Monday, 24 April 2017

Project 413: Making tricky papers work

I have loads of paper in my stash. Way too much for one person. Maybe even way too much for like 10 people. Anyway, there are always packs that have a few sheets stuck at the end that I can't use because they are tricky, complicated or just too busy for me to work with other stamps and sentiments.

I decided to challenge myself to give them a go and make a few cards I needed on the list to get through them. The first is so simple. The paper makes me smile but I just couldn't make it work! I have two friends who are changing jobs and moving to Brighton, and while it makes me sad that they are leaving London I'm thrilled for the good things it will mean for their family. I decided just to get the paper down to the height of the paper and then add loads of enamel dots like confetti. That's it. No complicated process or technique, I cut a piece of paper and added dots. And I love it.

This one has great colors but the paper is so muted I have found it hard to use. I decided to add contrast by using a navy bar with a die cut sentiment (both scraps) and there we have a new home card for a friend who recently bought a house. Why go through the effort of something more complicated when this is all we need sometimes?!

And then finally this pretty yellow and pink paper I've had for ages and I love the texture is has but haven't found the right project for it in all the years I've had it. I decided it would work well as a kid card because it's cheerful and pretty. I heat embossed an owl stamp in pink powder and then fussy cut it out. The sentiment is from a Creative Stamping magazine freebie and then I decided to spell out the little girl's name in glitter letters because kids love big glitter letters. Fact. A little yellow button and I think we're done here!

Three tricky papers that I have had for a while and three cards that I wish I had thought to make ages ago!

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Project 412: New baby sketch card

I wanted to make a few little cards to send to my parents and my sister's in-laws to celebrate the arrival of my niece. I decided to do something simple and cheerful and when I saw the sketch at Freshly Made Sketches I thought it would work well:

And the color challenge at CAS-ual Fridays was perfect for my modern baby card:

The pink paper is punched with an American Crafts punch that I haven't used in ages but always really like using, it's so sharp it works great for adding detail. I embossed the central blue panel in a houndstooth folder to give it some texture. The central greeting is a washi tape punch from Claire and I used a sentiment that is one of the oldest in my collection. It didn't quite stand out as I wanted it to so I added the darker pink background to give it more prominence. The bows are punched using a Tim Holtz punch and to make them a bit cuter I added white enamel accents to the bows, mimicking the pink enamel accents I added to the background paper.

Really enjoyed this as it features a lot of fun little tools but has a simple look overall.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Project 411: A die-cut feather card for MAWTT

I'm late posting my card for Moving Along with the Times this week - apologies everyone. Wendy has been very patient with me! It's been a stressful few weeks and I'm still picking up dropped balls.

We have a bird and feather challenge this week which is a personal favourite. I thought I'd go for feathers as I'm always using birds, and was inspired by some die cut pins I saw on Pinterest, especially with a blended background peeking through.

I went for blues and greens and blended a large square. I then die cut feathers from a larger white square. The hello is die cut from a lighter part of the blended background which isn't visible from the revealed sections. I added a larger navy border to give it a bit of distinction, then topped it with a handful of tiny pearls. I added Wink of Stella shimmer powder to the die-cut reveals to make it a bit  more shimmery - went a bit overboard but I like the swirly nature it gives.

All in all I really like the card, sorry it's been such a trial to get it posted!

Monday, 10 April 2017

Project 410: A cheerful owl baby card

My niece was born last Monday so in honour of her first week, I wanted to make her a cheerful little card. I used an owl stamp that is a bit tricky because it's mainly filled in - it's really dark in black and yet when you used coloured inks it becomes a bit OTT. I love the image though and discovered that heat embossing it makes it really lovely.

I didn't go for girly girly pinks and purples, I decided to go a bit more neutral with turquoise, coral and peach. The owl uses Recollections teal embossing powder and you can't really tell but there's a lovely iridescent shine. I then colored in some of the gaps with ProMarkers in Coral, Ginger, Pastel Pink and Cool Grey 2.

I fussy cut the owl as close as I could as the white border looked a bit weird on the cream spotted background. I punched the balloons using a Stampin' Up punch and then added some light pink string. The border features a handwritten sentiment - I just couldn't sum up what I wanted with a pre-existing sentiment. I used my new favourite pastel gems as a border and an accent in the top.

So over the moon with her arrival, I am going to post this with a little gift for her and hope it makes its way across the 5,000 miles quickly!

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Project 409: A summery sketch challenge

I haven't had the time/mojo the last few weeks for crafting. Which is sad as it's one of my favourite ways to unwind and enjoy my evenings and weekends. But I hit a craft store on my way back from vacation and it inspired a good session at my desk. So now I'm back in it!

I went 'sketch shopping' as I had so many fun new goodies I was a bit overwhelmed and a good sketch challenge helps me focus. I really liked the one at Sketch Saturday:

I started with the background paper, a new one from The Range by Simply Creative. [Spoiler alert: Claire, you are getting this too.] I knew I had some pre-cut die sentiments from Claire about a year ago and I dug through them until I found this great Smile circle. I layered it over a pink scallop circle which doesn't exactly match the sketch but I hope they forgive me!

I then stamped, heat embossed and die cut a flamingo to layer over my stripes of cloudy gem stones. I love these at the moment - they seem more modern than bling and in my session yesterday I used them in just about everything I made. It looks simple but it got me die cutting, embossing and punching and that's the ticket for a good bit of inspiration!

Monday, 20 March 2017

Project 408: A musical die cut wedding card

Two friends are getting married and, while their wedding is totally low key, we're super excited for it. Rarely do you meet a couple that feel so well suited for each other, right from the off.

I have had this musical paper from the Neapolitan Recollections set for ages and it just feels perfect for the couple. The groom was our best man and him and my husband have gone to concerts together since they were in high school. He was in a band until his early 20s with some of our friends and my brother-in-law and music is a big part of his identity.

Once I found the paper I decided to rummage in my pre-die cut folder to see if I could find something fun. I was looking for a die cut sentiment but came across this nice little doily and a sparkly cake die and thought they'd go perfectly with the paper so changed my plan. I added their initials in navy and topped the cake with a sparkly heart bling.

It's a bit country-fair twee, which is what I wanted, and I think the couple will love it next week when we give it to them. Super easy but really personal as well.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Project 407: Some artsy Mother's Day commissions

Two special cards today commissioned for Mother's Day. The headline is a card that a colleague asked me to make featuring freesia (preferably purple freesia), a butterfly and a meerkat. Yes a meerkat. She had sent me a photo reference for the freesia that was really nice and, since I lacked a freesia stamp, I decided to try my hand at colored pencil drawing. Not too shabby I think! I die cut a butterfly and then added a little cut out meerkat. He's probably the weakest link here but, then again, it's not a strong narrative to have a meerkat is it!? After I fussy cut the flowers I arranged it and realized I needed a sentiment so I went to my trusty dies. I'm really pleased with it, even if it is totally random!

This one was too funny - a designer told me he wanted a card for his gran, who was a painter in her youth and from Wales. She liked painting birds and landscapes so I decided to do a little mini watercolour of a Welsh coastline scene in honour of her. I made a little watercolour box and a mini brush and easel out of paper. It was a bit fiddly but I am really pleased with it! Then I found a nice artsy backing paper that has texture but doesn't detract from the scene. I die cut a greeting but liked it better without it - I can always add it back in if my colleague wants it included.

Totally random and different but so pleasing to make!

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Project 406: Die cut flowers for MAWTT

A fun challenge from Moving Along with the Times this week. We'd like to see die cut or handmade flowers.

I chose a Stampin' Up die set for my DT make and layered them up over an embossed card featuring a Sizzix folder. The flowers are joined together to make a little bouquet and even though I didn't put a sentiment on it I thought I would use it as a Mother's Day card. Finally a little gingham candy tops it off, and I'm really happy with how cheerful it is.

I look forward to seeing your entries and what flowers you create!

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Project 405: A colourful music 30th

My colleague asked if I would make a 30th birthday card for her sister-in-law. She gave me the brief that she is musical, girly and likes a lot of bling.

I have never used the image featured here - it was from a music-themed Creative Stamping magazine last year - and when my colleague described her sister I just thought, yes, that's it! I heat embossed it in black and then blended with Distress Inks around her. I added music notes from the same set and a different greeting, I wanted something big and swirly. I added the blingy 30 and then edged the entire card in strip gems. Why not I thought?! Normally I'd think it's overkill but weirdly I think it works.

It's gotten me over my fear of this stamp and how complicated it is and now that I see how well it works with blending it may become a new favourite...!

Monday, 13 March 2017

Project 404: Mother's Day cards part 2

Another post on Mother's Day cards.  This is a series of blended cards and while these took a bit more effort I'm really pleased with them, I think I prefer them to the ones I made previously.

The headline card is a heat-embossed image from a new stamp set I got from a Creative Stamping magazine. I used a great bright yellow embossing powder and then blended over it with Cracked Pistachio Distress Ink. The greeting is from an older stamp set, maybe 9 months old, and I personalised it with a 'Mum' from the same set to make it relevant for Mother's Day. I stuck to natural card because it looked a bit washed out on white and it looks much more colourful on the brown stock. I'm really happy with it so I made a second one - and if they sell I'll make more!

Next up I used images from the same set (sentiment and wreath) over a blended circle that I created using a stencil from a die cut circle. The die cut sentiment matches the border in each instance and I love the color combos, they feel really modern and fresh.

Finally this one is using a pre-printed card blank that Claire gave me. I thought the little foiled heart looked great and would make a great Mother's Day card so all I did was add a sentiment and that was that. I have just shy of 20 now so hopefully that will get me a few sales...

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Project 403: Mother's Day Cards part 1

I have been making Mother's Day cards all weekend. As the company I work for has grown so have the requests for cards and now I find I have hardly any wastage in what I bring in. In addition to a few special commissions, this is the first post of the collection.

These are the cards featuring coloring and die cuts. The headline card features a Bugaboo image that I colored with ProMarkers. I die cut concentric circles plus a scallop as the background and then die cut the greeting as well. I've cut that greeting so many times this weekend I'm sick of the sight of it! Above are a few extra colors I did as variety.

Here are two additional variants featuring Little Claire images colored with ProMarkers. I was going to layer them up by cutting out the boxes but I did a trial and thought it looked odd so I left it as is. I like these probably the least, I have to figure out if I want to add a bit more to them or not. Maybe a hand-drawn border? Hmmm...

Finally a few ones featuring big flowers. I stamped the background using a big stamp and I like the irregularity. I punched a border to give it a bit more interest and added the greeting on top.

Few more to post tomorrow, so I hope they sell and make it worth the effort!

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Project 402: Playdate fun

Claire and I had a great playdate on Sunday and I wanted to show some of the random cards I made while we were playing at our desks a few thousand miles apart.

The headline card was fun as it used a could of scraps on my desk. The background is a printed card that Claire got me and I layered a grid paper that is from an ancient pack I got years ago. The tag is also a scrap - if you believe it - as the back had something on it that I didn't use. The flowers were glued and pinned using a mini clothes pin. The sentiment is a Recollections stamp from a mini set that I absolutely love.

This one is a bit of an art piece! The zebra was from a birthday card I received and loved so much I saved it to use as scrap. I die cut a square out and then used the grid paper features above but tore a scrap to give it a more interesting border. I used black Distress Ink around the edges to give it streaks and a messy finish. I added a black twine, sequins and a small blue punched bow (Sizzix/Tim Holtz) and a sentiment that I recently got second hand.

Finally this one used a scrap from another card I made (it's too personal and weird to share!) and I used two scraps in blue and yellow (see the same blue of the bow above) and die cut the Hello from a Sizzix set. A few little enamel dots and that was it. I kept it really simple after a number of fussy creations previously.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Project 401: Stamped background challenge

I saw the challenge at CAS(E) This Sketch and it reminded me of something I used to do a few years ago, repeating a stamped pattern and then raising the layers so the pattern bled from one panel to the next. I decided to give it a go when Claire and I had a playdate this weekend.

I used the Flower Patch stamp set from Stampin' Up as they have great little details and layers. I chose greens and yellow and did the design on water color. After stamping I went over the image with an aqua brush to blend the colors and create a bit more dimension. I left space in the middle for a sentiment and then die cut the oval out. I raised it on thick foam against a yellow card so you might see a peak of the background from the side.

It has a slightly retro feel that I like, and it's a technique that I like and hope to revisit again soon.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Project 400: A rainbow layout challenge

There is little I love more than a rainbow. Fact. When I was in high school I drew them everywhere and was attracted to anything from stationery to bags and clothes that featured them. I recently got a second hand rainbow stamp set and thought it would be fun to play with Freshly Made Sketches' challenge this week:
I decided to keep it really simple and enter CAS-ual Fridays One Layer Wonder challenge as well.

I masked off the borders of the card and blended the central panel using Distress Inks in Peacock Feather, Cracked Pistachio and Blueprint Sketch. I heat embossed the sentiment and then used Enamel Accents to create the rainbow. I made a pretty big smudge and decided to cover that with some die-cut clouds that I edged in Cool Grey 1 ProMarker. I hope that still counts as 1 layer!

I am super pleased with the result, it really speaks to my teenage-self (many years ago) and I think I will have to hold on to it for a while before I send it to someone.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Project 399: A cute little sketch and baby card

Since Christmas I've been struggling for mojo at my craft desk and dipping in and out of challenges less frequently than my usual behaviour. But I really liked the layout at Sketch Saturday and tasked myself to use paper scraps as I wanted to see what I could come up with.

The whole idea came out of the heart paper, I just love the color combos and how sweet they are. It was a gift from Claire this summer and I've been a bit precious about that set - but as this is a scrap I used a fairly big piece guilt free. The green piece is also a scrap and I embossed him using an ancient diamond folder, one of the very first embossing folders I ever got. The sweet hello is from a set that I bought off of Jenn Shurkas who was selling off her old stash and I got in there lightning quick! I punched a little heart and covered it in Enamel Accents to give it a bit texture as all the paper looked a bit flat. 

This one doesn't work to the challenge but as I used the same scraps (hearts and pink border) I thought I'd showcase it here as a freebie. The elephant is a stamp/die from Sizzix that I got in the Black Friday sale, and the sentiment is the same set. The backing paper is a scrap from the Neapolitan stack from Recollections that I have been so precious with but as this is for a colleague I decided to get over myself and just use it! The little white enamel dots add a bit of lightness. 

As I was struggling this weekend I wanted a craft session to be super simple and not too fussy and I'm happy with the result of both of these :) 

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Project 398: A collage wedding card

A good friend asked me to make a wedding card for a couple he has been friends with since high school. They have been together since they were teenagers and decided to get married to make things easier as they buy houses, move countries and generally change their lifestyle by the year!

He gave me a brief of things that would mean something to them - they travel a lot as a group of friends and so he requested a number of things to represent their adventures. Plus booze and food that feature regularly - it's something I can certainly relate to!

I started cutting out everything from plain card stock, I didn't want to have to draw too much (mainly because I'm terrible at drawing) and paper cutting always looks a bit different. People tend to be more forgiving as well!

The bicycle is a stamp that I die cut out (and then cut out a few pieces more), and the ham, beer stein, cheese and lime slice feature some pen detailing. The little grapes on the cheese board (hard to see) and the tulips are a punch (I colored the leaves green to avoid pink stems and leaves). The gin and tonic and champagne glasses are filled with glitter glue to look like liquid (I was pleased with that detail, I'm doing that again). Finally I made a Malta flag to represent her heritage and a destination they often return to.

It's in the post to go to my friend now, I think he'll like it and more importantly I think the couple will like it!

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Project 397: A card for a guy at MAWTT

This week at Moving Along with the Times we have a masculine theme: a card for a guy please!

For my card, I decided to use my DieVersions robot die that I love so much and layer him up over two stitched rectangle dies. In stead of punching out all of the internal little holes on the robot I tried something different and added enamel accents to make him bit more toy-like. I think the effect is really fun and plastic-y, I'm pretty happy with the result. Finally the sentiment was stamped using a  little set that Claire got me this past spring.

Hope you're having a fun craft week, looking forward to seeing your entries!

Monday, 13 February 2017

Project 396: A starry pink birthday card

I saw the sketch at CAS(E) This Sketch this week and thought it would be fun to play along and make a birthday card for a girlfriend. She loves pink and so with that color in mind I set out to make something fun for her that could also incorporate some of my new craft toys.

I chose a starry stencil and used Picked Raspberry Distress Ink for the pattern. I embossed a strip of card with little Swiss dots and then added a black frame to make it pop out. The butterfly is die cut using an X-Cut die and the message is heat embossed in white powder. It's very girly but I think she'll love it!

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Project 395: Feather birthday card challenge

I haven't been crafting much lately but with so many great new craft treats I have been spending more time at my desk this weekend than the whole of January combined! I wanted to get my mojo running so I turned to two challenge blogs for inspiration: Sketch Saturday for the layout and Color Throwdown for the colors. The combination was perfect and after a bit of planning I came up with my card.

The background was created using a Tim Holtz stencil and Carved Pumpkin Distress ink. The circle was die cut out of corrugated card. I tried a rectangle but it just wasn't working for me so I hope I'm forgiven for breaking the sketch a bit! The feather is a die that was half heat embossed with black powder - it was in my pre-cut die box and I think Claire gave it to me or I did it with her...the little bit of string completed the sketch and I added a sentiment from Stampin' Up BalloonCelebrations.

I love this color combo and know just who to give this card to, it was a great combined challenge to get the weekend going.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Project 394: Animal birthday and valentine cards

I got so much lovely stash for my birthday from Claire that when I got home I wanted to play with everything. My mojo hasn't been up to scratch lately and I thought it would be fun to make just a few things and not get too stressed about it.

The headline card is a birthday card for a friend who shares my birthday (today!) featuring Bugaboo pigs, stitched dies from Claire's Christmas present and a gorgeous background stamp that I inked in Salty Ocean Distress Ink and spritzed. The pigs are colored with ProMarkers.

The second card here features a new Valentine set. I embossed the little paws in white, blended over it in Candied Apple Distress Ink. I fussy cut the stamp and then stamped a sentiment combining three of the messages together. There are so many little sentiment options with this set, it's really sweet. I added the little strip of red gems, I'm not sure it's in keeping with the rest but oh well!

It took me a while to get back into the swing of things but I had a lot of fun with these two. hopefully the inspiration will come back as I play with all my other new things!

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Project 393: A very pink baby shower

I have been unable to craft and blog at my usual pace these past few weeks because I have been working non stop on a baby shower for my sister.

So many things made for this shower! So MANY THINGS.

Here's the run down:

  • Game boards (I got a template online for a prom invite - yes really - and manipulated it to get the arrangement I wanted. I hated the Baby Shower game boards I found and thought this worked way better for what I wanted) 
  • Labels for champagne bottles that say 'About to Pop!' that were printed, die cut, layered over a pink scallop and punched to become a tag 
  • Signs for craft stations 
  • Tiny folded napkins to look like diapers that hold snacks 
  • Ribbon rosettes for the mom to be, x2 grandmas and me, the aunt! 
  • Decorated hair bands - there was a station for all the guests do decorate some but Claire and I made x2 testers and then I decorated more with the spares
Plus a bunch of games, prizes, etc. It was all a bit hectic to organise but the final day was beautiful and fun and my sister had a great time which is what really matters. Can't wait to have that little baby in our lives!