Monday, 30 December 2013

Project 121: Holiday banner thank you card

I know - you wait ages for a post and then I do two almost immediately back to back. I've got the bug at the moment, what can I say?

I liked the challenge over at Freshly Made Sketches and thought it would be great to make some holiday-themed thank you cards to thank all of my friends and family for their generosity this Christmas:

Loves Rubberstamps Challenge Blog were having a Anything Goes Holiday Blitz challenge so I thought this would be great. The sentiment stamp is from a Fiskars thank you set and the present is from Studio G - I think they work great together to make it more holiday themed.

The papers are predominatnly from a Raspberry Road Designs pack with a bit of a Reflections from Michaels thrown in as well. The faded houndstooth is from My Mind's Eye Denim Shop - it's so gorgeous I'm going to be using that again.

I topped it with some glitter glue and a candy - it's a bit busy but I really think it's festive and holidays are OTT any way - at least in my family they are!

Project 120: Little starburst birdie thank you

It's been ages since:
a) I wrote a challenge post
b) saw Claire
c) made a card that was inspired by both.

So it's time to rectify that!

Claire posted this beautiful card inspired by Retro Sketches' challenge this week (I've used the generous extension for the deadline - thank you!) and I wanted to do something to enter that challenge as well as it's a fab sketch.

Moving along with the times had a color-themed challenge this week and I had some gorgeous papers in the mini craft kit I brought with me (I'm traveling at the moment) that worked with the theme. They aren't probably what I would have used to match this theme if I were back home but I got them as close as I could!

Finally over at Sweet Stampin' they had a challenge to include some stamped birds so I thought the bird stamps I have from Little Claire would work well here. The greeting is from a Fiskars thank you set and I thought the little dots looked cute with the fanned papers. The pink isn't as antique as I thought it would be - but again, it's limited supplies at the moment. The birds are topped with glitter glue to add a bit of pizazz and the at least I had a good champagne colored pearl to coordinate back with the theme. I added some beige striped candies to balance it off and all in all I'm a happy crafter!

Monday, 23 December 2013

Project 119: Onesie baby card

I know it's been almost a month since I last posted - I've had 4 international trips in a very short period of time (some work, some play!) so apologies for the lack of posting.

I wanted to get at least a few posts in before the end of the year and today I had a great little project.

A childhood friend is having a baby girl in February and her shower is next week. I wanted to make a simple little card with the limited craft kit that I have unpacked with me (unpacking from the move has been a challenge given the aforementioned international travel). I remembered this post from Claire and wanted to do a smaller version of it, with a few little tweaks based on what I had available.

I used four different pink and yellow papers for the onesie and just made a template myself. I had plain grosgrain ribbon so that's what I used for the line. Then I glittered some of the features of the papers (yes, Claire, I'm all about that now, *rolls eyes*) and finally added just a spot of bling and some candies.

I left it greeting free as I don't have any baby stamps to hand (I have LOADS but they were not in the box I unpacked) so I think it's ok to leave them off.

Hoping to post again before Christmas- we'll see!

Friday, 29 November 2013

Project 118: No pink shower challenge card

Quick post from the states today! I am back for my friend Jules's shower and wanted to make her a classy card to reflect her style. As I was travelling I had to make do with a limited craft kit. Available I had my embossing and die cutting machine, papers and digi stamps as well as glitter glue and a small amount of peel offs.

Moving along with the times had a girly but no pink challenge and so I chose a lilac and silver and white scheme.

I used the petal die cuts to get a layer to frame my featured digi stamp. I embossed the back of the card and added the peel off for the greeting. Those frames are hard to use but it worked I thought here! Finally a few accents in glitter glue and it is done. Not too bad I think!

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Project 117: Some coworker KennyK birthdays

The headline photo is for my friend Jo, using Fashionista by Kenny K. This stamp is just so her - it looks like her and when I saw the color inspiration at Color Throwdown it was perfect for her as she's definitely a natural/neutral kind of lady. She also regularly commissions Kenny K cards from me so I wanted to make sure she had something that was bespoke for her.

 The KennyK blog challenge was doing a Pearls and Pumps challenge and I thought I would combine it with a Moving along with the times challenge of Pearls and Swirls.

I embossed the natural brown card with a swirly bird pattern and colored Fashionista to match the color throwdown challenge. I am almost certain she has this outfit. I looked back at Claire's blog and saw that she had used a similar color scheme for Fashionista a few weeks ago. Great minds...!

I added some green-ish glitter glue to the swirls of the embossed card to make it pop out, added the pearls to match the challenges and then added a little knot to the striped ribbon. I love that ribbon and was "saving it for best" which is crazy. Gotta use stuff like that!

Finally Loves Rubber Stamping challenge was having an anything goes challenge so I had to enter it there as well! Overall, I'm very pleased!

Quick note:  I'm moving very soon so I expect fewer posts for the next few weeks!

Monday, 28 October 2013

Project 116: Little love card x4 challenges

Today was a crazy day - stuck at home working while transport around London FAILED. One little gust of wind and it's all come to chaos. I'm being horrible, of course, it's far more than a gust of wind. It's a named storm that has caused major damage across Southern England. And it's afforded me the chance to do some crafting so who's complaining?!

I wanted to make a card for my husband as this week we're both travelling around for business meetings and I like to leave a little surprise for him to discover in his bags.

I saw this challenge over at Sweet Stamping to use a leaf or wood motif, and I have a great Little Claire heart-filled tree stamp that is perfect for the occassion. I combined this with a challenge at the Color Throwdown as I thought they were a great combo.

But why stop there? I needed a layout, so I looked to the good people of Retro Sketches and thought bingo.

And then, because it's not enough, I have been wanting to enter Designed To Color's challenge of "tie it up" for a while now and just haven't had the time to enter!

So this is the mad combination of all 4 things. I used some beautiful coral-peach paper I got in a pack from Claire. I added the woodgrain brown paper to enforce the wood theme and bring out the brown a bitmore. I added the ribbon and button to go with the challenge and thought it added a cutesy country feel.

I dotted the border with some drawn-on-stitching and hand wrote the greeting to be personal. Finally some melon-colored candies to match the backing paper and we're done!

Phew. 4 challenges may be a bit much. Might stick to the normal 1 or 2 next time there's a storm-day!

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Project 115: Modern monograms

Claire and I both had strange weeks this week and she had a good idea to do a double challenge as a remote playdate experiment. She combined a sketch from Freshly Made Sketches:

  and a Color Throwdown as our combined challenge:

I wanted to make a set of monogrammed cards for my friend Rowan as a birthday present and when I saw the colors I really couldn't have picked a better combo. She's fun, modern and girly and these colors really speak to all of those traits I think. Here's the finished set:

I used navy foiled paper as the backing paper and then embossed the turquoise card 4 different ways: crossed, dots, damask and funny little berry twig things. I still don't really know what they are but they're cute.

I kept the coral card untextured as the stripe across the middle and die-cut the Rs from the same turquoise card. I bought the letter dies ages ago but they are fiddle and difficult to use regularly but in a little mini set like this I like them.

The grey chevron is actually washi-tape sheets, tying in the silver color and keeping it really contemporary. I topped it off with the silver striped candies and tiny coral banners.

These may be my favorite monograms yet - I will definitely keep this layout in mind in the future.

But I have to confess one thing: eagle-eyed viewers will notice that the top left card isn't the same size as the rest. I didn't have quite enough navy paper so I cut the white base down to make it less noticeable. I think it just about works!

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Project 114: 20s themed headbands

My friend Jules is having a 20s themed wedding and for her bachelorette party I thought we could use a touch of glam. I talked to her and her maid of honor and we decided that some cute 20s headbands would be the right amount of themed-wear.

Above are my "ingredients" - I went to my local craft store and found loads of great stuff, everything above was less than £10 which is great.

I liked the black and gold card toppers in bows and flowers - perfect for making layers as you can hide all the seams and glue behind the card.

For the ribbon-based bands, I played around and found I liked the gold loop using sparkly ribbon as my base with the bow (but the flower could work as well). I added a sequin in the middle and then in the corner to hide the base of the mini feathers. I love the sparkly white ones but I'm not entierly sure they work. But I love them all the same.

I asked O to take the pictures of me wearing them and as he was lying in bed watching football (I had taken over the big tv watching a baking show while crafting!) I had to squat on the floor to get into view as I was not going to break the flow of the game. Thus the awkward shots!

Next I tried some on an actual headband. I was convinced I had black headbands and I was wrong. So I busted out the sharpies and colored in a cream colored one.

For this one I put some gold ribbon tassles hanging down from the flowers and added a sequin in th emiddle for bling. I added the feathers at the top but then switched the order so the black one is first from the face. It looks better that way. Trust me.

So now I'm going to share this with the bride and see what she thinks - will keep you posted.

I imagine I need more ribbons and bands but I wanted to have a bit of a play with it all first before I bought the full amount of kit. I think that's all I'll need to get to complete them all though which is great!

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Project 113: Pink new home card

My friend Han always gives me great briefs for cards. This week it was "my friend just moved house  and her style is super girly and pink. She basically had My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding as her wedding theme." Awesome brief.

This is my take!

I love this busy little pink house stamp that I got over the summer from HunkyDory. I used a scallop die from cream card and a scallop pink heart punch to hold the greeting. I added a touch of glitter to some of the objects in the house.

I added some white natural paper that has gold strands through it over the cream card. I bought it years ago as a sample for our wedding order of services - that's how long I've had it and felt like it was finally time to use it!

Gold candies to finish it and now it's off to my friend Han.

Loads of pink-themed challenges this week -
Creative Romance was having a pink challenge for Breast Cancer Awareness Month so I thought this was a good entry.

Stampin for the weekend also mentioned Breast Cancer Awareness Month in their anything goes challenge.

Addicted to Stamps and More was Anything Goes 

And finally Crafty Little Fairies was also pink themed this week.

Pretty in pink works for some briefs - I will see if I can make it work for some other projects before the end of the month! 

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Project 112: Sexy biker chick birthday card (and challenges)

I had a brief to make another birthday card for my colleague. She loved this card that I made for her using KennyK's Harley Ryder and she asked what other biker chicks I had in my arsenal. I showed her my entire collection of KennyK and I think I've got a customer for life!

We chose  Carmen Electrifying because she said her friend would totally love her. I've never gotten a commission to use her before as she's definitely one of the saucier ones in my collection. But I'm lovin' it.

I am delighted that Claire is now a member of the Moving Along With the Times blog challenge. It's great to see my craft friend get even more serious about her crafting and that the great people of MAWT have recognized her talent! This is her first week as a DT and as they had an anything goes challenge I wanted to combine it with this week's KennyK anything goes challenge.

So here we are! Carmen's colored with ProMarkers and I kept her with primarily burgandy and grey to play down any girly-girl colors. I kept the background black and white and used a new back to basics monochrome stack from Dovecraft that I found on a mini shopping spree this morning. Yes this morning. Didn't even last the day.

I added a black and grey ribbon divider between the papers and then added a birthday tag as the greeting.

For the embellishments I used some glitter dots and black flowers topped with candies. I think it's a bit too much now but too late, it's already set and sealed in its bag, waiting to be brought in tomorrow!

Project 111: Simple thank you card for a CAS Mojo entry

I love a Mojo sketch and when I saw this one I thought it'd work really well with the CAS challenge to use chevrons and sequins.

I love these chevron ribbons from American Crafts and thought this sketch worked perfectly to show them off.

I used little scallop hearts from Claire  and embossed them to add texture. As it's a simple sketch I wanted to add a bit of depth and I thought the little twine-tied buttons were a cute topper.

I thought the card was at risk of being too twee so I used the really big Thanks stamp to finish it off. I added some sequins to complete the CAS-ual Fridays brief. Really simple but I like it.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Project 110: Sexy Christmas card part 2

So following on from my previous post, I wanted to play with Mrs Claus from KennyK for their Christmas challenge.

This time, I set myself a challenge to use more scraps from last year's card leftovers. Last year I made these square cards with little patterned papers and I cut so many spares I have loads left over. I wanted to come up with a way to feature them with Mrs Claus and this was the best* attempt trying it.

I stacked all of the scraps and then hid the main seams with white ribbon like a giant present. I centered her and added a tiny touch of glitter on the fur accents. I just love the blingy touch on the white.

I added a little glittery tree decal from EK Success in each corner and added the Chrismas banner. I kept it super simple because I want to be able to alternate between this and the other layout when I get to mass production stage. But I get bored easily and need two layouts to go between!

I need to do one or two more designs so that I can make a decision but I like this little layout using last year's scraps.

*I say best, I made about 3 tries with the squares and I really struggled to make it work with the complex image. Next time I will just stick to a simple brief and make it a bit easier on myself. Gotta have a few easy battles!

Project 110: Sexy Christmas card part 1

I made the executive decision not to do Christmas cards for sale this year. I will try to sell the 80 or so cards left over from last year but I may just donate them at the WI Christmas fair. We'll see. But I decided to dedicate what Christmas energy I did have to my own cards.

I have been eyeing up KennyK's Christmas stamps for a long time and decided that I deserved a treat, in the shape of Mrs Claus here.

This week KennyK's Krafty Krew were having a Christmas challenge so I decided this was the week to get some layouts together.

I made this one using scraps and embellishments from last year's kit and there is something very satisfying in that. I used embossed and punched snowflakes to add a dimension and added an EK Success holly decal in the corner. I glittered Mrs Claus around the white fur to give it added bling and decided to go for a banner greeting instead of a peel-off. Just liked the swoosh of it.

All in all this is a card that I think could be replicated for my personal cards...but who knows how I'll feel after 10 of them (let alone 40-50)!

This is post 1 of 2 as I tried another layout that I'm keen to get some feedback on. So stay tuned!

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Project 109: Modern pinups for Anything Goes challenge

I wanted to enter Designed to Color's Anything Goes challenge and it was perfect timing as I was asked to make a sexy (but modern) pin-up style birthday card for a colleague.

I love chevrons and thought this was a great way to modernise the stamp, Harley Ryder from KennyK. I found the tile print papers in another paper set from Claire and thought the color combo was perfect for how I had colored her. The tag was one from my bumper set Claire cut me and I added the candies to bring out the lime green. I'm really hoping my colleague likes it for her friend.

Yes, this is another card that is full of Claire-provided kit. I wish I was there to party with her for her birthday since I can't I might as well use everyting she's giving me over the last few months!

Project 108: Animal print shoe card

Following up from previous post about my recent commissions, my colleague asked for another birthday card, this one with animal print and shoes. She's very precise in her briefing, no wonder she is used to working with corporate branding teams!

I saw Retro Sketches this week and thought the little feature bubble would be perfect for my little shoe stamp.

I used zebra and purple leopard to make it feel even more glam and over the top.

The little purple petals are great I think, and I added a touch of silver glitter to the shoe to make it super blingy. I added the embossed black strip to break it up as animal on animal print is a bit much. I used a tiny black greeting that has stiching detail that I've always really liked. All in all, another win I think!

Project 107: Purple leopard Mojo entry

Short post today!

I was asked to make a few cards for my colleague, including one that featured animal print in a modern way. Yes this was the brief. Very precise, I know.

I saw this layout on Mojo and thought it would be perfect.

I used this purple animal  print that I think I stole from Claire as the main color. The scallop-cut stamp is also from Claire. Maybe because it was her birthday I was channeling her more than usual!

I embossed the black card banner with spots and then used black corrugated card for the other. I topped it with a flower and some candies and here we all are!

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Project 106: Vintage brithday brief

My friend at work commissioned a few cards and the brief was to make a birthday card for a friend  who "likes cooking, vintage stuff and has a really stylized aesthetic." This is my take on that brief!

The Crafting Musketeers were having a vintage challenge so I thought this was an appropriate entry.

I found the vintage bottle labels in my Papermania Chronology set - I was chuffed to find something that met both vintage and cooking briefs.

The keyhole stamp is an old favorite of mine, I think it's also Papermania, and I diecut the shape around it. The purple looked a bit too bluey once I set it against paper so I used a red-ish purple and gold inkpad to add the vintage texture and make it look a bit closer in tone. I used black to age it a bit as well.

I used a new star stamp directly on the gingham paper (always nervous doing that once it's been glued down!) and I really like the effect.

Finally I added some ribbon just to break it up (it looked a bit naked without it) and used one of Claire's tiny labels as the greeting.

A few more commissions for this lady so check back this weekend when I have a chance to post the rest!

Monday, 23 September 2013

Project 105: Spots and Stripes baby girl card challenge

Claire pointed out a fun challenge at The Pink Elephant for a card featuring spots and stripes. I was commissioned to make a baby girl card for someone at work and I loved the idea of making it a part of the challenge.

I love this layout for baby cards, I pinned it ages ago but I haven't made that many baby cards recently so I wanted to update a bit. As it's a girl card I wanted to have a bit more fun with some cute touches. For starters, I closed the space between the boxes and had them bleed off the card. Wall to wall pink!

I  embossed the top left corner with the little dots folder - I'm loving that folder this week, I used it just the other day for a CAS layout. I then glittered the floral paper in the bottom right with glitter glue.

I hand cut the little baby onesie and stamped it directly.

To finish it off, I added the pink grosgrain ribbon and punched the bottom with the adorable little heart scallop punch that Claire got me in NYC. I added the buttons in the top right - I love buttons on baby cards.

Very happy with the output, hope my colleague likes it as well!

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Project 104: Autumnal DTC and CAS challenges

I had one of those Saturday mornings where I couldn't turn my brain off from work (despite the easy Friday night) and woke up before 6am wide awake and ready for action. I decided to go into the incredibly cluttered spare room/office/craft room and find something to do with my idle hands and alert little brain.

I saw that CAS-ual Fridays were having an autumn theme and Designed to Color had an anything goes challenge - perfect!

This stamp set was from the Little Claire subscription that Claire gave me for my birthday - I think they were part of May or June's package. I haven't used them in a while and the little wooden box of flowers really said autumn to me. I tried stamping directly onto the card...and as you can see I've had to use white paper so you can guess it went a bit wrong! I like to be honest when there's an oops moment!

True to the CAS vibe, I embossed the bottom half of the card and used ribbon as the divider between the image and the embossing. I have had that green gingham ribbon forever - I think I got it on a package years ago - and have never found a card that it really suited. Love it here though.

I scallop-punched out the greeting and added a touch of yellow and orange to match the image.

Although I'd rather have slept in, I'm pleased I was able to make a cute little something for two of my favorite challenge blogs!

Project 103: Autumnal KennyK and Recipe challenge

I had a low-key Friday night and decided to do come coloring in front of the TV. So satisfying after a hard week at work.

I decided to play with Bodacious Bev from KennyK and use my second entry opportunity for the Colors of Fall challenge.

Loves Rubberstamps was hosting a 1-2-3 Recipe Challenge that involved 1 image, 2 papers and 3 embellishments. 

I love orange and red and thought I'd use the red snakeskin paper to vamp it up a bit. I used an orange lace paper for the pumpkins, both from my Femme Fatale stack by Recollections. The pumpkins are punched using an EK punch I was gifted last year.

For the embellishments, I was looking at the DT inspiration and I have a hard time determining what counts as "embellishments" sometimes! I used black and white bakers' twine, a black doiley and candies as my embellishments.

I kept it sentiment free as it was already busy. Just need to find a good recipient who likes a saucy card!

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Project 102: Colors of Fall KennyK and Mojo double challenge

This week I was trapped in a series of meetings and Claire saved me by sending me a link to this week's Mojo sketch. In the 3 minutes I had to spare between sessions I was inspired and the headline card came to life.

KennyK features regularly on this blog and I loved the challenge this week of Colors of Fall.  I've had Pitstop Penny for ages but haven't used her for a while and I had the idea of making her red and gold to match the theme. I gave her choppy brown highlights to coordinate with the thick textures of the embossed brown backing papers.

The dark brown paper is actually corrugated card; the one immediately behind Penny is embossed with a woodgrain texture. I used gold ribbon for the banner and made a little gemstone swirl in the corner to add some bling. Finally I gave her racing stripe a bit of gold glitter glue (not seen in picture as I wrote this post and then went and added it for more snazziness).

I added the tiny hand-written greeting as a little wink to the sexiness of the card while keeping it really simple. I didn't want a pun or anything too autumnal so simple it stayed.

Very pleased with the result.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Project 101: Designed to color Skype playdate challenge

Final card from the Skype playdate!

We wanted to do a card that had a featured stamp image and when we saw that Designed to Color had an "Anything Goes" challenge we were glad we could interpret this in very different ways.

To make it even more of a challenge we decided to follow a "recipe" Claire had found previously. The recipe for the card didn't have a sketch or layout but had to include 3 papers, a featured colored image, a sentiment and 3 embellishments (all the same or all different).

It was a fun challenge as we took it in completely different ways. I love this little sausage dog digi stamp and thought I would go for a red white and blue color scheme for him.

I die-cut the backing label from a free navy blue paper I got over a year ago and have been holding on to. I don't know why, it's nice but not that special! I thought the scrolling pattern worked well against the geometric red background. I added a spotted light blue band as my third paper and 3 light blue stars as my embellishments. I kept the greeting very simple using a tiny label that Claire gifted me.

So that's the final post from the craft date. I have loads more that I want to share as I've been making some really special birthday cards but I need to make sure the recipients have them before I go on blabbing.

NB: Claire and I were talking about Christmas this year .I need to get my head around what I want to do. Do you think I should do enough for a big sale this year? Last year we collectively sold well but that was over two craft fairs, two offices and two groups of friends and I'm not sure I have the time to fulfill as much. What do you think? Please let me know if you're interested in Christmas cards and I'll definitely make I can get something to you - heck you can even lead the design!