This is the wonderful view across the Fen from our house, it never fails to inspire me

Sunday, 31 January 2010

A Special Challenge and Blog Hop

Don't forget to add you name to this post to be in with a change of winning candy.
Good Morning everybody.

This post is rather different to my normal ones, no card just some very exciting news about something I am thrilled to have been given the opportunity to organise.

On the 1st February there will be a very special ‘One Off Challenge’………with some rather special candy as the main prize. No ordinary candy I can tell you, but a really serious piece of equipment that all of us would love to have in our craft rooms.

I know I am a tease and I will be sharing some sneak peeks of the prizes on offer over the next three weeks........yes ‘prizes’ because as well as the main challenge prize, there will be runners up prizes and a Blog Hop with prizes to be won at each stopping point. And I will also be sharing details of the wonderful sponsors of this challenge and some exciting news about them as well.

But I need you all to help me spread the word and make this as much fun as possible for everyone ........and there is even a prize for doing that. Does this all sound fun or what ? I just know you will all want to get involved and join in so here’s what you need to do now:

1) Give the challenge a plug on your own blog.

2) Add the logo above to your sidebar with a link back here .

3) Link up and leave me a comment on this post to tell me you have done that so I can enter you into the prize draw for this first part of the challenge.......the winner of that prize will be drawn by Random Org on 31st January.

Can you tell I am just a tad excited about this one and I know with your help we are all going to have some real fun.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Allsorts challenge 37

This post is all scheduled ahead as when it pops up on Saturday morning I should be in deepest Essex for the girls first bridesmaid dress fitting for the May wedding of our second eldest son which is taking place in France.

And I am so thrilled that this week I eventually got my dental work completed and now have three front teeth implants.........that might not sound too exciting, but some of you might remember back last summer and autumn I had lots of problems and a couple of ops on my mouth and they thought I would lose my front teeth. Since then eating has been a nightmare and it's sounded as though I had a serious speech impediment, but several months on, endless hours in the dentists chair and thanks to a wonderful consultant I am all sparking white again.

So on to the serious stuff of crafting and exciting happenings at Allsorts challenge this week. We were all sorry to see our team mate Gro leave us, she has been with us from the start and we will all miss her inspirational work. But this means we have a vacancy, so this weeks challenge is also a DT call, our very first one since the challenge started last May.

There is a sketch to follow this week and I have used it as an opportunity to ink up another of my new Hero stamps for the long overdue samples I am supposed to be making for Sir Stampalot.

I have used this lovely stamp Hero K5313 Silhouette Ivy which I stamped onto a piece of silk card using new Hero Chalk Inks Punch and Grass. The background panel is stamped with good old faithful Hero H2065 Old French Writing again with the grass ink. The DP used for the red panels is Doodlebug and the sentiment Hero CL273 Great Flourishes. I punched the edge of my stamped piece with the zutter and tied ribbons through the holes.

Before I go, have you entered your name for the candy in the post at the top of my blog........just one day to go until I announce the Special Challenge and Blog Hop and the fabby candy on offer.

Friday, 29 January 2010

Polkadoodles 4

The new challenge at Polkadoodles this week has been set by my teamie Kerry who would like to see Valentines cards made with non tradition colours.

Before I move on to my card I need to remind you all that there are still a couple of days left to enter the candy draw at the top of my blog. The winner will be announced on Monday 1st February........the day our Special Challenge and Blog Hop goes live. So much candy on offer that you won't want to miss out on this one and of course be part of the fun.

Now for my card, I have used the Elegance section of the new Love and Romance CD. The main image was cut with Nesties, inked with versamark and embossed with iridescent powder, then layers onto to more mats cut on the Big Shot Express. I made three roses with paper from the same collection and added some punched leaves and pearls to finish and an 'I love you sentiment'.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Have you added your name for candy ?

Well folks, just four days to go until lift off.........of course I mean your chance to win some of the mega candy on offer in the Special One Off Challenge and Blog Hop.......all prized of course coming from the challenge sponsors Sir Stampaot.

The last week or so seem to have flown by with all this organising and I appear to have turned into a very bad blogger missing so many of your posts, so apologies but I should soon be back to normal because on Monday I will be officially posting the challenge and introducing you to my very talented Honorary Design Team........we rather liked the sound of that and it has sort of stuck.

So I hope we will be seeing lots of you entering and myself and the DT are so looking forward to visiting all your blogs to see what creations you come up with for the great theme that Andy and Janice at Sir Stampalot have chosen for us.......no, I'm not telling what the theme is until Monday.......I know I'm a real spoil sport. And don't forget there is still time to enter the candy on offer on the post at the top of my blog which will drawn by Random Org on Sunday night.

So on to a card that I have made for this weeks Everybody Art Challenges which has a colour combo of 'Brown, Blue and White'. A chance to use some more of my new Hero stamps, this time CL375, Big Flowers and CL278 Great Flourishes. I stamped the flowers and leaves onto a piece of brown Bazzil cardstock, using versamark and detail clear embossing powder, masking some of them as I stamped, then bleaching out the flowers and leaves.

I coloured with Twinkling H2o's and added punched circles to the centres which I glittered with crystal glitter. The sentiment is stamped with versfaine blue and embossed with detail clear.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Moons, suns and masking turotial

I have been asked several times if I will do a tutorial to explain in a bit more detail how I create some of my backgrounds. Most of what am going to show here is what I have picked up over the years from various sources and I am not trying to teach anyone to suck eggs........but going back a few years I would have loved to discover how to achieve certain things. Therefore I hope this might help some of you and as with all things crafty I have made little changes over the years to fit with what I am trying to create.

The first technique is to create a simple sun, but equally it could be a moon with a change of ink colours. Basic materials: Ink, preferably two shades of the same colour ink or similar colourways to add definition and to help build the image. For a moon a blue and silver work well. I always use either Tim Holtz distress inks or a chalk based ink such as the Hero range. Make up sponge and your mask which is a piece of paper or card with a circle punched out.
Lay your mask over the piece of card you want to use for your project. Take the make up sponge and roll into your fingers as shown below. By rolling it you avoid any edges and will get a smoother finish without any harsh lines.
Tap the rolled sponge into the lightest colour ink first, dab onto a piece of scrap paper first to remove excess ink, then tap gently round the edges of the circle, slightly firmer near the edges - I never go right into the centre of the circle with ink as this gives a more graduated finish (example). Follow the same process with the darker ink until you are happy with the shading.
Lift the mask off, allow to dry for 5/10 minutes, or give a blast with your heat gun, then you are ready to stamp your images.

The next technique takes it a step further as you create a mask for your sun/moon and image. This is useful if you want to use very light colours for colouring your image as there is no underlying colour to conceal.

Stamp (and emboss if you wish) your image onto a piece of good quality cardstock. Stamp it a second time onto a post it note, piece of paper or if you are really posh masking paper !

Cut our the second image and lay it over the main image, then lay your mask (sheet of paper with the circle cut out) over the image where you want to see the sun/moon. Follow exactly the same process as the first technique above. Lift of both the circle mask and the main image one and you are left with the sun/moon behind your image.

Basic brayering technique. There is no limit to how far you can take brayering and some wonderful effects can be created, but here I will stick to the sun/moon again with a few hills thrown in for good measure. Basic materials: Ink pad, big and juicy are by far the best as apart from the blend of colours, they are large enough to accommodate the brayer - I always use a speedball brayer as they are soft and give a nice even finish. A circle - paper rather than card is best as it is less likely to give off shadows as you roll the brayer across. Non permanent glue. Gloss cardstock - in my view essential as a matt cardstock can absorb the ink, is harder to work with and is less likely to give an even finish.

Place the circle onto the gloss cardstock roughly where you want to see it on your finished project attaching it with the non permenant glue which will gently rub off yur cardstock when you have finished. Gently roll your brayer back and forth over the inkpad, ensuring you keep it to the same area - if you move it sidewards too far you will contaminate the colours. When it is covered roll it briskly over a piece of scrap paper to remove the excess - this might seem wasteful but you need to start with a lighter tone - you can always add more, you can't take it away once it's on your cardstock.

Once you have removed the excess you need to do a wheelie - assuming you are starting to brayer the top half of your piece first (and right handed) you will need to do the wheelie on the left hand side of the brayer. This removed the ink from the edge and will prevent lines in the middle of your cardstock.
Gradually build the colours up with light movements drawing the brayer towards you. When you are happy with the colour, turn your cardstock round so the bottom becomes the top temporarily (there will be no ink on that part yet) then continue with the same process and you will end up with graduated colours over your whole piece.

Next tear a piece of plain paper, lay it over your brayered piece, ink up your brayer again and remove the excess and brayer more ink across the top of your piece of cardstock (part of your brayer will be inking the piece of paper). Move the paper down and repeat and you will see your hills building.

This picture is pretty poor as I did the photos under my daylight lamp, but the hills are just visible. These are clearer.

Remove the mask from the sun/moon. Scrunch up a piece of plain paper, ink up your brayer, take off the excess ink, do a wheelie on the left side again then roll with a fairly hard movement over the piece of scrunched up paper. Run the brayer over the top half of the card and you will create a clouded effect over the sun/moon - just about visible in the picture. The same technique gives great water effects if you want to create water/sea (see here).

I really do hope this makes sense, not the easiest thing to explain on paper, so as always any questions just yell.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Rosie D's challenge 63

Over at Rosie D's challenge we have a new challenge for you and a great sketch from our very own Rosie.........really enjoyed working with this one Rosie. The DT were also treated to images from this weeks sponsor Teri at Delicious Doodles and this weeks winner will be getting some images of their own to play with.

I printed the heat and ribbon image three times onto DP from the new Polkadoodle Love Marriage and more CD, but them out and gently shaped them to give a cushion effect before building up with silicone. I added a rose made from the same DP to the centre, liberally glittering both the image and rose.

The ovals were cut with Nesties through the Big Shot and placed inside the double aperture which I cut on Cricut Storybook. The simple 'I love you' greeting is Penny Black 3322D stamped onto a ribbon slide created with a Nestie and threaded with organza ribbon.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Allsorts week 37

Saturday folks and a new challenge at Allsorts and this week our teamie Lisa has chosen the theme "Hearts and Flowers", so if you still have that special Valentines card to make here's your opportunity.
For my card I created a template on the Cricut using Home Decor and Plantin Schoolbook, welding the elements together on the DS so that there was a leading edge which I could punch with the Zutter to hold the three layers together. The DP's which are all from the New Love Marriage and More Polkadoodles CD were cut in the same way and stuck to the cardstock. Roses, well yes more of them (tutorial here)........ but this is a Valentines card, which I embossed roud the edges with Judikins garnet embossing powder. I added some hearts cut with my new Martha Steward punch........you need strong wrists with this one, it weighs a ton, but is is sooooo pretty plus lace and ribbon to decorate.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Rain rain everywhere......

Hello peeps from a very wet Fenland. It rained most of the night and has not stopped yet today, so lots of muddy paw marks in and out and hubby's not too impress as Bernie went straight into the conservatory last time he came in and puddled all our the new wood floor. Guess who'll be cleaning that later ?

Challenges and a combined effort here, this weeks Creative Card Crew is "Punch it" and the same at Simons Says so a first here for me as it fits so nicely and I have followed the sketch at Friday Sketchers although I have turned the oval inside out.

What with all the Stampalot challenge activity this is the first chance I have had to have a proper play with my latest collection of the new Hero goodies........and not much chance to visit most of your blogs, so sorry I have been such a bad blogger this week but just not enough hours in my days right now.

The new Hero Chalk Inks are just lovely, super vivid colours and for this card I have used Iris and Grass stamping the Dandelion Frame CG153 which I just love. I cut an oval from the centre with Nesties through the Big Shot and then smaller scalloped circle placing it behind to add definition. I then stamped Hero G4917 Dandelion with the same inks and placed it into the aperture.

A little glitter has been added to the dandelions as well as the three punched butterflies. The border is Martha Stewart embossed butterflies with some organza ribbon added. I also used knotted ribbon for the butterflies thorax's for a change to gems. My card looks a bit drunk in the picture, but it is straigtt in the flesh - honest.

Polkadoodles 3

Before I launch into this weeks Polkadoodles challenge set by my teamie Enfys, I want to say a huge thank you to the team at ABC challenge for selecting my card for their Top 5 last week, I was super thrilled to see my name there.
We have been given us a sketch to work with plus she would like to see projects made with 'Orange and Red', might sound an odd combination but try it out, it works really well.
I have used one if the images from the Back to Nature CD, coloured with Copics and decoupaged the little girls clothes, then added some chalk clouds and grass to the background. The patterned paper is from the same CD and the top panel bazzil run through the Big Shot using a daisy folder. Border are punched with Fiskars threading water and ribbon and gems added to finish.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Special challenge and blog hop update


Mysterious goings on eh ?

Well, that's how I have seen it referred to in blogland several times and you could just be right ! And this is just a cardboard box ? And it takes up a big chunk of my conservatory table.

But I know you have all been waiting for me to post some more information, so I figure I can't keep you waiting too much longer so here we go...............bet you thought I was going to reveal all didn't you..................oh no, not quite yet, where's the fun in that ?


But I am going to share a couple of sneak peeks of the candy the overall challenge winner will receive. There will also be two runners up prizes which I will share soon.......and one or two more might be added along the way if the challenge proves oh so popular.........so the more of you that enter, the more candy prizes we will be giving away.

And I am also going to let on who's behind all of this, it's Sir Stampalot who are offering the oh so generous candy to celebrate their move to a lovely new shop. It's only a few doors away from their old shop, but so much bigger........you have all heard the one about the kid in the candy shop, well it's like that every time you step inside. The hardest decision is knowing which direction to go first......the buying bit sort of comes naturally ! There is plenty of parking space and of course their on line store will continue as previously.

Then there is the blog hop with ten more prizes on offer.........one at each 'blog calling point' you will visit on your way round, plus yet another prize for getting the correct answer using all the clues you collect. And of course all of those who link up and leave a comment in the post which is at the top of my blog - not this post, will be entered into the draw on 31st January for yet another candy prize. So keep your eyes peeled as I will adding more details over the next week or so. Remember, you have to be in it to win it.

Candy winner

First things first as I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who entered my followers candy. And also to all of you who have linked up to the first part of the special challenge and blog hop I am organising for 1st February. There is still time to add you name to be in with a chance of winning some candy before the challenge even starts.........and so much more candy to follow that you won't want to miss out. I will be posting later today with some sneak peeks to wet your appetites.
..............................................................................
So on to the winner of my followers candy and huge congratulations to Sue B who Random Org: selected from all your entries for my candy
................................................................................
True Random Number Generator
Min: 1
Max: 260
Result: 115
.................................................................................
I have had a quick peek at your blog Sue and it looks like you are fairly new to blogland, so what a fabulous introduction to this friendly community. There is no e.mail link on your profile so please contact me with your addy etc - my e.mail link is on my profile - so I can get your candy packaged and off to you.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

ABC challenge

ABC challenge this week is "M for Masking" so one I just had to join in with as it gives me the perfect opportunity to do some brayering and masking with my fairies.

All stamps used are from Lavinia. I started by placing a circle mask onto a piece of gloss cardstock to create a moon, then brayering over with a Big and Juicy Hydrangea inkpad, then more brayering over a mask of torn paper to create mountains (I promise I will shortly be doing a 'moon and sun' tutorial as requested). All stamping was done with versfaine black and embossed with detail clear. A piece of ribbon is tied round the card to finish and I added Inkssential white here and there to add some dimension.

Monday, 18 January 2010

All go at Sir Stampalot

Ciao peeps. Hope you all had a good weekend. Ours went according to plan and I think my hubby might be in demand as a Derby mascot as they beat Peterborough 3-0. And the way our team Liverpool are playing this season he might be converted, although in reality I doubt it.
Saturday Jules and I had a whale of a time........what better way to spend the day than at Sir Stamplaot unpacking boxes of the new Hero Arts stamps and other goodies and stacking them all onto racks.........drool, drool........I was able to introduce Jules to most of the gang and it was such fun helping Andy and Janice with the move to their new store which is just amazing. And even better was seeing customers faces light up when they saw the fantastic new shop and all the space. And Louise was doing a Copic demo and showed us how to make her flowers which we decided were a floribunda/wild rose - thanks Louise.

I have lots of new Hero stamps and inks which I need to get creative with, but for now I have one card to share for this weeks Penny Black challenge which has the colour combo of Blue, Cream and Gold and I have followed the sketch at Stamping for the Weekend designed by Fiona.

I created a background with Brilliance gold, Mediterranean blue and sky blue by dabbing the inks onto a silicone sheet, spritzing with water and rubbing the card into the mix. I part dried it with a heat gun then spritzed with Glimmer Mists midnight and gold. Next I stamped Penny Black 3817K Tigress using versfine black and detail clear embossing powder and coloured in with Twinkling H2 0's. The circles are all cut with Nesties through the Big Shot and the greeting PB3419D in the same way using a Nestie ribbon slide. The DP's are Daisy Bucket and Basic Grey. Borders and corners are Martha Stewart double loop.

To create two of Louise's roses I spritzed a piece of plain paper with the same Glimmer Mists and gold brilliance, scrunched up whilst still wet and then punched out when dry and made up the flowers. Louise used the Copic air gun system to colour hers, my method was rather messy by comparison.......but you know me, if I don't have mucky fingers I'm not having real fun.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Allsorts challenge 35

Another Saturday and another challenge at Allsorts. I am scheduling this one ahead as when it pops up on my blog I will be on a weekend jolly with my mate Jules........so apols I can't visit any of you for a few days. We've had it booked for weeks and are spending the weekend in Peterborough........I know real long distance for me, but by staying over we can have a meal in the evenings and a bottle or two of the red stuff.

The boys are going to the footie to see Peterborough v Derby who Jules hubby supports - it's going to be a real enlightening experience for my hubby as like me he's a Liverpool supporter, although in his defence rather more reserved than me when it comes to showing emotion about the score line.

So where are Jules and I going.......one guess ......Sir Stampalot of course and it should be a good day as Louise is doing a Copic demo so plenty of crafty gossip and even a bit of shopping. And might have a nose round Phase Eight and Coast to see if anything takes my fancy for the May wedding.......it will be good to have the second opinion from a woman's perspective rather than the normal "it's fine, it's OK" that the men usually trot out.

Our teamie Kirsten has chosen this weeks theme of "Pink and Brown" a fabby colour combo and gives you a pretty open field to create your entry. I have gone with a Sarah Kay image First Kiss, stamping it three times with versafine black and embossing with detail clear, coloured with Copics, cut out two layers and decoupaged. I created a sun on the base piece using a mask and sponging with chalk inks, added some clouds, greenery and flowers.

I created a tied band effect across the middle and tied on some hearts......very thrifty of me indeed, they were part of a wedding favour. Flowers are punched, leaves cut with a Sizzix die through the Big Shot and DP's are Polkadoodles and Doodlebug.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Polkadoodles challenge 2

Hopefully some of you already have your new 'Love and Romance' CD which Nikky from Polkadoodles launched on Create and Craft last Sunday and are enjoying playing with it as much as I am. Nikkly has come up with a real gem with this one, the colours are just stunning and everything on the CD so versatile that myself and the DT found that the cards come together so easily.

So of course the theme for this weeks Polkadoodles challenge is "Love". I have gone with an easel card using the Heart to Heart collection, covering the front image which is a section of one of the papers, with acetate. The border is a new Martha Stewart double punch, with I cut out twice, once with pink paper and again with acetate laying one over the other. I added some ribbon tabs and pearls to embellish.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Tuesday Taggers

A really quick post with my entry for this weeks Tuesday Taggers who's theme this week is 'Tag it with Birds', do go check out their blog as there are some fabulous DT samples for inspiration, plus my blog buddy Sally is a GDT.

I cut my tag from Cricut Plantin Schoolbook, used a circle mask to create a moon and coloured with Tim Holz distress inks dusky concord and spiced marmalade. I inked and embossed the edged with detail gold and stamped Penny Black 3937H Birds on a Wire across the moon using versafine black and detail clear embossing powder. Using the same ink and embossing powder I stamped the trees which are a Lavinia stamp as is the, fairy and toadstools which I embossed with clear and gold embossing powders. The leaves are Art Impressions and I highlighted here and there with an Inkssentials white pen.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Cupcake challenge

Before I go any further I want to say a huge thank you to everyone both for joining in with my blog candy and the One-Off challenge and Blog Hop I'm organising for 1st February which looks like it's going to be great fun.

As a result of all this organising I have not had too much time for crafting but did manage to put one card together especially for Mr Andy Stampalot who asked me to try out another of the Martha Stewart round the corner sets. This one really is very pretty with the lovely loopy finish and probably my favourite of these corner sets.......well at the mo anyway and until I get my hands on another one.

It is my entry for this weeks Cupcake challenge who have the theme 'Going Girly'. Another easel card using the round the corner punch in the background. The image is Sarah Kay coloured with Copics and the DP Doodlebug. Now the flowers........and a confession to Lou the Tilda Queen.......lurking in Stampalot the other day, as you do, I browsed through........wait for it.......the first edition of the Magnolia Tilda magazine. Shock horror......I just don't do Tilda, don't even own one, but I was really impressed by the magazine.
It has some wonderful ideas plus these flowers. The ones in the magazine were done in white with gold on a Christmas card, but I thought I would try them with coloured paper and really like the unusual finish. They are made with three punches and so easy to create and it's worth buying the magazine just for these and the overall inspiration which can be translated into whatever style of crafting you are into. I used a pre made butterfly and added some ribbon, punched leaves and pearls.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Rosie D's challenge 62

We have a new challenge and a new sponsor at Rosie D's this time round and we have a great sketch for you to follow drawn by our own Rosie. But before I launch into more blurb.........you all know I could talk for England, I would like to say a huge welcome to our five new teamies, Mervi, Tracy, Madge and the return of Jackie and Lynne who were with us last year. Quite a formidable team so lots of inspiration coming your way.

Our sponsor In Style Stamps gave the DT this gorgeous birdhouse and funky birds to create our samples. I started with a piece of DP from Polkadoodles new Love Marriage and More CD, resized the pair of birdies and repeated them several times to create a border which I laid over another strip punched with Martha Stewart embossed scallop. I decoupaged the roof of the birdhouse and stamped two birds using Art Impression A2413 and B2414. The circles are cut with Nesties through the Big Shot Express and the images all coloured in with Copics. Punched flowers, a journaling tag and some liquid pearls added to finish.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Allsorts week 34

Time for a new challenge at Allsorts and this week Emma has come up with a great sketch for you to follow.

I fully intended going light and bright, but somehow got drawn into warm colours based on a piece of My Minds Eye DP. My main image is Penny Black 3948K Fireworks stamped with versafine sepia and embossed with detail clear onto a background created with Brilliance copper, gold and olive spritzed with water to persuade the colours to merge and then oversprayed with Glimmer Mists Olive and iridescent gold.

The mats are cut with nesties through my new Big Shot Express........it's quick and effortless to use.......and embellished with three roses made from the same DP plus some liquid pearls on the flower stamens.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Followers blog candy

Candy Now Closed
OK folks, here's the candy I promised as a thank you especially for my wonderful followers. The sun came out for a while today so managed to get a semi decent picture and here's what's included:

1) Anna Griffin wood mounted background stamp 2) Stamps Happen wood mounted reindeer stamp 3) Hero Arts wood mounted collage stamp 4) Spellbinder Poseability cut and emboss set 5) two Adirondack Colour wash mica sprays 6) six bottles Craft Planet glitter glue 7) two packs flowers 8) pack L'ouvre stencils 9) 20 pre scored 300gsm cards and envelopes 10) huge bundle assorted ribbons 11) 2 K&Co DP pads 12) 4 Marvey metallic marker pens.

As long as you are a follower you qualify, if you are not, just link up and you are in with a chance then all I ask is that you give my candy a plug on your own blog with a link on your sidebar and add your name here........hopefully with Mr Linky, but if he is missing in action as he so often is, then just leave a comment and you will be included. I know I have a number of followers who don't have blogs, so providing you leave me your e.mail address I can include you in the Random Org draw on 20th January.

Polkadoodle challenge 1

A whole new year of Polkadoodling starts today !!

And make sure you put a note in your diaries to see the new CD launched on Create and Craft at 11.00am on Sunday 10th January. The DT have been so lucky and we have been playing with it for the past couple of weeks and I can tell you is is absolutely superb with the most gorgeous images, colours and papers.

For this weeks challenge the DT have come up with some brilliant work using the Back to Nature CD following this weeks theme -"Song title..use a song title with new BTN CD". Not sure how many will know this one, but it's one of my favourites from the guy in the oh so tight white jeans.......Freddie of course and Queens "Spread your Wings" originally featured on their 1977 album News of the World and re-mixed several times since.
My wings are in the form of this beautiful butterfly on the Heritage section of the CD and the blend of lilacs and soft greens one of my favourite colours combos. I cut the largest of the butterflies out and glitzed it up with two layers of iridescent embossing powder and added gems to his thorax. The border is punched with a new Martha Stewart pop up butterfly punch.......was not too impressed at first, but after playing around for a while found you need to punch twice before moving along the card to make the butterflies pop.......with only one punch they remained fixed, but the second punch give them lift but there are no instructions to say this.

I used the tiny butterflies that are the surplus after punching and dotted them around my card. The greeting is also from the same collection which I cut into circles with Nesties through the Bug.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

A couple of challenges and Candy news

Well it's still snowing on and off and by the look of the news it's pretty bad in some parts. Here in the Fens we had a heavy fall this morning which compounded by the hard frosts we've had almost every day on top of the Christmas snow which is still laying around, it's pretty treacherous out there. Whatever your weather, keep warm and safe.

A mixed bunch here and might be a long post so grab a coffee first. Two cards, candy news, some challenges, another tutorial and the first of some very overdue samples for Sir Stampalot using one of the new releases from Hero Arts. And for those of you on the look out for a bargain, their mega sale starts on Saturday 9th January, but if you cant wait there are already some sale goodies to be grabbed right here.

Just had a quick nose myself and there are some real bargains to be had - Alphametal Stamp Kit - £29.95 down to £9.95, Tim Holt stamp sets half price, Rubber Soul stamp sets £12.50 down to £5, Ladybug and friends £10.99 down to £6. Me thinks I need to do some serious shopping......................

Now the candy news. I have said many times that I have been overwhelmed by the friendship I have received here in blogland and the wonderful friends I have met. I realised this week that my followers are close to reaching 200.......this just astounds me it really does, so as a thank you I am offering some candy. It is a bit of a mixed bag, stamps, ribbons, cardstock, flowers, DP's and lots more, I am just waiting for a decent bit of daylight to take some photos, then I will get it posted up over the next few days.

A few people have asked me how I do the messy aceate, glue and foil technique like the one above, so working on a tutorial for that, but again need better weather before I can bag some decent photographs.

On to some challenges. My first card is for this weeks Creative Card Crew which had a theme just made for me "Distressing" and Everybody Art Challenges wants us to use our favourite colour combo. Well I love all colours so it's a hard call to decide on my favourite, but as I repeatedly drift back to autumnal colours and getting all stressed out.......some days that's not just my cards either I can tell you.........so I guess these colours must be some of my favourites.

For this card I started with Glimmer Mists pineapple, copper, gold terracotta, vanilla breeze and iridescent gold to create a background piece. I then stamped onto this with Hero Arts G3316 Harlequin, F5042 Leaf Flourish and H2365 Old French Writing using a mixture of versafine sepia, versamark and detail gold embossing powder. To add a bit more interest I sponged some brilliance gold through a piece of mesh and distressed the edges with Tim Holtz brushed corduroy. Next I stamped good old favourite Stampendous P107 Agapanthus Cluster onto a piece of acetate using versafine black and heat embossed with detail clear and the same Hero swirl down the side and embossed with gold.

After joining the acetate the the base piece with some brads, wrapped some gold cord round and mounted it onto a piece of Crate Paper DP, again distressed around the edges. Finally I added a flower, some gold gems and a journaling tag.

Tuesday Taggers (and a Stampalot sample) has the lovely theme of Black and White, always a pleasure to work with and I love the crispness of the combination. I stamped some swirls onto the card itself with Inkadinkado 97632 then stamped one of my new Hero stamps CG165 Silhouette Bells onto white linen cardstock using versafine black and embossed with detail clear. I cut nested mounts on Cricut Storybook and cut a central oval with nesties through the Big Shot Express. More roses I'm afraid, this time with black vellum, white pearls for stamens and some punched leaves.

My rose tutorial can be found here for anyone who fancies a go at making them, believe me they are very simple and much cheaper than the commercially produced ones.........plus you can make them from your DP's so you get an exact colour match.

ABC challenge

Hope you are all keeping warm in this freezing cold weather. It looks lovely but not so good for those of us that need to go to mundane places like work and school.......who have just e.mail parents to say they were closing early again today so guess there must be more snow on the way........ so another trip to make.

I have just the one card to share with you which is for this weeks ABC challenge and the theme 'L for layering' so the perfect opportunity to share one of my sample cards for the Create and Craft programme at 11am on Sunday 10th January when the brand new Polkadoodle Love, Marriage and More CD will be launched.

The designs on this CD are just stunning and I really enjoyed playing with it and creating my sample cards. This card uses papers from the Boundless Love collection. I printed off a second sheet on pink paper to give me some pink flowers which I cut out and decoupaged (hopefully this counts as layering), some punched leaves and pearls added, some black lace, gems and a border punched with Fiskars threading water.

Monday, 4 January 2010

Cupcake challenge

Reality hit with a bang this morning - that thing called work and Christmas already seems like a distant memory.

Not much posting new stuff the last few days as been locked away doing samples for Polkadoodles new CD.........which is absolutely gorgeous.......and is being launched on Create and Craft this coming Sunday, so make a note everyone.

Over at Cupcake the new challenge is a "Baby Card" and by sheer coincidence I have one that I made as one of my By the Cute and Girly DT cards and which is already gone off to Amanda, our DT teamie at Allsorts who had a baby boy on New Years Eve - they have named him Alfie.

I made an easel card with an image from Stamps Happen 80230, stamped with versafine black and embossed with detail clear and coloured with Copics. The DP is from stash and the roses made with the same paper. The corner swirls were cut on my Big Shot Express using Sixxiz dies The sentiment is JudiKins but had no code I'm afraid.
And after gentle persuasion from Shirley I am also entering this card for Cards for Men who have the theme of "New' which they say can be new baby. I was a a bit thrown by the title but having checked it our looks like it definitely counts.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Allsorts challenge 33

Hows everyone feeling today ? Hopefully any sore heads from Thursday night are wearing off by now and you can think about a whole new year of crafting.

Our Allsorts challenge this week is being hosted by my mate Jules who has come up with the them 'Old or New' which means you can use up old stash that has been sitting around for far too long or showcase some of your new goodies that Santa delivered. Our sponsor for this week is Funky Hand who are giving this weeks very lucky winner one of their fab CD's.

I took advantage of Funky Hands free downloads as my DP's for this card and these ones are so pretty, I love the soft green and brown with a touch of pink thrown in. My image is Penny Black 3865K Gossamer coloured with Copics and the mats cut through the bug with Nesties.

My old stash are the brown Swarovski crystals which I bought in three sizes for a Christmas commission last year, but of course me being me, ordered far too many just in case. I made three brown roses, two of which were using a 1/2" punch.......the first time I have tried them that small and boy was it fiddly...... and finally I punched three tiny butterflies with the same crystals for the thorax.

Friday, 1 January 2010

By the Cute and Girly January challenge

Happy New Year everyone and wishing you a really crafty and inspirational 2010.

Although this post is being scheduled, when it pops up on my blog it will be time for our new challenge at By the Cute and Girly with the very apt theme of New Beginnings. A pretty open theme really, baby, wedding, new job, interpret as you wish. And the Inspirational Team have again come up with some wonderful work to help get your creative juices flowing so you can get your creations entered to be in with a chance of winning one of the three great prizes on offer this month. The theme this week at Stamping for the Weekend is also New Beginnings and this is my entry for that challenge.

The first of my projects are the wedding invitations I made for our second eldest son and his French fiancee who are getting married in Saint-Gilles, Croix de Vie on the west coast of France in May. Preparations are well under way now and the whole family are beginning to get excited, especially the four girls who are all being bridesmaids. In addition, two friends of the bride are being Maids of Honour (that's what they call the older bridesmaids in France), so there will be six in total. I was so thrilled to be invited to the wedding dress fittings and have seen the design of 'the' dress. The next appointment with the seamstress is in a couple of weeks when the bridesmaids are also having their first fittings.

I created six sample invitations for them and this is the one they selected. I used white linen cardstock, ran the embossed panel through the Bug using the hearts folder, the flowers and leaves have all been created with various punches and luxury finishing touches of Swarovski crystals and silk organza ribbon to carry the colour theme. The wording was stamped with Hobby Art GR201 MC using versafine black and detail clear embossing powder.
In line with French tradition, the invitations went out in November, much earlier than we send them in the UK, with the wording in both French and English. Now all I have to do are the Order of Service cards and Menu's, which will follow the same theme, but be slightly less ornate.
 
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