Sunday, 18 June 2017

Guest Designer Spot

I was surprised and flattered at being asked to fill a Guest Designer spot in the Playground.  I do try to pop along there with a card for every fortnightly challenge and always enjoy seeing how others use up their snippets.  I've been making cards for quite a while and needless to say have accumulated a mountain of snippets of all colours and sizes - in particular I seem to have quite a lot of white pieces so in the main that is what I've used for this card.

I started with a fairly large square of Centura pearl card which was the 'waste' left from cutting a frame for a previous project and from this I cut out a scalloped window (incidentally leaving yet another 'waste' snippet for my collection).  A mauve piece of card was put onto a white  6" card blank as a base.  The coloured area seen through the window is a snippet of a larger piece resulting from  an experiment with a technique flagged up recently by Loll  HERE - an interesting way of using Distress Oxide inks.  This coloured piece was glued into place on the base layer before popping the white square on with foam pads to raise it slightly.  Four die cut corners were added using Centura pearl and the blossom added along with a tiny stamped and punched sentiment.

I don't think I'm ever going to get to the end of my snippets but it is great fun trying!  I recommend a regular visit to the playground to see lots of inspiration and for an opportunity to possibly win a lovely crafty prize.

Scalloped Circle - Tattered Lace die
Square - Sue Wilson Noble Pierced squares die
Corners - Marianne dies which I've had for many years
Blossom - Free die with recent Tattered lace magazine (couldn't resist)
Coloured panel - Tim Holtz Distress Oxide inks and white acrylic paint

Friday, 16 June 2017


A quick post this morning before I go off to craft group - this is mostly made from scraps of card, apart from the base card and background paper .  The image was coloured using alcohol pens and die cut into an oval which fits the larger de-bossed oval.  The diagonal border and the little floral spray were cut from Centura pearl card and finally the sentiment was a printed one on punched shapes.

Image - Beautiful You Stampin' Up
Ovals - dies from Sue Wilson Austrian collection
Floral Spray - Sue Wilson die
Diagonal Border - also a Sue Wilson die set
Sentiment - computer printed, punches from Stampin' Up

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

3D Embossing

I love the 3D embossing folders and there are numerous ways to use them for different effects.  Today I've made a background by sprinkling Pixie Powders onto watercolour paper before embossing.  I'd made a piece large enough to stamp and die cut some flowers too and there is still a reasonably sized piece left for another project (and a few spare flowers).  The embossed panel was cut down to fit a square card and some frames were cut to fit using card the same colour as the stamped detail on the flowers; I also used some pearly gilding polish to enhance the embossed design.  The sentiment has been popped onto a layered die cut and flowers and leaves added just in the corners because I really didn't want to cover up too much of the beautiful embossing.  One of the advantages, or drawbacks depending how you look at it, is that when cutting frames you are left with lots of 'waste' from the centres so I think I must apply my mind to deciding what I can do with a pile of miscellaneous squares.

Frame and flower detail - rich razzleberry card and ink from Stampin' Up.
Frame - Sue Wilson Noble Pierced squares dies
Embossing Folder - English Rose 3D by Crafter's Companion
Sentiment - computer generated and punched oval Stampin' Up
Sentiment Plaque - dies from Sue Wilson Greek Islands collection
Flowers - Shaded Peony stamps and matching dies, Sue Wilson
Pixie Powders and Gilding Polish - Cosmic Shimmer

Monday, 12 June 2017

Racing By...

Well I'm afraid my resolution to stay away from the newsagent shelves has wavered somewhat when I spotted this set of dies and stamps which I just couldn't resist.  Originally I'd thought that maybe these 'freebies' would be of lesser quality than dies you could buy but this isn't the case because they always seem to cut really well - this set is no exception and I can see there will be lots of ways to use them.  I've incorporated a die which I already had to cut the hill and houses, the 'grass' layer was a piece of waste from cutting a border for another project and the main part of the scene has used just some of the dies and stamps in this current free set.  Oh, and the picket fence was another free die from a previous magazine give away.  I had fun cutting out all the pieces and assembling them into a cheery scene and of course all of the pieces apart from the base card are from my bits boxes.

Houses on Hill - from Christmas die set by Crafter's Companion
Picket Fence - free die from recent magazine
Car, Trees etc - all using dies from Enjoy the Journey set free with Die-cutting Essentials
Stamps - detail on tree and sentiment etc - from same set of dies/stamps

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Home Decor for the Playground

It's time for the fortnightly challenge in the Playground and I thoroughly recommend a visit to see the great card made by Di with some oh so cute little elephants. This time I've made a home decor project using some of  my snippets - mostly tiny ones though so I still have loads left!!  This is a deep box frame with a 6" aperture and the two large squares are 'waste' from previously cut square pierced frames.  Two narrow strip snippets were used as a 'perch' on which the peacock sits but it is the bird himself which has the large number of tiny snippets used for the tail feathers and wings - even the body was cut from a larger piece in the blue snippets box - and yes I do have them colour-coded!! I was so pleased that I have a small die cutting machine because it would have seemed a bit silly cutting those tiny tail feathers on an A4 model!! I added a simple quote - more snippets of white and blue card and there it is - a piece of home decor for a change. I dithered about painting the frame but decided in the end to leave it 'as is', at least for the time being.  Apologies for the quality of the photo but the light wasn't too good yesterday afternoon.

Peacock die - Sizzix designed by Pete Hughes
Perch - embossed with a decorative strip die by Tonic
Words - from a Sheena Douglass stamp set (Indian tiger etc)
Plaque - Sue Wilson dies from Caribbean series
Squares - Sue Wilson Noble Pierced squares dies

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Use at Least Two Dies

This is the challenge offered to us on the Allsorts Challenge blog where there are some great inspiration ideas from the Design Team.  I do love die cutting and most of my cards feature the technique one way and another - there were twelve different used dies on this one which I can show now as my friend will have seen her card by now.  I cut the apricot layer (1 die); outer pierced frame (2); the plaque for the greeting (3); the leafy spray (1); the flowers (3) and the numbers (2).  The area behind the frame was a piece of card coloured using Pixie Powders and then put through an embossing folder. The flowers were stamped onto some of the Pixie Powder card before being die cut.

 The sentiment and the apricot flowers were actually punched so they don't count!  Details are given below of the items used

Oops!! senior moment - just realised the picture was taken before I added the age numbers in bottom RH corner within the frame.

Frame - Noble Pierced squares dies Sue Wilson
Plaque - Sue Wilson Caribbean series dies
Leafy Spray - Sue Wilson Daisy corner die
Flowers - free stamp and die set given with magazine
Numbers - Crafter's Companion dies

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Vintage Locomotive

For this card I've used another of my 'transformed' background papers - garish colours painted with a thin coat of gesso to tone them down and over stamped with various textures.  looking through my stamp collection I came across this image and as it reminded me of a blueprint drawing I stamped  with blue ink and clear embossed.  Two more stamps from the set were used in the same way before cutting out with scissors to add to the layout along with a label birthday greeting.

Stamps - from vintage sets by Creative Expressions
Sentiment - Tim Holtz stamps
Stamps used on  background - also from Creative Expressions

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Partial Die Cutting

In the current issue of Quick Cards Made Easy there is an article on double partial die cutting by Jules of Always With a Heart.  I've seen partial die cutting but the double bit seems to be a step up from what we are used to and the article gives very clear instructions, well illustrated with examples.  I thought I'd like to try this and have been thinking over what dies I have which might work and I've come up with something and I will attempt to describe the steps which I must say took quite a bit of thought to get it all to 'happen' in the right order. WARNING - this is turning into a long post!!

Started with a piece of cream card 5 1/2" square and drew a light pencil line where I wanted the picket fence to be, ran it through the die cutting machine with the part I didn't want to cut 'hanging over the edge of the cutting plates (Jules describes this so well in her tutorial).

The next stage was to do the same thing with a circle die to make a frame around the fence, cutting carefully along the pencil line between the edges of the circle and the bottom of the fence.  So far so good but I'd not really decided what was coming next except that I thought a 'scene' behind the aperture would be good so I brushed some blue and green ink for sky and ground, then stamped some grass onto a piece of white card.

This all looked a bit bare so a tree and foliage were stamped onto the background and a line of stamped flowers which actually don't show much now the card is complete - heigh ho!!

Having popped the scene behind the window I set about making a bit of foreground by partial die cutting a smaller picket fence on the top of a strip of kraft card; also die cut a strip of foliage with flowers and a tree which I've turned into a shrub.  Two die cut black cats more or less dealt with the scene and foreground.  I then cut a fancy border in cream card, adding a printed sentiment. Some tiny pink flowers were added - these are the 'waste' from a border punch (always have to save these so it is good to use a few).

I hope you are still with me - details of items used are at the bottom

Circle Die - Spellbinders
Cream picket Fence - freebie die given away with recent magazine
Tree and Foliage in background - Sheltering Tree stamps from Stampin' Up
Row of Die Cut Flowers - die from Sizzix
'Shrub' - Tree die from Sizzix
Kraft picket Fence - die from Sizzix
Cats - Impression Obsession dies
Lacy Border - die from a set bought in The Works (they have an interesting range at good prices)
Sentiment - computer generated on Stampin' Up punched shapes
Tiny Pink Flowers - waste from a border punch

Gift Box

I'm not at all sure when this post will actually appear although I have scheduled it for a specific time just to see if this function is working properly after recently having to replace the battery in my 'tower'.  It never seemed to work previously which is why I rarely do it.

I promised a friend that I would take a photo of a little gift box made using a Tonic die which I've had a while and it has been waiting patiently to be used.  I got the impression when I saw the die used on TV that it would make a larger box than it does in reality and I've had a little 'glitch' in trying to find suitable small items to pop in as a gift.  In fact I was going around the supermarket and Boots the Chemist this week with a 6" ruler measuring things like tablets of toilet soap (too large)
and I guess next week I might be measuring up confectionery to see if anything will fit nicely.  I finished up by folding some socks up quite tightly to fit inside this one!

The die cuts the basic box and also has decorative panels to cut in two different designs

EDIT - I see the schedule worked which is great news.  Also forgot to say the box measures 3" x 2" so quite small really in terms of finding suitable contents

Tonic Graceful Marquee gift box die

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Hey, Chick

I'm sure 'free' must be a favourite price with most people and that includes me.  This is how I came to have this chicken stamp as part of a set on offer from Stampin' Up - I thought it deserved an inking so here is the card I've made with just one of the chicks.  There are others in the set too and I've seen some quirky ideas for using them when I get around to it.  The chick was stamped, coloured brightly using alcohol pens and then cut out carefully with scissors.  I took a snippet of white card, lightly stamped some grasses and then die cut a scalloped circle and glued the chick into place.  More snippets were used to cut another circle and a strip in orange; a wire netting stamp was used to stamp onto a strip of white; turquoise card was used to cut a banner; sentiment stamped and cut out with another small banner die.  All the layered pieces were chosen from my scraps box to match up with the bright colours in the background paper which was from my stash.  A random frame was drawn around the edge using a fine liner pen.

Main image - from Hey, chick stamp set by Stampin' Up
Background grasses - from Wetlands stamp set by Stampin' Up
Netting Stamp - clear stamp from unknown source which I've had forever
Sentiment - Bitty Banners stamps and dies set by Stampin' Up
Turquoise Banner - Sue Wilson die
Scalloped Circles - Tattered Lace dies

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Cuttlebug Mania Challenge - Frame It

The challenge on the Cuttlebug Mania blog this time is to incorporate a frame or frames into a design, obviously using a die cutting machine and die/s.  For my background I've used Pixie Powders onto white card and run it through with a 3D embossing folder, following up with some copper gilding.  A small white frame was die cut with a matching backing of some of the coloured card with a simple sentiment and a few stamped and punched flowers and a leaf to use up the scraps.

Embossing Folder - Crafter's Companion
Leaf - from Botanical Blooms Stampin' Up
Flowers - Petite Petals also SU with matching punch
Copper Gilding Polish - Cosmic Shimmer
Frame - Sue Wilson Die with computer sentiment

Monday, 29 May 2017

Paper Transformed!

Each time I go through my designer paper pads looking for something suitable for a project I keep coming across some designs/colours I just don't seem to be able to use - either the colours or the designs (sometimes both) are too garish and 'in your face'.  Now the sensible amongst us would suggest either binning them or maybe taking to a charity shop in the hopes that someone else would love them.  Did I do that ...  NO!  I took a few of them out and gave them a thin coat of white gesso to take away the harshness of the colours and once dry I searched for a selection of texture stamps to overstamp and hopefully transform the papers into something usable.  You don't have to be mad but it helps!!  The original paper in this case was a bright pink, brown and garish green combination - ugh!!

Here is a card on which I've used one of these 'transformations'.  I stamped the quirky bird onto some kraft card and embossed with white detail powder; painted the image using Pixie Powders mixed with water; stamped the words onto cream card and cut them out into little strips; rooted out a set of ticket stamps with lots of options and made a little sentiment ticket - this is where the Misti has come in so handy - much more successful than early efforts with these stamps some years ago when it was very much hit or miss - lots of miss in my case even though they are clear stamps.  While I was tinkering around with gesso I transformed several pieces of designer paper so I'm sure you will see more cards in due course.

Stamp - from Steampunk Birds set Chocolate Baroque
Stamp Colouring - Pixie Powders mixed with a little water and painted
Small Words - from same set of stamps
Background Stamping - various texture stamps by Creative Expressions
Ticket - from Just the Ticket stamp set Imagination Crafts

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Pixie Snippets Weeks 283 and 284

As always Di has made us a super card as inspiration for using up snippets and has given us her usual detailed  and helpful description of how it was achieved.  You can see it and details of the great prize on offer if you go HERE.  For my card this week I've used up some narrow snippets of watercolour card which had been coloured using Pixie Powders - yes my current favourite thing!!  I also die cut some flowers from snippets of black but when doing this I was careful to place the dies so that the 'waste' piece of black could be used to make another card which I will post at some point soon.  I know we all hate to throw away bits and pieces of card and paper and with a little forward planning you can accumulate even more  useful 'snippets' - it gets to be a bit of an obsession I fear!!  More snippets were used to die cut the sentiment panel and the background was a larger snippet embossed and sponged with Distress ink.

Banners - strips of coloured watercolour paper with ends punched into a 'V' Stampin' Up punch
Flowers - Tim Holtz wild flower die set
Sentiment Panel - Sue Wilson Dies, free stamp from magazine set
Background - Pinpoint embossing folder Sue Wilson
Pixie Powders - Cosmic Shimmer

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Clean and Simple

You may have noticed that I rarely produce a CAS (clean and simple) card, the main reason being that there is simply nowhere to hide with this style and I'm not best at keeping finger marks or inky splodges which ought not to be there from 'arriving' in the wrong place.  However I spotted something like this card on Pinterest and decided to have a go - this is the result.  I should confess that I did actually get a smudge on the plain background but thankfully it was very near the edge so my square could be trimmed down a bit before assembling the card. I'm not sure I could have achieved this result without using a stamp positioning gizmo to line everything up on the layers - mind you I had to think about it carefully to decide the order of stamping (feeling like a 'bear of little brain' today - see below!)

I'm surprised actually that I managed this because I'm feeling decidedly weary today after being kept awake by a lengthy thunder storm in the night - not too many crashes and bangs but flashes galore and of course heavy rain.  I eventually decided to get up rather than lie there trying to get back to sleep and I was having my breakfast at just after 5am so today has been a long day and it is still only mid afternoon ... yawn!!

Stamps - from Sheltering Tree set Stampin' Up
Misti stamp positioning tool - so useful!

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Male Cards

I know many people struggle to make cards for men - I don't mind doing them because I have lots of suitable stamps in my collection but I often find that I've been making a run of more feminine cards so I've produced a few male themed ones to balance things out a bit.  This is one of them and I've used a motorbike  which was part of a set of transport stamps which I've had for longer than I care to remember (the company is no longer in business). I found a piece of striped paper in my stash, stamped the image onto watercolour paper and sponged the edges.  A scrap of black card was embossed and highlighted with gilding wax - sentiment added on a banner and that's it -  a relatively simple male card.

Image - from set of transport stamps by Tanda
Embossing Folder - Tim Holtz
Sentiment - Tim Holtz

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Honey Bees

While looking through some of my dies I came across one which I've had quite a while but in fact it has never been used - how bad is that??  I'd been playing around with Pixie Powders yet again and one of the pieces I'd done was a lovely yellow so I've combined this with an embossing folder, the neglected die and some stamps - I also used some smaller hexagon dies too.  The background was embossed using a hexagon folder, cut to fit a card and then the edges were sponged with Wild Honey Distress ink.  The hexagon panel was cut from kraft card; the wooden beehive was stamped, coloured using pencils and then cut out with scissors.  I thought that I must have a bee stamp somewhere and sure enough after a search I came across a set of stamps which has bees in more than one size - I've used two sizes here.  Of course having used items from various die and stamp sets I now have some tidying away to do but it was fun coming up with a way to use the neglected die.  Details of everything used are below as usual.

Kraft Card layer - Hexagon Hive die Stampin' Up (possibly discontinued)
Yellow Layer - Mango Pixie powders, embossing folder from Embossalicious
Wooden Hive - Apple Blossom Stamps Honeybee Haven
Sentiment - stamp from same set on a Sue Wilson stitched banner
Flower - stray one which was lying around
Small Hexagons - Crafter's Companion Diamond Press dies
Bees - from Chocolate Baroque stamp set

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Butterfly Challenge 79

There is a new challenge for the month over on the Butterfly Blog and they are asking for 'Layers and/or Cream'.  It so happened that I was playing around with ideas this morning for using some cream pearl and coppery pearl card with embossing folders  so when I spotted this theme I immediately decided that I'd add a butterfly into the mix.  I used two different embossing folders one of which was a magazine freebie and also some dies which happen to match the shape in the centre.  I just needed to die cut and emboss a butterfly, add a sentiment and that's it - seven layers!  Do pop over to take a look at the ideas for butterflies and layers - some lovely inspiration as always.

Embossing Folders - base layer Creative Expressions (I think)
Cream Square - free embossing folder with a magazine
Shaped square layers - Crafter's Companion dies
Butterfly - Spellbinders die and tiny punched one using X-cut punch
Sentiment - printed on computer punched with Stampin' Up punches
Card - Centura Pearl from Crafter's Companion

Monday, 15 May 2017

Distress Oxide Ink

I spotted an interesting technique for stamping with the Distress Oxide ink pads and decided to have a go using some three-step clear stamps.  I wasn't sure how (or even if) it was going to work so I started small with a single flower head, a stem and a couple of leaves and because of all the wetting required I used heavy watercolour paper.  The first stage was to choose the colours going from light to dark, stamping the base layer of the flower with the lightest, spritzing with water to let the ink bleed a little before drying with a heat gun.  The same layer was then stamped over the top with the second colour, spritzed and dried again.  Next came the second layer of the flower, again with the medium shade, again spritzed and dried - followed again with the second layer stamp again but this time with the darkest colour, spritzed and dried with a final coloured stamping without spritzing - phew!!  The final thing was to stamp the outline of the flower with black ink, masked the flower and stamped the stem.  I then repeated the multi stamping, spritzing and drying with the leaves - hopefully you are still with me here.

I was pleased with the result so die cut the piece, layered it up and added some toning elements for the finished card.  This is a technique which I will be repeating with other multi-layer stamps and maybe I'll get beyond a single flower - a bit time consuming but worth it I thought for something a bit different.

Distress Oxide Colours - Fossilised Amber, Spiced Marmalade, Fired Brick
Stamp - from Penned and Painted by Stampin' Up
Die Cut Border - Sue Wilson die
Circles - Spellbinders and Tattered lace dies

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Snippets Turned into More Snippets!

It is time for the fortnightly visit to the Pixie Snippets Playground again and this time I've actually gathered together some snippets and cut them into even smaller snippets!!  You might have guessed by now that I'm very fond of using the Pixie Powders for backgrounds and usually work on fairly large pieces of watercolour paper which I cut down as required until pretty well every scrap is used.The diagonal die was used to cut a purple layer and I then used the interior part to cut a piece of the 'pixied' paper, carefully saving all the little strips, chevrons and triangles.  The purple piece was put onto a background before popping all the coloured bits into the spaces - some would say I'm mad to fiddle with this I'm sure!!  The sentiment was stamped onto yet another snippet of the background paper and cut along with a purple layer using banner dies.  I'm also trying to use up the tail ends of lots of 6" paper pads and luckily this piece was just the right colour.  Finally a layered flower was die cut and apart from some really tiny pieces I've used all the Pixie paper with these colours.  Time for another sprinkling/spritzing session I think!

Do take a look to see what Di has made to inspire us and as usual she has given several tips on the best way to put the card elements together for a good result.

Main Die - Diagonal Chevron from Spellbinders
Banners - Sue Wilson dies
Flower - Sizzix die and Stampin' Up flower punches

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Back Again!

Two posts in one day  - whatever next?

Just when I'd decided I seriously didn't NEED any more crafty stash someone comes along with more temptation in the shape of some gorgeous 3D embossing folders and yes, you've guessed it I just had to have a couple of them.  They arrived on my doormat this afternoon and naturally I just had to have a very quick play and have produced this very simple, quick and easy card although I'm sure more elaborate cards will be coming along in due course.  Lots of potential here for gilding, sponging, brushing and so on.

I simply embossed some black card and rubbed over with gilding wax before putting the whole piece onto a 5 x 7 kraft card.  More black and kraft card was used to die cut a fancy shape and stamp a sentiment and that's it!

3D embossing folder - Country Garden from Crafter's Companion
Pebeo Empire gold gilding wax
Sue Wilson die - Frames and Tags, Zoe

Batch Making

Batch making isn't a thing I normally do as I'm not a great fan of production line methods, much preferring to make each card as an individual item from start to finish although I realise this isn't necessarily an efficient way of working.  However I came across a box of DL cards which isn't a size I work with much nowadays and decided I really should try to use some of them up.  I decided to set about making some 'notelet' cards which I thought would make a nice gift as a set of six with envelopes in a box.

I started with watercolour paper and Pixie Powders to prepare some background pieces which I then edged with a gold pen and cut to size to fit above the stamped wording which I'd lined up onto the base cards using a stamp positioning gizmo which certainly makes this easier to achieve. The dandelion clock images were then stamped onto the coloured pieces before mounting them onto the front of the note cards.  A box was made to fit the cards with their envelopes and I was actually surprised how quickly and easily I'd managed to make a nice gift item - here is just one of the cards

I still have plenty of the DL cards left so I might well decide to produce some more sets with different colours and images - the box is quite an easy thing to make too once the size has been decided.

Stamps used - Hobby Arts Dandelion set
Words - free stamp which came with a magazine
Pixie Powder - olive green

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Wild Flower

I have lots of pieces of watercolour paper around which have been used for various experiments with inks, powders, sprays and so on.  In an effort to use up some of them I've been seeing what I could combine to make some cards.  This card was made using a piece of one such sheet which had been coloured with Pixie Powders.  I found a piece of paper for a general background and then some scraps of toning paper and card to build up a few layers.  The wild flower and butterfly were cut from scraps of black card and the sentiment stamped onto a tiny scrap of the 'Pixie' paper before being cut out with a punch.

Pixie Powders on watercolour paper
Background paper - from my stash of Chocolate Baroque papers
Rectangle dies - Spellbinders
Flower - Wild flower die from Sizzix
Butterfly - die cut which was lying around
Sentiment - stamp and punch from Stampin' Up
Red die cut - Sue Wilson die

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Where Did That Week go??

The past week has just flown by with a Bank Holiday, visits to get a computer problem sorted, grass to be cut and so the list goes on.  I do actually have a card to post today which is a result of experimenting with some glitter combined with an embossing folder. The folder is the one which has come to be known as 'that embossing folder' after it became so very popular when it was given away as a magazine freebie.  It appears everyone wanted to own it so it went into production for sale and keeps on selling out even now.  I embossed it on purple card and then used Cosmic Shimmer copper Glitter Kiss.  A frame was added along with a die cut shape with a simple greeting. It is of course difficult to portray and lovely effect of this glitter without seeing the card for real.

Embossing Folder - free with magazine quite a long time ago
Frame - Noble Pierced dies from Sue Wilson
Sentiment Plaque - Zoe Frames and Tags by Sue Wilson
Glitter - Cosmic Shimmer Glitter Kiss, copper

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Time to visit the Playground Again

The lovely Di has come up with a great card this week for using up snippets and alongside this she has given us a detailed description of how it was done - including some very useful tips - thanks for those!  You can see her card HERE.

For my card this week I've resorted to paper piecing again which is a good way of using up the scraps of patterned paper which accumulate and which we can't bear to throw away. The background is an odd snippet of patterned paper and there was just enough left to stamp and cut out one of the balloons; the elephant was stamped onto a snippet of white and also some orange spot paper (with another balloon); nesting dies were used to cut the two circles; the sentiment was stamped before being cut with nesting banner dies in matching blue and white; finally I found a snippet of orange card to cut out the 'bubbles' which were popped behind the main image.

Image - Elephant from set of stamps by Stampin' Up, balloons from another set also SU
Scalloped Circles and 'Bubbles'  - dies from Tattered Lace
Banner - dies from Sue Wilson with computer sentiment

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