Tuesday 28 February 2023

Golden Daffodils

Good morning everyone, today's card is the first I have made with a fabulous daffodil stamp set from Visible Image's latest release. Before Christmas I was the lucky winner of Country View Challenges, and I chose both today's main stamp and stencil as my prize. I know tomorrow is St. David's Day so perhaps i should have published this then, but I just had to play and couldn't wait!!

I created a smoosh background on my square of stamping card with Twisted Citron Distress Oxide ink, then stamped and heat embossed the daffodils. I masked the daffodils and then stencilled in the background with two shades of green DOX before adding some background grungy circle stamping in Shady Lane VFC and script with Versamark and detail white embossing. I removed my masking and coloured the daffodil stems with Distress Oxides and the flower heads with Sparkle Posca pens. Finally I edged the panel with more blended Distress Oxide and matted onto green card stock, then stamped, heat embossed and cut out my sentiments which I attached to the card front.

Here is an angled picture to show the sparkly flower heads ... I'm not sure whether I really like this effect on this stamp, but i originally coloured the flower heads with DOX and thought they looked a bit "flat". I'm hoping to experiment with several different styles for this stamp over the next few weeks.

Stamps: Visible Image Golden Daffodils, Sketched Tulips, Where Flowers Bloom;
Media: Tim Holtz Distress oxide inks (Twisted Citron, Mowed Lawn, Rustic Wilderness); Versafine Clair (Nocturne); Versamark; clear and detail white embossing powders; Posca Sparkle Pens (yellow, orange);
Tools: Visible Image stencil - Halftone.

Challenges I would like to enter:

As You Like It Favourite Stencil or Freestyle Background (and why)
(I actually love both ... I can't pick a favourite, so this make incorporates a bit of both!)
Country View Challenges (February) - Be Sentimental (5th entry)
Crafty Catz #626 - Anything Goes (2nd entry)
Shopping Our Stash #491 - Flowers, Flowers Everywhere
Simon Says (Wednesday) - Anything Goes (3rd entry)
Sisterhood of Crafters - Dots and/or Stripes
Stamping Sensations (February) - Anything Goes (3rd entry)
Try It On Tuesday - Let's Get Messy (2nd entry)

I'm really looking forward to the start of spring tomorrow and being able to create some more spring-themed cards! Take care, and thanks for visiting.

Monday 27 February 2023

Adventure Awaits You

Hello everyone, today I would like to show you an ATC I made specifically to swap with a lady in South Africa. This lady makes some amazing art work, and she agreed to swap two ATC's with me, but from my existing (admittedly very low) stock there was only one that she wanted ... but she loved the first ATC's I made back in April last year. I still have one of them but as it was the first ATC I ever made I can't bring myself to part with it .. it is what is known in the ATC jargon as "NFT" (Not For Trade). That being the case I agreed to make her another similar one, and here it is.

I stamped the dragonfly onto a large-ish snippet of white stamping card and heat embossed, then cut down to 3.25" x 2.25". I created the background by blending Distress Oxide inks in graduated shades, then applied dark grey DOX through a stencil to create some faded dots. I added a little background stamping in one corner in purple, and highlighted the dragonfly wings with my sparkle pen. When dry I added sentiment stickers, edged the panel with black marker pen, and matted onto a standard ATC size piece of orange card stock cut from another smaller snippet. 

Here is an angled view to show the sparkly wings.

Stamps: Visible Image Dragonfly Dreams, Where Flowers Bloom;
Media: Tim Holtz Distress Oxide inks (Squeezed Lemonade, Spiced Marmalade, Picked Raspberry, Wilted Violet, Hickory Smoke); Versafine Clair (Nocturne); Versafine (Imperial Purple); Spectrum Noir Sparkle Pen (clear);
Tools: Visible Image stencil - halftone;
Other: Tim Holtz Idea-ology Small Talk stickers.

Challenges I would like to enter:

As You Like It - Favourite Stencil or Freestyle Background (and why)
(I actually love both ... I can't pick a favourite, so this make incorporates a bit of both!)
Country View Challenges (February) - Be Sentimental (4th entry) - TOP 3 SPECIAL MENTION
Crafty Catz #626 - Anything Goes
Creatalicious #253 - Anything Goes with option Lots of Circles
Simon Says (Monday) - Things With Wings
Simon Says (Wednesday) - Anything Goes (2nd entry)
Stamping Sensations (February) - Anything Goes (2nd entry)
Try It On Tuesday - Let's Get Messy - TOP 5
Word Art Wednesday #583/584 - Anything Goes (4th entry)

Thanks very much for visiting my blog today - I appreciate your support and kind comments.

Friday 24 February 2023

Moments Like These

Hi there, today I’m sharing a card I made for the monthly Lavinia online store challenge.  I felt inspired to make a spring themed card, not least of all to try out one of my newest Lavinia stamps “Spring Trees” - I’ve wanted it for a while and I really love it !

I started by die cutting a stitched square and stitched rectangle shapes so that I could create a layered card. I stamped and heat embossed the fairy, then created my landscape and sky by blending Distress Oxide inks and using acetate circle and hill masks. I added further stamped trees, flowers and various landscape elements using a variety of Versafine Clair inks, Distress Oxide and Brilliance pearlescent ink, then coloured the fairy wings and added highlights with Sakura Stardust pens. I also added a few “flowers” around the base of the trees and under the fairy using my Posca pens.I assembled the panels and attached to my card base - I don’t have any Lavinia sentiment stamps that really fit this card so I entered it into the Lavinia challenge before adding my sentiment.  

I actually had to make a goal-line save with this card, as after over 2 hours of work I was nearing completion when disaster struck!! I was happily stamping a row of bluebells using my stamping platform, inking the flowers in lilac and then masking the flower head with low tack tape to ink the stem in green VFC … until my concentration lapsed and I forgot to remove the tape resulting in a large blot of green ink!! Waaaah!! 😳 At first I thought it was irretrievable, but then I figured I had nothing to lose so I stamped a row of darker blue bluebells in the foreground, painted around the flower I had stamped over the ink blot with a very pale green Distress Oxide, stamped the flower again then added a few white dots. It’s not perfect but I think (hope) it’s now acceptable! 

Stamps: Lavinia Moments Like These, Spring Trees, Small Trees, Gate and Fence, Bluebell, Bird Collection, Birds; sentiment - Uniko Spring Botanicals Snowdrop;
Media: Tim Holtz Distress Oxide inks (Salty Ocean, Broken China, Tumbled Glass, Twisted Citron, Mowed Lawn, Bundled Sage, Rustic Wilderness, Fossilized Amber); Versafine Clair (Nocturne, Pinecone, Shady Lane, Charming Pink); Versafine (Majestic Blue, Vintage Sepia); Brilliance Pearlescent ink (Pearlescent Lavender); Sakura Stardust pens (pink, yellow, turquoise); Posca pens (pink, yellow, white);
Tools: Hunkydory Moonstone dies - Duo-Stitched Squares and Duo-Stitched Rectangles; 

Challenges I would like to enter:

Art Impressions #345 - Bloom Where You Are Planted (2nd entry)
Country View Challenges (February) - Be Sentimental (3rd entry)
Daring Cardmakers - Treat Yourself
(I treated myself to the gorgeous Lavinia "Spring Trees" stamp set)
Krafty Chicks #652 - All Occasions
Pammie’s Inky Pinkies #2307 - Anything Goes (2nd entry)
Simon Says (Wednesday) - Anything Goes
Word Art Wednesday #583/584 - Anything Goes (3rd entry)

Hope you have a great weekend whatever you're doing.

Take care, and thanks for visiting.

Tuesday 21 February 2023

Uniko Birthday Wishes

Hi everyone, today I would like to share a card I have made for Bev’s Uniko 11th Birthday Challenge which is asking crafters to make a birthday card using Uniko products. I really like Uniko stamps, particularly the sentiments and florals, so I thought I’d give it a go.  I was lucky enough to win in the Uniko 10th birthday challenge and I have found the stamps to be an invaluable addition to my stash ... but wow where has that time gone already?? 

Uniko stamps tend to promote a fairly CAS style and graphic look which is rather different from my usual style but I really like it for a change … here’s the result.

I cut a square of white stamping card and repeat stamped my flower using various colours of Distress Oxide ink . This gave a nice chalky look and was also more vibrant than the colours of VFC I have available for this colour scheme. I then stamped the sentiment using Versafine Clair and heat embossed, before matting onto two colours of co-ordinating card stock. I finished off with a teeny heart gem - that’s it!!

Stamps: Uniko - Just Because, Birthday Sentiments;
Media: Tim Holtz Distress Oxide inks (Villainous Potion, Wilted Violet, Fossilized Amber); Versafine Clair (Nocturne); clear embossing powder;
Heart gem from my stash.

Challenges I would like to enter:

Country View Challenges (February) - Be Sentimental (2nd entry)
Creative Knockouts #488 - Birthday Wishes
Time Out #232 - Anything Birthday Goes (Happy 9th Birthday Time Out)
Uniko - 11th Birthday - Let the Celebrations Begin!
Word Art Wednesday #583/584 - Anything Goes (2nd entry)

That’s all for today. Congratulations to Bev on 11 years of Uniko!

Take care, and thanks for visiting my blog today.

Thursday 16 February 2023

New Life

Hello crafters, today I would like to show you my latest homework for the Snippets Playground challenge. I find a great way to use up snippets is to make ATC’s, and my stock is currently very low as I haven’t made many recently so am not in a very good position to trade .. so I thought I’d make a start in replenishing my stock by making a couple of spring ATC’s. 

For this pair of ATC’s I took a medium sized snippet and roughly brayered two colours of Distress Oxide ink onto it, then spattered with water. When dry I cut it into two pieces each 3.25” x 2.25”, then stamped the flowers, hare and background wording using Versafine Clair. I stamped the flowers in green, and then coloured over the flower heads with white Posca pen to look like snowdrops … a technique I have seen several people use with this particular stamp on FB. To be honest I wasn’t very happy with the result as the flowers weren’t initially very white when I used my size 1M pen and the texture was not at all smooth .. I tried again with my 5M pen which was much whiter but not really fine enough for the job. Eventually I coloured over with my Spectrum Noir Sparkle pen which smoothed things out  - a bit!!. At that point I decided to leave well alone, but I recognize I need to experiment and practice this quite a bit more! I stamped my sentiment onto separate tiny snippets of stamping card, cut out and attached.  Finally I rooted through my stash until I found an appropriate colour snippet for matting, which explains why I didn’t photograph my snippets before I started - I never know how these things will turn out until I get there! I edged my image panels with marker pen before matting onto standard ATC size card pieces.

Here is a closeup of one of them. The flower heads are actually very sparkly, but not even an angled picture seemed to capture that!

Stamps: Lavinia Fairy Bells, Flower Collection, Pipin, Spring Words; sentiment - Visible Image Sketched Tulips;
Media: Tim Holtz Distress Oxide inks (Tumbled Glass, Bundled Sage); Versafine Clair  (Nocturne, Verdant, Shady Lane, Warm Breeze); Posca pen (white); Spectrum Noir sparkle pen (clear).

Challenges I would like to enter:

Art Impressions #345 - Bloom Where You Are Planted
Creative Crafters #61 - Anything Goes
Dream Valley #287 - Add Some Bling
Make My Monday #194 - All Creatures Great and Small (2nd entry)
Path of Positivity #109 - Anything Goes Positive 
Shopping Our Stash #490 - Anything Starting With Letter B
(Blue, Bunny)

That’s all for today - as always, take care and thanks so much for visiting. 

Tuesday 14 February 2023

To My Valentine

Hi everyone, today I would like to share the Valentine card I made for my husband. I love making cards for him, but I do struggle with male cards and always wonder what to make as I think it's fair to say that most of my stash is more geared towards female cards!  Anyhoo, here is a Lavinia scene I created with loved up bunnies!  I was actually rather distracted when made this and realised afterwards that I'd slipped up, as it is actually extremely similar to the card I made him last year. I had got mixed up as I hadn't checked,  and thought last year's Valentine was a hedgehog card I made!! .. but when I told my husband I had slipped up and would need another cardmaking session he told me that I needn’t do that ... aww bless him!

I cut a square of stamping card, positioned my heart stencil and created my background by blending Distress Oxide inks and also using hill and circle masks. I then removed the stencil and stamped my hares, trees and hearts using Versafine Clair, and stamped a foliage border frame around the inked heart. I added some background stencilling of mini-hearts around the focal image with more DO, and stamped the sentiment before die-cutting the panel with a stitched square die. I rounded off by blending more DO round the edges of the panel and attaching to my card base, and highlighted the bunnies and moon with my Sakura stardust pen.

To make the card a bit more special for him I also decorated the inside with more romantic bunnies, and the envelope with bunnies plus a different heart stencil.

Stamps: Lavinia Wild Hares Set (large), Skeleton Tree Scene, Mini Leaf 2, Single Heart Mini; sentiment - Penny Black transparent set;
Media: Tim Holtz Distress Oxide inks (Black Soot, Hickory Smoke, Seedless Preserves, Villainous Potion, Chipped Sapphire); Versafine Clair (Nocturne, Medieval Blue, Charming Pink); Sakura Stardust pen (clear);
Tools: Hunkydory Moonstone Duo-Stitched Square dies; large heart stencil - Crafts Too Press to Impress; small hearts stencil and envelope heart stencil  - The Range; Lavinia Acetate Hill Masks, Acetate Circle Masks.

Challenges I would like to enter:

Art Impressions - You’re My Everything
As You Like It - Favourite - Love or Friendship (and why) - TOP 3
(I love both, but my favourite is making cards for my husband to show him that I love him) 
Birthstone Challenges #1 - Amethyst - TOP PICK
Cardz 4 Guys #315 - Valentine for a Guy
C.R.A.F.T. #667 - Love / Valentine  - TOP 3
Craft Rocket #100 - Love/Valentine (2nd entry)
Crafting Happiness #139 - Love (2nd entry)
Crafty Catz #624 - Anything Goes with option Add a Little Love
Crafty Friends #164 - Love/Romance (2nd entry)
Creatalicious #252 - Anything Goes with option Love &/or Hearts (2nd entry)
Cut It Up #271 - Have a Heart
Daring Cardmakers - All Loved Up
Double Trouble #131 - Love Is In the Air 
Everybody Art #529 - Heart / Love
Fab 'n' Funky #566 - Valentine's or Hearts
Inspiration Station #46 - Inspiration Picture
(I was inspired by the idea of a loved up couple in a landscape)

Little Red Wagon #691 - Somebody To Love - FEATURED
Lost Coast Portal to Creativity #160 - Love and Hearts (2nd entry)
Make My Monday #194 - All Creatures Great and Small - TOP PICK
Try It On Tuesday - All You Need is Love - TOP 5
We love Stamping (February) - Anything Stamped with option Use a Stencil (2nd entry)
Word Art Wednesday #581/582 - Anything Goes (4th entry)

Hope everyone enjoys Valentine's today whatever you're doing. Take care and thanks for visiting.

Tuesday 7 February 2023

Day of the Month Card Club Challenge #48 GDT - National Umbrella Day ☂️

Hi everyone,

I'm delighted to have been asked to be Guest Designer again for the Day of the Month Card Club February Challenge as a result of being voted the winner in December.

This month our theme is

☂️☂️☂️ National Umbrella Day ☂️☂️☂️

February 10th is National Umbrella Day, which honours one of the world’s most useful inventions, the umbrella! Not only does the umbrella help keep us dry from the rain, but it also protects us from the heat of the sun and can be used as a fashion accessory. While the umbrella is primarily practical, it can also be decorative…  think cocktails!!  🍹 Umbrellas have also found their way into the worlds of art and music - Rihanna’s single “Umbrella” was one of the most played singles in the UK in the 2000’s; and they play a vital role in some movies too, e.g. Singing in the Rain in 1952 and Mary Poppins in 1964. 

Interesting Umbrella Facts:

The word umbrella comes from the Latin word umbra, meaning shade or shadow. Brolly is a slang word for umbrella, often used in Britain, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa. Bumbershoot is a fanciful Americanism for an umbrella from the late 19th century.

The basic umbrella was invented over four thousand years ago. There is evidence of umbrellas in the ancient art and artifacts of Egypt, Assyria, Greece, and China.

One of the first umbrella shops opened in 1830 at 53 New Oxford Street in London, England. The shop, operated by James Smith and Sons, still operates regular hours at the same location today. 

In 1928, Hans Haupt’s pocket umbrellas appeared. Then, in 1969, Bradford E. Phillips, the owner of the American brand Totes, obtained a patent for the first “working folding umbrella.”

So now you know … here’s my GDT card.☔️

To fulfil this challenge I dug out a really old wooden Me to You "Tatty Teddy" stamp which I think is really cute, and which features the all-important umbrella!. I stamped it onto a square of stamping card using Memento ink, then masked it so I could create a green landscape and cloudy sky by blending Distress Oxide inks using hill and cloud stencils. I then removed the mask and coloured the image with Promarkers and Flexmarkers, and added a computer generated sentiment. I thought the landscape looked a little bare so I added a few Lavinia flowers in the corner with second generation stamping plus a little bird. I die cut the image panel and a linen card stock mat using my stitched square dies, then matted everything onto my base card. To finish I created some "falling rain" using a ruler and Sakura Stardust pen - here's an angled picture to show the sparkle a bit better.

Stamps: Me to You "Tatty Teddy" - "A Gift Inside";  Lavinia Wild Poppies, Field Grass, Bird Collection;
Media: background - Distress Oxide inks (Bundled Sage, Rustic Wilderness, Stormy Sky); teddy - Promarkers and Flexmarkers; Memento ink (black); Versafine Clair (Nocturne, Charming Pink, Shady Lane); Sakura Stardust pen (clear);
Tools: Lavinia hill masks; home-made cloud stencil.

Challenges I would like to enter: 

Crafty Animals #69 - Anything Goes With an Animal - TOP PICK
Krafty Chicks #649 - Stamp Act
Let’s Craft and Create #192 - Anything Goes with option Use a Sentiment
We Love Stamping (February) - Anything Goes with option Add a Stencil
Word Art Wednesday #581/582 - Anything Goes (3rd entry)

I hope you can play along with the challenge this month - please link up your entries here.

Don't forget to visit the Day of the Month Card Club February Challenge to see more fab inspiration from the Design Team, who I would like to thank for asking me to be Guest Designer again this month.

Take care, and thanks for visiting.

Saturday 4 February 2023

Allsorts Challenge #714

Good morning everyone, it’s Saturday so it's time for another weekly Allsorts Challenge. This week it is Lynn's turn to host and she has chosen the theme

*** Anything Goes -  option “I Love ...”  ***

If you choose to follow the option you could interpret it by using your crafty loves (stamps, equipment, techniques etc.) or by making a love occasion card such as Valentine's or anniversary. However we welcome all your makes so long as they follow our simple rules.

This month’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. 

There are so many crafty things I love that it’s difficult to know where to start, but this card was inspired by the fact that I love snowdrops, and I saw the first ones of the year last weekend when we went out for a country walk with a couple of friends. Also I love Uniko stamps, particularly the spring flowers and sentiments, and I won this fabulous Spring Botanicals set a year ago but received it just a bit too late to make any snowdrop cards so it has had to wait until now! I also love distressing, Lavinia stamps and spattering, all of which I have managed to incorporate on this card. Last but not least I love motivational sentiments, and this one from the same Uniko Spring Botanicals set is a real good one!

I cut a square of kraft card and stamped the focal flower, which I coloured with Distress Watercolor Pencils and then re stamped using my stamping platform.  I grounded the flowers with blended Distress Oxide ink, stamped my background wording in sepia, and sponged around the edges with 2 colours of Distress Ink before roughing up the edges with my distressing tool. I added a little sparkle to the flower petals with my Sakura Stardust pen, added some white Posca pen spatter and when dry stamped the sentiment in green and heat embossed. Finally I matted onto green card stock which also had the edges distressed, and attached to my card blank (the matting is more of a leaf green shade than the camera shows).

I realise this card is a bit unusual for a spring card as it is in grungy vintage tones. This was largely inspired by the fact that I wanted to play with my new Distress Watercolor pencils, and stamping on kraft card gave me the opportunity to try the white pencil. Although I have watched various videos, I’m still experimenting with how they work best for me… so far I’m getting the best results if I pick up colour on a wet paint brush and paint with them.  

Stamps: Uniko Spring Botanicals - Snowdrop; Lavinia Words of Spring;
Media: Tim Holtz Distress Watercolor pencils (Picket Fence, Peeled Paint); Distress Oxide ink (Mowed Lawn); Distress Ink (Walnut Stain, Vintage Photo); Versafine Clair (Nocturne, Shady Lane); clear embossing powder; Posca pen (white); Sakura Stardust pen (clear);
Tools: Tim Holtz distressing tool.

Challenges I would like to enter:

Crafty Catz #623 - Anything Goes - TOP 3
Creative Crafters #60 - Anything Goes
NBUS #47 - Use Your Never Before Used Schtuff
(Mine is the snowdrop stamp and sentiment)
Path of Positivity #108 - Anything Positive Goes (3rd entry)
QKR Stampede #460 - Anything Goes
Word Art Wednesday #581/582 - 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.