Monday, 28 October 2013

Family Remembered

     This week at House Of Cards it's the turn of Shabby and Vintage following our sketch.  For me this sketch looked like our Union Flag and almost into November that could only mean one thing, remembrance.
     I found this piece of backing paper in my stash, I think it's left over from all the jubilee things that were around last year, I have made it shabby by tearing the edges, using brown Distress Ink and curling the corner. I used the same ink to colour the edge of a white card blank.
     The photograph is, if memory serves me right, my Great-Grandfather. It has been cut out with an oval die, the brown mount has been hand cut around the outside of the die as the next size up was too big. I have used a poppy without its stem and swapped the button middle for a black Candi.
     It's a very simple card which I hope conveys my appreciation of the sacrifices made by others to provide the freedom I enjoy living here in Britain.
     Please pop over to House Of Cards to see the DT's interpretation of the sketch and join us with yours.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Halloween Shaker Coffin.

      I think it's the combination of black and orange that has got me hooked on Halloween, after all it's not really something we do that much in the UK, but it is fun to create something quite different from the norm.
     This didn't start out the way it's ended up, it was always going to be a tag but when I found some Halloween confetti I got carried away with the whole shaker idea, then I found a glow-in-the-dark skeleton and the rest, as they say, is history.
     The tag has been coloured with Distress Inks in Scattered Straw, Wild Honey, Rusty Hinge and Aged Mahogany. Then stamped with a Tim Holtz image from his Rockstar set using Lava Black embossing powder from Creative Expressions, it's black with a hint of dark red.
      The coffin is cut from light brown card using a template from a treat box left over from last year, I had to make it a little bigger to fit my skeleton inside (still had to trim his toes back though!). Rather than fight with foam tape I chose to make a shallow box which will contain all the spiders and beads inside. Before folding the box up I used an Alterations die to cut the word 'Imagine' in the front, then I coloured it with Faded Corduroy ink and stamped it with a woodgrain stamp in Gathered Twigs. The back of the box is purple card to show off the skeleton and his crawling friend, I have added a few caviar beads to the confetti to help it keep moving when shaken.
     The tag is finished off with a few bats die cut with my friends die (thanks Avril), a cobweb from the same confetti pack and a skull from a necklace I found in my local charity shop. The orange ribbon has been stamped with Chocolate Baroque pumpkins and bats in Stazon. Thanks to the position of the skull the tag will actually stand up.
     I would like to say Hello and Thank you to all of you for the lovely comments you leave and a big Hi to my followers old and new.

I would like to enter this tag in the following challenges:
Make My Monday - Halloween
Try It On Tuesday - Halloween
Cards For Men - Halloween
Country View Challenges - Something Spooky
Our Creative Corner - Tag It, Halloween
Sparkles Monthly Challenges - Halloween / Colours

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Natures Autumn Glory

     Challenge number Seven at The Male Room is Nature and what could be better right now than all the glorious colours of Autumn, so put your thinking caps on and come up with a masculine card featuring Nature, we'd love you to join us.
      For this card I had a topper my Mum gave me that was just perfect for our theme but I couldn't find a backing paper I liked, so I made one.
      I collected some pretty leaves from around the garden, shrubs, creepers and weeds (got plenty of them!) and laid them all out on a piece of watercolour card, then I covered them with another piece of watercolour card and put the whole thing through my Bigshot. I have used both tabs one and two in my sandwich but you may need to experiment a little depending on your leaf thickness and your machine.
      I've been playing around with this technique and discovered that the underside of the leaves give a stronger colour when pressed than the top side so I put all my leaves the same way up, this will give one bold patterned card and one slightly muted. You will need to put the card, with leaves removed, and the leaves aside under a heavy book overnight to dry out, I would suggest a few sheets of kitchen paper top and bottom to help absorb the moisture.
     Once dried out you will have have some leaves to use as well as your patterned paper.
     I have used the leaf paper as my background with a few copper stamped leaves added to tie it in with the topper. The edge of the card is coloured with Forest Moss Distress Ink and the edges of the leaf paper have also been coloured with green ink.
     The easel is held up by another leaf shaped topper mounted on foam pads that just says 'Autumn Magic' so this card could be used for any occasion.
I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:
Heck Of A Challenge - Autumn Colours
Crafts 4 Eternity - Autumn Leaves
Chocolate, Coffee and Cards - Autumn NOT Halloween

Sparkling Christmas Steam

      I have managed to make this weeks Christmas card already which I'm rather pleased about, last week was not so good so I have some catching up to do.
     I saw this Stampendous stamp a few weeks ago and thought my Dad would love this. The colour scheme is inspired by Here Come The Boys and the Bling by 52 Christmas Card Throwdown.
     I began by stamping in Archival Coffee on cream card, then I tore the edges and distressed them with Brushed Corduroy. The oval image panel has been covered with Stix2 double sided sheet and then covered with Glamour Dust Crystal to give it a snowy sparkle.
     I tried to stay with the brown and cream colour scheme but the holly just didn't look right, a tiny splash of Christmas colour lifts the whole thing too. I have used pearlescent chocolate card for the mat and embossed the edge with a small folder that came free with a magazine, I sanded it slightly and then coloured it with gold ink. The cream Poinsettia was cut with a Marianne die, distressed with brown ink and touched up with a gold pen before putting a cream pearl in the middle. It is all mounted on a cream card. As there are several layers to the card and the flower I'm also going to try joining 4 Crafty Chicks this week.
     It really looks better 'in the card', the sparkle doesn't come out well on camera despite trying many different angles. I hope I have used enough 'Bling' to qualify for the challenge, sequins and pearls aren't really my thing but I'm alright with glitter!
I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:
Here Come The Boys - Christmas in Brown and Cream
4 Crafty Chicks - Multiple Layers
CraftyHazelnut's Christmas Challenge Extra - Anything Christmas

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Nativity Sketch

     Christmas isn't that far away now so if you haven't made many cards yet have a look at some of the great challenges in blogland, there's lots of really good inspiration out there.
     My inspiration this week comes from three different sites. It started with a sketch, a nativity scene and the use of stars and stripes.
     I have used mainly blues which were in the nativity photo inspiration, beginning with a blue stripe backing paper on a white card. The star panels are white embossed card but as the stars looked a little dull I have used a silver glitter pen to colour them. Each panel in matted on to blue card, they seemed to disappear into the stripes without it.
     The main image is a Dufex sticker that's been in my Christmas stash for ages and was crying out to be used before it started to curl up. It's mounted on white and blue card then stuck on top of the star panels on foam pads to lift it.
     I have tried to use everything from stash as my storage space is bursting, call it my end of year resolution! Thank you for taking the time to drop in, I do appreciate it as I know how busy this time of year can get.
I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:
CraftyHazelnut's Christmas Challenge - Photo inspiration, Nativity
Holly Jolly Christmas Challenge - Stars and Stripes

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Let The Adventure Begin

      Today sees the launch of our 6th challenge over at The Male Room - Transport / Travel. We would like to see anything in this theme as long as it's masculine.
     With the travel theme I chose to make my card tag shaped. I was thinking of my niece when I made this, she's going to Africa on a voluntary aid holiday and it's her birthday soon. It's a masculine style card for an adventurous girl.
     I have used the Sizzix Tim Holtz tag cutter for this, making sure that my folded edge is within the cut line on the left. The card is from an old file folder I found in my drawer, I thought it was just the right colour.
     I have used a map stamp in the centre with a ship and a plane from the same set, it's a very old set from Royal Langnickel, stamped in Archival Ink Coffee. The words are from the same set but embossed in gold, only the numbers come from another set.
     After all the background stamping was done I edged the tag with Distress Ink Brushed Corduroy to age it a bit.
     The main image is a stamp from Molly Blooms made with Black Momento ink on strong card. It's then coloured with some of my new Graph It alcohol markers, I'm not too good with these yet so don't look too closely! Lucky for me Molly Blooms have a coloured image on the front of the pack to help you along.
     Inside I have used a stamp from Chocolate Baroque and embossed it in gold, with a little globe in coffee ink in the corner.
     To finish off my tag idea I've used a small length of garden twine from the greenhouse to go through the hole at the top.
     Please pop over to The Male Room and have a look at the DT creations, then come and join us with one of yours.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Shabby and Vintage Autumn

      This week at House Of Cards we have a photo inspiration that's very Autumnal and as it's a 5th week it's any style goes as long as it meets the theme. Please pop over and have a look, there are still two days left to enter your card.
     This started with a white piece of card embossed with a Darice Fall Leaf folder. I then inked it with Distress Inks in Autumn colours followed by a smudge of gilding wax in Antique Green.
      The lace is sticky paper lace that I've had for ages, I think it came from Lakeland Plastics when they used to have craft items, wrapped around the mat layer as well.
     I found the photo on a CD from Joanna Sheen, I have coloured the flowers yellow with an alcohol marker. The frame is a Spellbinder die Floral Ovals cut in the same brown card as the mat layer.
     Paper flowers from Woodware finish off the card with another splash of Autumn colour. The flower centres have pearls coloured with alcohol markers.
     I've only just invested in a selection of alcohol markers but they are already proving their worth for colouring embellishments, I am yet to master the art of shading for colouring in stamped images.

I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:
Creative Moments - Anything goes/Autumn
4 Crafty Chicks - Fall/Autumn
Heck Of A Challenge - Autumn Colours

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Faux Cloisonne Flowers

     This month at Technique Time Tuesday we are using the Faux Cloisonne technique. If you would like to watch a tutorial then please pop over to our challenge site and watch Mynnette's excellent video.
     This technique is using glossy magazine picture or such like to mimic the intricate colourful enamel art form with a little help from embossing powder.
     Have you ever seen a picture in a magazine and thought the pattern in it might be useful, well this will show you one way to use it. There is an abundance of packaging and junk mail out there that could be recycled into something rather nice. I have chosen to use and old Christmas card back and a paint chart.
     I began with the paint chart and two small flower stamps. I wanted my flowers to be different shades of the same colour, not always easy with ink but this way I am guaranteed a match. I have used silver embossing powder which also helps hide any tiny writing on the coloured areas. They have all been cut out, shaped and had a tiny gem stuck in the middle.

     Next was the butterfly, stamped and embossed in silver again but this time I used the back of an old Christmas card I had received last year (a bought one, don't worry I didn't destroy anyone's hard work!). I cut him out and used some flower stamens as antenna. There are two small foam pads under his wings to keep them up.
     The cream card blank is stamped with Old Paper Distress ink using the Tim Holtz Flourish stamp. On top of that is a dark green die cut frame from Spellbinders, then a piece of card coloured with Cosmic Shimmer Misters, stamped with the same swirl in Archival Olive green and coloured in with an alcohol marker in green. I cut the Cosmic card out by tracing the inner shape of the die on the back and using scissors, it was much easier than trying to cut out the centre of the frame!
     I've had these paint charts on my desk for months just waiting for something to use them for, look out DIY shops I'm coming back for some more!

Something Spooky at Country View Crafts

      This months challenge at Country View Crafts is to make 'Something Spooky'.  I am so very happy to be one of their gust designers this month having won the August challenge. I felt I really had to come up with something special for Halloween.
     I found this paper mache house in a charity shop a few months ago, it was perfect for this challenge. It had been partly decorated already but nothing that couldn't be painted over. I started by painting it pale brown with acrylics, then gave it a white acrylic wash. It still didn't look quite right so I stamped in brown using a woodgrain clear stamp, because it wasn't mounted I was able to bend it gently to reach into the corners of the gables.
     The roof tiles are Sizzix Rosette strips cut in orange card then distressed with Brushed Corduroy and Forest Moss Distress inks. Each strip is stuck on individually, gluing along the top edge only so when all the tiles are on the roof the front edges can be lifted gently to create a more realistic look. The gables were a bit time consuming but so worth the effort. I have used Flowersoft to create a mossy look to my roof. There are die cut bats mounted on an acetate collar wrapped around the chimney so they can fly around the house. The outside lamp is by Tim Holtz Ideaology, it takes two small batteries. The battery pack is stuck inside the roof using Velcro tape so it can be taken off when I need to change it. There is also a battery tea light inside the house, this has been coloured black with an alcohol marker so it can't be seen through the windows. Inside has been painted black and has two die cut ghosts on the back wall that have been covered with glow in the dark glitter.
     On the wall outside is a Flowersoft wisteria, I know it's not in flower in October but the wall needed some decoration. The bushes are florist moss stuck on with PVA glue. The broom is made from twigs found in the garden bound together with black cotton, the sparkly cat is a foam shape from a child's art pack and the pumpkin is made from scrunched up orange tissue with 'bat' bodies for eyes and a 'bat' wing for his mouth.
      I've really enjoyed making this house. Halloween isn't something we celebrate very much here but I have to admit making 'spooky' things may change that a little. I'm still looking forward to Guy Fawkes night though, fireworks, sausages and a big bonfire!