Friday, 31 October 2014

Ava and Deacon sitting pretty

     November already! Where is this year going? It doesn't feel quite so odd to be making Christmas cards now it's cooler and darker.
     Today's offering is for CraftyHazelnut's Christmas Challenge Extra, we have an 'Anything Christmas Goes' challenge running so please come and join us with your cards or decorations, we would love to see them. This is a digi stamp from Bugaboo, who very kindly sponsor us at CHNC Extra, called Ava and Deacon Merry Christmas Sign.
     I have printed two copies of the same picture making sure they are the same size. One I have cut to fit a 7x5 card blank, the other I have die cut bauble shapes using Spellbinders Heirloom Ornaments.

     Both Ava and Deacon are coloured with alcohol markers, including the background. The letters are coloured with a sparkling gold gel pen that I found in a friends art shop in West Wales, it's a long way to go for a pen but they're worth it!!!
     Once coloured the baubles are mounted on foam pads and then on to the card making sure to line up the images perfectly. There are also tiny pale blue gems stuck in the middle of every snowflake.
     The white card is mounted on to green card and then on to a white card blank that has been coloured with Distress Ink Festive Berries. I do this a lot, it saves me having to hunt down coloured card blanks, which are sometimes a little dearer to buy. You only need to colour the edge that will be seen so it doesn't use too much ink either.
     Please come and join us at CraftyHazelnut's Christmas Challenge Extra with your seasonal creations, we would really appreciate it.

I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:
Christmas Card Challenges - Anything Goes
Aud Sentiments Challenge - Two or Three Word Sentiment
Fab 'n' Funky - Christmas

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Screw loose?

     Today sees the beginning of a new challenge at The Male Room - Wood. A masculine themed project that features wood is all we ask, so why not come and join us.
     I spent this afternoon putting a flat pack bookcase together, by myself, with no cursing, no bloodshed and no spare bits left over!!  It is loaded and still standing five hours later so I'm feeling a little chuffed! Could this be because I read the instructions?!
     My card started as a Kraft blank that was then stamped with Stampin' Up Hardwood stamp in Archival Coffee ink.
     The tools are die cut in satin silver card, then the handles where coloured with alcohol markers before being glued on to the front.
     The Label holder is die cut in thick card and painted silver, it is held in place on the card by two screw head brads. The greeting is a tiny peel off coloured blue with an alcohol marker as I don't have any stamps that tiny.
     Come over to The Male Room to see the DT inspiration, we have all done quite different things. Hopefully there will be something to spark your creativity, we would love to see what you make.

I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:
Cardz 4 Guyz - Metal ( faux - tools, real - brads)

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Guess Who Made The Team This Year.....

.............and a sneak peak, but don't tell !

     What a nice surprise it was to get a lovely e-mail saying I had made it through selection and was now part of the amazing design team at Creative Expressions.
     It will be my pleasure to bring you a new project every Monday made with some of the great new releases and few of the old favourites too. Here's a sneak peak at some of the things I'm working with right now.
     Creative Expressions stock a wide range of craft items from the ever popular Sue Wilson stamps and dies to the amazing Cosmic Shimmer range of paints, waxes, mica's and my favourite, cannot do without, dries clear glue. That glue will stick almost anything, I've been using it for years now and very rarely use anything else, it's even mended some of my sons toys!
     As you can tell I'm really pleased to be joining the team, a little bit apprehensive at being surrounded by so much talent but I promise to do my best. I hope you'll join me on my journey.

Monday, 27 October 2014

HOC Die Cut Challenge

     This months challenge at House Of Cards is to use dies or punches to create your card.
     My contribution was inspired by my Granny who has been gone for ten years now, but is often in my thoughts. I have a tiny Wedgewood trinket box that belonged to her, that is what inspired this card.
     I covered the front of a square white card blank with thin blue card, overlapping the folded edge by about half an inch and fixing it on the back, I find this makes for a neater look.
     I have used a mix of dies from Spellbinder and X-Cut, all cut in white card. the small motifs are the leftovers from the corners. They are not quite as delicate as Wedgewood but I hope it gives the general idea.
     I have added some pearls to the corners to add a little shine to the card.
     We are changing our format a little next month at HOC, you will be able to see all cards made by the design team at the beginning of the month, with a reminder each week of the different styles we make. The challenge will still run for a month so you will have lots of time to come and join us.

I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:
Simply Create Too - Shop Your Craft Room (Everything is over a year old, inc card!)
Sister Act Card Challenge - Anything Goes/Cards Only

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

One Layer Christmas Card Catch Up

      This weeks challenge at 52 Christmas Card Throwdown in a one layer card. I am so far behind with my Christmas cards I just had to make the effort to join in. Here is what I came up with after looking at the DT inspiration.
      I really liked what Deborah had done with a die so I set about trying to do something similar but with a different shape. I put the die under the front of my card with the rubber embossing mat on top of the card front and hoped I got it right, if not then it would be a die cut window card for another time, but to my joy it worked! This gave me an embossed shape to work with.
     The snowman is stamped in Archival Jet Black on the card and also on a sticky note, making sure his hat is well on to the sticky area, this is to be used as a mask. I also die cut a window in thin card with the same die for a mask.
     Placing the snowman mask over the stamped image and the mask window over the embossed shape, I then used a torn piece of paper to make another mask. This last mask was used with Distress Ink Faded Jeans to create snowy hills in the background. Before the ink could dry I flicked water over the scene, left it for a little while and then mopped it away to create a snowflake effect.
      Once dry I removed the masks and coloured in the snowman. The green in his scarf is a little too dark but other than that I'm happy with him. He has a little shading done with a Promarker.
      To get the silver around the embossed shape I placed the die over the shape and drew around it with a silver glitter pen.
      The greeting stamp is embossed with silver.  It was bought as a larger stamp and I have carefully cut it so that I can use parts of it separately. If you do this don't trim the parts, this way you can put it back together again to use the full stamp and it will meet up perfectly.
     Now that I have the masks cut I can make a few more of this style of card, in different colours, to help boost my card stash.

I would like to enter this card in the following challenges :
52 Christmas Card Throwdown - One Layer Card
CraftyHazelnut's Christmas Challenge - Use something Forgotten (snowman stamp)
Christmas Stampin' All Year Long - Use Your Imagination 
Christmas Card Challenges - Photo Inspiration
Penny Black  and More - Get ahead for Christmas

Wednesday, 15 October 2014


     This time at The Male Room we are looking for Halloween creations. I know it's not such a big celebration in this country but it's a great opportunity to use black and orange to make something creepy. We accept any papercraft creation as long as it fits our theme so please come and join us, we'd love to see what you've made.
     These little boxes are made from one A4 sheet of card, folded and glued together.  The orange one is decorated with black die cuts by Sizzix.  The black one is also decorated with some Sizzix dies as well as Memory Box bats, they have all been cut in Glow-In-The-Dark tape which I found in a shop in Norwich. The tape is 2cm wide so where I needed more width I stuck it on to thin card and then cut. After a short time in bright light they glow beautifully and it lasts for some time.
      Please come and join us at The Male Room, anything Halloween for a male, young or old.

    I would like to enter my treat boxes in the following challenges:
Creative Card Crew - Black Cardstock
PDE Linky Party - Halloween
Cut It Up - Halloween, anything but a card
Not Just Cards - Anything Goes
Delicious Darkness - Halloween
Art With Heart - Trick or Treat

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Card Bauble

     It's time for some mid month inspiration at CraftyHazelnut's Christmas Challenge Extra
     Do you remember making these at school? I do, back then we had to draw our circles and then measure out our triangles by hand. Not anymore, Sizzix have a Bigz die to do it for you, it's been out a couple of years now so it's not new but it's great fun.
     I keep all my old Christmas cards each year, sort through them and select which ones I can chop up and re-use for decorations. The heavily foiled or glittery ones are great for this decoration, they sparkle as they move when hung up.
     This is also something you could make on a rainy day with the children, just make sure you supervise the cutting process or do it for them, then let them loose with the glue.
     You need twenty discs. It is easier to make the top and bottom first, each uses five discs, then make the strip that will form the middle band and glue it all together.
     I have used some tassells from my local craft shop but you could just as easily use bakers twine or ribbon. If you use glue and string there is nothing sharp to harm a small child should they play with this, it's a child friendly decoration to make or receive.
          Please come and show us your Christmas makes over at CraftyHazelnut's Christmas Challenge Extra.

I would like to enter my Card Bauble in the following challenges:
Oldie But A Goodie - Christmas (die is old and so were the cards)
Crimbo Crackers - Anything goes
Sparkles Christmas Challenge - For A Child  (to make or to receive)

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Cooking Up A Spell

      Although we don't celebrate Halloween much in this country it does give us crafters the chance to make something different. Lots of distressing, black, orange and purple as well as some rather macabre embellishments. I really enjoyed making these jars, it was a challenge to find the contents to match the labels.
     The skull is made of resin, a charity shop find, and sits in a lovely glass dome from Sainsburys. With the addition of my pestle and mortar, a couple of mushroom from the fridge and a rabbit skull my son found the scene is complete.
      The Arsenic bottle is filled with Ice Diamond Flowersoft, there's not much left so look out! The skull and cross bones came from a necklace I found last year in a sale, he's stuck on to a hessian square that is wrapped around the top and tied off with black ribbon.  The large jar is labelled Baby Dragon Scales, I tried a few things but the best one was beech nut cases. They are velvet smooth on the inside and prickly on the outside but they don't take paint well, brush or spray, so they've been left natural.
      For the Pumpkin Juice bottle I stuck the label on and then put a candle in the top and set it to burn right down. I put this on my cooker hob so it was safe and somewhere that's used to dealing with heat. It was torment waiting for it to dribble down the bottle, not something you can speed up with a heat gun.
     The bottles came from a lucky boot sale find but the jars were food stuffs I had to eat to get the jar. The bottles have a greenish tint to them so I wanted jars that were a bit that way too, I think they look older.
     The labels were free digis from Primcats blog, lots to choose from and of course being digis you can print them whatever size you need.
     The small square jar is labelled Petrified Butterflies, this was easy to fill as sadly quite a few have died on the windowsill in the shed and the garage over the years. They're so pretty I have kept them, maybe one day I'll set some in resin.
     I'm still working on a few other jars and bottles, I had a great shopping trip this week collecting glow-in-the-dark items so I'll pop back and show you what we've made nearer to Halloween.

I would like to enter my jars in the following challenges:
Bloggers Challenge - Halloween
Simply Create Too - Halloween or lots of Orange
Altered Eclectics - Anything Goes
Left Of Centre - Halloween

Monday, 6 October 2014

Postcards From Paris

      Here is the sister project to Memories Of Summer as promised. The small board helped me to try out a few things before tackling a larger project.
     This is also my contribution to the Design Team at All Crafts Challenge. We have a new Anything Goes challenge starting today for projects that are not cards.
     This project was inspired by the frame which was found in a charity shop, it had no glass and was very distressed, which saved me having to make it look old and worn.
     I have used a piece of hardboard cut to shape as my 'canvas', it has been painted with a base coat of cream emulsion before adding any colour. The coloured paints used are all EcoGreen Acrylics, including the gold.
     Once dry I began to distress the board by using Distress Ink Brushed Corduroy around the edge and stamping with a crackle stamp in the same colour. I have used a stencil top and bottom with some homemade texture paste, a mix of decorators flexible filler and gold paint.
    Then I moved on to using masks, a crown over the gold area and more Distress Ink to dull it down a little. A Fleur-De-Lis  over the pink area with a mix of mica spray and pink paint dabbed on.
     At various places over the board it is stamped with a Tim Holtz swirl in brown ink and there is an area top left that is stamped in Distress Ink Aged Mahogany with a Stampin'Up French Script stamp. The chandelier is stamped in Archival Coffee.
     The letters spelling Paris are patterned vellum over a pink thin card die cut with an X-Cut die, then I drew around the outside of the die on maroon card and hand cut. To get the vellum to stick without showing glue I used a Stix2 double sided sticky sheet, this means there is glue all over so it doesn't stand out like small areas would.

     The gold Fleur-De-Lis was a small hanging decoration, so I filled the hole at the top and once dry dabbed it with gold acrylic paint to hide it. It has a narrow pink ribbon holding it onto the board, it is threaded through a small hole drilled in the board and tied off at the back. I tried various types of glue but it kept falling off, so I thought it was best tied on, there is a backing board so it doesn't show once in the frame.
     The postcards are a mix of a free digi and cards from my Grandmothers postcard album copied and reduced in size, they are mounted on varying levels of foam pads.  I felt it needed a little something pink in this area to balance it so I have added some paper flowers.
     There is a pound coin in the top left of the main picture to give some idea of the size of this project, it was a joy to make something larger than usual,  I hope you like it, I certainly do. Now I'm on the hunt for more old frames!
     Please come over to Craft My Life All Crafts Challenge and show us what you've been making, remember it's anything but a card.

I would like to enter my picture in the following challenges:
Dragonfly Dreams - Anything Pink
Eclectic Ellapu - Texture / Embossing
Fussy and Fancy Friday - Lots Of Pink
Altered Eclectics - Anything Goes

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Racing Ahead at The Male Room

     A new challenge at The Male Room begins today, it's a sketch. You may make any style you wish as long as we can see the basic sketch in your project and it has a male theme to it.
     I wanted to use a film strip for this one, I thought of holiday snaps...not masculine enough, I've got lots of vehicle photos.....but detail is lost in a tiny picture.....aha, got mascots and badges. After several visits to Beaulieu, Haynes and Brooklands motor museums I have a lot of photos to choose from.
     I spent a while getting to grips with my photo package and printer, after a few hiccups I got six small pictures on one 6x4 and printed in black and white. The film strip is a Sizzix long plate cut in black card. I used the dinning room window as a light box and drew through the aperture on the back of each picture, not all the holes are the same so I had to number them to make sure they would fit once cut out.
     The rosette is another Sizzix long plate cut in pearl green card, edged with gold (didn't have British Racing Green....sorry). The middle is stamped and embossed, as is the phrase along side it. I have also added a small stamp at the bottom which I felt fitted with my theme. I chose to put all this on a red 'leather' look card.
 My father used to go to Goodwood motor racing regularly many years ago, I can still remember the little cardboard tags he had hanging in the car years later, I'm sure they're tucked away in a box somewhere now.
     You don't have to love classic cars to join our challenge, just follow our sketch and make something for the man in your life. Pop over to The Male Room to see lots more inspiration.

I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:
Cardz 4 Guyz - No Balls Allowed (sport)
Make My Monday - Die Cuts
We Do Doobadoo - Something Masculine

Ava Sitting Pretty.

      Welcome to October, where has this year gone?!  Today sees the beginning of a new challenge at CraftyHazelnut's Christmas Challenge Extra. We are a Christmas challenge where you can enter anything seasonal, not just cards, so come and show us your creative makes.
     Our sponsor is Bugaboo Digital Stamps and that is were you will find Ava Ornament. I must say that my colouring is improving a little but VERY slowly!  I have used Graph It alcohol markers to colour my image and then added a little white flock to her hat and dress trim.
     The image is mounted on green glitter card using red line tape, it's very sticky and just right for a rough surface.
     The card blank was a white square, it has been cut by hand after drawing round the outside of the largest Spellbinder Round Ornament die. The small hanger at the top is coloured gold with a gold eyelet punched through it, this will hold the ribbon without tearing the hole. The card could also be used as a gift tag.
     The outside edge of the card is coloured red with Distress Ink Festive Berries, I couldn't use the same alcohol marker as Ava's hat as it would soak through, but it's a pretty close match.
     Please come and join us with your Christmas projects at CraftyHazelnut's Christmas Challenge Extra.

I would like to enter my card/tag into the following challenges:
Christmas Card Challenges - Anything Goes
Completely Christmas - Anything Goes
Holly Jolly Christmas - Anything Goes
My Perfect Life - Any Christmas Card Goes