Thursday, 26 January 2017

Quickie Card - Heartfelt Thanks

I'm loving my new Floral Fantasy background stamp from My Favorite Things, which I picked up from Seven Hills Crafts during my latest stash accumulator, it's a lovely 5 3/4" x 5 3/4" rubber stamp. Perfect for making simple backgrounds and for making "Colour Me" style cards for gift giving as well as making pretty colourful floral backgrounds for a wide variety of card types.

I couldn't resist playing with the stamp as soon as it turned up, I knew I didn't really have much time to play that day though, so I took a card blank I previously made using some red card from a pad from 'The Range'. Then after using my E  K Success Powder Tool all over the background, I inked the stamp up with Versamark and stamped on to the card blank.

Next I then sprinkled some WOW 'Rich Metallic Gold Super Fine' embossing powder over the image and tapped off the excess. I used my new Woodware Heat Gun to set the embossing powder and was really pleased at the finished image.  I also picked up the new Lil' Inkers 'Dual Stitched Heart & Kisses Word' Die Set from Seven Hills and a couple of Lil' Inkers sentiment dies including the 'Thanks' one I used on this card.

I die cut the heart from the same red card stock and cut the thanks sentiment from gold foiled card, I used some cosmic shimmer glue from the 'h' to the 'k' on the word die cut and attached it to the heart. Then I stuck the heart to the  front of the card with some 3D foam pads, it took me 10 minutes to make this card from start to finish and I think it looks rather effective for such a quick make. I think you'll be seeing lots more cards using this background in the future, I'm hoping to acquire more background stamps throughout this year that can be used for a variety of styles of card like this one.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Crazy Cat Lady

I wear the title of this post like a badge of pride, I'm owned by two cats who regular visitors to my blog may recall that I often refer to them as my girls, because that's what they are. I couldn't have children of my own, I was lucky enough to wind up with a stepson and now a daughter-in-law, but as for babies of my own, cats and kittens are as close as I can get. My girls are my fur babies and yes I spoil them rotten and people that know me accept that.

My love of cats has started to spill over in to my crafting life, when I see a new stamp or die set that is feline in nature it kind of falls in to my stash. So I was delighted when my card making friend Jackie Trinder posted a card she'd made using a stamp set from the Isobel Craft Collection. I hadn't come across the brand before but the owl set Jackie used looked cute so I went and had a wander via Jackie's link and found a really cute cat stamp set that I fell in love with and ordered within moments. Thanks Jackie!

Sophy got my order to me very quickly, it arrived Tuesday morning from a Sunday evening order placement. The stamp set is A5 and comes with some little sentiments. I haven't had much time to play with it but last night I used 4 of the 5 cats in the set plus the paw print stamp to make myself a book mark. The paw prints are stamped with Memento ink in 'London Fog' and 'Gray Flannel' and I coloured the cats with some of my Zig Clean Color Pens and added some Clear Spectrum Sparkle pen to blend the colours.

This photo is of my oldest cat Poppy, both of my girls come from the Cats Protection, which is why I do all I can to help support them. Poppy came to live with us in 2011 when she was just 1 year old, she is just over 6 years old now and my little princess. Her sister Rosie Tu-Tu is also from the CP, we got her as a kitten when she was a few months old, she's been with us since 2014 and will be 3 years old next month. In our household Poppy is Mummy's girl and Rosie is very much Daddy's girl and that's the way it is :)

 The bed is Poppy's, its actually our spare bed which is in my crafting room come office, but we're not allowed to put anything on it, if I have craft stuff on it and Poppy wants a nap, she gets rather vocal until I've moved everything to give her some nap space. She's a cheeky little madam at times but I wouldn't change her for the world, her sister either, I'll post more photos of them in the future, I'm sure people won't mind sharing the crazy :)

In my down time I even read cat related fiction, if you haven't come across Mandy Morton and 'The No. 2 Feline Detective Agency' and you like a giggle you may like to check her out. She's written 4 books so far the first has a plot that goes something like this...

"Hettie Bagshot has bitten off more than any cat could chew. As soon as she launches her No. 2 Feline Detective Agency , she’s bucketed into a case: Furcross, home for slightly older cats, has a nasty spate of bodysnatching, and three of the residents have been stolen from their graves. Hettie and her sidekick, Tilly, set out to reveal the terrible truth. Is Nurse Mogadon involved in a deadly game? Has the haberdashery department of Malkin & Sprinkle become a mortuary? And what flavour will Betty Butter’s pie of the week be?"

I'm currently on book 3 'The Death of Downton Tabby', I have book 4 ready to go after that, there fun and silly and there are lots of cakes, pies and murders involved.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Accidentally Brilliant Autumn Background

I made this card back in mid October last year, but with one thing and another I didn't get round to blogging about it. The background came about after salvaging an experiment that went wrong, but when I'd finished salvaging it I realised I really liked what I'd done.

So many things happened from March to November last year in my life that I didn't have time to blog about what I'd been making but I did still dabble and create when I got the chance. I think my colouring continued to improve throughout last year, and its something I hope to continue to improve in 2017, I'd love to master shading and be a little more confident laying down colour.

The card above started as just a panel, I acquired a stamp and die set in Lawn Fawn's autumn release last year called "Jump For Joy". I couldn't resist, cute woodland animals and autumn in a stamp set, two of my favourite things. I decided to emboss the stamped images with Cosmic Shimmer Gold Detail embossing powder which really helped them to pop and then I coloured the images with Inktense Pencils, and then applied some Spectrum Noir clear Sparkle Pen over the top of to make them shimmer.

I die cut a circle using my Presscut Round Cutting & Stitching Die and then added three layers of distress ink Twisted Citron on the bottom, Rusty Hinge in the middle and Wild Honey on the top and then gave the panel a spritz of gold shimmer mist when I was happy with the blending. To highlight the gold stamping of the images I used two if the same dies to create a frame for the image in gold mirror card.

I wanted to make use of some freebie leaf stamps that came with the Autumn Crafters Inspiration magazine, so I decided to stamp an 8" x 8" card blank using a new Ombre ink pad by Hero Arts the colour is called Ombre Autumn.

The ombre inks are comprised of three strips of ink in colours that designed to give an ombre effect, the autumn one has shades of rich mahogany red, rust and a mustard yellow. When you stamp with them you can achieve other colours as the 3 main colours blend.

I started out fine applying the ink to my stamp and then stamping on to the card blank, but I accidentally stamped in an area I didn't want to and then smudged the ink. Not to worry thought I, I can use the centre panel to hide the mistake, but I made the same error a couple of times, so I threw my dummy out of the pram and randomly stamped all over in temper intending to throw the panel away.

When I'd finished having a moment I put the lid on the ink, cleaned the stamps and walked away, leaving the messed up card blank on my craft desk. I went off and had a cup of tea and came back a little later and the ink had dried and it looked like a colourful leafy panel but something wasn't right. I decided it was down to the fact that there was too much white showing, so I used a blending tool and some Tea Dye distress ink and went over the stamped card. To my astonishment I realised I loved the piece and it was in fact better than the original idea I had! I've picked more of the Ombre pads and love using them, you get a fab multicolour effect with very little effort.

I finished the card by adding the panel to the centre and adding the gold frame, then using 3D foam pads I added the stamped and die cut images to the panel. The sentiment was cut using a die from the 'Justrite Antique Tags One' die set I picked up in a sale way back in Jan 2015, there is a couple of sets of stamps that work with the dies, the one I used on this card is called 'Antique Autumn Tags One', the sentiment words come from the same stamp set as does the decorative border which I stamped using Memento 'Potters Clay' ink, the words were stamped in 'Onyx Black' Versafine ink and I added a couple of small yellow gold gems to either side of the sentiment tag.

Before I go, I thought I'd share a photo of the crafty bargains I got for my birthday last week, I went to Coleman's Craft Warehouse and found some Woodware stamps half price, lots of half price dies and stamps as well. They had an offer on normal priced items so I got some more ink blending tools, some of the Black, Gold & Silver Sparkle Pens, three of the newer colours of Starlight Paints and some Sparkle Medium and some Woodware 'Fluffy Stuff' all of which had 30% of the ticket price. All I have to do now is put them to use. Most of the stamps and dies are Christmas card related which is why they were so cheap, but I'm going to put them to good use.

Friday, 13 January 2017

One Die, Three Ways

A belated Happy New Year to you all, I hope your year has gotten off to a good start and will continue to be kind and gentle with you!

For myself, I can't believe we're almost 2 weeks in to 2017 and I haven't been able to blog until now! For the first few days I was busily preparing for my stepsons wedding and for my birthday. Then just after the wedding, both myself and Simon caught some kind of nasty stomach bug and I've been rather poorly since Monday!

I finally started to feel well enough to get my craft on yesterday, I've been a real couch potato for the past 4 days, I had no energy, and found I just couldn't concentrate. Consequently the things I had planned to do last weekend for my birthday due to the wedding, didn't happen. Some things like the cinema visit have been deferred to this weekend, so I have that still to look forward to.

It was nice to be able to finally do some crafting, whilst I was ill I'd had several ideas, I really should start a notebook and write down ideas for times when I can't decide what to make! For Christmas I got one of Sue Wilson's new dies that she introduced to her range in late 2016, its called 'Swirly Vine' and it makes really pretty backgrounds for cards. I used the die to make 3 different kinds of cards the first a New Year card for my friend who is under going chemo, over Christmas I was full of a terrible cold that lingered for weeks, I didn't want to risk sending her the germs so I didn't send her a card, promising to send her a cheerful new year card instead.

To make the card I created some Pixie Powder backgrounds on watercolour card, I decided to use a full panel in the centre of this card to show off the sentiment better, so I used the inner square that's part of the pie to cut out the centre of the Pixie Powdered piece as it would have been hidden by the panel. I used the piece cut out to die cut a sentiment using Sue Wilson's 'Starry Happy New Year' die from the Festive Collection. It was glued down and then layered on foam pads on to a piece of Snow White with a Hint of Silver Centura Pearl card, I used the same card to cut the swirly vine panel as well. This card was finished with some adhesive star gems in colours that were in the pixie powders.

I used two sections of the die and cut them in black card to create a card to send to a friend who has just lost her sister, her death was sudden and my friend is having a very hard time coming to terms with the lose. I wanted the card to be black but colourful if that makes sense? So I made a Pixie Powdered background in reddish orange colours because her sister was a lovely warm person and I wanted to send some warmth to my friend.

In the first example I trimmed around the die with my trimmer and kept the edge straight but for this card, I used the largest of the dies from my Tonic Scalloped Square Layering Die set, which just fits around the Swirly Vine die perfectly.

The third card I made today, again I used a Pixie Powdered background I created yesterday, this one had a more pinkish hue to it. I love the vibrant, rich colours you can create with these powders. They'll be featuring in lots of my cards in the future.

This kind was made pretty much the same as the first card, I cut out the centre panel and used it to die cut the Happy Birthday sentiment. That particular die is a from the Crafters Companion 'Butterfly Lullaby' collection. I also added a rose cut from the smallest die in Sue Wilson's 'Blushing Rose' set and used the small leaf also.

I've had this set of dies for a while but only just got round to using it. I'm planning to make lots of rose variations in different shades over the next few days and make more rosy cards for birthdays and other occasions for my box. This birthday card was made for nobody in particular, so it will sit in my box until needed, or it will go to the Cats Protection. The photos don't really show the rich colours and shiny aspect of this panels very well sadly, in real life they really do shine and sparkle.

Before I go, I thought I'd share more of my efforts to get more organised in my crafting space, I've finally finished all the swatches on my Distress Inks, I plan on making a start on adding swatches to all my other ink pads very soon. I've also invested in a couple of magazine racks, one of them now contains my A4 embossing folders and large A4 stamp sets that have come free with magazines. The other is holding my larger die sets that I use for mating and making my shaped cards. So not things I use often are right to hand when I need them.

I just need a few more clear plastic lidded boxes and everything will be better stored and easier to access, I have found it a lot easier to craft by sorting things out. I'm trying hard also to get in to the habit of tidying things away as soon as I finish a project rather than leaving everything in messy piles, how long it will last though is anybody's guess lol!