Monday, 21 October 2019

Further investigations with Miss Maple

Hello crafting pals!

I was just tidying away from the leafy number I posted yesterday, when I had another idea and so tidy-up time had to wait! Come and see:

I wondered what would happen if I were to ink up a leaf with a brush and then 'stamp' it. I brushed on Old Olive, Soft Suede and a little Pumpkin Pie ink and then pressed the leaf onto a scrap of card stock. I was excited to see that it looked all speckled, very different from the dragging technique I tried yesterday.

I fussy cut the leaf and then drew around it so that I could cut out a second plain leaf. The plain one was watercoloured with Cajun Craze ink and allowed to dry.

I mounted both leaves on a background stamped with the dotty stamp from Uniko's Background Builders Classics and finished off with a Concorde and 9th sentiment.

I really enjoyed making cards with a leaf but there is no denying that stamps and dies were invented to make crafters' lives a lot easier! I think I'll be investing in some leafy ones before next autumn!

Today's card was inspired again by CAS Watercolour Challenge, with its Maple Leaf theme; I'll also be linking up with The Fusion Card Challenge where you can use the sketch for inspiration, or the photo, or both! I'm just working with the gorgeous sketch this time, and I've flipped it upside down.

When I'm out in the countryside with my charming assistant, Eva the floofy golden retriever, I enjoy watching nature putting on her displays. Has anyone else noticed what an amazing year it is for mushrooms this year? I have seen such an abundance of them and such a diversity - tiny mustard coloured ones, saucer shaped flat-topped ones, tall dome-shaped ones, classic fairytale red capped ones with white spots and many, many more!

Have you noticed mushrooms in your area? Or is nature surprising you with something else this year? Do let me know won't you!


Sunday, 20 October 2019

The Miraculous Maple leaf!

Hello crafting friends!

I've been wanting to join in the fun at the CAS Watercolour Card Challenge where Maple Leaf is the cue word. And (this is a recurring theme I know) I have no maple leaf stamp! But a lovely pal of mine mentioned that she's been dragging real leaves through ink pads and 'stamping' them onto card stock; and then, while I was out yesterday, a Maple leaf blew onto my coat! So, I took those things as A Sign! Come and see what I made with the leaf:

I started by washing a damp panel of watercolour paper with So Saffron and Old Olive inks. When the panel was dry, I pushed my leaf into a Soft Suede ink pad, using a paper towel to protect my fingers, and once I felt it was thoroughly inked up, pressed it onto my watercoloured panel. It made a vague maple leaf impression, not very pretty at all. But I was undeterred!

I got out Cajun Craze and Pumpkin Pie inks and watercoloured the leaf, building up colour gradually. Once I was satisfied, I allowed it to dry, then added detail with a fine liner pen and a gold Stampin' Dazzle pen.

The sentiment is from MFT's Floral Focus and I sponged Old Olive ink round the bottom left hand corner of the panel to add depth before attaching it to the card front. 

Really glad to be linking up with CAS Watercolour, where the challenges always seem to get me extra inky!

The maple leaf came from Waterperry Gardens near Oxford where a friend and I went to explore yesterday. It's a beautiful garden, open to the public, and has a series of inspiring smaller gardens within a garden. There's a tiny rural museum there and a really gorgeous gift shop as well as a well-stocked tea room where we partook of some delicious homemade cakes. There was also a pumpkin hunt laid on to entertain the children but which did a great job of entertaining us too. One of the pumpkins laughed ghoulishly at us as we passed, making us jump out of our skins - not just once but repeatedly! 

Thanks for joining me today. Have you ever tried 'stamping' with leaves? Do let me know in the comments below - and I've love to see if you have photos or a link!


Friday, 18 October 2019

Christmas with all the trimmings

Hello crafting pals!

Oh those snippets! They do mount up don't they? But here's a festive way of using up some of those bits of card stock that have been trimmed off larger projects - AND it uses up some of the washi tape mountain that we've all got in our stash! Come and see:

I started this card by making a washi tape frame on the card base. Next,  I used Stampin' Up Melon Mambo ink and my Uniko Winter Foliage set to stamp a fir branch onto a scrap bit of card stock. It had bits of a blue background on the back but *whispers* no-one need know!

I huffed on the stamp to reinvigorate the ink and stamped it again, this time directly on the card base. The image on the scrap card was cut out - and although I like fussy cutting, I don't recommend it for this intricate branch! Luckily Bev at Uniko has just released dies that coordinate with this brilliant stamp set - YAY!

Look how glittery the baubles look in the photo above! They're SO hard to photograph but in real life, they have more of a subtle shimmer, as in the photo below:

I made them using circle punches and scraps of pink card stock. I snipped a tiny bit of the punched surround to make the hanging part. The baubles were decorated with stamped snowflakes (from Stampin' Up's Endless Wishes, retired), shaded with alcohol markers and finished with a sparkly layer of clear Wink of Stella. I hung my baubles from the fir branches with 'string' drawn with a fine grey marker and a ruler and finished the card with gems and a Uniko greeting.

If you are a regular at my blog, you'll know why I'm making pink Christmas cards: Stephanie and Lauren at Jingle Belles are donating $2 each to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation for every card linked up to their Pink Christmas challenge this fortnight and I think that's worth supporting. They want lots of entrants for this challenge so do join in!

I shall also link my card up with the wonderful Pixie's Snippets Playground as I've been a good little womble and used up lots of snippets on this card!

All this crafting in pink reminds me of the song and dance routine to Think Pink from Funny Face. Do you know it? It is so wonderfully stylish! I'll add it here for your enjoyment :)

I used to avoid pink, considering it too saccharine, but have since made my peace with it - to the extent that I was wearing pale pink from head to toe this summer! What do you think of the colour pink? Love it? Loathe it? Do let me know in the comments below :)


Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Birthday cycling for the boys

Hello crafting friends

If there are two words calculated to make a crafter's heart sink it's 'male cards'! Unless the male in question is a keen cyclist and the crafter has a good bike racer stamp that is! Come and see:

This silhouette image from Stampin' Up's Enjoy Life is proving to be rather useful in the Craft Square Metre! This card was very simple to make: I stamped a row of the cyclist along a card panel...

... then attached the panel to a card base I'd prepared with a strip of black and white striped washi tape (Stampin' Up retired.)

The sentiment is from Concord & 9th's Enjoy it All. I stamped it onto a strip of white card, attached it to the card and grounded it by adding a ribbon-tailed strip of black card stock underneath.

This card has been simmering in the back of mind after seeing several challenges: The Rainbow Card Challenge inspired the colour scheme with its Brazenly Black colour challenge; Perfectly CAS inspired the layout with its 'use a third or less of the card front' guidelines and its Birthday theme; and last , but not least, the Allsorts Challenge is all about Spots and/or Stripes this week and gave me the idea of using this image (with it's spots and stripes on the wheels) and also the striped washi edging.

I haven't been rained on for two days now! *Cheers loudly! Throws hat in the air! Does a little jig! Stops jigging about in case it was a rain dance...*

Thank you for coming to look at my card today. Do you have any keen cyclists in your family? Have you been rained on lately? Do let me know in the comments below :)


Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Dreaming of a pink Christmas

Hello crafting friends!

One of the card-making challenges I've been enjoying this year is the Jingles Belles Challenge, run by Stephanie and Lauren, which has been helping us all get a stash of Christmas cards ready for posting later in the year. Well, it appears that's not the only help these ladies are offering! For every card linked up in their current Pink Christmas challenge, they will be donating 2 dollars to Breast Cancer Research. Now that's definitely worth creating for! Why not join in and tell your friends about it too!

Here's my first effort:

This card started with a wash of Smoky Slate ink on watercolour paper and a pink ground. Once this was dry, I inked up the trees from Stampin' Up's Waterfront stamp set using pink markers and stamped them along the ground.

Detail was added using a white gel pen for snow and I finished the card with a lovely sentiment from Uniko's Simply Said Blocks Christmas set and some gems I coloured pink with an alcohol marker.

As well as linking up with Jingle Belles, I shall also be linking up with CAS(E) this Sketch, which has a gorgeous sketch for us this week, and As You See It, where the theme is trees.

It absolutely poured with rain all day yesterday but dogs don't care about the weather so off we went out into the sodden countryside. At one point, our way was blocked by a fallen tree which had taken a bramble down with it. We got past it and it was only later after we met a man walking his dog that I realised something was wrong. The man didn't greet us, just edged past us cautiously as if the dogs were hunter-killers (they were my own waggy, smiley golden retriever and a trembly old lady boxer!) I looked about to see what had made him behave so oddly and realised that my hand was dripping blood. Perhaps he had thought that in a moment of abandon, the slavering beasts had bitten me?!!!

Thanks for coming to visit today. I think we all know someone who has been touched by the horrible claw of cancer, so I do hope you'll be making some pink festive cards. Do let me know!


Saturday, 12 October 2019

Sending flowers with sympathy

Hello crafting friends.

Sympathy cards are not easy to make but it really helps if you have the right tools at hand. When all my stamp sets went, so did my ability to reach for the perfect images and sentiments when I needed them. I'm slowly rebuilding my collection now though, and I believe the set I used for today's card is a worthy addition to my stamp library. Come and see:

It's MFT's Floral Focus, a versatile set which I think could be used for many different occasions. It features a large floral image which I stamped here using Memento Tuxedo Black ink, and coloured with a mix of Spectrum Noir and Stampin' Up alcohol markers.

I wanted to give the flowers just a touch of colour so I shaded only parts of them with a delicate pink, then used a colour lifter to fade out the colour.

Here's the sentiment. Floral Focus comes with six words in this beautiful font, so you can mix and match them. Once the panel was finished, I prepared a card base, attaching a piece of striped designer paper (retired SU) to the front. The floral panel was then trimmed and attached to the paper with dimensionals.

The beautiful sketch from Inspire, Create was the perfect inspiration for this card and is another new (to me) challenge that I shall enjoy joining in with :) I shall also be linking up with the fabulous Addicted to Stamps and More, where this week is a Make Your Mark colouring challenge.

My youngest son has texted me to tell me that he needs a kettle. It seems that there's no need for me to worry that he's being caught up in a life of hard booze and wild parties - it appears he's more inclined to invite his friends round for tea and Magic The Gathering card games!

Thanks for visiting me today. I'm off on a long, muddy walk now with two keen hounds! What are you up to this weekend? Do let me know in the comments below :)


Friday, 11 October 2019

A great big happy, sparkly Christmas!

Hello crafting pals!

It's me again. I know, twice in one day! But it's raining, the dogs are asleep and I've done all my chores... and also, I'm here to set things straight. When I linked up at Less is More with an earlier card, a little voice in my head said "That is not a CAS card!" and although I answered boldly "Yes it is! I only make CAS cards!" part of me thought "That green and white stripy space isn't really white space though is it?" You can see the card here and decide what you think. The upshot of my internal debate was another quick card. Come and see:

Out came my Avery Elle Big Birthday set again and I inked up the least bold 'happy' this time, using Poppy Parade ink again. The word Christmas comes from Stampin' Up's Merry Christmas to All and I think it works well with the big 'happy'.

That gorgeous fir branch in the background is from Uniko's brilliant Winter Foliage stamp set. I inked it up in Pear Pizzazz ink, stamped off once on scrap paper and then again on the card panel to make a paler imprint.

The little sparkly bauble is just a circle cut out of gold glimmer paper with a 1" circle punch, and a tiny bit of the punched edge added to make the bauble hanger. I've 'hung' it from the 'C' of Christmas with a line of piercing and mounted the card panel on Pear Pizzazz card stock. There - that's another Christmas card for my stash!

I shall link this card up with both Less is More, as a sparkle and Matte card, and Just Add Ink again where they're asking for cards featuring elements beginning with 'H' - mine is 'happy'

Thanks for joining me for a double helping today! Do let me know what you think if you have a minute - I always love reading your comments :)


A great big happy birthday

Hello crafting pals!

Today I've come up with a bright and breezy birthday card that could be made in any colourway, and that is so simple to make it could be made five minutes before you leave for the birthday party! Of course that is not how I suggest you make your birthday cards but I remember the days when one or other of my children would announce that they were off to a birthday party and could they have a present and card please!

I've used my Avery Elle Big Birthday stamp set - it's first outing and most definitely not its last! - and some Stampin' Up inks in Pear Pizzazz and Poppy Parade.

To make the background, I put a few drops of Pear Pizzazz ink onto a plate, added a few drops of water and drew freehand lines across a piece of card stock with a paint brush. This is such an easy thing to do - you don't even need a steady hand.

When the card stock was dry, I trimmed it to fit a card base, gently rolled it back into shape and stamped it with the sentiment. You get a choice of font boldness with this set - I used the boldest 'Happy' and the finest 'birthday'. The card was finished with three sizes of sparkling gems.

I shall be linking up with Less is More (squeaking under the wire - I meant to link yesterday's card and forgot!) with my Sparkle and Matte card and also Just Add Ink where they're looking for cards featuring elements beginning with the letter H - mine is Happy.

My charming but naughty assistant Eva is making a habit of photo bombing when I'm trying to photograph my creations!

Although, looking at her expression, she's more: "Look, you're not doing it right! Why don't you run along and make a cup of tea or whatever it is you humans like to do, and I'll get on with this!"

Lovely to see you here today. I shall be back soon with more crafting nonsense :)


Thursday, 10 October 2019

Beautiful branches, twinkling for Christmas

Hello crafting pals!

I'm just sharing a moment of complete and utter excitement today! Eva is looking slightly concerned as I have let loose some strange squawking noises! Come and see what I've made:

When I made this Christmas card, I enjoyed the sparkly berries (which I was inspired to add for a challenge) but secretly yearned for something subtler. Here, I stamped the branches and berries with the gorgeous Beautiful Branches by Concorde and 9th, and added details with a fineliner. Then, to give the berries a bit of shine, I heat embossed them with clear embossing powder. Nice and glossy but not quite what I wanted, so I laid the card aside until...

... my Wink of Stella pen arrived! A gentle brush of the berries with the brush - and magic happened: shiny red berries with a delicious slick of subtle gold twinkle! Lots of people have told me I needed one of these little pens and they were quite right. What they didn't tell me though is that now that I have a pen that adds a subtle gold shimmer, I also need one that adds a subtle silver shimmer too! Can anyone advise?!!!

My card was finished with Stampin' Up's brilliant Merry Christmas to All stamp set. This is a sentiment set with added bits and pieces and versatile words that can be mixed and matched, and many of them can be used all year round. Love it!

I shall link this card up with Happy Little Stampers Christmas challenge where the optional theme is Twinkle. I am definitely twinkling today - and so is my card!!!

Here's someone else who's having a twinkle today :)

I was trying to capture the sparkle on those berries, kneeling in an odd, leaning back position on the floor with a camera clamped to my eye, and found a damp nose in my neck. This is Eva's "What on earth are you up to?!" expression!

Thanks for popping in today. Does your pet find you amusing? Do let me know in the comments below!


Wednesday, 9 October 2019

With sympathy

Hello crafting friends.

Here's my advice of the day: do not wait to make sympathy cards until you need them. It's hard to make them and you may find yourself making the same card over and over because you feel that every mistake is a mark of disrespect. This one is still not perfect but here it is anyway. Come and see:

I started with some (ancient!) Stampin' Up designer paper in a soft grey. I trimmed it, attached it directly to the front of a card base and added a strip of black card stock to ground it.

The topper is a circle of grey card stock decorated with a spray of flowers and leaves from Concorde and 9th's Enjoy it All. I stamped them in Stampin' Up Smoky Slate and Memento Tuxedo Black, then fussy cut them and popped them up with dimensionals.

The card was finished with a sentiment from MFT's Floral Focus and a sprinkling of clear gems.

A big thank you to Just Us Girls for starting me off with this week's Designer Paper challenge and to Just Add Ink where I used their beautiful sketch flipped upside down. I shall be linking up with both challenges :)
Edited to add: Actually, I won't be linking up with Just Add Ink, because - YET AGAIN! - I appear to not have any clue about Australian time zones! 

Eva and I have just come back from a long walk by the river in the sunshine. She tried staying awake for tea time but she just couldn't quite keep her eyes open...

... and for two pins, I'd join her!

Thanks for visiting me today - always lovely to see you here :) Pleeeease tell me I'm not the only one who wants to hibernate!