Friday, 15 February 2019

Its been a while

Hello crafty friends. Its been an awfully long time since I last blogged and I thought I had better put a blog together today before I forgot how to do it. Here is a card that I made for a lady that I work with and as you can see it was a special birthday for her.

What you will need:
Lavinia, Mooch stamp
Artylicious, scroll script stamp
various random small foliage stamps
Woodware sentiment stamps
Crafters Companion, Birthday Party numbers dies
Distress inks - picked Raspberry, vintage photo, Hickory smoke, antique linen
black VersaFine ink pad
Spectrum Noir, crystal clear sparkle pen
Sheena stamping card
white 8" x 8" base card
black card 
pink card
small Butterfly punches
ribbon & gems

Glues used:
double sided tape, Collall tacky glue, hot glue gun

How to make:

Cut the Sheena stamping card slightly larger than you need and using a brayer and antique linen ink shade the card (I load my brayer and then roll it once onto copy paper before applying it to the Stamping card).

Using the script stamp and the vintage photo ink ghost stamp the image over the entire card to make a background.
Stamp the scruffy cat stamp onto Sheena stamping card (I use a stamping platform to stamp silhouette stamps as they often stamp patchy and require a second stamp).

Cut the card to the required size. Tear some scrap paper to form a torn edge and used this as a mask to mask out the cat and above. Using the picked Raspberry distress ink shade below the cat, remove the mask.

Stamp and ghost stamp the various foliage stamps around the edge of the card and using the other half of the torn paper mask over the pink shaded area of the card stamp more foliage around the cat.

Shade the edges of the card using the vintage photo ink, trace along the foliage with the sparkle pen (I spray over the topper with hair lacquer to set the sparkle pen and stop it rubbing off).

Die cut the required numbers from the pink card and stick into place.

Using the black VersaFine ink pad stamp the sentiment onto the card (again I used my stamp platform to stamp the sentiment).

Mat and layer the card topper onto black card and then onto the base card (I use an 8" x 8" base card, mat the topper along the fold of the card and then cut along the remaining three sides to make the perfect base card).

Punch out the butterflies and stick onto the card, stick small gems onto the butterflies.

Make a bow from the ribbon and stick it onto the card. 


I was shocked to see that my last blog was in October and I am truly sorry  for my absence but I have had so much work on and the time has just slipped by. 
I have recently heard that Crafters Companion will be returning to Ceate & Craft where they started and this will mean plenty of work for me as part of the CC DT because they will be having lots of new products to celebrate and launch the move. I'm not sure exactly when the move will take place but it will be very exciting. Of course there is ying and yang and for every piece of good news there is bad and it was with great sadness that I read about Little Claire closing down. Little Claire and Lilly of the Valley are where I began my cardmaking journey many years ago and I will miss the Little Claire character stamps. 
So as a crafty time traveller I can tell you that I have been working on some fabulous new dies for Crafters Companion which will allow us craters to truly personalise any card with our own words, I have to say that the way they have been designed will make them ultra useful and I will be sharing them with you as soon as I am allowed. I have also been working on the next edition of the Crafters Inspiration magazine and Die Cutting Essentials magazine so again I will let you know when the magazines go on sale.
I hope my card today and my little blog in general inspire you and I would love to see any pictures of your cards if you could post them in the comments. Also if you have a blog I would love to follow you so please send me your blog address or name.





Saturday, 13 October 2018

After the storm - a bare tree

Here is a card which I have made for the Crafters Companion one day special which begins today at 6pm on Hochanda. The fabulous inspirational sentiment stamps gave me the idea to make a scenic view for this card. I notice that Fiona Clayton (the presenter of the shows) has chosen to feature this card on her FB page so I guess its got her seal of approval.

what you will need:

Crafters Companion, Inspirational sayings stamp
Crafters Companion, Sheena, silhouette country lane stamp
Crafters Companion, Sheena stamping card
black card
black VersaFine ink pad
round circle punch/die
small heart punch
copy paper
pastel chalks

This is such a rewarding and easy card to make.

Firstly tear two strips of copy paper and using semi permanent tape secure them to a piece of Sheena stamping card. Punch out a circle which is going to be the sun in your picture and using the tape stick this onto the work area within the torn copy paper.

Begin to colour the area within the copy paper with the pastel chalks going from greens to oranges.
Remove the copy paper circle and shade the edges of the work by lightly applying black pastel chalk.

Stamp the image onto the work area using the black VersaFine ink (I have recently started using a stamp platform and I find it particularly useful for stamping silhouette stamps as you can re ink and re stamp the image over and over and never have faded or missed patches on your stamp).
Remove the copy paper (BIG REVEAL) and then stamp the sentiment.

Cut the card to the required size and mat and layer onto the base card.

I punched out some hearts from the left over pieces of pastel chalked card and stuck them around the sentiment but I only did this because I had acquired a few dark smudges and needed to cover them up. 

Friday, 12 October 2018

Who knew Gelli could be so much fun

Hello crafty friends, I'm sharing with you today some cards that I have made using Crafters Companion "inspirational sayings" stamps which launch tomorrow on Hochanda. I bought some lovely stamps with beautiful uplifting sayings on them from Lylly of the Valley ages ago and they have proved very useful over the years but they only sell them as digi downloads now so I was more than delighted when Crafters Companion sent me these fabulous stamps.

What you need:
Crafters Companion, Inspirational Sayings stamps
Gelli Plate
water based (distress inks)

I have chosen these three cards because I made them using a gelli plate which is in my case is an A4 piece of gelli which I presume is silicone and it allowing me to do mono printing which is building up an image or background one layer at a time. I found loads of tutorials on Youtube which were really helpful and inspiring. The nature of this technique means that every print you make is unique, so I could probably make something like these cards again using the same colours but no two would be the same.
Basically I used distress inks and a brayer to create a background colour on the gelli plate and took a print of this onto Sheena stamping card. You clean your roller in between each print by rolling it onto a scrap piece of paper but this can create a good background effect too so dont just throw it away at the end. Then I just dabbed colour direct onto the plate from the ink pad and either blended it in a bit with the roller (or not) and then took a print from this onto the original background printed card. With card No 3 I laid the stencil onto the gelli plate and inked over it, then I removed the stencil and stamped some non specific writing onto the gelli plate (I would not recommend stamping words onto a gelli plate as it will print the words backwards) I then took a print of this. For card No 2 I inked up the square under side of the ink pad lid and stamped this onto the gelli plate and took a print of this. For Cards 1 and 2 I used the stencils as normal and inked over them direct onto the printed card.
Card No 3 was finished off by stamping the sentiment and then using a top from a pot of embossing powder to stamp the circles, I then coloured inside the circles with white ink. Card No 1 was finished off by adding a few butterflies which were die cut using the chic butterflies dies from Crafters Companion.

I had so much fun using the Gelli plate and cant wait to get it out again. The sayings in this set of stamps are so uplifting and are a nice size to use on a card or tag, something else I think I will go to again and again in the future.

Friday, 28 September 2018

Sew inspiring

I`m sharing a couple of projects today which I made for the "weekend WOW" over on Hochanda. The shows kick off at 10 this morning and they feature a new collection called Sara sew which includes paper crafting things such as dies, papers, embossing folders but also includes sewing things such as fabric, Feu leather, embroidery cotton etc.

The pin cushion was made using the middle reel from the "zips on a roll" which I painted duck egg blue and then stuck all the accessories on which I had cut out using the dies that come in the collection and a few mulberry paper flowers and flower wire. The pin cushion I made from a scrap of material which I cut with a circle die that I already owned, I also cut roughly a smaller circle which would be the base of the pin cushion.. I made a running stitch around the edge of the circle and as I pulled the running stitch I stuffed the bag that would be the pin cushion. when the bag was stuffed enough I loosened off the running stitch and inserted the rough cut cardboard base, tightened up the stitching and tied it off. The pin cushion was then stuck to the top of the cotton reel with hot glue. To finish off the project I stuck some Daisy lace ribbon around the join of the cotton reel and pin cushion and finished off by sticking three satin Roses onto the lace..

The sewing hoop is a decorative hoop which is more like a frame which comes apart and I put some linen material onto the frame along with a piece of wide cotton lace. I trimmed the material and lace at the back to make it look neat. I made three zip flowers using the zips on a roll which are in the collection and stuck them onto the material along with three leaves which I made by ironing interfacing onto the back of a piece of linen and then roughly cutting out the leaf shapes, I then coloured the linen using distress inks. I stuck the flowers and leaves onto the front of the hoop using hot glue (there are youtube tutorials for making zip flowers and I wont lie they are very fiddly to make but well worth the effort). I took a darker piece of fabric and ironed on some interfacing then I cut out the tag shape and using one of the lace edging dies which are in the collection I cut out the bottom of the tag. I then stamped the sentiment which are in the sew lovely collection onto the tag using a dark grey ink. Finally I stuck the tag onto the linen fabric in the hoop and finished it off with a button and some satin ribbon.

This range is really inspiring and I do hope you get to watch some of the shows as it will give you lots of ideas for your own mixed media creations.

Saturday, 18 August 2018

A magical place

The build a scene dies are on Hochanda again today and this is one of my favourite cards that I made as it looks magical with the moon shining through the trees.

This card was so easy to make and I started by cutting out a circle of copy paper to use as a mask for the moon and stuck it to the backing card. I shaded the background using pastel chalks and went in circles around the moon starting with the lightest colour and gradually getting darker to the edges. 
The card elements were cut from Sheena stamping card and shaded with a pencil along one edge and then further shaded with sooty black distress ink and a sponge.
I started with the back layer and worked forward and each layer forward was slightly darker than the previous layer until I reached the front of the card and I cut that from mat black card.
I added some frost to the elements along the shaded edges using a Spectrum noir crystal clear sparkle pen.

You can make these cards any size, the instructions say to cut a piece of card 5.5" square and then cut out the front frame but I would say cut out the frame from a larger piece of card and then you can make it deeper at the top and bottom as this card is. 

This set of stamps are going to be so useful as they dont have any Christmas or even winter accents and I was thinking of making a card using the fabulous Donna Ratcliff fairy stamps to make a background and turn it in to an enchanteed forest for a birthday card - watch this space.

Friday, 17 August 2018

My own little world

Hello, I`m back again with a new project and so soon. Crafters Companion are launching some Christmas "build a scene dies" today at 6pm on Hochanda and I was lucky enough to make some samples for the show. I have to admit that when the previous "build a scene" dies were launched I thought they made fabulous cards but was glad I wasn't on that particular allocation as they looked really complicated, well I can tell you they are so much fun and not at all complicated.

They are made like the toy theatres we all used to make as kids but on these cards the scenery stays put and doesn't move around, unless you wanted it to and then you could always turn it into a theatre.
This set of dies is called yuletide treasure and comes with full instructions.
I cut out the front and back parts and then decided how to best decorate them, I then cut out the inner parts leaving extra card on the sides so that I could move the elements around and thus get a better idea of where things were going to be placed (this card was very straight forward as it was obvious that the fire place was going to be in the centre and the tree at the side). Once I was happy with the layout of the pieces I coloured them in and embellished them. Then I made the accordion sides by cutting two pieces of thin card to the same height as the front and 2" wide, I then scored lines from top to bottom every 1/4" (I used my big score as it has these lines already marked out). Finally I cut the sides of the element pieces to fit inside the accordion folds and I stuck it all together (usually from back to front but I think I did this one from front to back).

The finished card is like a box but it is open at the top and bottom and completely free standing but can be folded fairly flat for postage.


I hate it when people dwell on an illness, not that I don't understand but my Mother was a life long hypochondriac and my first thought is always shut up moaning and get it sorted. Well Ive been a bit poorly this last week or so with depression. I don't usually get it bad (I know some people are unable to move and get constant anxiety attacks) and it usually manifests itself as feelings of doubt and self loathing combined with many tears for no reason. Yesterday was a particularly bad day with tears flowing everywhere and really bad feelings of self doubt and all I wanted to do was sit in a chair and cry but I knew that this would make me feel guilty and more unworthy for being so self indulgent and doing nothing, so I took myself up to my craft room. I knew I had an allocation which I am now way behind with because I haven't wanted to start it as I felt I couldn't concentrate what with all the inner voices telling me how useless I am (I must stress that I am not looking for praise or pity or anything like that at this point, its just that I have these conversations with myself and I beat myself up for no real reason) so I just sat at the desk and let whatever wanted to be crated happen. I wasn't expecting a finished sample but after about three hours I had mocked up a card and so I went to bed. Today I feel less stressed and more like me and I think the crafting I did yesterday helped a lot, it certainly took my mind away from the thing that is causing me to be anxious and it put those inner critical voices to the back of my mind. 
 I have been reading a book by Ruby Wax called Frazzled and I can highly recommend it for any one who suffers with "black moods". The first step on the road to recovery is knowing you are not right and for me also knowing what has caused it and in this book Ruby teaches how to look for the answers whilst also giving coping methods for recovery.
I know what is causing this episode of my black mood and as always its the realisation that I am not in control of my destiny or any thing for that matter and the inevitability of change. Today is a new day and I feel like I want to crate so that makes it a good day, I can take back control even if its only of the little things like making a card.

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

If you cant do Goth at Christmas when can you do it?

Here is another card made using the 3D embossing folders which are on Hochanda today at 1pm and 5pm. I thought this card looked quite goth when I was making it and I tried to find some Gothic manuscript writing to use for the card background but couldn't find any. I absolutely love colouring in these embossed images as I have to control my breathing so as not to go over the lines and then it all becomes very calming and zen.


I  used a Keisercraft marble stamp and walnut stain distress ink to make a marbled image onto Sheena stamping card, then I embossed the card and cut it down to size, I shaded the card with vintage photo distress ink and then coloured the letters using Spectrum noir onyx black sparkle pen. I used my Spectrum noir aqua pens to colour the leaves and a Spectrum noir aqua tint pen - berry red to colour the berries. I rubbed at the sides of the topper with a sanding block and tore it here and there to make it look aged and unloved.
 I took a piece of cream card and using vintage photo distress ink I second generation stamped the Keisercraft stamp to make another marble background. I cut the card to size and shaded the edges using more vintage photo ink.
I used a piece of hessian and ribbons to finish the card.