Friday, October 02, 2015

Elemental Inspiration for October

Hello from Much Hammering Hall!

We knew when we moved here that the roof would need replacing in the not too distant future, but so many things needed doing and a new roof was probaby the least interesting so we did the indoor renovations and alterations and added new bathrooms, new kitchen, new windows and doors ....and some other things along the way. Then earlier this year we got the whole house painted so it looked nice and shiny and white. 
Although a few roof tiles had slipped over the last few years, the roof wasn't on this year's plan at all - until those storms we has earlier in the year dislodged a few more, and sent them crashing down - scary when you're looking through the kitchen window and one flashes past just outside! 
So, a call to our builder and "new roof" is on the agenda before the winter sets in. This week the roofers started work and are up there hammering away as I type, it's not a peaceful place to be atm.  But at least its sunny, warm  and dry and fingers crossed it stays that way for the next couple of weeks and they can get the job done with no delays.  
It's very noisy, but I tell you something, it's not in the same league as when they were cutting through the render to remove the old windows and fit the new ones - that was in a class of noise all of its own!

(please please please let them not be Saturday morning workers though.....)

Anyhooo.... back to the crafting, and as it's Friday it's Daring Cardmakers day, and as it's the first Friday of the month, it's Elemental Inspiration time, with Miri choosing our picture this time

Here's my card
You need to pick at least three "elements" from the picture to use when you make your card.  I chose: the colours, a sponged/mottled background, strong, variably-sized text, the caravan/camper theme, a heart, and the window-blind from Miti's picture:

Miri added a list to the blog of possible elements to get everyone started:
vehicles, anything travel-related, hearts, the colours of the picture, the saying (or any other saying or quote you like), a marbled background, a (mobile) home, wheels, a window, a door, lettering in general as a large part of your card …
bacground created using various Distress Inks, and other ink pads to make a mottled effect
All other card Bazzill or Coredinations
 Campervan is an old template from Crafty Templates, converted to cut with the Silhouette Cameo
Lettering also cut using the Cameo
Road and markings, Steering Wheel,Window-blind all hand-cut 

That's it for this time. I hope you'll leave a message and then pop over to The Daring Cardmakers Blog to see the amazing;y creative cards the DT have made using Miri's picture for inspiration

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

3 Little Birds

Just a quick post today, to share I've a couple of cards  made for the September LO on The Sketch File Blog.
I made the first one because the sketch this time is called "3 Little Birds! and it seemed a shame not to have a project matching the title! 

This is the sketch;

It's perfectly ok to twist, turn, stretch or shrink it the LO, which is what I did for the second card I want to show. This is one I made for my uncle's birthday last week.  It celebrates his knowledge of the North East and how when I ring them up I love to hear where they've been gadding about to this time!

I promised "short" and I'll keep to my word!

That's it, thanks for looking

Friday, September 25, 2015

With Kids in Mind

It's Zuzana's turn to set the challenge over on the Daring Cardmakers Blog and she's asking us to create  for, or with children.  
When I was teaching Nursery and Primary school children, i was always on the lookout for arty, crafty projects I could do with them but now I don't need to do that, and all the nieces and nephews are getting past the "kids cards" age so Zuz's challenge has a bit of shock to the system!

In the end I made a couple of cards; the first one is made with a little girl in mind, though sadly I've no-one to send it to atm (so if anyone wants it, just shout!)
Materials and Tools
White 14x14cm smooth white card blank, plus extra for embossed panel
Various shades of Bazzill card
Dotty embossing folder
Big Gingham Check Ribbon 
Star and Round shaped gems; Silver and Pink
Tiny Star Punch (EK Success)
Rocking Horse template created from a colouring page and cut with Silhouette Cameo
Sentiment created in Paint Shop Pro, also for Silhouette Cameo cutting

For the 2nd card I had to take a brief step back in time and look for something that would be make-able with a group of youngsters - and hopefully have a bit of extra educational merit - though I really do think creativity is very much underrated in school these days - one of my bugbears, that is!
I came up with this. basically made with different sized strips of paper, some punches, scissors and a bit of wool

Materials and Info
Large circle for Rocker base, folded in half  (I used a die from the Xcut Large Nested Circles die set)
Strip of yellow card for minion,
 I used another die from the same set to draw the domed shape for his head, then cut with scissors
 Black and White card; thin strip, 3 sizes circle punch
Mouth is also cut with circle punch 
Square and strips of blue card for dungarees
Once the minion was all stuck together I glued it in place on the rocker base, overhanging the edge and at an angle, then turned over to trim off the excess using the rocker shape as the guide.
I used wool scraps for the hair, and added a pocket, some doodling and tiny buttons to the dungarees 
Lots of maths involved if you are looking for that sort of thing, plus of course the whole concept of balance comes in to this - you need to work out where to place the weight so that it rocks when you want it to, b
ut doesn't end up sitting on the point of the fold.
There are some cute, clever and very sweet cards over on the BLOG this week, so I hope you'll check them out
Thanks for popping by today, hope you like my "makes"

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Bubbly Funky

A few years ago I was lucky enough to be part of the design team for Bubbly Funk and had a ball working with the wonderful kits and other goodies that Caroline sold in her fab shop.  The Bubbly Funk shop has now been trading for 10 whole years and Caroline decided it was time for a revamp and a slight change in direction.  Now the shop is specialising in Stencils. Masks and all things connected with using them - not just for crafting, but for home d├ęcor too.  You can see the gorgeous, stylish, new-look Bubbly Funk Shop HERE

For me, the best part is that I'm back on the DT, working alongside Caroline and fellow teamie Joanne (aka Angelnorth) to show how versatile, and how much fun these thin bits of plastic can be! I'm definitely a novice when it comes to using them but I'm learning all the time and also finding my own way to make them work for me.  Hopefully my very amateur style will encourage other "newbies" to see that you don't have to be an expert with paints and inks etc to use them and to have a go themselves.

Anyway, I thought it was about time I had a bit of a catch up on things I've been showing over on the Bubbly Blog, so here are the three things I've made so far - working backwards from this week's post.

For this week's project I've made a card using a simple layered LO to show off a pretty Seed Heads stencil.  This stencil has the lovely design for adding all your colour through (the pale blue panel), plus a version which you can lay over that to just add the outline as used on the darker pane

I've also used various inks available from the shop including VersaCraft  ones

 More info and pictures HERE, including my High-Tech ink application system!

Last week's project was a mini album page - in my first DT goodie box I found a Paris-themed 6x6 stencil which would work perfectly with photos from our Paris holiday back in March.  

Stencils Used
 Paris Holiday 6×6  (Claudine Hellmuth) 
I experimented with using a layer of (PVA) glue through the stencil over the black inked Eiffel Tower, which I then covered with Glamour Dust to get the sparkling effect of the lights just being switched on that we were there at the right time to see.
More info and pictures HERE

My first project for the Bubbly blog was the large, papier mache  numerals decorated to celebrate the shop's tenth birthday

Stencils Used:

You can see more information and more photos for this project HERE

It would be great if you'd visit us over at Bubbly Funk Blog  to see all our projects - don't miss Joanne's gorgeous makes too - she's the one who's really clever with all things inky and painty, and is always happy to share her know-how.
The Bubbly Funk Forum is also a great group to belong to.  I think it's a shame that more people don't use the craft forums nowadays - FB is OK, but can feel a bit "anonymous" with people coming and going all the time, and it's just so darn difficult to keep up with things on there.  We would welcome you with open arms to our little forum HERE - we talk about craft and just about anything else, so this is a shout out for members to join up (we'd love to meet you) or to come back (we miss you)!

Thanks for visiting and wading through this rather long post!


Friday, September 11, 2015


 We have a challenge from Sharon this week on The Daring Cardmakers
 Sharon says:
"I'd like to see a watercolour style to your cards.  It doesn't have to be watercolour paints, you can create the effect with anything you like - papers with a watercolour style, distress inks, watercolour markers, Twinkling H2O's, Gelato's, etc.  The list is endless!"
I made a watercolour background using Gelatos for the colours with a gorgeous stencil inked over the top 
I used:
White card blank
Black Bazzill card
Watercolour card
Stencil Multi Birds of a Feather  Crafter's Workshop 
Colorbox black ink
Turquoise satin ribbon
Silver gems in various sizes
EK Success border punch

 I was really pleased at how the colours in the background worked and how the birdcage silhouettes look as though you're looking out at the sun going down on the sea - it was all a bit of a happy accident to be honest!

Thanks for visiting - please pop over and visit The Daring Cardmakers Blog to see the beautiful cards the DT have made this week

Friday, September 04, 2015


This week's Daring Cardmakers challenge is another in the Elemental Inspiration series, and this time it's Beckie's turn to choose the picture we draw inspiration from - she's chosen a wonderful Autumnal "Mood Board" style photo, full of warm colours and Autumn-themed images.
I loved the actual layout of all the little photos into one sort of frame and thought I'd have a go at using that as one of the (minimum of) three elements I needed to take away to make my own card, I also wanted to use the stars and of course the gorgeous colours.
It didn't all go quite to plan, but in the end I came up with this:
To begin with I used several Distress Inks, and a couple of other ink pads (for the blue shade) and swooshed them over a sheet of card to get an all over background that I liked - I cut down to size and adhered it to my card.
I also used a Prima Stars stencil with silver ink mixed into texture paste on another piece of card, then sprinkled glitter all over , shook off the excess and left it to dry.  As you can see, none of that made it onto the card!
My plan was to make a "printer's tray" style frame, based on Beckie's image to lay over the top of the coloured background, using some of the star piece in some of the holes, and use a sentiment sentiment in one of the holes as in the photo.

I made a template for the frame and cut it on my Cameo.  I sat it over the inky background and it looked awful, I tried adding some starry pieces, but in reality the stars were too far apart  for this and didn't work at all.
I thought maybe there was too much black, so I re-did the template and cut the new one in white to make a double-frame
It still looked wrong, so I ditched them!  Maybe I'll  think of a way to use them, but maybe they'll go in the bin.
So what to do?
In the end I cut down the front of the card, turned it over and drew the LO plan of the grid on the reverse, then cut up into the smaller pieces,  After inking the edges I glued them onto a new card blank - even them in wasn't right as although I'd carefully numbered all the rectangles before cutting them out I must have had a brain-freeze because the panels were all wrong.  Sometimes you just have to go with it, so instead of being in the original inky pattern the design is more random!
Instead of filling the "holes" with stars or whatever as planned - and having no holes now anyway, I made another inky piece using the same colours as before and randomly cut the stars using a Taylored Expressions Nested die set, and arranged them in a sort of star-burst over the edges of the tiles.  I punched a few small stars from the left over inky card, and some glittery gold card for highlights.
So, quite a lengthy process for what is really a simple card - I just don't want you getting the idea that this was as quick and easy as it looks! haha  This one was painful!
Oh, I nearly forgot to show you Beckie's picture:

The BLOG looks amazing with all the Autumnal themes this week, I hope you'll take a look and maybe join in with us - we have a rather nice give-away on offer this time :)
Anyway, thanks for sticking with it and making it through to the end!  Please leave a message....

Friday, August 28, 2015

Cherry Ripe!

It's Jo's turn to set the challenge for The Daring Cardmakers this week and as the orchard at the bottom of her garden is brimmimg with produce she's set this theme for us:
Feeling Fruity!

There's lots of fruity goodness to be harvested at the moment so this week, (we've been eating lots of crumble!) I would like to see a card with some fruit featured.

The DT have as ever created beautiful cards, and don't forget that there is still time to enter our joint blog hop with Ruby Rock-it, all the details are here.
 I was a bit stumped on what to do for this one as I don't have much fruity-themed stash.  Eventually decided to go with a cherry theme as I remembered I have an embossing folder with cherries on it from my time on the Die'Sire DT.  I did wonder if it was something I'd ever use again!
Smooth white card blank embossed with "Cherrylicious" 6x6 embossing folder (Crafter's Companion)
Extra white card, plus cherry red Bazzill for focus panel
Wording is PC generated and cut into tabs
Cherry Pie:
I inked over some creamy-pale brown Bazzill card with a slightly deeper Distress Ink using a baby wipe to move the colour around
I hand cut narrow strips (abt 5mm) and inked the edges of them with a reddish-brown Versamagic pad.
The strips were woven together to make a piece large enough to cut the oval top of the pie and glued onto red card.
Oval shape them cut at an angle from the woven card using a Spellbinders Nested Ovals die - the oval was a bit "fat" so I trimmed round with scissors till I got the shape I wanted
Pie base cut free-hand from more of the inked card and the various pieces adhered to the focus panel
Cherries are cut from red card using a Tiny Circle Xcut punch, then dots of white ink added for highlights
The stem is just hand cut from brown card and the cherries and stem glued in place on the pie
When the white ink was dry I added Glossy Accents to the cherries

Quite simple really - I like the way the pie crust worked out, and just for once I managed not to prod the Glossy Accents before it was dry, so that looks good too!
It would be great if you'd pop over to the DCM BLOG to see the other cards - it really looks fab this week.
Plus of course we have the Blog Hop with Ruby Rock-It going on - comments close 8am UK time Saturday 29th, so if you want to win the gorgeous prize from Ruby Rock-It, you need to get cracking 
Thanks for visiting

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Ruby Rock-It and Daring Cardmakers Blog Hop

Thank you for visiting! I'm so proud to be the first "port of call" on this blog hop.  Before I show you my project, here is all the info you need to join in with the hop, and maybe win some fabby new stash just for checking out all the lush projects we've been making: 

Hello Ruby Rock-It and Daring Cardmakers Fans!  

We are so excited to be teaming up with this fabulous group of crafters!

We have a fun blog hop that we are kicking off today!!

Yes, that’s right, you can sit, relax, and hop through the blogs of our Creative Team members as we show you what we have been creating!

Here’s your blog hop order…

Here’s the details:  Enjoy the hop and leave a comment for each of our fabulous designers along the way, and be sure to leave one on your last stop the Ruby Rock-It blog!  For those that follow until the end leaving your sweet sentiments along the way, will be entered to win a fabulous prize from us!  We will announce our winner the first week of September!

So, what have I been making with my Ruby Rock It goodies?  Well after having a great old time making cards for the Baby and Birthday themed challenges we've done on the Daring Cardmakers over the last few weeks, I thought I'd mix up all the lovely stash and see how I could put it together to make something a bit different.
What I ended up with was this 21st Birthday, pink, purple, fluffy and flowery cracker, and pocket gift tag to go with it

From Ruby Rock It I used:
Mulberry paper flowers. Sentiment Sticker, Tag and Pocket, Wooden Numerals

I hope you like it - don't forget to leave that all-important comment and then....

It's time to head on over to Erin's blog

Happy Hopping!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Boy Trouble

It's Lythan's turn to set the challenge fro the Daring Cardmakers this week:
".... as I am in the middle of lots of male birthdays the theme is
Let's hear it for the boys
Its time to see some of those cards for men.
What are the things you add to a card to make it more pleasing to the masculine eye? (Yes, I want to shamelessly steal some ideas!)"

This was a good opportunity to tick off my list one of the male cards I need to get done soon.  I've made this for my nephew - a break away from the usual football-themed cards I make for him, mainly because I'm bored to the back teeth of trying to do football in different ways! Now he's a grown up 23 he can put up with the occasional "grown up" card.  That's my excuse anyway

This sort of "grew" in the making!  It was going to be a simple plain white card with the panel of die cut stars just being the blue upper layer and the striped lower layer. 

Then the sheet of corrugated card left over from last week's challenge caught my eye and one thing led to they do!

Materials and Tools:
Papers: "Man's World" from "Now That's Funky" (Funky Hand)
Corrugated card panel, inked dark brown 
PC generated sentiment tabs
Star Nested dies (Taylored Expressions) 
Tiny Star punch

I quite like the LO I finally came up with for this so I may use it again!

Pop over to the DCM BLOG and be inspired by the rest of our Male cards this week - so many fab ideas for those tricky chappy cards :)

Thanks for visiting

Friday, August 14, 2015

Lumpy and Bumpy

This week it's my turn to set the challenge for the Daring Cardmakers and I've asked for lots of Touchy, Feely Texture on this week's cards.  The idea being that the cards feels as good as they look because it has so much interesting texture on there
I used some corrugated cardboard from some packaging as the base part of my card.  When I removed the upper brown paper from the cardboard I left just a few small pieces of the paper on there for a little extra interest.
The basket weave piece is made using a mix of acrylic paint and texture paste wiped thickly over a stencil 
I've also added some metal elements and some lovely soft velvet to the Texture medley ;)

Materials and Tools 
Smooth White square card blank
Materials and Tools
Corrugated card from packaging
Green Pink, White and Diamond White Bazzill card (flowers)
Acrylic paint (Fresco Finish)
Texture Paste
Velvet ricrac trim, Green sating ribbon
Dragonfly metal charm and circular metal clip
Homemade sentiment sticker
Basketweave Stencil (Crafter's Workshop) 
Flower punch (Xcut)
Tiny Butterfly from Butterfly Trio (Memory Box) 
Leaf Swirls (Spellbinders)

Do you like the flowers? On the picture below, the 2 flowers on the left are some of the ready-made cherry blossom flowers from my stash, the group of 5 on the right are ones I've made.
I love the cherry blossom style flowers that came in a DT box ages ago - but my supply is dwindling now.  I had a hunt around on the web and found large packs for a pretty good price - if you wanted 60 of a single colour. then I found small packs but not so much colour choice and in packs of about 10 for around half the price of the 60s!  
So I wondered about making my own, and realized that I had the right shapes flower punch (though very slightly smaller) and also some stamens - though they were bright white and pearlised which I don't particular;y like so I dipped a load of the stamen ends in some Vanilla Acrylic paint and left them to dry,
A bit of inking and shaping with ball ended embossing tools and here's what I ended up with

I'm quite chuffed because now I can have whatever colour I want to match my project.  I'll probably make a template to cut very slightly bigger petals on my Silhouette, then cut a batch in white and one in pale cream so that I can just ink them to the colours I want.  If I can source some nicer stamens I'll be able to make these really quickly - I'm not keen on hanging around waiting for stuff to dry! 

Our fabulous Design Team have made some stunning cards this week - they always do!  You can check them out HERE.  I hope you'll join in with our challenge this week, I'd love to see what you make - even if I can't test the touchy feeliness of it!
Thanks for visiting, please leave a message :)