Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Embedded die cuts

I really love the new trend for using die cuts so they sink within your base panel. It is quite fiddly but well worth it in my opinion.
Here are two examples made with some really cute and bargainatious dies from Clearly Besotted
This card was inspired by unearthing some teeny tiny brads. I chose three colours and found cardstock and papers to match. When I started card making I used to subscribe to the much missed Self Addressed card kits. I had loads of left over coloured cardstock card bases and I have now started hacking into them in order to create mats like this as I do prefer white or cream bases. I cut each word seperately and made sure I captured all the tiny white bits to put back when the coloured word went into the white cardstock (OK I cannot tell a lie, I might have had to recut parts of the words in order to make sure I had all the pieces). The star is a QK die cut from Amy Tan paper, raised on foam pads and given a few dots of sparkle

This one uses more October Afternoon papers (I am trying to use up some of my old collections) The leaf die is from Clearly Besotted too. The flowers are punched using a Stamping Up punch. I added some stick on gems and covered the words in Glossy Accents.

And finally a card that uses die cuts in a more traditional way
using more Clearly Besotted stamps and dies

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Trying (and failing) to be like Jennifer

I have been going through a season of spendies in terms of card making recently. I am thinking about challenging myself to not buying any more for now - at least after the parcel I am waiting for arrives.... There is something disquieting when I get the "gimmies". Manufacturers bring out new products every month it seems and so many people make lovely things with them and I yen to do the same. Sadly, I don't always manage to make cards as fab as theirs and so move on to the next new thing instead. There is something important about learning to be content and enjoy what I have. But that is a scary thought so we will see....

Anyhoo, here are a few of my new best friends - all that were inspired by some amazing cards by that fab teacher - Jennifer McGuire
This was me trying to channel Jennifer McGuire (and using the same stamp set as well) This was my first go which I had to do fairly quickly so Phil could take it to his mum's. The stamps are MFT's Easter Bunny. The sentiment stamps are Clearly Besotted. I didn't quite get the spacing right so added some embossed lines. There was a lot of sparkle added by using a Wink of Stella pen and some liquid pearls. I loved her card so much that I bought both the flower set and the sentiment set that she used as well. I thought it would be good for some of the kind of cards I need to send in my line of work 
The phrase comes from the MFT set Words of Inspiration. I die cut this Dienamics flower from several papers (the green and orange are from Webster's Papers) and then embedded them back into the piece cut from white cardstock. A few gems and some foam pads and the card needed no more (in my humble opinion)

This card features another die cut freebie from Dies to Die for. I coloured it using some Copic glitter pens I have long neglected. The MTF sentiment is stamped with a grey ink

The final card for today was also inspired by Jennifer. I was in two minds about posting it as I think it is one hot mess to be honest! Jennifer made these awesome cards using watercolour paints and a thin paintbrush. She also used a stamp as a guide. I thought I would try freehand
A fail in my opinion
Maybe it is because my writing is still too thick (although I tried to use the thinnest brush I have) but to me it looks rather childish and silly. The main panel is watercolour paper and all the other elements of the card are from October Afternoon.
So what do you think? Should I persevere or give it up as a bad job?
And are you going to dare me to stop buying for a while?

Friday, April 04, 2014

Shiny happy people

Call me shallow (hello shallow!) but I do like a bit of shiny glittery paper. Whilst making an order for card bases at Craft Creations, on impulse I added a few sheets of glitter card to my basket. Glitter card used to be a right pain - flaky or slightly off in colour. This is adorable. As you can see from my last two daring cards which both feature said glittery gorgeousness.

We'll go backwards from this week - it was my turn to choose a colour combo for the month. I was drawn to this one from Design Seeds
It was only later that I began to wonder whether the fact that it is the colours of the Welsh flag might have influenced me! But I do love a bit of green and red and I think the cool greys stop it being too Christmassy. Although it would still work if you are one of those people who like making Christmas cards all year round.
I don't....
I went through some of my many paper pads and picked out some toning papers - from Kaisercraft; American Crafts Amy Tan and Simple Stories. I used a Dienamics flower die and cut the leaves and flowers out several times. I assembled the pieces behind a vase made using that glitter cardstock and a punch. (One that I have had several years and NEVER used!). The "thanks" is a die cut that came from Dies to Die For. I do like the way that they send some samples with an order! I added some Glamour Dust to the die cut and also to the die cut letters that I cut from green paper. Some of the flowers were raised on foam pads and all had little diamente gems stuck in the middle. And that is that.

Last week I did make a card in good time for the fabulous Svenja's dare. But my hubby had taken the camera to his mums and I couldn't take a photo (somewhere in the house is at least one more working camera but we can't think where!)
He did take some wonderful shots though

so I forgive him!
Plus he did help me out with Svenja's dare - Money makes the world go round
I was a bit stumped until he suggested looking at pictures of money. I looked at a Euro coin and went "ker-ching!"
I combined silver and gold glitter card. There is some dry embossing on the right hand side as per the coin but that is really hard to see. I also gave an authentic tone on tone look with a Heidi Swapp glittery sticker. But to avoid that completely blending in as well I added a die cut heart. Some very old LYB letter stickers and a very new Clearly Besotted word die and some almost as new Fancy Pants papers finished off the card - along with some stick on gems.

Right (imagine me brushing my hands together as if there is work to be done). I am now going to write some more quick blog posts as I am forever making things but not having the time and energy to share them here and what is the point of a blog if you don't. There may be some things a-changing soon but I will leave all that to another day....

Friday, March 21, 2014

Minding the gap

I was just feeling pleased with myself that I was blogging fairly regularly when life got in the way again. I have had very little play time recently which is never good. And when I sit at the computer there is often work to do (or just enough time to play Pearls Peril and/or Criminal Case on Facebook) before going out to do more work. Or I am tired after the sentence above.
There we are then.
Soooooo, catch up time.
I did make a card for last week's Daring Cardmaker challenge - Fairy Tales. It was a clever idea that had us all thinking hard and I think the team came up with some fab ideas. Mine is quite simple
can you guess the tale?
give up?
Its Goldilocks and the Three Bears!
The papers are all Websters Pages and I added gold glamour dust and a Clearly Besotted stamped sentiment in Delicata gold ink (which is LOVELY). I do feel a bit sorry for big and small butterfly so I might actually give them more gold before I send the card anywhere!

This week we were sent some lovely goodies by Docrafts - some dies and papers. Many of the team were sent Gorjuss images but I had just the papers (but two die sets so I am not complaining!) which is why I don't feature any cute girls on my card. Hopefully it still counts as Die-licious!
I was sent the fabulous butterfly - there are several different wings and a side view as well. It is fairly big - this is a 4x4" card. There are holes in the wings and I decided to fill them up with gold cardstock from Craft Creations. I used the rest of the cut out gold card as a second layer to lift the butterfly without adding too much bulk.  The dots on the body of the butterfly were made using Beads In a Bottle in gold.

The doily came from a Quirky Kit and was originally kraft but I sprayed it with Gold Lame colour shine. I added some cream cardstock which was embossed with a Maggie Holmes folder. I bruched the cardstock with Delicata gold ink. "Love" was diecut with another Docrafts set - a lovely swirly alphabet. I cut this twice - once with the purple paper and once with the gold and offset it ever so slightly for a subtle effect. "With" was spelled with some Carolees Creations alpha stickers I have had forever.

Here are some close up shots

Ah yes, I did add some Stickles blobs which went horribly wrong and dried to be totally the wrong colour so I slapped some toning pearls over the top! I wish I had done the panel in vellum not cardstock but there we are

Here is hoping there is less of a gap before I can next share my crafting.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Feeling slightly colour blind

This week at Daring Cardmakers it is time for the monthly colour challenge
It is absolutely gorgeous
Now when I have some crafting time I copy and paste various sketches and ideas onto an A4 document. I try and get as many as possible onto one page (cheap I am) and possibly I made my copy of this colour seed just a leeeeeeetle bit too small as I "read" the colours wrong. I was v. cross with myself as I absolutely love these colours together, but just didn't have any time to make another card this week.
I haven't told my sons yet but I know they will enjoy this mistake as they are both quite prfoundly colour blind and being a loving mother I have spent many happy hours laughing at them getting colours wrong.
Anyway, here is my card
Papers are from the latests Amy Tan 6x6 pad, a Kaisercraft Christmas pad and some very old Heidi Swapp.
The dies are from Dienamics; Sizzix and Clearly Besotted and the sentiment is from Imagine That. Oh and I used two circle punches and some Hobby House gems.
The finished card is quite nice but I will never love it as I will always say to myself "why did you see that colour as yellow and not lovely sage green. why? Why? Why!"

I did play with other colours for a new challenge this week. I saw some people playing along and decided to have a go.
Virginia wanted people to use watercolouring as well as this inspiration piece
and I made two cards
This one uses a free stamp I had with a magazine, embossed in white and then watercoloured using yellow, pink, orange and red distress inks and a waterbrush. The papers are Heidi Swapp, Amy Tan and MME. The sentiment is computer generated

This was another free stamp, watercoloured in a similar way. I added Amy Tan papers and some washi tape. The balloons are Clearly Besotted dies and I had drew the string. The balloons were given the Wink of Stella treatment
Expect to see loads more cards like this as I really enjoyed the process :)

Friday, February 28, 2014

Always look on the bright side of life

Even when it is hard!
Phil and I are struggling with the Cold That Will Not Go Away.
He is almost at the end of week 3 poor lamb and I am well (or not well) into week 2. We are mostly able to work but then get all weak and feeble all of a sudden and have to rest a bit (or watch 24 or Fringe, depending on who gets to the tv first)

I do try to look on the bright side. Maybe actually what I try to do is look with hope. That is a fundemental part of what Christian faith means to me - that I have hope that God can make a difference in my life and others; that I have hope that I can share his love and that God works in all things to do good. Of course, I struggle with this at times - when people don't behave as they should; when tragedies happen; when life is plain unfair. But I still have hope. In funerals I sometimes use the prayer "you can change the shadow of death into the brightness of a new morning" and to me that is what hope is about.

Which is what I wanted to express in my cheery card using the song lyrics/sentiment from the Life of Brian. It also reminds me of Phil singing this at a karaoke evening on a French campsite and the organisers apologising profusely to parents as it contained a (mild) four letter word. It would be a Minister who used profanity ("I only read what was on the screen" says Phil)

And why make such a card? well Gez asked us to be Sentimental for this weeks Daring Cardmaker challenge - and use a phrase that means something to you.

I used papers from the new Amy Tangerine pad (the yellow); the new Maggie Holmes pad (theclouds)  and Simple Stories colourwise (the black and white chevron). I added one of those fab October Afternoon chipboard clouds, a typed sentiment (font: Times and Times Again) and some Smash washi tape.
When I made the card last night I added some Liquid Pearl dots to the washi tape and left them to dry. It turns out that washi tape is not a good surface for the dots as they all fell off this morning!
(the background is some scrap paper I have used to do my Sharpie pen outlining. And stapler practice. Yes, I need stapler practice)
So the dots were replaced with stick on pearls....

Did I mention how much I love those clouds?
Have a good weekend - I hope that you are able to look on the bright side - and know some hope in your heart too :)

Monday, February 24, 2014

A walk down memory lane

Last week was a trip down memory lane. Only from last year though as we stayed in the same cottage for half term as we did then. Phil and I have had rotten colds which are hard to shake off so we spent a quiet time relaxing, eating and walking a bit. The main excuse for being there was catching up with Emrys. It is so nice to hear him and Carys chattering and giggling together.

And I have had a longer trip down memory lane with this week's Daring Cardmaker challenge. Sharon chose the theme of Old but not forgotten, trying to find our oldest crafting buys to use. I don't have much of my very oldest. Many of those papers and stamps I have given away in the past. But I have kept a few, which I have used this week.

The first card uses some lovely Basic Grey Urban Couture thatI have been hoarding
the red panel is actually from a folding matchbook album that I have never used. I added some chipboard from my stockpile (don't use much of it, can't bear to part with it) which I coloured using MR Huey white and a Glimmer Mist chalkboard green paint to try and approximate the colour of the backing paper. It is slightly more successful in real life than it photographed. The sentiment is one of my first ever stamps - a wooden backed one. I've never found them that easy to use. I added flowers from an Imagine That set and some sticky gems. The final touch was a Martha Stewart butterfly. Oh and everything is inked round the edge using Vintage Photo distress ink. The only colour I had for many years!

To be honest, I didn't really like that card much so decided to have another go. I was supposed to use another old stamp but forgot and used a newer one. I'm glad really as the old one does look terribly out of fashion now!  I used a Freshly Made sketch
to make this
More old Basic Grey - this is my first BG love "Lollipop Shoppe".
I used a very old Sizzix die for the parcel.
The sentiment is Clearly Besotted.
And to be totally retro - I used one of the last peel offs I still own!
The parcel is mounted on foam pads

I've also been making layouts. Here is one that also uses up some old kit
The photo was taken last week when it was still really awful down in the South West so there is a blue cast to the white that I can't eradicate with my photo shopping skills (none)
There is no patterned paper on here at all. I emptied out two packets of die cut pieces from the Girls Paperie that I have had for years - lots of frames and pennants and clocks and things that I have used endlessly and still never seem to finish. So I placed them down on the page and then gessoed over them so that close up you can still see the pattern but they don't overwhelm.
Then I decided to outline them all to give some extra dimension.
There were lots of little numbers and I added the letters that began each of our names. That was a blessing in that there wasn't a full alphabet in either packet of die cuts - just that our initials featured in the selected words (Lucky and Travel as I recall). As you can see there weren't quite enough numbers so I had to improvise
I thought these Cosmo Cricket alphabet stickers blended in very well
Using up all that old stash was enormously satisfying!