Sunday, 22 October 2017

Seasonal Wreath

I have another Christmas card to share today and this time it is a seasonal wreath with some poinsettias.  The design was built up using various Groovi plates and the bow and flowers were cut out with scissors.  All colouring was done from the back using Distress pens.  The parchment panel was mounted with brads onto a piece of red paper with a swirly pattern and then onto a piece from a Christmas pad by Craftwork cards.  Finally some Glamour dust was added to the centres of the flower and bow (mainly for decoration but also this helps to hide any possible glue marks showing through the parchment.  Fixing parchment is always something which has to be considered because as far as I know there just isn't a glue which won't show through and  using brads isn't always  the answer.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Last of the Freebies??

Why an end to freebies - you may well ask - and if not an end at least a severe reduction in the number I will be acquiring which if I'm honest, isn't a seriously bad thing in the long run.  The reason for this is that my local bus operator has decided to completely withdraw the bus service which I've been using regularly to visit a small town nearby and where the newsagent has been the source of temptation.  We have a small newsagent in the village which doesn't have quite the same wide choice and anyway is over a mile to walk.  This walk is something I will have to do to get any shopping from now onward which is OK as long as the weather isn't too unpleasant and of course there is always online grocery shopping for the bulky stuff but I'm going to miss my weekly bus rides for a cuppa and shopping.

Anyway about this card - the dies came free with a recent magazine and after cutting the white piece I backed some of the cut away areas with suitably coloured scraps of card/paper and also popped some of the little 'waste' pieces back into the diecut after colouring with pens.  The scalloped square was also part of the set and I found some scraps of Christmas paper for backing and a few spare holly leaves and berries to add. Another card to add to the growing Christmas pile.

Square dies - magazine freebies
Holly - Joanna Sheen die
Papers - left over from previous projects

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Pixie Snippets Challenge #303and304

Well it's off to the playground again this morning with a Snippets card and this time I seem to have been raiding the blue box for most of the pieces - sad person that I am my snippets are sort of colour coded into plastic see through boxes!!  The background paper was an offcut from a larger piece used on a previous project and I 'found' a scrap of embossed card which was the right sort of size.  The images were stamped onto a circle before sorting out another larger piece to cut a blue scalloped circle and a little banner for the greeting.  The faux ric-rac was cut from another scrap of the blue pearlescent card using a die which if I remember rightly came as part of a free set, jolly useful die anyway.

There is a birthday in the playground this week (Best wishes Len) and Di has made a super card for him using some great froggy stamps which of course will be the prize on offer to a lucky winner in the draw.

Stamps - from High Tide set by Stampin' Up
Scalloped Circle - Tattered Lace die
Banner - Sue Wilson die
Ric-rac die - free from a set with a magazine I think

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Another One

When I saw the cards which Mrs A had made for the Butterfly Challenge I saw she'd used a die which at the time a few years ago I just had to have but to my shame it's not been used for simply ages.  Because I had a few scraps of the damson purple card left over from the card posted yesterday I searched out the die and some other bits and pieces to make another butterfly card.  The vertical element in this case is the panel on the left including said die.  Luckily I was able to find some toning pieces of paper in my bits boxes which I've used as background and also one layer of the two butterflies with the rest of the purple for the top layers and the sentiment.  I've even used a few pieces of the 'waste' from the trellis die as little added extras and some fairy dust for a bit of sparkle.  You have a couple of weeks to come up with something for the challenge and to be in the running for a lovely prize.

Tall die - Tessatina by Memory Box
Butterflies - Sizzix dies
Sentiment - Crafter's Companion die
Papers - oddments from the bits boxes

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Butterfly Challenge #87

Mrs A has kindly invited me to be a guest designer because I was  lucky recently to have been a winner of the Butterfly Challenge.  I was given a choice from some letters of the alphabet and as 'V' was amongst them I just had to choose it for the theme which was then paired with the letter D for the colour.  So this time we have V for vertical and D for the colour damson and of course butterflies have to feature somewhere.

I decided to make a vertical format card using some damson purple card with touches of blue for contrast.Starting with the background which is peeping through the butterflies, I embossed a piece of the dark card before rubbing some Glitter Kiss in blue to highlight the embossing. The next stage was to die cut the main butterfly aperture in another piece of purple card which was then embossed.  This layer was raised on foam pads over the glitter layer. Another die from the set was used to cut the outline and detailed butterflies using blue pearlised card before popping the outline carefully into the shaped aperture and adding a couple of the detailed butterflies.  A slightly larger piece of blue card was cut to go behind the whole thing before popping onto a 5" x 7" vertical card.  Finally a computer sentiment was die cut and layered onto ovals cut in the same colours.  I hope this makes sense to you - actually a much easier card to make than to describe!!

I do hope I have in some way inspired you to have a go and make something to enter into the Butterfly Challenge and as always there is a lovely prize on offer.

Butterfly Die - Sue Wilson Cascading Butterflies
Embossing Folders - Crafter's Companion
Sentiment - layers cut using stitched shapes from Stampin' Up.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Grid Work

When I was part way through snipping out all the 'holes' in this piece of parchment I was questioning my wisdom in setting out to do such a large area of grid work.  However, once started I decided I should persevere and get it all done - not perfect but all good practice.  A diagonal grid was used and the flowers were made using a Groovi plate which has a lovely and so useful selection of flowers, leaves and butterflies designed by the clever Tina Cox.  The colouring has been done on the back using Polychromos pencils - flowers were cut out using scissors in this case.

I must apologise for my lack of commenting on various blogs just recently - things seem to have got in the way and somehow stolen some of my time.  Hopefully normal service will be resumed shortly.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Parchment Meadow Grasses

We are enjoying a beautiful sunny day today which certainly helps the year along - much nicer than grey days.  I have another parchment card to share - really enjoying my return to this craft as maybe you could guess.  Seasoned 'parchers' will probably also guess why I've added a tiny 3D butterfly to the bottom of the frame!!  This was done on blue parchment with some added colour from behind using Distress markers.

Sunday, 1 October 2017


I'm popping over to the Playground today with this bicycle - definitely not riding it though which would be too difficult!!    A large snippet of music paper was chosen as a background;  penny farthing was stamped onto a snippet of card before cutting out with a circle die and a sentiment with two smaller circle snippets.  What really started me on making this card was the embossed snippet with the gears which I thought would be good for a male card and the rest just 'grew' from this which was just lying around unused.

Di has used an interesting die (no pun intended) to make her card for inspiration this time and of course that, with some sentiment stamps, is the prize on offer for one lucky person.

Bicycle - stamp from Stampin' Up
Gears - Sizzix embossing folder with gilding

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Groovi Robins

Another Christmas card, this time using a variety of Groovi plates to make up the design which has a minimal amount of white work and has been coloured on the back using Polychromos pencils.  There is more Groovi temptation on Hochanda today but I'm sitting on my hands to avoid the dreaded 'Buy' button!!

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Dragonfly Canvas

Five crafty friends met up yesterday with Janie for a mixed media workshop which was so enjoyable and we had a wonderful selection of inks, paints, stamps and so on all to hand from which to choose.  We all started off from scratch going through the basics of working on a canvas to build up a design before developing our own pieces.  It was quite a full-on day but we mostly managed to more or less finish - in my case it just needed a few additions this morning such as the scattering of daisies which all needed cutting out and I also added a few finishing touches and some gilding.  Most of the stamps used on my piece were drawn by Janie.  I already have ideas buzzing around in my head for another piece in probably a different colour scheme.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Picot cutting

I've been trying to improve my parchment picot cutting technique and have included some on this card.  The frame and butterfly are traced from Groovi plates and I've cut away some of the butterfly wing areas to show the pretty background paper.  Also the edge was pierced with a 'V' tool then cut with snips - decided it just needed something else so added a couple of gridwork panels.  The colouring was done using Polychromos pencils.  Getting there slowly I think!

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Floral Card

This floral card was made mainly from bits and pieces lying around on my work space with the addition of a piece of suitable background.  The die cut panel is from a set which makes a sort of box/envelope - this is the flap which actually got rejected when I made one up because there was a little problem in one area but I couldn't bear to throw it away.  I decided that it could well come in to add to a card if I could cover up the 'glitch' which I've done with some flowers, stamped and die cut from scraps of Pixie Powder card.  A simple sentiment, a stray ivy leaf die cut and some card candi for flower centres and that's it - job done.

Panel - Tonic die
Flowers - Sue Wilson flower stamp with matching die
Ivy Leaf - Creative Expressions die
Sentiment - stitched ovals dies from Stampin' Up (clear stamp of unknown origin)

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Pixie Snippets Challenge Weeks 299/300

Time again for another snippets card for the Playground fortnightly challenge HERE and as usual the lovely Di has given us details of how she made her card to inspire us.  My offering this time is another Christmas card using a bauble die which was cut in gold and cream card before popping the opposite colours into the spaces to produce matching baubles in opposite colours.  More snippets were used for the branches and greenery with some scraps of seasonal paper and kraft card and a sentiment.  Finally a couple of pieces of twine were used to suspend the baubles from the branch.  Lots of snippets used and still more waiting in the wings!!

Designer Papers - left over from sheets printed using Artylicious Seasons Greetings CD
Baubles - Tonic dies
Scalloped Circle - Tattered Lace die
Sentiment - freebie downloaded from Netty's Cards
Greenery - Tim Holtz evergreens dies and Ivy using Creative Expressions die

Saturday, 16 September 2017


When sorting out a few bits and pieces I came across some stamped and coloured images which hadn't made their way onto cards and this is one of them.  I managed to match it up with some background paper from a pad I've had for a long time and a few scraps of coloured card die cut to make a border and a fancy corner. The sentiment was produced on the computer and punches were used to layer it.  I'm not sure if this is meant to be a thistle or maybe an artichoke type of flower but I do quite like it.

Image - stamp from chocolate Baroque (not sure if it is still available)
Corner die - Marianne
Border - Sue Wilson die (green layer)
Sentiment - punches from Stampin' Up

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

One for the Box

This is another card to go into the box for some future occasion.  I thought I'd get in a bit more practise by working a pierced and cutwork edge onto a piece of parchment before adding a design in the centre.  I decided to work in that order so that if the edge went totally wrong I wouldn't waste any work done on a design as it seems to be really easy to pierce holes in the wrong place (for me anyway!!).  However it appears to have worked reasonably well so I built up a design using a selection of Groovi plates and  simply layered it onto some coloured background with a darker layer underneath to frame the whole thing.  I'm finding that parchment work is, for me, the new 'colouring in' as a mindful and relaxing exercise and of course involves a bit of thought when it comes to building up a 'picture' or design.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Butterfly Challenge #85

The mix this time on the Butterfly Challenge is S for Silhouette and/or the colour Indigo and I've covered both with this CAS card.  I started by adding some colour to a piece of watercolour card using Distress Oxide inks using a technique shown in this video by Loll who has quite a few on YouTube which are well worth checking out.  Once this was dry I added a little texture by sponging ink through a stencil on half of the piece. I then die cut a flower in indigo card and punched three butterflies from the scraps.  A simple stamped greeting and here we have a CAS card which meets the challenge and is nice and flat for posting which is what some folks seem to want rather than the more elaborate cards.  Unfortunately my watermark rather spoils the effect here but I'm sure you can imagine the layout without the extra words under the sentiment.

Butterflies - a years old punch from X-Cut
Flower - Wildflowers from Sizzix
Sentiment - from a set of free sentiment stamps given with a magazine
DOX - faded jeans and wild violet

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Parchment Butterflies

I've made a DL card for a change using kraft card and parchment along with a piece of patterned paper.  I've never really done much in the way of cutting out using a two needle tool and scissors so today I 'bit the bullet' and tried the technique hoping I wouldn't ruin the embossing and colouring I'd already completed.  I have to admit they are very small sections but it is a start!!  Fortunately I have a light box which I found made it much easier to see where the needles were going into the design than trying to do it under normal daylight conditions which is what I've tried previously with little success.

Background Paper - printed from Artylicious Essence of Nature CD
Groovi plates - butterflies, flowers/leaves and small circles
Colouring - Distress markers
Corner Punch - from EK Success

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Snippets Playground #296/297

It is time to visit the Snippets Playground again even though it is a horrible grey and rainy morning so I guess it will be macs and brollies all round.  I've used up a few more of my snippets making another Christmas card starting with the last remaining snippet of a piece of watercolour paper which had been coloured with Pixie Powder and salt.  I then found a reasonably sized piece of white to emboss the igloo, followed by some smaller pieces of black, orange and white for the die cut penguins. Rather than cut tiny pieces in red I used a pen to colour the bow tie and tiny hat.  I'm not entirely sure whether penguins live where there would be igloos but I'm claiming artistic licence here!!  A final piece of black card was used to die cut the Santa and sleigh flying across the sky and because this is so obviously a Christmas card I've not added any words to the front although they will be on the insert.

As usual there is a great prize to be won by a lucky entrant and if you visit the Playground later there should be pictures of two cards for inspiration (one from a guest designer isn't showing up at the moment but should be there later).  I'm sure there will also be a link to Megan's blog so that you can visit  to see more of her work.

Santa - die from Joanna sheen
Penguins - dies from Tonic
Igloo - embossing folder given away free last year with a magazine

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

All White

I've been trying to hone my skills with a bit of parchment grid work lace with white work and I'd forgotten just how long this takes.  My original intention was to have a much wider lace section around this card but settled on less laciness (not sure that's a word) when I realised how much time it was taking.  The result is far from perfect and doesn't bear close inspection  - I'm not sure how people get them identical.  For anyone who doesn't know, each little cross is cut out with scissors after piercing four little holes - quite therapeutic but requires some patience and reasonable eyesight.

Apologies for yet another parchment card but rest assured I've not abandoned any of my other crafty techniques.

Monday, 28 August 2017

Butterfly Challenge 84

I think there is still time for another entry into the butterfly challenge which this time is 'You Choose and/or Wedgewood Blue'.  I've chosen this time to make another parchment card - loving the Groovi system and particularly the way you can select elements from various 'plates' and combine them into an entirely different composition.  The only problem as I see it is that I might NEED a few more plates ... LOL.  Parchment really speaks for itself and I won't go into descriptions of how this was achieved and apart from the parchment, backing card and some brads there is no list of items used.  I apologise for putting up another parchment card but I need plenty of practise to get back into it.  I've incorporated a bit of white work as well as some colouring

Various plates from the Clarity Groovi system were used
Polychromos pencils for colouring

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Anniversary Card

I was happy to be asked again to fill the Guest Designer spot over in the Playground and this is what I came up with.

Searching through some seriously old stash to find a snowman die which I'd remembered I had years ago when die cutting was in its infancy I came across this cute teddy die which I'd completely forgotten I had so decided to make a card for the Snippets Challenge.  Apart from the base card the whole thing is made up from odd pieces of card left from other projects.

I started by cutting out the bear and all its 'extras' twice so that I could have a Mr and Mrs.  As this die was an early type with all the cutting parts on a single square of metal backed with a layer of foam it wasn't entirely straightforward to cut the different coloured pieces.  Once I'd gathered them all together I made up the two bears which were then layered onto a framed circle.  A decorative strip has been popped behind the circle and two die cut hearts added.  These hearts were cut twice, one gold and one cream before popping the opposite colours back into the spaces - I drew around the 'waste' of the hearts to cut out  a slightly smaller backing layer with scissors.  A simple sentiment stamped onto a banner was the finishing touch.  Backing paper was a larger snippet tucked away in the back of a paper pad.

Bears - die from Cuddly Buddly, probably no longer available
Decorative Strip - Sue Wilson Gemini die Carina
Circles - stitched circles from Sizzix
Hearts - Marianne die which I've had for a really long time
Banner - Sue Wilson die
Sentiment - from a free set given with a magazine
Card - gold and cream Centura Pearl

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Parchment with Dragonflies

As I said the other day it is many years since I did any parchment work and now that I've come back to it I'm wondering why it took me so long.  I have to admit that things are so much easier these days with the wonderful Groovi system from Clarity Stamps which does away with the (for me anyway) very tedious business of tracing images.  I don't think this system really takes anything away from the pleasure of actual parchment crafting because once the image is traced you have freedom to emboss, snip, incorporate intricate lace work etc as the fancy takes you and as your skill, and patience, allow.

I have a small selection of Groovi items and this is more or less my first effort where I thought I'd go for something fairly simple to begin with and hopefully as time passes and I get going I can get back into some grid work and cutting although I will certainly have to practise these particular skills before they will be fit to be seen.

Enjoy the rest of the Bank Holiday weekend - you can maybe guess what I might be doing at least for some of the time!!

Various Groovi plates used
Colouring done from the back using Distress markers

Friday, 25 August 2017

Rudolph Days - August

It seems to be time  again for the Rudolph Days challenge - my how this month has just rushed by and I'm not too sure where the days went really.  Anyway I have another Christmas card which should fit the bill.  This time it is a DL size with three leaping reindeer.  I used a scrap of patterned paper for the sky and a torn strip of white card for the snow.  The reindeer and the greeting have been popped onto a silver pearl background and once the die cutting and layering were done this was a fairly quick card to make.  I simply popped tiny pieces of blue card between the reindeer layers so that they showed through on the details .

Reindeer - Tonic dies
Sentiment - Tonic dies

Wednesday, 23 August 2017


I must say it took me a while to realise that if I was careful when placing dies onto card before cutting them the 'waste' could be saved and used for another project.  Of course it doesn't work with all dies but many of them leave usable pieces.  This card was made using one such piece - the black layer - along with some scraps of paper which had been coloured using Pixie powders.  There was enough of this coloured piece to layer behind the black so that it showed through the apertures and also a tiny piece left which was enough to cut the top layer of the butterfly and a small circle for one of the sentiment layers.  A purple scrap was used to die cut a border and also a butterfly layer and circle for the sentiment.  Waste not, want not as they say!!

Floral die - Wild flowers set by Tim Holtz
Border and butterfly - not sure as these were lying unused on my desk

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Pixie Snippets Weeks 295 and 296

Despite Di's opening remarks on the Playground post this week she has made a beautiful card for us as inspiration to use up our own snippets and as always has given us details of how the result was achieved with hints and tips as well thrown in.  Just follow the link in my next paragraph to take a look and maybe use up some of your own snippets to enter for an opportunity to have your name put into the draw for the prize - of course you can just play along for fun if you already have these super items.

I decided to make another Christmas card for the Playground challenge this time around and actually dusted the cobwebs off my parchment tools to use up some vellum snippets.  I've made some poinsettias by die cutting them from the vellum and then embossing in the traditional way using ball tools which I quite enjoyed after a seriously long break of several years since I last did any of this type of thing.  This is such a relaxing activity and I'm really not sure why the tools have lain abandoned for such a length of time and you could be seeing more parchment work from me at some point.

A piece of background paper was printed and trimmed to fit the card; two circular frames were cut from snippets of red and gold card; a sentiment stamped onto another snippet and die cut into a banner; greenery die cut from even smaller snippets of card and then the card was assembled adding two layered poinsettias with some gold Stickles for centres.  Cutting the circular frames has of course left me with two smaller red and gold circles to use on another card or two.

Background - printed from Artylicious Seasons Greetings CD
Banner - Sue Wilson stitched banners die with stamp from Stampin' Up
Greenery - Tim Holtz Festive greenery die set
Poinsettias - Marianne dies from many years ago, not sure if they are still available
Frames - circle dies from Spellbinders

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Colour on Black

While I was playing around with black card and coloured pencils I made this card as well as the one I showed recently.  This time I used another stamp from way back which has always been a favourite but again not used for a while.  I used the same technique, stamping with Versamark and embossing with clear detail powder before colouring the image using coloured pencils.  The panel was cut to a narrow width with opposing corners rounded before adding another layer behind cut in the same way.  The sentiment was stamped directly onto the background paper - good old Misti aided the placement.  Finally I wrapped some twine around the panel and used some scraps of card to die cut a short border which was backed with an even smaller scrap of patterned paper.  The scrap was cut to width first using an edge die before cutting the trellis detail using a different die.

Stamp - Poppy seed heads from Chocolate Baroque
Paper - printed from Artylicious Essence of Nature CD
Sentiment - also from a Chocolate Baroque set of stamps
Border - Sue Wilson die for trellis and Stitched scallop edge die from Die-namics
Pencils - Polychromos

Tuesday, 15 August 2017


My pile of Christmas cards is growing and now includes this one made with an image from Lili of the Valley featuring this robin amongst the berried branches.  Colouring was done with pencils and the backing paper was from my stash.  A piece of pleated ribbon and printed sentiment were added and the snow on the branches was glittered although I'm not sure it shows here.

Image - from Lili of the Valley
Sentiment - free download from Netty's Cards
Pleated Ribbon - Stampin' Up from way back (no longer available)
Square Dies - Tonic scalloped square, Sue Wilson Noble Pierced square

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Frosty Trees

It does seem odd thinking about Christmas cards when the sun is shining from a clear blue sky but most of us seem to need quite a few and it wouldn't be the best of ideas to leave the making until December - I'd hate to be forced to go out and actually buy cards!!  I had a play with some of my favourite Pixie powder yesterday in just the one colour but once dry the particles separate out to show others.  Water colour paper was used and while it was all quite wet I sprinkled with sea salt flakes and left to dry thoroughly before brushing off the flakes.  A tree die was cut twice using pearl card and partially overlapped behind a stitched hillside strip.  All that was  necessary then was to pop this onto the 'sky', add a word and we have a relatively simple Christmas card.  The letters for the word were cut from a scrap of the 'Pixied' background.

Pixie Powder - midnight blue
Trees - evergreen trees die from Sheena Douglass
Snowscape - stitched hillside die from Lawn Fawn
Word - Brushed Alphabet dies from Sizzix
White Card - Centura Pearl from Crafter's Companion

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Butterfly Challenge #84

The theme for this butterfly challenge is 'Y for You Choose and/or Wedgewood Blue'.  I've chosen to use a stamp from way back and have coloured the butterfly in two shades of blue which are sort of the right colour.  After stamping I masked off the butterfly and one of the smaller flowers before applying two different yellow Distress inks to an acrylic block and spritzing with water and pressed it over the image.  I then removed the mask and coloured the butterfly with pencils.  Another image was stamped so that most of the flowers could be coloured (using Distress markers) and cut out carefully with scissors to pop on top of the image for a bit of dimension.  Gems were added to the butterfly body.  The image was die cut and layered onto a blue background; a yellow lacy border was die cut from a scrap of card and a computer sentiment punched out and popped onto a die cut oval.

There is plenty of time for you to enter this challenge because it is going for longer due to school holidays.

Stamp - Harlequin Butterflies by Chocolate Baroque
Lacy Border - die from The Works
Oval - Stitched shapes from Stampin' Up

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Black Poppies

They aren't in fact black poppies but they are stamped, embossed and coloured onto black card.  I stamped the image with Versamark and embossed with clear detail powder then coloured with pencils.  I quite enjoy a bit of quiet colouring and actually did a few while I was on a roll.  Background is paper printed from a CD and I just added a ribbon and simple banner sentiment. Any marks on the black area are down to the fact that my scanner glass needs cleaning - the card is pristine.

 It has been a reasonable day today although a bit dull but now it is looking as if we are in for yet another wet evening.

Image - stamp from Chocolate Baroque
Background - printed from Essence of Nature CD Artylicious
Banner - Stampin' Up stamp on Sue Wilson banner die cut
Pencils - Polychromos with just a touch of metallic pencil

Monday, 7 August 2017


I was contemplating getting my hands on a snowman die and thinking that really I ought to resist when into my head popped a memory that I actually had one somewhere, but where.  The die I'm talking about was a very early Spellbinders one (I'd say probably from more than 10-12 years ago) from when die cutting at home was in its infancy, as was card making if we think about it.  The die came in a CD case and was a square of metal with all the various parts for cutting just holes, with cutting edges obviously but this format does make it a bit more difficult to cut out pieces in different colours - so much easier when each shape  nowadays is usually a separate die, however small.  I knew this die wasn't amongst my current storage system but a search proved fruitful so there will be no need for me to spend out for a snowman.  This was a box I'd not looked in for absolutely ages and of course I rediscovered various other quite old dies, mostly of the thicker type with foam attached (not the really thick Sizzix Bigz ones - I know where they are and use them). In the main they were Cuttlebug ones and I'm not sure they even produce dies nowadays although of course they still sell their machines.

Anyway onto the card - I cut out and assembled the components for the snowman and also die cut some trees and a curved snowscape onto which I stamped the sentiment - aided by the Misti of course.  A piece of  snowflake paper left from a previous project and now I have another card for the Christmas collection this year.

Snowman - Spellbinders die from many years ago, no longer on the market I guess
Trees - Creative Expressions die
Snowscape - Lawn Fawn stitched hills
Sentiment - a Docrafts stamp, also from way back
Sky paper - printed from Artylicious Season's Greetings CD, again from way back

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Christmas Snippets

I've used one of my die cut Santas for a Snippets challenge card this week - quite a few snippets to make up the Santa and the curved strip across the card, the holly and of course the sentiment. However I'm still not even getting near to running out of small pieces of card which need using up - must try harder.

I found a piece of paper suitable as a background and the Santa was one left from when I cut and assembled several of them to use.  Some snippets of red and white card were used to make the curvy section and a snippet of red for the sentiment.  Finally I dug out some green snippets and cut three holly leaves and used tiny scraps of red for the berries.

As always there is a super card from Di this week, again with a detailed description of how it was made along with the usual helpful hint here and there.   If you take part in the challenge for an opportunity to go into the draw there is of course a terrific prize on offer - the dies and/or stamps used in her card although of course you can always play along just for fun if you don't NEED any new 'stuff'.

Santa - Tonic die
Curved Strip - Die-namics stitched scalloped edges dies
Sentiment - Tonic die
Holly - Joanna Sheen dies
Background - paper from Stampin' Up.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Embossing Folder Technique

I tried a letterpress technique using an embossing folder and distress Oxide Ink - the piece was not embossed.  I rubbed the ink pad directly and partially onto one side of the folder and spritzed with water before carefully pressing a piece of white card onto the inky surface.  While it was still wet I sprinkled with salt and left to dry which has left some interesting texture and also slightly changed the colour of the ink in places.  Not wishing to cover up too much of the resulting pattern I've cut a panel using edge dies, stamped a sentiment and then simply overlaid a die cut flower.

Background - paper from Artylicious which I seem to have had forever
Sentiment - from free set which came with a magazine
Flower - die from Tattered Lace
Edge dies - from Lawn Fawn (curve) and Die-namics(straight edge)

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Card for a Gent

I was awake at really silly o'clock today with no hope of dropping off again - trouble is that it feels like elevenses time already and makes for a long day.  I had an idea for this card while I was eating breakfast so my next move was into the craft room while it was still fresh in my head.  The background paper is from a pad which has been in my stash forever and the other elements are various die cuts and a bit of computer work for the 'birthday' word.  Once the pieces were cut it was just a case of assembling them into this 'card for a gent'.  Details of dies below as usual and now I think I'm off for my mid-morning coffee (early) and then maybe onto some boring domestic jobs.

Face - Looking Dapper dies from Sizzix onto Sizzix heart die shape
Splat - Splatter die from Sizzix
Happy Word - brush alphabet lower case dies from Sizzix
Birthday Word - produced on the computer and cut out with scissors
Banner - die from Stampin' Up embossed with Sizzix cogs die

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Christmas in August

I've used up some more of my smaller pieces of scrap card for die-cutting three Santas ready to be made into cards.  This of course entailed cutting in red, white and black as well as, in this case, a silver layer for the backing pieces - a quiet sit down was needed to pop all the little detail pieces back into the shapes to build them up.  I know this sort of job would really irritate some people but I actually find it quite therapeutic, as long as I'm careful not to lose any of the bits, which can happen.

Anyway for this simple card I've used a piece of white pearl card and embossed using 'that' popular embossing folder which now has some companions (which I don't have) and a die set so that the curved strip can be cut to overlay nicely onto the background.  There is also - of course - a set of sentiment stamps which fit the curve beautifully.  These marketing people know what they are about don't they!!!  A piece of green card slightly larger than the embossed piece was the bottom layer and the sentiment was stamped in red onto the curved strip, sponged lightly with matching green.  The smallest of the Santas was popped onto the bottom and that's it - a CAS Christmas card, albeit there is more than one layer.  I used plain white card for the curved strip because I've found that stamping doesn't work too well direct onto the pearl surface as it often stays wet for a long time and smudges.

Embossing - folder which came free with magazine now available to buy from Craft Stash
Die set (curve) - Banners and Blooms from Apple Blossom - Craft Stash
Sentiment - set of mixed Wavy Sentiments from Apple Blossom
Santa - Tonic die set

Monday, 31 July 2017

Another Acronym

Today's acronym is CAS which could actually stand for the same as yesterday's card but in fact this time it is 'clean and simple'.  Quite often a CAS card is only one layer but this isn't necessarily so, provided it has plenty of white space and isn't overly decorated.  Using a Misti or something similar certainly helps with this style of card, particularly when it comes to placing a sentiment direct onto the card - something I always used to avoid because I found when I was actually trying hard to get it right something invariably went wrong by way of a smudged or badly stamped image and the card ended in the bin.

For this card I used a paint sample card, easily picked up from the DIY stores and in a good range of colours.  A few 'splodges' were stamped onto the background before popping on the paint sample and a die cut wild flower.  Finally a sentiment was stamped - that's it a CAS card and with no smudged fingerprints!!  I could maybe get used to this style but I do like to work in whatever takes my fancy from time to time - variety is the spice of life.

Background Stamping - Splodges Stampin' Up French Foliage, texture from SU Birds and Blooms
Due Cut Flower - Tim Holtz wildflower dies
Sentiment - from a set of free sentiment stamps given with magazine

Sunday, 30 July 2017


Don't you just love (or hate) acronyms!!  I'm familiar with the concept of CASE and have often done it but didn't really know what the letters actually stood for and thought I'd find out.  Apparently it stands for 'copy and share (or steal) everything' - I prefer the word share I must say.

I spotted one such CASEd card on Loll's blog and although I don't have the same dies to use I've made a card very much along the same lines using up a scrap of DOX background left over from another project.  I stamped an image onto this piece and trimmed it to size before popping over the base card which had a couple of die cuts added behind the image, a stamped sentiment and finally a die cut treble clef.  This is far from my usual style of card, mainly because I have trouble keeping grubby fingermarks off all that white space - managed it this time though.

I was thinking because quite a few snippets have been used this card would be good for the Playground until I realised that this is the 'alternate' week where there is inspiration from a guest designer.  Silly me, but do hop over to see the pretty card and also of course the announcement regarding the lucky winner.


Stamp - from very old set by The Stamp Man - classical musical instruments
Treble Clef - Marianne die which I've had a very long time
Sentiment - from same stamp set as trombone
Background diecuts - Tattered Lace die

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Butterfly Challenge #83

You might need dark glasses to view this card made for the current Butterfly challenge where the theme is Jagged Edges and/or Kiwi Colour.  I think I've covered both options although the jagged edges (on the sentiment) are only small.  I started with a piece of card which had been treated to some Distress Oxide inks and on this I stamped an image using Archival ink, layering this piece onto black card.  The base layer is Centura Pearl card in 'kiwi' green and was embossed to give it some detail.  Finally a sentiment was stamped and layered onto a strip of black with both ends cut using an old pair of fancy scissors - remember those from way back???  Once the inky background was made this was a fairly quick card to put together but you have to admit it is a bit GREEN.  The butterfly stamp is one which I've had for several years and I'm pretty sure it may only have been stamped once before, if at all but it is the sort of image which seems to work well on these inked backgrounds.

Main Image - from Butterfly Beauties stamp set from The Stamp Man
Sentiment - Crafter's Companion
Embossing Folder - Sue Wilson A4 folder called Sea Grass or similar (no name on folder)

Friday, 28 July 2017

Gingerbread Family

Yesterday I die cut this little gingerbread family - cutting in kraft, blue and white before popping all the tiny details back into the kraft layer with the help of a 'sticky pick-up tool'.  This is a gadget for picking up small gems and the like and I'd completely forgotten about but it suddenly came into my mind that it could be handy for picking up really tiny die cut pieces and I was right YAY!!  Of course I didn't have such a tool but managed to source one on a favourite auction site and it arrived yesterday.

Once the family was ready I then had to decide how I was going to incorporate them into a card and here is what I've come up with.  Some printed background paper; a white border strip with stamped snowflakes; a die cut sentiment and a holographic snowflake which is actually silver but hasn't reproduced too well.  The sentiment was plain white card brushed with clear Wink of Stella which looks OK for real but again doesn't show up here.  As usual details of what I've used are below the picture.

I've just spotted a mention of the Rudolph Days challenge which is new to me but I think this card might fit the bill as apparently it is 'anything goes' as long as it's Christmas.

Background - from Artylicious Season's Greetings CD (probably no longer available)
White strip - edges cut with Die-namics stitched scallop edge
Snowflakes - stamps from a Phill Martin set in various sizes
Gingerbread People and Sentiment - Tonic dies
Large snowflake - Docrafts die

Thursday, 27 July 2017

So Many Techniques ...

There are so many ideas and techniques around that some inevitably get forgotten or at least make their way to the back of our minds.  I was reminded recently about stamping and white embossing onto kraft card, colouring images with pencils which is something I'd not done for a while.  I have two similar, but different, cards to share today using the same stamped image in two colourways and with a selection of paper and card from my stash.  I've not bought any design papers for simply ages but the 'mountain' doesn't seem to diminish much!!  Both cards feature dry embossing and/or die cutting as well as the stamped and coloured images.  The sentiments were freebies downloaded from the generous Annette HERE and I resized them using My Craft Studio to fit a punch size that I have - printing a page of them so they are handy to punch out as and when required

Flower Stamp - Crafter's Companion
Pencils - Polychromos which are good for colouring onto kraft
Sentiments - downloadable (see link above)
Oval and round dies - Spellbinders
Borders on Blue Card - Scribble swirls die set Stampin' Up

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

To Brighten a Rainy Day

The weather here was lovely yesterday with plenty of sunshine but this morning is grey and rainy so I'm sharing a second sunflower card to brighten things up.  I actually stamped and coloured two images the other day and decided to make two slightly different cards with them (rarely make the same design more than once).  You've already seen one of them; here is the second and this time I incorporated the flower pot and some smaller flowers from the same stamp set along with a spare fence, trellis, some grass and a couple of leaves from the die cut scraps 'pot'which sits on my desk.  Again the image was coloured with Inktense pencils and the background paper was another one from the free pack which came with the magazine.  Scissors were used to cut out the pot and tiny sunflowers which are 3D.

Flowers and Pot - free stamp set from magazine
Fence - cut using a free die from another set
Trellis - left over from another project, part of a Tonic die
Sentiment - from free stamp set and stamped onto Stampin' Up stitched shape.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Distress Oxide Ink

Inspired by the card posted yesterday by the lovely Di HERE and some useful information amongst the comments as to the best mat to use for various inky blending techniques - apparently NOT a glass mat which is what I've been using since I acquired mine!! I had a little play session with some DOX (technical term!!) yesterday and have now used one of the backgrounds for this card.  As well as the 'smoosh' technique I also did some double stencilling inspired by Karen D on her blog (scroll down to see some beautiful background ideas) - of course there are many others who do similar techniques and looking around blogland shows up a wealth of inspiration and ideas.

I cut a square of the DOX/stencilled background and then a frame of the same size, followed by stamping and colouring a die cut bird and adding a twiggy branch - only scraps of card used for these of course.  The faithful Misti came into play for stamping the two sentiments and was also handy for stamping on the bird as well. I wouldn't have attempted stamping direct onto the background without the stamp positioning gadget because it was so easy to get it wrong previously.  There are many such positioning tools around now and they are considerably cheaper nowadays but heigh ho, I'm happy with mine although had I not been impatient to try it I would have saved money!!

Frame - Sue Wilson Noble Pierced frames
Background - Distress Oxide inks
Two Stencils - honeycomb Tim Holtz, and trailing leaves Imagination Crafts
Bird - Birds and Blossom stamps and dies Stampin' Up
Branch - Sue Wilson die
Sentiments - from set of freebie stamps

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Snippets Old and New

My card for the Pixie Snippets challenge this week has used all snippets apart from the base card.  A fairly large snippet of cherry red card was lying around after I'd used that colour for some die cutting (Christmas cards); the two separate lacy border pieces were odd scraps of Centura Pearl card; the coloured strip across the centre was a bit left from a larger piece which had been coloured with Distress ink and stencilled with leaves - I stamped a sentiment along one side of this using the Misti which is great for positioning stamps; I have a pot on my desk with lots of really miscellaneous (some of which are quite old) die cut bits and pieces and from this I managed to rescue some bits for the flower and leaf; the pink layer is a precious snippet of a really old Tim Holtz vintage shabby paper - I will be so sad to get to the real end of this pad, not much left now but I have had it for several years so can't complain.

I'd certainly recommend a visit to the Playground to see a lovely tropical themed card made using the so popular Distress Oxide inks and a clever die which I've not seen before.  No awards for guessing what is on offer in the draw this time if you make something using up some of your snippets.

Lacy borders - Crafter's Companion Edgeables die
Flower - bits found in my oddments pot Heartfelt Creations I think from memory
Leaves - just part of a larger leaf diecut from the 'pot' Sue Wilson I think
Sentiment - free stamp

Saturday, 22 July 2017


The weather today is more of the 'stay indoors' type - not as bad as the wind and rain yesterday but still none to special.  I thought it was time I tried out a recent freebie stamp set and as it features sunflowers should remind us of real summer.  It is quite a simple card because the flower stamp is fairly large, not leaving much extra space to be filled on a card.  Image was coloured with Inktense pencils and I've used some of the free papers which came with the magazine, reasonable quality paper rather than some which I always think are too shiny and flimsy to use.  The word stamps were also part of the set and I did colour and cut out a flower pot but somehow it just didn't seem to fit onto the card anywhere so that will be saved for another occasion.

Stamps and papers - freebies from recent magazine
Labels die - Spellbinders
Banner die - Sue Wilson
Image colouring - Inktense pencils/water

Thursday, 20 July 2017


Unfortunately we all need sympathy cards from time to time so I made this one to pop into my card box in the hope that it isn't needed anytime soon.  It has been made with a mixture of stencilling and die cutting along with some pretty paper from my stash.  I used the waste from a previously die cut wild flower to use as a stencil onto a circle of card before popping this behind a circular frame using a die I've had forever but hasn't been used for such a long time.  That came about from having a sort out of dies etc reminding me of what I actually have!!  The square was waste from a frame cut for another project and I cut the other wild flower from a scrap of white, sponging with distress ink to colour.  The die cut sentiment matches the square and is popped onto a couple of banners cut from bits in the scrap box. Unfortunately I've not been feeling up to par for a few days, hence no post since last Thursday - sorry.  Hopefully I'll be back to normal (whatever that is) soon.

Circle die - Marianne dies
Background Paper - Stampin' Up
Wildflower - Tim Holtz dies
Sentiment - Crafter's Companion dies
Banners - Sue Wilson dies

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Butterfly challenge #82

This time the butterfly challenge has been mixed up a bit and they are asking for M is for Matching Pairs and/or the colour of orange peel.  I gave this some thought before deciding to go for a three panel card using die cuts and Pixie Powders.  I started with the powders and a little Brusho as well to make a background which has a shimmer which unfortunately doesn't show up well in the picture.  I die cut three panels and the top layer of two matching butterflies from this and then used some orange card to cut the decorative top layer of the panels with a scrap of green for the bottom layer of the butterflies.  A birthday greeting was added to the centre panel.  As always there is a draw for a butterfly related prize and some great inspiration to give you some ideas if you want to have a go at the challenge.

Panel Dies - Silhouette Scenes by Tonic
Butterflies - Detailed mini from Sizzix
Sentiment - die from Crafter's Companion
Pixie Powders and Brusho
Card Colour - Pumpkin Pie Stampin' Up (colour of orange peel)

Wednesday, 12 July 2017


This was one time when I wished I'd not bought a magazine with freebies (well almost anyway!!). When I came to use the stamps I discovered they were so firmly attached to their packaging that it was a really hard tussle to get them peeled off and unfortunately once that was achieved for the one I wanted to use I found it was very reluctant to adhere to my blocks satisfactorily, thus making them quite difficult to use.  I'm surprised they actually didn't tear or stretch when I was pulling them off.  However, that said I did eventually manage to get this card made so I will share it.There was a die set also to cut out the unicorn (or horse - the horn is separate) and I stamped the carousel onto a snippet of die cut patterned paper before popping the unicorn in place.  I had this matching piece of pink floral paper in my stash and the narrow border ribbon is the reverse of this paper.  Finally I cut a zig zag strip and some fancy corners from the same patterned card as the main image and added a simple sentiment.  Even if I don't manage to use the stamps at least I have the unicorn die which will be good for making 'small girl' cards.

Unicorn and Carousel - free dies and stamp set with magazine
Background paper - Stampin' Up
Patterned card for image and corners - from my bits boxes
Sentiment - computer generated on punched shapes from Stampin' Up
Main die - Spellbinders fancy labels

Monday, 10 July 2017

The Rest of the Batch

I did my bit of batch making and have made five more Christmas cards to go into a pack with the Santa I shared on Saturday.  The second Santa one is very similar to the first and I've also done two with gingerbread people and two with reindeer.  I did have to cut into some new sheets of card for the blue circles but apart from that all the other bits, apart from the card bases of course, came out of my bits boxes.  It is never ending though because now I have more blue scraps to save!!  The circular sentiments (Winter Wishes and Believe) were freebies generously offered by Annette HERE where there are plenty from which to choose whatever the occasion.  I saved the single images then took them into My Craft Studio to alter the size so that it fitted one of my punches before producing a whole sheet which I've printed off.

Sorry if they look a bit wonky, shifted a bit when I closed the scanner lid!

Reindeer and Gingerbread People - Tonic dies
Circles - Sizzix dies
Papers - Stampin' Up and one Docraft from years back
Snow - Lawn Fawn Hillside dies
Trees and houses - Crafter's  Companion dies
Sentiments - free from Annette - see link within the message