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Friday, 9 December 2016

Quick Christmas Card Makes Using Up Stash

I hope everyone has had a good week? Mine has been up and down, this cold which has lasted almost 5 weeks so far and blossomed in to a chest infection resulting in a dose of antibiotics, finally seems to be clearing!

I've been trying to work through the Christmas cards that I need to make this year, and decided today that I wanted to try and use up more of my stash and the pile of backing and topper papers I've printed off over the past year from free downloads and CD's ready to use, then didn't. The topper on the above card was part of the free files that came with a Crafters Companion magazine CD last Christmas when they launched their Nordic Christmas range. I'd printed lots of pages from these designs but didn't get round to using them.

Today I cut a stepper card using some grey card and gave it a spritz of my homemade silver shimmer spray, then I embossed the panel with my XCut 'Snowflake Pattern' embossing folder, I added the topper to a mat of silver mirror card that I'd die cut with a die from my Presscut Die Cutting & Embossing Stencil Rectangle Die set. I added some sparkle pen shimmer to the hearts on the little houses and covered the hearts with glossy accents to make a lovely raised glossy finish.

The final touch for this card was to give a piece of scrap white card a spritz of DIY white shimmer mist and die cut some snowflakes using some XCut Mini Snowflake dies. These were randomly glued on and a little red gem from my stash added to the centre of each to finish the card off.


I made another quick stepper card using some papers I'd printed off a while back which were a free download that I can't recall where I got them. I die cut the pieces for the stag using my XCut Woodland Stag Wreath from scraps of brown and two shades of green card that I had in my scraps box. I mounted the stags head and greenery on some foam pads and finished off with some Ruby Slippers Nuvo Glitter drops for the berries and I got a little carried away and turned the stag in to Rudolph by giving him a red nose. If I'm honest I think it would have been better without that addition but hey ho!

The sentiment was in a drawer full of topper sheets I bought from Hunkydory and Crafters Companion when I first started crafting. As I began to experiment with stamping and embossing  I made more of my own toppers and stopped using the pre-made ones. But I've decided all these things need using up somehow and the sentiment I used on this card in particular went well with the backing paper.

I cut lots of stepper cards blanks out today in an assortment of colours and die cut backing papers to echo the card colour of the stepper card so that I can make more stepper cards this weekend.  They are very easy to do and look that little bit better than a standard 6" x 6" card and they are very quick to put together and look fab. This week I also made an easel birthday card for my niece who is turning 13 this weekend, it doesn't seem like 5 minutes since I held her the day she was born, where does the time go? I'll post a photo sometime next week after her birthday, I love making cards that are tailored to suit the recipient and I'm hoping she's going to love the card I've created for her this time.

This week I also picked up a cheap set of Pearlescent Watercolour paints for just less than £7, the set has 21 colours which look good on dark card stock, for cheap paints they work pretty well. I bought the cheaper set because I wanted to play with the effect before I plunged for the more expensive sets like Fine Tec. The test bits I've done this week I'm pleased with, and have found that the cheaper paints work better if you skimp on the water! That's because these cheaper paints are not highly pigmented so the more water you add the more the result is wishy washy and diluted.

That's all from me for now, I have a weekend of crafting planned as well as card writing and present wrapping, the tree is up and so are the decorations, I've finished the xmas shopping, I just have some cards to make for close family and a few gifts for friends to finish making, so its going to be busy for a while. I hope you have a lovely weekend whatever you have planned, and that life and the weather are kind to you and yours.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Making Homemade Beauty Treats for Gifting - Part 1


I thought today I'd write about something a little different and share some of the things I made for friends and family last Christmas which went down extremely well, so over the next few days I'll post a few recipes and methods, these kind of gifts appeal to the herbaholic in me, I love playing with herbs and essential oils to make a vast array of things from balms to pot pourri...

Because let's face it at some points in our gift giving endeavours we hit a brick wall deciding what to get for some people at Christmas and we end up resorting to buying flowers, potted plants or chocolates, the poor men folk get a worse deal receiving alcohol, socks or the dreaded Christmas jumper. It doesn’t have to be that way, with a little careful planning and a little time sourcing your ingredients you can make a selection of fabulously fragrant goodies for bath and body to give as gifts to 6 people and more if you’re so inclined!

I’m talking all 4 items in the photo above a sugar scrub, lip balm, bath melts and bath fizzers which will appeal to chocoholics and fragrant bath pampering addicts alike and they can all be made in just 1 day! My future daughter-in-law commented recently how much she loved her body scrub and said it was nicer than the ones you can buy, which made me smile. As this post would be huge if I added all the recipes at once, I thought I'd split it in to a few parts and start with the lip balm and body scrub today.

The beauty though of all these homemade gifts, is they contain no chemical nasties, they can be tailored to favourite flavours and preferred perfumes of the recipients and you can make gifting goodies for the ladies on your gift list and the men folk as well, because contrary to popular belief, men like to be pampered to, in a ‘blokey’ kind of way of course ;)

As gifts go, these items can be made any time of year for giving for birthday presents, a thank you gesture, to say get well soon, or for occasions like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. The Bath fizzers can also be made in small petit four cases and packaged in organza bags, then given as wedding favours to female guests, they can be coloured and fragranced to echo wedding d├ęcor and make a very personal and fragrant gift.

Remember when you give your gifts to include a list of ingredients either on the product or in a little booklet that you can give with your gift, and if you know that a recipient has an allergy, then don’t make items using things they need to avoid e.g. nut allergy, avoid nut based oils and use sunflower or grapeseed oil instead, dairy free don't add any dairy products! I know that part isn't rocket science but you'd be surprised how many people forget that allergens like nuts and dairy products can be in cosmetics and so many other things.

Chocolate, Ginger & Orange Sugar Scrub

Giving sugar scrubs and lip balms with chocolate box flavours will appeal to the recipients with the added bonus that they won’t pile on the pounds when they indulge in their chocolatey gifts. For several years we’ve made homemade sweet treats for giving as presents, but some of the recipients, although very appreciative of our gifts, made comments about weight gain. We took the hint and last year I decided that we’d give none edible goodies, so we weren’t giving too much temptation.

This deliciously scented sugar scrub is perfect for friends and family who are partial to chocolate orange and chocolate ginger chocolates, but are watching what they eat, it contains real organic cocoa powder as well as some of fragrant essential oils and smells heavenly.

To make it you'll need: -

300g Dark Muscovado Sugar – You can use demerara but the fragrance won’t be the same
100ml Jojoba Oil
2 Tbsp. Organic Cocoa Powder e.g. Green & Blacks
2 Tsp Orange Essential Oil
5 Drops Ginger Essential Oil

Method: This is so easy to make, place sugar in a mixing bowl and sieve the cocoa powder on top then stir, once the cocoa and sugar are evenly mixed, add the jojoba oil and essential oils, lick lips, but do not taste ;) Put into decorative jars and label.

To Use – First dampen the skin in the shower, then take a golf ball sized blob of the sugar scrub in to the palm of the hand and massage in to the wet skin, rinse off with warm water and pat the skin dry.

Try experimenting with fragrances, adding Lime Essential Oil will give you the smell of the old fashioned sweet ‘Chocolate Limes’, a little Geranium Essential Oil or Rose Oil and you have ‘Turkish Delight’, Lavender and Chocolate also work well together. If you want to use cosmetic grade fragrance oils you can make ‘Bounty’ style sugar scrubs by using coconut fragrance oil. Strawberry, mint and coffee are also heavenly variations. If you have time you can manufacture a whole chocolate box full of bath time delights.

Tip - If your recipient has skin that is dry or prone to flaking or itchiness then using Avocado Oil instead of the Jojoba Oil, Avocado Oil can be very soothing and moisturising for dry/irritated skin.

Chocolate Peppermint Lip Balm


This lip balm is really wonderful, make sure that you only use food grade essential oils to make sure they are safe for using in beauty items that may potentially be consumed. The hemp seed oil and cocoa butter are both very moisturising and contain antioxidants, they will help sooth dry cracked lips caused by winter winds.

To make 10 x 30ml Jars you'll need: -

100ml Hempseed Oil
60g Dark Chocolate (at least 70% Cocoa Solids – I used 85%)
30g Organic Unrefined Cocoa Butter
30g Beeswax
16 Drops Peppermint Essential Oil

Method: Place all ingredients with the exception of the peppermint oil in to a heatproof glass bowl over a pan of water that comes about 2” below the base of the bowl. Stir slowly until all the ingredients are melted and the resulting mixture is smooth and dark glossy chocolate brown. Pour the mix in to a heatproof glass jug - you can skip this stage but it’s easier to pour in to the pots from a jug. Add the drops of peppermint oil and stir with a metal spoon to combine everything together, then pour in to your jar or tins.

To Use – Use a lip brush or the tip of your finger to apply a little of the lip balm to the lips. N.B. Because this lip balm contains real chocolate it may stain clothes if it gets on them, it will also give the lips a slight chocolatey look if too much is applied.

You can experiment with other ‘flavours’ by following the suggestions in the sugar scrub recipe above, substituting the cosmetic flavouring or food grade essential oil of your choosing.

That's all for today, tomorrow I'll share my recipes for making bath melts and bath cupcakes!

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Maybe Someday Box Challenge - Day 2


I made another 2 cards yesterday from things in my Maybe Someday Box (MSB) and was rather pleased with the results. I also have 6 other cards ideas to put together over the next few days, plus lots of new dies and stamps to play with, not all is new that I have recently purchased, some of it is things I picked up on my birthday or in the January sales earlier this year and hadn't gotten around to play with yet!


My first card used 2 items from the MSB, the first a cream A5 card blank that I die cut around this time last year with my 'Snowflake Background' die from the Sue Wilson Festive Collection, I had real problems with this die as no matter what I did I couldn't get it to cut completely, the back of this is a bit thin where I had to tease the die cut pieces out, it was really hard to get a clean cut. The piece went in to the MSB because just under where the flower is I ripped the snowflakes as I tried to get it out of the die. I put it to one side die as well and thought I'd come back to it when I had an idea to disguise the tear.

My original plan was to put some vellum on the back and colour the snowflakes in, like I did on the fairy wings on my Fairy Wishes cards. With a tear and part of the snowflake missing, that wasn't going to happen. I decided as I rummaged through the MSB last night that it was high time I did something with the panel, and as I'd been sorting my drawer of foiled and glitter card out, some red mirror card caught my eye. I'd already taken out the MSB some die cuts I did using scraps of coloured water colour card I'd coloured green to make some pine trees and the panel below on card number two, using another die from Sue Wilson's Festive Collection.

This time the Pine Bough die, I did them because I wanted to test out some Cosmic Shimmer 'Diamond Snow' glitter jewels I bought in the sales last year, they looked pretty but in March when I was playing, I was thinking spring and summer and didn't have a use for Winter pine branches. I'd found some red paper flowers in a box that I'd bought before I started making my own flowers, I thought they looked christmassy and if I arranged them just right, they totally hid the tear, and as I'd packed the panel with the red foiled card you couldn't see it from the back either!

As the panel has a blank oval it was the perfect place to add a sentiment and on my desk the 'Traditional Christmas' stamp set that came free with issue 35 of Creative Stamping sits, so I selected the Noel stamp and used Versamark and Whispers Metallic Gold embossing powder, a few red gems in the centre of the snowflakes finished this card off nicely and it took me all of 10 minutes to put together.


The second card took me a little longer, the only thing from the MSB was the green and gold trees panel which was originally 6 x 6, I'd used distress inks to colour the water colour card. Once dry I used my Sue Wilson Creative Expressions 'Birch Trees' Mask with some 'Warm Gold' Sparkle Texture Paste to create the trees. I got bought a few different colours last Christmas by a friend and played with them making different backgrounds, but until this week I'd not used any of the panels!

In hindsight, green wasn't the past background colour and I struggled to think how to make it work, so I left it in the MSB, then yesterday I had the idea that turned in to this card. The plaid patterned paper came from the DoCrafts 'Jolly Santa' paper stack, and I used it to cover a 6 x 6 card blank, I cut the panel down to 4.5cm using one of the dies from the Tonic Scalloped Squares 482E dies, and cut the next size up in gold mirror card to act as a mat.

I cut a piece of white glitter card to 'ground' the scene and used a Sizzix 'Proud Deer' Thinlit die to cut a deer from copper coloured glitter card, the die cut sentiment was already on my desk from some cards I've been making this week, I've taken to cutting extra sentiments and embellishments from card scraps when I'm running a die through I may as well do it a few times. All I need to do was glue everything in place, I did raise the deer panel on some foam pads et voila another card made. At this rate I'll have my total by the end of the week! I have 5 general cards left to make and 9 special family cards, I think though I'll end up making more than I need, which isn't a problem as they can run over for next year, or I can send some extra cards to people I don't normally send cards.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

My Maybe Someday Box Challenge

I've mentioned my 'Maybe Someday' box on several occasions, so I thought I'd show you what it is, its nothing special, just a plastic box where I store experiments, left over die cuts and things I make and then don't have an immediate use for. The box contains pieces of water colour card that has been coloured with distress inks, gloss paper panels that have received the alcohol ink treatment, toppers, sentiments, pieces of card that have been coloured and embossed, gilded, foiled and painted shapes, die cuts and lots more just sat in the box waiting to be used maybe someday.

When I'm stuck for an idea, or when things I'm trying to do to finish a card aren't working out, I have a rummage through the box and 9 times out of 10 I find just the right piece to finish off my card that I didn't know I was looking for. The box also ensures that if I just feel like playing with a new technique, or just doing a bit of inking or colouring with no particular project in mind, I can play to my hearts content and maybe someday the piece will have a use.  The box also acquires excess die cuts and pieces I make intended to use and then change my mind :)


So today I challenged myself to select some bits and bobs out of the box and use them to create 6 cards for my Christmas card box. I did allow myself to be able to add a few extra bits if needed like a sentiment, ribbon and gems and at the end of the day I'm happy to say I created the 6 cards I'd set out to make with my challenge and I have ideas for a few more cards for tomorrow.

I pulled out first from the box an A5 panel that I'd made when I first played with my colour burst powders, the piece I wanted to create, didn't turn out like I wanted it for the project I was working on at the time, so when it was dry I put it in the box. Yesterday I cut lots of white snowflakes for the Snowman Shaker card I made, but decided not to use them so they sat in a small bag on top of the box. The panel was peaking out as if to say glue them to me, so I did! I die cut the two white sentiments from scraps of card left over from cutting the snowflakes, it took no time at all to put them together, I added a few gems and inside 15 minutes I had 2 cards done.

The other 'Merry Christmas' card uses leftover scraps from two other cards I made recently and a panel I made using my Sue Wilson Snowflake Mini Striplet die, after I'd been experimenting with alcohol inks over 12 months ago now. To make the panel I simple glued down the die cut piece to a piece of the alcohol inked paper that I'd cut to fit, then added a few gemstones. The panel and the rest of alcohol inked paper went in the box and stayed there, today I die cut the sentiment from the left over card and used all the pieces to make the tall card.

The 6" x 6" cards both use some pre-bought toppers that I'd pressed out of the sheets and then decided not to use, so they went in the box along with some Wild Rose Studio Snowflake Corner Die cuts I had left over from last year when I made similar cards. These again were very quick to put together, I used some Bebunni papers from a 6 x 6 pad for the background, added the topper and then glued 4 die cuts to the edge, and finished off with adhesive gems before adding the sentiment. The snowflake corners on the blue card are green foil and red foil card that I decided to flip over and use the white back instead, the sentiment for this one was left over from some projects made last week, I decided for those previous cards that the sentiment looked better in gold rather than silver, so the silver went in the box.

The final card was another quick make, the blue panel was an experiment with metallic pearl pigment inks back in January, I slipped when I was inking and managed to get ink on the white centre strip, once dry it went in the box in case I had an idea for the future. The future came today when I decided to hide the inky mess with a piece of ribbon, the sentiment panel was left over from the snowman cards I posted about last week, when I'd finished I was amazed at how well the cards came out, they looked like they were intended to look like that and not be happy accidents. All of them are now in with the cards I'll be giving to friends and family this year, which leaves me with 16 cards left to make now!

Tomorrow I'll see what else I can find in the box to create more cards, to be honest I need to use some of it up, or get a bigger box, as its starting to over flow lol! Do you have something like my maybe someday box or do you only make things you'll be using? As always thanks for stopping by and any comments you leave I appreciate them :)

Monday, 28 November 2016

Snowman Shaker Card


I hope you've had a good weekend? Saturday myself and my hubby Simon we're teaching kids about making robots as part of a 5 week course we've been running at the local museum, its only a couple of hours but the preparation and the travelling to and from the museum in town seems to take up all of the day, but its tremendous fun. It does leave me feeling a little wiped out afterwards, so it was nice to relax today and do very little but craft and we watched a few movies we've wanted to watch for ages.

I was rather pleased today to discover that out of the 70 cards I need to make for Xmas, I only needed to make 23 more to achieve my goal, which came down to 22 by the time I'd finished making this card. I had a very relaxing day, did a little organising ready for putting the festive decorations up and updated my Christmas card list and made a list of the other cards I need to make over the next few months, friends and family birthdays and a wedding card for my stepson for early January.

I also managed to find an outfit for the big day, which also happens to be my birthday, so I'm really pleased. I topped all this off by making this card which will be going to my Dad and his girlfriend, the back panel of this shaker card came from out of my 'Maybe Someday' box, I bought some Cosmic Shimmer Sparkle Texture Paste last year around about this time and when it arrived I played with it on pieces of card using distress inks and stencils, I created a variety of panels but didn't have fully fledged ideas for using them, so they went in to my box in the event that 'Maybe Someday' I'll have a use for them.

There are 4 other panels I found that I now have ideas for, I love delving in that box, I always seem to pull out something useful for a project that I'd created with no real use for, having the box means I can just play with ideas and not have to commit them to a project which means if my creative juices dry up, I can just do anything, if it works and an idea sparks straight away then run with it, if not, but it in the box and one day it will be useful.

The card was made using an 8" x 8" white card blank, the front of which I embossed with my XCut 'Snowflake Pattern' embossing folder, the snowman is from a set is from the Avery Elle 'Be Jolly' set, I stamped about 10 images a couple of weeks ago and coloured them all one evening when I couldn't sleep, I can't do noisy crafting late at night when I can't sleep because I'd disturb Simon. So I've started to stamp lots of images or cut out lots of die cuts that need putting together and late at night I'll colour, glue or blog about what I've been up to. I wrote more about the stamp and the zig brushes I used in a previous post, so I won't reiterate it here.

Putting the card together was easy, I cut the back panel to be wider than the aperture I wanted to use, then added a square of mounting foam to the inside edge, I attached the snowman to the back with a couple of small foam pads and added my shaker bits which I'd bought from Craft Stash the ones I used are a mix of white and clear circles, squares and small clear beads. Once I'd added the bits I put a piece of thick acetate on top of the foam using a little cosmic shimmer glue to make sure it held in place. Then I added a frame I'd cut from a couple of square nesting dies, I ran the frame through the same Snowflake Pattern folder as I'd used on the base card to tie the design together.


I cut some snowflakes using a Lawn Fawn Stitched Snowflakes die and glued them on to opposite corners of the frame and added a purple gem to the centre, for the sentiment I used my Sue Wilson 'Starry Merry Christmas' die which cut from the same card I used to cut the snowflakes. The final touch was to add some ribbon to the top of the card, I have lots left over from making my stepson's wedding invitations so I'm using it up where I can. Just 22 more cards to go, plus the special occasion cards, its going to be a busy couple of weeks, but I'm looking forward to working on all the projects.  For the first time in a long while I'm looking forward to Christmas, I'm itching to put the decorations up and start wrapping the presents, all the present shopping is done, this year I've been uber organised and its paying off. No last minute presents or shopping for present trips to make, hubby thinks I've been abducted hehe! Hope you have a good week and I'll catch up with you soon, thanks for stopping by and for leaving your lovely comments, I really appreciate it :O)

Friday, 25 November 2016

Just Keep Swimming Shaker Card

Ever since I made my first easel card back in May 2016 I've been hooked on this kind of card and have used it to create lots of different cards for different occasions from Father's day to birthdays and wedding cards. Last month I decided to add a new dimension to my card making and try another technique I've often seen but thought I wouldn't be able to achieve.

You could have blown me down with a feather when I sat looking at my first completed shaker card, and guess what? I think you'll be seeing lots more of these kinds of cards in my cardmaking future, they are not as hard to do as I first thought they were and they give superb results which really does add an extra dimension to the cards I make to give.

I discovered the super Hero Arts Color Layering Goldfish Stamps and die sets back in March 2016 when Jennifer McGuire used them to make a 'Faux Colored Heat Embossing and Window Panel Card' on her blog. Jennifer's blog has been a constant source of tips, information and inspiration since I first discovered her in 2014. As she is American, she uses mainly US releases from US companies that aren't easy to find in the UK, but some stores like Seven Hills Crafts stock lots of the brands that Jennifer uses so its become a lot easier.

The trouble is when the new releases hit these shores, they sell out very quickly, and it took me a while to get the stamps and dies to make this card. I knew when I did get them, I would be making cards for my Dad with them, because he loves fish, I have a Lawn Fawn set called 'Fintastic Friends' to make next years Father's Day card for my Dad as well, and now I have the Zig Color pens it should turn out to be very colourful.

This first card was more a test for the process, rather than a card for someone special, despite seeing lots of shaker card video's on YouTube by lots of different card makers, I wasn't convinced that I'd find it easy, some people have the knack of making difficult things look easy, fooling those of us who don't find it so easy to think it will be.

Yet this technique is a lot easier than I thought it would be, I started out by cutting the easel card out of twin colour card from The Range, I embossed it with a Chevron embossing folder from Crafters Companion and gave it a spritz of shimmer mist. The goldfish bowl panel started as a white panle that was inked with distress inks in Cracked Pistachio, Mermaid Lagoon and a little Blueprint Sketch, when finished I also gave the panel a spritz of shimmer mist.


I stamped the goldfish in three contrasting shades of Hero Arts Bold Inks (Dandelion, Tangerine and Caramel) and used Green Hills Shadow Ink for the seaweed, I then die cut the fish and seaweed out and finally over stamped the fish with Versamark and used clear embossing powder to give the fish a more life like shine. I glued some dome shaped clear gems to the back of the card to look like bubbles and also glued a few of the sequins to the back to not everything fell to the bottom of the 'tank'. I got the sequins from The Range for £1 each container is split in to 4 and has 4 different lots of contrasting colours, I took some from each of the colours and mixed them together.

I die cut 2 circles from my Presscut Die Cutting & Embossing Stencil Round Dies using gold mirror card to make a frame and glued my acetate to it before securing it in place on foam tape. The 'Just Keep Swimming' sentiment is in with the Layered Goldfish stamps and I used a piece of card leftover from making the easel card base, I used gold detail embossing powder and Versamark to stamp the sentiment and then attached it with foam pads, the final touch was to add a couple of the clear gems to either side of the sentiment 'stop' to finish it off.

Inked Inlay Stag Cards


I mention Jennifer McGuire often and how she inspires me, and these latest creations were achieved thanks to her. I watched one of her blog videos a few weeks ago on making Inked Inlay Cards where she used a Memory Box Grand Stag die to make some stunning and vibrant cards. I wanted to have a go at creating the same effect, and I really liked the look of the Grand Stag die, so I managed to get hold of it here in the UK from MaddyLisa Crafts, it arrived yesterday but I was a bit busy having a lovely day with my hubby celebrating 14 years of marriage to do anything with it.

I'm amazed that I managed to make 9 cards for my Xmas card pile for friends and family today, it would have been 10 but I had a bit of an accident with the stag's horns on one, oooo errr Mrs! Still 9 isn't a bad number in one day methinks. I started out with some white card and distress ink to create some coloured panels shades of Blueprint Sketch, Broken China and Tumbled Glass on the first card right to left, Blueprint Sketch, Wilted Violet and Picked Raspberry of the next, Blueprint Sketch, Mermaid Lagoon and Pine Needles on the third card and finally Pine Needles, Lucky Clover and Twisted Citrus on the last card. When I finished each panel I spritzed them with my homemade pearl shimmer mist to add sparkle.

I followed what Jennifer did almost to the letter, I inked the panels up and then die cut them, it seemed easier to me. I have to admit that I did struggle with the double sided adhesive, Jennifer makes it looks so easy, the problem with it is its very sticky so if you don't get it accurately lined up, tough, what you put on it sticks, if you try to remove bits, things tear which is what happened to one of my inlay panels sadly. There's a fair bit of dye cutting involved but I was happy creating so I didn't mind.

Jennifer added her inlay panels to blank cards which she had matted, when I tried they looked flat and uninspiring, nothing as stunning as Jennifer's. So I decided to emboss my card blanks with what is turning in to my favourite winter embossing folder, the Sue Wilson 'Frosty Swirls' is just so pretty. I've used it several times so far for different designs and I think I'll be using it several times more before the card making season is out lol!


I didn't want the left over bits to go to waste so I stuck them down on to ovals of white card that I die cut and then ran that through the Big Shot with my XCut 'Snowflake Pattern' embossing folder which really added something to the images.  I put a smaller oval of thin craft foam behind each panel and used adhesive pads and a little Cosmic Shimmer glue to attached the panels to the card bases. For the sentiment I die cut  the tag from the Sue Wilson Snowflake Corner Border and Tag set and used a free stamp from the Forest Magic set that came free with issue 159 of Papercraft Inspirations. I used Versamark to stamp the sentiment and Stampendous 'Detail Silver' metallic embossing powder, I added a tiny clear sparkle gem to the centre of each snowflake on the tag and used 3D foam pads and glue again to attach to the front of the card.


Here's a closer look of the inner and outer card designs, for the inlay card I used a tiny snowflake/star stamp and Picket Fence distress ink to randomly stamp stars or snowflakes depending how you view them, on to the card. Finally I took a white gel pen and drew some dots to look like snow. I haven't quiet mastered the technique, but its a start. At the end of the day I'm pleased that I made a total of 9 cards today, I also managed to almost finish sorting out my crafting area, just some stamps left to organise and put away.

Plus I've done some embossing and cutting out for a couple of shaker cards I'm going to make this weekend. Lots of projects planned including a birthday card for my niece and two of my friends who have birthday's next month and I need to start planning out the design for the wedding card I'm going to make for my stepson who is getting married in January, so it'll be a busy crafty weekend, if I can get a few more batches of cards made, it gives me time to be able to concentrate on the special cards :)

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Deer Christmas Easel Card

It certainly is beginning to feel a lot like Christmas here with the cold and frosty weather, even if it doesn't look like it yet! I've been sorting things out in my craft area, its almost tidy, ready to be messed up with more crafting!

Today I managed to lose one of the lenses out of my glasses, luckily I found it before I stepped on it!

Crisis averted, I decided to do some crafting, finally finishing a card that I started making in France back in July!

I die cut the pieces for the panel from the XCut Woodland Stag Wreath, using coloured card I got from The Range.

I attached the pieces to a circle of white card that I first embossed with a snowflake embossing folder that came free with a Crafters Companion mag a while back, and lightly ran a distress ink blending tool with Tumbled Glass distress ink on it to bring out the pattern.  Once I'd glued down the pieces for the wreath I added bits of 'Ruby Slippers' Nuvo Glitter Drops to enhance the berries, I've fallen in love with the glitter drops and have been using them a lot over the past few months, I prefer them to Stickles for most things now as they are more dimensional.

At that point inspiration abandoned me and the panel went in to the 'Maybe Someday' box, it came out again in early October when I decided to mount the panel on an easel card. The decorative top bits of which I embossed using an A4 embossing folder by XCut called 'Snowflake Pattern' and made the easel card base from a piece of 12" x 12" dual coloured card I got in The Range, I got that far and inspiration abandoned me again, so the project went on my pile of cards to finish.


Then last night as I was going through a selection of free gifts that had come with magazines, how I wanted to finish off the card came to me when I picked up the free gift that came with issue 35 of Creative Stamping. I stamped one the the script sentiments from the set on to a piece of Neenah Solar White card using Versamark and sprinkled Stampendous 'Detail Silver' metallic embossing powder over it and heat set it. I've only recently discovered the Stampendous embossing powders and I'm mightily impressed with the results it gives thus far.

After I stamped the sentiment I die cut the panel using a scalloped die from the Tonic Studios 'Scalloped and Plain Ovals' set and lightly went around the edge with some Tumbled Glass distress ink. I also used a couple of tiny snowflake stamps and stamped with Broken China and Tumbled Glass distress inks. I die cut a piece of silver foiled card to make a mat using the next size up to the scallop die from the Tonic set previously mentioned and glued the stamp piece to it. The final touch before adding it to the card was to add some pieces of greenery from the Woodland Stag Wreath die and a few more blobs of glitter drops. Really pleased with how this card turned out eventually and its spurred me on to use some of the other free sets I got and get more of my christmas cards made for friends and family.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Warmest Wishes Snowman Set


These cards came about as a happy set of coincidences and mark my first proper attempts at shading and playing with a new set of brush pens which I've fallen in love with, more on them later in this post. A few weeks ago I created a set of backgrounds using clear embossing powder and Versamark on white cards using a Bo Bunny Snowflakes Clear Stamp Set.

I then used some distress ink in different combinations Broken China, Picked Raspberry and Chipped Sapphire of the pinky blue coloured cards and Cracked Pistachio and Mermaid Lagoon on the bluey green colours. On some cards I added some stamped snowflakes with distress inks and used the circular blending tool to dot circles on the panel to create a kind of bokah effect, it kind of worked!

After I finished inking I cleaned up the embossed images with a baby wipe to remove any stray ink and spritzed the cards with homemade shimmer mist, I looked at the panels and my creative muse decided to abandon me, and the panels were put to one side and wound up in my 'Maybe Someday' box. That box is a miss mash of things I've created but then not got a use for, experiments mostly, but when I need some inspiration I rummage through the boxes contents and something inspires me.

I left the snowflake panels and played around with other projects, I added some new goodies to my stash in the form of the Avery Elle 'Be Jolly' cute Snowman and co-ordinating die set, some stitched layering dies in rectangle, circle and oval shapes, a couple of Sue Wilson sentiment dies like the Warm Wishes one used on these cards and I treated myself to a 24 set of Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens after seeing the fab results that Jennifer McGuire had with them.



I have to say that I'm totally blown away with them and how easy they are to use, and the stunning vibrant colours you can achieve with very little effort, I followed a tutorial on Jennifer's blog and laid down a little colour from the Zig pens and instead of using a water brush I used a Spectrum Noir Clear Sparkle Pen and the coloured images come out all shimmery which adds something to the images in my opinion. I picked my set up from Amazon for just less than £24, less than half the price some companies charge for the 24 set normal RRP is £49.99 so I was chuffed. The downside is the come from Japan so you have to wait several weeks for them to arrive, but the money saving and the spectacular results are well worth the wait.

I stamped some of the snowmen images on to some Nena Solar White card using Versamark and Cosmic Shimmer Detail Black embossing powder, as I've said previously I've found that whilst I'm learning to colour having a raised edge to an image helps me stay in the lines. I coloured the images with the Zig pens and the vibrant colours I used made me think of the snowflake cards I'd made a few weeks before. I got them out of the 'Maybe Someday' box and to my delight discovered the images went well on the card.

All I had to do was come up with a sentiment I wanted to have some cards that didn't say Merry Christmas on them to send to friends who don't subscribe to the Christian view of the season, so I got the warmest wishes die out, and cut it with some white glitter card I got from Hobbycraft last year. Just putting the sentiment on the background didn't look right, it needed a mat to help it stand out. I tried a few different colours of plain card but nothing looked right. Then I remembered a pack of pearlescent linen card I'd picked up from The Range a few months ago. The colours in the pack were perfect for what I wanted so I used one of the oval stitched dies to cut a mat for the sentiment, glued it all together and was amazed at how well they come out.

I still have some snowmen coloured for other projects, one of which I'll hopefully be working on later today, I have a few WIP's to finish off first, I'd started work on them, put them aside because I couldn't think how to finish different bits, but yesterday I finally decided what was needed. As they're all Xmas cards and that's what I'm working on now I need to get a wiggle on. It's good to be back blogging again, so happy that life is now evening out so I have time to do the things I love.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Let It Snow Card


I was inspired to make this card after seeing a video by Christine from the Crafti Potential blog, she does some fab cards and is a constant source of ideas and inspiration, the card she made used the Let it Snow set that came free with issue 156 of Simply Cards & Papercraft magazine, Christine used her set to make a snowflake thank you card, I went for a festive card with my interpretation.

I die cut the snowflakes from a piece of card that I'd given the 'Color Burst', 'Pixie Powder' treatment to a few weeks ago and they'd been sitting on my desk waiting for an idea to spark. When I saw Christine's card my mind spiralled with ideas, but I was busy making wedding invitations for my step sons wedding, so all other projects went on hold. I finished the invites yesterday so I'm back to making other cards today.

Like Christine I glued the die cut snowflakes to a piece of card, then I used some small snow flake stamps to stamp snowflakes in between the die cuts using an Hero Arts Ombre ink pad in Mermaid which is a lovely mix of Navy Blue, Teal and Dark Purple. Once the ink was dry I put the panel in to a Sue Wilson 'Frosty Swirls' embossing folder and ran it through my Big Shot to give the panel some texture.

I had some die cut white panels left over from the wedding invites and some purple organza ribbon also left over, so I decided to make use of them and use them for my sentiment panel as the colours went with the colours on the panel really well. I used the Let it Snow sentiment from the magazine freebie and embossed it on to a white panel using Versamark ink and Stampendous 'Detail Silver Metallic' embossing powder, this is the first time I've used this embossing powder and I'm impressed with the results so far. I discovered that some embossing powders work better than others, so far I have 3 go to brands, those by WOW, Cosmic Shimmer and a French company called iZink and now Stampendous can join them. I've just ordered some by Sweet Dixie as well, only had dies and stamps by them before so I'm looking forward to trying them out.

I decided to make another tent fold card and used a piece of purple centura pearl card to make the card blank. I round the bottom corners of the panel and the card blank using my X-Cut corner rounder and attached the ribbon. Once the ribbon was secure I glued the panel to the card and added the sentiment panel with foam tape. The final touch was to add some pale blue and purple tiny gems to the centre of the die cut and stamped snowflakes. I'd never used die cuts this way before, I'm thrilled with the result though and will be making more cards like this in the future.