Thursday, 31 January 2013

Gradient Background

I'd been struggling with No 49 on list of 75 challenges I am trying to complete - make your own background paper - not difficult but I just couldn't come up with an idea - see here for the full list, and this one is another of the challenges set by Cath over on Moxy Fab world so there is a deadline to be met

I have however signed up for the latest online card class and there was a technique yesterday that was the perfect inspiration for this challenge - Jennifer's gradient background technique.  So as well as my challenge entry its also my homework for yesterday's lesson ;-)

I used one of the border strips from the Waltzingmouse Nordic Winter set to create my background and stamped it repeatedly with rhubarb stalk, tangelo and dandelion inks.  I added a mat and then used the same red card to stamp and heat emboss my sentiment from my current go to set - Heyday Sentiments from Hero Arts and Studio Calico.  I finished with a die cut heart covered with glossy accents and a really cute arrow shaped paper clip.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Itty Bitty Bubbly Heart

Today I have another card for the 75 card challenge I set myself based on the Paper Crafts special issue and this one is number 23 on the list - Make an Itty Bitty Card - but this one is also another one of the challenges Cath picked from the magazine over on Moxie Fab World so I am entering it into her challenge too

Valentines hearts are everywhere at the moment, so I decided to go down that theme but to give it a twist wider than the 14th Feb.  I'm also going to enter it into the Addicted to CAS challenge which is all about hearts.

This is a tiny 3 x 3 inch card stamped with the smallest heart from the woodware bubble hearts stamp set and I then used a variety of tiny buttons, pearls and gems to fill in the stamped bubbles.   To complete the card I added a matching banner from the lovely Heydey Sentiments set from Hero Arts/Studio Calico - I love this set of funky sentiments so expect to see it often!

That's 4 cards ticked off on the list of 75 - I have a way to go but I'm working on it slowly but surely!

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Camera Window

I'm back to cross off another card off the list of the challenge I've set myself to complete all 75 challenges in this Paper Crafts special issue.   This one however is also one of the challenges picked out by Cath as a Moxie Fab challenge so I am naturally going to enter it to the challenge there too

This particular challenge is No 60 on the list (you can see all the ones I've completed here) and is simply to use a window on your card.   I made this card for my husband, who loves photography so I decided to make my "window" the lens of a camera.  The camera which was a design I cut  using my silhouette and pieced together the layers after colouring with copics.  I added some vellum to the flash area and covered in it stickles and added a red gem for the light.  I used a gate fold kraft base card and added a sentiment from PTI's movers and shakers on the outside with it's partner sentiment on the inside.  It was a little plain so I added some dotted lines for interest around the edges and took care the line the camera up so the lens was in the middle of the card which is important when you see the inside.....

I also included the shutter on the inside of the card, and when they open, they reveal a hidden image - cute n'est pas?  I learnt how to make the shutter part of the card using the magic marquee technique from a class I took last year taught by the marvelous Julie Ebersole - don't you just love her laugh?   I could listen to her videos all day long she just brightens my day!   This was why my lens had to be centralised, or the mechanism wouldn't have opened fully.

I stamped the cameras from the "Oh Snap" set from There She Goes - one of my all time favourite stamp sets to add interest to the inside and popped the sentiment on a red banner to make it pop - its quite small on the photo but it reads "a birthday as special as you are".

Finally, inside my second window I hid my other favourite There She Goes set - one of the little solid "Lovebot" images which is only revealed when you fully open the "shutter".

It was quite a fiddly card to make, but I had fun doing it and gave a little whoop of satisfaction when I finally got the shutter mechanism working smoothly (tip - a nice shiny coated card stock really helps here)

Monday, 28 January 2013

Paperpieced puddy-tats

Very quick card tonight for Simon Says paper-piecing challenge which is about to close

I loved these little cats as soon as I saw them and grabbed them and the Christmas dog and cat version both designed by Kristina Werner.  They were just asking to be pieced I thought and did them very simply in brown with stripey tummies and added a sentiment from the same set.  A tiny bit of glitter pen colouring gives a subtle hint of bling so I can give it to my hubby for V-day.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Sketchy Bands

Jen has done a lovely simple sketch for today's LIM challenge and for my first card today I am casing the heart card she created with it.

I swapped the hearts for starts and designed a complete border in silhouette studio, cut it from gold shimmer paper and then applied it with transfer tape.  I embossed a sentiment from a Simon Says Banner Stamp set onto black card with WOW superfine gold powder and then just cut it as a block rather that using the banner die which would be too long for this card.

My second card was actually the first one I made, but I've just noticed that Gillian and I are on the same wave length and she's already used the same birds on a branch!

The birds are a digi from Tiddly Inks so super easy to get them to the exact width of the card - I coloured them rainbow fashion with copics and added wishes using an Elzybells alphabet stamp set and the birthday greeting with a Waltzingmouse set.   This one makes me very happy - I fell in love with these birds the first time I saw them on the Tiddly Inks blog - they just make me laugh and I don't really know why!

Friday, 25 January 2013

Black Rainbows

I watch the blog hop at PTI every month - drooling over the gorgeous creations but I've never played along before.  I only have 10 PTI sets so far (I find their overseas postage costs prohibitive but now thanks to a lovely friend who is Stateside I have the chance to get them shipped to her and forwarded on much more cheaply) so often found I couldn't shoehorn one of my sets into the theme.  However, this month the theme is just to create a card on a black background and I knew I could make that work!

I heat embossed a sentiment from the Movers and Shakers Sentiment Set in white onto a black card base and then created a rainbow in the background using polychromos pencils which have strong enough pigment content to show up when applied directly to black card.  I then die cut some clouds and popped them up with dimensional foam over the rainbow.  I finished with a white dotted line around the outside with a white gel pen.

It's also No 69 on my list of the 75 card challenges - make your own rainbow.  See the tab on top of my page for links to the other 74 cards on the list.....

CASual Markers

The challenge at CASual Fridays this week is right up my street - they just want us to use markers on our project

Well if you know me, even just a little bit, then you know how attached I am to my pens - especially my copics - so joining in on this one was a no brainer and I may well be back later this week with more, but for today I'm sharing a card I made for our Receptionist at work to give to her niece who's birthday is today.

The image is one of my favourites from Kraftin Kimme - reminds me of Saturday Night Fever!  I coloured the disco diva using copics mostly but finished her boots, belt and earrings with a gold promarker adding yellow stickles over the top for the extra touch of golden shimmer.  I used a square kraft card as my base and cut a piece of of extra kraft card which I embossed with a hexagon spellbinders embossing folder to cover half of it, with a piece of green dotted DP for the bottom onto which I stamped a sentiment from PTI.  I fussy cut the diva leaving a small white border and simple stuck her over the two halves of paper which were themselves popped up on foam for a little dimension.

I'm also going to enter this into the new Keep It Simple challenge which is dry embossing

Stamps:   Disco Donna, Movers and Shakers Sentiments

Thursday, 24 January 2013

The long and short of it

This week's challenge which is about to expire at CASual Friday's was to use a long/tall card and I wasn't really inspired to begin with - hence being late to join in.  But suddenly I had an idea based around making word 'long' the focus of the long card....

The long is my first attempt at creating my own handwriting file on my Silhouette Cameo using my Wacom tablet - it's a little wonky but not bad for a first attempt, simply cut from white card, coloured with copics and stuck on my long card base..  The pen and tablet are going to take a little practice!  I then added the rest of the phrase with a stamp from Crafts Meow Vintage Clocks and stamped a pair of glasses from Woodware going off the edge of the card.  A little corner rounding to finish and we have a very CAS monochrome card with a hint of humour - just my style.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Nothing but stickers

I'm back again today with my second in my personal challenge to complete all 75 challenges in the Paper Crafts special Creative Card Making Challenge.   This time I went for an easy one - No 6 - Use Nothing But Stickers.

The main image is a Penny Black sticker which I've had for years, the sentiment strip is from a sheet of sentiments I've had so long I don't even know where they came from (possibly and early QVC purchase?) and the red metallic strips are from a set of sticky roll tape, which I think technically counts as a sticker don't you?   I'm also assuming you can use a card as the base and that doesn't have to be a sticker itself or frankly that would be ridiculous (or I could just be being overly pendantic lol!)

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

La Blackboard Francais

Ok, so I don't know the French for Blackboard, but if you say it with a French accent just like allo allo, then obviously you'll be understood but you must say it only wunz!   So enough with the 80s TV references and back to the card making.  The blackboard references all came about from this little challenge that the Head Mouse herself set over on the Waltzingmouse blog yesterday to try out the blackboard technique that is popping up all over the internet.

I'd seen it before, but wasn't really sure it was for me - I was blackboard monitor at school and hated when I found a blackboard that hadn't been properly cleaned so the idea of deliberately smearing the pristinely stamped black card was a little difficult for me to get my head around.  However, I do love all things from the House of Mouse so I decided to jump in feet first, swim the channel to Paris and this is what I created:

I used the Eiffel Tower and the bracket swirl from Paris Nouveau and a couple of appropriately French sentiments from Compact Sentiments - stamped and embossed in detail white and then shadow stamped again using brilliance moonlight white ink.  I die cut using a large nestie and emphasised the embossed edge with a white pencil.  I added a few pink highlights around the images with a bright pink pencil and then very tentatively rubbed around the edges and under the words with a tissue and the white ink.  I mounted onto some love heart paper and mounted that onto black using a reverse corner rounder on both and added some contrasting dotted paper and ribbon in the middle.

The whole process was actually a lot less painful and much more enjoyable than I'd feared so thanks for forcing me into scary territory Claire!

Monopoly memories

My best friend from school turns 40 this week and I wanted to make her a special card - it may look a little odd to those who don't know us but for me and Sarah it really is the perfect card to sum up our childhood - all that's missing is a couple of stains - from chocolate biscuits and coke :-)

The inside of the card reads "we're not really getting old - we just have 40 years worth of memories" and I hope this is as good a one for Sarah as it is for me.

This is also the first card I've made in my attempt to try and complete all 75 76 challenges in the Paper Crafts recent 75 Creative Card Challenges special edition magazine which is currently winging it's way across the ocean to me.  I really liked the idea of this issue and thought attempting all the challenges would be a fun way to start 2013.  I have created a new tab on my blog where I will link up every challenge as I complete it - it may take me a little while....   You can see the full list of challenges there too - some are quite interesting sounding but I need to see more details before I attempt them.  This one was number 75 on the list - "Make a Game Inspired Card" and I don't think there can be much of an argument on this inspiration here!  It was our favourite game as kids - we had our own rules (we actually should have turned into bankers - we'd have fit right in with all the dodgy mortgages we dished out) and there was always a battle about who got the purple properties and just how many hotels we built there!

To make the card I printed some miniature versions of monopoly money and cut them to make a border.  I cut Mayfair from white card on my cameo and stuck it to a strip of purple to indicate our favoured property.  I cut the house and hotel border on my cameo too, and the GO and arrow, all in white, but the coloured them appropriately with copics.  The hat - always my preferred counter (I do hope its not one the manufacturers decide to cut in favour of a "more modern counter" this year) is an inkadinkado stamp which I embossed in silver to make it look more like the counter.  I also stamped it several times in black and cut them all out and stacked them up to give it more dimension.  The 40 was another element cut on my cameo, and then embossed in 2 coats of silver ep.  I finished with a few dotted lines to indicate movement around the board.

A game based card also seems like a good one to enter into the snippets playground - I've been MIA for ages to hope I can still bag a swing.   The purple card was my snippet for this one.

It's a very personal card, and won't be to everyone's taste, but it is absolutely my favourite original card I've ever designed and was lots of fun to make.

Saturday, 19 January 2013


This weeks theme at Less is More is friends and I've managed to be a bit quicker playing this week than last.

I've made 3 cards which all sum up friends to me - not sure if one is CAS enough for Chrissie but I love the image so I'm including it anyhow.

This first one I actually made last week - it was for a submission to Paper Crafts magazine but it didn't make the cut so I'm free to blog it now and I think it really represents friendship.  It's from MFT Stamps and was coloured with copics directly onto a 3 x 3 card.  Wish I looked like that in my jeans lol!

This is my favourite image - needs no sentiment - you can see the friendship and every girl (big and small) has a furry best friend hidden somewhere ;-)  The image is by Belles and Whistles coloured with copics on blending card and popped behind a nestie cut frame.  I spotted a little cut in the card after mounting it - hence the button - embellishments can hide a multitude of mistakes and rescue a card from the bin!

This final one is by Penny Black with a sentiment from Kaiserkraft which is all about friendship.  I thought the two were the perfect pairing.  This time I coloured the cats with polychromos pencils and sansoder to get a softer blended look.

Friday, 18 January 2013

One Layer Sport

That was the theme this week at Less is More - to create a one layer card featuring sport or exercise

I'm very late playing this week as it's been a rough one but I'm feeling a bit brighter this afternoon so sat up in bed for a spot of colouring as unlike lots of card makers out there who hate both one layer and masculine cards - I love them, and combine to two often!  So here's what I came up with - 2 cards in under 20 mins which has to be a record.

The first is a cricketer from Papermania stamped directly onto kraft card and coloured with my polychormos pencils.  The sentiment is from the same set stamped in red to draw your across to the ball and vice-versa.

Now I know lots of people don't think of fishing as a "proper" sport, but my Dad did and the sentiment would sum him up to a tee were he still with us so I just couldn't resist this set from WPlus9 when I saw it.  It has matching dies too and I just love it.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Love Grows

Just a quick post tonight as I'm having a bad pain day but I wanted to join in the first Blog Party of 2013.

This was one of those cards that looked so much better in my head!  I inked up the small heart from the My Heart set using pink and yellow ink and cut them out so I could form flowers with them.  I used the vine from the same set to make the flower stems.  I used love from same set and used letters from Woodenheart Alphabet to spell grows.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Runway inspiration

I've been following the Runway Inspired challenge since it began but I think this is the first time I've actually entered  I often find picture inspirations difficult but this one just jumped out at me and hit me with an idea.

The image made me think straight away of this Hero Arts/Basic Grey Floral Medley Background stamp which I've had a while but not yet inked up.  I stamped it onto water colour paper with embossing ink and  black glint powder.  I coloured it quickly with twinkling H2O's (Majestic blue, Blue Grass, African Jade and Ocean Wave) and then cut a portion out for the top of the card.  I added a Hero Arts simple birthday sentiment and then fussy cut a couple more small portions from the remaining background and pieced them into the other corners.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Thank you - you are a superstar!

I was definitely in need of a thank you card this week as one of my techie mates has been a real wonderful this week staying up into the early hours to fix my broken laptop - and now I'm back online - hurrah!   Still some bits to reinstall - like my silhouette software and hopefully all my lost files which he managed to recover too - he really is a superstar!

Luckily the theme at CASual Fridays this week is just that - CAS thank you cards  I combined this challenge with the black and white plus a splash of one other colour challenge at Less is More  and used the sketch at Retro Sketches for my design

I cut a mask using a nestie lable on copy paper and stamped through the hole with my new Hero Arts envelope liner background stamp using black ink.  I added a couple of strips of black and white striped washi tape over that and then added a white embossed sentiment on a black ribbon banner.  I added my splash of colour - yellow - via the medium of stars (for the superstar who's getting the card!) using a MFT die.   I do love black and white and geometric shapes and stripes for masculine cards.

Right - back to computer tweaking - it's so weird how hard it's been without a computer for just 4 days - I realised just how much time I spend online - I really should try to get outside more this year I think!!!

Friday, 4 January 2013

Waltzingmouse Secret Santa

I took part for the first time in the Waltzingmouse Secret Santa Card Exchange organised by Cathy Weber back in December - it';s the second year she's done it but I missed it last year.  The idea is you post in the forum that your interested and then Cathy assigns you someone to send a card to, and someone else to send a card to you.  Then, we all share them on our blogs today.

My good friend Deborah was assigned as my Santa and she made me the most beautiful card using the new Ornate Ornaments set (amongst many other WM stamps) and using my favourite colour teal as well.  Unfortunately however, the postman seems to have lost my address as I haven't yet received the card :-(  I'm sure it's winging its way across the country somewhere Deb and hopefully it will be here very soon.  At least I've seen it on your blog now and it is BEAUTIFUL!

As for me - I made a card for the wonderful and super talented Kelly aka Gingham Girl and Waltzingmouse DT member - eek no pressure there then!  I went with a sentiment from Yonder Star combined with lots of texture from embossing onto my favourite kraft cardstock finished with a little bling and ribbon.  Apparently it even matched her kitchen - I must be psychic ;-)

Thanks for organising it Cathy - it's been great fun today seeing everyone's makes :-)

the last Waltz :-(

I was REALLY sad to read that this week's sketch at one of my favourite challenge sites is to be the last ever - boo hoo :-(

So, I had to ink up my Waltzingmouse stash and join in for a final waltz - don't you just hate it when the party is over and you have to go home?    Here's hoping it won't be long before we get an invite to a new party with the same old friends :-(

I was going to ink up my all time favourite stamp sets - "Back in the Saddle/Way Out West" for this final sketch but the urge to play with my new Christmas present stash was too strong so my sets from the latest release won the day.    I stamped 3 of the hearts from the new my heart set onto white card in pear tart and pistachio inks and added some banners from the woodgrain set which I stamped sentiments from my heart onto.  I cut the hearts by hand as my laptop with my silhouette software on died on New Years Day - for the vine one, I drew around the outside of the stamp to get a nice even line to follow ;-)  I added some gems for a little sparkle and an embossed background for added texture and interest.  I finished the sketch with a strip of white card stamped with chevrons from woodgrain and the leaf vine from my heart.   I'm not sure why I initially pulled out the two shades of green - not the first thought for hearts - but inadvertently I've created an anniversary card for friends whose wedding colours were these greens.  Their anniversary isn't whilst September though so I'd better put it somewhere safe..........

Whilst I had these sets out, I also decided to make an quick anniversary card for my hubby - for our first date anniversary which is next week.  We've only been married for 5 years, but we've been together for 18 so we like to celebrate both as I fancy a golden anniversary party and the together one will come quicker ;-)

As you can see, my thing for kraft cardstock has followed me into 2013 as I opted for it again.  I really think it works well with the woodgrain.  For this one I wanted the wood to be more prominent as I spotted a challenge where the theme is wood (holz as it's a German challenge site) so I thought I'd play along.   As the stamps are NEW then I'm also entering this into this week's casology challenge as new is this weeks' cue word

This time I stamped the large background stamp using real red ink onto the base card and rounded the corners.  I cut some more kraft card and drew some soft pencil lines to make sure I centred my heart images perfectly - I stamped them using peanut brittle and just a hint of rich cocoa inks.  I used the vine stamp again to "hang" the heart with.  I then used 3 of the sentiments from my heart to finish it off.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Birthday Treats

Being a CAS girl when it comes to cardmaking, it seemed foolish not to join in the white space challenge over in the Stamping Bella Splitcoast Gallery so I am entering with this card for our niece's birthday this weekend.

I used 3 of my favourite "Uppies" (my nickname for the Uptown Girls) carrying suitable birthday treats and cropped them with a circular nestie after colouring with copics (although I only coloured the bits I knew would be in the circles).  I mounted them onto black circles and then created a sentiment to suit from 3 stamp sets (one pti, two waltzingmouse) whilst still maintaining all that lovely white space.

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