A blog for cooking and crafts

Sunday, 30 June 2013

52 cards challenge - week 26

It's a colour prompt for week 26 - taking inspiration from a picture of embroidery threads.  All sorts of colours to choose from, so I decided to pick one for each card and go monochrome in various shades of the same colour.

The birthday card in shades of brown - I blended distress ink in Antique Linen and Tea Dye over some ivory cardstock to 'dirty' it up a little, then stamped the Justrite harlequin script background with Versamagic in Gingerbread.  The mat was done with a punch around the page set, and I cut the background to size, then adhered to the mat.  I stamped a vintage image from Crafty Individuals on the same 'dirtied up' cardstock, matted with the same dark bronze and attached to the background using foam tape.  Still from the same inked cardstock, I handcut two pennants - couldn't use my normal dies as I was at a workshop, but I think they look OK! - and used a peel-off sentiment.  Having completed the whole topper, I then had to dig through my bag to see if I had brought along a card blank which fit!  This card goes stright to my 'favourites' list - will defintely make it again.

The Christmas card in shades of vintage blue - I stamped a Justrite frondy background in a pale blue chalk ink, then overstamped the Father Christmas (Stampendous) and the sentiment (Hero Arts, I think) in a darker blue.  Then I die-cut the whole thing, inked the edges and attached it to the card blank with foam tape for just a little dimension.  A few pearls in the corners to complete, and that was it - a nice simple card.
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Saturday, 29 June 2013

That famous smile

We went to Winchester for our wedding anniversary weekend in 2012 and found an amazing art trail of bollards painted in the style of different artists.  Here I am with my mate Mona Lisa.......

The page is more-or-less based on the March sketch from My Creative Sketches.  I used various papers from stash, and a Martha Stewart PATP punch for the main mat and the two red panels.  The steampunk heart is a Technique Tuesday stamp, which has a small gear and a pearl added to it.  I printed the journalling onto safmat and die-cut it into a pennant.

It's not often I get a nice photo of myself to work with, so I am really pleased with the way this page came together!
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Thursday, 27 June 2013

52 cards challenge - week 25

The prompt for week 25 was to use stickers.
For the birthday card I found a pack of stickers bought at The Works years ago - I matted one onto a gold scallop-punched square, used peel-off stickers for the interrupted frame and sentiment, then tied a ribbon around.
The Christmas card has a punched-out aperture with two clear square stickers at front and back, with a punched snowflake sandwich in between.  Another interrupted frame completes the card.  To be honest, the punched aperture is a little 'off' in positioning, but it doesn't look too terrible, and I'll be sure not to make the same mistake next time!
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Wednesday, 26 June 2013


I thought it was about time I posted a layout!  I'm sure I have used this title before, but never mind.....

The pictures are of my boys as we went to Brighton, wandered around, had pizza and then went to see The Hobbit in 3D.  My, that was a long film......
The base paper is made up of a frame, out of which I had previously cut the middle for another page.  This was then 'filled' with the typewriter key paper, out of which I had punched some letters to also use elsewhere, but they then turned out to be unsuitable so I was left with a hole-y sheet of paper!  The pennants, the title strip, the circular photo mat and the journalling block all cover up those holes very nicely :-)
The title strip is made up from some corrugated card and some punched strips kindly done for me by Nicky at her workshop - SU paper, but I don't know which one.  The pennants are die-cut, then stamped with a cogs & gears background stamp.  I had cut more than I needed to go under the circle, so I used them along the title strip as well.  The mat for the journalling block is a die-cut (Dienamics) and the cogs and gears were laser-cut by DH out of white card, I inked them up with various shades of brown and positioned them over the circle, which I had cut out of 'Timepiece' paper.
This really is a 'bits and pieces' layout, but I love it!
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Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Green and white 'frothy' card

By 'frothy', I mean it has all-sorts scattered all over it :-) 

This started off as an experiment with embossing using clear powder, then distress inking over the top.  That's the central panel, I used a lace doily stamp from Stampin Up.  Then I wrapped a ribbon around, die-cut a fancy mat and then couldn't work out what to do next!  I found a pack of green card blanks in my drawer and thought they would make a bit of a change :-)  So I used a patterned paper and matted that on to the same green cardstock as the die-cut, then layered it all up. 
My intention was to add a simple sentiment, but somehow it didn't turn out like that!  I started messing around with punched flowers, running them through the Bigshot in an embossing folder, I die-cut a leafy flourish, found a pearl swirl and punched some butterflies .......
The sentiment itself did at least turn out to be simple, a die-cut banner with a peel-off  'Happy Birthday'.  I'm not sure I would ever have started this if I had known it was going to turn out to be so complicated!
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Sunday, 23 June 2013

Variation on 9-patch card

I do love the geometry of these 9-patch cards, so much so that I never really want to cover up the squares!  So I decided to try this simple topper, made up of a stamped flower (Craft Stamper freebie) and die-cut flourish (Memory Box).

Although it's hard to see in the photo, there is a base mat of very pale ivory patterned paper, framed by gold peel-off lines.  Then I punched out the scalloped squares from some scraps of striped paper and gold card, and put them over the mat, lining them up carefully.  The flourish and flower were positioned on top and the sentiment added.  Simple yet elegant, hopefully :-)
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Sunday, 16 June 2013

52 cards challenge - week 24

Another last minute post, the new prompt goes live tomorrow :-)  I did really struggle with this one - the prompt for week 24 is a card for a young person, or someone who is young at heart, etc.

I don't really have any 'young' people to whom I would give cards LOL.  My niece will get one next birthday, as she will be sixteen - so she was the inspiration for this birthday card!  She is into fantasy, as I think many teenage girls probably are, so I have done this variation on a technique I have used in the past.  I blended various shades of blue distress inks through a circle aperture and stamped a silhouette over the top with black versafine.  Usually I do this direct to the card blank, but this time I decided to do a separate square and mat it with black - I really like the result! 

Christmas ..... well again I don't send cards to young people, they are all included on the 'family' ones.  So I decided to make a card with what every child hopes to see on Christmas Eve - a sight of Father Christmas and sleigh over the rooftops!  That's my story and I'm sticking to it :-)  The stamp is from Crafty Individuals, simply stamped with black versafine on pearlescent card and black-matted with a ribbon wrapped around the mat.  I really like this one too, will probably make some more :-)

So a challenge that I thought I couldn't do has turned up some cards I really like - I guess that's the point!
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Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Double-stamped card

A couple of weekends ago, I went to a workshop run by Stampin' Up demonstrator Nicky Levy, and she showed us this fun technique.

The basic idea is to have two pieces of card or patterned paper, one to be approx one inch smaller than the other in width and height, to leave a half inch border all around.  Place the smaller one over the larger using repo adhesive, then stamp over both papers - I have used this freebie vintage flower stamp from Craft Stamper magazine.  I kept it quite simple as I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out, but next time I think I will add a bit more in the way of flourishes etc.  When demonstrating, Nicky also used secondary impressions (stamping without re-inking the stamp) for added depth.  Then cut a mat of co-ordinating cardstock, a quarter of an inch larger in width and height than the smaller piece of paper, to leave an eighth of an inch border all around when assembled.

When you are happy with your stamping, carefully remove the smaller paper from the larger, adhere it to the cardstock, then adhere that to the larger piece of paper, making sure the stamping lines up.  I then rounded the corners of the finished mat, inked the edges and adhered to the scalloped card blank.  The simple sentiment topper is stamped with a Tinchies stamp and die-cut using Nesties.

And it just goes to show, I have been stamping for 20 years now, and there is still stuff to learn :-)
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Tuesday, 11 June 2013

BtCR challenge - May

As promised yesterday, here are the Scandinavian style cards for the May Beat the Christmas Rush challenge.

I made one of these, using a hearts border, for the 52 cards challenge a while ago and thought I would use some of the other borders from the same Waltzing Mouse set.  I stamped and embossed, using a new-to-me embossing powder - Wow detail Red, it is fantastic and I can highly recommend it, you can see the stitches in the stamped image!  I then stamped various sentiments in black versafine above the border and matted onto silver before adhering to the card blank.

White space is something I find difficult - I do think these cards are simple and elegant, but that urge to fill the space is still there!
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Monday, 10 June 2013

52 cards challenge - week 23

Just under the wire again ...... the new prompt goes live soon!  The prompt for week 23 is 'manly' cards.

The Christmas card came about because I was doing a set of Scandinavian-ish cards for another challenge (they'll be in tomorrow's post!) and one of them went a little bit wrong - whilst stamping the sentiment over the heat embossed border I managed to drop the ink pad onto the top space.  Oops.  So I did some covering up, I embossed some card with a lattice folder from Stampin' Up and cut a strip for the top of the card.  I then heat embossed some star images from the same Waltzing Mouse set, punched them out and placed them on top of the embossed strip using foam pads.  I then separated all the elements using peel-off lines, hopefully with the effect of making a Scandinavian sampler style card :-)  It's bright and clean, yet still festive, so I thought it was ideal for a 'manly' Christmas card!

The birthday card uses the same owl papers as the bird card from yesterday!  I made two slightly different ones, as I rather liked them, then thought that the colours are quite suitable for a bloke, even if there are lacy edges and a ribbon :-)  I'll find out soon enough, as DH did his usual thing of saying 'it's Friend X's birthday at the weekend, can I have a card?'  This is as he is five minutes from going out of the door on Thursday evening to visit Friend X!!!!  So of course I said 'have this one'........ LOL.
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Sunday, 9 June 2013

52 card challenge - week 22

The prompt for week 22 is 'feathered friends'.

I found some free magazine papers (from Making Cards) featuring owls, so that was perfect.  I cut a central strip and the tag from two patterned papers and then punched out one of the toppers.  The doily lace borders are done with a Dienamics die.  Then it was just a matter of assembling it all - I wrapped the tag with ribbon then added an eyelet (another one gone! yay!) and some pearls.

The Christmas robin is from a little kit, not very expensive and I already had it halfway done, it's my holiday stitching :-)  I couldn't find a robin stamp in all my many Christmas stamps, so I delved into my suitcase to find this kit.  I finished it off at the crop, swearing all the while .... I hate backstitch!  It does look rather nice now it's done - I didn't follow the chart faithfully, it had the black backstitch going round the snow, which just wouldn't have looked right.  I have a couple more of these kits somewhere, so I will have to pack one of them back into my holiday suitcase!  I ran an aperture card blank through the Bigshot in an embossing folder, assembled, then cut the card down into a square.

And after I had done all that, I remembered that I have a 'partridge in a pear tree' stamp.....!!!  argh!!!
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