Sunday 31 October 2010

OLW26 - Black, white ...

... and red all over!!  Those are the instructions for this week's One Layer Wednesday challenge, set by Jennifer over at Styles Ink.  I seem to remember that as one of the few jokes I could ever remember - the answer being a newspaper!!!  However, I knew just what I was going to do for this challenge.  A nice simple Christmas bauble and some lovely red holly berries.

Stamps:  Creative Expression - Holly; Elusive Images - Kelmscott Baubles; Stampin' Up! - Contempo Christmas
Inks: Memento - Tuxedo Black; Distress - Barndoor

I'm not entirely happy with the result; the bauble is too high up because I stamped too much of the holly border, but it's okay and I know what to do to make it better.  I also think that next time I do this card, I'm going to use smooth card and possibly use black tinsel embossing powder to make the bauble sparkle.  After all it's a Christmas card - and there really should be bling!!!

That's all for now.  I'm off to collect Kathryn - she's been out at a Halloween Party in our local community centre.  It was hopping when I left and I'm sure the children will all be on a sugar rush - but I'll bet they had fun.

It was a dark and ....

...  Just a quick note to say that I've found another lovely challenge site at Little Red Wagon, and this week's challenge is, appropriately, Halloween.  So I've been cheeky and added this card - I'm sure Kathryn will think it's a good idea.  Edited by me!!

... stormy night and all about were witches, goblins and ghosts!!!!   Happy Halloween to you all.  This is the last of my scheduled blogs - just reaching the end of half-term and looking forward to some time in my craftroom!

Stamps:  Waltzingmouse Stamps - Halloween Party, Midnight Feast, Wanda's Pantry
Inks:  Colorbox - Dragonfly Black, Fresh Green
Embossing Powder:  Stampendous - Detail Clear; Heat It Up! - Green Tinsel
Card:  From stash

This card is for Kathryn - she loves celebrating Halloween - so it had to be.  This year she'll be going to a Halloween party in our village hall - it's fancy dress and I'm sure they will have a ball.

I'll be back again tomorrow - with a live post!!!  I do hope this works.

Saturday 30 October 2010

I'm back ....

... and pleased to be home.  I do love visiting family and friends, but you know that lovely feeling of being inside your own house - well that's me at the moment.  Just thought I'd do a quick post to say Hi, and also to thank all you lovely readers who've left comments for me this week.  I was so busy at my Mum's place that I just didn't get chance to look.  But I have now - MANY THANKS!!

I can't stop long as I've still got to unpack and get settled - that means get the washing on and put away the rest.  I'll be back tomorrow - and I hope to have made something - I feel the need!!

Bye for now.

Friday 29 October 2010

Character cards ....

.... for children.  Several of the magazines I get have had great card making kits featuring the Mr Men and Tracey Beaker - both very popular characters.  And that's what I've decided to feature in this scheduled post.

I'll start with the Mr Men cards.  These were so easy to make.  I used some cards from my stash and added backing papers from the kit.  On the long thin card I added a couple of chipboard stickers for dimension.  It's quite sweet.  For the square card, I used the free paper and found a large image of Mr Tickle that I cut out and place on the card - he's such a fun character that I thought it would make a really good birthday card.  Both these cards went into the summer fete at school.

Now Kathryn loves all the Jacqueline Wilson books, and is particularly fond of the story of Tracey Beaker.  She was totally hooked on the TV series.  So, at Kathryn's special request I made a series of cards featuring Tracey Beaker.


Sometimes I find it quite hard to put the cards exactly where I want them!!!  I'm sure there's an easy way to do it, but I'm still working out some of the kinks.  So these are just four of the series of cards that I made for Kathryn.  She liked the sleepover card the best and was keen to put it to good use !!  All the cards were made for the summer fete where the Scouts had a stall.  All the money that I made selling the cards - and I did sell some - went to our fund raising kitty. 

And that's all for today.  I'll be back soon.

Wednesday 27 October 2010

New home ...

... we're visiting Mum's new bungalow today.  Really looking forward to it.  So this is another of my scheduled blogs and I've decided to make a card for a new home.  Well, it had to be done!!

Stamps:  Waltzingmouse Stamps - Sewing Box - Hugs
Inks:  Versafine - Onyx Black
Pens:  Marvy le Plume - Leaf Green
Papers/Card:  Free from one of the craft magazines

I don't quite understand it, it's another clean and simple card - well, almost!!  It would have been really CAS if I'd just stamped the cute house image.  But the stiched effect on the edge just begged to be paper pieced.  I used sticky buds to give some dimension.  The set is called Sewing Box - Hugs - and there are so many pretty images included; I used quite a few in the scrapbook I made about Kathryn.

I'm going to give this card to my Mum - it seems totally appropriate.

That's all for now - will be back again soon.

Monday 25 October 2010

Yummy, yummy ...

... I got cakes in my tummy!!  Well, I might have.  Welcome to a scheduled blog - and I've decided to show a birthday card I made last year.

It's a yummy, pink cake card.  It was easy to make.  I used some papers that were free with one of my magazines - pink and with swirls.  I added some more swirls using Versamark and clear embossing powder.  Then I used this Cupcake set from Hero Arts to make lots of lovely cake.  I used some more of the same set of free papers and cuts out the cake cases.  The icing was printed onto pearly paper and cut out; on some I added touchs of colour with Sakura pens, the cakes were completed with heart and flower toppers.  Some of the cakes were attached flat, and I used dimensionals for depth on some of the other cards.  I added two greetings from the stamp set.

Bye - I'll be back soon.

Saturday 23 October 2010

Trains, boats, planes ....

.... balloons and cars!!  Off to see my Mum for half-term.  I'm going to be extremely busy helping sort through all her stuff.  She's down sizing from a 4 bedroom house to a 2 bedroom bungalow.  It's going to be a bit fraught - but well worth the effort.

So I thought that the card I showcased today would have a travel theme.  I decided on a card I made last year for a charity sale.

The A6 card was preprinted with this lovely soft, subtle background so I simply added the map image which was embossed with gold.  I've used this stamp a few times as it works particularly well on cards for men.  The balloons were really easy to make - I cheated!!  They are peeloffs that come with a coordinating backing sheet.  |You simply lay them on the sheet and cut out!!  Easy.  I decided to add a small greeting to the card - its from Craftwork cards (I think).

That's for for now - back soon.

Friday 22 October 2010

OLW25 - Birds, trees ....

.... flowers, bees and a sentiment.  Jennifer of Styles Ink said that we must include at least two of these items plus a sentiment.  And for a change the CAS style came really easily!!  Maybe it's practise that's doing it.

Stamps:  Waltzingmouse Stamps - Asian Garden, Teeny Trees
Inks:  Versafine - Onyx Black; Distress - Peeled Paint, Bundled Sage, Crushed Olive
Pens:  Pigma Micron - Black 0.1
Ribbon:  From stash

I knew exactly what I wanted to do with this card - and it would have been for the Waltzingmouse Sketch challenge last week too, but I missed the deadline!!  Too busy with my OU assignment.  I decided on a with sympathy type card, but opted for a slightly different take.  I used three colours of green for the leaves.  I'm really pleased with how this turned out.

That's all for today.  I've got to get sorted now - it's half-term next week and I'm going to be busy with the family.  I'm going to schedule a series of posts so that the blog keeps going and, if I get a spare few minutes, I'll try to do a few live posts too.

Take care all - thanks for visiting and leaving your comments, I really do appreciate you taking the time.  Bye for now.

A quickie ...

... post!!  I don't have a card to post just yet, as I've spent the last two days completing my OU course.  It's done!!!  And gone off into the ether.  It's a very interesting course and I've enjoyed it, but I'm looking forward to getting back into my craftroom later today.  Back soon.

Thursday 21 October 2010

"And now for something .....

... completely different"!! said John Cleese in Monty Python.  I loved that show - so strange and just a bit weird.

You may recall that I posted up some tone-on-tone backgrounds that I did for my MCC homework.   I hope direct link to my page works; I think I've sorted out internal links, but please let me know if it doesn't work.   I had to see what type of card I could make with them.  I love Stampin' Up! Circle Circus stamps and thought they'd make a good general card.  You can see the whole set by clicking on the link - it takes you to the index page on Splitcoaststampers Gallery.

Stamps:  Stampin' Up! - Circle Circus
Card:  Blue and orange from my stash - I think I originally got them from a pack that I got from QVC
Peel offs:  Dawn Bibby - mini sentiments
Pens: Promarkers - Cyan

As I used a smallish card - A6 - I decided to stick to the smaller stamps in the set, and I used Versamark to give the tone-on-tone effect.  As the background card was such a bright blue I opted to continue the theme and go for a strong contrast in orange!!  Yes, I said orange.  It's the complimentary colour and works - it is however, quite bright :)  But it makes for a cheerful and fun card.

The card was easy to make.  I simply chose one of the stamps that I'd used on the background, inked with Versamark and embossed with clear embossing powder.  I then used a Stampin' Up! circle punch to cut out three circles.  I used sticky pads to give some dimension as I mounted them on blue paper.  Finally I cut out an orange matte - just a bit larger than the blue layer - and added a greeting "Congratulations" which I coloured with Promarkers.

Overall effect - bright and cheerful; pretty much how I felt once I'd finished making it!!  Certainly cheered up a grey day.

Wednesday 20 October 2010

Note to self ...

... I must remember when writing posts in advance, not to comment on things likely to change, such as the weather.  I wrote the post below, about the Christmas card, yesterday and the weather was truly awful - hence the comment in the final paragraph.

But in actual fact - today is just beautiful - brilliant blue skies and sunshine.  It's even reasonably warm.  So I'll try to remember not to comment on the weather in any future scheduled posts.  Sorry if I confused anyone!!  :)))  Back again tomorrow.

Beginning to feel ....

... a bit Christmassy!!!  Another card made.  And I'm really pleased with this one.  I used the resist brayered snowflake background which I posted on Monday 18 (still haven't worked out how to do internal links).  Here's the card:

Stamps:  Waltzingmouse Stamps - Nutcracker Sweet, Nestie Eggs; Stampin' Up! - Serene Snowflakes
Inks:  Kaleidacolour - Blue Breeze; Memento - Bahama Blue, Paris Dusk, Tuxedo Black, London Fog; Distress - Tumbling Glass, Chipped Sapphire
Spellbinders:  Long plain and scalloped rectangles, Stars
Pens:  Promarkers - but I coloured him a while ago and I can't remember which pens I used!!  I also used Sakura stardust silver
Paper:  Silk card for resist; silver embossed paper from stash and pearly white card from stash

The resist background gave me the idea of adding some blue snowflakes on the background card - and I stamped them using Memento inks.  I'd coloured the Nutcracker two weeks ago, and I decided to add a little colour around the edge - which I did using the lovely Distress inks.  I wanted to have a slightly different greeting and opted for a star shape - the pattern inside the star comes from Claire's Nestie Eggs set.  The final touch was to add some plain silver ribbon.

It's been awful weather here today - on my drive home from Chester I could barely see beyond the end of the car bonnet!  It's really feeling like autumn or maybe even winter now.  So it was nice to be able to sit in my craftroom this afternoon and make this card, and a few others.  Pop back tomorrow for something completely different!!

That's all for now.  See you soon.

Tuesday 19 October 2010

Getting into the Christmas spirit ...

... well, to be fair, it's about time.  I've only got a couple of months to make about 150 Christmas cards.  So I'm leaving it a bit late.  Still I tend to work better when under pressure.

The poinsettia card was the first of this year's cards, and this is the second.

Stamps:  Waltzingmouse Stamps - Holiday Labels No 14, Nutcracker Sweet;  Stampin' Up - En Francais
Inks:  Kaleidacolour - Fruitcake; Memento - Tuxedo Black; Stazon - Jet Black;  Versafine - Onyx Black
Spellbinders:  Labels 10, Labels 14
Pens:  Promarkers - can't remember which colours - sorry!

As soon as I made the background card yesterday, I knew what to put on top.  This is St Nicholas from the Nutcracker Sweet set by Waltzingmouse Stamps.  I just adore the images - they are so easy to colour.  I made the gold labels 10 matte by tracing around the die that I used to cut out the image.  I then just cut it out, it gives a nice narrow border, but it's not quite perfect.  I used the frames that Claire designed for Labels 14 - they're great - the starburst frame was stamped using Stazon; with Versafine for the other frame and greeting.  I'm quite pleased with the overall result.

Check back tomorrow to see what I come up with for the snowflake background.  Bye for now.

Monday 18 October 2010

Versamark ink is ....

... oh so versatile.  I've had it in my craftroom for ages, but I mostly use it simply for embossing.  Last week's lesson in Rubber Stamping: Back to Basics course that I'm doing on MCC - My Creative Craftroom - covered just how useful Versamark ink is.  I've already shown some of my early attempts at brayering - not the best!!  However, today at craft class I decided to have a go at a resist technique.

It's easy peasy!!  But the catch is having good quality gloss card - which I didn't use in my early attempts - and makes a huge difference.  So I used some of my Stampin' Up! images, inked with Versamark and then brayered using Kaleidacolor inks.  I am delighed with both backgrounds, and I will post the completed cards once they are done.  In the meantime, this is what they are like now:

Now I know I've used the next technique before, but it's so simple and I'd sort of forgotten about it.  Simply using Versamark on a stamp, and stamping onto a pastel (or not too dark) card.  The image left is a tone darker then the starting card.  Easy!!  And effective.  Again, both these cards are works in progress, and I'll post the finished cards later this week.


That's all for today - I've got loads of house stuff - washing, ironing, etc to do, as well as finishing my OU assignment.  I've done some - but keep putting it off in favour of crafting :)))  That's so much more fun.  Anyway, I'll be back again soon.  Thanks for reading.

Thank you to ....

.... all those of you who took the time to leave comments on my last few posts; particularly the OLW and Blog Waltz.  I read every one and try to respond to them all.  As there are so many at the moment, this may take a little longer than normal ;)) 

Now I must go and get my daughter ready for school and sort out the washing!!!   Back later today.

Sunday 17 October 2010

Waltzing Mouse Blog Hop ....

... this is my first time joining in the Waltzingmouse Stamps Blog Hop, so I do hope that this works properly. 

The theme for this month's hop is Autumn/Harvest.  I couldn't make up my mind what to do.  Should I make a card with pies and pumpkins, etc?  But then I realised that Autumn has it's own beauty and I had just the right set to depict falling leaves and acorns.  So this is my card (and matching envelope) for the Blog Hop:

Thanksgiving Card - Shades of Autumn

Matching Envelope
Stamps: Waltzingmouse - Blessed by You, Peace & Plenty, Holiday Labels No 14
Spellbinders: Plain and Scalloped Squares, Labels 14
Inks: Distress - Brushed Corduroy, Rusty Hinge, Wild Honey, Vintage Photo; Memento - Tuxedo Black
Promarkers: Gold, Lime Green, Pear Green, Sunflower, Terracotta, Walnut
Paper: A5 cream card (from stash), Copper card (from stash)

Quick instructions to make said card are as follows:

1.   Use A5 cream card - sponge distress inks around the edge of card until happy with the effect created.
2.   Using the oak leaves from both sets and the various distress inks, randomly stamp oaks leaves on the A5 card.
3.   Cut out 4 squares with the small plain square Spellbinders nesties.  Then use sponges to add distress inks to create smudged effect, then stamp the solid oak leaves and acorns onto each square.
4.   Cut out 4 square scalloped shapes from copper card using the scalloped square nesties.
5.   On plain white card stamp at least 4 sets of the oak and acorn cluster from Peace & Plenty.  Colour with promarkers to get the effect you want.  Cut out one whole set and some smaller leaves.
6.   Arrange the 4 square on the card and adhere (I used double sided tape).
7.   Use the Labels 14 to cut out background, add distress inks for colour and then stamp with Labels 14 frame and greeting.  Add to card.
8.   Finally add the coloured leaves and acorn, add the decoupaged leaves falling down the page.
9.   For a final touch I added glossy accent to the acorns to make them shine.

I do hope this all make sense.  Now have fun and follow us on the Hop!!  Enjoy.

Friday 15 October 2010

Variations on a theme ....

.... or just how many ways can you use a stamp!!  Now, I have to state that I don't have these stamps, and that I borrowed them from my friend.  I do, however, think that the Elegant Ladies set by Creative Expressions is just great.  There are four beautiful images of ladies in a variety of different fashion styles, along with six sentiments, a large greyhound and a couple of smaller images.  I used Versamark ink and embossed with both silver and gold, and got multiple images.

For Buffy's birthday card I used some papers that came free with one of the magazines - I think Nanci Watts is the designer (apologies if she's not).  I used the vellum which coordinated with the diamond paper as the main backing sheet.

I stamped the lady on a piece of plain white card and then again on some of the diamond paper.  I then cut out the dress and stuck it to the other image.  I used Promarkers to colour the lady's skin, hat, scarf and shoes.  I think this was the first time I actually used my Distress inks too, and I was really pleased with the soft smudged effect around the image.

Intially, I didn't have a sentiment on the card, but once I'd decided this was going to Buffy - I knew just which sentiment was the most appropriate.

I made this card for my Mum's friend, Catherine; she's been a great support to me and my Mum since Mum had a stroke last year.  Catherine is an extremely elegant and stylish lady, and for her birthday I needed a card to reflect that.  So on Catherine's card, I used Sakura Stardust pens - in a watercolour technique.  Sadly, you can't really see the effect on this picture - which is a shame as it looked lovely in real life, with lots of lovely shimmer.

Catherine likes to wear clothes in neutral colours, so it was easy to make the dress look like her style.  I finished the card by mounting it on the very elegant Spellbinders Labels 10.  The backing paper was free with another of my many magazines.  And the final flourish on this card was to add some gold scrolled corners.

My Mum said that Catherine was delighted with the card.  I certainly enjoyed making it.

I like this stamp so much that I've made lots of cards using it.  The lady in blue is coloured with Promarkers, although I added a little bling with a silver Sakura Stardust pen for her shoes and bracelet.

The lady to the right was done using the paper piecing technique - this time I used some lovely flowered paper to make a bright, cheery card.  This time I added a birthday greeting.  I used chalks to highlight the pre-embossed card.  On both cards I added some flower embellishments.

Two more cards using the same lady. 

I've kept both cards quite simple, with only the minimum of embellishments.  One has a birthday greeting on it, but the other has nothing - yet!!

In all cases I found the image really easy to colour - using both Promarkers and Sakura Stardust Pens.  And it really works well with the paper piecing technique. 

I think my favourite card of this set is the next one.  I used the paper piecing technique - again - I like the way this makes each dress look quite different. 

I found this lovely checked paper (another of my free supply) which reminded me of a dress that my grandmother used to wear - brought back lots of lovely memories.  I used Promarkers for the lady's skin, shawl, shoes and hat; and distress inks (again) for the lovely soft edge.  I used the lace doily Martha Stewart punch to add some interest to the coordinating backing paper.  This card is still in my stash - waiting for a good home.

That's all for today, as I'm off out to Scouts shortly. I've got a busy weekend planned with family outings and the like, so may not be able to post much.  See you soon. 

Thursday 14 October 2010

One Layer Wednesday ...

... very nearly didn't happen this week.  Some of you may already have seen from Susan's blog that she's not able to do the OLW challenge for a while.  However, I saw on her blog today that OLW is back!!  Yippee!!!!  I'm so pleased as I am really getting into this challenge.  Jennifer Styles contacted Susan and offered her help which was accepted, so it's all stations go. 

Jennifer has set this week's challenge to create Winter Holiday cards with a coloured base card - but NOT white, cream, red or green.  I have had a great time and the cards were so easy - this time :))  I've used a mix of Stampin' Up! and Waltzingmouse Stamps for the cards - but I have done really clean and simple.  So without further ado - here they are:

Card: Turquoise A6 - Inspire Me Papers
Stamps:  Waltzingmouse Stamps - Frame-It; Stampin' Up! - Contempo Christmas
Ink: Versamark
Embossing Powder: Cosmic Shimmer - Arctic Black Aurora

Card: Blue A6 from stash
Stamps:  Waltzingmouse Stamps - Frame-It; Stampin' Up! - Serene Snowflakes, Contempo Christmas
Pens: Marvy le Plume - Blue, Sapphire, Salvia Blue

Edited - I've been reading the Just Add Ink blog - and they are focussing on anxiety and depression - I've been familiar with the depression bit.  Anyway, they are running a challenge called "Just add Blue", so I've decided to link my Blue Snowflake to their challenge.  There is an additional, and optional, part to their challenge and that's to send the card to someone to show you care - as a RAK (random act of kindness).   Now the Blue Snowflake will go out, but not until nearer Christmas.  So I think I'll just have to make another card that's blue.

Card: Lilac A6 from stash
Stamps: Waltzingmouse Stamps - Frame-It; Stampin' Up! - Serene Snowflakes
Inks: Versamark; Memento - Grape Jelly
Embossing Powder: Cosmic Shimmer - Tropic Violet Lustre

I was so pleased that Claire had done this lovely Frame-It set - I always had a problem drawing a neat square with felt pens and a ruler.  She's made it easy-peasy!!  And the bauble and snowflakes images are two of my favourite Christmas themes - they will both feature again (and often). 

I was also lucky that today my order from Stampin' Up! - which included my new Contempo Christmas set - was delivered.  Thanks Nicci - love these stamps.

That's all I've got time for this evening.  I've got to sort out a Scout meeting for Sunday - we're joining JOTI - which is Jamboree on the Internet.  It's where our Scouts can chat with Scouts all over the world via the web.  Last year I spoke to people in Australia, Finland, Oman and the States - it was fab.  Hopefully, we'll have a great time again.

Bye for now - see you all again tomorrow.
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