Thursday 23 May 2024

A truck load of birthday wishes

Hello, crafting friends!
Welcome to another Tic Tac Toe challenge! Felicita has created the board for this fortnight and she has come up with ideas that will hopefully inspire you to get a masculine card or two under your belt! 

I was inspired by the diagonal from bottom left, but realised that the top row fits as well!

Earlier on this year when the days were dark and the rain never seemed to stop, I won a bumper prize from The Snippets Playground that really brightened my day :) Included in the parcel was a large Christmas die set from Tonic Studios which included a truck. The moment I saw that I wanted to play with it - and now is the perfect opportunity!

I cut my truck out of snippets of white card and sponged and watercoloured with distress oxide inks, trying to give it a 'seen some action' look! The tyres were cut with a circle punch and the whole thing put together and glued onto the shadow die which came with it.

For the background, I cut a rectangle out of a white offcut using a stitched rectangle die from Heffy Doodle and cut across it with one of Lawn Fawn's Puffy Cloud border dies. The bottom of the rectangle was masked and sponged with green distress oxide ink. The sentiment is the Lawn Fawn Giant Happy Birthday To You die which I used with a yellow offcut of card. I trimmed off the 'to you' part with paper snips and glued the sentiment over the clouds, allowing it to burst out of the scene. To finish, I added the truck and a Clearly Besotted sentiment in a surprise pop of red.

Okay, so now it's your turn! Do hop over to the Tic Tac Toe Challenge blog and check out the amazing inspiration from my team mates. To play, choose a row, column or diagonal on the board and make a card using the ideas; when you're ready to share it with us, use the Linky Tool at the bottom of the post. Have fun!

I’m vroooming over to the Snippets Playground in my truck - anyone fancy a ride? The snippets I used were all white except a yellow offcut for the sentiment and a tiny piece of black for the tyres. I’m also joining in with The Sisterhood of Crafters where the challenge is All About the Men and The Male Room where the theme is Planes Trains and Automobiles. The Winter Village die set is making its debut so I shall stop to refuel and then motor on over to Darnell's NBUS Challenge :)

I love taking my golden girls out for walks in weather which is dry and warm, but not TOO warm - like today. We can go out and play in the countryside then and don't need a river to cool Eva down with her thick coat (although if there's any water around, she will find it, no matter what colour it is and what it smells like!) If the girls aren't on a tantalising scent or chasing a cheeky bird or rabbit, they can always play Dens.

Here's a cosy little place that Lulu has discovered in a hedge. The perfect place to bring up a litter of puppies and welcome Bubba Dog home after his long day hunting!

I tell her that boy dogs and puppies are a lot of work and that Meaty Chunks twice a day plus extra treats, plenty of walks and snuggles on the sofa isn't such a bad life!

Sending hugs,

Wednesday 22 May 2024

Nostalgic thoughts

Hello, crafting friends!
The golden girls and I went on a slightly earlier walk yesterday, mainly because I had one eye on the weather forecast... Sadly, we have had to say goodbye to The Tropics and embrace welly weather again. But that's okay! It gave me the perfect opportunity to abandon the allotment and have a little inky play.

With this card I have wandered quite some distance from Comfort Zone Central and ended up in Vintage Village, which is uncharted territory for me! But sometimes it's fun to challenge yourself isn't it :) I imagined overlapping letters, so I masked areas off on a panel and sponged pale brown ink over the edges before stamping them with script stamps from The Greetery's Pretty Postmarks. The panel was trimmed to size with a stitched rectangle die and, for a bit of detail, I cut the centre of the panel out with a label die before replacing it.
Once the background was glued to my card front, I created a little focal cluster on my letters using a stamp image and postage marks from the Pretty Postmarks set. I topped this with a gorgeous old-fashioned rose from Fleur Impressions, also from The Greetery, stamped and cut out. I added some tiny pearls too for extra prettiness!

The sentiment is from a Dovecraft set that I thought would be perfect for this vintage look! I stamped it in brown ink and coloured the little butterfly with a pale pink marker. When I glued it on the panel I left a little bit unglued and curled it up a little.

This card was inspired by We Love Stamping where Lynn's challenge for May is anything stamped goes with an optional twist of Vintage. I'm also whisking this card over to Allsorts where huge congratulations are in order as the challenge celebrates its 15th birthday this week! There are amazing prizes, so do come and join in :) 

And talking of 15th birthdays, next month will actually be We Love Stamping's 15th birthday too so save the date for a special celebration there too!

The temperatures may have dropped but there's no need to worry about chilly toes in my house...
... as the built-in foot warmers are working perfectly! Thanks Eva!

Sending hugs,

Monday 20 May 2024

Truly tropical birthday

Hello, crafting friends!
The weather here has turned truly tropical and today's card reflects that! Come and see:
I started with some snippets of white card and a stamp set that's been loitering in my NBUS box for nearly two years - Tropical Bouquet by Avery Elle. I stamped the two hibiscus flowers in coral ink and a leaf in a dark teal and fussy cut them all. For my background, I cut a square of watercolour paper and painted in a sky and seascape using the same inks, plus a paler teal. When this was dry, I arranged the flowers and leaf in a cluster in one corner and stamped a boat and some birds in the opposite corner with images from Waffle Flower's Lighthouse stamp and stencil set.

To finish, the panel was glued to a slightly smaller square of teal card and then attached to a card base that I'd swiped with coral ink. The sentiment is a favourite from an ancient Clearly Besotted stamp set called Fly With Me, stamped and fussy cut.

There were lots of challenges helping me to celebrate the tropical weather! The colour palette is Jules' choice at Color Hues; Carol at Just Us Girls has come up with a gorgeous moodboard that features beaches and skies and boats; and at Seize The Birthday Vicki has chosen a beach theme as her Topping. I'm playing along with these challenges and sharing at Darnell's NBUS Challenge too as the Avery Elle stamp set is fresh out of the packet :)

I have arranged my imaginary sunbed in the dappled shade of some palm trees just next to this hibiscus bush and am sipping a strawberry daiquiri while listening to the waves gently lapping at the shore. Anyone care to join me? In this daydream, the golden girls are frolicking about in the waves, but in reality it would be far too hot for them and they would far rather holiday in Alaska or somewhere!

Sending hugs,

Friday 17 May 2024

Stripes and flowers

Hello, crafting friends!
Having been hither and thither over the past couple of weeks I think Mr Mojo came with me and slipped off when I wasn't looking. Although there has been time to craft this week, I've been reduced to sorting out my designer paper drawer! Until today when some ideas in the back of my head combined with some lovely challenges and sent me scuttling off to rummage through my stamps and dies :)

I had seen a tall layered cake decorated with flowers on my travels and there is a hint of that in this design. I used Stampin' Up's gorgeous Boho Blue ink to stamp Uniko's Horizontal Stripes background image in the corner of a thick card base. 

After cutting some flowers from The Greetery's Wildflower Mix and Sissix's Geo Floral Frame die sets, I sponged them with inks and added detail with coloured pencils plus enamel dot centres on the big blooms. These were all arranged in a swoosh over the top of the background image, with a couple of the large flowers popped up on dimensional pads.

The sentiment from The Greetery's Scripted Sentiments has become a firm favourite. To finish, I curved the top right corner with my corner rounder.

I was instantly inspired by Inspired By's gorgeous jug of flowers image and am linking up there; At Allsorts, Lorraine has chosen the them of Spots and/or Stripes so I'm joining in there too. 
As a side note, you might want to join in with the 15th birthday celebrations at Allsorts next week! The celebrations begin this Saturday, 18th May, and there will be amazing prizes from a popular stamp company for some lucky winners! Save the date!

The golden girls and I are enjoying our walks so much more now that the weather is warm and dry. Here's Eva among the cow parsley looking as if she's having a chuckle at something.

No doubt she's planning the next items of underwear to retrieve from the laundry basket and parade through the house when I have guests...!

Sending hugs,

Wednesday 15 May 2024

Painting with purple

Hello, crafting friends!
We've reached the halfway mark in this month's Flower Challenge and would love for you to join in!

It's a really fun theme this month for those who love colouring, but sponging die cuts or stenciling are on the menu too for those who prefer to leave the markers to others!

These pretty flowers are an image from Altenew's Delicate Bouquet, which I stamped twice in green ink off the edge of a panel of watercolour paper. My Arteza watercolour brush pens were still jumping up and down shouting 'pick me, pick me!' and since I haven't used them for a few minutes, I gave them a go ;)

I don't often use purples and enjoyed the novelty of using them for the flowers today, teaming them with a dark green for the foliage. I also used a wet neutral to hint at a background and left the panel to dry. After stamping a sentiment from Reverse Confetti's Perfect Timing, I kept it simple and just attached the panel to a card base.

Okay, it's over to you! Do go over to The Flower Challenge's blog post and drool over the gorgeous samples my team mates have made! When you're ready, you can link up your own card using the Linky Tool at the bottom of the post. Enjoy!

I'm linking this card up with Triple B where there is the most beautiful mood board again! I'm also joining in at Word Art Wednesday where we have the option to use the digital verse or it's Anything Goes;  Both stamp sets on this card are getting their first outing, so I'm popping over to Darnell's NBUS Challenge

I've been a bit of a busy bee this past week or so, spring cleaning, gardening and having visitors. It's been pretty hot here too so the golden girls have needed to go down to the river for their walks to keep cool. Yesterday though, I took advantage of cooler temperatures to take them for a romp over the fields where there are rabbits for the huntresses among us to run after. We haven't been there for a while and in our absence, cows have been brought into one of the side fields to graze. Eva is afraid of cows and stayed close to me, but Lulu went over to investigate and, the sweetest thing, spent a few moments nose to nose with some of the braver cows, her tail wagging and clearly making friends. She is full of surprises!

Sending hugs,

Sunday 5 May 2024

A hugely happy happy birthday

Hello, crafting friends!
I'm living in Birthday Land at the moment as lots of friends and family celebrate their special days around this time of year. Today I want to show you a really quick card that I made for my brother's upcoming birthday:

The bright striped paper is a Stampin' Up design given to me by a lovely friend. I trimmed a little smaller than a card front and cut off the top at an angle.
Along the top I positioned the die cut word 'happy' from Uniko's Big and Bold Happy die set. I cut several of these out of yellow card and stacked them together for some nice dimension. I topped that with a birthday sentiment from Uniko's Simply Said Blocks stamp set, stamped in red ink and snipped out. That's it, very quick and simple :)

Kim's fabulous 'cut on an angle' sketch at Freshly Made Sketches this week was my inspiration for this card, so I'm linking up there; I'm also joining in at AAA Birthday, where the theme is Clean and Simple birthday cards; The sentiment is the main focus of this card so I'm playing at Word Power too.

The nesting season is in full swing in my tiny garden and loads of birds, mainly sparrows, robins and blackbirds are busily popping in and out of the ivy and making exciting rustling noises. Eva takes it all in her stride and although she gets quite interested when the fledglings start to learn to fly, I am pretty confident she wouldn't harm them. Lulu, on the other hand, spends a lot of time watching them...

... and I cannot be sure that there are no dark hunting thoughts going on in that pretty head! You will be glad to know I don't leave her unsupervised in the garden!!

Sending hugs,

Saturday 4 May 2024

Stenciled love

Hello, crafting friends!
Happy days are here at last as not only is it a warm and sunny spring day here in the heart of England but we also have a brand new challenge at The Flower Challenge for May!  
This month we'd like to see you add colour to your blooms - and I have a feeling this might be a popular one! Regular readers of my blog will know that I have become addicted to my Arteza watercolour brush pens and although they were jumping up and down shouting 'pick me, pick me!' I turned my head away and opted to give my alcohol markers an airing!

I used Uniko's Pure Florals Rose stencil, using a light coloured marker to outline part of it, then masking it off and flipping the stencil over to get a different shaped rose behind the first. I used Stampin Up Blends in peaches and pale corals to colour my roses, building up the intensity gradually. It was a lot of fun but I confess, I'd forgotten how long it takes compared to watercolour markers!

I added some leaves using another Uniko stencil called Natures Treasure, then added a birthday sentiment from the Greetery's Scripted Sentiments and a couple of green enamel dots. Before attaching my panel to the card base, I swiped coral ink over the edges of the card front. I often do this as it reduces layers and means I can easily get the colour I want.

Right, so now it's your turn! Do hop over to the Flower Challenge blog and check out the amazing cards the rest of the design team have made to inspire you - there is some incredible talent on this team I can tell you! When you're ready to share your own creation, you'll find the Linky Tool at the bottom of the post. We can't wait to see what you make!

I stenciled my roses Off the Edge of the panel and am joining in at Seize the Birthday where that's Shirley's theme; The team at As You See It want to see our least used colour in their Mission Impossible challenge! I have never, ever used peach in my crafting but having recently acquired SU's Pale Papaya (I know I'm a bit late to the party!) I'm giving it a whirl here :)

Now that the sunshine is here, it is the perfect opportunity to search the garden for wildlife! Here in the undergrowth, for example, is a rarely seen Basking Land Shark...
... oops, my mistake! It's Eva!
Can't a girl have some privacy while she's sunbathing?!

Sending hugs,

Saturday 27 April 2024

Peace and Goodwill

Hello, crafting friends!
What a chilly old spring it's been this year! When you have to reach for a woolly throw most evenings and can't imagine what short-sleeved tops and flip flops are doing in your wardrobe, there really isn't any difficulty making festive cards! Here's one I rustled up earlier:

This has become a 'go to' recipe for a Christmas card for me - a sentiment label on a DSP background, embellished with foliage and berries. I trimmed a piece of Simple Stories designer paper with a stitched rectangle die from Heffy Doodle and glued it to a card front. The sentiment is from Stampin' Up's Hope and Peace and was stamped and heat embossed in red, then cut out with a label die from The Works. I popped this up on dimensional pads.

The foliage dies are from The Greetery and Flora and Fauna and I also used some unbranded holly dies. The die cuts were sponged with green inks except the berry branches which I left white. Everything was glued into place and I finished with some lovely shiny enamel dots.

Linda has an intriguing sketch at Freshly Made Sketches this week which I used for this card; I'm also linking up with Peace on Earth which inspired me with another of their gorgeous mood boards; also the Anything Christmas Goes challenge at Rudolph Days where you can link up until the end of the month.

It's been good to have a bit of time to craft this weekend. The chilly weather has made me glad to get in from our walks and the golden girls are happy to settle down for a bit of serious napping while I create piles of papers, inks and dies all over the living room! 

Here's Eva being queen of the sofa! Of course it's important to keep one eye half open in case mum goes to the fridge for cheese!!

I hope you're enjoying your weekend :) Sending hugs,

Thursday 25 April 2024

Late daffodils

Hello, crafting friends!
It's time for another Tic Tac Toe challenge! There's loads of lovely inspiration on today's board so I do hope you'll want to come and join in with us :)

I've opted for the diagonal from top left - Flowers/Free/Die Cuts and made a belated birthday card for a pal whose birthday had disappeared under a load of random boxes in my chaotic little brain - aargh!

I started with Altenew's Daffodil Delight embossing folder, positioning my card panel in the folder at an angle and using my squidgy mat to avoid hard lines. I then decided to cut the panel into a tag with a nesting arch die from The Greetery which flattened my embossing a little but hey ho! Next time I will die cut first and THEN emboss!

I'd used watercolour paper as my panel so I could use my Arteza watercolour brush pens to colour the image - yes I managed to plan ahead for that bit! The watercolouring is what is called 'loose' when the professionals do it but that when I do it is probably more accurately described as 'messy'!

The little tag was stamped with a sentiment from Altenew's Birthday Greetings and cut out with a circle punch. I used a couple of small punches to make a hole and a hole strengthener, then threaded some yellow ribbon through it and secured with glue dots. Finally, the tags were attached to a card base.

Okay, so now it's your turn! Here's how to play: First, hop over to the Tic Tac Toe blog to check out the amazing inspiration from my team mates; Next make your own creation using the suggestions from a row, column or diagonal on the board; Finally, use the Linky Tool at the bottom of the challenge blog and share your creation with us - we can't wait to see what you make!

Jaydee's challenge at The Paper Players this week is Clean and Simple spring flowers, and I have used the fresh green, yellow and aqua colour palette at The Color Throwdown; I'm also visiting Can You Handle the Pressure as I used an embossing folder and am joining in with the All Occasions challenge at Krafty Chicks with my belated birthday card.

After mentioning how fluffy Lulu is getting, I thought you'd like to see 'before and after' photos of her:

Here she is in November last year, looking very thin and short haired, and with no 'feathers' on her legs. 
And here she is yesterday, out on what I call 'a walk' but that the girls have decided is 'a rabbit hunt'!  Look at those floofy pantaloons and that luxuriant tail! What a beauty!

Sending hugs,