Friday, 23 January 2015

Shop Till You Drop

Hello there, I just wanted to let you know that the tickets for the GNPE (Great Northern Papercraft Extravaganza) are on sale now. It is on Friday 13th March and Saturday 14th March at the Yorkshire Showground and tickets are £4.50 from the Craftwork Cards website. If you have never been before you are in for a treat because everything you could ever possibly want for your paper craft addiction is all there under one roof. Little Claire (I am a member of their design team) will be at the show with all their fantastic products and lots of inspirational cards on display. You will find every stall has lots of inspirational ideas so don't forget to take masses of photos to look at when you get home. I am going with my crafty sisters but we haven't decided which day yet. That's it now, I will be counting the days and saving the pennies so I have lots to spend  - can`t wait.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Little Claire January Digi Stamp Project

Hello, it`s been so cold and wintery lately and I`ve been dreaming about the lovely warm summer days to come. So I guess that was the inspiration for this card which I have made for my  Little Claire January digi stamp project.   
I am calling this card "Rainbow Dragonflies" and it`s what I would call an arty card, here is what you will need:
base card - 14.5cm x 14.5cm
pale blue card/paper
black card/paper
matt printer paper about 220gsm
pastel chalks and some cut-n-dry
Versa Fine - black
thin pale green ribbon
glitter glue
grey coloured gems
Re-size the digi stamp image until it measures 12cm across the bottom line of the stamp and 5.5cm from the bottom of the stamp to the top tip of the dragonfly wing.
Copy and paste the re-sized image and crop it down until only the dragonfly remains. Position and rotate the dragonfly above the original silhouette image, *copy + paste the new dragonfly, move it to a suitable position and slightly reduce the size*. Repeat from * to * once more.

Make sure the image is at least 14.5cm below the top of the page, then print onto 220gsm Matt print paper.
Colour the printed image with pastel chalks. Tip: I finely (in pencil) draw the card size onto the paper around the image, this gives me an area to work in when applying the chalks.   When applying the chalks I use small circular motions and blend each colour into the next. I use cut-n-dry to apply my chalks.
Stamp the sentiment using the Versa fine. TIP: do a test stamp onto a bit of scrap paper to make sure the letters are in a straight line.
Colour the dragonfly wings with a fine tip turquoise pen and with a fine paint brush apply the glitter glue. Allow to dry then spray the image with hair spray to set the chalks.
Glue the ribbon along the bottom of the silhouette (I prefer to wrap the ribbon around to the back of the paper).
Cut to size and layer up all the papers onto the card.
Finish off the embellishments by adding grey coloured gems to the centre of the flowers. Tie a bow from the green ribbon and stick onto the ribbon already attached to the card.
Finally sit back and stare at your handy work all day long.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Stuarts Valantines Day Card

Today Little Claire have launched their digi stamp challenge and they are giving away ten digi stamps, so join in the fun and get crafting (you don`t need to use a Little Claire digi stamp, but you must use a digi stamp). The design team were asked to make a card each to help encourage everyone to enter the competition. Take a look at the design team members cards on the Little Claire blog, they have some good ideas to inspire you.

I wanted to make a Valentines day card for Stuart (I used to be a new romantic but these days I`m just an old romantic) and this challenge was the perfect opportunity - this is my card.

I downloaded the Litte Claire digi stamp Be Mine Toadstool in to Serif Craft Artist Pro 2, which is my personal choice for a graphics software package. I have made a link to the Serif shop but if you wish to buy this fabulous piece of kit then check out the Create & Craft website because they have sold it for as little as £4.99 + postage in the past.
I knew that I wanted to put the image into a 3.5" circle (sorry but I`m just old fashioned about some things) so I drew a 3.5" circle on the blank work page on the computer screen using the shapes button on the task bar. The image looked too small inside the circle so I re-sized it until it looked good. Then I deleted the circle and printed the design onto 280gsm paper/card. I cut out the design with my 3.5" circle die.
I chose some papers from the Serif Beach Party digi kit and printed them onto 220gsm paper.
TIP: When using this graphics software I always chose an A4 blank page to work on and using the guide lines I draw the finished card size - 6" x 6". I then drag (from the materials section)  the designs I wish to use as backing papers onto the page and then crop them to just slightly lager than the finished piece of paper required. Then I arrange the cropped papers on the page ready for printing. Remember to leave a border around the edge of the A4 paper as your printer will leave a border when it prints. I find that spending the time doing this gives me an idea of how the papers will look together and I use less  print paper and ink.
I cut the printed papers to size and layered them on  to black paper  and stuck it all onto the card.
Now I coloured the digi stamp topper to match my printed paper colour palette and stuck it onto a black scalloped die cut circle.
TIP: If you create a soft blue glow around the outside of the image it will make the design pop.
Finally I stuck the topper onto the card and added embellishments and a sentiment. 

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Craft Room Clear Out

I felt that as it was the new year I should have a craft room clear out so that I can make room for all the many craft things I will be getting this year - hopefully. It was like Christmas again opening boxes and drawers that I hadn't looked in for ages and sometimes finding treasure and sometimes not. Anyway I found a box with a load of cards that I never got to send out and this one took my eye and I thought I`d share it with you. It`s a small card but its really easy to make.

I used a Lilly of the Valley stamp for the topper (this particular stamp has been discontinued, I think, but you can use anything) and Lilly of the Valley tag stamps for the sentiment. I used a Martha Stewart punch around the corner punch for the doily style base layer. Simple, easy and sweet, and anyone you send it to will think you spent hours making it - not so.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Hitting A Crafty Brick Wall

Yesterday my crafty cat Roger had to go to the vets for a fairly big OP (he had skin cancer on his nose and a couple of bad teeth). So to take my mind off of things I got started with the first card project I will be making for Little Claire Cards. I am making a Valentines Day card using the "Be Mine Toadstool" digi stamp (which is a great little character stamp) and It was all going well until I started to make the embellishments for it. I made some yellow flowers but they were pants so then I embossed them - pants, so then I made them in green -pants, so then I glittered the yellow ones - pants. It did the job and took my mind off of Rog, but I was out of ideas and it was time to pick Rog up, so I gave in hoping inspiration would come to me in my sleep, or something. Rog came back from the vet and was spaced out and sore, but he was home and safe and can start getting better. Roger has white fur round his nose and on the tips of his ears and this makes him prone to skin cancer in these areas, so if any of you have pets (not just cats) who have white fur on their nose and ears please, please, please put sun block on them when they go out sunbathing.

So today I went back to my unfinished card hoping that if I looked at it for long enough I would know what to do, but no joy, I have to admit I have hit a creative brick wall. I still haven't got a clue how to finish the card but tomorrow I'm going to have another try. I have acquisitioned a pair of photographic lights from my sister today, so when I come to photograph my card (if I do manage to finish it) my picture should be better lit than my past efforts (I have had to use an angle-poise to light my cards and this throws off a yellow light).

So here's hoping I find inspiration and get my card made before the deadline, and if you want to know weather I manage it then look on the Little Claires blog on January 15th.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Little Claire Digi Stamp Design Team

Well I have been eager to announce this ever since I found out last week, I have been lucky enough to be asked to join the Little Claire digi stamp design team - hurrah. I have been using their stamps for a long time now, but I love the digi stamps too. Eight of us have been signed up as designers and it has been announced on the Little Claire blog this morning. They are also having a monthly design challenge and this months is to be drawn on 15th January, so have a look at their blog and have a go because they are offering a lovely prize for the winner and if you don't enter you wont win.  I am really excited about the projects that await me and also getting to know the rest of the Little Claire family.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

A Big Hello

Well I have finally made it into the world of blogging thanks to the team at Little Claire Cards. I am so very new to this and its taken about 3 hours to get this far, so if you`re seeing this and thinking what an amateur you`re right but bear with me because it can only get better from here.