Friday, 13 December 2019

Do you wanna build a snowman?

Hello crafting friends!

I think I've made enough Christmas cards now but you can't have too many can you? And anyway, card challenges keep pinging into my inbox and I can't resist joining in! So, anyone for a little snow...?

I fell in love with this little Altenew Snowman and he was SUCH a bargain, and I didn't have any snowmen in my stash (can you believe that?!!), and I loved the sentiment, so he hopped into my shopping basket!

The card started life as a card base and panel cut out of kraft card stock. I stamped the snowman onto the panel using white craft ink, then stamped a tree from Stampin' Up's White Christmas in black ink right next to him. Then came the pens! With a black fineliner, I elongated the trunk of the tree and added detail to the arms of the snowman; a white gel pen came in handy for sketching in a snowy ground, piling up snow on the branches of the tree and making it snow in the background; and a silver Stampin' Sparkle gave the tree trunk, the snowman's arms and the snow a silvery shimmer.

I stamped the snowman again, using pale blue ink on white card stock, and fussy cut him. His hat and scarf were coloured with a pale blue marker (I don't have Seaside Spray but this was close) and details added with my fineliner, and then I glued him over the snowman on the panel. The card was finished with a sentiment (to warm things up a bit!) and a pierced frame before attaching the panel to the card base.

I used this week's great sketch at Freshly Made Sketches for this card and the colour palette at The Paper Players which has been playing on my mind ever since Sunday!

Making this card made me feel quite wistful for snow! It rained all day yesterday and the dogs and I got drenched. Today, we found the river has burst its banks again.

How about you? Are you ready for snow? Or does the very thought of it make you lock all the doors and crank the heating up?! Let me know won't you :)


Thursday, 12 December 2019

A therapeutic thanks

Hello crafting friends!

The run up to Christmas can be a bit stressful as we all rush about trying to fit shopping, wrapping, posting parcels, planning get-togethers and decorating our houses into our already busy lives. I've been having crafting withdrawal symptoms so it felt SO good to take a little time to make this card - even if I did have to do so in what felt like practically the middle of the night! Come and see:

I love the look of flowers split with a large sentiment, and the pretty spray in Avery Elle's Mimosas is ideal for creating the look. It features lovely berries which I think are the perfect nod to the winter season, perfect for thanking people for Christmas gifts and hospitality.

To make the card, I cut a card panel and masked off a strip for my sentiment. The flower spray was stamped above and below it and coloured with Stampin' Up Blendabilities. To emphasise the sentiment space, I drew lines top and bottom with a black fineliner and scored a line next them.

The bold 'thanks' from Hello and Thanks by WPlus9 fits the space perfectly. I stamped it in Stampin' Up Cherry Cobbler ink and fussy cut it before popping it up on dimensionals.

The Inspire. Create. challenge has a wonderful colour palette that I couldn't resist using, so I shall link up there. At CAS Colours and Sketches, the challenge is to take a previous challenge from the year and make it seasonal; I used the fabulous sketch 323 from the end of May (when it was light and sunshiny and... oh well, we won't go there!)

Britain is being battered by Storm Atiyah at the moment, which means high winds and heavy rain - not good for those that have already been affected by flooding and my heart goes out to them. For me, it just means being a bit uncomfortable while walking the dogs, and putting up with low light conditions, so I'm lucky. To photograph today's card, I had to pull back the sofa and perch precariously on the window sill like a demented parrot.

Eva wanted to join in of course, but didn't feel she could squeeze through the gap between the sofas! What size dog does she think she is?!!! She is such a funny girl!

Thanks for popping in to visit me today. Try not to stress too much over the festive preparations and remember, it's more about the people than the things. And also, you'll blink and it'll be over!


Sunday, 8 December 2019

Designer paper? Make it yourself!

Hello crafting friends!

Like most crafters, I have a lovely big pile of designer paper that never really seems to go down. And it's not surprising really when it's so much fun making your own! Come and see:

The panel on this card started life as a simple piece of aqua card stock. I stamped it repeatedly with the dotty line in Uniko's Background Builders Classics, using Stampin' Up's Daffodil Yellow ink. Because it's a photopolymer stamp, it's easy to curve into a 'garland of beads'. I stamped over these with the fir branch from Winter Foliage, also by Uniko, using Stampin' Up's Granny Apple Green.

I wanted glitter and shine and different finishes, so I used gold Stickles on some of the beads, my gold Stampin' Dazzle pen on others and left the rest unembellished.

I felt the panel demanded a bold sentiment, so I pulled out Stampin' Up's Letterpress (retired), stamped it with Memento black ink, cut it out with my trimmer and popped it up on dimensionals.

I'm joining in with CAS(E) this Sketch where the sketches always get me going - and  it's so lovely to see my friend LeAnne guesting there this week :) The Colour Throwdown has a gorgeous Aqua, Green, Gold and White colour palette which really inspired me, so I shall link up there too. Finally, this is my second entry into the current Uniko challenge - Christmas with optional Tree.

So, it's December. For many, this is the month for writing Christmas cards, planning family get-togethers, wrapping presents... but for Eva, it's the perfect month for jumping into the river and pretending to be a duck!

So how are you spending your December so far? And please note that I'm desperately hoping someone is going to send me a picture of themselves in a river dressed as a duck!


Saturday, 7 December 2019

A Redbird Christmas card

Hello crafting friends!

Guess what? YAY! I am so happy to be Guest Designer at Addicted to CAS for the latest challenge - and the last one of the year!

The cue word  is TREE - perfect for making Christmas cards. Or, if you've finished those for the year, how about a tree-ish card you could use to send new year wishes or to say thank you for Christmas gifts?

The card I've made is for my lovely friend Sarn, who recommended her favourite Christmas book to me a month or two ago. It's called A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg and this is my illustration of one of the scenes. It's the most wonderful, uplifting Christmas story, quick to read, and I urge you to read it this season!

To make the card, I masked off the bottom of a panel with a torn piece of paper and sponged pale pink and blue inks above it. The trees, from Stampin' Up's White Christmas (retired) were stamped over that in pale grey ink. The stamp set contains cardinals, the redbirds of the story, which I stamped lots of in the trees, and snow flakes, which I used to fill the sky above the trees. I coloured the birds and added definition to the trees with markers, then added snowy details with a white gel pen.

I love the two-part sentiment in this stamp set...

... and used both parts on the front of my card. It is perfect for this Redbird Christmas card :)

I hope you'll give this fun challenge a go - we've all got some tree stamps in our stash, dying to be inked up!

I shall also link this card up with the Uniko challenge, which is Christmas with optional twist of Tree.

We have a little robin living in our tiny garden! I am so thrilled I can't tell you. Nothing could make me feel more Christmassy than to see that little chap sitting on a post with his head on one side.

How are you feeling in the run up to Christmas? Excited? Stressed? I'm really busy until next week when I have a flurry of Christmas preparations planned - decorating, gift-buying, card-sending and so on. I'm not thinking about it until then!


Thursday, 5 December 2019

Sledging through the snow!

Hello crafting friends!

Wow! The sunrises are just gorgeous at the moment - glorious pink skies streaked with grey blue! I can't do justice to that but there is at least a hint of it in today's card, where some lively children are taking advantage of the icy conditions to get a sledge out! Come and see:

To make the background, I scribbled lines of watercolour crayons across a trimmed card panel and used a paintbrush and water to merge them into a wash with a strong horizontal line. While this was still wet, I stamped the pine trees from Stampin' Up's Waterfront, using grey ink stamped off once.

Once the background was dry, I stamped the children from Welcome Christmas (retired) in Memento black ink and matted the panel onto black card stock.

To finish the card, I used a Wink of Stella pen to create glittery details (hard to see in the photos!), added a greeting from Endless Wishes (retired) and then mounted the panel onto the card base.

I'm linking this card up with 52 Christmas Card Throwdown, which is running a watercolour challenge. Also, the Happy Little Stampers Watercolour Challenge has an optional Christmas theme, so I shall play along there too. Finally, I used the wonderful sketch at Hand Stamped Sentiments and am so happy to be joining in there for the first (but not last) time :)

It's the first time I've brought Welcome Christmas out this year and it made me smile. As well as a pretty wreath, a couple of sentiments and the lovely sledging image I used today, it features this interesting stamp:

My daughter once looked at it and said thoughtfully: "Hmm, yes. Nothing says Christmas like a man throwing his child at the Christmas tree!" I've never been able to unsee that!

Now, if you didn't have any responsibilities, do you think you'd be up at sunrise to take a sledge out in the ice and snow? I'd be very interested to hear your thoughts about this!


Tuesday, 3 December 2019

A sparkling new year

Hello crafting friends!

It was a wonderful sparkling frosty day when I started writing this post, which was all the more beautiful for following the dark, grey rainy ones of November. Suddenly those rosy-cheeked skaters, frost-rimed winter foliage and Santas arriving in a flurry of glitter seemed right - and I could even think of a shiny new year too! Come and see:

Letterpress is a retired Stampin' Up stamp set that I'm SO glad I managed to hang on to! I use it all the time for all sorts of occasions and I think its vintage style is an enduring classic. Today, I've used it for a new year celebration card. Can you see how sparkly it is?!

The '2020' comes from another retired set that I find very useful, called 25 days, which was intended for making advent calendars but which I often use when I need interesting-looking numbers. For this card, I used the number 20 twice, inking up with versamark and heat embossing with gold embossing powder. The 'happy new year' greeting is from Clearly Besotted's Cityscape and fits the year rather neatly :)

The beautiful frame from Letterpress was stamped last using Memento black ink. I coloured in some of the frame with a gold marker and added gold Stickles for a really sparkly look. The panel was mounted on gold mirror card using dimensionals.

I'm enjoying joining in with the Festive Friday challenges - it's NOT about making festive cards (unless you want it to be) but more a device to give you an inspiration list to kickstart your creativity. Today I chose Vintage, CAS and Black and White from the list. I'm also linking up with another favourite challenge: CAS on Friday where the challenge this week is Black and White with one colour.

The house diagonally opposite ours is home to several professional young people. They always decorate their house to the nines at Halloween, which amuses me,  but at the weekend, they showed that they could get excited about Christmas too. I don't think I've ever seen quite so many flashing lights, reindeer, icicles and fake snow in one place in my life! I was thinking of putting my simple red berry wreath up in the next day or two - but I'm not sure anyone will notice!

Thanks for coming to visit me today. Have you got your decorations up yet? Are you a 'Whole of December, got to make the most of it' person, or is your view more 'What do you mean? It isn't Christmas Eve yet'? Do let me know in the comments below :)


Saturday, 30 November 2019

One layer of Purple Snow

Hello crafting pals!

You know when you're thinking up ideas for a card and a song comes on the radio and all becomes clear? Well no, not usually me either... but today, I give you Purple Snow by Prince! Come and see:

I love these folksy little snowflakes from Stampin' Up's Endless Wishes (retired) and it's always fun to stamp a snowflake in unexpected colours! Thanks to His Royal Purpleness, I've pulled out Highland Heather ink today as well as Mint Macaron and Balmy Blue!

This is a one layer card so I stamped the snowflakes directly onto the card base. I spent a little time embellishing with silver Liquid Pearls before adding an appropriate sentiment from Uniko's Simply Said Blocks Christmas.

I'd been wondering what to do with Less is More's Pick a Triangle challenge this fortnight and the snowflakes lent themselves happily to the top triangle in this sketch.

There's no sign of snow around here. It's been so wet that the fields by the river have been flooded and the farmer has had to move the sheep to higher ground. I bet he's not happy about that but at least a certain floofy someone is enjoying the watery new world!

Eva has discovered a beautiful Golden Retriever living at the bottom of the water but she just can't get her to play!

Thanks for coming to visit me today. I'll be back soon with more inky fun :)


Friday, 29 November 2019

Thank you berry much

Hello crafting friends!

It's great fun making Christmas cards but sometimes it's nice to take a break from the glitz and glitter and create something else - like a thank you card that'll come in handy after Christmas for example! Come and see what I've made:

I've moved away from festive motifs but have opted for a wintery feel. The background was made by smooshing a few drops of yellow, pink and blue inks with a drop or two of water on a shiny surface, then dragging a panel of card stock through it.

Once the card stock was dry, I inked up the berries image in Stampin' Up's Enjoy Life stamp set with Crumb Cake ink and used a red marker to go over the berries before stamping three times along the bottom of my panel.

The sentiment is in a nice bold font and is from a retired Stampin' Up set called Letterpress. I stamped some birds from Take Flight 2 by Inkylicious to add a bit of upward movement, and finished the card by scoring a frame round the edge of the panel before mounting it onto my card base.

I was inspired to make this card when I saw the challenge at Allsorts Challenge this week - Thank You or New Year and I shall also link up with Addicted to Stamps and More where it's Clean and Simple week.

It took very little time to make today's card but it took a LONG time hunting for the bird stamp when I cleared up! I wandered about with a torch and a magnifying glass, looking like some kind of comedy investigator, but I did eventually find it, right on the edge of the sink where I'd been cleaning the stamps. Thank goodness! Sometimes the smallest stamps are the most treasured aren't they?

Have you ever lost a clear stamp and then amazingly found it? Do tell me your miracle stories :)