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.

Monday, 13 August 2018

Do you believe

This is another card Ive made for the Crafters Companion "one day special" on Hochanda today (6pm) and this features one of the Christmas words 3D embossing folders. I think we are all guilty of buying embossing folders and then not using them that much but with these folders which are definitely the star of any card you should use them like a 3D stamp and have fun colouring them in.

The background is made using the glycerin method and I used twisted citron, stormy sky and tumbled glass distress inks, I then splodged water over the coloured card and blotted it off.

The embossing folder is a regular 5" x 7" and I think this is another reason we don't use embossing folder that much because its an odd size but as you see here it can be cut down. 

Once the background card was completely dry (it didn't take long in the heatwave we were having at the time) I embossed it - I have learnt that it is better if you put the embossing folder through your machine with the hinged part nearest you and then if the card wanted to slip it has no where to go.

Now the fun begins colouring in the design. I used a Leoni Pujol sparkle pen arctic to colour the actual word and I liked the brush tip for getting into the fiddly lines. I used a gold gelly roll pen for the foliage and a Spectrum noir aqua tint pen red berry to colour the berries.

I really lightly rubbed the rope part of the embossing with stormy sky distress ink on a piece of cut n dry and when I say lightly I mean I barely touched it.


Sunday, 12 August 2018

How to cheat at crafting

Tomorrow sees yet another Crafters Companion one day special over on Hochanda and it will be some Christmas 3D embossing folders. There is a set of large sentiment embossing folders which will be the centre piece of any card that is made with them and then there are some rather beautiful image folders. I have used one of the image folders to make this card and  have embossed parchment which is really a cheats way of parchmenting but it looks so effective. The colouring in is so theraputic I didnt want to stop.

All you need to do is emboss the folder onto parchment and then from the back side outline the detail with a white gelly roll pen or a white pencil then colour in the detail (I used Spectrum noir aqua pens). 
Cut the finished work to size and then cut mat and layers for it to sit on on the card base. Stamp a sentiment onto cream card and secure the sentiment and topper in place with gold brads. 

The only problem with using parchment is that you have to use brads or in some way disguise how you secure the parchment because any glue that is used will show through on the finished card and spoil it.


I am so glad that the weather has cooled down and I can get so much more done. Its raining here and boy does the garden need it. 
I had a craft day with my sister on Friday and we had a play with colours using glycerin and splodges and my T shirt, hands, desk and any thing else in the way was covered when I had finished. My new stamp platform arrived yesterday and as I had a project to make using lots of word stamps I set about making a word cloud (I will show you thee finished thing in another blog as its secret stuff for now) and I couldn't have done it and gotten it all lined up and straight without the stamping platform, I'm well impressed.

Friday, 10 August 2018

Fabulus at 50

Here is a quick and easy little card which I have made for a good friend who had a big birthday yesterday. I do love these stamp and die combos and I`m sure you will be seeing lots of cards from me made with them.

what you will need:
Crafteers Companion Cupcakes stamp/dies set 
Crafters Companion, birthday party, fun with numbers dies
Craffters Companion little angel 12" x 12" paper pad
Sheena stamping card
Spectrum noir crystal clear sparkle pen
Spectrum noir red berry aqua tint pen
Sekura white gelly roll pen
black fine tip pen
distress inks (to colour in the cupcakes)
yellow glitter card

This card is so much fun to make and the first step is to fold a piece of A4 card in half, decide where you need the stamped image to be on the outside of the card and either stamp the image and then die cut or die cut and then stamp - it`s up to you which you prefer. Trim the card to size top and bottom.
Colour the image using distress inks and a water brush.
Add sparkle to the icing using the sparkle pen and add a white bit to the cherry to look like it is shining.
Die cut the spotty paper from the paper pad with the other half of the die. Cut this paper to mat and layer onto the front of the card and stick in place on the card.
Stamp a sentiment using one of your own stamps or if you like to use a graphics program make a sentiment and print it out. Draw freehand around the sentiment using a fine tip black pen, cut the sentiment out and stick onto the front of the card.
Die cut the numbers from the glitter card and stick onto the card.
Using a ruler and the fine tip black pen draw a border/box around the inside of the card (I find it easier if you push the pen away from you rather than drawing it into you, the ink is a smoother flow).

Just in case yourey wondering how to be fabulous at 50 the inside sentiment reads "just keep doing what you did when you were fabulously 49".


I took this card and present to my friends yesterday morning and when I got there she was already drinking bubelly, she does know how to live. I on the other hand was not having a special day and stuck to a cup of tea.

Monday, 6 August 2018

One of my faves

It`s another Crafters Companion one day special today on Hochanda at 6 and it`s Christmas stamps and dies. I absolutely love this idea of stamping the image and then having the dies to fussy cut it out or as I have done with this one just cut out one edge, I think these are my favourite craft items at the moment and I can see my own Christmas cards being made from these. There are 10 images in total and they are all fabulous and can be as quick and easy or as complex as your imagination allows.

This cut on edge card is made using the Poinsettia stamp/dies and the only thing you have to remember is not to fold the card until you have made the die cut. Once the cutting out has been done you can stamp the image and then fold the card.
I used a paper from my stash for the backing paper and the sentiment is from the Crafters Companion, festive phrases stamps.
The little holly leaves on the sentiment are made using a Woodware punch that I have had for years.
I`ve had a busy time of it since my last blog with lots of secret craft stuff going on and then on Friday I went along to a workshop with John Lockwood. He was such a lovely man and I learnt an awful lot. One of the things I learnt was that I need a stamping platform and I had only ever heard of the Tim Holtz one but as John said this one is made for the American market and is not designed to use with clear cling stamps as they do not have these in America. I have now ordered a Stamps Too press to impress stamp platform which is the one we used in the workshop. I know it would have worked a treat with the Crafters Companion one day special stamp/die combo. Here`s the two card that I made with John, the black and white card is a shaker box card made using his new die sets.