Spring flowers + failed feline photo-bomb

I have been having another little play today. I wanted to do a set of cards for the charity, which were quite clean and fresh, and reflected the time of year. Flowers are flowering, trees are budding, and there are lots of inspirations out there.

I have been off work this week, but have found only a little time for crafting, so I decided to make several cards at the same time, alternating between two stamps, and trying different water-colour techniques for each one – again! Also – a little photo-bomb from one of my cats……he said I was crafting too much today. Really! He wanted some attention…..just when I was photographing the cards…..and sorting other cards to put in envelopes to take in to work next week….. You can see from the photo of the purple and blue flowers and the shadow, that he was working his way in there……I thought I’d leave them in for some fun! Here is how he finally settled down:

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I used water-colour card, and stamped the an image from Which Craft! set ‘Flower Art 1’ and another set which was free in Crafters Insider from Crafters Companion, in Versafine black ink. I coloured each flower with my Zigs, some I left solid, and some I used my water-brush. I actually like both effects equally. I tried different colours, but kept the green the same. I then matted with a similar colour, but found I didn’t have one to match the pink, so I coloured the edge of the white matt with the same purple zig, and then layered onto the bottom of the water-colour main image.

I thought the base card might be too plain (as I always seem to think!) so I used an embossing folder from Darice ‘mini-daisy’. It was a free gift with some other folders, and is just the right size for this card base – 4.2 x 5.7 inches. Ideal.

I then stamped a sentiment from another Which Craft! set ‘Tulip Trio’ and die cut the banner from Sue Wilson ‘Pierced Flags die set, adding that to the bottom of the card, adding a star sequin as per layout from a sketch challenge – Sketch Saturday – which I think is a great elegant layout, and suits me down to the ground today.

Oh – and one other thing – the last card – with all the sequins………yes – you guessed it – smudges. Again!! I put the card face down on the mat to put sticky tape on the back – and hadn’t cleaned it from colouring those layers with my zig……..who knew?

I shall be entering a card from this selection into the following additional challenges:

Inspirational – word prompt ‘Spring’

Daring Cardmakers – ‘Spring Garden’

Creates and Makes – ‘Anything goes/optional Spring’

Crafty Calendar Challenge – ‘April Showers or Spring’

Addicted to Stamps Challenge – ‘Not a square card’

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday

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Despite all the cards I make, I am almost a week late with a card for one of my close friends. Even though we are based in the same hospital, and our office is next door to each other, it is very rare – not even weekly – when we see each other. She works two days a week, and I sometimes work at other sites. Needless to say – I am mortified!!!

We are going out for a meal on Thursday night, so I shall have to give her the card and presents then – but even five days is nothing compared to my still having her Christmas presents here. With me! Almost four months! How outrageous is that!!??

Anyway, to my card. Still a last minute thing, but I returned to my die cutting roots again. I put my purple card away yesterday, so you can there isn’t one drop of purple to be found. Brown. That is what we have – brown. With a little sparkle.

I started with a white 8 inch square card base, and added some patterned paper from Be Creative! I am  trying a new glue. I usually add most of the layers with double-sided sticky tape, but I had a craft clear-up and found quite a few bottle of Tonic glue, so thought I would try that. I’ll let you know how it stays stuck down………

I then die cut flowers from Stampin Up ‘Stylish Stems Framelits’  and layered Kraft card with a darker brown card for two tone effect. The dark brown card I ‘found’ in a pile I was saving for later, for something special. Why do we do that? Isn’t the card we are currently making that special card to use our stash on? I am sure I have items which I am ‘saving’……………

I then die cut some ferns and leaves with Sue Wilson ‘Finishing Touches – Mosaic Leaves’ and layered them altogether using Pinflair glue. The Pinflair glue allows me to move items around until I get the positioning right, and also allows things to be ‘shoved’ under each other.

I then stamped the sentiment using my Misti – despite me already having layered the die cuts (I know, I know!) from the Altenew ‘Wishing You’ stamp set.

I may have rambled a little and gone off on tangents, but that’s because I’m hoping you haven’t all stuck with my complete and utter tardiness with cards and presents for my friend….

I shall be entering this card into the following challenges:

Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge

That’s Crafty Challenge Blog

Always Fun Challenges

Aud Sentiments Challenge

 

 

 

Cute Sketch card

 

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It seems I am having a cute and colourful card making weekend. After yesterday, I was thinking of all my card stock which was bright and colourful – and I have a lot. I am trying lots of new styles and techniques at the moment, and as well as messy crafting or mixed media, I am starting to use some dies and stamps which are more cute and fun, which means I can use any colour card I want to represent anything at all.

Today, I have taken inspiration from a sketch challenge from Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge, and had a play with coloured card. I recently purchased a set of dies from Hochanda, a UK craft channel. I believe it can be watched around the world, but really not sure.

This bundle is designed by Katie Skilton for Sizzix, and includes the dies I have used for this card. This set is called ‘Under the Sea’ – I am sure you can see why! I have also used the sentiments which came in the bundle ‘Tribal Words’.

The base card is 7 inches square, and again used my Sue Wilson Noble Stitched Squares to cut a slightly smaller square out of light blue. I again embossed this with the ‘Rain’ embossing folder from Crafters Companion. I think the rain could represent anything, and this time, for me, it represents bubbles in the sea.

I die cut the whales out of some Create and Craft card stock, which has a toning colour on the opposite side, so I could match the colours without thinking too much about it, and added several other elements from the same die set – the fish and the heart.

The circles, as per the sketch, I used the Lawn fawn ‘Slide on over’ circles. These were designed for slider cards, as the dies cut the circle itself, and cuts out the channel which makes the slider card. This is how I managed to get circles which matched each other, and outer circle rim shapes for the other components required to meet the sketch challenge.

The two solid circles I also embossed with the same embossing folder. I layered the outer circles flat to the card, but raised the other elements on Stampin Up dimensionals. I die cut the sentiments and ran them through my Xyron sticker maker so I didn’t have to fiddle with glue on all the letters. This little machine is great for sentiments and other fiddly elements as it is only 1.5 inches wide, whilst the bigger 5 inch and 9 inch machines are good for the more intricate and elaborate dies for layering.

Deciding where to put each element was a challenge but I like the fun and vibrant end result.

I will also be entering this card into the Just Us Girls challenge with the theme ‘Sea’, and Catch the Bug challenge blog ‘Anything goes’.

Up, Up, and Away

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tulips

I suddenly realised today how close we are to the end of March – hasn’t time flown? It only seems yesterday that we were celebrating the New Year, and we are now celebrating the appearance (probably) of Spring. I love the flowers which are now starting to appear – the daffodils in full bloom, then we have the Bluebells to look forward to. We have loads of bluebells covering the gardens around here, and a carpet of blue is definitely something worth seeing.

For this card, I have used inspiration from the Altenew challenge for March with the gorgeous inspiration photo full of colour, the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge of ‘Anything Goes’, and Make My Monday Challenge with the theme of ‘white embossing’.

When I looked at the inspiration photo, I thought of my Tulip stamp and die set, but I didn’t quite know where I was going with it. I stamped approximately 16 full tulip heads in black Versafine, and embossed with clear embossing powder. I didn’t want a thick outer line, which is why I used the Versafine, but just something to outline the flowers and differentiate them from the background. I also stamped and embossed the stems, all of the variety in the stamp set, just in case I wanted them.

I wanted to water-colour again, so took my Derwent Inktense pencils and had a play. I did some flowers all in one colour, then added a darker colour, merging the colours together. I know that tulips are usually a single colour, but my  variety of tulips are a mixture of two, if not three colours! I used the three coloured pencils in the photo above – Tangerine, Sun Yellow, and Poppy Red. The pencils certainly do pack a whole load of ink and I really, really enjoyed playing with them.

I then cut out the whole bunch of flower heads with the matching die set. I must admit, it took a bit of manoeuvring to get the dies to sit just right around the flower heads – some cut off to one side, but I think I finally got the hang of it.

Once I had the flower heads and stems, I started with put them onto a 7 inch square card base. I started laying the flowers down, added the stems, removed the stems, re-arranged the flowers – this process took me approximately 20 minutes, until I was happy. I decided not to use the stems, and arranged the flowers into a shape which slightly resembles a heart. Can you see it? Is it just my imagination?

For the background, I wanted to add some interest, so used my Sue Wilson A4 embossing folder ‘Checkboard’. This is a dimensional embossing folder, called a ‘PinPoint’ embossing folder, and gives an impression of a trellis. I know that tulips don’t climb trellis’s – but artistic license is certainly used whilst making this card. I embossed white card, and added straight to the card base, re-arranging my flowers yet again, and sticking them down using foam pads.

Now for the sentiment. I didn’t have a whole row to place a long sentiment, so used two of the ones provided in the tulip stamp set, and cut them out with my Stampin Up ‘Bunch of Banners’ framelits, putting one on the top left, and the other part on the bottom right. That way I thought the eye would be drawn across the whole card.

Quite a simple card, but it took a lot of fiddling around – colouring, die cutting, arranging. All good fun.

 

 

Pink, Purple, yellow

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For this card, I was inspired by two challenges. The first was Paper Play Sketches with the theme of yellow, purple, and pink, and the second was from Cardz 4 Galz with the theme of pink. I decided to go back my roots and use a lot of die cutting and embossing.

The base card is 8 inches square, with a slightly smaller purple layer, cut with my Sue Wilson stitched square dies, and embossed with Tattered Lace ‘Lily Spray’ embossing folder. The purple and pink card is from Creative Expressions, but the yellow is a textured card from my stash – no clue where I got that from!

I used the Sue Wilson Noble Dies ‘Ornate Pierced Design’ to cut the pink portion of the card, in-laying the lacy layer for interest. On top I used the next embossing layer, and cut the smallest die from that set for my sentiment, which I decided to do in yellow, to match the flowers.

I was trying to decide which flowers I wanted to use, so turned to Sue Wilson yet again. I used the Finishing Touches ‘Delightful Daisies’ cut all four of them out, and then added them to my card. The photgraph was taken with sunshine streaming through the sindow, but it does show the embossing and flower dimesnion quite nicely, I think.

As I didn’t want to add ribbon to an already ornate card, I then used the embossing strip folder from the same tattered Lace pack and placed my flowers underneath that strip. I left the flowers unstuck at the top, so they add some movement to the card.

The sentiment is from Heartfelt Creations ‘Timeless Sentiments’ which I stamped in Catherine Pooler ‘Flirty Fuchsia’.

I did enjoy doing a virtually completely die cut and embossed card, and used the tattered Lace folders for the first time – even though I’ve probably had them for a couple of years! The embossing folder set has an 8 inch folder, two strip folders which are 2 inches wide, and a corner folder. It also comes with matching stamps and dies for the flowers and other elements,

Before I became more comfortable with stamping – and before I had my Misti – I very rarely did any stamping. I found I couldn’t really get the hang of it, something always went wrong – whether that was a blurry image, an incomplete image, or I smudged everything. The main thing I learnt was that I had to use the correct inks for the correct card, and the technique of actaully stamping was then easier.

As for die-cutting, I am sure I am not alone in saying I have more than one machine. I have several. Well – at least five. All different, and bought for different reasons over the years. The main machine I use is the Big Shot Express which is on my desk. I use this all the time, my main machine. As it is electronic, it is so easy to use. I tend to send my dies one way then bring them back – I don’t have to stand up, then!

As this is only for dies which are 6 inches or less, I also have my Big Shot Pro. The Beast. He is sitting on a table my sister altered to make it ‘shabby chic’ for me at Christmas. He is the one I use to cut anything bigger than 6 inches, and to emboss with my A4 embossing folders. He is heavy, and huge – but love it. So gald I now have a table for him, as he was taking far too much room up on my desk.

I enjoy particpating in challenges, as I use them for inspiration. that isnpiration also leads me to try different techniques, but still I am able to use a lot of the products I have bought over the years, and sometimes even mix and match together. The cards I make go to my firends, but mainly go to the charity for them to sell. So – any excuse to make cards, right?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colour challenge

I was beginning to panic yesterday, as I saw one of the challenges I wanted to enter was closing – and I hadn’t even started my card! The challenge is from ‘Just US Girls’ and has the theme of using three colours – pink, purple, and grey. I had an idea in my head, and just didn’t get round to doing it. Until yesterday.

I was using a grey ‘Narwhal’ card from Lawn Fawn, which I had bought from Sevens Hills Crafts, and thought that would be a good base for my card. I was going to use the unicorns from the Avery Elle stamp and matching die set ‘Pegasus Duo’, and I wanted to make a shaker card. I haven’t had much luck with shaker cards, but I still keep persevering, and having a go. I look at quite a few videos on YouTube – and usually still get it wrong!

This time, I stamped the unicorns, embossed the outline in black, coloured them in with my Zig pens, die cut them, and then planned to have them on the outside of the shaker shape, with clouds and stars from the same set – then I changed my mind. As always!

I cut a heart-shaped aperture in white card with my Sue Wilson fillable die ‘Fluttering Hearts’, added a piece of acetate then added two layers of white foam, raising the white card enough to add sequins and glass beads. This is where I usually go wrong – I forget the acetate. This time, I kept concentration enough to remember. Yay!

Once I layered them together, I searched my sequin and bead stash for colours of sequins with the purple and pink theme. I found a few, but they were mixed with other sequins. How much time did it take me to get enough out of the pile that I wanted? You don’t really want to know….honest.

I placed them in the aperture behind the acetate – then how do you add the base card so it is square, and the beads don’t fall out whilst doing it? I guessed! I tried adding the base grey card with no glue and felt how close to the edge it was, added the glue, then went for it. It worked….!

This is where I decided not to use the unicorns and to stamp the three little stars around the aperture instead. I can hear you now – what if it goes wrong? What if the stars don’t stamp correctly, what if I make a mess of it? I know, I know. But I did it anyway.

You could probably hear my squeal of delight across the whole of Chesterfield.

I wanted a sentiment, and I wanted it in purple, as I had just realised that the purple I was going to add was on my unicorns – and I wasn’t using them. I used my purple Zig on the sentiment stamp, and stamped it a couple of times with my Misti, on a spare piece of card, as I wasn’t brave enough to stamp it directly onto the card. (I can hear you all again, breathing a sigh of relief) I also wanted to have a grey layer underneath the white sentiment strip.

The white sentiment and grey layer were cut out using my Sue Wilson ‘Frames and Tags’ die set, as they layer together quite nicely, and have a stitched inner part. I did consider making the banner slightly raised and wavy, but kept it flat to the card, feeling that the shaker element added enough interest.

I am very, very pleased with the way this shaker card turned out. There are a few tweeks I want to make to future attempts, but all-in-all I had fun. Isn’t that the name of the game? I’m having LOADSA fun playing with it.