Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Bright Suzies

I don't know about you but I seem to have been looking at Christmas cards forever and thought it was about time for a bit of a change. Here's another card created with the stamps I got for my birthday. This one uses a sketch posted by Debbie Olsen as part of Lisa Strahl's 30th Birthday Bash over at the Cornish Heritage Farms forum.



I changed the proportions a bit and because the image was slightly too wide for the triptych to work, I've cropped the flowers to make each panel a bit narrower. I cropped each one differently for a bit of added interest. Isn't this Black-eyed Susan lovely and cheerful-looking?!

Supplies: Single Black-eyed Susan (Cornish Heritage Farms), sentiment from Woodware Tiny Phrases set, Tsukineko Brilliance Black Graphite, Copic Sketch markers, DCWV textured cardstock, orange grosgrain from stash, paper piercer

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

I like birthdays!

I'm probably getting to an age where I shouldn't care about birthdays but I just had a nice one :) As a forum friend said when I reported on my gifts "Rubber stamps, good booze and high quality chocolate, what more could a girl want?"

I got lots of lovely stamps from Cornish Heritage Farms and I'm trying to ration myself to using only one or two a day so that the excitement of new toys lasts longer! Here's the first card I made using the polka dot and Lenten Rose stamps. I have a few others I'll try to remember to blog in the next few days.



The bottom part of the background was done DTP with the olive chalk ink and then sanded a little bit to distress it. I used simple masking to make the row of lenten roses and then cut out the whole strip - less cutting and colouring than stamping them all individually!

Supplies: Polka Dot Backgrounder, Lenten Rose both CHF, sentiment from Woodware Tiny Phrases set, Clearsnap chalk ink Dark Brown and Olive Pastel, Prismacolor pencils, Tria marker (for shadow), sewing machine and olive green thread


Thanks for dropping by today, hope you liked the card!

Friday, 23 November 2007

I've come over all elegant!

I seem to have been going through a bit of a bright colour, funky image kind of phase just recently but I think I've been struck by a touch of elegantitis in the last day or so. Not like me at all, is it?!

A while ago, I saw a set by Stampin' Up! called Long Stemmed on eBay and thought it looked gorgeous. I've been on the lookout for one since then and finally managed to get one for only $6.50! That's four wood mounted stamps for just over three quid (OK, the shipping pushed it up some but still bargainous, I reckon).

I've been playing with the iris image first and there's something about the long curved stem that cried out for the elegant treatment so...



I'm really pleased with how this turned out. The stamped panel is made with the faux linen technique using glossy photo paper (from Aldi!). The iris is coloured with Copic Sketch markers with a little bit of white gel pen smudged over a few places for more 'painterly' highlights. I thought the Cuttlebug Textile Texture folder and ribbon would make nice textural elements here and I tried something a bit different by punching a hole near the edge of the stamped panel and threading the ribbon through so that the knot and loose ends overlap the panel a bit. I'm afraid I can't remember where I've seen this done - if it was you and you're reading this, let me know and I'll credit you properly, thank you!

See those tiny gems? They're the sort that are designed for sticking on your fingernails *lol*. My nails are plain and unadorned but I thought these would be perfect when you want to add just a little bit of subtle sparkle to a project and they're much cheaper than stuff packaged and sold to crafters! Asela on the Cornish Heritage Farms forum and gallery should take the credit for this one - thanks Asela!

Supplies: Iris from SU! Long Stemmed set, glossy photo paper, Tim Holtz Distress ink Weathered Wood, Nick Bantock inkpad Charcoal Grey, sandpaper, Copic Sketch markers (mallow, blue violet, cadmium yellow, pale yellow, lettuce green), white gel pen, Cuttlebug Textile Texture folder, acrylic nailart gems, ribbon from stash.


Thanks for looking!

Monday, 5 November 2007

New toys!

Wheeee! Postie brought me new toys this morning :o)

Out in blogland, I keep seeing people doing lovely colouring with Copic markers and I really fancied having a go. Here in the UK, they're ferociously expensive though so I hunted around and found some single markers at a reasonable price on eBay so I could get some 'close' colours to have a play and see if I liked using them. Here's my first attempt:



(Sorry Janice - it's the daisies again but I do love 'em and I get to keep this one!).

I tied this in with one of the challenges going on in the Big Weekend Challenge over at CBC and made a storage box for Primas etc by covering the top of an empty chocolate box with some DCWV card and adding some grosgrain around the sides.

If you fancy a play with Copics, Lisa Silver's tutorial here is a really great place to pick up some pointers to get you started.

Here's a close-up of those colour transitions. I'm quite happy with this for a first attempt but if any of you experts are looking then any hints and tips are always gratefully received :o)



Supplies: Daisy Jar stamp (CHF), Brilliance Coffee Bean ink, Clearnsnap Chalk Ice Blue ink, Copic Sketch markers: Y11S Pale Yellow, Y15S Cadmium Yellow, Y26S Mustard, YG09S Lettuce Green, G07S Nile Green. DCWV textured white core card, sandpaper, copper brads, copper gel pen, chocolate brown grosgrain.

As ever, photos are clickable for bigger versions.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Hand cut Christmas

The DCM challenge is set by Tracie this week and she's asked us to include some hand cutting on our cards. I had a total nightmare day yesterday where my mojo definitely left home but I managed this today. Not quite sure about it but I guess it's OK.



Tree was hand drawn and cut from a piece of thick card (back of a notebook) then covered with white core card and distressed. The big M and C were hand drawn and cut and the rest of the greeting stamped with alpha stamps and snipped into random shapes. I added a bit of inking and gel pen detail, a snippet of cuttlebug textured card, a star brad and a piece of ribbon to finish. Oh, and some piercing, of course ;o)

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Adapt-a-stamp!

After putting a santa hat on Bossy the Cow a few posts ago, my mind started wandering around the possibility of adapting other non-Christmassy stamps to make Christmas cards. Here's what happened:



I coloured the Singing Swirly Bird stamp in festive colours and used a gold gel pen to add detail to the beak, wings and tail feathers. The holly garland is made of leaves cut on the CraftRobo with veins added freehand with a green metallic gel pen. I seem to have the urge to add a bit of piercing to everything at the moment - not quite sure why but things don't seem to look quite finished without it!

Supplies: Singing Swirly Bird stamp (Cornish Heritage Farms), sentiment from MSE set, CraftRobo, Ranger Archival Jet Black and Brilliance Moonlight White inks, Prismacolor pencils, Sansodor and blending stump, green and gold gel pens, red linen texture cardstock, stitched grosgrain, corner rounder punch.

TFL!

Sunday, 28 October 2007

In the Spotlight

My turn to set the challenge at CBC and for once I'm remembering to blog it too! The challenge is to use a spotlight technique to make a feature of one area of your design. I have two samples, one for the stampers, one not!

I was inspired by the lovely iris card on Lisa Silver's blog (thanks Lise!) to have a go at the spotlight technique with a new stamp I just got:



The stamp came from an eBay seller called zim-babe who tells me that it was made by an American lady called Susan Cotes who makes her stamps in her 'spare time', wow!

Supplies: unmounted cherry blossom stamp, sentiment stamp from HOTP set, Ranger archival jet black ink, Clearsnap creamy brown, dark brown and chestnut roan chalk inks, Prismacolor pencils and Sansodor, mini brads (Dovecraft muted colours), Fiskars circle cutter.

Then I thought it would be fun to try adapting the technique for non-stampers by using colour in a different way on a card based around die-cuts. I did two QK santas in white, just adding a tint of colour to their faces so they didn't look too much like the ghost of St Nicholas! The third santa got the full color treatment and a frame to really throw him into the spotlight. I couldn't resist just a bit of stamping though so the central band is stamped and coloured with a brush marker.



Supplies: QK santa die, Large Paisley Backgrounder (Cornish Heritage Farms), sentiment stamp from MSE set, Fiskars circle cutter, Whispers cherry red ink, red brush marker, Clearsnp chalk ink in ice blue and chestnut roan, Prismacolor pencils.

Thanks for stopping by to take a peek!

Saturday, 27 October 2007

Wrapped in Ribbon

The girls at DCM have been playing with ribbon from Ribbon Oasis this week so their challenge is for us to make a Christmas card featuring ribbons galore. Here's mine:



I cut a triangle from thick card to make the tree base and then wrapped lengths of various different ribbons aroud it. I've machine stitched a length of wide velour ribbon to the card base and cut a pot from the same ribbon as well. I added a few brads for baubles and a star brad to top the tree off. A stamped sentiment, a bit of piercing and a trio of brads on the right hand side finish it off. I didn't have gold brads so I covered some (and the star) with gold sparkle embossing powder so they all matched.

My original idea was to do some ribbon weaving but I decided I liked the stripes before I started putting ribbons through in the other direction!

Supplies: ribbons from stash, sentiment stamp from MSE set, mini brads, star brad, gold sparkle EP.

Thanks for visiting!

ETA: Blogger's image hosting seems to be playing up. If you can't see the image and you'd like to, it's here on my Photobucket.

Friday, 26 October 2007

Falling Leaves Bagalope

Lori posted a tutorial for a bagalope -a lovely gift sack made from an envelope- on Split Coast Stampers.

I decided to have a go with a brown envelope and combine it with Clare's Falling Leaves challenge on CBC and made this:



I had a vague recollection that paisley is based on leaf shapes so I used the large paisley backgrounder by CHF and inked it up in various shades of brown then added a little strip of Bazzill with small leaves punched out. I made the tag with a chunky foam stamp and pigment ink stamped on a coffee filter coloured with various food colourings and dusted with some gold lustre powder. I've tied the bag shut with some jute garden twine that I twisted to make a slightly chunkier cord.

Supplies: Large Paisley Backgrounder (Cornish Heritage Farms), chunky foam leaf stamp, chalk inks in burnt sienna, chestnut roan and dark brown, Pretty Colour dark brown pigment ink, small leaf punch, corner rounder, coffee filter, food colourings, gold lustre powder, jute garden twine.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Silly cow!

This is one of those daft cards that arises from the fact that your craft table is a total mess: you see two unexpected things next to each other (a stamped cow and a die cut santa hat in this case) and the cogs start whirring in your brain. Throw into the mix Nicola's latest Play on Words challenge on CBC and what do you get?



The die cut hat was too big for Bossy so I had to tailor-make one in her size but I think she looks kind of cute in it!

Supplies: Bossy the Cow stamp (Cornish Heritage Farms), Ranger Archival jet black ink, Clearsnap Ice Blue chalk ink, Prismacolor pencils, Gelly Roll glaze pen, gel pen, red linen cardstock, green tape ribbon from stash, paper piercer (AKA map pin!).

I'm frustrated - there are new stamps in the house but I can't have them yet! I got a friend to bring back more CHF stamps when he visited the States so that I didn't pay for international shipping and didn't have to worry about import duties (more to spend on the stamps!) but DH has bought them for my birthday so I have to wait - gah! My blog visitors will probably breathe a sigh of relief too since I seem to be forming an obsession with this cow and the jar of daisies ;o)

TFL!

Monday, 22 October 2007

Circle of Friends

Happy Birthday Daring Cardmakers!

DCM is celebrating its first birthday by revisiting the very first dare which took the theme of friends. To reflect the way DCM has grown, this week's dare expands on that first dare and we've been asked to make a 'circle of friends' card by including at least one circle in the card design. Here's mine:



The circle is vellum with the words if friends were flowers... written in white gel pen. I've stamped the daisy jar and cut it out then tied a little tag around the neck with raffia. I inked a little shadow underneath and did a bit of piercing at the corners to finish off.

Thanks girls, the dares are great fun and we all appreciate the time you take in setting it up every week!

Supplies: Daisy Jar stamp (Cornish Heritage Farms), vellum, gel pen, Prismascolour pencils and Sansodor, raffia

Oooh, I forgot! Both Nicola (dollydimple) and Debbie (bubblegum) have nominated me for the smile award thing. Thanks girls! There are so many of you out there who make me smile that I'm not going to do the nomination of 10 thing - I do hope you'll forgive me. I'd just feel rotten drawing up a shortlist! So if you're reading this, consider yourself someone who makes me smile :o)

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Look - no ink!

Carolyn has set the most recent Crew Challenge over on CBC. It's one for the rubber stampers and she's asked us to make something with our stamps but no ink pad. Here's mine:



I've cheated just a tiny bit as I used Versamark for the sentiment and brushed it over with gold lustre but that's barely cheating really, is it?

I made the pear by rolling out a very thin sheet of paperclay and stamping into it. I found brushing a bit of talcum powder over the clay before stamping helped me get a nice clean 'lift' as I took the stamp off. Once the paperclay dried, I cut round the outline and then coloured it with metallic wax rubons.

Supplies: Delight Paperclay, pear stamp (unmounted, unknown maker - eBay purchase), sentiment stamp from MSE set, Cuttlebug D'vine swirls folder, metallic wax rubons, Versamark and gold lustre powder.

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Wild cows?

It's Kathy's turn to set the dare over at DCM this week. The dare is titled Where the Wild Things Are and Kathy wanted our cards to feature animals.

This may not be quite what she had in mind but I have to say that after a nasty incident in her teens, my mum still refuses to walk across a field that has more than two cows in it - she'd certainly put them in the wild beast category!



I made this little notecard by stamping Bossy the Cow directly onto a slightly textured card blank. She's coloured with Prismacolor pencils blended with Sansodor and I've added a few little daisies, including one for her to chew on; I used a Souffle pen to make the stem nice and opaque. MOO! is stamped separately and cut out so that it stands out just a tiny bit from the card. Knotted gingham finishes it off.

Supplies: Bossy the Cow by Cornish Heritage Farms, See-D Typewriter alphabet, daisy from Woodware Tiny Phrases set, Clearsnap Azurite chalk ink, Ranger archival jet black, various Prismacolor pencils and Sansodor, Sakura Souffle pen, gingham ribbon from stash.

Monday, 1 October 2007

In the frame

This week's DCM dare is set by Lynne who wants to see frames featured on our cards. Here's mine:



I hand cut a wonky frame from chipboard type card and covered in three layers of embossing powder. I used the tail feathers of the swirly bird stamp to emboss the molten powder. I wanted a 'not too shiny' gold finish but I don't have Pearlex. I do have edible lustre (intended for cake decorating!) so I used a little of that and it worked just fine :o) I used the tail again to stamp the swirly pattern on a strip of purple card to put behind the frame and stamped image. The sentiment was stamped with Versamrk and dusted with more of the lustre.

Thanks for the dare Lynne - I had fun with this one!

Supplies: Singing Swirly Bird stamp (CHF), sentiment from a HOTP set, clear embossing powder, RAnger Archival jet black, Versamark and Brilliance Galaxy Gold inks, edible lustre in Royal Gold, Prismacolor pencils and Sansodor.

Sunday, 30 September 2007

Not so square

Over at Crafts by Carolyn, the new challenge is to add or subtract something so that your card outline is not a square or rectangle. I did both! I cut away the top of the card to make the snow slope and added three trees cut out after stamping/embossing that stick up over the snowline. The middle one is pop mounted for a bit extra dimension.



Supplies: Tree from acrylic set by Skipping Stones Design, sentiment by MSE, white hammered card, Versamark and silver embossing powder, Clearsnap chalk ink - ice blue.

Nicola (you might know her online as Dollydimple) and I have joined Carolyn to make the CBC Crew and we'll be launching challenges and projects on a regular basis but not so fast that you'll get dizzy! There are some fab prizes in the pipeline too and everyone who takes up a challenge has an equal chance of winning. Pop on over if your Mojo's gone missing or you fancy the chance of winning some new stamps, papers, kits, ribbons etc etc etc!

Fancy a challenge?


Challenges at the moment include black and white Christmas card, cards including a charm, this shaped card challenge and there will be new ones coming up soon - keep your eyes open on Thursdays and Sundays!

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Moooo-ving?

I always struggle with new home cards, I have no idea why! Anyway, here's the last of the stamps I got from Cornish Heritage Farms (see Monday's post).



She's called Bossy the Cow and gave me the perfect opportunity for a pun. The insert in the card says Hope the moooove went well. The Home Sweet Home stamp on the signpost is from the mini set by Tanda Stamps. I cut Bossy out after stamping and colouring and pop mounted her on the card front.

Supplies: Bossy the Cow (CHF), New Home mini set (Tanda Stamps), Ranger Archival jet black, Clearsnap Chalk azurite, ice blue and rose coral inks plus random browns for wood effect on signpost, Quikutz grass, daisy punch, green DCWV textured cardstock, blue and green papers from scrap box.

TFL!

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

A card for Victoria

Some of you might have seen out there in card-making blogland that lots of people are making cards for a young lady called Victoria. Victoria has cancer and her teacher is trying to help her achieve the goal of receiving cards from every state in the US. I thought it would be fun to join in and send one from England so here's my card for Victoria:



The deadline is 27th September so there's still a couple of days if you want to join in. There are details here.

Supplies: Singing Swirly Bird stamp (Cornish Heritage Farms), Hello stamp (Woodware), Ranger Archival jet black and Whispers Rich Plum ink pads, Prismacolor pencils (mulberry and canary yellow) and Sansodor, vellum embossed with Cuttlebug D'vine swirls folder, silver thread, sewing machine, scallop frame cut on CraftRobo, ribbon from stash, chipboard tag made from thick packaging card, silver glitter gel pen.

Monday, 24 September 2007

New stamps!

A few weeks ago I came over all peculiar and decided to apply for a place on a DT. Nowt wrong with that except that I chose a rubber stamping company and I'm still quite new to the whole RS thing so it was an odd decision, really! Not sure what that was all about - lol!

Anyway, I didn't make the team BUT I did get a gift voucher to spend on stuff from their online store as a 'thank you' for applying. Just how sweet was that? So, here's a card using two of my new stamps:



I've used the large paisley backgrounder stamp to emboss with Versamark and clear EP on white cardstock and then swiped Whispers Sugarloaf green over it and buffed with a tissue to take excess ink off the embossing. The main image is Daisy Jar coloured using the Prismacolour pencils and Sansodor technique (same stuff as Gamsol if you happen to be using American products). As I made this to fit a challenge over at CBC, I've added a daisy charm attached to wire wrapped round the central panel. The charm had a gem in the centre that didn't fit the colour scheme so I prised it out and replaced with a dot of 3D paint.

Check out the range of stamps at Cornish Heritage Farms - the quality is fab and I already have several more on my wish list! The range of background stamps is just amazing!

I have a couple more cards I've made with other stamps I got, I'll try to remember to blog those soon!

Supplies: Daisy Jar and Large Paisley Backgrounder (both CHF), Ranger Archival jet black, Whispers Sugarloaf green, Clearsnap chalk azurite inks, Prismacolor pencils (peacock blue, sienna brown, canary yellow, grass green, true green, light cerulean blue), Sansodor, charm, wire.

Saturday, 15 September 2007

Kathy's birthday recipe

Happy Birthday Kathy!

Kathy posted a recipe and challenged us to make her a card and post on our blogs. Here's mine (click on it for a better view - tall cards aren't great at Blogger's default size, are they?!).



The recipe was
Three flowers
Three papers
Three ribbons

Now, I'm not good at patterned papers so I've chopped them up! They're all digi papers from Shabby Princess (the Sun Porch collection) and I've used them to make the petals and the flower pot. Two sorts of green ribbon for leaves and some organza knotted around the pot fulfils the ribbon quota. I doodled the stems and added a bit of green chalk 'haze' round them.

Hope you enjoy your birthday, Kathy!

Friday, 14 September 2007

In a word

What with one thing and another I haven't done a DCM dare for a while so I thought I'd try to get in on day 1 this week!

Rhi's set the dare and it's to use a word as the focal point of your design. Here's mine:



The word is embossed on DCWV textured cardstock with the Cuttlebug 'You' folder. I just put in enough card for the single word and trimmed round it. I stamped THANK with Little Classic alpha stamps in a style called Old Book and added a strip of harlequin paper, a star brad and some Colorbox Creamy Brown chalk ink. I let the embossed word run off the right hand side of the card to give it more emphasis.

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Christmas cat!

Hello, I'm back from holidays and thought I'd share a project I did just before I went away. This started life as a tin containing ground coffee and I've altered it to make a Christmas gift.




Thanks to Tanda Stamps DT member Anna for the inspiration to combine the stamps! The stamps are both from Tanda - they're called Festive Cat and Three Gifts and they're fab!

I stamped the cat on a strip of thin card cut to fit around the tin. Then I stamped it again onto thin notepaper and cut it out to use as a mask before stamping the group of gifts. That way, I get to keep the cut out to use for masking future projects and I didn't have to do anything precise round the whiskers as that part of the stamping doesn't overlap! I repeated the gifts image along the length of the card strip so the design goes all the way around the tin.

The gifts are coloured using brush markers and a green highlighter pen to keep things on the bright side! A gold gel pen adds a bit of festive metallic effect. As the cat's hat is solid on the stamp, I coloured over the black bit with a white gel pen and then used a Gellyroll pen to colour it red. I inked the edges of the card strip with Ice Blue chalk ink and stuck it round the tin before tying on a bit of stitched grosgrain ribbon.

For the lid, I cut a circle to fit and inked the edge with the Ice Blue pad. I cut a smaller circle from scrap paper and used the 'frame' as a border mask so I could stamp the cat's face without going all the way out to the edge. Then I used the Gellyroll pen to write Christmas Cookies round the border and finished by stamping a few snowflakes at the base of the circle in the Ice Blue chalk ink.

I'll bake the cookies to put inside nearer to Christmas!

I reckon you could adapt this for all sorts of things... get the snowman stamps out and make a 'Build your own snowman' kit for the kids (either marshmallows and Matchmakers or pom-poms, pipecleaners and felt)... decorate one to put Santa's snack inside to keep it fresh overnight on Christmas Eve...

Thanks for looking - if you've enjoyed the project, it'd be lovely to see your comments, it's always great to know who's visiting!

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Chalk vignette

A few weeks ago, I tried out the chalk dragging technique described by Wendy on the TandaStamps forum - thanks for sharing, Wendy! Last night, I had an idea for adapting it to make vignettes. This is probably as old as the hills and I'm the last to catch on but I thought I'd share, just in case I've managed to come up with something that someone might find useful!



I stamped the flower group with green dye-based ink and chalked over the heads in various shades of purplish-pink and added dots to the centres with a copper gel pen. I cut an oval hole in a piece of scrap paper (I used an acrylic tearing template thing and cut round it with a scalpel) and added a reasonably generous amount of chalk to the edge of the hole with my finger. Then I just centred the oval cutout over the flower image and dragged the chalk in towards the centre to make a soft coloured 'frame'.

The card's finished just by matting the stamped image onto burgundy cardstock and adding organza ribbon and a stamped sentiment on a card circle. I added a line of copper gel pen around to add a bit more definition between the light and dark elements.

Friday, 3 August 2007

Beaded snowflakes

Last year, I thought it would be nice to make beaded snowflakes as little Christmas gifts. Sadly, I had this thought on approximately December 22nd and since I don't do beads, I didn't have any of the things needed to achieve such a thing! So I promptly forgot about it. This year, I've had the thought a bit earlier so here are a few of the early efforts:





These are really very simple, no tools needed or anything. The large one is made with 2.5" corsage pins and the smaller ones with long dressmaking pins (1.5"). There's a decent size pearlised end on each sort of pin so that's the bead stopper at one end.

I've threaded an assortment of beads onto the pins - crystal clear/matte/crackle/AB in shapes from seed bead and bugle to druks (4mm, 6mm and 8mm), angel wings (8mm and 14mm), flower cups and faceted rounds. Just thread up six pins with the same arrangement of beads. I left about 1cm of pin with no beads on.

The sizes you want sort of depend on the length of the 'legs' I guess. For example, none of the round beads on the smaller flakes are bigger than 6mm but the 8mm beads look fine on the bigger decoration.

For the next step: tackle a fisherman :)

I've used 12mm cork balls for the centres. They're more usually sold to carp fishermen but I can assure you that no carp were harmed in the making of these decorations - lol! I've used a couple of layers of pearlised white acrylic paint over the cork and then just stuck the pins in to make the flake shape. I made a template first in Word so I could line the pins up along the spokes and get the angles right while sticking them into the cork.

A bit of invisible thread tied round the top of one pin made a hanger and voila: a snowflake!

Update: if you want more detailed instructions for these, Caroline has published my step-by-step guide on the Bubbly Funk website here: www.bubblyfunk.co.uk/article_info.php?articles_id=32

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Tagged!

I've been tagged by Patsy with the Bumper Card thing that's doing the rounds. It's quite a nice one so I'll play along and risk my reputation as a tag-stopper!



Details are here

I'm going to send a 'Hello' card to my aunty (who I don't really see these days) and I'm tagging

Sheila
- does fantastic things with rubber stamps and likes a bit of mess with her crafting. Good on you, Sheila!

Gillian
- fabulously creative and with an eclectic style all her own.

Wendy - another lady who knows her way around a stamp or two and is developing an addiction to Cuttlebug embossing plates!

Adele - makes some beautiful things despite having very little time to craft.

Hazel - seems to have a boundless supply of energy and creativity and manages to make lovely cards even when her health is not quite all it could be.

Play along if you can, girls (sorry if you've been tagged already - just consider it a compliment to your creativity!).

Saturday, 28 July 2007

Some cards I've made this week!

I thought I'd blog a few things I've made this week and shown only of the forum they fit into a challenge on!



I found out that one of my customers is moving on to a new job and thought it would be nice to send her a little card to congratulate her. Adding spotty ribbon meant that it fit in with the Get Spotted challenge on Carolyn's, too.

NEW JOB is stamped with the See-D Typewriter alphabet set in Whispers Sugarloaf Green on green cardstock. I've rounded off one corner and inked the edges, too. The little flower is made with the QK football die for the centre and punched hearts for petals. The good luck stamp is from a HOTP set and I used Tangerine Cat's Eye chalk ink.

One of DH's colleagues had his 60th birthday this week. At short notice, I was asked to make a card with beer, whisky and hill walking as themes! This is a bit out of my normal range but I had fun with it.





It's a trifold and each panel has a pocket and tag with something appropriate to the question for that panel. The boots are cut on the CraftRobo and I plaited embroidery thread for laces and used mini brads as 'anchor points'. I snuck the whisky reference onto the beer tag (it says A fair few (and maybe the odd wee dram to follow)). I tried to make the tag here look like the clips you get on beer pump handles and T.A. are the recipient's initials. The answer to the candle question is obviously 60!

I showed a card on Just Bex that was made for the decorative edge scissors challenge. The shell on it came about as a result of a forum conversation with Kathy about paperclay. I decided to have a go at making my own push moulds and this is the first experiment! I used a cockle shell and moulded Fimo around it and baked. Then pushed paper mache into the mould (still waiting for my paperclay to arrive!) and rubbed chalks in various shades of brown/grey white over the resulting paper shape. I was quite pleased with the way it turned out.

Friday, 27 July 2007

Check out the scraps!

Today DCM dare is set by Jane who's asked for card designs inorporating checks. I decided to combine this with the 'use your scraps' challenge at Just Bex and made a very quick and simple card.



I had some white card embossed with the Cuttlebug D'vine swirls folder left over from the wedding cake card a few posts back and there are always scraps of black in your bits box, aren't there? I just punched squares with a small punch. I thought it would look striking against a bright colour and this orange laid paper (also fromt he bits box) did the trick. Stamped greeting and a bit of gel pen are the only other things going on here.

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Last minute Minnie - Haberdashery dare

Gillian set the dare over at DCM on Friday. Yes, I know that's nearly a week ago now and I have no reasonable excuse! Still, the dare was to visit the haberdashery department and include stuff on your card. I actually did something earlier in the week but I didn't feel it qualified since I didn't do anything different than I've done a million times before!



I tried a bit harder here! Haby bits: button top left (I pushed the plastic centre out of this one and replaced with a copper brad), silk fabric for the stamped image, row of mixed mother of pearl buttons, narrow petersham ribbon, seed beads threaded onto tiny gold safety pin. The whole lot is on a piece of cardstock embossed with the Cuttlebug Stylized Flower plate and coloured with a bit of gold rub-on wax.

Sorry the picture's a bit naff - I had to scan since it's so late in the day!

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Bend me, shape me...

There's a chance to get a personalised challenge over on the Crafts by Carolyn forum. Just say "Challenge me" on the special thread and Mel will come up with an individual challenge. Mine for July was to make a shaped card, not a square or rectangle.

Having promised not to recyle the wedding cake card I showed a few posts back, I made this... (clicking on it should give you a more detailed view)



I was inspired by the lovely flower on Anna's blog and had a go at something similar using dark red paper to make a sort of poppyish thing.

I cut two circles for each petal with a Fiskars circle cutter, curved them with the help of a brush handle, stuck them onto a circle of black card and used the largest asterisk from the Cuttlebug set to cut 'stamens' for the middle.

The pot is cut from heavy card stock with the fold on the left and had a piece of white card embossed with the Cuttlebug D'vine Swirls folder stuck to the front. The leaf is one that was left over from the sunflower project a few posts back. Finally, the Happy Birthday message is embossed with a Cuttlebug folder, matted onto the same red as the petals and stuck onto green craft wire made into a coil by wrapping round a pencil.

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Beady-eyed

This week's DCM dare is set by Saffa who wanted us to make a card featuring beads.



This card started out as something completely different and sort of turned into the DCM dare card as I worked on it! I used the Cuttlebug Textile Texture folder to emboss black cardstock and then rubbed over with gold metallic wax. I think it looks sort of like those beautiful embossed brass plates and bowls you see in Middle Eastern or North African settings.

The plaque is thick packaging card which is triple embossed to give it an enamelled look. I wrote the greeting with a gel pen and use clear embossing powder to 'set' it and used a brass brad to fix it to the card. I made the butterfly using the body from an old broken brooch and drew markings with a gel pen onto black card hand cut into the wing shapes.

Last but not least, the all-important bead is the brass barrel hanging on the embroidery silk tassle at the base of the plaque.

Monday, 2 July 2007

Roses and royalty

The Just Bex forum launched about a gazillion challenges on Friday so I've had a little play with a couple of them this morning despite the fact I should have been doing other things.


This card is for the Paper Roses challenge -- make a card with paper rosebuds, not blooms or Primas.

I had to hunt a bit but I finally found the last two paper roses in my stash, these little peachy pink tea roses. I made a 'chipboard' plaque from thick packaging card covered with a bit of linen textured paper and inked with Rouge chalk ink with a Chestnut Whispers pad swiped round the edges for a bit of aging. I used the Cuttlebug D'vine swirls folder to emboss some pale pink vellum, added some grosgrain and a spiral clip and finished off with a few lines of machine stitching.




This one's for the Something to Wear challenge. It might be a bit cheeky but I reckon you wear crowns so it counts!

This has a circle of silver card embossed with one of the small Cuttlebug folders from the birthday set. I grunged it up by dabbing black dye-based ink on, leaving it to dry and then polishing it with tissue paper to take the ink off the high spots and make them shinier. I did the same with the Happy Birthday strip which was done with the Dymo and then added a silver star eyelet and mounted the whole lot on rib textured navy blue card.

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Paper roses... pa-a-per roses...

Well OK, they're not roses but since the paper blooms competition was launched on Just Bex, I can't get that song out of my head!

I took the instruction to make a bouquet 'ready for summer' rather literally and went for the sunniest flower I could think of!


I made a paper mush for the centres by liquidising torn up scrap paper with a load of water and then draining it and squeezing into a sort of clay consistency. I used a pastry cutter to keep the edges of the circle while I pushed the mush into a firm blob. I rounded the edges off with a wet finger and then left them to dry out (here's where having an Aga helps - nice warm spot to dry your paper mush projects!). I inked with brown and black ink and then painted over with the bronzey colour from the cheapo H2O-alikes from The Works.

The petals are cut on the CraftRobo - it's actually a water droplet from a dingbat font called Mostly Waves. I chalked the tips and stuck two layers round each centre.

The leaves are stamped with a big foam stamp onto glossy green cardstock and then cut round them. Flowers are on bamboo skewer stems and a few narrow strips of green paper got shoved in the vase to make frondy foliage bits. The bud is a spun paper ball with the yellow and green papers scrunched round it.

I'd had this square olive oil bottle for ages because I liked the shape but hadn't found a use for it. A few glass nuggets and a bit of raffia tied round to give it a more rustic look made finishing touches.

I decided I quite liked the way these turned out so I didn't tie a gift label on cos I'm keeping them!

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Shape shifting

Yay! I've joined the Cuttlebug Embossing crowd! The folders I ordered from the USA arrived this morning and I sat straight down to make a card for the Friday Night Challenge over at the Just Bex forum. The challenge is to make a shaped card - no squares or rectangles. I knew what I wanted to do but desparately wanted the embossing folder to do it!



I used the D'vine Swirls folder to emboss smooth white cardstock then cut three rectangles and rounded off the top corners with a punch. The 'ribbons' are cut from silvery Moondust paper (which doesn't photograph well but has a lovely sheen IRL). Sentiment is heat embossed and the hearts are punched shapes - one triple embossed and the other from the Moondust paper raised on little foam pads.

Right, I've more folders to play with so I'm off!

Friday, 15 June 2007

Raise it up

Oooh, I love embossing! Lythan has set this week's dare over at DCM and it's an embossing theme. Any kind of embossing will do! I've got a load of Cuttlebug embossing folders on order but they haven't arrived yet otherwise you'd probably have been overwhelmed by Cuttlebug textures. Instead, I've done two cards with some DIY embossing plates I made ages ago:



The Bundle of Joy sentiment is embossed onto pale pink cardstock with the trusty old corner rounder and chalk ink in Rouge swiped round the edge. I punched holes in the star, covered in lots of layers of silver sparkle embossing powder to make a 'button' and attached it with a bit of ribbon. A border of machine stitching and a bit of gingham ribbon finish it off.



Same basic techniques here but the embossing is on DCWV cardstock so I've distressed it a bit with a Silkimitt. The big flower is a Bosskut die and the little ones are the QK flower doodads. I used chalk ink and a freebie foam stamp to do the border pattern.

If you fancy the DIY approach all you need is some die cuts and a die cutter plus an embossing mat (or funkyfoam at a stretch). Stick your diecuts as you want them onto a piece of card stock cut to a size that will go through your die cutter. If you're using shapes made of reasonably lightweight card then you can build up a couple of layers to give it a bit more 'bite'. Then just plunk your cardstock on top, add your foam layer and put it through your die cutter. You can have any sentiment or texture you want and it will be unique to you. I've given mine a coat of paper varnish to give them a bit of protection but they'd probably be fine without.

Friday, 8 June 2007

Little green men

Sorry, I seem to have faded from view in Blogland - never could keep a diary! I just made a quick card for this week's Daring Card Makers dare though.



It's Keryn's turn to set the dare and with a little help from her son the theme is 'Celestial' (or 'Space' if you're going for the simplified version!). Chris on the BubblyFunk forum collects together cards for use at a children's hospice. I don't often get to make kids cards so I'd decided to make a few and already had the bits and pieces cut out for this one. The alien is designed in Inkscape and cut with the CraftRobo - inked with two shades of green chalk ink and has wiggly eyes at the top of the eye stalks. I find it difficult to judge kids' cards - hope this is OK!

Saturday, 19 May 2007

Two in one

I've combined two challenges here: the DCM 'Start from Scratch' challenge set by Tracie and the first of the challenges over at the Crafts by Carolyn 2007 Big Challenge (a card with a buckle or shrink plastic - I've actually done both!).



Tracie said no premade embellies allowed but I think ribbon probably counts as a basic - hope so anyway!

I made the buckle by wiping Brilliance Pearlescent Orchid over a piece of Shrink Plastic and then overstamping with flowers with a Rouge Cat's Eye Chalk Ink pad. Corners are rouned off with a corner punch and I cut the slits with a knife and ruler. The greeting is stamped with Brilliance Graphite Black (and I used alphabet stamps to make up the greeting so I even started from scratch there!).

The background for the card is the same flower stamp I used on the buckle stamped in the Brilliance Orchid ink on a pale pink card blank (the top part masked off so that stayed plain) and the buckle is mounted on pistachio green DCWV cardstock with rouge chalk ink swiped round the edges.

Sunday, 13 May 2007

Dad's birthday

It was my dad's birthday a few days ago. I always find cards for him a bit difficult as he doesn't have any of the typical hobbies to theme stuff around (football, golf etc). He's very practical though so wood and metal make good elements on cards for him and I knew I wanted to use my CraftRobo in making it as Dad gave me the money to buy it (just on a whim - wasn't that lovely of him?).



Woodgrain paper for the background came from The Papermill - I cut 'planks' and inked the edges for some depth. Lettering is cut with the CraftRobo and I've stuck a couple of layers together to give it more body. They're painted with gold acrylic paint and then dabbed over with Caramel Delight and Chestnut Whispers inkpads for a coppery effect. A final touch of Violet and Azure gave more of a weathered look. I love the way copper changes with the effects of heat and age.

The tag is a BossKuts ribbon slide with one end cut off, 'aged' with some inking and a light sprinkle of embossing powder to grunge it up. Stamped/embossed greeting from the Woodware Tiny Phrases set. I raised the D with tiny foam pads and tied the tag around it with jute string.



Dad liked it - that's the main thing!

Friday, 11 May 2007

Food, glorious food

It's Kathy's turn to set the dare over at DCM this week and she's asked for cards featuring food. As it happens I just discovered that a friend had an op yesterday and is expecting to be home tomorrow so I needed a 'hope you soon feel better' kind of card. A bunch of grapes seemed like a classic subject for that!

I found a photo of a grape vine (you wouldn't believe how many of those we have in our collection!) and traced a leaf in RoboMaster then cut out a load of little circles, a frame and a wiggly bit for a tendril. I cut them all from plain card and then dabbed inkpads over them - leaf in two shades of green and grapes in two shades of purple. I used an embossing tool to 'draw' the leaf veins. A few grapes are coated with clear embossing powder and the frame is painted with gold acrylic and has a few random gold sparkle EP highlights.

Didn't think I was going to get time to craft today but if a poorly friend needs a card then you just have a squeeze it in, don't you?


Thursday, 10 May 2007

With wings on

By 'eck, where does the time go? I'm sooo behind with blogs and challenges and stuff - I promise I'll try to get around some of them later. Here's my very last minute DCM challenge card for Jane's dare. Jane wanted to see wings so here are mine...


Most of my friends would probably think of me as a words person rather than a visual one so I decided to play with the idea of uplifting words/ideas as feathers for my wings.

I've dabbed Chestnut Brown Whispers ink onto DCWV textured card stock and then fed it through my Dymo and sanded the surface. Dark background square is from a pack of handmade papers bought ages ago in The Works. The swirls were a bit 'bright white' for what I wanted so I've used a bit of blue and grey chalk to tone them down. Swirls on the card itself are freestyled with chalks and a pompom applicator.

I've just realised I haven't blogged my dad's birthday card and notebook. He's seen them now so I'll try to do that tomorrow.