Friday, 21 February 2020

An ill wind

Hello crafting friends!

We've all seen someone struggling along in the wind and rain with an umbrella that is supposed to protect them from the elements but that has turned into a monster with a will of its own. I thought it would be a great illustration of being there for a friend whose life has turned upside down with troubles. Come and see:

I made a windy, stormy background with the swirl from Merry Christmas To All from Stampin' Up - I always said that was an all-year-round set! The swirl was stamped with white craft ink and heat embossed with clear embossing powder, then distress ink was blended from the corner of the card panel towards the centre of the card. You can see that better if we zoom in:

Do you like the brolly? It's from another Stampin' Up set called Under My Umbrella. I would buy a flowery number like this like a shot if I saw it in the shops! To make it I stamped the umbrella outline in black ink, made a mask with a sticky note using the coordinating punch, and stamped the smallest floral image through it. The design was coloured using water-based markers - which are fine for small areas. The umbrella handle was stamped in Stazon black ink so that it would stand out over the embossed background and the little handle grip was punched out using the punch.

I thought this sentiment would work well with my stormy scene. It's basically saying 'when life turns your brolly inside out, I'm here for you' which, come to think of it, would have been the PERFECT sentiment!

I'm playing along with AAA cards, which wants to see cards with an image in one corner; Inspire Create, where Movement is the theme; and Festive Friday where I've chosen Blue, Green and Friendship Sentiment from the inspiration list.

Forgive me for being obsessed about my broken oven, but an exciting new development has arisen. A part has been ordered which will hopefully restore the oven to its former efficient glory but, in the meantime, I've discovered from reading the manual that the top part, which I've always thought was just a grill, can also function as an oven! Pepperoni pizza - here we come!!!

Have a happy weekend!


Wednesday, 19 February 2020

A bunch of daffodils

Hello crafting friends!

I have a quick, seasonal note card to show you today. Come and see:

The stamp I chose is from Spring Daffodils by Clearly Besotted. I stamped it onto a card panel cut with a Heffy Doodles stitched rectangle die and coloured the flowers with alcohol markers.

Yellow, orange and green is such a fresh colour combination for spring, don't you think? And yes, it IS a spring card - I refuse to have anything more to do with winter!

The blocky sentiment (from Simply Said Blocks II, Uniko) has been stamped in a stamping platform to get a really good solid black. I cut it out and mounted it on strips of coloured card stock the same size.

This week's colour palette at CAS Colours and Sketches is a favourite of mine so I couldn't wait to get going with it! I was also inspired by the sketch at Freshly Made Sketches. That semi-circular shape immediately made me think of these daffodils and I really loved the strips at the bottom of it.

The latest in the saga of the broken oven is that I made a lovely slow cooker tarragon chicken yesterday and a nice spicy stove-top chilli this evening which will stretch to tomorrow. But then I nipped into the supermarket on autopilot to buy something for a busy Friday evening and fell at the final fence... And there are now pizzas in my fridge! Can you grill a pizza?!!


Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Sunset silhouettes

Hello crafting friends!

Remember the distant memories of summer, relaxing outside in the evening, with a chilled glass of rosé perhaps, watching the sun set, lifting your face to catch a warm perfumed breeze... That was the inspiration for today's card and oh, I only wish!

The card started with a piece of watercolour paper, dampened and given an ombré look with some Stampin' Up Real Red ink, a large flat paintbrush and some water. When it was dry, I measured up with a ruler and pencil and cut out this shape. I've seen this shape quite a lot around blogland but don't have a die. I think I definitely want the die now!

For a bit of drama, I used black ink to stamp the gorgeous silhouette image from Uniko's Just Because onto my inky background. The watercolour paper wasn't brilliant for picking up the ink but my stamping platform was a big help as I was able to stamp four or five times knowing that the stamp would press into the exact same place each time.

The sentiment was created using two more Uniko stamp sets: Wild and You Are, Yes You. I used my stamping platform again here so that I could position the words accurately.

I added a sprinkling of gems for a touch of sparkle and the final task was to run markers round the edges of the cut-out shape to avoid that naked edge look, especially as the watercolour paper is really thick! I used three colours of marker - red, dark pink and pale pink -  to match the ombré.

Uniko is celebrating its 8th birthday and there are some fabulous party celebrations going on with prizes on offer. I've used lots of my Uniko stash and am joining the fun there! I'm also linking up with CAS Watercolour Challenge where the colour theme is Red and Black. Finally, this is my second entry at The Flower Challenge where 'Just Add Leaves' is the challenge. I liked the idea that this flower silhouette is ambiguous - you can't tell which are leaves and which are flowers!

My youngest son has been home from uni for a couple of days and it's been lovely to have both my sons here. It's been a mixed few days though... I've just discovered that my youngest has travelled back to uni with some rather important keys in his pocket! And while I was busy cooking a roast on Sunday, the oven died a death and everything had to be finished on the stove! It turned out to be delicious but now I'm having to remember not to buy food that requires oven cooking until we can get it replaced.

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


Sunday, 16 February 2020

I choose to see flowers!

Hello crafting friends!

There are defiant vases of daffodils all over my house and I'm blocking out the storm by colouring flowers in the Craft Square Metre! Come and see:

I started this card by stamping a piece of white card stock with Hardwood by Stampin' Up, making a long thin aperture in it with one of the Christina Griffiths stitched rectangles, and cutting the whole thing out with a card-shaped stitched rectangle from Heffy Doodles.

I cut another of the Heffy Doodles rectangles and stamped some flowers from Clearly Besotted's Pretty Pansies on it, using a masking technique. These were coloured with Spectrum Noir alcohol markers. The wood stamped aperture panel was attached over the top and  I coloured some of the planks of wood with a pale grey watercolour pencil.

I thought a blocky sentiment would work well with this card and used the Thank You greeting from Uniko's Simply Said Blocks II. The card was finished with black Enamel Effects in the centres of the flowers.

The Colour Throwdown came up with some gorgeous colours this week and I couldn't resist joining in. I've used the sketch from Freshly Made Sketches and I'm also linking up with Inspire Create where the challenge is A Blank Slate.

I've always loved that saying 'There are always flowers for those who want to see them' and I DO want to see them! And, the minute I typed that, the sun came out :)

Are you having a nice weekend? What are you up to?


Saturday, 15 February 2020

A card made from snippets

Hello crafting friends!

As well as having a box for offcuts of card stock and a drawer full of patterned paper, I have a little box where I put flowers I've coloured but that didn't work out; backgrounds that turned out a little too bright or the wrong colour; the sentiments I stamped and fussy cut only to find that the card needed something smaller/bigger... Everyone has a box like that don't they? Well, today I challenged myself to make a card using items from that box! Come and see:

I used an off cut of vanilla card stock to make a card panel, masked off the central square and stamped the bird and branch in light brown ink. This is a favourite image of mine - from a long-ago retired Stampin' Up set called Touch of Nature. The blue background was roughly watercoloured with distress ink and the leaves coloured with a marker.

The two-tone frame was glued into place and the coloured bird popped up on dimensionals to hide the join on the right hand side. I stamped and fussy cut a few extra leaves to cover the join on the left hand side.

The sentiment was then attached to the bottom of the frame and the card panel glued to the card base. To finish the card I added punched vellum flowers, coloured on the back with a pink marker and centred with green gems.

So where did the snippets come from originally? Well, a while ago, I had stamped and coloured two of these birds when I was making this card but only ended up needing one. The two-tone frame was cut for this card but I couldn't use it because it was too large - the frame I ended up using was cut from the centre of this one. And I can't remember what card the sentiment was stamped and fussy cut for but it's stamped on cream card stock, which is rare for me, and has been lurking in the snippets box for a long time!

This is my snippets box - just a little one. I go through it occasionally and get rid of anything that I'm not drawn to or that has got battered!

And this is the kind of mess I make when making a snippety card!

Pixie's Snippet Playground has always appealed to my sense of 'If it doesn't work here it might work somewhere else'! I'm entering this card there. I'm also linking up with Addicted to Stamps and More, where Anything Goes.

Storm Dennis has arrived and it is pouring with rain outside and the wind has picked up. Eva and I went for a long walk this morning and have had a great game of hide and seek (she has to do a nice sit-stay while I hide treats and then she gets to go and find them!) Now, I am about to try and persuade an elderly King Charles Spaniel that it's a good idea to go for a walk in this weather! Wish me luck!

Do you have a snippets box like I do? I'd love to hear what you do with the things you make that don't work out as intended.


Friday, 14 February 2020

A Thoughtful Blooms birthday

Hello crafting friends!

Happy Valentines Day! I've already revealed all my valentines creations so I'm showing you a birthday card today - but it IS made in shades of hot pink and you could always pretend the sentiment says something romantical if you like! Come and see:

To make the background of this card, I diluted some bright pink ink and smooshed it quickly, to and fro, across a card panel. Once the panel was dry, I stamped it with some of the leaves and flowers from Stampin' Up's Thoughtful Blooms, using undiluted ink this time.  The panel was trimmed with a stitched rectangle die from Heffy Doodles.

The sentiment, from Altenew's Birthday Greetings, was stamped in Momento black ink and the 'happy' coloured with a Spectrum Noir alcohol marker. I used the same marker to add shading to the larger flowers and added a good sprinkling of hot pink gems.

This is my second entry at The Rainbow Card Challenge, where Fierce Fuchsia is the theme this month; I'm also linking up with Happy Little Stampers Watercolour Challenge, where Anything Goes with optional Bling and The Flower Challenge which is asking us to Add Leaves to our floral projects.

I have fallen in love! No, it's okay, George Clooney can rest easy - today, Eva and I went for a walk with the most adorable 9 month old golden retriever! She made Eva look positively calm and matronly (and that takes some doing!) but when they were playing Eva was like a puppy again and my heart melted. There is only one thing sweeter than a golden retriever and that's more than one golden retriever!

I would love to hear your falling-in-love stories! Please share!


Thursday, 13 February 2020

A birthday frame of mind

Hello crafting friends!

I'm still in birthday mode but have turned up the temperature colour-wise! Come and see:

For this card I cut a hot pink frame using two of my stitched rectangle Heffy Doodles dies. I love that you get a double stitched frame with these dies :) The frame was positioned at an angle on a nice thick card base.

I wanted to create a strong horizontal to ground the angled frame, so I cut a birthday greeting using the Lawn Fawn Happy Birthday Border die.

The flowers tucked behind the sentiment are from MFT's Floral Focus. I stamped them in black Memento ink, coloured them with Spectrum Noir alcohol inks and fussy cut them. The card was finished with hot pink gems.

The monochromatic challenges at The Rainbow Challenge always get me thinking! I'm linking this card up with the current Fierce Fuchsia theme. This week's gorgeous sketch at CAS Colours and Sketches inspired my lay-out, and I'm also linking up with Happy Little Stampers Die Challenge where Anything Goes.

No sooner have we got rid of Storm Ciara than another storm pops ups on the horizon. Storm Dennis will be making an appearance this weekend and I don't mind telling you that I'm fed up with him already and he isn't even here yet! My heart really goes out to those people that are facing more flooding and those that are struggling to repair damage from the last storm.


Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Birthday wellies

Hello crafting pals!

I felt it was time I cracked on with some birthday cards for the year! Come and see:

I started this card with the sentiment, stamping it on a card panel cut out with a stitched rectangle die from Heffy Doodles.

The 'happy birthday' part is from Altenew's Birthday Greetings and I thought the 'Rain or Shine' part from Stampin' Up's Under My Umbrella would fit in nicely. And it did! YAY! *jigs up and down happily*

So then I used the wellies from the umbrella set to illustrate the sentiment. Love those wellies! I stamped them on a snippet of long-ago-retired designer paper and fussy cut them. Then I stamped some flowers to grow in the wellies, coloured them with Spectrum Noir alcohol markers and cut them out too.

Then it was just a matter of assembling everything. I grounded the wellies with a mint coloured marker, glued the wellies and flowers under the sentiment, popping one up on a dimensional. The panel was matted onto yellow card stock for a sunshine feel and I added a sprinkling of clear gems to represent the sparkle of raindrops!

I so enjoyed the Colour Dare Challenge's tic, tac toe chart that I've played along again! I used the bottom line, Lemonade, Nectarine and Evergreen, with a touch of the Mint.
I was intrigued by the Global Design Project's theme of Let It Grow - not least because it made me sing 'Let it Snow' from Frozen all day, which I thoroughly enjoyed (although I cannot speak for the rest of the family!) I planted flowers in my wellies for growing part of this challenge :)
I've had to go with Seize The Birthday's Anything Goes option this time because I forgot to add a creature. Earlier I made a card with a creature on it but forgot to make it a birthday card! *sighs deeply*

Storm Ciara is not leaving these shores without a last flounce and Eva and I are being battered by strong winds again today. On Sunday night a beautiful old tree came down at the entrance to our road. Nobody was hurt, thank goodness, but it made me feel so sad to see such a huge, graceful, living thing lying sprawled across the pathway like a beached whale.

Have you experienced any storm damage?

Sunday, 9 February 2020

My faithful valentine

Hello crafting friends!

I know I said there would be no more valentines here but then I suddenly realised I'd missed out someone VERY important! Come and see:

She is an absolute sweetheart who has stolen my heart, and she is the most beautiful (floofy) girl in the world!

The golden retriever stamp is by Dimension Stamps who are sadly not trading any more. I stamped the dog with light brown ink, adding pale yellow watercolour and white craft ink for the coat and black detail around the eyes, muzzle and nose.

The grass is from Stampin' Up's Enjoy Life - I knew that would come in handy! I've given my dog a tuggy toy heart to retrieve, made with a punched heart with some twine threaded through it, which I also threaded through the dog's mouth and knotted the other side. The dog has been trimmed to the edge of the card.

To finish the card, I stamped a couple of sweet sentiments from Clearly Besotted's Fresh Flowers. Of course this card isn't really for my Eva - she'd only eat it! - but it would make a great valentine for anyone, male or female, who loves dogs, or even a valentine FROM the family dog!

I'm linking this card up with:
CASology, where the cue card is Sweetheart; The Male Room where they're looking for masculine 'Heart You' cards; The Allsorts Challenge, where they'd like us to add 'At Least One Heart' to our creations; CAS on Friday, where the theme is Love; and AAA cards, where we are required to use up to one third of the card front, and with an optional twist of Hearts.

The inspiration for today's card was a conversation I had with a lady yesterday. She has a beautiful golden retriever and told me her husband had given him to her. The pup had a ring and a tag tied to his collar with ribbon and the tag said 'Will you marry me?' How romantic is that?! Now, I want to be quite clear, I don't approve of people using puppies as a means of proposing but this couple had been together for a long time and had already talked about getting a dog together. Also, it's a good thing my husband didn't propose like this as I would have burst!!!

Did you have an unusual proposal or do you know someone that has? I'd love to hear about it!