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29 November 2017

Christmas Decorations - Indoor Wreath

I love Christmas decorations and in an ideal world every room in the house would be festooned to bursting point. In reality though, every year the living room looks beautifully festive but the decoration of the rest of the house is sporadic at best. So I vow to craft up a storm for next Christmas, but it always seems to creep up on me! You know, it's ages away, it's ages away. it's ages away, oh shit it's here! It's like that scene out of Monty Python's The Holy Grail (but without the carnage 😂!) You'd think by now I'd be better prepared...

So in my attempt to boost the decorations stash I have made a few things, including this indoor wreath. I will be attaching one to every internal door in the house.

I cut a ring from Kraft card with a 15cm outer diameter. I then lined it with pine sprigs that I die cut (I don't know the brand) from green paper. I then die cut holly leaves from two shades of green mirror card using the holly dies in the Tattered Lace Holly & Robin set. Finally I cut several poinsettias using two sizes from the Tattered Lace Poinsettia 2016 set to place over the leaves around the frame. The wreath is finished off with a red bow at the top and a loop of red ribbon for hanging glued to the back. As I cut the holly from green mirror card, I went back over all of the berries with red glitter glue.

In our house the decorations go up on the 1st December. That's only a couple of days away so I won't have a full complement of decorations in time for that, BUT technically I've got until Christmas Day so I'll keep making them and adding them up until then.

21 November 2017

Woodland Christmas

I've seen a few cards on Pinterest featuring a silver birch style background which I really liked.  So I bought myself a birch tree background cutting die and made my own version. I really like how it turned out.

I started with an A6 plain white card blank.

For the background I used Distress Stains in blocks of colour (from top to bottom: Chipped Sapphire, Wilted Violet+Broken China and Broken China).  I simply swiped the stain across the card in stripes, overlapping the colours in each block for a smoother transition.  Wilted Violet on its own was too purple, so went over the top of it with Broken China to get more of a blue hue.  I also dotted Chipped Sapphire across all three colour blocks in several places, which also helps to blend the colours.

I die cut the birch tree trunks from white card and lined the die cut up with the top and sides of the card over the coloured background.  The die cut did not reach all the way to the bottom so I cut a couple of snow mounds from white card and placed them at the bottom of the card, then went over them with a Spectrum Noir clear sparkle pen for a glistening snow effect.

The deer are from the Tattered Lace Family Outing die set.  I cut them from white card and coloured them using Spectrum Noir markers, going over the spots on their backs with a white gel pen.  I stuck the doe straight on to the card and used foam pads for the fawn.

At this point I decided to add some snowfall to the scene by dotting snowflakes onto the background using a white gel pen.

Finally, I stamped the sentiment into the corner.  The stamp I used is from a set that came with issue 35 of Creative Stamping magazine.

14 November 2017

Dream A Little Dream

Back in September I bought a lot of dies (A LOT!).  I'm slowly working my way through cutting them all and trying them out in projects.  I loved this tree panel die, but interestingly what I had in mind for it is nothing like what I ended up creating.

I found a pad of watercolour paper in Lidl for a steal (so of course I bought some) and then I set out to make a few interesting backgrounds for a different project.  I dabbed Distress Stains (Peeled Paint, Festive Berries, Broken China and a touch of Mustard Seed) onto an old mirror (in lieu of a craft sheet) then spritzed with water and painted random patches of colour on to the watercolour paper until the paper was covered.

At first I cut the tree panel in white and coloured it in with watercolour pencils, but I didn't really like it, so I cut it in black and mounted it onto the background I had created.  It looked so pretty and whimsical, so I put the whole thing on the front of a card and added a sentiment from an old stamp set.

I used a black mat for this card which really highlights the tree, but if I had used any of the colours from the background for the mat, that colour would be highlighted. For example a blue mat would have highlighted the blue in the background and so on.  (A little tip that I picked up from Mel Heaton on Create & Craft TV.)

20 October 2017

Stars 🌟

Over on the Less is More blog the latest challenge is a one layer challenge featuring stars.  Here's my attempt:

The stars come from various stamp sets.  I stamped the sentiment into the centre of the card with copper dye ink and added the little star trio at opposite corners.  Then I stamped the spotted stars into the corners with first with gold dye ink and then overstamped with copper, and finally the stripy star into the gaps with the gold ink.

The pictures don't pick up the metallic sheen of the inks very well, but IRL there is a nice shimmer.

I'm also going to enter the latest AAA Cards challenge - inspired by a film. The movie I've chosen is Stardust (love that movie btw). I think that the sentiment could apply to Evain, who shines brightly when she's happy, but also to Tristan who learns the value of being himself.

14 October 2017

Sparkle ✨

Over on the AAA Cards blog the challenge this week is a sketch:

Here's what I made:



I used masking tape to create the band where I wanted the colour to go, then I dabbed Distress Stains (Mermaid Lagoon, Wilted Violet, Festive Berries and Worn Lipstick) randomly over the exposed area [I really love that combination of colours].  The colour was a bit intense so I used a tissue to take off the excess.  After drying with a heat tool, I stamped the sparkles and the sentiment with embossing ink and then covered with gold embossing powder.  

That was where I planned to leave it but some of the masking tape damaged the card as I was taking it off and this flower happened to be lying around and it matched the colour scheme pretty well, so it became part of the design.

03 June 2017

Freshly Made Sketches 290

Here's my interpretation of the latest sketch over on the Freshly Made Sketches blog.  I love the combination of lacy detail on that weathered wood bacground.  I used the Tattered Lace Oval Doily die from the Peach Sorbet collection and generic "hello" die.

22 April 2017

Three Looks, One Die

I love background dies and the Tattered Lace Grandma's Garden panel die is really pretty.  There are loads of techniques that are great with background dies, but here are three simple ways to use it.

1.  Cut it out of Kraft (or other coloured) card and affix to a white card blank.  Stick a die cut sentiment also cut from Kraft (or other coloured) card on to a white oval and then affix both on to the background with foam pads.  It's really simple but it looks great.

2.  Die cut a panel out of plain white cardstock and place it over a coloured background.  In this case I created a vibrant background using alcohol markers, but you can use inks, watercolours, pan pastels or whatever medium you like.  I placed a white die cut sentiment onto a piece of coordinating card stock.  The white against the vibrant background helps to tone it down.  This is a great technique to use with busy background papers too.

3.  Die cut a panel from plain white cardstock and colour in the different elements, then affix to a card blank.  In this case I used pastel shades and a Kraft card base.  The pastels and Kraft work really well together.


21 April 2017

Glamour Puss

I've been coveting the Tattered Lace Glamour Puss die that came with one of their magazines ever since I first saw it.  I finally caved in and picked up a back issue from eBay a couple of months ago.  Inspired by one of the sample cards on the Tattered Lace website I made this:

Isn't she fabulous?! The stairway die is also by Tattered Lace, from the Essentials collection.  I used plain white card and coloured the vertical faces of the steps using a Spectrum Noir light grey marker.

The Glamour Puss die itself cuts out all the detail in the dress, but I wanted to keep it in so I taped across the back of the die cut before removing it from the die.  I used a black Spectrum Noir marker to colour the dress then went over it with Dovecraft Crystal glitter glue.  The black highlighted all the green elements in the glitter glue, giving the dress a beautiful emerald shimmer.

I used a gold pen to highlight her jewellery and gave her some hot red lipstick, black hair and a matching clutch bag.

The wallpaper is damask patterned paper.  Next time I would use a paper with a smaller pattern, but overall I like the effect.

19 April 2017

Bloom and Grow - Free Backing Papers

I love the idea of designing my own backing papers, so, with a little help from Daisytrail and CraftArtist 2 Professional, I did just that.  I used the Bright Blooms free digikit to create a set of 6 x A4 backing papers in soft shades, perfect for Spring.




As the true test of a backing paper is its usability, I had fun being my own design team and made a set of cards to show the papers off.  They work really nicely together.  Download the papers and use them in your own projects, then leave a link to your creations in the comments 😊.

11 March 2017

Digital Geometric Shards

Remember the geometric pattern card that I created a few posts ago?  Well, I liked it so much that I decided to create a digital version of it using the CraftArtist2 Professional software.  I love the idea of creating products using my own designs so on a whim last year I opened up a shop on Society6 (it's called Merry Makewell Designs) and uploaded my digital rendition of the card design.  I originally tried to reproduce the card faithfully, but the combination of teal and purple didn't really work digitally for some reason, so I used a grey outline instead.  I also made a pastel version using a white outline.

Here they are as notebooks:
Purple Shards notebook

Pastel Shards - Notebook

 I've also added the design to a whole range of other products, like tote bags, phone cases, laptop sleeves, pouches, mugs, wall hangings and even shower curtains.  I think that they look pretty good.

If you have a chance go and take a closer look.

04 March 2017

Easy Watercolour Backgrounds

Watercolouring in card making is everywhere at the moment, so I dug out my set of Reeves Water Soluble Wax Pastels to have a go at creating some simple watercolour style backgrounds.  I simply scribbled pastels in similar shades onto a white card blank in vertical, horizontal and diagonal stripes, then used a wet paintbrush to go over the colours and blend them a little.

Hello Greetings Card - ombre watercolour background

Have a Beautiful Day greetings card - watercolour background with glitter blutterfly
I used ordinary cardstock for these so the colours did not move as much as if I had used watercolour card, but I quite like that effect.  The first butterfly was cut using Sizzix Thinlits die set Butterfly #3.  The second used an ArtC stencil with BoBunny glitter pastes.  It's much more lovely in real life.

I like the simplicity of these.  The watercolour effect is a great backdrop that doesn't really need much else to make an attractive card.  This would be a great technique for making men's cards; a bold sentiment and a well-chosen stamped image or die cut would be all you'd need.

25 February 2017

Bold Florals - Just For You Card

I had some flowers left over from my paper flower pot project, which didn't really suit that display, but a single one as a statement embellishment on the front of a card looks pretty good.

Bold Floral Just For You Card

The background was made with a scoreboard that came free with a copy of Crafts Beautiful magazine.  It is quite similar to the Xcut Quilting embossing folder which is a favourite of mine.  I used Sizzix Embosslits heart and leaf dies for the flower petals and leaves.  The flower centre was created by colouring a thin rectangular strip of card on both sides, then snipping into it at regular intervals along its length and rolling it up and fanning out the cut fringes. I found a sentiment that matched the colour of the flower and also used a similar colour for the card base.  A few gold gems helped to add some interest and also complemented the gold foiling on the sentiment.

18 February 2017

Geometric Shards

A little while ago I was helping my mum to clean out her garage and I came across a load of my old school books and folders.  One of the things that I used to love to do was to decorate the insides of the folders by sectioning the space into squares or triangles and then colouring them in.  I made this card shortly afterwards, inspired by that memory.

How are You? geometric pattern card

I used Spectrum Noir alcohol markers; BT5 using the chisel tip to create the outline and PL2, PL4, PL5, LV1 and LV3 to colour in the triangles.  I happened to have some card that matched the turquoise marker colour almost perfectly, which I used for the card base.  The sentiment is from an old sticker collection by American Crafts which has been in my stash for years!  I added the faux stitching around the perimeter to help it stand out more.  It just goes to show that you don't always need stamps, patterned papers and fancy dies to create a striking card.

11 February 2017

Paper Flower Pot

Inspired by the pop-up box card, I thought it would be fun to use the same principle to create a different shape.  A plant pot came to mind and I do like to make paper flowers, so I put the two together and voila!

Unlike the pop-up box, the plant pot is only connected along the top edge.  The sides have been cut away to create the pot shape.  I used two strips of card on each side to connect the front and back of the pot to give it some stability.

The flowers have all been made with either punched hearts, or using hand-drawn heart templates.  I stuck 5 heart petals together at their tips to create each flower.  I also scored along the petals before colouring them to give some texture, then shaped the petals by curling gently.  Most of the petals were cut from plain white card, which I then coloured with Spectrum Noir alcohol markers.  A couple were cut from pink paper and then coloured blue.

Some of the stamens were made by snipping at regular intervals into a thin rectangular strip of card and then rolling that up and fanning out the cut fringes.  The rest were made using Flower Soft by Katy Sue.  I actually much prefer those.  I added a few die cut and freeform leaves, and some decorative flourishes by Tattered Lace to finish off the display.  Because the pot is made using the same principle as the pop-up box, it does flatten, so in theory you could make one of these and send it in the post.

09 February 2017

Text Accents

I've been watching a lot of YouTube for inspiration for mixed media and also making my own embellishments.  I see a lot of people use Tim Holtz's Idea-ology word stickers for text accents.  I don't have any of those, but I do have a few mini alphabet stamps, so I thought it would be fun to make my own (and less expensive too).

For these I used a Dovecraft set, which I got on sale for £1 at Hobbycraft.  Stamp any words that you like then cut out the strip.  It's a quick, easy and cheap way to add text accents to projects, with the added benefits that you only get the words that you want as many times as you want.  The stamp sets come in various styles, so could work for lots of different types of projects.

This is not a sponsored post and does NOT contain affiliate links.  These are my own opions based on products that I have bought.

15 January 2017

Black and White With a Pop of Colour

Over on both the CAS on Sunday and The Paper Players blogs the challenge is to use black and white with one colour.  I've combined that brief with the Freshly Made Sketches sketch challenge.


It's been a while since I entered a cardmaking challenge or posted on the blog.  It seems appropriate to start off my comeback with a "Hello".

I got this gorgeous "hello" stamp as a freebie with a Docrafts Creativity magazine and it's been languishing in the bottom of my stamp stash for months.  I can't believe that I waited this long to use it, but now that it's made its debut I can see it being used a lot.

The background was made by flicking gold paint onto the card base.  The sentiment was stamped onto a card panel and heat embossed with gold.  I then made a rough outline of the sentiment panel with a gold pen and popped it up on the card base with foam tape.  Three gold gems, placed randomly finished off the card.

Today I'm entering the following challenges:

Daring Cardmakers (New), and
CAS-Ual Fridays (Gold)