Green Flowers

For today I have gone completely mad and opposite to my clean and simple card yesterday. You could say I have gone embossing and die cutting crazy. Embellishment crazy even.

I was inspired by several challenges to create this card, and it all seemed to work well by combining them. This is the sort of card I started to make back in the day. I loved die-cutting and embossing with a passion, and added everything to every card. I tend to do these kinds of cards for Christmas, adding loads of layers, loads of different die-cutting elements like deer, or trees, or angels. Love it.

For this card I was going very floral, and very monochrome! I used a 7 inch square base and put an embossed green and white layer on top. They are both embossed with a Crafters Companion Die’sire Embossalicious folder called ‘Floral Vine’, cut with a Sue Wilson Noble Frame die – as always.

The roses are, again, Sue Wilson – Finishing Touches Wild Rose – cut three times, and embossing after cutting. Such lovely detail on the rose, don’t you think? Sue Wilson’s ‘Trailing Ivy’ was also cut and embossed.

The main sentiment is from Paperartsy ‘Eclectica 3’, and stamped in black versamark, using my Misti. I tried to find an ink which matched the green, but decided on black as I wanted a bold statement and sentiment which would stand out from all the floral happenings on the card.

I used yet another Sue Wilson die set – Frames and Tags ‘Grace’ – for the sentiment, using the main scalloped outside layer and detailed inner layer, adding a green layer behind to highlight the design.

For the final added embellishment, I turned to my Tonic Nuvo drops, added them to the four corners, then added around the sentiment. I told you I was harnessing my inner multi-layering personality!

The challenges I will be entering are:

Aud Sentiments challengeflowers and a sentiment

The House that Stamps Builttic tac toe – (flowers, pearls, frames)

Brown Sugar challengeembossing

Craft for the Craicanything goes

Allsorts challengering a ring o’ roses

Crazy for Challengesuse green

Crafting with Dragonflieslots of flowers

 

 

 

 

Less is definitely more

Hi all, I hope everyone is having a good weekend. I’ve been having a little struggle with my mojo for the past few days, what with busy at work, being let down by a charity I was making cards for. Isn’t is amazing how things affect your creativity sometimes, and yet other times it doesn’t make any difference.

I was having a look through my recent challenge entries, and remembered I had made a major ‘boo boo’ with the last ‘Less is More’ challenge – I entered a card but entered too many other challenges. So – you know what – this card is only being entered ONLY into the challenge.

The theme for the current challenge is ‘one layer: spots/stripes’. I knew I had some small stamps somewhere by Catherine Pooler which had plenty of those on them – now to find them! Actually, it wasn’t too difficult as I have been trying to organise my stamps into makes, as opposed to themes and find that works better for me. I always seem to know I have stamps and dies, and usually who makes them so it works better.

I used some Crafters Companion Neenah Crest Solar White card, which is lovely and smooth, perfect for stamping on. I cut two pieces of A4 card down to make four cards, as I was planning on putting some together in a four-pack for notelets, varying the sentiment on each one, but the design staying the same.

I used Catherine Pooler inks, too, as I find these stamp extremely well, but being very careful as they stay a little wet for longer. Beautiful inks……but I still used my Misti just in case!

So, I am only entering the current ‘Less is More’ challenge, and hope I have read the rules correctly this time! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Embossed Peony

I’ve been playing in my Craft Cave again, unwinding from a busy week, attempting different techniques, and trying to get-to-grips with water-colouring still. I still prefer to do embossing then water-colouring, as I find this can help stay in the lines, and I also like that some stamps do the shading for you, by having lines where the darker shading should be.

I have had this HUGE Peony stamp from IndigoBlu for ages, found when trying to find something else I wanted to stamp with. I saw this, saw how big it was – A5 rubber stamp – and thought it would be ideal to be the main and only focus on a bigger card.

I began by stamping in Ranger Perfect Medium, and embossing with black detail powder, heat setting it. I stamped it a couple of times as I wanted to try two different colours. Are Peony’s blue and purple/pink? I googled it and found that they do indeed come in a variety of colours. I didn’t need to make any excuses, then.

I took my Zigs – three or four shades of blue, and three or four shades of purple and pink, and went in there. It is a very large stamp, and I found the easiest way was to colour each petal separately. On some part of the flower I started with the lightest colour, then added the darkest and blended with a third colour. I changed tactic part-way through the flower, added water first, then added the colours. I tried to keep the darker colours near the darkest part of the embossing, but rarely strayed outside the lines of each petal. It seemed to take an age…….

I found that when I changed tactics and changed the way I water-coloured, it gave a more natural look to the flower. Even now I couldn’t tell you which part of the flower had which technique.

I then thought the flower was too stark against a white background, and had seen some videos and blogs where shadow had been added around the flower, so I thought I would give it a go. I wet around the flower, a small area at a time, added some grey Zig colour, then dragged it around with the water brush. I also tried adding the colour to the dry card, and dragging it out with the water brush too. In the end, I don’t think it made much difference which way I did it.

Then I had to decide what size for the card base. I went with an A4 sheet of card, folded in half for side opening, cut an inch or so off the bottom, leaving room for a sentiment separate to the flower. I didn’t want the sentiment to cover any part of the flower. I embossed this in white on black card, and stuck it to the bottom, quite liking the effect.

As I have tried for fewer embellishments on my recent cards – I decided to add some to this. Some clear drops which look like dew, I think. It’s been a while, and still like adding them.

I shall be entering the following challenges:

Make My Monday – ’embossing’

Tuesday Throwdown – ’embossing’

Colour Crazy Challenge – ‘anything goes’

Crafty Friends challenge – ‘anything goes’

Allsorts challenge – ’embossing’

Hiding in My Craft Room – ‘anything goes’

A Gem of a challenge – ’embossing wet or dry’

 

 

 

 

 

Water-colour flower

Today I was in the mood for floral – stamping, embossing and water-colouring. I was inspired by several challenges today, and turned to my trusty Altenew ‘Amazing You’ stamp and die set. This set is simply draw, giving a sketchy look, and I think is ideal for water-colouring.

I stamped the images out using my Misti on Crafters Companion water-colour card, and heat embossed in black. I like using black embossing when I am water-colouring and trying to stay in the lines, as I find this easier to do with a raised edge.

Once stamped, I coloured with my Zigs. I again tried a couple of techniques for colouring. I tried wetting the area of card first, then adding the colour. I find this to give a more watered down effect, as in the pink rose card. For the red rose card I coloured with the zig then used my water brush to draw the colour out. This technique, I find, allows for a more vibrant colour. Maybe water first makes the brush nip on the zig lose the colour more? Maybe…..any hints and tips from anyone?

I waited for them to dry, then cut with the matching die set, and turned my thoughts to the background. I knew I had floral embossing folders, and found this one from Crafters Companion ‘Rambling Rose’. It is a 5 inch x 7 inch folder, and gave a lovely background to my florals.

Before attaching to my card, leaving a wider strip of blank at each side, I decided to splash some of the matching colour onto this panel. I drew some of the colour onto my acrylic block, added water from my water brush, and splashed it on. In hind-sight, perhaps too much water was added by the brush, but I still like the effect. I may try without the water brush and just use the pen itself on some future cards.

Once the back panel had dried, I added the florals with 3D foam, as I didn’t think they would lie flat on the embossed background. No sentiment – I like them as they are.

I shall be entering one of the cards into the following challenges:

CAS watercolour challenge, theme ‘green and pink’ card

Simon Says Stamp Monday challenge, theme ‘splash it on’

Shopping our stash, theme ‘A Beautiful Rose’

Watercooler Wednesday, theme ‘Spring’

Stinkin’ Inkers Challenge, theme ‘Shower of Flowers’

And one more thing: 20170423_090718

Here was my alarm clock this morning – outside our bedroom!

I managed to go downstairs and take this picture through my kitchen window.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fantasy Fairies

 

 

I have been playing with my Brusho’s again……I seem to create quite a mess – on the card and off of it! I was inspired by three challenges today – Cards In Envy, Fab N Funky Challenges, and Stamp with Sarah Kay. The first two challenges were to create fantasy cards, and the third challenge was for a water-colour background.

I started to get my Crafters Companion water-colour card – I had used the last of it! Now what do I do? How can I do a water-colour background without water-colour card? It won’t flow as well. I was in crisis mode! Luckily, their Chesterfield store is a mere 10 minutes drive away…………on with the make-up, did my hair, got in my car – and was back home within the hour. Of course, one has to look around the shop whilst there, doesn’t one? Guess what I found? These lovely, adorable fairies from Lavinia Stamps…..ideal for what I wanted to create. They are quite solid, but adorable. Out with the old idea, in with the new!

So – water-colour card cut square to fit my 7 inch square white card base. I used my Misti to stamp my two images facing each other, one higher, in Ranger Perfect medium. Misti because with the textured card I usually need to stamp twice. Added white embossing powder and heat set it. Then to the background. I thought the white embossing would resist the colours, so I just went on in there.

I wet down the card – both sides – taped it down, and sprinkled my chosen Brusho colours onto it. Turquoise at the top, Crimson in the middle, Lime Green at the bottom. A sort of sky and sunset and grass thingy going on here. Until they ran together! Blinking tape didn’t keep it flat! I mopped up extra colours, tried to stop the red running into the green, then the blue ran down – muddy colour in the middle! Wet it down again, kitchen towel to mop-up some colour, added one colour at a time, dried it, added the others. Don’t you just love kitchen towel??!!

I then used black Versafine to stamp some floral elements from Stampin Up ‘Flowering Fields’ stamp set. An older stamp set, but I like the little images – very versatile. I think it looks like the fairies are playing in a fantasy sunset field, dancing on the flowers – well – that was the look I was going for, anyway.

Attached the watercolour card to black, then added to base card. Of course, I added some glitter, and I think I’ve managed to catch this in the photo – Spectrum Noir clear sparkle pen. Pushed a little extra out and just flicked it onto the card.

I think I’m getting the hang of Brusho’s – I mean, you actually can’t plan very much where they are going to spread to. There may be a knack to them – but I’m enjoying exploring their capabilities…….

 

 

 

Smile in the rain

 

I have been having a play with a stamp set from Newton’s Nook, and the matching die set ‘Newton’s Rainy Day’. I have this for a few weeks now, and because I really, really struggle with cute animals and colouring, I have been holding-off playing with it. Today has been the day I have girded my loins and just got on with it.

I am not a colourist, I dabble – much like many of us, I am sure – and sometimes make mistakes, sometimes it works out right, but tend to (mostly) have fun playing.

This is my idea of playing. I stamped the main image four times – twice on Crafters Companion water-colour card, and twice on IndigoBlu stamping card. I coloured them all with my Zigs, and added Spectrum Noir sparkle to all of the umbrellas and water puddles at the end.

I found I didn’t know what colours to use except definitely wanted a yellow duck, and definitely wanted a blue puddle – the rest were experiments in colour. The cards with the purple cat and the red umbrella, and the brown cat and grey umbrella were in the IndigoBlu stamping card. I found that the zigs didn’t colour that well on this card, and left pen marks. The colour sank into the card very quickly, and I went over the imaged two of three times to try and even things out.

For the water-colour cards I wet down the area of card first, then went in with the colours, using my water-brush to spread the colour around a little, for a more uneven and water-coloured effect. I like the look of the texture of the water-colour card, so didn’t add too much depth.

The ‘Smile’ sentiment is from Altenew, which comes with a stamp and die set, but I only used the die. To get a full yellow effect, I wet down a piece of water-colour card, then ran my Stampin Up ‘Daffodil Delight’ ink pad across it. I used my water-brush to even the colour a little – but not too much – dry the card, then die cut the word out. The little sentiment is from the same Newton’s Nook ‘Rainy Day’ stamp set. I thought the two worked together quite well.

As I am trying for more clean and simple cards, I left them at that. No embellishments, no added sequins – just as they were.

I will be entering a card for the following challenges:

Addicted to Clean and Simple

Crazy for Challenges

Make My Monday Challenge

Addicted to stamps

Crafty Catz weekly challenge

Colour Crazy Challenge

Crafty Friends Challenge

I thought I’d give you an update about my late, late, late Christmas presents for my friend, and one week late on the birthday card and presents – all received very gratefully and graciously! Thank goodness.

 

Fresh Sketch

 

20170408_104728

 

After doing some quite complicated techniques and dark colour schemes the past few posts, I just thought I’d throw a spanner into the works and do a clean and simple card based on the sketch challenge for Freshly Made Sketches.

I know it’s my second posting of the day, but I have had my crafting head on, and hubby has been golfing……..

I used a 6 inch square card base, with three little squares attached with 3D foam. Each square is cut using Crafters Companion Essentials Scalloped Squares, after stamping with one of the stamps from Altenew ‘Simple Flowers’ stamp set. I used Catherine Pooler inks – Rockin’ Red, Something Borrowed, and Grass Skirt.

I always wonder whether to stamp first and then cut, or cut first then stamp……this time I stamped then cut. Is there a supposedly correct way? Or do we do what we usually do – whatever works best for us?

The sentiment is from Stampin Up ‘Vertical greetings’, which is a great little stamp set with other vertical greetings, and topiary stamps. I stamped with Versafine Black Onyx, using my Misti.

I use the Misti a lot when stamping, especially when stamping directly onto the card base, as I never seem to get it quite right first time. I always seem to get the depth of colour wrong, or it doesn’t stamp correctly, and the Misti just help me to line things up, and double/triple stamp if needed. I then added the squares as per sketch pattern.

A quick card, as clean and simple as I think I can make it……

 

 

Mojo Sketch

This card was inspired by Mojo Monday Sketch challenge. I have turned the sketch around 90 degrees but you can still see the inspiration sketch in there.

It seems I am staying with my darker vintage look for today, completely different to the cards I made several posts ago. I don’t know why I am going that way currently – the sun is shining, the birds are singing, the pheasants are making a blinking racket(!!) – all a good thing, though.

For this card, I used an 8 inch square Kraft base card, and cut a smaller square in a deep purple colour which I think matched the tone of the rest of the card. I embossed this smaller square with the Tattered Lace ‘Autumn Leaf’ embossing folder, which has a gorgeous imprint of different leaves, and attached that to the base card.

The layers are from a patterned paper pad from Be Creative. The second layer had a couple of birds on each edge, so I just took the middle out of the paper and stuck them down together so it looked like they were still connected. The circle is stamped with a Tim Holtz/Stampers Anonymous set ‘Phrases 2’, and cut using my MFT ZIgZag Stitched Circle die set. This circle I raised with 3D foam, but the rest of the layers are flat to the card.

I don’t very often used patterned paper, and yet I have stacks of pads and collections I absolutely MUST get around to using. Maybe this is the start of a patterned paper thing. You never know. I don’t think I can be predictable with my crafting – it is all in what inspires me for the day. I may set off doing one thing, then get completely turned-around and go onto another thing.

Does anyone else have a stack of toppers they have made, and yet aren’t attached to cards yet? I am sure it isn’t just me. I know my sister in Canada has the same sort of collection. We see it as cards yet to be made, but can easily be grabbed for emergencies. (Not sure what those emergencies will be, though!

The more I set out my items to make this card, I realised how versatile and it could be, for any occasions, and so I shall also be entering this card into the Addicted to Stamps and More challenge with the theme of ‘Anything Goes’, and Moving Along With The Times, with the theme of ‘Into the Woods’.

Brusho and butterflies

 

I’ve had a little play with my Brusho’s! I don’t know if this is what you are supposed to do with them, and I don’t know if this is the effect one hopes to achieve – but I like it! Such a little burst of colour. Like magic when added to water.

The inspiration for playing with my Brusho’s came from the Addicted to Stamps and More site. There is an inspiration photo which immediately brought to mind the small set of Brusho’s that I have. I haven’t really experimented with them, but thought I would give it a go.

I tried three techniques, and actually like them all, for different reasons. The first thing I did was to cut some of my Crafters Companion water-colour A4 card into 4 pieces. That way I could experiment with four different methods at the same time, rather than try one, and complete the card, then another etc. I like to look at the different outcomes all at once, then decide what I want to do with them.

First technique: wet the water-colour card front and back, then drop my Turquoise Brusho onto it very gently, slowly, miniscule fleck by miniscule fleck – it still burst all over my card! Then my card started to buckle, then the colour was running to the edges…..so I took my piercing tool – which I use to poke out the bits from intricate dies – and pushed the middle down, to keep it as flat as possible. I wanted the colour in the centre of the card, not the edges. This is the piece of card I used to cut my Tim Holtz Butterfly Duo out of, and embossed those same two butterflies with the matching embossing folder. I then added those butterflies to a piece of white card, and drew the antennae on with a black gel pen. I will think about adding a sentiment, but actually quite like them as they are.

Second technique: I dropped flecks of Turquoise Brusho onto dry water-colour card, then sprayed water onto it. Only a few drops of water at a time, again very sparingly, so I could try to determine where the colour and water was going to go. It didn’t quite work out that way, as the burst of colour really is very dramatic, but I liked the effect anyway. I kept some of the areas drier than others, as I like the effect of the Brusho grains when they are not completely saturated by water. I then used the same Tim Holtz Butterfly Duo die and embossing folder but with white card, and adhered the butterflies plainly and simply onto the spattered blue card.

The third technique was to stamp and emboss a butterfly and floral element from an IndigoBlu stamp set called ‘Nature 1’. This is a lovely stamp set, which has clouds, and grass, edge of a tree, and a gorgeous sentiment. The butterfly from this is quite solid – what I wanted – so I stamped the butterfly and the flower/thistle/weed (don’t know what it is!) with my Ranger Perfect Medium, embossed it with detail white embossing powder from Cosmic Shimmer, then wet the card and dropped my turquoise Brusho onto it. This time, I wanted a more ‘washed’ effect behind the butterfly and flower, and saturated the grains very well, let them run all over the embossed images, just so the image would be highlighted by the background colour, as the embossing resisted the colour of the Brusho, as expected. (Was that a really long sentence? Did I waffle on a bit?)

I then added some Tonic Crystal Drops in Midnight Blue to three of the edges, stamped a sentiment from the Altenew stamp set ‘Birch Land’ and adhered that with foam pads.

I have four other colours of Brusho’s and I feel I may be making similar cards with similar effects in the very near future. However, I may also have to do an internet and YouTube search for hints and tips when using these – but still going to have fun experimenting with them.

I shall also be entering one of these cards into the following challenges:

Just add ink

Crafty Friends Challenge Blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Up, Up, and Away

20170401_154412

I wanted to do quite a bright and cheerful card today, and didn’t want to get messy – for a change! The inspiration from this card came from The Colour Throwdown with the challenge to use the colours light yellow, blue, and green. I started thinking about water-colouring and a scenic card, but then also thought that I could use blue for the sky, and take the opportunity to use my Stampin Up ‘ Up and away’ thinlits dies. I have had them for a while, but not used them yet.

I took a 7 inch square white base card, and used my Sue Wilson ‘Ornate Pierced Squares’ to cut a layer slightly smaller. I then hunted through my embossing folders, as I thought I had one which had clouds on it. If I have – it is safely filed away somewhere – I couldn’t find it. So, I then took my Crafters Companion Textures Elements ‘Rain’ embossing folder, and ran the blue card through my Big Shot Pro.

I love the Big Shot Pro, as I can use all my A4 folders, my 12 inch square card/paper, and basically haven’t found any size of die out there on the market I can’t cut with it. I do, however, feel it is not so good when cutting smaller intricate dies – that’s what I have my Big Shot express for!

After embossing the blue card, I then took my ‘Up and Away’ thinlits and cut the intricate hot air balloon twice, then cut the different layers in green and yellow, and then used all those layers and stuck them behind with some detail glue. I then took the cloud shapes in the same die set, and cut several out of white card, and cut a smaller hot air balloon out of white card for my sentiment. The sentiment is from a set from Card-io called ‘Up, Up and Away’.

Card-io do a huge – and I mean huge – variety of smaller stamps ideal for creating your own background, for creating scenes by using each small stamp and building-up the project. They have tiny bugs, larger bugs, clouds, sentiments, trees, bushes, birds, alphabets…..the list is almost endless. Their web site has a lot of inspiration, ideas, and hints and tips. A great range of stamps…….mmmm….now I have found mine again I may have to have a go for another challenge!

Anyway, back to the card itself. The clouds were glued directly onto the blue card, but my balloons were attached with Stampin Up dimensionals.

This card actually didn’t take me very long. The longest time was spent deciding where I wanted everything to go, and which tone of blue and green worked well together. Compared to my last few cards I think this is quite a simple and clean card. I may have to do some more to take for the charity to sell.

I will also be entering this card into the Aud Sentiments Challenge, and 4 Crafty Chicks Challenge.