A blog for cooking and crafts

Sunday, 18 December 2016

pin-spired birthday cards

I have decided that I really ought to take more inspiration from my Pinterest boards, instead of my more usual Pin-and-forget procedure :-)  I went to the Chailey workshop - run by Nicky, who can be contacted at nickyalevy@btinternet.com - and took along a batch of printed out Pinterest card ideas.
The Pin for this card is here and this is my take.

I didn't add the small flowers, because I hadn't packed the punch (thought it was in the bag already!!).  The flourish and flowers are from Stampin' Up (Everything Eleanor and Petite Petals), the tiny butterflies are from Dali Art and both the sentiments are from Stamping all Day.
Talking of Pinterest .... how do people with those boards of 4.5k Pins ever find anything???  I had trouble looking through my card inspiration board of 300 card design Pins, so have slimmed it to 250 and started a second board!!

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Layouts - Paris and Claude the Octopus

Two more layouts completed at ATDML :-)

The first is a photo of the entrance to the Paris Metro.  The papers are from Kaisercraft, apart from the main background which is Marion Smith.  I die-cut the letters twice for the title, using the darker colour under the lighter for a shadow effect.
The second layout is based on a class taught at the previous retreat, last April!  I finally found some square photos to use it with :-)  Sy crocheted Claude the Octopus and he joined at our last crop at Cardinal Colours.  The papers are Basic Grey.

Sunday, 20 November 2016


Another page done at the retreat - this layout had been on the back burner for quite a while, as I had picked the background paper months ago but got stuck on how to use it without overpowering the photo.  Finally I found a sketch, picked some other more neutral papers, and was ready to go!

The photo is of the penguins at Berlin Zoo.  They stand so still it's difficult to tell if they are real, until they move!!
I cut down the Authentique background paper, inked the edges and framed with a sheet of Bazzill.   Then I cut the various panels, I think the papers (from top down) are HoTP, Graphic 45 and possibly Simple Stories.  The title is done with some tiny letter stickers (American crafts?).  Although, I couldn't remember how many p-p-p's were needed and after some discussion round the table, we had to Google the original advert to find out (thank you Lyn)!!
This layout came together really well, once I had a plan, I am really pleased with it :-)

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

ATDML class layouts - part one

After some computer problems, finally I can share these....
The two layouts are from a class at the ATDML retreat, taught by Mel, using American Crafts DIY 4 range. 

I made a cutting mistake on the first layout, then decided to change the colour of the vertical panel - it was originally white.  The scalloped border is done using a Die-namics die.  The photo is a collage of details from the Palace of Versailles, which is dripping with gold everywhere you turn!
The second page is a photo of my favourite place :-)  The main focus of the class was to add distress inks for pops of colour, I used ink brushes, stencils and stamps for my muted vintage take on the class.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Homeward Bound layout

I went with Karen to the retreat run by A Trip Down Memory Lane last weekend, a previous post shows the car packed to the gunwales! I managed to complete 8 layouts and some cards, so here is the first of those pages.  It's a re-do of photos from 2015 which I scrapped a while ago but was never really happy with.  Whilst I was prepping for the retreat, I found a sketch which I knew would fit the photos.

The papers are from an old Bo Bunny Christmas range.  The background already had all the detail on it so I just needed to cut strips to back the photos.  I used a typewriter alpha die for the title and the journaling is done with the SU Draw the Line set, the journaling lines are very useful and I have finally used the line of arrows!!  I stamped them in Versafine Smoky Grey and used a black pen to journal, it's a nice combination.
I am happy with it this time :-)

Monday, 31 October 2016

Blogtober 14

The final post of Blogtober, a little later than normal, but I have the excuse of recovering from the ADTML retreat!  I managed 8 complete layouts and some cards, which I am very pleased with.
Today's post is a tutorial for the double gatefold cards (which I mistakenly called waterfall cards in a previous post).  The instructions were given to me by Nicky, a SU demonstrator who runs workshops in Chailey, East Sussex, contact her on nickyalevy@btinternet.com if you would like to come along.

Take a 12" x 12" sheet of cardstock and cut in half to make two strips 6" x 12".

Then score each one at 2", 4", 8" and 10".

Mark each short side of each scored strip at the central 3" point with a small pencil dot.  There are two variations from this point: cut to the 3" mark from either the top of the 2" and 10" score-lines, or from the top of the 4" and 8" score-lines.

Decide which is the front of your card (the back is for writing on!) and cut panels to fit the front of the card as shown below - I have only done one variation, but the principle is the same for both.

Then cut panels for the back as below.

Now fold the side panel towards the centre, from the 4" score-line as shown.

Then fold from the 2" score-line back out towards the side of the card.

Repeat for the other side of the card.

Stamp an image for the inside panel and a sentiment tag for the front and attach them - the tag only needs to be stuck to the left hand panel!!

And there it is done!  It is actually easier to stick the inner image before folding it, but this is the way I did it at the retreat because I was concentrating on getting the photos of the folds!!  You can do all sort of things with these cards, you could have die-cuts on the front panels and the image/sentiment on the inside, for instance.  These are the others I made, the other variation is also shown.

This is definitely going to become a staple design in my card-making.  For someone like me who doesn't 'do' paper engineering, these are marvellously simple to make :-)

So, at the end of Blogtober, how have I done?  Well, I have achieved my goal of posting three times a a week, sometimes it has been a case of a late night spent making an item for the next day's post, but mostly I have been quite organised and made ahead LOL.  I need to keep it up now, perhaps two or three posts a week :-)  I have to admit though, I am just a little bit Christmas-carded out ......!!

Friday, 28 October 2016

Blogtober 13

No Christmas cards today!  I am off to the A Trip Down Memory Lane retreat with Krafty Karen.  This is our packing ......

Back seat and boot both full!!

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Blogtober 12

Yesterday was the 25th ... which can mean only one thing, it's time for Beat the Christmas Rush!  Though I have been beating it all month, technically speaking LOL.

I used my Stampendous holly image again, this time using watercolour markers to colour the stamp before making the impression.  The sentiment stamp is from Stamping All Day and the background paper is from Simple Stories.
Nice and simple, I am very pleased with these :-)

Monday, 24 October 2016

Blogtober 11

A variation on the nine-patch today :-)

I have had the baa humbug stamp for years, not sure of the brand.  The nine squares are punched from a Bo Bunny paper - I think I prefer using the scalloped square punch (Woodware) to using a die, it is very quick :-)  I stamped the images nine times and punched those out into circles, then raised them on 1mm foam pads onto the card.
For details of Blogtober, visit Karmacraft :-)

Friday, 21 October 2016

Blogtober 10

Stamping and embossing today!

The snowflake wreath is from Stamps by Chloe and the sentiment is either Personal Impressions or Woodware, it's quite an old one.  I stamped/embossed in silver, though it does look more grey in the photo.  Then I die-cut the wreath with a stitched circle die and a mirri mat to match.  That was going to be it ...... but when I laid it on the card blank, it just looked too plain.  So I took a snowflake embossing folder and ran some white cardstock through it to make a background.  Perfect :-)  I rounded the corners of both the blank and the mat, to go with the circular topper.
Very pleased with these, I must experiment with different colours of embossing powders.
For Blogtober details, visit Karmacraft.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Blogtober 9

I have had a play with some old papers :-)  These are from an old Hot off the Press pack, about half a dozen different designs in the pack.

They are quite simple cards, two panels edged with peel off lines and a sentiment strip.  I have made them quite flat, with only the sentiment raised up on 1mm foam tape - HOTP paper tends to be quite thin, so I would have to make a panel of plain card covered with the paper, to give it enough rigidity to be raised up by 1mm.  I might try that next time, I was in a bit of a rush to get these finished last night for today's post LOL.  The sentiment stamp, stamped/embossed in gold, is from Hobby Art.
For Blogtober details, visit Karmacraft :-)

Monday, 17 October 2016

Blogtober 8

I love this nine patch design - I make it every year, with different papers :-)  Simple yet effective, the trick is to be absolutely spot on with the lining up of the squares, or the impact of the grid is lost!

The papers are from Simple Stories, I took a 6" sheet of each of three colours and die-cut nine squares out of each one, to have enough squares for three cards.  Then I die-cut the letters and assembled.  I use repo herma adhesive, so I can move the squares to be exactly positioned :-)
There will be another one of these later in Blogtober, with cooler colours and silver letters :-)
For details of Blogtober, visit Karmacraft.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Blogtober 7

Nearly half way through Blogtober!
Today I am sharing some vintage style cards - simply inked and stamped, which is one of my favourite things to do :-)

I cut some 4" squares of ivory cardstock and smooshed over them with distress inks in my favourite combination of Antique Linen, Tea Dye and Vintage Photo.  Then I stamped the images in Coffee ink from Wendy Vecchi.
The carollers and sentiment are from Stampin Up, it was on the sale-for-charity table at the workshop last Saturday so I snapped it up!  I can see myself using it a lot :-)  The holly is from Stampendous and I can't remember whether I bought it last year or the one before!!  I had never used it, but it gives a beautiful impression and I will certainly be using it more now that I have 're-discovered' it.  The sentiment is from Stamping All Day.
To give the card a little lift, I used gold peel-off lines around the image, it was exactly enough, even though it doesn't photograph very well :-)
I had intended to layer the images onto some embossed cardstock, but decided to go for the simple plain card blank instead.  Maybe I will use embossed mats next time for some variety .... I'm sure I have a holly embossing folder somewhere!
For details of Blogtober, visit Karmacraft.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Blogtober 6

Today I am sharing a new-to-me technique.   Stampin' Up demonstrator Nicky holds a workshop every month in Chailey village hall in East Sussex, where everyone can sit and craft to their hearts content and she always has a demo for us all.  If you would like to come along please contact her: nickyalevy@btinternet.com 
I actually missed the workshop where she demo'ed these cards, but she very kindly sent me the instructions :-)  I think the correct name for them is 'waterfall cards' and they are very easy to make, at the end of Blogtober I will do a step by step photo guide, but I am typing this in a bit of a rush!
EDIT: These are not waterfall cards at all, they are double gatefold cards.  My mistake, not Nicky's, she didn't give them a name.  Sorry!!

The papers are from Simple Stories, I used a 6 x 6 paper pad, it turns out that four sheets in two different designs will do two cards, so I will be going through my 6" papers with a view to making more of these.  The back is left blank to write on :-)
The circular snowflake stamp on the inner panel is an old one from, I think, Hero Arts and the sentiment is from Hobby Art.  I stamped/embossed in gold and die cut both with a stitched edge die, it gives them a finished edge without using a mat - which I would have preferred, but the circle was exactly the right size and a mat would have made it too large.  The snowflakes are done with a Martha Stewart punch.
I really like these, will definitely be making more, in fact I have made a few bases with different papers already, they just need finishing off and will appear later in Blogtober!
For full Blogtober details, hop over to Karmacraft.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Blogtober 5

The Christmas word paper has been put to one side ..... for a while ..... it'll be back LOL.  Today is another Scandi style card.

The stamp is from Indigo Blu, stamped / embossed in white on kraft, then matted in red onto a kraft card blank.  I made four, they are quite quick when done production line style, stamping all the images, cutting the mats etc, then assembling.

Friday, 7 October 2016

Blogtober 4

Last post for this week - and the last of the Christmas word paper for a while, there is still some left, but I am thinking I would like to move on to something different LOL.  Today is the purple colourway.

The colour has come out a little subdued in the photo, they are more purple in real life :-)  The stamp is an old freebie from Craft Stamper.
For Blogtober details, hop over to Karmacraft!

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Blogtober 3

For Blogtober details, pop over to Karmacraft!
 Here is the next set of cards from the papers described in the previous post - today's colourway is red/green!

I have used the same simple central image design as before.  The baubles are from Stampin' Up and are stamped using my favourite red ink 'Red Geranium' from Wendy Vecchi. 
There should be four cards in this colourway, but I messed up the cutting of the lighter green and will have to use it on a smaller card at a later date!

Monday, 3 October 2016

Blogtober 2

Today's Christmas cards are made with a 6" paper pad from Craft Creations, there is no direct link to the product, but the code is PK727.  The design is the same throughout - various Christmassy words in white on a background of several different colours.  I have separated out three colourways for this week - today is blue!

The stamp is an old Tinchies one, I have just simply stamped and matted onto the word paper background which is also matted onto the card blank.  I did make three, but apparently failed to photograph the third one, it's a lighter blue!  The larger panels were cut by hand, the smaller ones were die-cut.  I didn't add a sentiment, since the whole background is already covered with them :-)
A nice, simple and relatively fast card to make - I made ten over the weekend!

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Blogtober is here!

Welcome to my first Blogtober post :-)  I have decided to go for blogging three times a week, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday - plus this first post!  For full Blogtober details, hop over to Karmacraft to see how you can take part in this challenge.
I'm going for a theme for the whole month, it's Christmas, Christmas, Christmas all the way!  This first post is my Beat the Christmas Rush for September.

I have gone for a Scandi theme, with kraft red and white.  White stamping and embossing on kraft, with a red mat and kraft card blank.  The stamp is from Indigo Blu, bought ages ago but never really used, and the sentiment is brand new, from Visible Image.
I really like the way this has come out, there will definitely be some more Scandi-themed cards during the month!

Friday, 23 September 2016

Out of the Drawer - Art Deco Thank You card - and Blogtober announcement

I love both Arts Nouveau and Deco, so when Spellbinders brought out some very Deco dies, I had to have them .....  But they were bigger than I had thought and it put me off a bit, so in the drawer they went :-)
Fast forward to a sudden need for a thank you card .... the recipient had mentioned that she liked both styles too, so these dies came to mind immediately.  I didn't use the biggest one of the set, but cut the smaller mat, frame, and deco flower in a combination of white and gold.

The sentiment is stamped and embossed.  With hindsight, I think I could have rounded the four corners of the card blank for a better look - but I had to get it in the post :-)

Now ... fanfare ... Blogtober 2016 is imminent!  Last year, the idea was to blog every day for the whole of October.  I managed it, but it was hard and I already know that the combination of work, committing to exercising more (I now walk to work three times a week), and the rest of Real Life are going to make it even more difficult.  So Sy over at KarmaCraft has come up with a cunning plan for this year.  Set your own goal for Blogtober!  Every day, three times a week, once a week, whatever you want to do, but the challenge is to stick to your goal :-)  To register your interest, hop over to KarmaCraft and link up as per Sy's post.  I haven't quite decided how many times a week for me yet, but I do know it's going to be very, very Christmassy......

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Flower Wreath cards - three colourways

I have had this stamp (Stamps by Chloe) for a while and decided to stamp/emboss it in silver, several times, to try out different colourways. 

I die-cut the coloured images into circles and cut out an inner circle.  Having matched each colourway to cardstock, I die-cut a stitched circle mat (Crealies) and another circle just slightly larger than the aperture from a die-cut trellis panel (Tonic Studios), for the inner circle aperture.  I also cut butterflies (Frantic Stamper) and a swallowtail pennant (Spellbinders), plus some plain white sentiment banners.

I had found these shaped card blanks in my stash and decided to use them up, but I like the way a circular topper looks on them, so I may have to buy some more!

Shades of aqua:

Contrast of blue and yellow:

Shades of purple:

I am definitely going to do some more of these, I think I will make the sentiment banners larger next time and also it would probably be easier to have an embossed central circle, rather than trying to stick down a fiddly die-cut LOL. 

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Out of the Drawer: Monochrome letter rack

In 2014, I went to the Merly Impressions retreat and had a wonderful time :-)  This letter rack was one of the included kits - I didn't start it at the retreat, but brought it home 'to do later'.

Two years later...... a lady who had been to the 2016 retreat, posted her beautiful completed letter rack on Facebook and I thought - I really must do mine!  I made a good start, then family bereavement and the resulting issues put a stop to any other thoughts for a while.

Last weekend was my craft weekend, so I decided to make finishing this my priority.  The papers are all Kaisercraft, though I am not sure from which ranges now (having lost the original kit instructions!).  The back surfaces of the dividers, the inside sides and the back of the rack are painted with black acrylic and then sealed with a matte varnish.  The handles are from Tonic Studios, they are brads, so were easy to attach to the greyboard drawers and I really love the effect.

Now all I have to do, is finish the other BTP products I bought in 2014...... plus the one I have just bought ...... before the retreat next year :-)

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Buy it - Try it: SU Moroccan nights stamp set

Something a little more current than the last post - in fact I think this might be either a first, or part of a very exclusive club LOL.  I have actually tried out a new stamp within ten minutes of its arrival!!!!
The stamp set in question is the Moroccan Nights from the latest Stampin Up catalogue.  I did hesitate over buying it, as I am not sure what I am going to do with the lantern images, but the medallion just called to me :-)
I knew I wanted to try it with gilding flakes when I first set eyes on it, so that's what I tried first.  I got an Indigo Blu starter kit some time ago, have used it a couple of times, and it's high up on my "I really must use that more often" list.  So here are Autumn Blaze, Morris Dance (both from IB starter kit) and Mulled Wine flakes from Cosmic Shimmer.  I did have a go with Chocolate Box (IB), but I stamped too enthusiastically and there was too much glue to give a good result, or even one worth photographing LOL.  I'm also including a picture of some essential pieces of kit for using gilding flakes .... First, anti static tumble dryer sheets as the stuff floats everywhere and clings everywhere it lands!  Second, a mini dustpan and brush for clearing it all up.  I got mine from the Glitter Pot, but there are a few different brands around.  Also really good for clearing embossing powder off your desk LOL.

Next up was to use embossing powder.  I had also ordered some SU embossing powders, as I wanted to try the new copper and someone had recommended either the silver or the gold, since I couldn't remember I ordered them both!  The silver didn't photograph at all well, I'll try to get a decent pic another time, but it does look fine.  The gold and copper, and indeed the silver, seem to have a matte metallic effect, although they shine, it's in a subdued kind of way :-).  They do look nice and there wasn't any shadowy residue which some brands leave behind.  The last colour to try it with was an old one - Verdigris by Stampendous.  It's a variegated powder and I wasn't sure how it would hold up to such fine detail, but it looks fantastic and is my favourite of all the embossed ones.

So I have had an experimental kind of day, it's been fun :-)