Thursday, 28 September 2023

Autumn Mums

Hello, crafting friends!
Fancy a little Thursday crafting inspiration? How about 8 crafting suggestions? That's what you get at the Tic Tac Toe Challenge! Here's the fab new board dreamed up by Felicita this week:
 Some of you will dive straight in to the Halloween suggestions, but I thought I'd go for something a little less spooky!
I thought of a new way to use my SU Little Detail embossing folder! I embossed a panel with the folder, then cut a large label shape in the centre. The result is a little textured border at the top and bottom of the label with a space in the centre for a focal point...

... - in this case a Clearly Besotted crysanthemum coloured with alcohol markers and coloured pencils then fussy cut. I added an offset sentiment from Uniko's Simply Said Blocks, stamped in dark brown ink, snipped out and popped up on dimensional pads. Finally, the card was finished with a few coordinating gems.

Right, now it's your turn! First, hop over to the Tic Tac Toe Challenge blog to check out the samples the rest of the team have made to inspire you; Second, choose a row, column or diagonal from the board; Third, create something gorgeous using the board ideas and share it with us using the Linky Tool at the bottom of the challenge post. We can't wait to see what you make!

I'm linking this card up at Can You Handle The Pressure where we must use embossing folders with an optional theme of Bees; The challenge at Little Red Wagon is to use at least three Layers - a massive challenge for me but as well as the card base I managed the die cut label, the fussy cut flower AND the sentiment! Try Stampin' On Tuesday #625 is challenging us to use old stamps and the crysanthemum stamp I used is so old I can find no trace of it online!

I am looking forward to becoming an Autumn Mum :) Last weekend I horrified my neighbours by announcing that I was having a baby and had to hastily explain that the baby in question was of the canine variety! I'm sure she's going to be a wonderful influence on Eva...

... or perhaps not!!

Sending hugs,

Monday, 25 September 2023

Saving poinsettias

Hello, crafting friends!
While making THIS Christmas card the other day, there was an unfortunate smearage incident (!) and I had to discard the first attempt. With 'waste not, want not' in mind, I saved the poinsettia by fussy cutting it, then stamped another on a non-inky part of the card and fussy cut the centre out of it. I coloured these with red coloured pencils.

Taking a deep breath, I stamped another poinsettia off the edge of a new card base (successfully, hurrah!) and coloured that in the same way. I arranged the cut-out blooms overlapping the stamped one, popping up the top one on dimensional pads. 

The centres were coloured with a gold metallic paint pen and I added a sentiment made with two retired stamp sets from Stampin' Up. And there we go - simple!

This is my homework for the Snippets Playground (anyone for a game of Jacks in the treehouse?); I'm also linking up at Inkspirational where the challenge is Clean and Simple with an optional twist of Inspired by a Movie and I'm going for a slushy little Christmas film called Poinsettias for Christmas; I'm joining in with Jingle Belles' Christmas Story challenge too - remember the folk tale about the little girl who couldn't afford a gift for the baby Jesus so she picked a handful of weeds which turned into beautiful red blooms because she gave them from the heart. I used to read it to my children and we all loved it! I'm also playing at ABC Christmas where T is for Three of a Kind,  and entering at Rudolph Days where we make a Christmas card on the 25th of each month.

We have had such a bumper crop of raspberries this autumn. Every other day, I trot off to the allotment with Madame La Floof in tow and collect up a couple of punnets of the sweetest most delicious raspberries, which we guzzle with cream before I can even think about what else to do with them!

Eva is a fan of raspberries too. She sits nicely by the canes and watches me picking the fruit. There is an air of expectancy about her too because she knows than whenever I come across an over-ripe raspberry, I'll throw it to her. She must have missed one the other day because when we were walking home I noticed she had a little pink streak on her bottom where she'd sat on one!

Sending hugs,

Saturday, 23 September 2023

The Masked Poinsettia

Hello, crafting friends!
It's an Addicted to CAS kind of Saturday today and I invite you to come and contemplate the new Code Word at the challenge, dreamed up this time by Sue:

One of my favourite techniques is masking so I didn't hesitate! I brought out a Christmas set by Reverse Confetti* which has yet to come out of its packaging :)

I started by stamping the poinsettia from the set onto a nice thick card base using dark red ink. To make a mask, I stamped it again onto a sticky note, fussy cut it and stuck it over the original. Next, I stamped the leaves and berries in green ink and removed the mask. I loved the graphic look of the uncoloured leaves and the poinsettia, so I just coloured the berries using a light red water-based marker to avoid any bleed through the card front, and the centre of the poinsettia with a yellow marker.

The sentiment was a mix of 'with love at' from The Greetery's PreText Sentiments and 'Christmas' from Endless Wishes, an old Stampin' Up set. The card was finished with some 'shine' on the berries using a white acrylic paint pen.

Okay, now it's your turn to interpret the Code Word! Do hop over to the Addicted to CAS challenge site to check out the inspiring cards my team mates have made. You'll find the Linky Tool at the bottom of the post and you can use it to link your own creation up with us. Have fun!

I'm linking this card up at Little Red Wagon where the challenge is No Snow Christmas; also Addicted to Stamps and More where the Any Occasion challenge has come round again; I'm also playing at Darnell's NBUS Challenge where we share our Never Before Used Schtuff. 

*Attention all you UK bargain hunters: You can find Reverse Confetti stamp sets and dies at Seven Hills Crafts at half price, and there's an amazing Sale section and Bargain Basement there too! You're welcome!

The title of this post made me giggle as I thought of a mysterious poinsettia tiptoeing about in the dark! And that reminded me of a night long, long ago when I lived in London and shared a house with my sister. We were both woken in the small hours by a loud crash. There was a long pause and then my sister and I converged on the landing, white-faced in our dressing gowns. We tiptoed silently down the stairs clutching each other. Nothing. We made our way towards the glass door leading into the kitchen - and that's when we saw a movement inside the room! We both screamed loudly, wrenched the front door open, and were halfway up the street when it dawned on us that the movement we'd seen was our own reflexion in the glass door. On returning to the kitchen, it turned out that we had hung a heavy pan up on a hook that was loose, and it had given way, falling onto the tiles below. We had to have a soothing cup of milky hot chocolate before going back to bed I can tell you!

Sending hugs,

Thursday, 14 September 2023

A burst of stenciled leaves

Hello, crafting friends!
Welcome to another challenge from Tic Tac Toe, where inspiration comes 8 different ways! Elizabeth has come up with a great board today:

I couldn't wait to get going with the diagonal from top left: Stencil/Free/Foliage because I'd been thinking about combining a few of my stencils to see how it worked out. Well it came out like this:

I started off with the Flower Bouquet Builder stencil from MFT, selecting a few different flowers and berries and inking them in a random pattern. The leaves are from the Greetery's Berry Branch stencil. I positioned the larger leaf around the flowers and sponged colour into it. At this point I brought out my coloured pencils and added more intense colour and detail to the flowers and leaves. I wanted the illusion of lots of leaves in the bouquet so I picked some other leaves from the Berry Branch stencil and stenciled them in a paler green so they looked as if they were behind the first leaves and flowers.

For further depth, I used Funky Fossil's Fancy Trellis as a background, masking off the bottom of the card and sponging blue ink outwards and upwards to a fade. The sentiment is from Tagged Elegance by the Greetery. To finish,  I stenciled a single flower on a snippet of card and fussy cut it, popping it up on the card, and added some enamel dots.

Okay, so now it's your turn! Which row or column will you choose? Or are you going for one of the diagonals? Do hop over to the Tic Tac Toe blog to see the amazing samples the team has made to inspire you. You'll find the Linky Tool at the bottom of the post and can use it to share your own design with us. We can't wait to see what you make!

I'm linking this card up at the Stencil Fun Challenge where the optional theme is Fall, but Anything Stenciled Goes; I'm also joining in with Happy Little Stampers Stencil challenge where Anything Stenciled Goes; and also playing along with Addicted to Stamps and More where it's the turn of the Any Occasion challenge.

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will know that I walk and board a selection of gorgeous dogs. I'm not supposed to have favourites but if I did happen to melt at the sight of a certain little golden girl called Lulu, who could blame me?! 

A pair of Grubs! Lulu (left) and Eva (right)

Sadly, Lulu's family have had a crisis, are having to move away and are unable to take their girl with them. I didn't hesitate to offer her a home. I have adored her since the day we started walking together, and Eva and she have always got on well together - often behaving like naughty twins! Luckily OH (perhaps knowing that there would be no peace until he agreed!) gave the go ahead and she will be coming to live with us properly next month after an easing-in period of extra walks, sleepovers and vet visits. Hurrah!!

Sending hugs,

Saturday, 9 September 2023

Autumnal mushrooms

Hello, crafting friends!
Are you ready to do some Saturday crafting? Well have a look at the new Code Word at Addicted to CAS, brought to you this time by Ceal:

I was thrilled to see this word because it gave me a chance to get my Greetery Mushroom dies out and have a play! I think mushrooms make a lovely autumnal focal point and they're great for male cards.

This one is for my eldest nephew whose birthday is in October, and who will be celebrating with a slap up meal at my house this year! It's very simple. I made a stencil out of the waste from die cutting an arch and sponged inks into it. The arch was extended with sticky notes to form the banner and I continued the ink blending with those in place.

The mushrooms were die cut from snippets of white card stock and sponged with ink, then I assembled them and glued them to my background. The card was finished with a pair of sentiments I'm enjoying combining lately - Happy Birthday from Uniko's Floral Vines and Have a Wonderful Day from Clearly Besotted's Fly With Me.

Okay, so now it's your turn! I know you have some mushrooms in your stash somewhere... why not get them out and make a clean and simple card to share with us! You'll find loads of inspiration at the Addicted to CAS challenge blog and will find the Linky Tool at the bottom of the post to link up your own creation. Have fun!

This is my homework for The Snippets Playground - I used snippets of white card to die cut my mushrooms and used die cutting waste to make a stencil; I'm also joining in with Four Seasons where Anything Goes with a Fall Theme; it's Anything Goes with a birthday theme at HLS Birthday so I'm linking up there; also Less Is More, which also has an Anything Goes challenge and the cards must be clean and simple of course; I'm also sharing at Darnell's NBUS Challenge where we showcase our Never Before Used Schtuff.

The summer in the heart of England has been odd this year. It's tended to be warm but damp and the combination has brought the mushrooms out like a rash!  We've seen proper fairy rings appear in the fields behind our house, and who better to frolic about in them...

... than our very own fairy queen! She's obviously been trying to magic up some extra treats but it's just not working... we have to watch that waistline madam!

Sending hugs,

Tuesday, 5 September 2023

Little flowers

Hello, crafting friends!
What a glorious day it has been here! The blue skies and bright sunshine have inspired me to reach for the bright colours and join in with some fun challenges.

I recently acquired a pack of two odd-sized embossing folders by Stampin' Up called Little Details and I couldn't wait to experiment with them. The folder I used on this card creates a charming panel in the centre of a C6 card front which I bordered with a couple of scorelines. I coloured the raised details with water-based markers and stamped a colourful sentiment using two Uniko sets.

This video by Jennifer McGuire, inspired me to use a pretty little flower from a Sissix wreath die set in a repeat pattern for impact. I cut six of them, coloured them with water-based markers, positioned them on my background and finished them with enamel dot centres.

This card will go in my stash for a summer birthday next year :)

I'm linking this card up with Little Red Wagon, where the challenge is Small or Large; Can You Handle The Pressure, where we must Use an Embossing Folder with optional Poppies theme (I haven't used that); The Flower Challenge where the challenge is to Use a Die on our flower themed cards; and Happy Little Stampers Birthday challenge where Anything Goes as long as it's a birthday card.

I felt so sorry for the children in our area, heading back to school in this gorgeous weather today. Hopefully, they weren't issued any homework on their first day back and were able to get out and enjoy the sunshine before tea!

We walked in the cool of the woods earlier today and Eva found a nice little house to shelter in :)

Sending hugs,

Thursday, 31 August 2023

The colour of sunshine

Hello, crafting friends!
It's Thursday and time for another round of crafting Tic Tac Toe courtesy of the Tic Tac Toe Challenge! Joanne is on Board Duty today and what an inspirational board it is:

I've gone for the diagonal from the top left: Letters/Yellow/Sunshine and made a card to bring some sunshine into a friend's life :)

I started with a yellow card base, left over from an old card kit. The Sunny Day stencil from Clearly Besotted was positioned over it and yellow ink stenciled into it for a tone on tone look. I found some coordinating washi tape that needed using up and made a border with it, then stamped a favourite Reverse Confetti floral stamp at the bottom in black ink and coloured it with yellow alcohol markers.

The sentiment is my 'letters' part of the board. I was excited to put a current Uniko sentiment with an older Clearly Besotted one which is a lovely wavy shape. To add a bit more interest to my card, I trimmed one corner with a Corner Rounder, then stamped the flowers and leaves again on a scrap of white card, coloured them, fussy cut them and popped them up on dimensional pads. 

Okay, so now it's your turn! Which row or column has grabbed your attention this week? Or is it one of the diagonals? Do hop over to the Tic Tac Toe Challenge blog to check out the gorgeous samples the rest of the team have made to inspire you. You'll find the Linky Tool at the bottom of the post and can use it to link up your own creation with us. Have fun! We can't wait to see what you make!

In the Color Dare Challenge #562, you get to choose whether to use 1, 2 or 3 of the three colours shown. I opted to use the yellow and team it with black; I'm also joining in with the Stencil Fun Challenge - not going for the optional Butterflies theme; I'm not going for the optional Butterflies at Allsorts either but I will link my card up there; It's the first outing for this charming floral set so I am sharing at Darnell's NBUS Challenge too.

I am such a fan of the colour yellow. It is the colour of sunshine, positivity, warmth and happiness. There is a good reason that there are so many famous yellow logos! I was given a bunch of beautiful, deep hearted yellow roses the other day, and they lift my spirits every time I look at them!
I hope they have the same effect on you today :)

Sending hugs,

Monday, 28 August 2023

Natural merriness

Hello, crafting friends!
In the first half of this year, I was so busy that I didn't have much time to craft. And even when I did find a minute, it was a stamp and go type of crafting. What I really love is starting a card, changing my mind, having a lightbulb moment, dragging half my stash out to find the right thing... only to have another idea and swerve off on another tack! Do you know what I mean? That's how this card was made!

I had a vague idea of making a Christmas card and I knew I wanted to use some left over botanical die cuts on it, perhaps as a wreath, but the card base started as white until I came over all rustic and brought out the brown card stock, which made me think I might stencil a brick wall using brown ink for a tone on tone look but then suddenly remembered white ink... well, you get the picture!

I liked the frosty look of the white ink on the brown card and added extra 'snow' with a white paint pen. Then, inspired by the natural vibe of the card, I rooted about in my DSP drawer for a precious snippet of wood effect paper to make a beam to hang my snippety wreath on with a twine bow. The wreath die from SU had been cut out of green card which I swiped with white ink, and the botanical die cuts from Mama Elephant were white so I coloured those with ink and a sponge dauber, and then glued everything together.

The sentiments are from The Greetery's Snowflake Soirée, the 'be merry' part stamped on the card base and the 'may all your days' part stamped on kraft card, snipped out and popped up on dimensional pads. 

I used lots of left over botanical die cuts on this card, a snippet of wood effect paper, an offcut of brown card for the card base and a white offcut to line it with, plus a tiny piece of kraft for the sentiment and some left over twine. All that is to say that I'm playing at the Snippets Playground with this card; I'm also joining in at Jingle Belles where Lauren and Stef want to see cards with a vintage vibe (and I'm hoping my card will pass the Vintage Test!); I'm joining in at Color My Heart Color Dare #563, choosing the left hand diagonal Candy Apple/Toffee/Green Apple; I'm also just in time to join in with Rudolph Days where we make a card to celebrate the 25th of each month, then share by the end of the month.

Autumn seems to be drawing in a bit early this year. It's still lovely and warm but not boiling hot, and it's quite unsettled. It's actually much nicer for the dogs...

... and they get to intersperse their swimming activities with rabbit hunting which is much too hot for Eva with her thick coat in the full sun!
PS I must once again state that no rabbit is ever in the smallest danger of being caught by either of these two goofballs!!

Sending hugs,

Saturday, 26 August 2023

Love and Sunshine

Hello, crafting friends!
It's an Addicted to CAS Saturday today! Thank you to all of you who joined in with my Leaves challenge last time - it was so hard to choose a winner among such gorgeous entries! Today Helen has chosen a fab new Code Word:

You might be inspired by a summer holiday but remember that there are cards to make for Other Holidays later in the year that you may be wanting to crack on with...! Despite my stay by the sea back in June, I am still yearning for walks on the beach and the sound of gulls so I came up with this:

To create this card, I sponged in a simple background using handmade sticky note masks. The sentiment was stamped over the top and the scene cut out with a label die from The Works. The label was then attached to a card base.

There's a nice sized seagull in the set as well as some shells.

I stamped them all in pale blue ink and coloured them quickly with coloured pencils, cut them out and mounted them onto the card front. To finish, I added touches of white acrylic paint pen to the shoreline and a little Wink of Stella.

Okay, so now it's your turn! How does our Code Word inspire you? Do hop over to the Addicted to CAS blog to see all the amazing inspiration from my team mates. You'll find the Linky Tool at the bottom of the post and can use it to share your own creation with us. Don't forget to keep your card nice and Clean and Simple with plenty of clear space, but above all, have fun!
I'm linking this card up at As You See It where the theme is At The Beach; At Festive Friday they're celebrating National Beach Day, so I'm joining in there too with Sea, Sand and Shells from the list; I've finally managed to join in at Stamping Sensations too, where the mood board features a beach as well as a blue and yellow colour palette; And, as it's the first outing for this stamp set, I'm sharing at Darnell's NBUS challenge.

Eva is missing the beach too. She loves to run on the huge expanses of sand and is happy to paddle in the shallows - although if there are big waves she barks at them and warns us to get back!

Her favourite beach moment this year was finding a dead seal. I didn't realise what it was at first but soon became alerted by the fact that she was making a beeline for it in a very focused way. I legged it off in hot pursuit but naturally she got there first. She did hear my agitated shouts though and was thoughtful enough not to roll in the corpse, contenting herself with a quick wee on it instead. If you are thinking about getting a dog, here is my top tip: Do not get one unless you have a strong stomach!!

Sending hugs,