Saturday 28 January 2023

Allsorts Challenge #713


Good morning everyone, its time for another weekly Allsorts Challenge. Ellie has chosen the theme this week and it is

*** Boys and Men ***

We know that it can sometimes be challenging to create for the men in your life, so we hope this week's theme will inspire you to get ahead with some masculine makes!

We are now into our February prize draw period, and our next announcement of prizes will be on Friday 24th February

Don't forget to check the main challenge blog to see if you have won a prize for any of the January challenges - you can claim them up until midnight Friday 3rd February.

February’s prizes come from WOWVOWCraft Stash, AALL and Create and Ruth Hamilton DesignPlease click on the links to visit their individual websites, and you can read more about them on our Patrons’ page.


Here's my card for this week.


I must admit I struggle with men’s cards as I have endless supplies of stamps showing flowers, butterflies and/or cute animals, but relatively few “masculine” images. I decided to go with a Lavinia scene in fairly bold and graphic colours using my reindeer .. I have only ever used him for Christmas cards until now!

I created my hills and sky by blending Distress Oxide inks with circle and hill acetate masks, then lightly sponged more DO across the sun using torn paper to create wispy clouds. I stamped the reindeer, trees, birds and field grasses using a mix of black and grey Versafine Clair, and 1st/2nd generation stamping, then stamped my sentiment in black.  I “grounded” the reindeer and trees with black Distress watercolor pencil, edged the finished piece with black marker then matted onto black linen card stock and my card base.  

Stamps: Lavinia Large Reindeer, Forest Scene, Small Trees, Field Grass, Leaf Spray, Birds; Crafters Companion Magical Sentiments;
Media: Tim Holtz Distress Oxide inks (Black Soot, Hickory Smoke, Stormy Sky, Fossilized Amber); Distress Watercolor pencil (Black Soot); Versafine Clair (Nocturne, Morning Mist);
Tools: Lavinia hill and circle acetate masks.

Challenges I would like to enter:

AAA Birthday #45 - Anything Birthday Goes
Crafting Happiness #138 - Celebrations - TOP PICK
Daisy Chain #70 - Birthday
DL.Art ((January) - Anything Goes (4th entry)
Dream Valley #285 - Hip To Be Square
Little Red Wagon #689 - Happy, Happy Birthday
Pammie’s Inky Pinkies #2303 - Anything Goes (2nd entry)
Simon Says (Wednesday) - Anything Goes (2nd entry)
Word Art Wednesday #579/580 - Anything Goes (5th 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.
Hugs,

Wednesday 25 January 2023

Rudolph Day


Hi everyone, today is the first Rudolph Day of 2023… 25th of every month where we are encouraged to get ahead with a Christmas card so that we don’t get into a last minute panic come December!

Back in October I had a colouring session one day with the adorable LotV James the Bear image holding a Christmas tree .. he is one of my favourites and I coloured 4 images while I had my pens on the table. This is the last card made with those images ๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„


I stamped and coloured James with my Promarkers and Flexmarkers, then added white gel pen highlights, and holographic glitter to the ground and his hat using a Quickie Glue pen. I cut the stamped card into a square and added a stamped sentiment, then matted simply onto red card stock and designer paper with a few pearls to finish. 

Stamps: LotV James Christmas Tree; Uniko Christmas Wishes;
Media: Promarkers and Flexmarkers; Memento ink (black); Versafine Clair (Nocturne); holographic glitter; white gel pen;
Papers: LotV;
Other: pearls from my stash.

Challenges I would like to enter:

12 Months of Christmas #96 - Anything Christmas Goes
ABC Christmas - B is for Bear
Christmas Crafts All Year Round (January) - One of Something or a Tree
Merry Little Christmas #48 - Anything Christmas Goes
Pammie's Inky Pinkies #2303 - Anything Goes - HONORARY MENTION
Rudolph Days (January) - Anything Christmas Goes
Simon Says (Wednesday) - Anything Goes
Sparkles Christmas #144 - Sparkle and Glitter Accents (2nd entry)
Stamping Sensations (January) - Add Some Sparkle (3rd entry)
Word Art Wednesday #579/580 - Anything Goes (4th entry)

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

Sunday 22 January 2023

Art From the Heart


Hi everyone, today I would like to share a pair of ATC's which came about almost by accident .... I had been trying to do some brayering with Tumbled Glass and Mowed Lawn Distress Oxide inks for a card (which didn't work out very well, but that's another story!). I had the foresight though to use a tip from my friend Sarn ... and instead of "running off" the excess ink onto thin copier paper as I had always done before, I used a large snippet of stamping card. After I gave up on my first project I looked at the brayered leftovers and decided I could make something with it ... and here's the result. I called this set "Art From the Heart". 


I cut my brayered snippet into two pieces, each 3.25" x 2.25", and spattered them with water to introduce a more mottled ink effect.  I used Versafine Clair to stamp a flower onto each one (both from the same Woodware set), then some background grungy text with 2nd generation stamping, then my hearts. I stamped the word "ART" onto each ATC with Versamark and heat embossed with detail white embossing powder, then I edged the finished pieces with dark blue marker pen, and matted onto standard ATC size pieces cut from a small snippet of pearlescent blue linen card stock.

Here is a closer view of each ATC.

1/2

2/2

Stamps: Woodware Mini Flower Silhouettes, Blooming, Additions; ART wording - Indigo Blu “Sarah's Choice”;
Media: Tim Holtz Distress Oxide inks (Tumbled Glass, Mowed Lawn); Versafine Clair (Twilight, Warm Breeze); Versamark, white detail embossing powder.

Challenges I would like to enter:

ATC’s Around the World #97 - Anything Goes (2nd entry)
Classic Design Challenge (January) Anything Goes (2nd entry)
Creative Crafters #60 - Anything Goes (2nd entry)
DL.Art (January) - Anything Goes (3rd entry)
Paper a la Mode (January) - Let’s Get Started (Not a Card) (2nd entry)
Simon Says (Wednesday) - Fabulous Flowers (3rd entry)
Snippets Playground #446 - Anything Goes With Snippets
Three Room Studio #95 - Anything Goes
We Love Stamping (January) - Favourite Colours (3rd entry)
(I love the combination of blue and green as it makes me think of grass and sky)
Word Art Wednesday #579/580 - Anything Goes (3rd entry)

I have hardly made any ATC's over the past couple of months due to Christmas preparations and the postal strikes, so I'm hoping to get back into my stride now for 2023 - notwithstanding the latest Royal Mail cyber attack which seems to have severely disrupted international mail from the UK for the time being .. let's hope it's all soon resolved!

Take care, and thanks for visiting my blog today.
Hugs,

Saturday 21 January 2023

Allsorts Challenge #712


Hi everyone, Saturday is here again so it's time for another weekly Allsorts Challenge. Dena has chosen the theme and it is

*** Spots and/or Stripes ***

We look forward to seeing all your dotty and/or stripy creations!

Don't forget that we now announce the prizes for all our weekly challenges monthly on the last Friday of the month.


This month’s prizes come from Oakwood DirectStamp AddictsSizzix and AALL and CreatePlease click on the links to visit their individual websites, and you can read more about them on our Patrons’ page.

Here's my card for this week.


I decided to go dotty (some might say I’m halfway there already!) with stencilling.  I stamped my flowers onto a piece of stamping card, covered them with a fussy cut paper mask, and used Distress Oxide ink to create a smoosh background. When dry I stencilled lightly onto the sides of the panel using a darker green Distress Oxide, then removed the mask and coloured in the image with Distress watercolor pencils.  Using my stamping platform I re-stamped over the flowers to give a crisper image - this is a technique recommended by Tim Holtz in his Distress watercolor pencils launch video. I stamped my sentiment, then sponged more DO around the edges of the panel to give a bit more depth. Lastly I applied some Distress Texture Paste through the same stencil in the opposite corners to where I had stencilled originally, and spattered the image with White Posca pen. When dry I matted everything onto green linen card stock and a 7” x 5” card blank.

Stamps: Woodware Echinacea and Moth; sentiment - Uniko Spring Botanicals Daffodil;
Media: Tim Holtz Distress Oxide inks (Twisted Citron, Bundled Sage, Spiced Marmalade); Distress Watercolor Pencils (Squeezed Lemonade, Peeled Paint, Fired Brick); Tim Holtz Distress Texture Paste; Versafine Clair (Nocturne);
Tools: Darkroom Door stencil - Polka Dots.

Challenges I would like to enter:

Classic Design Challenge (January) - Anything Goes (2nd entry)
Crafty Catz #621 - Anything Goes
Crazy Is Our Fame, Stencils Are Our Game (January) - Anything Goes With Stencils (2nd entry)
Creative Crafters #60 - Anything Goes
DL.Art (January) - Anything Goes (2nd entry)
Make My Monday #192 - Favourite Theme of 2022
(I have chosen #171 - Use a Stencil)
Papercraft Challenge #90 - Anything Goes (2nd entry)
Path of Positivity #108 - Anything Goes Positive (2nd entry)
Simon Says (Wednesday) - Fabulous Flowers (2nd entry)
Word Art Wednesday #579/580 - 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.
Hugs,

Thursday 19 January 2023

Scribble Flowers


Good morning everyone,

I needed to make an ATC and matching card for this month’s ATC swap over in the Visible Image group on Facebook, so I thought I would kill two birds with one stone, and use it as my Snippets Playground homework assignment! This fortnight is Snippets Playground’s 11th Blogoversary, so Di and Sarn have got another special challenge going on with another awesome prize of a £50 gift voucher for a craft store of the winner’s choice … wow!! If I'm lucky enough to win that I think I'll be looping the loop on the Treehouse swings after downing the contents of Sarn's Secret Stash of Moonshine in the Speakeasy  Tree House!!

ATC’s are always a good way to use up smaller snippets, and when making a matching card for a themed swap I try to ensure I can find a larger matching snippet of coloured card to use for matting.

Bearing in mind that the theme for this ATC swap is three of something, I decided on my stamps, and then assembled some snippets of white card for the ATC, plus coloured snippets for both ATC and card (the pink and orange cardstock were originally 12” x 12” sheets).


Here is the finished ATC - three flowers, 3 different stamps (flower, scribble, wording) and three colours. I did actually use both white snippets on this one as I used one of them for testing my colouring media!๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ


I cut my smallest snippet of white card to 3.25 x 2.25 inches, and stamped my focal flower three times “off the edge”. I then masked the flowers and stamped the scribble in pink, orange and yellow ink. I removed the masks and coloured the flowers using my new Distress Watercolor Pencils (pink and yellow) and Distress Oxide ink (orange). For all three I picked up the colour with a water brush … the pencils give a really vibrant colour, and I think I really need more than the one set I currently own!! (I have also ordered a special sharpener so that I can hopefully get a point for fine colouring, and save the shavings in a watercolour palette!) I stamped the wording, then edged the finished panel with black marker before matting onto pieces cut from small snippets of orange and pink card to make a standard size ATC. I finished off with a couple of bright pink heart gems and Glossy Accents on the flower centres.

Stamps: Visible Image - Where Flowers Bloom;
Media: Distress Watercolor Pencils (Picked Raspberry, Squeezed Lemonade, Black Soot); Distress Oxide inks (Ripe Persimmon, Squeezed Lemonade); Versafine Clair (Nocturne, Charming Pink, Summertime); Glossy Accents.

Challenges I would like to enter:

As You Like It - Favourite Reason to Craft (and why)
(I love making ATC’s as I love the challenge of working with such a small space, and I also love making generic cards that can be used to enclose ATC’s, as there are no constraints eg. on sentiments).
DL.Art (January) - Anything Goes
Paper a la Mode (January) - Let’s Get Started (Not a Card)
Snippets Playground #445 - Show Us Your Snippets!!

Here is the matching card - it uses all the same techniques and supplies as the ATC and my larger snippets of orange and pink card stock,  with the addition of some yellow card matting (not a snippet!).


... and an angled picture to show the Glossy Accents on the flower centres.


Challenges I would like to enter:

Daring Cardmakers - New Year, New Crafty Things
(New stamps and Distress Watercolor Pencils)
Love to Craft #172 - Anything Goes - TOP PICK
NBUS #46  - Use Your Never Before Used Schtuff
(Stamps, Distress Watercolor Pencils)
Simon Says (Wednesday) - Fabulous Flowers
Sisterhood of Crafters - Anything Goes
Sweet Stampin’ - New (2nd entry)
Try It On Tuesday - In With the New (2nd entry)
We Love Stamping (January) - Favourite Colours (2nd entry)
(I love bright pink and orange together)

Thanks very much for visiting my blog today - take care.
Hugs,

Saturday 14 January 2023

Allsorts Challenge #711


Good morning everyone, it’s Saturday again so it's time for another weekly Allsorts Challenge. This week Lorraine has chosen the theme and it is

*** Anything Goes with option Winter Blues ***

As mentioned last week, from now on we will still be publishing weekly challenges with prizes for each challenge, and a Top 5 will be announced every Friday at 6pm. However the prize winners will all be announced monthly starting on Friday 27 January.


This month’s prizes come from Oakwood DirectStamp AddictsSizzix and AALL and CreatePlease click on the links to visit their individual websites, and you can read more about them on our Patrons’ page.


Here's my card for this week.


This theme immediately made me think of Christmas, so I took the opportunity to make my first Christmas card of 2023. This also enabled me to have my first play with a gorgeous intricate die set I bought in December at the Crafter’s Companion shop, and, more importantly, my main Christmas present from my darling husband ❤️


Woo hoo!!! ๐Ÿ˜ Mind you,  I hear you ask … what took me so long to get round to using it??? Well .. we were away over Christmas and New Year, so the wrapped box wasn’t taken with us as it is pretty heavy .. and when I got back I was very busy for a few days catching up with myself. I decided to wait til I had got time to look at everything properly, and this is the first result ๐Ÿ˜€. Early days yet but so far I’m very pleased … it certainly requires a lot less brute strength and elbow grease than my trusty old Cuttlebug …particularly for intricate dies.

I die cut my snowflake frame from pearlescent white card and a matching square of white stamping card. I then created a sponged Distress Oxide background with 3 colours of blue, and stamped a little forest of trees using various Lavinia stamps, different shades of Versafine Clair and 1st/2nd generation stamping, which I highlighted with Sakura Stardust pen. I stamped a Penny Black Christmas sentiment with Versamark and heat embossed with silver embossing powder, and added some white Posca pen spatter to represent falling snow. When the panel was dry I attached the snowflake frame, and then matted it onto a die cut stitched square cut from blue linen card stock. Finally I matted everything onto a card blank and added some silver sparkly gems to accent the snowflakes.

Here is an angled picture to capture the shiny silver of the sentiment + the sparkle.


Stamps: Lavinia Fairy Fir Tree (Small), Fairy Fir Tree 2 (Small), Fairy Fir Tree 2, Fir Tree 1, Christmas Tree Group, Red Pine (Small); sentiment - Penny Black "a wish..." (3502F);
Media: Distress Oxide inks (Stormy Sky, Blueprint Sketch, Chipped Sapphire); Versafine Clair  (Twilight, Medieval Blue, Morning Mist, Nocturne); Versamark; detail silver embossing powder; Sakura Stardust pen (clear); Posca pen (white);
Tools: Crafter’s Companion die set - Falling Snow; Hunkydory Moonstone die - Duo-Stitched Squares;
Other: sparkly gems from my stash.

Challenges I would like to enter:

ABC Christmas Challenge - A is for Anything Christmas
Little Red Wagon #687 - Baby It's Cold Outside! - FEATURED 
Make My Monday #191 - Something New (3rd entry)
Path of Positivity #108 - Anything Positive Goes with option Inspired By a Word Collage - TOP PICK and VOTER’S CHOICE
(I was inspired by the words in the example word collage …particularly “snowfall” and “sparkle”

Sparkles Christmas Challenge #144 - Sparkle and Glitter Accents - TOP 3
Stamping Sensations (January) - Add Some Sparkle (2nd entry)
Try It On Tuesday - In With the New - END OF YEAR SPOTLIGHT 2023
Word Art Wednesday #577/578 - Anything Goes (3rd 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.
Hugs,

Saturday 7 January 2023

Allsorts Challenge #710


Good morning everyone, it's time for the first Allsorts Challenge for 2023. I hope you have all had a lovely Christmas and New Year, and that you're raring to go with some new challenges. This week Mervi has chosen the theme and it is

*** Something New ***

You could share a make for a "new" occasion such as New Home, New Baby, or if Santa has been kind you could have a play with your new stash!!

With the New Year we are making a few changes … From now on we will still be publishing weekly challenges with prizes for each challenge, and a Top 5 will be announced every Friday at 6pm. However the prize winners will now all be announced monthly - more details of our prize schedule and how it will work are on the Allsorts Challenge blog.


This month’s prizes come from Oakwood DirectStamp AddictsSizzix and AALL and Create. Please click on the links to visit their individual websites, and you can read more about them on our Patrons’ page.


I was away over Christmas and New Year, so I actually made this card before Santa had been to call .. and I decided to use some new stash I acquired in the Black Friday sale. Here is my card using a new Visible Image stencil “Butterfly Ink”, along with new background stamps and a sentiment from an older set which I believe I haven’t used before.


First I lined up the small butterfly stamp and stencil on my square of stamping card, then removed the stencil and stamped/heat embossed the butterfly stamp. I masked the butterfly and stamped the background, then applied Distress Oxides through the butterfly stencil. I stamped the motivational words on the wings and my main sentiment, then removed the mask and coloured the stamped butterfly with Sakura Stardust pens. 

Here is an angled pic to show the sparkly butterfly wings.


Stamps: Visible Image VI Minis #1 (butterfly), Where Flowers Bloom (background); Indigo Blu Sarah’s Choice (motivational words); Crafter’s Companion (sentiment);
Media: Tim Holtz Distress Oxide inks (Picked Raspberry, Peacock Feathers); Versafine Clair (Nocturne, Charming Pink); Sakura Stardust pens (pink, jade green);
Tools: Visible Image stencil - Butterfly Ink

Challenges I would like to enter:

C.R.A.F.T. #663 - New (2nd entry)
Creatalicious #250 - Anything Goes with option Something New (2nd entry) - TOP 3
Make My Monday #191 - Something New (2nd entry)
Simon Says (Wednesday) - Something New (2nd entry)
We Love Stamping (January) - Favourite Colours
(There are several colour combos I favour, but one is definitely pink + green)
Word Art Wednesday #577/578 - 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.
Hugs,

Friday 6 January 2023

Snippets Galore!!


Hi everyone, hope you have all had a happy, healthy and peaceful Christmas and New Year, and that you're raring to go with a whole new year of crafting for 2023!

I was away for 12 days over the festive period and busy doing some Christmas prep in the few days before that, so today is the first day for 2 1/2 weeks I have had opportunity to sit down and craft.  I didn't need to do any, but I spotted over Christmas there is THE most amazing challenge going on over at the Snippets Playground, where the lovely Di and Sarn are teasing our creativity with the most incredible and generous prize imaginable! I always try to enter the Snippets challenge if I can, so no way was I going to miss participating in this one ... I'm just glad I've managed to find a crafty window just in time, so I can hand in my (last minute) homework, avoiding the excuse that it was eaten by the dog (naughty Dudley!) and thus narrowly escaping detention!! So to business ...


I tasked myself for this special Snippets Playground challenge to make a card ENTIRELY from snippets which is a bit unusual for me!! As I racked my brain for inspiration I hit upon the idea of making a card using die cut flowers and foliage, as that would give me the opportunity to use up quite a few small white card snippets. It also falls in quite neatly with the fact that a good friend is having quite a bit of dental work over the next few weeks, so I could make a card that will hopefully cheer her up.

I die cut my flowers and foliage from various snippets of white stamping card, then coloured them by painting with watered down Distress Oxide inks. I cut a larger snippet to 14cm square, blended Distress Oxides to give the impression of a hazy meadow and sky, then spattered with water to give a slightly mottled effect. I attached my flowers and foliage die cuts to the inked panel, and stamped my sentiment with Versafine Clair. I then cut out and attached a stitched frame using my new Hunkdory stitched square dies, from a large snippet of green linen cardstock that was left over from a 12" square sheet. Finally I matted the framed panel onto my card blank, added some gold Posca pen "spatter", and finished off with a die cut and a couple of punched butterflies .. again using a snippet of matt gold metallic card. I'm very pleased with the bright and cheerful way this card turned out ... here is an angled pic to show the shiny butterflies.


Stamps: Crafters Companion Sending Positivity (sentiment);
Media: Tim Holtz Distress Oxide inks (Salty Ocean, Tumbled Glass, Twisted Citron, Bundled Sage, Mowed Lawn, Rustic Wilderness, Squeezed Lemonade, Spiced Marmalade, Ripe Persimmon, Kitsch Flamingo, Shaded Lilac, Frayed Burlap); Versafine Clair (Medieval Blue); Posca pen (metallic gold);
Tools: Floral dies - Amazon; Magnolia Doohickeys - Butterfly Dreams; Hunkdory Moonstone dies - Duo-Stitched Squares; X-Cut small butterfly punch.

Challenges I would like to enter:

(stitched frame dies + the largest yellow flower, pink flower and brightest green foliage dies)
Creatalicious #250 - Anything Goes with option Something New
Creative Inspirations (January) - Something Old, Something New
(something old = butterfly die and punches, something new as above)
Creative Knockouts #485 - Anything Goes
Make My Monday #191 - Something New
Simon Says (Monday) - Light Up the New Year
(I am hoping to light up my friend's cheerfulness by sending positive thoughts)
Simon Says (Wednesday) Something New
Snippets Playground #444 - Anything But Christmas
Use your Stuff #474 - Stitching, Faux or Real
Word Art Wednesday #577/578 - Anything Goes

That's all from me for today ... I'll be back tomorrow with my DT card for the first Allsorts Challenge of 2023. Take care and thanks for visiting.
Hugs,