Friday, August 19, 2016

Pretty in Pink (and Lime)


Shock!  It's been raining this morning - not much, but the ground is actually wet.    Oh well - as the grass around here is now brown rather than green, I guess the gardens could do with it - but I hope the sun comes back soon!

We have a new Daring Cardmakers challenge this week and Svenja is definitely in a Summery, Zingy, Sherbet mood as she's set a colour theme for us this time:
 "It's Svenja here and this week I want to try and preserve that summer feeling just a little longer with some mouth-watering fresh & bright colours: use a combo of

Raspberry and Lime 
Sounds like a bit of an odd couple to you?  Not at all - just check out our BLOG to see the Design Team's fab creations!"

Pink and green is a wonderful colour combo, and I was looking forward to doing this one.  So why was it like getting blood out of a stone.  I think the card I eventually managed to finish was my third attempt!  One started off quite well,  but then I realised I hated the focus piece I'd started to make and I couldn't decide where else to go with it - so rather than end up making a hash of it, I set it aside to deal with later!  
Next I used a layered fancy die to make a centrepiece, but that was as far as that one went - am I the only one who has days like that?
So I cleared the decks and started all over again.

Coloured card all Bazzill
I cut a white square and slightly larger green square for the background.
 Using the frame lasercut as a guide I cut an aperture in the white square, then a larger one in the green layer.
 Next I used a series of increasingly deep shades of raspberry pink inks and the "Mini Spinning Tops" 6x6 stencil (Crafters Workshop) over the white square.
Once dry, I adhered the layers together with 3D glue. sliding a rectangle of printed lime green card into the aperture.  This piece is cut from some packaging I saved as it was so pretty - I think it was the backing card from some KandCo goodies!

I used black ink to colour the gorgeous chipboard frame from August's Craft Box
and when dry adhered it in place

 smallest from the Butterfly Trio set (Memory Box)
the larger one is an Apple Blossom die (CraftStashUK
Handmade Flowers: 
Smallest is made using an EK Success punch. 
 For the other two I used a couple of build-a-flower type dies 
(Cheery Lynn and Britannia dies). 
I have two that are very similar because I didn't check the measurements.... but hey, as I rarely make just one flower, now I can cut two lots of petals at the same time!
Die cut using my favourite Leafy Swirls twosome (Spellbinders)
Tiny pink gems for a little bit of bling.  
That's it for this time, thank you so much for visiting, and for your comments -  like most bloggers, I really do appreciate it when you take the time to leave a message.
Have a lovely weekend

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Soft Shades

Hello :)

Another lovely day here - I'm enjoying seeing the sunshine - but the pollen and hayfever symptoms,  not so much!  You can't have it all, I suppose (but why not?)
My project for the Sketch File this time is a card - I thought the LO lent itself to a bit of selective die-cutting to create a stand out section, so then it was just a case of choosing which die to use.

Using my eBosser makes it a bit trickier to do a partial cut - as it's electric you can't just stop turning the handle and wind backwards when you reach the point where you want to stop cutting.  Instead, I draw pencil lines on both sides of my card to indicate where the fold line will be, position the die where I want it, and  use low-tack tape to make sure it doesn't move.  Next I line up the edge of top plate with the pencil line so that the part I don't want to cut remains uncovered. Now the sandwich can be fed through the machine - only the part of the project which is covered with the top plate will be cut.
The Sketch
August 2016

Papers: 'Old Blue Damask' and 'Old Blue Patterns' Digital Downloads 
by Grepic on Etsy
Die set by Creative Expressions
Blossom punch for flower
To make the flower's centre, very thin wire is threaded along centre line of a length of wide organza ribbon, then pulled up tightly and threaded through the paper petals

I made a sentiment tag and tucked it under the flower, then tied a bow in cream satin ribbon around the lower section of the card and added some flat backed blue-grey pearls

Being in the grip of Olympic Fever - in this house, anyway, I thought I'd add a few on-theme photos from past visits to Greece.
The archway in the first is the one competitors would have used to enter the athletics arena in Olympia, with the second photo showing the 'tunnel' leading to the arena

This photo shows the stadium of the first Modern Olympiad, which was held in 1896.  This photo was taken in 2002 and at the 2004 Athens Olympics the old stadium was used for some events - I think the archery was held there, and the Marathon ended there and I believe a couple of the athletics field events were actually held in the ancient arena at Olympia, both of which must have 
been quite a special thrill with all that history to think on!

 OK, well that's enough waffling for today, thank you for coming by, it would be great if you'd leave a message before you go

Friday, August 12, 2016

A Room with a View

Good Morning - Happy Friday!

If you could choose your dream view to greet you every morning when you open your curtains, what would it be?  Would you love to see a City scape laid out before you, or maybe lush rolling countryside, Lakes and Mountains, or sea view......?

On the Daring Cardmakers this week, Dawn asked said:

"As I live in the beautiful countryside of Brittany in France I would like to see a window or aperture on your card with a picturesque view. 
So I have called my challenge:
It was interesting to see where this theme to our DT.  Some went with Wintry, Christmassy scenes and Svenja's quirky sense of humour saw her peeping though a keyhole as well as a window!  I thought about the view I'd love to see every morning, and gave it a bit of a Greek twist with some deep blue shutters concealing the view
The shutters were made from a rectangle of scrap card, embossed with "Distressed Stripes" embossing folder (Cuttlebug), then inked on both sides with a couple of shades Distress Ink.  A few lines and 'knots' were then drawn before halving the rectangle, and adding score lines at the ends.
I cut a slightly smaller rectangle from the card blank then embossed the card front with a Brick Wall embossing folder (Darice) - I had to use it twice to cover the whole of the card.

The 'view' was made on a separate sheet of card, with various inks to create the sky, sea and sand. I used a couple of different Stickles and Ice Stickles to add highlights and ripples to the sea, a grey marker to draw the seagulls and hand cut the pieces for the yachts from scraps of paper.  Once dry I trimmed it down and adhered to the inside of the card, then glued the shutters in place.

I was going to stop there. with the white brick wall and the blue shutters opening onto the sea view, but it looked a bit dull.  Plus, I couldn't resist the lure of the Beach Hut!  
I made a pop out shelf with more blue inked card, then  used some Promarkers and scrap card to draw some stripey pieces with matching solid areas which were then cut into the beach hut walls and roof shapes.  I added little card box hinges to the backs some of the tiny beach huts so they can really stand out on the shelf, others just had a couple of scraps of chipboard to give them some dimension
Finally, I added some matching bunting across the top would tie it all together.

If you head over to the Daring Cardmakers blog, you can see the view that greets Dawn when she opens the front door of her home in Brittany - she's a lucky lady, I think!
It would be great if you'd join in this week - we'd love to see how the Room with a View theme takes you!

Thank you so much for visiting, I hope you'll leave a message, and I'd love to hear what your own dream view would be.
Bye for now

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Two for Tuesday!

I hope you are still enjoying sunshine where you are, even though it's a bit breezy too.  The warm wind has really kicked up the pollen around here and I've been suffering big-time over the last few days.  Good excuse though to stay indoors and watch lots of Olympic action on the TV and all the other gadgets at my disposal.  Got to love being able to channel-hop, or keep in touch with a couple of events at the same time when you can't choose which to watch.  Or is that just me? hahaha
With Rio being a few hours behind, at least I can get other stuff done in the mornings, so I've just been doing a bit of over-due blog-hopping and this afternoon I shall set the ironing board up in front of the TV and find some Rio Action to take my mind off the monotony of the never-decreasing ironing pile.  I should end the afternoon feeling quite virtuous, really ;)

On to some crafting now though and I have a couple of things to share today - both using the new August Sketch File LO 'Big Shape, Little Shape'.
The first is the anniversary card I made for Hubby the other week, and the second a quick and simple page for the on-going Paris mini album project

This is quite a large card (about 8" high) and I used the sketch in a very shrunken version for the heart element.  
I started by matting some lovely Carta Bella paper onto a dull gold card layer, then adding a length of wide organza fabric around it, using wet glue to work it into a rather randomly gathered effect.  I adhered this backing piece to the card blank, then made the focus square using the same card and dotty paper and adding a a couple of other for the red panel.  
The gold metal heart was cut from one of the 'tiles' I received in my July Craft Box.  I felt a bit bad cutting it into a different shape, but there are others still left in the pack.....
The tiny heart is just hand-cut from some paper adhered to some card.  I tied gold lurex yarn around the red section, to follow the sketch LO.  The tassels are made from strips of paper, tightly would around the knotted ends of a piece of yarn, then tied around those on the focus piece.  I made a tiny bow and glued it over  the knot to make it look prettier! 
The tiny hearts on the lower corner are 'waste' from a border punch, and I also added a few small red pearls.
Here is the main version of the sketch:
August Sketch File
I thought the LO would work (upside down) fairly well used with a landscape-style photo on a  book page.  As the pages are squarish, I could use the photo for the top, large shape, add the title on a small on the small shape element and then use the lower section to add a bit of decoration without covering the photo too much.
The picture looks a bit weird because I stuck it into the book before photographing it, then had to fold the book in such a way to get a half-way decent photo!

I tried to match the card colours to those of the lighting at the base of the stunning dome of the Galleries Lafayette store.  It looked a bit dull so I went rootling through (one of) my stashes of 'might come in useful one day' things and unearthed a tiny carrier bag which I think came in a crafty swap at some time.  It was cute, but plain white so I popped a paper daisy on, added tiny price tag found in the same place and glued both to the corner to finish it off.

That's it for today - well done on getting to the end - I hope you'll leave a comment before you head off to recuperate ;)

Thank you for visiting xx

Friday, August 05, 2016

Where did the Week Go?

This last week whooshed by in the blink of an eye - which is my excuse for being such a bad blogger - and such a bad blog-visitor too, I really need to do some catching up!
I'm going to do a bit of a round up here today, so be warned! 

First off it's Daring Cardmakers Day, and the first Friday of the new month means we have an Elemental Inspiration Challenge, this is my card:

Nat chose the picture this time, and as you can see I selected the colours, mosaic patterned background and the vases of flowers to use on my card

To get miniature patterns to use for the mosaic, I used a digital download paper collection.  Although intended to be printed at 12x12", because they are digi, I could resize the design to print at only 9cms sq, or even select a small area of the design to make the size I wanted - that's how I created the different sized roses for the smaller vases.
Digital Papers 'Vintage Garden Party' by MichelleR on Etsy,  resized and cropped as required then printed onto white Bazzill card
MichelleR designs
Other card for matting, leaves and die-cutting large flowers
Mosaic punch, Poppy die (Joanna Sheen), Silhouette Cameo to cut the vases

As mentioned last time, it was our anniversary last weekend.  We decided to treat ourselves to a stay at Hanbury Manor near Ware in Hertfordshire.  At Christmas we'd been given a voucher for Afternoon Tea there and it was about time we used it - so thought we might as well book in and stay there too.

 The weather was nicer than it looks on the photos, thank goodness!  Nice enough to sit out on the terrace of the restaurant for our evening meal - which was lovely, especially my pudding!
By the following afternoon we'd made enough room for our afternoon tea.  Now, don't get me wrong, it was very nice but I have to say I was shocked when I glanced at the menu and saw that it cost £30 per person!  

We do like an Afternoon Tea as a special treat, and we have had better than this and for less money.  There is another beautiful country house hotel in the same town as Hanbury Manor which we've been to a couple of times for AT now and I know which I'd prefer to go back to.....
Earlier this week the new August LO  from the Sketch File went live and I will share my card for that soon - but I've rambled on enough for one day!

Thank you for looking, I hope you'll pop across to the Daring Cardmakers Blog to see what the DT have been making - and of course, it would be great if you'd join in too.


Friday, July 29, 2016

Back to the Comfort Zone

I spent yesterday making a card for OH as it's our Anniversary weekend.  He works from home on Fridays so I wanted to get it done before today.  I am notoriously bad for being a Last Minute Minnie, so actually getting it finished with a couple of days to spare is amazingly good going for me!

As I write, the sun is shining here - but if I'd started this half an hour ago it would have been raining.  I won't be risking hanging the washing out on the line today then!
I'll show you the card I made yesterday next week sometime, but today it's another Friday, and another Daring Cardmakers Challenge Day, so I'm sharing this one, for Lythan's Challenge - and after the stresses of putting pen to paper last week, it's much more of a comfortable card from me this time!  

                 Crochet Away
I (Lythan) have been involved in (also very far behind) in what is called a CAL - crochet a-long, attempting to make a blanket
I suspect mine won't look quite as good as this but I have enjoyed learning lots of new crochet techniques with all the different patterned squares. So I would like you to be inspired by crochet - maybe by the square patterns, or using some wool on your card or even a bit of crochet.

When I was at college I made a blanket with crocheted squares which I joined together then went around and around with more crochet until it was big enough for my bed. I did it mainly because my student house was so cold that working on it meant my legs at least stayed warm!  I don't think I've done any crocheting since, but I'm sure I do actually have a crochet hook that came free in a magazine. Fortunately, I found this lovely little crocheted flower before I needed to think a bit harder!
Papers are from a couple of download sets from Pininkie, resized and printed on to white Bazzill 
I mucked up and double printed on one of them so it's a bit darker and the pattern isn't right, but I decided to use it anyway to make the flower - and the small 'label' die cut behind the sentiment
The flower itself is created using the large Camellia quilling die (Crafters Companion) - I rarely get a nice even result using quilling dies as they are meant, so usually end up cutting one of the petal strips up to add the petals individually. 
I used the Crafters Companion stamen die for the flower centre, which gave a flat surface for adding the crocheted flower later 
A fairly large ball tool was used to get more shape into the petals.
A pretty brad was poked through the crochet flower and a couple of small punched circles, then glued to the coiled stamen of the large flower
I cut the backing piece for the sentiment using the small sized die from Creative Dies.  Using my Silhouette Cameo I made a perfectly shaped and sized oval to fit it then used a homemade decal sticker sentiment 
These colours are so pretty together - I downloaded the papers a few weeks ago but hadn't got round to using them for anything, they were perfect for this one though. There were two sets with the same colours, so obviously I bought both!


Anyway, that's all for this time, thank you so much for popping by - I hope you'' leave a message 


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Five Star!

I hope your week has started well.  Here it's not as hot as it was last week, but it's still nice - that said, the grass in our back garden is looking a bit parched, to say the least.  I checked the Met Office's weather app yesterday and saw the words "heavy rain" forecast for tomorrow - so I didn't put the sprinkler on.... and I'm hoping that's not the end of the good weather!

It's another project for The Sketch File blog today - the last one for the July LO, so there's just one week left if you want to join in with us.

 I thought that the version of the sketch with the five stars and the pennant would be perfect for making those exam congratulations cards we often need at around this time of year, so I made this

The LO is called "Bunch of Five" and here's how it looks:
The Sketch File blog

Papers: "Coral and Grey" download from Grepic on Etsy, printed onto white Bazzill card - I love the added touchy-feeliness you get using different textures of Bazzill to print digital designs onto!
Dull gold card for backing, and Gold Glitter card for a few extra punched stars
Star Nested Dies by DieNamics, various punches used for the small stars 
Sentiment piece created in Paint Shop Pro using one of the paper designs as the base, I added a circle with the Pre-set shapes tool, and filling it ('Fill' tool) with a lighter shade, then adding the words ('Text' tool) to fit.  I then cropped down and resized the whole piece to about 6cms square and printed two copies.  I used a couple of Nested Circles dies (Tonic) to cut the circles and adhered them together with a small piece of chipboard between the layers

I never used to use digital papers till I was asked to join the Funky Hand DT and I was hooked.  I really enjoyed the versatility of digital - and soon realised how easy it is to print exactly what you need, and I learned a few other 'tricks' too!
Anyway, Anice changed career direction a few months back and sadly, Funky Hand closed its "doors". So although I still have all the lovely FH collections to use, I thought I should look around for something new to feed my addiction to digital.

I can't remember why I ended up on Etsy, but I did, and that's where I found loads of lovely stuff to explore.  
I really love the collections from Debbie at Grepic - lots of lovely designs and colours and most sets have 10 or so different designs in them.  Some of the sellers I looked at did lovely sets, but with fewer papers, and I think you need a good selection of patterns along with plainer or 'textured' designs in order to make a collection usable - and it's hard to colour match on screen and see if different sets go together.  
Just in case any digi designers are reading this - it would help so much if you would add a note to say which sets work together - plus we'd no doubt buy the extra ones too! 

With digital papers you get the ability to crop  to use just a part of a design, or change the shape of the eventual print, you can print the whole paper as it is (these ones are for 12x12), or resize design, to print the whole thing to a more card-friendly 6x6, or even smaller if you want to If you look closely at the card above you'll see that the chevron design is used twice, with one being much smaller than the other.

Anyhoo, enough waffling - it would be lovely if you'd see if the sketch works for your crafting over the next few weeks - it doesn't matter what you use it for or how you use it, flexibility is good ;)

Thanks for popping by


Friday, July 22, 2016

Making a Mark

It's a bit cooler today - we had some rain overnight which has freshened the air a bit,  I'm just hoping the last few days wasn't our entire Summer.....

As always Friday is Daring Cardmakers Day ad this week its one of those challenges I dread most - the one that asks for doodling of some sort!  t comes up from time to time, in different guises and this time it's because one of our fab Guest Designers, Purvi uses a lot of her own, hand-drawn elements on her cards.  It seemed the perfect inspiration to have a go ourselves.  One of the aims of the Daring Cardmakers has always been to prevent that old "falling into a rut" thing that can happen, which is why we keep the challenges varied and well, challenging!
So even though I feel really out of my comfort zone when asked to Add a Doodle, I give it a go and usually start off with a little wander around the web, looking for ideas on how I can blag it.
This time I watched a video where someone started with a circle of paper, divided it into segments with a marker pen and then filled in all the segments with stripes, dots, curls, wiggly lines etc.  I could do this!  But then what would I do with it to make it into a card?
What if I used the same technique on some large numerals which would then be the focus "image" for a card?
I didn't even cheat with the numerals - I could have cut them on the Silhouette, but I didn't - I actually drew them with a Sharpie marker pen and then drew some lines to divide into sections.  I filled in the little segments with a fine gel pen then cut the numbers out.
The background pattern is based on the Sketch File LO from February 2016, the series of long rectangles and different sized circles is quite crisp and graphic which contrasted well with the 'fussy' design of the numerals.  I chose a black, white and grey colour theme, with a pop of bright yellow to lift it and a few layers of opal glitter card for bling
Not much in the way of tools needed for this - pens, scissors, guillotine and a set of nested circle dies (Tonic).  
Oh, and I nearly forgot; the white square and circle are embossed, the circle with Spots and Dots (Cuttlebug) and the square with Chevrons (Crafters Companion)
Most of the card is Bazzill, the glitter card is by Best Creations, and there's quite a lot of dimension created using sticky pads and chipboard

 That's it for this time - I hope you'll visit the DCM BLOG - there are some really wonderful cards with hand-drawn elements used in lots of different ways - it's such an inspiration to see.
Thank you so much for visiting today, please leave a comment and I'll come and return the favour!
Have a great weekend


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

5 Little Flowers

Hello from a blazing hot Hertfordshire!
It's another beautiful scorching hot day and I'm definitely not going to moan about being too hot - we see far too few days like this, but it can't be pleasant for those who need to dash around or work in hot and stuffy environments.
Hubby (its a Work from Home day) and I can once again feel smug that we bought a lovely Dyson Fan  one cold winter's day a couple of years ago......

My little card for The Sketch File Update this week is this one
Honeycomb (Crafters Workshop) stencil used to create a peachy-pink background on the card
White Bazzill plus 2 shades of peachy-pink Bazzill card scraps to make the squares and punched flowers (EK Success)
The green card is a piece of leftover printed (Funky Hand) card from another project and used for the punched border (EK Success border punch). the little butterfly (Woodware) and the die cut Leafy Swirls (Spellbinders)
I then cut a frame using nested squares (Tonic) and added "Hello" (Tim Holtz), along with some tiny gems and pearls

That's all for today. I hope you'll check out the projects on The Sketch File - and of course it would be great to have you share some ideas with us over there

Thank you for looking

Friday, July 15, 2016

Fancy a Slice?

Good Morning from sunny (at the moment) Hertfordshire!  I'm going to type quiclkly just in case it changes hahaha
As usual Friday is Daring Cardmakers Day, and this week it's our lovely Sharon who's chosen the theme

This week I'm kind of continuing with the summer theme as my dare is
Strawberries and Cream.
Since we've just had Wimbledon and it's most definitely the time for strawberries in the UK, I'd like you to either feature strawberries on your card, or just take inspiration from a strawberry and cream colour scheme.

The Design Team have some great ideas to share with you over on the Blog

I don't like that a bit weird? 
Anyway, I went down the shaped card route again and made a cake!  I'm really irritated now though, as I feel I should have made the plate section more of a flat base for the cake part - it would have looked better.  I guess I could still do that; make a new "plate" part and attach it in some way so the cake sits on it more realistically.  Although, maybe then the curved base of the cake would look odd - just ignore me, I'm thinking out loud!

I made a template, then a Silhouette Cameo cutting file for all the different coloured bits. I "Built" the cake then attached it to a card blank which had been cut and folded to fit 
The small strawberries around the edge of the plate are made with my tiny heart and star punches - these were part of a really cheap set bought in Tesco and honestly, I use them so much more often than the more 
expensive ones I have!  
The little flowers are die cut with a couple of the smaller sizes in the Cherry Blossom set (Spellbinders).  The flower centres are cut with the berries from either a mistletoe or holly set of dies!
To add a bit of bling I swirled some Glossy Accents over the 'icing' and while it was still wet added Glamour Dust Glitter
The seeds on the strawberries are gold ones from a couple of sizes of Gem Wheel (Anitas's).  I think it's a bit of a strange colour, not really a nice gold at all, but they were perfect for this job!

 It would be great if you'd join in with us this week - to give you some inspiration, THIS is the direct link to the Strawberries and Cream post, with all the luscious ideas from our fab Designers - just don't expect to come away without feeling peckish! 

Thanks for looking, I hope you'll leave a message before you go....