Friday, 24 January 2020

Inspired by a frock!

Hello crafting friends!

Yes, I HAVE been crafting in the last couple of days but I have had the creativity of a gastropod so everything has been filed in the bin. I COULD have started a new comedy crafting blog but... no. Anyway, inspiration has returned today so come and see:

This is a card inspired by a pretty summer dress which was lurking about in the darkest depths of my wardrobe like something from another life.

I'm obsessed with the subtle texture of this card panel which has been trimmed at an angle to add interest to the background. I've stamped directly onto it with the branch, flowers and small leaf from Concorde and 9th's Beautiful Branches,  adding extra colour with Spectrum Noir alcohol markers and a bit of shading with a vanilla watercolour crayon.

The bird is from a long-ago retired Stampin' Up set called Touch of Nature. I stamped him onto cream card stock and gave him some colourful (and unlikely!) plumage before fussy cutting him.

The sentiment, from Concorde and 9th's Enjoy it All, was stamped in dark brown ink onto cream card stock and trimmed into a banner. I popped the bird up on dimensionals and finished the card with some pearls.

And this is the fabric that inspired this card - all branches and flowers and fantastical birds!

Thank you so much to Time Out Challenges for kickstarting a bit of creativity in the Craft Square Metre. The challenge this fortnight is to base a card on an item in your wardrobe - what a great challenge! I chose a frock and went for the optional twist and added texture to my card.
Thank goodness too for Freshly Made Sketches where this week's gorgeous sketch also galvanised me into action!

This is me, thinking about my next card:

It's not looking good is it?!!

Wishing you loads of creativity!

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Birthday blossom

Hello crafting friends!

It's time for my third outing as Guest Designer at the fabulous CAS Colours and Sketches, and this week it's time for another colour challenge.

And what a gorgeous colour combination it is! The swatches have Stampin' Up colour names but they are just for guidance - which is just as well because I only have one of them! Just match them up as closely as you can with colours you do have. Here's what I came up with:

You can tell I'm hankering after spring can't you?! I stamped the blossom stamp from Clearly Besotted's Blossoms in Bloom on white card stock and coloured the image with Spectrum Noir alcohol markers, fading the background out with a blender pen.

The stamp set comes with all sorts of useful sentiments in a pretty font. I used the birthday one for this card as I have some spring birthdays coming up :)

I cut a frame for the image with my new Heffy Doodle stitched rectangle dies. Honestly, I can't tell you how much I love these! They were designed for crafters that use A4 card stock, so the the largest two frames create a frame that fits perfectly on the front of an A6 card - YAY!!! *practically throws a party with excitement*  The flower panel was cut with the smaller of the two dies I used to make the frame so it fits perfectly in the centre giving a neat, clean finish.

What do you think of these colours? What do they make you think of? I hope they've inspired you to create something gorgeous and link up with CAS Colours and Sketches.

I have found my storage! It's an old thin pine chest of drawers which is just the right size to hold 12 x 12 card stock and designer paper and other bulky items that won't fit tidily in a lidded box. The pine has gone a bit orange so I've decided to paint it with chalk paint. Why is it that one job always leads to another?!

I'm really interested in how other crafters store crafty items - especially if there's only a small space. Do let me know in the comments below!


Sunday, 19 January 2020

Christmas stamp sets - not just for Christmas!

Hello crafting friends!

I loved all the festive cards I saw people making with the  Stampin' Up stamp set From Our House To Yours. I've only just got my set (due to my own incompetence!) so I've missed the Christmas boat, but it's come in very handy for making a new home card AND a valentine!

The new home card was so much fun to make.

I used my new Lawn Fawn Puffy Cloud Border dies to make clouds and bushes and the Wavy Border dies to make hills, and stamped trees as a background. The house was stamped on a scrap of card stock and fussy cut, and I stamped the tiny heart over the window below the roof, before tucking it into my scene.

I added a sentiment from Holiday Home (retired) before mounting the scene on a card base I'd splattered with pink ink. That was a bit too much fun and had to restrain myself from looking for other things to splatter ink on!

My second card is a simple one layer card that uses the same tiny heart as the first card as well as the larger heart that comes with From Our House To Yours. Two hearts for the price of one!

Using Calypso Coral and Cherry Cobbler inks, I stamped a patterned on the edge of the card base with the hearts. I didn't use my stamping platform for this, I just 'used the force Luke' - that's a Star Wars reference that we say in my family when we just busk it!

The sentiment is from Uniko's Simply Said Blocks II which I stamped and cut out, then attached to the card. To give the card a touch of unexpected colour, I finished the card with gems I'd coloured purple with an alcohol marker.

Two card designs, different occasions, same stamp!

I'm linking Card One up with CAS(E) This Sketch - I LOVED the retro sketch there this week! Card Two will be my second entry into both Less is More's One Layer Card challenge with the theme 'Offset' and Perfectly CAS's One Layer Card, using one third of the card or less; I was totally inspired by Just Us Girls this week too with their Red Pink and Purple colour challenge.

Both cards will be my entry for the Twofer challenge which is celebrating its second anniversary with a Hearts challenge! The stamp both of my cards have in common is the small heart. Congratulations on two years of fun and jollifications ladies!

Near where I live there are some large fishing ponds and yesterday afternoon, Eva and I went for a walk there. We are used to the natural beauty of the area and were quite sad to find that a brutal, prison style fence had been put up round the ponds. I stopped to talk to some men who were working in there and they told me the fence had been put up to keep otters out - apparently they eat the fish. As I walked on I came to the part where a stream flows out of the ponds and was surprised to find there was no fence there. Now, correct me if I'm wrong but I have always believed that otters are intelligent little creatures who enjoy a romp about on land but who are also keen swimmers. I wondered in what way the prison fences were going to prevent the otters from casually back-stroking in, dining on some plump fish and then leaving the way they came in. There's something a bit er... fishy going here I think!

It's okay, you carry on being on the computer, I'll just wait here...

Right, I'm off out into the sunshine with a very patient little pupper who's only had one walk today and is feeling a little bit disappointed about it!

Hope the sun is shining on you today!

Saturday, 18 January 2020

The one layer YAY!!!

Hello crafting friends!

If you have the winter blues today, I've got the very card to cheer you up! Come and see:

This is very CAS and the simplest card ever if you have a stamping platform - and I do thanks to dear old Santa :) To make it, I used the image from Stampin' Up's Enjoy Life that I like to call 'Lady leaping about like a loon!'

To start, I positioned a nice thick card base in the corner of my stamping platform, positioned the lady off the bottom right-hand edge, inked her up with violet ink and stamped. Cleaned off the stamp, moved the card base to the right by 0.75 cm, inked up with purple ink and stamped. Cleaned off the stamp, moved the card base to the right by 0.75 cm, inked up with blue ink... etc. I'm sure you get the picture!

Do you like the sentiment? I love the nice bold font and the curviness of it. It's from an older retired set called Celebrate Today by Stampin' Up. I finished my card with stars cut out of coloured card stock with my useful Twinkle punch.

I was inspired to make my card by Perfectly CAS, where this month's challenge is the oft-dreaded One Layer Card; Less is More, where the challenge for the fortnight is also a one layer card and they want the design to be Off Centre; also CASology where the cue card is Repeat; and last, but definitely not least, Just Add Ink, where they are celebrating 10 years of fabulous challenges with a great blog hop!

Yesterday, I greeted my eldest son when he came in from work. "How was your day?" I asked. "It was good," he said hanging up his coat. "But I'm so tired. I feel as if I've been awake all day!" Since my son works in an optician, I sincerely hope he WAS awake all day!!! I suggested an early night and he looked at me as if I had suggested he took up origami.

Thank you for popping in to visit me today.


Thursday, 16 January 2020

Look - no hearts!

Hello crafting pals!

I like the idea of sending love via a piece of folded card stock, but I know that not everyone is a fan of hearts or cute images. I've had an idea about that though - come and see:

This is the card that blows a raspberry in the faces of the cute valentine! (Sorry, couldn't resist!) To start the card off I stamped an off-cut of card stock with the Gingham background by Kaisercraft and glued it to a card base. Next, I stamped the raspberry image from Clearly Besotted's Sweet Berries twice on a card panel, and had fun colouring it with alcohol markers. I trimmed the top and bottom of the panel away and attached it to the card base, allowing some of the leaves to overlap the gingham.

The sentiment comes with the berry set and the shape of the raspberries made a nice area for stamping it. Oh dear, it's a pretty cute sentiment isn't it, so it looks like I've undone all my good work!

I didn't want to detract from the image with any embellishments but, to ground it, I embossed a straight line on the berry panel and drew a line either side of it with a ruler and a black fineliner.

There's a new Make Your Mark challenge at Addicted to Stamps and More so I shall link this card up there; The colours come courtesy of this week's Paper Players challenge and seemed so perfect for this idea - although the Rich Razz looks quite purple in my photos, so perhaps the fruit is some kind of mulberry/ raspberry cross...?!

I think I'm going to draw a line under today. First Eva put a muddy footprint on a throw before I could ask her not to, so I had to do an extra wash; then later, when we went for our main walk in the flooded fields, I discovered my beloved Sealand wellies had a hole in them at the ankle so I had to walk with a soggy sock; in the afternoon, I made a mad dash to an upcycled furniture shop in a nearby town, only to find that the info on the internet was wrong and they closed earlier than stated.

On the other hand, I read somewhere that it's not our right to be alive every day, so each day we wake up is a gift. That certainly puts it into perspective! Compared to the alternative, it's been a BRILLIANT day!

How has your day been?

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Snuggle up warm!

Hello crafting friends!

As I'm typing this, the wind is howling outside and whooshing down the chimney, and it sounds as if buckets of water are being hurled at the windows. I've put an extra jumper on and today's card seems entirely appropriate! Come and see:

Those adorable mittens, from a stamp set called Warm Wishes, were a bargain in the Clearly Besotted sale. I stamped them twice - once in white craft ink on red card stock and once in red ink on white card stock. One thing about using a stamp positioner is that you can use up the tiniest snippets of card stock! I fussy cut the red mittens and just the cuffs of the white ones. The cuffs were coloured with my white gel pen which, if you keep overlaying ink, creates a fluffy dimensional look. Once they were dry I glued the cuffs to the red mittens.

I thought the mittens would look good on a tag. I found a striped one, left over from a kit, and turned it over to use the white side. This was decorated with a couple of black and white washi tapes from my stash and stamped with a sentiment from the mittens set. I tied bakers twine to the tag and attached the mittens to the ends with bits of washi, then securing them to the tag with glue. The tag was finished with a bakers twine bow.

I used dimensionals to attach the tag to a panel I cut out of textured blue card stock using one of my new Heffy Doodles stitched rectangle dies (thanks for the recommendation Di!) These were designed to be used on A6 card fronts and I highly recommend them to anyone who, like me, despaired of finding any that weren't made for the US market where card stock sizes are different. Finally, the panel was attached to the card base.

When I saw the inspiration photo at Inspired By, I immediately got crafting - the equivalent of the music that gets everyone up on the dance floor! I'm linking up there, and at Just Us Girls, where the challenge is to Add Dimension this week. Lots of snippets were used in the making of the card, so I shall be playing along at The Snippets Playground too.

The stormy weather has been brought by Storm Brendan. We're not in its path at all and there have been torrential wind and gales here, so I dread to think what the poor people have had to cope with where the storm really hit. I know there has been quite a bit of storm damage with trees falling, power outages and damage to roads and sea defences. I hope everyone keeps safe and warm.

Thanks for coming to visit me today.


Tuesday, 14 January 2020

A host of daffodils

Hello crafting friends!

When making cards, I love being inspired by a sketch. This week, there's a brilliant one at CAS Colours and Sketches where I'm enjoying being Guest Designer for the month :) Here's the sketch:

And here's what I've created. Look at that host of golden daffodils! This beautiful stamp is from Clearly Besotted (and was in their sale last time I looked!) The daffodils were stamped in green ink, coloured with Spectrum Noir alcohol markers and cut out with a shaped stitched label die from The Works.

I used Tumbled Glass and Shabby Shutters distress inks to colour the background using watercolour and sponging techniques. I like the way the sponged edges really emphasise the stitched detail.

To create a background for my label, I coloured a very pale alcohol marker through the Distressed Diamonds stencil by Funky Fossil, then lifted some of the colour out with a blender. Next time, I'll do this on a card panel - I thought it would be pale enough not to show on the inside of the card but you can just see it :/ Oh well, I'll just have to put an insert in the card!

The sketch has the sentiment on the right hand side but I switched it to the left to fit the shape of the daffodils - it's from Simply Said, also by Clearly Besotted. I finished the card by attaching the daffodil label to the card base with dimensionals and sprinkling the background with gems I'd coloured with alcohol markers to coordinate with the flower label.

I hope you've enjoyed this card. There's a gorgeous gallery of cards from the real Design Team at CAS Colours and Sketches, so do check them out, and I hope you'll be inspired to join in :)

I'm going to link this card up with the Allsorts Challenge where the theme this week is Say It With Flowers.

The daffodils have reminded me about an advert from long ago, promoting a lager which apparently refreshed the parts other beers didn't reach. The ad featured the poet Wordsworth, 'wandering lonely as a cloud', coming across 'a host of golden daffodils' and attempting to compose poetry about the experience. Of course, he hadn't had any of the lager so his efforts were abysmal and confined to lines such as 'I walked about a bit on my own' and 'I strolled around without anyone else.'

Thinking about this made me laugh out loud. There were a whole lot of funny commercials back in the 80s - mostly from beer manufacturers. Are there any funny ads now?

Sunday, 12 January 2020

Birthday cards for males

Hello crafting pals!

Yes, it's time to start thinking about birthdays for  the coming year - and some of those birthdays are going to be for male people! Aaaargh! If the males in your life are anything like mine, they won't like fuss and frills but I'm hoping I've got it right with today's balloonish number! Come and see:

Santa very kindly brought me (the money for) a stamp positioner for Christmas - NOT the Tim Holtz one I'd planned on getting, as it no longer seems to be available, but a brilliant and cost-effective one called Press To Impress by Crafts Too. This was the first card I road tested it with as the balloon is a large solid stamp.

In fact, I messed it up by cleaning the stamp with a dusty cloth the first time (oops!) but I'm still absolutely thrilled with the Press to Impress. I actually haven't used an acrylic block since it arrived and I can't wait to try out all the crazy techniques I've been reading about! Watch this space...

So to make this card, I used blue ink to stamp a bunch of three balloons from Stampin' Up's Celebrate Today (retired.) There's a starry filling for them in the set which I layered over each balloon, first using the same colour blue ink, and then white Craft ink just offset to make a shadow. The 'string' was doodled on with a navy marker and I also mounted the card panel onto navy card stock and added the sentiment in navy - easy peasy with the stamp positioner!

I'm joining in with the Blue Is The Colour challenge at Cardz 4 Guyz with this card and will also link up with Color My Heart Color Dare, where the challenge this week is Monochromatic Blues, and The Male Room, where Anything Goes!

In my quest for organisation and storage in the craft room living room, I went to Ikea today. BIG mistake! Everyone was there. And his wife, children and extended family including cousins twice removed. I expect you were there too! I will return on a quieter day.

Thanks for coming to visit me today. Hope you're having a lovely weekend :)


Saturday, 11 January 2020

A farmhouse Christmas

Hello crafting friends!

I'm thrilled to bits to be Guest Designing at 52 Christmas Card Throwdown today! YAY! *pops champagne corks, blows party hooter*

This weekly challenge is here to inspire you to create four Christmas cards a month for the whole year. Just think... no last minute panic! It really flexes your creative muscles too - which leads me on to today's challenge:

Make a festive card using the colours White, Yellow and Brown. Well, I've got to be honest, this colour combination didn't exactly yell Christmas at me but I had a little think and this is what I came up with:

It's a Christmas card with a farmhouse feel! The bottom of my panel was stamped with Kaiserkraft's Gingham using Stampin' Up's Early Espresso ink, a lovely dark brown. I shaded where the candle would be with a pale yellow pencil to give a nice glowing effect.

The candle image is an old one from Alota Stamps, which is sadly no longer trading now. I stamped it with Crumb Cake ink, then coloured it with Spectrum Noir alcohol markers in shades of yellow and brown, before fussy cutting it and popping it up on dimensionals. The fir branches were given the Wink of Stella treatment to add a bit of festive sparkle.

When I came to the candle, I coloured the whole lot in a pale yellow, then used a clear blender pen to 'lift' the colour from the wax.  I love the effect this creates - look! here's another version in blue :)

To finish the card, I added a sentiment from Endless Wishes (retired) by Stampin' Up, then mounted the panel onto deep yellow card stock before attaching it to the card base. And for the final touch, a sprinkling of gems, coloured with a dark yellow alcohol pen before attaching to the card.

I shall also link this card up with Happy Little Stampers Christmas challenge where it's Anything Goes (with the optional extra theme Trim the Tree.)

Driving home at around dusk yesterday evening, I was amazed by the full moon - one of those huge orange ones. And when I got out of the car, I saw that on the opposite side of the sky, there was a bright star that looked actually star-shaped.

Did you see it?  Now, if I was the kind of person that believed in these kind of things, I'd predict that something pretty special was going to happen!