Monday, 30 August 2010

Monochrome Magic

Hey all!! :)

Hope you’ve all had a great Bank Holiday Weekend!! I had a very crafty Saturday and Sunday playing with my new LOTV stamps- I so love these and can’t wait to show you the results but first for the card I made last weekend for a friend’s birthday, which I was really pleased with...and happily, so was our friend!! :)

It’s based on a technique by Paula Pascual in last month’s issue of Cardmaking & Papercraft mag, although in this case, instead of using punches for the flowers I used a Dawn Bibby designs stamp set and cut them out.

I took a more sideways-on shot to show the gaps through the flowers better :)

I started by stamping and heat embossing several sizes of the flowers in a Silver Sparkley Powder on Black, White and Silver double-sided pearlescent card. I then had a play around with the arrangement of the flowers on my card blank before deciding how much of the front to cut off. I got the circle shape by drawing round a side plate and then stuck the flowers together by their petal tips with strong d-s tape- it was rather trickier than I expected as the flowers seemed to shift if I so much as looked at them so the arrangement did change quite a bit as I was going along!! :)

The sentiment is one I designed myself in a graphics program- I’ve been having fun playing around with a free download of Serif’s Drawplus Starter program and you’ll be seeing more of these sentiments, I’m sure!! :) I sized it to suit my Nesties and cut a scallop from the same black card as I used for the flowers :) The hatpins are a new acquisition from Craft Emma’s Store, attached with Silicone glue behind the circle and the spotty ribbon is Papermania :)

A couple more close-ups...One of the pearls, which were from Crafty Emma’s at the same time as the hatpins and I love these even more- think I’ve used half the packet already!! :) I added the dotty line around the edge at the last minute with fineliner as it just needed a little something And one of the inside of the card- the dotty paper is some wrapping paper my lovely mum picked up for me in Tesco a while back as she thought I’d like it...and I do- so much that there’s not much left and I’m rather upset about it!!! ;) The greeting is hand-written.

A shot of the whole of the inside and the backs of the flowers, just for interest :)

I’d like to enter this in the following challenges: Lexi’s Creations - Emboss It! :) ; Crafts and Me - Petals and Pearls :) ; Wild Orchid Crafts - Make It Sparkle (glittery embossing powder) :) ; Crafty Emma’s Store’s first challenge – Anything Goes :) ; Crafty Cardmakers - Video Inspiration :) ; and Crafty Cardmakers Spotlight – Glitter and Sparkle :)

Well, I’m exhausted and feeling extremely full after a gorgeous roast dinner so shall link these all up and then go and relax in front of the telly before bed, I think!! :) See you soon, I hope, with my LOTV cards!! :) Also, sorry for still being so utterly useless with getting round to leaving comments on all your lovely creations- hopefully I’ll be feeling a bit better and get back into it soon!! :)


Thursday, 26 August 2010

Shabby-style Birthday Easel

Hi!! :)

I’ve got a card to show you at last- despite the lack of blog posts, I actually had a pretty busy crafty week last week and made two cards that I’m feeling pretty pleased with :) Today’s is an easel card made for a good friend’s birthday, which I finished last Thursday, but didn’t want to post it on here until after she’d had a chance to open it- which was hopefully on Tuesday but I’ve been having a rough week again!! :S – in case she happened across my blog in the meantime!! :)

The armchair and knitting girl (my friend and I have both been trying our hand at knitting lately, though she’s been rather more adventurous than my simple scarves, I think!! ;) ) are both Friday Freebies from the fab SJ’s Little Musings, which I happened across early in my forays into blogland a few months ago :) The girl is called Rach and she’s from a little while ago- I liked the ‘Musings’ so much that I trawled back through some old posts to see what else I could find!!- but the armchair is only from a month or so ago and it was one of the DT cards from that week which gave me the idea for this card :)

I used pink Core’dinations Whitewash card for the main panel, embossed it with C’bug Floral Fantasy folder, sanded it, attacked the edges with my Tim Holtz Distressing Tool and then inked them lightly with Antique Linen Distress Ink :) Thus far, I was following the ‘sort of plan’ I’d had in my head... When I started crafting I’d always know exactly what I was going to do and use before I so much as thought about getting anything out and making a start but these days I often only have a sense of how I want the finished card to feel and the main image/product/technique I want to use before I start surrounding myself with cascading piles of papers, cardstock, inks, tools, etc- sometimes I think this is so much better a way to craft, other times I get so bogged down with all the options that I don’t have a clue what I’m trying to do!! How does the creative process work for you? Anyway, back to the point, I then realised I had no idea what papers I wanted to use and had to go on a search through several different piles to find the right patterns and colours- I don’t know how I ended up with the one I did- which is from a Kanban pad that came with some stamps form QVC- as usually I can’t stand to mix brown and purple, but I didn’t seem to have much that worked and the pattern on this one- which I love- very much went with the ‘feeling’ I wanted for the card...I was aiming for a sort of rich-toned shabby-chic-type look!! Plus, it tones in with the cat!! So, I distressed and inked that, too :)

The images are coloured with Promarkers- I think they came out okay in the end, though I did end up going back over the chair with another layer of the middle purple shade as the lightest one seemed to have turned the darkest one a funny yellowish tone again :S Apart from the purples- Lavender, Lilac and Amethyst again ;) – I’m afraid I really don’t know what colours I used as I did the colouring a week or more before the rest of the card and I can’t remember now!! My friend also has cats and I tried to colour this one like a pic of one of them- not sure if I quite got it, though!! I inked around the edges and, very lightly, over the entire images with the Antique Linen DI to tone down the brightness of the PM colours and bring it all together, too. I liked the idea of the chair sticking up from beyond the top of the card and thought the extra Nestie shape would add interest and balance the card a bit :)

I used Nestie circle and Blossom dies and a left-over bit of the embossed card with a corner punch to make the stopper- all edges distressed and inked again. The greeting is a white Peel-off coloured with Sandstone Promarker.

The swirl is actually a tree stamp from a Dawn Bibby set- I was looking through my stamps for a suitable swirl and, as usual, realised I wouldn’t be able to get anything to look symmetrical on both corners of the card...and then the tree caught my eye- think I’ll be using it as a swirly corner more often!! :) It’s stamped in Antique Linen and then more ink applied with Cut and Dry Foam to give the card some colour :)

I added some of my new tiny pearls, which I coloured with Sandstone PM again, at the end to finish it all off :)

And a full view of the inside :)

I’d like to enter this in The Stampman Challenge 3 – Easel Card :) and Lexi's Creations 21 - Emboss It! :) I’ve not been up to looking around at challenges much so no idea if it’ll fit any others but if I come across any later today I may add them in :)

I have another card from the weekend to show you so will hopefully be back before too long :) I also had a bit of a crafty splurge last week and treated myself to some of the absolutely gorgeous new Lili of the Valley Christmas Stamps and some more Promarkers- from a place that has good prices, but usually extortionate P&P, who had a P&P offer and at £1 a pen I couldn’t resist getting the ones that were next on my wish list :) – so I’m looking forward to hopefully having the energy to have a proper play with them soon!! :) Hope you’re all okay and having a good week :)


Sunday, 15 August 2010

A little ;)

Hello again!! :)

I’m back again- I know, so soon!! ;-) Yesterday was one of those days when I just felt like doing something for the fun of it rather than moving straight on to the next thing on my list- I probably shouldn’t have as there’s enough to do to keep me more than busy but, well, you just need to sometimes, don’t you? So, I decided to try a quick little project inspired by the current Forever Friends Challenge, which is ‘Anything but a card, include a charm’…

I’ve made this sweet little gift box using a Papermania ‘Tulip Box ‘ Template with some striped paper from the Forever Friends Pink Parfait pad and some plain white cardstock of the same weight (160gsm but I think it could do with being a tad stronger, or at least the handles reinforced). I was intending to stamp a bear on the white card but when I actually put the box together the sides were far more curved over than I’d expected so I just randomly stamped it with some flowers from a Kanban stamp set, in Brilliance Orchid and Lime Green, instead! I decided it looked a bit flat- even though it’s 3D!- so I edged it with the Orchid ink and glammed it up a bit with some glitter glue on the flowers and the obligatory Clear Stardust on the stripes :) So that was the ‘not a card’ bit covered, now for the charm…

I decided this was the perfect opportunity to try out the Shrink Plastic that I bought years ago, put away in a box and forgot about, to make my own charm :) And I also tried out my brand new Nestie Blossoms, which I got a couple of weeks ago, for the first time- and I know I’m going to love these!! :) So I stamped the bear image on the Blossom shape in StazOn (is there anything else you can use on Shrink Plastic btw, ‘cos I hate that stuff and only use it if I have to- can’t stand almond/marzipan smell!! :S ) and coloured it with a mixture of Papermania Pens and Sakura Stardust spread with a waterbrush, then drew around the edge with more Stardust and punched a hole with my Crop-a-dile :) The actual shrinking didn’t go too badly for my first ever attempt- wasn’t so sure of that at one point but it got there in the end, apart from being just slightly squiffy looking!! ;) Then I attached it to a phone charm loop which I threaded through one of the handles of the bag- it can be removed easily so it’s like an extra gift after the box has been opened :)

A little look at the box before it’s folded up together where you can see the two pieces of paper stuck together instead of  a single cross shaped piece- more interesting, easier to cut and far less waste!! :)

This is the other side of the Shrink Plastic- the smooth side- I’m not sure which is supposed to be the front but, though this side makes the colours look brighter (I’ll put a bit more colour on the bear next time!!) it also seems to have some blemishes, perhaps from my tweezers!! You can’t see the glitter really, either, and I also like the slightly shimmery look of the rougher side, too!! :)

A shot of the template, which just appeared through my door on Thursday with the rest of the- much less interesting- post...who likes bank statements, after all!! ;) Turns out I won one of the giveaways in the last DoCrafts Mag!! :) I think it’ll make a good little box to give some of my jewellery pieces in and possibly even little tree decorations- with choccies in maybe!! ;) – at Christmas :) It’s been a good couple of days for crafty surprises as, when I popped over to see who’d won the last Crafty Cardmakers challenges yesterday, I discovered I’d come in the Top 5!! :D :D I was so smiley yesterday after that- and very excited to have another blinkie to add to my side bar!! :D And for the yellow and orange card that I wasn’t at all sure of at first, too- though I have to say it’s been growing on me since I posted it on here :)

Right, I shall go and link this up now then, hopefully, I’m going to go and sit in the garden for a bit and make the most of this slightly better patch of weather we seem to be having :) I really hope it lasts a while this time, it’s been so nice to have a bit of sunlight around after so long and not to be shivering at the chill in the air!! :) I hope you’re enjoying your weekends and getting some sun wherever you are too!! :)


Friday, 13 August 2010

Pretty Flowers :)

Hello!! :)

Thanks so much for the lovely comments on my last card!! It really is one of the best things about Blogland to be able to get feedback on new things that you’re not sure of like the colour combo for that card- gives you the confidence to try something different!! :) And thanks for all the get better wishes for my wrist, too- more on that in a mo…

I’ve got a couple of very simple cards to show you today-I so enjoyed colouring the gorgeous floral image from my last card that I decided to colour up a couple more :)

I needed a pretty card for a friend’s birthday but I also needed it to be pretty simple as I’m still struggling with my hands (the pain in my wrist is less sharp now but seems to be migrating all around my wrist and hand and my left hand’s not great now either- lovely M.E.!! :S ) and I decided one of those already coloured images would be perfect…

I used another of the large stamps from the Aspects Of Design Funky Flowers stamp sheet, this time stamped in Memento London Fog and coloured with Amethyst, Lilac and Lavender Promarkers. I punched the corners and edged it with Versamark and chalk as on the orange card and then used Crystal Stickles and Sakura Clear Stardust to highlight the image :) I cut a strip of gorgeous blue and white flowery paper from the Forever Friends Pink Parfait pad and (my mum again, to save my hands!!) punched it with my new MS Traditional Scallop border punch- hooray, I ordered this weeks ago and have finally got to use it on a card after a whole lot of faff trying to get a replacement for the original dodgy one!!- and then added a piece of white organza ribbon :) Simples!!

I added a tiny punched butterfly in the same FF paper and then stamped the greeting, which is a tiny Whispers stamp and one of the first I bought years ago, by inking the stamp first with Brilliance Pearlescent Sky Blue and then Pearlescent Ice Blue to get a better colour match:)

…and I liked it so much that I made up the second spare image in the same design…

I remembered this time that I had intended to use the Pearlescent Ice Blue to edge the patterned paper…but forgot to try to line up the holes in the punching!! Lol- can’t have it all I guess- especially with my brain!! ;)

I’ve put off getting these stamps for ages as I wasn’t sure I’d manage cutting the rubber etc. to get them ready to use (I’ve never bought this sheet type of stamp before) and it took me a couple of weeks and plenty of effort…but I just love them and it was definitely worth it!!:)

I’d like to enter these cards in the following challenges: Papertake Weekly – Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed and Something Blue (I think it was okay to only use one thing but I’ve used a new stamp, an old stamp, plenty of blue...and at a stretch, you could say the cotton balls I used to apply the chalk are ‘borrowed’ from my cosmetics drawer- although in truth, they’ve not been used for anything beauty-related since I’ve not been able to cope with the stink of nail varnish and therefore no longer need to remove it!! ;) :) ; Craft Your Days Away – Favourite Things (I’ve used stamps and inked edges again and Purple is also one of my favourite colours) :) ; Wild Orchid - One for the Girls :) ; Ohh La La – Spots and Dots (in the image and the punched strip) :) ; Crafty Cardmakers Spotlight – Punches :) ; and Crafty Cardmakers – It’s Our Birthday (just the first card as the second's not technically a b'day card!! ;) ) :)

I can’t believe how well behaved my Speech Recognition Software has been!! I only set it up on my netbook this afternoon- in a desperate attempt to still be able to write messages/post these cards- as I really think my hands have had enough of my typing after I seemingly did a little too much yesterday and I’d dictated almost all of this (with a few tweaks by hand when it was being stubborn!! ;) ) by early evening, with hardly any of the messing I had when I first set it up on my laptop last year!! :) Happily surprised for once!! :) Now I just need to figure out how to get it navigate around web pages by voice so I can still keep up with everyone else’s blogs without hurting myself...hmmm!! ;) Apologies for any rogue spellings or wierd grammatical anomolies I may have missed, though!!lol

Right, I’m off to link these up now and then to bed!! I’m really hoping to be able to pay a visit to some of the people who’ve left lovely comments for me recently to check out their creations but shall have to take it slowly I think...and as for actual crafting...if my hands don’t get better soon I may go mad!!lol Hope you’re all looking forward to a good weekend :)

Ooh, am loving that blogger now lets you upload all your pics at once- so much easier!! :)


Sunday, 8 August 2010

Out of my comfort zone...with a few of my favourite things...

Hello!! :)

Well, I'm finally able to show you a card I expected to be posting days ago...the reason the card's taken so long is that I woke up on Tuesday morning- excited to make a card with the image I'd coloured the night before!!- to find I had a shooting pain in my wrist whenever I tried to move/do anything with my hand :( Annoyingly, as I rely on my hands/arms for extra support just to move around the house, I thought I probably shouldn't aggravate it any the more by trying to craft :S But it was slightly better yesterday so, with my lovely mum's help with the punching and other more difficult bits, I had a go at last :)

It's inspired by another selection of Challenges including a recipe which asked for yellow and/or orange as the main colours and one which wanted only two colours to be used and I thought I'd combine the two and use some new stamps I just got :) I'm not quite sure about the finished result- I like it a lot more now than I did when I finished it last evening but that's not saying much!! ;) - not sure if that's really because the card's no good or just because the colours are so far from my comfort zone that I can't see past them, though!?! I guess it's good to experiment every so often though- even if it does only confirm that you don't like/can't do something!! ;)

The Image is from my new Aspects of Design by Kay Carley 'Funky Flowers' set which I've been wanting for ages and finally treated myself to :) :) It's stamped in Memento Rich Cocoa and coloured with Promarkers- the first time my blending went the way I'd imagined it would!! yay!! :) - Canary Yellow, Honeycomb and Bright Orange with Lime Zest and Pear Green for the leaves :) I used a corner punch on the panel and the dragged a Vesramark pad around the edges to get a more defined line when I then chalked the panel to take the edge off the white card :) The greeting (from Woodware Tiny Greetings set) is stamped in Versamark and chalked :)

I used the co-ordinating stamps on the strip of orange paper with Versamark and chalk again and also edged all the papers with Versamark and chalk, too- the dotty background piece is My Mind's Eye Pretty Please :) I used a the Doily Lace MS punch and some paper lace, coloured with PMs Canary and Pastel Yellow, for another challenge :)

I added the butterflies- at the last minute as nearly forgot they were part of the recipe!!- and some gems and then the finishing touch was, as usual lately, some glitter glue on all the flowers and the lace border :)

I'm entering this in the following challenges, which inspired the card in the first place: The Stampman - Take Two Colours (I hope it's okay anyway- the green was on the page before I realised!! o_o ) :) ; Crafty Cardmakers - Joy's Recipe (think I've got everything!!) :) ; Crafty Cardmakers Spotlight - Punches :) ; and Wild Orchid - Lace :) And, as it also fits these: Craft Your Days Away's first challenge - Favourite Things (my absolute favourite thing is stamping but I also love flowers, inking edges, glitter glue and my MS punches!! :D ) :) and One Stop Crafts - Summer Fun :)

I'm off to link those up now and then give my wrist (and the rest of me!!) a rest but hope you've all had a lovely weekend!! :) Hopefully my hand will let me get cracking on another card soon- I'm in trouble if not as I'm a bit behind after a week of getting nothing done!! :{ Ohh, before I go- if anybody knows of any Xmas Challenges I'd really love if you could let me know? I've been looking around for more inspiration but have only discovered a few so far!! :)

(Edited a few hours later to add a challenge I forgot- I knew there was something!! Guess that's what I get for being so close to one of the deadlines and rushing like a mad thing!!lol)


Sunday, 1 August 2010

A Christmas Card...

Hey bloggers!! :)

...did the world fall off it's axis yet!?! Seriously- I've made my first Christmas card...and it's not even November yet!!! O_O I won't worry too much yet though, I'm sure this doesn't herald a most un-me-like level of Xmas preparedness and I'll still be panicking about getting my cards finished on time for the last post!! ;D

But enough of that... You've probably gathered that I'm not normally one for getting out the Xmas supplies while it's still (supposedly, at least- won't somebody tell the weather!?!) summer- I try to get organised with the gift side of things fairly early, especially the ones I'm trying to make myself, but I just don't seem to get in to the card-making bit til there's not nearly enough time left!! But I've never had blogland to inspire me before and last week I saw a couple of challenges and a fab new digi stamp from Lexi's at the same time as my new snowflake MS punches arrived at my door and the idea just came to me...then the trouble started...

So, this was the card that was causing so many headaches- literal and metaphorical- last week until I finally managed to turn it around a few days later:

The paper is from a free digi-kit from Serif Digital Scrapbook Artist- I discovered they offer a free 'Compact' version of the program to download from their site after the full version was on C&C a few weeks back and I've found it really useful already, including for making the new watermark I've been using recently, although the lack of even the most basic photo editing tools without buying the upgrade is a bit annoying but hey, it was free!! ;) - and I used DSA to size and arrange the papers and printed the jacket section of the image over the top of a shrunk down piece of the pattern, as well as larger pattern pieces for the matt and border strip.

I've used the gorgeous new digi, Christmas Shopping Phoebe, from Lexi at Fairydust Crafts :) I love this and can see it so many colourways!! She's mainly coloured with Promarkers- part one of the headache saga as I still need sooo much practise and had to reprint a few times!!- but her jacket is paper-pieced, which is the challenge at Lexi's Creations this fortnight :) I used the Tim Holtz Distressing Tool on the image and matt layer then edged both with Brilliance Pearlescent Ice Blue and Distress Broken China :) I tried to keep it all fairly light for the Cupcake Crafts Pastel Christmas Challenge but the Broken China did come out a bit darker than I intended, though it matches the darker bits of the paper!! :)

I punched a strip of the patterned paper with my new MS Snowflake Edger punch and then a strip of a gorgeous white paper with a beautiful purple pearl shimmer with my (also new!) Snowflake Double Edge Trim punch which I think I'll be using a lot!! :) I thought about inking the edges of these but, given the disasters I'd already had with this card, I didn't want to go asking for trouble and end up ripping them all to pieces!!

I did carefully ink the snowflake I trimmed from a spare section of the border- to use in place of the bow on the sketch I was working with from Sketch & Stash- and attached this with 3D foam and added a pale blue gem :)

The greeting is from the Woodware Clear set Traditional Christmas and I inked it with first the Broken China and then straight into the Brilliance Ice Blue to get the same sort of shade- and then quickly wiped the excess darker ink off my light pad!! The final touch was to add some Crystal Stickles on the scarf- to bring it forward with the jacket having been attached over the top- and on the corners of the image and the snowflake just because I wanted more sparkle!! :)

So, think I've covered this but for ease, I'm entering this card in the following challenges- with thanks for their inspiration: Lexi's Creations #19 - Paper Piecing :) ; Cupcake Crafts #101 - Pastel Christmas (I hope it's pastel enough!) :) ; and Sketch and Stash Challenge 40 - new punches and digi as mentioned above!! :)

After a pretty awful start, I'm actually pretty pleased with how this card has come out and even think I'd go so far as to say I enjoyed making it in the end- the second attempt at least!! :) I didn't manage to make two this time as all the extra bits I printed off got used up in salvaging the first attempt...but nevermind, eh- I'm still way ahead of myself with Xmas cards already!!lol No idea what I'll be making next- I'm sure I've got something planned but at the mo' I just can't remember what it I guess we'll all just have to wait and see!! ;) Hope you're all okay enjoying the weekend despite the unseasonably dreary weather :) And thank you for the lovely comments on my last cards and my jewellery!! :)



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