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Sunday, 25 September 2011

New Toys!

First, I should apologise to so many of you out there. I stopped checking blogs during the summer, and when I went back in, there were thousands of entries backlogged. It scared me so much, I haven't opened Google Reader since! I'm hoping to get back into that, and to reading your blogs some time very soon. Our eldest has moved to Swindon for his new job and should be moving into a flat next weekend. Our younger son is back at university, and, while the house seems very quiet, that's how it'll be until December. So, between university visits for our youngest, things should have reverted to what passes for normal around here for a while at least.

Yesterday, I paid my first visit to the BSSBS at Alexandra Palace. I have to say, I was very impressed with the venue. While the actual hall was fairly utilitarian, the other areas are gorgeous, and the view is amazing. And there were lots of stamping goodies on show, so what could be better?

I've never had much luck with brayers. I think that's partly because my Woodware brayer keeps losing the roller. Anything but the lightest pressure on the handle causes the whole thing to flex and the roller goes off to do its own thing. So, seeing as most folk were using Speedball brayers for their demos, I decided to splash out.

Now, I did try to mask areas and come up with a landscape, but I wasn't impressed with the result, so I resorted to my Kaleidacolor inkpads, and in this case, the Bouquet one, and I added some stamped images, and I came up with this.
The central images are from Lavinia Stamps and they're stamped in Momento ink. The tree and grass detail are stamped in Distress Ink in Pine Needles, and the stamps are from Clarity and Lavinia Stamps respectively.

Over the last few years, I've built up quite a good collection of papers, but since I normally make 150mm square cards, that's the size I tend to buy. That's of limited use when I want to make a 5 by 7 card. So I dug out my Coredinations card - which was also 150 mm square, but by some careful trimming, I made it work! I embossed with a Papermania folder in my Wizard, and sanded the raised areas in the two larger pieces. (The smaller piece is embossed the other way around and 'upside down' compared to the rest.)

I added a little extra colour to the image (around the gate) with Promarkers, and a touch of 'magic' with Glamour Dust.

I definitely need to work on my brayering. One of these days, I may even come up with a landscape I'm happy with. Or I might even be tempted to have a go at Promarkering a landscape. Hm. Too many ideas and not enough time.

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:
Paper Sundaes where anything goes,
The Squirrel and the Fox where anything goes,
Stamp, Scrap and Doodle where they want your favourite colours. (I've used my favourite rainbow stamp pad - I love that combination!)
The Paper Shelter where anything goes,
Little Red Wagon where they want repeated images (branch and grass stamps are all repeated.)
Anything Goes where anything goes,
Try it on Tuesday where the theme is 'Wonderful World',

One Stitch at a Time Challenge 81

Before I get into this week's challenge, here's some news! A little while ago, the Stitchy Bear store suffered a catastrophic crash. Poof! And it was gone. Now, if you like digis, this seems like bad news, but the good news is that the shop is back and it's better than ever! And, to celebrate the re-launch, Stitchy has a freebie on offer! Just visit the new site here, register for the site, and use this code: a7b8ebc33b. It's only valid until tonight, so you'll have to be quick!

Now, to this week's challenge at One Stitch at a Time/ The theme this week is 'Favourites', and our sponsor  is Digis with Attitude.

This week I got to work with a really cute image from Reece's Scrap Pieces called Bathtime Lucy.



I coloured her with Promarkers and added detail to the bubbles with Sakura Stardust pen - probably my favourite ways of colouring an image. I love how the Sakura pen is so easy and mess-free while giving a gorgeous sparkle. As someone whose craft things are stored in small spaces in three different rooms and who crafts at the same table we eat at every day, I sometimes find the effort of looking out the glitter and clearing up the resulting mess is more than I can cope with when I'm short of time. With the glitter pens, I get the effect without the hassle. (That's not to say I don't use glitter too, but that's a different story.)

The butterflies are die cut from some gorgeous sparkly 'paper' from Craft Creations and finished with beads.

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:
Bows and Berries where the theme is glitter (glitter pen on the bubbles)
Kaboodle Doodles where the theme is 'lots of layers' (I've used six.)
Flutterby Wednesdays where anything goes,
The Paper Shelter where anything goes,
Southern Girls where anything goes
Cardmad Fairy where they want 'lots of layers' (I've used six.)
Our Craft Lounge where they want patterened paper.
Designed 2 Delight where they want die cuts (image, mat and butterflies are all die cut).

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

A Card for an Eighteenth Brithday

My niece will be 18 next month, and I needed a card for her. A bit of thought and I realised I also needed a Kenny K image. I've got to say they're not particularly to my taste, but I think this one has got her to a tee - and I hope she'll like it.

I've coloured the image with Promarkers, and I made the background paper using a digi from Cocodingo that I've had for ages - I've always loved it, and it was perfect for a guitar background. I must use it as a main image some time, but that'll probably have to be for one of my boys who both play both electric and accoustic guitars.

The sentiment is hand-written using a Sakura Gold pen.

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:

Kenny K's where they want us to use of favourite Kenny K Stamp. (Not sure I have a favourite - but this one definitely fitted what I needed for this card.)
Di's Digi Design Challenge where anything goes,
Stampin' for the Weekend where the theme is 'tickled pink',
By the Cute and Girly where the theme is 'all things bright and beautiful',
Creatalicious Challenges where it's 'anything goes',
My Grafico where 'anything goes'.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Design Team Call at Crafty Cardmakers/Spotlight Challenge

How would you like to be a member of a design team that doesn't limit you to a specific style or image source, and which actually encourages you to try something different? Lin has recently taken over at Crafty Cardmakers and its sister Spotlight challenge, and we're looking for new design team members. The commitment is one project per fortnight, and you can choose which challenge to do. It's a great way to force yourself out of your comfort zone and try something a little different. There's no regular freeibies, but from time to time a sponsor will provide images for the team.

We're looking for a mix of experience and skills, so whatever you like to make, whether you're new to crafting or more experienced, and whether you like traditional or digital methods (or my favourite, a combination of both), why not give it a go? This post gives you all the details and you can link your entry there too.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

One Stitch at a Time Challenge 79

It's been a while since I've done a DT card for OSAAT, but I've decided it's time to get back to normal. So, this is my card for this week's challenge which is that easiest of options - anything goes!

Our sponsors this week are The Stamping Boutique, and there's a fabulous prize to be won, so what're you waiting for?

My image this week is from Stitchy Stamps and it's called Night Angel. I've made a Christmas card, but the image isn't limited to Christmas - I think it could be used for a lot of other reasons.
The image was coloured with Promarkers and Stardust pens for the wings and details, then mounted onto mirricard which I cut with what is probably my favourite nestibility - the Fleur de Lis Rectangle. The paper is from Personal Expressions, and I finished it with some die cut and punched stars.

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:
Flutterby Wednesdays where the theme is 'anything goes with an angel, fairy or butterfly',
Creative Card Crew where anything goes,
Crafty Boots where anything goes,
Di's Digi Design Challenge where anything goes.
Mark's Finest Papers where they want punches (plain stars are punched).

Monday, 5 September 2011

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 52

This week at Crafty Cardmakers, we're asking you to go to the seaside! We're looking for holiday memories. And we're sponsored by Joanna Sheen, so why not have a go and maybe win a £10 voucher for her shop?

Now, a traditional beach holiday is the last way I'd want to spend my time. But, I love being close to the coast, and was brought up in an area where there's a very coastal feel even though it's on a river estuary rather than the sea. So, this is what I came up with. It reminds me of sitting on a paddle steamer, soaking up the scenery.
The stamp is one I bought earlier this year from Hobbycraft. It's pretty big, and it lends itself to minimal embellishment. I stamped the image onto watercolour paper in Versafine ink, and then watercoloured using my Aquamakers. The pretty paper is from Paper Cellar.

The watercolour effect is great for this because in that area, warm summer weather is normally accompanied by a heat haze that leaves colours pale and washed out, and the beach here is exactly the sort you might see as you cross the river on a ferry or cruise on a paddle-steamer.

Hope you can join us this time!

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:
Clearly I Stamp where the theme is patterned paper,
Stampin' for the Weekend, where the theme is holidays,
The Paper Shelter where 'anything goes',
Creative Card Crew where 'anything goes',
Get Funky where the theme is 'by the seaside'.

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