Tuesday 23 February 2010

A Couple of Challenges

This is a bit of a departure for me. I'm the first to admit that I've got absolutely no training in art. We didn't do it at all at primary school, and the two compulsory years of secondary school were largely spent on tasks beyond our ability and without any guidance. But, I know what I like, and I think I've got a pretty good eye for colour, but I rarely think too much about what I combine, I just use what I think works. Still the current challenge on Crafty Cardmakers requires that you use a colourscheme based on one of three options, and I chose 'split analagous' with blue, red/orange and gold. On the whole, I'm happy with the result, but I'm still not completely comfortable with the wheels used by artists - they're definitely skewed compared with the system I'm familiar with - the one used, for example, in both your home ink jet printer, and the four colour printing systems used to print magazines and newspapers which was my background many years ago before I had my second son. (In that system, the opposite of red is cyan, the opposite of green is magenta and the opposite of blue is yellow.)

So, onto the card. The image is a Sarah Kay from and it's coloured with my Promarkers - pastel and denim blue, pastel yellow and gold, mandarin and poppy (to redden the orange), pastel beige and a little moss added. I've taken a shaving brush with blue ink to the background, and cut the image with my nestibilities. The background papers are from Papermania. The sentiment is a pre-inked stamp I bought a while ago, and the flower is from Ryman, I think.

I'm entering the card for Crafty Cardmakers and Friday Sketchers.

Sunday 21 February 2010

Digital Tuesday Challenge 46

One of my sisters visits from time to time, and when she does, we go shopping. And when I go shopping with her, I spend more money on clothes than at any other time. Of course, she's got a good job and no family, and she does like what to me, are expensive clothes. So, when I saw this image, I immediately thought of her - especially as she loves shoes.

The image is a Precious Moments one from Coloring-Book. The papers are from a pad I got in a magazine a while ago (by Nel Whatmore and a freebie in Quick Cards Magazine) - the flowery one in particular is one I've struggled to use because the blue in it is so pale. Left to my own devices, I go for stronger colours - especially in blues - so I decided on the paper and then coloured accordingly, using Promarkers. The sentiment is stamped with one of those 'ink included' stamps which I got a while ago, and decided to cut some of them with my nesties for future use. I've put some Baby Blue Versacolor in the background of both the image and the sentiment, although that's barely visible when I look at the card, and probably not at all in the photo. The handbag is one I got a while ago in a stationers - probably while we were away somewhere.

I want to enter it in Digital Tuesday Challenge - All Things Girly.

Saturday 20 February 2010

Easter Cards

Now, I know lent has just started, but I managed to do my Easter cards yesterday. I only send them to close family, and these days, that numbers five cards.

I used a stamp I got from Mad About Cards in their £1 shop, and watercolour markers. The sentiments are computer generated. Then, I did something a little different with each card. This one uses a fabulous flower from Fred She Said which I cut out and layered and finished with a lilac gem, and some lilac Co'redinations embossed with a Cuttlebug folder.

A completely different colourscheme here, and this time I finished it with some paper from Papermania and flowers cut with my nesties. I printed out some circles with a gradient from pink to maroon and used those to get the tinting. The flowers were actually made for a different card but they didn't work in the end, so I was very pleased to be able to use them here.

This is the third of my colourschemes, and this time I embossed some yellow Co'redinations card with a Cuttlebug folder and finished the card with some paper flowers from my collection, each with a golden gem.

Back to the first colourscheme, but this time the backing paper is from Papercellar, but it originally had alternating white and grey flowers. I coloured the white ones with lilac Promarker , and finished the card with a multi-layer tissue paper flower.

This final card is another repeat colourscheme, but this time I used some really pretty paper that came with a magazine a while ago, and I finished it with another of those nestie flowers - this one is larger than the others, and was cut so it had white petal tips on the bottom layer, and I coloured those with pastel yellow Promarker to fit the rest of the scheme.

I don't often use watercolour markers like this, but this stamp just cried out to be used that way. I like the way it can give cards which are bright and spring-like, while still remembering the point of Easter.

Thursday 18 February 2010

Sketch Saturday 90

I have a colleague who also cuts hair, and she particularly admired a card I made in pink and burgundy, so when I saw this image, I knew exactly what to do with it! And then there was Sketch Saturday this week, and I had the whole card!

The image is a Precious Moments one which came from the site Coloring Pages and More. I've coloured it with Promarkers and mounted it on card from my collection. The sentiment was computer generated and then cut with my circle nestabilities. The background paper is from Papermania as were the flowers.

I've Been Busy

It's half term, and it's wet and miserable, so I've spent some time these last few days making cards. In fact, yesterday, I finished four, but I can't show three of them as they're for swaps on Crafty Cardmakers next month.

The other one is another Selina Fenech image.

The papers are from Papermania, and the image is coloured with Promarkers with a little help from Sakura Stardust clear. The gems were from the local 99p shop and were coloured with burgundy promarker. It's wonderful to be able to have exactly the right colour of shiny bit when you need it!

Wednesday 17 February 2010

In Style Stamps Digi-Giveaway

Now, here's the perfect 'competition' because everyone's a winner! See the picture in my sidebar? How would you like one of those lovely images? All you have to do is post about the offer in your blog and comment on the Instyle Stamps blog! The offer ends on 21st February.

Sir Stampalot Blog Hop Win

In the recent Sir Stampalot blog hop, I was lucky enough to win one of the individual blog draws. There's a photo below:

Many thanks to Sir Stamplot for the prize and to the organisers and participants in the hop. I'm really looking forward to using some of those ribbons and fibres!

Saturday 13 February 2010

Friday Sketchers Challenge

I liked the look of this week's sketch on Friday Sketchers, and I needed to make a card for my mum's birthday, so here it is.

The image is a Precious Moments one from, printed on watercolour paper and coloured with Promarkers. I've found that this watercolour paper (which was bought in the 99p shop) does at least as good a job of stopping colour bleed as very smooth card, and it's more flexible in that you can force any colour that does bleed through the line lower into the paper using the blender pen. The colours I used are primarily pastel yellow, gold and burgundy which match the papers from (I think) Paper Cellar. The butterfly and sentiment came as part of a Secret Santa gift from Vix the Christmas before last and again the colours work perfectly. The actual words were added with Sakura Stardust pen.

Crafty Cardmakers 14

The latest challenge from Crafty Cardmakers is called 'Digital Delights'. I use a lot of digital images - stamps and others, but I wanted to try something a little different. The image I chose is from the Dover sampler collection (free samples delivered to your inbox every week). It's an engraving and heavily shaded, so I used Promarkers to add colour to the four ladies only - skintones and clothes.

In some respects, using an image like this is easier than using a stamp because there's so much shading detail there already, but in other respects, you're not quite sure how things will turn out. I did design a backing paper for this one, but the colours didn't work as well as I'd hoped because of that factor. Still, a quick look in my box of papers and I found some Papermania and Paper Cellar sheets that worked well. I finished the card with some silver thread and those fans which are recent acquisitions.

It's quite a 'grown up' looking card compared with some I've done lately, and I'm quite pleased with the result.

My Win at Pollycraft!

A little while ago, Tales from Pollycraft were introducing a new range called Lilybean Fairies, and offered a daily draw for one of the images. I was lucky enough to win Primrose, and I finally got around to making a card with one. (I've coloured several, but seem to be lacking the space to actually make many cards at the moment. Something I hope will change now it's half term!)

Isn't she pretty? I've coloured her with Promarkers and added glitz with Sakura Stardust clear and detail with a Sakura white Souffle pen. The papers have been in my collection for years, and I've used a Spellbinders lattice borderability backed with green pearlescent paper behind the image and finished it with some green gems and one of my recent acquisitions. (Sussex Booksellers was selling lots of embellishments at 25% when I popped in last weekend - not somewhere I go often because they stopped the bus to the nearest shop a few years ago.)

Friday 12 February 2010

Some Recent Cards

These were done as swaps for the Creative Cardmaking Yahoo group, and I either know (or am pretty sure) they've arrived now, so I can show them.

The first swap needed minimal embellishment. The funny thing is that that's how my cards almost always were until fairly recently, and yet I struggled a bit with this one.

The image is one of the free images from Selina Fenech ( I've coloured it with Promarkers and layered it with card and paper from my collection and backed it all with paper decorated with Radiant Rain. Despite using a larger main image than I usually do, I had to steel myself not to add anything else!

This card was for the heat embossing swap. I've done standard heat embossing any number of times, but hadn't ever tried triple embossing, so I dug out the ultra thick Cosmic Shimmer embossing powder I bought by mistake (I didn't know it was ultra thick), and some rather pretty stamps I bought at the local market a while ago. There's no label or manufacturer on the stamps that I can find, but they're rubber backed with clear plastic, and they came as a set of six with similar decorative images. I have to say that I had several attempts before I got something I liked - especially when it came to placement of the image, but I eventually did. I embossed on card cut with my nestibilities, and matted with more nestie shapes - and card printed from my Crafty Computer Paper Crafty Emporium CD, then placed the result into a frame cut with yet another nestibility. The result's quite masculine, I think. So definitely a technique and colourscheme to revisit next time I need a man's card!

This one was for the 'white and a splash' card. I went for texture since I didn't have too many colour options, so I embossed a Celtic circle from a brass stencil I've had for a while. I added a circle and several layers of Dahlia nesties which I textured with a Cuttlebug folder and layered with silicone glue. That gave me a bit of a nightmare when it came to posting because it was the best part of an inch thick, but I really hope it arrived safely. (It should have arrived and the recipient doesn't tend to frequent Blogland, so she shouldn't see it here first.)

Next month, we've got to make an easel card, so I'm off to find out how to do that.

Wednesday 3 February 2010

Sir Stampalot Blog Hop and Challenge

I've been busy this evening - blog hopping around and seeing some wonderful takes on the theme 'moving'. My own version seems tame in comparison, but I think these two little girls are definitely on their way somewhere!

If anyone would like to take part - the challenge and hop are open until 13th February. The start point for the hop is here and the rules and requirements are there too. And of course, the sponsors of the whole thing are Sir Stampalot.

The image I used is from Cute Daisy May and it's coloured with Promarkers in what seem to be my favourite colours at the moment - pastel green and soft green and this time I've added blue pearl and china blue. The papers are magazine freebie images that I've printed. The flower was cut with my nestibilities and edged with Versacolor ink in Mint, and the border cut with the Spellbinder In Spades borderability.


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