Saturday 24 April 2010

Showers Bring Flowers!

Isn't that a gorgeous image? It's from Phindy's Place. It's coloured with Promarkers and the raindrops and puddle have been shaded with Sakura clear Stardust pen and then gone over with 3D laquer. The papers are my own, put together around the colours in the image (burnt orange, honeycomb, vanilla, oatmeal). I layered it up and finished with three sticky gems from a local pound shop. (Wish they'd get some more of those in ...)

Of course, given that sentiment, I had to do an insert.

It fits the requirements for three challenges: Sketch Saturday, Digital Tuesday which required either April Showers or April Flowers, and Colour Create which required the colours burnt orange, cream and black.

Friday 16 April 2010

A Card-making Day

I've made a few cards this holiday, but they've been pretty much fitted in among other things - like rewatching Stargate SG1 (something I took a notion to do) and reading (The Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series by Tad Williams). Well, today, my daughter headed off shopping/cinema/pizza with a friend for her friend's birthday, my husband went to play bowls and my son was in his room (as usual) so I felt like I had the house to myself. So, I pulled out my stamps and ink and had a play.

I bought my first samples of Distress ink at Olympia a few weeks ago, but really hadn't done much with it. And even longer ago, I bought a Versacolor pad with a range of blues which I'd never even opened. Then there was the recently acquired set of flower stamps from Personal Expressions, so there were some real possibilities.

First, I tried doing a background with the blues, but it really didn't work out as I'd expected. Still, I had enough to stamp a couple of images on, and then I did some further backgrounds by stippling card with my shaving brush.

This first card was pretty simple. One of the things about a stamped image like this one is that they seem (to me) to lend themselves to comparative simplicity. I did spend some time getting the layering to look right, but other than that, all I've done is add a sentiment and some ribbon.

This second card shares the backgrounds of the last one, but because the image is smaller, it lent itself to adding a little more. There's the sentiment - this one is from a stamp set from Anna Griffin that was in the Readicut sale a while ago, and I've added some roses that I made using a similar technique to one I saw on a video recently. (Sorry, can't remember whose it was - but all I've really done is to make them significantly smaller.) And then I added some pearls which were given to me by a neighbour. She's a hairdresser and she said they were left over from a wedding she'd been involved in. Whatever they are, I think they fitted well here.

This third card shows off my distress inks. I only got three colours - that seemed a minimum to play with, and I definitely didn't want to spend more than that until I'd got an idea of whether or not I'm going to use them. So, armed with Aged Mahogany, Fired Brick and Wild Honey, I set to work.

I must admit, nothing worked out quite as I'd expected. I found it much harder to blend the ink than I'd expected, but I wasn't unhappy with the result, so I carried on, stamping another of the flowers from the Personal Impressions set. The resulting colour scheme looked very rich, and I hunted through my paper stash, finding a gingham paper (again from Readicut) which worked really well. Then I added some ribbon and a sentiment (printed on film from the Fruit Pixie) and that was that. Again, I spent a lot of time deciding on the layering of the image, but I'm happy with the result.

So, what else did I do? Well, I finished a couple of Christmas cards - my first of this year - but I won't show them here. I'll probably do a general Christmas Card post when I've got a few more done.

The other card I made is for my husband's uncle and aunt who're celebrating their sixtieth wedding anniversary next month. I didn't have any stamps that seemed to work, but a quick check through my other images came up with one from a collection of Christian Clip Art I've had for years And interestingly, the couple in the picture look a little like the couple in question!

I made the backing paper using an element from the flowers, and generated the sentiment on the computer. Not particularly complicated as cards go, but the picture made it fairly easy, and all I added was a border from Spellbinders and a couple of sticky gems..

Thursday 15 April 2010

No Colour but Promarkers!

I was intrigued by this weeks' challenge at Passion for Promarkers - which was to use only Promarkers in your backing paper. It definitely makes a change from my usual method of trying to match backing papers to the Promarkers using my colour chart. I thought about it, and went a little further - unless you count the black printer ink of the image and the stamped sentiment, everything not white on this card was coloured with Promakers.

The image is from Precious Moments, and the backing card was embossed with a couple of Cuttlebug folders in my Wizard. I then picked out the embossed areas with Promakers in Rose Pink and Pastel Green. Similarly, I coloured the outside of the layers (square and scallopped) with Rose Pink. The flowers were punched and again coloured with Rose and Baby Pink and the leaves with Pastel Green. The sentiment is from a ready-inked stamp I bought a while ago. (Must stamp some more of those - it's useful to have some ready in my box of bits.)

Wednesday 14 April 2010

Imagine ...

I made up my mind to do something special for the Sir Stampalot challenge - the first one. The only requirement is the theme - fantasy. Well, the gorgeous images from Ching-chou kuik definitely fit that bill, so I took one and started to plan.

First, I coloured the image with Promarkers - specifically, Bluebell, China Blue, Powder Blue, Violet, Gold and Pastel Yellow, and Vanilla and Oatmeal for the skin tones. Then I gave the background of the image a wash using Twinkling H2Os in Interference Violet, although this hasn't shown up on the photo. Having done that, I used my Promarker colour chart to design two backing papers - both using gradients of the blues and yellows and adding either a star or a butterfly motif. Then I took some card and coloured it with Bluebell and put it through my Wizard with a Cuttlebug folder to emboss it.

Next, I pulled out my newest toys - some flower and leaf punches. I used plain white card and coloured it with various Promarkers and added some of the backing paper too. I used a ball embossing tool to shape the flower and leaf layers and assembled them, finishing them with sticky gems. I added a computer-generated sentiment, and that was it!

Tuesday 6 April 2010

A Real Challenge

So, the challenge at Crafty Cardmakers this time around is to do something that challenges you. To use something you've bought and then consigned to a drawer or cupboard where it hasn't seen the light of day. Well, there are a few of those - I'm thinking specifically of some collage stamps I have, but in truth I have used those - just now the way I expected to. So, what haven't I used at all?

Well, in Hobbycraft a while ago, they had reduced a thing called a 'wire designer' and I really liked the idea of making wire patterns to add to cards, so I splashed out and bought it, along with a selection of beautiful, jewel-toned wires. There were some patterns supplied with the designer, but every time I tried one it was a complete failure. It's about that time that I consigned it to my bedroom - where things I don't use so often tend to be put.

Anyway, after considering this challenge for a while, I managed to find the various bits I'd need and tried the supplied patterns again. I wasn't any more successful than before, so I had a play on my own and came up with a basic flower shape that seemed to work. Four more and some freehand writing later, I came up with this:

I've also used my trusty Wizard to cut my layers and a tag, and all have been textured using a Spellbinders Impressability. I love the way you can emboss the die shape at the same time as you get the texture with these - it looks so much more 'finished' as a result. I attached the flowers and word to the card using a few single stitches and anchored the thread on the back with standard sticky tape.

I've also come away from my comfort zone as far as colours are concerned. I looked at the colour wheel and decided that since my flowers fell into the red/red violet/violet area of the wheel, I should go for a contrast and went for a green for the background then matted that onto some very dark purple, green again, and then found some paper I've had forever which is a rose pattern with dark green and dark purple. It's not a colourscheme I've tried before - not that I've got a problem with green and purple - it's just that I'd normally stick to pastel shades and not go so dark. I was really quite pleased with the result, and can definitely see me using something similar again - especially the greeting. It looks better (to me) than hand-written, but you can basically do whatever you want to which is quite liberating!

Saturday 3 April 2010

Google Chrome

Seeing as Blogger is part of the Google empire, you'd have thought that Google Chrome would work well with it. Well, I switched to Chrome as my main browser a couple of weeks ago, and since then, I've had a major headache trying to blog. Every time I try to link something, and even when I upload a photo (and Blogger does the HTML for that) the HTML gets impossibly mangled. And when I try to fix it, it changes my fixes to something else that doesn't work. Looks like I'm back to Firefox for Blogger!

Cherry Blossom

This gorgeous image is from Fred she Said. I just love everything about it. I've coloured it with the inevitable Promarkers, and the backing paper is made using some of the FSS blossom coloured on the computer using colours chosen from my Promarker colour chart. The flowers are made using a couple of punches and the card again coloured with Promarkers, as is the 'pearl' used as a centre each time.

I'd like to enter the card for the current Fred she Said challenge which is to use pastel colours to create a Spring card.

Another White Rabbit

But a different one this time!

The image is from Mo Manning, and despite my reluctance to use animal pictures, I think it'll become a favourite for all those reasons you might want to say 'Sorry!' - whether it's a belated birthday or someone being ill or for those times when you've put your foot in it!

It's coloured with Promarkers - specifically Sunkissed Pink, Pastel Yellow and Powder Blue with a little Cool Grey 1 for shading. I've made the backing papers to match (using my trusty Promarker chart) and then used Promarkers to colour the edges of the backing card so I get a good match. (I'm going to have to stop doing that or I'll be stuck with piles of coloured card ...) I've also used my trusty nestibilites and, of course, my Wizard.

I used the sketch for this week's challenge at Sketch Saturday.


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