Friday, 17 November 2017

Peace on earth

I love to watch the birds that come to the feeder and shrubs outside my window - this handsome chap would be a very welcome visitor!

This is my first project with this lovely bird stamp, I think the woodcut style of the illustration is just gorgeous. Bloom Art Stamps has just moved its store to Etsy which should make things easier for international shoppers, too!


Because this kraft card has quite a bit of texture, I stamped with the MISTI so I could make sure I got good coverage in the more solid areas of the stamp. I added just a touch of white pen to the markings on his head, wings and tail.
I cut tiny slits each side of his body so I could thread the die cut branch through to give him a wintery perch. Nail art gems provide berries for him to feast on and a "hidden" die cut sentiment adds to the overall calm feel, I think. I went over the stamped snowflakes with a Wink of Stella pen to give them subtle sparkle which is just about visible on the photo but looks lovely in real life!

Stamps:
Bird Paradise by Bloom Art Stamps
Grunge Flakes by Tim Holtz/Stampers Anonymous
Peace Stamp & Cut by Hero Arts

Paper:
Kraft
Scrap of dark brown for branch

Ink:
Versafine by Tsukineko (Onyx Black)
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Vintage Photo)

Other:
Branch die by Craft Emotions
Nail art gems
Wink of Stella pen (clear)
White Posca paint pen
Fine line brown marker
Glossy Accents by Ranger
MISTI

I'm afraid I failed with this week's DCM challenge - do check it out though, it's another in the Christmas countdown so a chance to get ahead with those festive projects!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 10 November 2017

Warm woollen mittens

This week's challenge in the run up to Christmas for Daring Cardmakers is "warm woollen mittens" - feature some winter clothing on your creation. It could be mittens, hats, gloves, scarves, boots...

My snowman is wearing a scarf and although his hat may be more for show than warmth his little birdy companion has gone for the full woolly pompom affair.

This is a hybrid card - the snowman is a digi (printed with a laser printer and coloured with Copics), the snowflakes and part of the sentiment are stamped. The die cut "merry" was covered in glitter and then given a bit of an ombre effect with Copics.

Stamps:
Top of the Morning Snowman (digi by Whimsy Stamps, Crissy Armstrong Collection)
Merry Stamp & Cut (Hero Arts)
Flurries (waltzingmouse Stamps, no longer with us)

Paper:
Smooth white
Kraft

Ink: 
Brilliance by Tsukineko (Graphite Black)
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Tumbled Glass)

Other:
Copic markers
Glamour Dust by DecoArt (Crystal)
Sewing machine and thread
Posca paint pen (white)

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Autumn Leaves

I'm doing my usual last-minute-minnie act here - today is the last day for this month's Song Title Challenge at the Craft Barn and I've just made my postcard this morning!

This month's song is Autumn Leaves. I have to confess it wasn't one I knew so off I went to YouTube. Mickie had recommended the Eric Clapton version but the one that really stood out for me was Eva Cassidy so it's her name I used on my card. Both song title and artist name are hand written into two of the leaves at bottom right.

I think this face has a rather wistful, meloncholy air about her which seemed perfect for somebody thinking about lost love. I did some masking and planned a one layer card but a dropped marker meant a little bit of camouflage became necessary so I've added a couple of extra leaves that have been cut out and stuck on.


Stamps:
Molly (Beeswax Stamps)
Autumn Leaves (Sheena Douglass)

Paper: Smooth white

Ink:
Adirondack dye ink by Ranger (Espresso)
Brilliance by Tsukineko (Pearlescent Chocolate)

Other:
Copic markers
Clear Wink of Stella
Fine line brown marker

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 3 November 2017

November elements

Can you believe it's the first Friday of another new month - eek! That means it's an "elemental" challenge at Daring Cardmakers and it's the first of our Christmas run-up (although Christmas is not compulsory - take a look at the DT samples to see other ways to run with the picture!).

I'm finally making a start on some Christmas cards so despite the temptation to do something other than the obvious festive take on this, I did go Christmassy in the end.

From the picture (at the end of thispost if you haven't already seen it on the DCM blog) I chose the purple and cranberry elements of the colour scheme and some gold accents, the baubles and ribbed texture of the white jug on the mantlepiece.

I cut individual baubles out from an emossed piece, coloured them with Copics, added a wash of Perfect Pearls in coordinating colours and used gold gilding wax to highlight the embossed texture.

I really should learn that making a card that doesn't involve stamping always takes five times as long and I'm less likely to be happy with the result!

Supplies:
Sentiment from Compliments of the Season (mine is the original Waltzingmouse Stamps set - the same set is now available through Gina K)
Smooth white and black cardstock
Versafine by Tsukineko (Crimson Red)
Beautiful Baubles embossing folder by Sheena Douglass
Copic markers
Perfect Pearls (Perfect Red and Forever Violet)
Rub n Buff (Gold Leaf)
Gold gel pen
Sequins
Scor-It
Pinflair glue gel

Thanks for stopping by!


Friday, 27 October 2017

Blended

Nat is setting the challenge at Daring Cardmakers this week and she'd like to see some ink blending going on.

I've resisted the lure of the new Distress Oxides so I reached for my trusty old Distress inks and a sponge, splattered some water and then sat and looked at it for ages, completely at a loss what to do with it. I ended up going very simple with a stamped image and a "hidden" die cut sentiment. The word is intended for Christmas cards but I thought it would suit a peaceful image, too!

Stamps:
My Island by Waltzingmouse Stamps (no longer with us but this set is now available through Gina K)

Paper:
Smooth white

Ink:
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Peacock Feathers, Salty Ocean, Seedless Preserves)
Brilliance by Tsukineko (Graphite Black)

Other:
Die from Peace Stamp & Cut by Hero Arts
Corner Chomper
Black marker

Thanks for stopping by, hope your weekend is a peaceful one!

Friday, 20 October 2017

City or country?

It's Friday so it must be challenge day over at Daring Cardmakers. Miri is setting this week's challenge and she'd like to know: city or country? Which are you?

I'm very definitely a country girl. I have done city living (Manchester being the biggest) but I'm now firmly back in a rural location.

As well as the obvious trees, fields, wildlife, birds etc, one of the things I love about where we live is the dark skies. Northumberland International Dark Sky Park has gold tier status from the  International Dark Sky Association, making us "officially the best place in England for people to go to enjoy the heavens" according to the Northumblerand National Park website.
 
So I wanted my card to reflect something of the night sky we enjoy in the country, hence the dark background and the splatters of "starry" light behind the glowing autumn oak leaves.

I did the thing of overstamping the coloured image with Versamark and clear embossing to resist the watercolour - I gave it the tiniest of offsets to get moolight glints along the top edges of the leaves. A MISTI makes this easy to do! I actually broke out the iron and ironed off the clear embossing once I'd done with the rest of the card.

Stamps:
Oak Branch by Beeswax Stamps
Say It Loud by Waltzingmouse Stamps (no longer with us)

Paper:
Bristol board

Ink:
Adirondack dye ink by Ranger (Espresso)
Versamark by Tsukineko
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Blueprint Sketch, Black Soot)

Other:
Copic markers
Watercolour pencil
Detail silver and clear embossing powders
White paint pen by Posca
MISTI

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Parisienne Walkways

I'm squeaking in at the last minute with an entry for the Craft Barn song title challenge this month.

Mickie has chosen "Parisienne Walkways" for us - as usual, the song title and artist should be included and I've stuck with the postcard format I've been using for this challenge.

There are things I would do differently if I was doing this again but it's the last day of the challenge and I don't have time to do a re-make, I'm afraid! I'm reluctant to miss a month though so here it is, even if I'm not 100% happy with it!

I took the lyric

"Oh, I could write you paragraphs
About my old Parisienne days"

as the starting point, stamping a paragraph in the centre of the card. I added the song title and Gary Moore's name in my own handwriting then stamped the Eiffel Tower, the number 49 and some art nouveau style detail before sponging the edges with blue ink.

Stamps:
Haute Couture (Cornish Heritage Farms, no longer with us)
19th Century Script (Hero Arts)
Paris Nouveau (Waltzingmouse Stamps, no longer with us)

Paper: smooth white

Ink:
Shadow ink by Hero Arts (Soft Granite)
Versfine by Tsukineko (Onyx Black)
Delicata by Tsukineko (Golden Glitz)
Adirondack dye ink by Ranger (Stonewashed)

Other:
Memento makrer (London Fog)
Fine line black marker
Charcoal pencil

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 6 October 2017

October Elements

Can you believe it's the first Friday of yet another month?! Of course that means it's an "elemental"challenge at Daring Cardmakers - just choose at least three elements from Leo's picture to kickstart your project.

I didn't consciously set out thinking that the overall feel of the picture was quirky but maybe it was bubbling under since what I made is definitely on the quirky side!

From the picture I chose the strawberry, a hand (it's even a left hand!) and some black and white stripes. Although I didn't go for the colour scheme there is a wee bit of kraft, like the box of washi tapes.

The striped frame is hand drawn onto a scrap of kraft cardstock and cut out to make a focal point in the middle of a white card with the images layered on top.

Stamps:
Past Times by Hero Arts
Vintage Garden - Produce by Waltzingmouse Stamps (no longer with us)

Paper:
Bristol board
Kraft

Ink:
Brilliance by Tsukineko (Graphite Black)

Other:
Copic markers
Black fineline marker
White Posca paint pen
Pearl pen by Viva Decor (Anthracite)
Pinflair Glue Gel

Here's the inspiration picture Leo chose for us this month. We'd love to see what you're inspired to make if you get chance!



Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 29 September 2017

Harvest Home

Another Friday, another challenge from Daring Cardmakers. Shabneez is setting this week's theme and she'd like to see fruit, vegetables or grain on our projects as it's harvest time.

I'm easing myself back in to crafting after a couple of weeks' holiday. I'm never quite satisfied with the first thing I make after a break from my crafty stash but doing a bit of colouring was relaxing so I'll just settle for "hmm, that's OK".

I've combined digi and rubber here and pulled out the kraft cardstock for a rustic base with a bit of scuffing, tearing and wonky piercing done with a tracing wheel.

The kraft means it fits this month's challenge at Power Poppy, too.

Stamps:
Fall Haul digi by Power Poppy
Vintage Flourish by Indigo Blu
Sentiment from old CHF set

Paper: kraft

Ink:
Brilliance by Tsukineko (Pearlescent Chocolate)
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Tea Dye)

Other:
Coloured pencils (Prisma and Coloursoft)
White Posca pen
Tracing wheel 

Many faith and community groups use their harvest collections these days to boost their local food bank - do consider dropping something off if you possibly can, it will be hugely appreciated.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 8 September 2017

International Literacy Day

It's International Literacy Day today according to UNESCO - since reading and literacy are close to my heart it seemed the perfect coincidence that it's my turn to set the challenge at Daring Cardmakers. So the challenge is to celebrate the written word - images of books or readers, a favourite literary quote, an author portrait... where will your imagination take you?

I've gone ultra clean and simple with this sweet little image and -eek!- my own handwriting.

The quote is from Neil Gaiman and I've just repeated it to make a circle round the little reader who is, I hope, lost in the world those words are creating.

I'm really happy with the Bristol card I found from a seller on eBay - it's a really good heavy weight for card bases (it's 335gsm) and even the strong shades of Copic marker didn't bleed through so this is a truly one layer card.

Stamps:
Story of Me by Crafty Secrets (no longer with us)

Paper:
Bristol board

Ink:
Adirondack dye ink by Ranger (Espresso)

Other:
Copic markers
Black fineline marker
Corner Chomper

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 1 September 2017

September elements

Unbelievably it's September - eek! Kathy has chosen our "elemental inspiration" picture at Daring Cardmakers as it's the first Friday of the month and she found herself unable to resist one last mood board of soft, summery shades. As ever, just choose at least three elements from the picture to kick-start your project.

I'm afraid pastel shades are always difficult for me and I struggled more than usual with this one - the circular file in the craft room saw quite a lot of action!

From the picture, I chose the overall colour palette (making it a bit deeper because, well, pastels!), a frilly flower (I don't have a ranunculus stamp so I went for a poppy instead), the herringbone tiles and a splash of shiny gold.

I raided my scraps folder for bits of cardstock in soft mauve, pink and blue-grey and cut little rectangles to stick onto a chocolate brown base - fiddly but quite satisfying! They're 4x1cm and yes, I really did study the picture to figure out those rectangles were four times as long as wide!

I ended up painting the die cut leaves with acrylic paint because they were already out on my desk but not the right shade of green at all. I could have just cut another out of a different cardstock, I know!

The dots are "waste" circles from various die cuts that were lying about on the desk - I covered them with Zig two-way glue and then added gilding flake before doming them with an embossing stylus. Adding them with glue gel is a good idea as it stops them flattening if you put pressure on them (inevitable if you're posting your card).

Stamps:
Poppycock by Indigo Blu
Sentiment from Say It Loud by Waltzingmouse Stamps (no longer with us)

Paper:
Bristol board
Chocolate brown
Scraps!

Ink:
Brilliance by Tsukineko (Graphite Black and Pearlescent Chocolate)

Other:
Copic markers
Palm Fancy Die by  Hero Arts
Acrylic paint
Chariots of Fire Mega Flake by Indigo Blu
Zig two-way glue pen
Pinflair glue gel

Here's the inspiration picture



Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 25 August 2017

Fast Frankie!

Our challenge today at Daring Cardmakers is "Fast food and coffee to go".

I reckon pizza is perfect food for a party and so this happened!

Fast Food Frankie is a digital image. I printed him on Neenah cardstock (because that will go through my printer OK!)  coloured with Copics, cut out and stuck onto an inky background on a DL card. I went dark with the blues to make it look like perhaps night is falling and Frankie is keen to find the party before it's too late!

I'm not sure whether he's pulling a wheelie because he's setting off at speed or whether the weight of all those pizzas is to blame!

Supplies:
Fast Food Frankie by Dr Digi - printed on a laser printer
Neenah cardstock
Copic markers
Posca white paint pen
Tim Holtz Distress inks (Salty Ocean, Blueprint Sketch, Chipped Sapphire)
Triple Thick glaze by DecoArt (on his goggles)
Typeset strip die by Tim Holtz/Sizzix
Fineline black marker
Nail art gems
Pinglair glue gel

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Summer in the City

I managed to miss last month in the Craft Barn song title challenge so I've tried to be more organised and get it done in plenty of time this month!

This month's song is Summer in the City. I've stuck with my postcard format for this challenge and I seem to be developing a bit of a thing for image transfer!

The background is shaving foam marbling done with alcohol inks in hot colours to go with the theme of the song. Twiggy was the Face of 66, the same year The Lovin' Spoonful had a hit with Summer in the City and I think she'd definitely have been the kind of girl to dance all night. I used one of Andy Skinner's threshold graphics (you can find them all here) and did an image transfer over the background.

The number stamps are already a bit eroded/grungy in style so when they didn't stamp absolutely perfectly first time I decided I liked the way it looked and left it alone. Sadly, the handwritten song title and band name did smudge a little when I added a final coat of satin glaze but I decided they're still legible so I'll grin and bear it - waiting for an image transfer to dry is not my strong point so I didn't want to start again!

Supplies:
Bristol board
Copic reinkers (Cadmium Yellow and Cadmium Orange)
Laser printed image
White acrylic paint
Satin Glaze by DecoArt
Fineline black marker
A & P Number stamps by Ma Vinci's Reliquary (sadly defunct)
Stazon ink (Jet Black)

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 18 August 2017

Action and exciting news!

Kathy has set today's challenge at Daring Cardmakers and she's given us a word prompt: Action! Interpret that any way you choose - an action image, a card with an action element etc.

A quick newsflash first though: I'm excited to have been asked to do a six month tour of duty with the Dirty Dozen (the design team at Splitcoast Stampers). This is my first month and although content is exclusive to SCS fan club members, one of my cards was chosen for the sneak peek artwork so you can see that here if you'd like to!

For the DCM action prompt, I chose to make a yo-yo spinner card, partly because I thought it would be a cute use for the goldfish stamps I bought recently. When you pull the ribbon, the fish swim round in a circle, following each other as they go.

I used this video tutorial as a guide. I found narrow ribbon worked better than string for me, probably because my circle is a bit bigger and the extra surface area of the ribbon creates a bit more "pull" to get it moving.

The background piece was made using the watercolour imprints technique that the lovely Dina demonstrates here - I used various circle dies to make a ring pattern on a piece of watercolour paper with Peacock Feathers Distress ink.

I might try for just a bit more contrast in my ink layering next time but this kind of set is fun for images with areas of fine detail, I think.

Stamps:
Layering Goldfish by Hero Arts

Paper:
Watercolour
Bristol board

Ink: 
Adinrondack dye ink by Ranger (Sunset Orange)
Versafine by Tsukineko (Habanero, Onyx Black)
Tim Holtz Distress reinker by Ranger (Peacock Feathers)

Other:
Circle Nestabilities by Spellbinder
Sequins
Ribbon
Fun foam
Acetate

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 11 August 2017

Unnatural!

Enfys is setting the challenge this week at Daring Cardmakers and she'd like to see a riot of colour - specifically things in colours they wouldn't have in nature! Pink elephants, purple trees, yellow pigs... you get the picture!

I struggled a bit with this one, every time I thought of a stamp I might use I thought "Hmmm, but that does come in weird colours sometimes". I finally settled on hot pink snowflakes and made my first Christmas card of the year! Silver leafing pen and sequins give it a little festive shine.


It's the first time I've used this die and I have to say that although it's very elegant, I'm not sure I'll be using it much - it was an absolute nightmare to release the wording from the die! I'll try the dryer sheet trick next time and see if that helps.

Stamps:
Grunge Flakes by Tim Holtz/Stampers Anonymous

Paper: Bristol board

Ink:
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Picked Raspberry)

Other:
Merry Christmas die from Sara Davies signature collection at Crafter's Companion
Silver Krylon pen
Sequins

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 4 August 2017

Elements for August

It's the first challenge of August over at Daring Cardmakers and of course that means we have an"elemental" dare - just choose at least three elements from Miri's picture to kickstart your project.


I rebelled against the flamingo trend and chose hibiscus flower, hot pink and turquoise from the color palette and a script style sentiment!

This is a quick and easy card - central panel masked with low tack tape and sponged with inks, splashed with water droplets for some interest and then overstamped with the bold, graphic style hibiscus image. Die cut sentiment and doodled border to finish.

Stamps:
Emerging Hibiscus by Cornish Heritage Farms (no longer with us)

Paper: Bristol board 

Ink:
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Picked Raspberry)
Adirondack dye ink by Ranger (Pool)
Versafine by Tsukineko (Onyx Black)

Other:
Fine line black marker
Phrases Set 1 by Spellbinder
Low tack tape

Here's the summery picture Miri chose for this month, it would be lovely to see your take on it - the DT cards feature lots of flamingos!


Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 28 July 2017

Wonderland

It's Svenja's turn to set the challenge over at Daring Cardmakers - the Disney film of Alice in Wonderland celebrates its birthday today so she'd like us to make cards inspired by wonderland or its beloved characters.

I love the original Tenniel illustrations more than the Disney ones. They're old enough I had a hunch they'd be public domain by now so I decided to go down that route. I found this version of the dodo here and had some fun with an image transfer. If you're new to the world of transfer, this video from Andy Skinner is a good introduction to the technique of making areas opaque.

The background is re-inkers on watercolour paper with water droplets and a few circles stenciled in white pigment ink over the top. I didn't decide to stamp the flourishes until after I'd done the image transfer so those are stamped with Stazon as it had to be something that would be OK on the surface that had been coated with satin glaze.

I've absolutely no idea what I'll do with this card but it was fun to make!

Supplies:

Digital image (laser printed)
Cold press watercolour paper
Tim Holtz Distress inks by Ranger (Peacock Feathers, Salty Ocean, Blueprint Sketch)
Adirondack Pigment ink (Snowcap)
Stazon (Teal)
Vintage Flourish stamp by Indigo Blu
Dymo labeller
Font One dies by Spellbinder
Little Stars die (comes with embossing folder) by Marianne Designs
Wink of Stella pen (clear)
White acrylic paint
Satin Glaze by DecoArt

Thanks for stopping by! Do have a look at the ideas from the DT, some of which go to show you don't necessarily need stamps or other "specific" Alice in Wonderland stash to evoke the story!

Friday, 21 July 2017

String theory

Kathy has set the challenge over at Daring Cardmakers this week and she'd like us to get tied up - use any sort of string, fibres, yarn etc on our projects.

I needed a baby card and as I didn't have any baby clothes stamps for my first thought of doing a washing line, I took the easy option of just using some white crochet cotton as a bit of an accent.

This bear is super-cute and the photographic detail stamps beautifully.

I was lucky enough to have my name come out of the hat for a challenge at The Craft Barn recently and I chose the Little Stars embossing folder plus as part of my prize - there's a matching die with the folder. I embossed the white section, used die cut stars on the pink for a slightly more scattered look and I have a border of outline stars to use on another project!

Stamps:
Hello Baby Vol 1 by Darkroom Door

Paper:
Bristol board
DCWV textured

Ink:
Brilliance by Tsukineko (Pearlescent Chocolate and Pearlescent Orchid)

Other:
Little Stars embossing folder plus by Marianne Design
Tags dies by Sizzix/Tim Holtz
Crochet cotton
Baby feet charm
Copic marker
Corner Chomper

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 14 July 2017

If you go down to the woods...

It's Enfys's turn to set the challenge at Daring Cardmakers and she's sending us down to the woods - make a card featuring anything that makes you think of the great outdoors: camping trips, woodland walks, picnics....

I went a bit "Victorian naturalist" on this one with a little watercolour study on a clean and simple card.

I stamped with Antique Linen and used the faint lines to do some borderless colouring. It's always useful to have the index image or to stamp the image in a dark ink on scrap paper to refer to when you do this, it lets your eye see the faint imprint better somehow.

Once the mushrooms were painted, I masked them and stamped in some grass and then added a weeny sentiment.

Stamps:
Mushrooms by Deep Red
Grasses by Inkylicious
Sentiment from Big Day Today by Waltzingmouse Stamps (no longer with us)

Paper: cold press watercolour

Ink:
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Antique Linen and Peeled Paint to stamp, plus Vintage Photo and Tumbled Glass for the watercolouring)
Pearlescent Chocolate Brilliance by Tsukineko

Other: Corner Chomper

Thanks for stopping by! Do have a look at the variety of ideas from the Daring Cardmakers - lots of fab takes on this theme!

Friday, 7 July 2017

Elemental July

Dawn is setting the challenge this week at Daring Cardmakers and of course because it's the first one of a new month, it's an "elemental" dare - just choose at least three elements from the inspiration photo to kick-start your project. The picture's at the end of this post if you didn't arrive here from the DCM blog and want to see it.

I chose: girl's face, pastel colours and sequins (after the fact I realised the ones I chose had the same iridescence as the material behind the plates top right).

Molly is delightful and she's a lovely big stamp so you don't need to do much else really. I masked her off, sponged on some pastel inks and then used a piece of acetate with circles punched in it as a stencil to sponge on a bit of white paint for a sort of bokeh effect.

Stamps:
Molly by Beeswax Stamps
Journaling Words 3 by The Artistic Stamper

Paper: Bristol Board

Ink:
Brilliance by Tsukineko (Graphite Black)
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Tumbled Glass, Spun Sugar, Scattered Straw)

Other:
Sequins
White acrylic paint

Here's the picture Dawn chose to inspire us this month:


Do pop by to see which elements inspired the DT and we'd love to see your take on it, too!

Friday, 30 June 2017

A galaxy of wishes

Miri is setting this week's challenge over at Daring Cardmakers and she'd like us to do a bit of galaxy gazing. She says:

"A galaxy is a system of stars, stellar remnants, interstellar gas, dust, and dark matter." (wikipedia) And astronauts and spaceships and aliens ...
Create a galaxy card with a galaxy background or galaxy elements.

I was a bit pushed for time so although I'd planned to try out an ink blended background, I did a super-quick scribbled galaxy with five Copic markers, dotted on some white pen and a few quick "twinkles" (just four flicked pen strokes radiating from a central point). I scribbled a white pencil around those for a bit of soft glow (a trick I saw on a YouTube video some time ago, sorry I don't remember whose).

A stamped sentiment and vintage telescope image made finishing touches.

Stamping the image made me think of last year's holiday - we visited the Museo Galileo while we were in Florence and there are some wonderful old telescopes among the exhibits there. Florence is a beautiful city and the Museo Galileo is a good escape if you fancy somewhere a bit less busy than the Uffizi, Duomo or Accademia (although to be fair, most of the Accademia is quite quiet, it's only the bit around David where there's a crush!).

Stamps:
Reach 4 the Stars (Cornish Heritage Farms, no longer with us)

Paper: smooth white

Ink: Graphite Black Brilliance by Tsukineko

Other:
Copic markers
White Posca pen
White Prismacolor pencil
Pinflair glue gel

Thanks for stopping by, hope any wishes you make this weekend are granted!

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Wonderful world

Time for another song title challenge at The Craft Barn and this month's song is "What a Wonderful World". It doesn't always feel very wonderful when we look at the news so this is probably a timely reminder that there really are lots of wonderful things for us to appreciate.

I combined stamping with a laser printer (or photocopy) image transfer technique for my postcard this time.

The world map and compass are stamped around the edge of the card (the shapes are very simple to mask so they all overlap) and then sealed with a satin varnish. Make sure you use a waterproof ink if you do this (ask me how I know!).

I found a vintage handshake image and added tiny text for the lyrics onto one of the hands and the song title around it before printing on a laser printer. Because there's text, it needs to be a mirror image print otherwise your finished text will be backwards - explore your printer settings if necessary! I used acrylic paint (white for the cuffs and sleeves, flesh toned for the hands) on the print out so those bits would be opaque and then sealed with the same varnish.

Once everything had dried, the base got another coat of varnish and while wet the image was burnished onto it and left to dry thoroughly (image transfer is not for you if you're in a hurry!). Dampening the paper and rolling the pulp off to reveal the transferred image has some magic about it!

Louis Armstrong is the only man for me when it comes to this song so I hand wrote his name onto a shirt cuff - as it's an acrylic paint surface there's enough "tooth" to make that feasible.

Stamps:
Journey set by Crafty Secrets (no longer making stamps, they've gone digital only these days)

Paper: kraft

Ink:
Vintage Sepia Versafine by Tsukineko

Other:
Vintage image
Computer and laser printer
White and Desert Sand acrylic paints by DecoArt
Satin Varnish by DecoArt
Black fineline marker

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 23 June 2017

I must go down to the sea

Lythan is setting our challenge over at Daring Cardmakers this week and she'd like to see anything to remind her of the sea as she misses the Welsh coast these days!

I played with Yupo paper and alcohol ink - although I used a single ink colour, it broke down beautifully into blue/aqua/green and really looked reminiscent of the ocean. I decided lots of white would show it off better though so I was brave and instead of leaving it in one piece, I die cut/punched circles to go against a fresh white background.

A single stamped starfish and bold sentiment finish it off and I think it came out nice and summery.

Stamps:
Seaside by Craft Secrets (no longer making stamps - they've gone digital)
Say It Loud by Waltzingmouse Stamps (no longer with us)

Paper:
Yupo
Bristol board

Ink:
Pearlescent Chocolate Brilliance by Tsukineko

Other:
Holiday Blue Various ink Copic refill
Circle dies/punches
Corner Chomper
Pinflair glue gel

Thanks for stopping by - do have a look at the DCM blog for the DT's breath of seaside air to go with the heatwave if you're in the UK!

Friday, 16 June 2017

Out of this world

I'm setting this week's challenge over at Daring Cardmakers - I'd like to see something mythical or fantastic on your creations this week. Since time immemorial we seem to have been telling tales of the inexplicable, of mermaids, dragons, unicorns, pixies, selkies etc... bring it up to date a bit and you might find aliens, hobbits or gremlins. Where will your imagination take you?

Mine took me to dragons - he's a bit more Land of Honalee than Game of Thrones though!

I found some punch art dragons with a google image search and just used those as a guide to do my own thing with dies. Combining basic shapes means you can tackle almost any theme without splashing out on specialist stash!

In doing my own thing, I added ears  and a tongue which made him look more "finished" to me. The tongue, neck and his spikes are hand cut, everything else is die cut or punched shapes (some halved or partially cut/recut).

I sponged ink round all the edges as well as over the "scales" of his neck (embossing folder). He's poking his head through a castle window (stone texture again an embossing folder) to say happy birthday.

Supplies:
Circle, oval and square dies by Spellbinder
Oval Framelits by Sizzix
Tiny circle punch
DCWV textured cardstock
Scales embossing folder by Marianne Designs
Dry Stone Wall embossing folder by Crafter's Companion
Essential Messages stamps by Hero Arts
Fine line black marker
White Posca pen

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Forever Young

I very nearly forgot the Craft Barn song title challenge this month but remembered just in time to sneak in before the deadline. This month's song is Forever Young.

Sticking with my format of making postcards for this challenge, I took inspiration from the lyric

May your heart always be joyful
May your song always be sung
May you stay forever young

I know Bob Dylan wrote it but for me, the only voice I hear in my head for this song is Joan Baez so I hand wrote her name inside the balloon and used Dymo tape to add the song title.

Nothing complicated here - just a hand cut heart mask, stamping, sponging, smudged charcoal pencil and a few doodled lines.

Stamps:
Joy by Carabelle Studio
Musical Backgrounds by Waltzingmouse stamps (no longer with us)

Paper: smooth white

Ink:
Brilliance by Tsukineko (Graphite Black)
Adirondack dye ink by Ranger (Pool)

Other:
Zig Clean Colour marker (pink)
Dymo labeller
Fine line marker

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 2 June 2017

Elements for June

It's Shabneez's choice of inspiration picture for the start of a new month at Daring Cardmakers - as ever, just choose at least three elements to kick start your card.

I chose the shades of red/orange/pink from the ice lolly, the sprinkle of tiny flowers from the cake and the raised "stripes" from the top of the lolly.

The background wash of colour is just scribbled watercolour pencils blended over with a damp brush. Once that was dry, I scored some vertical lines with the Scor-It (useful for this sort of decorative scoring as it's a "face up" tool).

I cut out three teeny tiny stamped flowers, shaped them slightly with an embossing stylus and sprinkled them on to finish the card.


Stamps:
Tea Time by Graphic 45
Say It All by Hero Arts

Paper: Bristol board

Ink:
Pearlescent Chocolate Brilliance by Tsukineko

Other:
Derwent Watercolour pencils
Copic markers
Scor-It 

Here's the inspiration picture if you haven't already seen it on the DCM blog and would like to play along:



Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 26 May 2017

Green tea?

Leo is setting the challenge over at Daring Cardmakers this week and she'd like to see projects featuring a teacup with something in it - it could be just the drink or it could be something else, have a look at the blog to see what the design team put inside theirs!

I decided to go small for a change and make an ATC. I used the MISTI to let me do some slightly complicated masking so I could stamp my little green monster inside the cup, jumping out to say hello.

I hope Leo will forgive the use of an espresso cup rather than a teacup - it was the closest thing I had. Mind you, many years ago we visited Japan and in a lovely hotel in Hiroshima I ordered green tea and a traditional cake. Maybe it was the combination of the sugar in the cake and the "gun powder" style of the tea but it practically gave me hallucinations so green tea can definitely rival espresso for potency!

Stamps:
Monsters Ink by Technique Tuesday
Splat That by Waltzingmouse Stamps (no longer with us)
My own cup design

Ink:
Soft Granite Shadow Ink by Hero Arts
Graphite Black Brilliance ink by Tsukineko
Shabby Shutters Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger

Other:
ATC and Corners die by Tim Holtz Alterations/Sizzix
Copic markers
Hello die by Waltzingmouse stamps (no longer with us)
MISTI stamp positioner
Clear Wink of Stella pen

Thanks for stopping by, have a lovely weekend!

Friday, 12 May 2017

All that glitters...

Shabneez is setting this week's challenge at Daring Cardmakers and she'd like us to use plenty of glitter - the only catch is that it can't be gold!

I decided to go all-out with the glitter and do a whole sparkly panel. I stamped the stylised flowers first and then covered the whole piece with double sided tape sheet and smothered it with Glamour Dust. Both the tape and the glitter are transparent so the stamping shows through.

If you burnish the glitter into the tape, you get a sort of velvety-feeling surface. Then, just because I haven't played with my air brush and Copics for ages, I sprayed graduated colour over the sparkle. I did then use a black Copic to dot over the flower heads, just to boost the contrast.

Given that much glitter, I decided a simple treatment would be best so the piece just got a narrow black mat and a die cut sentiment.

Stamps:
Stylised Flowers by Indigo Blu

Ink: Brilliance by Tsukineko (Graphite Black)

Paper: smooth white

Other:
Double sided tape sheet
Crystal Glamour Dust by Deco Art
Copic markers
Airbrush and compressor
Hello die by Waltzingmouse stamps (no longer with us)

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 5 May 2017

Peacock parade

The first dare of the month from Daring Cardmakers is always an "elemental" one - just choose at least three elements from the inspiration picture for your project.

I'm in the hot seat this month and I've chosen this lovely mood board from the folk over at Tanis Fiber Arts.

I'm very late to the Yupo paper party but I've just treated myself to a pack and had a first play with it here to mimic the looks of the top right and middle left squares in the inspiration picture.

The stamped butterfly is coloured with Copics and then has turquoise glitter pen over the top. Crisp white die cuts (inspired by the leaf sprig of the necklace) provide contrast for the busy, rich colours and a stamped sentiment and doodled border finish it off.

Stamps:
Antique Engravings and Say It All (Hero Arts - both retired, as far as I can see)

Paper:
Yupo
Smooth white

Ink:
Brilliance by Tsukineko (Graphite Black)

Other:
Copic ink refills
Copic markers
Fineline marker
Crop-a-dile
Back to Nature dies by Sizzix

Do have a look at the DCM blog - it looks gorgeous with all the samples inspired by this picture!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 28 April 2017

Super hero!

Nat is setting our challenge this week at Daring Cardmakers and she'd like us to be inspired by super heroes. It could be a card for the superhero in your life or something inspired by your favourite fictional one, go wherever your imagination takes you!

I needed a card for an 8th birthday so decided to take super hero inspiration for that. The Superman logo is so instantly recognisable that I thought it would stand up to being changed and still retain its essence.

I found an outline graphic of the Superman badge shape online and printed it, along with a big figure 8. Using those to plan it out, I used a scalpel to cut out the red layer and stuck it onto a yellow base then used a Perfect Layers ruler to do the black matting. A fine line black marker added some definition between layers and a little white pen highlighting livened it up.

The stars are stamped onto the textured blue base to get the half-tone dots and then again on textured foil and just the star part cut out and stuck on for a bit of glitz.

Die cut lettering for the sentiment, a doodled border and some sanding to scuff up the edge of the white core card finish it off.

Supplies
Red, yellow, black, white and textured blue cardstock
Silver foil
Star stamp from Kaboom set (Waltzingmouse Stamps, no longer with us)
Brilliance Graphite Black ink by Tsukineko 
Corner Chomper 
Perfect Layers ruler
Fine line markers (black and white)

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Can't stand the rain?

The song title for this month's challenge at the Craft Barn is very apt for April - I Can't Stand the Rain!

I'm definitely going to show my age with this one - the disco version by Eruption is the first and only thing to pop into my head on mention of this title (although I confess I did have to look up the name of the group to make absolutely sure I had it right!).

Lots of hand drawing on this postcard - I started by drawing the curved lines and lettering the song title and group name, adding just a bit of Copic colour in shades of blue/aqua. Then I had a go at drawing rain drops (this tutorial on YouTube is very useful) and although I need a fair bit more practice, I don't think they're too bad for a first attempt.

I masked the bottom of the postcard and stamped the paisley pattern to fill in above the top curve.

This is not my usual style and I had fun experimenting - play time!

Supplies:
Smooth white card
Fine line marker
Copics
Pencil, blending stump and eraser
White pencil
Paisley Scrapblock stamp (Cornish Heritage Farms, no longer with us)
Brilliance Graphite Black ink by Tsukineko 

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 14 April 2017

April: showers and flowers!

Kathy is setting our challenge over at Daring Cardmakers today and she'd like us to celebrate the season by breaking out the spring flowers!

Hellebores are one of the earliest spring flowers and are probably about over by now but I've been eyeing up this image for ages and decided this challenge gave me a good reason to just go ahead and get it! I'm not much of a digital fan in general, I like my crafting to be time away from the computer but every now and again I give in to a lovely image! Since I just printed and then took it to my craft table it didn't feel much different to stamping and colouring in any case.

I printed on kraft and accidentally ended up doing "no line colouring" because the toner didn't fuse properly on the cardstock and mostly rubbed off as I worked. I'd done a test print card on ordinary paper first so I had a strong line image to refer to, though.

I decided to do a super-simple one layer card and just let the image speak for itself.

Supplies:
Hellebores digital stamp by Power Poppy
Sentiment from Big Day Today stamp set (Waltingmouse stamps, no longer with us)
Brilliance by Tsukineko (Pearlescent Chocolate)
Kraft cardstock
Coloured pencils
Corner Chomper

Have a lovely Easter weekend!


Friday, 7 April 2017

April elements

Its Friday so it must be Daring Cardmaker day! It's also the first Friday of the month so that means it's an "elemental" dare with Dawn choosing fresh, spring time inspiration for us this month. As ever, choose three or more elements to kickstart your card.

I chose a frou-frou style flower (in the vase top left), pink, pale yellow, soft blue and green from the colour scheme and tangled nesting material.

This really should have come together quickly but I had one of those days where you just shuffle stuff around in endless combinations and can't make anything look right at all! Looking at it now I realise I've done my default of "shove a big flower bottom left and leave lots of white space"! About the most creative thinking here is using a stamp that should be a spike of flowers and making it into supporting foliage by stamping in shades of green - never mind!

Stamps:
Sweet Havana by Mama Elephant

Paper:
Textured white

Ink:
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Tumbled Glass, Shabby Shutters, Peeled Paint)
Brilliance by Tsukineko (Pearlescent Chocolate)

Other:
Home made stencil (cut with Spellbinder Fancy Lattice die)
Paper flowers (a couple of Prima hydrangea heads and a Wild Orchid cherry blossom, I think)
Crochet thread
Corner Chomper

Here's the inspiration picture in case you'd like to join in and didn't arrive here from the DCM blog!



Thanks for stopping by, have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Blowin' in the wind

The song challenge over at The Craft Barn is fun - I've managed to join in again this month making another postcard.

The challenge asks for both the song title and the artist name to feature in the design. This time the song is Blowin' in the Wind which has to be Bob Dylan as far as I'm concerned! It seems especially appropriate when he's finally dropped in to collect his Nobel for literature this month!

The background was sponged with Distress inks and flicked with water before I stamped the ears of wheat, using the Misti so I could restamp over the lettering for a "nearly but not quite" inlaid die cut look. I die cut the lettering for the song title and stuck it onto the postcard, gave it a light wash of ink to make it blend in a bit and then restamped the wheat.

A touch of Wink of Stella on the lettering and a handwritten name along one of the stems finish it off.

Stamps:
Thankful Silhouettes (Tim Holtz/Stampers Anonymous)

Paper:
Bristol board

Ink:
Brilliance by Tsukineko (Graphite Black)
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Tumbled Glass, Broken China, Peacock Feathers, Stormy Sky)

Other:
Font One dies by Spellbinder
Clear Wink of Stella pen
MISTI stamp positioner

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 31 March 2017

Grocer Jack?

Enfys is setting today's dare over at Daring Cardmakers and she's asking us to use packaging from a grocery item in our makes.

I used a bit of card from a box that held lasagne sheets to stamp the main image.

Thankfully I'd decided to use the MISTI so that I could paint the face and collar and then stamp again so the detail wasn't obscured. I say thankfully because (as I should have anticipated) the card was coated which meant it took several goes to get decent coverage on areas like his hat. Brilliance ink is great though - it will dry on a slick surface, no problem.

A couple of grocery extras round this out - my age-old trick of using tomato paste tubes gave me the frame (embossed in a folder and swiped with black acrylic paint). I also stuck some textured foil from the inner seal of a pot of spreadable cheese onto a scrap of card and punched out the star. A wee bit of "aging" with the paint brought out the texture nicely - might be more obvious on the detail photo.

A snippet of film ribbon and the "scrap" from between strips of stickers on a Tim Holtz "industrial" sheet finish it off.

The song "Grocer Jack" (proper name "Excerpt from a teenage opera", I believe) started running through my head as I edited the photos for this - who knows, maybe this gentleman really was!

Stamps:
Dashing Gents by Darkroom Door

Ink:
Brilliance by Tsukineko (Graphite Black)
Tim Holtz Distress ink by Ranger (Vintage Photo)

Paper:
Smooth white
"Kraft" from a lasagne box

Other:
Tomato paste tube
Foil seal from pot of spreadable cheese 
Diamonds embossing folder (Sizzix/Basic Grey)
Star punch (Fiskars)
Rectangle Nestabilities (Spellbinder)
Filmstrip ribbon (Tim Holtz)
Scrap from Industrious stickers (Tim Holtz)
White acrylic paint 

Thanks for stopping by!