Friday, 16 April 2021

A rainbow of new homes

Hello, crafting friends!

I'm excited to have been invited to be guest designer at CAS on Friday today after a win there with THIS card. The new challenge starts today and the theme is:


I decided on a one layer design with lots of overlapping images and I used lots of masking techniques to achieve that! 

The first step was the sentiment. I wanted it to stretch across the card base, so I chose two sentiments, lined them up in my stamp platform, and masked off each part so that I could ink them different colours. Once they were stamped, I added versamark ink to the stamps (without removing them from the stamp platform,) stamped over the top of the colour and heat embossed with clear embossing powder.

The next step was to stamp the row of houses from Scene it More by Clearly Besotted. I stamped with Memento black ink and used a cotton bud to carefully wipe away the ink on the sentiment. The houses were coloured using coloured pencils as these don't bleed through the card stock. For the last step, I stamped the houses again onto a stick note and trimmed around the roofs. This was used to mask off the houses while I inked in the sunshine using Clearly Besotted's Sunny Day stencil.

I hope you'll join in with this challenge! The team are always incredibly creative so hop on over to the CAS on Friday blog and enjoy the inspiration. You'll find the Linky Tool there too where you can link up your own creation. I can't wait to see what you make!

I’m linking up with AAA cards where the theme is Two quarters with optional twist of Rainbow; also Day of the Month Card Club where the theme is Find a Rainbow Day.

Today I’d like to share one of my favourite photos of last year. It was taken on a wet day from the car where my daughter and I were talking very deeply and seriously. This amazing double rainbow suddenly appeared in the sky in front of us. It’s hard to capture the impact of a rainbow in a photograph but it was so huge and bright in real life, and it gave us such a feeling of comfort and hope. 

Sending hugs,

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

A Pretty Perennial note

Hello, crafting friends!

Welcome to another Tuesday and another fun challenge at CAS Colours & Sketches. Wei is our host this month and she has a great sketch for you today:

I love that circle-within-a-circle element and there's so much you can do with it! I opted to go really simple with a watercoloured grey circle and a round looking flower inside.

Using pink ink, I stamped a flower from Styampin' Up's Pretty Perennials and added shading with a darker pink coloured pencil. I gave it a heat embossed gold centre before glueing it to the watercoloured circle. The sentiment, from Clearly Besotted's Simply Said, was also heat embossed in gold. I trimmed the card panel with a stitched rectangle die by Heffy Doodle before attaching it to the card base.

By the way, the front of the envelope I photographed the card with has been sponged with pink ink and decorated with a leafy image from the same stamp set. Obviously this is only suitable for hand delivery as Postie could end up covered in pink ink if it were to rain, and may not be on board with being decorated in this way!

We would love to see what you make of our sketch! Head over to the CAS Colours and Sketches blog where my team mates have some fabulous inspiration for you - and we're also lucky enough to have the ever creative Melanie Hungerford guesting with us :) You will find the Linky Tool there too so that you can link up your creation. Don't forget to keep it clean and simple!

I used the Pink/Grey/Gold colour theme at Less is More for this card so I'm linking up there; 

Do you ever have one of those days when nothing goes yright? That was yyesterday for me! I spent what felt like the entire day trying to sort one thing out and just creating a massive mess; then, when I decided to take a rest and turned on the computer, I accidentally tipped a glass of water over the keyboard! If only I knew how to read tea leaves, I feel sure that the leaves in my morning cuppa would have formed capital letters saying DO NOT GET UP TODAY!!!

Sending hugs,

Saturday, 10 April 2021

Happy yellow lilies

Hello crafting friends!

Welcome to a brand new challenge at Addicted to CAS! Joy is hosting the challenge for the next two weeks and has chosen Flower as her theme word.

It's always fun to get out the flowers isn't it?! I've chosen these pretties from Clearly Besotted's Perfect Lilies, a bargain I recently bought from the company's amazing sale section.

I stamped them in a pale yellow ink then held Funky Fossil's Trellis Background stencil over it and sponged blue ink roughly round the outside. The flowers were coloured using coloured pencils and the card finished with a sentiment from Altenew's Birthday Greetings.

And now it's your turn! There's heaps of inspiration from my teamies over at the Addicted to CAS blog.  Check it out and you can also link your creation up there using the Linky Tool. I can't wait to see the gallery fill up with beautiful CAS floral creations!

I'm linking this card up with Happy Little Stampers Stencil challenge where Anything Goes; and Stamplorations Stencil challenge where Anything Goes; I've not used the lily stamp before so I'll share this card at the NBUS (Never Before Used Schtuff) challenge.

It's so much lighter now and it's showing up all those dusty corners! I think this weekend is going to have to be the start of my spring cleaning!

Sending hugs,

Friday, 9 April 2021

Floral circles

Hello, crafting friends!

What a lot of fun I had making today's card! It was one of those days when I had a vague idea that I wasn't particularly excited by, but then got carried away and ended up having loads of creative fun!

The idea was to sponge some circles onto a card base and decorate each with flowers and leaves. I opened a new stamp set, Pretty Perennials by Stampin' Up, which I'd been looking forward to using. But when I'd done the stamping, it all looked a bit flat. So then I got my coloured pencils out and started adding a bit of shading to some of my stamped images and suddenly things started looking a bit livelier! 

I spent quite a bit of time looking for the right sentiment and came up with a custom one, made by mixing 'wishing you a very happy' from Lawn Fawn's Easter Party and 'Birthday' from Winnie & Walter's Sugar Rush. I spotted the hearts in the Sugar Rush set too and added those to bring all the images together. The panel was trimmed, mounted onto coordinating pink card stock and attached to a card base.

I'm playing at Color Hues, where the colour duo is Pink and Green; Just Add Ink is asking us to pick two out of Feathers, Leaves and Petals - I've gone for Leaves and Petals; Inspired By has inspired me again, this time with a photo featuring beautifully decorated cupcakes; I'm also going to share this card at the NBUS challenge, the place to show off our Never Before Used Schtuff!

Eva and I met up for a walk with some friends of ours the other day. One of the friends is two-legged and fun for me to chat with, and the other friend is a black lab called Otis who has a zest for life to match Eva's. They enjoy many of the same interests - finding sticks, swimming, cocking an ear at the sound of a pheasant and giving chase to pheasants, rabbits and deer (who are always MUCH faster than they are!)

Here they are in a pond that they discovered in a handy gap in the hedge. They explored it thoroughly and I get the impression that they rated it 'Ten out of ten, would visit again'!

Sending hugs,

Wednesday, 7 April 2021

So grateful, I carrot lie!

Hello, crafting friends!

Hmm. I spent ages trying to think up that title and I'm afraid it is not the headline of the century or anything. So, moving swiftly on to a card I couldn't resist making with the very last bits of the paper I used for yesterday's card:

There were two carrots left and I fussy cut them thinking it would make a great 'thanks for the Easter parcel' card, or as a thank you later on in the year when friends share the surplus fruit from their trees or produce from their vegetable plots.

I masked off wide borders and stamped Hardwood by Stampin' Up into the remaining space using brown ink. I sponged a paler brown over it and then removed the mask. I decided that black twine could pretend to tie the carrots together then positioned them on the wooden background and embellished with green sequins.

The sentiment was cut from card I'd coloured ombré-style with green alcohol markers and I snipped the ends to make it fit my panel. This is a mini card made using a 12cm x 9cm (5" x 3 1/2") base.

I'm squeaking in at the last moment at Inspired By where I was inspired by carrots, the colours and the sketch (which I turned 45 degrees.) I'm also linking up with Inkspirational where the word prompt is Grow.

Since Sunday when we were lazing about in the garden, we have been assailed by snow, hail, sub zero temperatures... none of which have stopped Madame Floof from having a dip in the river!

Sending hugs,

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Happy birthday from the allotment

Hello, crafting friends!

Are you ready for another fun card challenge? Wei has taken over hostess duties at CAS Colours and Sketches and she has chosen this fabulous colour combination:

Last week, while rifling through my designer paper drawers, I spotted a gorgeous vegetable paper. It was from Stampin' Up many moons ago and featured two of the colours. There was only a tiny bit left but it was enough for me to cut some veg out. Cutting elements out of papers can be a great way to use left overs and give them a fresh new look.

For the background of my card, I cut two panels. One was sponged with green ink and the other was sponged with yellow ink through the Sunny Day stencil by Clearly Besotted. The panels were attached to a card base and the vegetables arranged over the gap.

This card is to celebrate the birthday of my vegetable-growing brother next month, so I finished it with a simple birthday sentiment from Uniko's Simply Said Blocks.

We would love it if you joined us this week with a CAS card made with this colour combination! There's some wonderful inspiration from the team, and from our special guest Melanie, over at the CAS Colours and Sketches blog. I can't wait to see what you create!

I used the sketch at Inspire Create to make this card so I'll link up there; I'm also playing at The Snippets Playground's 400th challenge, where the challenge is to use up your snippets; and Time Out Challenges where there's a lovely quote about April and gardens to inspire us; also, Little Red Wagon has a birthday challenge so I'm joining in there too.

Every year, I put up an 'Easter tree' for the Easter weekend and I take comfort in the ritual. The week before, I take a pair of secateurs when I go out with Eva and cut a few twigs from the large trees around the fields. I trim them, put them in a large jug of water, decorate them with little eggs and ornaments, and watch the twigs miraculously come to life as the leaves unfurl in the warmth of the house.

When Eva was a puppy, she assumed I was getting the twigs for her to play with and it took a while to help her to understand that these twigs were Special Twigs! 

I hope you've all enjoyed the weekend. Sending hugs,

Saturday, 3 April 2021

Rabbits and tulips

Hello, crafting friends!

Watercolouring has become more and more appealing to me, especially now I've found that I can paint directly on the card bases I bought from Hobbycraft recently, without any bleed through! I had so much fun making this simple daffodil card a week or two ago I decided to CASE my own card and give it a different look.

I masked off the edges of the card base and stencilled in some grass from Funky Fossil's Scenic Border stencil as I had done before. Instead of the daffs, I chose another Clearly Besotted set, Spring Tulips, stamping them in the green ink. I quickly gave them a lick of watercolour and left the card to dry.

Meanwhile, I stamped two of the bunnies from The Craft Consortium's English Garden stamp set and watercoloured them. When they were dry, I added detail with a fineliner and painted fluffy white tails with some white acrylic paint (sorry the texture doesn't show in the photos but they do actually have the floof factor in real life!) To finish the card, I removed the masks from the now dry card base, stamped a sentiment on it and attached the bunnies.

I'm linking up with Happy Little Stampers Watercolour challenge where anything goes; also The Rainbow Challenge where the colour this month is Definitely Daffodil; The theme at The Sisterhood of Crafters is Easter/Spring and at Try it on Tuesday it's Hello Spring, so I'm playing along there too.

I spent a few productive hours sorting out my airing cupboard last week. I store my bed linen there and there is quite a lot of it! While folding the sheets I remembered a time my youngest son made me laugh while helping me bring the laundry in from the line. He was supposed to be handing me the bed linen in size order. "That's a King," I pointed out when he was supposed to be passing me a Double. He reverently put the sheet down, bowed low and made a flourish with his hand. "My Liege," he said solemnly.

Wishing you a very happy weekend,

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Watercolour posy birthday

Hello, crafting friends!

I love that the CAS Colours and Sketches challenges alternate between colours and sketches each Tuesday.  But the biggest challenge comes when there's a fifth Tuesday in a month and then we give you a set of colours AND a sketch to follow! YoonYoung is hosting the double today:

I was just about to crack on with a card featuring fish in a bowl when I saw a sample of floral fabric online and become totally inspired by that instead!

I started by masking off a strip on my card base and blending the Marina Mist ink to a fade. The flowers are from Just For You by Clearly Besotted, heat embossed in gold, watercoloured, then fussy cut. I repeated this process and cut just one bloom out to pop up for a bit of dimension.

To finish, I added a gold embossed sentiment from Enjoy It All by Concord & 9th and splattered the background with turquoise and gold before attaching the flower spray to it. Can you see the shine a bit better in this last photo?

I do hope you can join us this week! There's some amazing inspiration from the team over at the CAS Colours and Sketches blog. Do check it out and you'll find the linky tool there too so that you can play along.

I'm linking this card up with Happy Little Stampers Watercolour challenge where anything goes and Watercooler Wednesday where Helen is hosting this fortnight's Occasions challenge.

The electricity has gone off in our house today and we’re waiting for the electrician, so please forgive any mistakes in this post as I can’t use my computer. I’m quietly giving thanks that it is the hottest day of the year so far, so no chilly tootsies but I AM stressing about the freezer... please send good vibes!

Edited to add: We're back on! We spent hours this morning isolating everything that could have tripped the electricity circuit and then re-introducing everything to identify the faulty appliance. We came up with nothing. Four hours later, the electrician arrived and had no trouble at all flipping the switch back. He couldn't find any fault at all. Do we have ghosts?!!! Needless to  say, I was SO embarrassed but he was very nice about it.

Sending hugs,

Sunday, 28 March 2021

Thinking of you in black and white

Hello, crafting friends!

Something very simple from me today - one layer and black and white. You can't get more pared back than that can you!

I've been using more of my new Uniko goodies! This stamp set is Happy Succulents and it's been on my wish list for a long time!

I stamped the largest image directly onto a card base in black ink and gave some of the leaves stripes with a black fineliner. I used my Posca white acrylic paint pen to colour the large flower and other details.

That gorgeous sentiment is from Beautiful Branches by Concorde & 9th. When I stamped it, I left room for a little bud and leaf which I coloured as I did the main image. Finally I added a doodled frame with my fineliner and called the card done!

I'm playing along with Color Hues where the current challenge is Black and White. I've not used this stamp set before so I'll also share at NBUS (Never Before Used Schtuff)

Excitement mounts here as the weather forecast is predicting temperatures more commonly seen in the summer months for the next three days. Eva and I will be in the garden pretending to be on holiday!

Sending hugs,

Saturday, 27 March 2021

Birthday cards from the edge

Hello, crafting friends!

Happy weekend and welcome to another fun challenge at Addicted to CAS! Jaydee is our hostess with the mostest today and she has chosen the word Birthday to inspire you.

And very timely for many of us I'm sure! I have a few feminine birthdays coming up and decided to go for a floral design using die cut flowers from the Country Garden die by Gemini.

This is a large die and in the past I have used snippets to cut smaller elements from it. Since then, I've decided that the best thing to do is to cut the whole thing and enjoy the left overs as and when I need them (and considering I really didn't get on with this die at first I seem to be needing them quite a lot!)

I've used a few flowers, a couple of leaves and some swirls, glueing them off the edge of my card base and trimming the overhang. The sentiment is a favourite from Uniko Simply Said Blocks.

And now it's your turn - we'd love to see your CAS birthday cards! You'll find some fabulous inspiration from my team mates, and from our special guest Chrissie Stokes, over on the Addicted to CAS challenge blog. You'll be able to use the linky tool to play along there too.

I loved Jennifer Timko's sketch at Freshly Made Sketches this week and took the liberty of rotating it 180 degrees; I'm also joining in with AAA Cards' Along the Edge with Die Cuts challenge, and The Snippets Playground (a Ruby's Challenge this fortnight) where we are invited to submit cards made with left over scraps.

My darling son was on his way home from work yesterday when he saw a little deer dash across the road and get hit by a car. Sickeningly, the driver sped off but my son held off the traffic and went into the road to see what could be done. Two ladies came to help and they were able to gently move the animal onto a coat, gently place it into the car and drive it to a local vet where, sadly, it had to be put to sleep. My son was so upset. He understood that a young wild creature cannot be returned to the wild with an injury as it wouldn't stand a chance, but he couldn't understand why the driver had driven away or why drivers in other cars were blaring their horns while he and the ladies were in the road trying to help the creature. And there we have this world in a nutshell - the best of people and the worst of people. I am so proud of my lovely son.

Sending hugs,