Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Homespun flower

I'm happy to say that I have had time to enter the current Less is More challenge. The theme is Homespun. If we're honest many of my cards have a homespun look but this time I did it on purpose.

I used Inky Doodles stamps (I do have other stamps) for all of this. The flower has a stitched edge and I wanted to the background to look like fabric so I used the tiny button flowers to stamp in the grid. 
I tried to stick to the same colours and managed to find a similar thread, then a button and a bow and it was done.  
I hope the rest of you are managing some time to yourself now the worst of the festivities are over. I've planted part of a hedge and made cards!

Monday, 28 December 2015

Time for me

With all my Christmas duties discharged, I was able to spend yesterday indulging myself. 
I set myself the challenge of using a stamp set which I rarely use and colouring the images, also a challenge for me. 
One of my son's gave this set to me, probably last Christmas,  knowing that I like Inky Doodles stamps. It is the Caroline's Owls set. I know you are wondering how I have managed not to use these properly for a whole year. No wait, those are the voices in my head. It's the guilt. One problem is that the images need to be coloured but they were also not a set which I would probably have chosen for myself.
I'm not great at colouring but would love to be better. I'm never going to spend 4 hours colouring one image but I'd like to be able to blend colours together.
I made it easier by using small pieces of card for a start which doesn't give you a huge, scary, blank white space. So I made a few thank you cards, very useful at this time of year. 

 There is an element of Rhubarb and Custard colouring but maybe I should make that my style! I just picked out one stamp to use each time which also makes it easier and I didn't feel like any fiddly masking. I love leaf stamps so have no idea why I have not used these.

Then I was inspired to make a birthday card:

I tried it on white but it looks so much better on Kraft card. 
Finally I had and idea for the current butterfly challenge.  Butterflies are hibernating but the challenge is to use fairies. How about a fairy on a toadstool?

 I only have these three tiny fairy stamps. (Card-io). They are the same ones I used for the fairy challenge last year but this looks quite different. The toadstool image is stamped on a scrap of card and mounted under a cut out circle. The circle wreath is also Cardi-io stamps. I wish I hadn't done the yellow flowers now.  As before, I've added some stickles to the fairy wings. 

 So the best day of the holiday so far!
 So I'm skipping over to Pixie's Snippets playground with these. I've used various snippets for the cards, that is why they are all different sizes.
And to the Butterfly challenge - all kinds of fairies.

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Pillow boxes

I'm just sitting down with a drink (non-alcoholic at this stage) for a quick break. The choklits are open and plans are progressing well.


I've bought some really cute little Star Wars memory sticks for niece and nephews. An inspired idea if I do say so myself.
Then, not having anything else to do, decided to make some pillow boxes to present them in. They are so small that wrapping them really wouldn't look very special.  I don't have a die or template so I watched this You Tube video and was able to make them very easily. I found that a smaller bowl was better to draw the curve as a larger one makes a shallower curve and a slimmer box. By the way, I really like this idea for the tag which she uses. I'm just trying to make some now.

I used scraps of salvaged wrapping paper for the boxes but as it was not very thick I needed to use more scraps of card to strengthen them.

This is one I made to hold some earrings for my sister in law.

 I've just made another one with scraps of paper for some book tokens which also don't look very special wrapped or in an envelope.

So I'm nipping over to Pixie's Snippets Playground for a flying visit then back to the wrapping and cooking. Some great prizes are on offer until the 2nd Jan so I hope to be back with another entry soon.

I'd like to wish everyone, and especially Di and Parsnip, a peaceful and happy Christmas. I'm looking forward to a bit of free time next week to get back to crafting.A big tidy and sort is also planned!

Friday, 11 December 2015

Made in a muddle.

I may have mentioned that I have six nephews and a niece, who is not into anything pink or flowery (neither are the boys!). This makes birthday cards very difficult for me and I do hate it when I have to give in and buy one.
I made this card last week but it has not gone down well in this house. Someone said 'What is it meant to be?' Well, it's a birthday card.

I thought I'd been quite clever and innovative. The card is fixed at the left end and scored and glued about 1cm in from the edge. An idea which I think I saw in the playground. The brads look as though they are holding it together but are not really. The back of the card is acutally a different colour, which is a good way of using up bits of card. I deleted the photo of that view by mistake! It's blue to match the embossing.
I bought a book of papers specifically thinking of the boys cards and this is one piece and another is shown below. 

The papers are lovely geometric patterns and colours. I've used the same embossing folder here. This card is rather more conventional but I am not particularly happy with it. I have used the Candi dots which I won from the playground, coloured and stamped with stars.
I have yet to decide whether or not to send the first card. We have two birthdays coming up soon. 
I am very limited at the moment for time and space. Bedroom is once again turned upside down for painting but I am determined that it will be done by the end of sunday. I can't wait to sort out my crafty corner and get back to some proper stamping. 
So I'm hopping over to Pixie's Snippets Playground. I've used up lots of snippets here but as usual the pile is not diminishing.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Quadruple butterflies

This is my entry for the Butterfly Challenge this time. I always read it and often plan a card but they don't always get made. 
This was a nice change from Christmas cards. 
The challenge is Q for quadruple. I decided it had to be four butterflies. Not very imaginative really. 
I was absolutely not going to cut out the butterflies, they were going to be 4 in a row down the card. However, having stamped and coloured them and organised them everywhich way, you can see what happened:

This photo doesn't really show that the butterflies are embossed and then painted in with ink. Mountain Rose and Cranberry. I'm pleased with the effect of the cream card which was a happy accident as I discovered a snippet which I thought would look good embossed.
I also used some of the lovely design paper which I hoard and also several snippets so I'm jumping over to Pixie's Snippets Playground from which I have been awol for a few weeks. 
I took my room apart to do some decorating (boo) and though I thought I would manage to craft around the mess, of course I couldn't. It's not over yet the worst is yet to come.

Blue and white Christmas

I've made this card for the Merry Monday Challenge


I wanted to use this snowflake embossing folder and then added some stamped blue snowflakes at the bottom.

 While trying to find something to add a bit more interest I found this piece of blue memory wire. I don't even remember where it came from. It was in with my beads and jewellery making so I suppose I bought it sometime for a project. There was just enough for a twirl for two cards so I made two almost the same, and it adds a bit more texture.

I'm also entering this into the Rudolf Days Challenge which is the last one for this year.  
I think I've made all the cards I need for Christmas so unless I'm really inspired that may be it for this year. Feeling quite smug - happy day!

Friends and family


I final fling with the Christmas cards and I think I'm nearly there. 
I've been making them in fits and starts all year so I got them all out the other day, counted them, rejected a few but was happy with most of them. 
Here is my entry for this weeks 52CCT. It is thanks to you that I am not making them all in December!

 It is fairly similar to a few I have made previously this year but with some differences.
 I'll just show you this one as well. While rummaging through piles of stuff, I found this card with the twiggy wreath already stamped so I finished it off with some holly, berries and some die cut metal stars/flowers. I used the same sentiment as it fitted neatly in the middle.

 A bit plain and rustic maybe but some people like that. 
So I'm glad I managed to get a card posted. I made a lovely green and purple one last week but never managed to enter it. However, it was one more for the box.

Friday, 6 November 2015

Snowy tags

I have really been using up my scraps of card today. 
I often cut a strip off an A4 sheet so have dozens, if not hundreds, of pieces of white card. And yes, I did move them to a new house earlier in the year. I threw away the real rubbish but couldn't get rid of all the offcuts, so now I've brought them here I do need to use them...

I've made a lot of gift tags for Christmas. I cut out circles then embossed using a snowflake embossing folder. 
Then I realised that it embosses on both sides! Duh. It does look ok and you could write on the reverse but I came up with a plan to back with a slightly larger, plain circle. So the back is blank and smooth to write on. 


I was just sticking them down when I decided that I liked the debossed side very much. So I made some using one side and some the other.

I was going to use embroidery thread for hanging but then I remembered this raffia which looks Christmassy. A bit of fiddly knotting and they look a whole lot better than a bit of thread would have.
I like the round shape, I think it looks a bit different. I found some shiny cardstock so I'm having a go at inking some for another effect but I do like the white. And it goes with most wrapping paper. 

Don't forget to make card hangers with this easy trick which I copied from a friend a few months ago.  It uses up plenty of snippets too. I need to make a few more before Christmas.                                                                                                                                                                             

I'm just popping over to Pixie's Snippets Playground to show these tags. I've used up quite a few snippets but I still seem to have plenty left! I have a dotty embossing folder which I think would make pretty tags.
I thought it might be a bit quieter in the playground this week but what with bonfire night going off with a bang - fireworks, potatoes, hot choc and brownies and more marshmallows (plus a few things I can't mention), it's no less crazy than last week it seems. My head and my waistline will suffer again...

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

80th Purple flowers

I've been making this card for my Mum's friend who is 80 very soon. She is  lovely and
I know she likes flowers and gardening so I hope she likes this.

I've used up some snippets of white card to stamp and emboss the flowers in bronze, my new favourite colour for embossing.
Then I smooshed an acrylic block onto a big and juicy ink pad and used a brush and water to paint the flowers. By using more or less water and blending the colours you can vary the shades of ink. I love these jewel colours.
I wanted a circle for the middle so I inked some paper and cut it out. Then I decided that needed a frame. I didn't have quite the right shade so I cut that out and painted it too.
I asked my daughter if it was too purple and she said 'Can you have too much purple?'

I even remembered to decorate the inside. I'm usually in too much of a rush and forget.

I hopped over to the Butterfly Challenge as I remembered that the challenge was to use embossing and butterflies. Whoops, way too late. We've moved on to N for Numbers. Well I do have a number on here so I'll enter anyway. I hope that is not a cheat, I promise to try harder next time. I always look at this challenge but rarely get round to making a card.
Pixie's Snippets Playground is celebrating Week 200 so I'll skip over and show them my card.  I think there is cake.
A huge thank you to Di who keeps the Playground open for us and must spend many hours keeping it in order. We appreciate you!

Monday, 26 October 2015


I've managed to make a card for this challenge well before the deadline. I was supposed to be helping fit a sink but really wasn't much help so was able to scuttle off and do inking in between times. 
Last post I mentioned how I'd forgotten how much I like inking. This time I realised how much mess I make. There were finger prints everywhere! I thought I'd got much more careful but it obviously depends what I'm doing. 
The challenge at 52 CCT is:

 I do like this technique and used to use it a lot.  I got out some shiny paper and this is what I made:

 My plan was for the panel to be dark blue but as you see it turned out in shades of purple with a little pink and blue. I cut out the circles in the panels and stamped using the same snowflakes on the basecard. The when looking for a ribbon I found this purple snowflake ribbon left over from last year and it was perfect. A knot and a couple of scored lines on the right and it was done. Apart from a lot of fiddling about trying to get the panel stuck in the right place over the stamping, anyway. 
I'm not a huge fan of non-traditional colour Christmas cards but I do think this is pretty. As I said it wasn't supposed to be this colour!
I've seen that it is Rudolf Day in Blogland, a challenge which i have never entered before. The challenge starts on the 25th and is to make a Christmas card,so here I go for the first time.


Thursday, 22 October 2015

Winter woodland

I'd forgotten how much I like inking. I've been distracted into other areas but I've seen a few cards recently with lovely inky backgrounds.
This card is made with one stamp, part of a set free with Creative Stamping magazine.

I made one card and then realised that the tops of the  trees had not reached the frame so it looks like a wintry, dead tree swamp. It is a shame as this is the best background and, as it always the way, they all turned out differently. It looks quite ethereal and I like the placement of the trees.
So I had another go and placed the stamps and the frame more carefully.

 And then another go.

I've stamped and embossed the trees in Frosted Pearl embossing powder and then inked with brushes, using a mask for the moon and snow. Sometimes I spritzed with water too. Too much water is bad, though. It makes the ink seep under the masks. 
I cut an aperture in the card blank and placed the inky picture behind. I've glued inserts to the reverse of the front so covering the messyness inside. 
So there I have a few cards made surprisingly quickly and I've only used one of the free stamps or two if you count the words.  Maybe not as jolly as most of my Christmas cards but pretty. 
I'd like to enter:
52(Christmas) Card Throwdown- The Wild Woods. I had meant to add creatures but didn't want to in the end. 
Merry Monday - Frame it
Pixie's Snippets Playground. I have used some snippets of white. Which is always good as I have more of those than anything. And now I've tried inking again, I'll be doing some more.

Friday, 16 October 2015

To Sarah

A quickie post while I should be getting ready to go to work. 
I've had this idea in my mind for a while and finally got round to making it. 

I've used Inky Doodles stamps. I stamped various combinations and punched out the squares so they were all the same size. 
I roughed the edges of the squares using scissors to replicate frayed fabric. I kind of wish I hadn't now and think I'll try again with less grunge.I used the ric rac stamp again around the edge of a piece of pink paper for the background.
I used only teal and grape mememto ink.
Stamp sets: Country checks, print backgrounds 2, Caroline's doodles. The button is also a stamp from Warm winter wishes. 
I've used lots of snippets so a visit to Pixie's Snippets Playground is in order. 
Tell me what you think - distressing or no?
Think I can still get to work on time and managed to do my hair while the photo was loading. (Probably could have got to work and back in that time!)

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Silver bells

Someone helpfully pointed out how many weeks it was until Christmas. I realised that, to avoid a panic, I should wind up the pace of production a bit. 
The challenge this week at Less is more is to use 
                                                SOMETHING SHINY
So that does lend itself to a Christmas card.  

I cut out these bells from a drinks can. I was very careful as I have already broken a bottle and a glass candle holder this week and nipped my finger in the handle of pair of scissors. Anyway no blood was shed. The aluminium is very thin but it pays to be careful.

The bells are really flowers but I don't think anyone will notice if you don't tell. It is a Tattered Lace mini die. Bluebells, I suppose. 
My first thought was to hang them from a wreath but in the end made a garland instead. 
I stamped the fir using a tiny stamp and cut the bows out and added them on top. That way, I was able to even out the two sides of stamping. 
The bows are embossed with clear embossing powder which gives a bit more shine. 
Stamps used are Woodware tiny fir branch and sentiment. 
Card-io base branch and swirl. 
Inky Doodles - bow.  (I feel I should add this very sudden, sad news that Sarah has passed away. I'm sure many of you will be as sad as I am. http://www.inkydoodles.co.uk/)

I hope you like it.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Quick baby card

I found myself needing a congrats card for a new baby this week. I'm not sure why I wasn't ready for this one as I've known it was coming for a while!
One of my sons' friends and his partner have just had a baby boy so he was off to visit and I offered to make a card.
It was all done at speed late in the evening but given all that it turned out very well. 

 I've used Inky Doodle stamps from Primitive Angel and Caroline's Doodles.
I started with the bunting and then stamped the letters on to it using a Dovecraft set of small wooden peg stamps. The sheep body was cut from a previously stamped piece of card so that saved some time.
I wanted a bow or some ribbon or thread and finally hit on the idea of winding the silver thread around and hanging the bunting from it. It isn't really hanging from it but it looks as though it might be!
As an extra frame I stamped a ric rac border and then mounted it all on an embossed dotty background using foam pads.
Finally, I speed cut the sunflowers for a splash of colour as it needed a little something else but I really wanted to be going to bed.
I've used lots of snippets of white card so I'll be hopping over to Pixie's Snippets Playground with this one. It is always so inspiring but I rarely follow through any of the ideas I see there. I'll have a look now and see what I can do. I've had the opportunity for a lazy day and am trying to avoid the more boring jobs in favour of a few fun things. I need to paint some woodwork on a shed...

Friday, 25 September 2015

Silver baubles

I've had very little time for crafting recently and, if I'm honest, not much inspiration either. So I'm pleased that I managed to carve out a little time today to make this card:

I made it for 52CCT where the theme is a Card for a Man. I always find this tricky. I much prefer flowers and swirls and bows. I decided to go for something simple and elegant but with a little glam as it is, after all, a Christmas card.
I found a snippet of textured, dark green paper (not black as it looks here) and embossed the Woodware baubles on it ion silver. I drew on the strings and coloured them with a silver gel pen. I did use a ruler as a guide as I've tried this before and found that my baubles were hanging at a strange angle. 
I decided to try some dry embossing with a board which I have not done for ages. I think it gives a smart, elegant look.
I added a snippet of silver ribbon with just a knot instead of a bow. I haven't any idea if a a man would like this but I like it. I'll ask if one passes.
So having used a couple of snipppets, I can skip over to the snippets playground and have a go on the swings. I haven't managed to get there for a few weeks. And in true Di style, I have enough green paper left so I'm making another card the same!
Now I'm off to tidy my room as I've left card, trimmer and stuff all over my bed and then a gin and tonic as a Thursday night treat. 

Friday, 4 September 2015

White snowflakes

Another week has whizzed by and I've got to Friday afternoon without making a Christmas card. 
Here is a quick one. I had the embossed panel done and the idea was in my head. 

This is made with an embossing folder which came free with a magazine. I've explained to myself that it isn't really free if you weren't going to buy the magazine anyway! I wasn't. But couldn't resist the lovely design. It is very deep and the reverse looks good to. 
I cannot claim that the design idea is original, I have copied it from somewhere, probably several places in blogland. 


 I've worked to this sketch and I'd like to enter this weeks challenge at 52(Christmas)CardThrowdown. Pick a previous sketch. 

So very quick and easy, the ideas I'd formed last Sunday have not materialised this week but at least I managed a card. 



Thursday, 27 August 2015

Not a square!

After an enforced break from stamping, I have salvaged a bit of time for it in the last few weeks. I was determined to make a card for 52CCT this week. I've looked at the challenge every week but failed to produce a card.  My pile of Christmas cards is very small, I know I have plenty of time but it is so much better to make them in a relaxed manner rather than blind panic.
This week really was a challenge. 


I don't usually make shaped cards, I played around with a few designs in my early card making days but now I play safe and always make square or rectangular and they are much easier!
Judging by the lack of cards entered as I write this, everyone has found this hard. My first attempts are in the bin but here is my offering and actually, I really like it. 

I've still played safe and used a circle but with the amount of time I've wasted I could have done something very elaborate. It is quite small - 11cm.
It evolved as I went along. I was going for red and green and then decided gold embossing would be fun. It also makes it rather different from the wreaths I made last year, and I can't remember who I sent them to!  
Cutting the circle base card was hard. I used a circle cutting tool, as I don't have a die for that. I had to press quite hard to get through two layers but keep it still or an oval is produced and not a regular one either. I made a couple of spirals too.  I think it is fair to say I wasted more card that usual. 
I used Card-io majestix stamps, meadow ink pad, gold embossing powder and black Stickles. Then I cut a little slip off the bottom so the card stands instead of rolling. Though I quite like the idea of a rolling card - maybe for a child.

I'm also nipping into the Snippet's Playground. I used a snippet of green for mounting and green thread for the knotty bit at the top. I've also created many more snippets, does that count? I think I'll need to make a patchwork card to use them up.



Sunday, 23 August 2015

Less is More - Sketch

The challenge at Less is More this week is a sketch:


Here is my card:

This is another card which went to plan.
I cut the base card, drew a curve using the handle of a rotary cutter which came to hand. I cut the curve and then cut another piece of card to lay under it. 
I sponged and stamped using Meadow and a Card-io leaf stamp. I fiddled slightly curving the sentiment and deciding where to place it. I attached the green panel with foam pads and tape and then ... stopped!

I'd considered adding some twine or thread around the top but really, I hope you agree, it doesn't need anything else.  
I was also inspired with a design for a Christmas card along similar lines so I'll try that before I forget.  

Sadly, I've just heard about a friend who is in a bad way so I think this will be in the post very soon. 


Friday, 21 August 2015


A quick late entry to Less is More.
This week the theme is Congratulations

This card feels like a bit of a cheat as it was really quick, went as planned and didn't involve much fiddling. After a little pre-stamping with different colours (it was going to be yellows), I chose Cranberry and Mountain Rose and went for it. 
However, I couldn't resist a little glitter so added some stickles to the flowers.

I haven't made many cards recently so it is good to have one like this in stock which could cover many occasions.  
Hopefully I'll make a few more soon. 
The flowers are Hobby Art. I've never managed to make a card I was happy with using them before.  The sentiment is Paper Smooches.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Red and green wreath

I'm not getting on very well with my Christmas cards for one reason or another. So I bought a new stamp set - that always gives a bit of inspiration. 

Then I noticed that  they have a colour challenge at Merry Monday so here is my offering:

I've failed to get a good picture in daylight or by lamplight. The mist has now descended outside (yes it is August) and it reminds me of Brigadoon. 'What??' say my family. They are way too young. Anyway the light is not good. 
The background colour here is apple green. It's a Woodware stamp, which many people will be familiar with - embossed in light green and then coloured in light and dark green and red. Finished off with glossy accents on some of the circles. 
I tried to make a smaller card. I have some 13x13 envelopes so I thought it would be good to make cards to fit. But I really couldn't get it to work. I seem to need those two centimetres.  I suppose something very simple would work, I'll have another go. 
Expect to see much more of this stamp set over the next months. 
I'm also popping into Pixie's Snippets Playground although I may not find my way if it's misty there too. Really it looks like November outside!
I've used snippets of card, ribbon and silver thread. 

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Spots 'n' stripes

I've got a lot of birthdays coming up in the next month so need to get busy. 
The Male Room are asking for Spots and Stripes this time. I decided that was something I could work with and added zig-zags for good measure. 


 Here is my card:

 The spots and stripes are embossed on black card and the zig-zags stamped in black with a Casual Fridays set which I got with male cards in mind but have not often used with much success. I edged them all with silver.
The sentiment is Paper Smooches. I decided to add a bit of wire which I had seen people do to great effect. No-one tells you how tricky it is to get the wire to stay put. It springs off in all directions.
The first day I gave up and went to bed. Next morning I manged to get a bit of tape on the spiralled wire while holding it down with both hands and a foot... Then it was manageable and just a case of deciding where to place it. 
I'm pleased with this and it came together quickly so that is also a bonus. Still time to get it in the post too. 

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Sketch inspiration

I wanted to get back into card making after a break so I searched for a sketch to give me inspiration. I found this Stamplorations sketch:


I often read the blog posts and love the techniques and inspiration there but rarely get round to joining in. This time I have. 

 I made the stamped panels by cutting them out, holding them together with a very small amount of tacky glue then stamping the flowers. I embossed in silver, coloured with promarkers and added some gems. My plan was to emboss in bronze but I couldn't find the powder, then afterwards remembered where it was. But actually, I like the turquoise and silver look. I masked them and added the light green leaves.
I wasn't very happy with the background, I'm still not really. I made the panels too big so there was not much room for the background and the panels are a bit lost on it. Also I felt there was no room for a sentiment.
Anyway, there it is, I hope you like it. 

Spots and stripes snippets...

I really wanted to join in the Less is More challenge this week where it is Chrissie's birthday.
Happy Birthday Chrissie! Have a great day. 
The challenge is to use Snippets. This is something I try hard to do but even so seem to gather larger and larger piles all around me which, try as I might, I have real trouble organising. I have recently moved house and, though I did have a clear out, plenty of stuff came with me. 
I now have my crafting corner set up. It is a little larger than before but needs a bit more organising before I can find everything I need. I spent 20 minutes looking for a rotary cutter today which I then remembered was in another room. 
So here is my card:

I used a scrap of white to emboss the main panel and then mounted it on a snippet of dotty paper. 
The paper is double sided so I sliced it up and pieced the border. I confess I cut a piece of white paper the correct size and glued the snippets down onto that rather than trying to stick them to the card base. 
Then came the extreme using of snippets: I was looking for something to add a tiny bit more interest and cut out a couple of corners to place on the main embossed panel. They looked wrong but I liked the tiny circles which fell out of the die. I cut some different corners but kept the circles to stick onto the stripes. 

By the way - don't be thinking you can slice up a strip of paper at an angle and then just flip every other one over to make your pattern. That way you get chevrons instead of a rectangle. Project for another day maybe...
I've made this for my niece who has a birthday next month (she is not into anything pink or flowery). I have real trouble with cards for 'young people'.  I have bought this Cuttlebug embossing folder and plan to use it for all my 7 nephews and niece over this coming year. I thought I could make it up in many ways, though I am sure they are not checking if they've all got the same card and wouldn't care if they did!  I've already done one embossed on metallic card which looked pretty smart. 
So this was quite fiddly but I like the result and I hope the teenager will. 
I hope it is still CAS, perhaps a bit more busy than I meant it to be. 

I'm linking this to Less is More and also
Pixies Snippets playground. I haven't been out to play for ages, sigh, but I have had fun settling in here, after the initial move anyway, and now have my own new playground so I've spent plenty of time out there.