Monday 11 December 2017

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 202

Our theme for the last challenge of 2017 is Christmas!

Another Gelli Plate background from me for this one.

I've used acrylic paint on my plate, and then I edged the paper with Distress Ink in Blueprint, and then Alchemy Wax in bronze from Imagination Crafts. The baubles were cut using dies from, I think, Joanna Sheen, and the sentiment die is from Tonic - part of their Christmas Cracker set. I completed the card with some bronze thread, sparkly orange ribbon and a bit of matting. I liked this background so much, I really wanted not to cover it up too much, so I haven't!

I hope you can join us, and I'd like to wish you a very happy Festive Season.

Sunday 10 December 2017

International Art and Soul Challenge 23

For our final challenge of the year, we'd like to see Lots of Sparkle! Other than that, you can make anything you want, although, at this time of year, I suspect we'll see quite a few Christmas cards.

I used the same image I used a few challenges ago, but this time, I've done a few things differently. First, I coloured with Sakura Glitter pens. They're not great for colouring large areas, but this image with its narrow swirls and sweeps is ideal. The background is another foray into the world of the Gelli Plate, and I've used acrylic paint and stencils. to add to the sparkle, I've used some glitter card for matting both the image and the background.

 I hope you can join us, and I wish you all the best for the Festive Season when it arrives!

Monday 27 November 2017

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 201

The theme for this fortnight's challenge at Crafty Cardmakers is Animal Magic.

I've chosen to make another Christmas card, albeit one which is really just a wintry scene.

The background was created using Clarity masks and some die cut Sizzix clouds, and both Distress and Memento ink applied with Ink Dusters. The trees and deer were stamped using Versafine because I find it gives the clearest, blackest impression. The conifer stamps are from Circa Design, the other trees are Clarity. I'm afraid, I don't remember whose deer stamps they are. I didn't make a note when I go them and the packaging is long gone. I added a hint of shadow using a pencil, but kept it fairly high noon because I'm really not much of an artist. I love some of the gorgeous landscapes I see people do, and I'm awe of their talent. I definitely need to practice this technique, but in the meantime, I've got another Christmas card to add to my collection for next month.

I hope you can join us

Sunday 26 November 2017

International Art and Soul Challenge 22

The challenge at International Art and Soul for this fortnight is Buttons and Bows!

I immediately thought of my bow dies - from Creative Expressions, I think, and from there, I thought Easel Card, and this is the result.

The main image uses a stamp from Creative Impressions, stamped in Memento ink and coloured with Promarkers. I edged the image with a little Distress ink.

The background was created with Distress Ink. I used my Gelli Plate for the first time here. First I applied an overall layer of Distress ink Old Paper, then used a stencil. Through that, I applied some Peeled Paint  and Crushed Olive. I printed the result onto some card, but was a little disappointed at the lack of background colour. So, I applied some more using some Ink Dusters - using Peeled Paint, Crushed Olive, and finally some Pine Needles. On the base of the card, that's it. For the background of the upright section, I then added a regular stamp using more Pine Needles. The stamp is one of the small ones from an Inky Doodles repeatable background set.

And finally, the last bit, but actually, the first bit I thought of, is the die cut bow.

I rather like the image and suspect it'll turn up in a number of colour combinations among this year's Christmas cards. I definitely need some practice with my Gelli Plate - I suspect it'll prove versatile, but we'll see!

Hope you can join us!

Monday 13 November 2017

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 200

Our challenge for this fortnight at Crafty Cardmakers is to make anything but a card.

I decided to make a gift look a little more special.

A friend at work really wanted one of these jugs for her kitchen, so with her birthday coming up, it seemed and ideal gift. But it looked quite plain - it really needed the flowers she plans to put in it. For various reasons, real flowers are impractical before she gets the jug home, so I improvised with some tissue paper and hand-made flowers. The whole paper assembly will just lift out, so the jug is undamaged.

Each of the flowers were made using Sizzix Susan's Garden dies. I shaded petals and leaves with Pan Pastels. And that's it! It'll go in a gift bag and I hope she's going to like it.

I hope you can join us this fortnight.

Sunday 12 November 2017

International Art and Soul Challenge 21

Our theme at International Art and Soul this fortnight is Autumn Colours.

For this challenge, I decided to go with ink and stamping, and I've consciously avoided any digital content. Not that I've got a problem with digital content - far from it. It's just that I find genuine ink, stamping and colouring hard, and it's good for me to get out of my comfort zone sometimes.

Now, I know, blues aren't really considered autumn colours, but the sort of greyish blue of an autumn sky really should count, I think! Anyway, I started with a DoCrafts Urban stamp with an image by Michael Powell. I stamped it with memento ink and coloured with Promarkers. The background paper was stencilled, stamped and shaded with Distress Ink, and the panel for the die cut similarly shaded. I've got several Michael Powell stamps, and while I like them, they take a long time to colour and they're quite fiddly, so I have to have quite a lot of time to spare before I'll turn to them. Having said that, I'm quite pleased with how this one turned out. The card wasn't made with any particular recipient or occasion in mind, but that makes it a useful one to have in my box.

I hope you can join us this time.

Monday 30 October 2017

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 199

The challenge at Crafty Cardmakers for this fortnight is Thankful. We'd love to see what you come up with.

For this, I stuck to a basic 'Thank you' card.

This card started with me playing with my new Gelli plate and some acrylic paints. I used a swirly stencil and made a print onto heavy paper but wasn't happy with the result. I removed the stencil and took another print onto copy paper, and loved the result.

The 'Thanks' was die cut - I think it's a X-Cut die - it's definitely brown in colour. The flower was made using dies from Crafter's companion, and extra colour was added with Pan Pastel.

I think I'll be playing some more with the Gelli plate! In fact, it might be a good reason to give up buying patterned paper!

I hope you can join us.

Sunday 29 October 2017

International Art and Soul Challenge 20

The challenge at International Art and Soul this fortnight, is to use a charm or a tag.

And I'm continuing in my efforts to get a few Christmas cards together with this one:

I started with some glossy card which I brayered using a couple of shades of Distress Ink: Scattered Straw and Wild Honey. Then, I attached a a Special Touch mask and added some green shades using Versacolor ink. Finally, I added the words, using a stamp from a Sweet Dixie set. 

In the foreground, I die cut a tree using a Sizzix die - three times in white and one in a glittery gold card, and stuck them together to make a more robust embellishment. I cut a mat using a Spellbinders die, and a tag using, I think, an old XCut die. The sentiment there came from a Woodware set.

I hope you can join us this time!

Sunday 15 October 2017

International Art and Soul Challenge 19

The challenge at International Art and Soul for this fortnight is Anything but a Square or Rectangle!

I've continued on my attempt to get some more Christmas cards done, and this is what I came up with.

I've used dies from a variety of manufacturers for this card. Firstly, the card itself was cut using a Tattered Lace die set. The various embellishments supplied don't really work for Christmas, so I looked elsewhere in my collection. The lower mirror board was embossed using a Cuttlebug folder, and the Season's Greetings is from a Tonic die set.

The poinsettia was cut using a Marianne die I've had vor a very long time. I added some detail using Pan Pastels.

And the robin is, I think, a Dovecraft die. I chose not to pop out the inner cuts as I liked the texture they provide.

And that's it! I hope you can join us this time!

Monday 2 October 2017

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 197

This fortnight, the theme at Crafty Cardmakers is Fancy Folds. So, no standard book folds, and the fancier the better!

I've gone for something fairly simple, but I think it's quite effective.

Well, the front looks simple enough, but inside ...
I made the base for this card using the Marianne Carousel die set, although the lovely lacy edging is covered by my 'carpet'. The images come from the My Craft Studio CDRom Festive Deco Follies which I've combined using Photoshop Elements. I've used supplied backgrounds and added foreground elements. On the front, I had to extend the brickwork, and I added a suitable greeting.

It's something a little bit different , and of course, another Christmas card off my to do list!

I hope you can join us this time.

Sunday 1 October 2017

International Art and Soul Challenge 18

The challenge at International Art and Soul this fortnight is Monochromatic. Other than that, your project can be anything you like!

I was inspired to use a free gift from a magazine for this card.

The butterfly was made using the template which was a magazine freebie a few months ago. It gives a cut line and provides a scoring board for both a butterfly and heart-shaped embellishment. I used some paper from a Papermania pad for that. I had planned on using other papers from the pad to make flowers and as the background, but maybe I'm just too wary of mixing patterns. When I tried it out, it just looked too cluttered and busy. So, I had a re-think. I stamped the sentiment using a Lily of the Valley stamp and Memento ink, and shaded the flowers and leaves with Sakura glitter pens in silver and clear. The swirls were cut using Sizzix dies, and the flowers are, I think Cheery Lynn, which I finished with seed beads.The background is actually some marbled card I bought very early in my paper-crafting career. Back in the days when I did a lot of cross stitch, I used to go to a craft show at Olympia which had both stitching and papercrafts. As I got into papercrafts, I realised I needed some patterned paper, but was wary of anything too busy, so I bought a pack of marbled card in various pastel shades. I've still got a lot of it because it's actually too subtle for most uses! Last time I went to that show, it was almost completely turned over to knitting, so I never went back. (I do knit, but not often and I wouldn't feel the need to go to a craft show to get yarn.)

So, that's the card, as well as some totally unnecessary background! I hope you can join us this time.

Monday 18 September 2017

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 196

Our theme at Crafty Cardmakers is Autumn. My mind always goes to Autumn leaves, and this is what I came up with.

I stamped the tree using Clarity stamps and Memento ink. The background was sponged on using Pan Pastels with some cloud shapes used as templates cut using a Sizzix die. The result seemed rather misty to me, so the wording idea came from there. I think that's a CardCraft UK stamp, and I stamped it using Versafine ink as I wanted to make sure it would stamp clearly over the Pan Pastel. The matting is a wood-grained paper I've had just about forever. The background paper is from Papermania (again, very old) and the leaves were taken from my first (unsuccessful) attempt at an Autumn card and were cut using a Sheena Douglass die.

I hope you can join us with your Autumn creations!

Sunday 17 September 2017

International Art and Soul Challenge 17

The challenge at International Art and Soul this fortnight is to make something for a special occasion. The occasion can be whatever you want, so long as it's special!

I was asked by a friend to make a card for a ruby wedding anniversary, and this is what I came up with.

I've used a die set from Tonic and put the centre together using Photoshop Elements. The cherubs come from the very first CDRom I bought for cardmaking - the Crafty Image Emporium that I got from Crafty Computer Paper. It's the same image both times, but I flipped on to keep the arrangement looking symmetrical.

I hope you can join us this time.

Monday 4 September 2017

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 195

This fortnight's challenge at Crafty Cardmakers is to make something monochrome. It doesn't have to be a card, and the theme is up to you.

I made a Christmas card in various shades of green.

The stamps were designed by Sue Dix and made by Crafty Impressions. The ink is Memento in various shades of green - both for stamping and shading backgrounds. I used my Tim Holtz Stamp Platform to line up the tree and text. I completed the card with some matting, ribbon and a glittery bow.

I hope you can join us this time.

Sunday 3 September 2017

International Art and Soul Challenge 16

The challenge at International Art and Soul for this fortnight is to use lace and/or pearls. Anything you care to make, so long as it includes at least one of those two, is very welcome to enter.

I'm getting a rather slow start on my Christmas cards this year. But, I decided to give a new stamp a whirl and this is what I came up with.

The image and word are from a set of Sweet Dixie stamps which I bought earlier this year. This is the first time I've inked them, and while I love the image, I was a little disappointed to see that there's a flaw in it. I had to ink in a small band of the image by hand. Fortunately, that seems to have worked quite well, and while I'm disappointed, I'd had the stamp for too long to consider sending it back. I used Promarkers to colour the image.

Although you can't see it too well in the photograph, I embossed some white card using an Embossalicious mistletoe folder. I decided to forgo matting the image, just attaching white on white, but then completed the card by using some stick-on lace that I got in Tiger.

And that's that. I hope you can join us this time.

Monday 21 August 2017

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 194

Our theme this fortnight is Under the Sea/At the Beach.

As you can see, I've gone for the under the sea option here, using an image and paper from the Joanna Sheen/Josephine Wall CDRom Enchanted Dreams. I took the image and a cropped version of the image and combined them in Photoshop Elements, adding some bevels to the images. I completed the effect with a fish embellishment. The paper comes from the CDRom, but I added a mosaic effect to it which I felt lifted the paper a bit. While I love the images on this CDRom, I tend to find the papers rather underwhelming and often a bit drab compared to the gorgeous images. I know, not everyone loves bright, but I like to see a bit more balance between the background and the image.

After printing, I matted the background and image, and added dimension by using sticky pads to adhere to the background.

I hope you can join us this time.

Sunday 20 August 2017

International Art and Soul Challenge 15

The challenge at International Art and Soul this fortnight is layers. We want to see lots of them. Doesn't matter what you make, what theme, colour, material - just so long as it's got lots of layers.

It won't surprise anyone to discover that I made a card. It might be a surprise that it's a Christmas card.

My base layer uses some pearlescent white card that I embossed using a Crafter's Companion folder. Before embossing, I dusted the folder with some Versacolor ink, so there's a little colour on that layer. The next two layers were stamped (again using Versacolor ink) using background stamps from Creative Expressions. All three background layers were matted. finally, I added a layered sentiment (I think that's a Tonic die, but I'm not sure) and the snowflake (Marianne die) is itself made of three layers connected by foam tape. I make that a maximum of ten layers, but it'll still go in an envelope, although I'd have to use a 'large' stamp if I end up posting this one.

I hope you can join us with your layers!

Sunday 6 August 2017

International Art and Soul Challenge 14

This fortnight's challenge at International Art and Soul is to make a box or bag. It can be for any purpose and design, colour etc is entirely up to you.

After almost 17 years working in a special school, I took the decision to leave at the end of the summer term.  During that time, I've worked with many wonderful children, but those same children often presented with very challenging behaviour, and consequently, good teamwork among the adults was essential. I decided to make a little gift for all those women I've worked closely with at the school with whom I still had contact, and the starting point was a gift box. For some of them, I used a die set from Tonic - the Kensington handbag die. I do like these, and I especially like how there are variations on a theme which stop them from looking too samey.

This is one variation of the bag. The paper is from Joanna Sheen's Pamela West CDRom. The chain was from a pack I bought via Amazon which just seemed to work better than ribbon or twine for the purpose.

A more standard version of the bag, with paper from the same CDRom.

And another ...

And another.

And again - this time with gorgeous paper from the Mehndi Peacock paper pack by our own DT Co-ordinator, Jane, here at International Art and Soul!

And the same combination with a different colour base.

And for a bit of variety, I've also made some using the Chelsea die set, again from Tonic. While I prefer how this design looks, it's an absolute pain to get it to close in a non-permanent way. I've used hook and loop fastener, but there's enough tension in the closure that means that the sticky side peels away from the card or from the plastic of the fastener. I ended up having to add some hot glue to keep the fastener attached to the card. There is a tab arrangement in the lacy over layer, but I've struggled to get that to work, and it's not there if you choose to use patterned paper. I notice that, in the Tonic demonstration video, the demonstrator uses hot glue to close the bag on a one-off basis. Anyway, enough moaning from me.

This time I used one of the gorgeous marble effect papers from the Crafty Image Emporium CD Rom from Crafty Computer Paper.

And the same paper with a contrasting card base.

And finally, another Chelsea design, this time with paper from the Pamela West CDRom.

I've cross stitched a coaster or handbag mirror for each of the recipients, each with their name and the symbol of the class we worked in together. 

So, that's that. I hope you'll have time to join us this fortnight.

Sunday 23 July 2017

International Art and Soul Challenge 13

Our challenge at International Art and Soul for this fortnight is to use dies. Now, I don't know about you, but the number of projects I complete without using dies is small compared to the total, so as it stands, this wasn't much of a challenge. So, I decided to use dies in a way I don't normally, and this is what I came up with.

The image is from a rubber stamp I've had for many years, and I coloured the image with Derwent Coloursoft pencils. I cut the image and mats with dies, and in the case of the mats, I added stitching after using my Tonic Sew Pretty layering dies to cut the holes. So far so normal. For the background, I used a fairly pale paper from Papermania, but I jazzed it up with some die cut flowers. The smaller flowers use a Crafter's Companion die, and the larger ones used a Sizzix stamp and die set. I coloured these flowers with Promarkers, and finished both sorts of flowers with stick dots from Craft Creations.

I hope you can join us this time.

Monday 17 July 2017

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 193

This fortnight's challenge at Crafty Cardmakers is to make something with lots of layers.

For this, I made a card for a colleague and friend who's leaving the school we've both worked at for quite a long time.

For this, I used an image from Delicious Doodles that I'd already coloured - probably using a mix of Spectrum Noir and Derwent Coloursoft pencils. I matted it, then added some layers with Papermania papers, and then a computer-generated sentiment. I completed the card with some Tattered Lace flowers.

I hope you can join us with your layers this time.

Sunday 9 July 2017

International Art and Soul Challenge 12

Our theme this fortnight at International Art and Soul is Elements of Nature. You're free to interpret that as you wish! My ideas were around horses, trees and leaves!

This is a card for one of my two (twin) brothers-in-law, and I've kept it fairly simple as a result. I've used an image and paper from Joanna Sheen's Pamela West CDRom. I've found this CD to be a really useful one for the folks who I find difficult! It's got a lot of landscapes and garden images (as well as some gorgeous floral images). I added the cream background and sentiment in Photoshop Elements before printing, added some matting and a couple of leafy borders cut using a magenta-coloured die which I think might be Crafts Too but I may be very wrong on that. It's a gorgeous die, and despite being fairly detailed, always cuts well - definitely a favourite of mine.

I hope you can join us this time.

Monday 3 July 2017

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 192

This time, at Crafty Cardmakers, we're playing Tic-Tac-Toe. Although were I come from, that's known as xs and os. The grid allows lots of possibilities, and you can follow any horizontal, vertical or diagnonal line.

I've followed the left-hand vertical line, so my card includes gems, stitching and has a summer theme.

I started with a Tonic Sew Pretty die. Now, I really like this range, but I can't help but think that whoever designed them hadn't done much embroidery on paper (or maybe they're just really, really clever.) That's because, to me, the obvious way to start and finish your thread on the back of paper embroidery is to use sticky tape, and these gorgeous dies just don't have enoough solid area to do that. So, after cutting out the shape, I stuck the die cut to a contrasting piece of card, and then used a paper-piercer to follow the holes through both thicknesses. I stitched the holes with stitches 2, 3 or 4 holes long depending on the degree of curvature using my usual machine embroidery thread. (I don't own a sewing machine and any attempt at using one would probably end up with a visit to Accident and Emergency.) I then accented some of the swirls with stichy gems. for the background, I got out a punch I've had for a long time - in fact, I think I used it in my first ever DT card at Crafty Cardmakers in July 2010. If you're at all interested, the post is here.

Anyway, you can see I've got stitching and gems. What about summer? Well, the summer theme is the butterflies, of course!

Apart from that, all I've added is some matting. I had intended to add some flowers, but when I saw how these elements combined, I decided to leave well alone!

I hope you can join us this fortnight.

Sunday 25 June 2017

International Art and Soul Challenge 11

This fortnight, our theme at International Art and Soul is Flowers.  So, any flowery creations are welcome to join the fun.

The card I made wasn't  made with fun in mind. A friend has just lost her father, and I needed a sympathy card.

I combined die cuts made using dies from several companies - Sizzix, Sue Wilson, and Crafter's Companion among others. It's a simple design - I needed the card in a hurry, and the beauty of die cutting is that it can give you something good very quickly.

I hope you can join us this time.

Monday 19 June 2017

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 191

This fortnight, the theme at Crafty Cardmakers is Here Comes Summer.

For this theme, I made a card for one of my husband's brothers who has a summer birthday.

I've used an image and paper from Joanna Sheen's Pamela West CDRom, and apart form matting and a computer-generated sentiment, that's it. The men in our family don't do fussy when it comes to cards, so I never tend to do anything too complicated.

Sunday 11 June 2017

International Art and Soul Challenge 10

Our challenge at International Art and Soul for this fortnight is to make something for a man. It could be something for Father's Day or for some other occasion - it's up to you!

I made a card for my eldest's birthday. He's a Mathematician by background, and so I thought he'd like the effect in this card.

I fiest discovered that sort of pattern as a child - drawing lines on squared paper, and I remember how pleased I was when my dad made me a board so I could wrap thread arounds nails to get the same effect. I was very pleased when I saw there were some stacking dies from Tonic Studios that would do the same thing - both circles and squares, and I've used both varieties here to make this card.

I've completed the card with a die cut sentiment, and that's it!

I hope you can join us this time.

Monday 5 June 2017

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 190

This time, at Crafty Cardmakers, we want you to make something for a special man. It could be for Father's day, but it could equally be for any man who's important to you.

I chose to make a card for my husband's birthday.

It's fairly simple, as that's what he likes. I started with a stamp from Crafty Individuals, and I coloured the image with Promarkers. I used a Spellbinders's die to cut the mat, and I threaded it through with some Perle cotton in cream and green. The backing paper is from the Papermania Persimmon collection which is so useful for male-themed cards. And that's it!

I hope you can join us this time.

Sunday 28 May 2017

International Art and Soul Challenge 9

This fortnight's challenge is Stitching. That can be real of faux, as you wish.

A while ago, I finally got a craft room. Previously, my crafty stash was in various rooms of the house, and I was finally able to get (almost) all of it into one room. (Yarn for knitting and crochet still seems to live in my wardrobe ...)

The upshot of that is a somewhat renewed interest in stitching. I've been doing a little cross stitch, some Hardanger, and recently was reminded about Blackwork.

As you can see, I haven't gone for the traditional black-on-white option. To be honest, that's a very unforgiving option. Mistakes that require unpicking tend to leave some debris and it always looks poor, in my experience. But, I've got loads of bits of Aida and Evenweave, and a complete set of DMC cotton and rayon threads, so I've got lots of options.

For this one, I've used some evenweave in a rather nice dark peachy colour, and two shades of brown rayon thread. The main squares are my own doodling design, although I adapted the outside border from a pattern I found online here.

I do love the scent of lavender, and I find stitching these quite theraputic. The don't take too long, and are just complex enough to give a sense of achievement, but simple enough to do while indulging in a marathon of whichever TV show I'm currently watching. (This was done to X-Files!)

I do hope you can join us this fortnight!

Monday 22 May 2017

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 189

Hello! This time, at Crafty Cardmakers, our theme is Floral Profusion! So, anything you like so long as there are lots of flowers.

I had to make a card for a colleague who was loves blue and was having a birthday and leaving our school within a few days. This is what I came up with.

For the background, I cut a Sue Wilson Striplet die twice from some pale blue card, and then cut used the same die to cut from white card, adding that as a central panel. The swirly shapes were cut using some Sizzix dies I've had for ages - they're Sizzlets, and I make a point of not buying them because I really don't like the rubber-backed type dies as I don't find they're very forgiving if you don't cut them first pass. Having said that, I've never had a problem with this set, but then they're quite small. For the flowers, I used a Crafter's companion die, and I cut the computer-generated sentiment using a Spellbinder's die. To finish, I added a touch of glitter glue.

I hope you can join us this time.

Sunday 14 May 2017

International Art and Soul Challenge 8

Our challenge this fortnight at International Art and Soul is to use hot colours - other than that, you can make anything, for any occasion.

My immediate thought when I started this was to head for one of the collections of Kate Knight papers I've got. Many of her designs are extremely vibrant! Having found one that met the bill, I designed a card around it.

See what I mean about vibrant? I wouldn't normally have the confidence to mix magenta and orange, but with her papers, combinations like that just seem to work.

I used a Spellbinder's die to cut the background for the flower, and I think the dies used for the flower are from Crafter's Companion. I used some Pan Pastel to give some shading to the petals, leaves and stem, and that's about it! The colours are so bright, I really didn't want to add anything else.

I hope you can join us this fortnight.

Monday 8 May 2017

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 188

This fortnight, our challenge here at Crafty Cardmakers is to use a sentiment.

I like to keep well-ahead with DT makes, but for the past month, I've been fighting some sort of virus which, while it hasn't kept me from work, has left me feeling drained when I'm at home, so I've done almost no crafting. As a result, I'm short of cards for birthdays that are coming up soon, and defninitely needed to get some done. Fortunately, while the silly lurgy is still lurking, I've finally got some energy from somewhere, and I've managed a day in my craft room, and this is one of the results.

I've got a mixture of very old and very new here! The circle dies here, and the medallion set are among the first dies I bought, while the flower die and the embossing folder I used for the background are fairly new (to me). Some are from Crafter's Companion but most are Spellbinders. When I first bought a die cutter, it was a Wizard, and I stuck pretty exclusively to Spellbinder's dies because, despite the advertising, the Wizard didn't really do a good job of most others. But, that's water under the bridge (or a die cutter consigned to a cupboard), and now I've got a Big Shot Pro which has been cutting most of what I've used with it for the past three years or so!

So, die cuts and some Coredinations card which I embossed and then sanded down, and the whole thing is finished with a computer-generated sentiment.

I hope you can join us this time.

Sunday 30 April 2017

International Art and Soul Challenge 7

Our theme this fortnight, at International Art and Soul is Vintage. Other than that, your project can be anything you want.

My first thought for this theme was to look out a sepia-toned photograph, but then I decided I wanted something a little brighter, so I headed for a Debbi Moore CDRom I've had for many years - in fact, I think it was the first CDRom I bought for cardmaking purposes. It contains lots of Art Deco images, most of which, I think, are vintage, although they may have been 'cleaned up' a bit for the CD.

I love the colours in this - the pale golds and pinks with that bright, bold blue! I matted it, and used some Dovecraft backing paper in a soft beige tone and completed the card with two strips of lace and two strips of pearls. Believe it or not, deciding on the embellishment for this took most of an afternoon, as well as a whole load of efforts which had to be binned! But, once I saw the lace, I realised I needed something to break up the blue, and the pearl strips seemed idea.

I hope you can join us this time!

Monday 24 April 2017

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 187

It's my turn to host the challenge at Crafty Cardmakers, and I'd like to see your gem-studded creations! Anything goes so long as there are gems or pearls on the project somewhere.

For this challenge, I've used a new die from Hobbycraft which was branded Intricut. It's really pretty, and cut somewhat more easily than other large lacy dies I've bought in the past. (It still took multiple passes and a metal shim, but it did cut. I had hoped that this sort of problem would be no more when I bought my Big Shot Pro a few years ago, but I suspect all machines have problems with some things. At least with the BSP, you don't feel like it's going to break as you crank through a difficult sandwich.)

I've backed it with a contrasting mat, and then added pearl gems to various parts of the cut. I completed the card with some ribbon and a stamped sentiment which I embossed in white. (Sorry, don't know whose stamp that was. I keep text stamps together on a couple of sheets and don't often have a record of the manufacturer.)

I'm really looking forward to seeing all those gems and pearls this fortnight!

Sunday 16 April 2017

International Art and Soul Challenge 6

Our theme this fortnight is 'wings'. Lots of possibilities there, and we're looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

I have a friend whose family are really into angels, and I often seem to be making cards for her. The Joanna Sheen Josephine Wall CDroms are ideal for this, and I just love the colourful artwork.

I've used one of the backing papers from the CD too here, I did some layering in Photoshop Elements and added the sentiment before printing, then adding another layer to the image. To finish, I've added some lace flowers and ribbon.

I hope you can join us this time.

Monday 10 April 2017

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 186

This fortnight, our theme is Things with Wings.  So, not too hard - anything from fairies to angels to birds or butterflies or some other flying insect.

I decided to go for a bird in this case.

The main image uses a stamp from Crafty Individuals while the background is from Kaisercraft. I coloured both with Coloursoft pencils, keeping the tones quite soft. The flower was made using dies from Sizzix and the leafy additions from Crafter's companion. Both parts are shaded using Pan Pastels.

I hope you can join us this time!


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