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Thursday, 22 October 2020

The doves from above

Hello, crafting friends!

Like everyone else that is reading this I love playing with stamps, but my favourite thing is to find a surprising way to use them!


The bird in the recently-released Christmas Characters stamp set from Funky Fossil usually carries an envelope but it occurred to me that if there were two of them, they could carry a festive banner! 


So, I stamped one bird, then used the mirror technique to stamp another, shaded them with an alcohol marker and fussy cut them, snipping off the envelopes as I didn't need those. You can see what the stamp usually looks like from the image on the right in the photo above.


The banner is from WPlus9's Be Merry and I used an appropriate sentiment from Uniko's Pure Florals Poinsettia (retired), curving it slightly to fit. To give a suggestion of church, I stamped a stained glass window image from Stampin' Up's retired Painted Glass (retired) and added a rough plaster wall courtesy of their In Good Taste designer paper.

CHALLENGES
I shall link my doves from above up with this month's bird-themed challenge at CAS Christmas; I'm also joining in with Merry Little Christmas where as always, Anything Goes.


AND IN OTHER NEWS
I have decided The Craft Square Metre needs an overhaul! My crafting space is in the living room, so I have to be very tidy. I had cunningly interspersed the books on the bookshelves with tasteful boxes and baskets concealing a variety of exciting crafting goodies but the shelves were beginning to groan a little! So I have decided to move the crafting things to some stronger and deeper shelving in an alcove and move the CDs (yes, we still have those!) and paperbacks over to the other side of the room. I may be some time...!

Sending hugs,

Wednesday, 21 October 2020

To absent friends at Christmas

Hello, crafting friends!

This year, there is a possibility that some people will be missing the usual crowd at Christmas, and a toast to absent friends and family was the idea behind today's card.


I started by masking the bottom off a card panel and sponging soft pink ink through Funky Fossil's Funky Circle stencil, fading it out towards the edges. The mask was swapped to the top of the card panel and I sponged the same ink across the bottom to create a 'ground'. The panel was trimmed with a stitched rectangle die by Heffy Doodle and mounted on dark pink card stock.


The glasses and bubbles from Clearly Besotted's Raise a Glass were stamped onto the background and I added colour with alcohol markers. The finishing touches were a bow from WPlus9's Silver Bells on one of the glasses, shimmer on the drinks courtesy of a Wink of Stella pen and some gems.

CHALLENGES
Every year in October, Stephanie and Lauren from Jingle Belles raise money for breast cancer research by donating $2 for every card linked up to their Pink Christmas Card challenge so I'm linking up there. I'm also joining in with The Christmas Kickstart Challenge where the theme is also Pink Christmas.


AND IN OTHER NEWS
Eva is, I'm glad to say, on the mend and is getting lots of TLC. She did suggest that extra snacking might be an effective convalescent treatment but I vetoed that idea firmly. She might have become a little gloomy after that but luckily she found the clean laundry and made an interesting arrangement of socks up the stairs which cheered her up no end!

Sending hugs, 

Monday, 19 October 2020

I just miss you

Hello, crafting friends!

What sort of cards have you mostly made this year? I seem to have made a lot of notecards, Hello cards, Thinking of You cards and Miss You cards.


This card gave me the perfect excuse to use a new-to-me stamp set called Missing You by Inky Doodles that I couldn't resist because of the adorable pup.


I started by die-cutting some clouds in shades of grey using one of the Lawn Fawn Puffy Cloud border dies. They were arranged ombré style and I added a sentiment from WPlus9's Hello and Thanks.


Next I stamped the pup, coloured him with alcohol markers and fussy cut him. I masked off the corner of a card base and sponged an area for my pup to sit and gaze up at the sentiment in the clouds. If this were my pup, he'd never be alone, not even ever!

CHALLENGES
I'm linking this card up with The Rainbow Card Challenge where they're looking for shades of Smokey Slate this month; also Watercooler Wednesday where it's Tristan's tuyrn to host All About Occasions; I felt this was an appropriate card for the males of the species so I'm playing along with the Clean and Simple challenge at Cards 4 Guyz; and since it was my first time inking up the Missing You schtamp schet, I'm joining in at NBUS (Never Before Used Schtuff)!


AND IN OTHER NEWS
I haven't been around lately as Eva has developed an ear infection which has caused a hematoma (swelling of the ear flap.) I'm devastated. She's always been a water baby so I've always made sure I've looked after her ears and this is the first time she's ever had an infection. I took her to the vet and found that vet we knew and trusted has left. The new vet was frankly appalling. He had no idea how to handle a nervy dog and was unable to outline any treatment options except drugs. Eva was absolutely traumatised by the whole experience and I was shocked. 


Neither of us slept the night after the visit but as you can see, Eva has now moved on and is smiling again. We really don't deserve dogs.

Sending hugs,

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

One layer of leaves

Hello, crafting friends!

While I was in the middle of making yesterday's card, Eva wandered by with her enthusiastic tail and sent a stamp set flying onto the floor. As I bent to pick it up, I thought the colours I was using would be perfect for one of the images in the set... Thank you my floofy assistant!


The stamp set turned out to be one of my favourites - In the Meadow by Funky Fossil, but I'd not thought to use any of the images in an autumnal way! I used my stamping platform to stamp the leaf image in three Stampin' Up inks: Cajun Craze, Crushed Curry and Mossy Meadow, tucking a sentiment from WPlus9's Strictly Sentiments 2 between two of them.


It really is the simplest card - one layer and just stamps and inks - no fancy techniques - but I think it's quite effective. I added a sprinkling of gems, which I coloured cinnamon with an alcohol marker, and called it a day :)

CHALLENGES
The Paper Players and Sunday Stamps have very similar autumnal colour swatches this week, so I'm linking up with both challenges.


AND IN OTHER NEWS
In return for giving me stamping ideas, I found Eva a clean field with softy grass so that she could do this:


Full of joie de vivre and living for the moment - what a lot dogs can teach us!

Sending hugs,

Tuesday, 13 October 2020

Hello there autumn!

Hello, crafting friends!

While romping about in the countryside with Eva, I'm definitely seeing some beautiful coloured leaves swirling about and lots of bright berries too. Very inspiring for cards!


The panel on this card started off with the Birch Trees stencil from Funky Fossil. I held it over a scrap of card stock and used a pale orange alcohol marker to add colour. While the stencil was still in place, I over-stamped the colour with a tree from White Christmas (retired) by Stampin' Up.


When the stencil was removed I coloured the trees with alcohol markers and added detail with a black fineliner pen. Then came the fun! I chose some tiny leaves from an ancient Clearly Besotted set called Flower Arrangement and stamped them in gorgeous autumnal colours. When those were done, the panel was trimmed with a Heffy Doodles stitched rectangle die


I stamped a few more of the leaves directly onto the card base, using the panel as a guide. Then I stamped more of the leaves on scrap card, cut them out and popped them up for a bit of dimensional interest. The sentiment is from WPlus9's Strictly Sentiments 2, cut out with a stitched rectangle die.

CHALLENGES
I was inspired by a few of the many autumn-themed challenges out there! The trees and falling leaves were from the Library Challenge's fabulous book cover; the colours from Color My Heart Color Dare's stunning inspiration graphic; I fell in love with the sketch from Fab Friday; and I made an autumnal scene as per this month's Autumn Glory theme at Stamping Sensations.


AND IN OTHER NEWS
The leaves are beginning to drop now, and some of the trees are looking very autumnal, but you can see from this photo taken this morning...


... that there's still a lot of green around. Eva, who was on Squirrel Patrol, had scampered on ahead and had disappeared around that corner; I called her and am delighted to report that her recall was absolutely spot on - which is quite impressive under the squirrelly circumstances!

Sending hugs,

Monday, 12 October 2020

A comforting card

Hello, crafting friends!

Like many of you, I've been struggling with a lack of mojo recently but at 9.30 last night a card idea struck me and I spent a little while trying to bring it to life. When I looked at it again in daylight this morning, it didn't seem too bad, so here it is!


One of my favourite ways to start a card is to stencil a background, and that's what I've done here, sponging pink ink gently through Funky Fossil's Knitted stencil and fading it out at the edges. I wanted it to feel as comforting as a soft knitted throw.


Over the top, I stamped some foliage and berries from WPlus9's Silver Bells and tied them together with one of the bows from the set, stamped in pink and fussy cut. What a brilliant stamp set this is! It's one of those rare Christmas sets that you can leave out on your desk and use every day, all the year round! After adding a bit of detail with markers, I finished the card with a sentiment from Stampin' Up's Today's Tiles and some sparkling green sequins.

EDITED TO ADD AN AWARD
This card was showcased at The Color Throwdown!

CHALLENGES
This week's beautiful colours at The Color Throwdown inspired this card, as well as the theme at Time Out Challenges where they are raising breast cancer awareness with cards of encouragement featuring optional pink - my pink bow is a nod to the iconic pink ribbon.


AND IN OTHER NEWS
In the absence of a crafting mojo, I've been escaping into books more. I've re-read Lord of the Rings, that epic tale of good versus evil, and now it seems appropriate to be reading novels set in wartime as that is the last time people's lives changed so dramatically. The Cazalet Chronicles by Elizabeth Jane Howard, a family saga covering the period before, during and after WWII, and told mainly from the home front perspective; and The Camomile Lawn by Mary Wesley, a similar perspective but quite different in tone. Does anyyone who has read these have any recommendations for me?

Sending hugs,

Tuesday, 6 October 2020

Naughty or nice?

Hello, crafting friends!

What wonderful escapism card making is! While making today's card, I imagined this little grey kitten got a bit over-excited in the run up to Christmas and couldn't resist stealing his human's ball of wool to play with!


The card started with Funk Fossil's Arched Window stencil. Arched Window? I hear you cry! There's nothing arched about this window! Well that's because I turned the arch on its side and masked off the arched bit. Cunning huh?! I sponged blue ink into the panes and added snow with my Uni Posca white paint pen.



The tree is from Christmas Characters by Funky Fossil, and that cute puss cat and the ball of yarn is from Clearly Besotted's Fluffy Furball. I stamped them all, coloured them with alcohol markers, fussyy cut them and arranged them on a rug cut out of textured red card stock with an oval die. The space between the rug and the window was the perfect place for the sentiment, which is from another Clearly Besotted set, Red Robin.

CHALLENGES
I shall link this card up with Festive Friday, where I've chosen Cats, Yarn and Clean and Simple from the inspiration list. I'm also playing along with Allsorts, where they theme is Cute Christmas, and Merry Little Christmas where Anything Goes.


AND IN OTHER NEWS
It's too early for snow to make an appearance here but the same cannot be said of rain! What Storm Alex lacked on the wind front, he certainly made up for with the wet stuff. After four days of pretty much permanent rain, the skies cleared yesterday morning and I took Eva to the park. She was delighted that someone had laid on some water features to entertain her and went absolutely loopy scampering in and out of them!


The photo on the left shows where the path would normally go. The river usually drops in a pretty little waterfall and flows gently along to the right of the path. There are benches where you can sit and admire the waterfall and you can just about see them submerged by the fence in the photo on the right. There are picnic tables to the left of the path, although no-one seemed to be using them today!! 

Hope you are keeping warm and dry! Sending hugs,

Sunday, 4 October 2020

Birthday stripes for a guy

Hello, crafting friends!

With my nephew's birthday coming up, I joined in enthusiastically with World Card Making Day yesterday. But Storm Alex was still showing off outside and it was so dark that there wasn't a chance of a photo, so here it is today instead! 


The stripes are the trimmings from various projects which I'm ashamed to say have been building up by my trimmer for some time. But instead of throwing them in the recycle bin, I collected some good colours and similar sizes together and glued them onto a thick card base, using the Big and Bold Happy from Uniko as a guide for the angle.


The 'happy' was stamped in navy ink on an offcut of white card stock, and heat embossed with clear embossing powder. It didn't work all that well, as you can see from the close-up, but I thought it actually looked quite effective as a texture so I went with it. I don't have the die that goes with this set so I snipped the word out (yes, I AM getting the die!!!) and attached it to my stripes. The card was finished with a sentiment from Simply Said Blocks, again from Uniko, and some enamel dots.

Uniko is a small business and I for one am a big fan and am keen to support Bev, the owner and designer -  especially through these difficult times. I have quite a few of her products and they're great quality and beautifully designed. She is having a World Card Making Day giveaway as well as offering 20% off all products until tonight, 4th October - so do pop over to the website to have a look :)

CHALLENGES
I'm linking this card up with Inkspirational, where the challenge is to angle something on your card; and also The Snippets Playground as I've used up some snippetty bits on my card :)


AND IN OTHER NEWS
I made biscuits (cookies) today to bring round to a friend's house. I forgot to put the timer on and they were ever so slightly (!) darker than they should have been. So I stopped off at the supermarket and bought a little box of chocolates instead and we sat in my pal's She Shed with the doors open and had a cup of tea, a natter and some chocolates. What a nice Sunday afternoon!

Sending hugs,

Friday, 2 October 2020

Something to celebrate, using four masks!

Hello, crafting friends!

Does anyone else keep a couple of bottles of fizz in the back of the cupboard in the happyy belief that a celebration is sure to happen soon? Of course you do! My stashed bottles were the inspiration for today's one layer card.


These gorgeous champagne coupes are from Mimosas by Avery Elle and I have used them quite a lot! To make the card, I masked off  the edges of a good thick card base, stamped the glasses in versamark and heat embossed in silver. I made a mask for the glasses by stamping them again on a sticky note and cutting them out. That's two masks - the edges of the card and the glasses.


For my third mask, I used a piece of scrap paper, laying it over the top of the masked glasses and inking in a ground. For the fourth mask, I transferred the scrap paper to the ground, laid Funky Fossil's Folk Floral Wallpaper stencil across the top of the masked glasses and inked into it lightly with rust coloured ink. All the masks were then removed - and I never want to type the word mask again!

I finished the card by colouring the glasses with water-based markers and adding Wink of Stella shimmer. The sentiment was put together with words from the Mimosas set. 

EDITED TO ADD AN AWARD
So proud to be get Honours at Time Out with this card :)


CHALLENGES
Less is More has a one layer card challenge this fortnight with the theme of Cheers! I'm also joining in a Time Out where there's a fun word challenge: 'Move over Coffee. Today is a day for Champagne!' At Watercooler Wednesday, they're celebrating a five-Wednesday month with an Anything Goes challenge, so I shall link up there too.


AND IN OTHER NEWS
There's definitely no champagne on the cards here today. Storm Alex has come to batter us with winds and rain and has decided to stay for the weekend. I have spent my day changing in and out of an oilskin and wellies, rubbing Eva down with towels, and muttering "Go home Alex! No one likes you and who invited you anyway?!"

Sending hugs (and here's hoping for something to celebrate soon...!) 

Wednesday, 30 September 2020

The autumn fairy

Hello, crafting friends!

I had an autumnal moment in the Craft Square Metre and when I came up for air, this card had happened:


I adore this little fairy from Funky Fossil's Christmas Characters stamp set. She may come from a Christmas set but she's definitely an all-the-year-rounder! I made a layered background for her with three Funky Fossil stencils (Brick Wall, Fancy Trellis and Arched Window), stood her on a bit of wood-effect designer paper from SU and surrounded her with stamped leaves from Reverse Confetti's Fall Foliage.


The leaves were coloured with Spectrum Noir alcohol markers and because I'd used my semi-coated card stock they have a lovely sheen. The fairy was stamped, coloured and fussy cut. I've given her the Wink of Stella treatment so she shimmers and she has a glowing amber gem on her dress. She looks as if she's summoning up a wind to swirl the leaves around but maybe she's just trying to remember where she left her keys...!


Tiny dots, added with a gold pen and with the Wink of Stella pen give that magical feel. To make the sentiment, I stamped the banner from Concord & 9th's Hello Sunshine turnabout set in Stazon ink on vellum, added a greeting from Clearly Besotted's Simply Said, and snipped it out.

EDITED TO ADD AN AWARD
This card was chosen as the Sapphire Winner at Color My Heart Color Dare!


CHALLENGES
I'm squeaking in under the wire at The Rainbow Challenge's Autumnal Amber challenge. I will also link up at The Color My Heart Color Dare 413 where I've chosen Canary, Espresso and gold, adding in Toffee and Sundance! Allsorts are looking for Autumn Colours this week so I'm joining in there too.


AND IN OTHER NEWS
I've been cleaning Eva's ears today. She is a very good girl about it I must say and the most difficult thing about it for me is getting her to sit in a position in the light where I can see what I'm doing. She always gets a nice treat when I've finished and she certainly looks forward to that!


It's terribly tiring though!!!

Sending hugs,