Friday 31 August 2012


The cue word at CASology this week is relax - other than crafting and cooking, one of my favourite methods of relaxation is reading a good (or even trashy) book so the cue naturally lead me to this:

I stamped the book stamp (dimension stamps) onto scrap card, coloured with copics using the colours from this weeks ColourQ as my colour palette, and popped up on foam pads for a little dimension.  I finished with a sentiment from My Favourite Things "Well Read" stamp set.

Do pop back later as our new challenge over at St Luke's Charity Cards Challenge goes live at midnight :-D

Thursday 30 August 2012

New Apartment

I am only just going to get this online in time for the month long Hero Arts challenge - I really am rubbish this month!

 I used one of the sketches this month, and made a card for a friend who is about to move into a new apartment.

The tower block is cut from kraft on the silhouette (a Hero Arts cut file) and I then stamped chevrons over it with a Hero Arts stamp using peanut butter momento ink.  I added some black card behind the cut out windows.  The bird is from a Hero Arts stamp and die set.  The sentiment is embossed on black from another HA set using a lengthened HA lable die.   The stars are from an old punch.  I quite like the masculine feel.

I'm going to enter it into the CAS challenge at ATS too

CASual Banner

The challenge this week (well last week technically as it finishes in a couple of hours) at CASual Friday's was to create a CAS card featuring a banner or banners.

I had a couple of ideas for this but didn't manage to execute them so I went for something quick and simple.

I used the Apothecary Art set from Stampin Up stamped onto kraft 3 times.  I coloured the rose wreath on one layer with pencils and fussy cut it mounting it with pin flair glue for dimension.  I stamped a sentiment from hero arts in two chalk inks to match the roses onto the banner on another impression and cut the banner out, mounting it a bit higher with more pin flair.  I cut the base image out by hand and mounted onto a textured kraft base card with some strips of DP in tonal colours.

Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday 28 August 2012

Wedding Wishes

If you are a regular visitor, then you will know that last month I made a tiara for my friend who got married in the Caribbean - well Saturday was their "UK Reception/Celebration" and they both got kitted out in their wedding gear again so I now have a "in use" shot to share. 

I made them a second card, from all the girls in our book group, to go with the gift we bought between us.

I cut the flourish frame on my cameo and created a background (slightly too wide really but I discovered that too late to change it!) using the offset function.  I stamped and embossed the cake from the stampin up love and laughter set onto vellum with white ep with an amber rose heart on top.  I punched some flowers (MS hydrangea) and embossed those too, shaped and added a gem centre.  I used the same amber rose powder with a glue pen in the detail on the flourish and added some more gems around to bring out the details.  I stamped and embossed the sentiment underneath the cake and used a sakura pen to add colour to the holes around the frame.  I mounted onto some maroon ribbed cardstock to make a base and finished with some hand drawn stitches with a white gel pen.

I'm going to squeeze this in just before the deadline on the challenge which is all about weddings or anniversarys over at

Three, two, one......

Were you doing the twisting finger thing a la Ted Rogers (you remember, Dusty Bin's mate) - I remember being mesmerised by it as a kid and never quite managing to have the co-ordination to turn my hand and drop a finger down at the same time!   Anyhow - if you're wondering what the hell I'm rambling on about, then you were either not born in the UK are are not old enough to remember what passed as entertainment in the 80s......   But, 3 - 2 - 1 is also the name of the game at Less is More this week - I normally link up Saturdays but I had a wedding card to make (will be back with it later) and then a wedding to go to which meant not much more crafting got done this weekend (too many cocktails) but I'm now playing catch up.  The idea of the challenge this time is to have 3 of something, 2 of something and 1 of something else on your card.

My recipe is:

3 buttons
2 colours / 2 die cut flowers and a two word sentiment (take your pick!)
1 ribbon / 1 panel

Die is memory box with some scraps behind the panel.  Sentiment is Waltzingmouse (Frame It) stamped in bamboo ink directly onto the ribbon (not to self, this is MUCH easier to do if you do it BEFORE you put the buttons on so you can actually get the stamp to make contact with the ribbon.........)

The die cut panel looked a little lost and out of balance so I added a faux stitched line around the edge in purple - hope this counts as another "one" of something - I liked how it matched the stitching on the ribbon but in reverse colours.

Wednesday 22 August 2012

Green Christmas and a study in movement

I've had a pretty unsuccessful week in my craft room so far - I've managed a few short trips in over 3 days and come out with nothing to show for it other than a full bin!

Last night though I had an idea to combine a few challenges into one project and I managed to come up with something that I actually think was decent enough to blog.

I've been enjoying the lessons Cath has been giving over in the Moxy Fab World from the new special issue of Paper Crafts which is all about the elements of design.  Yesterdays lesson was all about movement and there is a challenge to go with it and I decided to try and create some movement in my card.  I opted for green shades only as that is this week's CASology cue word   and my theme of Oh Christmas Tree goes with both the colour and the challenge of "base your design on a Christmas song" over at 52CCT

I stamped the Christmas Tree (Inkadinkadoo Holiday Sentiments) which has part of the song detailed in it onto pine linen card and embossed it with WOW glamour green powder.  To create my movement I offset the coloured card over the end of the base card as the swirls to the right of the image lead the eye up and out in that direction - I added a single lime green gem to the centre of the star burst to nod back down towards the 3 matching gems I placed around the sentiment (PI).  I blocked the sentiment off in a solid shape at the bottom of the tree to ground it and to draw the eye back down and across to the gems.  Hopefully I'm getting to grips with this whole movement concept - it's tricky but I think it's one of the things that once I know it will help me understand why some cards work, and others end up in the bin........

Tuesday 21 August 2012

Retro Party Girls

It's my cousin's daughter's 20th Birthday today and she's a girl who likes to party so it was time for the Uptown Girls to come out to play again :-D  I love this range of stamps from Stamping Bella and have pretty much the whole set but these were the first ones I bought and I do turn to them so often for girly cards.   I used this week's sketch at retro sketches as the basis for my design

Victoria and Juliette are coloured with copics and then their outfits are paper-pieced and sparkled with glitter.  I debossed some gold mirri with my damask folder and then picked a selected of black and gold papers to give it a rich feel.  (all the papers are from GCD studios paris nights or papermania capsule collection)  I finished with a cocktail glass button mounted on a black sentiment from craftwork cards over some black velvet ribbon.

The glass didn't show up too well on the main shot so I took a close up - they're really cute embellishments.

I'm also going to enter this into this week's stamptacular Sunday challenge which is "Let's hear it for the girls" - can't you just hear them singing the Cyndie Lauper 80's classic "girls just wanna have fun...." ? 

Sunday 19 August 2012

Trying to make a card in 10 minutes......

That's the name of the game over at the newest challenge on the block - 10 minute craft dash -  The first challenge is breaking us in easy so it's a free for all.  I'm glad it was gentle as it wasn't that easy!  I am TOTALLY a tortoise and not a hare when it comes to card making and very rarely take less than an hour to make a card so I thought it would be good to push myself and give it a go.

However, my first attempt was a total fail - I went over the time limit :(   I used the stop watch on my phone and photographed it with my finished card.

I thought this was simple enough to make in 10 minutes - even with the fussy cutting of, and acetate in the glasses (woodware stamp set) but my choice of navy card for the sentiment didn't work with black text so I flipped the strip of card over and stamped and embossed in white (and I didn't static dust as I was running out of time and this was my second mistake as it then took ages to get the bits off I didn't want!)  1 minute and 4 seconds over the time limit - damn it!

Not one to give up though, I decided to have another bash and this time be even more CAS in my design choice to ensure I got under that time limit.  I turned to a cute cat from Papersmoochest this time and stamped her on kraft cardstock in brown ink and selected a matching scrap  of DP to sit her on.  I added some glossy black to her eyes, nose, mouth and necklace, and some white, green and gold to the eyes and left the rest in kraft.  I stamped the sentiment in black directly on the card but then felt it needed a little something more so cut some thin strips of black card to put at the top and bottom of the DP to ground it a little further.  Yeah-hah - almost 2 minutes under this time (so if you average the two out I made 2 in under 20 minutes so I hope that counts!)

Looking forward to playing along with this one (it's bimonthly) to see if it makes me a faster crafter!

Saturday 18 August 2012

Less is More Tearing

Saturday brings another challenge from Chrissie and Mandi and whilst we're all getting better with the once dreaded one-layer challenge these days, they can still throw a spanner in the works and this week that spanner is "tearing".

Well after lots of head scratching, I had a flash of inspiration and this is what I made.

I decided to try and make rose by tearing a square of card rather than by using one of the dies that does it for you.  I simply drew a soft pencil spiral on the colour core card (black and purple) and then steadily tore along the line and rolled it up as normal.  I took a couple of other scraps of purple card in 2 darker shades than the rose, tore edges on the wide one and embossed my sentiment in white on the narrow one.  I finished with some die cut leaves (memory box) and 3 white pearls.  The colours are a lot more vibrant and rich in real life but for some reason I can't get a good shot today - the light is pretty poor as the hot weather we were supposed to get today hasn't materialised.

 Have a good weekend all.

Friday 17 August 2012

Birthday Blog Waltz

As it's the 17th of the month (just still here in the UK) then it's time for the monthly Blog Party over at Waltzingmouse Stamps.

I'm a little late to the party this month as tonight there was a civic reception for Jessica Ennis to show off  her gold medal from the Heptathlon at this summer's Olympic Games.  We went along but by the time we got there, this was the closest we could get (if you look closely you can see a tiny dot on the stage about a mile away lol!)

We did better than some though as this was the view behind us :-D   Sheffield certainly came out in force to welcome our champion home!  According to the news, there were around 18,000 of us :-)

Anyhow, you came for cards, not crowds, so I'll get back to the blog party now.  The theme this month was simply "birthdays" and I decided to do something a little different for me and go a bit girly with pearls, lace and decorative papers.

I patchworked some strips of paper from the Miss Caroline Dilly Dally stack from My Minds Eye onto a scrap of thin card and then I ran it through my floral vine embossing folder (shows up best on the wooden scraps).  I added some teal lace and then finally we get to the Waltzingmouse elements.  I die cut a fancy frame from more white card and stamped a sentiment using words from the Say it Loud set which is still one of my all time favourites.  I used one of the nestabling shapes that Claire now stocks in the store to decorate the frame, colouring each of the white pearls with peacock liquid pearls (not as difficult as it might sound - the pearls are the right size for the nib of the bottle so just squeeze, dot and move on)

Hope you like it :-)   I'm off to link up and browse around the other party goers.

Thanks for visiting

Thursday 16 August 2012


Here's a quick guy card I made - just using 2 stamps, black ink and black and white card.  Super quick and easy.

I cut my white card to fit my 6x4 basecard and made each one just 1cm smaller than the last.  I temporarily stuck them together with a bit of repositionable tape and stamped the football image (stampin up) over all 3 layers at once.  This leaves a few little gaps close to the edge of the layer below, but that's the point of mats ;-)  I separated the layers, cut mats 2mm wider than the white layers, and hey presto, when you stick them all back together it looks like you took aaaggggeeees lining all your stamped layers up "wink"    Finished with the sentiment from the same set on a matted strip and a fussy cut ball on foam pads for a little dimension.

I am going to enter this into this weeks ATS challenge which is cards for guys

Wednesday 15 August 2012

Chocoholic Birthday

We have a chocoholic in the family and it was his birthday recently (yep, unusually it's a he, not a she) and I knew this Paper makeup stamp was just the perfect image for him.

I stamped the image onto kraft and coloured it with pencils and blending solution.  I added glossy accents over the chocolate for that freshly melted look.  The sentiment is computer generated and the 30 is stamped and embossed using a There She Goes numbers set.  I then decided to doodle some lines, but I think I must have had a glass of wine when I did the top one as it's VERY wonky!

I am entering the following challenges with this card:

Colouring on kraft -

CAS with a twist - no primary colours -

Tuesday 14 August 2012

Our Golden Girl

Since I saw that there was a Silhouette Cameo specific challenge coming to blogland a few weeks ago, I have been eagerly awaiting its first challenge which arrived a few days ago  - and the first challenge is to create a project with the theme of summer

 Now, when you see my card below, you are probably going to wonder what on earth it has to do with summer, so let me explain!  Over here in the UK we've been very excited about the Olympics as they were staged in London (even I had to admit how much I enjoyed it even though I thought it would be a costly load of rubbish before it happened!)  I think this was in part helped by just how outstandingly well we've done on the medals front this year and one of the gold medal winners holds a special place in my heart as she was born and bred (and trained) in my home town - our very own Jessica Ennis proudly won GOLD in the heptathlon and Sheffield is holding a civic reception for her to celebrate on Friday.

So for me, this summer has definitely been all about the Olympics, and I wanted to do my bit to congratulate Jess on her long return to fitness after missing out in Beijing so I've made my "summer project" a card for her. 

Again, if you don't live in the UK, this may not make much sense as you're probably thinking what on EARTH has this got to do with the Olympics?  Well, the Royal Mail came up with a great idea and have given every gold medal winner a "gold" mail box in their home towns - which will stay painted gold for a few weeks while we all celebrate but will eventually be returned to red.  I wanted Jessica to have a copy to keep forever so I made her a gold postbox (see it DOES makes sense, honest!)

I found a great London Postbox image in the Silhouette Store and took the main outer shape, mirrored it and lengthened a few bits to create some join lines I could merge to make a shaped base card.  I then swapped the traditional "ER" letters (sorry your Majesty!) for Jess's initials and cut all the shaped elements from black and gold.  Once assembled I stamped No 1 in the centre panel (Waltzingmouse stamps) and added her "unofficial" title - the Queen of Sheffield using a mixture of Elzybells alphabet stamps and a local "greetings from Sheffield" stamp all of which I embossed in gold to make it show up on the black.

I am also going to enter this card into the following challenges: - Gold, Silver or Bronze

 Sorry for such an epic post - thanks for sticking with it if you're still reading this far!

This would also, of course, be a perfect card to enter our "Going for Gold" challenge over at St Luke's Charity Cards Challenge this month - and you can win Waltzingmouse Stamps and a Gold Medal if you do!

Sunday 12 August 2012

Woof, woof, woof.......

It's another one of those fortuitous occasions where lots of the challenges I like to play along with can be combined together which given my limited crafting time recently really helps.   I therefore have a square card (CASual Fridays) featuring a whole host of dogs (LIM and DYSU)  :-D

The additional element for Less is More this week is that it has to be a one-layer card, so I simply stamped this super group of doggies into the centre of my square card and embossed a frame around them with a couple of nestabilities.  I coloured the dogs with pencils as I find copics show through too much on one layer cards and used a little smooch ink for the collars and ID tags.  The sentiment is from Waltzingmouse (well it nearly always is with my cards isn't it!)   These challenges were very well timed as I needed to make a dog themed card for a birthday coming up next week too - don't you just love it when a plan comes together ;-)

Challenges entered:

Saturday 11 August 2012

Pond Life

The cue word at CASology this week is pond and I decided to take it quite literally this week and combine it with the one layer challenge at Lawn Fawn using their critters down under set.  Now I've never been to Australia myself, but I'm pretty sure crocs live in ponds down there right???

Very simple card just using stamping and masking techniques.  I made my pond by sponging ink through a hole in a post it with the mask for the croc and front plants in place.  The colouring was done with pencils and blending solution.

Challenge entries: 

Friday 10 August 2012

Big Guitar!

Working in IT is still a pretty masculine environment and the boys outnumber the girls almost 4 to 1 in our offices so I have the need to make quite a lot of guy cards which can sometimes be a problem.  But our birthday boy today is easy as he is hugely into music so any music themed card works for him.  I needed a quick card again so turned to my new best friend, yep you guessed it - the silhouette came out to play again!

The guitar image (from the cameo online store) is made up of a circle of blue with the black layers over the top to form the guitar shape.  The white panel is actually the blue cut out piece which I embossed with a layer of white and then a layer of pearl shimmer to give it that fender look!  Birthday was cut on the silhouette too and sized to fit.  Wishes is from a Waltzingmouse Christmas sentiment set - Winter Holiday  I like to mix straight fonts with something more curly in senitments as it adds more interest - particularly when they are large statement sentiments like these.

I am going to enter it into this weeks Here Come The Boys challenge which is "Boys and their toys"

Thursday 9 August 2012

A couple of last minute challenge entries

It's been one of those weeks again this week with lots of hospital and Dr visits for the parents for me and my hubby so whilst I started a couple of cards for challenges earlier in the week, I've just realised that today is the deadline for them and I haven't blogged my entries!

So, here's the first - for this week's CASual Friday's challenge which was "something in the sky"  One of my most favourite things in the sky is fireworks!  I think its because bonfire night always heralded the start of my birthday (which falls a few days later) so fireworks have always felt like they were "just for me" since I was a kid and I've never grown out of that giddy feeling they give me.  When I picked up my issue of Craft Stamper on Saturday and saw the brilliant freebie stamp on it designed by our very own Lady of LIM Chrissie I immediately saw its firework potential.

I stamped the image 4 times in an "explosion shape" and embossed with white onto black card.  I die cut some stars from white glitter card in various sizes (the tiny bits are from a MS punch border actually) and coloured them with copics (they work really well on glitter so you can get it in any colour you need).  I added random dots of stickles in matching colours to the circles on the edge of the stamped image.  I cut a line just within the edges of the stamped image and cut round the bits that fell outside it to emphasise the explosion.   The sentiment was cut on my silhouette.

Next I wanted to make a card with this lovely sketch over at retro sketches.

I had some cute PTI stamps that I thought would work well so went down the Christmas route with the sketch and decided to use the blue and green palette which is the current Less is More challenge to go with it.

 The ribbon I used looks black in the photo but is actually a pine green with gold flecks.  I stamped 4 of the signs from the PTI Sign Language set in 4 shades of blue and green momento ink and cut them out.  I embossed an ice blue snowflake brad with clear pearl wow ep to give it a shimmer and make it stand out and arranged it over the snowflake sign so the flakes on the stamp were in between those on the brad.  I added some blue gems for sparkle and stamped a sentiment in ice blue but it didn't stand out enough so I wrote over the top with a blue glitter pen.

Wednesday 8 August 2012

New bump

One of my friends had great news to share this week - she's cooking a special little bump ;-)  Naturally I needed to make a card to celebrate this fact and it meant a chance to ink up a magnolia I bought for just such an occasion.

Nothing says happy to me like bunting so I was happy to see the challenge at Cupcake crafts this week and used that as my starting point for the card.  I picked out some MME papers and stuck the copic coloured and fussy cut image onto them but decided it needed something more to make it "happier".  The bingo challenge at ATS this week pointed me in the direction of buttons and embossing for emblishments so I added some ribbon, a little floral button and then heat embossed the congrats (waltzingmouse) sentiment directly ont the dp.

I'm also going to enter it into the following challenges:

Use Ribbon -

Anything goes -

Monday 6 August 2012

Type Hype

The trigger image for this week's Moxy Fab Tuesday Trigger really spoke to me as soon as I saw it, and I started my card last week - I've only just managed to finish it ahead of tonights deadline though!

Aren't those keys totally fab!  I learnt how to type (many many moons ago when I took my secretarial exams) on a typewriter just like this one, only the keys were a lot less interesting as they were all deliberately black with no letters on them at all (you learnt to copy type properly this way as you were forced to look away from your fingers and your finger chart to the side!)  Anyhow the bright keys were what I wanted to focus on so I took my inspiration from those and the shape of the space bar and this is what I came up with:

It's a 3 x 3 inch card.  I stamped and embossed the Hello (Elzybells circular alphabet stamp set) in the colours of the keys from left to right and then added a layer of glossy accents on top for more depth and shine.  Super simple but it really makes me happy!

Daring to get Dirty

I've been a member of splitcoast stampers for a couple of years but I didn't really get it - then last week I started seeing lots of blogs I follow talking about these "secret" challenges so I tried to check them out but because I wasn't a member of the fan club I couldn't see the deets.  Well I like to be in with the in crowd so I joined on Friday - last day of the week long challenges (of which there were over 30!)  I tried my best to catch up but didn't have much time this weekend - I managed to make 2 more cards though combining 6 of the challenges - I just can't tell you what they were!  If you want to find out then you need to join the club too and then this link will work for you

This one uses a docrafts triboss folder which I added more detail to with some stickles on the embossed butterflies.  I stamped and glitter embossed a butterfly (stamps by Chloe) onto vellum and cut it out, cutting out some of the inner details with a finger knife - tricky but effective.  Finished with a simple soft grey sentiment from Waltzingmouse.

I made the daisy on this one with two strips of folded felt and snipped with scissors - the inner yellow is a cm shorter than the outer pink (poor photo - irl its much more pink that red!)  I just rolled one around the other and glued with glossy accents.  I created a bit of a border with echo park washi tape and added some die cut leaves (memory box) with some bling "buds".    Then I went and mucked up the sentiment as I didn't like the first colour I embossed with so tried to be clever and add a darker powder on top - now I have a fuzzy greeting that i will need to cover up with some sort of panel - didn't have time to do that before the challenge deadline though so here it is in all it's fuzzed up glory!

Laters ;-)

Saturday 4 August 2012

Swimming upstream

It's Less is More day today and as it's the first weekend of the month it's a colour challenge and this month it's blue and green

We've been watching all the swimming from the Olympics so my mind went straight to water for the blue so I decided to add some green fish.  The sentiment was somewhat inspired by the Olympics too - my heart went out to Rebecca Addlington when the young girl from Team USA pushed the speed early in the race and she had to change her game plan.  Such a brilliant achievement to get 2 more medals regardless of their colour though.

I inked a strip of thin absorbent card with broken china DI and spritzed it with pearl shimmer water and scrunched it up tight.  I opened it up and scrunched again to get lots of creases.  Once dry, I gently inked over the creases with peacock feathers DI.  I cut 4 fish on my silhouette 3 in one direction one mirrored.  I coloured them with two shades of Yellow-Green copics and then stamped a chicken-wire background stamp (kars) over them in peeled paint DI as chicken wire looks a little like fish scales.  I gave them a gold pearl shimmer finish too and added some bubbles from their mouths.  I printed the sentiment using the computer directly onto the card.

I'm also going to try and enter this into the final Dare to Get Dirty Challenge over at Splitcoast stampers but I'm new to the whole splitcoast thing so I'm not quite sure how I do it.  The challenges all close on Monday and you have to be a Fan Club Member if you want to find out what the actual challenge details are

Wednesday 1 August 2012

Sports are for girls too!

It's the first of the month which means time for a new challenge over at St Luke's and what with all the commotion going on over here regarding the little sporting event that's going on somewhere down south ;-) there really was only one challenge we could do this month - sports!   So anything sporty goes this month - I've gone girly with my image, just as a reminder that sports are just for the fella's - girls like them too!   Myself I'm rather partial to a bit of tennis but am hating "Wimbledon" in garish Olympic colours, and as I couldn't find a girly American Football player (yeah I like that too cos I'm a bit weird!) I decided to go with one of our medal hopefuls - Sarah Stevenson who will be competing in Taekwondo (and gave the athletes pledge in the Opening Ceremony) is from a village not far from Sheffield so I'll be cheering very loudly when she struts her stuff on the mat!  (Not sure this is an accurate representation of Taekwondo but it's close enough to get my meaning!)

The image is Magnolia from the Winner Takes All collection, coloured with copics and fussy cut.  The flags are a stamped image from Dimension Fourth stamps (a local company but with online presence and really interesting stamps) again coloured with copics and cut out to form the background.  The sentiment is computer generated.  Very simple card but still packs a punch (yes bad pun intended!)

I'm going to enter it into the following challenges as well as it being the inspiration of our challenge at St Lukes:
Blogging tips