Thursday 22 May 2014

Project 157: Snow Cute MAWTT challenge

When I saw Anne's Snow Cute theme at MAWTT this week I knew exactly what I wanted work with.

I have been taking an onlince course called Stretch Your Stamps and they had a great tutorial on using collage style stamps. Claire had given me a set of Christmas collage stamps and I haven't really broken into them yet so this was a great chance to play with my new techniques.

The first thing I did was pattern the shimmery white paper with a border stamp that I thought looked a bit like snow - I hadn't considered using border stamps to create a pattern like this before and I think it works well.

I decided to stamp directly over the pattern with the bird and added the stars as well. The stamp course has made me be a bit braver about stamping directly on these surfaces! I love that you can see the snow pattern through the open spaces. I decided to color in the open parts of the star red to tie it into the pattern:

I punched a scallop border before layering it over the red and white spotted paper - makes it a bit more merry (and cute!) for the holidays.

Now for the die cuts - I decided to use the French greeting that came with the stamp set and I thought the fancy label die would be great with the flourish. I have these fleur de lis dies from a project I did last year and thought this corner die woud be great to tie into that Frenchness.

Finally I added the bling to the sentiment, a bit of glitter to the flowers and hat and a candy to balance out the layout.

It's fussier than I usually make for Christmas but I have to say I think this was a fun card to make and put my new techniques to the test!

Monday 19 May 2014

Project 156: Bingo challenge

Claire introduced me to the SJ Crafts blog and their bingo challenge this month was a great one for us to try on our play date.

How it works: you choose a line like in bingo (column, row or diagonal) and then the project you create must feature that line.

I choose the bottom diagonal: mixed alpha, metal embellishment, circles. I was given this set of Martha Stewart sea charms by Claire and I thought they would be a great little feature for the challenge.

I die cut 3 different sized plain circles and chose a spotted paper for the background to tie in with the circles requirement. I also added two layers of scallop-punched papers for extra circle fun.

The greeting used to be a banner that I hand stamped with mixed letter stamps but I really didn't like it. I was looking through my sticker and peel of collection and found this little chipboard "Smiles" and thought why not? It still isn't quite working for me but I prefer it to the previous take.

I love the bingo idea and may see if I can try another line on my own. It is definitely a different way to compile a project and a nice change from some of the other challenges I've entered.

Sunday 18 May 2014

Project 155: Melon, Lime and Silver butterfly challenge

This weekend I was able to have a Skype playdate with Claire and it was awesome. I wish I could have playdates face to face like we used to but this is a good alternative with the long distance. Plus we still get to chat, craft and drink wine so all the important elements are there !

The headline card was the combination of two challenges we wanted to do together - Color Throwdown's combination this week and an adaptation of this pin featuring butterflies and embossing.

I decided to make the background for the embossing the melon color and used a swirly pattern that was reminiscent of the pin. I tried using a houndstooth folder to make it a bit retro to start and it was way too busy. So I scrapped that piece and stuck with swirls. Swirls work much better.

The top of the card is a border punch that my mom bought for me (with Claire's guidance) and I love it. This is its first outing. A bit of practice is needed to get it straight but I love the pattern.

The butterflies are punched from lime card stock and a grey moroccan tile paper. I creased the center to give them tha 3D effect and put silver glitter glue down the middle for that metalic effect. I added the greeting (this is Fiskars, I think...) and thought it could work for a thank you or a birthday.

Claire's take on it is beautiful with mixed size die-cut butterflies and patterned papers. Love the folder she chose as well.

A great double effort from our playdate I think.

Sunday 11 May 2014

Project 154: Blended ink colored stamps and diy decopage

I have been loving the Online Card Classe's Stretch Your Stamps course. Just love it. This weekend I dipped into their session on floral stamps and had my mind blown. No exaggeration. Headline card features the main reason for this: I learned how to use a blender tool.

I have had these for years and never known what to do with them. I don't know if this is the exclusive use (I doubt it) but it's one that I was able to pick up really easily. Using dye-based stamp pads you pick up the ink on the blender and as it loses the color quickly you get the lovely shading and gradients like watercolors.

Here is an alternative image and color combo using the same technique:

I know - awesome right?

Both stamps are from Little Claire and the inks are Hobbycraft. I stayed pretty close to the layout in the tutorial I was following as I loved this "organic" pattern of just repeating the same image like a waterfall down the page. I kept the greeting simple and generic and added a bit of spotted ribbon and bling and left it fairly simple. I really wanted to feature the images so I was pleased with that.

This was another card on the same tutorial uses the same Little Claire flower only you create your own decopage. For this one I broke the layout (there was some crazy doily window-cutout thing going on - too much for me) but kept the new technique. I stamped and colored the image 3 times and then cut out the pieces to create the layers. I did two layers of petals with three layers of the center using small foam pads to raise each layer.

I wanted to keep the colors in the same family so I used two sheets from the Neopolitan collection from Michael's Recollections, and stamped the greeting onto a blank natural card tag. I punched the yellow strip with my Martha dotted scallop border punch though I think it's a bit hard to see over the chevrons. Nevertheless it's an extra dimension. Finally a bit of gold glitter and some candies and we're done.

Both techniques were a bit fiddly but I am so pleased with the results. I want to try the decopage thing again with some different images - definitely cheaper than buying kits and they feel more modern when you can color and embellish them yourself.

Will keep you posted on further adventures with the card classes.

Thursday 8 May 2014

Project 153: White Christmas card for MAWTT

Hazel's challenge this week at Moving Along with the Times is a White Christmas theme and it's never too early to start planning for Christmas!

I took a page out of my fellow DT Hazel's book and used a spotty embossing folder to demonstrate snow. I then added a strip of silver card and mounted my little robin stamp, a new purchase from Little Claire which I have been wanting to use.

For the greeting, I decided to use a mixed lettering stamp set to spell out Merry - sometimes I think shorter is sweeter with cute little images like this and I wanted to keep it playful.

I added some silver glitter to each of their hats, without coloring anything else as I wanted to stay on theme. I added the white sheer ribbon for a touch of luxe and the bling in the corner.

I trimmed down the card size a bit to make it a bit cuter than the full A6 size. All in all - I think this is a cute little Christmas card to start thinking of festive times ahead!

Monday 5 May 2014

Project 152: Fairy princess card

I don't normally blog twice in a day but as it's a bank holiday in the UK I have been able to spend a few extra hours in the craft room and the outputh today has been pretty fantastic.

I saw that the Sweet Stampin' challenge blog was having a fairy or fantasy theme this week and this worked perfectly for the fantastic new stamps I received as part of this month's Little Claire's Stamp Club. 

I haven't visited Mojo Monday in a few weeks and decided with the day off it was a great opportunity to link up with them. This week the sketch was:

I followed it pretty exactly this week.

I used all of the papers from the Family Ties collection by First Edition Paper. I don't normally use a full set like that but I liked the dusky rose colour and thought the different papers worked well with the requirements for the sketch.

The stamped image is colored with ProMarkers and I added WAY too much glitter glue. Sometimes it just comes out faster than you think it will and I decided in the nature of girly fairy cards to leave it on. The sentiment is also from this month's Little Claire stamp club.

It's way girly and cutesy but I know just the person who loves all things pink, princesses and butterflies. I think it'll cheer her up!

Project 151: Femme fatale 30th card

My gorgeous friend Ruth is a police officer and when I saw Kenny K's Femme Fatale challenge I knew it would be perfect for her birthday card. She's the big 3-0 this year and I thought the Captain Locke stamp would add the right amount of sauciness to mark the big day.

Freshly Made Sketches had an interesting sketch this week and I hope the nice people of FMS forgive my rather loose interpretation of it:

 I used a petal die to create the grey half-circle shape and added a textured grey strip to complete the sketch. I love framing Kenny K stamps in petal shapes, it's probably the only way I use that die!

I colored Captain Locke to match Ruth's coloring (yes, she's a hot red-headed cop. In real life. I have no idea how many would-be felons have given themselves up just so she could slap on the handcuffs.) and then cut her out so she'd fit in the petal shape:

I kept the rest of the card super simple: a blingy 30, black sticker greeting and some grey candies. I think the Kenny K stamps look so great and detailed I like to keep the rest simple where possible.

Can't wait to give this to Ruth on Saturday. Now to find her a gift...

Sunday 4 May 2014

Project 150: CAS rule of 3 anniversary card

I saw the CAS-ual Friday's challenge this week and I was so intrigued - you use 1/3 of the card space and then create a card using something in 3. My parents' anniversary is coming up and I wanted to make them something a bit different this year so I decided this card would be a perfect challenge entry.

Here are my threes:
  • 3 hearts
  • 3 colors in the stamped background
  • 3 pieces of bling 

I tried a new double-stamping gradient techique to get the background. I used a morrocan tile stamp using blues and greens and once I had the image I moved the stamp up a tiny bit and stamped again to get the double line. I learned it in an online stamp course and I'm obsessed with it as a technique! 

I embossed the blue heart to add a bit of texture and then leayerd up the smaller one.

The bling was an afterthoguht actually, I wanted to have 3 and foudn a tiny green heart so I thought it would be sweet with the tiny blue gems.

And I know Claire would be rproud - my border goes off the edge. Yes it's only 1/8th an inch but it's off the side and I haven't evened it off like the OCD person inside of me wants to! (Yes, it's totally crazy to be giving a pep talk about an 1/8th of an inch paper edge. I get that. We crafers all have something that makes us tick.)

And that's that - I have another couple of things I'm working on this weekend but the biggest was painting my cabinets - check out these beauties:

Zippy the dog gets in the way here but he's proud he didn't rub up against them when they were wet so he's happy with the result as well.

I have been wanting to paint them for ages and finally managed to get my act together and get the supplies. For a total of £25 I got everything I needed and still have plenty of spare paint. Now that is a cheap room makeover!