Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Fairies at the bottom of the garden

After a busy day shopping on Saturday, I sat down for a little me time. Truly I was exhausted. 
My husband fondly imagined we were 'putting the finishing touches to Christmas'. Bless him. Well, we did whip through the shopping list but he seems unaware of all the wrapping (which always takes longer than you think), decorating, food shopping and cooking still to be done.Not to mention the handful of cards still to deliver.  I have a new list for everyday but I'm getting through it and engaging help whenever I can. 

Here is the card I made. It's very small (about 10.5cm) and really doesn't reflect the inordinate amount of work involved in it.  (Shall I mention the two failed attempts in the bin?)

 I had a vision of what I wanted to do but hadn't really though through the masking so the tape went on and off half a dozen times for each section.  

The stickles look a little heavy handed here but better in real life. 

I'd like to enter this into the Christmas Butterfly challenge where the butterflies are sleeping but fairies have taken over. 

I've also used snippets so I can hop over the Pixie's Snippets playground and join in the festive fun. I'm off to see Parsnip for some mulled wine. 
Huge thanks and congratulations to Di who has been managing the Playground for FIVE years! Thank you, it's such good fun and we love popping in. You are always cheerful and always have an encouraging word in spite of of everything. (Stop blushing, I've finished now).

I used:
a  collection of small stamps Cardio (ivy, flowers, fairies, seedhead) JustRite (ferns and leaves) and Stamplorations 'Hello'
Adirondak Sunshine and Terracotta ink
Black archival ink 

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Winter trees

Here is a card which I've made for a January birthday, very organised I hope you all agree. After Christmas I relax thinking 'phew that's all done and dusted.' Then whoa it's my Dad's birthday early in January and it  always takes me by surprise.

Is this a masculine card? I have no idea but I know he will like it as he is keen on tree skeletons. 
It's wintry but I've added a tiny bit of colour sponged on, so it's not too stark. 
I confess I'd planned to stamp the trees in dark green but picked up the wrong pad!
I've seen all these colours in the sunrises and sunsets in the last few weeks. Sadly this week has been rain and fog and barely a peep of sun. 

I've used:
Stamps from Creative Stamper magazine, 
Inks: Eggplant, sunshine, terracotta, lulu lavender, angel pink and black Archival.  

I'm linking this to Less is More. The challenge this week is Outlines. A lovely challenge with many possibilities. Oh, and it's one layer, I'm not scared!

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Tuesday, 29 November 2016

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

A quick post for three cards. 
The challenge at 52 Christmas Card Throwdown is Glitter. We all love glitter.
I've used the messy get everywhere kind. I've glued it onto an acetate circle, then glued it acetate side up so most of the glitter is trapped underneath. Some still seems to be escaping though.

I'm not sure about this. Is it too plain?

The next two are for CAS Colours and Sketches. This week it's a sketch. 

The first one I made used an embossed panel which I inked over (oh, I inked the embossing folder too) and then finished by rubbing in silver ink. The embossing folder wasn't quite long enough so I turned it round and the ribbon is covering the join. 

It is pink as well, I'm not sure if that shows here.

Then I had another go with a stamp I suddenly remembered I had. I stamped and embossed the stars, wet the paper and dropped on brushos. I stirred it around a bit but didn't like the  look of it so bunged it on the windowsill to dry.
I should know not to pay too much attention when it's wet. When it was dry, I loved it!
I ironed off the embossing powder and added some sequin stars and glitter. I'm not sure if it's very Christmassy but I don't really mind. 

I used:
Stamps from Creative Stamper magazine
Inky Doodles star stamp
Embossing folder from magazine last year
Embossing board - Keepsake
Ink - Danube blue, angel pink, Lulu Lavender, Tumbled glass
Tonic circle die 
Brushos - yellow and peacock blue

I've used snippets so I can run over to Pixie's Snippets Playground.
Also it's Rudolf Days at Scrappy Mo's so I have just go time before the deadline. 
The internet was working, the photos loaded and I can go and finish cooking. 
See you all soon. 

Monday, 28 November 2016

In a vase on a Monday - not a bad haul

It's a really difficult time to decide to join in with Cathy's meme  - In a vase on Monday. I've had tons of flowers all summer but not any more!
However I'm quite pleased with this vase:

Scouting around I found quite a few bits and pieces.

I've used:
Abelia - gorgeous soft colours
Parsley leaves and flowers
A twig of bay
Hordeum  jubatum - foxtail barley. Annual grass. This seemed to die off then had a second wind.
Escallonia - these flowers are on the ends of the plant which needs a prune anyway.
Fuchsia flowers
Pineapple sage - I've dug up the plant and put it in my poly tunnel but it's still flowering away. Amazing intense colour.
Cirsium - it's thrown up more flowers for some reason.  
Vinca major foliage -evergreen so always useful

These are my cutting patches taken last week.  Not looking so good now. The grass has been so wet we can't cut it so it looks a proper mess.  There is a Chrysanthemum which was never staked properly, shame on me. Next year I'm putting in proper stakes and net 
across the beds.

I don't seem to have any photos taken when they were blooming.
The dahlias are at the back, properly dead now and I've started digging them up to store whilst making a list of new ones to add next year!
In front are some stocks which I bought cheaply somewhere and there are some tulip bulbs planted in there too.  
I've been digging out a compost heap this weekend so I'll be bringing some of that over here when I've got all the dahlias and the weeds out. There was a biting wind but I felt virtuous afterwards. :)

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Shades of blue

This would have been quick and easy if I hadn't stamped the circle three times! 
I've used my favourite daisy die which I've done many times in pink, white and purple but never blue. 

 I've tried to arrange the cords so they don't make shadows, with some success. 

I've die cut the flowers into the base card so the first layer is inlaid.
I made the cords with embroidery thread. This is very easy at it's simplest. I just held both ends of the thread and twisted each end clockwise until really tightly twisted. Then fold in half and it curls round itself and makes a cord. A friend to help is useful or you can tie it to a door handle etc. Two colours twisted together look very good.

I've used:
Stamps - JustRite Lillies and Butterflies
Dies - LeaneCreatif Multiflower 9 and Tonic circles
Memento ink - Danube blue 1st, 2nd, 3rd generation

I'd like to enter this into :
Mrs A's Butterfly Challenge - N for Navy and/or Not Square. The cord is certainly navy and the darkest ink is darker than it looks here. 

CAS Colours and sketches - every week I drool over the cards made for this challenge but have rarely entered. This week the Challenge is celebrating #200 and the colours are shades of blue. 
Lovely, and I made my card and entered it! 

AAA cards are looking for Circles so it seems appropriate to enter there too. 

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Lime green and red

After a short break it's back to the Christmas cards. 
This week 52 Christmas Card Throwdown are asking for Lime Green and Red. 

I decided I wanted to make an embossed frame. I had this idea one night when I couldn't sleep. Does anyone else design cards at night? 
Of course they don't usually work out quite the way I imagined. 
The embossing folder wasn't big enough to make the square in one go so I have cut strips and mitred the corners. 

 I attempted to this using maths and angles !>*$%" ???~ in the end I did it like this:

 If you have cut the strips square you can lay them over each other and draw from corner to corner across the right angle. Cut then place that one underneath and repeat. I need everything to be square and straight so the angles had to be accurate.
 There was definitely some fiddling about. Lol.

I layered the borders on another piece of card and cut out the centre square to give some depth. 
Then embossed the poinsettia three times in black and filled in one green and two red. It is layered up with a red ribbon twisted behind and a gem in the middle. Of course, I've realised now that I can't post it, it's probably too fat for a normal letter. 

I've used:
Penny Black stamps - Poinsettia and Merry Christmas
Sizzix un-named embossing folder. 
Leaf Green and Brilliant Red Brushos.  

I like the border frame so now I'm wondering how else I could use the idea.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

In a vase on a Monday, on a Tuesday - final fling.

  I do have gardening blog but the truth is I don't have time to write it so I gave it up a while ago. So I'm going to post flowers on here and anyone not interested can look away now! ( How can you not love flowers?)
I stumble across a blog this week, which is right up my street - Rambling in the garden.
Once a week Cathy encourages us to forage in our gardens and fill a Vase on a Monday.  Here is Cathy's this week. 
I love to grow flowers and if you grow them specifically for cutting you don't have to worry about denuding your borders when they look their best. Not everyone has that luxury of space, I know I am very lucky. We moved last year so I could indulge my addiction for plants! 

When I get home from work now on a Monday, it's dark now. Boo :( So here I am on a Tuesday. That is not soft focus behind that is misty murkiness!

I've been picking vases and vases all summer and usually follow strict colour schemes. I've thrown it all out the window this week as I collected the last fling dahlias and Rudbeckias. 
The pink ones are Classic Rosamund and one Honka Pink. The purplish ones are Rip City, or were. (Throughout the summer they were so dark to be almost black and now, in the last month, they flower purple with white lines. If anyone can explain that to me I'd be very interested). 
Rudbeckia are Rustic Dwarfs. And yes that is Sweet Pea foliage. Being new here, I planted some sweet peas in a place I thought they would look very good. They were so slow that even my husband commented on it and he doesn't generally notice plants. They grew very tall an eventually flowered so high I almost couldn't reach them. Of course, I'd planted them in a place which gets very little sun. The upside is, they didn't get mildew and were still flowering in October. The foliage is still green and a makes good filler. Maybe I'll put some there next year too...

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Silver butterfly

At last a change from Christmas cards.

I made this background by stamping and embossing a large stamp using clear powder. Then I sponged on the ink, blending the colours together. I spritzed water over it and left it to dry.
Once dry I ironed the card between copier paper. This melts off the embossing powder and leaves the pattern. 

I tried to take a photo of it but it's difficult to take something which isn't there!

When I've made a background like this, I don't really want to cover any part of it but I did add a few things.  
The butterfly is stamped, embossed and then has silver ink rubbed on. I added a hint of pink around the wings. Fixed with tape along the body and foam pads on the wings.

I'm linking this to the Butterfly Challenge. The current challenge is Q for Quotes and/or Quicksilver. 
I couldn't really find a quote I fancied so stuck with the ordinary.
I'm also hopping over to Pixie's Snippets Playground for a run around.

I've used:
Inky Doodles background stamp
Hobby Art sentiment
Big and Juicy ink pad
Silver ink pad
Snippets of purple and white card and ribbon
Nameless butterfly
JustRite dies 

One good thing about this technique is that the embossing doesn't need to be perfect. Mine rarely is. 
Thanks for visiting. It seems that we are back to Monday again. How did that happen?

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Going round in circles

I made a really good card, seriously one of my best, but then realised I wasn't following the sketch properly! 

This week it's sketch week at 52 Christmas Card Throwdown.
I re-jigged the idea so here is MarkII. Not quite as good as MarkI of course...

Anyway I had fun cutting out all the circles and fitting it together. I have to give credit for the inspiration to Deborah Frings. DT from 52 CCT. She has made a lovely set of cards using DP which made me think of a pad I  bought last year but have hardly used. Someone also made a card with a vellum window recently, I think that was you too? (if not apologies to the person concerned). So your DT inspiration is working on me!
It looks interesting when the light shines through the back and is much more fun than the cards I usually make. 
I picked out the areas with faces and cut them out. 

Sorry about the bad photos I took them in  hurry. I should not be doing this just now...
Enough from me, back to the real world. 
I've also used some snippets so I'm popping in to Pixie's Snippets Playground. It's chilly so I hope you've got your coats on, girls, and something warming to drink behind the bike sheds.

Welcome Holly wreath

Another week, another Christmas card. I'd really like to make something flowery and pink but birthdays have been scarce recently and I haven't had much spare time for playing around. The next few birthdays are boys! Thinking cap on...
Anyway on with the card:

I don't think the green looks quite as vibrant as it does in real life but when I tilt my screen it looks better. So if you think it looks washed out, try tilting!

There was a certain amount of fiddly cutting here. I stamped the holly, embossed in bronze and filled in with green brusho. I wet the leaves with water. Dropped some Brusho onto an acrylic block and painted it onto the leaves with a wet brush. I love how it pools and gives different shades. I coloured the berries with a Pro-marker. 

Then the cutting out. I quite enjoy it really. I ball tooled the back and also went round the white edges with a bronze Sharpie. 
I stamped the greetings down the side first, as there was plenty of chance for it to go wrong, then attached the wreath. 

I glued the leaves on with glue gel but not very much as I want it to go through the post easily. I think I've made quite a few cards which will be too thick for a normal stamp.

I'm linking this to 52 Christmas Card Throwdown. This week it's 'pick a previous sketch'. I chose one from just a few weeks ago. Sketch 55 October 2016


And also Merry Monday. Bonnie is asking 'How will you decorate your door?'

With a wreath. of course. I always make one and just remembered how prickly Holly is while you're doing it and then when you walk into it by accident. 

Thanks for visiting lovely crafters.  x

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

October Rudolf Days

I've made a few busy cards recently so I felt the need for extreme simplicity today. 

I'm entering this into the 52 Christmas Card Throwdown for this week which is:

I love embossing and don't need to be asked twice. I've used three kinds on here. 
I stamped the bauble on white card in Versamark and then embossed with clear powder and filled in with Brusho colour. 
Cut it out and covered the whole thing in Versamark by pressing it onto the pad. The I covered it in clear powder and heated. Rinse and repeat. (Actually, don't rinse that probably wouldn't improve it). You get a more glossy finish with a second or even a third coat.
Just before heating I sprinkled a little glitter onto the embossing powder so it sets into it as it heats.

Then I dry embossed the hanger for the bauble using an old Keepsake embossing board and stamped on the sentiment. I used a small bow as anything larger overwhelmed the bauble.

If my photos had loaded this morning as planned, I'd have forgotten is was Rudolf day but now I can add my link to Scrappy Mo's October Rudolf days challenge.
First the photos wouldn't load and now my computer can't find the internet. I've even tried standing in front of the router and pointing it out, how hard can it be?
Wishing you lots of crafty time, I'm off to visits the wonderful cards you've all been making. 

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Prancer and Dancer

I'm taking a quick break from the ongoing decoration of our kitchen. I've been painting today which feels good, it would feel better if I hadn't spent some of the time repainting a wall I'd done the wrong colour. Long story, but in brief I'd painted a kitchen wall in the bathroom colour instead of the dining room colour. I'm not saying the colours are similar or anything, but it's given my family a good laugh. No doubt it won't be the last I hear of it. 
I managed to sneak outside and plant up a couple of pots with violas for winter as well. It was a lovely day, but nippy, it seemed a shame to stay in painting. 
So I've made a card for 52 Christmas Card Throwdown. 

 Now I don't have any cute bears or penguins so I've opted for Prancer and Dancer.

I broke out my brayer and inked the sky. I'd planned it to be all dark but then had the idea of the yellow light. It's quite indigo at the top.
I find that brayering either works or it doesn't and that day it was working.  I inked two skies as I was sure I would smudge the stamping. I spritzed water over to give a starry 

I stamped the reindeer and the houses and filled the houses and the trees with black. The sleigh is a die cut which I glued on then trimmed. I sewed the silver thread through the card so no danger of it falling off. 
As I didn't smudge the stamping, I was able to make two cards. I wish I'd moved one reindeer slightly lower but I like the movement on this one. 

I added some glitter and it stuck to Prancer and Dancer by mistake but that was fine with me. 

The glitter looks better in real life. 
So, unlike the last one, this card turned out pretty much as expected. All the stamps used have been from the magazines I've got into the very bad habit of buying recently. Oh, and JustRite oval dies.
I'm just running over to Pixie's Snippets Playground with this as well as I've used quite a few snippets. The yellow I've used for matting is actually an old school certificate of my daughters (no nothing important) and she left school 7 years ago! Yes, my name is Alison and I am a hoarder!

(I must just tell you - I just called to one of my (adult) boys to turn on the extractor fan in the bathroom and he said "There's a fan in the bathroom?" Turns out neither of them knew and we've been here a year and a half!)


Thursday, 13 October 2016

Hanging bauble

The plan for this card was a leafy wreath around a cut out and then a leaping deer in the centre. I'm really not sure how we got to here:

The colour challenge this week at 52CCT is:

I have struggled with this for several reasons. I don't have the right colour ink pads (I know however many you have there is just one missing) and I found it very difficult to make the colours Christmassy. 

So I got round the colour issue by stamping off the ink and using the second generation. This can be hairy as I'll get so far then forget to stamp off -aaah!
I've used Inky Doodles Primitive Angel set to stamp the plaid background.  These are long stamps which you criss cross to form the fabric pattern. You can vary the width and spacing. 

The bauble is cut twice and glued onto thread so it's the same on both sides. It's fixed under the blue paper. This is patterned paper which I've enhanced with a little twinkly stamp. I added some extra stamping to the inside.

So there it is. I'm not sure how much I like it so let me know what you think. Other people seemed to have managed just fine so have a look at the lovely gallery.

Friday, 7 October 2016

Simple wreath

So the heating has gone on, the nights are drawing in and it must be time to start on those Christmas cards. 
Ha, no! Not if you've been playing along with a Christmas Card Challenge, you'll already have a nice little stack. I have about three quarters of the number I need. (Insert smug, smiley face here!)
Here is a lovely, simple sketch from 52 Christmas Card Throwdown. 


  I've stamped the wreath using 3 Stamplorations stamps from Frames and Florals. They are not Christmas stamps but look very pretty stamped like this. Then  I used strips of paper for each side. To give a bit more interest  I cut the fancy corners of the same paper with a JustRite die. 
I wanted a bit more of a focal point so I embossed the holly, coloured with Brusho and then cut out. The berries are coloured with pen and then Glossied over for shine. The Brusho gives lovely tones to the green. 

While embossing the sentiment I dropped the stamp bang in the middle but I managed to brush the extra powder off before heating as it was quite a big image. Imagine how cross I was. 

There is also gold embossing along the edges of the white card and the green strips and finally some glitter on the wreath for that all important Christmas sparkle.
I remember trying to photograph this green paper before and it always looks washed out, imagine an apple green.  

Enjoy your weekend, I hope you have some time for crafting.  x

I've used:
Stamplorations leaf stamps. Frames and florals
Stamps from Creative Stamping (last month) for words and Holly 
Just Rite die.  
Dove craft paper