Saturday, 27 May 2017

Project: Sketch Saturday May 27th

Finally week as Guest DT at Sketch Saturday and I'm very sad this is the last of the posts. Happily the sketch was great to play with, I love a starburst!

The image is from AMB Illustrations and I decided to color it with Spectrum Noir pencils. I decided to tilt the sketch on its side to have the duck at the top and then have the starburst coming below as if it was the puddle spilling out. A bit silly but I liked the idea. The stardust is comprised of vellum layered over the colored card and I embossed some blue card with a Swiss dots folder to add texture. The sentiment is from Stampin' Up, it's a rare vertical sentiment and I thought it worked brilliantly with the original sketch. 

All in all I'm very sad to leave the Sketch Saturday family but it has been absolutely brilliant working with them and I've loved playing with them every week! 

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Project 419: A color themed challenge

I realised that I needed to make an 80th birthday card for Olly's grandad as we're seeing him this weekend for a birthday lunch. Panicked as my craft kit is packed away (I have a friend staying this week and my craft room is my guest room) I decided to look for a good challenge that would allow me to focus my energy on my limited access.

I loved the colors at Retro Rubber this week so thought I would give it a go.

Spoiler alert: I ended up needing to use quite a bit more of my kit and had to sift through all the carefully organised boxes I had scattered throughout the apartment in a bid to make space for my friend's stuff. Sighs.

Anyway. I heat embossed a big birthday sentiment that I have had for about 4 years. Maybe 5 or 6? It is so old I don't remember where it came from but I know I love it. I used a turquoise powder that has a hint of iridescence that I like. I punched balloons in lime green, purple and two shades of turquoise with hand drawn tails, and added a stitched frame around it. Some bling number stickers and that is one fun little birthday card. I can't believe something that looks so simple could have caused such a fuss!

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Project 418: Using die cut scraps

I had a fun little play date with Claire this weekend and while we were chatting on Skype we both did a bit of a desk clear out. I had so many scraps of paper, die cut things and random stuff on my desk I decided I wasn't going to do anything new until I had made a dent in the left overs. It's an eclectic collection but I am really pleased with the results!

Headline card: the feathers are a mix of dies from my stash; the blue was embossed and cut by Claire and gifted to me and the green is a die cut I made for another card but then didn't use. The stitched grey square is left from another project (another reject where I found a better pattern to use for that piece) and the red paper is the edge of a paper pad that I have had for ages. The bow and sentiment tag are also ancient from the collection. By intentionally ignoring color and pattern, I think it's actually come together really well instead of getting fussy about everything being matchy-matchy!

For these dog cards, I had bought this big die in a sale and then immediately got a bit afraid of him. He's really big! He doesn't always come out cleanly either as you can see from one of the examples, but I decided it was ok as long as the brow and fur at the bottom are out, it doesn't matter. Both backing papers are scraps that had been awkwardly cut but because I love both patterns I just kept them forever. Why?! The turquoise and tan card has a heat embossed sentiment from Creative Stamping magazine and the one with the tartan paper is stamped from a different magazine freebie. Even the white banner on which it is stamped is a scrap!

For this one I used a big sentiment cut from Claire's silhouette machine that I have been saving (again, why?) and some little stitched rings over a scallop circle. The paper is a bit too busy for the sentiment but never mind, I think the colors worked well here given they were all scraps and not cut for purpose.

Finally this little guy was made using a stamped and die cut bicycle from Sizzix over a blue die cut star. The red card was already cut to size and I embossed it using a Stampin' Up folder. A simple sentiment and some star bling and I called it a day. 

So relieved to have a clear desk, now all I need to do is clutter it up again :) 

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Project: Sketch Saturday May 20th

Welcome to another Saturday with Sketch Saturday! As a Guest DT I'm having so much fun.

This week's sketch seemed tricky but ended up being a bit of fun to play with:

This image is great, it's from Crafty Sentiment Designs and she is great to color. I used ProMarkers and, having chosen the background paper first, I colored her to match. I chose some ribbons from my stash (I have so many ribbons - maybe hundreds? - that I love playing 'match that color') and used those instead of tags as I liked the texture against the paper. I fussy cut the image over the ribbons and layered her over foam to give her some elevation. The sentiment is stamped on a washi tape punch and I liked the way it mimicked the ribbon.

Hope you enjoy playing with the sketch as well!

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Project: Sketch Saturday 13th May

Another week, another opportunity to show off my shiny Guest DT spot at Sketch Saturday this month!

This is the sketch this week and I found it a great joy to play with:

This week I used this wonderful image from Bugaboo. They are one of my favourite digi providers and I love this image. I decided to go for a really simple color scheme, and grey and blue felt like it would be unisex though now that it's done it is a bit more masculine than I intended. I used a patterned grey check paper and then layered up stitched die rectangles. I colored the image with ProMarkers and added a little Happy Birthday tag stamp that reminded me of a dog collar. I decided to add little paw print stickers to complete the sketch and a border of ribbon at the bottom of two of the cards to bring a bit of dimension.

I love the sketch and hope you do too!

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Project 415: Butterfly challenge at MAWTT

This week we have a Butterfly challenge at Moving Along with the Times and I couldn't determine which stamp to use as I have so many!

I decided to go for these Inkadoo images, they are part of a bigger set and these two hadn't been used before. They are super cute. The sentiment is from another set, I got it in a Craft Superstore sale a year or two ago and just think it's so sweet. I heat embossed them in white powder and then used Cracked Pistachio and Broken China Distress inks to make it stand out.

I wanted to make it a bit more girly so I layered it against a black and white spotted paper, a flash of hot pink and then used a bolder spotted ribbon.

I love the colours, it was such a fun challenge. I can't wait to see what everyone else does!

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Project 414: Special baby cards

A close colleague is having a baby and I wanted to make him something special for his wife to welcome their baby girl. Another colleague also commissioned a card for them so I thought I'd feature them both here.

The headline card is the one I'm giving them - I used a stencil Claire gave me and used Victorian Velvet Distress ink to get the subtle pink clouds. I punched a bunch of balloons using a Stampin' Up punch and stamped a 'Welcome Baby' sentiment on the biggest of them. I added some stamped strings, I kind of wish I had used real string but I like the bow.

This card is really funny. Our colleague's wife is Czech and they have this cartoon called Little Mole so I was commissioned to make a Little Mole card for her to give. I don't love the banner - I will keep trying it though. The top sentiment is die cut using an XCut die and the Little Mole is paper cut by hand.

Both really fun and different baby cards, I'm going to remember the balloon treatment for the future as I think that could have legs.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Project: Sketch Saturday 6th May

Hello friends - I'm delighted to announce that I'm going to be guest designer for the month of May over at Sketch Saturday. Wahoo! This is my first post for the month and the sketch was really fun to work with: 

My take on the sketch features a great image from Paper Nest Dolls - this one is just too much fun to color. I used ProMarkers and chose really spring-y colors. It's that time of year for cheer, right? I added a bit of turquoise ribbon and then a little rounded oval tag punch that I had in my stash from Claire years ago. I thought it looked sweet nestled on top of the ribbon but it was missing something so I knotted the ribbon and am much happier with how it stands out. The background paper is from Recollections, a gift from Claire so long ago! The turquoise ovals are origami paper - I never think to use it but the subtle print works well to add some texture.

Really looking forward to seeing what everyone has to offer! 

Monday, 24 April 2017

Project 413: Making tricky papers work

I have loads of paper in my stash. Way too much for one person. Maybe even way too much for like 10 people. Anyway, there are always packs that have a few sheets stuck at the end that I can't use because they are tricky, complicated or just too busy for me to work with other stamps and sentiments.

I decided to challenge myself to give them a go and make a few cards I needed on the list to get through them. The first is so simple. The paper makes me smile but I just couldn't make it work! I have two friends who are changing jobs and moving to Brighton, and while it makes me sad that they are leaving London I'm thrilled for the good things it will mean for their family. I decided just to get the paper down to the height of the paper and then add loads of enamel dots like confetti. That's it. No complicated process or technique, I cut a piece of paper and added dots. And I love it.

This one has great colors but the paper is so muted I have found it hard to use. I decided to add contrast by using a navy bar with a die cut sentiment (both scraps) and there we have a new home card for a friend who recently bought a house. Why go through the effort of something more complicated when this is all we need sometimes?!

And then finally this pretty yellow and pink paper I've had for ages and I love the texture is has but haven't found the right project for it in all the years I've had it. I decided it would work well as a kid card because it's cheerful and pretty. I heat embossed an owl stamp in pink powder and then fussy cut it out. The sentiment is from a Creative Stamping magazine freebie and then I decided to spell out the little girl's name in glitter letters because kids love big glitter letters. Fact. A little yellow button and I think we're done here!

Three tricky papers that I have had for a while and three cards that I wish I had thought to make ages ago!

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Project 412: New baby sketch card

I wanted to make a few little cards to send to my parents and my sister's in-laws to celebrate the arrival of my niece. I decided to do something simple and cheerful and when I saw the sketch at Freshly Made Sketches I thought it would work well:

And the color challenge at CAS-ual Fridays was perfect for my modern baby card:

The pink paper is punched with an American Crafts punch that I haven't used in ages but always really like using, it's so sharp it works great for adding detail. I embossed the central blue panel in a houndstooth folder to give it some texture. The central greeting is a washi tape punch from Claire and I used a sentiment that is one of the oldest in my collection. It didn't quite stand out as I wanted it to so I added the darker pink background to give it more prominence. The bows are punched using a Tim Holtz punch and to make them a bit cuter I added white enamel accents to the bows, mimicking the pink enamel accents I added to the background paper.

Really enjoyed this as it features a lot of fun little tools but has a simple look overall.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Project 411: A die-cut feather card for MAWTT

I'm late posting my card for Moving Along with the Times this week - apologies everyone. Wendy has been very patient with me! It's been a stressful few weeks and I'm still picking up dropped balls.

We have a bird and feather challenge this week which is a personal favourite. I thought I'd go for feathers as I'm always using birds, and was inspired by some die cut pins I saw on Pinterest, especially with a blended background peeking through.

I went for blues and greens and blended a large square. I then die cut feathers from a larger white square. The hello is die cut from a lighter part of the blended background which isn't visible from the revealed sections. I added a larger navy border to give it a bit of distinction, then topped it with a handful of tiny pearls. I added Wink of Stella shimmer powder to the die-cut reveals to make it a bit  more shimmery - went a bit overboard but I like the swirly nature it gives.

All in all I really like the card, sorry it's been such a trial to get it posted!

Monday, 10 April 2017

Project 410: A cheerful owl baby card

My niece was born last Monday so in honour of her first week, I wanted to make her a cheerful little card. I used an owl stamp that is a bit tricky because it's mainly filled in - it's really dark in black and yet when you used coloured inks it becomes a bit OTT. I love the image though and discovered that heat embossing it makes it really lovely.

I didn't go for girly girly pinks and purples, I decided to go a bit more neutral with turquoise, coral and peach. The owl uses Recollections teal embossing powder and you can't really tell but there's a lovely iridescent shine. I then colored in some of the gaps with ProMarkers in Coral, Ginger, Pastel Pink and Cool Grey 2.

I fussy cut the owl as close as I could as the white border looked a bit weird on the cream spotted background. I punched the balloons using a Stampin' Up punch and then added some light pink string. The border features a handwritten sentiment - I just couldn't sum up what I wanted with a pre-existing sentiment. I used my new favourite pastel gems as a border and an accent in the top.

So over the moon with her arrival, I am going to post this with a little gift for her and hope it makes its way across the 5,000 miles quickly!

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Project 409: A summery sketch challenge

I haven't had the time/mojo the last few weeks for crafting. Which is sad as it's one of my favourite ways to unwind and enjoy my evenings and weekends. But I hit a craft store on my way back from vacation and it inspired a good session at my desk. So now I'm back in it!

I went 'sketch shopping' as I had so many fun new goodies I was a bit overwhelmed and a good sketch challenge helps me focus. I really liked the one at Sketch Saturday:

I started with the background paper, a new one from The Range by Simply Creative. [Spoiler alert: Claire, you are getting this too.] I knew I had some pre-cut die sentiments from Claire about a year ago and I dug through them until I found this great Smile circle. I layered it over a pink scallop circle which doesn't exactly match the sketch but I hope they forgive me!

I then stamped, heat embossed and die cut a flamingo to layer over my stripes of cloudy gem stones. I love these at the moment - they seem more modern than bling and in my session yesterday I used them in just about everything I made. It looks simple but it got me die cutting, embossing and punching and that's the ticket for a good bit of inspiration!

Monday, 20 March 2017

Project 408: A musical die cut wedding card

Two friends are getting married and, while their wedding is totally low key, we're super excited for it. Rarely do you meet a couple that feel so well suited for each other, right from the off.

I have had this musical paper from the Neapolitan Recollections set for ages and it just feels perfect for the couple. The groom was our best man and him and my husband have gone to concerts together since they were in high school. He was in a band until his early 20s with some of our friends and my brother-in-law and music is a big part of his identity.

Once I found the paper I decided to rummage in my pre-die cut folder to see if I could find something fun. I was looking for a die cut sentiment but came across this nice little doily and a sparkly cake die and thought they'd go perfectly with the paper so changed my plan. I added their initials in navy and topped the cake with a sparkly heart bling.

It's a bit country-fair twee, which is what I wanted, and I think the couple will love it next week when we give it to them. Super easy but really personal as well.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Project 407: Some artsy Mother's Day commissions

Two special cards today commissioned for Mother's Day. The headline is a card that a colleague asked me to make featuring freesia (preferably purple freesia), a butterfly and a meerkat. Yes a meerkat. She had sent me a photo reference for the freesia that was really nice and, since I lacked a freesia stamp, I decided to try my hand at colored pencil drawing. Not too shabby I think! I die cut a butterfly and then added a little cut out meerkat. He's probably the weakest link here but, then again, it's not a strong narrative to have a meerkat is it!? After I fussy cut the flowers I arranged it and realized I needed a sentiment so I went to my trusty dies. I'm really pleased with it, even if it is totally random!

This one was too funny - a designer told me he wanted a card for his gran, who was a painter in her youth and from Wales. She liked painting birds and landscapes so I decided to do a little mini watercolour of a Welsh coastline scene in honour of her. I made a little watercolour box and a mini brush and easel out of paper. It was a bit fiddly but I am really pleased with it! Then I found a nice artsy backing paper that has texture but doesn't detract from the scene. I die cut a greeting but liked it better without it - I can always add it back in if my colleague wants it included.

Totally random and different but so pleasing to make!

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Project 406: Die cut flowers for MAWTT

A fun challenge from Moving Along with the Times this week. We'd like to see die cut or handmade flowers.

I chose a Stampin' Up die set for my DT make and layered them up over an embossed card featuring a Sizzix folder. The flowers are joined together to make a little bouquet and even though I didn't put a sentiment on it I thought I would use it as a Mother's Day card. Finally a little gingham candy tops it off, and I'm really happy with how cheerful it is.

I look forward to seeing your entries and what flowers you create!

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Project 405: A colourful music 30th

My colleague asked if I would make a 30th birthday card for her sister-in-law. She gave me the brief that she is musical, girly and likes a lot of bling.

I have never used the image featured here - it was from a music-themed Creative Stamping magazine last year - and when my colleague described her sister I just thought, yes, that's it! I heat embossed it in black and then blended with Distress Inks around her. I added music notes from the same set and a different greeting, I wanted something big and swirly. I added the blingy 30 and then edged the entire card in strip gems. Why not I thought?! Normally I'd think it's overkill but weirdly I think it works.

It's gotten me over my fear of this stamp and how complicated it is and now that I see how well it works with blending it may become a new favourite...!

Monday, 13 March 2017

Project 404: Mother's Day cards part 2

Another post on Mother's Day cards.  This is a series of blended cards and while these took a bit more effort I'm really pleased with them, I think I prefer them to the ones I made previously.

The headline card is a heat-embossed image from a new stamp set I got from a Creative Stamping magazine. I used a great bright yellow embossing powder and then blended over it with Cracked Pistachio Distress Ink. The greeting is from an older stamp set, maybe 9 months old, and I personalised it with a 'Mum' from the same set to make it relevant for Mother's Day. I stuck to natural card because it looked a bit washed out on white and it looks much more colourful on the brown stock. I'm really happy with it so I made a second one - and if they sell I'll make more!

Next up I used images from the same set (sentiment and wreath) over a blended circle that I created using a stencil from a die cut circle. The die cut sentiment matches the border in each instance and I love the color combos, they feel really modern and fresh.

Finally this one is using a pre-printed card blank that Claire gave me. I thought the little foiled heart looked great and would make a great Mother's Day card so all I did was add a sentiment and that was that. I have just shy of 20 now so hopefully that will get me a few sales...

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Project 403: Mother's Day Cards part 1

I have been making Mother's Day cards all weekend. As the company I work for has grown so have the requests for cards and now I find I have hardly any wastage in what I bring in. In addition to a few special commissions, this is the first post of the collection.

These are the cards featuring coloring and die cuts. The headline card features a Bugaboo image that I colored with ProMarkers. I die cut concentric circles plus a scallop as the background and then die cut the greeting as well. I've cut that greeting so many times this weekend I'm sick of the sight of it! Above are a few extra colors I did as variety.

Here are two additional variants featuring Little Claire images colored with ProMarkers. I was going to layer them up by cutting out the boxes but I did a trial and thought it looked odd so I left it as is. I like these probably the least, I have to figure out if I want to add a bit more to them or not. Maybe a hand-drawn border? Hmmm...

Finally a few ones featuring big flowers. I stamped the background using a big stamp and I like the irregularity. I punched a border to give it a bit more interest and added the greeting on top.

Few more to post tomorrow, so I hope they sell and make it worth the effort!

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Project 402: Playdate fun

Claire and I had a great playdate on Sunday and I wanted to show some of the random cards I made while we were playing at our desks a few thousand miles apart.

The headline card was fun as it used a could of scraps on my desk. The background is a printed card that Claire got me and I layered a grid paper that is from an ancient pack I got years ago. The tag is also a scrap - if you believe it - as the back had something on it that I didn't use. The flowers were glued and pinned using a mini clothes pin. The sentiment is a Recollections stamp from a mini set that I absolutely love.

This one is a bit of an art piece! The zebra was from a birthday card I received and loved so much I saved it to use as scrap. I die cut a square out and then used the grid paper features above but tore a scrap to give it a more interesting border. I used black Distress Ink around the edges to give it streaks and a messy finish. I added a black twine, sequins and a small blue punched bow (Sizzix/Tim Holtz) and a sentiment that I recently got second hand.

Finally this one used a scrap from another card I made (it's too personal and weird to share!) and I used two scraps in blue and yellow (see the same blue of the bow above) and die cut the Hello from a Sizzix set. A few little enamel dots and that was it. I kept it really simple after a number of fussy creations previously.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Project 401: Stamped background challenge

I saw the challenge at CAS(E) This Sketch and it reminded me of something I used to do a few years ago, repeating a stamped pattern and then raising the layers so the pattern bled from one panel to the next. I decided to give it a go when Claire and I had a playdate this weekend.

I used the Flower Patch stamp set from Stampin' Up as they have great little details and layers. I chose greens and yellow and did the design on water color. After stamping I went over the image with an aqua brush to blend the colors and create a bit more dimension. I left space in the middle for a sentiment and then die cut the oval out. I raised it on thick foam against a yellow card so you might see a peak of the background from the side.

It has a slightly retro feel that I like, and it's a technique that I like and hope to revisit again soon.