Thursday 28 September 2023

Butterflies galore!

Hi everyone, I’m here again and yes, I have another set of butterfly ATC’s to share ... they are coming along like buses! As I mentioned in my previous post I’m a bit behind with everything at the moment, so yesterday I sat down rather last minute to make ATC’s for the UK Stampers’ Forum FB September swap, where the theme is … you’ve guessed it … butterflies! I love these beautiful winged creatures so I just had to pull my finger out and enter! Here they are.

I cut three pieces of white stamping card each 3.25” x 2.25” from various snippets in my box, and blended Distress Oxide inks to create a “grass and sky” background. I then stamped each one with a lovely old ATC size background stamp of script and  foliage that I have rediscovered since I started making ATC’s, using Shady Lane Versafine Clair. I die cut and dry embossed three butterflies from snippets of pearlescent white card and edged their wings with more DOX. I stamped the “Butterfly” word onto each ATC, then stamped again onto a separate snippet of white card, fussy cut out some of the letters and attached. I edged each ATC with black marker pen and matted onto standard ATC size blue card stock cut from a middling size snippet, then attached my die cut butterflies and embellished them with co-ordinating crystal gems.  

Here is a closeup of one of them…

… and an angled picture to show the shine of the pearlescent card.

Stamps: LotV (background); Visible Image Butterfly Effect (wording);
Media: Tim Holtz Distress Oxide inks (Rustic Wilderness, Mowed Lawn, Tumbled Glass, Broken China); Versafine Clair (Nocturne, Shady Lane);
Tools: Provocraft Butterflies die and marching embossing folder;
Other: crystal gems from my stash.

Challenges I would like to enter:

Butterfly Challenge #187 - Butterflies Galore (2nd entry)
Can You Handle the Pressure? - Anything Goes with Dry Embossing
Corrosive Challenge #9 2023 - Anything Goes (3rd entry)
Happy Little Stampers: Dies (September) - Anything Goes With Dies
Make My Monday #210 - Create Your Own Background (2nd entry)
Paper a la Mode (September) - Anything Goes in a Card Free Zone (3rd entry)
Simon Says (Wednesday) - Anything Goes
Triple B (September) - Birds, Blooms and/or Butterflies (3rd entry)
Word Art Wednesday #615/616 - Anything Goes

Got to rush to the Post office now to ensure these reach their destination before the end of the month ... and maybe stock up on some stamps before the mahoosive price rise comes in on Monday!! Take care, and thanks for visiting.

Monday 25 September 2023

The Great Outdoors

Hi everyone, I'm just getting back into the swing of crafting having been on holiday to Rhodes (more of that later), and I wasn't too well with a shocking cold for 2 weeks before I went so I have done hardly any crafting during September. 

I am a member of the FB group for AALL & Create Tracy Evans fans, and this month a lady on there started up a new ATC swap - woo hoo, exciting!!  For the first few months there is a theme but also an "Anything goes" option whilst members get into the swing of it, as some have never made ATC's before. I couldn't wait to get started, though I am actually fairly last minute this time due to the holiday and illness, but I have finally got there!! This month's optional theme is "Circles" so I have managed to incorporate a few into the background of my design - here they are.

I created a smooshed background with Distress Oxide inks on a piece of white stamping card (it is rather subtle and doesn't show up too well in the photos!!), then cut the inked card into three pieces each 3.25" x 2.25". I inked the background leaf (which is part of a larger stamp, the famous A&C wellies!) using two shades of green Versafine Clair, then inked some background circles/postmarks from the same stamp set  using 2nd generation Warm Breeze VFC. I stamped the butterfly 3 times onto separate card and heat embossed, coloured with Sakura Stardust pens, then fussy cut and attached to each ATC. I also cut out, coloured and attached the letter "B" which I had heat embossed as part of the butterfly stamp. Finally I stamped a sentiment onto each ATC, edged them with black marker pen then matted onto standard ATC size black card stock. 

Here is a closeup of one of them...

... and an angled picture to show the sparkle on the butterfly.

Stamps: AALL & Create #370 The Great Outdoors (background), #449 Through the Meadows (Butterfly), #996 Forget Me Not (Sentiment);
Media: Tim Holtz Distress Oxide inks (Tumbled Glass, Old Paper, Antique Linen); Versafine Clair (Nocturne, Verdant, Shady Lane, Warm Breeze); Sakura Stardust pens (Yellow, Green, Aqua).

Challenges I would like to enter:

ATC's Around the World #105 - Anything Goes (2nd entry)
Butterfly Challenge #187 - Butterflies Galore
Make My Monday #210 - Create Your Own Background
Paper a la Mode (September) - Anything Goes in a Card Free Zone (2nd entry)
Simon Says (Wednesday) - Use a Background Stamp
Triple B (September) - Birds, Blooms and/or Butterflies (2nd entry)
We Love Stamping (September) - Trees/Leaves (3rd entry)
Word Art Wednesday #613/614 - Anything Goes (3rd entry)

As I mentioned above I got back a few days ago from holiday on the beautiful island of Rhodes, where we celebrated our wedding anniversary 💕💕. The weather seemed a bit hotter than usual for the time of year, with average daytime temperatures of 31 degrees, so we didn’t go walking about too much in the daytime and spent much of the holiday reading under a sun umbrella!! However we did manage a couple of trips to Lindos and Rhodes Town .. here are a few photos.

Views from our hotel 


Rhodes Town

Fab dining at our hotel!

That's all from me for today, though I hope to be back soon as I have a few craty makes to catch up on!
Take care, and thanks for visiting.

Monday 18 September 2023

I Spy With My Little Eye #7

Hi everyone, the last month has flown by, and it’s time again already for a new I Spy With My Little Eye... challenge over at Ellibelle's Corner.  Thanks so much to everyone who joined in last time … please do check over on Ellie’s blog to see if you are one of our top picks. 

Without further ado, our challenge theme for this month is 

I Spy With My Little Eye 

Something On or From a Farm

Please do pop over to Ellie's blog to see her fab farmyard creation and link up your entries here

We also have a guest designer this month so please feel free to visit Loopyloocards post to see her lovely interpretation of this theme. 

If you’re thinking that the new challenge seems to have come round very quickly you are right … we normally start on the 3rd Wednesday of the month but this time we are starting 2 days early on Monday. Why?? I hear you ask … well this month we are partnering with Double Trouble Challenge #148, so we are tying in with their timescale.

The 2 challenges are still separate, but you have the option that if you also follow the Double Trouble theme of using a punch and/or dies, you can enter the Double Trouble challenge #148 up to October 1st.

Here’s my card for the challenge.

When I had a root through my stash I was rather surprised to find only two stamps of farm animals, and one of those was an Easter themed duck!! That being the case the focal image for this card was a bit of a no-brainer for me, and is this adorable vintage Penny Black cow.

I decided that rather than stamp her onto white space I would incorporate her into a little countryside scene. In my imagination she is sitting in a field with rolling hills of the Derbyshire countryside in the background - though I have to say I can’t recall ever being presented with a bouquet by a cow when out on a countryside walk!!

I lightly marked the placement of the circle, then stamped the cow and masked her. I then used a Lavinia circle mask, hill masks and a home made cloud mask to create a background circle with blended Distress Oxide inks. I cut a paper version of the mask which enabled me to stamp to the edge of the circle, then added stamped trees with foliage, gate and fence, lavender, grasses and birds. I removed the mask and coloured the cow with Promarkers and Flexmarkers, then added a stamped sentiment and a hare in the opposite corner. I cut out the panel using a stitched square die, then matted onto a larger stitched square of green card stock and my card blank.

Stamps: Penny Black Bundle of Wishes (2612H); Lavinia Trees, Small Trees, Skeleton Tree Scene, Spring Trees, Gate and Fence, Wild Hares (large), Bird Collection, Birds; AALL & Create #533 Bring On the Sentiments;
Media: Tim Holtz Distress Oxide inks (Tumbled Glass, Mowed Lawn, Bundled Sage); Promarkers and Flexmarkers; Versafine Clair (Nocturne, Pinecone, Shady Lane, Verdant); Versafine (Vintage Sepia); Memento ink (Black); Lavinia Elements ink (Violet Chalk);
Tools: Hunkydory Moonstone Duo-Stitched Square dies; Lavinia circle and hill masks.

Challenges I would like to enter:

Corrosive Challenge #9 2023 - Anything Goes (2nd entry)
Crafting Happiness #146 - Anything Goes (2nd entry)
Creative Fingers #261 - Anything Goes
Double Trouble #148 Things 1 & 3 - Punch/die and Use a Farm animal
(I always take a cup of tea into my craft room or my cards would end up all wonky!)
Penny Black Saturday Challenge (September) - Anything Goes (use Penny Black)
Simon Says (Monday) - What’s Your Favourite Colour?
  (I love pink, but then again I love the colours of nature blue and green (grass and sky) .. so they are all here!)
Simply Create Too #194 - Use Stamps (2nd entry)
We Love Stamping (September) - Trees and Leaves (2nd entry)
Word Art Wednesday #613/614 - Anything Goes (2nd entry)

The I Spy challenge will end on the Sunday before the next challenge starts at 23:39 US Central Time - so this time that is Sunday October 15th, and the next challenge will begin on Wednesday October 18th

Take care, and thanks for visiting.

Friday 15 September 2023

Heart Grunge

Hi everyone, today is my wedding anniversary, so I would love to share the card I made for my darling husband Graham. This one is rather different from the style I usually make for him which tends to be "cute romantic", but they say a change is as good as a rest!!

This card is made using primarily the AALL & Create stamp set "Heart Grunge". I started by cutting a 6" square of white card and creating a smooshed background with Elements inks, then I did some background stamping and heat embossed in white. I filled some spaces with more background stamping of a Lavinia stamp in dark blue, then attached two large hearts which I had stamped and heat embossed on separate card then fussy cut out. I edged the piece with blended purple Distress oxide, then stamped the sentiment onto separate card and attached before matting onto purple and blue card stock and a 7" card blank.

I also painted the hearts with my Spectrum Noir sparkle pen - here's an angled picture to show the sparkle.

Seeing as it is for my husband I also decorated the inside of the card ...

... and the envelope.

Stamps: AALL & Create #453 Heart Grunge; Lavinia Background Script; Woodware - Happy Anniversary; Fizzy Moon - All about him;
Media: Lavinia Elements inks (Blue Lagoon, Dark Denim, Violet Chalk; Tim Holtz Distress oxide ink (Villainous Potion); Versafine (Majestic Blue); Versafine Clair (Nocturne, Monarch, Medieval Blue); Versamark; embossing powder (detail white, clear); Spectrum Noir sparkle pen (clear).

Challenges I would like to enter:

Birthstone Challenge #5 - Anything Goes with Sapphire and Opal Colours
Corrosive Challenge #9 2023 - Anything Goes
Crafting Happiness #146 - Anything Goes
Love to Craft #76 - Anything Goes
Mix It Up #67 - Anything Goes with option Make Your Own Background (2nd entry)
Simply Create Too #194 - Use Stamps
We Love 2 Create #8 - Anything Goes

We will be spending the whole day together today and hopefully having a lovely meal tonight, so that's all from me for today. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Thursday 7 September 2023

Falling Leaves 🍁🍂

Hi everyone, this month’s Lavinia Creative Challenge theme is Falling Leaves, and this inspired me to start looking out some autumnal stamps and also some autumnal colour inks 🍂🍁  

The general concept of this card was inspired by one I saw on the Lavinia For You FB page .. there are currently quite a few cards around with a tree framing a circle of blended inks, often with the fence and gate. I used the Lavinia stamp “Seasonal Tree” which is a bit bigger than the oft used “Tree of Hope” (which I don’t have), so I also used a larger than average inverse circle mask.

I created my inky circle first using an inverse circle mask and a small circle mask for the sun, and blending Elements Inks with brushes. I then removed the mask and stamped the tree, then replaced the mask and stamped the fence & gate, and 2nd generation background wording. I coloured the tree and fence with Distress watercolor pencils, then added multi coloured mini leaves blowing off the tree and scattered around the base. Finally I stamped a little birdie sitting on the fence, then edged the square with brown marker pen and matted onto brown card stock and my card blank.  For the Lavinia Challenge I left it there, but I actually thought it looked a bit bare without a sentiment, so for other challenges I added a sentiment stamped onto a separate piece of card which had also been sponged with Elements ink.

In hindsight I think I made the scene too “busy” with falling leaves, but once I got started stamping them I just got carried away!!

Stamps: Lavinia Seasonal Tree, Gate and Fence, Mini Maple, Winter Spice, Bird Collection; AALL & Create #533 Bring On the Sentiments;
Media: Lavinia Elements inks (Russet Orange, Bermuda); Tim Holtz Distress Watercolor Pencils (Vintage Photo, Walnut Stain); Versafine Clair (Pinecone, Shady Lane, Summertime, Golden Meadow); Versafine (Vintage Sepia);
Tools: Crafts Too Press to Impress large circle mask; Lavinia hill mask.

Challenges I would like to enter:

As You Like It - Favourite Autumn or Winter (and why)
(I love the beautiful rich but mellow colours of autumn)
Cardz 4 Galz #207 - Leaves - TOP 3

The Male Room #178 - Leaves - HONOURABLE MENTION

Paper Dragonfly #21 - Fall Splendour - WINNER
Time Out #246 - Inspired By Words

We Love Stamping (September) - Trees and Leaves
Word Art Wednesday #611/612 - Anything Goes (3rd entry)

I am also entering a version of this card without the sentiment into Lavinia Creative Challenge (September) - Falling Leaves

The leaves aren't actually falling yet but I don't suppose it will be too long ... we just need to get past this heatwave first!!

Take care, and thanks for visiting.

Sunday 3 September 2023


Hi everyone, this month's ATC swap theme over on the Visible Image FB group is Rusty, so the expectation is that that participants will produce either something brown, rusty-looking or autumnal, using only VI stamps, stencils and/or dies. 

The theme immediately suggested to me my VI vintage car line drawing, which I thought I could present in an aged and rust-spattered way. Usually I make a matching card for the swap, but this time I thought a card with this particular image would look a bit too masculine so instead I made a "co-ordinating" card using the same colour palette but different stamps. Here they are.

First the ATC.

I used a snippet of multifarious stamping card in cream, and created a smoosh background with Distress ink. I stamped the car in sepia ink, then added spatter stamping also in sepia and my wording in brown. I edged the card with more blended DI and copper gilding polish, and also spattered it with watered down gilding polish using my new Tim Holtz spatter brush which is fab, but I haven't completely got control of it just yet!! When dry I matted onto a snippet of dark brown card stock and added a couple of Tim Holtz rusty cogs.

Stamps: Visible Image You're A Classic, Christmas Robin (spatters);
Media: Tim Holtz Distress Inks (Tea Dye, Vintage Photo); Versafine (Vintage Sepia); Versafine Clair (Pinecone); Cosmic Shimmer Metallic Gilding Polish (Copper Shine);
Other: Tim Holtz Idea-ology Mini Gears.

Challenges I would like to enter:

Crafting From the Heart #5 - Anything Goes (no cards)
Creative Fingers #260 - Anything Goes
DL.Art (September) - Anything Goes
Krafty Chicks #679 - Anything Goes (2nd entry)
Little Red Wagon #724 - Small or Large
Paper a la Mode (September) - Anything Goes (no cards) - TOP 3
Simon Says (Wednesday) - Anything Goes (2nd entry)
Snippets Playground #462Use Snippets

Secondly, here is the card I made.

For this I cut a piece of cream multifarious stamping card and created a smoosh background as before. I then stamped the focal flower using Pinecone VFC and the spatters and grungy circles in sepia. Again I blended more DI ink round the edge, edged with gilding polish and added some spatters. I stamped a sentiment onto separate card, cut out and attached, then matted onto dark brown card stock and a 6" square card blank. 

Here is an angled pic to show some of the shine on the gilding polish.

Stamps: Visible Image Where Flowers Bloom, Christmas Robin (spatters), Sunflower Grounge (spatters), Birthday Wishes (sentiment);
Media: Tim Holtz Distress inks (Tea Dye, Vintage Photo); Versafine (Vintage Sepia); Versafine Clair (Pinecone); Cosmic Shimmer Metallic Gilding Polish (Copper Shine).

Challenges I would like to enter:

Allsorts #744 - Anything Goes
Beautiful Blossoms #8 - Anything Floral Goes (3rd entry)
Crafty Addicts #4 - Anything Goes (2nd entry)

Incy Wincy (September) - Colours of Autumn
Mix it Up #67 - Anything Goes with option Make Your Own Background
Simon Says (Monday) - Sparkle and Shine (2nd entry)
Triple B (September) - Birds, Butterflies and/or Blooms
Word Art Wednesday #611/612 - Anything Goes (2nd entry)

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