Thursday, 17 December 2015
I had a mini playdate with Claire this week which was brilliant. We exchanged our $20 challenge gifts and revealed we had bought each other the exact same quantity of things, with 3 of the items almost exactly the same. How funny is that?
She also brought a gift that she was sharing as a craft friend of hers had given her a set of Spectrum Noir pencils and she generously shared these with me. As a thank you to her friend I wanted to make something using my new stash.
I loved the fruit stamp and die set and thought it would be a great feature. I blended the background using Peacock Feathers distress ink and then stamped the fruit slices and die cut them out.
I added the greeting from my new Sizzix stamp and die set and heat embossed it in black to make it stand out. The little candy matches the darkest tones of the distress ink. Super happy with it and I think it was worth all the little steps to make something a bit cheerful for Claire's friend.
Thursday, 10 December 2015
My space is, unfortunately, shared as the guest room in the smallest room of the house. So small that we have to rearrange all of the furniture to get the pull out bed to fit in the room with my craft space. Which means if someone is only coming for a night or two we don't put them in here, we put them in the lounge with the pull-out couch!
We have a friend visiting over the new year break for a few days with her husband and I decided it was time to make the situation inhabitable for them. Therefore, today's headline shot is of my desk a bit unusable as I move everything around!
I've also discovered that a few of my storage solutions aren't really that great or fit for purpose as my kit has grown (the crafter's dilemma: how to keep storage scaling with your stash) so I want to investigate some new solutions.
I'll still be crafting over the next few weeks but wanted to let you know that it may be a bit patchy.
Also - I want to celebrate with everyone as I've posted over 100 times this year! My new year's resolution for 2015 was to hit 100 and I'm delighted to have made it. Thanks for sharing the journey with me. x
Thursday, 26 November 2015
Claire is sponsoring us over at Moving Along with the Times and I was thrilled to see her Give Thanks challenge this forgnigh.
I really couldn't decide what to make for the challenge as I love making thank yous and wanted this one to be extra special. I bought this stamp set with Claire in NYC when I was visiting in Sept and they still crack me up - there are dozesns of greetings as you can make so many puns with Donut as the punchline!
I started with a strip of white card and blended from yellow to turquoise using Distress Inks in Squeezed Lemonade and Peacock Feather. The donuts are stamped using a dye ink and then the toppings (sprinkles, icing, combination) are done using pigment inks so they stand out. The white-iced, sprinkled donuts also feature glitter lue for extra fun.
I love this set and was so glad to play with it as part of this challenge, I can't wait to see what everyone else comes up with!
Tuesday, 24 November 2015
A few weeks ago Claire came to visit and brought with her a big order I'd placed with her as my Stampin' Up rep. There happened to be a sale on at the time so I took advantage...to say the least!
As Christmas approaches, I'm always looking for ways I can personalise presents and give people something specifically made for them. Card sets are a great way to do that and I put my new kit to the test making a few sets.
The headline card uses the 'Tap tap tap' set and I kept these pretty simple. I stamped the typewriters on a cream grid printed card from My Minds Eye and used an accent red or black print paper for the border from the same set. I used 3 different sentiments and kept one blank to give them a variety. I added a silver candy for a bit of hardware. I have the recipient in mind and she'll like them, I'm fairly confident!
The second set features 'You're sublime' a set full of funny puns and I just thought these would be perfect for another friend. I stamped them all out and colored them in using ProMarkers. Then I die cut them using a stitched circle die and layered them over a textured vellum paper I cut using a scallop circle die. I rarely use vellum and here I'm just using it as a normal backing paper...it went well with all my colors and thought it would let the stamp stand out but not look too plain.
Neither took too long but they're really well suited to the recipients. That is what it's all about!
Sunday, 22 November 2015
Claire has been a long-follower of Runway Inspired Challenge and I think I've only been brave enough to enter once. I love the DT inspiration and thought I'd have a go when Claire sent me the inspiration photo from Banana Republic:
I used a Stampin' Up set called Flower Patch to get the flower dies and stamps all layered up. I used a cream printed pattern from My Mind's Eye as I wanted the cream color to shine out against the blue-grey paper. I loved the tiny turquoise accents on the dress so I punched a flower border using a EK Success punch that my mom or Claire got me a few years ago. I used another blue strip behind the greeting as I didn't want the cream to be more than an accent. I rarely use peel offs but I thought it really worked for this layout.
I'm pleased with the layout though think I could have been a bit braver with my interpretation...maybe I'll work my way up to that.
Monday, 16 November 2015
I love dropping by CAS-ual Fridays and this month they have a metallic theme to play along with.
I got this great stamp set for free with a card magazine and haven't tried embossing it before today. It's a dream! I thought it would look starkest using silver glitter embossing powder against a black background. I added touches of red glitter to the baubles and dotted some around the tree with some red sequins. I left it sentiment free - kind of obvious what it's for I thought!
I'm still pretty new to heat-embossing so I was delighted with this result and will definitely make a few more to feature this gorgeous stamp.
Sunday, 15 November 2015
This week Claire showed me 'Shopping Our Stash' blog and I was inspired by this week's Western Theme challenge. Just this week Claire gave me a bumper haul of Unity stamps and it included a gorgeous cowgirl stamp.
I was desperate to use her for something special and I thought I'd get ahead (ok - really ahead) and make a birthday card for my husband as he often calls me Jessie the Cowgirl after the Toy Story 2 (and 3) character.
I also liked the layout at Sketch Saturday and knew that she was a good shape to feature in that central panel.
I loved using this stamp and am so glad I found a new challenge to play along with this week.
Monday, 9 November 2015
This card is for my colleague Erika, who has been on my team for the past year and a half and loves all girly things. Last year I made her this pink and purple butterfly card and this year I decided to use the same colors but interpret the layers, papers and textures in a different way.
The first thing I did was go through my scraps and grab everything pink and purple and find a good collection as a base. I used a Stamping' Up Flower Patch die and stamp set to cut all the pieces and then layered them up and topped with sequins, candies and gems.
I went for a long DL card (just like last year) so I could get even more flowers on the page. The greeting is a bit messy - I stamped a greeting using 'Endless Birthday Wishes' but it didn't work out so I went over with a pen and it was a little bit shaky. I still like it because it looks handwritten but I wish it was just a bit stronger.
I hope she likes it - I love using this set in new ways and the layered colors are a bit busy but work with the minimal color scheme. Will be fun to try this with different colors for a simplified look.
Wednesday, 4 November 2015
I've dipped in and out of challenges this second half of the year, primarily out of having too many fun new things and wanting to play with them free of the stress of challenges!
However, I saw two challenges this week that really caught my eye: the theme of Autumnal Thanks at Paper Players and the sketch at Retro Rubber.
The leaf pattern is made using Inkadoo Fossil Leaf stamps in different inks and the stamp set is one I've had for about a year and a half and revisit again and again. So lovely. The greeting is a really lovely Thank You from a set Claire gave me about two years ago.
The paper is from American Crafts and it's this lovely deep orange, kind of hard to use but perfect for an autumnal challenge. The brown candies are a favorite, it was almost indulgent to use 3 in a single card! I love how naturally everything came together, this was a case of less is more and I'm glad I kept it straightforward as it keeps all of the elements well showcased.
Tuesday, 3 November 2015
A great friend of ours just got engaged and we are so delighted. I wanted to make them a personalized card to celebrate and took the opportunity to play with one of my new favourite die sets: an alphabet set I bought with Claire at The Ink Pad in NYC.
I started with an X-Cut lopsided heart die, adding in the initials of the couple using the new dies. I love these dies because they work just as well in negative space as they do with the cut out.I lined the left hand side of the letters with gold glitter glue to make it stand out more.
I didn't want anything too formal - I wanted it to feel light and fun and I think the greeting does that well instead of a traditional Congrats. The papers are from Studio Callico and they are so cheerful.
Finally I topped it with a candy that matched the turquoise paper.
Amazingly, I did this without my ATG as it broke this weekend. I am not coping well with this so if anyone has tips on how to fix it when the trigger stops releasing the tape, please share!!
Sunday, 1 November 2015
I had a bit of a play around this weekend and wanted to try some different Christmas cards. I had seen a craft magazine where a shaker card mimics the shape of a snow globe and I thought that would be a really fun thing to experiment with.
I used a spotted Christmas paper from a DCWV stack as my background and cut out the circle. I decided to shake things up (a terrible pun, forgive me) and use a bit of red foam that would be visible as my separator for the sequins - I thought it would help define the dome of the circle and I'm glad I did. I put a sparkly tree sticker int he middle and then filled it with gold and silver sequins. I hand cut the little black base and added the peel offs. It's got a bit of a retro quality but the colors keep it kind of fresh. I like it.
With the offcut of the circle I made this little guy. I had a mini square card blank and so I free-styled a bit by cutting a scrap of green paper into a tree, adding some needles with a ProMarker and added a blingy star and some glue dots for baubles. It took 5 minutes and I like it more than some of my other Christmas cards that took far longer!
A really fun experiment, will definitely try more snow globes for special cards in the future.
Saturday, 31 October 2015
I wanted to make something special for Claire's wedding anniversary so I set myself a challenge of using at least 3 tools and techniques.
It is her 6th anniversary so I decided to feature 6 stamped hearts that were heat embossed over a blended background. The stamps are from a Recollections set and she bought them for me as part of our $20 Michael's challenges that we set each other. The backround is a stitched die which completes my tool/process challenge. The sentiment is a combination of two peel off sets: I like the mini 'It's your' from a birthday set and liked the outcome of mixing fonts.
I can't wait to give it to her and wish her many more happy years!
Thursday, 29 October 2015
Moving Along with the Times .
For this challenge we are looking for Trees or Leaves somewhere on your project.
For my card, I blended the background of an A5 card blank with Squeezed Lemon and Spiced Marmalade Distress Ink. I stamped a few fossilized leaves from Inkadoo and then heat embossed them using gold powder.
The sentiment is a chipboard piece that I have been holding on to for the 'right' project. If not this then I don't know what!
It's very CAS but I think it's going to be fun for the autumn. I can't wait to see what everyone else does this week!
Monday, 26 October 2015
I was trying to do a few more little quick and easy Christmas cards and cased two cards that I had wanted to try.
The first one is cased from this card and features stamps from Papercraft Essentials magazine. They are all cut out into squares and inked around the edge using Fired Brick Distress Ink. The backing paper is a different paper from the My Mind's Eye. I added green and red glitter glue from Stickles to different parts of the stamp to make them a bit more festive.
This second case was from the same magazine as the stamp set and a good one to use up a bunch of my button stash. The tartan paper is from DoCrafts and it was really simple, just making a little snowflake pattern. I used peeloffs for the greeting just to make it stand out. I inked the edge of the card with Iced Spruce Distress Ink, once for a smooth color and one with a bit more ink to give it more edge. I added tiny silver glitter glue dots to better join up the lines.
I don't love either of them - to be perfectly honest - but I think they're still kind of fun and alternative.
Sunday, 25 October 2015
This year I'm taking it farily easy with my Christmas cards and trying to keep it fairly low key. I have one new stamp set but I've decided that is it (!) for new kit for the holidays. It's time I learned to better leverage what I have and what skills I've picked up this year.
Luckily one of those new techniques is heat embossing so my stamps have a new lease on life!
The trio here are all really straight forward.I stamped the stamps in a clear embossing ink and embossed with clear sparkly embossing powder. Claire bought me these great little square colored papers and I just layered two up to get the focal point.
The backing papers are all from my Christmas stash - I love a Nordic inspiration - and I added good old fashioned peel-offs for the sentiment on the reindeer.
The greeting on the wreath is from the same stamp set (from Papercraft magazine) as the others featured here.
Super easy, I think it took me less than 15 min a card, including the heat embossing, and I am pleased to have tried something new with some old favourites.
Wednesday, 21 October 2015
I have been SO lazy in getting my butt in gear to make Christmas cards this year. Usually I'm done the making and on to the signing and posting by the end of October and I've barely done a thing. Yikes.
I pulled out all of my Christmas stamps to do a bit of a recce on what I had, what I could reuse, what I needed to top up and came across this Christmas stamp set that (I think) came in a magazine a year ago. That or I bought it in a sale. Either way, I think I only used it once or twice and fell in love all over again with its alternative images and slightly punk star flourishes.
I decided to use a My Mind's Eye paper stack that's all red, black and tan to help match the theme. All three papers used are from this set and I'm delighted to report two of them are scraps.
The bird is stamped and die cut on a label die and I balanced this by having a slightly off central greeting that sits next to a flourish already printed on the paper.
The stars are stamped separately (also from the set - how great are these? Why have I not discovered them and used them outside of Christmas??) in each corner and I added a red candy to add a bit more color and pop to the layout. I considered adding more stuff (a punched border, a bit of ribbon, whatever) but I stopped. So pleased I did.
The whole thing took 10 minutes. In real life. If all of my holiday cards go this well we are seriously on to a win.
Monday, 19 October 2015
Mrs G. We decided to use Pinterest as our inspiration as we haven't dug into our boards for a while and we shortlisted a few cards to CASE. It was wicked fun and these are two of the outputs.
The first one was based on this card featuring a technique that had you blend a strip and stamp over it with a texture stamp faintly, followed by a silhouette in black and a greeting. I made so many mistakes. Just so many. I messed up my masking (twice) I messed up the texture stamp (once) and decided, finally to abandon the official inspiration and just do it modified to what I was capable of at that moment. Sheesh. So much work for a card that looks so simple! But it's pretty and I like the final result. We decided the butterfly was too much and left it as is.
The blended inks are all Distress inks, the stamp is a wooden block from Claire, accented with a tiny bunch of flowers from a nautical set that I think is a Marshalls sale. The greeting is a lovely new one from Unity Stamps that I've used a few times, I think it's a wonderful sentiment.
And yes - full disclosure - I cheated and cut out the blended bit and mounted it on white because I messed up again. Honestly.
This next one was a fun make, and it's a great layout based on this card. Three strips (all based on scraps) and then a diecut sentiment in the middle. The plain papers are just from my stash and the yellow pattern is Studio Callico. Maybe the colors are inspired by the card above? Who could say. The white greeting is an offcut from a card gone wrong (see above) and the die is from Stampin Up. The sequins and gems are a mix from my stash. Super CAS and fun.
Thursday, 15 October 2015
This stamp is from Little Claire and I've had it for at least a year or two yet I've never been able to really use it that well. As I've gotten more confident with blending and heat embossing I decided to give it another go and was really pleased with the resutl.
The background was blended with Squeezed Lemonade, Mustard Seed and Spiced Maramlade Distress Inks. The stamp was embossed using black embossing powder and the greeting is from a sentiment set Claire bought me years ago.
I trimmed down a black card blank to make it a bit more propotional and I'm pleased with it. It looks simple but I know that I couldn't have gotten the cleanness right without months of embossing practice. A triumph I think!
Wednesday, 14 October 2015
I was clearing out my scrap folder and found a few pages of magazine paper freebies. These are the glossy kind that I don't normally like, but I had kept them because I liked the damask prints in different colors. I decided to whip up a quick card set so that I'd have it in my stash ahead of Christmas and I can give them away for people if I need a gift in my pocket.
These feature Stampin' Up bird punches and giant hearts (I think Woodware is the punch) - both from Claire's kit. I coordinated papers for the hearts and birds and made 4 in total. Simple but effective - the whole set took about 15 minutes I think! Must remember this for additional sets as I get closer to Christmas...
Monday, 12 October 2015
If you saw my Donut cards yesterday you'll know I'm loving pun cards at the moment. Claire bought me this amazing Unity Stamp set and I just had to play with it as a set, it cracks me up.
The fox is stamped and die cut on a stitched border circle and colred with ProMarkers. The greeting is stmaped and die cut with a plain circle. The gingham border is from the same scrap that I used in one of yesterday's donut cards. The background paper I discovered in my stash with a big cut out of it. As I have no memory of where this paper is from, it's all a mystery (but I still get to feel good abotu using another scrap).
Super simple layout but gosh it's funny.
Sunday, 11 October 2015
Today I'm showcasing two cards I've made using some My Favorite Things stamps that I bought at The Inkpad while visiting Claire. Anna's shop is incredible and if you're in NYC you should check it out. It's a cubbyhole of wonders and when I saw this stamp set, I had to get it.
The headline card features a blended background in pink, I wanted it reminiscent of candy floss/cotton candy. The donut is die cut from beige stock, and then layered a brown ring on top for icing. I cut some waves by hand to make the icing irregular. The sprinkles are stamped using another stamp from the set and then I added some glitter glue to make them pop a bit more. The DONUT sentiment is head embossed with pink powder and I love how it came out against the background.
This second take features a similar donut using pink icing and red glitter sprinkles. The gingham paper is from a scrap I found this morning and I loved pairing it with this heart paper from Studio Callico. Different sentiment - this set has about 15! - and a candy to top it off.
So much fun. Have no idea how much the market will want donut stamps but I'm still happy even if they're just for personal use!
Saturday, 10 October 2015
Tonight I'm going to the wedding drinks of friends I used to work with. That's right - I know both the bride and groom from previous jobs: sometimes the world is just a very small place! They actually got married in her home country of Romania and this is the big London party to celebrate with their friends here.
The are a cool couple, and from the wedding pics I saw it looked like she had a cool blue fascinator in her hair so I wanted to make blue an accent color in an otherwise monochrome scheme.
I wanted to feature this cool cake die but was struggling with a layout so I browsed around and thought the sketch at Sketch Saturday would be perfect:
I can't believe I stumbled across this sketch just minutes after it was posted - I don't think I've been the first to post a card in a challenge ever! :)
Monday, 5 October 2015
I haven't been doing many challenges recently but I wanted to dip into a few this week that I thought looked good.
Color Throwdown Challenge I knew they would work really well for my red-headed colleague turning 30 this week.
And topping it off, the sketch challenge at Retro Sketches was perfect for a stamped image I stole from Claire when I saw her in NYC.
The image is colored with ProMarkers and I matched the palette best I could. The sentiment at the top is from Stampin' Up and I thought the whimsial font was perfect for the greeting. I topped the candles and ruffle of her dress with gold glitter and added gold foil numbes at the bottom to mark the special birthday. Finally the twine across the bottom completes the sketch.
Really pleased I managed a bday call with such an autumnal theme that isn't overly autumnal!
Sunday, 4 October 2015
Really simple post today! Yesterday we went to the Ascot Beer Festival with my husband's parents and aunt and uncle to celebrate his aunt's 50th birthday. She loves elephants and always signs her cards with a little doodle so I wanted the ard to tie into the theme.
I used a Bugaboo elephant stamp and colored it with ProMarkers. Not my best coloring but oh well! I cut it out and layered it over two borders and a patterend yellow background. I made it personal by just spelling out my greeting with alphabet stickers. I like doing this for big birthdays as it just marks it as a bespoke effort.
And that was it! It's cheerful and fun and she loved it. Sometimes you don't need lots of kit to make a really effective and personal card.
Saturday, 3 October 2015
A bit of fun this weekend with the blending and heat embossing tools. I came back from my trip with Claire all pumped up to play with the blending tool and try a few embossing tips.
I love the headline card. If I could shout from the rooftops how proud I am of this card I still don't think I could express it. The pinks and purple are blended onto a stitched rectangle die. The stamp is a new gift from Claire and she's embossed with purple embossing powder which looks so good against the background. The sentimenet is from a completely different set that Claire got me from Michael's and I left it at that. I wanted it CAS and was glad I walked away.
This stamp is from a Get Stamping magazine set. I blended green and blue and flicked just a bit of water to give it more texture. I heat embossed it in black and it looks so striking I think. The sentiment is actually paired with the image above, I just thought it worked so well here. I added a bright pink shiny candy just to give it a bit of pop.
I think embossing and blending is a great formula, expect many more experiments of this nature...
Thursday, 1 October 2015
Hello everyone and welcome back to another challenge at Moving Along with the Times!
We have a fun Fairy challenge so let's see your sprites and pixies in action!
The two stamps I used here are so old, I think it was a freebie with a magazine, and I have no idea where it's from. I stamped her on watercolor paper and used an aqua brush with water and distress ink to color it in. She's die cut on a stitched rectangle from Claire's stash. The papers are from a mix in my stash, all scraps I'm proud to say. The orange border is with punched with a Martha Stewart punch and the whole piece is wrapped with some lovely American Crafts twine in dark orange.
This stamp is from the same set. She's a bit interesting I think, carrying a little basket of berries and wearing a sporty little dress. She is colored with ProMarkers and accented with glitter glue. What fairy doesn't have a bit of glitter?
I decided to use her with a scrap from one of my favorite paper stacks by DCWV and the cream card is a corresponding sheet from the pack. The wood grain card is a scrap as well and I wrapped it with green and purple twine to coordinate with the papers.
And really other than that I wanted it quite simple with the neutral card absorbing a lot of the detail to make it feel a bit rustic.
Can't wait to see what magic little friends you have on your crafts this week!
Tuesday, 29 September 2015
What to make for the friend that gave you the passion for card making? A big challenge every year, I can tell you.
This year, I wanted to feature something from the Stampin' Up birthday set I bought from Claire, and decided to make a shaker card. The paper set is from the Neopolitan Recollections stack from Michael's, as is the frame around the shaker and the stitched bunting. I used metallic candies to hold up the bunting so they look like brads. The shaker filling is sequins and gems, and I like that you can just make out the cake and 'Party' message behind the bling.
It's an extremely cheerful card and just tricky enough to demonstrate how much I've learned this year. I know she'll like it and I can't wait to give it to her face to face.
Happy birthday C! x
Monday, 28 September 2015
Dave (who commissioned yesterday's card) asked if I would also make one for his dad. His brief was classic cars or trains. "Classic dad stuff." Somehow, the brief being a bit broader I struggled more with this one!
I decided to try three things and let him choose. The first card is probably my favorite for its simplicity. Actually all three are simple layouts but took a while to dream up! This one uses an image and sentiment stamp from 50s Get Stamping magazine set. The paper is Chronology and the red background is from My Mind's Eye.
I used a train stamp from a Recollections vintage transportation set I have and blended a black and a brown ink to get the faded ink. The greeting and the diecut are both from the Chronology set.
This one was so simple but so nice! I tore a piece of faded newsprint paper, added the big sentiment and a car from the same vintage transport set. I used a black card for this and really that was that.
I don't know which one he'll go for but I hope there's one here that he likes.
Sunday, 27 September 2015
My buddy Dave at work has commissioned a few cards and this week he asked me to make one for his girlfriend Nicola. He was quite specific in his requests, asking for a hedgehog (called Sprinkles) a racoon (called Marley) and a fox (called Clive). The more specific, the better I say!
I decided to feature the fox stamp from Gorjuss and wanted to do something different so I made a joyfold card layout as that allowed me to anchor each side with a different critter and also put her in the middle. I colored her with ProMarkers and diecut her out using an ornate tag die.
The little fox stamp is cut out with a finger blade, as is the little hedgehog stamp which is from Little Claire. The racoon is a sticker - I didn't think either of the two racoon stamps I had were the right style/size and I think he's ok.
I added the little peel-off letters as well as the greeting. I normally don't love peeloffs but it's a great way to add personalization.
The ribbon is from the 99p store and when untied will open the card.
Another challenging creation but I think it meets the brief!
Thursday, 17 September 2015
I was inspired by this week's Retro Rubber post to do a project featuring ombre. This girl stamp is relatively new but the Happy Everything is at least 4 years old - I've had that from one of my oldest sentiment sets.
The paper is blended with purples and blues to get the ombre effect, and the light purple strip also features a touch of ombre. I love how she just disappears into the darkness, it's ethereal and yet still pretty simple as a layout.
The grey greeting is inked on the edge as well - once I start the ombre I just can't stop.
This is my final post from the deep dark hiding spot I found in Claire's craft room. *Starts crying*