Tuesday, 17 December 2013

'Tis the season

I haven't played in the Splitcoast Stampers Mixed Media challenge for ages so I thought I'd get a Christmas card done using Birgit's challenge to go bright.  I've used pigment ink, dye ink, glitter and sequins to add bright colours to my card - the green glitter and green stars are a better match in real life, it just proved impossible to get them matching on a photo.

It was only after I'd finished that it occurred to me the only stamping is the sentiment which is unusual for me!

I punched the stars in a sheet of acetate and used it as a stencil to sponge on green and pink inks and then doodled round them with both black and silver. The fancy lattice die cuts are stuck onto double sided tape sheet and the glitter burnished into the sticky apertures.

Stamps:
Sentiment from Miracle of the Holidays by Hero Arts

Paper: smooth white and black

Ink:
Brilliance Graphite Black by Tsukineko
Shadow ink Mint Julep by Hero Arts
Adirondack Raspberry by Ranger

Other:
Fancy lattice die by Spellbinder
Fiskars squeeze punches (small and medium star)
Hot pink and mint green glitter
Silver gel  pen
Black fineliner
Sequins
Double sided tape sheet
Corner Chomper

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 13 December 2013

Ombre challenge!

It's time for a new challenge on the Craft Stamper blog. As there are several projects in the January issue featuring an ombré look we'd like you to explore ombré on your stamped project this time.

I made a quick one layer card using the technique described by Sylvia Blum on pp.6-8 of the magazine. I just used low-tack tape to mask off my strip to adapt the technique to a single layer rather than using a separate piece of cardstock.

It's a "new home" card but my stash didn't yield a sentiment in a font I liked with this look so I went with a "congratulations" sentiment and I hope the keys will convey the "on your new home" for me!

I think the grauated colour helps to create a sense of movement, not only pulling the eye in the same direction as the sentiment but also going with the "moving" theme for a family getting a new home.

Stamps:
Keys from Antiques by Cornish Heritage Farms
Sentiment from Say It All by Hero Arts

Paper: Smooth white

Ink:
Adirondack ink by Ranger - Stonewashed
Distress ink by Ranger - Faded Jeans, Chipped Sapphire
Brilliance by Tsukineko - Graphite Black

Other:
Scor-It
Corner Chomper

You'll find lots more lovely samples and all the details of how to enter here on the Craft Stamper blog. The winner gets the chance to have the project published in an upcoming issue of the magazine as well as a prize of some great Kate Crane DVDs - we'd love to see your entry!

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Little monster

I needed a light and flat card (it needs to go trans-Atlantic) for a young man celebrating his seventh birthday. None of the kids I send cards to are really little monsters but he probaby comes closest!

He's certainly not the tidiest of children so what started out as a very clean and crisp design (just the lettering and the monster) looked a bit too tidy somehow. Once I'd added the splotches it seemed much more "in character". Being able to stamp them gave me a sense of still being in control though!

Stamping individual letters might seem a bit of a pain but I like the bigger format for the sentiment and the fact you could do any wording you liked. I gave mine a sort of "ombre" shading to go with the funky lettering style and deliberately didn't try to stamp on a straight base line.

I used Glossy Accents to give the eyes some sheen and dimension and rounded one corner for a casual feel. The inside of the front is lined with plain paper to hide the bleed-through of the Copics that's pretty much inevitable when you add shading as it tends to soak the cardstock.

Stamps:
Monsters Ink by Technique Tuesday
Brush Strokes by Hero Arts
Journal Letters by Hero Arts

Paper: Smooth white

Ink: 
Brilliance Graphite Black by Tsukineko
Adirondack Sunset Orange by Ranger


Other:
Copic markers
Corner Chomper
Glossy Accents

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Notecards

I made some notecard sets for last week's sale at the new village hall...

There are six cards in each pack (two fish, two seahorse and two scallop shell) with a variety of sentiments on the front so they'd make a good selection for people to dip in to whenever the need arose. I thought they'd make nice little gifts and indeed, a lady who who was about to pay for one set then said "Oooh, I'll have two more sets I think, they'd make lovely gifts" without any prompting from me!

These are simply stamped with just a hint of Copic colouring on the images (very pale and very light-handed so there's no bleed-through on the single layer cards). I die cut a square in a piece of acetate to use as a mask and sponged on the ink for a block of colour. Acetate's great for this as it means you can see exactly where you're positioning the mask's aperture in relation to the image and the edges of the card.

I sold enough stuff that I was able to put just over £40 (my profits) into the village hall fund which was good. The fair seemed busy most of the day, with Santa's grotto doing a particularly brisk trade!

Stamps:
Under the Sea by Darkroom Door (fish and seahorse)
Antique Engravings by Hero Arts (scallop shell)
Say It All by Hero Arts (mixed sentiments)

Paper: Smooth white

Ink:
Pearlescent Chocolate Brilliance by Tsukineko
Blue-toned dye inks (Distess Salty Ocean, Adirondack Stonewashed and Pool if I remember rightly)

Other:
Copic markers (Eggshell and Cool Grey 1)
Cello bags and sheer ribbon for packaging

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Magnetic

We have a brand new village hall for our community and at the end of the month we're having our first ever craft fair. I've agreed to do some bits and pieces for a friend's stall and these fridge magnet sets are the first things I've made.

Click any photo to enbiggan!
I used glass cabochons and various paper ephemera cut with a circle die and stuck with Glossy Accents. I tidied up the backs with some acrylic paint and strong magnets were epoxied on once everything was dry.

An out of date road atlas provided plenty of options for the map-based sets - I've gone local for three of them (Tynedale, Northumberland castles and coast and Newcastle upon Tyne) and done a London set as well.

A local business sells paper packs made up of pages salvaged from books that are past being sold as complete items (because of damaged bindings, kids' crayon scribbles etc). I used sheet music from one of those packs for two sets.

You might recognise the patterns on the other sets in this photo if you look carefully - they're the insides of "security" envelopes (the sort that contain bank statements etc - the patterns stop people reading through the envelope). I managed to find five different patterns for these. I think these were my hubby's favourites!

And finally I did a couple of cartoon sets. Denis the Menace came from the same ephemera pack as the sheet music and I had a Doctor Who magazine lying around that came from a charity shop so the cartoon strip from that got used here.

Packaging posed a bit of a challenge until I hit on the idea of cutting strips from the lids of soup tins and sandwiching them inside some cardstck - hey presto, magnets will stick no problem! I think they'd make nice little stocking filler gifts.

Profits from anything I sell will be going in to the village hall fund, it's such a great resource for the community to have that I  think a little support as it gets going is in order!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 4 October 2013

Mists and mellow fruitfulness

...and not much blogging! I don't seem to have managed very much crafting to share just lately.

We've just had one of our occasional postcard swaps on Bubbly Funk though (the forum has moved!). We took inspiration from autumn this time and I made a card for Nicky.

I used a Sheena Douglass Paint Fusion stamp set but used them just like regular stamps rather than using them as a guide for the sort of folk painting they were designed for. I had a go at "borderless" colouring - I was pleased with the leaves but not quite convinved about the berries!

I added a bit of "texture" with a crackle stamp and that was it - completely flat for "naked" posting.

Nicky says the PO franked both sides - sigh. We've had very few mishaps with our postcards so I guess we should expect the odd one every now and again!

Stamps
Sheena Douglass Paint Fusion - Berries
Indigo Blu  - Crackle Glaze

Ink:
Tim Holtz Distress by Ranger - Antique Linen and Tumbled Glass
Versaine by Tsukineko - Onyx Black

Paper: smooth white

Other:
Copic Markers
Uni Posca white pen

I got Dina Kowal's Borderless Watercolouring tutorial a while back and that inspired me to have a go (although obviously I didn't watercolour). It's a nicely presented, photo-rich tutorial if you're looking for a good guide from somebody who knows her colouring onions!

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Happy birthday human

This is a card for a young lad and it needs to go transatlantic so it's light and flat although I did raise the speech bubble up with a bit of silicone glue.

Because the colouring bled through the cardstock I added a sheet of paper inside to cover that up (it's stuck to the cardfront so it's pretty much invisible).

I drew the bubble and the trail leading up to it by hand as I didn't have a suitable stamp. My drawing skills are limited but I can just about stretch to an abstract blob!

Stamps:
Monsters Ink by Technique Tuesday

Paper:
Smooth white

Ink:
Graphite Black Brilliance by Tsukineko

Other:
Copic markers
Corner Chomper

The card made DH chortle, hope its recipient likes it too!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Lost for words

Time for another postcard swap on UK Stampers. Our only constraint this month is "no words".

I had a bit of a Darkroom Door fest on this one and it just sort of grew without any real plan, hence the fact you can see the background through the butterfy wings as there's no masking going on or anything - I decided to just go with it! I think it's probably OK for a late summer vibe!

Stamps (all Darkroom Door)
Woodgrain background 
Carved Flowers
Wings
Foliage

Paper: Smooth white

Ink:
Pumice Stone Distress ink by Ranger
Onyx Black Versafine by Tsukineko

Other:
Diarylide Yellow and Orange Pan Pastels
Blue, Intense Blue and Olive Green pencils
Uni Posca white pen
Krylon Matt sealer

Deadline for swap entries is the 25th of the month so if you fancy a low commitment swap that gets you some handmade happy mail (just make one card to get one card in return) why not come and join us?

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 9 August 2013

Clearly - Take It, Make It!

We're already on challenge number four over on the Craft Stamper blog -  where does the time go?! For this challenge, we'd like you to combine your stamping with some acetate. Kim Dellow uses acetate two ways in the Double Take feature on pages 46 and 47 of the September issue - you could use her projects for inspiration or you could decide to use acetate in a completely different way, it's up to you!

I decided to revisit the Oriental Laquer technique that featured in my article from the August issue of the magazine.  I stamped the  branches on the acetate, flipped to colour on the back with Silkies and gave the whole lot a liberal dose of gold ink and Perfect Pearls before layering onto black cardstock with some double sided tape sheet.

I thought a clean and simple layout would suit the delicate images so the 'laquerware' strip is just mounted between two scored lines and it's finished with a stamped sentiment.

We'd love for you to join us in the acetate challenge - there's a prize on offer from Sprinkle of Imagination and the chance of seeing your project in print for the winner! Check out the blog post for all the details of how to play.

Stamps:
Foliage by Darkroom Door
Say It All by Hero Arts

Paper:
White
Black
Inkjet transparency sheet

Ink:
Graphite Black and Galaxy Gold Brilliance by Tsukineko

Other:
Persian Velvet Silkies set by Imagination Crafts
Gold Perfect Pearls by Ranger
Double sided tape sheet
Scor-It
Corner Chomper

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Tag - you're it!

I was delighted to have a couple of projects accepted for the PaperCrafts Holiday Cards and More special issue and even more delighted to discover today that Cath (PaperCrafts Trends Editor) has picked one of them to show on the Moxie Fab blog to highlight the gift tag challenge!

Here it is! I haven't seen the issue yet but apparently it's on p.98. The lovely sentiment (it's from the Waltzingmouse Stamps Compliments of the Season set) makes a perfect centrepiece for a chalkboard style and this is a really quick and easy tag to make since it's a single stamp and no complicated colouring or cutting out!

If you're trying to get ahead with Christmas crafting, do check out the Moxie Fab blog this week for challenges and some inspiration from the publication. All the posts based on this Holiday Cards and More special issue are here. There are copies of the special issue to be won if you fancy playing along with the challenges.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Well done!

My nephew has just finished Year 1 at primary school and got a really good report for the end of the year, being graded well above his age in the national curriculum subjects (maths, science and literacy). Perhaps more importantly, he's trying hard in everything - bless him! I thought I'd send a "well done" card to add to the encouragement my brother and sister-in-law give him.

As ever with kids' cards, I struggled a bit  and this is nothing like the initial plan but I think it's OK!

The cheery little monster is mounted on foam pads for a bit of dimension and I doodled on and around the stars.

I used a white insert on this one - I often write with a gel pen if I do a dark card base but I thought my handwriting would be enough for a six year old to cope with without adding extra complications!

Stamps: Monsters Ink by Technique Tuesday

Paper: Black, white, orange

Ink: Graphite Black Brilliance by Tsukineko

Other: 
Small star squeeze punch by Fiskars
Typset die by Tim Holtz/Sizzix
Copic markers
Gesso and dry wall tape
Copic fineliner
Uni Posca white pen
Corner Chomper

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 19 July 2013

Net of wonder

We're doing one of our occasional postcard swaps on Bubbly Funk. Our theme this time was "summer" and I made a card for Kathy. I've gone totally flat with a single layer on this one. Kathy's originally from one of the towns on the beautiful Northumberland coastline and I know she has a soft spot for the sea so that's the way my mind went - something cooling and soothing on a hot summer day.

My "net of wonder" actually held onions just before I set off to the craft room - lol! I quite liked the idea of having the shells quite regimented and the pattern that you might expect to be more rigid (the grid of the net) being more fluid so I let it "drape" a bit before taping the edges down and sponging over it. Yes, I did cut masks for all the shells so that I could sponge ink without affecting them and yes, I have kept the masks in case I want to do something similar in future! It's actually a very easy shape to cut so it didn't take too long.

I've given the shells a touch of subtle colour with some pale Copics and even more subtle touch of glimmer with a Spica glitter pen.

Stamps:
Antique Engravings by Hero Arts
Sentiment from Seaside set by Crafty Secrets (retired)

Paper: smooth white

Ink: 
Graphite Black Brilliance by Tsukineko
Tumbled Glass Distress ink by Ranger

Other:
Copic markers
Clear Copic Spica glitter pen
Corner Chomper

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 5 July 2013

Hopping with Paperbabe

Some of you may know Kim Costello's name and style from her lovely work in Craft Stamper magazine. Kim's launching her very own range of Paperbabe stamps and she's invited a few stampy friends to help her celebrate with a hop featuring the debut collection.
I got my hands on the DesignAKnit set for a play. There are lots of stitch patterns (as well as some individual stiches, pompoms and sentiments) in the set. Each border style stamp represents two rows of knitting and because they're clear it's easy to line them up and repeat stamp to build a background. 

I made a beanie hat gift card holder using the wide rib stamp for the main part and a double stitch to make the edging. There's a little eyelet "hinge" under the pompom so the top part of the hat lifts to reveal a gift card underneath. Kim's offering cut files for many stamps in this debut release but I decided just to cut freehand round the stamped pompom. It's quick and easy since it doesn't need to be perfect!

The base for this is a 5" circle which means the stamps are not long enough to go all the way across but again, it's really easy to line them up and the pattern repeat is designed for easy repeated stamping so you can have any width you like!

While I was at it, I thought the chunky stocking stitch stamp would be perfect for some ombre stamping on a really quick and easy card. I used four different inks, stamping twice with each one to make my graduated colour panel. I stamped off for the little accent on the sentiment strip so the ink colour was not quite as intense.


As well as the DesignAKnit set I've been playing with, the debut releases include Tree Hugs and Ribbed Background. MayLeeDee is available as a digital download. Check out the projects on the rest of the hop to see all the images in action or see everything here in the shop!

There are prizes on offer if you hop along with us
  • 1 winner of the TREE HUGS SET
  • 1 winner of the DESIGN A KNIT SET (as used here)
  • 1 winner of the RIBBED BACKGROUND Stamp
  • 1 winner of the MAYLEEDEE DIGI
  • and ONE GRAND PRIZE WINNER will receive THE ENTIRE RELEASE for JULY!
That's a LOT of chances to win! Here's who's hopping today:

Joanne Allison (you are here!)

Winners will be announced on the Paperbabe Blog on the 12th July - you have until the 10th to hop with us, just leave comments as you go so you can be entered into the draw!

Supplies:
Stamps: all from BuildAKnit by PaperBabe Stamps
Paper: smooth white, bitter chocolate
Ink: Adirondack dye ink by Ranger (Cranberry, Currant, Raisin, Pitch Black)
Other: eyelet (to hinge the gift card holder), wooden button (to accent the card)

PS - I didn't forget about the Hero Arts draw from a couple of posts back, I just forgot to announce the winner here, sorry! Viv's name was first out of the hat and the stamps have gone to live with her.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Eagle for dad

I've just realised I meant to blog this at the start of the week and forgot to make the post live! This is the card I made for Dad for Father's Day. A quick one layer card but one that still has impact, I hope!

The handsome eagle head doesn't need a lot doing to it - just a touch of colour for the beak and eye and a few strokes of grey pencil to shade the head a bit. I masked him and stamped the script at an angle, added some smudged Pan Pastel and then stamped the sentiment (the only father's day one I could find in my stash, as it happens!).

Stamps:
Eagle Profile (Beeswax Stamps)
19th Century French Script (Hero Arts)
Father's Day Centers (CHF, retired)


 Paper: smooth white

 Ink:
Onyx Black Versafine by Tsukineko
Stonewashed Adirondack dye ink by Ranger


 Other:
Prismacolor pencils (yellow and a couple of greys)
Pan Pastel (turquoise)
Corner Chomper


The theme this week at Pan Pastels UK challenge blog is an open masculine theme so I'm hooking up there.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, 17 June 2013

Cosy plaid pattern!

I'm rubbish at doing the "make throughout the year" Christmas card challenges! I really should try as I just gave up last year and only sent about four handmade cards. I've been meaning to try building a plaid background for ages and when this month's Waltzingmouse Stamps Christmas card challenge had the theme "snow" I decided a nice snuggly plaid background would be just the thing - warm blankets on a sleigh ride and all that!

Of course, having done the stamping, I discovered that Claire has really good instructions on the WMS blog - that'll teach me to look before I start! I did basically what she describes though, I just used the lines on my cutting mat as a guide rather than marking with a ruler and pencil as she does. I think I did OK for a first attempt.

I threaded the sentiment strip through a little slit cut in the background and added a crazy stitched border round the plaid panel. One of the snowflakes has Stickles smeared on for a bit of festive sparkle.

Stamps:
Pic-nic Patterns (Waltzingmouse Stamps)
Compliments of the Season (Waltzingmouse Stamps)

Paper:
Cryogen white
Bitter Chocolate

Ink:
Toffee and Crimson Red Versafine by Tsukineko
 Antique Linen Distress ink by Ranger

Other:
Snowflake die by Hero Arts
Frosted Lace Stickles
Sewing machine and thread

Since Christmas usually involves sending loads of cards, I kept this reasonably flat so it won't need extra postage.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Hexagon hello and a little giveaway

I haven't played at Less is More for ages but the planets have aligned this week - I recently got some Hero Arts goodies including a set of dies with hexagon shapes and as the theme for this week's challenge is hexagons it seemed right I should play! I have a brand new set of Hero Arts stamps to give away too.

I've gone monochrome for a slightly masculine feel although I think this would make a reasonable hello card for just about anybody!

I stacked black and white hexagone die cuts in two sizes, trimming them flush with the edges of the card. The pointy finger is cut out and popped up on foam pads. It's from a set with various vintage style transport-based images and I think it's a nice size!

Stamps:
Past Times by Hero Arts
Essential Messages by Hero Arts

Paper: black and white

Ink: Onyx Black Versafine by Tsukineko

Other: Geometric Shape Frame Cuts dies by Hero Arts

Now for the giveaway bit! When I got my stuff from Hero Arts, I received a stamp set that was having a bit of an identity crisis. It believed itself to be a set of script stamps where in actual fact it was a chandelier-based set (a little packaging hiccup). Having alerted them to the issue, Libby and the lovely folk at Hero Arts sent me the script stamps and said I could gift the extra set rather than sending it back.

Here it is - it's called Chandelier with Birds.

If you'd like it, just say so in your comment and I'll pop your name into a hat - comments on the card are, of course, very welcome so if you don't mention the stamps I'll assume you're not interested in the draw. I'll draw one at random next Sunday so leave a comment by midnight GMT on Saturday  22nd June 2013.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Carved flowers

Do you ever get a backlog of new crafty things you've just not got round to playing with? I know I do! These carved flower stamps have been waiting patiently for me to ink them up for quite some time now. The Pan Pastels are a more recent purchase but they've still had to wait a while - oops! It was fun to try them out in anger though (having previously only tested them on the back of an envelope the day they arrived!).

The DL format of this card looks
elegant in real life but it was a swine to photograph - I hope you get the idea!

I stamped the flowers on an old book page and added Diarylide Yellow and Orange Pan Pastels over the top, letting the yellow blend out past the flower outline to get a "glow". I used a green pencil for the calyx area. I then smeared a liberal amount of Turquoise and a little Ultramarine on the background. I really liked the way the pastels spread and the amount of pigment is very impressive - a little goes a very long way and those pots are going to last ages!

The flowers looked pretty but I decided I'd like more definition so I used a stamp positioner and stamped again directly over the top of the original. If you planned to do this in advance I guess you could use a light coloured ink for the first stamping, just as a guide for where to spread your colour and then you wouldn't have to be quite as precise with the second impression.

That Hero Arts sentiment gets another outing - I seem to be incapable of making a birthday card without it at the moment! This one's destined for my sister-in-law but she's not a blog browser so I think it's safe to show.

Stamps:
Carved Flowers by Darkroom Door
Say It All by Hero Arts

Paper:
Old book page, black and white cardstock

Ink: Onyx Black Versafine by Tsukineko

Other:
Diarylide Yellow, Orange, Turquoise, Ultramrine Pan Pastels
Marine Green Prismacolor pencil
Krylon matt sealant
Acrylic nail art gems

The Pan Pastels UK challenge blog has an "anything goes" theme this week and since I remembered to look I'll hook this up there.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Floral inspiration

Inspiration is everywhere but not always when you want it!

We have free rein for the postcard swap on UKStampers this month and I always find that the hardest challenge of all as I don't have a starting point! So I chose a challenge to give me a kick start - Indigo Blu are on their third monthly challenge and the theme is Flowers (details here).

This lovely Anemone Corner stamp has rarely seen ink so I thought I'd give it an outing. The word Inspire and the script I used to give the background a bit of interest are both from the Sarah's Choice set. Colouring with waxy pencils means there's a resist effect when you stamp with dye ink (as I did with the script stamp) which saves a masking job!

I finished with a tracing wheel and faux stitching on the white layer. As ever, the cards go through the post as genuine postcards with no envelope for protection so steering clear of embellies is a good idea!

Stamps:
Anemone Corner (Indigo Blu)
Sarah's Choice (Indigo Blu)

Paper: smooth white and black

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

Other:
Prismacolor pencils, Sansodor and blending stump
Tracing wheel
Fineliner

Thanks for stopping by! Why not come and join us in the postcard swap if you fancy some handcrafted happy mail?

Friday, 10 May 2013

Dragonfly birthday

It was my dad's birthday earlier in the week and this is the card I made for him. A little bit different for me but it was fun!

I spritzed my cardstock with water first (make sure it's something that's happy with plenty of moisture if you
do this) and dripped a little ink onto it, letting it pool and tilting the card to make it run. I used three inks and let them mix a bit where they met. I also flicked some ink from a paintbrush for some splatters of more concentrated colour.

Once dry, I stamped the dragonfly, used a wet paintbrush to lift some of the colour from his wings and used Spica glitter pens to give them a shimmery finish. A sentiment and simple white on white layering finishes it off. I actually mounted the white panel on black before sticking it down so if you view from the side there's a very thin black margin round the panel.

I think that Hero Arts "Happy Birthday" is fast becoming my favourite birthday sentiment - maybe because I wish my handwriting looked like that!

Stamps:
Wings (Darkroom Door)
Sentiment from Say It All (Hero Arts)

Paper: Cryogen White

Ink:
Distress reinkers by Ranger (Salty Ocean, Mowed Lawn, Bundled Sage)
Versafine by Tsukineko (Onyx Black)

Other:
Spica glitter pens (turquoise and green)

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

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Modern art?

There's a "mixed media" challenge every Friday over at Splitcoaststampers. I'm very much of the mind that mixed media is not a style, despite the predominance of a certain artsy, grungy, eclectic look that springs to many people's minds when you say the phrase. To me (and to the ladies who set the challenges, I suspect) mixed media is exactly what it says on the tin - using more than one medium!

The very talented Birgit set this week's challenge - make some modern art using at least two colouring media and doing something different than your norm.

I usually treat images pretty literally so my "difference" is to use a rose image with non-flowery colours and crop it to make it look quite abstract.

I heat embossed in black on black card and then used metallic markers and pencils to colour the sections. Some sections are just pencil so they're a matt finish, others are metallic marker shaded with pencils so those have a sheen.

I  cut it out with a Nestie and kept the setting very simple as there's a lot going on in that twinchie!

Stamps:
Rose Bloom by Stampendous
Say It All by Hero Arts

Paper: White and black

Ink: Versafine Onyx Black

Other:
Metallic markers (blue, green and silver)
Prismacolor pencils
Detail black embossing powder
Fineliner
Corner Chomper


Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, 2 May 2013

She sells sea shells...

It's my 15th wedding anniversary today. It's only just occured to me that I could have looked at the gifts associated with it for inspiration for DH's card. It seems to be crystal (not easy for a masculine card) or, if you're modern and American, watches! I guess I could have done something with that but the thought came after the card was made - never mind!

I went clean and simple with these lovely detailed shell images. I stamped them on kraft card so they have a different look than if they'd been stamped on white. Even when you colour with an opaque medium like pencils the base colour does make a difference, I find.

A bit of torn kraftcore provides a splash of colour and I've sanded the torn edges for a more natural feel - reminiscent of weather-worn paint on beach houses, perhaps. I used scraps of cardstock to raise a couple of the shells just very slightly from the card as I stuck them down. A simple stamped sentiment and one rounded corner finish it off.

Stamps:
Antique Engravings by Hero Arts
Sentiment from Script Essential Expressions (Cornish Heritage Farms)

Paper:
Smooth white
Kraft
Tim Holtz Kraft Core

Ink:
Espresso Adirondack by Ranger
Vintage Sepia Versafine by Tsukineko

Other:
Prismacolor and Lyra pencils
Corner Chomper

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

WMS Flower Show (2)

Claire has posted on the Waltzingmouse Stamps blog to open up the Flower Show for anyone who has played along by CASEing one of the projects made by the talented bunch of designer/bloggers who took part in Friday's blog hop - details here.

For my second project (first one posted yesterday in this post), I was inspired by this beauty which is showcased here on Debbie Olsen's blog.

As I mentioned yesterday, I'm a candidate for "World's Worst CASEer" as things tend to fall apart when I try to base my work on somebody else's project but it was fun to play along.

From Debbie's original I kept the larger size (7"x5"), the stamp set, the zig zag stitching and the basic layout.

I created my own background paper with gesso, acrylic paint and some stamping (a retired CHF backgrounder with a small leaf pattern and the sprig from the WMS Paris Nouveau set). Versafine Smokey Grey ink is perfect for this sort of thing, especially if you blot it before it's fully dried so you get a slightly hazy effect.


As with yesterday's card, I omitted the bulkier embellishments, using a coloured mat around the sentiment panel for that second pop of mauve rather than the bow and stick pins. I used the same Copic marker to colour some white cardstock for the mat so I got a perfect match for the rose colour. I added an intricate die cut under the rose as an echo of Debbie's lacey edging on her sentiment panel. Some some tiny pearls added an extra feminine touch and the centre of the rose has some gold Spica pen for a tiny bit of glimmer.

Stamps:
Roses in Bloom (Walzingmouse Stamps)
Sprig from Paris Nouveau (Waltzingmouse Stamps)
Leaves 3 Backgrounder (CHF, retired)
Sentiment from Say It All (Hero Arts)

Paper:
Smooth white

Ink:
Espresso (Adirondack by Ranger)
Smokey Grey (Versafine by Tsukineko)

Other:
Gesso
Acrylic paint
Copic markers
Persian Accents dies by Spellbinder
Nail art pearls
Sewing machine and thread
Tracing wheel
Gold Spica Glitter pen

Thanks for stopping by!




Monday, 22 April 2013

WMS Flower Show

Claire at Waltzingmouse Stamps has had a lovely idea for a blog hop and challenge - the Flower Show. Several well known designers and bloggers have made guest projects focusing on WMS florals for a lovely spring display.

The challenge bit? Just CASE one of the projects and hook it up to the WMS blog tomorrow. I couldn't decide between two projects so I've actually made something for each of them and I thought I'd blog the first one today in case anybody who reads my blog hasn't seen the WMS Flower Show and would like to join in before Claire posts tomorrow.

I loved this project my Emilie Chamel, showcased in her blog post here.

I got this set recently and hadn' got round to inking it up yet so I decided this was a good push in the right direction!

I should probably say that I'm possibly the world's worst CASEer - it usually all goes to pot when I try to base my work on somebody else's! I had fun having a go, though. For my version, I kept Emilie's technique (black pen outlines for a hand-drawn look), placement off the edge of the card and the colour scheme.

I changed the orientation, used a different sentiment and slimmed down the embellishments for an easier-to-post version of the card - I used a velvet brad and some nail art gems in the centres of the purple flowers. Instead of Emilie's ink splatters I've used a scattering of tiny gemstones in colours to match two of the inks in the medallion.

This is a fun set with lots of different elements that you can build up in different ways, I'm sure it will get more outings soon!

Stamps:
Folk Art Medallion and Say It Loud (Waltzingmouse Stamps)

Paper:
Canvas textured white

Ink:
Spanish Moss, Onyx Black (Versafine by Tsukineo)
Cherry Pink, Agean Blue (Versacraft by Tsukineko)
Spring Pansy (Versacolor by Tsukineko)
Mustard Seed, Spiced Marmalade (Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger)

Other:
Copic Fineliner
Velvet brad
Nail art gems
Corner Chomper

Thanks for stopping by - do check out the Flower Show for some floral goodness and maybe join in the fun if you're inspired along the way (there are prizes, too!).

Monday, 15 April 2013

Yellow circles

Our theme for this month's postcard swap on UK stampers is "mostly yellow with circles on it somewhere". Bicycle wheels are circular so this is where my brain went...

I may have gone a bit overboard with the yellow (my fingers look like I have a heavy nicotine habit!) but nobody can say it's not bright! I did a light-handed job with the Copics since I didn't plan ahead and I'd stamped with Versafine before deciding on my colouring medium but I just about got away with it!

Stamps:
Bike and Basket (Hero Arts cling stamp)
Many Dots (Hero Arts clear stamp set)
Sentiment from Journaling Words 3 (Artistic Stamper)

Ink:
Lemon Drop (Jenni Bowlin ink by Ranger)
Mustard Seed (Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger)
Onyx Black (Versafine by Tsukineko)

Other:
Sequin Waste mask (Tando Creative)
Gesso
Copic markers
Silver gel pen

It's a low-commitment swap (make one card, get one card in return and they're posted "naked" so it's a single ordinary stamp) so why not join us if you fancy some happy mail? All the details are here.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 12 April 2013

Tear it up!

Time for a new "Take It, Make It" challenge over on the Craft Stamper blog. This time around we're being inspired by Helen Chilton's Terrific Tearing article which is on page 78 of the May issue. Don't worry if you haven't got hold of it yet, the challenge is open for a couple of months so there's plenty of time to play along.

I immediately had the idea of something bursting out of the card when I saw this technique so I ran with that and made a kids' birthday card with this cute monster and some bright colours. I used a textured white cardstock for just a touch of extra interest on the torn layer and added a simple doodled border as it seemed to fit the character of this little chap!

His eye stalks are raised up on foam pads and his feet are stuck to the card so he does have some movement as if he's coming out of the frame.

Stamps:
Monsters Ink (Technique Tuesday)
Essential Messages (Hero Arts)

Ink:
Brilliance by Tsukineko (Graphite Black)

Paper:
DCWV textured white
Smooth white
Orange

Other:
Copic markers
Copic fineliner
Foam pads

There were some great entries for the first challenge - don't forget the winning entry will be published in a future issue of the magazine so if you fancy seeing yourself in print, why not join us?! There's a lovely stamp from sponsors Indigo Blu for the winner as well. All the challenge details are here.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Tipsy glitter cover girl!

I'm blowing my own trumpet just a little today - I've just got back from a couple of weeks in Italy and find myself a cover girl for the first time!



I have a step-by-step article in the May issue  of Craft Stamper on using glitter and alcohol markers (hence "Tipsy Glitter") and one of the three cards described in the article is featured on the cover. I'm quite excited!

I don't use a lot of glitter in my crafting and this is a good way to make a single colour stretch much further!

Hoping to get  back into some crafting in the next week or so but you know how it is when you've just got back from a holiday and feel you have no idea which way is up!

Stamps you can see on this cover card are
Butterflies from Antique Engravings (Hero Arts)
Sentiment from Truly Appreciated (Hero Arts)

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Up, up and away!

A departure from my usual stampy style today - only the sentiment is stamped on this one! 

It struck me while making this that it was probably inspired by this week's Daring Cardmakers challenge so I'm linking there. It wasn't a conscious thing but I knew the dare was "acute angles" and having gone to sleep trying to come up with an idea for a seven year old's birthday card, I woke up thinking kites for no apparent reason.

I don't own a kite stamp so I found a clip art kite and used it as a template to cut DCWV cardstock for a paper pieced kite. Lots of acute angles in those tail bows even if the kite itself has some right angles in the mix!

Supplies:
Clip art kite
Essential Messages by Hero Arts
DCWV textured  cardstock
Adirondack ink by Ranger (Stonewashed)
Versafine ink by Tsukineko (Onyx Black)
Sewing machine and thread
Corner Chomper
Foam pads

The recpient seemed pleased with it which is always a relief when it comes to kids' cards - I find them hard enough I never know whether I've pitched them about right or not!

Thanks for stopping by, hope your weekend is a good one!

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Spring is in the air

I'm not sure that spring really is in the air yet (although we have both snowdrops and crocuses up in the garden).We're having a postcard swap on Bubbly Funk though and our theme is spring.

The person on the receiving end of my card is Net so I went with a bird theme. It's an imaginary bird, not coloured to look like anything I've ever seen!

I printed the wording out (mirror image) on the glossy side of a transparency and transferred it onto the card. I find that printing onto the card sometimes gives you a result that looks a bit too perfect and this transfer technique is just slightly grungy. I did the O separately so I could stamp and mask the bird first - I wanted the fat birdy shape to largely stand in for the rounded letter.

The HOPE letters have some doodling in both black and white marker on them and the bird and spring leaves are coloured with Copics. Since this is going through the post without an envelope that's about it!

Stamps:
Bird Notes (Clear Art Stamps by Crafty Secrets)
Autumn Leaves (Sheena Douglass)

Paper: smooth white

Ink: Adirondack by Ranger (Espresso and Lettuce)

Other:
Computer and inkjet printer
Transparency sheet
Copic markers
Copic Fineliner
Posca white pen 

Thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Bright thoughts

I wanted a quick "thinking of you" card to send to a friend and thought bright colours and a cheerful image would be the way to go.

I masked with torn paper and sponged inks into the centre and then "finger walked" a paisley background stamp to give just a touch of hit-and-miss pattern to the block. I did my usual trick of stamping just the antennae on the card and then adding a cut out butterfly over the top - just the body is stuck down so the wings are bent up slightly from the card.

I was just going to add the sentiment and leave it very clean and simple but I managed to get a tiny smudge of espresso ink on there - typical when you're about done! Tiny gems came to the rescue and I think I've got away with it.

I'm afraid the pinks didn't photograph too well, the colouring is smoother in real life.

Stamps:
Antique Engravings (Hero Arts)
Sentiment from Poppy bottles (Stampendous)
Paisley Backgrounder (CHF, retired)

Paper: smooth white

Ink: Adirondack dye ink by Ranger (Pool, Stream and Espresso)

Other:
Copic markers
Acrylic nail art gems
Corner Chomper

Thanks for stopping by!


Saturday, 23 February 2013

Getting emotional

Sam chose "getting emotional" as the theme for this month's postcard swap on UKStampers rather than going for the ubiquitous Valentine theme. As ever, cards are to be posted without an envlope so flat is good!

I started thinking about the heart as the seat of emotion and the heart vs the head. I Googled to find an appropriate quote and used that as my starting point; it's just printed from the computer on the paper I used for the card.

I thought this vintage young lady fit the bill quite nicely - she might be learning something from that book but she's dreaming about something else as well, I reckon! Or perhaps it's a novel and she's feeling somebody else's emotion vicariously - Kathy's passion for Heathcliff or Anna Karenina's despair, maybe?

Stamps
Relish Reading (Rogue Redhead Designs)
Vintage Flourish (Indigo Blu)

Paper: ivory and dark chocolate

Ink: 
Brilliance by Tsukineko (Graphite Black)
Tim Holtz Distress ink (Antique Linen)

Other:
Copic markers
 Tracing wheel

Tonmorrow's the last day for this month's postcards but the new theme will be up soon after that if you fancy joining us and getting some happy mail!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, 11 February 2013

Craft Stamper Hop Spot Prize Winner!

Just a quick post today - the randomly drawn winner for the Tando Creative spot prize in last week's Craft Stamper blog hop post is Helen at Stamping by H.

Congratulations Helen! Please use the "contact me" link on the left to send me an e-mail so that I can put you in touch with Tando Creative to claim your prize!

Friday, 8 February 2013

Craft Stamper Challenge

The Craft Stamper blog is now hosting challenges inspired by projects in the magazine and I'm delighted to say that the very first challenge is based on my "faux airbrush" technique from the March issue. The article is part of the Distress to Impress series that's currently highlighting different uses for these versatile inks.

Using Distress to mimic the look of airbrushing is perfect for clean and simple cards. Sadly I needed a sympathy card and decided to use the technique to make something with a soft and restful look as I thought that would be appropriate.

It may be a bit subtle for the camera but I hope you can see how soft and delicate the finish is on this. I used Tumbled Glass at the top of my masked strip and Bundled Sage towards the bottom. A simple stamped image and sentiment with a scored line for "grounding" finish it off. As you can see, it's possible to cover a big area and it gives a different look than regular sponging.

We'd love to have you play along with the challenge and there are a couple of very good reasons to have a go: the winner will not only receive this beautiful Clematis Flourish stamp from Indigo Blu but the card selected as the best entry will be published in a future issue of the magazine.

Check out the Craft Stamper blog for details of how to enter the challenge - we look forward to seeing your take on the technique!

Materials used for my card:
Plant image from Nature I by Indigo Blu
Sentiment from a retired CHF set
Smooth white card
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Tumbled Glass, Bundled Sage)
Versafine ink (Onyx Black)
Scor-It
Corner Chomper

Friday, 1 February 2013

Craft Stamper Best of 2012

Hello and welcome if you're hopping along with Craft Stamper magazine today! If you didn't know about the hop, you might want to go to the Craft Stamper blog and start there as there are prizes to be won!

I'm Joanne and I've been with the Craft Stamper design team since summer 2011. I love to use my stamps in all kinds of ways, not just for cards so you're quite likely to find me playing with UTEE or polymer clay as well as colouring with Copics or pencils and finding interesting embellishments in unlikely places!

My "best of" for 2012 is a simple combination of chipboard, UTEE and Perfect Pearls. I made several pieces of jewellery this way during the year and enjoyed it every time. You may have seen my Iridescent Enamels pendant and earrings in the December issue of Craft Stamper using chipboard domino and inchie shapes and colours reminiscent of peacock feathers.

This project uses the same technique - add three layers of UTEE to a chipboard circle, brush with Perfect Pearls and then remelt the UTEE so it takes a textured impression when you press a stamp into it.

If you want to concentrate colour in particular areas of the design once it's embossed, you can use a Versamark pen and brush on a little extra Perfect Pearls. A finishing coat of gloss really brings out the colours and provides a professional enamelled finish. I like Decoart Triple Thick for this as I've found it more successful than Glossy Accents over the UTEE base (my attempts with Glossy Accents have ended with it splitting and leaving cloudy spots).

Spot Prize! 
Heavy weight chipboard is a great base for projects like this as it's inexpensive and offers a whole range of options in terms of shape. Tando Creative is offering a "spot prize" for today's hop with the winner choosing £20 worth of Tando Creative goodies! There's a fabulous range to choose from: shapes to do this sort of project, shapes to stamp on or to embellish with, masks or stencils - entirely up to you! To be in with a chance of winning simply leave a comment on this blog post by midnight on Friday 8th February 2013. The winner will be drawn at random week commencing Mon 11th February.

The letter you are collecting from me to help you spell the phrase for the main prize draw is:

Next stop along the way is one of my favourite stampers, Paula Whittaker at her blog Just For One Day. Don't forget to leave a comment here if you'd like to be in with a chance of the Tando prize!

If you get lost on the hop at any time, pop back to the Craft Stamper blog and follow the links from there.

Thanks for stopping by!

Supplies:
Tando Creative Circles grab bag
Black UTEE by Ranger
Grape Fizz and Blue Raspberry Perfect Pearls by Ranger
Bubbles Border stamp by Lost Coast Designs
Triple Thick Gloss Glaze by Decoart

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Tissue flower tutorial

A while ago, I shared a card that was finished with a flower made with a tissue. Beate asked if I'd do a tutorial for Splitcoast Stampers on how to make the flower and today's the day it's available for anybody who would like it.

Here's a little peek at the flower and here's the link to Splitcoast if you would like either the step-by-step tutorial or the accompanying video: Facial Tissue Flower tutorial.


It's a wee bit fiddly but really inexpensive and you almost certainly have everything you need already so it won't send you running to the shop (and the inevitable temptation to buy things you didn't actually set out to buy!).

Leave a comment here or on Splitcoast if you have any questions and I'll do my best to answer them!

Materials for the flower
Facial tissue
Memento marker (Angel Pink)
Glue dot covered with nmcrobeads or something else to finish the centre
Thread
Strong, sharp scissors

To finish the card
Say It Loud stamp set (Waltzingmouse Stamps)
Tim Holtz Distrress Ink (Bundled Sage)
Versafine ink (Vitntage Sepia)
 M-Bossabilities folder (Flora)
Sewing machine

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

New beginnings

It's a new year as well as a new month so that means the theme for January's postcard swap over at UK Stampers is "new beginnings". It's been so long since I managed to blog anything that it feels like a new beginning here too!

In deciding what to do for this theme, I kept thinking about things that start small and become something fantastic. Having no caterpillar stamps to go with the obvious butterfly, I turned to seeds and plants and thence to trees. So although this is an autumn image, it does represent new beginnings with those little acorns!

My transfer of ink from transparency to postcard for the sentiment didn't work as well as I would have liked so I decided to give it a hand lettered feel by going over in fine line pen and a touch of brown pencil (apart from anything else, I'd already coloured the leaves and didn't want to waste them!).

As ever, our cards for this swap will be posted as genuine postcards (no envelope) so this is completely flat, not embellishments or bits to get stuck in sorting machines! If you fancy getting some happy mail why not come and join us - just make one card and get one in return.

Stamps:
Oak Branch by Beeswax stamps
Tiny "dream"sentiment from Mini Memories set by Crafty Secrets

Ink:
Adirondack dye ink by Ranger (Espresso)
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Antique Linen)

Other:
Copic markers
Prismacolor pencil
Computer and inkjet printer
Copic Fineliner
Sequin waste mask by Tando Creative

Thanks for stopping by!