Thursday 31 March 2011

More Less Is More

Oh Chrissie and Mandi ... what have you started?? I've now got a real bad dose of Less Is More -itis, and just had to make a second card this week ... the idea just came to me and I had to execute it in a spare half hour before bedtime (and that included getting my stuff out and putting it away again!!)!!
This time I have flipped the sketch horizontally so the feature circle is on the top half of the card. I just stamped a long image, masked and sponged a sun using Colorbox Queue fluid chalk inks, masked the sun and stamped a band of text background stamp using distress ink, and stamped my sentiment. Job done!! It's a bit rough and ready I grant you, but I was on a mission and I have now given this card to a colleague who has left work today..


Main image: Unity Stamps "Insightful Meadows" stamped in Walnut stain distress ink;

Background text stamp: Butterfly Kisses;

Sentiment: Penny Black transparent set "Salutations";

Papers: None!

Tools: None!

Supplies: Papermania teeny gold gems.


Less Is More #8 - Sketch

Fab 'n' Funky #66 - Shabby Chic

That's all for now ... back on Saturday with the latest Penny Black Saturday Challenge and April's Crafty Calendar challenges :-)

Sunday 27 March 2011

Less Is More #8

Like so many people I eagerly await Saturday morning to see what the challenge theme is going to be over at Less Is More .. and this week didn't disappoint with a fabby sketch to follow.

Last week I mentioned that I felt a little foolish as I fired off on all barrels and made a "masculine" card featuring flowers - it was gratifying though to receive kind comments that indicated it wasn't a totally idiotic thing to do lol!!

Anyhow I sat down on Saturday afternoon and had another go for this week ... this time I am actually quite pleased with how it turned out and it was rather quicker than some I have made :-). I decided to go with a statement flower - I considered making one but I had quite a few cards to make so was on a bit of a mission and didn't really have time to mess ... so I brought into play a fabulous Prima sparkly velvety rose that was part of a pack I won a while ago. These flowers really are scrummy and well deserving of being a focal point on a card. As luck would have it I very soon found a piece of perfectly co-ordinating paper that was also sparkly, and a piece of co-ordinating ribbon almost leapt out of my ribbon bag (not often that happens!!). I decided to pull the whole thing together by placing my sentiment on a tag, and I chose the sentiment as it seemed the best size and style to go with everything else I had assembled so far.

Last week Chrissie helpfully suggested that I didn't really need the pearls on a "masculine" card ... so I really tried not to use any this week. But here's the thing ... I really LOVE pearls ... and even if I tie my hands together they somehow free themselves and reach for the pearl pack. I guess I just can't help myself lol!! However I am quite pleased with the placement of the pearls this week and actually have a vast white space that they don't interfere with ... scary but I think I like it!!


Sentiment: Penny Black transparent set "Salutations";

Paper: Papermania "Henbury Lane";

Supplies: Prima velvet rose; pearls from The Hobby House; ribbon and lace from my stash; Tools: Magnolia "vintage tag" die.


CES #29 - Die Cut Crazy

I'm going to be a bit busy this week with work stuff, so don't forsee a lot of crafting going on before next weekend. So that's all for now - have a nice week !

PS - anyone else having trouble editing in blogger?? This is the second post where I have found that it keeps removing my html edits and either creating huge spaces or running all the text together!

For mum

Now I know that everyone would say that their mum is the best mum in the world ... and of course that's the way it should be. But I think I can say without fear of contradiction that my mum is indeed a very special lady and a really remarkable woman. Back in October 2007 she was diagnosed with facial cancer, and had to undergo a terrifying and gruelling 12 1/2 hour life-saving operation, followed by another 6 1/2 hour operation the following February. She has also had to endure chemotherapy and other traumatic invasive treatments. Somehow though my mum has continued to battle on ... despite her disfiguring surgery and ongoing health problems she remains cheerful and carries on as near to normal as her disabilities allow ... she truly is an inspiration to all who know her. I now treat every milestone such as Christmas and birthdays as a gift, and of course I can't help but make a special effort for Mother's Day. We don't live close by so I don't get to see my mum & dad as often as I would ideally like what with full time jobs etc.. etc ... but I sat me down and really went to town to make this special card. Recipe: Main image: LotV coloured with Promarkers and Copics; Sentiments: Woodware and LotV sentiment circles; Papers: Craft Creations (gingham) and Pink Petticoat (floral); Supplies: large flat gardenia and lace from Wild Orchid Crafts; heart shaped gems by Papermania; velvet ribbon and organza ribbon from my stash; Tools: small, large and lacy circles nestabilities; Martha Stewart "eyelet lace" PATP; Magnolia "vintage tag" die; Marianne D Creatables heart die. Challenges:

Simon Says - Mother's Day / Girlie

Dream Valley #3 - Mother's Day

Creative Inspirations #56 - Mother's Day
Ooh-La-La #76 - Mother's Day / Special Friend

Die Cut Dreams #85 - Mother's Day / Special Friend

Craft Your Days Away #16 - For Mum / Special Lady

Papertake Weekly - It's A Mom Thing /Girlie

Allsorts #96 - For A Special Lady

otally Papercrafts #59 - Cuddly and Cute

Cupcake # 134 - Monochromatic
Wee Memories #49 - Anything Goes
I'll be popping this in the post in good time ... I really hope my mum will like it! That's all for today ... back tomorrow with my Less Is More card for this week.

Sorry for the crazy formatting - blogger is really off on one today. I tried editing this post for over an hour this morning and another half hour this afternoon and every time I press a button it throws a wobbler and loses all my formatting - so it's just oging to have to stay like this!

Saturday 26 March 2011

Penny Black Saturday #144 - Recycling

Good morning everyone - yippee, it's Saturday so it's time for another Penny Black Saturday Challenge. Thanks to everyone who sprang into spring last week - there were some gorgeous entries which really cheered up the week. Don't forget to check the main challenge blog to see if you have won the adorable hedgie with daffodil stamp.

This week's theme is


So it's time to dig out all the bits and bobs of ribboon, buttons, packaging or whatever that you kept rather than throwing away for "just in case" ... can't wait to see what you come up with. And to help get your creative juices flowing we have got TWO fab prizes this week for randomly drawn winners ...

4 rolls of ribbon of the winner's choice from Fantastic Ribbons.

A 15% lifetime discount voucher from PB Stamps

Please remember that to be eligible for the prize you must submit a new piece of work which has as its main focus a Penny Black image, large sentiment or stickeroo.

The other DT ladies have been very environmentally aware this week ... please do check out their recycled offerings. Here is my card for this week - the recycled element is the ribbon which was taken from my husband's birthday cake. Pink ribbon on a man's birthday cake??? I hear you cry ... well, it was actually a totally delish and adorable chocolate heart shaped cake, which had pastel icing rose petals scattered on the top and bright pink ribbon round it ... very romantic!! And no, I didn't make it .. I got it in Selfridges in the Traafford Centre lol!

Anyhoo, back to my card ...

Main image: Penny Black "Crossing Bridges!" (3206J) coloured with Copics and Promarkers;
Sentiment: Penny Black transparent set "Salutations";
Papers: My Mind's Eye "Quite Contrary";
Supplies: Prima hydrangeas; pearls and large metal spacers from the Hobby house; sparkly brads and recycled ribbon from my stash;
Tools: large and small circle nestabilities; Martha Stewart "doily lace" edge punch and small monarch butterfly punch.

Stamp Something - Spring Somethings
Flutterby Wednesday #147 - Open with Fairy, Butterfly or Angel
Crafty Creations #111 - In Stitches

Hope you can join us this week, and look forward to seeing your creations.

Thursday 24 March 2011

Starry, starry night

I have never gone much on distress inks, probably because I have spent the past year building up my marker pen collection, and I didn't want to get embroiled in yet another money pit obsession. However the advent of the "Less Is More" style has sparked my interest in distressed and shaded backgrounds, and I was further inspired when I saw Debby's wonderful distress backgrounds with resist and stamped images using the fabulous Unity wildflower stamps here (I am as we speak eagerly waiting for a set to arrive from America!)

Anyhow, I pulled out the very limited collection of distress inks I own (grand total of 7!) and decided to have a go at a "nightime sky" background as a precursor to some silhouette stamping with my beautiful but neglected Lavinia stamps (again, the only ones I own).

This exercise, in conjunction with some very kind tips and comments I received from Debby and Lisa, taught me that I needed several things:

a) a non-stick craft mat (bought one today :-) )

b) some more distress inks (likewise ... bought 4 new ones today ;-) )

c) a blending tool - haven't managed to get my hands on one yet, but in the meantime I have bought some cut'n'dry foam to keep me going.

Here's a card I made BEFORE buying my new bits & pieces ... watch this space for my experiments in the near future with my new stash!!

I actually made his card for this week's Less Is More Challenge - masculine - and then I felt foolish when I looked on the blog and saw no one else had used a flower!! I think my mind was full of the drama of silhouette flowers against the masculine colours of a night sky ... though I can see the overall effect isn't necessarily masculine in the sense of giving the card to a man. However it's done now, so I might as well blog it and move on lol!!

Main image: various stamps from the Lavinia "dandelions" set;
Sentiment: Penny Black;
Background: "Dusty Concord" and "Faded Jeans" distress inks;
Supplies: Papermania "sparkly trims" black frayed ribbon; pearls from The Hobby House;

Less Is More #7 - Masculine
PaperPlay #12 - Distressing
Spoon Full Of Sugar #144 - Ribbon + Pearls/Rhinestones + Flowers
CES #28 - Inspired By A Song
Crafts & Me #27 - Anything Goes
Scrapbook Sisters #28 - Anything Goes

That's all for now. Hope to have chance to play with my new toys and get my fingers inky later ;-)

Tuesday 22 March 2011

Oldie But A Goodie #15 - Colour Combo

Good evening all, and welcome to a new Oldie But A Goodie Challenge. I'm running a bit late today, and I have to confess that the reason is very simple ... I got my weeks wrong and didn't make my card in time - oh the shame!! had to rush my card out last night and then take a photo this morning before rushing out the door for work ... so hope you will all be kind!! Thanks so much to everyone who entered last fortnights's OBAG challenge - fab entries as always. Don't forget to check the main challenge blog to see if you are a winner. So onto this fortnight's challenge, which has been chosen by Liza, and is a colour combo Pink/Blue & Brown We also have a fabulous prize by our new regular sponsor Stämpelkällan which is these darling stamps ... Don't forget that in order to be eligible for the prize you should submit a new piece of work and use a stamped image (not a digi) that is at least 6 months old ... so have a little riffle through your stamp box to find an old but loved stamp ... and of course have fun!! :-) The other DT ladies have made some gorgeous samples - here's mine (at last!) Now I have to confess that I am not big on brown when it comes to crafting, so I immediately thought of incorporating the brown through an animal, with most of the decorative elements being pink and blue. So what better than this adorable LotV bear ... would you look at his little face?? I think this little guy was released in either spring or summer last year, so he's just nicely old enough for the rules of this challenge :-) Recipe: Main image: LotV "Bear and Butterflies" coloured with Promarkers and Copics, and butterfly wings dusted with glamour dust; Sentiment: Penny Black "Birthday Dreams" (3849E); Papers: Pink Petticoat "Vintage Rose"; Supplies: cherry blossoms and lace from Wild Orchid Crafts; Dovecraft dragonfly brad; ribbon from my stash; Tools: "Labels 3" nestabilities; Marianne D Creatables doily die; Cuttlebug "birds and swirls" embossing folder (on the doily). Challenges: I used this week's Sketch Saturday #147 sketch Simon Says - Happy Birthday (2nd entry)
Everybody-Art #134 - Happy Birthday
Stamp Something - Something Sweet (I think this is an adorably sweet image!)
Teddy Stampers #32 - Embossing PaperPlay #11 - Embossing
Wild Orchid Crafts #19 - Dieing to Punch It Out (2nd entry)
Shabby Tea Room #54 - Bingo! (2nd entry)
(This time I have used lace, flowers and embossing) Now I've finally caught up with myself i'm off to get my feet up with cup of tea lol! Have a great week!

Monday 21 March 2011

Have a Magical Birthday

I bought this gorgeous LotV fairy a short while ago, as she struck me as suitable for occasions when you want a card that is pretty, but not quite so cute as you find with the adorable LotV girlies and bears.

This week the LotV challenge is a fabby sketch which I think suits this image perfectly, plus they are having a GDT call .. what's not to like??

So I quickly got to work and here's the result...

Main image: LotV "Freedom" coloured with Promarkers and liberally dusted with glamour dust; Sentiment: LotV sentiment circles;
Papers: BasicGrey "Wisteria";
Supplies: flowers from here & there including Prima large white flower, Wild Orchid Craft small roses, and local craft shop; pearls from Wild orchid Crafts; ribbon, lace and pearl strands from my stash;
Tools: small & large circles and Labels 3 nestabilities; Marianne D Creatables "flower swirl" die; Martha Stewart monarch butterfly punch.


LotV #88 - Sketch
Simon Says - Happy Birthday
Bunny Zooe's Challenge #10 - Happy Birthday With Lots of Pearls
Birthday Sundaes #1 - Anything Goes Birthday Card
Pile It On #12 - Pearls / Rhinestones / Bling
Pollycraft #85 - Swirls & Pearls
Creative Crafts - Lace
Southern Girls - Use Flowers
Charisma #11 - To Die For
The Shabby Tea Room #54 - Bingo!
(I have used gems, glimmer/glitter and ribbon)

Papercutz #83 - Anything Goes

That's all for today .. thanks for stopping by.

Sunday 20 March 2011

Having a bit of trouble ... anyone else the same?

For some reason, the past few days my blog won't load up properly ... it loads my main post window and part of my sidebar and then goes to sleep. I have tried removing my blog background and the sidebar widget immediately below where it goes to sleep but no joy .... anyone else having this problem?? (I've tried it on 2 different PC's so that's not the problem)

In the meantime unfortunately I can't do a lot of visiting as i can't see any of my blog links - I can't see all the challenge blog links either which is also a total pain!!

Hope this will soon be sorted .... any ideas welcome!

Saturday 19 March 2011

Penny Black Saturday #143 - Spring is Sprung!

Hi everyone ... welcome to the weekend and another Penny Black Saturday Challenge. Thanks to everyone who entered last week's "green" challenge - fabby entries as always ... don't forget to check the main blog to see if you are a winner ! This week is the spring solstice in the northern hemisphere, so we thought we would celebrate with a theme of Spring Is Sprung As always we have a fabulous prize .. this week it is from our lovely former team mate Carole - and is this adorable and highly appropriate stamp. 2304F Seeing Your Face Please remember that in order to be eligible for the prize you should submit a new piece of work which has a Penny Black image, large sentiment or stickeroo as its main focus. The rest of the DT have made some totally gorgeous spring creations, so I hope you will go and check them out. Here is my springtime card. I should start by saying that this card was very much influenced by Brenda, as I saw an absolutely stunning card using this stamp on her blog. I love brushstroke stamps, but had never realised there was a brushstroke daffodil before (maybe because it is called "Jonquil" - I had never studied the picture closely!!) Anyhow I just had to order it when I saw Brenda's card, and also bought three new Marvey markers so that I would have just the right selection of yellows, golds and greens to colour it with. I'm still liking CAS cards so decided not to over-complicate this image by adding background paper; but at the same time I wanted to get a spring garden effect, so decided to add a garden trellis with butterflies. Recipe: Main image: Penny Black "Jonquil" (3587K) coloured with Marvey brushstroke markers; Sentiment : Penny Black Supplies: Papermania gold gems; Tools: Martha Stewart "garden trellis" deep edge punch and "monarch butterfly" punch. Challenges: Penny Black at Allsorts (March) - Spring (3rd & final entry!) Creative Cottage #35 - Spring has Sprung! Wags 'n' Whiskers #50 - Spring Scrapbook Sisters #27 - Spring Flowers Papertake Weekly - Trio-tastic (I used 3 daffodils) Wild Orchid Challenge #19 - Dieing To Punch it Out Fun With Shapes and More #79 - No Designer Paper
Hope You can join us this week - have a great weekend!

Thursday 17 March 2011

Going over the edge .....

I really love the new Less Is More Challenge, and promised myself I would play along every week. Unfortunately the past 2-3 weeks have been so hectic that I haven't had chance, particularly given that (as I'm sure we all know by now) "clean and simple" is definitely not the same thing as "quick and easy" !!

However this week I just had to go there, so I set about making a one-layer card card that was stamped off the edge. Boy did I have trouble with this one!! Below follows a few observations on the trials and tribulations associated with making a one-layer card - I'd appreciate anyone's views and/or tips.

My starting point was that having seen Chrissie's delish Rollagraph card, it reminded me that I have a Rollagraph I bought at a craft fair and have never used - nope, not once!! So I dug it out of the back of the cupboard and got to work ... I had but the two rollers, and the butterflies and cherry blossom seemed most appropriate for the task in hand. Several practice rolls later I decided on a stamped panel of black ink which I would then emboss with holographic embossing powder, and colour in with a wash of pink Cosmic shimmer paints ...

This is where things started to go a bit pear shaped ..... first of all I found that stamping direct onto linen card (which I always normally use for my base) doesn't give a good impression at all - several wasted sheets later I dug out one of my few smoother sheets of base card and tried that.

The stamped panel and sentiment still didn't come out perfect but I pressed on ... I washed around the flowers with my Cosmic Shimmer paint (leaving the flowers white) but my paints would not behave themselves on my base cardstock and dried very blotchy - plus I could not successfully "feather out" the edges of the painted panel as the paint kept drying into a harsh line. I rooted around until I found some matching ribbon to stick down and conceal the edges; and smoothed over my blotchy paintwork with a damp baby wipe - paint job was now smoother but of course flowers were no longer white - AAARRRGGGH!

So out came the glamour dust to whiten up the flowers. However I couldn't use a glue pen on top of the paintwork, so had to use some clear glue and then dab it to thin out on each individual flower, so I could get a sheen rather than a lump of glamour dust on each one. Time was really ticking away by now .....

Lost the will to live yet?? I had gone completely over the edge by this time!!

Fundamentally I'm finding stamping and use of colouring media direct onto base cardstock very problematic. This card took well over two hours and still looks rather rough and ready for my liking ... but at least I had a go!!

Main image: Rollagraph, embossed with holographic embossing powder and colour washed with pink Cosmic Shimmer paint;
Sentiment: Hero Arts "Chinese Happiness Wish" (E1718);
Supplies: teeny black gems and ribbon from my stash.

Less Is More #6 - One Layer Card - "Off The Edge"
One Stop Craft Challenge #122 - Clean and Simple
Paper Sundaes #60 - Keep It Simple

That's all for now ... hope you're having a great week !

Monday 14 March 2011

Happy Birthday to someone VERY special ... and PB Saturday on a Monday!

Good morning everyone ... I have been missing in action for most of the past week, and the reason has been that having been a bit unwell last weekend and the start of last week I have been rushing to catch up with myself ... because today is my darling husband's 50th birthday.

I actually had a little time off work so that I could do a bit of shopping for prezzies and get the house tidy before the weekend, so we could just chill out and go for a nice meal without having to rush around catching up with the chores like we normally do. Of course I also had to make him a card ... and here it is!

I really thought this adorable PB kitty was perfect for the occasion - cute but not girly. Sadly I don't own this stamp - the image was sent to me some time ago by my lovely PBSC DT teamie Nat - but I only had the one so I only had one shot at colouring it in ... no pressure then! Having said that I think I may well now get this stamp as it has rather captured my heart (rather like my husband really :-) ). This is a C5 card rather than my normal square, and generally I kept it fairly simple as I don't think men like a lot of fussy details.

Talking of Penny Black, the more observant amongst you may have noticed that I didn't produce a DT card for this week's Penny Black Saturday Challenge. Being so busy with other priorities I only managed to produce this one card, and I didn't want to publish it before his actual birthday which is today. However as luck would have it it fits the theme of this week's challenge which is


So please do pop over to the challenge blog to enter - there is a fab prize on offer this week of a $20 voucher to spend online with 1-2-3 Stitch; and also there is lots of fab inspiration from the rest of the team.

Main image: Penny Black , coloured with Promarkers;
Sentiment: LotV calendar circles and "Celebrations" See-D;
Papers: My Mind's Eye;
Supplies: pearls from The Hobby House;
Tools: Martha Stewart "scalloped dots" edge punch; numbers cut using Cuttlebug "Hippie Chick" alphabet dies.

Little Red Wagon - Green
Sentimental Sundays #46 - Let's Go Green
PaperPlay #10 - Shades of Green
Penny's Papercraft #48 - Going for the Green
Wee Memories #47 - Green or Spring
Stamp Something - Cream & Green
Colour Create #66 - Green, Cream, Brown & Black
Allsorts #94 - Luck O' The Irish
(colour green, plus I think I had the luck o' the Irish when I found my husband ;-) )
CES #27 - Men Only
Ooh-La-La #75 - It's A Man Thing
Moving Along With The Times #89 - Card for a Male
Top Tip Tuesday #25 - Happy Birthday
Passion For Promarkers #90 - Food or Drink
Creative Card Crew - No Flowers
Simon Says - Anything Goes

That's all for today ... hopefully I will be getting back into my card making after today and will also have a bit more time for blog visiting.

Tuesday 8 March 2011

Oldie But A Goodie #14 - For Baby

Good morning, and welcome to another Oldie But A Goodie Challenge. Thanks so much to everyone who entered last fortnight's "Spring is in the Air" challenge - the entries really were a cheerful breath of fresh air!

This fortnight is Annie's turn to pick the challenge theme, and she has chosen

For Baby

We have a fabulous prize for you this week sponsored by Bron

- these two adorable Magnolia stamps.

Don't forget that in order to be eligible for the prize you should submit a new piece of work and use a stamped image (not a digi) that is at least 6 months old ... so have a little riffle through your stamp box to find an old but loved stamp ... and of course have fun!! :-)

The other DT ladies have made some adorable cute creations - do check them out. Here's my baby card for this challenge.

Main image: Penny Black "Baby Hammock" (2073J) coloured with Promarkers;
Sentiment: LotV sentiment circles;
Papers: Craft Creations;
Supplies: flowers and lace from Wild orchid Crafts; pealrs and ribbon from my stash;
Tools: large, small, scalloped and lacy circles nestabilities; Martha Stewart "eyelet lace" PATP.

Dream Valley #2 - New Beginnings
Everybody-Art-Challenge #132 - Baby
Totally Papercrafts #56 - Pearls and Lace
Sentimental Sundays #45 - Pearls and Lace
Crafty Pad #111 - Use A Ribbon
Alphabet Challenge - R is for Ribbon
Craft Your Passion #48 - Anything Goes
Wild Orchid Crafts #18 - Anything Goes

Hope you can join us this fortnight - look forward to seeing your creations.