Friday 18 December 2015

More Brushos!

I needed a card for a friend with a Christmas birthday - her favourite flowers are poppies so this still looks a bit Christmassy because of the red/green combo and it would be easy to substitute a poinsettia if you were that way inclined.

I played with Brusho again to make the background, stenciling over the top after it was dry for a bit of subtle "texture" and to tie it together a bit. The poppy is coloured with Copics with layers cut out and stacked for a bit of dimension.

Poppycock by Indigo Blu
Sentiment from Say It All by Hero Arts

Paper: Bristol Board

Brilliance by Tsukineko - Graphite Black
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger - Mowed Lawn and Peeled Paint

Copic markers
Brusho - Leaf Green
Pinflair gel glue
Cressida stencil by Memory Box

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday 15 December 2015

40th Fly-by

A friend asked me to make a card for her son's 40th birthday recently. They got him a flying lesson in a Cessna for a gift so she wanted a plane on there if possible.

The plane turned out to be an accent rather than a feature but I find you can't try to dictate too much of what happens at the craft table and this is what happened!

I'm late to the Brusho party but my parents bought me some for my birthday (thanks Mum and Dad!) and this is my first little play with them - just a simple sprinkled background with two colours (Ultra Marine and Turquoise).

I heat embossed the 40 so it would resist the Brusho colour. I also masked the tickets - I obviously didn't do a brilliant job of that in terms of resisting the colour but I decided I quite liked the arty look that accidentally emerged and ran with it rather than trying again! I used a very light Copic marker to tie them together a bit.

I added some "depth" to elements with a fineliner pen and some smudged charcoal pencil and the wee stamped plane is cut out and raised on a bit of dimensional glue.  I stamped it directly onto the card first so that the squiggly "trail" lines would be there, too.

My friend seemed extremely pleased with it which is the main thing - I hope her son liked it too!

Plane and ticket from Explore by Craft Secrets (retired)
A&P Numbers by Ma Vinvi's Reliquary (retired)
Essential Messages by Hero Arts

Hot press watercolour
Laid textured white

Brilliance by Tsukineko Graphite Black 

Brusho - Ultra Marine and Turquoise
Bright White embossing powder by Wow
Copic marker
Fineline marker
Charcoal pencil
Pinflair glue gel

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday 11 December 2015

Colour me Christmassy!

I'm posting on the Bubbly Funk blog again today - three cards made from the lovely Colourful Christmas kit currently available in the shop


Friday 27 November 2015

Daring reindeer

Bubbly Funk is sponsoring the Daring Cardmakers this week and I'm sharing my card on the BF blog, hope to see you there! (There's a prize package from Bubbly Funk on offer too - even more reason to join us in stenciling something!)

Message Wreath stencil by Hero Arts
Memento Luxe ink - Pear Tart
Canvas textured paper (inkjet printing stuff - try your local pound shop!) 
Kraft card blank
Tim Holtz/Sizzix Reindeer Flight die
Tim Holtz/Ranger Distress Glitter - Antique Linen
DecoArt Glamour Dust - Crystal
Pebeo Metal Touch paint - gold
Acrylic nail art pearls

Friday 20 November 2015

Anything but a card...

...that's what Dawn has asked us to do for this week's DCM dare.

One of these days I will think ahead to what might photograph well before I start in on a project. In the meantime, may I present a brooch with a very shiny surface that really hasn't photographed well at all?!

I started with a die cut oval of water colour paper and drew a line across it with black hot glue. While the glue was still molten, I dragged it out with a pokey tool and sprinkled copper embossing powder onto it then heated again so that the powder melted. It can tend to separate a bit but I like the slightly tarnished look you end up with if that happens.

Once the glue had hardened, I gave the whole thing a good spritz with water and added drops of Distress reinkers and then a wee bit of Perfect Pearl mixed to a glaze with water in a few places. Once dry, the whole lot got stuck to a sturdier piece of card for stability and finished with Lisa Pavelka Magic Glos (a UV cure resin) for an enamel-like finish.

Watercolour paper
Sizzix Framelits Ovals 
Tim Holtz Distress reinkers by Ranger (Peacock Feathers and Salty Ocean)
Perfect Pearls by Ranger (Blue Raspberry and Forever Blue)
Black hot melt glue (and glue gun)
Copper Embossing powder
Lisa Pavelka Magic Glos 

Why not join in with DCM this week if you have gifts or decorations to make for Christmas? There are lots of fab ideas on the blog if you fancy a play but you're not quite sure what you'd like to make.

Friday 13 November 2015

Cuddly Creatures

It's Nat's turn to set the dare on DCM this week and she's given us the theme of cuddly creatures. I've gone clean and simple with these super-cute kangaroos - I reckon being carried around in a pouch must be like a permanent cuddle!

 The image is just a shade small to stand alone on a regular A6 sized card but I reckon giving it a swirly focal point sorted that out. I sponged over the mask with two shades of ink which gives a nice effect, I think. Kanga has her feet stuck to the card blank and her ears supported with some dimensional glue so she leans forward a bit - poised for her next hop, perhaps?!

The "hello" sentiment is dark brown in real life so it's not quite as heavy looking but the camera refused to treat it as anything other than black in today's odd lighting conditions! It has clear Wink of Stella on there for a little glitz.

Stamps: Kanga and Joey by High Hopes

Paper: Cryogen White and Chocolate Brown

Versamagic (Key Lime and Turquoise Gem)
Adirondack dye ink by Ranger (Espresso) 

Rubber Bands by Crafters Workshop
Hello die by Waltzingmouse Stamps
Copic markers
Wink of Stella clear pen
Pin Flair Glue Gel
Corner Chomper

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday 6 November 2015

Hugs for DCM

I'm delighted to be joining the Daring Card Makers as Guest Designer this month. There are so many challenges around now but DCM was at the start of it all in 2006 and is still going strong. I don't play as often as I used to but I still drop in every Friday morning to see what the new challenge will be.

The lovely Gez is setting this week's challenge and being the first week of the month it's an "elemental" one. The challenge is to incorporate at least three elements from the picture into your project.

I had a bit of a nightmare because my original idea (which involved coffee stirrers!) didn't work out but I clung to it rather doggedly and made a couple pf projects fit only for the bin. When I finally gave in to my natural impulse to use at least one stamp, I got something I'm happier with.

I managed four things from the picture: black chalkboard-type back wall, red heart shape, bright snippets of colour from the paint pots on the shelf and the blond wood flooring (although I'm not sure that the stamped woodgrain really shows up on the picture - the light for taking photographs was my second nightmare!).

Woodgrain by Darkroom Door
Sentiment from Say It Loud by Waltzingmouse Stamps

Cryogen White
Various DCWV white core

Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger - Antique Linen
Brilliance by Tsukineko - Graphite Black 

My Heart dies by Waltzingmouse Stamps
Corner Chomper

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday 26 October 2015

Autumn anniversary

My mum and dad celebrated their wedding anniversary last week. This clean and simple, one layer design seemed appropriate for an autumn anniversary - red and golden yellow colour palette and a harvest image (which, since it's two stalks, also seemed a good symbol for two people in a marriage).

This design is easy to achieve with a bit of low tack tape to mask off the strip - just sponge on some inks, remove the tape and stamp the image.

Thankful Silhouettes by Stamper Anonymous/Tim Holtz
Sentiment from Putting on the Ritz by Waltzingmouse Stamps

Paper: smooth white

Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Mustard Seed, Spiced Marmalade, Barn Door, Fired Brick)
Brilliance Graphite Black by Tsukineko

Other: Corner Chomper

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday 16 October 2015

Birthday bird

I needed a birthday card for my nephew this week so combined some slightly quirky stencilled stars with the very quirky party puffin!

More chat about the card in this post on the Bubbly Funk blog.

Party Puffin by Crafty Individuals
Say it Loud by Waltzingmouse Stamps

Brilliance by Tsukineko - Graphite Black
Tim Holtz Distress by Ranger - Tumbled Glass and Broken China

Starry Starry Night Stencil by Dylusions/Ranger
Chit Chat Stencil by Claudine Hellmuth/Ranger
Typeset die - Tim Holtz/Sizzix
Copic markers
Wink of Stella clear glitter pen
Charcoal pencil
Black fineline marker

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday 9 October 2015

Metal makeover

More stenciling today but a bit of a different direction with a makeover for a throw-away item. Do pop over to the Bubbly Funk blog for a look if you have the time - we'd love to see you!

Friday 2 October 2015

Talking 'bout love

I've had another clean and simple play with stencils over on the Bubbly Funk blog today - break out the charcoal pencils!

Wednesday 30 September 2015

Autumn birthday

My (big) brother's birthday was earlier this week - I get to claim he's four years older than me for the next couple of months!

I went sort of vintage collage for this, having sat down with very little idea of what to do! Men are never that easy to make cards for, are they? Men with little by way of "theme" hobbies are particularly difficult! I probably should have used some woodgrain somewhere now I think of it (he's always been good with wood and even has a lathe for turning although he's not used it for ages).

I did add his age since it's a "round number" birthday but tried not to make it too much of a dominant feature.

I sponged various orange/red/rust/yellow shades of ink onto some mixed media paper to die cut the leaves - the thickness and texture of the paper means that it shows the embossed veining nicely.

19th Century French Script, Past Times, Essential Messages (all Hero Arts)
A&P Numbers (Ma Vinci's Reliquary, retired)

Hanemuhl Bamboo Mixed Media paper
White and bitter chocolate card

Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Vintage Photo, Walnut Stain, Barn Door, Rusty Hinge, Fired Brick, Mustard Seed)
Brilliance by Tsukineko (Pearlescent Chocolate)

Leaves dies by Impression Obsession
Film Strip ribbon (Tim Holtz)
Industrious Stickers - Borders (Tim Holtz)
Copic marker

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday 18 September 2015

Subtle stencil WOW

A white on white (WOW) card from me today over on the Bubbly Funk blog - it would be lovely to see you there if you have chance to drop in!

Friday 11 September 2015

Celebrating 10 years!

I'm helping Caroline to celebrate 10 years in business with Bubbly Funk with this big paper mache 10. All the details over on the Bubbly Funk blog today - hope to see you there!

Friday 4 September 2015

Bubbly Funk relaunch!

I'm posting over on the Bubbly Funk blog today - do drop in and say hello if you get chance!

Sunday 23 August 2015

Bubbly Birthday!

Caroline is celebrating 10 years in business with Bubbly Funk with a complete relaunch of the shop with a new and exciting direction! There'll be competitions and giveaways from September the 1st to the end of the year so do come along and say hello!

If you fancy a bit of chat in the meantime, join us on the forum - if you're not a member already you'll need to sign up but it's free and fun, just a place to relax and chat with a group of people who have crafting in common but talk about anything!

See the sidebar on the right for a countdown! -->

Friday 17 July 2015

Time for PaperArtsy

I'm delighted to be guesting with PaperArtsy today where this fortnight's theme is "time". Here's a wee sneak peek of what I decided to make with PaperArtsy stamps, paints and Grunge Paste. Pop over to the PaperArsty blog if you'd like to see the whole thing, it would be lovely to see you there!

Friday 10 July 2015

Welcome Alice!

Friends along the road have just welcomed a new baby; this is the card I made for them.

This "quilt" technique is really useful for baby cards - just sponge off the edge of a piece of acetate, move it along and sponge again until you have diagonal lines right across the card in one direction then flip it through 90 degrees and repeat so you get squares. I used the tiny heart from the set to stamp in some of the squares for a quilt pattern. With a bit of judicious masking, you can make a one layer card with plenty of interest.

I used Mega Flakes on die cut lettering for a slightly shabby-chic look on baby's name to personalise the card.

Hello Baby Vol 1 by Darkroom Door

Brilliance by Tsukineo - Pearlescent Chocolate
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger - Antique Linen

Font One upper and lower case dies by Spellbinder
Flitter Glu by Indigo Blu
Mega Flake by Indigo Blu - Chariot of Fire
Copic markers
Black fineline marker
White Posca paint pen

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday 28 June 2015

20/20 vision

This is my card for the June postcard swap on UK Stampers. We have a new host this month and for her debut theme, Jill chose "numbers".

It's absolutely not what I was planning but it evolved from stuff on the desk when the original plan scored a bit fat fail. The idea of 20/20 vision survived from the original thought and I tried to bring out her eyes to tie in with that. Her face has pale Copic colouring with just a little bit of blush on her cheeks and lips.

I used Memento Luxe to stamp the face and I'm happy to report it performed beautifully on the large solid area (the hair) as well as with the Copics. The oddity is that the wet ink on the stamp looks completely different to what you expect -this is Espresso Truffle and it was a sort of greyish, murky, mid-brown rather than the deep, rich black coffee colour you'd expect from the name and way the pad looks. So, if you're using Luxe inks: don't panic when you ink up, it will be fine once it's on the page!

Jane by Indigo Blu
A&P Numbers by Ma Vinci's Reliquary (retired)
Alphanumber backgrounder by CHF (retired)

Memento Luxe by Tsukineko - Espresso Truffle
Brilliance by Tsukineko - Graphite Black
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger - Tumbled Glass

Copic markers

The swap's just finished but if you fancy joining in for July, the details will be up at the start of the month - just make a card that can be sent "naked" through the post and you'll get one in return. It's a fun size to work with and it's nice to rise to the challenge of making something that can be posted with no protective envelope.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday 23 June 2015

Camper van!

We had a camper van when I was a kid - not quite like this one (ours wasn't old enough to have the split screen) but near enough for this stamp to bring back some memories of family holidays in Devon/Cornwall and Scotland. I thought that might make it a good choice for a father's day card for my dad.

I went for clean and simple with just the stamped image (coloured blue since that was the colour of our van) and some stenciled chevrons.

I added just a touch of textural interest by using Grunge Paste through the stencil and then colouring over the raised bits with Copics once dry and cutting out the body of the van and raising it a tiny bit on some gel glue over the same image stamped on the card base. I added a tiny bit of doodled detail on the coloured chevrons, too.

VW Bus by Deep Red Stamps
Father's Day Centers by CHF (retired)

Brilliance Graphite Black by Tsukineko

Hearts and Arrows stencil by The Crafter's Workshop
Grunge Paste by PaperArtsy
Copic markers
Fineline marker
Pinflair Glue Gel
Corner Chomper

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday 12 June 2015

Funky flower birthday

A quick birthday card for my sister-in-law eased me back in to some crafting after a holiday in France and the inevitable creative slump that seems to follow a fortnight away from your craft supplies!

I flicked ink onto a card blank to start and while that dried I stamped and cut out the flowers and leaves, using two ink colours and the rock-n-roll technique for the stamping. I stamped a few dots in the paler green to balance the background and added some black enamel accents to the stamped flower centres for a touch of texture.

I have no idea why but it was surprisingly difficult to get a decent photograph of this - not sure I've succeeded even now!

Funky Flowers and Big Day Today (both Waltzingmouse Stamps)

Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Picked Raspberry, Shabby Shutters, Peeled Paint)
Adirondack dye ink by Ranger (Cranberry)
Brilliance by Tsukineko (Graphite Black)

Enamel Accents by Ranger
Corner Chomper
Pinflair glue gel

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday 4 May 2015

Anniversary olives

It was our wedding anniversary at the weekend. I chose to focus on something hubby loves (olives) rather than a lovely-dovey theme when I sat down to make a card. I hunted for an anniversary sentiment that would look right and in the end I opted for this quote - not an obviously anniversary-related one but I think it's a nice thought to celebrate a marriage.

The Mixed Media Challenge at Splitcoast this week is MariLynn's "smash" technique. I used Memento
markers in three shades of green and although I think the Pear Tart has come out as the dominant one, the fact there's a mix lends some subtlety and depth to the background. I was aiming for a sort of abstract foliage feel!

I stamped the image with grey ink and coloured with a mixture of Copics and coloured pencils. I gave each olive a tiny highlight with a Posca pen.

Olive Branch by Serendipity Stamps
Sentiment by CHF (retired)

Soft Granite by Hero Arts
Brilliance Graphite Black by Tsukineko

Memento markers - New Sprout, Pear Tart, Bamboo Leaves
Copic markers
Prismacolor and Colour Soft pencils
Fineline black marker
White Posca paint pen

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday 29 April 2015


Kids' birthday cards are always a challenge for me for some reason but when Claire at Waltzingmouse stamps brought out this stamp and die combo I thought it would be perfect for the plethora of boys I seem to have to make for!

I usually resist dies that match a particular stamp (I'm happy with a pair of scissors!) but this word just looked like too much fun to pass up and I caved in - it would be difficult to cut by hand, I think.

This kind of card also represents one of those rare occasions where the font Comic Sans is actually appropriate! I printed off the sentiment, cut it into individual words and outlined the boxes for that comic book feel.

The die cut is raised on some gel glue to give the whole thing a bit of dimension. I coloured with Copics and then gave it the Wink of Stella clear pen treatment for a bit of razzle dazzle without being too girly. That's a bit difficult to capture on camera but the detail shot might give an impression of it if you click through to make it bigger.

Kaboom by Waltzingmouse Stamps

Brilliance Graphite Black by Tsukeniko
Distress Mustard Seed and Spiced Marmalade by Ranger

Kaboom die by Waltzingmouse Stamps
Copic markers
Printed sentiment
Corner Chomper
Black fineline marker 
White Posca paint pen
Clear Wink of Stella pen
Pinflair Glue Gel
Corner Chomper

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday 21 April 2015

All the eggs in one postcard

OK, maybe that's not quite the saying but Sam asked us to go with the theme of "eggs" for the postcard swap on UKStampers this month.

I decided to have a little play with eggshell mosaic. I've tried bending it etc and it's quite stable so I'm quietly optimistic that it will survive the post. I used lots of ModPodge to stick the shells on and it's been coated over with both Mod Podge and then a satin varnish as well as I wanted a bit more egg-shellish sheen.

I also cut egg shapes from the mosaic piece but that may be harder to spot as I ended up chopping them to make "hills" instead.

Some sponging over torn paper for a background, stamped feathers and sentiment, black enamel accents and doodling with black and white pens finish it off.

Bird Notes by Craft Secrets (retired)
Big Inspiration by CHF (retired)

Adirondack by Ranger - Pool and Stream
Archival by Ranger - Manganese Blue

Egg shells (cleaned and membrane pulled out)
Copic ink refills (any alcohol ink will do)
Copic multiliner
Posca paint pen
Enamel Accents by Ranger
Mod Podge Matt
Satin Varnish by PaperArtsy

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday 1 April 2015

Altered Grunge Paste!

The current theme at PaperArtsy is "altered Grunge Paste" - Leandra's hoping we'll try out something other than simply using paste through a stencil.

I was super-lucky and Random pulled my name out of the virtual hat on the last challenge so I had a lovely time wandering through PaperArtsy's online shop, choosing my prize goodies. A big thank you to Leandra and to Darcy for organising it.

Grunge Paste sounded intriguing - a bit different to most texture pastes - and so I popped a tub in my prize basket. Hearing Leandra describe it as "almost clay-like" had me wondering whether a DIY substitute for StampBord might be doable with Grunge Paste taking the role of that clay layer on the board.

I cut an inchie-plus (1.5" square) from scrap mountboard and "buttered" it with a layer of Grunge Paste. Once it was thoroughly dry, I used a sanding block to give me a silky-smooth surface. As you really want colour that doesn't soak in, I sponged Stazon over the top and then stamped the daisy heads (also part of my prize package so another thank you!) using Brilliance. Then the moment of truth - adding those scraped back white highlights with a pin.

I think it looks very much like Stampbord but, if you want to mail it, has the advantage of being lighter and thinner and of course you could do any shape you wanted as long as you could cut it from a substrate with enough rigidity to stand up to the Grunge Paste layer.

The finished square got a super-simple mounting on a scrapling with just a bit of doodling to frame it.

Hot Pick 1203 by PaperArtsy
Sentiment from an ancient HOTP set (one of my first ever stamping purchases!)

Off-white laid texture cardstock
Scrap mountboard

Teal Stazon
Graphite Black Brilliance

Grunge Paste by Paper Artsy
Cuttlebug square die
Corner Chomper
Copic 0.3 Multiliner

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday 27 March 2015

Birthday butterfly

My friend's daughter is at that age where she's no longer really a little girl but she's not old enough to be into "teen" things just yet, either. So,  I decided to throw a bit of sophistication into the mix this year but kept a girly pink and gold colour scheme and personalised it since I think kids tend to like that.

I got  new laptop a wee while back and it had a protective film over the keyboard area.  I used that as a stencil with a couple of Distress ink colours for an ombre effect.

The stamped butterfly was sponged with the same inks - I've added hot pink glitter to the spots on the edges of the wings and used water to lift off some of the colour in the large spots. The body was filled in quickly with a Copic and I used my usual trick of stamping just the antennae on the card and adding the cut out butterfly over the top rather than attempting to cut round anything really fiddly!

The sentiment was stamped with Flitter Glue and then flaked and the die cut lettering got the same treatment. It makes photography more difficult but it's a nice rich gold effect in real life!

With hindsight, I think I should have put her name just a wee bit higher up for better overall balance of the design but never mind, she liked it!

Antique Engravings and Essential Messages (both Hero Arts)

Brilliance by Tsukineko - Pearlescent Chocolate
Distress by Ranger - Spun Sugar and Picked Raspberry

Font One dies by Spellbinder (both upper and lower case)
Chariot of Fire Megaflake
Hot pink glitter
Corner Chomper
Film from laptop keyboard used as stencil

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday 20 March 2015

Postcard Time

It's been ages since I managed to play along in the regular postcard swap at UK Stampers but I've finally managed it this month.

Because the clocks go forward this month, Sam chose "time" as our theme.

Postcards go "naked" to their recipient so light and flat is good. I've gone totally single layer with this one - just stamps and ink using some basic masking and then a tiny bit of Copic coloring for her lips, eyes and some shadows to give things a bit of depth. I have ready-cut masks for everything I used here (I just keep them in the CD cases with the stamps any time I cut a mask and use it until it falls apart!) so it came together quickly.

Molly by Beeswax Stamps
Time to Stamp by CHF (and it's one of the sets that's available from the "new" CHF)

Brilliance Graphite Black by Tsukineko
Soft Granite by Hero Arts

Copic markers
Corner Chomper

There are still a few days to play if you fancy getting a time-themed postcard on your doormat - just make a card and post a picture to the thread and come the 25th, Sam will tell you who to send it to and who will be sending you one in return.

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

Tuesday 17 March 2015

Deconstuction - PaperArtsy

The current challenge theme at PaperArtsy is "deconstruction" - all the details and some great inspiration starts here.

I let a few thoughts brew for a while and eventually settled on a plastic bottle and a net bag as the basis of my project. I eventually threw in some toilet paper (deconstructed with water and glue, nothing more radical!) for good measure.

The toilet paper got used to make a paper cast of the sentiment. The cast worked OK but the words "and" and "wait" were missing a couple of high spots and since I wanted to dry-brush (making height difference crucial) I used a tiny paint brush and some glue to build those areas back up.

I cut the top off a plastic bottle "on the wonk" and then Mod Podged some torn netting bag onto it. Some texturising medium, spots of glue and the paper cast sentiment provided the texture and I heated one side of the bottle to get it to collapse a bit.

The whole lot got a couple of coats of Prussian Blue acrylic paint. Once that was dry, I dry-brushed with Mermaid and then Snowflake Fresco Finish paints and finally glued on the fish charm and some glass "bubbles". The charm started life as a brassy gold so that got a coat of Prussian Blue acrylic and then some silver Rub n Buff so it tied in better.

I'm not sure if this is destined to be a wee vase or a pen pot. I shoved some rosemary prunings in to take the photo but we'll see.

Clocks Plate 3 by PaperArtsy
 Empty plastic bottle
Netting bag from garlic
Toilet paper
PVA glue
Prussian Blue Americana acrylic paint by DecoArt
Mermaid and Snowflake Fresco Finish paint by PaperArtsy
Texturising Medium by DecoArt
Mod Podge Matte
Silver Rub n Buff by Amaco
Glass bubbles
Fish charm

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday 15 March 2015

Look Ma - no lines!

I sent my mum some yellow freesias for Mother's Day and thought it would be nice to make a card that tied in with the theme. This lovely freesia stamp is an oldie from Cornish Heritage Farms and I thought I'd try something a bit different with it to see if I could get a genuine-looking watercolour result.

The no-line colouring technique (stamp in a very pale colour and use markers or pencils so that the lines don't show) works well for many stamps but this one is in the style of an etching and has quite a lot of shading lines so I didn't think the technique would work well for a transparent medium like watercolour. Instead, I stamped on scrap paper with black ink and then put the stamped image on a lightbox with a piece of Bristol Board over the top.

For those of us who can't really draw (so faint pencil is out of the question) this provides a great way of getting an image without having an outline that will show. I just left everything in place on the lightbox until I had enough colour on the paper to be confident of the shapes.

I also had a first play with some Kuretake Clean Color pens here. I have one Wink of Stella pen and (perhaps bizarrely since the glitter is supposedly what it's all about) have pretty much fixated on the brush nib! When I saw that Kuretake did watercolour pens with the same sort of nib I thought it would be fun to try a few.

I used Lemon Yellow to put down a base layer for the flowers but probably the biggest advantage was when it came to the background. The really fine point made it easier to get in to those fiddly spaces between the flowers with Light Blue.

The Kuretake colours played nicely with the Distress inks I used for the rest of the colouring and lifted to make highlights as a traditional watercolour would do (hopefully the detail shot will show that). So all in all, I'm pleased with those.

Stamps: Freesia and Mother's Day Centers (CHF, retired)

Brilliance by Tsukineko - Pearlescent Chocolate
Distress ink by Ranger - Mustard Seed, Wild Honey, Shabby Shutters, Peeled Paint

Clean Color pens by Kuretake - Lemon Yellow, Light Blue
Artograph Light Tracer

Hope all the mums out there are having a lovely day and hugs to anyone missing their mum. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday 7 March 2015

A mini exploration

The current challenge at PaperArtsy is to do some artwork on a miniature scale.

I decided to go down the jewellery route and use a glass domino but keep it quite simple and graphic. I heat embossed the car with black detail powder directly onto the glass (watch your fingers if you do this, it gets hot!). This does, of course, mean that any writing on your stamp will appear in reverse on your finished project but the word "Chevrolet" is tiny here so that even with detail powder, it's indistinct enough to get away with it! I deliberately left a few little stray speckles of powder rather than wiping it ultra clean before heating it as I thought it added to the slightly aged look of the piece.

I stamped a single word on paper, sponged on a bit of Vintage Photo ink, stuck the domino onto it with a smear of Glossy Accents and trimmed round once dry. I finished the back by adding metal leaf topped with a layer of resin.

Domino pendants are more often portrait orientation so to keep the bail from looking out of proportion on the horizontal format, I added a couple of small springs glued either side of it. I think it kind of echoes the grille or bonnet detail of a vintage car, too.

Mini 81 by PaperArtsy
Everyday Petites by CHF (retired)

Brilliance Graphite Black by Tsukineko
Versafine Satin Red by Tsukineko
Distress Vintage Photo by Ranger

Glass domino
Black detail embossing powder
Glossy Accents
Silver coloured bail
Small springs
Two part epoxy glue
Lisa Pavelka Magic Glos resin
Flitter Glue and Sheffield Steel Mega  Flake 

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday 5 March 2015

Birthdays are for the bees!

I'm just managing to squeeze in a card for this week's DCM - Nat has asked us to use yellow as our key colour in her Mellow Yellow challenge. I've used my PanPastels and a stencil so I'm linking up there, too: Stencil It.

I've just bought some Mylar sheets for making stencils - it's sturdier than acetate which is what I've mostly used for quick DIY stencils so far. It cuts easily with wafer thin dies though which is what I've done here, cutting repeatedly with a hexagon die to make a honeycomb design.

I used yellow PanPastel through the stencil, then added a wee bit of Burnt Sienna at the bottom of each cell and a little white at the tops. I highlighted further with a Posca paint pen and doodled sketchy outlines round the bottom of the cells with a brown fineliner.

I added just a hint of yellow to the unstencilled part of the card after stamping and colouring the bees (I used pencils to make sure there was no bleed through and this could be a genuine one layer card and there's a bit of Wink of  Stella shimmer on their wings). I just rubbed the same yellow as the honeycomb over the card and then used a good-quality white eraser to rub it off - it sort of "stains" the card and leaves just a tiny bit of colour.

Queen Bee by Crafty Secrets (retired)
Sentiment from Big Day Today by Waltzingmouse Stamps

Ink: Brilliance Pearlescent Chocolate by Tsukineko

Mylar sheet
Hero Arts die from Geometric Shapes set
PanPastels - Diarylide Yellow, Burnt Sienna, White
Spectrafix Degas spray fixative
Wink of Stella Clear glitter pen
Posca white paint pen
Coloured pencils
Sepia fineliner
Corner Chomper

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Wednesday 18 February 2015

More Daring L.O.V.E.

As customers were late sending me work, I got a bit of unscheduled play time to have another go with this week's Daring Cardmakers challenge to use the word "love" to make a project by incorporating at least one item that begins with each letter.

I went girly this time with pink and orange and a more floral image. I thought this would be a good card to have on hand to send to anybody who needs a bit of a lift.

One of the things I loved about (the original) CHF was the scrapblocks - 6" square stamps that offered the chance to cover the whole of a cardfront in one go (US card sizes mean that the typical background stamp is slightly short for us Europeans using a standard A6 card and a 6" stamp gets round that issue). Other companies make them now but I think CHF was the first. I pulled out an old one called "love" to use for the "L" on this project and tried to position it so that the word HUGS would be left exposed and other stuff would be guessable if you wanted to go that way!

L - Love Scrapblock stamp
O - Oval and Orange
V - Vases stamp
E - Enamel Accents

The oval was originally just placed on the card but I felt it needed a bit of accentuation so I used a charcoal pencil and smudged around it. The colouring on the vases is a mix of watercolouring with Distress inks and Copics.

Love Scrapblock by CHF (retired)
Vases by Serendipity Stamps

Brilliance Graphite Black by Tsukineko
Distress Picked Raspberry and Spiced Marmalade

Oval Framelits Dies by Sizzix
Copic markers
Enamel Accents by Ranger
Charcoal pencil
Corner Chomper

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Monday 16 February 2015

Daring L.O.V.E.

Beckie has set this week's challenge at Daring Cardmakers and it's an ingenious twist on the theme of LOVE that's ubiquitous this Valentine's week. Love might be the theme but Beckie's asked us to incorporate it by taking the individual letters of the word and using at least one item beginning with each letter on our makes.

I had lots of ideas for the individual letters but coming up with a coherent group was more of a challenge! I
did, however, want to use this lovely owl stamp as he's a new acquisition and needed inking sooner rather than later. He's not only a handsome chap - he's big to boot! This is a 7" x 5" card.

A faux leather piece seemed like it would be a good "natural material" backdrop for him. It's kraft card sprayed with water and glycerin then scrunched, dried, embossed and inked.

Instructions for faux leather usually seem to tell you to emboss the damp piece of cardstock but I found the leathery creasing disappeared if I did that so I tried embossing once it was dry and was happier with the result. I used Microglaze to give the piece a finish with a slight sheen without being too glossy. It looks more realistic in real life than I could manage to capture with a photo.

Once he was coloured and cut out, I decided the owl was in danger of disappearing a bit on the leathery backdrop so I gave him a gesso "halo" for a bit of pop.

The letter V gave me most trouble for this since my first thoughts didn't work out and I almost gave up. I persevered and finally hit on adding a little touch of variegated leafing (having fiddled with vellum, wondered whether I could find any brown velvet ribbon in stash etc).

After much thought I have several other coherent groups scribbled on the back of an envelope - let's see whether time permits any more L.O.V.E. cards this week!

L - leather (faux, no animals were harmed in the making of this card!)
O - owl
V - variegated metal leaf flakes
E - embossing

T'wit T'woo by IndigoBlu
Big Day Today by Waltzingmouse Stamps

Brilliance Pearlescent Chocolate (for the stamping)
Distress Tea Dye and Vintage Photo (for the "leather")

Paper: kraft and white

Cuttlebug Fancy Corners embossing folder
Glycerin/water in spray bottle
Variegated Easy Metal gilding flakes by Eberhard Faber
Copic markers
Judikins Microglaze
Corner Chomper

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Wednesday 11 February 2015

Paint time

I decided to play along with the current PaperArtsy challenge, originally as a nudge to use some new stamps although that went out of the window and I ended up reaching for some older ones!

Leandra's starting post for the current theme of "paint" mentioned stencil bumping. I was intrigued and found she has a good video tutorial demonstrating the technique here. I went for a tag as it was nice to experiment on something rather than aiming for a piece to use on a card or other project.

I really liked the effect Leandra got by using the translucent paints over the opaque ones so my colour choices for the base were dictated by what I had in my stash (I've had a transparent blue in my paint collection forever and a day and I had PaperArtsy's Hey Pesto translucent as well as Tinned Peas so blue/green it was!).

I followed Leandra's guide for the base layers and the stencilled circles and then did an extra layer by adding the stars, overlapping the circles in places. My "stencil" was created with a couple of circle punches and a Crop-a-Dile as all my existing stencils are really a bit too fine-patterned (certainly for a learner!).

Using both Mermaid and Snowflake when sponging in the top shapes gives a nice subtle variation of colour, I think and the sanding step really helps with overall coherence.

When I overstamped the painty base, I wanted the word "time" to stand out more so I went over it with a black marker and then clear Wink of Stella. I hadn't planned to stamp on the circles but that swirl was just the perfect size on the larger circle that I couldn't resist the temptation.

There's a second painty thing on the wee hanging tag - the chipboard piece with the year (just metal punches bashed into the chippie with a hammer) was given a base coat of very dark blue and then dry brushed with a couple of lighter paints. I think it gives a nice patina-ish look.

I thought I might use this as a bookmark so steered clear of adding any embellishments on the body of the tag.

Stamps: Clocks Plate 6 by PaperArtsy

Brilliance Graphite Black
Hero Arts Charcoal

PaperArtsy Fresco Finish acrylic paint (Mermaid, Snowflake, Tinned Peas, Hey Pesto)
Midnight Blue and Turquoise acrylic paint by DecoArt
Random transparent blue acrylic paint from stas
Sizzix Thinlits Tag Collection dies
Small tag cut from waste mountboard with Tim Holtz Apothecary Bottles die
Number punches and leather pattern punch
Jump rings
Wink of Stella clear pen
Circle and star punches by Fiskars

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Wednesday 28 January 2015

Party on, puffin!

This week's challenge from the Daring Cardmakers is "You can leave your hat on" and they want to see any sort of headgear making an appearance on our cards.

My first plan was elegant water colouring of a vintage image - that one ended up in the circular file! Scouting around my desk for other ideas, I found this party puffin already stamped and cut out so I picked him up and played - colouring with Copics and using a black and white background to make the colours look even more vivid.

I did end up stamping again so I could cut out an extra crown and layer it up on a bit of gel glue so it has some more dimension. The puffin is also raised just a wee bit off the card surface.

Party Puffin by Crafty Individuals
Numbers background by Kaisercraft
19th Century French Script by Hero Arts (the post cancellation mark)
Essential Messages by Hero Arts

Ink: Brilliance Graphite Black by Tsukineko

Copic markers
Black Enamel Accents by Ranger
Clear Wink of Stella pen
Pinflair glue gel
Corner Chomper

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Thursday 15 January 2015

DCM Take Three

Like Kathy who has set this week's DCM challenge, I don't really do New Year resolutions but I'm joining her on the "try harder" with a few things and one of them is challenges. I used to play regularly with quite a few but have fallen out of the habit. I enjoyed playing along so this year I'm going to try harder, starting with DCM!

The first challenge each month this year is to take at least three elements from a project chosen by one of the DCM designers and to incorporate those into a project of your own. Here's the current challenge.

I chose the hearts (both primitive and more traditional shapes), the green and red elements of the colour scheme, the little crackle pattern that appears on some areas of the sample and, as a bonus fourth element, the style of the sentiment.

As the sample is quite layered and combines lots of elements and colour, I thought it would be nice to try using a CAS style by way of contrast.

The teeny tiny hearts are die cut from a Coke can and they have a really nice "puffy" quality.

Primitive Hearts Bigz die by Sizzix
Confetti die by Mama Elephant
Crackle Glaze background stamp by Indigo Blu
Sentiment from Everyday Essentials stamps by Cornish Heritage Farms (retired)
Fired Brick and Shabby Shutter Distress inks
Brilliance Graphite Black ink
DecoArt Triple Thick gloss glaze
Spellbinder Square die

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Wednesday 7 January 2015

Starting a new year

Happy New Year to all - I hope 2015 is kind to you.

The end of 2014 was not kind for my neighbour - her mum died just before Christmas so I broke off the festive creating to whip up a quick sympathy card.

I chose soft colours and a light, airy feel with lots of white space, simple layering and elements that break over the edges so there's a sense of movement. Chocolate brown ink is just that bit softer than black and perfect for the sentiment on this kind of card.

I always find sympathy cards hard and I almost wish I'd left the butterfly off this but it seemed to fit her mum's character somehow so it stayed.

Simple Sprig and Big Day Today (Waltzingmouse Stamps) 

Brilliance Pearlescent Chocolate 
Distress Bundled Sage and Spun Sugar

Memory Box Cheviot Butterfly die 
Tracing Wheel 

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