Saturday, January 31, 2015

It even snowed in Torquay

for 10 minutes on Thursday.
I hope if you have been affected by the weather that it is back to normal now. I know the children were disappointed round here but it does make life difficult for people who are not so steady on their pins when there is a lot of ice and snow. I know that if it is snowing here then it must be bad for everyone else...

I have had a wee bit of time for crafting this week. Photographing it successfully has been another matter...
Here is this weeks Daring Cardmakers effort. Zuzana gave us the fab challenge of using envelopes in some way and as I knew I had this little lovely left over from an old Quirky Kit (and knew where it was!) that was the basis of my card
I had also rediscovered some old MME papers and had earmarked them to use on some cards so out they came. They are not all from the same collection but still go together.  I used a Clearly Besotted die and lots of different papers. I put some adhesive into the envelope to stop all the thanks falling out :) Lawn Fawn Milo stamps finished off the sentiment.

I also made two layouts (well three really). As often happens the first one took aaaaaaaaaaages and the second one no time at all.
Here is the one that took the time which is apt really considering the subject
Sorry for the gangster lean but I am doing my best to be level and it looks it in the viewfinder :(
I have used an old Fancy Pants collection here - Collecting Moments. You only get one of each cardstock in the pack but I like the idea of using different backgrounds with the same papers so went with that idea. I gave the papers a bit of black pen treatment both to give them all a bit more oomph and to unite them a bit more. I chose some of the embellishments from the matching pack to add in and they didn't escape my black pen either.

I've been trying to find in my blog when I last used these sequins. I think they came from a very, very old Crafty Templates card kit. They have been saved up as they are a fabulous matte silver on one side and sparkly on another. A layout about somewhere amazing deserves special embellishments so I used them all on the layout, making sure some were shiny way up and some vice versa.

The black chipboard sticker is from a newer Quirky Kit and the Celtic Knots were bought from a wood turning company at a Craft show (aka the details are upstairs and I am too lazy/cold to source them for now). They were backed with more paper from the same collection.

I decided that most of the writing would go on one side - and I knew I had a lot to say. As I was writing the Bible passage came to me and I like the balance of some writing on the other page
The second layout was inspired by a sneaky peak at the next Quirky Kit. I spotted some black/white stripy paper that looked kind of hand painted and decided to go for that myself
I put masking tape down before using navy water colour. Apart from the gold/white heart paper the papers and stickers all come from a Basic Grey Christmas collection - Evergreen. All the embellishments are from Quirky Kits. I have a little box that I put all the leftovers into and then try and use them.
Oh how I love the chipboard clouds. And the Prima tin flower that looks like the sun.
I'll be back again soon :)

Friday, January 23, 2015

Frankenstein's monster

So here's the thing.
Last January I realised that one of my many (100 plus) moles was itching and bleeding. Not a good sign especially as me mam has had a few bouts of skin cancer. I went to the Doc who referred me to the hospital and I had two moles removed. One turned out to be definately a melanoma - but in the fairly early stages and the other was so small they really couldn't tell but decided that both sites should be excised (ie 1cm all around the site removed). Which happened last May. I now get examined at the hospital quite regularly (should go down to once a year. Eventually) And now I have another one waiting to be excised (though in even earlier stages than the first) and another mole that might change. It is better to be cancer free and have bits gouged out than leave things as they are - and it is something to be taken seriously, but I do feel as if I am going to be a cross between Gorganzola and Frankenstein's monster at this rate....
Which is all just a reminder to check your moles for any changes and do try and be sun smart. I am a prime candidate due to family history and having over 100 moles but any sun damage I have done will not help. You can be just as liable if you are not sensible with the sun though - so be careful out there! (OK so not a worry in the UK in January but even so!)

Anyway enough of me and my health issues (next week: hypothyrodism...) what about some crafting.
I have had a tough but fun assignment this week that I will share when I can but for now there are two Daring Cards to show you.
Last week we were challenged with the January Blues. As it was my brother's birthday yesterday and he is a massive Man City fan I thought this would be the perfect assignment for his card.
This is the Man City logo
 and this is my twist on it
I turned a chipboard butterfly and a Stampin' Up bird punch with gold card into an Eagle (well, sorta) and added the striped background with watercolour and gold pen. The shield has a Papertrey Ink boat stamped on it in Delicata gold. The Clearly Besotted label has a handwritten sentiment using Krylon pen. "Superbia in Proelio" means "Pride in Battle".
Confession time: In my head the embossed background was going to be raised gold letters on a blue background. But that doesn't happen when you swoosh gold ink over this particular embossing folder. Ah well.

This week we have been invited to add a hat to our cards. Mine is mostly hat.
I knew that I had a packet of cute Basic Grey pompoms in my stash that I have failed to use because they are completely round and just look too big on a scrapbook page. So I decided to find some watercolour paints to match the pompom. I then discovered the Fancy Pants paper that had stripes remarkably similar to the colours I had been trying out from my lovely new vivid Kuretake watercolour set I had for Christmas (if only I was as good at colouring with watercolours as I am at buying them!)
I hand drew the party hat and painted it on watercolour paper.
Because the first time I didn't dry each colour enough first. And then I tried that cool shading look under the hat and completely ruined it.
When this version was all dry, (note the sensible lack of shading) I went round the edges with a fine black marker and added Wink of Stella shine to the stripes but you can't really see that. I added the pompom with double sided tape and one of my favourite Paper Smooches stamped sentiments to finish it off.

Right off to stare at my moles again.... grumble, grumble

Friday, January 09, 2015

The times they are a-changin'

On the Daring Cardmakers blog we have, for the last few years, had a monthly colour challenge on the first Friday of the month. This year we are changing up a bit, with some Elemental Inspirations and Kathy has been the first to find something to base our card on.

Here is the inspiration from Victoria's Art Visions
and my interpretation
It strikes me that the inspiration reminds me of a very old Basic Grey collection - Fusion which I think was one of Kathy's favourites. I wish I had thought of that whilst putting my card together as I reckon I have still got a few sheets. Instead I cobbled together some random pink/red/cream/grey papers. Actually some were more white than cream so I added some Vintage Photo to them to tone it down a bit. There was then a further coating of Black Soot distress ink around all the papers. I cut some into strips and used an American Crafts border punch on another, before adhering them to a spare piece of card and stabbing that with a piercer to do some faux stitching. I've never tried the faux blanket stitch before, but quite like it. A hand cut heart was added on the top along with some enamel dots and this was stuck down to the top folding card base. The extra layer of card underneath gives some dimension and more was added with the hand written sentiment strips being raised on foam pads.

I do hope you will pop over to the DCM blog and maybe get inspired yourself. I love all the different details that the team have run with and look forward to seeing your additions to the blog too.

As my December blogging was woeful (ok, non existent) I should share the few Daring cards I managed to make. One of which I have just discovered I hadn't even put on the blog. Tsk! Its there now - my Shaker card (with extra warning)
It was made using Basic Grey papers, some of which were given a silver embossed outline. I used some Spellbinder dies to make my Shaker part, sandwiching acetate and some pretty sequins I had from a Quirky Kit a few back. So why (with extra warning)
Well, see how the acetate layer is a leetle warped? That will be becuse I decided to heat emboss the sentiment after everything else was stuck down. And a heat gun gives acetate the shrinkles. Sigh. still it meant that some of the sequins don't move, which I quite like myself!

The other card I managed to make was for the December colour combo
this was Dawn's lovely choice and I kind of took it literally

I die cut a circle from a panel of white card, and smooshed a few different blue distress inks over it. I then die cut a smaller circle and added embossing powder, glitter and distress ink to try and make a nice shiny bauble. The wreath was originally going to be behind but was too small so came to the front (die cut from silver card). I added berries (aka red stick on gems) and a Paper Smooches sentiment embossed with silver pearl powder. There are foam pads behind the bauble so it doesn't really swing. I have to say this is one of my most favourite cards ever. But it was more fiddly than it looks to make so may not be duplicated any time soon.

And that is a catch up :)
Will I keep up with the Dares every week? Tune in to find out....

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

New year, new me?

 Well I doubt it - faaar too long in the tooth for that (so much so I have come to the age when toffee = danger). But I am going to try my best to blog twice a week if I can. Last year was pretty woeful - especially December.
And to get involved with a few more challenges. I want to do more faith related art - I have bought a Bible with big margins to express yourself in but am frankly too terrified of spoiling it to start that yet! But I am planning to be part of some reflective journalling type stuff. Maybe.

To dip my toe in, I have joined in one of the lovely Nat's challenges which I have long admired and never participated in.
This month there is a colour prompt
and here is where I went with it

The blues are a lot nearer green in real life but it is still more blue that green. I used it far more as an inspiration piece than colour!
I began with a top folding card and added some patterned papers. The bottom layer was a bit short so a Crate Paper border was added. That paper is the same one that the two "blue" circles was cut from and it has ended up nearer the correct shade that the rest is in real life (stop apologising, woman)

The next layer is a random piece of cream cardstock that I used to wipe off a load of glitter paste I had used with a mask. it left it nice and sparkly. Same with the cream circle in the pile.

I used some just out of the envelope Lawn Fawn circles, along with some Spellbinders ones that nest quite nicely. This combined with the wipe the dust off its so old ribbon centre and cream ribbon that got sandwiched in .

I then used two dies - "thank" usually has an "s" on the end and is from Clearly Besotted. "You" is PTI. The top layer was cut from some rather lovely cream glitter card from Card Creations.

VERY late last night I decided that more pearls were needed as per the inspiration photo and so I got out some Bisque Liquid Pearls which makes quite a good cream (a colour hard to find in glitters, pens etc). Not all the blobs are quite as accurate as they might be....

What I did do in December, and I have really almost finished it (but not quite) is an Advent journal. I used a study by Bernice Hopper and Diane Marra called Pause, Ponder and Prepare which they did in November but I stored until December.
I used one of those cute 4x4 instagram albums
which I have added to, but not much (will photograph it soon).
I added some die cut pieces to all my 4x4 cards just to start me going. In hindsight I should have used all bright papers as I then wrote on these making them hard to read!. But I love playing about with see through pages as you can see with these Day 1 photos

I wrote out the bible verse in script writing with a special pen (aka baby writing by Phil), my reflections in my normal writing and then a verse relating to the Christmas story in gold pen, trialling how I might write in my Bible

I have added the stickers to the see through page as well as some Cameo cut numbers in gold foil. Not all the pages have stickers yet. Many of them don't have splatters but all are written up.

And now I am EX-hausted - except I need to blog on the Quirky Kits site - I have one done there already
See you Friday (maybe!)

Monday, November 24, 2014

Here come the layouts - albeit a bit wonky

As well as loads of work as mentioned before, Phil and I have just spent a lovely week in Mevagissey in the tiniest cottage in the world. When they say "Cosy Cottage" they are not kidding
It seems to be made out of odd bits of other cottages. I suspect it was once a three storey place with one room per floor. The bottom floor is now the kitchen of the house next door and there is a little extension with a kitchen and bathroom in what is left (the white part on the right). But it was perfect for two (and a dog) and right in the centre of Meva (as we locals call it) (or at least we people who do not want to have to keep spelling it out)
It is a lovely place. Sometimes it looked like this
but just as often like this
when I was allowed to stay in and do some scrap booking!

Some layouts were for Quirky Kits and you can find more details on the blog

as I have noted there I have discovered that if I straighten a photo in Picasa then it looses focus and that is not good with layouts as the writing in particular goes all funny. So next time I will take more care hanging them up so that they can be a bit straighter and in focus!

I also made two more. One of which features a lovely ribbon from the kit that was perfect with the page
When we were going away I put some kits together - basically grabbing papers and embellishments that I thought would go together, plus some extra enamel dots etc. So this features random papers - some are Fancy Pants, there is some Heidi Swapp as well - but mixed with Maggie Holmes die cuts.
Works for me!

This other layout was based on a sketch I have from somewhere and uses a tag die set as well. It came together pretty fast
Again a range of papers - Crate Paper the Pier plus some Studio Calico mixed with Basic Grey die cuts
because I am a mucky pup I got some black marks on the cardstock and my usual cover it up with gems just didn't work. Neither did a little white pen. Any other suggestions? (It doesn't look quite as bad in real life though)


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Overwhelmed again

its been a few more weeks of demanding work meaning I am too pooped to play.
Well to be fair I have been playing - just not doing the ol' blogging thing as there hasn't been enough left in  the noodle to write for fun.
As well.
So here is one of those mega catch up photo heavy blog posts.
Sorry and all.
Daring Cardmakers I think I have managed 4 out of the last 4 Dares. Go me! (Although I suspect I am going to be late with the next one)
At the end of October we had to use Googly Eyes - this was such fun
I used an old, old stamp - a red rubber one whose origins I can't remember! I stamped onto some Bazzill textured cardstock as I am a big fan of a cardmaker called Birgit who does the most amazing cards using this technique. I have a lot of practice to do to make it work for me but do visit her and drool over her amazing cards - here
I chose some fun Amy Tan papers and picked out some colours that I could paint my little furry friend with.  He looks fun without embellishment but the eyes are just perfect for him in my opinion.
Then I just laid on the stripes on the diagonal and die cut the letters and the speech bubble too. The letters are from a Little B set that is actually words so I had to find the words with the right letters! I added some glossy accents and wink of stella pen and ... job done!
Then it was a Colour Combo
and I made two cards - part of a gift set for my Mother in Law who mostly needs congratulation cards for friends who train their dogs...
I put an order into Craft Creations (where I get cardstock from). They have the most fabulous non shed glitter card. Only I obviously didn't purchase the right thing as I ended up with this stuff instead. This cardstock is still nice, just slightly less glittery. It reminds me of posh kitchen worktops.
I used a very old Quickutxz dies and some much newer Lawn Fawn Milo stamps.
(close up of the lovely shine on the glitter card)

And also this one
The die cut letters are cut from the white shade of glitter paper I meant to order and I painted some pale pink distress ink on the top. It looks very pretty in real life. I used more of my less glittery cardstock along with an embossed greeting and a star die cut.

Kathy asked us to make a card with a candle theme
and I went a little OTT with glitter on this one (I am really into glittery stuff at the mo'. You may have noticed)
 I used Heidi Swapp papers, and outlined some of the pattern with a glue pen and Gold Glamour Dust. The card is based on Case This Sketch #98
Finally this week it was my turn and I went for Something Old, Something New - a chance to use something that we have bought and not opened up along with old loved stash.
This card feels a little unfinished to me but I have not had a chance to do what I want to - perhaps some enamel dots around the edge? I used some brand new peony dies and stamps. The flowers are painted with Distress Inks. I have now got quite a few different types of watercolour but it seems like this is still my go to medium. I felt like they needed a little extra something so added some white pen dots. I used up some of my best beloved Scenic Route papers which are a pretty good match in real life to the colours on the flowers. The flowers are nestled on a white cardstock die cut. There was another patterned paper underneath at one point but that was just too busy.
Because the light is appalling at the moment (not helped by our house currently being shrouded in scaffolding) this card is a tad brighter here than it is really!

OK that is enough for one post - I am going to put layouts in another one!

Friday, October 24, 2014

So recently I have been

part of a lot of meetings; singing solos and learning words for songs in concerts (not helped by the fact that where I had "men" or "women" singing that wasn't necessarily correct and so had to just open and close my mouth like a fish as I had no clue. But very proud of the fact I could do "uncommonly rare, very unique, peripatetic, poetic and chic" at great speed); interring ashes at the zoo (where our moment of silence was punctuated beautifully by the sounds of birds and animals, reminding us that life goes on); more meetings; attending an Artcards crop in Somerset; loving running the Shape course which involves people looking at all the kinds of gifts and abilities God has given them; organising a beleiver's baptism (have now sourced pool. Next issue is how to get water in and out of the pool and who is going to dry off where); starting to play with my Quirky Kit; feeling a bit not very well; more meetings; driving in my car enjoying the 30 minutes (average) run to Brixham and back where the sea looks different every day; also enjoying the fact that when I forget to take things to the other church I can be home and back again in 3 minutes....

aka: that was the month that was.
I don't have time for everything now. I'm squeezing in blogging otherwise it could easily be another month so here is a quick Daring Cardmaker catch up.
I'm going to go backwards - because I can!
Today's dare was to be Sentimental - using a favourite quote and possibly a technique to share as well. I went for a phrase from the Bible to create a wedding card
I printed out the Bible verse onto thick vellum using the fonts Times and Times Again and Angel War. I created a window in the top panel using a Spellbinder's die. I then brushed versamark over an embossing folder and ran the panel through a Cuttlebug, then swooshed perfect pearls over it to give a lovely sheen to the panel. I die cut the word "love" three times, stuck them together, put a load of Versamark ink on the top and then added sparkly embossing powder. Finally I die cut vellum and  some glittery self adhesive sparkle from Little Claire and stuck them together. It now occurs to me that I could have stuck them together first and then die cut which would have been less fiddly. Doh. There is a tiny bit of Perfect Pearls on the vellum words as well. The vellum was stuck to the front panel and the whole thing lifted off the back of the main card with foam pads.
 It really is all very sparkly!

The week before we were asked to use Book Pages on our cards. I tried a new technique to me for this one too - and I love the effect
 I stamped and embossed a Clearly Besotted image directly onto the page from an old book that I bought in order to use just like this. The page is part of the Grimm story about Briar Rose (Sleeping Beauty) so I thought a rose would make sense. I then used Distress Inks as watercolours to colour it in and love the way that you can still see the words peeking through. No stamped image is complete without some Wink of Stella pen action at the moment
which you can see better in the close up.
The backing papers are all from a Kaisercraft Christmas pad, including the scallop and tag die cuts. A little (ok a lot) of black distress ink and a little gold thread and the card was done.

I missed out on the space themed dare (so sorry!) but did do a card for the first week of October - a colour combo
I used some new bits and bobs on this card - the balloon string die and some glittery embossing powder. I already had Clearly Besotted balloons but had to make my own string (I know - torture!). This die makes it so much easier. I did the old stick it in some Versamark and heat emboss powder on the top for the balloons and the birthday words. I am always loosing the little dot on the i so find that using a sticky gem saves me trying to find it!
The papers are a whole mix of things from different pads that seemed to fit the colour scheme. I added the yellow as it was in the photo even though it was not in the colour bar. 

I did make another glittery card this month - well I made two but only photographed one before sending it away
I managed to make this slightly more fiddly than necessary (I did a better job of the second card) and really must remember to adhere thin sticky stuff before die cutting as I am sure it makes life easier! I have some extra fine glitters that I added to sticky backed material (numbers from PTI; circles are Spellbinders; words Clearly Besotted). I also added extra glitter to the Fancy Pants papers with a glue pen and Glamour Dust. The numbers are more pink than red in real life.

I'm hoping to have a little crafty time this weekend. I will be starting to put some projects on the Quirky Kits blog too so do have a look if you can