Friday, 27 February 2009

Papertake Weekly Challenge - Dawny's Sketch #9

Papertake has a simple but effective sketch from Dawn this week.

I wanted to use two new stamps I got from Lavinia Stamps last week at Make It and decided to make a brayered background to stamp onto. I used Adirondack Stonewashed and Lemonade inks to colour the card and stamped the thistle and teasel on using Adirondack Aubergine. The background papers are from the Stamp Attic.

Decided the card needed a little extra something and used Stickles. The nozzle was blocked so I squeezed gently. Nothing happened. Squeezed again, nothing. Squeezed it a third time and there was a LOUD pop, the nozzle flew some 10' across the room and left a glitter trail across the card (mark I), the floor and a traumatized greyhound :). Oops... Time to start again...

Sketch Saturday #39

Emma has a very usable sketch this week on Sketch Saturday. Quite why it's taken me so long to come up with something usable I don't know :).

The card uses an Impression Obsession cupcake stand stamp, the wording comes from the same set. I spent a long time watercolouring it perfectly, then managed to smudge some of the ink that edged the papers onto the pristine background, hence the speckled background; I used a natural sponge with some of the offending ink! The papers used are from Craftwork Cards, as are the "brads". Flower cut with a Cuttlebug folder.

Papers are all from

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Dogs, dogs, dogs - and a birthday

Dogs, dogs, dogs is a swap at I've used Glimmer Misted backgrounds and images from
Lisa's Altered Images. Encourage uses Inkadinkado inchies in the background, Smile has an Elzybells sentiment, Art Impressions tree and Stamps by Judith flowers. True Friends has a metal charm wired on and background stamps from Craftwork Cards. Puppy Love has the tree, grass stamp from Stamps by Judith and a Dovecraft sentiment stamp.

The final ATC is for a UKATC birthday and uses Lisa's images again.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Elzybells - new stamps and blog candy

Elzybells have brought out several new sets of stamps today and there is the chance to win them as blog candy.
I have more cup cake stamps than I need, but having seen the tea and coffee stamps I loved them. Then, when I saw the Just Desserts set, they are different again to anything I have. Check out the wording stamps that they have brought out too, they contain many wise words such as "Eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow we may diet", "A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand" and many others :)

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Penny Black Saturday Challenge #37

This week's Penny Black Saturday Challenge is to make a Get Well Soon card. I've used a very pretty PB stamp that my older son bought me for Christmas from the Stamp Attic of an iris. I've coloured it with Marvy le Plume pens and blended them a little with a wet brush. It's mounted onto Glimmer Misted papers, first mauve, then a goldy colour. The main paper is from a Graphicus Guild paper pack. I found the perfect co-ordinating colour to go with this paper - and then realised that it matched so well that it was invisible!

So the second paper was left out and I used the gold paper to give contrast :). The Get Well Soon stamp and the Prima flowers are, again, from Stamp Attic. The ribbon came from some Christmas chocolates and the "brads" on the flowers and the image are Card Candy from Craftwork Cards.

Secret Crafter, Challenge #20

Jill has designed a nice sketch at Secret Crafter this week which is similar to the Friday Sketchers card I made below. Again, I've made it using the card kit that I bought on Friday from Craftwork Cards .

The brighter pink square is from my stash. The two pearelscent triangles, the cards that the Hero Arts cupcake is stamped on and the frame (coloured with chalks and Stickles) are from the kit. I've mounted the flower on a sticky pad togive dimension and used some Stickles, as well as gold peel-offs in the corners. I love the frame!

Friday Sketchers - Sketch 40

On Friday I went to MakeIt, a craft show at Farnborough. I found a new-to-me trader called Craftwork Cards with some really nice stuff. I bought a card kit to make 40 cards, with cards, papers, ribbons, die-cut embossed frames and printed greetings for £10 and decided to use it to make this week's challenge for Friday Sketchers, a very nice sketch from Jacqueline in the Netherlands.
The really interesting product that they had on their stand is an interesting kind of faux brad that they call Card Candy . They are made from cardboard and are stuck down with silicone glue or foam pads. Now I like brads, but... sometimes they make the card so bulky that it costs extra to post, sometimes the "legs" show through tin paper on cards and sometimes I don't know that a card "needs" a brad until I've matted and layered and it's too late to put one on! So I thought this was a great idea and bought a couple of packs in different colours to the ones in the card kit.

Anyway, on with the card :). All papers from Craftwork Cards kit, as are ribbon, "brads" and greeting. I've gold-embossed a Hero Arts cupcake onto their paper, rubbed chalk ink onto the cake wrapper and added a pink gemstone to the top of the cake. It's a nice sketch to use and I love the card kit. I'm not sure it will make 40 for me as I like to layer quite a lot of papers onto my cards, but it certainly makes plenty of quick and easy co-ordinated cards.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Black & White Simplicity

Cards don't come much simpler than this! My younger son is going to a birthday party tonight. Of course, he didn't want one of my home-made cards to give. That is, until we said we'd pay for the present and he could pay for the card from his own money!

There was a swift change of attitude and I made this card, using the Inkadinkado set that my friend Janet sent. It's black embossed on white. And that's it! Nothing more to say...

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Sketch & Stash Challenge 4

The latest Sketch & Stash Challenge uses two images side by side. For this card I've really mixed old and new. The two stamps are Hero Arts and are almost the very first stamps I ever got. I used them a lot and still really like them but they've been sitting in the drawer for a while as I have so many other goodies to play with :). I've used Marvy le Plume pens and then added some Stickles from the Stamp Attic to give them a different look. They are matted onto Glimmer Misted green paper and then onto some lovely new paper from Stamp Attic. The "Best Wishes" is an Elusive Images stamp.
The new part of the card is the lovely Prima flowers that I've used. Again they're from the Stamp Attic, aren't they gorgeous?

Sunday, 15 February 2009

One Stop Craft Challenge 16 - Sharon's sketch

I've made a card using Sharon's sketch for , which I found quite a challenge to work with :).

The sketch looks great, but I struggled to get everything in without making my card huge! I started with a lovely Crate Paper from the Stamp Attic, a soft almost Japanese style with branches. I had a co-ordinating paper that I stamped my image on, an Inkandinkado bird on a branch. I used tapestry stamps round the edge and mounted it on a piece of Glimmer Misted card.

The reverse of the paper went across the card with some lace behind it, more glimmer misted paper, a co-ordinating paper and a goldy-yellow paper are set at an angle. I've inked up some small white paper flowers for the bottom corner and stamped the sentiment directly onto the card using brown Stazon.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Wishing Gatefold - SBS Challenge

Janet, from my SBS "sisters" has challenged us all to make a gatefold card this week. I've used my Leanne Ellis Wish image again, stamped onto glossy paper and coloured with a mixture of Copics and Marvy le Plume pens. I've cut round her and put her onto a Glimmer Misted background.
There is some silvery prisma glitter (Hero Arts) on her wings. The wings nearly went horribly wrong. I decided I wanted gold shaded wings and coloured them with a yellow Copic pen, using the mauve of her skirt for the splotches. Oh no! Instant leopard-skin Chav wings! Disaster! I rescued them by colouring over them with a blue Copic, making them a grey-green and covering up with the prisma glitter. This was a close escapre, I'd hate to be responsible for the first Chav Sugar Nellie card :0)
The main background paper is from the Graphicus Guild paper packs and the darker purple is from the Stamp Attic. I've embossed a sentiment from Elusive Images and swirls from my Paper Artsy "free" set, using silver tinsel powder.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Magnolia vs Stampavie Challenge Week 13

The sketch at this week looked deceptively simple, but had a lot of elements to play with. I watercoloured Tilda with chrysanthemums and matted her onto tan card and then onto a green print. The white background looked a little stark so I used tapestry stamps around the edges and a Stamps by Judith grass stamp at her feet to soften it. The brown lace is from my sewing stash, no idea where it came from!

The sentiment is a Penny Black stamp, copper embossed and the swirly embossed images are from Paper Artsy stamps that were free with my Craft Stamper subscription. I used an embossing pen to put a line of dots above the image, all the patterned papers are from the Stamp Attic. Oh, I added some Stickles to the centres of the chrysanthemums and the flowers at the edge of the paper, as well as to Tilda's hair ribbons and hat.

The Blues

This month's ATC challenge at the Stamp Attic is Music. I had to make 8 cards to trade so chose to keep it fairly simple.

The background is a sheet music image, oversprayed with Glimmer Mists. A blue tape ribbon is behind some painted Stampbord (first time I've used it) with a note copper embossed on it. The note is from an Inkadinkado clear stamp set that my SBS sister Janet was kind enough to ssend to me. I've scratched a smaller note into the surface of the Stampbord. I've added a peel-off in the RH corner and I don't think they need anything else.

Friday Sketchers Challenge #9

This week Heidi from Norway has made a very pretty sketch. As she says, this is ideal weather to be indoors crafting. I imagine Heidi has much more snow than we do, at long last I can see grass, the snow is only a couple of inches thick now!
I've used lots of different stamps on this card. I've started off with a Sugar Nellie stamp, Talking to the Birds, watercoloured, in the oval. "It's Your Birthday" is a Hero Arts clear stamp. The two birds above the oval are by Inkadinkado and the final flourishes are copper embossed, using stamps from Elusivve Image's Ruby Tuesday and Diamante Delights sets.
The papers come from the Stamp Attic, the mauve is the reverse of the pretty flower paper.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Blooming Thanks - The Sugar Bowl Challenge 4

This week's Sugar Bowl challenge is to only use one piece of patterned paper, which can be double-sided if needed. Well this paper is double-sided but I only used one patterned side :).

I used my Leanne Ellis Bloom stamp, watercoloured in spring colours, mounted onto mauve Bazzill paper and put onto the lovely Crate Paper from the Stamp Attic. "Thanks a Bunch" is a Penny Black stamp, I've used it across a Kaleidocolour greens ink pad to make it a little different. I've used some little flowers and some grosgrain ribbon to finish it off.

We still have quite a bit of snow on the ground and it snowed again tonight - thankfully not much. I'm fixated on spring colours at the moment, I wonder why? ;)

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Free Downloadable Images for Valentines Day from Lisa Volrath

Lisa Volrath is doing a countdown to 14th February at

Click on the images to download, link to the images with your blog or on an email group.

Thank you Lisa!

Ismaki 09/006

At last, it is raining and I think the snow is in retreat. I still have plenty of double sided tape but we've used most of the hay we bought on Saturday as there has been no grass for the horses to eat. Expensive stuff, this snow :).
I've used Kiki's pretty sketch for this card, turned on its side. I began with a brayered background which used two Adironack dye inks on glossy paper - denim blue and then bottle green. Then I black embossed a Hero Arts dandelion stamp on top. The gold embossed sentiment is a Graphicus Guild stamp from Elusive Images, stamped onto a bluey green distressed card.
I'd planned to use a paper with stripes of dandelion-like silhouettes of flowers but it didn't work as I'd hoped, so I used the other side of the card that the Happy Birthday is stamped on.
Each shape is matted onto a dull gold card and I've added little flower and leaf gems that DH bought for me from the Stamp Attic. The final touch was to gold emboss a railing image from a Paper Artsy stamp that came free with Craft Stamper magazine's subscription. It didn't emboss perfectly across the bulk of the card layers; I filled in a bit with a gold pen.

Blog Award

Thank you to Vanja for kindly giving me another blog award. I am inspired by ALL the blogs I read, if you are reading this and do not yet have this award, please award it to yourself :)

Monday, 9 February 2009

Stocked up with double sided tape!

On Saturday we managed to get across the Ridgeway and stock up with hay, some groceries and the all-important double sided tape. Why does it always run out at the same time as the tape applicator? The road was much better by Saturday, it hadn't snowed for 24 hours and had also warmed up.
It will be a few days before the gallops are in use however (second photo)! This morning it is drizzling and the snow is definitely retreating after a final vicious snowstorm last night.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Winter Tree - Sketch Saturday #37

Jeanette has created a lovely sketch for that I just had to use with my Penny Black tree stamp. I've not put a sentiment on it as I think it could be a winter birthday card - unless it becomes the first of my Christmas 09 cards that is :).
I embossed the tree onto white card using clear ink and white powder. I then took chalk inks and a sponge and rubbed them into the card to create a grey/pink/blue cold sky background. The ink doesn't stick to the white areas, if it does at all just wipe it gently with a baby wipe.
Cut it into a circle with Nestabilities die and gave it some colour with Stickles. The two patterned papers I used are both from Graphicus Guild's paper packs.

Blog Candy at Elusive Images

Have a look at the lovely blog candy below: very spring-like and a lovely antidote to all the snow and cold. We've had no snow since Friday afternoon and temperatures got above freezing for a lot of Saturday, which has really improved the roads, though the snow is still deep it is definitely a little less than it was...

Elusive Images has brought out these wonderful new theme plates. They are on offer as blog candy at the EI Design Team blog here. Check out the rest of the blog for some fabulous work...

Friday, 6 February 2009

Dream Big - Just Christmas & Birthday Cards Sketch 17

I'm continuing to play with my Leanne Ellis Sugar Nellie stamps, here's a card using a soft, wintry palette. This card is following a very pretty sketch from Just Christmas & Birthday Cards, by Janina.
The image is coloured with H20s and Art Quest watercolours and matted onto a Glimmer Misted scrap. The sentiment is the middle of a large circular stamp. It was stamped onto the same watercolour paper as the image but it looked a little stark, so I used chalk ink over the stamping which I like better.

The background paper is My Mind's Eye, from the Stamp Attic and the little iridescent gems are by Papermania. The yarn is a space dyed wool that I bought when I was into braiding, it is tied in the middle with beading wire that has a butterfly bead and a couple of seed beads on each end. I was going to leave the wire loose but I thought it was a little sharp and I threaded it through so it is secured between the paper and the card, in the interests of Elf and Safety :)

More Sugar Nellie! - Sugarbowl Challenge #3

The snow is worse than ever this morning and we are officially cut off at the Wiltshire and Oxfordshire boundaries - when the snowplough got to the boundary the roads were closed with barriers! We've a couple of worrying shortages - hay for the horses - and also I'm getting very low on double-sided tape :)

Since I'm not working today I'm sewing and cardmaking in the warm. I can't tell you how excited I am about my set of Leanne Ellis stamps from Sugar Nellie! They are lovely! This is the second card I've finished with them since they came on Wednesday. This one has a slightly rosier complexion and I think she looks a little St Trinian's - the Ronald Searle drawings not the films. Isn't it the most gorgeous image?

Image stamped onto Glimmer Misted paper and onto white glossy paper. Coloured with Copics, head cut out from white paper and glued onto the background, hearts cut out, mounted onto foam pads to give dimension. I've used thin peel-off strips for the heart strings. All the red hearts and flowers have Glossy Accents on them and they have a lovely sheen to them.

The embossed sentiment is Elusive images, yes the Ds are meant to be distressed, it wasn't an accident with the embossing powder;) However the ribbon across the card under the image does cover up a slip with the gold pen :). The navy card was trimmed with a postage edge blade, same as the last Sugar Nellie card, I like the effect now I've got it out of the box. I need to get into the habit of taking it out striaght away, it's really annoying to make a cut that should have been straight and find it wavy! has a challenge for Love and Romance and this card is my first entry for their blog challenges - hope they like it as much as I do!

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Mojo Monday Contest 72

More snow than ever today! This is the fourth day in a row that the boys haven't got to school/college, however DH managed to follow the gritter up the hill out of the village and get to work. So why was it that yesterday, the only day he didn't get into work, was the day my first Sugar Nellie order arrived? You see, I was only going to get a couple of the Leanne Ellis images, but they kept going in and out ofstock and it was better value to get the set ;).

I've fallen for the Leanne Ellis designs in a big way and also the Gorjuss Girls, but the GGs will have to wait for another month :). I made a start watercolouring a couple of the images and used True Love for Mojo Monday's sketch. She's watercoloured with Art Quest watercolours and mounted onto Bazzil textured card. The sentiment is the centre of a circle stamp that would have been too big for the card, it's mounted on navy card, both circles cut with the Nestabilities.
I've used a stamp-edged cutter blade for the base of the two navy layers, as I don't have a punch to do this. The background paper is from a Graphicus Guild pack, the contrast strip is Glimmer Misted. I didn't want to card to get any busier, and detract from the image, so I just used a peel-off strip on top of the contrast strip, and made the flower from a scrap of Glimmer Misted paper and some of the mauve Bazzil card.
Love these images, they are not exactly cute, there is just a little edginess there, at least on the three framed ones... Can't wait to play with the others now...
Hmm... it's great to live within walking distance of my office, but just think how much crafting I could get done if I had a "snow day" :)

Wednesday, 4 February 2009


Monday morning it began to snow in Lambourn and, despite the bus turning up to take the children to school, it was turned around at school and deposited them home again! By Tuesday afternoon the thaw had set in and all was expected to return to normal by Wednesday. It has for most of the country, but on Tuesday night it began to snow - and snow - and snow. Looking at the weather maps this was a very localised snowfall just over the Lambourn Valley. Today for the first time all week one could only get out of the village using four wheel drive and we had hours of entertainment watching cars fail to negotiate the small hill opposite our house.

It's great fun playing in the snow but I do hope some normality returns tomorrow...

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Sketch and Stash Challenge 3 and SBS25 Challenge

Sketch and Stash is on it's third challenge already! As Janet from the SBS "sisterhood" also challenged us to use ovals and a ribbon, which fit the sketch well, I have combined the two. I used my lovely new Elusive Images knickerbocker glory stamp (from the same plate as the champagne bottle), embossed it and painted it with H20s and other watercolours.
I mounted it on a piece of chocolate coloured paper that I've had in my stash for ever and a day, with an oval cut into it.
The background paper is Basic Grey, from Stamp Addict's sale and the ribbon came from our holiday in the US last year (ah, the joys of $2 to £1).
The sentiment at the bottom comes from the Elusive Images design plate again and I added Yum from my Hero Arts cupcakes set. There's a gem on the Yum, I saw a tiny mark on it - after I'd matted it and stuck it down! So I added another one on top of the dessert...
I had a lot of fun making this. Yes, it's still snowing out there and yes, I'm still holed up in the craft room :)

Friday Sketchers - Sketch 37 & My Time To Craft Challenge 47

It's snowing again outside, the perfect excuse for lots of crafting, as you see from the number of cards I'm making this week :). So, on to the next card...
Friday Sketchers has a very useable sketch by Carole this week. Also, My Time to Craft has the theme "A Little Birdie Told Me" which also fits this card. Here is my entry for both challenges.
I've stamped an Inkadinkado bird, using Staz-on ink, timber brown, onto a Glimmer Misted background. Then I've used Tapestry stamps that I've had for some time and not really used much, around the edges to frame the bird. Where there are acorns and berries I've added some Stickles for interest.
The image is layered onto a bronze paper and then two papers from Scribble-Scrabble (Hollie's Collection), from the Stamp Attic, layered behind it. I think the very pretty sheer ribbon is also from the Stamp Attic, it came from my DH at Christmas and is printed with leaves.
I'm really pleased with this card, the shimmery Glimmer Mists don't show up as well in the photo as they do in real life, the colours are lovely.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Ismaki's Challenge 09/005 has a pretty sketch this week by Isabelle Norris, which also must have a heart on it.

The stitching on the sketch looked fun so I thought I'd give it a go. I used my Hero Arts cupcakes stamp, coloured with Copics and with the cherry on top added with a sticky pad to give them dimension. I glued ribbon on and then stitched with a heavy vareigated thread over the top. The sentiment is from Elusive Images, I've gold embossed it to make it stand out. Paper from the sale at Stamp Addicts.

Oh, the heart is some grungeboard I bought about a year ago, having seen a demo. It's sat in the drawer ever since! I've coloured it with chalk ink and then added some random gold embossing.