Monday 15 December 2008

When the mists rise...

We've been having a fair amount of misty mornings just recently so this week's Challenge over at CHF seems fitting - Mini Misters! I held out on buying these for ages but bought a pack in a closing down sale a couple of months ago and I love them!

For this card, I made my own 'glimmer mist'. Now don't get me wrong, Glimmer Mists are great but those bottles are quite big really, aren't they? One of the great things about the Ranger Mini Misters is that you can mix up a small quantity of something so you don't get much wastage and you don't have 99.9% of a bottle left at the end of a project that will sit gathering dust until next time.

I added a shot of Spiced Marmalade reinker and a teeny tiny scoop of Gold Perfect Pearls to one mister and topped up with water. I used Fired Brick and Copper Perfect Pearls in the other. I embossed the Fiery Florals with clear embossing powder and then sprayed with the orange mix over most of it then sprayed again with the red to shade deeply down to bottom right. Fun! Of course you can't really see the glimmer here but you can imagine for me, OK? I love the way this kind of embossing resists ink so I added some Spanish Script in Fired Brick for textural interest, too and just wiped over with a facial tissue to take the ink off the embossed areas.

I just love these Scrapblock™ stamps! Where a regular backgrounder means you can do up to 4.5" across, these are 6" square so a 5" x 5" card like this is no problem!

Fiery Floral Scrapblock™
Spanish Script backgrounder
Birthday Centers (Mona Lisa Moments line)

Paper: smooth white

Tim Holtz Distress by Ranger (Spiced Marmalade pad and reinker, Fired Brick reinker)

Perfect Pearls by Ranger (Gold and Copper)
Clear embossing powder
Flower by Prima
Vintage Lace
Velvet brad by Making Memories

Mini Mister by Ranger
Sewing machine and thread

Everyone's busy with festive preparations at the moment but why not stop by and see what Kim and Kristine have created with Mini Misters for today's challenge.

Thanks for stopping by, hope you enjoyed something that provided a bit of a change of pace from Christmas stuff!

Friday 12 December 2008

Wish Big!

I had this image coloured in and had plans for it but today's Limited Supplies challenge over on Splitcoaststampers changed the direction a little. It's a "Go green" challenge to reuse/recycle.

I managed a couple of reuse/ recycle things here:

- The 'fly' is actually a single earring - its companion was lost many years ago! My aunt bought them from a guy at a craft fair who'd obviously decided that jewelry would be a more lucrative market for his fly tying!

- The card base is one I stamped and then dropped an ink pad in the middle so it went into the scraps box - it was fine for this design as I just covered it up with a big panel!

- The linen thread is not exactly reused but it was an awesome find! I got three cards on eBay for 99p that were printed with their original price - 3D! We went decimal in the UK in 1971 so this thread is most likely 40 years old and hasn't been touched so I'm counting that for the challenge too!

Stamps (all Cornish Heritage Farms):
Fly fishing (Saturday Evening Post line)
Spanish Script backgrounder
Script Essential Expressions (Mona Lisa Moments line)

Simply smooth (Prism)
Scrapblock layers (CHF)
Unknown ivory

Adirondack dye ink by Ranger (Espresso)
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Vintage Photo)

Copic markers
Linen thread
Fishing fly earring
Antique copper brads (Making Memories)
Oval template
Classic oval Nestabilities

Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate your visits!

Monday 8 December 2008

Water, water(colour) everywhere!

Julia's challenge for the CHF Challenge Chicks this week was "watercolour". Now I love my Prismacolour pencils and my Copics but sometimes it's nice to break out a brush and bring out the arteest, right? So I decided to watercolour an image rather than doing a resist or wash or whatever. I was in a painterly kind of mood so I used my inkpads rather than pencils. If you don't already know the trick - just squeeze your ink pad before opening so that the lid touches the pad and you'll have a little pool of ink in the lid that you can pick up with a brush and use for colouring.

I needed to make a birthday card for a friend/colleague of DH's who is one of those men without an obvious hobby to theme a card around. I thought this new creature (more of that later!) from the Saturday Evening Post line would make a great general purpose masculine kind of card! He's fabulous to watercolour as the body is a solid silhouette style which means you're not colouring in an outline, you're spreading out the ink that's already there - I stamped in Latte and added shading later with Espresso.

Because the image is big and I wanted it to take centre stage, I kept everything else very simple with just some stamped texture on the dark brown layer and some linen thread to whip stitch down one side of the panel.

I love the history behind these stamps - this one originally appeared as a cover for the Saturday Evening Post in November 1902. The artist, Charles Livingstone Bull, called this "The Elk" and therein lies the story behind my earlier reference to this as a "creature". You might have to be a keen naturalist to know but it's not really an elk, it's a caribou (wild reindeer). An elk has the darker area around the neck and a lighter body, the caribou is the other way around. The antlers are a bit different, too. Natural history as well as stamping, huh? lol!

Elk/caribou (Saturday Evening Post line at CHF - releasing Friday 12th December)
Weathered Wood backgrounder
Sentiment made up from Silhouette Blooms I (Kim Hughes Collection) and So Happy (Rummage Bin line)

140lb hot press watercolour
Suede Brown dark (Prism)

Adirondack dye ink by Ranger (Espresso, Latte, Cloudy Blue, Stonewashed)
Tim Holtz Distress by Ranger (Peeled Paint, Shabby Shutters, Antique Linen)

Linen thread

Thanks for stopping by today, I appreciate you taking the time! If you'd like to see what everyone else has been up to with watercolour, here are the links for the ladies playing along today:

Julia - Kim - Dawn - Michele - Jennifer - Sherrie

Monday 1 December 2008

Fade into the background?

One of the things I love about background stamps is that they're so versatile so when Julia told us that this week's CHF Challenge Chicks would focus on backgrounders my problem was choosing an idea from many rather than coming up with just one! I decided to make my background stamp the star of the project and use it to add texture as well as colour. The pendant is polymer clay cut to shape with the lid from a small jar and the barrel of a pen! I dusted Perfect Pearls onto a sheet of paper and laid my stamp on to pick up the powder (I find there's less chance of getting it into the crevices of the stamp and therefore onto bits of the clay where you didn't want it if you do this rather than brush the powder directly onto the stamp). If you have a small piece of baking parchment under your clay shape, you can handle it without distorting. I pressed the pendant gently onto the stamp and then baked. I think these would make nice Christmas gifts and with a limited supplies list it won't break the bank, either! I think one small block of polymer clay would make 8-10 pendants of this size (this one is just under 2" across). Stamps: Tiled Scallops backgrounder Other: Sculpey Premo polymer clay (black) Perfect Pearls (Perfect Copper from the Metallics kit) Leather thong Thanks for stopping by! For more backgrounder ideas, check out the other girls playing along today: Carole ~ Dawn ~ Julia ~ Kim ~ Kristine ~ Lisa Strahl ~ Michele ~ Val

Monday 24 November 2008

Challenge chicks get chatty!

It's Challenge Chicks day over at Cornish Heritage Farms and today's challenge is "wordy" - use words as a feature of your design.

I seem to have come over a bit floaty and romantic just recently so I thought it was probably time to knock that on the head and go for something a bit different!

I've used words from the Big Inspiration set to create my wordy background - I went for repeat stampings of IMAGINE, CREATE and INSPIRE and a single (obviously!) UNIQUE stamped in acrylic paint. The grungy look of the typeface seemed a perfect pairing with a Grungeboard skull and crossbones. I thought this might be a fun card to remind a teen girl that she's special!

Big Inspiration

Razzleberry medium (Prism Papers)

Fluid chalk ink by Clearsnap (Dark Peony)
Adirondack paint dabber by Ranger (Snowcap)

Sewing machine and thread
Stamp positioner

Want to Word Up? Lots of other DT members playing along today if you want to check out some more wordy ideas, why not pay them a visit?
Carole ~ Dawn ~ Kim ~ Lesley ~ Michele

Thanks for stopping by today, I appreciate you taking the time to visit!

Friday 21 November 2008

Coffee and chocolate

Today's Daring Cardmakers challenge is set by Vanessa and is coffee themed. Over on Splitcoaststampers it's Limited Supplies challenge day and the limitation is "chocolate" so I thought the two would go well together! Do coffee and chocolate make the perfect romantic pairing, I wonder? Hmmm... anyway, today's card has a definite romantic feel! Where's the coffee? Well my ink colours are called Espresso and Latte so I think that qualifies! And the rich browns are definitely chocolatey! The flowers and lace backgrounder is a new release from Cornish Heritage Farms - I've highlighted the lace by sketching in with a white gel pen and immediately smudging off for a softer effect and then (although you can't really see on the photo) I washed over with a thin glaze of Perfect Pearls in Pearl to give it a shimmer and sheen. I think this sentiment is lovely and it would make a great anniversary card or just "I love you" card as well as being suitable for a wedding. It's double points at Club CHF Friday and Saturday this week so if you're planning to buy gifts for anyone (including yourself!), you might want to earn yourself some extra points. Thanks for dropping by today, I appreciate you taking the time out! Stamps: Flowers and Lace backgrounder Spanish Script backgrounder (for the Prima) Wedding Centers Paper: Suede Brown medium and light (Prism Papers) Ink: Adirondack Dye ink by Ranger (Espresso and Latte) Other: Hydrangea petals by Prima Marketing Decorative brad in antique copper by Making Memories Sewing machine and thread Nail art gems Labels One Nestabilities by Spellbiner Krylon Leafing Pen (copper) Inkssentials White pen by Ranger Perfect Pearls Metallics kit by Ranger (Pearl used)

Wednesday 19 November 2008

Ornamental Christmas and some thank yous!

Wednesdays are sketch challenge days over at Splitcoaststampers. I don't always manage to play the challenges but I did today. I love using a stamp that doesn't obviously scream "Christmas" and turning it into a holiday card. This new Ornamental Vines backgrounder is a lovely rich pattern and I thought it would be fun to use in rich, traditional holiday colours! The pattern really reminds me of a sumptuous brocade fabric so I added just a little metallic gel pen to the open areas of the flowers and leaves to enhance that feeling. Stamps (Cornish Heritage Farms): Ornamental Vines backgrounder (releasing 21 November 2008) Christmas Expressions (Mona Lisa Moments line) Paper: Olive dark and Blush Red dark (Prism Papers) Ink: Versamark Versafine (Olympia Green) Other: Mirror Gold detail embossing powder Copper and green metallic gel pens Krylon leafing pen (pale gold) Labels One Nestabilities by Spellbinder Paper piercer I'm usually rubbish at remembering when somebody passes on a blogger award to me but I've remembered this time so a big thank you to both Darlene and Dru who gave me this Kreativ Blogger award last week. Here's how it works: 1. The winner may put the logo on their blog. 2. Put a link to the person who sent you the award. 3. Nominate 5 blogs. 4. Put links to their blogs. 5. Leave a message for your nominees. The bit I always struggle with is picking five blogs to pass it on to - I hate anyone to feel left out! So this is a random "first into my head" kind of list:
  • Kaz - for the tales of monkee derring do at Slightly Wonky Crafts
  • Janice - cardmaker, cook, digi scrapper, smiler... Serial Crafter
  • Lisa - classy cards, creative paper projects and lovely team mate Silverstamping
  • Gez - fairly new to blogging and taking to it like a duck to water GezzyB's Crafty Bits
  • The DCM team - tricky one since it's a group effort but it's a very creative blog that keeps us all on our toes with cardmaking dares at Daring Cardmakers
Thanks for visiting today!

Thursday 13 November 2008

Patience, Grasshopper... your soul will soar!

Couldn't we all do with a little more patience sometimes? Well, here's a card that gives us another reason to strive for patience - who wouldn't like a little more wisdom, too?! I had fun with my Scor-It on this one. I scored diagonally across the card and then moved the point across half an inch at a time, just eyeballing to keep the lines parallel - don't think I did too badly! I discovered that brushing chalk onto your die cut while it's still in the Nestie gives you an almost airbrushed look (which is good as I really don't want to shell out for a Copic airbrush system but I like the look from time to time!). And in the same set of stamps is a quote it's hard for an English Literature graduate to resist so I made this one too. The quote sounds very poetic when it's taken out of context like this! It's actually from Bottom's speech during the play-within-a-play in Midsummer Night's Dream which is usually played for laughs -hard to do anything else really, it's funny!- and the word "sky" rhymes with the final "And so I die, die, die". Thanks for looking today, your visits are appreciated! Supplies for each card are below if you'd like to know what's what. Patience card Stamps: Vintage Butterflies (Saturday Evening Post line at Cornish Heritage Farms, releasing Friday 14th November) Ink: Adirondack Dye ink (Espresso), Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Vintage Photo) Paper: Sunflower dark and Simply Smooth (Prism Paper) Other: Copic markers, Chalk, Scor-It, Sponge, Labels One Nestabilities by Spellbinder Shakespeare card: Vintage Butterflies (Saturday Evening Post line at Cornish Heritage Farms, releasing Friday 14th November), Cracked Montana Earth backgrounder and Beautiful) Paper: Simply Smooth (Prism Papers) Ink: Adirondack dye ink by Ranger (Espresso), Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Antique Linen, Vintage Photo, Walnut Stain) Other: Copic marker (E31 Brick Beige), Clear nail art gems (Glossy Accents as adhesive)

Wednesday 5 November 2008

Angel Blessings

Well, now we're into November and the days are noticeably shorter, I don't feel quite so apologetic about getting stuck in to Christmas projects! Wednesday is sketch challenge day over at Splitcoaststampers and I thought today's sketch was perfect for an image I coloured in yesterday and had left lying on my desk waiting for further action!

I love the fact you can see the ribbons this little Christmas Angel has used to tie on her wings! Who doesn't know a little girl who likes to dress up with wings every now and again?! She's from the Sandra Kuck line at Cornish Heritage Farms and will be released this Friday (7th November).

I've curved the wings slightly by rolling over a paint brush handle to give them a little dimension and I used a fairly light ink to stamp her (Latte from the Adirondack dye ink range) to keep a delicate effect and let the pencil colouring really take over.

Thanks for stopping by today, hope you enjoyed the card!

Stamps (all Cornish Heritage Farms):
Christmas Angel (Sandra Kuck line, released 7th November 2008)
Christmas Expressions (Mona Lisa Moments line)

Nautical Blue light, Blush Red dark (Prism Papers), smooth white

Adirondack dye ink by Ranger (Latte)
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Fired Brick, Antique Linen)

Lyra Skintone and Prismacolor pencils/OMS/stump
Detail scissors
Paper piercer
Cuttlebug embossing folder (Textile Texture)
Krylon leafing pen (Pale Gold)

Monday 3 November 2008

Simple Brilliance

No, I haven't come over all ego-inflated - today's challenge over at Cornish Heritage Farms focuses on Brilliance inks and I decided to go simple with the card so it's Simple Brilliance!

Brilliance is pigment ink made by Tsukineko and has a lovely sheen to it. One of the things I like best about it is that it stamps well on vellum and unlike some other inks, it dries perfectly and quickly on there.

I was aiming for 'handsome' with this one! The image is stamped with Coffee Bean Brilliance ink on vellum and simply backed with ivory cardstock. This gives a slightly softer look and more depth than just stamping straight on to a layer of card. I used the same ink to stamp the sentiment and then brushed Copper Perfect Pearls over there. An aperture cut with a Nestability die and a line of machine stitching and you're done - a fast card!

Thanks for stopping by today, lots of other Design Team girls are playing along today, why not take a peek for more "Brilliance" ideas?

Carole ~ Dawn ~ Julia ~ Julie ~ Kim ~ Sherrie ~ Val

Clocktower Cottage (Thomas Kinkade line at Cornish Heritage Farms)
Motivational Centers (Mona Lisa Moments line at Cornish Heritage Farms)

Ink: Brilliance by Tsukineko (Coffee Bean)

Epic Black Laid (Prism Papers)

Perfect Pearls by Ranger (Copper from the Metallics kit)
Sewing machine and thread

Monday 27 October 2008

Forever Autumn DCM

The Daring Cardmakers have come over all seasonal and asked us to make something "Forever autumn".

I love autumn colours and carving pumpkins is great fun at this time of year so I decided to combine those things for my card. My pumpkin carving this year might have to be fun and festive rather than spooky as my friend's little girl really didn't like the Voldemort design I had in my porch last year and I'd hate to scare her off, she's a real cutie! I usually get my templates at Zombie Pumpkins and he has a selection of cartoon characters as well as the scary stuff so I might pick one of those!

Inviting a few friends over to help with the carving and maybe to eat pumpkin soup and pie could be a great way to celebrate the season. I used the Invitation Essentials set to do inside and out on this one.

All Things Fall
Invitation Essentials

Papaya Puree Dark (Prism Papers)
Smooth white

Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Tea Dye, Vintage Photo, Walnut Stain)

Sewing machine and thread
Copic markers
Classic Circle Nestabilities

New blog alert! and maybe some blog candy, you never know ;)
Cornish Heritage Farms is celebrating a new season, too! A new blog to bring together all the best of CHF creativity has been launched and will feature challenges, highlights from the gallery, news of new designs and lots more. Why not drop by to see what's happening at the Farm? CHF Be Creative - there's rubber to be given away and all you need to do to be in with a chance to is leave a comment!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Tuesday 21 October 2008

Harvest home

The Canadians have just celebrated Thanksgiving and the Americans are running up to their celebration which kind of had me wondering - why don't we do this in the UK? I know we have harvest festival services in churches and schools still but we don't really have a national day of celebration do we? Odd!

Anyway, the thing that got me thinking about this was this gorgeous new image from the Saturday Evening Post line at Cornish Heritage Farms. It's set for release next Tuesday (28th October) and as soon as I saw it I said "I think I'm in love!". I coloured this one with pencils but I've done a couple of others too with watercolours and markers and it's an absolute joy to colour with all of them!

I thought a notebook would be a great way to enjoy this image for a bit longer than a card. I removed the covers by gently prising open the spine and made some new, sturdier ones from some chipboard using the originals as a guide to punch the holes. The burlap background stamp was used on the inside of the covers too so the texture carries over.

Stamps (all Cornish Heritage Farms):
Autumn Harvest (Saturday Evening Post line - due for release 28th October 2008)
Burlap backgrounder
Live-Laugh-Love (Rummage Bin line)

Paper: Suede Brown Medium (Prism) and smooth white, chipboard for covers

Adirondack dye ink by Ranger (Espresso)
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Antique Linen, Tea Dye, Vintage Photo, Walnut Stain)

Prismacolor pencils/OMS/stump
Wire bound notebook
Cropodile to make holes through covers

Thanks for visiting today, hope your day is a good one!

Monday 20 October 2008

The shape I'm in...

The challenge today over at Cornish Heritage Farms today is to make a shaped card. I rarely think to do this so I thought it would be fun to give it a go! Last month's Craft Stamper magazine featured some fun fairy doors so I decided to do a little adaptation and make a fairy door card. I think this would be great fun for a little girl's birthday or 'just because' card. Perhaps the tooth fairy might even leave it to remind her to make her wish?

The top is trimmed to shape with a pair of scissors and I scored the door before stamping the wood grain backgrounder to give the impression of planks. I painted over the stamped swirl with acrylic paint just to give a tiny bit of dimension. The slightly less precise feel of the freehand paint seemed to go with the fact it's representing foliage, too. Tiny dots of 3D paint to represent blossom finish it off. I've added a couple of chipboard 'washers' behind the brad so that the handle really stands proud of the surface and can be used to open the door.

Stamps (all Cornish Heritage Farms):
Wood grain backgrounder
Weathered Wood backgrounder
Beautiful (the Rummage Bin line)
Everyday Petites (Mon Lisa Moments line)

Adirondack dye ink by Ranger (Espresso)
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Walnut Stain)

Acrylic paint
Dylon 3D paint (like Liquid Pearls)
Decorative brad (Making Memories)

Lots of the DT girls are making shaped cards today so it's a worth visiting the links (over on the right) to see what kind of shape they're in, too!

Thanks for visiting today, hope you had fun!

Monday 13 October 2008


Life these days is complicated. A quick reminder of the important things doesn't go amiss every now and again, I think: live-laugh-love. If you can do that, you have it licked!

Today's technique lover challenge over on Splitcoast is a cute stair fold card and I thought it would be perfect for a little flock of primitive sheep.

Stamps are from the new Primitive Singles line at Cornish Heritage Farms, releasing tomorrow.
- Live-Laugh-Love
- Primitive Sheep

Paper: Herbal Garden Dark (Prism), hammer texture ivory

Ink: Adirondack dye ink by Ranger (Espresso)

Other: star brad, piercing tool, Scor-it, sponge

If like me, you don't have a piercing template, sketch or stamp a swirl onto scrap paper and pierce along the lines, just eyeballing the distance between holes. A little difference just adds to the homespun charm on a project like this!

I don't cut out the fiddly bits like the legs on this sheep - just stamp on your project, then cut out the main part of the image from your ivory cardstock and stick it over the image you stamped on your card base and your sheep's legs will look perfect!


Monday 6 October 2008

Too much to make, too little time!

Isn't that how we all feel sometimes? Lots of projects we'd love to do and things we feel we 'have' to make as well. Especially come Christmas time when we'd love to send a hand made card to loads of people but it's just not practical to spend hours over each one.

This week, the Cornish Heritage Farms Challenge Chicks mission is to create a quick card. I chose to make a quick Christmas design with this fabulous Saturday Evening Post Santa - even though he looks wonderful coloured in he's detailed enough to stand up on his own without a lot of extra work. I think he looks kind of like an old fashioned etching. I've just added a stamped sentiment, a bit of sponging around the edges and a pop of sparkly colour on the holly - a 10 minute card!

Santa's Lap (Saturday Evening Post line)
Christmas Expressions (Mona Lisa Moments line)

Paper: smooth white

Ink: Versafine by Tsukineo (Vintage Sepia), Tim Holtz Distress by Ranger (Vintage Photo)

Other: Copic Spica AtYou glitter pens (red and green)

Lots of DT members have quick card ideas to share with you today so if you could use a few quick tricks up your sleeve you might want to take a peep...
Lisa Silver

All the items for the Think Pink online auction are now on the Think Pink blog so if you'd like to help us raise some money for Breast Cancer Care, please take a peep and consider making a bid - hand made items and stash are on offer! It's a sealed bid auction so you'll need to make your best offer on anything you want - we're aiming to raise as much as we can! Thanks to everybody who has donated items and those who've already placed their bids too!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Monday 22 September 2008

Dabbing it here, dabbing it there...

...paint and paper everywhere (sorry, you probably need to be British and have had Victorian era music hall songs pushed at you during your education for that!). It's Challenge Chicks day at Cornish Heritage Farms and today's challenge focuses on Adirondack paint dabbers. I'll confess right now that I own the sum total of one dabber (Snowcap) but it's probably the nicest acrylic paint I've come across so even without the aid of a crystal ball I see more in my future. The paint is thick and the foam dabber top makes it easy to apply to your stamps. To continue with the theme of the opening song... unlike father papering the parlour, it's definitely not going to go everywhere, it's very easy to control. The only word of caution is that it's best to clean up your stamp promptly as the paint does tend to dry quickly on there and it's easier to remove before it dries. I've not yet found a white ink that I'm really happy with the coverage of so for me, this white dabber seemed like the perfect choice to do a white-on-black card. I also used it to paint the chipboard letters. The pointing finger is a sticker; you could also use a dingbat font to print out and cut round yourself. Raising it on foam pads lets you overlap the finger tip and the chipboard lettering a little. Stamps: AlphaNumber backgrounder (Cornish Heritage Farms) Ink: Adirondack Paint Dabber - Snowcap Paper: Epic Laid Black (Prism) and smooth white Other: chipboard letters (Maya Road), sticker (Office Daisy Dots by Heartwarming Vintage/Crafty Secrets), foam pads Other DT members playing along and finding lots of lovely uses for Adirondack acrylics are: Julia Kim Kristine Lisa Silver Sherrie Thanks for stopping by today, I appreciate you taking a slice out of your day to visit my corner of the web!

Friday 12 September 2008

Use your talents

Kathy has set this week's DCM challenge, she'd like us to use this quote on our cards in some way:

Use what talents you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.
Henry Van Dyke

I had this image in my head straight away - I measured the size of the journal block stamp and printed out the quote from my PC into a box that size then used a stamp positioner to stamp over the top of the writing. I masked the block and stamped with two background stamps then sponged various inks over the woodgrain. I added a little bit of pencil colouring on the bird, a touch of white gel pen to hightlight some of the swirls and a drop shadow with a Copic. Two antique brass jumbo eyelets finish off the rustic look. I spritzed with Glimmer Mist too but that's really hard to pick up with the camera so you'll have to imagine the subtle shimmer, I'm afraid!

Hope you're enjoying using your own special talents today, thanks for visiting!

Stamps: Journal Box, Wood grain and Spanish Script backgrounders (all Cornish Heritage Farms)

Ink: Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Antique Linen, Tea Dye, Vintage Photo, Walnut Stain)

Other: Prismacolor pencils, Copic marker, extra large eyelets (We R Memory Keepers), Inkssentials white pen by Ranger, Glimmer Mist by Tattered Angels (Antique Brass), PC and printer

Tuesday 9 September 2008

Live Life Wisely the DCM way

Now there's a mantra we could probably all use from time to time: live life wisely! This week's challenge over at Daring Card Makers is a sketch. Here's my take on it...

When I cut my piece of twill tape for this card, it curled over at the end and I decided I liked the effect so I stitched it down in a way that let it keep right on curling!

My only change to the sketch was to tilt the rectangle at a slight angle as straight didn't really seem right with the slightly grungy feel of this. I've roughed up the edges a bit too (I just use scissors held in a V shape to do this).

Stamps: Journal Box, Time to Stamp, Aged Sheet Music Scrapblock™, Spanish Script Backgrounder (all Cornish Heritage Farms)

Ink: Adirondack dye ink by Ranger - Espresso and Latte

Paper: Prism Suede Brown dark, smooth white, ivory hammer texture

Other: blending chalk, cotton twill tape, extra large eyelet (We R Memory Keepers), sewing machine and thread.

TFL! Hope you liked it :o)

Monday 8 September 2008

It's Challenge Chicks day!

It's Challenge Chicks day at Cornish Heritage Farms and today's challenge is to use Adirondack inks. I love these inks and my colour selection is growing perhaps a bit more rapidly than my wallet would like - the news that they're launching a range of pigment inks to coordinate with the existing dye-based ones might not be good news for the budget!

This adorable collage stamp is a new release from the Rummage Bin line at Cornish Heritage Farms and will be available tomorrow. She looks so dejected, all dressed up in her pretty frock, you have to hope that she's right and her prince really does show up some day!

I brayered Espresso ink onto the rubber to stamp the image and then used other ink pads to watercolour her (if you don't have reinkers you can just squish the lid of your pad down onto the felt and when you open it up you'll have a little pool of ink you can use with a brush). Her skin was coloured with pencils to give it a smoother, slightly more solid look. I just sponged a bit of ink onto the background so that the colouring keeps the focus on the little girl.

As little girls often seem to have a collection of 'treasures', either in pockets or in a special box, I added some eclectic bits and pieces as embellishments on the card.

TFL! Hope you enjoyed your visit today.

Stamps (all from the Rummage Bin line at CHF):
Someday My Prince Collage
Swirls from Beautiful
Clocks from Time to Stamp

Paper: Scrapblock Layers and smooth white

Adirondack by Ranger (Espresso, Latte, Raisin, Cool Peri)

Lyra Skintone pencils
Gold gel pen (scribbled on to plastic and used as watercolour for her crown)
Vintage Buttons
Vintage lace
Waxed linen thread
Square brad

Lots of the CHF girls are playing today, why not check out some more uses of these fabulous, vibrant inks?

Lisa Silver

Thursday 4 September 2008

Santa's Lap!

It must be something about the unseasonably cold weather and the nights starting to draw in - I keep wanting to make Christmas things!

I love this Santa stamp and wanted to make something with a bit longer life than a Christmas card so that I can bring him out each year! The canvas is 8" x 8" with torn cardstock stuck at top left and the gold circle painted directly onto the canvas with acrylic paint. I stamped Santa and the little boy onto smooth cardstock and coloured them with Prismacolor Pencils then cut the image out and stuck over the gold circle. I wanted to retain the artist's initials though so I inked just that part of the stamp and stamped directly onto the canvas before I stuck Santa into position. I used the edge of the inkpad to apply a little ink directly under the image to ground it a bit.

Here's a little bit of trivia for you: this image originally appeared as a cover for the Saturday Evening Post in 1923. The SEP enjoys iconic status in America and is the subject of many a fond recollection (it stopped publishing in 1969). The artist for this image was J C Leyendecker.

I dusted off Mr CraftRobo (he's been a little neglected since I discovered stamping) and cut the word Christmas in a nice cursive font. I added some Glossy Accents to give a raised finish. The word merry is chipboard letters that have been inked and dry brushed with gold acrylic paint.

I guess everything else is obvious, lots of ink and sponging, some Prima flowers and a brad. The red velour fabric is tacked onto the frame with small nails to hold it in that kind of ruched way.

If you have a computerised cutter that uses gsd files and you would like the welded word Christmas, just send me a message and I will happily send you the file for your personal use.

TFL, hope you enjoyed your visit today.

Stamps: Santa's Lap (Saturday Evening Post line), Aged Sheet Music Scrapblock™ (Cornish Heritage Farms)

Ink: Fired Brick, Antique Linen and Vintage Photo - Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger, Vintage Sepia and Onyx Black Versafine by Tsukineko

Paper: smooth white

Other: 8x8" canvas, Prima flowers, crystal brad (Making Memories), Prismacolor and Lyra Skintone pencils/OMS/stump, velour fabric, white satin ribbon, chipboard letters (Maya Road), metallic gold acrylic paint

Tools: sponge, Craftrobo

Monday 1 September 2008

Vintage Christmas

Sorry, I know it's still a bit early for Christmas projects but I had this idea in mind since first seeing this set of stamps (Winter Vintage Signage) and I managed to grab some time over the weekend to have a go.

Instant vintage appeal with modern materials!

I rolled thin sheets of polymer clay and stamped the images into it with Brilliance ink. I chose Sculpey Premo as it's a very durable clay so even though they're thin (I used a pasta maker on Number 1 to roll my sheets) the ornaments should stand up to being bumped around in a storage box for most of the year!

I stamped the designs first and then used a stamp positioner to stamp the frame around them. The stamps sink into the clay slightly (so don't press too hard!) and give a slightly carved or engraved feeling to the words and images.

The clay is soft enough that it's very easy to trim to shape with a craft blade, just trim a little outside the edge of the frame. If you're going to have a go at this, I recommend making holes for your jump rings or wire before you bake as it's not easy to make them later (yes, ask me how I know *rolls eyes*). If you're using an oven you use for food, it's best to make a 'tent' of foil over your polymer clay pieces as they bake, just to make sure you don't get any vapours from the clay condensing on your baking surfaces later.

I used Copic markers to add touches of colour to the ornaments and then sponged Timber Brown Stazon ink around the edges and very lightly in the centres to tone down the white clay and give them a bit more of a vintage look.

I used jump rings and some wire to make hangers so that I can hang them from my Christmas tree or maybe even a bare wintery branch in a vase.


Stamps: Winter Vintage Signage (Cornish Heritage Farms)

Ink: Graphite Black Brilliance, Timber Brown Stazon (both by Tsukineko)

Other: Sculpey Premo Polymer Clay - white, Copic markers, jump rings and wire (jewellery supplies)

Friday 29 August 2008

Vintage Vellum

Lisa Silver has a wonderful technique for getting soft colouring and vintage style - she uses Copic markers on the back of vellum. I decided to try a little adaptation of the technique and see how it works with Prismacolor pencils.

If you want to have a go at this, just stamp your image onto vellum (I like Brilliance ink for this, it seems to work well to give a crisp image on vellum and dries reasonably quickly). Once it's dry, flip it over and colour the back. If you're using a coloured label as a guide, don't forget that you're working on a mirror image. I blended just a little with Sansodor and a stump. Turn your image back over and place white or very pale cardstock behind it to make the most of your colouring. Easy peasy and a great way to get very delicate colours, especially useful on vintage style projects.

I thought the paper looked kind of like a warm and cuddly blanket, perfect for a little girl at bed time! It's from the new MochaChica paper pack designed by Kim Hughes - the papers are really modern and funky but I thought I'd prove they can do vintage too!

Oh, for anyone who has a wishlist at CHF, there are double points in the loyalty scheme for all rubber purchases this weekend (Friday, August 29th (12am MST) to midnight (MST) Monday, Sept 1st) :o)

Stamps: The Prayer (Sandra Kuck line at CHF)

Paper: MochaChica paper pack (Kim Hughes Collection at CHF)
vellum card stock
smooth white
Prism Birchtone Dark

Ink: Brilliance Graphite Black by Tsukineko
Chestnut Roan Fluid Chalk ink by Clearsnap

Tools: Classic Oval Nestabilities by Spellbinders

Other: Prismacolor Pencils/OMS/stump
Flowers by Prima
Pearl brad
Vintage lace trim


Thanks for visiting today, hope you enjoyed it!

Monday 18 August 2008

A snowy hello

Summer seems to have passed us by so I thought I'd go straight to winter (do not pass go, do not collect £200). The CHF DT girls have a challenge each Monday and this week's is to use your favourite product on your project. I picked Glossy Accents, not a favourite because I use it on everything but because it's a new toy so I'm having fun playing with it!

I used it in several ways on this card:
- Each snow dot is highlighted to make it shine
- I used it as glue for the glitter on the star, it's great for this as it's completely clear and very gloopy so you can get loads of glitter on there without any interference with the colour!
- I filled the centre of my metal frame with it so it looks like it has a glass panel.
- I made the snowflake embellie by punching a flake from acetate and then coating it with Glossy Accents so that it has more dimension and a really icy look.

Here's a closer look at the acetate/Glossy Accents snowflake. I like how that turned out so I may well play with that technique again!
I stitched on my card too so it fits today's Think Pink challenge on Bubbly Funk and the card will go into my next bundle for Di to sell at the Think Pink sale in October. Check out the link in the menu on the right if you want to know more about this great fundraiser for Breast Cancer Care!

Stamps: Snowman with Star, Silhouette Blooms I (sentiment), paisley backgrounder - all Cornish Heritage Farms
Ink: Versafine by Tsukineko (Onyx Black and Smokey Gray)
Paper: smooth white (unknown maker) and DCWV white core
Other: Prismacolor pencils, iridescent glitter, Glossy Accents, pewter hardware (Making Memories), acetate sheet

Tools: Sewing machine and metallic thread, snowflake punch (X cut), sandpaper

Thanks for stopping by! Lots of the girls have played with their favourites this week so why not check out a few others if you want to see some fun projects?



Saturday 9 August 2008

A cute cottage and some very exciting news!

Thank you all so much for your lovely comments about my Thomas Kinkade fisherman. I have another Kinkade to share with you today and some exciting news alongside it.

I think this image, Foxglove Cottage, has a lovely warm feeling to it and it would make a great card for someone special returning home from a trip or someone moving into a new place of their own. I blended the first layer of colour on this one with Sansodor to provide a soft base layer and then added shading and texture over the top with the same pencils. A little bit of Glossy Accents gives the windows and lamp a glassy sheen and a white pen adds highlights. I used a fine paint brush to transfer the white ink in places where I wanted very fine detail.

I made the sentiment panel by cutting a frame with two Nestability dies and colouring it with a Krylon pen. Once the Krylon had dried, I sponged black pigment ink over the top to 'antique' it a bit and I filled the centre of the plaque with Glossy Accents so that it looks a bit like a ceramic name plate.

So... the exciting news is that I submitted this card to the recent Design Team call at Cornish Heritage Farms and I heard earlier this week that I was one of three people picked to join the team *big grin*. I am absolutely thrilled to be joining a really talented bunch of stampers and I'm sure I'll be learning loads!

- Foxglove Cottage (Thomas Kinkade series at Cornish Heritage Farms)
- sentiment stamp (my own design)

- Adirondack by Ranger (Espresso)
- Versafine by Tsukineko (Vintage Sepia and Onyx Black)
- Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Antique Linen)

- Birchtone light and Birchtone medium by Prism Papers
- smooth white

- Prismacolor and Lyra pencils (plus OMS and blending stumps)
- sewing machine & thread
- Classic oval Nestabilities
- fine paint brush

- brads
- Glossy Accents by Ranger
- Inkssentials white pen by Ranger
- Krylon leafing pen (copper)

Thanks for stopping by, hope you enjoyed the card!

Saturday 2 August 2008

Gone fishin'?

Something a bit different from me today! Cornish Heritage Farms do several more detailed art lines including images by Thomas Kinkade (America's biggest selling living artist, apparently!). I got some images to play with and had great fun colouring! This one really makes you think about water and the fact that what you usually see when you look at it is not water itself, it's a version of everything above it! As ever, you can click on the pic for a closer view.

Sentiment is computer generated (Palace Script and New Century Schoolbook fonts) with a shadow added with a marker.

The little fly lure hanging from the hardware started life as an earring! Many, many years ago my aunt bought me a pair from a guy who'd obviously decided there was a lucrative jewellery sideline to his fly tying business! Sadly, I lost its partner a long time ago and my ear piercings healed so I can't wear earrings either. I decided to give this little fly a new purpose in life and add it to this card as it seemed perfect with this image!

Supplies: It Doesn't Get Much Better (Cornish Heritage Farms), Prism paper (Olive dark and medium), Adirondack ink (Espresso), Tim Holtz Distress ink (Antique Linen, Vintage photo), computer and printer, Prisma and Lyra pencils, OMS/blending stumps, Inkssentials white pen, antique copper hardware, Copic marker, sponge, old earring!

Thanks for visiting, hope you enjoy your day!

Thursday 17 July 2008

Walnuts? No thanks!

I actually like walnuts but since this is a post about walnut resist I thought I should refuse! A while ago I saw a card done with walnut ink resist on Deb Neerman's blog (she did a tutorial too - here) and thought it looked a fun thing to do. Could I find walnut ink anywhere in the UK? No I could not. Did I end up ordering ink crystals from the US? Would I do such a thing?

I like inky and I like random. I'm not so good at patience so I thought this technique would be good for my soul since you have to walk away and leave it overnight! For this card, I stamped the branch in Versamark and embossed with clear detail embossing powder then gave it a liberal spraying with my walnut ink so that it pooled and puddled a bit on the surface of the cardstock then I left it in its spray box and went to bed! This morning, my branch looked like this and just needed trimming, matting and I added a random wrap of waxed linen thread for some textural interest.

I love this effect, it's almost like leather and would make great masculine cards with the right stamp. Good job I like it really, it looks like the tiny jar of walnut ink crystals is going to go a looooong way as it is!

Supplies: Silhouette Blooms I (Cornish Heritage Farms), Versamark, clear detail embossing powder, walnut ink crystals, spray bottle, waxed linen thread

Thanks for stopping by, hope you're having a great day!

Wednesday 9 July 2008

Think Pink!

I don't usually do pink. It's just one of those colours that's never really done it for me. But it's not really the colour in question here, it's breast cancer care. Over on the Bubbly Funk forum we're currently having weekly challenges leading up to a Cyber crop and a big Think Pink sale to raise funds for Breast Cancer Care - there's a Think Pink blog too, all the challenges will be there along with a gallery of completed projects.

So although it's not geared to this week's challenge, I thought I'd add some pink in honour of the campaign when I made a card this morning (although all colours are welcome!). This card combines a Crafty Secrets Member company challenge (to use black in a vintage card) and a sketch challenge from Splitcoaststampers.

Supplies: Sew Special and Mini Memories (Clear Art Stamps by Crafty Secrets, Cheesecloth backgrounder (Cornish Heritage Farms), Versafine Onyx Black, Clearsnap Fluid Chalk ink (Dark Peony, Rouge, Pink pastel, Creamy Brown), Cuttlebug Textile Texture folder, Prismacolor pencils/OMS/stump, pinking shears, sewing machine and thread.

Why not check out the Think Pink blog to find out more about what it's all about?

Thanks for dropping by today, hope you enjoyed your visit!

Thursday 3 July 2008

Whoa, I'm going to Barbados...

I'm not really but I kept singing it whilst making this card!

I was lucky enough to win a set of Kim Hughes designed stamps from Cornish Heritage Farms during their last blitz event and have just made my first card with Paradise Found.

We could use a little sunshine at the moment so I thought I'd go for a tropical sunset and some bright hibiscus flowers to frame it. The layout kind of reminds me of that '70s kind of postcard, if you know what I mean! The flower garland was done with a simple mask and the stamp just turned at different angles. The sunset is brayered and the flowers are coloured with alcohol markers. I didn't have any suitable foliage stamps so I just drew some green shapes in there with markers. I sponged black ink up against torn copier paper to make the land bar for the distant palms.

Supplies: Paradise Found (Cornish Heritage Farms), Ranger Archival jet black, Adirondack ink (sunshine yellow, sunset orange), Tim Holtz Distress ink (Scattered Straw, Fired Brick), Clearsnap chalk ink (azurite), oval Nesability (used as a guide with a scalpel), alcohol markers (some Copic, some Tria), brayer

Three blog friends have been kind enough to give me an award too - thank you! Dan, Shaz and Hazel all have blogs of their own - why not pay a visit?.

I'm supposed to pick seven blogs and nominate them now but I'm rubbish at this because I love visiting so many blogs. Here's a handful: Lisa at Silver Stamping, Keri at Pink Lemonade, Kathy, in her own world, Tracy at Craftyme, Kaz at Slightly Wonky Crafts and Janice, the Serial Crafter. Please don't be offended if you're not here - my brain aches just remembering that many!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Thursday 26 June 2008

Seaside diorama

I fancied having a go at a diorama card after seeing the tutorial at Splitcoaststampers and when my Seaside set arrived I thought it would make a perfect diorama subject! I remember those postcards you used to get where things appeared to move depending on how you held the card and thought the diorama had a bit the same effect!

Here's the card front on - it sort of loses the depth a bit but I wanted to get the whole sentiment on there as I think it's so sweet! The shells are on the card front, the little girl is on the middle layer and the sea and sentiment form the backdrop. I stamped the images so that they overlapped where the ovals would be cut and then used an oval template and a blade to cut the apertures, trimming round the images to leave them cutting into the space.

Here's another view, this shows the multi layers and the depth a bit better and lets you see that little flock of seagulls hoving in to view - hope they're not about to spoil her fun and dive bomb her sandcastles!

This kind of card just pushes sideways so that it flattens to go into an envelope - fun!

Supplies: Seaside stamp set (Crafty Secrets), Versafine Vintage Sepia, Adirondack (Cloudy Blue, Stonewashed, Denim), Tim Holtz Distress ink (Antique Linen, Scattered Straw, Broken China), Nick Bantock ink (Charcoal Grey), Prismacolor pencils/OMS/stump, sponge, white gel pen

ETA a shout out for Dani of Four Creative Seasons - she has a fabulous eBay store and ships quickly and as cheaply as possible. She's my Crafty Secrets supplier of choice! Areas of California are suffering terrible fires at the moment and Dani is donating a portion of profits from the store to charities concerned with the fire fighting and relief effort. Why not check out the Four Creative Seasons store if you have some crafty pennies to spend?

Thanks for dropping by, hope the sun is shining on you today even if only metaphorically!

Wednesday 25 June 2008

Time flies...

Ooops, bad blogger! I thought I'd show you this card - I made it a little while back but it's been in an anonymous voting process and I didn't want to blow my cover! The lovely people on the Tanda Stamps forum have a card making competition every month with forum members voting for their favourite card from all the entries. The theme for May was Bugs and Kisses - so anything with butterflies, ladybirds etc etc.

Being a last-minute minnie I had to choose something reasonably quick. I cut the dragonfly from the Crafty Secrets Earthy paper pad and just added a little sparkle to his wings with a clear Spica glitter pen. Edges of the paper (from the Radiant pad) are sponged and then overstamped with the swirls and the sentiment (which I thought went nicely with the fleeting nature of a dragonfly).

Supplies: Beautiful and Time to Stamp sets (both Cornish Heritage Farms), Earthy and Radiant paper pads (Crafty Secrets), Tim Holtz Distress ink (Tea Dye), sewing machine and metallic thread, nail art gems

Big smile - my card won the vote this time so I got to pick out a prize of some new stamps! Thank you very much Tanda, I'll enjoy playing with my vintage transport set just as soon as I get my (work) life under control!

Wednesday 11 June 2008

Pop-up book?

Darlene's challenge this week in the Crafty Secrets member forum at Splitcoaststampers is a great one! She's asked us to "check our calendars" and make a card for any occasion that's printed on there (so not all those birthdays and anniversaries etc you write in for yourself). As soon as I spied International Literacy Day on September 8th I knew I'd found my calendar occasion!

I love to read. I've always loved to read. I don't even remember learning to read and I was pretty fluent by the time I started school so it obviously didn't present too many difficulties for mini me! This little bookish chap is obviously having a fine old time in his imaginary world and I thought he'd be perfect on a surprise pop up card which was yesterday's technique challenge at Splitcoast (there's a tutorial here if you'd like to make a card in this style yourself).

I used a cheesecloth background stamp to make my card base a bit leathery looking like an old book binding and sponged the edges too for a more aged and handled appearance and added a border of machine stitching, again because it made me think of old style book binding techniques.

I made a little tassel at the top of the slider as I thought it looked a bit like a bookmark! I stamped the panel that's revealed when you pull on the slider with a handwriting style stamp in Antique Linen ink so that I can add a message without it being swamped by a strong pattern but there's still some interest there.

I thought I could turn this into a gift by tucking a book token in there so it slides out at the same time as the message is revealed (not sure if my American visitors have book tokens - in the UK we have a national scheme which means you can buy a token in almost any book shop and send it as a gift that can be spent in almost any other book shop).

Supplies: Story of Me and Journaling (Clear Art Stamps by Crafty Secrets), Cheesecloth backgrounder (CHF), Tim Holtz Distress ink (Fired Brick and Antique Linen), Versafine Vintage Sepia, Prismacolor pencils/OMS/stump, sewing machine and thread, Brass and Cream Hardware stickers (Heartwarming Vintage/Crafty Secrets), Nestability Classic Circle (used as a guide with a scalpel), copper gel pen, old gold cord from stash, corner rounder.

Thanks for your visit today, hope you enjoyed it!