Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Pinwheel ornament

Inspired by Lisa Zappa's tutorial (here) I made this little pinwheel ornament for a challenge with the theme A Song in the Air.

The border is stamped with the music and small pennant stamps from the Artsy Banners set and I used the triangles to guide my score lines rather than measuring out on my scoring tool as Lisa does in her tutorial. Robins about to burst into song keep with the musical theme and make this a quick and easy project as it's a printed image so no tricky colouring involved!

Stamps:
Artsy Banners (Clear Art Stamps by Crafty Secrets)

Paper:
Ivory
Christmas Creative Scraps (Heartwarming Vintage by Crafty Secrets)

Ink:
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Vintage Photo)
Versafine by Tsukineko (Onyx Black)

Other:
Silk ribbon
Copper jingle bells
Squeeze punch by Fiskars (large circle)
Circle cutter by Fiskars
Scor-It
Gold thread


Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Rejoice!

I'm creating along with Creative Belli Challenge again for the second of my projects as Guest Designer with them this month - thanks for asking girls!

The challenge for this fortnight is to use stuff beginning with R. I'm boosting the Christmas card stock again with this one - I like to stretch my stamps by using ones that are not designed to be festive and giving them a little Christmas makeover! The word Rejoice is from a stamp set called Rose (can I count it twice on the "R-ometer" do you think?).

I managed quite a few Rs here:
Red
Ribbon
Rejoice
Rub n Buff
Rhinestone
and if it's not too cheeky - rounded corners!

I used Rub n Buff over the raised parts of the embossed panel and rubbed some along the edges of the matting strip to make a rich gold border.

Stamps:

Rose (Clear Art Stamps by Crafty Secrets)

Paper:
Red
smooth white

Ink:
Versafine by Tsukineko (Crimson Red)
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Antique Linen)

Other:
Rub n Buff by Amaco (Gold Leaf)
Flowers by Prima
Brad by Making Memories
Grosgrain ribbon recyced from packaging
Cuttlebug Embossing Folder (Textile Texture)
Corner Chomper by We R Memory Keepers
Nestabilities by Spellbinder (Labels Four)


Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Something old, something new...

I'm delighted to be joining the Creative Belli Blog with a couple of Guest Designer projects this month. The first is for the current challenge... Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.

As I need to boost my stack of Christmas cards I stuck with a festive theme.

Old: the DCWV white core card has been in my stash for five years or so and the square crystal brad is probably not much newer!
New: the stamp set is a recent release and one of my latest acquisitions
Borrowed: the layout is from a sketch on Kathy's Sketch File and I borrowed a tool from the world of sewing (a tracing wheel to do the piercing round the image panel)
Blue: cardstock for the snowflake panel and crystal brad

I used several of the smaller stamps from the set to create the background directly onto the card base. The glittery strip was done with a piece of double sided sticky sheet with glitter pressed on top and then I think the rest is self explanatory!

Stamps:
Christmas Mail (Clear Art Stamps by Crafty Secrets)

Paper:
Kraft
Smooth white
DCWV white core

Ink:
Adirondack dye ink by Ranger (Espresso)
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Antique Linen)
Versafine by Tsukineko (Crimson Red)

Other:
Cuttlebug embossing folder (Ice Crystals)
Deko Ice glitter by Efco (Crystal)
Double sided tape sheet
Tracing wheel
Copic markers
Silk ribbon
Crystal brad


Thanks for stoppping by!

Friday, 12 November 2010

Vintage and modern

I'm taking part in a Christmas ornament swap over on UK Stampers.We can specify whether we would like traditional or modern colour schemes and then we make an ornament for each person in our group. A couple of people in my group wanted modern colours and the rest opted for traditional. I tried for a basic design that would work either way and came up with these microscope slide ornaments.

The traditional colour scheme ones have a vintage feel with copper tape, vintage buttons, a bit of wire work and a jingle bell and bow to finish. The backs are textured with a Cuttlebug folder rather than being a second glass slide.

The modern colour scheme ones are a bit more "disco"! I combine pink and aqua for the stamping and then added glitter, bugle beads and a star shaped gem as finishing touches. Silver thread tied through a second short row of beads at the top provides a hanger. Again, the back is textured with a Cuttlebug folder but it's silver this time - I used aluminium tape stuck to a piece of card and used a strip of the same tape to seal the edges of the ornament.

Stamps:
Christmas Mail (Clear Art Stamps by Crafty Secrets)

Paper:
White

Ink:
Adirondack Pool and Clearsnap Chalk ink Pink Pastel (modern design)
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger in vintage Photo and Versafine by Tsukineko in Crimson (traditional design)

Other:
copper wire, glitter, buttons, Superglue, bugle beads, gems, Textile Texture embossing folder, Krylon leafing pen in copper and silver, silk ribbon, jingle bell


Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 29 October 2010

Watercolour Poppies

This glorious stamp is from the final set sent to me recently by Sandy of Crafty Secrets - aren't these poppies beautiful?

Because the stamp is so detailed (it's big too - this is a 5" square card) I've gone for a simple layout again and just added some textural interest by ruching silk ribbon onto a pin.

I used inks to do the watercolouring - I laid down a complete layer of Spiced Marmalade first and then used Fired Brick over it, aiming to get some of that "glow" you get when the sun shines through poppy petals. The blue is done with just one colour - Adirondack Stonewashed tends to break down to give purplish and turquoisey tones when you add water. I like the tonal variety it gives so I often end up using it for a background wash like this.

Stamps:
Poppy (Clear Art Stamps by Crafty Secrets)

Paper:
140lb hot press watercolour paper
Black

Ink:
Versafine by Tsukineko (Onyx black)
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Spiced Marmalade, Fired Brick, Vintage Photo, Walnut Stain, Bundled Sage, Peeled Paint)
Adirondack dye ink by Ranger (Stonewashed)

Other:
Sewing machine and thread
Silk ribbon
Pin


Thanks for stopping by, hope everyone has a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Dear Santa

I'm sure this little girl has been nice this year, even if she does look just a little nervous of sending her letter to Santa! She's just too sweet-looking to have been naughty, don't you think?

I have to say that the "Dear Santa" is the teeniest, weeniest stamp I have ever seen! It stamps beautifully though and fits the space on the envelope perfectly. You could personalise your card to the recipient though by handwriting their initials (or name if you have tiny writing and a fine nib pen!) on the envelope instead.

I happened to have both "Artsy Banners" and this Christmas Mail set out on my desk at the same time and noticed that the snowflake would be a great fit in the scallop border (this is the small version of each, the large snowflake fits equally well in the larger scallop). You could stamp the flake in a punched border, too.

I used a Copic in one of the reds used to colour the little girl's coat to colour the matting strip so that I got a perfect match.

Stamps:
Christmas Mail and Artsy Banners (both Clear Art Stamps by Crafty Secrets)

Paper:
Smooth white
Kraft

Ink:
Adirondack dye ink by Ranger (Espresso)
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Antique Linen)
Colorbox pigment ink by Clearsnap (Frost White)

Other:
Copic markers
Flowersoft (Polar white)
Cuttlebug embossing folder (Ice Crystals)
Nestabilities by Spellbinder (Classic Ovals, large)
Tracing wheel
Corner Chomper by We R Memory Keepers


Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Heart's Treasures

One of the stamp sets Sandy was sweet enough to send me from Crafty Secrets recently was "Artsy Banners". This is a great selection of mix 'n match stamps but of course me being me I started by reading the text that makes up the border stamps! I can't manage to read the script one (used as a background here by repeat stamping it) but the typewriter style one is made up of some lovely quotes. I decided to pull one out and use it as a feature of the design by snipping out the individual words and sticking them down.

The vintage photo of the child is one that came in my secret Santa package from Caroline last year so I'm not sure of the source - I think it was probably part of a Bubbly Funk kit.

Stamps:
Artsy Banners (Clear Art Stamps by Crafty Secrets)

Paper:
Smooth white
Kraft
Black

Ink:
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Vintage Photo, Victorian Velvet)
Versafine by Tsukineko (Onyx Black)

Other:
Vintage photo print
Pin
Pink grosgrain ribbon


Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 15 October 2010

Snowflakes!

Tando Creative has some wee chipboard shapes that are perfect for using to decorate the advent calendar they have but also cute for other things! I used the tiny snowflakes (approx 30mm cross each flake) to make these little hanging ornaments. The chipboard is sturdy enough to handle easily and give them a little weight but still looks really delicate with the detailed design.

I simply painted the flakes with gesso and then added a clear dewdrop in the centre and tiny gems around the points of each flake. I decorated both sides (clear gems on one side, pale blue on the other) so they can be used on a display that can be seen from all sides.

The hanging threads (simply glued on with a dab of Glossy Accents) come out of a point on some flakes and the centre of others so they'll hang at different
angles. I think they'll look really pretty hanging from a bare twig come Christmas time.

Here's a closer look at one:

Supplies
Christmas minis (Tando Creative - see here for Tando stockists)
Gesso
Clear Dew Drops
Acrylic nail gems
Glossy Accents (as adhesive)
Silver thread

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

The monsters are coming!

It's my nephew's birthday today - Happy Birthday Josh! I always struggle a bit with cards for kids and this took waaaaaay longer than it should have done but I got there in the end.

The little monsters are mounted on foam pads for a bit extra "movement" and dimension.

Stamps:
Little Guy (Kim Hughes Collection from Cornish Heritage Farms, retired)
Sentiment from a Hot off the Press set

Paper:
Smooth white
Orange

Ink:
Adirondack dye in by Ranger (Espresso)
Versacraft by Tsukineko (Spring Green)

Other:
Copic markers
Cuttlebug embossing folder (Traffic Jam)
Foam pads


Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, 11 October 2010

Eek - it's pink!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month so it was inevitable that one of the challenges I try to get involved in regularly would involve the use of pink. I am probably the least pink person on the planet but I decided to give it a go for the Crafty Secrets member company forum challenge over on Splitcoast Stampers.

Sandy Redburn (owner of Crafty Secrets) was very sweet recently and sent me some new stamps to play with. Four new botanicals sets were released recently and I had the rose and poppy ones in my package. They're beautifully detailed and remind me of the PSX stamps that so many people mourn the loss of.

I stamped my rose on kraft cardstock and coloured with Prismacolor pencils. I love the look this gives and don't remember the technique often enough - I always have fun when I do this!

I decided to keep everything else simple as the image is so detailed so the panel is simply machine stitched onto the card base and then I added the sentiment on a tag with a little ribbon and a pin. The ribbon was coloured with a Copic marker to match the rose (it's a much better match in real life, dodgy light in Northumberland today!).

Stamps:
Rose (medium set from Clear Art Stamps by Crafty Secrets)

Paper:
Kraft
Black

Ink:
Adirondack dye ink by Ranger (Espresso, Latte)

Other:
Prismacolor pencils/OMS/Stump
Sewing machine and thread
Silk ribbon coloured with Rose Red Copic marker
Tags Trio dies by spellbinder
Pin


Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 1 October 2010

UK Stampers header competition

UK Stampers is one of the forums I like to visit. There's a header competition running at the moment to choose a new banner for the forum. There are a dozen entries to choose from - if you're a forum member why not pop over and vote for your favourite on this thread? (You'll need to be logged in to see all the entries and cast your vote.) Voting closes on Sunday so you still have a couple of days to decide.

My entry uses

Stamps:
Retro women (Tanda Stamps)

Alphanumber backgroundr (Cornish Heritage Farms, retired)

Not My Type alphabet stamps (Ma Vinci's Reliquary)

Paper:
Cryogen White

Ink:

Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Dusty Concord)

Adirondack dye ink by Ranger (Pool)
Versafine by Tsukineko (Onyx Black)


Other:

Spray can lid

Bubble wrap
Dymo label maker

Copic multiliner


Hope everyone has a lovely weekend!

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Christmas Shaker ornament - step by step

I've been asked to explain how I made the ornament I posted yesterday so here you go, some instructions for you!

I made this in a slightly different way than the "classic" method of using foam pads to achieve the depth needed for your shaker inclusions. I figured that with a circle that's a bit of a pain and you're likely to end up with tiny gaps that stuff could leak out through and the job of neatening up the outer edge. So, here's how to do it the way I did:

1. Cut four rings from black card by placing two Nesties one inside the other on your cutting platform - two consecutive ones from a set gives a nice width frame. Use a magnetic mat or a couple of pieces of low tack tape to hold your Nesties in place so that all the rings are exactly the same (you might need to use a pokey tool to ease the ring out of the dies if you use a magnetic mat since you can't push it out through the hole while the dies are in place). Emboss the final ring with the tan mat before you remove it from the dies.

2. Now remove the smaller die and use the larger one to cut three circles: one each of black, white and acetate.

3. Stamp and colour your image on the white circle. Make a wire loop and stick it to the back of the circle to make a hanger at the top.

4. Emboss the black circle in your choice of Cuttlebug folder (I used Textile Texture as the small scale is perfect here). Use Rub n Buff to gild this textured circle and the one ring you embossed while still in the Nesties. Go lightly and you'll leave some black showing which gives that lovely aged appearance.

5. Now you're ready to stack! I used Glossy Accents as it's strong and quick drying. Glue together the three plain rings then glue the stack of rings onto the stamped image. Glue the embossed and gilded ring onto the acetate circle. Spoon some glitter and/or microbeads into the ornament (glass glitter is perfect for this as it's heavier and creates less static so it won't stick to your "window" so much) and then glue the acetate layer and frame on top.

6. Glue the textured circle on to finish the back. You may find the circe is very slightly smaller than your ornament because of the embossing - just add a little Rub n Buff around the margin if needed.

7. Once everything's dry, add a little Rub n Buff around the edge of the ornament and a silk bow to top it off.

You're done - a pretty ornament that's safe around children and pets!

See this post for a complete list of supplies if you're interested in the exact stamp set and so on.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Christmas ornament

OK, so the one layer, clean and simple card making was probably too good to last - lol! I've come over a bit vintage and pretty and not card-based by way of an antidote.

ETA: I put up a step by step for making this ornament in this post

In the Crafty Secrets member forum on Splitcoast Stampers this week, Marcy's challenge is "Just hanging around" - make something to hang or that has a hanging element. I had an immediate image in my head of a shaker ornament using this stamp and for once I not only manged to find time to do it but it came out looking something like I imagined!

I cut three extra rings and stacked them up to give the ornament some depth and added glass glitter and microbeads behind an acetate layer to give her some sparkly snow to sledge through! Doing it this way gives a neater edge than messing about with foam pads, I think and you don't have any issues with possible gaps for stuff to leak through. I use a piece of magnetic paper to keep my Nesties in place so the rings are all the same.

The back circle was embossed and rubbed with the same Rub n Buff I used on the frame so that it still looks pretty if the ornament twizzles round as it hangs.

Stamps:
Sweet Kids (Clear Art Stamps by Crafty Secrets)

Paper:
Smooth white
Black

Ink:
Adirondack dye ink by Ranger (Espresso)

Other:
Copic markers
Nestabilities by Spellbinder (Large circles)
Deko ice glitter by Efco (Crystal)
White microbeads (these are steel one sold for nail art)
Rub n Buff by Amaco (Gold Leaf)
Cuttlebug embossing folder (Textile Texture)
Silk ribbon


Thanks for stopping by!

Note for Amaco - I didn't ignore your last comment on my blog but you left no contact details and an e-mail to your customer services address got no response so presumably didn't get passed on. If you read this, please leave a contact e-mail address!

Monday, 27 September 2010

More one layer work

I obviously got bitten by the one layer bug when I made the card for this week's One Layer Wednesday challenge. I needed a card for my brother's birthday and went with another nature-inspired clean and simple design.

I just treated myself to some new stamps including Under the Sea from Darkroom Door. It's my first Darkroom Door purchase but I'm sure it won't be my last! The stamps are wonderfully detailed and the quality is great. There are quite a few places that stock them in the UK too so no hanging around for post to arrive from down under, even though they're an Australian company.

I stamped the seahorse and coloured with Copics then masked it and used Post-It notes to mask off a rectangle and sponged blue inks in there. A teeny weeny birthday sentiment finishes it off and I have a masculine and easy-to-mail card ready to go!

Stamps:
Under the Sea (Darkroom Door)
Sentiment from Kinkade Birthday Expressions (CHF, retired)

Paper:
Smooth white

Ink:
Adirondack dye ink by Ranger (Espresso, Cloudy Blue, Stonewashed, Denim)

Other:
Copic markers


Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Simple Hello

It's one layer Wednesday time again and I'm actually playing on the day this week - yay!

Susan's challenge this week is for a one layer card inspired by nature. I've combined with this week's challenge in the Crafty Secrets member company forum at Splitcoast and made a "thinking of you" kind of card.

Stamping doesn't get much simpler than this! I pressed my Distress ink pad straight on to the card for the colour block (don't press too hard if you want the colour fairly light). I love the rustic, distressed look this gives. Then the flower stem and sentiment are stamped in black and a few tiny dots of gesso added to pick out the flower heads.

Stamps:
Wild Flowers (Clear Art Stamps by Crafty Secrets)

Paper:
Smooth white

Ink:
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Bundled Sage)
Versafine by Tsukineko (Onyx Black)

Other:
Gesso


Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Merry and Bright

I recently saw Paula do a card for "one layer Wednesday" and thought it looked a fun challenge so I'm joining in this week. Susan Rahalia (if you're on Splitcoast Stampers you might know her as Lateblossom) has a lovely sense of style and proportion in her cardmaking and on Wednesday each week she's setting a challenge for a one layer card (or a no layer card, depending on your point of view - basically a card base without any extra papers etc stuck on).

This week is "Three plus one" - three images, one sentiment. I went back to one of the very first stamp sets I ever bought and made a Christmas card. I tied in with Kaz's challenge on Bubbly Funk to use bright, funky colours this month.

I stamped the trees in a bright green ink and then added spots of pink pearl dimensionsal paint over the baubles and sprinkled fuschia pink glitter over while the paint was wet. The pink of the sentiment matches better in real life - dull Northumberland day here means tricky getting a decent photo!

Stamps:
Christmas tree by Skipping Stones

Paper:
Smooth white

Ink:
Versacraft by Tsukineko (Spring Green and Cherry Pink)
Adirondack by Ranger (Espresso)

Other:
Pearl dimensional paint by Dylon
Microfine glitter
Corner Chomper (We R Memory Keepers)


Thanks for stopping by and thanks for the challenge, Susan!

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Life is a journey

We're doing another postcard swap over on UK Stampers. I've decided I like the idea of the "real" postcard ethos of sending something with no envelope so I'm sticking with flat and light with nothing stuck on that might drop off!

My recipient this time is Sam who lives in Evesham so I chose an appropriate chunk from an old road atlas for my central panel. The sentiment is embossed in copper and then swiped over with that staple of the modern craft room, gesso (ah! whatever did we do without this stuff?!) to help it stand out from the busy background. As the paper had a coated finish, the car didn't stamp quite as cleanly as I would have liked so I gave it a bit of help with a black marker in a few places.

Stamps:
Vintage Transport (Tanda Stamps)
Sentiment from Encouragement Expressions (Cornish Heritage Farms, retired)

Paper:
Black
Old road atlas

Ink:
Versafine by Tsukineko (Onyx Black)

Other:
Memento marker (Tuxedo Black)
Detail embossing powder (copper)
Gesso
Nestabilites by spellbinder (Labels Eight)


Hope life's journey is treating you kindly - thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Monster birthday

A quick birthday card for a six year old boy!

I used a handy trick to get the whole of my 5" square card front embossed. It does need a folder that you can use sideways on (so wording ones are no good to you, for example, unless you want your wording to run vertically on the card, of course). Put your cardstock into the folder and run it through your die cutter - you'll have a strip hanging out of the folder that doesn't get embossed. Now put that plain bit into the folder and run it through the die cutter again - this time it will be the bit you embossed in the first step that's haning out of the folder. I tend to reverse the rollers once I've embossed the bit I need to rather than running right through. For a design like this where you stick a strip of something over the top, any "join" in the embossing is hidden.

Stamps:
Little Guy (Kim Hughes Collection from Cornish Heritage Farms)
Alpha stamps (unknown maker)

Paper:
Textured green and orange, both Papermill
Smooth white

Ink:
Adirondack dye ink by Ranger (Espresso)
Versafine by Tsukineko (Onyx Black)

Other:
Small circle punch
Circle Nestabilities by Spellbinder
Circle cutter by Fiskars
Copic markers
Dymo label maker and tape
Copic multiliner
Corner Chomper
Cuttlebug embossing folder (Traffic Jam)


Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Snowflake tree topper

My Christmas treehas been in desparate need of a new topper for some time now and I've finally got round to doing something about it! I decided this 3D snowflake from Tando Creative would be the perfect thing for the job.

At approx 95mm x 95mm it's a good size for a tree topper. It would also make a great hanging decration and there are two other styles available so you could ring the changes, too!

I painted mine with Precious Metal paint in Mother of Pearl and because the intricate shape is pretty enough, I kept the embellishment fairly simple with just a few pearls, gems and micro beads.

The board is thick enough to push pins into to finish off the tips of the flake and accomodate a coiled wire to slot over the top of the tree. I snipped my pins down with pliers so that I didn't have to worry about keeping the full length of the pin perfectly straight so that it didn't poke through the surface of the board.

Supplies:
3D Snowflake Style 1 (Tando Creative - find Tando stockists
here)
Precious Metal paint by Viva Decor (Mother of Pearl)
Flat back pearls (The Works bookshops have mixed sheets for £1 at the moment)

Gem stickers (in my stash for years!)
Micro beads (these are steel ones sold for nail art)
Dressmakers pins

Copper jewellery wire




Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

More bauble inspiration!

Here's the second of the cards inspired by the photo in Monday's post (scroll down to the next post if you'd like to see the original photo and first card).

I went long and thin for the card base on this one to echo the shape of the steps and then used punched circles to represent the baubles - some are heat embossed with a backgrounder stamp and gold powder, some coated in crackle paint and others embossed in a Cuttlebug folder and then treated with Rub n Buff to give them a richer finish.

Ruched silk ribbon and a sprinkling of pearls keep the opulent mood going and provide more textural interest.

It was a bit of a nightmare to photograph this one with the reflective surfaces and textures but I think you get the idea!

Stamps (Cornish Heritage Farms):
Scalloped Tiles backgrounder
Vintage Christmas Expressions (Mona Lisa Moments line)

Ink:
Versamark by Tsukineko
Versacraft by Tsukinko (Autumn Leaf)
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Vintage Photo)

Paper:
Kraft
Cryogen white
Metallic gold

Other:
Distress Crackle Paint by Ranger (Rock Candy)
Detail embossing powder (gold)
Squeeze punch by Fiskars (large and medium circles)
Silk ribbon
Pin
Flat back pearls
Cuttlebug embossing folder (Textile Texture)
Rub n Buff by Amaco (gold leaf)


Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, 16 August 2010

Bauble inspiration

Over on the Bubbly Funk forum some of us are taking part in a "25th Club" where the aim is to make a certain number of Christmas cards by the 25th of each month. I've been rubbish at fulfilling my quota so far but as I set the challenge theme this month I thought I'd best get my finger out and actually make something!

I set an inspiration challenge using this photo which I found online in this blog post (other pretty photos there too!).

If you haven't played with inspiration challenges before, the idea is to take any aspect of the photo and create something inspired by it - you don't need to recreate what you see, just use something like the shapes, colours, composition or whatever takes your fancy.

Here's the first of mine, I have another one to share later in the week.

For this one I took my inspiration from the gold and copper tones, the snowflake on the wall, the textural effect of the grouped baubles and the contrast of the tiny bit of black from the handrail.

I inked up my embossing folder with Brilliance ink, embossed some gold cardstock and then sprinkled copper embossing powder over the whole thing. Dry embossing in a plastic folder can tend to make the raised parts of the design a bit staticy so you need to give the whole thing a really good firm tap to get rid of the EP on those areas and use a paintbrush if necessary to get rid of any stray bits.

Stamps:
Christmas Expressions (Mona Lisa Moments line from Cornish Heritage Farms)

Ink:
Brilliance by Tsukineko (Coffee Bean)

Paper:
Cryogen White
Gold metallic
Black

Other:
Cuttlebug embossing folder (Victoria)
Detail embossing powder (copper)
Snowflake Wonder dies by Spellbinder
Bead chain (cheapo Christmas decoration stuff)
Amber gem (still using my Secret Santa supply from Caroline!)


Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 13 August 2010

Ice queen!

I've been playing with Tando chippie again - still trying to kick start that Christmas feeling so I can get a head start on cards! I decided to use the separate snowflake flourish that comes in the set with the snowflake plaque to make a wintery brooch. It would be good on a bag or jacket, I reckon.

I used a freebie CD to cut a freehand ice shard for the base. The Tonic Studio scissors go through easily and I find if you warm the CD up a bit with your heat gun first to soften it you're less likely to have it crack or shatter as you cut.

I covered the snowflake flourish with a couple of coats of silver UTEE and rubbed pearl and turquoise Perfect Pearls onto it while it was still warm, concentrating more colour towards the bottom of the shape.

A couple of smudges of Glossy Accents to hold a little sprinkling of silver micro beads finishes it off.

Supplies:
Snowflake plaque by Tando Creative (find Tando stockists here)
CD
Versamark by Tsukineko
UTEE (silver)
Microbeads (these are actually steel ones sold for nail art)
Glossy Accents (as adhesive)
Perfect Pearls by Ranger (Perfect Pearl and Turquoise)
Brooch pin


Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

A bit of bling

A new month means a new object to make over at Something Completely Different and for August the team is asking us to make torsos at ATC size. I used Ruth Ann Zaroff's mannequin template from Mirkwood Designs {here} but changed the size and proportions to make it more ATC-friendly. She's a curvier model this way :o) The theme for our torsos this week is "bling".

I confess I'm not very good at bling - either in my personal style or in papercrafting. So although I really did try with this week's challenge the bling is still on the subtle side! I used a row of tiny nail art gems to define the waist curve along the right hand side. The other idea of having a necklace looked dreadful and ended up with me cutting the deep neckline and sitcking onto another blank torso to get rid of the gluey bit where the necklace attempt had been!

The swirls were embossed in clear for an emboss resist with Black Soot Distress ink swiped over.

Stamps:
Beautiful (Rummage Bin line at Cornish Heritage Farms)

Paper:
Smooth white

Ink:
Versamark by Tsukineko
Tim Holtz distress ink by Ranger (Black Soot)

Other:
Detail embossing powder (clear)
Nail art gems
Copic marker (to colour the neck)


Thanks for the challenge girls and thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Continuous effort

I signed up for a postcard swap over on UK Stampers. I thought I'd go the whole hog and make something that really could be mailed as a postcard rather than feeling it had to go into an envelope for protection. Here's what I did (Linda, look away now if you'd rather not see before it reaches you in the flesh!).

I had a play with the bouncing brayer technique to make the background (tutorial {here} if you've never heard of this), inking up with three different Distress inks - perfect for the current Gingersnap colour challenge of yellow, orange and red. Then I overstamped the keys and script in Spiced Marmalade, used bubble wrap and gesso at top right and bleach stamped a couple of small clocks before adding the sentiment and clock face in black ink.

I gave the whole lot a spritz with Krylon sealant to give it a bit more protection as it goes through the post. The lace wasn't quite the right colour so I swiped over with a Copic marker before sticking it down firmly and then sitching it along the edge and stitching the sequins in place to be sure there was nothing loose going on. I stuck the whole lot to another piece of cardstock so the back was neat.

Stamps (all Cornish Heritage Farms):
Time to Stamp (Rummage Bin line)
Key Elements (All Things Considered line -in stock here at Bubbly Funk if you're in the UK)
Key Expressions (Mona Lisa Moments line)

Ink:
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Mustard Seed, Spiced Marmalade, Fired Brick)
Versafine by Tsukineko (Onyx Black)

Paper:
Smooth white

Other:
Lace by Prima Marketing
Sequins
Gesso
Bubble wrap
Bleach
Krylon Matt spray sealant
Gold thread

Hope Linda likes it! Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 30 July 2010

Half time oranges...

Actually, they're more like end of game oranges since this is my last chellenge as Guest Designer with Something Completely Different. Thanks for asking me girls - it's been a fun month! This is the last week of making tags and our challenge today is a colour one: orange, blue and brown.

This is one of the very first stamps I bought - it came in a mixed lot of used stamps on eBay. It has a checkerboard border round it but I just trimmed out the central portion with the picture as it was then the perfect width for my tag.

The houndstooth pattern is stamped with a light coloured pigment ink onto a tag which was cut from chocolate coloured cardstock - I like the soft effect this gives. I added some Sakura Glaze pen on the cut piece of orange to give the segments a wet sheen and other than that I think it's self-explanatory!

Stamps:
Oranges by Hampson Arts
Fine Houndstooth Scrapblock (Cornish Heritage Farms if you're in the UK, Bubbly funk has this in stock {here})

Paper:
Simply heavy chocolate
Smooth white

Ink:
Adirondack dye ink by Ranger (Espresso)
Versacraft by Tsukineko (Sand)

Other:
Copic markers
Sakura glaze pen (orange)
Sewing machine and thread
Extra large eyelet by We R Memory Keepers (antique copper)
Jute twin
e

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 23 July 2010

Going round in circles

It's Friday so it must be Something Completely Different challenge day! We have five Fridays this month so we're not quite done with tags yet, one more to go after this week.

Today's theme is... circles! I went a bit mad with a couple of punches for a layered, textured kind tag by sticking my punched shapes onto a base of white card coloured with Peeled Paint Distress ink and sanding to shabby it up a bit. I love this cute little alien and thought it would be fun to have him peeping through a porthole.

A few buttons keep things round and add some extra texture. I wrapped a bit of craft wire round a paintbrush handle to finish it all off with some springy alien antennae (broadcasting friendly messages, of course).

Stamps (Cornish Heritage Farms):
Little Guy (Kim Hughes line)


Paper:

DCWV


Ink:

Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Peeled Paint)

Brilliance by Tsukineko (Graphite Black)

Other:
Fiskars squeeze punches (medium and large circles)
Nestabilities by Spellbinder (Circles Large - to cut the top of the tag)

Copic markers
Inkssentials white gel pen by Ranger

Craft wire
Linen thread
Buttons


Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Vintage Christmas snowflakes

I know it's only July but that means we've reached that point in the year where next Christmas is nearer than last! I haven't been doing well with my effort to make a few cards each month but maybe a few non-card projects will help get me kick-started!

This beautiful snowflake plaque is one of Tando Creative's new releases for Christmas 2010. It's so lovely that I thought it would be fun to make something that would stick around rather than being here and gone on a card. I've turned this one into a vintage style ornament to hang on the tree.

I used gesso on the whole piece and then added Rub n Buff metallic wax over everything except the snowflakes. Those were treated to a bit of Rock Candy crackle paint and topped off with pearls.

The sentiment panel is also coated in crackle paint. I've found in the past that putting it over Copic colouring makes the colours bleed so I tried something different here - adding the Copics over the top of the paint. It worked well and gave a nice variation in the colouring because of the cracks.

I rescued some crystal chain from my "might come in useful" box of broken jewellery etc. I reckon it's been in there for 20 years! A metallic cord hanger made from twisted thread finishes it off.

Supplies:
Snowflake plaque (Tando Creative - find Tando stockists {here})
Winter Vintage Signage stamps set (Cornish Heritage Farms)
Versafine ink by Tsukineko (Onyx Black)
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Vintage Photo)
Rub n Buff by Amaco (Gold Leaf)
Copic markers
Gesso
Distress Crackle paint by Ranger (Rock Candy)
Flat back pearls
Nestabilities by Spellbinder (Classic Ovals Large)
Crystal chain
Metallic thread


Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Elegant anniversary

Anniversary cards always feel a bit tricky to me - you feel you need to get the masculine/feminine balance right somehow when you're sending to a couple! I went for creating my own "designer paper" here by doing some repeat stamping in a tone on tone kind of way with a big, ornate roundel stamp. The ivory and dark red were the couple's wedding colours.

Stamps (Cornish Heritage Farms):
So Happy (Rummage bin line)
Ornamental Beauty (Rummage bin line)
The word "happy" from Birthday Centers (Mona Lisa Moments line)

Paper:
Simply linen natural
Dark red (unknown maker)

Ink:
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Antique Linen, Vintage Photo)
Versafine by Tsukineko (Onyx Black)

Other:
Flower by Prima Marketing
Flat back pearl
Sewing machine and thread


Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 16 July 2010

Fantasy!

It's Friday so that means it's time for a new challenge over at Something Completely Different. Our tags this week have the theme of "Fantasy".

I really struggled with this one! Things didn't quite pan out the way I imagined them but I got somewhere in the end. I started playing with the idea of a genie escaping from a bottle and somewhere along the line I got the dense, tangled foliage of stories like the Sleeping Beauty mixed in there as well and my genie turned into a lute playing lovely - lol!

My Dymo labels looked a wee bit stark white with the other elements so I swiped over with a green Copic marker to blend them in a bit. The swirls were die cut from acetate and then coated in Glossy Accents and glitter so they have a translucence about them in real life. I also used Copics to colour over clear glitter.

The vivid green bottle is from one of the Dezinaworld collage sheets I won in a SCD challenge a while back - thanks June!

Stamps (Cornish Heritage Farms):
East West Historic Poster (B&O Railroad line)
Big Inspiration (Mona Lisa Moments line)
Leaves #3 backgrounder

Paper:
Black
Glossy Photo
Acetate
Smooth white

Ink:
Versafine by Tsukineko (Onyx black)
Versacraft by Tsukineko (Spring Green)

Other:
Elegant Flourishes die (Tim Holtz Alterations/Sizzix)
Enchanting Emerald collage sheet by Dezina World
Detail embossing powder (black)
Dymo label maker
Copic markers
Deko Ice glitter by Efco (Crystal)
Prismacolour pencils
Extra large eyelet by We R Memory Keepers (antique copper)
Leather thong


Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Bird watching birthday

I made this card for my uncle's birthday (happy birthday Uncle John!). Dogs and water seemed about right for his interests so I pulled out this lovely stamp from the Saturday Evening Post range. I heat embossed with fine detail black for a silhouette that would resist the ink I brayered over the top for the sunset. I used a punched circle to mask the sun before brayering and then lightly sponged with the same inks I'd used for the sky. A few white gel pen highlights give the impression of the grasses and the dog's nose catching the last rays of the sun.

I kept the layout very simple and resisted adding any embellishments to leave the focus on the image and the rich colours.

Stamps (Cornish Heritage Farms):
Bird Watching (Saturday Evening Post line - if you are in the UK, Bubbly Funk has this stamp in stock {here})
Cursive Expressions (Mona Lisa Moments line)

Paper:
Simply smooth
Black
Kraft

Ink:
Versafine by Tsukineko (Onyx Black)
Sky brayered with Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Wild Honey, Spiced Marmalade, Fired Brick)

Other:
Detail black embossing powder
Memento marker by Tsukineko (Tuxedo black)
Inkssentials white gel pen by Ranger

Tools:
Brayer
Squeeze punch by Fiskars (large circle)
Sponge


Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 9 July 2010

Are you sitting comfortably?

It's time for a new challenge over at Something Completely Different. Our tags this week have the theme "Are you sitting comfortably?". As an avid reader from before I started school, there was really only one response possible from me! The next bit of the phrase has to be "Then I'll begin" and the story follows!

I found Oscar Wilde's story The Selfish Giant online and printed out a section of it to use as the base of the tag. I had the idea that the little reader should be "lost" in the words so he's stamped straight onto the text and not coloured in any way. I stamped again on plain card, coloured the book and cut it out to add over the top of the image. The sparkly circle of tiny gems is the magical, enclosed world created by losing yourself in a good story!

A bit of sanding and inking give it a shabbier feel and because it's flat I think this will make a good bookmark!

Stamps:
Story of Me (Crafty Secrets Clear Art Stamps)
Story Book (retired - Cornish Heritage Farms)
Time to Stamp (Cornish Heritage Farms)

Paper:
Smooth white

Ink:
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Vintage Photo)
Brilliance by Tsukineko (Graphite Black)

Other:
Gold detail embossing powder
Copic markers
Acrylic nail art gems
Sanding block
Silk ribbon


Thanks for stopping by, do come and join us at SCD if you fancy playing with a tag this week!

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Birthday Flowers

Sometimes I like to go back to basics and use just stamps and ink. The clean, graphic style is one that has a timeless appeal and using minimal supplies to make something pleasing to the eye brings its own sense of satisfaction!

I thought the little inchie frame element would combine well with a vivid ink colour and lots of white space. Just a simple sentiment makes it occasion-specific but I reckon you could make a set of these, maybe switching up the colour of the flowers, as all-purpose notecards to make a little gift.

I used Cryogen White cardstock to give a subtle shimmer to the whole thing.

Stamps (Cornish Heritage Farms):
Inchie Style - frame and flower (Rummage Bin line)
Birthday Centers - sentiment (Mona Lisa Moments line)

Paper:
Cryogen White

Ink:
Versafine by Tsukineko (Onyx black)
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Spiced Marmalade)

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Cherish the moments

I like to find different ways to use the stamps in my collection and I've been having some fun looking for images that will work on inchies, even though they're not designed with that format in mind.

Lots of the images in the Baby Dear set lend themselves to an inchie treatment and it changes the look of them significantly. This sweet image of a mother enjoying smiles with her little one is actually circular if you just stamp and go. To switch up the look by making it into an inchie try cutting or punching a one inch square in a piece of scrap paper and laying the square hole over your stamped image to select the portion you want.

Some DCWV cardstock in a pretty duck egg shade with a strong contrast (chocolate brown) makes for a quick and easy vintage look, especially if you sand lightly round the edges and finish off with some silk ribbon!

Stamps (Cornish Heritage Farms):
Baby Dear (Rummage Bin line)

Paper:
Simply Heavy Chocolate
Simply Smooth White
DCWV white core

Ink:
Brilliance by Tsukineko (Graphite black)
Adirondack by Ranger (Espresso)

Other:
copic markers
Silk ribbon
Edge punch by Fiskars (Threading Water)


You may have heard already but Liz and Richard, owners of Cornish Heritage Farms, have decided to move on. The business is up for sale and while the hunt for a buyer is on, they'll be running down their levels of stock and offering some discounts as the weeks wear on. You can find full details of what's happening here if you'd like them. I hope you'll join me in wishing Liz and Richard every success in whatever adventure they embark on next and in hoping that there'll be a buyer for CHF who will carry the catalogue forward and bounce to even higher rubber heights!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Friday, 2 July 2010

The sweetest moments

I'm delighted to be joining Something Completely Different this month as guest designer for July - thanks for the invitation SCD! We're making tags this month and the first theme is.... hearts!

I discovered that I don't have much by way of heart stamps but when I remembered this little honeycomb heart, the rest just sort of fell into place. I couldn't resist using Wild Honey ink with it ;)

The bee was stamped on vellum and cut out and then stamped again on plain white card and just the body cut out and stuck on top of the vellum so his wings are semi transparent. I used the Wild Honey ink to colour him. I stamped the head part onto the cut out heart so that his legs and antennae show there rather than trying to cut round them!

I stamped the sentiment straight onto the tag and then stamped again on white cardstock and cut around the "dymo label" words and stuck them over the top. A little bit of doodling and a silk ribbon through the top finishes it off.

Stamps (Cornish Heritage Farms):
Sweet Bee set (Rummage Bin line)

Paper:
Manilla shipping tag
Scrap of smooth white
Scrap of vellum

Ink:
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Wild Honey, Spiced Marmalade)
Stazon by Tsukineko (Jet Black)
Versafine by Tsukineko (Onyx Black)

Other:
Silk ribbon
Copic multiliner
Foam pads


Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Cracking pendant

I've been playing with Tando chipboard again - the large pendant drop this time. It's an elegant and timeless shape that would stand up to all sorts of treatments. I decided to slather it in some of my favourite paints for a shell-like look.

Viva Decor Croco paint is great fun to use - you're never quite sure exactly what it will look like once the crackling has fnished! I punched holes along the bottom edge of the pendant first, using a Crop-o-Dile, and then covered thepiece with Turquoise Croco and left it overnight to do its thing. I rubbed black acrylic paint on to accentuate the cracks and then sponged some Precious Metal paint over the top and nestled beads into the holes, using a gel superglue to stick them in. The larger beads were salvaged from my ancient bead box and were a particularly nasty brown plastic so they've been coated in Precious Metal paint to make them look like pearls.

I finished the top with an extra large eyelet. As the threading hole was quite a bit larger than the diameter of the eyelet's shank, I squished the eyelet flat first and glued it into place rather than trying to get it to grip round the hole.

I used a double strand of leather thong to hang the pendant, binding with some black linen thread to finish it off.

Supplies:
Large Pendant Drop by Tando Creative (you can find a list of Tando stockists here)
Croco paint by Viva Decor (Turquoise)
Precious Metal paint by Viva Decor (Blue Azure and Mother of Pearl)
Black acrylic paint

Extra large Eyelet by We R Memory Keepers (Pewter)
Beads
Leather thong
Linen thread


Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Sweet as honey

The object of the month over at Something Completely Different is the "skinni" (3" x 5") and this week's theme is "flora and fauna". My word, you wouldn't believe how I struggled with this! I very nearly gave up when the third version hit the bin but I finally made something I was half way happy with. I confess I found the proportions of the skinni really hard to work with. Not sure I'll be trying this again but you live and learn, eh?!

The flora is absolutely literal - I picked some lavender sprigs from the front garden. I'm hoping they dry successfuly on there so it will still look pretty once the fresh bloom stage has passed! My fauna are the bees that are going to turn that lavender into delicious honey for that label to get stuck to at a later date! I do love that French language honey label stamp!

Bees are in trouble with numbers in rather alarming decline so I thought it would be good to celebrate these useful little beasties and all they do for us.

Stamps (Cornish Heritage Farms):
Sweet Bee (Rummage Bin line)

Paper:
Vintage sheet music
Smooth white
Black

Ink:
Brilliance by Tsukineko (Graphite Black)
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Vintage Photo)

Other:
Copic markers
Squeeze punch by Fiskars (large circle)
Lavender from the garden
Gingham ribbon
Elegant flourishes die (Tim Holtz Alterations/Sizzix)
Stick pin


Thanks for buzzing by!

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Botanical bliss

I decided to have a go at adapting Mahlin's sketch on the Bubbly Scrumptious blog to make a card rather than a LO - I used the first of the June sketches {here}. I did actually toy with the idea of venturing into a bit of scrapping as I had a LO idea but my printer let me down and I couldn't get a decent print of the photo I wanted to use so I went for the card option instead!


Glimmer Mist spritzed and then deliberatley splattered onto black card for the background, image stamped and coloured with Copics. There's subtle stamping on both the large rectangular panel and the green strip. I've substituted a row of gems where there's a title on the sketch - I did try a sentiment there but it didn't look quite right.

Stamps:
Botanical Bliss (All Things Considered line - if you're shopping in the UK, Bubbly Funk has these in stock {here})

Paper:
Black (cheap scrapbook from a local £1 shop)
Simply Smooth white
DCWV white core

Ink:
Brilliance by Tsukineko (Graphite Black)
Tim Holtz Distress by Ranger (Antique Linen and Peeled Paint)

Other:
Copic markers
At You Spica glitter pen (red)
Glimmer Mist by Tattered Angels (Maple Red)
Vintage lace
Gems (from my Secret Santa bag - thanks Caroline!)
Corner Chomper

Sewing machine and thread


Thanks for stopping by and thanks for the sketch, Mahlin!

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

A promising tutorial...

My turn to post a tutorial over on the CHF Be Creative blog this week. I've used the Haute Couture stamp set to create a little booklet full of "coupons" that the recipient can trade in for treats (a dozen freshly baked muffins, a night of babysitting etc).

Hop on over if you'd like the full step-by-step on how I put it together - {here}.

Stamps (Cornish Heritage Farms)
Haute Couture (All Things Considered line - if you are shopping in the UK, Bubbly Funk has this set in stock {here})

Paper:
Simply Smooth white
Simply Linen Black
Copy paper

Ink:
Versafine by Tsukineko (Onyx Black)
Tim Holtz Distress by Ranger (Weathered Wood)

Other:
Silver mini brads by Making Memories
Scor It
Crop-a-Dile


Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, 21 June 2010

All things considered ... it's Week Three of the Fling!

Welcome to Week Three of CHF's summer fling! Full details of the fling are here if you're not sure what I'm talking about!

We're focusing on the All Things Considered line of stamps this week. Now, as their name might suggest, they're perfect for ATC projects but they're versatile enough for all kinds of other stuff too!

If you stopped by on the Be Creative blog earlier, you'll have seen one card I made with the Key Elements set already. I thought it would be fun to do a second card using the same set in a totally contrasting style!

(Note for my regular visitors - you know how much I struggle with patterned paper: if you want proof that I'm tackling the phobia, the card on the Be Creative blog is probably as good as it's going to get!)

This is a scrapling (a card made from the bit you trim off a standard size sheet when you make a square card) and I've kept it clean and simple. I think this would make a great new home card, perhaps for somebody getting his first bachelor pad!

I stamped the key onto a 1" strip and then cut it up to make three inchies. I sponged around the edges and then stuck them to some black card stock to make a narrow border. I stamped the text stamp over the key and then stamped it again on the base card, using a stamp positioner so that everything would line up when I stuck the key panel in place.

Stamps (Cornish Heritage Farms):
Key Elements (All Things Considered line)


Paper:

Smooth white
Simply Linen black


Ink:

Brilliance by Tsukineko (Graphite Black)
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Vintage Photo)


So, the low down on this week's Fling and its blog hop...
  • all stamp sets in the All Things Considered line are 25% off this week (ends Thursday at midnight)
  • make sure to leave comments for the blog hop girls by Thursday (24 June 2010) at midnight EST to have a chance at the CHF gift certificate prizes - the more blogs you comment on, the better your chances!
  • create along with us if you have All Things Considered stamps and upload to this week's special gallery (by Thursday at midnight) to be in with a chance of winning the Design Team Favourite prize this week (a stamp or stamp set of your choice up to a value of $16.99)
  • check the Be Creative Blog on Friday to see if you won
  • if you get lost along the way, go back to the beginning (Be Creative Blog) for the full list of hoppers.
Leave a comment here and then Jennifer is your next stop along the hop - have fun!!