Saturday 30 March 2013

Garden Spells at Make My Monday

    This card was inspired by the book cover shown over on Make My Monday. The book is called Garden Spells and features flowers and butterflies on a black cover so I chose mica powders for my creation.
    Mica powders have what is called an 'interference' colour in them most of the time, so what you see in the little pot is what you get on white card but on black card the interference colour will shine through. I have taken two photos of the card at different angles to try and show this, the flower on the left is blue in the big picture but mauve in the small one. These powders are something I love to work with, especially for nature and Christmas.
    All the stamps used are from Chocolate Baroque, the wording is from Artistic Affirmations and the flowers are from Wild Meadow. I have used Perfect Medium to stamp with but if you have Versamark it will do the same job. I stamped each flower separately and powdered them so that I didn't cross over with my colours. I have used Cosmic Shimmer Mica Garden Flora and Shimmer Lux sets.
    Once all the mica was done I brushed off any excess and gave it a light spray with hairspray to fix it. The card is then mounted on pearl gold card and then onto a 7x5 card card blank that used to be white. I used Distress Ink Black Soot to colour my card edge and then stamped with Black Soot using one of the Wild Meadow stamps to decorate it a little.
    Once in a while you know what you want to make as soon as you see the challenge example and this was one of those times for me. The book cover just yelled mica to me and I listened. I think black is a such an amazing 'colour' to use and should never be thought of as dull or boring, it really has potential.

Wednesday 27 March 2013

Ribbons, bows and baubles

    This weeks Christmas card is inspired by ribbons, bows, baubles and the number three.  52 Christmas Card Throwdown are looking for ribbons and bows while CraftyHazelnut's Christmas Challenge are asking for three of something.
    I began by die cutting a circle out of my large DL card with a Spellbinder die. I then started to weave red and green ribbon to decorate my bauble. Have you ever started something and then wished you hadn't?! I did get in a bit of a tiz but I wasn't about to give up and I'm glad I didn't because the finished weave looks OK.
It wasn't helped by having a split thumb, which nearly gave the card more red than it needed!! At different angles the ribbon shines either colour, maybe because it's satin.
   Once my weaving was done I die cut a bauble cap from gold satin card and stuck it to the top of the circle. Then I added a chain peel off for the bauble to hang by.
It looked a little lonely so I added two small peel off baubles backed with glitter and hung on chains to keep it company.
   I recently got a bow maker free on a magazine so I though this was the time to use it. I used the same ribbon as the weave to make three bows, one for each of the baubles.
   It may seem a bit of a cheat to use peel offs rather than stamping but after all that weaving I really didn't want to risk a mistake on my card. The inside is decorated, I used the insert to cover up the back of the weave so nothing can be seen inside. The envelope is also decorated with a small bauble.
    I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:
52 Christmas Card Throwdown - Ribbons and bows

Tuesday 26 March 2013

Inkspired monochrome

    This weeks challenge at Inkspirational is a CASE.  The design team have come up with some great ideas but I was struck by the crisp monochrome effect.
    I chose to use a stamp by Creative Expressions called Steampunk Dreams. I have stamped the dummy and embossed with black, it's an old powder that's been in my stash for ages in a little pot my Mum gave me so I don't know who's it is but it has melted a little on the grungy side rather than a smooth finish. That may be due to age or it was meant to be like that but either way the effect with steampunk is rather good, luckily!
    I stamped the wings separately again so I could cut them out and mount them at an angle to give dimension. They have also been coloured with a clear Sakura Stardust pen to give them a little sparkle.
   I cut out the image and mounted it on white card that has been embossed using a patchwork type folder I borrowed from a friend, I think it's a Universal folder.
   The patterned cardstock is mounted on black and then on to plain white before being stuck on to a white card that has had it's edge coloured black with Distress Ink Black Soot.
   The sentiment is also from the same stamp sheet and has been embossed with the same grungy powder. I have added a tiny red gem to the middle of the cog on the dummy's chest just to have a small hint of colour.
   It's not come out quite how it was in my head but I'm happy with it non the less. There is no greeting inside yet, I thought I would leave that until I need to use it.

Monday 25 March 2013

Heat embossing at Taverham

    Next months workshop at Sew Simple in Taverham, Norfolk will be 'Heat Embossing Techniques'. This workshop has been requested by some of the crafters at Sew Simple and we are always happy to oblige if we can. It will be on wednesday 24th April.
    This tag has a mixture of resist embossing, ultra thick and image embossing. There are several more techniques that we will try on the day as well as some different powders to use that will give very different effects. If you would like to join us then please give Sew Simple a call or follow this link here to see the details.
    Workshops at Taverham are light hearted and chatty mornings where we learn new techniques, brush up on old ones and generally swap ideas and share inspiration so please come along and join us if you can.

Thursday 21 March 2013

Blue for Sue

   This card is for my friend Sue, it's her birthday next week. Her partner calls her Sue Bear and she likes blue so I think she'll be happy with this.
   I would also like to enter it in a challenge over at Make My Monday, the theme this week is monochrome.
   To begin with I put a mask over a white card and used Distress Inks Salty Ocean, Faded Jeans and Stormy Sky to make the background. Then I brushed silver mica powder over the ink before it dried to get that shine (just like the Mother's Day cards).

    I have stamped the little Penny Black bears using Faded Jeans and water brushed them as well as blending the edges while the die (Spellbinders - Wonky Squares) was still in place. Each bear is mounted on foam pads.
   The letters were silver, they have been coloured with a blue permanent marker.  There are various sized clear gems on some of the flowers to add a bit of sparkle.

Wednesday 20 March 2013

Little Brown Deer

    Here is this weeks Christmas card. 52 Christmas Card Throwdown are looking for Christmas animals, Jingle Belles would like your card to be in neutral shades, Sparkles Christmas Challenge would like you to use 3 flowers, 2 gems and 1 image and last but by no means least CraftyHazelnut's Christmas Challenge Extra are happy with anything Christmassy.
   I began by stamping the image in Archival Ink Coffee on cream pearl card and then clear embossed it, it's a Penny Black stamp called 'Wish for peace'. The cream is matted on to satin gold then pearl chocolate card. The next layer is Kraft card put through a snowfall embossing folder, matted on another piece of chocolate pearl and finally on a cream 7x5 card.
   The flowers are punched from mat gold, patterned cream and plain cream card stock with foliage die cut with a Spellbinder Foliage die. Two of the flowers have gems but the top one does not, I did think about a butterfly but you don't see those in a snowy forest so I left it bare.
  The inside of the card is stamped with an All Night Media Anna Griffin stamp but has no name that I can find. I have used Archival Coffee again, I like this colour as it's strong but not as harsh as black and looks great on cream. I've added a little holly sprig to the envelope too.
I would like to enter the following challenges:
52 Christmas Card Throwdown - Christmas animal
Jingle Belles - Neutral Noel
Sparkles Christmas Challenge - 3 flowers, 2 gems, 1 image

Tuesday 19 March 2013

All Steamed Up

   Good morning and welcome to my 100th post.
   This is my entry for SanDee & amelie's Steampunk Challenge 3D section. This month it's a steampunk cuckoo clock and I've had a lot of fun with this. A few month's ago I would never have thought of trying something like this, it has no function, no purpose but it was fun to make and I love it. Thank you to the ladies at the challenge for stretching my imagination, it's like being a child again....anything's possible.
   I began with a birdhouse pattern downloaded for free from one of the crafting magazines. I cut the roof from silver mirri card and embossed it with a checker plate mask, masks give a softer impression than folders which can be just as effective. The silver was a bit bright so I toned it down with a Ranger Acrylic Dauber Espresso brown, dab it on and wipe some of it off.
   The bottom and sides are cut from gold satin card and then run through a cogs embossing folder. They have been given the paint treatment too. I chose to cut little doors in the front instead of the hole on the pattern.
    There are two holes cut in the bottom to let the chains and weights hang down, this is from an old necklace I found in a charity shop.  I have cut various cogs from dark brown pearl card and attached them with brass look paper fasteners.
   The winged clock is from Inkadinkado stamped and embossed in copper, the wings are layered but that doesn't show too well in the pictures.  The cuckoo is a Marianne die and he hangs from jump rings through an eyelet just above the doors.
   Once all outside decoration was done I stuck it all together and added foil tape to the side joints with dots of Cosmic Shimmer PVA in copper to look like rivets.
 The chimney should really be a cylinder but that was very tricky to get just right so I opted for a square one. It's cut from the same brown card as the cogs and attached inside the roof. The 'steam' is a cotton wool ball opened out and fluffed up.
   The ribbon that it hangs by is through a hole in the roof, inside the roof the ribbon goes through a button so that it won't pull through.
There is a new challenge blog over at Country View Crafts which this month is Pick and Mix so anything goes and they accept altered art too. There aren't many rules and if you need anything to complete your creation they sell lots of lovely things on their website.
   There is another challenge that accepts altered art as well as papercrafts called Crafty-emblies. They also have a shop with lots of lovely things just crying out to be altered. It's so good to find challenges that stretch your crafting that little bit further.

  Happy crafting.

Monday 18 March 2013

Inkspired March Tag

   This is my tag for Tim Holtz 12 Tags of 2013 - March. It is not quite the same as Tim's tag but after I'd made the background I didn't want to cover it up much.
   As the background was created with mica sprays I think it will also fit nicely into this weeks Inkspirational challenge which has a photo to inspire. As some of you will know including a rabbit is not easy for me, they are NOT my favourite garden visitor!
   I began by spraying a white tag with Cosmic Shimmer mica sprays in gold and blue. Once I had a very wet covering I sprinkled coarse rock salt on the tag and left it to dry naturally. The salt sucks up the moisture and pools the paint giving a terrific effect.
   I cut a butterfly hole in the tag with a Sizzix Mover and Shaper die and backed it with gold glitter paper. I kept the cut out butterfly and stamped on top of it, coloured the underside of the wings gold and added a flower stamen for the antennae before gluing it back in place down the body and bending the wings up.
   Spring is die cut in yellow, the grass is die cut in pearl green and the flowers are die cut from purple card using  the Tattered Garland long plate, with little yellow gems in the centres. There is a small wispy plant stamped underneath the flowers, that doesn't show up too well in the photo, using Archival Coffee.
   The rabbit is from a Penny Black stamp of rabbits in flower pots cut out and tucked into the grass. I have used some green gingham ribbon at the top to maintain the spring like feel of the tag. Let's just hope the weather takes the hint!!
  Sorry, this little fellow should be at the top I think. Thanks for the prompt Mynn. It really does go against the grain to have a rabbit on my blog, even if he is cute, you should see what they've done to my apple trees!!!!

Saturday 16 March 2013

Tattered Floral challenge

    There is a challenge over on Tim Holtz blog for anything made using the Tattered Florals Die.
   This flower is made from a fizzy drinks can, cut open , cut out and coloured with alcohol inks. After colouring I have run it through a cogs embossing folder. There is also a fabric layer using the daisy like flower from the same die.
   The flower layers have been stacked up using a screw top brad wrapped with stamens to hold it all together. I have tried different types of glue and tape with mixed success but a brad is perfect as it goes right through it all.
   There are two leaves cut using the Tattered Leaves die, also a Tim Holtz die, coloured with greens and run through a bark embossing die.
   The flower is attached to something I am working on at the moment but am unable to finish by the end of the week. Please pop back soon to see the companion to 'The Old Boot' which can be seen in the background.
   The Old Boot was a project done at the end of last summer, I am now working on it's companion. If you would like to see the making of the boot then please click on this link here. Flowers were cut from card, fabric, metal and paper, Bigz dies will cut through almost anything, I love them.

Friday 15 March 2013

Peace On Earth......

.....and Good Will To All.  It's been a reasonable morning so far, coffee with an old school friend, shopping done, washing out and the car passed it's MOT. I hope your day goes well too.
   This week over at 52 Christmas Card Throwdown it's a colour theme, black ,white and metallic gold. Jingle Belles are looking for neutral colours only so I'm hoping this one will just scrape through and Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge Extra is for anything Christmas.
  The image is stamped on gold satin mirri card and heat embossed in black. I'm sorry I can't give the name of the stamp as it was made on a craft evening using a friends stamp. We often take a few stamps along to our club and have a 'borrow' night, it really is good to share and build up a little box of toppers to dip into later.
  The gold in matted onto white, then black, white and gold again before finally onto a black card. The black card started life white, it's been coloured around the edge with Distress Ink Black Soot, I don't use this pad much but it really is a good strong black.  To lift the black I have used some tiny gold peel off stars in groups of three to add a little sparkle.  Hope you like it, sorry Ruth but the inside isn't done yet!
I would like to enter in the following:
52 Christmas Card Throwdown - Black, white, metallic gold
Jingle Belles - Neutral colours

Sunday 10 March 2013

How Time Flies

    This is for a new challenge blog that's just started this month, SanDee & amelie's Steampunk Challenges. As you can tell by the title it's a steampunk site which I am SO pleased about, there are very few steampunk challenges around so a dedicated blog is fantastic news. This month it's cuckoo clocks.
   I began with a white tag which I coloured using Distress Inks Wild Honey and Rusty Hinge, then I spritzed it with water and blotted off. I have a border mask of cogs which I put down the side and coloured over with more Distress Ink Rusty Hinge. I have used a crackle stamp on the opposite side in Archival Ink Coffee. The Coffee brown stamped cogs are a stamp from Inkadinkado - Steampunk. The chimney is also stamped in Coffee brown with a stamp from Eco-Green Crafts - Steampunk Accessories 1. The tag is edged with Distress Ink Aged Mahogany to darken it a little.
   The gold cogs are die cut using DoCrafts die - Chronology Cogs in patterned mirri card and fastened on to the tag with big brass effect paper fasteners from the office supply shop.
    The cuckoo clock is cut from greyboard and coloured with Distress Ink Brushed Corduroy and then stamped with the crackle stamp in Coffee brown, it also has a small die cut hole for the cuckoo backed with black card. The roof is another piece of greyboard coloured with Distress Ink Forest Moss and mounted with foam pads. There are two charms on chain hanging from the bottom of the clock fixed with tiny brads. The clock is mounted on foam pads on the tag so the charms hang free.
   The clock face is from the same Inkadinkado stamp set as the cogs but stamped on white card and embossed in gold. I stamped them twice so that I could cut and layer the wings.
   The cuckoo is cut from greyboard and triple embossed with UTEE. The first two layers were clear and the last layer was gold and copper. I inked up the cog stamp with Coffee brown before heating the last layer and then while it was still soft stamped into it to get the texture.
   There are two copper eyelets  near the top and it is finished off with a gold edged copper crinkled ribbon.
   I have really enjoyed making this tag for the challenge and now I'm planning what I could make for the 3D section too. I love this style and find it much easier than making cute cards...must be the tomboy in me!!

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day.  
  The yellow card is for my Mum and the mauve card is for my Mum-in-law.
  I started with a white card and coloured it with the palest Distress Ink in the colour range I was using, then I covered it with a mask from Crafter's Workshop called Mini Flower Frenzy and used two more Distress Ink's in slightly darker shades.
  With the mauve card I also used a silver mica powder over the card while the ink was still damp, this has given it a lovely sheen which you can see in the smaller photo, there is no need to spray fix the mica because the damp ink will have done that.
   The little bears are Penny Black stamps, there are four different poses available. The bears have been stamped in Archival Ink - Coffee and then coloured with watercolour pencils. I chose to use peel off letters as my hand writing is not really neat enough. Each bear is cut out with a Spellbinder die (I think it's called Wonky Squares?) and edged with Distress Ink before removing the die so I could get a perfect white edge.
The squares are mounted on foam pads and little gems of various sizes are added to some of the flowers.
   I don't make many cute cards but these bears are gorgeous so I couldn't resist, plus bears are Mum-in-laws favourite animal so it was meant to be. I haven't sent flowers or chocolate to my Mum, just an ink pad and some embossing powder which I know she will have much more fun with!!!!

Tuesday 5 March 2013

Technique Time Tuesday - March Challenge

   This month's challenge over at Technique Time Tuesday is the 'Brick Wall Technique'.  There is a tutorial on the challenge so you will be able to see how the DT came up with their creations. Which leads me nicely to announce that I am very honoured to now belong to the DT at TTT, so please pop over and see what we've all been doing for this month and join our challenge.
  For this card I used some orange pearl card for my wall which is stamped all over with a crackle stamp in Archival Ink Coffee using the second time method. (Stamp first time on scrap paper and then without re-inking stamp your card, this gives a paler image.)
The picture stamp is from Chocolate Baroque's Wild Meadow set in Archival Ink Coffee. The first image is embossed in clear, then the second image, which forms the shadow, is stamped as a second time (not re-inked) image and not embossed.
   Once dry and cut into 'bricks' they have been mounted on cream card to give a mortar effect. I cut this out and mounted it on black which is then matted on a dull gold and a thin layer of orange.
The letters are cut from the orange card using a Sizzix alphabet die set.  The butterfly is a Marrianne die cut in dull gold and then before removing the die inked up with Perfect Medium, then once the die is off the butterfly it has been covered with green Cosmic Shimmer Mica Powder. It is best to fix mica powders so they don't smudge when touched, this can be done with your local shops cheapest hairspray if you have no artist fixative.
  This technique has been fun to do and I think I will be doing more with it in the future. It's not as fiddly as it looks, you can number your bricks on the back or cut and glue as you go. So please come over and join us at Technique Time Tuesday and rise to the challenge.

Monday 4 March 2013

Scrapbook Retreat Weekend

   We had two very fruitful and creative days in the depths of Norfolk this weekend.
   Fourteen ladies all spent a craft filled weekend in a large farmhouse surrounded by card, cutting dies, gems, flowers, glue, trimmers, cake, coffee and glitter.
  They where challenged to produce scrapbook pages that actually featured themselves on at least four of them. This is not as easy as it sounds when you are always the one behind the camera!
   The dinning room table had never seen so much activity.
   It's a good thing the table was enourmous, it could never be removed without being taken apart and there were plenty of chairs too.  We had another smaller room dedicated to die cutting so that the machines could be left out for easy access. Two large sitting rooms, one for relaxing and another for digi scrapping. A huge conservatory for eating in so that our pages remained crumb free and a local pub with good food so that nobody had to cook either!!!!
   The feedback implies that another weekend would be well received. I really enjoyed helping with this retreat, it was so nice to see so much first class work produced by a friendly and creative group of people. Thank you ladies, it was fun and a big thank you to Avril for organising it all and asking me to join her, here's looking forward to the next one!