Friday, January 18, 2019

Stamping and Me.....

Gosh it's a chilly one today, our outside thermometer was reading -7 at 8am this morning.  A frosty start, but bright and sunny. 
 I'm writing this while waiting for my grocery order to arrive - so if I disappear in the middle, you know why 😆 😂

Stamping and me are definitely not best friends, not downright enemies, but more the "rather not be in the company of"  kind of thing, so imagine how my heart sank when Dawn issued this challenge to the Daring Cardmakers
Its Dawn here with this weeks challenge and its called
Just Stamping
I would like to see just stamping on your cards this weeks.  This means no embellishments, die cuts, papers etc...
For me this was a hard challenge so if you need to add something maybe a sequin or two please make sure that the stamping is the main focus of your card
So get out your stamps and your favourite ink pads and create.
Now it would have been easy to throw my hands up and say "No, too hard!" and opt out, but I don't think we've had a challenge I've missed through cowardice yet, so..... out came the box of stamps - yes, I do actually have some, though most have never actually been used.  Some have arrived in various DT boxes and their use avoided wherever possible, some came free with magazines and some I actually bought (shock, horror)
To cut a long, tedious, story of failed backgrounds and stamping attempts in the end I decided to keep it really simple and use this rather lovely text stamp by Spellbinders which nicely fills up most of my card!
I even have one of those MISTI things because occasionally I use sentiment stamps and it helps a lot!  I stamped it on a separate piece of card, it's a big stamp and a bit of a tight fit for the frame of the gadget which made it a bit tricky to do. Next I trimmed it to the right height and adhered to the card front.
The little hearts on the side were done using a Memory Box stencil

I 'used' to have a set of mini alphabet stamps but I'm blowed if I can find them, so instead, I used my GoPress & Foil gadget and hot foil alphabet stamps from CraftStashUK to make the tag - it still qualifies as stamping, right? 
I used black gloss card and silver foil and matted the piece onto red gloss card. adding silver and black twine and narrow red ribbon in a loopy bow.
I probably cheated a little bit with the tag and twine, but oh, it looked so FLAT and dull.  So I had to do it, didn't I?
Sorry Dawn......

So, are YOU up for the challenge this week? We would love you to join in and give it a go!
Thank you for popping by

Happy Crafting

Monday, January 14, 2019

Christmas Round Up 1

These Mondays come round quickly, don't they? 
 A sunny one here, but jolly cold.
Things got a bit hectic towards the end of 2018 and I didn't get to blog much in the last few weeks.  Now that things have settled down I thought I'd catch up and so a bit of catch-up Christmas card blogging. 
I've mentioned before how I love digital papers, and this time I'm sharing a few of the cards I made using lovely papers from MaryDdigital

Reasons I love digital papers:
You can have them on your pc and ready to use almost immediately
You only need to print as much as you want
You can crop and resize to exactly what you need
You can print on loads of different media
They don't take up any room on your shelves
And you never run out of your favourite designs!

I wanted to use these paper sets to cut some of my favourite little tree and stocking dies.  As the dies are small, I started by simply resizing the papers so they printed out 3 on an A4 sheet.  Then I printed them on textured cardstock.  That way you get a little dimension and a more interesting finish

I made loads of cards with these paper sets - but I forgot to photograph most of them.

Tiny Trees and stockings cut from this gorgeous Blue Glitter Christmas paper set

I made lots of cards on a variation of this theme.....
 and even more variants on this kind of card

They were all made using this Christmas Mix set - these are my favourite Christmas colours ever!

Both of these paper sets are fab and they print beautifully.  There are lots of designs in these sets that aren't out-and-out Christmas too - check out all those spots stars and stripes!, so I'll get loads of use from them.  

Ok, that's it for today, thank you so much for coming by - I hope you'll leave a message before you go 😀

Happy Crafting!

Friday, January 11, 2019

January's Elemental Inspiration Picture


Hope this Friday finds you well!

The Daring Cardmakers are back today after our Christmas break and for our first challenge we have a beautiful Elemental Inspiration Picture board to work with.
All you need to remember is to select at least three elements from the picture and use them when you make your card - it could be the colour palette or the, the Layout as well as any of the things you can see on the board, whether big or small.
Here's what I've made this week
 I hose the hot drink, the chevron texture and  the gorgeous colour palette from the mood board Sylvia found for us:
Hi everyone, Sylvia here, I am hosting the January Elemental Challenge this week and would like to see you use at least three elements from the picture below. 
As we are beginning a new year a "New Beginnings" theme came to mind - New Year, new job, new baby, new home etc. but you can make whatever you like. 
 I chose the blues and browns, the bear, blue and brown textured fabric and the bow in the laces.

I love this mood board, it has such a warm and comforting feel to it - just right for chilly January!  I love the shabby-chic feel, and all the different textures.  I was tempted by the chair and nearly made a cosy armchair as the focus, then of course it was hard to resist that gorgeous teddy! Or those cute little baby shoes.....
In the end though it was the cup and saucer that I went for.  It looks like hot chocolate in there, which is always tempting, but as I had brand new, never used die sets which have been waiting since before Christmas for an airing, I decided on a coffee theme. 
And, by the way,  spelling 'Bean' that way was intentional - a bit of a pun to go with the little coffee bean die cuts.  I'm not so sure it's obvious enough, but it was the best I could come up with!

White card blank and extra for embossed background piece - the Chevron Embossing folder is by Crafters' Companion.
The embossed panel is matted on to brown scrapbook paper
Cup and Saucer die set (also has the coffee beans), Coffee Pot die set by Spellbinders.  The Spoon is from the Baking Utensils set, also by Spellbinders
Cups and saucers cut from various plain and inked card, some of the cups were
embossed with the same folder as before
I die-cut the cafetière from silver card, then coloured a piece of white card with pale blue for a glass effect, and added the 'coffee' on top of that using brown and cream card.  I cut this piece by hand to fit behind the silver die cut
The stack of cups were glued together, then I made a 'vox' hinge to put between the cups and the card front so that it stands out from the card, but lies flat for posting - this picture shows how it works

The sentiment piece was computer generated, trimmed down and matted onto a piece of the card used for one of the cups. I die-cut some coffee beans for detail and added a coat of Glossy Accents to each.
To finish I die-cut a couple of spoons from silver card and tucked them in the saucers

Click HERE to see what the rest of the team chose from the board to use for their cards this week - and then, we would love you to join in with us!
That's all for this time, thank you so much for popping by

Happy Crafting

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Happy Birthday!: Hot Foiling Adventures no 4


As this is my first post of 2019 I want to wish you a (rather belated) Happy New Year -  I hope all your crafty (and other) dreams come true, that the Bad Fairy of Procrastination stays away from your desk and that your crafty mojo is always there for you.6
I hope all that for me too, of course!
A couple of months ago we started a Handmade Card group on FB, mainly to swap birthday cards, but there will be other swaps along the way, I'm sure!   Anyway, my first card make of the year was a birthday card for Andrea, one of our group and I couldn't resist finally trying out some of the new hot foil plates I bought late last year and hadn't had time to use, plus one of those my OH gave me for Christmas
I must apologise for the photos, I've not got the hang of photographing foiled items and I was in a hurry too!

 The dotty background turned out better than I expected.  The foil is one of the 'pearl' finishes and to be honest I've found them rather disappointing when I've tried them before.  The colours look stunning on the roll but when you actually use them the colour hardly shows up at all, which is a shame.  I can't remember whether I've tried the pearl foils on coloured card so I should add that to my foiling 'to-do' list!

I'd just tried out this same pearl finish turquoise foil with another regular hot foil plate using white card and the image was really poor, so when I tried it with this lovely dotty background plate I didn't really hold out much hope - but as you can see, it worked really well and the tiny coloured dots show up very nicely.
The flower is from a foil and cut set by Spellbinders Glimmer.  It's lovely!  You get four sizes of flower along with the cutting dies for each, and also two foiling plates only for some leaves - I didn't use the leaves here as I wanted to tuck some die cut leaves behind the flower head for this card.
I foiled two of the flowers in shiny turquoise then used the cutting dies to cut the shapes out.  The cutting line wasn't as close to the foiled images as I wanted, so I just hand-cut around to make it closer
The sentiment is another Spellbinders Glimmer plate and I used lots of scrap foil, cut into strips to make a multi-coloured sentiment panel.  I'll tell you more about making these next time, and have more pictures to share too

Hot Foil Plates:
Background; Swiss Dots by Couture Creations 
Flowers; Foil Flowers by Spellbinders Glimmer
Happy Birthday Faux Script also by Spellbinders Glimmer
Hot Foil rolls all Couture Creations
White card blank plus extra for foiling elements
Turquoise card for matting
Leaf die Spellbinders
Turquoise satin ribbon to finish
That's all for today.  Back soon with more Hot Foil Adventuring and other things from my crafty journey too.
Thank you for visiting, please add yourself as a 'follower' via the sidebar.  
I'd love to hear from you so please leave a comment.  
 If you're a blogger too, I'll be sure to visit you to return the favour.
Happy Crafting

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Let's Decorate

Happy Boxing Day!
I hope you're having as lovely Christmas time, and enjoying it however you are spending the holiday period.  
Like many households I expect, OH is spending the day trying to set up various new itoys and update other techie stuff.  Which gives me a few minutes to do some updating of my own - namely my much-neglected blog.  It was manic here over the last days of last week and over the weekend and I just didn't get around to blogging my project for the Daring Cardmakers on Friday:

 This week, it's the last challenge for 2018 and time to take a final "Step Away from the Cards", we've called it
  Let's Decorate!
and really it's a chance for you to share whatever else you make, or arrange for Christmas.  We would love to see your sewing projects, Handmade Decorations, Table centres, Crackers, Other home décor - absolutely anything really!

I'd actually made something for this challenge a few weeks ago, but took it to the Southwold holiday flat for the tree there - meaning to photograph it in situ. Thankfully I'd made a paper version as a practice piece as I totally forgot those photos!
So, please imagine this star in pretty card, gold on one side and silver on the other, much smaller and with thinner card strips, sitting atop a Christmas Tree and that's what you should have seen here!
Instead there's my practice one, just made in simple copier paper.  The strips are each about 1x21cms.  The gold version is about half this size and more delicate.

That's all really!
Thank you for popping by.  
Next I'm hoping to catch up with sharing some of this Christmas's card designs.  As usual it was only in the last minute rush that I came up with some card designs that I liked enough to make a few of! Is it only me this happens to?
Happy Crafting

Friday, December 14, 2018

Snowflakes Falling: Hot Foiling Adventures no 3

How's it all going with you?  Everything ready for Christmas now? We'll not mention just how far behind I am.....
Straight down to the business of The Daring Cardmakers today:
This week our theme is
Snowflakes Falling
One snowflake or a whole blizzard, perhaps a snowman, or a whole snowscape if you like - just keep it snow-themed for your card this week, and remember, it doesn't have to be a Christmas card.

As far as I'm concerned the snow can just stay away all Winter.   I probably say this every year but I wouldn't mind the white stuff if it only settled on the gardens etc and never made the roads and paths so treacherous.  Being a born worrier I can never rest until I know that those I love are safe and sound and not travelling.
However, I love snowflake shapes especially when it comes to extending my die collection and I'm pretty sure it's impossible to have enough of them!
So I used quite a few to make  couple of similar cards this time, and experimented with  some hot-foil layering too.  I won't be sharing the version where my spatial awareness capabilities went to pot though!

For the  hot foil layer 1 a few of my smaller regular dies were laid onto the heating platform, then the foil (pretty side down), then the pale aqua pearl cardstock and finally a shim. It doesn't matter if some of the dies extend past the card, just be sure the shim (or you could add a piece of paper below the shim) is big enough to catch any stray foiling.
Because regular dies foil only where the cutting edges are, you get a lovely delicate background pattern
For layer 2 I used a hot-foil stamp plate ( I think this one is by CraftstashUK). You need to keep the stamp in position on the card, I use washi tape to do this and prepare the stack on my craft mat so I can get it all lined up.
At this point I have a tip for you:  I find it a bit fiddly cutting the slippery foil to shape, so I male a template using a scrap of card to roughly draw around the stamp on, cut the shape out leaving a small margin, write on it to label it then store stamp and template together.  It's much easier to cut the foil using the template than the actual stamp 

The foil needs to be between the card and the stamp so once I've decided where the stamp needs to be and use a small piece of tape to fix it and act as a hinge when I tuck the foil in place.
The stack (on the craft mat) will be:
Foil (pretty side up),
Hot foil stamp, face down (add more washi tape to hold everything place)

Now turn the whole lot upside down and place on the heating platform
Add the shim and allow to heat through before rolling slowly through your die cutter a couple of times.
Layer 3 is the same as layer 2, but I used red shiny foil and a Spellbinders Hot Foil plate
The second card was made in pretty much the same way, just  finished off differently.  The NOEL hot foil plate is also by Spellbinders 

Hot foiling as above
Gold paper added to card base
Die cut snowflakes added to the large hot foiled snowflake

Extra small die cuts and gems added to both cards

Hope you like them, and the instructions make sense, though I suspect they make more sense if you've actually got a hot foil gadget!
Have a great weekend
Happy Crafting

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

SnipArt Tree: Hot Foiling Adventures no 2

Over the last few weeks I've been continuing to experiment with my hot-foil machine and I thought it was about time I blogged another project.

I've been having a go at making my own hot foil 'plates', and will share how I got on another time - I've had to put that project aside while I concentrate on trying to get my Christmas cards done.  But having learned that it was possible to so it, I realised that you could probably also use those lovely laser-cut designs too.  I have a few pieces of SnipArt that have come in kits and I thought it was worth trying the idea out with this swirly tree.
To use the SnipArt shape as a hot foil plate, heat your machine and cut foil to size cutting off any corners as usual,to leave a 'softer' outline.
Now build your stack on the hot plate; 
*your cardstock
*the foil (sticky side onto the card)
*the SnipArt piece
*a shim 
Close the lid.  Leave to heat for a minute or so then run back and forward SLOWLY through your die-cutting machine a couple of times 
(I use my ancient Cuttlebug)
Allow to cool slightly before peeling the foil from the card.

This shape worked really well and I love the foiled tree. I used green foil on the top card and gold on the lower one - but they both look similar in the photo! If you are careful you can get several uses out of the SnipArt shape before it begins to get a bit too tatty.  It might be worth buying two of the ones you like best!

I was going to show you an example of foiling using a SnipArt piece that didn't work so well but I can't find it atm.  It was a lovely laser cut, but probably a bit too intricate to work as well as I'd hoped.  When I unearth it from the junk heap I fondly call 'my craft desk' I will show you thouhg.

All for this time, thank you for visiting

Saturday, December 08, 2018

December's Elemental Inspiration


Well,. my rubbish blogging has gone to new lengths this week!  Usually even if I blog nothing else all week, I at least manage to post my project for The Daring Cardmakers on the right day.  But not this week, here we are at mid-day on Saturday typing furiously in an attempt to get in done before I have some lunch.  Which is likely to take some going as I fear any minute now the cry "What's for lunch" will be heard from OH.

So without any more waffle, here's my card for this week

    As usual our first challenge of the month is an
     Elemental Inspiration Challenge
     For December we have a beautiful Christmas decor picture which we hope will inspire you.
     There are lots of elements to choose from and you just need to pick a minimum 3  to use when making your card.  If you choose to use the colour palette, then that would count as one of your elements

    Visit the blog HERE to see what the team have made
    Suggested elements include; Tree, Brickwork, Ship, Snowflakes, Baubles, Stockings, Gifts, Books, Mirror, Greenery, Succulent Plants, Tray of Nibbles

 I chose the snowflakes, the frame on the wall and the greenery - but of course I couldn't resist the lovely [ale turquoise shades, could I?  Especially when I was browsing some digi papers I downloaded a couple of weeks back and noticed that one of them actually features the perfect frame as part of the paper design! 

 I resized my chosen paper design so that I could pring it directly onto the front of my 14cm sq card.  Sometimes I need to trim a tiny piece off each edge of the card to get this right but I was lucky this time and it was perfect.

This beautiful paper download is from RomanticLetters via etsy
The baubles were made using a couple of dies for the bases, then a whole variety of snowflake dies cut in various kinds of gold, white and turquoise card.
I added some tiny die-cut holly from a holly sprig die, and berries from whichever tiny circle dies I could find. 
A length of gold twine was glued behind each bauble shape and more twine used to create tiny bows.
To finish a little gem was added to the centres of the baubles and NOEL was cut from red glitter card using one of my favourite Spellbinders sentiment die-sets from last year.

That's it for this time, one day I'll get caught up on here and share some more of my Christmas cards.  It's been a bit like trying to drag a boulder out of the ground getting them done this year.  That naughty BFoP (Bad Fairy of Procrastination) has taken up residence and just won't flippin' leave!

Ah well.....

Have a great weekend

Friday, November 30, 2018

Snowflake Gift Bag

Thanks for visiting today, this time I have a gift bag to share with you. I made this one for the nw challenge over on the Daring Cardmakers blog, we're taking a "Step Away from the Cards" again this week:
and making some gift nags and boxes.
This week, it's time to take another "Step Away from the Cards" and this time we'd love to see your

Gift Bags and Boxes 
We'd just love to join us by making
and decorating a gift box or bag.  it doesn't have to be Christmas-themed, we give gifts for lots of reasons and they all deserve some gorgeous presentation, don't they?
I do love to make bags and boxes, but as I've mentioned before recently the mojo has been lacking and it's been a struggle to make much at all!  I still do more 'faffing about' than creating an actual project, but things are gradually improving (thank goodness) and I really enjoyed making this gift bag.  I used a lovely digital paper set that I came across last year and downloaded but didn't use.  It's so pretty and the colours are just that bit different from the usual - more Wintery than Christmassy.

I love using digital papers because they allow me so much flexibility to print on different materials and that I can manipulate the shape and size to suit my project

Papers: 'Winter Wishes' Digital Download via Etsy from The Digital Finch
250gsm Textured white A4 for printing, plus extra for a couple of the snowflakes
Silver card and paper for snowflakes
Sparkly organza ribbon, Silver Twine
Bronze coloured jewel
Various Snowflake dies
Circle die for Closure Flap
Spellbinders Edging dies for starry panel

 I'm especially happy with the swirl shaped piece on this bag so I think I might see how that works out as a card design.

That's all for now

Thanks so much for coming by, please leave a message before you leave 

Happy Crafting

Friday, November 23, 2018

Starry Skies

How are you today?  

I'm slowly getting started with making my Christmas cards and have even done some gift shopping lately - though there's still loads to be done.  I still feel the need of a good old 'talking to' in the hope of getting myself into action

Anyway. on to this week's Daring Cardmakers' challenge

This week we're back to making cards and the theme is
Starry Skies 
Take your inspiration from the night sky when you make your cards this time.
One star or a whole galaxy of them....or maybe a glimpse of Santa's Sleigh flying by....or a Heavenly Host of angels.
Remember, it doesn't have to be Christmas - there's a whole galaxy of inspiration out there!

I’ve used the challenge to add another card to the Christmas card box - every little helps, but visit the blog and you’ll see some other ideas too! 
Some lovely new digital paper, some stencilling, die cuts and  foil stamping on this one - though you’d need to look closely to see the latter! 

The starry background was stencilled with silver Starlights paint. 
The digital paper is from “Romantic Letters” via Etsy - I’ll add the link later as I don’t have it at my fingertips atm
I gold-foiled the Sweeg Dixie Star die onto the paper, but as it’s a regular die it didn’t show up on the patterned paper as well as I’d hoped. 
So I cut the star in a slightly glittery silver card and adhered over the hot foil image using some tiny pieces of chipboard between the layers. 
A length of silver ribbon was adhered across the card, then the star panel was matted onto silver and black card and glued in place. 
‘Joy’ is by Spellbinders 
Punched stars were added, plus star jewels and tiny blue and silver gems to finish. 

That's it for today, thank you so much for coming to visit - leave a message and I'll be sure to visit your own blog to return the favour!
Happy Crafting