Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Well at least the envelope arrived

because my mothers day card wasn't in it :(
Dad says it wasn't sealed at all. I am pretty sure I wouldn't make such a school boy error but who knows. Still because I had made it for a Dare at elast I could email her a photo of what it had looked like.

this is the card i sent to my Mother in Law
Vellum and sparkles and trying out my new embossing pen. Don't really like my handwriting embossed though. Will need to work on that I think. The butterflies are on watercolour paper and I now have the outside and inside butterfly dies which makes putting them together so much easier. This one arrived without a problem...

I am behind again with my Daring Cards so here is what I have been up to
Two weeks ago we had the Great Daring Cardmakers Bake Off.
I used some old QK dies and a newer candle one to make a cupcake. Everything was cut from watercolour paper so I could add paint including that rather awesome gold. (I am gold crazy at the moment I cannot lie). A Lawn Fawn (I think) die cut circle got the same treatment. And as everything looks better with a black outline I gave everything a black outline. I also made a watercolour background and then was very brave and tried out my fancy writing skills using black, white and (here is the important one) grey pens. The shadow of the light grey promarker just brings it to life, even if your "k"s are not very good!

Then this week it was all swings and roundabouts asking for cards with a bit of swing and a circle if poss. Well every time I started thinking about the card the song "would you like to swing on a star" popped into my head. And so here is my swinging star
Heidi Swapp papers; gold foil card die cut star; gold liquid pearls; gold foil on red tape; Imagine That stamps; a whole load of different circle dies; krylon pen
and just a bit of frustration when it wouldn't go right!

Busy week as ever but wanted to dash in a blog post before I had 3 weeks worth of cards to show. Laters :)

Friday, March 06, 2015


Its Elemental Inspiration time at Daring Cardmakers and I was tickled that Leo used the same sticker on her card as I did. Maybe it's not totally surprising as we both utilised Quirky Kits to make our cards. You can find instructions on Leo's card here - worth looking as she has made a very cute tassel. And do look on the DCM blog for everyone else's fabby concoctions.

Here is our inspiration
and my card
I used the gold (really? it must be subtle); the confetti and the big letter (although mine are three slightly smaller letters).
The confetti paper and the subtle aqua are the same sheet of paper - just beautiful. I used a brand new WPlus9 die for "thank you" and a Docraft alphabet to cut "mum" from gold foil paper. The pink tag is made from iced pink cardstock, embossed with a lovely Maggie Holmes folder and topped off with washi tape from the kit. The little sticker got the gold treatment with my krylon pen, like everything else. I added in some gold sequins as a further nod to confetti.
I shall write "for everything" inside the card as I ran out of space on the front!.

I have very little crafting time this week or next but have been trying to keep up a Lent journal which I must photograph. I usually get to about now in Lent then it gets really hectic and I fall by the wayside so I am hoping to finish this year. Lenten discipline is sadly not my forte. The good news is that it comes around again so that I can do better next time. And that I receive God's forgiveness. "Hooray" and "thanks for everything" are words for him, too.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

It was meant for me

this card I mean

and ooh that burst of yellow did the trick.
Nat came up with this gorgeous idea for the Daring Cardmakers blog - Mellow Yellow
If you are feeling like its always winter then do pop over for some sunshine :)
I have been rather under the weather - a flu virus that has taken 3 weeks to recover from plus an excision following a (slightly) malignant melanoma leaving a rather fetching 3" scar on my shoulder. Stitches are out now so I am hugely better.

This card isn't my best ever but I was glad to feel well enough to get it made.
I used some Simple Stories papers and 3 different dies to create a sunshine scene. The Paper Smooches get well was cut and layered three times - I love that look. Adding glossy accents to one of the sun papers seemed like a good idea but was less successful - I should have used stronger glue underneath it as it tended to raise some of the paper up. Ah well. The letter stickers are Simple Stories and added on foam pads which gives the slightly wonky look.

I was well enough to attend the Artcards crop on Saturday. One of my Sabbatical resolutions was to make time to meet crafty people and I found Karen's fab group in Somerset. Not totally local but its good. I've only managed 2 since October due to my interesting work life but here's hoping I can fit some more in this year. It happily coincided with the arrival of my latest Quirky Kits box and that made packing for the crop easy as anything. I finished one layout completely, left two more almost done but needing things that I had left at home. Those were completed along with a further two on Monday. Which is good as crafty time will be in short supply over the next few weeks. One layout was launched on the Quirky Kits blog today - the kits are mouth wateringly lovely and can be found here. For more details on this layout visit the blog

Hope you are feeling fit and well :)

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Oooh lovely new stamps

If you have been following my blog for a while - hello :)
You might remember that I used to frequent the wonderful craft shop Imagine That in Upminster where I was lucky enough to teach a few classes as well. The shop is no more, but the brand lives on and the fabulous Emma Godfrey who runs it also works for Paperartsy and has just brought out a range of stamps under the Paperartsy umbrella. How happy was I when she contacted me to see if I would like to do some samples?
is an understatement.
You can see the whole range here. I had plate three to play with.
Here are my samples
This one took sooooo long to do.
That is because I tried to do a Paperartsy type of background to begin with - splodges and stencils and all sorts and it was a massive failure.
So I sat in the corner and cried a bit.
And then decided that as Emma knows my style then my style would be perfectly fine.
I'm still a bit sad about not being able to achieve what I had planned but hey ho.
As well as the stamps I was sent some lovely, lovely Paperartsy Fresco Finish paints in pinks and teal and a gorgeous old gold.
The background to this had lots of teal to start with but now has a colour scheme that reminds me of a licourice allsort :)
So instead this has layers - Sherbert, Old Gold and plain white cardstock. The top and bottom layers had slightly diluted Old Gold flicked on them. The pink strip was painted with Candy Floss . While all of those layers were drying I stamped and painted various elements from the stamp set. I had to add a Sharpie outline to everything (I really did)  and then stuck it all together. I tried to write "Christmas" to match "selfie", but didn't really manage it :)

Whereas this one took about 10 minutes....
The paints are just the bees knees for doing ombre effects. They manage to both hold their own AND mix beautifully. I didn't try to paint the outline of the frame, instead I used a krylon pen - my hand is too wobbly for such detail :) But I did paint the camera with slightly watered down paint so you could still see the text.

I loved the ombre so much I did it again!
this time just with the pink colours. I stamped directly onto the painted surface (with my toes crossed. I would have crossed my fingers but that would have interfered with the stamping) and it all lined up perfectly. Again I diluted the paints so that the text would show.
And I have just discovered a mistake - some bits that should have been painted - have you?

thanks again Emma for doing me the honour of asking me to be a Guest Designer - any time! (as long as you don't want the signature Paperartsy style...)

In other news as it is past Friday that means I have another Daring Card to reveal.
And as it was the first Friday in Feb it was a fabulous Elemental Inspiration, this one chose by Sharon

For this challenge we need to use at least three elements from the photo on our cards.
I went with the doodling, the paisley feature, the scallop and the blue edging. I doodled the image and coloured it in using water colour paints. Some pink cardstock was put through a paisley embossing folder and I dug out my old scallop scissors for the edging. Some black pen work, a Dienamics die and a Clearly Besotted sentiment and it was all done.

Monday, February 02, 2015

Rising to the challenge?

Having a few hours off and nothing on my craft to do list (well loads really but nothing urgent), I decided to play along with a few challenges. I save sketches and card challenges to my computer but almost never, ever use them - let alone manage to be able to submit within a time limit :)

The first one to share is Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge which has a photo to draw features from.
 Here is my card...

 Some more hand drawn watercoloured lines. I decided that hand drawn chevrons was beyond my skill set :) I added pennants in the featured colourways but also an old sizzlet heart die, some silver and red large sequins and a hand written sentiment. The papers used are mostly very old Kaisercraft.

I managed to complete two of Nat's card challenges for the month (the other one scares me a bit - don't know why!) but as it is only 2nd Feb I still have time to give that one a go too.
Firstly a colour inspiration
Mmmmmmm meringues
I have these wonderful WPlus9 Spring Blooms stamps that I have seen so many amazing cards created with. I still haven't quite got the measure of them. Sigh. Anyway I stamped with pale distress ink onto watercolour paper and stamped the flowers, colouring them with watercolour paints. The little blue flowers, leaves and stems are all hand painted. Everything was outlined with gold pen and sprinkled with Heidi Swap mist - as was the base Crate Paper layer. I added a gold outline to all the papers and some extra stripes to one of the papers. The gold is where I departed from the inspiration piece. The flowers were all given a Wink of Stella glitter covering
The sentiment was stamped with Delicata gold ink and cut with a fishtail die. Finally a big pink Docrafts button was added with some gold thread. It actually tones better with the card in real life than in the photo.

Then came a card sketch...
which I kept to quite slavishly. I either follow a sketch completely or you can't tell I used it at all...
The papers are from the Park Bench paper pad by Fancy Pants. I used a brand new Avery Elle dotted borders die and an almost as new Lawn Fawn stitched circle  combined with an old school retro daisy flower punch. I punched the flower three times and stuck them together and then after shaping the petals smothered it in glossy accents. A Clearly Besotted sentiment was embossed with Liquid Platinum embossing powder.

And finally (because if I put this in a different post I would probably not get round to the post so its better to put all of my eggs in this basket)
a scrap book sketch from Studio Challenges
Again, pretty well followed to the letter - even down to the yellow border. The striped paper had to be moved over slightly to hide a dirty mark on the white cardstock otherwise there would have been even more matchiness
There is a mix of papers here - some are Studio Calico, but there is also some WRMemory Keepers (Kaleidescope and Natural) and Simple Stories DIY Boutique (the background yellow). I was going to use a circle frame I have had for ages to draw around - and the circle was going to be yellow. But then I decided that I might as well use the circle in the layout and add some more of the colours from the photo. So first I traced and cut anyway for the green backing paper and then gessoed and watercoloured the chipboard circle a soft blue. When that was dry everything was given the black pen outlining treatment. The chipboard stickers are American Crafts, the stars are from Chickaniddy Crafts, brad and some of the stickers Simple Stories and the black/white one is Theresa Collins. The leaf is a Prima canvas one, inked with Mowed Lawn Distress ink.

Because of using the chipboard circle, the page has ended up with oodles of dimension.
and using the sketch means it came together really quickly.
Right, off for a lie down after that burst of creativity....

Saturday, January 31, 2015

It even snowed in Torquay

for 10 minutes on Thursday.
I hope if you have been affected by the weather that it is back to normal now. I know the children were disappointed round here but it does make life difficult for people who are not so steady on their pins when there is a lot of ice and snow. I know that if it is snowing here then it must be bad for everyone else...

I have had a wee bit of time for crafting this week. Photographing it successfully has been another matter...
Here is this weeks Daring Cardmakers effort. Zuzana gave us the fab challenge of using envelopes in some way and as I knew I had this little lovely left over from an old Quirky Kit (and knew where it was!) that was the basis of my card
I had also rediscovered some old MME papers and had earmarked them to use on some cards so out they came. They are not all from the same collection but still go together.  I used a Clearly Besotted die and lots of different papers. I put some adhesive into the envelope to stop all the thanks falling out :) Lawn Fawn Milo stamps finished off the sentiment.

I also made two layouts (well three really). As often happens the first one took aaaaaaaaaaages and the second one no time at all.
Here is the one that took the time which is apt really considering the subject
Sorry for the gangster lean but I am doing my best to be level and it looks it in the viewfinder :(
I have used an old Fancy Pants collection here - Collecting Moments. You only get one of each cardstock in the pack but I like the idea of using different backgrounds with the same papers so went with that idea. I gave the papers a bit of black pen treatment both to give them all a bit more oomph and to unite them a bit more. I chose some of the embellishments from the matching pack to add in and they didn't escape my black pen either.

I've been trying to find in my blog when I last used these sequins. I think they came from a very, very old Crafty Templates card kit. They have been saved up as they are a fabulous matte silver on one side and sparkly on another. A layout about somewhere amazing deserves special embellishments so I used them all on the layout, making sure some were shiny way up and some vice versa.

The black chipboard sticker is from a newer Quirky Kit and the Celtic Knots were bought from a wood turning company at a Craft show (aka the details are upstairs and I am too lazy/cold to source them for now). They were backed with more paper from the same collection.

I decided that most of the writing would go on one side - and I knew I had a lot to say. As I was writing the Bible passage came to me and I like the balance of some writing on the other page
The second layout was inspired by a sneaky peak at the next Quirky Kit. I spotted some black/white stripy paper that looked kind of hand painted and decided to go for that myself
I put masking tape down before using navy water colour. Apart from the gold/white heart paper the papers and stickers all come from a Basic Grey Christmas collection - Evergreen. All the embellishments are from Quirky Kits. I have a little box that I put all the leftovers into and then try and use them.
Oh how I love the chipboard clouds. And the Prima tin flower that looks like the sun.
I'll be back again soon :)

Friday, January 23, 2015

Frankenstein's monster

So here's the thing.
Last January I realised that one of my many (100 plus) moles was itching and bleeding. Not a good sign especially as me mam has had a few bouts of skin cancer. I went to the Doc who referred me to the hospital and I had two moles removed. One turned out to be definately a melanoma - but in the fairly early stages and the other was so small they really couldn't tell but decided that both sites should be excised (ie 1cm all around the site removed). Which happened last May. I now get examined at the hospital quite regularly (should go down to once a year. Eventually) And now I have another one waiting to be excised (though in even earlier stages than the first) and another mole that might change. It is better to be cancer free and have bits gouged out than leave things as they are - and it is something to be taken seriously, but I do feel as if I am going to be a cross between Gorganzola and Frankenstein's monster at this rate....
Which is all just a reminder to check your moles for any changes and do try and be sun smart. I am a prime candidate due to family history and having over 100 moles but any sun damage I have done will not help. You can be just as liable if you are not sensible with the sun though - so be careful out there! (OK so not a worry in the UK in January but even so!)

Anyway enough of me and my health issues (next week: hypothyrodism...) what about some crafting.
I have had a tough but fun assignment this week that I will share when I can but for now there are two Daring Cards to show you.
Last week we were challenged with the January Blues. As it was my brother's birthday yesterday and he is a massive Man City fan I thought this would be the perfect assignment for his card.
This is the Man City logo
 and this is my twist on it
I turned a chipboard butterfly and a Stampin' Up bird punch with gold card into an Eagle (well, sorta) and added the striped background with watercolour and gold pen. The shield has a Papertrey Ink boat stamped on it in Delicata gold. The Clearly Besotted label has a handwritten sentiment using Krylon pen. "Superbia in Proelio" means "Pride in Battle".
Confession time: In my head the embossed background was going to be raised gold letters on a blue background. But that doesn't happen when you swoosh gold ink over this particular embossing folder. Ah well.

This week we have been invited to add a hat to our cards. Mine is mostly hat.
I knew that I had a packet of cute Basic Grey pompoms in my stash that I have failed to use because they are completely round and just look too big on a scrapbook page. So I decided to find some watercolour paints to match the pompom. I then discovered the Fancy Pants paper that had stripes remarkably similar to the colours I had been trying out from my lovely new vivid Kuretake watercolour set I had for Christmas (if only I was as good at colouring with watercolours as I am at buying them!)
I hand drew the party hat and painted it on watercolour paper.
Because the first time I didn't dry each colour enough first. And then I tried that cool shading look under the hat and completely ruined it.
When this version was all dry, (note the sensible lack of shading) I went round the edges with a fine black marker and added Wink of Stella shine to the stripes but you can't really see that. I added the pompom with double sided tape and one of my favourite Paper Smooches stamped sentiments to finish it off.

Right off to stare at my moles again.... grumble, grumble