Friday, November 27, 2015

Oh the shame

this is my first post in November. This blog has practically given up the ghost I know. But I am not quite ready to say goodbye to it.

So what has been keeping me away?
  • a wonderful, magical, amazing week's holiday in Madeira. LOTS of scrap pages will be appearing on this subject so I won't share pics just yet
  • a fabulous visit from my lovely school friend Sian. practically lost my voice we chatted so much
  • learning to crochet/watching Pretty Little Liars. Prouder of the former than the latter! I had to persevere with the crochet thing but am glad I did. Now just need to finish a blanket to give as a Christmas present.
  • Number 2 son's graduation. Nothing like a 24 round trip to Middlesbrough in wintry November. But it was lovely to see him walk across the stage and we had a bonus nip into Bradford to see Carys as we haven't seen her since early September

So  what haven't I shown on the ol' blog then? That will be a month's worth of Daring Cards.
Cast your mind back to the first Friday of November - elemental inspiration week

Isn't that a fabulous room? Here is what I did with it
There are several tones of pink so I watercoloured some card using different pinks and also some pink patterned paper. I made a heart which swings (although when I went back to the photo I don't think there is a mobile on there after all!) and was inspired by the paint pots to include the multicoloured strip on the top. The sentiment is in graphic black and white which was also something I spotted in the photo.

Cuddly huggly creatures a card featuring a cute animal of some kind with extra points for featuring hugs.
Now this card may look pretty simple but it has been torn apart and put back together SOOOOO many times!
the stamp is from the WPLus9 Wishing You set which was stamped on watercolour card and coloured with Kuretake Watercolour Markers. This was layered up onto various patterned papers. Then I added the black lines. I die cut "hugs" several times and used the pen to colour the top layer. Then tried inlaying the letters onto a white card. it looked pants. So things were ripped off carefully removed onto a new card of a different size. It looked better but kept coming off the second card so it was ripped off carefully removed again and mounted on foam pads. Finally we were all happy :)

Anything but a card. This task was completed on time. I just didn't have the chance to photograph it in daylight. All my fault.
I have to say  that all the other items on the Daring blog are A-MAY-zing. This challenge really brought out the best in everyone. I was a bit stuck but I did make something that I will use - my Advent devotional book which is kind of a Christian december daily.
I covered the front of a sketchbook with papers from Kaisercraft Holy Night collection - which I was going to use with my Christmas cards before I realised that I just don't have time to make 70 cards this year. Sad times. I am going to be using a devotion based on carols so I thought the papers and stickers were appropriate. I added some vellum to tone down the word paper a little. The letters were die cut several times including with gold glitter paper (just once for the numbers for variation) and all that was left to do was to sprinkle some gold stars and add a tiny gold gem to the middle of the sticker.

And finally...
this week's dare is sponsored by Bubbly Funk who are now the go-to place for all things stencilly. So guess what the dare is called? Stencil It. So I did :) We were allowed to choose a stencil. that was really hard.... but I went for this one Stencil Tracks as I like to use them mostly as backgrounds. I had a play with two different media - my lovely Pebeo iridescent paints and also some Sparkle Medium. I discovered I only had champagne rather than a true gold colour so while it was still wet I sprinkled some extra fine gold glitter by Ranger all over it. The next day I looked at my backgrounds and decided what to do with them.
Firstly, use it as a background
look at that glittery loveliness. The quickutz holly leaves were made using some of the leftover bits of the green painted stencil below. I created small circles from vellum and gold glitter paper and cut another quickutz die sentiment from red glitter card. The vellum piece was mounted with foam pads and everything was placed onto green patterned paper which echoes the paint slightly more in real life. Some very fiddly non sticky gems created the berries.

I also used the stencil with red, gold and green paints, then chopped them up
to make ornaments. They really are very shimmery - which is hard to capture
More vellum - this time embossed with a new to me folder (I'm in walking distance of the Range, that is really not good) and a Clearly Besotted sentiment finished it off

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Catching up with layouts

Most of my layouts can be found on the Quirky Kits blog. I go through them in some detail there so will just give a few highlights here (lazy)

and then there is another 4 to share. I would divide them up but know I will never share them otherwise.
This one is almost all from an old Crate Paper collection  - ON Trend that I love so much I have guarded it all so decided to just go for it and use loads of it all at once. So I used my favourite paper as the background ones and toning other ones for the top and bottom of the page. I covered a chipboard frame with some gold acrylic paint and layered up stickers from the kit as well to create my focal point.
I added in stickes and sequins and stickers as well as covering a chipboard C with loads of glitter

This page started with the Crate Paper Shine transparency paper. Isn't it fabulous? I then pulled out toning papers from my stash - some of them are from the Basic Grey Barista 6x6 pad. I inked all the edges with Vintage Photo distress ink. I then went through my embellishments - especially my Quirky Kit leftovers and the title (which I painted with gold mist) the stickers, wood sequins and ribbon come from there.

I love this page although it is very simple. I wanted a title page for my holiday album. This was the view from our holiday home window - the best we have ever had. I used my new loves - my iridescent Pebeo acrylic paints. I used a few colours with a stencil. Its only a 6x6 stencil so I am very pleased with how it worked moving it around.
Trying to get a good photo of the shimmer...

I added lots of Prima sparkly gems. The lollipops were the perfect colour and help to hide some ugly red gas bottles in the photo :)
And finally....
for some reason I took a photo of this angled layout at an angle....
I used a sketch but can't remember where from (its my age)
The papers are a combination of Studio Calico and Amy Tangerine

The white cardstock square is laid on the green patterned paper using foam pads for dimension
Many of the embellishments are from the Poolside die cut pack (from Quirky Kits). The stars and wooden shapes are also from old QKs.
And I used your actual real brads as well! (And some cute resin flowers that I have hoarded).

Phew! That was quite a catch up.
I have some scheduled posts on the Quirky Kits blog and I have now made 8 layouts with the latest set of kits and think I can manage one more before running out of paper. But I still have oodles of embellishments left which is a joy - I love rediscovering and using all those extras when I am making other layouts in the future. Quirky Kits are such great value for money.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Any old excuse

I've been pretty unwell/blogger stopped talking to Firefox and no-one would help me for days/I've discovered crocheting and am addicted to making granny squares... all of which are part of the reason for yet more blog silence for which I am very sorry.

So here is a crafting catch-up. I'll do cards today and maybe schedhule another post with some layouts.
I've got three weeks worth of Daring Cards to catch up with and so I will share them in reverse order.
This week it is all about Tempting Treats! I'm trying (not very successfully) to lose weight and this one was tough :)
I found this lovely fabric ice-cream dish in one of my Quirky Kit leftover bags - the amount of embellishments you get is awesome and I love to dip in to my little store of goodies when I have a crafting project to complete. I had forgotten all about this so it made me smile when I found it. The papers are a combination of Studio Calico and Maggie Holmes, from 6x6 pads. The sentiment is hand written (like you can't tell :))

The week before the theme was "Thankyou for the music" (cue Abba for those of us of a certain age). And here is my card
For this card I stamped a music backgroup stamp onto watercolour paper with Versamark and heat embossed using white powder. I took some green and blue distress inks and smooshed them one at a time onto some plastic, spritzed with water and then transferred the colour onto the paper. It gives this lovely gradient effect.

To keep things light I added a little vellum label which was dry embossed. I fished out a very old Cuttlebug die and cut it from blue card and also some Little Claire iridescent sticky film which I layered over the top. The sentiment comes from two The Big, the Bold sets by Winnie and Walter. I have fallen in love with the little words that come with the sets. I think it is because, although I loathe Times New Roman as a typed font on the page, I adore trying to use it as a handwritten font. (Me? Wierd?Never) And this is quite similar I think. A few gems and that was that.

Finally... What do you do beside crafting? Miri posed the question wanting to see how we could put what we do for a living into our cards. I came up with this...
The background was made using a technique that I am loving at the moment. Using acrlyic iridescent paint and a stencil. The green was painted too and when it was dry I die cut a cross using some of the Little Claire self adhesive glitter film. The die cut words come from two different companies - the top ones are Paper Smooches and I can't remember the other.

Here are some more of the cards I have made with this technique. This is my favourite

 You can't really see the shimmer, even on the close up but it is beautiful

And a few more - using those little word stamps again

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Interesting week

I could probably say that about every week to be honest as with my job, no week is ever the same. So last week was filled with things like Church Singing Group (which I usually can't attend), a funeral interview, trying to move on the removal of plaques back to a former church building (long story) and safeguarding training. The latter was a highlight which might sound an odd thing to say about training on abuse but much of the day was run by the Geese Theatre Company who were engaging and informative in the way they treated a difficult topic. I wonder what next week has in store for me?

I did have some time to craft this week. I'm trying to learn to crochet but it is winning at the moment... and I managed to make a card for the Daring Cardmakers for this week which was based on this inspiration piece 
I was going to go for a straight attempt at drawing the caravan, decided it was a daft idea and instead went more abstract.
Last week there was a craft show in Exeter and I bought some fabulous Pebeo iridescent paints. I first die cut two stitched squares out of  heavy card. I painted one gold and went two thirds of the way up the other with the green/blue (or is it blue/green?). A Sizzlit heart was also painted in gold but I deliberately put some dimension into it with the brush strokes. It did make it take ages to dry though. 
I die cut grey and black circles to mimic the wheels. Everything was given a Black Soot Distress Ink edge as there is a similar look to the drawing. Then came black die cut letters - they are the Lil' Inker Mixed & Stitched Alphabet. When everything was dry the card was assembled and I added three sparkly gems. I was going to say just because but I can pretend they replace the three hearts in the original piece, so I will. 

I've also had time for two layouts. They are both for the holiday album
I used a sketch for this but can't remember which one now (duh). It added in the circle which I am bad at doing. I have now used all of those lovely acetate triangles from the last Quirky Kit. ALmost everything from this layout is from old Quirky Kits, apart from the anchor brad and the enamel dots. I was pleased to find I had a stencil that echoed the houndstooth apron that we are all wearing in the photo.
I had a lot of fun with this layout below
I tipped out some more of my Quirky Kit embellishments and had fun putting them together. And I have used two more Porject Life cards (I don't find them easy to use) I made some extra gold dots with glitter paper and dies and a hole punch. I used the same glitter paper to die cut "fun" using alphabet dies.

Monday will be another crafty day so I am hoping to have more to share soon

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Indian Summer

You can tell that the children have gone back to school in the UK as the weather is magnificent at this tail end of October.
Here are me and the Mr at Saltram yesterday
I insisted on taking a coat in case I got cold. I was then even warmer carrying my heavy winter coat around with me. Saltram is not that far from us and another National Trust place crossed off the list but not our favourite. Not enough information about the people and too much about the stuff.

I made some cards for the Daring Cardmaker challenge this week. In fact I made 16! It was the spur I needed to use some lovely notecards that I have had ever since I spied them on lovely Nat's blog and decided I must have them. And then hardly used them... Nancy Kubo made these fab prints for Prima (not Prima style at all now). I realised that I could make some cards to send to our Messy Church kids AND fulfil the dare at the same time. The Dare was all about Creative Kids - to make cards with or for children.

There were two of the same card per box so I decoupaged the animals, added gems, die cut and stamped messages and job done! Oooh and obviously some wink of stella on the die cut and animals (I say obviously, you probably can't see it but it is obvious because I put it on everything)

In other crafting
I've made three layouts recently. This one is about a University friend who has died. The day of his funeral the song by James Taylor came on the radio and I sobbed my way home as I realised that the chorus especially summed up how I felt. So I splurged it all on a page (part of what scrapbooking is about really) 

Must photograph the other two layouts. I've also been doing some bible journalling in an actual bible - this one using some brand new iridescent paints which are beautiful

This form of craft is a bit of a work in progress which is scary when you are using an actual Bible. I will have to photograph my more recent page where I actually wrote in pencil and it was only when I went over in black that I realised I had written the wrong word. I said something rather unscriptural at that point....

Monday, September 21, 2015

Fashionably late

well kind of. I made a card for Daring Cardmakers this week but totally misread what I needed to do and didn't have time to make another until yesterday.
Whereupon I made two...
The brief was "to create a card that features a whole outfit". Mine actually doesn't have shoes as it is much easier to avoid feet when drawing something yourself...

This was sensible version 2 on watercolour paper and using Kuretake Clean Color pens. There was more control this way
This one was done with watercolours onto a spare frame I had cut from non watercolour paper and done using Kuretake paints. It went more awry.
I think I am done with attempting this style of card :)

What I thought I was supposed to do was be inspired by fashion so I went straight to the Runway Inspired Challenge blog where the inspiration is this
and my take on it was this
using butterfly dies and those Clean Colour pens again.

Which also featured in last weeks Dare which I did not get round to blogging. It was all about Wonderful Watercolours and again i made two cards
this involved a freebie stamp that I had with a magazine
and this one
features a night sky courtesy of those Kuretake watercolours and WPlus9stamps and dies