Friday, November 09, 2018

Winter Flowers and Foliage

How are you diddling?  Well, I hope 
We have a bright sunny day here in Hertfordshire, but apparently that's going to change later on.
I'm still getting nowhere with this 'getting ready for Christmas' lark, somehow I just can't find any enthusiasm for it just yet.  To date, I've not bought a single present!  I need to kick myself into action or it'll all go pear-shaped!
Anyway. on to this week's Daring Cardmakers' challenge, which, once I'd actually managed to create a background I had a lot of fun with

After much faffing and changing my mind about what to put behind the flowers, I ended up using designs from a couple of download paper sets on this card.  The gorgeous wood effect one is from Grepic and the pale silver-grey snowflake design is from The Lovely Studio.
The poinsettias were a given, really.  I probably have too many Poinsettia die sets, I have at least 4 and I admit, that is probably too many.  Probably, but not definitely! You do need enough sets to be sure you have the right size petals for any project, after all!
It's a bit of a die-fest actually, so I won't list every single one I used - if you see something you like in the picture and want to know who makes it, give me a shout in the comments and I'll get back to you!  

Digital paper designs, printed onto white Bazzill card:
Woodgrain backing paper  White Wood Textures by Grepic
Snowflake backing paper  Snowberry by The Lovely Studio
Other card:
Plain white card blank
Red and gold card, Red gloss card for berries and sentiment
Various green card scraps for foliage
Foliage dies inc. pine sprigs, holly, other leaves
Sentiment die set, I think is from CraftstashUK 
Tiny pine cone
Cinnamon stick 
Glitter Berries
Gold ribbon
Shiny red beads
Glamour Dust
Yellow Flower Stamens, glitter dipped!

The ribbon and large berries came gleaned from old Christmas Crackers - it's important to scavenge for treasure from crackers, gift wrapping etc!

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

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Hot Foiling Adventures: Silver Snowflake

After a damp and drizzly start to the day, the sun is trying really hard to break through the gloom.
I'm still trying to catch up with un-blogged projects, so you might have seen today's pictures already. A blog post gives more chance to tell you about them though.

For Christmas last year my OH gave me a hot-foiling machine and every now and then since it arrived on my desk, I've been playing around with it and trying to get to grips with what works and what doesn't.  What I've discovered for myself, and what I've read, or seen on videos, is that it's very much a case of trial and error. The card that works, the shims you need to use and the dies etc that work, even the die cutting/embossing machine you use to roll the hot plate through - all are a bit 'liquid' as to which combination works best and you just have to try things out.
There are loads of ways to use a hot-foiling gadget - just do a bit of Googling to find out more about them.

For the cards I've shown above I used once of my favourite dies from last Christmas.  It's the largest die from this 'normal' die set

When you use your existing metal dies, the parts that are foiled will ONLY be the raised cutting lines.  This means that some dies work better than others when used for foiling - you just have to experiment.

You can also buy 'hot foil 'stamps (aka plates)  which work in a similar way to regular stamps - the raised parts of the stamp will give the pattern on your paper.  If you look at this next photo the red example is a made for purpose hot foil 'stamp', the silver tree on the blue example is a normal cutting die.  You can see that the space between the cutting lines on the tree stays blue, but the foiled areas on the hot foil stamp are more like a regular stamped impression. 

I would advise anyone buying one of these machines to also buy a couple of the made for purpose hot foil stamps.  I didn't do this straight away and just used cutting dies and found the process frustrating and disappointing because it was hard to get a decent result right from the start. 
The other basic issue I had was that I just couldn't get the foiling to work using my electronic die cutter (ebosser).
Once you've done the heating part of the foiling process you need to roll the removable platform of the foiling gadget through your die cutting machine.  The platform is about 2.5cms thick so it needs to be one with a fairly deep 'mouth'.  The tolling process fixes the foil to the card and must be cone fairly slowly and usually a couple of times through.  I've found that my ancient Cuttlebug works perfectly so keeping it as a standby cutting machine was a good move!

Going back the cards I'm sharing here this time, they were the result of an experimenting session, so I took a picture of what I ended up with after the foiling was done. 
The photo shows the die I used (see above for details), next to that is the piece of silver foil I used, then the navy and black pieces of foiled card. The interesting thing about this is that I used this same piece of foil for all three of the foiled images and could probably use it again, its worth knowing that you can often get more mileage from a piece of foil than just a single image.
I made all three into quite simple cards, using apertures, silver card, silver twine, a few gems or a die cut snowflake to embellish them.  I think they are quite effective so will make a few more in the same style.
Here's the silver foil on black version

Thank you so much for looking, I hope you found it interesting to read of my hot-foiling 'adventures'!  My main problem is that the experimenting tends to take over and I've hardly any completed projects to show for it!  
Oh well, its just another way the Bad Fairy of Procrastination makes her presence felt!

See you again soon
Happy Crafting

Friday, November 02, 2018

Inspired for November

Happy Friday

Another frosty morning, but it soon got out really bright and sunny.  Mind you, I'm not actually sure what happened to the morning as here I am at 2.30 in the afternoon writing this when it should have been done hours ago
Oh well, I'll {try to} be quick, and not get diverted with any waffling 

It's Daring Cardmakers Day and this is the card I've made for this week's challenge 
As usual our first challenge of the month is our
 Elemental Inspiration Challenge.
 For November we're kicking off our Countdown to Christmas with a mood-board stuffed with loads of ideas for you to choose from.
 Remember, you just need to pick a minimum 3 elements from the picture to use when making your card

I love this mood-board - the colour palette may not be immediately Christmassy, but subtle and stylish, and when you start looking closer there are sooooo many little details to get the creative juices flowing, not just for Christmas cards but loads of other projects too.

I love all the textures and patterns which are wonderful to use for backgrounds and I chose a couple of them (brown paper top left and white knitted piece in the lower left area or the picture) to use for my card. I definitely wanted to use the black and white Baker's Twine, and the silver bauble too.
White square card blank plus extra for the embossed panel
Kraft card to echo the brown paper in the picture
Silver mirror card
Silver Glitter card
Pearl metallic red card
Black and white Baker's Twine
Die cut snowflake, a leafy sprig and a poinsettia left over from last years Christmas crafting  (I am a hoarder of such things!) 
A few red gems
A tiny silver bell 
Embossing folder is "Cable Knit" from Crafters' Companion

NOEL is a gorgeous hot foil plate from Spellbinders

NOEL  Holiday Glimmer Hot Foil Plate
custom link

Silver Bauble from Spellbinders

 I really enjoyed making this and hopefully it will help get me in a more productive frame of mind as I really do need to get some Christmas cards made and stop faffing about!
Right, I said I'd try not to, but I very nearly slid into a bit of waffle 
there, didn't I?
So, I'll shut up and sign off, hope you like the card, hope you'll be inspired to join in with the Daring Cardmakers this week and hope you have a fantastic weekend!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Patterns in the Sand

Well. the clocks have gone back and we've had a couple of frosty mornings already this week, so I guess we're dipping our toes into Winter!  I don't like it!  The only good thing about Winter is that I can dry/warm my socks on the heated towel rails!
As I've been such a bad blogger in recent months, I thought I do some catching up and try to blog some things I've not shared on here yet.  

Back at the start of Summer we went up to Northumberland for a few days staying with family in my home village.  I do count myself very lucky to have grown up at the seaside!

My village's heritage is one of fishing and mining.  Now the mines are gone and there are only a few fishing boats (cobles) left.  Mining in particular left its mark on the beach, and you can still see the coal dross washed up on the sands.  The movement of the sand, sea and tiny fragments of the coal dross makes the most amazing patterns.  I was mesmerised bu them and couldn't resist taking some photos.  It was one of these photos I used to make a background panel for my card

I cropped and resized the photo then printed it onto textured white Bazzill card, then matted it onto dark blue.  I used another of my photos for the main image.
The sentiment panel was made from several Spellbinders dies and to complete the card I covered a little wooden anchor from Bubbly Funk with black Enamel Accents and glued it in the corner, adding a gold twine knot. 
You'd never know that was sand pattern, would you? It was a beautiful sunny late afternoon when we dumped our bags after the long drive and headed across the road for a walk along the prom,  OH even took his shoes off and had a paddle (or a 'plodge' in Northumbrian!) along waters' edge.  I didn't! Because I grew up thinking that running up and down the prom to get the circulation going was part of the deal after a dip in the sea - I didn't know the sea could be warm till I went on my first Greek holiday!
 Ah well, this short post turned into more of an essay, didn't it!
So please excuse the rambling!  I'll shut up now......

Thank you so much for dropping by, have a great day


Friday, October 26, 2018


Here we are at Friday again.  I know I said I'd try to be a better blogger now, but this week I have an excuse as I have my lovely rellies staying for a few days!
I did get some crafting time earlier in the week though and managed to get my card for Svenja's Daring Cardmakers challenge made:
It's Svenja here with today's challenge. And as I think that we can never have too much sparkle in our lives it is: 
go glitter!
(It doesn't have to be pink, though ;-)  )
The design team members have made some shiny examples for your inspiration and you can check them out HERE
My fellow teamies are mainly getting into the Christmas spirit with their cards this week, but I still need a few birthday cards, including a couple of more masculine ones. So I thought 'Men and glitter - well, why the heck not!'

I've used a brand new stencil from Bubbly Funk to make the background for my card - these new stencils are designed by BF's Caroline especially for her store and will be available soon

Sparkle Medium Glitter Gel Black Diamond (I think!)
Spellbinders dies for letters cut layers in black, then pearl metallic card for the red top layer
Extra stars punched with an EK Success punch from a blue-black glitter card
Red stars pinched with another EK Success punch (has 6 tiny stars in a circle

Pretty simple card, but a bit  time-consuming with die cutting and sticking the various layers of letters together and waiting for the glitter gel to dry.  It's quite striking though, and I think I can get away with sending it to my male cousin in a couple of weeks time 😉😉

Thanks for popping by

Friday, October 19, 2018

Apple Day

We had a 'proper' Autumnal start to the day here -  it was quite foggy, with a chill in the air. 
Now that the fog has lifted, we have a beautiful blue sky and the colours of the leaves are really glowing - a complete change from the horrible grey dampness earlier in the week when it didn't seem ever to get light.  Days like today certainly lift the mood.

We have a challenge over at the Daring Cardmakers that matches the "Season of Mellow Fruitfulness" perfectly!
It's Joanne here to challenge you this week. October 21st is Apple Day here in the UK. Lots of places have apple-themed events which might include pressing juice from apples, getting gardening advice, cookery demos etc.

So, let's celebrate the humble apple this week! If you don't have anything apple-themed in your stash show us some other tree fruit - pears, peaches, plums etc.
 I thought I'd make a Get Well Soon card for this challenge, after all, an apple a day keeps the Doctor away, doesn't it!
I started by printing the sentiment directly onto the card blank then used one of my own cutting files to cut out the various parts of the apples on the Silhouette machine. They were then layered up until I was happy with the layout.  I had a few inked leaves left over from a card made a few weeks ago, so popped  them in to add more Autumn colour and extra interest

White card blank
Navy blue card, white card
Coloured paper and thin cardstock for the apples
Own cutting file for the Silhouette
Pale grey-blue backing piece is white card, inked with a couple of Versamagic ink pads
Leaves are cut with a Spellbinders die set from the Four Seasons collection 

There are lots of lovely Fruity ideas over on the blog so I hope you'll take a minute to hop over and check them out.  We'd love you to join in with us and share your own Fruity makes!

Thanks for looking
Happy Crafting

Thursday, October 18, 2018

3D Vignette Balloon Birthday

Remember me?
It's quite a while since I did some blogging, I've struggled with all sorts of stuff over the last couple of months and finding the energy to do pretty much anything has been hard. But I'm starting to feel better (yes, I know I've said that before), and beginning to feel more like getting crafty again so I'm going to try really hard to get into blogging too.  
One thing I think is going to help get my mojo back is the new little Facebook birthday club a group of like-minded crafters have just started.  Over the years I've been involved with a few Birthday clubs on craft forums; the idea being that everyone in the group sends a lovely handmade card to everyone else in  the group when their birthday comes around.  It was such a treat to receive a beautiful bundle of handmade cards and they always looked fabulous standing on the mantelpiece!  With the sad demise of craft forums (FB just isn't the same) and the cost of postage rocketing, the birthday groups sort of disappeared.  I really missed it all, and I'm thrilled to be part of this brand new Birthday Club! 
We had the first member's birthday earlier this month and I really enjoyed getting stuck in and making this card for Lea.
I LOVE these 3D Vignette dies from Spellbinders and Becca Feeken.  They are so darned clever the way all the layers go together to make a dimensional card that then squeezes flat enough to fit into a regular envelope!
White card
 Various shades of peach card

Here's how all the layers squash down to slide it into an envelope - though you need to remember that they are US card sized so you may have to hunt out a UK envelope that fits, or get that WRMK envelope maker board out and make your own!  I think I used a 15cm square envelope and folded down a bit at the top so the card didn't move around too much inside.

I was hoping there would be some new designs coming out to extend this rnage - wouldn't something Christmassy to put in the frame be lovely!  I've not seen or heard anything though.
So there you go, a new blog post at last, and the Birthday Club is a lovely new project to be involved with with - I'll enjoy sending out cards to the others, and be very excited by the time my turn to be on the receiving end comes around next September!
Whilst I am feeling better and more positive, I do feel I need to be more relaxed about my crafting for a while so I've made the tricky decision to step down from Bubbly Funk DT, at least for a while.  I'll still be using some of the lovely things from the BF shop though - especially as there are lots of lovely and exclusive new things coming out that you won't be able to buy anywhere else!
Anyway, enough waffling for today.  Thank you for visiting and for listening!!

Back soon with something new for the Daring Cardmakers

Friday, October 05, 2018

Glorious October Elemental Inspiration

Hope you've had a good week - once more I've been a rubbish blogger; I have been quite busy this week but with a bit of luck things will calm down soon and I'll to get caught up again soon.
At least I've managed to get here and blog this card for Dawn's Daring Cardmakers Elemental Inspiration Challenge

"Its Dawn here hosting this weeks challenge and as its the first Friday of the month I have picked a beautiful elemental inspiration picture for you.
Remember you need to pick at least three elements and include these on your creation."

Well obviously those colours were just too gorgeous not to use as one of my 'elements', I decided to use the layout of the mood board as element 2 and then the bottle (top row, 2nd image) and a spray of Autumn leaves from the centre image - then I threw in a few Autumn leaves for good measure!
I started by using Distress Inks to add the colours to a piece of white card, then die cut the squares from the bits I liked best to create the grid pattern.  For the centre piece I matted some plain white card onto some gold card.
For the bottle I used a couple of DIs to get a good colour, then die cut the bottle shape using a Chianti bottle die (with the top cut off).  The bottle was then coated with Glossy Accents and left to dry
For the leaves I started with a piece of dull yellow Bazzill card, then added the orange, red and a little brown ink before cutting the leaf sprigs.  I like the way you get a more natural look to the colours doing it this way - and as I can't colour in for toffee this technique usually works well for me! 
From the spare card I cut a few extra leaves to finish it off
  That's it for this time, I hope you'll visit the BLOG to see the gorgeous cards the team have made using this picture as their inspiration - it always amazes me what everyone finds to use, and there's always something I never noticed!
Happy Crafting

Friday, September 28, 2018

Autumn Shades with a Flourish

How are you?
I'm waiting for my grocery order to arrive, so if I dash off in a minute, you'll know why 😀
It's my turn to set the challenge for the Daring Cardmakers this week and I decided to keep it really simple - at least for me, anyway!  You can read why that is in my blurb:

It's me, Kathy here this week and I challenge you to
~  ~  Add a Flourish ~  ~
Using flourishes and swirls is one of my favourite card-making techniques.
 I'll let you into a secret - it's a bit of a trick really! They are often last-minute additions when I've put a card together and get one of those  'something missing', 'too much white space', 'hmm, the balance isn't quite right' feelings.  Adding some kind of swirly accent almost always sets things right.
So please add a swirl or flourish to your cards this week - in any way you like; die cuts, beads and gems, stamping, embossing, stencilling - there's lots of ways to do it as you'll see on the wonderful inspirational cards made by our design team [HERE] this week.

I loved seeing the different ways my lovely teamies chose to add their flourishes.  It's what I love most about The Daring Cardmakers; the way a challenge is given then everyone runs with it in their own way, it's so inspiring.
It was harder to make sure I actually started my card with the thought of having swirls and flourishes in there as opposed to just adding them as an 'extra' when everything else was in place!
I really wanted to use Autumn shades and flowers (for a change), but I wasn't keen on the first background I made, so this was my second attempt.  
This time I started with a piece of corrugated card that was poking out from the scraps box, and a lovely dark red card blank that caught my eye just as I was about to reach for a white one. 

Dark red square card blank
Corrugated card from a box
Soft Old Gold card for matting
Mirror Gold card for lower swirls 
Green card (some inked) for leafy flourish and some leaves
Orange, Beige and light brown card, with added inky shading for other leaves
Various wired flowers from my stash
Dies are all by Spellbinders:
Gold swirls (under flowers) Cinch and Go Flowers set one
Green Leafy Flourish (at top): Foliage Flourish Shapeabilities Etched Dies

I curled some of the wire rosebud stems around skewers for some extra swirl shapes

 I'm pretty happy with how this turned out and I love the mix of colours.  It was one of those cards that I enjoy putting together as all I do is move around and add more bits and pieces until I like the arrangement.
Anyway, I hope you like it too and feel inspired to have a go at the challenge yourself - we welcome all-comers and love to see how people respond to the challenges.
That's it for now, thank you for visiting - don't forget to leave a message!
Happy Crafting

Friday, September 21, 2018

Beady Eyes

Hope you've had a good week and haven't been blown away in the windy weather!
I failed again with my blogging this week.  I had this plan for getting back into more regular posting and aiming for two a week.  Oh well, I'll try that one again next week!  It's not even that I don't have things to blog - I do, there's a bit of a backlog actually.  I'm just rubbish at sitting down and writing stuff.

Anyhoo on to the new Daring Cardmakers challenge, and all the way from Germany we have Miri in the hot-seat:
Turn up the bead(s)
I’m quite sure that you as a crafter have a stash of beads in all colours and sizes somewhere. Right?! And if you’re anything like me, you might not know what to do with them.
So let’s inspire each other and share your beady creations with the Daring Cardmakers this week.
See what the members of the design team made by clicking HERE
I think Miri has been spying on me! I love beads and have many boxes of them stashed away in my cupboards!  I had a bit of a jewellery making phase a while back but now I don't use them much at all.  
This was a lovely opportunity to use some - though, as you'll see I ended up using just a few teeny ones for my card - not really even a tiny dent in the bead collection to be honest!

Smooth quare card blank
White, green and pinky-lilac Bazzill card 
Gorgeous patterned flower from Bubbly Funk 
Lilac stamens (I changed the original ones to match my card)
Silver thread
Dies from Spellbinders:
Background for flower: 
Heart Leaves from the Joyous Celebrations Collection

We were given some money towards an Afternoon Tea for an Anniversary present, but for one reason and another (mainly being ill!) we'd not got round to doing anything, as it was my birthday last week we had a bit of a double celebration and went off to one of the local Country House Hotels at the weekend and 'took tea'!  We've been here a couple of times before, its such a lovely hidden away place and the building and gardens are stunning, which really adds to the whole thing.
I thought I'd share some photos with you.  Neither of us like fruit scones, so our scones were plain ones and some yummy lavender ones

Right, this has taken way longer than it should have done, so I will shut up and go and make myself a coffee - and then maybe I will make something new....
Have a fabulous weekend
Happy Crafting