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Tuesday, 20 December 2011

A Little Bit of Perfect Pearl!

I spent a happy morning earlier this week doing some stamping. I had a couple of new stamps which I hadn't inked up before, and now that my Christmas cards are done, I got them out.
Not the best photo - I might take another later. I was all set up to take a photo this morning when there was natural light, but my camera battery died, and by the time it had charged, it was dark!

The stamp is Damsel Fly by Clarity Stamp. For the main images, I stamped it in some Hobbycraft Metallic ink in both green and blue before embossing it with clear holographic embossing powder. (It's funny ink, that. I've yet to try it on a card where it will actually dry - it really needs to be embossed - but they colours are gorgeous and the pads seem especially 'juicy'. I coloured the images with Sakura Stardust pens in green and blue.

The background has the same image stamped onto black card using Versamark ink and then has Perfect Pearl powder in two shades added. I used some holographic card for the main layer, (and that's the main reason I need to take another photo in natural light!) The flowers were made using the same technique as the background, although the stamp used was the top part of the Wrought Iron Tree stamp from Clarity. It does give a lovely, swirly pattern. I cut the card using a Marianne Creatables dies set, and assembled with a brad.

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:
Sparkles Forum where they want 'anything but a Christmas Card'.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

One Stitch at a Time Challenge 93

This week at One Stitch at a Time, it's anything goes! So, if there're any last minute Christmas cards needed, get busy. Or, if you're desperate to do something other than Christmas crafting, that's fine too.

Our sponsor this week is Stitch Bear Digital Stamps

My image this week came from Digi Blessings and it's available here.


Isn't it cute? I changed the position of the sentiment, breaking it up so it would fit the shape I wanted, then printed it on my usual Ryman card.  I coloured the image with Promarkers, and cut it out using one of my nesties sets. I filled the holes in the border with sticky gem bubbles.

The backing paper is from Papermania, and the ribbon and flower are from my stash.

Hope you can join us this week.

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:
Cupcake Craft where they want things that shine, glint or glitter. (Hope those gems qualify!)
Daisy Doodles where they want 'something sweet',
Everybody Art where they want blue and white
Ladybug Crafts where they've got a bingo game. (I've used a die cut (image), ribbon and a flower - middle vertical line.
The Paper Variety where anything goes,
Glitter Geeks where anything goes..

Monday, 12 December 2011

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 58

This challenge at Crafty Cardmakers has been set by Tracy, and she wants us to use the same stamp/image three different ways. It could be the background, main image and a tag to match for example. (ie Christmas Wrapping Paper, Greeting Card and Gift Tag). Using different colourways is another way, and that's what I chose to do.

 The flower stamp was a Craft Stamper freebie a while ago. I stamped it using a Big and Juicy pad in Mountain Meadow, using three different areas of the pad. I layered two of the flowers, and finished all three with sticky gems. I shaded the background with the same ink pad, applying the ink with an Ink Duster. Then, I kept things fairly simple - some matting, velour ribbon and a Martha Stewart border punch.

Our sponsor this time is Joanna Sheen who's offering a £10 voucher to the lucky winner.

Hope you can join us this time!

I'd like to enter this into the following challenges:
Paper Creations where they want us to 'bling it up',
Samuel Taylor's Challenge where anything goes,
Corrosive Challenges where they want anything but Christmas.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

One Stitch at a Time Challenge 92

This week at One Stitch at a Time, we want you to use a digi! That's all - easy! Our sponsors this week are Stamping Boutique

My image this week is from Barbara Jensen Designs, and it's called, not too surprisingly, 'Parrot'. It's available at Stitchy Bear Digital Stamps.
I coloured the image with Promarkers, and cut it and two matt layers with my petite oval Nesties. I had lots of fun with all those blues! The background papers come from two sources. The floral one I've had for a very long time! It was part of a Sizzix pad I bought years ago! (It was the first patterened paper I'd ever bought.) The plainer paper is left over from one of my sessions with various Mica sprays. I must've used most of the sheet, but there was enough left for this card. I seem to remember wrapping the card in cling film to get a subtle pattern from the various colours.

My embellishments were all cut using Marianne Creatables dies, and were cut from Craft Creations Sparkle Paper.  (That's very reduced at the moment, but I'll have to see if I can justify the postage cost before I buy anything ...)

Hope you can join us this week.

I'd like to enter this into the following challenges:
Ooh La La where they want sparkle,
Paper Creations where they want us to 'bling it up' (hope my shiny flowers with gem brads are bling-y enough!)
The Crazy Challenge where anything goes,
Papertake Weekly where anything goes,
Divas by Design where anything goes,
Dutch Dare where they want things with wings,
Crafty Catz where anything goes,
Hotshot Craft where they want us to use Promarkers,
Totally Papercrafts where they want anything but Christmas.
Sweet Stamping where they want things with wings.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

A Secret Santa Gift

At work, we do a Secret Santa each year. This year, I bought a gift and added a home made edible, so I needed two matching boxes. Needless to say, the easiest way to find what I wanted was to make them!
The left hand box has the main gift in it, while the square one is filled with edibles! I stamped black card with Versamark before embossing with Silver Detail powder. The stamp is one I picked up on sale while I was on holiday during the spring - it's a big stamp, but incredibly useful for things like this. For the top panel of the smaller box, I triple embossed a piece of black card with ultra thick EP, then stamped the same image in silver ink while the embossing powder was still melted. I matted the panel on silver card, and that's it!

I tied the two boxes together with silver string and added a tag.
So, that's one item on my present list ticked off!

I'd like to enter this into the following challenges:

Challenge Up Your Life where they're looking for boxes/packaging,
Krafting Kimmie where they want embossing,
Pattie's Creations where they want anything Christmas with a stamped or digi image,
Stampin' with the Dragon where anything goes.

One Stitch at a Time Challenge 91

This week at One Stitch at a Time, we're challenging you to be square! We want to see square cards, gifts, tags ... whatever you want. And don't forget, our lucky winner will get a gift voucher for the Stitchy Bear Digital Stamps!

The image I chose this week is from Floppy Latte Designs and it's called Christmas Lamp. It's available here.

I had so much fun colouring that image! I used Promarkers, of course, although I added some sparkle to the flame with a Sakura Stardust pen. The background card is some gorgeous textured card I've had for ages (but didn't want to use!) I think it came from Payper Box when I was one of the Olympia shows a year or two ago. I've cut some red and green squares using my nesties and added them on top. (Well, the requirment of the challenge is to be square!) I've even made sure I cropped the image to a square too. The final addition is some sticky gems.

Hope you can join us this week.

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:
Creative Craft Challenges where they're having a 'free for all',
AI Factory where they want 'something red',
Fab 'n' Funky where anything goes,
Paper Shelter where anything goes,
Joanna Sheen Challenge where the theme is Christmas Wishes,
Creatalicious whose theme is 'Christmas and make sure it sparkles',
Gingerloft where the theme is Christmas or Winter.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 57 - Heat Embossing

Well, this time on the Spotlight Challenge, it's my choice of technique, and I chose Heat Embossing. You can do anything you want as long as it includes some heat embossing.

We are kindly sponsored for this challenge by The Stampman (and Lady of course!) who are offering the winner the lovely prize pictured below.



Starburst Stains Brush on The Fun - Holiday Wreath

Deep, rich, vibrant colours with a two-toned shimmer!

These are all dye based products, which give them that vibrancy and can be used on any porous surface, (paper, wood, fabric, balsa, chipboard, etc).

Instructions on how to use: Add hot water, (filtered preferrably, especially with the stains), let sit at least 10 minutes.

Shake or stir before each use.
The only problem is that I'm not eligiblefor a chance to win, but you are, if you enter the challenge! So, show us your heat embossing!

I used this technique for the background on the card below. The butterflies were stamped with Versamark ink onto a shiny shoe catalogue then embossed with gold.


For the centre image, I stamped and heat embossed the image onto white card, then I coloured the image with Sakura Stardust pens which give the end result a 'jewelled' effect that I like.
So, show us your heat-embossing.  I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

I'd like to enter this into the following challenges:
Sassy Cheryl's where anything goes,
Papercrafting Journey where anything goes,

Flutterby Wednesdays where the challenge is open this week,
My Mum's Craft Shop where the theme is 'Things with Wings',
Get Hippity with Ippity where they want embossing,
Stamps R Us where the theme is embossing.


Sunday, 27 November 2011

One Stitch at a Time Challenge 90

This week at One Stitch at a Time, we're seeing red! At least, we hope to see lots of red in your creations this week.

This week, I got to work with an image from Lil Diva called Skating Snowman Family and it's available at the Stitchy shop. Ths sponsor this week is Stitchy Bear Digital Stamps.

Isn't that a cute image? I coloured it with Promarkers and added a little sparkle with a Sakura Stardust pen. I framed the image in red card cut with my Fleur de Lis nestibility, and used some paper from my stash. The snowflakes were cut using a Cuttlebug die, and they've also got some Stardust pen added.

Hope you can join us this week.

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:
Daisy Doodles where the theme is Christmas,
Kaboodle Doodles where the theme is 'Baby, it's cold outside,',
Polycraft Monday Challenge where the theme is Christmas Fun,
The House that Stamps Built where the theme is Christmas with snowflakes,
I Love Promarkers where anything goes,
Shelley's Images where they want red and green,
Four Crafty Chicks where they want snowflakes,

Delightful Challenges where they want red and green,
Cardmadfairy where the theme is Winter Wonderland,
Crafty Catz where they want snowmen,
.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

One Stitch at a Time Challenge 89

This week at One Stitch at a Time, we've got the best challenge of all - Anything Goes!

We're sponsored this time by Creative Craft World who're offering three Promarkers to the lucky winner .


This week, I chose a gorgeous image and paper set from Reece's Scrap Pieces. It's called In the Meadow we can Build a Snowman and it's available at the Stitchy Bear shop where there's a great deal coming up.
 

The set consists of a standard digi-stamp, a pre-coloured image and five toning papers.

Here, I've used the pre-coloured image and four of the five supplied papers. I matted three of the papers with a fourth one (a dark blue) in Photoshop Elements before printing them onto Ryman Matte Ink Jet paper. I printed the image onto Glossy photo paper and added some Glamour Dust before matting onto blue card. The snowflakes were die cut using a Marianne Creatables set in my Wizard, using white card that had been sprayed with Crafter's Companion Spray and Sparkle in irridescent.

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:
Fab'n'Funky where 'Baby, it's cold outside,'
Moving Along with the Times where the theme is 'Let it Snow',
Shelley's Images where anything goes,
Crafter's Companion where the theme is Let it Snow,
Tiffany Doodles where they want glitter and sparkle,
Glitter Fairies where they want Christmas without red, green and gold,
Creatalicious Challenges where they want Christmas with sparkle,
Winter Wonderland where they want cute Christmas images,
Two Sisters where they want sparkle,




I also coloured the image to match some paper I had, and came up with this:

I shaded the sky area of the image a pale blue in Photoshop Elements before printing, but you can't see that in the photo. (I can either use artificial light which washes out pale colours or have a really dark photo just now!) The paper and gold mesh are from my stash, and the snowflakes and stars were cut from gold card using a Cuttlebug die.
I hope you can join us this week.

Craft Your Passion where the theme is 'Let it Snow',
The Craft Garden where they want Christmas without red of green,
CRAFT where they want to see stars,
Phindy's Place where they want Christmas Cards,
Cardmadfairy where they want texture,
Crafty Emma where they want snowflakes,
Rogue Redhead where they want just one design paper.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Letraset Metallic Markers

If you'd like a chance to win a set of Letraset's metallic markers, head on over to their blog here.

Monday, 14 November 2011

An Anniversary Card

A colleague asked me for a card for her parents' anniversary. I hunted throught my image collection, and found one by Lily Boo that fitted the bill, and then had a hunt for papers. I came accross some gorgeous papers too - from a free download from Crafter's Companion a while ago. They came with some labels, tea bag papers and embellishments too.
Aren't those colours gorgeous? And so you can see the tea bag folding and sentiment better,
I coloured the image with Promarkers and cut it with some nesties. I coloured the ribbon and gems with Promarkers too!

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:
Daisy Doodles where 'anything goes with a digi',
My Craft Spot where they want Easel cards,
My Partner in Crafting Crime where they want freebies (the image, papers, teabag papers and flowers were all freebies!)
Stamps are Us where the theme is 'bling it on',

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 56

This time at Crafty Cardmakers, we want you to recycle something! It can be a box or container, or even something you add as an embellishment, so long as it's recycled. And make sure to mention what's been recycled too!

I decided to make something other than a card this time, and found a sturdy little box which originally had some jewellery in it. It was rather plain, except for the manufacturer's logo on the lid, so I decided to convert it for Christmas.
And, for a better view of the top,

The papers are from a recent Crafts Beautiful freebie, and I've added some ribbon, some mirror board cut with a Martha Stewart border punch, and a poinsettia cut with a Marianne Creatable die set in my Wizard. Unfortunately, I wasn't convinced I'd be successful, so I didn't take a photo of it in its original state.

It's a nice, solid little box, and I suspect I'll fill it with tablet as a gift, once I've made the tablet, that is!

Hope you can join us this time.

I'd like to enter this into the following challenges:

Top Tip Tuesday where it's 'anything goes Christmas'
Mami Doodles where the theme is Christmas,
Wags 'n Whiskers where the theme is Christmas
Totally Gorjuss where the theme is Christmas Traditions,
Pile it On where they want Traditional Christmas,
Karen's Doodles where they want anything but a card.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Craft Barn Candy

How's that for some blog candy? Pop on over to the blog and get the details!

One Stitch at a Time Challenge 88

This week at One Stitch at a Time, we're challenging you to put your colours out of sight, and stick to Black and White!

If you want to enter this challenge, and need an image, head over to Stitchy Bear because there's a huge range of lovely silhouettes over there that would be perfect! I chose to use one of Stitchy's own silhouettes, or to be more exact, a set of two of them called Snow Angels.
Isn't that a pretty image? I added the words and made the background paper in Photoshop Elements, then printed and added some detail with Glamour Dust. I sprayed both the black and white card I used with Crafter's Companion Spray and Sparkle in irridescent, and embossed the white using a Papermania embossing folder. I cut the black border using the Tonic border punch system and a couple of punches and finished it with some clear sticky gems.

 And here's the second image, along with the rest of my sentiment. I put the insert together in Photoshop Elements.

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:
Heartsong Inspirations where anything goes,
House of Gilli where the theme is monochromatic,
Stamps Plus Fun Equals Creativity where the theme is winter,
Papertake Weekly where the theme is 'First Christmas',
Top Tip Tuesday where it's 'anything goes Christmas'
Delightful Challenges where they want snowflakes,
Wags 'n Whiskers where the theme is Christmas.



Our sponsors for this challenge are Stamping Boutique,
and  I was lucky enough to get one of their images to work with too. It's called Smoochie the Fashionista.
I was worried at first, as this didn't seem to me to be the sort of image I'd choose for a black and white challenge, but I decided to have a go and was very pleased with how it turned out. I've coloured the images with Promarkers, using only black and various greys. I reinforced the white spots with a Sakura Souffle pen in white, and added some sparkle with a Sakura Stardust pen. I cut the image with a Nellie Snellen die, and added embellishments die cut with a couple Marianne dies I bought recently. The papers are from a CD called Flower Power.

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges;
Digital Tuesday Challenge where anything goes,
Crafty Catz where they want a digital image,
2 Sisters where anything goes,
Stamptacular Sunday where they want a punch or die to be used,
Paper Sundaes where they want digital images.

And then I thought I'd have another go but use some skin tones this time.

This time, I used some paper I designed in Photoshop Elements, Promarkers, Sakura Souffle pen, some oval nesties, and Spellbinders borderabilities.

I hope you can join us!

Friday, 11 November 2011

21st Birthday Card

I was asked by a colleague to make a 21st birthday card. I showed her a couple of sites that had images I thought might work, and she went for Princess Jennifer Latte from The Stamping Boutique.
I altered the colour of the sentiment on the image from black to a burgundy shade, then coloured the image with Promarkers, and added a little Sakura Stardust pen for added glamour. I cut a mat with the Fleur de Lis nestibility set from Spellbinders in my Wizard.

The paper comes from a CD called Flower Power that I  bought from Crafty Emma a while ago, and it works well with the 'Barbie pink' theme I started. The flower border uses a Martha Stewart punch which I used twice. I didn't measure (or record how wide a strip I started with, unfortunately) but it turned out perfectly! I added some sticky gems and a computer generated sentiment, and a silk flower centred with a jewelled brad.

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:
Dutch Dare where they want  us to use dies and punches,
The Paper Shelter where they want pink,
Truly Scrumptious where they've got a bingo (gems. flowers, punch)
Create Me Pink where they want flowers,
Digital Tuesday where anything (digitial) goes,
Daisy Doodles where anything (digital) goes,
Heart Song Inspirations where anything goes,

Sunday, 6 November 2011

One Stitch at a Time Challenge 87

This week at One Stitch at a Time the challenge is to use a digi. That's all! Our sponsor this week is One Stop Card Crafts.
This week, I chose a lovely image from Delicious Doodles called Sniffing Daisies.
Isn't that a lovely image? And a lovely change from all the Christmas Cards I've been doing lately. I've also used another Delicious Doodles image - the Monarch Butterfly. The main image and butterflies were coloured with Promarkers, although the sky in the main image is daubed with Distress Ink using a stencil brush. The papers are from Papermania's Capsule Collection. Someone gave me a pad in my work's Secret Santa, and I've used them a lot - they're just such gorgeous colours - warm but not too heavy.

Hope you can join us this week.

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:
Polycraft Monday Challenge where anything goes,
Papercrafting Journey where they want us to use a digi,
Fresh Brewed  where anything goes,
Stampavie and More where anything goes,
Inky Impressions where they have a photo-inspiration (I chose the colours),
Papertake Weekly where anything goes,

Paperworks where they've got a photo-inspiration
Crafty Ann's where they want a floral frenzy
Crafty Catz where anything goes
Creative Inspirations where anything goes.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Christmas in Red, Orange and Yellow

I was lucky enough to win a recent challenge at the Crafts and Me blog, and my prize was a gift certificate from Whimsy Stamps. So I didn't have to spend my voucher on postage, I opted for some digis, and I used one of them today.
I haven't used any Whimsy digis before, but I've got to say, the fact that they give you a png file with a transparent background is just perfect! I added the background shading in Photoshop Elements before I printed, then coloured the image with Promarkers. I cut the image and mats with some nesties, and when I went to put the image on the card, I decided I preferred it turned around a little - making the angel more upright. (One advantage of a circular image!)

The background paper is from the Papermania Capsule collection. I've used so much of that paper this year - I love those colours!

I fancied doing something a little different for embellishment, so I cut some pinking circles  and wrapped them with gold thread spirelli-style, finishing them off with sticky gems shaded with Promarkers.

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

Crafty Hazlenut's Christmas where they want bright,
Little Claire where the theme is Christmas,
Crimbo Crackers where anything (Christmas) goes,
Cute Card Thursday where they want the colours of the bonfire (among other Guy Fawkes options),
Fresh Brewed where anything goes,
Papertake Weekly where anything goes,
Emerald Faerie where the theme is 'Christmas Red',
Sparkles Christmas where they want angels,

Monday, 31 October 2011

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 55

This time's challenge at Crafty Cardmakers is to use just the following colours: brown, cream and pink.

Our sponsors this time are:


This colour combination screamed 'sepia-toned photo' at me. So, I went in search of something suitable and came across this - it's from the Crafy Image Emporium CD from Crafty Computer Paper. I used some of my Chocolate Box Coredinations card embossed and distressed. The embossing folder is from Papermania. (I find I'm using that one much more than the Cuttlebug ones because it's a much better size. Although the folder is the same size, the embossed area is bigger and much better-suited to the cards I make. One of the irritating things I find is how many craft items are made for card sizes based on US Letter size - which means they're too short for standard A sizes or the 150 ish mm square size I tend to make. /rant)

I finished the card by using my new ribbon punch, a little pink ribbon and some lace.

I hope you can join us this time, and look forward to seeing what you come up with.

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:
Charizma Cards where anything goes,
Digi Doodle Shop's Best where anything goes,
Polycraft Monday Challenge where anything goes,
Stamps plus Fun equals Creativity where they want vintage,
Pink Elephant where they want distressing,
Bunny Zoe's Crafts where they want lace.


Sunday, 30 October 2011

One Stitch at a Time Challenge 86

The theme this week at One Stitch at a Time, is Christmas! I don't know about you, but I make a lot of Christmas cards, so I try to start early in the year, but I'm still making some at the last minute. So, why don't you get out your Christmassy stash and add another card or two to your collection? Our sponsor this week is Stitchy Bear Stamps, and there's a wonderful selection of options there for a lucky winner. So, why not give it a go?

This week, I got to work with a gorgeous image from Lil Diva called 'Winterville'.
It's such a pretty image, I didn't do a lot to it at all! I did sepia-tone it in Photoshop Elements because it's got such an old-fashioned look to it, and then I added a little Glamour Dust to the snow. The backing paper is from Dovecraft, and the ribbon and mirriboard are from my stash.

I hope you can join us!

Charizma Cards where anything goes,
Digi Doodle Shop's Best where anything goes,
The Paper Shelter where anything goes,
Totally Papercrafts where they want us to 'glitter it',

Papercrafting Journey where they want us to use a digi,
Sweet Stamping where anything goes,
Dream Valley where anything goes,
ABC Christmas Challenge where they're looking for vintage Christmas,
Come and Get it Challenges where anything goes.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Christmas Cards

 During the summer, and again earlier this week, I had to go away for a few days to somewhere that I don't have internet access. The problem of what to do with myself in the evenings is a worry - the flat has horrible lighting in the living room, (almost none) and I can't abide watching TV without something to do with my hands. The solution was to take some pre-printed images and colouring paraphenalia and sit in the kitchen! And now, I've finally managed to transform those images into Christmas cards.

But to start, one I've done from scratch this weekend, again practising my brayering!

Of course, if you look carefully, you'll spot the mistake - the mask for the moon didn't stick as well as I'd thought, and the moon has a distinctly blue shadow. I thought it looked like an interesting effect, though, and left it be.

The sky uses Distress Ink in Faded Denim, and the tree image (Clarity split tree) was stamped in Versafine ink. I added the detail in the snow with a stencil brush, and finished the image with some Glamour Dust adhered with Sakura glue pen.

The result is fairly stark, so I decided to continue with that theme, matting it onto black card and adding a hand-written sentiment in silver.

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:
A Gem of a Challenge where the theme is 'cold and frosty',
Sweet Stamping Challenge where anything goes,




And this one is definitely not stark! The image is Stitchy's Wishing You Well which she generously gave me to help me to stay sane during what I thought would be a summer without much crafting. I framed it and added the sentiment in Photoshop Elements, then coloured the image with Promarkers.

I had been counting on buying some card blanks when I went to the craft show at Alexandra Palace a few weeks ago, but by the time I got around to getting some, all the straight edge cards had gone! (Those things are heavy - I normally leave them to the end.) Knowing I was getting low, I did buy one pack of the scallopped edge cards, but I've found them quite hard to use. In an attempt to find something that works, I dug out my Spellbinders scallopped Borderabilities. The holographic card is from a local 'cheap' shop. It's not the best quality, but for a bit of Christmas glitz, it's perfect.

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:
A Gem of a Challenge where the theme is 'cold and frosty',
Bah Humbug where they want die cuts,
Card Makin' Mamas where they want die cuts,
Charizma Cards where anything goes,





This card uses a Just Inklined image that was a freebie a while ago. It's coloured with Promarkers, and cut using a Nellie Snellen die that's a perfect compliment to the Spellbinders dies, being narrower and longer. The hand-written sentiment is cut with a die from the same set. I used some paper from Trimcraft and embossed the green panel with a Papermania folder.

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:
Bah Humbug where they want die cuts,
Card Makin' Mamas where they want die cuts,

Digi Doodles Shop Best where anything goes,



This image was one stamped for me last year by my Secret Santa from a group I belong to. The paper she used wasn't suitable for Promarkers, so last week, while I was limited to my Derwent Coloursoft pencils, I had a go. I've still got some way to go as regards technique with pencils. I used Baby Oil for blending, but suspect that's part of the reason I'm never completely happy with the degree of blending I get. (Then again, it could just be me!) I added a little sparkle with a Sakura Stardust clear pen.

I covered the whole image in some dimensional glaze to give a glass effect then matted onto holographic card cut with a Spellbinders die. The paper was a magazine freebie, and the snowflakes were cut using a Marianne Creatables die set.

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges: One Stop Craft Challenge where the theme is 'no sentiments',
Bah Humbug where they want die cuts,
Card Makin' Mamas where they want die cuts,
Crimbo Crackers where anything goes,
Christmas Inspirations where they want die cuts.




And finally! The image is from the fabulous Beccy Muir. All her images (as far as I know) are available as freebies, and she has some gorgeous drawings. I added the frame and sentiment in Photoshop Elements then coloured the image with Derwent Coloursoft Pencils blended with Baby Oil. In the background, you'll see some beautiful fir-tree embossing - a result of an impulse buy yesterday. It's an embossing folder from Sissix which came with another which will be more generally useful despite it's 'snow flower' name. I love how it embossed!

So, there we have it - five Christmas cards to add to what I've got stashed away. Still got a long way to go, though!

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:
A Gem of a Challenge where the theme is 'cold and frosty',
Papercrafting Journey where they want a digi,



Friday, 28 October 2011

Trimmers

Is there a perfect trimmer out there? I'm beginning to doubt it! I've got three, and none of them is perfect.

The first one I bought was a Ryman own brand, and it didn't cut square. The edge where you'd expect to butt against allowed paper to sneak under it, so you couldn't use it as a guide. I've taken it into school where it's fine as long as you're not layering things too precisely.

The second trimmer I bought was a Hobbycraft one, and on the whole, it's been fine. It cuts square and straight, providing the paper is long enough to butt against the guide. It measures in millimetres. The downside of it is that the guide disappears, making it difficult to cut less than 50mm and keep it square - so it's hard to layer up sentiments neatly. And, now that I've had it for several years, the silver measurement grid and ruler has started to fade around the 60 - 80 mm area - just where I'm most often needing to cut. Another downside is that replacement blades can be expensive, although I bought a load of them recently when they were reduced.

In an effort to get the effect I wanted, last year, about this time, I bought a X cut trimmer, but that just mangled paper, so I took it back and got a refund. Next I tried a Woodware trimmer. The guide on this one allows much shorter lengths to be cut, but you have to exert significant downward pressure to cut, and that pushes the paper or card so it's not square to the guide, and it often isn't straight either, tending to curve. It's pretty good as a scorer - so long as you don't mind re-trimming after you've made the folds you need to square up the final result.

I was looking at a Purple Cow trimmer online - it had both a guillotine and a rotary trimmer, but when I looked more closely at the photo, it only measured in inches, so that's no good. (Why would I want to work in fractions of an inch when I can work in whole number millimetres? So much easier!)

If anyone out there knows of a trimmer that has everything I need - cuts straight, square, copes with small sizes (as low as 20mm would be ideal) and has a good millimetre grid that won't rub off with use, I'd be very interested to hear about it! And, if replacement blades aren't too expensive, that'd be a definite bonus.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

One Stitch at a Time Challenge 85

This week, One Stitch at a Time is giving you the chance to win some gorgeous images or papers from the Stitchy Bear shop. The theme this week is embossing - so whatever occasion you're making cards for, add some embossing and let us see what you've done!

My image this week is from Ginger Loft, and it's called Christmas Door. It's so lovely and detailed that I thought I'd leave it just as it is. Well, except for adding some glitter.
The white background has been embossed using a couple of folders from Papermania and my Wizard. The snowflakes were die cut using some Marianne Creatable dies, and the card is standard black that's been sprayed with Crafter's Companion Spray and Sparkle in Irridescent.

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:
Ooh La La where it's snowing,
Charisma Cards where they want embossing,
Paperplay where they want us to use black,
Shelley's Images where anything goes,
Some Odd Girl where they want a black and white image,
One Stop Craft Challenge where they want no design paper,
Paper Sundaes where they want (among others) black and sparkly
Pan Pastel where they want glitter.

But, because I got carried away with the image, I forgot the purpose of the challenge was embossing, so I made another card first.
This time I added a little colour with Promarkers, and I added a 'wreath' made with gold-coloured jewellery wire and some beads. The background paper is from Trimcraft, and I finished the card with some punched pieces. The border uses a star punch I've had for ages, and gold mirror board, and I used the cut out stars and some larger ones in gold to finish the card.

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:
4 Crafty Chicks whose theme is 'marker it up',
Christmas Inspirations where they want punches or die cuts.

(I may be late actually linking for these challenges - hope that's ok.)

Hope you can join us this week.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Daylight Lamp

Over one Jak Heath's blog, she's offering some lucky follower the chance to win a battery operated natural light lamp. I'd love one of these, because whenever we're away from home, I want to take some colouring with me. And no one seems to light rooms properly these days. They're all those energy efficient bulbs, and none of them are the equivalent of a decent light level. So, one of these would be perfect!

Monday, 17 October 2011

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 54

This time at Crafty Cardmakers, we're sponsored by the amazing Joanna Sheen.
The theme this time is one I struggled with: Cute with a Dark Twist. I thought long and hard about this one, and finally realised that I don't necessarily think of the word 'cute' like most people, so I decided to approach the problem from the opposite direction. So, I thought, what's got a dark twist? And what came to mind is: traditional children's stories. Many have been disneyfied and have lost that darkness, but it's there in the originals.

With that in mind, I hunted through images on my computer and came across one from Dover Books. (It's one of their freebies. If you sign up for it, they'll send you an email every week with a link to some free exerpts from their books. They used to be almost all images, but more recently the exerpts are more general, although there are still some very useful things included from time to time.)
Isn't that a gorgeous image? It's a picture of innocent fun, but it's a scene from The Pied Piper of Hamelin, so the piper is preparing to steal away all those children.

The image was already coloured, so I've just mounted it onto a mat cut with one of my nestibilities. The paper and ribbon are from my stash.

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

Crafts and Me where the theme is 'orange'
The Saturday Challenge where they want white plus one colour (not counting the image)

Sunday, 16 October 2011

One Stitch at a Time Challenge 84

This week at One Stitch at a Time we're sponsored by the amazing Joanna Sheen. (So many lovely things in her shop, and she'll send out most without charging extra for postage!)
Our theme this week is 'Shape Up'. So, show us some shapes!

This week, I had this gorgeous image from Sylvie - Kokeshi Group 1 which is available from the Stitchy Bear shop. So, where are my shapes? Well, there are squares and rectangles in my layers and there's flower-shaped lace, but the thing that drew me to that image is the lovely oval shapes of the dolls themselves, so I emphasised those shapes by layering the image.
I coloured the image with Promarkers. The papers are from a MME Spring themed pad which I've always felt had an oriental feel to it. My mats, and the lace flowers are also coloured with Promarkers.

Hope you can join us this week.

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:
By the Cute and Girly where anything goes,
Emerald Faerie where they want flowers,

Thursday, 13 October 2011

A Couple of Christmas Cards

This weekend, I got rather inky, and I've got a couple of Christmas cards to show for it.

This is me back playing with my brayer, and using ideas direct from Barbara Gray. (But then, I'm using her split tree stamp, so I don't feel too guilty about it.)

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:
Sweet Stamping where they want clean and simple,
Cute Card Thursday where the theme is 'treemendous',
One Stop where anything goes.

I've used distress inks for the background, and the tree (and extra branches) are stamped in Memento in brown. The paper is from Crafty Individuals, I think.

This one uses a stamp I bought back in the summer, but I can't remember whose it is. (That's one disadvantage of unmounted stamps - if you lose the packaging, you've lost the information.) It's stamped in Versamark ink, and embossed in white. I've used a Cuttlebug embossing folder in the background, and other than some layering, it's very simple.

I'd like to enter this card intot he following challenges:
Mark's Finest Papers where they want no design papers,

Sunday, 9 October 2011

One Stitch at a Time Challenge 83

This week at One Stitch at a Time, the challenge is anything goes! So, what're you waiting for? Our sponsors this week are the Stamping Boutique, and I was lucky enough to work with one of their images, and I liked it so much, I've used it four times (so far!)
 In this one, I printed the image onto watercolour paper, and coloured it with Twinkling H2Os.

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:
PapertakeWeekly where anything goes,
Crafty Emma where they want to see red,
Kraftin' Kimmie where they want sparkle and shine,

Secret Crafter where they want shine,


The other three were all printed onto my usual Ryman card, and coloured with Promarkers.
I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:
One Stop where anything goes,
Little Claire where the theme is Christmas,


All the papers and chipboard shapes come from the pad and package that were the freebie with Cardmaking and Papercraft magazine - and I've got to say, I found them fairly inspiring! I added some Distress Ink around the paper edges, and some ribbon, and that's about it!

Our sponsors this week are
and



Hope you can join us this week.

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