Tuesday 29 November 2022

Distress Birthday Tag

Hi there, today I would like to show you something a bit different for me … a birthday tag.  I never make tags normally, but I was inspired to make one when I saw it is this month’s theme at Country View Challenges. Once I started to look around I spotted a couple of other tag and non-card challenges, so it just had to be done!  It also gave me the opportunity to play some more with my new wildflower dies, so basically it was a win-win situation.  So here is what I believe is my first ever “distress” tag.

I cut a rectangle of kraft card 13cm x 6.5cm, and trimmed the corners to make a tag shape. I then cut a slightly smaller rectangle of white card, created a “smoosh” background with three colours of Distress Oxide, and background stamped my script using Vintage Photo Distress Ink.  I distressed the edges of the coloured panel with my distressing tool, and sponged with more Vintage Photo DI to give an aged look. I then die cut my wildflowers and foliage from white card, and coloured them by painting with various Distress Oxides before attaching to the coloured panel. I wrapped some jute twine around the flowers and attached a stamped mini greeting tag. Finally I punched a hole in the base kraft tag, stamped some swirls, die cut and attached a reinforcement ring round the hole, then attached the flower panel and finished off with a jute twine tie.
Here's a closeup.

Stamps: Crafty Individuals CI-085 (script) and CI-182 (swirl); LotV Mini tags;
Media: Tim Holtz Distress Oxide inks (Salvaged Patina, Twisted Citron, Speckled Egg, Mowed Lawn, Rustic Wilderness, Fossilized Amber, Spiced Marmalade, Frayed Burlap, Kitsch Flamingo, Picked Raspberry); Distress Ink (Vintage Photo);
Tools: Wildflower dies - unbranded (from Amazon); Magnolia Doohickeys Tilda Vcintage Tag (hole reinforcement); Tim Holtz distressing tool.

Challenges I would like to enter: 

Colour Crazy #47 - Anything Goes With Colouring
Crafter’s Cafe #291 - Use Dies and/or Punches (3rd entry)
DL.Art (November) - Anything Goes (2nd entry)
Dream Valley #283 - Lots of Layers
Hero Arts (November) - The Great Outdoors (3rd entry)
Simon Says (Wednesday) - Not a Card (3rd entry)
Word Art Wednesday #571572 - Anything Goes (4th entry)

I’m really in love with my new flower dies, and am really thrilled with how this tag turned out. To be honest though I can't see me becoming a regular tag maker … if I want to go small I tend to turn to my ATC’s πŸ˜€

Thanks very much for taking the time to visit my blog .. take care.

Monday 28 November 2022

Merry & Bright

Good afternoon everyone. Earlier in the year I was lucky enough to win a £100 gift voucher to spend in the Uniko shop, and amongst other things I chose a couple of Christmas stamps plus some Christmas sentiments.  I have been using the sentiments a lot on this year's Christmas cards, but I hadn't used one of my Christmas image sets until now. The Winter Foliage set consists of some simple graphic images which are particularly suited to a CAS style of cardmaking, so I decided to go rogue (for me) and make a completely CAS one layer card!

I stamped my leaves, berries and cones in shades of Versafine Clair, and highlighted with Sakura Stardust pen. I then stamped my statement sentiment with Versamark and heat embossed in gold. I added a red heart gem and that was it ... job done!

Stamps: Uniko Winter Foliage, Festive Sentiments;
Media: Versafine Clair (Rainforest, Shady Lane, Tulip Red); Versafine (Vintage Sepia); Versamark; gold embossing powder; Sakura Stardust pen (clear).

Challenges I would like to enter:

C.R.A.F.T. #659 - Christmas - TOP 3
Creative Moments #240 - Winter (2nd entry)
Festive Fridays - Christmas
Merry Little Christmas #47 - Anything Christmas Goes
Rudolph Days (November) - Anything Christmas Goes
Shopping Our Stash #484 - Shine Bright Like a Diamond
Stamping Sensations (November) - Christmas Celebrations (3rd entry)
The Sisterhood of Crafters - Anything Christmas or Winter
Try It On Tuesday - Traditional Christmas (3rd entry)

That's all from me for today - take care, and thanks for visiting.

Sunday 27 November 2022

Divine Sparkle & Shine

Hi everyone. A few days ago I took delivery of a couple of beautiful sets of flower & foliage dies; and although I'm sure they will come in very useful for making cards, I really wanted them primarily to decorate ATC's. I've hardly made any ATC's for about a month what with the usual Christmas card rush, so I couldn't wait to have a play! I also decided to try out a new (to me) technique I have seen on various videos of applying Brushos through a stencil - and I have to say I'm very pleased with my first attempt! I have called this series “Divine Sparkle & Shine”.

I took a large snippet of white card and spritzed with water, then placed a large Lavinia stencil on top and tapped on Brushos in three colours before spritzing again. I dabbed off the excess liquid with paper towel and then carefully removed the stencil, to find I had a fab grungy background that was ideal for my ATC's! This really was so much fun I could easily become addicted! I also made a home made Mica mist with my gold Perfect Pearls and water in a miniature spray bottle, which I sprayed onto the stencilled panel to give it more of a sheen. I cut the panel into three pieces each 3.25 x 2.25" and topped each one with a die cut flower of gold glitter card. I attached 2 co-ordinating sparkly brads and a sticker sentiment to each card, then edged each one in black and attached to standard ATC size gold glitter card cut from another large snippet (I was quite thrilled to find this snippet in my box, as i didn't think I had amy more gold glitter card to matt the ATC's onto!). 

Here are closeups of each individual ATC.




Stamps: None;
Media: Brushos (Leaf Green, Prussian  Blue, Light Brown); Perfect Pearls (gold);
Tools: Lavinia stencil - Divine; flower dies - unbranded (from Amazon);
Other: Tim Holtz Idea-ology "Small Talk" stickers.

Challenges I would like to enter:

Cards 4 Galz #186 - Use a Stencil
Crafter’s Cafe #291 - Use Dies and/or Punches (2nd entry)
Crazy Is Our Fame, Stencils Are Our Game (November) - Anything Goes With Stencils (3rd entry)
Path of Positivity #106 - Anything Positive Goes (2nd entry)
Simon Says (Wednesday) - Not a Card (2nd entry)
Snippets Playground #442 - Anything Goes With Snippets
Sparkles #158 - Dies and/or Punches (2nd entry)
Through the Craft Room Door - Anything Goes (2nd entry)
Word Art Wednesday #571/572 - Anything Goes (3rd entry)

it was brilliant to have this interlude from Christmas card making ... but I guess it is nose back to the Christmas grindstone now! Thanks so much for taking time to visit today and take care.

Saturday 26 November 2022

Allsorts Challenge #704

Good morning - the weekend is here and that means it’s time for a new challenge at  Allsorts. This week Ellie has chosen the theme and it is

*** Wings and/or Tails ***

This week we have 2 great prizes on offer:

AALL and Create A5 stamp set Follow Your Own Path

3 digi images of the winner's choice from Ruth Hamilton Design

Here's my card for this week.

This is the A5 card I made for a good friend's special birthday which was just over a week ago. She is an artist and a superb cardmaker, so I always like to make a special effort as I know she appreciates it, so of course this applied even moreso for a "milestone" birthday (no pressure then!!) 

I created my background using Distress Oxide inks, hill and circle masks, then stamped my images with various colours of Versafine Clair and a mixture of 1st/2nd generation stamping. For the little birdie I over-stamped him a couple of times with different colours using my stamping platform .. this is something I'm at early days of experimenting with at the moment.  I added sparkly highlights to the fairy wings, flowers, sun and trees using Sakura Stardust pens, and added my stamped sentiment and die cut numbers before matting onto linen card stock.

I also stamped the envelope to match but using only VFC permanent inks.

Stamps: Lavinia Josie, Celestial Tree (small), Wild Summer Flower, Wild Poppies, Gate and Fence, Bird Collection, Faerie Spells; Uniko Birthday Sentiments;
Media: Tim Holtz Distress oxide inks (Rustic Wilderness, Mowed Lawn, Bundled Sage, Tumbled Glass, Squeezed lemonade, Fossilized Amber); Versafine Clair (Nocturne, Morning Mist, Charming Pink, Pinecone, Rainforest, Warm Breeze); Versafine (Vintage Sepia, Majestic Blue); Sakura Stardust pens (blue, yellow, clear);
Tools: Provocraft "Hippy Chick" number dies.

Challenges I would like to enter:

Crafter's Cafe #291 - Use Dies and/or Punches
Dream Valley #282 - Anything Goes (3rd entry)
Hero Arts (November) - The Great Outdoors (2nd entry)
Make My Monday - Things With Wings (2nd entry)
Seize the Birthday #252 - Anything Birthday Goes
Simon Says (Monday) - Fun With Foil
(A bit tenuous - I used metallic card for my numbers as I don’t have any foiling products)
Sparkles #158 - Dies and/or Punches
Sweet Stampin’ - Birthday
Word Art Wednesday #571/572 - Anything Goes (2nd entry)

Hope you can join us this week, and I look forward to seeing your entries. Don't forget to visit the challenge blog to see more fab inspiration from the rest of the team. Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday 23 November 2022

Bubblicious !

Hi there, today I am taking a break from Christmas cards to show you a set of ATC’s I made a little while ago, but which for some reason I haven’t blogged until now.  Back in August I saw a number of posts and tutorials about how to draw and colour bubbles … I made my first attempt when I made a good friend’s birthday card, and I enjoyed the technique so much I promptly made a set of 3 bubblicious ATC’s, using the bubbles as a background onto which I stamped some inspiring sentiments. 

I cut 3 pieces of white card each 3.25 x 2.25 inches and created the background by sponging Distress Oxide ink.  I then created my bubbles by using a home-made mask of different size circles, and blending 5 different pastel shades of Distress Oxide round each circle. I then outlined each bubble with Sakura clear Stardust pen and accented with white Posca pen. I created shiny dots on the background with silver metallic Posca pen and finished off by stamping a sentiment onto each panel in bright pink ink, then matted onto pink linen card stock. here is a close up each ATC.


Stamps: Crafter’s Companion Positive Thoughts (ATC's 1 & 2), Enchanted Dreams (ATC 3);
Media: Tim Holtz Distress Oxide inks (Tumbled Glass, Squeezed Lemonade, Kitsch Flamingo, Shaded Lilac, Cracked Pistachio, Salty Ocean); Versafine Clair (Charming Pink); Sakura Stardust pen (clear); Posca pens (white, silver).

Challenges I would like to enter:

ATC’s With a Heart (November) - Anything Goes (3rd entry) - TOP 3
Classic Design Challenge #11 2022 - Anything Goes (3rd entry)
Dare 2B Artzy (November) - Non-Birthday (3rd entry)
Dream Valley #282 - Anything Goes (2nd entry)
Path of Positivity #106 - Anything Positive Goes - DT DELIGHT
QKR Stampede #456 - Anything Goes (2nd entry)

This really was so much fun!! Now however it's back to the Christmas cards .... thanks so much for taking the time to visit my blog today. Take care.

Tuesday 22 November 2022

Watch the birdie!

Hi everyone, today I have another Christmas card to show you.  This one has been inspired by a beautiful silhouette Christmas wreath card in a recent post in the Lavinia For You FB group by Elizabeth Moffatt, for which she kindly provided a number of step-by-step pictures.   

I started off by CASE-ing Elizabeth's card, though I wouldn't enter those cards into any blog challenges as that wouldn't be fair. However I then branched out a bit more by changing the wreath stamps, colours, colouring my bird instead of stamping a silhouette, and adding lots of sparkle .. so this is an "inspired by" card - and here it is.

I created a circle of sponged Distress inks on my card square, then stamped my berry wreath and branch using Versafine Clair Pinecone. I stamped my birdie several times (using a stamping platform) using various brown and red inks, then coloured his tummy and head with white Posca pen and gave him an eye with black fineliner. I coloured the berries with red Sakura Stardust pen, and stamped my stars with gold ink (in hindsight I should have heat embossed them, but there's a lesson for next time). I stamped and heat embossed my sentiment in gold, and added white snow dots with Posca pen plus a few teeny gold gems before matting everything onto dark green card stock and my card base.with hindsight the birdie is probably better as a silhouette as he isn’t really the right shape to be a robin, but no matter!!

Here is another picture to show the sparkle.

Stamps: Lavinia Berry Wreath With Mini Berries, Bird Collection, Mini Branch, Stars Mini, Stars 1 Mini; Uniko Christmas Wishes;
Media: Tim Holtz Distress Inks (Shabby Shutters, Peeled Paint); Versafine Clair (Pinecone, Tulip Red); Versafine (Vintage Sepia); Memento Dew Drop Brilliance (Galaxy Gold); Versamark; gold embossing powder; Sakura Stardust pen (red); Posca pen (white).

Challenges I would like to enter:

Crafty Catz #615 - Anything Goes with option Christmas (2nd entry) - TOP 3
Creative Knockouts #479 - Anything Goes
Daisy Chain #69 - Christmas Is Coming (3rd entry)
Dragonfly Dreams (November) - Christmas (3rd entry)
Make My Monday - Things With Wings
Sparkles #142 - Festive Things With Wings (2nd entry) - SPOTLIGHT WINNER
Try it On Tuesday - Traditional Christmas (2nd entry)
Winter Wonderland - Robin Redbreast (2nd entry) - TOP 3
Word Art Wednesday #569/570 - Anything Goes (4th entry)

For anyone who is wondering, here is a pictures of one of my CASE'd cards (this is not for any competitions) 

… and here is a pic (with permission) of Elizabeth’s original card that inspired me in the first place. πŸ˜€

Take care, and thanks for dropping by.


Saturday 19 November 2022

Allsorts Challenge #703

Good morning everyone, Saturday is here so it's time for this week's Allsorts Challenge. Dena has chosen the theme and it is

*** Anything Goes with the option Trees and Leaves ***

This week we have 2 fab prizes on offer - one is a £15 store voucher from WOWVOW 

The other is this beautiful floral stencil.

Here's my card for this week.

As you can see I did my best to incorporate both trees and leaves on this week's offering, whilst pushing forward with another Christmas card!. I used a circle stencil and torn paper to create my background with Distress Oxide inks, then used a home-made negative circle mask to stamp my trees and holly with a mixture of first and second generation stamping. I removed the mask to stamp my fir cone branch  round the edge of the circle and my individual pinecones in the corner, then I stamped my star using Versamark and heat embossed with silver pearl embossing powder. I highlighted all the trees and fir cones with my trusty Sakura Stardust pen, and coloured the holly berries with a red stardust pen. I also added a little more subtle sparkle with my new Spectrum Noir glitter brush pen by painting the snow banks. Finally I stamped my sentiment, then replaced my negative circle mask to add Posca pen spatter for snow. When dry I matted simply onto dusky blue glitter card and attached to my card base.

This card is even more sparkly than my usual offerings - here is an angled pic.

Stamps: Lavinia Fir Tree 1, Christmas Tree Group, Fir Cone Branch, Mini Holly, Mini Pine Cone, North Star Mini; Card-io Mini Trees; Uniko Christmas Wishes;
Media: Tim Holtz Distress Oxide inks (Stormy Sky, Blueprint Sketch, Chipped Sapphire); Versafine Clair (Nocturne, Twilight, Pinecone, Morning Mist, Rainforest); Versamark; silver pearl embossing powder; Sakura Stardust pens (red, clear); Spectrum Noir Glitter brush pen (clear); Posca pen (white); 
Tools: Press to Impress circle stencil.

Challenges I would like to enter:

Craft Rocket #98 - Christmas/Winter (3rd entry)
Crafty Catz #615 - Anything Goes with option Christmas
Crazy Is Our Fame, Stencils Are Our Game (November) - Anything Goes With Stencils (2nd entry)
Creative Moments #240 - Winter - TOP 3
Creative Inspirations (November) - Sparkle, Sparkle, Sparkle! (3rd entry)
Daisy Chain #69 - Christmas Is Coming (2nd entry)
Dragonfly Dreams (November) - Christmas (2nd entry)
Everybody Art #524 - Winter Forest
Festive Fridays - Christmas (2nd entry)
Hero Arts (November) - The Great Outdoors (2nd entry)
Scribbles #114 - The Most TREE-mendous Time of Year
Sheepski #68 - Gems, Glitter, Sparkle (3rd entry)
Simon Says (Wednesday) - Stencil It (2nd entry)
Stamping Sensations (November) - Christmas Celebrations (2nd entry)
Try it On Tuesday - Traditional Christmas
Use Your Stuff #471 - Winter/Snow
We Love Stamping (November) - Christmas (2nd entry)
Word Art Wednesday #569/570 - Anything Goes (3rd entry)

I look forward to seeing your entries this week. Also please do visit the challenge blog to see more fab inspiration from the rest of the team. Take care and thanks for visiting.

Friday 18 November 2022


Good morning everyone, today I would like to share a Christmas card I made with one of my oldest and most faithful stamps .. the adorable “Snowy” by Penny Black. I read somewhere that Snowy is Penny Black’s best ever selling stamp, and for me it’s very easy to see why .. I have owned him for at least 15 years and I still make one or two cards with him most Christmases. What is the magic formula that makes one image more adorable than another?? Who knows .. but whatever IT is, Snowy has still got IT 😍

I stamped Snowy onto a square of white card, coloured him with Promarkers and coloured his hat’s fur and pom pom with my glitter brush pen. I stencilled  a large snowflake on the other half of the square with Distress Oxide inks, then stamped my sentiment to fill the gap. I rounded all the corners with a corner punch and matted the finished piece onto co-ordinating purple glitter card. Here's the obligatory angle pic to show the sparkle.

Stamps: Penny Black Snowy (2521K); Uniko Festive Sentiments;
Media: Tim Holtz Distress Oxide inks (Wilted Violet, Shaded Lilac, Tumbled Glass); Promarkers; Memento ink (black); Versafine Clair (Medieval Blue); Spectrum Noir glitter brush pen (clear);
Tools: Crafter’s Companion stencil - Winter Sparkle.

Challenges I would like to enter:

As You Like It - Favourite Non-Traditional Christmas Colour Combo (and why) (2nd entry)
(I love to experiment with various non-trad colours as it keeps things interesting)
Daring Cardmakers - One Word Prompt: White
Daisy Chain #69 - Christmas Is Coming - TOP 5
I ❤️ Promarkers #523 - Anything Goes with option Add A Sentiment - TOP 3
Merry Little Christmas #47 - Anything Christmas Goes  (3rd entry)
Penny Black Saturday Challenge (November) - Anything Penny Black Goes

That’s another one for the Christmas pile, which is starting to look a bit healthier than it did until recently πŸ˜€. Take care, and thanks for visiting today.

Wednesday 16 November 2022

Squirrel Nutkin

Hi there, today I would like to show you a set of 3 ATC's I have made for a FB swap on the theme of "Autumn Colours". I had recently taken delivery of a few new Lavinia stamps to enable me to produce autumn themes, so I was able to bring them into play here.

I cut three pieces of white card each 3.25 x 2.25 inches, and created a background with autumnal shades of Distress oxide ink, and background stamped my wording. I stamped my Oak leaves, acorns and squirrels using a mix of Versafine and Versafine Clair, and coloured my acorns with Distress ink. I distressed a separate piece of card and then stamped my autumn words three times, and cut out the words "Hello Autumn" which I attached to each ATC. I finished by painting some watered-down Sakura sparkly ink onto my leaves to give them a shimmer whilst allowing the background autumn colours to show through, and matted each finished piece onto standard ATC size snippets of brown card stock..

Here is a close up of one of the ATC's.

Initially I just stamped my squirrel using Versafine in Vintage Sepia and gave him a black fineliner eye and mouth ... but I was really embarrassed by how flat and uninspiring he looked. As luck would have it, the same day I saw a fabulous example of how to colour the Lavinia squirrel posted by Karen Orme on FB, so I asked her how she did it. Obviously as I had already stamped this little guy I could only do so much to remediate him, but I did my best to make him look a bit more shaded and dimensional. I'm hoping my next effort will be much better - watch this space!!

Stamps: Lavinia Squirrel, Oak Leaves, Oak Leaf Flourish, Winter Spice;
Media: Tim Holtz Distress Oxide inks (Fossilized Amber, Spiced Marmalade, Mowed Lawn, Rustic Wilderness); Distress Ink (Vintage Photo, Tea Dye); Versafine (Vintage Sepia); Versafine Clair (Pinecone, Summertime); Spectrum Noir Harmony dye ink (Bordeaux); Posca pen (white), pastel pencil (white); Sakura Stardust pen (clear).

Challenges I would like to enter:

A Gem of a Challenge #23 2022 - Anything Goes (2nd entry)
ATC's With a Heart #122 - Anything Goes (2nd entry)
Classic Design Challenge #11 2022 - Anything Goes (2nd entry)
Crafts Galore Encore (November) - Anything Goes (2nd entry)
Crafty Animals #67 - Anything Goes With Animals
Crafty Catz #614 - Anything Goes - TOP 3
Creatalicious #247 - Anything Goes
Creative Crafters #58 - Anything Goes
Dare 2B Artzy (November) - Non-Birthday (2nd entry)
Double Trouble #125 - Thing 1: Use Orange, Yellow and Green

Dream Valley #282 - Anything Goes
Hero Arts (November) - The Great Outdoors
Paper Funday #47 - Anything Goes with option Colours of Autumn
QKR Stampede #456 - Anything Goes
Word Art Wednesday #269/270 - Anything Goes (2nd entry)

This is quite likely the last of my few autumn projects as winter is nearly upon us .. I believe the weather is meant to be turning cold on Friday so it will be time for winter woolies!!

Take care, and thanks for dropping by.