Saturday, 31 May 2008

Explore your birthday!

I made this card for my Dad's birthday. I always find it a bit difficult as he doesn't have any of the hobbies that many 'guy' cards tend to get themed around. I thought this vintage feel made a good all-rounder! The old map pages from the Crafty Secrets Earthy Paper Pad combine perfectly with the Journey set to make a more masculine-looking card.

I cut a hole with a Nestability Classic oval die and put the stamped and coloured image behind it once I'd given it the faux burnt edges treatment. I also stamped the globe from the set in Antique Linen on the card base to give it a slightly more finished feel but I don't think that really shows well on the photo. Lisa Zappa's idea of stamping words onto the little ticket image works well even to express sentiments like Happy Birthday!

Supplies: Journey stamp set, Earthy paper pad, sentiment words from a HOTP set, Tim Holtz Distress inks (Antique Linen, Tea Dye, Vintage Photo, Walnut Stain), Versafine Vintage Sepia, Prismacolor pencils/OMS/stump, Nestability classic oval die, sponge.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Welcome Baby!

I love the idea that all new babies have their name and birth recorded somewhere. I know in practice it's the boring old Registry Office but isn't it lovely to think that somewhere there's a cherub who has the job of writing it all down in a big old book? I thought this little guy from the Crafty Secrets Journaling set might be doing just that so I used him to make a card to welcome a new addition to the family.

The card base was scored on the diagonal to make a quilted effect and then I stamped the little sprig from the set to make the pattern in the centre of each quilt square. I used blue thread for my stitching but you could use an ivory or beige thread to make a 'neutral' card if you don't know whether you'll be welcoming a boy or a girl.

The silk ribbon is another of my adventures in natural dyes. Believe it or not, this one was beetroot (red beets for my American visitors). I was expecting red or at least pink but I gold this pretty dark ivory/champagne colour which is perfect with Tim Holtz Antique Linen Distress ink!

Supplies: Journaling set (Clear Art Stamps by Crafty Secrets), my own design sentiment stamps, Versafine (Vintage Sepia), Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Antique Linen), scoring board, Prismacolor pencils/OMS/stump, Spica clear glitter pen, silk ribbon, sewing machine and thread, sponge.

Thanks for visiting today, much appreciated!

Friday, 23 May 2008

It all began

For this week's Splitcoast member company forum challenge for Crafty Secrets (here), Lori asked us to think back to how we got started with the vintage stamping style.

I consider myself to be an 'eclectic' stamper rather than a vintage one so I had to think hard about this. I decided to concentrate on what attracts me to vintage style:

  • Colour: there's something very attractive about the tones of vintage colours. They can be both muted and rich at the same time.
  • Detail: whether it's the embellished bits or detailed cutting, the craftsmanlike quality appeals to me.
  • Creative use of what's to hand: I guess I get this from both my parents. I've always looked at stuff and said "What can I make with that?" or "How can I make this into what I'd like it to be?"

I chose this gorgeous rich design from the Radiant Paper Pad and cut an aperture using a Nestability die as a guide but cutting with a scalpel so I could cut round the flower shapes and leave them hanging over the sentiment. I stamped the sentiment from Sweet Kids on white cardstock and sponged over, leaving the centre almost white to create a 'glow'.

The ribbon is some of the silk I hand-dyed a little while ago. This one was dyed with saffron and then overdyed with tea and came out a lovely bronze shade. A bit of inking to warm up the edges and a quick whizz round with a row of machine stitching and we're done.

Supplies: Radiant Paper Pad (Crafty Secrets), Sweet Kids (Clear Art Stamps by Crafty Secrets), Tim Holtz Distress ink (Antique Linen, Frayed Burlap, Peeled Paint), vintage lace trim, silk ribbon, sewing machine and thread, Nestability die and scalpel

If you're interested in the ribbon and didn't see the last one, the card with blackberry dyed ribbon is here.

Thanks for dropping by!

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Memory Bird

Crafty Secrets is a member company at Splitcoaststampers (like a sponsorship deal, I guess) and as such, it has a member forum. There's a group of ladies in the forum who set up a weekly challenge a wee while ago with a new challenge each Tuesday. I'm usually a last-minute minnie and this is no exception (this is the last challenge, not this week's!). This also fit one of the challenges at Carolyn's to use new stuff.

Lori is hostessing the challenges on the Crafty Secrets member forum at the moment and for this one she offered a smorgasbord of inspiration and invited us to choose one or more elements from: old fashioned scrapbook style binding, stamping on ribbon, embossing (dry or heat) and bird/bug/animal images. I picked the lovely fat bird from Bird Notes and the scrapbook style binding and made this mini card:

It's the size of an ATC with a small margin added for the binding at the top edge. I thought it would be cute to add a photo or two inside and have it as a little handbag (that's purse for my American friends ;o) keepsake.

Colouring the bird with Prismacolor pencils gives enough of a 'resist' (as the leads are waxy) that the background stamping doesn't really take over that part of the card so you don't need to cut a mask.

Supplies: Bird Notes, Mini Memories and Story of Me (Clear Art Stamps by Crafty Secrets), Weathered Wood Backgrounder (Cornish Heritage Farms), Tim Holtz Distress inks (Antique Linen, Frayed Burlap, Vintage Photo, Walnut Stain), jute garden twine, vintage crochet trim, Prismacolor pencils/OMS/stump

This post is dedicated to Ms Keri Lee Sereika (of Pink Lemonade) as she says I'm not posting enough ;o) Being single Mom to three young kids while her DH is on deployment is obviously not keeping her busy enough - you take care Keri!

Thanks for stopping by today everyone, hope you enjoyed your visit.

Friday, 16 May 2008

Feeling retro

The Heartwarming Vintage blog features a couple more of my projects today along with other great samples from some of the regular DT girls. I'm sharing a bit more detail on my projects here.

Interview vibes is intended to raise a smile from deep inside the nerves that accompany chasing down a new job! The little file folder (hand cut) has the guy's id photo clipped to the front and opens to reveal an interview checklist (computer generated).


It would be easy to personalise this project with the recipient's name - I just used some white core card cut into a strip to fit my Dymo label maker and then sanded lightly to reveal the raised lettering. The whole card front is covered with a single piece of paper, it just has sponged ink over the lower part to darken it a little before overstamping with the smart brogue shoes.

Supplies: Favorite Fellas (Clear Art Stamps by Crafty Secrets), Earthy Paper Pad (Crafty Secrets), Prismacolor pencils/OMS/stump, Tim Holtz Distress Ink Tea Dye and Walnut Stain,(to sponge the dark horizontal strip), Brilliance Graphite Black, square antique copper brad, chalk, paper clip, stapler, Dymo label maker, DCWV white core card, sandpaper

Handful of Love continues the retro feel. This lady from the tea and coffee set definitely looked like she was expecting something to drop in to that outstretched hand and I thought a little shower of hearts might be a nice thing to receive!

I don't have scallop Nestabilities which would have been ideal here so I punched a bunch of small circles and stuck them behind the main image panel that already had a narrow mat of the same paper.

Supplies: Tea & Coffee, Mini Memories and Sweet Kids stamp sets (all Clear Art Stamps by Crafty Secrets), Radiant paper pad, Sweet Chips die cut shapes, Prismacolor pencils/OMS/stump, Tim Holtz Distress inks (Fired Brick and Walnut Stain), small circle punch, red laid paper, grosgrain ribbon, silver thread, enamel heart charm all from stash (unknown maker).

Thanks for visiting today, I hope you enjoyed the little step back in time!

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Blog Candy Winner(s) and Come for Coffee

Thank you so much to everybody who left me their favourite dressing up memory for the Crafty Secrets blog candy, they were great fun whether I had images of you up a tree or covered in mini cereal packets! I asked Random to pick a number for me and it said...

The 15th eligible comment came from... TraceyR! Tracey was my only pop star wannabe with this memory:
I used to dress up with a towel on my head and a tennis
racket in my hand and sit at the top of the stairs and pretend
I was Mary Hopkins. "Those were the days my friends!" LOL


I can't remember why it had to be at the top of the stairs
maybe it was the stage. LOL


Congratulations Tracey, do let me know where to send your goodies and these booklets will be winging their way to you

I had so much fun reading your comments that I thought I'd do a bonus runner up prize, too. I will stamp a selection of Crafty Secrets images on smooth white cardstock that's great for all kinds of colouring media and send them to Random's next pick which was Number 6...

Kazza! Let me know where you are Kazza and I'll get your prize sorted out.

Thanks for joining in everyone!

Edited later in the day as I made a quick project for a Splitcoaststampers challenge to use inchies. I used just the one and made a quick invitation:


The inchie is made of reasonably heavy chipboard so it's easy to handle and I've added a magnet on the back so it can be used as a keepsake fridge or filing cabinet magnet.

Supplies: Tea and Coffee (Crafty Secrets Clear Art Stamps), Tim Holtz Distress inks (Antique Linen, Vintage Photo and Walnut Stain), piercer, nail art gems

Thanks for dropping by!

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Ten Years Ago

This is a project that Sandy has featured on the Heartwarming Vintage blog but I thought I'd tell you a little bit more about it here since I have less to fit in to a post than she does!

We recently celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary and although we don't usually make a big thing of anniversaries, we thought we'd push the boat out a bit since it was a round number. We had a couple of days away in a nice hotel and I thought I'd make something a bit more 'special' than a regular card (as ever, you can click through for a closer view).



When Sandy sent me my lovely Guest Designer package, I looked at the Rosy Wishes set and thought "Eek, what am I going to do with that?" Guess which set I reached for when I sat down to make my first project? Yup, Rosy Wishes! I wanted to use a photograph of me on my wedding day (I joke that it's to remind DH how little I've changed in a decade - lol!) and the spray of roses stamp seemed like a perfect tie-in with my bouquet. I stamped it once and then inked up only the top part of it and stamped again to extend a little further up the side of the chipboard heart. As my bouquet was cream roses and ivy, I coloured the flowers with a cream Prismacolour pencil and just shaded a little with a light beige. I painted the ribbons with a gold pearlescent watercolour.

I sponged a couple of shades of green ink over the heart and then added marble 'veining' with a couple of gel pens. The photo was cut with a Nestability die and I made the mat for it by using the outer edge of the same die as a guide for a scalpel. Ivory silk ribbon provided a touch of luxury for the hanging loop and one of the small shapes from the Frame It set provided a delicate edging pattern.

I've never used cardstock stickers before and I have to say I was impressed. I wanted the holes where the ribbon is threaded through to look a bit more 'finished' so I chose a couple of eyelet stickers - so easy to handle and get properly placed and they're die-cut on the sheet so they're ready to just peel and go, there's no fiddling about trying to punch out holes in appropriate places or anything.

Supplies: Sweet Chips heart album and small die cut frame; Rosy Wishes, Sexy Little Numbers and Frame It Clear Art Stamps; Brass and Cream Hardware Stickers (Heartwarming Vintage); Tim Holtz Distress ink - Shabby Shutters and Peeled Paint; Versafine Vintage Sepia; copper, gold and white gel pens; Nestability Classic Oval dies; 1" silk ribbon; Versamark and gold lustre powder; pearlescent watercolour; Prismacolor pencils/OMS/stump

Thanks for your visit today, do let me know what you think if you have a moment to leave me a comment, I do love to hear from my visitors!

Saturday, 10 May 2008

Cherry Sweet

OK, I'll admit to the fact that I usually prefer red rubber stamps. I'm coming round to the joys of high-quality photopolymer though and among the benefits (exact placement being the obvious one) there's one sneaky little advantage I love:

All together now... "Bend me, shape me, anyway you want me..."

You just can't do it with traditional rubber - if it comes straight, you use it straight, end of story. Here's a little something that I think turned out cute (click on the pic for a better view if you want it):



A jar of something homemade is always a nice gift but it’s even nicer if you dress it up a little. See what I did here? I took the cherry scalloped border from the Kitchen Classics set and curved it onto a large block then stamped three times to make a complete circle and trimmed round the scallops. I chose mulberry paper as it’s soft enough to ‘drape’ a little over the lid and make a pretty frill.

A stamped label looks sweet and using a sticky mailing label means it's a quick and easy fit on the jar.

A linguistic note: As I’m British it’s ‘jam’ to me, for my visitors from North America ‘jelly’ would fit on the label just as well :o)

Supplies: Kitchen Classics and Adore alphabet (Crafty Secrets Clear Art Stamps), Brilliance Graphite Black ink, Prismacolor pencils/OMS/stump, gingham ribbon (Bazzill), sticky mailing label, white mulberry paper

Thanks for stopping by, hope your day proves to be a bowl of cherries :o)

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Kathy's sketch

Kathy's celebrating 40,000 visitors to her blog with a little sketch challenge.

Here's the sketch - I do hope she'll forgive the little liberties I've taken with my card. I've extended the panel on the right out to the edges of the card and used the knot of my ribbon as the circular object. Still, sketches are for inspiration, not slavish copying, right?






I've used stamps from the set I picked as part of my prize when I won the Crafty Secrets Easter Printables contest (post here if you'd like to see the card) as Kathy likes needleworky things so I thought it would be appropriate. Sadly the photo doesn't show the sparkly bits! I used a Spica clear glitter pen on the lace round the top of the bodice and it looks very pretty and girly in real life!

Supplies: Sew Special (Crafty Secrets Clear Art Stamps), Cuttlebug Textile Texture embossing folder, vintage buttons, Brilliance Graphite Black, Colorbox Pigment Frost White, piercer, white gel pen, Prismacolor pencils/OMS/stump, grosgrain rescued from a pack of Dasiy D's paper swatches, waxed linen thread, Copic Atyou Spica clear glitter pen

Hope you're all having a lovely day and the sun is shining on you!

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Excitement in the land of Ambrosia & Iron

How excited am I today? VERY excited! In fact, so excited that I’m going to do this in three parts: news and project, blog hits and giveaway…

I’m excited, Part One: I am absolutely thrilled to tell you that Sandy Redburn invited me to be Guest Designer for Crafty Secrets this month. Wow! Did I mention I’m thrilled ;o) I’ll be sharing Crafty Secrets projects with you on the blog during May and Sandy will have some on the Heartwarming Vintage blog, too. Here’s one to get us going...



This came together quickly because the paper (from the Crafty Secrets Radiant pad) does most of the work here. I just added a stamped sentiment from the Sweet Kids set and the ribbon/lace/stitching. The girls on the Bubbly Funk forum may remember my recent exploits in dying silk ribbon – this is the first outing for my natural dye experiments! These were dyed with blackberries; the paler one stayed in the dye bath for an hour or two; the darker one stayed in overnight.

Supplies: Radiant Paper Pad and Sweet Kids Clear Art Stamps (both Crafty Secrets), vintage lace edging, 1” silk ribbon, Clearsnap Deep Green Fluid Chalk ink, sewing machine and thread.

I’m excited, Part Two: My blog has just gone through the 10,000 visits mark since I installed a counter on it. Wow! Thank you very much to all my visitors, new and old, regular and occasional – it’s only worth doing if people enjoy their visits and the fact that so many of you keep coming back really means a lot to me: thank you!

I’m excited, Part Three: add together One and Two and I think a celebration is in order so I have blog candy! Crafty Secrets just released four booklets combining vintage images and journalling spots so they’re great for scrapping as well as cards or altered projects.



I have a full set of four booklets to give away, so the winner will get Homemade, Summertime, Childhood and Birds & Botanicals to play with. You can see them here (click on each booklet to get a more detailed view of them).

So, what do you have to do to win? Firstly, this is open only to UK and European players so that we get to spread the fun a little. Sorry if you’re not in those locations but hopefully you’ll find it easier than us to get hold of Crafty Secrets stuff and Sandy has details of other giveaways on the Crafty Secrets blog that are open to everyone so check those out if your location means you’re not eligible for my draw.

Looking at the little Pierrot in the Childhood booklet got me thinking about the dressing-up box most of us had as kids. So, if you’re in the UK or Europe and would like to win the booklets, just leave a comment on this post to tell me your favourite memory of dressing up in costume as a kid. Make sure there’s a link to your blog or other way to contact you so I can let you know if you won!

Please leave your comment by midnight (GMT) on Wednesday 14th May to go into the virtual hat and I will announce a winner on Thursday 15th. Of course I’d love to hear from you even if you’re not entering the draw, so please do say “Hi!” (you could put ‘no candy’ in your comment if you want to make my life easy).

My favourite? Probably the cone shaped Christmas tree hat, decorated with a spiralled fringe of green crepe paper and real tiny glass baubles! The lion with full mane, eyebrow pencil whiskers and swishy tail (thoughtfully attached with a large press stud so there would be no embarrassing mishaps in the event of a naughty boy pulling my tail – thanks Mum!) runs a close second, though ;o)

Thanks for your visit today, hope you had some fun!

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Friday's final

OK, I know it's Tuesday - the Bank Holiday hasn't left me quite that confused! This is the final challenge from the CHF Backgrounder Blitz though and we did that on a Friday. The challenge was to use a backgrounder on anything but a card. I was running out of time so mine was fast and furious...



You can't beat a bagalope for a quick project! This started life as an A5 cream laid paper envelope and has just the one backgrounder on the body of it and a simple flower silhouette on a tag cut with a Nestability die. In terms of 'bang for your buck' I think it gives pretty high returns :o)

Supplies: A5 envelope, Rice Paper backgrounder and Silhouette Blooms I (both Cornish Heritage Farms), Tim Holtz Distress Ink Shabby Shutters, scoring board, Nestability Classic oval ide, satin ribbon, cream brad (Dovecraft)

Thanks for visiting today. If you have time to drop by tomorrow, I have news to share and the chance to win some stuff too - hope to see you then!

Monday, 5 May 2008

Double time masking

Two more CHF background challenges today - double time and masking.

The double time challenge asked us to use two or more background stamps in our designs. A friend had asked me to make a birthday card for her dad who is keen on vintage trains so I combined paisley (reminiscent of smoke from the funnel?) and broad stripe to evoke the tracks and made this...



Supplies: Paisley and Broad stripe backgrounders (both Cornish Heritage Farms), vintage train (unknown), ticket from Journey set (Crafty Secrets), sentiment from HOTP set. Brilliance Graphite Black, Tim Holtz Distress ink Antique Linen, Tea dye, Vintage Photo, Walnut Stain, watercolour pencil, scoring board, small circle punch (for ticket corners on main panel).


Broad stripe made another appearance for the masking challenge to pretty up a box to hold some notelets I made for my mum's birthday. The box originally held Belgian chocolates - a gift from one of DH's business trips to Europe but obviously I had to consume those rather quickly as the box was the perfect size for the notelets I'd made! I stamped the Daisy Jar on a piece of cardstock cut to fit the lid and then masked it to stamp the background.



Supplies: Daisy Jar and Broad stripe backgrounder (both Cornish Heritage Farms), Adirondack Cool Peri, Ranger Archival Jet Black, Clearnsap Chalk ink wisteria, Prismacolor pencils/OMS/stump, satin ribbon, empty chocolate box!

Both of these projects take advantage of the fact that with just a little fancy footwork, you can extend Broad stripe sideways and still have it looking perfect if your project is wider than the stamp - love it!

Thanks for your visit today, I hope you enjoyed it!

Saturday, 3 May 2008

Kiss, kiss, smooch

Next in the series of CHF challenges was 'kissing' with background stamps. I don't have that many solid image stamps so for my first attempt I combined two backgrounders, the broad stripe and weathered wood. I inked the wood bg and 'kissed' onto the stripe before stamping to make the base for this card.



Supplies: Broad Strip and Weathered Wood backgrounders, Time to Stamp, Beautiful (all Cornish Heritage Farms). Versafine Vintage Sepia, Tim Holtz Vintage Photo and Walnut Stain, SU! antique copper Hodgepodge hardware, gingham ribbon (Bazzill)

Then I combined the kissing technique with a sketch challenge also running on the CHF forum. The kissing is quite subtle here but if you click through to the larger version of the pic you should be able to see the cheesecloth texture on the head of the flower (I inked the flower in pink and then kissed against the cheesecloth inked in dark peony).



Supplies: Polka dot and cheesecloth backgrounders, Silhouette Blooms I (all Cornish Heritage Farms), Clearsnap Fluid Chalk ink Pink Pastel and Dark Peony, green marker pens, sewing machine and thread, vintage crochet trim, Nestability Classic Circle dies.

Hope you're having a lovely weekend, thanks for taking time out for a peep at my blog!