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Sunday, 31 October 2010

One Stitch at a Time Challenge 37 - Traditional or Modern Christmas

This week on One Stitch at a Time, the theme is Tradional or Modern Christmas, and we've got three sponsors.

Easycraft who are offering a £10 token,
I Am Roses who are offerning this beautiful selection of flowers,
And Michelle's Scraps who are offering a $10 voucher.
And the challenge this time is easy - something for Christmas, either traditional or modern. And if you're stuck for ideas, check out the Stitchy Bear and I Did It Creations Boutique where the artists have been producing some gorgeous stamps and papers for the festive season.

My card this week features a new digi-stamp from Trees Award in Digital Stamps.

This was a lovely image to work with, and so lovely, I didn't feel the need to add much in the way of background.

I did layer the image - to give the outside of the house some height compared to the inside, and I added some polyester film for the 'glass'. The image is primarily coloured with Promarkers, although I added some detail with Sakura Stardust pen (black) for the light casing and Sakura white Souffle pen for the snowy bits. I dusted those same bits with silver glitter before the pen had quite dried for added sparkle.

I used a red card blank, and some lovely Papermania silver printed vellum in the background, backing most of the vellum with white card, attached with some silver brads. I then finished it with a bow on the plant pot, and some flowers from Wild Orchid Crafts.

I added a computer generated sentiment that has been coloured with Sakura Stardust pens for a litle glitter.

Hope you can join us at OSAAT this week - there are some fabulous prizes, and you know you need to get stuck into that Christmas crafting, don't you? (I know I do!)

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:
Papertake Weekly who want us to use glitter (added to snow, and glitter pen used for lamp casing)
The ABC Challenge who have reached G for Glitter (added to snow, and glitter pen used for lamp casing)
Southern Girls who also want glitter (added to snow, and glitter pen used for lamp casing)
Digi Doodles Best where 'Anything Goes'
Crafty Purple Frog Challenges where 'Anything Goes'

Something A Little Different

I'm not at all confident when it comes to complicated card folds or shapes. But I spotted something in Craft Stamper yesterday and had to have a go.

The magazine article calls it a 'Tri-Shutter' card, but I'm not altogether sure why. But no matter!

I used some Christmas paper left over from last year in a lovely golden brown/turquoise colourscheme, and added some Craft Stamper freebie stamps. The stars are from (I think) an issue about a year ago, and the 'Celebrate' and bauble stamps are more recent and they were all stamped with Versamark and embossed in Champagne Gold. I added colour with bronze and turquoise Perfect Pearls used as a watercolour since they were handy and provide a bit of lustre. The images are all matted on gold satin card.

The result is different enough to look a bit special, I think, but it's still fairly understated. I might be doing more of these! But, I might do myself some templates first to make the folding and cutting easier.

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:
The Creative Cottage who are looking for embossing (stamped images),
A Spoonful of Sugar who are looking for punching and/or diecutting. (Stamped images and their mats were cut with nestibilities.)
Delightful Challenges who are looking for circles
Stampavie whose theme is Christmas.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Crafty Cardmakers Spotlight - Digi Plus

Digital images are great, aren't they? So versatile, and pretty much anything you can do with a stamped image, you can do with a digi. So, this week on Crafty Cardmakers we're challenging you to spotlight your digital manipulation skills - use a digi, but do more than just print and colour! Think of all the things you can do with digis - resize, mirror, combining more than one image, adding text ... and so much more besides.

We're sponsored on this Spotlight challenge by Stitchy Bear Stamps, and Ei whose stamps are available here. The DT  were allowed to choose from an extensive selection of images. Now, I'm a big fan of Stitchy's silhouettes, so I chose Rainbow Magic - a set of six silhouette fairies with a touch of magic!

And to show that touch of magic a bit more clearly ...

Isn't that touch of colour in the wings just gorgeous?

So, in Photoshop Elements, I first put together a background. I masked areas and filled them with gradients of various shades of grey. I did the same for the moon - a circular mask and a gradient from pale grey to white. Then, I used the cookie-cutter tool and some of the supplied shapes to add some trees, flowers and a bird.

At this point, I added the fairies - they're supplied as both JPGs and PNGs, and the latter retain some transparency, so you can see through the wings to what's behind. I thought I've have one lazy fairy - she's hitched a ride on the poor bird! I think it's pretty clear they're gathering for some purpose or other, but I wouldn't like to speculate on why.

I finished the image with some brush strokes to give some shadow under the tree, and to give the ground a bit of texture, and added a gradient frame, then printed it onto glossy photo paper. Then, I matted it onto silver mirriboard and black, and added some Krenik Blending Filament around the edges to give a rainbow-toned border. I added that to a white card blank, and finished it off with some die cuts and sticky gems.

I had real fun with this - I even surprised myself by using five out of the six fairies. (Nothing wrong with the remaining one - the image just felt 'finished' without her.)

Hope you're able to join us in the Spotlight this time!

I'd like to enter this card for the following challenges:

Flutter By Wednesdays whose challenge this week is open except for needing a butterfly, angel or fairy on it.
Creative Card Crew who are looking for Fairy Tales.
Meljen's Designs (whose theme is 'Anything Goes')
The Three Muses who want 'Things with Wings', and
Karber Monthly whose theme is 'Fantasy'.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Pretty in Pink

Scroll down for OSAAT DT project.

You can tell I'm on holiday, can't you? Third post of the day. And another Christmas Card.
The image is a freebie from Inger Harding and she's been coloured with Promarkers, with some snow detail added with a Sakura Stardust pen, and the clothes detail added in glitter. To go with it, I designed a pink and white snowflake paper in Photoshop Elements and printed it on vellum, and a gingham paper printed on matte coated photo paper.

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:
Passion for Promarkers who want a Christmas Card in either pink and white or purple and white,
Fussy and Fancy Friday whose theme is 'Winter Wonderland', and
Delightful Challenges whose theme is 'It's Beginning to look a Lot Like Christmas'.

Pastel Christmas!

Scroll down for this week's OSAAT challenge project.

Seems like a while since I did a card just because I wanted to, although that's largely because I've spent the last week fighting a nasty chest cold and not getting enough sleep as a result. It's still around, but as it's now half term, getting caught up on sleep shouldn't be a problem!

Yesterday, I snagged the cutest free digi from Pollycraft, and I was inspired to do this!

It's called 'Penguin Love' and it's available for a short time. I coloured the image with Promarkers and added detail with Sakura Stardust pen, then added some glitter to their hats. I used the sketch at Sketch and Stash which I've been hankering after doing since it appeared almost a fortnight ago! I used colours to fit this time's Colour Create challenge - aqua, purple and white. (The colour I chose for purple is Promarker lilac which I know can seem a little grey on some computer monitors.) I made a couple of background papers using my Promarker conversion chart and Photoshop Elements in spots and stripes to follow the current Allsorts challenge. It also fulfils the requirements for this week's Wild Orchid Crafts challenge which is to use pastel colours.

One Stitch at a Time Challenge 36

This week at One Stitch at a Time, we're inviting you to celebrate with us! That's right, we want to see you make something for a celebration - doesn't matter what - birthday, Christmas, wedding ... your choice. And the prize this week is five digis from the Stitchy Bear and I Did it Creations Crafting Boutique!

This time, I've been working with some papers from Floppy Latte Designs whose work is available here. I chose a couple of sets from the selection - the Fun'n'Funky papers and the matching Alphabet.

Firstly, I did a purely digital card. I had fun with this, playing with the various elements in Photoshop Elements and this was the result.

But then, just to prove I could do a 'real' card with those 'bits', I printed the elements and came up with this.


It's a non-specific celebration card, that I think might be useful to have in my box. I added some extra matting over the digital version, but otherwise, they're about the same.

And, because I've decided to have some calendars as Christmas gifts this year, I did one of those too!





Those papers are just so bright and cheerful, they're ideal for something that's going to be around for a whole year!

This time, I added some 'cookie cutter' shapes from Photoshop Elements, and the phrase which I've loved since I saw in a stitching pattern years ago - 'Life is a Patch-work of Love'. I've used all six of the papers here, and while I used the alphabet set for the card, I didn't for this one because I wanted more structure to the pattern, and that meant I needed certain letters to use specific papers. I did those in some very elderly software I've got called Namo Web Canvas, which allows any vector shape (including text) to be filled with a pattern. Once I'd done that, I imported the letters into PSE and did the rest! To add to the interest, I raised every alternate letter on foam pads. The calendar is an easel-style construction, using some extra-thick card to support it's A4 width size. The flowers used more of the papers, cut with the Blossom 2 die in my Wizard and with the edges inked in Pine Needles Distress Ink, and finished with sticky gems.

Hope you can join the celebration at OSAAT this week!

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges: Stamp Something where the challenge is to use something digital - well, it's all digital!

Pear Tree Designs whose theme is 'Anything Goes',
Meljens Designs whose theme is 'Anything Goes'
A Crafty Little Place who want easel cards. (I've got an easel calendar card, hope that's ok!)
Challenge Up Your Life  who're looking for easels (Again, an easel calendar card, hope that's ok),
Gingersnap Creations who're looking for something inspired by a quilt pattern. (My calendar may not be a traditional quilt pattern, but I think it's in the same style.)

Sunday, 17 October 2010

One Stitch at a Time Challenge 35

This week at One Stitch at a Time, we're asking you to 'Embellish' with your favourite things. And, even better, we're sponsored by Joanna Sheen who's offering the lucky winner a £10 voucher for her shop - and don't forget, most of her stock has free postage worldwide!

I got to use an image by Beary Dust which is available at the Stitchy Bear shop. This one is called 'Alice' and, although it needn't be used this way, it immediately made me think of Alice in Wonderland, and this was the result.



I had a play with the image in Photoshop Elements first - adding a background of an old door and a caption 'Curiuoser and curiouser'. That door image came from a CDRom I bought a while ago from Crafty Computer Paper - Crafty Image Emporioum. I printed the result onto Ryman Ink Jet card and coloured Alice with Promarkers then added some detail in Sakura Stardust Pen to add sparkle. I used some Papermania backing paper, and finished the card with some Prima flowers edged with Promarker and finished with sticky gems.

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges: Alice in Wonderland who want a door, lock or key. (I've only got a bit of a door, hope that's ok.)
Digi-Doodle who want a digi-image of a person,
Polycraft Monday Challenge (If you don't think Alice in Wonderland is a Fairytale, feel free to remove the entry.)
Papercutz  where 'Anything Goes'.

I also used the image in a more 'traditional' way - printing without a background, and this was the result.


Again, I coloured Alice with Promarkers, and touched up the background with Distress Ink in Tumbled Glass. The background papaer is also Distress Inked - in Tumbled Glass, Faded Denim and Worn Lipstick, and then with stamped some flower and leaf images from a Tapestry Stamp set.

The embellishments were some swirls, and punched flowers which were coloured with Promarkers and finished with sticky gems.

I'd like to enter this card to the following challenges:
Digi-Doodle who want a digital image with a person,
Polycraft Monday Challenge where the theme is 'Fairytales'. I don't know if you consider Alice in Wonderland to be a fairytale or not - feel free to remove the entry if you don't think it is.
Crafty Ann's Challenge where they want you to use a digi and your favourite colouring medium (Promarkers).

I hope you can join us this week at OSAAT, and share your favourite embellishments with us.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Aquamarkers

Anyone who ever visits this blog will know that I'm a Promarker fan. I've tried watercolouring using various options - paint, twinkling H2Os and markers, but I generaly prefer the result I get with Promarkers.

However, I was lucky enough to win some Aquamarkers by way of the Passion for Promarkers challenge blog, and I've given them a try. The pack I got included a blender pen, so my first attempt tried to use them as I would Promarkers. I stamped an image onto watercolour paper, put some colour directly onto the paper and used the blender pen to move the colour and combine shades. This didn't work very well - mainly because with almost no blending, I was picking up surface paper on the pen nib. The result was that the inked image got worn away in places, and the blending didn't work that well.

So, I switched to applying colour with a paintbrush. Once I'd done that, I added some shadows directly and blended them with the brush. This worked a lot better than the previous method, but it'll take some practice before I'm as comfortable with it as I am with Promarkers, if that ever happens. But, in the meantime, I have a result.






The image, of course, is one of Ching Chou Kuik's, and it's stamped on watercolour paper in Versafine ink. I added some detail with Sakura Stardust pens. The papers are by My Mind's Eye and Personal Impressions. I added some flowers - the large ones are Prima and the little ones from Wild Orchid Crafts. I finished them off with a couple of ribbon rosebuds I've had for so long, I've forgotten where they came from.

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges: Colour Create who are looking for pink, cream and green,
Magical Monday Challenge where they're 'Going back to Nature' with some sort of magical creature - mermaid with bamboo and flowers.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Another Christmas Card


I've used the Polycraft image (Cherry Kisses Snowball) several times this year, but always as a 'stand alone' image. This time, I combined it with another Polycraft freebie - (trees background) and added a Merry Christmas in an outline font. I printed it on Ryman Ink Jet card and coloured the image with Promarkers.

Because of the combination of images, the result was fairly big, so instead of using a backing paper, I decided to use some ribbon to frame the image. I mitred some red/cream ribbon I've had for a few years, and added some detail with some green gingham, and finished with a couple of bows and a stick on snowflake with a sticky gem.

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges: Digital Tuesday where the requirement is to use a digi image (I used two), ribbon, buttons and bling. (Two out of three.)
Anything Goes where Christmas has come early,
Fab'n'Funky where they want a digital image,
Create4Fun who also want a digital image, and
Craftilicious where Anything Goes.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Hoppy Birthday

Each month, on a cardmaking group I belong to, we do a digital challenge. The idea is that everyone starts with the same artwork - digital stamp, paper, image, and we see what we all come up with. We were lucky enough this month to be able to use an image from Trees Award whose designs are available at the Stitchy Bear shop.





The image is called 'Waterlily', and it's gorgeous, isn't it? I added the sentiment in Photoshop Elements, then printed the result on Ryman Ink Jet card. I coloured with promarkers, and then used the 'splash' from the image to make some backing papers. I created a brush, and applied it like a background stamp in the colours I'd used for the water (matched via my Promarker/Hex code conversion chart.) The backing papers were printed on Ryman Photo Quality Matte coated ink jet paper.

To finish, I added some Prima flowers that I tinted to match, a couple from Hobbycraft, and a dragonfly brad.

With Teresa's permission, I'd be willing to share the backing papers I made - they're both on a single A4 print sheet, ready to print about 140mm wide - the lighter also 140mm long and the darker one a little shorter. If you leave a comment with your email address, I'll send the file to you. (I'll warn you, it's a big file - currently over 7meg, but I'll try to cut that down a bit.)

I'd like to enter the card for the following challenges: Fab'n'Funky where they want a digi-stamp,
Party Time Tuesdays which is looking for birthday cards.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 31

This week at Crafty Cardmakers, we're inviting you to 'Step Away from the Square'. We want you to make something that isn't either a square or a rectangle. This week, we're sponsored by Joanna Sheen who's offering the lucky winner a £10 voucher for her shop.

With a fair amount of trepidation, I put my trimmer away for this one. And reached for a different tool instead - my Wizard! (Well, I'm not much good at cutting with scissors, and if you saw me with a craft knife, you'd run!) And while I had it there, I pulled out various Spellbinders dies and decided to do a Wizarded card!



I used the scallopped octagons to cut the card, and a smaller size of that shape and of the plain octagons for matting. I also used the rose die, and one of the tag set. All the colour is Distress Ink, applied with a shaving brush while the die cut was still in the die (rose, tag and green layer) or around the edges (card base). The sentiment is hand-written in Sakura Stardust pen, and then I added some ribbon.

It's smaller than I usually make cards, and I may end up using it as a gift tag, but I was fairly pleased with the result.

I hope you find time to play along this time!

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges: Paper Sundaes where they want you to use something from your stash (the ribbon),
Creative Card Crew where they want to see flowers. (Only one, but a single red rose is worth a whole bunch of something else, isn't it?) and
Stamp, Scrap and Doodle Saturdays where the challenge is open this week. (Hope this is ok - I couldn't see any limitations wrt stamps or digital image.)

Sunday, 3 October 2010

It's Those Christmas Baubles Again!

I said I'd made a couple of cards with the Craft Stamper freebie, and here's the second.


This time, I cut some hexagons and dabbed the centre areas with Distress Ink in Pine Needles and Worn Lipstick before stamping the image. I've glittered the baubles, then matted on gold, green and red mirriboard, punching the corners with a punch I've had for ages. Don't know who made that one - I was going to use a Fiskars corner punch but it jammed on me. I really don't have any luck with those things. And believe it or not, it jammed while I was lubricating it with wax paper.

The paper is from Papermania, and I used a dark red card blank.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Another Christmas Card

Have you seen the latest issue of Craft Stamper? Well, do, if you get a chance. First, there's a new Promarker technique by Vixykins which you should check out. Then, of course, there's the free stamp. And there are some samples that had me itching to pull out my ink supplies.

I made a couple of cards, and this is the first of them.






I first cut nine square with my nesties (second smallest of the large set), then stamped the image in Versamark on each, catching different areas each time. I embossed with gold embossing powder, and then added gold glitter to the bauble shapes. I arranged the squares in a square of gold mirriboard (cut with the largest of the nesties set). The background is more of the green card, covered with some gold-printed vellum from Papermania which I attached with some gold brads.

I love the rich colours in this one - it's almost not important what the image is, it's all about the swirls and shine.

I'd like to enter this card into the special World Cardmaking Day challenge on Daring Cardmakers.

Fun and Games at One Stitch at a Time

There's only a few hours left to enter the current 'Anything Goes' challenge at One Stitch at a Time, where you can win some digis from the Stitchy Bear shop. But that's not all. If you visit the challenge blog today, there'll be more chances to win with this weeks preview games! Why not go and take a look?

Our eldest has just gone off to university, following his younger brother last week, and the house is unnaturally quiet. Hope to get myself together well enough later to do a card or two - 'speak' to you then.

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