see the dimension in the photo below better)  It took a little time to fussy cut the hearts but with the aid of some tweezers to hold the little pieces it is possible and the effect is worth the effort!

Please click on the InLinkz below and follow it to the next blog!
I hope you love the robots as much as I do - when you hope around you may some of his friends ;-)   Good luck in the prize contest.

Friday 11 May 2012

CASual Birds

As I'm on holiday today - I get to play along with CASual Friday's a full 12 hours earlier than normal :-)  Today's challenge is to feature birds.

I had my cricut out last night mass producing cards for our local Cats Protection League from whom we got our lovely Lottie a few years ago so I like to do what I can to support their totally volunteer run rescue services.  I made them packs of cards with this image from the Cindy Loo cartridge.

As it was still out, I thought I'd use it to make my CASual Friday card for a change too (I really should use it more than I do, especially as I'm now after a Cameo too!) 

This time I used the From the Nest cartridge and just used two colours and two images - the phrase goes with a different bird not the caged one - but I thought it would be a good card for someone leaving home for the first time.  The only non-cricut bit is the chain I've hung the cage from which is actually a row of tiny silver spacer beads from my jewellery making stash.

It is actually not raining here today for the first time this week so we might go out for the day.

Catch you later

Thursday 10 May 2012

Butterfly flashback...

I've not played along in Flashback Friday for a while so as I'm sitting here working through over 500 blogposts I needed to catch up on in my reader, I thought I'd post a quick flashback to my first ever card featuring butterflies.

I created this card in February last year (took me a while to get into butterflies it seems) and the original can be found here

 If you want to play along, all you have to do is find your first butterfly card, post a new post with the old card and link it up here

Wednesday 9 May 2012

Stamped Vase

I'd seen glass stamping done but was always a bit scared to try it in case the glass shattered under the heat of a heat gun.  However, I found a heavy bottomed vase and thought that would be strong enough so I had a go and made this as a gift for my friend who loves purple.

I used Stampendous Jumbo Cling Peony stamp set just with embossing powders on two sides of the vase.  Because the stamps are unmounted it is possible to "wrap" them slightly around the corners.  To make it easier to see if I had got them lined up, I used a "dirty" embossing ink pad so I got some colour on the vase before I added powder.  I masked off areas of the swirls I didn't want by using seloptape on the stamps when inking.   It is a bit scary at first and does take a much longer time for the powders to melt on glass than it does on paper but the finish is quite effective so I will have another go - maybe on something rounder next time.

I am going to enter this into this month's Stampendous Impressions challenge which is simply to make a gift so this definately counts!

Exciting News

Just a very quick post with my super exciting news as for the first time ever today - I'm in print!

If you're rushing out today to get the new issue of PaperCrafts Inspirations then jump to page 88 and you'll find one of my cards :-)   I'm just a little bit excited!!!!

It's made all the more exciting as on the same page as me, completely coincidentally are my blogging buddies Lynne and Jenny from my DT over at St Luke's Charity Cards challenge - all in print together for the first time.

If you don't get the magazine then you can see all our cards via their website link

Personally I'm off to the newsagents right now..............

Tuesday 8 May 2012

Flowers, stockings and peas........

I've had some extra time to play this week as I'm on holiday so I've done quite a few challenges so I have a couple to show you today.

Firstly I made a "white" flower for this weeks Make my Monday challenge

The literal challenge was Lily of the Valley as it's this months birth flower and all I know about this flower is that it is NOT one of those!  I have no idea what it is, or what colour it should be, but I think it looks OK in white so lets go with it ok....   I just did very quick watercolouring with distress inks (bundled sage, forrest moss and peeled paint with a hint of spiced marmelade for the stamens).  I did use a tiny bit of  bundled sage on the "white" petals to give some subtle shading.  I used an embossing folder for the mount and cut it by hand after embossing and finished with a craftwork cards sentiment.

Next I made 2 cards using the great sketch this week at 52 Christmas Card Throwdown (I'm loving this challenge and have almost a full shoebox of Christmas cards already and it's not quite half way through the year).  I made one card with the sketch as is, and a second with it turned on its side.

For this first card I used my favourite Christmas pun stamp "peas on earth" coloured with copics, some paper from My Minds Eye 12 Days of Christmas and a fab greeting one of my local stores got made up so we can do localised greetings.

For this one, I turned the sketch sideways, used an old Magenta framed stocking stamp, stamped twice and paper-pieced the second layer of stockings in pink cardstock coloured with pencils to match the paper (same MME stack) and finished with a No Peeking sentiment from Waltzingmouse.

Right - off to get some jobs done.  Catch you later.

Monday 7 May 2012

Happy Birthday CASual Friday

It's the first anniversary this week of the CASual Friday challenge - can't quite believe I've been playing along every week for a whole year (I think I missed maybe 2 or 3 challenges tops).  To celebrate the challenge this week is to create a birthday card -

I used a couple of sets from There She Goes - the super cute Birthday Bots and Numbered Days.  The main image is part coloured with copics and part paper-pieced.  I used a smaller present stamp from the same set, coupled with a dienamics filmstrip die to create a little "movie" of the present arriving just by stamping it as an outline inside each cell by masking off the others as I went along.  Finished with the sentiment and a couple of drifting balloons.

I am also entering it into the celebration challenge this week at One Stop Craft Challenge 

Happy Birthday CASual Fridays - looking forward to another year of great challenges :-D

Sunday 6 May 2012

Paper peppers

There's a great prize on offer over at Papersmooches this weekend with 3 sets of their wonderful stamps plus some Bazzill cardstock and the challenge is to only use plain cardstock and no decorative papers.

I often paperpiece my papersmooches stamps so I decided to use that route for my entry and I mixed up a couple of their sets to produce this:

I stamped the pepper image from Vegtastic onto green card twice and cut it out.  I used the same image for the red chilli pepper but just used the central portion containing the face.  I took the glasses and bow tie image from Sunny Side Up and embossed the glasses in black for shine.  I added a strip of yellow cardstock to show that the peppers were living it up on the beach and finished with the sentiment and some hearts also from Vegrtastic.

The deadline closes later today so play quick if you want to join in.

Saturday 5 May 2012

Mellow Yellow

It's colour week at Less is More and as luck has it their "yellow" challenge matches in with two other colour challenges I wanted to play in so I've combined the three as both Annabelle Stamps  and Our Creative Corner want us to use kraft, lemon and white.

Chevrons and zig-zags are everywhere in papercrafting at the moment so for once in my life I'm "on trend" lol!  I used a sheet of double sided DP from My Minds Eye "on the bright side" 6x6 pad and hand cut the chevron side for the white and lemon upright strip.  I used a dienamics die to create the horizontal strip from the other side of the chevron paper which is a soft yellow with a tiny dot and some black for contrast.  I finished with a felt flower I made with a paper quilling technique, a simple sentiment from Waltzingmouse and a few random lemon gems.

Yellow is normally a colour I avoid in card making but this is such a sunny cheerful card (on a dreary day where I'm hiding inside from the 38,000 football fans about to descend on Hillsborough) that I must remember to use it more.

Spectacular Spectacles!

I'm kind of new to the world of Moxie Fab but I'm really glad I've found my way in as I'm so inspired by the pictures and trends Cath posts there.  So, I thought I'd throw myself in at the deep end and enter one of their challenges - this one is all about the trend for spectacles in papercrafting images and the images she collected are fabulous - I love the black and white dress

I went with a whimsical approach and this is my card:

The card is mostly computer generated - I designed the layout of the sentiment in word using text boxes to get the alignment how I wanted it.  The large glasses are clipart that I I printed onto card, cut out, stuck onto acetate and cut again popped up with pinflair glue.  I had drew the dotted red line and then stamped a couple of rows of matching red spectacles on the basecard with a stamp from papersmooches.

Hope it makes you all smile :-D

Wednesday 2 May 2012

Christmas Buttons

This week's 52 CCT is an embelishement challenge to use buttons and bows and I've combined with the current tic tac toe challenge at The Paper Players where I chose the middle line "blue colours" "my choice - buttons" and "ribbon"

I used a dark blue strip across a white DL card and added a strip from an LLB strip stack which looks like snowflakes under a microscope.  I added some ribbon, a bow and some die cut buttons and then added some tiny buttons to the bow an on the hat of the penny black image. 

Tuesday 1 May 2012

Cafe Florals

I was really inspired by the colours of this weeks Play Date Cafe Challenge when I saw them and then I went and almost missed the deadline for playing along so I'm squeezing a quick card in before the link closes.....

I die cut the flower (memory box wild blooms) from dusky card stock and rounded the corners.  I stuck magenta and seedling behind to "colour" the flower and drew a dotted line around the flower heads.  I added a greeting (pti) on a fancy cut piece of cardstock - the same I used for the stems.  I added a little strip of white cardstock embossed with leaves to the opposite side of the card  for balance and again rounded the corners.  I tied some ribbon on the diagonal into a simple knot over the stems to finish.

St Luke's Single Layer Challenge

This month at St Luke's there is only one rule and that is to have no layers on your card - stamp, draw, ink, emboss - whatever technique you fancy  - just do it directly onto the base card.

Now I know for some people a one layer card is a very scary prospect, it was for me when I first started to try, but it does get easier with practice - and you've got a whole month to play along and get in lots of practice and you may even end up as the recipient of this months prize.  We are being sponsored again by the lovely people over at Lili of the Valley and we have a pair of their gorgeous stamps to give away.

I decided to make two inspiration cards - both engagement cards - one full on and one as clean and simple as it can get.

For the first card I drew a double border with a thin black pen.  I then centred a nestability die cut fancy label shape and drew around it with the same fine liner and coloured the negative spaces in black.  I left the die cut shape in place as a mask and masked off the border with post-its.  I stamped a penny black image from the "trims" collection in a variety of inks and added matching stickles to each as the image resembled fireforks to me and went with the celebratory feel of an engagement.  I stamped a Waltzingmouse sentiment in the label once I removed the mask and finished by adding some square black gems to the corners.

For the second card I took another nestie label and this time fixed it with a little masking tape on the inside of the card and dry embossed with a ball tool on both the cutting edge and the inner embossing edge.  If you've not tried this before, it's a nice easy technique - easier with a lightbox (but I didn't have time to dig mine out so it is possible without one).  Secure the die inside with the cutting edge facing the outside of the card, turn it over and rub gently with a bone folder - this creates a soft line on top of the cutting edge so you know where to put your ball tool to begin.  The trick is to go over the lines a couple of times to get the depth (I use a double ended tool and start with a thicker end then use a narrow one for definition once the fibres have stretched) - if you go too hard and deep too fast, you just rip the card stock.  You can do the same thing on an embossing machine but I think you get a deeper impression by hand.

Once I'd created my raised shape, I just stamped and embossed the same sentiment from Waltzingmouse with WOW Amber Rose Embossing Glitter and went over it with a little glossy accents for extra shine.  I finished with a tiny silver gem on the start and finish of the sentiment and added a slightly larger silver gem in each corner of the label.

See - one layer cards don't have to be difficult or scary...........

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