Friday, March 29, 2013

Chicks AwaY!

It's Beckie's first time in the Daring Cardmakers' challenge-setting hot seat and she's chosen a  this week:
"Springing into Spring"
Beckie wants us to celebrate Spring by adding a "real" spring somewhere on our cards.
We've a prize up for grabs this week to celebrate Beckie's first challenge 
and the arrival (we hope) of Spring.
It's a voucher to spend on goodies of the winner's choice from Little Blue Button
 There are lots of fab digis to choose from and all you need to do is make and share a card for the challenge, make sure you take notice of the simple rules then cross your fingers till next week!

Anyway, here's one of a couple of cards I made using springs to add a bit of fun
 The Chick is one of the current set of Crafty Templates - see HERE for more info
All papers are by American Crafts
The Flower panel is made using an EK Success border punch on a folded strip of paper
I used a small daisy punch to cover up how badly I matched the punching on the other edge - well, it was the first time I'd tried the technique! hehe
The "Spring" word and the tiny flower centres we cut with Craft Robo
The spring was made by coiling a piece of wire around a pen.  One end goes through a hole in the card base and is held securely and concealed inside with another strip of card.  The other end of the spring is similarly attached to the back of the chick.

I shall make a paper "belly band" to go around the card and keep everything in place when this goes into the post!

It would be great if you could join in this week, we'd love to have you play along.
Thanks for visiting

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Funky Pyramid

Well, a couple of weeks ago I made a pyramid shaped card for Lythan's A Cute Angle challenge on the Daring Cardmakers.  I mentioned on my blog post that having made the first one I couldn't resist making another,

One of the reasons I wanted to make a second one is that I realised that using Funky Hand paper designs meant I could print onto my card rather than stick a layer of paper onto the basic card pyramid.  I'll show how I did this in a couple of weeks when it's my turn to post on the Funky Hand Inspiration Blog aka Get Funky and Craft!

So really this is a sneak peek for that, plus a chance to see the latest download collection that I used to make it.
This collection is called "I Love You Sew" and is absolutely gorgeous.  Lots of lovely chevron designs just for starters!
 You can find out all about Funky Hand and the latest wonderful download collections by visiting the Funky Hand WEBSITE
Th Get Funky and Craft BLOG is HERE - we all take turns to share tips, techniques and things we've been making with Funky Hand goodies - it's updated twice every week, so worth adding to you regular reading list!!

Thanks for visiting, please come back soon

Monday, March 25, 2013

Some Crafty Templates

I've been really bad at getting my DT stuff blogged lately - it's not that I've been late getting it made - just late blogging about what I've made - not good.  Must try harder!

Leo's changed things slightly so that instead of sending my photos to her to put into the inspiration file that goes out to Crafty Templates subscribers, we nowload those and things made with the Quirky Kits directly onto the Quirky Kits Blog
So here's a little round-up of the things I've blogged over there so far - more to come in a few days time.

Pencils Textbook Doodle Template
Pencils are made in several layers of card and paper.
All papers from the current Quirky Kit
Quotation printed directly onto the card before the pencils were added
I'm really pleased with the bright colours and the dimension on this, and the quotation is a perfect fit, isn't it?

Tweet, Tweet, Tweet Template
These little birdies are so sweet.  You always get several sizes of the various templates so you have a choice of how to use them.  I've made tiny ones for this card and used papers, ribbon and the cute "Hello" tag from my Quirky Kit.  I added the yellow Baker's Twine from my stash

Floral Cupcake Doodle Template

I used this fab cupcake template on my Daring Cardmakers card last week, but thought I'd pop it on here as a reminder of another of the templates in the current collection

You can find out all you need to know about the wonderful Crafty Templates and the various Quirky Kits that are available HERE
The Quirky Blog is HERE

Thanks for popping by

Friday, March 22, 2013

Chalks Away!

OK, so I was a bit panicked when Nat gave us her challenge for this week's Daring Cardmakers.  You're probably well aware by now that I don't really do stamping and the style of cards the Chalkboard or Blackboard trend is about is really a stamping technique.

".... this week I've challenged the design team and you to...
Create a card that pays homage to the chalkboard look
Ideally I would love it if you could try the heat embossing technique, but if you don't have the supplies there are plenty of fonts and printables out there that you could use to replicate the look."

Nat explains all about it over on the DCM BLOG so please pop over and have a look at the info and all the fab cards the team have made this week
I don't have any suitable stamps and I don't have any white ink or white embossing powder to stay true to the technique so I had a hunt around on the net and found a wonderful free printable background which cheered me no end!
Next I spent a good deal of time playing about with fonts and dingbats - tbh I should have just stopped messing about and got on with ticking off other things from my to-do list!
In the end, I made a couple of cards - I'll save one of them for another post but here's what was actually the second card I made

I used:
Papers and die cut border Crate Papers "Lillian"
Ribbons, Lace, Wired Flowers all from stash - mostly from Creative Treasures
Coiled paper roses made from paper scraps

Chalkboard Printable Background from HERE
With the background loaded into Paint Shop Pro I added the sentiment on to the centre using the colour set to white
The flowery border is actually made from a dingbat font called "Menina Graciosa Ornaments Two" and is made up of masses of flower patterns - you just type a letter on your keyboard to get the corresponding flower or leaf design
I just "doodled" with the font-flowers to make the frame for the words. 
That done, I took it a step further and added a few bits of chalky-colours using the flood fill tool, still working with PSP.
Next step was to resize and print off the finished design and make the card

I hope you like it and will feel inspired to have a try at making your own version - or go the "proper" route and do it the stamping way!

Thanks for visiting

Friday, March 15, 2013

What's Your Angle?

Friday again and another new challenge over on The Daring Cardmakers

This week it's Lythan's turn and she says:
".... we want to see some sharp shapes. 
Geometry is all the rage in cardmaking so we would like to see geometric shapes in play as you
Make a cute angle
 its a play on words really - "a cute angle" is like "acute angle" get it? Or perhaps not...
 If you can make your acute angle cute then that would be fab too
However you interpret the dare we would love to see the results. Here is the team's take ..."
Something I've seen, but never felt inclined (incline, angle, pun!) to make is a Pyramid-shaped card - but I reckon a challenge is a challenge and why not add something extra into the mix - like learning to do something a bit different,
I had a hunt around on the net and found a few Pyramid cards - most were the decoupage style thing where you use ever-decreasing sizes of the image so that looked at from the side it's a bit like a stepped pyramid.  Not what I was after.
I also found some that were like a triangular exploding box which are cute, but not really a "card".
The style I went for in the end is such a neat idea and even though the finished card forms a 3D pyramid, it actually still folds (relatively) flat for posting - clever, eh?  
Even better, there are no complicated shapes to cut or folds to make.  It starts our life as 3 equal squares - you fold each on the diagonal, stick them together and as if by magic you get a pyramid!  It's the way you stick them together that makes it all happen.  There are several tutorials and videos available - THIS is the video I use to learn the technique

You end up with 3 faces to decorate - but as the third one has the extra fold to flatten the card for posting down the middle I left that unadorned for now - I think this would be the perfect place to make an area for adding your "to and from" bit
Materials and Tools
White Bazzill for the 3 card squares
 (my usual card would be too thick for this sort of card)
Papers: "Blue Hill" MME 12x12 collection pack -the swirls are also from the pack and the flowers were cut from one of the papers
Tiny clear gems, Ice Stickles, Glossy Accents, Seed Beads, Velvet ricrac braid
Die: Spellbinders 
Craft Robo: I used the Spellbinders die to make a "stretched" version to add behind the the main label
Paint Shop Pro: sentiment 
More cut out flowers and stems used on face 2 of the pyramid
I must admit that in the past I thought pyramid shaped cards were a bit naff and not my thing at all - but I surprised myself  by how much I enjoyed making this.  I must have, because I've another almost finished sitting on my desk!  The other thing I enjoyed about making this card was using some papers I've not looked at for ages - it's such a joy to rediscover forgotten favourites and wonder how come there is still so much left in the bag when the papers are so lush and should have been all used up by now!
Anyway, that's all for today, I hope you like the card and if you follw that link and make one yourself, I'd love to see it
Don't  forget to visit the Daring Cardmakers BLOG to see what other angles the team have taken this week.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Plato said.....

It's always good if you can make one project tick two things off your list, isn't it?
My "show and tell" for today is a double page in the quotations Maze Book that I've been gradually adding to over the last few months.
One of the pages uses the March LO from The Sketch File and for both sides I've used some soon-to-be-released papers from Funky Hand - so you can get a sneak peek at what Anice will have in the shop soon 

 Materials and Tools
Papers; "I Love You Sew" a  sneak peek at the coming download collection from Funky Hand 
Other Items: Tiny red and clear gems, Black and White Baker's Twine, 
 Pink Button Twine, Black ink pad
Heart and button are hand cut
Small square punch for mosaic tile border

This is the Sketch File LO I followed for the right hand page

And a closer look at the left side page - the gorgeous text paper is part of the I Love You Sew download and comes in other colours from the collection too. 

 That's it from me today
Thanks for looking

Monday, March 11, 2013

Spring Scrapling

Well, I'm not impressed with the weather - just as it looked like Spring might actually have arrived the chilly temperatures and even some of that bizarre white coloured rain :) have returned.
I mean - the Met Office app on my phone says "feels like -8"1  Now that's not funny, not one bit!  grrrr....or should that be brrrr?

Anyway, here's a a bright yellow scrapling card to bring a little ray of sunshine to this cold and windy day
Base card is ribbed Kraft card
other card is Bazzill in cream, green and yellow
Cream ribbon, cream lace, deep pink velvet ric-rac
Cats Eye Chalk Inks; various
Sentiment and flower decal - home made using printable decal paper from Crafty Computer Paper
Border Punch; EK Success
Flower Die; Memory Box
Leaf - a freebie die-cut with an order from Dies to Die For
Embossing Folder; Cuttlebug

Off to make a hot chocolate now!
Please come again soon

Friday, March 08, 2013


I spend way too long looking through my font list for the right one to use on my projects.  I don't have hundreds of them because my OH says they slow the pc down - he doesn't really understand my fontaholic tendencies.  Since getting my new pc last year I've largely managed with the ones that came with it .  He did save my font library to the external hard drive and I've gradually been grabbing back those I needed.  This makes it sound as though I know what I'm doing.  I don't.  I get him to talk me through how to do things and I write down exactly in very basic terms the instructions.  I have a book with all these things written in it and one day I will sort it out so that I can actually find what I want quickly and easily.  Yes.  Of course I will - when I get one of those magic Round Tuit things
Anyway, I've had a great excuse for mucking about with fonts this week:because Leo has set a fab new challenge for us over on the Daring Cardmakers
I'd like you to use typography as the main basis for your card design. Typography is basically putting together letters and/or words to form an aesthetically pleasing or artistic design/arrangement. So you're making the letter/words the main establishment of your card.
Take a look at the fab cards the design team have come up with this week and if you need more ideas take a peek at Typography pins on Pinterest,
I often use quotes with a variety of fonts to make sentiment panels for my projects so this time I wanted to do something a little different and use my Craft Robo to cut the lettering - for this reason I needed a short quotation.
The new set of Crafty Templates are out now and amongst them is a template for a lovely doodle-style cupcake, so I put a quotation, the template and some of the gorgeous goodies from the fab Quirky Kit (also from Crafty Templates) and made this card

From Crafty Templates/Quirly Kits: Cupcake with flowers template, most papers
Supplementary: Bazzill card in a Brick shade (background), plain pink, cream and black
Syickles in black, pink, turquoise and diamond, Gold Ice Stickles
Candle is hand cut

Fonts used
a, is,of, to; AR Cena
nature's; AR Christy
WAY; justanotherfont
telling; Hobo Medium
YOU; Broadway
eat; AR Hermann
MORE; High Tower Text
cake!; AR Christy

* In some cases I "tweaked" the fonts so that they would cut better ie expanding the letters so that the lines were a little wider
* I cut all the words in black card as well as, and in the same size as the coloured and then matted together so that the hint of black helps "pop" the words from the page
* The cupcakes are raised on a couple of layers of chipboard scraps to give aded dimension 
Here's a closer look at the cute Crafty Templates Cupcakes:
 It's not a difficult card to make when you have a Craft Robo to do the hard work, but it did take quite a while to put together.  I actually used the desktop in Craft Robo to work out where everything would go on the card.  All you need to do is "draw" a big square then add your cutting templates into it and change the sizes, shapes until you get what you want.  Then you can use the "Position Settings" button to shrink everything to the size of your card/project.  Move all the bits to the side and start cutting.
That's all from me today  Please take a look at the DCM BLOG and also the Crafty Templates/Quirky Kits website and Blog, there's loads to see on both.
Thanks for visiting

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

March Sketch File

There's a new sketch over on The Sketch File blog available from today. Please pop over there and see what Brenda and Kate have made for their firs projects using it.
Here's the card I made
Materials and Tools:
Papers: 6x6 "Engraver" from Prima
Butterflies also "Engraver" from Prima
Flowers: dusty pink wired carnations layered onto flat petals which have been inked to match the carnations.
Dusty Pink twill ribbon, Brown velvet ricrac
Small silver gems

This is the sketch I've used:

 I cut three square apertures and added the butterflies between to make up the 5 elements across the bottom.  The brown section is raised on faux chipboard for lots of dimension.  Before fixing this piece to the card I added the lower petal of each flower to the base card so that it shows through the square aperture but slightly offset.  The other layers of the flowers were added after the brown panel was in place

That's it for today - two days blogging in a row, are you impressed?
May even get one done for tomorrow too.....

Thanks for calling by, please leave a comment, they are always appreciated

Monday, March 04, 2013

Spring-themed Postcard

Over on the Bubbly Funk Craft Forum we've been busy with another postcard swap.  This time the theme is simply "Spring".
I enjoyed taking part in the last one, even though the RM were so tardy in delivering my card that I actually made a second one - then both arrived within a day of each other (of course.....!)
The cards are send out "naked" - no envelopes to protect them so it means being extra careful with any "stucj-on" bits, and obviouslycutting back on sticky out bits that might get caught up and ripped during the card's journey.  This is the hardest thing for me; projects with no dimensional bits are a tough ask hehe
Here's the card I made to send to Tracey
Materials and Tools
Background inked with a couple of shades of Distress Inks
Papers MME
Scraps of Bazzill card in lemon, peach and pink
Wrapping for the tulip bouquet is hand cut
Tulips are made using Memory Box "Tulip Buds" die set, stems and leaves are hand cut
Bow is hand cut
Oval Doily is a MFT Die-Namics die
Tiny punched butterflies
Tiny clear gems (all but one survived the postal system)
Quotation is pc generated.

I used bookbinding glue to stick all the pieces onto the card and made sure they were all stuck firmly by placing a piece of non-stick paper over and  then rubbing over firmly between adding the various  layers to check they were stuck down safely! yes, I'm paranoid.

That's all for today, Thanks for visiting

Friday, March 01, 2013

Key Lime Pie

As soon as I saw Sharon's palette for the Daring Cardmakers' March Colour Combo Challenge I thought of Key Lime Pie - and it's a thought that's haunted us all week - so much so that one of the team admitted to buying one for her pudding the other day.....
No, it wasn't me :)

We've a wonderful new Guest Designer joining us for the next couple of months; Svenja is from Germany and stamping is her first love.  Another piece of news is that Beckie has agreed to stay on as part of the regular team.  I've known Beckie for years now and have always been in awe of her fabulous crafting, so I'm especially pleased that we'll be seeing more of her work on the DCM blog.

Anyway, you can read more and see all the cards over on our very colour coordinated blog today - we'd love it if you'd join in with us this week.
Here's my card
The flower isn't as yellowy in real life as it's turned out on the photos, the card I used is much closer to the creamy-pale peachy shade on Sharon's inspiration photo, but you can't have it all, eh?
The flower was created using this fab tutorial over on the Tonic blog.  It's easy enough to make following the instructions - I've made a few of these now and have some extra tips if you are interested!
   1. I think you need a few more petals than the 15 or so on the tutorial - extra for a fuller centre, and to fill in any gaps you spot in the overall appearance
   2. Attach the second layer of frilled petals to another star or 5 petalled flower punchie as well as doing this with the bottom layer.  Punch the second one from the same paper as your petals.  When the two petal layers are dry, glue the second one in place making sure that the frilled petals of this layer are between those of the lower layer.  Now continue filling in the centre of the flower
   3. Take your time and let the glue dry - the frilled petals have a tendency to move around on the points of the star base as you are adding more and this can spoil the spacing of the petals and leave odd-looking gaps

Materials and Tools
Cream card blank
Papers; All MME Lost and Found "Breeze" 6x6
Bazzill;  Pale creamy-peach, Green
Pearls - coloured with Versamark green ink
Cream Lace
Decal sticker sentiment
Craft Robo; for cutting flower petals, 
the rose leaf piece and the curvy background for the sentiment

That's about all - I hope you like it
Thanks for looking