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24 October 2015

Wonderful Day

A few months ago I went a bit crazy in the Sizzix Spring clearance sale.  I love flowers so several of the items that I picked up were flower related including the Susan's Garden gazania die set.

I dug out some Luminarte silk acrylic glaze paints that had been languishing in the bottom of a drawer and started making backgrounds.  Then I cut the gazania from some beautiful foiled designer paper.

I really love the background. The colours work so well together and the flower matches perfectly.

The challenge on this week's Crafy Cardmakers is "Autumn colours". I think this really fits the bill.

11 October 2015

Two Hearts... One soul

My husband's nephew got married over the weekend.  I've never made a wedding card before so this was the perfect opportunity to try it out.  Here's what I made:

Quite simple, but quite pretty I think.  I embossed white card with a swirl pattern (one by Sheena Douglass), wrapped ivory ribbon across the middle then fixed that to an A5 card blank (the card blank had a lovely linen texture).  I cut two hearts from white card that I had painted with silver glitter paint, and one heart from red card.  I cut a section from the red heart to match the area where the two white hearts overlapped and stuck that on the top.  I printed out the words "Two Hearts... soul" and cut two flag banners. The whole thing was finshed off with some pearls.

Foiling would have looked great but as I don't have a foiling machine I'm going to have to look further into how to hot foil using a laminating machine.

29 September 2015

Furry Friends

It's been a while! I didn't mean to take so much time off. 

I'm joining in with the Wicked Wednesday ATC Challenge. The theme for the last week was "Furry Friends".

The background was one that I had made before (I like to make a few at a time).  The paw prints came from the docrafts Little Meow stamp set.  I also stamped some random feathers in pink & silver inks. 

The cat also came from the Little Meow stamp set.  She looked to me like she was looking at something so I added a little bird from another stamp/die set I have.  I wasn't sure what words to use so I just stamped "meow".

I felt like it needed a little something else so I added the dots and dashes border.  I tried to use puff paint for the dots to get some texture, which sort of worked.  It was my first time using it so I haven't quite gotten the hang of the technique.

14 July 2015


I haven't played along with the Wicked Wednesday ATC Challenge for a while.  I just never seemed to get around to it.  But this week I made a point to get in on time! 

The theme this week is "Zodiac Signs".  I got a set of Tropical-themed stamps with last months "Creative Stamper" magazine and I chose the rather fabulous-looking fish for Pisces.  

The background is watercolour card that's been used to mop up excess paint.  I want over it with a fairly wet wash of Luminarte Acrylic Glaze in Azurite.  The fish was stamped and embossed in black and then coloured with alcohol markers and a white gel pen.  I used a bubbles stencil (homemade) to sponge on some white ink around the fish.  

The colours are more muted than I would have liked due to being coloured onto a darker background.  If I were to do it again I'd stamp first, mask off the fish, lay down the background and then colour. 

12 July 2015

Moroccan Inspired Cards

I bought the Sizzix Peacock* and Moroccan Flowers stamps + die sets recently and I love them. LOVE THEM! I also bought several of the Moroccan label dies. Although I really like them, I found myself struggling to come up with a decent layout, but thankfully I got there in the end.

First off I embossed a piece of red mirror card with my Xcut Moroccan Flower Tiles folder.  Then I cut a label with the Sizzix Tangier die and stuck that on top of the mirror card.  (I like the way the red shows through the decorative elements of the label.)  Then using one of the stamps fron the Peacock set I stamped and embossed the detail in red before cutting out the shape with the corresponding die.  The sentiment is attached to the centre of the label using foam pads.

The second card used another stamp from the Peacock collection.  I stamped a repeating pattern on the blank card using white ink then heat embossed with clear embossing powder.  I then used my inks to create the warm orange/yellow/red background.  To bring out the embossed detail I buffed those areas with a dry baby wipe, which removed any ink from the top.

The die cut was done with the Sizzix Arabesque Flower die using red mirror card again.  I used the same stamp/die/sentiment combi as before, but this time I embossed in gold. Again I used foam pads to adhere the sentiment.

I love how these cards turned out.  Both quite simple but really striking.  And so my love affair with the Sizzix Moroccan Collection dies & stamps goes on.

I'm entering the following challenges:
CAS-ual Fridays - Embossing
CAS on Sunday - #62 Embossing
Daring Cardmakers - No Black, No Neutrals
CAsology - Repeat

*I have used some affiliate links in this post.

17 June 2015

Joyous Moon ATC

I made this ATC for the Wicked Wednesday ATC Challenge last week, but I forgot to post about it and missed the deadline to link up.  But I think it's really pretty so I'm going to share it anyway.

I started with watercolour card and painted stripes of blue - from light blue to blue black - across the card with acrylic paint.  When that had dried, I used a circle die as a stencil and used white paint to make the moon.  I used a stencil brush and was quite liberal with the paint.  It gave a nice textured surface which I thought represented the moon quite well.  When dry, I inked a stamp from the Sizzix Winter Charms collection with silver ink and stamped over the moon.  The text is an extract from the dictionary definition of joy.  Finally I stamped the grassy silhouette along the bottom.

09 June 2015

Eat, Drink and be Merry ATC

The theme over at Wicked Wednesday ATC Challenge this week is "Picnic or Food/Drink".  This is my entry:

I went with a picnic scene.  I started with a piece of watercolour card, and added a rough band of blue and green using my new water-soluble wax pastels.  I then created the corner of a picnic blanket with Washi tape and stuck on small food motifs that I had cut from various patterned papers that I have.  Finally I stamped the sentiment "Eat, drink & be merry!".   Quick and easy this week.

02 June 2015

My First Shaker Card

This is a straight-up CASE of a card by Vicky Papaioannu..  I've never really felt compelled to make a shaker card, but I loved the softness and the diffused effect that using vellum gives, so I decided to give my own a go.

To start with I cut three rectangles 12.85cm x 8.5 cm from patterned paper, plain white card and vellum.  To make a frame I measured 1.5cm in from all sides on the back of the white rectangle and then cut the middle section out using a craft knife.  (I may use my Silhouette to make up a load of these rectangles and frames for future use, as I'm pretty rubbish with a craft knife and even this simple task was a bit of a pain!)

I stamped the image and sentiment onto the vellum using silver pigment ink and then covered that with silver embossing powder. Heat embossing happens quickly on vellum so keep the heat tool moving to avoid bubbling.  Then placing the embossed vellum face down, I attached double-sided foam tape around the four edges of the vellum, sprinkled in some sequins then placed the patterned paper rectangle on top (also face down).  And that's the shaker compartment done.

I had intended to use the same patterned paper as a mat for the shaker compartment, but forgot!  Instead I used a lovely bright blue paper, which matched the colour tones of the sequins.  So there you go - my first shaker card!  I don't think it'll be the last...

I'm entering this card into the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and The Paper Players Tic Tac Toe challenge (any shade of blue / Embossing / Patterned paper).

01 June 2015


I created this card using the sketch from CAS Colours and Sketches and the recipe from CAS on Sunday (choose any three items in a straight line from the grid).

I went for the diagonal - top right to bottom left. That meant using heat or dry embossing, twine/ribbon and I decided to interpret Male or Female as a unisex card.  This is what I came up with:

 To start with I flicked mica powder paint onto the card blank to get an interesting background.  Then I made the bunting by wrapping washi tape around a bit of string and then cutting the shape.

For the sentiment I dry embossed the word "Celebrate", went over it with a Versamark pen and then heat embossed with gold.  The edges of the sentiment and two ribbons were also embossed with gold.

20 May 2015

Spread Your Wings and Fly

The challenge this week on the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge is to use an inspiration colour swatch.

Isn't it delicious?  This combination of colours seems to be really popular at the moment, and rightly so because it's lovely.

Whenever I use paints, if there is any left over I brush it over watercolour paper to make backgrounds for future use.  It just so happens that some of the backgrounds matched this swatch beautifully.  So I stuck two of the watercoloured panels to a card front.  I recently bought a new stamp  - a butterfly surrounded by the words "Spread your wings and fly" and added small butterflies from the Hot Off The Press "Dressform" mini stamp set.  I added some gems in teal and light blue as butterfly trails, and then added a sentiment to the top left corner.  The edges are inked with a light pink pigment ink.

19 May 2015

L is for Lilac ATC

While searching for images of lilacs for the latest Wicked Wednesday ATC Challenge - Lilacs or Daffodils - I came across this image:

The gorgeous, rich blue-purple, the turquoise (which I'm particularly fond of at the moment), and freshness of the water droplets all sang to my soul!  So much so, that I felt the need to make another lilac-themed ATC with this image as my inspiration.  

So I put down a wash of colour on watercolour paper.  I used Azurite Luminarte Silks Acrylic Glaze and turquoise mica powder.  I painted rough lilacs onto the background as well but it's difficult to see underneath all the embellishment.  I did the colour from memory, and so it's ended up more blue than purple, but still OK.

Then I cut out some lilac shapes from watercolour card and painted both the front and back with the same colours as the background, adding a bit of brown to the centres.  I used the acrylic glaze and mica powders because of the shimmer, which I hoped would add to the illusion of moisture on the petals.  I used the rounded tip of my paintbrush handle to shape and curl the flowers before sticking them down.  For the water droplets I applied blobs of glossy glue with a toothpick and left to dry.  I think that the water droplets are my favourite bit.  Then I stamped "L is for Lilac" and heat embossed in white.  Et voilà!

Lilac Bouquet ATC

Well, I was thrilled to find that I'd won the last Wicked Wednesday ATC Challenge with my Capture Joy ATC!  How fabulous - my first challenge win :-).  The latest challenge is entitled "Lilacs or Daffodils".  I know I didn't have anything daffodil related, but I didn't know what a lilac looked like.  With the help of a Google image search I discovered that they are really sweet, four-petalled flowers usually in pinks and (surprise, surprise) lilac, with the occasional blue and white.  And as luck would have it, I had a lilac-esque four-petalled die as part of the Sizzix Flower Vases Thinlits set.

To start with I coloured white card with watercolour pencils in rows of graduating colour and then spritzed and blended the colours a bit with a paintbrush.  Then I applied a layer of white gesso over the top to mute the colours a little, but I also like the distressed look that it gives.  After than I stamped butterflies randomly over the ATC in light blue ink.  I love script in backgrounds, but as I didn't have a stamp I simply wrote over the whole surface with a white gel pen for a really subtle effect.  (For those of you interested I have written down part of the poem "Lilacs" by Verna Sheard.)

Then I cut out lots of flowers with my flower die from pink and blue paper, and a vase from gold mirror card, which I then embossed.  I also cut some leaves from green mirror card.  They are not lilac leaves, but I think that I am allowed some artistic licence.  I also added shading and highlights to the flowers and then stuck everything down in a pleasing arrangement.

12 May 2015

Capture Joy ATC

I really enjoy blog challenges. I find them an excellent source of inspiration and I'm always on the lookout for new and interesting ones. So I was pleased to find a blog dedicated to the ATC (that's Artist Trading Card to the uninitiated).  The subject of the latest Wicked Wednesday ATC Challenge is "polka dots".

I've heard of ATC's but have never made one before.  I thought that having a smaller area to work with would be easier, but it's every bit as challenging as trying to fill a large page!  Anyway, this is my attempt:

I started by covering an ATC-sized piece of Kraft card with polka dot patterned paper.  I went over that with a thin layer of gesso to mute the colour a bit. Then I randomly stamped small honeycombs and flourishes all over using silver and black pigment ink.  I tried to ink through some stencils that I made, but it didn't really work out.  It just kind of looks like I've smudged ink on the background 😀.  I used a white gel pen to draw different sized circles on the background.  Then I die cut and embossed the umbrella (from the Sizzix "Hello Rainbow" set) three times from patterned paper, silver mirror card and black paper, then pieced them together.  The raised parts of the umbrella were highlighted with the white gel pen.  

I then stuck on the hearts (waste from another die cut << never throw anything away!) with largest at the bottom and teeny tiny ones at the top, to give the impression that they were floating off into the distance.  I went around the umbrella and the hearts with a grey marker, and dotted around the hearts with the white gel pen again to help lift them from the background. Finally, I stamped and embossed the sentiment, which unfortunately didn't stamp very crisply or cleanly.  More practice needed!  

I really enjoyed making this tiny piece of art and I'm looking forward to the next challenge.

11 May 2015

Best. Dad. Ever!

I think I have just got time to join in with last week's Freshly Made Sketches challenge.  This is the sketch:

And this is my interpretation:

I used my new Stripes embossing folder (from the Stripes and Pinwheel set by Sizzix), going around the edge with a Spectrum Noir marker to lift it a little from the background card.  I used Washi tape for the banners.  Then I cut a rectangle out of patterned wood boards paper and matted it onto silver mirror card, then stamped the sentiment.  Using my Garden Tools Sizzlits I cut handles from wood grain patterned paper and cut the heads from silver mirror card.  

The mirror card was pressed against the scratched surface of my Big Shot cutting pads so it's been inadvertently embossed with the scratches, but that gives a nice weathered look.  I hadn't done it when I took these photos, but I think I'll glaze the handles of the tools.  If I had glossy accents that's what I'd use, but as I don't I'll have to make do with Decopatch's glossy glue.

04 May 2015

Home Sweet Home

A couple of weeks ago on Create and Craft TV I watched a programme about Stampbord, which I'd never heard of before.  The demonstrator made a lovely night scene as though looking through a window.  Just by layering inks and stamping and creating texture, she produced a really lovely piece of art.  It took a lot of willpower not to buy up every piece of Stampbord on the show (those people really know what they're doing!).  I really wanted to have a go, and then I remembered that I had quite a bit of greyboard left over from a previous impulse buy.

Now, I'm a creative person, but I wouldn't call myself artistic.  As I've found since starting cardmaking, composition is a real skill.  So it was with some hesitation that I cut the board down to size and prepared to get started on my first mixed media masterpiece.

I used three pieces about 9 x 6.5cm (roughly 3.5 x 2.5in).  I covered them in patterned paper  and then painted the backs with white gesso.  I also applied a  thin layer of gesso over the top of the papers to mute the colours a little.  I then stamped and embossed the word "HOME" in purple on two pieces, then wrote  "Sweet" with a Versamarker (my new favourite thing!) and embossed that in blue.  I stamped then embossed a couple of bird silhouettes on the HOME panels,  On all three panels I used a flower and foliage stamp with silver ink, then over-stamped the flowers in a different colour.  I didn't like the way that it looked so I painted over the silver ink with Moss Green Luminarte Silk Acrylic Glaze.  Then I attached a few flowers made from air-drying clay and ran purple organza ribbon along the back to hold the three panels together and make a hanging loop.

It's quite pretty and I like the way it turned out, but it is very basic.  Having seen a few mixed media tutorials since making my wall hanging, I see that I could have gone much further with creating the backgrounds and layering, but then that's what learning is all about.  I've still got a lot of greyboard left, and I'm already thinking about my next project...

25 April 2015

Make A Wish

I'm playing along with Freshly Made Sketches 183 .

Here's my interpretation:

I embossed the card blank and used strips of paper to reproduce the sketch.  I also tried working with vellum for the first time - embossing the dandelion seed heads and sentiment in gold.  I thought it would be a good way to add a stamped image without completely obscuring the patterned paper underneath.  I discovered that embossing happens really fast on vellum, and gets really hot! The embossing powder started bubbling at one point.  Also, as I wasn't sure how glue would show up under the vellum, I only glued the outer edge.  In future, I would use a different method. The wet glue caused the vellum to ripple and because it isn't stuck down in the middle, I ended up with a sort of pocket effect.  But having said that I think it looks quite nice.

20 April 2015

Hello Notecard

I wanted to make some notecards, but as usual found it difficult to start.  I've had the Flower Frame and Tree embossing folder set by Sizzix for a while, but since I got it home I've not really been sure about how to use it.  Well, thankfully inspiration finally struck and I came up with these:

I started off using plain Kraft card,  but the embossing folder didn't quite fit and it looked a bit odd so I decided to use it as a panel instead.  I picked out a few embossed elements to highlight, which was done with watercolour pencils initially, but then I tried painting with mica powders, which gave a much better finish I think (you can see the lower bird looks more crisp than the upper bird).  I had a load of 17mm white circles left over from when I cut a tray to hold lip balm tubes, so I stamped individual letters on each one and layered them up on mica paint-washed kraft and white card to mirror the swirl and for an interesting look. Finished off by mounting the panels onto a card blank.  I like the mixture of kraft, white and colours, but I prefer the white panel on Kraft more than the other way round.  What about you?

I'm entering the following challenges:
Colour Throwdown #338 - Use Green, Teal, Kraft and White
AAA Cards #37 - It's Springtime

21 March 2015

Bare Naked CAS

Inspired by the challenge over on AAA Cards I have made three "bare naked" CAS cards. The first uses a stamp from the Hobby Art Owl collection - so sweet!  He looked kind of pensive to me so I thought the "Thinking of You" sentiment was perfect.

The second is along the same lines but I changed the stamped image and also the orientation of the card.  And of course roses and love are another perfect pairing. I'm also going to add this to the CAS-ology challenge.

And finally, I embossed 2 pieces of plain white card, stuck one on the front of the card, then cut out and inked a single butterfly from the other, stuck it over the top of a plain butterfly and folded the wings back. Finished of with a teeny sentiment from the Hot Off The Press dragonfly mini stamp set.

01 March 2015

Simple Mother's Day Card


I was inspired by the sketch in Freshly Made Sketches 175 and the colour palette in Colour Throwdown 331 to create a simple but sweet card for Mother's Day (which is coming up on 15th March here in the UK).

The cue colours were hot pink, light pink, green and Kraft.  I used hot pink organza ribbon, MUM was die cut from Kraft card with the Xcut alphabet die, the flowers were die cut with a Tim Holtz Tattered Florals Sizzix Bigz die, then edged with fuchsia ink and curled for body and dimension, and the leaves were die cut and embossed with a Sizzix Leaf Embosslits die.

02 February 2015

Say It With Flowers

It's always nice to get flowers so I made this bouquet card for my sister's birthday.   I bought the gingham flowers but made the pinwheels. I was going to put the flowers in a vase, but ended up creating stems from green mirror card and tying it all together with a red organza bow.

I am going to enter this into the CAS on Sunday Challenge #51: Flowers.  I'm not sure if it counts as CAS as there are quite a few embellishments, but I suppose I'll find out...