Monday, 16 July 2018

Distress Rainbows and Wildflowers

My second Tim Holtz inspired creation in as many days and I'm really happy with the way it turned out, even more happy when I think that the back distress inked rainbow effect panel has been in my 'Maybe Someday' box for a while now, in fact its been there for almost 3 years, ever since I got the Botanical Sketch stamp set in fact! FYI I still have used "The Chemist" set, something I need to rectify real soon!

I used my powder tool on the panel and then inked the stamp with versamark and sprinkled Cosmic Shimmer Black Detail embossing powder on the stamped image. Once I'd allowed the embossing to cool I used a blending tool and Wilted Violet, Chipped Sapphire, Mermaid Lagoon, Twisted Citron, Squeezed Lemonade, Spiced Marmalade and Festive Berries Distress Inks to create the rainbow effect.

If you look at the photo of a smilar card in the link above you can see that I'd originally stamped the "Thank You" words from the set, but it didn't look right on this card, instead I decided to use one of the dies from the Stacked Baroque set to make a new sentiment instead. I chose one from my Life Quotes CMS277 stamp set and embossed it in WOW! Opaque Bright White embossing powder.

The flowers are from the Sizzix Wildflowers #2 set and  were cut with black card stock then coloured with Distress Oxides in Bundled Sage, Candied Apple, Picked Raspberry, Squeezed Lemonade, Cracked Pistachio and Lucky Clover. I added some touches of distress marker in the same shades on the flowers and some shimmer pen to give the flowers some sparkle.

I made the card blank myself using the Tonic Studios 'Bowscale' die set, I cut a third panel to make a frame around the rainbow panel and used the long edge of the centre discard to make a piece for the bottom that I trimmed off to glue the wildflowers to so that I could attach the flowers to the bottom of the card with 3D foam pads to create some dimension.

Another project completed with my Tim Holtz stash, I'm on a roll this week, so much so that I've even had some time to play with a couple of other dies and stamps, I bought a set off Ebay a while back called 'Bird Talk' which contains 3 small versions of the larger Crazy Birds stamps, matching dies, stamps and an embossing folder. I'm playing with an idea in my head that requires me to cut the Tree Rings die cuts in half. This is the first time I've played with both dies and I had lots of fun, coloured with distress inks and markers. My colouring isn't brilliant but I'm pleased with the results.

Saturday, 14 July 2018

A Rosie Thank You

Further to my previous post "Tim Holtz for the Terrified" I've been working with my TH stamps and dies and creating some projects. This card was so quick and easy to do and I plan on replicating it in various colourways.

I cut a piece of white card smaller than the pink card base I wanted to use, and die cut one of the dies from Tim's Mixed Media #5 set on the panel at either end. Then I just glued a piece of vellum to the back of the die cut panel, and used an assortment of Tonic Alcohol Markers to colour the vellum.

I was thrilled to discover that I can colour on vellum with Distress Markers as well, and the effect is a lot smoother than alcohol inks, a point to note for next time!

I used the 'thanks' dies from the Shadow Script #2 set, cutting the larger die from the same vellum I used for backing the vellum and some Distress Collection Victorian Velvet Core'dinations ColorCore Cardstock. A few 3D foam pads and the card was finished, I love the bold colour and how easy it was to achieve, okay its not a dark gothic mixed media masterpiece, but it is me using my Tom Holtz stash and creating something.

Fellow Tim Holtz Addicts - and there are many of us, I recently joined a group on Facebook with over 20,000 members and counting! - will know that Wednesday 11th July was the release day for the 4th batch of Distress Oxide inks, and I along with lots of people from the group and some of my crafting friends watched Tim reveal the new colours via a Facebook Live video.

I left a comment in the group after Tim's FB live and I was absolutely delighted to get a comment from the man himself. If you'd been a fly on the wall in our house you would have heard a high pitched shriek followed by a crazy 54 year old woman yelling "OMG Tim has commented on my post!". It was just a short sentence but it meant the world to me and really made my day, I wasn't expecting it, and I appreciated the time he took when he could have been relaxing after talking for so long.

During the live reveal I was sad to learn that we won't be getting a Picket Fence Distress Oxide due to the ink formulation needed to produce white, but Tim did say that the Picket Fence Distress Ink could be used on dark cardstock, so at least that's something. He also mentioned that there were some new Distress Oxide things coming soon, my money is on Oxide Markers or Paints, but it could be something brand new and equally wonderful!

As we're not far off the Halloween and Christmas 2018 releases of Tim's new stuff from Sizzix, Ranger and Stampers Anonymous et al I need to get saving, I'm pretty darn sure that there will be new delights I want to acquire and the final 12 oxides get released in October which means we'll get them in the UK sometime between November and December. Suffice to say  I've pre-ordered the next batch of 12 which should arrive sometime in August, I also got the Alcohol Lift Ink and Re-Inker and a couple more Distress Markers for my collection, so all in all its been a very good day and I've completed two other TH projects as well, whoot, whoot, more on them soon, but for now I'm off to get inky and made some more backgrounds.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Tim Holtz For The Terrified

In my craft room I have a lot of Tim Holtz products, distress inks and oxides, distress markers, stamps, dies, stencils, embossing folders an a large array of tools including the Stamping Platform, scissors, and so much more.

Imagine my surprise when doing some blog maintenance I discovered the jaw dropping lack of projects added to my blog that are made with Holtz products, despite owning so many! So much so I found myself asking myself some questions, the first was "What the Flock?" or something like it!

I've been a huge fan of Tim, his style and products since I first came across his distress inks not long after I started crafting in 2014. Pretty much not long after I saw that first You Tube video of Tim using Distress Inks, Tim has been one of my crafting constants ever since, I make use of my distress inks and oxides so much as can be seen in the projects I add to my blog, but there is a distinct lack of projects featuring none distress products by Tim like dies, stamps and embossing folders.

Whilst searching my card photo archives I couldn't understand why despite having created cards with some of my TH products I haven't added that many to my blog, and further to that I haven't used even 1/6th of my Holtz Stash! When I asked myself why, I was startled and I guess a little ashamed at my answer. The reason I haven't used the products I buy or added cards I've made to my blog seems silly when I think about it. When I look at projects that amazing people like Paula Cheney, Zoe Hillman and Richele Christensen create and so many of the other extremely talented Tim Holtz Addicts out there, I find myself wanting. I am way too critical of what I make and convince myself that others will feel that way as well, or I tell myself that no matter what I do, I just can't create something as wonderful as the people I admire creatively.

I'm not brilliant, but I am improving all the time, and the last thing I want to be is a "collector" of all things Tim buying his stuff just for the sake of it but never use it. Talking to my husband who popped into Narnia (the name for my craft space) just now, he made the comment that I'm too hard on myself, and that the more I use and play, the better I will become. He's right of course (but don't tell him I said so lol) its the practice that helps us develop as crafters and NOT letting stuff sit on shelves and never using it for fear of messing it up!

If you mess it up, then find another way to use it or bin it! I'm looking as I type at a big stack of Holtz fueled creations that I've made that date back to 2015 and I've still not used them, they sit in my 'Maybe Someday box' and their some day has still not arrived! The odd thing is I was really pleased with most of them when I created them, but I just couldn't seem to get the final flash of inspiration that turned them into cards.

I made xmas cards with Tim's dies last year (see above) and I was really pleased with the way they turned out, but did I share them on the blog? Did I heck, not until today, above is an example of one of them. The rest went in the post without my even taking photos! In the above example I used one of the deers from the 'Reindeer Flight' Bigz die, the holly die from the 'Holiday Greens' thinlits set and the Noel word from the 'Vintage Tidings' thinlits set and an assortment of distress inks to colour the deer, holly and background. It isn't brilliant but it didn't turn out half bad.

Back in September and October of 2017 I acquired almost all the Autumn release of Tim's Halloween Sizzix dies release, some of the Stampers Anonymous stamps and an assortment of other TH goodies. Yet aside from the Vintage Spirits words, NONE of the dies and embossing folders in this photo have been used, and I bought others from that release after this batch arrived?! The same has happened with the Christmas release and other releases. Absolutely bonkers!

I really do need to get over this fear of my creations not being as good as someone elses, because at the end of the day it should only matter what I think, right? Yet something in me keeps telling me I'm not good enough, I'm going to have to smoother that naughty little inner demon and cover it with distress ink and spritz it until it gives up. I think there is another part of me that until recently hadn't really found her crafting 'niche', I asked myself what I most like to do and its get inky and messy, I'm happiest when I'm making inky things with distress inks and I love the themes and ideas that Tim Holtz creates.

I've been collecting so many products from different companies with different styles and outcomes that I realised that I've not found my own style, in the meantime my little room is becoming cramped and I have a lot of stuff that I've bought but it isn't really me. I'm botanical, dark and geeky. I love classic halloween colours (purple, orange, black and green), my favourite season is autumn. I have a passion for herbs and 19th century pharmacy styles, love watching shows like American Gothic, Vampire Diaries and Midnight Texas. I adore Cats especially my two furbabies and I like cute stamps which Tim doesn't do, things like unicorns and cutesy animals. As most of what I like I can find in the realms of Mr Holtz I really need to experiment more and keep trying, that's the way I will learn to be better and improve my techniques.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

3D Printed Distress Marker Pen Rack File - Free to Download

Since I published this photo of the 3D printed pen racks that Si designed and printed for me I've had lots of requests from people asking if he could make a set for them.

Sadly it takes about 5 hours to print just 1 of the racks, you'd need 10 for all the Distress Markers, so it will take 50 hours total to print enough layers to house all the Distress Markers.

Its not beyond the scope of things to make a set but the time involved means the cost would be high. It doesn't take long to print the Wreath Templates by comparison he can do a few sets of those per night.

With the time/cost in mind my wonderful fella has agreed to make the .stl files required to print the racks available so that other people who have access to a 3D Printer will be able to get their own set of racks printed.

As well as Distress Markers, the racks can also hold Stampin Up's 'Stampin Write' markers, and Arteza 'Real Brush Pens'. Each layer is designed to slide into the one below so make the complete like sturdy and stop the racks sliding apart they are 10cm wide x 15cm long and they can be added to over time so if Tim releases any new colours in the future you can add another rack to your stack to accommodate the new colours.

You can get Zig Real Brush Markers in the slots also, but as they are shorter pens they are not so easy to get out. Si is going to tweak the files to make the rakcs shorter to accommodate shorter pens and wider so pens like Promarkers, Aqua Flow Pens and Spectrum Noir Sparkle Pens can be stored on them. Once these files are complete I'll add them to download as well.

Download The Pen Tray.stl Here. If you have trouble downloading the file then send me a message via my Facebook shop Cook's Craft Supplies I will send you the file via facebook message so you can print a set of racks for yourself.  I'll add the links to larger size pen trays as soon as hubby has had time to get them done.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Adventures in Nuvo: Mousse

Hello there and thanks for stopping by, I really appreciate the lovely people that visit my blog and leave comments, sometimes I forget to say so which is very remise of me, so I thought I'd correct that before I say anything else. πŸ˜€

I did manage to sort out the stuff that was blocking access to my work desk, which means that I've been able to sit there and get my craft on, I've been playing with Nuvo Mousse thanks to a fab video tutorial that my friend Jennifer Kray did via a Facebook Live.

She gave some brilliant tips for using the mousse including one I'd tried before, when I tried it I coloured first then embossed, but Jen's technique involved embossing first and then adding the mousse with a smoothie. Jen used a couple of embossing folders but the one that blew me away was the example Jen did using her We Are Memory Keepers Next Level Geometric embossing folder, I don't own any of the WAMK's folders yet but I now have my eye on a few, thanks Jen πŸ˜› I do have some 3D embossing folders, a couple by Sizzix including the 'Woven' one above and the 'Leaves' one below both are by Lynda Kanase for Sizzix.

I do have a selection of Crafters Companion 3D folders as well and I'm waiting for a the new Botanical 3D Tim Holtz folder to arrive, can't wait either, my Nuvo mousses have gone a little stiffer than when I first bought them and Jen showed us how to revive them.

I got a 2.5 litre bottle of de-ionised water from Wilkinson's for the princely sum of £1.25 a real bargain, its in the section where they have the stuff for cars if anybody is interested.

My camera isn't picking up the subtle changes in colour, I used 3 different colours of Nuvo Mousse to create the background, I think some highlights of gold would have been perfect but I don't have that colour yet, its on my list of things to acquire now πŸ˜‰

On both of my cards I used a My Favorite Things border die from their 'Scallop Basic Edges 2' set, I just bent it round the embossed panel and held it in place with a couple of small pieces of washi tape before I glued the panel to my card base.

The Hello topper is done using a set of dies I picked up on Ebay a while back, both of the hello toppers were made from the cards we were sent at Christmas by friends and family, they look fab from this side but the reverse of them which nobody sees you can tell that the toppers are recycled, but nobody sees the back of them once they are glued on right?

The set has a matching stamp and if you use it the O is more clearly defined, I used a variety of inks on the backs of the cards, the foil and glitter ones were die cut from cards that had glitter and foiled sections on them. I did find that some types of card didn't take to ink so readily if you look at the blue 'Hello' I used a Hero Arts Ombre Ink which is a dye based ink, on the glossy card the ink went on splotchy, I was going to throw it away but I left it to dry and discovered I liked the mottled effect that it made and to anyone looking they'd think it was intentional, it was a happy accident πŸ˜‚

I used distress oxides as well and added some water to create splashes, some inks didn't work very well and in the end I stuck to oxides and dye based inks, any pigment inks I tried just refused to dry, I think thats because most of the recycled cardstock is coated some how which makes it repel certain forms of ink. I ended up making about 30 of these from the Xmas cards and I'm down to my last 6 now. It's a good way of recycling cards, I have some birthday cards that I need to do the same with, some of them will even make toppers for other cards as well. I'm off to make a birthday card for my Sister-In-Law now and then to make a start on the annual christmas card pile, making some for the Cats Protection to sell as well so I need to make lots!  Enjoy the rest of the day and thanks for stopping by :)

Monday, 18 June 2018

Stash & Craft Room Catch Up

I've been acquiring some new goodies, some I've bought, some were subscription gifts and I've even won a prize from taking part in a Facebook competition run by Making Cards magazine more about that below, but I thought I'd have a quick catch up on my craft area. Si has put me another light in, its a temporary fix, he's recycled a lamp and attached it to the ceiling, it plugs in to the mains and I have a smart bulb in it so I can turn it off and on with my voice and alter the brightness which is brilliant.

I still have to label all the Oxide Inks I have in the rack that my niece and nephews got me for Christmas, I better get my skates on as I expect the next batch of Oxide colours will be announced very soon. My stash is continuing to expand, but my aquisitions are a lot less frequent than they were before Miserly March. I'm spending less than I did before and trying my hardest to use what I have in before I buy something new, don't get me wrong, there are still LOTS of things that I want, but I'm learning that their is a difference between want and need.

Over the past few months I've added the Tonic Nuvo Diamond Inks to my ink collection and recently collected all the Tonic Alcohol Pens, I've yet to properly play with both items to know how much I like them, and whether I think they are better than promarkers or not. I have to learn to just try 1 or 2 of a set and work with them before I buy the whole set, these save money to buy the whole set deals look worthwhile initially but if you don't use the whole set because you can't get on with it, its wasted money! The only other major purchase I've made is a Tim Holtz Glass Media Mat which is due at the end of June, fingers crossed.

Until this weekend, there hasn't been much crafting time recently, we got a new RPG game that both of us are loving playing, its another of those games where I get to run round collecting herbs and making potions and remedies and Si can do all the fighting and hunter gatherer stuff that he likes to do, its kept us both sane recently. Being ill, and more problems with the neighbour means we've now had to convert part of my craft room into a TV area to escape the noise from the neighbours music, when its bad we just can't sit in the front room the music vibrates through the sofa and drowns out the TV, when its very bad we can't even sit in our makeshift TV room (my craft room) on the other side of the house with the TV turned up full!

We've tried to resolve the issue, we've talked to her, I've gone round sobbing asking her to please stop, Si has been confrontational, we've got the noise people and council involved, it goes quiet for a while and then it starts again. This has been going on for 10 years now and its having a huge impact on my mental health, if I could afford it I'd move, but we can't so here we have to stay. Most days I spend all day in this little room and at times I sit with headphones on playing my own kind of music to drown out the reggae stuff from next door with its thumping bass or I end up a blubbing wreck. The TV area addition has meant that stuff I usually store on or near the bed has had to be stored on my craft desk and the area in front of it so I haven't been able to get at my desk to play. I'm scheduled to try and sort it out this weekend and move things so that crafting can happen, fingers crossed.

Sorry for the moan above, now back to crafting, it did feel good to be able to get it off my chest though so thanks for reading/listening. πŸ’“
I started collecting Tim Holtz Distress Markers around October last year a couple here and there, until that point I thought I didn't need them, but after watching some techniques on You Tube and on other peoples blogs I decided that indeed I did.

I picked up about 20 pens for around £1.50 each when Craft Barn began their closing down sale last month and found a few more colours on other sites for around £1.75 each. So currently I have 40 of the colours with 21 left to add, I'm buying them a few at a time and should have the whole set by Xmas, the crafty magpie in me wants to go buy the whole collection but I know I can't afford that at the moment so I'll have to get then a few at a time.

Whilst I was ill last month Simon surprised me with some trays that stack together to store my Distress Markers in. Currently I have 7 of them but he's going to 3D print me enough to hold all the pens for when I have them all. He designed the trays and printed them, he's a star and his creation really cheered me up when I was feeling ill. His genius creation makes storing the pens and accessing them very easy and as a bonus they are stored in the correct position so that they don't dry out. With the racks, Zig brush holder, wreath stamper templates and other goodies Si has made for me, my craft working space is slowly getting a bright plastic look, its a bit mis matched colourwise but its certainly easier to store things and it makes me smile knowing that my fella created them for me.

The bundle above arrived recently, its the recent subscription 'gift' for taking out a years subscription to Making Cards Magazine. I was absolutely amazed at this bargain, the years subscription (13 issues) cost me £49.99 the WOW goodies are valued at just under £45 which means I get 13 issues of the magazine delivered to my door for less than £5!!! I've been wanting to try out the WOW embossing pad and pen for a while, the embossing powders I've used for a while and highly recommend. I now have an extra heat gun so if I ever had a craft night with friends I don't have to share lol! That said my 14 year old neice is is coming to stay with us soon and I've promised to show her some card making techniques which I'm looking foreward to so much.

This weekend saw another first, I discovered that there was a card making group occuring locally a few months ago, I finally got the courage to contact the lady to find out more, she replied but I chickened out, when the neighbour 'kicks off' my anxiety kicks up, its never gone away since 2010 but I can usually supress it, when it takes over I won't go out, the smallest thing upsets me, I stress, worry and avoid the world. Anyway, Tracey, the lady that runs the class contacted me to say she was having an open day and would I like to go, idiot me thought I'd missed it already.

Turns out I hadn't so I decided to go along, on Saturday morning my anxiety kicked in big time, I was about to go out and meet people I didn't know. The weird thing is if Simon is with me I'm fine, alone I'm a basket case, Si wasn't going to be there, and I knew I would be alone. I tried an assortment of ways of wiggling out of going, in the car on the way there my stomach was doing flips and my heart was racing. I told Si and he said basically I had my mobile if I wasn't happy he'd come back and get me, having lived in Derby now for almost 16 years and having no friends the rational part of me wants to get out there, so I did it.

I had a really nice time, I made a make and take card and picked up some water based markers for £1 each, there was coffee cake, craft bingo and lots of chat, although this time I didn't really say much because I didn't really know anybody. The 2 hours I was there felt like a lot longer, in a good way, yes I was nervous as hell and my stomach was in knots but the ladies were all so friendly and it helped that I could escape in to some colouring and creating so the focus was outside of me. My colouring isn't that brillaint because I didn't take my close up glasses, so I couldn't see the details, but it came out fine.

I'm looking forward to going to a more classes in the future, but have to admit that I'm a little concerned that the classes are Stampin Up based and my curbing spending head is worried she'll get tempted to spend what she doesn't have, but hopefully it won't be an issue. Well that's all for now, next time I'll share some cards I've been making, I actually got time yesterday to make not 1, not 2 but 3 cards and dabble with some new ideas for using products I have in inspired by my friend Jennifer Kray.

Friday, 8 June 2018

A Coffee Break Full of Beans

I hope you're all well? I've been absent from the blogosphere for a couple of weeks because I developed an inner ear infection, no idea why or how it occured, I've never had one in my life before and hope to never get one again. It was nasty, messed with my balance, made me feel dizzy and nauseous, for the first 3 days I stayed in bed because moving around made me feel horrendous. I couldn't craft, I did try once but the dizziness got the better of me so I gave up.

Being poorly means that I haven't been able to get around to making all the projects I wanted to make. So I'm only just getting round to playing with some items I've recently bought and freebies from card mags. I'll catch up but I'll still be a bit behind crafting because I've started decorating now I'm feeling better :) We've finally got all the money together and the supplies to decorate the bathroom 😡

So I'm busily stripping off the old paper and working on getting everything ready for hubby to give me a hand with the papering and some of the painting (my arms aren't long enough to reach the ceiling over the bath lol!) I can't wait for it to be finished, new carpet tiles and I'm going to have a go at dyeing our existing towels from pink to purple and maybe decorate them with some ribbon or something?!

The two cards I'm sharing today were made using the "Coffee Break" freebies that came with Issue 177 of Simply Cards & Papercraft. The set included a stencil, stamps and dies to cut the lid for the coffee cup, a tag, small heart and some steam curls that I haven't got round to using yet.

I used the little coffee bean stamp with 3 different colours of Altenew inks from aptly their 'Coffee Break' ink cube set and stamped them in my stamping platform using the 6" template. I then made a circular mask and used some Scattered Straw Distress Ink to make the background for the cups, giving the inked circle a spritz of water and blotting it off after 30 seconds to lift some of the ink.

The coffee cups I stamped and fussy cut as close to the edge as I could get and if I do say so myself my fussy cutting is getting better 😊 Once cut out I used a blending tool and some Tea Dye Distress Ink to colour the cups and edged around the cup with a black Promarker to finish the edge off. The piece that looks like a corrugated card cup holder is another of the stamps in the set which I cut out after stamping. This time I used versmark ink and some gold embossing powder to stamp the image and when I'd worked the magic with the embossing gun, I coloured between the embossed lines with a Distress Marker in Gathered Twigs, then buffed the embossed area to remove any ink.

I cut some tags and cup lids from scraps of white card using the free dies and a couple of hearts from some scraps of red card. I made a circular card from 2 pieces of brown card and folded one in half to be the base and glue my coffee bean panel to the other then glued that to the base piece. Before I attached the coffee cups to the panel I tied some brown embroidery thread to the tags and used a pokey tool to pierce the top of the cup underneath where the lid would be and pushed the other end of the thread through and used some washing tape to hold it in place on the back of the card.

Next I layered the two finished cups on top of each other on the panel using 3D foam pads, I popped a few small 3D pads under the tags to hold them away from the card and give them some dimension. The final touch for the circular card was to add the red hearts and I gave the a coat of Tonic Crystal Glaze to make them shine.

I was so pleased with the way the first card turned out that I did the same thing for this card, this is just a 4" x 4" texture card blank, I used the leafy stencil that came with the set with some Pine Needles Distress Ink. Again I fussy cut the coffee cup out but this time I didn't use the die cut lid instead I used some Distress Markers to colour the lid.

I colour the cup with Mowed Lawn Distress Ink after masking off the lid with a little washy tape, I did a water spritz again because I love the effect it gives. I used some Memento 'Cottage Ivy' Ink to stamp the leafy folder and added some clear embossing to it to make it shine.

You can see more clearly on this card how I pierced the cup to pop the thread through for the tag. I decided this card was lacking something as it neared completion so I cut a few strips of green glitter card and added them above and below the stencilled area. I see this one more as a Green Tea or Green Smoothie kind of card so I'm going to make some in different colours pinks for a Strawberry Milk Shake, a Blueberry Smoothie and find some fruity sentiments to go with them.  There is most certainly lots of scope for these freebies and they can be used to make cards for the men folk as well! More from me soon I now have a date with my bed, its taken 2 days to write this post, guess my head is still a little fuzzy. Enjoy the weekend, I hope it send you sunshine and crafting time πŸ˜€

Friday, 4 May 2018

Purple Hi-Top Boots Card

I made this card for my niece for her 14th birthday, hard to believe that she is growing so fast, it doesn't seem but a moment since I held her in my arms the day she was born, time goes by so very quickly!

My niece isn't a pink girlie, girl so pink, lipstick and tu-tu frills for a card for her would go down like a lead balloon, she's what would have been called a Tom Boy in my day, but I'm not sure that's politically correct these days. She loves Batman, anime, bacon, chocolate, and the colour purple!

I like to think she gets the love of anime from me, and I may have helped influence her love of purple along with her Mum. I watch her and see a few other things that are me in her, she plays Skyrim like her auntie does, we like some of the same music and has my sense of humour, watch out world lol!

I was a bit of a Tom Boy when I was younger and I'm not a huge fan of pinks and princess colours. Still today, I'm more comfortable in jeans, t-shirt and a pair of hi-tops than skirts, dresses and high-heels. When I was my nieces age, I wore hi-tops all the time, but back then they were called baseball boots and I had several pairs in nice bright colours. So when I saw the My Favorite Things 'All Star High Tops Die-namics' die I couldn't resist it, partly nostalgia and partly forming an idea for my nieces card. Although I think it would work equally well for a card for a teenage boy if you change the colours and background to something more grungy or gamey, although that would work for girls as well in my world.

The die is fabulous, but putting those eyelets in can be a little fiddly, in the end I hit on the idea of using my pokey tool as a positioner. First dab some glue on the back of your hand, skeewer the eyelet on your pokey tool or something that is thin enough to go through the eyelet hole. Add a dab of glue then holding the boot piece with one hand, position the eyelet around the hole using the pokey tool and press down.

I was amazed at how quickly I got through the job once I'd hit on that method of adding the eyelets, the rest of the pieces layered together very quickly. I did try to use some thread to make laces but I couldn't get it through the holes in the boot without it fraying and looking messy.

I made this one a an easel card using black card and used the same purple glitter card I cut the boots from from some of the mats and layers. I cut several silver stars and slightly larger stars out of black card to mat the silver stars on to and used them as simple embellishments for the card.

The happy birthday sentiment is cut using a Sue Wilson 'Scripted Happy Birthday' die from the same 'Nebula Purple' Tonic Studios Craft Perfect Glitter Card that I used for the mats and layers and boots. I love Tonic glitter card, it die cuts like a dream, it doesn't shed its glitter like some types of card and the range of colours are so rich and lush! I'm delighted to say that my neice loved her card, it always makes me smile when I make something that makes someone else happy, it makes it all worthwhile.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

A Wreath of Paws

I made this card recently to send to a lady who is also a little bit of a crazy cat lady as part of a Happy Post mail swap that is run on the Creative Minds - Kind Hearts group and I'm thrilled to say she loved it. The wreath was stamped using the 5" Wreath Builder Template that Si made for me, if you are interested in owning a set of your own then you can find more details on my facebook page 😁

I used Ranger Dye Ink Pads in Raspberry Sorbet, Grape Soda and Lavender Field colours to stamp the paws using stamps from Hobbycraft and My Favorite Things. The template makes it so easy to stamp any stamp you wish and quickly build it in to a wreath shape which can then form a background or be an actual focal point.

The image was stamped and die cut using the My Favorite Things 'Best Friends' set, I love the set more cards to come using the set very soon. The sentiment also comes from the set and uts very true 😻 I coloured the image using Prismacolor Pencils and blended them with gamsol, my shading is still a work in progress but I can see the improvement everytime I colour, lots more practice needed but I'll get there 😊

I used dies from the Wonky Stitches range available from Craft Stash to edge the paw panel and cut the sentiment panel, the only other addition was a few Clear Iridescent Jewels from Lucy's Cards to add a bit of interest. I'd seen a few of the American crafters use this gems like Jennifer McGuire, so I was thrilled to discover that the company is in the UK and postage is only £1! Lucy does lots of sequins, glitter, confetti, pearls and more in some gorgeous colours.

I added some shimmer with a Spectrum Noir Clear Sparkle pen to the large paws and the little girls dress. To finish I mounted the white panel on to a piece of purple metallic card and then attached that to a homemade card blank I'd created using a piece of Lavender Centura Pearl cardstock, really pleased with the way this one turned out and tonight I'm off to my local cats protection to show the ladies at their Craft and ChAT group how to stamp and colour images like these πŸ˜ΊπŸ˜»πŸ™€

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Bee Happy, Create Impossible Cards!

There is a new craze doing the rounds in the card making world currently for something called an Impossible Card. The irony is its really very, very simple and uses a single piece of card to make the card base.

I've seen designs that use USA A2 Size (4¼ x 5½), USA A6 (4½ x 6¼), 5" x 7" and a 6" square design and a few variations in between this website has templates for all the above, the ones I've made so far are both 5 x 7 because it was really easy to to mark it all out.

When you see an impossible card your first reaction is WOW how is that possible, the mind makes you think that the card must have been made using two pieces of card, but also makes you think its a single piece and has an optical illusion effect. The catrd is based on something called a Hyper Card, that was originally posted by a company called Bicycle who make playing cards.

To make my card I followed a YouTube tutorial by Sam from Mixed Up Craft, I actually found her tutorial and blog thanks to a lady who is a member of one of the same craft groups as me, I really couldn't believe how easy it was to make one of these cards and I'll be making more in the future. It's another card that will fold flat, so if you don't put much on in the at of embellishments, you can send your card as a large letter and save postage.

I made the "Home Sweet Home" card first and I got myself in to a bit of a pickle, I couldn't get the flap the card fold created to stand upright. No matter what I did it fell forward or backward πŸ˜• There are 3 possibilities for the problem...

1) The cardstock weight was not strong enough, I used cardstock  that was only 160gsm and was therefore probably not strong enough to take the weight of the topper?

2) The topper I attached was too heavy for the flap. That said I tried adding a piece to the back of the flap but it didn't help stablise it.

3) I didn't fold the flap correctly. In  the demo video Sam folds in one direction half way, turns the piece over and folds the other side of the flap from the outside to the centre in the other direction. When I made the first card I turned the flap over and folded it all the same way.

When I made the 'Bee Happy' card I followed the steps and folded and creased in the same way that Sam did and my flap stood up perfectly and held the topper without falling over. I like the colours and image of the 'Home Sweet Home' card and didn't want to bin it so I made a couple of little hinges to glue to the back, this created the stability that the topper needed to stand upright. Whilst it wrecks the "How did they do that illusion?", it does mean that I can still use the card and didn't have to throw it away.

The bee topper and papers were from a "Making Cards for Boys" CD that came free with Making Cards Magazine in March 2017, I'd printed these off when I made the Colourful Monster cards back in February but the right idea to use them hadn't hit me.

I thought that the would be good for an impossible card. I decided to add some Tonic Nuvo Crystal Glaze to the honey jar ro make it look more glass jar like and I love the effect that the glaze created.

The topper and papers for the "Home Sweet Home" card are from a Crafters Companion "Makey Bakey Mice" CD and were printed off a while back, again waiting for the right project to come along. I decided against adding a sentiment to this card because the topper already had a sentiment on it.

I made the paper flowers from a leftover piece of the backing paper and a scrap from making the base card using the Card Making Magic Die Set 'Layered Florals' and finished the centres off with some 'English Mustard' Nuvo Drops. In hindsight, it would probably been better to use some distress ink to define the edges of the flowers after shaping them, but I was a little too eager to finish the card and by the time I thought about inking, I'd already stuff the flowers and leaves down. Below is the video I used to make the cards.

In other news two lovely card making things have happened this week, the first is I've finally found a group of ladies that live locally that meet a few times a month to craft, chat and eat cake! I'll be going along to meet them and craft along with them on the 11th May, the lady that organises the events is a Stampin Up demonstrater, but she is foremost a crafter who it seems loves getting together with others to share the joy of crafting, I'm looking forward to it and getting together with other crafters to share inspiration.

My other piece of crafty news is this week I became a moderator of a lovely group on Facebook Creative Minds - Kind Hearts which I'm thrilled to be a part of, and to be helping to moderate and also help out the groups founders who both have busy schedules. I'm now part of the moderation team who along with the Admins have been talking behind the scenes and sharing ideas to help make this fabulous group even more fabulous if that's possible, more I cannot say as nothing has been finalised but exciting times are ahead. That's all for now, I'm off to work on a few more impossible cards, these cards are so impossibly I hope you have a go if you haven't already.