Shiny Christmas

It’s a cooler day here in Chesterfield UK, so I’ve decided to do a Christmas card. I have no idea where the logic came from in that sentence. It just seemed to fit. There are a few challenges out there with the theme of Christmas, so I’ve been playing with some of my crafty goodies.

I have also tried another way of taking a photo. What do you think? My sister sent me a link to a blog by Yana Smakula – I think she is bored with my previous background!! – and I’ve had a play with out house wall and a stool outside…….do you think it works better?

It actually took me a good couple of hours to conceptualise (what a word!) and come up with this. I wanted to do snowflakes, and I wanted them laying over the edge of the main piece of card, but other than that I just played.

I started by die cutting all five of the snowflakes from Sizzix/Tim Holtz ‘Paper Snowflakes’ – randomly – from a piece of white card.  After die-cutting the snowflakes, I then stuck a piece of double-sided sticky sheet on the back, which meant I could add some gilding flakes to the apertures left by the die cuts. (I’ll be using those on another project)

I applied IndigoBlu ‘Yorkshire Dales’ gilding flakes as I liked the multi-coloured effect these created. After adding the flakes, I smooshed them down and then embossed the sheet with a Sue Wilson 8 inch square embossing folder called ‘Snowflake Mosaic’. Then I decided what size I wanted the actual card to be – 8.25 inches by 6 inches. (Pre-bought card bases)

To follow the sketch from Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge, I then cut some circles from the MFT ‘Stitched Circle Frames’ out of the same ‘greeny’ card I used on my jungle themed challenge. I just love this colour – kinda shimmery, olive/greeny/browny.

I attached the circles to the bottom left of the card, leaving one of the smaller circles out for added interest so the circles weren’t so boring, and die cut one of the snowflakes out of Stampin Up glimmer paper, sticking that down with one of their dimensionals.

I cut the circles and snowflake to match the edge of the card, then peeled off the other side of the double-sided sticky sheet (already on my white card if you remember – and stuck that down to yet another layer of the greeny card, then onto white base card.

The sentiment is an X-Cut die, which I cut out three times from card with double-sided sticky sheet on each layer to make it easier to stick one on top of the other, then added to the card.

From the front, the sentiment isn’t quite that obvious – which I wanted – and doesn’t detract from the snowflakes, but turn it to the side and get the shine from the gilding flakes – I think it works well.

I shall be entering this card into the following challenges:

Altantic Hearts Sketch Challengesketch

Watercooler Wednesday challengeChristmas

Addicted to Stamps challenge Holiday

Mix it up challenge anything goes option embossing

Christmas Cards all year roundprecipitation (snowflakes)

 

 

 

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’

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Inspiration from photo

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This evening I have been having a play with some of my more vintage or shabby stamps and papers. I was looking for something to make for the Inkspirational challenge, and decided I wanted to go away from my colourful recent posts, and concentrate on more of a monochrome look.

I began by thinking of Tim Holtz dies and stamps, and remembered the ‘Mixed Media’ dies I bought a while a go and never used. I am sure you will have bought things ‘just in case’…..well now I have a reason to use them.

I started with an 8 inch square Kraft card base, and added a piece of patterned paper from a Be Creative paper pad – also that I have had for quite a while. I cut the corner die from the paper, for a diamond effect, and stuck this to the base card. I also didn’t want the paper to be the same size, and cut off a couple of inches to leave a Kraft border. Once I had stuck the paper to the card, I curled and rolled the top right corner, and slightly curled the bottom right corner, to create more interest.

The sentiment is from an IndigoBlu set ‘Take The Time’, and the large clock is from Tim Holtz collection from Stampers Anonymous ‘Vintage Things Blueprint’. I used the Versafine black ink, and then distressed the paper with Frayed Burlap and Old Paper to create a more vintage feel.

The small clock was stamped using Frayed Burlap and came from another Tim Holtz Stampers Anonymous set called ‘Little Things’, whilst the tree/vein effect came from an IndigoBlu set ‘Nature 1’ again stamped with Frayed Burlap.

I then distressed the side panel and main paper panel again with the inks.

I played and experimented a little with this card, using quite a few stamps from different sets, when I usually stick to one or two sets at most – maybe main image with a sentiment from another set.

I will have time over the weekend to have crafty playing, so I am sure I will be showing you what I have done.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Using a stencil for vintage

I’ve just a fun and quick time making this card. The inspiration is from 2 challenge sites that I have entered this card into –  ‘Just Us Girls’ with a challenge to use stencils, and ‘Creates and Makes’ to have an optional vintage theme. My initial thoughts were that I had so many stencils, where do I start? I also have stencils I have never used before. I viewed the examples from the design teams, and the one made by Chris on ‘Just Us Girls’ caught me eye. It brought to mind my Tim Holtz stencils, as Chris had made some tags, and Tim is famous for his tags.

So I went to my stencil drawer, looked through my Tim Holtz stencils, and found the ‘Doily’ stencil. This is a lovely lacy/floral design, which I thought would add some great detail to the background. I was going to use a texture paste, but thought the design was so cute and floral that I just went with my distress inks.

I wanted to create a vintage and aged look so went through my stencil with Frayed Burlap and Walnut Stain, moving the stencil about three times around my 7×7 inch piece of card. I liked that you can’t see where I moved it each time, which shows how detailed and delicate the design is.

I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to put something on top. I was thinking some flowers, a sentiment, how would I matt and layer it without losing the stencil detail on the back. Again, looking around my craft table, (my table is never tidy and neat) and my eyes fell upon my IndigoBlu stamp set – Word Block #1 – and decided to use that set. My only decision here was which words to use out of the 6 available in the set.

I went with ‘Faith, Hope, Love, Thanks’ as you can see, leaving out ‘Celebrate’ and ‘Beauty’. For these, I stamped them in my Ranger Perfect Medium, and used a Cosmic Shimmer Dark Bronze Lustre embossing powder. Once they were embossed, I thought the colour wouldn’t really match, and was ready to try another colour, when I decided to shade the squares with the same two distress inks I had used on the background.

These two inks took away the glare of the white card and matched the background well, but I still inked the edge of these with the darker ink – Walnut stain – so they stood out as little more from the background. This meant I also didn’t have to use a piece of card as another layer.

Then how to add them so they were even and square in the card base…..I used a square Sue Wilson stitched edge die that was 6 inches square, stuck it to the background centrally, and then just stuck the squares in the corners…..talk about thinking outside the box!

I added this onto a brown/Kraft 8 inch square card, and liked the whole monochrome and vintage effect it gave. I was thinking of adding some embellishments of some sort, but decided to leave it as it was. To say the card quite quick and easy to make, I do like the overall effect it has given. Even using the brown inks doesn’t make it drab at all, and I have tried to take a photograph showing how shiny the embossing powder is.

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