Wednesday, 26 April 2017

A Little Bird Told Me ...

Well there are three birds actually here which were stamped and coloured using Inktense pencils to make this simple card using a piece of patterned paper, a doily and some ribbon.  The weather seems to be staying dry and sunny but still none too warm - there was a really white frost when I got up this morning brr!!!

Stamp - Birds on a Wire from Hobby Art
Dies - Spellbinders
Sentiment - free stamp, punches from Stampin' Up.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Butterfly Challenge

The butterfly challenge HERE this time is F for Faux or the colour jasmine.  I have to say upfront that my entry is a bit tongue in cheek and if it doesn't qualify I won't be surprised - or upset.  Daisy Trail were offering a special deal on quilling digi kits so I thought I'd take up the offer for fun just to see what they were like.  So... some faux quilling digital style with a card made entirely in Craft Artist with no coiled paper harmed in the making!!  I imagine my friend Jill of Jill's Quills will be amused if not horrified to see this and I could well be drummed out of the Quilling Guild!!

As I said this was just done for fun - faux quilling, whatever next?? There is still time to have a go at some faux technique incorporating butterflies, just follow the link to see some inspiration from the Design Team

Sunday, 23 April 2017


This morning I've been playing with Distress Oxide ink pads and also Glitter Kiss - two relatively new products.  Unlike the original distress inks, the Oxide ones can be used on dark card - black in this case.  Three colours were used (yellow, orange and red) although I didn't seem to achieve the depth of colour I was expecting so once dry I added some copper Glimmer Mist spray (had those for years).  The copper glimmer looks so much better for real than it appears on the screen.  I then cut some more black card slightly larger than the main image piece and used Glitter Kiss on just the edges to give a nice mount  to show up against the black.  The background piece of card was embossed and the flower and butterflies were cut from black card.  Greeting produced on the computer and mounted onto a scalloped circle also treated to some Glitter Kiss with finally a piece of copper ribbon to match. All in all an enjoyable way to spend a Sunday morning - the card does look a bit sombre here but rest assured it is much brighter when seen for real!

Background - Sue Wilson embossing folder A4
Dies - Sizzix wild flowers and Sue Wilson butterflies
Image - background made using Distress Oxide inks with Glimmer mist copper
Mats - black card with Glitter Kiss applied - Creative Expressions Cosmic Shimmer

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Something Beginning with B

While visiting some of my favourite blogs I spotted a challenge from Allsorts and they seem to be playing a game of 'I-Spy' and the letter is 'B'.  I was just about to post this card which as it happens has a bird on it so I guess this would qualify.   I stamped a large dictionary page as background before over stamping with some flowers and a branch.  I then stamped, coloured and die cut the bird and punched out a few tiny flowers from scraps of card coloured using the same ink as was used to colour the bird (Distress Markers).  A fancy die cut which was lying around just seemed to fit the space at the side and a stamped greeting was cut out with banner dies with the bottom layer being white card coloured with Distress ink to match the flowers.

Bird - Best Birds stamps and matching dies from Stampin' Up
Dictionary Page - Stampin' Up large stamp
Wisteria Flowers - Stamp from Chocolate Baroque
Banners and Fancy Shape - Sue Wilson dies.
Flowers - punch from Stampin' Up

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Snippets Playground Challenge

I normally make something specifically for the Pixie Snippets fortnightly challenge but this time I'm entering something made for a challenge set by the patchwork and quilting group of which I'm a member because it uses eleven and a half snippets of yellow fabric - don't ask!!  I will however explain why such an odd number in case any other groups would like to give their members a similar challenge so bear with me.

Here goes - we were told to use black fabric measuring 10" x 30" as our background and next we had to pick (lucky dip style) a colour, a shape and a number from three pots each containing ten  folded pieces of paper - my draw resulted in having eleven and a half yellow circles to work with.  The project was to be kept a secret until completed in time for the big reveal which was last Thursday which means I can now share a photo of my efforts.  There were some very ingenious ideas and some forty or so of these hangings will be displayed at our next quilt exhibition and possibly at a Crafts4Crafters show in the autumn as part of the South West Quilters stand.

As I had raided my scraps of fabric to find the yellow snippets and also found some green and purple to add to the mix I reckon this will qualify for the Playground this week.  The yellow circles were made into Suffolk Puffs (or yo-yos for American readers) and I then cut out a stem, leaves and a couple of butterflies so that when applied to the background it would, hopefully, pass for a flower - maybe a hollyhock??

I hope you all have a lovely Easter weekend - weather looks quite nice at the moment but definitely not as warm as it was a week ago.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Easily Sidetracked ...

Yes, that's me!!  I started this morning with the intention of catching up with one of my least favourite jobs which is preparing and putting inserts into cards, then popping them into cello bags with envelopes.  A very necessary job I know but one which I tend to leave until there a pile to deal with rather than finishing off as I go along.  As the title suggests I did become sidetracked and started playing around with a technique for using an embossing folder to emulate the letterpress effect.  I brayered some ink onto one side of the folder, then stamped a house scene directly onto the folder before popping in a piece of watercolour paper and running it through the machine.  Magic - the house is now peeping through the birch trees!!  I coloured the house and bushes with Distress markers, drew a few birds in the sky, added a sentiment and here we have a New Home card.  I can see that this technique has many more possibilities and is one which I will be using again I'm sure.

Incidentally I have now printed off all the inserts I need and I REALLY am about to finish off what I meant to do today before I do anything else.  I've even done an insert for this card and the ink is hardly dry - how good is that?

Embossing Folder - Woodland Scene by Sizzix (Stampin' Up)
House - stamp from a Chocolate Baroque set (had them for years)
Sentiment - free from a recent magazine give away

Monday, 10 April 2017


I like to try out a new die when I get it and so I've made this simple card using a cascading butterfly die - the sentiment had already been die cut and was lying around unused just waiting for a suitable card.  In hindsight (wonderful thing that) I think It would have been better if I'd maybe embossed the brown layer because it looks rather plain and even now I might just add some die cut corners.  I'm sure there are many more exciting ways of using this die set which I'm sure I will discover as I play with it.  I cut the outline die into the brown card which was then backed with a layer of gold before cutting the butterflies and their frame in cream Centura Pearl card.  The brown layer was slightly raised up so that the frame and butterflies would sort of drop inside.  This is quite a large die and would lend itself to being featured on a much larger card than I've used here. (this is a 5" x 7" card)

I've just looked at the theme for the butterfly challenge this time in case my card fits - of course it doesn't and I should really have read the butterfly post first!!

Butterfly die - Sue Wilson Cascading Butterflies
Sentiment - Crafter's companion die

Sunday, 9 April 2017


Yesterday I visited the Crafts4Crafters show where naturally there was so much to see.  I'd decided that if I saw them I would treat myself to some of the new Tim Holtz Distress ink pads and I was lucky although there only appeared to be one trader who had them on display.  I thought on the whole that it was a good show but with less paper crafting than in some earlier shows - there seems to have been a 'shift' towards more general crafts and there were lots of opportunities to see knitting, crochet, embroidery,  traditional felting, needle felting, patchwork/quilting and so on as well as fabrics of all kinds.  A very enjoyable day out.

Anyway I had a little play onto some white card with the ink pads I bought  and came up with quite an acceptable piece on which I've stamped a dandelion clock with some of the other stamps in the set.  I found  suitably coloured pieces of paper and card in one of my boxes and put this card together.  I'm sure there are lots of possibilities with these inks, including the fact that they also work on dark card and of course the experiments will continue - also I guess a few trawls around YouTube!!

Backing paper - odd piece from my stash (Chocolate Baroque) probably discontinued
Stamps - Dandelion set from Hobby Art
Ink colours - TH Distress Oxide, Fired Brick, Fossilised Amber, Broken China
Sentiment - free stamp on Stampin' Up punched shapes

Friday, 7 April 2017

A Great Crafty Day

I recently went to a wonderful Stampin' Up Day presented by the lovely Jill of Jill Stamps Up where we had a stamp set to use and take home with us.  We were given a wide selection of projects with 3D items to make and some cards too.  It was a very busy day and Jill had worked so hard to provide us all with comprehensive 'kits' and instructions for everything.  I didn't quite  manage to get everything done in the time and went away with 'homework' so to show some of my friends that I actually finished off things at home here are a couple of the cards - still two more to do!  It was amazing and interesting to see lots of lovely samples showing various ways to use this set of stamps in so many different ways.  There was double stamping involved here but relatively easy to do with the photopolymer stamps.

Stamp Set - High Tide by Stampin' Up
Colours - mainly Dapper Denim and Real Red

Wednesday, 5 April 2017


I've been making an effort to restore some semblance of order to the chaos which is my craft room and naturally have come across a selection of images, bits of card (some of which has been treated in some way) and other general detritus which all need either using up or throwing out.  Those who know me well know that I don't really 'do' throwing out except in extreme circumstances so at the moment I'm in 'using up' mode.  The image on this card was just waiting to be coloured, which I've now done using a mix of alcohol pen and coloured pencil; the pieces of card are all scraps which I've now die cut into useful shapes; the background paper is from my box of paper pad remnants and of course I've used three more pieces of 'card candy' - I probably have thousands of them in various colours (not counting though).

I'm ploughing my way through so hopefully I should have some more cards to show you.

Image - from Love You set Stampin' Up
Circles - Stitched shapes dies (SU) and scalloped circles (Tattered Lace)
Sentiment - free stamp with set from a magazine give away
Banner - Sue Wilson dies, white layer embossed after stamping - Sue Wilson embossing folder
Card Candy - Craftwork Cards

Monday, 3 April 2017

Card for a Friend

I have a friend who loves elephants so I thought this card would be just right.  Image has been coloured using alcohol pens and coloured pencil. A fairly quick card to make using background paper from my stash along with some die cut label shapes and an embossed strip of kraft card.  I came across a huge amount of 'card candy' recently when tidying up so I will be trying to use that up - all of two tiny pieces here so a long way to go!!

Image - from Stampin' Up
Sentiment - free with a magazine
Embossing Folder - dots by Sizzix
Die Cut shapes - Deco Labels from Stampin' Up
Oval - punch from Stampin' Up

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Off to the Playground

It is time to dash off to the Pixie Snippets Playground again with a card for the fortnightly challenge and this time it is a simple offering of paper piecing.  Various snippets of patterned paper have been used for the background, a floral panel and of course for the dress and umbrella. Snippets of white and green card were used for the ovals and also for the sentiment.  The card featured on Di's post this week is quite humorous and of course uses stamps and dies which are offered as the prize - if you fancy owning them it would be worth entering for an opportunity to go into the 'draw.

Image - from Beautiful You set by Stampin' Up
Patterned papers - oddments from my 'bits' box
Sentiment Ovals - punches by Stampin' Up
Large ovals - Spellbinders dies

Sunday, 26 March 2017

A Card at Last

Hopefully my computer glitch is now sorted and I can access  pictures to post this card for the Pixie Snippets fortnightly challenge.  The image on here is from a free set of stamps given away with a magazine (yes...again)  and this time there was an embossing folder although I've not used it here. The background is a fairly large snippet of card which had been printed quite a while ago using a gelli plate and acrylic paint.  This came to light when I was sorting out bits and pieces, reminding me that I've not used the gelli lately - sigh!!  I've used another square snippet which was embossed and sanded, snippets of white for the stamping, a snippet of red pearl card for the fancy oval and finally a little strip of embossed parchment - couldn't bear to throw that away.  There is a guest designer in the playground so do take a look at her lovely and clever card - there is still time to enter the challenge too if you fancy taking part.

Stamps - panda and sentiment free stamps with magazine
Embossing - Crafter's Companion folder
Ovals - white oval die from Stampin' Up, Red layer Spellbinders oval die

Aplogies Yet Again

Sorry I've not been posting on my blog - again - this time caused by a bit of a 'hiccup' with the computer which hopefully is about to be sorted.  I can assure you I've not been idle on the crafty front and 'I will be back'!!  I hope you are all having the lovely weather which seems to have arrived here today.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

More Magazine Freebies

I have cut down on the number of magazines I pick up although I have to admit I still get tempted if there is a good free gift which I think I will use on more than just one occasion.  This fairy set was one such set which included an embossing folder and a set of fairy stamps (14 stamps in all).  I had a piece of watercolour paper which had been coloured with Pixie Powders so I put part of it through the embossing folder before carefully inking the embossed area with a black marker.  The fairy and sentiment were stamped onto this in black and the edges sponged with matching ink.  A larger piece of the coloured card was used as a background, topped with a piece of purple card which had a corner die cut to show the colours through.  Three little gems and that's it.  The mica in the Pixie powders gives a lovely sheen which unfortunately doesn't show in the picture.

Watercolour paper coloured with Pixie Powders
Corner die - Mixed media die from Tim Holtz
Dandelion - free embossing folder with magazine
Fairy and sentiment - stamps from free set with magazine

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Playground Snippets

I've managed to gather together quite a few snippets to make a card for the Playground challenge this time around - I must say it seems to have taken me most of the morning to make this card but I did need a coffee break as well - there was quite a lot of die cutting!!  I started with the window die and then gradually built the card around it.   A snippet of blue card was found for the background, followed by a brick patterned scrap of paper.  I then cut the window from a snippet of cream Centura Pearl card and the flowers and leaves from coloured scraps.  I spent some time thinking about how I could get some nice lace curtains until I remembered a small edge die which I cut out in cream pearl paper and cut in half to pop each side behind the window frame.  Some foliage was stamped at the bottom of the background piece and I added a kraft card picket fence.  The sentiment was stamped onto an odd piece of cream card before die cutting that and a kraft card layer using the next size of die. Finally a grabbed some butterfly dies and cut out some to flutter in the sky - phew, no wonder it took me ages to make.  Now of course I have loads of things to tidy away but that can wait until after lunch.

Window Box - Cottage Window die Crafter's Companion
Lace Curtains - Tiara mini edgeable die Crafter's Companion
Picket Fence - Sizzix die
Butterflies - free dies from magazine
Stamps used - all free ones from magazines
Brick Paper - free from magazine
Sentiment -  shape cut using Sue Wilson dies

Sunday, 5 March 2017

It's Been A While!!

I'd not realised quite how long it has been since I posted something on here but somehow other things seem to have  been taking up a lot of my time.  I expect the truth is that I keep getting slower and probably waste quite a lot of time one way and another. Maybe I should pay attention to time management rather than just drifting along doing what takes my fancy from day to day!!  However I've spent a bit of time this morning reminding myself how to do things using Craft Artist - what a shame it doesn't seem to appear on TV any more.  I do however have lots of scribbled notes from way back when they were on although I must say some of them don't mean a lot currently, mainly because I forget which kits they referred to.  Anyway I have managed a fairly simple card so will pop it on here just so people know I'm still around.  I'm aiming to get back into making actual cards shortly as it is something I thoroughly enjoy.

Well - that took way longer than it should have because I'm so out of touch that I forgot that I couldn't post a CA project direct onto the blog so I had to go back in and convert it to a picture first - dim or what!!

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Animal Theme

I've often seen mention of the Cuttlebug Mania challenge (using manual die cutting machine) on the lovely Di's blog (HERE) - as she is one of the design team but I've never made a card for them.  It so happens that this time they are asking for an animal to be included on the card and as luck would have it I'd added a 'stray' cat onto this card which I made yesterday.  I was trying to use up lots of scraps of card which were littering my desk by die cutting a selection of garden related items to make a card suitable to send to a keen gardener. It isn't exactly animal themed and it was sheer chance really that the cat was found amongst the bits and pieces as I was clearing myself a space! Rather than keep this card for the next Snippets challenge I thought I'd pop over to the Cuttlebug blog to post it.

Details of what I used are shown below

Background - printed in Craft Artist, over stamped with Eastern grasses (Chocolate Baroque)
Squares - Stitched shapes dies from Stampin' Up
Garden Items - set of dies from Robert Adams
Cat - a 'stray' from a die set by Impression Obsession
Picket Fence and Tree - Sizzix dies
Sentiment - stitched banner dies from Sue Wilson

Monday, 20 February 2017

Floral Snippets for weeks 269/270

I've been using up more of my snippets for the Playground Challenge which is now a fortnightly event with prizes as before and also opportunities for Gold Stars or to be a guest designer if you wish.  For my card this week I found a large snippet of paper for the background, a piece of Centura Pearl card for the die cut panel and some smaller snippets of white card onto which I've stamped a selection of flowers and leaves.  Finally a snippet of green was used to stamp a jar to hold the bouquet.  The flowers, leaves and jar were cut out with scissors after stamping (triple stamping in the case of flowers and leaves).

Background - paper from Prima
Die cut panel - Regency Swirls from Crafter's Companion
Jar - from Jar of Love stamp set Stampin' Up
Flowers and Leaves - from Penned and Painted stamp set Stampin' Up
Sentiment - tiny clear stamp of unknown origin

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Sometimes You Just Need an Umbrella

We've had a few 'umbrella days' recently although I think this lady would have needed more than a floaty dress to keep warm and dry with the windy conditions.  The image has  been paper pieced by stamping onto different coloured papers and cutting out the dress and umbrella with scissors before sticking them in place.  Skin detail was done using alcohol pens.  I used the same paper for the background as for the dress then simply added an embossed border and a greeting. While I had all the bits around I made a second card with dress and umbrella in opposite papers - I will probably post this another day.

Image - from Beautiful You set by Stampin' Up
Papers - free ones from a magazine
Border - Embossing folder from Crafter's Companion
Greeting - free stamp on stitched shape die cut from Stampin' Up
Rectangles - Spellbinders dies

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Pixie Snippets weeks 267 and 268

Here is my card for the fortnightly challenge in the Pixie Playground and I have to confess that despite trying to stay away from the newsagent's shelves I did succumb to picking up the magazine which was giving away a set of pretty stamps along with a nice teacup die.  I've used the die and a floral stamp from the set to make this card using up various snippets of paper and white card from my stash.  The background paper is from a pad which I must have had for many years and everything else was using up bits and pieces.  The flowers were stamped, coloured using alcohol pens with a touch of pencil and then fussy cut with scissors.  After die cutting the teacup I used a snippet of darker blue card to pop behind the detail areas.

Teacup die - free with magazine
Flower Cluster - stamp from teacup set free with magazine
Doily - Docraft die

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

More Stitched Shapes

I promised you another card using the stitched shapes and this time I used ovals stamped with the same flowers.  A diagonal border has been added along with a birthday greeting - not much more to say about this card really except that I've used the same colours because they were the bits and pieces of card still lying around on my desk.  It is a really miserable and wet day here today so I guess a bit of crafty therapy is called for.

Flowers - Flowering Fields from Stampin' Up
Ovals - Stitched Shapes die set also SU
Diagonal Border - Die set from Sue Wilson
Sentiment - stitched banners die also Sue Wilson

Monday, 30 January 2017

At Last!

I can hardly believe I've not posted on my blog since the beginning of the month and here we are almost at the end!  I've not exactly been idle and in fact have made some cards but as they were special ones I wasn't able to show them in case they were 'spotted'.  I've also been doing some sewing which is still ongoing but today I've actually managed to make a card using up some of my many snippets so that I can pay a fortnightly visit to the Playground HERE.  I stamped the flowers onto scraps of white card and cut them out with circular dies - also did some oval ones which should appear on another card in the near future..  They were coloured using alcohol pens.  I then sorted out some mauve. white and yellow snippets to die cut a fancy square and a double ended banner and embossed a leafy pattern onto the mauve layer.  For the moment I've decided against adding a sentiment to this card because sometimes people like a plain card so that they can write their own message inside or even use it as a pretty notelet to send.

Flowers - Flowering Fields stamp set from Stampin' Up
Circle - one of the dies from the stitched shapes nesting set also SU
Banner - Sue Wilson die
Embossing Folder - Sue Wilson
Yellow fancy square - Sue Wilson Australian collection Sydney die set

Sunday, 8 January 2017

New Home Card

I was lucky enough to win one of the prizes in the big celebration give away (five years of the challenge) in the Pixie Snippets playground.  The whole set is actually intended as a Christmas shadow box die set with lots of small seasonal bits and pieces but I've just used the basic framework to make a New Home Card.  Rather than use the cutting dies to make 'windows' in the background, I reversed the process and have cut them separately and layered them on top.  A lattice border was embossed onto kraft card to put across the lower part of the card. I've used lots of snippets of kraft and coloured card and die cut some houses, a fence and tree - the houses were cut in three colours and the tiny details popped into the kraft layer (fiddly but worth it I think).  The sentiment was stamped and I then added a die cut heart and some flowers to the other 'windows' layer.

Main die cuts - Sue Wilson Christmas shadow box die set
Houses and Tree - Sizzix thinlits dies (also picket fence)
Flowers - Stampin' Up Botanical Builder die set
Lattice Border - Crafter's Companion embossing folder

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Another Tree

When I made my previous tree card I stamped more than one image and rather than leave it hanging around I thought I'd make it into a quick card - smaller one this time.  I used a large woodgrain stamp onto a scrap of green card for the background and also overstamped some leaves.  The greeting was stamped onto a banner and I simply added some toning twine to finish off this quick card.

Wood grain stamp - Stampin' Up
Tree - from Totally Trees set also SU

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Study in Green

This is a card for my box but hoping I won't need to use it too soon although it is always handy to have this type of card ready to use.  The background was made by randomly stamping leaves onto a piece of cream card before popping  into a textured embossing folder, finally inking around the edges to emphasise the pattern.  I cut a border strip from some scraps of cream and green card, stamped more of the leaves which were cut out with scissors and then the main tree image was stamped (double stamping) and die cut.  Once all the components were completed I did my usual technique of playing around with various layouts until I thought it looked OK before finally sticking it all in place.

Tree - from Totally Trees stamp set Stampin' Up
Leaves - from French Foliage set also SU
Sentiment - from another SU stamp set cut with stitched shapes die
Background - Crafter's Companion textures embossing folder
Border - Lattice border dies Sue Wilson

Monday, 2 January 2017

Hot Air Balloon

Whilst having a bit of a sort out I came across this balloon die which was a magazine freebie from a while ago and would you believe it was still in the packet - unopened!  I decided to put a card together using it so started by cutting the balloon and glued it to a piece of  patterned paper, leaving the basket area unglued before trimming carefully with scissors.  Next I inked a piece of card with some blue to give a cloudy sky effect.  The houses were cut using a die from one of my Christmas sets (three dies - houses, Santa in the sky and trees) but of course the houses will do for any time of year.  The greeting was stamped onto the sky area and then I set about cutting some layers and a border using dies.  I noticed while trawling around the blogs this morning that the current  theme at the House of Cards is a building and/or certain colours - this card fits the criteria so I'm popping over there with it.

Balloon - freebie stamp from magazine
Buildings - Christmas die set from Crafter's Companion
Frames - Sue Wilson pierced squares dies
Sentiment - freebie stamp from magazine

Sunday, 1 January 2017

First Post of 2017

This is my first card for 2017 although it was in fact made yesterday!  I haven't yet cleared away all the seasonal 'stuff' on my desk but did just about manage to find space enough to make a card for the Pixie Snippets challenge this week using up some of the pieces of water colour paper to which I'd added some Pixie powders - love them!!  Santa brought me a new die set which I wanted to try out and I think it is one which will get plenty of use as the year goes by.  I really like to have dies which can be used in many ways and this one certainly fits the bill. I put a snippet of white card through the Big Shot with an embossing folder before dusting it with some purple ink to show up the pattern. I then die cut a selection of borders,  a fancy square and a selection of flowers and leaves - the only item which isn't a snippet is the card blank itself.

There is an opportunity to be in the draw for yet another brilliant prize - Christmas themed so that if you win you will be able to make an early start on the Christmas cards this year!  Di does a sterling job in organising the playground fun each week and it certainly gives us all opportunities for using up just some of our snippets - my theory is that the bits of card and paper etc actually breed when stored in boxes on the shelf!!  Despite the amount I use the 'mountain' still seems to get bigger.

Background - Sea Garden embossing folder Sue Wilson
Diagonal Borders - Lattice border die set Sue Wilson
Square and Circle - Australian Collection die set Sue Wilson
Flowers - Botanical blooms die set from Stampin' Up
Sentiment - computer generated