Saturday, 26 September 2020

When I'm feeling blue

Hello, crafting friends!

Sometimes it's hard not to feel a little down at the moment, which is when you go into your craft space and just look at things and move things about on your desk and can't quite manage to get anything done. So I feel quite proud to have finished this card which has been hanging about on my desk for about a week now!

I used a home-made stencil that I made previously for this card. After positioning it on a card panel, and masking off each area as required, I sponged turquoise inks into the aperture to create a sea and a sky. Once the masks were removed, but before removing the stencil, I stamped a couple of wild flower silhouettes from Funky Fossil's In The Meadow stamp set in navy ink.

I wasn't sure how to finish the card, but decided that such a peaceful scene would be perfect for a sympathy card. The sentiment is from Uniko's Simply Said Blocks, stamped and snipped out, and the card was finished with some clear gems and a simple navy mat.

I'm linking this card up at Color Hues, where the colours this time are Navy and Turquoise; and also at Watercooler Wednesday, where Michelle's challenge is all about Occasions.

I'm sometimes reminded of the lyrics from Phil Collins' song, A Groovy Kind of Love:

When I'm feeling blue
All I have to do
Is take a look at you
Then I'm not so blue...

It did cheer me up! She had arranged herself among the flowers so prettily - what a beauty she is :)

Sending hugs, especially if you're feeling a bit blue too.

Friday, 25 September 2020

Snowing cats and dogs

Hello, crafting friends!

I don't believe my house would be a home without my adorable golden retriever Eva, and it appears Father Christmas feels the same - at least according to Raymond Briggs!

This Father Christmas stamp is from a set I found in a charity shop for just pennies! The set is an old one from Crafters Companion and uses the Raymond Briggs images. I couldn't resist that cute little doggo and the cat doing a great job as a neck warmer!

The image was stamped onto a card panel and coloured with Spectrum Noir alcohol markers. Once that was done, I masked the image, sponged in a fade-out inky background and added snow with my white Uni Posca paint pen and the Snow Day stencil from Clearly Besotted. The panel was trimmed out with a stitched rectangle die from Heffy Doodle.

I chose a sentiment from Clearly Besotted's Red Robin and used my stamping platform to stamp it neatly in the corner of the card panel. Except that I should have gone to Specsavers because it came out at a jaunty but not very attractive angle! So I stamped it again on a piece of scrap card, added faux stitching and trimmed the bottom into ribbon tails and stuck it over the top. Save!

Delighted that this card was A Cut Above at The Paper Players :)

I couldn't miss out on LeAnne's CAS challenge at The Paper Players this week - the theme is Pets! I'm also linking up at Retro Rubber where Anything Goes with stamps older than a year - this stamp is from a set that came out in 2013 I believe. I'm also joining in with Rudolph Days where Christmas cards are the order of the day and Jingle Belles where Lauren and Stephanie want to see cards laden with snow!

Eva thoroughly enjoyed her birthday yesterday (well okay, she enjoys EVERY day!!) For those of you that may be curious as to how a golden princess celebrates her birthday, it goes like this:

She had an extra eggy with her breakfast; she had a surprise walk with a black lab who she loves and who we haven't seen since March; she got absolutely filthy and then she went for a swim in the river; she had a nice snoozle in the afternoon; later on, we went out to the fields and she chased squirrels and said hello to some friendly boys who were walking home from school; at home, she was given her tea followed by a large bone to entertain herself with in the garden; she helped me make dinner (this involves lying in the middle of the kitchen floor in case a scrap of yumminess comes her way and she normally gets politely requested to Go And Lie Down!); she hung out with us in the living room as usual before having a stroll at bedtime and a glorious night's sleep :) It sure is a dog's life!

Sending hugs,

Thursday, 24 September 2020

Happy birthday baby!

Hello, crafting friends!

I definitely needed cheering up on this grey-sky day but some bright colours and the birthday of a tiny person perked me up no end!

I've been doing a lot of masking lately, which enables me to work on the card base itself rather than adding a layer. This card started with a mask and a soft blend of blue ink to represent sky. I stamped the elephant from MFT's Safari Party directly on top of that, and then again on a scrap of card stock which was then coloured with Spectrum Noir alcohol markers, fussy cut and glued over the original. 

The friendly looking flowers from Stampin' Up's Under My Umbrella work well with this elephant :) I stamped a few different clusters, coloured them and cut them out before arranging them at her feet. Finally, I added a punched heart and a sentiment created from an MFT and an Inkydoodles set.

I'm linking this card up with the Day of the Month Card Club challenge where the theme is Elephant Appreciation Day and with AAA Birthday where the challenge is to use Animals or Critters on our cards. The colours come from this week's Green, Pink and Blue palette at Just Us Girls.

On the subject of birthdays, six years ago, the youngest member of my family - and the floofiest! - was born. Here she is, when she came to live with us in 2014 and changed our lives for ever.

She has become an elegant grown up lady dog who has learned all her obedience skills (but sometimes conveniently forgets them) and has become a loyal and constant companion (except when those cheeky squirrels taunt her or if there's someone around with a tasty snack!) I love her with all my heart. Happy Birthday Eva, my sweet girl!

Sending hugs,

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

The masked Christmas

Hello, crafting friends!

When our blue skies are blotted out by stormy grey clouds and bad news piles in, what is a crafting girl to do? Make Christmas cards of course! Whatever happens, Christmas is on its way and cards may be more important than ever this year.

This card was remarkably quick and easy to make. I started by tearing a bit of scrap paper and using it to mask of the bottom of a thick card base, adding sticky notes around the top edges to mask a frame off too. A variety of blue, green and purple inks were sponged inside to create a northern lights kind of sky. I used the tops of Tim Holz Woodlands die cut trees as a stencil to create a line of Christmas trees and then peeled away my masks.

I was quite pleased with the shape it made! For a splash of extra colour, I added a sentiment cut with the Modern Merry Christmas die by Tonic Studios and doodled in some snow with my new white Uni Posca paint pen (which I LOVE!)

I'm linking this card up at CAS Christmas Card Challenge, where the theme is Christmas Tree, and the Merry Little Christmas challenge, where Anything Goes.

We have had such a lovely long spring and summer that I think Eva has forgotten that there is other weather!

'Mum, the door is closed and I want to go and hang out in the nice outdoors room. I don't understand why you haven't opened it up today...?'

Sending hugs, 

Sunday, 20 September 2020

Experimenting with trees

Hello, crafting friends!

Well, I have had fun in The Craft Square Metre today! I took a small tree from a Christmas stamp set and had a good old play with it in a couple of non-festive ways! 

The set I found the tree in was Stampin' Up's From Our House To Yours. In the first card I stamped it on a smooshed background and in the second card I used it as part of a stamped autumnal border. 

Here's the first.

I dripped inks in various purples onto some cling wrap, spritzed it with water and placed a card panel into the result. Once the panel was dry, I masked off a horizontal line and watercoloured in a ground. Once THAT was dry, I masked off the ground and repeat-stamped the tree in dark purple, varying the heights. A matching purple marker was used to fill in any gaps.

The most interesting part of the panel was trimmed using a tall, thin stitched rectangle die by Christina Griffiths. To represent the moon, I punched a small hole in the sky and filled it with the same-sized circle punched out of shiny card stock, taped at the back to secure. I added stars with a white gel pen and stamped the sentiment (from Stampin'Up's Today's Tiles) in dark purple ink. The panel was attached to a card base with dimensionals.

For the second card, I tried using the tree as twiggy branches in a leafy border. I think it works!

The foliage and berries mostly come from WPlus9's Silver Bells but I also used a leaf that was out on my desk from Reverse Confetti's Fall Foliage. I tried the stamping out on scrap paper first and then copied the design carefully onto a card panel. 

For the sentiment, I cut a strip of card stock and trimmed it top and bottom with a stitched rectangle die. The bold sentiment is from WPlus9's Hello and Thanks, stamped in dark brown ink. I thought I had stamped my borders so carefully but when I put the card together, I noticed a red blob on my pristine white card... that's why there are lots of gems on this card!!!

So happy that the twiggy autumnal card was chosen as a Weekly Winner at CAS Colours and Sketches!

I'm linking both cards up with The Twofer Challenge where the theme this month is Trees, and we are asked to use the same stamp/die/stencil, on two different designs, for two different occasions.
I'm also entering Card One into this month Stamping Sensations challenge where the theme is Great Outdoors; and also joining in at Less is More's Shades of Purple colour challenge.
Card Two was made with those amazing colours at CAS Colours and Sketches (my second entry!) and I'm also linking it up at Just Add Ink where the challenge is to Just Add 'A'. My 'A' is autumn of course!

Forgive the rubbish photo but it really does sum up our weekend...

Yep! This weekend we have mostly been cavorting about the countryside in the sunshine :) How about you?


Saturday, 19 September 2020

A corner of autumn leaves

Hello, crafting friends!

I've no idea why the autumn has been taking its time to arrive but the leaves are beginning to turn now and the wind is picking up so I daresay things will start moving along quite quickly now. That was enough to inspire me to do a little autumn crafting anyway!

I got my Reverse Confetti Fall Foliage set out for this CAS little number, stamping some of the leaves on scrap card stock and colouring them with a mix of Spectrum Noir and Stampin' Up alcohol markers. 

The leaves were fussy cut and arranged on the corner of a panel trimmed with a Heffy Doodle stitched rectangle die. I added a simple thank you sentiment from Clearly Besotted's Elegant Butterflies before attaching the panel to a card base.

I was inspired by The Sisterhood of Crafters, where the theme is Autumn Inspiration and by the beautiful colours at CAS Colours and Sketches. This simple card has a masculine vibe so I'm also joining in at Watercooler Wednesday where Heidi's challenge is Anything Goes With A Masculine Twist.

In this action shot (!) of Eva having an enthusiastic roll, the leaves are actually dead ones from last year that the wind is flushing out.

Eva is fine with that. She would prefer a dead bird or something to roll in but hey, she'll take whatever there is!

Sending hugs,

Friday, 18 September 2020

A little bird told me...

Hello, crafting friends!

I do love a bird and find it hard to resist bird stamps (well, vultures not so much, but small garden birds yes!) The cute birds on today's birthday card are from Stampin' Up's Birds and Branches and they're getting their first outing today.

The card started with stamping the branch and leaves several times onto a card panel. I added a sponging of Tumbled Glass distress ink round the edges of the panel to draw the eye into the centre.

Next came the birds. I stamped the solid image in pale yellow, then the detailed image in blue ink. I tried stamping the wings and cutting them out separately but felt they looked a bit clunky, so I stamped the wing over my stamped bird images and much preferred the effect. 

The 'wishing you a happy' part of the sentiment is from Silver Bells by WPlus9 and the 'Birthday' from MFT's From Me To You - stamped using a stamping platform. Finally, I gave the birds details with markers before glueing them to the panel. I like they way the appear to be regarding the sentiment with surprise and delight!

I'm joining in with We Love Chocolate Baroque where the theme is Wings with an Anything Goes option. To celebrate its move to a new home, the challenge is doing Tuesday give-aways this month so do come and play along! I'm also sharing this card at the NBUS (Never Before Used Schtuff) Challenge and linking up with Seize The Birthday, choosing the Anything Goes option.

I walked with my eldest son last week in beautiful wild marshland near where he lives. It was a warm evening with a glorious sunset and as we walked, two flocks of geese passed overhead in formation, filling the air with their honking cries. I was so certain that was the end of the summer and that autumn would follow swiftly but here we are enjoying another week of late summer sunshine. Thanks to Mother Nature, outdoor living is still a thing and our social lives are still revolving around walks and picnics in the fresh air - now that's something to be grateful for!

Sending hugs,

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

A cup of tea with bird friend

Hello, crafting friends!

Well, it seems that summer isn't over yet! The temperatures have soared here: Eva has needed to cool down with a swim on her walks again, I've been glad I didn't put my summery clothes away and I've been drawn to brighter colours in The Craft Square Metre! 

I had great fun with some of my favourite techniques on this card: masking, stamping, colouring with alcohol markers and stencilling!

The cups are from WPlus9's Hello and Thanks, and the masking enabled me to stamp them in a stack and give each one a different pattern with the florals in the same set. There are also a couple of cute birdies in the set so I perched one of them on the top cup. I grounded the cups with a ruler and fineliner, then coloured everything with Spectrum Noir alcohol markers.

I usually like my cards to be pretty clean and simple but felt this background needed a little pizzazz. My new Fancy Trellis stencil from Funky Fossil was the answer with a little pale green ink sponged into it. The panel was trimmed with a stitched rectangle die from Heffyy Doodle, attached to a card base and finished with a sentiment from Uniko's Simply Said Blocks stamped in purple.

I've loved all of Inspired By's challenges lately but just haven't managed to join in, so I'm pleased I made the deadline for this fun inspiration pic! The colours are from Color My Heart Color Dare challenge 411. I chose the top row of the tic tac toe board (Eggplant, Saffron and Pixie) adding Goldrush, Sweet Leaf and a touch of gold. I'm also playing along at Allsorts where they're celebrating their 11th birthday (a little belatedly!) They're asking us to make a card using things we love (mine are the techniques listed in the post) - and there are prizes on offer so do check it out! Finally, I'm linking up at NBUS with my Never Before Used Schtencil!!

There's a new game in town!

I gather it's about finding the plant pots that are neatly stacked in the potting corner and distributing them around the garden. When the wind blows them about, you pounce on them (pretending they are those pesky squirrels!) and show them who is Boss Of The Garden. After that a nice snoozle is in order :)

Sending hugs,

Friday, 11 September 2020

Chalk it up

Hello, crafting friends!

Here's a simple little card I started last night and then finished in daylight when I could actually see!

I've used the chalkboard technique, choosing a sentiment from Concorde & 9th's Beautiful Branches stamp set and heat embossing it in white on black card stock. To get that 'rubbed out' look, I used my embossing buddy liberally and rubbed it into the black card stock with my finger.

I gave my blackboard a frame using two Heffy Doodle stitched rectangle dies, then added some greenery from Reverse Coinfetti's Fall Foliage and some pretty yellow daisies from Clearly Besotted's Sending Sunshine.

So pleased this card was chosen as a Watercooler Rocker!

And it was a winner at The Card Concept - woohooo!

I'm joining in with Less Is More's Chalkboard Technique challenge and was also inspired by the beautiful inspiration photo at The Card Concept. I chose the green leaves, the yellow flowers and the blackboard to make my Clean and Simple card. I'm also playing along at Watercooler Wednesday where it's Kath's All About Occasions challenge 

I was looking on Pinterest at the kind of blackboards people put outside pubs and shops and some of them really made me chuckle. I'm sharing them here because don't they say laughter is the best medicine? You're welcome!

(Source: Pinterest)

Sending hugs,