Wednesday 27 February 2013

Oscars Red Carpet Inspiration

Claire set a doozy of a challenge this week - to be inspired by the red carpet fashion of the 2013 Oscars ceremony

My favourite dress of the night was without doubt Hale Berrie's Versace number - designed to make her look like a Bond Girl in ready for her to be just that in the next movie - and it was stunning - classy and elegant but making an on-trend statement with all that loverley metallic shimmer - yum!  However, I wasn't sure I could make a card purely based on this dress, so I decided to be a rebel and use my 3 favourites together in one card.

Gloria Rueben's deep purple ruffled dress adorned with a fluffy flower train looked wonderful (although I have no idea who made it or how she managed to walk in it!) and Nicole Kidman's uber-sequined and super shimmery dress was chosen by her husband Keith Urban - the encrusted top caught my eye but I was less impressed by the swirly bottom....

Anyhow, just like all the high street stores fashion designers, I took the bits that inspired me from each dress, diluted them to suit my price bracket, and came up with this:

I used a precious sheet from my all time favourite paper pad Paris Nights from GCD Studios to represent Halle's dress and I die cut a fancy frame from gold paper with a spellbinders die to represent the faux buckle on Nicole's dress.  I stamped the word Mum using the extremely useful Compact Family stamp set from Waltzingmouse using stazon ink so it stuck to the pearlised paper.  I added some texture to represent the folds on Gloria's dress by spritzing some purple card stock with water and roughly folding it.  Once dry double stick tape give you a nice tight finish and holds the pleats down.

Then I finished with a great big flower - again inspired by Gloria's dress - but I'm really thrilled with this flower as I made it myself from a quite unexpected source - the smallest die from Claire's exclusive Opera Tags compatible spellbinders die :-)   Simply cut 7 tags and use a tiny brad through the hole to hold them together, fan them out  and you have a pretty fancy flower even if I do say so myself!  I took further inspiration from Nicole's dress and used black, copper and gold sequins to encrust the centre of the flower - not as many sequins as on the dress itself I'm sure - but the feel is still there I think.

I can't wait to see which dresses inspired everyone and where they took this challenge - it's a really interesting one - thanks Claire!

Saturday 23 February 2013

Pierced Flowers

This week's Less is More challenge is to do paper-piercing - I got very excited when I first read it on my phone as I thought it said piecing not piercing as I love the former and do it often.  When I looked at the examples though I realised I was on the wrong track and piercing is not something I've done much before (even though I have one of those easy sew tools).

Anyhow - I vaguely remembered an embossing folder I had that I thought I could play with piercing on so I dug it out and came up with this:

I embossed the white card stock and all the piercing holes were actually little raised bumps - I simply popped the embossed card onto a pricking mat and then pricked every bump into a hole we we have the raised flowers with the dotted swirly holes in between.  I added a little pink stickles to the centres and some clear to the hearts and finished with a matching pink card strip stamped with a Mother's day sentiment from the Crafts Meow

Friday 22 February 2013

Hi Ho Silver!

That's the challenge at CASual Friday's this week - to use silver on your project.   Well I was totally inspired by this awesome card by Clare Buswell - but I don't have her patience for such dedicated glue pen use - so I had an idea to use embossing for a similar effect and here's the results:

I dry embossed a 300 gsm sheet of white cardstock using the rose embossing folder (cart-us) and dusted it with powder tool.  Then I inked up my brayer with versamark and gentle ran the brayer all over the raised area taking care not to press too hard to preserve the white background.  I covered the whole sheet with WOW detail silver embossing powder and heat set it.

I decided to pair it with the new Quilled Elegance stamp set from PTI.  I stamped and embossed one of the stamps from it onto the same heavy card stock and added a sentiment from a Simon Says Stamp set in the gap.   I fussy cut the quill - mounted it onto a white card base and then filled in the quill with silver stickles for a different silver sparkle.  I finished with a few pearls in the rose centres and some corner rounding.

 I think it would make a gorgeous wedding or anniversary card and really like the double embossing technique so I'm going to try it on some other folders and see what happens....  

Thursday 21 February 2013

Floral Dash

I've only tried to the do the 10 minute craft dash once and I really struggled - I am sooo not a quick crafter!  However, I got some pretty sequins on Sunday that match one of the colours on this weeks challenge so I thought I'd give it a bash - sticking on a few sequins is quick isn't it?  Not when you're me apparently......

I just scraped in with 33 seconds to spare but I was really starting to panic!   I die cut my flowers from some brown DP (very old not sure who its by) - I then trimmed it to fit my square card - only I cut it too short - damn, panic, 3 minutes gone already - I had to crop a little off the end of the card to make the panel fit again - 4 minutes gone -eek!   I cut a panel of pink card and glued it behind the die cut  in the brown and got glue in the wrong place so had to waste another precious minute with my dry glue eraser - more panic.  I thought the sentiment would look best in white, but my white inks are not good so that required embossing - heat embossing wtih 5 minutes left - this is never going to happen - but it did (just don't look too close cos I didn't have time to find my embossing buddy so there's a bit of loose powder hanging around....)  I was now down to 8 minutes - quick add some strips of teal mirri tape to match the sequins and then spend a full minute faffing with the placement of 6 sequins - stop the clock - PHEW!   I thought crafting was supposed to be relaxing - I need more practice at timed challenges obviously!!!!

As it's also eligible for the current Dies to Die for challenge which requires you to feature flowers, I'm entering it into their challenge too -

Wednesday 20 February 2013

Babies, buttons and bows

I wasn't sure how to incorporate buttons and bows into a CAS design for a baby so thought I wouldn't be joining in with the Paperplayers latest challenge but then I had a flash of inspiration and came up with this...

My flash was to use a button to replace the 'O' in One which I spelt out using my Elzybell's alphabet stamp set and I added a tiny bow using twine through the button.  I added the yummy polka-dot nellie from the new to me PTI Sweet Baby stamp set using pool party ink.  I added a few dark blue hearts and a matching mat to finish. 

Here's the link to the challenge

Tuesday 19 February 2013

Muse meets Retro

I've been having a bit of redesign on the old blog - time for the fussy header to go and be replaced by something much more CAS and modern - what do you reckon?  I had fun designing it so hope you like it too.

I became a member of the  MUSE card club when it launched, but I haven't had the chance to play along as yet only managed to vote, but the lovely muse inspiration card this week really spoke to me so I made a little time to play last night and combined the inspiration with this weeks retro sketch.

Here are the links if you want to play along -  - and here is my interpretation:

I loved the amazing colours on the washi tape on Marion's Muse card - I love teals and turquoise but had never thought to pair that colour with orange and yellow but it works so well so I was inspired to play with those colours and see what I could do with them.  I started with PTI roses in shades of yellow and orange (I hope I'm allowed green leaves - they looked odd in blue!) and then I combined the stripes of the washi tape but in my case in the form of DP strips (My Minds Eye) with the overall sketch at retro for my layout.  I added some tiny buttons in orange and yellow to finish and an orange sentiment (also PTI).  I think I'll be using this colour combo again - hope you all like it.

Sunday 17 February 2013


It's Blog Party day over at Waltzingmouse again - sometimes the 17th creeps up on me and I have rush to make a project last minute, but not this month, oh no sirree not me!  I have not one, but two doily creations all ready to share with you.  I had a couple of birthdays this week just gone that I thought a doily card would be suitable for so I made them in advance and saved the blogging of them ready for today :-)

This is the "academic year" that my school friends and I reach one of those milestone birthdays we'd rather all forget!  Mine was last year, but I have a number of friends who ares till to take their turn and this one was for Vikki.  I die cut the doily using a cut file from the silhouette store from DP and using the offset function created a matching mat to layer it on.  The centre was again cut on my silhouette cameo and I distressed the edges of it.  I stamped the greeting using two sentiments from Compact Sentiments and added a subtle 40 in the corner using Woodenheart Alphabet both in crumbcake ink from SU.  I carefully (very carefully with my sharpest pointiest scissors!) cropped the word "sweet" from the beginning of the Birthday wishes stamp (sorry Claire!) - it still goes back together perfectly for when I want to use it but it gives me a little more diversity from the stamp set when I don't ;-)  I finished the card with some washi tape stripes and a little pool party inking around the panel onto which I mounted my doily - deliberately hanging it over the edge and trimming it off flush.

The second card was for my second Valentine's Day birthday - two of my friends were born that day - and I found another cute cut file in the silhouette store to make this adorable doily banner.  I swapped out the line and bows from the cut file for some twine to give it a more real feel.  I used DP from Craftwork Cards and embossed it with a spellbinders double folder.  I added a doily-style border (spellbinders die) across the bottom and fussy cut the Eiffel Tower from another sheet of DP (which bearly shows in the photo but does IRL).  The sentiment uses my trimmed Compact Sentiment again but this time I shadow stamped it using pool party and cocoa brilliance inks onto a die cut kraft label.  I used pool party ink to stamp one of the labels from Very Vintage labels No 10 onto the edge and finished with a couple of soft pool pearls.  In hindsight, I should have used a little distress ink on the edges of the DP for more definition and a more vintage feel.

Can't wait to waltz around and see what doily creations everyone else has come up with - I'm off to get a cuppa and a slice of cake - on a plate with a doily naturally :-)

Saturday 16 February 2013

Up in the air

Quick post this morning as I need to go antique hunting today......

Whilst waiting for the washing machine to finish though, I did manage 10 minutes to make a quick card for today's Less is More challenge where the ladies want to see something "up in the air"

I used the plane and banner stamp and die set from PTI (Fly Away) stamped in green ink and flat coloured with copics and joined with a bit of twine.  I popped them up dimensionally onto a blue card strip which I edged with washi tape and made clouds using a mask and sponging moonlight white ink through.  A quick fun card for a young boy.

I'll pop back later to browse the other entries when the antique shops have shut.

Friday 15 February 2013

Red and sketchy

This is probably my most CAS card ever but I really liked the simplicity of it - I did play around with some star sequins but decided it was better without it.

It uses just one stamp set - Document It from MFT - with red and grey ink.  The arrow is cut out and popped up dimensionally.  The inspiration came from the sketch from CASE this sketch and the cue word of RED over at CASology.  For me arrows just have to be red - especially one telling you to do something!

Thursday 14 February 2013

Geek Chic

No hearts and flowers around here today - I have a couple of friends with the misfortune to have their birthdays today (not much fun when you want to go for a meal on your birthday and can only get the couples specials!)  I'll be sharing one of their cards at the weekend, but I can share the masculine card today.

I teamed up Kraftin Kimmie's Computer Nerd (from the nerds range) with a sentiment from There She Goes and some mathematical washi tape in the background.  The image was coloured with copics with glossy accented glasses.

I love the Smarty Pants stamp set and the washi tape soooo much that I decided to have another little play just for fun.  This time I went girly:

Again the image was coloured with copics and fussy cut and mounted over the washi tape - I decided to go for a little splatter this time for extra decoration.  I used some luminarte shimmer paint and my thick waterbrush (I think I must have done that before I did the washi tape but I can't quite remember now).  I love the sentiments in this set - they are all so funny!

Wednesday 13 February 2013

Faux airbrush

When I picked up my magazine at the weekend, I decided to have a go at the new technique challenge over on the Craft Stamper Magazine blog   The challenge was to have a go at faux airbrushing and there is an article in the March issue that shows you how to do it.  This is my first attempt - I think the technique lends itself to a slightly wider stencil than the one I chose to use but I think the effect still shows just about.....

I used peacock feathers and mowed lawn distress inks through a sweet poppy peacock feather stencil.  I added a couple of shades of stickles to the feather centre.  The sentiment strip is a banner cut from a strip of water colour paper that I made using more distress inks (peacock feathers and salty ocean) using salt to get the mottled effect.  The sentiment is from Hero Arts.

Tuesday 12 February 2013

What to Draw?

I've not played along in a Mo Manning challenge in a while, but I LOVE her images and have loads of them, and this week I needed a card featuring one of her images - what to draw - and luckily there is an anything goes challenge this week that I can enter it into

Coloured with copics, fussy cut and then mounted onto black and fussy cut again to make it stand out against the background better.  The DP are digi papers from Sherry K Designs.  The sentiment is from a set by Woodware.

Saturday 9 February 2013

One Layer Music

Last week may have been LIM's 2nd birthday, but this week is my second anniversary of playing along as I only found the challenge on week 2.  The theme this week is to make a one layer card featuring music

I didn't use many supplies for this card but I did use a lot of techniques - all quite simple - but useful in the one layer arsenal.   I started by masking off a horizontal stripe on my card where I knew I wanted to put my sentiment.  I then decided to use a kissing technique to get some musical notes onto my bauble.  As I didn't have a solid bauble of the size I wanted I simply turned over one of the largest stamps in the Waltzingmouse 2011 Holiday Ornaments set and inked up the side you normally stick to your acrylic block with pool party ink.  I inked up a Tim Holtz musical note stamp which was designed for the kissing technique so it comes out the right way round (hope so anyway Chrissie as I can't read it!)  Kissing the two together gives lots of interest to your one layer card.

I removed the mask and then stamped a greeting from Hero Arts Very Merry Christmas in versamark and heat embossed in detail silver.  I also heat embossed the bauble top in the same silver ep.  I finished with a little black hemp cord tied in a bow so the bauble wasn't floating in mid air.  I think I may make a set of these ready for Christmas.

Friday 8 February 2013

Inspired by a song

I was really pleased when I saw the theme for this weeks' CASual Friday challenge - to be inspired by a song you love.  For me, it was a very easy choice - You and Me by the Wannadies - it's "our song" and we danced like maniacs to it at our wedding - here's a link to song if you don't know it - do have a listen it's short and sweet but fabulous!

The chorus of the song goes "you and me, always, and forever" and that was what I took as my inspiration.....

I used a cute little person pair stamp from "good times" by Mama Elephant and stamped a line of people in grey but highlighting the pair of us in red.  We are a very close couple and sometimes we do feel a little like it's just the two of us against the world so I felt that this layout was the perfect visual metaphor for our relationship.  I then used a retired Elzybells alphabet set to spell out the chorus of the song in black and finished with a tiny die cut heart cut from black glitter paper with a simon says stamps die.

I'm entering the following challenges with this card:


I liked day 8 so much I stayed up late to try another new technique.  This card was such fun - who knew that salt into the craft room could be as useful as it is in the kitchen but a lot more exciting!  Some distress inks, some water, salt and watercolour paper and a little magic appears :-)  I thought the outcome looked a little like the distant galaxies my hubby shows me on the sky at night so I took the card down that theme.    I finished the card with some embossed stars, some stars die cut from white vinyl and glitter card and a sentiment from Mama Elephant stamped in stazon onto a washi tape banner with a couple of hearts for an extra colour pop.


I managed to do some homework for class again - for day 8 - it's my favourite day of class so far even if it got me all inky and icky ;-)

First up some simple masking, a straight line stamp and 5 shades of ink - et voila - a clean and simple one layer card all ready for Christmas.   I embossed the bauble top (waltzingmouse stamps) and the sentiment (imagine that) over the top of the pattern to finish.

Thursday 7 February 2013

Stitched Triggers

I've not played along with the Tuesday Trigger over at Moxie Fab World in a while but this week's trigger image really shouted at me and I went straight on and made a quick little card perfect for this time of year.

The blue die cut tag is from an spellbinders set that is exclusive to Waltzingmouse stamps  (it has matching stamps too "wink") and I simply added a cream panel to the centre by drawing around the inside and fussy cutting it out.  The reason this trigger image spoke to me so loudly was that I knew I had an as yet uninked cross-stitch style alphabet stamp set - so I used the letters to spell out love instead of stamping a heart (there is one of those in this stamp set too - it's by marianne designs)  I finished with some hand drawn stitching around the edge of the cream panel, added a little paper rose and used some pink floral washi tape to add interest to the background.

I'm also entering it into the following challenges:

Wednesday 6 February 2013

Papertrey 6th Anniversary

Papertrey Stamps are celebrating their 6th anniversary this month with some contests - the first of which was to take inspiration from their designers favourite cards from the last 6 years -

I took my inspiration from Cristina Kowalczyk and CASEd her amazing one layer card - I loved the art nouveau feel of it from the shape of her coloured lines.

I used a different PTI greeting stamp for my sentiment and then used some shades of blue and green momento inks for my lines once I'd masked off the sentiment area.  I really like the outcome and think these would make great masculine cards as designs for guys can often be quite tricky.

Sunday 3 February 2013

Homemade stamps and hexagons

I finally managed to do the homework for Day One - I never was good at handing in homework on time!

It's also my entry to Cath's Moxi Fab challenge to make a card with a homemade stamp - I made the 3 different sized triangles from a couple of layers of foam  I used a protractor to get the 20 degree angles to space my triangles out evenly and stamped in pear tart, teal zeal and navy ink.  I used a Hero Arts Greeting in pear tart and finished with a glitter pen to make the dotted lines.    This is also No 18 on my list of 75 creative card challenges completed.

I also completed No 5 on that list this week - Make a Card Inspired by a Quilt - I used that to make a card for my Aunts birthday.

I used the hexagon die from MFT using 6 different papers from a MME pad.  I added a couple of Clearly Besotted butterflies and sentiments from Waltzingmouse.

Saturday 2 February 2013

Happy Birthday Less is More!

Today is the second birthday of my favourite challenge - Less is More  - can't quite believe that I've been playing along pretty much every Saturday for 2 years now - but I have and I love it - so here's to many more birthdays ladies :-)  I have to say thanks so much for your great challenges and your unfailing commitment to commenting on every entry - not every challenge blog does that and I so appreciate the time you take to do it.

For my first card, I used my new Stampin Up set - just loved the humour in this one and I thought the dog was perfect for this weeks colour challenge of Kraft and Kreme.  Simply stamped on cream card with crumb cake ink and a tiny bit of water to blend the colour on the dog.  Finished with some natural ribbon with paw prints and fixed to a kraft base card.

For my second card I used my favourite flower stamp - the gorgeous water lily from Clearly Besotted and this time I decided to do a little more water colouring so I stamped it onto a cream water colour paper using the crumb cake ink again.  I then stamped the inkpad onto my acrylic block and used my water brush to pick up the colour - it gives the image a sepia photo effect.  I die cut it with an oval nestie and added a matt from lined kraft DP, mounted onto a kraft base card and finished with a sentiment from the same Clearly Besotted stamp set using crumb cake ink.

The final card is another entry for the Kraft and Kreme challenge at Less is More, but also for the Love Letters challenge at CASual Fridays and also another challenge off my list of the 75 I'm trying to complete from the Paper Crafts Magazine - this time Challenge No 39 - Spell a Word with Twine.

For this one I just gently pencilled the word hello onto a strip of kraft card and drew over the pencil with glossy accents.  I then pressed kraft bakers twine onto the glue using tweezers - the twine was more white than kreme though so once dry, I went over it with a beige copic marker to dull the white.  I edged the kraft strip with two thin strips of watercolour paper once mounted onto the kraft base.

Friday 1 February 2013

Baby Bumps

It's all been about babies this week - one of my mates from work is due in a couple of weeks and today was her last day in the office so I've been busy making cards and gifts from us all for her.

To begin with I made a card on my cameo silhouette for her, in the shape of a onesie, and I used another cute cute file to make the giraffe to decorate it and the word baby - suitable coloured in neutral yellow as she doesn't yet know if she's having girl or a boy.

The silhouette came into play again to make this super cute favor box which I used to hold the money we collected for her - we were going for a gift card, but given the number of stores going into liquidation we thought that the folding gift vouchers exchangeable at any store were a much safer option ;-)   She didn't know what she wanted to get so at least now she can choose stuff she really needs.   I stamped some decorative panels on 3 sides and on the onesie on top, stamped a sentiment on the front (Waltzingmouse Compact Sentiments) and then wrapped all around it with some dotted washi tape.

Finally, with some of the collection, I made her something fun and just a little bit larger than a tiny box to make her gift presentation a little more impressive!   I'd seen these nappy cakes online and thought they looked like lots of fun and not that difficult to make - here's the finished article - both in its wrapped and unwrapped form.

It was quite easy to make - although rolling 130+ nappies into tight rolls took a little longer than anticipated and I had to run out for extra packs when I ran out half way through the 2nd tier! 

The "cake" is filled with lots of useful baby products - talc, wipes, shampoo and a few little mummy toiletries too.  You simply tape your tallest items into the middle and then you need a lot of elastic bands and it's then just a case of adding lots of your rolled up nappies until you get nice round tiers of "cake"   Here's an in progress shot of the bottom two tiers.  I wrapped some bibs around the the baby cream to make the centre of the top 2 tiers nice and round.

The "roses" which decorate the cake are actually just individual baby socks, rolled up and wrapped with a green pipe cleaner with a die cut felt leaf.  The pink and green "baby" words are actually white chocolate lollies I made just by melting some white chocolate and adding food colouring into shop bought molds.

And here is a shot of the happy Mum-to-Be being surprised in our reception with her cake - she loved it although was a little disappointed when she realised it wasn't entirely edible ;-)

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