Friday, April 29, 2016

Happy Anniversary

Today it's Miri's turn to set the challenge over on the Daring Cardmakers:
"This week we’ll celebrate love.
Prince William married his Kate 5 years ago on April 29th 2011. That’s reason enough to make wedding/anniversary
cards for all the lovely couples we know personally.
Or your partner ;-).

Has the wedding season already started in your part of the world? Are you invited to a wedding or anniversary this year?

Have a look at the Design Team’s cards and feel all the love that’s in the air.
Have fun crafting!

Lots of love from us XOX!"
It's always good when a challenge pops up that helps me get ahead with the cards I know I'll be needing - so, provided I put this in the sort of safe place I can actually find when I need to.....I won't be rushing the day before to make a card to give to hubby for our anniversary in July.  
23 years....where the heck did they go? 

Large cream card blank, extra of same card for the embossed panel
The papers are from an old g.c.d. 8x8 pad "Paris Nights", most have a lovely sheen, and some (like the two smaller hearts top left) are flocked 

The cream panel is embossed using a Cuttlebug folder.
 These folders are not big enough to emboss this size piece in one go, so when necessary I cut the two sections apart down the seam and just use tape to make a new hinge at the lower edge, or as in this case at the side.  This means I can realign the pattern then run through the machine again to extend the embossing.  Some folders are easier than others to do this with!

(Embossing Folder "Tiny Hearts" - Cuttlebug, part of a emboss and cutting set)

The three hearts are die cut
(Smaller hearts - DieNamics Nested hearts set, Tall heart - Marianne)

"Love You" sentiment is from the die set that matches the Tiny Hearts embossing folder
I used "Stick It" paper to adhere gold foil to some thickish black card, and another piece of the sticky paper on the reverse.  I know I could have used gold foil card, but I bought this "Stick It" paper ad so far have struggled to master using it - so I'm hoping that practise makes perfect!
The tiny hearts are punched from scraps of the foiled card.  I should have used a ball tool on them, they look a bit too flat

(Sentiment -One of several on a large die in an old emboss and 
cutting set - Cuttlebug)

These papers are so lovely, eminently strokable, and  I don't use them very often!  Actually, you probably can't even get them any more, not even sure if the company still exist.  

Anyway, that's it for this time, I hope you'll join in with us this week, the world needs all the love it can get - it would certainly make a nice change from all the hate and mistrust, wouldn't it?

Please leave a message, I love to hear from

Thursday, April 28, 2016

A Load of Hot Air

It's a lovely bright and sunny day here - but where did the "warm" go?  The last few days have been really chilly and we've even had hailstones and the odd flurry of snowflakes - it's the end of April, for goodness sake - a couple of weeks back I was sitting outside in the warm sunshine!

It's the last week for the April LO from The Sketch File Blog. Next Tuesday there'll be a new LO to play with, so here's my last card for the current one

The Sketch File Blog

This time I've mirrored the LO and used a stencil to create the circle background.  I overlapped that with another stencil for the clouds, then used the little balloons in place of the swirls and some trailing bunting for the horizontal strip

White card for card base plus extra for die cutting balloons and bunting
Circle stencilled in Tumbled Glass Distress Ink
 (Tim Holtz)
 Clouds stencilled with White Sparkle Medium
 (Imagination Crafts)
Large circle from Basic Circles - Crafters Workshop - 6x6 
Clouds from Garden with Watering Can - Tando Creative - 6x6

The large balloon is die-cut from white card, then the pieces inked with Cats Eye ink pads (Colourbox)
The small balloons are punched circles, inked then trimmed to shape with scissors
Hot Air Balloon die set - Joanna Sheen "Signature" dies
Punches EK Success and X-cut

The bunting is hand cut from scraps of the inked card

That's it for this time, thank you for visiting, I hope you'll leave a message :)

Friday, April 22, 2016

Cafe Culture

Hello, Happy Friday!
It's not as sunny here as its been most of the week, but  our internet is now fixed (fingers crossed) so all is not lost!
It's Daring Cardmakers Day and it's Leo who has issued this week's challenge:
"This week I'd like you to take inspiration from your favourite cafe or coffee hang out. It could be something that's served, muffins, pastries, doughnuts, cookies, tea, coffee etc. Or it could be the colours or a motif or the packaging. Got your idea yet? Check out the design teams cards [HERE] to give you more ideas, and don't forget we'd love to see what you've made. Have fun!"

My plan was to make a card in the shape of my favourite coffee shop tipple, a big cup of cappuccino.  I have just the template to use for this, but could I find it?  No I couldn't - I really, really need to sort out my cutting files!

I did however, find a mug template, so I loaded that onto the Silhouette Cameo along with one of a cherry muffin.  Although these two template sets are different in size, it's easy to adjust that on the Silhouette 'page' and arrange different elements to fit whatever size you want. 
Bazzill card; white, red, brown
All pieces except the small hearts were cut on the Silhouette
I used a stencil stencil for adding the circle pattern to mug and cake case

(Regimented Circles - Crafters Workshop, Balzer Designs)

Cats' Eye Inks; green, brown and red
White Posca Pen, Glossy Accents for cherries
Tiny Heart punch for hearts pm the plate edge 
The muffin is mounted onto a box hinge (like the cover of a matchbox) so that it folds flat to go in an envelope, but then stands out form the card
 for some dimensional action!

That's all for this time, thanks for visiting.  It would be fab if you'd leave a message :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


It's a lovely sunny day here today, I hope the sun is shining on you too!  It would be more peaceful though,  if there weren't workmen drilling holes in the road a couple of houses down.  Oh and if the brand new modem, with upgraded broadband actually worked grrrrr

I was browsing Joanna Sheen's web shop last week and her own "Signature" range of dies caught my eye. Loads lot of lovely styles, shapes and themes - and the prices  were really good too, so of course I was tempted, and ended up buying three; a hot air balloon, a set of Leaves and Stamens and the poppy flower one I've used on  today's project (you see, I got to the point in the end) - which is another card using the April LO from The Sketch File Blog
Just in case like me you dither a bit about buying from a new range, and would like to hear from a fellow crafter about their experiences with them, I thought I'd give these a bit of a work out when they arrived and mention here how I got on.
I use an ebosser machine for die-cutting and usually I use Bazzill card or something of a similar weight for die-cutting, but just to see how these dies fared I laid them all out together with the regular set of (A4) cutting plates and a sheet of the heavy 320gsm white card and ran it through the machine.

 Everything first time, all the bits popped straight out without needing to poke with a pointy tool, or craft knife.  What a joy!

Which is, I think, a good result and certainly means I will have no hesitation in buying more.....

Cream card for card base plus extra for die cutting upper sections
2x green Bazzill card, Various pearls and gems

Upper green square and the cream square mat

(Nested Squares die set - Tonic)

Cream circle design uses the fancy circle die and the plain circle die inside, you also get a butterfly with this set 

(Jadene Happy Thoughts die set - Ultimate Crafts)

I "double-cut" the Cream scalloped background border shape to make it shorter

(Tag and Banner die set  - Creative Dies, CraftStashUK)


(from the "Handwritten Celebrate" die set - Tim Holtz)

Poppy flower, die cut from white card and coloured with Cats' eye inks

 (Poppy die set - Joanna Sheen "Signature" dies)

The sketch:
The Sketch File Blog
That's it for this time, thank you for visiting, I hope you'll leave a message :)

Friday, April 15, 2016

The Primaries

It's very wet here today, I think it rained all night and its still raining now - hope it gets it out of its system so that this weekend can be another nice one! Before I share my Daring Cardmakers' DT card for this week, I'd just like to say a quick 'Thank You' to you for visiting and leaving such kind messages - and if you've not popped in before, then welcome to my blog, it's lovely to meet you!

As it's Friday, it's Daring Cardmakers' Day and this week it was our Sharon - who is now a Hochanda TV star ;) who issued a challenge all about the Primary Colours of Yellow, Red and Blue!

Back to Basics
I want you to use primary colours only - if you want to add other colours, then you need to mix them yourselves from the primary's!
To give you some inspiration, hop over to the BLOG to see what the team have made this week

I really didn't have a clue what to do until I spotted my set of "Happy" dies in the box and decided to keep it really simple and use them as the main feature and make a frame using nested squares

15cm square white card blank, plus extra of the same card for centre square, coloured card by Bazzill
The red and white squares are complete squares.  For the yellow and blue ones I nested the required sized dies inside each other to make the "frame" shapes.
I found the simplest way to  build the background (bearing in mind that those blue and yellow pieces are very narrow and a bit 'wayward'!) was to work from the back fitting the tow frames around the white square, taping them in place and then adding glue and sticking this combined piece to the red square.  Finally I adhered this whole section to the card blank
(Nested Square die set - Tonic)
The words were made with 2 layers of white card, topped with one coloured layer.  The white card is about 300gsm so fairly thick, so each layer was cut separately and then they were glued together = ficcly, but you do get a good 'popping out' effect when the coloured top layer is added.
("Happy" die set - Memory Box)
Sentiment "birthday" is a homemade decal sticker - I make a full A4 sheet with different sentiments and different fonts which are then printed onto the special papers to make the stickers.  You can just cut them out and use as required
(Dry Decal Printer paper - Crafty Computer Paper)
The stars are made with various punches

Some balloons would have looked good in place of some of the stars, but I didn't think of that till later, Still, this is another card ready for the boy-heavy May birthdays stack, so all good!

The team have made some lovely cards - with lots of great ideas for using primaries, it's definitely worth visiting the DCM BLOG to see them - plus it looks so pretty when the colours co-ordinate like this! 

That's it for this time, thank you so much for taking the time to visit, I hope you feel inspired to give this challenge a try!
Please be a darling and leave a message ;)

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Parisian Progress

Sometime last summer I started making a mini album with the aim of  filling it with photos from our Paris holiday last March.  I got as far as making the binding section and the part of the cover which just goes around the spine - and then was diverted by other things
This week I've dug it out again, and have really knuckled down to making the 'pages' that go onto the bindings.
I wanted to make a mix of pocket pages, fold-out pages and whatever else came to mind or I spotted that I wanted to try.  Some are the full 6 x6" size and some are made from a 6x12" strip which then folds in 3 and has flaps and pockets.  If I stand it like a tent with the spine at the top you can get an idea of how random it is!
I've now started adding some papers and a few of the photos, but it might not be a quick process, as I don't have a plan of what to put where.  I think if I try to give it some organisation it will never get finished, so I reckon I'll just stick stuff in wherever it seems to work best and hope it all looks right in the end.
I'm going to hold off making the cover because that will probably be the bit I enjoy doing most - and by leaving it till later there's a chance I'll finish the rest of the book rather than just make the cover and stop.  If you knew how many books I've made, decorated and done a couple of pages in before getting bored or diverted, you will understand why I'm approaching this one in a slightly different way! There is method in my madness.
Watch this space, and feel free to nag if nothing seems to be happening for too long
Thanks for popping by

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Bluesday Tuesday

My card today uses the April LO from The Sketch File - which has one of my favourite design elements as a feature.  There is nothing like a swirl or a flourish to add a bit of dimension or movement to a card.  I usually only add the minimum of glue when I use a swirl, so that the rest of curls and strands can stand free of the card.
I bought this die set a few months ago and haven't really used it much, so it was good to give it an outing for this one

White square card blank, other card all Bazzill 

To begin with I used the die which only cuts the fancy pattern (doesn't cut the entire shape out) to cut the detail pattern from my white card blank
Next I cut the larger plain shape from a panel of blue card; I adhered the cut out shape to the inside of the card, to show through the holes, and the blue panel was fixed over the top, raised on chipboard for more dimension.

(Sue Wilson "Hollywood" die set - Creative Expressions)

I cut our rough circles from various scraps of blue card to make the rolled roses, then used the same shades of card to cut a few flourishes to set the roses on

(Curly Swirlies die set - Taylored Expressions)

The sentiment is a homemade decal sticker on white card, then matted onto a die cut banner

(Decal paper from Crafty Computer Paper
Tag and Banner die set  - Creative Dies, CraftStashUK)

Finishing touches; various sizes and shade for blue flat-backed pearls

This Sketch:
Sketch File April 2016
There's nothing I enjoy more than making a card with details like these!  There's something very satisfying about making and arranging a bunch of tiny paper flowers and adding some pretty swirly patterns to set them off nicely!

Thank you for popping by today, I hope you'll leave a message!

Friday, April 08, 2016

Happy Birthday, Buddha!

Today is the day Buddha;s birthday is celebrated in some parts of the world , although this special occasion is recognised a month or so later in other areas.  

Using that as a starting point, Lythan has chosen an Oriental theme for our cards over on The Daring Cardmakers this week, suggesting things like sakura blossom, lanterns, temples, Nepalese prayer flags...

Lots of people really love using Oriental themes on their cards and projects, but it's a style I've always struggled with and rarely use - so definitely a toe out of the comfort zone for me this week!
As I often do when I'm not feeling particularly confident, I first went on a hunt for a quotation that might help.  There are so many wise words attributed to Buddha, and I chose one of my favourites: 'Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.' With that making the main feature of my card, and a lantern or candle as an embellishment, all I need to find was a background.

Not being a great user of things Oriental, I don't have much to use, but I do have a rather beautiful, if ancient 8x8 paper pad by DCWV called "Far East".  These papers are gorgeous, wonderful colours and designs, with a lovely woven texture,  They are really heavy and a joy to use. My favourites are the blue/aqua/turquoise toned ones but I went with the pink/peach/orangey ones for this card, mainly because the Japanese lady on one of the papers would add an extra focal point to the background
Papers all from "Far East" 8x8 paper pad
Black and Pale pinky-beige card 
Gold mirror card
Sentiment pc generated and printed on the pink-beige card
Candle is die cut from layers of the same papers, scraps of black card used to add dimension
(Candle Trio - Memory Box)
Twigs and flowers die cut using the same papers, Ink and Gold Stickles added for interest
(Cherry Blossom Die Set - Spellbinders

There are some lovely ideas from our clever team this week, so I hope you'll take a minute to go and check them out.
Thank you so much for visiting, please make my day and leave a comment ;)

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Swirly Highlights

Hello, it's a lovely sunny Spring day here, I hope its the same where you are!
I have a card for the new LO  from The Sketch File to share today. 

Adding a die cut swirl is one of my favourite ways to finish off a card or other crafting project.  Often, when I get that 'hmm there;s something missing' feeling it's all put right by adding a swirl, or even just a part of one.
The title of the new sketch on The Sketch File  is "Swirly Highlights" and we have a simple layered design, but with the addition of a swirl or other kind of "Little Extra" 

I made this card, using a beautiful die from Ultimate Crafts

This is the basic "Swirly Highlights" from The Sketch File 
Smooth White card blank plus extra of the same card
Bazzill card; in various green and lemon shades
The white and green squares were cut with Nested dies

(Nested Squares die set - by Tonic)

The white square was then embossed  and matted onto the green square

(Tiny Hearts embossing folder - by Cuttlebug)

The swirly circle  shape is cut from a double layer of card for extra dimension, and the extra, separate swirly shape (on the right side of the circle) is from the same die set

('Careless and Free' die set - by Ultimate Crafts )

The sentiment was printed onto card, cut to size, and matted onto dark green card before adhering in place at either end so that it curves up in the middle, standing away from the card slightly
The butterfly is made using a couple of lemon shades and a couple of different dies, with the body highlighted with gold glitter glue

(Plain butterfly from Jadene Happy Thoughts die set - by Ultimate Crafts 
Fancy Butterfly and Body from Butterfly Trio - by Memory Box)

I hope you like the card and feel inspired to have a go with the sketch yourself.  You can find the April LO and loads more sketch ideas HERE

Thank you for visiting today, I hope you'll leave a message :)

Monday, April 04, 2016

Starry Sketchy

Today I've the last card for the current LO from "The Sketch File" to share - I should have posted it last week, but didn't get around to it.  How lovely it would be to have a Round Tuit.....

I've not done much "tweaking" of the sketch for this one apart from making the oval element an aperture

The Sketch:
March LO from The Sketch File
Various shades of Bazzill card in Green, Blue and Aqua 

After adhering the long border piece and the aqua coloured rectangle I used a die to cut the oval
(Oval die set - Tonic)
The stars were also die cut, some are simple cuts, some are cut one die inside the other
(Nested Stars die set - DieNamics)
The sentiment is a printed, home made sticker
(Dry Decal Paper - Crafty Computer Paper )
The tiniest stars inside the aperture and near the sentiment are cut with various punches

It's the last day for this sketch - there's a new one out tomorrow
Thanks for visiting, I hope you'll take a minute to leave a comment :)

Friday, April 01, 2016

Elements for April

Well, what a bad blogger I've been this week! 

I have some catching up to do of other things, but for today it's just my April Elemental Inspiration card for this week's Daring Cardmakers challenge,  The idea is simple and fun, you just have to choose a minimum of three 'elements' from a picture one of us has chosen and use them to make a card of your own.  The pictures always have lots of interesting details, and part of the fun is spotting them and planning how you can incorporate them into a project of your own - I always love seeing how people respond to the photos, which things they choose and how they use them.  There's always some things I didn't even spot at all.

Here is my card
 I chose to use the birdhouses and birds,  the ric-rac braid, the ribbon bows , the flowers  and the pretty pastel colour scheme from Dawn's beautiful Springtime photo:

You'll have to look closely to find the ric-rac, but it's there, and it's what I echoed when stencilling my chevron background, in pastel inks

(Chevron stencil by Prima, VersaMagic and VersaCraft Inks

next I used an embossing folder to create the birds and birdhouses - I cut out 3 of the birdhouses plus a few extra bird shapes from the embossed card and inked them over with the same colours as before

(6x6 Birdhouses embossing folder by Crafter Companion

The birdhouses were raised slightly on chipboard scraps and glued in place. I made tiny ribbon bows to decorate the poles and added the 'extra cut-out birds to the houses

The leaves and flowers are die cuts and attached behind and in front of the poles to look as though they are winding around, I used 2 shades of  card for the flowers
(tiniest flowers from Cherry Blossom die set, Leafy Swirls, both by Spellbinders )

The sentiment is pc generated, and as it looked a bit bare, I added some tiny bunting cut from card inked with the same colours as before

I love these Spring pastel shades, they are so pretty!  This was such a lovely picture to use, and it was more a case of 'what to leave out' than 'what to use'!  I hope you'll agree and feel inspired to join in this week

Thanks for looking