Friday, 29 January 2016

Little houses

I recently bought a new set of stamps. I had my eye on these Polka Doodles house stamps for Christmas cards. Then I remembered that a friend is moving soon so I had to get them now!
I am rather sad as she is my best friend, moving to north Wales and I live in the south west. No more quick meetings for lunch or coffee. I may be wandering round the playground looking for new friends. 
Here is the card I made:

I need to give credit here as I was struggling to fit the sentiment on the card. It was too long and I had stamped it bout 17 different ways when I saw this card in the playground and ding, that was the answer. It is still not quite perfect and I wish I'd angled it slightly differently but I was tired of stamping it. 
I used snippets for the houses and sentiment and then found this paper which, I hope you agree, matches nicely.  The ribbon is also a snippet and the card base is pre-loved and discarded. So I am hopping over to Pixie's Snippets Playground with this one.

So then at Merry Monday it is a One Layer Card challenge.


Often a challenge. Sometimes I can do one layer with no trouble and luckily this was one of those days. 

I have unashamedly copied the layout of Nina from the Design Team's card. Thank you for the inspiration. 
I drew a faint pencil line to make sure I stamped the house vertically. I coloured it with Pro-markers,leaving the roof white and added Stickles for glittery snow.
I bravely drew the black line around with a glitter gel pen and then drew a second which looks deckled so there is a frame for the house. I could have ruined it all but a shaky hand and a ruler did the job.  
Please be impressed by the teeny, tiny wreath stamped with a teeny tiny flower stamp which came in the set. Again without the aid of a safety net.
I'd like to link this one to the Merry Monday challenge and the first Rudolf Days challenge of 2016 - always a Christmas card or project. 

So, two very different cards from one set. I am very pleased with the stamps. I hope you like them too.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Inky butterfly

I've gone a bit arty today. Usually when I try this it goes very wrong and finds it's way to the bin. 

I started with an inked paper that I had saved from a previous session. 

I had coloured the paper with ink mat and water and brayer, I think. Probably by laying the paper on the inking mat on top of the ink. 
I trimmed it and stamped the butterfly. It was too central so I trimmed more from the bottom and left to make it slightly off centre.
This is where it could all have gone very wrong:
I stamped some flowers and the script in Sunshine and the sentiment in Espresso. 
I coloured the butterfly by painting with ink, a sort of green colour but then didn't like it much. So I got a tiny amount of bleach slightly watered down and painted out the colour. I also bleached the flowers which gives an interesting effect. Mounted on orange to finish and highlight the colours.
The butterfly is now a faintly purplely brown colour which I rather like.  I've never tried the bleaching effect before so I'm glad I remembered and had a go. 
I see so many ideas but often forget them.  
I'm entering this into the current Butterfly challenge - I is for Inks. I love getting inky so don't need much encouragement.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Up, up and away

I'm very pleased I've managed to make a card for a Stamplorations challenge. 
This is the new CAS challenge launched this month. 


I've used the Stamplorations Balloons and Banners set which I was lucky enough to win last summer. Thanks Shery. 
I'm not entirely happy with this card as I started stamping at the left and did not leave enough room at the right. I think the silver balloon needs more space to be floating into. Then I couldn't trim as it is one layer. (This was already my third go so I didn't want to start again or give in and layer. Maybe I should have done that). 
I coloured the escapee in silver and then added a little silver thread for the optional colour twist.  
As I said this was my third go. I messed up the colouring on the first one trying to add some highlights. Then I had the bright idea of how to save it. 

I've cut out balloons from this crap of paper and glued them over the original colouring. Now I think I like this card best. Still wish it was more to the left. 

So take your pick, no silver colour twist on this one though!

So as well as the Stamplorations challenge I am skipping over to Pixie's Snippets Playground. I have my gloves and scarf as it's a bit nippy.
I think I'm right in saying that I have only cut into one new piece of card this year and everything else has been made from snippets. Not that the pile seems any smaller. Now I have organised my stash I know what I have and (usually) know where it is. 

Saturday, 9 January 2016

White on white

Having just taken down the Christmas cards from last year, here is the first one for next year. 
It has taken me three goes to get this right but I am happy with it now. 

I embossed a piece of vellum (or something similar) with a snowflake folder which gives a parchment craft like look without all the effort. It would show up better on a coloured background but as this card is to be white on white, I will keep that up my sleeve for another day. 
I had to go away and ponder overnight. You can't stamp on the vellum as it doesn't dry. I tried that and then had to trim off the bottom as I'd smudged the words.Then I remembered this corner trimmer which makes the edges look finished. 
The vellum is only attached with a strip of double sided tape on the back of the card so it doesn't show through on the front.
I've never made a card with an overlay before but I don't think this will be the last time.  
I've added a touch of glitter to the snowflakes and also to the words. 

I'm not sure if you can see it but trust me it's there. It just adds a delicate sparkle. 

I'd like to enter this in to the Merry Monday challenge. White on white. 


and the AAA Cards challenge - use Glitter.  I hardly ever use glitter, I'm not sure why not. Especially looking at some of the inspiration cards.


Thursday, 7 January 2016


I've had such trouble making a card for this challenge. I've had a series of good ideas which looked awful in real life, as opposed to in my head. Bit like my singing which also sounds good in my head. 

The butterfly challenge is X is for Xanthine. We are not to panic! - Xanthine =  The yellow colouring matter found in certain plants as in Yellow Madder. (Madder is from the Genus Rubia and has small yellow flowers, whorled leaves and a reddish brown root.) So yellow butterflies and some yellow elsewhere on the card. 
Here is what I finally made:

I'm glad I persevered. Trust me it looks better in real life, I couldn't seem to capture the detail. 
The green is a die cut and the flowers and butterflies are cut out and stuck on. They are inked with sunshine ink and a paintbrush. I added some tiny snips of card under the wings so they are slightly raised. I didn't want to go as far as foam pads. 
The good news is it is all made from snippets so I can run over to Pixie's Snippets Playground and see what is going on. Even the base is a bit of ivory hammered card which I found while sorting out. 

 Many of you will be familiar with this sort of mess. You can't find anything and when you do it's damaged. I spent a day sorting it into piles of similar card, colour etc.

This is much better. Stored now in several boxes (still under the bed but hey ho). Coloured paper is all together and so are the scraps of each type of card - also note the labels!
No, I know it won't last but it's lovely for now.  

PS  Epecially for Mrs A. It's a fairly basic quilt as quilts go, I started it in my teens and finished it in my 20s. It has been in regular use ever since (quite a while!). The small squares are handstitched and then machined together with the larger ones. I realised I was never going to finish it, I think. It is made in the old fashioned way using  scraps of fabric and old clothes. So some bits are dresses I used to wear as a child. My store of scrap fabric is larger that my store of paper and also less used. I tried machine patchwork last year but it takes much more patience and accuracy than I have now.