Tuesday 26 May 2015

Project 223: An autumnal woodland critter birthday

I got a great brief from a colleague to make a birthday card featuring woodland creatures in golds and oranges. She pointed to two specific images on my blog that she liked and unfortunately they were both using materials I no longer have/have access to.*

But that didn't stop me - I knew I could make something that would work to the brief. 

I found these puffy stamps from my stash - Claire sent them to me a while ago and from what I can see they were a billy bargain! - and as she specifically called out foxes, hedgehogs and squirrels being the recipient's favourite animals I thought I'd go for these lovely orange stickers. I usually don't work with stickers like this; it feels a bit like cheating. But I thought if I put enough craft into the other elements it would balance my fear of taking a shortcut.

As there were three animals I went for the Sketch Saturday layout this week:

I embossed the brown paper with a diamond pattern (reminded me of a beaver's tail) and layered this on shiny gold paper, followed by navy to make it pop. The backing paper is slightly textured, it's a gorgeous Recollections Trader Jane paper. The orange paper is punched using an EK Success punch and the banner is stamped with a Fiskars greeting.  I added two spotted brown candies on the bottom to finish it off.

I really like the autumnal feel and the cuteness of the images. I still feel a bit like it is cheating but it is true to brief so I'm happy with it!

*Yes Claire. I'm referencing the  lack of access to your stash.  It's sad times not being able to rifle through your things, stealing/borrowing things to my heart's content. :*(

Monday 25 May 2015

Project 222: A heat embossed color challenge

I wanted to use today (bank holiday Monday) for 2 things: use some of the new stuff that Claire sent me and practice heat embossing. I've had mixed results with the technique and am always so envious of other people's work that I wanted to improve.

I loved the colors at Color Throwdown Challenge this week and thought I could use them as inspiration to achieve my two goals.

I took a piece of woodgrain patterned paper from the Boho Chic First Edition Paper collection and die cut a circle. I backed it onto a die cut gold scallop circle - a scrap on my desk for ages (yay for scrap amnesty!).

I used a brand new Inkadoo butterfly stamp from Claire and used gold glitter heat embossing powders. It is by far the most crisp, clean heat embossed image I've achieved to date so I am thrilled. I think I took more time, inked the stamp more thoroughly and didn't try to aggressively brush off excess. Or I got lucky- who knows! 

The Beautiful sentiment is Studio G (I think?) and the two blue strips are also scraps (double yay!) that have been cut from border punches ages ago.

Two of the sequins are covering ink smears - oops! - and the rest are just decorative.

I am pleased with the outcome, and pleased to be gaining confidence in heat embossing. Now to set myself some more challenges...

Thursday 21 May 2015

Project 221: A Color challenge at MAWTT

Hello everyone and happy Thursday!

We have a color challenge over at Moving Along with the Times this week hosted by the amazing Claire - aren't they such a great springy/summery mix? I love yellow, grey and teal together so I was keen to get involved.

I was inspired by the Retro Rubber challenge to use May Flowers and, when I saw this sketch from Retro Sketches a plan fell perfectly into place:

I decided to feature a flower stamp from Little Claire. I have had these at least a year - I think maybe longer - and stamped it onto four different papers, cutting them out as I went. I was inspired by Claire's intricate paper piecing but just didn't have the patience for that complex an image! All of the papers are from Studio Callico papers - three different sets - they really make a great collectionI think.

I tried a few different punches (2) and cutting the blue spotted paper into a wave by hand and none of it worked. Just couldn't get the effect I wanted. So I cut off the edge, hand drew some stitching and added some spotted grey ribbon. So much happier! Sometimes you have to try things a few times before you get it right.

Finlly I stamped the tag with a Thinking of You greeting, coloring in the letters with cool grey ProMarkers and layered it under the flowers.

It's a fairly different kind of sketch for me but I'm super pleased with the resutl.

Can't wait to see what you all do with our color challenge!

Thursday 14 May 2015

Project 220: A green and black biker chic card

My colleague loves the pin-up stamps from Kenny K and asked if I could do one for her friend. Specifically, she said "Can you get the sexiest one and make it green and edgy and the opposite of me?" (She's synonymous with pink and butterflies).


So I used Biker Betty from Kenny K and looked for some inspiration, and found it at Freshly Made Sketches this week. This was their sketch:

You can't really see it with the paper pattern but green paper is cut on a diagonal across the page!

I used Femme Fatale paper from Recollections for the green tiger paper to give it texture. I colored the image in greens and greys and black using ProMarkers. The flowers were added for extra texture and the little black tag is perfect for the greeting.

My colleague asked for a specific greeting - which of course I didn't have- so I just wrote it on in silver pen and added some little green bling for accent.

 I had fun making it, short and simple and hope the recipient likes it!

Sunday 10 May 2015

Project 219: A bookshelf reclaimed as a dresser

I live in a characterful 1930s apartment building next to a gorgeous garden park and just 1 block from the Thames. Characterful, in London property terms, means small!

One of the challenges is that my old set of drawers was too deep for the bedroom, making it impossible to pull them out without hitting the bed.

I decided to look for something open that would allow me to have most of my clothes on a shelf and eliminate the problem. When I saw this bookshelf at a charity second hand shop I knew I could transform it. And for £12, the price was too good to resist! I paid almost 100% more for a £10 delivery fee, just to give them a bigger donation (and it was before I got a car).

The first thing I did was remove the AWFUL peeling vinyl paper. I replaced it with a green and blue drawer liner I bought for £4 at Tiger.

Next I painted it with green chalk paint to give it a fake antique patina. I think the paint was £4.50. The lighting is so bright right now I can't get the tone to come through in the picture but it's a nice minty sage green. 

I hunted for a while for good drawer knobs. These are from Anthropologie and were the most expensive component, coming in at £8 each! I actually liked the original ones as they were  ceramic but they were red and nothing in my room is red. I'll save them for something else.

Finally I bought these woven baskets from TK Maxx, £8 for the two bigger ones, and £6 for the smaller one. I'm evangelical about the KonMari method of folding and tidying and she recommends you fold things so they are vertical, rather than horizontal. That way you see everything at once and folding and storing is actually way easier.

I'm super pleased with the finished product and, at £84.50 for all the materials and parts, I don't think I could have found a better or more bespoke piece. Totally worked out as getting clothes couldn't be easier!

Thursday 7 May 2015

Project: A bird and feather challenge at MAWTT

It's fun creating the challenges for us at Moving Along with the Times and this week I wanted to set something for people to play with birds and/or feathers. I'm LOVING feathers right now. Just using them every chance I get and from what I see on Pinterest it looks like this is a big thing for others as well.

My entry this week is based on a pin I found of grouped feathers tied together with a button and string. I changed things up a bit though when it came to layout, colors and embellishments.

I die cut the feathers out of scraps - yes everything on this is a scrap! - and after I cut them out I colored the edges with a slightly darker ProMarker to give definition when they were layered up.

They got bunched together and I stuck them against a small craft card from Claire. She got me a whole pack of these little craft cards and I'm loving how versatile they are to use.

I wanted to keep it really CAS so I grabbed this brown gingham scrap from my desk and added the beige pearl row to give it just a hint of bling. The hello stamp is at least a year or two old - can't quite remember it's original package but I know Claire gave it to me!

I'm really happy with the result and hope that you find the challenge a fun one to play along!


Tuesday 5 May 2015

Project 218: A fun starburst card

It's been a while since I took part in blog challenges and so I thought I'd tackle a few all in one go!

First, I was inspired by this layout at Sketch Saturday. It's really fun and I haven't made a starburst card in ages.

When I saw the Transportation theme at Paper Players I knew it had to be my big vespa stamp as a feature.

And as it's over 2 years old I knew I could enter it in the Retro Rubber Anything Goes challenge.

Finally the colors at the CAS-ual Fridays challenge were great - their birthday theme colors! - and I knew they'd really sing with this layout. I didn't use an exclusively birthday greeting but I hope that'll be forgiven as I can't think of another time when 'For you' would be appropriate!

The patterned paper is from Studio Calico. I went over some of the stamp details with an Oasis ProMarker to get a bit more definition. I added a touch of glitter to the light and some little seed pearls to the corner for a touch of dimension. Finally this greeting has been in my stash for years and I thought it gave a good masculine touch and stood out from the pattern.

I confess - this is my second Vespa attempt. The first was cut with a scalpel and the awkward shape just didn't work against the busy background. So I did it again in a diecut layered circle and it's much sharper! 

It's been fun playing along with so many challenges, nothing like a full bout of challenges to make up for lost time!

Monday 4 May 2015

Project 217: Some wine tasting cards

This is a really small little project but it was so much fun I had to share. Two of our friends are getting married in France this summer and they brought back several wines to taste to make the decision of what to serve. I mean, French wines, French foods, we know it's going to be a great party. And we were lucky enough to be invited to the pre-party to decide which wines to serve.

I thought I'd make it a bit of fun by doing a blind taste test.

I made these little taste cards and tags so we could have a blind test without being influeced by the bottles and I thought they'd be a nice momento for a scrap book

I wrapped the bottles up in scarves to hide the labels and with the tags we could tell how to rate each one. The night was a huge success and (almost) all of the choices were unanimous votes so that was a win.

Looking forward to trying them again at the wedding in July. More cards to follow this week, it's been an epic weekend of clearing and cleaning so craft time was harder to come by than I thought!