Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Party on, puffin!

This week's challenge from the Daring Cardmakers is "You can leave your hat on" and they want to see any sort of headgear making an appearance on our cards.

My first plan was elegant water colouring of a vintage image - that one ended up in the circular file! Scouting around my desk for other ideas, I found this party puffin already stamped and cut out so I picked him up and played - colouring with Copics and using a black and white background to make the colours look even more vivid.

I did end up stamping again so I could cut out an extra crown and layer it up on a bit of gel glue so it has some more dimension. The puffin is also raised just a wee bit off the card surface.

Party Puffin by Crafty Individuals
Numbers background by Kaisercraft
19th Century French Script by Hero Arts (the post cancellation mark)
Essential Messages by Hero Arts

Ink: Brilliance Graphite Black by Tsukineko

Copic markers
Black Enamel Accents by Ranger
Clear Wink of Stella pen
Pinflair glue gel
Corner Chomper

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, 15 January 2015

DCM Take Three

Like Kathy who has set this week's DCM challenge, I don't really do New Year resolutions but I'm joining her on the "try harder" with a few things and one of them is challenges. I used to play regularly with quite a few but have fallen out of the habit. I enjoyed playing along so this year I'm going to try harder, starting with DCM!

The first challenge each month this year is to take at least three elements from a project chosen by one of the DCM designers and to incorporate those into a project of your own. Here's the current challenge.

I chose the hearts (both primitive and more traditional shapes), the green and red elements of the colour scheme, the little crackle pattern that appears on some areas of the sample and, as a bonus fourth element, the style of the sentiment.

As the sample is quite layered and combines lots of elements and colour, I thought it would be nice to try using a CAS style by way of contrast.

The teeny tiny hearts are die cut from a Coke can and they have a really nice "puffy" quality.

Primitive Hearts Bigz die by Sizzix
Confetti die by Mama Elephant
Crackle Glaze background stamp by Indigo Blue
Sentiment from Everyday Essentials stamps by Cornish Heritage Farms (retired)
Fired Brick and Shabby Shutter Distress inks
Brilliance Graphite Black ink
DecoArt Triple Thick gloss glaze
Spellbinder Square die

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Starting a new year

Happy New Year to all - I hope 2015 is kind to you.

The end of 2014 was not kind for my neighbour - her mum died just before Christmas so I broke off the festive creating to whip up a quick sympathy card.

I chose soft colours and a light, airy feel with lots of white space, simple layering and elements that break over the edges so there's a sense of movement. Chocolate brown ink is just that bit softer than black and perfect for the sentiment on this kind of card.

I always find sympathy cards hard and I almost wish I'd left the butterfly off this but it seemed to fit her mum's character somehow so it stayed.

Simple Sprig and Big Day Today (Waltzingmouse Stamps) 

Brilliance Pearlescent Chocolate 
Distress Bundled Sage and Spun Sugar

Memory Box Cheviot Butterfly die 
Tracing Wheel 

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 12 December 2014

Inchie birthday

Last Friday was Lydia's turn to set the Mixed Media challenge at Splitcoast Stampers and she asked us to use 1, 2, 3 or 4 inchies on a project. The wheels were obviously turning slowly as although I managed to join in with this one, I didn't manage it in the week of the challenge!

It was a bit of a nightmare to photograph - I'm not sure the texture shows well but it refused to get better than this - I hope you get the idea!

I stamped the wavy border and then cut out three inchies from sections that pleased me on the small scale. I used glue to trace over the lines of the stamped image and let it dry then painted each square with black acrylic paint.

Once the paint was dry I dry brushed with a pearlescent rich blue to catch the raised glue lines.  I used a Versamark pen to fill in some of the open circles, brushed on green Perfect Pearls and finished with Glossy Accents over the top. A tiny gem adds to the glitz on each square.

The card base has a really simple stamped "anchor" for the inchies and a birthday greeting.

Bubble Border by Lost Coast Designs
Brush Strokes by Hero Arts (paint streak)
Big Day Today by Waltzingmouse Stamps (sentiment)

Brilliance Graphite Black by Tsukineko

Scotch Quick Dry adhesive
Black and pearlescent blue acrylic paints
Sour Apple Perfect Pearls
Glossy Accents
Nail art gems
Pinflair glue gel
Corner Chomper

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 14 November 2014

Scandi bedtime story!

I'm playing along with the Waltzingmouse Stamps Pajama Party this month and I've even managed more than one challenge!

The first challenge is "Scandi tags" and although mine kind of evolved to be a bit more complex than I originally intended I think it probably still qualifies! I toyed with putting white faux stitching around the edge of the heart but decided that was yet more complexity so I skipped it in the end!

I reckon if you moved the button and snowflake to be central and punched a wee hole at the top of the heart that bit would make pretty Scandinavian-style hanging decorations for the tree, too!

Supplies from Waltzingmouse:
Stitched Tags dies
My Heart dies
Snowflake #2 die
Folk art medallion stamp set (for sentiment)
Offbeat backgrounds stamp set (chequerboard pattern)

Other supplies:
Adirondack Red Pepper ink
Wooden button
White crochet thread

The final challenge of a Pajama Party is always a "bedtime story" sketch and as I've been meaning to play with these big, ornately scripted Christmas sentiments and not getting round to it I leapt on the sketch's large central oval as the perfect kickstart.

Claire has cut files and dies that match the stamps in the Festive Foliage set but I quite like cutting out so I took the good old-fashioned scissor route. The design is flat enough not to need extra postage and dies or cut files would make mass production doable - hand cutting would mean you were a slave to cutting out for many evenings, I would think!

I gave myself a nightmare to photograph but die cutting the snowflakes from double-sided tape sheet and rubbing on Crystal glitter makes a really pretty, festive touch in real life. The dots are done with a regular hole punch with the tape/glitter and the frosty edge of the oval is just PVA glue applied with a paintbrush to hold the glitter.

Supplies from Waltzingmouse:
Tis the Season stamp set
Festive Foliage stamp set
Snowflake #2 die

Other supplies:
Decoart Glamour Dust glitter - Crystal
Detail gold embossing powder
Distress ink - Barn Door
Versafine ink - Olympia Green
Double-sided tape sheet
Corner Chomper

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, 16 October 2014

You're fabulous!

I had fun playing with the current mixed media challenge at Splitcoast Stampers - a different style and I'm not eniely convinced about the finished product but I enjoyed playing anyway!

Lydia's "Pin up" theme challenged us to find a magazine image, cut it out and coat it in something like Mod Podge to make a mask. Mine came from an advert for a clothing catalogue that was a loose insert in the Radio Times!

I spritzed, stamped and sponged through dry wall tape with the mask in place. Then I added a bit of very pale Pan Pastel to tone down the bright white of the silhouette. I added a charcoal pencil outline and then scribbled right across, one side to the other with a paper stump to give that "whoosh" to the image.
Those stars made this almost impossible to photograph! They're glittery in the middle and coated in Glossy Accents so all the different reflection going on there made it tricky.

I used the bubble border stamp just to get a line to cut along for the wavy edge - I could have done it freehand but I toyed with the idea of having some of the stamped border before deciding I prefered the idea of a dramatic black strip along the edge.

This is a larger format card (5" x 7") - I found it surprisingly difficult to find an image that works as a silhouette at a smaller size!

Numbers border by Kaisercraft
Essential Messages by Hero Arts
Bubble Border by Lost Coast

black and white

Brilliance Graphite Black
Adirondack Raspberry
Dylusions spray ink Funky Fucsia

Charcoal pencil
Pan Pastel Magenta Tint
Dry wall tape
Hot pink glitter
Glossy Accents
Corner Chomper

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, 13 October 2014

Autumn birthday

I should have been tidying my craft table at the weekend but of course I got distracted into playing instead! I've had some gilding flakes in my stash for ages and not really got round to playing with them (I got them from a friend when she de-stashed to move abroad and that's four years ago now!).

I covered a piece of card with double-sided tape sheet and burnished on some of the flakes. They're a nice warm mix of gold and copper tones with just touches of rose gold, silver and the odd blueish-green flake which made me think of autumn leaves so I decided to go that way. I die cut a horse chestnut leaf, accentuated the emossed lines left by the die with a Copic marker and coated it in Triple Thick glaze for an extra glossy finish. The glaze magnifies the sort of "veining" you get from the flakes which seemed perfect for a leaf.

I thought it would be fun to have the very matt finish of Pan Pastels contrasting with  the glossed flake on the leaf and combined them in a clean and simple design. I decided on a whim to introduce a third finish by adding little dots cut from scraps of the gilded cardstock, leaving them with no glaze. I seem to have a bit of a thing for scattered dots as a finishing touch at the moment!

I'm hooking up with the current Pan Pastels challenge which is "autumn" - a lovely theme if you fancy playing along (no requirement to use Pan Pastels or other Premium Craft Brand products, it's just that I often use it as a push to use the Pans I have).

Leaf dies by Impression Obsession
Confetti die by Mama Elephant
Say It All stamp set by Hero Arts
Brilliance Pearlescent Chocolate by Tsukineko
Pan Pastels (Burnt Sienna, Burnt Sienna Shade, Burnt Sienna Tint)
Spectrafix Degas  fixative
Easy Metal gilding flakes by Eberhard Faber
Triple Thick Gloss Glaze by Deco Art 
Pinflair Glue Gel
Double sided tape sheet (151 brand, try your local £1 shop!)

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, 10 October 2014


Gah, what happened to September?! I had a holiday in August so I can excuse myself for that absence but September is another matter!

I've been doing a bit of crafting but nothing I could share. I've just managed a bit of time at the stamping table for a clean and simple card for the current That's Crafty challenge which is to keep it simple. That's Crafty is one of my regular shopping haunts but I tend to forget they host a challenge, too!

These Doc Martens are fun for masculine cards, maybe even for those pesky teenagers! I masked them so
that I could let them overlap the stencilled strip that's acting as an "anchor". As it's a slightly grungy design, I stamped the numbers border through the stencil, figuring that if it didn't make perfect contact at the edges that would be fine (it's actually pretty good, the stencil is not too thick). I doodled round the chevrons as well to make that border a bit more defined.

I finished it off with a few dots of Enamel Accents (not because I needed to cover up a stray ink smudge; who could think such a thing?).

Doc Marten Boots by Deep Red Stamps
Numbers border by Kaisercraft
Essential Messages by Hero Arts

Versafine Onyx Black
Distress Mowed Lawn

Hearts and Arrows stencil by Crafter's Workshop
Black fineline marker
Enamel Accents

Thanks for stopping by, hope you have a lovely weekend!

Friday, 8 August 2014

Paperbabe summer blog hop!

Welcome to  the Paperbabe Stamps Summer Blog Hop featuring new stamps... Kim is Paperbabe's owner and designer and she's invited some of her stampy friends to play with some new stamp designs!

The new release includes "Folk Fabrique", "Doll Face", "Mayleedee Little Red", "Mayleedee Frost Fairy" and "Dillon Frost Sprite" which are available at Etsy and the WebShop.

Be sure to stop by PAPERBABE if you are just beginning the hop to see the endless possibilities with these new stamps and to leave your comments along the way... as there are some fabby prizes to be had! To celebrate there will be the ENTIRE release and a very special not yet released rubber stamp up for grabs to a very lucky winner! 

I've been playing with the lovely Folk Fabrique set and have three projects to share with you - all quite different from each other!

First up, of course I had to make a card. I experimented with stamping the peacock outline in a light coloured ink and then stamping the more solid coloured shapes. I liked the result but then hit on an even "cleaner" way to use the outline - I stamped in black on a sheet of paper and then put it on a lightbox with my cardstock over the top. Hey presto - visible outline to guide the solid stamps but no actual marks on the cardstock! Of course, I did my own thing a bit, extending some of the tail feathers and adding an extra little flourish at the side. Thats one of the beauties of stamps like these - infinite possibilities!

I used a Spica glitter pen to add the lighter turquoise colours so there's some sparkle, too.

The elegant little sprigs looked perfect for a bit of faux cloisonne to me so my second project is a pendant made with three layers of black UTEE, Perfect Pearls in Sour Apple and Blue Raspberry and a bit of gold ink. I finished off with a layer of Triple Thick (I find it better that Glossy Accents over an embossing enamel surface).

The base is a simple chipboard shape cut with a steel rule die and hole punched with a Crop-a- Dile. Scrap mountboard is perfect for this kind of thing and can often be obtained very cheaply or even for nothing if you catch your local framing shop in the right mood - just ask if they have any spare offcuts.

And finally I couldn't resist taking the name of the set at face value and stamping on fabric. Lots of the stamps in the set lend themselves to pattern building - I chose the lotus flower and made a lavendar bag (it could just as easily be a little gift bag though - you could make a faux cloisonne pendant and pop it inside!). 

I used a Memento marker to shade the inner part of each petal just slightly and finished with a row of gold dimensional paint dots across the middle row.

From here, the next stop along the way is the talented Kim Dellow.  

If you didn't "begin at the beginning" and you'd like to see what everyone else has been up to, here's where you want to be to follow the hop:

Kim Costello
Chris (DT)
Kerrie (DT)
Lady (DT)  
Delphine (DT)
Jackie (DT)  
Joanne (you are here!)  
Kim Dellow
Paperbabe Stamps 

Thanks for joining us! Winners will be announced on the Paperbabe Blog on the 15th when the newest challenge will also be starting! You have until the 13th to hop along leaving comments for the chance to win!

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Summer treat postcard

We're having one of our occasional postcard swaps on the Bubly Funk forum with the theme "summer treats". My original thoughts were overtaken by the current mixed media challenge on Splitcoast Stampers where Tiffany has asked us to mix colouring media with glue and use it on our projects - I thought it would make great melting icecream!

Childhood summer holidays without icecream would be unthinkable and I suspect it's one of those summer treats we never really grow out of! I mixed acrylic paint with my glue and dribbled it over embossed cardstock to look like strawberry or raspberry icecream melting over the edge of a waffle cone. Thickly dribbled glue takes ages to dry but once it has it's shiny and has some texture along with the kind of tiny little air bubbles you might find in real melting icecream!

Stamps: Essential Messages by Hero Arts

Paper: white, kraft, dark chocolate, vellum

Ink: Versamark, Distress Tea Dye

PVA glue
Fresco Finish acrylic paint (Orchid)
Detail white embossing powder
Fiskars texture plate
Corner Chomper
Sewing machine and thread
Pinflair Glue Gel

Thanks for stopping by!