Friday, 15 November 2019

Cards for guys

Hello crafting pals!

Thank you for your get well messages, all very much appreciated. I've got out of Grim Lurgy Land and am lingering in the Resort of Recuperation where what the doctors order is a spot of light crafting! Come and see what I've been up to:

This one layer card was rustled up in a jiffy for my 14 year old nephew. I've used a favourite recipe of mine for male cards:

Combine one big punchy greeting with a thick card base
Add a sprinkling of stars
Serve with the minimum of layers and fuss!

(Here's another recent example if you'd like to see more!)

The sentiment I used today was created from two stamp sets - Big Birthday by Avery Elle and Uniko's Wild - and I used black and blue inks for interest. I used my Stampin' Up Twinkle punch for the stars and the tiny dots. I'm pleased with the colours I chose - Pacific Point, Bermuda Bay, Crushed Curry, Real Red, Old Olive - which give a light bright celebratory feel.

I shall link this card up with Addicted to CAS where the code word this fortnight is BIRTHDAY,  and also Seize the Birthday where Anything Goes, with an optional topping of Off The Edge. I am normally a toppings kind of person but this is an anything goes entry because I realise I screwed up the off the edge element!

This horrible lurgy really brought me down and, apart from dragging myself out with the dogs three times a day, I have been laid out on a sofa, watching rubbish films on Netflix, and ignoring the housework. Although I did see The Grinch, which was actually quite fun. Also, dogs are the best nurses :)

Thanks for popping in to visit today. See you soon!


Monday, 11 November 2019

'Tis Christmas torn

Hello crafting friends!

I'b dot well today I'b afraid :(

Roughly translated, that means I have a streaming nose, a sore throat and am feeling very sorry for myself! I've managed to keep going today though and rustled up a Christmas card at lunchtime while drinking gallons of lemon and ginger tea. Come and see:

I'm always looking for ways to use my washi tape collection and this fortnight's Less is More 'Torn' challenge encouraged me to tear it up and make a collage scene. To make the background, I first inked in the faint suggestion of snow using Clearly Besotted's Snow Day stencil and a Spectrum Noir alcohol marker. Over the top of that, I added a 'snowy slope' using icy silver and blue washi tapes. I tore strips off the rolls and then tore them again, lengthwise this time. These thinner strips were laid over each other until I had my sloping shape.

I used the same technique with the tree, laying the strips on a piece of scrap card stock, then cutting out a simple Christmas tree shape with my sharp paper snips. When the tree was attached to the background, I added a star sticker left over from a long ago project.

All that was needed was a sentiment and I used this beautiful one from Clearly Besotted's Simply Said. It should have been quick and easy...

... but, oh dear, I'd obviously not inked the stamp up properly :/ In order to save it, I stamped it again on some spare card stock, cut it out using an oval die and glued it over the top of my mistake.

I have a stamping platform on my Christmas list and oh my goodness do I need one! If I'd been using one, I could've just stamped it again in exactly the same position! I've done a bit of research and I'm toying with the idea of getting the Tim Holz travel size stamping platform. What do you think? I know that lots of you will already have a stamping platform and will have clear ideas about what makes a good one. It would be great to have some advice before shelling out!

I'm linking this card up with Less is More where the theme is That's Torn It! Plenty of scraps and left overs were used in the making of this card, so I shall also wander over to Pixie's Snippets Playground where I shall sit on the swings smelling strongly of Fisherman's Friends throat lozenges!

I took Eva for a later walk than usual today and as we returned home, the schools were just closing. I was so proud of my little dog! A couple of years ago, faced with those huge wheezing buses and crowds of noisy school children, she would have frozen, but today, she walked by my side, wagging at any friendly-looking kids and flinching at the buses but standing firm. When we got home, I asked if she would like a bone as a treat and she said that yes, she rather thought she would ;)

Thank you for popping in to visit me today. Has your dog overcome any fears? If you have any heart-warming stories I'd love to hear them in the comments below.


Thursday, 7 November 2019

A thrifty gift wrapping idea

Hello crafting pals!

While my daughter was with us last weekend, we showered her with gifts for her birthday! One of the things I gave her was a pair of pretty faceted black earrings. I had fun gift wrapping them! Come and see:

There are lots of thrift shops around here which sell items to raise money for charity. You can often find boxes or pots with lids and I think they make a great receptacle for small gifts. This pretty little lacquered box came from my local animal rescue charity shop. It cost 50p and just needed a clean up.

I cut a piece of Pool Party card stock a bit longer than the box, so that it would rest on the diagonal. I stamped it with flowers and leaves from Stampin' Up's Your Perfect Day (retired) and curved the corners with a corner rounder.

I added this lovely sentiment from Uniko's You Are Yes You stamp set before making two small holes with a punch and threading the earrings through.

I think this is such a pretty way to present jewellery, but the list of items you could present in this way is endless: sweets, money, vouchers, watches, ties, photos... There are so many different styles of box out there that you're sure to find something that will suit the personality of the recipient and you can handcraft your insert to coordinate - choosing the same colours or similar images.

Do let me know what you think in the comments below - and if you are inspired to gift wrap a present in this way, I'd love to see!

See you soon,

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Bunches of floral fun

Hello crafting friends!

Don't we all love flower stamps? I've been very much enjoying rebuilding my floral collection and one thing I've been trying to do more is step outside my comfort zone when colouring them. Today's card is an example of that. Come and see what you think:

This little bouquet, from Say It With Flowers by Clearly Besotted, has been coloured and fussy cut. I popped it up on dimensionals over a border of water coloured stripes, edged with a left over strip of designer paper.

The poppies are obviously the star of the show and I coloured them in Poppy Parade as expected. After that, I went a bit off piste with Highland Heather flower heads, Mango Melody leaves and neutral Crumb Cake stalks! I didn't have the colours I wanted in alcohol markers so I used Stampin' Write markers for the poppies and stalks, and blender pen and inks for the leaves and flower heads.

The sentiment I used comes with the set and is more appropriate than 'Thanks a bunch' which can be construed as a bit sarcastic where I come from!

I am always so grateful for the people that inspire us crafters week after week with their wonderful card making challenge sites. Today I'm joining in with Just Add Ink, where there's a beautiful photo to set our creative juices flowing; also Just Us Girls, where it's Word Week and the word is, appropriately enough, 'Thanks'; I'm also linking up with CAS Colours and Sketches where the colour palettes always send me off down wonderful avenues of exploration!

On the 5th of November, every year in Great Britain, fireworks are let off to celebrate the uncovering of a plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament and the averting of that disaster. To be honest, I could be happy to see this tradition go by the wayside - as I'm sure many pet owners would. The fireworks are not confined to a small time frame on the actual 5th, but are let off at unexpected times, often a week or sometimes two weeks either side of the date. Eva is NOT a fan of fireworks although she isn't as terrified as some poor animals. I always stay in with her of course, curtains closed, music on, but there are many pets that are expected to 'just get on with it'. So Sad.

Thank you many bunches for visiting me today. It's always lovely to welcome you here and to read your comments :)


Tuesday, 5 November 2019

A flying visit

Hello crafting friends!

I'm so happy with the card I'm sharing today. It's for my daughter's 24th birthday and I'm sure she'll love it! Come and see:

This cute card is exactly my daughter's thing and I think it captures her adventurous spirit! The images are from Fly With Me by Clearly Besotted, a wonderful set I bought back in the summer with this birthday in mind :)

I stamped the plane and the girl together on an scrap of white card stock using Memento Tuxedo Black ink. The image was coloured with a mixture of Spectrum Noir and Stampin' Up Blendabilities markers and then fussy cut.

I found a snippet of cloud print designer paper and a strip of yellow 'watercolour wash' paper, and made a polaroid-style frame using a white card stock and a square die. These were layered up on the card base: the yellow strip first, the clouds next, then my aeroplane girl was partially glued to the clouds so that when I added the frame, the front of the plane could appear to be flying out of the front.

The frame was stamped with one of the curving sentiments in the Fly With Me stamp set before mounting it on dimensionals and attaching to the card base. I finished the card with some stars punched out of a scrap of orange card stock with the Stampin' Up Twinkle punch.

I was very much inspired by CAS(E) This Sketch this week and will link this card up there.

It's been a wonderful long weekend here, celebrating my daughter's birthday and all being together in a way that just doesn't happen now that the children are grown up. It felt a bit like Christmas - lots of cooking and eating together, chatting, walking, playing and laughing. Here's someone else who was very excited to have her family back together and who is exhausted today!

Thanks for dropping by today. I'll be back tomorrow with an idea for presenting a jewellery gift. Hope to see you then :) Edited to add: I didn't get round to it the following day but here's the link - enjoy!


Friday, 1 November 2019

Pansies on centre court

Hello crafting friends!

The trouble with autumn is that it's not long before it morphs into winter and when it does, we lose most of the flowers. What is a girl to do? Well, this girl nips over to Clearly Besotted to add to her collection of their beautiful flower stamps! Come and see:

This gorgeous image is from Pretty Pansies which I spotted in the Sale section (along with two other beautiful floral sets which may or may not have found their way into my basket!) I had great fun colouring the flowers and leaves with a mixture of Spectrum Noir and SU Blendability pens. The best thing is that winter flowering pansies come in all sorts of colours so the fun isn't going to stop here!

I fussy cut my pansies, decorated them with gold thread and mounted them on a trellis-style designer paper. Actually, when I say 'trellis' I realise it's more 'chain link fence'... but that's fine, they can be tennis court pansies! The card was finished with a sentiment from another Clearly Besotted set, Elegant Butterflies.

Jen Mitchell's sketch over at Freshly Made Sketches was calling me this week, so I shall link this card up there.

A few other houses in our area revealed spooky and scary decorations this morning when I took the dogs out. Eva knew there was something not quite right about those cobwebby hedges and gave an 'aroooo' before we disappeared into the fields! 

Thanks for coming to visit me today. I shall be back soon :)


Thursday, 31 October 2019

Stepping outside the colour comfort zone

Hello crafting friends!

Right! I've decided it's time to stop making autumnal and festive cards for a minute and have some fun with lighter brighter colours! And it's a twofer today as well! Come and see:

This might be a simple card but it took me ages to work out (my brain has been addled with doggos!)

The pink panel has had a square aperture die-cut out of it and you can see through it to the pale blue patterned designer paper attached to the card base beneath.

The sentiment, from Clearly Besotted's Simply Said, was stamped on a strip of paper, which I snipped into a ribbon tail.

I made a little flower and leaf arrangement with a gorgeous leaf from Uniko's You are Yes You and a tiny flower from Stampin' Up's Your Perfect Day (retired.) These were fussy cut, arranged at one end of the sentiment strip and finished with Stampin' Up enamel dots.

I surprised myself by loving using these colours, so I rustled up a second card. I've used a pink card base for this one and topped it with a white panel.

I stamped the panel with a garland using the same leaf and flower as before. The leaves were coloured with a pale blue marker and I doodled black lines on them to link them to the sentiment.

The sentiment is another one from Simply Said - aren't these greetings gorgeous?! I gave it a bit of emphasis by underlining it with a strip of card stock in the darker blue.

These cards were sparked by the ever-inspiring CAS Colours and Sketches. This week we're challenged to use the colours AND the beautiful sketch! Obviously only my first card is based on both the colours and the sketch so that's the one that I'm linking up with the challenge :)

It's Halloween today and although I've never celebrated it (beyond having a Halloween themed school disco once) I know that it's a big thing in the US. Supermarkets in the UK are relentless in their efforts to make it a 'big spend' festival here too and I think they've been successful to a degree.

A house down the road from me is home to four or five young professionals in their 20s and every year they decorate their house with flickering lights and gruesome decorations. Presumably they're having a party? Anyway that's it for Halloween around here! How about you? What do you think about Halloween? Are you celebrating this evening with full costumes and enough candy to sink a (haunted) ship? Or are you staying in with the lights off, wishing everyone would go home and stop being annoying? Do let me know in the comments below!


Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Stamping a stack of Christmas cards in minutes!

Hello crafting pals!

It's been a few days since I was able to be creative - and that's a few days too long for me! But today I snatched a bit of time to check out some of my favourite challenges and get myself happily inky. You might want to sit down with a cup of something and a snack to keep your strength up as there are a few cards! Come and see:

There are a few cards here aren't there?! That's because I'm using a smooshing technique which is so quick and easy, it's almost impossible not to stamp a whole bunch of cards in no time at all! Just look at the different patterns in the backgrounds:

When I was thinking about what to make, a shrink-wrapped marketing brochure came through my letter box. *Sighs heavily* But if they are going to send me single-use plastic through the post, it's my duty to use it again! So I dampened the surface with water, added a couple of drops of Marina Mist and Pool Party re-inker, smooshed it about with an acrylic block and dragged some card stock over it to make frosty looking backgrounds!


For my first card, I cut a circle out of the background and stamped it with a  snowflake from Festive Flurry (Stampin' Up retired) using Pacific Point ink. Then I did a little layering:

You can see it better in this photo - a larger Pool Party circle topped with a strip of ribbon-tailed Navy card stock and then the smooshed and stamped circle. To finish off, I added a thinner white sentiment strip, stamped with a greeting from Uniko's Pure Florals Poinsettia, and a few clear gems.


My second card uses just a wide strip of the smooshed background stamped with the snowflake again. I loved that patterning at the bottom of the strip, which looked extra icy to me!

I matted the strip onto Navy card stock and attached it off centre to a card base. Again, the card was finished with that beautiful Uniko sentiment and some gems but I also added some white gel pen lines to look like scratches on ice.


The last card design is the simplest of them all. I cut a smooshed panel just smaller than my card base, stamped it with the snowflake and sponged round the edges to add definition. The same Uniko sentiment was used and another sprinkling of gems (might need to go shopping for gems at this rate!)

I made two of the third card - a prototype to see if I could make it quickly, and then another one which I timed.  Can you see how the pattern on this one is quite different from the one above? The ink had dried up a bit before dragging this card stock through on this last one. Can you guess how long the card took to make? (See answer below!)

I'm linking up with three challenges today:

The first card was made for the Retro Rubber Challenge where there's a great sketch. It's my first time here but I love the idea of giving some love to our older stamps! My retro stamp is from Festive Flurry, released at the end of 2013.

My second card is for 52 Christmas Card Throwdown - I'd forgotten about this challenge, as their email prompts weren't coming through, but that's all been sorted out now and I'm loving joining in with this week's fun Smooshing Technique Challenge.

My third card was made for As You See It, where we've been challenged to Colour It Blue in under 10 minutes. My card came in at just 3 1/2 minutes. Yay! I LOVE these speed challenges!

Well, if you've made it to the end of this post, I'm sure you'd probably rather I didn't start wittering on about other nonsense! I will just say that we've got birthday celebrations coming up at the weekend and I'll have a full house :) and I'll also mention that I've been shopping for stamps - whoopee! More on all that soon...

Thanks for visiting me today. Let me know what you think of all the iciness going on here today won't you!


Friday, 25 October 2019

A Christmas Rainbow

Hello crafting friends!

I've been chasing my tail a bit when it comes to challenges this week and I'm posting this card with only an hour or two to spare! It's the Rainbow colour challenge at Less is More that caught my imagination this time and I couldn't let it go without having a play. Come and see:

I've used the branch from Winter Foliage by Uniko, stamping it down the side of a thick card base using a rainbow of Stampin' Up inks (Real Red, Pumpkin Pie, Daffodil Yellow, Granny Apple Green, Pacific Point, Gorgeous Grape and Melon Mambo if anyone is interested!)

The wire for the Christmas lights was doodled on with a fineliner pen. To make the bulbs, I watercoloured small patches of ink on white card stock, leaving a white strip down the centre for that shining glass effect, before cutting out the bulbs with a mini punch from a retired Stampin' Up set. For a bit of extra detail, I used the punch to cut out a tiny bit of black card stock, and glued it to the bulb to make the insulated part.

I thought Merry and Bright would be the perfect sentiment for this card! It's from Endless Wishes, a retired Stampin' Up set.

Thank you for coming to see what I've been up to today. I'm gearing up for a busy week looking after some gorgeous dogs as well as a pretty little cat named Dora. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Have you got anything exciting planned? Do let me know in the comments below :)