Wednesday 31 July 2013

Prepared for launch

    Today is launch day for The Male Room. Our first challenge is 'Anything Goes' as long as it's masculine. You have two weeks to make and link your creation so please join us if you can.
    I have another steam engine card for you today. I love them, they're almost alive, a bit like a mechanical, fire breathing, powerful beasts.
    The stamp is from a Creative Expressions set - Vintage Illusion stamped with Perfect Medium and then coloured with mica powders in copper and gold. The image is cut out with a Spellbinder die Labels 21.
    The background was silver mirri card, it has been embossed with a Spellbinder Embossabilities folder Industrial. Then covered with brown acrylic paint, some of which has been rubbed off again to leave the silver plate looking dirty.
    The cogs are from a Tim Holtz Sizzix die Cogs, they have been cut in greyboard, painted brown and then covered with Distress Embossing powder - Vintage Photo. This is then rubbed so that some comes off (don't worry , it's supposed too) and then inked with Vintage Photo Distress Ink. All this makes them look very rusty and worn.
    Each cog and each corner has a silvery pearl stuck on to look like rivets.
    The ticket has been stamped and embossed in gold and mounted on foam pads. The base card was white but it has been edged with Brilliance Pearlescent Ink - Rust. Rather than use pearl card, which is mostly covered up, I often use the pearlescent inks to colour the white card, then I can keep my fancy card for die cutting.
    I hope this sparks some inspiration for you, see you over at The Male Room.

Monday 29 July 2013

Don't forget

    Don't forget that it's only two days until The Male Room goes live. It's a new male only theme multi craft challenge blog that changes every two weeks. The first challenge is 'Anything Goes' as long as it's a male themed item.
    You don't have to be a card maker or even a stamper, this card was made using a CD from Joanna Sheen. Please hop over and take a look at what the design team have come up with so far, we'd love it if you joined us in the challenge too.

Saturday 27 July 2013

Rosette Trees

    Here are a few Christmas Trees that could be used as table decorations or place markers for you festive dinner. They are made using a tutorial posted by Tim Holtz back in 2011 which you access here. The trees stand approximately 5 inches tall depending on what is on the very top.
    They have all been made using a rosette die. I didn't have any cotton reels so I have used large corks from a home brew shop and driftwood from the beach for trunks instead of pencils. Tim uses tissue tape on the back to help stop the rosette splitting, I used Microporous surgical tape from my local supermarket, you can't see it so the cheaper option works just fine for me!
    The first tree uses one large rosette Sizzix Paper Rosette and one of each rosette on Sizzix Mini Paper Rosette ( medium and small). They are cut from green patterned paper and made up into lampshade shaped sections held together with hot glue from a glue gun. There is clear glitter stuck on the tree.
    The trunk is driftwood pushed into the cork and the cork has been covered with a red 'Merry Christmas' ribbon.
    The white tree is made using Sizzix Snowflake Rosette and both from Sizzix 658339 Medallions. The cork has been painted gold and covered with white crochet lace as well as having the top glittered. The angel on top of the tree is made from beads and findings used for earrings, that's why she has a loop on top of her head.
    This tree has also been glittered but my camera skills aren't so good. sorry.
    The gold tree is cut from gold paper stamped in Perfect Medium and dusted with mica powders so it has a more subtle decoration to it. The cork is again covered with ribbon. There is a memo pin pushed into the top so this tree can be used as a place marker. The little bauble shaped sign is cut using a Spellbinder Bauble die, inked and hand written.
    The blue tree is cut with the same dies as the white one but in patterned papers. There is no glitter on this one but there is a small snowflake charm on the top and his trunk is a little bent which adds to his character. The cork has been covered with double sided tape and then wrapped with some 'hairy' wool that I had in my stash.
    The last tree is cut from fabric covered card, it's a little thicker than the paper ones and a bit harder to work with. The gold star on the top is two brads stuck together and pushed into the top, thanks for the stars Ruth, they're proving very useful.
    The cork in covered with green ribbon first, then gold ribbon with Merry Christmas on it.
    These trees don't have to be for Christmas, you could make some with children ( adult use of glue gun though) for a train layout or a fairy forest.

I would like to enter these trees in the following challenges:

Friday 26 July 2013

Musical Snowman

    I thought making a card with a snowman on it might help me feel a little cooler.....not today. It's so good to have a summer this year though, I'm not complaining.
    This week I have mixed the snowman from Holly Jolly with music from Jingle Belles, ribbon, papers and gems from 52 CCT and a little faux stitching from CraftyHazelnut. It's all blue and white so it also qualifies as a male Christmas card for Cards for Men who are doing Christmas in July.
    Talking of cards for men, have you had a look at the new challenge blog for male cards? It's called The Male Room and it launches next Wednesday with an 'Anthing Goes' theme. Please pop over and have a look, every day until the launch they are showing a new card made by the design team to get you inspired.
    Back to the snowman, he has been cut using a Sizzix die-Winter Wonder from music card made by stamping in Distress Ink faded Jeans on to white card, the edges are blended with the same ink. He then has 25 cut out using a Sizzix Movers and Shapers die with silver star mirri card placed behind.
    He is mounted with foam pads on to a snowfall embossed panel that has faux stitching around the edge and a blue ribbon across the lower part. The paper underneath that is from my stash, it's been around for some time so I can't remember where it came from. There are three gems in the corners on this paper and a snowflake to finish it off.
I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:
52 Christmas Card Throwdown - 1 Ribbon, 2 Papers & 3 Gems
Jingle Belles - Sleigh Bells Ring (music)
Cards For Men - Christmas in July

Thursday 25 July 2013

Countdown to the Male Room

    This card is part of the countdown to a new challenge blog for male orientated cards and gifts called The Male Room. It goes live on Wednesday 31st July with 'Anything Goes'. There will be a fortnightly challenge with ideas to help inspire you to create something for the men in your life whatever age they may be.
    During the next few days the design team are showing a few ideas to get you ready for the first challenge, so please pop over and take a look. We would love it if you joined us on Wednesday for the grand opening.
    This card was inspired by a day out at a preserved steam railway with my family. Having grown up around these amazing engines, my Dad is a real steamaholic, I can't resist the erge to take loads of pictures. What better way to use some of these pictures than to make a card.
    It's a very simple card to put together too, having printed and cropped my pictures I matted them up on brown and cream ready to go on the card front.
    The card has been stamped with Versamark Ink and then chalked, the chalk has taken to the stamped area to show the image and also coloured the remaining card to tone in with the slightly vintage feel I was trying to achieve.
I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:
Here Come The Boys - Anything Goes
Allsorts Challenge - Transport

Monday 22 July 2013

House Of Cards Challenge

   Hello and welcome to my first DT card for House Of Cards, a challenge site that stretches your style.
    There is a theme for the month, this month is a colour scheme, plus four different styles of card for you to try throughout the month with an 'anything goes' if there's a fifth week.
    This being the fourth week it's Shabby & Vintage. I read somewhere that anything over twenty years old can be classed as Vintage, well that takes care of most of my wardrobe!! Maybe that's why I fit into this category so comfortably.
   I have used a balloon stamp from Inkadinkado - Steampunk, stamped in Archival Ink Crimson and clear embossed. I cut a mask for the balloon itself and then ink blended my card with Distress Ink Broken China. An uneven coverage works well for Shabby so that turned out alright, I then spritzed water on it and dabbed it off to get blotches.
    I have used a swirl stamp from Tim Holtz and Broken China to add pale detail to the corners.
    The Eiffel Tower is from Crafter's Companion - Around The World and stamped in Broken China as is the word travel. The edges have been roughed up with scissors and then coloured with Broken China Distress Stain. The Fleur-De-Lis shape is die cut using a Spellbinder die and coloured with the Broken China stain, mounted on thin foam pads and adorned with red gems.
    The image sheet has been mounted on off white card and then on a deep cherry red card. The base card was white but has been coloured with Broken China so that it matches, it can be very difficult to get just the right shade but this way it works every time.
    The flowers are a stamp from Heartfelt Creations - Vintage Floret stamped in Broken China and Archival Ink Crimson with a red gem centre.
    Please pop over to House Of Cards and join us in our challenge, we'd love to see your creations. There is a wealth of inspiration from the design team each week to help get your creative thoughts flowing.

Sunday 21 July 2013

Scrap-Magic Kimono

    I have a love of most things Oriental so joining forces with Karen from Stamping In Pink to try and bring it back to card making is no chore at all. We have been swapping stash and inspiring each other to bring it all out and use it.
    I have made a card very much like this one before, I loved it so much I had to do it again. The Kimono was made using a Scrap-Magic template by Nellie Snellen and some origami paper. I cut out all the pieces and stuck them on to light blue card. The Kimono is mounted, using foam pads, on to a piece of paper printed from Joanna Sheen's Oriental Dreams CD.
    There is a small Plum Blossom knot made using Mizuhiki cord attached to the Kimono. This cord is made from paper but is extremely strong and completely archive safe. It comes in long lengths and is available in many colours, there are some books available on how to tie the knots as well as some information on the web.
    The patterned paper is layered up with gold and light blue before being stuck on to a darker blue card, the small gold corners are peel offs. The long cord with tassells has been tied around the front of the card near the spine.
    I shall be making some more oriental style cards, some with a male feel to them because there is a new challenge site going live on the 31st July that is male cards only called The Male Room, the first challenge is 'Anything Goes'.
    If you would like to join Karen and myself  in trying to use up your oriental stash please leave us a comment with a link, we'd love to come over and see what you've made.

Friday 19 July 2013

Oriental Shimmer

     Two posts in one day...What's going on?  I really want to enter this card in a challenge that closes tomorrow while I'm demonstrating at Snetterton Park in Norfolk. We're beside the A11, next door to the race circuit, so if you're out that way please call in and say hello. There will be three of us all working away at different techniques from stamping to polymer clay.
     This card is inspired by my favourite technique, water stamping, and a little light hearted challenge between myself and Karen of Stamping In Pink to revive the Oriental theme. We both have plenty of stash in this style, which we recently shared - thanks Karen, giving us both a desire to make oriental cards again. Join us on Sunday at 5pm to see another oriental card, if you'd like to join in then please leave us a comment with a link so we can visit you. There is NO prize involved, it's just for fun.
    This card was made by colouring white card with Distress Inks Squeezed Lemonade, Scattered Straw, Mowed Lawn and Forest Moss. Then I used a bamboo stamp that I have had for some time but never used. I spritzed the stamp with water and stamped onto the card, then I mopped up the water with a kitchen towel. This was repeated across the card almost to the right hand edge where I used an oriental script stamp.
    Before the ink dried I spread Cosmic Shimmer Mica Powder Enchanted Gold over the entire card and brushed off the excess. The powder only sticks to the wet ink and not the dried off water stamping, this is my twist for The Technique Twist challenge. There is no need to seal this as the powders have a binding agent in them activated by moisture but if you feel happier doing so I would recommend hairspray.
    Once this was completely dry I stamped and embossed in gold a small phrase in the top right hand corner, placed a delicate black paper cut of a lady given to me by Karen and finished it off with a Mizuhiki cord knot. I have layered the image up with dark green and light green before mounting on to a black card blank.
    I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:
Make My Monday - A Non-Inked Stamp
The Technique Twist - Water Stamping

Don't forget, if you'd like to see more oriental cards then pop back on Sunday afternoon.

Iris Tree

    This Christmas card was inspired by an article in an old copy of Craft Creations magazine. It's an iris folded tree made using a tri-fold card from Craft Creations that has a tree shaped aperture in it. This one is from my stash but I think they do still sell them. I am trying to use up some of my stash in an effort to cut back but we all know that's not easy with craft, there's often something new that just has to be bought, oh well....I am trying!
    I have used three different papers to fill my tree shape and then stuck some tiny white snowflakes on the front. I began at the outside edge and followed the instruction in the magazine to build up the layers in ever decreasing triangles until I had a tiny hole in the middle which is backed with silver paper.
    The silver outlining is already on the card, which is a bonus as I'm not sure I could be that accurate. I have made several of this style before in different colours, it's a firm favourite with the family.
    I can't post the full instructions due to copyright but I can give you the web address for Craft Creations, The instructions are in Issue 47 from Autumn 2007. They may have back issues that you can either purchase or access on the web.
I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:


Wednesday 17 July 2013

Traditional Christmas

     There's something a little odd about making Christmas Cards when it's 30 degrees outside, at least I didn't need my heatgun for this one!
    Traditional colours are the challenge at 52 Christmas Card Throwdown this week so that's where I started. Dark Brown, Cream, Dark Green and Deep Red are the only colours to be used, a little gold is allowed which is good as I needed a little shine lift.
    The stamp image is from Stampendous - Snowy Postcard, stamped on cream watercolour paper in Archival Coffee and edged with Distress Ink Gathered Twigs.
    The holly is die cut using a Spellbinder die - Little Leaf Sets. I have edged the leaves with a tiny touch of gold, they looked so flat without it, the berries are tiny red gems. The image is mounted on deep red paper, then cream before being stuck to a dark green paper that has been embossed with holly leaves down the left side.
    It looked alright but it needed a lift, so I have die cut the sentiment from satin gold card using a Britannia die and mounted it on thin foam pads.
I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:
Holly Jolly Christmas Challenge - Christmas Outdoors

Monday 15 July 2013

Blue Peter

    I thought I'd try playing with some stamps that have been tucked away for a while. This set is from Creative Expressions Nautical Journey.
    I like working with just one ink colour and for a nautical card blue just feels right, this is Distress Ink Chipped Sapphire.
    I have stamped on to white card and coloured the edges too. The phrase is clear embossed over the blue to make it stand out a little more. The ship has been stamped and coloured with a waterbrush, then cut out and mounted on foam pads.
    I have mounted the white card on to blue, then wrapped some blue and white Bakers Twine around one corner to hold a punched tag and a metal charm of a ships wheel. The blue card was then stuck on to a white card blank.
    I would like to enter this card into the following challenges:
Cards for Men - Bingo ( Punch, Stamp, Twine. Charm, Stamp, Tag)
Creative Moments - Holidays

Saturday 13 July 2013

Sky Light

    It's all about 'Hot Air' today, outside and on this tag. I hope you're enjoying our burst of summer here in the UK. Early morning gardening has given way to heat of the day crafting in this house.
    My tag was inspired by some unusual and amusing stamps from Chocolate Baroque and the need to join in with Make My Monday's challenge for balloons.
    I began by stamping my balloons in Archival Ink Coffee and clear embossing them. I then stamped a mask on sticky notes and also stamped another copy on thin card to cut out later.
    With the masks in place I coloured my tag with Distress Inks Broken China and Faded Jeans. I spritzed water on the tag and dabbed off to get speckles and then water stamped the 'skylight' again. Once dry I stamped in Faded Jeans some oriental writing, a globe, a swirl and a phrase, then I used Distress Ink Chipped Sapphire to darken the edges. After darkening the edges I ruffed them up with my scissors and dabbed them with Distress Stain Brushed Pewter and stamped a swirl in the bottom corner with the same stain.
    Once all the inking was done I set about removing the masks and colouring the balloons. Originally I coloured the top balloon green but it looked like a flying gooseberry so I had to change it! To get the metal effect I have covered the cut out card shapes with Aluminium tape from a local discount shop and because I had embossed the image before covering it the detail showed as tiny ridges, this made drawing over them with a Promarker really easy. They are mounted using foam pads of two different thicknesses to give shape.
    I have coloured most of the top balloon's flying gear with a silver metallic marker from Staedler, great shine with these markers, but thought the Chinese style lantern should be red.
    To finish I have used seam binding stained with Distress Stain Stormy Sky and Brushed Pewter.
I would like to enter my balloons in the following challenge:
Make My Monday - Balloons

Friday 12 July 2013

Snowman Blues

    Back to cards for Christmas this week. This happy little snowman is a stamp from the Tatty Button range by Creative Expressions.  He was stamped on to plain white card in black Archival Ink, then masked with a sticky note while the background was made using a torn piece of paper and Distress Ink Broken China.
   The image is cut out with a Spellbinder die - Labels Seventeen, as was the turquoise mirri card that is behind it. The image is mounted on foam pads but the mirri card is flush to the patterned paper that covers the front of a white card blank. The snowman's hat, scarf and nose are coloured with Cosmic Shimmer Drawing Inks, they do have a lovely mica shine that unfortunately doesn't show well in the photo.
    There is a strip of dark turquoise ribbon across the lower front of the card as well as a clear gem in each corner. The greeting is die cut using Britannia Word Dies and white pearl card.
    I would like to enter my snowman in the following challenges : 

Saturday 6 July 2013

Recycled Metal Flower

     This metal flower brooch is made from recycled drinks cans. A standard size fizzy drink can will give enough metal to make this brooch.
     This is something I saw a friend make and I thought it was great. It is a hardship having to drink the contents just to get the can, but this is where the family can all help out!
    My colour choice was set by Inkspirational this week, shades of purple and green. Try it on Tuesday have challenged us to 'Show us your metal' and Creative Moments would like to see flowers. I have also used this as my Sunday DT blog over at J&C Creations as they are having a flower making workshop on Wednesday.
     Please be VERY careful when you cut open the aluminium can, wear gardening gloves and use old scissors. Once die cut the edges are not so sharp but please dispose of the scraps carefully too.
    The petals are cut using Tattered Florals Bigz die from Sizzix and the leaves are cut with Tattered Leaves, also Sizzix. I have cut two large petal sets and one thin petal set, plus two leaves. The metal is coloured using Alcohol Inks in Eggplant, Purple Twilight and Pesto. Once coloured the big petal sets and the leaves have been embossed. A detailed embossing folder may cut the metal so I would suggest using a broad pattern to avoid this happening.
    In the centre is a flower shaped brad which goes through all the layers of metal holding them firmly together. It's not easy finding an adhesive that will hold firm so a brad is great to use. Die cut a small petal set in felt and stitch the brooch back to it, then use red line double sided tape to stick the felt flower to the back of your brooch, this also hides the back of the brad and keeps the metal off your clothes.
    If you don't have Alcohol Inks try stamping a design in Stazon and colouring it in with Promarkers.
I would like to enter this brooch in the following challenges:
Inkspirational - Colours..Purple/Green
Try It On Tuesday - Show Us Your Metal
Creative Moments - Flowers

Friday 5 July 2013

Introducing Holly

     This is Holly, my little winter fairy. Holly began life as an idea some three weeks ago when I found a pair of Mother Of Pearl earrings that looked like wings.
    I already had the little figure, it was originally a jewellery stand with curly wire stuck in it's head and arms (ouch!) and wearing a rather tacky fabric dress. Once I got it home from the charity shop I striped it bare and used Stazon cleaner to remove the pink paint that covered the upper body.
    I started with the bodice, a piece of red velvet ribbon found at a boot sale, stuck on with Cosmic Shimmer PVA dries clear. Then I coloured the dress area with a gold marker pen from Steadtler, it looks brassy when wet but dries darker.
    All the holly leaves are die cut using my new Spellbinder die set - Little Leaf Sets. I have cut them from dark green thick paper (tried card but it was too stiff) that has been given a gold shimmer with a Cosmic Shimmer mister - Antique Green. There are three different sizes of leaf in the set and six different types of leaf to choose from. I have used the gold marker pen to edge each leaf to give a variegated effect.
    Each leaf has been stuck on individually with CS PVA, I was pleasantly surprised to find this glue really worked well as the figure is made from some type of dense plastic.
    It took a little while to build up the dress with the leaves. I have tried to keep the flow of the fabric within the leaves, this is why paper worked better than card as some of them are shaped to fit.
    Once all the leaves were stuck on I thought she should really have some berries on her dress, so there are several small red gems stuck at random over the skirt. There is one larger gem to the right of her waist at the point where the leaves spread out.
     Her wings are stuck on with Ultra Sticky Red Tape, this tape is amazing, it holds most things including metal. There are two tiny green gems stuck over the holes where the earring fixings were. She may look better with a smaller set of wings stuck below these ones but as yet I haven't found any that look right, so for now she will have one set.
    Well I hope you like her, she will have pride of place at Christmas on my mantle piece. If I find any more of these figures in the charity shops she may have a friend by December.
    I would like to enter Holly in the following challenges:
 Make My Monday - Christmas in July
Holly Jolly Christmas Challenge - Use Something New
CraftyHazelnut's Christmas Challenge - All Wrapped Up (thanks Hazel)

Tuesday 2 July 2013

Blurred Vision Stamping at Technique Time Tuesday

     This months technique at Technique Time Tuesday is Blurred Vision Stamping, no that's not crafting without my glasses on, it's a real technique!
    The idea of this technique is to stamp the image and then blur the lines to create a soft look. This can be achieved a number of different ways. Stamp with dye inks and use a water brush or damp paintbrush to soften the lines or, as I did, use watercolour markers and a blender pen to soften the lines.
    I tried both methods and found the pens a little easier to control, I found with the water brush I was tending to do more of a complete colour in rather than just blur the stamped lines. I would suggest trying both and use which ever feels right to you.
    My chosen stamp was from Chocolate Baroque - Punky Flowers (J&C Creations now stock Chocolate Baroque). I coloured the stamp with the markers so that I could stamp the whole image at once. This would be really good to do with Distress Markers as they stay active for ages but I only have a couple at the moment.
    I used the blender pen (Marvey LePlume) to soften the lines and drag a little colour out into the image. I have also used Distress Ink to lightly colour the edge of the image panel. I couldn't find the right shade of green for the mat layer so I coloured white card with the same marker that I used for the leaves. In each corner I have stuck a small pink gem to give the card a little sparkle. The image is mounted on a pearl pink card which almost matches the flowers, I don't usually use much pink but this was just what the flowers needed.
    The sentiment is from a Creative Expressions set I think, embossed in gold and die cut with a Spellbinder die - Labels Six. Before removing the die I used the Distress Ink to colour the edges to match the picture. The sentiment is mounted on foam pads but I felt the image had enough layers already.
   Please pop over to the TTT challenge blog and have a look at the great cards the rest of the DT have come up with. Join us with your art work, the challenge doesn't close until the end of the month so you have lots of time to play along.
I would like to enter this in the following challenge:  Creative Moments - Flowers