Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Sketch Saturday #341

A quick post for what was not a quick card!

A lovely neighbour of my Mum's passed away early on Christmas Day; Connie had been like a second grandmother to my family, often babysitting for us when we were young. This card is for her family.

I liked the simplicity of the sketch over at Sketch Saturday so I decided to play along, tweaking the sketch slightly to suit.

I started with a "twinchie" by Magenta Crafts which was bare chipboard. I used a couple of coats of gesso to provide a base for Distress Inks in Salty Ocean & Peacock Feathers. The stamped image is by Papertrey Ink from their Round & Round set. The background strip was made by playing with an Imagination Crafts stencil, the same Distress Inks & some water. I used the same stencil with some Black Soot Distress Ink for the leaves then kept the sentiment (again by Papertrey Ink) simple as I thought there was already enough going on.

Monday, 29 December 2014

Christmas Wrap-up

A picture-heavy post to finish the year's Christmas cards. First, the card I'm probably most proud of: the one to our son who adores West Highland Terriers but unfortunately this is the nearest he's ever likely to get to owning one!

The Westie, coloured using cheap coloured pencils from W H Smith, is a free download from Bird's Cards, which is an amazing collection of free resources for cardmakers. The reason I'm so proud, though, is that although I'm not an artist I in fact drew the tree by hand after watching a Youtube video! 

My second card is the one for my husband, the word art having been cut on my Sizzix Eclips:

The kisses were drawn in white gel pen and the stamped "Husband" is from Little Claire. Next up is an image from Mo's Digital Pencil, coloured in Promarkers with a sponged Memento Summer Sky background:

And last, but by no means least, the one to my father-in-law which uses Perfect Pearls on a stamped image from IndigoBlu, a chipboard word which I've coloured in gold & added some Anita's Clear Gloss. The remainder of the greeting is also from the IndigoBlu set. I'm entering this one into the current "Family" challenge over at Less is More:

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Christmas Hugs

My 15 year old son now towers over my tiny Mum, but they both love their hugs! So when I saw the Family challenge over at Addicted to CAS I immediately pictured this card in my head, and decided to combine it with the One-Layer Snow challenge over at Less is More. I'm also going to enter it into the challenge over at CASology, I hope the fact that this post is 2 days old won't disqualify me!

In essence this is a really simple card, and was very quick to make. The sentiment was computer-generated (Candy Round BTN font) and the card is by Limetree Crafts.The stamps are an old set by Woodware and I hand-drew a few matching stars then dotted Quickie Glue Pen over them.

The "snow" is embossing paste - a.k.a. One Strike Filler - applied with a tiny trowel, which wasn't easy as the filler didn't want to stick. I then liberally sprinkled it & the stars with Crystal Glamour Dust. The polar bears were subtly coloured in Powder Blue Promarker.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

CAS(E) #102 times 2!

Wonders will never cease - two entries for one challenge! This card is based on the sketch over at CAS(E) This Sketch and was very quick to do. I stamped a free snowflake stamp in Memento Rich Cocoa onto kraft cardstock, then highlighted some of the detail with white gel pen. I stamped the greeting (again, free) in white ink then embossed it with clear powder. The frame was hand drawn to finish.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Turquoise Trees

One card, two challenges: this card is inspired by this week's sketch over at CAS(E) this Sketch combined with the colour challenge over at Less is More. Other than turning the sketch upside down, I stuck to it pretty literally. I must apologise for the photographs because it's so wet & miserable here today it was impossible to get a good photo.

The tree stamp is one from the  Penny Black set free with a magazine, repeat stamped in Versamagic Turquoise Gem & Aquatic Splash. I then used a Spellbinders die to emboss, but not cut, the frame and stamped the greeting (by Paula Pascual) in Versamagic again.

Although you can't see it, I added some Wink of Stella to some of the bigger "leaves" then mounted the image on a Bazzill cardstock card. Although I'm not unhappy with the finished card I think it's lacking the "wow" factor so this will probably have some bling added before I send it off.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Congratulations MA!

To gain a Masters degree takes a great deal of hard work; to do so whilst holding down a more than full time job as a busy parish priest, serving the local community on more than one school governing body (and in a myriad of other ways) is a huge achievement. It was a pleasure to make a card to celebrate this as the man concerned is, quite simply, thoroughly likeable and great to work with.

This was also one of those rare cards which turned out exactly as I envisaged it! I "drew" the mortar board in the Ecal software then cut it & the letters out on my Sizzix Eclips then stamped the "congratulations" in Versafine Onyx Black, going over the letters with Wink of Stella to add a tiny bit of glitz which I couldn't manage to capture in either photograph. The tassels were simply made from black twine.

I'm entering this into the 200th challenge over at Less is More.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Oh No the Big 40!

My husband's cousin celebrates his 40th birthday this week. I'm sure it makes him feel old, but it makes me feel REALLY old because I've known him since he was 8! This week's sketch over at Clean & Simple Stamping appealed to me so I used it as a basis for this card:

I started by taking some chipboard numbers, colouring them with a black Promarker and then embossing multiple times with black embossing powder then ultra thick embossing powder. They proved very difficult to photograph because of reflections but you can see them a little better here:

The zigzags are from the Chevron set of stamps by Uniko Studio, stamped in Versamark then embossed in Wow Detail Clear embossing powder. The greeting, a long-retired stamp by Elzybells, was treated in a similar way. There seemed to be too big a gap under the greeting so I filled it with a plain black brad.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Celebrate the Wonder

I don't normally make many Christmas cards, and the ones I do make are usually last minute. This year is a little bit different: I'm not last minute! Although I haven't made lots of cards, making even one is an improvement on my usual effort. This latest card involves a stamp by Crafty Impressions called Wise Men by Sue Dix, which to my eyes was just begging to be brightly coloured:

I stamped it in VersaColor Charcoal then embossed it with clear embossing powder to make the colouring easier. I used lots of different Promarker colours & finished off with gold & silver gel pens for some of the details.

I finished off with a Penny Black stamp (free with a magazine) embossed with Wow Neutral Ultra Shimmer Embossing Glitter. I'm going to make this my second entry for the Christmas challenge over at Less is More.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

CAS Christmas Wreaths

The sketch over at Clean & Simple Stamping caught my eye recently so I used it as the basis for another Christmas card:

The wreath stamp by Penny Black was free with a magazine & I stamped it in Memento Cottage Ivy & Bamboo Leaves. Then I picked out some of the "leaves" in red Copic marker to make them look like berries and used a Quickie glue pen to pick out a few more, sprinkling on some Crystal Glamour Dust.

This was the original sketch:

It took me ages to work out what to do for the sentiment until eventually I looked through my stamps and found a tag stamp which I've had for ages but can't remember who it's by. I stamped it in Bamboo Leaves & used Wink of Stella over the top to add a little more glitz which you can see in the photo below:

I'm also going to enter this into this week's challenge over at Less is More where the theme is Jingle all the Way!, i.e. anything Christmassy.

And lastly, I can't resist showing a photo I took this afternoon over at Formby Point, where the red squirrels at long last seem to be increasing in numbers after a bout of squirrel pox:

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Christmas Trees

The challenge over at Less is More this week is "More Than One Tree"; I didn't count how many are on here but there's definitely more than one! The starting point for this card was the sketch over at Addicted to CAS and a very old set of stamps by Woodware, coloured with Promarkers. The finished result looked a bit flat & boring so I added a touch of Wink of Stella to the red and the stars, which you can just about see in the photo below. The card was still flat & boring so I finished off with a gold edge to the image & greeting, which were both popped up on foam squares.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Ode to Joy

Well, okay, not actually an ode, I don't do poetry! This is more of an "homage to joy": Joy Taylor over at Simple by Design where I saw this stunning card with a video of how it was made. I'm never comfortable copying ideas exactly so I decided to combine it with the All Things Metallic challenge over at Virginia's View. I'm also entering this into the Festive challenge at CASology and the Shine challenge over at Inkspirational.

I began by stamping some Spellbinders Heirloom Ornaments stamps (free from a magazine last year) onto Crafter's Companion watercolour card using Versamark ink. I then embossed with some old Heat It Up! gold embossing powder. Using similar techniques to those Joy used I watercoloured the images with Seedless Preserves & Picked Raspberry Distress Inks, the bottom one of the two smaller ornaments being a mix of both inks together.

I cut the sentiment stamp from the same set to make it fit the card better, inking & embossing it as above. I decided that adding any other embellishment would be a touch too much so simply mounted the image onto American Crafts textured card to finish. Here's a close-up of the ornaments:

Monday, 10 November 2014

Joy to the World

It's one layer week over at Less is More where the theme is Starry, Starry Night. I instantly had an idea but having looked at the beautiful cards already posted I can see that other people had similar ideas so I've gone with my plan B:

I stamped the image - by IndigoBlu - onto watercolour paper in VersaMark then embossed it with silver embossing powder. The "tooth" in the paper meant that it didn't emboss too well so I used a Versamark pen in the gaps repeatedly, re-embossing until I was reasonably happy with the finished effect and the only gaps left were the stars which were meant to be there!

Colouring was a simple matter of watercolouring with Aquamarkers. The greeting (by IndigoBlu again) was stamped in silver Versacolor ink. The photo below isn't too good but it's the best I could do in artificial light!

Sunday, 2 November 2014

The Power of Three

For the third time in recent weeks this card took 3 attempts to get right, despite it's simplicity! It's based on the sketch at Sketch Saturday and I decided this would be a good way of using up patterned papers, which I have far too many of!

The paper is quite old & I think it's by Docrafts. The greeting by Penny Black is stamped in Memento Rich Cocoa & I added a few Doodlebug Sprinkles to add a little dimension & finish the card off.

Friday, 31 October 2014

Who's Turning Fifty?

I really liked the sketch over at CAS(E) This Sketch this week, so this was the basis for a card I needed to make for a decorator friend who turns 50 soon. I really enjoyed making this one!

Image of card

The toolbox image is by Little Claire, coloured in Promarkers with shading added in coloured pencils. The red & dark grey backing card was plain white, edged in Promarkers, while the kraft cardstock backing was embossed with a mask by That Special Touch. The screw brads are by Creative Expressions.

The main text was stamped in various Hero Arts shades of grey & black ink; the alphabet stamps are really old ones by Club Scrap, while the rest of the sentiment was computer generated. This was the original sketch & I stuck to it fairly closely:

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

CAS Vellum

The challenge over at Addicted to CAS is vellum, and for once I knew immediately what I wanted to do but it took 3 attempts before I achieved it!

I started off by stamping the Hero Arts flower in Versafine Onyx Black, then heat embossing it with Wow clear embossing powder. I coloured it on the back with Promarkers in Spring Lilac & Peony, then added clear Wink of Stella to the circles on the front. The greeting by Flowersoft was also heat embossed. The difficulty came when trying to adhere the vellum to the card, and I eventually achieved this with some Woodware Miracle Adhesive Film, although I think that may eventually come unstuck too!

Sunday, 19 October 2014


A quick post from me, this is my entry for this week's challenge over at Less Is More where the theme is "Little Creatures". I didn't think I had anything suitable until I came across the Tag-Its #3 set by Papertrey Ink which was purchased from that famous auction site some time ago.

I coloured the flowers with a mix of Aquamarkers then added the black flower centres afterwards. The bees were stamped in Versafine Onyx Black then coloured with a yellow Aquamarker. I added the black loops by hand then decided it was lacking something, so I sponged Distress Ink in Mustard Seed to give the impression of sunshine. I had intended for the overall effect to be more like a watercolour, hence the stamping was onto watercolour cardstock, but I decided that no-one would know what the little creatures were if they were too blurry!

Sunday, 5 October 2014


Autumn has definitely arrived here today and that's the theme of some of the challenge blogs I follow. I've combined the autumn theme with one or two other challenges & this was what I came up with:

The background is by Kaisercraft, stamped in Adirondack Paint Dabber in Terra Cotta. The leaves were created from One Strike Filler (aka spackle) using a stencil I made on my Sizzix Eclips. I coloured them by dropping diluted Distress Inks onto them as they take the colour very easily. I used a mix of inks: Fired Brick, Peeled Paint, Rusty Hinge, Gathered Twigs and Barn Door. The greeting is from Clearly Besotted's Many Messages set, in Memento Potter's Clay which was also used to stamp the Flourishes border by Marion Emberson Designs.

I'm entering this into the following challenges:
Addicted to CAS: Theme "Stencil"
Virginia's View: Theme "CAS"
Less Is More: Theme "Autumn's Bounty"
Stamping Sensations: Theme "Autumn"
CAS(E) This Sketch: sketch below

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Do More

A lovely crafty friend brought me some great gifts whilst on her holidays in Canada earlier this year. One of them was this inspirational stamp by Stampabilities, and this week's "Mostly Words" challenge over at Less Is More was my opportunity to use it for the first time.

I inked up the stamp in Hero Arts Unicorn white, then embossed it with Wow! clear detailed embossing powder. I then played about with watercolouring using Distress Ink in Peacock Feathers until I was happy with the overall effect. Once I'd got my main image I couldn't decide how to finish the card off, then came across the sketch at I {Heart] Sketches:

As I didn't use one of their images I can't enter into the challenge, but the sketch is great so I hope they don't mind me using it! The ribbon & gems had been in my stash for several years so I've no idea of the maker of either.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Happy Hexagons

I haven't done much card making since the new school term started, but this weekend I decided to make a real effort to spend some time crafting. The challenge over at Simply Less is More this week is "Mostly Words" which gave me the inspiration to make this for my nephew's 25th birthday card:

The hexagon stamps & dies are by Clearly Besotted but I found that lining up the stamps onto the die cut hexagons drove me mad - I couldn't get the stamps lined up at all so I threw away dozens of failures! The letters are Kirsty Wiseman stamps, and the hexagon stickers had been in my stash for several years so it was good to finally use some of those.

I'm also entering this into the challenges over at Sweet Stampin' Challenge and We Do Doobadoo which both have a masculine theme.