Sunday 30 March 2014

Project 142: KennyK Time for Gin Birthday Card


We are celebrating my friend Danu's birthday on Saturday (well, actually I missed it as it was Thursday. Oops) and I wanted to make her something bespoke to mark the day. Especially as I missed it.

My friend has a great retro style and I knew I had to use the Kenny K "What if" stamp.  When I asked O how I should color her he said "Doesn't matter as long as she has red lipstick and red nails." That pretty much sums up her style.

I colored in the image to match her coloring and then gave the sweater little hearts - I hated them so I colored over them but it looks like you can still sort of make them out. Whatever. Life is too short to color it in again and anyway, it adds texture!

I used silver liquid pearl for her necklace and earrings and then added some glitter to her bracelet. I topped her with a navy bow to go with the Kenny K blog challenge to introduce a bow somewhere on the card. Normally these little flowery bows freak me out but I think this works with the retro vibe.

I decided I wanted a black card base to make the colors pop and layered her over a polka dot paper that matches the gradient in the back of the stamp and then used lime green candies for a bit more texture. The "gin" speech bubble is hand cut and hand written.

Very much a perfect card for the birthday lady!

Saturday 29 March 2014

Project 141: Oval sketch thank you challenge

I have been taking a bit of a break from too many blog challenges but there were three that caught my eye this week and I thought they would work well together.

I needed to create a few special thank you cards this week and I thought the colors in Color Throwdown 285 would be perfect for the card:

Moving Along with the Times had a hilarious challenge - use a member of the DT's first card as a sketch:

I love revisiting my old cards and thinking, seriously? We put a lot of effort into this?! Every day I learn something new and love to see the progress. So in honor of Red from MAWTT sharing this card, I will share one of my first attempts at the end of this post.

The final challenge I entered was CAS-ual Friday's Oval challenge.

I stamped my greeting onto a green oval so that it would stand out from the busy paper. I used an oval label die cut to bring in the pink and espresso colors from the Color Throwdown. I added grey paper strips to get the diagonal over the damask paper. I added pink oval bling to give it a bit more elegance and then before I went too nuts adding candies and other stuff, I just stopped and walked away. Sometimes you just have to know when to stop!  I have two people I need to thank for special things they've done for me, I will have to think long and hard about who should have this one.

Now for the oldie (but not necessarily goodie) from my crafting past:

I was making cards and crafts and bits and bobs long before I started blogging, but this is from one of the earliest blogs I published. I had just been introduced to 3 new tools/techniques here and I was just so happy with it at the time:

  • Coloring peel-offs with sharpie markers to get the color you want (instead of generic silver or gold) 
  • Border embossing folders 
  • Scallop punches 
I used the scallop to make a flower - I think? - and topped it with a button. I mean, I still love a button but really? This is all I had for a central feature?? Neither the peel-offs nor the ribbon tape are even put on straight (those peel-offs are so fiddly, they are super thin and delicate, I hardly use them now) and the embossing folder is almost impossible to see.

What makes me even sadder is I loved that checked paper - that is from a Martha Stewart punch pad - and I rationed it like crazy, so the fact that this card made the "use it" list is just tragic!

So that's my early card nomination, all in all I'm very happy with my crafting progress!

Wednesday 19 March 2014

Project 140: WOYWW and shower materials

Hello and happy Wednesday!

The headline shot here is of my desk for What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday - a challenge run by Julia on her Stamping Ground blog.

What you can see is all the makings of my sister's bridal shower materials - which is SATURDAY. GAH!

In the folder are pink menus, game response cards (like how well do you know the bride answer sheets) and some other bits and bobs. Around the folder are some border and corner punches as well as a heart punch, two boxes of bling and some ribbon - trying to work out how I'm going to jazz these up.

The yellow tin is my little tool box of necessities (corner rounder punch, craft knife, that kind of thing) and next to it are some stamps that I went through to see if I have anything that will work for the shower. Short answer is not really so I'm going to stick to punches and bling!

And then everything else are fixed features: my caddy of bling, ProMarkers, pencil/scissor/glue box and ATG.

Finally - last time I played WOYWW I revealed that I had my first celebrity endorsement as a friend was going to a baby shower for someone on Strictly Come Dancing, the UK's Dancing with the Stars. I can now reveal that the card was for the beautiful Erin Boag!

Plenty of the other dancers were there and I was thrilled that my card stood out from the pack. I loved it so much, here it is again:

Thanks for stopping by, I can't wait to see what you all have going on! x

Saturday 15 March 2014

Project 139b: Mother's day card for GIL

On my last post I mentioned that I am easing myself back into challenges - just needed a break really!

This is my response to the Mojo Monday sketch this week - I haven't entered in ages and thought this sketch lended itself really well to a feature stamp. Perfect for what I had in mind for my grandmother-in-law's Mother's Day card. This is the sketch:

The featured stamp is from Little Claire and I colored it using Promarkers. I stuck with a pastel scheme as I wanted it to be cheerful and spring-like - must have been inspired by the sunshine we've had in London this week!

I diecut the circle using my new dies from Claire - I'm loving them. The tartan paper is diecut from a scallop pack I have and then I embossed the yellow card using a Craft Concepts folder.

I kept it greeting free as I mentioned in my other Mother's Day challenge response - I have no peel offs or stamps for this. I figure I can make do once a year without it!

Finally I added a ribbon bow for the florish and added a tiny little pink flowery candy.

I liked the final result but have to say I'm happier with the other Mother's Day card - probably just the orange speaking to me there :)

Project 139a: Mother's Day card for MIL

I took a little break from card challenges but I decided this weekend I was ready to tackle a few. I decided to do one color challenge, one layout challenge. This is the color challenge, and the layout one is over here.

When I saw these colors on Color Throwdown 238 I thought they would be perfect for my mother-in-law. We have a shared love for the under-appreciated color orange and I thought this would be a great base for a modern mother's day card for her.

I'm really pleased with the final card. The featured image is from Bugaboo, and I colored him with Promarkers. The grey damask paper is from a monochrome set by Dovecraft and I think it works great here. The scallop border is patterned tape. I am loving those paper flowers at the moment, particularly with buttons.

The little greeting is a sticker - I don't actually have any Mother's Day peel offs or stamps I've realised! Finally I topped it with a small candy (might be a bit too busy but never mind) and some glitter glue. I love it - more than the layout challenge I think!

Monday 10 March 2014

Project 138: Play date outputs part 2

Following up from yesterday's post, here we are again looking at the outputs from my playdate with Claire. 

The headline card was a challenge Claire gave me to use a tag - I struggle with them and rarely use them as I just can't make them work! I used a Tim Holtz embossing folder for the texture in the back and then topped it off with some button die-cuts from Claire's collection. The tape is one that I've had for years and the little brown dew drops are from Paperchase. I added natural kitchen string to the tag to make it look a bit less random on the page. I like the overall look but I'm not convinced if this is my style if I'm honest! 

This one is much more me! We cased a sketch in Quick Cards for this layout and I think it's such a win. The feature image is from Fiskars, as is the greeting. I hadn't used it yet and it stamps like a dream, such a sweet image. The patterned tapes were from a little set that Claire brought with her from the US and the candy is from my collection. It came together so easily and I will definitely use this layout and technique of using tapes in the future.

I found this random magazine in Waitrose called Vintage Ladies or something like that and it featured fantastic ads and  images. I bought it for Claire as part of our playdate exchange and we decided we needed to use it as the base of a challenge. I love her card so I'm anxious for her to blog about it so I an link to it! 

This image cracked me up so I had to use it. Mainly for the headline, enlarged here: 

I kept the layout very simple, framing the image in pink and then a floral pattern. Both are from Trader Jane Recollections pack from Michael's. I added a big papery flower with beige pearls to keep the vintage feel of the card. Simple and sweet.

I think the image looks a lot like Lady Mae Loxely from Mr Selfridge, no?


Finally this card was created under a challenge Claire and I set ourselves to create an image with big type as the central focus of the card. The stamp is a Papermania stamp and it works here, though I've definitely struggled with it in the past. The bunting paper is from the Neopolitan Recollections set from Michaels. I added these little flower buttons that I don't use outside of baby cards and Christmas. I think they look quite sweet here, like little candies. I added the glitter to the present just to give it a bit more texture.

A few more cards were created but I can't post them here as I'm using them as gifts. Definitely a great day of output and a really fun time catching up with Claire. I wish we could have regular playdates but we'll have to go back to Skype dates for a while. Still, I was honored to get a full day of Claire's time in her short visit here in the UK!

Sunday 9 March 2014

Project 138: Playdate outputs part 1

Friday was a fantastic day as I was not working and Claire was visiting from NYC!

We made so many cards I thought I would start with my set of boy cards.

The headline card was one of my favorites from the day and features a color combo I used a few times: yellow, teal and grey.

The chevron paper makes it really modern I think, and that chipboard topper was a sticker I got at Michael's.. The grey paper is textured with a Bo Bunny grunge stamp that Claire brought with her. I was a bit afraid of those stamps but I think it adds fantastic texture. Claire suggested the askew teal card and she's right, that totally nails the layout.

This card followed a sketch layout in Quick Cards magazine. I had asked Claire to bring the balloon dog stamp with her as I saw it on her blog and fell in love. She gave me the circle Sizzix dies as a gift and they really came into their own here. The greeting "You party animal" is from the same stamp set. The border punch is from Knock Outs and it is quickly becoming a favorite. I think this is a great card for any age or gender.

This card featured a die Claire got with a magazine. It looked like it would be tricky but our good friend wax paper made it a joy to work with. As I had yellow, teal and grey already on my desk I used the off cuts to throw together this card. The chipboard pointing hand was from the same set as the boombox on the top card.

This card was a win and uses a hat and tie stamp set I have from Michael's that I bought immediately on seeing it, and then struggled to use for a few months as I couldn't quite get it right. This greeting is such a great typographic feature that I really wanted to keep it simple. So I tried something a bit different - I stamped the image onto patterend paper and then cut out the outline so the stamp added a bit of texture to the pattern without blocking it out. I raised the tie on foam and I love the effect.

Finally, a little owl card made a bit more masculine with tartan and woodgrain. The chipboard shapes were another gift from Claire, as was the little tag greeting. The paper came from my Little Claire stamp subscrition and I embossed the brown card with woodgrain to add extra texture. I added a touch of green tape to give it an extra touch, with the dark brown button.

Writing this post made me realise how much I used chipboard, which I hardly ever use. Just shows that a playdate means you look at things differently and really stretch your skills and supplies! 

Wednesday 5 March 2014

Project 137: WOYWW 248 First entry

I have been following Claire's submissions to What's on your workdesk Wednesday for months, and I have always wanted to enter. But I never had a workstation! Whenever I wanted to craft I would get my little buckets, boxes and bags of craft things and sit on the floor, or couch, or table and make the thing and then clear it all away. For years this is how I did it.

When we moved into our condo recently I asked (nay, insisted) that I have a craft desk in our spare bedroom and here I am, finally ready to play along!

So my headline photo is my long-awaited desk. I have my ProMarkers in little cups (until I work out my long term solution), two little plastic caddies full of bits and bobs, a pencil container, cutting mat, ATG just out of shot, and then the interesteing bits: some paper scraps, some Little Claire stamps I'm coloring in and then the sample of papers that come with the Little Clair subscription Claire subscribed me to for my birthday.

I wanted to share the rest of my little craft station as well as I'm just so excited:

To the left is my wall sticker, my paper storage unit, paper cutter and bit box of bling. To the right is a shelving unit that has everything that doesn't fit in the desk: stamps, inks, ribbons, bows and other tools. It's the first time I've ever had an area that is really my own and I'm excited to have done a few projects there already.

I thought I would share the first card I made after assembling my desk last week, a card my colleague commissioned for her neighbor's baby shower. Her neighbor, I should mention, is a professional dancer from the UK's version of Dancing with the Stars - I've purposely not put her name in this as my friend didn't want my blog to get picked up by search before the shower - but afterwards I'm definitely going to ask her to get a picture of her holding the card. My first celebrity endoresment!

The brief was to make it as blingy and fabulous as possible and so when I was in doubt, I added more bling. Purple leopard paper is from Claire, the flowers are from a Papermania collection and the image is one I've used before, on a previous "Knocked up" and fabulous card.

All in all, I'm so excited to be a part of the WOYWW crew, can't wait to have a nosy around your workstations! xJT

Tuesday 4 March 2014

Project 136: Double (and double) craft buddy challenges

I have been secretly working for the last few weeks on some crafts that Claire has set me. Every few weeks we like to set each other challenges so that we can pretend we're having face to face craft playdates and give us an excuse (not that we need it) to have a Skype chat.

The first cards address these challenges:
 And here is my first take, very true to sketch:

I gotta say, it's cute, the colors and everything are pretty much spot on but it's busy and I'm just not sure. I love that fan/leaf (not sure?) paper in the background, it's from the cherry blossom Recollecions set. Just not sure about the finished piece 

So I decided to revisit the sketch, choose just two colors and deconstruct the sketch so it was just a panel on the right, a big shape and some banners. And that's how I arrived at the headline card. The purple paper is from Chronology by Do Crafts, the bicycle is a stamp and die set from Sizzix and the banners all feature these micro geetings Claire and I found somewhere ages ago. Such a big fan of this card. 

Now this challenge was actually from a scrapbook layout and Claire said she wanted me to try it/kill me if I managed to do something with it. Challenge accepted. 

I had to break away from the color scheme for it, but I think I got there:

 I had a revelation at some completely inappropriate moment at work when I actually said out loud, "I could use little flowers instead of papers!" Cue rushing back and working it out using green and blue flowers in place of the little checks. The stamp and sentiment are both Little Claire and I love how it's come together.

After this challenge, I was SO UNWELL (food poisoning absolutely leveled me for 3 days. bright side was I lost 4 pounds but itw as not worth it) so we couldn't catch up as planned. We decided to add another layer of challenges and go through all of them back to back.

This time, instead of sketches and color ways we went for "In the style of..." so you could use a finished card as inspiration and go from there. First up: this card: 

My take: 

 I "watermarked" the paper with a set of heart stamps using a colour just darker than the card stock. I punched 2 Woodware punch hearts, a plain and a pattern, and layered them with a mini heart that Claire had punched for me ages ago. I used bakers twine to further case the card sample and then added a stamped greeting. I didn't intend to make more than one but after the first I thought it would work really well in different colors and decided to make a little set of them:

My sister commissioned a bunch of sets so this is definitely going into the mix for her collection! 

Next up was this card to case: 

And my take: 

I stuck pretty closely to the sketch on this one because I really wanted to use these cool vintage-patterned paper flowers I bought at Michael's over Thanksgiving in a Black Friday sale.

I used a damask pale yellow paper on the top half (which I have always struggled to use but loved too much to get rid of) and then the bottom is from a Chronology set by Do Crafts. The border is actually a tape that I bought years ago and the greeting is from the first sentiment stamp set I ever got. It feels like a real throw-back, classic layout but with some nicer kit to top it.

All in all, super busy but I loved every minute of it - and on Friday we get to have a real life playdate. So. Excited.