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Monday, 12 December 2016

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 179

Well, it's the last Crafty Cardmakers challenge of 2016, and naturally, at this time of year, we've got a Christmas theme. But we'd really like to see Christmas with a Twist! So, something a little different?

We're sponsored for this challenge by Woodware. See the challenge blog for more details.


Well, I decided to go for an image from Stitchy Bear called Bah Humbug.


Father Christmas in blue? That must be a twist!

I stared by stamping the background with Versamark and embossed with clear powder on white card, then added some colour to the sheet with Distress ink. I coloured the image with Promarkers, and shaded the background with more Distress ink. I added some stitching to a circle using my recently acquired Fiskars pricking template and some silvery-blue thread. And that's it!

I hope you can join us.

And, since this will probably be my last post here for a few weeks, I'd like to wish you all a very happy Festive Season, whatever you celebrate, and to wish you a very happy 2017.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 178

This time at Crafty Cardmakers, we want to try something a little different; our challenge is to make anything but a card! That's not something I find easy, but I had a little help from a friend who gave me an Ikea box frame. Well, this is what I came up with!

The frame is quite big - the green card I used as backing is about 9 by 9in. It's got glass too, but I removed it to get a better photo.

The background sheet uses watercolour paper shaded and stamped with a range of Distress Inks. The flowers are all hand made using dies from the Sizzix Susan's Garden range along with some greenery made with Sue Wilson dies. Petal shading was done with Pan Pastels, some flower centres use Liquid Pearls and extra detail on stamens use a little glitter glue.The colours are designed to go in our hallway - which is predominately green, although there are pinky/red lights in the glass on the front door, and an oak floor. I hope you can join us this time!

I hope you can join us this time.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 177

This time, at Crafty Cardmakers, the challenge is to use embossing: heat or dry - it's up to you!

Of course, if you're like me, you get a word in your head: embossing and you have to try all of them, and about now.

So, the image has no embossing! It's a stamped image using a Debbi Moore stamp I've had forever, and I've coloured it with Sharpie markers. It was really just an 'I wonder' moment, and there's no finesse in the colouring at all, but I liked the vibrant result. I've added a little glitter to the butterfly using a Spectrum Noir glitter marker.

For the background, I first dug out a Spellbinders Impressability plate. I inked it using a Kaleidoscope ink pad, then ran it through my Big Shot Pro. The result is techinically debossed, but it definitely adds some texture. Then, I embossed some green card using an embossing folder, then applied some of the same ink to the result with a brayer.

I've triple embossed a chip board flower. The main part uses UTE powder, and the centre is standard, both Cosmic Shimmer. The sentiment was stamped in Versamark ink and embossed with the same standard embossing powder.

I hope you can join us this time!

Monday, 31 October 2016

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 176

This time, at Crafty Cardmakers our challenge is to produce something that's an Explosion of Colour! It's my turn to host, and I'm looking forward to visiting lots of you to see how colourful your explosions really are. It's not an accident that I call this blog a Rainbow ... I love colour - the brighter the better!

So, when I was asked to make a birthday card for a friend's niece and given the remit that she loves fairies and bright colours, I immediately thought of this challenge.

My friend chose the image from my collection. It's one I've had for a long time. It's from Pollycraft - I don't even know if she's still in the digi business, but my friend said, 'It's very Holly!' I coloured the image with Promarkers and added some sparkle to her wings with a Crafters Companion glitter marker, I edged it with Distress Ink in Spun Sugar and Festive Berries. The background paper is from my Flower Power CDRom, and as you can see it's a veritable rainbow of colours. I designed the sentiment layer in Photoshop Elements and added an element of the background paper, and completed the 8 by 8 card with some butterflies cut using Spellbinders dies. They're actually three-layer butterflies, with the middle layer cut in some shimmer paper in pink which doesn't show very well in the photo but which gives a lovely effect.

I hope you can join us this time.

Monday, 3 October 2016

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 174

This time, at Crafty Cardmakers, our theme is Birthdays. It could be a card or something else, provided it follows the theme.

I chose to make a box for a friend's birthday gift.


I cut the bottom and top of the box using a trimmer, then scored it with my Woodware Fingerguard trimmer. (I don't use that one for cutting as I don't find it cuts square, but I keep a scoring blade in it, and it is pretty good when making boxes!) The card for the lid was pre-printed that I picked up at a craft show a while ago and keep forgetting about!

I decorated the box with die cuts. The flower uses the Clematis set from Sizzix's Susan's Garden range. I used Pan Pastels to shade the petals, and a mixture of liquid pearls and glitter glue on the stamen to add some interest.



The greeting uses another Sizzix die, one which cuts a border and inner in one sweep, and I tinted the border using the same Pan pastels as the flower.

I hope you can join us this time.

Monday, 19 September 2016

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 173

This time, at Crafty Cardmakers, our theme is Autumn. You can interpret that pretty much any way you want to, but it would be useful if you could explain your thinking - especially if it isn't obvious!

I, on the other hand, have been pretty obvious.

Autumn leaves in Autumn colours ... I started with some white card, and I stamped it with three different leaf stamps using a Kaleidoscope ink pad in Autumn Leaves shades. Then, using the colour of the outline, I coloured the leaves with Promarkers. I added a little texture using Distress Ink, then brushed the background with more Distress Ink to take away the pure whiteness of the background. To finish the card, I've due cut a sentiment, mats, and a butterfly with some sticky gems and some ribbon.

Monday, 5 September 2016

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 172

The theme this time at Crafty Cardmakers is Layer it up!. So, anything you like, so long as you use lots of layers.

I had to make a 50th birthday card for a colleague, and came up with this.

I started with some watercolour paper, and then tried out something I've been meaning to have a go at for ages. I scribbled with some Promarkers on an acrylic block, then spritzed that with blender, and let the paper soak up the result. I did that three times with shades of blue, green and pink. Then, I stamped the sheet with a couple of flower stamps, and coloured those, again with Promarkers. To complete the background, I dusted the surface with some Distress Ink in Victorian Velvet and Tattered Rose before edging with Iced Spruce.

The accent, is a bit of fake 'Spirelli' that i did ages ago. I used a Spellbinders die to get the base. The silver layer is another Spellbinder's die, as are the pink circles and the ovals. I finished with a die cut greeting and a computer generated 50, and layered everything together.

I hope you can join us this time.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 171

This week's challenge at Crafty Cardmakers is to make something on the theme of Under or Beside the Sea.

We're sponsored by

(See the challenge blog for details.)

Well, there's nothing more 'sea side' than sea shells, right? So, while I was considering what to do for this challenge, I happened to be taking out some paper recycling at work. I opened the bin and spotted a paper pricking book lying at the top of the pile. Naturally, I took it out, and found it was in perfect condition. So, I laid claim to it, and took it home. Admittedly, it's one of those books with gorgeous pricked patterns on the cover, but when you look inside, it sends you to buy one of their templates to get the result. (I always think that's really rather dishonest, but since I didn't pay for this book, I'm not really complaining.) However, while none of the bigger designs were in the book, there were a couple of sea shell motifs, so, with some tracing paper and a ruler, I put together a grid and added the motifs.

I stitched the shells and grid using some machine embroidery thread which I've always thought is perfect for this sort of embroidery on paper. It took ages to prick and stitch the pattern, but since my craft bits are in even more disarray than usual (due to my oh converting our study to a craft room), it kept me sane!

Apart from that, all I've added is some layering, and it's all mounted on a 7 by 7 in card.

I hope you can join us this time!

Monday, 8 August 2016

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 170

This time, at Crafty Cardmakers, our theme is Time. So, we need something time-related, but other than that, it's your choice.

I decided this theme was perfect for a belated birthday card for a colleague, and this is what I came up with!

I started with some paper and a label from the Papermania Persimmon collection - which is perfect for male cards. The watch was created with dies from their Chronology collection, and the card was finished with a computer generated sentiment. Nothing too busy, but I think it works for the recipient.

I hope you have time to join us this time!

Monday, 25 July 2016

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 169

This time at Crafty Cardmakers, the theme is Summer.

I decided that images from the Crafter's Companion Halcyon Days CDRom were perfect for this theme.


I gave my new Carousel die from Marianne a try out. I've used a sandy background from Photoshop Elements for the 'floor' and two really pretty images from the CD and added text using an XCut die. I  die. I finished the card with some embellishments from my stash.

I hope you can join us this time.

Monday, 11 July 2016

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 168

This time at Crafty Cardmakers, we want you to bling it up! Simple, yes?

In fact, this card was a case of serendipity! I needed to make a card for a colleague who's leaving while in the throes of having our 'study' transformed into a craft room. I said 'study' because, although we've always called it that, the room has had many uses since we moved here over 30 years ago. In the early days, it was where we left coats and shoes, then it became a buggy park when the children were small. It's been a bedroom when my mother-in-law visited since she couldn't manage the stairs, and since we entered the digital age, it's been where we kept and used computers. Of course, as the children got older, and computers became even more frequently used, even that use has fallen by the wayside. Despite its many uses, it's always been one of the places where I've stashed my crafty goodies, and as a result, my bits are even more spread around the house than usual.

So, I decided what to do based largely on what I could get my hands on easily, and came up with the design using a variety of die cuts. But, when I assembled it, it wasn't balanced, so I had to decide how to get some more interest in that top left corner. First, I cut a second version of the die cut, this time in the peach, and cut out the butterfly motif. Then, I decided I'd add some sticky gems. When I was finally happy, it was extremely 'blingy', and I realised it'd be perfect for this challenge, although I didn't have it in mind while it was in progress. So, serendipity!



The corner die is from Heartfelt Creations; one I've had for several used but not used often. It's very hard to cut, and one of the reasons I upgraded from my Wizard to a Big Shot Pro a few years ago. I was very disappointed to find that even that machine struggled with it, but by dint of adding a metal plate, squirting with SprayEmboss and running it through at multiple angles, I finally got it to work.

The flowers were made from die cuts courtesy of Sizzix Susan's Garden range, shaded with Pan Pastels, and the leafy additions cut with Sue Wilson dies. The sentiment is computer generated, cut using a Go Kreate die and edged with Versamcolor ink.

I hope you can join us this time!

Monday, 27 June 2016

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 167

This time, at Crafty Cardmakers, our challenge is Shabby Chic/Distressed. And we're sponsored by


See the challenge blog for details.

I must admit, I don't get 'shabby chic' as a style. It always seems like a contradiction to me, and I'm definitely not a fan of distressing or ageing techniques. So, this challenge was definitely a challenge for me, and I just hope that what I've come up with fits the bill.


I've used a vintage image from a CDRom from Crafty Computer Paper, and mounted it on a mat cut using a Spellbinders die, through which I threaded some ribbon. For the background, I've used some Coredinations card - some from the Chocolate Box collection and some from the Whitewash pad. I've used the same warm pink inner colour in both cases, and, in fact, used an offcut for the mat (turned the wrong way round.) I embossed both pieces together so the pattern was continuous, then sanded both pieces of card. To finish, I've used some sticky lace and some flowers and bits from my stash. When I did a sort through of my craft stash I found so much stuff that I've bought and then found out how to make for myself. As a result, I don't use the pre-made bits, so I'm on a mission to actually use pre-made embellishments and papers!

I hope you can join us this time.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 166

This time, at Crafty Cardmakers, our challenge is to make something for a special man. In this case, that's my husband, who's put up with me for 30 years!

The image is a lovely stamp from Crafty Individuals which I've had for a while. This time, I stamped it in Versamark ink, and then coloured it with Perfect Pearls in blues, coppers and golds. I mounted it onto a mat cut with a Spellbinders die and added a sentiment. In the background, I've used a pretty paper from the Me to you range which brings out the greeny blues in the image. I've then added a piece of card which I embossed with a pattern of vines.

I hope you can join us this time.

Monday, 30 May 2016

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 165

This time at Crafty Cardmakers, our challenge is ... Monochrome. You can use natural skin and hair colours, but apart from that, just one main colour.

I decided to keep things simple, and get out some dies I've recently added to my collection.

A very literal monochrome, I used dies from, among others, Tonic and Joanna Sheen.

I hope you can join us.


Monday, 16 May 2016

Craft Cardmakers Challenge 164

This time, at Crafty Cardmakers, our challenge is to have some stitching (real or faux) on your creation.

I first got in to cardmaking via cross stitching, so I decided to go back (at least partly) to my roots, and do a completely stitched card.

First, I pricked out the outer and inner squares in the large sheet of blue card. Then, I placed the peach card on top, and pricked that from behind, through the blue. I stitched both borders, and then, on a separate piece of blue card, pricked the flower pattern from a book of paper embroidery I've had for several years, before stitching that. I do like this pattern - the flower itself is more than just an outline, and I think it looks really pretty.

I hope you can join us this time.

Monday, 2 May 2016

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 163

This time, at Crafty Cardmakers, we want you to use gems or pearls on your creation - that's it!

I decided to make a card for my sister whose birthday is later this month. I decided to use a gorgeous image from the Crafter's Companion Kimono collection, and a matching paper.

I added the sentiment in Photoshop Elements, aand finished the card with a matching insert and a couple of gem flourishes I bought ages ago but had never opened. I must admit, I worried they'd be impossible to apply, and, while they were a little tricky, they weren't as hard as I'd expected. One disadvantage of the paper I use to print digital images is that it's got a top layer which is a little tender - it produces gorgeous, vibrant colours without looking like photo paper, but get a bit of adhesive on it and it'll strip off. Fortunately, I didn't have that problem here!

I hope you can join us this time!

Monday, 18 April 2016

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 162

IThis time, the challenge at Crafty Cardmakers is 1, 2, 3! By that we mean, one image, two papers and three different embellishments. Other than that, you can make anything you like!

This challenge is sponsored by


Go here to learn more.


I've made a card for my husband for our wedding anniversary.

I've used two papers and an image from the Crafter's Companion Moonbeam Meadow collection, and added a sentiment and border to the image before printing. My embellishments are ribbon, a hand-crocheted heart and a wooden button. I decided to teach myself to crochet so that I could make lace for my cards, but since I started, I'm more likely to be crocheting something on a slightly larger scale - like a throw - so it's nice to be using it as I originally intended. I used to do some Hardanger embroidery, and as a result I've got a stash of Perle Cotton which works for this type of embellishment. The only problem is that I'm doing much less cardmaking these days. There just isn't enough time!

I hope you can join us this time.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 161

This time, at Crafty Cardmakers, we're asking you to make a card that's not a square or rectangle. Other than that, it's up to you!

For this, I decided to make a circular easel card for a friend whose birthday is coming up.

My friend loves rabbits, so the Bebunni Floral CDRom seemed like the ideal place to start. The image and paper are both from that, and the sentiment is also from Crafter's Companion, stamped in gold ink. I've used a variety of dies for the card itself, the image, sentiment and matting, and to create the flowers. It's not a particularly complicated card - I've found that the people who get my cards seem to prefer the simpler designs. In fact, those who specifically ask for cards often want something very personal (including names, dates and often photos) but which are, from a crafting point of view, very simple - so much so, I don't tend to blog them. (Well, that's also because they've got photos and personal information, but I tend to think that makes them uninteresting unless you know the person in question.)

I hope you can join us this time.

Monday, 21 March 2016

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 160

This time, the challenge at Crafty Cardmakers is to make something inspired by Easter.

For this, I've made the first of this year's Easter cards.

I started by making a border using a set of Sue Wilson Gemini dies, although I used both edges rather than just one! Then, I tried out a new (to me) die. It's another Susan Tierney die, but this time, produced by Elizabeth Craft. it's designed to be flatter than the Sizzix range, and that's definitely something I'd welcome. For the image and greeting, I've combined a cropped image from Joanna Sheen's Pamela West CDRom with a greeting. the embossed background was done using an Embossalicious folder.

I hope you can join us this time.

Monday, 7 March 2016

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 159

This time, on Crafty Cardmakers, we want you to go green. So, anything you like, so long as it's green.

I chose to make a birthday card for my younger son who's a bit of a linguist.


I started in Photoshop Elements, and, having translated Happy Birthday into a number of European languages, I then arranged the text. I added a little background texture, again in Photoshop Elements, and printed the result. Then, I used  a map stamp I've had for ages, and using Distress Ink in Old Paper, I stamped over the image. I cut some card using dies from Presscut and Tonic to frame the result, and finished with an English Language greeting.

I hope you can join us this time.

Monday, 22 February 2016

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 158

This challenge is to make something for a special woman, and in this case, I chose to make a card for my daughter. It doesn't seem natural to me to call her a woman because she's my little girl, but she's going to be 22, so it really does apply!


I've used an image and paper from the Bebunni collection from Crafter's Companion, although I will admit to altering the shading in the paper to better match the image, and I added a personalised sentiment to the image - both in Photoshop Elements. I kept the design fairly simple, just adding some matting and a floral frame made using, I think, Cheery Lynn dies, and finished the flowers with a drop of Liquid Pearl.

I hope you can join us this time.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 157

The challenge theme this time at Crafty Cardmakers is Love, Love, Love! So, anything that depicts love is fine!

At this time of year of course, with Valentine's Day just around the corner, I decided to make a card for my husband, who like other men in my family like things fairly plain. Hence, I've gone for a fairly simple design on this one.

The image is a very old digi from Cuddly Buddly to which I added the sentiment in Photoshop Elements. I coloured with Promarkers, and took a section of the image and tiled it to make the background paper. And, apart from rounding the corners of the image and mat, that's it.

I hope you can join us this time.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 156

This time, at Crafty Cardmakers, we want you to use dies or punches, but other than that, you can create whatever takes your fancy!

I was asked to make a card for a colleague to give to someone.

The background paper comes from a CDRom called Flower Power. I designed the greeting in colours to match in Photoshop Elements, and die cut both that and the mat. The flowers are all made using die cuts - mainly from Sizzix dies, but there are a few Cheery Lynn ones and a couple of Creative Expressions dies there too.

I hope you can join us this time.

Monday, 11 January 2016

Crafty Cardmakers and More Challenge 155

This time at Crafty Cardmakers and More, the challenge is to make something to celebrate something new. So, it can be for a new baby, marriage, home, or something else that's new - so long as you let us know what it is that's new, you're welcome to join in.

I bought several dies last year that I still haven't used, and one of those was a lovely one from Impression Obsession.


First, I assembled the house. I layered it onto some silver-grey card using foam pads to give some depth through the windows. Having measured the result, I then set about putting the sentiment on top of some backing paper from the Thomas Kinkade CDRom set from Joanna Sheen. (It's actually a sky and cloud image but that's not too obvious in the photo. I used my new tablet to take the photo and I suspect I need to fiddle with something to get better results.) After printing, I added the house, using another layer of foam pads for even more dimension.

I hope you can join us this time.

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