Sunday 18 December 2016

Project 385: A final doggy set

This final set post is for a girl on the team about to leave so I'm showing her leaving card as well.

I kept things super simple here. Her little dog is a friend of my little dog (friend is a strong word, more like pint-sized bully) and like me she lives for that dog. She's Finnish, and has a great Scandi style, so I wanted it to be clean and simple in execution. I decided to simply stamp 4 paw prints, use different powders and heat emboss them. I'm featuring the gold and turquoise here but I also did silver and red glitter (which I stamped upside down. Oops. It kind of works though so I left it).

Her leaving card is also really simple, featuring a paper cut silhouette of her, the dog, a glass of wine and a little speech bubble with the brand mark of her client for the past 3 years. I debated a 'longing for you' message but decided against it, the simplicity is really nice and I think it suits her as well. I'll miss her so much and I am gutted to see her go. Hopefully there will be future visits from her and we can see the little dog again in the future!

Thursday 15 December 2016

Project 384: More sets for Christmas

Set post number 2! I have been working hard on these the last few days. Yesterday I showcased 2 sets, today you get two more. These were much more personal to the recipients, not that the others weren't, I just spent a bit more time making choices on these.

The headline card and the ones featured here were great to make. The cards are from a Creative Stamping magazine freebie set that I either die cut or fussy cut and then colored using Spectrum Noir pencils. Rarely use pencils these days, it was great fun to get them out. I added glitter accents to make it pop out and then little touches of bling or mini pearls. Really simple but I think the recipient will like them.

And now these are just as random as you like. The colleague in question is moving from London to NY next year hence some of the featured stamps. The others are really just random things that made me think of her! I went fishing through my big wooden blocks and these are the ones that all seemed the best, I love going through those because they're not organised like my clear stamps, it's just a grab bag of fun. I painted the background with watercolored distress inks, really simple.

Wednesday 14 December 2016

Project 383: First of several card gift sets

I am making a whole bunch of card sets as gifts for people. I should have started this process MUCH sooner but here we all are, crafting late into the evening to get things done before I see the recipients! I'm using it as an opportunity to go through my stash and use things I haven't played with in a while.

This is the first of a few card set posts. The set featured here was such fun. I stamped and die cut the fruit Sizzix set Claire gave me last year and used mini 4x4 cards as my base. The colored papers are from a Recollections square pack (no die cutting or trimming involved!) and I embossed them in different folders: the triangle is from Stampin' Up, the houndstooth is Sizzix, the swiss dots are Cuttlebug and the basketweave I can't remember. I added different sized enamel dots from Recollections to match each card. They took a bit longer than you'd think from looking at them but I really love them!

This next set was a bit simpler. I die cut some intricate butterflies and then layered them over punched hearts. I die cut big chevron patterned circles and added a few touches of bling and enamel dots. They would have been really quick if it weren't for the 8 die cuts required. Still, a very clean card and it makes a nice set for the person who is receiving it....thought I must say I prefer the fruit!

Tuesday 13 December 2016

Project 382: Brazillian football baby card and 'Future Grandma'

A colleague is from Brazil and her brother just announced him and his wife are having a baby. She wanted to make him a card that showed his football team Flamengo as he has found out he's having a boy. She also wanted a card for her mom that congratulated her as - apparently - she has been bugging my colleague for a grandchild for some years now and she can now give her some peace!

The headline card features the card I made for her mom. I heat embossed the congratulations greeting from a baby set in white and then blended over it in Salty Ocean distress ink really lightly for the sky. I die cut a stamped plane from the same baby set (why is there a plane in a baby set??) and then colored it with ProMarkers. I cut  a scrap of green paper to look like a hill and then dotted it with Enamel Accent flowers. I added white Enamel Accents to the sky to make it look like sky writing from the plane, and then added the Future Grandma in glittery letters. What a weird card but I love it.

The next one is the card for her brother. I cut a number of red stripes and layered them over a black card. I added big black foam letters to make it more masculine and smaller red ones to balance it out. I die cut a circle and drew on some football spots, and then cut out two jerseys, a big and a small, in red and added black stripes. Finally I added a little insignia in white gel pen to complete it.

I love my random colleague commissions, they are definitely the strangest briefs and so much fun to fulfill.

Thursday 8 December 2016

Project: Christmas Scenes for MAWTT

There are few things I love more than a good Christmas scene. I love this time of year and all of the festive things that go with it! So to celebrate, Jan is hosting a Christmas Scene challenge at Moving Along With the Times and we want to see you create a project that depicts a cozy/festive/wintery/Christmasy scene.

I loved this so much I made two. The headline card features a great little stamp that Claire got me as well as a new sentiment I picked up in the Michael's Black Friday sale this year. I heat embossed it in black on a stitched rectangle die that I stole from Claire's stash...she really shouldn't be so generous with her stuff...or maybe she doesn't know she's being generous? ;) I used Distress Inks to watercolor the background, going from grey to light green and then blue at the top. I kept the area around the house blank and then used Wink of Stella shimmer to give it a lovely snowy sheen. The ribbon was a scrap on my desk and happened to go perfectly so I added it to the bottom for a little contemporary touch.

This second card features a big stamp that is also from the Michael's Black Friday sale. I used Stampin' Up khaki dye ink on brown card to get a stain look and then added a die cut sentiment from Dies R Us. The background paper is at least one or two years old...can't quite remember the origins there! I added tiny white enamel accents to make it look like snow and make it pop a bit.

I hope you have fun creating some scenes, can't wait to see what you come up with!

Monday 5 December 2016

Project 381: Playmobile Pirate Christmas card

I regularly mention how weird my colleague card commissions are. I mean, I've had some extraordinary ones in my day including Shaun the Sheep and Pingu, a traditional Cossak dancing, and a Minion Valentine all come to mind......When one of my favourite designers asked me to make a Playmobile pirate Christmas card for her nephew of course I said yes!

I looked up a number of Playmobile images and then did a shameless copy after printing a few out. To make my life a bit easier I actually made a paper doll first in roughly the size of an A6 card and made all of the corresponding elements to fit that doll though ultimately I abandoned it when sticking down and just layered everything up on the card without it.

The shirt beneath the jacket is patterned DoCrafts Cranberry paper from their Christmas set and the sword is silver paper but everything else is just plain cardstock. I used a punch to get the eyes and smile (an eye cut in half!) and the feather in the hat is actually a little die I have but the rest is cut by hand with my trusty Fiskars finger blade. I drew the white hat details on with a gel pen. I added a few bling buttons and a candy cane with the peel off greeting and left the background empty. I didn't want to detract from my lovely pirate! I can't wait to give it to her, this was too much fun (despite the hour+ time to create)!

Sunday 4 December 2016

Project 380: Stenciled succulent cards

I'm still experimenting with my Black Friday purchases and today's post features a new Spellbinders die set I got. Claire and I love succulents and I love her die set that she has so I went looking for something similar.

I decided to make small 4x4 square cards as the dies are fairly small and I wanted them to be prominent. I used Tim Holtz stencils and Wild Honey Distress Ink for both. The headline card also features Squeezed Lemonade as a background color as I thought it needed a bit more. I left the card below white but added Mowed Lawn as the die also works as a stencil. The sentiment is an old one from a Fiskars set courtesy of Claire. I thought it worked really well here as the style is both modern and a bit 70s retro. I topped them both with a metal candi as I thought it needed just a hint more. Could be masculine or feminine, I'm really pleased with how they turned out.

Saturday 3 December 2016

Project 379: Little piggy birthday challenge

I saw the layout at Freshly Made Sketches and thought it would be great for a card I needed to make today.

I chose these three pigs from Bugaboo and colored them with Promarkers.  I used a stitched circle due and layered it over a scallop circle die. the sentiment is an old one that I heat embossed in white. not as neat as I wanted but never mind. I added the birthday boy'so name in enamel accents to personalized it. Not a child but a policeman in his 30s!

Simple make but with a few steps to keep it interesting. Hope he likes it!

Wednesday 30 November 2016

Project 378: Princess Show Pony card

A colleague asked me to make Claire a Princess Show Pony card. She gave me no context, except to say it was regarding an inside joke. I decided it was far more fun guessing than knowing so I was like 'Sure! I'll go with my imagination!' 

I used a Bugaboo digi for the image and retouched out the unicorn horn so it was a horse. I colored it with ProMarkers and die cut it using a circle die. The background was heat embossed in gold using Stampin' Up dot stamp from the Endless Birthday Wishes set. I then mixed up about 8 Distress Inks on my craft mat and smooshed my paper in it. I used glitter letters to make the sentiment as it had to say just that, didn't it! 

Love the final product and so glad I can blog about it now that Claire has received her card. What a random and lovely commission. 

Sunday 27 November 2016

Project 377: Painted background + sentiment die cards

I bought so many fun things in the Black Friday sales that I couldn't wait to get home and have a play. I bought a fun set of Spellbinders sentiment dies in the sale (not that I needed them...but they looked so nice and not too fiddly) and thought it would be fun to do a patterned background using Distress Inks to make the sentiment pop.

The headline was a scrap from a bigger sheet that I had water colored previously (see this post as an example) and I used a grey scrap for both sentiments. I decided to add a button tied with blue twine because it needed something and I haven't played with buttons in a while.

This one used distress inks applied to a block and then smeared on the page. It's really irregular and thick this way, quite a unique look. I decided to go with the hello die to try something different but liked the little button and twine again.

Really easy and fun, these dies are a dream to work with and look great in the thick card. More play time this week is needed to try all the new stash!

Wednesday 16 November 2016

Project 376: Heat embossed painted christmas cards

I found a stash of oval water-colour papers that Claire had given me ages ago. I thought they would be fun to try a mini set of Christmas cards so I had a little play at my desk.

I embossed a few different stamps (reindeer, tree, wreath and a large sentiment) in gold and silver and then painted the background using Distress Ink as watercolours.

I then layered these over patterned paper or washi sheets (really had fun with those!) and decided against a sentiment. I added only a tiny touch of bling to the wreath as it looked naked, otherwise I think they're all much better left with just the pattern of the paper and the heat embossed design. 

I'll confess that the heat embossing got boring pretty quickly but the painting went quickly and because they were already cut to ovals they were really easy to assemble. I'm pretty much done my Christmas cards this year unless I decide to take any orders from colleagues so now it's just about filling them out and sending them! 

Thursday 10 November 2016

Project: Die cut numbers and letters for MAWTT

This week we have a fun challenge for you at Moving Along with the Times: die cut letters, words or numbers. I wanted to challenge myself so this card features a few more techniques that I hope will inspire some projects!

I die cut the HB2Y on a small tag die and layered this over a kraft card tag. The twine keeps it masculine but still a bit playful.

The border was masked off and then blended using a number of Distress Inks. Claire commented that the bottom bit was a bit naked I got out a stencil from Tim Holtz and added some Wild Honey stencil in a line so it overlaps but doesn't compete.

Just as a freebie: I made another tag birthday card as I liked the layout above and made this one really simple. Two stamps from the same Fiskars set, with a fun patterned paper and yellow punched stars.

So another fun little challenge from Moving Along with the Times - get those dies out and play along!

Sunday 6 November 2016

Project 375: Fun cactus thank you

My colleague did the randomest thing the other day: he wanted a cactus (or 2) for his desk and went to a flower shop to get one (or 2). He started bartering and said, what if I get one more? And if I get one more? to lower the cost per cactus. In the end he bought a tray of 17 of them (lowering the cost substantially!) and took the two he wanted, leaving the remaining 15 for all of us on a first come, first served basis. As one of the lucky 15 (wahoo!) I wanted to give him a cacti thank you card for Monday morning.

I went looking at a few of my favourite challenge blogs and found a perfect combo:

This little stamp is from Claire, I think it may be from Michael's but I'm not positive. I was inspired by the DT at CAS(E) This Sketch and the repeated images a few of them featured. I decided to make my own pattern of cacti, coloring them in with Mandarin, Gold, Oasis, Pear Green and Forest Green ProMarkers.

The bottom half features Broken China and my trusty blending tool, going a bit darker on the edges to meet the I <3 ProMarker challenge, plus some water bleach spots for texture. The Many Thanks sentiment and arrow were also a gift from Claire last year, I honestly can't remember the source.

I had a lot of fun with this one, it's a nice finished piece and still feels masculine for my colleague soi think he'll like it too!

Saturday 5 November 2016

Project 374: 6 takes on Christmas tags

I'm going to a girlfriend's today for lunch and it is a bit of a reunion as 6 of us are going to be seeing each other for tthe first time in a while.

I wanted to take a little hostess gift and though, why not take a little gift for everyone? As we're in November and it is finally acceptable to be publicly talking about Christmas I thought to make little sets of tags. All the tags are pre-made from my stash and I made x5 of each, in all different sizes.

This was a great project, really a playground for fun ideas, simple and more involved. The headline card is a heat embossed reindeer from last year's Creative Stamping magazine freebie set. It embosses BEAUTIFULLY as you can see.

This one used some lovely washi sheets (from Claire) as a background, topped with little Jolee's Boutique gingerbread men stickers. This is probably my favourite for it's cheerfulness.

This one was a 'fun with punches' moment where I used scraps of this warm tartan paper to get the hearts and then topped it with punched bows (also scraps) from a punch Claire gave me that I always struggle to find a use for. It's perfect here.

Next up is a fun Little Claire robin stamp that i colored with promarkers (fairly badly, as you can see) and topped with some red glitter glue. I wasn't feeling the coloring this morning so this is the only one that had it.

This guy features a random mix of small snowflake stamps from an ancient wooden set my husband put in my stocking years and years ago. It still brings me joy as it's so simple.

Finally I diecut some trees and added little glitter glue baubles to make them stand out.

So much fun playing with all these techniques, my original intention was to give a uniform set of each type to a different friend but a) I thought of a 6th concept to play with and b) I couldn't make up my mind to give what to whom. So I just did a mixed set of each for all of them. I hope my friends like them!

Wednesday 2 November 2016

Project 373: Custom baby cards

My colleagues have asked me for some interesting baby cards: two for a relative and a third for a colleague who's just about to go on maternity leave.

All of them were super fun to make, let me start with the headline. 

The brief was to make something light and fun for a baby card that wasn't too twee as we don't know her style. I stamped this adorable elephant rubber stamp from Michael's (bargain bucket I think?!) and colored it with ProMarkers, adding touches of Wink of Stella to add some shimmer. I used the stitched circle die as I think it's a bit cuter to have that as an edge. The paper is a scrap from the Neapolitan stack from Recollections and is just so nice, it's a bit precious to me! I added tiny little pink enamel dots just for added charm and I'm really pleased with the result.

Now for the really specialised ones...! This one is a request for my colleague's sister, and the brief was that it must have metallic elements, and she wanted a shaker. So I made a fairly simple layout but added loads of lovely touches, if I do say so myself! The spots are from the Endless Birthday Wishes Stampin' Up set and I heat embossed it using Ranger gold powder. The shaker is full of sequins and these diamond crystals Claire gave me. The sentiment is the same as the above, but I made it a little banner and wrapped it in purple twine. Really festive and fun, she loved it when I gave it to her the next day.

This is for the same family, for the new big sister of the baby above. I kept a similar color scheme as the one above so they'd be related. The brief for this one was 'no pink' so it felt right. She told me that the girl had an owl theme in her bedroom so I went to one of my favourite stamp sets from Get Stamping magazine, which features the same owl in three sizes. SO HANDY. I die cut the letters from a Tim Holtz Sizzix die set as my greeting. I added all the embellishments to make it more fun, with buttons and flowers and things that fit the color scheme and just added little enamel dots for extra texture.

Really happy with all of these and had a lot of fun making them. Just what I needed this week! 

Monday 31 October 2016

Project 372: A Day of the Dead anniversary card

I got these great puffy decorative skulls from my friend Carrie who came to visit and I knew immediately that they needed to be used for Claire and Sam's wedding anniversary card.

I heat embossed a Stampin' Up set and it came out really fuzzy but I thought it actually worked better. Not an oops, I'm embracing it. I blended over it in really bring colors, stopping half way through the card so that it was just the bottom half and didn't conflict with the skulls.

I layered them over some translucent plastic disks that came from Claire (I think they were with a purchase of something else?) and thought the colors went really well, especially since one had a big ampersand printed on it. I added a few smaller plastic dots and some black enamel dots to top it off, with a hand written greeting as I didn't want the sentiment to get in the way of the busy colors and textures.

Really happy with it - hope they like it too!

Tuesday 25 October 2016

Project 371: Blended autumnal fox card

I was having a bad day and my guru Claire suggested I make a card that involved blending as she knows I love it.

I saw the sketch at Sketch Saturday and the photo inspiration at Retro Rubber and thought they would work well together:

I used a combination of Distress Inks to get the two colors for the background and blended them to get the depth. I laid down a stencil of a dandelion and spritzed water over it and dabbed over it to get a bleached effect. I then used a rich blue ink to stencil in the little fly away dandelions. It's a bit more blue than I anticipated but I guess the image is pretty blue as well.

The fox is a Unity Co stamp that is from last September, so just over a year old. The greeting came with the stamp set, and I love it, I can't believe it's been lying idle in my collection for so long. I colored it using Distress Inks and an aquabrush. The red paper is a scrap from American Crafts.

It's a bit busy, but I like it, it soothed my bad mood so i could enjoy what was left of the evening.