Saturday, 24 June 2017

Sweet Stampin' - Many Layers

Saturday at last and to kick off the weekend we have a new challenge over at Sweet Stampin'. This week we want to see "Many Layers". I did giggle when I read this challenge as we've all been taking layers off in the recent heatwave!
My starting point for this card was this wedding cake stamp set from Hunkdory. Lots of layers of cake!
I originally stamped the cake and added the bride and groom and stamped the sentiment under it on a rectangle of white card with the intention of just adding lots of mats and layers behind it. In the stamp set however, there was a bunting stamp which reminded me I had this cute heart string die by Penny Black in my NBUS pile and I could create a background with it. I cut it out of three shades of pink and arranged them on some cream card rather than white, so that the white cake would stand out. I mounted the cream on mats of two shades of the pink (I didn't have enough of the third colour) on a 5x7 card base. I coloured the cake with my zigs and fussy cut it. 
To prevent it floating in the air I put a strip of pink card under it (a bit like a table cloth). I added pearls where they were drawn in on the cake and then added a strip of pearls to integrate them. I stamped the sentiment, masking off the stick at the bottom (it's designed so that it can be an alternative topper on the cake) on white card. I then die cut it and a pink mat using tattered lace decorative labels dies. I added the cake and sentiment to the card using foam tape and popped a little glamour dust on the flowers and bride with a quickie glue pen. Hopefully, you can see the sparkle in the second photo.
I've scheduled this post as for once I'm getting up early on a Saturday as I'm off to Preston for my next round of facet joint injections in my neck. They can sometimes cause a flare up, so my apologies if I'm late visiting you this week x

Thursday, 22 June 2017

You Rock!

Phew! Thank goodness it's cooled down slightly, I was about to spontaneously combust in the heat. It wasn't helped by the fact that our bedroom window no longer opens and so it was 27 degrees in there on Wednesday night. That coupled with the morphine hot sweats meant I was an exhausted puddle until today.
I'm sat watching C&C whilst typing this, blogging is saving me from buying any more Christmas dies, but I do love watching Loen, who is currently dressed as a Christmas pudding!
Right, I shall stop waffling and move on to the fact that I actually made a card today. Albeit, a very simple one. I cut the Sizzix "Card front - Arrows" out of orangey card and glued it on to a 5x7 card blank. I'd previously cut it out of thicker more browny orange card, but I was having issues with it having "hairy bits" even when I scrubbed it with my brush tool thingy. Imanged to de-hair one of the arrows that popped out of it as waste and so I stamped the Paper Smooches sentiment on it and stuck it on the card with foam tape to cover the glue smudge I'd made. All the other elements were from the paper freebie that came with the July edition of Making Cards magazine. I backed them on card before fussy cutting them out and adding them with either glue or foam tape. Simples!

Monday, 19 June 2017

Many Happy Returns

Phew, it's warm! I've spent most of the day melting and the rest of it trying to stop the bunnies melting. Black fur onesies aren't that good in hot weather, poor things.
I had wanted to do some more screen printing today, but I need to iron the things I'm printing onto first and it's way too hot, especially as I have my own medication fuelled microclimate these days.
I did manage to do a tiny bit of heat embossing though as AAA cards want to see a resist technique used.
I started off by marking in pencil where I wanted my strip to go on the kraft card and then stamped my sentiment from a Clearly Besotted set in versamark and heat embossed in white embossing powder. I was tempted just to leave it out in the sun rather than use my heat tool, but sanity prevailed!
I masked off the strip with paper either side and stamped the butterfly from the Uniko set in versafine before heat embossing it in white. I then replaced the masks and blended Distress Oxides in Broken China and Wilted Violet over the butterflies, wiping the ink off the embossing although it stained slightly.
I then mounted my panel on a white card blank and added 3 pearls. I covered up where my masks had moved slightly on the panel by edging it in white pen, obviously I wasn't going for the perfect straight line effect!
The card still needed a little something and so I fussy cut one of the butterflies off my rejected attempt and added it to the card to finish. I hope you're all keeping cool, especially if you're working in this heat x

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Happy Father's Day

Apologies for the wonky photo, I didn't crease the card properly before I took the picture.
I think I've mentioned before that my Dad loves caravaning, and I have many happy memories of trips away with various caravans and motorhomes, so this stamp set by Hunkdory was an obvious purchase.
I stamped the car and caravan on copic friendly card and coloured it in with my favourite copics (the caravan is a bit lighter in real life) before cutting it out. I added some glossy accents to the windows to make them shine.
I decided to use a 6x6 card blank and so using Microsoft Word, I selected one of the wordart options, that gave a outline to the block letters. I sized the word DAD using the rulers on screen and then printed the word on copy paper. I then cut out the inside of the letters and the centre parts using my scissors so I could mask off the card. I scribbled round the edges of the letters and the cut out centre bits with a quickie glue pen and allowed it to dry clear to give me a repositional adhesive to help the masks stay in place. I then used my Elizabeth Crafts Clouds and Grass stencil to add in the sky with versamagic chalk ink and a mini blending tool. I used the edge of my Clarity blending map to create the hills with memento ink.
After I removed the masks I added faux stitching round the letters to define them and also round the edge of the card. I stuck the car and caravan on using foam tape to add some dimension and I added some distress micro glaze over the inked landscape to fix it.
We won't mention how many backgrounds failed to meet my standards. I will tell you that you can reuse your copy paper mask at least 4 times though! A top tip is to make sure that you add enough colour around the edges of your letters so that you can clearly see where the dotted lines need to go, otherwise you end up with duplicate letters that don't match.
Hopefully Dad will like his card, it's always nice to be able to thank him in the card for all he does for me. I hope you all get to spend some time with your Dads' today, but hugs for all of you who aren't able to do so x

Thursday, 15 June 2017

The Flower Challenge #9 - Halfway Reminder

It's time for our halfway reminder over at The Flower Challenge and my teamies have come up with some more amazing inspiration for you.
I decided to use up some flowers that I had stamped in black on white paper and fussy cut some time last year and which had been languishing in a pot on the bookcase. I think they are Chloe stamps and the smallest flowers are from a Dreamees set.
I painted the flowers with some diluted starlights paint, so they have a lovely shimmer to them. I also painted the edges of a piece of card with the starlights to give me a coordinating mat on my 8x8 card. I used a piece of white card on top of this which had been embossed with a free emobossing folder that came with my cut n boss machine. I arranged the flowers in a circle on the embossed card, placing large flowers at 12, 3, 6 and 9 if it was a clock face and then filling in the gaps.
I die cut Sue Wilson's faux quilled leaves out of green card and snipped them up and tucked them in being the flowers. I also cut the lawn lawn hugs out of the green and layered it up to add some dimension and added it to the centre of the flowers. I then added some bling from my stash to the centre of each flower and corners of the card. I still wasn't feeling the love for this card, so I added some details to the flowers using a white gel pen. Much happier with that. I hope this second picture shows some of the shimmer, 

Wednesday, 14 June 2017


Angela's recent post using the Lauren Burch for Stampendous Cats inspired me to ink up my new Mama Elephant's The Cat's Meow stamp. I wasn't in a colouring mood and so decided to paper piece the cats, using some snippets of patterened paper from the bit box. Once I'd glued them all onto the kraft background, I coloured in their ears, any items then had on or were holding and added a little colour to their cheeks.

I stamped one of the balloons from the stamp set and some more balloons and sentiment  from Mama Elephant's Celebration Balloons and paper pieced these using some scraps of coloured card. I couldn't be bothered to cut out the centres of some of the letters and so coloured these in in a browny colour to try and match the kraft card. I drew in the strings with a black fineliner and added some faux stitching round the edge of the image. To finish, I added glossy accents to the balloons and the cat's noses, before mounting it on green card on a landscape 5x7 card blank.

As I used lots of bits I'm heading over to the Snippet's Playground, to see what mischief Parsnip has been up to!

Monday, 12 June 2017

Screen Sensations Bunnies

Happy Monday! I'm still aching from Friday, but that didn't stop me from having a play with my new bunny screen on Saturday.
I masked off the 3 smaller bunnies on the 12x12 screen and just used the larger rabbit to make some 6x6 cards. I blobbed on blue jeans and ultra violet ink and let them mingle as I carried on printing. 
I had great fun, got slightly messy, but that's the default setting for me! Clean up was easy though as everything just washes off in cold water and is drain safe.
I had a play colouring in one of the bunnies with my polychromos that evening. Happy with how it turned out. Looking forward to playing with it again, but definitely being good and resting up today.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Sweet Stampin' - Monochrome

Saturday again! Of course that means that it's time for a new challenge over at Sweet Stampin' and this week our theme is Monochrome.
Monochrome can be any colour and white, but I chose the use black as it was the ink pad that was still out on the crafting table of doom! I thought this lovely Magnolia Blooms stamp set from Clearly Besotted would work beautifully with the theme. I used my MISTI to stamp the large bloom and also the leaves twice on white card in versafine, so that I could make sure I got a crisp evenly black image. I then used the matching dies to cut them out.
I had a play on a bit of card to find an arrangement that I liked, and snipped the leaves to fit. This gave me an idea of the size of topper I liked, on which I stamped the sentiment from the set and then trimmed it down. I glued on the leaves and added the bloom with foam tape. I added a black mat behind the topper. I'd chosen the sentiment because of the size and shape I could make with the words, but I felt it looked a little austere for a birthday day. I rummaged in my gem box to find some black pearls to add and came across this blingy strip. Bingo! To make the proportions of the card work, I used a 7x7 card blank, glued on the bling and then added the topper with foam tape either side of the bling.
I hope you're inspired to join us at Sweet Stampin' this week, we love seeing all your amazing makes. Have a great weekend (this post is scheduled, so I may surface before lunch, or maybe not!) x

Friday, 9 June 2017

Crafting Live at Bolton

I went to Crafting Live at the Bolton Arena this morning, the first time it's been run by them, rather than Hunkdory. It was pretty busy and there were a good number of stands. I bumped into a couple of crafting friends there and managed to spend up, even without their encouragement! I'd been after a new guillotine for a while as mine has developed a dodgy cutting bit partway down the blade. Hubby will no doubt fail to understand why I also bought a smaller version - you lovely crafters will know that having a small one that you can keep close to hand is well, handy! They don't show up very well, on the photos, but I also bought two sets of Rare Earth flower stamps and a set of their dusting/blending brushes. Finally, sneaking into the photo are 4 Lil of the Valley stamps.
Of course the spending didn't stop there. They were doing free make and takes throughout the day with various companies, but also Screen Sensations were doing a one hour workshop for just under £40, however this included the screen printing kit, a tub of paint and a 12x12 stencil, worth £115 in total! It was so helpful to have the tuition and guidance, along with top tips, and hands on practicing on paper and a couple of different types of fabrics. Obviously, I spent extra on some more paints and screens (including one with bunnies on), well when they were all on 3 for 2, it would have been rude not too!
I have great plans (when we eventually move house) to screen print the plain curtains and cushions and possibly anything else that is flat and doesn't move! I came home laden with all my goodies, which unfortunately means that my neck and shoulders are suffering now. An early night tonight, methinks!

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Oh Pooh!

My niece loves Piglet and her whole family love Disney. I swear you can't move more than 6 inches in their house without spotting something else with Mickey Mouse ears on it. It was my neice's 13th birthday in April and they went to Disneyland Paris for a few days to celebrate. I was behind with my crafting and said that her card and pressie would be waiting for her when they got back from Paris. I didn't say which trip though, as last week they took our parents to Disneyland Paris with them. I managed to get this card posted before they returned! It sounds like they had a fab time. 
I used this cute Winnie and Piglet die that I purchased from Create and Craft and paper pieced the characters. I used a die from a cheap set of four to cut the hills and mounted them on a piece of card to which I'd added clouds with my Elizabeth Crafts stencil and versamagic chalk ink. I'd also bought a Disney alphabet dies and stamp set from Create and Craft and used them to cut out the word belated. The birthday wishes stamp is from a Clearly Besotted message set. I wanted to keep the Disney feel, but not make it too childlike and so kept it very simple.
I have to say that adding the Disney brand to any craft item seems to double the price, but given their love of Disney I think I can get my money's worth out of them. I even used some of the stamps to decorate the envelope (and inside the card, but I forgot to to a photo of that).
Crafting Live comes to Bolton this weekend, it will be interesting to see what it's like this year after they took it over from Hunkdory. I'm hoping to go on Friday, so wave at me if you see me there x

Sunday, 4 June 2017

The Flower Challenge # 9

Well, it's 4th June (where is this year going?) and so it's time for a new challenge at The Flower Challenge, our challenge this month is the fabulous
If you could include our cue card in your entry post, we'd love you even more than we already do. If you're not sure how to do that, them just ask any of the DT and we'll be happy to help.
For my project this week I chose to use a 5x7 canvas board for a change, rather than make a card. I watered down some Starlight Lilac Blue paint to make a wash and painted the canvas board with it. When dry (I used a heat tool because I'm impatient), I then stamped the Woodware Whimsical Flower Sally Anne on the board in black versafine ink and heat set it as again I could wait for it to dry!
I painted in the flower, going over the black lines with Cosmic Shimmer chalk paints. I used mulled wine and heather for the petals, heritage green and ivy for the stem and leaves and first bud and Paperartsy fresco finish chalk acrylic in Guacamole for the centre of the flower. Once again I used my heat tool to dry the paint.  I then stamped the flower again in versafine back over the paint, not worrying if it wasn't perfectly lined up. 
Once dry (yup, heat tool again) I mixed some Imagination Crafts structure paste with a little of the Starlight lilac blue paint to give it a blue tint and applied it using parts of the Imagination Crafts Art Deco Corners stencil around the edge of the canvas board. I actually left it to dry overnight  and the following morning I applied a little Alchemy Wax in Japanese Jade around the edges with my finger. It has a lovely shimmer to the background in real life, which contrasts well with the chalk finish of the flower, hopefully the following picture gives some indication of that.
You've got until 25th June to join in and we'll be back with some more inspiration for you on 15th June.  We can't wait to see your fabulous floral creations x

Thursday, 1 June 2017


Are you sitting comfortably? This is going to be a loooong post. 
I started off with a 12x12 mdf jigsaw that I purchased on an InkBuds weekender last year. I gave the sides of the pieces a coat of white paint to take away the bare mdf look and glued them to two papers from Craft Consortium's 12x12 Tell the Bees paper pad. I made sure I got the text the right way up! I roughly trimmed the edges of the paper and then sanded them to get a good finish. (Apologies for the dodgy photo, the sunlight was too bright!)
I then went round the edge of the pieces with a piece of cut and dry foam with a tiny bit of blueberry crush chalk paint on it.
Yuck. Too much contrast, so I went back over it all with the same technique but with natural stone chalk paint to knock it back.
Much happier with this. To secure the jigsaw and stop it falling apart, at this point I flipped it over and added sticky tape across the joins. I then found some 12x12 paper in my stash that I didn't like and stuck it across the back with cosmic shimmer. I continued until I had 4 layers of paper stuck on, which made it very sturdy.
You can see on the above photo, resting on the back of the jigsaw, the honeycomb die from the A5 X-cut Beekeeping set, that I cut in kraft card and then covered in Pinflair gold buff it before snipping them up ready to go on the jigsaw. I also sponged a bit of Starlights Rich Gold paint on parts of them to add a little more interest.
I die cut the hive from the same X-Cut set 3 times in kraft card and then pressed them into a versamark pad and heat embossed them with white embossing powder. I gave them two coats to get a good finish, before adding them to the jigsaw with foam pads to add dimension.
I die cut various flowers from both the Tim Holtz Wildflower sets in kraft card and coloured them with a mixture of blueberry crush chalk paint and distress and distress oxide inks to get the colours I wanted.
I then tucked the flowers around the hives with cosmic shimmer glue, cutting them down where necessary.
I die cut the sentiment using a Sweet Dixie Die and layered it up twice in kraft card to add some dimension and painted it with blueberry crush chalk paint. I also bought some amazing mdf bees from StickerKitten and painted them to highlight the details.
I then arranged the bees, sentiment and honeycomb pieces on the jigsaw and secured them with cosmic shimmer glue, before going around the edges of the jigsaw with my finger dipped in a little Pinflair gold buff it and then with a tiny amount of Starlights in Amethyst to finish the piece.
For some reason, the main picture is registering more blue than purple, so hopefully the following picture is more colour accurate.
Still with me? Go and get yourself a large tipple of something, you deserve it!

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Best Fishes...

I made a card using the Avery Elle "It Bites" recently and had some left over fish stamped and coloured floating around my craft table of doom, so decided to use them to make a few quick cards.
I applied distress oxide ink to an acrylic block, spritzed with water and squashed down on a 4x4 Ivory card blank. This gave different effects depending on how much ink and water was applied and whether I overstamped in a different colour. I glued the fish on and stamped some bubbles from the set with versafine black ink and also the sentiment from Simon Says Stamp's Keep Swimming set. Simples!

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Remembering Manchester

Obviously, the events in Manchester have been on my mind all week, especially as I often used to get the bus into Manchester on a Saturday with my friends to look round the shops when I was a teenager. I was looking for another stamp in my stash, when I stumbled across this lady from Impression Obsession and she just spoke to me. The way she cradled her arms around the heart mirrored all the communities that had pulled together to support those affected in Manchester.
I forgot to take any photos of the start of the process, but I stamped her in black versafine ink on a 5x7 canvas board and then used faber-castell glass bead glitter gel through a Tim Holtz Wilfdlower stencil at her feet and a Tim Holtz Blossom stencil above her head and let it dry.
I then used my distress crayons (for the first time!) and scribbled then directly on the canvas and blended them with my finger. I wanted to get a dark background with nature being blurred into it. The glass bead glitter gel is quite abrasive to rub over and I had a sore finger by the end of the project!
I then started painting in the figure, using a mix of chalk and acrylic paints, depending on what I had available in the right colours. 
I wanted to add some more depth to the background and so used a stencil over the top of the distress crayons and used a barely wet baby wipe to lift off some of the colour. I got some on her face, but as I intended to make her skin a bit deeper this wasn't a problem. I also decided at this point that I needed some more foliage in front of her as there was a gap as the stencil overlapped at this point when I first applied the gel, so I added in an extra wildflower and left it to dry.
I added green distress crayon over the new wildflower, having dark base behind it rather than the white gives a slightly more vibrant colour to it. I felt the contrast in the background was too strong and so I knocked it back with more directly applied distress crayons and blended again with my finger. I continued to paint the figure until I was happy with her.
Almost finished, I painted the date on to the heart and added gold Buff It around the edge of the canvas to frame it. I still wasn't happy with her hair and so I grabbed my copics that were next to me and coloured over the top of the paint. Finished.
 The glass bead and glitter gel gives a subtle sparkle as well as texture,hopefully these photos will show it better.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Sweet Stampin' - Very Old Stash

Happy Saturday! It's a bank holiday weekend here in England, so I'm expecting the heatwave to vanish and to have golf ball sized hailstones by lunch!
Why not shelter inside and join us this week at Sweet Stampin'  as we want you to dig out some of your very old stash. We all fall prey to the lure of shiny new stash, but let's dig something neglected out from the back of the cupboard and show it some love.
I used a really old stamp set for my card this week, "Basil" from Happy Harvest by Trimcraft, copyright 2010 according to the packaging! I have to confess that I remember colouring up this particular image when I first got it, but it's been languishing in my box of bits until now, poor thing. I'd initally just trimmed down the image, rounded the corners and added some faux stitching (yep, still doing it 7 years later...). To revitalise it I trimmed it down using a spellbinders labels 8 die (that's been in my stash for a bit, they must be up to labels 178 by now) and then I added a frame using decorative labels 8. My paper is from an old Lili of the Valley pad, possibly One Birdie Lane, that I've had for years. I finished it off with a bit of crochet type lace that had been lurking in my stash for several years. Simples! I'm looking forward to seeing your creations, just remember to include some stamping to be in with a chance to be in our top three.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Ice Cream

Phew! Is anyone else melting in the heat? Sooo glad I'm not at work at the moment, our uniforms aren't made for summer!
I decided to have a play with this very appropriate new stamp from Lili of the Valley, Alice Ice Cream. I stamped it in Versafine on watercolour card with my misti to get a good impression. I then coloured it in with zig clean colour pens and a waterbrush. I added some clouds with an Elizabeth Crafts stencil and sea breeze versamagic chalk ink using a mini blending tool. Another new purchase was the Hunkydory Framed With Love die set which they've released to tie in with their Little Books range, being the perfect size to co-ordinate with them. I die cut the frame out of purple card and in a moment of madness ( I blame the heat!) decided to inlay the frame rather than stick it on top of the image panel. I also inlaid the sentiment die from the same set. I used some old Lil of the Valley papers on my card base and used a sizzix interlocking ovals strip die in purple to balance out the card, along with a few pearls to finish.
Shh, don't tell anyone but I rescued the image panel with sentiment attached from my original attempt at this card. It wasn't pretty. Heck, it wasn't even attractive in a poor light! Fortunately, I'd added the image panel on foam tape so I managed to save it.
Hope you all enjoy the lovely weather, I'm doing my best to keep the bunnies cool with frozen water bottles and wet towels over their run. Hot weather's not fun if you're wearing a fur onesie, poor things!

Thursday, 25 May 2017

InkBuds - Distress techniques

The second project we made at the InkBuds weekender was a tag book of different distress techniques taught by Hels Sheriden who is a qualified Ranger Educator. In order to prevent us getting brain fog from all the techniques, we added stamping to the tags before making them up into a book with mount board covers. I wasn't feeling brilliant and so I left early. Hels did offer to assemble my book for me, but I decided to bring it home unfinished instead. The photos show the front and back of the tags, we did the same techniques on both sides.
There was a mix of experience in the group and so we started off with the basics and progressed onwards, with lots of tips as we went. I won't go into details about all the techniques, but I will share the top tip of the day. Your most important distress ink is Antique Linen. If you're doing a blending technique, then put down a base coat of Antique Linen before you add your colours. It won't affect the colour of your inks significantly, but it will allow the inks to move more freely as they're sat on top of it and so you will get a smoother blend. If you're having trouble with a hard edge on a blend then if you go over the top of it with Antique Linen then it will smooth it out.
I had a play with some of the techniques a couple of days after the workshop and used the spare blank tags we'd been given to practice the techniques and to write down the steps on the back as a reference.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

A strange day...

I planned to post about the great weekend I had with the InkBuds; Hels Sheriden and Pauline Wheeler in Preston, but awoke to the terrible news of the terrorist attack in Manchester last night. Just unthinkable. I have to focus on the positives, how quickly the community pulled together to support those affected. My local supermarket had set up a table as you enter the store with a vase of lilies and a collection bucket for those killed or injured and it was filing up quickly. Of course my thoughts remain with those affected by this, but things must carry on to prove that terrorism will not win.
This is the altered sketch book that we made on Sunday, being black it's a swine to photograph. Hopefully the close ups show more of the detail. It's slightly larger than A4. Pauline gave us all our initials to add to the book, but also had lots of spare letters incase anyone wanted to make it for someone else, or add a word instead. We used treasure gold gilding wax to highlight the texture and embelishments. Although we had a sample to follow we could choose our own layout and embelishments. Pauline had a bag of wooden embelishments for us to rummage through (trust me to find a bunny in them!) and we also had lots of bits in our kit to play with - these are all the bits I had left over to play with later...
I'll be back tomorrow with the other project we made. Take care x