Friday, 23 August 2019

Beautiful festive branches!

Hello crafting pals!

There have been a lot of Christmas cards spotted in Blogland lately and while it's a bit of a stretch to say it's made me feel festive, it has made me think about getting ahead! I love a stamp set that can be used for lots of purposes and the Concorde and 9th set, Beautiful Branches, is a perfect example. Come and see what I made with it:

Those branches can be Eucalyptus or blossom and they can be winter branches too! I've stamped them twice and fussy cut them out, adding glittery berries made from red glimmer paper cut out with my cropadile - it's amazing the stash I actually kept!

I am in love with this sentiment! I made it out of words in Merry Christmas To All, a current Stampin' Up set, and another one that's versatile. Stamping on the blue card was going to dull the red, so I chose the very bright Poppy Parade for the word 'Happy' and it matches the glimmer paper well.

Can you see how shiny those berries are? I'm not big on glitter but it's great to have smaller touches on a Christmas card. I drew the frame with a Uni pin fineliner and a ruler, before glueing all the elements onto the card front.

My starting-off point for this card was the CAS Christmas challenge where they're looking for glitter on clean and simple Christmas cards. There's a very pretty gallery already there as well as some glorious DT inspiration - well worth a look!

Summer has returned to the heart of England so I thought I'd celebrate by wearing my shirt inside out all morning... can you believe the dogs didn't let me know?!

Thanks for popping round today :) I think I might have another little festive moment while the stamps are out! See you soon,

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Sea-ing double

Hello crafting pals!

Writing the title of this post made me laugh like a paper bag but I have mastered myself now, so let's get on and have a look at some cards. Yes, that's right, not just one but TWO cards today!

If you can hear me sighing, it's because I really wouldn't mind being on either of those peaceful looking islands. They were both created with Stampin' Up's Waterfront set, a real favourite of mine.

This one layer card was made for AAA cards' challenge where they want clean and simple cards made in minutes with an optional summer theme. I didn't time it, but it was really fast! The background is literally five stampings:

1. Stamp the water in Balmy Blue
2. Clean the stamp, turn it over, stamp the sand in So Saffron
3. Stamp the palm trunks in Soft Suede
4. Stamp the palm leaves in Old Olive
5. Stamp the sun in So Saffron

The part that took the longest was getting out my Concorde and 9th Enjoy it All set, and inking up the word 'enjoy' with a Basic Black marker. A huff and a stamp and the card was done!

I made the second card because I suddenly realised that tropical islands could be construed as nautical (thanks Darnell!) which meant I could join in with this month's Twofer Challenge! Yay!

I started this one off with the sentiment (from a long-ago retired Stampin' Up set, Hello You), added the sand and the trees and layered on the 'wavy sea' paper.

I wanted to underline the sea with a card stock strip in the Shaded Spruce colour I'd used for the palm leaves but I didn't have any. I swiped my ink pad across the bottom of the card front instead and topped it with the paper. Canny eh?

Here are the challenge details and - oh look! I've missed the deadline for AAA Cards! Now that's not like me is it?! *slinks off dejectedly*

Thanks for joining me today and I'll see you soon.

Snippety splits!

Hello crafting pals!

I've been busy using up some of the left over snippets and am feeling quite smug! Here's what I made today:

You may recognise some of the essentials from this card (scroll down past challenge image) but it's taken on quite a different look hasn't it?! I'd stamped and fussy cut far too many of those pretty flowers (from Stampin' Up's Soft Spring) and it would have been a shame to waste them. I even rescued a ruined card base, sticking an off-cut of Pink Pirouette card stock to the front.

Do you like the split in the front? I was inspired As You See It, where the latest challenge is called Split Decision and this is the sketch:

I flipped the sketch, angled the horizontal element a little and took the split part of the title literally, stamping an old Clearly Besotted sentiment in the gap. The edges were finished off with a scored line.

The best part of using all those snippets, of course, is that I'll be able to skip over to Pixie's Snippet Playground where I'll be able to say hello to the playmates and Miss after a long time away. Will bring Eva with me - nothing in the Rools about whether we're allowed big floofy puppers with us and Eva wants to just CHECK to see if anyone has any snax she can share and also say a gentle hello to Dudley!

Thanks for rootling about here today and I hope to see you again soon!


Monday, 19 August 2019

Oooh you nautical boy!

Hello crafting friends!

The discovery of my scoreboard in the back of a cupboard yesterday has given me a new crafting lease of life! For a moment there I thought I was going to have to order some new stamps! *winks*

I wanted to make a sea-faring card and, although I'm lacking nautical themed stamps, I did have some retired designer paper with a cute boat on it. I fussy cut the bottom of the boat and gave it card stock sails and a tiny flag. Come and see what I made with it:

It was really hard to photograph this because the embossing is quite subtle, but it's quite effective in real life. The decorative plate of the scoreboard has all sorts of swirls and waves on it so I was able to emboss both a choppy sea and some scudding clouds. Once that was done, I let my little boat loose out there! Don't sink little boat!

Can you see it better in this photo? Fun isn't it? Before I did this, I tried a piece of wavy designer paper, but it was so dull my eyes glazed over and I started to think about doing the hoovering! The sentiment is a basic one from my Altenew Birthday Greetings set.

I was inspired by a variety of challenges for this card. First, this week's great sketch from CAS(e) This Sketch; second, The Paper Players, where the challenge is to make a CAS children's card; and last but not least AAA Birthday where the birthday cards this month are 'For The Boys'.

My son is busy making plans to go to uni and came to discuss it with me. I was fully expecting worries such as 'Will I make friends?' or 'Will the coursework be manageable?' Er, no. His main preoccupation, it seems, is where he'll be getting his hair cut!

Thanks for coming to visit me today. I'll be back tomorrow with more crafty nonsense!

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Moving house with lots and lots of love

Hello crafting pals!

My lovely daughter and her partner have been staying with us for a few weeks but now they've found a flat. They moved in yesterday, so of course I must get busy with a new home card!

I looked at this week's Less Is More for inspiration, but the challenge is stencils on a one layer card and I don't have any stencils...

... but then, in an astonishing coincidence, while looking for something completely unrelated, I found a little pile of stash I thought had gone, and amongst it was a set of two stencils! So I made this card:

This card required all sorts of masks! I had to mask off part of the house before inking it up so the side of the house didn't interfere with the sentiment. I also made a stencil for the bushes, using circle punches and post it pads, then had to mask off the house and road while inking the bushes with a sponge dauber. Everything had to be masked so that I could use the heart stencil!

Most of this (apart from the bushes) was coloured with my ancient Blendabilities, many of which have dried up now. I want to replace them with something refillable (I don't like the thought of all those plastic pens in landfill) and with more colour options to improve blendability. Other than Copics (which I can't afford) does anyone have any suggestions? I've been looking at Spectrum Noir - does anyone have any thoughts on those? Are they good?

Everything I used today was Stampin' Up: The house and the 'new home' part of the sentiment is from Holiday Home (retired); the 'Happy' part of the sentiment from Painted Glass; Hearts and Stars decorative masks (retired); Blendabilities (the old 3 pen set markers).

Would anyone like to see the stash I found in the back of a cupboard?

My scoreboard, with diagonal, metric and decorative plates, Stars and Hearts masks, Crystal Effects (I was wishing I had some of that just the other day!), some pretty, glittery bakers twine, and some gorgeous, faceted silver sequins (LOVE them!) This adds a whole new dimension to the phrase 'shop your stash' doesn't it? I feel as if I've won the lottery! But, *cue Twilight Zone music* WHAT were they doing there...?!

Thanks for coming to visit me today. I can't wait to see what you've all been up to!


Friday, 16 August 2019

Painted Glass and Painted Petals

Hello crafting friends!

I love it when you tell me about new challenges and I can never resist them, so I've gone a bit challenge-tastic today! First let me show you the card I made:

Arty huh?! That's because I had a look at the CAS Mix Up Challenge and got involved with inky paper towels, splattering water and washi tape (the background), heat embossing (the sentiment), stamping and doodling (the leafy stems), and fussy-cutting, stamping and colouring with alcohol markers (the butterfly). I'm exhausted - but mostly because of tidying everything away!

I used Cucumber Crush and So Saffron re-inkers to soak my dampened paper towel and smooshed it around some card stock. Splattering water about added texture. Once dry, I stamped the leafy stems from Painted Petals (retired) and doodled extra leaves with a blender pen and ink. The panel was then trimmed and edged with washi tape. The butterfly, in a interesting coincidence, is from Painted Glass, a gift from my bloggy pal Em *waves gratefully*.

There has been some brilliant inspiration in Blogland - like this great sketch from CAS Colours and Sketches (which I tipped upside down.) And Seize The Birthday got me going too, with the 'use a butterfly in a way outside your comfort zone' topping. I never use alcohol markers and can't believe these 5 year old, neglected blendabilities were still working!

It's been another very wet day here today - I think the British Isles are catching the tail end of someone's tropical storm. I took the pups out for a heart-pumping walk by the river in the rain. I say 'walk', but in fact I was the one doing the walking; Eva and her bestie Henry preferred to swim alongside me. It obviously wasn't wet enough for them!

Thanks for joining me today.

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Well done my son!

Hello crafting friends!

I'm in celebratory mood today! It's A Level results day in the UK, as some of you may know, and I'm delighted to say my youngest son got what he needed and has secured his place at university :) Naturally I made a card to mark the occasion. Come and see:

I've gone for a simple one layer card, starting by stamping the sentiments from my well-used Enjoy It All set by Concorde and 9th. I then went on a hunt for star stamps, eventually finding these in some Stampin' Up sets I managed to squirrel away during The Great Cull (all retired now.) The largest star is from Simply Stars - no surprises there - but I found the tiny star in Holiday Home and the outline star in White Christmas. It's definitely worth having a closer look at stamp sets as they can often be used for all sorts of occasions they weren't intended for!

I kept the colours are light and bright for a celebratory vibe, choosing Calypso Coral, Mango Melody and Mint Macaron. It would've been nice to add some punched stars - aaargh! I really miss my Confetti Stars border punch! But I think I shall invest in the Twinkle punch as it's less of an awkward size, and you get plenty of stars as well as a bonus moon!

There's a CAS challenge at Addicted to Stamps and More at the moment, so I'll enter this card there.

I've been thinking about my son today. When he was 3 or 4, someone gave him a flying jacket and a Biggles-style hat. "You look just like a proper pilot!" we told him, smiling as he squared his little shoulders and got the dreamy look in his eye. When we got in the car to go to playgroup, we'd pretend we were in an aeroplane. "Just taxi-ing onto the runway now Wing Commander!" I'd say. And he'd reply: "Roger, roger! Cleared for take-off!" Sometimes I'd say "Oi! Who are you calling Roger?" to make him laugh.

Thanks for joining in our celebrations today. I hope all students picking up results today got what they hoped for and, if not, may they remember that there's more than one path to a happy future.


Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Faster than the speed of purple lightning!

Hello crafting pals!

Today I took card making to new levels! Yes, it's EXTREME paper crafting for only the most daring of inksters! My bloggy pal LeAnne introduced me to a new challenge, As You See It, which was responsible for the most enjoyable ten minutes of my day with this fabulous speed challenge:

I wasn't going to pass this one up! I had a little think, got all my supplies out, and mounted my stamps as suggested - and this one-layer card is the outcome:

I stamped this flower outline from Stampin' Up's Soft Spring on either side of the card front, using Basic Grey ink. The image has a coordinating solid stamp so it's quick and easy to 'colour in' the flowers - I used Highland Heather. The beautiful sentiment is from Concorde and 9th's Beautiful Branches and I will never tire of it!

Doing that took 2 minutes - I'm serious, TWO MINUTES! But I admit, it was looking a little flat. So...

... I took a blender pen and some Gorgeous Grape ink and scribbled in a bit of detail. This is a very 'artsy' stamp so I didn't need to be particularly careful. After that, I added a sprinkling of gems and hey presto, the card was done!

So how long did it take?

Six minutes and 15 seconds - well under the 10 minutes of the challenge! Apparently they don't usually do speed challenges at As You See It, but I wish they did because that was FUN!

I shall also enter this card into the Passion for Purple challenge over at The Rainbow Card Challenge where they're looking for purple cards.

It's been a nice, gentle, warm summer so far here in the heart of England, but today there was a heavy-handed reminder that rain is A Thing! I took the dogs out for a long walk this morning and when we got home, we were all soaked. The dogs have double coats (which is why they enjoy a swim in snowy weather!) but my 'shower proof' raincoat and trousers might just as well have been made of paper! Even my underwear was drenched! Great crafting weather though...

Thanks for joining me today - and thank you for chatting with me in the comments and for keeping me company while I craft. I really appreciate it :) See you soon!

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Playing with purple

Hello crafting friends!

One of the things I love about crafting is the excitement of putting colours together. Using one colour is harder for me. But that's what challenges are all about! The Rainbow Card Challenge's latest one is to make a card using just the colour purple.

So here's my card in all its purply purplishness! 

The stamp set I used is Because You Care, a retired Stampin' Up set I bought because it had a great image to make backgrounds with, and I also liked the label stamp. I've used both here.

There are lots of purples in the background! It was stamped in Highland Heather and coloured in with Rich Razzleberry, Elegant Eggplant and Wisteria Wonder markers.

I stamped the label, and the birthday sentiment inside it, in Gorgeous Grape ink, . It was fussy cut and decorated with markers and enamel dots. I stamped the birthday sentiment again and snipped out the word 'birthday' so I could pop it up on dimensionals for a bit of extra interest. The label was glued to an Elegant Eggplant panel, positioned so that it overlapped the background a little.

I didn't used to like the colour purple for some reason but I think one of the things that helped me get over my aversion was my daughter. When she was four or five, she used to collect pretty buttons. She gave the buttons names and personalities and played 'schools' with them and put them to bed in home-made beds - adorable! We used to search charity shops for unusual buttons and one of our finds was a large, ornate, purple one. "Isn't she beautiful?!" I said. "What are you going to call her?" My daughter thought for a few seconds. "Purpletta!" she said.; "I'm going to call her Purpletta!" Shortly after this we found an extraordinary pink button who was christened Pinkenella, but all the other buttons had actual names :)

Thanks for joining me today - and if you read the bit where I rambled on about buttons, thanks for that too! I'd better go away now before you fall asleep! See you soon,

Monday, 12 August 2019

A soft spring birthday

Hello crafting friends!

One of the things I love about card challenges is that as you go round visiting everyone, you come across new challenges! The Colour Throwdown is another one I remember playing along with when I used to craft and blog and it's lovely to find it again :)

The colours this week are gorgeous - green, yellow, pink and lavender. Come and see what I made:

I loved making this card! When I replaced my sold-off Stampin' Up ink pads a few weeks ago, I qualified for some freebies and was able to get a hostess set called Soft Spring that I'd been admiring. I made a little bouquet out of the flowers and laid it on a background made from some strips of card stock.

Soft Spring is a two step stamping set so I was able to stamped the outlines in Pear Pizzazz and then 'colour in' the flowers with the solid stamps using Highland Heather and So Saffron inks. The flowers were fussy cut, which is something I love doing, but I'm sure there are similar stamp sets on the market that have coordinating dies!

I used a simple 'Happy Birthday' from Altenew's Birthday Greetings and finished the card by stapling a length of purple bakers twine to the flower stems and tying it into a bow.

My daughter has found a flat in London and will be moving in next weekend. She doesn't let the grass grow under her feet that one! We've been chatting about the things she could do in the city, and I've been reminiscing as I lived there for 16 years. One of the places I've recommended is Columbia Road Market. It's a flower market and I used to go there to gaze at the astonishing displays of flowers, many of which I'd never seen before in my life!

Thanks for dropping by today. See you soon!