Monday 30 August 2010

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 28 Spotlight

Well, last week at Crafty Cardmakers, we had that strange Lady GaGa video to inspire us, and the challenge was sponsored by Susie Sugar at Die Cut Dreams. Really not my thing (the video), but it was definitely a visual banquet and you've still got a week to enter that challenge. This week, we're spotlighting glitter, glitz and sparkle. Now, I love shiny things, and there was definitely a lot of shiny in that video. The other things I took from it were white, silver and a hint of red. Oh, and things being rather larger-than-life! And this is what I came up with.

In some respects, it's a very simple card. I took four bits of my stash - two pieces of silver, one embossed and the other holographic, and two pieces of printed gauze-like material with silver patterns and glued them to some white card for my backing. Then I took some Prima flowers - especially the biggest ones I thought I'd have problems using! I edged them with glitter in either silver or red and combined the layers using some jewelled brads I've been hoarding for ages. (Must find some more of these!) Then, I added a couple of Wild Orchid Crafts flowers (red) and one from Hobbycraft (silver) and finished the card with some swirls cut on my Wizard with my new Spellbinder swirl dies (which were reduced!)

The result is definitely not subtle, although I've done more sparkly before now. Still, it's got silver, glitter and jewels, so I think it meets the criteria!

And now I'm tempted to wish you all a shiny week. (Any other Firefly/Serenity fans out there?)

I'd like to enter this card into this week's Creative Card Crew challenge where they want 'Sparkle and Shine'.

Sunday 29 August 2010

Sunday Afternoon Effort

So, since I'm up to date with DT work (and waiting for images), I've been reverting to my normal summer cardmaking regime - Christmas cards.

The image is one of the gorgeous freebies from Lilyboo. I coloured it with Promarkers and added a little detail with Sakura Stardust pens. I mounted it on card cut with my nesties, and used a couple of different sheets from the Papermania pad I bought recently, and finished it off with some flowers from Wild Orchid Crafts and the local 99p shop. (Those white flowers just look so Christmassy to me.)

I'd like to enter the following challenges: Paper Sundaes whose theme is Christmas in August, and Papertake Weekly who want a 3-2-1 - three flowers, two papers, one image.

Saturday 28 August 2010

Christmas Cards (Again!)

So, while my daughter was making the card in the last post, I was doing a blue-shaded background and using another Crafty Cardmaker freebie to make this.

The background was a mixture of Distress Ink in Faded Jeans and Tumbled Glass and I added a little Azure Startburst Stain. The image is stamped in Memento black, and I added some tiny stars I found - I think they were a magazine freebie some time ago. I kept the layout simple to make the most of the background.

I'd like to enter this card for the Saturday Challenge where they want us to 'Make a Start on Christmas', although this isn't me starting by any means!

And now for something completely different ...

The image is, of course, a Mo Manning, and it's been coloured with Promarkers. The backing papers were both a result of a trip to a bookshop not far from here. They've been clearing out their crafting things (pity in some respects, as there's not a lot left now, and there just aren't many 'hands on' options for crafting things around here.) Anyway, I picked up a pack of Coredinations pearlescent card, a Christmas paper pad and a couple of Christmas vellum pads from Papermania for remarkably little. I used a couple of sheets here - the white is silver printed vellum that I backed with white, although it's not that clear in the photo. I finished it off with some brads, a Spellbinders borderability and a few sticky gems.

I'd like to enter this card for Sketch and Stash Challenge 42, and Flutterby Wednesdays which this week is open (except for having to have a butterfly or angel), and Creative Inspirations whose theme this week is Christmas in August.

And, while I'm here, I'd like to draw your attention to the picture in my sidebar. In September, One Stitch at a Time is having a special event to raise awareness of Autism, centred around one family's efforts to get their son started on a programme they believe will help. As you may know (if you've read my bio), I work with children with severe autism, and I'm fairly familiar with this programme. There are no guarantees with any Autism 'treatments' but if something can help the child to deal with the world, it's definitely worthwhile. And, if you want more information on Autism, check out the National Autistic Society website. I don't work for the NAS, but I think they're probably the best independent source of information. The OSAAT event will involve lots of prizes and blog candy, so I hope you'll be able to join us then.

Ok, long post. Thanks for sticking with it!

Who's Been Playing with My Ink?

The answer to that is, my daughter, L, who's 16! I got some new Distress inks during the week. (And as an aside, did you know that Oyster Stamps only charges £3.25 for them? That's £1.25 less than the closest I've found online.) And we had a session of background making, and one of the results was this card made by L.

Hello, this is L. I really enjoyed making this card! I made the backgrounds with Distress ink in Mustard Seed and Wild Honey, daubing them on a craft sheet and spritzing with Perfect Pearl water mixture. Then I rubbed the card in the mixture and swirled it around. I stamped the bird (which was a freebie from Craft Stamper) in Fired Brick. I cut the frame using nesties and a Wizard.

I'd like to enter this card into this week's Charisma Cardz Challenge where the theme is Hot, Hot, Hot. (I used hot colours!)

Tuesday 24 August 2010

More Ink!

Yes, that's right. More ink! I treated myself to some of the Tapestry stamp sets that've been around for a few years, and they arrived yesterday. Then there's the Lavinia set I've had for a few months. I've inked it up but never been happy with the result before. Put them together, and this is what I came up with!

I masked and sponged the background using a variety of Versamark inks, then stamped the fairy and castle in graphite, and followed that with the flowers, grassy bits and distant trees. I added some sparkle to the fairy's wings and butterflies with Sakura Stardust clear. The result is pretty much the size of the biggest square cards I've got (and therefore the biggest envelopes), so I mounted it on glittered black card, and finished it off with a bouquet using bits from the local 99p shop, Hobbycraft, and some glittery ribbon.

I'd like to enter the card for the following challenges: Wild Orchid who want us to 'make it sparkle', Creative Card Crew whose theme is 'Sparkle and Shine', and Stampacular Sunday which wants more than one image stamped (fairy, castle, butterflies, flowers, grass ....).

Monday 23 August 2010

I've got Inky Fingers!

Well, not any more, but I did on Saturday evening!

I'm not really an inky person. I had major problems getting to grips with rubber stamping, and although it doesn't scare me any more, it's definitely not a technique that I go to for 'easy' and 'comfortable' crafting. Still, I bought myself a lovely Kaleidocolour stamp pad and I set out to use it to make some backgrounds. I used the 'put colour on your craft mat then spritz with water' method, and of course, once you've done one, you've got to do some more. (Or I do, at least!) The result of all that was a set of notelets.

I used some aperture cards that I've had for a long time. That gave a few problems, like having to line the insides to give a note-worthy surface, but I think they work fairly well. I used some stamps I've had for a while but which have lost their label, and one from Lavinia. The ink for the background is the Blossom pad, and I've stamped the actual images in memento ink. They're all matted on black and then on a toning shade of Coredinations pearlescent card, both cut with my trusty nesties.

No specific recipient in line for them at the moment, but I suspect I'll put them away until closer to Christmas - they're bound to come in handy then.

 I'm entering it for the following challenges: Simon Says Stamp where they want you to make a gift, and Aud Sentiments where, this time, 'Anything Goes'.

Friday 20 August 2010

Long Time No Post!

I know I had a new post on Monday, but that was scheduled, so it seems like forever since I last posted.

It's been a busy few weeks. We got back from our France/Germany trip, and we were at home for a few days during which my sister came to visit, and then we travelled to Scotland to visit family. We got back on Monday, and since then we've had a 21st birthday and the tension of waiting for A level results. Well, all that went well enough, so in October, we'll have two boys heading for university. Still to come are GCSE results for our youngest on Tuesday.

So today, I actually made some cards. I used images I coloured while I was away, and the result was five Christmas cards.

I kept all these cards fairly simple - it's probably my default style anyway, and for Christmas cards, it's probably the best idea given that I make a lot of them! All the images have been coloured with Promarkers and added sparkle added with glitter glue. The snowflakes were made using a Spellbinder die in my Wizard and the paper is from my collection. This image is by Elizabeth Dulemba - one of her freebies which is available on her blog.

I'd like to enter this card into the Charisma Cards challenge which is calling for die cuts.

The image this time is a Cuddly Buddly freebie which I really love.

If you read my blog regularly, you'll recognise this image. It's one I used for a recent OSAAT DT and it's by Lexi Creations available at the Stitchy Bear and I Did it Creations Emporium! (Now, that's a name to conjure with!) There are a lot more artists on the team now, and even more choice in the shop. The paper in this one is a magazine freebie.

I'd like to enter this card for Crafty Ann's challenge which is 'Christmas in August'.

Another freebie image - this one from Beccy Muir - a lovely poinsettia image. The flower I added, adapting a Spellbinder Blossoms 2 die by cutting out alternate petals. I edged the petals with Versamark ink in Evergreen and Burgundy, and edged the image with Cocoa.

I'd like to enter this card for this week's Craft your Passion challenge which is 'Anything Goes'.

And finally, an image by Pollycraft, and another magazine freebie for the paper. This one's even simpler than the others - I love how the paper seems to radiate from the image.

Monday 16 August 2010

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 27 - Birthday

It's the Crafty Cardmakers Challenge Blog's birthday this week, and that's our theme for challenges. And for the spotlight week, we're looking at ... spotlights!

There was talk among the DT about how the spotlight technique would best suit the traditional stampers in our midst. Now, while I do rubber stamp, I've got to say, I prefer the flexibility (and lack of mess) of digital techniques, so I set myself the challenge of doing a digital spotlight.

Before I'd ever heard of 'digital stamps', I was struggling with my rubber stamping technique. I saw the amazing results people got and I wanted to do the same thing, but I just couldn't get it right. Then I reasoned that I should be able to find digital images that I could use as stamps, and when I searched online, I came across a company called Dover Books. What's more, if you sign up to their list, they'll send you a sampler every week. I bought two of their books/CDs, and it's from their Arts and Crafts collection that I got the image I used here. It's a rather attractive line drawing of some fish in a pool, and it seemed ideal for this technique.

The first thing I did was to copy a circle of the whole to a separate document in Photoshop Elements, and then I coloured it in various shades of turquoise and orange, using the magnetic lasso to define the areas. There are actually more shades involved than are apparent on the photograph, and considering the small area, I could have coloured it with Promarkers a whole lot faster!

Then, I went back to the main image, and I did a gradient fill from pale turquoise through to pale grey, with the centre of the circular gradient close to the centre of the spotlight area, and added the coloured spotlight to fit the rest. I printed those two images on my favourite Ryman Matte coated photo paper, printing several copies of the spotlight. The next thing was to take the main image and fill it with a similar gradient to previously, but with stronger colours. Then, I took a section of it, mirrored both horizontally and vertically, and used it as a tile for a background. I printed this on the same Ryman paper, along with a sentiment.

I used some orange paper from my collection, and then added the image, assembling three layers of the spotlight on the base image - the whole coloured area, a smaller area including the fish, and just the fish. I finished the card with some flowers from Wild Orchid Crafts, and I was done.

I'd like to enter the card in the following challenges:

Party Time Tuesdays for which 'anything goes' but it has to have a birthday sentiment, and
Tuesday Throwdown which is spotlighting the 'Spotlight' technique!

Friday 6 August 2010

Pretty in Purple

One of the challenges on my swap group last month was 'purple'. By now, it's either been received or it's got lost so either way, it seems like a good time to post it.

The image, of course, is one of Ching Chou Kuik's fairies, and she's coloured with Promarkers. Now, maybe it's me, but the lilac/purple shades I've got in Promarkers all seem a little grey.  Which is a pity because I love vibrant purples. (Or vibrant almost anything, to be honest!) I'm always a bit disappointed by them. But then, I haven't got he full set yet, so may be missing the brighter shades. Anyway, I've mounted her on some lilac mesh I've had for years, and also used some purple mirriboard that I embossed in my Wizard using a Cuttlebug folder. The backing paper is one I made in Photoshop Elements to match the Promarker colours, and I finished it off with some flowers. Three were stamped, embossed with holgraphic powder and cut out ages ago, and have been languishing in my box of bits since then. The fourth is even older - bought about the same time as the mesh! I finished them all off with sticky gems. And finally, I added a sentiment which I picked up at our local Wilkinsons!

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

Flutterby Wednesdays (Favourite colour and wings), and
The Wild Flower Patch which is looking for embossing

Paisley from France

We recently spent about eight days between Stasbourg, the Black Forest and Heidelberg, and saw a lovely mix of wonderful scenery and interesting buildings. Of course, there was no way to stop me keeping an eye open for craft shops while I was away, and although I found two, only one had a range of Papercraft things to tempt me. I was interested to note that prices were pretty much Euro for Pounds on a lot of things, although things like sticky gems seemed much more expensive. Anyway, I bought myself a set of clear stamps from a company called Artemio which I hadn't come across before, and last night I had a play with some of them, and my rather limited selection of Distress ink.

I used Wild Honey, Fired Brick and Tattered Rose inks, first making the background which was first sponged with Tattered Rose before being stamped with all three colours and the various 'Paisley' shapes. Then I edged the whole sheet with Wild Honey. For the focus, I stamped mirror image shapes in either Wild Honey or Fired Brick and assembled them into a flower-type arrangement and finished it off with a small image from the set. I mounted the flower on card which I'd previously 'attacked' with the Tattered Rose pad (Sponging the background took forever and I was impatient) and I was rather pleased with the effect that gave.

I've always found Paisley-type designs quite 'busy' so I kept the arrangement quite simple.

I can see this set is going to be used for a lot of backgrounds - it's really quite versatile with all the different sizes and orientations of the shapes!

I'd like to enter this card for the following challenges: Meljen's Design Team which is looking for 'clean and simple',
Stampin Royalty who are asking for you to create your own backing paper,
Creative Inspirations where anything goes, 
SSDS  which is looking for clean and simple, and 
Craftalicious who want us to make our own flowers.

Monday 2 August 2010

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 26

Last week at Crafty Cardmakers we had a recipe - use yellow or orange, an animal and a punch or sticker. This week we're doing a spotlight on using punches. Of course, being the way I am, my first thought was to use nothing but punches, but the animal requirement caught me out since I don't have any animal punches. Rethinking, I decided that one of my Martha Stewart punches would make a lovely repeated frill, so I decided to do that. Then, I hunted through my stash of digi images to find something that would work and came across these gorgeous merry-go-round horses by Becky Muir.

I coloured the image with Promarkers and matted it on brown card, assembled the various layers and finished the card with some sticky gems on the brown layer. It's a fairly simple lay out, but I think those frills are quite decorative in their own right.

Remember you can follow the recipe and/or use punches to join in the fun at Crafty Cardmakers, and the main challenge is sponsored by Gurlee Girl this week. 


Hope you can join us.

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:
Paperplay which this week is 'Anything Goes',
Charisma Card Challenge which is looking for 'Something with a Tail' (I've got three!)
One Stop Craft who are looking for patterns (the border frills)

Sunday 1 August 2010

One Stitch at a Time Challenge 24

The challenge at One Stitch at a Time this week is to use a sketch.
The challenge this week is sponsored by Sew Many Cards, and you'll see some of the design team using their images, while the rest are using images from the Stitchy Bear store.

This week, I got to use one of the images from Lexi Creations at the Stitchy shop, and it's so cute!
I printed the image on Ryman ink jet card and coloured it, mainly with Promarkers, but I also added some detail with Fineliners. As soon as I saw the image, it screamed 'Northern Lights' at me, but of course, with Penguins and Christmas as the theme, that should be 'Southern Lights', hence the bright colours I teamed with the image. I made the backing paper in Photoshop Elements and printed it out on Ryman coated ink jet matte photo paper. (I don't have shares in Ryman, honest, but I do like some of their paper and card.) I took the same paper and 'whitewashed' it digitally to get the paler paper, and the same pattern and used it to fill the text in Web Canvas.

I used two different nesties for matting - both the small scallops and pinking circles which I thought worked well together - definitely a slightly quirky look, but I liked it.

I'd like to enter the card into the following challenge:

Our Creative Corner which is looking for Christmas cards.

Now, when I got the image, I was itching to start on it, and forgot that this week's challenge was a sketch. So, my first card didn't follow anything but my own imagination. Still, you can't have too many Christmas cards, now can you?

The background here is actually the same base as the card above. I digitally stamped the sky in the image here, and took a section of it and made a tiled pattern for the backing paper. For the challenge card, I then took a section and mirrored it so you don't get break lines when you tile. Other than that, the two patterns are the same.

So, Christmas in August, eh?

Hope you're inspired by the sketch (and the image) and will join us at OSAAT this week. And don't forget to check out the Stitchy Bear shop - we've got new stamp designers joining, so there's even more variety available now!


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