Saturday 15 June 2024

Against the wall

Hello, crafting friends!
We're half way through the month of June and I'm here to remind you that you've got plenty of time to join in with our sketch challenge at the Flower Challenge.
And here IS the sketch:

I love this sketch and am particularly obsessed with the background panel! For my first card, I focused on adding pattern to the centre (you can see that HERE) but this time, I decided to add pattern to the sides to emphasise the centre. But first, I got going with the flower/foliage cluster!

When I bought this stamp set (Wallpaper Art by Altenew) the coordinating mask/stencil was on special offer, so I bought it too - and it's been so useful! I stamped the flower and masked it off; then stamped the left hand leaf cluster and masked that off; and finally stamped the bottom leaves before removing the masks. The flower and larger leaves are line art, so I coloured those with Arteza watercolour brush pens and left it to dry.

When everything was dry, I replaced the masks and also blocked off the vertical centre of the card with sticky notes before sponging pale blue ink over the sides. When that was done, I positioned Funky Fossil's Brick Wall stencil over the card front and sponged blue-grey and light purple inks through it. When I removed the masks again, the flower cluster appeared to be in front of the brick sections - yay, the magic of masking!! To finish, I added a sentiment from my UFO box and some purple gems.

Right! It's over to you! Don't forget to check out all the amazing inspiration from my team mates over at the Flower Challenge - you'll be glad you did! When you've made your own card, you can link up using the Linky Tool at the bottom of the challenge post. Have fun won't you!

I am linking up at the Beautiful Blossoms challenge under the Anything Floral Goes theme - but I will be back as I'm totally inspired by that gorgeous mood board with its oranges and pinks! Also linking up at the Stencil Fun Challenge where there's an optional theme of Birthday but I've gone with Anything Goes.

While Eva's paw is healing, I am walking her gently on hard level surfaces only. This kind of polite on-lead walking is not what Lulu needs - she's young and needs to get out and really run. So, although I take them out together in the morning and at night, for the main midday walk I'm walking them separately for the moment. What has amazed me is how much this has affected their behaviour. They are both much more focused on my guidance and it's quite obvious that they are enjoying the one-to-one attention. When Eva is better, I may carry on with separate midday walks a couple of times a week. It also represents a massive step forward for Lulu, who would once have barked the place down if I had tried to take Eva out without her!

Sending hugs,

Thursday 13 June 2024

A flash of pink

Hello, crafting friends!
With all the shenanigans with birthday celebrations and visitors, then dentist and optician appointments, and then poor Eva getting her toe infected and needing to go to the vet, I have been a very bad blogger! I am planning to catch up with commenting today and have put a 'Do not disturb' sign on the door (I can hear the golden girls whispering among themselves about pretending not to be able to read!!)
Today I want to show you a card that I got really excited about :) When I made THIS card and some others like it, there was quite a lot of distress oxide ink left on the stencils so I sprayed them with water, smooshed the ink onto a card panel and left it to dry. And then I had an idea which turned into this:

Isn't it fun? I stamped over the background with an NBUS stamp from an Altenew set called Charmed. Using a paint brush and water, I picked up distress oxide inks pressed onto an acrylic block and added loose colour to the flowers and leaves. When the panel had dried, I cut an arch shape out of the centre and set it aside. The negative of the die cut was glued to a card front and the centre filled in with another arch cut from a snippet of pink card.

For the focal point, I took the floral arched piece I'd cut out and and stamped a 'Just a note' sentiment  from The Greetery's Scripted Sentiments onto it.

The arch was backed with dimensional tape and popped up over the pink arch. I love the way you catch a glimpse of the pink!

I'm linking this card up at Allsorts, where Lolo wants to see Flowers Galore; also We Love Stamping where the theme is Fabulous Flowers and the challenge is celebrating its 15 year anniversary! The Charmed set was fresh out of the packet so I'm hopping over to Darnell's NBUS Challenge too.

Sometimes a girl with a Poor Paw needs a little time alone...

Thank you so much for all your get well messages for my sweet Eva.
Sending hugs,

Tuesday 11 June 2024

One layer lupins

Hello, crafting friends!
Don't you just love a layering stencil set? Me too! I was given a Sissix set for my birthday called Wildflower Border and I adore it! Here's one of my first efforts:

It's a simple one layer card using a C6 card base. The stencils are 6" square but I love that you can use just parts of the stencils to create something unique on different sized cards.

I used Distress Oxide inks for this card, adding details with coloured pencils.  Once everything had dried, I added the sentiment - a pretty one from The Greetery's Scripted Sentiments.

I used Shannon's beautiful colour palette at CAS Colours and Sketches for this card so I shall link up there; Pamela's theme at Make My Monday is B is for... (our own choice!) and I've chosen Blooms; I'm also popping over to Darnell's NBUS challenge as the stencils are brand spanking new!

Sad Girl Hours have come to our house I'm afraid. It's Eva's turn to have a Poor Paw. After a rather traumatic time at the vet having the swollen toe shaved and examined, we were told that she had an infection in the nail bed. Happily, after the examination, Eva discovered that the vet had treats and was willing to share them. She immediately forgave him for manhandling her toe and, I'm sorry to say, behaved like a complete trollop!

Here she is back at home, recuperating like a princess, having reluctantly left the vet behind.

Sending hugs,

Monday 10 June 2024

A masculine 18th birthday

Hello, crafting friends!
The birthdays are coming up fast in our family, including those masculine ones that are a bit more challenging to create cards for. I am always very grateful for challenges that inspire me for those!

This card features a background made with an off-cut of green/blue card overstamped with Stampin' Up's retired Hardwood stamp using a darker green/blue ink. I trimmed it to size with a Heffy Doodle Stitched Rectangle die, then gave it a bit of interest by cutting it in three with Lawn Fawn's Stitched Hillside border dies and then glueing it all back together on a card front.

The popped-up focal tag was cut from a snippet of white card using a Heffy Doodle Stitched Rectangle die. I used some washi tape to mask off two horizontal lines and then sponged the rest with red ink. I loved the way it showed off the stitched framing. The number 18 was die cut from a tiny snippet of navy card, and I punched the star from it too. The Stampin' Up sentiment is a very handy one that is a gazillion years old (give or take a few years!)

All of this card was made with snippets except the card base, so I shall skip over to The Snippets Playground with my homework. No need for a brolly of course because the sun ALWAYS shines there!! The card was heavily inspired by the challenge Inspired By, where they always have the most amazing photos to get our creative juices flowing. I also took inspiration from Inkspirational where the word prompt is Frame - I have the stitched frame on the focal tag and the background acts as a frame too. I shall also link up with Ellie and Pauline's I Spy With My Little Eye challenge where the theme is Something for Boys or Men.

My eldest son lives locally and often pops by to say hello. Today he came bearing a box of chocolate truffles he'd found at Marks & Spencer. "I've brought you some essentials," he said.

Then he added: "I don't know who this Marc fellah is but I hope they'll be nice!"

We opened them up to check and can reveal that they are very tasty indeed! 10 out of 10, would recommend!

Sending hugs,

Tuesday 4 June 2024

Impressionist flowers

Hello, crafting friends!
And hello June - yikes, isn't that half of the year already gone?!! At the Flower Challenge, we have a brand new theme for you:

This month we're challenging you with a sketch:

 and, as usual, we want to see flowers headlining in your creation! Here's what I came up with:

I was really intrigued by that central panel and chose to interpret it with two embossed lines on my card front inset with a piece of a favourite designer paper trimmed to fit. Before attaching the paper, I sponged it lightly with a blue-green ink, fading out towards the top.

The flowers and foliage are from The Greetery's Fleur Impressions. I stamped the pretty blooms in pinks and yellows and fussy cut them, positioning them over the panel and popping the largest up on dimensional pads. The sentiment was placed in my stamp positioner and inked up with blue and grey markers for an ombré effect. It was cut into a flag and tucked under the large flower. I emphasised the dreamy look with some delicate sequins from my stash.

Okay, so now it's your turn! Do hop over to the Flower Challenge blog and check out all the wonderful cards my team mates have made to inspire you. When you've made your own, you can share it with us by using the Linky Tool at the bottom of the challenge post. Have fun - we can't wait to see what you make!

I'm joining in at We Love Stamping, where the optional theme is Fabulous Florals and where the team are celebrating 15 fabulous years! What an amazing milestone! I'm also playing along at Allsorts where Anything Goes or there's an optional Many Layers challenge.

Forgive my absence over the past week; I have been celebrating my birthday and have had lots of visitors and treats and days out! The giddy social whirl has now calmed down much to my golden girls' relief. There have been some 'You're not going out and leaving us AGAIN are you?' looks on their little faces. They are happy to have me back doing my chores around the house and garden - although they prefer to have me sat down crafting, where they can keep their eyes on me and remind of their great need for sustenance or exercise, depending on the time of day!

Sending hugs,

Monday 27 May 2024

Peaceful village

Hello, crafting friends!
It was the 25th of the month on Saturday and I rolled up my sleeves to make a festive card ready for that 25th later at the end of the year! 

I started with an arch, cut from an offcut of white card with one of the nesting Arch dies from the Greetery. I blended ink over it (Misty Moonlight from Stampin' Up) then wet my hands with water and clapped them over the panel, blotting with a paper towel to create a subtle starry sky.

The Winter Village dies from Tonic (that I won as a prize draw at the Snippets Playground) were still out on my table, and I used the line of houses and church from it to create a village scene. I cut one from watercolour card, one from yellow card and several from black card - all snippets! The watercolour die cut was coloured with ink and water and I added snow with a white acrylic pen when it was dry; the yellow die cut was used to replace some of the windows on the watercolour scene to make them look lit up; one of the black die cuts was used to back the whole scene to give it some dimension; the remaining black versions were cut up and used to create the illusion of houses behind the main street.

The sentiment is from The Best Gift of All by Reverse Confetti, stamped in versamark ink and heat embossed with white embossing powder. I added a crescent moon, cut from the yellow card with a circle punch.

I'm linking up with Rudolph Days which has instilled into me the habit of making a Christmas card on the 25th of every month! I took my colour palette from Peace on Earth's lovely mood board so I'm joining in there too. And of course this is a snippety card so I shall romp over to the Snippets Playground and actually remember to link it up this time!!!

This aristicratic lady, who lives in the neighbourhood, is currently occupying some of my time.

Her interests include having her furs brushed, plaintively ordering rich dishes (such as Dover sole with a prawn cream sauce) and telling me long and complicated stories about hunting exploits in her distant youth!

When I return home after attending to her requirements, the golden girls sniff me suspiciously!

Sending hugs,

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,