Green and gold


Whilst I am at home today as my car is being serviced, once again I look for inspiration for making a card from a couple of challenges. The first challenge is from Daring Card Makers with the theme of green with gold, and the second is from the Colour Crazy Craft Challenge with the theme of anything goes.

I took the opportunity to use my stamp set from Altenew ‘Faithful Feather’ and also tried again for a clean and simple card. I have attached the photos of my crafting progress, which I haven’t done before, so thought I would give it a try. I was going to give this to my friend today, as she was nipping round for coffee, but unfortunately she is unable to make it. So – she will have to look and admire it on this blog before she receives it!

I stated with Crafters Companion water-colour card, as I didn’t know if I was going to water colour, or just stamp, and as the card has some texture, I used my Misti to ensure good coverage of the stamp outline. I stamped and embossed the feather outline using my Ranger Perfect Medium, and Detail Gold embossing powder from Cosmic Shimmer.

Once I had the outline embossed, I moved onto the inner part of the stamp, and again stamped and embossed this detail. I wanted the outline and detail to stand out which is why I embossed both layers. In this stamp set there are several other layers which can be used, and I may try them out soon – seeing as how the set is on my craft table currently – but wanted this card to be simpler.

I then moved onto the colouring. I knew I wanted green, but didn’t know which green to use. I have several different pens, distress inks, Zig brushes……then – again – my eyes fell upon a recent purchase I had made through Hochanda craft channel……my brand new Derwent Inktense Pencils. Ideal opportunity to see how they worked.

I have the 12 pencil set, which came as a bundle with some water-colour paper, water brush, and set of 5 line painters. The lady who demonstrated during the shows for this product was absolutely inspiring. She made it seem that anyone could achieve the results she had….we shall see!

I tried three of the pencils on some spare water-colour card and they all blended absolutely smoothly, which made me be brave to add straight to the stamped feathers. I used Apple Green, only the one colour, and drew straight down the middle of the feather, using my water brush to blend out from the centre each side. I purposefully didn’t blend the whole of the ink as I wanted a darker line down the middle of the feather.

During this process – I smudged. Blinking Heck!!!. Just beneath the middle feather…..but decided to carry on and think of some way to disguise the area. No-one will know. I won’t tell anyone. It never happened…..

I stamped and embossed the sentiment from the same stamp set, then tried to decided what colour card base to use. I decided on a darker green just beneath the water-colour card, and a ‘Topsy Turvy’ card from Create and Craft channel – darker green on the outside and lighter green on the inside which I have tried to show in the final photograph.

Now onto the mistake I didn’t make! I made the decision to add three sequins, in a colour which seemed to match the green, and also had a hint of gold in them. Bingo! Sorted!

Well – in hindsight I wouldn’t have added them, but there we are.





Embossing background

Looking around today for inspiration for making a card, so went to the Paper Playful web site. This site lists a range of challenges for crafters. They post a list every day, so there are certainly quite a few to choose from.

The inspiration for this card came from two challenges – Simon Says Stamp and Cardz4galz. The challenge from Simon Says Stamp was to create a background, and the second challenge was to use embossing powder.

My idea on the background was to create a dimensional background. I used the MFT Fancy Flowers stamps and coordinating dies. First stamping the images with Ranger Perfect Medium clear stamp pad, and adding my ‘Wow’ embossing powder, heat setting it, then using the matching die set to cut them out. I wanted a tonal and quite monochromatic look to my card, with added bling with the ‘Wow’ embossing powder.

For the central element, I cut a square of the same card, and ran ‘Be Creative’ double sided sticky tape around the edges, added the same embossing powder, and again heat set it. This tape is my tape of choice for matting and layering my cards, as I find it quite strong, and the added bonus is that you can use embossing powders to it and heat it up. I don’t know if there are any other sticky tapes around that do that, but I find it helps to create cards which have the edging the same colour as other elements on the card.

The sentiment is from a ‘Chocolate Baroque’ stamp set called Rose Script, and I am sure I will be using the main stamps on that sheet in the very near future. The embossing powder for the sentiment is from Creative Expressions – detail silver, as I thought the Wow powder had a tint of silver and I wanted it to match. I did think of gold or bronze, but decided they would be too different to the rest of the card.

The way I put this card together was to use a base craft card 6 inches square, almost as though there is earth beneath the flowers. I wanted the flowers as the background, and to be dimensional, adding some flat with glue, some with one layer of foam pads, and some with two layers of foam pads. I wanted the flowers to look as though they were bursting from the base card, almost pushing the sentiment forward.

I know most backgrounds are quite flat when it comes to cards, and are mostly stamped images, but I thought I would make a quirky twist to the usual way of doing things.

I have used both of my favourite embossing powders for this card ‘Wow’ and ‘Creative Expressions’. The glittery embossing certainly adds the bling, and the detail the silver powder brings out – especially with words – is ideal.



Lotus layering


On arriving home from work I thought I would have a little focused play with a set of layering dies. I have used them before, but decided to play a little more. The inspiration for this card came from another challenge – Make my Monday weekly craft challenge.  The challenge is to use at least three of the colours of the rainbow listed – red, orange, yellow, green, blue indigo, violet.

I decided to go with blue flowers, and only used two layers of the lotus stamps, along with green for the leaves. I wanted them to hang over the edge of the white card, as some flowers do seem to go wild (not lotus flowers, I know, but here is my creative license). I was wondering what to do with the other colours, as I didn’t want to create a lot to go with the flowers, and was considering stamping the sentiment in one of the other colours, then my eyes fell upon a little bee that I had stamped and coloured for another project. I thought the little bee could add the yellow, and add a little quirkiness to the card. Therefore, I have used blue, green and yellow. Hey presto. Sorted.

Then to decide what sentiment, in what colour. Should I try another of the colours? How do I tie it all in? Again – as I don’t really clear my crafting desk away completely (who does?) –  I saw this sentiment from the Altenew set of the same name. I decided to use it as the challenge had inspired me to create the card, and decided to stamp it in blue. The blue I used was actually a mix of two blues, both from Catherine pooler – Something Borrowed and Fiesta Blue. Each of them didn’t work alone, but when I inked with one, then the other it seemed to tie in quite nicely, I thought. Then a blue base card.

Compared to my previous couple of days crafting with mixed media, very little adrenaline, no fear, just all seemed to work.


Messy playing

Oh my goodness. I have never, ever played like I played when making this canvas. I loved the messiness, the sheer fright that I would do something wrong. Who says that crafting doesn’t involve adrenaline? Sheer and utter fear. What if I messed it up? Did it matter if I messed it up? Who cares? Have fun. Play. Enjoy – and I certainly did.

I wanted to take myself into a new arena. For some reason, mixed media hasn’t been attractive to me. I usually prefer a more focused, planned, and tidy sort of card making. Always knowing the basics of what I was doing, even though many things changed during the course of making cards. But with this – no clue where it was going…

As most of us do, I had many items I have never used, I just bought them because we ‘had’ to have them – and there they were, sitting in my cupboards and drawers. They didn’t even talk to me! How very ignorant of them.

Then – I was searching through YouTube, saw an Indigo Blu video of Mike Deakin making – very easily and simply – some mixed media canvas. He made it look soooooo easy. It got me thinking – I have some 6 x 6 canvas, some gesso, plenty of small MDF and other items I can stick on. I had a search through my stock – hey presto – loads of stuff I can play with.

So – girded my loins, straightened my spine – and got down to playing. I covered the canvas with a layer of white gesso, used texture paste. Covered in black gesso. Embellishments were stuck on, then covered with black gesso. I thought it looked good just in plain black. The next bit is where the fear kicked in….added some colour. Looked rubbish. Let it dry. Looked rubbish. Added more white and it looked better toned down slightly. Scraped some black gesso everywhere in small slight strokes of a brush and it looked a bit better.

This is when my stubbornness and determination went into overdrive. I kept going. Added some Gansai Tambi gold, then more gold, then toned it down again. Added some spritz of my cosmic shimmer sprays. Toned it down again. Then more fear kicked in – had I ruined it? What do I do now? Is it done? Do I keep going? When do I know it’s finished? Oh my goodness…….

Eventually, after three days of playing, waiting for drying, working, sleeping, playing again – I decided I was done.

I have no idea whether I will do this on a regular basis, as I am a creature of habit – but you never know!

I am entering this into the ‘crafting while we can’ challenge, and ‘love to create’.




I was having a frustrating day crafting. I’ve been fighting with doing a slider card – like the ‘Octopi my heart’ card from a previous blog posting, and then trying some layered stamping. I couldn’t get anything right. For the slider card I was having trouble getting my bee (die cut shape from a stamp set) to slide around the hive. I tried a number of things to get it to slide – embossing buddy powder, original slider element from MFT, a penny – just wasn’t having any of it.

I moved onto a truck I stamped and cut out, from Stampin Up Tasty Trucks, same thing. truck too big, penny too small, wouldn’t move smoothly. Still sitting on my craft table – at least I didn’t bin it!

So, I moved onto to layered stamping ‘cos I thought I’d cracked the code previously – rubbish. Nothing matched. Nada. Zip. Zero. Zilch. Blinking heck was I getting frustrated……….! That almost went into the bin – but I counted to 30 (it took that long to calm down), placed it carefully on my craft table, went to make a cup of coffee, then returned to my craft room.

To cheer myself up, and to get back on the horse – as it were – I turned to my current favourite stamp set. I was sure it would cure my blues, my frustration, and my (almost) tears……and… did! Yay!

This stamp set is so easy to work with, items come together quickly, and I made a few variations. I mixed and matched colours from the range I have. Used patterned papers, though sparingly, and just stamped, die cut, stuck things down to my hearts content.

The two backgrounds are from a couple of stamps from Catherine Pooler. I love the candy stripe, and using my Misti, and Catherine’s gorgeous/superb/marvellous inks, it only took a couple of inking and stamping episodes for a perfectly stamped background.

The die cut on the birthday wishes card is one of Tim Holtz steel rule label dies, which I cut in half. I liked the look of the label, but it was too big, so I thought in half it matched the size of the lady well.

I am ending my day so much more happier and in a much better place than 3-4 hours earlier.

No challenges entered this time – just pure fun (in the end, anyway)


Some Beautiful You

This set of cards I’m not quite sure about………I don’t use a lot of patterned papers in my cards, usually only strips of pattern, and often find I am not happy with the results. I thought I would publish anyway, as I enjoyed making them – but I may make more without a lot of the pattern, sticking to my usual strips of colour/pattern and not layering the whole thing.

The stamp set is from Stampin Up ‘Beautiful You’, and there will be more cards coming up from this set. I find it very versatile, and easy to use, and have made quite a few which I will be giving to my charity to sell.

The lady was stamped onto water-colour card, and then used a technique new to me – reflection stamping. I got the idea – and the know-how – from Jan Brown, a Stampin Up demonstrator, who I follow on YouTube.

The three cards above have the three different outcomes of my first few tries. I really like how they turned out, from quite bold in the main picture, to quite muted in the last picture. The blurry one is because I moved when doing the reflection – but looks good in the water/puddle. Do you agree?

Basically, use a piece of acetate or packaging, stamp the image you want, then flip it and use that stamped image to stamp onto the card/paper. It could be reflected below, above, or either side. As I mentioned, the first image I moved slightly – that acetate is slippery! The second image I pressed down, and the third I really concentrated on keeping it still and pressing all over the inked image.

Once the ink was dry, I coloured with my watercolour brush, creating a puddle effect around the reflection, and added some sequins for some dimension.

I have a thought process of stamping reflection technique – two ladies, hand-in-hand -= another stamp from the same set – watch this space.

I’ll be entering this card into the challenge on Inkspirational. The word prompt is ‘connect’, and I thought that connecting the same stamp with the reflection stamping technique would be a quirky way of meeting the requirements.

Adore you and smile

After a fairly decent day at work, I wanted to craft and play with some of my starry and shiny water colours.

Once again I have turned to the Altenew stamp set ‘I Adore you’ for a variation on a background. Again I stamped one image several times in Ranger Perfect Medium, and embossed the outline of the flowers with a copper embossing powder. I felt this particular flower had a lot of detail in it, and I liked the way it looked when stamped in different directions.

I also stamped some of the smaller flower/bud images in a couple of places where I felt it needed something extra, or there was too much white space. The flowers themselves I coloured in my Gansai Tambi starry colours to add some depth and sheen, using the white gold shade for  a lighter look which didn’t detract from the copper embossing on the flowers. I decided to change from colouring the background, and instead wanted the flowers themselves to be the centre of attention.

The sentiment is Altenew ‘Half Tone Smile’, stamped and embossed in copper, and cut out using the matching die, and added some sequins which seemed to match the colour tone, and one black jewel for the dot above the ‘i’.

I seem to be enjoying stamping and embossing at the moment, especially creating my own backgrounds, with a simple sentiment. Sometimes a card doesn’t have to say a lot to mean a lot. If you know what I mean.

I’ll be entering this card into the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge, with a theme of Anything Goes.